Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 27, 2014

Froggy Foibles

Wood Car Takes Automakers Back to Future in Mileage Quest

Bloomberg News
January 26, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Surfers rejoice. Woodie cars like the Ford in the 1960s hit Surf City may be making a comeback — of sorts. In a bid to resurrect wood cars, Finnish papermaker UPM-Kymmene Oyj will show a street-legal prototype at the Geneva motor show in March. The eco-friendly car is built on a frame that uses tree pulp and plywood and even runs on fuel made from bark, stumps and branches. It’s more than just a marketing stunt. The Helsinki-based company has developed technology that makes lumber a potential option for the auto industry. UPM’s Biofore concept, which uses off-the-shelf products, is designed to meet European standards for crash and fire safety and offer all the comforts of a conventional car.

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Business & Politics

Canadian Housing Starts ‘Healthy’ in 2013

Woodworking Network
January 26, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian housing starts barely moved in December, declining by an almost imperceptible 670 units to 195,760 units (-0.3% from November), according to the Canada Mortgage and Home Corporation (CMHC).“The trend in housing starts has remained essentially stable since October 2013. Housing demand continues to be healthy in Canada,” said Bruno Duhamel, manager of economic and housing analysis at CMHC.

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Investigators to examine cause of Saturday night Kamloops mill fire

Canadian Press
January 26, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that broke out in a Kamloops pulp mill. The city’s fire department was called to Domtar mill Saturday night after flames started burning around the electrical transformer. Spokeswoman Bonnie Skeene says there were no injuries and the flames were doused within a couple of hours. She says no evacuation was necessary, though production was halted for 12 hours. Mill safety has been an ongoing issue since an explosion ripped through a sawmill in Burns Lake two years ago, killing two people and injuring 20 more.

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Calls renewed for criminal prosecution of workplace deaths

January 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

When the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch announced earlier this month that no charges would be laid in a deadly sawmill explosion in Burns Lake, the families of the two victims killed in the explosion were outraged. …Groups such as the 450,000-strong B.C. Federation of Labour and the United Steelworkers want the so-called Westray Mine provision in Canada’s Criminal Code to be called on more often to prosecute companies and its officers with criminal workplace negligence. Legislation to create the workplace criminal negligence offence was drafted after a in 1992 explosion at Nova Scotia’s Westray underground coal mine killed 26 men.

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CEOs work together to create sawmill regulations

Globe and Mail
January 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The night that a sawmill in Prince George exploded, two of B.C.’s leading forestry executives – normally fierce competitors – picked up the phone to talk.  Hank Ketcham, chair of West Fraser Timber, called Don Kayne, CEO of Canfor. The two companies are giants in the B.C. forest industry and they run head to head in the province’s Interior. But both men were driven that night by fear of a crisis they saw headed their way.

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Search for Answers and Solutions to Babine Tragedy Must Continue

250 News
January 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The move by BC Premier Christy Clark to have one of her Deputy Ministers review the file on the Babine Mill explosion is a good move. While it is going on in tandem with the Coroner’s Office and an inquest that is planned , it will give the head of the civil service a look and see who should be responsible for what, and that is needed. …The United Steel Workers union says a Coroner’s inquest  is a good
thing , if the recommendations from that inquest are implemented.  That is the hook.  If the jury finds that there are ways and means to
prevent such a re-occurrence, will government move to put them in
place?

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Calls renewed for criminal prosecution of workplace deaths

January 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

When the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch announced earlier this month that no charges would be laid in a deadly sawmill explosion in Burns Lake, the families of the two victims killed in the explosion were outraged. …Groups such as the 450,000-strong B.C. Federation of Labour and the United Steelworkers want the so-called Westray Mine provision in Canada’s Criminal Code to be called on more often to prosecute companies and its officers with criminal workplace negligence. Legislation to create the workplace criminal negligence offence was drafted after a in 1992 explosion at Nova Scotia’s Westray underground coal mine killed 26 men.

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Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation is continuing to press the government for access to newly acquired Crown lands

The News
January 24, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Don Breen noted it’s a discussion that’s been taking place since the provincial government took possession of the former Bowater Mersey lands in 2012. “Fifty per cent of our cost is the wood itself,” said Breen. “We’re looking at ways to reduce our costs by having more access to fibre.” It had been reported in allNovaScotia.com, an exclusive online news site, that Northern Pulp was in danger of closing and had asked the province for a multi-million dollar bailout.

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Full steam ahead

Lumber company soars with efficient, technologically advanced operation
The World
January 25, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

MYRTLE POINT — One South Coast lumber company is flourishing in an industry where many are yelling “timber.” Bill Hitner took over W&L Lumber from his father 31 years ago, when he was just 17 years old. At the time there were seven mills in the area. They’ve all since gone under. Meanwhile, W&L Lumber continued to succeed and grow with huge changes and upgrades, creating one of the more technologically advanced lumber operations in the region.

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Rayonier Announces Plan to Separate into Two Industry-Leading Public Companies

Businesswire
January 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rayonier Inc. announced today it intends to separate its Performance Fibers business from its Forest Resources and Real Estate businesses. The separation will result in two independent, publicly-traded companies by means of a tax-free spin-off of the Performance Fibers business to Rayonier shareholders. The separation is expected to be completed in mid-2014.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canada Pumps $4.5M into Wood Fiber Panel Plant

WoodWorking Network
January 26, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

DRAYTON VALLEY, AB – Tekle Technical Services has been awarded $4.5 million from the Canadian government to support the manufacture of engineered biocomposite fiber mats from wood waste for use in automotive parts and other end uses. The funding from the Economic Action Plan 2010 will help drive Tekle’s Biocomposite Group’s new start-up plant to use a unique Canadian-developed process to make lightweight, renewable biocomposite fiber mats. The mats are vacuum formed combining wood fiber mixed with a small amount of polyester resin that binds the wood when it is heated in molds. Car door panels, trim and other parts can be compression molded at the plant.

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The first 14 storey wood building

Journal of Commerce
January 23, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rune Abrahamsen, a structural engineer with Sweco Norge AS in Lillehammer, Norway, was the presenter for “Bergen in a wood construction fever – the first 14 storey building” at the 2014 International Wood Symposium put on by WoodWorks!BC on Jan. 23 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Abrahamsen said Sweco has worked on feasibility studies on a 15-storey timber apartment building with a concrete core in Rundeskogen, Sadnes, Norway, as well as a 20-storey office building that would be timber only. Though these buildings were never built, the study learned that timber highrise buildings are feasible from an engineering point of view and are a good answer to urban sustainability concerns.

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Delivering efficient engineered wood and hybrid structures

Journal of Commerce
January 24, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Paone, the director and senior vice president of Alfred Horie Construction Co. Ltd. and Mark Porter from Associated Engineering of Burnaby, B.C., presented “Delivering efficient engineered wood and hybrid structures,” the final session at the 2014 International Wood Symposium held Jan. 23 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Paone began the session by saying his presentation is from the perspective of a builder and that he will illustrate why he chose to go with wood as the main material in various projects.

Tall composite structures: the right material, the right place, the right time from The Journal of Commerce
Post-tensioned multi-storey timber buildings for sustainability and resilience from The Journal of Commerce
Modern timber structure have to meet time, cost and performance expectation from The Journal of Commerce

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Forestry

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) launches leading initiative to Strengthen Aboriginal Peoples’ Rights in Canadian Forests

Canada Newswire press release
January 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

TORONTO – The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is pleased to announce a landmark new initiative to help strengthen Aboriginal Peoples’ rights in Canada by rigorously applying free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) to FSC’s Forest Management Standards. “Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is seen as one of the key principles of international human rights law to protect our people from destruction of our lives, culture and livelihood. FSC is the only forest certification system to implement and rigorously apply free, prior and informed consent to their forest management standards.” says Brad Young, Executive Director, National Aboriginal Forestry Association.

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Select cut the forests

Letter to the Editor by Jim Dorey
Nelson Star
January 25, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Clear cutting has been used exclusively in BC since H.R. MacMillan became Minister of Forests in the 1940s. We need to take another look at selection management as a major tool especially in the Kootenay mix forest. We need to have respect for the harvest not wanton destruction of the source of our bounty. This beautiful mixed forest of a dozen species lends itself to select cutting. There is always a difference to shade tolerance which allows a species to take its place in the canopy. Our decisions of logging seem to be based on short-term economics — cut and run — to where?

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Yes, there are too many trees in the Sierra

redding.com
January 24, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s become the conventional wisdom among those who pay attention to the state of forests that California’s, for various reasons but mainly because we stamp out fires, have far more trees per acre than they did in their “natural” state. But Redding-based Forest Service researcher Eric Knapp and others from the Pacific Southwest Research Station have documented the changes in detail in a new study. From a Forest Service announcement…

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A modern megadrought? Tree rings give clues to state’s dry-spell history

Times-Standard
January 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history. But scientists who study the West’s long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began… Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.

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Both Tester’s and Daines’ ‘forest bills’ are no good

Billings Gazette
January 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition endorsement of the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act by Executive Director Caroline Byrd has attracted doubters, as she states. This bill, known as FJRA, is recognized as place-based national forest legislation that is intended by its supporters to override Forest Service planning and administrative rules, an essential component of ecosystem and public land protection… An even more threatening piece of legislation demanding GYC’s attention is HR. 1526 This “Restoring Health Forests for Healthy Communities Act” mandates even more logging on the BDNF and the Gallatin National Forest.

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Pacific Education Institute Delivers Research-Based Science Education to Students Outside the Formal Classroom

By Washington Forest Protection Association
The Sacramento Bee
January 24, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Today a joint work session was held with three legislative committees to investigate how to deliver environmental science education to all children in Washington State… “The forest industry is an important part of our state’s economy. We want students to learn about the forestry business in a real-world context, not simply through stories they might read on the internet. The future workers for our natural resource businesses are in school today, and PEI is helping to train our future workforce,” said Cindy Mitchell, Sr. Director of Public Affairs, Washington Forest Protection Association.

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Groundbreaking research addresses innovative approaches to Douglas fir root diseases

WDNR Blog Ear to the Ground
January 23, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Laminated root rot is becoming more of an issue in Washington State. Why? The disease affects many conifers, including Douglas fir, a vital resource for Washington’s economy and ecology. A recently released report addresses new approaches to understanding root rot diseases, with a focus on laminated root rot (LRR). Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark requested the study, which was conducted by the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

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Wildfire hazard mitigation protects forest values

Gary Ellingson is a forester and technical adviser for the TriCounty FireSafe Working Group.
The Missoulian
January 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfire mitigation projects are designed and implemented in an effort to reduce the potential intensity and burn severity of a wildfire. Note that the term “fireproof” is not used. The objective of wildfire mitigation in the forest is not to “fireproof.” Reducing fire intensity near homes and designated roadside evacuation routes during a wildfire gives firefighters a better chance at putting out a fire in a prompt and safe. It also provides residents and firefighters safe escape routes. These are critical issues in locations where lives and property may be at risk.

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Summit looks at forests, water supply

Recordnet
January 26, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN ANDREAS – Most of California’s water comes from forests, and poorly maintained forests provide less water, either because they burn down or because they are too dense and suck most of the water into plants and trees. Now, with a drought on and in the months after the Rim Fire devastated 400 square miles of forest in Tuolumne County, lots of folks who manage forests and water districts are eager to address the problem and work to take better care of forests…The “way we’re going” is the historic decline in forest health and other changes that make Rim Fire-scale disasters more likely, including in the Mokelumne, Calaveras and Stanislaus river watersheds that provide water to this region.

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ODF Tackles Alder Creek Fire

KDRV.com
January 24, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NEAR SHADY COVE, Ore. — Dry weather and strong winds helped fuel a fire north east of Shady Cove and the Oregon Department of Forestry says they have it just about contained to about 125 acres. It may be winter, but the conditions are just right for wildfires and Thursday afternoon, the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to five small fires that have now grown into one fire totaling more than 100 acres.

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How A South American Tree Adapts To Volcanic Soils

American Journal of Botany
January 24, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Low soil nitrogen, not soil phosphorus levels, stimulate cluster root adaptation in the Proteaceae, Embothrium coccineum, a tree that may be key to reforestation in Patagonia. Soils of southern South America, including Patagonia, have endured a high frequency of disturbances from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, and erosion. In addition, massive fires in the mid-20th century were set to forests in the region in an effort to promote colonization. 

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Logging increases but revenue drops

The Sydney Morning Herald
January 26, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The amount of native forest cut down in NSW increased by 36 per cent last year but revenue from native forests fell by $11 million, new figures show.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said data showed logging was not financially viable, and was being conducted because of ”blind ideology in support of logging”. The Greens calculate it costs taxpayers $480 a hectare to chop down native forests.

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Forestry ‘at the crossroads’

Business Day NZ
January 26, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand — Forestry industry bosses are to begin lobbying politicians for a national “wood first” Government procurement policy to stimulate investment. The move comes just months after the industry, which is our third biggest exporter earning the country around $4 billion a year, received a broadside from one of its own over its failures in leadership, low profile with politicians and the “mediocrity” threatening it with a slow, lingering death… Stanley challenged the Government to actions that would lift the forestry sector. He wants to see a focus on breaking down trade and tariff barriers in key places such as China. And, he said, the strategy should include a “wood first” government procurement preference for buildings as in Japan and Canada.

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Monitoring Corporate Behavior: Greening or Merely Greenwash?

Yale Environment 360
January 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

For those watching the world’s largest corporations, 2013 was extraordinary. Under pressure from NGOs, a slew of global companies that are number one in their industries made unprecedented commitments to better environmental and social behavior. There is at least the chance that their promises are not greenwash, and that, as one insider puts it, “we can hold their feet to the fire, this time.” …Earlier in the year, in a move that could have major implications for the forests of Southeast Asia, there was a similar announcement from the world’s largest producer of paper products, Jakarta-based Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Review Focusses on Climate Change and Boreal Forests

Saskatoon Homepage
January 25, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate change and how it will impact the Boreal Forest is the focus of a review by the Saskatchewan Research Council. In Saskatchewan, the very early signs of climate change are damage to the forest because the pine trees are not reproducing very well do to hot and dry conditions… Senior Research Scientist Mark Johnston says there are some real concerns for the boreal forests in the western part of the country. The arrival of the Mountain Pine Beetle and more severe forest fires are some of the predicted fallout that climate change will have on Saskatchewan.

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Biomass Supply Not Sufficient For Northern Winters

Net News Ledger
January 26, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – Common Voice Northwest says that the planned enhanced bio-mass that Ontario says can be used to fire the Thunder Bay OPG Generating Station isn’t in sufficient supply to handle possible demand. …“If the Northwest were to experience the identical weather and other conditions in January of next year that we have been experiencing since January 6 of this year, the advanced biomass fuel would have been used up within 3 weeks,” said Energy Task Force Co-Chair, Iain Angus. “This is exactly as we, NOMA and the City of Thunder Bay have warned.”

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Global Warming and the Loss of Whitebark Pine Trees

Health News Digest
January 27, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Whitebark pine trees are a “keystone” species in high-altitude ecosystems across the American West, meaning they play an important role in maintaining the natural structure of many of our most iconic mountain regions… Given how important the iconic tree is to Western mountain ecosystems, it’s no wonder that NRDC and other green groups are distressed by its recent decline due to changing environmental conditions. “White pine blister rust, a lethal disease accidentally brought to the continent on imported seedlings, has wiped out roughly 50 percent of the whitebark pine in the Rocky Mountains since its arrival in the early 20th century,” reports NRDC.

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General

Timber industry may struggle to keep up with market rebound

Capital Press
January 26, 2014
Category: Uncategorised

The improving demand for Pacific Northwest logs has strained logging and hauling capacity due to lack of investment in equipment during the housing downturn. A lack of work also convinced many loggers to seek employment in the oil and gas industries. The rebounding market for Pacific Northwest logs has raised questions about the timber industry’s ability to keep up with demand, experts say. …While current logging levels are still lower than in the mid-2000s, concerns about tight log supplies are emerging, said Rocky Goodnow, an executive at Forest Economic Advisors.

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