Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 7, 2016

Business & Politics

‘Canada matters’: Trudeau’s White House visit sends message, Freeland says

Softwood lumber deal ‘a fiendishly complex’ issue
CTV News
March 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s upcoming trip to the White House this week will send a message to U.S. politicians that “Canada matters,” says International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland.  …Trudeau is also expected to raise the issue of softwood lumber when he meets with Obama. The previous U.S.-Canada softwood lumber agreement expired last October, and since then the countries have been unable to negotiate a new deal. Freeland said striking a softwood lumber deal is a “Canadian priority,” but that the issue is complicated. “This is a fiendishly complex issue,” she said. “This is one where, really, getting the attention of the United States … is going to be tremendously important.” In the past, American industry groups have accused Canada of unfairly subsidizing its lumber production, and disputes have led to years-long court cases.

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Trudeau in Washington: Softwood lumber at loggerheads again

‘If there’s a deal, it will be a more restrictive deal than the last one and it won’t be good news for Canada’
CBC News
March 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Amid the glitz of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s state dinner at the White House this week, perhaps it’s unfashionable to remember these two great neighbours also have one of the largest and longest-running trade disputes in the world. A tiff over two-by-fours is less sexy than wondering whose spouse is wearing what. But the billion-dollar bust-up over softwood lumber has seen Canadians and Americans at odds for 30 years. Trudeau and his trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, are working hard to show, in the trade minister’s hopeful words, “significant progress” on the issue. But loggerheads loom. .. “Canada … is going to Washington asking them to basically hit us on the head again,” said former lumber council executive and trade diplomat Carl Grenier. “It’s really quite amazing.”

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Québec forest industry – Minister Lessard signals his concerns over the renewal of the softwood lumber agreement to his federal colleague

Canada Newswire press release
March 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUÉBEC CITY,  The Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Laurent Lessard, had an opportunity yesterday to speak to the federal Minister of International Trade, Chrystia Freeland. Minister Lessard took advantage of their conversation to mention that the Québec government intends to ensure that the particularities of its forest regime are recognized during the process to renew the softwood lumber agreement. “Our forest regime is the strictest in the world. In addition, some elements of the regime, such as the open market and the timber marketing board, match US demands for a price for lumber from Québec’s public forests that better reflects market conditions. These particularities must be fairly recognized, and I was pleased to note Minister Freeland’s attentive response,” states Minister Lessard.

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Timber Report: Log, wood products prices remain lackluster

by Rick Sohn
The News-Review Today
March 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Lackluster product prices, log prices and housing starts are continuing, despite low unsold home inventories. The recovery has gone flat although fixed rate mortgages seem to get more attractive by the week, for now. Recent trends of lumber, home construction and housing markets are compared to 2009 and 2005. Stud prices have picked up slightly and log prices have stabilized, for now. Logs are expensive relative to product prices in January. The imbalance of log and product prices has not improved from December to January. Housing starts have flattened out. The slow upward trend of the last few years is not happening. They are at about the same level as the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.

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Saratoga sawmill mill to extend shutdown after fire

Associated Press in The Billings Gazette
March 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

RAWLINS — A sawmill in Saratoga that closed after a January fire will remain closed into April. The Rawlins Daily Times reported that Saratoga Forest Management officials expected the mill to be closed three to five weeks after the fire Jan. 20. Owner Gary Ervin says the mill is still not repaired and will take more time to get running again. The January fire was caused by sparks from an arc welder. No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze. The Saratoga sawmill employs about 140 workers with an additional 50 under contract as loggers and truck drivers. Ervin said some of the mill’s workforce has remained on the job since the fire, but others are unemployed.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Local Architect wins award for work in Red Cedar

Bowen Island Undercurrent
March 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Local architect James Tuer won an award last week for design in “Western Red Cedar” at the 2016 BC Wood Design Awards. He won the award for the design of the 6,000 sq. ft. Bowen Island Buddhist International Society Retreat. Judges were looking for “innovative designs of wood structures in smaller urban BC centres and mid-rise construction.” The event was presented by Wood WORKS! BC, an organization promoting Canadian wood sales for construction. The event, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, “recognized leadership in advancing wood use in design and building while being an opportunity to publicly salute and celebrate structural and architectural achievement using wood.” The judges commended the project for its innovative use of curved beams and extensive use of western red cedar inside and out.

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Forestry

NDIT Announces New Fund for Forestry

Prince George 250 News
March 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- The Northern Development Initiative Trust is rolling out a new fund to help small forestry related businesses research and develop new technologies and techniques. The fund will provide up to $1 million dollars in grants over a two year period for small and medium sized companies and community forests involved in logging, processing and transporting products related to the forest sector. The ‘Forest Innovation Fund’ is under the NDIT’s Pine Beetle Recovery Account. Although the beetles have long gone and many pine beetle stands already harvested, there are challenging days ahead as the forest industry deals with a reduced mid-term timber supply.  

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Timmins mayor balks at the $10,000 from the city required to join Boreal Forest Alliance

Timmins Press
March 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) is anxious to join the Quebec-Ontario Boreal Forest Alliance, but there has yet to be a consensus regarding which municipalities in the north will be joining. The status of the group’s proposal to join the lobby group was discussed at length at NEOMA’s annual meeting on Friday in Fauquier-Strickland. The alliance is pushing the municipal group to formalize their membership and nearly an hour of the meeting last week was dedicated to what NEOMA’s next move will be. Membership to the Quebec-Ontario Boreal Forest Alliance runs upwards of $45,000.

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People needed to trap spruce budworms in Cape Breton

Cape Breton Post
March 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

SYDNEY — It’s been more than 35 years since the dreaded spruce budworm wreaked havoc on Cape Breton forests, but a group trying to better understand the bug said it is due to make a comeback. The spruce budworm is considered one of the most damaging native insects to balsam fir and spruce trees in Canada. Outbreaks can result in widespread tree growth loss and effects that can last for decades. “As you know, in Quebec right now there is an outbreak, so we are interested if moths are potentially migrating,” said Emily Owens, a biologist and program co-ordinator with Forest Protection Ltd. “One area might be Cape Breton … creating a potential area where the populations can beef up. That’s why we are getting some traps set up in Cape Breton.” Owens said outbreaks occur every 35-40 years and the last outbreak in Cape Breton peaked in 1975, so “if you do the math,” an outbreak is on the way.

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Give our forests back to the people

by Bob Bancroft, biologist, woodland owner and president of Nature Nova Scotia
Chronicle Herald
March 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

… More than 40 per cent of the operable forest in Nova Scotia has been clear-cut in the last 25 years. Many Nova Scotians understand that clear-cutting and other large-scale methods of forest flattening cause drastic environmental changes. Nature, when severely wounded, takes much time to heal. … Nova Scotia’s forests are overcut. Since 2010 we’ve added the harvesting of hardwood forests for cheap biomass, to be burned to produce electricity at efficiency rates of about 21.5 per cent or less. Forest biomass burning has contributed to forest flattening in Nova Scotia and beyond. … Politicians are elected by voters. But politicians don’t listen to voters with respect to managing forests. Politicians listen instead to forest industries that promise jobs as they busily transform forests into cheap fibre and biomass on private and public (Crown) lands, for private profits.

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Logging proposed southwest of Bozeman

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
March 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is seeking public comment on a logging project southwest of Bozeman. DNRC proposes logging as much as 850 acres within more than 2,700 acres in the Limestone and Nichols Creek area for a project called Limestone West. DNRC Bozeman unit manager Craig Campbell said in a news release that lodgepole pine in the area are dying and have been harmed by mountain pine beetle, and added that Douglas fir stands aren’t growing fully and would benefit from selective logging. DNRC hopes the project will improve forest health, minimize wildfire risks and earn the state a profit. The logging would happen on Trust Lands, which the state is obligated to make a profit from. Proceeds go toward schools.

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Officials oppose potential Douglas fir monument

The Bulletin, Oregon
March 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALBANY — Local officials say they strongly oppose a proposal by environmental groups that would create a Douglas fir National Monument in Western Oregon. A coalition of environmental groups would like to designate nearly 500,000 acres in Linn and Marion counties as a national monument. That would include most of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land in Linn County, said county commissioner Will Tucker, plus nearly 50,000 acres of private land if it becomes available for purchase. “This is very scary that this is being proposed,” Tucker told the Albany Democrat-Herald. “We’re definitely against this. We need to stop it now.” Linn County Commissioners John Lindsey and Roger Nyquist also opposed the idea this week.

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Georgia lags neighbors in public lands

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Georgians have much less publicly owned land to play in than virtually every one of their Southern neighbors. State and federal lands cover only 8.5 percent of Georgia’s 58,000 square miles, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Nearly 30 percent of Florida, by contrast, is under state or federal control. Much of the land tallied by DNR is made up of military bases, state and national parks, wildlife management areas and publicly-owned forests. Georgia’s public lands include dozens of hunting tracts, Cumberland Island, the Chattahoochee National Forest and Ocmulgee National Monument. Forts Stewart, Benning and Gordon, owned by the Department of Defense, comprise huge swaths of Georgia territory, but most is off-limits to civilians.

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Leading brands accused by Greenpeace of ‘failing’ to protect Indonesia’s forest

The Independent
March 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Over the past 25 years more than a quarter of Indonesia’s forests have disappeared, meaning the 76 million acres of forest have been lost since 1990 – an area almost the size of Germany. A major cause of this deforestation is believed to be the palm oil industry, with tree loss from palm oil plantations leading to devastating forest fires and threatening endangered species such as orang-utans. Palm oil is used by many brands and found in thousands of everyday products from toothpaste to crisps. According to an analysis by Greenpeace, however, some leading brands such as Pepsico, Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive are “failing” to track whether the palm oil they use is linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests.

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Indonesia agency pushes plan to tackle deforestation, fires

Washington Post
March 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s anti-graft commission on Monday said government agencies have agreed on a plan to combat corruption in the forestry industry that costs the state billions of dollars in lost revenue and is behind fires that pollute Southeast Asia. The attempt to address a longstanding crisis in the management and conservation of Indonesia’s prized tropical forests comes after a study by the anti-corruption commission estimated that the commercial value of undeclared logging was $60.7 billion to $81.4 billion between 2003 and 2014. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

NEOMA to lobby province to get Cochrane bimass plant a second chance

Timmins Press
March 6, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Cochrane Power biomass plant could potentially have a chance to get its operation up-and-running again. At its annual meeting on Friday, The Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) unanimously supported lobbying the provincial government to reconsider the plant for its Large Renewable Procurement 1 (LRP 1). Ted Griffin, with the lobby group Campbell Strategies, presented a draft letter to the NEOMA members that he will be sending to the Crown-run Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and two staffers at Queen’s Park. The letter formally requests that the “IESO re-open the bidding for the 50MW of biomass power allocated in the LRP 1 and that it amend its RFP conditions to allow existing facilities without contracts to submit proposals.”

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To curb emissions, protect the forests

The Toronto Star
March 6, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The cap and trade plan unveiled in the Ontario budget is a significant and concrete step toward achieving the province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets while strengthening the economy. …But our provincial leaders should think more broadly. …The report, on the state of Ontario’s forests, included the gloomy news that our Crown forests are expected to be a net source of carbon between 2010 and 2030. That’s because the forests currently include many older stands that contain high levels of carbon — and as trees die, they release carbon instead of absorbing it. …In the meantime, instead of helping clean carbon out of the atmosphere, as forests should do, they will be a net contributor for 20 years to the growing problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Proposal to define wood-burning as ‘carbon neutral’ fuels debate

Science Magazine
March 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Federal legislation promoting wood-burning power plants as a “carbon neutral” way to make energy is drawing criticism from some scientists. The provision is part of a much larger bipartisan energy bill now pending in the U.S. Senate, which could approve the bill as early as next week. In a letter sent to Senate leaders on 24 February and released earlier this week by the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Research Center, 65 scientists warned that “this well-intentioned legislation, which claims to address climate change, would in fact promote deforestation in the U.S. and elsewhere and make climate change much worse.” The dispute is the latest skirmish in a fight over whether power plants fueled by wood should be promoted as climate-friendly, or discouraged for putting more carbon into the atmosphere and imperiling forests. 

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My Turn: Wood is good for Concord

Concord Monitor
March 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The state of New Hampshire is considering switching infrastructure in Concord state buildings now heated by local renewable wood over to natural gas because natural gas prices are currently the lowest they have been in many years. Is this the best option? Let’s take a look. …Biomass is our most available, local, renewable resource. New Hampshire, being the second highest forested state in the nation, has ample resources of low-grade wood. Although I support all sectors of renewable energy, only biomass provides thermal and electrical energy 24 hours a day. I have often read comments from naive readers worried about clear-cutting our forests just to provide fuel for biomass plants. That is far from the case. The power plants in New Hampshire burn over 1 million tons of biomass each year yet our forests continue to grow more wood than we harvest.

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J&K govt forms plan to tackle climate change

Business Standard
March 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

To address the threat of climate change in Jammu and Kashmir, the state government has formulated a five-year ‘Green India Mission’ (GIM) perspective plan by adopting measures primarily through forestry sector at the cost of Rs 250 crore.  Principal Secretary, Forests, Rakesh Gupta today chaired a meeting and discussed the salient features of the Perspective Plan of Green India Mission. …He said that during the meeting it was observed that the forestry sector provides a great opportunity to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure food security, water availability and livelihood to communities dependent on forest.  The plan envisages greening of landscapes through afforestation of degraded forest areas and enrichment of open forest areas, so that the impact of the climate change on the people living in the fringes of forest is reduced to a large extent, he said. 

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