SERM official applauds forestry amendments

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 at 12:39




A senior foresty official with Saskatchewan Environment says a window of opportunity could be closing for Northern sawmill operators.


Al Willcocks is the director of the forest ecosystems branch for the province and one of the officials working on a solution to the subsidy war with the Americans over softwood.


He says legal action taken against the U.S. is bound to go in our favour, but it could take years before U.S. duties on Canadian softwood are actually lifted meaning many local sawmills would suffer huge losses.


Willcocks says that’s why he applauds recent amendments to provincial forestry legislation.


Willcocks adds the Americans know their system of forest management is inferior to ours, but unless we convince them they’re competing in a race they can win, they won’t lift their subsidies.


Willcocks adds there is also an oversupply of softwood on the market which is driving prices down. He expects that to remedy itself when the subsidies are lifted.