The mountain pine beetle epidemic in the B.C. Interior will reduce the province’s available timber supply over the next 20 years, resulting in the loss of forestry-supported jobs in the region and cause potential population outflows, according to Central 1 Credit Union.
Central 1 forecasts that net forestry-supported harvesting, silviculture and processing jobs will decline by 11,250 person-years from the pre-infestation period. In turn, that could lead to the loss of a further 9,500 indirect and induced person-years of work, unless there are opportunities in alternative industries for displaced workers.
Central 1’s latest Economic Analysis of British Columbia newsletter projects that, during the next 20 years, the forestry supported population in the Interior will decline by 28,700 people and that 11,500 currently occupied housing units will be empty.