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  • Allowable annual cut (AAC) and actual cut on public land, 2000-2023

    David Broadland

    By the end of 2023, the allowable annual cut on public land in BC had fallen to about 58.2 million cubic metres per year. But that is likely a considerable overestimation of what can actually be cut on public land. In 2023, the actual cut had fallen to 36.2 million cubic metres, far below the AAC. In the past, the cut has dipped during periods of low demand. In 2021-2022, however, lumber prices were at record high levels yet BC’s production of wood products actually fell even lower.

    The Ministry of Forests blames this decline in the logging industry’s fortunes on forest fires and the mountain pine beetle. More likely, the ministry has overestimated growth and yield over a long period of time, overestimated the size of the timber harvesting land base, underestimated the impact of climate change and allowed overcutting. The result? A steeply declining area of commercially viable forest. BC Premier David Eby has accurately described the situation as “exhausted forests”.


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