Environmental certification in the works for islands timber

  • Sep. 22, 2010 8:00 p.m.

Taan Forest and BC Timber Sales are teaming up to get Forest Stewardship Council Certification for the 270,000 hectares they are jointly managing. Taan Forest president Bob Brash said FSC certification is the highest standard in the industry and has the most advantages in the marketplace. Mr. Brash said the management changes agreed upon in the Strategic Land Use agreement means the certification is attainable. The partnership already has a lot going for it, including community and First Nations involvement, all of which are part of the criteria for certification. The certification will benefit Taan and BCTS, but also others on the islands who want to make wood products, says Mr. Brash. The chain of custody rules means that the FSC tracks wood from the forests to the shelf – products that are responsibly harvested and/or from verified recycled sources are identified with the FSC logo. Mr. Brash says certification doesn’t bring a huge price increase for log sales, but it opens up niche markets – those looking for environmentally-sound wood for their guitars, pianos and more. “These customers will stick with you when it gets tough out there in the marketplace,” Mr. Brash said. According to BCTS planning officer Terry Sullivan, applying for FSC certification is a huge technical process. He’s hoping the certification will be in place by summer 2011. “We have to demonstrate we’re meeting stringent environmental policy,” he said. BCTS already has experience with this process on the Central Coast in partnership with Interfor.

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