Plan for B.C.’s Forest Sector
COFI CEO Susan Yurkovich, BC Wood Chair Rob Mitchell, MLA Shirley Bond, Minister of Forests Steve Thomson and MLA Mike Morris unveil plan – photos 250News
Prince George, B.C. – Forestry is facing some challenges, with the expected announcement of a reduction in the annual allowable cut and companies facing increasing costs to harvest and transport product as fibre supply becomes more difficult to access. Today, the Province announced a multi-phased plan to increase competitiveness and boost value added forestry companies.( click on image at right to access the complete plan)
- Healthy resilient forests
- Diverse, globally competitive industry
- Support stable communities and First Nations partners
The plan specifically outlines steps to improve the health of the forests, to boost the value added sector and actions to revitalize and transform the pulp and paper sector.
- Enhancing the promotion of B.C. wood products globally
- Promoting new wood-construction technology to global markets and developing non-traditional uses of wood and wood-pulp fibres.
- Advancing opportunities for forest carbon management and promoting greater use of lower-value wood and wood residue in support of the province’s climate leadership goals.
- Investing in timber supply and restoring forests impacted by the mountain pine beetle and wildfire.
- Strengthening timber-supply data using state-of-the art technology to provide a completely updated forest inventory by 2023.
- Maintaining healthy forest ecosystems that support values such as fish and wildlife ecosystem biodiversity, clean water, recreation, fibre for forest products, and forest carbon storage.
- Continuing to enhance First Nations’ participation in the forest sector, and encouraging business-to-business relationships between First Nations tenure holders and forestry firms.
- Creating more trades and training seats at post-secondary institutions, targeting funding for occupations in demand.
Forestry is credited with providing $8.8 billion dollars to the Province’s GDP and $1.7 billion dollars in tax revenue last year. There are 65,500 people employed directly in the sector, and more than 140 rural communities depend on forestry.
MLA Shirley Bond say while BC’s forestry exports last year represented 38.1% of Canada’s total forest sector exports, there will be increased effort to develop new markets in both India and Vietnam.. “Forestry may not be the dominant force that it once was” says Bond ” But it is still an absolutely critical component of our Province’s economic backbone. We can’t turn back the clock and return to the forest industry of yesterday, but we can, and I am very confident that we will, do everything possible to support a vibrant sustainable, globally competitive forest industry that builds strong communities and provides enormous benefits for current and future generations.”