Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 10, 2013

Business & Politics

Wood products company expands

Penticton Correspondent
July 9, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Local dignitaries and those interested in timber manufacturing were treated to a tour of the Structurlam Products expansion on Monday. Structurlam , a structural wood product producer in Okanagan Falls, has added a new building and machinery. This third expansion at the company will allow it to further commercialize their cross-laminated timber and panels in a new product called an ecostructure wall. “Wood has been enjoying a renaissance in the commercial construction market,” said Bill Downing, president of the company.

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Mercer International Plans to Reduce Work Force at British Columbia Mill

The Wall Street Journal
July 9, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mercer International Inc. plans to cut 85 positions at its Celgar pulp mill in British Columbia over several years, as the company aims to bringing personnel levels more in line with other mills. The company, which operates pulp mills in Germany and Canada, has a global work force of about 1,500. Most of the work force reductions are expected over the next 12 months. Mercer expects to have about 370 employees at the Celgar operation when the job reductions are completed at the end of 2017.

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Steve Thomson approves 10-year export of B.C. wood chips

InfoTel
July 9, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KELOWNA – While Premier Christy Clark was busy with a byelection forum in West Kelowna last Thursday, over in Victoria her minister of forests Steve Thomson was in hot water. …Thomson’s Chip Export Advisory sub-committee which represents the pulp industry didn’t find out until three months after the deal was signed. … As for discussions with the sub-committee, Thomson says they participated in reviewing Fiberco’s application and “their concerns were considered.”

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Celgar to cut 85 jobs at Castlegar mill

The Nelson Daily
July 9, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West


Celgar managing director of operations Kevin Anderson told The Source today that 85 jobs will be cut from the mill over the next five years, most within the coming year. He said no single portion of the mill or the staff base will be targeted, with the workforce reduction taking place mill-wide, across most departments. “We just completed a very constructive meeting with the union,” he said, adding they’re hoping to meet with union reps again later in the week, explaining they’re looking to create early retirement options for senior employees (particularly ones covered by the collective agreement), allowing them to leave voluntarily.

Click here for a press release from Mercer International

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Plant warms up for opening

Chronicle Herald
July 8, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An Upper Musquodoboit wood pellet plant is almost ready to fire up production. “We have begun testing all the motors, ordering parts and most importantly started to receive fibre over the last week and a half,” Michele Rebiere, chief financial officer with Viridis Energy Inc., said in an email Monday. “We hope to have enough to get started within the next couple of weeks. “As fast as they can bring us wood and shavings right now, we can take it and start using it.”

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The role of price in European softwood lumber exports to the U.S.

Canadian Forest Service
July 10, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Softwood lumber prices have steadily corrected since their lows in 2009, and U.S. demand is increasing, anchored to an improving housing sector. With the recent spike in prices to well over $400/MBF (now returning to more stable levels), the question arose as to whether European producers would once again start exporting into the U.S. market. In fact, a comparison between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013 shows that exports from Europe into the U.S. more than doubled, from 38,000 m3 to 93,000 m3.

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Integrated Biomass buys former D.R. Johnson mill site from Wallowa County

La Grand Observer
July 8, 2013
Category: Business & Politics, Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WALLOWA — Integrated Biomass Resources has purchased the Wallowa County-owned mill site where it has run its operation since early 2012. By fall, the mill will be upgraded to handle more logs, produce more wood products and provide more jobs. The financing package Integrated Biomass secured last week allows the now 4-year-old company to buy the former D.R. Johnson mill site in Wallowa from the county and build an automated system that will streamline production. “We are building something and creating jobs and making products,” Integrated Biomass Resources owner David Schmidt said.

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Atlanta is key U.S. business center for forest products and paper industry

Saporta Report
July 8, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Atlanta has become a leading North American hub for the forest products and paper industry — a position that’s becoming more solid every day, partly because of the expansion of the Rock-Tenn Co. Brad Currey, who joined Rock-Tenn as its president in 1978 becoming CEO in 1989, marveled at what has happened to the business since he retired as the company’s chairman in 2000. He was succeeded by Jim Rubright, a former partner with King & Spalding who was an executive officer with the pipeline group and energy services company — Sonat Inc.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Reclaimed Cedar Forms Shell of Floating Exbury Egg

Woodworking Network
July 9, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SOUTHERN ENGLAND – A large wood egg can be seen bobbing in the estuary of the Bealieu River, the latest creation of artist and environmentalist Stephen Turner. Turner is actually living in the egg, a working laboratory to study the year-long cycle of a tidal creek. Dubbed the “Exbury Egg,” the work of art is tethered so that it is able to rise and fall with the tide without drifting from its home base….The 20-foot by 9-foot egg is comprised of two nearly identical molded plywood and two layers of reclaimed cedar to form the shell.

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Forestry

Land-use plan could reduce impact of future floods

July 10, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two weeks after major flooding hit much of southern Alberta, conservationists say a plan already in the works by the province could help mitigate the effects of future disasters. The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, which is being drafted and will guide future decisions, is based on the watershed that was hardest hit by the recent flooding. …“Our ecosystems are our allies,” wrote Heuer. “A healthy forest does three things with water: soaks it up, slows it down, and spreads it out. Protecting forests in the mountains and foothills can decrease the intensity of flood waters reaching our communities.”

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Land-use plan could reduce impact of future floods

July 10, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two weeks after major flooding hit much of southern Alberta, conservationists say a plan already in the works by the province could help mitigate the effects of future disasters. The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, which is being drafted and will guide future decisions, is based on the watershed that was hardest hit by the recent flooding. …“Our ecosystems are our allies,” wrote Heuer. “A healthy forest does three things with water: soaks it up, slows it down, and spreads it out. Protecting forests in the mountains and foothills can decrease the intensity of flood waters reaching our communities.”

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Call for more female trees to be planted in the city

The Spec
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Horticulturist Peter Prakke has a warning for the city: if we don’t start planting more female trees, expect more visits to the emergency room. Prakke has been studying Hamilton’s tree canopy for more than a decade and researching how to reduce pollen particles that float in the air and cause allergy sufferers to sneeze, cough and itch like mad. Female trees do not produce pollen and are allergy free, which means there is nothing in the tree that would trigger an allergic reaction.

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Escuminac Point forest fire under control

Cause believed to be campfire, entire province now under burn ban
CBC News
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A 15-hectare forest fire in eastern New Brunswick has been deemed under control, but the entire province is now under a burn ban. About eight firefighters were still working on hot spots at Escuminac Point as of Tuesday afternoon. The fire had been raging out of control earlier in the day. The Forest Fire Control Centre says crews fought the blaze from the air and on the ground. No homes or structures were in danger, officials said.

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Additional Fire Crews in Lab West

VOCM
July 10, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Additional fire fighting crews have arrived in Labrador West from the island to help Natural Resources ground crews and firefighters from IOC, and the towns of Labrador City and Wabush in battling a huge forest fire. While the main blaze has been knocked down, crews are continuing to locate and put out hot spots. The fire is still listed as out of control and a State of Emergency remains in effect.

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How Apps Could Help Firefighters Combat Wildfires

Pop Sci
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

When it comes to wildfires, the slightest change in weather can have disastrous consequences for firefighters in the field. Developing app technology for smartphones and tablets could provide forces with real-time information about wind shifts and fire patterns. Last year the United States Forest Service tested apps compatible with iPads and smartphones. Laura Hill, information technology strategic planner for the Forest Service, told the New York Times the results “exceeded expectations.” This summer a similar pilot program has been launched to test apps on Android devices.

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Fraiser Creek Fire continues to burn, but crews making progress

Idaho Statesman
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GARDEN VALLEY — Firefighters expect to have the 270-acre Fraiser Creek Fire contained by 8 p.m. Tuesday. The threat to homes in the Fraiser Creek subdivision – which contains about 40 structures – lessened Monday night, but crews are continuing to work to protect the area. The wildfire got within a half mile of homes, Boise National Forest spokesman David Olson said Monday. Firefighters created a “scratch line” around the fire, located along Idaho Highway 17.

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Are extreme forest fires the new normal?

The Conversation
July 10, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The tragic events in Yarnell, Arizona, where 19 firefighters died battling a forest fire, brought to the forefront the dangers of forest fires. The changes in climate that have been observed during the past decades together with socio-economic factors involving land clearance and agriculture has had a serious effect on both the frequency and scale of forest fires. In many fire-prone regions a lack of rainfall has brought on periods of drought that steadily desiccate all plant-life, leaving it very flammable.

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Oregon Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Loggers to Sue Activists

Heartland.org
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Senate approved a bipartisan House Bill that allows logging companies to sue environmental activists who block logging operations. The Senate added an amendment on a statute of limitations issue, which the two bodies will have to iron out in conference before sending the bill to Gov. John Kitzhaber (D). The Senate passed HB 2596 on a 25-3 vote. The bill allows logging and forest management companies with contracts applying to state lands to sue activists for financial damages when activists obstruct or sabotage logging and forest management operations.

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Integrated Biomass buys former D.R. Johnson mill site from Wallowa County

La Grand Observer
July 8, 2013
Category: Business & Politics, Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WALLOWA — Integrated Biomass Resources has purchased the Wallowa County-owned mill site where it has run its operation since early 2012. By fall, the mill will be upgraded to handle more logs, produce more wood products and provide more jobs. The financing package Integrated Biomass secured last week allows the now 4-year-old company to buy the former D.R. Johnson mill site in Wallowa from the county and build an automated system that will streamline production. “We are building something and creating jobs and making products,” Integrated Biomass Resources owner David Schmidt said.

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Co. wants to test Russian wildfire plane in Idaho

Associated Press
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — A private company aims to test an amphibious Russian firefighting jet this summer in Idaho, hoping an up-close, plane vs. plane comparison with the federal government’s existing fleet of tankers helps it win lucrative contracts to fight wildfires. David Baskett, president of California-based International Emergency Services, secured a letter from Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter inviting him to bring a twin jet Beriev Be-200 from Russia to Boise for a trial run.

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Crews burn brush near homes in Vegas-area wildfire; casino owners offer to help provide rooms

The Associated Press
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Fire crews burned forest undergrowth Tuesday near homes in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas to protect them from one of two large Nevada wildfires while local casino owners offered rooms to evacuees. The wildfire burning northwest of Las Vegas was within a quarter-mile (400 metres) of homes and has charred an area nearly the size of Manhattan, authorities said. Billowing smoke was visible Tuesday from downtown and fine ash fell nearby.

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EMERALD ASH BORER: Minneapolis to take down 5,000 trees

KMSP-TV
July 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MINNEAPOLIS – More Minneapolis trees will soon be taken down, and that has some say it’s a sign of a losing battle with the tree-killing insects known as the emerald ash borer. If left untreated, every ash tree can succumb to the tiny critters — and it can happen quickly. So, the city is trying to remove the problem altogether. The strategy is two-fold:
1. Pre-emptively spread out the workload of removing so many trees at once. 2. Learn from Dutch elm disease by planting a variety of trees to create pest-resistant landscape. Although Minneapolis may be the city of lakes, residents are awfully fond of the trees as well.

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Alberton fire grows to 80 acres

The Missoulian
July 10, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fire crews expanded their containment of a wildfire west of Alberton on Tuesday, even as strong winds pushed the fire to 80 acres. Boyd Hartwig with the Lolo National Forest said the Black Bear fire, located roughly six miles west of Alberton on the Ninemile Ranger District, was sparked by lightning on Monday. National Weather Service officials reported 1,600 lightning strikes across central Idaho and western Montana resulting from Monday’s series of storms.

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Major overhaul of parks and reserves management

ABC News, Australia
July 10, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The State Opposition will vote against a plan to overhaul the management of Tasmania’s reserve system. The State Government wants to split up Forestry Tasmania, handing about 220,000 hectares of forest reserves to a new parks and reserves authority. The new body would also potentially control another 500,000 hectares of forest which are yet to be permanently reserved under the forest peace deal. The Opposition’s Peter Gutwein says the plan would remove accountability and is a waste of money.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Are the ‘Yarnell 19’ Casualties of Climate Change?

Huffington Post
July 9, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Nineteen young men died earlier this week fighting a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona. Across our nation, many thousands expressed the grief that comes when so many are taken before their time. As in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and the extreme spring flooding in Europe, a question new to our times is being asked: “What if those courageous men — husbands, fathers and sons — would not have died if not for Fossil Fuel Era climate change?” It is a delicate matter to discuss the connection with climate change so soon after such a tragedy.

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Climate change might enable beetles’ rise against pine trees

Minnesota Public Radio News
July 9, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

LAKE OF THE WOODS COUNTY, Minn. — Minnesota’s coniferous trees are facing newly formidable foes: beetles. Stately, tall white pines all over the state and the tamaracks of northeastern Minnesota have had their natural defenses from beetles weakened. Scientists suspect climate change is to blame in both cases. The beetles’ rise is proof that the transformation of Minnesota’s forests isn’t a simple matter of some tree species handling warmer temperatures better than others.

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WIST, biotech company receive research grant

Biomass Magazine
July 9, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Promising biofuels research at a Wisconsin biotech company and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is getting a boost from a $224,292 National Science Foundation grant. C5.6 Technologies of Middleton and the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology at UW-Stevens Point were awarded the grant to continue work on developing bacteria that will ferment sugar into isoprene… WIST has patented a process to separate biomass, including waste from pulp and paper mills, into three components: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.

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Tree plantings anticipate climate change

Associated Press
July 9, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

In the Superior national forest a team of researchers will be planting thousands of red oak trees in northern Minnesota over the next two years in an experiment designed to help the north woods adapt to future climate change. Researchers fear that as winters become warmer the boreal forest could decline, and they are predicting that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness could look more like southern Minnesota or Iowa by the end of the century.

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