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

Penticton Vees to play in two-month Okanagan Cup tournament

The action commences Friday at 6 p.m. at the SOEC.

Keremeos Fire Department pull off steep angle riverside rescue

A senior on a scooter was travelling along the top of the dyke when he fell

Police make arrest in suspected arson in downtown Penticton

‘Numerous tips’ came in after RCMP released survelliance photos

RCMP investigating man reportedly hiking nude on Summerland’s Full Frontal trail

Potential charges against the man could include indecent exposure.

Morning Start: One Year on Uranus Is 84 Years on Earth

Your morning start for Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Professional basketball league eyes Kelowna for possible expansion

The CEBL completed its 2020 season in a bubble format, being the first Canadian professional sports league to return amid COVID-19

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Grizzly bear spotted in North Okanagan

Two residents warn of sightings in the area

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Kelowna resident searching for ferret that went missing from beach

Dexter the Ferret is smaller than average and likes to chase squirrels

Most Read