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Examining what needs to change in forestry

Jan. 18, 2017 - Independent timber harvesting contractors — the economic backbone of B.C.’s rural communities — are struggling in a business climate that doesn’t support locally owned forestry businesses.

The TLA’s 74th Annual Convention & Trade Show will take place Jan. 18 – 20, 2017 at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. Over this three-day event, we’ll find out what needs to change in order to strengthen and ensure sustainability for contractors, suppliers and the communities where they live and work.

“Recent industry polling tells us that two in three coastal British Columbians feel government should be doing more to support the forest industry,” said David Elstone, TLA executive director. “We agree. We want timber harvesting contractors to be in it for the long run too.”

To that end, the TLA has also been working to build relationships with B.C.’s rural communities. “TLA members live in these towns, build their businesses in and around them, support local community groups and are vital to the economic health of the entire province,” explained Elstone. “We talked to community leaders last year and released a report, “Community Perspectives on the BC Coastal Forest Industry” that gave some insight into coastal communities’ views on forestry.

When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, it’s clear timber harvesting contractors are critical. “Without contractors, B.C.’s forest industry would grind to a halt,” said Elstone. “They are the first link in the supply chain. And they are at risk of giving up.”

“We are also pleased that Minister Thomson is able to join us on Friday morning,” said Elstone. “He and his staff are working hard on the Forest Sector Competitiveness Agenda and we appreciate how much they believe in and work for the forest industry.”

The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 470 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90% of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in B.C.

January 18, 2017  By Truck Loggers Association

TLA executive director David Elstone at the 2016 TLA Convention. Photo:Brenda Martin

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