Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 17, 2014

Business & Politics

Canadian National Says Lumber Rail Shortage Gradually Improving

Bloomberg News
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR) said it’s alleviating a shortage of rail capacity for lumber shipments in British Columbia. The largest Canadian railroad’s ability to move wood products is gradually catching up with demand following extreme winter conditions in North America this year, Emily Hamer, a Vancouver-based CN spokeswoman, said today in a phone interview. “We’re working closely with our customers on fleet availability and delivery times,” said Hamer, who declined to estimate when railcar availability in the province, Canada’s largest lumber-producing region, would return to normal.

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WorkSafeBC report details safety issues at Lakeland

Prince George Citizen
April 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Millions of dollars were spent upgrading Lakeland sawmill’s capabilities for processing beetle-killed pine but little work was done to handle the growing amount of explosive dust that came with the trees, WorkSafeBC says in a report into the causes of the fatal explosion and fire. It was one of a list of preventable problems, according to the report made public this week, that led to the April 23, 2012 explosion and fire that killed two workers and injured 22 others, leaving some with severe burns and others with ongoing physical, cognitive and psychological trauma.

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Lakeland reports make case for inquiry

Prince George Citizen
April 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

So much for hindsight being 20/20.  Two accounts of the April 2012 explosion at Lakeland Mills released Monday – WorksSafeBC’s Incident Investigation Report and the Criminal Justice Branch’s Clear Statement – provide jarringly different views of a tragedy that killed two men and injured 22 others. …Together they make a compelling case for a more thorough examination of mill safety in British Columbia, one that goes beyond a pair of coroner’s inquests. Because neither report sufficiently explains how so many eyes saw so much dust and, yet, just four months after Babine Forest Products exploded in Burns Lake, Lakeland Mills suffered the same deadly fate.

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Coming home alive

Prince George Citizen
April 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MaryAnne Arcand, may she rest in peace, understood that workplace safety is more than program brought in by management and/or government to help prevent workers from getting injured. If safety isn’t an essential part of the workplace culture, it has little chance of success….She reminded them of what they already knew – that they do dangerous work and the responsibility for taking care of their personal safety while on the job started with them, not anybody else. Arcand knew she had common sense on her side but she also recognized the obstacles in her way. The workplace culture across the forestry sector, in the bush and in the mills, actively discouraged safety.

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Warning second B.C. sawmill could blow failed to prompt preventative steps

The Canadian Press
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Shortly after a bustling sawmill was flattened by fire in northern British Columbia, a concerned worker at another operation phoned the province’s safety watchdog with fears that his workplace would meet a similar fate. The prediction came true three months later when a gigantic blast shot through the corridors of Lakeland Mills in Prince George, setting it ablaze and toppling walls onto workers eating lunch. WorkSafeBC included the anonymous call in its investigative report into the fatal April 23, 2012 explosion, along with other details foreshadowing the catastrophe that killed workers and injured 22 others.

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Lakeland Mills responds to Crown decision in sawmill explosion

Lakeland Mills Ltd.
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lakeland Mills Ltd. believes BC Crown Counsel conducted its charge assessment in the case of the explosion and fire at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in a fair and objective manner, and that its decision not to proceed with charges was the correct one. “It is with great sadness that we reflect on the loss of Glenn Roche and Al Little and the impacts of this incident on the whole Lakeland family,” said Greg Stewart, president of Sinclar Group Forest Products, of which Lakeland Mills is a division.

2nd press release from Lakeland Mills Ltd.

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Louis Creek land transferred to District of Barriere

Barriere Star Journal
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

LOUIS CREEK – On Monday, the B.C. government officially transferred land on the site of the former Tolko Industries Ltd. mill to the District of Barriere and the Simpcw First Nation. This land transfer is fulfilling a commitment to support economic development in the North Thompson. It signals a new beginning, by providing prime highway frontage land with the vision of reviving economic opportunity for these communities, which were heavily impacted in 2003 when the Tolko Industries mill was destroyed by wildfires.

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Think tank to close

Terrace Standard
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BARRING A last minute infusion of money, a northwest resources think tank formed in 2009 is poised to shut down.  “We had a lot of people say they like what we do but unfortunately none of them came forward with any money,” says Rick Brouwer from the Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics (SNCIRE). The society has already closed its office. The non-profit society, which had four part-time employees, began a campaign late last year to raise $200,000. That would have provided a more stable financial base for the society which had relied on grants for specific projects it was undertaking, said Brouwer.

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Ready or Not? More Mill Closures Coming to BC (with video)

‘Government knew we were within the window of mill closures’: former MLA
The Tyee
April 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Many people were caught by surprise when West Fraser and Canfor announced mill shutdowns in October. But Bob Simpson says they shouldn’t be: he warned government this was coming. The former New Democratic Party-turned-independent MLA showed the B.C. legislature leaked cabinet documents in 2012 that said because of the increase in annual allowable cuts to capture pine beetle-destroyed wood, cut levels would have to be brought back down soon since most of that wood was gone. With less wood to process, massive mill shutdowns were expected to begin in the province within 18 months.

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Timber baron Andrew Miller says he didn’t tell Monica Wehby about his ads attacking Jason Conger

The Oregonian
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Stimson Lumber President Andrew Miller on Wednesday defended the legality of the $100,000 advertising campaign he and Nevada businessman Loren Parks launched against Republican Senate candidate Jason Conger. Conger’s chief opponent, Portland pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby, has reportedly had a romantic relationship with Miller. While Miller has helped Wehby with her fundraising, he said the advertising campaign was run independently of Wehby and her campaign as required by federal election law.

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Idaho sues timber company over N. Idaho wildfire

Idaho Statesman
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

LEWISTON, IDAHO — Idaho officials have filed a lawsuit against a timber company and its contractor contending they’re responsible for a wildfire that killed a 20-year-old Forest Service firefighter and burned more than 300 acres in northern Idaho. The Lewiston Tribune reports the state filed the lawsuit Monday in 2nd District Court seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages for costs in fighting the fire. Anne Veseth of Moscow died Aug. 12, 2012, after being struck and killed by a falling tree while fighting the Steep Corner Fire near Orofino.

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Local lumber company to expand this year Project will secure jobs for the long term

Sanford News
April 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SANFORD — The lumber company that bought the former Lavalley Lumber sawmill on New Dam Road in 2012 is planning to expand the facility this year.  Pleasant River Lumber Co. has made substantial investments in the Sanford sawmill and planing facility since purchasing it in December of 2012 and is in the planning stages of several projects to further modernize the Sanford Pine Mill. Jim Nimon, executive director of the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council, said Chris and Jason Brochu, copresidents of Pleasant River Lumber Co., have been working with the growth council to plan the expansion.

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Future of Wirrabara forest in doubt

ABC News, Australia
April 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The owners of a sawmill in South Australia’s Mid North have cast doubt on the future of the Wirrabara Forest. The Mid North is the birthplace of Forestry in SA, with a history dating back to the late 1800s. But planned cuts to around 100 Forestry SA jobs this week have fuelled more concern about the industry’s future. The news comes on top of a bushfire earlier this year, that burnt 90 per cent of the Wirrabara Forest’s timber plantations.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Funding will help open new markets

BC Local News
April 16, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than $1 million in funding will go towards supporting a project by the BC Wood Specialities Group (BCWSGA) that will promote market development. The announcement was made on Tuesday afternoon at Mitsui Homes in Langley with Langley MP Mark Warawa joining Michelle Rempel, the minister of state for western economic diversification at the press conference. The total amount being provided is $1,003,326. The goal of the project is to identify opportunities in western U.S., Mexican, Central and South American markets for value-added wood products, and prepare companies to participate in trade missions and trade shows in these markets. 

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Sustainability and the lumber industry

The Detroit News
April 17, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Green building and sustainability are words that have become common in many businesses, industries and markets. And the increasing demand by government agencies, private construction projects and the general public for energy efficiency presents many opportunities for our local and state economies. For states richly endowed with natural resources, such as Michigan, the desire for sustainable building materials could prove a boon to the forest products industry in particular. Wood is an ideal material for green building; it is both durable and renewable. 

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Forestry

Fallen loggers remembered

Terrace Standard
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

What began as a memorial to one man killed while logging has grown to include a project to remember all those who have died while working in the forest industry in the northwest. “It was just going to be a couple of trees and a cross-cut saw in memory of my friend, Dennis Darby,” says Bill McRae, the son of Bill and Helene McRae, who has spent years in the forest industry. But once word of McRae’s plan started to spread, he began collecting a list of other people who have been killed while working in the industry. 

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Canfor has concerns with Area Based Tenure

by Don Kayne
Canfor World of Wood Blog
April 12, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As many of our stakeholders know, the BC Government is undertaking a public consultation process focussed on setting parameters for converting some volume based tenures in the province to area-based. I’d like to take the opportunity to outline Canfor’s position on this important issue…. In our view, this is absolutely not the time for major changes to tenure administration. Given the uncertainty regarding the state of our forests, we believe that there are many higher priorities that would yield greater positive impacts. We feel the benefits of area-based tenures are marginal at best.

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Forest policy topic of public forum

Williams Lake Tribune
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is an urgent need to correct forest policy, said retired forester Anthony Britneff. Britneff, along with renowned environmentalist Vicky Husband and Peter Ewert from Stand Up for the North based in Prince George were speakers at a public forum on forestry held in Williams Lake Monday. “Forests have a huge potential in this province, we’re just not seeing it,” said Britneff, who after a 40-year career with the Ministry of Forests retired in 2010. 

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Tree cutting now requires special Vancouver permit

City of Vancouver’s tree canopy has declined 7 per cent since 1995
CBC News
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver approved a bylaw change Wednesday that will restrict tree cutting on private property in order protect the city’s healthy, mature urban canopy The bylaw change will force homeowners to get approval from an independent arborist if they want to cut down a healthy tree on their property. Previously, homeowners could remove one tree a year without needing any justification or rationale. …The city says retaining Vancouver’s urban forest will pay off environmentally with mitigating climate change, cleaning the air, stabilizing the soil and supporting biodiversity.

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Kelly Egan: Your tree, your problem, your expense

April 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — Ash trees are being cut by the thousands in this city, hardwood goliaths felled by a half-inch beetle.  City parks now look bare, suddenly too full of sky. Backyards have gone barren. And homeowners are being handed eye-popping estimates for tree removal, followed by near fainting spells. …It’s a mammoth, mammoth problem,” says Brian Mahoney, 74, a retired resident in the Mooney’s Bay area. He needs to remove a 20-metre tall ash from his property. It will likely cost in excess of $1,000.

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Kelly Egan: Your tree, your problem, your expense

April 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — Ash trees are being cut by the thousands in this city, hardwood goliaths felled by a half-inch beetle.  City parks now look bare, suddenly too full of sky. Backyards have gone barren. And homeowners are being handed eye-popping estimates for tree removal, followed by near fainting spells. …It’s a mammoth, mammoth problem,” says Brian Mahoney, 74, a retired resident in the Mooney’s Bay area. He needs to remove a 20-metre tall ash from his property. It will likely cost in excess of $1,000.

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Conservation groups criticize governor over forest restoration

Associated Press
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA — Some conservationists are miffed that they weren’t consulted before Gov. Steve Bullock nominated 5.1 million acres of national forest land in western and south-central Montana as top restoration priorities for the U.S Department of Agriculture. The Democratic governor announced the nominations earlier this month, saying those forest areas are declining in health, have a risk of increased tree deaths or pose a safety risk. The farm bill passed by Congress allows governors to nominate priorities that would increase the pace and scale of restoration efforts that could include thinning and logging. 

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Forest management discussed in Missoula (with video)

KPAX
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – Senator John Walsh recently was in Missoula to host a listening session with conservationists and timber industry representatives. The focus of the discussion was on the implementation of the U.S. Farm Bill and how it will affect forest management in Montana. Sen. Walsh says he wants to hear both sides. He looked to open up dialogue between two diverse yet interrelated groups – conservationists and timber industry representatives. “We need to be able to find an area where we can work with conservationist and the timber industry to work together,” Sen. Walsh said.

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WA Lands Commissioner Defends Taking Timber Money Despite Vow

Oregon Public Broadcasting
April 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s not unusual for elected officials to cozy up to people with money. Yet Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark’s relationship with the timber industry he regulates has changed dramatically since the two-term Democrat first ran for the office six years ago. …It’s true, I pledged not to take any campaign contributions during the 2008 campaign,” Goldmark said on Tuesday. “In 2012, I did not make such a pledge.” He said he saw no problem with accepting contributions from industries that he regulates. He said it was a bit odd to be asked about it now, when no one complained about it in 2012.

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Oregon counties receive new round of timber payments

Statesman Journal
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Eighteen western Oregon counties have received $39.6 million in another set of one-time federal payments for lands once owned by the Oregon & California Railroad. The release was announced by the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees most of those lands. The Forest Service released $68 million in payments to 33 Oregon counties earlier this month. Together the Oregon counties will share $107 million in payments as part of another one-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools Act, which provided a total of $329 million to 700 counties across the nation this year.

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City urged to be proactive regarding ash trees

A recent survey of trees in public spaces in Hannibal revealed no signs of the Emerald Ash Borer, which are decimating ash trees in parts of the country.
Hannibal Courier-Post
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A recent survey of trees in public spaces in Hannibal revealed no signs of the Emerald Ash Borer, which are decimating ash trees in parts of the country. However, Cory Meyer, a project manager with The Davey Tree Expert Company which conducted the city’s tree survey, advised those in attendance at a public meeting Tuesday morning at city hall to consider dealing with ash trees now, instead of later. “We recommend being proactive instead of waiting for them all to die,” said Meyer. “Once they die they become high risk.” Meyer said once the Emerald Ash Borer has done its damage, it could take around seven years for the ash tree population to begin dying.

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750,000 larch trees replace felled disease woodland

BBC News
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

More than 750,000 larch trees have been planted across Wales over the past 18 months to replace those felled due to disease, says Natural Resources Wales. Surveys in 2013 found the disease had spread more quickly than expected after a wet and warm winter better allowed the spores to travel to other trees. NRW It said more than 6,600 hectares (16,000) of woodland had been infected. Restored areas include Wentwood Forest, near Newport and Bwlch Nant yr Arian, near Aberystwyth.

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Forestry Commission buys Rothiemurchus forest

The Scotsman
April 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A MASSIVE part of the ancient Caledonian pine forest – described as the Crown Jewel of woodlands in Scotland – has been sold to Forestry Commission Scotland for £7.4 million by a Highland estate.  The Grants of Rothiemurchus, which has owned the land for over 500 years, has announced the sale. Jon Lambert, of selling agents John Clegg and Co, said: “In national forestry terms, Rothiemurchus can be seen as the Crown Jewel, the best of the best. “The forest and its setting produces stunningly beautiful scenery and is an internationally-recognised habitat for some of Scotland’s most iconic and, in some cases, rare species.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forest law failings could speed up climate change

The Jakarta Post
April 17, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Climate change experts have said that stronger law enforcement was needed to prevent future disastrous wildfires in susceptible areas such as the peatlands of Riau, Sumatra. Data from the World Resource Institute (WRI) shows that in Riau there were around 3,101 high confidence fire alerts from Feb. 20 to March 11, 2014. As a comparison, the province saw 2,643 fire alerts from June 13 to June 30 last year. From March 2013 to March 2014, 52 percent of all fire alerts in Indonesia came from four regencies in Riau province. Over the last year, haze generated from fires in Riau has caused respiratory problems for more than 58,000 people.

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General

Australia one step closer to a ‘wood first’ policy

Architecture & Design
April 16, 2014
Category: Uncategorised

Australia’s first ‘wood encouragement policy’ is one step closer thanks to a Latrobe City Council initiative. The council program involves a series of consultations for industry professionals and the public on the benefits of wood as a structural element in construction. In March, Latrobe City Councillor Sandy Kam spoke at the ForestWorks Industry Development Conference, where her presentation sparked considerable interest and discussion.

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