Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Forest Industry Profitable in 2010?


News out from the Conference Board of Canada says that the Wood Industry returned to profitability in 2010.

The increase was due to a small boom in Canadian housing, a small increase in demand from the US, and increased exports to China.

Revenues are increasing this year for the first time since 2004. Despite rising costs, the industry is expected to post a profit of $476 million in 2010.

Even better, the Conference Board predicts this trend will continue into next year.

The brightest spot seemed to be Canadian exports to China:

Canadian producers attempts to diversify away from the U.S. market and break into China appear to have paid off, the board says.

"Between 2000 and 2010, Canadian exports to China have increased by 3,300 per cent. In fact, Canada surpassed Russia this year as the biggest exporter of softwood lumber to China," the board said.

Link to full article:


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Asian lumber exports match US in Sept

I just read in today's Globe and Mail newspaper that lumber exports to China and Japan matched those to the US for the first time ever this past September. This is a very significant event for the Canadian forest industry and if the trend continues, could help us decrease our reliance on the US market. Most economic reports I've been reading point to continued growth and expansion in Asian countries, which bodes well for lumber and other commodities like copper and agriculture crops.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

China lumber demand helps BC forest companies

In the past few weeks, I noticed two companies in BC were helped in their quarterly earnings reports by increasing sales of lumber to China. While still a low overall percentage of their sales (10-15%), Chinese demand for Canadian lumber is picking up, and may be the difference for Canadian forest companies given the lower US demand and strong Canadian dollar. In fact, if Chinese demand continues to grow and the US demand comes back, you have to wonder what that would do to our forest industry.

A recent article by Allen Dowd on sales to China highlights some of these points.

China has become a bright spot on the balance sheets of companies still waiting for a recovery of the U.S. housing sector, its mainstay market for decades.

A report this month by British Columbia, Canada's largest lumber exporting province, estimated its producers had sold C $342 million ($335.3 million) in lumber to China in the first eight months of the year, up 71 percent from a year ago.

A stark example of China's new role can be seen in Canfor's decision in May to restart its Quesnel, British Columbia, sawmill. The mill had been idled because of slack U.S. demand, and its production now goes exclusively to China.

Bell added that he hopes the province will be shipping as much wood to Asia as it does to the United States when the U.S.-Canada softwood trade agreement comes up for renegotiation in 2013. "That would make for quite a different discussion," he said.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ten Most Devastating Wildfires


Here is an interesting article recently posted by the US Fire Science Colleges giving details on large historical wildfires.

These fires represent millions of acres of affected area going back in time.

Here is a link to the article:


Right now we are starting a spell of sunny, hot weather in BC, with temperatures across the province in the upper 20's and 30's. It is our first taste of summer, and I've already seen some open fire bans go into effect. Be careful out there when playing or working in the woods!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Timberland Mining Services

Timberland Consultants 2001 offers mining services such as line cutting, trail establishment, brushing for access, GIS mapping, GPS traversing and sample collections.

We also provide forestry services in relation to mining claims.

For a full review of this company near Nelson BC Canada, visit



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tussock Moth near Rock Creek, BC

Treatments are planned by the BC government to deal with the Tussock Moth (see below). This insect attacks the Dougas-fir tree species, and has the potential to kill mature trees. It's too bad there wasn't a similar treatment that could be done for mountain pine beetle.

Locations and times are given where people can view the plan and treatment areas affected.



ROCK CREEK – The Ministry of Forests and Range has been issued a pesticide-use permit to aerially spray 300 hectares near Rock Creek and Midway to reduce the impact of Douglas-fir tussock moth populations on forests, farms and residential trees.

One application of TM Biocontrol-1 ® virus is planned between May 8 and June 18, 2010 to help control the moth’s spread. The virus is federally regulated, naturally occurring and specific to tussock moth caterpillars. As a biological spray, it is not harmful to people, pets, fish, bees or birds.

Pest management plans and maps for the treatment area, including sites near Ingram Creek and Rock Creek, can be viewed at the following times and locations until June 18:

· Midway Public Library (612 – 6th Ave., Midway): Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

· Arrow Boundary Forest District (845 Columbia Ave., Castlegar): Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Southern Interior Forest Region’s overall pest management plan and proposed treatment areas can be accessed at:




The Douglas-fir tussock moth is a native species with caterpillars that consume a tree’s needles. Outbreaks can last up to four years and quickly spread to nearby areas, causing significant forest damage and tree mortality.

For more on the tussock moth, go to:


or email:



Prescribed Burns near Nelson BC

News from the BC government about prescribed burns in my local area. If it is the area I'm thinking of, it will be a good treatment because it's a north aspect site with high slash levels. It will definitely help for tree planting and reduce fuels, and therefore fire risk. The weather has been cool and wet lately, so if they can get a burn going it should be easy to control.



NELSON – The public is advised that the Ministry of Forests and Range will conduct prescribed fires for the Sproule/Rixen Creek area between April 30 and May 15, weather permitting.

The burns will cover an estimated 20 hectares about 12 kilometres west of Nelson. All prescribed fires are carefully managed and must comply with the open burning smoke control regulation under the Environmental Management Act. Experienced fire crews will be on site to ensure the fires are properly extinguished.

Prescribed burns help prepare harvested forest land for replanting by adding nutrients to the soil and maximizing areas for optimal seedling growth. They also expand forage sites for deer and reduce interface fire risks by removing hazardous debris from forests surrounding communities.

The burns are being conducted by the Ministry of Forests and Range.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wildfire Season Starts in BC

Wildfire season is upon us again in BC. Weather forecasters are calling for a warm, dry summer overall.

Press release from BC government on recent wildfire activity in the Prince George area.


PRINCE GEORGE – Since April 1, the Prince George Fire Centre has responded to 51 wildfires, all of which have been human-caused and therefore considered preventable.

The fires have burned over 464 hectares, with the largest of the fires estimated at 170 hectares in size. Compared to this time last year, there had been only two fires that had burned one hectare.

To ensure you are not the cause of a wildfire, please take the following precautions when conducting any sort of open burning, including campfires:

· Only burn in appropriate conditions. Never burn when it is windy. Gusty winds can carry embers to other combustible materials and start new fires.

· Have enough water and hand tools nearby to control your fire, keeping in mind that winds can materialize quickly, even on a seemingly calm day.

· Ensure that all other combustible materials are cleared well away from the fire.

· Never leave your fire unattended at any time. Before leaving an area, douse the ashes with enough water that they are cold to the touch.

· If you are planning to do any open burning, obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888 797-1717.

The Prince George Fire Centre’s jurisdiction stretches from the Yukon and Northwest Territories to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, the Cottonwood River and Robson Valley in the south, and from the Alberta border west to the Skeena Mountains.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks.

For more information on open fire restrictions or for updates on current wildfire activity, visit www.bcwildfire.ca.


Lumber Prices Up, Taxes down

An interesting press release from the government of BC detailing how the increase in lumber prices affects the Export tax.


VICTORIA – Due to strong lumber prices, effective May 1, the amount of tax that B.C.’s softwood lumber producers pay on shipments to the U.S. will be reduced by one-third, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced today.

“The reduction in the export tax is good news for B.C.’s lumber companies and employees that work for them,” said Bell. “This is the highest average lumber price since the Softwood Lumber Agreement was signed in October 2006. It is a positive indicator that B.C.’s forest sector may be starting on the road to recovery.”

Under the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, companies exporting softwood lumber to the United States are required to pay an export tax on their shipments. The formula for determining the tax is based on the average price over a four-week period 21 days before the start of the month. The higher the average lumber price is, the lower the export tax.

In this case, since the four-week average lumber price, as given by the Random Lengths Framing Composite Price Index, is now $US 325 per thousand board feet, the export tax rate that will be in effect May 1 will be 10 per cent, down from 15 per cent. The export tax would reduce to zero if lumber prices exceed $US 355 per thousand board feet.

Random Lengths framing lumber composite prices are published each Friday. The export tax is collected at the border by the Canada Revenue Agency and then the tax paid by B.C. producers is re-directed to the provincial government.

“While the U.S. is still our largest market, I am also encouraged by the increased shipments that we’re seeing to other countries,” said Bell. “B.C.’s lumber prices and volumes of shipments may fluctuate from month-to-month, but I’m hopeful we will remain on a positive trend. However, the key to sustained recovery will be sustained demand for B.C.’s forest products.”

In January 2010, B.C.’s total softwood lumber exports were 22 per cent greater than they were in January 2009. This includes a four-fold increase in the exports to China, a six per cent increase in exports to the U.S. and an 11 per cent increase in exports to Japan.

The U.S., China, and Japan are B.C.’s largest markets for softwood lumber.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Podiums from BC Wood


Nice news release from the BC government detailing how the Vancouver 2010 medal podiums are made from BC wood of different origins.


VANCOUVER – Each of the 23 stunning wood podiums used at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games tells a unique story of the people and communities of British Columbia.

The podiums are built from 18 distinct wood types, and the wood for each podium was harvested and donated from a specific area in the province. Donors include family run woodlots, First Nations, communities, small business and world leaders in sustainable forest products.

The podiums provide insight to British Columbia’s culture and geography, including the 10,000-year history of First Nations, forests managed by local communities and the importance of forestry to the Province’s economy.

Profiles for each of the 23 podiums, including the community, donor and wood type are posted at www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/Olympics/podiums.

The wood podiums highlight the importance of forestry in British Columbia. The province is a global leader in sustainable forest management and the world’s largest exporter of softwood lumber, paper and bio-energy products that help mitigate climate change and provide innovative solutions to green building and energy needs.