Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 13, 2016

Today’s Takeaway

The Case for Wood Buildings is Growing

Tree Frog Daily Forestry News
December 13, 2016
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Tree Frog will shortly undertake its annual news scan of the 6000+ forestry stories carried in 2016 with references to trends in subject matter and tone. Although the analysis will indicate which stories dominate, its pretty clear that the case for wood buildings continues to grow. 

In today’s news, examples include a story in the Urban Land Institute’s magazine titled “Building the Case for Tall Wood Buildings”, although the authors note that they have been “slow to gain acceptance in the US because building codes have not yet caught up with the research”. 
A story from researchers at the Institute of Engineering and Building in Russia reports that they have created a coating technique to strengthen wood tissue with the potential to enhance wood’s performance for “electrical transmission towers, columns and building construction components”. 
Finally, ever wonder what happens to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree? According to the New York Post, last year it became “beams for a Habitat for Humanity houses in upstate New York”. 
 — Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

Extension to fee schedule on mid-coast logs

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
December 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province has extended the reduced fee in place for log exports in the Mid-Coast Timber Supply Area until June 2018 to support forestry jobs in the area. In January 2013, the Province reduced fees on low- and mid-grade logs from the Mid-Coast Timber Supply Area in an effort to increase harvest levels on a trial basis. It is a difficult and expensive area in which to work. Logs have to be sent to Vancouver to be cut or exported, and much of the wood is of low quality. Additionally, the volume of logs exported is surplus to domestic mills. The trial was successful, with increased overall harvest and additional logs being directed to mills.

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Frozen assessment rate keeps timberland taxes low

By Robert Jones
CBC News
December 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

In 1983, the New Brunswick government decided it was time to move forest property assessments closer to market values after years of watching inflation eat away at revenue from forest properties. A bill increasing assessments 67 per cent made it through the legislature and became law — for about a month. The reaction in the forestry community was intense, and five weeks later, Labour Minister Joe Mombourquette introduced a second bill to cut the month-old increase in half. “It was an oversight by the printer, or somebody else,” Mombourquette said of the 67 per cent increase as he introduced the measure to undo it. “I hope that is a satisfactory answer.” It was the last serious attempt by a New Brunswick government to move the assessed value of forestry properties anywhere near what they are really worth.

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Omak Forest Products to close doors after 11 months

BY JUSTUS CAUDELL
The Tribal Tribune
December 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

OMAK—For the second time in as many years, employees of an Omak mill are preparing to lose their jobs around the new year. Late last week, the 217 employees of the Omak Forest Products mill here received 60-day notices of termination, essentially announcing the end of the Omak Forest Products’ operation of the tribally-owned facility here. On Dec. 1, Forest Products received notification from Colville Tribal Federal Corporation it’s contract and log supply agreement with the company would end on Jan. 29, according to Omak Forest Products General Manager David Niessner. The decision follows a year that has seen a nearly $1 million loss at the mill, according to Niessner. It’s a loss he attributes to a bad market that has slowly ticked upward since November, showing optimism.

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‘No one contacted us’ says Electricity Authority over blame for shelved Kaikohe pulp mill

New Zealand Herald
December 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International


The head of a government agency blamed for scuttling a pulp mill that could have brought 200 jobs to Kaikohe says he’s surprised no one involved with the project contacted him about it. Northland Inc, however, says it made a submission to the Electricity Authority (EA) against its proposed power price changes and their detrimental effect on Northland’s economy. … The mill was part of the Government’s Economic Action Plan for Northland unveiled in February, which led Far North Mayor John Carter to conclude one hand of Government didn’t know what the other was doing. Losing the mill and badly needed jobs was “a bloody disgrace”, he fumed.

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Wood Resources International estimates global demand for lumber to increase 13.6% in 2016

Lesprom Network
December 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Wood Resources International (WRI) estimates that the increase of global demand for lumber will be as much as 13.6% in 2016, company said in Wood Resource Quarterly report. The World Trade Organization (WTO) reported in September that overall world trade will expand by only 1.7% in 2016, a downward revision from earlier this year and the slowest pace since the global financial crisis in 2009. This forecast however, is not true regards the global trade of softwood lumber. In contrast to general world trade, global demand for lumber increased in 2015 (+10.2%) and 2016. According to WRI, the slow and steady improvements in the US housing market in 2016 have resulted in both higher production domestically and an increase in lumber imports.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Massive Langley condo fire could have been prevented by newer building practices: developer

By Derrick Penner and Glen Schaefer
Vancouver Sun
December 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. fire chiefs have long lobbied for balcony sprinklers to be a requirement for wood-frame apartment buildings, which likely would have made a difference in Sunday’s fire that heavily damaged a Langley condominium complex, according to an executive with the organization. “This again emphasizes the need for them,” said Don Jolley, first vice-president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C. and chief of the Pitt Meadows Fire Rescue Service. Fire chiefs have seen the lack of sprinklers as a contributing factor to many similar fires over the past decade and have lobbied the provincial government “over many years” to fix what they view as “a flaw in the building code,” but to no avail. …“The issue is, is the building code stringent enough on three- and four-storey buildings? And it isn’t,” Warkentin said.

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EPA issues final national formaldehyde emissions standard

By Thomas Russell
Kids Today
December 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued its final federal formaldehyde emissions standards for composite wood products used in finished goods such as furniture. At a first glance, the ruling has no major differences from the initial publication of a pre-publication draft issued July 27, according to officials that have reviewed the document. This includes the American Home Furnishings Alliance, which is currently looking through the document that appeared in the Dec. 12 Federal Register. “We are monitoring it very closely to see if there are any tweaks in key areas,” noted Andy Counts, CEO of the AHFA. Other groups, including the Composite Panel Association, also said the final rule appears to have no significant changes from the July 27 document.

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Minnesota LEED Lunch & Learn: Case Study – T3, America’s First Modern Tall Timber Building

U.S. Green Building Council
December 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Learn more about the new T3 office building – America’s first modern tall timber building. We love old brick & timber warehouses. We love the feel of them, the originality, and the entrepreneurship that lives inside their bones. They are cool places to collaborate, create, and innovate. Unfortunately, these buildings lack good natural light, are drafty, noisy, and have outdated HVAC systems. So we asked ourselves, why can’t we solve these problems by selecting an authentic location, surrounded by heritage buildings, and construct a brand new, vintage building? All the charm of an old brick & timber building, with none of the downsides.

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Made in Eastern Iowa: From lumber to the final product at Trappist Caskets

By Chris Earl
KCRG-TV
December 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PEOSTA, Iowa—…Trappist Caskets, in Peosta, is a key business of the New Melleray Abbey. Monks and lay people craft caskets and urns off lumber within the acreage. “Sometimes it’s like they find us and I think it’s the work of the Holy Spirit,” said Marjorie Lehmann, who works in the office at Trappist Caskets, owned by the monks of the New Melleray Abbey. “We have bus tours that come in, up to 56 people that we can accommodate and a lot of people want to know about our ministry.” …“We have 3,500 acres and 1,400 (of that) is forest and they harvest the trees,” said Lehmann. “What happens is when people hear about Trappist Caskets and how this supports the monks because they’re self-sustaining and how that wood is harvested right from the forest, it’s not just the product, it’s the ministry.”

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Last year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is now a house in upstate New York

By Zoe Rosenburg
Curbed NY
December 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Every year the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree dazzles spectators through early January, at which point it’s cut into pieces and toted away. But what happens to the wood once it’s removed? The New York Post followed last year’s tree to discover that it became beams for Habitat for Humanity houses in upstate New York, in particular, critical reinforcement for a home that now houses a single father and his three children. Last year wasn’t the first year that the beloved—and massive—Christmas tree took on a second life. Tishman Speyer, who owns and operates Rockefeller Center, has been partnering with Habitat for Humanity for nearly a decade to mill the towering trees into lumber for the nonprofit’s nearby projects.

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Russian scientists create coating technique to strengthen wood tissue

The new material could be suitable for electrical transmission towers, columns, building construction components such as trusses and frames, bridges, and lampposts
TASS Russian News Agency
December 13, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

MOSCOW – Researchers from Institute of Engineering and Building at Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) have invented a technique of improving wood tissue, said the media service of SPbPU. According to the scientists, they have managed to turn wood into a hybrid wood-polymer nanocomposite with advanced properties. “The new materials by far exceeds raw wood in durability and longevity with the best properties of wood remaining untouched, ” the researchers elaborated.

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Building the Case for Tall Wood Buildings

By Rachel Kaufman
Urban Land
December 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Taller buildings constructed mainly of wood are an inexpensive, attractive, and environmentally friendly option, but current building codes in the United States make them hard to build, said a panel of architects and engineers speaking in October at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. “Mass timber buildings”—where most, if not all, of the structural elements of a building are made of wood—have slowly been gaining acceptance. Despite wood’s reputation as “little sticks,” as Hans-Erik Blomgren of Arup initially described it, wood can in fact support buildings as high as 15, 18, even 30 stories—leading some observers to dub these new structures “plyscrapers.” …Changes are eventually coming to the code: “Good things are happening,” Blomgren said.

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Forestry

Dryness cancels climate-change warmth that would help boreal forest growth:study

Canadian Press in CTV News
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A new study suggests drier weather will likely eliminate any advantage for Canada’s boreal forest from higher temperatures caused by climate change. Scientists had predicted that warmer conditions and a higher level of carbon dioxide, which plants breathe in, would promote growth. And Martin Girardin of the Canadian Forest Service said some parts of the vast band of green that stretches across the northern provinces are expanding. But his work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that enough forest stands are suffering under climate change to cancel out those benefits. “There are some trends that are pretty obvious,” Girardin said in an interview from Quebec City on Monday.

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Heli-logging to start this week to combat bark beetles

by Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents of the Williams Lake area will see helicopters in the air this week as the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations implements its treatment plan to minimize the spread of Douglas-fir bark beetles on Crown land through selective heli-logging. Populations of Douglas-fir beetles are currently higher than normal in parts of the Cariboo Region. As part of the Williams Lake Beetle Management Unit 2016 Treatment Plan, helicopter harvesting will be used on steep slopes in the Williams Lake area to remove trees infested with the beetles and prevent damage to healthy trees nearby.

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The Future is Forestry – Let’s Grow It Together

Ontario Forest Industries Association
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is holding a hearing in Sudbury on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 regarding Pre-Budget Consultations. The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) will be presenting to the Standing Committee and believes that by working with government and affected stakeholders to address six key competitive challenges, we can maximize the full potential of Ontario’s renewable resource, create good paying jobs and assist the province in transitioning to a low carbon economy that will support sustainable growth for future generations. OFIA’s President & CEO, Jamie Lim, stated, “Our hope for 2017, as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, is that the focus will be on the future – and the future is forestry. Growing Ontario’s forestry community and recognizing its vital role in climate change mitigation is crucial in maintaining the opportunities in forestry that create jobs and foster economic growth in northern and rural Ontario.”

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Drones help study of sequoia eco system

Electronics News
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Drone manufacturer Parrot has partnered with the research group of Dr. Todd Dawson, faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, to promote innovation and the use of drone technology in measuring and monitoring forest ecosystems. The record-setting drought in California has killed more than 60 million trees over the past few years. There is significant concern by scientists on how these die-offs will impact the Sierra Nevada mountains, particularly the stands of iconic giant sequoia trees.

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Elliott State Forest Sale Looms Large For Land Board

by Jes Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…By law, the Elliott is a forest for the people of Oregon – owned by the state and operated to generate revenue. That’s one reason for the roadside clearcuts that alternate with thick forested stands. ….These coastal coho are at risk of going extinct. By law, the Elliott State Forest is also for them – the fish, plants and animals that live here. Meeting the needs of people and the non-human residents of the Elliott has not been an easy task. The state says it is constitutionally obligated to generate money off the Elliott State Forest for public schools. The money goes to the Common School Fund. After generating timber revenue for decades, the forest took a $3 million hit in 2013. And the outlook hasn’t gotten much better since. …Now the state is moving to get out of the Elliott business.

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Time for leadership on the Elliott State Forest

by Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director, Audubon Society of Portland.
Statesman Journal
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This week Gov. Kate Brown and the State Land Board have an important choice. They can set in motion a process to ensure that the Elliott State Forest is protected in perpetuity as public land for the benefit of the people, fish and wildlife of Oregon, or they can sell these public lands off to a private timber company that intends to return the forest to logging levels that flagrantly violate the federal law and puts species such as spotted owls, marbled murrelets and Coho salmon at direct risk. The choice is stark. …Selling off the Elliott to a private timber company would send a message that Oregon’s natural treasures can be put up for sale to the highest bidder at a time when our public lands are under unprecedented attack.

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Ochoco forest eyes site for removing juniper

By Hilary Corrigan
The Bend Bulletin
December 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Ochoco National Forest wants to remove younger juniper trees from about 2,000 acres northeast of Prineville to keep them from taking over on land where decades of fire suppression efforts have allowed them to grow unchecked. The site at Old Dry Creek, in a roadless area about 8 miles northeast of Prineville, includes dry pine forest habitat and winter range for deer and elk. Tony Spitzack, natural resources technician at Ochoco National Forest, noted that because of decades of efforts to suppress fires that are a natural part of the ecosystem, juniper hasn’t burned like it would in the past. Pines can withstand fires better, but junipers burn. Without fire coming through, junipers can invade larger areas, pushing out other native trees and vegetation.

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Vail Resorts: $1 million set aside for stewardship

Vail Daily News
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts has released details of its environmentally focused charitable contribution work for the last fiscal year which included the facilitation of more than $1 million for forest restoration and ecological stewardship projects. EpicPromise is Vail Resorts’ environmental and corporate social responsibility initiative that manages the company’s programs including direct grants, the $1 guest donation initiative and the new “1% for the Forest” commitment, made in partnership with the National Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy and based in the company’s resort communities.

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Readers Comment: Congress should support Risch’s wilderness bill

by Bob Boeh, vice president for government affairs, Idaho Forest Group
Magic Valley
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I, like many Idahoans, depend upon our public lands for my livelihood. As a representative of the timber industry, I understand how important it is to have healthy forests that produce wood for products that we all use in our homes, jobs, and hobbies. But I also understand how critical it is to preserve our wildest lands — the lands that keep our water and air clean and serve as a home for wildlife. That is why I was pleased to hear that Sen. Jim Risch introduced the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act. This legislation will safeguard roughly 13,900 acres of public lands in Bonner County as wilderness.

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Few changes made in final Tongass forest plan decision

By Aaron Bolton
Alaska Public Media
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Tongass Land Management Plan amendment, a 16-year transition toward young-growth logging, was finalized Friday. …Some have applauded the decision and others are unsatisfied. But regardless of sides, not much has changed in the Forest Service’s move away from old-growth timber. …The plan offers an average of 46 million board feet each year, the same volume the earlier draft called for, but far below the glory days of the timber industry. More old growth will be offered during the first 10 years, almost three times the projected 12 million feet of young growth. During the last five, young-growth volumes will more than double and old growth will be almost cut in half. At the end of the 16-year transition, only 5 million feet of old growth will be provided for small sales and specialty products.

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Residents unhappy with clear-cut forest, DNR plans to improve communication

by Arielle Breen
Gaylord Herald Times
December 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

OTSEGO LAKE TWP. — On a windy December afternoon, Bryan Barclay looked out across a swath of land on Fantasy Drive in the Guthrie Lakes area where an old state forest surrounded a subdivision prior to last month. A neighbor pulled her vehicle to a stop, rolled the passenger window down and asked him if he is taking in the “devastation.” …The November clear-cutting of roughly 37 acres adjacent to the residential Guthrie Lakes area near Fantasy Drive has several residents surprised and upset. . …What may look like a permanently damaged forest to some, is a well-managed area with an overall plan to others. … Steve Milford, Eastern Lower Peninsula district supervisor with the DNR, said clear-cutting is one tool of healthy forest management — even though the technique may look harsh and destructive to residents.

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USDA Incentives to Improve Forest Health, Enhance Wildlife Habitat AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

JACKSON, Miss. —In an effort to improve wildlife habitat and the health of private forest lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced additional incentives available for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants to actively manage forest lands enrolled in the program. “Many CRP forests were initially established to conserve soil and protect water quality, but there is also a critical need to restore wildlife habitat” said Brad Pfaff, FSA Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs. “Over the years as trees grow and the forest canopy closes, the quality of wildlife habitat for many species declines. These new incentives are intended to reverse that trend, while also maintaining healthy forests.”

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Vilas County forestry tables FSC certification discussion

By Jessica Leighty
Lakeland Times
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Vilas County Forestry, Recreation and Land Committee has tabled the possibility of gaining certification through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for at least one more month… Bud DeLano, the fiber supply manager for Expera Specialty Solutions, told the committee he has experienced this request on multiple occasions… Committee member Jay Verhulst said he’s spoken to several loggers and foresters and the sense he’s gained from those in the industry is to forgo certification because it loses a sense of local control… “FSC is an international organization controlled outside of the United States. And having that control outside the United States does not seem to be sitting well with local units of government and loggers who are staying on top of those issues.” John Gagnon, forest administrator for Vilas County, addressed the topic of control and said it isn’t so much a loss of control as it is adjusting a few tasks the forestry department handles.

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Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative and Forest Department trained in SMART Technology

Breaking Belize News
December 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) held a two day training workshop for employees from Forest Department and Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI) on the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) on December 6th and 7th. This workshop is a major milestone along Belize’s road to becoming the first country in the world to adopt this globally used tool in both marine and terrestrial realms. The training was held at CSFI’s facilities in Shipstern Conservation Area, Sarteneja village, Corozal district.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada signs national climate change strategy

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
December 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

If one ignores a very large gap in the centre of Canada – Saskatchewan and Manitoba – the country now has a “pan-Canadian” strategy for tackling climate change through things like stricter building codes, reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sectors and building new transmission lines between provinces. Late Friday, December 9, Canada’s first ministers jointly announced they had signed onto a national strategy that includes a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a suite of policies that will almost certainly result in higher building and energy costs for Canadians. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall refused to sign on to the framework and Manitoba is taking a wait-and-see approach. B.C. Premier Christy Clark also threatened not to sign the framework, saying she wanted a guarantee that other provinces will pay roughly the same carbon pricing levels as British Columbia.

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Burn baby burn

Letter by Ben Adler
Grist
December 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Portland, Oregon’s electric utility wants to burn wood instead of coal, which is a terrible idea. Portland General Electric has to stop burning coal at its power plant in Boardman, Oregon, to comply with the state’s renewable energy mandates. But instead of switching to power that’s actually clean, PGE is proposing to take advantage of a loophole that allows biomass and convert its coal plant to run on wood. Although biomass is “renewable” in that trees can be regrown, it is far from clean. An average biomass power plant emits 40–60 percent more carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour than an average coal plant, according to a new report from the Oregon chapter of the Sierra Club.

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