When the Ministry of Forests released its review of the Queen
Charlotte TSA, it forecast that the current AAC could not be sustained.
"Using current management assumptions, the analysis results indicate
that the current harvest level must be reduced immediately by about 14%
or 72,000 cubic metres per year to 442,000 cubic metres per year in order
to avoid significant future shortfalls in timber supply," the report
concluded. "To continue to avoid major harvest shortfalls, the harvest
forecast declines from this reduced initial harvest level by about 12 percent
per decade over the next 6 decades to a low of about 205,000 cubic metres
The report also forecast that in about 150 to 180 years a "steady long-term
harvest level" of about 248,000 cubic metres would finally be reached.
In other words, the long-term and apparently sustainable rate of logging
was 52 percent below the current rate.
This finding is not unique to the Queen Charlottes. In other Timber Supply
Areas where there has been a significant amount of logging, MOF analysts
have concluded that current logging rates cannot be sustained and must be
lowered. As a result, logging rates are dropping or are poised to drop in
Confronted with the above analysis, community leaders in Haida Gwaii met
early in 1995 to discuss the timber supply problem. Their discussions focused
on the issue of immediate concern, the future cut in the TSA. But their
thoughts apply equally to the rate of cut and the configuration of the forest
industry in TFLs.
After several meetings, the community leaders settled on a course of action.
In a letter to BC's Chief Forester, Larry Pedersen, they demanded: an end
to the status quo, substantially reduced logging rates, and a dramatically
restructured forest tenure system.
"Our community requires a sustainable natural resource base,"
they wrote. "It is clear from our observations and from the documents
that your Ministry has prepared that our local TSA is not currently being
managed in this way, as indicated by the current AAC which is 2.2 times
the Long Term Harvest Level. From the standpoint of the well-being of our
Island community, we need major changes to this state of affairs."
In a subsequent letter to Forests Minister Andrew Petter, the same community
leaders made another demand. They called for the transfer of timber-cutting
rights or timber tenures within the TSA from the forest companies to the
control of the Islands Community.
"The current allocation of timber cutting rights in the Queen Charlotte
Timber Supply Area represents a significant threat to the future of our
Islands community," the Islanders wrote. "The Socio-Economic Analysis
confirms that the return to our Islands is unacceptably low. It is our belief
that 100 percent of the TSA should be managed by the communities of these