The Province has changed the way it does business to help First Nations and community forest tenure holders sell their timber at fair market price and add to the data that supports timber pricing, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced last week.
The new BC Timber Sales Account Regulation gives BC Timber Sales the authority to enter into business agreements with First Nations and communities and sell some timber harvesting rights through competitive auction. The new regulation could make an additional 600,000 cubic metres of timber available for sale over the next four years while generating as much as $1.6 million for government.
“This regulation will allow First Nations and small communities to partner with government and sell their timber through a competitive, auction process. It’s a great opportunity to generate employment opportunities and support local economic development,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
North Island Community Forest Limited Partnership Chair Gordon Glover, RPF, said, “This change gives us the ability to get our timber to market and draw on BC Timber Sales expertise to sell our timber at fair market price. It’s a great opportunity for community forest tenure holders that may not otherwise have the necessary infrastructure to work with government to enhance business opportunities.”
BC Timber Sales is an autonomous program within the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Established in 2003, the program supports the ministry’s goal of providing British Columbia with sustainable benefits from the commercial use of public forests.
BC Timber Sales auctions 20 per cent of the overall volume of public timber harvested each year.
In its first 10 years, BC Timber Sales has:
• Brought more than 143 million cubic metres of timber to auction.
• Generated $360 million in net revenue for the Province.
• Planted 425 million seedlings.
• Our Natural Advantage: A Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia, identifies community forests as a key element in supporting prosperous rural forest economies.