Biofibre a tough harvest

Director of area B, Bill Miller, is concerned that the province is allowing logging contractors to burn merchantable timber.

Regional District of Bulkely Nechako chair and director of area B, Bill Miller, is concerned that the province is allowing logging contractors to burn merchantable timber.

At a meeting in Houston early this month Miller complained to member of legislative assembly John Rustad and minister of forests and natural resources Steve Thomson that too much fibre was being burned through out the region.

Miller, as reported by the Houston Times, said that close to a million cubic meters of fibre was burned in the Burns Lake and Houston areas a couple of years ago.

To put that in perspective, one million cubic metres is half the entire annual allowable cut of sawlogs in the Lakes Timber Supply Area.

“I think it borders on criminal that you [the province] haven’t addressed that,” Miller said.

Member of legislative assembly for Nechako-Lakes, John Rustad is aware of the problems that contractors face in the forest when it comes to dealing with this fibre.

“Our current logging practises are focussed on capturing sawlogs,” he said.  “That makes it challenging for people trying to capture the biofibre.”

The province is responding to the challenges faced by loggers when it comes to harvesting fibre for pellet plants.

“We’ve created something called a receiving license, and we’re making changes to that to make it more functional,” Rustad said.  “We’re also going to create something called a supplemental license… to try and allow easier access to what’s left behind after harvesting.”

These legislative changes will be introduced in February or March of 2013.