Dimension lumber at Canfor sawmill in Williams Lake. (Williams Lake Tribune)

COVID-19: B.C. defers forest stumpage fees for three months

$80 million for industry struggling before pandemic

The B.C. government is deferring collection of stumpage fees on timber harvested from Crown land for three months to help an industry already near a standstill before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deferral, subject to interest charges, is available to holders of tree farm licences, replaceable forest licences and first nations woodland licences, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said April 30. The deferral represents $80 million to assist companies dealing with slumping markets, U.S. border tariffs and now the coronavirus.

Recipients must be in “good financial standing” with the province and proceeding with their replanting obligations for Crown land harvesting, the forests ministry said in a statement.

Donaldson said the 90-day deferral will be reviewed and could be extended if market conditions don’t improve.

RELATED: West Fraser shuts B.C. mills down for pandemic

RELATED: Interfor cuts lumber capacity, capital investment

Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries, agreed with Donaldson that stumpage relief is the industry’s first priority to keep some people operating.

“The deferral of stumpage fees is an important short-term measure to help alleviate some of the unprecedented financial pressure brought on by the COVID-19 crisis,” Yurkovich said. “It will help B.C.’s forest companies put people back to work in communities as markets come back and we move towards economic recovery.”

Donaldson said the deferral is designed to avoid challenges from the U.S. lumber industry, which have resulted in many rulings over three decades. The deferral is not a loan or subsidy in trade law, he said.

B.C. stumpage is calculated every three months to determine the market value of logs harvested from provincial land.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health and safety regulations to be followed by schools as they reopen Monday

Ministry of Education wrote a letter to parents dated May 28.

B.C. Court of Appeal upholds lower court decision on western boundary of Treaty 8

Several first nations believe the western boundary was and always has been at the Rocky Mountains

School will look a lot different, says Fort St. James Secondary School principal

The principal wrote a letter to parents informing them about what to expect at school on June 1.

7 projects in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Burns Lake receive NKDF funding

Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society announced $139,702 in funding on May 29.

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible.

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read