Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Business & Politics

BC forestry’s bull-market ride could soon be over

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
November 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hanif Karmally

Until about six months ago, B.C.’s forestry companies were riding a lumber bull market. Record-high lumber prices in the U.S. had muted softwood lumber duties, and B.C. forestry companies were netting record profits. But the party may be over. …The lack of availability of logs was the main driver for us taking the downtime,” said Teal Jones CFO Hanif Karmally. …“When you’ve got scarce fibre, which pushes prices for it up, and then you’re paying duties on top of that, and your market price has declined significantly, that puts companies into the bite,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries. …It’s not lower lumber prices in the U.S. so much as high log prices in B.C. “Timber prices in British Columbia are now among the highest in North America,” [West Fraser’s James] Gorman said. …David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association, which represents logging companies, said sawmill curtailments will affect loggers, depending on how long they last.

Read More

Scheer ties sawmill troubles to Liberal tail

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
November 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Scheer

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer leveled plenty of blame against the federal Liberals for the woes B.C.’s forest industry is suffering as he paid a visit to Prince George on Monday.  “One hundred per cent,” he said when asked if there is a connection between the curtailments and layoffs the Interior’s lumber producers have recently invoked and Trudeau government policies. Companies have pinned the cutbacks in production on a lack of fibre due to the mountain pine beetle, which ate through roughly half of B.C.’s harvestable timber supply.  But Scheer said the federal government has played a role too and link the issue to Canadian-based producers ongoing quest to expand into the United States.

Read More

Doherty displeased with sawmill cutbacks as issues continue to mount on the industry

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
November 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Todd Doherty

The recent production cuts to the Conifex and West Fraser facilities across Northern BC and the Cariboo has raised some concern from Federal MP Todd Doherty. The Prince George-Cariboo representative says the industry is in a tough spot and there are many reasons why that is. …The forestry sector across Northern BC is facing some tough times and the sudden changes are creating some nervous moments. …He says it’s hard enough to get families to move up here in the first place, so more effort should be made in keeping them in our region. …Doherty is pointing the finger at Ottawa along with the federal government for not coming to the aid of the forestry sector.

Read More

Editorial: change we can’t ignore

By the Editorial Board
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The news this week that West Fraser is permanently getting rid of its third shift in its sawmills here in Quesnel and in Fraser Lake was surprising, and a little scary. With a company the size of West Fraser, it’s easy to feel a false sense of security that these things won’t affect one of our city’s largest employers. But of course, the changes to our environment are having a huge impact on the forestry industry, and West Fraser is not immune to these effects. As West Fraser told the Observer, the production cuts are due to log shortages, not market conditions (although they did concede that travelling farther afield, outside their timber supply area, for logs has become no longer economical as prices rise). And log shortages are due to … Mountain Pine Beetle, as well as the forest fires B.C. has experienced in the last two years.

Read More

Tough times for rural region

By Neil Godbout, Editor-in-Chief
The Prince George Citizen
November 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Neil Godbout

The last federal census confirmed what is painfully obvious for most longtime residents of the region. Prince George’s population is holding steady and even growing slightly but for hundreds of kilometres in every direction, the rural areas are emptying out, and fast. The news this week was devastating, for Quesnel and Fraser Lake in particular. West Fraser is permanently shutting down the third shift at its sawmills in those two communities, putting 60 employees out of work in Fraser Lake and another 75 in Quesnel. That was the second punch in the gut in as many months for Quesnel. …Factor in the significantly reduced levels of available trees to harvest, a problem that won’t improve for decades thanks to the mountain pine beetle epidemic and the increasing frequency of wildfires, and it becomes easier to understand why B.C.’s forest companies are looking beyond provincial and national borders for business opportunities.

Read More

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

By Betsy Kline
Castlegar News
November 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry workers across the Kootenays could soon launch rotating strikes as talks between the United Steel Workers and the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association have broken down. Operations in the East and West Kootenay that may be affected by the action include the Interfor Castlegar Sawmill, the Canfor Elko Sawmill, the Canfor Radium Sawmill, Canfor Woodlands, the Galloway Sawmill, Stella Jones Pole Plant in Galloway, and the Louisiana Pacific LVL/Plywood Plant in Golden. Approximately 875 Kootenay workers may be affected.

Read More

Canfor still believes in B.C., CEO says

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
November 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Don Kayne

Canfor Corp. CEO Don Kayne said Thursday the lumber and pulp and paper producer remains committed to British Columbia despite the company signing a deal to buy a majority stake in a Swedish sawmill company. Kayne said the majority of Canfor’s production continues to be in BC and the company will remain headquartered in Vancouver. Canfor has reach an agreement to buy 70 per cent of Vida Group for about $580 million. The privately-held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet. Despite the moves, Kayne said the company still remains committed to B.C., where he said the majority of Canfor’s production is still based. …”But our customers are growing and we need to keep pace with them and frankly, that’s the simple fact. …Vida also has nine value-added facilities that include premium packaging, modular housing, industrial products and energy.

Read More

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

By Jordyn Thomson
Vernon Morning Star
November 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to a Facebook post released by United Steelworkers (USW) president Pat McGregor, the Southern Interior region’s USW operations will be in official strike position on Nov. 21 at approximately 10 a.m. The USW Bargaining Committee resumed talks on Nov. 2 with the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA), an organization representing forestry employers. The committee represents USW Locals in Kamloops, Kelowna, Cranbrook and Prince George, including 2,600 members in the south region and 2,000 members in the north region. …“After making some very significant moves to break the logjam between the two parties, the industry still insisted on keeping concessions on the table and dictating conditions on bargaining,” said Bob Matters, USW Staff and lead negotiator after three days of mediation in Kelowna.

Read More

Houston sawmill operations curtailed last week

BC Local News
November 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lumber production in Houston is already being curtailed following Canfor’s recent announcement. Canfor announced Nov. 1 that lumber production in B.C. would be reduced over the fourth quarter of 2018 through a decrease in operating days. This will be achieved through immediate short-term curtailments at some facilities, along with extended downtime at Christmas. Canfor’s sawmill did not run last week, affecting most of its 319 workers. The mill will also be down on Nov. 16, 23 and 30, 2018. “We are curtailing our operations over the short term due to log supply challenges following another difficult wildfire season, uncompetitive log costs and declining lumber prices,” said Michelle Ward, a spokesperson for Canfor, last week.

Read More

How will the loss of a shift at West Fraser impact the city of Quesnel?

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
November 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, while acknowledging the impact on some of the employees at the West Fraser sawmill as a result of a lost shift, says there won’t be a big impact to the city. “There isn’t a net impact on the City’s revenues, because the mill will still be running … so from a financial perspective this does not create any harm to the city’s finances.” We asked Simpson if Quesnel has started making adjustments to the new forest industry. “We started to make the transition adjustments that we’ve needed over the last few years. Unfortunately the previous administrations chose not to do the longer term work… Simpson says West Fraser has indicated to the city that they will be making every effort to accommodate those workers within the West Fraser operations throughout BC

Read More

Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. receives 2018 Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Award

By Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
Cision Newswire
November 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CHICAGO –  Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. has won a 2018 Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Award for its work managing more than 14.5 million acres of FSC-certified forest, the largest contiguous area certified in the world. …”Alberta-Pacific manages the largest contiguous FSC-certified area in the world and our team works hard each and every day to operate in the most environmentally responsible and socially beneficial manner possible.”  The FSC Leadership Award recognizes excellence in the use of FSC certified products and commitment to responsible forest management. These annual awards recognize individuals and organizations dedicated to protecting forests through FSC. …the FSC Leadership Awards continue to recognize excellence in green building, while also celebrating other products, organizations and leaders in the FSC community.

Read More

Rusted disappointed with sawmill curtailments, NDP’s vision on forestry sector

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
November 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad

Northern BC MLA John Rustad says it’s disturbing to see the recent sawmill reductions taking place in Quesnel and Fort Saint James. Conifex announced a 15% cut back on lumber production starting November 26th followed by another curtailment on Christmas while the West Fraser outlet will cut a shift impacting 75 workers during the first half of 2019. …BC’s forestry sector has been anything but a priority for John Horgan’s NDP government according to Rustad who teed off on the production reductions in the Nechako Valley and the Cariboo. He believes at the end of the day, it all comes down to cost. “British Columbia needs to take a solid look at our cost structure so that we’re competitive.” 

Read More

Politicians Weigh In On Mill Curtailments

By Cheryl Jahn
CKPG News
November 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NORTHERN BC – “We’re in for some trying times.” That’s how MP Todd Doherty described what the sawmilling communities around the region are looking at. …The companies are citing things like log supply due to two major wildfires, log costs, the protracted softwood lumber dispute and current market conditions. But the MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie has some less-than-kind comments for the lumber giants. “The forest companies need to be sympathetic to these communities, understand these communities; it’s not the bottom line for these communities, it’s their life. And for the forest companies to be backing the money that they’ve made over the last number of years, investing heavily into the southern United States with the profits they’ve made from British Columbia, I think they owe an explanation to the British Columbia communities that are being affected by this.”

Read More

All major forest companies in B.C. cut production

By Nelson Bennett
The Prince George Citizen
November 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hundreds of sawmill workers are being laid off in B.C., some of them permanently, despite recent record profits made by B.C. forestry companies, which continue to expand south of the border. The problem is not lumber prices or softwood lumber tariffs – although lumber prices have fallen in recent months – but rather high log prices and low supplies in British Columbia, a result of the Mountain pine beetle, which ate through roughly half of B.C.’s harvestable timber supply. All major forestry companies in B.C. have announced curtailments at their B.C. sawmill for the fourth quarter. In the case of West Fraser Timber, the curtailments are permanent. …Meanwhile, Tolko recently announced it is taking a 50% stake in a lumbermill in Mississippi, and Canfor announced November 9 that it is buying a sawmill in Soiuth Carolina for $110 million.

Read More

Canfor to Acquire Majority Interest in VIDA Group of Sweden

By Canfor Corporation
Cision Newswire
November 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corporation announces that it has entered into an agreement to purchase 70% of the VIDA Group of Sweden for a purchase price of 3,990 million Swedish Krona (approximately CAD$580 million) on a cash and debt free basis, which includes CAD$125 million (70%) of normalized working capital. …”With the acquisition of VIDA, we are excited to become a truly international manufacturer and provider of wood product solutions for our global customers,” said Don Kayne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canfor. “This transformational growth will allow Canfor to further diversify and secure a worldwide fibre supply to meet the growing demand of our customers for high quality wood products.” VIDA is Sweden’s largest privately owned sawmill company, operating nine sawmills with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet. All of the sawmills produce spruce and pine products, and are strategically located in high quality and sustainable fibre regions of Sweden.

Read More

More thought needed before new sawmill breaks ground in Port Alberni

Letter by Mike Wright
Alberni Valley News
November 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is apparently good news that a new sawmill is coming to Port Alberni. It is interesting to hear the new owners regard Port Alberni as the place “where it all started” insofar as sawmills, logging, and the forestry industry are concerned. That may be of some importance to those with a nostalgic historical bent for the machine age, however it has no resonance for many more, and certainly has no bearing on anything substantial. …It has been suggested that Port Alberni would be better off without courting such heavy industries. I’m not saying this project should not go ahead, it may be the best thing since sliced bread… I think a bit of consideration for the environment and public health is still warranted. Some widening of the discussion is always a good way to obtain the social contract that modern corporations seek before breaking ground.

Read More

West Fraser Announces Production Reduction in British Columbia

By West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Cision Newswire
November 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Today West Fraser announced it will permanently curtail approximately 300 million board feet of combined lumber production at its Fraser Lake and Quesnel Sawmills.  The curtailment will be realized through the elimination of the third shift at each sawmill. The reduction in lumber production is expected to impact approximately 60 employees at Fraser Lake and 75 employees at Quesnel Sawmill over the first and second quarter of 2019.  The Company expects to mitigate the impact on affected employees by offering them work opportunities at other West Fraser operations. British Columbia faces a well‑documented timber supply shortage owing to the devastating Mountain Pine Beetle infestation.  In anticipation of this decline, West Fraser has invested in excess of $500 million in its B.C. assets to improve the safety and competitiveness of its mills to attain maximum value from the available timber resource.  Today’s decision better aligns West Fraser’s production with current timber supply.

Read More

Miller Western visits Woodlands Council

By Taryn Brandell
The Whitecourt Star
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woodlands County Council received an update from a representative of Miller Western Forest Products regarding haul routes and road maintenance. Lyle Battenfelder, director of finance at Miller Western and Brian Colbourne, operations Supt. at Miller Western, provided council with updates regarding new ownership under Atlas and a project regarding a new crane. …Woodlands County council members expressed concerns they have received from local residents regarding unsafe driving by the company’s log trucks. …Colbourne said that in the last few years, Miller Western has issued GPS units in their log trucks. “It gives us a better ability to track the offenders when we get calls,” he explained.

Read More

Babine mill workers suspend strike

BC Local News
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers at the Babine Forest Products Mill in Burns Lake have suspended their strike as their union the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 prepares to enter mediation with management. “We have stopped our overtime and rotating strikes while we’re in mediation with the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association,” Brian O’Rourke, President of Local 1-2017 told Lakes District News on Nov. 5. The mediation is scheduled to happen Nov. 14-16 in Kelowna. …Local 1-2017 Vice-President Paul French pointed out that “the union’s 72-hour strike notice is still in effect. We’re in a legal position to call a strike if need be. We’re trying to avoid a strike [but we’re] also showing the seriousness of the situation. We’re not giving away things for free.” “Ideally we would like to have a fair collective agreement that our membership can accept without any concessions on the table,” O’Rourke said.

Read More

Conifex announces a temporary curtailment in operations at Fort St. James mill

BC Local News
November 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conifex announced they will be temporarily curtailing their operations at their Fort St. James Mill for at least four weeks starting Monday. “We have made the difficult decision to temporarily curtail our Fort St. James sawmill in Q4 due to the combined impact of increasing log costs, deteriorating log quality as the availability of commercially viable mountain pine beetle timber reaches an end, falling lumber prices, and punitive lumber export duty impositions,” says Ken Shields, Conifex’s Chair and CEO. According to Sandy Ferguson, VP of Corporate Affairs and Business Development with the company, recent labour issues are not a factor in the decision to halt operations. She told BlackPress on a phone interview that between 180 and 200 employees are affected by the decision. …Tolko recently curtailed operations at their Quesnel Quest Wood sawmill this October for similar reasons in what is becoming a concerning trend in the regional forestry industry.

Read More

Forestry

Concerned citizens aim to protect N. Cowichan municipal forest reserve from logging

By Sarah Simpson
The Cowichan Valley Citizen
November 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Icel Dobell’s aim is to preserve all 5,000 hectares of North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve. …“Many people don’t realize that the municipal forests are owned by the public. Most people think they were owned by private companies and that they have no say,” Dobell said. …Members of Where Do We Stand met with senior staff at the municipality this week to talk about the future of the forests and whether the less than $600,000 annual profit made from them was worth the active logging. …“We’re not protesting, we’re requesting a pause in logging in all of our municipal forests while there’s still time,” Dobell explained.

Read More

Overhaul of B.C. environmental assessment will fail: scientists

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
November 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

George Heyman

The B.C. government’s overhaul of its environmental assessment regime is in danger of failing to accomplish what it promises – to restore public confidence in the way government manages natural resources, and to protect the environment. That conclusion comes from a group of independent academic environmental scientists who have torn apart the proposed new Environmental Assessment Act that was tabled earlier this month. …Environment Minister George Heyman tabled the new act to replace a set of rules written by the B.C. Liberal government in 2002. …What the bill fails to do is fix fundamental flaws that exist in B.C.’s environmental-assessment process today, say the more than 180 university academics and science professionals. …The proposed B.C. Environmental Assessment Act will be called for debate on Tuesday.

Read More

Threatened frog re-discovered in Delta Nature Reserve

By Grace Kennedy
North Delta Reporter
November 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This October, students on a field trip with the Burns Bog Conservation Society saw an unusual type of frog and took a photo. Now, after having the photo analyzed by the biologists in the provincial government, the conservation society has found out it’s a red-legged frog — an endangered species that was believed to have disappeared from Delta by the late 1990s. “For me, this was an amazing example of how you can sometimes have something really rare and special right under your nose. You just have to be looking for it,” said Mark Robertson, education and research coordinator for the conservation society. Northern red-legged frogs range from the California to Haida Gwaii, making their home in cool, forested regions.

Read More

Report card for professional reliance experiment

By Jim Hilton
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…This fourth report by the Environmental Law Centre on professional reliance at the University of Victoria was requested in the fall of 2017 by the new NDP/Green party came out in July of this year. …Battle lines are forming with Council of Forest Industries (COFI), calling for the report to be scrapped, while environmental organizations like the BC Coalition For Forestry Reform (BCCFR) is calling for all of the recommendations to be implement immediately. In order to reduce the political posturing, I suggest a review of the ELC report that came out in 2015 after more than a decade of implementing “reduced civil service and red tape” forestry experiment and before the election of a new minority government. …The focus was to shift from reliance on government bureaucrats to professionals in the private sector. …This was the “new era of professional reliance” or sometimes called “results-based forestry” when discussing the forest industry.

Read More

Study aims to shed light on the elusive wolverine in B.C.’s south coast region

The Canadian Press in the Province
November 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — A new project aims to find out more about the life and lifestyle of the ghost of the deep forests of British Columbia, the wolverine. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation along with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC will undertake a project to study the range, movements, and habitat of wolverines in the south coast region, including Squamish. Brian Springinotic of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation says it is important to study these creatures because human activity and climate change may be having a significant impact on them. It is also important to understand what and how far ranging those impacts are, he says.

Read More

‘It blows my mind’: How B.C. destroys a key natural wildfire defence every year

By Bethany Lindsay
CBC News
November 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last year, 12,812 hectares of B.C. forest was sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate. It’s an annual event — a mass extermination of broadleaf trees mandated by the province. The eradication of trees like aspen and birch on regenerating forest stands is meant to make room for more commercially valuable conifer species like pine and Douglas fir. But experts say it also removes one of the best natural defences we have against wildfire, at a time when our warming climate is helping make large, destructive fires more and more common. “It blows my mind that nobody is talking about this,” said James Steidle, a member of the anti-glyphosate group Stop the Spray B.C. “The experts know this stuff. They’ve known about this stuff for decades, but it’s just not being translated into reality.”

Read More

MLA Dan Ashton backs Penticton group trying to stop logging near recreation area

By Jordyn Thomson
Pentiction Western News
November 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Support is continuing to flood in for the Carmi Trails Recreation Group’s initiative to stop the logging slated for near the Pine Loop, Squirrel Loop and Fir Loop trails located 10 minutes outside of Penticton.  Neda Joss, one of the organizers with the group, said that there was a full house at their meeting on Nov. 12 that outlined B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) plans regarding the cut blocks in the area, and what she and others had learned on a guided field trip with BCTS on Oct. 12. The clear cut would see the widening of these recreational trails for logging trucks to access the area, something Joss and others are against because it would threaten the natural landscape of the trails. “We went through a PowerPoint presentation and filled people in on what BCTS had proposed to us on Oct. 12.,” said Joss.

Read More

Province not doing enough for forestry sector, say Liberals

By Melanie Law
BC Local News
November 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Liberals have called out the provincial government for not doing enough in the wake of the Interior’s declining timber supply and log prices. In a news release issued November 15, Cariboo and Nechako Lakes MLAs said the local forestry industry has been “ignored.” “There are already hundreds of forestry workers out of work in the Cariboo, and I know those who are still working are very worried about their future,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “The last two wildfire seasons have been devastating and we are in desperate need of an economic recovery program for the whole of rural and northern B.C.” Forestry workers across the region have seen layoffs due to both decreased timber supply and market conditions. Most recently, West Fraser announced that it would be permanently reducing production in both its Quesnel and Fraser Lake sawmills as of Jan. 14, 2019, to better align its output with available fibre.

Read More

McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest receives good audit

BC Forest Practices Board
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of the McLeod Lake Mackenzie community forest in the Mackenzie Natural Resource District has found compliance with B.C.’s forestry legislation. The community forest is jointly managed by the District of Mackenzie and the McLeod Lake Indian Band. “We are pleased to see that the community forest carried out sound forest practices and fully met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act,” said Kevin Kriese, board chair. “Of note, the community forest has been proactive in adopting fire-management stocking standards for stands harvested in the wildland urban interface,” said Kriese. “These standards permit more deciduous trees and fewer coniferous trees when these stands regenerate and will assist in reducing the risk of wildfire to the community of Mackenzie. This is a best practice that deserves recognition.”

Read More

Laird Creek residents still hoping for independent report on logging road

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Will the provincial government pay for an independent scientist to assess terrain stability in Laird Creek? The answer is not clear. In April, the Regional District of Central Kootenay board decided to write to forestry minister Doug Donaldson requesting an independent report on the terrain stability in the contentious logging area near Balfour. The request was prompted by logging company Cooper Creek Cedar’s plan to reopen an old logging road and use it to access a nearby cutblock. But the road has some history. The construction and location of the road is widely believed to have been the cause of a slide in 2011 that plugged a number of rural water systems below it. The company that built the road, BC Timber Sales, temporarily provided drinking water to about 100 homes after the slide.

Read More

Was the public consulted?

By Colin Dacre
Castanet
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Penticton, BC — Questions are being raised about the extent of B.C. Timber Sales consultation with the public on logging planned for a recreational site just outside Penticton. More than 1,400 people have signed a petition against the plan to log a network of biking and cross-country skiing trails about four kilometres up the Carmi Forest Service Road. Those opposed to the plan say they were informed of the project by forestry flagging tape hanging in the recreational area, not by BCTS’s required outreach. …Neda Joss, the organizer of the group against the work, called the BCTS outreach effort “the bare minimum,” suggesting they should have got in touch with more than just SOTA, or even erected a sign near the site’s parking area with information on the plans.

Read More

Governments of Canada and British Columbia invest to conserve world’s only inland temperate rainforest

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Canadians know that protecting our natural heritage is essential to our environment, our economy, and our communities. That’s why the Government of Canada has committed to doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada, from coast to coast to coast. Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, joined by British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, announced that the governments of Canada and British Columbia are partnering to protect one of Canada’s natural treasures and the world’s only inland temperate rainforest, the Darkwoods Conservation Area. They will carry out this important work by investing $7 million and $7.65 million respectively toward expanding the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Darkwoods Conservation Area. This investment will help …protecting Canada’s nature and the wildlife that depend on it and allowing even large mammals to roam freely through their natural environment of old-growth forests.

Read More

Williams Lake Community Forest profits go back to the community

Williams Lake Tribune
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Williams Lake Community Forest is launching a new Community Granting Program with the goal of distributing funds in 2019. This will be an annual program aimed at providing support for community enhancement projects for areas surrounding the community forest. Last Friday at a regular meeting with management and most of the nine-member Select Standing Committee (SSC), final arrangements were discussed related to the disbursement of funds from the profits generated by the Williams Lake Community Forest (WLCF). As set out in the regulations and bylaws of the WLCF, at the end of every five-year cut control period, five per cent of the net profits will be deposited in a special account for disbursement back to the community through a Community Granting Fund.

Read More

Quesnel awarded $367,000 to further new opportunities for forest management

By Melanie Law
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Quesnel has received a $367,000 Rural Dividend grant from the Province to support its forest management plans, and help it build upon the manufacturing sector in the region, according to a Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development news release. The funds will be used to implement recommendations from the Quesnel Future of Forestry Think Tank, which was held in Quesnel in May 2018, and to investigate new opportunities for forest management and forest products manufacturing. Since the spring Think Tank session, Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson, as well as City Council members, have been pushing the agenda provincially and federally, including at September’s Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Whistler, B.C., and during a trip to Victoria and Ottawa.

Read More

Money trees The struggle over what’s ancient, giant, valuable and dwindling in B.C.’s coastal forests

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the past seven years, environmentalists in B.C. have been looking for… big, ancient trees that erupt out of the ground and make people standing beside them look miniscule and insignificant. …In May, an hour’s drive southwest from the Vancouver Island logging town of Port Alberni, a group found one — a giant Douglas fir measuring 66 metres tall and three metres in diameter at chest height. …But two weeks later, the giant fir was cut down by loggers who say it was rotten in its core and worth more being turned into products like wooden beams than living out its life in the forest. …The tree is — or was — a symbol of the latest iteration of B.C’s War in the Woods where, on one side, environmentalists want all old-growth trees off limits to cutting because of the role they play in preserving biodiversity and keeping climate change from advancing.

Read More

City of Powell River announces forestry grants

By David Brindle
The Powell River Peak
November 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the first tasks for the new City of Powell River council will be to approve grants totalling $799,522 to 12 organizations from Powell River Community Forest Reserve Fund. Committee of the whole will first have to receive the report on the fall recommendations for grants before forwarding to council, but PRCF decisions have been passed unanimously in the past. …“Through the Community Forest every sector has enjoyed the fruits of the industry,” said Formosa. “Community Forest goes out of its way to show people that forestry is a great, renewable resource, a great industry and pays dividends to everybody.”

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Turning smoke and slash into pellets and cash

By Andru McCracken
The Rocky Mountain Goat
November 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Massive piles of leftover wood in the McBride Community Forest will be turned into heat and electricity in Europe and Asia, according to Don Steele, chief executive officer of Pacific Bioenergy. That’s good news for the community forest, as it hasn’t been able to burn its slash piles in over three years due to air quality constraints. Vancouver-based Pacific Bioenergy has now secured funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia to grind, ship and sell the waste wood as a part of an experiment to determine how they can incorporate cedar into their fuel. The company has been turning waste wood into pellets for 25 years. It has a pellet plant in Prince George, Chetwynd and Fort St. John and and a wood waste partnership in Quesnel. The pellets are largely shipped overseas.

Read More

Fast growing hybrid hardwoods could help in future biomass plants

By Jim Hilton
The Williams Lake Tribune
November 16, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the Cariboo Region with the ongoing impacts of the bark beetles along with the recent mega fires two years in a row there are new needs for research and development projects. …What species and species mixes may be the best to cope with drier climates and impending shortfalls in the short and midterm fibre production. …There may be some answers from work being done on a research site south of the University of Alberta. Canadian Wood Fibre Centre staff have been planting and evaluating fast growing poplar, aspen and willow species with some amazing production rates. …While I would not be in favour of huge areas being planted to hybrid species there could certainly be economic advantages to have some of these stands surrounding any biomass facility.

Read More

Health & Safety

Loggers pull door off wreckage to get to Cariboo crash victim

BC Local News
November 13, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Witnesses say a log truck driver is lucky to be alive after his truck crashed on Highway 20 Tuesday. “We called in for a Medevac and landed it on the highway,” said Mike Elvin, who lives at the Old Riske Creek School House. “It’s all still in place as we speak. We got the highway all cleaned off but there are logs on each side of the road, the truck’s completely dismantled inside and it’s an absolute miracle the man’s alive.” Elvin said it was just before noon when he heard a ‘massive bang,’ looked out and saw a logging truck was flipped upside down. “I’m right in front of where the accident took place. It blew a front tire and went off into the ditch. We had logs scattered across the highway and it took out the gates and fences out front of our place.”

Read More

Province to tackle traffic woes at popular old-growth forest tourist spot — again

CBC News
November 19, 2018
Category: General
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province is taking a new approach to solve an ongoing traffic problem at one of B.C.’s most popular old groves of trees, which also happens to have a major highway running through it. Starting on Wednesday, the province will begin a series of open houses and collect online feedback about how to solve traffic jams and dangerous pedestrian crossings on Highway 4 at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park outside Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. It’s been been more than 15 years since the province last attempted to fix traffic problems at Cathedral Grove. The previous attempt didn’t solve the safety issues at the popular site, which brings tourists from around the globe. About 500,000 people visit the site each year. …Safety is also still a problem as people often cross the two-lane highway to access trails that showcase the trees, some which are nine metres in diameter and 800 years old.

Read More