Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 23, 2016

Business & Politics

Tolko Industries, largest employer in The Pas, to close

By Susan Magas
CBC News
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mayor of The Pas says the town was shocked to learn its main employer, Tolko Industries, is closing down. The forestry products company employs 332 people in The Pas, a town of about 5,500 people. All Tolko employees will be laid off when operations end Dec. 2, 2016. “It’s just so shocking, so unbelievable, so mind-numbing that we’ve got to wrap our heads around it,” said The Pas Mayor Jim Scott. In a statement Monday, the Vernon, B.C.-based company said it’s tried for 19 years to improve the cost structure of its Manitoba operations but in the end, the mill is “not financially sustainable.” The provincial government said it is disappointed with Tolko’s decision and will work with the company’s employees to “ensure that necessary supports are in place.”

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Tolko closing mill in The Pas, killing more than 300 jobs

By Martin Cash
Winnipeg Free Press
August 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries Ltd. is shuttering its operations in The Pas as of Dec. 2, throwing more than 300 people out of work. It’s the second major blow to this town of 5,500 people in the past several weeks. …”For the individual workers, it is a huge blow. Tolko is a major source of good-paying jobs in the area and there are lots of spinoff jobs,” said Paul McKie, a national representative for Unifor, which represents about 235 workers at the pulp-and-paper mill. The mill, which has operated in the northern Manitoba town since the late-1960s and once employed more than 1,000 people, produces heavy kraft paper used in applications such as cement bags. Eight years ago, Tolko ended its lumber production in the Pas when it closed its sawmill. The province of Manitoba owned the facility that had been called Churchill Forest Industries from 1973 to 1989 and re-named it Manitoba Forestry Resources Ltd. (or ManFor). Repap Industries acquired it in 1989 and Tolko bought it in 1997.

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Timber Giant Weyerhaeuser Ends Production At Columbia Falls Mills

By Nicky Ouellet
Montana Public Radio
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A job at the lumber mills in Columbia Falls was supposed to be the kind of job you’d have forever. But forever came to an end last Friday, when the Weyerhaeuser Company sawed its last logs at its lumber and plywood mills in the industrial heart of the Flathead Valley. The mills had been open since the late 1940s. The closure comes just a few months after the timber giant merged with Plum Creek, which operated several mills in Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Evergreen for decades. Consolidating Plum Creek’s former plants is just good business, Weyerhaeuser spokesperson Tom Ray said last week in his office at Weyerhaeuser’s Columbia Falls headquarters, the Cedar Palace, which is also closing later this year.

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Tasmanian forest industry finally rebounding after extended downturn

By Piia Wirsu
The Tasmania Examiner
August 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Fifteen-year-old eucalyptus nitens stand in line side by side, like little wooden soldiers. Their rustling leaves whisper of promise. The rows of green and brown plantation represent the future of Tasmania’s once-mighty forestry industry.  The forest industry in Tasmania has left its troubled past behind and is heading for a calmer, more profitable future according to the government and forest operators. A combination of factors are being credited with a resurgence in the industry, after years of strife. A falling Australian dollar is providing a more conducive market for exports. Coupled with a favourable political cycle and investment in the industry there is increasing stability for a new generation of foresters.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadian buildings’ energy efficiency must be improved, says leading Canadian architectural institute

By Evelyn Harford
Ottawa Citizen
August 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

A number of architecture, energy and environmental stakeholders are calling on the federal government to create a national plan to improve the energy efficiency of Canadian buildings to help the country reduce greenhouse gasses and reach its climate change objectives. Total energy consumption of buildings accounts for nearly one-quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the 10 other organizations that penned a letter addressed to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna.

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Green building principles integrating themselves into construction training

By Peter Caulfield
Journal of Commerce
August 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Not long ago, the principles of green building, sustainability and energy efficiency were an afterthought in architecture and construction education and training, when they were thought about at all. But no longer. Today environmentally friendly and resource-efficient principles are part and parcel of most education and training offered by post-secondary institutions and professional and industry associations in Canada. In most parts of the country, the supply of green building education and training is being met by demand. “There’s a big demand in BC,” said Helen Goodland, principal of Brantwood Consulting and advisor to the BC Construction Association on innovation and sustainability. “That’s especially true in such major centres as Vancouver and Victoria.”

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Built Green Canada Supports Ft. McMurray Rebuild

BuiltGreen Press Release
MarketWired
August 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON, AB – In light of the unimaginable destruction of the Ft. McMurray wildfires and subsequent flooding that has left thousands of Albertans displaced, Built Green Canada is working to support the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) rebuilding efforts. While the rebuild has been of paramount concern since the earliest days of recovery, a thoughtful, deliberate approach is required to progress this construction. With the barrage of challenges and opportunities facing RMWB, Built Green Canada has been monitoring the situation to find an appropriate time to extend their support.

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Why the Tall Wood building is fireproof (and ahead of schedule)

By Samuel Du Bois and Koby Michaels
The Ubyssey
August 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Contrasting Walter Gage like day to night, the Tall Wood Building, officially named Brock Commons, has been rising up on the horizon of campus at an impressive speed and with a refreshingly new aesthetic. In a campus largely dominated by glass and concrete, to have a structure whose composition is largely wood-based marks a remarkably bold move on the part of those involved. …”Have you been up through forest fire country after a forest fire has been through? So you see all these trees? They’re standing and haven’t fallen down,” said Acton. He explained that fire will burn through the first layers of wood and then stop. “The reason why it stops is that in the depth of that charcoal layer, oxygen can’t get into the wood to keep the combustion process going.” …Similarly, a wood building constructed from cross laminated timber floor panels and glulam — glue laminated timber — pillars offers remarkably sound structural integrity, even after damage from a fire.

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Construction milestone for UBC Brock Commons

REMI Netowrk Construction Business
August 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The final wood panel has been installed on the Brock Commons building at UBC. The university’s new student residence will be the tallest mass timber building in the world when completed in 2017. The mass wood structure at Brock Commons was completed in just 66 days. The building required the assembly of 1302 Glulam columns and 464 CLT panels. The last CLT panel was placed on the 18th floor on August 9th and the last glulam columns were erected the following day, marking a major project milestone for the world’s tallest mass timber building. Construction of the mass wood structure began on June 6th and was completed on August 10th. Construction of the steel roof structure is now underway.

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SmartLam Weighing its Future in the Flathead Valley

By Dillon Tabish
Flathead Beacon
August 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Since emerging in Columbia Falls four years ago as the nation’s first commercial manufacturer of cross-laminated timber products, SmartLam Technologies Group has followed an exciting trajectory defined by enormous growth and even greater potential. Last week the local company reached a sizable milestone by receiving certification for its engineered wood products from the American National Standards Institute, the leading organization that sets health and safety standards for business products and services in the U.S. The ANSI approval, achieved by subjecting SmartLam’s products and manufacturing processes to rigorous tests and analysis, further distinguishes the company as a trusted developer in a flourishing market gaining traction in the U.S.

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Forestry

Horgan hears the issues during tour by motorhome

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan has wrapped up a trip … from Prince Rupert to Prince George and says affordability, health care and resource development were the top three issues raised… He said the NDP would work to add more value to the forest products the province produces and noted three caucus members have been appointed to the forestry file – one for the coast, one for the interior and one focussed on forest health. “What investments are we making to insure we’re going to have a sustainable forest sector into the future and what steps are we taking to make sure we have value added,” Horgan said by way of outlining their task. Smaller companies that can provide the greatest number of jobs per cubic metre need more access to fibre, he added. Horgan accused Clark of “being silent” on the ongoing Canada-U.S. negotiations for a new softwood lumber agreement and industry leaders are concerned about that.

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Glyphosate report backed by Ontario science officer

By Harry Forestell
CBC News
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A leading Canadian public health official has commended New Brunswick’s review of a controversial herbicide used by the forestry industry and NB Power. Dr. John McLaughlin, the chief science officer and senior scientist with Public Health Ontario, reviewed the report released by New Brunswick’s acting chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell examining the use of glyphosate in the province. That report concluded there is “no increased health risk to New Brunswickers exposed to glyphosate.”… Glyphosate is used in aerial spraying by the forestry industry to control undergrowth. NB Power sprays it along power lines for the same purpose. It is also an ingredient in household garden weed killers.

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Francis Marion forest management plan released

By Bo Petersen
The Post and Courier
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

More prescribed burning and more preservation — while accommodating more visitors — represent the competing goals in the new 275-page management plan for the Francis Marion National Forest. But this version of the periodically revised plan gives managers and forest-users a path to start on. The plan, just released by the U.S. Forest Service, is expected to guide work in the forest until 2030. The document is open for 60 days to “objection” comment, or protests by people who previously commented on the plan. Its focus is how to enhance natural resources in the 405-square-mile forest while handling more people moving to the booming Lowcountry.

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Jasmine Kuru nominated for Future Business Leaders Awards organised in conjunction with Got a Trade? Got it Made!

Gisborne Herald
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

GISBORNE’s golden forestry girl Jasmine Kuru has been nominated for the Future Business Leaders Awards, organised in conjunction with Got a Trade? Got it Made! Week. Nominated by Hikurangi Forest Farms, Jasmine will attend a Future Business Leaders Forum in Auckland on Thursday, where New Zealand’s “bright young things” in trades and services will be addressed by business leaders… Got A Trade Week 2016 was launched at Parliament yesterday by Louise Upston, the Associate Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. Organised by the country’s industry training organisations representing more than 140 trades and services, the campaign aims to raise awareness of careers that exist in 140 trades and services across New Zealand.

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Bark beetle scourge: Can forest survive?

By Antonia Mortensen, Wojciech Treszczynski and Dave Gilbert
CNN
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Bialowieza Forest, Poland – Fallen leaves crumple underfoot as we walk, dappled sunlight breaking through the canopy above us — only birdsong and the buzzing of insects break the silence. To walk through Poland’s primeval Bialowieza Forest is to step back in time. Scientists say many parts of this precious ecosystem have been largely untouched by humans since the trees started colonizing the land at the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Extending over nearly 580 square miles, Bialowieza is the oldest and best-preserved forest of its kind in Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and straddles the Polish and Belarus border.

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Forest Fires

Kelowna-area firefighters get upper hand, but hot weather could be returning

By Bill Kaufmann
The Province
August 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews battling a wildfire that’s led to the evacuation of 156 homes near Kelowna said Monday they’d halted the blaze. But while cooler temperatures and a concerted attack helped stall the fire burning in the Bear Creek area of West Kelowna, there’s concern about an expected return to hotter weather on Tuesday, said B.C. Wildfire Service spokeswoman Melissa Klassen. “Today is a really good day for fire suppression,” she said. “But if we see the cloud cover dissipate and an increase in temperature, we could see an increase in fire behaviour.”

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Wildfire prompts evacuations in Grant Creek neighborhood

By Tom Bauer
The Missoulian
August 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A fast-moving wildfire forced the evacuation of roughly 25 homes in the Colorado Gulch area of Grant Creek on Monday evening as aircraft dropping retardant roared overhead. At least one fifth-wheel trailer (a large RV home) was burned, along with several vehicles and some outbuildings, according to the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department.  A line of cars streamed up and down Grant Creek Road as people ferried their pets to town or raced up to check on their property. The fire, located about 4 miles north of Interstate 90, was between 10-12 acres in size as of 9 p.m.

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The Latest: Destructive California wildfire grows

Washington Post
August 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SAN SIMEON — A destructive wildfire continues to grow as it threatens homes on California’s central coast, where more than 2,400 people are under evacuation orders. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Tuesday that the blaze has charred nearly 58 square miles of brush in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. Spokesman Brian Steiger says the fire is 35 percent contained after destroying 36 homes and 16 other buildings. Hearst Castle, the palatial ocean-view estate popular among tourists, remains closed because of proximity to the fire.

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Forest fire smoke settles in Bitterroot

NBC Montana
August 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON, Mont. – Much of the Bitterroot is socked in with smoke. On Sunday, parts of the valley saw small particles of ash falling. Air quality in Hamilton is rated moderate. The Roaring Lion Fire south of Hamilton continues to burn, with smoke visible, rising into the air in spots. But the smoke lingering in the valley is coming from the Moose Fire in the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest in Idaho. “It’s about 6 miles from the Montana-Idaho border,” said Darby Sula assistant engine captain Jonah Vaughan. 

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California firefighters stretched thin as blazes sweep state

By Don Thompson
Associated Press in Business Insider
August 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s state fire department is stretched thin just as the bone-dry state enters the peak of its wildfire season, with vacancy rates exceeding 15 percent for some firefighters and supervisors. The vacancy rate is more than 10 percent for some fire engine drivers, according to statistics provided to The Associated Press. A five-year drought and changing weather patterns have transformed what once was a largely summertime job into an intense year-round firefight, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Janet Upton. “It’s not the old days where we were a seasonal department with a season that lasted a few months,” she said. “It’s an increasingly challenging job, no thanks to Mother Nature and climate change.”

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The Latest: Washington blazes destroy at least 16 homes

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
August 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SAN SIMEON, Calif. – The Latest on wildfires burning in the Western United States. Authorities say wildfires burning in eastern Washington have destroyed at least 16 homes. The state Department of Natural Resources says a blaze just west of Spokane near the town of Davenport had destroyed at least six homes and scorched more than 9 square miles by Monday. The Washington State Patrol says another wildfire, south of Spokane near the town of Spangle, destroyed at least 10 homes and numerous other buildings Sunday. Local farmers helped firefighters build fire lines Sunday night.

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Olympic Forest wildfires making smoky skies in Western Washington

King 5 News
August 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Four wildfires burning in the Olympic National Forest has caused Western Washington’s air quality to be downgraded to moderate, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. PSCAA does not believe levels will worsen. The lightning-sparked fires have burned about 1,000 acres as of Monday morning. The fires have burned for a month after a storm system moved through that produced over 400 lighting strikes. A hot, dry, and windy weekend just made things worse. Three of the fires are considered in extremely remote locations and difficult to get to.

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Wildfire grows but road reopens; Idaho Falls fire takes off

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
August 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOWMAN, Idaho – A central Idaho wildfire has expanded to 150 square miles but a key route through the area has reopened. Residents of about 125 homes in the area Monday remained under low level evacuation notices. The Banks-Lowman Road opened Saturday after the fire moved through. The fire burning timber in remote, mountainous backcountry is 50 percent contained but is expected to burn at least until the end of September. On Monday, another fire that appeared nearly contained about seven miles east of Idaho Falls took off with high winds still gusting to 40 mph at 10 p.m., according to Bonneville County Sheriff Dept. spokesman Bryan Lovell.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Carbon-tax criticism is music to Premier Clark’s ears

By Mike Smyth
The Province
August 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark set up a panel of experts to advise her on climate-change policy and now she is conspicuously refusing to follow the panel’s advice. Clark’s opponents in the NDP, Green party and the environmental movement are roasting her for going against her own “Climate Leadership Team” which recommended dramatic increases in B.C.’s carbon tax. But if you think Christy Clark is worried about all the flak she’s taking over this, think again.

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Renewable Fuels from Forest Residuals

By Alexander Stark
Process Worldwide
August 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Port Carier — Envergent Technologies, a joint venture of Honeywell UOP and Ensyn, has begun construction on a renewable fuels facility in Port Cartier, Quebec. The project will incorporate Envergent’s proprietary RTP technology and will convert forest residues from local sources into liquid green fuel for institutional and industrial heating and as a renewable refinery feedstock for the production of low-carbon transportation fuels… The partners claim that the facility in Port Cartier will be completed late next year, and would convert 65,000 dry metric tons per year of forest residues to approximately 10 million gallons – or approximately 40 million liters – per year of RTP fuel.

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Ecostrat releases white paper on woody biomass procurement

By Katie Fletcher
Biomass Magazine
August 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Ecostrat Inc. recently released a white paper for current and prospective owners and operators of small- to medium-scale woody biomass energy plants. This particular publication provides an overview of five common mistakes in wood procurement and how to fix them and is part of the company’s supply chain risk series for small- and medium-sized biomass systems. The first mistake discussed in Ecostrat’s paper is bioenergy project developers who come to the understanding that their wood fiber feedstock is “typical” and don’t necessarily prepare for the potential problems wide variances in woody biomass feedstock can create with the fuel handling system they choose, if not properly tested.

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Biomass Project Opponents To Discuss Options Following Health Official’s Decision

By Paul Tuthill
North East Public Radio
August 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts are weighing their options now that the city’s top health official has opted not to hold a site assignment hearing on the project.  Local environmental activists who have battled for almost a decade against plans to build a biomass power plant in East Springfield plan to consult with attorneys this week about what options may be left now that Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris has chosen not to initiate a proceeding to determine if the plant’s location would pose a danger to the public health. Jesse Lederman, an environmental organizer with Arise for Social Justice, called the decision “startling.”

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Questions remain about carbon tax, economic growth

By Todd Whitcombe
Prince George Citizen
August 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, Canada, Canada West

On Friday last week, Premier Christy Clark released the Climate Leadership Plan. One of the truisms in government is bad news is released on Fridays so that by Monday it will be old news and out of the 24-hour news cycle…  The Climate Leadership Plan starts with a message from the Premier saying “British Columbians are proud to be recognized worldwide as leaders in the fight against climate change. We have proven that you can cut emissions while creating jobs.” Have we really proven this?… The forest, logging, and related service industries are in a steady decline – from over 26,000 workers in 2001 to fewer than 17,000 today. The total value of housing starts is just getting back to 2007 levels in constant dollars. 

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