The New Brunswick Forest Industry/Breif to the New Brunswick Ministries of Agriculture & Natural ResourcePublisher: N.B. Federation of Wood Producers, Canada
Year Published: 1977
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX300
A discussion of the history and current situation in regards to the forestry industry and small woodlots in New Brunswick.
Abstract: These two documents provide a general outline of the history and present situation of the forest industry as well as the specific needs and demands of the small woodlot owner in New Brunswick. The early settlers, military and merchant men, quickly recognised the potential of the timberland. They sought the backing of the British commercial and military interests. It was a boom period; immigrants were brought in to man the growing rush for resources. As Navy need for ship masts declined, the industry shifted to small saw mills for lumber. In recent years the pulp and paper industry has assumed the major sector. Presently, it controls 63% of the forest land of New Brunswick. The annual cut is now exceeding re-growth potential. For the last ten years most of the harvest (60%) has been on Crownland with only 13% from small freeholds. Yet it has been demonstrated that the small wood producer is an important resource for the industry and can manage his land much better than do the large corporations operating on their own or Crownland. Companies prefer to use Crownland because the cost is less than what must be paid for wood cut by private owners. The lower cost is due to extremely low Government "stumpage" rates. As a result it is often easier to sell one's land and work for a company than to try to work one's land and sell the harvest. Where woodlot owners have banded together they have often had to face refusal of contracts for wood by the companies. "The underlying issue in this whole struggle is how the wealth generated from the province's resources is shared. "The N.B. Federation of Wood Producers asks that private contracts be negotiated before Crown cutting rights are given out by Government; they ask for procedures for compulsory arbitration in disputes; they ask for the necessary application and amendments of the Forest Products Act, and they ask for an
immediate schedule of meetings for negotiation between producers, industry, and government.