British Columbia’s falling timber availability prompts West Fraser to reduce output at BC facilities

19 August 2022

Timber shortages in British Columbia have been partly blamed for West Fraser’s decision to curtail production at two sawmills and a plywood plant in the province.

The company has announced it is permanently curtailing approximately 170 million board feet of combined production at its Fraser Lake and Williams Lake sawmills and approximately 85 million square feet of plywood production at its Quesnel plywood mill.  The curtailments will be realized through the elimination of one shift at each facility.

A total of 147 positions will be impacted by the decision. 

“Access to available timber is an increasing challenge in British Columbia and ongoing transportation constraints have impaired the company’s ability to reliably access markets,” West Fraser said.

“These capacity reductions are necessary to better align West Fraser’s operating capacity with available timber and transport availability.”

The province shared timber harvesting statistics earlier this year which suggested the BC timber harvest could reduce by 12% in 2022 to 40 million m3, a reduction of 5 million m3.

Reasons for the reduction include logging deferrals, wildlife habitat protection and wildfires.