Industry Insider Newsletter - June 2019
How NB forest sector plans to deal with shortage in harvesting capacity
New Brunswick’s forest products sector is urgently constrained by a dwindling labor force. An aging demographic, looming mass retirements, lack of renewal of mechanized forest equipment operators and truckers and an inadequately designed career path for prospective operators are the main contributing factors to this problem. The impact on industry is the inability to harvest one million cubic meters of wood fiber annually and creation of a structural deficiency in the labor market causing harvesting costs to escalate to uncompetitive levels.
The forest products sector, as represented by Forest NB, is consulting with industry members, department staff
from PETL, EECD and the NBCC as well as other agencies, and is proposing a multifaceted approach to addressing the sector’s labour constraints. The approach is divided into pre and post-employment components. These components reveal four paths to supply the sectors labour need; they are existing operators, high school students, NBCC students, adult learners. These paths are supported by three initiatives designed to promote, train and certify.  The target is to produce annually, 250-300 new entrants into forestry careers over the next 3-5 years, of which approximately two thirds are mechanized forest equipment operators with the remainder in trucking.
Feds look to modernize effluent regulations
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released in June a detailed proposal outlining changes to the 25 year old pulp and paper effluent regulations. The proposal introduces new effluent components for monitoring and increased stringency on existing components in the range of 60-90% higher limitations. ECCC is in the process of consulting with N.B. industry who estimate compliance at the currently proposed standard could be as high as $240 million.

Wood Matters Blog
See our Canada Day edition of the Wood Matters Blog

Emerald Ash Borer: What You Need To Know?
The emerald ash borer was first detected in 2002. The insect originates from Asia and has few natural enemies in North America.

On average, an infested woodlot will have lost 99% of its ash trees. The high mortality increases the likelihood of invasion of forests by invasive plants.

Canadian Forest Service (CFS) scientists estimate that costs for treatment, removal and replacement of trees affected by emerald ash borer in Canadian municipalities may reach $2 billion over a 30-year period. Locally ash has significant commercial and cultural value. The largest North American manufacturer of lifting tool handles manufactures in N.B. and relies heavily on the superior quality of white ash. Several First Nation communities also have significant reliance on the species for traditional basket making work.
Infestations of the emerald ash borer are expected to continue rising due to humans moving infested material like firewood. In addition to collecting and storing seed stock for future regeneration, an Asian wasp species project has been
introduced to help control the emerald ash borer since it is a natural enemy. Originating from Asia, the wasps are hoped to establish a balanced ecosystem between the 2 species.

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Emerald Ash Borer
Parasitoid Wasp
Ash Borer Trap in Fredericton