Logging truck carries a load from B.C. coastal forest. (Private Forest Landowners Association)

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

The B.C. government has extended its log export orders for Northwest B.C. by another six months, allowing coastal logging contractors north of Vancouver Island to export a large share of their harvest.

But “raw log” export policy is about to change for all producers who export logs from B.C. Crown land, Premier John Horgan said Thursday. The current policy for provincial land involves a “surplus test,” where logs must be advertised for local sale first, before being declared surplus and allowed for export.

“We’re going to turn that upside down,” Horgan said after an address the annual convention of the Truck Loggers Association in Vancouver. The government will use “carrots and sticks” to reduce exports and create investment incentives for lumber and pulp production, he said.

Horgan announced a revitalization plan with five goals, including rebuilding solid wood and pulp milling to process more wood in B.C., improving harvest efficiency, tightening up timber bidding systems to make sure bids are independently made, and auditing private forest land logging.

Cabinet orders for log exports out of the Haida Gwaii, Mid Coast, Nass, North Coast and Northwest Interior timber supply areas were extended Thursday, but only to July 2019. The Haida Gwaii and Mid Coast orders allows 35 per cent of logs to be exported, except for cypress and cedar, and the Nass order allows up to 100 per cent export. The North Coast and Northwest Interior orders allow up to 20 per cent.

RELATED: Bright spots ahead for B.C. forest industry in 2019

RELATED: B.C. lumber mills struggle with low prices, log shortages

“For the last 20 years, employment on the coast has declined by about 40 per cent,” Horgan told the convention. “Lumber production has dropped by 45 per cent, pulp production by 50 per cent. At the same time, log exports from Crown land have increased by nearly tenfold.”

The northern regions have been subject to relaxed log export rules for many years, due to a lack of mill capacity within economic reach of remote areas. The special allowance was reduced from 35 to 20 per cent by the previous B.C. Liberal government in 2013, with a portion retained to keep loggers working in remote regions where there are few viable options for trucking to sawmills.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Most Read