VANCOUVER, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - Allegations by the Steelworkers regarding
TimberWest's harvesting practices do not tell the full story and are only
being raised now as the union continues to attempt to deflect attention from
their unrealistic demands at the labour bargaining table.
It is disingenuous that the Steelworkers' union has chosen to present
selected facts regarding the harvesting that took place at Kweishun Bowl.
We are aware of the unusual circumstances related to the Kweishun Bowl
area. The valley rock blockage results in a temporary flooding of a gravel
area which is otherwise covered with terrestrial plants including fireweed,
clovers and sedges. The area was investigated by TimberWest in 2005 and found
not to be a wetland. It was also evident there were no fisheries values and
minimal wildlife values in the area. The attached photos taken September 25,
2007 show the area is in fact a gravel meadow.
TimberWest does recognize that while the harvesting was done in
accordance with prescribed regulations, its timing could have been better
planned so as not to coincide with the temporary flooding that took place in
the area in 2006.
The company has effective systems in place and ensures that harvesting
meets all regulatory requirements, certification requirements, company
policies and procedures.
This system works and has been at the core of the company operations for
15 years. Our forest management activities are conducted in a manner that
protects biological diversity, forest productivity and the key environmental
values of water quality, fish habitat, soil productivity and critical wildlife
TimberWest continually strives to deliver on our social and environmental
license to operate while meeting the increasing market demand for products
from timberlands that have been independently certified as having high
standards of environmental management. TimberWest has achieved third party
certification of all operations under ISO 14001 and of our private lands under
the Sustainable Forestry Initiative(SM) program. We remain committed to
The union's motivation is questionable to say the least. The event took
place well over one year ago and the union is only raising the issue now
during the midst of a labour dispute.
TimberWest Corporate Profile
TimberWest Forest Corp. is uniquely positioned as the largest owner of
private forest lands in western Canada. The Company owns in fee simple
approximately 334,000 hectares or 825,000 acres of private timberland that,
over the previous five years, have provided an annual average harvest of
2.594 million m(3) of logs and have an approximate annual growth rate of 8.0
m(3) per hectare per year on the productive land base. These timberlands are
located on Vancouver Island and the majority of the land base supports the
growth of Douglas fir, a premium tree species sought after for structural
purposes. TimberWest runs fully-contracted harvesting operations. With almost
80% of the Company's annual private land logging now being done in
second-growth stands, TimberWest leads the Coastal industry in the growing and
harvesting of second-growth timber.
The Company's independent auditor, KPMG Performance Registrar Inc.,
periodically certifies that the forest management practices on the Company's
private timberland continue to meet all Sustainable Forestry Initiative
(SFI(R)) requirements. SFI requirements specify that forest harvesting is
integrated with environmental and conservation goals for soil, wildlife, water
quality protection, conservation of biodiversity, protection of special sites
and aesthetics in a manner that ensures a sustainable harvest over the
TimberWest also owns renewable Crown harvest rights to 0.7 million m(3)
of logs per year and operates a sawmill located near Campbell River, BC.
In addition, approximately 38,000 hectares or 94,000 acres of the
Company's private forest lands have been identified as having greater value as
real estate properties and will progressively be made available for higher
uses over the next ten to fifteen years. The Company reviews its land base on
a periodic basis to update the size of its portfolio of higher use properties.
Stapled Units of TimberWest Forest Corp. are traded on the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol: TWF.UN
Visit us at our web site: www.timberwest.com
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
members of the media/
For further information:
For further information: Steve Lorimer, Manager, Public Affairs &
Government Relations, TimberWest Forest Corp., Telephone: (250) 729-3727,