Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 1, 2016

Business & Politics

Canadian lumber in U.S. crosshairs again

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Globe and Mail
January 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The cheap Canadian dollar could prove very costly to one of the biggest beneficiaries of a weak currency. Canada’s forest products industry, and particularly lumber exporters, have it good right now. …But it could be too much of a good thing. The U.S. lumber industry is girding for a trade fight. The low Canadian dollar gives the industry all the incentive it needs to play hardball – as it has done every time the Canadian dollar has taken a dive in recent decades. …U.S. trade law specifically forbids taking action against currencies. Instead, the U.S. industry has typically targeted the fees provincial governments charge companies for cutting trees on Crown land – so-called stumpage – as a proxy for the currency. …Under the terms of the expired deal, the U.S. can’t launch another trade case until October at the earliest, or just before the U.S. elections. Unless Canada agrees to voluntarily restrain trade, the U.S. Lumber Coalition has said it will have “no choice but to use our rights under U.S. laws to offset unfair advantages.”

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Competitive lumber products help woodlots

Boundary Creek Times
January 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The weaker Canadian dollar has made this country’s lumber products more competitive globally, which has helped not only large producers but also smaller operations like private woodlots. This was one positive to emerge from the Boundary Woodlot Association (BWA) annual winter meeting held in Midway on Jan. 9. President George Delisle welcomed over thirty association members along with a number of guests to the gathering, including Boundary Similkameen MLA Linda Larson and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area E/West Boundary Director Vicki Gee. Also in attendance were several representatives of local sawmills, as well as members of the West Kootenay and South Okanagan woodlot associations.

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Conifex Timber increases its revolving line of credit to $35 million and extends maturity to 2019

Lesprom Network
February 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conifex Timber Inc. has amended its principal asset-backed revolving line of credit with a Canadian chartered bank to increase its borrowing availability to $35 million from $25 million and extend its maturity date to January 29, 2019, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Kenneth A. Shields, Chairman and CEO of Conifex, stated: “We are pleased to successfully extend and increase the amount of our principal credit facility. It provides us with greater flexibility and liquidity for our solid wood business as we strive to enhance value for our stakeholders.”

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Paper Mill Fined $150,000 After Worker Burned in Dust Explosion at Idled Plant

Ministry of Labour
Government of Ontario
January 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, ON – Resolute FP Canada Inc., operator of a paper mill, pleaded guilty and has been fined $150,000 after a worker was burned following an explosion of wood dust. The paper mill, located at Mowatt Avenue and Sinclair Street in Fort Frances, was idled in 2014 but its bio mass boiler was still in operation to provide heat for the mill through the winter months. It was expected that the boiler would be idled after the winter when heating was no longer required. The boiler was capable of running on either natural gas or bio mass. In 2008 an engineering assessment of the conveyor system for the boiler concluded that the system did not present a dust explosion hazard, owing to the particle size and moisture content of the fuel being used as bio mass.

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Dryden Works Forward After MPAC Loss over Domtar Mill Taxes

Net Newsledger
January 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Dryden lost its Leave to Appeal in the Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court from the decision of the Assessment Review Board (ARB) regarding municipal assessment for the Dryden Pulp Mill owned by Domtar Pulp and Paper Inc. for the tax years 2009 to 2012. The ARB’s returned assessment of Domtar’s Dryden pulp mill property was $14.4 million for 2009 to 2012. The original Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) assessed value for these years was $52 million. The result of the ARB’s decision was a refund of property taxes of approximately $7.9 million.

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NDP MPP Mantha urges Premier not to forsake Hornepayne families and to keep mill and plant open

Wawa News
January 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha said today that Premier Wynne and the Liberal government are allowing the Olav Haavaldsrud Timber mill and Becker Cogeneration plant to stay closed, and urged the Premier not to forsake the northern community of Hornepayne “I raised the dire situation in Hornepayne with this Liberal government for over six months. I urged the Premier to intervene in order to take action to save the mill and the plant whose jobs support hundreds of families,” Mantha said “Despite knowing that the community of Hornepayne depends on the mill and the plant, this Liberal government has refused to take action while Premier Wynne ignores this crisis. Now the mill and the plant will be kept closed, keeping families out of work and devastating the community.”

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Fire sparks $500000 in claims against city

Billings Gazette
January 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

CASPER, Wyo. — More than $500,000 in insurance claims have been filed against the city of Casper stemming from October’s Cole Creek Fire, which began at the municipal landfill. While losses from the fire are in the millions, and more claims are anticipated, the city’s liability is capped at $500,000 under the state’s Governmental Claims Act. There have been at least 10 claims filed so far, with the two largest being one for $200,860 from rancher Mary Strand for burned fence and loss of pasture and a $151,560 claim by homeowner Stan Mundy for a destroyed shop building and vintage vehicles.

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Newberg paper mill will close for good

Portland Tribune
January 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Newberg paper mill will permanently close and WestRock Co. officials say it will not reopen, a change from what until now had been described as an “indefinite idle” status. WestRock, which purchased the former SP Fiber Tech. mill last summer, told Newberg’s community development department Thursday afternoon that the facility will close. The closure was then announced in WestRock’s quarterly earnings report Friday morning, company spokesperson Tucker McNeil said. The announcement brings to an end ongoing speculation that began when the mill was “indefinitely idled” in November. 

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Pulp mill’s pollution discharge permit falls short of Georgia water quality standards

Southern Environmental Law Center
January 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia conservation groups are challenging the pollution discharge permit recently granted to Rayonier Performance Fibers LLC, claiming that the permit’s limits on odor, color, and turbidity do not go far enough to uphold state water quality standards. The Jesup-based pulp mill discharges up to 50 to 60 million gallons of discolored and foul smelling effluent into the river each day. Made up of complex organic chemicals that decrease oxygen levels in the water, the discharge often causes a dark, malodorous plume down the river at times large enough to be visible from space. Fishermen have complained that it renders fish inedible for many miles downstream. 

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Fire damages Lincoln wood-shavings mill

Bangor Daily News
January 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

LINCOLN, Maine — Firefighters responding to a fire reported at a Main Street wood-shavings mill Friday were assisted by a sprinkler system that held down the flames for hours, officials said. The fire had been burning for perhaps as long as nine hours before firefighters were called to LMJ Enterprises, 431 Main St., at about 6 a.m. The building’s fire alarm system, however, appears to not have activated, a mystery in a fire that does not appear to have suspicious origins, according to Dan Summers, Lincoln’s public safety director. “We will know more once the investigators from the fire marshal’s office get there and start doing their more in-depth investigation,” Summers said Friday.

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$1.1M federal grant approved for water, sewer projects at Pike County sawmill

The Nashville Leader
January 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A $1.1 million federal grant has been approved to help pay for water and sewer needs relating to the expected re-opening of the sawmill in Glenwood, a Pike County official said Monday. Pike County Justice of the Peace Johnny Plyler of Glenwood told The Nashville Leader the grant, which is a 70-30 split grant, was approved last week and that the state of Arkansas has kicked in in $333,000 to help pay off the 30 percent side of the grant. Plyler said the grant centers around providing a 14-inch water main at the sawmill and a three-inch sewer main both connected to the city of Glenwood’s system.

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Good Progress – But More Work to Do to Make Forestry Safe

New Zealand Scoop
January 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A reduction in deaths and serious injuries in forestry since 2013 is encouraging but there is more work to be done yet, the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) says. WorkSafe figures show serious injuries halved to 78 in 2015 from 160 in 2013, FISC National Safety Director Fiona Ewing says. “The trend is going in the right direction but we can’t rest on our laurels. Three forestry workers died in 2015. That’s well down on the 10 who died in 2013 but it’s up from just one in 2014. “The only acceptable number of fatalities and serious injuries in forestry is zero – so we’ve still got a lot of work to do to reach that ambitious target.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

VIDEO: Rune Abrahamsen on building a 14 storey wood building

Journal of Commerce
January 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rune Abrahamsen worked on Treet, a 14 storey wood apartment building in Bergen, Norway which is one of the tallest wood structures in the word. Abrahamsen spoke at the recent 2016 International Wood Symposium in Vancouver about the challenges and successes of building such a tall structure out of engineered wood products. He also spoke to the Journal of Commerce about what was learned by creating a complex residential structure from wood and how those lessons will be applied to future projects.

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Tasmanian furniture maker puts plantation timber to the test

ABC News Australia
January 31, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In an experiment where art meets science, a local furniture maker has put Tasmania’s plantation timbers to the test. Phillip Blacklow wanted to compare plantation species to more commonly used regrowth timber known as Tasmanian Oak. He said he wanted to see whether the plantation materials came up to the same standard. There have been concerns Tasmanian plantation timber would only be good for pulping, not high-end products because of issues with cracking within the sawlogs once they have been milled. …”We could write scientific papers about how good these boards are from these plantation sawlogs but it really requires a master craftsman to actually show in this case a viewing is certainly worth a thousand words.”

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A renewable and biodegradable alternative to Styrofoam

KTH.se
January 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Maybe soon we can say goodbye to polystyrene, the petroleum-based material that is used to make Styrofoam. In what looks like an ordinary bicycle helmet, Swedish designers have replaced Styrofoam with a new shock-absorbing material made with renewable and biodegradable wood-based material. Researcher Lars Wågberg, a professor in Fibre Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, says the wood-based foam material offers comparable properties to Styrofoam. “But even better, it is from a totally renewable resource — something that we can produce from the forest,” Wågberg says. That’s a big plus for a country where forests are planted and harvested continuously, much like any other cash crop.

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Forestry

Concerns raised over potential logging in Glacier Creek watershed

The Boundary Sentinel
January 31, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Concerns have been raised regarding the environmental impact of a proposed logging venture in the Glacier Creek watershed. Gabriela Grabowsky, a landowner in the Glacier Creek region, alerted objectors to the new logging blocks in an effort to raise awareness about the situation. The cuts are to be in a series, next to one another, on the Macbeth Icefields adjacent to the contentious Jumbo Valley, an area that has seen much controversy and protest over the last two decades. A ministry representative told The Nelson Daily that the land currently planned for development is “approximately two percent of the entire Glacier Creek watershed. The proposal is located at the front of the drainage and is not directly adjacent to Glacier Creek.”

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TLA and Chevron award scholarships to VIU Heavy Equipment Operator students

Vancouver Island University
February 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two $5,000 scholarships funded by the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) and Chevron have been awarded to students in the Heavy Equipment Operator program at Vancouver Island University (VIU). BC’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson presented the awards to VIU students Shane Wiersma, from Duncan, and Linden Feniak, from Sechelt at the Minister of Forests Breakfast during the TLA’s 73rd Annual Convention & Trade Show. “I commend Shane and Linden for continuing family traditions and pursuing careers in the forest industry. Over the next few years, more jobs will continue to open up and I encourage all young people to consider working in the woods,” said Thomson.

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LETTER: Walbran columnist ‘pig-biting mad’

By Jakob Derkson, Victoria
The Northern View
January 31, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I just finished reading Tom Fletcher’s B.C. Views column “Avatar Sequel Bombs in Walbran” (Victoria News, Jan. 12, follow-up commentary Jan. 17) and I’m left with two questions. My first question: did Fletcher used to ghost-write the Ed Anger columns that appeared in the Weekly World News? If so, he was much funnier when he was “pig-biting mad” about immigrants, vegetarians or people who speak languages he can’t understand. My second question: does Fletcher know where 20 per cent of the Earth’s oxygen comes from? (Hint, it is not produced by the logging industry.) Maybe somebody could send him a memo informing him that trees produce oxygen and it’s kind of, um, you know, important and stuff. Trees do more than that, but we’ll keep it simple to start. END of STORY

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Conservation Sudbury takes part in 50 Million Tree program

CBC News
January 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sudbury is joining a program that aims to see millions of trees planted over the next decade. Conservation Sudbury spokesperson Carl Jorgensen said the group has signed up with Trees Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program, and will provide white pine seedlings. What needs to happen now is for people with more than 1 hectare of land, and who want to reforest, to apply. Jorgensen said the trees will be grown at Collège Boréal and will cost people less than twenty cents each. “They would not be able to get them for the price we are able to provide them at,” he said. “And our price includes planting and assessment of the land by a professional forester and then follow-up visits.”

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First pan-American tree toss competition lands in Montreal

Money raised will go to tree-planting initiatives in the Montreal area
CBC News
January 30, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An old and obscure Germanic tradition has made a comeback in Montreal. The city hosted the first pan-American tree toss competition on Saturday in Old Montreal, challenging locals and visitors alike to fling the farthest fir. The competition was presented by Igloofest and Sapin MTL, a company that delivers and recycles Christmas trees. Participants paid $10 to throw a tree. The money will go to the 375,000 Trees for Earth Day Quebec program, an initiative to plant 375,000 trees in the Montreal area as part of the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations. CBC reporter Natalie Nanowski tested her pine-throwing chops at the competition. See how well she did in the video above.

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UCSB’s Young Forest Ecologist

Santa Barbara Independent
January 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A sense of play and a willingness to take big chances have always been important to Park Williams. Although he is one of the most honored young scientists to attend UC Santa Barbara in recent years, winning a Graduate School Researcher of the Year award at UCSB and an Ecological Society of America award for young scientists in 2013, as well as becoming a fixture at the prestigious Tree Ring Lab of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Williams didn’t plan to become an ecological scientist, and he didn’t have his heart set on attending UCSB. Born in l981 and raised near Sacramento, he went to UC Irvine for his B.S. degree but had a difficult time choosing a field after graduating. He applied to Berkeley, to Davis, and to Santa Barbara, each in different fields, from atmospheric chemistry to geology to forest ecology (at UCSB).

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Contractor says northern Arizona forest thinning on track

Associated Press in Bristol Herald Courier
January 31, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.  — The largest contractor on a massive forest thinning project in northern Arizona says it will invest $100 million in the project this year. The Arizona Daily Sun reports that Jason Rosamond said in a presentation to Four Forest Restoration Initiative stakeholders Wednesday that his company Good Earth Power AZ is planning to thin 16,000 acres next year. Good Earth holds a Forest Service contract with the goal of thinning 300,000 acres by 2022. Between October 2014 and October 2015, the company thinned 2,405 acres.

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Disease hitting Hawaii’s valuable ohia tree spreading

Associated Press in Bristol Herald Courier
January 31, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HILO, Hawaii — Recent surveys indicate a disease hitting one of Hawaii’s most important trees has spread to 34,000 acres. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Friday the disease called rapid ohia death has been found in 34,000 acres of ohia forest on the Big Island. Dr. Flint Hughes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service says the disease is spreading much quicker than officials had expected. …The ohia tree is important to Hawaii’s water supply, endangered native birds and Hawaiian cultural traditions like hula.

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Voices from the woods: Logging for a living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Upper Peninsula Second Wave
January 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Logging and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula go hand-in-hand, as it has been since the first European settlers arrived in God’s Country. The industry continues today, with companies across the U.P. sending workers out — no matter what the weather is like — to make sure to keep up with the demand from those in need of lumber, pulp wood and everything in between. Second Wave’s Tom Buchkoe stopped out to have a chat with the folks at Holli Forest Products and had a chance to meet owner Dave Holli and three of his employees recently. We had a few questions about working in the woods, and they were happy to answer them for us.

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German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too

The New York Times
January 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

HÜMMEL, Germany — IN the deep stillness of a forest in winter, the sound of footsteps on a carpet of leaves died away. Peter Wohlleben had found what he was looking for: a pair of towering beeches. “These trees are friends,” he said, craning his neck to look at the leafless crowns, black against a gray sky. “You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light.” Before moving on to an elderly beech to show how trees, like people, wrinkle as they age, he added, “Sometimes, pairs like this are so interconnected at the roots that when one tree dies, the other one dies, too.” Mr. Wohlleben, 51, is a very tall career forest ranger who, with his ramrod posture and muted green uniform, looks a little like one of the sturdy beeches in the woods he cares for.

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Talking Point: Greens back to old games in forestry battle

The Mercury
January 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

CLAIMS that our workplace protection laws somehow impinge on free speech are absolute rubbish. What the laws actually do is protect free speech, while also protecting workers who want to earn a legitimate living. Former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown held a protest rally on Parliament lawns recently and was able to make his point about Lapoinya without allegedly breaking the law. About 70 anti-forestry protesters, as well as a pro-forestry group, were able to protest and make their point at the Lapoinya logging coupe without breaching any laws or hindering operations. But every time a protester allegedly enters the coupe, Forestry Tasmania has to suspend operations in order to protect the safety of workers and the protester.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Japan’s wood pellet imports surge

Argus Media
January 29, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

London — Japanese wood pellet imports reached 232,000t last year, up by 140pc from 97,000t in 2014, data from Japan’s economy, trade and industry ministry showed. The growing biomass market in Japan is driven by an increase in the number of power plants using woody biomass, including wood pellets, wood chips and waste wood, to generate heat and electricity. Around 18 dedicated biomass plants with a combined capacity of 282MW became operational in 2015, burning a range of woody biomass fuels. And large power producers have increasingly looked towards co-firing coal with biomass. Pellet consumption has grown rapidly since the government’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme was expanded to include biomass and other renewables in July 2012.

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