Log truck on Highway 16. (Black Press media)

B.C. to begin increasing coastal log export charges

New fees based on harvest cost, cedar no longer exempt

The B.C. government’s new coastal log export policy starts to take effect at the end of July, imposing a new fee structure for logs intended to keep more of them in the province for milling.

The new fees are to be calculated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the harvest cost and value of the timber in each cutblock, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said Wednesday. The system applies first to new B.C. Timber Sales harvests on the coast, expanding to other coastal timber harvesting in December 2019.

Donaldson said the overall target is to reduce B.C. log exports by 15 per cent over the next two years.

“For whitewood species like hemlock, balsam and spruce, the fee could go from 10 per cent of the Vancouver log market value, which it is now, to a maximum of 50 per cent,” Donaldson said in an interview with Black Press. “That’s an example, but it really depends on the composition of the cutblock.”

Cabinet orders that expire July 31 set the fee in lieu of manufacturing at $1 per cubic metre for the North Coast, Northwest Interior and Nass areas and similar levels for Haida Gwaii and Mid Coast where timber is approved for export under the domestic log surplus test.

“It’s incumbent on us to try to drive more logs to domestic manufacturing,” Donaldson said. “The fee in lieu is a tool to do that, because it tries to address the price difference between what domestic logs are getting on the market and export logs.”

RELATED: B.C. loggers brace for changes in log export policy

RELATED: Export laws threaten Northwest industry, loggers say

The changes remove an export exemption for western red cedar, a sought-after commodity that commands high prices in Japan and other overseas markets. 

Under the new system, cedar logs could only be exported for a cultural use, such as a totem pole or a Japanese or Korean temple.

The current cabinet orders provide blanket log export exemptions put in place earlier to allow logging to carry on in areas where there are no sawmills to ship to. The exemptions are 35 per cent of tenure for the Mid Coast and Haida Gwaii, 20 per cent for North Coast and Northwest Interior and 100 per cent for the Nass timber supply area.

Donaldson said he had reports that some producers were offering logs for sale via the domestic log surplus test, and if they didn’t get the price they wanted, they would then use the exemption to export them. The new system won’t allow that, he said.

The new system is expected to help operations such as Skeena Sawmills in Terrace get enough log supply to operate at full output.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Pride Walk spreads inspirational cheer through Ucluelet

Second annual Pride Walk cheered through local streets Saturday evening to support LQBTQ+.

Tofino and Ucluelet mayors react to court’s decision on Victoria’s plastic bag ban

“For me, it’s a slap in the face for local governments that are trying to take leadership roles.”

West Coast’s FM radio licences up for renewal

Deadline for comments on broadcasting rights for both Tofino and Ucluelet is July 29.

Ucluelet set to celebrate Pride on Saturday

Pride Walk begins at Ucluelet’s Army, Navy and Air Force Veteran’s Club at 6 p.m.

Tofino mourns sudden loss of municipal councillor and community champion

Longtime resident Dorothy Baert died on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Pride Walk spreads inspirational cheer through Ucluelet

Second annual Pride Walk cheered through local streets Saturday evening to support LQBTQ+.

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read