The Annual Allowable Cut, commonly referred to as the AAC, is the amount of wood permitted to be harvested in the Province within a one year period to ensure the sustainability and productivity of our forests.
AAC’s are determined for each Forest Management District in the Province. The calculation of the AAC is very comprehensive, usually taking two years to complete. With the aid of computer models, sustainable AAC levels are determined and implemented. Only an AAC that is sustainable is acceptable.
Both timber and non-timber values are considered in calculating AACs. For example, the following is considered:
In 1994, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced regulations that required all visible water bodies (on a 1:50,000 mapsheet) to be given a minimum 20 meter (from waters edge) uncut buffer. However, buffer zone widths can be increased beyond the 20 meter minimum to protect special values including:
Examples of increased buffer zones incorporated in Newfoundland and Labrador include:
The Department reduces AAC’s to account for anticipated future imber losses resulting from damage caused by insects and disease and destruction resulting from fire.
Surveys of recently harvested areas are conducted each summer throughout the Province to determine the quantity and quality of remaining fibre. The estimates from these surveys is incorporated into the calculation of the AAC. Results from the survey determine the corresponding reduction to the AAC.
Areas that are inaccessible (surrounded by bogs or hills), timber on steep slopes, and low volume stands are removed from the AAC calculation upfront.
The Forest Resources have also taken into consideration a number of special initiatives that address certain environmental sensitivities. These initiatives involves the relinquishing of potential commercially productive forested areas in the name of responsible environmental and wildlife management. Such initiatives include:
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