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Three-Generation Logging Contractor Closes, Putting Vancouver Island Community In Peril

Sep 12, 2017

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W.D. Moore Logging, founded in 1928, is closing its doors this month putting 25 people out of work in their community of Winter Harbour.

“It was a difficult decision,” said Graham Lasure, owner of W.D. Moore Logging. “My family has run this company for three generations. But, like so many BC logging contractors, we just can’t make a reasonable return on our investment within the tenure oligopoly existing in BC today. Geographically, there’s only one company I can work for which makes meaningful contract negotiation impossible.” W.D. Moore Logging, which made $6 to 7 million in revenue annually, will be selling 95 pieces of equipment and removing their investment from Winter Harbour, a small community on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island.

Greg Vance, owner of the general store in Winter Harbour, gave his perspective, “The closing of W.D. Moore Logging will have a major impact on our off-season [October to May] business. The logger related business was enough to justify keeping the lights and heat on and keep limited store hours in winter.”

And on a personal note for Vance, this closure means more people leaving town. “There are plenty of fantastic, long-time W.D. Moore employees and management who are like family to us and the loss of them will be a real blow to Winter Harbour,” explained Vance.

Kevin Mason from ERA Forest Products Research takes a broader, business perspective on the closure. “There are lots of reasons why an individual business may close down,” said Mason. “However, the reality is that if profits are accruing to only one part of the supply chain—which seems to be the case here—then eventually the entire supply chain will be at risk.”

The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 480 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90 per cent of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC.