Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 27, 2015

Business & Politics

Canadian Lumber Industry to Benefit From Agreement With Mexico

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Marketwired
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, International Trade Minister Ed Fast, and Minister of Natural Resources as well as Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario Greg Rickford announced today that wood exports are expected to increase after Mexico agreed to recognize Canada’s heat treated lumber certification program. Under this new arrangement with Mexico, Canadian lumber producers accredited under a heat treatment program overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are now able to export wood such as spruce, pine and fir to Mexico without a phytosanitary certificate. The trade and movement of lumber and wood products are often a pathway for the spread of plant pests.

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US, Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement to expires October 2015

Customs Today
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON: The Softwood Lumber Agreement between the United States and Canada is set to expire in current year in October, marking the end of the two-year extension. The agreement prohibits the Canadian federal and provincial governments from providing subsidies to the Canadian lumber industry. Under the 2006 SLA, the United States agreed to revoke antidumping and countervailing duty orders while the Canadian government agreed to put into place export measures when the softwood lumber market slumps below US$355 per thousand board feet. Special measures were also put in place to deal with surges in exports from individual Canadian provinces and third countries.

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Maibec Acquires Fraser Timber’s Masardis, Maine Mill

Canada Newswire press release
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Maibec Inc. of Levis, Quebec and Fraser Timber LLC concluded today Maibec’s purchase of the assets of the Masardis Maine lumber mill. The mill employs approximately 135 people and can produce over 100 million board feet of softwood lumber annually, which is sold in the U.S. “This acquisition gives Maibec its first place of business in the U.S. and represents an important milestone in our growth. Among other things, the mill’s geographic location will give us easier access to the U.S. market and allow us to increase our market share.” said François Tardif, President of Maibec.

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Opinion: B.C. has a partner in First Nations

First Nations views on resource development mirror the debate in province as a whole
Vancouver Sun
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadians seem to be compelled to put First Nations in simplistic boxes. Their political leaders are corrupt; not true. They stand in the way of Canada’s economic progress; also untrue. They want more government handouts and expect to live off federal support forever; simply not accurate. In British Columbia, the public battle over the Northern Gateway pipeline and the resistance of some First Nations in the Lower Mainland to the expansion of natural gas pipelines might have created the impression Aboriginal peoples are uniformly opposed to development. A classic battle — First Nations fighting to defend their traditional lands and government supported developers keen to accelerate activity — seems to be unfolding.

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Spontaneous combustion sparks large fire at Fort St. John mill

Alaska Highway News
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A pile of tree bark caught fire at a wood processing plant near Fort St. John early Sunday morning, sparking a blaze that took more than eight hours to contain. The Fort St. John fire department rushed to a fire at the Peace Valley OSB mill at around 4 a.m. Sunday. The fire began deep in a “hog” pile — a pile of wood material left over from when logs are prepared for processing. The facility produces oriented strand board, a type of particleboard. Fort St. John fire chief Fred Burrows said the fire made its way to the surface of the pile and quickly spread, aided by high winds. 

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Bylaw can discriminate on tax rates: B.C. judge

Canadian Press
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. Supreme Court judge says a Vancouver Island city can discriminate when it sets two separate tax rates for forestry lands within its municipal boundaries. The judicial review launched by TimberWest focuses on property that is classified as managed forest lands in Campbell River and is also owned by Merill & Ring Canadian Properties Inc. A bylaw passed in May 2014 required TimberWest to pay a tax rate that was about two and a half times higher than what Merill & Ring was required to pay and will jump to about five times as much by 2016. TimberWest argued that the Local Government Act requires tax rates to be imposed on a designated area and set across a property class as a whole.

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Hundreds of Port Metro Vancouver truckers losing jobs to new licensing system

Truckers say new system cuts port access to 600 truckers
CBC News
January 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 600 truckers say they’re effectively out of a job after Port Metro Vancouver granted access to just 68 companies under a new licensing system finalized Friday. Port Metro Vancouver promised to create a new system after drivers, complaining of long wait times and low rates, conducted a bitter work stoppage for nearly a month last year. …Michelle Mann with Safeway Trucking says both she and her husband, along with many others, are effectively out of work. “There are about 600 drivers who are out of a job,” she said

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Editorial: Entice workers with real jobs

Victoria Times Colonist
January 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It won’t be advertising that brings people back, though, but solid jobs, and Clark should be careful not to advertise employment that doesn’t yet exist. …While prospects are improving for B.C.’s forestry industries, challenges remain, and one of those is finding enough qualified workers. Even without a substantial increase in markets, the industry faces a wide gap between labour supply and demand. …n addition to training, the government should focus on preparing a realistic inventory of B.C.’s timber supply to ensure the industry can be sustainable. Otherwise, those jobs will eventually disappear, along with our forests.

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Sino-Forest underwriters agree to settle lawsuit for $32.5M

Canadian Press
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Several Canadian banks and other large financial institutions that helped Sino-Forest Corp. raise millions in the financial markets have agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle a lawsuit by investors who lost money when the Chinese forestry company collapsed amid allegations of fraud. The case alleged directors, officers, auditors and underwriters at the timber company misled investors with its accounting. The allegations have not been proven in court. …The once Toronto-listed company, which held timber assets in China, saw its stock climb to a peak market capitalization of more than $6 billion. However, the stock plunged after it was accused of being a Ponzi scheme by Muddy Waters Research, prompting investigations by the Ontario regulator and the RCMP.

Sino-Forest underwriters settle for $32.5 million from The Globe and Mail
Banks to pay $32.5 million in settlement in Sino-Forest lawsuit by investors from The Financial Post

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Wood marketing board taken over by Forest Products Commission

York-Sunbury-Charlotte group’s involvement in $2M mill project deemed ‘unsound business practice’
CBC News
January 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

All the directors of a wood marketing board have been suspended in the wake of a failed business venture that was supposed to revive a dormant Fredericton sawmill. The New Brunswick Forest Products Commission has taken over the running of the York-Sunbury-Charlotte marketing board, whose mandate is to sell wood from private woodlots to forestry companies. The commission says in a press release that the board’s involvement in Maritime Fibre and Energy Ltd. was an “unsound business practice” that could “prejudice the interests of the private woodlot owner producers” it is supposed to represent. The involvement in the mill was also “outside the scope, purposes or powers” of the board, the release said.

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Last-minute deal keeps Resolute Forest Products workers off picket line

Thunder Bay News Watch
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Eleventh-hour negotiations have succeeded in keeping about 350 to 400 Resolute Forest Product forestry workers in Thunder Bay and Ignace on the job. Bruce Frost, third vice-president business rep for the United Steelworkers Local 1-2010, on Monday said the union reached a deal with the company on a new contract, which workers overwhelmingly accepted. “We sat down with the mediator and the company last Tuesday and we worked out a deal that was ratified by the crews in both Ignace and Thunder Bay on the weekend and it was accepted by 83 per cent,” Frost said.

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Lumber Price Falls Due to Overcapacity

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Rajiv Joarder of Mintec. 
Spend Matters
January 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

… the price of lumber is primarily dictated by the health of the housing and construction industry. Americans may be viewing the economy more optimistically since last year, but their outlook on the housing industry is lagging somewhat. …Lumber price in the US peaked in the first quarter of 2013 to $405/thousand board feet, up 42% year-over-year and the highest level since 2008. This was mainly to due high import demands from China. However, since 2013, the price has been at a steady downward trend due to falling demand from China as the growth momentum in the country weakens. 

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Bayou Wood Pellet Plant CEO speaks against DEQ allegations

KNOE.com
January 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WEST MONROE, La. – We continue our coverage tonight of environmental concerns surrounding Bayou Wood Pellet Plant in West Monroe. Those living near the plant say dust from the facility has covered their homes and vehicles and the DEQ says the business is violating some regulations. Residents and business owners in the area say they’ve been having issues with dust in the air they say is coming from Bayou Wood Pellet Plant. They’ve contacted DEQ and the plant numerous times but haven’t seen any changes. Troy Culp owns several businesses and rental properties across the street and has lived in the community for more than forty years.

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Export log prices rise to nine-month high

NZ City
January 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices have risen to an nine-month high as falling Chinese inventories stoked demand in the nation’s largest market. Local returns were also bolstered by a decline in the kiwi dollar and lower shipping costs. The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs rose to $103 a tonne in January, from $101 a tonne in December, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and sawmillers. New Zealand log returns are benefiting from a decline in shipping costs, as the price of oil has more than halved from its peak last June and as the New Zealand dollar’s drop to a three-year low makes the nation’s exports more competitive.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Slide Show: Buildings take old-fashioned wood and give it a new bent

Globe and Mail
January 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Commercial and civic projects across Canada are pushing the boundaries of wood design. Picture 1: Innovative commercial and public wood buildings are springing up across Canada. Here, the GlaxoSmithKline Inc. administration building in Quebec City, completed in 2011, showcases the flexibility of wooden structures. Picture 2: Built of glue-laminated timber, the three-storey carbon-neutral building, designed by Coarchitecture, won the architectural innovation award of excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2013. There are 12 images and captions in total.

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Next-generation wood pushes to greater heights

Globe and Mail
January 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

By design, a new mid-rise building in Prince George, B.C., breaks many conventions of commercial construction. … The $25.1-million centre also stands out for its embrace of engineered wood: thick panels, columns and beams of so-called mass timber, sturdier and more fire-resistant than lightweight wood frame construction. …Also raising wood’s profile is an expanded menu of engineered products, first developed in Europe a decade ago but now manufactured in Canada. One recent arrival is cross-laminated timber, engineered in various panel thicknesses of 2 x 6 planks, glued cross-wise, often pre-cut and assembled on site faster than traditional materials.

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Catastrophic apartment blaze exposes wood construction + fire sprinkler folly

Concrete Products
January 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

“If it was made out of concrete and cinder block, we wouldn’t have this sort of problem,” Edgewater (N.J.) Fire Chief Tom Jacobson said at a press briefing after a blaze destroyed or severely damaged more than half of Avalon at Edgewater, a 408-unit apartment complex built to code of conventional wood construction. The January 21 blaze saw minor injuries to two firefighters and two civilians and no loss of life, a circumstance New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called an “enormous blessing.”

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Why 2015 Will Be the Year of Tall Timber Construction

Sourceable
January 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…the building design and construction industry … has witnessed an increased interest in the use of timber framed construction for low to mid-rise development projects. The use of timber has been facilitated and in some cases led by changes to building regulations and further supported by supply chain and technological innovations. This is evident from Finland and Sweden, to the UK and to Canada and the USA and now to Australia. …The substantial corporate investment in timber frame construction technology made by these top tier developers clearly heralds a future crop of timber-designed projects.

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Sappi seeks more product from every tree

BDlive.co.za
January 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SAPPi’s technology unit is working on developing a market for nanocellulose and wood-derived sugars used to make renewable products such as biodegradable plastics, as the pulp and paper company searches for ways to use more of each of its trees. Sappi said last month it would build a pilot plant to produce nanocellulose — a lightweight, high-strength material derived from wood — after the company and Edinburgh Napier University developed a new, low-cost way to extract it. Punted for use in products such as packaging, touch-screen displays and car panels, nanocellulose has yet to reach any major commercial production as traditional methods to extract it are energy intensive and expensive, says Sappi technology head Andrea Rossi.

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Govt urged to give up on heritage restoration of historic Clarence Town bridge

ABC News, Australia
January 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The New South Wales government is being urged to forget trying to restore a historic bridge in the Hunter Valley and just build a structure to meet the community’s needs. Roads and Maritime Services is planning a restoration of the Brig O’Johnston bridge over the Williams River at Clarence Town. Built in 1880, it is the oldest surviving timber truss bridge in the state. The work is expected to involve strengthening the bridge and ensuring any changes meet heritage requirements.

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Forestry

Eco-friendly money ideas

Chronicle Herald
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

People go to great lengths to reduce, reuse and recycle in an effort to save the planet. But such efforts also save money, making attempts to go green financially advantageous. Cutting down on paper waste is one of the easiest ways to save money and benefit the planet. From bank statements to bills to advertisements from retailers, many people find their mailboxes are inundated with mailings they pay little or no attention to. The following are a handful of ways to reduce paper waste and possibly even save some money at the same time.

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Revised UNESCO bid submitted for boreal forest along Manitoba-Ontario border

Canadian Press
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Manitoba is trying once again to get special UNESCO recognition for the boreal forest the province shares with Ontario. The international world heritage committee deferred Canada’s bid in 2013 and asked for a revised proposal for the area called Pimachiowin Aki, which means “the land that gives life.” A coalition of the Manitoba and Ontario governments, as well as five First Nations, said it has done just that and will hand deliver the new 4,000-page nomination this week. 

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Campbell River wins major court decision against TimberWest

Courier Islander
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The city of Campbell River won a Supreme Court of British Columbia decision Monday that means TimberWest will be paying a lot more taxation for its managed forest lands within the municipality’s boundaries. In her decision Madam Justice L.A. Fenlon said that the actual intent of a piece of legislation, in this case Section 14(1) of the Local Government Act, takes precedence over its ambiguity, something which TimberWest based most of its case on. TimberWest argued the city was discriminating against them under the section because the city maintained a much lower rate of taxation for managed forest lands held by Merrill and Ring.

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Calgary’s false spring could take further toll on an already wounded urban forest, still recovering from an early winter 8

Calgary Sun
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s like summer in January, but as Calgarians raise a glass to weather fit for patios thousands of trees could be toast thanks to this record-breaking mid-winter warm spell. While no one wants to hear bad news when the mercury is in the teens and our toques are in the closet, Alberta’s leading arbour society says the faux spring might be the second-worst possible scenario for Calgary’s wounded urban forest. “The worst possible scenario was what happened in September, so this might be the second,” said Bonnie Fermanuik, president of the International Society of Arborculture, Prairie Chapter.

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Climate change for woodlot owners tour offered

CBC News
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The focus of this year’s annual winter woodlot tour is helping woodlot owners prepare for the effects of climate change over the next 100 years, say event organizers. That includes considering planting hardy tree species that can withstand heavy rainfall and drought. It also emphasizes planting more trees to help slow run-off, and reduce damage to streams and rivers caused by climate change. Mike Montigny is the inventory forester for the province. He said because trees are so long-lived, “we wanted to get a better handle on decisions we make today.”                

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Province suing CN for Timmins 9 forest fire

Timmins Times
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cottage owners who lost everything in the massive blaze in 2012 near Timmins are praising the provincial government’s decision to seek $38 million in compensation from Canadian National (CN) Railway. The province is alleging that the fire was caused by a spark by a passing train. The fire was first reported on May 20, 2012 and lasted for 150 days before the Ministry of Natural Resources could bring the blaze under control. It was finally declared extinguished on Halloween. The province wants compensation for the cost to fight the fire as well as to restore the forest. CN denies that they are responsible for the fires and also denies they acted negligently, according to court documents released online.

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New Genetically Engineered Tree To Avoid Federal Oversight Completely

eNews Park Forest
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A genetically engineered (GE) tree may already be planted in field tests, and eventually be commercialized, in the U.S. without having gone through any regulatory oversight or environmental risk assessment. On January 13th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) quietly posted its August reply to a letter from ArborGen, a biotechnology company that is developing GE forest trees for plantations, confirming that USDA will require no regulation of ArborGen’s GE loblolly pine. This failure to regulate a GE tree is unprecedented. Other known GE forest trees in the U.S. are being grown in USDA-regulated field trials, and none has been approved for commercial planting.

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$265 million earned for public schools and other trust land beneficiaries

WDNR Blog Ear to the Ground
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If you look at what DNR generated from timber harvests, product sales, leases and other activities on state trust lands during Fiscal Year 2014, you’ll find that we earned a tidy $265 million for beneficiaries, such as k-12 public schools. A description of these earnings and much more is in the department’s 2014 Annual Report, released Monday morning.  The amount includes $120 million from trust lands dedicated to funding
construction at public schools statewide and $75 million generated from
lands that DNR manages for the benefit of 21 ‘timber’ counties.

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Empire Editorial: Obama ‘declares war’ on Alaska

Juneau Empire
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On Sunday, President Obama declared war on Alaska. So say Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan. In a statement released on the first day of the week, the president announced that he plans to ask Congress to declare 12.2 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, including the refuge’s coastal plain. ANWR’s coastal plain is thought to contain the largest deposit of conventional oil remaining on land in the United States. Anyone who lives in Southeast Alaska should know what the wilderness designation would mean. Many locations in the Tongass National Forest already are designated wilderness, the most restrictive land-use label the federal government has.

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Solomons PM promises to ‘weed out’ bad loggers

Radio New Zealand News
January 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says the government will revisit logging regulations and codes of practice to ensure logging companies are kept in check of their activities. The Solomon Forest Association’s President, Johnny Sy, claims that certain logging non-SFA member companies are engaging in unsustainable logging practices and therefore tarnish the image of the country’s logging industry. He says the rate of unsustainable logging is likely to increase unless the government implements reforms to keep non-SFA registered companies in check.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

UBC350 campaign spurs faculty vote on stopping fossil fuel investments

CBC News
January 26, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

University of British Columbia (UBC) faculty are voting until Feb. 6 on whether to ask the school’s board of governors to change its policy on responsible investment.  A campaign dubbed UBC350 is asking the board to divest from fossil fuel companies. Students have already voted in favour.  “We are calling on UBC to immediately forgo further investments in fossil fuel companies, and divest from all existing fossil fuel holdings within five years,” states Divest UBC’s website. George Hoberg, a professor in the faculty of forestry, is behind the Divest UBC Campaign. He spoke with Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray Monday morning on the show. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.

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Carbon accumulation by Southeastern forests may slow

Phys.org
January 27, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Carbon accumulation levels in the Southeastern U.S. may be slowing due to forest dynamics and land use changes, according to findings of U.S. Forest Service researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports, Friday. The study authored by Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists John Coulston, David Wear, and Jim Vose is the first to isolate the impacts of forest disturbances, such as fire, disease, and cutting, as well as the impacts of land use change using permanent monitoring locations across the Southeast, making it one of the most thorough carbon studies completed.

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General

Timber sale doesn’t improve habitat, image

Letter by Dick Artley
The Missoulian
January 27, 2015
Category: Uncategorised
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service recently abandoned plans to waste 10 million taxpayer dollars on a public relations campaign to boost the image of the agency with the public. The USFS could improve their image without spending a penny by not proposing timber sales like the North Hebgen timber sale. The North Hebgen timber sale will log 6.7 square miles and construct 25 miles of logging road in world famous recreation land just west of Yellowstone National Park. …Such actions will not 1. improve wildlife habitat, and 2. enhance forest health as the USFS claims. Too often the USFS uses the excuse to remove hazardous fuels to justify unneeded logging, as is the case here.

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