There was a not a seat left at the “Rethinking Forestry Forum” held in Terrace, British Columbia in hopes of finding long-term solutions to the economic downtown that has rocked the industry.
This year more than 4,000 forestry workers have lost their jobs according to the province.
Eighty-five per cent of First Nations in the province have signed forest consultation and revenue sharing agreements, and the downturn is also affecting these nations.
Roger Keery, president of Skeena Sawmills, was pleased to see industry focus their energy to find solutions to improve forestry.
“There is an enormous amount of experience of people in the forest industry,” said Keery. “It’s common to have people who have worked in this for 30 plus years who have tried a lot of things and seen these problems and wrestled with them.”
The northern terrain itself creates challenges.
Building roads through coastal mountains is costly and tree growth is slower than in southern regions.
“The value of the fibre here is on average lower than in some other parts of the province and the logging costs are high,” Keery said.
“Those are some of the historic issues for logging in this area”.