Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 6, 2016

Business & Politics

Forestry Outlook 2016: Forecast is for stability

Falling demand in China for B.C. lumber is being offset by growing demand in the U.S. as low-cost mills, depressed Canadian dollar help exports
Business in Vancouver
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Some time in the new year, the new federal Liberal government will begin consulting Canadians on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a 12-nation trade agreement that is supported by the B.C. forest industry. It will also have to try to fill the vacuum that the expiration of the softwood lumber agreement has left – a vacuum that exposes Canadian lumber producers to potential anti-dumping duties in the U.S. In the meantime, production and exports of B.C. lumber are expected to pick up slightly in 2016, despite a drop in demand for wood in China. …Russ Taylor, president of International Wood Markets Group Inc., has been to China about 25 times in the last 15 years. He recently returned from there, where he said he has never seen such a poor outlook.

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Workplace death rate down two-thirds in B.C. since 1990

by Gordon Hoekstra – But still too many workers dying: union
Vancouver Sun
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The rate of workers being killed on the job through injury is falling in British Columbia, including in some of B.C.’s high-risk sectors such as forestry and construction. There is no single factor for the decline, but improvements include an enhanced workplace safety culture, increases in training programs, the advent of industry safety associations and increased public scrutiny, say industry groups and the province’s chief workplace safety agency, WorkSafeBC. …The United Steelworkers, a major union representing more than 35,000 workers in B.C., many in the forest industry, says more work is needed to address the “economic heroin” of workplaces.

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Council supports Canfor ALR request (scroll down to read)

Prince George Citizen
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Council also gave their early consent for Canfor to move forward in its bid to build a water treatment plant and decanting pond on a neighbouring P.G. Pulpmill Road property. The land in question is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, which means the company has to apply for a non-farm use through the Agricultural Land Commission. The commission takes the city’s support or non-support of a project into consideration when making its decision. According to a staff report on the application, the proposed facility would separate river silt from the water taken from the Nechako River and discharge the silts into the proposed decanting lagoon where water would be permitted to evaporate or infiltrate.

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Resolute Forest’s day in court promises to expose global anti-development agenda

Peter Foster
National Post
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Now the Quebec government is calling for the Forest Council to back down. Slowly but surely, multinational environmental enforcer Greenpeace is being dragged kicking and screaming to court to answer for its job-destroying misinformation campaigns in the name of “protecting” Canadian forests, which are among the best regulated in the world. The company doing the dragging is Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products, which has distinguished itself for being prepared to stand up to Greenpeace’s brand of shakedown. The case is immediately rooted in the rancid 2010 Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, under which a cabal of radical environmental non-governmental organizations, ENGOs, … agreed to stop their campaigns of customer harassment in return for the members of the Forest Products Association of Canada, FPAC, agreeing to sanitize a swathe of the Canadian Boreal forest, and to “consult” on development plans. Astonishingly, governments played no part.

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Worth the paper it’s printed on?

The Telegram
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

They waited almost until New Year’s Eve to do it, but Resolute Forest Products has decided to make things interesting in the world of governments “investing” in business. Here’s the situation in a nutshell: the Nova Scotia government, in an effort to save a closing paper mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., provided the operation with funding to keep it ready for a new operator, and also provided money to its new owners over the next 10 years. In total, it was something like $160 million in support. (The same mill is also in a battle with U.S. trade regulators over whether it receives subsidized electrical rates, but that’s another story.)

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Simpson Strong-Tie Acquires EB-TY and Lumber Loc

LBM Journal
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Simpson Strong-Tie, the industry leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, recently acquired Blue Heron Enterprises, LLC and Fox Chase Enterprises, LLC, manufacturers of the EB-TY and Lumber Loc hidden deck fastening systems, the company announced in a press release Tuesday. Since 2008, Simpson Strong-Tie has promoted and sold EB-TY fasteners and provided its screws with the EB-TY product offering. Simpson Strong-Tie has a long history of ensuring high product quality through testing and a dedication to research and development. 

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Jonathan Orpin of New Energy Works Timberframers Named President of the Timber Framers Guild

Benzinga
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Jonathan Orpin, founder and owner of New Energy Works Timberframers and Pioneer Millworks, was recently named President of the Timber Framers Guild. Orpin served on the Guild’s Board of Directors as its president and in October 2015, acted as the Conference Chair/Creative Director for the 30th Annual Guild Conference in Idaho. Orpin, a long-time thought leader in the timber frame industry, previously served on the Guild’s board as treasurer in the early 1990s. He has been a member since the group’s inception in 1985. As an organization, the Timber Framers Guild seeks to perpetuate and strengthen the robust craft of timber framing, communicating information about building methods, events, people, and the timber frame building community. They have almost one thousand members – and growing – across the nation.

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Boise Cascade to purchase two southern sawmills

Idaho Business Review
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Boise Cascade will purchase two southern lumber production facilities.  The Boise-based company will purchase two mills from Georgia-Pacific for $215 million. The facilities are located in Thorsby, Ala. and Roxboro, N.C. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016 after a regulatory review and the company plans to spend about $85 million in cash and $130 million in new borrowing, according to the company. Boise Cascade now has four lumber production facilities in Idaho, Oregon, Maine and Louisiana.

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North Edisto sawmill company asks for permit extension

Charleston Post Courier
January 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ROWESVILLE — An extension for a critical permit to build a huge lumber sawmill was applied for just before the deadline Monday. A state air quality permit to build the Klausner mill along the North Edisto River outside Orangeburg was due to expire at the close of business. The extension would be the second filed within eight months, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The extension request will have to be reviewed to make sure the mill would still meet evolving federal standards, said Jim Beasley, DHEC spokesman. “If significant changes are needed to the permit to meet today’s air quality standards, a 30-day public comment period and an EPA review of the revised draft permit could be required,” he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

WIDC welcomes first engineering students

Prince George Citizen
January 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the last two years, Vancouver structural engineer Chelsea Olson has kept her eye on Prince George. Then the day finally came in September when the University of Northern B.C. opened its applications for the Master of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design. “Everything just sort of fell in place,” said the 26-year-old, who started her first day of classes Tuesday after working with a consulting firm for the past three years. “I was doing design with concrete, steel, a bit of wood, but I always found the wood projects more interesting.” Growing up in Golden, Olson was surrounded by the material because her father worked as a contractor. She said wood is desirable for its aesthetic value and a host of other benefits.

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OBC wood-frame amendment opens doors to contractors

Daily Commercial News
January 6, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Six-storey wood-frame buildings were approved in Ontario at the beginning of 2015 through amendments to the Ontario Building Code (OBC). As a consequence, the playing field was levelled for the construction industry, permitting more builders and developers to compete in the arena of buildings standing six storeys and fewer.”The OBC defines a ‘high’ building as a building with its top floor going beyond 18 metres in height — seven storeys and higher,” says Marco VanderMaas, design director at Quadrangle Architects.

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HGTV® Featuring Lumber Liquidators Flooring In HGTV Dream Home 2016

SYS-CON Media (press release)
January 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

TOANO, Va.,  — Lumber Liquidators, the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America, is continuing its tradition as a flooring sponsor for the HGTV® Dream Home, marking its 14th year in the partnership. Once again, Lumber Liquidators is the sole flooring supplier for the HGTV Dream Home 2016, which will feature hardwood flooring throughout. Tom Sullivan, Lumber Liquidators’ Founder, commented: “We are excited to once again be a part of HGTV Dream Home. Each home is beautiful and built to last, which is a goal that also inspires the quality of our flooring products. This is a great opportunity for people to catch a glimpse of what to expect in 2016.”

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House in Poland is clad in ThermoWood

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
January 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

When Designboom described this house in Poland, designed by te? architekci, as “a stealthy and brooding presence” I thought that was for sure, along with some other adjectives. But the next sentence caught my eye: “the dwelling is entirely clad with dark thermowood.” What’s that? ThermoWood is a Finnish product, sustainably harvested timber that is subjected to a three-stage heat treatment. According to their website, it is made from both hardwoods and softwoods.. The process improves dimensional stability and biological durability of wood. Another improvement is in the insulation properties of the final material, the process leads to a reduction in thermal conductivity. Due to the high treatment temperatures the resin is removed from the wood.

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Forestry

Land access agreement reached Cumberland-area for forest lands

Comox Valley Record
January 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC), Village of Cumberland, TimberWest Forest Corp., and Hancock Forest Management announced Tuesday that a land access agreement has been reached to formally allow non-motorized recreation on private managed forest lands adjacent to the Village of Cumberland. This progressive and multi-faceted agreement not only authorizes public recreation on private and public forest lands south of the Village, but gives the private landowners the opportunity to better communicate and manage risks associated with people recreating on their land. “This agreement represents the collective efforts of all parties involved and demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration,” said Mike Manara, UROC president.

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Let the Markets Help Our Forest Fire Issue

Inside Sources
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

This is where we must consider a market strategy. Markets work in the South, the largest source of timber harvested in America. In Alabama, we have been the leader in finding market-based options to handle the byproducts of our forest management efforts. Consider the wood pellet market. This industry allows us to convert small diameter trees and underbrush into wood pellets that are used to produce heat or electricity. There is also the new green building industry. It uses small diameter trees to create various laminated wood products. These markets have been a win-win, economically and environmentally, as we are boosting forest health, protecting against wildfires, and providing family landowners the necessary income to conduct forest practices, without asking the government to foot the bill.

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Oregon’s longer wildfire seasons create funding problem

Statesman Journal
January 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon is facing a “new normal” when it comes to forest fires, so a special task force has begun working on a plan for sustainable funding for firefighting. On Wednesday,Jan. 6, the Board of Forestry will hear an update from the group, which held its first meeting in December. Three consecutive years of severe fires, brought on by the drought affecting the entire West, has severely taxed state resources, State Forester Doug Decker told a legislative committee last year. In 2013, 1,119 wildfires burned nearly 105,000 acres of state-protected land, costing a record $122 million. Last year came in a close second, with 946 wildfires scorching about 95,000 acres. In addition to funding, the task force will make recommendations for reducing fires and for helping communities better weather them.

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Agency rejects endangered listing for Southeast Alaska wolf

Associated Press in Alaska Dispatch News
January 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal agency has concluded that a southeast Alaska wolf affected by logging and hunting does not merit placement on the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that Alexander Archipelago wolves on Prince of Wales Island and neighboring islands do not warrant additional protections. “Although the Alexander Archipelago wolf faces several stressors throughout its range related to wolf harvest, timber harvest, road development, and climate-related events in Southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia, the best available information indicates that populations of the wolf in most of its range are likely stable,” the agency said in an announcement. Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the wolves in August 2011. Larry Edwards, a Greenpeace representative in Sitka, said Tuesday the decision was disappointing.

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Where private land meets public interest

High Country News
January 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Plus, federal forest policy hasn’t kept pace with scientific understanding of fire ecology. State and federal foresters are trying to play catch-up in the Chama Peak region, but even small forest treatments on public lands take an ungodly amount of environmental review and paperwork. Two years isn’t an uncommon time frame. And as a botched 2.4 million acre forest restoration in Arizona has shown, even innovative Forest Service treatments may turn out to be grossly inefficient uses of taxpayer money. Decades of fire suppression can be reversed, however. Thinning or prescribed burns can help forests recover their resiliency, and private landowners can conduct those treatments at a rate that federal managers can only dream of.

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A Midstream View: The reality of wildfire mitigation

Calaveras Enterprise
January 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It is not possible to prevent wildfires. However, it is possible to greatly limit their destruction. …Some environmental groups don’t want any logging on public lands; others demand so many restrictions lumber companies can’t afford to harvest the trees. To their credit, a few groups do promote responsible thinning of forests. Logging is not a cure-all for all problems; it should be part of the solution. Some species of trees – whether killed by drought, fire or old age – become worthless after a few years, a fact known to environmentalists. So they can create some lengthy legal delays and save the trees for termites. Mission accomplished!

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Logging to thrive

Mail Tribune
January 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A helicopter buzzed above Ashland Tuesday, and log trucks soon will be rumbling through town as part of a project to help protect the watershed — by logging it with a light hand. The helicopter began airlifting the first of about 52,000 mostly small-diameter trees cut from 934 acres to create space for Douglas fir and Ponderosa pines to thrive in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest above Ashland. It’s the first time in three years that the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project has used helicopter logging to thin forest stands within the watershed to reduce wildfire danger, protect Ashland’s drinking water, enhance wildlife habitat and improve the health of the larger, more mature trees left behind without damaging the sensitive soils.

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Tongass forest plan hearings on tap in Southeast

KFSK
January 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Southeast residents this month will get a chance to learn more about the plan to transition to young-growth logging on the Tongass National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service is planning a series of eight open houses throughout the Panhandle to present the latest Tongass land management plan amendment. The forest plan is similar to a zoning map for the nearly 17-million-acre national forest. It designates which lands are available for timber harvests and which lands are off-limits to development. This plan amendment also spells out a 16-year transition for logging on the Tongass, from larger old-growth trees, to younger trees that have grown back from areas logged in the 1900s.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

One UK power station is planning to burn so much, it could skew the world’s wood market

Quartz
January 6, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Now, the European Commission is conducting a state-aid investigation into UK-based Drax, a coal power station that’s converted some of its boilers to burn wood. Investigations are routine—they take place when large power stations are awarded a certain kind of subsidy. What’s unusual is that the Commission mentioned worries that Drax, formerly the largest coal-fired power station in Europe and still an energy behemoth, would require so many wood pellets that the global market could be affected. It would need 2.4 million tonnes of extra wood pellets a year for the project. “Demand from the Drax conversion project could significantly distort competition in the biomass market,” the Commission says.

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