Mayors of B.C.’s coastal towns have expressed a lack of optimism for the forestry industry, according to a survey from the Truck Loggers Association.

Twenty-seven mayors responded to the survey, said David Elstone, executive director of the association, which represents independent coastal logging companies.

Elstone said many of the mayors said forestry in B.C. is in worse shape than it was a decade ago.

“I think that fading optimism is not a loss in faith in the industry, it’s really a concern about jobs and the reduction in jobs we’ve seen over the past 10 years,” Elstone told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

“One of the best ways to create well-paying, sustainable jobs in their communities is by having a strong, working forest.”

Other findings from the survey included a slight increase in support for log exports, strong support for First Nations’ involvement in the forestry sector and a desire from mayors to change the image of the forestry sector to attract younger workers.

“We can all see the demographics,” Elstone said. “I guess you could say the colour of our hair is an indication of the workforce and we have to make sure we address that.”

“Oil and the commodity business is obviously not as strong as it was a few years ago, so we have a bit of a reprieve in terms of availability of workers.”

The Truck Loggers Association estimates there will be 4,700 forestry jobs to fill in B.C. by 2022.