Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 29, 2014

Froggy Foibles

Have You Ever Seen An Angry Tree!?

Have you hugged a tree today? Well, maybe you should
Meteapoon
July 29, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles

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Business & Politics

US may be poised for economic housing boost

By Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President of the Business Council of BC
Troy Media
July 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Is it possible that America’s economy might surprise us with a sustained growth surge? The question came to mind as I recently slogged through a series of blog entries and reports on the web site of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. the Center’s researchers keep close tabs on US housing markets and have a particular interest in the factors believed to influence the demand for housing. …The good news is that the US housing starts and residential investment spending have slowly picked up since 2010, and home prices have rebounded in most parts of the country. … Faster household formation and stronger growth in homebuilding would clearly benefit millions of Americans. But it would also be welcomed by the Canadian lumber and building materials industries, which remain heavily focused on the huge American market. 

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

Home Channel News
July 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Lumber: Mill shutdowns in eastern Canada and order files extending into early August at western mills left SPF prices flat in both regions. Buyers looked to secondaries for moderate discounts. Smaller mills in the West showed a willingness to back off quotes a bit to keep orders coming their way. Southern Pine lumber pricing continued to follow recent trends. Narrow widths continued to carry a degree of strength while wides remained weak. 

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New Brunswick legislature to resume today to change Fraser Papers pension

Daily Business Buzz
July 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Politicians in New Brunswick will return to the legislature today for a special one-day session to enact changes to pensions for retirees from the now-defunct Fraser Papers in Edmundston. Members will vote on amendments to the Pension Benefits Act that would enable people who once worked at the pulp mill to immediately benefit from increased pension payouts. The changes would also see their pension plans converted to a shared-risk model as of September.

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Resolute fined for 2012 mill accident

Northern Ontario Business
July 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products has been fined $55,000 after a worker was injured at its Fort Frances paper mill in 2012. The company pleaded guilty in a Provincial Offences Court in Fort Frances, July 25… The Ministry of Labour’s investigation concluded that Resolute failed as an employer to ensure that a stack roll was moved in such a way and with such precautions as to ensure that the moving the roll did not endanger the safety of the worker.

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Twin Rivers Paper gets more wood from Crown land in New Brunswick

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

EDMUNDSTON, N.B. – The New Brunswick government is giving Twin Rivers Paper Co. access to an additional 200,000 cubic metres of wood from Crown lands. The additional wood is part of a 10-year forestry plan announced in March that will allow forestry companies to harvest an additional 660,000 cubic metres of softwood a year — a hike of 20 per cent. As a result of the additional wood, Twin Rivers Paper has added a third shift at its mill in Plaster Rock, a move the company says will create more than 40 jobs. 

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Feds effectively limit Oregon’s timber industry

Statesman Journal
July 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s annual report on timber production shows the need to increase logging on federal lands. The report contains good news and restates a troubling trend. On the plus side, timber harvests in 2013 topped 4 billion board feet for the first time since 2006. Oregon produced enough timber to build 419,920 houses. Recovery from the Great Recession continued, and demand for timber has room to grow. Housing starts nationally were still only about two-thirds the historical average.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tree Free Paper: A Path to Saving Trees and Forests?

Dovetail News
July 29, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Paper can be produced from a wide variety of raw materials. Though wood has generally been found to be the most cost-effective source of fiber, non-wood fiber has long been used in papermaking in some parts of the world, and some non-wood use continues today. It is important to recognize that production, collection, transport, and use of all raw materials result in environmental impacts. Fully understanding supply chains is critical to determining environmental attributes of any product.

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Forestry

Gambier woodlot program ‘makes sense’

By Bill Errico
North Shore News
July 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I own the existing woodlot on Gambier Island. My family first came to Gambier in 1912 and I moved to Gambier from North Vancouver in 1968…  The people I see and talk to on Gambier support my woodlot. When I build roads I leave them there for the future. People like it because they can walk through the forest… Some people are worried about the two new woodlots tendered for sale on Gambier. I don’t think there’s reason to be. The woodlot program makes sense for this kind of area. Woodlots are usually locally owned and operate with local contractors. Because of their smaller size and local ties, they’re a good tenure for working with community members. 

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Risk of forest fire heats up in the Central Okanagan

Kelowna Capital News
July 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is the busiest fire season since 2010 and the hot dry weather poses more risks this week. Since April 1, there have been 711 wildfires across the province, with 99 currently burning. As of this point in 2010, the Wildfire Management Branch had recorded 875 fires and 248 were burning, although fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said the latter number reflected a spike at the end of July. Hot temperatures, dry conditions and lightening storms have made life tricky for forest fire crews this season.

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Junior forest rangers active throughout the summer

Mountain View Gazette
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

High school students from across Alberta are learning about natural resource management and forestry through a popular summer program – and getting paid to do it. The Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) Junior Forest Rangers (JFR) program has been around since the 1960s, but the projects involved differ each year. An all-female crew in the program camped at the Ravenbrood Trout Station north of Sundre for three days last week, providing maintenance to the trail system created by another JFR crew some years ago.

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Opinion: Government should invest more in fire prevention—Wildfire cost to society exceeds just lost trees

July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

When it comes to limiting the negative consequences of wildfires, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. In other words, for every dollar we spend mitigating hazardous fuels around communities and across the greater landscape, we can save $10 or more on suppression and fire damage. With this in mind, it is hard to understand why the province has chosen not to support funding for wildfire hazard abatement around our communities and important assets when research shows that wildfires really cost society much more than we think. …All of this points to the need to invest heavily in prevention — just as we claim to do for our medical and education systems. The decisions we make today in regards to wildfire prevention have significant consequences that can and will be felt for decades.

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Hot, dry weather has B.C. firefighters on high alert—Extra help brought in as 92 blazes burn

By Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
July 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 2,700 firefighters are battling 92 wildfires in British Columbia, including northern hot spots that could flare up with more hot and dry weather forecast in the next week. The fire season has been so busy that B.C. has had to call on about 500 out-of-province firefighters, mostly from Ontario and Quebec. Another 600 to 800 local contract firefighters are helping supplement the B.C. Wildfire Branch’s 1,400-person cadre. It’s a hot, dirty and smoky job, where firefighters put in long days, as many as 12 hours a day, for stretches of up to 14 days, and have to contend with the dangers of falling snags and trees. There have been no major injuries this year.

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Opinion: Government should invest more in fire prevention—Wildfire cost to society exceeds just lost trees

July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

When it comes to limiting the negative consequences of wildfires, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. In other words, for every dollar we spend mitigating hazardous fuels around communities and across the greater landscape, we can save $10 or more on suppression and fire damage. With this in mind, it is hard to understand why the province has chosen not to support funding for wildfire hazard abatement around our communities and important assets when research shows that wildfires really cost society much more than we think. …All of this points to the need to invest heavily in prevention — just as we claim to do for our medical and education systems. The decisions we make today in regards to wildfire prevention have significant consequences that can and will be felt for decades.

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Worker pinned by equipment

The Chronicle Journal
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Thunder Bay mill worker remains in critical condition in hospital following an industrial accident Friday at Resolute Forest Products pulp and paper mill. “We had a major health and safety incident at our Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill on Friday,” Resolute spokesman Xavier Van Chau said Monday in a news release. “An employee was in the finishing and shipping area of the mill and was pinned down by equipment. He is in critical condition at the hospital and we are focused on his well-being,” Van Chau said.

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Officials: Pine beetle infestation not over yet

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

HELENA, Mont.— While the mountain pine beetle epidemic has passed its peak, Montana forestry officials said Monday it’s not over yet. The latest survey shows more than 526,000 acres of pine trees in the state were infested with the beetle in 2013, officials told the Board of Land Commissioners. That amount is still significant as the insects continue to leave stands of dead trees in their wake, said Amy Gannon, pest management specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forestry Division. 

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Storm Arthur: Fire blight scorches 80% of Valley orchards

CBC News
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, Canada East, Canada, United States

In the Annapolis Valley, fire blight has scorched up to 80 per cent of some apple orchards — and Perennia Horticulturalist Chris Duyvelshoff says the blame rests squarely with [hurricane] Arthur.  “With a situation like Arthur, where you have a very strong wind — we had 138 km/h winds — that opens up a number of microscopic cracks in the leaves,” he said. “Combined with the bacteria blowing around in the storm, that creates the perfect situation where you have a number of new entry points for the infection to spread.” Fire blight is a bacterial infection, named for its ability to leave apple trees looking as if they have been set ablaze. …”It’s been a challenging year and Nova Scotia has never seen an epidemic like this for fire blight.

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Forestry industry calls for assurance CSIRO forestry scientists will be retained

ABC News
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The forestry industry is lobbying the Federal Government and the CSIRO to retain its forestry scientists and invest in the sector. The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) says a report commissioned by the Business Council of Australia provides the evidence government needs, to spend on research and development. The ‘Building Australia’s Comparative Advantages’ report, by McKinsey and Co focuses on ‘actions Government can take to foster an innovative and dynamic economy’. 

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Peak forestry body rejects science behind SA water plan

ABC News, Australia
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forestry companies in the lower south east of SA will be required to buy water licences, as part of the State Government’s plans to ensure sustainability of the resource. The Australian Forest Products Association agrees a licensing system is needed but rejects the science underpinning the Government scheme… “When you plant a tree you know that trees use more water when water’s available and they don’t use as much water when the water isn’t there. “So it doesn’t make sense to create this carte blanche view that has taken a very high view of what the water used by forests is. This is a terrible blow really to all of those businesses that rely on their raw material of forests,” he said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Petition targets plant

Vernon Morning Star
July 27, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Opposition is growing to Lavington’s proposed wood pellet plant. A petition against the plant, a joint venture between Tolko Industries and Pinnacle Renewable Energy, has gained upwards of 100 signatures. “We have been getting some great response,” said Stephanie Hoffman, a Lavington resident who is concerned about the contaminate discharge from the facility. Hoffman is hoping to present the petition to the District of Coldstream during its regular council meeting scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. That is when a zoning bylaw to accommodate the plant could be given final approval.

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Merritt to receive power plant

Castanet
July 26, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Merritt is to be the site of a new 40 megawatt, biomass-fired power plant for BC Hydro. Merritt Green Energy Limited Partnership announced Friday that it has closed on its financing for the Merritt Green Energy Project, a $235 million investment. An Environmental Appeal Board document indicates the plant will be built “on land at the intersection of Houston Street and Midday Valley Road in Merritt,” adjacent to the Tolko Industries yard. The project will sell power under a 30-year electricity purchase agreement to BC Hydro and, with financing in place, has now moved into its construction phase with commercial operation expected in October 2016.

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First National Survey Finds Trees Saving Lives

USDA Forest Service
Lab Manager
July 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms. While trees’ pollution removal equated to an average air quality improvement of less than 1 percent, the impacts of that improvement are substantial. Researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year in a study published recently in the journal Environmental Pollution.

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Cuba Considers Mangroves to Fend Off Rising Seal Level

CubaSi
July 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…Worried by forecasts of rising seas from climate change, the effects of hurricanes and the salinization of farmlands, authorities say they are beginning a forced march to repair Cuba’s first line of defense against the advancing waters – its mangrove thickets, which have been damaged by decades of neglect and uncontrolled logging. In the second half of 2013, a moratorium was declared on mangrove logging. Now, the final touches are being put on a sustainable management master plan that is expected to be in place before the end of the year… Mangroves historically have been harvested heavily, for textile dyes, tannins used in the pharmaceutical industry, lumber for furniture and charcoal that rural Cubans rely on to fire their kitchens.

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