Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 9, 2013

Business & Politics

From logging to construction, housing industry builds momentum

Market Watch
December 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

If the jump in mortgage rates is really scaring off home buyers and builders, the latest jobs report shows no evidence of it. Quite the contrary. Start with construction jobs. They rose by 17,000 and have increased by an average of 15,000 in the past 12 months. It’s the best stretch of hiring since the end of 2005 and early 2006.

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Hydro rates threaten Catalyst Paper

Alberni Valley Times
December 9, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Hydro’s largest single industrial customer has been pretty shy in the week since Energy Minister Bill Bennett laid out the future of electricity prices. It might be for some tactical reasons. Or it might be because Catalyst Paper is speechless. There’s not much doubt the plan Bennett outlined hits the coastal paper company right between the eyes. But it’s not as if the company didn’t see it coming. After months spent trying to wrestle the need for huge rate hikes down to more manageable levels, the government last week came up with a schedule that will see them rise about 28 per cent over the next five years.

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Terrace area logging company pays stumpage

Terrace Standard
December 7, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

YAORUN Wood Ltd. is back in action again after settling up a debt to the provincial government which led to a seizure of all the logs on their Keith Ave. yard. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Brennan Clarke said the company settled all outstanding payments for stumpage. “The forfeiture was lifted on Thursday, December 5 as Yaorun paid their outstanding obligation,” said Clarke.

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Canfor’s $36 million B.C. mill investment rests on deal with union

Madison’s Lumber Reporter
December 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As true winter weather finally hit most of the continent, continued strong demand following the US Thanksgiving long weekend was not enough to keep North American lumber and panel prices from dropping this week… The usual seasonal variables came into play, forcing sawmills to finally accept counter-offers from persistent buyers. Recent claims of sawmill order files right through to the holiday break had been strongly doubted by customers. This suspicion proved to have merit as several producers now admit to having orders booked only for another week or so.

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Fortress Mill Faces Shutdown

Bad news keeps on coming for Fortress Paper’s dissolving pulp mill in Quebec
BC Business
December 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fortress Paper Ltd. faces further trouble at its Thurso, Quebec, mill, with the announcement yesterday that the mill will be shut down at least until December 10 in order to repair a faulty pipe, losing at least six days of production. The company announced in October that it intends to convert the mill from dissolving pulp, used primarily to manufacture clothing, to kraft pulp used to manufacture paper, in response to a 13 per cent import duty imposed by China. The mill had been online for about a year, following a $120-million conversion from kraft to dissolving pulp.

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Domtar to sell former paper mill site to Windmill Development Group

Canadian Press
December 5, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Domtar Corp. said Thursday it has signed a deal to sell the Domtar paper mill site in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., to Windmill Development Group Ltd. Financial terms of the sale of the 14-hectare waterfront site were not immediately available. The deal includes property in downtown Gatineau as well as the Chaudiere and Albert Islands in Ottawa. Windmill wants to develop the property as a mixed-used community and plans to present a planning application to Ottawa and Gatineau city councils in the spring.

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Hardwood Production Tapers for Hunting Season

WoodWorking Network
December 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

International purchases of North American hardwood lumber accelerated in November, as tightening supplies and the strong probability of higher prices in the future had even the most cost-conscious buyers paying more to secure material. Customers with highly specific length, width and color specifications often had difficulty finding stock. Many exporters were not taking on new customers because they could not meet demand from existing customers. Buyers from around the world continue to visit North America in hopes of uncovering additional supplies.

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Lumber hard to price

Journalgazett.net
December 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

… Unlike the other agricultural markets related to food production, lumber has a unique set of complex factors that affect its supply and demand, creating a fascinating challenge to predict its price. Prices are affected by government policy, the long-term housing cycle and an annual cycle making cost control tricky for foresters, lumberyards, and builders alike… As commonly occurs, prices have retreated recently as demand for studs diminishes during winter months, hammering prices down to $347 per thousand board feet by Friday morning.

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Louisiana-Pacific Sells US GreenFiber to Tenex Capital

Woodworking Network
December 9, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NASHVILLE, TN – Louisiana-Pacific and Casella Waste Systems, Inc. sold their interests in US GreenFiber, a cellulose insultation manufacturer, to a limited liability company formed by Tenex Capital Management for $18 million inl cash. Net proceeds will be $7 after the working capital true-up and the repayment of indebtedness.

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Disgruntled Loggers Lose Suit Against Government

Courthouse News Service
December 7, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – California and the federal government did not break any promise to a lumber company regarding timber harvest levels because this issue was never part of their agreement, a state appeals court ruled. Pacific Lumber began cutting down old-growth redwood forests on its land in Humboldt County at an increased rate in 1989 to pay off debts associated with its buyout by Maxxam Inc. After several lawsuits protesting the deforestation were filed at the state and federal levels, the government enjoined Pacific from harvesting forest that served as habitat to the endangered marbled murrelet. Pacific said the government had unlawfully taken its land by declaring it unsuitable for timber harvesting.

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Plum Creek Completes Purchase of Southern Timberlands and Interest in South Carolina Development Lands

Businesswire
December 6, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SEATTLE—Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc.  today announced it has completed the acquisition of approximately 501,000 acres of industrial timberlands, associated mineral and wind assets, and interests in approximately 109,000 acres of high-value rural and development quality lands from MeadWestvaco Corporation. “Through this cash-accretive transaction, Plum Creek meaningfully grows our core timber management business while also adding to our land and non-timber resources businesses,” said Rick Holley, chief executive officer.

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Pulp mill potential

The Examiner
December 9, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

ALTHOUGH a J.P. Morgan economist has described the latest national gross domestic product figures as “underwhelming”, Tasmania’s surge from recession to equal top economic performer in the country is worth a shout, and Premier Lara Giddings, together with her hard-pressed Labor-Green colleagues, will be shouting, “Tasmania’s turned the corner.” The big hope from this optimism will be that, at last, there are jobs on the horizon, particularly for the hundreds of young people about to leave school.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadian Wood First Move Stirs Ire of Cement, Steel Industries

Woodworking Network
December 8, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE, BC – Provincial government support favoring high-rise wood manufacturing over other building materials has stirred opposition from two other Canadian construction sector suppliers: Canada’s steel and cement businesses. Wood First, a marketing effort launched in 2009 by the Province of British Columbia, was established to revive the wood manufacturing sector, and find new applications for wood as a construction material. British Columbia is providing major support to a Wood First initiative: construction of the Wood Innovation and Design Centre.

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Green building rival emerges among LEED attacks

Associated Press
December 9, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

PORTLAND, Ore. – The eco-friendly building rating system known as LEED has been around for more than a decade, powering a green arms race in cities across the nation.  It’s an industry force, certifying thousands of buildings and providing a marketing tool, tax breaks and other incentives to builders eager to cash in on the sustainability craze. But now, LEED has a rival – a controversial, Portland, Ore.-based rating system known as Green Globes, which markets itself as a simpler, less expensive alternative.

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Forestry

Government words, deeds don’t match on caribou: environmentalists

Canadian Press
December 8, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

….. “There’s huge big cutblocks all the way along, right by the caribou sign, actually. It’s pretty funny.” Brady Whittaker of the Alberta Forest Products Association acknowledged that while industry has stayed out of the Little Smoky area, the same can’t be said of the a la Peche. But he adds that when the forest is your business, it’s hard to avoid wildlife. “There may be caribou in lots of areas where we are harvesting,” he said. The forestry industry supports efforts to develop a range plan for the area that can accommodate all demands on the landscape and is involved in those discussions, Whittaker said.

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Province repeatedly hired Khaira

The Globe and Mail
December 8, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Khaira Enterprises Ltd. will be back before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal this week facing allegations that it kept forestry workers in slave-like conditions at a remote camp near Golden. The company’s practices have been the focus of the hearings. But the operator had a silent partner – the provincial government.

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Bark beetles turn forest into carbon source

Wyoming Public Media
December 6, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Pine and spruce beetles have killed millions of trees across Wyoming and the West. To many, the dying forests are visually unattractive. But there’s a bigger issue. Researchers in the Medicine Bow National Forest are finding that beetle kill has had a major impact on how the forest processes carbon dioxide. Wyoming Public radio’s Willow Belden reports… Frank says one of the key things they’re measuring at this site is how much carbon dioxide the forest takes in, and how much is released back into the atmosphere. Normally, forests absorb more carbon than they release. But Frank says beetle kill has changed that.

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Current cold snap not enough to disrupt Colorado pine beetle threat

The Denver Post
December 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Colorado’s plunge into the deep freeze, with overnight lows in the northern mountains dropping to minus 20 degrees for days in a row, likely is not cold enough or prolonged enough to disrupt the life cycle of the destructive pine beetle. Pine beetles have been ravaging Colorado’s lodgepole pine forests since the late 1990s. Long periods of extreme cold can cut down the pine beetle population, making the infestation less destructive. But by December, the insects are already hunkered down for winter, making the current cold snap too little, too late.

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60 objections filed to Kootenai, Idaho Panhandle forest plans

The Missoulian
December 8, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

One thing’s certain about the draft management plans for the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle national forests – they’ve got lots of kinks to work out. By last week’s deadline, 60 people or organizations had filed hundreds of pages of objections to the draft plans. The two national forests, on the northwestern Montana-northern Idaho border, are the first in the nation to develop new long-term management plans. “The new process allows the public a greater view of the wide variety of perspectives we’re trying to balance,” Idaho Panhandle spokesman Jason Kirchner said on Friday.

Objections filed against Idaho, Mont. forest plans from The Associated Press

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Restoration Efforts May Mean More ‘Chestnuts Roasting

USDA Blog
December 6, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” is a line from a song that conjures up fond holiday memories for some Americans… But the lack of American chestnuts could change in the coming years, thanks to some very dedicated people. The U.S. Forest Service and its partners may be one step closer to restoring the American chestnut tree to parts of the mountains and forests of the southern United States. Since 2009, they planted close to 1,000 potentially-blight resistant American chestnut trees on national forests in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. To date, more than 80 percent of the American chestnut backcross hybrid saplings planted in the national forests have survived

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U.N. deal provides state funding for forest protection

Reuters
December 7, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A U.N. deal on forest protection will attract more government funding to help poorer nations, but could fail to prevent a slump in the fledgling market for carbon credits from projects that cut emissions by slowing deforestation. Almost 200 nations at U.N. talks in Warsaw last month agreed to fund the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program and took steps to ensure it will be part of a global pact to tackle climate change after 2020… Countries hoping to access pledged funds would publish a national REDD strategy, create a monitoring system for projects and provide information on how local communities are involved.

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New forest management plan for WA timber industry

ABC News, Australia
December 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Western Australia’s timber industry is preparing to tighten its belt after the release of a new framework to manage the state’s south-west forests. Forest resource is allocated on a ten-year plan which comes to the end of its cycle at the end of this month. Timber sourced from 2.5 million hectares of forests from Lancelin to Denmark is supplied under contract by the state government through the Forest Products Commission.  The forest industry says the latest ten year plan is the most cautious plan it has seen.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Study: Some Companies Could Switch to Wood Power

Daily Fusion
December 6, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

According to researchers at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), it is possible for some companies to economically convert their operations to wood power. The conversion to wood boilers for heat and power would make the most sense for larger commercial and industrial operations in areas that have access to large timber resources and a friendly regulatory environment, said Charles Ray, assistant professor of wood products operations at Penn State.

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Canada’s Timber Industry May Be Rebounding, But For How Long?

Climate Progress
December 6, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canada’s timber industry is rebounding from the economic downturn, stronger than ever. That was the news out of Ottawa on Thursday as Natural Resources Canada presented its 2013 annual report, The State of Canada’s Forests. …Unfortunately, the ostensibly rosy economic news from what’s been happening to Canada’s forests in recent years has a dark side. Last month, the Global Forest Change map — a joint project between researchers at the University of Maryland and Google that tracks the losses and gains of the world’s forests over the last 12-years — showed that Canada is one of the countries with some of the most disturbing rates of forest destruction.

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Wood pellet plant planned for Terrace

Terrace Standard
December 6, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

An agreement between Coast Tsimshian Resources (CTR) and Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. means the two will work toward the construction of a wood pellet plant for Terrace. The deal was announced today, with a release saying the two groups have signed an agreement to work towards developing a fiber procurement plan and a partnership wood pellet plant in Terrace. The plant – the location of which is yet to be confirmed – is expected to create close to 200 jobs.

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Why Scientists are Concerned About Tree-Burning Power Plants

LIveScience.com
December 6, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, 41 leading scientists sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on the agency to protect U.S. forests from the growing sucking sound created by biomass power plants. The scientists urged the agency to put in place a regulatory system that is both science-based and takes into account the key recommendations of the science panel the agency itself commissioned.

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Big Oil Anticipates 10-Fold Surge in Carbon Emission Cost

Bloomberg News
December 7, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

International oil producers are girding for carbon emission costs that may surge to almost 10 times the current prices in Europe, the world’s largest greenhouse gas market, as governments around the world step up efforts to curb climate change. Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest energy company by market value, is basing plans for future capital investments on the assumption that it will have to pay $60 a metric ton for carbon emissions. That’s the most among 11 U.S. and European companies that provided figures in a report released Thursday by CDP, a nonprofit that compiles environmental performance data for investors.

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EPA to hold hearing on biomass plant in Anderson

McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
December 8, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding two public hearings Tuesday on a proposal by Sierra Pacific Industries to build a wood-fired power plant in Anderson.  A panel of judges ordered the EPA to hold the hearings on Sierra Pacific’s proposal to build a 31-megawatt power plant at its saw mill north of Anderson off Highway 273. Citizens for Clean Air, a Shasta County group, had asked the EPA to hold a public hearing on Sierra Pacific’s request for a permit to operate the plant. But the agency refused.

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Report: Biomass harvest may hurt state in long term

Greenville Online
December 7, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

South Carolina’s forests may be ripe to harvest woody biomass, a source that’s emerged as an export to European markets to power their electrical plants, but mass cutting of small trees and undergrowth may be bad in the long term for the state’s forests and its most steady forestry jobs, industry analysts say. South Carolina now lags behind many Southeastern states in the amount of woody biomass it harvests and exports because no ports in the state are equipped to store or load wood pellets onto ships bound for Europe, a state forestry official said.

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General

Protesters vow to continue forest fight despite threat of spot fines

ABC News, Australia
December 9, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

Tasmanian forest protesters insist they will not be deterred by the Liberal Party’s plans to fine and jail activists who disrupt work places. The Liberals have today announced $10,000r on-the-spot fines for protesters, and three month jail terms for repeat offenders. The election policy is designed to crack down on forest protesters. Leader Will Hodgman says there will also be fines for corporations which incite or encourage the behaviour.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

Crow’s Weekly Market Report
December 6, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

Lumber: Greater urgency to sell production forced SPF lumber mills to lower prices more aggressively to locate trading levels. Some success was achieved at $20 below the prior week’s levels. Buyers needing to purchase did so sparingly, while others saw the weakness as a reason to remain on the sidelines. Sales activity in the Southern Pine lumber market was quiet and described by a few producers as “extremely slow.”

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More logging, deforestation may better serve climate in some areas

e! Science News
December 6, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

Replacing forests with snow-covered meadows may provide greater climatic and economic benefits than if trees are left standing in some regions, according to a Dartmouth College study that for the first time puts a dollar value on snow’s ability to reflect the sun’s energy. The findings suggest more frequent logging or deforestation may better serve our planet and pocketbooks in high latitude areas where snowfall is common and timber productivity is low. Such a scenario could involve including snow cover/albedo in existing greenhouse gas exchanges like the Kyoto protocol or a cap-and-trade program or ecosystem services market in which landowners are paid to maintain snow cover and produce timber rather than conserve forests and store carbon. 

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