Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 14, 2014

Business & Politics

Raw log debate heats up in Legislature after WFP closure

Nanaimo Daily News
October 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The role of raw log exports in the closure of Nanaimo’s Western Forest Products sawmill has been the subject of heated debate this week during the Legislative Assembly’s fall sitting. B.C. NDP leader John Horgan pointed to the WFP mill again on Wednesday during a back-andforth with Premier Christy Clark regarding resource development. “The premier took the photo opportunity to be at a mill in Nanaimo to talk about jobs in the forest sector just before last election,” he said. “That very same mill in Nanaimo where the premier stood and talked about growing the forest economy is shutting down. It’s closing.”

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How a beetle outbreak may have caused two sawmill explosions in B.C.

16×9
October 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a bug the size of a grain of rice, but it has an appetite as big as British Columbia. With a little help from climate change, the mountain pine beetle has killed or infected 8.7 million hectares of the province’s lodgepole pine forest since 2005. That’s an area almost three times the size of Vancouver Island. If you’re looking for the cause of the sawmill explosions that killed four workers and injured dozens more in 2012, the beetle is a good place to start.

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Domtar, city make progress in tax talks

Kenora Online
October 13, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Dryden and Domtar are making progress. They’ve been arguing over taxes for the last couple of years. A spokesman for the city, Andre larabie, says they’ve received a ‘substantive payment’ from the forestry company, as a sign of goodwill. “It was a breath of fresh air to have that portion taken care of,” said city spokesman Andre Larabie. “Both parties are pleased. That’s why we issued a joint statement,” he added. A reassessment of the mill property two years ago dropped revenues for the city by a million dollars, adding to the community’s financial difficulties. 

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BRIGHTON: Pressure building on N.S. timber supply

Herald Business
October 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Opening up long-term access to western Crown lands will relieve some of the pressure that has been building in the forestry sector this year. This week the province announced that 16 sawmills and manufacturers had been granted 10-year allocations on the former Bowater lands and other Crown land west of Highway 101. Many sawmills had been crying out for this Crown access since late 2012, when the province acquired the assets of the defunct Bowater Mersey Paper Co., including its vast tracts of timberlands in the southwest of the province. 

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Lumber Liquidators releases new policies in wake of 16×9 investigation

16×9
October 12, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

On Friday, October 3rd after 16×9 released its investigation online into illegally sourced timber by Lumber Liquidators the company announced important new policies on sourcing and oversight of wood procurement. In a statement released that day, the company said it will “purchase from sustainably grown and harvested forests with independent certification and we will source from these forests whenever available.”

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Obstruction or obligation? The case for and against environmental litigation

Independent Record
October 12, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

HELENA — The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, the Montana Ecosystems Defense Council and the Native Ecosystems Council are the three conservation groups that have been the most litigious in recent years in the Helena region. The groups have been involved in more than 200 court cases nationwide as plaintiffs or co-plaintiffs against federal agencies like the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In the last five fiscal years, $617,058.40 in attorney fees has been awarded to the three groups and their co-plaintiffs in lawsuits against the Forest Service.

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Taxpayer subsidized logging make no sense

Independent Record
October 13, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Oct. 1 article in the IR about the Cabin Gulch logging project reports a claim by the manager of the RY Timber mill in Townsend that the Forest Service makes money on logging. However, a month earlier the Billings Gazette published the results of its investigation of the Forest Service’s cost and revenue that paints a much different picture and a more accurate portrayal of the continued taxpayer subsidization of Montana’s timber industry. The Gazette found the Forest Service in Montana generated $5.4 million in revenue 2013, of which $4.1 million came from timber sales. 

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China shops for hardwood in WV

The State Journal
October 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

West Virginia — “The Chinese no longer have any wood, really, of their own to use for furniture production,” said Caitlin Ashley, international trade representative for the Export Promotion Program at the W.Va. Development Office. The Development Office coordinated a visit in late August from a delegation of Chinese bus… “China is our No. 1 market for hardwood exports,” Ashley said. “It’s a growing market for hardwood producers.”

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Buyers for paper mills don’t grow on trees

Portland Press Herald
October 13, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

After the latest closure, the governor’s senior adviser for forest products once again turns to his industry contacts. It’s a drill Rosaire Pelletier has been through many times. A Maine paper mill closes, and Pelletier, the governor’s senior adviser for forest products, is handed the task of trying to find a buyer. The state gets involved because, more often than not, tax breaks and other aid are needed to make a deal come together. “It’s not an easy job,” concedes Pelletier, a 40-year veteran of the paper industry who uses an impressive list of contacts to market Maine’s shuttered mills. But declining demand for the type of paper Maine specializes in, coupled with increasing competition, does not create an ideal seller’s market, especially when the most recent mill owners couldn’t make a go of it.

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Industry Seeks Commitment To British Timber

Green Building Press
October 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New findings published today by Grown in Britain show that 92 per cent of major UK construction contractors would back an industry-wide commitment to use more home-grown timber and over 60 per cent would specify it in their contracts. The research, which sought the views of UK Contractors Group members, including BAM, VINCI Construction and Kier, on their use of timber, comes as the second annual Grown in Britain Week gets underway to highlight the important role timber plays in the UK economy. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. wood moves up China’s value chain

By Tom Fletcher
Terrace Standard (BC Local News)
October 12, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

When B.C.’s wood products trade mission visited Nanjing, China five years ago, government and industry representatives watched lumber being hauled by labourers with ropes onto the roofs of a vast expanse of concrete apartment buildings. Trusses were built using hammers and handsaws, to replace thousands of roofs damaged by the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Builders were pleased with the new method, which replaced angle iron pulled up to the roofs and welded into trusses. …The annual lumber trade mission is required by B.C. legislation. Thomson said the next stop in Beijing is for his first meetings with national-level Chinese officials, before the group heads to Tokyo and Seoul, South Korea.

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Institute aims to create new markets for wood-based construction materials

Herald Independent
October 10, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CLEMSON — Clemson University has formed a new institute whose founders hope to change how commercial buildings are constructed in the United States. Clemson’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute (WU+D) will leverage the university’s assets in forestry, architecture, construction science and engineering to design, test and market innovative, sustainable wood-based materials for use in a commercial construction market dominated by steel and concrete. In the process, WU+D hopes to forge new markets for South Carolina’s $17 billion forest products industry, form partnerships with corporations needing product design consultation and testing, and prepare Clemson students to take leadership roles in designing and marketing future innovations in wood-based construction technology.

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Announcing the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition to Innovate Building Construction

USDA
October 10, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

As part of the Obama administration’s commitment to mitigate climate change, USDA, in partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, is announcing the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. This competitive prize, open to teams of architects, engineers, and developers, will showcase the architectural and commercial viability of advanced wood products like Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) in tall buildings. Advanced wood products are becoming the latest innovation in tall building construction. 

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Singapore aims to be “living lab” for green building tech

Global Construction Review
October 10, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

To overcome barriers to innovation in traditional construction, Singapore has set up “pre-project innovation consortia” comprising developers, designers, engineers and manufacturers who will develop green technologies that project teams find it hard to implement themselves. Launched by the city state’s Economic Development Board, the so-called PPICs will push for an “integrative” design approach to buildings in order to speed up the innovation cycle in construction… Lend Lease will use its consortium to develop cross-laminated timber for use in Singapore.

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Forestry

Forest fires burned area half the size of P.E.I. last year

The Canadian Press
October 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The number of wildfires in Canada’s national parks was close to average last summer, but the size of some of those fires made it an unusually hot season. “We’ve had a more active than normal wildfire season,” said Jeff Weir, Parks Canada’s national fire manager. “A small number of those fires have been quite challenging.” The agency reported 85 wildfires in the spring and summer of this year. That’s slightly higher than the average of 82.

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Busy fire season in national parks, Parks Canada annual report says

The Canadian Press
October 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The number of wildfires in Canada’s national parks was close to average last summer, but the size of some of those fires made it an unusually hot season. “We’ve had a more active than normal wildfire season,” said Jeff Weir, Parks Canada’s national fire manager. “A small number of those fires have been quite challenging.” The agency reported 85 wildfires in the spring and summer of this year. That’s slightly higher than the average of 82. The amount of forest burned was almost 3,000 square kilometres — an area about half the size of Prince Edward Island. “That’s higher than normal,” Weir said.

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UBC Forestry creates an online registry of B.C.’s largest trees

The Ubyssey
October 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sally Aitken, a UBC professor of forest and conservation sciences, is aiming to keep up the legacy of a young man who was passionate about the big trees of B.C. When Randy Stoltman would explore Stanley Park and other places around Vanouver in the 1980s, he would keep an eye out for big trees. He would then measure and document them tirelessly and eventually formed the first workings of a tree registry with friends in 1986. But when Stoltman tragically passed away in a skiing accident in 1994, the registry was left without a permanent home. “The registry was kind of neglected,” said Aitken. “It was just boxes of records, hand-drawn maps and notes and photos.”

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Guest Opinion: Who’s really to blame for 2014 wildfires?

By Dominick DellaSala, Chad Hanson and Dennis Odion
Mail Tribune
October 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

As scientists, we are alarmed by the hyperbole and misinformation contained in timber industry representative Jeremy Wuerfel’s Oct. 5 opinion piece about this year’s fire season. Fires burning across the West are in no way out of the ordinary. Even the severe ones are a natural part of mixed-conifer forests burning today the way they did historically in most places. Naturally, most people have a visceral response to a recently burned forest, but forests need periodic fire to replenish soil nutrients and renew plant growth. Decades of scientific studies have revealed nature’s remarkable restorative powers that begin soon after a burn. There’s nothing “romantic” about this — it’s an ecological fact told in countless studies and nature documentaries. 

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Wildlife groups sue for wolverine protections

Associated Press
October 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS, Mont. — A coalition of advocacy groups on Monday challenged the government’s denial of federal protections for the snow-loving wolverine, arguing in a lawsuit that officials disregarded evidence a warming climate will eliminate denning areas for the so-called “mountain devil.” An estimated 250 to 300 wolverines survive in the Lower 48 states. The elusive but ferocious members of the weasel family give birth to their young in deep mountain snowfields that scientists say could be at risk of disappearing as the climate changes.

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Protect Ohio’s forests

October 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Just as Ohio has begun to recover from decades of deforestation, the state has authorized a more than threefold increase in logging activity in public forests in the past decade. Increased logging is a bad deal for Ohioans. Lawmakers ought to invest in the state’s future and make a priority of the health of Ohio’s forests. A report by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates that 14 percent of Shawnee State Forest’s growth was harvested for timber between 2000 and 2010 — an average of about 2.2 million board feet a year during that period. Since then, harvest levels from Shawnee have increased steadily, with about 4 million board feet harvested in 2013.

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Boom in Pandora moths a bust for pines of far northern Arizona

KTAR News
October 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF — The lab countertops at Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry are covered with ponderosa pine branches that have several Pandora caterpillars munching away on the needles. Richard Hofstetter, a forest entomology professor, is studying a population boom among Pandora moths in the northern reaches of the Kaibab National Forest – the most seen in the past 20 years…”It’s important to understand our native species, and especially one that has such a high abundance and can outbreak like this,” Hofstetter said. It’s especially important, he said, because as caterpillars the insects are prodigious eaters. 

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Protect Ohio’s forests

October 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Just as Ohio has begun to recover from decades of deforestation, the state has authorized a more than threefold increase in logging activity in public forests in the past decade. Increased logging is a bad deal for Ohioans. Lawmakers ought to invest in the state’s future and make a priority of the health of Ohio’s forests. A report by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates that 14 percent of Shawnee State Forest’s growth was harvested for timber between 2000 and 2010 — an average of about 2.2 million board feet a year during that period. Since then, harvest levels from Shawnee have increased steadily, with about 4 million board feet harvested in 2013.

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FAO sets standards to improve national forest monitoring systems

PR Newswire
October 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

ROME — FAO has launched free software tools that it hopes will improve the way many developing nations monitor the state of their forests to tackle deforestation and climate change. The tools are designed to assist countries through the entire lifecycle of a forest inventory – from assessment, design and field data collection to analysis and reporting. The governments of Finland and Germany have supported the development of the software called Open Foris. 

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Tasmania’s plantation industry struggles to find local forest contractors for harvest demand

ABC News
October 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

There are concerns forest contractors will soon be imported from New Zealand or interstate to meet the demands of Tasmania’s plantation industry. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of hardwood plantations are about to come online for harvesting, but the industry is struggling to find enough forest contractors. About 90 took exit payments from the Federal Government two years ago to leave the native forest industry as part of the now defunct forest peace deal.

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Examining Forest Restoration Commitments

The Epoch Times
October 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The United Nations Climate Summit at the end of September saw a host of governments, agencies and organizations rally around an international agreement aimed at stopping deforestation called the New York Declaration on Forests. In it, three African nations were recognized for their commitments to restore collectively more than 25 million hectares of forest – an area larger than the West African country of Guinea – part of a plan to restore 350 million hectares of forest by 2030. But several organizations declined invitations to sign the pact because they say it fails to lay out “concrete action” to fight climate change, and some experts in the field worry that the announcements are little more than political posturing. 

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UN launches ‘game-changer’ software to help developing countries monitor forests

UN News
October 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Accurate information is crucial for governments to manage their natural resources sustainably, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today as it announced the launch of new software it hopes will help developing nations monitor the state of their forests. “Many countries simply do not have a full picture of what is happening in their forests, and without that knowledge it is hard to develop effective forest policies to combat deforestation and forest degradation or to advance national climate change strategies,” said Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General for FAO Forestry, in a press release. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change: Models ‘underplay plant CO2 absorption’

BBC News
October 13, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Global climate models have underestimated the amount of CO2 being absorbed by plants, according to new research. Scientists say that between 1901 and 2010, living things absorbed 16% more of the gas than previously thought. The authors say it explains why models consistently overestimated the growth rate of carbon in the atmosphere. But experts believe the new calculation is unlikely to make a difference to global warming predictions. The research has been published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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REDD+ expected to preserve forests, empower local coomunities

Antara News
October 11, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Jakarta – To address the challenge of climate change, Indonesia has been implementing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) program, with the cooperation of foreign donors, particularly Norway, for the last nine years. REDD is an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation—estimated at up to 20 percent of the global total—by offering incentives. REDD+ is an extension of the program that includes the conservation and sustainable management of forests, as well as the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.

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Potential for forestry biofuel confirmed

A Primary Growth Partnership study has confirmed the technical feasibility of producing biofuels from forestry waste.
Radio NZ
October 13, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The government met half the cost of the $13.5 million Stump to Pump project, led by pulp and paper processor Norske Skog and fuel company Z Energy. It identified the potential to develop a biofuel industry from sawdust, bark and other forestry residue. Meanwhile, the Bioenergy Association said organising a guaranteed supply of raw material is a key part of getting a wood-based biofuel industry up and running. Executive officer Brian, Cox said the Stump to Pump project, has provided valuable pointers to what needs to happen now to turn the idea into reality.

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General

New agreement promotes B.C. wood in China

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
October 10, 2014
Category: Uncategorised

NANJING, CHINA – Jiangsu Province is the latest Chinese province to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Province of B.C. to increase the use of wood-frame construction, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today. The agreement enhances co-operation and communication between the two governments, and is an opportunity to apply wood-frame construction in Jiangsu, since wood-frame buildings are energy-efficient and reduce carbon emissions. 

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