Merritt innovative forestry harvest levels increased

Five companies in an innovative forestry practices
agreement have had a combined increase of 373,000 cubic metres per
year for their allowable annual cut, effective from Jan. 1, 2013, to
Dec. 31, 2015.

The regional executive director awarded the increase after reviewing
their application, forestry plan and timber supply analysis, as well
as considering public and First Nations input. Continued innovative
forestry practices, such as ongoing inventory work, supported the
increase. This increase does not affect the allowable annual cut for
the Merritt Timber Supply Area, which remains unchanged at 2,400,000
cubic metres.

The five affected licensees are Ardew Wood Products Ltd., Aspen
Planers Ltd., Stuwix Resources Ltd., Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. and
Tolko Industries Ltd., which holds two licences. The agreement area
covers 1.13 million hectares within the Merritt Timber Supply Area.
Under the agreement, licensees conduct activities above their basic
forestry management obligations with a view to improve timber

In addition, the regional executive director has approved an increase
from 73,306 cubic metres to 159,192 cubic metres in direct award
volume to Merritt Timber Supply Area First Nations to foster economic
benefits through forest tenure and opportunity agreements. This
increase is provided through unallocated timber outside the
Innovative Forest Practices Agreement within the Merritt Timber
Supply Area.

Under delegated authority of the Forest Act, the ministry's Thompson-
Okanagan regional executive director made the decision to increase
the allowable annual cut of the innovative forestry practices
agreement-holders. Licence-holders must comply with conditions of the
increase, the agreement, the Forest Act, the Forest and Range
Practices Act and other relevant legislation.

The Merritt Timber Supply Area is in the Southwest Interior of the
province, with 60 per cent of the population living in the
communities of Merritt and Princeton. Copies of the decision
rationale are available online at:

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