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Environmental group sues over California logging plans

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson, Ariz.-based environmental group, has filed seven lawsuits against the California Department of Forestry for approving logging projects on privately held lands. The 15 logging plans were all proposed by the timber company Sierra Pacific Industries and cover approximately 5,000 acres of California forests in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions.

The seven lawsuits, filed in superior courts in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Modoc, Shasta, Tehama and Trinity counties, claim that the state violated the California Environmental Quality Act and Forest Practice Act by approving Sierra Pacific’s timber-harvest plans without properly analyzing carbon emissions and climate consequences. The environmental group opposes clear-cutting, which it describes as “damaging to wildlife and water quality, generat[ing] the most greenhouse gases of any logging method.”

The California Department of Forestry is responsible for approving all logging plans on private land in California and must ensure that each proposed plan complies with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Mark Pawlicki, a spokesman for Sierra Pacific, described the lawsuits as “groundless,” saying that the company’s timber harvesting plan carefully examines environmental and air quality effects, as well as carbon dioxide sequestration rates.

“[The Center for Biological Diversity] has made it clear from its litigation that their goal is to destroy the jobs of hard-working Californians in rural communities,” Pawlicki said. “This out-of-state organization is running roughshod over the jobs that have already been lost in our mills, but they still are not satisfied. Apparently, they won’t be happy until they have taken away every forest-related job in California.” 

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Beacon Roofing Q1 income down

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Peabody, Mass.-based Beacon Roofing Supply has reported first-quarter net income of $7.8 million, down 58.0% from $18.6 million in the first quarter of 2008.

Sales for the quarter were $367.7 million, down 20.6% from $463.3 million in 2008.

Residential roofing sales decreased 26.2%, and non-residential roofing and complementary product sales declined 15.5% and 13.5%, respectively. The three product lines were affected by the economy and lower levels of new construction and remodeling.

“We are up against robust prior-year results and in a very challenging economic environment,” said Robert Buck, chairman and CEO. “Last year’s storm business and inflation benefit had a substantial positive impact on both our sales and margin. Although our income was below last year, it met our first-quarter expectations. Our continued focus on cost controls and working capital management also enabled us to increase our cash by $27 million in the quarter.”

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Around the Web: Teufel Nursery exits Chapter 11

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Teufel Nursery, a commercial grower with locations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, has exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection seven months after seeking protection from its creditors, according to an article in the Portland Business Journal.

The Teufel family, which has owned the company for four generations, will retain control of the business in exchange for contributing $100,000 in new capital, according to the newspaper. All creditors will be repaid from the company’s ongoing proceeds.

The Portland, Ore.-based company, one of the largest wholesale nurseries and landscaping firms in the Pacific Northwest, said it was forced to file for bankruptcy protection last June when its lender, Textron Financial Corp.,  called in a note. Lawsuits were filed by both parties, but these have been dropped following a work-out plan developed by a mediator.

The company said it will continue to operate its growing operations and landscaping services, but on a reduced scale. In addition to its Portland facilities, Teufel operates nurseries and landscape businesses in Kent, Wash., and McCall, Idaho, serving both residential and commercial customers.

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