Pine beetles and fires are gutting B.C.’s forestry sector

It’s more than lumber markets and trade. Article in Canada’s Financial Post yesterday:

Trouble in timberland: How pine beetles and fires are gutting B.C.’s forestry sector

Deep in the tree-studded interior of British Columbia, the tiny town of Clearwater is facing a problem that’s sweeping across the province: Surrounded by nothing but trees, somehow, there isn’t enough timber to support a local sawmill.

This summer, for the first time in decades, the town of around 2,000 people — about a five-hour drive northeast of Vancouver — won’t have a mill to anchor its local economy, as Canfor Corp. plans to mothball its nearby Vavenby operation in July.

It’s a situation that’s been years in the making, as the ravenous mountain pine beetle population exploded thanks to warmer winters, which in combination with record fires, destroyed huge swaths of forests. Now, there are too many mills in B.C. and not enough supply to feed them all.

Also, “A new bill by the B.C. government has added to the industry’s woes.”

“…in May, after B.C. legislators passed Bill 22, which creates a new obligation for companies to demonstrate a “public interest” before they can sell or transfer their licenses to harvest timber from provincial land in a specific geographic area.




4 thoughts on “Pine beetles and fires are gutting B.C.’s forestry sector”

  1. In America, the timber industry and a lot of right-wing politicians seem to often lay the blame for wildfires and insect and disease outbreaks at the feet of “environmental terrorist groups,” “radicals,” “obstructionists,” “extremists” and their “frivolous lawsuits.”

    So what’s causing bark beetles and fires in Canada?

    Also, does human-caused (or at least human-exacerbated) climate change play any role here? If yes, what’s Canada policy about things like oil and gas drilling, coal mining, tar sands and building huge pipelines or export docks to ship their fossil-fuels around the world?

  2. The forest industry of British Columbia appears to be constantly in crisis. Over the last 30 or so years there has been a continual erosion of capital from forests of the province for one major reason – permissive administration of the public’s estate. Bill 22 appears to be the government’s attempt to take back some the powers vested in the industry through the timber tenure and pricing system. Bill 22 states: In considering whether to approve a transfer of timber tenure, the minister must consider the effect of the disposition on (a) the marketing of fibre in British Columbia, and (b) the public interest.
    Mismanagement along with a conservative response to change in climate trends have led to bark beetles, diseases, and fires probably causing timber supply shortages in the Interior while lack of re-investment and log export is leading to a similar result on the Coast. Bill 22 is attempting to take back some control of the public’s estate in this current time of crisis.
    Yes, the forest industry does not seem pleased!

      • I have written books on this subject. I also like your Wild West Institute and intend to learn more about it!

        I am sure you know Canada’s policy on exporting its natural resource carbon emitters to the world’s polluters like the ‘free and white’ USA.

        Maybe some day we will meet and have an interesting chat.


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