To the editor,
Re: Pedro Chang's "Blackmail Note" around the Abercrombie Pulp Mill and Forestry (March 5).
Blackmail, you say?
Well, Mr.Chang speaks of Northern Pulp as a critical engine driving the overall forest industry in Nova Scotia and were they to close down, the spinoff impact would be devastating to this sector. Pretty ominous, we better do as they say, don't want that to happen.
In the fall of 2012, Canadian Forest Industries Magazine stated that the most expensive pulp and paper is made in the North American northeast. So their "too high wood cost component" is to be expected. That's one of the problems of running a pulp mill in the northeast.
The price they pay the woodlot owner and operator for the raw material is about the same as it was in 1995. And it sounds like they want to pay even less! Large industry, the world over, continues to disregard the basics of business principles, since business began. They want to run an unviable business with government (our) money and the Supply/Demand/Price triangle be damned.
That mill has given us a lot, but we're not without our contribution – a strong workforce, the ability to supply the goods and services they need and most importantly we've given up our forest. They have to work very hard right now to find wood, because wood is so hard to find. It's been clear-cut with little regard for the future, besides the tree planting and thinning of which Mr. Chang speaks. And that effort is now proving to be inadequate. The forest cannot keep up with the speed of harvesters today.
It sounds like if we want the pulp mill to make money, the rest of us have to take less. Where's the growth in that for the people? If that mill closed, I'd be one of the people most directly affected as my work is providing raw material to the industry. But how much more can we give? I'm ready to see what a change would look like. We won't dry up and blow away. We'll buckle down and find a way out. Those of us out in the woods are working with 1995 dollars, we'll be OK and so will you.