BY BILL PHILLIPS
There isn’t just one stumpage rate for was damaged by forest fires this past summer.
That means the ministry of forests has to assess the wood before major licensees, chomping at the bit to harvest the wood, can get in and salvage it.
“It’s not a single way that wood is burned in the forests,” said Doug Donaldson in an interview last week. “In some places it’s incinerated totally, others it’s lightly touched and sometimes there’s green wood left behind. The stumpage relates to the quality of the wood that’s left behind.”
Tolko Forest Industries made a pitch to Williams Lake city council last week, which was supported, to adopt policies that would make harvesting and extraction of fire-damaged timber economically viable.
“The province needs to look at a stumpage rate that is commercially viable and recognize the added costs companies are going to face in order to process the fire-damaged timber,” Tolko woodlands manager Tom Hoffman told Williams Lake council, according to the Williams Lake Tribune. “In order for us to get cutting permits approved we have to have the stumpage rate determined. We don’t have any approved cutting permits approved right now.”
He said that in the Quesnel and Williams Lake area about 46 million cubic metres of timber and another nine million cubic metres in the 100 Mile House area were impacted by the wildfires.
Donaldson said the ministry is working on getting permits in place quickly.
“Our timber pricing staff has been negotiations with Tolko and other major licensees,” Donaldson said.