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

UPDATED: Eco warriors shut down Douglas Street at Fort Street in protest

Environmentalists to call on banks to divert investments into green infrastructure

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Sign forbidding rabbit drop-offs gets stuffed bunnies instead

Residents seemingly undeterred by strict wording this Easter

Islander finding her calling in fledgling community paramedic program

Georgia Nelson’s work in Chemainus part of a new wave of small community health care delivery

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Mandatory spaying and neutering looms for outdoor Chemainus cats

North Cowichan considers bylaw to control stray and feral cat issues

Stranded photographer rescued from rising Comox Valley waters

Responders use kayak to save man, equipment

Electronic music repels mosquitoes

New study finds Skrillex music slows mosquito’s feeding and sex

Most Read