Forestry in British Columbia: 20 Facts

forestry in british columbia facts and infographics

Did you know that forests cover roughly 66 per cent of British Columbia’s land surface area?! It’s no wonder the province’s forests are not only a part of everyday life for many British Columbians, but also integral to their economy.

In 2020, for example, the forest sector made up a whopping 29 per cent of B.C.’s total commodity exports, valued at $11.5 billion [8].

Therefore, it isn’t a huge surprise that support for the B.C. forestry industry at home and abroad is strong. A poll done by B.C.’s Forestry Innovation Investment (BCFII) found that 97 per cent of international customers agree that B.C. forest products are a good choice for the environment [10].

B.C. has world-leading procedures ensuring that the sector operates with only the highest environmental standards. For instance, the equivalent of 12 million football fields of old-growth forest is protected in the province, land which will never be harvested by industry [13].

The long history of forestry in B.C. has contributed significantly to its government, families, and Canada as a whole. To give you an idea of just how important these forests are to the province and country, check out these 20 facts on forestry in British Columbia. Also see:


forestry in BC - number of companies based in BC supplying goods and services to forestry sector in 2019


British Columbia Forestry Facts

#1 - In 2019, there were 101,365 direct, indirect, and induced jobs through B.C.’s forestry sector [1]

#2 - As of 2019, nearly 9,900 companies based out of B.C. were in the business of supplying goods and services to the forest industry [2]

#3 - As of 2021, there were 5,315 Indigenous workers directly employed in the forest industry in B.C. [3]

#4 - In 2019, B.C.’s forest industry purchased $7 billion of goods in over 340 communities and from 120 Indigenous Nations and businesses [4]

#5 - There was $4 billion in government revenue to support health, education and more from B.C.’s forestry sector in 2019 [2]

#6 - As of 2020, 1 in 5 jobs in B.C.’s northern interior were forestry jobs [5]

#7 - Of the 204 B.C. First Nation communities, 126 have existing forestry revenue-sharing agreements as of 2022 [6]

#8 - In 2021-22, the forestry revenue-sharing program paid $58.8 million to First Nations communities across B.C. [7]

#9 - The forestry sector made up 29 per cent of B.C.’s total commodity export value, equal to $11.5 billion in 2020 [8]

#10 - In 2019, B.C.’s forest industry paid $8 billion in wages, salaries, and benefits. The sector also generated $4 billion in government revenues [2]

Forestry in British Columbia BC Facts - Number of trees planted in BC since 2018 as part of reforestation efforts v2

#11 - 1 in 4 BC manufacturing jobs were in the forest industry as of 2020 [5]

#12 - B.C. is 95 million hectares in size; 57.4 million hectares of the province's land surface area is forested terrain [9]

#13 - 97% of international customers agree that B.C. forest products are a good choice for the environment [10]

#14 - The Port of Vancouver connects the forest industry of B.C. with over 170 economies around the world [10]

#15 - As of 2021, B.C.’s forestry harvest represented only 0.2% of forested land in the province  [11]

#16 - For every tree harvested in B.C.’s forests, roughly three are planted [11]

#17 - More than 1.1 billion trees have been planted in B.C. since 2018 [12]

#18 - Since October 1987, B.C. companies must reforest harvested lands under the law [13]

#19 - 12 million football fields of old-growth forests are protected in B.C. These areas will never be harvested in forestry operations. [13]

#20 - B.C. uses a mix of over 20 different native tree species in its reforestation programs. This mix of tree species helps maintain forests’ resilience and diversity [13] 



B.C. Forestry is Sustainable

Whether you look at B.C. forestry through an economic, societal, or environmental lens, the benefits of the industry are clear.

For example, B.C. has more forests certified to third-party standards of sustainable management than any other jurisdiction in the world – besides the entirety of Canada [14]. Proof of its leadership is shown in a 2020 study that found B.C. forestry ranked incredibly high among other jurisdictions on several key sustainable forest management indicators [15].

Every Canadian can - and should - support one of the world’s best forest sectors in British Columbia, there are no ifs, ands or buts about it!

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Learn more about Canadian natural resources and why our country should be a go-to supplier of choice for forestry, energy, agricultural, aquaculture and mining products the world needs by joining us online at:

SOURCES:

1 - COFI - The Economic Impact of British Columbia’s Forest Sector. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://cofi.org/wp-content/uploads/TECHNICAL-REPORT_COFI-2019-FOREST-INDUSTRY-ECONOMIC-IMPACT-STUDY-FINAL.pdf)

2 - COFI - Contributing to a Better B.C. 2019 Forest Industry Economic Impact Study. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://www.cofi.org/wp-content/uploads/REPORT_COFI-2019-FOREST-INDUSTRY-ECONOMIC-IMPACT-STUDY-FOR-WEB.pdf)

3 - Western Economic Diversification Canada - Government of Canada supports Indigenous jobs in forestry sector. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-of-canada-supports-indigenous-jobs-in-forestry-sector-844178198.html)

4 - COFI - All British Columbia communities are forestry communities. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://cofi.org/all-british-columbia-communities-are-forestry-communities/)

5 - COFI - Forestry Jobs are Locally Grown. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://cofi.org/wp-content/uploads/Jobs-Fact-Sheet-Nov-17-2020.pdf)

6 - CBC News - First Nations in B.C. receive $63M boost in forestry revenue sharing. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-first-nations-receive-63m-boost-in-forestry-revenue-sharing-1.6432882)

7 - BC Government - B.C. increases forest revenue sharing with First Nations in step toward new fiscal relationship. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022IRR0025-000653)

8 - BC Government - 2020 BC Forest Sector - Statistics Summary. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/forestry/forest-industry-economics/economic-state/2020_bc_forest_sector_-_statistics_summary.pdf)

9 - BC Government - Revamped forest policy puts environment, people first. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FLNRO0087-002004)

10 - BCFII - BC Forests. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://www.bcfii.ca/bc-forests/)

11 - COFI - Forest Regeneration in BC. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://cofi.org/wp-content/uploads/Forest-Regeneration-Fact-Sheet-Jul-22-2021.pdf)

12 - BC Government - A billion trees planted will benefit B.C. for generations. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FLNRO0091-002141)

13 - BC Government - Reforestation in B.C. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/factsheet-reforestation-in-bc)

14 - BC Government - Forest Stewardship. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources)

15 - Gilani, H.R.; Innes, J.L - The State of British Columbia’s Forests: A Global. Comparison. Date accessed: October, 2022 (https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/11/3/316/htm)

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