Oct. 17, 2017 - Resolute Forest Products is not backing down in its legal battle with environmental organizations Greenpeace and Stand.earth. This, despite a decision on Monday by a San Francisco federal judge to dismiss Resolute’s racketeering case against the latter two. The judge dismissed Resolute’s case because it was ruled that Resolute did not provide sufficient justification that Greenpeace acted maliciously. “While the facts pleaded in Resolute’s complaint could, if true, show ill will or bad faith, such a showing cannot support actual malice,” the judge wrote. “[Greenpeace’s] speech constituted the expression of opinion, or ‘different viewpoints that [are] a vital part of our democracy.’” The judge did, however, give Resolute the option to revise and refile its claims. Thus, Resolute stated on Tuesday that it will continue to take legal action against Greenpeace and Stand.earth, notwithstanding the court’s decision. “The court dismissed the complaint for failure to allege certain elements of our claims with sufficient detail, and it provided Resolute with leave to correct those purported deficiencies in an amendment,” Michael J. Bowe, a lawyer for Resolute, said in a statement. “We will correct those purported deficiencies in an amendment, and proceed with the case.” The court awarded fees to Greenpeace and Stand.earth, applying California’s anti-SLAPP statute prohibiting lawsuits intended to silence critics by embroiling them in baseless cases with high legal costs.“We are jubilant that Resolute, the bullies of the Canadian logging industry, have failed to silence organizations committed to protecting Canada’s boreal forest," director of the Canada Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Anthony Swift said in a statement. "This decision reinforces that the free speech rights of public interest advocates are protected against bad actors who would rather file frivolous lawsuits than commit to sustainable forestry,” he said. The issue dates back to 2012 when Resolute claims Greenpeace falsely accused it of unsustainable harvesting practices. Greenpeace published a report stating that Resolute was logging in a protected area of Canada’s boreal forest. This led to the “Resolute Forest Destroyer” campaign Greenpeace created in 2013 claiming Resolute was destroying boreal forests in Ontario and Quebec. Greenpeace later apologized for false accusations about a portion of the logging in Quebec. And Resolute launched a $7-million defamation lawsuit soon after. That lawsuit is still ongoing. Then in May 2016 Resolute filed its second lawsuit against Greenpeace - the one at hand - for federal racketeering claims as well as trademark, defamation and tortious interference claims. Resolute says Greenpeace has harmed its profits to the tune of $100 million dollars. It also says its “reputation and goodwill” were harmed in the process, according to court documents.
Oct. 17, 2017 - A federal judge in San Francisco dismissed a racketeering case brought against environmental organizations Greenpeace and Stand.earth by Resolute, a Canadian logging company. The court awarded fees to the defendants, applying California’s anti-SLAPP statute prohibiting lawsuits intended to silence critics by embroiling them in baseless cases with high legal costs. Resolute sued Greenpeace and Stand.earth after the advocacy organizations were critical of Resolute’s forestry practices in Canada’s boreal forest, one of the world’s last great forests. “We are jubilant that Resolute, the bullies of the Canadian logging industry, have failed to silence organizations committed to protecting Canada’s boreal forest," director of the Canada Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Anthony Swift said in a statement."This decision reinforces that the free speech rights of public interest advocates are protected against bad actors who would rather file frivolous lawsuits than commit to sustainable forestry.”
Oct. 12, 2017 - Weyerhaeuser Company announced on Thursday the redemption of its 21 per cent ownership interest in the Twin Creeks Timber, LLC joint venture ("Twin Creeks") for $107.5 million in cash. The company also announced an agreement to sell 100,000 acres of Southern Timberlands to Twin Creeks for $202.5 million. The sale includes 80,000 acres of timberlands in Mississippi and 20,000 acres in Georgia and is expected to close by year end. Effective Dec. 31, 2017, the company will also terminate the agreements under which it has managed the Twin Creeks timberlands. Following termination of these agreements, Weyerhaeuser will have no further responsibilities or obligations related to Twin Creeks. The company does not expect to recognize a material gain or loss on the redemption of its ownership interest. "Through these transactions, we are simplifying our operations to focus on management of our own timberlands while continuing to strategically optimize our timberland portfolio," said Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer. Twin Creeks was formed as a joint venture between Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. and several institutional investors. Following its merger with Plum Creek, in February 2016, Weyerhaeuser assumed Plum Creek's investment in the joint venture and became the manager of the Twin Creeks timberlands.
Oct. 10, 2017 - Tigercat has announced that Tony Iarocci will be stepping away from his position as president effective Oct. 16, 2017.
Oct. 10, 2017 - With growing momentum and urgency behind calls for forest conservation, the diverse membership of the Forest Stewardship Council meets this week in its General Assembly taking place in Vancouver.
Sept. 26, 2017 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes in August fell 3.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units from an upwardly revised July reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the lowest sales reading since December 2016. However, year-to-date, new home sales are 7.5 per cent above their level over the same period last year."This month's report is another reminder that builders need to manage rising supply-side costs to meet consumer demand for affordably priced homes," said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. "The year-to-date growth shows that new home sales are continuing to make consistent, long-term gains," said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. "However, we may see more volatility in the next few months as communities affected by the recent hurricanes experience construction delays and other economic disruptions."The inventory of new homes for sale was 284,000 in August, which is a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace. Regionally, new home sales remained unchanged in the Midwest. Sales fell 2.6 per cent in the Northeast, 2.7 per cent in the West and 4.7 per cent in the South.
Production cost margins for sawmills in Brazil, Russia and Finland have fallen during the first half of 2017, while they increased to their second highest level in 13 years in the US South in the 2Q/17, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Sept. 19, 2017 - Nationwide housing starts fell 0.8 per cent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family production rose 1.6 per cent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 851,000 after a downwardly revised July reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.9 per cent above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 6.5 per cent to 329,000 units after an upward July revision. "This month's report shows that single-family starts continue to move forward at a gradual, consistent pace," said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. "The three-month average for single-family production has reached a post-recession high, but the months ahead may show volatility given that the building markets affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma represent about 14 per cent of national production." "We are playing close attention to the communities affected by these hurricanes, and are helping them start on the rebuilding and restoration process," said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. Regionally in August, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 22.0 per cent in the Midwest and 4.0 per cent in the West. Starts fell 7.9 per cent in the South and 8.7 per cent in the Northeast. Overall permit issuance in August was up 5.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.30 million units. Single-family permits edged down 1.5 per cent to 800,000 units while multifamily permits rose 19.6 per cent to 500,000. Regionally, overall permits rose 15.3 per cent in the West, 8.8 per cent in the Midwest and 3.7 per cent in the South. Permits fell 13.0 per cent in the Northeast.
Sept. 14, 2017 - International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year.
Sept. 11, 2017 - As negotiators for Canada, the United States, and Mexico revealed last week they’ve made little progress on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the latest public opinion survey from the Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians increasingly looking to partners other than the U.S. to safeguard international trade.
Aug. 29, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Commerce has postponed its final determinations in the anti-dumping duty (ADD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of softwood lumber from Canada until no later than Nov. 14.
Oct. 17, 2017 - The forestry industry is poised for a strong future if governments and all stakeholders act now, Unifor wrote in a new policy publication. "After painful restructuring over the last decade, we see many opportunities to rebuild and create jobs that benefit our communities and sustain the environment," said Unifor's national president Jerry Dias. The Future of Forestry: A Workers Perspective for Successful, Sustainable and Just Forestry is a report from Unifor's Forestry Industry Council, representing Unifor's 24,000 forestry members. The full document can be accessed from unifor.org/resources Given the challenges faced by unjustified U.S. tariffs on softwood lumber, this timely publication argues that making the right policy choices will boost the value of the forestry industry and create good jobs by taking advantage of innovative technologies, new forest management practices and increasing skills. Following a rigorous and wide-ranging consultation among forestry workers in every region, Unifor's report highlights the opportunities and challenges facing the nation's third largest export industry. Unifor's key forestry recommendations include: Pursuing fair trade and higher global standards Improving forest management to ensure sustainability at home and globally Expanding public investments in forestry Prioritizing reconciliation with Indigenous communities Partnering with stakeholders to maximize job growth and skills development Reinstating National Forestry Council "Unifor has a strategy to build the forestry sector and create good, sustainable jobs. It's time for employers and governments to put a plan in to action," Dias said. Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
Sept. 20, 2017 – President Trump’s campaign to put "America First" may be backfiring on him where the lumber industry is concerned. Lumber prices have surged and costs have increased for American buyers, while Canadian producers are benefitting from a profit boost. At a time when the U.S. is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, higher lumber prices are making re-building even more challenging for Americans who have lost their homes. The U.S. Department of Commerce added preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports heading to the U.S. in April 2017. They ranged from three to 24 per cent across Canadian lumber companies and further increased in June. Tensions between Canada and the U.S. have escalated with this new development. Read the full story by Bloomberg.
Sept. 15, 2017 - Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, and his provincial counterparts today renewed their commitment to strongly support and defend the Canadian forest industry.
Sept. 14, 2017 - The federal government is calling for proposals for funding innovative, first-in-kind technologies that will transform Canada's forest industry and bioeconomy.
Aug. 9, 2017 - Leaders from the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA), the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) are expressing deep concerns with the proposed Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) plans to post a draft Species at Risk (SAR) Guide to the Environmental Registry for 28 species.
Aug. 3, 2017 - The federal government has released its draft caribou protection and recovery plan and is now accepting written feedback. The public consultation period will close September 27.
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