Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

Business & Politics

OSC cracks down on Sino-Forest auditors

Globe and Mail
December 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP has been accused by regulators of failing to properly scrutinize the books of failed forestry company Sino-Forest Corp., marking a rare case of auditors facing allegations of wrongdoing by the Ontario Securities Commission. The case was announced Monday just as lawyers for Sino-Forest’s shareholders were also revealing they had reached a record $117-million settlement with E&Y late last week. The settlement is the largest class-action lawsuit payment by an audit firm in Canadian history.

OSC accuses Ernst & Young as firm settles Sino-Forest class action suit from National Post

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Monitoring data shows air quality declining

Hinton Parklander
December 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sulphur levels in the Hinton air have trended slightly upwards over the past five years, according to data collected by air monitoring groups. …Brian Grantham, general manager of Hinton Pulp, said the majority, though not all, of TRS in the air is caused by the mill, but added they aren’t sure why the levels have gradually been increasing. “We’re undertaking a study right now to ascertain that,” he said, noting they’re working with a privately contracted environmental modelling company.

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Plans to rebuild gutted Burns Lake sawmill threatened

Globe and Mail
December 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The future of Burns Lake’s gutted sawmill is expected to be announced Tuesday. But those plans could be delayed or derailed by a decision last week by the provincial workplace safety agency that opens the door to possible charges related to the blast that destroyed the Babine Forest Products mill. …The board of Hampton Affiliates, owners of the Babine mill, was scheduled to meet Monday, and the company’s CEO Steve Zika is expected to announce the decision in Burns Lake on Tuesday, 11 months after a deadly explosion levelled the town’s main source of employment.

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Boise offer to buy mill a rumour: MP

Fort Frances Times Online
December 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rumours that Boise has offered to buy the local mill are just that: rumours. Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty said he asked Resolute Forest Products president Richard Garneau about such an offer when he and Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell met with Garneau last Thursday night in Toronto. I asked him about Boise and when I said that, he kind of chuckled a little bit and said, ‘That’s the first I’ve heard of it,’” Rafferty noted this morning. “You know how rumours are.

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Lumber industry rebounding, but still below pre-housing bust levels

Record Searchlight
November 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

While the north state’s forest products industry is rebounding from the construction depression, production levels are still below where they were before the housing bust. “You are seeing an uptick in demand, but it is relative to a very low starting point,” said Mark Pawlicki of Sierra Pacific Industries in Anderson. “The last few years have been so bad. So any increase at all looks pretty significant.” For example, says Pawlicki, U.S. housing starts are expected to edge near 800,000 this year, but that’s below the long-term average of more than 1 million.

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Gunns chairman leaves

ABC News, Australia
December 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The chairman of the board of the collapsed Tasmanian timber company Gunns has left the position, along with two other directors. The stock exchange has been told about the departure of Christopher Newman last week. Mr Newman was appointed chairman in 2010 and has been a director since 2001.

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Forestry

Video Feature: Forestry: It’s More Than Logging

Website and video feature submitted by a Tree Frog subscriber
Association of BC Forest Professionals
December 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


The Association of BC Professional Foresters has recently created 2 videos aimed at promoting the forest industry to young people as an excellent career option. The videos profile the interesting variety of jobs that make up the industry. Check them out.

Forestry Needs Brains Not Brawn video from the ABCFP

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Business, First Nations seek path to prosperity

by Gordon Hamilton – Panel discussions will focus on success stories to develop a template for future interaction
Vancouver Sun
December 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If companies want to know the secret of doing business with First Nations, the first thing to learn is that it’s not all about money. That’s the message Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross will be taking to a business-First Nations symposium in Vancouver Tuesday.. …You are dealing with economic certainty around aboriginal rights and title, but underneath that there are ways to talk to First Nations, to interact with them and negotiate with them, and that’s what we want to highlight.” He described LNG projects and LNG pipelines, forestry and mining projects as examples that have largely obtained First Nations’ support.

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Logging Protest on Cortes Island: Media Misinformation

PFLA
December 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Protestors on Cortes Island are blocking Island Timberlands’ crews from harvesting timber on their privately owned land. You’ve likely seen video coverage of the Cortes Island situation or read news stories about the logging protest. We’ve included a video below from CTV News Vancouver Island (aired Friday, November 30th, 2012) for the purpose of correcting misinformation. …:  “… facing challenges with these privately managed forest companies not having any legally binding regulations on their lands.”  This statement is completely false.

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Forestry worker worries over chemical exposure

People exposed to chemical 2,4,5-T still waiting for report on Agent Orange
CBC News
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A northern Ontario mans says it’s time for answers about his exposure to a dangerous herbicide. It’s been almost two years since the province formed a panel to investigate the use of 2,4,5-T — a chemical ingredient in the infamous herbicide Agent Orange. The herbicide was used extensively in Ontario to clear brush in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. …University of Guelph scientist and panel chair Len Ritter said there are no answers yet because there are so many records through which to sift.

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‘Longest running’ First Nations blockade continues

Grassy Narrows First Nation marks 10 years of resistance
CBC News
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

First Nations activists were back at the blockade on Monday after celebrating a decade of turning back logging trucks from Grassy Narrows traditional lands. The road block first went up at Slant Lake, about 600 km northwest of Thunder Bay, on Dec. 2, 2002. …“Because of the forest suffering, we as a people also suffer because … the forest is a part of who we are,” DaSilva said. “It’s a part of our lives and anything that destroys that, we feel it right away.”

Video: Sacred fires mark 10th year of Grassy Narrows blockade from Globe and Mail

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Ontario Releases Action Plan to Protect Biodiversity

Government of Ontario
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario is improving protection of its forests, lakes, animals, plants and citizens through the implementation of a new biodiversity plan.   The plan, Biodiversity: It’s in Our Nature, identifies over 100 activities the province will undertake with industry, environmental and community partners over the next decade to protect biodiversity. These activities respond to the recommendations of the Ontario Biodiversity Council’s 2011 strategy including:  Continuing to integrate biodiversity conservation in school curricula, as appropriate, from kindergarten to Grade 12.

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E.P.A. Rule Complicates Runoff Case for Justices

The New York Times
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. did not seem happy during a Supreme Court argument on Monday about whether the Clean Water Act applies to runoff from logging roads. The source of his frustration was a last-minute action from the Environmental Protection Agency that was expressly calculated to address the legal issues before the court. “Were you as surprised as we were?” Chief Justice Roberts asked a lawyer for the government, referring to a new regulation, issued Friday afternoon, that said permits are not required for the runoff at issue in the case.

New EPA rule could upend high court runoff case from Associated Press

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BLM plans to burn slash piles in Bighorn Mountains

Billings Gazette
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bureau of Land Management Buffalo Field Office is planning to burn slash piles on BLM lands this fall and winter at several project sites in the Bighorn Mountains. The BLM has been working in the Billy Creek area, southwest of Buffalo, to improve forest health and reduce hazardous fuels near private lands and structures. Thinning treatments have removed ground juniper and dead and dying trees. Much of the material has been made available for public firewood while the remainder has been piled for burning.

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Comment period opens for Dargon Point EA

KRBD.org
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Tongass National Forest is seeking comments on a proposed commercial thinning project on Prince of Wales Island. The project, Dargon Point, is a young-growth timber project. According to the Forest Service, it is part of a broader effort to transition from old-growth to young-growth harvest. …Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole says the project will improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and will provide work for local mills and contractors.

Forest Service seeks Feedback on Commercial Thinning Project from Sit News

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Feds file discrimination complaint against Forest Service

Federal News Radio
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is tackling a history of discrimination with more training and accountability as part of a cultural transformation program. But some current and former USDA employees say they’re not seeing cultural changes, and sex discrimination is still prominent within the agency. …Specifically, female employees in Region 5 of the Forest Service are objecting to the disparity between how men and women are hired and promoted. The employees also point to hostile workplace conditions where, in some cases, they say they experienced egregious sexual harassment.

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Editorial: How beetle kill yields a bounty

Denver Post
November 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The bark-beetle epidemic has been with us in the Rocky Mountain West for so long, it’s easy to lose perspective. …With the magnitude of the problem in mind, we were glad to see two new contracts let by the U.S. Forest Service to continue the massive dead-tree-clearing effort. Since 2010, the forest Service has spent $100 million to address the bark-beetle infestation in the Rocky Mountain region.

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Give sustainability a chance: Tasmanian Forests Agreement in perspective

The Conversation
December 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The signatories to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement (TFA) have spent more than two years trying to square the circle of forest conflict in Tasmania. The deal they brokered deserves prima facie respect: it is the closest to sustainability the state will probably ever get. While many have been critical of elements of the process, myself included, and while many are critical of elements of the content, myself included, the key question now is: “Could you or I ever have delivered a better package?”

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Forestry group ignores members to back deal

Tasmania Examiner
December 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TIMBER Communities Australia has overruled its members to endorse the forestry peace deal. The TCA was the only one of 11 not to sign the agreement reached between industry and environment groups before the lower house voted on legislation to enact the agreement. The TCA wanted to give its members a chance to have a say first, but despite a strong majority rejecting the agreement at a vote at the weekend the board yesterday vowed to support it anyway.

Timber group to lobby Upper House from ABC News, Australia

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$4m Forestry Tas bailout

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

The Deputy Premier Bryan Green has denied opposition claims he has tried to bribe signatories to Tasmania’s forest peace deal. The Liberals allege groups involved in the protracted talks were promised up to $200 million in extra funding if they signed the agreement. The figure was raised at a parliamentary hearing scrutinising the operations of Forestry Tasmania.  The Shadow Treasurer Peter Gutwein asked the Deputy Premier whether promises of more money were used to get the negotiators to sign the deal.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biomass saves big bucks to heat, power rural schools

Renewables Biz
December 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Rural entities across Alaska are looking for alternative sources of energy as a solution to unsustainable fuel and power bills. The Gateway School District, headquartered in Tok, appears to have found its answer to both in the woods.  In October 2010, the district installed a wood biomass-fired heating boiler system in Tok School. Before installing the boiler, district Superintendant Todd Poage said the school burned an average of 55,000 gallons of heating oil every year. …”When we just had the boiler section running in 2010 we were saving between $6,000 and $7,000 per month as compared to utilizing heating oil,” he said.

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Wood pellet production

Sun Journal
December 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Local, state and regional leaders have been diligently working for the past several months to develop, on a major scale, wood pellet production to be exported from the eastern parts of North Carolina to at first the United Kingdom and eventually other parts of Europe. These wood pellets would be used at first to produce electricity for British consumers. The impact to North Carolina from this production would be significant. The renewable wood fiber, or biomass as the Europeans refer to it, would come from the forests of North Carolina’s tidal plains.

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General

Tornado cripples state forestry nursery

Associated Press
December 3, 2012
Category: Uncategorised
Region: US East, United States

First came an early March tornado that caused extensive damage at a Kentucky Division of Forestry nursery. That was followed by a summer drought without irrigation pipes that were destroyed in the storm. The forestry agency’s mission of helping people conserve tree resources has been sorely tested this year. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that one of the state’s two tree nurseries was crippled by the tornado that hit Morgan County in March.

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