Region Archives: Canada West

Opinion / EdiTOADial

Does Tenure in BC’s Forests Still Have Value?

By Jim Girvan, Cam Brown and David Elstone
The Truck LoggerBC Magazine
October 3, 2022
Category: Opinion / EdiTOADial
Region: Canada, Canada West

An increased level of uncertainty in the BC forest industry has become the norm over the past few years with a plethora of changes being made that have cumulatively eroded the confidence of some for the future of the industry. Uncertainty equates to risk when it comes to investment, and raises many questions: What will the eventual outcome of the old-growth deferrals be? Will the changes to the Forest & Range Practices Act and the Forest Act lead to more or fewer opportunities? How will recommendations on the transfer of timber rights influence management and value of tenures? All these issues must also be measured within the framework of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and growing First Nations participation in the BC forest industry.

…Despite the potential risks from government’s policy direction, current and future prospective tenure holders have options to mitigate their risk. In many respects, Bill 28 was enacted to motivate industry to change itself. Potential tenure purchasers are well advised to fully consider local First Nations or community desires for the AAC prior to purchasing tenures. Exploring how the status quo might change through the forging of new relationships may go a long way to removing government from the equation. …Although there are many risks to owning tenure, if there is continued wood products manufacturing at an industrial scale in BC, securing fibre supply through tenure will be a necessary component of many forest products companies’ strategy. …Despite the short-term uncertainty in the industry today, many see the longer-term prospects for sustainable forest products in BC as positive. 

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Business & Politics

Gorman Group gets back to its roots with vineyard in honour of Eunice Gorman

Wood Industry Magazine
October 4, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Eunice Gorman

Sawmill operator Gorman Group is going back to its founding family’s farming roots with the development of a vineyard on an Okanagan Valley hillside destroyed by a forest fire in August last year. It’s next to the company’s West Kelowna sawmill and is being planted with vines as something of a tribute to one of the company’s founders, Eunice Gorman. The matriarch of the Gorman family passed away at home, surrounded by hymn-singing family members, on Sept. 16 last year at 100 years of age. She was the widow of Ross Gorman, who founded the company in 1949 with his brother, John Gorman, and she had been the company’s first bookkeeper. Now, 47 000 vines producing eight varieties of organic European grapes are being planted in her honour on a portion or a 28 acre property in the agricultural land reserve. The first harvest is expected in 2024.

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Growth of Kelowna wildfire company recognized

By Kirk Penton
Castanet
October 2, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Kelowna company that specializes in wildfire protection equipment is once again one of Canada’s fastest growing companies. Wasp Manufacturing recently landed at No. 178 in this year’s Globe and Mail Report on Business ranking of Canada’s top growing companies, thanks to its 254% economic growth over the last three years. Wasp also cracked the list last year. “We are extremely proud of this accomplishment for the second year in a row,” company CEO Randy Cowling said. “In the past year we have increased our U.S. sales significantly and are extremely excited to announce we are expanding into Australia beginning in 2023.” Wasp’s most popular product is the gutter mount sprinkler bracket, which allows firefighters to get water to the rooftops easily and without ladders. The brackets are mandatory equipment for structure protection units on contract with British Columbia Wildfire Services.

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Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Wins Business Partnership of the Year

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd.
October 4, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Williams Lake, B.C. – Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR) has been honoured with the award for Business Partnership of the Year through the BC Achievement Foundation’s Indigenous Business Award program. The Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program celebrates excellence and focuses on the successes of Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs. As an Indigenous business partnership of the Tŝideldel First Nation and the Tl’etinqox Government, with several successful projects completed, CCR has proven to be a great fit for the parameters of the prestigious award. “Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation is so pleased to be awarded with this honour,” noted Percy Guichon, Director of CCR and member of the Tŝideldel First Nation. Formed in the spring of 2017, the joint venture was originally formed to address the 100,000 hectares of dead pine left in the Chilcotin region and to reduce wildfire risk and rehabilitate mountain pine beetle-damaged forests near Alexis Creek.

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Prince Albert Pulp Inc. submits environmental impact statement to Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

Paper Excellence Canada
October 3, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, BC – Paper Excellence announced that the company’s Prince Albert Pulp Inc mill restart project has submitted its environmental impact statement (EIS) to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. The EIS is a critical part of the environmental permitting process and marks another significant step in the process towards restarting the dormant pulp mill, which has been down since 2006. “We look forward to the Ministry of Environment’s thorough and timely review of our EIS,” said Carlo Dal Monte, Project Operations Director for the Prince Albert Pulp Inc. restart. Paper Excellence recently commissioned public opinion polling that showed 93 percent of Saskatchewan residents support the restart of the pulp mill. “We are very encouraged by the enthusiasm that we have encountered in the process up to this point, and we were happy to see that confirmed in recent polling,” said Dal Monte.

Additional coverage in Prince Albert NOW

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State of the Island Economic Summit – MNP Outlook and Insight

MNP
October 3, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter van Dongen and Susan Mowbray

MNP is proud to be a Platinum sponsor and participant of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s (VIEA) 16th annual State of the Economic Summit on October 26 – 27, 2022. Susan Mowbray, Partner in MNP’s Consulting group and leader of the Economics and Research practice, will present the anticipated 2022 State of the Island economic Report, an overview of the drivers and entrants to Vancouver Island’s diverse economy, published by VIEA. MNP’s Peter van Dongen, Senior Manager, will be moderating two panels on Island agriculture and the future of food – seen through the eyes of agri-food entrepreneurs. As supply constraints become more acute, calls to increase local commercial-scale food production have increased. Peter chats with stakeholders about the pros and cons of investing in agriculture on the Island, and what more needs to be done to grow local.

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A Lifetime Achievement Award for Mercer’s Own Joerg Goetsch

Mercer International Inc.
September 23, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Joerg Goetsch and Derek Nighbor

Mercer International is proud to share that Joerg Goetsch of the Mercer International Vancouver team is a recent recipient of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to those who have been committed to the forestry sector during their careers, invaluable for their long-time engagement, support, and advocation. Joerg’s support and work have been nothing short of outstanding and he deserves to be celebrated. …Joerg is an embodiment of our values of Boldness and Sustainability, exploring opportunities and taking risks all while ensuring environmental responsibility. His fast growth and influence within Canada’s forest industry are a testament to his ambitious and adaptable nature. He believes that those who are skilled, willing, and capable can accomplish whatever they want – especially in a company like Mercer. “With Mercer, I’ve found that, if you express a strong desire and confidence, you’re encouraged to find the results.”

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SanTerm looks at long term for lumber exports in Port Alberni

By Susie Quinn
Alberni Valley News
October 1, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

San Terminals Inc. is looking at the long game when it comes to shipping lumber products from Port Alberni’s deepsea terminal.  San Terminals and the Port Alberni Port Authority entered into an agreement more than a year ago for SanTerm to operate Berth 3, the main shipping terminal on Port Alberni’s waterfront. SanTerm is in the midst of developing expansion plans, says Joe Spears, SanTerm’s general manager. But it takes time.  “We’re still putting together a business case,” Spears said in mid-September. “The goal long term is to ship forest products and other products out of there as well as importing cargo.”  Spears said the announcement about infrastructure upgrades was premature, but upgrading to a multi-modal port is still part of SanTerm’s plans. Discussions with various federal government departments are ongoing: Spears said SanTerm would like to gain first port of entry status with a customs office at the Port Alberni facility.

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‘It took a long time to get here, it’s going to take a long time to heal’

By Stephanie Wood
The Narwhal
September 29, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steph Kwetasel’wet Wood

To many people, we may simply write about the environment. But when you’re writing about lands and waters in the colonial borders of Canada, you are writing about Indigenous territories. Year-round, we try to cover the impacts colonial and extractive policies have on Indigenous Peoples. These stories include deep and complex histories we can never sum up in an article. For every story about salmon or old-growth logging, you will hear about the impact of residential schools, or Indigenous Peoples being confined to reserves or displaced from their territories. You will hear about how this history of genocidal practices impacts everything today. This is front of mind as we approach the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in recognition of children being taken from their homes. Some may call it a “holiday” now, but Orange Shirt Day has always been a call to action. It’s about learning and pursuing justice.

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Supporting Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples: Association of BC Forest Professionals

Association of BC Forest Professionals
September 30, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) office will be closed on Friday, September 30, for the 2022 and . The ABCFP is committed to truth, healing, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and we encourage registrants to spend time during the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to learn more about the history, experiences, and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and reflect on how forestry can contribute to reconciliation. The Government of Canada passed legislation last year to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The followed with advice for all provincial public-sector employers to also honour the day. ABCFP registrants are encouraged to take the free, self-paced e-course, . Learn more about the ABCFP’s efforts to support reconciliation on our . On September 30, all Canadians are encouraged to wear orange to honour the thousands of survivors of residential schools.

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Logistics threaten to derail Fort Nelson revitalization plans

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 30, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For over a decade, the Fort Nelson First Nation (FNFN) and local politicians have been trying to pull themselves out of a 15-year long regional recession by revitalizing the region’s forest industry, which was shut down in 2008. That’s when Canfor Corp. closed its plywood and oriented-strand-board (OSB) mills, which had followed the closure of the Tackama sawmill in 2005. The closures put an estimated 500 mill workers and 100 loggers out of work. Fort Nelson is now one of the few B.C. regions that have an undercut: Plenty of annual allowable cut (AAC) because there has been virtually no logging there for more than a decade. …The B.C. government recently transferred a number of forest tenure licences totalling 1.26 million cubic metres per year to the FNFN. Fort Nelson also has an industry partner willing to invest in the community to help revitalize the local forestry sector.

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Finance & Economics

BC’s stumpage formula creates disadvantages for loggers and sawmill workers

By Russ Taylor, Russ Taylor Global
Truck LoggerBC Magazine
October 3, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The issue for BC sawmills, and especially those in the Interior, is that BC remains the highest cost producing region in North America. The culprit is not sawmill costs, but once again it is government stumpage costs with a secondary impact from logistical constraints in getting lumber to markets. …Problematic for BC mills is the stumpage formula that features a three-plus month lag to actual lumber prices… when lumber prices quickly move lower for longer periods, stumpage rates can keep going up for three to even six months. …This happened in 2019 and then again starting in 2021-Q3. …In 2022-Q3, BC sawmills are already curtailing in part due to logistic issues and a delayed summer logging season, but especially from the excessive government stumpage fees. Add in a raft of new incoming government polices, and the BC forest industry is in a big mess—again.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tutoring with Timber: Using Wood in Schools

By naturally:wood
Arch Daily
October 5, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

How does school design influence the process of teaching and learning? Understanding current educational design trends and methodologies is key to designing healthy spaces for students to develop their social and academic capacities. If we look at the evolution of school design, each period has its own challenges and preferences. Today’s main challenge is to create spaces that can integrate open learning environments that incorporate diversity of learning spaces, social interaction and sustainability. The architecture industry is on the lookout for new materials and methodologies that better incorporate sustainability. One material which has stood the test of time, while also finding space for innovation, is wood. In this context, British Columbia (Canada) stands out as one of the world’s largest exporters of wood products, and has successfully applied a number of strategies to maximize its use in sustainable design. One notable example is the use of wood in schools.

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Forestry

Valley residents stand up for old growth forest on Russel Creek Road, call for logging moratorium

By Timothy Schafer
The Nelson Daily
October 6, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local group is calling for a moratorium on old growth logging. On Sept. 29 Slocan Valley residents gathered on Russel Creek Road to protest the planned logging by Interfor and R and A logging in the Russel Creek watershed, which contains trees as old as 1,000 years old. …residents asked the logging company employees to “come back once they have consulted with local environmental organizations and informed consent by the Autonomous Sinixt.” In the meantime, Last Stand West Kootenay has called upon the province to look at the matter and consider the section of forest set to be logged, said member Ernest Smuga. “The community is asking for an immediate moratorium on logging in the area until Interfor demonstrates how it is planning to honor these deferral areas, ground proof current data in surrounding cut blocks, and protect old growth in Russel Creek,” he said in a press release.

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Wood from B.C. forests is being burned for electricity billed as green — but critics say that’s deceptive

By Lyndsay Duncombe, Harvey Cashore and Lynette Forture
CBC News
October 6, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An investigation by CBC’s The Fifth Estate has found that Drax catapulted a small industry it says is green into an investor-driven, international operation dependent on logging in areas that include B.C.’s old growth and primary forests.  Activists, scientists and environmentalists argue that far from being green, wood pellet production generates few jobs and actually makes the climate crisis worse. And they say it’s all happening with the support of B.C. Premier John Horgan’s NDP government. …”The greenwashing of the pellet industry needs to stop,” Bob Simpson, the mayor of Quesnel, a town in B.C.’s Interior. The industry says it is renewable because trees grow back while fossil fuels do not. Scientists say that forests take decades, even centuries, to regenerate, and that burning wood produces more emissions than coal. ..Joe Aquino, Drax’s director of sustainability, said the company “only uses lower quality trees from logging operations that otherwise “would have no other purpose.”

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Metro Vancouver’s ‘driest September’ has extended wildfire season

By Nathan Griffiths
Vancouver Sun
October 5, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Record-setting lack of rainfall over the past month in B.C. means no end in sight for this year’s wildfire season, officials said Tuesday. Abbotsford International Airport recorded 0.9 millimetres of precipitation last month, “the driest September on record,” according to Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. The hot, dry conditions have extended the wildfire season across the province, according to Brianna Hill, an information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service. “There is still no season ending weather in the forecast,” Hill said in an email. “Many locations have been weeks without significant rainfall, while setting temperature records leading into October.” While current conditions haven’t significantly affected existing wildfires, Hill said the B.C. Wildfire Service was concerned about the impact that the extension of summer-like conditions and widespread drought could have on the potential for new wildfire starts.

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Provinces continue partnership to fight mountain pine beetle

By Tara Garcia
Swift Current Online
October 5, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rory McIntosh

The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta continue to collaborate in the fight against the mountain pine beetle. Since 2011 the provinces have worked together as Dr. Rory McIntosh, Forest insect and disease expert for forest services with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment explains. Since 2011 we’ve worked with the province of Alberta to slow the spread east and the spread of beetles in Alberta. We feel the best approach is to prevent the beetle from reaching Saskatchewan rather than try to manage it in a northern forest. Dr. McIntosh adds that in the early 2000s a massive outbreak in British Columbia resulted in the mortality of almost 55% of the growing pine stock. In addition, the beetles spread in two huge dispersal events in 2006 and 2009 scattering beetles halfway across Alberta. According to Dr. McIntosh detection systems have been set up in Saskatchewan’s northern forests and to date, no beetles have been found here.

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Our Forests, Our Climate — Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance
October 6, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The panel session Our Forests, Our Climate will be opened and moderated by Albert Nussbaum, Acting Deputy Chief Forester of BC. We will hear from Werner Kurz, NRCan Senior Research Scientist, on climate change about the role of forests, forest management and wood products in mitigating climate change while increasing resilience to climate change impacts. Rachel Pollard, Director, Ministry of Forests will discuss a new approach for forest management that will improve how we manage forest values in the context of climate change and the need for long term forest resilience. Finally, Tracy Andrews, Manager, Audits and Investigations, Forest Practices Board will talk about their recent report, Forest Practices and Water: Opportunities for Action, and the Board’s view on how changes in forest management could improve the protection and conservation of water and downstream values.

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Burns Lake Community Forest explains why the controlled burn happened

By Frank Varga, RPF, General Manager
Burns Lake Lakes District News
October 4, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) completed its first ever prescribed fire activity since the inception of the community forest pilot project being issued back in late the 90s.  This is a milestone step in forest management, ecosystem restoration and putting good fire back into an ecosystem that desperately needs fire to rejuvenate and regrow.  A prescribed fire is different from a wildfire in that it takes a team of professionals and experts; fire specialists, fire fighters, forest professionals and statutory decisions makers to support and bring it to fruition.  …We acknowledge that our activities may have caused some concern and may have triggered for some, unintended emotional impacts, due to our exposure to the impacts of wildfire in and around our communities in the past few years.  …Post-fire effects will be monitored into the future through research opportunities examining the ecological benefits that fire generates. 

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B.C. study shows targeting of old growth; links policy changes and logging patterns

By Brenna Owen
The Canadian Press in CTV News
October 3, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The worsening effects of climate change are compounding the historical loss of BC’s old-growth forests, says the co-author of a new paper that shows decades of logging on the province’s central coast targeted the highest-value forests first. “History tells us that we have really depleted these high-value elements of the landscape, and that we can’t keep going,” said Ken Lertzman, at Simon Fraser University.
“At the same time, (forests) have never been under greater threat from natural disturbances that are driven by a changing climate.” …That’s the reality today’s policy-making must reflect when it comes to determining how B.C.’s forests will be valued and used in years to come, Lertzman said. The paper examined more than 150 years of logging around Bella Bella on B.C.’s central coast. …The paper demonstrates how the logging industry engaged in “high-grading,” or targeting the most profitable and accessible forests first.

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‘Backed into a corner’: Duncan’s First Nation sues Alberta for cumulative impacts of industry

By Drew Anderson and Matt Simmons
The Narwhal
October 3, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duncan’s First Nation in northern Alberta is suing the Alberta government for infringement of Treaty Rights, leaning heavily on a B.C. Supreme Court decision last year, which found that province liable for violations based on the cumulative impacts of industry on the Blueberry River First Nations’ territory. The lawsuit could have a profound impact in a province heavily reliant on an oil and gas industry that has caused significant cumulative impacts, including in the Peace River district that is home to Duncan’s First Nation. In B.C., the court ordered the government to sit down with Blueberry River First Nations to develop a plan to address its concerns and gave the nation the power to block new developments on its land. …The traditional territory of Duncan’s First Nation sits on oilsands deposits … but there is also extensive logging in the area, with large forest management agreements in place. 

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Old-growth forest supporters greet MLAs at B.C. legislature ahead of fall session

By Jake Romphf
Saanich News
October 3, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lawmakers heading into the first day of the fall session at the B.C. legislature were met by a small group of people looking for more concrete action on ending old-growth logging in the province. The group wants the province to implement all 14 recommendations from the independent old-growth strategic review. …a recent report from Stand.earth found that over 55,000 hectares of proposed deferrals face imminent risk of logging. It used satellite imagery analysis to allege that some deferrals have already been destroyed – some to make way for pipelines – or are in the process of being clearcut. Forests Minister Katrine Conroy, in a statement to Black Press Media, said such reports about significant logging in deferral areas are misleading. “The ministry of forests has been monitoring the situation on the ground and – in fact – less than half a per cent of the proposed deferral areas have been harvested since November 2021.” 

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B.C. saw same number of fires, much less land burned in 2022 season, wildfire service says

By Ian Holliday
CTV News
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2022 wildfire season is winding down, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service’s final status update of the year. Friday’s update notes that there are currently 166 wildfires burning in the province, with 82 per cent of those classified as “being held” or “under control.” “Over the last week, there were 24 new fire starts and three fires started in the last 24 hours,” said BCWS, adding that the majority of those fires were held under one hectare. “Though a downturn in activity has been observed, there is still no season ending weather in the forecast as conditions remain dry with above seasonal temperatures throughout most of the province,” the service continued. Compared to the devastating 2021 season, 2022 has been a down year for wildfires. The season started slowly with cooler-than-average weather and above-average precipitation in June. Despite the slow start, there had been a total of 1,577 fires sparked in the province in 2022 as of Friday. 

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First recipient of Christoper Lee Memorial Scholarship researching the link between contemporary issues and forestry media coverage

Canadian Forest Owners
September 23, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Diego Corry and Domenico Iannidinardo

VANCOUVER, BC—Canadian Forest Owners have awarded the University of British Columbia Master of Forestry’s student Diego Corry the Christopher Lee Memorial Scholarship, based on his MSc thesis which addresses how forest companies and landowners respond to the growing amount of environmental activism that occurs through social media. “This research stands to yield actionable insights for forest industry professionals and marks an original contribution to the academic literatures on corporate social responsibility, environmental governance, and social movements,” emphasizes Dr. Hamish van der Ven, Assistant Professor, Sustainable Business Management of Natural Resources, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia. CFO is interested in Corry’s research which could help determine how expectations for responsible business conduct expressed through platforms like Facebook and Twitter effect the policies and practices of organizations in the Canadian forest sector.

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Another phase takes place in wildfire protection in city’s watershed around Selous Creek

By Timothy Schafer
The Castlegar Source
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fuel modification continues in the Selous Creek area through the Selous Creek Wildfire Fuel Mitigation project, building an eyebrow of protection for Nelson through a three-metre wide no-tree zone.  A collaboration between the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) and Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd., the Selous Creek fuel management project begins again this month and is designed to reduce the risk of wildfire adjacent to Nelson and the threat to its secondary source of water, the Selous Creek water intake.  In reducing wildfire risk, the project will retain large and healthy fire-resistant trees but remove surface fuels and understory trees. This is expected to enhance “infrastructure protection for potential future suppression efforts.” …The project — supported through funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC — covers an area of approximately 65 hectares directly upslope from the Rail Trail on provincial Crown land. 

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Forest review misconceptions

Letter by Rob Fullerton
Cowichan Valley Citizen
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Campaign killing forest interests with ‘wacky’ ideas”, “Resume logging in forest reserve” and “Elect council to axe forest review” letters to the editor.  As it stands right now, the forest review is moving forward this week with a Forest Advisory Committee Meeting…. They will be reviewing the forest management scenarios brought forward by UBC forestry and staff.  Next week the new forest management scenarios go to council for approval.  The scenarios include business as usual, variable retention harvesting, active and passive conservation.  The public will be informed on the details later in the fall. Thirteen of the current mayoral and councillor candidates have committed to a timely finish of the forest review. …No one is questioning the work of the volunteer Forest Advisory Committee. They are true professionals, respected in the industry and they more than fulfilled their mandate.

Additional coverage in the Chemainus Valley Courier: Vote for North Cowichan candidates committed to finishing the forest review

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The Haida’s fight to save their centuries-old ‘trees of life’

By Katharine Lake Berz
The Toronto Star
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lisa White-Kuuyang

Lisa White-Kuuyang recalls the touch of her clan grandmother’s hand, guiding her in gently peeling a handspan of bark from the mammoth red cedars used to weave traditional baskets of the Indigenous Peoples of B.C.’s Haida Gwaii. “Don’t take more than you need,” she would tell her. “We don’t want to harm the tree.”  Fifty years later, most of those giants — which can live a thousand years and grow to nearly 200 feet tall — are gone.  “I have watched our forests disappear my entire life,” Lisa laments. She and her family have fought for generations to preserve Haida artistic and spiritual traditions. Now, they must also fight to save the trees that give birth to those traditions.  Blockading logging operations, giving speeches, writing letters, creating video sand social media campaigns — Lisa speaks for her people, her ancestors and future generations that don’t have a voice, she says.

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B.C. continues to permit the destruction of old-growth forests

By Grand Chief Stewart Phillip & Tegan Hansen of Stand.earth.
The National Observer
October 3, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC’s government has made a show of protecting old-growth when really it is approving forest destruction at an alarming rate. B.C.’s grandstanding has been a jarring contrast to reality: the most at-risk old-growth forests are being cut down. …As old-growth logging continues, the reason behind B.C.’s misinformation campaign may be as insidious as it is predictable. …The B.C. government has cited a lack of Indigenous consent as its reason for failing to implement deferrals, even as it pursues a strategy that blocks deferrals sought by First Nations, and risks pitting First Nations against each other. …When First Nations must choose between logging remaining old-growth forests and having funds to support their communities, it violates their inherent rights to self-determination. …Immediately implementing all proposed logging deferrals is essential to restoring hope and trust in the province’s old-growth strategy. [to access the full story a National Observer subscription may be required]

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BC Wildfire Service warns season not yet over amid drought

By Brieanna Charlebois
Canadian Press in the Times Colonist
October 1, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Seemingly endless summer conditions in British Columbia have prompted a warning that this year’s “very unique fire season” in the province is not yet over. Hot and dry conditions persist, something the superintendent of the BC Wildfire Service’s predictive services said is “quite problematic,” and creates conditions for potential ignitions across B.C. Neal McLoughlin said the season was unusual because it started slowly and was damp, with a delayed snowmelt, then it transitioned into hot, dry conditions by July that continue to persist into October. Temperatures are about five to eight degrees above normal for this time of year, and there’s been little to no rain in several parts of B.C. in weeks. “I would suggest, while we are maintaining this hot, dry, precipitation-free period, fire season is by no means over yet,” McLoughlin said in an interview.

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Retired loggers’ social planned for Oct. 4 in Port Alberni

The Alberni Valley News
October 2, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI, BC — The MacMillan Bloedel Retirees Committee has planned its annual coffee social for retired loggers. The event is back on track after a pause due to the coronavirus pandemic and resultant restrictions. The retired loggers coffee social will take place Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the Steelworkers Union Hall, from 1–3 p.m. All Alberni Valley retired loggers, staff, contractors and others associated with the forestry industry are welcome. Come and have a coffee, meet old friends, make new ones and share some stories. The Steelworkers Union Hall is located at 4904 Montrose St. in Port Alberni. [END]

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Port Alberni pilot project marries public, private use of forest lands

By Elena Rardon
The Alberni Valley News
September 29, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A pilot project to set up public access to privately-managed forest lands in the Alberni Valley has been going well, says Mosaic Forest Management. Representatives from Mosaic provided an update on their work in the area. Colin Koszman said the company has been working with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, the Ministry of Forests and other groups to open up public opportunities for access within private-managed forest lands. A pilot project was started in 2021 on Ash Main to allow increased public access on a trial basis. Koszman says the goal is to open the road “basically 24/7” so the public can access these areas. …Details are still being worked out with the province …but in the meantime, a kiosk has been installed at the start of the line to communicate to the public that they need to yield to industrial traffic.

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FESBC 2022 Accomplishments Report takes stock of the achievements since 2016

By Steve Kozuki
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Every couple of years or so, FESBC publicly reports on our progress. The recent FESBC 2022 Accomplishments Report was an opportunity to take stock of the achievements and what we’ve learned since 2016. We have: reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to taking 1.1 million cars off the road for a year; reduced wildfire risk in over 120 communities; improved significant amounts of wildlife habitat; accelerated the growth of the bioeconomy in B.C.; increased Indigenous participation in the forest economy; and created over 2,100 full-time-equivalent jobs. We learned that forests are part of the solution for creating a great many social, economic and environmental benefits for British Columbians. The key to FESBC success is the enabling of local people to take action in their local forests, which then leads to powerful and long-lasting transformations with a multitude of multi-faceted benefits. .

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2022 BCCFA Conference and AGM Early Bird Ticket Deadline September 30

BC Community Forest Association
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Today is the final day for Early Bird Tickets! Visit our website to register. We are pleased to announce that the Minister of Forests, Katrine Conroy, will join us to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the BCCFA at the annual banquet on October 20th. Tickets for the banquet are included in the full ticket price and can also be purchased separately. Minister Conroy will also present the 2022 Robin Hood Memorial Award to a deserving community forest. The conference program has been updated with a new opportunity for a tour of the Downie Mill in Revelstoke. There is no fee for the pre conference field trips. Please note that the Continuing Professional Development workshop is not included in full ticket price, but must be purchased separately. We encourage all professionals and interested lay people to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Read more about it in the conference program.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Sold as green energy, B.C.’s wood pellet industry under fire

By Justine Hunter
Globe and Mail
October 4, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia has developed a growing market for wood pellets that are sold as renewable bioenergy for thermal power plants abroad, but the province’s largest producer is under fire for cutting down old-growth forests. On Tuesday, the BC Green Party called on the provincial government to suspend the operating licenses of the Drax Group pending an investigation to determine whether the British-based company is utilizing old-growth timber in its pellet mills. BC Green MLA Adam Olsen raised the issue during Question Period, citing BBC reports that Drax was cutting down primary, or old-growth, forests in Canada to power its power plants in Britain. “Does she believe that in 2022, in a worsening climate crisis, burning wood pellets is clean, green energy?” Mr. Olsen asked of Katrine Convoy, the Forests Minister, in the legislature. [We respect the copyrights of the source publication – full access may require a subscription]

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B.C. breaking its own law on climate-change reporting, Sierra Club tells court

By Camille Bains
Canadian Press in the Times Colonist
October 4, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — An environmental group is in court accusing the British Columbia government of failing to report if its climate plans will achieve key greenhouse gas emissions targets, as required by a provincial law. Harry Wruck, a lawyer representing Sierra Club BC, told a B.C. Supreme Court judge that climate change accountability legislation from 2019 requires the government to publish annual reports that outline progress toward emissions targets for 2025, 2040 and 2050. Wruck said annual reports are the only mechanism for transparency and accountability, if they include details on how close or far the government is to meeting its targets. …Sierra Club BC wants the province to come up with a new accountability report for 2021 by filling in the gaps of missing information on its progress toward meeting emissions target for 2025. 

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Drax accuses BBC Panorama of repeating “inaccurate claims” about biomass

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
October 4, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Drax was accused by a BBC Panorama investigation of cutting down environmentally-important forests, in an episode that was aired on 3 October. The BBC said it had “discovered some of the wood comes from primary forests in Canada”, whilst claiming Drax said it “only uses sawdust and waste wood”. The Panorama investigation involved analysing satellite images, tracing logging licenses and utilising drone filming. … Drax released a statement countering the BBC’s findings, stating it is “considering further action”. A Drax spokesperson said: “Canada has some of the most highly regulated forests in the world which ensures the forests in British Columbia are managed properly and provide positive benefits to nature, the climate and people.” …80% of the material used to make our pellets at Drax in Canada is sawmill residues… The rest is waste material collected from the forests which would otherwise be burned to reduce the risk of wildfires and disease.

Additional coverage: Drax response to BBC Panorama programme on Canadian Forestry

Additional coverage in Bloomberg, by Joe Easton: UK’s Drax Drops After Panorama Questions Firm’s Forestry Methods

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U.K. energy firm denies cutting B.C. ‘primary forests’ for wood pellets

By Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
October 3, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

British energy company Drax Group is defending itself following the release of a BBC investigation that alleges the firm is cutting down “primary forests” in British Columbia to turn into wood pellets. After buying out local manufacturers, Drax is the largest producer of wood pellets in B.C., owning or having a stake in eight plants and accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the province’s production. …In a written statement, the B.C. Ministry of Forests said the province is following up with Drax to ensure, as the firm has stated, they are not using quality logs harvested from old growth forests. It would not make economic sense for a pellet company to do so because, historically, the mills have paid up to $25 per cubic metre for fibre sourced from residual harvesting piles in contrast to the $140 to $160 per cubic metre paid for a quality log used to produce lumber…

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Drax: UK power station owner cuts down primary forests in Canada

By Joe Crowley and Tim Robinson
BBC News Science
October 2, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Drax runs Britain’s biggest power station, which burns millions of tonnes of imported wood pellets – which is classed as renewable energy. The BBC has discovered some of the wood comes from primary forests in Canada. The company says it only uses sawdust and waste wood. Panorama analysed satellite images, traced logging licences and used drone filming to prove its findings. Reporter Joe Crowley also followed a truck from a Drax mill to verify it was picking up whole logs from an area of precious forest. Ecologist Michelle Connolly told Panorama the company was destroying forests that had taken thousands of years to develop. …Burning wood is considered green, but it is controversial among environmentalists. …The company told Panorama it did use logs from the forest to make wood pellets. The company said they were species the timber industry did not want, and they would often be burned anyway to reduce wildfire risks.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire in Coquitlam’s Minnekhada Regional Park now ‘being held’

By Simon Little
Global News
October 4, 2022
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A late-season wildfire in Coquitlam’s Minnekhada Regional Park is now classified as “being held.”  The fire, first discovered on Oct. 1, spans 14 hectares in size but is no longer considered “out of control,” the Metro Vancouver Regional District said Tuesday.  The district said progress is the result of work by ground and air crews, which have allowed firefighters to lay hose lines around the fire’s perimeter and gain access to key areas of the fire zone.  Fifty personnel, including BC Wildfire Service crews and Metro Vancouver staff, remained on scene Tuesday, with helicopter support.  The park remained closed to the public and the district said pockets of fire continue to generate smoke.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials suspect it was sparked by human activity.

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Crews still fighting to control ‘stubborn’ fire in Metro Vancouver regional park, officials say

By Josh Grant
CBC News
October 3, 2022
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A regional park in Coquitlam, B.C., remains closed Monday as firefighters with the Metro Vancouver Regional District and the B.C. Wildfire Service continue to battle a brush fire that broke out Saturday afternoon. Brant Arnold-Smith, director of the MVRD’s emergency operations centre, said crews made some progress Sunday on the Minnekhada Regional Park fire — which is still listed as out of control — but are dealing with dry conditions and dangerous terrain. “The fire is quite stubborn,” he said on CBC’s The Early Edition. “Due to steep terrain, rock cliffs, falling debris, falling tress, there’s actually areas we cannot access.” Arnold-Smith says fire conditions in the Metro Vancouver region are “high to extreme” because the past few weeks have been particularly dry with very little rain.

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