I have been in the forestry sector for the last 54 years, of which 20 were in my own business, both in production and marketing for local consumption and export.
I have found much of the present legislation the government wants to enact impractical. With the diverse use of timber in industry it is not compulsory for all to be dried and stacked. What is the technical or economic benefit to the consumer? This places an additional burden on the producer for stacking timber, eg wood for the local market. Sizes 2×3 to 12×12, are structural sizes for timber used for over a century and there has not been any need for drying.
These proposals show a lack of knowledge by those in the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) advising government. Timber used for boardwalk has always been fresh cut, dressed and exported to the US, never stacked and dried, and it has stood up to weather conditions to the satisfaction of overseas buyers.
If all wood has to be stacked has any evaluation been done of the costs entailed and the expense to the industry as a result of holding stocks for a number of months?
GFC has recommended measures to combat the movement of timber when dried. The movement of timber reduces the widths marginally and hardly any in thickness, therefore structural sizes should not be stacked to dry.
The GFC should seek the advice of persons who work timber in Guyana. On the aspect of the treatment of timber – Crabwood, Silverballi, Hububalli, Determa and Simarupa have stood the test of time without treatment – why incur this cost now?
The policy also stresses that lumber yards should have hard floors; to my mind this means a concrete floor. We are not living in Europe.
While businesses have a clean environment if the authorities are looking for a concrete floor many of us will close overnight. In Parika and riverain areas for instance they cut and sell direct, no concrete floor.
On stocking, if this is to be done totally all operations will cease for 8 months.
Are the regulations only meant for companies with a large capital; where does the small company get capital to cover this holding stock? Are local Guyanese companies not part and parcel of the forestry sector in this country?
The policy is giving preference to bandmill operations; this would put the chain saw operators virtually out of business.
It also notes that there is too much waste and overcutting and suggests that 4″ be the minimum size, but operators would have to cut 4