It was announced that West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. will hold an analysts’ conference call to discuss first quarter 2010 financial and operating results on Monday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific. Shares of Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE:PCL) ended Friday’s 3/26 trading session lower at 38.26, which was down from its previous close. In his article titled Bill might limit timberland tax incentives, K Miller wrote that House lawmakers in Maine gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that would force timberland owners who hire Canadian loggers to withdraw from one of the state’s major tax incentive programs. The article explains, “The bill, LD 1552, would prohibit landowners who use foreign loggers from participating in Maine’s Tree Growth Tax Law, which offers significant tax breaks on land that is kept in timber production.
Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, introduced the bill in response to long-standing complaints from northern Maine loggers who claim they routinely lose jobs to Canadian crews hired by contractors flouting state and federal labor laws. “The original intent of Tree Growth was to help Mainers, not out-of-state corporations,” said Rep. John Tuttle, D-Sanford. “I think this bill levels the playing field, and it is something that should have been corrected years ago.” But representatives for commercial landowners and logging contractors predict the bill, if enacted, could disrupt wood supplies to Maine mills. Opponents say the measure also penalizes companies for the legal use of Canadian loggers when American workers are unwilling or unavailable to work in more remote locations in the North Woods. “This bill is aimed at the outright elimination of Canadian labor in the Maine woods,” said James Cote with the Maine Forest Products Council. More information can be found at the Bangor Daily News site
According to Tom Banse of KPLU Public Radio, A timberland holding company in Portland has made a deal to sell carbon credits tied to a forest parcel it owns on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Ecotrust hopes to showcase this sale as an example of how carbon markets would work in this region if Congress should pass a cap-and-trade law. KPLU’s Tom Banse reports.
Portland-based Ecotrust Forest Management bought a private tree farm on the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula back in 2005. It has chosen to log less frequently, more selectively, and to leave greater setbacks along streams and steep slopes than the law requires. Project manager Bettina von Hagen says these changes mean more trees absorbing much more carbon dioxide as they grow. That produces carbon credits she has now sold to a New York middleman.
Bettina von Hagen: “If Ecotrust Forests had not purchased the Sooes Forest, I assume the Sooes Forest would have continued in industrially managed hands. The forest practices would have continued as they had before.”
Von Hagen says the deal for the carbon credits is worth six figures. Neither seller, nor buyer would be more specific than that. Carbon trading is entirely voluntary in the United States for the time being. Von Hagen speculates some buyers might be stockpiling carbon credits while they’re cheap to resell into a more regulated market later