Canadian Forest Service Publications

An Economic Assessment of the Western Redcedar Industry in British Columbia. 2018. Gregory, C., McBeath, A., Filipescu, C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Victoria, British Columbia. Information report FI-X-017. 38 p.

Year: 2018

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39066

Language: English

Series: Information Report (CWFC - CFS)

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


Western redcedar is one of the most valuable commercial tree species in British Columbia. The western redcedar industry generates over $1 billion in economic activity annually and provides nearly 1900 jobs. Recent trends indicate a relative decline in the demand for redcedar products. British Columbia has the world’s largest supply of standing redcedar, hence the renewed interest in better understanding the redcedar economy. In addition, published information on the economics of western redcedar is sparse. This report presents a compilation of currently available data and an analysis of trends to inform stakeholders, government, and industry. In addition, information gaps are identified to guide future research and data collection. We have not conducted a formal economic impact assessment; rather, we have surveyed the major sources of revenue and employment and report on how these contribute to the economy. Overall, lumber production has the largest impact, generating over $750 million in 2014, followed by shake and shingle production, which generated an estimated $175 million. With the uncertainty surrounding world economies, diversification of trade partners is required to ensure a thriving redcedar industry.

Plain Language Summary

Western redcedar is the provincial tree of British Columbia. Its social, ecological and economic importance makes western redcedar a valuable tree species for Canadian forests, forest-dependent communities, Indigenuous people and Canadian forest sector. This report compiles existing information and data on the economic activity of the western redcedar industry. It is estimated the over $1 billion in economic output is generated annually and approximately 1,900 jobs depend on western redcedar. Major sources of revenue and employment were analyzed in the report, with lumber production having the largest impact. This report will inform policies to support sustainable production of forest products, market diversification and other measures to ensure a thriving western redcedar sector.