Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 29, 2014

Business & Politics

The 2013 “Billion Board Foot Club” of largest softwood lumber producers shows further growth as the big get even bigger

International Wood Markets Group
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

West Fraser remains the global leader but acquisitions continue to change the industry landscape. The latest WOOD MARKETS annual survey of the “Billion Board Foot Club” that features the largest global softwood lumber producers shows that West Fraser Timber has retained its title of being the world’s largest softwood lumber producer in 2013 with 5.15 billion board feet (bf; or 8.3 million m3 net). Canfor was in second place (4.75 billion bf) and narrowed the gap on West Fraser. Weyerhaeuser’s softwood lumber operations in the U.S. and Canada put the company solidly in third place (over 4.0 billion bf). Rounding out the Top 5 was Stora Enso Timber of Finland and Sierra-Pacific Industries of the USA.

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Tolko Industries announced an innovative partnership for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area

Lesprom Network
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Representatives of Tolko Industries (Tolko), Nazko First Nations (Nazko) and Pacific BioEnergy Corporation (PBEC) announced an innovative partnership for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area. The agreement will provide additional log supply for Tolko’s Quest Wood sawmill, harvesting work for Nazko Logging LP and additional fibre for PBEC’s wood pellet manufacturing plant in Prince George. The timber will come from PBEC’s mountain pine beetle salvage licence in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area (TSA), as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.

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Labour group marks day for fallen workers with demand for stricter negligence penalties

Globe and Mail
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Through their tears, the families of sawmill workers killed in separate B.C. blasts in 2012 called for accountability Monday, drawing attention to a little used decade-old law that makes it easier to convict employers when someone is killed or injured at work. The pleas came during a moving National Day of Mourning ceremony on the banks of the Fraser River to honour workers killed on the job – two widows and a sister speaking of unbearable pain due to what they said is a lack of accountability in the tragedies.

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Inquiry would have more power: NDP

Prince George Citizen
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A public inquiry into the explosions at the Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills sawmills two years ago would have the power to find fault, something a coroner’s inquest does not possess, according to a legal opinion provided to the Opposition New Democrats. In the opinion, lawyer David Crossin said a coroner’s inquest is not designed to assign fault to those involved in the incident . “Indeed, ‘the jury must not make, and the coroner must not accept, any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law,'” Crossin said, citing the Coroners Act.

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Tembec sells almost 50,000 hectares

The Daily Townsman
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tembec will sell 49,500 hectares of land in the East Kootenay to a Nanaimo-based timber harvesting company. In an announcement on Friday, April 25, Tembec said that the property, part of its land base in the region, will be sold to Jemi Fibre Corp. for $35 million. The media release does not say where the land is located and a Tembec spokesperson could not be reached before the Townsman’s deadline. Jemi Fibre harvests timber under contract for owners of Crown timber licences, providing logging equipment, labour and trucking equipment.

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Mourn for the dead, fight for the living

Prince George Free Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Many of the speakers at the ceremony called for government to do more to criminally prosecute companies with unsafe working conditions, with Lakeland Mills and Babine Forest Products, the sites of two deadly blasts in 2012, coming under scrutiny. Ronda Riche’s husband, Glen, was one of those killed at Lakeland Mills. …Last year in B.C., there were 128 work-related death claims accepted by WorkSafe BC. Of these, 67 were from occupational disease, mainly due to exposure to asbestos. Bob Matters, the president of the United Steelworkers Wood Council, summed up the purpose of the Day of Mourning simply.

Day of Mourning hears harrowing workplace tale from The Prince George Citizen

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Bill calls for stronger workplace probes

Prince George Citizen
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Opposition New Democrats have introduced a bill into the B.C. legislature aimed at strengthening criminal and regulatory investigations into workplace deaths. NDP labour critic Harry Bains said stronger legislation is necessary because there has been a failure to secure a single criminal charge for any company despite many workplace deaths as a result of negligence. “In 2004, 12 years after a mining disaster that took the lives of 26 miners, the federal government enacted the Westray bill which allowed for employers and managers to be criminally charged for workplace deaths,” said Bains.

NDP bill calls for measures to strengthen criminal prosecutions in workplace fatalities from The Vancouver Sun

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N.S. rapped for hiring former Bowater manager in renewables role

The Chronicle Herald NS
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A recent hire by the province’s Natural Resources Department is drawing concerns that industry is too cozy with the department. Jonathan Porter was hired as executive director of the department’s renewable resources branch following a job competition. Porter is a former woodlands manager at the Resolute pulp and paper mill — formerly Bowater Mersey — in Brooklyn, Queens County. Bob Bancroft knows Porter well and says the department’s new hire is “for the status quo.” 

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Tembec trims net loss to $28 million on lower revenues in second quarter

Canadian Press
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Tembec missed expectations even though the forest products company trimmed its fiscal second-quarter net loss to $28 million despite lower revenues. The Montreal-based producer of paper, pulp and lumber reported after markets closed Monday that it lost 28 cents per share for the period ended March 29, compared with a net loss of $31 million or 31 cents per diluted share a year ago. Revenues decreased 11 per cent to $362 million from $407 million a year ago. T

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Union optimistic as talks begin

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

Union leaders are still trying to help retirees, as the forest sector recovers. As he sits down for a new round of talks, David Lambert of Unifor — formerly CEP (Communications, Energy and Paperworkers) — offers an update on pensions. “What they did five years ago, we’re trying to recoup some of those. People call them concessions. I really like to call it that we invested in our future, and in helping our retirees to maintain the pensions that they have and still live a respectable life,” he said. Forestry workers had to take a cut in their pensions, as Abitibi went into receivership. 

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Wally Stiles rejected similar J.D. Irving Ltd. forest plan

Ex-Liberal DNR minister said the Alward government’s Crown land deal could become an election issue
CBC News
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A former Liberal minister of natural resources says he never would have signed the new forestry agreement between the Alward government and J.D. Irving Ltd. Wally Stiles said J.D. Irving Ltd. approached him about a similar deal when he was the natural resources minister in the Shawn Graham government but he rejected the proposal from the province’s largest forest company. “I refused to do that and if I was minister today, I would refuse again,” he said.

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Plum Creek reports first quarter results

IHB
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. today announced first quarter earnings of $30 million on revenues of $317 million. Earnings for the first quarter of 2013 were $56 million on revenues of $340 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2014 was $93 million and was $128 million for the same period of 2013. Plum Creek’s Northern Resources segment reported operating profit of $16 million during the first quarter, a $5 million improvement over the first quarter of 2013. Sawlog prices increased $9 per ton, more than 11 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2013 driven by strong demand from both export markets and domestic lumber mills.

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DCR’s sawmill on wheels keeps lumber local in state forests

Berkshire Eagle
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

CHARLEMONT — It seems simple: If someone needs lumber, get it from local trees. But the forestry industry in Massachusetts has been in decline for some time, in part because people buy lumber that is produced elsewhere. On Monday, Sean Mahoney, the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s outreach service forester, brought DCR’s portable sawmill to the Mohawk Trail State Forest, the state park in Charlemont, to help keep lumber local. “I’m the ‘buy local wood guy,'” Mahoney said. 

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Seven injured after explosion at Texas plywood plant

Houston Chronicle
April 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Seven employees and one volunteer firefighter were injured in an explosion at a Georgia-Pacific lumber plant in Corrigan, about 20 miles north of Livingston in Polk County. Corrigan police say the call came in just after 6 p.m. Saturday that there had been a blast at the plant that produces plywood about 100 miles northeast of Houston. …About 400 people work at the plant, according to Corrigan police spokesperson Dawn Aguilera-Quiroz. It’s unknown how many were actually on duty at the time. Aguilera-Quiroz said it is still unclear what caused the blast, but noted that some had thought it had started in the “dryers area” of the plant.

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New Forests the new owner of Gunns timber

ABC News, Australia
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Forests has purchased 175, 000 hectares of Gunns freehold land in Tasmania from the receivers of the company for an undisclosed sum. The purchase includes around 100,000 hectares of timber plantations as well as two woodchip mills, the Somerset nursery and a laboratory at Ridgley, but does not include the permits for the planned pulp mill. Speaking from his San Francisco office, CEO of New Forests David Brand says the company is in the timber industry not in the business of building pulp mills.

Gunns assets sale fuels pulp mill doubts from The Sydney Morning Herald
New Owner of former Gunns Ltd plantations believes pulp mill unlikely to be built on Tamar site from The Mercury

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Indonesian pulp and paper company to restore one million hectares of rainforest

ABC News, Australia
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) says it will restore one million hectares of rainforest. Condemned by green groups, APP has been subject to consumer bans in the past because of its destructive logging practices. A year ago it appeared to turn a new leaf, using only plantation timber and banning the logging of natural rainforest by all its suppliers. But APP says its zero deforestation policy implemented a year ago is not enough.

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Forestry

‘One of our last, best’ chances to study caribou

The Starphoenix
April 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Saskatchewan’s boreal forest still provides woodland caribou with habitat unchanged from 200 or even 500 years ago, making it perfect for studying the threatened mammals and their predators. “It’s one of our last, best opportunities to study the woodland caribou which is in decline in other parts of the country,” said wildlife biologist Philip McLoughlin. The forest is so wild that it was hard for McLoughlin to find herds of woodland caribou when he, some graduate students and provincial biologists flew in a plane over the quiet forest last month. 

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Opinion: Montreal is wrong on emerald ash borer

Montreal Gazette
April 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — The city of Montreal has announced plans to spend millions of dollars to limit the destruction of Montreal Island’s 200,000 ash trees by the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle. Much of this money will be wasted. Here’s why: The EAB first arrived in Michigan in June 2002 and is now in at least 12 states, plus Quebec and Ontario. Some 200 million trees have already been killed by the EAB. The most effective treatment is TreeAzin. It works by sterilizing the female EAB adult (but not killing any EABs) and thus reducing the increase in EAB numbers within the treated tree. 

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Bullock promoting good timber projects, stewardship

The Missoulian
April 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The National Wildlife Federation has been working with Montana timber companies for many years to find ways to sustain local mills and the jobs they sustain and provide for good fish and wildlife habitat on national forest lands. In this work we’ve partnered with other conservation groups like Montana Trout Unlimited and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. This work has been difficult for two primary reasons. First, the Forest Service faces difficult challenges in designing and approving timber stewardship projects because of declining budgets, a shrinking work force and the annual need to redirect agency resources to fighting the bigger, hotter wild fires that are now common in the West.

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Fuel reduction: Grant program helps landowners pay for thinning projects

Ravalli Republic
April 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VICTOR – Logger Bob Selzler’s long-bladed chainsaw is sending wood chips flying into the chilled mountain air on the hillside far above Victor. With a quickness that comes with years of practice, Selzler makes fast work of de-limbing the mountain pine beetle-infested ponderosa. All across the hillside, just a short distance from the landowner’s home tucked in the trees, a crew is busily working to remove other diseased trees and burn the slash left behind. When they are done, the private property will join thousands of other acres of forested lands that are less likely to go up in smoke this summer.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood pellet exports from North America to Europe have doubled in two years

Bio-based News
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

With no slowdown in sight, North American wood pellet exporting companies keep building new facilities to manufacture pellets for the European market. Export volumes hit a new record high in the 4Q/13 and the total shipments for 2013 were up almost 50% from the previous year and more than double that in 2011. The total value of wood pellet exports reached over 650 million dollars last year. A rapid expansion of pellet production capacity in the US South during 2012 and 2013 has resulted in a tripling of pellet production in the region in just two years. 

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Forest Service offering Wood-to-Energy grants

Laker Lutz News
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking proposals that expand wood energy use and support responsible forest management. Part of the federal agency’s Hazardous Fuels Wood-to-Energy Grant program, the Forest Service will provide about $2.8 million to help complete the engineering design work needed to apply or public or private loans for construction and long-term financing of wood energy facilities. On top of that, the agency announced $1.7 million in funding availability under the Statewide Wood Energy Team cooperative agreement inviting public-private teams to seek funding to advance wood energy. 

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Switch from cattle fields to ‘carbon farms’ could tackle climate change, save endangered animals cheaply

Phys.org
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Changing cattle fields to forests is a cheap way of tackling climate change and saving species threatened with extinction, a new study has found. Researchers from leading universities, including the University of Sheffield, carried out a survey of carbon stocks, biodiversity and economic values from one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems, the western Andes of Colombia. The main use of land in communities is cattle farming, but the study found farmers could make the same or more money by allowing their land to naturally regenerate.

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