Consultation needed on tenures

The Independent Wood Processors Association (IWPA) has represented British Columbia's non-tenured family owned wood processing businesses since 1971.

At a meeting of our membership on February 27, the members voted to offer the following advice to the B.C. government concerning the proposal to invite the conversion of Volume Based Tenures to Area Based Tenures.

Our advice is for the legislation to be set aside until the consequences are fully investigated. The logic is as follows.

On the plus side, it is logical that people that know that they will have the right to harvest what they plant will take better care of it. On the negative side, we recognize that converting the right to harvest publicly owned timber from Volume Based Tenures into Area Based Tenures will increase the value of that right to the benefit of the shareholders of the companies entrusted with harvesting our public timber. We think the public should get something back in exchange for this increase in value.

Also on the negative side, we recognize that the pine beetle has reduced the productivity of the land base for the next several decades. Therefore to convert Volume Based Annual Allowable Cut's (AAC's) to the equivalent Area Based AAC's at this time, will require much more land than would have been required prior to the infestation or than will be required after the land has recovered. Who will this land be taken from?

We are concerned that the proposed conversion of Volume Based Tenures to Area Based Tenures will exacerbate the difficulties our members have in obtaining open market wood fibre for their manufacturing plants. We believe that it would be wise for the GBC to consult with groups like ours before passing this enabling legislation.

RUSS CAMERON

President, Independent Wood Processors Association

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