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Weyerhaeuser enters into sustainable-forestry agreement

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser announced it has entered into a shareholder-managed Sustainable Forest License (SFL), covering the Kenora Forest in Ontario.

The company partnered with several First Nations, the Government of Ontario, and other forest companies and contractors in signing the historic agreement.

First Nations is a term of ethnicity that refers to the indigenous people of Canada who are not of Inuit or Metis decent. There are currently more than 630 recognized First Nations governments or bands.

Participants in the agreement include Wabaseemoong Independent Nations, Naotkamegwanning First Nation, Ochiichagwe’Babigo’Ining First Nation, Weyerhaeuser, Kenora Forest Products, Wincrief Forestry Products, Kenora Independent Loggers, and other companies with forestry operations on the Kenora Forest. The new arrangement also provides an entry mechanism for additional First Nations who would like to join the new company.

Under the new licence agreement, Nations and industry shareholders will take over management of forestry operations. Miitigoog LP will handle all forest management aspects of the Kenora SFL, including planning, certification, compliance, road construction and maintenance and silviculture.

“I am pleased that industry and First Nations can work together to improve opportunities for First Nations members and Ontario citizens,” said Chief Eric Fisher of Wabaseemoong Independent Nations and president of the new board of directors of Miitigoog.

“The transfer of this Sustainable Forest License is a terrific example of cooperation between private sector and First Nations companies in the north,” said Michael Gravelle, Ontario Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry. “Both Weyerhaeuser and Miitigoog are to be commended for being good corporate citizens, and the McGuinty government is proud to have supported these partners throughout the process, as we transition into a new tenure and pricing system.”

“Today’s agreement shows that industry, First Nations, governments and others can come together in economic ventures that provide for access, representation, respect, understanding and collaboration,” said Anne Giardini, president of Weyerhaeuser Co. “We look forward to working with and learning from our new partners.”

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Universal Forest Q3 earnings dip despite sales increase

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products reported third-quarter net income of $2.6 million, down 75.2% from $10.1 million reported for the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter were $480.6 million, up 4.9% from $457.8 million for the same period of 2009.

The company said a 52% spike in lumber products in the spring impeded earnings. Lumber prices have stabilized in the third quarter, however inventories were built earlier in the year, according to Universal.

Sales to industrial and manufactured housing customers increased 19.3% and 18.2%, respectively, during the quarter, while sales to site-built construction customers rose 1.6%. Only do it yourself/retail saw a sales decrease, of 7.7%, due to weak demand that resulted in slow retail sales, the company said.

“This was the most challenging lumber market I’ve seen in my 36 years with the company, and I’m proud of the way our people managed through it,” said CEO Michael B. Glenn. “Frankly, this type of market has the potential to wipe out an entire year’s profits for most companies that operate in our industries. Fortunately, our agility and diverse business model have allowed us to generate more than $17 million in net earnings for the year so far. With more than $58 million in cash and only $53 million in debt, we have the resources to take advantage of opportunities that arise. We remain in an enviable position in our markets.”

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Bellingham council to tighten fertilizer ban

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bellingham, Wash., council members are looking to expand their phosphorus ban for the Lake Whatcom region, according to the Bellingham Herald.

Aphosphorus ban for residential use has already been in effect in the watershed region since 2005. Now the township is looking to expand that ban to commercial properties, according to the article.

Lake Whatcom supplies all of the drinking water for Bellingham and is on a federal list of impaired water bodies due to low levels of dissolved oxygen.

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