Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 20, 2016

Business & Politics

Prince Albert pulp and paper mill expected to reopen in 2020

B.C. company Paper Excellence Canada hopes to begin work on the mill in 2018
CBC News
April 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ten years after the Prince Albert pulp and paper mill shut down, a British Columbia-based company plans to reopen the mill by 2020. This month 10 years ago, Weyerhaeuser closed the Prince Albert Pulp Mill, costing 700 people their jobs. But after acquiring the old mill in 2011, Paper Excellence Canada told CBC News they plan on bringing life back into the mill, injecting hundreds of jobs into the city. Company spokesperson Kathy Cloutier said work to prepare the old mill could start in the next couple of years. However, a non-compete clause prevents them from producing pulp until 2020.

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COFI Convention 2016 a great success

Council of Forest Industries
April 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2016 edition of the COFI Annual Convention lived up to the event’s long-standing reputation as the premier forest industry event in Western Canada. COFI’s number one goal is to help create the conditions for a thriving, sustainable, globally competitive forest industry. Presenters at this year’s convention provided lots of food for thought around how that might be achieved. Beginning with Steve Thomson, the BC Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, we heard about the government’s commitment to this goal. He outlined some of the actions that they are taking to help address the competitiveness challenge and to help communities and the forests through a time of change.

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10 years later: Prince Albert Pulp Mill closure still felt by region

Prince Albert mayor says nearly 2,000 jobs were lost as a result of the pulp mill closing
CBC News
April 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s an anniversary not too many people in Prince Albert, Sask., are celebrating. Ten years ago this month Weyerhaeuser closed the Prince Albert Pulp Mill and the move resulted in 700 people losing their jobs. But Greg Dionne, the mayor of Prince Albert, said the impact was startling for the entire region. “There was 700 jobs here. There was probably 1,400 jobs out on the field cutting the lumber, hauling the trees, truckers,” Dionne said. “People just don’t realize it wasn’t just 700 jobs — it was quite a few more”  The loss of the pulp mill wasn’t the first blow to the community, Dionne said. “We’ve gone through this. We had a meat packing plant that closed. We had a brewery that closed. And we’re surviving now that the mill is not open.”

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New American Building Council Decision will Help Forestry

Net Newsledger
April 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) supports the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) decision that would expand the Council’s definition of a certified source to match ASTM D7612-10. As a result of this decision, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Canadian Standards Association Sustainable Forest Management Standard and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, as well as the Forest Stewardship Council are included in the new Alternative Compliance Path pilot credit, Legal Wood. “OFIA has been consistent in our position that certification initiatives play a valuable role in verifying that forestry practices are balanced and sustainable,” said Jamie Lim, President and CEO of the OFIA.

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Winlock mill owner sentenced for wood theft

Longview Daily News
April 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The owner of a former Winlock sawmill was sentenced in Tacoma on Tuesday to six months in prison and ordered to pay $160,000 for buying big leaf maple that had been cut illegally on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Harold Clause Kupers, 48, pleaded guilty in November to purchasing multiple cuts of wood without requiring the seller to show a valid Specialized Forest Products Permit, as required by state law. He was the owner and operator of a now defunct company, J & L Tonewoods. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle told Kupers, “You were a central figure in what made this all (the stolen maple trade) work. … You knew you were getting stolen wood, but you hid behind ignorance.”

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Rumford mill restarts machine, rehires 51 furloughed workers

Bangor Daily News
April 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — Catalyst Paper has restarted its No. 12 paper machine, bringing back the 51 employees furloughed last fall and supporting plans to hire more depending on order volume. Tony Lyons, a spokesman for Catalyst at the Rumford Mill, said the company restarted its No. 12 machine in March for a limited run of its Rumford Offset grade. “[No. 12] will still have somewhat of a reduced schedule, depending on the orders that come in on it,” Lyons said. …The Maine Pulp and Paper Association said the restart “offers a great example of how paper mills are able to respond to shifting market conditions to invigorate their product mix, manufacturing process and infrastructure for the betterment of their operations, workers and Maine’s economy.”

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New Indonesia mill raises doubts about APP’s forests pledge

Associated Press in The Province
April 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A landmark commitment by one of the world’s largest producers of tissue and paper to stop cutting down Indonesia’s prized tropical forests is under renewed scrutiny as the company prepares to open a giant pulp mill in South Sumatra. To fanfare more than three years ago, Asia Pulp and Paper promised to use only plantation woods after an investigation by one of its strongest critics, Greenpeace, showed its products were partly made from the pulp of endangered trees. …New research released Wednesday by a dozen international and Indonesian environmental groups estimates that APP will face a significant shortfall in its supply of plantation-grown wood after the new mill begins operating, even at a 2.0 million ton capacity.

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Benalla sawmill expansion project to boost jobs, increase production

ABC News Australia
April 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Staff at Benalla’s sawmill say an upgrade worth nearly $1 million will help secure jobs in north-east Victoria. The Ryan & McNulty sawmill yesterday received about $100,000 from the State Government to complete a $900,000 expansion project. The project, which includes new steam boilers and docking lines, will create seven new jobs and increase production capacity by about 20 per cent. The mill was established in 1942 and remains a key employer in Benalla, currently hiring 45 employees. Company director Greg McNulty said the expansion would make the business more efficient and competitive.

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Strong start to 2016 for timber and panel importers

Builders’ Merchants News
April 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The latest statistical bulletin published by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) reveals a strong start to 2016 for timber and panels trade. Import volume in the UK in the first month of 2016 reached 756,000 m3 with a 1.6% increase compared to December 2015. The result was similar to the one registered in January 2015, but better than each of the January volumes since 2008 with the exception of 2014. The 2016 start continues buoyant market trends experienced throughout the year 2015, as shown by the Source of Supply section of TTF Bulletin. China and Brazil, in particular, keep growing their share of UK timber and panels market. The first country has increased its penetration of the UK market with hardwood plywood, while Brazil has achieved a similar domination of the softwood plywood imports.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

EllisDon reaches deal on Penticton hospital

Daily Commercial News
April 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

PENTICTON, B.C.—B.C.’s Interior Health and EllisDon Infrastructure have announced the finalization of the contract for a new $312.5-million patient care tower and parkade at Penticton Regional Hospital. …The new patient care tower will be six storeys high, with an additional mechanical penthouse on top. …EllisDon is aiming for LEED Gold certification. The building’s design also features wood finishes which aligns with B.C.’s Wood First Act. Given these green considerations, EllisDon was able to finance the Penticton Patient Care Tower Project with a green bond. Altus Group Limited confirmed the project’s green attributes.

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Old growth lumber from Market Square won’t be used on local heritage project

CFAX 1070
April 19, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Old growth lumber that was formerly part of a large shelter at Market Square won’t be used in a heritage project as a city councillor had hoped. Market Square management says the company that deconstructed the shelter took possession of the timbers as part of their contract. HL Demolition says some of the old growth lumber is being sold to a broker in Montana, and some is being given back to Market Square. Councillor Pam Madoff says she’s been told that Market Square intends to have the lumber it gets back chopped up and used to build benches and tables. …But I think it’s really unfortunate that this incredible old growth lumber that came from the Cowichan Valley and then was part of the outer wharves and then part of Market Square is going to end up in Montana.”

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Silvertop Ash ideal for home construction in bushfire areas

Architecture and Design
April 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Silvertop Ash has been identified by the Building Commission in Victoria as one of seven hardwood timber species suitable for home construction in bushfire areas. Also known as ‘Coast Ash’, Silvertop Ash is a large, moderately durable Australian hardwood tree found in the southern and central coast and tablelands of New South Wales, eastern Victoria and north eastern Tasmania. It is also called ‘Ironbark’ in Tasmania. Some of the characteristics of the Silvertop Ash include ability to grow up to 45m in height; hard, deeply furrowed black to dark grey bark covering the trunk with contrasting smooth-barked branches above; light brown sapwood; moderately open texture, with growth rings sometimes visible and grain sometimes interlocked; and Class 2 durability above-ground with life expectancy of 15 to 40 years and Class 3 durability in-ground with life expectancy of 5 to 15 years.

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Forestry

West Vancouver adopts tree protection law

Interim bylaw will prevent cutting of very large trees
North Shore News
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If a tree falls in West Vancouver … its diameter better be slimmer than 75 centimetres. In an attempt to quiet the chainsaws, West Vancouver council unanimously passed an interim bylaw to protect trees on private property Monday night. The bylaw, scheduled to become law Wednesday evening, was both praised as overdue and criticized as overzealous during a jam-packed four-hour council meeting. Most West Vancouver lots were clear cut in the 1940s and ‘50s, pointed out Brent Wolverton, who requested freedom for homeowners to cut down a few trees each year. “Let’s be clear, all the trees in West Vancouver are mature landscaping, they’re not old growth,” he said.

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Idaho Land Board approves state timber harvest for 2017

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho – State officials on Tuesday approved a plan designed to keep reducing the amount of mature trees available for logging in Idaho. The Department of Lands voted 4-0 vote to cut down 247 million board feet of timber in 2017 as the state looks to alleviate wildfire risks. “I think we’re doing the right thing in Idaho,” Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said after the meeting. “We’re trying to catch up on our sustainable yield so that we don’t overgrow the forest and turn it into a sick forest.” The state aims to cut the inventory of harvestable timber from more than 7 billion board feet to 5 billion. The plan has so far reduced it by about 400 or 500 million board feet, less than what models had predicted and attributed in part to faster growth by young trees in logged areas. “We’ll be remodeling it here in the next couple of years,” Idaho State Forester David Groeschl said after the meeting.

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Forest Service begins spraying trees in pine beetle fight

kotatv.com
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SHERIDAN LAKE CAMPGROUND, S.D.  The Black Hills beetle battle began again Tuesday as the U.S. Forest Service started a month-long tree spraying campaign to fight off the voracious little insects that have been plaguing KOTA Territory for years. “Those are all mountain pine beetle hits and it goes up quite a ways,” said Forest Service Timber Planner Blaine Cook as he examined a tree infested with Mountain Pine Beetles. He was out on the front lines in the fight against them at Sheridan Lake Campground where contractors were spraying insecticide to thwart the spread of the infestation. Crews were out marking and then spraying the larger trees as smaller, younger trees generally do a better job of fending off the bugs. The crews apply insecticide so that when the bugs take wing for their annual flight they’ll find fewer safe landings.

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Foresters planting new life in the Sierra National Forest

ABC30.com
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MADERA COUNTY — Crews spent the day planting baby seedlings to help with the tree mortality epidemic caused by bark beetles. It was a beautiful sight to see. Baby pine trees bundled together being pulled out of bags and planted in the ground. An initiative taken to save our Valley forest. For the last couple weeks the Sierra National Forest in Madera County has had several crews digging ground, planting hundreds of ponderosa and sugar pine trees in areas wiped out because of the bark beetle infestation caused by the drought. … Nearly 38,000 trees will, in months, live in the entire Bass Lake district of 600 thousand acres.

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Groups File Complaint Over Poland’s Ancient Forest Plan

Associated Press in ABC News
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental groups lodged a complaint Tuesday with the European Commission over a Polish government plan for extensive logging in Europe’s last primeval forest, saying they were forced to take that step after running out of options in Poland. Seven groups, including WWF Polska and Greenpeace Poland, lodged their complaint, arguing that the plan violates a key European conservation law. …In a statement, the groups said they believe their complaint could result in the Polish government being fined heavily and taken to the European Court of Justice.

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Former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown calls for ban on autumn Forestry burns

The Mercury Australia
April 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

PARTS of Tasmania have recorded worse air pollution readings than London and Los Angeles as autumn regeneration, hazard reduction and private burn-offs blanketed parts of the state in thick haze during the past 48 hours. While the smoke made for spectacular sunrises and sunsets, data from the Environment Protection Authority automatic monitoring stations showed significant peaks in several centres. According to data aggregated on the website World Air Quality Index, the levels of fine particulate matter in the air exceeded­ that in some of the world’s most densely populated cities.

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A small forest tribe built a DIY drone to stop loggers

Mashable
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

For years, a tribe in Guyana has been compiling evidence that loggers were illegally tearing down their forests. But nothing has worked as well as their latest effort: a new drone, which they built using a GoPro-donated camera and some string, with YouTube videos as their guide. The Wapichan tribe, one of several indigenous groups in Guyana, built their fixed-wing drone to support a camera that snaps a picture every two seconds, Quartz reported in a story on the tribe. The device is able to travel more than 30 miles at a time, and its photos help stitch together a map of tribal land that is being abused by the loggers. The tribe hope to use that evidence as leverage to compel the Guyanese government to stop the activity.

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Forest Fires

Fire danger already extreme in parts of Prairies where ground is tinder dry

Global News
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

REGINA – Large swaths of red — meaning extreme risk — cover Alberta and Saskatchewan on the latest fire danger map from Natural Resources Canada. Many other areas are considered high or very high risk in the two Prairie provinces, where there’s been below average snowfall and above normal temperatures in much of Western Canada. Kerry Anderson, a fire research scientist with Natural Resources Canada, says that’s due to a weather pattern known as El Nino. …There were 720 fires in Saskatchewan last year that forced about 13,000 people from their homes and burned 17,000 square kilometres of forest. The Saskatchewan government recalled firefighting crews two weeks earlier this year and hired eight new crews in preparation for what could be an early start to the wildfire season.

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Alberta cuts nearly $15 million from wildfire management budget

Edmonton Journal
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The same day air tankers took to the sky to douse wildfires near Slave Lake, Paul Lane was telling his pilots the grim news that last week’s provincial budget could put them out of work. Despite coming out of what Lane describes as “the busiest fire season in 25 years,” the provincial government has cut its tanker contracts by $5.1 million, and its base wildfire management budget by a further $9.6 million. …In Alberta, disasters such as fires and floods are paid for out of emergency funds, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says that will still be the case with fires this year. The problem is that none of that cash is factored into the budget; in the case of a particularly severe wildfire year, the money will just have to come from somewhere else.

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Wildfires near Fort St. John in northeast B.C. affect highways, cut power

Officials say 37 new wildfires started last night, some believed to have been set intentionally
CBC News
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Several highways around Fort St. John in northeast B.C. still have travel advisories in effect because of wildfires burning in the area. DriveBC says Highway 97 near Taylor and Highway 52 near Dawson Creek have been reopened after they were closed due to the threat of wildfires close to the road. A travel advisory has been issued for Highway 97 and Highway 29 because of poor visibility caused by smoke. BC Hydro says the majority the wind and wildfire-related outages in the Peace Region have been restored, although 1,200 are still without power. Earlier on Tuesday, Bob Gammer, a spokesman for BC Hydro, said fires had burned through 16 power poles.

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Premier Rachel Notley defends decision to slash the wildfire budget

Hinton Parklander
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

With dry conditions and dozens of blazes already burning across Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley said Tuesday her government’s decision to slash the wildfire budget by $15 million this year won’t impact the province’s firefighting efforts. The province was criticized this week after its budget showed cuts to tanker contracts by $5.1 million and its base wildfire management budget by $9.6 million, to about $100 million. Notley chalked the matter up to simple budgetary practices that has the province earmark base funding, with the understanding firefighting efforts are covered in the province’s emergency budget. “In no way, shape or form are we suggesting that we wouldn’t put every bit of resources that are required to ensure that fires are appropriately fought as they arise,” Notley told reporters

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Fire season starts early in northern B.C. — will flames arrive soon in Kamloops region?

By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest-fire season has struck early and aggressively in northern B.C. but it’s too early to conclude B.C. will endure another big year, officials said Tuesday. Forty-nine new fires were sparked on Monday, 37 of them in the Prince George region. That includes in the Peace River region, where the Beatton Airport Road fire reached more than 3,000 hectares. “With increasing temperatures and limited precipitation and wind, it’s causing significant challenges for us,” said Steve Thomson, the province’s minister of forests, lands and natural resource development. Most of the province is expected to cool in the coming days and rain is forecast to fall in some regions, “which will help us,” Thomson said. The Interior has greened up, providing little available fuel for fires. There are only four fires recorded in the entire Kamloops fire region, none of them large.

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Forest fire season starts early in north, Cariboo

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A rash of grass and forest fires in the Peace region has the B.C. wildfire season off to an early start this week, after small fires were brought under control near Burns Lake and in the Cariboo in the past week. The B.C. Wildfire Service recorded 49 fire starts across the province on Monday alone, with 37 of them in the Prince George fire centre. There were evacuation orders or alerts in four locations around Fort St. John, with the largest fire estimated at 3,000 hectares. Forests Minister Steve Thomson said Tuesday the activity is several weeks earlier than last spring, prompted by high temperatures and winds in the Peace region that have since abated. “This is an early start,” Thomson said. “It doesn’t necessarily indicate what the long-term outlook for the fire season will be.”

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Forest fire season opens with province closed to burning

Wildfire prevention officer discourages grass burning as says people need to use common sense
CBC News
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The provincial Department of Natural Resources is reminding people that the warming spring weather means the start of forest fire season. The season officially opened Monday and will last until Oct. 31. Roger Collett, a wildfire prevention officer with the Department of Natural Resources, says so far It’s been a pretty normal year. “Conditions each day are assessed and then we decide whether we allow campfires or burning that day,” said Collett of forest fire season. The season opened with the entire province closed to burning due to dry conditions. So far in 2016, there have been 28 fires recorded in the province, burning 50.5 hectares, which is slightly below the 10-year average. Of the 28 fires, 19 have been in the Fredericton region.

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Virginia Department of Forestry wildland firefighters battle fires in Southwest Virginia

WSLS
April 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States

…Virginia Department of Forestry wildland firefighters from eastern and central Virginia are being detailed to far SW Virginia this week to help battle a number of blazes burning in Buchanan, Dickinson, Lee, Wise and Scott counties, according to John Miller, director of resource protection. And more VDOF resources will be added to the suppression effort on the wildfire in Shenandoah National Park to protect lives and private property on the Park’s boundary. “We are nearing the end of spring wildfire season in Virginia, but the number and size of several wildland fires in far southwest Virginia are presenting a challenge,” Miller said. “We’re moving some resources from our Central and Eastern Regions to augment the folks in our Western Region who have been fighting a number of large wildfires, several of which appear to be the result of arson.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Maine passes bill to boost biomass industry

Biomass Magazine
April 19, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Maine’s struggling biomass power industry can breathe a little easier with the passage of a bill that will inject a maximum of $13.4 million into the sector via renewed and new power purchase agreements. Expiring contracts, low energy prices and the elimination of incentives in neighboring states have pushed the state’s biomass sector to the brink of collapse. Earlier this year, Covanta Energy shut down two of its Maine biomass power plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro, Maine, citing energy prices as being insufficient to cover operation and fuel supply costs.

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Environmentalists pan state forest cutting plans

The Recorder
April 19, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A coalition of environmental groups is calling on the state to analyze how its planned tree-cutting projects in Wendell State Forest, Colrain’s Cook State Forest and six other forests around the state could affect climate change. In a letter last week to the agency overseeing planned cutting, Michael Kellett, executive director of RESTORE: The North Woods, questioned plans to do cutting at the forests without first conducting an “on-the-ground baseline carbon inventory” as recommended in the state’s 2012 report called “Landscape Designations for DCR Parks and Forests: Selection and Management Guidelines.” That report resulted from a Forest Futures Visioning Process initiated in 2009.

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