Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 3, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Final determination on softwood duties and the full gamut of responses

Tree Frog Forestry News
November 3, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US Department of Commerce imposed final tariffs averaging 20.83 per cent against Canadian lumber, down from 26.75 per cent in the preliminary findings. The rates fell for West Fraser, Canfor and Tolko and rose for Resolute and Irving. Other Canadian producers will pay 20.83 per cent. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia is excluded from tariffs while New Brunswick now has to pay.

Although the rate reduction brought lumber futures down from their 2-decade high, the range of reactions include:

In other news: the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the Ktunaxa Nation’s resort appeal, ruling that the BC government “appropriately balanced” the interests in play; Tolko is fighting an active fire in their Williams Lake mill; and Liberal leader candidate Mike de Jong pledges to headquarter the BC Ministry of Forests in Prince George.

Finally, an interesting story on how wood got into our food, then out of it and back in again.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

How wood got in our food, then out of it, then back into it again

By Tony Wagner
Northern Public Radio
November 2, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

When you’re reporting on regulations, a simple question can turn existential pretty quick. …If I call something “bread,” does that make it bread? Typically, there are just four ingredients defining breadiness: flour, water, salt and yeast. But breadmakers have long added another ingredient to even the simplest loaves. Wood. Sawdust. Wood fiber. In fact, there’s been some kind of wood in all kinds of food, from at least the dawn of the industrial era, up to today. The story of edible (or less-than-edible) wood is the story of food regulation in a nutshell. Or maybe in a lumber yard. The story starts in the 1700s, along the banks of Europe’s rivers, among mills and breadmakers who were trying to solve a problem: How do you feed the poor, cheaply?

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Business & Politics

Final Determination of AD and CVD a Positive Step Forward for the U.S. Lumber Industry

US Lumber Coalition
PR Newswire
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Jason Brochu

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the final determination of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber products into the United States. The U.S. Lumber Coalition fully supports this development as it will proportionally counter the unfair subsidies that the Canadian government provides its lumber industry in abuse of U.S. trade laws. “We are pleased the U.S. government is enforcing our trade laws so that the U.S. lumber industry can compete on a level playing field,” said U.S. Lumber Coalition Co-Chair and Co-President of Pleasant River Lumber Company, Jason Brochu. “The massive subsidies the Canadian government provides to their lumber industries have caused real harm to U.S. producers and their workers.

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Wyden applauds new tariffs on subsidized Canadian lumber

By Barney Lerten
KTVZ
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Ron Wyden

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised new tariffs against subsidized Canadian softwood lumber announced Thursday by the Department of Commerce. “With today’s action by the Commerce Department, American lumber mills and millworkers are one step closer to getting hard-won relief against subsidized and dumped Canadian softwood lumber,” Wyden said. “This administration must fully enforce America’s trade laws, not just for the mills and workers in Oregon and across the country, but for the communities that depend on them.” Wyden has led several letters calling on the Trump administration to address subsidized and dumped Canadian softwood lumber, most recently in July. 

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Lumber futures sink from a more than 2-decade high

By Myra Saefong
Market Watch
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Futures prices for lumber dropped Thursday from a more than two-decade high, as anti-dumping and antisubsidy duties on lumber imports from Canada announced by the U.S. Commerce Department came in lower than expected. November lumber  traded in Chicago fell 3.7% to settle at $449 per 1,000 board feet on Thursday. It finished at $466.40 on Wednesday—the highest settlement since November 1996. Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group, said that “plans earlier this year were to impose penalties as high as 31%.” “Instead, countervailing duties came in at 14.25% with anti-dumping duties at 6.58% for a milder total of roughly 21%,” he said. “So, while the U.S. has reiterated softwood lumber tariffs will be upheld, the duties imposed are actually going to be lower than expected, which is leading to higher lumber prices.”

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N.S. softwood lumber exemption restored

By Rober Taylor
The Chronicle Herald
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The removal of punitive duties on Nova Scotia softwood lumber exports was announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, after it ruled Nova Scotia’s lumber sector was operating in an open market rather than receiving an unfair subsidy. That ruling also included Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island lumber producers. Also excluded are U.S. lumber shipped to Canada for some processing and imported back into the U.S., certain box-spring kits, and box-spring frame components. Most Canadian producers, however, will pay a combined countervailing and anti-dumping rate of 20.83 per cent, down from 26.75 per cent that the Commerce Department imposed earlier in the year. Premier Stephen McNeil told a news conference in Halifax on Thursday his government is very pleased with the decision.

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Trump’s Trade War With Canada

By Paul Heinbecker
The New York Times
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA — Why is President Trump picking on Canada? Canada has long been the United States’ best customer, buying more American-made goods and services than any other country — more than China, Japan or Britain. American trade with Canada totaled $627.8 billion in 2016; the United States had a $12.5 billion trade surplus. But trade relations have nose-dived since Mr. Trump took office. The president is throwing red meat to his base — much of which feels left behind by the modern economy — by attacking Canada and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada is an easy target. In the spring, the Trump administration imposed tariffs costing potentially hundreds of millions of dollars on Canadian softwood-lumber imports, escalating a decades-long dispute between American and Canadian lumber companies. …Mr. Trump also prompted renegotiations of Nafta, which he criticized relentlessly during his campaign as “the worst trade deal ever signed.”

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B.C. forest industry says softwood scuffle isn’t over

By Liza Yuzda and Kyle Benning
Global News
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Susan Yurkovich

A group representing lumber businesses across the province is still going to put up a fight against the U.S.’s plan to implement taxes on softwood lumber despite levies being slightly reduced on Thursday. The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is disappointed and ready to fight. Even a lower duty still hits the B.C. industry hard, president and CEO Susan Yurkovich said. “Uncertainty and constraining our ability to invest in our plants, our mills and equipment are two of the things that are immediate regardless of where the lumber market is at,” she said. For the time being, she said the industry here is not at risk from the punitive measures. …Yurkovich said COFI will appeal through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.

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New Brunswick hit with softwood tariffs, but rest of region exempt

By Kevin Bissett
The Canadian Press in Global News
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

New Brunswick softwood lumber producers, who had been exempt from U.S. tariffs in the past, will now have to pay 20.83 per cent duty, although producers in the rest of Atlantic Canada will be exempt. …Lumber products certified by the Atlantic Lumber Board as being first produced in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island are excluded from any duties. Roger Melanson, New Brunswick’s minister responsible for trade, calls the decision “unfounded and unfair” for his province. Forestry giant J.D. Irving won’t pay tariffs as high as other producers in New Brunswick. Instead they’ll have to pay 9.92 per cent. …He said New Brunswick needs to get the facts in front of the World Trade Organization or a NAFTA panel.

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Final softwood lumber duties set in 20% range

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Doug Donaldson

The U.S. Commerce Department has set the final countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Canadian softwood lumber exports. …”The U.S. continues to attack its closest friend, neighbour and ally while domestically the U.S. lumber coalition continues to put the interest of its members ahead of what is good for the American economy and American consumers,” Bruce Ralston, minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, said in a press release. …But the B.C. government is also aggressively trying to push B.c. lumber into Asian markets. “The dispute with the U.S. highlights the need to grow other markets for B.C. wood products,” said B.C. forests minister Doug Donaldson. Donaldson will lead a trade mission to Japan and China with 35 B.C. forestry executives later this month.

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Canadians face new tariffs after US softwood ruling

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. Commerce Department officials have ruled that Canada unfairly subsidizes the cost of logs it provides to Canadian timber companies, setting the stage for new tariffs on wood imports to the United States. …“We’ve been waiting for this,” said Sherm Anderson of Sun Mountain Lumber in Deer Lodge. “It shows the Commerce Department agrees with what we the lumber producers have been trying to tell them, that there was an export violation, and their government does subsidize their industry. Now either the ITC rules in December that we can impose the tax, or it drives the Canadians back to the table for an agreement that’s permanent.”…“We are pleased the U.S. government is enforcing our trade laws so that the U.S. lumber industry can compete on a level playing field,” U.S. Lumber Coalition co-chairman Jason Brochu wrote in an email statement.

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Softwood lumber dispute in a ‘Groundhog Day loop,’ says Horgan

Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

John Horgan

The softwood lumber dispute has hit a “bit of a Groundhog Day loop,” Premier John Horgan said Thursday, as the U.S. Department of Commerce issued its final determination for punitive duties against Canadian lumber imports. Horgan said Canada and the U.S. had a narrow window to reach a trade agreement, but negotiations couldn’t get past protectionist interests in the U.S. industry. …“It’s a narrow group who stand to personally benefit from this, that leads us to this debate every decade or so,” Horgan said during a press conference the province called to announce its support for Canada’s appeal of the duties. “Now we have to continue with what has become a bit of a Groundhog Day loop,” Horgan said, alluding to the Bill Murray comedy about living the same event over and over, “through litigations and tribunals.”

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Any level of softwood lumber duties is unfair trade

Unifor Press Release
Canada Newswire
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Jerry Dias

TORONTO – Amendments to the U.S.-imposed duties on softwood lumber exports doesn’t change the crisis facing Canada’s forestry industry, says Unifor. “Nothing changes today. The tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber are outrageous,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We expect our government’s response to be bold and confident. Forestry communities deserve nothing less.” …Unifor says that the $867-million forestry industry aid package announced by the Canadian government in May 2017 will help cushion the blow, but it is not a long-term solution. “Our forestry industry needs a new softwood agreement that defends good jobs and strengthens Canadian competitiveness,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President.

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US makes final finding on Canadian softwood imports

By Rob Gillies
The Associate Press in ABC News
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued its final finding Thursday on the softwood lumber duties Canadian producers must pay, escalating a trade dispute amid the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. …Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the decision “defends American workers and businesses from unfair trade practices.” The department also said Canadian exporters sell softwood lumber at less than fair value and Canada provides unfair subsidies to producers. …The U.S. Lumber Coalition said they are pleased with the duties because it means the U.S. lumber industry “can compete on a level playing field.” The U.S. and Canada typically enjoy a friendly trade relationship, but things have soured this year as U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded big changes to NAFTA, which is in its 23rd year. 

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Statement by Canada on US duties on Canadian softwood lumber

Government of Canada
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland and Jim Carr

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, today issued the following statement… “The Canadian forest industry sustains hundreds of thousands of good, middle class jobs across our country, including in rural and Indigenous communities. The Government of Canada will continue to vigorously defend our industry against protectionist trade measures. Our forest sector is innovative, environmentally responsible and globally competitive – and it represents 7 percent of our exports and contributes $22.3 billion to Canada’s GDP. “The U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision on punitive countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Canada’s softwood lumber producers is unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling. “…These duties are a tax on American middle class families too, whose homes, renovations and repairs will only be more expensive.

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U.S. makes final finding on Canadian softwood imports, sets duties

By Brent Jang and Adrian Morrow
The Globe and Mail
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed final tariffs averaging 20.83 per cent against most Canadian shipments of softwood lumber into the United States, intensifying trade tensions between the two countries. The weighted average tariffs levied by the Trump administration consist of 14.25 per cent for countervailing duties and 6.58 per cent for anti-dumping levies. Thursday’s decision to uphold the imposition of tariffs comes as a setback for Canadian producers that had been hoping for a breakthrough softwood deal. The Canadian government and forestry industry say that the flow of lumber from Canada into the United States should be embraced and not feared by Americans. …One source with knowledge of the softwood discussions said the impediment to a deal was the U.S. lumber industry, which appeared to prefer hitting Canada with tariffs rather than agreeing to a negotiated settlement.

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Canadian softwood producers hammered after talks with U.S. fail

The Canadian Press in the Financial Post
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL — Canadian softwood lumber producers will be hit only slightly less forcefully as the U.S. government reduced export duties for most Canadian producers after ongoing political talks failed to reach a deal. In its final determination released Thursday, the Department of Commerce said most Canadian producers will pay a combined countervailing and anti-dumping rate of 20.83 per cent, down from 26.75 per cent in the preliminary determinations issued earlier this year. …The Canadian government responded by saying it will continue to defend the lumber industry against protectionist trade measures. “We are reviewing our options, including legal action through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, and we will not delay in taking action.”…Lumber products certified by the Atlantic Lumber Board as being first produced in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island are excluded from any duties.

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‘Unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling’: U.S. sets final import duties on Canadian softwood lumber

CBC News
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday announced it will impose finalized softwood lumber import duties on several Canadian firms. The U.S. government said Canadian producers were selling into the U.S. market at less than fair value, and said Canada was providing “unfair subsidies” to domestic producers. “While I am disappointed that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood producers, the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement. “This decision is based on a full and unbiased review of the facts in an open and transparent process that defends American workers and businesses from unfair trade practices,” Ross said. In a joint statement, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr called the U.S. decision against Canada’s softwood lumber producers “unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling.”

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Western Announces Third Quarter 2017 Results

By Western Forest Products Inc.
Marketwired
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA- Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX:WEF) reported adjusted EBITDA of $32.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $35.7 million in the third quarter of 2016, and $47.1 million reported in the second quarter of 2017. Hot, dry weather lowered log harvest and reduced Western’s third quarter log and lumber sales volumes. The Company mitigated US lumber duties and capitalized on improved market demand and pricing by increasing lumber sales to China.

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Interfor Reports Q3’17 Results

By Interfor Corporation
Marketwired
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Interior (TSX:IFP) recorded net earnings in Q3’17 of $16.8 million, or $0.24 per share, compared to $24.5 million, or $0.35 per share in Q2’17 and $15.1 million, or $0.22 per share in Q3’16. Adjusted net earnings1 (which takes into account the effects of share-based compensation expense and non-recurring items) in Q3’17 were $20.0 million or $0.29 per share, compared to $28.7 million, or $0.41 per share in Q2’17 and $20.7 million, or $0.30 per share in Q3’16.

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Tolko confirms active fire at Lakeview mill

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Williams Lake and 150 Mile House Fire Departments respond to fire. A spokesperson for Tolko Industries said their thoughts are with their employees and the community of Williams Lake as they battle a blaze at their Lakeview mill. “At this time, the situation remains active and the extent of the damage is unknown,” communications advisor Janice Lockyer said in a statement to the Tribune. “The safety of employees is our top priority, and we can confirm that there have been no injuries and all employees are safe and accounted for. Mill assets are currently being used to assist firefighters in their efforts to contain and control the blaze.” Lockyer went on to thank local fire crews who are assisting them this evening.

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de Jong promises to headquarter forests ministry in Prince George

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike de Jong and Pat Bell

Beginning with the province’s chief forester, B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong says he will make relocating the main offices of the forests and lands ministry to Prince George a top priority if he becomes premier. “How about locating the ministry to where actual commercial forestry is actually taking place?” de Jong said Thursday morning during a low-key media event at Kordyban Lodge. …Some 13 years to the day, a pilot project was launched that saw chief forester Jim Snetsinger working out of an office at the University of Northern B.C, de Jong noted. But the move was not made permanent. …Former Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Pat Bell made it clear he supports de Jong. In introducing him, Bell credited de Jong for developing an export market to China for B.C. lumber.

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Nakina Lumber Inc. taking first steps to re-opening

By Jeff Walters
CBC News
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A shuttered sawmill in Nakina, Ont., could soon spew sawdust again, after its owners said the mill is “in the preparation stages” of a re-start. Nakina Lumber Inc, owned by Buchanan Sawmills Inc, was shut down in 2008, when many forestry operations in northwestern Ontario ground to a halt. “Something that’s been going on for quite a while, trying to get this together, but it looks like it’s official now,” said Renald Beaulieu, the Mayor of Greenstone. “They’ve actually re-started the mill to function so that, I guess if you want to call it a practice [run].” Beaulieu said the re-start is good news for Greenstone, where high-paying jobs can be difficult to find.

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‘A drain on businesses’: N.S. lumber producer pleased to see tariffs gone

By Richard Woodbury
CBC News
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia has emerged out from under a softwood lumber tariff imposed in May after the U.S. Commerce Department decided Thursday to exclude the province as it moved to finalize duties against several Canadian firms. It’s a decision that was expected but is nonetheless being welcomed by one Nova Scotia forestry industry executive. “We’ve proved that we are a market-based industry in the past and we’ve gotten an exclusion in the past, so why would we not this time around?” said Robin Wilber, the president of Elmsdale Lumber, which employs about 50 people directly. 

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Resolute Reports Preliminary Third Quarter 2017 Results

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Canada Newswire
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTRÉAL  – Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today reported net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, of $24 million, or $0.26 per share, compared to net income of $14 million, or $0.15 per share, in the same period in 2016. Sales were $885 million in the quarter, essentially unchanged from the third quarter of 2016. Excluding special items, the company reported net income of $31 million, or $0.34 per share, compared to net income, excluding special items, of $15 million, or $0.17 per share, in the third quarter of 2016.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Vancouver is home to the world’s tallest wooden building…for now

By John Lee
Lonely Planet Travel News
November 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Architecture-loving visitors to Western Canada’s biggest city have alofty new landmark to crane their cameras at, following the opening of the world’s tallest contemporary wooden building. Located on Vancouver’s tree-lined University of British Columbia (UBC) campus, the sleek, 53-metre-high Brock Commons Tallwood House student residence welcomed its first intake of 404 upper-level and graduate occupants this fall. …Regions around the world are jostling to dominate the fast-growing wooden construction sector, a sustainable building alternative that stores rather than emits carbon dioxide. …But while UBC has several other handsome contemporary wooden buildings worth visiting, it’s innovative new Tallwood House tower won’t be a world record holder for much longer.  Already under construction in Vienna, the 24-storey timber hybrid HoHo Tower, will have risen to an eye-popping 84 meters by the time it’s completed sometime in 2018.     

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Exploring new markets for sawmill residues

FPInnovations
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
November 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Over the past few years, the lumber industry has been confronted with chip production above and beyond the demand, resulting in the creation of big surpluses in various regions of Quebec and Ontario. This situation may well get worse in the coming years, as pulp and paper mills… particularly with regard to the quantity and quality of the materials. …FPInnovations has launched a new project aimed at evaluating innovative fragmentation technologies adapted to sawmills that convert small diameter logs for the production of by-products to be used in manufacturing structural and non-structural panels. Thanks to this new approach, wood wafers produced in sawmills may be delivered to panel manufacturers and used directly as raw materials, without any subsequent processing.

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Forestry

Community Forest ready to log in Wilson Creek

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) is set to begin harvesting in Wilson Creek and Halfmoon Bay now that work at the site of the 2015 Old Sechelt Mine wildfire is wrapping up – and the new activity could reignite opposition to logging in the area. In an interview with Coast Reporter this week, Community Forest chair and president Glen Bonderud and operations manager Dave Lasser talked about the recently completed harvesting of the area damaged by the fire and plans to resume harvesting other areas of its tenure. Bonderud and Lasser said the revenue from the harvesting in the fire area was higher than anticipated thanks to a strong demand for cedar and a willingness of buyers to “come to the party.”

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Mo beetles mo problems: MP for Jasper raises MPB in House

Jasper Fitzhugh
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Eglinski

Yellowhead MP Jim Eglinski has convinced the Conservative caucus to make the mountain pine beetle an issue important enough to spend party time on during Question Period. He stood in the House on Oct. 26 and said he’s been trying to meet with government side ministers about the MPB for years: that a meeting promised by a parliamentary secretary in May 2016 hasn’t happened, likewise for the environment minister saying she looked forward to talking about beetles more in June of this year. He said despite been assuaged to the contrary, he had visited the park in recent weeks and seen that “nothing” had been done to address the beetle outbreak, now spreading exponentially east of the park, or the deadfall surrounding forest towns such as Jasper.

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Smoke from slash burning causes concern in Port Alberni

By Susie Quinn
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry crews are monitoring four slash burning sites north of Port Alberni whose smoke has caused concern in the Alberni Valley. …Because of a temperature inversion and uncharacteristically low relative humidity for the area—Effingham Inlet weather station on the west coast was reporting 20–30 per cent relative humidity, which is unheard of in a rainforest at this time of year, MacPherson said—conditions became dry, and the smoke stayed around the area instead of moving off. The dry conditions caused these burns to spread beyond the area listed in their burn plans.

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Forestry debate Op-ed misleading

Letter by Jens Wieting, Sierra Club
North Island Gazette
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Response to “Debate on Vancouver Island’s old growth forests must be based on facts, not emotions”. Understanding the old-growth crisis on Vancouver Island must be based on meaningful facts. Sierra Club BC and Wilderness Committee agree with the authors of a recent opinion article that discussion of the old-growth crisis on Vancouver Island must be based on facts, but those facts must be meaningful. Despite claims to factual accuracy, however, the information provided in the article is superficial, partially incorrect (860,000 hectares of old-growth on 2.4 million hectares of Crown land is 36, not 46 per cent) and ignores the ecological crisis unfolding on Vancouver Island.

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Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Ktunaxa Jumbo resort appeal

By Trevor Crawley
The Columbia Valley Pioneer
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by the Ktunaxa Nation who were arguing that their religious rights were infringed when the BC government approved a development plan for a ski resort on a glacier west of Invermere. The Ktunaxa… argued they were not adequately consulted by the BC government when it approved a development plan for a ski resort the Jumbo Glacier Valley. All nine justices agreed that the provincial government had adequately consulted the Ktunaxa, however, two justices also noted that religious Indigenous would be infringed by the construction of a ski resort in spiritually sensitive land. …However, both Justices Moldaver and Côté agreed with the rest of the Supreme Court bench that the BC government, specifically Minister Steve Thomson at the time, appropriately balanced the Ktunaxa religious rights with the government’s obligation to administer Crown land.

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Historic trail falls victim to focus on bottom line

Letter by Bill Millward
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cameron Lake

Island Timberlands, one of the largest forest landowners with over 250,000 hectares of forest, finds it necessary to continue with the destruction and logging of a very small portion of their land comprising the historic CPR Horse trail which is one of the most-used area hiking trails by local and international hikers. The trailhead found at Cameron Lake was logged out last winter by Island Timberlands, and now they plan to cut the entire slope at the Upper McBey Creek and decimate the CPR trail. …Hopefully more concerned outdoor and hiking enthusiastic people will take note and write to the corporate office in Nanaimo and voice their concern, before all is lost for generations to come.

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Beetle-kill forest in city’s watershed targeted for proposed dead timber salvage

By Timothy Schafer
The Nelson Daily
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Part of the city’s watershed is in the cross hairs for logging as one of the region’s largest lumber companies intends to salvage dead timber in order to suppress a Douglas-fir bark beetle infestation just west of the city. Kalesnikoff Lumber Company in Thrums is seeking review and comment from the community on a proposed cutting permit application to harvest timber in the Selous Creek area near Nelson. The wood needs to be removed in order to safeguard the city’s secondary drinking water source, said Gerald Cordeiro, development supervisor of Kalesnikoff Lumber Company Ltd. The company has completed work on four proposed cut blocks, with the intent of salvaging dead timber and to suppress the beetle population by harvesting currently infested timber.

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Bad forestry practices compound climate challenge

By Jamie Simpson, forester, woodlot owner and lawyer
Chronicle Herald
November 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jamie Simpson

John McPhee’s Oct. 28 article, “Climate change may endanger spruce, fir,” is an important story to tell. Yes, many of our trees will die as the climate changes because these trees are adapted to a more northern climate. But McPhee’s article is half of the story. Part II is the unfortunate reality that these vulnerable trees are unnaturally abundant in our forests because of our forestry (mis)management.  In a process sometimes called “borealization,” we have transformed much of our forestland into something more closely resembling the northern boreal forest. It’s not that balsam fir and white spruce wouldn’t naturally occur in the Maritimes. It’s just that these species would be much less common on our landscape in the absence of clearcutting and past land-clearing for agriculture. We have put our forests in an extremely vulnerable position.

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Majority of forest fire damage this year occurred in NW Ontario

TB Newswatch
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northwestern Ontario accounts for close to 60 per cent of the forested areas of the province that were destroyed by fire this year. In its season-ending report, the province’s Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services section also noted that 85 per cent of the 776 fires this year occurred in the northwest region. But, as a whole, fire damage across Ontario was on par with the 10-year average. There were 776 fires, burning 112,000 hectares. The average over the last decade is 791 fires, with 104,000 hectares burned. Human-caused fires this year were a notable problem, comprising 27 per cent of all the outbreaks. Almost all the others were started by lightning.

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Still time to save the Lake Superior’s threatened caribou

by Leo Lepiano, Michipicoten First Nation
The Toronto Star
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The recent article, “Will anyone act to save the caribou? Ontario is not,” drew much needed attention to the “Ministry of Wood’s” failure to act on woodland caribou conservation, in contravention of both federal and provincial policies. As one senior federal employee put it recently, the MNRF “doesn’t seem to give a goddamn about any of this stuff.” However, there is one caribou herd in Ontario on the brink of extirpation that has not received much attention, and where the most immediate threat is not the loss of habitat. The first paragraph of Plotkin and Gray’s piece ends with the statement that woodland caribou “need large, intact swathes of Boreal forest to survive, and that habitat is disappearing.” Though efforts to maintain large, intact swathes of Boreal forest are laudable and critical, the statement is not entirely true. 

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Counties, timber group want to resume Cascade-Siskiyou litigation

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Groups representing Oregon counties and timber companies want to resume litigation against the federal government’s expansion of the Cascade-Sisikiyou National Monument. However, a federal judge is delaying proceedings in the two lawsuits until Dec. 1 to give the Trump administration more time to consider scaling back the monument’s size. The monument’s boundaries were increased from about 66,000 acres to 114,000 acres in the waning days of the Obama administration, angering livestock producers and timber companies that rely on the public land for grazing and logging. Most logging is prohibited within the monument and the designation also has the potential for grazing restrictions.

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