Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 31, 2012

Business & Politics

Safety responsibility at mills in need of review, union says

by Gordon Hoekstra – Explosions killed workers in Burns Lake and Prince George this year
Vancouver Sun
August 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The United Steelworkers is calling on the provincial government to order a formal review of responsibility among safety agencies for two northern B.C. sawmills where explosions earlier this year killed four workers. The union, which represents workers at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake and Lake-land Mills in Prince George, said Thursday the request was sparked by recent Vancouver Sun stories detailing the lack of coordination on safety between agencies for the two sawmills. A Sun story Monday revealed Babine Forest Products had not been visited by fire inspectors under the federal or provincial fire code for years, and possibly never, before a deadly explosion and fire on Jan. 20.

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Judge clears way for CB mill to get operation-ready

$2 million made available to ramp up activities
Chronicle Herald
August 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Time to sweep out the cobwebs and grease up the equipment at the former NewPage Port Hawkesbury mill. A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge granted an order Thursday allowing $2 million to be spent ramping up the Cape Breton paper mill. The approval gives prospective mill buyer Pacific West Commercial Corp. the green light to bring back laid-off workers, order materials and supplies and prepare the mill for a quick restart. The $2-million fund includes $500,000 from Pacific West, $1.2 million from the province’s existing financial assistance fund to keep the mill in a hot-idle state and a $300,000 contingency fund the province previously earmarked for Pacific West to spend on marketing.

Court approves $1.5m to ramp up NewPage mill from The Canadian Press

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Mills add value but can’t get wood (with video)

Chronicle Herald
August 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

WESTVILLE — The one sector of the province’s forest industry that hasn’t required large-scale government subsidies is being hampered by an inability to access high-value softwoods and hardwoods. And it’s not because of a lack of supply. A 2008 Natural Resources Department State of the Forest report points to an increasing amount of white pine, sugar maple and yellow birch, enough to meet the needs of the province’s relatively small, high-value, woods industry.

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Gunns announces massive $900m loss

ABC News, Australia
August 31, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Tasmanian forest products company Gunns has reported a net loss of $904 million for the past financial year. This compares to an almost $356 million loss for the previous 12 months. The company blamed the costs associated with a major restructure and the state of the export woodchip market, which forced significant write-downs of forestry assets and its pulp mill project. Gunns told the stock exchange that underlying earnings for the period were nearly $30 million, down from nearly $42 million in the previous 12 months.

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Stora Enso acquires Rets Timber

Pulp and Paper News
August 31, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Stora Enso Building and Living has today acquired UPM Kymmene’s 50% shareholding in the sawn timber trading company RETS Timber Oy Ltd. The acquisition makes Stora Enso Building and Living the sole owner of RETS Timber. The transaction is effective immediately. RETS Timber is a leading European softwood sawn products supplier to the Middle East and North Africa.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wooden skyscrapers

The Economist
August 30, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

WHEN life hands you lemons, goes the old saw, make lemonade. But what if life should hand you 18m hectares (44m acres) of dead trees? That is the problem faced by the province of British Columbia in Canada, which could lose over half its pine trees to the depredations of the fearsome mountain pine beetle. …So, to deal with the problem, in 2009 British Columbia’s parliament passed a Wood First Act that requires wood to be considered as the primary construction material in all new buildings erected with public money.

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Strong Flooring Industry Demand Bolsters Hardwood Sales

Woodworking Network
August 31, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Residential flooring sales were brisk in the U.S., and prices for most unfinished strip flooring items edged up again last week. Several flooring plants in the South and Appalachian Area 1—facing heavy competition from one another as well as from truck trailer flooring plants—raised green lumber purchase prices. Interestingly, one strip flooring manufacturer temporarily shut down because its margins became too thin; “We plan to sell flooring at a profit and not a loss.” Lumber purchasing by truck trailer flooring plants was quite good.

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Forestry

A change in course

National Post
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Educators are responding to the dramatic changes in the forestry industry with innovative programs that put the sector’s needs in focus. “Things are changing and we have changed,” says Ulf Runesson dean of the faculty of natural resources management at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. “It’s not just because of what happened in the industry,” he says. “It’s also society’s view on how we manage crown lands. Our programs are changing to better situate students to deal with a world in which industry, government and local communities are working together.”

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New tree falling guidelines improve B.C. forest safety

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – New guidelines specifying the qualifications of falling supervisors will improve safety for those working in the woods. Effective April 1, 2013, all forestry-related falling activity under a Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations contract must have a designated falling supervisor, although the supervisor does not need to be at the site at all times.

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Wells Gray gateway at risk from logging, residents say

Kamloops Daily News
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor won’t talk about its proposed logging beside Wells Gray Park and the Ministry of Forests is saying little. But residents who live at the gateway to the park say proposed large-scale salvage logging in an unroaded area threatens ecology, water quality and millions of dollars in tourism revenues. “When you hit Second Canyon (en route from Clearwater to the park) it’s a prime view. The right-hand side will be logged,” said resident and retired faller Steve Murray. “That view is worth millions to us and the world. Who wants to drive through 40 minutes of cutblocks to see the park?”

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IT plans on mid-September for start date of harvesting

Alberni Valley Times
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Slow and steady usually wins the race, but opponents to the planned logging in the Cold Creek area believe it does not matter how slowly the trees come down, the end result is a clearcut hillside. Island Timberlands has plans to start logging operations in the Cold Creek area, between Coombs Country Candy and the Lookout, in mid-September, depending on the fire risk in the area. Morgan Kennah, manager of sustainable timberlands and community affairs for Island Timberlands said during the harvesting time they will be closing the recreational trails.

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Atikamekw First Nation blockades may continue

Montreal Gazette
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s zero hour for leaders in the Atikamekw First Nation. Last month, chiefs in three impoverished Atikamekw communities gave the provincial government an ultimatum: resolve a 33-year-old land d…. About 30 people in the Aboriginal reserves set up checkpoints to prevent Kruger’s trucks from carrying lumber through their territory in June and early July. They also blocked all CN Rail line traffic passing through Atikamekw land.

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Montana wildfires burn homes, cause injuries

Associated Press
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS, Mont. — Firefighters struggled Thursday to gain control of major Montana wildfires that burned houses and caused injuries, even as crews rushed to tamp down new blazes before the flames spread. The toll from the latest spate of fires remained uncertain. But at least three evacuation orders were in place and well over 150 homes were threatened by blazes that in some cases burned unchecked.

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Progress reported on fire burning in Mendocino Forest

Enterprise-Record
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COVELO — Firefighters made good progress Thursday on the North Pass Fire, burning northeast of Covelo on the west side of the Mendocino National Forest. Containment jumped 9 percent to 37 percent, and the fire burned less than 200 acres Thursday for a new total of 34,308. Four homes and seven outbuildings have burned. The fire that started by lightning on Aug. 18 is burning north by long-range spotting, fire crowning trees and torching of trees, fire officials said, and is producing a lot of smoke.

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Forests NSW braces for bad fire summer

ABC News, Australia
August 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forests New South Wales says it is gearing up for a tough bushfire season along the north coast. It says it could be the worst season for forest fires since 2009. The Forests NSW North East Region operations manager Tom Newby says there has been a rapid decline in the moisture content of forests between Macksville and the Queensland border in the past month with little rain.

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Gisbourne Council taking forestry company to court

Newstalk ZB
August 31, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Gisborne District Council’s is taking legal action against a forestry company under the Resource Management Act. It’s lodged a prosecution in the District Court against Hikurangi Forest Farms, relating to forest roading and harvesting activities carried out earlier this year at Waimanu Forest. The Council alleges the company breached several conditions of its resource consent for harvesting – that forestry roads were significantly wider than consented, batter slopes were larger, and as a result there were significant downstream effects on water quality of the Pouawa Stream.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Millar Western to implement bioenergy project

Canada NewsWire (press release)
August 30, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

WHITECOURT, AB,- Millar Western Forest Products Ltd. announced today that it will proceed with construction of a $42 million bioenergy facility at its bleached chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp (BCTMP) mill at Whitecourt, Alberta. The project will involve integration of anaerobic hybrid digesters (AHDs) into the BCTMP mill’s existing aerobic effluent treatment system. The AHD units will recover organic material from the pulp mill’s effluent stream and convert it to a biogas.

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Industrial plantation forestry needs carbon price to be profitable

Science Network Western Australia
August 31, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A NEW study conducted by researchers from CSIRO and the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) suggests industrial plantation forestry could potentially contribute towards Australia’s national target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) if a carbon price is in place. The study found the expansion of new plantation estates into cleared agricultural land is not economically viable without a carbon price, largely due to the high costs of purchasing land.

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