Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 29, 2014

Business & Politics

Scotiabank commodity price index ends 2013 on weak note but 2014 looking better

The Canadian Press
January 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Commodity prices ended last year on a weak note, a Scotiabank report suggested Tuesday as the bank’s commodity price index slipped lower in December. However, the bank said it sees signs that some commodities have started to move up off their lows for the current market cycle and others are poised for improvements this year. “Signs point to a bottoming in the all-items index in early 2014,” said Patricia Mohr, Scotiabank’s commodity market specialist… All four of the index’s main sub-groups — metal and minerals, oil and gas, forestry and agriculture — lost ground in December and only the energy and forestry sectors showed gains for the year.

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Will 2014 be a fourth straight year of mainly flat construction material costs? (Part 2)

Journal of Commerce
January 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Among more specific construction inputs, the largest percentage gains since January 2010 have been recorded in iron ore (+46.7%); diesel fuel (+45.2%); softwood lumber (+35.3%); gypsum (+33.1%); and gasoline (+30.8%). For a number of these, the price spikes occurred early in the period covered. Only gypsum (+19.7%), iron ore (+18.9%) and softwood lumber (+15.4%) have continued to show strong price increases over the past year. Iron ore prices can be extremely volatile and their percentage changes misleading. 

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Sawmill probe points to conflicts between agencies in investigations

Critics say Canada’s poor safety record linked directly to reluctance to use federal legislation
Business in Vancouver
January 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While the political fallout continues from WorkSafeBC’s failed investigation into a fatal explosion at a sawmill two years ago, critics say the Crown’s decision not to lay charges in connection with the tragedy illustrates a deeper problem with Canada’s work safety laws. “It’s appalling how little the police and Crown attorneys have done to deal with health and safety,” said Norm Keith, a Toronto-based lawyer with Fasken Martineau who specializes in employment and occupational health and safety law.

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TimberWest moves to Port Place

Extensive renovations by owner, First Capital Realty, have been ongoing for years at shopping centre
Nanaimo Daily News
January 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TimberWest is the latest in a long line of businesses that have decided to set up offices and operations at the revitalized Port Place Mall. The forest company, Western Canada’s largest private timber and land management company, is in the process of relocating its Nanaimo offices from Rutherford Road to the redeveloped downtown shopping centre. The company’s offices will occupy 17,000 square-feet of the 24,000 square feet of space that are currently available on the upper floor in the recently completed Port Place building, located adjacent to the Great Canadian Casino.

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TimberWest threatens Campbell River city council over proposed tax increases

Campbell River Courier-Islander
January 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

If Campbell River city council won’t cut proposed tax increases for TimberWest, the company may fight back with the chainsaw. In a submission going before city council Wednesday, TimberWest is threatening the city with actions it might take if there are increases to the Managed Forest Lands the company owns in Campbell River. “The proposed increased tax burden will likely discourage forestry and remove the financial incentive to carry out forest management activities,” said the TimberWest presentation. “If implemented, a prudent timberland owner might be forced to harvest the operable timber without replanting and sell the land for non-forestry purposes to offset the tax burden.”

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Grassy requests environmental assessment

Kenora Online
January 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Grassy Narrows members are calling on the province to conduct an environmental assessment of logging plans in the Whiskey Jack Forest. J.B. Fobister is taking his case against clearcut logging to the Supreme Court, in an effort to protect his trapline. He says they’re calling for the assessment, due to the community’s concerns over mercury poisoning due to logging. “We already have a high concentration of mercury in the water way. We definitely don’t need anymore. People are sick already and it’s just going to make things worse,” he said. 

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Forestry

Logging in Lynch Creek North is underway

Castlegar Source
January 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging started in Lynch Creek North on Jan. 9, after the Midway mill Vaagen Fibre Canada successfully bid on the project. The mill was the only bidder and was awarded the contract Jan. 8. The timing was right for the company because they had just finished a previous contract so they headed out to Lynch Creek the next day. Fibre Supply Manager Chris Waters said the job was for approximately 20,000 cubic metres.

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Harvest Planning and Practices in the Hunaker Creek Watershed

BC Forest Practices Board
January 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In July 2012, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint that a BC Timber Sales (BCTS) logging operation in the Hunaker Creek Watershed had affected the flow of a seasonal stream, which in turn caused damage to the complainant’s property. The complainant also claimed that the logging operations led to contamination of a well and that the BCTS public consultation efforts were inadequate, both for harvest planning and for notification about burning waste wood piles.

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Mountain pine beetle mortality: it’s cold outside – but is it cold enough?

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
January 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

When it comes to winter weather, the equation is simple for most Albertans: the hotter, the better – and the past few weeks have certainly been hotter than most. Unfortunately, all good things must end, and in most parts of the province, our unseasonably warm weather has been replaced by the usual deep-freeze…at least for now. But the cold (like many unpleasant things) has fringe benefits. Conditions are great for skiing, and there’s no longer a (long) line for the 7-11 Slurpee machine. 

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Tester’s bill will help forests

by Chris Freistadt Helena
Helena Independent Record
January 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

After spending the last weekend around the headwaters of Rock Creek in the Lolo National Forest, I was relieved by the peace of mind I had when I looked up and saw live pines above me. Most of my time is spent on the Helena National Forest, more northeastern parts of the Lolo, and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge. Working during the summer months under trees killed by the pine beetle, wondering when a tree top might come hurtling down towards me has made me much more cognizant in the woods.

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Root fungus could kill more Northwest trees

The Associated Press
January 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. — A new study has warned that a fungus that devours the roots of Douglas fir trees in the Northwest could become a bigger killer as the climate changes. Laminated root rot occurs from Montana to the Pacific Ocean and already costs the timber industry millions of dollars each year. The Spokesman-Review reported Tuesday that if the disease doesn’t kill the fir trees outright, it leaves them weakened and susceptible to bark beetle attacks and uprooting during wind storms.

Root rots to become bigger problem for Douglas firs, study suggests from The Spokesman-Review

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Forestry safety review team named

stuff.co.nz
January 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Reeling from a horror year for safety in 2013, the forestry industry has appointed a panel to review the high number of serious and fatal injuries in the industry. Ten people lost their lives in forestry accidents last year, and this month another worker died when a tree fell on him. Industry groups said in a statement today that the appointment of the independent panel and its terms of reference had been endorsed by forest industry organisations, ACC, relevant government agencies, the Council of Trade Unions and the Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum.

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Pakistan’s timber mafia threaten forest protection plans – environmentalists

Thomas Reuters Foundation
January 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

CHILAS, Pakistan – Nestled on the west side of Pakistan’s Indus River, the remote town of Chilas is notorious for its timber smugglers, who operate freely in the northern district of Gilgit-Baltistan. “I don’t think any conservation efforts will really save Pakistan’s rapidly shrinking forests as long as the government does not deal with the timber mafia with an iron fist,” said environmentalist Ghulam Ali, who lives in Chilas, 211 km (132 miles) north of Islamabad. Pakistan’s timber mafia is made up of organised gangs that cut trees from state-owned forests and sell them illegally, often working at night.

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Scots pine named Scotland’s national tree after public consultation

Herald Scotland
January 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

More than half (52%) of people put the tree in first place in the three-month consultation run by Forestry Commission Scotland. The rowan came second with 15% of votes while the holly was third with 7%. Forestry Commission Scotland is now developing a funding package and a range of activities to help raise the profile of the Scots pine, such as projects with schools, conferences and seminars. More than 4,500 people responded to the consultation.

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CTU welcomes launch of review into forestry safety

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
January 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

CTU President Helen Kelly welcomes the appointment by Forest Owners, of the independent panel to conduct a major review into the appalling record of health and safety in the forestry industry. Helen Kelly says “we are encouraged that the industry is taking leadership on this important issue and we are pleased they are working with the CTU to ensure all parties agree the process and panel.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Residents fuming over pellet facility

Vernon Morning Star
January 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some Lavington residents remain unconvinced that their neighbourhood is the best spot for a pellet plant. Tolko Industries and Pinnacle Renewable Energies have plans to construct a pellet plant next to the existing Tolko planer mill off School Road. Concerned residents were granted the opportunity to air their concerns about the plant at a Coldstream council meeting Monday. “I do feel that what I’m being sold here is a healthy cigarette,” said Jason Hoffman, who lives on School Road. “We’ve got a school close by and we’ve got a riparian area bordering the property.”

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New genes for old forests as Canada warms

Ottawa Citizen
January 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — Future trees will still look like today’s trees as the climate warms, but they’re going to need a whole new set of genes. “In my opinion the single biggest threat to Canada’s forests is climate change,” says forestry professor Sally Aitken. “And there are things that we can change … to make that forest more resilient in the face of climate change.” She’s a forest geneticist at the University of British Columbia. This week she’ll tell scientists, MPs and senators in Ottawa about the unseen differences among trees of the same species. 

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