The forests of British Columbia represent one of the key the natural resources available within the province. They cover about two-thirds of the provinces land mass (60 million hectares) (Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd., 2009). They are important to British Columbia’s economy, as we export wood products all over the world. Forests are an important component to the provinces economy, but the environmental impacts that result from harvest cannot be overlooked. It is important for us to manage how much we harvest from our forests, and we should look to more sustainable harvesting practices when considering our methods. The forests are not an unlimited resource and thus we must look at keeping them intact so future generations will have access to this valuable resource.
British Columbia is home to about 40 native species of trees (Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd., 2009). Among these trees there are both hardwood and softwood varieties. The majority of trees in British Columbia are of the softwood variety. Certain types of softwood trees, such as the western hemlock, western red cedar and the douglas fir, are predominately found around the mild rainforests of the Pacific coast (Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd., 2009). The cooler and drier forests of British Columbia’s interior are home to more trees of the pine and spruce variety (Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd., 2009). Of the hardwood variety, there are four prevalent species of trees found in British Columbia’s forests; the red alder, big leaf maple, western white birch, and trembling aspen (Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd., 2009).
The forests in British Columbia are broken into three regions; coast, northern interior and southern interior. Within these regional boundaries are certain districts. In total there are 29 districts within theses regions; 8 in the coast region, 9 in the northern interior region and 12 in the southern interior region.