The project will provide a fuller analysis of this important document as soon as possible. In the interim, we note that Appendix 3 (page 52) includes information on stand-replacing natural disturbance return intervals for all biogeoclimatic units in BC and estimates for natural levels of old forest (>250 years). In the Discovery Islands that interval is 700 years for the three predominant variants: CWHxm1, CWHxm2 and CWHdm.
The Cumulative Effects Framework has estimated that 70 percent of these forests would have been old forest in their naturally-occurring state.
To maintain a “low” risk of biodiversity loss, forest scientists have determined that old forest should not fall below 70 percent of the naturally occurring level. For the Discovery Island biogeoclimatic variants, that would mean no less than 49 percent (.70 x .70) of the forested area of the islands should be old forest.
The current forest management regime has resulted in old forest falling below 10 percent in each of CWHxm1, CWHxm2 and CWHdm.
Thus the urgent need for a paradigm shift in forest management on the Discovery Islands.
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