Note: Fort St James community has benefitted from the local Conifex mill for local employment and the Fort St James Community Forest from local log purchases.
The size of the Conifex timber license that Hampton Lumber seeks to acquire could have an annual allowable cut (AAC) as large as 444,000 cubic metres.
“But we expect that to be reduced somewhat through future actions by the Chief Forester,” as Steve Zika, Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Lumber told Lakes District News.
To put that license size in perspective, the current AAC for the Lakes District Timber Supply Area is 1.6 million cubic metres. It was set in 2011 and the new determination is expected to made in the fall. Many people in the region are anxious that the new AAC might be significantly lower.
Zika’s comments on the Conifex license come a few months after Hampton announced it planned to buy Conifex’ timber license and its sawmill in Fort St. James.
“Our plan is to dismantle the existing sawmill. In relation to the existing sawmill since some of the equipment may have future value,” as Zika said in June.
The sawmill sale affected more than 220 employees of the Fort St. James facility.
Image: Hampton Lumber announced the $39 million deal for Conifex timber license and its Fort St. James sawmill in June. The regulatory assessment period for the license transfer is ongoing. (Black Press media file photo)