GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL —Timber is being trucked from central Newfoundland to areas outside the region, and Grand Falls-Windsor council would like to see something done about it.
The area’s timber resource was once harvested primarily for the Abitibi pulp and paper mill. It helped sustain the local economy.
When you see a timber resource that’s been utilized by central Newfoundland for 100 years, and all of a sudden it is being trucked out of here and we are no longer getting any benefit, that is a concern to us.” — Mayor Barry Manuel
Since the paper mill closed in 2009, Mayor Barry Manuel says council has been lobbying and working with government to revitalize the region’s forest industry.
The desire of the town council is to use that timber resource to the benefit of central Newfoundland.
“These projects that have continued to surface are things we hope will get off the ground, so that you would have the woods operation here being active — you would have people working in the woods, you would have the service industry locally benefitting from that and the economy would take a boost,” he said.
A proposed biofuels project for Botwood has been allocated 280,000 cubic metres of fiber, according to council.
However, a lot of timber gets trucked out of the area to feed Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, as well as sawmills elsewhere.
“When you see a timber resource that’s been utilized by central Newfoundland for 100 years, and all of a sudden it is being trucked out of here and we are no longer getting any benefit, that is a concern to us,” Manuel said.
“We have no issue with these sawmills or Kruger, or anybody else,” he said. “It is just there is plenty of timber in other areas of the province for those companies to be able to utilize.”
The mayor said there are opportunities to explore using the timber in central Newfoundland for the benefit of that region’s economy.
“We know the wood is there,” he said. “We feel that if a viable business opportunity opens up, then we should be able to access that timber to make it happen.”