Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 6, 2015

Business & Politics

Enhancing Our Outreach to Aboriginal Communities

Forest Products Association of Canada
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

There was an Aboriginal theme to our work around FPAC over the past few weeks as 2014 came to a close. We presented two Aboriginal awards and staff engaged in a very informative Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training session in the office. Given the rural and remote location of much of our forest activity, it is not surprising that the forest products industry is one of the largest employers of First Nations in Canada. It is estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of Canada’s Indigenous population live close to forestry operations. The attached chart shows that in many parts of the country the forest sector employees almost twice as many Aboriginal workers compared to their representation in the provincial workforce.

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B.C. maintains lower fees on mid-coast logs

BC Government
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Province is extending a log export exemption aimed at supporting the forest industry in the mid-coast, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today. In January 2013, the Province reduced fees on log exports from the Mid-Coast Timber Supply Area in an effort to increase harvest levels. It is a difficult and expensive area to work in – with no local lumber mill, logs have to be sent to Vancouver to be cut or exported – and much of the wood is of low quality. The reduced fee on low- and mid-grade logs is a minimum of $1.00 per cubic metre; typically, logging companies pay $8.00 per cubic metre on harvested logs.

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Tumultuous 2014 should make 2015 an interesting year in B.C.

Globe and Mail
January 4, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last June, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its most important ruling on aboriginal rights in the country’s history, the result of a legal battle waged for decades by the Tsilhqot’in, a small First Nations community in British Columbia’s central Interior. The court determined that aboriginal Canadians still own their ancestral lands, granting those communities powerful leverage over resource development. The full effect of the judgment will likely take years to sort out. Can the Treaty 8 Tribal Association prevent the building of the Site C dam?

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West Fraser Timber Co. Given Average Recommendation of “Buy” by Brokerages

American Banking News
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

West Fraser Timber has received a consensus rating of “Buy” from the seven ratings firms that are covering the stock, American Banking News.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is C$64.33. Shares of West Fraser Timber traded down 1.83% on Monday, hitting $66.745. 36,033 shares of the company’s stock traded hands.

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Bell Steps Down from Conifex

250 News
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- Pat Bell has resigned from his post as Executive Vice President at Conifex. Conifex is a great company, and I continue to sit on the Board and will contribute from that angle, but I was finding the combination of trying to do the winery, continue to run the family business in Prince George and work full time for Conifex just was overwhelming. So something had to go and family comes first.” Bell and his family are developing the Northern Lights Estate Winery on P.G. Pulpmill Road, a project that is still being developed.

Press Release from Conifex

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Barbara Yaffe: Global forces dampen B.C.’s economic outlook

Vancouver Sun
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Few could have predicted 2015 would see B.C. and Ontario competing to lead the pack on economic growth.  The Ontario-B.C. horserace reflects stalling economies — due to oil price declines — in formerly booming Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. …On the positive side, three per cent-plus growth in the U.S. and America’s still-recovering housing market stand to benefit B.C., with southbound exports expected to increase and rising American demand for lumber and building materials. That should help counter slower trade with China.

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Oregon business group outlines its legislative wish list

The Daily News Online
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, Ore. — Influential Oregon business groups are calling for a focus on education, infrastructure and natural resources as they outline their agenda for the upcoming legislative session. The annual Oregon Business Summit is scheduled for Tuesday in Portland. Gov. John Kitzhaber, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and state legislative leaders will speak to a group of executives, lobbyists and lawmakers… The business officials also want more spending on infrastructure improvements, including a package of statewide transportation projects. They call for more state spending on forestry projects, including biomass development and research into using wood products in large buildings.

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Lumber Markets to Continue Rebound in 2015

Building Products
January 2, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

U.S. lumber demand continued to strengthen in 2014 as home construction experienced modest but sustainable gains over 2013, according to estimates by Western Wood Products Association. While residential construction slowed late in 2014, residential repair and remodeling (R&R), the largest lumber market by volume, picked up the slack. R&R construction is expected to consume approximately 17.41 billion bd. ft. of U.S. production in 2014, and 2015 demand is forecast to increase to 17.93 billion bd. ft. Lumber demand for new residential construction is forecast to increase from an estimated 10.98 billion bd. ft. in 2014 to 13.61 billion bd. ft. in 2015.

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Labour Party Warns Against Rampant Sale of New Zealand Forest Land To Foreigners Without Ensuring Value Addition

International Business Times Australia
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s Labour Party has alleged that over 500,000 hectares of New Zealand forests have been sold to overseas interests, in the last three years. Labour Party’s Forestry spokesperson Stuart Nash told media that despite approval by the Overseas Investment Office, the sight of ever-increasing volume of unprocessed logs heading overseas from foreign-owned forests without a cent of value addition is causing concern. Nash called up the National government to strictly enforce the norms in the Overseas Investment Act to ensure adequate value addition to the commodities under the forest land ownership of New Zealand, reported Scoop News.

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Strong UK plywood demand

IHB The Timber Network
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Rising plywood imports into the UK in 2014 are due both to higher levels of construction activity and to improvements in the supply side. UK importers report that Chinese MLH plywood has been readily available this year at stable prices. Orders in the last quarter of 2014 could be shipped from China within around four weeks. However quality consistency remains an issue for some UK buyers of Chinese plywood. Freight rate volatility has also been a problem again this year. Rates tend to rise at the start of each month and then decline sharply as shipping companies fail to fill available space.

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Gunns receivers to put pulp mill assets on the market soon

The Mercury
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

RECEIVERS of the collapsed timber company Gunns Limited are expected to offer the Bell Bay pulp mill assets of the company for sale early this year. A spokesman for KordaMentha said before Christmas that the firm was updating the pulp mill licence sale paperwork and would not go into a new expression of interest process until the new year. The assets comprise the pulp mill licence and a cleared and landscaped site at Long Reach, which cost Gunns more than $230 million to develop. Last year KordaMentha sold more than 100,000 hectares of plantation to timber land investment manager New Forests for $330 million and offered the pulp mill assets for expressions of interest.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Fire tears through Chesterfield McDonald’s

NBC News
January 5, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CHESTERFIELD, VA – Firefighters spent nearly an hour fighting an overnight fire at the McDonald’s on Hopkins Road. …The building features a unique structural issue shared by many McDonald’s locations which Chesterfield Fire officials say makes it very difficult for their crews to work. …”It’s called light weight wood trusses and open air wood structures that are held together by very small components. Under normal loads, normal tensions, normal construction, weather, they do fine. Add fire to it, they create significant challenges not only for firefighters to put these fires out by the inherent dangers of collapse can result when the fire expands and gets out of control.”

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Timber structures: Loaded lumber

New Civil Engineer
January 5, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Britain’s tallest hybrid timber tower was recently topped out in east London. Taking shape by a basin off the Regents Canal in Hackney, London, is the UK’s tallest “timber” building. Regal Homes’ 10 storey, £10M Banyan Wharf mixed use development is due to claim the record from the nearby nine-storey Graphite Apartments building in Murray Grove in April next year. It will also be one of the tallest timber towers in the world. A complex hybrid steel/cross laminated timber (CLT) structure also makes it one of the most unusual. Architect Hawkins Brown project architect Alex Smith says the distinctive “twisted” design is more than mere architectural whimsy.

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Forestry

Judge orders Cal Fire to pay $30 million for ‘reprehensible conduct’ in Moonlight fire case

The Sacramento Bee
January 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In a blistering ruling against Cal Fire, a judge in Plumas County has found the agency guilty of “egregious and reprehensible conduct” in its response to the 2007 Moonlight fire and ordered it to pay more than $30 million in penalties, legal fees and costs to Sierra Pacific Industries and others accused in a Cal Fire lawsuit of causing the fire. The ruling is the latest twist in an epic legal battle that began not long after the fire erupted on Labor Day 2007, scorching more than 65,000 acres in Plumas and Lassen counties.

Feb Up With Govt Misconduct, Federal Judge Takes Nuclear Option from The New York Observer

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Science doesn’t lie: Forest thinning pays off

Ag prof: An initial $130 million investment for forest thinning now provides more than $20 million each year in regional income.
Az Central.com
January 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Arizona Republic recently ran several stories about efforts to thin forests in northern Arizona to protect the area from the damage, and the monetary and human cost, of wildfires. The efforts described are commendable and necessary. Removing dead wood, dry brush and grasses will save lives, prevent millions of dollars in damages and boost biodiversity by withholding the fuel from wildfires. It’s clear funding such efforts will reap rewards, sometimes in ways you might not expect.

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Cal Fire needs to come clean on Moonlight fire investigation

Sacramento Bee
January 3, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Carefully and truthfully finding the origin and cause of fires plays a key role in fire prevention and the protection of lives and property in California. Between the two of us, we proudly served Californians for more than six decades at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. We were proud of Cal Fire. Today, in retirement, we are embarrassed and angry. The causes are manifold. …This year we joined other Cal Fire retirees in filing formal complaints with Cal Fire, the California attorney general and the governor’s administration, against those employees involved in this incompetent and corrupt investigation.

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As I See It: Forest reforms should build on success

Albany Democrat-Herald
January 4, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Albany Democrat-Herald recently highlighted the success of the Blue Mountains Forest Partners in restoring federal forests and creating rural timber jobs in John Day. It’s a unique example of how collaboration can be successful when different people share an earnest desire to find solutions for our economy and environment. After two decades of forest gridlock, many Oregonians rightfully desire a positive path forward for our forested communities. Unfortunately, collaborative efforts are undermined when those not sitting at the table sue and stop projects supported by local communities, federal agencies, and sound science.

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The Permanent Scars of Bad Forestry

Planet Experts
January 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

This is an aerial photograph of a wildlife refuge in coastal Louisiana from Google Earth. The grooves that look like spokes on a wheel are over 100 years old and will probably be visible from the air for a long time to come. They tell a sad story of American forestry. Scroll down for the story. Baldcypress swamps were a seemingly endless source of wood that played a critical role in the building of New Orleans and cities throughout the South and Caribbean. Baldcypress, close cousins of coast redwood, are massive trees that make wood that is impervious to decay.

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Forest Service Project to improve Forest Health treating populations of Gypsy Moths

Jackson County Daily
January 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

NELSONVILLE— The Wayne National Forest (WNF) Athens Ranger District is seeking public comments on a proposal that is intended to prevent future large scale forest defoliation and mortality by controlling a low-level population of gypsy moths.The Slow the Spread Program takes a pre-emptive approach to tackling gypsy moths, by targeting and treating populations before they build to defoliation-causing densities. To date, there has not been any large scale defoliation events observed on the Wayne National Forest. Support for this type of activity can be found in the 2006 Wayne National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan.

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Killer disease prompts tree felling in Cumbria

BBC News
January 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A killer disease affecting larch trees in the Lake District has prompted a programme of felling. Work has begun to cut down 27 acres of trees at Whinlatter Forest to prevent the spread of ramorum disease and will continue for up to 19 days, landowner the Forestry Commission said. It said it wanted to stop it spreading to trees around its visitor centre. The only way to contain the fatal blight it is by cutting down affected trees, the commission said. The infection, caused by a fungus-like organism called phytophthora ramorum, attacks larch trees and other plants, including rhododendrons and bilberries.

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London “bit behind” on million-tree challenge

IfPress.com
January 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

They’re still aiming to plant one million trees. But ReForest London is conceding now that its 10-year timeline might have been optimistic. The group launched its program in 2011, with an interim aim of having at least one new tree growing for every Londoner — or about 360,000 trees planted — within three years. But three years after it started, 215,535 tree-plantings have been registered. “We’re a bit behind,” said program director Julie Ryan, who said the tree-planting goal is still important even if the timeline might need to change.

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Myanmar arrests more than 100 foreigners for illegal logging near Chinese border

Associated Press
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

YANGON, Myanmar – The Myanmar army has arrested more than 100 foreigners and 20 Myanmar nationals for illegal logging near the Chinese border, the defence ministry said Tuesday. It said the army also seized 436 logging trucks, 14 pickup trucks loaded with logs, stimulant drugs, raw opium and Chinese currency during the three-day operation. The ministry did not identify the nationality of the 102 foreigners, but said the illegal logging took place in Kachin state near the Myanmar-Chinese border. In a statement, it said the raids followed an aerial survey of logging activities in the state.

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Rainforests: 10 things to watch in 2015

Mongabay.com
January 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

2014 was a landmark year for tropical rainforests, with dozens of major companies committing to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains, the launch of new platforms for monitoring forests, and sharp drop in clearing in the Brazilian Amazon, among other big developments. Here’s a quick look ahead at what might be in store for tropical forests in 2015.

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Uncontrolled Forest Fire in Australia

Radio Cadena Gramonte
January 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Canberra — An uncontrolled forest fire is still devastating the state of South Australia, reported the Fire Service that in one of its recent reports, accounts for about 30 houses destroyed by the fire. The fire started last Friday to the east of the city of Adelaide and, according to experts, it burned in all directions with danger to nearby residents… According to officials, these fires are the worst since 1983 when more than 70 deaths and the destruction of thousands of houses and buildings were registered in South Australia and the neighboring state of Victoria. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Study: Tropical forests still gulping huge amounts of carbon, but for how long?

Carbon uptake in northern forests slows
Summit County Voice
January 5, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

FRISCO — Tropical forests are even more important carbon sinks than previously believed, according to a new study led by NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The study estimates that tropical forests absorb 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide out of a total global absorption of 2.5 billion, in response to rising atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas. “This is good news, because uptake in northern forests may already be slowing, while tropical forests may continue to take up carbon for many years,” said David Schimel of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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NASA Says Tropical Rainforests May Hold a Key To the Climate Change Issue

Science Times
January 5, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

While tropical rainforests may be vanishing, a new study led by NASA researchers reveals yet another reason why trees in the tropical rainforest may in fact be man’s best friend.  With greenhouse gas emissions on a constant rise since the dawning of the industrial revolution and the subsequent population growth that followed, researchers in recent years have tried to estimate exactly how much carbon dioxide is actually absorbed by plants to better assess a serious global issue. And in a new NASA-led study, researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were able to combine three different divisions of science to reveal that tropical rainforests may be absorbing far more CO2 than many researchers previously thought, in response to rising atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas.

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General

New effort aims to protect watersheds

Albuquerque Journal
January 4, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

Watching the towering plume of smoke as New Mexico’s Las Conchas Fire tore through an acre a second on a dry summer afternoon in 2011, Laura McCarthy knew immediately that things had changed. But it was not until nearly two months later, when ash-clogged water in the Rio Grande downstream of the burn zone forced Albuquerque to shut down its Rio Grande water supply intakes, that she realized how much. For two decades, first as a federal employee and then working for the Nature Conservancy, an environmental group, McCarthy had worked steadily to scale up efforts to restore the West’s forests, thick and unhealthy after a century of ill-advised management policies.

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