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

Construction for new $6.6 million Lake Country Firehall to start this summer

District councillors voted to approve funding for project back in 2018

Krista Mallory: Steering the Okangan’s economy into the future

She is a business development officer for the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

BREAKING: Surrey man pleads guilty on first day of West Kelowna murder trial

Tejwant Danjou is charged with second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Vernon tennis star Vasek Popisil named Best of BC winner

Sport BC honours tennis star for his comeback season after back surgery

Coaches take on players to honour Vernon volleyball player

Vernon Sky Club hosting event with proceeds to the Emily Dahl Foundation

Most Read