Canada: Industry using Logger’s to acquire Real Estate holdings public land

Though it may have appeared to have fallen off the radar screen during
the forest-industry slump, Buchanan Forest Products is still pressing
forward with an earlier plan to change how logs are harvested in one
of the province’s prime wood baskets. Buchanan wants to set up four
permanent harvesting camps in the mostly Crown-owned Kenogami forest,
which supplies most of the wood to the company’s Terrace Bay pulp
mill. The proposal was put on hold more than a year ago after
opponents said the camps would employ only out-of-town loggers and do
nothing to benefit the economies of Kenogami-area communities like
Longlac and Geraldton.

The MNR was willing to give Buchanan a permit
to establish the camps, but that process has been halted while the
Ministry of Environment considers a “bump-up” request to have the
proposal subject to a full environmental assessment. Haldane said he
expects MOE to decide in a week or two whether or not to grant that
request. Despite the market downturn, logging is continuing in the
Kenogami, said Haldane. Without a permit for permanent camps, Buchanan
is employing a “free-use policy” that allows for up to five trailers
per work site. The trailers must pick up and move when loggers move on
to another cutting block.

The proposal for the permanent camps calls
for up to 40 trailers per site. Buchanan spokesman Hartley Multamaki
said bush camps “are a common way of doing business. The rationale for
having camps out in the field is that you don’t want people driving
long distances back to town after working eight to 10 hours in the
bush,” said Multamaki. Before Buchanan bought the Terrace Bay mill
from Neenah Paper in 2006, Kenogami loggers were company employees and
made daily commutes to and from bush operations. Prior to selling the
mill, Neenah said that system had become too costly and was a main
reason the operation had been losing money.

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