Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 19, 2015

Business & Politics

Port tonnage up to start 2015

The Northern View
February 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Port of Prince Rupert is off to a strong start in 2015 with the majority of terminals seeing a year-over-year increase in tonnage… However, the number of loaded containers being exported through Prince Rupert fell 21.25 per cent, dropping from 13,308 TEUs last year to 10,480 TEUs last month… The harbour, which ended last year down more than 15 per cent, saw log exports increase 6.38 per cent from 60,145 tonnes to 63,981 tonnes this year

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Historic court ruling changes contract law

Journal of Commerce
February 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A landmark ruling in the Supreme Court of Canada has changed contract law, affirming that contract parties have an obligation to act honestly and in good faith. The court noted that the common law in Canada in relation to good faith performance of contracts was “piecemeal, unsettled and unclear… “McLean learned of the ruling while involved in litigation against TimberWest, Western Canada’s largest privately managed forest land owner. Using Bhasin v. Hrynew, McLean argued TimberWest violated the implied good faith in the contract. 

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WorkSafeBC is in line for new enforcement tools

Journal of Commerce
February 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government unveiled legislation this month that would amend the Workers Compensation Act to strengthen WorkSafeBC’s ability to promote and enforce occupational health and safety compliance. These are part of other changes taking place at WorkSafeBC to improve its inspection and investigation regime in the wake of the deadly sawmill incidents that occurred in 2012, in Burns Lake and Prince George. Gordon Macatee, WorkSafeBC special advisor, prepared a report on the incidents, making 43 recommendations which were accepted by the Ministry of Jobs.

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First lumber for Resolute’s kilns at Sapawe

Atikokan Progress
February 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The new Resolute Forest Products sawmill in Sapawe has received its first incoming load of rough lumber from Ignace. Driver Cory Young of Gardewine/Rainy Lake Logistics delivered the load Friday afternoon, February 6, while Resolute’s shipping coordinator, Laura Blanchette, was on hand to receive the load. “We are all excited about this first load and the start-up of our mill,” Blanchette said. “The kilns won’t actually start until later this month, but we are starting to build some rough, green inventory to have the lumber we need for commissioning the kilns.”

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No hardwood, no business: Rivers Bend will close doors, lay off 11 workers

Chronicle Herald
February 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

POMQUET — Rivers Bend Wood Products Inc. is shutting down because it can’t access enough local hardwood. The Antigonish County hardwood flooring manufacturer will close its doors this week, laying off the 11 employees that remain from a workforce of 17. “Am I angry?” company co-owner Paul van de Weil said Wednesday, repeating a question. “No. But I’m disappointed and I’m worried about the future for hardwood in Nova Scotia. … There should be a future for it, but that’s not how we’re managing our industry.”

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Costs rise for pellet plants

Chronicle Journal
February 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rentech Inc. says it has borrowed another US$63 million, mainly to help it finish work on its two Northwestern Ontario wood pellet plants. “The task at hand remains clear — to complete the construction and commissioning of, and to place into service, our new pellet facilities in Canada,” Rentech president Keith Forman said Tuesday in a news release. The California-based company said the final cost of getting its Atikokan and Wawa plants up and running is expected to rise to as much as $130 million, up from the earlier estimate of $105 million.

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AP sources say port talks focus on arbitrator

Associated Press
February 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

LOS ANGELES — The labor-management standoff that is disrupting billions of dollars of international trade at West Coast seaports now centers on the future of one man who resolves workplace disputes at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. After nine months of bargaining for a new contract and weeks of partial port shutdowns, dockworkers and their employers disagree on whether they should change the system for arbitrating allegations of work slowdowns, discrimination and other conflicts. More specifically, their quarrel is focused on the man who since 2002 has arbitrated grievances in Southern California.

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Construction Materials Prices Drop 2% in January

For Construction Pros
February 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Construction input prices dipped 2 percent in January 2015 and have now failed to rise for six consecutive months, according to the February 18 producer price index (PPI) release from the U.S. Department of Labor. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices are down 3.6 percent. In addition, nonresidential construction input prices fell 2.1 percent on a monthly basis and 4.6 percent on a yearly basis. “The decline in oil and petroleum prices finally showed up in the PPI data,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, crude petroleum prices fell 30.6 percent for the month and 54.8 percent for the year but other input categories also experienced downward pressure, including nonferrous wire and cable and softwood lumber.

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Universal Forest Beats on Q4 Earnings and Revenues

Zacks.com
February 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Universal Forest Products reported better-than-expected results for fourth-quarter 2014. Earnings came in at 46 cents per share, up 15% from 40 cents earned in the year-ago quarter. Also, the bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 44 cents. The year-over-year improvement was driven by healthy performance in all end markets as well as a 14% increase in unit sales. For 2014, the company’s earnings were $2.86 per share, above both the year-ago tally of $2.15 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.85.

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BlueLinx Announces Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

NASDAC
February 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA — BlueLinx Holdings, a leading distributor of building products in North America, today reported financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 3, 2015. “We are pleased to report fiscal fourth quarter 2014 Adjusted EBITDA of $1.9 million, an improvement of approximately $2.9 million from the fiscal fourth quarter of 2013. The fourth quarter of 2014 represents our sixth consecutive quarter of improved year-over-year EBITDA results, and the full year Adjusted EBITDA of $24.6 million is a $23.3 million improvement over 2013 and our best since 2007.

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US softwood lumber from Europe up in fourth quarter

EUWID Wood Products
February 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

US softwood lumber imports from Europe rose again sharply during the course of the fourth quarter 2014. After the foreign trade figures produced by the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service had shown a reduction of roughly 14% in imports from Europe for the first nine months of, the figures for the period of October to the end of December show a sharp jump of 35% in imports of softwood lumber from Europe to 72,135 m³. Having risen by 53% to $26.28m, the growth in the value of the imports was far more conspicuous than the development in volumes. 

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Louisiana-Pacific prepares OSB expansion in South America

IHB The Timber Network
February 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

US Louisiana-Pacific prepares its latest OSB expansion project in Latin America with the addition of a third board mill in Chile. According to WoodBasedPanels International (WBPI), quoting LP’s CEO Curt Stevens, the company submitted the project for environmental consent and says it should get the go ahead in late summer when construction could begin. The start-up of the mill could be in 2016, depending on the Chilean economic context. The overall investment could go up to US$60 million in the line which will include used machinery shipped to Chile from discontinued plants in the US. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

A Delegation of 17 Canadian Lumber Companies’ Visit to India

The 9 day mission programme explores the large scale potential usage of high-quality, environment-friendly lumber from Canada
Business Wire India
February 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The solid wood manufacturing industry and wood importers in India are poised to benefit from a trade mission by Canadian lumber companies that took place across Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Delhi-NCR including the DelhiWood trade show at Greater Noida from January 30, 2015 to February 07, 2015. The mission helped manufacturers, wood importers, contractors, architects and interior designers explore possibilities of using or specifying lumber from Canada; particularly from the province of British Columbia. 

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Developers say new BC Building Act won’t have major impact on Whistler

Updated code meant to provide more consistent building requirements across B.C.
Pique News Magazine
February 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

While some of Whistler’s top developers welcomed the province’s announcement last week that it would be modernizing B.C.’s Building Act to provide a more consistent approach, they agreed the move won’t have a major impact on the resort’s construction sector… Last week, the announcement came that the province will introduce the new Building Act, providing a standardized approach that aims to streamline the development process, reduce costs and remove barriers created by differing building requirements between jurisdictions… Under the new act, the province is now the sole authority to create building requirements and establishes mandatory qualifications for local building officials. It also expands Victoria’s ability to review innovative building proposals such as the Wood Innovations Design Centre in Prince George.

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Mid-rise wood construction has ways to go

Daily Commercial News
February 19, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mid-rise wood construction is finally coming to Ontario, but don’t expect it to be an overnight success, say experts. Structural engineer David Moses says while prefabrication will result in better quality control and quicker installation than conventional construction methods, the building and design community will be on a learning curve. “Once the whole team is up to speed, then the speed of construction will accelerate,” says Moses, principal of MSE structural engineers — one of the exhibitors at a recent symposium on wood-built mid-rise held at the Paramount Conference and Event Venue in Woodbridge, Ont.

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Solid Wood: The Rise of Mass Timber Architecture

By Joseph Mayo
Arch Daily.com
February 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Largely overlooked in the development of Modernism, in the 21st century interest in timber architecture is making a comeback with the success of designers such as last year’s Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, and the push toward timber towers from large influential firms such as SOM. In the following extract, author Joseph Mayo introduces his new book, “Solid Wood: Case Studies in Mass Timber Architecture, Technology and Design,” which examines the rise of mass timber design through historical analysis and contemporary case studies. Few books have addressed the use of wood in large, non-residential buildings. 

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Edgewater Fire Complex Company to Enhance Fire Safety at 2 New Projects in New Jersey

NBC New York
February 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The parent company of Avalon on the Hudson, which saw much of its luxury apartment complex in Edgewater, New Jersey, destroyed in a fast-moving inferno last month, said Wednesday it would enhance the fire protection systems at similarly built communities soon to be constructed. AvalonBay Communities said it will incorporate additional sprinklers throughout the properties in Princeton and Maplewood, including in the attics, closet spaces and between the ceilings and floors. It also said it would install masonry firewalls, which is not legally required for buildings made with the type of high density wood frame construction… Avalon uses. Edgewater Fire Chief Thomas Jacobson said he thought the lightweight wood construction of the complex fueled the fire.

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Prefab straw bale houses hit the market in Bristol

Treehugger
February 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Straw bale is usually the preserve of self-builders (the British term for DIY homebuilders). These houses look pretty much like all the other boring brick houses in the district, but are much more energy efficient and quiet inside… They are in fact built with Modcell’s prefabricated panels, which are sixteen inch deep timber framed panels which are insulated with straw. This is not just semantics; it is what makes Modcell such an interesting concept that can be used for any kind of building, and in multi-story designs like these houses. I don’t think they should strictly be called straw bale at all; it is really a cross-laminated timber house clad in brick that happens to be insulated with straw.

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Circular Tree Top Studio designed and built by Max Pritchard

Architecture and Design
February 19, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The architect’s studio is where works to be proud of are created, but for Max Pritchard, an Australian Institute of Architects President’s Medallist (SA Chapter), a studio can also be a real point of pride, especially if you designed and built it from scratch. …Measuring just four metres in diameter with 25sqm of floor space, the building is wrapped in golden plywood sheeting, with hardwood battens covering sheet joints and expressing the timber frame structure of vertical wall studs and radiating roof beams. The dynamics of this structural expression is carried through to the interior, seen in the repeated detail of pine plywood and hardwood battens.

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Green Supermarket Will Be A First For Wales

Green Building Press
February 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A retail giant has unveiled the details of its planned state-of-the-art store – and it’s a ‘first’ for Barry in south Wales. The store will be the first in Wales to meet top green standards. …A spokeswoman said: “…Asda has an important role in delivering sustainable and low carbon buildings … The store has been awarded the highest BREEAM rating for retail developments, helping to make the wider Barry development a benchmark for other future sustainable developments.” …The store has been designed [with] sustainably sourced timber cladding and large areas of glazing to provide active frontage.

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Forestry

Number of visitors to McLean Mill sees increase

Alberni Valley Times
February 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The McLean Mill National Historic Site saw 13,388 visitors last year – the most since Port Alberni’s centennial in 2010. The encouraging numbers from 2014 were presented to city council Tuesday by the Industrial Heritage Society, the local organization tasked with operating the attraction, as part of its proposed budget for this year. Sixty five per cent of mill visitors came from outside the Alberni Valley. 

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Benefits of community forests highlighted in report

February 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“We were really excited to see that community forests are creating 50 percent more jobs per cubic meter than the industry average,” said Jen Gunter, executive director of the association. She also highlighted the finding that community forests contribute $1.6 million on average to their local economies, most of which have populations of 3,000 or less. “Over the years, we’ve told stories about the great things community forests are doing for their communities, and it became evident that it would be helpful to support that narrative with some data,” said Jen Gunter, Executive Director of the BCCFA. So, the association started the work involved in creating the survey. Gunter reports that the process took a year and a half.

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Benefits of community forests highlighted in report

February 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“We were really excited to see that community forests are creating 50 percent more jobs per cubic meter than the industry average,” said Jen Gunter, executive director of the association. She also highlighted the finding that community forests contribute $1.6 million on average to their local economies, most of which have populations of 3,000 or less. “Over the years, we’ve told stories about the great things community forests are doing for their communities, and it became evident that it would be helpful to support that narrative with some data,” said Jen Gunter, Executive Director of the BCCFA. So, the association started the work involved in creating the survey. Gunter reports that the process took a year and a half.

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Dorval outlines homeowners’ obligations to fight beetle attack on ash trees

Montreal Gazette
February 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dorval is preparing an offensive to deal with the beetle that is threatening thousand of ash trees in its territory. On Monday, city council awarded a $317,000 contract to Novafor Inc. to apply a biopesticide treatment to protect ash trees from the destructive emerald ash borer beetle. It also awarded a $85,000 contract to Solutions Alternatives Environnement to provide urban forestry technical services for 2015. Council also tabled the city’s action plan to deal with the ash borer beetle threat as well as a new bylaw concerning the fight against the spread of the destructive bug, which was detected in about a dozen traps set in Dorval last year.

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Green Party Leader Introduces Legislation to Annul Forestry Agreements

Green Party of New Brunswick
February 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON, NB – To restore the full authority of the provincial government to manage Crown lands in keeping with its obligations to First Nations communities and to the general public, the Leader of the Green Party and MLA for Fredericton South tabled a bill in the Legislature today, entitled An Act to Return to the Crown Certain Rights Relating to Timber Supply and Forest Management. If passed, the Act to Return to the Crown Certain Rights Relating to Timber Supply and Forest Management will annul the memoranda of agreement signed by the Department of Natural Resources with forestry companies which guarantee an increased annual allowable cut for the next 25 years, along with several forest management agreements designed to implement those guarantees.

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Montana counties still short from federal subsidy cut

The Missoulian
February 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS – Two months after losing $20 million in a last-minute federal budget deal, Montana counties are still searching for a do-over. In the lame duck session of Congress last December, Lawmakers left the $330 million Secure Rural Schools program out of a last minute deal to keep the federal government running until September. SRS money is paid to counties with U.S. Forest Service land because the lands are both untaxable and often unlogged because of government policy and sluggish timber demand. Roughly $20 million of that money would have gone to Montana counties with U.S. Forest Service lands. And SRS is just a fraction of the larger issue facing counties with large sections of untaxable federal land.

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Tongass Transfer now in front of City Council, too

Ketchikan FM Radio KRBD
February 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Ketchikan City Council meets in regular session Thursday, and among the items on the agenda is discussion of new rules regarding hawking outside downtown businesses; a second reading of an ordinance increasing water rates; and a resolution supporting the concept of transferring the 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest to state ownership. The Tongass Transfer resolution is similar to one approved Tuesday by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly. It was placed on the Council’s agenda by Dick Coose, a retired forester. The resolution states that Alaska is the “best choice to be most sensitive to the ecologic and economic needs of all Alaskans, including residents of Southeast Alaska.”

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Gusty forecast could be knockout blow for icy trees

WBIR.com
February 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

With ice and snow continuing to coat much of East Tennessee on Wednesday, the big concern now shifts to a forecast full of strong winds overnight into Thursday. Gusts ranging from 20 to 30 miles per hour in the lower elevations and up to 50 miles per hour in the Great Smoky Mountains could deliver a knockout blow to ice-loaded trees. “I mean any of these trees with this ice on them is in danger,” said master arborist David Vandergriff with UT Extension in Knox County. “The evergreens like pines and cedars are especially at risk because they have foliage that collects more ice and weight.

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How a Welsh forest left devastated by a killer disease is being brought back to life

Wales Online
February 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A scheme to restore hundreds of acres of forestry left devastated by a deadly disease has begun. Thousands of larch trees have been felled at the Afan Forest in Neath Port Talbot by Natural Resources Wales (NSW) over the last four years. The 1,600 acres of woodland was chopped down in the forest to tackle Phytophthora ramorum, a fungal disease which kills the tree. The larch are now being replaced by a range of different species that will provide trees for timber production in the future, as well as creating more native habitats for wildlife.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Local View: Climate change is real — and its foot is in our door

Duluth News Tribune
February 18, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Some say global warming is “phony science,” including the writer of a column in the Feb. 5 News Tribune. But I and 90 percent of the world’s climate scientists disagree. I’ve seen it in action. When I made my first of 38 annual flights into the far north in 1968, ice out on Arctic Circle lakes began in late July. Now it’s two to three weeks earlier… In recent years we’ve seen increases in the intensity of hurricanes, droughts, floods, blizzards and forest fires. In the first half of 2013, 2 million acres of western forests burned to the ground. Lake Superior set a record high temperature in 2010, and 2014 just entered the books as the hottest on record.

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New Perspective On Bioenergy Economic Model

Clean Technica
February 19, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Bioenergy, while environmentally cleaner and more sustainable than fossil fuels, has historically been too energy intensive to produce — a big negative from an economic perspective. However, recent bioenergy research from the University of Minnesota on combining solar thermal energy with biomass gasification for producing a natural gas substitute indicates a cost-competitive economic model may now work. …“Utilizing solar technologies to get more energy out of each acre of biomass reduces the impacts to the landscapes producing it,” Smith added.

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Let’s re-think attitudes toward wood

Letter to the Editor
Smoky Mountain News
February 18, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Have you ever heard the expression “waiting for the other shoe to drop”? I thought of it as I was reading all the recent news and opinions about the U.S. Forest Service studies on wood harvesting in Western North Carolian. … And do you get the scent of money in all that smoke? Politicians on both sides of the aisle are lining up to support the increased denuding of our woods, and to take big campaign gifts from the people who will profit from it. Chipper mill owners are already increasing production in order to ship our forests to eager energy consumers in Europe, nations willing to make similar declarations of carbon neutrality.

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Study: Climate Change Efforts Backfire in Brazil’s Steel Industry

University of Vermont
February 18, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New UVM research shows that climate change mitigation efforts in Brazil’s steel industry have failed. Instead of reducing greenhouse gas pollution, scientists discovered that programs under an international climate treaty contributed to an overall doubling of carbon dioxide emissions in the industry. The study, “Carbon emissions due to deforestation for the production of charcoal used in Brazil’s steel industry,” was published in the Feb. 9 online edition of the journal Nature Climate Change and has been receiving international media attention from Reuters and other news outlets.

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