B.C. Forest Sector Overview

The forest sector has long been a cornerstone of economic activity and continues to be the foundation of B.C.′s economy. Although its significance has declined as the economy has matured and diversified over the past few decades, the forest remains important.

The sector consists of a number of separate, but inter-connected activities such as planning, planting, and forest management; road-building and harvesting; wood product manufacturing (primary and secondary); pulp, paper and bio-refining; and forest product marketing.

In 2019, the forest sector was responsible for 27.4% ($11.9 billion) of B.C.’s total exports[1]; the sector is the primary employer in many parts of the province. Forestry-related activities directly support over 7,000 businesses and employ more than 50,000 people.[2]

Revenue from the harvest of trees and production of forest products fund infrastructure and government services that British Columbians depend on. 

Forests are a source of clean water, air, recreation and many ecosystem benefits. Approximately 14 percent of B.C.’s forestlands have been set aside as parks and protected areas, with additional areas under special management for values such as old growth, water, species and ecosystems at risk, wildlife habitat, scenic viewscapes and cultural features.

Approximately 95 percent of B.C.’s forests are publicly owned[5] allowing the Province to help determine where, when and how forest resources can be used for the best long-term benefit of its citizens.

B.C. is a recognized world leader in sustainable forest management, balancing economic development with leading-edge environmental practices. Learn more about B.C.’s sustainable forest management practices.

The Province also continues to encourage the advancement of wood use in architectural and structural applications to demonstrate that B.C. is a leading supplier of not only sustainable, but also innovative wood-based products and building systems. Learn more about FII’s Market Initiatives and Wood First programs.

Use the following links to learn more about forestry in B.C.: