Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Business & Politics

B.C. government unveils plan to reform the province’s forestry industry

By Richard Zussman
Global News
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There has been growing concern in the forestry industry over raw logs being shipped out of the province and processed there. That has led to a decrease in jobs and fears that more job losses would come in an industry which was once the backbone of B.C.’s economy. In addition to making changes to ensure bids on timber sale licences are independently made, Horgan is also working on business-to-business relationships between BC Timber Sales, major licensees and First Nations.

 

VIDEO: The new plan aims to increase the amount of B.C. logs that are processed in-province. Nadia Stewart looks at what the B.C. government thinks it can do to reinvigorate the sector.

Read More

B.C. vows to curb raw log exports, wood waste with sweeping policy reforms

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

The province has vowed to keep raw logs in B.C. after unveiling a two-year plan to revitalize forestry along the coast. In a room filled with loggers, Premier John Horgan unveiled policy reforms aimed at incentivizing companies to process raw logs in B.C., with the goal of bucking a decades-long trend of local mill closures and increased log exports. …TLA executive director David Elstone said he was hopeful some of the changes the government is making will benefit the industry, but he says he’s unsure of the economics when it comes to curbing log exports. “There’s no markets. There’s no domestic processing facilities that are able to utilize that fibre.” said Elstone, noting that log exports make it economically feasible to harvest second growth wood. “There’s businesses that are based on the current parameters,” he added. “We need to know how it’s going to work.”

Read More

Horgan pledges forestry revitalization, but it’s easier said than done

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

Vaughn Palmer

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan announced measures Thursday to begin revitalizing the coastal forest industry by reducing log exports and increasing domestic production. A tall order to be sure and Horgan acknowledged as much. …The premier drew applause by pledging to reform the existing “fair market rate test” for payments to logging contractors. The test is regarded as anything but fair — indeed close to ruinous — by the truck loggers themselves. …But with the good news out of the way, the premier was met with less enthusiasm when outlining steps the New Democrats will be taking to implement their longstanding opposition to log exports. …Mindful of the need to proceed carefully, Horgan set no targets. …This time last year, Horgan suggested the New Democrats might bring back “appurtenancy,”…But that possibility was soon disavowed as outdated and unworkable by his own forests minister.

Read More

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

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

The B.C. government has extended its log export orders for Northwest B.C. by another six months, allowing coastal logging contractors north of Vancouver Island to export a large share of their harvest. But “raw log” export policy is about to change for all producers who export logs from B.C. Crown land, Premier John Horgan said Thursday. …Horgan announced a revitalization plan with five goals, including rebuilding solid wood and pulp milling to process more wood in B.C., improving harvest efficiency, tightening up timber bidding systems to make sure bids are independently made, and auditing private forest land logging. …Cabinet orders for log exports out of the Haida Gwaii, Mid Coast, Nass, North Coast and Northwest Interior timber supply areas were extended Thursday, but only to July 2019. …The northern regions have been subject to relaxed log export rules for many years, due to a lack of mill capacity within economic reach of remote areas. 

Read More

Premier Announces Monumental Change for Timber Harvesting Contractors

Truck Loggers Association
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

Vancouver – Following the completion of the long-awaited Contractor Sustainability Review and its resulting recommendations, Premier Horgan announced a significant change to the Timber Harvesting Contractor and Sub-contractor regulation, which was the elimination of the fair market rate test. The Premier made his announcement during his address to a full room of 350 timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 76th annual Convention & Trade Show. “Today’s announcement is what we were hoping for and will result in a fundamental shift in the relationship between contractors and their employers across the province,” says David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association. “Elimination of the fair market rate test is a monumental change for our industry, allowing contractors to more equitably share in the value of the timber resource.” The Premier also made a commitment today to exploring solutions that the TLA has put forward to address the industry’s acute skilled labour shortage.

Read More

B.C. Premier Horgan announces policy reforms to rebuild coastal forest sector

By Hina Alam
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Photo @ForestechTim

VANCOUVER — Plans are in the works to rebuild the wood and secondary timber industries in British Columbia by ensuring more logs are processed in the province, said Premier John Horgan. …The actions will reverse a systematic decline that has taken place in the coastal forest sector over the past two decades, he said, adding the plan will be implemented through a series of legislative, regulatory and policy changes over the next two years. …This will be a phased-in process and will apply to new sales through B.C. timber sales programs, he said. …TLA Executive Director David Elstone said the announcement addresses growing concerns about forest management on the coast. …The B.C. Green caucus said in a statement that widespread mill closures, large-scale exports of raw logs, growing amounts of useable waste fibre left at cut locations, intensifying wildfire seasons and pest outbreaks are all challenges the government must take seriously.

Read More

B.C. to curtail log exports, rebuild forestry industries

By Hayley Woodin
The Prince George Citizen
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan revealed on Thursday the pillars of a “conscious and deliberate strategy” to curtail exports of minimally processed lumber. The goal: to rebuild the province’s solid wood and secondary forestry industries, and to turn profits from processing abroad into investments in BC. “The changes that were made by the BC Liberals have enabled log exports to be the easiest way to make quick money. We’ve seen Canadian companies investing in U.S. mills, not investing in BC. We want to turn that around,” the premier told attendees of the 76th annual TLA Convention. “Shareholders are happy with that, British Columbians are not.” …The plan will include reforms to raw log export policies, as well as carrot-and-sticks measures to eliminate surrogate bidding, penalize waste, encourage fibre production and discourage high grading – a type of logging where the highest grades of timber are selectively removed from a forest.

Read More

Forest policy reforms to rebuild coastal forest sector

Jen Holmwood, Deputy Communications Director, Office of the Premier
Government of British Columbia
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

To create and support good jobs in British Columbia’s coastal forest sector, government is making policy changes to increase the processing of B.C. logs on the coast and to reduce wood waste by redirecting it to B.C.’s pulp and paper mills. The changes, as part of the Coast Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative, were announced by Premier John Horgan at the annual Truck Loggers Association (TLA) convention. Government is taking steps to reverse a systemic decline that has taken place in the coast forest sector over most of the last two decades. …Effective July 1, 2019, the fee charged for log exports will be revised to be based on harvest economics. New criteria for log exports from certain geographic areas, based on local harvesting economics and subject to engagement and consultation with First Nations, will be developed. Changes to waste policy are designed to redirect … wood waste on the coast … to pulp and paper producers and the bio-products/bioenergy sector, supporting CleanBC’s renewed bioenergy strategy.

Read More

Are you at the Truck Loggers Convention?

Truck Loggers Association
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

We’re watching the action through the TLA Twitter feed. You can too, just follow #2019TLA

Read More

Skeena Sawmills audit good overall, but fault found in tree planting

BC Local News
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A recent audit of Skeena Sawmills found five cutblocks in the Kitimat area were in non-compliance with provincial regulations governing silviculture. At issue was the planting of seedlings outside the allowable elevation zone. The finding by the Forest Practices Board was the only fault discovered in a random audit last summer to ensure the company’s practices are in line with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. Planting seedlings in the wrong elevation can potentially lower their overall survival and productivity rates. Skeena Sawmills’ woodlands manager, Greg Demille, says the seedlings were placed about 80 metres outside the proper elevation zone. The contractor responsible is no longer employed by the mill, due in part to the error. “It wasn’t very far outside the zone, so we’re quite confident the trees there will survive and grow as they should,” Demille says. “Aside from that, it [the audit] was a great experience.

Read More

COFI Convention 2019: addressing the state of the industry, policy and more

By Ellen Cools
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

What’s the largest gathering of the forestry community in western Canada? The annual B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Convention. “Each year, this event brings together industry executives, managers, suppliers, businesses and government and First Nations leaders, to discuss key issues and opportunities in the B.C. forest industry,” COFI’s president and CEO Susan Yurkovich told CFI. This year’s convention is no different, although it has a new location: the new Parq Vancouver Hotel and Convention Centre. From April 3-5, attendees will hear updates on markets, policy, trade and technology from several speakers, panellists and presenters. In the past year, lumber prices reached an all-time high and then experienced a precipitous drop. …At the conference, B.C.’s forestry CEOs will share their views on the state of the industry during the popular CEO panel.

Read More

West Fraser curtails production in Williams Lake for one week, Chasm, 100 Mile Chetwynd for 3 weeks

By Max Winkelman
The Williams Lake Tribune
January 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

West Fraser announced further curtailments for approximately three weeks of production throughout the first quarter of 2019 at their Chasm, 100 Mile House and Chetwynd sawmills. The Williams Lake sawmill will be shut down for approximately one week to complete certain capital upgrades. …Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett calls the curtailments inevitable. …“You’ve got tariffs from the United States, you’ve got [a] new carbon tax, you’ve got this new healthcare tax, you’ve got a permitting process that has become so onerous and so expensive and so time-consuming. You’ve got pine beetle wood… a lot of it you can’t utilize. So when you have to pay stumpage and… the price of lumber is down, it’s inevitable and it’s sad.” The cost of business is going up but the cost of the product isn’t, she says. …Larry Gardner, Vice-President, Canadian Woodlands at West Fraser. …“Our curtailments are not directly related to that [AAC] reduction. 

Read More

Making Sure BC’s Forestry Sector has a Strong, Sustainable Future

By Premier John Horgan
The Truck Loggers Association
January 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Permier Horgan

From day one, our government has been about people. We’re working every day to make life better for people all over the province. That means investing in good-paying, sustainable jobs in every corner of B.C., including in B.C.’s iconic forest industry. The forest sector is a cornerstone of economic activity in British Columbia, supporting families, communities, and jobs across our province. … One-third of our exports are forest products, which means that forestry jobs also extend into urban B.C… The Truck Loggers Association selected a theme of “Making it Work” for this year’s convention, representing so much that is going on across the forest sector, as well as your organization’s 75 years of representing logging contractors and other members. In that regard, I am pleased that Dan Miller has been able to help logging contractors and licensees reach agreement to work together on developing rate models and rate determination factors.

Read More

Transportation agency launches probe into rail service in Vancouver area

By Eric Atkins
Globe and Mail
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada’s transportation regulator has launched an investigation into railway service in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland after receiving complaints from companies that rely on the Port of Vancouver to reach markets. …The hearings mark the first time the agency has used new powers granted by the federal government last year. …The CTA said the probe will examine if some commodities are given preference over others… Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of Forest Products Association of Canada, said rail delays in B.C.’s Lower Mainland have cost producers more than $500-million in the past two years. “We are seeing an unprecedented number of trade deals being signed and significant federal investment in infrastructure. Now is the time to understand why things are not working as well as they should be. We need to ensure the system in the Lower Mainland is able to respond to the current and future needs of Canadian exporters,” Mr. Nighbor said. [A Globe and Mail subscription is required to read this full story]

Read More

West Fraser Announces Temporary Production Curtailments in British Columbia

By West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Cision Newswire
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Today, West Fraser announced temporary curtailments of approximately three weeks of production throughout the first quarter of 2019 at each of three British Columbia sawmills:  Chasm, 100 Mile House, and Chetwynd.  In addition, the Williams Lake Sawmill will be shut down for approximately a week to complete certain capital upgrades.  The decision to temporarily reduce production at Chasm, 100 Mile House, and Chetwynd is a result of price declines in lumber markets, high log costs and log supply constraints. Total production curtailed in the first quarter of the year is expected to reduce SPF lumber production by approximately 50 million board feet, in addition to previously announced measures. West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.

Read More

Log exports high on agenda for B.C. NDP and forest industry

By Tom Fletcher
Victoria News
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest industry leaders are gathering in Vancouver this week to hear from the B.C. government how it will move ahead on the province’s log export policies, after years of NDP demands while in opposition to reduce log exports in an effort to keep local sawmills going. B.C. cabinet orders allowing logging contractors on the Central and North Coast to export up to 20 per cent of their unprocessed logs are due to expire at the end of January. …B.C. Premier John Horgan and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson are expected to address the annual convention of the Truck Loggers Association, which has argued for many years that premium log export revenues are vital to keep loggers in business so they can also harvest lower-grade timber to bring to B.C. mills.

Read More

Brink drops lawsuit against BCR Properties

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Brink

A long-running legal battle between Prince George lumber manufacturer John Brink and BCR Properties Ltd. over the state of the site where he had planned to build a sawmill has come to an end. A consent dismissal order was filed Dec. 12 stating that the proceeding be dismissed without costs to any party and that the dismissal is “for all purposes of the same force and effect as if judgment had been pronounced after a hearing of this action on its merits.” The order is signed by the lawyers representing Brink and BCR Properties. The matter – a dispute over the condition of a property at 1077 Boundary Rd. in the in the BCR Industrial Site – had been set to go to trial this past Monday and was to last 44 days, according to a trial brief submitted by BCR Properties.

Read More

Western Forest Products pledges to address noise from Duke Point sawmill

By Dominic Abassi
Nanaimo News Now
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO — Randy Shalagan has spent many nights hiding in a spare room over the last several months, trying to escape an unwanted intruder invading his home. But the intruder isn’t the type that can be stymied by fancy home security systems. That’s because it’s incessant industrial noise from a Duke Point sawmill. Shalagan said it was mid-August when he first noticed a constant humming noise inside his waterfront condo along the Newcastle Channel at Cypress St. and Stewart Ave. …One sleepless night, Shalagan said he had enough and went on an exploration mission at 2 a.m. He traced the sound to the Western Forest Products sawmill in Duke Point. The plant is roughly five kilometres, as the crow flies, from Shalagan’s condo and the noise travels a clear path across Nanaimo’s inner harbour.

Read More

Stikine MLA adopted by First Nation faces a dilemma

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson strikes me as an honourable man. That just makes the situation he’s in that much more difficult. …he has established himself as someone who is deeply immersed in First Nations culture and traditions. On occasion, he delivers messages in the house fluently in Indigenous languages. …A few years ago, he told the legislature: “I am the representative for Stikine, but I’m also an adopted member of Wilp Dawamukw [a sub-group of the Gitxsan nation].” …So a man with deep respect for First Nations is now nominally responsible for overriding long-standing concerns of some hereditary chiefs and allowing a pipeline through their claimed land. The project has the approval of all the First Nations’ elected leaders. It’s got signed benefit agreements with bands all along the route. But actual work was hung up until this week on the objections of some unelected individuals whose claims to authority aren’t well understood.

Read More

Trudeau Answered Some Trump Questions At His Kamloops, B.C. Town Hall Because Of Course

By Zi-Ann Lum
Huffington Post
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…a young man asked Trudeau for his thoughts on the U.S. president’s August claim Canada is partly to blame for the scale of the California wildfires because of the Canadian lumber industry. Trudeau said softwood lumber is an issue he continues to raise with Trump, and added that Canadians expect him to have a constructive relationship with the American president. He explained he generally tries “not to weigh in on various things” the president says. “As to any links between fallen logs and brush fires, I will defer to experts and scientists on that.” President Trump insinuated that if the U.S. had imported less lumber from Canada, more fallen trees would have been processed and fewer homes and forests would have been destroyed by the blazes. “Canada is charging us a lot of money to bring their timber down into our country,” the president said at the time.

Read More

Horgan Supports Donaldson’s Visit To Pipeline Blockade

By Cory Sellar
CKPG Today
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan calls Forests and Natural Resource Minister Doug Donaldson’s visit to the pipeline blockade near Houston “highly appropriate.” In a news conference Wednesday, Horgan told reporters that in order to find a solution, there needs to be dialogue and “who better than the local MLA to be there before the RCMP enforced the order, to hear one last time what the concerns were.” The Premier said that the MLA for Stikine followed the necessary protocols when he attended the Wet’suwet’en camp, which included bringing a gift. Once Donaldson was there, Horgan adds that the Minister heard the people’s concerns and then left.  Following the events that have occurred over the last few days, Horgan hopes that everyone can work towards a peaceful resolution.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

UBC installation mixes wood and robots

By Warren Frey
Journal of Commerce
January 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Students at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have used [wood] and the newest in robotics to create a temporary art installation in the centre of the campus. The Wander Wood Pavilion, a wooden curved rounded shell that forms into a bench, was a collaborative effort between several different sets of participants … as part of Robot Made: Large-Scale Robotic Timber Fabrication in Architecture, a workshop involving 15 architecture students along with external partners. UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) had a leading role in the project, spearheaded in part by professor AnnaLisa Meyboom… “We (myself and the Centre of Advanced Wood Processing here at UBC) obtained a grant from Forest Innovation Investment to run the workshop. We brought in collaborating experts from Germany and University of Waterloo. The participants are the students from a course I teach as well as people from industry who sign up.” Meyboom said…

Read More

Mayor lobbies for wood use in new Mills construction

By Rod Link
The Terrace Standard
January 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

As much wood as possible should be used in the construction of the new Mills Memorial Hospital, says Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc… wood in the public areas of the hospital, for instance, would create a warm and inviting atmosphere. …Leclerc’s wood use lobbying efforts involve speaking with Wood Works! BC. Through Leclerc, its municipal affairs and national sustainability manager, Peter Moonen, has already been speaking with Northern Health Authority project planners and intends to make more contact later this month. “Our role is really to encourage [the use of wood], act as coaches, if you will,” said Moonen about the role of Wood Works! BC. …The Northern Health Authority’s Eryn Collins said the extent of wood to be used in the new Mills is being determined by the ongoing business plan.

Read More

Forestry

Investigation finds harvesting at Wilson Creek appropriate

BC Forest Practices Board
January 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An investigation of a public complaint on the Sunshine Coast has found that the Sunshine Coast Community Forest took the appropriate steps when planning and harvesting a cutblock near Wilson Creek. “The issue of sediment in water and impacts on fish habitat is a serious one. This investigation highlights the reasonable steps a forestry licensee should take when working in areas with natural terrain hazards that are also important for fish, water and community interests,” said Kevin Kriese, board chair. The complainant was concerned that the community forest had not assessed the risks of logging the cutblock and had caused sediment to enter Wilson Creek, a fish-bearing stream. The investigation found that the community forest had followed all legal requirements and completed several voluntary assessments, which found that forest harvesting would not pose a significant risk to terrain stability, water flows or fish habitat.

Read More

Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
January 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Young adults interested in learning a diverse range of job skills while working outdoors this summer can now apply for the BC Parks Student Ranger Program. Now in its second year, the Student Ranger Program provides 48 young adults training and employment opportunities in B.C.’s parks and protected areas, with a 30% Indigenous hiring target. “The student rangers play a key role in environmental stewardship while preserving the natural, cultural and historical values that British Columbians cherish,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “I hope the program inspires young adults to consider a meaningful and rewarding career looking after B.C.’s beautiful parks and protected areas.” Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Student Ranger Program offers hands-on work experience related to conservation, recreation, community outreach and Indigenous relations.

Read More

Too much fuel causing catastrophic wildfires, expert says

BC Local News
January 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Miles Fuller

Forester and longtime Burns Lake resident Miles Fuller warned a recent village council meeting that the community is lucky no one died in last summer’s wildfires. …Fuel, and fuel mitigation was his other main reason for speaking to the council and he said not enough is being done to reduce the fuel that disastrous fires feed on. Frank Varga, General Manager of the Burns Lake Community Forest also joined the presentation and provided powerpoint images to illustrate Fuller’s points. …In his 40 years of experience in this area, he has seen the ecosystem treated as retention-based and that has heightened its susceptibility to fires and the fires’ severity.

Read More

Getting ahead of wildfires: controlled burns underway in Jasper National Park

By Stephanie Dubois
CBC News
January 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you’ve been to the Jasper area in the last month, you might have seen smoke in the air. Fear not, say Jasper fire officials, because the smoke is usually from controlled burns to help prevent wildfires. Dead or dying trees are being removed in both the Jasper townsite as well as from some areas within Jasper National Park. The trees being removed are often damaged by pine beetles and the dry bark can present a risk if a wildfire ever happens. “This type of work has to be done in the winter. We need snow cover and we need frozen ground. Otherwise, the impact to the ground is too significant,” said Jasper fire chief Greg Van Tighem. …Van Tighem said eliminating the dead wood makes it easier to battle any future wildfires. When the forest is thinned, he explained, the wildfire stays on the ground rather than the treetops.

Read More

Sechelt council to consider Legacy Fund grants

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Councillors in Sechelt are expected to vote Jan. 16 on approving $325,500 in grants from the Sunshine Coast Community Forest’s Legacy Fund. A letter from Peter Moonen, chair of the Legacy Fund Assessment Committee, said the committee received more $900,000 in requests for support, which was more than twice the amount available in the fund. The committee has recommended seven grants for approval… If they’re all approved as recommended, the grants will leave the fund with approximately $57,000, which will be topped up when the next round of dividends from logging operations come in to the district. In his third quarter report, Community Forest chair Geoff Craig predicted that with net income as of Sept. 31 at $1,278,378, last year could be the corporation’s best in terms of financial performance since the Community Forest was established in 2006.

Read More

Wildfire preparedness grant applications being accepted

BC Wildfire Service
Government of British Columbia
January 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. residents can now apply for a chance to receive a $500 award from FireSmart Canada to help their communities hold FireSmart activities or events on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, May 4, 2019. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is part of an annual campaign by FireSmart Canada, and encourages neighbours to work together to reduce the risk of wildfire damage in their communities. Given the unprecedented 2017 and 2018 wildfires and the growing impact of climate change, it is important for homeowners and communities to do their part to become more “FireSmart.” Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility, and communities need to be prepared for the upcoming 2019 fire season.

Read More

Great Bear Rainforest ‘gift to the world’ came at our expense, says Kwiakah First Nation

By Erica Gies
The Narwhal
January 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We have come to visit the traditional territory of the Kwiakah First Nation, once one of the largest bands in what is now BC. But today it is one of the smallest, with just 22 members remaining. Their territory lies within the Great Bear Rainforest. …It is touted by the province as a “gift to the world” for protecting 85 per cent of those forests. But the Kwiakah, in the far south of the designated area, say that, under the agreement, logging in their territory will increase, and that this deal negotiated by the timber industry, province, environmental NGOs and First Nations came largely at their expense. …The Kwiakah and Western Forest Products have been negotiating, but the Kwiakah feel burned by previous dealings. The band remains concerned about Western’s application to amalgamate its Tree Farm Licences, which would allow it to potentially harvest its full 275,000 cubic meters annually from Phillips Arm.

Read More

13 First Nations come together to create new forestry agreement

By Bryn Eneas
CBC News
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thirteen Indigenous communities who control more than 50 per cent of the provincial allocated and active wood supply in Saskatchewan have banded together. An agreement signed between the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, Big River First Nation, Pelican Lake First nation, Witchekan Lake First Nation and the Meadow Lake Tribal Council was formalized in early December. …Rob Fincati, CEO of Montreal Lake Business Ventures, said… “We see this as a way to really assert our ancestral, territorial rights”. He said beyond asserting those rights, the agreement between the bands is also a way to protect their assets in dealings with forestry corporations. …Fincati said one of the objectives of the bands in the agreement was to bring a pulp mill back to the Prince Albert region. The former pulp mill closed in 2006.

Read More

Haida Gwaii’s northern goshawks: Highly distinct and at risk

University of British Columbia
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Haida Gwaii’s small population of northern goshawks—already of great concern to conservationists–are the last remnant of a highly distinct genetic cluster of the birds, according to a new genomic analysis by University of British Columbia researchers. “Goshawks across the British Columbia Coast appear to be declining, however, the distinct Haida Gwaii population is at a particularly high risk of extinction with such a small population size,” says Kenneth Askelson, a researcher with the UBC Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, who co-led the study. Latest counts puts the population on the archipelago at roughly 50. The genomic findings add new context and impetus to efforts to save this vulnerable pocket of goshawks, which are one of BC’s most iconic birds of prey.

Read More

Study shows black bears need a variety of salmon species to be healthy

The Canadian Press in the Province
January 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Black bears need access to different species of salmon rather than huge numbers of a single variety in order to be healthy, a new study by Canadian researchers indicates. Lead author Christina Service said if bears have access to a “portfolio of different salmon species” then the animals have access to more food for a greater part of the year. “It is the equivalent of humans going to an all-you-can-eat buffet,” said the PhD candidate from the University of Victoria, adding that different species of the fish have different run timings and use different habitat. …The team of researchers used chemical techniques on hair samples from 379 black bears and 122 grizzly bears between 2009 and 2014 to estimate their salmon consumption, which showed population productivity and health. They studied animals across a 22,000-kilometre stretch along coastal British Columbia’s “Great Bear Rainforest.

Read More

B.C. conservationists want protection for ‘Canada’s most magnificent’ old-growth forest

The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
January 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conservationists in British Columbia are pushing for protections on an area of old-growth forests they describe as “Canada’s most magnificent.” The grove is located on Crown land in the San Juan River Valley near Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation band. …Most of the grove is unprotected, with a small portion — about four hectares — off-limits to loggers through the provincial government’s old-growth management area, he said. …This forest can be saved from logging if the provincial government simply extends its existing old growth management area, which currently protects about two hectares of this grove, he said. The B.C. Ministry of Forests said in a statement that the grove is contained in a woodlot operated by Pacheedaht Forestry Ltd., and there is no imminent logging planned.

Read More

B.C. ancient tree lovers unveil ‘Mossome’ grove as part of bid for new protections

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
January 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conservationists on Vancouver Island have documented a unique grove of ancient trees which it wants protected from logging due to its ecological value. “This is perhaps the most magnificent and stunningly beautiful old-growth forest I’ve ever seen,” said Ken Wu, executive director of the conservation group, Endangered Ecosystems Alliance. Wu, 44, has been exploring forests on Vancouver Island to campaign for their protection for the past 28 years. The latest find, a 13-hectare parcel on public land, is located near Port Renfrew along the San Juan River and within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation. It features massive old growth Sitka spruce and bigleaf maples, which are covered is hanging mosses and ferns. Wu and campaigners with the conservation group, Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA), have nicknamed the grove ‘Mossome Grove,’ a blending of the words “mossy” and “awesome.”

Read More

First Nations groups partner on new forestry alliance

By Charlene Tebbutt
Prince Albert NOW
January 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SASKATCHEWAN — Several local-area First Nations have signed on to a new agreement to manage forest lands and build on opportunities in the industry. The new Saskatchewan First Nations Forestry Alliance includes 13 First Nations, including the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, Big River First Nation, Pelican Lake First Nation, Witchekan Lake First Nation and Meadow Lake Tribal Council and their related business organizations. The deal outlines how business-related opportunities will be handled on First Nations’ ancestral lands, which cover much of Saskatchewan’s forested area. Together, the groups direct forest management licenses and commercial arrangements on more than four million cubic metres of the annual allowable cut in the province. …Twenty-eight per cent of Saskatchewan’s timber supply is allocated to Indigenous businesses, the largest percentage of any province, the government noted.

Read More

Where Do We Stand group is misunderstood

Letter by Len Thew
The Cowichan Valley Citizen
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I think for the most part, people are largely misunderstanding the Where Do We Stand issue. As a person who has been actively involved from the beginning, I would like to make three very clear and simple points: 1. First and foremost, we feel the people deserve to have a say in how their community forest is being managed. Currently, there is zero public engagement, no consultation, we are not included or involved in the decision making or planning process whatsoever. …2. There are alternate methods of forestry management and harvesting, and options available that will meet the goals of the people while still allowing the department to thrive if given the opportunity. A financially sustainable forest reserve is not contingent on the current clear cutting and harvesting model. Increased taxes and job loss are baseless arguments made by closed minded people unwilling to adapt to or consider change.

Read More

Adams Lake Passes Audit

BC Forest Practices Board
January 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of Forest Licence A89984, held by Adams Lake, which is managed by the Adams Lake Indian Band, has found compliance with most requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, according to a report released today. “The Board is pleased to see that Adams Lake is participating in the forestry sector and creating benefits for their community” said Kevin Kriese, Board Chair. The audit found one area for improvement, related to piling and burning logging debris too close to standing timber. On one site, a slash burn damaged some live trees. On two other sites, debris piles had not yet been burned, but were also too close to live timber. All other practices met the legal requirements.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Woodlot owner says the full costs of alternatives to wood heat are overlooked

Letter by Harold Macy, Headquarters Creek Woodlot Ltd.
Comox Valley Record
January 13, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Harold Macy

The anti-wood burning film noted in today’s (Jan. 11) Record presents several other methods of heating one’s home on this cool and damp Island. I will argue that each of them share an environmental footprint much greater than firewood. The opponents support the use of heat pumps, natural or propane gas, or wood pellets. Let’s have a closer look at each of these sources of comfort. …[Wood] is perpetually renewable and is sourced locally. For many years TimberWest and other industrial companies disposed of post-harvesting residue by smoldering slash piles which admittedly were problematic. However, the contractor operating out of our family woodlot now has an agreement to sort out the recoverable firewood, haul it to the processing yard and cut it into lengths then deliver it to local homes…. It is a win-win-win situation. …Before you jump on the anti-stove bandwagon, look carefully at the true costs.

Read More

Health & Safety

Fatigue responsible for 2017 occurrence in which a BC tug boat made bottom contact

By Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Cision Newswire
January 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its investigation report into a July 2017 occurrence during which the tug Ocean Monarch made bottom contact while transiting the Princess Royal Channel south of Kitimat, British Columbia. The report underlines the need to effectively manage the risk of fatigue in the marine industry. On 9 July 2017… the tug Ocean Monarch, with three crew members on board, made bottom contact while towing the loaded cement barge Evco No. 15. No pollution or injuries were reported, but the tug’s hull, starboard propeller and nozzle were damaged. …The investigation determined that the mate, alone on watchkeeping duties, fell asleep while the tug and barge transited on autopilot through the channel’s confined waters. …The investigation also found that the tug’s operator had no strategies in place to mitigate crew fatigue, despite a previous occurrence in 2011 where fatigue played a role.

Read More