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Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Bioenergy Glossary

Allowable annual cut (AAC) — The rate of timber harvest permitted each year from a specified area of land, usually expressed as cubic metres of wood per year.  The Chief Forester reviews and determines AACs for each of the management units in the province on a periodic basis as provided for in the Forest Act.

Area–based tenures — Timber harvesting tenures covering specific tracks of Crown forest. While the area of the tenure normally remains unchanged, the AAC is reviewed at least every five years and may change up or down at the discretion of the Chief Forester.   Examples include Timber Licence, Tree Farm Licence, Woodlot Licence and Community Forest.

Biofuel — Biomass or materials derived from biomass that can be used to generate energy.

Biomass — Non–fossilized organic matter often used as fuel (e.g., wood waste).

Bone or Oven Dry — Fuel having zero percent moisture content.  Wood heated at a constant temperature of 100 degrees C until its weight stabilizes is considered to be bone or oven dry.

B.C. Energy Plan — A statement of B.C. government policy related to provincial energy matters issued by the Ministry of Energy and Mines in February 2007.

BC Timber Sales — An independent organization within the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations created to develop Crown timber for auction to establish market price and capture the value of the asset for the public.

Chief Forester — An independent position appointed under the Ministry of Forests and Range Act who determines AACs for timber supply areas and tree farm licences in accordance with Section 8 of the Forest Act.

Forest Licence — A forest licence allows orderly timber harvest over a portion of a TSA and the timely reforestation of harvested areas. The licence has a term of 15 to 20 years, is generally replaceable every five years (some are non–replaceable) and has operating areas that shift over time.  Once an area is harvested and reforested the licensee moves to another part of the timber supply area. A forest licence specifies an annual allowable cut, requires a management and working plan, and specified management activities.

Shelf life — The length of time before wood deteriorates to the extent that it is no longer useable.

  • Biofuel shelf life — The length of time before wood deteriorates beyond the point where it may be useful for biofuel.  Generally assumed to be the period from death to when the tree falls over due to root or butt rot.
  • Sawlog shelf life — The length of time following death that the tree still retains at least the minimum qualities of a sawlog.

Stumpage —The fee individuals and companies are required to pay to the government when they harvest Crown timber in British Columbia.

Tenure system — The process under which government transfers specific rights to private companies, communities and individuals for the harvesting of timber in public forests.  In return, they pay fees to government and in many cases are responsible for forest management activities.

Timber harvesting land base (THLB) — the portion of the total area of a management unit considered to contribute to, and be available for long–term timber supply. The harvesting land base is defined by reducing the total land base according to specified management assumptions.

Timber Licence (TL) — Area–based tenures which revert to the government when merchantable timber on the area has been harvested and the land reforested. Many of these licences have been incorporated into tree farm licences.

Timber Sales Licence (TSL) — A licence issued to smaller operators by BC Timber Sales through a competitive auction, which provides the right to harvest in a specified area.  Most TSLs are non–replaceable and short term.

Timber Supply Area (TSA) — TSAs are publicly managed integrated resource management units established in accordance with the Forest Act.  TSAs were originally defined by an established pattern of wood flow to the primary timber–using industries.  For example, the area supplying timber to the mills in Williams Lake is included in the Williams Lake TSA.

Tree Farm Licence (TFL) — TFLs are privately managed sustained yield units.  TFLs are designed to enable owners of Crown–granted forest lands and old temporary tenures or the timber licences which replace them, to combine these with enough unencumbered Crown land to form self–contained sustained yield management units.  These licences commit the licensee to manage the entire area under the general supervision of the Forest Service.  Cutting from all lands requires Forest Service approval through the issuance of cutting permits.  TFLs should not be confused with Certified Tree Farms under the Taxation Act, though some Certified Tree Farm land (Crown–granted) may comprise a part of the TFL.  A TFL has a term of 25 years.

Volume–based tenures —Timber harvesting tenures which provide for the harvest of a set volume (m³ of timber each year for the term of the licence.  The larger and most common of this type is the Forest Licence.  The second most common is the TSL.