Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 14, 2015

Business & Politics

U.S. tariff ruling looms for pulp mill

The Chronicle Herald
October 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The United States Department of Commerce will announce Wednesday afternoon whether it will uphold a 20.33 per cent tariff on imports from Port Hawkesbury Paper LP. The ruling has the ability to significantly affect the competitiveness of the Point Tupper mill’s product in its largest market. It won’t just reverberate through northern Nova Scotia, where about 700 people either work in the mill or in the woods supplying it with fibre, but it will also be felt in the handful of other North American communities surrounding mills that produce the glossy paper used on calendars and for newspaper inserts.

Port Hawkesbury ruling could see mill paying million in duty from CBC News

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Softwood lumber dispute in focus again as U.S and Canada play blame game

Canadian Press in CBC News
October 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Officials in Canada and the US appear to have resumed the acrimonious softwood trade dispute just where they left off in 2006 — with both sides blaming each other for failing to kick start negotiations. A British Columbia government official said Tuesday the Americans have ignored Canada’s offers to renew or renegotiate the trade agreement. But the U.S. Lumber Coalition, which represents American producers, said in a statement Canada has been unwilling to begin talks. “If Canada continues to stay away from the negotiating table, the United States industry will eventually have no choice but to use our rights under U.S. trade laws to offset the unfair advantages provided to Canadian industry,” said Charlie Thomas, a Mississippi lumber producer, in a coalition statement. Nobody from the coalition was immediately available for comment. The agreement expired Monday.

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Les Leyne: End of deal opens an uncertain future

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
October 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia lumber companies woke up Tuesday morning with Martin Luther King Jr.’s words echoing in their ears: “Let freedom ring.” As in free trade with the U.S. The best-of-a-bad-situation Softwood Lumber Agreement expired Monday, so all the quotas and export taxes that Canada agreed to in 2006 have fallen off the table. B.C. companies — which make up about half the Canadian export market to the U.S. — can sell there as they see fit. They won’t have to pay extra taxes. U.S. consumers could see lower prices. But there was a noticeable lack of celebration. Premier Christy Clark has served notice that renewing the agreement is a top B.C. priority, and the government is mobilizing to play a big role in helping the federal government recommit to a deal that restores duties and/or limits.

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Fort mill’s future uncertain

International Falls Journal
October 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Fort Frances city official said he doesn’t know if the Resolute Forest Products Inc. mill is being sold, but the company, which manufactures pulp and paper, is having ongoing talks with an unknown entity. The official declined comment, as did Seth Kursman, Resolute’s vice president of corporate communications, sustainability and government affairs. In 2014, the company announced an extended period of market-related outage on its remaining paper machine. About 150 employees were impacted by the outage.The kraft pulp mill and another paper machine have been idled since November 2012.

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A show of good faith

Clark Fork Valley Press
October 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

ST. REGIS – In a great show of employee relations, Tricon Timber has offered a number of support options to help the 90 employees, who were recently laid off, get protections while they are unemployed. Last week, the company brought in representatives from Missoula’s Unemployment Insurance Division offices to help the former employees get everything filled out to sign up for unemployment benefits. For former employees without reliable Internet access, Tricon has opened their doors for people to come to their offices to file weekly unemployment claims. The participants also received assistance in getting set up on a sliding fee scale for various types of insurance and medical coverage. The company is also arranging grants so people can get needed medical prescriptions.

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Idaho manufacturer buys Strong pellet plant

Business Sun Journal
October 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

STRONG — One of New England’s largest wood pellet manufacturers has been bought by the country’s largest residential pellet fuels producer. Lignetics Inc., headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, recently completed the purchase of Geneva Wood Fuels from Chicago-based GF LLC, managed by Jonathan Kahn. In 2008, Kahn and his partner Benjamin Rose acquired the former Forster Manufacturing wood products mill and invested more than $13 million in equipment and retrofitting to start producing wood pellets. Despite setbacks that included an explosion in 2009 and a fire in 2012, the mill has flourished as wood pellets continue to become an alternative to fossil fuels.

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Jay mill workers to find out soon about layoffs

The Maine Department of Labor will hold worker assistance sessions this week at the Androscoggin Mill, where 300 employees will lose their jobs in the coming months.
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
October 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Workers at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay will find out soon who at the mill will lose their jobs, and the Maine Department of Labor and other agencies are working this week to provide relief for laid-off workers. The company is “nearing the end of the identification process” of who will be laid off, Bill Cohen, manager of communications and public affairs for Verso Maine, said Tuesday. He wouldn’t say publicly, though, when the company will begin to notify workers. “People are anxious and it’s important that they know as soon as they can whether they’ll be affected,” Cohen said.

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Södra closes hardwood sawmill in Traryd

IHB The Timber Network
October 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Södra will initiate negotiations with trade unions with the intention of closing the hardwood sawmill in Traryd, Sweden. Just over 20 employees are affected. In recent years, Södra has worked intensively to increase the profitability of its sawmill and planing operations by optimising the flow of raw material. Global changes, price levels and competition have led Södra to also oversee the structure, as the company states in a press release.  “We converted the Traryd sawmill from softwood to hardwood in 2011 in an attempt to manage our members’ hardwood logs efficiently. 

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Value of Imported Logs and Lumber to China Fell in August to Its Lowest Level since 2010; the Nordic Countries Increased Sales to the High-End Market

by Wood Resources International LLC
Marketwired
October 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SEATTLE — China imported softwood logs and lumber valued at just over 500 million dollars during the month of August this year. This was 28% lower than the same month in 2014 and the lowest level in five years. As recent as in April last year, the import value reached an all-time high of almost 900 million dollars. The reduced demand for both overseas and domestic wood products in 2015 has been a consequence of the slowdown in the Chinese economy, which has not only reduced construction activities but also consumer spending on home remodeling and furniture. Not only have log and lumber imports plummeted the past year, but so has the price paid for imported products.

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Active Energy says new high-volume hardwood production line operational

Digital Look
October 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Active Energy said the new high-volume hardwood production line at its AEG WoodFibre Yuzhny Port processing facility in Ukraine is now fully operational. The AIM-listed supplier of industrial wood fibre, timberland and natural resources development services said the new handling and processing equipment is part of a large-scale investment programme to facilitate a four-fold increase in its production capacity to enable it to meet the rising demand for wood fibre from its Turkish MDF manufacturing customer base. Active Energy said the AEG WoodFibre division reported revenues of $17.4m in 2014, up from $1.6m in the previous year.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Study delves into shortcomings and opportunities for innovation

Journal of Commerce
October 13, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

The construction sector in North America has a terrible record of investing in research and development (R&D). In Canada, construction ranks at the bottom of all industries as measured by their R&D expenditures. That’s one of the findings that’s being reported in the first draft of Green Building in Canada: Assessing the Economic Impacts and Opportunities, which is being prepared by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). …Schatz said Canada is a leader in such areas as research in cement and innovative uses of wood. On the other hand, one of the aspects of innovation where the Canadian construction industry needs to pull up its socks is training. … “There’s a greater acceptance of green building in the construction industry today. What we need to do now is to focus our efforts on finding out what the best innovations are and how to get them adopted by the industry.”

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UBC tower elevating BC’s wood highrise aspirations

Business in Vancouver
October 13, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The world’s tallest wood building is ascending at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and architects say it could provide the template for how wood highrises could enter the B.C. mainstream. The $51.5 million UBC building is no architectural showpiece, concedes Russell Acton, a principal with Vancouver’s Acton Ostry Architects, which designed the plain-looking, 18-storey UBC student residence with wood adviser and architect Hermann Kaufmann of Austria. Instead, Acton said, it is meant to provide standing evidence that “mass timber” can be as affordable as concrete construction when it comes to building skyscrapers. …While the B.C. building code allows the construction of wood buildings as high as six storeys, no building codes in Canada currently cover wood highrises. Acton said a site-specific regulation has to be established for each tall wood building.

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World’s largest Cross-Laminated Timber apartment complex being built in Montreal

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
October 13, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is one of our favorite materials; it’s made from a renewable resource, it sequesters Carbon Dioxide, it’s lighter than concrete and it’s lovely to look at. What’s not to love? In most of the CLT projects so far its use has been downplayed, thanks to the effectiveness of the concrete and steel people who try and convince people that it is not as good as concrete. That’s why this new project in Montreal is so interesting: It accentuates the positive, the virtues of wood construction. Even its name, Arbora, alludes to wood. It’s also big. The Arbora project in Montreal is claimed to be the largest residential CLT project in the world, made up of 434 condo, townhouse and rental units in three eight storey buildings, all made from sustainably harvested wood turned into panels by Nordic CLT. It’s designed by Lemay+CHA.

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Forestry

Petition asks province to protect Manitoba’s caribou

‘It’s clear this is something that large numbers of Manitobans support’
CBC News
October 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) says it’s received more than 10,000 signatures on a petition asking the Manitoba government to keep up a commitment to restore the caribou population and protect the province’s boreal forest. The Manitoba government is set to release a 10-year strategy on restoring woodland caribou numbers in the next few days, Conservation Minister Tom Nevakshonoff says. Manitoba’s boreal caribou populations were listed as threatened in 2006 under the province’s Endangered Species Act. Parks Canada lists caribou as threatened in other parts of Canada as well. The threatened status requires, by law, that provinces take action to recover populations, said CPAWS.

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Increasing stream buffers will do little for fish (OPINION)

By Paul and Judy Nys
The Oregonian
October 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Guest columnists Liz Hamilton and Bob Van Dyk (“Larger stream buffers will make for healthier salmon,” Sept. 25) should return to an institution of learning and retake a basic 101 science class. Perhaps they would not then mislead readers by stating that “(h)ealthy standing forests along streams … shade and cool water.” (Emphasis mine.) There is absolutely no lowering of water temperature as a result of shade. Given any degree of thought and a little basic science, it is easy to conclude the physical impossibility of any cooling effect. Sounds good, though. This writer learned in a high school physics class that water has a high energy absorpsion coefficient, which means that water can absorb high amounts of energy without raising the water temperature. Conversely, the same is true to get any appreciable amount of cooling.

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Wildlife not in USFS charters

Clark Fork Valley Press
October 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The US Forest Service was established to provide a perpetual supply of timber and wood products for the people of the United States, for buildings and construction and other purposes related to the USE of timber. No other purposes. Yet, today, the preferred alternative to virtually all activities on the US Forests is “wildlife management and enhancement”. Where is that in the founding charters? Consider a forest with a million acres of timber that could be harvested (of various ages, so not all at once, of course). At $2,500 per acre stumpage value that is @ $2.5 BILLION dollars of timber being, respectively, allowed to rot from disease and/or insect infestations, burned in wildfires, AND utterly risked as destroyed in out of control “prescribed burns” (ie, what used to be called CONTROLLED burns.

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Grant County sheriff demands coordination with Forest Service

East Oregonian
October 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Unhappy with the U.S. Forest Service after a summer of devastating wildfires, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer has made his own natural resources plan to influence the management of public lands. Palmer deputized 11 county residents to write and adopt the local plan, though it remains unclear whether they have legal standing to coordinate with the feds. The move caught county commissioners off guard at a Sept. 30 meeting, where Palmer declined to put his plan on the agenda and instead brought it up during public comment. He said he is invoking coordination through the sheriff’s office, and asked for the commissioners’ support.

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Editorial: Feds can’t see the value of thinning NM for the trees

Albuquerque Journal Editorial
October 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dear U.S. Forest Service, You should have been more careful about what you wish for, because a federal judge just gave all forest management authority to you, an agency already tapped out from yet another horrifying fire season. For more than a decade you have been in a cycle of robbing Peter (your fuel removal account) to pay Paul (your wildland fire bills). The problem is so dire, and so chronic, your minders in the Department of the Interior asked Congress last month to budget $250 million annually specifically to fight fires. To put that dollar amount in context, you spent $243 million in one week in August trying to knock down forest flames.

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Forest Service plans to withdraw Tongass old-growth timber sale

Sit News
October 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Petersburg, Alaska – In a federal court filing last Friday the U.S. Forest Service announced it will withdraw its decision on the Mitkof Island Project, a large 35 million board foot timber sale. The project is in the center of the Tongass National Forest, near the communities of Petersburg and Kupreanof. Petersburg District Ranger Jason Anderson signed the Forest Service’s decision in March. In May five environmental organizations filed the lawsuit, GSACC v. Anderson. They are the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance. The organizations are represented by Chris Winter and Oliver Stiefel of Crag Law Center (Portland) and Gabriel Scott.

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Fighting fire with fire: State policy hampers use of controlled burns

The U.S. Forest Service wants more controlled burns in Washington forests to make them resistant to summer wildfires. But rules administered by the state Department of Natural Resources have stymied efforts to step up the burns.
The Seattle Times
October 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TONASKET, Okanogan County — As a wildfire advanced in August toward homes in the Aeneas Valley, a crew of Forest Service firefighters made their stand on familiar ground — a stretch of Ponderosa pine they had deliberatively burned during cooler spring and fall seasons to clear out undergrowth. In this thinned-out forest, they halted the northern advance of the North Star wildfire, one of the largest blazes of the summer that consumed hundreds of square miles across the state. “This definitely gave us the upper hand to hold the fire where we wanted,” said Matt Marsh, a Forest Service task force leader who directed the effort.

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LETTER: Is Forest Service misleading the public?

Letter by Keith Hammer, Kalispell, Swan View Coalition
Daily Inter Lake
October 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service is using collaboration as the latest scam to convince the public its forests are broken and that logging is the cure. The Forest Service is paying collaborative partners that support this lie so it can hand more public trees over to private industry. Through the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, the Forest Service pays collaborative partners up to four times their own investment in time to participate in logging and other “restoration” projects. In Montana, one partner provided no cash to the program but walked away with $2.5 million in federal funds.

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Schultz Fire’S Searing Lessons Recalled

Payson Roundup
October 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Coconino County Supervisor Mandy Metzger Wednesday addressed attendees at the Third Annual Healthy Forests, Vibrant Economy Conference in Scottsdale. The Oct. 7-8, event is a convergence of business leaders, government partners, scientists, researchers and those with an interest in forest health. Supervisor Metzger’s talk, “Getting Boots on the Ground,” gave an overview of the Schultz Fire, resulting flooding, and how the county moved forward with the help of state and federal partners. She also discussed lessons learned, and how forest management and restoration in Northern Arizona has critical implications for downstream water uses. In the case of Coconino County, it was the Schultz wildfire and flooding that brought us to our ‘management’ knees,” she said.

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Walden backs forest management bill

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., focused on forest policy, specifically on the unwillingness of the Senate to revise federal forest management.
Capital Press
October 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SUNRIVER, Ore. — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden spoke of frustration with the U.S. Senate’s unwillingness to address forest policy, and fielded questions on the uncertainty surrounding the House speakership during a presentation at the Oregon Forest Industries Council’s annual meeting here Oct. 12 Asked who is going to be the next Speaker of the House, Walden, R-Ore., said: “I hope it is Paul Ryan, but I don’t know if he’ll do it.” Walden said he talked to Ryan, R-Wis., on Oct. 9 about replacing Speaker John Boehner, who has announced he plans to leave his seat Oct. 29. “There is a lot of pressure being put on Paul Ryan to step into this vacuum or void, and it is the last thing he wants to do. He is a policy guy,” Walden said.

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Queensland scientist David Craik gets $1 million to grow drugs on trees

Brisbane Times
October 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A Queensland scientist has been given $1 million toward his bid to create a world where medicine literally grows on trees. Chemist and structural biologist Professor David Craik is working towards a breakthrough that could see people sprinkling pharmaceutical sunflower seeds on their cereal instead of popping pills. Your grandmother juggling half a dozen different tablets a day could drink a cup of tea made from leaves infused with heart disease medication instead of yet another pill. …Professor Craik and his team at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience has already created a designer pain relief drug by combining peptides from the venom of a cone snail with circular peptides from the arabidopsis plant, a type of cress, which had positive results in animal testing.

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