Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 19, 2016

Special Feature

Opinion: Tall wooden buildings reaching new heights

by Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Michael J. Giroux, President of the Canadian Wood Council, and Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations.
The Vancouver Sun
September 16, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

You won’t read about it in the sports section any time soon, but a number of Canadian cities are competing in a high-stakes global race that will directly affect more than 200 of our communities. The cities — including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Québec — are competing in an amazing race against a number of cities around the world to build the tallest wooden high-rise buildings. The results of this race, for Canadian workers, companies and the environment, are critical. In Vancouver, for example, it’s an 18-storey student residence at the University of B.C. that is already under construction, and will soon be one of the tallest mass timber hybrid buildings in the world. In Québec City, the ground was broken in mid-June on a 13-storey condominium complex that will include 12 stories of timber.

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Business & Politics

Time running out on U.S. lumber deal

By Andrea Gunn
Chronicle Herald
September 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Softwood lumber producers in Atlantic Canada may have to start paying tariffs on exports to the U.S. as early as next month if a new trade agreement isn’t reached, opposition critics warn. Following trade minister Chrystia Freeland’s most recent visit to Washington this week, B.C. MPs Randy Hoback and Todd Doherty issued a statement Friday criticizing the Liberal government’s failure to negotiate a new deal. … “Saying that it’s a tough deal to negotiate is a poor excuse for failing to get it done, especially after raising expectations during the prime minister’s trip to Washington in February,” Hoback said. Since the last softwood lumber agreement was reached in 2006 as a way to put a stop to endless expensive court battles between the two countries, Atlantic Canadian producers have not had to pay duties when exporting their wood south of the border.

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Williams Lake Plywood an important community asset

by Mauro Calabrese, planning forester for West Fraser
Williams Lake Tribune
September 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Williams Lake Plywood has almost 350 employees and staff. The employees are members of the United Steelworkers Union, local 1-425, formerly the IWA. West Fraser also operates a sawmill just down the Soda Creek road that employs another 160 people making West Fraser one of the largest employers in the Williams Lake area. Williams Lake Plywood consumes approximately 390,000 cubic metres of high quality logs each year. This is less than half of what the West Fraser sawmill consumes in a year. The plywood process begins with raw logs cut in to “blocks” approximately 101 inches long. The logs are then heated in water spray vats to soften and condition the cells of the wood so they are easier to peel. The water is heated using wood waste from the logs in West Fraser’s steam plant on site. The water is recycled in a closed loop system.

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B.C.’s forestry strategy is too little, too late, says NDP critic

By Robin Austin, NDP Forestry Critic
Terrace Standard
September 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Liberal government released a strategy for the forest industry in late August, in a classic case of far too little, far too late. Forests minister Steve Thomson announced his strategy for the industry, with a stated intent to fix the problems in the industry and set it on a path for long-term sustainability. The first question that springs to mind is: where have the B.C. Liberals been for the past 15 years? But perhaps the more important question is: why don’t B.C. Liberals first take some responsibility? The forest industry has suffered greatly under the B.C. Liberal government. More than 150 mills have closed across the province and more than 25,000 good, family-supporting jobs have vanished. As these job losses were occurring, B.C. was exporting raw logs in record numbers; at its peak, we exported nearly seven million cubic metres of raw timber.

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A northern chill: The Pas fears town’s economy will go cold when Tolko closes mill

By: Kristin Annable
Winnipeg Free Press
September 17, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

THE PAS — It was five seconds of silence, but it spoke volumes to the uncertainty reverberating throughout this northern town. When asked if the town’s largest employer will remain up and running on Dec. 3, Manitoba’s Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen paused several seconds before speaking frankly. “It would be purely speculative on my part to make that assessment,” Cullen said earlier this week. Tolko Industries announced in late August it would be closing the pulp-and-paper mill on Dec. 2, throwing 332 people of work. Since then, neither Cullen, The Pas Mayor Jim Scott, nor the Veron, B.C.-based company have been able to quell fears in the town of 5,500. “It’s a disaster,” said longtime resident Ken Box, who worked for Tolko for 17 years as a pipefitter. “It’s high-paying jobs and people who are there were lucky to be there.”

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St. Joe’s Island logger tops in safety

Northern Ontario Business
September 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A strong safety culture has made an Algoma district logging contractor a repeat winner at the Workplace Safety North (WSN) annual awards. Fleming’s Trucking and Logging of Hilton Beach will be back at the podium this fall to accept more awards from the North Bay-based occupational health and safety association. Fleming’s will receive two awards at WSN’s upcoming annual general meeting and awards dinner in North Bay, Sept. 28. The company will take home the President’s Award in the forestry category and be recognized for safety excellence in the category of small firms of less than 50 employees.

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Federal regulatory creep would overburden railroads that support Maine economy

By Ian Jefferies
Bangor Daily News
September 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Bangor residents witnessed firsthand what a 21st century economy can look like this month when the e-commerce merchant Wayfair opened a call center that will employ some 450 people. Through an integrated shipping and logistics network that together moves some 54 tons of good per American each year, businesses can quickly move products to consumers and compete not just locally but globally. One key part of that network — freight railroads — remains under threat by federal regulators… Maine’s industrial outputs consist mainly of paper, lumber and wood products. These forest products make up the bulk of the demand for shipping on Maine’s freight rail lines, which cover more than 1,100 miles across the state.

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Timber mill moving to former Georgia-Pacific plant

El Dorado News-Times
September 17, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EL DORADO — Work is progressing on a new timber mill that is moving into the former Georgia-Pacific plant on U.S. 167, members of the Union County Quorum Court learned this week. During a regular meeting on Thursday, Justice of the Peace Dean Storey inquired about the status of the project involving Conifex Timber, Inc., a Canadian-based company whose primary operations are timber harvesting, reforestation, forest management, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value added lumber finishing and distribution. JP Mike Dumas, who also serves as interim president and chief executive officer of the El Dorado-Union County Chamber of Commerce, said Conifex will produce lumber at the U.S. 167 site. Union Lumber Company is expected to be up and running in June 2017, and Conifex anticipates hiring about 140 employees for the new company.

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NZ export log prices edge up from eight-month low in Sept

By Tina Morrison
Scoop Independent News
September 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices edged up from an eight-month low in September as demand, shipping rates and the currency remained relatively stable. The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs edged up to $111 a tonne in September, from an eight-month low of $110 a tonne in August, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. The price is 35 per cent ahead of the same period last year. “Export log returns look to have stabilised following the weakness observed last month, with wharf gate returns faring better than some had previously anticipated through August and early September,” AgriHQ analysts Reece Brick and Shaye Lee said in their report.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Will Our Future High-Rises Be Made Of Wood?

By Randy Gragg and Aaron Scott
Oregon Pubic Broadcasting
September 18, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Among all the buildings going up in the biggest boom in Portland real estate history, only one of them can be called the first of its kind in the nation. It’s a simple four-story building called Albina Yard on North Albina Street… But it’s the material stretching in between them that is the big deal. Instead of steel and concrete, the floors, ceilings and columns that make up this building are made of cross-laminated timber, or CLT for short. State of Wonder’s architecture columnist-in-residence Randy Gragg stopped by to discusses how CLT stands to revolutionize construction, offering a pre-fabricated material that is faster to build, more resistant to earthquakes, and more sustainable than traditional practices; not to mention how it stands to jump-start rural economies. 

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Big advances in superstrong glued wood will enable lower cost 80+ story wooden skyscrapers

Next Big Future
September 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

There have been big advances in “engineered” wood, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) made from layers of timber sections glued together with their grains at right angles to one another. In much the same way that aligning carbon-fibre composites creates stronger racing cars, aircraft and golf clubs, CLT imparts greater rigidity and strength to wooden structures. A recent experiment by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, a firm of architects, and Oregon State University, shows how strong engineered wood can be. The researchers used CLT in a hybrid form known as concrete-jointed timber. This featured an 11-metre wide CLT floor section with a thin layer of reinforced concrete spread across the surface.

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Forestry

National Tree Day

By Yasmin Mayne
Spruce Grove Examiner
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

With nine percent of the world’s forests located in Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will be doing some conservation activity on Sept. 21, also known as National Tree Day. “We’re pretty lucky, we have some amazing forested landscapes in our backyard,” said Kailey Setter, conservation engagement program manager for NCC. On National Tree Day, NCC will be taking volunteers to their Busenius property in Leduc County.

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Let’s celebrate National Forest Week

BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In recognition of this year’s theme for Sept. 18-24, 2016, National Forest Week, “True North – Strong and Green”, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson has released the following statement: “National Forest Week is a time to reflect on the importance of forests to Canadians, not just as an economic generator but for all the recreational, environmental, wildlife and other values that help define who we are as a nation. “Here in B.C., our approach to forestry has come a long way since the industry’s early days when the primary focus was on harvesting trees. Today, we have a much deeper understanding of the interdependent nature of all that our forests have to offer.

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Tolko Industries celebrates National Forest Week

By Maritza Reilly, Tolko
Williams Lake Tribune
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko will be celebrating National Forest Week Sept. 18-24. This year’s theme for National Forest Week is True North, Strong and Green — Celebrating Canada’s Forests! During National Forest Week, Canadians are invited to learn more about Canada’s Forest heritage and to raise awareness about this valuable and renewable resource. Forests are fundamental to our economy, culture, traditions and history — and to our future. Communities, families and individuals depend on forests for their livelihood and way of life.

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‘A living fossil’: one of the oldest trees on earth might be stinking up your backyard

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Have you ever taken a stroll down a tree-lined street in the fall in Vancouver only to stop and wonder, “Wow, what is that smell?” The odds are you walked past a gingko biloba tree — one of the most popular urban trees in Vancouver. Each fall, the trees produce edible nuts, and according to ‘Tree Guy’ David Tracey, they’re rumoured to have certain medicinal properties. But they smell bad. Like, really bad… Gingko biloba trees have grown for nearly 270 million years — they’re one of the oldest living species of trees on Earth. They predate the dinosaurs, which started taking strides tens of millions of years later.

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Tletinqox silviculture program provides training to community

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
September 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A silviculture program within the traditional caretaker area of the Tletinqox First Nation community is making a difference. “We line up forestry training courses for all of our community members to make sure they are certified,” Tletinqox Chief Joe Alphonse said. “That way if things happen, say people get injured or have family situations, then we make sure there are a wide variety of qualified people that can step in.” Tletinqox has five pack crews that fit into trucks comfortably. “We design our fleet with dry boxes containing three days of dried food inside them if anything happens, they have a tent and pegs, pit cans, shovels, chainsaws,”

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National Forest Week event targets children

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

During National Forest Week (September 18-24), Canadians are invited to learn more about Canada’s forest heritage and about the importance of forests as a valuable and renewable resource and children are no exception. In the Williams Lake area, children will have the opportunity to help celebrate National Forest Week when the Cariboo Fire Centre hosts a two-day outdoor education-focused event on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21.

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Logging protester arrested north of Sudbury

By Mary Katherine Keown
The Sudbury Star
September 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It was a scene reminiscent of Clayoquot Sound, complete with protestors, police officers, logging trucks and handcuffs. Barbara Ronson-McNichol, an activist, was arrested earlier this week while protesting the logging that could be getting underway shortly. “I was there for a couple of hours, hoping for some kind of dialogue that would put the operations on hold,” she said. “Then I was charged with mischief, and then I was released, with conditions.” She was blocking a logging truck. Ronson-McNichol did not spend much time in the Sudbury jail, just a couple of hours, but she will be going to court in Sudbury on Oct. 5 at 9:30 a.m. to answer to the charges. Ronson-McNichol’s ire stems from the fact what her husband Clyde’s family’s says is their land is set to be logged.

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Events Planned to Recognize National Forest Week

Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tree planting ceremonies, Explore Forestry Day and a charity golf tournament are among the activities planned to mark National Forest Week, September 18-24, an annual event celebrating one of Canada’s greatest natural resources. “The forest industry plays a vital role in Newfoundland and Labrador, providing social, cultural and economic benefits for residents. It’s important for us to take this opportunity to reflect on what the industry means to our province and to highlight the sustainable forest management practices that are being used here in Newfoundland and Labrador.” – The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods

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State forester: Rural firefighter shortage limits quick response to wildland fires

By Hanna Potes
Helena Independent Record
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA – The number of firefighters in rural Montana districts is declining, which has the potential to limit the quick response needed to keep fast-moving wildland fires in check, according to the state forester. Even where there are firefighters, those men and women are limited in how long they can be gone from their jobs and homes to fight larger fires that may take days or weeks to extinguish, Bob Harrington, of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, told the Environmental Quality Council at its Thursday meeting in Helena. “That’s a challenge that will be with us into the future … until we have a different solution,” Harrington said.

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IG report faults Forest Service hazardous fuels priorities

By Tom Bauer
The Missoulian
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An inspector general’s report finds the U.S. Forest Service lacks a consistent way to pick high-priority wildfire fuels reduction projects, doesn’t use scientifically based risk assessments to choose them and has been over-counting the number of acres it has treated to reduce wildfire risk. The report followed up on a similar audit of the Forest Service’s Hazardous Fuels Priority Allocation System in 2006, and found that changes recommended then still weren’t being met. The report and its responses from the agency were released Aug. 16. The Forest Service “has identified almost 100 million acres of NFS lands that have at least moderate risk for wildfire potential, of which more than 58 million of the acres are at high risk,” the IG report stated.

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Marbled murrelet plans to have little impact on county harvests, says Clallam commissioner

by Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — Proposed protections for the marbled murrelet on state-managed forests would have a “minimal impact” on harvest volumes in Clallam County, Commissioner Bill Peach reported last week. Peach also serves on the state Board of Natural Resources, which sets policies that guide how the state Department of Natural Resources manages forest lands and other resources. The DNR board is considering six alternatives in a long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet, a seabird that nests in coastal forests. It is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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European worms harming North American forest diversity

By John Myers
Duluth News Tribune
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s been known for years that European earthworms are changing the makeup of North American forests by altering the soil that trees grow in. Now, in a new study published last week, scientists have for the first time documented that imported worms are directly responsible for declining species diversity. Just about all the earthworms found in Northland forests are foreign, including nightcrawlers and angleworms, and their impacts are most noticeable in vegetation on the forest floor, the study reports. Those changes include a decline in native plant species diversity, increased non-native plants from Europe (like buckthorn) and an increase in grasses moving into forests.

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Salvaging blowdown timber

by Troy Holcomb. forester with the Minnesota DNR Division of Forestry
Aitkin Independent Age
September 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Forestry is actively working to salvage damaged timber on state lands resulting from the strong storms of July 21. With over 6,000 acres affected on state land alone, to say that the destruction is extensive is an understatement. You might ask why this is important? There are many reasons. With the increased occurrence of people living in and among wildland areas, a large amount of dead and down forest can create a very real fire hazard. Cleaning up this fuel is an important priority for us. Secondly, high volumes of dead or storm-stressed trees can lead to large population buildups of destructive forest insects and diseases such as pine bark beetles and two-lined chestnut borers.

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New plan devised for forests’ future

By Robert Swift
The Citizens Voice
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

HARRISBURG — The development of Pennsylvania’s 2.2 million acres of state forests is a 20th century miracle. Starting in the 1898, Pennsylvania began to acquire tracts of logged-over and denuded land for state forestry reservations for cheap prices at tax sales. A team of professional foresters planted seedlings on the reservations and laid the foundation for the healthy second-growth hardwood forests that Pennsylvanians enjoy today… The 2016 plan has just been released following a dozen public meetings across the state and some 4,000 comments from interested citizens and forest users. The plan addresses several topics that pertain especially to the state forests of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Why legal timber matters

By Robert Simpson, Manager of the Forest Law Enforcement, FAO
Thomas Reuters Foundation
September 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Have you ever run your hand across a gleaming table top and wondered where its wood came from? Or asked whose job it was to cut the logs that became your new bookcase? Whose trees were used to produce that pencil you’re chewing on? Consider for a moment all the people whose livelihoods, history and future centre on the great forests that generate the timber we import every day… But these forests, reaching from Indonesia to Honduras to Ghana, are under pressure from illegal logging. Worldwide, forest crime is estimated by UNEP and Interpol to be worth 30-100 billion USD annually, or 10-30 percent of the total global timber trade… But illegal logging can be stopped and, as consumers, we can help.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Talking Point: Energy from burning forest waste is green

By Ross Hampton, Australian Forest Products Association
The Mercury.com
September 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Tasmania — Anyone who works or walks in Tasmanian bush knows there are two certainties: it will grow and some will burn in bushfires. Biomass power uses this renewable growth and, potentially, also has a part to play in making communities safer by thinning out the heavy undergrowth near towns and strategic assets. Tasmanians understand the forest environment more than most in Australia. This is a state that is equipped to have a mature conversation about the use of biomass as a renewable energy source. There are few who argue with any conviction that the residues from forestry operations, such as the limbs removed during silviculture in plantations, or offcuts from sawmilling operations are not a renewable energy source. By their very nature they are, of course, renewable.

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$3.1 million towards climate change research projects

Ministry of Primary Industries
Scoop.co.nz
September 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New Zealand — Thirteen research projects have received funding approvals totalling $3.1 million through MPI’s Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) research programme. SLMACC supports new climate change knowledge generation in the agriculture and forestry sectors for adaption, mitigation, and cross-cutting issues… This year there were 12 priority topic areas under the 3 themes:
• impacts of climate change and adaption
• mitigation of agricultural and forestry greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
• cross-cutting issues, including economic analysis, life-cycle analysis, farm catchment systems analysis, and social impact.

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Renewable fuel source for jet planes and missiles grows on trees and reduces emissions

By Babs McHugh
ABC News Australia
September 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Farmers in arid and low rainfall areas could be growing gum trees for the aviation fuel of the future. Researchers in the US and Australia have teamed up and determined that, of the 800 eucalypt species in Australia, the often stunted-looking mallee may be the answer. Aviation fuel produces 2 per cent of global carbon emissions, but it has proven very difficult to replace, or add to, as it has high-energy requirements. Australian National University researcher David Kainer said the research had been underway for several years and the focus now was on commercial applications.

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