By Korie Marshall

The Robson Valley Timber Supply Area is coming up for review.

According to the Forest Act, the chief forester must regularly review and set new Annual Allowable Cuts for each of the province’s 38 Timber Supply Areas and 34 Tree Farm Licences. The objectives of the review are to examine forest management practices, environmental and social factors and input from First Nations, forest licensees and the public, to set a new AAC and to identify information to be improved for future timber supply reviews.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has released a public discussion paper for the review, available online or from the Prince George Natural Resource District office, and has invited the public to comment on the review until Feb. 3, 2014.

This is the fourth review of the Robson Valley TSA which has seen a number of changes since the last review in 2006, when the current AAC of 536,000 cubic meters was set. Since then, two Community Forest Agreement licenses have been awarded, Dunster and Valemount, which deletes area from the TSA. A number of approaches to wildlife conservation and biodiversity management have also come into effect, as well as a number of other forest management considerations and issues.

The total area of the Robson Valley TSA is almost 1.5 million hectares from Crescent Spur to part way down Kinbasket Reservoir, but a number of land types are not included in the harvesting land base, including community forests, private land, parks and protected areas, and non-productive areas. The total harvestable land base is estimated to be about 140,000 hectares, down about 85,000 hectares since 2006.

Once the chief forester makes a decision on the annual allowable cut, the ministry will apportion the volume to the various license types and programs.

Comments can be sent by email to [email protected] or by mail to the McBride Field Office at 300 Robson Centre, Box 40, McBride BC, V0J 2E0.