By: Korie Marshall

Rumours persist that Carrier Lumber has withdrawn from discussions with the Valemount and McBride Community Forests over a possible transfer of forest license in the Robson Valley. But neither Bill Kordyban, President of Carrier Lumber, nor the Ministry will confirm any offer has been removed from the table.

When asked on Monday, August 11, if Carrier has withdrawn an offer from the talks with the Community Forests, Kordyban would only say “At this point I still haven’t anything to report. We are still chatting, but I really am not in a position to be able to say anything other than that.”

Greig Bethel, spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, told the Goat in late July the proposal was still being reviewed, and there was no timeline for a formal decision. According to ministry staff, Carrier has not formally removed their offer.

After last week’s public information meeting held by McBride Community Forest Corporation, manager Marc von der Gonna would only pass on a statement made by Board Chair Rick Thompson. In the statement, Thompson said “MCFC continues to have discussions with Carrier Lumber Ltd, the Province and others regarding various business opportunities. Such discussions will remain in camera until such time as there is anything to announce. Earlier MFLNRO asked that we provide evidence of broad public support. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the approximately 200 individuals who provided us with signed letters of support.”

In June, McBride Mayor Mike Frazier made a recommendation to the ministry about the apportionment of the Robson Valley Timber Supply, saying “The transfer of these licences (to the McBride and Valemount Community Forests) is critical to the socio-economic future of the Robson Valley.” He recommended Community Forest Agreements be allotted just over 65 per cent of the total volume in the Robson Valley Timber Supply Area. The decision on the apportionment is not expected until the fall.