Jump to content

David Broadland

David Broadland
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

 Content Type 


Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

Sept/Oct 2016.2

Past Editions in PDF format


Focus Magazine July/August 2016

Focus Magazine Jan/Feb 2017

Focus Magazine March/April 2017


Local Lens

Focus Magazine May/June 2017

Focus Magazine July/August2017

Focus Magazine Sept/Oct 2017

Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2017

Focus Magazine Jan/Feb 2018

Focus Magazine March/April 2018

Focus Magazine May/June 2018

Focus Magazine July/August 2018

Focus Magazine Sept/Oct 2018

Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2018

Focus Magazine Jan/Feb 2019

Focus Magazine March/April 2019

Focus Magazine May/June 2019

Focus Magazine July/August 2019

Focus Magazine Sept/Oct 2019

Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2019

Focus Magazine Jan/Feb 2020

Focus Magazine March-April 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic

Navigating through pandemonium

Informed Comment








Development and architecture



Controversial developments







Story Comments posted by David Broadland

  1. 50 minutes ago, Guest Steve Cooley said:

    Does anyone remember the picture of one log on a truck that was going through Nanaimo? It was spruce going to a speciality mill that makes acoustical instrument (guitars) sound boards. 

    Yes, the log had been purchased (from an unknown seller) by Port Alberni's Acoustic Woods, mentioned in this story.

  2. 7 hours ago, Guest Michael Linehan said:

    Please stop calling it "BC’s forest industry". That's just 1984 doublespeak, a la "Ministry of Truth", etc.  It's BC's LOGGING industry.

    Thanks for your comment Michael. I hear you, but the components of the industry include more than just logging. More people in the industry are employed in mills of various kinds than in the logging sector. There's also people involved in different aspects of forestry, like tree planters and thinners, and so on. There's also the people who work at the "ministry of forests" who are actually working for the "forest industry." I have called it "the mindustry" from time to time. I would be happy to hear other people's ideas about what this forest-wasting machine should be called.

  3. 13 hours ago, Guest JOEY said:

    A Forestry Consultation Revenue Sharing Agreement is a boiler plate Agreement signed by nearly every nation across BC. It gives us three per cent of stumpage for logging in our territory. 

    We also have annual tenures.


    My band has 110,000 cubic meters annually and we do what what Pacheedaht have done. Sell it to someone else to do the logging and we collect that money.


    You're so dishonest.

    Hi JOEY,

    Thanks for your comment. I think you may be reading into my report something that wasn't intended. It is well known that the Pacheedaht have forestry agreements regarding logging on their traditional territories. The comments above are in reference to a specific agreement between the Province and the Pacheedaht that was initiated by the Province in response to the blockades. The Province bought the Pacheedaht's cooperation and attempted to silence any Pacheedaht who disagreed. This agreement was made just before Teal Cedar Products Ltd filed its application for an injunction.

    I am surprised that you think getting 3 percent of the stumpage for logging in your territory is a fair exchange. Stumpage represents, on average in BC, about one-quarter to one-fifth of the market value of a log. In many cases it is far less than this. Bigger companies seem to know how to get stumpage down to the ground. So you are getting 3 percent of that one-quarter to one-fifth. That works out to between eight-tenths of one percent of the log's value and six-tenths of one percent.

    Your First Nation owns the resource, according to Supreme Court decisions. Getting between eight-tenths of one percent and six-tenths of one percent of the value of your resource doesn't strike me as a good deal.

    In the case of the Pacheedaht, the exploitation may be even deeper. According to the Province's Harvest Billing System, Pacheedaht Forestry Limited cut 16,925 cubic metres in its territory in 2020. For that they paid the Province $736,101.11 in stumpage. This worked out to $43.49 per cubic metre.

    In 2020, Teal Cedar Products Ltd harvested 801,064 cubic metres. This was spread between TFL 46 and other forest licences the company has. All those licences are on some First Nations' unceded territories. What stumpage rate did Teal pay? It averaged out to $14.87 per cubic metre.

    Why are the Pacheedaht paying $43.49 per cubic metre for a resource they own and Teal pays $14.87 per cubic metre for a resource it doesn't own?

    From the outside, this appears to be just a continuation of hundreds of years of exploitation. Why are you settling for that?

    For us ordinary settlers, we might want to check whether our wallet is still in our pocket, too. The stumpage collected by the Province doesn't come near to paying for the ministry of forests’ expenses

  4. 3 hours ago, Guest Northern Dude said:

    I agree with your conclusions, but you've got a lot of details wrong about "treaties" and how government to government negotiations work.

    First, debt from treaty negotiations is far less of a burden after the Federal government forgave treaty loans in 2019.

    Second, the BC treaty commission has been stalled for years, and is not the preferred forum for negotiations for most First Nations in the province. A number of "reconciliation agreements," being stepwise and not final, and tailored to each First Nation, have been signed in recent years under both Liberal and NDP governments. These have transferred cash, land, and decision-making authority to First Nations.

    Third, Horgan's reference to title holders is to the Pacheedaht First Nation and their request for protesters to leave. These protesters are free to continue to protest both the NDP and the Pacheedaht governments.

    Hi Northern Dude, thanks for your comments.

    You are correct that Canada forgave debt incurred by First Nations negotiating treaties in 2019. That did not undo the 30-year-long impact on First Nations communities trying to negotiate treaties at the expense of being able to address other pressing problems in their communities. The impact was cumulative and began long before treaty negotiations began, as you know. Forgiveness of the treaty debts didn't instantly make good the long years of financial repression. The debt has been built into these communities' physical condition.

    Under those conditions of economic repression, who could fault First Nations that entered into agreements focussed on extraction of natural resources? The ministry of forests is the primary agency through which the substance of these agreements is determined.

    With the interests of the ministry of forests and the interests of the forest industry being indistinguishable, such agreements naturally represent the interests of the forest industry.

    No community in BC, First Nations or otherwise, is unanimous in its view of these issues. A part of the Pacheedaht community wrote a letter that asked protesters to leave. That part of the Pacheedaht were apparently influenced by the BC government to write such a letter. The roots of that letter were apparently created by the resource agreement the Pacheedaht have signed with Teal and the Province. Other members of the Pacheedaht have welcomed the efforts to protect old-growth forest in Pacheedaht territory.

    We don't know the details of the agreement between the Pacheedaht, Teal and the ministry of forests. The ministry's Harvest Billing System shows no volume going to the Pacheedaht, whereas it does show a small volume going to Ditidaht Forestry (TFL 46 includes both Ditidaht and Pacheedaht traditional territories). How small? About one-half of one percent of the cut on TFL 46 is assigned to the Ditidaht. How much goes to the Pacheedaht? We don't know, but if it's similar to the Ditidaht, it's a tiny fraction of what Teal Cedar is booming off to Surrey.

    This sounds like continuing economic repression to me.

  5. 20 hours ago, Guest Irrelevant argument said:

    This is what happens when a "journalist"  tries to write on a legal ruling but is ignorant of the law.  "Irreparable harm" has a distinct and unique legal definition for injunctive relief.  It need not be quantified.  

    Broadland ought to leave the criticisms of legal rulings to lawyers.  

    Thanks for your comment.

    Readers may want to review Verhoeven's judgment, which I reviewed here. In his consideration of whether Teal had suffered "Irreparable Harm," Verhoeven restated the economic arguments that had been presented to him in affidavits prepared by Teal's legal team.

    While the above commenter would have readers believe the law is too mysterious for anybody but lawyers to understand, there is no mystery about how Verhoeven arrived at his decision that irreparable harm had been done—its in his judgment. But the numbers he uses in his consideration, which were provided by Teal and not questioned in court by either Verhoeven or the defendants' legal team, are deeply flawed. Any journalist could have found the factual information that the lawyers didn't. That's the service journalism is meant to provide.

  6. The Rainforest Flying Squad announced today that its legal team has filed an appeal of Justice Verhoeven's judgment granting an injunction to Teal. The appeal asked that the order be said aside due to:

    1. (a)  The Court erred in deciding that the granting of the injunction be allowed on behalf of the Respondent, Teal Jones Products Ltd.;

    2. (b)  The Court erred in allowing police authorities and/or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to enforce the injunction against the Appellants;

    3. (c)  The Court erred in its determination that the Respondent would suffer irreparable harm had the injunction not been granted;

    4. (d)  The Court erred in failing to treat an injunction as an extraordinary remedy, especially in the context where arrests could be made but the police and Attorney General choose not to do so;

    5. (e)  The Court erred in deciding the balance of convenience on one issue–the presence of a permit(s) to log;

    6. (f)  The Court erred in failing to properly balance the public interest;

    7. (g)  The Court erred in failing to analyse whether, in an area where there is a road-building permit but no cutting permit - a road building permit meets the irreparable harm branch of the test for an injunction; and,

    8. (h)  The Court erred in applying the balance of convenience test determining the forestry decision to approve the Fairy Creek watershed Cutting Permit 7265 was a governmental policy consideration outweighing the public interest in preserving the few remaining old growth forests in British Columbia.

  7. 45 minutes ago, Guest TreeTalker said:

    Time to quickly seek out Eco Philanthropists to buy out TFL 46 to the tune of $20 million. 

    Hmmm. You are probably referring to the "$20 million" mentioned by Verhoeven in his judgement. He said, "Teal estimates that the end product value of the products that it will produce from the timber sourced from TFL 46 is approximately $20 million."

    Presumably he meant to add "in a year," or some other measure of time. On this count, too, Verhoeven made a serious error in accepting Teal's information. I have asked Teal questions about the information they provided in their injunction application. Once I have those answers I will provide a second story addressing those numbers. It should suffice to say for now that the value of the wood products manufactured from wood cut in TFL 46 are far greater than "$20 million."

  8. Thanks for your comment Anthony. At least one lawyer has come forward offering his services pro bono to do an appeal of Justice Verhoeven's judgment.

    It took Teal eight months to seek the injunction. I can't see Teal doing this at all unless the company had some assurance from Premier Horgan that he would support it. Without such assurance there would be little to stop Horgan and his cabinet from deciding to avoid the spectacle of mass arrests by withdrawing permission for Teal to log in the general area of Fairy Creek.  Given the findings of the Gorley-Merkel review of old-growth, which recommended that the government change how it values old-growth forests and put a moratorium on cutting old-growth forests like those at issue in the Port Renfrew area, the seeking of this injunction suggests that Horgan has no intention of moving in the direction Gorley and Merkel recommended.

    I think you are correct in calling out the BC NDP. Unless it changes its forest policy, this kind of conflict is going to go on for years.

  9. 3 hours ago, Guest Steve H. said:

    HI Dave.  You say over 50% of the tree cuts are turned into chips or sawdust.   Where do you get this "fact" from?    Thank you.  

    Hi Steve. It's from the ministry of forests 2018 Major Mill Survey. That is the latest year for which the ministry has provided data. Mind you, the document doesn't come out and say "Over 50 percent of trees cut in 2018 were turned into sawdust or woodchips." You need to sift their data.

    In 2018, the ministry noted that 64.3 million cubic metres of logs passed through processing facilities, from log sorts to lumber and other wood product mills, including raw log export facilities.

    The numbers below are the volume that was used at a given type of facility. For example, sawmills took in 45.45 million cubic metres, but only 21.9 million cubic metres came out as lumber. The rest was wood chips, sawdust and hog fuel (which went to pulp mills).

    1. Saw mills: 21.9 million cubic metres (34 percent)

    2. Pulp mills: 26 million cubic metres (40.4 percent)

    3. Hog fuel : 5.0 million cubic metres (7.8 percent)

    4. Veneer/OSB mills: 6.574 million cubic metres (10.2 percent) Of this about 4.5 million cubic metres was "mainly sawdust and shavings," (7.0 percent) according to the survey (page 10). 

    5. Shakes & Shingles: 0.548 million cubic metres (0.8 percent)

    6. Other (pellet) mills: 0.444 million cubic metres (0.7 percent)

    7. Log exports: 5.12 million cubic metres (8.0 percent)

    If you add 2. + 3. + 4. + 6. you get 54 percent. This doesn't account for waste from shake and shingle mills or what's lost along the way.

    You can find the ministry's 2018 Major Mill Survey here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/competitive-forest-industry/forest-industry-economics/fibre-mill-information/major-timber-processing-facilities-survey

    With the forest industrial complex developing more opportunities to turn trees into pellets, the "over 50 percent" will be outdated by 2021.



  10. 1 hour ago, Guest William said:

    I am wondering what your solution is to not logging? How will we build homes? Is it better to have homes built out of mined materials? Canada has the highest forestry practices in the world.

    Good questions William. I was a house builder in BC in the days when we didn't think about where the wood we used was coming from because there seemed to be an endless supply of it. In those day, the lumber that was being exported went mainly to the USA. Things have changed. Now 80 to 85 percent of what is cut in BC goes to the USA, China and Japan. All three of those countries have higher environmental standards than BC does regarding primary forest on publicly-owned land.

    China banned logging of primary forests in 2000, first to protect soil from erosion, and then later added climate goals—carbon sequestration and storage. In the US Pacific Northwest, clearcut logging in primary forests on publicly-owned land is largely gone. If you view Japan from the vantage point of a satellite-based camera, you will have a hard time finding any logging at all.

    All countries need to get their climate and biodiversity acts together in terms of their use of forest products. Right now, the forest carbon emissions associated with building materials for construction in the US, China and Japan are being exported to Canada and other countries like Russia. If BC limited itself to supplying BC, we could drop our cut by 80 to 85 percent and conserve all remaining primary forest.

    If we put a value on avoided forest carbon emissions based on the current value of the BC carbon tax, we would be avoiding about $3 billion a year in emissions. Let our economists and politicians find a way to make the value of avoided carbon emissions support a new era of conservation forestry in BC. 

    As it is, over 50 percent of the trees cut in BC are turned into woodchips or sawdust and used for short-lived products like paper, cat litter and fuel pellets.

  11. 42 minutes ago, Guest This map is another very said:

    It fails to acknowledge that more than 50% of BC's forests over 20 metres in height are not even in the commercial forest category or the actual Timber Harvesting Land Base.  It is of no value to understanding the real forestry issues in BC and the public should simply ignore it as another piece of enviro propaganda.

    Thanks for your comment. The ministry of forests has not been forthcoming with the public about the extent to which logging over the past 50 years has degraded and fragmented natural forests. Conservation North's map is a valuable addition to public knowledge of the extent to which BC has been transformed into a giant plantation, and the serious implications that has for climate stability and biodiversity.

    There's lots of good information out there to help people understand the critical differences between plantations and primary forest. Inform yourself before accusing folks of creating propaganda.

    If this map has any problems, it's that it overestimates the amount of primary forest that remains. If you zoom into Quadra Island, for example—land that I know well—most of the green areas have red roads crisscrossing them. Those are logging roads. There are very few remaining areas of primary forest on Quadra. This overestimation of primary forest occurs throughout the map. If anything the maps creators have constrained themselves from showing how extensive the cut has been.

    I am sure this map will be the first step in a process of making clear to the people of British Columbia how over-exploited BC forests are. 

  12. 14 hours ago, Guest Guest Itsmesues said:

    I urge you, Mr. Broadland to forward the questions posed by Mr. Bretnif to our NOD government with a firm request for a detailed and clear response. British Columbians have a right to know the truth. It's high time government learns exactly who has the power in both our province and nation.  

    Thanks for your comment. Asking "our NOD government" (do you mean NDP?) who the deceivers were is an exercise in futility that I'm a little too experienced to undertake. A FLNRORD media spokesperson is not hired to provide answers to the questions like those posed by Anthony Britneff. They are hired to shield the ministry executive (and government) from damage.

    I have filed FOIs seeking records. Unfortunately, my experience with FOIs that attempt to find who committed some transgression against the public interest is that the process always finds that nobody did anything. Somehow, the bad stuff happens without any written record ever being left behind. In this case, the actual communications that set up this deception were likely done by phone call or personal conversation, which are not recorded and so can't be obtained through FOI.

    Even in the unlikely case that someone committed something to writing, as in an email that included a statement like: "Be sure to include  at least 100,000 hectares of already protected park land in the logging deferral area for Clayoquot Sound," the process of responding to an FOI request allows the parties whose records are being requested to chose which records are forwarded for release. A person who committed the deception to writing is unlikely to put forward self-incriminating records, especially if it was someone further up the chain of command that initiated the deception, by phone or in conversation.

    The story above is very likely all we will ever know about this deception. The essential takeaway is that the ministry is not willing to protect the remaining old-growth forest to the extent recommended by Price, Holt, Daust, Gorley and Merkel, and the ministry executive are willing to deceive the public on behalf of industrial interests.


    Good article, thanks. Yes. A quarter is unforested; another quarter isn't old; some is already protected; most of the rest is low productivity. The 350,000 ha includes only about 3,800 ha of productive old forest that isn't already in a legally designated no-harvest area. Of BC's remaining 415,000 ha of productive old forest, the announcement defers harvest on less than 1%. Yet government still doesn't seem to believe their own data.

    Karen, thank you for summing up the reality of the deferrals so succinctly.

  14. 5 hours ago, Guest Kevin Hardy said:

    Probably not the best use of people's time in the comments section as we don't want to turn people off with technical details ( can do this offline)


    Thanks for the details, Kevin. Unless those of us who are critical of the ministries practices are willing to understand the complexities of forest management, we aren't likely to be useful critics. So I appreciate your willingness to provide some of those details. Yes, let's talk more offline.

  15. 2 hours ago, Guest Kevin Hardy said:

    I spent my ENTIRE career working in the growth and yield business starting off measuring many hundreds of plots as a contractor and then managing and protecting the set of approximately 5000 permanent sample plots covering the entire province, oft valued at approx $85 million. During my tenure as the Provincial Growth and Yield Forester, I was lucky enough to have visited a few thousand of these personally and saw the devastation that climate change was having on the trees within these long term research plots.

    I steadfastly upheld the public interest over the demands of employment as expected in the Code of Ethics http://www.abcfp.ca/web/ABCFP/ABCFP/Governance/OnlineBylaws/Bylaw-11.aspx and Foresters Act https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/03019_01. As one of the last remaining operational employees left in the Inventory Branch with a career's worth of dedicated Growth and Yield experience, it was unfortunately an uphill and very stressful battle to protect the PSP network against industrial and governmental pressure to harvest these valuable long term plots.

    Literally one of the very last things I did before I retired in protest was to alert the Chief Forester to the value of these PSPs in the quest to forecast mid-term timber supply vis-a-vis the impacts of the various bark beetles, root rots and defoliator/disease/drought complex.

    I was also able to hang on long enough for the Association of BC Forest Forest Professionals to take on a 3 year investigation into the Growth and Yield program.

    So to hear that there is no will to do any sensitivity analyses (or "what-if") for climate change losses, that I warned about and documented, is extremely disappointing and hope that a change in government and Forest Minister will bring some renewed professionalism, honour, transparency and science based forest management back to BC.

    Oh, a simple fix would be to add back those deleted Inventory and reforestation items to the Forest Act!


    Wow. There's so much here, Kevin. Thank you for your years of public service and for coming forward with your concerns. I will contact you off line, but I wonder if you could tell us a little more about the 5000 permanent sample plots.

    Are they all plantations, or do they include primary forest?

    You say that there was pressure to log the PSPs. Was that because there was a shortage of trees to cut? Or was the intention to get rid of the sample plots so they couldn't be used to check the growth and yield modelling? Or?

    Thanks again for giving us the benefit of your years of service and expertise. Much appreciated.

  16. 6 hours ago, Guest TalkingTrees said:

    What if instead of asking, as max sustained yield does, "how can we get the most volume over many rotations" we instead asked, "how can we maintain the harvest levels of today in perpetuity". If we could make that the philosophical underpinning of forest management it would increase carbon sequestration, provide ample room for biodiversity, etc. In short: we need to extend rotation, slow down and harvest less.

    Thanks for your comments, TalkingTrees.

    I think many people agree with you on this. I do. But the devil would be in the details. How much less of a cut? I understand that the growth and yield models may be overestimating what can be cut by 20 percent. If that's the case, addressing that inaccuracy would require lowering the cut by 20 percent or more. The current (2018) carbon sequestration capacity of BC forests is 7.0 megatonnes per year, whereas it was 87 megatonnes back in 2000. But isn't the current 7.0 megatonnes also overestimated if growth and yield modelling is off? In any case, what additional reduction in cut is necessary to rebuild that capacity?

    Just for the sake of discussion, let's imagine that, to get the cut in synch with actual growth and yield and to rebuild sequestration capacity, the cut needs to be reduced by 30 to 40 percent. The questions that arise for me are these: 1) Is that level of reduction going to fully address the biodiversity crisis, too? 2) Will that reduction address the growing problem of forest-clearcut fires? 3) Will that reduction address the apparent loss of hydrologic function that is being experienced in places like Boundary TSA? 4) How can the ministry leadership be moved to accept the problems its current management practices, along with the forest industry, has created and move to answering some of these questions and addressing the ecological catastrophe that's well underway place?

  17. 57 minutes ago, Guest TalkingTrees said:

    Personally, I would define sustainable as being able to continue doing what you are currently doing far into the future.

    Your words "doing what you are currently doing" need further explanation.

    If what you are "currently doing" has external costs—loss of biodiversity, loss of BC forests' ability to moderate climate, loss of hydrological function, for example—that aren't included in your definition of sustainability, then this definition of "sustainability" is deeply flawed.

    If all you really care about is the flow of "fibre" to mills and log export facilities, then I suppose it's fine.

    1 hour ago, Guest TalkingTrees said:

    This brings me back to my original point: wether you look at mid-term or long-term harvest levels in the timber supply models, the current cut will almost always be higher because we manage for Maximum Sustained Yield (i.e. getting the most biomass possible over the long term by cutting stands when they are at the peak of their growth rate).

    One common element to timber supply reviews is that they always, directly or indirectly, consider the socioeconomic implications of one level of cut over another level. This is done by the chief forester or her deputy. That, it seems to me, is why the current level of cut is always higher than the mid-term harvest level. Political pressure from forestry-dependent communities and direct pressure from the forest industry will always tilt the field in the direction of a higher than sustainable cut. The ministry puts a high value on that pressure. Above, you suggest that the difference between AAC and mid-term harvest level is due to "economic discounting," by which you may be referring to the practice of economists of putting a higher value on what you can cut today than what you can cut in the future. For forest-dependent communities, this practice would better be described as "economic suicide." 

  18. 4 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

    Each year BC government conducts the workplace employee survey , WES, and each year since the Liberals created a deregulated forest industrial complex civil servants have been complaining about how executive simply don't involve staff in bigger picture discussions, namely , whats constitutes those definitions above by which all other work is determined. And yet executive seem also to be bathing in denialism as they ignore the survey results and forge on in their industry centric political agenda and year after year don't engage licensed professionals or employees tasked with the management of these critical issues. Managers forge ahead with some hidden agenda ignoring the WES results which complain each and every year that executive seem to move ahead without involving its own staff, why?

    Hi Guest, thanks for this information. I take it you have worked for MoF. Are the results of the Workplace Environment Survey shared with all employees in that ministry? The information I have is that this survey is conducted every two years. Has the 2020 survey results been released to ministry employees?

  19. 3 hours ago, Guest TalkingTrees said:

    I believe that the author is referencing the 'long term harvest level' as compared to the current AAC. Current AACs are almost always above the LTHL due to economic discounting providing a rationale for primary fall down.

    Thanks for your comment TalkingTrees.

    I don't refer to the long-term harvest level in either this story or "Forestry isn't sustainable, folks." For readers who don't know how the ministry uses that term, it applies to the level of cut the ministry timber supply analysts think might be available 50 to 200 years (or more) from now. Nobody knows what's going to happen next year let alone hundreds of years from now, and I think the ministry's use of this term is pure hubris. How can it know what large disturbances outside its predictions might occur? Fires? Insects? Climate change? Building technology change?

    As you know, the ministry determines a "mid-term harvest level" when it undertakes a timber supply review (TSR). This is the cut that timber supply analysts believe is sustainable between 10 to 50 years out from the time the TSR is complete. In this story I have avoided the use of the word "harvest" and replaced it with the word "cut." Also in this story, I have shifted from using the term "mid-term harvest level" and am using the more understandable term "sustainable cut." I would say, given the ministry's failure to live within even its prescribed AAC in some TSAs, let alone within the mid-term harvest level, that this level of "sustainable cut," too, is entirely theoretical---something that timber supply analysts dream of.

    By using the word "sustainable," I mean sustainable in the sense that what's cut in a year is no more than the growth that occurs in a year. As I pointed out in the previous article, that's the one requirement for FSC certification that's actually measurable. My use of it doesn't infer that I believe that level of cut would be sustainable. As Britneff and Watts point out, that rate of growth is not well understood. Models have been created that claim it's well understood, but many of us can see those models are flawed creations of timber supply analysts at the beck and call of industry. 

    In "Forestry isn't sustainable, folks," I used the term "allowable annual cut" (AAC). This is an aspirational term, like a production goal. What I should have done in that story was use actual cut levels, and compared those with the ministry's various theoretical levels, including "AAC," "mid-term harvest level," and "long-term harvest level." After all, what matters is what's actually happening, not what the ministry would like us to believe is happening. To be able to describe what's actually happening, one has to escape from the theoretical boxes the timber supply analysts have hammered together.

  20. Mapper par excellence David Leversee has done additional work at determining how much of Clayoquot Sound's total area of 279,414 hectares is actually being deferred for two years. He believes that there is only 22,403 hectares of "Good/Medium" old forest that remains unreserved or unprotected.

    Using David's more accurate number, the actual amount of old forest with large or very large trees on which logging is being deferred for two years is as follows:

    Crystalline Creek: 0.1 hectare

    Stockdale Creek: 233.6 hectares

    Incomappleux Valley: 2000 hectares

    Clayoquot Sound: 22,403 hectares

    Skagit-Silverdaisy: 0.0 hectares

    Upper Southgate: 46 hectares

    McKelvie Creek: 2231 hectares

    H'Kusam: 1050 hectares (pending further information)

    Seven Sisters: 4510 hectares (pending further information)

    Total: 32,474 hectares

    This is 9 percent of the area Donaldson claims is being deferred. It's 7.8 percent of the area identified by Price, Holt and Daust as needing immediate protection. Here's a visual comparison of what's needed (Price, Holt & Daust), what Donaldson said he would do, and what he's actually going to do:


  21. 13 hours ago, Guest Waste smoke and mirrors said:

    I make these above statement with a fair amount of anecdotal certainty based on 35.5 years of pensionable BC Forest Inventory, Valuation and Forest Revenue Service with the B.C. Ministry of Forests.

    Can’t quote much past formal research to back my claims but I do believe much work has been done but little (outside brief mention in TSA review docs) ever formally published.

    Thank you for your insight on this "Waste smoke and mirrors".

    The Province's inventory of annual GHG emissions estimates the carbon released by slash burning each year (3.3 megatonnes in 2018), but these estimates miss most of the wood that's left in clearcuts. I have seen estimates that 40 to 60 percent of a cutblock's biomass is left in the clearcut or wasted along the way to end use. That would suggest roughly an equal volume of wood as is harvested, a volume that we know accurately thanks to log scaling. When one does the arithmetic, that 40 to 60 percent waste will release about 40 megatonnes of carbon over time (either quickly in a pile or slash burn, a forest fire, or more slowly as it decomposes. So your insight that this waste is "grossly underestimated" rings true.

    I would like to pursue this with you, confidentially, if you are able. At the least, perhaps we could bring what research the ministry has done out into the light. Please email me at focuspublish@shaw.ca. Thanks again for coming forward.  

  22. 4 hours ago, Guest Atmo Prasad said:

    There is some twisted interpretation of the information presented in this article.  The author is not an expert in timber supply analysis and neither are the two foresters he quoted extensively.  Of the more than 3000 foresters in this province, only about 25 of us can claim to be timber supply analysts.  I am now retired, but during the past 25 years I worked as a timber supply analyst, a senior analyst and as the manager for the analysis section of the Forest Analysis & Inventory Branch of the Ministry of Forests etc. I am very familiar with the 28 Interior TSAs mentioned in this article and I am  confident that the AAC set for each is sustainable. In timber supply analysis, our harvest flow policy is to find the highest sustainable harvest level and then increase the short-term harvest only if that does not lower the highest flat line found.  The higher short-term harvest level found in most Interior TSAs is usually composed of wood killed by the mountain pine beetle or by the recent fires.  The timber supply in these TSAs is expected to decline to the sustainable level after the salvage of dead timber is over.  Construing the current AAC which includes dead wood as unsustainable is just pain wrong.

    As land use decisions change, such as management for caribou habitat, or insects, disease and fires affect the amount of growing stock, the sustainable level of harvest will change.  This is why AACs are re-set periodically. 


    Thanks for joining the conversation Atmo. I appreciate your years of experience and service to the province's forests.

    You say "The higher short-term harvest level found in most Interior TSAs is usually composed of wood killed by the mountain pine beetle or by the recent fires." This is not supported by the ministry's own data.

    I looked at several years of data from the ministry's Harvest Billing System to determine what percentage of the harvest was lodgepole pine in the TSAs with the greatest difference between their current AAC and the mid-term harvest level projected by each TSA's respective timber supply review. As I am sure you can appreciate, that's a lot of data. Let me give you the breakdown for 2018, since that was a fairly high harvest year in BC. The cut that year reached 62.23 million cubic metres, very close to the province's AAC. So what is the breakdown?

    In the Prince George Natural Resource District (Prince George TSA) harvest of lodgepole pine was 19 percent of the total harvest. There's a 32 percent difference between AAC and mid-term harvest level.

    In Okanagan Shuswap Natural Resource District (Okanagan TSA) harvest of lodgepole pine was 14 percent of total harvest. There's a 31 percent difference between AAC and mid-term harvest level.

    In Thompson Rivers Natural Resource District (Kamloops TSA) harvest of lodgepole pine was also 14 percent of total harvest. There's a 29 percent difference between AAC and mid-term harvest level.

    Even in the Quesnel TSA, where 52 percent of the harvest was live and dead pine, there's a 61 percent difference between AAC and mid-term harvest level.

    To the extent that some of the HBS data was for live lodgepole pine, that would reduce the contribution of MPB salvage even lower.

    We both know it's not possible that fire salvage would somehow make up the difference.

    The story reflects your point that the MPB is the reason mid-term harvest level would decline in many Interior TSAs. But that's missing the main point. The need for that decline was known in 2005 and 15 years have gone by without addressing it. The mid-term harvest level will not come fully into effect for some years to come.

    As for your dismissal of the concerns of Martin Watts and Anthony Britneff, they have provided highly detailed analyses and if you disagree with some detail of their work, why not be specific about that so we can address it here?

    Thanks again for coming forward.

  • Create New...