Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 3, 2016

Business & Politics

Statscan reports 6 per cent increase in production at Ontario sawmills

145 jobs in Ear Falls alone, as confidence returns to battered lumber towns across northern Ontario
CBC News
June 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sawmills across Northern Ontario continue to be busy, feeding an increasingly hungry U.S. housing market. Statistics Canada reports that mills cranked out 6 per cent more lumber in March than they did a year earlier. That includes the five sawmills in northern Ontario run by Eacom. Eacom spokesperson Christine Leduc says this is a big change from when the wood business bottomed out a few years ago. “Certainly the recovery is not what had been expected or forecasted,” Leduc says, “but we expect the market will continue its steady recovery.”

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USDA Postpones Continuance Referendum

Softwood Lumber Board
June 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

At the May 25, 2016 meeting of the Softwood Lumber Board of Directors, USDA announced that due to the district court’s recent decision in the Resolute FP vs USDA et. al. lawsuit, and to avoid creating confusion within the industry, the continuance referendum would be postponed until a future yet-to-be-determined date. Inasmuch as USDA previously published a Federal Register notice announcing the August, 2016 continuance referendum, it will publish a second notice announcing that the referendum is postponed until further notice. END OF STORY

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Walden’s bill could bring needed change

By Pat Bushey
Herald and News
June 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Let’s hope the third time’s the — wait, no, it’s actually the fourth time that U.S. Rep. Greg Walden has gotten his bill through the House of Representatives to manage federal forest lands in a way that will reduce major wildfires. Regardless of whether it’s the third or the fourth, we hope it’s “the charm.” For the fourth time in four years the “Resilient Federal Forest Act” has now been sent to the Senate, where it has died three times. Walden’s bill has help from two Oregon Democrats in the House, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader and it’s probably no coincidence that they represent the districts that are the three biggest of Oregon’s five districts, which also makes them the biggest sources of timber and the most at risk to wildfires. The 2nd District, represented by Walden, is more than twice as big as the other four districts combined.

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U.S. Senator Susan Collins Tours Catalyst Paper’s Rumford Mill; Supports Mill: Supports Mill Revitalization Efforts

Catalyst Press Release
Stockhouse
June 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA–Catalyst Paper today welcomed United States Senator Susan Collins to the company’s pulp and paper mill in Rumford, Maine. Senator Collins toured the Rumford mill to meet with senior management and employees, and demonstrate her support for ongoing efforts to revitalize operations to support the mill’s long-term sustainability. “Maine’s pulp and paper industry is part of our heritage, our present, and our future,” said Senator Collins. “Catalyst’s Rumford mill is an important contributor to the economic health of our state. The mill employs approximately 640 hardworking men and women and is vital to Rumford and the surrounding communities in western Maine. 

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Fire halts production at Mid South Lumber

WTOK
June 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MERIDIAN, MISS. – The call came in early Thursday morning. Firemen arrived at Mid-South Lumber to find one of the buildings full of flames. “Firefighters arrived to find a lot of fire with heavy fire showing,” Fire Marshal Jason Collier says. Collier says firefighters had to be extra careful because of all the electrical equipment in the burning building. “A lot of electrical switches, high voltage switches and a lot of transformers just outside where the fire started,” Collier says. The manager of Mid-south Lumber Company says they will be out of commission for about a month. The wood that has already been cut will still be able to be processed. The majority of the damage, according to the manager, is around the electrical area of one of the buildings. They will not be able to cut new lumber until they have everything repaired.

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Supporting Maine’s forest products industry

by Rep. Stanley Short Jr.
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
June 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The forest products industry is one of Maine’s most important industries. It is our heritage. It supports jobs and uses resources found right here in our state. In fact, one out of every 20 jobs in Maine is associated with the forest products industry and its total economic impact is $8 billion. Unfortunately, a combination of cheap oil and natural gas prices and the weak Canadian dollar is causing the industry to struggle. In the last three years alone, five Maine pulp and paper mills have closed, putting countless families and neighbors out of work. This session, the Legislature took steps to help a critical part of the forest products industry, the biomass sector. When I first ran to be a state representative back in 2012, I ran on a platform of supporting hardworking Mainers and ensuring jobs stayed in our state. So I was proud to take votes supporting measures that help our biomass industry.

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King supports incentives for alternative forest product R&D

Mainebiz
June 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

U.S. Sen. Angus King on Wednesday put his support behind the Timber Innovation Act, bipartisan legislation that supports the acceleration of research and development of wood use in the construction of buildings over 85 feet high or roughly seven or more stories. Although wood products have been used for hundreds of years in construction, the majority of wood buildings don’t exceed three to four stories in height. But with recent developments in wood product engineering, alongside other new technologies, it is now possible to expand the use of wood into larger construction projects.

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Good prospects for cooperation between Turkish Kastamonu, Belarusian woodworking companies

Belarusian Telegraph Agency
June 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

IVATSEVICHI – The Turkish woodworking holding company Kastamonu sees good prospects for cooperation with enterprises of the Belarusian timber, woodworking, pulp and paper industry concern Bellesbumprom. The relevant statement was made by Kastamonu Vice President Onur Guven as a delegation of the Turkish company visited the woodworking company Ivatsevichdrev on 2 June, BelTA has learned. The Kastamonu Vice President said: “We know that there are good opportunities for investment in Belarus, in the woodworking industry and the production of wood panels. We have come here to discuss our cooperation options. I think it will be the right strategy for us.”

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Record new housing growth drives demand for Australian timber

ABC News, Australia
June 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Increasing demand for timber to build new homes has driven growth in Australia’s forest and wood products sector. “For the first time in 2014-15 the value of harvested logs increased by more than 10 per cent to above $2 billion,” ABARES economist Kevin Burns said. Mr Burns is the author of ABARES Australian forest and wood products statistics: September and December quarters 2015 report. He said housing commencements in Australia were up about 18 per cent over the year to 214,000 units. “This was another record breaking year, so that led to very strong consumption for softwood, sawn wood and wood based panels in Australia.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Common Ground Sprouts Green Addition

New Haven Independent
June 2, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Nyasia Mercer said now that Common Ground has a new building able to accommodate a major expansion in students and activities, the school will no longer be a secret to those outside of its grounds. …The building is held up by large structural columns of “cross-laminated timber” from small trees that grow in Quebec and are cut down when they have taken up the maximum amount of carbon, Tolman said. It is the largest building in the country so far to use this type of timber for its entire structure. Traditional steel structures of this sort destroy the environment, instead of helping it. This project is the equivalent of taking 100 cars off the road for a year, he said.

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Forestry

Board to audit BCTS operations in the Okanagan-Shuswap district

BC Forest Practices Board
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of the BC Timber Sales program and timber sale licence holders in the Okanagan-Shuswap Resource District, during the week of June 6, 2016. The auditors will examine all operational planning, harvesting, road, silviculture and wildfire protection practices for compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The audit includes all forestry activities carried out in the last year in the area, which stretches from the U.S. border in the south to the Seymour River and Shuswap Lake in the north. The ecology in the district is one of the most complex in the province with seven biogeoclimatic zones, ranging from wet interior hemlock/cedar forests to semi-arid sagebrush.

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Grizzly bear recovery plan changes in the works, province says

CBC News
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…With grizzlies currently listed as a threatened species under the Alberta Wildlife Act, the provincial government is looking at drafting a new Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan, part of which would make feeding one a crime. …”If we’ve got oil and gas and timber happening in an area, let’s plan to have those roads shared so we’re keeping the road densities in core grizzly bear habitats at a lower level,” said Frame.  How many bears are needed before they’ll no longer be considered threatened? “That’s a really good question and a tough one to answer because ecologically a habitat can sustain a certain number of bears but then we have to deal with social caring capacity, so how many bears is appropriate for a certain area.” said Frame.

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Billionth tree celebrated…with tree planting

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The planting of the billionth tree in the Prince George Natural Resource District was celebrated Thursday at the Central British Columbia Railway and Forestry Museum. That was where dignitaries planted a spruce tree to mark the milestone. The number dates from when planting began in 1959 and it wasn’t the only large figure cited. “Silviculture and tree planting are an important part of our economy and of job creation here in this region of the province,” said MLA Shirley Bond. “In fact, 42,000 person days of work and approximately $9.5 million in GDP are generated locally every year by tree planting and silviculture work.” According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, roughly 21 million seedlings are planted on 15,000 hectares each year in the Prince George district, which covers nearly 4.9 million hectares.

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Some say the fate of British Columbia’s old-growth forests rests in the balance

By Dirk Meissner
Canadian Press in the The Victoria Times Colonist
June 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SAANICH, B.C. – The Douglas fir Andy MacKinnon leans against is 40 metres tall. It’s likely more than 500 years old and its fire-scarred trunk is almost two metres in diameter. In most other countries, the tree would be the largest in the land, says MacKinnon, a forest ecologist who spent three decades with British Columbia’s government researching old-growth forests. At Francis/King Regional Park, minutes from Victoria, the park’s trees are protected from logging, but about 150 kilometres west of Victoria, old-growth forests with 1,000-year-old trees twice the size of those in the park are being cut down every day, said MacKinnon. The world’s largest trees face dangers similar to elephants, whales and bison that have been hunted to the brink of extinction, he said. Right now, MacKinnon said it’s open season on B.C.’s old-growth forests outside of parks or protected areas.

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TimberWest responds to concerns about logging near Englishman River

By Auren Ruvinsky
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In response to concerns, a TimberWest official says the company is doing more than required by regulations to help protect the Englishman River as it logs in the area. “Beyond meeting all applicable federal and provincial regulations, we took additional precautions around the riverside by adding a reserve area of at least 15 metres, together with an additional buffer zone of up to 25 metres,” said Monica Bailey, TimberWest Director of communications and engagement, by e-mail. She said the “unharvested buffer width ranges from 15 to 40 meters,” and that the company is scheduled to meet with Errington biologist Jessica Snider, whose concerns were featured in the May 31 edition of The NEWS.

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Sunshine Coast Regional District, Wilderness Committee join call to cancel cutblock auction

Sunshine Coast Reporter
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) and the Wilderness Committee are adding their voices to those calling for BC Timber Sales (BCTS) to halt the auction of cutblock A87125 on the slopes of Mount Elphinstone. The group Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) set up a 24/7 camp in the area, known by some as “Twist and Shout Forest” after a popular mountain biking trail, on the Victoria Day weekend. ELF said the cutblock has high ecological value that makes it worth preserving, and it falls within the 2,000 hectare (4,942 acre) zone the group has been lobbying Victoria to include in an expanded Mount Elphinstone Provincial Park. At its May 26 meeting, the SCRD board unanimously backed a motion that noted the area in question is included in the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan “for preservation of ecological and recreational values” and called on BCTS to “defer the awarding of cutblock A87125.”

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B.C.’s old-growth forests by the numbers

Canadian Press in the Winnipeg Free Press
June 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SAANICH, B.C. – British Columbia’s old-growth forests boast huge trees that are more than 1,000 years old, but many fear their days are numbered. Here are some numbers on the trees: — The government says there are 55 million hectares of forests in B.C.— Twenty-five million hectares are old-growth forests. — Four million hectares of old-growth hectares are fully protected from logging.  — The Red Creek fir near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island is listed as the world’s largest Douglas fir tree at 73.8 metres tall and its trunk has a diameter of 4.2 metres.

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Tree traps will monitor invasive emerald ash borer in Thunder Bay

CBC News
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Residents may notice more of the lantern-like detection traps hanging from city trees this summer. The City of Thunder Bay plans to hang about 50 new “green prism traps” on ash trees this summer, as part of its efforts to fend off the emerald ash borer. The detection traps are part of ongoing efforts to monitor for the presence of the invasive insect, which destroys ash trees.  Emerald ash borers have not arrived in Thunder Bay yet, but have been rapidly spreading across North America. The insects have been found in areas as close as Duluth, MN, and Sault Saint Marie, Ont. 

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What is the value of a tree?

By Catherine Thompson
Waterloo Region Record
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

KITCHENER — As any city councillor can tell you, people value trees. …Trees provide plenty of environmental and economic benefits: • they can cool the air in a city by 2 to 8 C, reducing energy needs for air conditioning; • bigger trees filter soot and other pollutants such as sulphur oxides and carbon monoxide; • they help mitigate the effects of climate change by storing carbon and absorbing up to 150 kilograms of CO2 per tree every year; • they help manage runoff from paved and hard surfaces, filtering pollutants such as grease and grit and releasing the water gradually into the soil and into groundwater. A 2014 study by TD Economics determined that for every dollar spent maintaining trees, cities in Canada enjoyed anywhere from $1.88 to $12.70 in benefits.

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Ex-Forest Service chief Jack Ward Thomas taught us about ecological complexity

By Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

He rose from elk researcher to Forest Service Chief. No single person had more impact on public land management over the past 25 years than Jack Ward Thomas, who rose from elk researcher to become chief of the U.S. Forest Service. The native Texan died May 26 in his home in Florence, Mont., after a long illness. He was 81. Thomas also shifted firefighting policy to recognize the realities of wildfires in and around mushrooming communities throughout the West and raised the bar on firefighter safety. After his drawling charm and straight talk at President Bill Clinton’s Forest Summit in 1993 impressed the wonkish new president, he was picked to be the first biologist to head the Forest Service so he could put his plans into place. …The Northwest Forest Plan, which dramatically limited harvest of old-growth forests over three states and millions of acres that made up the habitat of owls and many other species, got the federal government out of a decadelong court battle.

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Bitterroot Forest looking for resolution on timber project

by Perry Backus
Ravalli Republic
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bitterroot National Forest officials are hoping to have the final issues resolved in the next few weeks on a proposed project to thin about 2,300 acres southwest of Hamilton. “We would like to have the final decision out within the next few weeks,” said West Fork District Ranger Ryan Domsalla. “Beyond that, it would be subject to litigation from anyone who might feel the need.” The Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project proposes to thin national forest lands along the wildland/urban interface between Lost Horse and Roaring Lion creeks. Once that project is completed, nearly all of the national forest lands that border private ground on the west side of the Bitterroot Valley will have been thinned.

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It’s cool to be a tree hugger

By Mark K. Wourms – executive director of the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Courier Journal
June 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Simply stated, humans take trees for granted. We seem to forget the benefits a tree, or multitudes of trees, provide. …Being called a “tree hugger” is meant to be a negative profile and an insult by some. But at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, where we strive to connect people with nature, hugging a tree is an act of freedom. It is a statement that we choose to have a healthy, green and prosperous future for Kentucky. …We can choose a future where we acknowledge the importance of trees in our ecological systems, to our health and well-being, and as a part of a vibrant sustainable economy.  

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Payout for widow of forestry worker killed near Stratford

Stuff.co.nz
June 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A Taranaki forestry worker’s widow has described the court case surrounding her husband’s death as a ‘horrific thing to go through.’ James Stuart Oxenham, 72, of Urenui was killed on March 26, 2015 when an 800kg log fell from an overloaded dump truck as he was taking the strops off, killing him before paramedics could arrive. The incident occurred 40km east of Stratford in the Te Wera forest. In the New Plymouth District Court on Friday Oxenham’s employer G J Sole Ltd were ordered to pay $97,655.45 in emotional harm reparations. Oxenham’s widow, who did not want to be named, said the Sole family – who own G J Sole Ltd – had known each other for decades and the loss and ensuing court case was “horrific” for both families.

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Tasmanian case against Lapoinya anti-logging protesters dropped

ABC News, Australia
June 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania Police has decided not to prosecute anti-logging demonstrators charged under the State Government’s anti-protest laws after reviewing the matter. Five people, including former Greens leader Bob Brown, were charged during a forest protest at Lapoinya in the state’s north-west earlier this year. They were the first to fall foul of new laws designed to crack down on activists disrupting forestry and mining activities. Last month, police decided not to pursue the charge against Mr Brown because it related to being in a “business access area” when he was, in fact, at a business premises. Charges have now also been dropped against two other protesters for the same reason.

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Forest Fires

Fort McMurray firefighters call for drones to be grounded

‘It’s fine if a drone gets destroyed or broken, but you can’t replace people’s lives’
CBC News
June 2, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

When a disaster happens, everybody wants that perfect shot — that iconic photo or video footage. So it’s no surprise that when disasters, like the Fort McMurray fire, happen people often try to film them with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, better known as drones. “It doesn’t take much to get up above the trees and get a different vantage point that’s never been seen,” said Mat L. Matthews, a certified Edmonton drone operator and instructor. But while they may get you that once-in-a-lifetime shot, they also put people at risk, Matthews said. When a wildfire starts, the air around it immediately becomes a restricted airspace. Drones that do fly unauthorized in the area risk grounding firefighting aircraft.

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Area of forest fires in Russia’s Siberian Buryatia republic exceeds 14,000 hectares

TASS Russian News Agency
June 3, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

ULAN-UDE,  The number of forest fires in Russia’s Buryatia republic in Siberia has increased from 19 to 25 over the past 24 hours, the fire has spread over an area of more than 14,000 hectares – nearly 1,000 hectares more than on Thursday, the republic’s Forestry Agency reported on Friday. “As of the morning of June 3, a total of 14 active fires at a total area of more than 1,000 hectares have been recorded. Another 11 fires at a total area exceeding 13,000 hectares remain localized,” the agency’s press service said. The republic’s forest service has extinguished six fires at a total area of about 120 hectares over the past day.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. signs on to Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement

Environment Minister Mary Polak says talks included a shared power grid along the West Coast
CBC News
June 2, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has signed on to the Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement, which includes “slashing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing a clean-energy economy” as its goals. The partnership with the governments of California, Oregon and Washington, along with five other major cities along the West Coast — Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Oakland — could lead to some innovations in B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak, who represented the province at the meeting in San Francisco this week, said one of the ideas that arose was a shared electricity grid across the West Coast.

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First Nations communities suffering ‘more intense’ impact of climate change, secret briefings say

National Post
June 2, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA — Secret briefings to Canada’s indigenous affairs minister warn that natural disasters are increasing in number and severity, disproportionately affecting remote reserve communities. In the aftermath of the Fort McMurray wildfires, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t say were exacerbated by climate change, First Nations assert they are first and worst affected by a rapidly-shifting environment. The Liberal government has put new money towards supporting First Nations infrastructure and “resilience.” But chiefs and opposition parties say it’s not enough.

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Group asks Laurens County to ban wood pellet incentives

GSA Business
June 2, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A forest protection group is asking Laurens County officials to ban incentives for wood pellet manufacturers, even though the county’s economic development director and a County Council member said no such companies are knocking on the door. In 2014, Bethesda, Md.-based Enviva L.P. showed on a Port of Wilmington document that it possibly planned an operation in Laurens County and had secured options on that site and others. Kent Jenkins, a spokesman for Enviva, said today that the company “previously identified a number of potential facility locations and we don’t have any updates at this time.” He said those potential locations still include Laurens County.

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