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

Clearwater mayor unimpressed with Forest Minister’s inaction on local tenure transfer

Mayor Merlin Blackwell says he’s ready to lead delegation to Victoria

Valley Voice: Remembering the tools of yesteryear

Barriere and District Heritage Society talks about a few mundane modern tasks that were once laborous and time consuming

Replacement of Beaton Road Bridge in Kamloops set to begin

Construction will begin March 2, closing the east end of the road to all traffic

New group gives support to children with exceptionalities

Clearwater YCS is offering new support program for families with children who have exceptionalities

Another successful Family Fun Night at The Ridge

Roughly 250 people filled The Ridge’s Family Fun Night for fun and games

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

Most Read