Editor, The Times:
Canfor bought the right to harvest timber in this area from Slocan Forest Products, Canfor only bought the right to harvest; they do not own the trees.
If Canfor closes down their mill at Vavenby then they lose the rights to the timber.
The timber belongs to the people of the valley, not to any forest company. The reason that a lot of us are even here is because of the vast quantity of timber in this valley. The timber is the backbone of our employment opportunities right here, we should not allow Canfor to sell it off for huge profits to be manufactured somewhere else.
Canfor should have realized that buying out a large mill operation already established in any community automatically takes on the responsibility expressed by the previous owner. Clearwater Timber Products and then Slocan Forest Products were champions at supporting our towns through many years of good times and bad.
Now we hear that Canfor is going to quit and try to sell off our timber when the going gets tough. That does not sound like a good responsible citizen to me.
Canfor still has the option to save the operation by redesigning their Vavenby mill to fit the timber volumes available. After many years of cutting our forests to the maximum and increasing the size of the mill, the mill now is way too big and cumbersome to be efficient.
What we need is a smaller efficient mill to suit the timber available.
The mill site is still one of the best locations in the country already established right beside the railway. Most of all the major expensive bush logging roads are in place. So if done properly a redesigned mill that is geared to the amount of timber that is available should be very profitable for many years to come, after all, there is still lots of timber from one end of this valley to the other. And no one could do it cheaper than Canfor, they already own the property and the mill with all the systems already in place.
There seem to be hard times on other mills too, and with many of them closing down, it won’t be long before there will be a rush to build new ones to fill the needs of the lumber market.
Get to it Canfor.