Canfor has acquired the troubled Meadow Creek Cedar forest license.
District forests manager Garth Wiggill was unavailable for an interview this week, but the ministry confirmed Canfor bought the license, which has an annual allowable cut of 96,513 cubic meters.
The ministry also said $251,000 in outstanding debts to the Crown were settled during the transfer, and Canfor will assume Meadow Creek Cedar’s outstanding obligations on the land base.
However, the property in Cooper Creek where Meadow Creek Cedar’s sawmill burned down in 2014 remains under the ownership of Dale Kooner.
Canfor spokeswoman Corinne Stavness said they have an agreement to sell approximately 60 per cent of the tenure volume to Porcupine Wood Products of Salmo, subject to government approval, and will retain the remaining 40 per cent for their own use.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
Canfor previously owned the now-demolished sawmill at Slocan, but its closest sawmills are now in Radium and Elko. Canfor shut down a Canal Flats operation last month. It purchased all three mills from Tembec three years ago.
The Meadow Creek Cedar license has twice been placed on cancellation notice due to mismanagement, but the order was lifted pending the sale.
“It is very unfortunate that the sale does not include the mill, which means we will be seeing the logs shipped right out of the area, losing any local employment opportunities for processing,” said rural Kaslo regional district director Aimee Watson.
“In an economically depressed area that was further damaged by the management of this license, the sale of the tenure without the mill is not good news.”
Still, Watson said she and Kaslo mayor Suzan Hewat are eager to meet the new owners to discuss their plans regarding both jobs and management of the tenure.
“We still hope to see the tenure properly managed and that the resources pulled from the area provide an economic benefit to the people of North Kootenay Lake,” she said.