VICTORIA, B.C. – The British Columbia government is using a new targeted fee-in-lieu for manufactured logs harvested using a coastal BC Timber Sales license.
The move is intended to allow low-grade timber harvesting in coastal forests to supply local mills and keep jobs in those locations instead of exporting the lumber. Log exports in remote, difficult to access areas will likely continue, a government news release said.
“British Columbians believe that B.C. workers and the communities they live in should be first in line to benefit from our natural resources, and for too long government policies encouraged exporting logs even when there were local mills that couldn’t get access to fibre. This change will give B.C. mills more opportunity to get the fibre they need,” B.C. minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development Doug Donaldson said.
The fee-in-lieu is one of the changes decided on during a coast revitalization initiative started by the provincial government last year and will be dependent on individual stands, where those containing high value, easily accessible species will have a higher fee than stands in remote areas with low-value species. The fees will be in effect starting July 31.
“The coastal forest sector is an integral part of the B.C. economy. In 2017, it generated more than 24,000 direct jobs and $3.1 billion in gross domestic product. However, over most of the last two decades, timber harvesting on Crown land has declined and lumber and pulp production has diminished, resulting in reduced employment and significant increases in log exports. Under the Coast Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative, government is making changes to create more jobs from every log harvested and processed,” the government statement said.