Establishment of the Woodlot Product Development Council [WPDC] was supported by a majority of woodlot licensees who voted 4 to 1 in favour of forming the Council on March 31, 1997. Corky Evans, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food appointed the executive of the Council in October 1997.
Although the Council is a separate and distinct organization, it works in direct association with the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations to provide support for goals and initiatives of all woodlot licensees in the province. All registered holders of a woodlot licence are members of the Woodlot Product Development Council.
The primary purpose of the Council is to promote the positive image of the woodlot industry, and its products, throughout the province. The Council distributes information to promote the activities of the Federation and the provincial Woodlot Licence Program. The Council educates both the general public and buyers about the woodlot industry and the benefits the industry provides.
The Council provides support for programs and activities that simplify administrative procedures and regulations for woodlot licensees and enhance the woodlot industry.
The Council administers a fund derived from the $0.25/m3 levy on Crown timber collected from each woodlot licensee through the powers granted to Council under the Farming and Fishing Industries Development Act.
2013 WPDC STRATEGIC PLAN
What is the 25 cents per cubic meter levy?
In March 1997, the Woodlot Licensees of BC passed a plebiscite by a vote of 78% in support of developing a Council to collect and administer 25 cents per cubic meter of Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) from each licensee. The Council was established in January 1998 and developed a Memorandum of Understanding cementing a strong working agreement between the Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations and the Council. The purpose of the Council is to provide financial support for Woodlot Licensee initiatives in the Province of BC.
The levy is the only sustainable fund for woodlot licensees in BC. It supports work on stumpage appraisal issues, streamlining administration and communications.
Where is your 25-cent levy going and how is the fund spent?
Annually, a questionnaire is sent out to all woodlot licensees in the province, asking for input and direction as to how to prioritize spending of the levy money. The survey results are presented to the directors of the Council and the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations. A joint steering committee, with representatives from the FBCWA and the WPDC, develops an annual work plan and budget.
Who administers the fund?
Seven volunteer directors who are all woodlot licensees administer the fund. To ensure that the Board of Directors is composed of members representing all areas of the province, Council seeks directors from each of the six old Forest regions and a director from the Peace. The forest regions are Cariboo, Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Vancouver. In addition, two staff personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Forests provide supportive advice to the Board. A paid coordinator provides support to the volunteer executive of the WPDC, the FBCWA, and all woodlot licensees.
Is it worth it?
It is important to recognize that for years, the FBCWA has been functioning on the hard work and dedication of some very committed volunteers. As with any volunteer group, the desire, dedication and mostly the energy of those people is limited due to other commitments for their time.
With the growing size of the Woodlot program (800 licensees), increased regulations and bureaucracy, and a decreasing Federation bank account balance, it became very clear that a means to remove the burden on the volunteers was required.
In order to ensure that woodlot licensees have a strong and united voice in the province, and a more effective means of getting things done, the fund was established. The funds provide financial support to identified areas that are crucial to the viability of woodlot management in BC.
WPDC Board of Directors
There have been a number of changes to the organizational structure of the Woodlot Product Development Council (WPDC).
Originally when the WPDC was formed in 1998, the Board of Directors was comprised of eight voting directors, six selected from the woodlot licensees, one appointed member from the processing sector and one appointed from the government. There was also an appointed non-voting government liaison. The position of the appointed member from the processing sector has been vacant for a number of years. The two government members are Greg Tegart, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Dave Haley, Ministry of Forests.
In April 2003, government made a decision as follows. “Cabinet has decided that government will no longer make appointments to most agencies, including industry development councils.” What this means to the WPDC is that Greg Tegart and Dave Haley are no longer officially appointed to the Council. Both have stated their willingness to continue supporting the WPDC in a non-voting capacity. Council has decided to add one more woodlot licensee as a voting member to the Board of Directors.
To ensure that the Board is composed of members representing all areas of the province, Council has decided to include directors from each of the six old Forest Region boundaries and a director for the Peace. The Forest Regions are Cariboo, Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Vancouver.
Each directorship is for a two-year term. In any one year, half of the directorships will be filled and half will remain, ensuring continuity from year to year.
The primary purpose of the Council is to ensure that levy funds are spent on woodlot licensee priorities that will benefit and promote the woodlot industry throughout the province of British Columbia. Funds are collected through the powers granted to the Council under the Farming and Fishing Industries Development Act.
The Council Board is currently seeking nominations from woodlot licensees to provide leadership to the executive management team of the WPDC in meeting the Council’s mandate.
Please note that nominations must be submitted by August 1, 2017.
WPDC Extraordinary Project Proposals Application
For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Board of Directors for the Woodlot Product Development Council (WPDC) is commencing a pilot initiative to allocate funds to Extraordinary Projects that are not included in the joint work plan with the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (FBCWA). Eligible proponents must be one of the following: Woodlot Licensee, Woodlot Association, WPDC Board of Directors or FBCWA Board of Directors. The total amount allotted is $100,000. Initial intake for submitting applications began November 1st with no cut-off deadline for the pilot year. After the first intake of November 1, 2017, applications will continue to be received until the end of the fiscal year. In the event of competing proposals, the Board will assign the highest priority to Provincial projects that benefit the most woodlot licensees, a medium priority for regional and a lower priority for association level projects.
For more information, please contact WPDC Coordinator Cathy McClary.
Our Next Level of Success – Woodlot Business Development
The point of contact for this project is the WPDC coordinator, Cathy McClary.
Contact the WPDC
Cathy McClary, Coordinator
P.O. Box 23011
Plaza 33 Postal Outlet
Kelowna BC V1X 7K7