You may have noticed, the issue of log exports in British Columbia is contentious. Here at the PFLA blog, we’re committed to providing straightforward, factual information from the perspective of private forest landowners.
Given the current situation, we believe log exports are an integral component of BC’s forest industry. We’re not alone. Below you’ll find enlightening examples and testimonials from key industry stakeholders who think so too.
“To put things very bluntly, from a Terrace area perspective, if log exports were banned today, we might as well close the doors and throw away the keys. Every contractor would immediately be shut down and all their employees laid off. Simple answer to a simple question.” — Bill Sauer, North West Loggers Association
“The Heiltsuk economic Development Corporation, have scheduled 1,100,000 m3 in total under government licenses and agreements to be harvested in the next 10 years. Present market conditions only allow us to operate some of the time because of higher operating costs—even higher than in the North Coast area. The Vancouver log market will not pay enough domestically to allow us to operate. It is only the export sales that even give us a chance to operate in these times. Take this away from us and we are down completely. Coastal communities in isolated areas need the certainty and access to Global markets, (presently provided by the ability to export logs,) remove this from their options and I feel forestry will be virtually shut down and no longer a part of the local economy.” — John McLaughlin, Mgr, Heiltsuk Coastal Forest Products Ltd.
“If log exports were banned our company would likely receive about 30% less work and would not find it profitable to bid on the BCTS system.” — Graham Lasure, W.D. Moore Logging Co. Ltd.
“CTR conducts logging and silviculture activities in the Kalum and Skeena TSA for domestic and export sales. During a single export cycle, CTR injects in excess of $1.0 million into the Prince Rupert economy and approximately $2.2 million into the Terrace economy. This is approx. $3.2 million spent within BC every five weeks or over $33.0 million per year. This direct local expenditure goes to fallers, truckers, sort yard employees, stevedore crews and local professional services. A ban on log exports would eliminate CTR’s export sales function and would eliminate approximately 260 direct jobs.” — Dave Jackson, Consulting Services Ltd.
The question is not whether log exports help these operations make a profit, or make a better profit, but whether log exports help these operations survive, or go out of business. In other words, log exports are presently an integral part of BC’s forest industry.
*Courtesy of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) September 2011 newsletter.