An increased level of uncertainty in the BC forest industry has become the norm over the past few years with a plethora of changes being made that have cumulatively eroded the confidence of some for the future of the industry. Uncertainty equates to risk when it comes to investment, and raises many questions: What will the eventual outcome of the old-growth deferrals be? Will the changes to the Forest & Range Practices Act and the Forest Act lead to more or fewer opportunities? How will recommendations on the transfer of timber rights influence management and value of tenures? All these issues must also be measured within the framework of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and growing First Nations participation in the BC forest industry.
…Despite the potential risks from government’s policy direction, current and future prospective tenure holders have options to mitigate their risk. In many respects, Bill 28 was enacted to motivate industry to change itself. Potential tenure purchasers are well advised to fully consider local First Nations or community desires for the AAC prior to purchasing tenures. Exploring how the status quo might change through the forging of new relationships may go a long way to removing government from the equation. …Although there are many risks to owning tenure, if there is continued wood products manufacturing at an industrial scale in BC, securing fibre supply through tenure will be a necessary component of many forest products companies’ strategy. …Despite the short-term uncertainty in the industry today, many see the longer-term prospects for sustainable forest products in BC as positive.