Amendments to forestry legislation introduced today will enhance the effectiveness of BC Timber Sales and allow the transfer of pulpwood agreements to increase fibre supply to pulp mills.

Acting on recommendations from the BC Timber Sales effectiveness review, the amendments will encourage more accurate timber pricing, help BC Timber Sales generate more revenue, and improve overall business practices. Collectively, the changes could increase BC Timber Sales annual net revenue by as much as $4 million.

Specific changes will:

  • Increase competitiveness in the forest industry and support the accurate pricing of Crown timber by allowing non-BC Timber Sales licensees to provide timber to BC Timber Sales for auction.
  • Improve the marketability of lower-quality beetle-killed timber by equalizing the financial risk associated with cruise-based and scale-based timber sale licences.
  • Generate revenue by allowing BC Timber Sales to recover unamortized value of Crown assets and provide forest management services to licensees and government organizations.
  • Support sustainable forest management and market access by empowering BC Timber Sales to enforce its environmental management system.

BC Timber Sales was founded in 2003 with a mandate to provide the cost and price benchmarks for the market pricing system for timber harvested from public land in British Columbia. BC Timber Sales auctions timber, and issues hundreds of contracts to deliver services such as road construction, forest development, seedling production and tree planting.

As well, proposed amendments to the Forest Act will enable holders of pulpwood agreements to sell or transfer their agreements. Pulpwood agreements are non-replaceable volume-based timber tenures that provide a secure fibre supply to larger-scale pulp mills. The agreements provide pulp mills and particle board plants with access to a secondary source of lower-quality fibre when sufficient suitable, reasonably priced wood chips, sawdust or logs is not readily available.

The proposed changes are part of the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Statutes Amendment Act, which Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson introduced in the legislature today.