Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 3, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Tree Piece Helmets: Protective loggin’ for your noggin

Gizmag
May 3, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

If you want your product to stand out while also looking classy, warm and organic, there’s one sure-fire way of doing in – make it out of wood. …Oregon-based woodworker Dan Coyle started making his own wooden-shelled helmets in the late 90s, for his own use while whitewater kayaking. Just in the past few years, however, he got the idea of making them for other people. The result is his current line of Tree Piece Helmets. The helmets are made mainly from sustainably-harvested kiln-dried Douglas Fir, although a number of more exotic woods are available for discerning customers. Coyle designs them using CAD software, then carves them from solid blocks of wood (or sometimes multiple blocks laminated together) using a CNC router.

Read More

VIDEO – Greenpeace war on chopsticks

Produced by Greenpeace
You Tube Video
May 2, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Tree Frog says: This is what you can do when your message campaign has bags of money. We would love to see the forest sector come up with something just as engaging. I remember covering this story (Dec 2010) when it first came out, it got media overkill! Personally, I much prefer wooden chopsticks to plastic, over and above the obvious environmental reasons – the friction provides me with better odds of actually getting the food all the way to my mouth!

Watch the video for the whole Greenpeace overview of their media campaign
Read here for the 2010 coverage in the New York Times

Read More

Business & Politics

Resolute says it has gained majority control of takeover target Fibrek

Canadian Press
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

TORONTO – Resolute Forest Products, the company formerly known as AbitibiBowater that is attempting a hostile takeover of Fibrek Inc, says it has achieved majority control of its target company. Quebec-based Resolute said late Wednesday it purchased an additional 1.6 million shares earlier in the day, bringing its total stake in the company to 50.1 per cent. It paid $900,000 and 46,000 of its shares for the stock that pushed its ownership into majority territory. Resolute can take over Fibrek after acquiring two-thirds of its shares or winning a proxy vote on amalgamation supported by two-thirds of shareholders casting ballots.

Press Release from Resolute Forest Products

Read More

Burns Lake sawmill explosion cause still unclear

CBC News
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is still not clear what caused an explosion at the Babine Forest Products sawmill in Burns Lake, B.C., in January that killed two men, according to a preliminary update issued by WorkSafeBC on Wednesday. “We still don’t have the cause of this catastrophic explosion,” said spokeswoman Roberta Ellis, who described the investigation as one of the largest every undertaken by WorkSafeBC.

Read More

Cause of Burns Lake mill explosion still unknown

WorkSafeBC says they’ve narrowed down possible causes to natural gas, propane, or sawdust
News1130
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNS LAKE (NEWS1130) – Samples of sawdust from the mill explosion in Burns Lake have been sent to a US lab to see whether it played a factor in the deadly blast.  Investigators are looking at what type of wood was being processed prior to the incident; they’re trying to figure out whether it was pine beetle-infested or greenwood.  Roberta Ellis with WorkSafeBC says they’ve narrowed down possible fuel sources to either natural gas, propane, or sawdust.

Read More

Worksafe Expands Scope of Babine FP Investigation

Opinion 250 News
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – Worksafe BC is expanding the scope of its investigation in to the explosion and fire that leveled the Babine Forest Products sawmill outside Burns Lake the night of January 20th. Two workers were killed and 19 others injured in the devastation. In an update on the investigation Worksafe says possible factors contributing to the risk of explosion which are being examined include the type of wood being milled, exhaust and ventilation systems, effects of cold weather (minus 41 temperature in days leading to the explosion) and sawdust accumulations. Possible fuel sources being examined include natural gas, propane and sawdust. Fuel sources not believed involved include hot oil, hydraulic oil, gear oil, oxygen and acetylene.

Read More

Canfor steps up to help Burns Lake

Burns Lake District News
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership and its employees expressed their support for the local community and the Lakes District Hospital by making a significant donation of $87,870 last week. …“The 1,100 employees and unions raised $43,935, which was then matched by the company,” said Onkar Athwal, vice president of human resources for Canfor Pulp. “The forest industry is a close knit community and when tragedy like this strikes a member of the community, everyone wants to pitch in and help out,” he said.

Read More

US lab to assess sawdust risk at mill

Globe and Mail
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has called on a U.S. expert to establish a measuring stick for the explosive risk of sawdust, a first step in what could lead to regulations for dust levels at mills across the province. In its first update on its investigation into the Burns Lake sawmill explosion and fire that in January killed two people and injured 19, WorkSafeBC cautioned that sawdust is just one of the potential fuel sources being investigated. Natural gas and propane remain possibilities.

Read More

Domtar looking to get closer to consumers with incontinence products

570 News
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Domtar could expand its personal care business by adding more consumer incontinence products as part of a plan to transform from a traditional pulp and paper maker to a fibre innovator, the company’s CEO said Wednesday. Chief executive John Williams told shareholders that the strategy of transforming itself will be “an evolution and not a revolution. The company’s goal is to eventually bring in US$300 million to US$500 million of pre-tax operating earnings (EBITDA) from alternative segments, including personal care products.

Read More

Forestry, mining, highway twinning dealt with at Northwestern Ontario chambers of commerce annual meeting

Daily Miner and News
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The legal ball is already rolling on many resolutions passed by the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce as business put that ball in Queen’s Park’s court… On forestry, the chamber repeated its request to secure 26 million cubic metres of fibre annually, which has also been a long-standing request from the Ontario Forestry Industries Association. It called for socio-economic impact assessments of all legislation, a demand relevant to the 2007 Endangered Species Act, which it rejects replacing existing forest tenure in a separate resolution.

Read More

Domtar Gives Shareholders Another Big Raise

The Dynamic Dividend
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Domtar Corporation (UFS) announced a 29% increase to its dividend today, marking the second consecutive year the freesheet paper manufacturer has given its shareholders a big raise. Domtar declared a quarterly dividend of $0.45 per share, topping the $0.35 per share it had paid each of the previous four quarters. 

Read More

Top Ranked Dividend Stock UFS Enters Oversold Territory

Forbes
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The DividendRank formula at Dividend Channel ranks a coverage universe of thousands of dividend stocks, according to a proprietary formula designed to identify those stocks that combine two important characteristics — strong fundamentals and a valuation that looks inexpensive. Domtar Corp presently has an above average rank, in the top 50% of the coverage universe, which suggests it is among the top most “interesting” ideas that merit further research by investors.

Read More

Super Fund in bid to boost stake in Kaingaroa forest

Stuff.co.nz
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has teamed up with a global investment firm to bid for full ownership of the cutting rights to the country’s largest commercial forestry estate. The Super Fund and Boston-based investment firm GMO Renewable Resources want to buy out Harvard Management Company’s majority stake in Kaingaroa forest in the central North Island. If successful, the deal would return more of the prime timber-generating asset back to New Zealand hands.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Luxor’s Sales Increase 170% to $ 3,233,877 for 2011

Luxor Continues to Pursue New Wood Product Lines
MarketWatch (press release)
May 2, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Luxor Industrial Corporation is pleased to announce the Company’s sales for the 12 months ended December 31, 2011 were $3,233,877. Sales increased by 170 % compared to the same period of 2010, which were $1,199,502. …Following the downturn in residential construction in 2008, Luxor has focused on sales in the industrial and commercial markets for wood products. The increase in sales is mainly attributed to sales of specialty wood products to oil and gas exploration companies and the wholesale of engineered wood products. Luxor is working on developing a heavy timber line for specialty wood products. It has completed initial engineering and is meeting with interested North American customers.

Read More

Super-green ‘Full Plane Passive House’ being built in Portland

Daily Journal of Commerce
May 2, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Portland-based JRA Green Building will soon finish construction on a Southwest Portland home that includes some of the world’s greenest building techniques. The 1,950-square-foot house, which sits on a slope overlooking the Tualatin hills, is aiming for certification through Passive House, which emphasizes extremely airtight and energy-efficient construction, and the Living Building Challenge, which focuses on water, materials, site, energy, health, equity and beauty… The Full Plane home, expected to be done in June, is built with a significant amount of FSC-certified lumber and plywood sourced by Sustainable Northwest Wood.

Read More

Provenance Underfoot at the Barnes Foundation

DigitalJournal.com (press release)
May 2, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – When the Barnes Foundation opens its doors to their new building on May 19, 2012, Dr. Albert Barnes’ renowned art collection will not be the only thing to find its new home in Philadelphia. Portions of a Long Island boardwalk, carefully salvaged and reprocessed by Provenance Architecturals, garners a second life as flooring in the highly anticipated building designed by Tod

Read More

Green building mines landfill for materials

Star News Online
May 2, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Wilmington, NC – Bricks, metal and glass left over from construction or demolition projects were supposed to be simply discarded and never seen again. But more than a ton of this and that were salvaged from the county’s landfill and reused for a utility building under construction at Tidal Creek Co-Op on Oleander Drive… “We’ve found all of our 2x12s out there,” Yermal added. “I never thought I would have found big pieces of nice 2x12s out there.” The lumber is stamped and in good condition, he added.

Read More

Forestry

Telus undecided on appeal of $2.1-million wildfire fine

Kamloops Daily News
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Telus has still not decided whether it will appeal a B.C. Supreme Court decision reaffirming a $2.1-million fine levied by the province for its part in causing a blaze on Chuwhels Mountain. “We’re currently assessing the decision to determine the potential for further appeal,” corporate spokesman Shawn Hall said Tuesday. B.C. Supreme Court reaffirmed in late March an order by the province that Telus Corp. pay $2.1-million.

Read More

Pine beetles, fires, storms hike BC flood risk

CBC News
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recent forest fires and the mountain pine beetle infestation are amplifying flooding in the southern interior, says a B.C. hydrologist. That, combined with an above average snowpack, warm temperatures and heavy rain has created a perfect storm of conditions for flooding, said hydrologist Don Dobson… Dobson says reduced water absorption due to trees killed by the mountain pine beetle, as well as damage to the ground from forest fires in recent years means there’s now an increased potential for flooding in the B.C. interior.

Read More

Canada travel: New BC route opens up Vancouver Island’s ancient trees

Toronto Star
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT RUPERT, B.C.—Stand in an ancient forest, amid giants that blot out the sky, and something shifts. The clamour of the outside world disappears, and there is no sound except a faint trickle of water from neon-green moss draped everywhere. This once was a world open only to loggers and die-hard hikers on the far edge of Canada. But a new road — only two hours west of Victoria — has peeled away some of the layers that hid a fantastic place dubbed “Cathedral Grove II” by the young activists who saved it. “This is the most easily accessible old-growth forest,” says Victoria biologist Ken Wu, co-founder of the Victoria-based Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA).

Read More

Woodlots and community forests in the Boundary

Grand Forks Gazette
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Boundary Woodlot Association (BWA) is against a proposed location for a community forest in Midway and Greenwood. The West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) and municipalities of Midway and Greenwood met last month to discuss the issue of community forests in an open forum. The municipalities were offered 23,000 cubic metres for a Community Forest Licence (CFL) by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources. In an open letter, the Boundary Woodlot Association asked the municipalities to decline the tenure in the Phoenix Mountain area and request a larger area and annual allowable cut.

Read More

Charest urged to protect forests

N.Y. Times editorial on $80B Plan Nord
Montreal Gazette
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A recent editorial in the New York Times praises Premier Jean Charest’s Plan Nord bill as “a remarkable precedent,” but critics note it also adds to growing pressure on Charest to strengthen the bill so that it truly protects from development half of northern Quebec, as Charest promised in his re-election campaign. The $80-billion Plan Nord was billed by Charest as a way to preserve half of Quebec’s north by 2035, while allowing sustainable mining and forestry in the other half. …”It’s a very good objective, this idea of protecting 50 per cent of the north, and it’s nice that Americans are applauding it,” said Christian Simard, director of Nature Quebec and a spokesperson for the Plan Nord Forum. “But so far, the Plan Nord is simply an arrangement to facilitate a mining boom.”

Read More

Black Hills logging will proceed despite protests

Sioux Falls Argus Leader
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by environmentalists who sued the government to stop a timber management plan in the beetle-infested Black Hills National Forest. Friends of the Norbeck and the Native Ecosystems Council filed suit in 2010 to stop the U.S. Forest Service from implementing a management plan for 28,000 acres in the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve. The agency says the plan — thinning out stands of dense ponderosa pine with prescribed burns and the logging of 6,000 acres — would reduce the risk of catastrophic forest fire and benefit the birds, goats, deer and elk that call the preserve home.

Read More

Protection sought for rare woodpecker

A rare black-backed woodpecker is seen in the burned remains of the Angora Fire near South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

RENO, Nev. — Smokey Bear has done such a good job stamping out forest fires the past half-century that a woodpecker that’s survived for millions of years by eating beetle larvae in burned trees is in danger of going extinct in parts of the West, according to conservationists seeking U.S. protection for the bird. Four conservation groups filed a petition with the U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday to list the black-backed woodpecker under the Endangered Species Act in the Sierra Nevada, Oregon’s Eastern Cascades and the Black Hills of eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota. It is the first federal petition to recognize the ecological significance and seek protection of post-fire habitat, an expert said.

Read More

Dry heat increases bark beetle bite

Phys.Org
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Climate change appears to be good news for destructive bark beetles, according to a new study by Lorenzo Marini from the University of Padova in Italy, and his team. Their work, published online in Springer’s Climatic Change, shows that there were more attacks by the spruce bark beetle on European Alpine spruce forests over a 16 year period, as temperatures rose and rainfall dropped.

Read More

Giant tree wombat discovery wins science prize

ABC Online
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Karen Black from the University of New South Wales says her team discovered the world’s largest tree climbing marsupial among fossils found at the Riversleigh World Heritage Site. The Australian Academy of Science has recognised Dr Black’s work by giving her the 2012 Dorothy Hill Award for female researchers in the earth sciences. A team of palaeontologists from UNSW and Flinders University have been working at the site in north-western Queensland since 1993. Dr Black says the sheep-sized creature lived in rainforest trees 15 million years ago.

Read More

Volunteers needed for cloud forest surveys to assess climate impacts on wildlife

e-Travel Blackboard
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Australia’s World Heritage rainforest in North Queensland, known for its high biodiversity values and variety of flora and fauna, is at risk from changes in temperature and rainfall. Earthwatch Australia has developed a new research project Wildlife of the Cloud Forests and is calling on volunteers to work with scientists to understand the impacts of climate change on the wildlife inhabiting this internationally significant landmark. Richard Gilmore, Executive Director, Earthwatch Australia says “volunteers are needed to conduct surveys at different altitudes from sea level to 1,400 metres and help spot and sometimes catch birds, reptiles, frogs and mammals.

Read More

Government safety help welcomed by forest owners

The Forest Owners Association
Scoop Independent News
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Government safety help welcomed by forest owners The Forest Owners Association welcomes the boost in government funding and support for workplace health and safety improvement. The industry’s health and safety committee chair Sheldon Drummond says the announcement by labour minister Kate Wilkinson of $37 million in extra funding couldn’t have come at a better time. He says a safety culture initiative now underway in the sector is already being helped by the government’s focus on improved workplace safety, with the Department of Labour focussing its efforts on five priority sectors including forestry.

Read More

Strong interest for SA softwood timber

Stock Journal
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Indicative bids for South Australia Timber rolled into the state’s Treasury office late yesterday and it is understood there is significant interest from global timber investment funds. Seven or eight bids were expected to be handed over by yesterday’s close for the $700 million asset, The Australian Financial Review reports. The sale of cutting rights for three harvests from the top-quality estate in the Green Triangle is regarded one of the best softwood growing regions in the Asia-Pacific.

Read More

New attack on Greenpeace in Indonesia – News – Mongabay

Mongabay.com
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As fallout from its campaign against Asia Pulp & Paper grows, Greenpeace’s critics have opened a new front on the environmental group, accusing it of “embezzlement”, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. Last week Rudy Gani, the leader of the Aliansi Mahasiswa Tolak LSM Asing (the Alliance of Students to Reject Foreign NGOs), a student group, filed a complaint against Greenpeace with local police alleging that the green group had misappropriated up to 20 billion Indonesian rupiah ($2.2 million) from supporters.

Read More

Koalas Are So Cute! (And Threatened)

NPR (blog)
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Koalas: They’re downright adorable, and that’s obvious. (Don’t even try to suppress the high-pitched coo.) “They’re pretty much exactly what you think,” admits National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, who was on assignment in Australia last October for a story in the magazine’s current issue. Except — his job was to photograph a scene that isn’t so cute. In fact, a bit of an editor’s note: Some of these photos are kind of grisly to look at. “The goal,” he says, “was to tell the story of the plight of the koala in the northern half of Australia.”

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Bioenergy key to reopening Canfor’s Radium sawmill

CBC.ca
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor has begun the process of reopening its sawmill in Radium, B.C., and says bioenergy has been key for the company to get the operation up and running again. Canfor’s Radium mill was shut down in 2009 along with similar operations in Kamloops and Prince George, but the company is now spending $38 million to build a new planer and convert the mill to running on gas to bioenergy.

Read More

Quebec government not so environmentally friendly, sustainable-development watchdog says

Montreal Gazette
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC — Despite Quebec’s ambitious plans to implement environmentally friendly sustainable development, and its greener-than-green targets to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, government departments and agencies have not applied the needed changes, the province’s sustainable-development commissioner says.

Read More

CORE BioFuel Inc. Selects Technip to Engineer the World’s First Wood to Gasoline Biorefinery

Stockhouse
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — CORE BioFuel announced today that it has selected Technip, a world leader in engineering, construction and project management in the energy industry, to complete the construction engineering of their first wood to gasoline biorefinery. CORE’s Green Gasoline plant will produce 67 million litres of renewable gasoline and generate over 20 million litres of water annually from wood waste.

Read More

Construction under way, but biomass debate continues

Sequim Gazette
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Harold Norlund and Paul Perlwitz don’t know why so many environmentalists oppose building a biomass-fueled cogeneration facility at the Nippon Paper Industries USA mill in Port Angeles… Norlund said if the appellants are successful in stopping the project the status quo will be maintained. That means the company’s current, less-efficient boiler will continue to burn biomass and the area timber companies will continue simply to burn on-site the slash piles that are created by logging operations. That would be unfortunate for the mill, the economy and the environment, Norlund said. 

Read More

Yosemite study shows size (of big trees) matters

by Eric Mortenson
The Oregonian
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Everyone admires big trees, but now forest researchers have demonstrated that towering firs, pines and cedars have value beyond good looks and impressive size. A study of a 63-acre section of Yosemite National Park showed large trees are “disproportionately responsible” for photosynthesis, according to a University of Washington news release. Trees convert carbon dioxide into plant tissue, and large trees can sequester that carbon for centuries. The news release quotes UW researcher James Lutz, an environmental and forest sciences researcher and lead author of the study.

Read More

Handful of heavyweight trees per acre are forest champs

Phys.Org
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Big trees three or more feet in diameter accounted for nearly half the biomass measured at a Yosemite National Park site, yet represented only one percent of the trees growing there. This means just a few towering white fir, sugar pine and incense cedars per acre at the Yosemite site are disproportionately responsible for photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide into plant tissue and sequestering that carbon in the forest, sometimes for centuries, according to James Lutz, a University of Washington research scientist in environmental and forest sciences. 

Read More

Sacramento’s Greenleaf Power delivering energy in SoCal

Sacramento Bee
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Sacramento-based Greenleaf Power, an owner and operator of green energy facilities, has begun delivering energy to the Imperial Irrigation District in Southern California… Greenleaf officials bill the Desert View facility as one of the largest biomass power plants in California. It currently employs 39. Desert View converts discarded wood waste into renewable energy. The facility collects wood waste from agricultural, construction and demolition activities.

Read More

Biomass is no renewable panacea

Letter by Randall Susman
Rutland Herald
May 3, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

This is an open letter to Rep. Tony Klein of the Vermont House of Representatives. I am writing to inquire about a statement you made that appeared on page 1 of the Rutland Herald last Wednesday, April 25. I refer to the article by Thatcher Moats entitled, “Biomass amendment runs into obstacle in Statehouse.” …So I would respectfully like to propose the following two things to Mr. Klein. First, and most important, I recommend you include the Benning amendment in the House budget bill and have a three-year moratorium on wood biomass until lawmakers can read and process the scientific, health, and environmental negatives of large-scale burning.

Read More

Tree pests worse with climate change

United Press International
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

NEW YORK, May 2 (UPI) — Climate change increases the risk to European spruce forests from destructive bark beetles because of rising temperatures and less rainfall, researchers say. Writing in the journal Climatic Change, scientists say low rainfall and warmer temperatures weakened the trees’ defenses against the bark beetle. In addition, dry conditions have encouraged the bark beetle to extend its range by moving to higher altitudes, Lorenzo Marini from the University of Padua in Italy said.

Read More