I’m not sure who the “John” is who wrote this statement ahead of a Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association strategy meeting, but he thinks the planting industry is in for some crazy times in the next few years.
“Let’s not forget that these mills had far larger margins to buffer the commodity market cycles than many on the silviculture service side do. And we are looking ahead at two of the worst years for growing and planting seedlings in two decades. With this in mind anyone who intends to stay in business through the next few years has a stake in how all of us collectively behave. It seems logical and necessary then for the industry to try and make sense of the future and seek some strategies to mitigate what looks like a potentially ruinous run. Broadly stated that is the purpose of this year’s summit and I would think figuring out how to stay in business over the next few years should be a strong enough incentive for most of us to attend this meeting.
Interestingly, not all the news is bad. Looking ahead three to five years it is possible to see a dramatic shift back towards a robust silviculture sector. It won’t be the same sector. In fact it might even be better, if not just more interesting. The province’s green house gas initiative, the potential funding streams through carbon credits, the possible redistribution of tenure, new emerging industries based on bio energy and the startling possibility that properly stewarding forests might be seen as an inherently valuable if not profitable enterprise on its own all present a sunny horizon for those of us prepared and preserved to appreciate it.”
40% decline in trees in the next 2 years!
I’m in Hamilton, crashing at the house of a planter who spent the summer working at a traditional BC plateau bush-camp operation. The stories she’s telling are, of course, great. My recent eccentric tangents in the industry aside, treeplanting really still is the same coming-of-age, challenge and perseverance experience it has been for so many cohorts of young planters. But maybe that is finally set to change up in the near future.