New Forestry Funding, Canada and US

Recent announcements by Canadian federal and provincial governments for forestry funding in technology and innovation as well as employment, and by the US Department of Agriculture, will inject much-needed investment into worthwhile timber-related projects, Canada’s federal Government announced the extension of its program to support the growth of overseas markets for Canada’s forest industry, Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay said April 8 at the Council of Forest Industries convention in Prince George, BC.

Findlay says the program will receive an additional $8.9 million.
“By diversifying markets for our forest products and enhancing competitiveness for Canada’s forest industry, we are helping Canadian producers to prosper and supporting jobs and opportunities for Canadians.”
Minister Findlay also highlighted the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to drive innovation, accelerate the forest industry’s transformation, and create and protect jobs in the forest sector.
The Expanding Market Opportunities Program helps Canadian producers diversify markets and market segments for forest products, build business relationships across the world, and enhance competitiveness and prosperity for Canada’s forest industry. This renewed commitment is part of Canada’s comprehensive strategy for enhancing innovation and competitiveness in Canada’s forest industry.
Canada is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of forest products, providing jobs for more than 200,000 Canadians. Since 2007, Canada has invested more than $1.8 billion in it’s forest sector, said the federal government press release.
In the US, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced, also April 8, the awarding of over US$9 million to expand and accelerate wood energy and other wood product markets. The federal funds will leverage US$22 million in investments from partners, resulting in a total investment of US$31 million in 23 states.

New Forestry Funding

This year over 100 proposals were received for the Wood Innovations grant program, highlighting the expanding use of wood as a renewable energy source and as a building material. The awarded funds will stimulate the use of hazardous fuels from National Forest System lands and other forested lands to promote forest health while simultaneously generating rural jobs, according to the USDA press release.
“Working with our partners, the Forest Service is promoting deployment of new technologies, designed to support new market opportunities for wood energy and innovative wood building materials,” said Vilsack.
For more information on the grant and cooperative agreement program, visit
The Secretary also announced a new partnership agreement between the USDA and the Softwood Lumber Board to help coordinate research, demonstration, and market development for innovative wood building technologies in the built environment. Through cooperative planning and execution of research and promotional activities, the USDA and SLB will strive to create jobs in rural communities, expand wood use in the built environment, and stimulate demand for forest products.

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Back in Canada, the Government of British Columbia announced April 9 that it is investing $6.2 million to support the forest sector in expanding global markets for BC wood products.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson made the announcement also while attending the Council of Forest Industries annual meeting in Prince George, BC.

Canada and US

This funding is being made available to nine industry trade associations that deliver market development programs on behalf of government and industry. Association activities will focus on expanding markets for BC’s solid wood products, with investment priorities reflecting evolving market opportunities in Asia, the US, and Europe. Activities will be delivered on a cost-shared basis, with additional funding provided by industry and the federal government, through Natural Resources Canada.
BC’s contribution is being managed through Forestry Innovation Investment, that province’s market development agency for forest products.
In 2014, BC exported $5.8 billion in softwood lumber exports, said the BC government press release.
Still in BC, Premier Christy Clark and Minister Thomson stood up for forest contractors and the communities they live in when they announced April 9 a $1 million top up to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund (FSPCF).
This Fund was created in March 2012 by the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund Regulation and was seeded with a contribution of $5 million provided by the provincial government. Its purpose was to provide relief to timber harvesting contractors that provided Forestry Services and were not paid for those services because the recipient of the Services became Insolvent. Forestry Services are limited to those defined in BC Regulation 3/2013, Section 3, and must have been provided to a tenure holder under the Forest Act.
Forest contractors run small, locally owned businesses that create jobs throughout BC’s rural communities. When these companies are left in the lurch by a tenure holder that becomes insolvent, the whole community suffers, said a Truck Loggers Association (TLA) press release celebrating the additional funding.
The FSPCF Advisory Board is made up of individuals who represent and were nominated by members of the major stakeholder groups involved in the harvesting of timber in BC. These stakeholder groups and their representatives are:
Coastal Logging Contractors;
Interior Logging Contractors;
Major Coastal Licensees;
Major Interior Licensees; and,
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Under this program, forestry sector contractors have the ability to secure payments for work done under contract by making a charge on accounts or registering a lien on forest products that have been delivered to licensees. A lien is a right to keep property belonging to another person until a debt is paid. Contractors can register a lien using the Personal Property Registry at BC Registry Services.
“Since it came online in 2013 there have been four claims processed,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director.
According to the government press release, over half of timber harvesting in BC is done by forestry contractors.