Provincial government passes on seven separate proposals for forestry resource
The provincial Department of Natural Resources is passing on seven company proposals and going back to the drawing board in its consideration of what to do with a timber resource in central Labrador.
Since the close of a call for proposals April 26, the department had whittled down seven proposals to two preferred options.
“Based on the two proposals and the additional information received in August 2013, the evaluation committee felt that the responses provided were not sufficient to the long-term sustainability of the forest resource in Labrador. Therefore, no detailed business plan was requested,” reads a statement provided by a government spokeswoman on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley.
“The department is considering making a request for new proposals and is also in discussions with other potential proponents.”
In September, then-Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall told The Telegram there were seven responses received on call for proposals for use of the Labrador timber and those proposals were still under review.
Marshall said a decision on the proposals — open to anything from sawmill operations to wood pellets to transport outside province — would be made by government this fall.
That decision has been made, with no proposal on the table considered acceptable.
It means a problem for the provincial government in terms of timeline in dealing with a long-term forestry resource, but also the wood continuing to be stacked at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project site.
The province is allowing local people to come and take cleared wood from the stacks for personal use, but the project will see half a million cubic metres of wood cleared for the reservoir alone.
Use of the bulk of that wood, with stacking started at least eight months ago, was tied in by the province to the call for proposals on the Labrador timber rights, leaving the question of what will be done with all the wood now left hanging in the political ether.
The provincial government has also yet to announce a decision on the Central timber resource that has been under review since the expropriation of the Abitibi mill.