Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 7, 2015

Froggy Foibles

Time capsule dating to 1795 included coins, newspapers

Associated Press
January 6, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

BOSTON — Early residents of Boston valued a robust press as much as their history and currency if the contents of a time capsule dating back to the years just after the Revolutionary War are any guide. When conservators at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston gingerly removed items from the box Tuesday, they found five tightly folded newspapers, a medal depicting George Washington, a silver plaque, two dozen coins, including one dating to 1655, and the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts… The oldest coin in the box was a 1652 “Pine Tree Schilling,” made at a time when the colony didn’t have royal authority to create its own currency. Pine trees were a valuable commodity at the time. The trees were used as ship masts.

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Business & Politics

U.S. demand to bolster B.C. forestry in 2015

Housing market recovery expected, but trade deal uncertainty looms
Business in Vancouver
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry will be boosted by the improving U.S. home-building market in 2015 – but expect more mill closures and the reopening of the contentious Softwood Lumber Agreement. Housing starts in the United States didn’t recover as quickly as expected, but they’re finally back, along with demand for lumber. The low Canadian dollar is also giving Canadian forestry companies an edge as they export to the south. “We’re seeing sustained recovery in the U.S.,” said Russ Taylor, president of International Wood Markets Group. “2014 was a much slower pace than [most forecasters] expected.” Economic growth in China, B.C.’s second-largest export market for lumber, has slowed. Meanwhile, Japan, another major export market for B.C. wood, has entered a recession.

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Prosperity? Forestry not Fracking

Why trees are the solution LNG will never be.
The Tyee
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

….We believe the B.C. government has gradually abandoned the province’s forestry heritage in pursuit of an unsustainable pipe dream: liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Asia. The better option — for a resilient economy and for our climate — is to rebuild an innovative, sustainable forestry sector. That’s not to say that forestry doesn’t have its own problems. The current industrial model that has dominated forestry in Western Canada is based on endless extraction and minimal domestic processing of timber resources.

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New policies after Lumby teen killed in conveyor belt a benchmark for mill safety, says coroner

Kelowna Daily Courier
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Safety improvements after Bradley Haslam’s death at a north Okanagan mill should be shared around the province, a jury recommended. The lessons learned from the 2013 tragedy at Tolko’s planer mill in Lavington should serve as a benchmark for the sawmill industry, Coroner Chico Newell said in his report released this week. “The jury heard evidence that the mill had undertaken a comprehensive safety review, developed additional safety standards and made physical changes to the mill that were believed to be industry leading.” Haslam, 18, was killed while working at a planer mill in Lavington on June 15, 2013. A supervisor found him entangled in a conveyor belt in the sawmill about 2 a.m.

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Miramichi mill fire being probed

CBC News
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Miramichi Fire Department is investigating a fire Tuesday at Miramichi Lumber Products Inc., which has closed the mill, at least temporarily. Fire Chief Ian Gavet says smoke was visible when crews arrived at the mill on Jane Street shortly after 7 a.m. “The fire turned out to be located in the main electrical room for the entire plant and also had extended to a small office,” said Gavet. “However crews were successful in containing the fire to the electrical room and small office so that the rest of the mill was not affected,” he said. “It’s probably going to cause some long-term shut down for the mill because of the nature of the fire.”

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Positive first step for town hoping to rebound

Timmins Press
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

IROQUOIS FALLS – No one is going to thank Resolute Forest Products for shutting down the paper mill in Iroquois Falls. However, as long as Resolute owns the mill property and holds cutting rights in the area, town officials want to maintain good relations with the company. And it appears a positive first step has been made by Resolute to give the town a chance to start fresh and maybe at some point down the road attract another forestry company to the community. Iroquois Falls Mayor Michael Shea told The Daily Press, Resolute officials have indicated to him that the company is willing to give up its forest licence around the mill area.

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Log prices dropped in Western US in Q3

Due to decreasing exports to Asia
Wood Resources International
January 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

For many years, the sawlog market in Western US has been impacted by the demand forlogs and lumber in Asia. With the constant increase in log exports, domestic sawlog prices have more than doubled over the past five years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. However, from the 1Q to 3Q in 2014, this upward trend was broken as log prices fell almost ten percent because of a weakening log export market.  There has been a constant upward pressure on domestic sawlog prices in
the US Northwest for the past five years as a result of an increase in
the exportation of sawlogs and softwood lumber to Asia.

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Business Summit 2015: A $5M innovation fund for timber and agriculture

Biz Journals.com
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Oregon will invest $5 million to establish a natural resources innovation fund to support Oregon’s timber and agriculture industries. Sean Robbins, executive director of Business Oregon, announced the plan Tuesday during the annual Oregon Leadership Summit being held today at the Oregon Convention Center… Rural Oregon always has played a starring role at the annual gathering of Oregon business, government and civic leaders, but there is a difference this year: The conversation has veered from challenges to opportunities. From cross laminated timber panels that promise to refashion commercial construction… the message during a session titled “Growing Rural Oregon Industries” was that Oregon’s economic future rests heavily on how well it leverages its rural assets.

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Verso gets OK for NewPage merger

Mineral Daily News Tribune
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Verso Paper Corp, a leading North American producer of printing and specialty papers and pulp, has reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice that will permit the corporation to proceed with its acquisition of NewPage Holdings Inc. The sale will include NewPage’s Luke paper mill, which currently employs approximately 800 people. The transaction, valued at approximately $1.4 billion, originally was announced on Jan. 6, 2014. Upon the completion of the NewPage acquisition, Verso will have approximately $3.5 billion in annual sales and approximately 5,800 employees in eight mills across six states.

Canadian company set to acquire Biron mill from The Daily Tribune Media
Catalyst purchase of US mills get the green light from Pulp and Paper Canada

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Our View: Gov. LePage right to make sure mill’s death is natural

Verso’s plant in Bucksport shouldn’t be sold unless it’s clear that the move is financially necessary.
Portland Press Herald
January 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

When Verso Paper announced it was closing its Bucksport mill, the company cited flagging demand for paper and continued high energy costs. According to one of the mill’s unions, however, there may be another reason – to limit competition for Verso as it merges with its largest rival, NewPage Holdings. It is hard enough to stomach the loss of the Bucksport mill to the larger economic forces that have for years taken a toll on Maine’s traditional industries, and that have little to do with the quality of work done in Bucksport. .

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After mill closure, Bucksport to hold first public forum

The Ellsworth American
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BUCKSPORT — This weekend, town officials will hold the first of several public forums to consider Bucksport’s direction after the closure of the local paper mill last month. Scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Performing Arts Center at Bucksport Middle School, the event will give town leaders a chance to address questions about the mill closure and hear residents’ concerns and suggestions. They’ve waited until now to hold any public conversations, in part due to the slow trickle of information concerning the local facility’s fate. Until last month, Verso Paper Corp. had been largely silent around the closure plan it originally announced in October.

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Tasmania moves to allow corporations to sue protesters for defamation

January 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian government has committed to giving corporations the right to sue protesters for defamation, part of a package of anti-protest laws that included legislation last year which beefed up jail sentences and fines for “unlawful” demonstrations. The state’s attorney general, Vanessa Goodwin, said the government “remains committed to implementing” the change, which would make Tasmania the only jurisdiction in the country where corporations could seek such redress. “We know that there are radical environmental groups who make a hobby of spreading misinformation to markets with the aim of destroying Tasmanian jobs,” Goodwin said in a statement.

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Forest industry export and import in Latvia continued to rise in 2014

Baltic-course.com
January 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Latvian forest industry’s export continued to increase during the first ten months of 2014, amounting to EUR 1.70 billion (a 9.5% increase) as compared to EUR 1.55 billion in the same period of 2013, reports LETA, referring to data from the Agriculture Ministry’s Forest Department. Export of wood and wood products totaled EUR 1.46 billion, or 10% more than in the respective period of 2013. As usual, the majority of Latvian forest industry exports went to Great Britain, Sweden, and Germany.

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Tasmania moves to allow corporations to sue protesters for defamation

January 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian government has committed to giving corporations the right to sue protesters for defamation, part of a package of anti-protest laws that included legislation last year which beefed up jail sentences and fines for “unlawful” demonstrations. The state’s attorney general, Vanessa Goodwin, said the government “remains committed to implementing” the change, which would make Tasmania the only jurisdiction in the country where corporations could seek such redress. “We know that there are radical environmental groups who make a hobby of spreading misinformation to markets with the aim of destroying Tasmanian jobs,” Goodwin said in a statement.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Sustainable wood initiative announced at Portland conference

Portland Tribune
January 6, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

An initiative to develop new sustainable wood projects to support rural economies by constructing a new style of tall buildings was announced at the Business Leadership Summit on Tuesday. Thomas Maness, dean of the Oregon State University College of Forestry, told the gathering that his school is parenting with the University of Oregon to create a new Oregon Forest Sciences Complex in Corvallis. The $60 million initiative will be started with $30 million in private funds matched by $30 million in state bonds promised by Oregon Gov.John Kitzhaber, Maness said. …One expert, Michael Green, an architect from Vancouver, B.C., told the gathering that such products are good for the environment because they are made of sustainably grown wood.

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BWF uses radio airwaves to highlight skills gap

Timber Trade Journal
January 6, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The woodworking industry has used the airwaves to warn of the dangers of a skills gap in the sector. The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) was invited onto LBC Radio to comment on claims that design and technology were being “marginalised” in schools and may no longer exist in the school curriculum within about five years. …despite woodworking accounting for about 7% of the UK’s construction workforce and the sector being able to offer a rewarding career, inadequate careers advice for school pupils and a failure to invest in vocational subjects meant woodworking and wider construction industries were seeing a shortfall in new home-grown personnel.

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Forestry

SFI Works to Ensure the Health and Future of Our Forests with the Launch of the New SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
January 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The decisions we make every day directly affect the health and future of our forests. The launch of the new Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) 2015-2019 Standards and Rules marks an important advancement to support better decision making all along the supply chain and to promote sustainable forest management. When a Fortune 500 company sources forest products, a landowner makes a forest management plan or a consumer buys copy paper, they can all make the right choice for our forests by choosing SFI.

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Robots and autonomous vehicles could soon be part of woodlands operations

Pulp & Paper Canada
January 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Robotics, automation, telematics and autonomous vehicles. These advanced technologies might soon be found in the forest and thereby make it possible to provide forest workers with a safer, more efficient work environment. The Forest Machine Technology Conference (FMTC) will be showcasing these technologies on April 21-23 in Montreal. This event will bring together stakeholders in the forest industry and other sectors in order to define the challenges of using advanced technologies in the forest, to present the technological potential in other sectors and encourage new partnerships as well as initiatives in R&D.

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Beavers impact on forest and industry ‘dam’ complicated

Beaver ponds offer habitat to wildife but can cause flooding on logging roads say experts
CBC News
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Balancing the impact of beavers and their dams on the ecosystem and industry is a complicated process, according to a retired Lakehead University biologist. The comments from Don Barnes come after an Alberta mining company was fined $1,500 for destroying a dam near Savant Lake in northwestern Ontario. Barnes said the beaver plays a crucial role in the ecology of the boreal forest because more than any other animal, it creates its own environment. ?He said the ponds they engineer also become habitat for other species.

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Agency retreats from contentious $10M ‘branding’ initiative

EE News.net
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Forest Service abandoned a $10 million rebranding effort today after the proposal sparked opposition from some employees and a government watchdog group. The agency had announced plans in November to hire an outside firm to help it achieve “strategic organizational transformation, identity clarification and social purpose branding and branding management, and multicultural engagement and outreach.” The request for proposals, which closed just before New Year’s Day, offered up to $10 million over the next five years. Some called it a smart investment that could have boosted employee morale, bolstered public trust and strengthened support from Congress.

Forest Service pulls protested plan to spend $10M on image from The Associated Press

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AFF Announces Improved Tree Farm Certification Standards

Woodworking Network
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today announced the release of its updated Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification treefarmsystem.org under the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). The Standards, which are revised every five years, are the result of a rigorous, multi-stakeholder process and based on international guidelines for sustainable forest management and conservation.

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“What’s That Sound?”: Rethinking National Forest Policy In The West

Jim Peterson, Evergreen Foundation
Fairfield Sun Times
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

… Although there isn’t much bipartisanship in Congress today, there are clear signs that mainstream conservation groups have quietly concluded that “letting nature take its course” in the West’s federal forests is a prescription for environmental disaster. This is a star-crossed moment and a good reason for someone to start a conversation about moving the nation’s forest management policies back toward the center. It is likely to be a time consuming process because there are a lot of rotten apples in this barrel, mainly lawyers who represent the “re-wilding” crowd and are being paid handsomely by taxpayers who are on the hook for their legal fees. The sooner they are tossed in the nearest compost pile, the better.“I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”

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Ron Wyden renews commitment to passing timber, Klamath Basin bills: Oregon Leadership Summit

The Oregonian
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday said he remained committed to passing three timber and water-related bills important to rural Oregon that foundered in Congress last year — and he warned the new Republican majority that they won’t succeed in trying to override federal environmental laws. …”Waiving federal environmental laws is a dead end,” Wyden said at the Oregon Leadership Summit, arguing that such legislative attempts haven’t worked for the state before in past battles over timber policy.

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More Questions for Ms. Lynch

National Review Online
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch is going to have a lot of sticky questions to answer when her hearings begin. A few weeks ago, I noted a particular incident involving ugly and indefensible conduct by state and federal officials who fatally compromised an investigation into the 2007 “Moonlight Fire” in California by trying to scapegoat an innocent company that happened to have deep pockets. I urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask Ms. Lynch how she plans to protect the public from future instances of such misconduct.

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Incredible GoPro video shows what it’s like to battle a massive forest fire up close

BGR.com
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

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Forest Service discusses Four Forest Restoration Initiative with Tusayan

Grand Canyon News
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TUSAYAN, Ariz. – On Nov. 19 a new draft record of decisions for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) was published to update the public on changes to the initiative. After careful review 4FRI is considering a final draft in early 2015.  4FRI is the largest collaborative landscape initiative in the country and is the forest service’s plans to restore ponderosa pine throughout northern Arizona. The initiative will treat approximately 2.4 million acres of ponderosa and covers four national forests; the Kaibab, Coconino, Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves. Plans for the initiative started in November of 2011 and is broken down into phases. 

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The Forest Service bets on second-growth logging in Alaska

High Country News
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service says that Big Thorne and other old-growth sales are necessary to tide over the industry until enough second-growth timber comes of age. (And by the “industry,” officials largely mean Southeast Alaska’s last corporate mill, Viking Lumber.) But environmental groups … say the timber sale will destroy the last ecologically rich stands of old growth on Prince of Wales Island and further endanger the rare Alexander Archipelago wolves. They also dismiss the Forest Service’s rationale for continuing to sell old-growth leases: A private analysis by the Oregon-based Geos Institute found in 2013 that there’s already “sufficient volume” of younger trees in the region ready for harvest.

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Foresty Pageant registration available

The Valdosta Daily Times
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Georgia Forestry Pageant is the oldest scholarship pageant in the state going into its 76th year. …The girls participate in a parade with their respective counties and titles on their cars; they are treated to cookouts, tree farm tours, etc. …The Miss Georgia Forestry queens have the opportunity to ride on the Georgia Forestry Pageant float serving as ambassadors to the Georgia Forestry Industry. The Miss Georgia Forestry Pageant was started in 1940 to offer educational opportunities to young ladies while promoting Georgia’s Number One Industry, Forestry. The Miss Georgia Forestry Contestants will also have the opportunity to advance to the Miss U.S. National Forestry Pageant.

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Australian firefighters containing sprawling wildfire

12,500 hectares of farms, woodland in hills northwest of South Australia state capital Adelaide
Associated Press
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Firefighters in southern Australia were winning the battle on Tuesday to contain a sprawling wildfire raging on a 240-kilometre perimeter that has razed 38 homes and left two people in hospitals, officials said. Hundreds of firefighters have struggled since Friday last week to control the blaze that has razed 12,500 hectares of farms and woodland in hills northwest of the South Australia state capital Adelaide. “I’m happy to report we’ve made some significant progress on securing the outer perimeter during the course of the day and our crews will continue working into the night to secure the rest of the perimeter,” Country Fire Service chief officer Greg Nettleton told reporters.

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Third anti-logging protester arrested in a South West WA forest in less than a month

ABC News, Australia
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Logging preparations in part of Helms Forest near Nannup in the South West were stopped on Tuesday when Claire Anderson, 23, sat on a treetop platform that was tied to machinery. Specialist police officers and equipment were sent from Perth to remove the protester, who was suspended 13 metres off the ground for 12 hours. South West District Police Inspector Geoff Stewart said the woman refused to cooperate. “Once we lowered her down she’d also locked herself into a device, so we also had to cut her out of that,” he said.

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Earth’s largest living monuments: Photographer documents the beauty and majesty of the planet’s oldest trees

Beth Moon spent 14 years travelling the world to collect the photos for this magnificent series
Daily Mail.co.uk
January 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Cost-Effective Solutions to the Climate Crisis Await – It’s Time to Stop Waffling

Huffington Post
January 6, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

People around the world see climate change as a major threat, and Americans are becoming increasingly concerned… Clearly, we are not doing enough about this problem. However, it is not for lack of available solutions…. Deforestation is a double-whammy: carbon dioxide is released when trees are cut down, and we also lose future carbon capture capacity… In the U.S., the Forest Service routinely produces and sells timber that isn’t worth the direct harvesting and marketing costs. The elimination of logging subsidies would save taxpayers’ their money as well as their forests.

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Andrew Whitehead: It’s beginning to look a lot like biomass

Birmingham Post
January 5, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As we approach a winter cold spell, loading logs onto the fire and staring at our Christmas trees, spare a thought for Drax Power. Drax is the operator of the second largest coal power station in Europe, and has an ambitious corporate strategy, based on gradually converting a number of its generating units to become predominantly a biomass-fuelled power generator reliant on wood pellets in place of coal. Of those six units, the first was converted to biomass in May last year, and the second was completed in May this year. A third conversion is planned by summer 2016, and a fourth is being evaluated.

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