This report was just released today, Feb. 27, 2017, by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an independent, non-partisan think tank with progressive leanings. It basically outlines the extreme job loss occurring in British Columbia’s timber communities because of the export of raw logs.
The report has stirred up a hornets nest north of the border. In BC, even logs off public lands can be exported. In the US, only logs off private lands can be exported.
I still think this should be a major issue in Clallam Co. The port is nervous as heck about the issue. They replaced their TLAC representative with Connie Beauvais after he released raw-log export numbers. And since then, the port is working to build support for export policies.
One factoid that would be useful is how much more in tax revenues would be available to schools and other taxing districts if they could get the export price for their logs, like the private timber companies. (Roughly a third more.)
But the bottom line is clear: Exporting raw logs is exporting high-paying jobs. Most of the jobs per MMBF in the timber sector come from mills and wood processing, not logging.
Some highlights: (link to the report is at the end):
Last year nearly 6.3 million cubic meters of raw logs left the province [British Colombia]. Had those unprocessed logs been milled in BC instead, an estimated 3,650 more men and women could have been working in the province’s neglected forest sector. Moving up the value chain and making even higher value forest products would have added even more jobs to the tally.
Most of the raw logs exported from BC ended up in China, other countries in the Asia Pacific region or the United States. Mills in the US Pacific Northwest, just across Juan de Fuca Strait from southern Vancouver Island, are among those that receive raw logs from BC.
In coastal BC, not a single new sawmill of note has been built in well over a decade.