Industry has said salvage timber damaged from wildfire is only viable for a year or two. Angie Mindus photo

Williams Lake councillor says political pressure needed to fast track salvage wood permits

Councillor Nelson believes there is too much red tape to get through to salvage fire-damaged wood, asks mayor to call Premier Horgan

Premier John Horgan can be expecting a call from Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb.

City councillor Scott Nelson has asked the mayor to give the premier “a political jolt” in an effort that local companies gain access to salvage burned wood quicker, and also strike a deal on a fair stumpage rate.

“We are hauling green wood right now when we have thousands and thousands of hectares of burned wood in the forest that needs to come to town,” Nelson said at the council’s regular Tuesday night meeting.

“It simply doesn’t make any sense. (But) we can’t get the wood out of the forests because of Victoria.”

He said the wait to get government approval is costing the area jobs and valuable time to get the wood processed.

Read more: Wildfire salvage timber, Tolko finds hope when all seems lost

“There’s a disconnect between Williams Lake and Victoria,” said

“They’ve got to get up here and help us out. We need assistance. They are failing Williams Lake right now.”

Read more: Plateau Fire largest in B.C. history

At the council meeting, it appeared Nelson had the support of the mayor and council, who are hoping to schedule a briefing session with forestry officials to see what more could be done.

The mayor also responded favourably to Nelson’s insistence that a direct mayor-to-premier conversation is in order.

“I will call tomorrow.”

Williams Lake Tribune

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