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News & Policy


August 20, 2012

WorkSafeBC discovers green wood sawdust also poses high explosion risk

Through laboratory tests, WorkSafeBC has determined that both beetle-kill and green wood dust pose a high risk of explosion when the moisture content of the dust is below 5% and the particle size is less than 75 micrometres.

Dust with this moisture content and particle size is found on elevated surfaces such as rafters, beams, inside dust collectors, and on the surface of air separation systems as well as in hot dry environments such as process equipment and light covers.

Green wood refers to wood from trees that were living prior to felling stage of harvesting.

Direction has previously been issued to industry regarding the importance of rigorous dust management procedures and WorkSafeBC is currently engaged in a multi-phase inspectional program. Phase 1 saw the inspection of all sawmills in the province processing either green or beetle-kill wood. Phase II, which began in July, expanded the inspectional program to include other wood processing operations such as pellet and planer mills where dust accumulation could be a safety hazard. Phase III will expand to industries that generate dust from wood and other sources; this would include workplaces that manufacture rubber, aluminum and sugar, for example.

WorkSafeBC is releasing the lab results to ensure that employers who may be using green wood are well advised and understand the need for continued rigour in their workplaces to ensure that mills are cleaned and dust is not permitted to accumulate. This information is being shared as a matter of general concern and advice to industry and does not reflect conclusions in the two on-going investigations.


August 20, 2012

B.C. Timber Supply committee releases report with recommendations to increase timber supply

The Special Committee on Timber Supply today released its unanimous report making 22 recommendations to increase the supply and value of mid-term timber and to strengthen future forest management in the B.C. Central Interior.

This region of the province has been hit hard by the current mountain pine beetle epidemic that has killed 53% of the total pine volume on the timber harvesting land base.

The committee held public hearings in 15 Interior communities and Vancouver, and received input from First Nations, local government, key stakeholders and the public. During its six-week consultation period, the committee received 650 submissions.

Based on the public input received, the committee framed its recommendations within the broad context of future forest management in British Columbia. Its recommendations to increase mid-term timber supply focus on:

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The committee also considered carefully the requests for an early decision to be made on the timber supply to help facilitate the rebuilding of the Burns Lake mill destroyed by fire in January 2012. The committee’s recommendation outlines steps for government to facilitate the economic recovery effort.

“Our report aims to strengthen future timber supply and forestry-dependent communities throughout the Central Interior,” said committee chair John Rustad. “Our recommendations provide steps to move forward with a response for the Lakes timber supply area, while providing a path for minimizing the decline in timber supply created by the mountain pine beetle epidemic.”

“The report reflects the importance of working with local communities to preserve the integrity of British Columbia’s sustainable forest management system,” said committee deputy chair Norm Macdonald. “Management of the forest land base must balance the harvesting of timber with environmental and social values and maintain certification standards.”


August 17, 2012

Request for Proposals for Labour Market Information Services

The Truck Loggers Association, in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Ministry, Labour Market Branch invites proposals for labour market information services for the Coastal Forest Industry Workforce Initiative. The purpose of the Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select a contractor to complete a labour market and training needs analysis of the coastal region of British Columbia’s forest industry. The coastal forest industry requires a highly skilled workforce to build, maintain, and operate its infrastructure. This resource industry cluster is comprised of harvest, planting, manufacturing, processing, pulp and paper, retail commercial suppliers and public sector planners and regulators.

A copy of the RFP Terms of Reference may be downloaded here

Prospective proponents are asked to indicate their intent to submit by sending an email stating such to patrick@tla.ca, no later than Noon PST, Friday, August 29th, 2012.

All enquiries for clarification of information must be provided to Patrick N. Marshall, LMPP Chair, Capital EDC Economic Development Company mailto:patrick@tla.ca.  During the proposal period any addendum and any responses to questions from proponents will be issued to all persons/organizations who have indicated their intent to submit a proposal.

The working group will give consideration to all proposals received via e-mail by Noon PST, Friday, September 14th, 2012.

The closing location is: Capital EDC Economic Development Company, Victoria by email
Patrick N. Marshall
LMPP Process Chair
Consulting Economic Developer
Capital EDC Economic Development Company
patrick@tla.ca
Office: +1 250 595-8776
eFacsimile: + 1 866 827-1524
www.capitaledc.com

April 20, 2012

RFP released: Call for submissions for services relating to harvesting

Request for Expressions of Interest

Forestry Services
April 2012
 
The Nisga’a Nation (Nation) is the nation of aboriginal people of the Nass River Valley on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. The Nation entered into the Nisga’a Final Agreement (Treaty) with Canada and British Columbia in 2000. Pursuant to the Treaty, the Nation owns all the forest resources on Nisga’a Lands (as defined in the Treaty) and has jurisdiction over certain matters relating to forest practices and standards as set out in Chapter 5 of the Treaty.
 
The Nation, as represented by the Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG), has enacted the Nisga’a Forest Act (Act) and, pursuant to that Act, entered into a Nisga’a Public Lands Licence (Licence) with Lisims Forest Resources Limited Partnership (LFR). The Licence is for a period of 5 years commencing April 1, 2010. The Licence was issued in replacement of an expired Nisga’a Public Lands Licence, and may be replaced by the NLG Executive in accordance with the Act.
 
LFR is currently considering seeking interested parties with whom to enter into discussions for services relating to harvesting activities occurring during the current term of the Licence for: (i) planning and engineering of timber harvesting pursuant to the Licence (Planning Services); (ii) full phase timber harvesting of timber pursuant to the Licence (Harvesting Services); and (iii) marketing and sales logistics services for such timber (Marketing Services).

Click Here to Download the full Request for Expressions of Interest.

For any questions related to this request please contact:
Lisims Forest Resources Limited Partnership
c/o Miller Titerle LLP
215- 209 Carrall Street Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2J2
Attention: Rob Miller
Email: rob@millertiterle.com

February 24, 2012

B.C.’s Log Exports: the reality

February 24, 2012: There has been a longstanding debate about log exports and many people continue to insist that exporting logs means we are exporting B.C. jobs. This is simply not the case. Log exports have a key role in the development of B.C.’s economy, particularly on the coast, by supporting jobs and economic activity in the logging and transportation sectors.

"It is absolutely hypocritical for Claire Trevena to stand up in the legislature and demand that we reduce log exports as she knows that they are wholly responsible for jobs in her riding.  Unless she is prepared to sacrifice the village of Port Alice and all of the good paying jobs in the Neucel Pulp mill, she should quit with the empty hollow party rhetoric,” says Dave Lewis, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA).

BC's opposition continues to ignore the positive impacts that log exports have on B.C’s coastal forest economy.  We should not be vilifying log exports.  We should be talking about how best to manage, regulate and take advantage of them.  The current economic reality makes it impossible for us to harvest all of our provincial timber.  Harvesters and land managers cannot sell all of the logs that that they harvest at a cost $78 to domestic buyers for $56 or less and be expected to survive.  However, if they are allowed to sell a portion of their logs for $90 to foreign buyers, they can afford to sell some below cost. 

Pulp mills like the one in Claire Trevena's riding pay $43 for a log that costs $78.  The only reason that this is able to occur is if the log seller can generate a large enough profit from their other logs sales to cover this loss.  Presently, it is log sales to foreign buyers that are generating enough profit to enable the harvest of otherwise uneconomic pulp logs.  If log sales to foreign buyers are further restricted we will see that profit disappear, which will prevent pulp logs from leaving the bush and will cost loggers and mill workers their jobs.  It is a delicate balancing act that must be managed carefully. While it is important that we sustain the jobs that we have, it is sensible to work towards long-term policies that maximize the benefit of our Provincial forests.  Restricting exports in the short term will not change the current economic reality it will only serve to make a bad situation worse."

“It is irresponsible for the opposition to ignore the positive impacts that log exports have on creating and sustaining jobs in B.C. It is time stop the fear mongering and, instead, engage in meaningful discussions around how to balance exports and work towards a more sustainable manufacturing sector. Legislating economic losses for land managers is not going to change the economics around manufacturing lumber of BC's coast now or in the future.” says Lewis.

“We can have a healthy debate about future manufacturing options and policies all that we want, but until the right economic hosting conditions exist and there are businesses with hundreds of millions of dollars to invest, the last thing we should be doing is sacrifice the jobs we currently have, on the coast. It is absolutely mind boggling to me that it is the NDP MLA's from Vancouver Island and the North Coast who are leading this nonsense.  Their ridings are the largest benefactors of log exports and further restrictions will simply put their own constituents out of work. That is a very strange jobs plan in my mind."

MLA Bob Simpson, a former NDP forest critic who is now serving as an independent recently stated in an article,” While it would maximize jobs if we manufactured every log in B.C., what’s lost in the ‘exporting B.C. jobs’ rhetoric is the fact that log exports actually sustain jobs on the Coast. Forest professionals, loggers, truck drivers, businesses that service logging and hauling equipment, longshoreman and a host of others are directly employed because of log exports.”  (full story can be found by clicking here)

Since 2005, we have left 36 million cubic metres of sustainable coastal timber unharvested.  This has resulted in an elimination of more than 65,000 direct jobs in the timber-harvesting sector over that time. This has occurred because domestic buyers cannot afford to pay the cost to harvest it.  Restricting or preventing log exports does not change this equation.  The logs will still be too expensive to harvest.  In fact, more timber will be uneconomic as the foreign premium that is paid will be lost and companies will be forced to only harvest our economic stands, thus leaving more timber unharvested. This will put more loggers, engineers, silviculture workers, forest managers - and mill workers out of work.

“Of course the forestry sector should continue to diversify and, yes, timber should go to local mills first whenever it is economically viable to do so; but if the prices paid by foreign buyers create and sustain harvesting opportunities that would otherwise not exist, the last thing we should do is cut off our nose to spite our face. It is time to stop with the political rhetoric and find the right balance for the sake of the families on the North Island and North Coast who rely on forestry jobs. This balance is key to the long-term success of B.C.’s forest harvesting and sawmilling sectors,” explains Lewis.


February 03, 2012

FATALITY—Safety Alert 2012-01-30 Faller

It is with great sadness that we advise that the BC forest industry has experienced its second direct harvesting-related fatality this year. On Monday January 30th, 2012 a faller in the Terrace area was fatally injured while carry out falling-related activities.

We strongly recommend that all supervisors and workers take the time to discuss and review safe work practices and procedures in their operations.

As more detail is made available, the Council will provide additional resources and information. Further information on Risk based assessments may be found at:http://www.bcforestsafe.org/RADAR

Additional information and related alerts on faller incidents can be found on the WorkSafeBC publications website @ http://www2.worksafebc.com/publications/hazardalerts.asp . Once on the site enter “faller” in the search field.