The real problem with BC logging industry

Letter to the Times Colonist in response to the Executive Director of the Truck Loggers Association’s January 28, 2101  Op-Ed called “Educating urbanites on the forest industry”

Mr. Lewis’ argument in favour of raw log exports is another sad example of forest industry thinking that is unwilling to learn from the mistakes of the past. For years we have been selling our publicly owned resource at discount prices. Forest companies pay out province 25 cents for over 40% of the trees logged in BC. That is the reason why the Ministry of Forest and BC Timber sales lose money.

The structure of our current forest tenure system sets up nothing but obstacles to value added production in BC. Mr. Lewis scolds urbanites for failing to understand his industry, but perhaps he needs a remedial education in basic economics. British Columbians wonder how foreign buyers can afford to pay higher prices for BC logs, especially when the have to pay the transport costs for shipping. Maybe  it is because foreign mills produce much more valuable products then  dimensional lumber which is the priority of the BC industry. If we want to keep jobs for forest workers in BC we have to stop thinking of our forests as a discount warehouse and stop selling low value product.

Will Horter

Executive Director, Dogwood Initiative

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