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Stéphane RenouFPInnovations announces new President and CEO

Stéphane Renou is the new President and Chief Executive Officer at FPInnovations. He takes over from Pierre Lapointe, who has held the position since 2008.

A native of Montréal, Renou has a number of degrees from Université de Sherbrooke as well as Polytechnique Montréal where he went on to complete a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. In 2015, he earned an MBA (Innovation Management) from the University of Colorado.

In 2000, Renou moved to the U.S. to join General Electric’s research centre, where he took on increasingly senior positions, heading a number of divisions at various locations. Most recently, he was the Leader of Industrial Outcomes Optimization at GE Global Research. These varied experiences enabled him to acquire a vast background of R&D combined with commercial knowledge and a strong sense of entrepreneurship. He holds eight patents, in addition to having published numerous scientific articles.

Pierre Lapointe announced his intention to step down as President of FPInnovations last spring. Lapointe spearheaded many major projects at FPInnovations and is leaving a rich and promising legacy to the Canadian forest industry. His commitment was recently recognized through being officially welcomed to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Morbark acquires Rayco Manufacturing

Morbark, LLC has acquired Rayco Manufacturing, representing the first addition to the company since affiliates of the private equity firm Stellex Capital Management LP (Stellex) acquired Morbark in 2016.

The purchase of Rayco represents a significant move towards the company’s strategic focus on broadening its range of tree care and industrial equipment, aftermarket parts, and service offered to customers.

Rayco was founded in 1978 in Wooster, Ohio. Today, the company is dedicated to the design and production of a line of environmental equipment, including forestry mulchers, stump cutters, crawler trucks, multi-tool carriers, attachments, brush chippers and the all-new AT71 aerial trimmer.

Morbark will operate Rayco as a new division, maintaining its brand identity. Rayco’s experienced management team will continue to manage their operations.

Deere focuses on need for quick information with new website design

John Deere has completed its global rollout of a new company website that places those who shop for—and own—John Deere equipment as the number one priority for information offered on its pages.

The site design is mobile-responsive and works on a variety of screen sizes, from smart phones and tablets to traditional desktop computers.

The improved contains concise product information and easy-to-use navigation, more useful tools for those who shop for and own Deere products and services, a product-centric focus on helping users accomplish key activities such as identifying the right machine for their use or locating a dealer, and easy spec-to-spec comparisons across John Deere and competitive models.

“All of our customers want to quickly find the information they need, whether they are searching from their desk or from a jobsite,” says Sean O’Hanlon, Director, Global Internet Strategy, Deere & Company.

ForestTECHX 2018 ConferenceForestTECHX 2018 Conference in March to focus on unlocking data value

International experts and foresters from countries with strong technical networks are coming together to a new forestry technology conference in early March 2018.

The ForestTECHX 2018 Conference will provide managers and technical staff from forestry companies with a timely and independent overview of Lidar, geomatics, and data collection tools.

The focus for the conference will be on unlocking the true value of data for forest operations, and key themes will include: how virtual reality tools are delivering gains, how skillsets are changing for managers, how leading loggers are using harvesting data, knowledge from reconciling remote sensing data in the field, practical application of robotics and sensors by forest managers, better ways to store, process and manage big data, new mobile forest apps, and new GIS applications.

“We’ve been seeing a positive response from western forest companies to our line-up of speakers,” says Vancouver-based conference organizer, Anthony Robinson, associate publisher of Logging and Sawmilling Journal. “Service provider interest has been running high as well, which allowed us to add two further technical experts to our one-day conference.”

The 2018 ForestTECHX Conference runs from March 6-7 at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel in Richmond, B.C. Registrations are now open at

For more information on the ForestTechX Conference and to view the program, visit

Autolog celebrates 30 years

For the last 30 years, Autolog has been offering expertise, know-how and solutions to the wood products industry for large corporations and/or entrepreneurs around the world.

As a leader in vision, optimization and automation, Autolog says it will continue to build on its reputation for innovative solutions, quality products and unparalleled customer experience, for many more years to come.

Created in 1987, its first commercial offerings were supplying industrial controls such as lumber and log sorters. Over the years, the company continuously added products to its existing line-up and rapidly became recognized world-wide as a pioneer, offering solutions in optimization, automation and vision.

Autolog’s team of over 100 professionals is made up of highly dedicated specialists representing the best in their field of expertise. The company says that it is proud to define itself and live by three principles: quality, technology and customer experience, adding that each of these key elements precisely define who it is and how it conducts business.

Western Forest Products closes Englewood train

Western Forest Products has closed its Englewood logging train on Vancouver Island as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce costs and strengthen its competitiveness, says the company. Logs will be transported by truck at a lower cost to create efficiencies in the transportation of logs to its mills from northern Vancouver Island forestry operations.

At its peak, the train employed 34 people. As a result of this closure, these positions will be eliminated. Because Western Forest Products is working with its employees and union representatives to identify opportunities for the impacted employees to transition to other positions at the company, the reduction in overall jobs is anticipated to be fewer than 15, says the company.

Etymotic’s high-definition earplugs reduce hearing loss risk

Exposure to noise from loud machinery and the resulting hearing loss and ringing in the ears is just one of the many occupational hazards with which forestry workers have to contend. Illinois-based Etymotic has a solution: high-definition earplugs and earphones.

Etymotic’s safety line of earplugs and earphones reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss and ringing ears. They have been used for years by musicians and others exposed to high sound levels.

Etymotic’s HD Safety earplugs are the world’s highest fidelity ready-fit earplugs, says the company. These low-cost earplugs reduce sound levels while preserving clarity, instead of muffling the sound.

Pacific Logging Congress announces four new board members

The Pacific Logging Congress, an association of forestry contractors, mill managers, and timberland owners dedicated to supporting the future of logging and the forest industry, welcomes four new board members—including Anthony Robinson, associate publisher of Logging and Sawmilling Journal and TimberWest Magazine.

Anthony’s 10-year career in forestry and natural resource management includes project management, consulting, operational planning, harvesting, mining, and geographic information systems.

New board member Lindsay Baska, office manager at Mike Pihl Logging, has grown up with the logging company and in the forest industry. Larry Heesacker owns and operates A-1 Logging Inc. out of Yamhill, Oregon. Peter Jackson, a licensed land surveyor and a professional forester, has been employed by Green Diamond Resource Company for almost two decades.

“Each of these individuals embodies the spirit and goals of the PLC,” says PLC President, Jeff Wimer. “They bring with them talent, expertise and energy and will be a great asset to the PLC. We’re excited to have them on board.”

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
December/January 2018

On the Cover:
For Vancouver Island logger Jesse Drover of JBM Falling Ltd, getting involved in steep slope logging was a natural progression. Drover operated a feller buncher for 13 years, so he was very familiar with mechanical harvesting before starting work with the ClimbMax steep slope harvester—and the tethered harvesting system is working out well for him, doing steep slope logging on the Island. (Cover photo by Paul MacDonald).

Keep on truckin’…
The BC Forest Safety Council—and forest industry—are taking a leadership role in a training program for new logging truck drivers in the province, spurred on by the large number of experienced logging truck drivers retiring.

Taking over—and tackling steep slopes
The next generation is gradually taking over at B.C.’s Van Ommen Contracting, and they’re finding steep slopes ahead of them—but there’s good equipment out there to tackle those steep slopes.

A great fit for steep slopes, Island style
The New Zealand-developed and built ClimbMax tethered harvesting system is making its mark on Vancouver Island—and logger Jesse Drover says the steep ground they have to work in is ideal for the ClimbMax.

Co-operative contracting in Quebec
Quebec’s Eclaircie Gaspesie contract logging operation has found its own path to success: a combination of equipment operators David Lévesque and Sebastian LeBlanc, along with forestry co-operative Groupement forestier cooperative Baie des Chaleurs—supported by solid Ponsse equipment.

SATCO head gets thumbs-up in Alberta
Alberta logging operation R. Bruce Erickson Construction says their new SATCO processing head is performing well, with the company’s Cody Erickson giving the head the thumbs-up both in its production capabilities and precision.

Kiwi super sawmill
The recent start-up of a new line at the Red Stag sawmill in New Zealand has created a lot of excitement, as the mill could now be the largest in the southern hemisphere—and there’s certainly no doubt that it is super fast and super accurate.

The next big thing in plywood
Already known for embracing technology and innovation, Oregon’s Freres Lumber is now taking its operations a step further, building a specialized manufacturing facility to produce the company’s newest innovation, Mass Plywood Panels.

The Edge
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates, Alberta Agriculture and FPInnovations.

The Last Word
It’s time for a mountain pine beetle battle plan—involving the Feds—in Jasper National Park, says Tony Kryzanowski.


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