B.C. lumber deal with U.S.A. discussed at Truck Loggers convention

B.C. needs to change its perspective on softwood lumber trade with the US to better support the provincial forest industry, according to a news release from the Truck Logger Association.

“Looking at everything through a US trade lens stops us getting to the heart of forest policy issues in BC,” said David Elstone, TLA executive director, in a news release. “We can’t have frank conversations about forest policy, regulations and initiatives because we’re always looking over our shoulder at the US.”

The report on the Contractor Sustainability Review led by George Abbott is due later this month and the Truck Loggers Association wants to make sure forest industry and government are in a position to act on its recommendations.

“B.C. provincial governments have modified forest policy and regulation to assuage U.S. interests more than once,” said Elstone. “The last time was in the early 2000s which resulted in sweeping changes to B.C.’s timber harvesting rights and stumpage systems. Unfortunately, those changes ended up negatively affecting B.C.’s timber harvesting contractors and rural communities.”

Fast forward a decade to today, and the U.S. government has brought exactly the same complaints to the table as it did in the early 2000s, the news release said.

“It’s time for B.C. to stop the hoop jumping to appease the unappeasable and focus on what is best for British Columbians in terms of forest policy,” said Elstone.