Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 24, 2015

Business & Politics

CN Rail and Unifor reach last minute tentative contract deal to avoid lockout

Reuters
February 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

TORONTO/GATINEAU, Quebec — Canada’s biggest railway reached a last-minute tentative agreement with one of its unions on Monday, averting a lockout that threatened to delay imports from Asia and compound a U.S. West Coast port logjam. Canadian National Railway Co and Unifor, the union representing its 4,800 mechanical, clerical and trucking workers, struck a deal just before the railway’s 11 p.m. EST Monday deadline to lock out the workers. “I’m delighted to say that Unifor and Canadian National Railway have been able to come to a tentative agreement,” Canadian Labor Minister Kellie Leitch told Reuters outside the bargaining room. “CN will be running at full capacity tonight and tomorrow.”

CN Railway, Unifor reach tentative agreement from The Canadian Press 

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Commodity crash reflects global economic slump

Globe and Mail
February 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Global commodity prices have tumbled to levels below the depths of the Great Recession, underscoring the widespread difficulties facing the global economy. While crude oil’s price collapse has been in the spotlight, a wide range of other commodities are suffering as well, including natural gas, coal, iron ore, copper, grain and pulp and paper. The commodity crash is the result of too little demand for raw goods now in plentiful supply after producers ramped up capacity in recent years in anticipation of steady global growth. But trouble spots are everywhere. 

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Opinion: B.C. economy is more than a sum of its parts

Vancouver Sun
February 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s economy is the product of connections. All too often, however, the provincial economy is viewed as divided along geographic lines: what happens up there doesn’t affect us down here, or vice versa. …For example, Canfor, one of the world’s largest producers of forest products, has operations in the northern part of B.C., but has headquarters in Vancouver. Canfor’s revenues are driven in part by operations in northern B.C., while its corporate trajectory is steered from Vancouver. Salaries are paid to employees at both its northern operations and offices in the Lower Mainland. …According to a recent economic impact study, the B.C. forestry industry generated $15.7 billion in revenue in 2013, of which 62 per cent was driven by the interior and 38 per cent from the coastal region. 

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Shrinking timber supply sends B.C. companies on U.S. mill buying spree

No B.C. industry has been hit as hard by climate change as forestry, which has lost close to 60% of harvestable timber to the mountain …
Business in Vancouver
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

At first blush, year-end financials and stock prices for B.C.’s largest forest companies would suggest the province’s forestry sector is well on the road to recovery after a decade-long slump. …Stock values and market caps of B.C.’s three largest forestry companies – Interfor, Canfor Corp. (TSX:CFP) and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX:WFT) – have soared since the end of 2011. …But that increase in production and stock value is largely attributable to recent acquisitions of sawmills in the U.S., not to a boom in their B.C. operations. In fact, Canfor and Interfor have both closed mills in B.C. in recent years.

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Resolute not bad boy Greenpeace portrays

Letter by Bruce Frost, Business representative, USW Local 1-2010, Thunder Bay
Chronicle Journal
February 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Recently, we have heard reports and allegations from Greenpeace of the terrible devastation and destruction to the boreal forest by the greedy forest industry giant, Resolute, and their selfish workers. We have also heard of this monstrous company trampling on native rights, taking advantage of communities and workers with no consideration for the future. As a former bush worker and now business representative with the United Steelworkers representing over 400 of these “exploited workers,” 20 per cent of whom are native or Métis, I take exception to that portrayal. We are proud, skilled workers doing our jobs harvesting a renewable resource without damage to the land or water, making way for another crop of trees, contributing to our shared prosperity in the region.

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Northwest Hardwoods Completes Acquisition of Industrial Timber & Lumber

Business Wire
February 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

-Northwest Hardwoods Inc. (NWH) has recently completed the acquisition of Industrial Timber & Lumber Company (ITL) based in Beachwood, Ohio. NWH is headquartered in Tacoma, WA and has operations in the United States, Canada, China, and Japan. ITL is one of the largest global suppliers of North American hardwood. It sells over 200 million board feet of high quality hardwood lumber annually and has approximately 400 employees. ITL owns two integrated sawmills, four concentration yards and one dedicated service center with operations in Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

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Northwest Hardwoods expecting to resume full production soon

The Daily News Online
February 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Northwest Hardwoods Inc., which cut production at its sawmills in Longview, Centralia and Garibaldi, Ore., last week due to the West Coast dock labor dispute, will restore workers’ hours as soon as possible, a company official said Monday. “Once our inventory starts to move, then we will be bringing people back,” Brian Narramore, vice president of human resources at Tacoma-based Northwest Hardwoods, said by phone Monday. Northwest cut hours in half for about 310 workers at the three mills beginning Feb. 16, citing the difficulty getting its products to market because of the dock slowdown.

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West Coast Ports Face Several Months’ Backlog

Wall Street Journal
February 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

West Coast ports are finally working at full speed again—for the most part— but it will likely take months for the backlog to clear, port officials and logistics experts said. Full operations resumed at West Coast ports Saturday evening, after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers, came to a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract late Friday. The contract still must be ratified by members.

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County analysis: Proposed bill would choke Plum Creek planning

The Gainesville Sun
February 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A county government analysis of a proposed Florida Senate bill says it would weaken the planning process for areas large enough to call for a “sector plan,” such as the one filed by Plum Creek Timber Co. in Alachua County. And one county commissioner says it would be a disaster. County growth management officials wrote in their review that Senate Bill 832 posed “major concerns,” but they would not elaborate before their report to county commissioners, which is expected to happen during Tuesday’s commission meeting. County Commissioner Mike Byerly wasn’t so shy, however, and said he’s dismayed by the proposed bill.

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NZ export log prices rise to 9-month high

NZ export log prices rise to 9-month high; domestic logs jump to highest in a decade
Scoop.co.nz
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices rose to a nine-month high in February as local returns were 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 $110 a tonne, from $103 a tonne in January, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and sawmillers. The AgriHQ Log Price Indicator, which measures average log prices weighed by grade, advanced to a nine-month high of 97.95 from 95.39 in January.

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Australian Paper mill to close: 75 jobs to go and passports won’t be printed on Australian paper

The Armidale Express
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Passports and birth certificates will no longer be printed on Australian-made paper following the Australian Paper’s decision to close its Shoalhaven mill. Australian Paper’s chief operating officer, Peter Williams, said despite the company’s best efforts and ongoing support from the local community, the market for specialty and security papers, including cheque and watermark papers, had continued to decline over recent years. “Unfortunately, this has made the ongoing operation of the site progressively unviable,” Mr Williams said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

BUILDEX: Making the case for engineered wood in industrial building

Journal of Commerce
February 23, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to two Vancouver construction industry leaders, wood has a promising future not only in the buildings where we live, but also where we work. Architect John Hemsworth and engineer Robert Malczyk will discuss the challenges and opportunities of using engineered wood in the design and construction of industrial buildings in B.C. …Malczyk, who is principal of Equilibrium Consulting Inc. in Vancouver, said now is a good time to be promoting the use of engineered wood in industrial buildings. “In addition, wood is hip now.” …Malczyk and Hemsworth recently won the Canadian Wood Council’s North American Wood Design Award for Merit for their work on the B.C. Passive House Plant in Pemberton.

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Forestry

Forestry professionals recognize SFU professor’s contributions

Nation Talk.ca
February 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Association of B.C. Forest Professionals (ABCFP) has awarded Simon Fraser University professor Ken Lertzman in the School of Resource and Environmental Management (REM) an Honorary Membership — its top honour. Lertzman, who received the honour during an ABCFP conference on Feb. 19, is being recognized for his significant contributions to forestry knowledge and dedication to mentoring the next generation of forest professionals… The ABCFP award acknowledges how Lertzman’s research on natural disturbance dynamics, and the structure and composition of old forests has improved forest ecology knowledge globally.

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Climate change leaving its mark on the Haliburton Forest

Haliburton Echo
February 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Those who think climate change is not having an effect on Haliburton County need to look no further than the Haliburton Forest for proof. On Feb. 21 owner/operator of the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Peter Schleifenbaum spoke to more than 30 people attending the Environment Haliburton annual general meeting on the effects of climate change. Titled The climate is changing … at Haliburton Forest, the talk outlined some of the major environmental shifts that have taken place in the past number of years and the changes that are still to come. The Haliburton Forest currently comprises about 80,000 acres of land in Haliburton County, which is forested in a sustainable manner, thus combating climate change, said Schleifenbaum.

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Dutch elm disease plan will cut hundreds of trees

Dutch elm first hit Charlottetown trees in 1996
CBC News
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Charlottetown outlined plans to cut down hundreds of trees in order to get Dutch elm disease under control. “Dutch elm disease is not really a curable disease,” said parkland conservationist Beth Hoar at a public meeting Monday night. “What we’re trying to do is minimize the amount of disease we have in the population.” More than 300 elm trees are set to come down and a cost of about $500,000. At a public meeting Monday, Hoar outlined where the trees are. She said there are infected trees in every corner of the city but most are in the downtown core.

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Editorial: Skyline Forest should become a community forest

The Bend Bulletin
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Deschutes Land Trust and its director, Brad Chalfant, have worked for more than a decade to create the Skyline Forest, a community forest west of Bend. The going has been slow, but with the sale of the land to Whitefish Cascade Forest Resources, there’s renewed hope of action in the foreseeable future. The forest, some 33,000 acres, is the old Bull Springs Tree Farm, originally owned by Brooks-Scanlon Inc. In 1980 the company was absorbed by Diamond International and sold in 1988 to Crown Pacific. Crown filed for bankruptcy in 2003, and its timber holdings were put into a holding company until the land was acquired by Fidelity National Financial in 2006.

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Forest Service supervisor speaks out on public lands transfer

Deseret News
February 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — The head of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest headquartered in Utah’s capital city is taking the state’s takeover bid on federal public lands seriously and says it is a wakeup call for better public engagement. “We as a federal agency, the forest service, need to figure out how to better involve people,” said Forest Service supervisor Dave Whittekiend. “Whether we think we are involving them or not, if they feel like they are not involved, that is their reality.” Whittekiend is in charge of a forest that covers nearly 2.2 million acres in northern Utah and southwest Wyoming that is ranked as one of the most visited forests in the country, pulling in nine million visitors a year — more than the state’s five national parks combined.

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Researchers identify aggressive fungus killing ‘ohia trees

Hawaii News Now
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HONOLULU – For the past five years, ‘ohia trees on Hawai’i Island have been under attack — dying mysteriously and rapidly from an unknown disease, but researchers are now one step closer to figuring out how to prevent mass devastation now that they’ve figure out what’s killing the native species. Ceratocystis Fimbriata is an aggressive and deadly fungus so powerful, the disease has been named Rapid ‘Ohia Death — because of how quickly a once-healthy tree deteriorates once it’s been infected. “It basically plugs up the sap wood so that the tree basically is strangled to death by the fungus and that’s why we see the leaves turning brown so quickly.

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Manage forests for the good of all

Daily Inter Lake
February 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After the Inter Lake’s story came out Wednesday describing Sen. Steve Daines’ plans to try to break the federal logjam on national forests, we received predictable complaints from a number of environmental activists. You can read a couple of them on this page. The gist of their argument is that you can’t increase logging without returning to the bad old days of clear cuts and reckless disregard for wildlife and water quality. We beg to differ. Daines, a freshman Republican senator, is not suggesting anything radical in his proposal to double the amount of timber being harvested. That could be accomplished with relatively little additional impact on natural resources, and might actually result in healthier forests.

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Editorial: Yes, the NW Forest Plan can stand to be improved

Rethinking Northwest Forest Plan causes heartburn in some quarters, but in some ways isn’t a bad idea
The Daily Astorian
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Northwest Forest Plan, the Clinton administration’s effort to get beyond the divisive era of “forest management by lawsuit and injunction,” isn’t popular in rural areas but has achieved some notable gains for the environment. Now, a major revision is in the works and it’s time to consider whether it’s possible to give timber communities more harvest while still avoiding excesses of the past. In an analysis for Pamplin Media Group last week, environmental writer Paul Koberstein does a good job laying out the issues. EO Media Group fully explored many of the same topics in an award-winning series in 2011. Clatsop County forests are predominantly owned by the state, while those in Pacific County, Wash., are overwhelmingly in private hands.

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Mindanao sets Guinness record for tree planting

Newsinfo.inquirer.net
February 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

DAVAO CITY—Mindanao has set a world record for most trees planted simultaneously in multiple locations, the Guinness World Records (GWR) announced on its website. Surpassing India’s 1.9 million trees, Mindanao posted a total of 2.29 million trees planted by 122,168 participants in 29 locations during the Mindanao-wide “TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW” on Sept. 26 last year, the GWR said. “This is a huge feat for all Mindanaoans, especially for the volunteers and partners,” said Luwalhati Antonino, head of the Mindanao Development Authority. Antonino said over 4 million seedlings were actually planted during the event, but only 2.29 million were counted because of the stringent verification process of the Guinness committee.

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Olivia Newton-John launches ‘One Tree Per Child’ campaign

Global effort will start in the U.K. city of Bristol – with over 36,000 children from 130 school taking part in planting saplings.
Mother Nature Network
February 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Olivia Newton-John is at the forefront of a new major international tree planting campaign; a project she believes will unite environmental organizations and schools all around the world.  Called “One Tree Per Child,” the effort is officially launching later this year in the U.K. city of Bristol. The initiative will involve over 36,000 children under the age of 10 from 130 schools; giving each an opportunity to plant a tree in the city.  “I believe that society benefits when young children get out, get their hands in the earth, and plant trees,” Newton-John told the Guardian. 

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Forestry Tasmania’s contingency plan for exotic plant disease myrtle rust

ABC News, Australia
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forestry Tasmania is optimistic that the state’s cooler weather will diminish the impact of the exotic fungus myrtle rust. On Friday Biosecurity Tasmania announced the discovery of myrtle rust in a garden hedge at Burnie in the North West of the state, with another four cases in the region confirmed this week. Myrtle Rust attacks eucalypts, bottle brush, tea tree and other plants from the myrtaceae family. It has damaged tree plantations and nature reserves in Victoria and New South Wales. Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Extent of damage at Revelstoke bio-energy plant being investigated

Revelstoke Times Review
February 23, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire late Sunday night caused serious damage to the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation heating plant. Fire chief Rob Girard says Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services were called to the fire shortly before midnight on Sunday, Feb. 22. “Upon arrival, fire crews found heavy smoke pouring from all sides of the building and began an interior fire attack,” said Girard. “Within minutes the fire conditions changed and and we had heavy fire in the roof of the structure and had to withdraw our interior fire crew and transitioned to an exterior attack.”

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Sackville environmental group sells carbon offsets

Community Forests International is bringing in $70,000 every year by letting trees grow
CBC News
February 23, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Sackville environmental group has found a way to earn money from its woodlots in New Brunswick by allowing trees to grow. Jeff Schnurr, executive director of Community Forests International, says the organization is making about $70,000 every year by selling carbon offsets to companies. “We’ve got a highly degraded forest and we’ve got the economic conditions that people are looking for another alternative,” he says. “So when we were approached and started tossing around the idea of doing a carbon offset project here it just made perfect sense.”

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Biomass Plants Gaining Steam, But Do They Result in Less Carbon?

Forbes
February 24, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

With the Obama administration hammering out its Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions, the biomass industry is positioning itself as a leader in the renewable energy world. With that, a major U.S. utility has struck a deal with other mega-electricity consumers to provide all of their biomass-produced power. …The unit will be fired with wood scraps from Georgia’s rich forestry — biomass materials that the state says must be cleaned up to allow those wooded acres to revitalize. By placing that sustainable fuel source in a new boiler, Constellation says that is producing the electricity to power homes minus much of the carbon. At the same time, the steam that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere will be captured and reused to complete a manufacturing process.

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Hey, Trees Grow Back! Carbon Accounting And The Question Of ‘Additionality’

Seeking Alpha
February 23, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Last week, I wrote an article on Seeking Alpha countering the argument put forth by the New York Times, among others, that burning herbaceous and woody biomass (i.e., cellulosic biomass) to generate energy contributes as many, and possibly more, carbon emissions to the atmosphere than the burning of fossil fuels. Several Seeking Alpha members asked in the comments section to that article why I would argue that cellulosic bioenergy results in fewer carbon emissions than fossil fuels when organizations such as the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences have argued just the opposite. Ultimately both arguments are correct, although which one is correct for a specific scenario depends on the conditions present in that scenario. 

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Rentech’s wood pellet company buys Allegheny Pellet

Biz Journals
February 23, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Rentech Inc.’s New England Wood Pellet subsidiary has bought Pennsylvania-based Allegheny Pellet Corp. for about $7 million in cash. Los Angeles-based Rentech said the acquisition expands New England Wood Pellet’s market position as the largest producer of wood pellets for the U.S. heating market. “Consistent with the growth strategy we outlined when we acquired NEWP, we are pleased to expand NEWP’s platform with the acquisition of Allegheny,” Sean Ebnet, senior vice president of Rentech’s wood fibre business, said in a statement.

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