Scalers and loaders work in the sort area of the Ladysmith Sawmill division of Western Forest Products. The company reported $22.8 million in earnings in the first quarter of 2013, a massive increase from the $1.7 million earned in the first quarter of 2012. Photograph by: Debra Brash, Victoria Times Colonist
Improving global markets for B.C. wood have the coastal forest industry working at capacity and the Island’s largest timber producer posting record results.
After more than a decade of struggling, the industry finally appears to be on more stable ground — a trend that’s expected to continue, according to the head of the Coast Forest Products Association.
“The fact of the matter is we are now having trouble finding contractors and workers,” said association president Rick Jeffery, noting that over the last decade, many forest workers left for work in the oilfields as the coastal forest industry struggled with a strong loonie, poor global markets and fallout from the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.
“We are now working at the highest level we have in five years. Everything is up and running. Some [mills] are running in two shifts and some in three.”
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