Currently, a wood fiber shortage in British Columbia (BC) is impacting the forest products industry in the region and, on the surface, the shortage simply doesn’t make sense. As one of the top-producing wood baskets in the world, the availability of high-quality wood raw materials in BC is widely known. As is often the case, the current situation stems from a combination of changing market conditions and entities with competing interests that have been hogtied by government regulation to the point of gridlock.
Unlike much of the working forestland throughout the US, Canadian forests are predominantly state-owned. Under this structure, the government classifies participants in the forest products industry as either “primary” or “secondary” fiber users.