(Vancouver, BC) – The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) issued a statement today on the release of the 2024 BC Budget.

“COFI welcomes the priority and focus on wildfire prevention and response in BC Budget 2024 released today,” said Linda Coady, President & CEO of COFI. “COFI was one of a number of forestry industry groups calling for increased funding to Forest Enhancement Society of BC to improve utilization of logs and other debris and remove fuel from the forest. We are pleased with the addition of $60 million over three years for this important work.”

“A critical issue for the BC forest industry right now is declining harvest levels,” added Linda Coady. “In the last five years, harvesting on public forest lands dropped by almost half, from about 60 million cubic metres in 2018 to 35 million cubic metres in 2023. The actual harvest in 2023 was 42 per cent below the allowable annual cut.”

“This steep trajectory has ignited a wave of curtailments and closures that have shuttered local sawmills along with pulp and paper and value-added plants, and has also reduced government revenues ,” said Linda Coady. “Premier David Eby and BC Forests Minister Bruce Ralston have committed to work with industry, First Nations and local communities and workers to stabilize fibre supply. As part of that commitment to this priority, the Hon. Andrew Mercier was appointed as Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation to address this issue and our members are engaging with Minister Mercier to develop solutions. We are pleased to see a commitment to reporting on this issue by March 31, 2024.”

“The BC forest sector also sees opportunities to be part of the solution to build more critically-needed housing infrastructure in British Columbia,” added Coady. “Renewable, sustainably harvested wood products from BC can be an important carbon-friendly solution right here at home, providing long-term carbon storage benefits over other materials. We see BC’s sustainable forests, and the products made from them playing a critical role in helping BC and Canada meet its carbon emissions commitments.”


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Travis Joern
Director of Communications
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