2008-12-16

Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Comments on BC Stumpage Pricing Practices

The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports shares the U.S. government's stated concerns that a large and increasing volume of timber is being sold for as little as C25 cents per cubic meter in British Columbia and that timber is then being used to produce softwood lumber products.

Using the pine beetle epidemic as an excuse, a dramatically increasing volume of timber harvested in the BC Interior is being sold to lumber producers for as low as C25 cents per cubic meter -- the equivalent of a telephone pole -- allegedly because the quality of the timber is so degraded that it can only be used as pulpwood. Representatives of the BC industry have confirmed that this "pulpwood" is being processed into lumber.

Through a method of heating the wood in a kiln, the quality of timber otherwise suitable to make lumber becomes checked or cracked. This would normally mean it is not suitable for lumber production. However, only a small sample of this wood is heated, allowing the BC government to grade a much larger volume at abysmally low stumpage levels.