Timber Harvesting in Beetle-Affected Areas – Is it Meeting Government’s Expectations?
British Columbia is in the midst of a large-scale salvage program, the likes of which has never been seen. There is nothing sustainable about this harvest; this is a one-time activity initiated by the province to recover value from the trees killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic and to speed regeneration of affected areas. Once those trees no longer have any economic value, salvage will stop and the province will need to sustainably manage the harvest of the remaining live trees. The issue, simply put, is that the more live trees that are harvested now, the lower the sustainable harvest level will be after the salvage program is finished. A report on the forest industry’s harvesting of beetle-killed timber confirms that industry has been meeting government’s expectations for concentrating harvesting on dead pine trees, but says the harvest of other kinds of trees is increasing more than expected in some areas of the province.