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Raw log exports hurting BC, says Wilderness Committee

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The Wilderness Committee is ringing the alarm about BC’s raw log exports. The Committee’s Torrance Coste says a record number of raw logs have been shipped overseas in the last five years.

6.6 million cubic metres worth of raw log were exported in 2013, more than six times what was being exported in the mid-1990s. Coste says exports started to spike in the late 80s and 90s because of free trade agreements like NAFTA, but there’s no accounting for the jump in the last five years. He says the province needs to crack down.

Coste says raw log exports are taking a major toll on the environment, making the industry unsustainable.

Coste says exporting raw logs also means missing out on potential processing jobs. He says provinces like Ontario have it figured out. That province supports one full time job with every 292 m3 of wood harvested, while the same job in BC take 1312 m3.

Coste says the Wilderness Committee, forest industry unions, elected officials and policy experts are calling on the province to rein in exports for the sake of the economy and the environment. The Wilderness Committee is also pushing for a ban on old-growth logging, and better protections for crucial habitat and drinking water sources.

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