The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Bella Bella in September

Great Bear Rainforest protection takes effect Jan. 1

One third of region off limits to commercial logging, annual cut set at 2.5 million cubic metres per year

Regulations to introduce “ecosystem-based management” of a huge area of B.C.’s north and central coastal forest have been announced, setting annual logging limits and imposing protected areas.

Of the 6.4 million hectares now known internationally as the Great Bear Rainforest, one third is off limits to commercial logging, and the rest allows low-impact resource development including forestry, tourism and hydroelectric projects that support the people living in the region. (See map below.)

The North Coast, Mid-Coast, Kingcome and Strathcona timber supply areas are replaced by Great Bear Rainforest North, Great Bear Rainforest South and North Island timber supply areas. The annual allowable cut for the entire region is set at 2.5 million cubic metres per year for the next 10 years.

Special forest management areas where commercial logging is not allowed are Gil Island, Braden, Broughton, Kimsquit, Kitsault, King Island and Thurlow.

Timber cutting rights are held by long-standing licensees including Interfor, Western Forest Products and Timberwest, and aboriginal companies including Gitga’at Forestry Inc., Kitasoo Forest Company Ltd. and Gwa’nak Resources Ltd.