Logging Statistics from the
Council of Forest Industry
"The objective of protecting the value of drinking water sources set by the BC government applies only to the extent that it does not unduly reduce the supply of timber from British Columbia's forests."
(Forest Planning & Practices Regulation Section 8.2 http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/14_2004#section8.2 )
The following statistics are from the Council of Forest Industries: "The voice of the BC Interior Forest Industry" (CoFI)
(edited comments added)
- BC’s land base is 95 million hectares, or just a little larger than France and Germany combined
- 62% of BC (55 million hectares) is forested, of that 83% is coniferous
- Less than 3% of original forest is converted to human use
- More than half of BC’s forested area has had little or no human disturbance
- Forests cover 62% of the province of British Columbia, but only 24% (22 million hectares) is available for harvesting. Of that amount, only 200,000 hectares – or less than 1% – are harvested on an annual basis.
- Watersheds make up only make up only 1.5% of the entire land mass of BC, yet in the Kootenays almost all watersheds have been or are going to be logged.
- BC has 52 million hectares of forest covered by third-party certification — more than any other single COUNTRY in the world.
- What is certification? It is a voluntary program and it is supposed to reassure consumers that the wood they are buying is environmentally, ethically or professionally sourced."Third-party forest certification is a voluntary process that began in the 1990s in response to concerns about logging practices and forest conversion, especially in tropical regions." (http://www.naturallywood.com/sustainable-forests/certification-and-chain-custody).
- A company can be management certified (ie they actually log to certain standards) or they can be 'chain of custody' certified, which means that they only sell certified wood. These two certifications, although very different, often seem to be combined together under the broader heading of ‘certified’ in press and publications. The consumer will often find that a company is certified with multiple certifiers, because it appears that one certifier uses another to actually certify, and they sometimes certify different aspects of the same company.
- In Canada, chain of custody certifications make up 91% of total certifications, and only 9% are management certified. (Forest Stewardship Council July 2016 Newsletter) IE: Kalesnikoff Lumber Company is Chain of Custody Certified, while Harrop Proctor Community Forest is Management Certified.
- Already, 75% of BC’s annual harvest comes from operations that are certified for sustainability or meet internationally-recognized criteria for environmental management systems. (see above comments)
- 200 million trees are planted annually in British Columbia, or about three seedlings for every tree cut.
- If 3 seedlings are planted for every one cut, this also means that approximately 66,000,000 trees are cut down annually in BC. And, since a large number of seedlings don't survive, certainly 3 would need to be planted in hopes of one surviving.
- With climate change conditions of dry, hot summers the percentage of survival can easily go down further. A grower at a seedling nursery recently mentioned that a plot of four year old larch had recently succumbed to heat and dryness near Nelson. The whole replanted clear cut is now bare again - worse yet, it is now filled with dead wildfire fuel.
- BC takes a collaborative and integrated approach to land use planning.
- The BC forest industry contributes $12 billion annually to the provincial GDP.
- This figure is often repeated. Although CoFI was contacted, they did not respond as to where this figure comes from. BC Stats figures show a GDP of approx 6.2 to 7 billion. While discussing the GDP figures for BC, a BC Stats representative stated that they did not know where the '12 billion' figure came from.
- The Green Party states: Forestry generated $8.8 billion in GDP and provided $1.7 billion in tax revenue for the province. (2017) Again, not 12 Billion.
- And from 'Industry Update: Overview of the BC Forest Industry Fall 2015 Chartered Professional Accountants BC:
- Since 2009 China receives the largest share of BC wood exports: 61% of BC pulp exports and 54% of exported logs.
- 95% of BC Forests are Crown Land, 4% is privately owned, 1% is federally owned, and 0.1% is owned by First Nations.
- "the different parts of the forestry sector are among the highest-paying industries in the province. Total compensation in the forestry and logging sector is close to that of pulp mills (more than double the all-industry average)"
These seemingly inflated stats are repeated throughout the industry. From an article written by Christine Gelowitz (RPF) and CEO of the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals. Oct 10, 2017:http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/opinion-bringing-public-confidence-to-b-c-s-forest-management
The forest sector is also a major part of the province’s economy. The forest industry generates one out of every 17 jobs in the province and contributes $33 billion in output, $12.9 billion in GDP, and around $4.1 billion in payments to municipal, provincial, and federal governments each year.
A local Registered Professional Forester commented that these CoFI stats are incomplete; they do not show the stats of available wood, and they do not show how the timber currently being harvested is non sustainable.
To read these statistics, the public should be reassured that BC is overflowing with wood, that there is a small amount being cut and an excess of wood available; but that is simply not the case.
The consensus in the industry is that BC is running out of timber, that is why they are having to go into areas like watersheds, and logging companies and local lobby groups like the ILMA (Interior Lumber Manufacturer's Association) are trying very hard to push back current restrictions.
On one hand the industry and the government stubbornly state that 'logging is sustainable', on the other we have comments from the industry: "Hodgkinson (Kalesnikoff's Woodland Manager) says the simple fact is that all the easily accessed and harvested areas have already been logged, which is forcing forest companies into more challenging areas (i.e. watersheds)".