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

Rural Island property owners stymied by agricultural land changes

Regulations encouraging farming, ALR land protection, stymie legacy planning

Anticipation building for trip to D-Day anniversary for Chemainus students

Experience of being there promises to be a memorable one

Retired teacher’s generosity provides historic opportunity for two Chemainus students

Blitterswyk and Brown looking forward to being at Juno Beach for 75th anniversary of D-Day

Songbirds return to their roost in the West Shore

Tips, such as keeping roaming cats from ruffling any feathers, can attract more birds

EDITORIAL: Cancellation of drag races another hit to Port Alberni tourism

The first hit came a few months ago when city council shut down popular Alberni Pacific Railway

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read