2007-10-14

Beetle timber being left behind

B.C. government stumpage policy is making the mountain pine beetle problem worse by encouraging producers to cut surviving trees and leave dead ones behind, says NDP forestry critic Bob Simpson.

Changes to the rate the province charges for logs harvested from Crown land were made in 2006, as the B.C. and federal government were working out a new softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. Forests Minister Rich Coleman put an end to the nominal 25-cent per cubic metre stumpage fee brought in to encourage the harvest of beetle-killed pine in the B.C. Interior, which U.S. producers viewed as an increase in what they have long claimed to be a subsidy to Canadian lumber exports.