Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Business & Politics

Susan Yurkovich: A path forward for B.C.’s forest products industry

By Susan Yurkovich, BC Council of Forest Industries
The Vancouver Sun
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

Forestry has long been a cornerstone of the B.C. economy, supporting 140 communities and many thousands of families throughout the province. Today… that forestry is an industry in transition in BC. While we have always had to manage through market and price volatility, we are currently facing something of a “perfect storm” — an array of market and operating challenges, along with a structural shift in the cost and availability of fibre. …BC has become a high cost producer just at the time we are facing volatile market prices, punitive U.S. tariffs, and increasing global competition. As an industry, we have no choice but to make the difficult decision to rebalance our milling capacity to match the lower level of sustainable harvest. As we do so, workers and communities need to be supported. Then, we need to ensure that the facilities that remain have secure access to enough fibre to run consistently and efficiently. But there is much more that we can do. Smart choices, made now, can help attract the investment required to secure a bright future for our forest industry.

Read More

COFI issues long-term plan to renew forest industry

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Council of Forest Industries is calling on government and industry to pursue a series of “policy choices”. …There are 60 in all… entitled “Smart Future: A Path Forward for B.C.’s Forest Products Industry.” “In addition to addressing today’s challenges, many people are asking what the future holds for forestry in BC, and where will we be once we have moved through this transition,” COFI president Susan Yurkovich said. …The proposals are divided among five themes that include steps to “double down on market and product diversification.” On that note, authors suggest an export tax credit for products shipped to non-U.S. markets and increasing the proportion of value-added manufacturing in the province to at least 20 per cent within five years. …The plan also calls for securing a land base for harvesting. …Specific proposals on that theme include salvaging timber within two years of a wildfire and switching a portion of forest licenses from volume-based to area based.

Read More

Forests Minister “gets” COFI

By Cheryl Jahn
CKPG Today
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says he has thoroughly read a report completed by the Council of Forest Industries on the future of the industry. The report, entitled “SMART FUTURE: A path forward for B.C.’s forest products industry,” sets out some dramatic changes to the industry in the coming years, adding it is already a very efficient industry out necessity. It sets out 60 recommendations, with its Number One recommendation being to “define the working forest land base. Like conservation areas, designate the area that will be available for harvesting and lock in the commitment.” “Generally speaking, there are many of the recommendations that align with what we’re trying to do as a government, which is focusing on maximizing value rather than maximizing volume,” says Donaldson.

Read More

Brink donates $1 million to College of New Caledonia

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saying he sees a viable future for the forest industry in northern B.C., Prince George lumber manufacturer John Brink committed $1 million to trades and technology training at the College of New Caledonia on Thursday. …Brink presented a giant cheque for the amount to the school’s interim president Tara Szerensci. …”Especially in light of all the things that are happening and all the things that government is trying to do, …we believe that we have to step up to the plate and try to assist in bringing us forward to a new industry,” Brink said. …The announcement comes 20 years after Brink …donated $500,000 to the school. …”The current challenges, although there are many of them, are temporary,” he said. “The industry is going to get smaller but I see still lots of opportunities.” Indeed, Brink said his company is in the process of expanding its operations in Prince George, Vanderhoof and Houston.

Read More

Guns, taxes, climate change and more at North Okanagan forum

By Brendan Shykora
Penticton Western News
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Okanagan-Shuswap residents got their first side-by-side look at their riding’s federal candidates at the first All Candidates Forum of 2019. …B.C’s forestry industry was an early-mentioned concern, and candidates were eager to convey their support of the industry to a community that saw reductions announced at the Armstrong Tolko mill earlier that day. NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu is from Mackenzie, a town that’s been rocked by recent mill shutdowns, and she spoke to her connection to this community. “My family relied on sawmills, and forestry was the backbone of many towns like Mackenzie and Terrace.” Sandhu pointed to a report with 60 recommendations put out by the B.C. Council of Forest Industries on Tuesday. “They align very well with the NDP platform,” she said. “I will be committed to working with (the council) because I know that for a lot of people forestry is bread and butter.”

Read More

Union says mediated negotiation with WFP has been ‘disappointing’

By Mike Davies
North Island Gazette
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing striking Western Forest Products (WFP) employees says it is disappointed that neither negotiations nor mediation seem to be bearing fruit in its labour dispute with the company, but WFP itself says it’s the union that has walked away from the talks. In a press release, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-1937, says mediators met with both sides on Sept. 13. USW, the release says, “tabled a revised set of proposals” for WFP to consider, including a revised wage proposal, but “mediators then spent four of the six hours in mediation meeting with WFP, returning on two occasions to advise that WFP’s positions were relatively unchanged with no anticipated movement.” …“We are disappointed that talks have broken off and firmly believe that resuming discussions with the assistance of an independent-mediator is the best way for both parties to resolve our differences,” says Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of WFP in the release.

Read More

Pumps at Cowichan Lake shut down

By Robert Barron
The Chemainus Valley Courier
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The pumps in Cowichan Lake were shut down as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. Brian Houle, environmental manager for Catalyst Crofton which operates the weir at Cowichan Lake, said water levels in the lake have continued to rise due to the rain over the past two days. …But Houle pointed out that the water issues this year may not be over yet. …Catalyst had to resort to pumping water into Cowichan River over its weir at Cowichan Lake on Aug. 29 to maintain water flows in the river. It’s the first time the company, which depends on water from the Cowichan River to run its pulp and paper mill operations in Crofton, has had to take such action since the weir was first constructed in the 1950s.

Read More

10th annual Global Softwood Log & Lumber Conference

Forest Economic Advisors
September 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! For Our 10th Annual Global Softwood Log & Lumber Conference scheduled for June 17-18, 2020 in Vancouver. The conference will again feature in-depth coverage of key global markets for softwood logs, lumber and the supply dynamics in major exporting and importing countries. This two-day international log, lumber, industry and markets conference includes a cross-section of North American and international speakers. Over 20 speakers and a dozen panelists discuss the most current perspectives and outlooks on what lies ahead in various domestic and international regions. This conference remains vital to market planning and strategy setting to better assess developments in key global markets and supplying regions. The Global Conference is organized by FEA Canada and is held immediately after International Pulp Week (organized by Pulp & Paper Producers Council Annual Meeting) at the same hotel.

Read More

Clearwater area to benefit from forestry worker support programs

By Jaime Polmateer
Clearwater Times
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ravi Kahlon

Ravi Kahlon, parliamentary secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, visited the District of Clearwater (DOC) recently to discuss new supports for Interior forestry workers affected by mill closures. At the Sept. 18 meeting, Kahlon talked with mayor and council about the cost-shared early-retirement bridging program for older forestry workers, and the short-term forest employment program that will focus on fire prevention projects. Other topics on the agenda included grants for retraining, and the new job placement co-ordination office, that will track the transition and employment of impacted forest workers on a one-on-one basis. …“Clearwater would be one that gets the $100,000 and the cities can come to us about what would be the best use of that money,” said Kahlon.

Read More

Retirement, retraining, relocation — weak strategy for forest industry

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan did not appear in person in Prince George this week when the New Democrats announced a support package for displaced forest workers. …Yes, the B.C. Liberals did not do enough to prepare… But the beetles also ravaged the forests during the NDP term of office in the 1990s. …Both major parties play the blame game all too well. But with the beetle-killed wood mostly gone, the challenge is what to do to give the industry a plausible future. …Retirement, retraining, relocation — those words don’t suggest a strategy for revitalizing the industry and making it a world leader. …As it happens, John Allan, the deputy forests minister who served during the Jobs and Timber Accord under the previous NDP government, is back in … in the ministry again. Premier Horgan recruited him to oversee their revitalization plan… The first thing [Allan] might have told them is that the trouble starts with politicians having unrealistic expectations.

Read More

Forestry workers waiting for more details after $69M BC Government funding announcement

By Dylana Milobar
CFJC Today
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Forestry workers are cautiously optimistic after the provincial government announced $69 million in funding to support forestry workers affected by permanent and indefinite mill closures. United Steelworkers Local 1-417 President Marty Gibbons says forestry workers are waiting with bated breath to hear more details around who this will actually benefit. “Last time… there was regulations on it, and it actually talked about who could apply, it was all forest workers, age, amount of money, and those details are still missing,” he says.  …Gibbons says in order to combat a decline in the forest industry, planning needs to go beyond worker assistance. “We’re a renewable resource. People are treating us like the forest industry has died. …We will be here long term, but right now the government needs to take a serious look at how the forest practices are going on, and the stumpage rates that we’re charging.”

Read More

Public concerned about forestry, Rustad says

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad

A range of topics and concerns related to forestry were discussed at the public gathering where Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad spoke.  …“Burns Lake is very engaged in the forestry discussion due to the pending annual allowable cut decision.” …Some topics that arose… concerns over visual quality objectives (VQO) and old growth management areas (OGMAs). …The problem of excessive fuels on forest floors and the fire risks they pose was brought up a few times during the meetings that the Chinook Community Forest held in the Burns Lake region since the winter. A common theme accompanying the fuels issue is the frustration that fuels can’t easily be removed from VQO and OGMAs, where logging is prohibited. …The Liberal MLA hopes that more such discussions are held amid the current precarious state of forestry in the province.

Read More

Tolko announces shift reduction at Soda Creek, Armstrong divisions

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko will be going to a four-day work week at its Soda Creek operation in Williams Lake and at its Armstrong stud lumber operations… a reduction of the company’s operating stud capacity by 20 per cent. …United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 VP Paul French said Tolko told the union the intention is a four-day work week, but that could even be reduced further. …“They’ve actually agreed to do job share which basically means EI pays for the lost day. The guys aren’t going to making what they normally make, but they aren’t totally out.” French said the situation is frustrating. “There are logs in the yard and I don’t quite get,” he said. “Lumber prices are down, but they aren’t totally in the tank.” …French said there are between 150 to 160 mill workers impacted by the latest curtailment and then the spin offs felt by loggers and truckers.

Read More

Claims of NDP Government not rebuilding Forest Industry ludicrous, says Parliamentary Secretary

By Scott Brooks
Energetic City Fort St. John
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ravi Kahlon

FORT ST. JOHN, BC – The Provincial Government announced that it would be investing $69 million to support forest workers impacted by mill closures and curtailments. Following the announcement, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Forests, Ravi Kahlon, is on tour… to provide more details. …Lately, the B.C. Liberals have been critical towards the NDP claiming that the Government has no interest in rebuilding the forest industry. Kahlon says the Liberal’s claim is ludicrous as they would have seen a report from 2015 that commissioned the closure of 13 mills. He says the Liberals could have informed workers of this plan in order for them to prepare. …The BC Council of Forest Industries had also released their own plan to help out the forest industry, and Kahlon feels that there are a lot of good points made.

Read More

Canfor investor vows to vote against Pattison proposal to take company private

The Canadian Press in the Coast Reporter
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — An investment management company that controls about 4.8 per cent of the shares of Canfor Corp. says it will vote against the proposal by a Jim Pattison Group company to take the lumber company private. Letko, Brosseau & Associates… the offer by Great Pacific Capital Corp. is “opportunistic and significantly undervalues the company.” The $16 per share bid to buy the 49 per cent of Canfor that Great Pacific doesn’t already own represented an 81.8 per cent premium to the prior closing price when made in August. But the investment manager says that premium was based on a share price that had fallen to a level not seen since 2010. …Shares in Canfor rose more than 70 per cent the day after the offer was made to close at $15.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. On Wednesday, they closed at $15.34.

Read More

Village to pen letter of support for Hampton

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Burns Lake village council agreed at its Sept. 10 meeting to write a letter of support for Hampton Lumber’s efforts to buy Conifex’ timber license and sawmill in Fort St. James. Richard Vossen, Canadian Resource Manager with Hampton, wrote in a letter to mayor Dolores Funk that the company is preparing a package for the Honourable Doug Donaldson… with an outline of the purchase plans. The manager asked that the letter mention Hampton’s relationship with the village and how it supports the community economically and socially. …In voicing his support for the letter bid, Councillor Charlie Rensby said the forestry company is “compared to many of the other lumber producers in the province pretty top notch to deal with when it comes to community partnerships, along with their additional support for First Nations in their mills.”

Read More

Tolko reducing operations at Armstrong and Soda Creek mills

By Eric Thompson
Kamloops Matters
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries announced another reduction in operations, cutting back its capacity at the Armstrong and Soda Creek stud lumber mills by 20 per cent. Last week, Tolko closed their mill in Kelowna indefinitely, the latest in a string of bad news to hit the BC forestry industry. “We know this is not good news,” says Tolko solid wood vice-president Troy Connolly in a press release. “However, we have a tremendously engaged and talented workforce, and we want them to continue as part of the Tolko family. Reducing capacity and changing our footprint is the best way to keep people employed and mills operating. It also gives us the flexibility to immediately react and adjust our schedule should conditions improve. It’s the best possible option right now in current conditions.” The announcement comes just one day after the provincial government announced a $69-million investment to help forestry workers affected by mill closures.

Read More

Tolko curtailing mill operations by 20 per cent at Soda Creek, Armstrong

By Scott Brown
The Vancouver Sun
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC forestry company Tolko Industries is curtailing operations at its Soda Creek and Armstrong stub lumber mills by 20 per cent due to high log costs and weak market conditions. The company says the mills will move to a four-day work week, but there will be no layoffs. The Soda Creek mill, which is in Williams Lake, employs 180 workers, while the Armstrong location is part of a larger three-mill operation that employs 400. “The continued and increasing pressures on log-delivery costs in BC have eroded our competitiveness. This, in addition to continued weak markets, means we must take immediate and responsible action to ensure our long-term stability in BC,” said Tolko vice-president Troy Connolly. “We are moving to a flexible operating footprint starting next week. …Our top priority is sustaining the business and the many jobs and economic spinoffs it provides to our communities.”

Read More

Government outlines new forest worker support programs

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has announced $69 million to fund a new series of measures aimed at supporting British Columbia forest workers impacted by mill closures and shift reductions in several B.C. Interior communities. The Interior forest industry has been reducing production in an effort to adjust to the end of the mountain pine beetle harvest and the devastating 2017 and 2018 fire seasons. “The previous government knew that the end of mountain pine beetle harvest would disrupt the lives of forest workers, contractors and communities, but they did little to prepare for this inevitable transition,” said Premier John Horgan. “While the forest sector must reduce surplus milling capacity to remain competitive, it cannot do so at the expense of the workers, contractors and communities who built the industry. Our government will ensure that forest workers impacted by mill closures are supported.” …Doug Donaldson called on the forest industry to increase supports for impacted workers…

Read More

$69m announcement doesn’t fully satisfy NDP friends in forestry industry

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vaughn Palmer

VICTORIA — When Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced $69-million worth of support for displaced forest workers, he made it sound as if the New Democrats had been on top of things all along. …though the NDP had taken its time putting together the package. Closer to the mark was Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall [who] acknowledged how news of reduced operations and mill closures had been plaguing the forest sector for months. …Why did it take the NDP so long to come to the rescue of all those workers? asked one reporter. Donaldson said he’d expected that question. If so, he might have worked out a better rationalization for the delay. …But I expect even a partial launch of the rescue package would have been welcomed by forest workers …While many of the year’s announcements affected forest operations in B.C. Liberal ridings, the Teal Jones news hit six New Democrats where they live.

Read More

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has announced a $69 million fund for Interior forest workers and their communities to assist with forest industry closures and curtailments that have swept the province. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said $40 million over two years goes to early retirement funds. Another $15 million funds short-term work programs, focused on wildfire prevention and “community resiliency projects.” Municipalities subject to permanent mill closures are eligible for an immediate $100,000, and those with indefinite closures can get $75,000 for community programs. …Donaldson said the province has been asking the federal government for assistance, but B.C. Liberal forest critic John Rustad said nothing is likely to happen until after the federal election… The B.C. Council of Forest Industries has its own suggestions to help the industry’s transition to a decline in allowable timber harvest that is expected to continue until 2030. …B.C. is also changing its log export and harvest regulations to reduce wood waste. 

From The Globe and Mail (Brent Jang): B.C. earmarks $69-million to help forestry industry deal with job cuts

From Global News: B.C. government rolling out plan to support workers affected by mill closures

From CBC News: $69M in aid coming to beleaguered forestry workers in B.C.’s Interior

From CKPG Today: Province announces help for those in forestry industry

From My Bulkley Lakes Now: Province announces $69 million for impacted forestry sector

Read More

B.C. government unveils $69-million aid package for workers in beleaguered forest industry

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Since May, BC’s Interior forest industry has been hit with a cascading series of sawmill production curtailments and permanent closures that have left some 3,000 workers at least temporarily out of work. Forest Minister Doug Donaldson held out a $69-million, short-term lifeline to many of those workers in the form of early-retirement assistance, job-placement services, retraining programs, and make-work projects for logging contractors. …The measures, however, are only part of “a continuum,” Donaldson said, in dealing with a long-predicted rationalization of the industry. The minister acknowledged there will be more work to do, a point emphasized by unions. And B.C. Liberals criticized the government for taking so long and ignoring other measures at its disposal. …Industry representative Susan Yurkovich said the aid package has been “a collaborative effort,” and companies are pleased to see elements of cost-sharing with them on things such as early-retirement programs.

Read More

B.C.’s forestry industry is in turmoil. Now the province is offering millions so some workers can retire early

By Jesse Winter
The Toronto Star
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a brutal summer of sawmill closures, indefinite shutdowns and shift reductions, the BC government has announced $69 million in funding it says will help forestry workers in the province’s hard-hit Interior. Key among the government’s promises is a $40-million fund to establish a “cost-shared, early-retirement bridging program” for workers 55 or older who have been affected by permanent mill closures or indefinite shutdowns. …[Forest Minister] Donaldson also threw down the gauntlet… “The federal government needs to step up and support these initiatives as well.” …The BC funding also includes $15 million for establishing a short-term forest-employment program focused on wildfire prevention and community resiliency… available not just for laid-off sawmill workers, but logging contractors and others indirectly affected by the forestry slowdown. Another $12 million will go toward new-skills training for workers, and toward grants for employers and communities to support training programs.

Read More

BC Council of Forest Industries President and CEO happy to see industry get helping hand

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

The President and CEO of the BC Council of Forest Industries is pleased with the government’s 69-million dollar investment to support forestry workers who have been impacted by curtailments and shutdowns. Susan Yurkovich admits the industry is in a significant transition phase and that the province and industry need to work together to get it back on track. “I think that it’s important the industry and government are working to do everything we can to possibly support workers and communities as we move through this difficult period.” Forty million of those funds will help establish a cost-shared, early retirement bridging program. Yurkovich is satisfied to see a program of this kind in place since most of the current workforce is a decade or less away from retiring.

Read More

United Steelworkers Responds to B.C. Government Forest Worker Announcement

By United Steelworkers
Cision Newswire
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNABY, BC – The United Steelworkers (USW) is responding to the British Columbia government’s announcement for forest workers impacted by mill closures and curtailments in the B.C. Interior. “Any move to provide assistance to workers who are bearing the brunt of the crisis in the forest industry is welcomed, but permanent solutions for workers, families and communities throughout the entire province are needed,” says Stephen Hunt, USW Director for Western Canada. “A jobs protection commissioner would also go a long way to assisting mills, workers and communities facing closures all around the province,” Hunt says. “From the Coast to the Interior, every community in British Columbia is being impacted by mill closures and job losses and unless there are significant changes to forest policy the crisis will continue,” says Jeff Bromley, USW Wood Council Chair.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Flooring 101 for first-time buyers

By Kathleen Freimond
The Vancouver Sun
September 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

As one of the largest surface areas in any home, flooring must be durable, look good and be at a price point that works for your budget – no easy ask. …Describing it as “a floor for a lifetime,” solid hardwood floors that have been in place for more than 100 years are still being refinished, says Kjell Nymark, VP of the BC Floor Covering Association. A solid hardwood floor probably provides the best value of any of the flooring options, says Nymark. …Engineered hardwood floors… can also be refinished a number of times, says Nymark. …“Laminate is a wood look-alike and even though the core is typically made of MDF, laminate is not considered wood flooring,” he says. Laminate is often a choice dictated by budget. …Vinyl is making a comeback.

Read More

Timber is top of the class

By David Wylie
The Journal of Commerce
September 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

ABBOTSFORD, BC — Located 70 kilometres east of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford Senior Secondary School features wood as part of a major rehabilitation and replacement project. Central to its design, and crowning the school’s three-storey structure, is an intricate and  impressive timber rotunda roof built of exposed  glue-laminated timber and wood decking. School  principal and educator Rob Comeau shares how  wood is making the school a place where students  feel at home. …”I think you definitely feel better once you’ve been in a space that incorporates wood. It  clears your head. We often have students that  just come to the rotunda to be there, enjoy the  space, and hang out. It’s open and the wood  beams are beautiful and inviting. I think it helps  with anxiety.”

Read More

Forestry

Canadian National Railway and Tree Canada Announce Major Investment to Support Winnipeg’s Tree Canopy

By Canadian National Railway
Globe News Wire
September 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WINNIPEG — On the occasion of CN’s 100th anniversary, CN is announcing its participation in Mayor Brian Bowman’s Million Tree Challenge. This investment in Winnipeg’s greenspaces is being done with the support, partnership and expertise of Tree Canada, the leading national organization dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by planting and nurturing trees. CN’s contribution to the Mayor’s Million Tree Challenge is part of CN’S multi-year commitment to Tree Canada to improve and expand urban canopies in major Canadian cities. Winnipeg was selected by CN and Tree Canada as the recipient of the 2020 donation.  The million dollar commitment will enable CN and Tree Canada to plant tens thousands of trees in Winnipeg. CN invites other Winnipeg based companies to join the cause.

Read More

Mayor challenges Winnipeggers to plant 1 million new trees as canopy faces threats from disease, pests

CBC News
September 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Bowman

As disease and pests threaten the future of Winnipeg’s tree canopy, Mayor Brian Bowman is asking Winnipeggers to get involved in saving one of the city’s defining features. The mayor issued a challenge to the city’s residents: plant one million trees over the next 20 years, or by the time Winnipeg’s population is expected to crack the seven-digit mark. …The mayor said threats like the emerald ash borer beetle and Dutch elm disease pose a serious risk to Winnipeg’s trees — affecting up to two-thirds of the city’s trees. …Bowman said the initiative will challenge individuals, non-profits and private businesses to help by planting trees on their property, volunteering to plant trees in other spaces or donating to Tree Canada who will support efforts to plant more trees in Winnipeg. The charity also received a $1-million donation from the Canadian National Railway to kick start the One Million Tree Challenge. 

Read More

Northern Sask. residents want boreal forest off the chopping block

CBC News
September 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sylvia McAdam

Sylvia McAdam remembers the medicine she once picked from the land near Big River, Sask. She can’t find it now — and says it never returned after the forested area was chopped. She described how the area has changed post-clearcut. More wind passes through the exposed land, but there is an absence of wildlife. The waterways have changed and the trees on the fringes of the cut are falling. There will be more tree-harvesting in the north, as Sakâw Askiy Management Inc. moves forward on its 20-year plan for the 3.3 million hectares of boreal forest north of Prince Albert. About 19,900 hectares per year are scheduled for harvest in the first decade, and 18,800 hectares in the second. Forestry follows mining as one of the biggest industries in the province.  “​I’m not going to see it come back in my lifetime, maybe my grandchildren, and it’s not going to come back the same way,” McAdam said. 

Read More

Forestry celebrated at annual Logger Sports Show

By Dara Hill
The Merritt Herald
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Logger Sports Show put forestry into focus last weekend in Merritt. Featuring talented carvers, laughing loggers and truckers eager to show off their stuff, the fourth annual event kicked off National Forestry Week in Merritt and gave locals the chance to celebrate and learn about the industry. “It was a huge success, especially looking at participation and community involvement,” said organizer Jerry Canuel. …“Despite the really difficult times, you get people like Frank Etchart coming down from Nadina Logging, who have not worked all summer,” said Canuel. “But yet he’s out there and his guys are showing up and they’re volunteering their time and effort and trying to and make it right for everybody. More than 50 logging companies had their trucks on display.

Read More

Telkwa mayor wants Province to tackle spruce beetle outbreak

By Marisca Bakker
Terrace Standard
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“It’s an epidemic,” Mayor Brad Layton said …describing the spruce beetle outbreak. He wants more to be done to stop the infestation and said those in charge of it are doing a ‘piss-poor’ job. The total estimated spruce beetle attack in the Omineca Region is approximately 341,000 hectares, most of which is in the Prince George Natural Resource District. This is up from approximately 210,000 hectares of spruce beetle-infested forest detected in 2016. …The effect of spruce beetles differs from the pine beetle in that it is harder to identify trees that have been affected. It can take over a year for trees to display signs of stress after being attacked…. However, Layton said this beetle can be stopped easily. …“This is our future, it is our community’s future,” added Layton. “If we want to keep a timber industry, they need to start funding it appropriately.”

Read More

Declines in the southern caribou population will continue to happen if the Ministry doesn’t put the Kootenays on the map as a priority: Wildsight

BC Local News
September 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s Forests Minister Doug Donaldson recently announced that the province will be expanding additional protection areas in the Peace region, but not in the majority of B.C. that lies west of the Rocky Mountains. As Tom Fletcher reported, protection strategies have been expanded in recent years, including snowmobile restrictions and extensive forest protection zones. …Donaldson says that analysts are looking around at the herds needing protection outside of the peace region, and that enough protection is already in place. …Local environmental group Wildsight disagrees. Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight’s Conservation Coordinator, says that Caribou habitat protection is absolutely necessary in the B.C. Interior. …Petryshen says that it’s not just about protecting caribou, but other species of animals that depend on old growth forests, which is where caribou thrive. …“Caribou are one of the oldest mammals on the planet… Now, they are just barely hanging on in these remote areas and those areas need to be protected.”

Read More

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Additional caribou protection areas are needed in the Peace region, but not in the majority of B.C. that lies west of the Rocky Mountains, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says. Residents of the Kootenays and Cariboo regions packed public meetings this spring to demand details of a proposed caribou protection strategy. They were concerned about federal demands to expand industrial and recreational no-go zones in an effort to protect dwindling herds. …The province accepted Lekstrom’s recommendation to put a moratorium on “new high-impact forestry and mining activities” in the Peace region for two years, while consultation continues on restrictions that could shut down some forest operations. …The federal government was preparing an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act to impose new restrictions, citing climate change and habitat disturbance as key factors in the population decline. 

Read More

2019 Report Shows Community Forests are Important for Rural BC

BC Community Forest Association
September 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Victoria and the Territories of Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lekwungen (Songhees) First Nations: The BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA) is pleased to share the 2019 Community Forest Indicators Report. The Indicators Report, now in its 5th year, contains analysis of 18 different areas where community forests deliver economic, social, cultural, and environmental benefits to their rural and Indigenous communities and to the province. Along with the quantitative information, the report is filled with stories and photos that further demonstrate the importance of community forests to the sustainable future of these communities and the land that surrounds them. “With mill curtailments and closures occurring across the province, BC has turned its attention to policy reform and transition planning to support resilient forestry communities, reconfigure relationships with Indigenous communities, and take on the challenges of climate change and the risk of wildfire. 

Read More

Building resilience to wildfire in Kimberley’s municipal watersheds

BC Local News
September 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a presentation to Kimberley City Council, Consultant Robert Gray explained that Kimberley is part of large research project that aims to increase resilience to wildfire, specifically in Kimberley’s Watersheds. …He said that research on the past and future of fire risk in south eastern B.C. is being conducted by him and a team in the Okanagan along with the Ministry of Forests, the Regional Districts and the Ktunaxa Nation. …He adds that they are working with the City to determine the risks, thin out material and “get stuff moving” in the Mark Creek and Matthew Creek watersheds. Part of that is applying to a new grant through the Columbia Basin Trust called the Wildfire Innovation Grant. …Gray says that wildfire risk stems from climate change and rising temperatures. …He adds that in Canada, the spring fire season is expected to grow more than the fall season.

Read More

Timber rights on City of Powell River-owned property might belong to logging company

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
September 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

POWELL RIVER, BC — Timber rights on a piece of City of Powell River-owned property known as Lot A may still be owned by Island Timberlands. … A letter from resident George Orchiston… making a case for the city to represent the interests of its residents and publicly declare its ownership of timber on Lot A. …The city purchased the 132-acre property in 2017 for the sum of $800,000. …Island Timberlands held an open house in 2015 and presented draft harvest plans to the public. They did draft plans but stepped back, added Brewer. …“Right now, it doesn’t look like the alleged owner of the trees has a plan to harvest them and if they do, that is the time for the city to get involved and work on an agreed harvest plan,” said Doubt. 

Read More

The conflicting ideas of economy and ecology examined in Ellingsen’s work

By Mike Davis
BC Local News
September 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cortes Island photographer David Ellingsen has a fair bit of internal conflict as a proud, self-described environmentalist whose family history is in logging old growth trees. In fact, Ellingsen’s family name is attached to one of the historic leaps forward in west coast logging, the Ellingsen jack, which largely replaced the Gilchrist jack as the go-to tool for taking huge felled logs out of the soggy coastal woods more efficiently. “But while my father was taking down and milling trees, he was also working towards getting a sustainable, eco-forestry program going on Cortes Island, putting the local community in charge of the rate of harvest on any public lands on the island,” Ellingsen says. …One of his current exhibitions, entitled The Last Stand, is on display at the Museum at Campbell River right now. It’s a collection of works depicting, in some ways, his family history. 

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

British Columbia Communities are Unlocking a $3.3 Billion Energy Efficiency Opportunity

By Efficiency Canada
Cision Newswire
September 20, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Many of BC’s fastest growing cities and towns are incentivizing and/or requiring higher levels of energy efficiency in new construction, spurring healthier, more comfortable, and more durable buildings. …The communities are using the BC Energy Step Code, a recently introduced provincial regulation that allows them to require their builders to exceed the code’s minimum legal energy-efficiency requirements. In doing so, they’re helping drive a $3.3 billion new market for high-efficiency building products, according to a recent Vancouver Economic Commission study. …The province has set a goal that all new buildings must reach an exceptionally high level of energy efficiency performance by 2032.

Read More

Health & Safety

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

By Devon Bidal
The Penticton Western News
September 19, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

BC Premier John Horgan acknowledges the need for improvements to the logging road from Port Alberni to Bamfield where two students from the University of Victoria were killed on Sept. 13. …Horgan noted that the problems with the road aren’t new, nor are the concerns. …The premier said it’s unfortunate that it took a fatal tragedy for the province to focus its attention on the road. He promised that he, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena, the forestry companies and the local Indigenous community would be working together on the matter. Horgan acknowledged that the road itself is privately owned and under the purview of Western Forest Products… but pointed out that the public uses it so the province is “going to have to find a way forward.”

Read More