2013-11-04

Pine beetle blamed for mill closures in the north

West Fraser Timber Company is blaming the pine beetle for the closure of its Houston sawmill. The company ‘announced a ‘comprehensive Mountain Pine Beetle Plan (the “MPB Plan”)’ to address the effects of the mountain pine beetle infestation in the interior of British Columbia.

The company states that the infestation has killed vast portions of the interior pine forest, resulting in a continuing deterioration and loss of merchantable timber available to wood products producers in the interior of B.C. West Fraser says the goal of their MPB Plan is to ‘ensure the viability and competitiveness’ of its B.C. operations in response to the lack of available timber supply following the beetle infestation.

Further south, Canfor announced the closure of its mill in Quesnel for the same reason. Don Kayne, president and CEO of Canfor Corporation, said the closure of the Quesnel mill is permanent. “The timber availability in the Quesnel region following the mountain pine beetle infestation unfortunately leaves us unable to continue operation of our Quesnel sawmill,” he said in a written statement.