Seek out new timber in marginal areas, report urges B.C. industry

A new report on the dwindling timber supply in British Columbia’s central Interior recommends tapping into “marginally economic forest types,” such as areas with fewer trees that have been significantly affected by fire or the pine beetle, or are harder to access.

The report, prepared by the Special Committee on Timber Supply and tabled Wednesday, comes after a month of research and public hearings in central B.C. and Vancouver. As the province anticipates a dramatic drop in timber supply in the wake of the mountain pine beetle outbreak, the report calls for a thorough inventory of such marginal areas – something NDP opposition forestry critic and committee deputy chair Norm Macdonald says the Liberal government did not adequately address in the past.

“The lack of proper care of the land means they have neither the information nor the capacity to make informed decisions,” he said. “We don’t actually know, accurately, what’s happening on the land base. It’s inexcusable, really.”