Inadequate reforestation goes from bad to worse

British Columbia is blessed by nature with a vast, ecologically rich forest estate that also has been a source of sustained economic wealth for more than a century. But today there are troubling signs that the most important of natural assets is facing challenges never before seen.

The area of inadequately restocked or reforested land is larger than at any point in the history of forest management in the province and is estimated to be around nine million hectares, with about half attributable to the mountain pine beetle infestation.

In fact, this area known in forestry parlance as NSR or Not Satisfactorily Restocked is nearly three times greater than it was 25 years ago when the provincial and federal governments embarked on concerted efforts to address what was then a reforestation challenge of the first order.