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Tired Iron: The State of the Harvesting Sector on the BC Coast

TLA Releases Report on the Health of the Coastal Harvesting Sector

Forestry and Logging Positioned to Lead in Job Growth

November 12, 2013 – Today, the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) released a report on the state of the harvesting sector on the BC coast.  Prepared by Dr. Harry Nelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Forest Resources Management, UBC, and Ngaio Hotte, MFRE, PBiol, the report identifies past events that have resulted in reduced forestry activity, what the current landscape looks like and what the future implications are for the province and the communities that depend on forestry.

Dwight Yochim, TLA Executive Director, stated he was “encouraged by Dr. Nelson’s finding that the opportunity for recovery and growth is significant and, if realized, the employment benefits will accrue mostly to forest dependent communities.”  According to the report, this is because forestry and logging jobs are particularly important to coastal communities as the jobs are local and well-paying and for every 10 jobs, an additional five are created elsewhere in the community. 

The report also notes the changes in the composition of the coastal workforce over the past decade and the increased importance of local harvesting jobs.  “Putting Vancouver aside, for every job in the mill, there is a job in the forest to match,” said Mr. Yochim.

In his report, Dr. Nelson cautions that “the sector’s ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities depends on restoring the conditions that encourage investment in equipment and the workforce.” He also references the policy and economic forces that have reduced the amount of timber that could be accessed economically and notes that the actual harvest over the past decade, with the exception of two years, has been significantly below the annual allowable cut (AAC).  

Mr. Yochim stated that, “this ‘undercut’—in combination with improving markets—is where the opportunity for job growth lies and is the topic of a follow-up study just commissioned by the TLA.”  According to Mr. Yochim, “under-harvesting of the annual allowable cut represents about 10,000 sustainable jobs over the past decade, which is highly significant. The study will look at how much of that undercut is economic and identify options for accessing it, and will be done in cooperation with government and industry to develop options to get it moving.”
 
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 435 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90% of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC.  
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For more information:
Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association 
Phone: 604.684.4291 ◦ Cell: 604.339.7554 ◦ Fax: 604.684.7134 ◦ Email: brenda@tla.ca 
Twitter: @truckloggerBC ◦ Website: www.tla.ca