Hampton Lumber announced the $39 million deal for Conifex timber license and its Fort St. James sawmill in June. The regulatory assessment period for the license transfer is ongoing. (Black Press media file photo)

New timber license up to 444,000 m3, Hampton says

The size of the Conifex timber license that Hampton Lumber seeks to acquire could have an annual allowable cut (AAC) as large as 444,000 cubic metres.

“But we expect that to be reduced somewhat through future actions by the Chief Forester,” as Steve Zika, Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Lumber told Lakes District News.

To put that license size in perspective, the current AAC for the Lakes District Timber Supply Area is 1.6 million cubic metres. It was set in 2011 and the new determination is expected to made in the fall. Many people in the region are anxious that the new AAC might be significantly lower.

READ MORE: Prospect of lower lumber cut in the air

Zika’s comments on the Conifex license come a few months after Hampton announced it planned to buy Conifex’ timber license and its sawmill in Fort St. James.

“Our plan is to dismantle the existing sawmill. In relation to the existing sawmill since some of the equipment may have future value,” as Zika said in June.

LOOK BACK: Hampton to buy Conifex sawmill in Fort St. James

The sawmill sale affected more than 220 employees of the Fort St. James facility.

RELATED: Conifex employees uncertain about sale agreement

The transferring of timber licenses is subject to a regulatory process by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), which started for the Conifex license in mid-July.

“There is no specific time line in statute for the review by the Minister but we are hopeful it will be accomplished in 90 days,” Zika said. “We continue to meet with First Nations and community leaders in Fort St. James to talk about our plans for building a new sawmill and the potential for local partnerships. I believe conversations to date have been positive and encouraging.”

The Hampton CEO couldn’t comment on the specific value of the timber license, but the total value of the deal with Conifex for both the license and the mill is worth about $39 million.

The assessment of a license transfer takes into account several factors related to the economy, forestry industry and First Nations rights, as FLNRORD spokesperson Jeremy Uppenborn explained.

“Under the Forest Act, the Minister must consider the effects of the disposition on the marketing of fibre in British Columbia and the public interest. Additionally, the Minister has a constitutional duty to consult and assess whether the transfer might result in an infringement of Indigenous rights and title and whether it is necessary to develop some measures to accommodate if a finding of infringement arise. Consultation is ongoing with First Nations and the ministry is collecting information on the public interest.”

Hampton currently operates the Babine and Decker Lake Forest Products mills in Burns Lake, the only Canadian operations of the Oregon-based company.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

BC Green Party leader visits Wet’suwet’en camps at heart of pipeline conflict

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada and First Nations

Coastal GasLink repeats desire for meeting with hereditary chiefs

Coastal GasLink says they’re ready to meet with the hereditary chiefs at their convenience

Ranning Charlie acquitted of all charges

The charges included sexual assault

B.C. testing out solutions to prevent wildlife crashes

About 2,700 collisions occur each year in north-central B.C.

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Most Read