Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

Froggy Foibles

New Rat Species With ‘Fangs’ Found In Forest

A type of rat that lives off earthworms but has no teeth apart from a pair of incisors is found on an Indonesian island.
Sky News
August 22, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

An unusual species of rat that cannot gnaw or chew has been discovered, which scientists say is a new step in rodent evolution. The rodent, called paucidentomys vermidax, has fang-like upper incisors that are useless for gnawing and no back teeth. The rat, which lives exclusively on earthworms, was found in remote rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

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Business & Politics

Policy concerns raised by Sino-Forest case: lawyer

Financial Post
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Shareholders of disgraced timber company Sino-Forest can pursue claims against the firm’s former underwriters and auditors in class action lawsuits, though their recourse against the company and some of its directors is off the table as a result of a “plan of compromise and reorganization” unveilled last week. And while people who buy shares in companies have traditionally been at the end of the line to get money back from a firm that files for protection from creditors as Sino-Forest did — if there is any — an insolvency lawyer at Toronto firm Borden Ladner Gervais says the evolution of creditor protection rules has raised “policy concerns.”

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Increasing lumber consumption

IHB
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Softwood sawlog prices continued their slide throughout the world in the 2Q/12, and the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) was down for the fourth consecutive quarter to $82.90/m3. The Index was down 3.4 % from the 1Q/12, and 11.5 % from 2Q/11. Log prices were down in practically all major regions worldwide both in the local currencies and in US dollar terms, Western US and British Columbia being the only exceptions thanks to strong exports of lumber to Asia and higher demand for lumber in the US.

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WorkSafeBC not warned about dust in Prince George mill before fatal blast

By Gordon Hoekstra – Fire department had concerns about combustible dust in mill.
Vancouver Sun
August 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George fire department inspections that warned Lake-land Mills about combustible wood dust levels before a deadly explosion earlier this year were not communicated to the province’s key workplace regulatory agency, WorkSafeBC. That’s because there’s no requirement or formal arrangement for fire departments or the B.C. Fire Commissioner’s Office to share information with WorkSafeBC. The B.C. Safety Authority, which oversees industrial equipment safety, also did not learn about the fire department’s findings until after the explosion on April 23 that killed two workers and seriously burned others.

Dust levels flagged before BC sawmill explosion from CBC News

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Devastated B.C. mill closes again, possibly for last time

CBC News
August 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers at the Lakeland Mills planer in Prince George are once again out of a job after the last of the remaining inventory wood was put through the planer on Tuesday, meaning the mill will now shut down indefinitely. …The company is waiting on information from its insurance company and WorksafeBC before deciding whether or not to rebuild, according to Greg Stewart, president of Sinclair Group Forest Products, the company that owns the majority of the mill. Stewart said there’s a solid case to be made for rebuilding the mill.

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U.S. homebuilding turnaround spurs Interior log prices

Business in Vancouver
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Spruce, pine and fir log prices in the B.C. Interior bucked the global trend of falling prices by rising about 10% compared with a year ago, Hakan Ekstrom, president of Wood Resources International LLC, told Business in Vancouver yesterday. The U.S. racking up its highest homebuilding statistics in June was a large part of the reason, as was a rise in Chinese demand.

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New port proposed for embattled Skeena mill site

Native, coal company consortium aims to turn storied cellulose mill into shipping terminal
Business in Vancouver
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The old Skeena Cellulose pulp mill in Prince Rupert, idle since 2001 and subject of a long-running and headline-hitting fight to save it, finally has a potential buyer. But if the sale is approved – and there are major legal, environmental and regulatory hurdles to clear – the mill would not restart but would be developed into a new bulk shipping terminal and industrial park. Watson Island Development Corp. (WatCo) is offering the City of Prince Rupert $5 million for the old mill site and $500,000 for contiguous property from the District of Port Edwards.

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Consumer advocate says Newpage deal will cost ratepayers

CBC News
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province’s consumer advocate says he thinks the deal to help save the paper mill in Port Hawkesbury could add between $2 million and $7 million to the electrical bills of other Nova Scotians. John Merrick said the current plan has ratepayers helping to pay the final costs associated with starting a biomass facility at the paper mill and it’s unfair to ask other Nova Scotians to help carry the deal.

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Kruger pension vote clears air for workers

CBC News
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A union official is pushing to see the financial fate of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper determined before, he says, too much irreparable damage is done. Late last week, Kruger employees and retirees agreed to give the newsprint producer more time to repay money to its pension plan. But the company is still facing numerous challenges. Bruce Randell, the president of the Communications Energy and Paperworkers union local, said the prolonged uncertainty over the mill’s future is having a negative impact.

Last mill standing from The Telegram
NL: Mill Pensioners want to be kept in the loop from The Western Star

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Size of handout to paper mill raises questions

Chronicle Herald
August 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Darrell Dexter was between a rock and a hard place on the Point Tupper paper mill. Turning thumbs down on some level of provincial funding would have been wrong — and politically damaging for the premier and his NDP government. . …But, holy moly, did the new mill owner seriously need a whopping $124.5 million in taxpayers’ money to get the best supercalendered mill in North America back on its feet?

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Nova Scotia premier says consumer advocate is ‘wrong’ to criticize power deal

Canadian Press
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX – Premier Darrell Dexter is brushing off criticism from Nova Scotia’s consumer advocate that an electricity rate agreement for the idle NewPage Port Hawkesbury mill could end up costing power customers.  …Dexter dismissed Merrick’s criticism of the deal as “wrong” and
“unfortunate,” adding that the biomass facility is necessary to run the
mill.  “I’m very comfortable with this,” Dexter said Tuesday.

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Ecological group gives cautious thumbs-up to NewPage mill deal

Chronicle Herald
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An environmental advocacy group is cautiously applauding the Nova Scotia government’s fibre deal with the potential new owner of the former NewPage Port Hawkesbury paper mill. … Matt Miller, forestry campaign co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, said “looking at this agreement from a high level, it’s definitely an improvement. “But we’re going to have to see the final agreement to get a sense of how things are going to shake out on the ground in terms of implementation,” Miller said in an interview Tuesday.

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Pacific West deal removes 95,500 hectares for protection

Company is guaranteed 522,000 hectares of Crown land
CBC News
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

If Pacific West restarts the Port Hawkesbury mill formerly owned by NewPage, which it says it hopes to do next month, it does so with a guaranteed wood supply from 522,000 hectares of Crown land in Nova Scotia’s seven eastern counties. A total of 95,500 hectares have been removed from the old NewPage lease. Those lands will be up for protected area designation. The Nova Scotia government has also agreed to buy about 20,840 hectares of land from NewPage Port Hawkesbury for $20 million. That money would go to the mill’s creditors.

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US timber giant buys South East Forestry

Sky News Australia
August 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The South Australian government has struck a deal to sell future timber harvests in the state’s southeast. The government has agreed to sell the harvests to a consortium led by The Campbell Group (TCG) and a number of investors including Australia’s Future Fund, Treasurer Jack Snelling said on Wednesday. The sale process had generated strong interest from a range of experienced, high-quality forestry investors from around the world, he said. ‘TCG put forward the best proposal which included a very strong price,’ Mr Snelling said.

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Hedge fund wants Spokane’s Clearwater Paper sold in parts

Seattle Times
August 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen wants the board of Clearwater Paper to separate the Spokane-based company’s consumer products from its pulp and paper operations so either or both can be sold off, according to a regulatory filing Friday. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors met with Clearwater’s directors Thursday to urge they split the company and “pursue the divestiture of one or both businesses to one or more strategic and/or financial buyers,” the SAC filing says.

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Paper Mill cuts threat for power industry

New Zealand Herald
August 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Norske Skog Tasman’s plan to halve newsprint production at its Kawerau mill will have implications for the power generation industry if it goes through with it, says an industry analyst. The company, which accounts for about 2.9 per cent of New Zealand’s power demand, is looking at cutting its annual production to 150,000 tonnes from 300,000 tonnes because of dwindling domestic and offshore sales. The analyst, who requested anonymity, said the partial closure would further extend the “significant” generation over-capacity in the New Zealand electricity market.

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Converters demand cuts to NBSK and BEK pulp prices

EUWID Pulp and Paper
August 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

NBSK and BEK pulp prices remain under downward pressure on the European market. Additional price cuts can not be ruled out in August. Prices for northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp had been reduced in July and additional price cuts are not ruled out for August as many European paper manufacturers are calling for additional discounts for NBSK.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

MENSINGER: State wants to raise taxes on lumber purchases; what’s next?

Modesto Bee
August 21, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

MODESTO — The Tax Foundation rated California in 2012 as having the third worst business tax climate in the United States. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature continue to propose onerous new taxes and regulations on business, the latest a 1 percent tax on lumber, Assembly Bill 1492. This proposal is a poster child for all that is wrong and cynical about the political system in California. The idea came from forest owners. If the tax passes, the state would receive $30 million per year to spend on regulation and management of forest lands.

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Team investigates potential of bamboo for home construction

The Engineer
August 21, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Researchers from Bath University’s BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials are investigating the use of bamboo for the widespread construction of homes. According to a statement, bamboo holds a number of benefits over other construction materials as it grows extremely quickly, reaching maturity three times faster than hard woods, and is renowned for a strength that is comparable to steel.

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Forestry

After 50 years battling blazes, waterbomber retires to U.S

Victoria Times Colonist
August 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An aircraft that saved B.C. forests from wildfire for more than 50 years – including the 2003 fires in Kelowna – is headed for retirement in the U.S., where it’s expected to become a star attraction at an aviation museum. One of two Martin Mars aircraft, dubbed Philippine Mars, owned by the Coulson Group of Port Alberni, is heading south to its new role as a tourist attraction as the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. In exchange, Wayne Coulson is hoping to get a C-130 Hercules aircraft or a variety of parts from that model. Coulson owns a C-130 Hercules based in Sacramento, California.

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Feds walk away from environmental assessments on almost 500 projects in B.C.

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
August 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has washed its hands of environmental assessments of nearly 500 projects in B.C. as a result of a revised Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The 492 wide-ranging projects include gravel extraction on the lower Fraser River, run-of-river hydro projects and wind farms, bridge construction as well as demolition of the old Port Mann Bridge, shellfish aquaculture operations, hazardous-waste facilities and liquid-waste disposal.

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Time for investment in forests

by Tom Fletcher
Surrey Leader
August 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government’s emergency committee on timber supply has produced its report, but it leaves many of the big questions unanswered. …Ten years ago, the government removed the obligation for the province to reforest areas affected by disease and fire. This was not only at the peak of the epidemic, it was one year before devastating wildfires raced through the Interior in the summer of 2003. …The opposition, the auditor general and various forest experts have been blasting the government for the degraded state of the timber inventory, at a time when environmental changes have been sweeping.

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Select logging sees success

Terrace Standard
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local company is seeing success after trying out an alternative to clear-cut logging. Kalum Ventures Ltd, the forestry division of the Kitsumkalum Band’s economic arm, has been using selective logging practices for four cumulative months. Now, the company is seeing logs cut with this method off on ships to China despite a market that has softened for northwestern logs. The practice involves falling trees in select areas of a cutting permit, instead of clear cutting a large section.

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Thunderstorms keep B.C. forest firefighters on alert

CBC News
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hot, dry conditions and the risk of lightning strikes has firefighters in B.C. on high alert, but officials say the number of wildfires this year is actually well below the seasonal average. The fire danger rating for most of B.C. is high or extreme and Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Peace River, Prince George, Williston, Cariboo, McGregor and Yellowhead regions of eastern B.C.

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MLAs Blow Chance to Help Us See BC’s Next Forest Industry

By Bill Bourgeois- Here’s what’s missing from the Timber Supply Committee report on life after the pine beetle.
The Tyee
August 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…However, they chose to limit their comments on the issues specific to their narrow Terms of Reference while not taking the opportunity to provide leadership and innovation on key issues affecting the overall management of B.C.’s forests. The Committee grossly missed the point of what is needed for the future of B.C. forests. This is an opportunity lost! The report has deficiencies in a number of critical items required to move towards healthy and productive forests that support communities and provincial revenue.

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Letters: Forest Industry

Letter by Jens Wieting, Sierra Club B.C.
The Province
August 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West, International

Anthony Britneff and Ben Parfitt are spot on: the timber supply committee didn’t see the forest for the trees, despite the fact that there are so few left. Sierra Club B.C. and many other concerned stakeholders told the committee to not touch forests set aside to protect old-growth, wildlife and other important environmental functions.

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Liberal policies have failed forest communities

By Jim Sinclair
The Province
August 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The latest news out of Victoria has got to be a wake-up call for the B.C. Liberals. No, I’m not talking about the latest polling numbers — although you don’t need a degree in statistics to see how the dots connect between this latest news and the Clark government’s dismal showing in current polling numbers. I’m talking about the report by the legislature’s special committee on timber supply. The document details how 11 years of B.C. Liberal forest policy has undermined the future for forest workers and their communities. …Let’s start with basic information on our forest resource. The quality and reliability of B.C.’s forest inventory data has suffered as the B.C Liberals embraced the doctrine of “smaller government.”

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Final bid to stop Castle logging

Minister reviewing all options
Calgary Herald
August 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Groups opposed to logging in southwestern Alberta are making a last-ditch effort to persuade the government to stop the work in the Castle wilderness area and protect it from future development. On Thursday, representatives from a number of groups will meet with the minister of environment and sustain-able resource development at the McDougall Centre in Calgary. Sarah Elmeligi, senior conservation planner with CPAWS, said they hope to convince the province that protecting the area offers many advantages – including protection of critical wildlife habitat and support for recreational tourism.

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Wildfire rages near Clinton, B.C., causes evacuations

Canadian Press
August 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — A raging wildfire in British Columbia’s Cariboo region jumped a road Tuesday night, growing explosively within hours of being sparked to cover more than one square kilometre of parched woodland. A local state of emergency was declared in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District as the blaze, believed to have been started by a house fire 40 kilometres west of Clinton, threatened about 15 homes in the Big Bar area of B.C.’s southern Interior.

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Can’t We Grow Hemp Instead?

Port Hawkesbury’s ghost town status gets another extension, Pacific West makes off with the public coffers, and things aren’t really clear cut.
The Media Co-op
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Single-resource towns necessarily experience boom and bust periods, as fluctuations in global supply and demand are variables beyond immediate control. When it comes to softwood-derived paper products, the wrenching open of world supply, with very little in the way of effective monitoring as to sourcing, has created something of a “race to the bottom”. …“They ended up allowing themselves to be bullied into releasing a very weak definition,” says Miller. “On paper they’re going to be able to say ‘Yeah, we’re meeting our targets. We’re reducing clear-cutting.’ But in actual terms on the ground, there’s going to be virtually no improvement in the way we manage our forests.

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Idaho firefighter died in area deemed too dangerous by earlier crew

Reuters
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALMON, Idaho  – A young U.S. Forest Service firefighter killed this month in Idaho lost her life battling a blaze that an elite “Hotshots” squad had retreated from the day before, warning that conditions were too dangerous, a report from the crew revealed….  A day earlier, the Montana-based Flathead Hotshots, a team of highly trained Forest Service firefighters, had walked off the blaze amid conditions they described as “extremely unsafe” in a report posted on SAFENET, a Forest Service website that allows fire crews to report safety concerns anonymously.

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Massive Thinning Still On Track?

Payson Roundup
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The contractor who won the biggest forest thinning contract in history says he’s lining up investors, drawing up plans and will start cutting the first 5,000 acres of a 300,000-acre contract early next year. #However, skepticism remains deep among local officials who spent years working on behalf of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). …However, the task has been complicated by the closure of one of the few existing mills in the region in the White Mountains and the persistent criticism of the contract award by local officials and environmental groups that initially developed the collaborative 4FRI approach.

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Satellite Images Reveal Recovering Forest at Mount St. Helens

Audubon Magazine (blog)
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Footage from NASA’s Landsat satellites shows a unique overhead view of the infamous Mount St. Helens volcano. The time-lapse sequence documents the immense scale of destruction and the remarkable recovery in the three decades following the 1980 eruption. Collected by four different satellites, these images document the volcano and surrounding forest beginning just before the eruption. (Vegetation is shown as red in the first few images.)

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Fewer staff responsible for thrice as many trees since 1992

KVUE
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUSTIN — Austinites pride themselves on the city’s green and natural areas blanketed by an abundant tree canopy but a continued decrease in resources and the drought are creating a double whammy when it comes to caring for the city’s trees. “We’re having more trees in a dying stage with resources that are stagnant and so it’s created a situation where we have a lot of trees that are dying or need to be attended to,” said Pat Fuller with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

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Caraga intensifies anti-logging campaign

BusinessWorld Online Edition
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

CAGAYAN DE ORO — The campaign against illegal logging has been intensified in Caraga Region with the recovery of high-value illegally cut logs, the most recent of which was along the two rivers in Agusan del Sur on Monday afternoon, according to state information body.  The crackdown was led by the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force with support from the military and police, the statement said.

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Price not revealed for timber forward sale deal

ABC News, Australia
August 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forward timber rotations in the south-east of South Australia are to be sold to a consortium led by The Campbell Group (TCG), representing investors including the national Future Fund. SA Treasurer Jack Snelling said the sale process had generated strong interest from forestry investors globally. “TCG put forward the best proposal, which included a very strong price,” he said.

SA timber harvests sold as workers protest from the Herald Sun

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Pulp mill powers up

paNOW.com
August 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Prince Albert Pulp Mill is now generating power for the provincial grid after the refurbished biomass generators passed final testing and analysis this month. “About eight days ago the site became a green power generator for SaskPower,” said mill general manager Dale Patterson. “We’ve had some operating problems the last couple of days, but we’ll be back up and on the grid (Monday)” “All of our power now is acceptable as green power for SaskPower.”

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