Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 20, 2015

Business & Politics

Ritchie Bros. returning to Nanaimo, BC for large forestry equipment auction

Stockhouse
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO, BC, Oct. 19, 2015 /CNW/ – Vancouver-based Ritchie Bros., the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, is returning to Vancouver Island to conduct an unreserved public auction at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf (100 Port Dr.) on October 26, 2015. More than 285 equipment items and trucks will be sold in the unreserved public auction, including a 2003 Madill 124 grapple yarder, more than 20 log trucks, a solid selection of processors, forestry trailers, excavators, log loaders, log grapples, articulated dump trucks and more. Bidders can participate in person, online at rbauction.com and by proxy.

Read More

Let’s get real about trade deals

By Tom Fletcher
Oak Bay News
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the dust settles from Monday’s federal election, to paraphrase former prime minister Kim Campbell, it’s time to talk about serious issues again. The Conservatives were hoping to make 2015 a free trade election, by signing onto the world’s largest trade deal at the end of July. But things didn’t go as planned at the talks in Maui, and Canada was among the players that walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership table at that time… Canada and B.C. essentially got what our governments were demanding, which was broad access to Pacific Rim markets and continued protection for nearly all of domestic dairy, poultry and egg markets. Also preserved was B.C.’s regulated market for logs and U.S. lumber sales.

Read More

Softwood Lumber Deal Should Be Priority for Government

250 News
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- While the talks are underway for a new softwood lumber agreement, former Minister of Forests for B.C., Pat Bell, says there are some different things in play this time round.“First of all there is a standstill period now for a year, where no litigation can be brought forth. Canada is free to ship lumber on an unrestricted basis into the U.S. so that puts us in a position of strength for the next year or so” says Bell. Another significant difference is what Bell calls a ” time of transition ” as the amount of timber available for the sawmills in B.C. has been reduced. “There’s a lot more southern yellow pine that is mature now and available to the market than there was ten years ago when this was last negotiated, so log prices in the U.S. are considerably lower and log prices in Canada are going higher, so there are a number of fundamental shifts.”

Read More

Vaughn Palmer: Clark wants fast action on softwood lumber deal after federal election

Canadian hopes for quick renewal of Canada-U.S. agreement are in doubt
Vancouver Sun
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark got the word out early that once the Canadian election was over, she’d be making a big push to renew the softwood lumber deal with the U.S. “We have one year to reach a new agreement,” the premier told local government leaders at their annual convention in late September. “When a newly elected prime minister takes office, that’s my first call.” Later, she made the urging more explicit. “I want that prime minister as a first order of business to pick up the phone and call the president of the U.S. and say let’s get this settled,” Clark told Rob Shaw of The Vancouver Sun. “If I were in control of it, I would do that. But trade issues are a national issue and it’s only been through prime ministerial intervention that we’ve got these deals done in the past, in every single case.”

Read More

Canadian timber sales up over past five years, but B.C. wood exports to Asia down

Business in Vancouver
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Timber harvests have increased 14% over the past five years, driven by increased sales to Asia, according to a report from the Wood Resource Quarterly and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. More than 90% of log exports from Western Canada went to Asia over the period, with the total volume shipped overseas increasing from 2.0 million m3 in 2010 to 5.8 million m3 in 2014. Log volumes from British Columbia to China alone have risen from about 100,000 m3 in 2007 to 3.4 million m3 in 2014. “In B.C., timber harvesting has increased from 63.3 million cubic metres in 2010 to 66.4 million cubic metres in 2014,” Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Steve Thomson told Business in Vancouver. “This increase coincides with recovery from the global economic recession and B.C.’s efforts to diversify its export markets, most notably into China.”

Read More

Divisive BC log export issue could resurface in new softwood deal

Business in Vancouver
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Japan did not succeed in getting B.C. log export restrictions relaxed during the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, but the issue could resurface if and when Canada and the United States sit down to renegotiate the Softwood Lumber Agreement. “It has played a role in the past and it could come up again,” said Harry Nelson, a forestry professor at the University of British Columbia. “It could be the case that any deal cut with the U.S. might have to include other [TPP] countries as well.” Raw log exports, which increased sharply during the past two decades, have been a political flashpoint in British Columbia. The B.C. government limits the number of logs that can be exported. 

Read More

Nova Scotia Power ratepayers foot $7M bill for Port Hawkesbury Paper

700 direct and indirect jobs rely on the mill
CBC News
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A question from the consumer advocate at a Utility and Review Board public hearing on fuel costs Monday revealed another benefit or possible subsidy to Port Hawkesbury Paper, as well as the added cost to Nova Scotians. The question forced Nova Scotia Power to disclose that ratepayers are charged $7 million each year for a biomass plant that reduces the cost of electricity for Port Hawkesbury Paper. The $7 million is on top of a $124-million provincial bailout package that included more than $50 million in forgivable loans to the mill.  Port Hawkesbury Paper in Point Tupper, owned by Stern Partners,
convinced the previous provincial government it would not reopen the
shuttered NewPage mill unless the biomass plant on the same property
also ran full time.

Read More

Montana Forest Products Week underway in Missoula

KPAX.com
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – Montana Forest Products Week, an event sponsored by the Montana Department of Natural Resources of Conservation is underway, with the aim of celebrating state wood products. Montana wood products are featured in breweries and distilleries around the state. Montana Distillery owner Mark Hlebichuk will be celebrating the one year anniversary of his newly renovated space this December. When Hlebichuk was designing the interior, he went to the Sustainable Lumber Company of Missoula to install 4000 square feet of pine beetle kill flooring, and the bartop was built by a Victor company. “And so just by getting that flooring, and getting that Glu-Lam top we’re keeping local jobs, we’re stimulating, in out own little way, the natural resources economy we have in Montana,” Hlebichuk said.

Read More

Report: There may be hope yet for Newberg paper mill

The Oregonian
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A company that is “idling indefinitely” a Newberg paper mill also announced last week that it is closing a mill in Ohio and earlier this month took similar steps with two other mills. An industry newsletter, though, offered hope Monday that the Newberg mill could be spared from a permanent closure. SP Fiber Technologies of Newberg will close “indefinitely” in mid-November, endangering about 200 jobs. Virginia-based mill owner WestRock Co. told Newberg employees its plan Thursday, two weeks after it announced it had purchased the Yamhill County mill along with other SP Fiber assets.

Read More

Montana Forest Products Week a mix of celebration, concern

The Missoulian
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Oct. 18 through 24 marks the fifth anniversary of Montana’s “Forest Products Week.” In 2011, the state Legislature set aside a week, every October, to recognize the important contribution Montana’s forest products industry makes to our overall economy and, especially, to Montana’s timber-dependent rural communities. What dampens the upcoming event-filled celebration this year is announcement after announcement of mill layoffs due to the high cost of raw fiber, an increase in lumber imports and an uncertain future. F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber, RY Timber, Sun Mountain Lumber and Tricon Timber have all laid off workers since January. All of Montana’s mill manufacturing facilities are now either running one shift or a 50-hour work week.

Read More

Lumber Mill Exposes Workers to Amputations and Falls

Sun News Report
October 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited an Alabama lumber company for repeated and serious workplace safety violations and proposed a fine of more than $43,000. The agency issued two repeated citations for exposing workers to falls and unguarded belts, pulleys and machinery after previously citing Linden, Alabama-based Linden Lumber L.L.C. for similar violations at the facility in February, according to a statement released Wednesday. Those previous violations were initially tied to proposed combined penalties of more than $34,000, but the total amount was later reduced to $25,000 after informal settlement talks, according to agency documents.

Read More

NZ export log prices increase in October

Scoop Independent News
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

NZ export log prices increase in October as Chinese inventories decline—New Zealand export log prices increased this month as inventories reduced on Chinese ports on lower volumes and a pick up in demand. The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs rose to $83 a tonne from $82 a tonne in September, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and sawmillers. The AgriHQ Log Price Indicator, which measures log prices weighted by grade, increased to 88.41 from 87.83. Prices for New Zealand export logs are largely determined by China, the country’s largest market, where weaker demand has seen a build up of inventories. 

Read More

Bosley mill blast: Will Barks and Dorothy Bailey inquests opened

BBC News
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Inquests have opened into the deaths of two people killed in an explosion and fire at a wood flour mill in Cheshire. William Barks, 51, and Dorothy Bailey, 62, were among four people who died in the blast at the Wood Treatment Ltd plant in Bosley on 17 July. Inquests into both their deaths were opened and adjourned at Warrington Coroner’s Court, meaning their families can now hold funerals. An investigation is continuing into the cause of the blast.
Coroner for Cheshire Nicholas Rheinberg said post-mortem tests confirmed Mr Barks, from Leek, Staffordshire, and Mrs Bailey, from Bosley, both died from the effects of explosion and fire at the site.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood and LEED dominate this year’s VRCA awards

Journal of Commerce
October 20, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The two most important new trends to emerge from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s (VRCA) 27th Annual Awards of Excellence that are more wood is being used by major contractors and their commitment to sustainable construction. “One of the trends that the judging committee picked up on was the increasing use of wood,” said VRCA president Fiona Famulak. “Wood has been around for a long time, but it is interesting to note that some of the projects that have received the Silver Award have really highlighted the use of wood.” …”But, even of more interest is the cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction, which was structural panels used either in roof decking or exterior panel construction. What we saw this year was a conversion on some projects to use it actually as a structural panel in lieu of perhaps concrete and masonry, which we hadn’t seen before.”

Read More

Ryerson students get TimberFever

Daily Commercial News
October 20, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO—Architectural science and civil engineering students from Ryerson University were recently put to the test in this year’s TimberFever Design-Build Challenge. Presented by Moses Structural Engineers, the challenge involved designing and building an emergency relief medical aid shelter prototype out of wood. Students were placed into eight teams that were all named after types of wood. In all, there was Team Ash, Aspen, Cedar, Fir, Hemlock, Larch, Pine and Spruce. Teams had 36 hours to complete their structures. The actual prototype had to be a one-room shelter that would have space for an examining table and one medical staff.

Read More

Paper, Wood Products Industry Celebrates National Forest Products Week, Oct. 18-24

PR Newswire (press release)
October 19, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s proclamation recognizing National Forest Products Week. “President Obama’s proclamation for National Forest Products Week gives us an opportunity to pause and celebrate the many ways in which paper and wood products enrich our daily lives. Hardly a moment passes where paper’s presence isn’t felt at home, work, school and everywhere in between. “Paper and wood products companies are the mainstay of many communities across America. Employing nearly 900,000 men and women, our supply chain provides family-wage jobs and is among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 47 states.

Read More

Chicago Architecture Biennial Review

October 20, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Given all the venues for viewing ambitious architecture, do we really need the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, touted in press materials as “the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America”? The answer, counter-intuitively, is yes… The result is a pulse-taking of contemporary architecture as it could be—creative responses that suggest solutions to some of the intractable, quotidian challenges of our times, from housing the needy to harnessing baffling new technologies. Instead there are sincere engagements and radical innovations on offer, from … to Providence, R.I.-based Ultramoderne’s monolithic flat roof made of cross-laminated timber—a 56-square-foot expanse common enough in concrete but never before tried in wood—on a shade pavilion built for the biennial on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Read More

Chicago Architecture Biennial Review

October 20, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Given all the venues for viewing ambitious architecture, do we really need the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, touted in press materials as “the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America”? The answer, counter-intuitively, is yes… The result is a pulse-taking of contemporary architecture as it could be—creative responses that suggest solutions to some of the intractable, quotidian challenges of our times, from housing the needy to harnessing baffling new technologies. Instead there are sincere engagements and radical innovations on offer, from … to Providence, R.I.-based Ultramoderne’s monolithic flat roof made of cross-laminated timber—a 56-square-foot expanse common enough in concrete but never before tried in wood—on a shade pavilion built for the biennial on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Read More

Forestry

Saskatchewan wants feedback on handling of wildfires that forced 13000 to flee

Saskatoon StarPhoenix
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government wants feedback on how well the province handled wildfires that forced about 13,000 people from their homes last summer. Questions have been raised about how prepared the government was for the fires, which threatened lives, homes, communities and infrastructure in an area north of Prince Albert. Premier Brad Wall has said the cost of the wildfires could exceed $100 million. The government is offering an online and written survey and wants to hear from people about how they were affected by the fires.

Read More

Epic Drone Footage of Canada’s Grandest Ancient Forest

Mountain Life
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Watch this aerial footage of Canada’s grandest old-growth forest, the Central Walbran Valley in a remote area on Vancouver Island, B.C. The footage is being used to spread awareness of logging threats in the area. For more information check out The Ancient Forrest Alliance and read our story here.

Read More

Forestry company seeks public input on stewardship plan

My Nelson Now
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of our local forestry companies is doing public outreach as they prepare their forest stewardship plan for the next five years. Kalesnikoff Lumber now has licences along the east shore of Kootenay Lake in addition to their established areas. Woodlands Manager Tyler Hodgkinson presented to the RDCK board last week and says they want to hear from the public early in the process and before things get site specific. Hodgkinson says they’ve had success with a number of community working groups where concerns can be addressed well in advance. You can check out the stewardship plan via the Kalesnikoff website. Their obligation to advertise the plan ends November 1st but Hodgkinson says they’ll remain open to feedback after that. [Story includes sound clip.]

Read More

SFU mathematicians crack the mysteries of the maple tree

The Whistler Peak
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An SFU study has unlocked some new evidence regarding how maple trees produce such a large quantity of sap — and the implications of these findings could mean big things for the maple syrup industry. The study, led by SFU mathematician John Stockie with colleagues Isabell Graf and Maurizio Ceseri, looks into the subject of tree sap exudation (excretion) in sugar maples. The research was developed to find a more concrete answer to why these particular trees continued to produce a lucrative amount of sap even in a leafless state during the winter months. The prevalent theory of the secretion of tree sap attributes exudation to the physical processes of osmosis and freeze-thaw cycles, which involve the buildup of gas in sap cells during freezing and results in the release of gas and expansion of the sap as it thaws. 

Read More

Domtar launches new online forestry activity consultation tool

Canada Newswire press release
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

WINDSOR, ON – Domtar’s Windsor Mill is launching Mirador, a new online tool for viewing the forestry activities scheduled for its forestlands in Southern Quebec. Domtar, which is marking its 10th anniversary as a Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified company for its private lands, launched this new platform at the annual forestry convention and show of the Association forestière du sud du Québec (southern Quebec forestry association). The FSC® standard is based on the balanced environmental, social and economic use of managed forestlands. It promotes communication among the different forest stakeholders to ensure mutual understanding of the issues involved in forest management.

Read More

Morticulture: Forests of the living dead

National Science Foundation
October 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Which is more alive: a live tree or a dead one? The answer might surprise you. In a live tree, only a thin layer of wood and bark grow and transport water and nutrients from roots to leaves. A dead tree teems with life: insects, fungi, bacteria and other organisms. Many downed trees have verdant carpets of plants draped across their surfaces. Dead trees take a long time to disappear, allowing new life to spring up within them. Biologist Mark Harmon of Oregon State University (OSU), also known as “Dr. Death” for his scientific interest in forest mortality, is taking part in a 200-year-long study to monitor the decomposition of trees. It may seem like a long science project, but it reflects the pace at which change happens in logs.

Read More

Logging giant SPI recognized for helping restore forest creature

The Union Democrat
October 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

One of California’s largest logging companies, which owns timberland, operates two sawmills and employs about 300 people in Tuolumne County, has been recognized for helping restore forest-dwelling fishers east of Chico. Fishers have been hunted for their fur pelts since the 18th century, and they lost more than 250 square miles of habitat in the 2013 Rim Fire, according to state and federal Fish and Wildlife agencies. They have recommended the species be listed as threatened. …In the meantime, Sierra Pacific Industries, state and federal fish and wildlife departments and researchers from North Carolina State University are tracking about 40 fishers with radio collars released over a three-year period on SPI lands.

Read More

Nine million pine seedlings to be sown at Blowering Nursery, but trees won’t add to state’s softwood plantings

ABC News Australia
October 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New South Wales’ biggest producer of pine trees says there is no plan as yet to increase softwood plantings. The Tumut Shire Council says there is an urgent need to put more trees in the ground to ensure supply for massive investments in local mills, including Visy and at Tumbarumba. The Forestry Corporation’s Strategy and Risk Manager, Gavin Jeffries, says around nine million pine seedlings will be planted next winter, with sowing happening over the next six weeks at the Blowering Nursery in Tumut. But he says that is to make up for what has been harvested.

Read More

Tasmania’s forestry contractors warn new hardship fund will come up short

ABC News Australia
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Former forestry contractors are warning that the Tasmanian Government’s plan for a new hardship fund will not go far enough. Tasmania’s Resources Minister Paul Harriss has confirmed that Cabinet has ticked off on a $1 million compensation fund for workers affected by the forestry downturn. The money is in addition to the $85 million already paid over the years in compensation after the collapse of forestry giant Gunns. Road contractor Anton Harris, who missed out on earlier grants, warned the money allocated for the new fund was nowhere near enough.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood energy gives back to forests

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 20, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

There is a group of people in Pennsylvania, and similar groups across the country, that believes a good way to prevent forest fires is to burn wood — close to, but outside of, the forest. When forests aren’t properly managed — and funding for such maintenance efforts is as tight as it’s ever been in Pennsylvania — dead trees and plants line the ground emitting methane as they decompose and providing tinder for brush fires. The dead material has value. Or at least it should, argue members of Pennsylvania’s Wood Energy Team, a new, federally-funded effort to boost the market for wood energy. Ed Johnstonbaugh, renewable energy educator at Penn State Extension–Westmoreland and one of the organizers of the Wood Energy Team, has set as his goal to elevate wood’s profile to the rank of natural gas, coal and fuel oil.

Read More

Climate models may be wrong as fires cancel forest carbon sinks

New Scientist
October 19, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Climate scientists may need to revise their predictions: instead of acting as carbon sinks, Earth’s northern boreal forests could start releasing carbon at a faster rate than they can capture it. Most global climate models treat these forests as storing about one-third of all terrestrial carbon in trees and, especially, in thick layers of peaty soil. Forest fires disrupt this storage temporarily, releasing carbon to the atmosphere until it can be recaptured by regrowth. The net effect of this cycle depends critically on the scale and frequency of fires. Yet we only have about a half-century of good data on boreal forest fires, so climate modellers have had to assume – knowing they were probably wrong – that past fires were like those of the present. That assumption is certainly wrong in the Yukon Flats of central Alaska, which has burned extensively in recent decades.

Read More