British Columbia’s Chief Forester Diane Nicholls announced Thursday that Canfor Corp.’s annual allowable cut (AAC) for a cut block near Chetwynd will increased by 72 per cent from 900,000 cubic metres to 1.5 million.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said the increase is necessary to salvage dead trees affected by mountain pine beetle before the stands deteriorate and are no longer suitable for sawlogs.

“The increased harvest level for the next five years will allow for the harvest of mountain pine beetle-impacted trees,” Nicholls said.

The new AAC includes a portion of 100,000 cubic metres for deciduous tree stands.

One cubic metre is about one telephone pole worth of wood.

The area, known within the ministry as Tree Farm Licence 48, covers 643,239 hectares. Included in that are 566,394 hectares that are available for timber harvesting.

The licence is made up of five distinct supply blocks in the southwest portion of the Peace Forest District.

The majority of the tree farm licence borders the Dawson Creek Timber Supply area, but also shares boundaries with Mackenzie, Fort St. John and Prince George timber supply areas.

The dominant species are white spruce, lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, trembling aspen, and cottonwood. Less commercially valuable larch, white birch, and black spruce are also present in this tree farm licence.

The chief forester’s determination on the AAC is an independent professional judgement based on information ranging from technical forestry reports and land use plans, as well as First Nations and public input to the government’s social and economic objectives.