Dimension lumber at Canfor sawmill in Williams Lake. (Williams Lake Tribune)

COVID-19: B.C. defers forest stumpage fees for three months

$80 million for industry struggling before pandemic

The B.C. government is deferring collection of stumpage fees on timber harvested from Crown land for three months to help an industry already near a standstill before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deferral, subject to interest charges, is available to holders of tree farm licences, replaceable forest licences and first nations woodland licences, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said April 30. The deferral represents $80 million to assist companies dealing with slumping markets, U.S. border tariffs and now the coronavirus.

Recipients must be in “good financial standing” with the province and proceeding with their replanting obligations for Crown land harvesting, the forests ministry said in a statement.

Donaldson said the 90-day deferral will be reviewed and could be extended if market conditions don’t improve.

RELATED: West Fraser shuts B.C. mills down for pandemic

RELATED: Interfor cuts lumber capacity, capital investment

Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries, agreed with Donaldson that stumpage relief is the industry’s first priority to keep some people operating.

“The deferral of stumpage fees is an important short-term measure to help alleviate some of the unprecedented financial pressure brought on by the COVID-19 crisis,” Yurkovich said. “It will help B.C.’s forest companies put people back to work in communities as markets come back and we move towards economic recovery.”

Donaldson said the deferral is designed to avoid challenges from the U.S. lumber industry, which have resulted in many rulings over three decades. The deferral is not a loan or subsidy in trade law, he said.

B.C. stumpage is calculated every three months to determine the market value of logs harvested from provincial land.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

Barriere RCMP hit the trail with BC Conservation Officer Service

Barriere RCMP Detachment Commander, Cpl. Robert Welsman, says he took to back… Continue reading

Plant veggies and enter Barriere Blooms contest

Victory Garden theme gets residents in the dirt

RV habitation once again a discussion topic for TNRD

“I don’t imagine for a moment that we’ve heard the last of the RV issue”

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read