Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 17, 2017

Forestry

‘Outrageous’ that feds reviewing $13.9M award from logging dispute: BC First Nation

CBC News
January 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Huu-ay-aht First Nations was awarded compensation from Specific Claims Tribunal in December. A Huu-ay-aht First Nations leader said it’s “outrageous” that the federal government will review a Specific Claims Tribunal decision awarding more than $13.9 million for decades of illegal logging in their territory. The Nuu-chah-nulth community, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, was awarded the settlement in December 2016, after filing the claim in 2011. The community’s leaders found out on Thursday that Canada was seeking a judicial review. “Part of our reconciliation to this long-term dispute was to seek fair compensation,” said Huu-ay-aht First Nations Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. in a press release.

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Conservation group plans first large-scale project in Cape Breton

Cape Breton Post
January 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ecosystems with alkaline — or basic — soil conditions are being targeted by the national conservation organization as it sets out on its first large-scale project in Cape Breton. Craig Smith, Nova Scotia program director for the group, said those gypsum- and limestone-based ecosystems — which are abundant in Cape Breton but very rare throughout most of North America — have “extraordinary ecological value” because they are home to 18 federally listed species at risk and 20 provincially listed species at risk. …The nature conservancy hopes to acquire 5,000 acres of those properties over the next 10 years, said Smith, who listed the riverside floodplains, wetlands and old Acadian forests of Black River bog, West Lake Ainslie, River Denys, Beinn Bhreagh, Margaree Forks and Marble Mountainas areas of particular interest.

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Crazy Mountains logging project OK’d

By Brett French
The Billings Gazette
January 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A logging project meant to remove disease and bug-infested trees while also reducing wildland fire impacts around recreational cabins, a campground and ATV trails on the northwest side of the Crazy Mountains has been approved. …“This is a type of work we’ve been doing for years if not decades,” said Alex Sienkiewicz, the Yellowstone District ranger in Livingston. “The difference is with this new authority there’s a desire to be more efficient and collaborative.” …“The area has already been heavily logged and is just starting to come back,” said Michael Garrity, executive director of the environmental group Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

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Monument designation should be up to Congress

By The Editorial Board
The Bend Bulletin
January 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Late last week, President Barack Obama nearly doubled the size of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument with the stroke of a pen. Fortunately, he did nothing about the proposed Owyhee monument in far eastern Oregon, and its status remains unchanged. Though the privilege to create national monuments belongs to the president, that can and should be changed. Locking up public land, whether for wilderness or a national monument, should be done at the behest of both houses of Congress, not by presidential fiat. …Requiring congressional action allows all
parties with a stake in a particular piece of land to be heard,
something that doesn’t necessarily happen today. Going through Congress
would change that, and it’s a worthy goal.

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Ferris Mountain faces insect, fungal infections

By Iain Woessner
Wyoming Business Report
January 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

RAWLINS — The woodlands of Ferris Mountain are under attack from the insect invaders and fungal foes that pose a danger to the trees and those who live under them. As the Bureau of Land Management readies to deal with these threats with controlled fires, officials say it’s important to understand the variety of problems facing Ferris Mountain and why it is necessary to address them. “It is important to use forest management techniques to create and maintain healthy forests,” Maureen Hartshorn, forester for the BLM offices in Rawlins, said in an email. “The use of forest management practices will prevent the continued deterioration of the forest stands by improving the existing vegetation community and increasing forest health, improving forest structure, and removing decadent and dead trees.”

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How to save forests? Run them like a business, says this former Wall Street man.

By Carolyn Beeler
90.5 WESA
January 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The sun is just starting to dip toward the horizon in Indonesian Borneo, and Dharsono Hartono is standing on a fire tower, looking out over a peat forest falling into shadow. …He is the CEO and co-founder of the Katingan Project, which manages 600 square miles of land in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The project aims to protect the peat forest, then sell carbon credits based on the amount of greenhouse gasses they can keep sequestered in the ground. Hartono doesn’t have the background of a typical conservationist. He grew up in Indonesia but went to college and business school in New York. He did a stint on Wall Street, working in real estate for JP Morgan.

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Risk of tree species disappearing in central Africa ‘a major concern,’ say researchers

Release by eLife Sciences
EurekaAlert!
January 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Human disturbance may often be criticised for harming the environment, but new research suggests a persistent lack of human attention in the central African forest could actually cause some tree species to disappear. The study, from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech – Université de Liège and the Royal Museum for Central Africa, both in Belgium, presents challenges to current practices in forest maintenance and suggests how more effective measures could be taken in future. The findings are published in the journal eLife. “Populations of light-demanding trees that dominate the canopy of central African forests are currently aging. With previous studies showing that few young trees are growing to replace them, they are likely to disappear if the forests are not properly maintained. This is a major concern,” says first author Julie Morin-Rivat.

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Company & Business News

FPInnovations’ CEO Elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

CONGRATULATIONS!
The Paper Advance
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Montréal, Quebec – FPInnovations is pleased to announce that Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO, has been recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and The Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contribution to science both nationally and internationally. M. Lapointe was elected as an International Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the world’s oldest engineering science academy. Under the patronage of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf, the Academy aims to influence societal development and policy-making through knowledge transfer activities and scientific projects. 

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Canada needs a back-up plan on trade

By Stuart Culbertson
The Vancouver Sun
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Later this week, the trading partner that takes over three-quarters of our exports will inaugurate a president that has promised to rip up Canada’s most important international trade agreement. Many suggest that President-elect Trump will back off on his campaign rhetoric on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he has called “the worst trade deal the US ever signed.” …Witness Canada’s leading trade dispute with the US over softwood lumber exports – now approaching its fourth decade of being shunted into ad hoc bilateral processes outside of NAFTA’s dispute settlement framework and that of its predecessor, the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Notwithstanding that NAFTA has presided over a fourfold increase in trilateral trade since it was signed, there is considerable scope for improving NAFTA and bringing it into the 21st century.

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United Steelworkers president will continue to fight for Canada’s lumber industry

CBC News
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Many steelworkers supported Trump in recent U.S. election, despite tough talk on trade. The Sudbury-born head of North America’s largest private sector union says many of his members voted for Donald Trump. International Steelworkers president Leo Gerard supported the Democrats in the recent U.S. election, but says many Steelworkers on both sides of the border liked Trump’s focus on the economy and restoring industrial jobs. …Gerard said despite Trump’s tough trade talk, the softwood lumber dispute remains his top concern for Canadian workers. Hundreds of northern Ontario forestry workers represented by the Steelworkers fear the expiring of the softwood lumber trade deal last year will hurt the industry’s ongoing recovery.

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Former Tolko employees looking for other work at Merritt job fair

By Chad Klassen
CFJC Today
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — It’s been exactly a month since 203 employees were laid off from the Tolko mill in Merritt, which officially shut down December 16. The sudden closure served as a shock to many of the workers, some of who are now scrambling to find another job. Dan Hutchison is already looking ahead to his next career, a month after losing his job at Tolko. “My hope is, if I can get this course, they have VSA here in town, possibly being able to stay in Merritt,” said Hutchison… Also at the job fair was Tolko itself, helping employees transition to other jobs. The company says among 30 interviews, 15 former Merritt employees have accepted transfers to other mills in B.C., including Kamloops, Vernon and Williams Lake. 

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Community of Merritt rallies to find work for laid-off Tolko employees

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

MERRITT — Another day-long jobs fair is being held in Merritt as the Nicola Valley city tries to find work for about 200 unemployed workers. Merritt Mayor Neil Menard says he is impressed with his community’s response to help the workers. They lost their jobs when Tolko closed its sawmill in the city just before Christmas. Menard says he “can’t say anything nice about Tolko,” but praises the work of a transition team seeking available positions for the employees.

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Federal government vows action on mercury contamination Grassy Narrows ‘once and for all’

By Jayme Poisson and David Bruser
The Toronto Star
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

The federal government has promised action that will deal with Grassy Narrows mercury contamination “once and for all.” Working closely with the province and First Nations leaders, federal officials will address mercury contamination that has plagued the northern community for decades, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Star late Monday. …Last Friday, the Star published a story detailing how two reporters from the paper and volunteers from Earthroots had dug holes in a clearing behind the old paper mill in Dryden and found significantly higher-than-normal levels of mercury — nearly 80 times the level expected to be found in soil from that region of the province. …Mercury has not been used in paper production at the site in decades, and there is no suggestion that current mill operator, Domtar, several owners removed from Reed Paper, is responsible for any possible ongoing source of mercury.

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Forests Are a Treasure. But Are They Good Investments?

The New York Times
January 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Trees don’t watch the stock market. Forests keep growing — and potentially increasing their value — even when inflation surges or the market swoons. Big investors, like university endowments and insurance companies, have long allocated money to timberland in places like Oregon’s fir-and-spruce forests, Georgia’s pine plantations and Appalachia’s hardwood groves. Until a few years ago, retail investors were mostly shut out of this market. The deals were too big, involving thousands of acres and tens of millions of dollars. …Ordinary investors can now put money into timber without venturing into the woods. Buying shares of an E.T.F. or a R.E.I.T. won’t replicate the benefits of directly owning vast timberlands, but it does enable one to bet on timber.

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What’s In Store For Public Lands Under President Trump?

By Emily Schwing
Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Donald Trump will be sworn in Friday. One issue rural America is looking for answers on is public lands: how they’re managed and whether the government should transfer them to states or even sell them off. President-elect Trump may not be keen on the idea to hand federal land over to states. At least that’s what he told Field and Stream magazine a year ago. He said something similar last spring to the editor of Petersen’s Hunting Magazine prior to his nomination as the GOP’s presidential candidate. “Our land is not in the condition that it used to be, so we’ll put it back into condition, but we’re not looking to sell off land,” Trump said.

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Save the beautiful places

Letter by Mary Ann Michaud
Sun Journal
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

What is Maine state Rep. John Martin thinking when he seeks to change the regulations for mining metal here in Maine? The laws are there to protect the land and lakes, keeping them clean. Mining metals will cause a lot of pollution and destroy the fishing in surrounding lakes… J.D. Irving doesn’t care what happens to the land. He just looks at the money it will make. Look at the Irving forest up north and the wasted wood left to rot on the ground, bringing disease to the forest.

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Enviva pays US$175m for pellet Sampson plant

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
January 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

On 14 December 2016, US-American Enviva Partners completed the drop-down takeover of the 500,000-t pellet plant of Enviva Wilmington Holdings in Sampson County (North Carolina, USA). As a result of the plant takeover, annual capacity of pellet plants operated by Enviva Partners in the USA totals roughly 2.8m t. The final purchase price was roughly US$175m and therefore within the price range already expected by Enviva Partners in mid-October 2016. On 17 October, the owner of the pellet plant, Enviva Wilmington Holdings, presented an offer of purchase which had been the subject of negotiations in subsequent weeks.

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No Injuries in Domtar Electrical Fire

By Chris Conley
WDEZ.com
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

ROTHSCHILD, WI — Black smoke billowed from Domtar Paper in Rothschild Monday morning, but the damage was minimal. General Manager of the mill, Kathy Collins, says the fire started in an unoccupied building on plastic pumps that carry chemicals. Collins said, “There’s no combustibles, really, inside the building, so it must have been something electrical… that ended up melting the plastic and caused a small fire on these pumps.” The fire suppression system in the building put out the fire entirely before fire crews even arrived. “Nobody was evacuated. I’ve been hearing rumors that there were evacuations. There were no people in the building. No injuries occurred,” said Collins. “We had some minor equipment damage when the plastic pumps burned up.”

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Hong Kong regulator sues StanChart, UBS, KPMG, others over China Forestry IPO

By Elzio Barreto and Fiona Lau
UK Reuters
January 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Hong Kong’s securities regulator has filed a suit against Standard Chartered Plc, UBS Group AG and four other parties over the 2009 IPO of timber company China Forestry Holdings Co Ltd, according to court documents. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is seeking unspecified damages for “market misconduct” over the IPO prospectus of China Forestry filed in November 2009… The SFC also sued China Forestry itself, the company’s two co-founders Li Kwok Cheong and Li Han Chun, and KPMG, which was China Forestry’s auditor, the court documents show.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Driving innovation in wood design, building & manufacturing

WoodWeek BC
January 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, B.C. will be host to Wood Week BC 2017, where more than 1,200 professionals from across construction, design, building and manufacturing sectors to learn, innovate and discuss best practices and innovation in wood building and design. Taking place February 23 to March 6, 2017, this exciting and informative multi-day program will focus on the latest trends and topics in wood building and design, wood research, innovation and environmental performance with a range of educational, touring and networking opportunities. Hosted by the University of British Columbia’s Centre For Advanced Wood Processing, FPInnovations, BC Wood and Wood WORKS! BC, the program will be comprised of four dynamic events over 10 days, where attendees can take full advantage of all Wood Week BC has to offer.

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Agriculture and Forestry Building atrium now open to students

By Andrew McWhinney
The Gateway
January 16, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Edmonton — After five years of quiet vacancy, the Agriculture and Forestry Building’s atrium has been reopened to students and faculty. The space, formerly used to house tropical plants, has now been renovated for into a space for student and faculty use… Resembling a mineral, the atrium is made of large glass panes arranged in a crystalline structure. The panes are supported by large wood beams manufactured in Edmonton, a pointer to the faculty’s forestry program. The atrium’s upper panes are embedded with translucent solar panels (opposed to the traditional opaque), which will help power the Agriculture and Forestry Building.

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General

Forests Are a Treasure. But Are They Good Investments?

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 17, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

The New York Times has a feature article on how “ordinary investors can now put money into timber without venturing into the woods”, now that the big timber companies have re-organized as real estate investment trusts. However, in terms of returns, you might want to think twice as the investments have looked more like “spindly saplings than strong sequoias” (failing to match the S&P 500’s return in the last three calendar years). 

CBC News reports that—although its his “top concern“—the head of North America’s largest private sector union (Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers) suspects “Trump’s attacks on free trade will largely spare Canada”. Former BC trade-bureaucrat Stuart Culbertson is less optimistic, suggesting “this is not the time to succumb to the perils of wishful thinking” and that “Canada needs a “back-up plan on trade“.

Finally, kudos for Tolko’s Transition Team. Merritt Mayor Neil Menard says he is “impressed with the community’s [and Tolko’s] effort to help the laid off workers” find alternative employment.
— Tree Frog Editors

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