The Living Forest

Babine Lake Community Forest

Small Forest Related Business:

Are you a candidate for a small forest related business in central British Columbia? If so one thing is certain. You are not going to go into the dimensional softwood lumber business, that is all taken up by the large transnational corporations. However for the right people that are opportunities making specialty wood products with spruce, fir or pine softwood or you may use hardwoods like white birch or cottonwood.

It would be a big mistake to imitate the big operators with their huge mills, feller bunchers, skidders, processers and the rest. Nope! small forestry is different – small equipment for small operations. You may say more labour and less capital cost. Sure there are lots of old skidders around but one break down can take the food off the table for a long time. Don’t make big investments in logging equipment. The chainsaw, an Alaska mill or a bandsaw mill and small flat deck trailer is the way to go. But the investing doesn’t stop there. You will need a good wood drying kiln for drying hardwood, But just having dry hardwood lumber won’t do much for you. Once the wood is dry you will need a sander and specialty equipment for making a particular wood product. That was the simple part getting the wood and making a product. Here comes the hard part, selling what you have manufactured. Another day I will talk about marketing.

If you think that making something from the forest is an attractive lifestyle then you will need a place to establish. In most of rural British Columbia acreages are available a lot of them at 2 hectares (5 acres) and this is sufficient for a small operation. The price of acreages varies a lot but something with a house and outbuildings in central British Columbia can be available for around $250,000.00 Central BC is a great place to live all you need to do is create an opportunity.

Read More