Biodiversity Conservation during Salvage Logging in the Central Interior of BC

British Columbia is engulfed in a province-wide mountain pine beetle outbreak. Salvaging value from the dead pine trees is a government priority. To facilitate the salvage effort, government increased the allowable annual cut (AAC) by 80 percent in the three most severely affected timber supply areas; the Lakes, Prince George and Quesnel TSAs, which are also the study areas for this project.

The increased AAC led to concerns about the stewardship of non-timber values such as wildlife and biodiversity. To accommodate these concerns, the “timber uplift” (AAC increase) was to be accompanied by a “conservation uplift” (an increase in retention of mature forest structure in harvested areas).