Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 25, 2015

Business & Politics

TimberWest appeals BC Supreme Court decision on Managed Forest Lands taxation

Campbell River Courier-Islander
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TimberWest filed a notice of appeal to the BC Court of Appeal Feb. 20, looking to overturn a decision made by the BC Supreme Court in favour of the city’s 2014 property tax rates on Managed Forest Lands.  The Supreme Court supported the city’s position that the province, through section 14 of the Local Government Act and other taxing legislation, provides specific authority to local governments to set separate tax rates within the same property class where, as in this case, there is a municipal boundary extension approved through legislation.  “We are disappointed to hear that TimberWest is seeking to overturn the ruling delivered by the BC Supreme Court on this issue,” said Mayor Andy Adams.

Press Release from TimberWest

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Uncertainty surrounds rights and title decision

Williams Lake Tribune
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Uncertainty was one thing participants at a recent public meeting said they had in common surrounding the 2014 Tsilhqot’in Rights and Title decision. B.C.’s Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad said Friday he understood how everyone felt but admitted the government doesn’t know yet how the case will unfold for non-First Nations living and working in the 1,900 square kilometre title area. Rustad was speaking in Williams Lake at a meeting that attracted around 60 ranchers, guide outfitters, tourism operators, local government politicians and the Chamber of Commerce.

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Alpac pulp mill will get new Japanese owner

Pulp and Paper Canada
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Japan’s Hokuetsu Kishu Paper is planning to acquire Canadian pulp producer Alberta-Pacfic Forest Industries Inc. as early as this spring, purchasing all of Alpac’s shares from its current owners, Mitsubishi Corp. and Oji Holdings, according to a story on the web site of Nikkei Asian Review. This will be the first step into North America for Hokuetsu Kishu Paper, Japan’s fifth largest papermaker. Nikkei Asian Review notes that for Hokuetsu Kishu, domestic demand continues to shrink. The value of the entire deal is expected to top 6 billion yen ($50 million).

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Lower dollar means winners and losers, including the poor consumer

Chronicle Journal
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario is anticipating that the depreciation in the Canadian dollar — from parity to approximately US94 cents in July of 2014 to about 80 cents at present — will be a boon for its economic prospects. …So what are the benefits and costs of a lower dollar for Ontario? …Another important boost may be for the province’s natural resource sector, especially mining and forestry. In the case of forestry, prices for forest products are already on the upswing given the recovery in U.S. housing demand that is underway. However, like manufacturing in general, much of the sawmill and pulp mill capacity in Ontario disappeared during the forest sector crisis between 2003 and 2009 and the employment growth potential from this renewed activity will be meager.

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Northern Pulp management and union challenge McNeil gov’t

Government plans to implement new Industrial Approval on March 6
CBC News
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northern Pulp and its union joined forces Tuesday to tell the McNeil government they want accommodations over new pollution rules being imposed by Nova Scotia at the Pictou County mill. The mill and Unifor met privately with Zach Churchill, the province’s minister of natural resources. They opposed the new Industrial Approval (IA), which they say would cost about $90 million to implement. “We need an IA that is achievable and reasonable and at this point we haven’t got one yet,” said Bruce Chapman of Northern Pulp. Scott Doherty of Unifor took a similar position.

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China: Forest products industry on the rise in 2014

IHB The Timber Network
February 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In 2014, China’s forest products industry output value and trade value reached US$ 848 billion and US$ 138 billion, up 11% and 9.5% respectively, as compared with 2013.  China’s imports of log, lumber and wood-based panel all have had substantial growth in 2014, International Wood Markets reports quoting data from the Chinese State Forestry Administration.

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Ta Ann net profit down 35% to RM20.45mil

The Star online
February 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

KUALA LUMPUR: Ta Ann Holdings Bhd’s net profit for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014 fell 35% to RM20.45mil compared to RM31.46mil a year ago. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia on Wednesday, the group said revenue for the period rose 37% to RM278.45mil from RM202.89mil a year earlier. Earnings per share fell to 5.52 sen from 8.49 sen a year ago. For its full year, the group’s net profit rose 31.7% to RM2133.49mil from RM92.96mil a year earlier while revenue jumped 32.6% to RM1.02bil from RM769,920.

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Mill plan would create jobs

The Northern Advocate
February 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A forecasted demand for lumber due to a boost in Chinese housing projects could support a new saw and pulp mill near Kaikohe, creating a $45 million industry in Northland and up to 500 jobs if the project progressed. Powered with low-cost heat and energy from the neighbouring Ngawha geothermal power station, it would require $600 million in private investment to complete, according to the Northland Growth Study, which said the project was now being assessed by Northland Inc, the Ministry of Primary Industries and the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Butterfield: Woodworking magic from Eternal Timber & Design

Kelowna Capital News
February 25, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shawn and Carlee Wiebe are the brilliant husband and wife team behind Eternal Timber & Design. On any given work day, you’ll find Carlee at their spacious, fully-stocked showroom running the day-to-day of small business life. Nestled in amongst some pretty high-end neighbouring businesses that also cater to the design and renovation sectors, Eternal Timber & Design is one of the first companies to set a stake in the newly developed Airport Business Park in Kelowna on Innovation Road. While Carlee mans the showroom, Shawn is out making the magic happen. Originally from the Grande Prairie area of Alberta, Shawn Wiebe began his career in the framing industry, before his passion for timber post and beam design eventually steered him out of home building and into more of a creative and freelance opportunity.

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The PCA calls for stronger building codes to limit fire damage

World Cement
February 24, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has expressed its support for stronger building codes following a fire at the Avalon at Edgewater complex in New Jersey last month, which displaced almost 1000 residents. The fire spread rapidly through the building due to the wood-frame ‘truss construction’ used. The PCA has underlined that stricter building codes can help to reduce damage during fires and also save lives. With this in mind, the association has applauded New Jersey Assemblyman, Scott Rumana, for moving ahead with the re-evaluation of building codes for multi-family constructions. The proposed legislation would require the evaluation of the appropriateness of light-frame construction for multi-family buildings and it would impose a moratorium on light-frame construction until a determination and recommendations are adopted.

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Edgewater fire raises concerns over Wayne development

North Jersey
February 24, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Two days before AvalonBay’s 408-unit Edgewater apartment complex went up in flames in January, the company applied to build a complex in Wayne of a similar size that would likely be made of the same lightweight-frame construction blamed for allowing the Edgewater blaze to spread quickly. …After the fire, some fire officials said the lightweight truss construction used in Edgewater left voids and passages in attics and walls through which fire can quickly spread. The lightweight construction is “a common norm, and it’s happening all over the country,” said Glenn Corbett, an associate professor of fire science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and former assistant fire chief in Waldwick.

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Minneapolis’ office building of the future will be made of, uh, wood?

MinnPost
February 24, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

When the Hines development company unveiled plans for a new office building in the North Loop section of Minneapolis last November, they received the requisite amount of coverage, even a write-up in the Wall Street Journal.  But given the frequency of construction announcements in the midst of downtown’s boomlet, the significance of what its builders call T3 got a bit lost. Too bad, because if the seven-story, 210,000 square foot office building is completed, it will not only be one of just a handful of tall buildings in the world made primarily of wood — it will be the first such building in the United States. 

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Forestry

A Forester Thinking About Forests: How We Ensure Forests Are There For Future Generations

by Etienne Belanger, Director of Forestry
Forest Products Association of Canada
February 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Recent discourses about global forest loss have suggested Canada is a big offender, even “the largest contributor to deforestation worldwide”. But reports and articles, although drawing from solid scientific sources, can mischaracterise the information from which they draw their claims. I’d like to go through some of the different terms that are often mis-used or used interchangeably when talking about forests. This blog will also discuss concepts that are important to understand the particular case of Canada’s forests. As we’ll see, Canada has a very positive and progressive record in ensuring our forests are sustainably managed and there for future generations. Foresters help make sure of that.

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Canadian First Nations Seek to Protect Forest Homeland

By winning protection for their boreal forest, indigenous peoples help slow global warming.
National Geographic
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

He didn’t mention his name, only that he was 62 years old and belonged to the Poplar River First Nation, indigenous people who live on the east shore of Lake Winnipeg, in Manitoba… The truth and reconciliation process is part of a larger movement among the First Nations of Canada to force the government to honor treaties relating to indigenous sovereignty and to return control of ancestral land taken away during colonization. Much of the land in contention is wild, as well as rich in timber, oil and gas, and minerals… That’s because that territory encompasses a vast section of unspoiled boreal forest—a crucial front in the campaign to slow climate change. If the trees are left standing, and the soil undisturbed, the immense amounts of carbon they contain won’t be released into the atmosphere as heat-producing carbon dioxide.

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Four woodlots near Clearwater pass forestry audit

BC Forest Practices Board
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forestry activities on four woodlots near Clearwater, B.C., concludes the woodlot owners complied with B.C.’s forestry legislation, according to a report released today. “These woodlots are a mix of Crown and private-owned land and the woodlot owners must comply with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act in carrying out their activities,” said Tim Ryan, board chair. “We are pleased to see that all of them demonstrated their commitment to sound forest management.” The woodlots are located east of Clearwater, near the North Thompson River and southeast of Clearwater near Adams Lake.

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Hydro and Spirit Lake partnership benefits business

Campbell River Mirror
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Hydro and the First Nations operated company Spirit Lake Silviculture have developed a business relationship that is a win-win for both companies for vegetation management services along power lines. “BC Hydro relies on a variety of suppliers for a wide range of products and services for BC Hydro,” says BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson. “This was done through a Request for Proposal procurement process on BC Bid where we shortlisted companies, based on pricing and expertise, and in some cases keep them on a shortlist on an ongoing basis to be contacted about specific upcoming work.”

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OPINION: Wildlife habitat losing every fight with forestry and agriculture

The Nelson Daily
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The purpose of this newsletter is to give you facts that with few exceptions can be corroborated that illustrate why nothing less than a complete overhaul of the management of our wildlife and wildlife habitat resource can reverse the dramatic decline in many wildlife populations and the steady compromise of critical wildlife habitat by other stakeholder interests. I have been on the phone many times since that last newsletter obtaining more information that showcases the failure of wildlife and wildlife habitat management to reflect the values of most British Columbians. I am sending you a copy of a letter in which I again asked Minister Steve Thomson’s staff to review their support for an aggressive motorized vehicle recreation agenda on the Gilpin Grasslands.

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County wildfire strategy coming together

Daily Herald Tribune
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Details on how to better prevents wildfires in the County of Grande Prairie was outlined in a draft copy of the wildfire mitigation strategy presented to council on Monday. Presented by Jerry Bauer, a consultant for the county’s FireSmart project, the document outlines areas at high risk of wildfires and ways to prevent them. The strategy was created by the county in partnership with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, and with the help of grant funding from Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA), approximately $27,000 said Bauer.

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Dufferin County to back tract on forest plan

Orangeville.com
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A year’s worth of work on the county forest’s 20-year plan isn’t all for naught, but Dufferin’s politicians want to start fresh. With the exception of an off-road motorcycle club’s request to gain access to the forest, county staff had completed a management plan for the years 2015 to 2035. On Thursday (Feb. 12), county council approved a recommendation from its community services committee urging staff reopen the issue. “We have to take a bigger view,” said Melancthon Mayor Darren White, chair of the community services committee. “(The plan) didn’t really look outside that box. I think that is what we’re suggesting we do right now.”

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New hope for beetle-killed landscapes

Can native forest fungi combat the West’s bark beetle epidemic?
High Country News
February 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

From the air, they look like brittle, dead landscapes: millions of acres of scratchy brown pipe cleaners and toothpick logs. Since the 1990s, naturally-occurring bark beetles have multiplied under the effects of drought, climate change and fire-repressed forests, leading to outbreaks that have ravaged forests and left land managers scrambling to deal with a glut of dead trees. But 2015 may prove a turning point. The first hopeful news comes from the lab of Richard Hofstetter, a forest entomologist at Northern Arizona University. Working with a private company called Montana BioAgriculture, Hofstetter has identified a deadly strain of the Beauveria bassiana fungus that kills 80 to 90 percent of pine beetles, one of the most destructive bark beetle species of recent years.

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Daines pushing phony forestry

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

Recently, papers in northwest Montana have carried articles about U.S. Sen. Steve Daines trumpeting the need for “forest reform” and a “balance” between natural resource protection and resource extraction. But for Daines and much of the conservative right wing, the only “balance” they’re after is a balance between industrial logging, mining, oil and gas drilling, and the motorized/mechanized exploitation of public lands for private profit. Lost in the shuffle are inconvenient things like clean water and air, and intact wildlife habitat.

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Public lands: Industry opposition says it all

Letter by Jim Thornton
The Missoulian
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I am writing this to be added to the long, long list of people – hikers, trail riders, hunters, anglers and timber harvesters – who oppose Sen. Jennifer Fiedler’s bills to transfer federal lands to the state. I believe her intentions are good, trying to improve conditions for her friends and neighbors whose lives have been severely disrupted by the downturn in the timber industry. But the fact that she has proposed not one but seven different bills to address this issue proves just how complicated it is. And let’s not ignore the fact that many of the groups she claims will be helped by her “fix,” including the Montana Hunters and Anglers Association, and Montana Wood Products Association, are completely opposed to it, and wish it would go away and die a quiet death.

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Montana senator twice gets his facts wrong on timber sales and litigation

The Washington Post
February 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Our inbox started flowing with e-mails from outraged residents of Montana shortly after Montana Public Radio ran an interview in which Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) asserted that “every logging sale” in the state was “under litigation.” The complaints also reached the radio station, as within a day, Tester’s staff offered a revised statement that focused on “volume” rather than sales. Marnee Banks, his spokeswoman, apologized for the original statement, but Tester himself made no comment. But when we asked Tester’s staff for evidence to back up the revised statement, they simply directed us to the U.S. Forest Service, rather than explain the data themselves. It’s taken a few days to unravel the numbers, but this is a case of apples and oranges, with a few limes thrown in.

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Logging: Senators spreading misinformation

Letter by Keith J. Hammer
The Missoulian
February 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester are spreading misinformation in their bid to pump up logging of federal lands. They are doing industry’s bidding and they don’t seem to care if their rate of logging public forests violates environmental laws or not. …Daines wants to force citizens to post a large bond in order to sue the Forest Service, undermining the Equal Access to Justice Act in an effort to make it impossible for David to take on Goliath when environmental laws are being broken. Nonprofit conservation groups already have plenty invested in attending field tours, studying environmental documents and attempting to reach agreement with the Forest Service prior to filing any necessary lawsuits. Public lands can’t afford to have nonprofits and citizens priced out of their right to due process.

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Public lands: State does better job managing

Letter by Mark A. Agather
The Missoulian
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

“Keep our public lands public” is a catchy phrase but it has nothing to do with reality. Instead, this phrase was carefully crafted by liberals to deceive and mislead the public in the debate over the bill sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Fielder that would allow Montanans to regain our land from the federal government. The phrase implies our state government might sell off some of our public land to private entities, even though the bill now expressly forbids such action. The actual fight is between the far left who want to keep our public lands locked up, and those of us who think they should be managed correctly for the benefit of all Montanans, not just a few rich liberals.

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Federal Funds to Benefit Forest Health in the Prescott Basin

KNAU and Arizona News
February 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Three-quarters of a million dollars will be spent to thin more than 2,300 acres of forest land near Prescott. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, in recent years the wooded areas surrounding the city have become especially fire-prone. The Prescott Basin Cross Boundary Project is one of 15 sites nationally that will benefit from the federal funds. It’ll involve thinning treatments and prescribed burns on public land and private property bordering the forest. Chronic drought and decades of fire suppression in the Prescott Basin has led to increasingly unhealthy forest conditions. Long-term buildup of fuel and a high tree density has caused the threat of catastrophic wildfire to dramatically increase.

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Forest safety paradigm shift from international experts

Scoop Independent News
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

After a horror year of workplace fatalities in 2013, New Zealand’s forest industry performed superbly in 2014, both in terms of safety and wood production. The credit for the dramatic turnaround in safety performance has to go to the people on the forest floor. These hard-working people were the same ones who made their voice heard at the Independent Forest Safety Review. They did it to ensure workplaces in forestry could be safer for everyone.  On 3-4th March, the FIEA Forest Industry Safety Summit for Rotorua brings three big safety leaders for forestry. Every single one of them has a reputation for being respected change agents in safety in forestry in North America… Reynold Hert chairs the British Columbia Forest Safety Council in Canada and has a track record of implementing change in safety records of forest companies there.

Forest Safety Council Underway from Scoop.co.nz 

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Brazil detains man accused of being Amazon’s biggest deforester

CTV News
February 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Brazil has detained a land-grabber thought to be the Amazon’s single biggest deforester, the country’s environmental protection agency said. The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources said Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, who was detained Saturday in the state of Para, operated a network that illegally seized federal lands, clear-cut them and sold them to cattle grazers. The agency blames the network for 20 per cent of the deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon in recent years, though the statement issued Monday did not provide the estimated scale of the devastation.

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Inaugural Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award Winners Announced

Institute of Chartered Foresters
February 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Four top students from the UK and Canada have been selected as the first recipients of The Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award. Keira Tedd and David Johnes, both hailing from University of Cumbria, beat off stiff competition from UK applicants, while Jaqueline Hamilton, of The University of Toronto, and Ross Hobbs, The University of Alberta, were selected as the two Canadian winners. Endorsed by HRH The Prince of Wales, and delivered in partnership by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF), the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF-IFC), and the Duchy of Cornwall, the award recognises young forestry professionals in Canada and the United Kingdom who possess a dedication to sustainable forestry and the skills and aptitude to become our future forest leaders.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

‘Unacceptable Risk’: Climate change? These filmmakers asked Colorado wildland firefighters

Colorado Independent
February 24, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

When we decided to produce Unacceptable Risk, we knew that firefighters were not particularly inclined to get involved in political debates about whether cap and trade was better than a carbon tax, or if renewable energies could reliably compete with fossil fuels for our energy needs. What we hoped, however, was that these wildland firefighters could tell us what it was like to be, literally, on the front lines of climate change. They could, indeed. When we sat down with the career firefighters who star in this film, they were forthright and articulate, not about any scientific studies they’d read about the human-causes of climate change, but about what they’d personally experienced during their careers. 

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