Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 3, 2014

Business & Politics

The granddaddy of all Canadian-U.S. trade disputes is about to rear its ugly head again

Financial Post
October 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada


A recent dispute over “country of origin labelling” for meat products underscores the fact that Canada and the U.S. still have their share of trade disputes. Yet lurking in the background is a massive trade issue that you haven’t heard about for a while: softwood lumber, the granddaddy of all Canadian-U.S. trade disputes. Canada exported $7.4-billion worth of lumber in 2013, the highest amount since 2006. The United States is the destination for the bulk of that wood, and U.S. lumber producers have for decades demanded the U.S. government collect tariffs on Canadian lumber. After decades of dispute, Canada and the U.S. agreed to a nine-year truce in 2006. Under the agreement, the U.S. agreed to return more than $5-billion in duties collected from Canadian lumber companies, and a ceasefire in trade litigation.

Read More

Catalyst Paper set to acquire two mills in the US

For nearly EUR 60 million
Pulp and Paper News
November 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canadian firm Catalyst Paper recently signed an asset purchase agreement with NewPage Corporation, NewPage Wisconsin System and Rumford Paper Company to acquire their pulp and paper mills in Wisconsin and Maine in the US. The cost of acquisition is expected to reach nearly EUR 60 million. “Our acquisition of these US pulp and paper mills, once complete, will support our efforts to improve our balance sheet and enhance the Company’s long-term competitiveness,” said, Joe Nemeth, President and CEO, Catalyst.

Read More

Lakeland owners appealing WorkSafeBC sanctions

Prince George Citizen
October 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The owners of Lakeland Mills Ltd. are appealing the financial penalties WorkSafeBC issued the sawmill for the 2012 fire and explosion that killed two employees and injured 22 others. “Lakeland has taken this action for a number of reasons after carefully weighing its responsibility for the tragedy against its sincere belief that the responsibility is shared with all stakeholders with an interest in ensuring safe workplaces,” Sinclar Group Forest Products president Greg Stewart said in a statement issued Friday afternoon. In July, WorkSafeBC issued Lakeland a $626,663 claims cost levy for violating regulations that govern worker compensation, as well as employee health and safety and a $97,500 administrative penalty for $724,163 in total.

Read More

MacKenzie Sawmill in Surrey heavily damaged in major fire

Three alarm blaze is third fire since 2010 and second major blaze since 2011
CBC News
November 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Mackenzie Sawmill in Surrey suffered extensive damage in a three-alarm blaze that broke out shortly after 1 a.m. PT Saturday. It’s the third fire in three years at the sawmill. Deputy Surrey Fire Chief Karen Fry says fire crews initially responded to a report of “wires down.” …”It’s a lot of heavy timber within the building and a lot of machinery in the building,” she said. “There wasn’t a big fire load. There wasn’t a lot of wood or wood products in the mill today so it’s really just the machinery and the layout and the heavy timber within the mill.”

Third fire since 2010 damages sawmill building in Surrey: duputy fire chief from The Canadian Press

Read More

Kraft mill sale talks collapse

Fort Frances Times
October 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Town of Fort Frances is alarmed that talks between Resolute Forest Products, Expera, and the Province of Ontario, regarding the acquisition of the local kraft mill, have broken off. The town said Wisconsin-based Expera has indicated a strong interest in acquiring the facility from Resolute, which would have resulted in 200 jobs at the facility and another 800 related to its operations. The town also believes the acquisition could go beyond a re-start of kraft mill operations and potentially involve the remaining assets, including the paper machines. The town said it has learned over the past two years, through extensive research and consultation, that the Fort Frances mill should be operational in a very productive wood basket known as the best forest in Ontario.

Read More

Fort Frances demands ministry action on kraft mill wood supply

CBC News
October 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Town officials in Fort Frances say negotiations between a US company and Resolute Forest Products for the sale of Resolute’s idled Fort Frances kraft mill have broken off. In a news release issued Friday, the town said Expera, a specialty paper business, had indicated “a strong interest” in buying the mill, restoring hundreds of jobs. The statement blamed the failure of negotiations on the fact that Resolute controls the cost of wood in the Fort Frances area, and that Expera Specialty Solutions needs to be able to acquire fibre at a reasonable cost.

Read More

Demand for wood-plastic composites forecast to grow in the next years

IHB The Timber Network
November 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Woodplastic and plastic decking is forecast to have the strongest market growth over the next four years, but wood will remain the main material on US decks, according to market research company Freedonia’s latest market outlook (Wood & Competitive Decking, Study). The outlook for tropical hardwood use in decking is positive. Even when overall decking demand declined during the downturn in the housing market, demand for tropical hardwood decking grew. Homeowners look for low maintenance materials, and tropical hardwoods offer a natural, attractive appearance compared to plastic or wood plastic composite. Tropical hardwood decking is also known to perform well in the long term, while wood plastic composites had performance issues in the past.

Read More

Green Creek Wood Products in Port Angeles set to shut down for good Saturday

Peninsula Daily News
November 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West


PORT ANGELES — Beset by market pressures and not enough logs, Green Creek Wood Products LLC will close the company, including its recently modernized Port Angeles sawmill, on Saturday. The company is jointly owned by Green Crow Corp. of Port Angeles and Creekside Trading Corp. of Langley, B.C. Green Creek will lay off 35 people, 27 of whom live on the North Olympic Peninsula, Green Crow President Randy Johnson said Thursday. Seven Green Creek employees work at the company’s 10-dry-kiln Spanaway facility and its lumber sales office in Bellingham. “This is just a terrible day for me, I’ve got to tell you,” Johnson said, adding that efforts are being made to find timber industry jobs elsewhere for the employees.

Read More

Tribe’s lumber dock will serve exporters

The World
November 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

NORTH BEND — Log exports to Pacific Rim customers soon will be conducted from Ko-Kwel Wharf just north of the Mill Casino under a joint venture agreement between the Coquille Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO) and Knutson Towboat Company. Nearly a year in development, the new venture, K2 Exports LLC, will help increase the use of Coos Bay for international commerce while also improving access to export opportunities for area timber companies seeking to reach Asian markets, CEDCO’s announcement said. The joint venture is working with Silvan Forest LLC, a firm that specializes in procuring logs for export to Chinese markets. While the project adds diversity to the Coquille Tribe’s business holdings, it also fits in with the Tribe’s focus on forestry.

Read More

Northeast’s record-breaking wood pellet demand peaks heading into winter season

Biofuels Digest
November 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

In the US, the Northeast is demanding record amounts of wood pellet heating fuel from the biomass industry.“Last winter was especially cold and long, particularly in the Northeast, and many pellet fuels consumers are planning ahead to be prepared for this season,” said Jennifer Hedrick, Executive Director of PFI. “At this time it’s important for consumers to recognize that purchasing large amounts of pellets that exceed their likely demand for the heating season could result in a personal surplus at the end of the season.” Across the US, well over one million homes across the country have installed pellet heating appliances, and approximately 2.5 million homes heat primarily with wood.

Read More

Anthony Puts Heat on Insurance Company After Sawmill Fire

Arkansas Business
November 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Anthony Forest Products Co. is hauling its insurance carrier into court for allegedly failing to pay off a claim for a 2013 fire that caused $5.6 million in damage. The El Dorado company that makes lumber and engineered wood products said that Pennsylvania Lumbermen’s Mutual Insurance Co. of Philadelphia did pay $3 million for business interruption and business loss tied to the fire. But Anthony said Pennsylvania Lumbermen’s “failed and refuses to pay the total damages it is obligated to pay in accordance with the terms and conditions of its policy or policies,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in El Dorado. Anthony is seeking $2.6 million plus other unspecified amounts.

Read More

Growth in building market driving new investment at Hyne Timber

ABC News Australia
November 2, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Australia’s largest private timber producer is hoping to capitalise on a recent resurgence in building activity. Hyne Timber is about to spend several million dollars on new scanning technology at its Tumbarumba mill in south-west New South Wales. The equipment will scan the log at several stages to test fibre quality and minimise reject timber. Manufacturing manager Chris Skeels-Piggins says it should give the company a competitive edge over softwood imports.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. supports wood innovation with opening of WIDC (with video)

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
BC Government
October 31, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – The Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC), one of the tallest contemporary wood buildings in North America, officially opened today, on budget and on time, further positioning B.C. as a leader in wood innovation and design. Construction of the 29.5-metre, six-storey high WIDC began in 2013 with 13 different B.C. companies working collaboratively and employing about 250 staff throughout the province. The WIDC will be a catalyst for future tall wood construction not just in B.C. but across Canada, North America and around the globe. The building uses a variety of wood products from all parts of British Columbia, including Douglas-fir, cedar, hemlock, pine and spruce, as well as engineered wood products produced in B.C.

Read More

Ainsworth Products to be Part of Green Builder Media’s New VISION House at Mariposa Meadows

AZO Build
November 3, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. – a leading manufacturer and supplier of engineered wood products for residential, commercial, and industrial applications – today announced that a range of its products have been selected for inclusion in Green Builder® Media’s new VISION House® at Mariposa Meadows. Ainsworth will also be a sponsor of the project. Ainsworth’s involvement in the Green Builder Media project highlights how its products mix the best of sustainable green building with durability and ease of use. The VISION House at Mariposa Meadows is located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and Green Builder Media states that the VISION House “will unite extraordinary design, extreme performance, innovative products and intelligent technology. 

Read More

Iconic WIDC ready for business

Prince George Citizen
October 31, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre is officially open. Some interior finishing is still underway but the six-story, ultra-modern, academic/commercial tower is now ready for business in downtown Prince George. It was promised by the provincial government as far back as 2008, the plans took a bumpy and controversial path to ground-breaking in April, 2013, but officials applauded the completed efforts on Friday – on time and on budget. “This is an iconic building,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training / Labour Shirley Bond, who, with fellow MLAs Pat Bell and Mike Morris, did the political work within government to make the dream a reality.

Read More

Forestry

Mom and pop forests struggle to make responsible harvesting pay

For family foresters, managing a woodlot means striking a balance between a living legacy and a complex business
The Guardian
November 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

He, along with his wife Judy Racher, has managed 1,000 acres of Douglas fir-covered, government-owned land on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, since 1998… It’s that love that spurs many woodlot managers in North America. As in the case of Macy and Racher, forest management is often part of family culture, passed down through the generations, with the modest income serving as a nest egg. The generational transfer brings challenges as well as benefits. Forestry practices are changing, with sustainability an increasingly common – if hard to define – goal. At the same time, changing economics, based partly on the pyramid nature of inheritance, also makes family forest management difficult for the 10 million or so family forest owners in the US, who own more than a third of US forestland, according to the Family Forest Research Center. 

Read More

Province sees slowest fire season in more than 50 years

TB Newswatch
October 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

THUNDER BAY — This year marked the slowest forest fire season the province has seen since 1960. In the Northwest region, there were 130 recorded fires and 1,200 hectares burned; in Thunder Bay, there were just 15 fires compared to 36 last year. “It was a pretty slow year here locally in Thunder Bay but really year to year you never know what to expect so we’re always trying to be proactive rather than reactive,” said Evan Evans, a fire operations technician with the Ministry of Natural Resources. The quiet season was the result of a wet spring and Evans said how busy a season is depends on weather patterns.

Read More

Moose to blame for forest loss in Cape Breton Highlands Park

Chronicle Herald
November 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

CAPE NORTH — An overabundance of moose in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is having a detrimental effect on its boreal forest region. Parks Canada is now in the process of undertaking a four-year project that looks to decrease some of its moose population while adding new forest growth and protections. “At Parks Canada, we use the term hyper-abundant, which means there’s not just a lot of them, there’s really a lot, and they’re starting to have negative impacts on the ecosystem in which they live, and that means other plants and animals are impacted by their numbers,” said park ecologist Matthew Smith. “It’s been happening for a long time and we struggled with what to do about moose in the park.”

Read More

Corvallis students conduct live streaming broadcast on beetles

Ravalli Republic
November 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Corvallis High School “Classroom Without Walls” science students conducted a live streaming broadcast about the ecology of the mountain pine beetle from a remote location in the Bitterroot National Forest last week. “Live in five minutes,” said Hunter Condos the “IT Guy” for the broadcast. The “set” featured the majestic ponderosa pines in a clearing on the mountain about a half-hour south of Corvallis. Fresh air and quiet – except for bird chirps – surrounded the nervous students.

Read More

Discovery of a new type of particle soot released in forest fires

Beta Wired
November 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Each year, wildfires burn millions of forest and woodlands around the globe. This not only affects the land and its inhabitants, but it also emit about thirty-four percent of the total mass of soot into the atmosphere… The Rajan Chakrabarty team of the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada, United States, has publicly presented his observation in a way previously unknown particle soot, identified by authors as “superagregados” emissions from forest fires. These newly identified particles were detected in smoke plumes from wildfires in northern California, New Mexico, Mexico City, and India. For decades, scientists have been trying to assess quantitatively the impact of soot particles from forest fires on climate change and human health. 

Read More

Thune Calls on Forest Service to Increase 2015 Investment in Timber Harvest Program

Increasing timber harvest benefits forest health, combats pine beetles
Bignews.biz
November 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service (FS) Chief Tom Tidwell calling on the FS to increase its 2015 investment in the timber harvest program to help fight mountain pine beetle infestation and maintain forest health in the Black Hills National Forest (BHNF). In January, the FS announced an additional $1.5 million for BHNF timber harvest in 2014. Thune’s letter notes that increased investment in the timber harvest program has received national acclaim and the Black Hills received the 2013 “Chief’s Award” as a result of the innovation and increased ability for the BHNF to reduce the spread of mountain pine beetle.

Read More

Forest Service proposing 60K-acre project in Ten Mile drainage

Helena Independent Record
October 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Helena National Forest is proposing a timber and vegetation project across 25,000 acres of a 61,500-acre area in the Ten Mile drainage, with the goal of improving forest and stream health, including water quantity and quality for the city of Helena’s water supply and improving public and firefighter safety. The proposal calls for commercial and noncommercial logging and prescribed burning within the upper-Ten Mile drainage. The area includes around 24,000 acres of Forest Service lands and 1,000 acres of BLM lands, of which about 8,500 acres would go into a timber sale.

Read More

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest leader picked

Idaho Statesman
November 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LEWISTON, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service has picked a new supervisor for the 4 million-acre Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. The Lewiston Tribune reports that Cheryl Probert will begin her tenure on Nov. 17. Probert has been serving as deputy supervisor on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah. She has worked for the agency for 26 years. The current supervisor, Rick Brazell, is retiring. Northern Region head Faye Krueger says Probert has a background in forest planning and partnership building. She also has worked as a rangeland managers and wildlife biologist.

Read More

Coalition tensions simmer over unexpected ‘no new national parks’ policy

The Age
November 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tensions are simmering in the Napthine government after Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh unexpectedly declared the Coalition would go to the election with a policy for no new national parks. In a move that caught many of his colleagues by surprise, the Nationals deputy leader made the announcement at a recent forestry industry dinner, putting the government on a collision course with community groups, who had been assured a proposal for a new park in the state’s north-east was being considered.

Read More

Illegal forest cutting in Romania, much higher in reality than official figures

Romania Insider
November 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Inspectors from the Court of Accounts say 1.6 cubic meters of wood were stolen in Romania in the last 3 years, and the stolen amounts as reflected by official figures is far from reality, according to hotnews.ro. Most of the stolen amount was recorded in 2013 – 925,000 cubic meters of wood. Illegal forest cutting is masked by saying the trees were damaged anyway, and needed to be cut. After the trees are cut, the former forest areas usually become agriculture areas, or pastures. Romania had 6.3 million hectares of forest, or some 27% of the country’s territory end-2013, below the EU average of 32%.

Read More

Forestry report describes lax safety culture

Stuff.co.nz
November 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Safety failures in the forestry sector extend all the way up the supply chain and a significant portion of the industry views its frontline staff as a “bottom of the barrel workforce”. Those are among the shock findings contained in the 141-page Independent Forestry Safety Review report, which has made 11 recommendations with timeframes for implementation stretching from three months to three years. The report cites a number of factors for what the Review Panel found to be a culture of complacency around workplace safety which makes the forestry sector New Zealand’s most dangerous, with an injury rate double that of other sectors and a fatality rate 15 times the overall rate for all New Zealand work sectors.

Read More