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  • Volume of live trees logged in BC compared with salvage logging of dead pine 2010-2020

    Evergreen Alliance Staff

    IT'S A COMMON PERCEPTION that fires and the Mountain Pine Beetle have done most of the damage to BC forests over the past 20 years. The ministry of forests and the industry have encouraged belief in this misperception. In fact, logging has been the largest cause of forest loss. It's true that some of the logging was done to salvage beetle-killed lodgepole pine, but over the 10 years since the ministry of forests created its dead pine salvage program, that salvage amounted to only 15 percent of the total cut in BC. Logging of live trees accounted for 85 percent of the cut, as shown in the graph below.



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    When the Ministry says "dead pine", what does this mean? Are 100% of the trees dead on a hectare before they salvage log, or is there a threshold, where say, if 50% of the trees are dead, they "salvage log" the hectare?

    It appears that the salvage logging is over and above the regular approved AAC. Is that so? Citizens might prefer that they postpone regular cutting in lieu of salvage logging, so the overall cut is the same, whether it is due to beetles, or logging.


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    Not surprisingly, "dead pine" means dead pine. The chart above shows volume, in cubic metres, not area. The data is from the Harvest Billing System and it reports volumes of dead pine with little information beyond the TSA in which the logging occurred and which company logged it. Tracing a salvage permit back to a specific area would be difficult, although not impossible.

    There was a large uplift in the AAC for the three TSAs most heavily impacted by the beetle infestation. The ministry claims there was also a "conservation uplift" in those TSAs.

    One complaint about the salvage logging was that logging companies used salvage permits to cut healthy live trees of other species and healthy lodgepole pine, too while logging the dead pine. In the three most heavily impacted TSAs, the non-pine volume of live trees logged went down only slightly over the years of greatest salvage.

    The Forest Practices Board investigated the impact of dead pine salvage in a 2009 special report.

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