At March 31, 1994 there were 2,245 registrants in the program, including market loggers (83 per cent), and the operators of small sawmills or remanufacturing plants (17 per cent).
The Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP) also provides opportunities for a considerable number of private-sector contractors who construct roads, reforest land, measure and protect the timber resource, and assist in planning forest management activities.
The SBFEP has four main objectives:
Bid proposal sales
These sales are designed to encourage and promote value-added manufacturing, and they continued to receive strong interest during 1993/94. The ministry awarded 29 bid proposal sales, providing approximately 1.8 million cubic metres of timber to remanufacturers and specialty producers. This was a increase of five proposals from 1992/93, and an increase of half a million cubic metres of timber.
Successful applicants in 1993/94 proposed $8.6 million in capital investments, to create 373 new jobs and to maintain 505 jobs. Compared to the year before, this was an increase in investment and new jobs, but a decrease in the number of jobs maintained.
Special bid proposal sales, designed to encourage small sawmills to provide lumber to remanufacturers, continued during 1993/94: the 13 that were sold provided approximately 429,000 cubic metres of timber. This was an increase from 1992/93, when four sales provided approximately 53,000 cubic metres of timber.
Support for timber sales
Most of the work required to support the program’s timber sales was done by contractors.
Accomplishments in 1993/94 included:
All forest lands on which timber has been harvested under the program will be reforested by the ministry.
During 1993/94, silviculture activities were carried out by ministry staff under the SBFEP on 100,490 hectares – a substantial increase from 72,901 hectares the year before. Staff completed 172 audits this year, compared with 204 in 1992/93. Silviculture achievements under the program are summarized in Tables K-4 and K-5.
The ministry assumes responsibility for the construction of main forest roads and bridges, for silviculture, and for other forest management requirements that are incidental to operations which yield small business revenue.
The program is managed on a self-financing basis. The SBFEP account receives all revenues, and is the source of funding for all program expenditures. Revenue in excess of the funds required for current expenditures and future silviculture obligations is returned to the province’s general revenue fund. In 1993/94, $148.4 million was returned.
A strong demand for timber is anticipated during 1994/95. The Canada/U.S. exchange rate is favorable for the export of forest products, and the continuing decrease in timber supply in western North America will cause strong demand for standing timber sold under the SBFEP.
South Moresby Implementation
Two special accounts are included under the South Moresby initiative: Forest Replacement and Forestry Compensation.
South Moresby Forest Replacement Account
The South Moresby Forest Replacement Account (SMFRA) provides economic opportunities for the people of the Queen Charlotte Islands and promotes enhanced forest management.
The account was established jointly by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia in 1988, to help offset the reduction in timber supply and the loss of forestry jobs caused by the creation of South Moresby National Park Reserve. An estimated 147,000 hectares were removed from the managed forest in the area as a result of the park’s creation.
The federal and provincial governments each deposited $12 million into the SMFRA, which was originally designed to fund activities for eight years, with a possible four-year extension. Negotiations are underway to convert the account into a long-term fund. While negotiations proceed, the management committee continues to set SMFRA’s annual budget on the basis of interest accrued on the account. The funds are intended to supplement rather than replace ongoing forestry programs.
A joint federal/provincial management committee oversees the account, but coordination and administration are vested with the staff of the Queen Charlotte Islands Forest District. This allows the program to be more sensitive to the needs of the local communities and the Islands’ forests.
SMFRA funding is limited to projects that are located on or developed for the Queen Charlotte Islands. Projects may be undertaken on any productive lands committed to long-term forest management, such as provincial timber supply areas and tree farm licences. Projects can also occur on private, First Nations, municipal or federal lands.
Eligible projects include communications, forest inventory, silviculture, research, extension and demonstration, and implementation. Priority is given to projects and treatments that provide the best combination of increased forest productivity and employment.
1993/94 Progress – Forest Replacement
During this fiscal year, accomplishments under the SMFRA program included:
The compensation settlement issue with MacMillan Bloedel Limited, the final claimant, is currently under appeal before the courts.
Forest Worker Development Program
FWDP is a three-tiered training and employment program with an entry level, a bridging level, and a local-contracting level. All three levels support training in forest improvement techniques, while developing a more community-based approach to contracting. The entry and bridging levels are a cooperative arrangement with the ministries of Skills, Training and Labour, and Social Services. Income-assistance recipients represent 75 per cent of the participants.
Project work at the entry level includes a mix of silviculture, recreation, range and engineering to give participants an introduction to as many forest work activities as possible. At the bridging level, the focus is on two or three of these activities in order to facilitate skill development. At the local-contracting level, entrants undertake a combination of project work from the ministry’s Silviculture, Recreation, Range and Engineering programs.
In addition, entry and bridging level participants:
Under the formal training component of the FWDP, 6,795 participant-days of training were achieved at entry, 3,845 days at bridging, and 690 days at the local-contracting level, for a total of 11,330 participant-days. The majority of entry- and bridging-level crews accomplished or exceeded the minimum 12 days of required training. Training topics included safety, first aid, basic forestry, map and compass, silviculture activity, and a variety of electives.
Overall participation by equity groups was 13 per cent women, 24 per cent First Nations, 10 per cent minority groups, 2 per cent disabled persons, 31 per cent youth, and 57 per cent displaced workers. Income assistance recipients made up 82 per cent of the participants at the entry and bridging levels, and 9 per cent at the local-contracting level.