Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada

Special Feature

Value-added Wood Products is BC’s Fastest Growing Forest Products Sector

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson, BC’s Minister of Forests… opened the 16th annual Global Buyers Mission (GBM) in Whistler, BC to a standing room crowd of more than 700 delegates. …Prior to introducing the Minister, [BC Wood Chairman] Greg Stewart thanked the government and industry sponsors…and noted the good works of the association in helping grow the value added sector. “BC Wood is the voice of value-added wood sector and given that it’s the fastest growing sector in the forest products industry—it’s a great time to be that voice”. Mr. Donaldson in turn, welcomed the 400 international buyers from 20 countries emphasizing the importance of the event, their attendance and the millions in business being done. Anticipating potential concern over BC’s continuity of supply—due to the current market situation, US tariffs, tight fibre supply, etc.—Donaldson emphasized his government’s efforts to support supply, diversify markets and encourage more value-added wood manufacturing (and thus jobs) from each log harvested.

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Take a photo tour of the Global Buyers Mission with us!

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

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WoodTalks Speaks to the Benefits of Wood and Mass Timber

By Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 12, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

WHISTLER, BC — This week, 800 buyers, sellers and specifiers of value-added wood products have gathered in Whistler for the Global Buyers Mission (GBM), Canada’s largest show of its kind. And on day one, WoodTALKS—a wood design and construction education event held in conjunction with the GBM—was front and centre. Ken Hori, BC Wood’s Program Manager opened the event, welcoming a record 130 architects and other building sector professions. 

First to the podium was Robert Cesnik of HDR Architecture Associates, speaking on the Evolution of Mass Timber Design in BC’s Okanagan. …Emily Dawson of Kaiser + Path kicked off her presentation on Quantifying the Appeal of Mass Timber with a warning on the “tyranny of the quantifiable”. Her message put simply: numbers matter but so does incorporating the full range of product reasons and benefits. …Renowned architect Peter Busby spoke of his love of wood and its positive contribution to society’s social and environmental needs. …Bryn Davidson, of Lanefab Design/Build spoke of his company’s journey from laneway homes to… net positive developments. …Wrapping up day-one was Alfred Waugh of Formline Architecture who presented on Indigenuity in Architecture.

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WoodTALKS at the 2019 Global Buyers Mission

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 12, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

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Business & Politics

Stellex Capital Management Enters Into Agreement to Sell Morbark, LLC to Alamo Group Inc.

Stellex Capital Management LP
Business Wire
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK & LONDON–Stellex Capital Management …announced today it has entered into an agreement to sell Morbark, LLC, a leading manufacturer of high-performance equipment and aftermarket parts for forestry, tree maintenance, biomass, land management and recycling markets, to Alamo Group Inc. for $352 million…. Founded in 1957 and based in Winn, Michigan with subsidiary operations in Wooster, Ohio and Roxton Falls, Québec, Morbark has been innovating and manufacturing durable, high-performance equipment for more than six decades. DLA Piper served as legal counsel to Stellex and Morbark with respect to the transaction.

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International Order of Hoo-Hoo kicks off their 127th Convention

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

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Cold reality withers budget projections

By Kirk LaPointe
The Prince George Citizen
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ah, the rose. A beautiful presence. A short-lived bloom. But once done, just the thorns to see. The message of our province’s finance minister Tuesday as she delivered a quarterly economic update was analogous to that passing of the vitality that comes when a fresh flower no longer holds true and firm. A turning point in her government’s life has arrived. The buoyant economic climate inherited by the NDP is now a much more sombre heirloom it must own and cultivate. …The global downturn in forestry is starting to hit the books. …The toughest results are yet to come from a forestry sector whose suffering has taken months to affect government revenues, from a housing sector that is into the throes of so much new taxation that it not yielding the venerable property transfer tax revenue governments count upon…

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WoodTALKS on the Energy Step Code, Mass Timber and Prefabrication

By Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Day two of WoodTALKS… focused on the future of energy codes, mass timber compliance and prefabrication. Presenting was Graham Finch with RDH Building Science. …Using BC’s Energy Step Code as a guide—a regulation to incentivize or require energy efficiency of net zero energy in new building performance by 2032—Finch outlined the requirements and potential building solutions for each step. This includes requirement for air tightness, performance measurement and testing. Although wood and mass timber are well positioned to meet the 2032 energy requirements, Finch noted that manufacture through prefabrication will be increasingly important. 

To view a summary of day one of WoodTalks on the benefits of wood and mass timber click here.

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Tax-deliquent Neucel pulp mill means Port Alice arena won’t open this year

By Tyson Whitney
BC Local News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the second year in a row, the Doug Bondue Arena won’t be opening. Port Alice Mayor Kevin Cameron stated that due to the Neucel Specialty Cellulose pulp mill not paying its taxes, the village doesn’t have enough capital to open the rink for the 2019-2020 hockey season. “We reduced expenditures by quite a bit this year due to Neucel not paying its taxes, and I don’t think it’s right to burden the community with that kind of extra tax dollars,” said Cameron, when asked to comment on the closure. Port Alice’s Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Danyk noted it would cost “Approximately $200,000” to open the rink for a regular season of hockey and curling, and they would need “a minimum of two” staff to operate the arena.

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Trouble at mill: Serious accident at legal grow-op site raises local concerns

By Bob Keating
CBC News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents of a remote B.C. valley want to know how licences to grow marijuana were issued at a troubled mill site. The mothballed Meadow Creek Cedar sawmill, located 100 kilometres north of Nelson, was raided by police at the end of August after a serious industrial accident. The mill is owned by Daljit (Dale) Singh Kooner from Surrey, a controversial businessman who bought it off a Japanese company in 2005. The former mill sat idle for years following several investigations including a 2014 fire. Kooner was accused of not paying workers for overtime and statutory holidays in 2011, and ordered to pay out $50,000 dollars in back wages. The Forest Practices Board initiated several investigations, and in 2012, the Ministry of Forests fined Meadow Creek Cedar $42,000 dollars for not adequately replanting trees. …RCMP say they found around 11,000 marijuana plants growing in buildings around the mill, including the former dry kiln. 

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Tolko closing Kelowna lumber mill for ‘indeterminate period’

Scott Brown
Vancouver Sun
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers at Tolko Industries’ Kelowna sawmill who were expecting to go back to work on Monday after a six-week shutdown learned Thursday that the facility will stay closed indefinitely. Persistently low lumber prices and high log costs make operations uneconomic, said a Tolko vice-president, Troy Connolly. The mill had already reduced operations to a single shift in May at the cost of 90 jobs and the remaining 127 employees were reaching the end of a six-week curtailment and received additional layoff notices today. … The mill, which was acquired by Tolko in 2004 as part of the purchase of Riverside Forest Products, has operated in Kelowna since 1932. Over the summer, Tolko also permanently closed its Quest sawmill in Quesnel with the loss of 150 jobs and with Thursday’s decision, the Kelowna mill becomes the ninth B.C. sawmill to be indefinitely or permanently shuttered.

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127 workers out of job after Kelowna Tolko mill shuts down ‘indeterminately’

By Michael Rodriguez
BC Local News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tough times in the forestry industry have caused a local mill to shut down for an indeterminate amount of time. Tolko Industry’s Kelowna, on the tail end of a temporary shutdown, announced Thursday that it would not be reopening its doors, as planned on Sept. 15. “This decision was not easy for us to make,” said Troy Connolly, vice president of Solid Wood. “We are very disappointed to be in a position where we have to curtail the mill, particularly given the reasons for this extension are beyond our control. However, with lumber market prices at sustained low levels and high log costs in B.C., the mill cannot be cost-competitive.” The 127 workers at the mill were meant to go back to work on Monday but will now be out of work indefinitely. “On days like these, our hearts are heavy as we think of our colleagues and friends at Kelowna,” he said.

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Tolko Industries to cut back mill operations in Kelowna, B.C., affecting 127 jobs

By Jonathan Hayward
Canadian Press in the Globe and Mail
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries is cutting back its operations at a lumber mill in Kelowna, affecting 127 jobs as the company becomes the latest in the industry to announce a shutdown in British Columbia. Tolko Industries says high log costs and poor North American market conditions are behind the curtailment of its Kelowna operation for an indeterminate period of time. Troy Connolly, a vice-president with the company, says in a news release the reasons behind the decision are beyond its control. There are 127 workers at the mill. The Teal-Jones Group announced on Tuesday it was shutting its coastal operations in the province, putting 800 out of work. Shutdowns or curtailments have been announced in more than two dozen mills in the province due to low lumber prices, declining supplies and high operating costs.

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‘People are nervous here,’ says Surrey mill employee amid logging closures

By Lauren Collins
Cloverdale Reporter
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Fulk

Bill Fulk is one of hundreds of workers at Surrey-based Teal-Jones Group whose jobs are at risk, following logging closures. Teal-Jones Group reduced its logging on the B.C. coast in May and has now shut down the remainder, including harvest operations in the Fraser Valley and at Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island. Roughly 500 employees’ jobs are at risk in the coming months. “We’re not shutting down the mills right now, but the problem is we have a wood supply for so long, and it’s supposedly eight weeks. Without us logging our own TFL (tree farm licences), we don’t have the log supply to continue to keep us going,” said Fulk, who has worked for the company since 1983. But Fulk estimates it will be less than eight weeks. “People are nervous here. People are worried,” he said. “A lot of people here are like me and they’ve been here for years and years, and they don’t know any other job, They just know the wood industry and the wood industry, it built B.C.”

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Boom and gloom in British Columbia’s north

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Overall, indicators show northern B.C.’s economy growing in 2018. But in small, forestry-dependent communities like Mackenzie and Fort St. James, it’s a very different story. Both have been hit hard recently with sawmill closures and curtailments. Joel McKay, CEO of the Northern Development Initiative Trust, which publishes the State of the North report says, “If you pop up north to Mackenzie, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and then down Highway 97 into the Cariboo, that’s where you start to see the impacts of the downturn in forestry. And that is a different story. …But the recent downturn in forestry has been particularly severe. In Mackenzie, some 600 sawmill workers, loggers and truck drivers are suddenly out of work, thanks to the permanent closure of a Canfor Corp. sawmill and extended curtailment at a Conifex Timber Inc. mill. In Fort St. James, 170 sawmill workers were laid off when Conifex closed its sawmill there.

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Job losses mount as mill closures hit B.C. Interior

By Gordon Hamilton
Business in Vancouver
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Communities throughout the British Columbia Interior are facing an economic crisis as the combined effects of beetle epidemics, forest fires and external market forces take their toll on what was once North America’s most robust forest industry. “We are in a crisis – we know things are broken,” said Joan Atkinson, mayor of the northern B.C. town of Mackenzie, where 600 sawmill workers, loggers, truck drivers and others have been sent home as a result of sawmill closures. Canfor has closed its mill indefinitely and Conifex has extended a temporary curtailment at its mill. At the end of July, the first downstream impact hit when Parallel 55, a value-added finger joint mill, shut down as it could no longer source trim end materials from the town’s sawmills. …The story unfolding in Mackenzie is not unique. …Most of the closures are in communities in the north and in the central Interior, regions where 32,500 people work in forestry.

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UBCM pushes for local government to have seat at table in talks between province and First Nations

Sunshine Coast Reporter
September 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lori Pratt

The union representing B.C.’s local governments has made consultation a key demand of the province at its upcoming convention after four local governments – including the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) – raised concerns over being sidelined in talks between First Nations and the province. “Locally, our goal is to increase our collaboration and proactively work with our First Nations partners and it feels as though the province is purposefully excluding local governments,” SCRD chair Lori Pratt told Coast Reporter. …UBCM vice president Brian Frenkel took the lead on the resolution and told Coast Reporter that rather than seeking to overhaul how the B.C. government treats local governments on matters involving First Nations and the province, “we just want to make sure there is some consistency out there.” …One example he cited was the UBCM’s seat at FLNRORD’s forestry advisory committee, where forest policy is presented and potential changes addressed. 

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Teal-Jones halts logging operations, deepening crisis in strike-hit forestry sector

By Lindsay Kines
Victoria Times Colonist
September 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A move by Teal-Jones Group to shut down all its logging operations on Vancouver Island and in the Fraser Valley highlights a deepening crisis in the coastal forest sector, the B.C. Truck Loggers Association said Tuesday. Dave Elstone, executive director, said the latest news comes amid a lengthy strike at Western Forest Products and plans by Interfor Corp. to permanently close a sawmill in Maple Ridge. “This is not a Teal-Jones story,” said Elstone… “We’re actually in a crisis here. I don’t know if everyone’s woken up to the fact yet. It’s one thing when one company maybe takes some down time, but you’ve got almost all the major players taking a break here and that has a huge impact,” he said. “Contractors are bearing the brunt of this and they don’t earn enough return when things are going good to help sustain them through tough times like this.”

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With a new CEO at the helm, investors should consider this beaten-down TSX growth stock

By David Berman
The Globe and Mail
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Brian McManus, former CEO of Stella-Jones

Stella-Jones Inc. appointed Eric Vachon as its new chief executive on Thursday, removing some uncertainty that had been weighing on the stock over the past two months when the previous CEO announced he was stepping down. The best part of this leadership transition for investors: After a recent sell-off, the stock looks cheap. The Montreal-based company makes pressure-treated wood products largely used for railway ties and utility poles. …Stella-Jones is a growth stock that has been turning heads for years. It has been a steady acquirer, completing 19 takeovers in Canada and the United States since 2003, driving up annual sales fivefold since 2009. …Now, with Mr. Vachon – currently the chief financial officer at Stella-Jones after serving a number of roles at the company since his arrival in 2007 – set to replace Mr. McManus on Oct. 11, how should investors approach the stock? …But the long-term argument in favour of Stella-Jones rests on its fundamentals, which look solid.

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Terrace Bay mill bets heavily on the pulp market

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TERRACE BAY, Ont. — The operator of the pulp mill at Terrace Bay has quietly set aside its plan to convert the facility to produce dissolving grade pulp for manufacturing rayon. AV Terrace Bay’s parent company, India-based Aditya Birla Group, is betting that – at least for now – continuing to make northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp is more likely to ensure the mill’s long-term stability. When it acquired the mill in 2012, Aditya Birla planned to spend $250 million over two years on a conversion from production of NBSK. But in a statement issued this week, the company said “given the current market conditions of dissolving grade pulp, there is no immediate plan to convert the mill.”  Nonetheless,  AV Terrace Bay is still spending significant sums on upgrades.

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$22 Million Investment Puts 1,000 Contracted Workers on the Job at Irving Pulp & Paper and Irving Tissue Mills in Saint John

J.D. Irving, Limited
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick — Over 1,000 contractors from 45 companies from St. Stephen to Bathurst are on the job for 24/7 until September 17 as part of a $22 million investment on the west side of Saint John at Irving Tissue and Irving Pulp & Paper.  The pulp mill has been part of the Saint John community since 1893. Today, it is one of the longest running mills in Canada due largely to ongoing environmental improvements and equipment modernization. Anchoring these mills and the sawmills that provide the hardwood and softwood chips is a diverse, and sustainable wood resource where more wood is grown than is harvested every year. Today, the Saint John pulp mill is at the heart of a forest products value chain that sustains thousands of jobs across New Brunswick communities. 

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Comments on the CBC aired Documentary titled “The Mill “

By Don Wilson, Member of the Healthy Forest Coalition
The News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The CBC documentary titled “The Mill” is borrowed from Joan Baxter’s 2017 book of the same name. The big difference, however, is Baxter’s book has many pages of facts and figures while the doc has so few it is misleading.  Notably missing was how many millions of dollars were given, and more loaned, to Northern Pulp Mill over the most recent years. $6 million plus last year alone to cover the cost of preparing an environmental document – one that came up short on facts even though they had five years to research.  Also missing was the cost of somewhat cleaning up the years of pollution left at the Boat Harbour site. The federal government has allotted $100 million to that and the rest will come from all the province’s taxpayers no matter where they live and work .   In years past the many aeration pumps and installation of them was covered by provincial money. 

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Weston Forest Ranks No. 351 on the 2019 Growth 500

Weston Forest
September 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mississauga, ON — Canadian Business and Maclean’s today ranked Weston Forest No. 351 on the annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca. Weston Forest made the 2019 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 199%. …“We are so proud of our highly motivated team that, for five consecutive years, has kept us on the list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies,” says Steve Rhone, President of Weston Forest. “This is an extraordinary result from an extraordinary group of people.”

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Fort Frances moves to seize paper mill equipment for unpaid taxes

By Gary Rinne
Northern Ontario Business
September 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Town of Fort Frances is trying to seize some heavy equipment belonging to the new owners of the former Resolute Forest Products sawmill in an effort to recover unpaid taxes. Town officials went to the mill on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to post notices of seizure. Mayor June Caul says Riversedge Developments currently owes the municipality about $437,000 in taxes on the various mill properties around town. “We haven’t seized the mill. We planned on seizing some of the rolling stock mainly, [which includes] Cats, trucks, forklift tractors and so on. There’s quite a few pieces of equipment out in the yard,” Caul told Tbnewswatch on Wednesday. The mayor said Riversedge moved two machines out of the yard last week, and the remaining equipment is lined up, apparently in preparation to be moved. Caul said the town acted on the advice of lawyers.

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Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Says There’s Still a Long Way to go With Softwood Lumber Decision

My Bancroft Now
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski says it’s an encouraging step, but there are steps still to go. The MPP for Renfrew-Nippising-Pembroke was referring to a decision by a North American Free Trade Agreement panel that found that Canadian softwood lumber imports were not hurting the American economy. However, Yakabuski said that the decision was a very small part of the dispute, and there was a long way to go before the dispute is settled. He did say that it was a step in the right direction and an encouraging sign. …He says he is hopeful and confident because Canada has been successful in challenging every decision the Americans have made on the softwood lumber dispute. Yakabuski also said he supports the federal government’s efforts to bring the dispute to an end.

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Finance & Economics

Lumber Sits And Waits – WOOD Follows The Price Of The Futures

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
September 12, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

So far in 2019, the price of nearby lumber futures has traded in a range from $286.10 to $453.90 per 1,000 board feet. At $374.50 on September 12 on the nearby November contract, the price of the wood futures was a bit above the midpoint for this year which stands at $370. …On the longer-term chart, lumber looks like it could work its way higher. 

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Why Home Depot’s Second Quarter Was Better Than It Looked

By Matthew Cochrane
The Motley Fool
September 11, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Despite a rough second-quarter earnings report last month, Home Depot’s stock price has risen about 7.5% since Aug. 21. …In the company’s quarterly conference call, Home Depot’s management credited two factors for the tepid growth: wet weather and lumber prices. What went right? Home Depot continues to invest heavily in removing friction from its omnichannel shopping experience, where the lines between online and in-store shopping are increasingly blurred.

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CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts climbed 1.9% in August

Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corp
CBC News
September 10, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the pace of new housing starts in August climbed 1.9 per cent compared with July. …The increase in the result for August came as the pace of urban starts increased two per cent in August to 213,663 units. Multiple-unit urban starts fell 1.4 per cent to 160,388 units in August while single-detached urban starts increased by 13.6 per cent to 53,275.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Winnipeg Wood Solutions Conference 2019

Canadian Wood Council
September 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Discover the many reasons developers, architects, engineers and municipalities are choosing wood for their iconic structures. Earn up to 6 professional development hours at our one-day educational event featuring information on international and local wood projects and products! Visit our website for updates on the full event program www.wood-works.ca/alberta/wsf/ You can register now for the day (you do not need to pre-register for the individual sessions).

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Forestry

Mr. Horgan, rein in BCTS

Letter by Norm and Loni Funnell, Roberts Creek
Sunshine Coast Reporter
September 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This letter was sent to B.C. Premier John Horgan. BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is out of control. There have been concerns about BCTS for years and we had hoped that with the NDP forming government, more oversight and control would be put on BCTS. Clearly this has not occurred. We are disappointed and disgusted with your “business as usual” approach to BCTS. Given the climate emergency we are in, now is not the time to be clear-cutting old growth forests as fast as possible. …We are demanding that your government put an immediate moratorium on all old growth logging on public lands controlled by BCTS and that you completely overhaul BCTS. You must change the mindset of the organization so that conservation of our old growth heritage is uppermost in the organization’s mandate.

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Mosaic Forest Management’s Mount Newton Seed Orchard Celebrates 40 Years

Mosaic Forest Management
September 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saanichton, B.C.  –  Today, local leaders and invited guests joined management and staff of Mosaic Forest Management in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Mount Newton Seed Orchard and its incredible contribution to sustainable forestry on B.C.’s Coast. The 100 acre orchard was established in 1979 by two historic leaders of the BC forest industry –  BC Forest Products and Crown Zellerbach. Owned today by TimberWest and managed by Mosaic Forest Management, the orchard has produced enough seed to grow more than 250 million trees in its four decades of operation. …“With the affiliation of management activities for TimberWest and Island Timberlands under Mosaic Forest Management, we are focused on increasing our production to meet the needs of both companies,” said Bevin Wigmore, Mosaic’s Tree Improvement Manager. “While we celebrate our 40 year history, we look ahead with excitement to the future of our orchard and its growing impact on sustaining healthy forests on B.C.’s coast.”   

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Central Saanich’s Mount Newton Seed Orchard grows into big Four-oh

By Wolf Depner
Sooke News Mirror
September 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A piece of land in Central Saanich is in many ways one of the embryonic chambers of the provincial forest industry. The Mount Newton Seed Orchard celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday with a family reunion as current and past employees joined forestry insiders to mark the facility’s round birthday with a tour and a lunch. BC Forest Products and Crown Zellerbach established the 100-acre orchard in 1979 to create seeds for a range of trees. It has since produced enough seed to grow more than 250 million trees in its four decades of operation. “This is a proud milestone for our company and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the many people in our organization and within the Province’s Tree Improvement Program,” Jeff Zweig, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mosaic Forest Management which operates the facility on behalf of owner Timber West.

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From wood to weed: more trouble at a B.C. mill

By Rob Keating
CBC News
September 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents of a remote B.C. valley want to know how licences to grow marijuana were issued at a troubled mill site. The mothballed Meadow Creek Cedar sawmill, located 100 kilometres north of Nelson, was raided by police at the end of August after a serious industrial accident. The mill is owned by Daljit (Dale) Singh Kooner from Surrey, a controversial businessman who bought it off a Japanese company in 2005. The former mill sat idle for years following several investigations including a 2014 fire. Kooner was accused of not paying workers for overtime and statutory holidays in 2011, and ordered to pay out $50,000 dollars in back wages. The Forest Practices Board initiated several investigations, and in 2012, fined Meadow Creek Cedar $42,000 dollars for not adequately replanting replanting trees. Then, last month, on Aug. 26, RCMP were called to the mill.

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Logging not a factor causing water boil advisories in Peachland, report finds

By Ashley Wadhwani
Kelowna Capital News
September 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nature and not logging by forestry companies appears to be the culprit behind the high number of boil water advisories in Peachland in recent years, according to an investigation by the province. The probe by the Forest Practices Board, which was launched after a member of the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance complained about forestry activities, found that “forest licensees did a good job of minimizing the impacts of logging on water and that natural processes played a much larger role,” according to a news release issued last week. …“There was high snow accumulation and significant rainfall events during the spring snowmelt of 2017 and 2018 that led to increases in the amount of sediment in the water,” said board chair Kevin Kriese. “The investigation also confirmed that a landslide that led to a boil water advisory was the result of natural stream dynamics and saturated soils and was not caused by forestry activity.”

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Outbreak of hemlock looper moth hits North Shore, Metro watersheds

By Tiffany Crawford
Vancouver Sun
September 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The North Shore has been hit with an outbreak of western hemlock looper moths, a species known to decimate trees. While there is no health risk to humans, swarms have been gathering around lights at night, and outbreak levels have been detected at Metro Vancouver’s three watersheds — Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam. “In places where there are those big lights at night, it looks like snow — and they are all hemlock looper moths,” said Judith Wheeler, a spokeswoman for Watershed and Environment Management Water Services at Metro Vancouver, which is monitoring the swarms at the watersheds. “The outbreak, anecdotally, has been noted on the North Shore. We are seeing an uptick in the numbers, both in our parks and watershed areas.” Wheeler said the reason for the outbreak is likely that there have been a few hotter than normal summers in a row, along with drought conditions, which stresses trees. “Stressed out trees are more susceptible to predators,” she said.

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TEK Elders, First Nations to take feds to court over forest spraying

By Tom Sasvari
Manitoulin Expositor
September 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAGAMOK – About 21 First Nations along the North Shore of Lake Huron (including those on Manitoulin Island) are set to take the federal government to court over aerial spraying on their lands, actions that they say negatively affect the environment and human health. The Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Elders of Robinson Huron Treaty say that spraying is part of a bigger issue, in that First Nations are not consulted about activities taking place on their land. The elders say that violates the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. “They are violating the treaties with spraying,” Ray Owl, spokesperson for the TEK Elders of Robinson-Huron Treaty territory told the Recorder. “We’ve been at this for five years, raising our concerns and have run out of avenues to be gentlemen on this issue. What we know is that what is going on is a treaty violation.” 

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More support needed for tree planting in Ontario

By Hilary Thomson
The North Grenville Times
September 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canopy Growth announced a $100,000 donation to Forests Ontario last month to aid in the organization’s tree planting initiatives. However, Ed Patchell, CEO of the FFC, says it is not enough. The $100,000 donation will only help plant about 50,000 trees in Ontario, a small fraction of the Ontario government’s former goal of 3 million a year. According to Forests Ontario, experts have determined that a minimum 30% tree cover is needed to maintain a healthy and sustainable ecosystem. In some places in Ontario, the forest cover is as low as five per cent, which compromises the health of our ecosystems and their inhabitants.

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Our oldest, largest trees need heritage protections with some teeth

By Mark Cullen
The Toronto Star
September 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There is a single best answer to the question: “What can we do about climate change?” And that is: plant trees. A new study was published in Science magazine this past July that revealed new data suggesting that if there was “one solution” to climate change, it would be to plant one trillion trees. The geographic area for a trillion trees covers an area roughly the size of continental U.S. and Russia, combined. This “one-solution” idea, obviously, only underscores the importance of trees among a long list of necessary measures. …So why aren’t we doing more to protect heritage trees? The good news: There is a heritage tree program in Ontario, managed by Forests Ontario in partnership with the Urban Forests Council.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

From Fires to Floods, Extreme Weather May Be Shaping Canadians’ Views on Climate Crisis

By Erick Lachapelle and James Boothroyd
The Tyee
September 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

With an election looming and climate change a burning issue, will Canadians’ experience of extreme weather shape the outcome? Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives seem to be betting it won’t. Others are counting on biblical floods and the clouds of smoke from wildfires to push voters into the arms of parties promising radical action. New research by EcoAnalytics, a non-profit initiative of university researchers and Canadian environmental charities, suggests the latter might be nearer the mark; but it’s complicated — and that many are allowing preconceptions to cloud their judgment. Our surveys show that Canadian public opinion is on the move. From 2011 to 2018, the percentage of Canadians who believe there is solid evidence of climate change rose from 80 to 90 per cent, and the belief that human activity causes climate change rose from 40 to 65 per cent. Scholars consider the latter a “gateway” belief, because those who hold it tend to support actions and policies to reduce carbon pollution.

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Find out about Revelstoke climate change future scenarios with online tool

Revelstoke Mountaineer
September 11, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

There’s a new online source for people seeking easy-to-understand information on climate change specific to communities throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary regions. The Columbia Basin Climate Source website—basinclimatesource.ca— was initiated by Columbia Basin Trust and developed by Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre. “We’ve spoken extensively with residents and communities and heard they want to learn how to reduce their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and learn how to adapt to climate change,” said Tim Hicks, Trust Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits. “We also heard people want more detailed information about how climate change may affect their communities in the coming decades. This website shares that information with great depth and detail.” Through data, videos, maps and more, the website provides a one-stop site that helps users learn about how the climate is changing across the region (with detailed projections for over 40 climate variables)

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