Rhetoric on log exports has ramped up since they were last discussed in the Peak [“Conference pushes green economy,” December 7,] and now I must speak.
Unfortunately, from the point of view of someone operating a mill in BC, our forests grow a variety of species with many different qualities (log grades) in any one stand.
However, BC mills are largely set up to manufacture only specific species and grades of log, usually the higher value timber species and grades. This results in logs on the market that either do not fit mill needs or are in excess of what the mills have capacity for. These are the logs that are exported.
To stop log exports would make it economically difficult to harvest much of our working forest and would mean loggers and sawmill workers would not be employed.
We must remember that BC mills always have first refusal to purchase logs that are exported and at significantly lower cost than the export price.
If and when there is a viable opportunity to manufacture this excess timber locally, mills will be built in BC. Until that time, we need a certain amount of log export.