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Northumberland Woodlot Owners Association and BioResource announce formation of pellet companyDecember 4, 2007
BioResource and The Northumberland Woodlot Owners Association announce the formation of Miramichi Premium Pellet Company, a plant that will produce pellets from local low-end wood products and waste wood. These wood pellets are used in large energy production facilities as well as home furnace systems.
Meeting with the Metsäliitto GroupSource: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2007/06/27/nb-metsaliittopulp.html
June 27, 2007
With the closure of a number of forest product mills in New Brunswick in recent months, many woodlot owners and wood producers are seeking new business opportunities. One opportunity that is being examined is the possibility of selling pulpwood to the Metsäliitto Group in Finland, a cooperative owned by some 131 000 woodlot owners and other members. Meetings are currently taking place to try to draft a deal.
Poor wood tracking could be costing marketing board as much $1.1MMarch 3, 2007
Source: Daily Gleaner
Flaws in this province's wood-tracking system is costing wood marketing boards more than $1 million a year, says New Brunswick auditor general Michael Ferguson. In a report released Thursday, Ferguson said the tracking system does a good job following the wood used within New Brunswick, but captures only 25 per cent of exported wood.
Federal government commits $128M to forest industryFebruary 8, 2007
Federal Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn will unveil a $128-million series of measures to fund research and marketing efforts in the struggling forest industry. This is the final installment of $400-million worth of commitments made in the Harper government. The breakdown looks like this:
- $20M to help market Canadian wood outside the country
- $12M to promote Canadian wood for non-residential uses
- $8M to help researchers and the provinces transfer knowledge and processes that add value to wood products
- $12M for the development of a national forest pest strategy.
Forest policy hurts private woodlot ownersPublished Monday January 29th, 2007
Appeared on page A6 of the Telegraph Journal
While it is encouraging to see the forest sector spotlighted in a four part series (Dec. 26-29) by Charles Mandel, it is unfortunate that the tone of the articles was very negative and of narrow scope.
Nearly everyone realizes that the provincial and national forest sectors are on hard times, perhaps the hardest ever. However many in the sector feel the future is bright, maybe not the traditional one as we know it, but one nonetheless.
A discouraging theme in the articles was the lack of mention of the contribution private woodlots make to the forest sector and economy in New Brunswick. There are more than 40,000 woodlot owners in New Brunswick, and currently they are directly competing with wood from publicly owned Crown land. The one mention of private woodlots in the article was misinformed.
Mandel states, "where provincial prices for woodlot owners are subject to the whims of distant commodity traders who set the prices for pulp..." It is true that local pulp prices are influenced by global markets; however, there is a much greater force influencing the prices being paid for private wood in New Brunswick, and it is not restricted to just pulp.
The 25-year leases Crown Land licenses are granted in New Brunswick provide them with a guaranteed (and some would argue cheap) wood supply. All told, licensees in New Brunswick directly control (between Crown licensees and industrial freehold) approximately 70 per cent of the wood they consume annually. This leverage allows them to set prices and purchase wood from private woodlots as they wish.
The real competition private woodlots are facing is from land the people of New Brunswick own. As owners of the province's Crown land, woodlot owners should not have to face this competition.
The forest sector in New Brunswick is in a state of transition where there will be major changes. Some companies will come and others will go, and when they go many will take whatever money they made from our resource back to their country and corporate offices. Some communities may lose their biggest employers as a result.
Throughout all of this, the woodlot owners of New Brunswick will remain, struggling to get a fair deal unless government takes a strong stance and realizes the inequalities in the current system.
People must realize that the multi-national companies operating on Crown land have no vested interest in New Brunswick; the woodlot owners of the province call New Brunswick home and are here to stay.