Aerial view of Hammond Cedar sawmill in the 1950s. (Maple Ridge Museum)

Interfor closing B.C.’s historic Hammond Cedar sawmill

Century-old mill part of company’s coastal reorganization

Hammond Cedar sawmill, a fixture of the B.C. coastal lumber industry since 1908, is closing as part of a reorganization of Interfor Corp’s coastal operations.

The current Maple Ridge sawmill was built in 1963, and has been down to a single shift for some time as cedar producers have been “disproportionately impacted” by the latest round of U.S. softwood lumber duties, Interfor CEO Duncan Davies said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

The closure is to take effect before the end of 2019, after current inventory of logs and lumber are processed and shipped.

“We recognize the impact this decision will have on our employees who have contributed so much to the business over the years,” Davies said. “We will be working closely with them to mitigate the impacts of the closure and to identify job opportunities at other Interfor mills as well as outside the company.”

RELATED: Michigan men restarted Hammond Cedar in 1914

RELATED: Interior mills close after beetle kill sweeps through

The reorganization includes efforts to increase log supply to Interfor’s last B.C. coast sawmill, Acorn in Delta, which cuts hemlock and Douglas fir mainly for the Japanese housing market, said Ric Slaco, Interfor’s vice president and chief forester.

Selling the Hammond site on the bank of the Fraser River is part of the plan to improve the company’s financial situation, as the B.C. industry struggles with log shortages, high costs and the imposition of duties of about 20 per cent on U.S. lumber exports.

The B.C. government’s latest forestry changes include banning the export of cedar and cypress logs, as well as changes to log export limits from Crown land. Interfor will focus on selling cedar logs domestically rather than milling, Slaco said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Neighbours try to clean up around nuisance drug house on Milton Street in Nanaimo

560 Milton St. was declared a nuisance property last month

RDN Transit requiring masks for most come end of month

Masks, hand sanitizer to be handed out in Regional District of Nanaimo mask policy campaign

Vancouver Island films sought for One Minute Mobile Movie Challenge

All entries to be screened online in virtual film festival

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Have a heart when it comes to homelessness

When we de-humanize people, it’s easier to be cruel to them, says letter writer

Major injuries averted after three-vehicle crash in Nanoose Bay

Poor road conditions believed a factor in early-morning mishap

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 5

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read