In June 2022 the Revelstoke forest licensees penned a letter to the Revelstoke community outlining the Provincial Governments Old Growth Strategy and the consequences of the proposed Old Growth deferrals that were announced on Nov. 2, 2021.
At that time, we asked the community for understanding as we worked through a transitional process that would include some harvest of proposed deferral areas in the short term. We also committed to reporting back to the community at the end of 2022 on what proposed deferral areas had been harvested, and our harvest plans going forward. The intention of this update is to follow through with that commitment.
As we indicated in June, the Revelstoke forest industry has worked hard to limit our impact on the proposed old growth deferral areas. The Provinces’ Old Growth Strategy proposed 50,400 hectares of deferral within the Revelstoke area.
The intention was that this would be a temporary deferral to allow time to establish a more complete old growth strategy. Some licensees were able to completely avoid these proposed deferral areas, while others were not. Collectively there were 84.5 hectares of proposed old growth deferral area harvested in the Revelstoke area since the deferral announcement, and 0 hectares are planned for 2023.
This equals 0.17 percent of the total Old Growth deferral area that has been harvested from November 2, 2021 until now. Note, although we were mostly successful at being able to limit our short-term impact on these deferral areas, this avoidance strategy will not sustain a viable local forest industry in the long term.
In August 2022 the proposed old growth deferral areas and process were formally supported by the local Indigenous groups. Soon thereafter, the Provincial government indicated that the Revelstoke area was one of the most impacted areas in the province from the old growth deferrals and is a high priority for a new modernized Forest Landscape Plan.
This planning process will be led by the Provincial government in conjunction with Indigenous groups. The Revelstoke forest industry looks forward to participating in the planning process with other stakeholders to collaboratively work towards a new landscape management plan that will address the environmental, social and economic expectations for this area.
We would like to thank the community for their understanding and support as we work to maintain a viable local forest industry while balancing the complex ecological values and unique interests in the area.