Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 13, 2014

Business & Politics

Lumber demand remains strong despite icy winter blasts

Madison’s Lumber Reporter
January 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

North American lumber and panel traders wiped the turkey drippings off their chins and holiday cheer off their brows this week, returning to their desks to find no slowdown in ordering, writes Keta Kosman in Madison’s Lumber Reporter. While this was a somewhat surprising turn of events, it is of particular interest to note that most of the buying came from US customers. Even the epic cold blasts repeatedly slamming densely populated areas of the US and Canada were not enough to stem the tide of demand for solid wood products.

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Babine Forest Products will not face charges after 2012 sawmill fire

The Globe and Mail
January 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Criminal Justice Branch has ruled out criminal charges against Babine Forest Products in a 2012 sawmill fire in the community of Burns Lake that killed two workers and injured 20 others. In a statement Friday, the branch said there was little likelihood of conviction for regulatory offences recommended by WorkSafeBc – the province’s workers’ compensation board – partly due to issues with the way the agency investigated the incident.

No charges in Burns Lake mill blast that killed two: Crown from the Canadian Press
WorkSafeBC Responds to Babine Forest Products’ Families and Workers from WorkSafeBC
Board does not want charges ruled out in sawmill decision from The Globe and Mail
Crown drops Babine case, condemns Worksafe BC from The Prince George Citizen

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Tree-killing beetles can’t slow down newsprint mill

Edmonton Journal
January 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation was surging through northern B.C. in 2008, management at Alberta’s only paper mill grew alarmed when they heard about problems at their competitors’ mills. “The mill in Mackenzie (north of Prince George), for instance, is similar to ours, and they were having problems with the blue-tinged wood from the infected trees. They didn’t realize what they had until it was in their plant,” said Gary Smith, technical director of Alberta Newsprint Co. (ANC) in Whitecourt.

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Hampton Promises State of the Art System in New Babine Mill

250 News
January 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…We believe the cause was related to combustible pine beetle dust and have worked with the Forest Industry Task Force in conjunction with WorkSafe to develop new safety processes to dramatically reduce the risk of future such accidents.” Zeka says the new mill, which will be operational in February, has “ state-of-the art equipment and systems to collect sawdust at machine sources. It also has equipment, building and floor plans designed to facilitate clean-up and reduce areas where sawdust can accumulate.”

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Raw log export remains a hot topic in city

Alberni Valley Times
January 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Always a hot topic locally, the raw log export issue made headlines 20 years ago in January 1994. A ship arrived in the harbour from Nanaimo where raw logs were loaded aboard, en route to Japan. She stopped in Port Alberni to finish loading prior to making the long voyage and the logs were tucked away in the hold. Despite it being a subject of much debate, nobody complained. The City of Port Alberni made regular runs to Japan from the local harbour, but this trip was different, according to Denis White of the Harbour Commission.

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CILA to make work place safety a new year’s resolution

HQ Prince George
January 12, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The forest industry reported 11 fatalities in 2013. Of that 11, four involved truckers and that has the Central Interior Logging Association wanting action to be taken. Executive Director MaryAnne Arcand says the gradual slipping up is a concern for the logging industry. “There is more activity in the bush again, than there was five years go obviously,” says Arcand, “but still we don’t want the safety to decrease because of that or use that as an excuse.”

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Western Forest Products shares gain steam

Alberni Valley Times
January 13, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products stocks rose above $2 per share last week for the first time since 2007. WFP, which operates two sawmills in Port Alberni – Alberni Pacific Division and Somass – had its shares hit $2 each on Wednesday and opened Friday selling at $2.08 per share. Its highest point in the last decade was approximately $11 per share in 2004, but WFP stocks dipped rapidly in the fall of that same year and hovered around $2 per share until 2008. It would then drop below $1 per share in 2009, but it has been gaining steam ever since.

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Timber bills alone will not solve county funding woes

Mail Tribune
January 12, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Counties in Oregon are in financial distress, as many as eight reporting near insolvency. Eighteen Oregon counties built much of their infrastructures and services around funding from the timber receipts of the O&C Act of 1937. After years of unsustainable harvesting on these lands, the Northwest Forest Plan of 1994 reduced timber sales on federal lands to a small fraction of their historical levels. Oregon counties are now reconciling the costs of their service levels with drastically reduced timber receipts and our recent economic calamity.

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Logs to China drive forestry export growth

Fuseworks Media
January 13, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The value of New Zealand’s forestry-product exports has more than doubled in the last 20 years, Statistics New Zealand said today. The export of logs to China is driving the increase. In 2012 we exported $4.5 billion of forestry products, compared with $1.9 billion in 1992. They continue to be our third-largest goods export, after dairy and meat. The types of forestry products we export and who buys them have also changed over the 20 years. “In 1992, logs accounted for less than a quarter of New Zealand’s total forestry exports, but overseas demand, particularly from China, saw this jump to 35 percent by 2012,” prices manager Chris Pike said.

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Norske Skog to sell its stake in Brazilian newsprint mill

EUWID
January 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Norske Skog will exit the South American paper market. The company said it would sell its remaining shares in the Pisa newsprint mill to Papeles Bio Bio. Norske Skog has entered into an agreement to sell its remaining 49% stake in the Brazilian Pisa newsprint mill to Chilean company Papeles Bio Bio. The company put the transaction price at $37m.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Green alternative to treated lumber reported to be rotting unexpectedly

Engineering.com
January 11, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

New technologies incorporating environmental sustainability comprise a growing field of research and manufacture. New methods of meeting old demands using less energy and earth-friendly ingredients require new engineering practices. Sometimes, as with any new technology, there are unexpected downsides and erroneous performance. Such is the case with TimberSIL, an environmentally-friendly alternative to pressure-treated wood. As reported by the Tuscaloosa News, the Make it Right Foundation used the TimberSIL lumber to build decks and stairs for about 30 post-Katrina homes from 2008 to 2010.

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Forestry

Environmental groups take their fights to court

A series of lawsuits, many of them launched by Ecojustice, aims to compel governments to enforce their own laws
Vancouver Sun
January 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER — A recent flurry of lawsuits by environmentalists aims to force governments to adhere to their own laws, the Vancouver-based executive director of Ecojustice said Thursday. Ecojustice, often in collaboration with other groups, has been at the forefront of the litigation since its inception in 1990. In part, that is due to a policy decision by the group to focus on litigation — “our bread and butter” — instead of public education and law reform, Devon Page said…. In 2013, action launched against the B.C. government for failing to take steps under the Forest and Range Practices Act to make logging companies allow for conservation of coastal Douglas fir forests. The case is back in B.C. Supreme Court later this month.

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Editorial: What does ‘duty to consult’ mean?

Its definition has to be mutually agreed upon by government, First Nations
Vancouver Sun
January 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Stephen Harper, in B.C. earlier this week, proclaimed that aboriginals have an unprecedented chance through resource development to join Canada’s mainstream. Grand Chief of B.C.’s First Nations Summit Ed John, meanwhile, insisted that development won’t happen until aboriginals, as rights holders, are properly consulted. Unfortunately for Canadians, the two leaders appeared to be talking past one another. It is worth noting the prime minister delivered his comments to a Vancouver Board of Trade business audience rather than directly to aboriginal representatives in B.C.

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Regional District of Fraser-Fort George still looking to set up community forest

HQ Prince George
January 11, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A first of its kind community forest in Prince George is still looking to be set up in the area. The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George is exploring the idea of creating a forest that combines agricultural items with forestry. General Manager of Development Services Terry McEachen says the forest would look to harvest trees. “Especially the dead pine,” says McEachen, “in order to raise funds for putting those lands into production for agricultural use.”

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Funding Extends Pine Beetle Research

250 News
January 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – UNBC will continue to be part of a research project that is focused on the Mountain Pine Beetle. $4.4 million dollars in funding will allow the project, which involves 5 universities and other organizations, to continue. UNBC Ecosystem Science and Management Professors Dezene Huber and Brent Murray have been involved for the past five years with the project and will continue their research with the new funding.

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B.C. gov’t workers scamming taxpayers, according to documents from special investigative unit

The Province
January 12, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In sophisticated frauds, a number of provincial government workers have teamed up with dodgy businesses and contractors to steal from you, the taxpayer. …In another apparently far-reaching scheme, a number workers in the “tree improvement branch” were investigated internally by the Ministry of Forestry for “financial improprieties.” The probe broadened into concerns of conflict of interest and use of government purchasing cards. Documents say an independent investigation was requested for financial transactions in the ministry, but because of redactions it is impossible to know how deep, or high this apparent scandal reached.

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Endowment, USDA Forest Service Sign Master MOU to Enhance Long-Term Partnership

US Endowment for Forestry and Communities
January 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Carlton Owen, President and CEO of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), today signed a master agreement with USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. The Endowment and the Forest Service have collaborated on numerous projects since the Endowment’s creation in 2006. This new master agreement reflects the importance of this partnership and opens the door for expanded collaboration on a range of initiatives that are critical for the future of working forests.

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Iowa View: 32,000 football fields of trees gone

It’s time for lawmakers to approve a proposed healthy woodlands initiative in Iowa
Desmoines Register
January 12, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For the first time since 1974, Iowa lost woodland acres. Did you know that in 2012, Iowa lost 42,000 acres of woodlands? That’s equivalent to nearly 32,000 football fields of valuable trees gone forever. Based upon a report by the forest inventory analysis division of the U.S. Forest Service, it appears that the reduction of woodland acres is primarily a result of farmers clearing woodlands to take advantage of record high prices for corn and soybeans. This loss of woodlands should concern every Iowan not only because of the loss of beauty they provide, but because this loss has a direct effect on the quality of life that we have come to enjoy. Trees and forests benefit everyone.

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Tester bill smoke and mirrors when it comes to sound forest management

by Chuck Jarecki of Polson, retired cattle rancher and timber owner
The Missoulian
January 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Many opinions have recently been expressed extolling the merits of Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. However, there are other aspects to this legislation that need to be brought forth. This proposed legislation is a thinly disguised attempt to legislate new wilderness areas in Montana while supposedly promoting more jobs on U.S. National Forest lands and in the timber industry. What the bill really does is legislate new wilderness areas without mandating good forest management through proper long-term stewardship to maintain a healthy, productive forest. Simply put, the legislation is primarily a wilderness bill without mentioning that fact in the bill title.

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Umatilla National Forest timber harvest plan upheld

Union-Bulletin
January 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE — A federal judge has upheld a plan by the U.S. Forest Service to proceed with a timber harvest and fuel reduction plan for the Umatilla National Forest. The 3,900-acre ecosystem restoration project had been challenged by The Lands Council, the Hells Canyon Preservation Council and the League of Wilderness Defenders. The project in the South George area of the Pomeroy Ranger District will consist mostly of removing smaller trees that have grown into the forest after decades of fire suppression.

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Forest Jobs and Recreation Act: Total costs outweight benefits

Letter by Steve Kelly
The Missoulian
January 12, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wilderness activists remain strongly divided over Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. For long four years, Tester and Sen. Max Baucus have dodged genuine public debate on the bill’s methodology and retrograde policy implications. Political framing has been meticulous and constant from the get-go. Huge sums of political cash have been spent by big-name, “nonprofit” environmental groups (timber partners) to promote the bill and lubricate Tester’s political machine. Widespread objection to the bill’s unsustainable, 100,000-acre logging mandate remains.

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Sen. Jon Tester stumps to fix logjam in timber industry

KAJ18.com
January 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…We caught up with Senator Tester as he toured Tricon Timber in St. Regis before his bill, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act hits the senate floor for a vote. “This is a piece of legislation where folks from all different ilks came together, they all gave a little and they all win,” Sen. Tester said. An essential part of the bill would open up 100,000 acres of forest land in Montana, over 10 years to be harvested. With the lack of timber sources an issue, supply has been a burden for companies like Tricon Timber.

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The Rim fire, its recovery and the debate

The Sacramento Bee
January 12, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Smoke still curls out of smoldering forest from the Rim fire that swept through the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and private timberland late last summer. A sea of black candlesticks covers vast sections of the landscape. …So now the issue is recovery. On the table for debate is how much salvage logging should be allowed in the national forest, how much land should be left untouched, and how much should be planted in conifer seedlings to help regenerate the forest within our lifetime. Unfortunately, the extremes have dominated the stage.

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How collaboration is helping fire-prone forests: Guest opinion

The Oregonian
January 12, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent annual Oregon Business Plan Summit brought business and community leaders, the governor, and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley together in support of the three primary goals of the 2014 plan: job creation, raising Oregon’s personal income level and reducing Oregon’s poverty rate from 17 percent to 10 percent. A significant focus was devoted towards the current momentum and opportunities associated with “Unlocking Oregon’s Natural Wealth to Restore Rural Prosperity.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

U.S. EIA predicts increased wood, waste biomass consumption

Biomass Magazine
January 10, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the January issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, which provides its first 2015 forecasts for wood biomass and waste biomass energy production. According to the STEO, woody biomass is expected to be used to generate 120,000 megawatt hours (MWh) per day of electricity across all sectors in 2014, increasing to 123,000 MWh per day in 2015. In 2013, woody biomass was used to generate an estimated 110,000 MWh per day of electricity.

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Knowing the difference between forest myths, realities

The Missoulian
January 10, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

… Apparently a recent (Dec. 24) article concerning a research project that seeks to find the means by which waste wood is converted into liquid fuels as an alternative to petroleum-based gas or diesel garnered the ire of folks like Keith Hammer of the Swan View Coalition because it is stated that dead wood waste material would be used, and counter argued that it is not waste but crucial for maintaining forest ecosystems and soils.

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Incentive could attract pellet producer to Adirondacks, officials say

PostStar
January 10, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

GLENS FALLS — An initiative Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed to encourage conversion of oil heating systems to wood fuel could help attract a Vermont-based wood pellet manufacturer looking to expand in the Adirondacks, said state Sen. Elizabeth Little. If successful, the plant would create new jobs and support the existing forestry industry by establishing a new market for low-grade wood that otherwise might not be saleable. Little, speaking at a State of the State follow-up presentation at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls on Friday, said she was glad to hear the governor mention the initiative in his speech earlier this week.

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