Logging near Quesnel. Forest tenures were traded and mills consolidated in the B.C. Interior after the mountain pine beetle epidemic reduced timber supply. (Black Press files)

B.C. government to require permission to transfer forest cutting rights

Change to help smaller businesses, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says

The B.C. government is changing the rules for timber licences, requiring provincial permission for companies to trade or dispose of cutting rights.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson introduced amendments to the Forest Act Thursday to restrict companies’ ability to trade or sell Crown timber licences, to “prevent further concentration of harvesting rights.” The change is part of Premier John Horgan’s promised revitalization of the forest industry, which has seen forest companies consolidate and close sawmills.

“To approve the transfer, we will first want to understand how it will help the people in British Columbia and encourage diversity in the forest sector,” Donaldson told the legislature.

One of those transfers took place in 2014, in the wake of reduced timber supply caused by widespread mountain pine beetle infestation in the B.C. Interior. West Fraser Mills closed its high-volume sawmill at Houston and Canfor shut down its Quesnel mill, as harvestable dead wood diminished.

READ MORE: Last log moves through Canfor’s Quesnel sawmill

READ MORE: B.C. loggers brace for changes to log export policy

The two companies traded timber cutting rights to keep one mill supplied in each region.

Donaldson said a key part of the strategy is to provide more economic opportunity for Indigenous communities.

On the B.C. Coast, the historic concentration of cutting rights in the hands of a few big players has been focus for the Truck Loggers’ Association, as logging contractors struggle to remain viable in a market battered by mill closures, U.S. border tariffs and swings in demand from Asian buyers.

“We want all British Columbians to benefit from the forest industry, large and small, first nations, workers and communities,” Donaldson said. “The previous legislation governing disposition of crown tenures limited government’s influence.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lacarya ladies golf report for July 10

Weather gods kindly provided a dry afternoon so 15 ladies could play at Lacarya Golf Course

NDP candidate wants to make communities more affordable

Gina Myhill-Jones also counts rich volunteer experience as an asset to her potential as a politician

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Wells Gray gets voice on provincial tourism council

TWG marketing manager Stephanie Molina recently appointed to Minister’s Tourism Engagement Council

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read