Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 11, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Same Old Lumber Story?

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 11, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

John Harding, Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor, believes “you could almost set your watch by these shenanigans” and “it matters not who occupies the White House nor that American construction firms prefer the superior quality of lumber from BC”.

Although Harding believes the dispute “will get settled after some sabre-rattling”, others are less sanguine. A story in the Canadian Press quotes BC’s finance minister Mike de Jong saying “he’s worried that Donald Trump’s protectionist talk will turn into policy” and industry analyst, Russ Taylor believes the (expected) duty of 30%+ “will trigger market chaos, as Canadian mills will need to try to dramatically increase U.S. lumber prices” and that the expected increase in focus on off-shore exports “will cause disruptions in the Chinese market”.

Another Canadian export is creating “havoc in an unexpected location: a swath of forest in South America”.  According to Huffington Post, Canadian beavers have no natural predators in the area and (after 70 years of residency) are causing significant damage to thousands of old-growth trees. Although government is trying to eradicate the species, animal rights groups have suggested the more ‘humane’ approach of “sending them back back to Canada”.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Special Feature

Impact of 30+% duties on Canadian Lumber exports to the USA

By Russ Taylor
Wood Markets International
January 11, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Key Wildcard and Timely Topic of Discussion at the May 11 Global Conference. The topic of export duties on Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. is now revving up, given the announcement by the US ITC this week. …The expected impacts of export duties on Canadian lumber shipments to the U.S. and the ripple effect of the duties into export markets will be two major themes of the Vancouver Conference. Coupled with these questions will be assessments of how or where the U.S. will get all of its lumber requirements, at what price, and how offshore exporters fit in. Similarly, what will Asia look like as Russians and Canadians ramp up export volumes and where will other log and lumber exporters fit in? It is going to get complicated and volatile, so listening to a variety of experts and networking with informed delegates will be one way to get a unique perspective on all of the various scenarios and implications.

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Forestry

Saving Our Planet: 10 Good News Conservation Stories From 2016

By Dan Kraus – Weston Conservation Scientist, Senior Director of Conservation Program Development, Nature Conservancy of Canada
Huffington Post Canada
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Here are 10 stories from 2016, from Canada and around the world, that show how communities, governments and organizations are providing solutions that are reversing the loss of biodiversity and the ecological services that nature provides. 1. Conserving the world’s largest temperate rainforest. In 2016, the Province of British Columbia, First Nations, environmental groups and the forest industry announced increased protection of BC’s 64,000-square-kilometre Great Bear Rainforest. This historic agreement will protect 85 per cent of it from commercial logging and will also protect 2,500 salmon runs, trees that reach 90 metres in height and the rare, white Kermode black bear, also known as the spirit bear.

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Faster growth times for trees will lead to better economic outputs

Genome British Columbia
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – Changing climates and climate-induced insect outbreaks are on the rise and they can lead to drought and forest destruction. This threatens both forests and the communities that depend on the forest industry. Genome BC is supporting a $5.7 million research project co-lead by the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Dr. Yousry El-Kassaby that aims to shorten the time, by about 20 years, for tree-breeding cycles thus alleviating side effects from climate conditions and insects. The pace of change in climate and climate-induced insect outbreaks is outstripping the ability for trees to adjust to these threats. Likewise, traditional tree improvement methodologies are too slow to provide well-adapted seedlings for reforestation to ultimately achieve healthy forests for the future.

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Norway Spruce 101

By Jeff Easterling, President of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association
LBM Journal
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

In October 2016, Norway Spruce was approved by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) for construction use (home construction applications like wall studs, floor and ceiling joists, and industrial applications) and will join the existing SPFs (spruce-pine-fir south) species grouping for design values. The process launched in 2012 when Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA) member mills began to notice sizable, maturing Norway Spruce plantations within the region and asked whether Norway Spruce was approved for construction use. The quick answer was no. Strength tests on this softwood species native to Europe had never been conducted on logs grown in the U.S. After four years of discussing, researching, locating, verifying, planning, sampling, testing, and analyzing, the project is complete. Upwards of 1,000 man hours of NELMA staff time has been spent on this momentous effort.

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Weakened by drought, trees are falling in rainy California

By Scott Smith
Associated Press in The Washington Post
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FRESNO, Calif. — Drenching winter rains combined with the punishing effects of six years of drought are causing trees to topple across California, in some cases with deadly results. At least two people have been killed in the past month. Seemingly sturdy oaks, palm trees in Southern California and giant sequoias farther north have been collapsing. Experts say that in some instances, the dry spell had weakened or killed the roots or trunks, and the soggy soil and wind caused the trees to tip over. …The epic drought gripping California has killed more than 102 million trees in the Sierra Nevada, in many cases by weakening them so much that they became vulnerable to attack by bark beetles.

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The spotted owl is not to blame

By Janice Reid, who has studied the spotted owl for over 30 years
The News-Review
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I attended the Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting on Dec. 14. At the end of the BOC meeting, outgoing Commissioner Morgan used her time to lecture the attendees on her opinion about the current fiscal situation of the county. She opined that the budgetary deficiencies are the result of the spotted owl listing. I have heard the same claim from Commissioner Boice. …It is time that the BOC and other public employees stop blaming the spotted owl for something that was a combination of poor planning and shortsightedness. …The tired argument of blaming the spotted owl for the fiscal woes is nothing more than deflection of the real issue that improper leadership when the county really needed it is to blame. …Increased logging on federal lands will not fix these problems. Instead, it will diminish jobs in one of Oregon’s fastest growing industries, outdoor recreation.

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Forest-friendly products pose a billion-dollar investment opportunity

By Marco Albani – Director of the Tropical Forest Alliance
World Economic Forum
January 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Ending tropical deforestation is critical to achieving the objectives of both the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. First though, it requires a substantive transformation of the supply chains of four major commodities – beef, soy, palm oil and pulp and paper. These are currently largely sourced from tropical forest regions, where their production has contributed catastrophically to deforestation. The production of these commodities is worth roughly US$ 180 billion annually, and transforming their supply chains to full sustainability is an investment opportunity to the tune of roughly $200 billion a year, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum and Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, an opportunity that the financial sector can embrace by scaling up emerging models of deforestation-free finance.

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Canadian Beavers Are Destroying Patagonian Forests In Chile And Argentina

By Jessica Chin
Huffington Post Canada
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Canadian beavers are wreaking havoc in an unexpected location: a swath of forest in South America. Some 200,000 dam-building creatures are creating harmful floods that threaten Patagonian forests and nearby lakes that cover parts of Chile and Argentina. In 1946, 25 pairs of beavers were brought to the Chilean and Argentinian archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, in an attempt to bring the fur industry to the area. But since beavers have no natural predators— like wolves, lynx, or coyotes— in the area, the population swelled over the last 70 years. Their dams have caused damage to thousands of old-growth trees and peat bogs.

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Pine forests cleared to prevent repeat of Canberra’s worst bushfires

By Georgia Hitch
ABC News, Australia
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Almost 14 years on from the worst bushfires in the ACT’s history, pine clearing is under way in an effort to prevent such devastation ever happening again. The inquiry into the 2003 fires found more should have been done to reduce fuel loads around Canberra, including more controlled burning. But one of the difficulties with controlled burns as a preventative method is the specific times and conditions needed to make sure they are done safely and with minimal impact on surrounding residents. “The first thing we wanted to do was to burn, but with your erosion issues relating to this being a water catchment that presented a risk in itself,” ACT Parks Fire Management Officer, Adam Leavesley, said. “So [the clearing has] been years in planning, the trials have just gone ahead in the last financial year to give us a good idea of how to approach the rest of it.”

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Tree-bark thickness indicates fire-resistance in a hotter future

By Princeton University
PhysOrg
January 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A new study has found that trees worldwide develop thicker bark when they live in fire-prone areas. The findings suggest that bark thickness could help predict which forests and savannas will survive a warmer climate in which wildfires are expected to increase in frequency. Trees in regions where fire is common, such as savannas and the forests of western North America, tend to have thicker bark, while trees in tropical rainforests have thinner bark, researchers at Princeton University and collaborating institutions reported Jan. 9 in the journal Ecology Letters. Bark protects the inside of the trunk from overheating and is one of a handful of adaptations that trees use to survive fire.

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World’s most endangered fruit bat could soon be extinct due to rapid forest loss

By Shreya Dasgupta
Mongabay
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Widespread deforestation is causing severe population decline in the little-known Livingstone’s fruit bat (Pteropus livingstonii), a new study has found. The rare bat is found only on two small islands of Anjouan and Mohe?li in the Comoros archipelago, off the southeast coast of Africa, where its population is down to about 1,200 individuals, researchers report in the study published in Oryx. These few individuals are distributed across 21 roost sites on the islands, most of which are threatened by habitat loss. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The findings were alarming, co-author Richard P. Young, Head of Conservation Science at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, U.K., told Mongabay.

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Company & Business News

Freeland tasked by Trudeau to negotiate with Trump administration

By Robert Fife
The Globe and Mail
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made Chrystia Freeland the new foreign affairs minister, giving her total control of U.S. relations and the challenge of stickhandling the America-first trade policy of incoming president Donald Trump. …Ms. Freeland, who takes over from Mr. Dion, will become one of the most powerful foreign affairs ministers in recent times. Her duties will include not only international affairs but the whole gamut of U.S. trade policy including the softwood lumber dispute and possible renegotiation of the 1994 North America free-trade agreement.

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Conifex Announces Closing of $130 Million Secured Revolving Credit Facility

Stockhouse
January 9, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver BC— Conifex Timber Inc. announced today that it has completed its previously announced $130 million secured revolving credit facility with a syndicate of institutional lenders arranged and led by Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corporation Canada. The Facility is available for a term of 5 years and is secured by substantially all of Conifex’s assets (other than its bioenergy segment assets). The Facility will bear interest at CDOR or LIBOR plus a margin of between 2.5% and 3.0%, depending upon Conifex’s leverage ratio.

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3 companies fined more than $1.5M over Haida Gwaii logging

By Justin McElroy
CBC News
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A judge has handed down significant fines and bans for destructive logging on Haida Gwaii earlier this decade.  Gwaii Wood Products Ltd., Howe Sound Forest Products Ltd., and I. Crosby Contracting Ltd. were taken to court by the federal government over allegations of environmentally destructive logging practices over a four month period in 2010.  A provincial court judge in Massett found the companies guilty of environmentally destructive logging practices in October 2015.

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Same old lumber story

by John Harding
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States, Canada West

You could almost set your watch by these shenanigans. Or, perhaps more accurately, your calendar. It matters not who occupies the White House — every time the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement expires, the howls from south of the border begin, the trade fight starts and angst over job security sets in for the people of Vancouver Island and the rest of the province. Yes, president-elect Donald Trump is spouting more protectionist drivel than most of his more recent predecessors….It will get settled after some sabre-rattling. It always does. And the elephant in the room — the superior quality of lumber from B.C. — won’t be discussed.

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B.C. finance minister criticizes U.S. protectionism as lumber dispute grows

By Laura Kane
Canadian Press in CTV News
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States, Canada West

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s finance minister says he’s worried that United States president-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist talk will turn into policy when it comes to softwood lumber. Mike de Jong said that while he has no idea what the incoming Trump administration will act upon, its rhetoric has certainly been focused on shielding the U.S. from foreign competition. “There are protectionists in the U.S. who have repeatedly sought to deny American consumers access to the forest products … that we produce more efficiently than anyone else,” he told a news conference Tuesday. “They don’t like the competition. And we’re seeing that again.”

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Third wood pellet plant goes bust — on same property

By James Risdon
Chronicle Herald
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s déjà vu all over again in Middle Musquodoboit as former wood pellet plant operator Scotia Atlantic Biomass Company’s assets go up for grabs. The Vancouver-based Viridis Energy subsidiary is in receivership. “There are booms and busts and sometimes the weak don’t survive,” Sean MacNeil, a senior manager with Halifax-based receiver Grant Thornton, said in an interview Tuesday. Scotia Atlantic Biomass picked up the wood pellet plant in 2012 and began operating it the following year. But the company, which was selling to European markets, was hit hard by a ?global ?downturn in wood pellet prices. The commodity, primarily for industrial users, was going for $180 per tonne only a few years ago? and has since fallen to roughly half of that.

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Enviva launches new wood biomass supply tracking system

By Robin Whitlock
Renewable Energy Magazine
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States


Wood pellet producer Enviva Holdings, LP, has released the first data from its Track & Trace (T&T) programme which enables the company to track every truckload of wood the company uses. T&T is a proprietary system that enables Enviva to track every truckload of wood the company procures from the forest back to its source, providing a detailed understanding of the characteristics of the wood the company uses. The company is now making this information available to the public. …While Enviva has always had a rigorous system in place for ensuring that suppliers provide the company with wood that meets its sustainability requirements, the company has now developed T&T, a one-of-a-kind monitoring program that tracks all wood received from the forest to its harvest origin.

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Sherwood Lumber announces the establishment of a California sales office

Lesprom Network
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Sherwood Lumber Corp., a national leader, innovator and solutions provider to the Lumber and Building Materials Industries specializing in quality lumber, panel, and engineered wood products announced the establishment of a California-based sales office complete with enhanced distribution capabilities. This move strongly reaffirms the company’s vision and commitment to significantly grow sales on the West Coast. “The timely expansion of our sales and distribution capabilities, bench-marking Sherwood’s commitment to growth on the West Coast, complements the existing high-volume, commodity-driven trading program with the infusion of a seasoned specialty sales and distribution platform,” said Bart Bartholomew, VP Sales – West Coast, Sherwood Lumber.

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The European Sawlog Price Index reached its lowest level in six years

By Wood Resources International LLC
American Journal of Transportation
January 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Seattle, USA. Over the past two years, sawlog prices have fallen more in Europe than in any other region of the world. In the 3Q/16, the European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€) was down a modest 0.5% from the previous quarter to €83.40/m3. The Index has trended downward for the past few years and in 2016 has been at its lowest level since 2010. Much of the recent decline has been the result of reduced demand for lumber in some markets and generally lower lumber prices in both domestic and export markets. Although the ESPI-€ Index has been in a declining mode since early 2014, the current price index is still 10% higher than the average for the period 1999-2016 (see chart).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood Awards Celebrate Projects at the Forefront of Architecture and Design

By Natalie Tarini and Ioana Lazea
Canadian Wood Council
January 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ottawa, ON – The Wood Design & Building magazine announced the award recipients for the esteemed 2016 Wood Design Awards program. Winning projects were hand selected from approximately 200 submissions by a prestigious architectural jury consisting of:? Peter Bohlin, Principal at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; ? Patricia Patkau, Principal at Patkau Architects; and? Brian Court, Partner at The Miller Hull Partnership. Special awards were granted by the Canadian Wood Council as well as this year’s sponsors, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Western Red Cedar, and Sansin. Submissions to this year’s awards program inspired the conventional way of thinking about wood in construction – and reminded us of the possibilities for broader applications of wood in future buildings. International and North American submissions echoed one common theme of pushing the boundaries of what is considered excellence in architecture and design.

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Stunning custom-made £15million 147ft triple-decked superyacht with a spa and a gym is made from WOOD at the request of its British owner

By Hannah Al-Othman
UK Daily Mail
January 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A yacht builder has turned back the clock with this stylish superyacht – built entirely out of wood. The one-off custom build Aquarius looks similar to other mega-yachts on the market, but instead of being built from steel and aluminium it is constructed from wood. The 147ft long, triple decker yacht’s internal frames and beams are sapelli and mahogany, while the rest of the boat is made out of plywood. The outer shell has been laminated and painted. It has a retail price of €18million (£15,627,000) and was designed for a British owner. The owner asked for the yacht to be built with wood as this would last longer than steel and be more flexible for manufacturing and repairs.

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