Canadian woodlot owners seek exemption for roundwood
July 13, 2017 - Although a negotiated agreement could bring an end to the softwood lumber dispute in the coming months, the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners (CFWO) would like to remind everyone that it is imperative that an exemption for roundwood from private forests be included in any future softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States.
According to the CFWO President, Peter deMarsh, “The management of private forests in Canada is absolutely not at issue in the softwood lumber dispute between the U.S. and Canada and should not be the cause of any grumbling. Indeed, our management model is very close to the one in the United States and embodies the very essence of U.S. demands and aspirations, although, paradoxically, Canadian woodlot owners are suffering collateral damage in the conflict in the form of reduced sales and lower prices. Our proposed solution is cogent and coherent: the model that we live by is the same one found in the United States.”
Indeed, the situation of the 455,000 private woodlot owners in Canada is similar to that of their 10 million U.S. counterparts. Woodlot owners on both sides of the border have similar motivations, benefit from funding to carry out the special silvicultural work required by their respective societies and work in an analogous commercial environment where they have to negotiate satisfactory terms of sale for their roundwood.
The CFWO has identified 10 arguments supporting its demand for an exemption for wood from U.S. and Canadian private woodlots. One example is the free flow of sawlogs from woodlot owners across the border to sawmills in the US; in case of BC, which is the single exception restricting the export of private owner sawlogs to the US, the Americans, have made their displeasure very clear.
“Canadian softwood lumber produced from roundwood harvested from private woodlots that has demonstrated traceability should be exempt from duties and quotas. The federal government must absolutely defend our business model so that Canadian woodlot owners do not become accidental victims in this dispute by seeing their market for roundwood erode,”
deMarsh points out.
CFWO presentation: 10 arguments for exempting wood from private forests in the softwood lumber export agreement
CFWO brief: 10 arguments supporting the granting of an exemption for wood from private forests in the future agreement on lumber exports to the United States
The Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners (CFWO) is a national federation of provincial woodlot owner associations, representing 455,000 families across the country. It promotes the sustainable management of forest resources to ensure that they continue to provide economic, social and environmental benefits in rural communities across Canada. CFWO member organizations include the Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations, Woodlot Association of Alberta, Woodlot Association of Manitoba, Ontario Woodlot Association, Fédération des producteurs forestiers du Québec, New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners, Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners and PEI Woodlot Owners Association. The organization’s website is www.cfwo-fcpb.org.
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