Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 20, 2012

Business & Politics

West Fraser second-quarter earnings, sales improve on higher lumber prices

Canadian Press
July 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Lumber producer West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. says its second-quarter profit and sales jumped from a year ago as lumber prices improved. The Vancouver-based company reported Thursday that second-quarter earnings after discontinued operations were $27 million, or 63 cents per share, up from $10 million or 24 cents per share in the same quarter of 2011. Revenues rose to $774 million from $720 million in the year-earlier period. The company said lumber prices rallied strongly as improved U.S. demand, along with continued demand from Asia helped raise sales.

Also
West Fraser profit rises on high lumber prices from the Reuters

Click here for press release from West Fraser Timber

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Tembec cleans up old Cranbrook mill site

Daily Townsman
July 18, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The old Tembec mill in Cranbrook will be remediated after the company received a $109,650 grant from the B.C. Ministry of Forests. The sawmill on Tembec’s 90-acre Cranbrook site was closed in 1998. The planer mill was operated until two years ago, and the kilns were closed down for good two months ago. Dennis Rounsville, Tembec’s President of the Forest Products Group, said the funding will allow Tembec to analyze the property to look for any contamination issues.

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GE Capital provides $110 million to Western Forest Products

Canada NewsWire (press release)
July 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TORONTO – GE Capital, Canada announced that it has refinanced the existing revolving term loan facility provided to Western Forest Products Inc. The facility has been increased by $35 million to a total of $110 million. With products sold in over 25 countries worldwide, Western is the largest coastal British Columbia woodland operator and lumber producer. Principal activities conducted by the company include timber harvesting, reforestation, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips and value-added remanufacturing.

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Mill insurance rates won’t spike

Prince George Citizen
July 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A rash of fatal accidents at area sawmills will not cause WorkSafeBC insurance rates to jump across the industry. …Prior to this year, there hadn’t been a fatality in an area mill since November 2006. However a spokeswoman for WorkSafeBC said the nature of the sawmill industry and the overall claims that are paid out each year means these types of accidents won’t cause worker’s compensation insurance rates to spike.

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Steelworkers approve Terrace Bay mill contract

More than 75 per cent of the union membership vote in favour of contract with Aditya Birla Group
CBC News
July 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Workers at Terrace Bay Pulp have ratified a collective agreement with Aditya Birla Group, an India-based company in the process of buying the mill. The contract includes some concessions. Steelworkers Union spokesperson Herb Daniher said workers will be responsible for 25 per cent of the cost of their benefits. In the previous contract, the employer covered 100 per cent of the cost. Daniher said the union also agreed to more liberal contracting-out language.

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New Page sale hinges on biomass, power costs

CBC News
July 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Not only will the mill in Port Hawkesbury get a big break on power if it reopens, but running the biomass generator at the plant could cost taxpayers more than they will gain from having the mill reopen. …It will be three more years before Nova Scotia Power needs biomass to meet its renewable energy requirements. The province passed a law requiring the power corporation to draw 25 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2015. Nonetheless, ratepayers will have to pay for the mill to operate, the Utility and Review Board heard Wednesday at hearings into Pacific West’s application for a reduced power rate. NSP has been busy weighing the cost of the plant against the amount the mill will contribute toward the project.

Also
NewPage power deal not a sure thing, N.S. regulator says from the Chronicle Herald
Nova Scotia Power customers should pay for biomass plant if necessary: premier from the Canadian Press
Taylor: No easy solution to NewPage problem from Chronicle Herald

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US, Canada Agree To Disagree Over Lumber Ruling

Tax-news.com
July 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

. …Nkenge Harmon, Deputy Assistant USTR, said: “We are disappointed with the outcome of this latest arbitration under the SLA. Despite this result, we remain concerned that BC provided publicly-owned timber harvested in its interior to softwood lumber producers for prices far below market value. The fair pricing of timber in BC is in the strong interest of the US and we will continue to monitor this closely.”  On the other hand, Fast’s reply welcomed the ruling, adding that the Canadian government applauded the tribunal’s decision in favour of its lumber industry. “This positive outcome” he concluded, “is the result of our close collaboration with provincial and industry partners and proof that the SLA is good for Canada’s forestry sector. We are committed to the success of the SLA, which has brought certainty and stability to a sector that is vital to the Canadian economy.”

Also
Arbiters reject US argument in timber dispute from the Associated Press
Canada timber decision disappoints from the Mainebiz

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Weyerhaeuser makes great strides toward 2020 sustainability goals

MarketWatch (press release)
July 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

FEDERAL WAY, Wash — Weyerhaeuser Company today announced its sustainability performance and progress for 2011 is available online at www.weyerhaeuser.com/sustainability. The website details Weyerhaeuser’s sustainability strategy, which supports its vision to deliver superior sustainable solutions for the world. The current strategy builds upon the company’s past sustainability performance, with an expanded set of commitments that are further integrated into business planning and processes.

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More cash likely for sawmill exits

ABC News, Australia
July 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Taxpayers could be forced to fund more sawmill buyouts to ensure the success of Tasmania’s forest peace deal. There is $15 million in the forest peace deal to buy out contracts owned by sawmills that will be affected by a reduction in native forest logging. There is speculation peace deal negotiators want to increase the funding pool. Sawmill owner Robert Torenius says the $15 million currently set aside is not enough to entice any of his colleagues to exit the industry.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

St. Louis fire chief questions building materials

Associated Press
July 19, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

ST. LOUIS — A fire that destroyed a 197-unit apartment building is stirring debate about the use of lightweight, synthetic building materials over brick and wood. …St. Louis buildings in the past were constructed primarily of masonry and other fire-resistant material. Often, only the roof and floor joists were made of wood. As a result, masonry walls would often remain standing in a fire, said Len Toenjes, president of Associated General Contractors of St. Louis. Modern structures are made largely of a wooden frame and veneers of brick or stucco. That allows fire to spread more quickly, though the risk to occupants has been partly offset by the advent of sprinklers, electronic detection of smoke and fire, and other safety innovations.

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Canterbury dominates Timber Design Award finalists

Star Canterbury
July 20, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Canterbury projects dominate the list of finalists in the 2012 NZ Wood Resene Timber Design Awards. Eleven of the 38 finalists were chosen from a record-breaking 93 entries from around the country. “New Zealand’s only Timber Design Awards achieved a massive jump in entries this year, reflecting the desire of professionals to differentiate themselves and their practices from the rest,” says NZ Wood CEO Jane Arnott. “Winning an NZ Wood Resene Timber Design Award provides a competitive edge that is compelling in a marketplace that values expertise.

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Out of the woods: adventures of 13 hardwood chairs

World Architecture News
July 20, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

For the last part in a series of London Festival of Architecture-focused events that have predominated on the Culture Blog lately, we’re taking a look at an unusual transatlantic collaboration. The American Hardwood Export Council – who may be familiar from the incredible Timber Wave sculpture that was erected outside the V&A last year – has teamed up with London’s Royal College of Art for a project in sustainable design.

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Forestry

BBC News Portugal’s Madeira hit by forest fires

Hundreds of Portuguese firefighters are battling forest fires raging in areas popular with tourists – the Algarve and the island of Madeira.
BBC News
July 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

Fires in Camacha and Santa Cruz on Madeira are threatening homes, but there are no reports of casualties. Dozens of people have abandoned their homes since fires began spreading in parts of Madeira on Wednesday. The Tavira district is worst affected in the Algarve. Spain has sent a Canadair water-bombing plane to help. High winds are said to be hampering efforts to contain the blazes. Portugal has been suffering from a heatwave, adding to a prolonged drought.

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Six Steps to a Healthier Timber Future for BC

TheTyee.ca
July 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Special Committee on Timber Supply was appointed by the Legislative Assembly on May 16, 2012 to examine and make recommendations to address the loss of mid-term timber supply in the central interior due to the pine beetle. Public hearings wrapped up July 12 but the committee is accepting submissions from the public ending today, July 20. Published here is the written submission made yesterday by Independent MLA Bob Simpson, Cariboo North, slightly edited.

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Emerald ash borer fight gets $1M injection

EMC Ottawa East
July 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The city is injecting a million dollars into its effort to battle the emerald ash borer. The tree-killing bug is ravaging ash across North America and the city has been working to stop it in its tracks since 2008.  Most of the combat strategy involves cutting down infected trees and replacing them with other tree varieties as well as injecting select trees with inoculants that can keep the trees alive. The additional money will allow the city to inject more trees and plant more replacements this year.

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Air Tankers: No Way to Fight Wildfires

Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…It’s been a dramatic year for fires, and a tragic year for aerial firefighters. Three planes have crashed since June, with six dead, raising questions about whether the government should be using newer, more advanced craft—and whether they should be fighting fires from the air at all. …Soon after the first crash this year, Congress passed and President Obama signed a law to speed up approval of seven new planes to update the Forest Service fleet. That may not be the answer. On July 1, a C-130 operated by the Air National Guard in conjunction with the Forest Service crashed in South Dakota.

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On the road to healthier forests; DNR outlines forest health hazard warning at public meetings

Washington DNR
July 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Last night, DNR met with the citizens of the City of Tonasket and surrounding areas to share information about the “forest health hazard warning” in eastern Okanogan County. After receiving recommendations last month from the Forest Health Technical Advisory Committee, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark intends to issue the hazard warning to focus attention and action to address ongoing forest insect infestations in areas that have been identified by the committee.

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WVU to bring forestry education to women’s prison

Associated Press
July 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University is bringing forestry education to a state women’s prison. On Aug. 7, faculty from WVU’s Division of Forestry and Natural Resources will travel to the Lakin Correctional Center in West Columbia to kick off a program to teach inmates about forestry. Forestry faculty will cover the basics of forest ecology, dendrology, silviculture and forest entomology during a three-hour workshop. After the workshop, participants will be given homework and then must complete an examination on the workshop and reading materials.

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Pro-forestry protester joins tree sit activist

ABC Online
July 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmanian police are monitoring a remote southern forest where a farmer has set up camp under a long running tree-sit protest by an anti-logging activist. Police were called to the remote Tyenna Valley last night after farmer Michael Hirst set up his own protest at the tree which has been home to Miranda Gibson since December. Mr Hirst represents a pro-logging group called “Give it Back”. He says members will take turns camping at the base of Ms Gibson’s tree to voice their side of the forest debate. “We’re simply here to get another side of the story across to the public,” he said.

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Pine Creek timber debate continues

Coffs Harbour Independent
July 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

FORESTS NSW has drawn on community feedback and recommendations from the koala management plan in finalising its planned harvest of a timber plantation in Pine Creek State Forest. The plan sets aside almost two thirds of the available plantation area in the compartments to provide for koalas. Forests NSW region manager Craig Busby said Forests NSW wanted to emphasise to the general public that the timber harvesting proposed for Pine Creek State Forest was from a hardwood plantation.

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Farmer chips in with protest

Weekly Times Now Australia
July 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A WESTBURY farmer has taken up the forestry fight against tree-sit protester Miranda Gibson in Tasmania. Michael Hirst, 47, yesterday set up camp at the base of the tree where Ms Gibson has been living on a platform 60m in the air for 219 days, The Mercury reports. Mr Hirst said he wanted to draw attention to the damage anti-forestry campaigns were causing to Tasmania.

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Experts: sustainable logging in rainforests impossible

Mongabay.com
July 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Industrial logging in primary tropical forests that is both sustainable and profitable is impossible, argues a new study in Bioscience, which finds that the ecology of tropical hardwoods makes logging with truly sustainable practices not only impractical, but completely unprofitable. Given this, the researchers recommend industrial logging subsidies be dropped from the UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program. The study, which adds to the growing debate about the role of logging in tropical forests, counters recent research making the case that well-managed logging could provide a “middle way” between conservation and outright conversion of forests to monocultures or pasture.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

$200M conversion coming for Atikokan coal plant

Biomass plant expected to be up-and-running by 2014
CBC News
July 20, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Atikokan’s power plant will finally be converted to burn wood pellets, or biomass, instead of coal. An announcement Thursday morning confirmed the provincial government will keep the plant open and go forward with the plan — one that has been in the works since 2006 — to adapt the plant. It’s one of the best pieces of news Atikokan’s Mayor Dennis Brown said he’s heard in a long time. The $200 million conversion will create 200 construction jobs and sustain existing jobs at the plant.

Also
Atikokan plant plan clears hurdle from the Chronicle Journal
Bill Mauro – This conversion of the Atikokan Generating Station is moving forward from the Netnews Ledger
Ontario to convert coal-fired plant to biomass from Toronto Sun
More Power from TB News Watch

Press Releases
Ontario Converts Coal Plant to Biomass, Creates 200 Job from the Ontario Government

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Bioenergy projects dominate EU innovation funding

Balkans.com Business News
July 19, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Among the five contenders in the lead to receive EU funding for innovative low-carbon energy projects, four are in the bioenergy sector. The European Commission yesterday announced the candidates in line to receive a share of proceeds from the sale of 300 million carbon credits from the new entrants’ reserve (NER). Money is being raised through the ‘NER 300’ programme in Phase III (2013-20) of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to fund innovative renewable energy and carbon capture and storage projects.

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Carbon News: Forester Says NZ Now Has “Clayton’s” ETS

Scoop Independent News
July 20, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme is now a Clayton’s scheme, says the man who spent five years fighting for carbon credits for forest owners. Roger Dickie, of the forestry investment company Roger Dickie New Zealand, is reported in New Zealand’s specialist carbon market information service, Carbon News, today as saying the Government’s decision not to restrict the free flow of international credits into the New Zealand market was “the final blow”. Carbon prices are at an all-time low in the wake of new uncertainty over the legality of the European Union’s plans to restrict carbon supply.

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Bioenergy projects set to benefit from new EU funding

BioEnergy News
July 20, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

It has been announced that four of the five contenders set to receive EU funding for innovative low-carbon energy projects come from the bioenergy sector. The European Commission has said the eventual recipients will receive a share of proceeds from the sale of 300 million carbon credits from the New Entrants’ Reserve (NER). Money will be raised through the NER 300 programme in Phase III (2013-20) of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to fund renewable energy and carbon capture/storage projects. 

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General

Experts: sustainable logging in rainforests impossible

Mongabay.com
July 19, 2012
Category: Uncategorised

Industrial logging in primary tropical forests that is both sustainable and profitable is impossible, argues a new study in Bioscience, which finds that the ecology of tropical hardwoods makes logging with truly sustainable practices not only impractical, but completely unprofitable. Given this, the researchers recommend industrial logging subsidies be dropped from the UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program. The study, which adds to the growing debate about the role of logging in tropical forests, counters recent research making the case that well-managed logging in old-growth rainforests could provide a “middle way” between conservation and outright conversion of forests to monocultures or pasture.

Read More