Minister Donaldson identified Government’s vision for the forest sector in the Spring 2019 issue of the Truck Logger magazine. It is “a forest sector made up of successful and innovative large and small companies that can create and maintain good jobs and generate wealth from our forests to support healthy communities.” There has not been much elaboration on the type of companies. Let’s hope this includes diversification so not all companies are producing traditional commodity or solid wood products. The indication is this could be part of the Minister’s vision. However, it is critical for him to send this message to the forest sector and Ministry staff as not much has been done in this regard over the last couple of years. Maybe the recent re-organization transferring the staff with this file to the Chief Forester’s office will produce positive results.
To provide resiliency to communities we need companies that can bridge the traditional economic cycle of solid wood products mainly destined for housing. Government needs to create an environment to encourage investment in other wood products such as bio-fuels and bio-chemicals. This will require long-term access to fibre. Hopefully the Coast and Interior Forest Sector Revitalization initiatives will include achieving this critical diversification.