Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 12, 2016

Special Feature

Christine Gelowitz to take the helm at the Association of BC Forest Professionals

Association of BC Forest Professionals
January 11, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Association of BC Forest Professional President, Jonathan Lok is pleased to announce that Christine Gelowitz, RPF, will be the new CEO of the ABCFP. For the last 20 years Christine has worked with the provincial government. Christine is currently an executive with the Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and brings a wealth of knowledge of the complexities of natural resource management to our organization. Christine also served on council beginning in 2010 and became president in 2013. Her knowledge of the ABCFP’s issues and staff will be a huge benefit as she takes over the reins on February 1, 2016.

Read More

Business & Politics

WorkSafeBC faces lawsuit over 2012 mill explosions

Canadian Press in Penticton Western News
January 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Employees of two British Columbia sawmills destroyed by fire in 2012 have launched a class-action lawsuit against the provincial agency responsible for workplace safety. The separate fires in Burns Lake and Prince George killed a total of four workers and injured 42 others. A notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court says combustible wood dust fuelled the January explosion at Babine Forest Products and an April explosion at Lakeland Mills Ltd. The employees and family members allege WorkSafeBC was negligent in its inspections and investigations of the mills, breached its fiduciary responsibilities to the workers, causing them physical and psychiatric injuries. The allegations have yet to be tested in court.

Read More

Roznowsky bids farewell

Weyerhaeuser spokesman heading south
Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune
January 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wayne Roznowsky, the voice of Weyerhaeuser Canada, is bidding a fond farewell to Grande Prairie. After being in the Swan City for nine years, Roznowsky said it’s time for him to move on to be closer to family. When Roznowksy moved here nine years ago, he said he was responsible solely for Weyerhaeuser’s public affairs for Alberta and Saskatchewan before taking over the public affairs position for all of its Canadian operations three years later. “I travel a great deal now and when it was just Alberta and Saskatchewan, it made a lot of sense to be in Grande Prairie. Now, for me for the last six years, 50% of the time I’m travelling and I’ve got responsibilities in BC, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, Ottawa,” he said.

Read More

KFP Sawmill restart offers new hope for Kenora, Mayor Dave Canfield says

CBC News
January 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The mayor of Kenora says the pending start up of the Kenora Forest Products sawmill is a good sign for the city. Dave Canfield said much work has gone into upgrading and expanding the operation, which will provide more than 100 good-paying jobs. That will provide stability not only for the city’s economy, but many of its families, he said. “It makes it easier for people to have a decent living. To be able to find a job here without leaving and moving somewhere else. To find a good-paying job. And that … has to be good for the economy.” Canfield said he’s thankful the owners of the mill toughed it out through the downturn in the forest sector, and stayed in Kenora.      

Read More

Perfect storm adds to wood product pricing

Natural Resource Report
January 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Mortgage rates remain favorable for homebuyers and warm winter temperatures favor homebuilding, for now. Log prices are high and out of balance with low product prices. Online Mortgage loans are the new kid on the block. Recent trends of lumber, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2006. Lumber prices are stable but low. As was true last month, export from the U.S. is difficult for U.S. producers due to the high value of the dollar and the sluggishness of other economies (eg, China and Europe). Export TO the U.S. is attractive for foreign producers. This perfect storm contributes to downward pressure on prices of domestically produced wood products.

Read More

Firefighters quickly extinguish fire at Verso mill in Jay

The original report was of a chemical fire, but no details were available.
Portland Press Herald
January 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Firefighters respond to a fire at the Verso paper mill in Jay and were able to put it out and clear the scene in 90 minutes. Franklin County dispatched fire crews at 12:23 p.m. and the scene was clear before 2 p.m. The original call was for a chemical fire but dispatchers had no further details on what burned. Verso announced this summer that it was cutting 300 jobs – one-third of its workforce in Jay – and shutting down a pulp dryer and a paper machine at the mill because of declining demand coupled with high energy costs and property taxes. The mill has the capacity to produce more than 1,900 tons per day of coated groundwood and coated free-sheet papers.

Read More

Loggers seek legislative help to save biomass plants

WCSH6
January 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine — The professional logging contractors of Maine, a trade group representing the men and women working in Maine’s forests believe the state legislature can and must take action now to save jobs in the state’s struggling rural economy. With biomass power plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro closing in March, loggers are running out of places to take their harvested timber. To save those plants, Dana Doran, the executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine says lawmakers need to take action. “I think we’re in a tough spot and I think the governor and the legislature appreciate that.” Doran said. “They understand whats happened in the past 6 months with the paper mills and this situation and that something has to be done for the long run.”

Read More

Lumber company builds levee to keep flooding at bay

J.M. Jones Lumber Co. closes sawmill
WAPT
January 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NATCHEZ, Miss. —A lumber company in Natchez has built two series of levees in an effort to hold back floodwaters from the rising Mississippi River. J.M. Jones Lumber Co. has spent more than $250,000 on the project. During the 2011 flood, the company spent more than $1 million trying to keep the rising water at bay. The road that leads from the lumberyard to the sawmill is blocked off because of the levee, and business is shut down. The river will have to go down a good bit before it can reopen. The flood prediction has dropped for the Mississippi River in Natchez. It is forecast to rise near 57 feet by Jan. 17. Flood stage is 48 feet. The river level Monday was 54.7 feet.

Read More

Forestry industry behind 76pc woodchip export jump, ‘not Tasmanian Government’, Greens say

ABC News, Australia
January 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Tasmania’s forestry industry, and not the State Government, can claim credit for a significant jump in woodchip exports over the past 12 months, the Opposition and the Greens have said. The industry is emerging from years of turmoil and decline, with new operators like Forico taking over woodchip mills closed when timber giant Gunns collapsed. Forico is a subsidiary of investment management company New Forests. Tasmanian woodchip exports have increased by 76 per cent in the past year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Exports have grown to $43 million a year, a $19 million increase.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

ICC Accepting Applications for Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings – Fire Safety

Fire Engineering
January 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The International Code Council (ICC) Board of Directors has established an ad hoc committee to explore the building science of tall wood buildings. Tall wood is a term used in the industry to identify wood construction which utilizes Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) in buildings of heights greater than six stories. CLT buildings with heights varying from seven to 12 stories are in the planning stages in Minneapolis, Portland, and New York City. …The scope of the ad hoc committee is to investigate the feasibility of and take action on developing proposed changes to the International Codes® or I-Codes® for tall wood buildings. In making this decision, the Board notes that the scope is to review all aspects of the building science, and conclusions must be supported by technical justification when considering any proposed changes to the I-Codes. 

Read More

10 Green Building Megatrends from the “Godfather of Green”

Sourceable
January 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Green building is facing a number of changes, according to “The Godfather of Green,” Jerry Yudelson. A LEED fellow and former president of the Green Globes rating system, Yudelson has recently written a book, Reinventing Green Building, in which he identifies 10 “megatrends” he believes will impact certification systems, markets, government rules, and green building technologies through 2020 and beyond. “Fundamentally, there is zero growth for certification in the US since 2011, including through 2015,” Yudelson said. “For existing buildings, the current certification rate for existing buildings is 0.05 per cent (that’s not a typo!) of the total commercial building stock each year. Residential certifications are even lower as a percentage of total units.”

Read More

America’s First Wood High-Rise Building to Debut in Portland

Architectural Digest
January 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Wood is a go-to material for floors, doors, furniture, and now, a skyscraper—the very first of its kind in the U.S. Construction on Portland, Oregon’s wood high-rise, Framework, is slated to begin this October. The 12-story mixed-use building—a collaboration between local firm Lever Architecture and real-estate developer Project^—will be made entirely from timber. Thomas Robinson, Lever Architecture’s founder, says his company is interested in “exploring the relationship between materials, experience, and the environment—how the way we build impacts the way we live and the environment as a whole.” To highlight the innovative design, the structure will be centered around a visible vertical core and capped with a roof deck framed by wood columns. Flexible, sturdy, and lighter than materials like concrete or steel, timber has a high strength-to-weight ratio. 

Read More

Forestry

Letter: Stop whipping the wrong horse

By R. McCulloch, Area B
Comox Valley Record
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Island Health officer is misguided in her decree that the CVRD solve the crisis of turbidity in the water in Comox Lake. As she should be well aware, the problem has arisen because of logging right down to the creeks and the lake, leaving virtually no protection against erosion. The CVRD is caught in the middle of this, having no control as to what goes on in the watershed. ….Ms. Enns would be well advised to exercise her not inconsiderable power to lobby the provincial government and get the logging company out of our watershed. …So please jump down off your high horse and see the problem for what it really is; lousy logging practices in our watershed.

Read More

Prove your beard: Barrington lumberjack camp earns tourism industry award

Daily Business Buzz
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

BARRINGTON- When Darren Hudson first purchased land in Barrington, the seven-time logrolling champion lumberjack had a vision. “I wanted to pass on the skillset that I possess,” said Hudson in a Jan. 5 interview. That vision has grown into the Lumberjack AXEperience camp – a celebration of the history and heritage of the lumber industry in Barrington and in Nova Scotia. The camp allows young participants, and the youthful at heart, to try their hand at what Hudson calls the five essential skills: logrolling, tree climbing, axe throwing and competitive sawing with bow and crosscut saw. …AXEperience won the Tourism Innovator Award. …AXEperience offers an opportunity to celebrate the role that the lumber industry has played in provincial heritage. Hudson is a fifth-generation member of the industry and his passion is infectious.

Read More

Give States Control Over Public Land Out West

Robert H. Nelson, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland and former top economic analyst for the Department of the Interior,
The New York Times
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The federal government owns almost half the land in the American West — even California is some 46 percent federal land. When the decision was made to keep most of this land under federal ownership and control in the early 1900s, the theory was that it would be managed more efficiently, and by the best experts. We now know otherwise: The dysfunction that characterizes so much of the federal government today extends to the public land agencies like the U. S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Owing to Washington’s political gridlock and bureaucratic paralysis, the right measures can rarely be passed or implemented as they are needed. By default, the federal judiciary, and not the agencies themselves, has become responsible for much of the policy making related to federal lands in the West.

Read More

MEDIA HYPE: Global Warming Did Not Make 2015 The Worst Year Ever For Wildfires

The Daily Caller
January 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Liberal news outlets are reporting 2015 is a record year for wildfires in the U.S. and that that record was likely driven by man-made global warming. That’s completely false. The U.S. Forest Service reports fires burned 10.1 million acres of private, state and federal lands in 2015 — a record number of acres, according to the agency. Forest Service officials told liberal media outlets they had to borrow money three times to put out fires, and more than half the agency’s budget went to firefighting in 2015. But 10.1 million acres is not a record amount for wildfires. In fact, it’s not even close to the worst wildfire season in U.S. history. The number of acres burned last year is only about one-fifth the acreage burned in 1930 and 1931 when more than 50 million acres burned.

Read More

Tongass Logging Plan At Odds With Paris Climate Change Agreements

from the Geos Institute
PR Newsire
January 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ASHLAND, Ore., — A logging plan on the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska conflicts with President Obama’s commitments to the Paris climate change agreements reached in December. In November, the U.S. Forest Service issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to transition the Tongass out of old-growth logging but the agency plans to continue logging carbon-rich, old-growth rainforests as it slowly transitions logging to younger trees. When rainforests are logged, most of the carbon stored in dense foliage, old trees, and soils is emitted as carbon dioxide pollution, the main culprit in heating the planet. A new report by the Ashland-based Geos Institute, a climate change organization, shows proposed would release global warming pollution equivalent to the emissions from 4 million vehicles annually at a time when the nation is striving to cut emissions.

Read More

Understanding Those Burn Piles In The Forest

Payson Roundup
January 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Lawrence Misch worries about the burn piles on the trails near his home created by the Forest Service as they work to clear out choked underbrush and dense thickets of trees. “My concern is kids will come out here and start a bonfire,” said the retired law enforcement officer. “It looks like something out of ‘Sanford and Son’ or something.” Like many Payson and Star Valley residents, Misch’s home backs up to Forest Service land. If a forest fire starts, their homes face the greatest danger. To help mitigate the threat, the Tonto Forest and Payson Ranger District recently won a $2.1 million grant to thin forests.  Forest thinning saved the town of Alpine from the massive Wallow Fire by forcing the crown fire that raced from treetop to treetop to drop to the ground where firefighters stood a chance of controlling it.

Read More

Lawsuit Launched to Protect California Spotted Owls Under Endangered Species Act

Center for Biological Diversity
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OAKLAND, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its failure to protect California spotted owls under the Endangered Species Act. Conservation groups petitioned for the owls’ protection in December 2014, but the agency has failed to issue a decision on whether they warrant protection. The owls are in steep decline on national forest and private lands in the Sierra Nevada Mountains; they face a host of threats, including clearcutting on private lands and commercial and post-fire logging on public lands, as well as climate change, development and competition from the barred owls that are now increasingly present in the Sierras.

Read More

EPA concludes insecticide is harmful to honeybees

Billings Gazette
January 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

America’s honeybees are being harmed by a common pesticide, according to new federal findings, although Montana beekeepers say the challenges to bee colonies are myriad. The report by the Environmental Protection Agency partly confirms environmentalist concerns about neonicotinoids, a pesticide variety contributing to declines in the bee population. The EPA concluded recently that neonicotinoids were harmful to bees pollinating citrus fruits and cotton, though not harmful on other crops such as corn and leafy vegetables. Earlier, the EPA stopped approval of new neonicotinoid uses until more bee data could be collected and the insecticide’s effect on other pollinators is understood. Neonicotinoids attack an insect’s nervous system. The insecticide scrutinized is known as imidacloprid.

Read More

Juel: A-to-Z Timber Sale a bad idea, and a bad model

Jeff Juel, National Forest Chair of the Upper Columbia River Group of the Sierra Club
The Spokesman-Review
January 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Privatizing our national forests doesn’t mean ownership necessarily changes hands. It does, however, mean control is handed over to a private entity. The concern about keeping public forests in public hands was one reason why, in August, conservationists objected to a major timber sale in the Mill Creek watershed northeast of Colville: the A-to-Z Timber Sale on the Colville National Forest. In October, the U.S. Forest Service did right by withdrawing the timber sale. The Mill Creek watershed was heavily and unsustainably logged years ago. Only about 154 acres of ancient forest remain out of 12,802 acres of national forest in the project area. That’s about 1 percent Given prior damage to wildlife habitats and watershed values, should further logging occur?

Read More

‘Natural’ forests ripe for costly big fires

Kearney Hub
January 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Solutions to the western wildfire problem have been difficult to devise as interests on either side of the issue simultaneously argue for forests to be left in their natural, pristine condition vs. commercial interests who argue it’s wiser to treat the forests as resources and harvest the trees. Having witnessed how local fire departments do their work, we suggest that the answer to our wildfire problem rests in prevention. ….We can see that our nation’s decades-old approach to leaving forests in their natural, pristine condition is a recipe for disaster. Flammable materials are everywhere, so once a fire starts, it spreads rapidly and is extremely challenging to control.

Read More

Vermont Takes Comments On Logging Practices

Associated Press in WAMC Northest Public Radio
January 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Vermont is holding public hearings on a proposed rule change for logging practices to protect water quality. The state’s water quality law, passed last year, requires the commissioner of the Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation to amend the accepted management practices for logging operations to ensure they are designed to prevent or minimize discharges of sediment, petroleum products, and woody debris from entering streams and other waters. Any changes must also make sure that logging operations are designed to improve soil health of forestland; protect aquatic habitat and aquatic wildlife; and prevent erosion and maintain natural water temperature.

Read More