Small scale logging in Clayoquot began in the 1890s, following the arrival of European settlers. In the late 1950s, most of the Sound was allotted as Tree Farm Licences (TFLs) to two logging companies, MacMillan Bloedel and BC Forest Products. TFLs are renewable leases on public land that permit companies to log old-growth forests and convert them into tree farms. With the granting of TFLs, and the introduction of chainsaws and truck logging, modern industrial forestry arrived in Clayoquot Sound in the early 1960s.
Clearcut logging and road building escalated. At the height of logging, in the late 1980s, almost one million cubic metres of old growth was cut yearly in Clayoquot Sound (equivalent to 29,000 loaded logging trucks or 1 million telephone poles). In the 1990s, the annual cut began to decline because the unsustainable rate could not be maintained. In 1995, the annual harvest decreased further due to the logging guidelines recommended by the Scientific Panel for Sustainable Forest Practices in Clayoquot Sound.
The annual cut is now about 100,000 to 150,000 cubic metres. Approximately 15% of that is in second growth, the rest in old-growth. The two companies logging Clayoquot Sound are Iisaak Forest Resources (devolved from MacMillan Bloedel) and International Forest Products (Interfor).
To date (2005) about 22% of Clayoquot Sound's productive old-growth forest has been logged. But Clayoquot still contains several intact, completely unlogged valleys, which together comprise the largest intact forest left on Vancouver Island.
PO Box 489, 331 Neill St., Tofino BC V0R 2Z0
Report: Overview of Logging in Clayoquot Sound 2000-2009 (download page)
Photo by Adrian Dorst
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