British Columbia introduces innovative, flexible forest license

By British Columbia | October 31, 2014

The Province of British Columbia has created a new type of forest license that allows emerging, innovative forestry companies to more effectively respond to fluctuations in the supply of wood fiber, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson recently announced.

The new supplemental forest license allows companies to harvest wood only when traditional, business-to-business fiber supplies are reduced. This helps ensure that license holders - bioenergy companies, pellet producers and secondary manufacturers - have ongoing access to the fiber supply they need to operate.

The new license also allows the Province to include conditions in licenses that encourage the harvesting of less marketable and harder to access wood, helping to make greater use of the existing allowable annual cut.

The legislation follows up on a recommendation made by the Special Committee on Timber Supply in its 2012 report, and is consistent with strategies identified in the Province's 2012 Mid-Term Timber Supply Action Plan.

The new license is not available to sawmills, which traditionally have more stable supplies of wood.

“The new licence gives companies in B.C. a flexible option that allows them to address temporary supply shortages. This is critical for an industry like ours, which has to respond to an ever-growing global market quickly, effectively and reliably. Greater certainty gives us more confidence as we move forward and promote the role of wood pellets in the Canadian and global markets,” said Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada.