Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 23, 2013

Business & Politics

A Three-Pronged Path for Canadian Construction Material Costs

CanaData
May 22, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

… In March, CanaData’s total IPPI/RMPI-based construction material cost index was +1.1% year over year. This suggests price restraint, but there were st dvaifferences between the residential (increasing rapidly), non-residential building (declining) and engineering (flat) readings. Residential material costs have been moving up quickly, +5.3% year over year. Wood products have been driving the price rise. U.S. housings starts have more than doubled since their recessionary low and this has greatly increased the demand for lumber. A reduction in sawmill capacity in the downturn has further exacerbated the demand versus supply imbalance.

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Non-residential construction work jumps 10% in RDN

Nanaimo Daily News
May 22, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The pace of commercial and industrial building construction has slowed down slightly on Vancouver Island. New numbers from the Vancouver Island Construction Association show more activity in the mid-Island, but most of that is attributed to a mega-project at Nanaimo Forest Products, owner of the Harmac pulp mill. Many local commercial builders aren’t working, or they’re working out of town, and the local representative blamed uncertainty around the provincial election.

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Sale of Edmundston mill good news, mayor says

CBC.ca
May 22, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The mayor of Edmundston says the pending sale of Twin Rivers Paper Company to a pair of New York-based private investment companies is good news for his city. Atlas Holdings and Blue Wolf Capital have reached an agreement to buy a controlling interest in Twin Rivers, which runs specialty paper and lumber product mills in Edmundston, Plaster Rock, and Madawaska, Me.

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Strait mill plays hardball

May 23, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

When pulp trucks rolled into the Point Tupper paper mill on May 13, it marked the latest result of hard bargaining by the mill’s new owner. The dozens of independent trucking contractors, who had refused to deliver wood to the mill in protest of its pricing formula and its refusal to negotiate with them through their association, went back to work without having any of their major demands met. “We became convinced that the mill was willing to run out of wood,” Claude Bourgeois, president of the Northeastern Pulp Truckers Association, said recently after ending the strike.

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Good, long-term prospects for port and community

The Olympian
May 23, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Thurston County taxpayers got good news from the Port of Olympia last week that it signed a new lease with Weyerhaeuser for its log export business. That means revenues in excess of $260,000 per year for up to the next 20 years, which will help continue the recent trend of financial success at the public port. It also means the port can grow its longshore employees to 33 this year based on the predictability of revenue from Weyerhaeuser’s log exporting operations. Those jobs have both a direct and indirect positive effect on the South Sound’s economy.

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Returns from forestry investments outperform bonds, equities and real estate

Property Magazine International
May 22, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Investments in the UK’s forestry assets have hit new highs, with three-year returns rising to 23.9% in 2012. This equates to a minimum outperformance of 14% against bonds (9.9%), equities (6.7%) and commercial property (8.7%). According to the IPD UK Annual Forestry Index, which measures the investment return of 148 plantations across the UK, five and 10-year returns similarly outperformed other measured asset classes, while the single year return for 2012 was 18.3%. The bulk of the growth came from Scotland, which accounts for the majority of the UK’s supply of Sitka Spruce, and where returns exceeded 20% over the last three years.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Developers call on province to okay larger wood-frame buildings

Changes would mean more affordable mid-rise projects, report says.
Toronto Star
May 22, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

High-rise and condo developers are urging the province to amend the Ontario Building Code to allow six-storey wood frame construction — a move they say could stimulate the creation of tens of thousands of units of more affordable housing and revitalize major streets. Under the current building code, wood frame construction is limited to four storeys, which means developers are forced to resort to more costly steel and concrete. That makes mid-rise projects largely uneconomical, says a new report commissioned by four of the province’s biggest building industry associations.

Click here for a press release from Building Industry and Land Development Association, Residential Construction Council of Ontario and the Canadian Wood Council

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EPA proposes pulp mill rules

The Hill
May 22, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The Obama administration wants new regulations for mills that turn wood into pulp. On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish in the Federal Register a proposal governing plants that use chemicals to break down wood chips into a mush that can be used to make paper. The proposal includes new emission limits for furnaces, tanks and kilns, and requires additional testing, monitoring and reporting. Though the new measures would not lower emissions, the EPA claims they will “provide consistency” for meeting current national standards.

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Forestry

Our Commitment to Boreal Forest Protection: Stronger Than Resolute

Huffington Post (blog)
May 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

This past Saturday, May 18, marked three years since I stood with 29 other environmental groups and logging companies and signed the world’s largest conservation agreement, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. …But hard work only takes you so far. Despite the dedication of
many over the past three years, there has been one company unwilling to
make real commitments: Resolute Forest Products. Today the seven
remaining environmental signatories of the CBFA are suspending further
work with Resolute Forest Products.

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Forest industry to benefit from tree genome sequencing, scientists say

Vancouver Sun
May 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

Canadian and Swedish scientists have decoded the genome sequences of two of the world’s most economically important forest trees, a development that could sharply reduce the time required to grow the trees and help them resist pest infestation. The two studies, which looked at the white spruce and Norway spruce genomes, will help develop innovative tools for tree breeding, and address economically and ecologically important targets such as insect resistance, wood quality, growth rates and adaptation to changing climate…

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Council signs off on two new wildfire protection projects

Projects will improve public safety in Benchlands, identify high-risk areas for future treatment
Whistler Question
May 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Whistler’s council signed off on two wildfire protection projects Tuesday (May 21) that will help ensure public safety within the Benchlands neigbourhood, and will identify a number of areas in the community that can be prioritized for future suppression treatment in the coming years. The 2013 Fuel Management Prescription Application (FMPA) will help local fire rescue crews fully prepare for potential wildfire in identified high-risk areas.

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Can’t tax reforestation, top court rules; case could affect oil, gas transfers

Canadian Press
May 23, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA – A Japanese-based forestry company has won a long-running tax battle with Ottawa over how its reforestation obligations should be handled when harvest rights are sold. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 9-0 that passing on future liabilities for land reclamation cannot be considered taxable at the time of the sale. National Revenue had argued the cost of such liabilities should be treated like a mortgage and thus the value should be added to the sale price for tax purposes.

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‘Eagle-tree’ controversy nudges White Rock

Peace Arch News
May 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

White Rock officials may not have been able to save four city trees, but the loss of the mature Douglas firs from the Victoria Avenue hillside last week has spurred a commitment to make changes going forward. City manager Dan Bottrill said Tuesday that while he doesn’t believe there was anything that could have been done differently to change the outcome, the issue has drawn attention to the need for a tree-management plan for the city.

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Wildfire west of Edmonton forces 200 people from homes, another 200 on alert

Canadian Press
May 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

LINDALE, Alta. – About 200 people were ordered out of their homes in a rural area west of Edmonton on Wednesday as a wildfire fanned by heavy winds burned out of control. Brazeau County delivered 200 evacuation notices to residents in the Lindale area. It’s the second forest fire the county has had to battle. Residents in Lodgepole, 55 kilometres southwest of Lindale, returned to their homes a week ago after a fire threatened their community.

Wind fueling massive wildfire in Strathcona County from CTV News

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Report Summarizes Public Comments on Western Crown Lands

Government of Nova Scotia
May 23, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A report is now available on what Nova Scotians said are the best ways to use the 1.5-million acres of Crown land in the province’s western region to ensure sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits for communities. The report summarizes comments received at nine open-house consultations in March and April, at stakeholder meetings, and through online submissions. “The responses we’ve heard confirm that Nova Scotians are passionate about land use,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker.

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First Nations activist receives international peace prize

Judy DaSilva is a key player in Grassy Narrow’s decade-long logging blockade
CBC News
May 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A First Nations rights activist from Grassy Narrows is getting international recognition. Judy DaSilva received the Michael Sattler Peace Prize from the German Mennonite Peace Committe this week. …DaSilva travelled to Germany to receive the honour and couldn’t be reached for comment, but a First Nations councillor from Grassy Narrows said the community is proud of DaSilva for standing up against clear-cut logging.

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Board to audit 10 woodlots on southern Vancouver Island

BC Forest Practices Board
May 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine forest practices on ten woodlots located on the southern part of Vancouver Island, from May 21 to June 15. The audit will examine planning, timber harvesting, road construction and maintenance, silviculture and fire prevention practices carried out by the woodlot licence holders under the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

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Grassy Narrows files Supreme Court appeal over logging rights

Kenora Daily Miner and News
May 21, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lawyers for the Grassy Narrows First Nation have filed their appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada. The aboriginal community is hoping Canada’s highest court will overturn an Ontario Court decision which struck down logging restrictions inside the First Nation’s traditional territory put in place by a lower court decision. …The ruling being appealed was made by the Ontario Court of Appeal in March, where the judge found the wording of Treaty 3 does not prevent the provincial government from issuing logging for areas such as the Whiskey Jack Forest which is inside Grassy Narrows’ territory.

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Tester questions whether USFS had ‘better options’ for air tankers

The Missoulian
May 23, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told a congressional subcommittee Wednesday that he’s considering overriding Neptune Aviation’s protest of next-generation air tanker contracts in order to have firefighting planes available for this summer.  But Montana Sen. Jon Tester questioned whether the agency “left better options on the table” in passing over the Missoula-based company’s proposal while offering contracts to others whose planes aren’t ready to fly.

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Greens fighting for non-existent trees, says forestry official

Fairfax Media
May 23, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Indonesia has accused environmental groups of protesting against the removal of trees that don’t exist. The country’s top forestry official says an international petition to save Aceh’s forest that has gained international attention and well over a million signatures is based on flawed assessments. Environment groups claim that the Aceh government is planning to convert 1.2 million hectares of existing tropical forest into oil palm, logging concessions, mines and roads, with devastating effects.

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Forest loss fight

Fiji Times
May 23, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

FIJI is looking at ways it could improve its logging practices so less harm is done to its forests. This was highlighted during the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) plus strategy workshop in Suva last week. “The workshop is to largely develop the Fiji REDD plus strategy which started in 2011,” said Christina Fung, the German Technical Co-operation landuse planning and facilitation specialist, during the REDD plus stakeholders workshop in Lami last week.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wildfires May Strengthen Long-Term Climate Change, Warns US Forest Service

RedOrbit
May 22, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The US Forest Service voiced its concern on Tuesday over the atmospheric effects of wildfire emissions on climate change, saying the issue is of great importance to scientists and policymakers alike. The warnings are particularly important given recent projections of an average 50-percent increase in wildfires across the US – and over 100 percent in some areas of the West – by 2050, the Service said.

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Carbon neutral or a Trojan horse?

Power Engineering International
May 22, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Utilities are looking for the holy grail: reliable baseload electricity derived from a sustainable, low carbon source and available around the clock, whatever the weather. Biomass, despite the rapid growth in its use, is still not ticking all of these boxes… In November 2012, the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace called on the UK government to cancel plans to subsidise the burning of trees in coal power stations. The RSPB report ‘Dirtier Than Coal?’ says that generating power from typical conifer trees results in 49 per cent more emissions than burning coal, and calls on the government to withdraw public subsidy for generating from feedstock derived from tree trunks.

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Carbon in Urban Trees Have Economic Value Equal to $1.5 Billion

woodworkingnetwork.com
May 22, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON, DC —America’s urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent U.S. Forest Service study. The research shows that urban trees store an estimated 21 million tons of carbon, which translates to an environmental service valued at $1.5 billion in economic benefit. “With expanding urbanization, city trees and forests are becoming increasingly important to sustain the health and well-being of our environment and our communities”, said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.

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Coalition faces carbon blowout over land clearing

Sydney Morning Herald
May 23, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Coalition’s Direct Action plan to cut carbon emissions may have a hole blown in its $3.2 billion budget by the actions of conservative colleagues in Queensland, the federal government and green groups say. The Queensland parliament on Tuesday passed legislation easing land-clearing rules for the state’s landowners, opening up as much as 2 million hectares of forests and regrowth areas to deforestation, according to the WWF Australia. “We estimate that if all of this land were cleared, it could unlock stocks estimated at 369 million tonnes worth of carbon dioxide,” Will McGoldrick, climate change policy manager at WWF-Australia, said.

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General

Strait mill plays hardball

May 23, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

When pulp trucks rolled into the Point Tupper paper mill on May 13, it marked the latest result of hard bargaining by the mill’s new owner. The dozens of independent trucking contractors, who had refused to deliver wood to the mill in protest of its pricing formula and its refusal to negotiate with them through their association, went back to work without having any of their major demands met. “We became convinced that the mill was willing to run out of wood,” Claude Bourgeois, president of the Northeastern Pulp Truckers Association, said recently after ending the strike.

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