Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 8, 2013

Business & Politics

Lumber Prices Have Plunged In The Last Two Months

Business Inisder
July 8, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Just two months ago I mentioned that lumber prices were nearing the housing bubble highs. Since then prices have declined sharply, with prices off about 25% from the highs in early May. Some of the decline could be related to additional supply coming on the market, and some due to less buying from China (several sources are reporting that China has pulled back significantly on buying North American lumber).

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OP/ED: MLA says Kootenay jobs at risk

The Castlegar Source
July 7, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A secret 10-year deal signed by forest minister Steve Thomson could have significant implications on B.C.’s pulp mills, including Celgar, says New Democrat MLA Katrine Conroy. “We know that mills are having to pay more to get fiber, and we know that as the timber supply problem gets worse, it’s only going to get harder for mills to get chips,” said Conroy, the MLA for Kootenay-West. “Yet the minister signed a sweetheart deal just before the election that locks a significant amount of wood chips in for export for 10 years.

Politicians on the stump over wood chip deal from Castlegar News

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Mill hazards assessments taking effect across the province

HQ Prince George
July 7, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Safety Authority has implemented recommendations to help improve mill safety across the province. Earlier this year the authority released a set of nine recommendations to help improve mills across the province. Director of Technical Programs Greg Patton says after consulting with industry, the recommendations have now been put into a safety order. “And so in the safety order we are asking operators that if this order applies to you,” says Patton, “we would like owners and operators of wood processing facilities to conduct assessments of wood processing facilities to identify combustible dust hazards in locations.”

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Tembec expansion receives additional loan

Daily News
July 5, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Quebec government is contributing a further $17.8 million dollars to the specialty cellulose expansion at Tembec’s Temiscaming mill, in the form of a long-term loan. The provincial government had already promised $75 million in financial aid to the $355-million project. Tembec first announced plans for the expansion in March 2012. Phase I, originally expected to cost $190 million, involves an upgrade to the mill’s recovery boilers and the installation of a turbine to produce green electricity. The new boilers will also allow an increase in specialty pulp output.

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Future of pulp mill could be known soon

Chronicle Journal
July 7, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The fate of Marathon’s vacant pulp-mill property could finally be known next week.
An agreement announced a month ago between U.S.-based Green Investment Group and former mill co-owner Tembec, of Montreal, is to be formally completed if no objections were raised during a 30-day public comment period. The mill has been closed for four years. Green Investment Group, of the St. Louis, Mo. area, rehabilitates idle industrial properties and markets them to potential new users. The agreement reached last month stipulates that the Marathon mill buildings must be torn down by 2015 if alternative uses for them aren’t found.

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How Stella-Jones got its groove back

Financial Post
July 5, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – By Canadian corporate standards, companies don’t get much more low-tech and low-key than Stella-Jones Inc. Chief executive Brian McManus rejects the vast majority of interview requests that come his way. He’s just a shy guy, he says, not a publicity seeker. The headquarters for the maker of treated wood railway ties and power poles is equally modest, almost embarassingly so. Located in a non-descript five-storey brick building in Montreal’s industrial St. Laurent burrough, Stella-Jones has no flashy exterior sign. In fact, it has no sign at all.

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Saratoga sawmill, a town fixture, roars back to life

Casper Star-Tribune
July 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SARATOGA, Wyo. — Much of the machinery needed replacing, most of the workers needed training and the nearby forest was spattered with more beetle-killed timber than ever before, but the once-dormant sawmill at the end of Saratoga’s main street has roared back to life. And the crew is hitting production quotas “hand over fist,” its new manager said. Oregon native Gary Ervin bought the property in 2011 and started a company, Saratoga Forest Management, to take over operations at the mill, a mainstay in the Platte River Valley’s industrial fabric fallen silent nearly 10 years before.

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Wyoming lumber production could double in 2013

Casper Star-Tribune
July 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Lumber production in Wyoming could be headed toward its best year since the industry hit rock bottom in 2010. University of Montana researchers predict that the state’s lumber production could double in 2013 over the year before. The re-opening of the Saratoga Forest Management mill is a major contributor to the improved picture, with its daily output of 200,000 board feet of pine two-by-fours. When the first log under the new Saratoga owner was planed on Jan. 28, Wyoming’s timber industry was off to major improvement over the basement in production — 2010, when the state’s 12 surviving sawmills produced 55 million board feet of lumber.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

How a Design Trend Is Helping Prevent Wildfires in the American West

Gizmodo
July 7, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

As wildfires escalate year by year, fire prevention is becoming even more important. And prevention doesn’t always mean Smokey Bear PSAs. In fact, the lumber industry has developed a symbiotic relationship with the very material feeding many of the fires. It’s called Beetle Kill Wood, and you’ve probably seen it, even if you don’t recognize it. The blue-tinged wood is the result of the Mountain Pine Beetle, which has swarmed forests in Colorado and across the West in recent years, feasting on the pines that make up almost ten percent of many forests.

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Forestry

Boreal forest: Maine planners stand to learn lessons from Canada’s subarctic timberlands

The challenges facing Maine and Canadian forests point up the need for overall land-use planning.
Press Herald
July 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Maine’s more than 19 million acres of forest face challenges that are showing up in Canadian timberlands, too, including stresses that have decimated several species of migratory songbirds and waterfowl. Pressure from mining, petroleum operations and oil extraction, along with the spread of farming at the southern edge of the boreal – or subarctic – forest, may ripple through that still largely pristine environment in ways that are raising concern, according to a recent international conference in Canada.

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B.C. firefighters head to Quebec to help combat wildfires

The Canadian Press
July 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — British Columbia is sending fire-fighting crews to Quebec to help that province suppress wildfires that have forced hundreds of people to flee their homes. Forests Minister Steve Thomson says 100 people in five units will head to northern Quebec on Sunday. On Friday, winds were pushing flames away from Eastmain, which has been the most severely affected of five communities in Quebec.

Click here for a press release from BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

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Forest Safety Council sees disturbing trends

HQ Prince George
July 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Forest Safety Council is noticing a startling trend with it comes to the logging sector this year. The council is reporting six direct and three indirect fatalities involving log trucks in 2013. CEO Reynold Hert says direct fatalities involve workers who are in the forest industry. “When we talk about associated that could be for instance a vehicle accident between a member of the public and a log truck,” says Hert, “so it may be a member of the public, but we still want our industry to know that those are happening.”

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A New Safety Certification System for the Forest Industry

Silviculture Magazine
July 5, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Are you aware that the forest industry is working on a program that will reduce costs, create efficient operations and reduce paperwork? With the help of the BC Forest Safety Council, industry is renewing the prequalification system that is better known as SAFE Companies certification. What is a prequalification system anyway? In this case, it is a process to check if a company has the necessary procedures and processes in place to be a safe, high quality and reliable organization.

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Woodlot serves as forest classroom

The Morning Star
July 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are 867 active woodlot licenses in B.C., and they provide much more than timber. Many play host to students of all ages, from elementary school to university, exploring environmental sciences, with topics ranging from a very general introduction to the forest, to specifics such as silviculture and natural resource management. With the average age of B.C.’s forestry workers creeping into the 60s, and an expected boom in the sector that will see the creation of 15,000 new jobs in the next decade, it’s vital that steps are taken to engage the next generation of forest stewards.

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Input invited on Boundary timber supply review

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
July 5, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Comments are being accepted until Sept. 5, 2013, on a public discussion paper released today as part of a comprehensive timber supply review for the Boundary Timber Supply Area. Public feedback on the discussion paper will be considered by the chief forester before setting a new allowable annual cut. The current allowable annual cut is 700,000 cubic metres. The discussion paper describes the geography, natural resources, forest management and land use plans of the Boundary Timber Supply Area. It also provides the results of the timber supply analysis, including a base case harvest forecast.

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Investigators seek help finding person who started wildfire

Spatsum Creek blaze near Ashcroft may have been set accidentally or intentionally
Kamloops Daily News
July 5, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A search has begun for the person responsible for a large wildfire in B.C.’s southern Interior, south of Ashcroft. The Wildfire Management Branch and the Conservation Officer Service hope tips from the public will lead them to the person who sparked the fire at Spatsum Creek. The blaze scorched 14 square kilometres of brush in two weeks after breaking out on April 27.

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Smoke from forest fires ground water bomber fleet in western Labrador

The Canadian Press
July 6, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

WABUSH, N.L. – Smoke from fires burning in Quebec are hampering efforts to fight a forest fire in western Labrador that has been raging for nearly two weeks. Westerly winds over the past three days have complicated firefighting efforts. “It’s good and bad,” Eric Earle, a spokesman with the province’s Department of Natural Resources, told the Canadian Press in a phone interview. “It’s good because it’s been keeping the smoke from our fire — as well as the fire itself — away from the towns of Wabush and Labrador City,” said Earle, from Wabush.

Weather holds back attack on Wabush forest fires from CBC News
Air quality deteriorates in Wabush from CBC News
Fire erupts near Happy Valley-Goose Bay from CBC News
Active Forest Fires from the Government of Newfoundland Labrador

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Managing Exotic Invasive Species in Ontario’s Hardwood Forests: How landowners and woodlot managers can protect their forest ecosystems

Invasive Species Research Institute, Algoma University
July 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Exotic invasive species (EIS) are plants, insects or pathogens that, either intentionally or not, have been introduced to a new habitat where they have the ability to cause harm to the environment, the economy and/or society. A variety of EIS are detrimental to the hardwood forests of Ontario. For example, invasive plants can alter forest integrity through rapid population expansion. They can out-compete many native species and cause shifts in species abundances, thereby altering the forest ecosystem.

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Emerald ash borer found in Whitewater

Daily Union
July 6, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

MADISON — Jefferson County will be quarantined for emerald ash borer, after the tree-killing insects were found just on the other side of its border with Walworth County and tell-tale signs of the pest were found inside Jefferson County itself. “What we have found is enough to tell us that EAB is, in all likelihood, present in Jefferson County,” said Brian Kuhn, plant industry bureau director with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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The Southwest’s Forests May Never Recover from Megafires

“Abnormal” fire risks have become the new normal.
The Atlantic
July 5, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If you doubt that climate change is transforming the American landscape, go to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sweltering temperatures there have broken records this summer, and a seemingly permanent orange haze of smoke hangs in the air from multiple wildfires. Take a ride into the mountains and you’ll see one blackened ridge after another where burns in the past few years have ravaged the national forest. Again, this year, fires in New Mexico and neighboring states of Colorado and Arizona are destroying wilderness areas.

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Tour of burn areas helps teachers understand fire, forest ecology

The Gazette
July 5, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

“Once the fire’s out, it’s a whole new kind of hell,” booms Theresa Springer to her rapt audience. As the environmental education coordinator for the Coalition for the Upper South Platte – a nonprofit organization formed to help protect watersheds after Colorado’s devastating Hayman fire in 2002 – Springer knows what she’s talking about.

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Do beetle-killed forests burn faster?

I-News
July 6, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Colorado’s 4.3 million acres of beetle-decimated forests represent a catastrophe in the making during another devastating wildfire season. Or do they? That is the conventional wisdom as another summer unfolds with destructive blazes that have left skies in Southwest Colorado and along the Front Range choked with smoke, but the reality is not so simple. “The issue is not will beetle-kill forests burn – they certainly will,” said Monica Turner, a University of Wisconsin professor who has done extensive research of wildfires in the West.

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Firefighters Gaining The Upper Hand On Eastern Oregon Wildfires.

Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 5, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters appear to be gaining the upper hand on a number large wildfires burning in Eastern Oregon. Fire managers say the largest of those, known as the Owhyee Fire is 85 percent contained as of Friday morning. The fire was sparked by lightning earlier in the week. So far, it’s burned more than 46,000 acres west of Adrian. Most of the other fires resulting from this week’s storms are either fully or nearly contained.

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Getting an Edge on Wildfires

The NY Times
July 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When the winds change, a ferocious forest inferno can make a sharp turn, and the fire crews battling it may need to depend on their eyes and instincts to tell them whether they are in danger. Sometimes, as appears to be the case in the deaths of 19 elite firefighters in Arizona, it is already too late. Of course, the best way to fight catastrophic fires is to keep them from growing to catastrophic scale. But that is becoming more and more difficult as global warming raises the likelihood of fires, especially in Western forests.

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State Forest Service warns about pine wilt tree disease spreading from eastern Nebraska

The Associated Press
July 5, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Nebraska Forest Service is warning about a tree disease that is spreading from the eastern part of the state. The North Platte Telegraph reports (http://bit.ly/12LbR2p ) that pine wilt preys on the water flow of Scots and Austrian pines, and is caused by a worm-like pest called a nematode. Experts say the disease affects non-native pines in Nebraska.

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El Paso part of study on trees’ effects on cities

Comtex
July 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

El Paso is one for four Southwest cities participating in a study of urban trees and ground cover to evaluate their impact in urban communities. Certified arborists from the Davey Resource Group, based out of Kent, Ohio, just completed its study of 200 random plots in El Paso. They have previously been in Phoenix and will be surveying in Las Cruces throughout July and then continue with Albuquerque. “It’s the first study of this type in the Southwest and is going to give us some valuable information about the condition of urban forests and the surrounding area,” said Les Finley, arborist with the Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Tree fungus offers biofuel potential

Digital Journal
July 7, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

The hunt for the most efficient and, ideally, most environmentally friendly biofuels continues. One possible source for triggering ‘power cells’ is a common tree fungus.
There are many different ways to produce biofuels and the search for the optimal way is seen as a ‘golden ticket’ in much chemical research. Many process rely upon using biofuel cells. Here, with the application of an enzyme, polysaccharides (sugar polymers) that make up the bulk of wood and paper have to be broken down into simple sugars.

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Research project to test viability of biochar

Northern Ontario Business
July 5, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Collège Boréal and EACOM Timber Corp.’s Nairn Centre sawmill are collaborating on the school’s first applied research project on the analysis and use of wooden ash produced by the forest industry as charcoal for agricultural use (biochar). The ashes from the biomass combustion, a source of energy for EACOM’s sawmill, will be analysed during the first phase of the research process. Various doses of ashes (biochar) will also be applied to soil samples to assess their effect on the growth of jack pine and birch seedlings.

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Climate change is not the main cause of forest fires

The Washington Post
July 5, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The July 3 news article “Climate change, development and budget cuts fuel upward trend in wildfires” did not fully explore the main cause of this trend. We are feeling the effects of wildfire-suppression policies going back a hundred years. Forest management decisions by the U.S. Forest Service and other federal and state agencies created the unnaturally dense and uniform forests that now cover the western United States. These decisions caused the “fire deficit” in western forests noted by fire expert Stephen J. Pyne, quoted in the article.

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Professor brings classroom to the natural world

Penn State News
July 5, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Matt Hurteau spends a lot of time climbing trees. The assistant professor in the Department of Ecosystems Science and Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences, joined Penn State in July 2011, filling an Earth Systems Ecologist position jointly funded by PSIEE and the college. “The position asked for someone who worked across disciplinary boundaries to tackle the kinds of questions I’m interested in,” Hurteau said. “

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Advocates hope Obama’s plan to fight climate change will boost reforestation effort

Kentucky.com
July 5, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Advocates of reforesting surface-mined land in Appalachia hope the Obama Administration’s new push to cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could boost their efforts. Trees suck up and store carbon dioxide, after all, and Appalachia has vast areas where trees could be planted. “These mined lands are a great potential for sequestering carbon,” said Christopher D. Barton, a forest hydrologist at the University of Kentucky who is active in the reforestation effort. Barton heads a program called Green Forests Work, which focuses on reforesting surface-mined land in Appalachia.

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Timber ready to explode with new industries

Natchez Democrat
July 7, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

In Mississippi – and especially southwest Mississippi – timber is a growth industry. Last week KiOR – the alternative fuels company with plans to build a cellulostic fuel production facility using pine as feedstock near Adams County’s port – announced it had begun continuous production in its Columbus facility and company officials said they anticipate a late 2013 or early 2014 groundbreaking in Natchez.

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Trees best left to generate carbon credits

The Sydney Morning Herald
July 8, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

It makes better financial sense for the native forests of southern NSW to remain un-logged and left to generate carbon credits, a new report suggests. NSW taxpayers would be able to generate carbon abatement, conservatively valued at about $222 million over the next 2½ decades, and use some of the money to fully compensate timber companies, according to the analysis by think tank The Australia Institute.

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FInnish research points to wood as efficient source of biofuels

The Engineer
July 8, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Research results from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland suggest that lignocellulosic biomass can be used in the production of high-quality biofuels for less than €1 per litre. The new technology developed in Finland is said to allow the transfer of more than half the energy of wood raw materials to the end-product. According to a statement, the technology is considered ready for the construction of a commercial-scale production plant in Europe. VTT has assessed the techno-economics of the production of renewable liquid transportation fuels from forest residues.

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Forestry expert backs call for biomass plant to underpin industry

The Border Watch
July 8, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

MOUNT Gambier forestry consultant Jerry Leech has backed calls for the production of biomass electricity in the region following a push by prominent businessman Adrian de Bruin.  Dr Leech came out in support for the renewable energy source after Mr De Bruin told The Border Watch biomass electricity would boost the region’s ailing forestry industry and local economy. Mr De Bruin – who sold his share in the timber giant Auspine back in 2008 – said the opportunity to produce biomass energy was enormous, with a large supply of wood fibre available in the region.

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