Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 15, 2013

Business & Politics

Profitability outlook for Canadian business stuck in neutral

Conference Board of Canada blames slumping trade with Europe, China
CBC News
July 12, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

… But China, which has driven the growth in sales of Canadian commodities, including copper, other metals and oil, is a bigger concern. Its exports slumped in July because of slowing global demand and the Chinese economy is expected to cool its rapid rate of expansion. There could be more bad news ahead for Canadian business, as the impact of flooding in Alberta and a two-week strike by construction workers in Quebec is fully felt. The Conference Board says the outlook is particularly negative for primary and fabricated metal products and lumber.

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Deadly dust still an issue in B.C. mills

by Gordon Hoekstra – WorksafeBC re-inspections still find more than two dozen mills with dust buildup
Vancouver Sun
July 14, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — B.C. forest firms are still struggling to properly clean up wood dust, according to inspection reports. Such dust was cited as the fuel source for two deadly mill explosions last year. This despite widespread publicity about the four workers killed in the explosions, directives and warnings from regulators, and promises from industry to clean up dust with equipment upgrades and the creation of an independent dust audit.

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Kenora gets back on the forestry bandwagon

Northern Ontario Business
July 12, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The forestry industry is on the rebound and the City of Kenora aims to take full advantage. The northwestern Ontario community that once thrived on forestry released a value-added forestry sector profile document in April as an industry attraction tool. Jennifer Findlay, Kenora’s economic development officer, said having the guide is a great resource. “For me, when I’m talking to a company, I’ve got this data and information – everything from the land that we have available, to how much you pay for stumpage in Ontario, and the process, people you would engage, funding opportunities and incentives that are available.”

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Maine economy tied to rail line’s fate

Manufacturers depend on the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway and fear higher costs.
Kennebec Journal
July 14, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The train disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last weekend may end up hurting Maine manufacturers that depend on the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway to move their goods and supplies, according to state officials and some mill operators. “The railroads are in many ways the lifelines to a lot of industries,” said Everett Deschenses, manager of fiber and logistics at Old Town Fuel & Fiber. “There is a concern that MM&A is not going to survive this.” Rail is critical for moving heavy, low-value industrial commodities long distances, such as chemicals, pulp and paper.

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Investors reveal impact of botched timber schemes as they fight for compensation

ABC News, Australia
July 15, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

More than a decade after being left out of pocket by a multi-billion-dollar timber scheme collapse, thousands of investors are still seeking compensation. Under a scheme introduced by the Howard government and maintained by Labor, businesses were granted big tax deductions for investments in managed timber plantations. The dream was to establish more than 2.5 million hectares of taxpayer-funded forests to make Australia self-sufficient in plantation timber.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Michael Green: Why we should build wooden skyscrapers (video)

TED Talk
July 15, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Building a skyscraper? Forget about steel and concrete, says architect Michael Green, and build it out of … wood. As he details in this intriguing talk, it’s not only possible to build safe wooden structures up to 30 stories tall (and, he hopes, higher), it’s necessary. Michael Green wants to solve architecture’s biggest challenge — meeting worldwide housing demand without increasing carbon emissions — by building with carbon-sequestering wood instead of concrete and steel.

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‘Now batting, Doug Fir…’ Forest Service says its research reduced hazard of shattered baseball bats

The Oregonian
July 12, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service — which knows a thing or two about swinging the lumber — says its researchers have reduced the number of shattered baseball bats by revising manufacturing standards. Working with Major League Baseball, which still uses wooden bats, researchers with the agency’s Forest Products Laboratory recommended changes that have reportedly decreased the rate of shattered maple bats by more than 50 percent since 2008.

Click here for a press release from USDA Forest Service

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Forestry

Hot, dry weather heats up forest fire risk around Nelson

Nelson Star
July 12, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the weather goes from wet to warm, fire officials are keeping an eye on conditions in surrounding forests. “At present the fire danger rating is quite varied across the south-east BC. While Nelson area is low to moderate, there are pockets of high near Revelstoke,” said Jordan Turner, information officer for the Southeast Fire Centre. “Even though we’ve been experiencing hotter weather in the Nelson area, the forest fields are still quite soaked from the spring wet rain we’ve had over the past couple weeks.”

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Avatar Grove: Seeing the forest for the ancient trees

Globe and Mail
July 14, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

From the logging road just outside Port Renfrew, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, there is no obvious sign that you are in the presence of megaflora… It was those weathered tips that caught the attention of T.J. Watt, a member of the Ancient Forest Alliance, a few years ago as he was ending a search for old trees. He had been crisscrossing Vancouver Island without much luck – and didn’t expect to find it so close to a logging town.

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Truck wash: public funds to solve industry mess?

Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 11, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Taking thousands of dollars from a fund earmarked for environmental projects and giving it to the logging industry for a commercial truck wash does not sit well with some Youbou residents. Nor does it sit well with former Area I (Youbou/Meade Creek) director Klaus Kuhn. He told the CVRD board as much on Wednesday during its regular board meeting. “That problem is caused by the forest industry and should be up to the forest industry to fix,” Kuhn told the board.

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B.C. must project both resource development, green leadership

Vancouver Sun
July 13, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia and Canada are in the midst of an existential crisis. Our economy and the lifestyle we expect are linked to the natural resources we take from the ground and sea, or allow to be funnelled through our ports, railways and airports. Yet a large number of us seem willing to reject or delay the further development of pipelines, logging operations, aquaculture sites, mines, ports and railways that are the foundation of the economy. It’s time to try to bring these seemingly opposing constituencies to a common ground.

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Alberta firefighters head to Manitoba to battle wildfires

Edmonton Journal
July 14, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Alberta is sending help to Manitoba in its battle against a large number of wildfires. A total of 44 Alberta firefighters depart Monday to assist with efforts to contain several dozen fires, most of which are burning across parts of northeastern Manitoba. “Currently, rain and cooler temperatures in Alberta have reduced the wildfire danger to the point where Alberta firefighters can be sent to work in other parts of the country,” the province said in a statement. “These exported firefighters can be recalled very quickly should the wildfire situation in Alberta change unexpectedly.”

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Use land wisely and it will protect us from floods

by Karsten Heuer, president of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.
Calgary Herald
July 12, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jerry Osborn’s article makes one central point — more flooding lies in our future. We may not want to hear it, but it’s true. Climate change models predict spring flooding in Alberta will happen more often and be more intense. …Compounding this are inappropriate land-use practices in our headwaters (clear-cut logging, high road densities, off-highway vehicle use), all which alter the land’s ability to absorb. …Floods will still happen, but well-managed headwaters can decrease their impacts. Clear-cut logging practices as they exist now reduce the capacity of forests to buffer the release of rain and snowmelt.

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Alberni resources used in Powell River fires; Martin Mars water bomber does four drops on Sunshine coast while Thunderbirds work on ground

Alberni Valley Times
July 14, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A two-hectare slash fire in Powell River is now under control, and it offered a good opportunity for the Hawaii Mars to show off the important role it can play in firefighting – an essential step given that the province has announced it will not use the bomber next fire season. …”It was excellent for us,” said Wayne Coulson, CEO of the Coulson group, which owns the water bomber. “We did about four loads and whacked it out with a couple of other machines, and it was a quick one.”

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Wabush residents get tap water back – Additional water bombers deployed to Gull Island forest fire

The Telegram
July 13, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There was some good news for residents of Wabush in western Labrador Friday as a non-consumption order was lifted, allowing people in the community to once again drink their tap water. The non-consumption order had been in effect for more than two weeks after water bombers attempting to suppress a large forest fire in western Labrador had to use the town’s water supply to help put a damper on the blaze. According to a news release issued by the town, no hydrocarbons were detected in the water supply, with data looking “very typical for the town of Wabush.”

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Quebec forest management puts wildlife at risk: biologist

The Canadian Press
July 14, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A prominent biologist says that nature can cope with the destruction of thousands of hectares of forest that have burned in northern Quebec in recent weeks but she’s not so sure about the effects of human meddling. Biologist Gaétane Boisseau notes that in Quebec’s boreal forest fires are frequent and often caused naturally by lightning. Burnt wood promotes regeneration and fires constitute an important element promoting ecological balance, she notes.

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New Brunswick slow on creating protected areas

Society says the government is more concerned about development than protection
CBC News
July 15, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A group promoting Canada’s wilderness says New Brunswick is lagging behind other parts of the country in creating natural protected areas and parks, according to a new report. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s annual report says New Brunswick has only three per cent natural areas protected and the plans to increase that slightly have been delayed. Roberta Clowater, the executive director of the New Brunswick branch of the society, said she believes the provincial government is more concerned about development than protection.

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Sloppy Federal Forest Management Fueling Spike in Wildfires

PJ Media
July 12, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Witnesses and lawmakers agreed at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing yesterday that a lack of federal forest management is increasingly putting the public and the environment at risk from dangerous wildfires. Last year, 9.3 million acres burned in forest fires — the third worst fire season on record — while the Forest Service harvested only 200,000 acres. “There will always be drought, there will always be heat spells, and there will always be fire that is out of our control,” said committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.).

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Forest Service Awards $44.2M to Conserve At-Risk Forests

USDA Forest Service
July 11, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON –Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced the award of $44.2 million in grants to permanently protect 16 working forests in 15 states. “Since 1990, the Forest Legacy Program has prevented the loss of more than 2.3 million acres of private forest lands for future generations of Americans,” said Tidwell. “In an era of continued sprawl, this program protects land and keeps working forests working.” Private forest landowners are facing increasing real estate prices, property taxes and development pressure, resulting in conversion of forests to other land uses. This program protects working forests, thereby supporting rural jobs and economies.

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Nonprofit partners bail out Forest Service

Associated Press
July 11, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

ASPEN, Colo. — Tight federal budgets are forcing the U.S. Forest Service to rely on volunteer organizations to provide meat and potatoes rather than dessert when it comes to projects on public lands. White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said his office works with numerous organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley that help with everything from trail maintenance to backcountry patrols to healing old scars left from road cuts. “We used to engage partners to do extra stuff,” Fitzwilliams said. “Now our partners are doing the essential stuff. I don’t know where we would be without these folks.”

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Rain creates flooding in Vegas-area wildfire area

Associated Press
July 12, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters worked amid rainstorms and flash flooding Friday to contain a wildfire that has burned since July 1 in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas, while U.S. Forest Service crews began trying to restore damaged plant and animal habitat. Officially, a quarter of an inch of rain fell on the nearly 44-square-mile area charred by flames and left prone to mudslides, said Larry Helmerick, a fire official from Golden, Colo. He was working with more than 1,300 other firefighters and support personnel on the Carpenter 1 fire.

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Lawmakers, citing Yarnell, press forestry officials on wildfire prevention

Cronkite News
July 13, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – Arizona lawmakers invoked the memory of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshotfirefighters at a hearing July 11 where they urged bureaucrats to improve forest management to prevent such fires in the future. “I can’t look at these 19 families in my district any other way,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-4th Dist., whose district was the scene of the deadly Yarnell Hill fire. “We have got to put this on the table. It can’t be tomorrow, it can’t be in a month, it can’t be a year from now. It’s got to be now.” 

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Budgets cuts force firefighters to show up to fires without water

Northwest News
July 12, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Portland — Portland firefighters are showing up to blazes with no water due to budget cuts. On Tuesday, a commercial fire broke out in a lumber yard in North Portland. When firefighters from Station 8 arrived on scene, they radioed to other emergency responders. “Be advised, we are a truck company. We have no water source,” said firefighters in a radio call obtained by KGW. Fire crews had to wait for several minutes for engines from other stations to arrive.

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Superior wildfire blows up to 150 acres within hours

Billings Gazette
July 15, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA — A wildfire that sparked half a mile from Interstate 90 near Superior late Sunday afternoon quickly grew to 150 acres by Sunday evening. The West Mullan fire was reported around 5 p.m. Sunday and was estimated to have grown to 150 acres by 8:30 p.m., said Boyd Hartwig, spokesman for the Lolo National Forest. The fire started at the base of a slope roughly 1/2 mile north of I-90 and worked its way uphill. It is burning east of the Dry Creek fishing access but no closures have been announced.

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Firefighters go high-tech in battle against wildfires

New York Times
July 13, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

To combat trickery of fires, experts are turning to technology high and low – from satellites and drones to tablets in field. 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.

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Forest Service not telling whole story on Colt-Summit

by George Ochenski
The Missoulian
July 14, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Anyone who has dealt with a government agency probably has a story to tell about how hard it was to get to the bottom of the issue. … The highly controversial Colt-Summit Project in the Seeley-Swan is a perfect example and last week the Forest Service committed a clear sin of omission in trying to blame litigants for stopping the project when, in fact, certain portions of the project were halted not by litigation, but by another government agency concerned about the effects on endangered specie

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Emerald ash borer leaves its mark on Illinois communities

Municipalities struggle to keep up with need to replace trees killed by infestation, restore canopy
Chicago Tribune
July 13, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

… Seven years after emerald ash borer was first identified in Illinois, many area communities are living with the infestation’s end result — giant holes in once-lofty tree coverings that spanned neighborhoods and subdivisions. Some of the hardest-hit areas are the outer-ring suburbs, which relied heavily on ash because developers building subdivisions knew those trees cost less and grew fast. But the thinning canopy affects more than just aesthetics.

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Auckland on watch following Dutch elm disease outbreak

Press Release: Auckland Council
July 15, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Auckland on watch following Dutch elm disease outbreak. More than 200 elm trees on the privately-owned Kingseat site near Drury have become infected with Dutch elm disease, making it the largest outbreak of the disease since its discovery in New Zealand in 1989. Dutch elm disease is spreading further south, with diseased trees recently destroyed near Appleby and Drury Hills Roads, Drury… Diseased trees were identified as the result of regular annual monitoring and reports from members of the public and contractors.

Tree-killing disease spreads south from The New Zealand Herald

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Mill protesters accused of risking forest peace pact

ABC News, Australia
July 13, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Premier and mainstream green groups have condemned an anti-logging protest at a mill in the north-west, but the Greens leader has tempered his criticism. About 40 activists gained access to Ta Ann’s Smithton timber mill today, shutting it down for several hours. Police broke up the protest, charging two people who had chained themselves to machinery with trespass and obstruction. They belong to one of the groups outside Tasmania’s forestry peace process.

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FG Can Generate Over 1m Jobs From Forestry, Says Expert

Leadership
July 13, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Mrs Oluremi Bakare, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Forest Carbon Company,has said that the Federal Government can generate more than one million jobs through investment in forest conservation activities. Bakare made the statement in Abuja on Saturday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, adding that investing in forest conservation would boost the economy and reduce over-reliance on oil and gas sectors. She said that forest conservation activities would improve the livelihoods of rural low income population and encourage their resilience to tackle climate change challenges.

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Deadly oak disease ‘spreading’ in UK

BBC News
July 15, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The government is stepping up monitoring of a disease thought to pose a serious threat to UK oak trees. Acute Oak Decline, which causes weeping patches on the stems of mature trees, is on the rise in England, particularly in the Midlands and the South East. A national survey has been commissioned as part of a new £1.1m research drive. Thousands of trees are thought to be affected, the Forestry Commission’s lead scientist on the condition told Radio 4’s Farming Today.

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‘Bullocky’ tells story of a dying breed

ABC News, Australia
July 12, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Bullocky, bullock driver, teamster… call them what you will, there aren’t many left these days. Rohan Morris from Gleneden, outside Gayndah in Queensland, is one of just a handful of people left in Australia who run a working bullock team to cart timber. His property has been in the family for 103 years, and home to a bullock team for about 15. In a rural world that’s losing workers, and where workplace health and safety is becoming a more worrying responsibility, the relationship being man and beast seems to be weakening.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Global warming “can be reversed”, scientists claim

The Nation
July 13, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

Hi-tech new bio-energy plants could “reverse” global warming by pumping carbon dioxide into old gas wells – lowering temperatures by 0.6°C per century, according to a study.
There are already 16 projects around the world working on the technology – aiming to generate power for local homes by burning vegetation such as wood or straw and then burying the carbon dioxide it produces deep underground. “It’s like drilling for natural gas, but in reverse,” says Niclas Mattson of Chalmers University, Sweden, co-author of the study.

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U.S. court says biofuel producers must face carbon emissions rules

Reuters
July 12, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Biofuel producers will be subject to rules regulating carbon emissions, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday, in a decision hailed by environmental groups. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a three-year deferral put in place in 2011 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that temporarily exempted paper and wood product manufacturers and ethanol producers from curbing the release of greenhouse gases. The EPA wanted to further study how much of the emissions linked to climate change come from burning plant matter before issuing emission regulations and permit requirements that could be costly to industry.

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Study: Wildfires may be warming Earth more than previously thought

Times Leader
July 13, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — Wildfires such as the Yarnell Hill blaze in Arizona may be warming Earth’s atmosphere far more than previously thought, according to a study by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Researchers at the Department of Energy facility normally chase fires throughout the western U.S., to measure their atmospheric effects. But in 2011, they took advantage of a conflagration that came to their doorstep — the Las Conchas fire that burned more than 150,000 acres and briefly caused the evacuation of the sprawling facility in the New Mexico desert. 

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Pellet status report ready

News-Times
July 13, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

MOREHEAD CITY — Plans were recently scaled back for a wood pellet export facility at the state port here due to a reassessment of market conditions. But the project is still on, with a status update to be aired during a public meeting this week. Meanwhile, State Ports Authority officials intent on expanding North Carolina’s forest products industry are also exploring an alternative plan to export entire logs via the N.C. Port of Morehead City – an operation that would require regulatory approval for open-air pesticide fumigation at the facility on the east end of Arendell Street. 

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Farmers welcome government’s biomass decision

ABC News
July 15, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A Cobar farmer says a change to environmental regulations in New South Wales could be not only lucrative, but also allow the recovery of unproductive land. The state government is amending rules to allow farmers and the logging industry to burn woody biomass for power generation. Cobar landowner Rob Chambers says tests have shown scrub could generate more electricity than brown coal, and almost as much as some black coal. “The potential of this waste biomass is absolutely immense,” he said.

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General

Weekly lumber market update and overview

Madison’s Lumber Reporter
July 12, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

The combined Canada Day/U.S. Independence Day long weekend breaks usually signal the seasonal slow-down of lumber production and sales in North America. When economic cycles and the home building season are relatively normal, these July holidays are usually followed by decreased buying of solid wood commodities. Customers would normally have stocked up by now, after all. Usually this is the time of year when hot, dry weather in the main timber harvesting and lumber producing areas brings maintenance curtailments, seasonal shutdowns, and a halt to activity in the back country due to fire danger.

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