Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 5, 2012

Business & Politics

BC sawmillls finally start to recover

by Gordon Hamilton – Rebound in U.S. housing starts a big factor, along with continued business from China
Vancouver Sun
October 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After half a decade of depression, British Columbia sawmills are once again humming and forest companies are in the black, hitched to the twin trains of China’s appetite for B.C. wood and improving U.S. housing demand. “From what we can see, this looks like a solid recovery,” Gerry Van Leeuwen, vice-president of the Vancouver research firm Wood Markets, said of the U.S. housing market. “The builders and the lumber dealers (in the U.S.) are pretty excited. They think this is for real; that the recovery is really happening.” Lumber companies are not expressing the same degree of optimism; they have been burned twice before by false starts from the U.S. in the last two years.

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Canfor’s Radium Mill gearing up for fall restart

Kootenay Business
October 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor, B.C.’s largest forestry product company, is busy getting their shuttered Radium Hot Springs sawmill back into production. The mill has been out of production since it was moth-balled back in the spring of 2009. Now with an infusion of over $38 million in cash, Canfor is re-configuring the sawmill to be a more efficient and state-of-the-art wood production facility. Plus the company is adding a whole new bio-energy generation plant to utilize the mill’s waste wood.

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U.S. launches trade inquiry into aid for Cape Breton paper mill

Globe and Mail
October 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The U.S. trade representative has started an inquiry under the North American free-trade agreement to determine whether the Nova Scotia government has offered improper subsidies to a Cape Breton paper mill.  Ron Kirk, in a letter released Thursday by a Maine congressman, said reports about the province’s $124-million financial aid package for the Port Hawkesbury Paper mill have raised “troubling questions” about potential injury to U.S. businesses.

US to investigate subsidies to Cape Breton mill from CBC News
US trade ambassador to investigate Canadian paper deal from The Morning Sentinel
US to investigate Nova Scotia paper mill deal for ‘possible subsidies’ from Bangor Daily News

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Dexter defends Crown land agreement with mill

CBC News
October 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Darrell Dexter is denying allegations that the province’s final licensing agreement with the Port Hawkesbury paper mill weakens forest protection on Crown lands where Stern is permitted to cut wood. The Ecology Action Centre contends the final agreement signed Friday between the province and Stern Partners Inc. — an affiliate of Pacific West Commercial Corp. — includes a clause that would allow the newly reopened mill to drop its certification by the Forest Stewardship Council. …But the final agreement with Stern Partners Inc. includes a clause allowing the mill to drop that practice.

Nova Scotia premier dismisses accusations over forestry protection from the Canadian Press

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Lumber mill plans Parshall operation

Sky Hi Daily News
October 5, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PARSHALL — Colorado Timber Resources LLC recently purchased the former Valley Recycling property where they plan to open a lumber mill by the end of October. The mill will be creating 2 x 4s from beetle killed trees in the area, giving Grand County an opportunity to grow economically while at the same time reducing the fire danger and making room for new growth in the area. The beetle kill 2 x 4s are as structurally sound as any other wood product on the market, said Dave Fiala, one of the five owners of the company.

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The untold story of the role of government in the rise and fall of Gunns

The Conversation
October 5, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The spotlight is shining on the collapsed Gunns, its former chairman John Gay, and the Tasmanian Government’s machinations to secure a pulpmill at all costs. But the pivotal role of successive Commonwealth Governments remains in darkness. Unravelling the part the Commonwealth Government has played in the saga is essential for resolving Tasmania’s forest conflict and – because there is nothing unique about Gunns or Tasmania – Australia’s forest conflict.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadian architecture floats with the crowds in Venice

Journal of Commerce
October 8, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

While Japan walks away with the big prize – the Golden Lion for best national representation at the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture – the 18 Canadian architects representing Canada’s entry – Migrating Landscapes – made a big impression at the prestigious Italian show. Each of the architect’s models is sited on an abstract wooden landscape — a striking display in itself of wood posts rising (some as tall as 24 feet) like a futuristic city skyline. …Hurme said the wooden landscape proved a magnet for visits, not just for its dramatic visual reference, but also because visitors are allowed to touch it and sit on it.

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Forestry Tour One to Remember for Chinese VIPs

Canada Wood
October 2, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last week COFI hosted a lively group of 25 enthusiastic builders and designers from China. Their goal over the seven day program was to learn as much as possible pertaining to the construction and design of wood buildings. …The week didn’t disappoint. The group’s intelligent questions were strong indicators that most participants possessed solid knowledge and experience before coming to Canada.

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Fort McMurray Airport Is The Largest Cross Laminated Timber Building In North America

Tree Hugger
October 4, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Office of McFarlane + Biggar Architects and Designers have used CLT in the new airport at the oil sands boomtown of Fort McMurray, Alberta. It’s a big airport (170,000 square feet) for such a small town, as a lot of the workers fly home to the Maritimes at the end of their shifts. The CLT is made at Structurlam’s new plant in Penticton, British Columbia; about 50% of the wood in it is beetle-kill pine, although the stuff people will see in the airport is what’s called J-Grade, without the distinctive tint of beetle-kill wood. The architect explains that “J stands for Japan, and it is specified as blue-stain free.”

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Forestry

Audit of TFL 54 on South Island finds issues

BC Forest Practices Board
October 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of MaMook Natural Resources Limited’s practices on Tree Farm Licence 54 on Vancouver Island found it met most requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, according to a report released today. However, the audit found some non-compliance with road maintenance and reporting requirements. “While the harvesting and road construction practices on TFL 54 met legal requirements, we found there was no system in place to ensure road and structure maintenance was done, and that reforestation obligations were not reported to government” said board chair Al Gorley.

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Backcountry road blocked for legal reasons

Prince George Citizen
October 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A road into one of the area’s most scenic backcountry destinations has been blocked to licensed vehicles. …The Dore West Road was unfortunately a line straight into legal liability, according to its overseer, Carrier Lumber of Prince George. They are, however, in negotiations with the provincial government to reopen it under a different liability model, but the threat of a lawsuit was too great and too real to put a legal target on their back, said company spokesman Terry Kuzma.

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Protected Natural Areas public input sought

DNR will choose 122,000 hectares of forested Crown land to protect
CBC News
October 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on which forested areas of the province should be protected forever. But the amount of land the government plans to protect remains just a fraction of what some other provinces are protecting. The department has identified 190 candidate sites, totalling 143,000 hectares, said Minister Bruce Northrup. He expects about 122,000 hectares will be designated Protected Natural Areas (PNAs), which would double the amount of forested Crown land under permanent protection to eight per cent.

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Report claims forest certification monopoly driving up prices

Packaging Digest
October 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Forest certification is becoming an important tool in balancing resource sustainability and economic viability, but there is growing confusion in the marketplace over certification standards and eco labels. According to a new report by the American Consumer Institute (ACI) Center for Citizen Research, that confusion could be driving up prices by as much as 15 to 20 percent for consumers who are willing to pay more for sustainable wood and paper products but may not actually be getting something that is better for the environment.

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Dangerously dry

The Register-Guard
October 5, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The last time it was this dry around here, gas cost 15 cents a gallon. If you could get it, that is. That was 1942, and World War II rationing limited people to three gallons a week. …A fire season that typically starts to wane around Labor Day instead is making a potentially dangerous run into autumn. “We’re very nervous,” said Steve McNulty, area leader for Weyerhaeuser Co.’s southern Willamette Valley forests. “If a fire starts now, it’s going to be extremely difficult to fight. We’re on edge.”

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State Awaits Outcome of Remaining Roadless Forest Lawsuits

Alaska Public Radio Network
October 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state of Alaska has the only remaining legal challenge pending against a nationwide ban on logging and road building on roadless forest lands. That’s after the U.S. Supreme Court decided this week not to hear an appeal on a lawsuit brought by the state of Wyoming and a mining industry group from Colorado. The 2001 federal rule prohibits new road construction, reconstruction or logging on large undeveloped areas of national forest land across the U.S. That includes parts of the Tongass and Chugach national forests in Alaska. The U.S. Supreme this month decided not to hear an appeal of a tenth circuit court decision upholding the rule.

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The Premier fires up the forest peace pipe

ABC News, Australia
October 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

It is unclear whether last-minute talks between the forest industry and the Premier have saved Tasmania’s forest peace talks. Members of the Forest Industries Association will meet today to decide whether to permanently abandon the peace talks. …The Premier, Lara Giddings, met with association and other industry groups from the forest peace talks yesterday. Ms Giddings has not indicated whether she persuaded the groups to return to talks.

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FIAT to stay in peace talks

ABC News, Australia
October 5, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Forest Industries Association has decided to give Tasmania’s forest peace talks another chance. The group, which represents large saw millers and veneer processor Ta Ann, suspended its involvement in the talks last month over the Government’s plan to overhaul Forestry Tasmania. Members met today to vote on whether to walk out permanently. The chief executive, Terry Edwards, says it was a tight vote but a last minute letter from the Premier Lara Giddings prompted the group to return to the table.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

$20M injection for Ottawa biofuel firm

Ensyyn Corp. to work with Brazilian pulp giant to product oil alternative
Ottawa Citizen
October 5, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — Ensyn Corp., a low-profile Ottawa biofuel company whose technology turns wood waste to fuel, has landed a $20-million investment by Fibria Celulose, a Brazilian giant of the global pulp industry. The injection effectively values Ensyn at more than $330 million — a big-ticket price that could lead to a stock market launch or a takeover bid by big oil companies under pressure to meet government renewable energy targets. …The process quickly heats wood chips and sawdust, sugar cane, palm
stalks and other waste in the absence of oxygen and generates “a liquid
that looks like espresso,” according to Graham.

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