A fibre action plan announced today will help generate more value from the province’s forest resources.
The plan contains actions that will support forestry-related jobs in British Columbia and increase the efficiency of fibre utilization in the short-term while durable longer-term solutions are developed. The actions are designed to increase efficiency of utilization of lower-quality wood and wood residue for secondary users, including the wood bioenergy sector and other non-lumber manufacturers, such as pulp and paper and oriented strandboard.
The fibre action plan provides support and encouragement for business-to-business relationships between primary harvesters and secondary users; support for removing residuals from the forest where business-to-business relationships do not exist; and tenure opportunities for secondary users where there are no primary harvesters.
Since 2014, the Forestry and Fibre Working Group, made up of representatives from the lumber, pellet, non-lumber, pulp and paper sectors and ministry staff have been working together to provide the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations with recommendations to streamline and increase the efficiency and recovery of low-quality fibre from B.C.’s forests.
The mountain pine beetle infestation has caused an increase in the amount of low-quality wood that is not suitable for lumber production. However, this wood, and wood residue and debris, is suitable for use by pulp and paper mills that use chips for pulp production, oriented strandboard mills, pellet plants and others. Wood pellet production capacity has doubled over the last few years and there are now 12 pellet plants operating in B.C. Pulp and paper producers also put significant capital investments into their plants to derive energy from wood residue.
In his 2014 and 2015 mandate letters, Thomson was tasked to “examine ways to enhance the security of fibre supply for secondary and non-lumber users of lower quality and residual fibre.” The forestry fibre action plan is also a component of the Forest Sector Competitiveness Strategy currently being developed.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations ─
“These technical policy adjustments will help ensure the secure supply of fibre for secondary manufacturers. The fibre action plan is one component of the Forest Sector Competitiveness Strategy to ensure that British Columbia’s forest sector remains world-leading and source of employment for British Columbians.”
Craig Lodge, vice president, Forestry, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. ─
“With the adoption and implementation of these recommendations, we look forward to improved access to forest fibre residuals generated from harvest operations. We anticipate an elevated level of fibre utilization thereby enhancing economic opportunity for the secondary fibre users. The associated gain in forest stewardship will benefit the entire B.C. forest industry.”
Stan Hadikin, Fibre Forester, Zellstoff Celgar LP ─
“These short- and medium-term recommendations, when implemented, will promote effective and lasting solutions for increasing fibre supplies and improving residuals utilization for the industries that rely on these important forest resources.”
Doug Routledge, vice president, Council of Forest Industries ─
“We believe the collaboratively developed recommendations, when implemented as a package, will substantially increase the amount of residual fibre that will move from harvested areas. This increased fibre movement will benefit both primary and secondary fibre users and, most importantly, workers and the communities in which they live.”
Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector for British Columbia: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca
A backgrounder follows: