Aspen Planers has temporarily shut down their Merritt operations, closing two work sites in the Nicola Valley due to a lack of steady log supply. The closure is currently planned to last three weeks, but executives with Aspen Planers say it will ultimately be government approval of cutting permits and market conditions that determine the mill’s reopening date. Approximately 150 employees of Aspen Planers, owned by locally founded but Surrey-based company AP Group, are affected by the shutdowns. … The issue at hand, according to AP Group: a lack of logs. …Bruce Rose, executive vice president with AP Group said their main frustration is the “unnecessarily complicated and opaque” process for obtaining a cutting permit, which he said stems from the government addressing outside pressures from environmental organizations and other groups. He believes these processes can be improved while remaining climate friendly and continuing to advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities.