2012-07-22

B.C. moose ravaged by salvage logging of beetle-killed pine forests

Aggressive salvage logging of beetle-killed pine forests is being blamed for moose populations crashing by up to 70 per cent in the B.C. Interior.

Massive clearcuts with no size limits have eliminated extensive habitat, leaving moose exposed and vulnerable to human hunters and wild predators that are taking advantage of increased access to the back country.

The situation is so serious that the province is imposing greater restrictions on hunting opportunities, and one aboriginal group is declaring their traditional Chilcotin territory off-limits to non-native moose hunters this fall.

2012-07-19

Pine beetle timber didn't contravene lumber deal

Canada is declaring victory in a dispute with the United States over softwood lumber exports from British Columbia.

A tribunal convened under the 2006 softwood lumber agreement ruled Wednesday that Canada did not circumvent the deal by shipping large quantities of pine beetle-infested lumber south of the border.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast called the decision a welcome victory for workers in B.C.'s lumber industry.

2012-07-18

Softwood-lumber victory unlikely to halt conflict between Canada and U.S.

Ottawa and the B.C. government declared victory in a softwood-lumber dispute with the United States, but industry observers say the conflict is far from over.

The London Court of International Arbitration on Wednesday dismissed in its entirety a U.S. complaint that British Columbia was subsidizing wood damaged by the mountain pine beetle. Details of the ruling, however, will remain confidential for 10 days. The panel’s unanimous decision cannot be appealed.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast called the decision a welcomed victory for workers in B.C.’s lumber businesses.

Canada Applauds Softwood Lumber Ruling on British Columbia's Timber-Pricing System

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today welcomed a favourable ruling in the trade dispute with the United States over the timber-pricing system for British Columbia’s Interior. A tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), convened under the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), ruled that Canada had not circumvented the agreement, as alleged by the United States.

“This is good news for forestry workers in British Columbia,” said Minister Fast. “We applaud the tribunal’s decision in favour of our lumber industry. This positive outcome is the result of our close collaboration with provincial and industry partners and proof that the SLA is good for Canada’s forestry sector.”

In accordance with SLA rules, the arbitration process was conducted by the LCIA. A panel of arbitrators heard compelling testimony that the increased proportion of low-value logs in B.C.’s timber harvest was caused by the devastating impacts of the mountain pine beetle infestation.

Beetle-ridden B.C. timber didn't contravene 2006 softwood lumber deal: ruling

Even as Canada declares victory in a major softwood lumber dispute with the United States, the organization representing British Columbia's forest industry doesn't expect the persistent American lumber lobby to reduce its competitive tactics.

An international tribunal convened under the 2006 softwood lumber agreement ruled Wednesday that Canada did not circumvent the deal by shipping large quantities of pine beetle-infested lumber south of the border.

The United States government argued that B.C. mills had an unfair advantage in softwood sales because they've been selling logs made from the destroyed trees at lower prices.

B.C. claims 'total victory' in softwood dispute with U.S.

British Columbia lumber producers avoided a $300-million penalty Wednesday after an international business court rejected claims by United States rivals that B.C. cheated on terms of a Canada-U.S. trade pact.

The U.S. alleged in 2011 that B.C. producers and the province had used the devastation caused to Interior forests by the mountain pine beetle to justify low stumpage rates — and that export volumes of lumber appeared to exceed the production expected from the harvest of beetle-damaged wood.

The U.S. claimed B.C.’s actions were in violation of the portion of the 2006 Canada-U.S. Softwood lumber agreement (SLA) that covers B.C. timber pricing policies.

2012-07-17

It’s time to rethink forest policy

This year marks the 100th anniversary of B.C.’s Forest Act. One might think that a century of regulating some of the most productive forests in the Northern Hemisphere would provide us with forest management policies able to withstand any crisis. After all, forests are the ultimate sustainable natural resource, a legacy that has provided our shelter, food and cultural identity for generations.

But today, our B.C. forests and the economies that rely upon them face new challenges that drive us to seek direction from the forest owners, the people of British Columbia. A royal commission on forestry can discern that direction and set our course for decades to come.

The challenges we face in our forests today are many and significant. In the Interior, the devastating mountain pine beetle outbreak has killed a volume of pine that could equal more than 10 years’ harvest of all timber species throughout B.C. The legislature’s special committee on timber supply expects that level of pine mortality will eventually result in a 20-per-cent decrease in the total harvest level in B.C. for up to 50 years.

2012-07-14

Fibre optics in the forest sector

When Canfor Corp. president Don Kayne talks to customers, whether in the United States or in China, they all ask the same question: who has the fibre to supply them with lumber in the future?

Customers follow the news. They have seen the annual timber harvest in British Columbia reduced because of the mountain pine beetle infestation. They know the B.C. government is considering controversial measures such as logging in forest reserves to keep mills supplied with timber. It raises questions about B.C.’s ability to supply global markets in the years ahead.

“Who has the fibre. That’s what they are asking now,” Kayne said in an interview at the company’s Marpole head office.