B.C. forests minister says 75 new woodlots to be offered

B.C. Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell says the government will expand the number of woodlots to create more opportunities for individuals, First Nations and small businesses.

Bell says the province will offer up to 75 new woodlot licences over the next three years.

That would result in a total of about 900 woodlots operating in the province by 2011.

Bids have been received on three advertised tenures near Campbell River, Fort St. James and Dawson Creek.

In 2005, woodlot licensees generated an estimated $183 million in economic activity in B.C. and harvested just over three million cubic metres of timber, the minister says.

The woodlot licences combine private land with up to 800 hectares of Crown land on the Coast and 1,200 hectares of Crown land in the Interior.