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October 27, 2017 9:23 pm

AAC and SLA Remain Challenges for Forestry

Thursday, September 1, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Pthomson2rince George, B.C.- Although the Province has announced a detailed strategy  for  ensuring  forestry has a bright future in B.C (see previous story),  there are still two issues which  have  to be resolved.

(at right, Minister Steve Thomson)

The  Chief Forester  has  yet to announce what the annual allowable cut will be, and there is still a Softwood Lumber Agreement to be  hammered out.

“We are  continuing all out efforts to  reach an agreement” says  Minister of Forests  Steve Thomson of the efforts to  reach a new  SLA with the United States.   The current  “stand still” period will end in October,   and Thomson  expects the U.S. to take  action  “After that mid-October  timeline, that’s when the U.S.  can start  anti-dumping and  counter veiling action against the industry.  If we don’t achieve an agreement or a framework before then, they will take that step, and we  will defend the industry against those actions.  We have said very clearly that   a new  agreement needs to be one that works for British Columbia, works for Canada it’s not an agreement at any cost  as far as we’re concerned, So we will defend our policies and practices when and if that action starts.  Our focus now is  to prepare for that  but we also have a very strong focus on achieving a new framework agreement if we can.”

As for the  annual allowable cut,   everyone expects a reduction  to  reflect the post Mountain Pine Beetle reality  “The reality is we are facing a  lower annual allowable cut in many parts of the  province  as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic” says Thomson.  The  AAC had been increased in an effort to get maximum  benefit from  Mountain Pine Beetle  impacted  forests while that wood was still merchantable.  “So in those areas mean less fibre available” says Thomson  who says the new  forestry agenda released yesterday is focused on getting maximum value out of the  available  fibre “So what we do have, we’re getting maximum value”.    He says  the  new reality in a post Mountain Pine Beetle industry also means  government will have to work with those communities “As we look at diversifying  economic opportunities  and that’s government’s commitment to be engaging with communities as we go forward.”

He says communities are already accessing some of the funds  being made available by the Province to help  them transition  or  develop new  economic opportunities.   But even though  those funding programs are in place, Thomson says that’s not to  soften the blow of a major reduction in the annual allowable cut “This is a  bright future for the industry, there are challenges,  we recognize that,  there will need to be adjustments in the community but  what we are putting in place, is the  initiative and agenda to work with industry through those ( challenges), just as we did  through 2007 and 2009 with the downturn in the housing market  the real collapse of the industry, we worked with the industry  so we  would still have a strong industry, building new markets building strong products.”

The Chief Forester is expected to announced the new annual allowable cut this fall,  although there has been no specific date identified.  “What we do know is that we need to do that work as soon as we can” says Thomson “It has to be done  properly with full assessment because of the risk of not doing it is that you continue to harvest at  potentially unsustainable levels.”




The Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) was negotiated at the time of NAFTA, but excluded from NAFTA. A genius move by Brian, for sure! Since then it has been a convenient tool for bullying us, even forcing us to pay the majority of their legal bills! It will more than likely have a similar outcome this time!

In order to determine and establish a sustainable Annual Allowable Cut, BC’s forest inventory must be known and managed… neither has been happening for over a decade!

Furthermore, the management of our forests in relation to other industry use has at time been a comedy of errors; like the time Canfor replanted a clear-cut. When Forest Practices Board auditors visited the cutblock near Chetwynd to check on seedlings replanted by logging company Canfor, instead of a healthy young forest, they found a gravel pit.

A mining company was operating the gravel pit. And the seedlings, of course, were gone.

The gravel operation was situated within a tree farm licence, but Canfor had not been told of the change in land use, which according to a bulletin the independent forests watchdog issued this week, is only one example of a long list of competing activities within that single tree farm licence.

The board auditors found everything from wind farms, mines, and natural gas wells, to pipelines, power lines and mineral exploration. Roads de-activated by the forest company had been re-activated in an improvised manner to explore for coal. Drill sites had been built on existing cutblocks, permanently removing the forest cover.


It’s the wild, wild, west for resource extraction in BC folks, and nobody is managing it!

Again, there seems to be an issue with the link I provided above. I have transferred it to another format and hopefully it will link you to the proper Vancouver Sun news article.

ht tp://tinyurl.com/zh5zyhv

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