Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 6, 2016

Froggy Foibles

New Jersey tree farm creates colored Christmas trees

WABC-TV
December 5, 2016
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

BELVIDERE, New Jersey — Green Christmas trees are apparently so last year. This holiday season it’s all about a tree of a different color. That is at least according to the folks at Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm in Belvidere, New Jersey. Purple, silver, hot pink, light blue, electric blue – the colorful tree of your sugarplum dreams is now a reality. These trees may not look real, but they are!

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Business & Politics

Sen. Ron Wyden talks Trump, transportation, trade and taxes

By Andrew Then
Oregon Live
December 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

As Congress considers its relationship with the incoming Donald Trump administration, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said he sees at least one natural spot for bipartisan action… Oregon’s senior Democratic senator cited transportation infrastructure, trade issues and broad reforms to the tax code… He said Oregon’s softwood lumber producers are locked in a “titanic battle” with Canada over subsidies it gives to its forest products industry. In Oregon, 32,000 people have jobs in that industry. Wyden said he’s angry at Canada, accusing the country of not playing fair by essentially selling its products below market value. “This would be a natural [place] for a Trump administration to go to bat for Oregon,” Wyden said. “It’s being tough, but it’s being smart.”

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City OKs Canfor’s Water Treatment Plant

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
December 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- Canfor has been granted a rezoning of three pieces of property along PG Pulpmill Road to create a water treatment plant. The problem from Canfor’s perspective is that it draws its water from the Nechako River, and in the spring, when there has been heavy run off, that water carries a lot of silt. That means both Intercon and P.G. Pulp have to up the chemicals they use to clean the water used for the pulpmaking process. The company says the water treatment plant will clean the water, the silt would be diverted to a lagoon, once the water is clean it would reduce the company’s water consumption as well as its use of chemicals. The cleaning of the water would also improve the fire protection system at the mills as Canfor says sometimes, when they flush their fire system, the water is loaded with silt.

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Ilan Vertinsky discussing the softwood lumber dispute

This is a radio interview
University of British Columbia
December 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

UBC Sauder School of Business professor Ilan Vertinsky discussed the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute, and its implications for B.C.’s forestry industry on Roundhouse Radio. He explained the potential cost to the B.C. economy if the deal is not completed. “The exports from British Columbia in 2015 were $3.3 billion so this is quite huge,” he said. “This exposes the industry at least to hardship, and loss of jobs, closures of mills… Canada will try to divert its exports to other countries but there is a problem. China is the second largest target of exports and China is not doing so well.” The segment starts at 25:53. You can move the pointer along the play timeline to find the interview.

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Softwood lumber, Canadian Establishment and Cuba

By Peter Ewart
250 News Prince George
December 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Once again, the US Lumber Coalition, in league with the US government, is bullying Canada over softwood lumber trade. The Coalition has filed a petition requesting that the US Department of Commerce investigate Canada’s lumber exports to the US with a view to imposing steep new duties, as has happened in previous years. At the core of the dispute is that Canada is subsidizing its forest industry by ‘giving away timber” to Canadian-based forest companies through low stumpage fees and other means. However, the US government and Lumber Coalition face a major problem. Time and again, over many decades, the World Trade Organization, FTA and NAFTA review panels have ruled that the Americans have no case, that Canada has not been subsidizing its lumber industry. …However, in their arrogance, US negotiators and lumber lobby insist that Canada must give up its forestry system to conform with the more backward US system.

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Last logs at Tolko evoke memories of mill’s long history in Merritt

By Cole Wagner
Merritt Herald
December 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After 97 years and a number of name and ownership changes, the final logs passed through the Tolko Industries lumber mill in Merritt on Monday. Through 97 years, generations of Merrittonians earned their living wage working at what began as an operation known as the Nicola Pine Mills Limited in 1919. The front page of the Merritt Herald on July 25 of that year declared that Big Lumber had arrived in the city, bringing along with it the promise of good paying jobs for able-bodied men… The mill changed hands one more time, after the entire Balco Industries company was purchased by Vernon-based Tolko Industries Ltd. in 1987. The acquisition meant that the mill site south of the Coldwater would once again assume a new name and continue operations.

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Fort Nelson struggles to rebuild ‘devastated’ forestry sector

By Jonny Wakefield
Business in Vancouver
December 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

When a pair of Fort Nelson timber processing plants closed eight years ago, the town didn’t feel the impact right away. For many workers, finding employment in the booming Horn River natural gas play was relatively easy. But with hundreds of oil and gas jobs wiped out by the economic downturn, the regional municipality’s plan to revitalize its timber sector is taking on new urgency. “Right now, the forestry industry is just about devastated,” Mayor Bill Streeper said. “(But) the forestry died the same time the natural gas took right off, and a lot of people just switched over from one to the other.”.. Before the collapse of the U.S. housing market in 2008, Fort Nelson was home to Canfor OSB and plywood plants that employed around 500 people, and enjoyed a reputation as one of the province’s most prosperous timber towns. 

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Mahone Bay startup scores $250,000 in federal funding

The Chronicle Herald
December 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

WoodsCamp Technologies Inc. has received a $250,000 repayable contribution from the federal government to support its unique forestry management software platform that aims to help both sawmills and private woodlot owners build their base sustainably. South Shore-St. Margaret’s MP Bernadette Jordan Monday announced Atlantic Growth Strategy funding that will help the company develop and commercialize the program. According to a press release, the platform will help the forest industry procure timber via social networks and the web, “unlocking sustainable forestry from non-industrial private land while building wealth for rural communities.” 

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2017 Housing Market Hinges On Consumer Sentiment

By Danielle Marceau
Forbes
December 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Bad news for your favorite HGTV home renovation show. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the rate-of-growth for Total Construction Spending on Residential Properties (single-family and multi-family homes) in the United States, including renovations, has drastically fallen over the course of 2016 following a five-year period of general improvement. We entered 2016 with construction spending coming in 11.8% ahead of January 2015. By September of this year, that number had decelerated to a mere 0.9% improvement over September 2015. Similarly, during the same time frame, we saw growth in Total New Privately Owned Housing Units Started go from a robust first quarter performance, where starts came in 16.8% higher than the first quarter of 2015, to softening conditions during 3Q16 where starts came in 0.9% below the corresponding three-month period in 2015.

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Beetle-kill drives value for Missoula wood-products business

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
December 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

In winemaking, there’s a condition called “noble rot” where moldy grapes produce some of the priciest juice. Ryan Palma has found a similar bounty in Montana’s beetle-killed, fungus-stained pine forests. Picking at a friable seam of rotten heartwood in a huge Ponderosa pine plank, he explained that the defect that made the tree useless for lumber makes it sought after for a high-end living room table. “When that wood gets too old, it starts to rot and split and check and crack,” Palma said. “For us, that just adds to the texture.” The customers of Ryan Palma’s Sustainable Lumber Co. particularly demand beetle-killed pine, preferring its exotic blue hues.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Off-site construction a viable alternative: Architect

By Don Procter
Daily Commercial News
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Off-site construction is an efficient way to construct wood buildings, says architect Randall Walter, who is from a design-build firm that makes a strong case for why its future is now. …Walter’s firm has done more than 200 custom-built projects, many of which were largely built off-site in its shop in a design-build process he calls “montage building.” Timber frame walls and roofs are examples. …Walter delivered a seminar recently at the Wood Solutions Fair in Toronto on the status of off-site wood construction and its future. The architect says off-site construction offers a more precisely constructed building. At Bensonwood, the goal is to achieve buildings that fit together on-site to within a 32nd of an inch without any complications.

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Innovation pilot enhances apprenticeship experience at North Island College

By Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
Government of BC
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government announced today that North Island College will receive $86,000 for an innovation pilot that will improve training outcomes and employability for apprentices. The goal of the North Island College (NIC) innovation pilot is to remove barriers to employment for students who graduate from NIC’s foundation programs. The pilot at NIC focuses on the integration of employability skills, workplace mentorship and formal work experience for all foundation students in the electrical, heavy mechanical, welding, metal fabrication and carpentry programs.

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Catherine Lalonde Memorial Scholarships Awarded

By Ioana Lazea
Canadian Wood Council
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Wood Council awarded two student recipients as part of the 2016 Catherine Lalonde Memorial Scholarship – Sarah Stevenson (Western University) and Daniel Lacroix (University of Ottawa); who demonstrated academic excellence through research projects that will have positive influences on the structural wood products industry. Sarah Stevenson- Western University – Recognized for her Masters in Engineering Science thesis which aims to model the behavior of wood-framed residential structures in extreme wind events. Daniel Lacroix – University of Ottawa – Recognized for his doctoral research which investigates the behavior of glulam beam and column structural elements subjected to simulated blast loading and potential glulam reinforcement options.

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Lumber Industry First: New Wood Species Introduced

By Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association
Digital Journal
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

CUMBERLAND, ME — Momentous news from the U.S. lumber industry: Effective immediately, Norway Spruce becomes the first major U.S.-grown, fully tested, softwood species to be tested and approved for construction use since the lumber testing process began in the 1920s. Norway Spruce was approved by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) on October 20, 2016. Complete information on Norway Spruce may be found at www.nelma.org/norwayspruce. The Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA), the lumber grading agency for the Northeast, announced today that Norway Spruce will join the already-existing SPFs (spruce-pine-fir) grading category, indicating the wood is approved for home construction applications such as wall studs, floor and ceiling joists, and industrial applications.

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City Councilmember Raises Questions About Wood-Frame Construction

By Stephen Sharp
Urbanize LA
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

In the early hours of December 8, 2014, Downtown Los Angeles awoke to a chaos, as emergency personnel converged on a massive fire at an under construction apartment complex adjacent to the Hollywood and Harbor Freeways. The wooden framework of the Da Vinci, a development by Geoff Palmer, was destroyed in spectacular fashion by an act of arson which lit up the night sky. When the flames were finally quelled later in the morning, all that remained of the seven-story structure was its concrete base and steel staircases. Although two years have now passed, and the apartment building has been rebuilt and completed, the fire has prompted cornerns about wood frame construction from Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.

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Windham Region Looks for ‘Green’ Recovery from Yankee Closure

By Mike Faher
VT Digger
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

BRATTLEBORO – What do foreign trade, education and climate preparedness have to do with hazelnuts, hemp and mushrooms? The answer is that they all are part of an effort to transform the Windham region into a mecca for “green” economic activity. Spurred by the closure of Vermont Yankee, a large group of public officials, business leaders, educators and experts has spent more than a year looking for ways to make the tristate area a “recognized national leader in creating resilient, sustainable buildings and communities.”… The Ecovation effort extends into green building products and product development. Among the ideas listed were hemp building materials, wool insulation and cross-laminated timber, which Pearson described as “an exciting new wood product that allows you to replace concrete and steel” in some building projects.

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MSU School of Architecture hosts TIMBR exhibit, student design award reception

Mississippi State University
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s School of Architecture is hosting a Timber Innovations for Mississippi Buildings Reimagined (TIMBR) exhibit and student design award reception Wednesday [Dec. 7] on the Starkville campus… Undergraduate students from MSU Assistant Professor of Architecture Jacob A. “Jake” Gines’ fourth-year architecture wood-based design studio will showcase design proposals for a new mass-timber mid-rise commercial building in Jackson. Designed for the Mississippi Forestry Association, the proposals incorporate innovative mass-timber technologies, such as Cross-Laminated Timber. 

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Lumbr Moves to InDemand After Successfully Raising over $80K for Handcrafted Wooden Watches on Kickstarter

By Monika Donimirska
Satellite PR News
December 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Lumbr team announced their move to Indiegogo’s InDemand this week shortly after wrapping up a successful Kickstarter campaign. The Troy campaign raised over $80K for their line of handcrafted wooden watches thanks to over 380 backers. Lumbr has been producing innovative wooden products since they opened for business in 2013. The company’s newest line of watches, Troy, offers individuals an affordable, stylish everyday watch for men. The differentiator between Troy and other wooden watches is the visible mechanical skeleton with automatic movement.

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Forestry

Collaborative groups seek common ground in new ‘umbrella’ organization

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
December 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Collaborative groups working throughout Montana’s forests are looking for common ground with each other in a new organization. Montana Forest Collaborative Network held its first of conference in Helena on Monday. The two-day event brought together collaboratives and interest groups focused on natural resource management and engaging with the state and federal agencies. While local collaboratives work in diverse landscapes, they share many values, goals and challenges, said Gordy Sanders, owner of Pyramid Lumber in Seeley Lake. MFCN is an evolution of smaller collaborative networks and restoration committees around the state.

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Thinning project pitched to save big pines in Oregon forest

By Mark Freeman
Statesman Journal
December 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

UNION CREEK, Ore. (AP) — The 10-mile ribbon of Highway 62 as it shoots through the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest between Prospect and Union Creek has the viewscapes that make tree-lovers and city-dwellers all wish they had moon roofs. Massive sugar and Ponderosa pines, some of them more than 300 years old, reach skyward almost in unison with the highway that’s parted the forest for wide-eyed travelers for more than a century. “It’s a pretty marvelous place,” says Ellen Goheen, a Forest Service plant pathologist. “Everybody’s driven that road. Everybody’s shown visitors those trees.”

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Love of public lands unites Montanans

By Peter Aengst, regional director at The Wilderness Society
Billings Gazette
December 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

My family and I have a holiday tradition, not unique to many Montanans. We cook Thanksgiving dinner early, pack it in Tupperware containers, and spend the long weekend with family and friends at a local forest service cabin… In the weeks post-election, many who appreciate and care for our public lands are nursing burgeoning ulcers over what the new administration in Washington, D.C., might mean for our way of life here in the West… Instead of lamenting over what ‘could’ happen or fretting over the worst case scenarios for the next four years, my colleagues and I are focusing our energy and passion on where we have always found strength.

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Westerman’s forest-managing bill languishes as fires rage

By Frank Lockwood
Northwest Arkansas Online
December 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON — With flames charring forests across much of the South, legislation to overhaul federal forest management remains motionless on Capitol Hill, stuck in the U.S. Senate after passing in the U.S. House of Representatives more than a year ago. Opposition from the White House helped slow the legislation, which provides a mechanism to increase firefighting dollars but also eases environmental restrictions in some instances. U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, the bill’s original sponsor, said he remains hopeful that its key provisions will be included in a larger energy bill that lawmakers hope to pass by year’s end. If not, the Hot Springs Republican said, he is confident that the proposal will advance once President-elect Donald Trump and his appointees take office.

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Alabama governor lifts burn ban after rain eases drought

The Associated Press
December 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the statewide burn ban which has been in effect since early November is being lifted. Bentley said in a statement Monday that Alabama Forestry Commission officials say the state has received enough rainfall over the last few days to reduce the threat of dangerous wildfires… Wildfires this year have scorched more than 100,000 acres of forests in several states including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

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Ethiopia: Swedish Government Injects 113 Million Br Into Forestry

All Africa
December 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Ethiopian Forest Sector Development Program has received 113 million Br from the Swedish Government for environmental rehabilitation project. Sweden’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Jan Sadek, signed the agreement… This donation is part a half-billion birr financing agreement that is planned to be injected into the forestry sector in the next three years. The main aim of the contribution is to enable Ethiopia to restore its forest resources while benefiting local communities and contributing to national economic growth.

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Indonesia takes new step to combat loss of forests, fires

By Stephen Wright
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
December 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Indonesia has strengthened its moratorium on converting peat swamps to plantations in a move a conservation research group says will help prevent annual fires and substantially cut the country’s carbon emissions if properly implemented. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s amendment to the moratorium regulation, which was issued on Monday, expands it to cover peatlands of any depth and orders companies to restore areas they’ve degraded. Indonesia’s move was welcomed by Norway, which in 2010 pledged $1 billion to help the country stop cutting down its prized tropical forests but has released little of it.

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England may be in deforestation state due to lack of tree planting

By John Vidal
The UK Guardian
December 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Every year Brazil, Congo and other developing countries are lambasted by environmentalists and western politicians for deforestation at a time when trees are needed to counter climate change and prevent flooding.  Now two prestigious organisations are warning that England may have tipped into deforestation, with more trees being cut down than planted for the first time in possibly 40 years.  “We are only planting 700 hectares (1,730 acres) a year, almost certainly less than we are felling,” said Austin Brady, the conservation director of the Woodland Trust charity which, with commercial forestry groups, wants government to pledge to meet its planting targets at a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.

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S. Korea wins bid to host World Forestry Congress in 2021

Yonhap News
December 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

ROME (Yonhap) — South Korea on Monday won a bid to host the 15th World Forestry Congress, a global gathering for the forestry community, in 2021, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said. In a meeting of its executive board in Rome, the FAO made the announcement in recognition of the Asian country’s forestry service globally. Known as the “Olympics of the Forestry District,” the international conference allows delegates to exchange views and formulate recommendations to be implemented in forest maintenance and management. It convened for the first time in Italy in 1926 and is held every six years.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. to fall short of 2050 greenhouse gas targets by wide margin

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
December 5, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia is on track to break through targets set for greenhouse-gas emissions in its Climate Leadership Plan by more than four times by 2050, according to a new analysis, due to a projected doubling of emissions from the province’s natural gas sector and development of a liquefied-natural-gas export industry. The estimate, released Monday by the Vancouver forecasting firm Navius Research, projects B.C.’s greenhouse-gas emissions will hit 66 megatonnes by 2050, which is eight megatonnes higher than 2016 emissions but soars above the province’s stated goal of reducing emissions to just 12.6 megatonnes — 80 per cent below 2007 emissions — by 2050. …It does not include the province’s expectation that enhanced forest management will cut emissions by 12 megatonnes per year by 2050 through sequestering that amount of carbon dioxide in reforestation.

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Wide analysis of the Swedish forestry sector’s carbon balance to bolster Climate Roadmap 2050

Phys.org
December 6, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

What is the role of the Swedish forestry to achieve the objectives of Sweden’s Climate Roadmap towards 2050?… The Swedish government has set a goal of reaching zero net greenhouse gas emission in 2050, as a commitment to the EU initiative Roadmap 2050 for climate, transport and energy… One of the keys will be a bio-based economy, based on renewable raw materials with sustainable production and use. The Swedish forest and forestry sector will thus play a major role in the work, not only owing to the forest’s ability to assimilate carbon dioxide but also with a smarter use of forest resources. New biomaterials can also be developed with new solutions and perspectives.

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