In 2016, Canada harvested nearly 155 million cubic metres (m3) of industrial roundwood, well below the estimated sustainable wood supply level of 223 million m3.
- This is a decrease of about 1 million m3 from 2015 levels, when 156 million m3 of industrial roundwood was harvested.
- This decline is largely due to a decrease in the volume of softwood timber harvested in British Columbia and Alberta, as salvage logging of dead mountain pine beetle-killed timber was reduced.
- At the same time, the estimated volume of wood supply deemed to be sustainable decreased by nearly 5 million m3.
- Since the sustainable wood supply declined at a faster rate than the volume harvested, the gap between them was slightly less than in 2015.
Annual harvest versus supply deemed sustainable for harvest, 1990–2016
|Year||Softwood supply||Hardwood supply||Total wood supply||Softwood harvest||Hardwood harvest||Total harvest|
Why is this indicator important?
- Forest managers track the volume of industrial roundwood harvested each year to ensure it falls within sustainable levels.
- Harvests from provincial Crown lands are regulated by allowable annual cuts (AACs).
- While there is no AAC calculation for Canada as a whole, it is possible to compare the combined provincial AACs with the combined harvest totals from the same Crown land base.
What is the outlook?
- Harvest levels are expected to remain below the sustainable wood supply, given the strong provincial and territorial regulatory regimes in place.
- The gap between harvest and supply will likely narrow further as some provinces, notably BC, lower their AACs while global demand for Canadian wood products remains strong.
What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?
- Montreal Process (MP): 2.d (157 Kb PDF)
Sources and information
- National Forestry Database. Wood supply, Table 2.1 Wood supply estimates by tenure and species group (accessed July 3, 2018).
- Wood supply includes allowable annual cuts for provincial Crown lands and potential harvests for federal and private lands.
- National Forestry Database. Harvest, Table 5.1 Net merchantable volume of roundwood harvested by jurisdiction, tenure, category and species group (accessed July 3, 2018).
- Harvests include industrial roundwood only and exclude fuel wood and firewood.
- The discrepancy between the harvested volumes of “total industrial roundwood” and the sum of the “total industrial softwoods” and “total industrial hardwoods” is due to a very small amount of harvest categorised as “unspecified.” Typically, this harvest occurs in mixedwood forests where neither softwood nor hardwood categories strictly apply, and it accounts for less than 1% of the harvested volume of total industrial roundwood. More information on these data can be found at the National Forestry Database.