Category Archives: sticky

Challenges in moving to new wood manufacturing sector

Moving to a new BC wood manufacturing sector will not be quick or easy!  As outlined in Building a diversified mfg sector-challenges_1, there are challenges to overcome in this transition.  It will be a journey, not an event requiring:

  • Politicians thinking strategically beyond a one-term election period or political ideology,
  • Politicians adopting a business environment that addresses the needs of investors, profitability of companies and acknowledging current and future markets,
  • Companies committing support for a secondary wood manufacturing sector, and
  • Communities being realistic and supporting local investments in secondary wood manufacturing. 

A common forest sector vision for BC

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.

Chief Forester a breath of fresh air

Chief Forester Diane Nicholls talked about adaptation in forestry to CIF-Vancouver Section members and students on March 19th. A key point was “there is no one size fits all in managing BC forests under the expected climate, social and economic projections.” Foresters need to assess the conditions and projections on each site and landscape when making forest management decisions. This is a marked change from the traditional Government desire to have policies and regulations that trend toward standardization. A breath of fresh air. She will need support and good luck in moving this forward. Foresters and concerned citizens need to show her their support.