Individuals, small companies and First Nations will have further opportunities to benefit from forestry after British Columbia (BC) announced new woodlots for the next three years.

The province will offer 60-75 woodlots, increasing the total number of woodlots in the province to 900 by 2011.

“Expansion of the woodlot licence programme is good news,” said Brian McNaughton, Federation of BC Woodlot Associations general manager. “It’s gratifying that the Province realises how important it is to create opportunities for continued local investment in new, community-based, forestry businesses.”

Woodlot licences are small area-based tenures combining private land with up to 800ha of Crown land on the coast and 1,200ha of Crown land in the interior area of the province.

Some 828 woodlots are currently active, covering 546,000ha in BC.