Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Froggy Foibles

Tree frog art installation goes up outside Powell River Public Library

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
March 14, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Powell River Public Library has taken a leap into a new art installation. A metal sculpture representing a Pacific tree frog was installed on the southeast corner of the library, adjacent to Alberni Street, after having been commissioned by the Rotary Club of Powell River. …Various options were explored, but it boiled down to a leaping Pacific tree frog that is indigenous to the area.

Read More

Business & Politics

Paper Excellence finalizes deal to acquire Crofton’s Catalyst Paper

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The addition of Catalyst Paper to the company puts the “paper” in Paper Excellence Canada, said PEP CEO Brian Baarda. Baarda was joined by B.C. Premier John Horgan, North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring, MLA Doug Routley and other dignitaries and company officials …to celebrate the completion of the deal that adds Catalyst Paper’s Crofton mill, as well as its two mills in Port Alberni and Powell River, to PEC’s’s assets. …Baarda said the acquisition of Catalyst is a continued step towards PEC’s long-term growth plan within Canada’s pulp and paper industry and clearly demonstrates its commitment to B.C. “Together, these combined operations will improve efficiency and sustainability in the forest industry in B.C. and Canada,” he said. “We also look forward to being an integral part of the community here in Crofton and the Cowichan Valley, as well as in Port Alberni and Powell River…”

Read More

Interfor Publishes 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report

Interfor Corporation
March 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

INTERFOR CORPORATION—announced today that it has published its 2018 corporate sustainability report; it can be viewed online. The report highlights Interfor’s continuing commitment to making quality lumber products, managing forests sustainably, providing meaningful and safe jobs for employees, investing in its facilities, operating to strict environmental parameters and supporting local and First Nations communities. In addition, a new chapter was added on climate change to highlight the work done by the Company to mitigate environmental impacts and promote the environmental benefits of building with wood.

Read More

Done deal – Paper Excellence owns Catalyst

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
March 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond based Paper Excellence now owns three pulp and paper mills owned by Catalyst Paper. The formal transfer of ownership was marked Monday March 18 in Crofton, where one of the three Catalyst mills is located. The acquisition also includes Catalyst’s distribution centre in Surrey, and mills in Port Alberni and Powell River. Paper Excellence has not divulged how much it paid to acquire Catalyst, which has struggled financially for a decade, thanks in part of declining demand for newsprint and other paper products in the digital age. Catalyst, previously a publicly traded company, nearly went bankrupt in 2012, when it sought creditor protection, and emerged from that experience as a private company. …Catalyst employs 1,600 workers in B.C. and is Crofton’s largest employer, so the mill’s closure would be a major blow to to the community.

Read More

Construction to start in a few weeks on Kalesnikoff’s $35 million project

By Betsy Kline
The Castlegar News
March 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Construction is set to begin in just a few weeks on Kalesnikoff Lumber’s new $35 million project. The company is expanding into mass timber manufacturing and they say the new venture will be North America’s most advanced, fully integrated, multi-species mass timber manufacturing facility. The business expansion will create 50 full-time, technology-centered local jobs. “We are excited to grow from 150 to 200 employees and really re-invest back in the community,” said Kalesnikoff’s CEO Chris Kalesnikoff. …One of the products the facility will produce is glulam beams, which are laminated structural lumber. The other is cross-laminated timber, essentially large engineered wood panels. The facility will be able to produce panels that are up to 60 feet in length. …The building should be complete by September, with glulam production starting by the end of the year and cross laminated timber production starting by spring of 2020.

Read More

Kootenay mill plans ‘mass’ expansion

By Bob Keating
CBC News
March 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

On the heels of changes to B.C.’s Building Code to allow 12-storey wood buildings, a family-run mill in the Kootenays is planning a $35 million dollar ‘mass timber’ expansion. Mass timber is a replacement for steel in tall buildings and is just starting to get a foothold in North America. Kalesnikoff Lumber near Castlegar will get in on the future of tall building construction by building a mass timber manufacturing plant. The company says it will begin manufacturing wood panels later this year at a plant between Castlegar and Nelson. “It’s really exciting for our business and our family. We are a fourth generation business, and we are looking for ways to grow our business and stabilize our business, and this is a really important step,” says Chris Kalesnikoff, chief operating officer at Kalesnikoff.

Read More

We need to promote small business forest industries

by Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
Williams Lake Tribune
March 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Not putting all your eggs in one basket has always been a good approach and the major Canadian forest companies have been following this advice for the past decade by making major investments outside of the country.  The challenge seems to be how to use the multiple egg basket idea for the small business which can’t necessarily move their extra eggs (if they have any) far from their home base. …In anticipation of impending log shortages, the large forest companies have been busy acquiring investment opportunities outside of B.C. and Canada. Most have been in the USA, in particular in the southern pine belt.  ….I would like to see government support for an independent group of resource users along with someone with the background and experience to work toward recommendations similar to the Gary Filmon report done for tackling the wildfire issues.

Read More

West Fraser requests letter of support from county council to burn hog fuel

By Edward Moore
Edson Leader
March 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Albert Oliveira

Edson Forest Products West Fraser Mills General Manager Albert Oliveira appeared before Yellowhead County Council at the March 12 meeting to request a letter of support be sent to the provincial government to burn hog fuel in its olivine burner for another year. West Fraser had been shipping hog fuel materials to the Pinnacle Pellet facility in Entwistle but an explosion and fire earlier this year has shut down the mill for the next six to eight months. Meanwhile, the hog fuel is piling up and West Fraser is running out of places to store it. The current licence for the burner is set to expire on May 12. Mayor Gerald Soroka asked Oliveira what would happen if the pellet plant did not resume operations in the estimated six to eight month time period. Oliveira replied that he wasn’t clear on the damage caused by the explosion and fire. 

Read More

Shypitka tasks Province to renew Energy Purchase Agreement for Skookumchuck Pulp Mill

By Wylie Henderson
The Drive FM
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kootenay East’s MLA is calling on the BC Government to renew Skookumchuck Pulp Mill’s Energy Purchase Agreement to generate and sell green electrical energy to BC Hydro. Tom Shypitka touched on the subject at last week’s Regional District of East Kootenay meeting. The current agreement sees the mill burning biomass, mostly bark, with a portion of the generated energy powering the mill, and the rest is sold to BC Hydro. “They collect bark all over the Kootenay’s, close to 10,000 trucks a year,” says Shypitka. The biomass is burned at a high temperature, and the energy generated from that practice is used to power the mill, while the rest is sold to BC Hydro. The agreement was put into place in 2001 and expires at the end of the year.

Read More

Kalesnikoff Lumber Company Announces New $35 Million Mass Timber Facility in West Kootenays

The Nelson Daily
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kalesnikoff Lumber Company is pleased to announce North America’s most advanced, fully integrated, multi-species mass timber manufacturing facility in South Slocan, B.C. which will create 50 new, full-time, technology-centered local jobs. Kalesnikoff’s $35 million mass timber investment will encompass construction of a new 110,000 sq ft. building. …“We see mass timber as a natural and exciting innovation and next step for our company and team,” said Chris Kalesnikoff, Chief Operating Officer of Kalesnikoff Lumber Company. …This new facility is scheduled to open in late 2019 with a full product line by the summer of 2020, creating 50 new technology-centered, local jobs and expanded community benefits.  Kalesnikoff will begin recruitment later this year.

For another version of the story see the Nelson Star: Kalesnikoff announces $35 million South Slocan facility

Read More

Heads should roll at Alberta Environment over misguided Domtar land strategy

By Keith Gerein
The Edmonton Journal
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shannon Phillips

Incorrect and unreasonable. The phrase appears 17 times in a new Environmental Appeals Board ruling, describing the behaviour of the provincial government to stymie a housing development on the former Domtar industrial lands in northeast Edmonton. If anything, the words are an understatement. While professional in its language, the board’s report is scathing in the details, outlining an overzealous misuse of authority by Alberta Environment in pursuing a series of cleanup orders for the site. …To her credit, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips accepted the board’s recommendations and quashed her department’s orders. And did so before the election, which was the right thing to do even if wasn’t necessarily the politically astute thing to do.

Read More

Old Edmonton Domtar site not a health emergency; developer ‘vindicated’ by environmental board report

By Emily Mertz
Global News
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Environmental Appeals Board released its report into the old Domtar wood treatment site in north Edmonton — now being developed into housing — and found “there is no immediate risk to these residents and other people.” The board said more cleanup and remediation work “needs to be done as soon as practical” at certain areas of the site and at the adjacent Verte Homsteader and Overlanders communities. “But none of this work is an emergency as suggested by the director,” the report reads. …“In the board’s view, disturbing the material on the site… would have posed a greater risk, particularly to the residents, than leaving it in place and taking the time to develop a well-considered plan and properly execute the plan to deal with the site.”

Read More

Former mill town Gold River, B.C., still reinventing economy 20 years later

By Megan Thomas
CBC News
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gold River’s mill days are firmly in the rearview mirror, but decaying buildings from that era down the road from the village are a constant reminder that pulp and paper built this town. The mill is the reason Gold River exists in the middle of Vancouver Island, with road access to Nootka Sound on the island’s west coast. …But in 1998 it shutdown, eliminating 360 good paying jobs the village relied on. …During the boom days, Unger says the population topped 2,000 people. Now there are about 1,300. …Hopes for a new large-scale industrial business, including one that had a plan to burn Vancouver’s garbage, didn’t take. …Logging in the forests around Gold River is the main employer, along with aquaculture. The town council has also worked to secure wood supply for a small sawmill and a cedar shake mill that provide employment.

Read More

New sawmill in Port Alberni bucks forestry trend

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kamal Sanghera & Suki Sanghera

The supply of logs for coastal sawmills has been shrinking. …Not only has the annual allowable cut on Crown land dwindled… but the size of logs has been shrinking too. …Retooling mills to process smaller-diameter logs is expensive, and so are logging costs on the coast, so there has been a lack of investment in new sawmills on the B.C. coast. One recent exception is San Group Inc., which is investing more than $70 million in a new mill in Port Alberni. …The sawmill will be able to process smaller, low-grade logs for use in engineered wood products. …The company hopes to have the new mill operating by late summer. It will result in 50 new jobs, with up to 200 as the company adds additional phases to the mill. …Sanghera doesn’t like to see B.C. logs shipped overseas and sold back to Canadians in products manufactured in places like China.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Home Front: Building materials designed with efficiency in mind

By Rebecca Keillor
Vancouver Sun
March 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

We hear a lot about different prefabricated homes these days …all designed to make the building process easier, faster and more efficient. It makes sense then that we’re hearing more about prefabricated building materials that are designed to do the same, such as cross-laminated timber or CLT — mass-produced sheets made from a mix of wood (like spruce, pine and fir) and mixed with polyurethane. “Because our process is very digitized, we can do a lot of prefabrication with our robotic equipment in our factory,”  says Hardy Wentzel, CEO of Penticton-based Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation. “So when it gets delivered to a construction site, you’re actually assembling things; you’re not actually having to build things.” …At this stage, CLT is seen as more of a substitute for concrete and steel than wood stick framing, says Bryn Davidson, designer and co-owner of Vancouver’s Lanefab Design/Build.

Read More

BC Government Needs to Make Wood Building Safety a Priority

By The Cement Association of Canada
Cision Newswire
March 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—Further consultations with construction, building materials sectors are urgently needed and no permits should be issued until the National Building Code of Canada has approved recommendations on 12 storey wood buildings located in seismic areas. The Cement Association of Canada expresses surprise at the announcement by the BC government that they would bypass the ongoing 2020 National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) processes and allow municipalities to issue building permits for encapsulated mass timber construction up to 12 storeys. The Building Code review process is not yet complete. Of greatest concern, especially in the context of high seismic zones in BC, is that there are, as of yet, no approved seismic design specifications for 12 storey cross-laminated timber buildings in the 2020 NBCC. …There is a significant amount of evidence available that refutes wood industry claims about tall wood building safety, earthquake resistance, resilient construction and environmental performance that needs to be closely examined in a transparent way.

Read More

More tall wood buildings may be on the way in B.C.

By Joannah Connolly
Business in Vancouver
March 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hardy Wentzel

There could soon be a rise – literally – in wooden residential buildings across the province, after the B.C. government announced changes to the provincial Building Code to allow for mass timber structures of up to 12 storeys, up from the previous limit of six storeys. …Hardy Wentzel, CEO of Structurlam, told Glacier Media in a recent interview, “CLT and other forms of mass timber have been used widely for more than two decades in Europe. Although mass timber is a nascent material here in B.C., we’re at a point where we’re seeing a groundswell of product acceptance in the marketplace – and B.C. is at the North American forefront of understanding and proliferation of the product.” …It is theoretically possible to build any height of building out of mass timber, even a skyscraper, said Wentzel – but he believes eight- to 10-storey buildings are the “sweet spot” in terms of what’s needed.

Read More

New Heights: What mass timber construction means for Vancouver Island [VIDEO]

By Tess van Straaten
Chek News
March 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tess van Straaten

WATCH: Vancouver Island’s first 12-storey mass timber building touted as faster, cheaper and more environmentally-friendly. But what about safety concerns? Tess van Straaten takes a look. Construction crews are hard at work on two new condo towers in Esquimalt —part of a major building boom in the township. “It’s quite exciting actually, with the number of projects that have come through and been approved,” says Esquimalt mayor Barb Desjardins. One of those projects is Vancouver Island’s first 12-storey mass-timber condo tower. The 83-unit Corvette Landing will be built along Admirals by the entrance to CFB Esquimalt. “Where you had two single family homes, we will have a 12-stories of units so there’s a significant boost to the municipal taxes,” Desjardins says. Projects like this, and the record-breaking 18-storey Brock Commons Tallwood House at UBC, are pushing wood buildings to new heights.

Read More

More tall wood buildings may be on the way in BC

By Joannah Connolly
Business in Vancouver
March 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

There could soon be a rise – literally – in wooden residential buildings across the province, after the B.C. government announced changes to the provincial Building Code… “Mass timber technology allows faster construction,”… said housing minister Selina Robinson in the March 13 announcement. “The faster we can deliver the homes that people need, the better for communities right across B.C.” The benefits have already started to be embraced by multi-family residential developers such as Adera Development Corporation. …Its latest such project is Virtuoso, a sold-out six-storey condo and townhome development at UBC’s Westbrook Village that won a Georgie Award on March 9 for Best Multi-Family Mid/High-Rise Residential Building. … Other construction companies are also embracing mass timber, including laneway home builders such as Rockridge Fine Homes. Rockridge is supplied by B.C.’s leading CLT manufacturer Structurlam.

Read More

B.C.’s engineered wood leadership many years in the making

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in Peace Arch News
March 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

For many B.C. residents, their experience with engineered wood construction began in the high school gym. …Since then it has been a steady evolution into cross-laminated panels and other “mass timber” elements, with the latest beam technology featured world-wide in the roof of the vast Richmond speed-skating oval built for the 2010 Winter Olympics. That evolution took another step forward this week, as Premier John Horgan… announce the B.C. building code is being changed from a limit of six storeys for wood construction to 12. …And the U.S. is considering an International Code Council recommendation to allow buildings up to 18 storeys high by 2021. …By 2016, the 18-storey Brock Commons residence at UBC was the talk of Asia. …FPInnovations, a federally-led wood research network with facilities at UBC, assisted with the design of Brock Commons, and the Canadian Wood Council, a national industry group, has funded demonstration projects in Asia. 

Read More

Penticton building manager says more mass timber options a positive

By Tara Bowie
Penticton Western News
March 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A building code update allowing up to 12 storey buildings to be made of mass timber will mean less red tape for developers, Penticton’s building manager says. Ken Kunka, building and permitting manager, said the city has an alternative solution process when it comes to those wanting to build outside the building code. “We as a municipality work with engineers and professionals in the alternative solution process, but it’s can be a cumbersome process,” he said. Kunka said the largest mass timber project in the city so far was the new wing at the Lakeside Resort. The “West Wing,” features wood-primary construction in the six-storey, 70-unit expansion. The glulam beams, columns and cross-laminated panels were built and supplied by Structurlam.

Read More

B.C. building code adjusted upwards to allow 12-storey wood buildings

By Dirk Meissner
Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The height limit for wooden buildings in B.C. is rising to 12 from six storeys in a move that Premier John Horgan expects to spur development using timber and give the province a head start on other parts of the country. B.C. is changing its building code to allow the construction of taller wood buildings as a safe, economic and environmental alternative to concrete apartments and office buildings, Horgan said Wednesday. B.C.’s building code changes come a year ahead of expected changes in the national building code, which are also expected to increase height limits for wood buildings to 12 storeys… Hardy Wentzel, chief executive officer of Structurlam, said the height change allows the company to continue being an innovator on mass timber products and building designs. …Eric Andreasen, vice-president of sales and marketing at Vancouver building company Adera, welcomed the change, which he said will likely convince more developers to consider wood buildings.

Read More

BC building code will now allow wood buildings to be taller

By Kenneth Chan
The Daily Hive
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

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. This landmark change in how taller buildings can be designed comes after years of industry and government-supported research and pilot projects, namely the 174-ft-tall, 18-storey UBC Brock Commons wooden student residence building, which was completed in 2017 and was the world’s tallest wooden building at the time. Such mass timber buildings entail a primary load-bearing structure made of either solid or engineered wood, and encapsulated mass timber is where the mass timber components are surrounded by fire-resident materials like drywall. To meet seismic and fire safety requirements, the bases of such taller wooden buildings are built on a concrete base, and the fire exit stairwell and elevator shafts are also made out of concrete.

Read More

Code changes create jobs, opportunities in B.C. forest communities

By Office of the Premier and Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Government of British Columbia
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest communities will see more jobs and opportunity from B.C.’s proactive adoption of building code changes that allow the safe construction of taller wood buildings. “Companies like Structurlam are leading the way with innovative engineered wood products that create jobs in the forest sector and opportunity for people in communities throughout B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan. “Changes to the national building code that allow for taller wood buildings take effect next year, but we’re not waiting to get started. Our government is ready to work with communities to build safe, secure and green tall wood buildings that will create jobs, grow B.C.’s value-added sector and realize our low-carbon future.” Eligible local governments throughout B.C. are invited to become early adopters of mass-timber technology for construction of buildings up to 12 storeys, up from the current allowance of six storeys. 

Read More

Forestry

Tsawout councillor visits Saturna to meet logging protestors

By Nick Murray
BC Local News
March 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mavis Underwood, a respected councillor from the Tsawout First Nation has travelled to Saturna Island to talk to three community members who are disrupting logging operations there, amid an acrimonious land-use dispute. The Tsawout First Nation has 955 registered members, with more than half living on a small reserve near Central Saanich. Part of Saturna Island is reserve land where members can exercise their traditional practices of hunting, fishing and collecting medicinal plants. Underwood is an elected Tsawout Councillor and she acknowledges that poor communication about the logging plan has led to unhappiness in some quarters. “Some people have good reason to be concerned,” she says. “In hindsight, communication hasn’t been the best and we should have done better.”

Read More

Forests in Horsefly watershed targeted for harvest

By Bruce MacLeod
The Williams Lake Tribune
March 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On April 15, 2010 John Youds and Rob Doligan, who were representing the Ministry of the Environment, presented a 33-page outline to the Horsefly River Roundtable regarding why the Horsefly River watershed should be declared a “Fisheries Sensitive Watershed,” which made a whole lot of sense to those of us who were present. …Since that time it seems the logging industry has been putting a concerted effort to harvest the area’s trees before the designation comes into effect in the summer of 2020. …The Horsefly sockeye run was once considered the largest in B.C., supplying over 50 per cent of the sockeye caught by fishers in the province. …There doesn’t seem to be any sense to the Ministry of Forest’s logging plan, if in fact there is one at all.

Read More

Training underway as Alberta’s wildfire season starts

CBC News
March 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike Flannigan

There may still be snow on the ground — but Alberta’s wildfire season has already started. Mike Flannigan, professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta and director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, said there’s the possibility of wildfires in March, and the season has already started. …”May is our busiest fire month. For the rest of the country it’s June or July, with the exception of B.C., which is August,” said Flannigan. The Polar Vortex may have caused the coldest winter in Calgary in 40 years, but that will do little in the way of preventing wildfires this summer, he said. …He said 495 crew members will be prepared for this spring. Trainees learn to battle wildfires with formal classwork, mock field work and a lot of physical exercise.

Read More

Wolf cull is no caribou solution

By Bryce Casavant
The Times-Colonist
March 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I recognize that this is a difficult time for debates on caribou-recovery options, especially predator controls such as wolf culls and organized predator bounties. However, this does not mean we invent science to support age-old predator rhetoric. Robert Serrouya… made several concerning comments regarding the viability of killing wolves to save caribou. …These conclusions… are at best an attempt to rationalize a century-old management practice of “killing to conserve.” …First, and most important, the study did not receive any ethics approval. …Second, the proximate cause of caribou population decline is identified as “predator” (largely wolf) while habitat loss is identified as the ultimate cause of decline. …Third, the B.C. government in the past 12 months has approved more than 80 logging cut blocks located, in part, within critical caribou habitat.

Read More

Artificial intelligence could predict future wildfires, according to researchers

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in the National Post
March 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — Researchers and forest managers are turning to artificial intelligence in the hope it can help them predict the risk of catastrophic wildfires as climate change continues to rewrite the rule book. It’s been the subject of more than 150 recent academic studies, said Mike Flannigan, director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science at the University of Alberta. “It is definitely front and centre in terms of the research agendas in terms of wildland fire and will continue to be for the next years,” he said. One insurance company says it has already developed an artificial intelligence program that can assess fire risk well in advance. Fires are fought before they start, by getting equipment and crews to the right place to fight them early. Once well and truly ablaze, they’re tough to stop.

Read More

Forestry big part of Island’s culture

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robert Barron

I always get concerned when I perceive threats to the province’s once mighty forest industry. Western Forest Products, B.C.’s largest coastal lumber producer, has bought two sawmills in Washington over the last year. WFP acknowledges a major advantage, among others, to having production facilities in the U.S. is that the lumber produced there is not subject to softwood lumber duties if intended for the U.S. market. The company has assured it has no intention of abandoning B.C. anytime soon, but I still find it unsettling. I remember when I first arrived in B.C. many decades ago, I was amazed at how easy it was to get a fairly high-paying job in one of the many sawmills that were running on the Island at the time. …It turned out to be the hardest job I’ve ever had.

Read More

Community forests conference delves into wildfire preparedness, management and recovery

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
March 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jennifer Gunter

A two-day conference focused on wildfire preparedness, management and recovery took place in Williams Lake this week. “We have about 79 attendees from throughout the province who include community forest managers, provincial government staff and researchers,” said Stephanie Ewen, manager of the Alex Fraser Research Forest. …On Tuesday, a draft protocol agreement between the BC Wildfire Service, woodlot licences and community forest agreement holders was released at the conference. …BC Community Forest Association executive director Jennifer Gunter said community forests are very motivated to be engaged in wildfire management and mitigation trying to protect their communities and also manage forests in a way that brings back resiliency. “We want to lay out a framework that community forests and woodlots can use in communication with the fire centre staff in their zone,” Gunter said.

Read More

B.C. approves 314 new cutblocks in endangered caribou habitat over last five months

By Sarah Cox
The Narwhal
March 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government approved 314 new logging cutblocks in the critical habitat of southern mountain caribou over the past five months, while simultaneously negotiating conservation plans to protect the highly endangered species, according to maps released Thursday by the Wilderness Committee. The new cutblocks cover almost 16,000 hectares in total, an area almost eight times the size of the city of Victoria. The Wilderness Committee discovered a sharp spike in logging approvals in the critical habitat of B.C.’s eight most imperilled caribou herds, where last October the group documented an additional 83 new cutblocks covering an area the equivalent of 11 Stanley Parks in size. “On the one hand B.C. says it’s protecting caribou while on the other they’re handing out permits to log habitat as fast as they can,” said Charlotte Dawe, the Wilderness Committee’s conservation and policy campaigner.

Read More

City council to send another letter to Ministry of Lands, Forests about Snowden

By Twila Amato
My Campbell River Now
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – The City of Campbell River feel the response from the Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resource Operations is not enough. Minister Doug Donaldson responded to a letter the council sent to the province regarding the Snowden Demonstration Forest and the BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) plan to move ahead with timber harvesting in the area without a long-range plan. The letter from Minister Donaldson acknowledged the letter council sent on February 21st, but there was no indication of when a comprehensive forest management plan will be available. During Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Andy Adams said it’s important to keep in mind that Snowden is significant not just economically, but for recreation and tourism purposes as well.

Read More

Tree Farm Licence 59 cut level gets a slight reduction

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
March 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective immediately, the allowable annual cut for Weyerhaeuser’s Tree Farm Licence 59 in the South Okanagan will have an allowable annual cut level of 60,700 cubic metres. This is an 8% decrease from the previous cut level of 66,000 cubic metres per year set in 2018. This new, lower cut level takes into account changes in forestry practices to accommodate First Nations interests, including cutblock size, stream riparian zones and cumulative effects. “After carefully reviewing all the available information on timber and non-timber resources in Tree Farm Licence 59, and consulting with First Nations, I am reducing the allowable annual cut,” said Diane Nicholls, chief forester. “I am satisfied the new cut level is sustainable, considers the area’s biodiversity, wildlife and socio-economic concerns, and respects Indigenous interests.” The tree farm licence covers about 46,500 hectares, with approximately 43,000 hectares available for timber harvesting.

Read More

Long, cold winter won’t affect fire season, says expert

By Bev Betkowski
University of Alberta – Folio
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s long, cold winter won’t do anything to dampen the 2019 wildfire season, but being extra careful when working and playing in the forests this spring could help, “we aren’t sure what’s coming this year,” said U of A wildland fire expert Mike Flannigan. “With the snow on the ground right now, it’s not going to be a problem for the next while, but we are expecting much warmer weather so the snow could disappear quickly and we might be into fire season quickly.” …“Regardless of how much rain you’ve had or how much snow is melted, if you get a week of hot, dry, windy weather you can have a raging inferno,” said Flannigan, who is director of Canada Wildfire. High levels of precipitation can have a bigger impact on lowlands—wetter, boggy peatlands that make up about 20 per cent of Alberta’s forests—but this winter was very dry, he said.

Read More

North Cowichan endorses harvesting of blow-down trees reserve

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan’s council has endorsed the recommendations of the municipality’s forest advisory committee to harvest trees that blew down or were heavily damaged during the recent windstorm in parts of the municipal forest reserve. …But Icel Dobell, a member of the Where do We Stand group that was formed to promote a cessation of logging in the forest reserve’s 5,000 hectares, said council’s decision on the blow down was rushed and more professional input is required. “Council was advised that some of the blow down areas won’t be accessible without major road-building and other work — those areas will be left alone,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. “However, it’s important to clear out the blow downs where we can to keep the forest reserve as safe as possible for public use, and to reduce wildfire risk.”

Also, see letter to the editor: Decision on blow downs rushed, no public input

Read More

Sprawling clearcuts among reasons for B.C.’s monster spring floods

By Ben Parfitt
The Narwhal
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Widespread, disastrous flooding in the Fraser Valley was narrowly averted last spring when the Fraser River swelled. Many older forests in the valleys draining into the river’s upper reaches are gone due to clear-cut logging, raging wildfires and insect attacks, all of which can increase peak water flows. Despite this, British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development continues to approve high logging rates while doing little to understand their cumulative effects. This has prompted a former ministry employee and professional forester … to warn that further calamities may lie ahead. …“The way in which the ministry operates is doing irreversible harm to the environment and to British Columbians,” says Anthony Britneff… Fred Marshall shares Britneff’s concerns. He says BC Timber Sales’ current plans call for more than half of all new clear-cuts to be 40 hectares or more in size.

Read More

Tsawout members upset with leadership’s decision to approve logging

BC Local News
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saturna Island, BC — The elected leadership of the Tsawout First Nation has given the green light to an extensive logging operation on Saturna Island, much to the surprise and dismay of many in their community. The decision was announced Feb. 26 and some Tsawout members say there has been no consultation or communication from the chief and council, who made the decision. …Jesurun Marks, a logger and hand faller with eight years experience and a member of the Tsawout band, informally inspected the site and wrote a report citing a number of concerns. …Indigenous Services Canada confirmed that Chemainus Forest Products has been appointed to harvest 33,477 cubic metres of trees within Saturna Island IR No. 7 and that a timber permit was issued by the department on Feb. 26.

Read More

City wants baseline assessment of watersheds

By Carolyn Grant
BC Local News
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After discussing continuing issues with urban deer with Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson last week, discussion turned to watersheds, specifically the two that service Kimberley. The city has two watersheds, Mathew Creek, which serves Marysville and Mark Creek, which serves the rest of Kimberley. McCormick’s discussions with the Minister were not on the way they were being managed. The City has just renewed their Memorandum of Understanding with BC Timber Sales, who handle all the logging activity in the watershed, and McCormick says that relationship is good. The MOU, McCormick says, is a comprehensive document on behaviours in the watershed and how logging happens.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

$2M project aims to spark new thinking on climate change

By Richard Watts
The Times-Colonist
March 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robin Cox

Earth’s climate is changing and urgent action is needed to address that reality, says a Royal Roads University professor. “We are already locked into a certain amount of climate change,” Robin Cox. …She is heading up a new project called Resilience by Design, a $2-million effort funded by NRCan and the B.C. Climate Action Secretariat. Its aim is to help professionals think about climate change as part of their job. Professional foresters, for example, might want to change the varieties of tree seedlings used to replant logged-over areas. A forester might want to shift to species more tolerant of dry periods or to periods of heavier rainfall. …Resilience by Design will produce a number of courses for professionals… two courses will be ready by the end of this year.

Read More