Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 17, 2014

Froggy Foibles

Download, print, build your Martian home in 24 hours

BBC News
September 15, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Colonising Mars could happen sooner than you think. Elon Musk plans to build a city there. Nasa wants to send people by 2035. Then there’s the Mars One mission, Big Brother for the slightly suicidal. But before we indulge in Total Recall-esque fantasies, it’s important to note that building a Martian settlement is a massively ambitious undertaking. “Taking one kilogram of material like brick to the moon or other planets costs between $100,000 to $200,000 [£61,000 to £122,000],” says Dr Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. “So thinking about creating lunar bases and Martian bases, you should really come up with ways of building huts with the material that is there.”

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Business & Politics

Canada supplies China with green-building solutions

Intelligent Building Today
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s ministry of Natural Resources Canada signed a memorandum of understanding on Sept 4 at the Canadian embassy in Beijing to kick-start a green-building relationship between the two nations. According to reports, in the next five years, other industries in Canada will have opportunities to provide wood, as well as green-building solutions and technologies in the district, according to the MOU. Greg Rickford, minister of NRcan, who visited China to participate in last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Ministers’ meeting, said…

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Lumber companies in Surrey and White Rock struggle to make inroads to India

Fragmented market has been a roadblock to Canadian exports, but some B.C. businesses have made promising connections on the subcontinent
Business in Vancouver
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In 2011 Parm Jhajj was a mem ber of a City of Surrey delegation that travelled to Dehli to meet with the joint secretary of the Indian Federal Ministry of Agriculture. While there, Jhajj and his fellow delegates scored a historic win for Canadian exports by successfully advocating for the acceptance of Canadian cedar and SPF (spruce, pine and fir) into the Indian market. Indian lumber buyers were concerned about the mountain pine beetle, which has ravaged trees across western North America. 

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Garneau named to Canada’s Clean50

Pulp and Paper News
September 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products President and CEO, Richard Garneau, has been named to Canada’s Clean50, recognizing leaders who have made the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada. “This designation represents an important endorsement of Resolute’s approach to our business and sustainability strategies, which are directly linked and interdependent,” said Richard Garneau. “Sustainability principles and objectives are reflected in our vision, corporate values and the way we do business across the Company every day.”

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Domtar and Town of Espanola reach tax agreement

Pulp & Paper Canada
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Corporation of the Town of Espanola and Domtar Inc. have reached an agreement resolving outstanding tax matters. “We are pleased to have reached this important agreement with the Town,” said Scott Mosher, general manager of the Espanola pulp and paper mill. “We believe it is in our mutual interest to ensure a sustainable mill operation in Espanola and contribute to a sustainable community, and we believe this agreement accomplishes these objectives.”

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South Dakota forestry contractors ordered to pay back wages

Rapid City Journal
September 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Following a three-year fraud investigation, a U.S. District Court has ordered five South Dakota forestry contractors to pay more than $541,000 in back wages to 66 workers. In a statement released Monday, the U.S. Department of Labor said the five contractors – Munoz Logging and Construction, Black Hills Thinning, Escalante Logging & Thinning, Escalante Thinning and SM Logging & Services – were guilty of a slew of immigration and labor violations.

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Rebound in EU tropical hardwood imports unlikely during 2014

ITTO
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Although there has been some shifting between product groups, total EU imports of tropical hardwood products in the first half of 2014 hardly recovered from the historically low levels recorded in the previous two years. EU imports of tropical hardwood products in the first half of 2014 were 2.157 million cu.m (roundwood equivalent, rwe), a marginal increase of 1% compared to the same period last year. Imports of tropical hardwood logs, mouldings and decking, plywood and glulam/window scantlings have all fallen so far this year. These losses have been offset by rising imports of tropical hardwood sawn, veneer and flooring (Chart 1).

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Australian grown Indian Sandalwood timber attracts lucrative Asian markets

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

Australia’s largest producer of Indian sandalwood has found a buyer for the timber from its plantations and it’s fetching top dollar. Tropical Forestry Services (TFS) says its selling its wood to Asia and some of it’s proving more lucrative than the oil itself. The oil from the timber is still the company’s main focus however the timber itself is attracting international attention. In the last few months it was announced TFS had signed a deal worth half-a-billion dollars for its oil with pharmaceutical company Galderma.

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Pellet price in Germany remains stable in September

IHB
September 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In September, the price of wood pellets in Germany moved slightly upwards. According to recent data from the German Energy Wood and Pellet Association (DEPV), the average price for a tonne (t) of wood pellets is 248.93 EUR in September. That’s almost 1 percent higher than the previous month and 10% less than September 2013. Thus, the stagnation phase in Germany’s pellet price has reached the fifth month in a row.

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No SA representatives on new Forestry Industry Advisory Council

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

The Federal Government has launched a new Forestry Industry Advisory Council but there are no South Australian-based representatives. The council is co-chaired by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Institute of Foresters Australia president Rob De Fegley. Its members have experience in a variety of areas including private plantations, wood product imports, sawmills and manufacturing. Senator Colbeck says it is looking to build an overarching national framework, rather than focus on any particular region.

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During the 7 months, forest industry exports in Latvia up 12.6%; imports up 16.8%

The Baltic Course
September 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

During the first seven months of 2014, Latvian forest industry’s export increased by 12.6%, reaching EUR 1.189 billion, compared to EUR 1.056 billion in the same period in 2013, reports LETA/Nozare.lv, referring to data provided by the Forest Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. The value of wood and wood articles exported in the first seven of 2014 was EUR 129.58 million, which is 10.9% more than in 2013. The largest export markets were Great Britain, Sweden and Germany. A total of 11.2% of forest industry’s exports went to Great Britain, 15.2% to Sweden and 10.9% to Germany.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

California Judge May Have Created Huge Challenges For Contractors

ShawnMcCadden.com
September 12, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

I couldn’t believe it when I read it. A California Superior Court judge by the name of Paul M. Haakenson ordered Lowes to pay $1.6 million dollars for selling 2×4’s that are not really 2” x 4”. Yes, your read that right! According to the Marin County, CA district attorney’s office Lowes “unlawfully advertised structural dimensional building products for sale.” To put it a different way, prosecutors say that if products, including building products like a 2×4 or 2×8, aren’t actually 2” x 4” or 2” x 8” when purchased, consumers are being mislead.

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State leaders should reject LEED certification: Guest opinion

The Oregonian
September 14, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West


…One of the many problems with LEED standards is that green building marketers, along with complicit bureaucrats, are being allowed to override the knowledge of those who actually know how to manage our forestlands. The result: The Council rejects most of Oregon’s forest resources for points in LEED’s score-driven system. Oregon has nearly 30 million acres of forestland. The Forest Stewardship Council recognizes less than one half of 1 percent of that (about 137,000 acres) as sustainable. The LEED standard only recognizes timber “certified” by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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What Nottingham University fire means for timber-frame construction

Construction News
September 17, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The blaze that destroyed the university’s new laboratory offered a stark reminder of the risks construction can face. But what impact will this incident have on the future of timber-framed builds? When fire ripped through a new laboratory at the University of Nottingham last week, it brought back an uncomfortable debate for firms about the risks associated with timber-frame buildings under construction. Fears about the construction method’s vulnerability to fire have been voiced for many years but the industry has taken steps to mitigate some of those worries.

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New timber technology a game-changer for Singapore

Australian developer Lend Lease is introducing Cross Laminated Timber technology to Singapore, which promises productivity and cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.
Eco-Business
September 16, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The idea of using wood for building walls in Singapore must have sounded outlandish to the authorities back in 2012. After all, wood is flammable and the country requires that the structural elements of buildings be fire-proof. But this year, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officially revised its fire code to allow the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) for structural components in buildings after a thorough safety assessment. This change came about thanks to the efforts of international property and infrastructure firm Lend Lease, which has been leading efforts to promote the use of CLT technology in Singapore as a cost-saving, environmentally-sustainable building system.

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Seeding a new building

The Sydney Morning Herald
September 17, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

“Challenging” is the way H2o architects director Mark O’Dwyer described his latest project: how to protect Horsham’s new world-class genetic seed bank, which requires specimens to be stored at minus 20 degrees, from the scorching Wimmera sun? The recently opened Australian Grains Genebank stores 200,000 seed strains in a hermetically sealed freezer room – and the ultimate thermal protection comes from one of the world’s oldest building materials: timber. 

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Forestry

Canada leads world in intact forest loss

The Star Phoenix
September 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

When I started writing this column in 1989, all eyes were on Brazil’s Amazon, ground zero for forest loss and climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. Paying attention to Brazil seems to have paid off: Its rate of deforestation has declined by 80 per cent in recent years. Brazil now uses advanced satellite technology to track deforestation, including illegal logging, improving its ability to enforce forest protection. Sadly, the decline of forest loss in Brazil means Canada is the new leader in intact forest loss. 

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Princeton wildfire continues to spread in strong winds

CBC News
September 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire that broke out Sunday about six kilometres north of Princeton, B.C. has already spread to cover 180 hectares after it was fanned by strong winds overnight. The fire is burning near Princeton-Summerland Road. Crews have put some sprinklers on the nearby Princeton Fairgrounds and some local businesses. “Dry grass, steep terrain and winds challenged fire suppression efforts. Today, over 30 firefighters and heavy equipment are creating guard around the fire to establish containment. They will be assisted by one helicopter and airtankers, as needed,” said a statement released by the B.C. Wildfire Branch.

UPDATE: Fast moving wildfire near Princeton scorches 182 hectares from Global News

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Forest fire prevention tops politicians’ wish list

Penticton Western News
September 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two forest fires earlier this week highlight the need for the B.C. government to re-commit to ongoing prevention work, according to the head of a local government preparing to make the case for more funding. The first blaze sprung to life Sunday just north of Princeton and grew to 182 hectares, but was 90 per cent contained as of Tuesday morning, according to Kayla Pepper, spokesperson for the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch. More help was then called out Monday to tackle a fire that lit up in the Shingle Creek area on the Penticton Indian Reserve and quickly expanded to 18 hectares, before crews wrestled it to 80 per cent containment as of Tuesday morning, Pepper said. Both fires are suspected to be human-caused and aren’t unusual this late in the summer.

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Fire damage to mill another blow to timber town

Associated Press
September 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WEED, Calif.— Besides destroying or damaging scores of homes and other structures, a fast-moving wildfire struck a blow at the economic vitals of this struggling Northern California timber town, knocking its last wood products mill offline for an undetermined amount of time. With a maintenance shed reduced to twisted sheet-metal and the main manufacturing facility suffering structural damage, but still standing with a new coat of pink fire retardant, the Roseburg Forest Products veneer mill on the outskirts of Weed was out of commission Tuesday while workers began assessing the damage, said Kellye Wise, vice president for human resources of the company based in Dillard, Oregon.

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Oregon O&C timber bill now on post-election calendar for Senate energy committee

The Oregonian
September 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sen. Ron Wyden’s bill to boost logging on federal forests in western Oregon has now been scheduled for a post-election work session in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Oregon Democrat has been struggling for the better part of the year to move a bill rewriting the management of more than 2 million acres managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and once owned by the now-defunct Oregon & California Railroad. Wyden has been battered by criticism from both sides in the long fight over how to manage the checkerboard lands that once fueled much of Oregon’s public forest harvests.

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Conservation Groups Say More Lynx Habitat Needs Protection

Northwest Public Radio
September 12, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After years of litigation, one of North America’s imperiled wildcats, the Canada lynx, is now federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. But conservation groups say not enough of the cat’s habitat is protected under the law, especially in the Northwest. Lynx resemble bobcats with very furry paws and short tails. They thrive in dense boreal forests, where they can easily hunt snowshoe hare. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has now listed all Canada lynx in the lower 48 as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Since 2000, most of the cats have been listed as threatened, but that listing excluded lynx in New Mexico.

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Estacada fire: Residents relieved to hear no homes lost, 7 percent containment

The Oregonian
September 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ESTACADA — Applause erupted Tuesday night from the First Baptist Church: Residents heard good news — the 3,588-acre fire threatening their homes was 7 percent contained and no structures have been lost. More than 800 firefighters are working on the 36 Pit fire — the result of a ramped-up effort when Gov. John Kitzhaber invoked the state’s conflagration act Monday. At least 40 homes on the fire’s southwest flank are on level 3 evacuation orders (leave now), with another 120 homes on level 2 orders (be ready to go).

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Oregon Fire Season ‘Continues To Push And Challenge’

Northwest News Network
September 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire near Estacada, Oregon, southeast of Portland, has grown to more than 3,500 acres and threatens more than 160 homes. Firefighters are expected to catch a break from the hot, dry conditions for a few days until the next round of warm weather moves into the region this weekend. The “36 Pit” fire is just the latest in a series of large fires in the Northwest this summer. Doug Decker of the Oregon Department of Forestry briefed state lawmakers in Salem Tuesday. He said fires in the Northwest have been among the worst in the nation this summer.

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New Oregon Forestry Tool Excites Agency But Pesticide Watchdogs Are Disappointed

Oregon Public Broadcasting
September 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Forestry is set to unveil an overhaul of how it tracks what happens on forests within the state. Gone is the archaic system of timber owners filing paper permits and notifications before they log a stand of trees or spray weed killer. It’s being replaced by a state-of-the-art web application. Timber owners can use it to draw maps of their harvests. State foresters can access it from an iPad deep in the woods. The site, called FERNS (Forestry activity Electronic Notfication System), is now in testing mode.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change may add billions to wildfire costs, study says

LA Times
September 16, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

As wildfires burned in California, a study by several major environmental groups estimated that climate change could mean that future blazes will be much larger and add billions of dollars to already costly losses. The 46-page study released Tuesday, titled “Flammable Planet: Wildfires and the Social Cost of Carbon,” is part of an ongoing project by three groups to examine what it calls the missing risks, such as wildfires, that climate change can make more expensive. The groups are the Environmental Defense Fund, the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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