Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 7, 2012

Business & Politics

Big shareholders challenge Sino-Forest deal

Globe and Mail
December 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A group of major institutional shareholders of Sino-Forest Corp. is opposing a record $117-million proposed settlement agreed to by Ernst & Young LLP, the former auditors of the disgraced Chinese timber firm. The embattled former forestry giant goes before a Toronto bankruptcy judge on Friday to have its restructuring deal, which would see Sino-Forest’s remaining assets transferred to its debt-holders, approved.

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Supreme Court to hear case on random workplace alcohol tests

Vancouver Sun
December 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — A union of New Brunswick mill workers arguing that mandatory, random alcohol testing breaches their right to privacy will have their appeal heard by the Supreme Court of Canada Friday. The top court’s eventual decision has the potential to set a precedent for random alcohol tests in the workplace, and employers and unions across the country will be watching closely, said Nathalie Des Rosiers, the general counsel and executive director for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which is acting as an intervener.

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Mill hazards underestimated

Letter by Lloyd Atkins
Alberni Valley News
December 5, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The potential for explosive dust fires is well understood in many industries. When the forest industry was thriving, general mill clean-up was given a high priority where I worked. …The BC mill owners and their insurance brokers knew there were risks, but tragically underestimated the hazards and the consequences. Hopefully lessons have been learned and similar mistakes will not be repeated.

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Union hoping to avert strike at HSPP

Coast Reporter
December 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing just over 400 workers at Howe Sound Pulp and Paper (HSPP) said it is hoping to avert a strike or lockout at the Port Mellon mill, despite a 99.4 per cent strike vote by its membership on Nov. 29. “We have a solid strike mandate, but I’m optimistic we’ll be able to successfully bargain a collective agreement with our employer,” Don Rheaume, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP), Local 1119, told Coast Reporter Wednesday afternoon.

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Babine workers cool to news of mill rebuild

Prince George Citizen
December 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is not known what the employees of the destroyed Babine Forest Products will do at the new mill, when it is rebuilt next year. Some don’t even want to go back. …For me I don’t care if they rebuild or not. It is the same management, the same company from the States,” said Dirk Weissbach, one of those injured in the January blast that killed two and destroyed the Babine superstructure near Burns Lake. “The experiences are too bad, and I don’t know who is responsible. I would need to know that first.

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Supreme Court sides with Abitibi in environmental cleanup case

Globe and Mail
December 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against the government of Newfoundland and Labrador in its effort to force insolvent newsprint giant AbitibiBowater Inc., to pay for an environmental cleanup. The province wanted the top court to decide if a debtor’s statutory duty to remove environmental contamination is extinguished under Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. …The province wanted to force the company to clean up five contaminated sites at a cost estimated at between $50-million and $100-million.

Abitibibowater wins Canada case on environmental cleanup costs from Reuters
NL loses Abitibi case in Canada’s top court from CBC News

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Buying Bowater lands bad deal for taxpayers

Chronicle Herald
December 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

There has been much ado by pressure groups urging the provincial government to purchase the Bowater Mersey woodland property. … It is worth noting that about one-third of woodland in Nova Scotia is currently owned by the Crown. That should provide abundant area for suggested practices such as community forests, uneven growth management, harvest of specialty products and low-impact forestry (whatever that is). Do we (the taxpayers) need to spend possibly hundreds of millions of dollars adding land in order for these things to happen?

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Supreme Court to rule in AbitibiBowater case

Top court to weigh in on ‘polluter pays’ issue
CBC News
December 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada will rule on Friday as to who is responsible for the environmental mess left behind following the closure of AbitibiBowater’s paper mill in central Newfoundland. The company shut down its last mill operation, located in Grand Falls-Windsor, in March 2009. …The case is putting so-called “polluter pays” laws to the test. There are hundreds of companies that pose some environmental risk across Canada, and Friday’s ruling could determine who should be financially responsible if any issues arise in the future.

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Mill closure comments anger union

ABC Online
December 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The timber union has rejected comments in the press by south-east South Australian mayors that the closure of Carter Holt Harvey mills was inevitable. …Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union official Brad Coates says the closures were not inevitable as Carter Holt Harvey had signalled plans to expand. “At the end of the day a number of the proposals that were put on the table of the Government, which they totally ignored, involved actually expanding Carter Holt Harvey’s operations here in the south-east,” he said.

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Forestry

Greenpeace and Resolute spar over logging practices

Globe and Mail
December 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A tenuous truce in the woods between forestry companies and environmental groups has suffered a setback after Greenpeace Canada withdrew from a conservation pact, alleging logging violations by Resolute Forest Products Inc.  “This comes down to a definite breach of trust,” Greenpeace forest co-ordinator Stephanie Goodwin said Thursday, accusing Montreal-based Resolute of building a 20-kilometre-long road in an off-limits area in Northern Quebec. …Resolute vehemently denies any wrongdoing, said Seth Kursman, the pulp and paper maker’s vice-president of communications, sustainability and government affairs.

Greenpeace says boreal forest agreement no longer working from CBC News
Greenpeace pulls out of Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement from the Media Co-op
Video: Greenpeace Investigation: Resolute Scandal in the Boreal Forest from the Globe and Mail

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Christmas tree exports more ‘ho hum’ than ‘ho ho’

Globe and Mail
December 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canadian holiday greenery makes its way around the world, but Christmas tree exports have been on the decline since 2006, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada. In 2003, Canadian farms shipped 2.62 million Christmas trees valued at more than $38-million to other countries, including Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand, Venezuela and a host of countries in the Caribbean, according to numbers compiled by Statscan’s international trade division.

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Greenpeace is a hammer, and everything looks like a nail

Globe and Mail
December 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Every organization has its core competencies, but also core incompetencies. Environmental activist group Greenpeace is particularly competent at staging publicity stunts and occasionally pushing governments and companies to address its concerns. It’s less successful at actually sitting down with its targets and engaging in the unsexy, complex process of finding mutually agreeable solutions, as Greenpeace showed this week. …Greenpeace’s latest move is typical of its grandstanding. The boreal forest agreement includes mechanisms for dealing with disputes among participants.

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Cortes Island residents seek compromise with loggers

by Mark Hume
Globe and Mail
December 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cortes Island residents who blockaded roads for a week in a fight to modify logging plans say they are hopeful talks with Island Timberlands can lead to a compromise. But Mark Leitao, a spokesman for the company, said Thursday no commitment has been made to meet with the islanders, who are organized under the banner, Wildstands Alliance. …“We’re resolute that we’re going to harvest and continue to manage our properties on Cortes over the long term,” he said. “At this point we’re sitting back and assessing our options.”

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What’s the point of protest?

Letter by Sonya Friesen
Campbell River Mirror
December 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I hear people say that the Island Timberlands are private property, so what is the point of protest?  Are you saying the stamp of private ownership trumps the environmental responsibility of ownership? This week I returned full circle to protesting logging in the Basil Creek watershed, my Squirrel Cove back yard.

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Forestry alive and well in NS

Chronicle Herald
December 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forestry in Nova Scotia is a sunset industry, dying and waiting to be buried, according to opinions expressed on these pages, and from most accounts, government has invested too heavily in it. This is not only wrong, but it’s perfectly wrong. Nova Scotia is nearing the greenest constituency of sustainable forestry in the world, voluntarily with public support, and those public investments are not different from all the others to industries in a mixed economy of private and state capitalism.

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B.C. rainforest, Cape Breton Island among world’s ‘must-see places’ of 2013

Canadian Press
December 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW YORK, N.Y. – National Geographic Traveler magazine has named British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest and Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island as being among the world’s “must-see places” of 2013. The rainforest is “an untamed strip of land” stretching 400 kilometres along the B.C. coast, but its tranquillity has “recently been rocked” by the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project to send oilsands crude from Alberta to a terminal at Kitimat, the magazine says.

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Colo. business will work to clear forest in Wyoming

FireEngineering.com
December 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CHEYENNE – Over much of the past decade, forests across the Rocky Mountain region have been decimated by pine beetles. But now that the infestations have begun to wind down, the U.S. Forest Service is seeking help to remove the acres of dead trees left in their wake, including in Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest. To that end, the Forest Service recently awarded a 10-year, $4.75 million contract to Confluence Energy, a Kremmling, Colo.-based wood pellet manufacturer. Starting in January, Confluence will begin clearing at least 1,000 acres of dead trees from the Medicine Bow each year.

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Sealaska timber touts habitat maintenance

KRBD
December 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sealaska Corporation is in the business of cutting trees. Part of that is timber regrowth, which officials say maintains or even improves habitat for deer and fish. Thick stands of young trees surround Election Creek, near Klawock on Southeast Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island. The forest was logged in 1989, and it’s been left to grow back on its own. Now, more than 20 years later, Sealaska is getting ready to thin the crowded stands of trees that have returned. Ever since 1971, when Sealaska selected land through the Alaska Native Interest Lands Conservation Act, the Juneau-based corporation has logged.

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‘Finding David Douglas’ – US premier for Scottish plant-hunter film

UK Forestry Commission
December 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new documentary heralding one of Scotland’s most famous sons has been premiered in Portland, Oregon. (Thursday, November 15). Finding David Douglas was four years in the making and is the first to focus on remarkable botanist and plant hunter, David Douglas (1799-1834) who explored western North America in the 1820s and 1830s and introduced more than 200 new species to the gardens and forests of Europe. The film – a collaboration between The Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, the U.S. Forest Service and Forestry Commission Scotland – focuses on Douglas’s contributions to science — forestry, botany, and horticulture.

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Timber group reaffirms peace deal backing

Yahoo!7 News
December 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The board of Timber Communities Australia has reaffirmed its support for Tasmania’s forest peace deal, despite a revolt from grassroots members. The board agreed to review its decision to sign the deal after a telephone hook-up with Tasmanian members who oppose it. Most board members did not change their position at a meeting yesterday and want the agreement to proceed for the benefit of all members.

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General

Anderson-Tully laying off 80, ends 2nd shift at Vicksburg sawmill

Associated Press
December 6, 2012
Category: Uncategorised

VICKSBURG, Mississippi — Anderson-Tully Company is shutting down a second shift at its Vicksburg sawmill and is laying off 80 employees by Jan. 4. The company tells the Vicksburg Post that the move has been in the works for two months because of a depressed housing market. “This is a core business decision to right-size production to match market demand,” company president Richard Wilkerson said in a statement.

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