Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 12, 2016

Business & Politics

Work to live, not live to work

By Todd Whitcombe
Prince George Citizen
April 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

This past week, the Council of Forest Industries held their annual convention with the premier as the closing keynote speaker. Not surprisingly, she was defending the forest industry. After all, even with the perpetual economic downturn, at $12.9 billion dollars the forest industry still accounts for 36 per cent of B.C.’s export market. It is a major and important player in the provincial economy. It is just not as big as it once was. …It is frustrating to realize our government continues its push for trades training as the solution to everything. Indeed, Ms. Clark pointed out at the convention the sooner we get our kids into the trades, the better. After all, then they can start buying houses and cars and making real money. “They can reach their earning potential more quickly” she stated but is “reaching our earning potential” our real purpose in life?

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Fire at Tolko could have been worse

Merritt Herald
April 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire that broke out in a pile of wood waste at the Tolko mill on Friday could have been worse than it was when neighbouring piles of logs caught fire. Flames were visible from the top of the wood-waste pile, which grew when gusts of wind picked up. Smoke could be seen billowing towards the neighbouring Claybanks RV Park. Fire Chief Dave Tomkinson told the Herald that the fire was fuelled by the wind and spread to adjacent log decks and grasses along the Coldwater River. “Some embers had flown into the log decks and caught them on fire but they were extinguished,” Tomkinson said.

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Canfor honoured for our contribution to UBC Engineering Co-op Program

Canfor CEO Blog
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

On April 7, Canfor was honoured to receive the Employer of the Year Award from the UBC Engineering Co-op Program for our longstanding relationship with the faculty’s co-op program. Canfor has long recognized the value that co-op students bring to our organization. Our first UBC Engineering Co-op student was hired in January 1995. Since then, Canfor has provided 333 students (and counting) with co-op position in various disciplines, including mechanical engineering, quality control, clean energy and chemical engineering. Innovation and new ideas are key to our continued growth and diversification. Our co-op program has proven to be very successful from the perspective of the students and Canfor employees, and it continues to be an effective means of gaining access to a source of potential future talent who bring enthusiasm and a host of new ideas and approaches to the work place.

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Aspen gets green light to mothball plant

April 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the operator of the electric grid and market serving most of Texas, have given the green light to Aspen Power to mothball its 50-megawatt wood-based biomass generating plant in Lufkin, according to Platts, a commodities and energy markets information provider. [END]

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Warm Springs Forest Products mill closing permanently

KTVZ
April 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. – Fifty years after acquiring a lumber mill on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, tribal leaders announced Monday the permanent closure and impending bankruptcy and liquidation of the Warm Springs Forest Products Industries mill. Tribal members voted in 1966 to buy the mill from Jefferson Plywood, and the tribes said it “was profitable for decades, paying substantial dividends to the tribes.” “In recent years, the mill has struggled financially, due to a number of factors,” the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs announced in a posting at the Spilyay Tymoo newspaper online. …After earlier rounds of cuts, about 85 people, mostly tribal members, were working at the mill until the closure. …The tribes noted that long-term, they can continue to harvest timber on the reservation, for sale to third parties at market value.

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Investigators determine fire that damaged Weyerhaeuser plant in west Eugene was accidental

The Register-Guard
April 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A fire that caused minor damage to a Weyerhaeuser plant Saturday night in west Eugene started accidentally, officials said Monday. Eugene Springfield fire investigators say the blaze at the plant on North Bertelsen Road sparked in a piece of normally operating equipment. The fire was contained by the plant’s sprinkler system and later extinguished by firefighters. The fire was reported at 10:39 p.m. A number of the plant’s employees were evacuated but no injuries were reported, fire officials said. A Weyerhaeuser spokesman said Sunday that crews were making repairs but that the fire did not cause long-term damage to the plant, which is expected to reopen in the near future. 

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Aspen gets green light to mothball plant

April 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the operator of the electric grid and market serving most of Texas, have given the green light to Aspen Power to mothball its 50-megawatt wood-based biomass generating plant in Lufkin, according to Platts, a commodities and energy markets information provider. [END]

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Restrictions blamed for forestry slump

Concerns have been raised over the impact on the country’s climate change strategy from a 30pc slump in forestry planting rates.
Irish Independent
April 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A report from the Forest Service shows 337ha of new forests have been established at a cost of €1.2m so far this year, down 30pc on the same period last year… The IFA’s farm forestry chair Michael Fleming said the fall was worrying with the emphasis on afforestation in the climate change strategy. He pointed out the Forestry Programme 2014-2020 aims to establish 6,600ha in 2016. However, based on the figures for February it could drop to “less than 4,500ha this year if the trend continues.” “The continuing decline in the afforestation programme is a worrying development especially considering the strong recognition in the Paris Agreement of the role of forests as sinks in mitigating climate change,” Mr Fleming said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. focus on wood reshaping the construction industry

B.C.’s focus on heavy timber and mass wood construction is reshaping the construction industry, creating a new type of construction expertise, while also showing the private sector that mid and highrise wood structures can make economic sense.
Journal of Commerce
April 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

“Since the beginning of this year, we are starting to see more interest from developers in these projects and the City of Vancouver is also interested in them,” said Eric Karsh, structural engineer and co-founder of Equilibrium Consulting Inc., a Vancouver firm that specializes in large timber, engineered structures. “We are now just beginning to see developers seriously consider eight-to-10 storey solid wood buildings.” The City of Vancouver is providing equivalencies such as reduced parking for the construction of wood buildings, which can translate into a plus for developers, he said, and there is the growing realization that the prefabrication approach offered by mass timber construction can expedite construction and reduce costs. “We are developing details that show these buildings are cost efficient enough and developers are beginning to take notice,” he said.

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LEED pilot for wood to reduce need for government regulation

By Brendan Owens, USGBM Chief of Engineering
The Hill.com
April 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…In an effort to combat this problem, the U.S. Green Building Council recently announced a new compliance approach designed to further advance responsible sourcing of forest products and rid buildings of illegal wood. Its goal is to help eliminate irresponsibly sourced materials such as illegal wood from the building-material supply chain, which is increasingly global. While builders and owners in the U.S. may take comfort in a federal law that prohibits importation of illegal wood, compliance is imperfect, according to Interpol and others… The pilot approach aims to do both. The new Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) credit will be applied to the LEED green building rating system. The pilot will test whether project managers can verify that the wood they use 100 percent legal. The new pilot seeks to leverage LEED’s market power to focus attention on the need for more comprehensive and effective verification of the source of building products.

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Thompson applauds pilot tax credit to promote use of verified wood in building

The Ripon Advance
April 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Pennsylvania —  Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA) said on Thursday that changes to the leading green building rating system would promote the use of more wood products in building construction. The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced changes to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system for rating green buildings. The changes aim to crack down on illegally sourced wood. Through a new pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) credit, project teams will be rewarded for proactively verifying that the wood they source is legal. “For a state which was founded as ‘Penn’s Woods,’ this is wonderful news,” Thompson said of his home state of Pennsylvania. “Wood is the ultimate green building material. This decision will provide a boost to companies across the state involved in the wood industry.”

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Seeds planted for London’s first wooden skyscraper

By Adam Williams
Gizmag
April 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Researchers at Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture, working alongside PLP Architecture and engineering firm Smith and Wallwork, have presented conceptual plans for a wooden skyscraper to London mayor Boris Johnson. … While it’s too soon to comment as to the project’s chances of actually getting built, the tower is slated for London’s Barbican Estate and would, along with nearby mid-rise terraces, provide 1,000 much-needed new homes and around 1 million sq ft (304,800 sq m) of residential floorspace for England’s capital. …There would be other challenges to overcome, too – not least the concern that a stray spark may burn the whole thing down. As we’ve previously argued, wooden construction done correctly can actually outperform steel and concrete in a fire. Still, whether building regulators, planners, insurance companies and the general public agree on that is another matter.

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Most Sustainable Office in the World Based in the Netherlands

Canada News Wire in Montreal Gazette
April 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

HAELEN, The Netherlands, April 11, 2016 The new head office of dryer and cooler manufacturer Geelen Counterflow in Haelen, The Netherlands, is the most sustainable office in the world, receiving a 99,94% score in the BREEAM certification system. …Where possible, the building materials are “Cradle to Cradle” certified, which means that they do no harm to the environment and that they can be re-used at the end of their lifetime. The building is constructed out of wood which is considered to have the lowest CO2 footprint of any construction material.

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Forestry

Mining sector eyes treetop needles, bark for help with hitting pay dirt

Alberni Valley News
April 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s trees could hold the key to identifying promising new mineral deposits hidden across the province. A provincial science group is set to release the results of an innovative pilot project that samples the tops of trees for trace amounts of precious minerals in order to help mining companies hit pay dirt. Bruce Madu of Geoscience BC says coniferous trees have long been known to pick up metals and other elements from surrounding soil and concentrate them in their twigs, bark and needles. Madu says analyzing these tree elements over a broad area could offer a lens into the types and abundance of commercially valuable materials deep beneath their roots.

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Take Comox Lake area back from logging companies

Letter by Kevin Marston, Comox
Comox Valley Record
April 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

fter taking a ride up to Comox Lake, I feel it’s time to be vocal. We have been having more and more boil water advisories recently and the reason is right before our eyes. As you approach the dam you will see more devastation to the forest. There is a new clearcut on a slope leading to the dam and surrounding the Rod and Gun location which also goes very close to the lake. There is nothing left to slow any water flow after any rain. If you go around the lakes that Vancouver uses for their water source there is no logging and the forests are pristine. Never hear of boil water advisories for them!!

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Groups seek injunction on northern Idaho logging project

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
April 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, IDAHO – Two conservation groups have asked a federal judge for an injunction to temporarily stop a salvage logging project in a national forest near the Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers in northern Idaho. Idaho Rivers United and Friends of the Clearwater filed the motion last week as part of their lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Forest Service seeking to stop the project that aims to harvest about 34 million board feet of timber scorched by wildfire. The groups contend in the lawsuit filed in early March that the Forest Service’s approval of the 2,100-acre project violates the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that’s intended to preserve free-flowing rivers with outstanding natural and recreational characteristics.

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The human side of the timber business

The Courier Tribune
April 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Harvesting timber in Randolph County is done primarily by local landowners and loggers, while large corporations do the buying and processing. The N.C. Forestry Service and independent foresters offer advice. A Focus on the impact of timbering in Randolph County concludes today with the perspectives of property owners and loggers. ASHEBORO — Arnold Lanier has been involved in the timber industry all his life, working in his family’s business. A full harvest of a timber crop can take half a person’s life, so it isn’t for someone lacking in patience. Most landowners in the timber business have other sources of income, as does Lanier.

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Swedish Forest Agency: Decreased amount of delivered seedlings in 2015

Lesprom
April 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Swedish Forest Agency conducts annual survey by questionnaire on the production of seedlings for use in Sweden. According to the latest survey some 344 million seedlings were delivered in 2015. There was a decrease of about 7% compared with the year before, as Swedish Forest Agency said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The most common tree species are Norway spruce, which accounts for 53% of production. Scots pine accounts for 42% of the production while other species production accounts for 5%. Since 2011, the survey also includes lodgepole pine and birch.

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Greenpeace protests logging in Poland’s rare primeval forest

Associated Press in Washington Post
April 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WARSAW, Poland — Environment activists have protested Poland’s plans of extensive logging in Europe’s last primeval forest and have demanded full protection for the rare Bialowieza woods. Greenpeace members on Tuesday spread a banner on the Environment Ministry that read “(Make) All of the Forest a National Park,” a protective status that would ban logging. Last month, Environment Minister Jan Szyszko approved extensive logging in the Bialowieza Forest, in northeastern Poland, saying it was to help fight the spreading invasion of bark beetle, a kind of woodworm that attacks and kills trees. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

McKenna to B.C.: Great job on climate, don’t rest on laurels

Vancouver Sun
April 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA – Canada needs the B.C. government, which is hedging on whether to follow an expert panel’s recommendation to hike carbon taxes in 2018, to remain a climate action leader, says federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. …McKenna, whose government is trying to get all provinces to accept some form of carbon pricing at a federal-provincial gathering later this month, said she hopes B.C. will once again taking a leadership role by following those recommendations. …McKenna’s comments were before Clark’s speech Friday at the Council of Forest Industries convention in Kelowna. Clark spoke at length about alternatives to carbon taxes, like industry incentives and investments in transit, to reduce emissions. “We have not decided by any stretch of the imagination that the recommendations that they’ve given us (to increase the carbon tax) are things that we can or should do,” Clark said.

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B.C.’s beetle-gnawed, carbon spewing forests recovering quickly, says researcher

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
April 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – University of Victoria scientists say they have some good news about global warming and its impact on British Columbia’s forests, especially about the environment’s recovery from the devastating mountain pine beetle outbreak more than a decade ago. A group of scientists at the university’s Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions have discovered that global warming is producing larger trees and faster-growing forests. “What we have found is the forests in B.C. are growing much faster than in the past due to climate change and increases in carbon dioxide, and this has helped us recover from the mountain pine beetle outbreak,” said lead research Vivek, Arora, a climate modelling expert. Under normal conditions, forests act as so-called carbon sinks, which scrub the atmosphere by pulling in CO2 while releasing oxygen, he said.

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Forest growth accelerating in BC due to carbon dioxide ‘fertilizer effect’

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
April 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are accelerating the growth of B.C.’s forests by one to three per cent a year, enough to cancel out the impact on the climate from the mountain pine beetle outbreak by 2020, according to a new study from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. “This turnaround will happen much sooner than we had imagined,” said lead author and Environment Canada climate scientist Vivek Arora. …New research suggests that climate change has increased the rate of growth and carbon storage in our forests, so much so that an additional one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide will be stored by our trees between the pine beetle outbreak and 2020. “We have transitioned from a period at the peak of the mountain pine beetle outbreak, when the forests were a carbon source, to now, where they have become a sink (again),” said Kurz.

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Climate change helping B.C. forests recover from pine beetle says study

Warmer, wetter climate helping trees grow faster and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, according to study
CBC News
April 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The warming climate that helped trigger B.C.’s mountain pine beetle outbreak might also be helping the province’s forests recover, according to new research led by federal government scientists in Victoria. That’s because B.C. forests are responding to climate change by growing faster, said the lead author of the study published in Geophysical Research Letters. “Since we are putting more CO2 into the atmosphere and things are getting warmer, trees are responding to that,” said lead author Vivek Arora, a climate modeller with Environment and Climate Change Canada. The study says B.C. forests are regaining their status as “carbon sinks” — something the mountain pine beetle wiped out along with 18 million hectares of lodgepole pine.

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NSP not required to run Point Tupper facility

Cape Breton Post
April 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

POINT TUPPER — Changing the Point Tupper biomass generating facility’s must-run status won’t affect employment there and will benefit the province’s ratepayers, a Nova Scotia Power official says. Sasha Irving, vice-president of communications and public affairs, said in an interview Friday they believe it’s the right decision for customers of the utility. “It provides us with more flexibility in choosing the type of generation we use to serve our customers,” she said. …The biomass plant employs 38 people, including power engineers and maintenance personnel. The change in operation won’t result in any job losses at the plant, Irving said. It is also not expected to affect operations at the neighbouring Port Hawkesbury Paper mill, or affect the calculation of power rates for the mill.

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Right direction on Point Tupper

April 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

I congratulate Premier McNeil’s government for taking a step in the right direction with its decision to end the “must run” status of the Point Tupper biomass boiler. This should help decrease a terribly inefficient use of forest biomass for power generation. I took pleasure in notifying the 28,000-plus signers of my petition of this positive step, hopefully the first in this direction. Reduction of our carbon footprint is crucial. 

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Right direction on Point Tupper

April 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

I congratulate Premier McNeil’s government for taking a step in the right direction with its decision to end the “must run” status of the Point Tupper biomass boiler. This should help decrease a terribly inefficient use of forest biomass for power generation. I took pleasure in notifying the 28,000-plus signers of my petition of this positive step, hopefully the first in this direction. Reduction of our carbon footprint is crucial. 

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Biomass bailout bill heading to Legislature

WLBZ Bangor
April 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A bill that would bail out Maine’s struggling biomass and logging industries is expected to go before the full legislature in the coming days. There is little argument that Maine’s logging industry is in trouble. It’s been hampered by closures of paper mills and biomass power plants and production cuts at wood pellet plants, but the solution to help the loggers and the biomass power plants is a bitter pill to swallow for some. Republican Representative Beth O’Connor of Berwick was one of two lawmakers on the Energy Committee who voted against it. “It’s wasted money the biomass industries are very inefficient as we speak,” she said.

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