Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: December 2016

Today’s Takeaway

Things That Mattered in 2016

Tree Frog Forestry News
December 22, 2016
Category: Today's Takeaway

In today’s news, veteran journalist Gordon Hamilton reveals his pick of top stories impacting the BC forest sector in 2016. Although we trust Gordon’s judgement on “what matters most”, we cross referenced his top-eight list with the number of stories we carried on each topic. Suffice to say, story frequency and story import don’t exactly align:

1. Great Bear Rainforest Agreement (80 stories)
2. US housing market recovery (20 stories)
3. Low Canadian dollar (30 stories)
4. Softwood lumber war (300+)
5. Mountain pine beetle (15)
6. Tall wood buildings (110)
7. Loggers face economic crisis (10)
8. Old-growth logging (150+)

The Huffington Post featured a story about which provinces were “Most at Risk From a Trump Presidency” based on their share of exports exposed. Although Nova Scotia, Ontario and PEI are the most exposed overall, BC was on top when considering forestry products only.

Finally, a special welcome and thank-you to our newest sponsor – BC Wood – the voice of the value-added wood products industry in BC. For more on BC Wood click here.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Wood Business – Editor’s Picks 2016

Wood Business
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Introducing the top 10 Editor’s Picks of Canadian Forest Industries stories from 2016!  

  1. Top 10 Under 40 – From a logging operations supervisor in Nova Scotia to an accountant in Vancouver
  2. DEMO International – Thousands converged in Maple Ridge, BC
  3. Made in the grade – The original Gorman Bros. office after 60 years
  4. Canada’s 2015 wildfire season burned over three million hectares 
  5. Port Alice family perseveres in face of tragedy 
  6. Carrot River Optimized: Saskatchewan sawmill gets $25M upgrade
  7. Contractors share views (survey results)
  8. Weathering the softwood storm – the softwood lumber war 
  9. Optimized for change: Teal Jones’ new trimmer optimizer
  10. Boisaco sawmill’s journey to success after three bankruptcies

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Cranbrook property protected as part of $1-million conservation commitment

Boundary Sentinel
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Cranbrook area property home to a wide variety of wildlife has been acquired by the Province, thanks to a partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). The property consists of: 0.6 hectares at Elizabeth Lake Conservation area near Cranbrook, which includes a bird sanctuary, hiking trails and wetland and shoreline habitat. It is among four ecologically-sensitive properties the Province recently assumed ownership of through the partnership with the NCC. These properties all contain diverse habitats. “It was important that the Province stepped in with the funds to ensure that Elizabeth Lake remains undeveloped,” said Bill Bennett, MLA Kootenay East.

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Great Fire of 1886 gave birth to 2016’s tallest Vancouver tree

by Kent Spencer
The Vancouver Sun
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver was razed to the ground during the Great Fire of 1886, but the city and its people came back stronger than ever. So has Mother Nature. A Douglas fir, spawned in the charred remains of Stanley Park about 129 years ago, is now the city’s tallest tree at 63 metres (206 feet), outpacing nearby giants which are at least 300 years older. “I was stunned when I heard. It’s pretty neat,” said Paul Lawson, director of the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge. “Fire is nature’s way of cleaning. The soil is sterilized and diseases removed. It’s a rejuvenating force.” The fir is part of a tall, thin stand south of Beaver Lake which has shot upward to capture as much of the sun’s energy as possible. The city’s highest tree was identified by Ira Sutherland, a research forest employee who fancies himself an evergreen enthusiast and big tree hunter.

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Great Bear Rainforest protection takes effect Jan. 1

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Regulations to introduce “ecosystem-based management” of a huge area of B.C.’s north and central coastal forest have been announced, setting annual logging limits and imposing protected areas. Of the 6.4 million hectares now known internationally as the Great Bear Rainforest, one third is off limits to commercial logging, and the rest allows low-impact resource development including forestry, tourism and hydroelectric projects that support the people living in the region. The North Coast, Mid-Coast, Kingcome and Strathcona timber supply areas are replaced by Great Bear Rainforest North, Great Bear Rainforest South and North Island timber supply areas. The annual allowable cut for the entire region is set at 2.5 million cubic metres per year for the next 10 years.

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Stephen Hume: Books that tell the stories of BC, Part 2

By Stephen Hume
Vancouver Sun
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan – If B.C. is the most environmentally aware and active province in Canada, it’s partly because of the unpardonable beauty and diversity of its landscape, flora and fauna. This is a province of superlatives. …McTaggart Cowan has been called the “father of Canadian ecology.” That’s a simplification, of course. Comox naturalist Mack Laing, a mentor of McTaggart Cowan’s and Campbell River writer Roderick Haig-Brown both exemplify that claim, too. …The Sustainability Dilemma: Essays on British Columbia Forest and Environmental History – “The War in the Woods” raged across B.C. from the boreal forests of the north to the rain forests of Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island. Protests against logging practices in Clayoquot Sound resulted in the largest mass trials for civil disobedience in Canadian history.

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Powell River community forest to increase harvest

by Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The amount of timber coming out of Powell River’s community forest is slated to increase by almost half after the BC government signed off on its latest management plan this summer. City of Powell River’s committee of the whole received a letter from Powell River Community Forest president Greg Hemphill at its meeting on Tuesday, December 13. The letter states that in July, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations approved the community forest board’s latest management plan for the 7,100-hectare forestland located east of the city and the Duck Lake Protected Area. Powell River Community Forest is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city.

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Canada-B.C. partnership to train British Columbians for local jobs in Pemberton

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
BC Government
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Up to 36 British Columbians from Pemberton, Mount Currie and surrounding areas are receiving the training they need for jobs in their communities, thanks to the federal-provincial partnership under the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement. Approximately $429,000 has been allocated to Stillwater Consulting Ltd. to deliver the Silviculture and Wildland Firefighting Essentials training. This project includes classroom and field instruction, and will prepare participants for jobs such as wildland firefighters as well as forestry field workers with specialized skills in silviculture. To deliver the training, Stillwater Consulting has partnered with several local employers including Timber West, Lil’wat Forestry Ventures, Hedberg and Associates and Tsain-Ko Forestry.

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Dal AC student recipient of special award

Christian Francis presented with Skills Award for Aboriginal Youth at Ottawa ceremony
Truro Daily News
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – A keen interest in forestry and leadership efforts with aboriginal youth has earned special recognition for a student at the Dalhousie Agricultural Faculty in Bible Hill. Christian Francis, 29, of Pictou Landing, a third-year student in the four-year Environmental Science program, was recently flown to Ottawa by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) to receive the Skills Award for Aboriginal Youth. “It was a really cool experience, I really liked it,” Francis said, of his visit to the nation’s capital. … “FPAC could sense his enthusiasm and dedication to the forest industry in his letter of application,” association CEO Derek Nighbor said of Francis. “We were also very impressed by his desire to create economic opportunities for his home First Nation community.”

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Wasaga to cull 1,000 ash trees in 2017

by By Ian Adams
Simcoe.com
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An invasive species has bored a $300,000 hole into Wasaga Beach’s 2017 budget. That’s how much the town expects to spend in preventing the spread of the emerald ash borer, a wood-boring beetle native to eastern Asia that has killed millions of ash trees in North America since 2002. Parks and recreation manager Gerry Reinders told council’s committee of the whole during a public presentation of the budget that the town will be taking down 1,000 ash trees in 2017, out of the total population of 5,400 ash trees on municipal property. The rest will be removed over the next four years, leaving only 20 ash trees on municipal property that will be treated in an effort to preserve the species.

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The crisis condition on national forests

Helena Independent Record
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Dale Bosworth and Jack Blackwell correctly stated the crisis condition that exists on many of our national forests. They recommended that Congress should provide USFS with more support to implement scientific forest management to solve the problem. However, Bosworth and Blackwell failed to state that, with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act, USFS already has the tools it needs to address the crisis. In fact, USFS has had at least 50 years to use those tools and employ scientific management to prevent the development of what was a predictable crisis. Instead of advocating scientific management, foresters like Bosworth and Blackwell used NEPA and NFMA to perpetuate single use management and fire suppression. 

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In Eastern Oregon, A Quieter Battle Over Federal Land Is Unfolding

by Andrew Selsky
Associated Press in the Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


On a recent wintry evening, members of the Grant County Public Forest Commission walked into the warmth of a rustic diner and took seats at their customary table for their bimonthly meeting. They voiced anger and frustration. At this meeting, they were officially a non-entity. A judge this fall dissolved the commission at the behest of a former county supervisor who worried it was becoming a risk, citing the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in a neighboring county. …But now, the forest commissioners say, the government is tightening access to the same natural resources by closing roads and curtailing logging and other industries that allowed previous generations to be self-sufficient. The commissioners feel they lost, by the stroke of a judge’s pen, a tool voters gave them to fight back.

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As Aid Dries Up, Some Oregon Counties Glad To Be Off ‘The Federal Dole’

by Jeff Mapes
Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For 15 years, Congress wrote more than $3 billion in subsidy checks to Oregon counties that had experienced big drops in federal timber harvests. That program stopped earlier this year. But many county officials are actually not so sad the federal help expired. Timber once drove the Oregon economy. In the 70s, the industry employed as many as 80,000 workers. In many western Oregon timber communities, local government operated largely on their share of the revenue from logging federal lands. Then came one shock after another that slashed at jobs. A deep recession in the early 80s. More efficient mills. And in 1990, federal authorities listed the northern spotted owl as a threatened species. That led to dramatic reductions of timber harvests on public lands.

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Settlement reached in Port Ludlow timber harvest issue

By Cydney McFarland
Peninsula Daily News
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT LUDLOW — After months of negotiations, Jefferson County and Port Ludlow Associates have approved a settlement agreement for contested timber harvests inside the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort. The agreement is the culmination of a mediation between county officials and the Port Ludlow Associates (PLA) concerning tree harvests in 2015. County commissioners unanimously approved it Monday. Diana Smeland, the PLA president, also signed the agreement, according to County Administrator Philip Morley. She was not available for comment Tuesday.

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Editorial: Don’t sell bonds for the Elliott State Forest

Bend Bulletin
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Now, faced with actual willing buyers, a partnership between a timber company and Indian tribe, and vociferous opposition from a slew of environmental groups, the land board is waffling, and doing so badly. Thus, meeting Dec. 13, the board agreed to continue to work on the current sale proposal but to also consider selling $100 million in state bonds to buy the Elliott out of any obligation to the Common School Fund. It’s a terrible idea. Selling bonds will raise money for schools, to be sure, but the state will continue to spend money on the Elliott to keep it healthy. The current sale offer, meanwhile, includes both a guarantee of public access to the land and protection for old-growth timber. Moreover, the state’s take from the sale is more than double what the bond sale would bring.

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California Forests Failing to Regrow After Intense Wildfires

By Bob Berwyn
InsideClimate News
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


There are warning signs that some forests in the western U.S. may have a hard time recovering from the large and intense wildfires that have become more common as the climate warms. After studying 14 burned areas across 10 national forests in California, scientists from UC Davis and the U.S. Forest Service said recent fires have killed so many mature, seed-producing trees across such large areas that the forests can’t re-seed themselves. And because of increasingly warm temperatures, burned areas are quickly overgrown by shrubs, which can prevent trees from taking root.

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Slow timber sales lead to wood piling up for area loggers

By Rick Olivo
Ashland Daily Press
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A soft market for timber is causing many loggers to either postpone cutting or to leave logs piled up at landings until they can find buyers for their wood. According to Ashland County Forest Administrator Chris Hoffman, the slowdown has already had an impact on Ashland County stumpage sales. “We opened bids here three weeks ago and the money that we are getting in, the stumpage we are selling is less than it was last year at this time, but the loggers are still producing wood,” he said. Hoffman said markets for timber cut in Wisconsin’s north woods has become “extremely soft.”

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National Family Forests Education Award goes to University of Tennessee extension’s David Mercker

By University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
EurekAlert
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A multi-partner program coordinated by UT Extension forestry specialist David Mercker has been awarded the 2016 Family Forests Education Award by two national forest-focused organizations. The honor was bestowed by the National Woodland Owners Association and the National Association of University Forest Resources Program. The award recognizes an outstanding university-based Extension or outreach program. The award honors Mercker’s coordination of the Tennessee Healthy Hardwoods program. The program has delivered high-quality, hand-on experiential field days where landowners benefit from field observation in Tennessee state and UT forests. 

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Wildfire burns in central Oklahoma but no structures lost

Associated Press in Washington Post
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SHAWNEE, Okla. — Dry conditions plus blown-down trees from a tornado several years ago in central Oklahoma are fueling a wildfire that continues to burn Wednesday morning. No structures have been lost and no one has been hurt. Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker says the fire was about 60 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. It’s burning near Shawnee, or about 30 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. So far, the fire has burned about 140 acres in the area. Finch-Walker says officials are still investigating what sparked the blaze, but it appears to be “human-caused” because there were no signs of natural causes, such as a lightning strike.

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Kerala forests stare at wildfire threat

By Sam Paul A
The New Indian Express
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

KOCHI: The threat of wildfire is looming large over Kerala forests in the coming summer season, thanks to the poor rainfall that has caused drying up of the forests, making them prone to conflagration. According to data available with the Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organisation under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, at least 370 major forest fires were recorded in the State between 2014 and 2016 – 114 in 2014, 91 in 2015 and 165 in 2016. The most number of blazes were recorded in the Wayanad and Idukki districts, with both reporting 71 major fires each.

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Company & Business News

Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. has ‘social conversation’ with Trump

By Katharine Starr
CBC News
December 20, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

You never know who you might run into at a football game. For Canada’s ambassador to the United States, that run-in was with president-elect Donald Trump at the annual Army-Navy game in Baltimore….”I congratulated him, he said to say ‘Hi’ to the prime minister, [that he] looks forward to working with me, but there wasn’t anything substantive,” he added. …The ambassador also weighed in on key economic files between Canada and the United States, including the ongoing softwood lumber dispute — a conflict he said is “not at all” on the back burner until after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. “We’ve been engaged in discussions with the U.S. Commerce Department, we’ve put forth our case…we continue to work towards finding a solution to this irritant,” MacNaughton said.

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Freeland touts trade ties to Trump team

by Mike Blanchfield
Canadian Pressin the Orangeville Banner
December 21, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Donald Trump has pledged to fix a lot of broken things when he becomes U.S. president. But Canada’s trade minister says the world-leading trade relationship between Canada and the United States need not be on the president-elect’s to-do list. “I think the reality is the trading relationship with Canada is the farthest possible thing from being broken. It is very balanced and mutually beneficial,” Chrystia Freeland told The Canadian Press in an interview Wednesday. …She made no attempt to minimize the ongoing effort to reach a new agreement on softwood lumber. Teams of negotiators are meeting this week, but Freeland said she needs a crystal ball to predict whether the two sides can strike a deal by Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The ongoing softwood saga predates Trump’s arrival in politics.

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Regional politicians keep talking to Tolko

by Richard Rolke
Vernon Morning Star
December 21, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Okanagan politicians want to keep talking with a forestry giant. Regional District of North Okanagan directors have discussed a recent presentation from Tolko Industries. “We want to continue the dialogue,” said director Mike Macnabb. Previously, some elected officials across the province have suggested that they feel ignored by the forest industry. In his recent presentation, Tom Hoffman, Tolko’s manager of external and stakeholder relations, acknowledged the concerns. “We’re here to rectify this situation,” he said, adding that he wants to have further discussions with RDNO.

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Asia imports up as U.S. targets B.C. lumber

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
December 21, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it will investigate allegations of unfair imports of Canadian lumber, half of which comes from B.C… In a year-end interview, Premier Christy Clark said is confident Canada and B.C. can get an agreement with the new U.S. administration. “Donald Trump is a builder by profession,” Clark said. “He says he wants four per cent economic growth. He knows that the fastest way to move the American economy is through construction of residential housing. “Our argument for him is going to be, you need Canadian softwood in order to get that residential housing market really booming.”… Lumber prices and the international export market have expanded in 2016, as demand has increased in the U.S. and China.

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Stillwater tops Powell River Regional District agendas

By Chris Bolster
Powel River Peak
December 21, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stillwater land-use issues figured prominently last week at Powell River Regional District meetings. Nanaimo-based forestry company Island Timberlands owns District Lot 3040, the 48-hectare parcel of land that includes Stillwater Bluffs and other industrial lands around Stillwater Bay. Conservationists and outdoor recreation advocates have long pushed for the purchase of the land to protect the area. Stillwater Bluffs is listed as one of the regional district’s top five sites for protection. Stillwater School Road resident Abby McLennan appeared before the regional district planning committee… the current proposed beach access in Island Timberlands’ preliminary approved subdivision plan would not be usable to residents, but with some course alterations it could be.

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Softwood war, beetle battle, loggers laid low

By Gordon Hamilton – 8 things that mattered in forestry
Business in Vancouver
December 22, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West


Great Bear Rainforest Agreement: On February 1, the B.C. government signed off on a landmark agreement that ended 20 years of environmental conflict over logging on B.C.’s central coast. U.S. housing market recovery:  After almost a decade of decline, stagnation and false beginnings, the annualized rate of U.S. housing starts hit a nine-year high in October of 1.32 million. Low Canadian dollar:  The dollar remained low in 2016, boosting revenues for B.C. forest companies at critical time in the U.S. housing cycle. B.C. Softwood lumber war: After a 10-year hiatus, U.S. producers launched the fifth softwood dispute with Canada in late November by filing a petition seeking countervailing and anti-dumping duties.

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Local Conservative MP believes softwood lumber talks could get worse

by Kyle Balzer
My PG Now
December 21, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Trade issues around softwood lumber between Canada and the United States still haven’t been resolved. The American-side has said it will begin investigating whether Canadian practices result in an unfair advantage over their lumber producers. Bob Zimmer, Conservative MP for Prince George, Peace River, and the Northern Rockies, says previous American actions have led to big concerns. “It’s going to affect our area in the Northeast of the province dramatically and it’ll be concerns with what the future will bring for the forest industry in Canada. I know some of our lumber producers are going to be okay, but it’s the small producers that I’m concerned about.”

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J.D. Irving, Limited Forecasts Hiring Over 8,600 between 2017 and 2019

JD Irving
December 22, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Over the next three years, we are forecasting over 8,600 hires across our operations in Canada and the U.S. The forecast is the result of retirements, anticipated business growth, and normal workforce turnover. 89% of jobs in Atlantic Canada “When we look at our three-year forecast from 2017-2019, 89% of the jobs we need to fill are in the Atlantic provinces,” said Jeff Green, Director, Talent Recruitment with JDI. “70% of those jobs are in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia alone.” Across our organization, the operations with the highest number of job opportunities include retail business, manufacturing shipbuilding, shipping, supply chain and logistics, and engineering. 

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Judge upholds sawmill expansion

Bonner County Daily Bee
December 22, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

SANDPOINT — A district judge is rejecting allegations that Bonner County acted illegally in approving the controversial expansion of a sawmill in the Selle Valley. The Bonner County Planning & Zoning Commission approved the Alpine Cedar mill’s expansion in 2015, but curtailed its hours of operation in acknowledgment of ongoing complaints from neighboring landowners who said noise and traffic from the mill was destroying the rural ambiance of the bucolic valley. Bonner County’s board of commissioners overturned P&Z ruling and loosened the hours of operations at the mill, which manufactures grilling planks, wraps and smoking chips for Wildwood Grilling. The board ruled that P&Z overstepped its authority and produced a decision which was not supported by the public record.

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Current Use ruling sets dangerous precedent for landowners, experts say

By Emma Lamberton
Vermont Watchdog
December 22, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Foresters say Weyerhaeuser Co.’s recent loss at the Vermont Supreme Court will affect large and small property owners alike and set a dangerous precedent of courts deferring to government agencies. In September, the high court ruled that Plum Creek, recently bought by Weyerhaeuser, violated state Current Use guidelines on a small section of its enrolled property. As a result, the company’s 50,000 acres may be removed from Vermont’s tax deduction program, resulting in a charge of over $1 million. While the state targeted Vermont’s largest landowner, Jonathan Wood, a private forester and former secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, says the case has implications for others.

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VicForests extended AFS certification to its western forestry operations in Australia

Lesprom Network
December 22, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

VicForests has successfully extended its certification to the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) to include community forestry operations in western Victoria, Australia, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Nathan Trushell, Acting CEO VicForests, said that this is the first time VicForests has sought certification for its community forestry operations. There are nine criteria that forest managers must meet to receive certification including the need to protect biodiversity, maintain forest health, protect soil and water and to maintain and enhance social and economic benefits. VicForests is audited every nine months by accredited auditors in order to maintain its certification.

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Positive outlook for forest industry with strong domestic and export demand

By David Porter
New Zealand Herald
December 22, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

The outlook for forestry is looking significantly better than a year ago, when high log inventories in the key China market were raising concerns. China exports have picked up again and forestry volumes are growing, with some early harvesting taking place to take advantage of strong domestic and export demand, say industry observers. “At the moment, our members wouldn’t want to be in there saying all is rosy and we’re quite confident,” said New Zealand Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes. “But there’s nothing on the horizon that suggests it’s not a good healthy market we can expect to be maintained.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Seeing the Forest for the Trees, Part Five

Editorial By Bill Hudson
Pagosa Daily Post
December 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Over the past 20 years, forestry science has been formulating new theories about the connection between fire and forest health. Some experts feel that, by suppressing wildfire in our Western forests, we have created unhealthy — and dangerous — conditions that will, if left treated, inevitably lead to ever-more-disastrous wildfires. When Pagosa businessman J.R Ford began assembling the partnership that eventually named itself Renewable Forest Energy LLC, he had a very different view of forestry resources from what had been exhibited by New Mexico Lumber Company and Pagosa Lumber Company a hundred years earlier. Rather than viewing the Archuleta County wilderness as a place to extract a valuable building material, Renewable Forest Energy looked at the vast Ponderosa forest as a sick patient in serious need of treatment.

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Wood pellet trade has doubled due to biomass-fueled power generation

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
December 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International


BOSTON — Wood pellets are playing a key role in decarbonizing electric power generation, as the world works to replace fossil fuels. Global trade in pellets has doubled since 2012, with U.S., Canadian, and European producers all playing a roles, according to a new study by RISI. European nations, in particular, have invested heavily in pellets for both heating and electricity generation. To supply this increased demand, the pellets supply stream is evovling, and is the focus of RISI’s “European Pellet Supply and Cost Analysis” research report.

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How Much Biofuel Do Santa’s Reindeer Need?

By Michael McDonald
Oil Price.com
December 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Each Christmas, around the world billions of children sit quietly in their beds at night pondering one of life’s biggest mysteries about a fat man in a red suit; ‘what are the propulsion specs on Santa’s sleigh and what is the relative level of its fuel economy?’… Now that Santa is focused on going green though, it’s time to consider how much biofuel the reindeer need. Or more precisely, how much biofuel could be created through the biomass ingested by Santa’s reindeer? And what is the cost of all that biomass?… Since Santa has 9 reindeer including newcomer Rudolph, he needs 1 billion pounds or about 500,000 tons of switchgrass. That 500,000 tons of switchgrass could have been used to produce about 10 million gallons of ethanol. Santa’s furry helpers require food from 67,000 acres of North Pole land at a cost of $2.0 million total. What a bargain!

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Former Hearst student recognized for wood research

Northern Ontario Business
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

A former Hearst resident is the recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) for his studies in wood. Daniel Lacroix was born and raised in Hearst, but is completing his doctoral research at the University of Ottawa. According to the CWC, Lacroix’s work “investigates the behaviour of glulam beam and column structural elements subjected to simulated blast loading and potential glulam reinforcement options.”… Established 13 years ago, the memorial scholarship is awarded yearly to graduate students whose wood research exemplifies the same level of passion that Catherine Lalonde championed relentlessly for the wood/wood products industry as a professional engineer and president of the CWC. 

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4 lumber defects that could lead to roof frame failures

By Charles C. Roberts
PropertyCasualty360
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Wood used in roof framing is not a homogeneous material. Various defects are present depending on the grade and method of cutting: plain sawn, quarter sawn and rift sawn. Plain sawn (also known as flat sawn) is the type of cut most commonly found in lumber and the least expensive way to turn logs into lumber. The rings comprise 30 degrees or less of the board face. In quarter sawn wood, the rings in the wood intersect at a 60 to 90-degree angle, creating an intersecting design in the wood.

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Weyerhaeuser contributes to Clemson Wood Utilization and Design Institute

By Denise Attaway
Clemson Newsstand
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CLEMSON — The Clemson University Wood Utilization and Design Institute continues to add to its cadre of founding partners and has received a $50,000 boost to help support the advancement of the South Carolina wood industry. The gift comes from the Weyerhaeuser Company. The money will be used to help fund the institute, which brings together foresters, architects, engineers, constructors and building industry stakeholders to design advances in wood-based products through education and training, product research and development, as well as development of technical and design solutions. “This gift will be used to support our institute as we go forward,” said Pat Layton, director of the Wood Utilization and Design Institute. A Weyerhaeuser representative will serve on the institute’s advisory board and will work with other board members to shape the direction of the institute.”

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Extend Wood Pole Life

Transmission and Distribution World
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…Rovakaira considers the failure of wood poles from ground rot a major problem, as it is more likely to occur during the severe winter conditions because of excessive ice loading and trees falling on overhead line conductors. The average life of wood poles in Finland is more than 50 years. Current utility practice is to replace overhead lines supported by time-expired wood poles with underground cables or, in some instances, with new overhead lines constructed adjacent to roads for ease of access… Based on the research, it was evident to Rovakaira that using additional protection against decay on the vulnerable ground line section of the pole would help to reduce outages from pole failures while significantly extending pole life, resulting in excellent cost savings.

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Cell wall ‘glue’ could make wooden skyscrapers possible

By Brooks Hays
United Press International
December 21, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CAMBRIDGE, England — Scientists have discovered the secret to the strength of cell walls and the adhesive qualities of cellulose and xylan, two of nature’s largest molecules. The discovery could inspire wooden skyscrapers and more sustainable paper production processes. Cellulose and xylan are large, long molecules that give wood and straw their strength. They’re also very hard to digest. Scientists knew the two molecules stick together inside the cell walls of plants, but had, until now, failed to figure out how. …The discovery could help scientists make wood strong enough to support skyscrapers. The research could also help break down the two molecules. “One of the biggest barriers to ‘digesting’ plants — whether that’s for use as biofuels or as animal feed, for example — has been breaking down the tough cellular walls,” Paul Dupree said.

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