Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Business & Politics

Woodtone in Spallumcheen is hiring workers

By Darren Handschuh
Castanet
November 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woodtone in Spallumcheen is a BC forest industry company that is not only keeping its employees working, it is hiring more staff. Some 70 people are employed by the plant that has carved out a successful niche market while taking value added to a whole new level. The company takes small pieces of wood that were destined for the chipper or burner and turns them into large, valuable pieces of wood… “We partner with a lot of the primary mills around the Okanagan particularly, and we buy a lot of the lengths and odds and ends they can’t get rid of,” said Chad Richmond, Woodtone territory and product manager. [They] are then milled and finger jointed to make dimensional lumber. The final product undergoes rigorous testing… Most of the products head to the United States market. …“We’re hiring. We just trained five new recruits yesterday.” And they are looking for more employees.

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Tolko workers look to future

By Kirk Penton
The Okanagan Edge
November 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The push is on to get those affected by the permanent closure of Kelowna’s Tolko saw mill back in the workforce. “They’re starting to look in other places for work, and a lot of them aren’t going back into our industry, which is sad,” United Steelworkers Local 1-423 Kelowna president Pat McGregor said this week. “They see that the industry is changing, and I don’t believe it is. I just think it’s cyclical.” …Nearly 200 workers, including some who are third- and fourth-generation mill employees, are now beginning the tough task of finding new careers. …The union, Tolko and the provincial government are all playing roles in that. …McGregor said Tolko’s involvement in transition money for its former employees remains to be seen.

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Changing times: Tolko closure marks the end of a way of life, says local historian

By Kathy Michaels
InfoTel News
November 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sharron Simpson felt a loss for both her family and the community. …The sawmill where Tolko currently stands was started by her grandfather, Stanley Simpson, in 1931. It was a planing mill and box factory when it began. …Her family sold it in 1965 to Crown Zellerbach. Subsequent sales were to Fletcher Challenge/Crown Forest in 1983 and Riverside Forest Products. Tolko, which took over in 2003, is the only one of those lumber companies still in business. …At its height it employed more than 500 people in Kelowna, working three shifts around the clock. …Whether that loss will be made up by any single employer again remains to be seen but Simpson, authored a book about the local lumber industry called Boards, Boxes and Bins. …While the mill’s loss will be felt around the region, what it did for the community over the last century won’t soon be forgotten.

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Why Canadian businesses are losing their edge

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite a host of positive economic indicators that suggest Canada is well-positioned to weather whatever economic downturn is coming, businessmen and women in Canada appear to be worried. …Canada has fallen far behind their counterparts in the U.S., and other OECD countries, when it comes to per worker investments, according to economists at the Business Council of BC annual summit. …Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, said, that for resource industries in particular, regulatory burdens are definitely a curb on investment in B.C. Yurkovich said forestry companies already made some significant investments in their mills and equipment in B.C. to make them more efficient. …Reducing red tape is one thing governments could do to give Canadian resource industries a bit more of a competitive edge. “We need to streamline our permitting and our regulatory processes, because that [can] help us get back to a more competitive position,” Yurkovich said.

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NDP must act to save forestry, rural communities

By Jackie Tegart, MLA
The Merritt Herald
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jackie Tegart

I am writing you today to inform about the devastating effects of insufficient government action on a major issue in my riding, and across BC. The forestry industry is in the fight of its life, and it is not winning the battle. Only strong government action can save it now. The loss of over 10,000 jobs in the forestry industry is devastating to workers and their families. …The NDP government has the opportunity to make these changes and provide secure tenure for local mills, and to lower stumpage fees to make logging affordable once again. …I don’t believe those discussions are taking place within government currently. There are indeed a range of tools available to the provincial government. I urge the NDP government to take immediate action.

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North Island families struggling as Western Forest Products strike enters 5th month

By Good Kurbis
CTV News
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT MCNEILL, BC – As the strike between unionized forestry workers and Western Forest Products nears the five-month mark, other businesses and communities are feeling more of an impact. Jessica McLaughlin, executive director of the Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce says several families are starting to get hit hard. …The chamber referenced how nine families decided to move away from Port McNeill. McLaughlin told CTV News, “there have been boats towed away, there have been cars towed away, it’s not people trying to fear monger, it’s a reality of what’s happening in our town right now”. A Campbell River counselling firm indicates it has also heard from more people being impacted from the strike. Kelsi Baine is the executive director of Upper Island Counselling and notes the effects are wide-reaching.

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Strike-impacted forestry workers thrown a lifeline

By Alex Rawnsley
Nanaimo News Now
November 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

ERRINGTON, BC — The impact of a nearly five-month long strike between Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 is being temporarily relieved for some local forestry workers. They’ve been called to clean an 80-acre plot of land in Errington using machinery and manpower which will also provide products for area mills. Allard Contractors was initially burning away the brush and debris. …Allard teamed up with Catalyst Paper, DBL Disposal Services, Marpole Trucking and Parksville Heavy Equipment to continue operations. …The process creates a product called hog fuel, sought after by mills to power boilers and other industrial machinery. The fuel is taken to the Catalyst Paper mill in Port Alberni to continue their operations. The mill is footing the sizable bill to obtain the fuel.

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Canfor Announces Filing of Management Information Circular for Proposed Arrangement with Great Pacific

Canfor Corporation
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC — Canfor Corporation has filed its management information circular and related voting materials for the special meeting of Canfor shareholders to be held in connection with the proposed plan of arrangement with 1227738 B.C. Ltd. (the “Purchaser”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Pacific Capital Corp., as previously announced on October 28, 2019. At the Special Meeting being held on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, Shareholders will be asked to consider and vote upon a resolution to approve the Arrangement. Under the terms of the Arrangement, the Purchaser will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Canfor not already held by Great Pacific or its affiliates, for cash consideration of CDN$16.00 per Canfor Share by way of a statutory plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act.

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North Island-Powell River MP urges return to bargaining

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
November 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rachel Blaney

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has weighed in on the coastal forestry strike, urging both sides to get back to the bargaining table. “The current labour dispute between Western Forest Products and their workers… has gone on too long and is causing significant harm to the communities I represent. So while the forestry industry… is not federal jurisdiction, as an elected community leader I must add my voice to the mayors to implore you to end the damage being inflicted on our communities and to take the necessary steps to reach an agreement with the union and get people back to work.” Blaney stated that as an act of good faith, at the very least, she encourages Western Forest Products to resume coverage of employee benefits during the strike as has been the precedent in previous disputes.

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Forestry strike remains at a stalemate; Powell River workers still on picket line

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
November 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products was disappointed to learn… that talks were over, and no new talks are scheduled, according to president Don Demens. …“To get people back to work as soon as possible, we asked the United Steelworkers bargaining committee to take this offer to the membership to vote on it. We also told both the mediators and the USW bargaining committee that we would be willing to have our employees return to work during the voting process.” …The USW bargaining committee’s position continues to be entrenched, demanding a shorter term and wage increases that are nearly 40 per cent higher than established industry agreements, stated Demens. According USW Local 1-1937, “it is unfortunate, but not surprising that WFP walked away from the bargaining table again. …the proposal made by WFP is a desperate attempt and has failed to undermine the solidarity of the members.”

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Red tape reduction bill proposes slew of changes to 6 ministries

By Stephen David Cook
CBC News
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Grant Hunter

The Alberta government introduced a bill Monday designed to cut down on red tape and streamline approvals, but officials couldn’t say how much money would be saved. Bill 25, the Red Tape Reduction Act, was introduced by Grant Hunter, associate minister of red tape reduction. …The bill would give the minister of agriculture and forestry approval authority for entering into forest management agreements. Currently, such agreements between forestry companies and the government require cabinet approval, which can take five to six months. …”It’s going to create greater certainty around timelines,” Alberta Forest Products Association communications director Brock Mulligan said. “It’s going to support jobs and it’s going to take away a lot of the uncertainty and regulatory burden that can really hit your family owned sawmills hard.”

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Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

By Mike Youds
Cowichan Valley Citizen
November 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberni Valley community is rallying in support of mill workers and loggers who have been affected by a five-month forest sector strike. Talks between Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 broke down again over the weekend, with no future mediation dates scheduled at press time. Members filed into the United Steelworkers hall Friday morning (Nov. 15), there to pick up strike pay as well as food hampers, the latter a sure sign of the deepening impact of a protracted dispute. Boxes of bulk food donations were unloaded from Hertel Meats, Double R Meats, No Frills and the Salvation Army, a few of many donors who have stepped up. Much of the initiative — as with Friday’s show of generosity — has come from the community at large, said Laura Mauke, administrative assistant with Local 1-1937.

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Union rejects offer from Western Forest Products; no talks scheduled

Victoria Times Colonist
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Talks have broken off between Western Forest Products and the union representing nearly 3,000 workers on the coast. …The union said it wants a four-year deal with raises of three per cent in the first two years and 2.5 per cent in each of the last two. United Steelworkers president Brian Butler accused the company of “game-playing” and said Western Forest Products left the table instead of responding to the union’s last contract offer on Sunday. “Our offer is aligned with recent forest industry collective bargaining settlements.” …Demens said, “we asked the local union bargaining committee to allow employees to return to work while they ask membership to vote on our proposal.” The union responded by saying the proposal by Western Forest Products is a “desperate attempt and has failed to undermine the solidarity of members.” …The union has also rejected the company’s request to go to binding arbitration.

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Saving B.C.’s forestry towns—a Marshall Plan for the Interior of the province

By Eric Denhoff, former deputy minister in BC
The Georgia Straight
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The crisis in the woods is different from any other B.C.’s forest industry has faced in recent years. …Towns from Mackenzie to Fort St. James, from Quesnel to 100 Mile House and beyond are facing potential devastation as current and potential closures wreak havoc on their towns. …My concern is that …A mill closes in the Lower Mainland, throwing 150 workers out of jobs, and Vancouver doesn’t notice. …But in small-town B.C., when you lose 150 or 200 jobs, you pretty much lose the town. So, what can be done? 1. Let’s immediately enable these hard-hit towns to offer complete municipal and regional property-tax exemptions to new businesses. … 2. Let’s join with Ottawa to get dramatic new assistance to companies willing to locate in these towns and smaller cities. …3. Let’s start moving the bureaucrats to small town B.C. …4. Let’s bring in the world’s leading diversification experts and get some long-term planning going.

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Canfor Obtains Interim Order for Plan of Arrangement Special Meeting Scheduled for Shareholder Vote

Canfor News Release
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Corporation announces that, further to its news release on October 28, 2019, the company has obtained an interim order of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in connection with the proposed arrangement with 1227738 B.C. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Pacific Capital Corp., to be implemented under a statutory plan of arrangement pursuant to section 288 of the Business Corporations Act. The Interim Order provides for, among other things, the holding of a special meeting of the holders of common shares of Canfor to consider and vote upon the Arrangement. 

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Western Forest Products says contract talks with striking union have stalled

By Gord MacDonald
Global News
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver-based Western Forest Products has announced that contract talks with the United Steelworkers Union have ended after 14 hours of bargaining on Saturday and Sunday. Western Forest Products president Don Demens says mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers told the company Sunday that talks were over. He said the company offered the union a five-year deal with a $2,000 signing bonus and wage hikes of two per cent for the first four years and 2.5 per cent in the fifth year. The company says it previously dropped pension plan alternatives opposed by the union and has also dropped “all remaining proposals that the union opposed, including modernizing agreements dating back to 1986, which would support future employment.” Demens says the company asked the union bargaining committee to take the offer to a membership vote, which was rejected, as was a request for binding arbitration.

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Pinnacle reports progress with plant improvement projects

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
November 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pinnacle Renewable Energy released third quarter financial results on Nov. 12, reporting progress with upgrades at several existing wood pellet plants. Revenue also increased despite issues with ongoing sawmill curtailments in British Columbia. …Upgrades to the fiber drying and air filtration equipment at the Williams Lake, British Columbia, facility are progressing on schedule and are expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2020, McCurdy said. …The Aliceville, Alabama, pellet plant is also undergoing improvements McCrudy said. Projects at that facility aim to improve fiber flow, processing and operating efficiency. As a result of the improvement projects, McCurdy said the plant began experiencing ongoing operating improvements beginning in September that allowed it to set several new production records. …Pinnacle’s pellet plant in Smithers, British Columbia, reached full run rate capacity of 125,000 metric tons per year during the third quarter and is performing very well, McCurdy said.

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Bloedel Conservatory turns 50

By John Mackie
Vancouver Sun
November 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prentice Bloedel in 1971

Prentice Bloedel in 1951

In 1965, the Vancouver park board unveiled a dramatic vision for the top of Little Mountain: a $1.5-million floral conservatory, forest museum and planetarium. …and on April 27, 1966, the park board announced that the conservatory and “museum of the woods” would be built, thanks to a $1-million donation from Seattle lumber baron Prentice Bloedel. On Dec. 6, 1969, the Bloedel Conservatory opened to the public, attracting …500,000 the first year. Fifty years later, it remains a Vancouver icon. …Prentice Bloedel was partners with H.R. MacMillan in the forest giant MacMillan Bloedel. MacMillan was also civic-minded: he donated the money for the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (i.e., planetarium)… A third MacMillan Bloedel executive, Whitford Julian VanDusen, gave $1 million to help convert the old Shaughnessy Golf Course to a public garden in 1975. “So the planetarium became MacMillan’s and the conservatory became Bloedel’s and VanDusen hunkered up a million dollars for the $3-million cost for VanDusen Gardens,” said Clark.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

6-storey pre-zoning among Vancouver’s proposed changes to build more rentals

By Kenneth Chan
Daily Hive – Urbanized Vancouver
November 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A newly released report by City of Vancouver staff builds on the conclusion that incentives are critical to the creation of new purpose-built rental housing supply. …But the forthcoming recommendations align with an independent report commissioned by the city that found developer incentives to build rental housing are working. The pace of approvals, at a rate that is well below the city’s 10-year goals for market rentals, is narrowing the vacancy rate to about 1% and pushing rental rates upwards. Changes include:Permitting mass timber rental buildings up to 12 storeys: Aligning with changes to the BC building code and next year’s proposed changes to Canada’s building code, 12-storey mass timber buildings could be more widely considered and encouraged for rental housing. “The provincial government announced today new changes to the BC building code that will allow the construction of taller wood buildings of 12 storeys — up from the current allowance of six,” reads the report.

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Code changes include support for taller wood structures

By
East Kootenay News Weekly e-know
November 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

New updates to the B.C. Building and Plumbing Code (B.C. Building Code) support innovative construction methods to help build more affordable homes faster, while enhancing building standards for energy efficiency and safety for British Columbians, says a Nov. 21 Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing media release. “People deserve to have a safe, affordable and secure home, and we are working to make that a reality for all British Columbians,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These changes to the building code will help create more affordable housing, while ensuring buildings in B.C. meet world-class health, safety and energy efficiency standards.” One of the changes to the building code enables local governments to allow 12-storey tall wood buildings, up from the previous limit of six storeys. Thirteen communities have signed on to be early adopters of tall wood buildings using mass timber technology.

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Wood is a strong performer in pools and ice arenas

By David Wylie
REMI Netowrk Construction Business
November 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wood is a natural choice for constructing indoor swimming pools and ice arenas. An effective insulator with a warm aesthetic, wood is particularly well suited to the demanding atmospheres of swimming pools — as well as ice rinks in arenas. Wood tolerates high levels of humidity, offers acoustic and thermal benefits, and absorbs and releases water vapour without compromising its structural integrity. Indoor pool design has evolved to include ample use of natural light and bold, innovative uses of B.C. wood from sustainably managed forests. Darryl Condon and his firm HCMA Architecture + Design have been using wood prominently in aquatic facilities throughout B.C. “We have long recognized the inherent benefits of utilizing wood in indoor swimming pools; wood is a great solution to the challenges of chlorine and humidity,” he said. …These projects and others are featured in a newly released book, Naturally Wood, which showcases British Columbia’s cutting‐edge wood architecture and design. 

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Zero-emission student housing planned at UBC Okanagan

BC Local News
November 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

UBC Okanagan will soon offer substantial environmentally friendly student housing. A plan to bring a $18.7 million and zero emission housing project has started on campus and for Dave Waldron, it represents a window into the future. The new affordable housing project for students, called Skeena, is being built to an energy-efficient Passive House standard that will run without using fossil fuels. …“Part of the beauty of the Passive House concept is its simplicity. Essentially, what you’re doing is making a super-efficient shell compared to conventional buildings.” …it will house 220 students on six floors, five of which will be built with a wood frame on a concrete base. …”With Passive House buildings, you invest in your structure as opposed to a bunch of fancy mechanical and electrical bells and whistles, which makes it really long lasting because there aren’t as many moving parts.”

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Forestry

Sicamous’ $1M wildfire prevention plan to also provide an alternate energy source

By Megan Turcato
Global News
November 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sicamous sees a dual purpose to its $1-million fuel mitigation plan. The Shuswap community is hoping to protect their town from wildfires while at the same time developing an alternative energy source. The town is in the midst of densely forested hills, meaning a lightning strike in the backcountry could quickly become a significant fire, exposing homes to flame. …As part of the project, the district hopes to remove ground fuels that allow fires to get up into the canopy where, fire chief Brett Ogino explains, the flames can become “very fast-moving and very difficult to control. …Meanwhile, the idea is to tie the fuel mitigation project into plans for a biofuel heating system in the community, similar to one that already exists in nearby Enderby.

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Forest herbicide contributing to wildfires

CBC News
November 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Many Canadian forests are managed through the use of the herbicide glyphosate — which has now been linked to forest fires. The herbicide shapes the way forests grow, which can maximize profits — but not without unforeseen costs. This 10 minute CBC Video story explains:

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New cut level set for Lakes Timber Supply Area

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
November 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In response to the end of the mountain pine beetle epidemic and salvage of dead pine in the Lakes Timber Supply Area (TSA), the new allowable annual cut (AAC) for the Lakes TSA will be 970,000 cubic metres, effective immediately. The new AAC was announced by Diane Nicholls, chief forester, and includes three partitions:

  • a maximum of 400,000 cubic metres per year is attributable to live coniferous volume;
  • a maximum of 20,000 cubic metres per year is attributable to live deciduous volume; and
  • a maximum of 550,000 cubic metres per year is attributable to dead volume.

Although the new cut level is approximately 41% lower than the previous AAC of 1,648,660 cubic metres, it is only 6% lower than harvest levels in the last two years.

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Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-op hands out $50K

By Lexi Bainas
Cowichan Valley Citizen
November 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tim McGonigle

It’s the culmination of many years of work but now the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative is handing out legacy grants to various community groups from the profits of its logging venture with the Pacheedaht First Nation. Decisions were made in October as to how this year’s fund of $50,000 would be divvied up, and Tim McGonigle, vice-chair of the Co-op, announced the names of the winners on Nov. 12. “The Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative, aside from the yearly donations that we do to the Community Services Christmas Hampers, the scholarships we hand out, and other contributions that we do yearly, this year would be the first time we’ve done legacy gifts from among the applications that came forward.

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Damage to caribou habitat caused by industry, Suzuki Foundation says

By Stephanie Wood
National Observer
November 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Boreal caribou have been declining for decades, but public awareness and government action doesn’t seem to change, according to Rachel Plotkin, a caribou expert with the David Suzuki Foundation. Now, the foundation has created an interactive map that visualizes the impact of human activity on caribou habitat. They spent three months building the map using data from the federal and provincial governments, as well as non-profits like the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Global Forest Watch Canada. There are 34,000 boreal caribou that continue to live across the country. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates their population has declined 30 per cent over the past two decades. The map, launched on Tuesday, shows a correlation of weaker populations and more degraded forests with higher levels of oil-and-gas activity around the northern border between British Columbia and Alberta. 

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Dozens attend community water forum at Kelowna library hosted by UBC Okanagan

By Jules Knox
Global News
November 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dozens of people attended a community forum hosted by UBC Okanagan at Kelowna’s library on Tuesday night. A panel of experts weighed in on the need for better forest management in order to combat flooding and wildfires. “A big point of this is to get people’s minds on this so they can talk to their local government or their local member of parliament,” UBC Okanagan assistant professor Mathieu Bourbonnais said. “Forestry is part of the solution. Industry is part of the solution. It’s governments, it’s industry, it’s communities, it’s First Nations working together…,” he added. The panel discussed how in an era of larger and more destructive wildfires and devastating flooding, it’s especially important to pay attention to how communities are affecting the environment around them.

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British Columbia’s Declining Forestry Industry is Bad News for the Environment

By Sara Parker
The McGill International Review
November 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For decades, British Columbia (B.C.) has prospered from a high demand for lumber. The province is home to an expansive temperate rainforest, the logging and harvesting of which enables the forestry industry to employ thousands of people with, until recently, a high degree of job security. However, the amount of merchantable logs in the province is declining due to a slew of natural disasters, and trade disputes with the United States over tariffs on softwood lumber have increased the cost of exporting lumber. These factors have resulted in a steady decline of the forestry industry that began in the late 1990s, but has experienced particularly sharp downturns in 2005 and 2018, affecting the livelihoods of thousands of British Columbians. The forestry industry also plays a significant role in the preservation of B.C.’s forests, and its decline therefore poses a severe risk not only for the province’s economy, but its environmental sustainability as well.

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Clear-cut logging needs to stop

Letter by Bruce Barnes
BC Local News
November 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am writing in regards to logging practices since 2003. The Liberal government under Gordon Campbell exchanged land the companies had almost logged off for Crown land which these corporations actually have title to the land. They, the logging companies, can clear cut right to stream, rivers and hide lakes that are out of sight. Is there no oversight, no required replanting or paying stumpage fees as a result? …The forests protect the ecological environment for all species, absorb carbon dioxide and in turn release oxygen. …The need for change in logging has to happen, not that there should no logging, but not total clear cuts. Oversight has to be done now and logging has to be done responsibly for future generations. Shame on the B.C. government.

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The volume is now available for Quesnel’s Community Forest, so now what ?

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the next step when it comes to the city finally getting a community forest is to respond to a letter of invitation from the Minister to the partners that can access the volume that was announced last week. “From there you begin to take a look at the land base, you take a look at where you can get the volume from, and what the business partnerships would be to be able to access that volume. So as far as we understand the 77,000 that is assigned to a community forest can be rolled into the larger volume that is available to First Nations in a larger collaborative, depending on the business relationships that we make, and there may be some efficiencies in that for us.” …Simpson says the city is interested in driving the local economy. 

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Photo contest showcases the value of B.C. forestry

Canadian Forest Industries
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The benefits of forestry are evident in our everyday lives. From working in forestry to using products made of paper to living or working in beautiful timber buildings, the industry is a cornerstone of Canada. The photos we have received so far as part of our fourth annual forestry contest, in partnership with COFI, reflect this. This year, we asked British Columbians to submit photos showcasing the benefits forestry provides them. The submissions we have received so far showcase the value of B.C.’s forests and the many ways in which we interact with them. Don’t miss your chance to win a gift card and be featured in CFI! The photo contest is open until December 18. 

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Conservation officer of the year follows in father’s footsteps

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Blake Parker

Blake Parker has always viewed his father as a hero. Growing up in the north eastern city of Fort St. John, Parker would sometimes tag along with the B.C. conservation officer to investigate wildlife complaints, getting a first-hand look at what his father did for a living. That experience, combined with a love of the outdoors, fuelled Parker’s interest to someday pursue a career as a conservation officer too. Now, the 37 year old is following in his father’s footsteps and has returned to his hometown to work as an acting sergeant responsible for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service’s (COS) North Peace zone. He has also been named the 2018 conservation officer of the year, a recognition that makes his family proud.

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Bush cameras installed to deter backcountry vandals and thieves

Nanaimo News Now
November 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI — A Vancouver Island forestry giant has turned to concealed bush cameras in response to thieves, vandals and illegal trash dumpers. Mosaic Forest Management vice president Domenico Iannidinardo said a small number of people abusing access to their private forest lands forced the company’s hand. “We do have a security team that helps us track the two per cent that are at risk of ruining safe, reliable public access on our private lands for the other 98 per cent,” Iannidardo said. …Iannidardo said Mosaic Forest Managment spends “hundreds of thousands of dollars” annually in clean-up costs and repair bills due to vandals and thieves. He said the company is trying to increase access to their lands during hunting season.

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Forest Enhancement Society of BC Funded Project in Nazko Shows Value in Wildfire Risk Mitigation Work

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire risk mitigation project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) working with the Nazko Logging Ltd. Partnership showed its value when a downed powerline started a fire in the area. “The good work of the team in the fuel management treatments meant that the area where the fire started had already been cleared of debris, brush, dead trees, and ladder fuels,” said Ray Raatz of FESBC. “The fire stayed low to the ground and didn’t have an opportunity to go up into the crowns of the trees, which meant crews had a better chance to respond and there was relatively little damage. It shows the value of proactive wildfire risk reduction work.”

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An opportunity for bold conservation action in B.C.’s north

John Weaver, carnivore conservation biologist
Victoria Times Colonist
November 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We also need to take bold steps to protect the wild places — and wildlife — we love in the face of growing climate pressures. Fortunately, here in B.C., we have an opportunity to make a huge difference for wildlife, starting in a vast area in the north-central part of the province… B.C.’s Muskwa-Kechika is a spectacularly wild region of rugged mountains, verdant valleys, glaciers and boreal forests. Four times the size of Vancouver Island, it is an area with few roads (98 per cent roadless) and little resource development. The result is intact forests, clean waters and healthy wildlife populations. Caribou, for example, are thriving in the Muskwa-Kechika… The Muskwa-Kechika Management Area was established in the late 1990s in a first effort to protect some of its most important pieces. …Wildlife Conservation Society Canada has mapped a larger and better-connected network of protected areas across the Greater Muskwa-Kechika. 

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If you care about old growth trees in B.C. now’s your chance to speak up

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
November 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province will spend months collecting more public feedback on how old-growth trees should be protected or cut down in yet another round of engagement over new rules for forestry and conservation in B.C. …However, conservationists say the review is a stalling tactic. …Right now, two professional foresters are travelling the province meeting with conservationists, unions, First Nations and the public to ask about the ecological, economic and cultural importance of old growth trees and forests. Garry Merkel, a natural resource expert and member of the Tahltan Nation, along with Al Gorley, a former chair of the Forest Practices Board, will collect submissions. Biologist Wayne McCory, a director with the Valhalla Wilderness Committee, was concerned though that two former foresters with resource development backgrounds were appointed to the panel and not someone with a ecological background.

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Health & Safety

New research projects look at health impacts of fighting forest fires

Glacier Media in Kamloops Matters
November 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The University of Northern BC and the University of Alberta are conducting studies to learn more about how firefighting activities affect the health of fire crews. “There is really no data that tells us about the long-term effects on the respiratory system of working year after year as a wildland firefighter,” said Dr. Nicola Cherry. …Fighting wildfires is thought to place firefighters at risk of asthma, lung diseases and mental-health issues Cherry’s work will examine the nature and concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the air that firefighters breathe and accumulate on their skin. PAHs are a suite of organic compounds produced when organic material burns, some of which can be carcinogenic. Cherry’s work in B.C. will look at the relationship between skin hygiene and the absorption of PAHs. 

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Investigative journalist drives change in logging truck safety

The Terrace Standard
November 18, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gordon Hoekstra

Award winning Vancouver Sun investigative journalist Gordon Hoekstra says graduating from Langara College in 1992 and getting his first journalism job at the Prince George Citizen was a “huge turning point” in his life. So was his first major investigation. Hoekstra answers questions about his early, award-winning work on logging truck safety. The series of 35 stories, called Dying for Work, earned The Citizen a Michener Award in 2006. “I started having conversations with truckers, who told me about working long hours on narrow roads. ‘It’s always push, push, push,’ they said. …I wrote stories about how around two dozen drivers had died in a decade, how drivers were expected to continue to die, about the industry, and how things could have been fixed and they weren’t. As a result, the province hired a forestry coroner and announced more than $20 million in upgrades to forestry roads.”

 

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WorkSafeBC investigating death of 19-year-old at forestry worksite near Creston

By Simon Little
Global News
November 15, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kaydon Booth

WorkSafeBC and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating the death of a 19-year-old man at a forestry worksite on Thursday. Friends have identified the victim as Kaydon Booth of Creston, B.C. “I’m still in shock that he’s gone,” said friend Ella McCallum, who described Kaydon as the “type of person that would give you the shirt off his back.” …McCallum said she was told a Kaydon was pinned by a piece of machinery and suffered critical internal injuries. …Creston RCMP confirmed the incident happened in an area between Salmo and Creston. WorkSafeBC said it was notified of the incident shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday and that it would not comment further while it was investigating to determine the cause of the incident.

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