Foresters say funding cuts leave timber inventories out of date

B.C. forest inventories are so far out of date that the foresters’ professional association is questioning whether provincial forestlands can still be managed sustainably.

A report by the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals released Monday says that at a time when wildfire and insect pests such as the mountain pine beetle are on the rise, funding for inventory work has been cut almost in half.

The beetle has created “the need for inventory updates on an unprecedented scale,” yet the budget for inventory work has been cut from a long-term average of $15 million a year to $8.4 million in the current fiscal year. The foresters are calling on the government to restore funding to $15 million.