Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada

Special Feature

Last Ones Standing – Remembrance Day Tribute

By Eric Brunt
Eric Brunt Media
November 8, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

1.1 million Canadians served in the Second World War. Today there are less than 41,000 remaining, and that number is shrinking every day.  Soon there will be no WWII veterans left. Will we remember what these men and women sacrificed for the Canada we live in today? My name is Eric Brunt and I’m a 25 year old documentary filmmaker. My grandfather Clifford Brunt was in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII. When he passed away at the age of 95, I realized I had no record of his war time experiences. This made me wonder – what other veterans’ stories were out there, never recorded and on the verge of being lost. In May 2018, I left Victoria, BC, in a small van, with the goal of traveling across Canada to interview and film as many surviving WWII veterans as possible. As of November 2018, 200 veterans have shared their experiences on camera for me. These interviews will be used in my documentary titled “Last Ones Standing.”

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Business & Politics

Canfor Corp. Signs Agreement to Acquire Elliott Sawmilling Co.

By Paul Ploumis
Scrap Monster
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

SEATTLE — Canfor Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Estill, South Carolina-based Elliott Sawmilling Co., for a price of $110 million. The transaction is subject to completion of certain transaction documents and other customary closing conditions. The company press release noted that the purchase deal is expected to close during the first half of 2019. Upon closing, Canfor aims to acquire 49% on closing, whereas the remaining 51% will be acquired during the second phase, after a year. …Elliot’s high tech southern yellow pine mill, which consists of both large and small log lines, has a capacity to saw 200 million board feet per year. The company offers nearly 180 well-paid jobs in the region. 

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Interfor Corp. shares down more than nine per cent on third quarter results miss

The Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
November 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER — Interfor Corp.’s share price was trading down more than 10 per cent Friday as the company missed earnings expectations amid volatile lumber prices. “The dominating feature of the third quarter this year was the drop in lumber prices,” said company chief executive Duncan Davies. …“In our view, the current state of the lumber market makes little sense. The drop we’ve experienced in the last few months is more of an overreaction to an overreaction that occurred earlier this year.” …Meanwhile, cost inflation in labour and materials has led Interfor to indefinitely shelve a new sawmill it was looking to build in the U.S. south, he said. …Davies said the price drop in the third quarter put pressure on earnings, though company profits of $28.1 million, or 40 cents per share were still up from the same quarter last year.

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Housing Activity Expected to Moderate from 2018 to 2020

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
November 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

In 2019 and 2020, Canada’s housing markets should see a moderation in both housing starts and sales. House prices, meanwhile, should reach levels more in line with economic fundamentals like income, employment and population growth. Those are some of the key takeaways from CMHC’s just-released 2018 Housing Market Outlook(HMO) for Canada. …Looking more specifically at 2019, we expect: total housing starts to range from 193,700 to 204,500. …Housing starts, 2018 – 2020 are forecast to slow gradually over the next 2 years, coming down from the 10-year peak recorded in 2017. Economic fundamentals, such as income, employement and household formation, will continue to support new residential construction. Their growth will, however, slow, and housing starts will therefore become more closely aligned with them by the end of 2020.

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Interfor Reports Q3’18 Results

Interfor Corportation
Global Newswire
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER, BC — Interfor Corporation recorded net earnings in Q3’18 of $28.1 million, or $0.40 per share, compared to $63.8 million, or $0.91 per share in Q2’18 and $16.8 million, or $0.24 per share in Q3’17. …Adjusted EBITDA was $69.4 million on sales of $570.5 million in Q3’18 versus $123.8 million on sales of $619.9 million in Q2’18. In comparison to the third quarter of 2017, Interfor posted improved results across most key metrics, including an $8.9 million or 15% improvement in Adjusted EBITDA, an $11.3 million or 67% increase in net earnings and a 29 million board foot rise in lumber production.

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As Trump and a Democratic House face off, the USMCA may be caught in the middle

By Barrie McKenna
The Globe and Mail
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Barrie McKenna

Trade was not a wedge issue in the U.S. midterm elections, but it’s about to become a flashpoint in the new Congress as President Donald Trump squares off against the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. And that is likely to make ratification of the recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) an early test of the willingness of Democrats to play ball with the Trump White House. In a tweet Wednesday, Mr. Trump suggested he’s reading the midterm results as an affirmation of his muscular trade policies. …The three countries are expected to sign a final version of the USMCA at the end of this month. Ratification in the United States is unlikely before the incoming Congress takes over in January. …Some experts say getting it done next year may be a long shot.

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Trump’s trade policies could survive Democratic victory

CBC News
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…The Democrats won back control of the House of Representatives, but oh so narrowly. …The ramifications for the president are real. He will face hurdles enacting major goals of his presidency — from building that wall… to ratifying the new North American trade deal. …Former U.S. diplomat Sarah Goldfeder believes Democrats, especially those elected Tuesday for the first time, will be focused on other, domestic issues. …Goldfeder doesn’t expect to see the USMCA brought before Congress until mid- to late next year, even if Trump believes he has the votes to get it through. “If there’s an environment where the administration doesn’t think the package will pass then one of two things happen. Either they don’t put the legislation up and we will live with the old NAFTA or the president — if he really wants to make this an election issue, and he will — will start the process of the United States leaving NAFTA.”

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Babine mill workers suspend strike

BC Local News
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers at the Babine Forest Products Mill in Burns Lake have suspended their strike as their union the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 prepares to enter mediation with management. “We have stopped our overtime and rotating strikes while we’re in mediation with the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association,” Brian O’Rourke, President of Local 1-2017 told Lakes District News on Nov. 5. The mediation is scheduled to happen Nov. 14-16 in Kelowna. …Local 1-2017 Vice-President Paul French pointed out that “the union’s 72-hour strike notice is still in effect. We’re in a legal position to call a strike if need be. We’re trying to avoid a strike [but we’re] also showing the seriousness of the situation. We’re not giving away things for free.” “Ideally we would like to have a fair collective agreement that our membership can accept without any concessions on the table,” O’Rourke said.

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Conifex announces a temporary curtailment in operations at Fort St. James mill

BC Local News
November 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conifex announced they will be temporarily curtailing their operations at their Fort St. James Mill for at least four weeks starting Monday. “We have made the difficult decision to temporarily curtail our Fort St. James sawmill in Q4 due to the combined impact of increasing log costs, deteriorating log quality as the availability of commercially viable mountain pine beetle timber reaches an end, falling lumber prices, and punitive lumber export duty impositions,” says Ken Shields, Conifex’s Chair and CEO. According to Sandy Ferguson, VP of Corporate Affairs and Business Development with the company, recent labour issues are not a factor in the decision to halt operations. She told BlackPress on a phone interview that between 180 and 200 employees are affected by the decision. …Tolko recently curtailed operations at their Quesnel Quest Wood sawmill this October for similar reasons in what is becoming a concerning trend in the regional forestry industry.

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Regional District of Central Kootenay removes conditions from Kalesnikoff office project

By Betsy Kline
Castlegar News
November 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kalesnikoff Lumber’s plans for a new office building have hit a few procedural bumps, but the company says it is still planning on going ahead with the project. In order to build the new building, Kalesnikoff had to apply to the Regional District of Central Kootenay for amendments to the Official Community Plan and for a new zoning designation for a portion of its property. The property in question is located in RDCK Area I, across the highway from the company’s sawmill operations, between the Tarrys Fire Hall and Russell Auction. Kalesnikoff’s chief financial officer Krystle Seed, who along with her brother Chris Kalesnikoff make up the fourth generation of Kalesnikoffs running the mill, says the company’s intentions are to provide a better work environment for their employees. 

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Union pulls back on job action at Interior and northern mills

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing hundreds of mill workers in the Interior has pulled back job action in optimism that talks scheduled for next week will be fruitful. “There are three days of mediation talks scheduled in the south beginning on November 14,” Paul French, vide-president for United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017, told the Tribune. “Because the three players from the north are at the bargaining table in the south from the company side — Canfor, Tolko and West Fraser — we are going to pull back in good faith on any job action because we are not able to meet in the north until something is resolved in the south.”

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First of its kind $100,000 endowment for indigenous students pursuing graduate studies in forestry

TimberWest
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver — TimberWest and the Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia announced a first-of-its-kind $100,000 endowment program for Indigenous students pursuing a graduate degree in forestry. The endowment established by TimberWest, along with matching funds from the Faculty of Forestry, will award scholarships of $4,000 per year to First Nations, Inuit, or Métis graduate students studying forest resource management or forest sciences who have a demonstrated interest in pursuing their career in British Columbia. …“We want to help ensure that financial barriers do not prevent the many talented and motivated Indigenous students from pursuing a graduate degree in forest sciences,” said Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. …The TimberWest Forestry Award for Indigenous Students will be awarded by the UBC Faculty of Forestry on an annual basis.

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Canadian Economics After The Midterm Elections

By Melissa MacKenzie
CKPG Today
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE — [VIDEO] The polls for the US midterms closed last night with the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. While this will have some impacts on Canadian economics, Stan Mitchell from KPMG says that it’s too early to tell what the impacts will be, as it’s all dependent on which direction each congressperson sways. “By default, if you could sway enough Democrats, and essentially sway the house, then the Republicans are probably going to have to listen unless there’s a better deal to be cut.” Some of the more prominent areas that could be affected by these election results are the tariffs on steel, aluminum, the softwood lumber agreement and the USMCA trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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Western Forest Products Announces Third Quarter 2018 Results

By Western Forest Products
Stockhouse
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Western Forest Products Inc. reported adjusted EBITDA of $32.3 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $32.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, and $50.2 million reported in the second quarter of 2018.  …“Well positioned opening log inventory and efficiencies in our supply chain allowed us to partly mitigate the impact of the worst fire season in coastal BC history. Despite harvest challenges and market volatility, our specialty-focused lumber business continues to deliver revenue growth and higher price realizations,” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Looking ahead, we expect to leverage the investments in our flexible operating platform to overcome challenging market conditions, ongoing lumber duty expense and increased stumpage costs.”

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Export economist predicts China to surpass US as BC’s top timber market

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada’s key export-support organization boldly predicts China will surpass the United States as British Columbia’s top market for forest products within 12 years, if long-term trends hold. “This is really about differential growth in the markets,” said Peter Hall, chief economist for Export Development Canada. “China has long and strong potential growth and the U.S. is a fully developed economy.” That projection appears to counter a short-term decline in lumber sales to China following the country’s meteoric rise in imports over the last 15 years. After years of a provincial hard-sell in the country, China emerged as a major customer for B.C. forestry exports following the 2008 global recession, surpassing Japan as the province’s No. 2 market for lumber in 2009. …Hall, however, said he is in the camp of economists who believe Canada is in a position to make significant increases in trade with China, not unlike Australia.

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ATCO employees in Fruitvale exempt from job action

By Guy Bertrand
BC Local News
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mediation will be used to bridge an impasse in contract talks between forestry workers and southern interior forestry employers. The announcement came Tuesday from the United Steelworkers bargaining committee stating that talks will go to mediation through the B.C. Labour Relations Board following the inability to agree to a new collective agreement.  …Jeff Bromley, financial secretary for USW Local 1-405, said there are 175 members impacted in the West Kootenay. “We have 140 members in Castlegar at Interfor’s sawmill there. And 35 members at ATCO Wood Products in Fruitvale.” However, employees at ATCO won’t be involved in any job action should mediation fail, explained Bromley. “In terms of ATCO Wood Products, they are under what’s called a ‘Me Too Agreement.’ That means essentially that they’ve signed on to whatever is negotiated by the broader forestry industry pattern bargaining. For lack of a better term, they’re exempted from what’s going on in this process right now.

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United Steelworkers forestry workers headed for mediation

By Carloyn Grant
BC Local News in the Castlegar News
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

At the end of October, United Steelworker members in the southern interior, working in the forestry industry, returned a 98 per cent strike vote. This week, the Steelworkers announced that talks will go to mediation through the B.C. Labour Relations Board following the inability to agree to a new collective agreement. Mediator Dave Schaub has been appointed to mediate talks between the two parties. Those talks are scheduled for November 14, 15 and 16, 2018 in Kelowna. …“Despite reporting record profits in the 3rd quarter of 2018, Canfor has decided to engage in rotating layoffs at their BC operations, angering USW members in what looks more like a bargaining tactic than a reflection of markets,” says a Steelworkers press release. …At the request of the USW Bargaining Committee, job action will be halted prior to and during the mediation process. 

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500 forestry workers to vote on new collective agreement

Thunder Bay News Watch
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

DRYDEN, ON — The ratification process begins this week for a proposed collective agreement for members of Unifor who work in Domtar’s pulp mill at Dryden and in the woodlands operations. The tentative agreement with the company affects 500 employees and three Unifor locals. Union national representative Stephen Boon says details will be released after voting is complete next week, but adds that the contract does “achieve Unifor’s Eastern Canada Pulp and Paper Pattern.” The pattern was established in May with a new four-year collective agreement between Unifor and Resolute Forest Products. …Final voting on the agreement will take place on Nov. 20. The union’s last contract with Domtar expired on August 31, 2018.

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Nova Scotia premier asks fishermen to end blockade of Northern Pulp survey boats

By Michael Tutton
Canadian Press in Globe and Mail
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s premier says he’s hoping fishermen end a blockade of survey boats hired to examine a route for an undersea effluent pipeline, but he has no plans to extend the company’s deadline. Stephen McNeil said Thursday he’d advise fishermen to let the seismic research in the Northumberland Strait take place because it’s a lawful activity. …. Then the ongoing public consultation will have to take place as to what will be or wouldn’t be,” the premier said. However, he also said it’s up the Northern Pulp mill near Pictou, N.S., to decide whether to call in the RCMP to end the blockade. …A spokesperson for Paper Excellence Canada, the Richmond, B.C., company which owns the pulp mill, has said the survey data would be of interest to various parties, and that it will work with authorities to ensure the safety of all involved.

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Residents fear for wetlands, watercourses after reviewing Irving gypsum mine proposal

By Connell Smith
CBC News
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW BRUNSWICK — People in the Upham area are poring over environmental impact assessments documents on a gypsum mine proposal for the rural community. The proposal by Hammond River Holdings, a J.D. Irving Ltd. company, would see an open-pit gypsum mine set up on a 60-hectare property… about 100 metres from the Hammond River. According to the documents, the gypsum rock will be extracted by blasting and then crushed on site. Runoff water from the site would be directed to either a settling pond or a sump pit and then to two streams flowing to the river after suspended sediments have settled. …Construction would begin in the spring of next year with gypsum operations starting by late 2019. [Wallboard and construction plaster are the primary industrial uses of gypsum]

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Mishaps put spotlight on Irving family’s relationship with Saint John, N.B.

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The Irvings of New Brunswick are facing renewed scrutiny after a major industrial accident at the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John and three guilty pleas from Irving Pulp and Paper for polluting the Saint John River. The sudden spate of bad publicity has drawn into sharp focus the delicate relationship between the Irving group of companies and the 69,000 residents of Saint John. The Irvings are one of the city’s largest employers, and the family’s privately owned companies are thought to be worth about $8 billion. The city’s mayor, Don Darling, has said Saint John’s large industrial base comes with risks, and he has called for a broader discussion about the relationship between residents and industry. …Emma Seamone, spokeswoman for the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, said there isn’t enough scrutiny of the Irvings’ businesses because the family owns all of the English-language daily newspapers in the province.

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‘Stop it at all costs’: The blockade of Northern Pulp Mill continues

By Alexander Quon
Global News
November 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The blockade of a pulp mill in Nova Scotia continued on Tuesday with fisherman from the surrounding area of Pictou, N.S., saying they’ll do whatever it takes to stop a controversial waste pipe.  For the second day in a row, fishermen have successfully rebuffed a survey ship from leaving Boat Harbour in an attempt to chart a route for the planned effluent pipe, which would carry waste away from the Northern Pulp mill into the Northumberland Strait. “We were hoping it wasn’t going to come to this, but apparently it is and we’re ready to do whatever we have to do,” said Darryl Bowen, 48, a fisherman from Caribou, N.S., taking part in the blockade. …“Our livelihoods are at stake here. If they destroy the ecosystem of the Northumberland Strait, we’re done for generations,” Bowen said.

 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Saskatoon replacing sand, salt with wood chips in test run to fix slippery streets

CBC News
November 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Saskatoon is testing out an environmentally friendly way to make roads less slick this winter. Inspired by cities in Switzerland and Quebec, city workers will be using wood chips on icy roads in the North Industrial Area rather than sand and salt. The city’s roadways director Brandon Harris told CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning the city wants to make sure there are no problem with the chips. “We have to make sure the traction is as good as sand, and we have to make sure we won’t be plugging up catch basins,” said Brandon Harris. “The last thing we want is for spring to roll around and us to have a whole problem with getting rid of water.” …”In the spring, you don’t get the dust,” he said. “Most of that organic material will just wash away with normal runoff. Sand stays in place.”

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Forestry

Canada Promotes Indigenous Participation in Quebec’s Forest Sector

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

WASWANIPI, QC – Canada’s forest sector continues to be an important generator of good jobs in communities across the country, including rural, remote and Indigenous communities. The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous peoples to ensure that they participate in — and benefit from — natural resource projects. Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $330,000 investment for two forestry projects in Waswanipi, Quebec, that will create jobs and boost the local economy. The first investment of $300,000 is for the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi to support business planning and equipment reconditioning for the Nabakatuk Forest Products facility. This funding will enable the reopening of the facility so that it can provide mill-finished lumber for retail markets. Support for this community-industry partnership is a promising model, which will foster stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples and competitiveness in Canada’s forest economy.

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Money trees The struggle over what’s ancient, giant, valuable and dwindling in B.C.’s coastal forests

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the past seven years, environmentalists in B.C. have been looking for… big, ancient trees that erupt out of the ground and make people standing beside them look miniscule and insignificant. …In May, an hour’s drive southwest from the Vancouver Island logging town of Port Alberni, a group found one — a giant Douglas fir measuring 66 metres tall and three metres in diameter at chest height. …But two weeks later, the giant fir was cut down by loggers who say it was rotten in its core and worth more being turned into products like wooden beams than living out its life in the forest. …The tree is — or was — a symbol of the latest iteration of B.C’s War in the Woods where, on one side, environmentalists want all old-growth trees off limits to cutting because of the role they play in preserving biodiversity and keeping climate change from advancing.

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City of Powell River announces forestry grants

By David Brindle
The Powell River Peak
November 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the first tasks for the new City of Powell River council will be to approve grants totalling $799,522 to 12 organizations from Powell River Community Forest Reserve Fund. Committee of the whole will first have to receive the report on the fall recommendations for grants before forwarding to council, but PRCF decisions have been passed unanimously in the past. …“Through the Community Forest every sector has enjoyed the fruits of the industry,” said Formosa. “Community Forest goes out of its way to show people that forestry is a great, renewable resource, a great industry and pays dividends to everybody.”

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Old-growth logging threatens culture, says Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council

By Megan Thomas
CBC News
November 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council says the provincial government needs to do more to protect B.C.’s remaining ancient forests for both cultural and environmental reasons. Nuu-chah-nulth territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island is home to some of the province’s largest remaining old-growth trees. But tribal council president Judith Sayers says the province needs to stop — or at least slow down — the rate at which they are disappearing. “Our whole lives really, and a lot of our spirituality, is wrapped up in the forests,” she said. Nuu-chah-nulth Nations use old-growth yellow and red cedar for traditional purposes, such as canoes, totem poles and long houses. Other nations often come to Nuu-chah-nulth territory for access to ancient cedar because it is no longer available in their own regions, Sayers said.

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B.C. forest ministry cutting back on use of herbicide glyphosate

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
November 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. forests ministry is reducing its use of the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, partly to help moose get enough feed through the winter in the B.C. Interior. Glyphosate is applied in reforested areas to suppress the growth of aspen and other fast-growing broadleaf species and allow planted conifers to get established. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said reforesting policy is shifting and more aspen and other broadleaf species are being encouraged in replanted areas. Aspen is a main winter browse for moose populations that have been struggling in recent years. B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver raised the topic in the B.C. legislature this week, claiming the ministry is spraying 16,000 hectares a year. That’s the total for 2015, Donaldson replied. By 2017 it was down to 10,000 hectares, partly to improve moose habitat and partly because the ministry’s tree growing program is producing hardier conifers that compete better with other growth on their own.

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How much wood should a wood-cutter cut?

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paola Deda

Enhancing working forests and using more products from wood can play a critical role in climate change mitigation by sequestering carbon – provided those forests don’t go up in smoke or get chewed to death by bugs. Given how much of Canada’s landscape remains forested, it can have a positive contribution to climate change mitigation through sustainable forestry, which is one of the reasons why the UN Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) has convened their 76thsession in Vancouver this week. …The Vancouver initiative underscores the important role a sustainably managed forest industry can play in climate change mitigation, said COFFI secretary Paola Deda. …Conservationists argue that old mature forests should not be logged because they store such huge amounts of carbon. …“But the science clearly indicates that old forests are much weaker carbon sinks than young forests,” says Werner Kurz, Natural Resources Canada.

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UNECE and Canada champion forest products for a more sustainable future

UNECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Innovative and sustainably produced wood products, when coupled with sustainable forest management, can ‘build the future’ and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In a sector like construction, which globally accounts for 6% of total energy consumption and 11% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, alternative materials like wood can contribute substantially to moving towards sustainability. …This is the key message of the Vancouver Invitation on Forest Products for a Better Future, a bold and forward-looking statement of intent to harness the environmental, economic and social benefits of sustainable forest management. The Invitation was developed with Canada and with the support and input from UNECE countries. It garnered support by more than 200 government officials, representatives from the wood products and construction sectors and civil society actors from around 50 countries, who gathered in Vancouver, Canada, for the 76th Session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI)

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UNECE forest product market discussions highlight potential for carbon storage, greening the economy and growing demand from Asia

UNECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Spruce, pine and fir are the main families of coniferous trees fueling the global forest products sector. They provide the raw material for just under 60% of wood products in the world. Products derived from these species are used as construction materials for buildings, for paper and paper products as well as fuel for heat and power production. What is even more astonishing is that coniferous forests of the northern hemisphere taken as a whole are constantly increasing their carbon stock while providing one billion cubic metres of wood every single year. …Growing attention is being paid to the potentials of wooden forest products, as demonstrated in discussions during the seventy-sixth session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry, taking place this week in Vancouver, Canada under the title COFFI2018 ‘building the future with forests’. Delegates from across the world came together in Vancouver, British Columbia, to participate in the COFFI2018 meeting.

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Celebrating the 2017 conservation officer of the year

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Len Butler and George Hayman

Len Butler is the 26th recipient of the Outstanding Officer of the Year Award. Since 1992, the designation has been awarded annually to a conservation officer for going above and beyond the call of duty and exemplifying the values of the Conservation Officer Service: integrity, public service and protection of the environment. Len Butler started his career as a fish and wildlife officer in Alberta 38 years ago. …In 1991, Butler headed west to join the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. He now works out of Williams Lake as an inspector for the Thompson-Cariboo region, overseeing the operations of three zones. ..One of Butler’s proudest accomplishments is putting together the agency’s Defensive Tactics Program in 2007 for training new recruits and existing conservation officers. Focusing on arrest and control tactics for officer safety, the Defensive Tactics Program has become one of the best training programs in Canada …

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Catastrophic Wildfires – why did they happen and what can be done?

By Lisa Marak
Federation of BC Woodlot Associations
November 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woodlot licensees gathered in Williams Lake for the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (FBCWA) AGM to look at what happened in the Cariboo and around Williams Lake during the2017 wildfire season and examine ways in whichforest management can change and be improved,not just to prevent wildfires but also to have healthier, more resilient forests and ecosystems. Representatives from the Ministry of Forests,Lands and Natural Resource Operations &Rural Development (FLNORD), industry, local government and academia from around the province joined them as they discussed the challenges BC faces managing forests in the wake of the two worst wildfire seasons. The more than 100 delegates saw firsthand the impacts of the 2017 wildfires during their field trip to nearby Fox Mountain where salvage logging and post fire restoration work was underway as well as a fuel mitigation project on the Williams Lake Community Forest. 

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Federal government must act on national pine beetle problem

By Paul Whittaker, president and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association
CBC News
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Whittaker

Alberta is the frontline of a pine beetle epidemic that threatens to decimate forests from coast to coast. If you’ve been to Jasper National Park recently, you have seen the widespread devastation. Large swathes of mature pine in the park are red and dead. If decisive action is not taken soon, this sad scene will be replayed in forests throughout Canada. On Monday, the Alberta legislature unanimously passed a motion, sponsored by Edmonton-Manning MLA Heather Sweet, urging co-operation with the government of Canada to tackle this problem immediately. Co-operation is the right approach. For too many years, pine beetle has been seen as a provincial problem. First it was a B.C. problem. Now it’s an Alberta problem. …it will soon also be a Saskatchewan problem. And with a continuous band of pine throughout Canada’s boreal forest, the epidemic will surely spread beyond Saskatchewan all the way to Canada’s East Coast.

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Nature Trust buys property to protect Caribou

Prince George Citizen
November 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Nature Trust of British Columbia says it has purchased privately-owned land near Mackenzie in the name of protecting a herd of Woodland Caribou. From October to January, the herd of about 50 animals typically congregates on the 245-hectare (605-acre) Kennedy Siding property, southeast of the community 186 kilometres north of Prince George,  where they feed on their main food source, terrestrial lichens, until the snow gets too deep. …The property is completely surrounded by Crown land designated as ungulate winter range, adding up to about 2,900 hectares (7,165 acres). …Dr. Dale Seip, a wildlife ecologist at the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said in a statement issued Wednesday, “acquisition of this land, in combination with the surrounding provincial ungulate winter range, now ensures that the entire low elevation winter range of this Threatened caribou herd will be protected and managed as caribou habitat.”

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B.C.’s fierce forest fires kindle haunting photo-poetry

By Douglas Todd
The Vancouver Sun
November 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. poet and her husband have captured the terrifying power of our summer forest fires in words and photos. Susan McCaslin and Mark Haddock have created a disturbingly beautiful photo-poem series about the wildfires that have torn through the Cariboo region of B.C., particularly at Young Lake, where their family has long had a cabin.

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Ontario’s beech trees are facing a slow demise. Here’s why

CBC News
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s beech trees are slowly being consumed by a disease that’s been on a steady march through the province for decades, experts say. Beech bark disease comes as a two-part attack. First, a small insect burrows into the tree. Then a fungus takes over, slowly rotting the tree and causing it to die. ​”After the insect has moved through, then the fungus will follow and cause the cankers on the tree,” said Sylvia Greifenhagen, a research forester with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “When you get enough of these killing cankers in the bark, the tree will die.” The disease has been relatively slow moving, arriving in Canada in the 1890s and gradually spreading through the Maritimes, Quebec and now Ontario. Greifenhagen said the ministry has research plots across the province to track the disease’s movement. In some cases, it’s already taken a considerable number of trees.

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‘So many bears:’ Draft plan says Nunavut polar bear numbers unsafe

The Canadian Press in the Cape Breton Post
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are too many polar bears in parts of Nunavut and climate change hasn’t yet affected any of them, says a draft management plan from the territorial government that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking. The proposed plan — which is to go to public hearings in Iqaluit on Tuesday — says that growing bear numbers are increasingly jeopardizing public safety and it’s time Inuit knowledge drove management policy. “Inuit believe there are now so many bears that public safety has become a major concern,” says the document, the result of four years of study and public consultation. “Public safety concerns, combined with the effects of polar bears on other species, suggest that in many Nunavut communities, the polar bear may have exceeded the co-existence threshold.” …The plan leans heavily on Inuit knowledge, which yields population estimates higher than those suggested by western science for almost all of the 13 included bear populations.

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It Takes A Billboard to Raise Forestry Awareness

By Forests Ontario
Cision Newswire
November 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

KENORA, ON – Today, government, private sector and not-for-profit stakeholders gathered in Northwestern Ontario to promote a recent billboard developed under the province-wide It Takes A Forest public awareness initiative. Greg Rickford, MPP Kenora-Rainy River, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, and Dave Canfield, Mayor of Kenora, joined Erik Holmstrom, Ontario Timberlands Manager of Weyerhaeuser Company Limited and Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario in front of the billboard to acknowledge the pivotal role that the forest sector and sustainably managed forests play in the economic, social, and environmental well-being of local communities. Representing a collaborative effort of over 40 organizations, the It Takes A Forest initiative is designed to increase public awareness of the management of Ontario’s forests through the dissemination of fact-based information. The initiative aims to reach Ontarians across the province with the message that forests are central to our lives.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada

Government of Canada
November 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council have partnered to launch new funding for climate change research. This initiative supports the Targeted Federal Climate Change Science Plan and aims to strengthen collaborative efforts among federal policy-makers and scientists and the academic community in the context of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The $4.8M in funding will support the following research objectives: Heat: to help protect the health of Canadians through advancing innovation for energy efficient cooling technologies, such as the cooling potential of natural infrastructures; Forests: accelerate knowledge of ecosystem services in the context of climate change, such as the role of forests and trees as natural infrastructure in increasing climate resilience, mitigating climate change, human health and wellbeing, and promoting biodiversity in urban or rural landscapes; and Carbon cycle: to improve understanding of carbon dynamics in Canadian ecosystems, with a focus on how to quantify, protect, and enhance natural carbon sinks.

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