Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 15, 2015

Froggy Foibles

Tree is Not Going Down Without a Fight

LiveLeak.com
April 14, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles

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Business & Politics

Trade commission opts to continue investigation on supercalendered paper

Pulp and Paper Canada
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct an investigation on imports of supercalendered paper from Canada, following a decision by the United States International Trade Commission on April 10. The USITC has decided that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by imports of supercalendered paper from Canada that the petitioning group alleges are subsidized by the government of Canada. The Department of Commerce’s preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about May 22, 2015.

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Kamloops council sets 2015 tax rate

Kamloops This Week
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

… Property taxes will rise 1.22 per cent but, because of a decision to freeze the mill rate for the city’s heavy industries for a third year in a row, other taxpayers will pay a bit extra, about $34 for a home assessed at $344,000, which is the average in Kamloops. The freeze amounts to $272,000 saved for heavy industry — a tax class that includes Domtar, Tolko, Arclin and Lafarge and which has been lobbying for a decreased rate per $1,000 of assessed property for several years. The lower rate would bring the city in line with the provincial average, whch is less than two-thirds of what industries in Kamloops pay.

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Varney invests in Matériaux Blanchet in Québec

St. John Valley Times
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT KENT, Maine – Varney Companies announced on Monday, April 13, that it has made an investment in Matériaux Blanchet Inc., one of Québec Canada’s largest independent sawmill operators, according to an April 13 press release issued by the company… “This acquisition gives Varney Agency an international opportunity to expand our insurance offerings as well as our forestry insurance business, American Loggers Insurance Program, north of the border into Canada,” said Tim Varney, Varney Agency’s president and chief executive officer, according to the release. 

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A forestry contractor perspective on Northern Pulp

The News
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

This will provide some recent history, summarize contribution to the Nova Scotia economy and voice concern about the future of our industry. In particular it will address risks inherent in the current impasse over the Industrial Approval Permit for Northern… We believe Nova Scotia markets for our round wood product are being unnecessarily threatened by persistent anti-resource and anti-large corporation bias in Nova Scotia. For example, Chronicle Herald articles on timber allocation from former Bowater lands, now Crown, in western N.S. to Paper Excellence Canada Holdings, (Northern), reports the Ecology Action Centre is “outraged” over Northern’s Crown allocation. 

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Construction Materials Prices See Largest Monthly Increase in More Than Two Years

Associated Builders and Contractors
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded 0.8% in March, the largest monthly increase in more than two years, according to the April 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices have now expanded for two consecutive months after declining during the prior six; however input prices are down 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. “Although overall construction materials prices rose for the month, prices for more categories of materials decreased than increased, including sharp monthly declines in the price for softwood lumber and iron/steel,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

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Swanson mill gets tax break

County commissioners grant a five-year property tax exemption on a plant that will replace one that burned
The Register-Guard
April 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Swanson Group secured a hefty tax break Tuesday when Lane County commissioners granted a five-year property tax exemption on its new plywood mill in Springfield. The company will begin construction this summer on a 330,000-square-foot mill at the same location where a massive fire burned its old mill to the ground on July 17. County commissioners thanked Swanson officials for deciding to rebuild the mill in Lane County. The vote to grant the exemption was unanimous. “We cheer pretty loudly when we bring in companies from out of the area,” Commissioner Pat Farr said before the vote, “and we should cheer even more loudly when locals are champ­ioning bringing high-paying jobs into our market.”

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Tester helps secure $250,000 for SmartLam

Daily Inter Lake
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., helped secure a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for SmartLam, a cross-laminated timber manufacturer and distributor in Columbia Falls. In January, Tester wrote a letter of support for SmartLam’s Wood Innovations Planning Grant application. The grant was announced last week. “The folks at SmartLam are producing a unique product, and these additional resources will help them continue to grow and hire folks in the Flathead Valley,” Tester said in a news release. “Successful operations like SmartLam continue to show the country the high quality businesses here in Montana.”

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Mondi to permanently close Finnish kraft paper mill

PulpaperNews.com
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Mondi Group has announced plans for the permanent shut-down of the Lohja specialty kraft paper mill in Finland. Mondi cites the site’s prolonged poor financial performance as the reason for the planned shut-down. According to Euwid, the closure will affect a total of 170 people. The Lohja mill near Helsinki Mondi produces coated and uncoated machine-glazed specialty kraft papers for the release liner markets and for the medical, food service and food packaging industry.

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Treemetrics branches out in €1m space agency deal

April 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International


Treemetric’s latest major contract continues the Cork-based company’s upward trajectory over the past number of years and brings to €2m the combined value of deals struck in the last 12 months. In addition to the European Space Agency (ESA) contract, Treemetrics extended its reach across Europe with a deal in the Romanian market worth €500,000 and others across the EU totalling the same amount. This is the second time the ESA has turned to Treemetrics, having worked with the Irish company on an €800,000 deal in 2012.

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Promoting the attributes of Australia’s forest industry

Parliamentry Secretary to Agriculture
April 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, today opened the Australia New Zealand Institute of Foresters conference in Victoria and used his speech to urge professional forest scientists to speak up and promote the attributes of the industry. Senator Colbeck said the Australian forest and forest products industries are sustainably managed and have a good story to share with the broader community. “This is an industry that has unfairly suffered from misinformation and fear campaigns for many years. So I urge professional forest scientists to use their voice and deal with some of the myths and scare campaigns that are out there. We have a positive story to share and we need to be speaking up,” he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

University Researchers – a Big Boost for Innovation

Forest Products Association of Canada
April 13, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Collaboration and partnership are important to any successful venture. Gurminder Minhas, Managing director at Performance BioFilaments, sums up why collaboration is so important to the future of the forest products industry… In the past few years, the academic researchers have been working hard to further align their work with forest companies with an eye to accelerating commercialization. It is exciting to witness this increase in receptor capacity on behalf of industry. Take my own company, Performance BioFilaments, a joint venture between Mercer International Inc. and Resolute Forest Products, focused on the development of high-value commercial applications for cellulose filaments, one of the world’s most dynamic new biomaterials.

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Canadian architect Tye Farrow backs ‘total health’ buildings

The Sydney Morning Herald
April 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

In pushing innovative ideas about design and construction, visiting Canadian architect Tye Farrow is a realist: a project must still be affordable and be built on time. That’s not so easy when the new approach is quite abstract. “Our focus is on the idea of ‘Cause Health’. How can we, by what we do through the built environment, begin to enhance people’s ability to thrive?”… Mr Farrow, who is on a lecture tour of Australia at the invitation of WoodSolutions, said the concept of total health was reflected in New York state’s active design guidelines… Mr Farrow said.Studies on wood by Planet Ark – collecting information from Japan and Austria – showed health and well-being benefits similar to those created by spending time in nature.

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Wood is the new steel

The Walrus
April 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

In Okanagan Falls, BC, between a leafy vineyard and a former sawmill, stands the newly expanded factory of Structurlam Wood Products. In preparation for North America’s next building boom, the plant has been transformed into a state-of-the-art factory for making glulam and cross-laminated timber (CLT), the materials that make timber-frame high-rises a viable building option, thewalrus.ca reports. Outside the main entrance, Structurlam president Bill Downing is surveying the Douglas fir glulam stacked on flatbed trucks, which await transfer to the finishing plant twenty kilometres north in Penticton. 

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New guide available for mid-rise wood structures

Daily Commercial News
April 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The construction of Ontario’s first six-storey wood frame building is moving forward in Hamilton, while a new reference guide that explains provisions in the building code for these structures is now available to the industry. “This is a significant step forward for our community and I’m thrilled that we were the first Ontario municipality to sign off on a permit for this new hotel project,” said Ed VanderWindt, Hamilton’s chief building official in a statement. A permit of the first six-storey wood frame structure was issued by the City of Hamilton late last month.

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Beam Me Up

April 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

…Today’s CLT panels can be thirty centimetres thick and eighteen metres long; when used in tandem with contemporary glulam beams and other wood products, mass-timber frameworks approach the load-bearing strength of old-growth timber, concrete, and steel. In Japan, rigorous seismic testing that replicates the effects of the 1995 Kobe earthquake has shown them to be as strong and resilient as those made of more conventional materials. And their large, thick components are much more fire-resistant than traditional two-by-fours, which have greater surface areas to feed the flames. Light a fire under a glulam beam or a CLT panel, and it would take hours to ignite. By then, the fire department would long since have arrived.

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Do New Jersey’s building codes need to be reformed in light of massive Edgewater fire?

NJ.com
April 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The massive fire that destroyed the Avalon apartment complex in Edgewater in January has prompted political, industry and civilian action that could change the way builders construct similar types of multi-family, multi-story housing in New Jersey. For now, the question seems to be how far reforms may go following the Jan. 21 blaze, which destroyed 240 apartments and displaced about 1,000 residents, hundreds permanently… The measure says the ban, lasting up to two years, would be imposed if officials evaluate lightweight construction methods and decide they are not “appropriately safe.”.. The state chapter of the American Institute of Architects also is planning to weigh in with a white paper on recommended code changes to be issued next month.

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Forestry

Salomon Freeski TV shows value of forestry

COFI
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Do you use ski? Snowboard? Hike, bike, camp, or use the backcountry in any one of a diverse array of ways? If you do, then it’s likely you have the forest industry to thank for the ease of access you have to your favourite playground.

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Genome of the Destructive Mountain Pine Beetle Decoded

University of BC
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The genome of the mountain pine beetle – the insect that has devastated B.C.’s lodgepole pine forests – has been decoded by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre. This is a first for the mountain pine beetle and only the second beetle genome ever sequenced. The first was the red flour beetle, a pest of stored grains. The genome is described in a study published Tuesday in the journal Genome Biology. “We know a lot about what the beetles do,” says Christopher Keeling, a research associate in Prof. Joerg Bohlmann’s lab at the Michael Smith Laboratories. “But without the genome, we don’t know exactly how they do it.” “Sequencing the mountain pine beetle genome provides new information that can be used to help manage the epidemic in the future.”

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BC Forest Safety Council Issues Alert After Second Fatality Of Year

250 News
April 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, BC – While the RCMP and BC Coroner’s Service continue to investigate, the BC Forest Safety Council has issued an industry alert, after a forestry worker was killed on a resource road in the Smithers area earlier this month. On Saturday, April 6th, 61-year-old William Edward Gush of Telkwa was killed as he stood beside his parked pick-up truck on Babine Lake Road. His truck was hit by a second pick-up traveling in the same direction. (click here, for previous story) The BCFSC says the two trucks had been traveling together for work purposes. The Council says this is the second direct harvesting fatality of 2015 – both have been motor vehicle incidents.

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Wildwood property offer not accepted by TLC

Nanaimo Daily News
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A non-profit organization that Merv Wilkinson had a hand in creating to care for his demonstration forest will not have its purchase offer for his Wildwood property considered. The Ecosforestry Institute Society recently announced it had raised $600,000 in donated and borrowed money to buy the Wildwood forest from The Land Conservancy, which is in financial hardship and is selling off properties it controls. With negotiations underway with another buyer, the TLC says it is unable to consider new offers. The property is considered a model of sustainable forestry.

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Pikes Peak region tree planting an effort to fast forward nature

The Gazette
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

… The U.S. Forest Service has steadily replanted ponderosas for years in the fire-ravaged forests west of Colorado Springs, an often dry region with rocky soil that makes replanting after a fire difficult. The Forest Service is trying to fast-forward time in three major burn scars across five counties where ponderosas would normally take decades to regrow. On their own, ponderosas would slowly spread across a forest 50 feet at a time roughly every 75 years, but with catastrophic flash flooding along U.S. Highway 24, the Forest Service doesn’t have decades to wait for the trees to spread.

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County timber aid receives final congressional approval; brings $95 million to Oregon this year

The Oregonian
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Legislation that revives crucial federal aid payments for timber-dependent counties in Oregon won final congressional approval late Tuesday night. The timber county aid, totaling about $185 million to Oregon this year and next, was in a bill passed by the Senate on a 92-8 vote that resolved a long dilemma over Medicare payments to doctors. The aid goes in some degree to almost all Oregon counties, but it’s a particularly important part of local government budgets in the heavily forested counties of southwestern Oregon that have seen their economies up-ended by the sharp decline in logging on federal lands.

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Embracing Forest Collaboration: Part 2: An Interview With Mike Petersen

Evergreen Magazine
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Four years ago, Mike Petersen, Executive Director of the Spokane-based Lands Council, told his organization’s Board of Directors they needed to shelve their litigation strategy, forsake their “no federal forest management” stance and embrace forest collaboration. In this interview, Mr. Petersen explains why he recommended such a startling turnabout, and his hopes that collaborating with the Council’s former adversaries will yield better outcomes for the Council and the region’s federal forests.

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Montana House panel OKs shorter reappraisal cycle for properties other than timber lands

The Missoulian
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA – The House Taxation Committee on Tuesday backed a bill to shorten the reappraisal cycle for certain classes of property, but voted to keep forest lands on a six-year cycle. Forest industry representatives had urged the committee to amend those lands out of the proposed two-year reappraisal cycle. The committee, on a 14-6 vote, supported an amendment by Rep. Kelly Flynn, R-Townsend, to keep forest lands on a six-year cycle instead of moving to a two-year cycle. Without the amendment, he said, Montana would be the only state where forest lands would be on a two-year cycle.

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Biologists Recommend Removing Oregon Wolves From Endangered List

Oregon Public Broadcasting
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State biologists are telling the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission there’s enough evidence to consider taking the gray wolf off the state endangered species list. A draft status review was posted Tuesday on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website with materials for the commission’s next meeting. Russ Morgan is the wolf program coordinator for the department. “Wolves are actually doing very well. And so the place we are right now is actually a good thing. Wolves are going to be continued to be maintained in this state in a healthy way I’m sure,” Morgan said.

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Big trees on North Kaibab get collaborative planning

AZ Daily Sun
April 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The goal of preserving the ponderosa pine forests that so awed Dutton is driving a new forest restoration project planned for 28,000 acres of the Kaibab Plateau. The project, called the Burnt Corral Vegetation Management Plan, is one of a few efforts on the Kaibab National Forest to create forest restoration plans and projects with a new level of dedication to stakeholder input. And while pursuing the same goals as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, it does so in an entirely different manner, said Tom Sisk, director of Northern Arizona University’s Landscape Conservation Initiative, which helped facilitate much of the recent collaborative work.

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A Legacy Worth Reflecting On: Heirs Property Preservation for African Americans in the U.S. South

SFI Blog
April 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Research shows that loss of land and declining asset values among African American forestland owners in the U.S. South is at a critical level. For a wide variety of reasons, traditional approaches to engage these landowners on forestland preservation have fallen short. Land-loss rates among African-American landowners are as much as 30% greater than other family forestland owners across the country, according to research from Shorna Allred anAssociate Professor in Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

City will require new downtown buildings to hook up to district energy plant

Vancouver Sun
April 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver will insist that new buildings in most areas of the downtown peninsula by hooked up to a low-carbon alternative-energy utility. The requirement, which will cover northeast False Creek, Chinatown, the West End and Downtown South, is part of the city’s greenhouse-gas reduction plan. The city has reserved a large piece of city-owned land for the energy provider, Creative Energy Canada Platforms Corp, to build a new energy centre that would produce heat from biofuel such as wood chips. The land is in the False Creek Flats.

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Wood waste won’t heat arena

Vernon Morning Star
April 15, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wood waste won’t be used to fuel recreational facilities in Lumby. The White Valley, Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee voted Monday not to develop a biomass heating system for facilities such as the Pat Duke Memorial Arena and the curling club. “It’s something we can revisit in the future but currently it’s not financially viable,” said director Randal Ostafichuk. In 2013, the Village of Lumby initiated a feasibility study for using wood waste to heat public buildings round Oval Park. However, a number of factors have occurred since the report was put together.

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Ochoco wins grant for wood innovation

Blue Mountain Eagle
April 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

JOHN DAY – Ochoco Lumber Co. will receive a $25,000 Cohesive Wildfire Strategy grant to explore a new biomass development. The company is one of four operations chosen for a total of $110,000 in grants targeted at biomass use, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. The funding comes from the U.S. Forest Service. Ochoco, which operates its sawmill and pellet-biomass operation in John Day, received the grant to explore the commercial viability of a torrefied wood facility in Grant County.

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General

Treemetrics branches out in €1m space agency deal

April 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorised


Treemetric’s latest major contract continues the Cork-based company’s upward trajectory over the past number of years and brings to €2m the combined value of deals struck in the last 12 months. In addition to the European Space Agency (ESA) contract, Treemetrics extended its reach across Europe with a deal in the Romanian market worth €500,000 and others across the EU totalling the same amount. This is the second time the ESA has turned to Treemetrics, having worked with the Irish company on an €800,000 deal in 2012.

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Beam Me Up

April 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

…Today’s CLT panels can be thirty centimetres thick and eighteen metres long; when used in tandem with contemporary glulam beams and other wood products, mass-timber frameworks approach the load-bearing strength of old-growth timber, concrete, and steel. In Japan, rigorous seismic testing that replicates the effects of the 1995 Kobe earthquake has shown them to be as strong and resilient as those made of more conventional materials. And their large, thick components are much more fire-resistant than traditional two-by-fours, which have greater surface areas to feed the flames. Light a fire under a glulam beam or a CLT panel, and it would take hours to ignite. By then, the fire department would long since have arrived.

Read More