Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 15, 2015

Business & Politics

Clearwater Paper Announces $100 Million Stock Repurchase

Business Wire press release
December 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash.—Clearwater Paper Corporation (NYSE:CLW) today announced that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of the company’s common stock, demonstrating the company’s strong balance sheet and positive outlook on its business. This authorization follows the successful completion of the company’s previous $100 million stock repurchase authorization, which was implemented by the board in December 2014. Clearwater Paper expects to fund the repurchase through available cash resources.

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Where the Paper Industry Went

Maine Meets World
December 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

No news tends to be good news for the Maine paper industry. But there’s been a lot of news recently. Headlines about the closure of this mill or that mill seem to come every few months. Since December 2013, Maine has lost about 2,000 jobs in paper manufacturing. Since 1990, the state has lost 13,000 out of 17,700 jobs in the industry, or about 73%. It’s a similar story for all wood manufacturing industries in Maine. I grew up across the street from the Cummings Mill in Norway, a dowel factory, which shut down in 2002 after 142 years of operation. It was bulldozed, laid empty for years, and just recently turned into a medical office park. There may be no better analogy for Maine’s economy as a whole.

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$85 million sawmill to be built at Newton, creating 125 jobs

Mississippi Business Journal
December 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

St. Clair, Mich.-based Biewer Lumber will build an $85 million sawmill in Newton and create 125 jobs, according to a news release from the governor’s office. Construction is to begin in the first quarter, with production expected to begin in early 2017. Biewer operates four Midwestern sawmills, as well as three treatment/distribution centers. “We are pleased to be locating our new mill in Mississippi, with its abundance of timber, available workforce, and its friendly business environment,” said Biewer Lumber owner Timothy Biewer. Mississippi Development Authority provided a $3.5 million grant for site preparation and rail and road improvements and is lending the city of Newton and Newton County up to $1.5 million for infrastructure.

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Interfor Resumes SC Sawmill Operations Closed from Flooding

Woodworking Network
December 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GEORGETOWN, SC – Interfor will resume operations at its Georgetown, SC, sawmill that had been shuttered two months due to extensive flooding. The Vancouver, BC-based Interfor Corp. (TSX: IFP) said record rainfalls in October had softened the ground, making it difficult for logging the forestland. The Georgetown mill is one of nine sawmills in the southern United States owned by the lumber conglomerate. In total, Interfor has 18 mills throughout the U.S. and Canada, with an annual production capacity of more than 3 billion board feet. The Georgetown mill was one of four sawmills acquired by Interfor from Simpson Lumber Co. in March 2015 for $94.7 million.

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Primary exports projected to hit $37.6b

Radio New Zealand News
December 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s primary sector export revenue is expected to increase to $37.6 billion in the year ending June 2016, up $1.9b from the previous year. That’s according to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)’s updated Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries, released this morning. MPI said it expected meat and wool, horticulture and forestry export revenues to support New Zealand’s primary sector export growth to 2017, and help offset price falls in the dairy sector. It said the signs across the primary sector were encouraging. The meat and wool sector was expected to continue its strong growth, with revenue expected to rise by about 10 percent on a year ago because of demand from the US. New Zealand will meet its beef quota to the US this season for the first time since 2004. Chinese demand for wool also remained strong.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Guardian covers tall wood construction; we cover the comment section.

by Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
December 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The use of wood in taller buildings is big news, and now Melanie Sevcenko? of the Guardian covers the story of the two towers being built in Portland and New York City. (we covered them here) It is an odd article with some arguable points (plywood was not invented in Portland) and some outright howlers (It is not manufactured by layering panels of 2-ft-by-6-ft lumber, that would be awfully big). But the real fun is in the comments, which repeat, over and over, every misconception that there ever was about building with wood. Given the repetition, it’s clear that these are strongly held views that should be addressed; So that you don’t have to, I have picked the best and will try to address them here.

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Forestry

Group representing 73 businesses calls on B.C. to halt logging of Walbran Valley’s ancient trees

Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT RENFREW — Communities along the West Coast of Vancouver Island say the provincial government needs to step in to save the ancient, massive trees that grow in the Walbran Valley. Business leaders in Port Renfrew, B.C., a community that once thrived on forestry, are calling for a ban on logging the trees — some of which started life around the time of the Magna Carta in 1215. Tofino’s council also passed a resolution asking provincial politicians to protect the forests from commercial logging.Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce president Dan Hager said tourists who come to see the majestic trees have created a multimillion-dollar economy along the coast and the highest value would come from stopping the logging. “The bottom line is it’s great for business,” he said in an interview on Monday.

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The Outsider: The fight for BC’s wolves Whistler Question

Whistler Question
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While the lives of wild creatures may not seem like they affect our ability to recreate in the mountains, the importance of fauna in B.C.’s wilderness cannot be overstated. Recreational tenure applications for everything from heliskiing to mountain bike tours comes with stringent environmental assessment, of which native fauna is a large consideration. In 2014 the B.C. government announced it would introduce airborne culling measures to control wolf populations in an effort to save the dwindling numbers of endangered caribou herds. While this may not affect our ability to ski, hike or mountain bike in the short term, maintaining B.C.’s wilderness is part of our greater responsibility as patrons of the outdoors.

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Pine Beetle wreaks havoc in region

Hinton Parklander
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ryan Zapisocki swings a leg over his skidoo, fires up the engine and rides into the forest. The snow is melting and a warm breeze is blowing through the pines, causing them to sway slowly against each other. Some needles on the trees are tinged red, others, deep auburn. He slows as he arrives at his destination: a gathering of trees marked with ribbons. These are the ones that will be cut and burned come this February.  “There are heavier infestations in the west near Jasper,” he says, leaning forward in his chair and pointing to a map on the wall. “The pine beetles in this region are coming from that direction.”

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The tough men of timber: Black and white photos capture the arduous lives of 1800s lumberjacks who felled enormous trees using only hand tools and brute strength

Lumberjacks cut down massive trees using only hand tools during the 1800s and beginning of the 20th century
Daily Mail
December 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Lumberjack style has recently come back in vogue, with city slickers and suburbanites donning the flannel shirts of the profession as a way to look rugged. However, a series of photos reveal the grueling work that loggers put in during the 1800s and beginning of the 20th century, toiling through hard lives away from their families while living in camps with their coworkers. Conservation efforts would eventually put a stop to the felling of magnificent redwood trees in places such as northern California, but logging became a huge industry across many parts of the nation as companies looked to supply wood for new housing in growing urban centers..

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US agency rarely intervened in projects that could risk endangered species

Of 88,000 actions assessed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, only two triggered more significant action in past seven years, new study finds
The Guardian
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The US government has not halted a single project out of the 88,000 actions and developments considered potentially harmful to the nation’s endangered species over the past seven years, a new study has found. An analysis of assessments made by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the agency very rarely used its powers to intervene in projects that could imperil any of the US’s endangered plants and animals, which currently number almost 1,600. Of 88,000 actions assessed by the FWS between January 2008 and April 2015, just two triggered significant further action.

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Hungry Moths Take Bite Out Of National Forest Christmas Trees

Colorado Public Radio
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Permits, at $10 a piece, always sell out quickly for the Buffalo Creek Christmas Tree Area — but this year it was exceptionally hard to get one. The Forest Service reduced the number of permits from 7,500 to only 5,000 after the tussock moth swept through the area over the spring and summer, chewing up evergreen trees — including the Douglas fir. “The caterpillars go to the very top and they just eat all the fresh new growth and needles,” said Brian Banks, district ranger for the South Platte Ranger District. “They’ll just work their way down the tree.” These waves of moth attacks happen every decade or so; a naturally occurring virus usually kills off the insects within a year or two, Banks said. But this year’s outbreak, the largest since the 1990s, has forest managers and property owners at attention.

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Oregon Regulators Allowed Unlicensed Pesticide Spray On State Forest

Jefferson Public Radio
December 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Officials with the Oregon Department of Forestry knew Applebee Aviation had lost its pesticide license before they let the company spray weed killer over 800 acres of state and private land. This failure to stop a pesticide sprayer after suspending its license is the latest example of Oregon’s inability to prevent problematic forest pesticide applications. The state agencies that regulate the practice have been under increased scrutiny from media, environmentalists and lawmakers over the past two years after a string of complaints about exposure from aerial pesticide spraying. State foresters and private timber companies use helicopters to spray pesticides on recently logged land to kill vegetation that would compete with newly planted trees.

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GEORGE OCHENSKI: Congressional dysfunction is appalling

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

A recent poll found the public continues to hold Congress in very low esteem.  …Take for instance the “clearcuts for Christmas” rider that will most likely wind up in the omnibus spending bill. If the critics are right, the provisions of the rider will likely have significant consequences for national forests as well as public involvement in decision-making on what are, after all, the lands and resources owned by all 320 million Americans. …But science is not held in particularly high esteem in Congress these days, especially the science of climate change and the science of wildfire. Nor are the actual ecosystem functions of a forest given much credence – no matter how much propaganda the pro-logging lobby spews about “forest health.”

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Sparta Mountain gives endangered songbirds a reason to sing

Daily Record
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

On a Sunday morning in August, we stood knee deep in a sea of goldenrod, raspberries, grasses and sedges, on the edge of a young forest in the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area. “Listen, there are two towhees,” said Sharon Petzinger, a senior zoologist with New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, as she identified the birds by sound. We all stayed silent until the next eastern towhee call rang through the air. This was a sign of success. In 2011, the New Jersey Audubon and state Division of Fish and Wildlife began forest restoration work in about 50 total acres of the 3,282-acre Sussex County forest. The primary goal was to maintain a forest ecosystem that would attract golden-winged warblers. These 4.8-inch songbirds, adorned with splashes of bright yellow plumage, are listed as an endangered species in New Jersey, with only about 25 breeding pairs remaining in the state.

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LePage tells lawmakers he’ll release $5 million in conservation bonds

Bangor Daily News
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine — Breaking from a position he held for months, Gov. Paul LePage said in a letter to legislative leaders on Monday that he will allow the issuance of $5 million in voter-approved Land for Maine’s Future bonds. …Until today, LePage had refused to allow more than $11 million in conservation bonds approved by Maine voters in ballot questions dating to 2010 to be sold until the Legislature agreed to his proposal to increase timber harvesting on public lands and use the revenues to fund a heating efficiency program for poor Mainers. Legislators from both major parties rejected the plan on multiple fronts, including last month when a study panel drafted a recommendation against it because the Maine Constitution says money from timber harvests must be used to improve public lands.

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PEFC Week Brings International Partners Together to Address Sustainable Forestry

PR Newsire
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

GENEVA and WASHINGTON, — Promoting sustainable forest management and having it recognized and rewarded in the supply chain from the local to the global level is a key priority shared by the many delegates who attended the 2015 PEFC Forest Certification Week last week in Montreux, Switzerland. Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International’s CEO and Secretary General, opened the 20th PEFC General Assembly with an empowering video and noted, “As a grassroots organization PEFC has an extremely important role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as we can deliver 14 of the 17 UN goals on the ground through our work with forest certification and forest-dependent communities.”

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Forest fires devastating for Papua, says Greenpeace (audio)

The environmental group Greenpeace has criticised Indonesian authorities over the inadequate response to forest and peatland fires raging out of control across the republic including Papua.
Radio New Zealand News
December 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Greenpeace says the Indonesian government has yet to take serious steps to stop the devastating forest and peatland fires in Papua. Fires from land clearance on drained peatlands have caused rampant fires across the republic including Papua, catapulting Indonesia to being one of the world’s largest emitter’s of greenhouse gasses. Greenpeace’s Indonesia forest campaigner Yuyun Indradi spoke to Johnny Blades about the fires which have belched carbon haze across many parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

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Census putting a value on forestry

Otago Daily Times
December 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A forestry industry census next year aims to capture the contributions forestry and wood processing make to society, ensuring the sector’s value is better understood by both policymakers and the public. While accurate figures could easily be put on exports, forestry was “much more than that”, Forest Growers Levy Trust chairman Geoff Thompson said. “We don’t know how many people are employed in the sector, how many people own forests, the area of forests planted for erosion protection, the area of native wildlife habitat and so on,” Mr Thompson said. Funds raised by forest growers for research and other industry activities were expected to total more than $7.6million this year, about $1million more than budgeted, enabling the trust to expand the work it did for growers, including the census.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forest industry welcomes Paris agreement on climate change

Forest Products Association of Canada
December 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased with the landmark global climate deal reached in Paris including its recognition of the fundamental role played by the world’s forests. Nearly 200 countries, including Canada, have agreed to hold the increase in global temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial levels to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. The agreement calls on countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, while recognizing the role of conservation and the sustainable management of forests. Canada has more than 9% of the world’s forests which absorb tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide to the benefit of our entire planet. 

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Canada won’t feel immediate impact from Paris climate agreement: experts

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
December 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canadians may not notice immediate effects from an international agreement on climate change. But experts say the deal agreed to by 200 world leaders pushes the country further down a path that will profoundly change how people heat their homes, earn their livings and get from one place to another. “I think we’re talking about transforming the Canadian economy,” Erin Flanagan of the clean-energy think tank Pembina Institute said Monday. “It requires changes to our mobility, our consumption, our fundamental economics around oil and gas.”

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It’s time for debate over LePage’s timber-for-heat plan to end once and for all

Bangor Daily News
December 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Gov. Paul LePage has insisted for more than a year that contractors cut more timber from state-owned forests and that the state use the additional revenue to fund heating upgrades for low-income, rural households. Fortunately, reason has repeatedly prevailed in the face of a proposal that has lacked a sound scientific foundation and basis in the law. Lawmakers from both parties have turned back LePage’s plans more than once. Now, a commission specially appointed to evaluate the governor’s proposal and determine how the state should spend the revenue it collects from logging on 400,000 acres of public land has concluded LePage’s plan doesn’t pass legal muster.

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NZ traders see carbon at $10 a tonne by Christmas, foresters hopeful

he National Business Review
December 15, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…The rising carbon price potentially spells good news for New Zealand plantation forest owners, who have largely stopped planting trees for carbon farming since the carbon price plunge. Carbon of around $12 to $15 per tonne is seen as essential to make carbon farming break even. However, NZ Forest Owners’ Association executive director David Rhodes said there was a long way to go to get global rules in place that secure the future for forestry plantations as a source of carbon mitigation and abatement. The Paris deal “adequately recognises forestry and forestry benefits” in combatting climate change, Rhodes told BusinessDesk from Paris, where he has been attending the climate change talks. “What we haven’t got is all the rules that will achieve a new agreement.”

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