Status of BC’s Old Forests – The Situation in 2021 – Forsite Report

The BC Council of Forest Industries

November 1, 2021

The BC Council of Forest Industries… engaged an independent, third-party firm of Registered Professional Foresters to conduct a study titled Status of BC’s Old Forests – The Situation in 2021, to obtain an accurate overview of the status of old forests on BC Crown land, including the amount, distribution, status, and types of old forests in the province. The study provides summary statistics and analysis on old forest amounts and type by region, including areas protected, and percentage of old forest. It also details the amount of old forests growing on sites capable of producing big trees. Importantly, it describes the many regulations and protections that are in place for old forests including special trees, wildlife management areas and designated areas. The report concludes [that] the province has 11.41 million hectares of old forests located on Crown forested land [and that] 75% of old forests – 8.5 million hectares – are either protected in BC or outside the Timber Harvesting Landbase. While all old forests contribute to biodiversity, there has been much public discussion about the amount of old forests growing on sites capable of producing big trees – with some reports falsely suggesting this amount to be 3%. In reality, the study found over 3.3 million ha of old forests, or about 30%, are growing on high productivity sites capable of producing big trees. [for more information read COFI’s backgrounder / summary of the study)

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