Letter: Forestry industry not declining | Squamish Chief

Letter: Forestry industry not declining

In a good letter last week (“Higher paying jobs will come,” April 28), responding to a fine editorial the week before (“The real costs of commuting,” April 21), there was some phrasing that deserves comment: “In the wake of the declining forestry industry and the closure of the Woodfibre pulp mill, Squamish, like B.C., is diversifying itself…”

The forestry industry in this region is not “declining.” This is perhaps an easy misperception, with many years of news stories on, for example, interior pine beetle and coastal newsprint sector woes.

article continues below

The timber harvesting industry has seen growing activity levels during recent years in this area since the major recession of a few years ago. And it is still working under capacity. District harvest levels are below the allowable cut.

On the processing side, I cannot think of any Squamish wood manufacturing firm that is not growing or does not have plans or desires to expand.

There may be few sectors in Squamish that have added so many high-wage jobs in recent years as forestry and wood. Together they employ several hundred people in this corridor. 

Squamish forestry and wood companies are often unable to find people with the right skills – for example, equipment operators and technicians – and are interested in training and recruitment programs.

A bigger handicap is the public misperceptions, which lead to not diversification but instead neglect and displacement.

We have not replaced the Woodfibre and Interfor mill jobs lost 10 and 15 years ago. But we should not overlook the growth and future potential in forestry and wood.

Eric Andersen


Read Related Topics

@ Copyright Squamish Chief


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Squamish Chief welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Weekly POLL

What is something people in Squamish complain too much about in Squamish?

or  view results

Related Editorial