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

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

PHOTOS: Surrey designer uses toilet paper to make a dress for annual Toronto show

‘The dress is very experimental and avante garde,’ says Guildford-based Alex S. Yu

Police issue warning after four overdoses in North Delta

Police and emergency health services use naloxone to revive four overdose victims Thursday morning

Surrey reacts to policing plan getting the green light

Former mayor, councillors and residents weigh in on the Public Safety Minister approving the transition

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Most Read