TimberWest’s president and CEO Brian Frank says here: “Without access to log-export markets, there is no viable forestry business on the B.C. coast and none of the 1,000 direct jobs provided by TimberWest in the stewardship of private managed forest land would exist today.” He notes “domestic markets currently pay about half of what export markets like China do for the same log” and that “TimberWest relies heavily on export log sales to subsidize domestic pricing.”
As to sustainable forest management, the CEO confirms the company’s commitment “for many reasons, including social-licence interests and regulatory requirements. Ultimately, though, TimberWest’s owners are committed to sustainable forestry because they own the lands and have a vested interest in managing for the long term.” Frank was responding to this letter to the editor at Times Colonist, which he says includes “some assumptions about private forest land management on Vancouver Island that are worth correcting.” (HT: R. Falletta)
There’s certainly lots in the local news these days pointing to differences between sustainable practices and ecological sustainability. A court ruling just last week on coastal Douglas Fir logging “confirms the deep systemic problems in B.C.’s forest management” according to Valerie Langer, Conservation Director for ForestEthics Solutions, who claims it is “anything but sustainable”. The Western Canada Wilderness Committee and ForestEthics Solutions Society had argued that the province has a statutory duty to protect the dwindling number of ancient trees from commercial logging. That duty was ruled to be discretionary, not mandatory, according to the full report from Vancouver Observer.