Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Business & Politics

Business & Politics

The Canadian Wood Council is hiring a President and CEO

Canadian Wood Council
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Are you someone that is passionate, strategic and driven to succeed? If so, learn more about the job position and the possibility of working with the great team at the CWC! Passionate, strategic, and driven to succeed, the new President & CEO will have a particular affinity for fostering consensus and demonstrated experience in dealing with multiple stakeholder groups. An excellent listener and superb communicator, ideally in both official languages, the President & CEO has a talent for actualising the potential of others and understands the most important resource of any organization is the people working within it. The President & CEO is the primary liaison with stakeholders and will be a tireless advocate for the positive benefits of using wood products in construction.

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Industry on the rebound: Seeking growth among forestry stocks

By Peter Ashton
The Globe and Mail
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Most wood products and forestry stocks performed well for Canadian investors in recent years. …Red-hot demand for Canadian wood products pushed many forestry stocks to new highs in early 2018. However, falling lumber prices and signs of a slowing U.S. housing market began to take their toll in mid-2018. However, these stocks… have recovered well over the subsequent weeks. In fact, the forestry and wood products industry is one of the TSX’s best performing industries over the past month, up 10.8 per cent. …Topping our list is diversified wood products firm West Fraser. Ltd. …No company on our list suffered more in 2018 than Canfor. After reporting very strong results in October, Canfor has now started to rally – up 6.1 per cent in the past four weeks. One of the best performers on our list over the past four weeks has been Interfor, up 10.2 per cent. [to access the full story you will need a Globe & Mail subscription]

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Why Mercer International Stock Popped 19% Today

By Rich Smith
The Motley Fool
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Shares of Mercer International, a maker of bleached softwood kraft pulp used in paper products and biofuel, were turbocharged today when the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that the stock will replace Green Dot stock on the S&P SmallCap 600 index before market open on Friday, Jan. 18. Mercer stock was up 18.7% on the news as of 2:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday. What does the one event have to do with the other? Simply put, in order to accurately reflect the new composition of the S&P SmallCap 600 index, a lot of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that track the performance of the index will soon have to purchase a small amount of Mercer International stock. Momentum investors today are trying to get ahead of those changes in fund and ETF purchases by buying Mercer stock themselves.

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Forest sector applauds government’s decision to proceed with supply chain investigation

By Kerry Patterson-Baker, Vice President, Communications
Forest Products Association of Canada
January 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes today’s federal decision to have the Canadian Transportation Agency investigate supply chain failures in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Canada’s forest products sector relies on an efficient and reliable transportation system to move our products through Canada to global markets. Over the past two years, system congestion through the Lower Mainland of B.C. has created real challenges for Canadian forest products companies. Last year alone, rail delays and bottlenecks cost the forest products sector over $500 million dollars. FPAC has supported calls for the federal government to complete a comprehensive diagnostic around these transportation system failures. “We need to get to the bottom of why these transportation blockages are happening,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “…We need to ensure the system in the Lower Mainland is able to respond to the current and future needs of Canadian exporters,” Nighbor added.

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Four dividend-paying timber companies that could help in fight against climate change

By Hugh Smith, CFA, MBA
The Globe and Mail
January 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR? North American timber companies that could benefit from an increased demand from the building industry for their products. Last month, officials from almost 200 countries gathered in Poland to mark the third anniversary of the Paris Agreement and discuss how they were going to keep their promise of holding climate change this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. …Perhaps counterintuitively, the way to a greener future might be wood. …We use the Thomson Reuters Business Classification to consider North American companies in the forest and wood products industry that could benefit from a boost in demand for their products. …The United States has more timber companies than Canada, but three of the four companies that pass this screen are Canadian. …Four timber companies that could help fight against climate change: Acadian Timber Corp., Norbord Inc., Western Forest Products Inc., and Louisiana-Pacific Corp. [Full story available to Globe and Mail subscribers only]

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Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update

By Haken Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Declining trade of softwood lumber, plummeting lumber prices in the US and slowing wood demand in China were some of the biggest international lumber developments in the 3Q/18, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Global trade of softwood lumber from January through September 2018 was down 2.5% as compared to the same period last year. China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the MENA region reduced their imports, while the US and continental Europe have imported more lumber this year than in 2017.

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Trump’s Lumber Tariff Is Forcing Canada Producers to Idle Mills

By Bloomberg
Investing.com
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A decades-long spat with the U.S. over lumber is starting to burn Canadian producers. While the first half of 2018 was marked by record prices, the picture’s now less rosy. …The result: Interfor Corp slashed output by 20 percent at its sawmills in BC… Canfor Corp curtailed output by about 10 percent and West Fraser said it will permanently shut 300 million board feet of capacity. Analysts say more cuts could be ahead. “The bite is significant,” said Susan Yurkovich, chief executive officer of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries. “When you’re in a very low price environment and you’re paying duties you get to a point where you can’t continue to operate.” …“It’s sort of a market that is unsustainably low,” Mason said by telephone. “At some point you’re going to want to stop losing money and we’ll see more downtime unless prices migrate higher.”

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

David Elstone

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

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

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

Vaughn Palmer

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

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

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

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

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Premier Announces Monumental Change for Timber Harvesting Contractors

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

David Elstone

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

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

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

Photo @ForestechTim

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

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

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

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

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Forest policy reforms to rebuild coastal forest sector

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

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

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Are you at the Truck Loggers Convention?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Permier Horgan

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

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Transportation agency launches probe into rail service in Vancouver area

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

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

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West Fraser Announces Temporary Production Curtailments in British Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

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Brink drops lawsuit against BCR Properties

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

John Brink

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

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Western Forest Products pledges to address noise from Duke Point sawmill

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

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

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Repap Resources “cautiously optimistic” about bid for Fort Frances mill

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, ON — Repap Resources Group, an unincorporated private six-member investment group, has had preliminary discussions with Resolute Forest Products about its proposed purchase of the idled pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances. No formal purchase offer has been submitted as yet. Seth Kursman, a vice-president at Resolute, told Tbnewswatch his company does not negotiate through the media or the public, adding only that Resolute continues to evaluate “options” for its Fort Frances property. Repap spokesperson Sean Twomey said he is “cautiously optimistic” that he and his partners can achieve “a win-win transaction” with Resolute. It’s the first public comment the company has made since informing the town of Fort Frances about its plans in late 2018.

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10 years after expropriation, Abitibi waste still in the ground

By Leigh Anne Power
CBC News
January 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A decade after the provincial government became the owner of a shuttered mill, whatever toxic mess lies beneath has yet to be cleaned up. In 2008, when Abitibi Consolidated announced it was closing its Grand Falls-Windsor paper mill, the Danny Williams government reacted by expropriating the company’s assets. Among them, the provincial government would later learn, was the mill building and its polluted grounds. Now, a decade on, the building is gone, but whatever is buried on the site — accidentally appropriated by the province — remains. …Junior Downey worked at the Abitibi mill for 36 years. He said he knows about containers of PCBs, waste oil from machinery and other contaminants buried on the site. …In 2012, the government asked the Supreme Court of Canada to be considered a primary creditor so it could claim cleanup fees from the company’s assets. The court refused, leaving the cleanup in the hands of the province.

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Premier hopes ‘cooler heads prevail’ as pulp mill works on assessment

CBC News
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he’s concerned about the threat of confrontation and violence as Northern Pulp works on its environmental assessment for a controversial plan to pump treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait. The Nova Scotia government has committed to stopping the flow of effluent from the Abercrombie mill to the heavily polluted Boat Harbour lagoon by Jan. 31, 2020. The lagoon is next to the Pictou Landing First Nation. The wider Gulf of St. Lawrence fisheries region is home to lobster and crab fisheries that brought in over $1.2 billion worth of catch in 2016. “People are very entrenched on both sides of this issue,” said McNeil. “There’s indication of very little flexibility on both sides. Those are always challenging positions for anyone to be in, for the company to be in, for our government to be in and for that community.”

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How the shutdown is jeopardizing housing for rural Americans

By Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler
NBC News
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Scott and La Tysha Mitchell couldn’t find a house they could afford to buy, so they decided to build one with their bare hands in rural Utah, using a loan from the Department of Agriculture. …The Mitchells are working with Self-Help Homes, a Utah-based nonprofit that pays for construction materials and subcontractors on their behalf, with the expectation that the USDA will reimburse that money through the federal loan of about $324,000 that the couple has taken out. …The Mitchells are among the hundreds of thousands of families in rural America whose homes and prospective homes are being threatened by the closure of the USDA. 

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Slowing wood demand reduces global trade of lumber

By Henry Carmichael
FreightWaves
January 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The market for lumber slowed considerably in the second half of 2018 as the Chinese economy lost momentum and trade disputes with the U.S. persisted. The United States has cultivated a strong export market for lumber products in China. Prior to the escalating trade war, the American Hardwood Export Council stated that the growth of the Chinese market would be “unlike anything ever encountered in this industry.” The Council predicted that in the near future 60 percent of American hardwood goods will be exported from the U.S., with 54 percent of exports bound for China. …Producers of southern yellow pine exported 41 percent more to China in 2017 than they did in 2016. But softwoods weren’t alone in the rebound. The import value of U.S. hardwood products to China reached a record high of $323 million in 2017. …While Canada supplied 95 percent of U.S. lumber imports in 2016, that percentage declined to 91 percent in 2018.

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Forest2Market Report Shows Changing Demand for Wood Fiber is Impacting Residuals Markets

By Morgan Brinton
Forest2Market
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

CHARLOTTE, NC — January 8 — As global consumer trends and demands continue to shift at an escalating pace, a new Forest2Market report shows that both structural and temporal market shifts in recent decades have impacted the markets for wood fiber residuals. The report, Changes in the Residual Wood Fiber Market 2004 to 2017, analyzes data … to understand the relationship between the supply and demand of wood residual materials over a 14-year period. …“While global markets continue to chase consumer trends, this report clearly demonstrates that rapidly-changing preferences present new opportunities for an evolving forest industry” said Pete Stewart, President and CEO of Forest2Market. “Structural changes have affected the hardwood market in the South in ways that cannot be reversed, and the increased demand for softwood makes the …region a profitable destination… However, any growth opportunity in the PNW will be hamstrung due to high costs and resource constraints.”

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AF&PA lists 2019 top advocacy priorities

By Megan Smalley
Recycling Today
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced some items that top its 2019 advocacy priority list. This year, the association plans to promote a more resilient paper recycling system, transportation infrastructure, international trade, tax policy and regulatory reforms and process improvements.  “Clear public policies that advance our industry’s ability to apply sustainable manufacturing practices to innovate, invest, compete and plan for the future top our 2019 advocacy priorities list,” says AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “A market-based paper recycling system, improved transportation infrastructure, free and fair trade, a competitive tax system, and regulatory reforms and process improvements will go a long way toward helping our companies make the products that improve peoples’ everyday lives.” According to an AF&PA news release, the association plans to pursue these priorities as it supports the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products industry’s ability to grow and create manufacturing jobs.

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Oregon Department of Forestry names Lena Tucker as Deputy State Forester

By Chas Hundley
Banks Post
January 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Lena Tucker

Salem – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has selected Lena Tucker to be the next Deputy State Forester, following Nancy Hirsch, who retired from her position in December. Tucker will serve as the Deputy Director for Operations, overseeing the department’s operating programs in fire protection, private forests, and state forests. “I am very excited to work with Lena in her new role. She has a proven record of leadership within the department and at the local and national levels,” said State Forester Peter Daugherty. Tucker has worked for ODF since 1994, and has worked in all of the department’s program areas throughout her 25 year career with ODF. Most recently, she served as the department’s Private Forests Division Chief, working with private forestland owners to implement the Oregon Forest Practices Act, work on forest health, and provided technical assistance programs, along with working on the Urban and Community Forestry Program.

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Georgia-Pacific Announces Layoffs, Says It Will Stop Printing Office Paper

By Tasnim Shamma
WABE 90.1 FM
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Atlanta-based paper, chemicals, packaging company Georgia-Pacific announced it’s leaving the office paper business. The company laid off more than 650 people at its mill in Hudson Port, Louisiana, and about 40 salespeople in Atlanta on Thursday. Director Robert Izlar leads the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia and is the former executive director of the Georgia Forestry Association. “Younger generations, compared to my generation, and I’m a baby boomer, I print everything,” Izlar said. “Maybe they don’t do that. So there’s a decline in demand.” Georgia-Pacific said the printing and writing business was not sustainable and that it will close down the paper operation by mid-March. “People just aren’t using as much office paper anymore,” said Karen Cole, a spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific.

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Alexander Lumber closing area stores

By Nick Vlahos
Gatehouse Media Illinois
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

AURORA, Ill. — Alexander Lumber Co. is closing several of its legacy lumberyards across central and western Illinois. The locations in Canton, Lincoln, Monmouth, Rushville and Taylorville are set to close permanently. The Bloomington location will merge into the existing LeRoy location. The Gilman location will merge into Watseka and Fairbury. “We intend to focus on our core pro builder customer in the Chicago and other mid-sized markets, especially those in Wisconsin, Iowa, and other surrounding states, should any opportunities arise,” says Russ Kathrein, President/CEO of Alexander Lumber. Each of the closing lumberyards will hold liquidation sales from mid-January through the end of Feburary 2019. …Alexander operates 15 locations in Illinois, two in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. The company was founded 128 years ago.

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Lumber Company Deemed Total Loss After Fire

CBS Pittsburgh
January 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PITTSBURGH – Officials investigating a fire that tore through an East Bethlehem lumber and hardware store was deemed a total loss. East Bethlehem Fire Chief Mark Giovanelli suspects a wood-burner heating system at Millsboro Lumber and Hardware could be to blame for Saturday’s blaze. …The Ark Avenue business lost an estimated $1 million according to Giovanelli. Inside the retail store, the business sold construction supplies, painting tools and more. …Giovanelli said that the fire was difficult to fight following the collapse of the steel roof which prevented water from dousing hot spots.

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Louisiana State University economist estimates paper mill shutdown will lead to loss of nearly 2,800 jobs in ripple effect

By Timothy Boone
The Advocate
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific’s decision to stop producing office paper at its Port Hudson mill and lay off 650 people could ripple into an estimated loss of nearly 2,150 other jobs across Louisiana, an economic model produced by an LSU AgCenter economist shows. The layoffs will result in the loss of nearly $188 million in labor income and nearly $22.8 million in tax revenue for state and local governments, said Shaun Tanger, a forest economist at the AgCenter. “This is a conservative number,” Tanger said. The figures don’t capture the ripple effects into nearby Mississippi, where some people live and work in the timber/paper industry and could be doing the lion’s share of their business in Louisiana, he said. …Along with the loss in jobs and tax revenue, the prices that nearby landowners will get for their hardwood and pulpwood is expected to fall because of the reduced demand from Georgia-Pacific. 

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Stora Enso completes negotiations on possible temporary layoffs at Oulu

By Richard Stuart-Turner
PrintWeek
January 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Stora Enso has completed co-determination negotiations on possible temporary layoffs with employees at its Oulu Mill in Finland. As a result of the negotiations, Stora Enso can, if needed, temporarily lay off employees at the mill, excluding the personnel at its adjacent Oulu pulp mill, for a maximum of 90 days during the first half of 2019. “Basically, there are 500 employees in the scope of the temporary layoffs, which can be used as a precautionary measure to adapt production to possible fluctuations in market demand,” a Stora spokesperson told PrintWeek. …The co-determination negotiations were initiated in November as the business looked to reduce its production in response to weak market conditions for woodfree papers, while prices of the most important raw materials for paper production simultaneously continued to rise.

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Building on market momentum

By Patrizio Antonicoli, CEI-Bois
The Timber Trade Journal
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Patrizio Antonicoli

According to latest figures, the general conditions in the EU wood products market were positive during 2017. Reported timber consumption increased by 4%, reaching €123bn. Extra-EU28 imports of wood products amounted to €8.8bn, reflecting a 4% increase compared to 2016, with the key suppliers being China, Russia and the US. Exports also increased in 2017, exceeding €11.8bn. These trends are in line with general acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the EU, which continued into 2018, driven by internal demand recovery and good performance in exports. The growth of the construction sector, in particular, picked up in the EU, and the industry’s provisional forecast for 2018 into 2019 is also moderately optimistic. …Our key priority is to ensure a level-playing field for European woodworking industries, both for their wood raw material procurement and their sales of semi-fi nished and finished wood-based products. 

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Small external fire extinguished quickly at Catalyst’s Crofton pulp mill

By Don Bodger
The Chemainus Valley Courier
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

An external fire was put out on site at the Catalyst Crofton pulp mill Monday afternoon before it got out of control. Graham Kissack, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Catalyst Paper Corporation, explained a belt burned off a piece of equipment in the crumb pulp system. “The fire was small and was extinguished quickly by operations,” he noted. …Crofton Fire Department was dispatched, but told to stand down before arriving at the mill, according to a member of the mill’s security personnel.

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