Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 26, 2015

Business & Politics

Conifex joins B.C. lumber producers bound for U.S. south

BY DERRICK PENNER
Vancouver Sun
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Acquisition of Arkansas sawmill comes as pine beetle reduces province’s timber supply. Conifex Timber Inc. CEO Ken Shields’ rationale for his company’s decision to spend US$21 million to buy a mothballed Arkansas sawmill sounds like a wake up call to a British Columbia forestry sector grappling with mounting challenges. “The U.S. south has overtaken the interior region of B.C. as the dominant, low-cost lumber supply region of North America,” Shields said to analysts on the call. The reasons why have to do with the aftermath of the mountain pine beetle infestation, Shields said. It is increasingly expensive to secure decent saw logs from B.C.’s shrinking short-term timber base, while U.S. southern-yellow-pine plantations planted in recent decades are coming into their prime.

Read More

Planning is key for Irving pulp mill modernization

Pulp and Paper Canada
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Irving Pulp & Paper mill is in the midst of what could be the largest modernization project in Canada since 1993, and yet the daily operation of the Saint John, N.B., mill continues.  “We have not had a single break in production,” said mill manager Cory Gallant. “Despite the incredible amount of construction activity on site, we have remained fully functional with over 340 employees producing pulp products every day for markets at home and abroad.” Gallant says excellent communication between mill employees and project leaders has made the difference. “Around here we say we have two groups on site, but one team,” Gallant said.

Read More

Skilled trades shortage impacting forestry rebound

Northern Ontario Business
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forestry workers union head said there’s a plethora of well-paying mill jobs to be had in northwestern Ontario, but many employers are struggling to find skilled jobs to fill them. “We’re hearing it all across the district that there’s definitely a lack of qualified tradespeople that are available to be hired,” said Stephen Boon, the national representative for Unifor, based in Dryden. As the forest industry rebounds and sawmills start reopening, company recruiters have opening in the skilled positions that pay in the $40 an hour range, but there simply aren’t the bodies available locally to fill the positions.

Read More

Hardwood facility purchased by B.C. investors

Northern Ontario Business
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

When True North Hardwood Plywood closed in 2013, 240 people lost their jobs and Cochrane lost one of its biggest economic generators. But a new company is taking its chances on the facility, bringing with it the promise of employment and long-term potential. Rockshield Plywood Corp., a subsidy of the B.C.-based investment firm Rockshield Capital Corp., acquired the facility in April, investing more than $11 million — a combination of private capital, bank loans, and government grants and loans — in its purchase and the startup of operations. The mill, now called Rockshield Engineered Wood Products (REWP), will produce aspen core plywood. It started back up in May, creating work for more than 100 employees.

Read More

Sault biotech firm gets research funding

Northern Ontario Business
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


A Sault Ste. Marie pest management firm received federal funding to search for the next generation of organic tree pesticides. BioForest Technologies and company president Joe Meating want to dive deep into tree chemistry with an eye on producing new pest control tools. The growing 25-employee company has received much media attention for bringing TreeAzin to market, a bio-product that safeguards trees from invasive and damaging insect species like the emerald ash borer.

Read More

3 Stocks to Watch for a Housing Recovery

Suffield Times
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The housing market has a disproportionate impression on the U.S. financial system. That is as a result of so many issues go into constructing a home and turning it into a house. Buyers will need to watch corporations like residence builder NVR and lumber firm Weyerhaeuser Co for a housing restoration, however you also needs to control retailers like House Depot. ….Demand from the homebuilding market tends to be the driving pressure for Weyerhaeuser’s prime and backside strains. For instance, lumber makes up round half of the corporate’s prime line. Log gross sales, which frequently get was lumber some place else, make up one other 20% or so. So, a housing market upturn will certainly have a huge impact on Weyerhaeuser.

Read More

Rentech Announces Organizational Changes to Improve Performance of Fibre Business

Business Wire
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

LOS ANGELES–Rentech, Inc. today announced organizational changes designed to improve the operations and execution capabilities of its fibre operations. Sean Ebnet is no longer serving as the senior vice president of wood fibre and his last day with the Company will be September 30, 2015. Steve Roberts, managing director of Canada, who has led the team responsible for establishing and maintaining customer and commercial relationships for Rentech’s industrial wood pellet business, will now also lead growth initiatives for this segment of our fibre business. Mr. Roberts has an extensive background in the forest industry, with specific experience in operations management, biomass supply chain management and business development.

Read More

Port exports down 19 percent

Longview Daily News
August 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Exports at Port of Longview continued to tumble this year, dragging down overall cargo activity in spite of a dramatic increase in imports, according to a new report released Tuesday. The volume of goods exported fell 19 percent in the first six months of the year as log and grain markets continued to suffer from the strong U.S. dollar and growing competition from abroad, port officials said… Meanwhile, log exports at the port plummeted 49 percent as West Coast logs are edged out by cheaper Russian and New Zealand products.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Northside craftsman loves all things connected to wood

Cape Breton Post
August 25, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Standing in his showroom surrounded by countless clocks and woodcarvings, master craftsman Eugene Ramsey unlocks a cabinet revealing the trophy he designed and handcrafted for the Johnny Miles Road Race. “I’ve made finely crafted furniture, restored vintage wood period pieces and made everything from simple mantle clocks to majestic grandfather clocks, but I’m most passionate about the Johnny Miles memorial trophy.”

Read More

Cement association slams Quebec wood guide

Journal of Commerce
August 25, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is unhappy with the new building guide in Quebec allowing 12-storey wood structures. The group alleges the guide is part of a pro-wood agenda and potentially puts the public at risk. However, the organization behind the guide is not addressing the allegations head on. “As a research institute, who focuses on scientific evidence, we prefer to stay out of public debates of this type,” said Terry Knee, director of communications for FPInnovations, the private research centre hired by the Quebec government to produce the guide.

Read More

USA: Hardwood plywood imports stable

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
August 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

USA imports of hardwood plywood remained at virtually the same level as the preceding year in the first six months at 1.592m m³. According to information supplied by the US Department of Agriculture (FAS), significant changes vis à vis the preceding year were recorded, however, with regard to individual regions of supply. There is a decline, for example, in deliveries from South America (-59%) and from south-east Asia (-14%). The decline in imports from south-east Asia is principally due to a reduction in deliveries from Indonesia (-16%) and Vietnam (-34%). By contrast, there was an increase in deliveries of hardwood plywood to the USA from China (+11%) and from Russia (+10%), following a decline of 8% in volumes from Russia in the first quarter. END OF STORY

Read More

Grading Boards at the Lumber Mill

Vermont’s Independent Voice – Seven Days
August 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

At the family-owned Manchester Lumber Company in Johnson, rough-cut wood moves along a massive machinery line to pass inspection and receive a grade. Chan Bullard can rate a board of birch in less than five seconds. Sitting above the machinery in his small office built of plywood, Plexiglas and exposed insulation, he watches the line of hardwood boards to assess their square footage and condition. It is uncomfortably loud here, so Bullard wears neon-colored earplugs. The machinery’s movement is mesmerizing. Bullard, 43, who lives in Eden, grades the boards based on the “cutting unit” of the wood — that is, the surface area of clear wood between the defects, knots or splits, for example. 

Read More

Forestry

Forest Restoration Contractor Bedeviled By Breakdowns

Payson Roundup
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Good Earth Power Arizona has finally started cutting and processing trees in its Four Forest Restoration Initiative contract, but remains bedeviled by breakdowns and skepticism. The company has thousands of acres worth of thinning projects underway, but suffered another setback in the form of a breakdown of the two giant machines that can strip branches from a 50-foot-tall tree in a single violent motion. The two months it has spent rebuilding and repairing the two “de-limbers” has slowed an array of thinning projects, according to the company’s August update on its progress.

Read More

Berkeley: Protesters target Sierra Club on tree cutting plan

Daily Democrat News
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BERKELEY — Nearly 100 environmental activists threw some fuel on a fiery controversy over a multiagency plan to remove eucalyptus and other trees in the East Bay hills. In doing so they targeted one of the longest-running environmental groups around — the Sierra Club. Some chanting, beating drums and carrying signs, local environmentalists burned about a dozen Sierra Club membership cards outside the organization’s San Francisco Bay Area Chapter office on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. …Activists said they staged the protest because they are outraged at what they believe is the Sierra Club’s endorsement of clear cutting thousands of trees in the hills. They also believe the Sierra Club supports use of herbicides to control regrowth of the trees after they are cut down.

Read More

Pest Alert: Emerald Green Borer Arrives, Threatens Princeton’s Ash Trees

Town Topics Princeton
August 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Princeton is known for its many tree-lined streets. The municipality earned Tree City USA status almost 20 years ago from the Arbor Day Foundation. Today, some of those trees are being threatened by a small invasive beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Princeton’s Shade Tree Commission and Lorraine Konopka, the municipal arborist, have been keeping a close eye on the spread of this dangerous new pest in Princeton. The EAB may look rather innocuous in the stock photo shown here but the non-native has already killed tens of millions of Ash trees in the United States. First discovered in Michigan in 2002, EABs have since been found to have infested 23 other states and two Canadian provinces. …One way to avoid spreading the infestation is to avoid moving firewood. 

Read More

Short-rotation trees hold promise for Louisiana landowners

LSU AgCenter
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

POLLOCK — A movement in Europe from coal to wood-fired electric generation has created a worldwide market for wood pellets, according to experts at a recent symposium. Planting and managing short-rotation stands of fast-growing hardwood tree species can help meet demands for wood pellets and similar products made from small diameter, pulpwood-sized trees in some regions, said AgCenter forestry researcher Mike Blazier. The wood pellet industry in Europe is growing in an effort to reduce greenhouse gasses, said Rich Vlosky, director of the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center in the LSU AgCenter.

Read More

Albuquerque mayor urges Forest Service to withdraw proposal

KRQE News 13
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – The mayor of New Mexico’s largest city is urging the U.S. Forest Service to withdraw consideration of a potential wilderness designation that he says would limit the public’s access to a popular recreation area bordering Albuquerque. Mayor Richard Berry sent a letter to the supervisor of the Cibola National Forest on Monday. He says the way the plan stands now would completely dismantle existing trails for outdoor enthusiasts.

Read More

Emerald ash borer infestation found in Scott County

KARE 11 St. Paul Minneapolis
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A destructive bug that has infested trees in other parts of the Twin Cities metro has moved to Scott County. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) confirmed Tuesday that an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation has been located in a tree on private property in the city of Prior Lake. The infested tree was detected through a call to the MDA’s Arrest the Pest information phone line. Arrest the Pest allows concerned residents to report suspicious invasive plants and insects, like the emerald ash borer. Based on the call, MDA staff was able to visit the site and determine that the suspected ash tree was indeed infested with EAB.

Read More

Plan to boost red squirrel numbers in Scotland

BBC News
August 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Small numbers of red squirrels are to be trapped and relocated to new areas under a plan to boost numbers of the mammal in Scotland. Trees for Life and the Highland Foundation for Wildlife hope to introduce the native species to 10 locations. They said squirrels would be “collected” from healthy populations in Moray and around Inverness. The 10 relocation sites have still to be confirmed. Red squirrels face threats from habitat loss and non-native grey squirrels which compete with them for food and can pass on diseases.

Read More

How could a tree make tramadol?

Chemistry World
August 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Researchers in France, Switzerland and Cameroon are convinced that the African pin-cushion tree produces the well-known painkiller Tramadol and are determined to prove it. Back in 2013, a team led by neuroscientist Michel de Waard, of the Joseph Fourier University, claimed that significant quantities of the drug were present in the root bark extract of Nauclea latifolia, which has long been used by locals in West and Central Africa to treat pain and disease. …‘The report not only showcases a biomimetic synthesis of a natural product; more importantly, the synthesis in turn provides strong support for the proposed biosynthetic pathways of tramadol,’ comments Zhiqiang Ma, a research fellow in the department of biochemistry at the University of Texas Souhtwestern Medical Centre, US.

Read More

Deforestation in Mexico Butterfly Reserve Nearly Triples

CTV News
August 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Illegal logging has almost tripled in the monarch butterfly’s wintering grounds In central Mexico, reversing several years of steady improvements, investigators announced Tuesday. Almost all of the loss occurred in just one rural hamlet in the state of Michoacan. Loggers cut down 47 acres (19 hectares) of trees in San Felipe de los Alzati since last year’s gathering of butterflies, while little was lost in 31 other communities. A total of 52 acres (21 hectares) of forest were lost overall. That’s the highest figure since 2011, well above the 20 acres (8 hectares) lost a year earlier, according to the announcement by the World Wildlife fund and the Institute of Biology of Mexico’s National Autonomous University.

Read More

Forestry pioneer loved the outdoors

New Zealand Herald
August 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Paul Kibblewhite was “probably the most amazing scientist Scion and Rotorua has ever had”. He was also a family man who had a massive enthusiasm for the outdoors, including tramping, gardening, sailing or travelling. Dr Kibblewhite was also blind and was accompanied on his adventures by wife Leonie and his guide dog. He died on Friday aged 74. His service on Monday was standing room only as family, former colleagues and friends from all aspects of his life gathered to farewell the revered scientist. …Dr Kibblewhite was awarded an MBE in 1993 for his research on wood fibre and kraft pulp. He was regarded as the world’s leading researcher on the forms of wood fibre from radiata pine. …Dr Burton said Dr Kibblewhite started at what was originally the Forest Research Institute way back in 1968 and retired in 2009.

Read More

Forest Fires

Penticton man fighting U.S. wildfires

Penticton Western News
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

You can hear the strain in Tracey Bonneau’s normally cheery voice as she talks about her son Colt Jack, who is fighting forest fires in Washington state. “I just messaged him this morning to stay hydrated and think clearly,” said Bonneau, adding that she has asked her 19-year-old son to contact her at least once a day. “I have just been saying prayers and staying calm, because I know he must be exhausted. I know he is working hard alongside everyone else.” Fighting forest fires is dangerous work, a fact made clear by the deaths of three firefighters last Wednesday near Twisp, Wa. Tom Zbyszewski, Rick Wheeler and Andrew Zajac were likely overtaken by flames after their vehicle crashed while heading out to attack a blaze threatening the town.

Read More

Port Renfrew-Lake Cowichan road reopens

Victoria Times Colonist
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews have gained enough control of a human-caused forest fire near Lizard Lake to reopen the Pacific Marine Road that runs about 60 kilometres between Port Renfrew and the Town of Lake Cowichan. The fire has been burning for about two weeks, approximately 11.5 kilometres northeast of Port Renfrew, and the road has been closed almost from the beginning. It is part of the Pacific Marine Circle Route connecting Victoria, Sooke, Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan and Duncan. The opening of the connector route was effective as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, said Coastal Fire Centre fire information officer Marg Drysdale. “The public is restricted from access to anything but the highway through,” Drysdale said.

Read More

EDITORIAL: Salute those fighting wildfires

Black Press in BC Local News
August 26, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The deaths of three firefighters in Washington State are a reminder of how much these brave people are putting on the line, on both sides of the border. Last Wednesday, three U.S. Forest Service firefighters died after their vehicle crashed and was likely caught by flames as they battled the Okanogan complex of fires near the town of Twisp. Four other firefighters were injured including one that was taken to hospital in critical condition. They were on the initial attack, trying to stop a fire before it could threaten nearby communities – in some cases, their hometown. Firefighters know how dangerous their jobs can be, whether it is day-to-day operations of our local department or forestry service crews battling major wildfires. But it’s so very easy for the public to take their work for granted, and it’s stunning when such a tragedy happens. Considering the level of danger, it is amazing that relatively few are lost.

Read More

Fire crews eye weather as heat, wind build in parts of West

Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Firefighters in Washington state kept a wary eye Tuesday on rising temperatures and winds that threatened to expand what’s already the largest wildfire on record in the state. Similar concerns existed in Southern California, where temperatures up to 106 were forecast for interior valleys and deserts — conditions that could accelerate some of the 16 fires that are still burning in the state but posing little serious risk of major destruction. Elsewhere, massive fires had produced poor air quality in Idaho and parts of Washington, Oregon and Montana. The smoke was so thick in northern Washington that firefighting aircraft were grounded before resuming operations Tuesday.

Read More

Gazette opinion: USDA must let Montana helicopters fight fires

Billings Gazette
August 26, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service ought to be renamed the U.S. Fire Service. Over the past 20 years, the costs of fighting wildfire has exploded. This year, for the first time, more than half of the U.S. Forest Service appropriation is directed at firefighting – and it still isn’t enough. In this summer of terrible Western fires, the problem isn’t just lack of resources but inefficient use of scarce resources. A glaring example is a Forest Service rule that prohibits four Montana firefighting helicopters from attacking fires on federal lands. “Wildland fires emerge on federal fire protection in full view of our aviation staff, who watched them grow as federal firefighters waited for other ‘approved’ aircraft to be dispatch from distant locations,” Gov. Steve Bullock wrote this week to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Read More

Thief takes firefighting equipment from Cabin Creek fire site near Quilcene

Peninsula Daily News
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

QUILCENE — Firefighters are seeking information about a theft of $2,000 worth of firefighting equipment from the site of the Cabin Creek Fire in the Olympic National Forest southwest of Quilcene. An 1,800-gallon folding water tank, hose and fittings were stolen after firefighters left the site of the fire on Sunday, said Rita Chandler, fire staff officer, in a news release late Tuesday. “Without this equipment the fire grew to ten acres,” Chandlersaid. “Firefighters had to work hard to regain control of the fire.” She said that the thief ignored the closure of Forest Service Road 2530 beyond the 2530-100 Road, which has been in place since Aug. 12, to get to the site.

Read More

Benchmark fire forces evacuations outside of Augusta

Helena Independent Record
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire in the upper corridor of the Benchmark area about 30 miles west of Augusta had spread to approximately 25 to 35 acres by about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The fire, which was believed to be caused by a lightning strike, was reported around 1:30 p.m., according to Dave Cunningham, public affairs officer for the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton and his deputies were working with Forest Service personnel to evacuate the area, said Cunningham. “The sheriff’s department will post a roadblock so people are not allowed back in.”

Read More

Prisoners On The Fire Lines: How Inmates Help Battle Wildfires

Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

This wildfire season has been exceptionally rough for the Northwest. Resources are stretched thin across the region and a state of emergency has been declared in Washington state. In Oregon, officials have deployed more than 200 prison inmates to help fight fires. They’re a part of a larger program for low-level offenders run by the Oregon Department of Corrections and the Oregon Department of Forestry. More than 350 inmates from eight institutions around the state participate in the fire program. Inmates provide support to fire crews in a variety of ways, according to Correctional Lt. Justin Wylie with the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Read More

Oregon National Guard trains for fire duty

Statesman Journal
August 26, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

As smoke rose from a smoldering fallen tree, a member of the Oregon National Guard used an ax to smash through the burned wood. “Make sure to yell, ‘Swinging,’ ” said Daniel Cleveland, wildlands fire management officer for the Oregon Military Department, as a dozen other guardsman who traded in their camouflage uniforms for the solid yellow Nomex fire shirt and green pants looked on. The first group of 125 volunteers with the Oregon National Guard navigated through eight different training stations Tuesday. After three days of classroom work, the soldiers put their skills to use on a hill overlooking the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem. The field training covered digging line, using pumps and hoses, as well as mopping up fires.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Cochrane power station seeking new contract

Northern Ontario Business
August 25, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The community of Cochrane is hopeful that time is all that’s needed to secure a new energy-generation contract with the province to keep its cogeneration plant up and running. In May, the 25-year contract between the plant’s owner, Northland Power, and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) expired, leaving the future of the plant uncertain and 30 workers facing unemployment. Northland kept workers on the payroll for a few months, anticipating a new contract could be negotiated. Some employees have transferred to Northland’s other plants, but by mid-July, the company began issuing termination notices.

Read More

Check out this info packed graphic

USDA Forest Service
August 26, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Read More

Forests Affect Climate: Studies show forests have greater impact than scientists realized

Payson Roundup
August 25, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Forests have a much greater impact on global climate than scientists realized, according to a series of recent studies. One study found that the pine-scented molecules wafting through a pine forest can spur the formation of sometimes sizable particles — seemingly out of thin air. These airborne particles can play a much greater role in trapping heat from the sun — and causing rainfall — than scientists had previously realized, according to a study published in the Journal Nature. The vapors from the pines create particles that can grow from 1 nanometer to 100 nanometers in just a day. At that size, they can both prompt water droplets to condense and form clouds and block heat radiating off the ground.

Read More