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Exported logs sustain B.C. forest industry

Re: “Logs should be processed at home,” April 30. The letter-writer iterates some assumptions about private forest land management on Vancouver Island that are worth correcting.

Re: “Logs should be processed at home,” April 30.

The letter-writer iterates some assumptions about private forest land management on Vancouver Island that are worth correcting.

At TimberWest, we want to continue to be able to provide jobs to workers on Vancouver Island, and it is only because we sell a percentage (about half) of our manufactured logs to foreign markets, that we are able to do so.

In fact, jobs, economic activity, Crown land stumpage and tax revenues all grind to a halt without log exports. Why? Because domestic markets currently pay about half of what export markets like China do for the same log. Domestic log prices are below the cost of production and have been for years. So TimberWest relies heavily on export log sales to subsidize domestic pricing.

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.

As for “leaving something for those who come after us”? Absolutely. That’s what sustainable forest management is all about. TimberWest’s Canadian owners are committed to sustainable forest management 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.

Brian Frank, president and CEO

TimberWest Forest Corp.