Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 18, 2012

Business & Politics

Framework in place to help rebuild Burns Lake mill

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNS LAKE – The B.C. government welcomed today’s news that Hampton Affiliates are one step closer to rebuilding the Babine Forest Products mill. Hampton Affiliates has said that it intends to rebuild the Babine Forest Products mill subject to certain conditions being met, and that a final decision would be made at its December board meeting.

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BC government concerned about sawmill fire-inspections gaps

Labour, justice ministers pledge to expedite inspection plan
Vancouver Sun
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government said Monday it expects to have “details” in 60 to 90 days on a plan to close fire-inspection gaps at sawmills, after revelations many mills are going without inspections. The importance of fire inspections at sawmills came to public attention this year after sawmills in Burns Lake and Prince George exploded and burned, killing four workers and injuring dozens of others. The Vancouver Sun reported Monday that many B.C. sawmills are going without fire inspections even though provincial law requires municipalities to inspect all public buildings regularly.

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Owners say mill destroyed by explosion in Burns Lake, BC, will be rebuilt

TheTyee.ca
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNS LAKE, B.C. – A northern British Columbia sawmill that was flattened by a deadly explosion will be rebuilt with leading-edge safety measures, but deals must first be finalized to ensure a sufficient timber supply. Mill owner Hampton Affiliates announced Monday it has decided to reinvest in the Burns Lake, B.C. operation gutted by fire last January, even as its president called lumber availability “precarious” due to the region’s pine beetle scourge.

Hampton Affiliates to rebuild the Babine sawmill from Lesprom
Burns Lake Sawmill to be rebuilt with conditions from CBC News
From the Ashes from Prince George Citizen
Province finds more wood for Babine from Prince George Citizen

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Softwood exports up on recovering U.S. demand

Globe and Mail
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry executive Steven Hofer has grown accustomed to getting the cold shoulder during sales trips. But on a swing through the U.S. Midwest two weeks ago, orders for softwood lumber began pouring in. During a visit to St. Louis, managers at wood distributors and retail lumber yards told him what he has been waiting years to hear – American consumers are back in the market for new homes and developers are building multi-unit residences again. The pattern of healthy orders for lumber repeated itself at other stops made by Mr. Hofer, vice-president of sales and marketing for International Forest Products Ltd.

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Prospective owner of NewPage mill loses bid to pay less tax

Canadian Press
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia municipality has won its legal battle to retain a 10-year-tax deal with the prospective owners of the NewPage Port Hawkesbury paper mill. Judge John Murphy of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court rejected a bid Monday by Pacific West Commercial Corp. to cancel the deal that was reached with the mill’s former owner, Stora Enso, in 2006. A spokesman for Pacific West Commercial could not be reached for comment, but the chief restructuring officer for the court-appointed monitor overseeing the sale of the mill said the decision shouldn’t have an impact on whether the plant will reopen.

Vancouver-based Pacific West Commercial loses tax case on Nova Scotia paper mill from The Vancouver Sun

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TAYLOR: NewPage owners getting sweetheart deal from N.S.

Chronicle Herald
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The new owners of the former NewPage Port Hawkesbury paper mill must think they have died and gone to heaven. Pacific West Commercial Corp. has agreed to pay $33 million for the assets of the Cape Breton paper plant, but it is getting much more than that in financial assistance from the provincial government, despite a small setback dealt by Canada Revenue Agency last week. … Even with that earned support, the province will still come out a bit further ahead under this deal, with more tax revenue than it would have under the previous deal structure,

NS to sweeten NewPage pot from the Chronicle Herald

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Plan to save Malheur Lumber Co. sawmill stems from unusual alliance

The Oregonian
September 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

JOHN DAY — A new plan to keep an imperiled sawmill running and save up to 70 rural jobs emerged from work by Oregon’s congressional delegation, Gov. John Kitzhaber and an improbable collection of veteran tree huggers, timber industry woods bosses, local leaders and the U.S. Forest Service. “Had you told me 10 years ago that I would be trying to keep a mill open in eastern Oregon, I would have said you’re crazy, but things change,” said Susan Jane Brown, Portland-based staff attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center.

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Austria’s sawmilling industry lamenting loss of market shares to Scandinavian businesses

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
September 18, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Austrian timber industry association believes Austria’s sawmills lost considerable market shares on export markets for softwood lumber in 2012. At the press conference at the 52nd “Internationale Holzmesse” in Klagenfurt on 31 August, association representatives drew attention to the growth in market shares held by Finnish and Swedish sawmills on export markets in North Africa and the Middle East. 

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Costs of wood fiber going down

IHB
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Wood fiber costs for the world’s pulp mills were down again in the 2Q/2012. Prices for wood chips and pulplogs in both local currencies and in US dollars fell in most of the 17 regions tracked by the Wood Resource Quarterly. Uncertainty in demand for pulp, lower pulp and paper prices, reduced market pulp production and a healthy supply of sawmill residuals were all factors that put downward pressure on wood fiber prices this spring and early summer. …The biggest price declines for hardwood fiber from the 1Q/12 to 2Q/12 occurred in Brazil, the US Northwest, Australia and Eastern Canada. 

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Kirkmabreck timber port revamp plan ‘could cost £250000’

BBC News
September 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

It has been estimated an investment of £250,000 would be needed to bring a disused Galloway harbour back into use as a commercial timber port. The costs have been calculated on the back of a feasibility study into the re-opening of the Kirkmabreck Pier. The site near Creetown was previously used to ship quarry materials but has lain dormant since the 1990s. Owners Tarmac are keen to re-open the harbour and have been exploring the timber transport option.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

World Green Building Week 2012

‘Green Buildings for Great Communities’ is the theme for World Green Building Week 2012.
Mother Nature Network (blog)
September 17, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Today marks the start of World Green Building Week 2012. This year’s theme is ‘Green Buildings for Great Communities’, which was selected to help highlight the important role that green buildings play in creating and sustaining green cities.

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On your marks for fire protection

Timber Trades Journal
September 17, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Jacqui Hughes, fire retardant sales manager at Lonza Wood Protection, explains how the advent of compulsory CE marking will make it even more important that fire performance claims are supported Under the EU Construction Products Regulation, from July 2013, all timber and plywood going into construction projects will need to be CE marked. It is the responsibility of the company or individual that markets the product under their name or trademark to ensure that the wood products are CE marked, and it is they who will assume legal responsibility for the conformity of the performance of that product. In the vast majority of cases this means the timber merchant.

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Forestry

BC ministry confirms timeline of response to Okanagan forest fire

Canadian Press
September 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – The first water-dropping helicopter was en route to a fast-moving forest fire in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley nearly half an hour after it was first reported, according to a timeline compiled by the provincial government, which says an initial review has found the response was fast and well co-ordinated. The fire started in high winds just outside of Peachland on Sept. 9, causing 1,500 residents to flee and destroying four houses. Newly released audio recordings of RCMP radio dispatches detailed the initial response, as Mounties on the ground called for help and at times appeared frustrated that firefighters were not on the scene sooner.

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Efforts begin to restore American chestnut tree

The Journal Press
September 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Natural Resource Conservation Service is cooperating with several southeast Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Indiana Farm Bureau to restore the American chestnut to working woodlands in southeast Indiana through an agro-forestry initiative.  The American chestnut was once an Indiana keystone timber and nut producing tree that provided valuable rot resistant lumber equivalent to cedar wood, while producing copious ecosystem services that includes consistent annual production of a highly nutritious and profitable nut crop cherished by man.

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Wildfire danger level rises in NW Oregon

KAST 1370AM
September 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Continuing warm weather and tinder-dry forest conditions prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to increase fire safety restrictions on industrial activity on private and non-federal public forestlands in a portion of northwestern Oregon effective at noon today, Sept. 17. The tightening of rules on work activities also affects recreational off-road vehicle users in portions of the Clatsop and Tillamook State Forests.

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Canadians cross the border to help fight wildfires

WDNR Blog Ear to the Ground
September 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With Washington’s large, troublesome wildfires, Canadian firefighters were called in over the weekend to assist. On Sunday, fifty five of these firefighters attended a brief orientation from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Forty eight more will receive the same orientation today. The Canadian firefighters come well-trained to fight wildland fires, however, they had to complete a fire shelter training test in order to fight fire in the United States.

BC to assist Washington with wildfire activity from the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

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Forest Survey Questions Effect of Prescribed Burns

New York Times
September 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. — …Scientists are at loggerheads over whether there is an ecological advantage to thinning forests and using prescribed fire to reduce fuel for subsequent fires — or whether those methods actually diminish ecological processes and biodiversity. The United States Forest Service, which manages nearly 200 million acres of public land, believes limited thinning and burning will prevent catastrophic wildfires. The agency contracts with logging companies to cut down large and small trees across sweeping landscapes, and uses prescribed fire. Besides protecting homes, experts say, these methods also recreate the natural state of the forest.

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Environmental Protection Up in Smoke

Tree Frog says – This story requires a subscription to the WSJ, but if you have one, it’s likely worth looking at.
Wall Street Journal
September 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When the wildfires that are burning millions of acres in the West are finally smothered by winter snows, environmentalists undoubtedly will blame climate change. They might look in the mirror instead. Environmental laws since the 1970s require public input into federal land-use decisions including logging on national forests. This has led to lawsuits challenging efforts by the U.S. Forest Service to prevent forest fires by thinning out trees (most of which are dead or diseased) and brush by machines and carefully controlled burns. This dead wood is the fuel that feeds catastrophic wildfires.

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Disease-carrying beetle may kill thousands of trees in Pinellas, Hillsborough

Tampabay.com
September 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A deadly menace has turned up in the Tampa Bay area, threatening to kill thousands of trees. The exotic pest called the red bay ambrosia beetle is smaller than a grain of rice, but it’s causing big problems for red bay laurel trees and their cousins, swamp bay trees and avocado trees. The beetle brings with it a ferocious, fast-spreading epidemic called laurel wilt disease. There is no cure.

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Australian workers chop down 140 trees in 13-year-long study

Telegraph.co.uk
September 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Maintenance workers at an Australian university accidentally chopped down more than 140 trees planted by researchers over a decade ago to find a cure for a fatal tree disease. The University of Adelaide says the razing of the fenced-off trees completely destroyed its research and has sued the contractor for more than $AUS1 million. The trees were being used to find a cure for Mundulla Yellows disease, an affliction which kills eucalypts and has spread across the entire country since the 1970s.

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Pressure mounts over Forestry boss’ exit

The Acting Premier Bryan Green is under mounting pressure to explain apparent broken promises
ABC Online
September 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Miles Hampton quit yesterday as chairman of the struggling state-owned company, after only three weeks in the job. He said he had lost faith in the State Government. “In my view the Government’s direction is not in the best interests of the company,” he said. In his parting swipe, he said Mr Green made personal assurances the company would not be split in two, as announced last month.

Parting shot from Forestry Tasmania boss (video) from the ABC News, Australia

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood Energy Conference to meet in Ketchikan

SitNews
September 17, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Ketchikan, Alaska – The 2012 Alaska Wood Energy Conference is scheduled for Oct. 9–10 and will be held at the Ted Ferry Civic Center in downtown Ketchikan. The conference will focus on community use of wood biomass. Many communities in Alaska are turning to locally available woody biomass resources to reduce their energy costs and create economic opportunities for their residents. The 2012 Alaska Wood Energy Conference sessions will feature community leaders and decision-makers who will discuss their communities’ experiences after making the decision to include woody biomass as part of their energy services.

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