The general methodology used for our estimates of forest carbon release associated with each cubic metre of volume cut (as recorded by the Ministry of Forests’ Harvest Billing System) is described here.
That methodology provides us with a simple multiplier for converting the volume of logs taken from a clearcut into an estimate of the total biomass that was killed in that clearcut, which we can then convert to a carbon dioxide-equivalent weight (in metric tonnes).
In short, we multiply the volume harvested as recorded by the Harvest Billing System by 1.64 to determine the carbon-dioxide-equivalent release of emissions.
To determine the emissions associated with a specific clearcut, we determine the volume harvested from that clearcut and multiply by 1.64.
In many cases, however, the volume taken from a specific clearcut is not differentiated from volumes taken from other nearby clearcuts; they are lumped together.
In those cases, to estimate the volume removed from a specific clearcut in a specific tenure requires reference to the Ministry of Forests’ RESULTS database, which provides many points of information about a given clearcut (ID number, area, timber mark) or a group of clearcuts. That information is then correlated with volume information about that clearcut or group of clearcuts in the Harvest Billing System and an average volume per hectare is estimated.
Associated emissions are then based on that average. Since the density of forest biomass varies from stand to stand, these averages may overestimate emissions from the cutting of lower density stands and underestimate emissions from higher density stands.
Our summary for each forest tenure includes estimates of full-time equivalent jobs created by that tenure for each year since 2010.
At this time we are estimating the number of jobs each tenure generates based on BC Stats’ most recent account of direct employment in the “Logging, forestry and support activities” category of the forestry industry combined with Ministry of Forests’ information about the total volume logged on publicly owned and privately owned land.
For example, in 2020, BC Stats’ found that “Forestry and Logging with support activities” generated 17,200 direct jobs in BC.
In that year, the Ministry of Forests’ Harvest Billing System found that the total volume of logs taken from Crown and private land in BC amounted to 52.58 million cubic metres.
Dividing the total volume cut by the total number of direct jobs in forestry, logging with support activities, we calculate there were, on average, 0.33 jobs in this employment category per thousand cubic metres harvested.
We then apply that number to the volume each tenure holder cut in 2020, as recorded by that tenure’s Harvest Billing System reports.
For example, the Harvest Billing System reported that TimberWest harvested 17,480 cubic metres on Quadra Island in 2020. That volume, at 0.33 jobs per cubic metre, equates to 5.77 full-time jobs.
So, for our estimate of jobs provided by TimberWest’s forestry, logging with support activities on Quadra Island in 2020, we entered 5.77.
We welcome documentary evidence from tenure holders that indicates a higher or lower level of employment than our estimates show.