Two forestry companies that control huge swaths of Vancouver Island have signed an affiliation agreement.
TimberWest and Island Timberlands announced Thursday an agreement that will see them share roads and other infrastructure, align best practices and co-ordinate stewardship.
According to identical press releases issued by the two parties, they will continue to be stand-alone companies with no change in ownership, but will share “corporate services.”
TimberWest and Island Timberlands will share roads, sort yards and other infrastructure, “enhance forest health” by aligning stewardship and silviculture practices, and share a “best practice approach to watershed, ecosystem, species at risk and visual quality management.”
The companies say the affiliation will also improve safety outcomes and expand recreation access and trail connections.
“As affiliated companies, TimberWest and Island Timberlands can each do more to plan and invest for the future of a stable and competitive coast forest sector,” said Jeff Zweig, TimberWest CEO, in the press release.
The companies say “no significant changes” are expected to harvest levels or workforce, and say both will continue to process logs.
“This new affiliation will position both companies for long-term success under strong Canadian ownership to the benefit of our many stakeholders and the communities where we live and work,” said Darshan Sihota, Island Timberlands president, in the press release.
According to the companies’ websites, TimberWest has 325,400 hectares of private forest land on Vancouver Island and Island Timberlands has 254,000; together, they control about one-fifth of the Island’s total area.
TimberWest is owned by British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, while Island Timberlands’ limited partners are BCI and investing entities managed by Alberta Investment Management Corporation.