Sluggish timber sales should be on the upswing in the coming years, but don’t look for big increase in the immediate future, Ministry of Forests and Range representative Duncan Taggart told the Regional District of Mount Waddington board of directors at its Oct. 19 meeting.
“It’s been a bumpy couple of years,” Taggart said. “This year is more promising, and looking further out it’s more encouraging.
“We’re still looking at 2012 for logging to start righting itself.”
Timber sales for fiscal year 2009 were about 400,000 board metres, while the ministry is projecting sales of between 550-650,000 for the coming year.
Taggart said the B.C. market will be helped by a boost in lower-quality log exports to China, Korea and Japan. He said Canada will surpass Russia as the leading timber exporter to China during the coming year.
To help offset the downturn the past two years, the ministry has ratcheted back expenditures.
“We’re operating at about 70 per cent,” Taggart said. “Our quota is just over 700,000 (board) metres, but we’re budgeting for about 500,000.”