Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 21, 2016

Today’s Takeaway

THE BEAST Tops The Tragically Hip as Story of the Year

Tree Frog Forestry News
December 21, 2016
Category: Today's Takeaway

Sixty percent of newsroom editors across Canada chose “the beast” (aka Fort McMurray’s devastating wildfire) as news story of the year. The runners up were the Syrian refugee resettlement, the fentanyl crisis and The Tragically Hip’s farewell tour. “Not even a Hollywood script could match the terror, uncertainty, and heroism to come out of what seemed to be a surreal event,” wrote Dave Barry, news director of CKPG TV in Prince George, BC.

In economic news, CBC spoke with several Manitoba mayors about the challenges of weathering their respective “economic storms of 2016”, which included the announced closure and then reprieve/sale of Tolko’s paper mill in The Pas.

Christmas shopping got you down? Feeling weather-envy for our colleagues down-under? Well its all downhill from here as the Winter solstice—-marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year—is upon us today.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

B.C. exports hit highest level since early 2000s

By Bryan Yu
Business in Vancouver
December 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. trade-oriented growth continued to shine in October with surging international goods exports. Dollar-volume exports jumped close to 29% year-over-year in October. …Strong exports have been driven by a low Canadian dollar and strengthening U.S. economy. Higher U.S. housing starts and a one-year grace period following the end of the softwood lumber agreement in 2015 have boosted forestry-sector activity. Imports have declined in part because of higher prices due to the exchange rate.Fundamentals support export growth in 2017, but the end of the softwood lumber agreement grace period and the probability of punitive tariffs will likely impede shipments. November housing activity in the Lower Mainland was restrained by recent policy measures and weaker confidence.

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Tolko sawmill permit stirs debate

By Jennifer Smith
Vernon Morning Star
December 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Efforts to extend the deadline for submissions for an air discharge permit at Tolko have failed. Coldstream Coun. Doug Dirk tried to sway his colleagues to request that the time line be pushed from Dec. 20 to Jan. 15. “I think that we should have more time and I don’t know what their hurry is,” said Dirk. The draft permit issued by the Ministry of Environment for the Lavington sawmill was just sent out last week, giving interested parties only one week to review it. Dirk says that is insufficient time to determine if Coldstream’s concerns, which were outlined in an August submission letter, have been addressed.

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Northern exposure: mayors on weathering the economic storms of 2016

By Donna Carreiro
CBC News
December 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

When 332 residents of The Pas, Man. found out they still had a job this December, residents of Thompson, Man. breathed a sigh of relief. Because up north, they weather economic storms together, mayors of both communities said. “Any blip on the economic environment has an effect on everyone,” Thompson mayor Dennis Fenske told the CBC. “The economics of the North are precarious … and everybody’s working together.” Fenske joined The Pas Mayor Jim Scott and CBC Information Radio host Marcy Markusa to review 2016, and the economic havoc it brought to northern Manitoba. First, there was Churchill. Up to 100 people were left out in the cold after Omnitrax closed its seaport. That closure also impacted another 80 or so workers in The Pas.

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President’s Perspective – Ensuring the Forest Economy Continues to Provide the Standard of Living that British Columbians Enjoy

By Rick Jeffery, President and CEO, Coast Forest Products Association
Coast Forest Products Association
December 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Our forest economy is modern and innovative – and as important as ever to the standard of living we enjoy as Canadians and coastal British Columbians. Therefore, as we prepare for 2017, we need to be aware of the fact that forestry jobs support the middle class, pay better than jobs in most other sectors, and are comparatively resistant to wage erosion. On the Coast, this translates to 38,000 forestry-dependent livelihoods which, in turn, keep communities like Port Alberni, Campbell River and Nanaimo and urban centres like Vancouver vibrant and alive. Supporting coastal jobs and communities in 2017 will require a focused effort on the part of industry and all levels of government.

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Lake Utopia mill plans to modernize effluent treatment

By Connell Smith
CBC News
December 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

J.D. Irving Ltd. has applied for approval to install a new effluent treatment system at its pulp mill at Lake Utopia but it’s not clear what difference it will make to the Bay of Fundy estuary it flows into. The company says the upgrades will reduce odours and capture methane gas to bring down fossil fuel use at the mill. “This reduction in fossil fuel energy can be equated to heating 4,200 New Brunswick homes per year,” said Mary Keith, a JDI spokesperson. “Adding a process water storage tank will dramatically reduce the outdoor storage of untreated, odorous liquids.” An environment impact assessment application says the upgrades will also allow the mill to increase production of high-grade corrugated medium, used for such things as cardboard boxes. The upgrades are expected to cost $29 million.

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US Starts Trade Investigation Against Canadian Lumber

By Scott Hamilton
Tax-news
December 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

On December 16, the US Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced that it has initiated antidumping duty (AD) and anti-subsidy countervailing duty (CVD) investigations concerning Canadian softwood lumber product imports, valued at USD4.5bn in 2015. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is scheduled to take its preliminary decision on whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of softwood lumber products from Canada are materially injuring the US industry on or before January 9, 2017. If the ITC determines that there is such a reasonable indication, the investigations will continue, and Commerce is scheduled to make its preliminary CVD determination in February 2017 and its preliminary AD determination in May 2017. AD margins are alleged at between 20.12 and 53.08 percent.

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France: mixed 2016 results on the hardwood market

IHB – The Timber Network
December 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

On the French hardwood market – depending on the species and the product grades – the results of 2016 are heterogeneous from the point of view of timber auctions. In the oak sector the situation keeps getting better. French sawmill owners benefit from the fortuitous combination of circumstances, namely: since spring the oak log export volume has gone down, all the adjacent markets (Europe and France itself) see the upward trend, the Asian demand has rebounded, the US dollar is still strong and the US producers have significantly lowered their exports to China. In these conditions and because of the lack of raw material, a new year-on-year growth of standing oak prices has been observed at the latest December auctions (see the table below).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Everything old is new again with the T3 building in Minneapolis

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
December 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Almost everybody is calling Michael Green’s T3 building “the largest mass timber building in the US”. It’s not, it’s probably not even close. At 220,000 square feet it is the largest wood building built in this century, and might be the largest built in the last 75 years, but there are hundreds of buildings across North America built like the T3 building, and I suspect many of them are bigger.* Michael Green, in his press release, is a bit more accurate in his title: Minneapolis Claims The First Modern Mass Timber Office Building in the U.S. T3, which stands for Timber Transit Technology, is marketed by Hines with this introduction: We lo?ve old brick & ti?mber warehouses. …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. And that is what Michael Green has actually built, a brand new old building.

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Scoping Defense market, Wood Council tests CLT structures’ blast mettle

Sources: Wood Products Council, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
Concrete Products
December 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

After directing blast tests on three cross laminated timber (CLT) specimens at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., representatives of the Wood Products Council’s WoodWorks program observed that that the structures “remained intact and matched modeling predictions with acceptable levels of damage under significant explosive loading.” The tests were conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Softwood Lumber Board; results stand to expand the use of wood solutions for Department of Defense applications and other blast-resistant construction. The two-story, single-bay, slab-anchored test structures were of three ANSI/APA CLT grades, and included window and door openings consistent with an actual building. Three shots were performed to demonstrate engineered wood’s performance over a spectrum of blast loads. 

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Largest mass timber building in U.S. opens in Minneapolis

Proud Green Building
December 21, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The seven-story, 220,000-square-foot T3 office building in Minneapolis’s North Loop district has become what is believed to be the tallest modern wood building in the U.S., reports The Architects Newspaper. The structure opened late last month. Designed by Michael Green Architecture and the DLR Group, the T3 — which stands for Timber, Technology, Transit — features nail-laminated timber (NLT) clad in weathering steel. While the building resembles the nearby historic warehouses in the district, its efficient structural system is about one-fifth the weight of a similarly sized concrete building, according to StructureCraft, which worked on the project. Leaving the interiors bare also eliminated costly coverings.

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Forestry

In it for the LONG RUN

Truck Loggers Association
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

From January 18-20, 2017 the TLA will host their well known annual convention in Vancouver. The forest industry is the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities. TLA members live in these towns, build their businesses in and around them, support local community groups and are vital to the economic health of the entire province. This year’s convention will examine the current state of the industry and what needs to change in order to strengthen and ensure sustainability for contractors and their suppliers. Our strength is in our roots and we want contractors to be in it for the long run!

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Fort McMurray wildfire named Canada’s news story of 2016

By Lauren Krugel
Canadian Press in Global News
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The ferocious Fort McMurray, Alberta wildfire that forced nearly 90,000 to flee Canada’s oilsands region and reduced thousands of homes to rubble has been picked as the top news story of 2016. Dubbed “the beast” for its merciless unpredictability, the Fort McMurray wildfire garnered 39 of the 67 votes cast by senior editors across Canadian newsrooms. It was followed by Canada’s ongoing resettlement of Syrian refugees with 11 votes, the fentanyl crisis with six and The Tragically Hip‘s farewell tour with five. “Not even a Hollywood script could match the terror, uncertainty, and heroism to come out of what seemed to be a surreal event,” wrote Dave Barry, news director of CKPG TV in Prince George, B.C.

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Changing Landscapes, New Opportunities

Association of BC Forest Professionals
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2017 ABCFP forestry conference and AGM will explore how emerging markets, innovative technologies and recent land use decisions are enriching BC’s vibrant forest community. Join BC forest professionals in Prince George, BC from February 22 to 24, 2017 to reconnect with your colleagues while catching up on new developments in the sector.

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Forestry for the Planet. Forest Products for the World

Council of Forest Industries
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

From April 5-7, 2017, industry and government leaders from across British Columbia will gather in Vancouver to discuss the key issues and opportunities facing the BC forest industry today and into the future. For the first time, the COFI Annual Convention, the most important forest industry conference in Western Canada, will take place within the stunning wood-infused architecture of the Vancouver Convention Centre West set against the backdrop of the province’s business capital. The theme for the convention is Forestry for the Planet. Forest Products for the World. The program will cover all the critical topics to the industry, including innovation, trade, international markets, climate change and sustainability, and land-based issues and opportunities. An expanded trade show program will also be incorporated at the heart of the stunning Vancouver Convention Centre West.

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A timeline of the Fort McMurray wildfire, Canada’s news story of 2016

Canadian Press in Winnipeg Free Press
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire that destroyed large parts of Fort McMurray has been selected by editors as Canada’s news story of the year. Here is a look back at how it unfolded: May 1 — A fire starts in a remote part of forest southwest of Fort McMurray. Investigators don’t know how it started, but note that most spring wildfires are caused by people. A dry, warm spring and trees that are still greening make for lots of fuel. It is spotted by helicopter fire patrol. Helicopter begins working the fire immediately. The first air tanker arrives 45 minutes later, then three others arrived from Lac la Biche, Peace River and Whitecourt. Two tankers stayed the night in Fort McMurray to be ready to go the next morning

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USDA Commits $32 Million to Protect Natural Resources through Joint Chiefs’ Partnership

United States Department of Agriculture
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a new investment of $32 million to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public forests and grasslands connect to privately-owned lands. Through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Forest Service will invest the new funds in fiscal year 2017 to add ten new projects and support 26 partnership projects already underway. Federal, state, and local partners will bring an additional $30 million through financial and in-kind contributions over three years to implement the newly added projects. With this funding, Joint Chiefs’ projects will extend to 29 states.

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Montana Enviros Sue to Stop Feds’ Logging Plans

by DAVID REESE
Courthouse News Service
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. – Four environmental groups sued the U.S. Forest Service to stop it from implementing a plan to manage 1,155 acres of forest in northwest Montana. Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan, Native Ecosystems Council and Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed suit Dec. 16 in U.S. District Court in Helena, Montana, to stop a forest project in the Swan Valley near Condon, Montana. The environmental groups want a judge to stop the Forest Service from beginning work on the Cold Jim forest project in the Flathead National Forest. The Forest Service authorized the Cold Jim project in September, despite plaintiffs voicing opposition to it, according to the lawsuit. The groups contend that the forest project violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.

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Judge sides with conservation group, halts logging on Elliott State Forest plot

By Andrew Theen
The Oregonian
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Conservation groups successfully stalled a bid to clear-cut 49 acres of the Oregon Coast Range this week, after a federal judge agreed the logging plan posed a danger to the federally protected marbled murrelet. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken issued a preliminary injunction Monday preventing logging on a portion of the Elliott State Forest the state sold to Scott Timber Co., a subsidiary of timber giant Roseburg Forest Products. The Audubon Society of Portland, the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands sued in August to stop logging on the property due to the presence of the threatened sea bird. Aiken’s injunction means no logging will occur on the 355-acre so-called Benson Ridge slice of the forest until she rules on the overall case, which could be more than a year from now.

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Judge Halts Logging On State Forest In Oregon

By David Steves
Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge in Eugene has ordered a pair of Oregon timber companies not to log on a former section of state forest near the south coast. U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken told Scott Timber Company and Roseburg Forest Products to halt further work on a parcel called Benson Ridge in the Elliott State Forest. …Conservation groups say Aiken’s ruling strengthens their argument that the Elliott should not be sold and that if it is sold to a timber company, it should be held to stringent federal environmental laws. “This demonstrates the incredible cynicism that underpins the state’s efforts to sell the Elliott off to private timber interests,” said Audubon conservation director Bob Sallinger.

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North Carolina wildfires cost more than $55 million

by Rex Hodge
WLOS
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA – The final assessment isn’t finished, but recent wildfires in North Carolina cost taxpayers more than $55 million. Fires hit big portions of Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. The U.S. Forest Service estimates a cost of $32.5 million. “This is the cost of aircraft that you see that are dumping water or retardant or in other ways working on the fire,” U.S. Forest Service’s Cathy Dowd said. “It’s also the cost of crews on the ground and the equipment that they’re using,” she says.Of course, huge portions of North Carolina land also burned. The N.C. Forest Service calculates a cost of $23.5 million.

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Alternative approaches to illegal logging

by Barbara Fraser
Center for International Forestry Research (blog)
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Amazon – Nearly two decades ago, western Amazonian countries began implementing new forest policies to help communities and small producers manage their forests more sustainably. Nevertheless, much of the timber harvesting in that area is still illegal. What further steps could countries take to help protect forests and the people who depend on them for a livelihood, while reducing informal or illegal timber extraction by communities and smallholders? Scientists from the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) are finding some answers through research on forest governance reforms and sustainable forest management in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Their studies point to three main challenges.

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Students prepare for wall of wood

Industry growth of 60 percent expected by 2020.
The Gisborne Herald
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

FORESTRY students at EIT had a taste of the industry this semester with week-long placements in logging crews. All of the students could have a job before they finish the programme and many more are needed, say contractors who are gearing up for the projected 60 percent increase in the region’s log harvest by 2020. This is the first time EIT has offered the National Certificate in Forestry Harvesting Operations and local contractor Chris Hurring hopes more smart and motivated people will choose to study forestry straight out of school to fill the estimated 630 new jobs that will be created in this district by 2020

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biomass plants run on byproducts, not trees

by Todd Hansen, forester and the fuel manager for Biomass One
Coos Bay World
December 20, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Regarding the guest opinion in The World on Dec. 5 by Alan Journet about woody biomass not being carbon neutral, if the premise for your opinion is flawed to begin with, your conclusion will be wrong. If one assumes that live trees are harvested as feedstock for biomass power plants, his argument might hold merit. However, this is simply untrue. Biomass power plants utilize fuel generated as the byproduct of forest product primary and secondary manufacturing (bark, chips, sawdust, plytrim), tree and shrub trimmings, recovered clean construction and demolition wood, and the byproduct of forest operations, also called slash piles. …The guest opinion says that designating woody biomass as carbon neutral by the federal government “could stimulate massive deforestation.” This is ludicrous. Harvesting costs alone far exceed the current market price for fuel used in biomass plants.

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