Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 24, 2016

Business & Politics

First lumber, now drywall in Canada-U.S. trade tensions

Bloomberg
November 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A new trade dispute has broken out between Canada and the U.S. that threatens to raise prices in Canada’s already overheated housing markets. The Canada Border Services Agency imposed a provisional tariff as high as 277 per cent on U.S. drywall imports in September after ruling that manufacturers were dumping the product, or selling it below the price in their home market, undercutting local suppliers. The tariff has raised the price of drywall, or gypsum board as it’s also called, by as much as 30 per cent and is causing “chaos” and delays as contractors scramble for alternative sources.

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Steady rise in North American softwood lumber production

IHB
November 24, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

During the first eight months of 2016, the US sawmills produced 22.012 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, a 3.6% increase over the corresponding period of 2015 (21.250 bbf). According to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s latest Lumber Track report, Western U.S. sawmills contributed 9.371 bbf to the eight-month volume, up 2.2% from 9.167 bbf a year earlier, and sawmills in the southern U.S. accounted for 11.634 bbf – up 4.7% from 11.109 bbf in the year before. …Softwood lumber production by Canadian sawmills was 18.898 bbf during January-August 2016, a 7.6% increase from 17.559 bbf in the previous year. British Columbia sawmills contributed 9.166 bbf to August’s production, up 4.2% from 8.798 bbf in August 2015, while sawmills east of the Rockies produced 9.732 bbf – up 11.1% from 8.760 bbf in the same period a year earlier.

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BC’s Forest Sector Welcomes Tax Competitiveness Commission Report

By Mina Loudan
Council of Forest Industries
November 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) welcomed today’s release of the report by the Commission on Tax Competitiveness, an independent panel established earlier this year to consult and review B.C.’s corporate tax structure and develop recommendations that would drive economic growth in the province. “The B.C. forest sector is a trade-dependent industry with our high-quality products shipped around the globe,” said Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries. “Our industry competes with producers in many other parts of the world, so ensuring we have a competitive tax environment in our province is critical if we are going to sustain our sector and attract capital investment to B.C.”

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Log scanning pioneered to find flaws in timber

By Tom Fletcher
Terrace Standard
November 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For Skeena Sawmills in Terrace, the next efficiency tool is a CT scanner, similar to those found in hospitals. With old hemlock and balsam trees dominant in the area, the mill has struggled to remain competitive with the ups and downs of lumber export markets and currencies. By scanning logs to identify flaws and decay areas, the mill expects to increase its usage of timber and gain efficiency in lumber production….Skeena has proposed a pilot project with FPInnovations, the industry-government research and development agency of the Canadian forest industry. It proposes to use a newly developed CT log scanner developed by Austrian mill machinery maker Springer-Microtec, which opened a North American office in Vancouver in 2014.

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Coast Forest Products Association Strongly Supports Recommendations in Commission on Tax Competitiveness Report

Coast Forest Products Association
November 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coast Forest Products Association is pleased with the recommendations put forward in today’s report by the Commission on Tax Competitiveness. The health of the coastal forest industry of British Columbia is key to a strong provincial economy and stable livelihoods for British Columbians. The sector provides $400 million annually to B.C. in taxes which, in turn, provide infrastructure, healthcare and education – as well as 38,000 jobs to people living in rural and urban communities. Eleven percent of the coastal B.C. GDP relies on the coastal forest sector. The recommendations from the Commission support the competitiveness of our sector. 

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Employee dies after falling into pulper machine at Georgia-Pacific paper mill

By Ashley Ann & Marissa Parra
WSET
November 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States


ABC13 has learned that the fatal paper mill incident in Big Island occurred at the number four paper machine pulper at Georgia-Pacific. Big Island Fire Department, Bedford Fire Department and the Forest Volunteer Fire Department were among the emergency crews who responded to the scene. A spokesperson with the paper mill says they are not yet releasing the employee’s name because they are still in the process of notifying his or her family. On behalf of Georgia-Pacific, the spokesperson released the following statement: “Our first priority is with that employee’s family and with our employees. Safety is Georgia-Pacific’s top priority and we are working to ensure the safety of the mill employees.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

FROM THE FARM: Dry weather and wood products Clarksville Leaf Chronicle

by Rusty Evans
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
November 23, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Adam Taylor, professor of Wood Sciences at The University of Tennessee, shares some good information with us this week: Tennessee is ‘Abnormally Dry’ according to the USDA Drought Monitor….But what does this dry weather means for wood products? For most wood products, the answer is ‘not much’. Wood always contains some water, in balance with the temperature and relative humidity conditions of the air it is exposed to. This water content of the wood is called the ‘Equilibrium Moisture Content’ or EMC. Dry weather means dry air which in turn means that the EMC of exposed woodwork will be a little lower. Reducing wood moisture content impacts three properties that may be of interest: strength, shrinkage and fuel value.

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Forestry

Bill Reid Looplex X Canoe Installation Ceremony

UBC Faculty of Forestry
November 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

At a staggering 53 feet in length, the Looplex X is slightly larger than a full grown humpback whale. It is one of four replicas of the “Lootas”, or “wave-eater”, which was carved by Bill Reid for the 1986 Vancouver Expo. The Looplex X was donated to the First Nations House of Learning by Martine Reid and Don Martin. Extensive restoration work was done by several people, including hereditary Haida Chief and renowned artist James Hart and artist apprentices John Brent Bennett, Brandon Brown, Mary Hart and Carl Hart. The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing’s Lawrence Günther helped restore sections of the canoe damaged by dry rot.

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United Steelworkers Launches Working Forest Campaign to Highlight Importance of Forestry in B.C.

Canada Newswire press release
November 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


BURNABY, BC,- The United Steelworkers (USW) is launching a new campaign to highlight the importance of B.C. forests to workers, local communities and the provincial economy. “B.C.’s Working Forest: Ours To Protect” will promote the value of the working forest to ensure decision makers and all British Columbians understand the importance of maintaining these forests as renewable resources for the benefit of workers, communities and the entire province. “Our forests are renewable resources that have been harvested for hundreds of years. Not only do thousands of British Columbians earn their living and support their families by working in the forest industry, the industry also generates almost $2.5 billion a year to federal, provincial and local governments to pay for important public services that we all depend on,” says Bob Matters, Chair of the USW Wood Council.

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Canada-B.C. partnership to train First Nations youth for jobs in the Cariboo

Government of BC
November 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Aboriginal youth from Central and Northern B.C. received the training they need for jobs in their communities, thanks to the federal-provincial partnership under the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement. Approximately $329,000 was allocated to Quesnel Employment Services to run the First Nations Youth Training Program in Quesnel for participants from various First Nations in the areas. Today, MLA for Cariboo North Coralee Oakes, along with representatives from First Nations communities and program partners, met some of the students who completed the training. 

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Cap-and-trade system could help province’s forestry industry

By Amanda Panacci
The Chronicle Herald
November 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

If Nova Scotia implements the right cap-and-trade system, it could mean millions for woodlot owners and rural communities. Dale Prest of non-profit Community Forests International predicts a major shift for the province’s forestry industry. “From one that rewards a low cost of production that results in clear cutting, to one that rewards maintaining and growing a healthy forest as possible,” he said Friday. Monday, the province announced its intention to create a cap-and-trade system to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

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Mountains of logs left to rot at Hydro-Québec site on North Shore

By Anne Panasuk
CBC News
November 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

More than 100 kilometres from the mouth of the Romaine River, far from the public eye, an estimated 1,500 tractor-trailer loads of logs, cut and stacked, have sat decaying for the past three years — ever since the shutdown of a sawmill co-owned by the Natashquan Innu and forestry giant Rémabec.  Local residents have asked Hydro-Québec to allow them to use the wood for heating, but the head of the regional county municipality (MRC) of Minganie, Luc Noël, says the utility has turned down those requests.

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Groups seek order to stop logging on former state forest land

by Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
November 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmentalist groups want an injunction to stop logging on roughly 50 acres of private property that was once part of Oregon’s Elliott State Forest. Three nonprofits — Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity and Audubon Society of Portland — have asked U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken to prohibit tree harvest on the parcel due to hazards to the threatened marbled murrelet. Logging plans were previously abandoned in the area because Oregon realized it would cause Endangered Species Act violations, but a 355-acre parcel was bought in 2014 by Roseburg Forest Products Co. and its Scott Timber subsidiary for nearly $800,000, according to plaintiffs.

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Stockton Students Analyze Controlled Burns on College Campus

Southern New Jersey News
November 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GALLOWAY, N.J. – While firefighters are normally battling blazes, on Wednesday at Stockton University they actually set one. The New Jersey Forest Fire Service conducted a controlled burn on the Galloway Campus as part of the university’s forest management plan. Stockton environmental studies students were on hand to analyze how a controlled burn affects the forest including its impact on healthy trees and on the southern pine beetle. “Controlled burns also help to protect the forest…And the campus from wildfires. The administration of the college understands how important it is to protect the facility, this is a forest with a college not a college with a forest, so it is important that folks understand that these lands require maintenance, management, [and] stewardship,” said Robert Williams, a certified forester.

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Can GMOs save the wild American chestnut tree?

by Ellen Abbott
North Country Public Radio
November 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

We often hear about genetically modified food. But scientists in Syracuse are hoping to take that technology one step further and create the first genetically modified wild forest tree. And with that, rest hopes that the American chestnut tree could make a comeback with nudge from the lab.  … SUNY ESF Researcher Allison Oakes says when researchers found an enzyme that reduces the virulence of the fungus on chestnut trees by blocking it’s acidity, it opened the door to creating a tree that won’t die from it. So now, in a brightly lit lab in Syracuse, tiny green chestnut seedlings are tenderly cared for by Oakes. “This is going to be the first genetically modified organism that’s made for restoration of a natural ecosystem, as opposed to crop plants, or food production,” she said.

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Unlocking the genetic code of an ancient survivor

The Guardian
November 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The draft genome of Ginkgo biloba, the sole surviving species of an ancient group of seed plants, has been published. …Ginkgo biloba is the archetypal “living fossil” of the plant world, even if this label sometimes causes more confusion than it solves. Fossils tell us that the gross morphology of its leaves has remained stable for more than 200 million years, although a variety of associated reproductive structures have been recognised. The fossil record also tells us that ginkgoes were widespread, and found in fossil assemblages not too different ecologically from the forests they still live in today. What ancient fossils cannot tell us is very much about how ginkgoes are related to the other major plant groups.

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Peru declares state of emergency over deadly forest fires

by Dan Collyns
The Guardian
November 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Peru has declared a state of emergency in seven districts in the north of the country where forest fires have killed two, injured four and burnt nearly 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of land, including five protected natural areas. Wildfires have spread to 11 regions across the country, according to Peru’s civil defence institute, in what scientists say may be the worst drought in more than a decade. Peru’s environment minister, Elsa Galarza, said a special brigade of firefighters had been deployed to the worst-affected areas in the north.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Could Wood Scraps Fuel Planes?

By Kristen Schmitt
Smithsonian
November 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

In a game-changing move, Alaska Airlines Flight 4 took to the sky last week in the first-ever commercial flight powered by a brand new wood-based biofuel, flying from Seattle to Washington, D.C. Through a clever innovation that turns wood waste, sourced from tribal lands and private forestry operations in Washington, Oregon and Montana, into a clean burning biofuel, the aviation industry is one step closer to lower carbon emissions. The project, spearheaded by the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) and funded by a $39.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is part of the aviation industry’s efforts to reach a carbon neutral zone by 2020. While advanced engine and airplane design and operational and routing issues can help airlines in that regard, at the end of the day, it’s really about the fuel.

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Biomass plant contract on table

By Guy McCarthy
The Union-Democrat
November 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station, the 20-megawatt biomass plant outside Chinese Camp that burns wood chips to make electricity, is awaiting approval of a new five-year agreement to sell power to Southern California Edison, according to a 178-page advice letter filed this week with the state Public Utilities Commission. Edison staff indicate in the letter that a contract with Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station, if approved, would begin March 1. The potential contract with Southern California Edison is the first long-term offer for Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station since a 30-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric expired and short-term contract extensions ended earlier this year.

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