BC logging groups are facing uncertainty as they meet in Vernon Thursday, in advance of the Interior Logging Association’s annual conference & trade show.
I-L-A General manager Wayne Lintott says many members are not seeing a return on their investment.
“Contractor sustainability is probably the main concern on our plate right now, and it’s basically province-wide,” Lintott tells Kiss FM.
David Elstone from the Truck Loggers Association says the situation becomes even more serious with the US duties on Canadian softwood lumber.
“The pressure on our industry to remain viable will increase,” says Elstone.
“Timber harvesting requires high capital investment and my members take on a lot of risk,” adds Lintott. “We need to level the playing field between licensees and contractors.”
Photo: Melinda Morben from Island Timberlands is a guest speaker at the ILA conference in Vernon.
The government announced a Contractor Sustainability Review in January and the work is now underway with former Shuswap MLA George Abbott named as the independent facilitator.
“We all hope this review will lead to real change so that everyone who works in the forest can share in the prosperity,” says Elstone.
More than 600 delegates will be in Vernon the next three days for the 59th annual ILA conference and trade show.
Lintott says 35 million dollars worth of logging equipment will be on display in and outside Kal Tire Place, starting Friday, which is open to the public, and free of charge.
He says suppliers are showing off some new equipment, aimed at improving the industry.
“There is a steep slope logging assisted machine. It’s a regular logging machine with an attachment on the front that winches them up and down the slope, sort of thing.”
Lintott says the Vernon Lodge and several other hotels are booked for the conference.
The theme this year is women working in the forest harvesting industry, and Melinda Morben from Island Timberlands will be a guest speaker.