Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 11, 2016

Business & Politics

Nichols: Lumber agreement needed soon

Alaska Highway News
February 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last week I noted that change happens and can happen even in this best of small home towns. My focus was primarily on the forest industry. Today I want to report further on the events and challenges of the forest industry as I interpreted them at the Premier’s Natural Resources Forum. The U.S. lumber market is vital to B.C.’s economy. A downturn in housing starts south of 49, failure of Canada to get an agreement by October 2016, or a post October 2016 imposition of countervailing duties or anti-dumping duties will send pain throughout our entire economy. B.C. needs a negotiated settlement that makes sense to B.C. And we want it soon. The best-case scenario will see a deal that resembles the deal that expired in October 2015. In British Columbia our Government is getting ready for a strong defense. Mr. Trudeau needs to make an equally strong case from the Federal perspective – and soon.

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Nova Scotia accused of ‘major concessions’ in Northern Pulp deal

Water, production limits eased as court challenge dropped
CBC News
February 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Nova Scotia government is being accused of making “major concessions” to the Northern Pulp mill when it agreed to ease environmental conditions this week. On Feb. 8, the province raised a paper production cap by 20,000 tonnes and relaxed water usage restrictions in a deal that ended the mill’s legal challenge of its 2015 government industrial approval. The company — a subsidiary of Paper Excellence — says the original terms were unachievable, but critics see the changes as a clear victory for a notorious polluter. “The government has failed to even gently pressure this mill to meet standards being met by every other pulp mill in the country. That’s all we’re asking,” said Dave Gunning of the group Clean the Mill.

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LP Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End 2015 Results

Businesswire Press Release
February 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) (NYSE: LPX) reported today results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015, which included the following: Total net sales for the fourth quarter of $463 million, 2 percent higher than the year ago quarter. Total net sales for the year were $1.9 billion, 2 percent lower than the previous year. … “Our results this quarter were the best of the year as we saw both continuing growth in housing and improved OSB pricing,” said Curt Stevens, CEO. “For the quarter, all four of our business segments were EBITDA positive with OSB improving by almost $40 million compared to the same quarter last year.”

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Trade Commission: Foreign paper imports unfair

Duluth News Tribune
February 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday moved to crack down on the illegal dumping of foreign government-subsidized uncoated paper into the U.S. marketplace. The agency ruled that China, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia and Portugal have violated U.S. trade laws and “materially injured” U.S. paper manufacturers by dumping uncoated paper into the United States “at less than fair market value.” All six commissioners voted in favor of the ruling, backing the U.S. Department of Commerce’s preliminary ruling last year. The decision means that the Department of Commerce will now issue anti-dumping and countervailing orders on uncoated paper from the five countries, assessing duties on uncoated paper from those nations.

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KapStone stocks plummet after poor fourth quarter results

The Longview Daily News
February 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

KapStone’s stock tumbled 30 percent Wednesday on the heels of its Tuesday report showing weaker-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter. Year over year, KapStone Paper and Packaging’s stock plunged by 68 percent, dropping from $31.13 at this time last year to $10 a share Wednesday. The company said it’s continuing to suffer from to high wood fiber costs and increased global competition caused by the strong U.S. dollar. On the plus side, though, the company CEO said he does not expect any business-related shutdowns at the Longview mill this year. Although the fourth quarter typically is slower, KapStone CEO Roger Stone said this past quarter was even weaker than normal. On Tuesday KapStone reported that adjusted net income in the fourth quarter was $16 million — a 60 percent drop from the fourth quarter in 2014.

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Maplesville approves West Fraser tax abatement

The Clanton Advertiser
February 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Maplesville held its monthly town council meeting on Monday, and had plenty of topics that were up for discussion with a tax abatement for West Fraser Lumber Company at the forefront. Each member of the council was present for the meeting. Representatives from West Fraser were the first visitors on the agenda, as they approached the council with an application to grant authority for abatement of taxes. According to West Fraser controller Paul Davis, the reasoning for the abatement would be to further aid the company’s current expansion plan for the building of a new saw mill and the ultimate goal of increasing productivity and remaining a fixture in Maplesville. Councilwoman Sheila Haigler brought to attention past dealings between West Fraser and the town of Maplesville.

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Waynesville lumber company recognized for exports

Smoky Mountain News
February 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Waynesville lumber company Oaks Unlimited Inc. got recognition in Raleigh last week, named 2016 Exporter of the Year by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It exports 75 percent of its production to a dozen countries outside the United States. “Oaks Unlimited has shown the world the quality of North Carolina forestry products for more than 40 years,” said Steve Troxler, N.C. Agriculture Commissioner. Specializing in high-quality, kiln-dried ash, cherry, hickory, poplar, red oak and white oak, Oaks Unlimited recently purchased 10 acres next to its existing facility to add a boiler, dry kiln and lumber shed. It offers lumber certified through the Forest Stewardship Council, and Appalachian hardwoods verified sustainable by Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Domtar Develops ‘Paperpal’ Project to Link Senior Citizens, Students

Printing News
February 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

As more researchers and doctors recommend the benefits of handwriting for both children and senior citizens, Domtar Corporation unveiled a new program today called PaperPal. The effort will connect generations through letter-writing. It will help youths develop fine motor skills, spur seniors to practice a useful cognitive exercise and give both groups a way to develop enjoyable and enriching connections. Domtar tested the program in 2015 with a school and retirement community in Van Nuys, CA. The idea, chronicled in a short video, was so successful that the groups wanted to continue writing letters even after the initial two-month program officially ended.

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Ray touts OSU economic impacts

Corvallis Gazette-Times
February 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

In a presentation to the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Oregon State University President Ed Ray touted the university’s economic impact while continuing to get some mileage out of the recent discovery of prehistoric fossils at Reser Stadium. . …Finally, he talked about the $60 million-$70 million forest science complex in the works for the Corvallis campus. The complex will serve as a center for research into cross-laminated timbers, a new type of engineered wood product that can take the place of steel structural beams in midrise buildings. …On cross-laminated timber: Ray said this new kind of engineered wood product has the potential to create a significant number of manufacturing jobs in rural Oregon.  “It turns out that, in terms of structural support, the best wood to use is Douglas fir,” he said. “Well, guess who’s cornered the market in Douglas fir?”

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Wood-based carbon fibre powers model car

Engineering Materials
February 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Swedish researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and research groups, Innventia and Swerea, claim to have produced the world’s first model car with a roof and battery made from wood-based carbon fibre. This novel material, made of lignin, is said to be a lightweight and renewable alternative to metals and other composites. Lignin is the second most abundant natural polymer in the world, as it is a constituent of the cell walls of nearly all plants that grow on dry land, surpassed only by cellulose. Göran Lindbergh, professor of Chemical Engineering at KTH, says that the use of wood lignin as an electrode material came from previous research he did with Innventia. Lignin batteries can be produced from renewable raw materials, in this case the byproduct from paper pulp production.

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Forestry

SFI Partnering for Conservation and Community Impact Throughout North America

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
February 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON, DC and OTTAWA, ON — Grants were announced today for 19 projects to help further understanding of the conservation benefits of managed forests, and to strengthen the connection between communities and forests. The grants were made as part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.’s Conservation and Community Partnership Grants Program. These grants represent collaborations between SFI Inc., SFI Program Participants, and partner organizations throughout North America. “Our conservation grants advance SFI’s long-standing commitment to forest research. These projects provide the science-based data that resource professionals need to improve forest management, and to assess the value of that work,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

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On Nature’s Death Row: Alberta’s Coveted Foothills Forest

After a century of occupation, this once mighty-mosaic of woods no longer provides adequate shelter for its ‘refugees.’ Part of a series.
The Tyee
February 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For Alberta’s foothills caribou, death row is a fraying triangle of pine, spruce and aspen forest and meadows, stretched along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains and running roughly from Banff, west of Calgary, some 630 kilometres north and west over the provincial border into British Columbia. A broad thumb of forest thrusts east toward Slave Lake. A second area with a similar ecological community, not quite as large, straddles the provincial borders north of Fort St. John, B.C. Anchored on Alberta’s Chinchaga Wildland Park it holds the headwaters of the Hay River. The two areas are isolated from each other by the trans-border Peace River and its development corridor of gas fields, forest mills and a soon-to-be-built third hydroelectric dam and reservoir on the river.

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SCIENCE WATCH: Protecting the forest doesn’t protect the grizzlies

by DAVID SUZUKI
Chronicle Herald
February 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The agreement between government, industry, First Nations and environmental groups to protect much of the Great Bear Rainforest should be celebrated. The deal makes almost 85 per cent of the forested land base in this massive region on B.C.’s coast off limits to logging. Forestry in the remaining 15 per cent will follow “lighter-touch” practices, called “ecosystem-based management”. Most importantly, First Nations will have greater decision-making authority over industrial development on their lands. However, while the agreement helps protect grizzly bear and other wildlife habitat, it doesn’t protect the bears themselves, contrary to B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s claims at a news conference. Hunting grizzly and black bears in the Great Bear remains legal. The agreement actually contains no reference to grizzly hunting.

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Board announces appointment of new CEO at the BC Forest Safety Council

BC Forest Safety Council
February 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO – The BC Forest Safety Council’s board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Moonen as the new CEO of the BC forest sector’s health and safety association, effective March 16, 2016. Rob, who was previously the Director, SAFE Companies at the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), is a health and safety champion, and highly regarded for his robust knowledge and familiarity with industry’s challenges in eliminating fatalities and serious injuries, both in harvesting and manufacturing. “Rob’s knowledge, depth and breadth of industry and health and safety experience are well-matched to industry’s need to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities,” said Ken Higginbotham, Chair of the BCFSC. Rob will be taking over from Reynold Hert who announced his retirement at the end of last year.

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Western Lit: ‘Toward a Natural Forest’ Examines How the U.S. Forest Service Is an Agency Adrift

CV Independent
February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Whither the U.S. Forest Service? Jim Furnish, whose 34-year career with the agency culminated in one of the most important public-lands protection measures in the nation’s history, has grappled with this question throughout much of his life. In his engaging new memoir,Toward a Natural Forest, Furnish outlines how the Forest Service transitioned from a can-do operation with a clear mission—getting out the cut—to an agency striving, and largely failing, to find new reasons to justify its existence. He also chronicles his own transformation, from gung-ho young forester to passionate advocate for responsible environmental stewardship. Furnish portrays an agency that grew increasingly at odds with public sentiment during the 1970s and 1980s, as it outstripped the ecological limits of the land it managed.

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Log trucks taking to Lost Horse Road in the Bitterroot

KPAX
February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – Drivers will want to keep an eye out for log truck traffic on Lost Horse Road for the next few months. The log hauling is associated with the Horse Lick timber sale, which is part of the Como Forest Health Project on the Darby Ranger District. The project includes treatments on 2,200 acres of overstocked National Forest System lands between Lake Como and Lost Horse Canyon. Bitterroot National Forest spokesman Tod McKay says the goal of the project is to improve forest health and reduce hazardous fuels while maintaining the scenic qualities of the area. The project will provide nearly 6.5 million board feet of timber (1,500 truckloads) to Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake.

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67th logging conference starts this week

Record Searchlight
February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Even with all the rain that fell in December and January, California isn’t out of the woods from the drought. This reality isn’t lost on the timber industry as it convenes this week in Anderson for the 67th annual Sierra Cascade Logging Conference. And water takes the spotlight Thursday afternoon at the Shasta District Fair grounds in “Forestry and California’s Water Supply — Connections and Solutions.” The panel discussion 1 to 3 p.m. at Fusaro Hall. Conference spokesman Mike Quinn said forests play an important role in California’s water supply. Forest scientists and researchers have been talking about the link between forests and the availability of water. “I think it’s appropriate now because now that we got all this rain, maybe we are kind of not thinking” about the drought, Quinn said.

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The US Fire Services have done as predicted

Letter by John Gaither
Weekly Mailer
February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The US Fire Services (aka US Forest Service and BLM) have done as predicted. The have requested more money from Congress because they are planning to manage more fires next season. They have held their public meetings and asked for imput on their plans but won’t use anyones suggestions unless you are a radical conservation group. Why you may ask, because they must ask for imput but don’t have to use it. No where have I read that they are going to increase their fire prevention program. Oh, they may buy more advertising telling us “Only You can Prevent Forest Fires) and buy more Smokey The Bear suits for the kiddies to see in parades & fairs.

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US Forest Service, California Natural Resources Agency sign master agreement supporting restoration activities

USDA Forest Service
February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VALLEJO, California – In a move that will increase collaborative forest management in California, the U.S. Forest Service and California Natural Resources Agency recently signed a Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) master agreement. This new agreement will allow state entities within the California Natural Resources Agency to complement the restoration work being done by U.S. Forest Service staff in California over the next 10 years. Supplemental agreements between national forests and California state agencies will tier to the master agreement and specifically identify the work the state can perform on National Forest System (NFS) lands.

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Spruce Beetles Invade More Colorado Forest While Pine Beetles Fade

Colorado Public Radio
February 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A good place to check on the health of Colorado’s forests is from the air. That’s why the U.S. Forest Service does an annual aerial survey of the millions of acres of the state’s woodlands. Results from the 2015 survey are out with a kind of mixed diagnosis. “The good news: The mountain pine beetle is back to normal levels,” said Forest Service Entomologist Bob Cain. “Not in epidemic levels across most of the state. We still have little outbreaks going on. It’s sort of difficult to find a lot of mountain pine beetle right now.” The bad news: Another bug, the spruce beetle, is spreading. “That’s our bigger, active epidemic. So mountain pine beetles are winding down, spruce beetle continues to expand onto new acres in large numbers,” Cain said.

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Congress should see that big wildfires are disasters

Herald and News
February 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Presidential budget proposals are often more wish lists than solid likelihood, and President Obama’s budget proposals — especially to a Republican Congress — have to be taken in that light. Still, one of the items included could help the West in dealing with the wildfire outbreaks that have become an annual summer scourge running into hundreds of thousands of acres, lost lives and millions of dollars in structure damage. In 2015, that meant more than 10.1 million acres nationwide burned, 13 firefighters’ lives lost, and 4,500 homes and other structures destroyed. The federal cost of fighting those fires was $2.6 billion, much of it taken from other programs that would have lessened the danger of wildfires by improving and restoring forest health.

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Planning commission speaks against federal logging plan

KFSK
February 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Petersburg’s Planning and Zoning Commission does not support the newest amendment to the Tongass National Forest Land Management Plan. The commissioners disagreed with the plan’s focus to move from old growth to young growth harvest. KFSK Angela Denning reports. “There was no science in this plan,” Sebastian said. “And that’s what kind of makes it so damnable, communities weren’t represented.” Sebastian wasn’t alone. Commission members also had problems with it. While the federal plan is supposed to create sustainability in the forest, the planning members didn’t see it that way. “We’re looking at a situation where the whole management plan is flawed,” said Commission Chair Chris Fry, who owns a saw mill on Mitkof Island.

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Forest monitoring skills on the rise

Center for International Forestry Research
February 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Most countries have included forest and land use in their efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxides and other greenhouse gases—but as those in the carbon-accounting world will tell you, countries can’t manage what they can’t measure and monitor. And, in the past, many developing countries simply didn’t have the capacity to monitor their forests and related carbon emissions. Now research shows that the past decade has seen a marked improvement, driven largely by the struggle against climate change. “If there is forest monitoring capacity in a country, it’s there for a reason,” said Martin Herold, senior research associate at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a co-author of a new paper assessing 99 countries’ monitoring capacity.

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Monaro dieback brings science and Aboriginal knowledge together

ABC News, Australia
February 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International


Aboriginal custodians say a massive 2,000 square kilometres of eucalyptus viminalis, known as Manna Gum or Ribbon Gum, that has died on the Monaro Plains in New South Wales is the result of a lack of traditional burning practices. Forest scientists cannot determine a specific cause and say the question now is what to do next. “This is what’s happening to Australia,” Dr Cris Brack from the Australian National University said. “This may happen again. There are other examples where you have species on the limit of their natural range, and if we have an event that’s caused stress, maybe other populations like this will disappear.” Dr Brack said the species had a wide range in Australia, and was the dominant species on the ridges and hills of the Monaro Plains. “What you are left with looks like a sea of dead, standing trees.”

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Forest protesters too ’reckless’

The Mercury
February 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

FORESTRY Tasmania operations general manager Nigel Foss says protesters in a ­Lapoinya forest are showing a reckless disregard for safety. “Protesters are deliberately putting themselves in harm’s way by placing themselves in the vicinity of heavy machinery — and, in some cases, these protesters are following heavy machinery while it is operating,” Mr Foss said. He said operators had limited visibility. But the Forests of Lapoinya Action Group said it provided footage to Forestry Tasmania because of its concerns about forestry contractors. “It is disappointing to have those concerns unaddressed other than to attempt to lay blame for machine operational movements on protesters,’’ convener Stewart Hoyt said.

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Fears fire management plan lacking in revamp of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area

ABC News, Australia
February 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Conservationists have raised concerns the draft plan for managing Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (WWHA) does not address the threat of fire. About 2 per cent of the WWHA has been burnt, due to fires started by lightning strikes last month. A number of unique species have been destroyed in sensitive alpine habitats that do not regenerate after a blaze. They include pencil pines, king billy pines and cushion plants, some more than 1,000 years old. Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Webber compared the previous 1999 WWHA plan and the present draft plan, focusing on what they offered in fire management. She said the current draft plan did not have a clear policy on how to deal with fires in the area. “[With] the very real need to address fire in this age of climate change … the draft management plan is confused,” she said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Greenpeace to use aerial vision of World Heritage Area bushfire damage in climate change campaigns

ABC News, Australia
February 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Greenpeace says it will feature aerial vision of Tasmania’s fire-ravaged World Heritage Area (WHA) forests in future global campaigns as evidence of climate change.The environmental organisation has released footage of burnt areas, including the Central Plateau, shot from drones and helicopters. About 11,000 hectares — or 1.2 per cent of the WHA — has been burnt in bushfires since mid-January, when lightning strikes sparked dozens of blazes across Tasmania. Forest campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Jessica Panegyres, said the organisation would use the footage in its international forest and climate-change campaigns.

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U.S. Groups Join Global Call to Remove Wood-based Biomass From European Union Renewable Energy Directive

Biomass Increases Carbon Pollution, Damages Land and Livelihoods in Communities Around Globe
Center for Biological Diversity
February 10, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

ASHEVILLE, N.C.— More than 110 groups from across the globe joined a declaration today demanding that bioenergy be excluded from the European Union’s next Renewable Energy Directive, or RED. The EU is considering renewal of the RED for 2020 onwards in a “consultation” ending today. A decision is expected by the end of the year. The RED will determine Europe’s path forward on meeting its carbon emissions reductions targets following the Paris agreement signed December 2015. Bioenergy already accounts for around two-thirds of energy classed as renewable in the EU, and the EU currently anticipates that industrial bioenergy will continue playing a major part in its renewable energy strategy. Burning wood for energy increases carbon pollution in the atmosphere for decades to centuries, published science shows. Indeed, so-called “biomass” is even more carbon-intensive than coal when measured at the smokestack.

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