Canfor CEO concerned about proposed changes to forest tenure administration in British Columbia, sees process as 'needless diversion' of vital public and company resources that risks aligning public against province's largest forest companies

LOS ANGELES , April 15, 2014 () – Don Kayne, President and CEO of Canfor Corp. in Vancouver, British Columbia, has written to the Vancouver Sun to express concern about the provincial government's public consultation on the proposed conversion of some volume-based tenures to area-based tenures.

In the letter, published on April 14, Kayne says that in Canfor's view, this is "absolutely not the time" for major changes to tenure administration, as the province's Interior forest sector has other priorities as it undergoes a significant transformation as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

Kayne also notes that, while the company holds Minister Steve Thomson and his officials in the "highest possible regard", the proposal could be a deal-breaker. He suggests that the risk of aligning the public against British Columbia's largest forest companies outweighs any marginal benefits of expanding area-based tenures. 

The letter suggests that there are many higher priorities for government resources that would yield positive impacts, including maintaining the health of the interior forest sector, completing an updated forest inventory to support planning and decision making, and providing assistance to support primary manufacturing. Kayne also notes the importance of resourcing smaller tenure holders and the B.C. Timber Sales program to ensure access to their tenure volume.

Kayne says Canfor's focus is to ensure it has enough fiber to meet customers' needs, and notes that the company can only operate on public land with the support of British Columbians. He says Canfor would only support a fully transparent process that is fair to all licensees and provides sufficient public involvement to ensure public support.

Kayne says Canfor would participate in an area-based tenure process to protect its interests, but would do so reluctantly and view the process as a "needless diversion" of vital government and Canfor staff time from higher priorities.

The primary source of this article is a letter by Don Kayne, President and CEO of Canfor Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia, on April 14, 2014. The original article can be viewed here.

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