Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 4, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Imports and exports and the challenges of working with a new negotiating team

Tree Frog News
January 4, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

If you were thinking that the Trump administration would be motivated to accept a new trade agreement with mutual benefits to Canada and the US, think again. UVic professor, Saul Klein says that the newly appointed US trade rep, Robert Lighthizer, will operate under the premise “if you don’t like it, too bad”. Despite warnings of “stormy days” ahead, BC Lumber Trade Council president Susan Yurkovich says she “hopes that [the US trade team] remain “pragmatic” about the importance of Canadian lumber to US home construction”.

Supporting Yurkovich’s point, Haken Ekstrom reports that a 2016 improvement in the US housing market has resulted in an increase in lumber imports. While much of the US housing growth is supported by domestic lumber, there’s still a steady export market—the Southern Forest Products Association reported that exports of Southern Pine lumber “remained on an upward track” representing a 10 percent increase over the same period last year.

Not all today’s news is doom and gloom. In Ontario, Warren Mabee, director of Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy says that cap and trade may create opportunities for the forest industry in the form of carbon offsets. Likely welcome news in light of the softwood lumber dispute.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Effective forest practices needed now

Letter from Ray Travers, RPF
Prince George Citizen
January 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

At October’s 2016 Spruce Summit, retired UNBC professor Staffan Lindgren asserted B.C. forest management must change if we want to end bug outbreaks sooner. Forestry’s fundamental purpose is to secure greatest continued value from forest land. …The serious consequences were confirmed in June’s Ministry report to Prince George City Council which “…forecast the annual allowable cut for the Prince George timber supply area diving from the current 12.5 million cubic metres available since 2011 to an expected 6.2 million cubic metres in 2020.” This is bad news. The good news is there are forest sustainability policies with positive track records delivering better forest management.

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Comment: Without bats, economy will have trouble flying

By Cori Lausen, associate research scientist and bat specialist, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
Victoria Times Colonist
January 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The recent discovery of bats infected with white-nose syndrome in a location in Washington state just over the border from B.C. could spell disaster for our bat populations. The syndrome has killed millions of bats in eastern North America over the past decade, but until the Washington discovery, had not been detected on the West Coast. A disaster for bats would also be a disaster for our economy … Here in B.C., bats consume many moths that damage trees, including the caterpillars and moths of the spruce budworm…. Right now, the provincial government does not have a plan for dealing with white-nose syndrome, and provincial species-at-risk staff are spread incredibly thin, with not a single provincial-level biologist having the time or the expertise to deal with bats.

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Vancouver ranks highest in tree canopy coverage among world’s major cities

By Wanyee Li
Metro News
January 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new analysis of trees in major cities around the world puts Vancouver at the top of list for the largest green canopy. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology used Google Street View to calculate tree canopy from a human point of view, as opposed to the more common way, from a bird’s-eye view. According to the interactive platform, called Treepedia, Vancouver scored 26 per cent – far ahead of Geneva’s 21 per cent and neighbouring Seattle’s 20 per cent. The City of Vancouver’s own bird’s-eye-view calculation of its tree canopy marks it as 18 per cent, making Treepedia’s results somewhat surprising, said one UBC urban forestry professor. “It’s surprising to some extent because Vancouver has had an issue with canopy cover. It is below 20 per cent and falling,” said Cecil Konijnendijk.

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Forest fires a worry for 2017 after ‘problematic and concerning’ lack of NWT snow

By Ollie Williams
CBC News
January 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Another dry year for the Northwest Territories could mean a severe forest fire season in 2017. Preliminary North Slave data for 2016 shows a fourth straight year of below-average precipitation — water falling as rain and snow — alongside higher-than-normal fall temperatures. Combined, those conditions have led to low levels of snow across much of the territory. “The fact that we have a limited snowpack now is problematic and concerning,” said Brian Proctor, an Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist. “When we have these limited snowpacks persisting into the late winter and early spring season, we often get really bad forest fire seasons.”

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Sierra Club hopes to expand Wild Child program

By Kevin Yarr
CBC News
January 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forest school would develop ‘greater understanding and curiosity’. The Sierra Club is aiming to open a forest school on P.E.I. The group currently operates a free Wild Child nature program on the Island. Volunteers visit child care centres and take children outside to learn more about the natural world. They learn about trees, and spend time looking at bugs. “Sometimes it just takes someone to lead someone into an experience outdoors that takes away the fear,” said Wild Child Project co-ordinator Hannah Gehrels.

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Lawsuits on forestry practices’ link to 2007 flood damage moving forward

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens
January 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CHEHALIS – The Washington State Supreme Court has decided four lawsuits arising from widespread flooding of the Chehalis River in December 2007 in Lewis County don’t have to be handled in Lewis County Superior Court, but may be dealt with in King County. The petitioners had filed separate suits in King County Superior Court asserting that poor forestry practices made the land unstable during the heavy rains, allowed landslides to form and then debris to flow into the river; which in turn displaced river water and caused damage to their properties. The respondents are Weyerhaeuser Company, Green Diamond Resource Company and the state Department of Natural Resources.

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Aberdeen council to fell hundreds of diseased trees

BBC News
January 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Hundreds of diseased or dead trees will be felled across Aberdeen this year, the council has announced. The trees include a large number that have been infected with Dutch elm disease. Aberdeen City Council said about 400 trees would be felled. They are mainly beside roads, but others are in parks, gardens and play areas. The authority has about 100,000 trees and 400 hectares of woodland to look after in the city. About 50 dead elm trees have been identified around Aberdeen with Kincorth, Summerhill, Rosehill, Cults, Culter, Stoneywood, and Bridge of Don particularly affected.

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Company & Business News

Softwood lumber trade to increase 14 per cent: WRQ

By Hakan Ekstrom, Wood Resources International LLC
Wood Business
January 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States, International

Global trade of softwood lumber is forecasted to increase by almost 14 per cent in 2016, driven by higher wood demand in China and the US, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. The World Trade Organization (WTO) reported in September that world trade will expand by only 1.7 per cent in 2016, a downward revision from earlier this year and the slowest pace since the global financial crisis in 2009. ….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. During the first eight months of 2016, lumber production was up 3.6 per cent as compared to the same period in 2015.

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Canada must brace for ‘hardline’ approach from Trump’s new trade representative, experts warn

By Kathleen Harris
CBC News
January 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Canada should brace for a tougher, hardline approach to trade negotiations with the U.S. under Donald Trump’s new pick to front the trade file, experts warn. Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, said he wasn’t surprised by today’s appointment of “trade hawk” Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative because he is aligned with the president-elect’s protectionist views. …Klein expects Lighthizer won’t be very willing to make concessions to resolve disputes such as dairy and softwood lumber. “I think his mindset is to support U.S. firms’ benefit by taking a hard line on trade,” Klein said. “So I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of compromise. I think you’re going to see a strong view that this is the U.S. interest, and if you don’t like it, too bad.”

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Canada faces ‘stormy days’ with new U.S. trade representative, former diplomat says

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in CTV News
January 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

MONTREAL — Canada faces “stormy days” ahead on softwood lumber and other issues with the U.S. after incoming president Donald Trump picked someone with a protectionist bent to be the next U.S. trade representative, says a former Canadian diplomat. Trump plans to nominate Robert Lighthizer to fill the shoes of Michael Froman, who has served as the lead for the U.S. on the softwood lumber dispute. Lighthizer, 69, was a deputy trade representative under the administration of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan and has been lead counsel in numerous anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases over three decades. He joins billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary and economist Peter Navarro at a new White House National Trade Council. …BC Lumber Trade Council president Susan Yurkovich said she doesn’t know the new U.S. trade team but hopes they will be “pragmatic” about the importance of Canadian lumber to U.S. home construction.

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Rebate announced for greenhouses

By Collin Gallant
The Medicine Hat News
January 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A newly announced rebate for greenhouse growers was cheered by members of the industry who had long argued that added charges for natural gas would hamstring the local industry. … That puts them on a similar footing as growers in British Columbia, where a carbon charge has been in place since 2012 but with an 80 per cent rebate program for greenhouses. “It puts us back on the playing field,” said Milt Pancoast, the part-owner of Chinook Greenhouses on Coburg Ave. in Medicine Hat. That operation produces about 11 million saplings each year that are sold in bulk contracts to forestry companies. With the Alberta and B.C. growers supplying almost the entire reforestation industry, Pancoast feared that west coast growers would have a built-in advantage on pricing.

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In order to be truly safe, sawmill needs paved uncabling area

Letter by Eric Harju, Thunder Bay
Chronicle Journal
December 31, 2016
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Congratulations to Marcri Logging for their superb safety record (Resolute Forest Products’ Commitment to Safety Inspires Gift — CJ, Dec. 28). Keeping employees safe on the job is a high priority for Resolute Forest Products. I am currently trying to achieve a safer work situation at the uncabling area at the Resolute Forest sawmill. I use the uncabling yard, hauling wood into the sawmill. During certain seasons truck drivers have to wade through 6 to 12 inches of mud in order to remove cables from their loads. After 14 years of the mill’s existence, it is time for a paved pad to be made — a true permanent fix.

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Sonny Perdue: 4 things to know about Trump’s leading candidate for agriculture secretary

By Talia Jane
Policy Mic
January 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

According to Reuters, a source familiar with Donald Trump’s presidential transition team has confirmed that former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is Trump’s leading pick for secretary of agriculture. Perdue’s Bloomberg stock profile notes that while serving as a state senator, Perdue was “recognized as a leading authority on numerous issues including agriculture, transportation, emerging technologies and economic development.” The secretary of agriculture oversees the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture

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The housing starts bubble

By Rick Sohn, PhD
Natural Resource Report
January 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Interest rates continue a rapid rise, and last month’s good housing starts report turned out to be a bubble. Other than that, trends are positive or steady. Recent trends of lumber, logs, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2009 and 2005. …The big story of the month, like last month, is interest rates. The Federal Open Market Committee raised the target for short term interest rates from 0.50 to 0.75%. This was only the second increase since 2006, which was prior to the Great Recession.

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SFPA: Southern pine lumber exports increased by 10% in October

Lesprom Network
January 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Exports of Southern Pine lumber remained on an upward track in October, amounting to just over 63.6 million board feet (MMbf). This volume represents an increase of 10% above the same month last year, contributing to a year-to-date increase of 14% when compared with the first ten months of 2015, as the Southern Forest Products Association says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Offshore shipments during October roughly break down as 33 MMbf dressed, 10.5 MMbf rough, and 20.1 MMbf treated lumber. Softwood lumber imports to the U.S. edged higher in October, reaching 1.38 billion board feet (Bbf), up 7% from the volume imported during October of 2015.

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China Buyers Depleting Vietnam’s Raw Lumber

Bernama
January 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

HANOI — The price of several kinds of lumber in Vietnam had gone up due to scarcity created by unexpected Chinese purchases, creating pressure on the domestic wood business and Vietnam’s wood industry, Vietnam news agency (VNA) reported. As reported by local wood processing and manufacturing companies, many Chinese companies crossed the border into Vietnam to buy a large quantity of rubber wood and acacia wood in central and southern Vietnamese provinces, resulting in a rise of 10 to 20 per cent of wood prices, according to Chairman of the Binh Duong Furniture Association, Huynh Quang Thanh.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forestry industry might see opportunities under cap and trade

CBC News
January 4, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada


In the face of the likely rise in costs, Ontario’s new cap and trade system may also present opportunities for northern residents, said Warren Mabee, director of Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy. Mabee thinks there may be a chance for the forest industry to adapt and benefit by selling carbon offsets. “The fact that planting trees and managing forests can soak up carbon, can actually offset some of those emissions that are happening elsewhere may create a business opportunity for some of the forest industries or community forests around the north,” Mabee said. On the other hand, Mabee said higher fuel and heating costs may be harder for northerners to absorb.

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Economics of forest biomass raise hurdles for rural development

By Nick Houtman
Oregon State University
December 28, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The use of residual forest biomass for rural development faces significant economic hurdles that make it unlikely to be a source of jobs in the near future, according to an analysis by economists at Oregon State University. In a model of the forest industry, researchers in the College of Forestry combined an evaluation of costs for collecting, transporting and processing biomass with the potential locations of regional processing facilities in western Oregon. …The study, published in Forest Policy and Economics, focused on biomass generated during timber harvesting operations.

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Portland General Electric delays biomass test burn at Boardman coal plant

By Ted Sickener
The Oregonian
January 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Portland General Electric says it was forced to delay the much-anticipated, daylong biomass test burn at its coal-fired plant in Boardman due to weather and technical reasons. The utility is using the test burn to evaluate the economic, environmental and technical feasibility of fueling the plant using wood waste and other biomass instead of coal after its scheduled closure in 2020. The plan is not without its detractors, including conservation groups who think it’s an environmental disaster in the making, both in terms of emissions and its impact on the management of national forests. Others are deeply skeptical about developing an adequate supply of the material at a reasonable price.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The New Threat – Fire’s reaction to today’s homes is a concern

By National Fire Protection Association
Builder Magazine
January 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

When compared to their older counterparts, today’s popular homebuilding materials offer a more economical and environmentally friendly way of crafting new dwellings. A potentially lesser-known fact is the dramatic way these products respond to fire. Consider engineered lumber, a structural member made of wood fibers and materials bonded with adhesive or other methods, which is used as a composite joist or beam. Engineered lumber is a member of the “lightweight construction” family of products, which have been thoroughly examined in recent years to address the question of how homes using this increasingly popular building material react to fire.

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Valmet delivers a defibrator system to Quansen Wood in China

Lesprom Network
January 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Valmet will deliver a defibrator system to Quansen Wood Co., Ltd’s new fiberboard line located in Mengcheng county in Anhui province, China, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Quansen Wood is owned by Baishida Fiberboard Group. By this investment Baishida will extend their product range. The mill will mainly produce thin board at a production of about 180,000 cubic meter per year, which requires approximately 18 tons per hour of bone dry (bd) fiber. The start-up is scheduled for July 2017. An order with this scope of supply is usually valued in the range Euro 1.5-5 million.

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