Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 26, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Pragmatic and Trump in the same sentence. Seriously!

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 26, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Although concern persists, more pragmatic versions of what President Trump’s trade agenda means for Canada (and softwood lumber) are also making the rounds. Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback notes from his travels that the US is less concerned about Canada as “our trade balance with the US is relatively equal”. Over at the Vancouver Sun, Naomi Christensen, suggests Canada has a “fresh shot” at resolving the simmering softwood lumber dispute as Trump takes office “unbeholden to the powerful U.S. lobby groups” and that “restricting our softwood will hurt the people who voted Trump into office”.

Forest companies in the news include Tolko announcing that it “is another step closer to re-opening its oriented strandboard plant in High Prairie”, which means 150 direct jobs. Western Forest Products confirmed that last year’s curtailment of their South Island remanufacturing plant will be permanent but also that “all employees impacted have been provided jobs at their other operations or received compensation”.

A familiar story on the “desperate need to train a new generation of mechanized logging equipment operators” is playing out in Maine this time. The reason—according to the Bangor Daily News—”most skilled operators are now at or nearing retirement age”.

Finally, last year’s story “Wood and Glue Skyscapers are on the rise”, keeps popping up in our searches. Seems you just can’t keep a good story down.

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Forestry

First Nations and local mills band together to secure forestry future

By Spencer Sterritt
Nanaimo News Now
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO — After more than a year of discussions, paper and pulp companies in British Columbia have an improved way of accessing fibre for processing. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the companies, including local pulp mill Harmac, Catalyst Paper, Paper Excellence Canada, Zellstoff Celgar Ltd. Partnership and the First Nation Forestry Council was signed to better facilitate trade and negotiations for the mills. Since companies such as Harmac don’t own any forests to cultivate their product, Harmac fibre manager Cameron Milne said the MOU gives them a chance to secure their stock while also giving First Nations band a say in how their forests are used.

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Province unveils new park boundaries for Castle

By Caitlin Clow
Pincher Creek Echo
January 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over 103,000-hectares of lands rich with diversity will be protected in two provincial parks in the Castle region, Premier Rachel Notley told nearly 200 people at the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village Museum on Jan. 20. The government is now preparing to move into the next phase — creating a parks management plan and tourism strategy. “Wild spaces have always been one of our most precious treasures in Alberta,” Notley said. “In our province, our landscape is part of who we are; we are campers, we are hikers, we are mountain bikers and we are much more. We are weekend warriors to the very core.” …Commercial forestry, coal, metallic and industrial mineral extraction of Crown-owned resources, and new sand and gravel will not be permitted within either provincial park. However, the Government of Alberta will continue to work with existing industrial users.

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Forest Service counts 96.6 billion trees in latest tally of U.S. forests

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
January 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Trees outnumber people 300 to 1 in the United States, with woodlands covering one-third of the country in the U.S. Forest Service’s latest census. Only trees at least 5 inches in diameter are counted in the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program, which has continuously counted the forest population since 1930. An acre with at least 10 percent tree canopy qualifies are a forest for purposes of the census, reports Jo Craven McGinty in the Wall St. Journal. Dennis May, a U.S. Forest Service program manager, tells McGinty the census was established to answer the question, “Are we wisely using the forest without impacting its health, condition and stature.”

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County is right to remain in timberland lawsuit

By Andy Duyck, chairman of the Washington County Board of Commissioners
Portland Tribune
January 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Pamplin Media editorial suggesting Washington County opt out of the Forestry lawsuit brought by Linn County (“Washington County should drop out of timber lawsuit,” Forest Grove News Times, Jan. 18) really missed the mark. But this is an illustration as to how complicated this issue is and falls short of understanding the complexity of the legal challenge and reality of how state forests have been managed. …What’s most troubling in this entire debate is that some have portrayed the outcome as though the state will have to ignore recreation values and close campgrounds or trails, ignore the fisheries, or ignore a mandate for water quality. The Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, State Forest Practices Act and many other laws that influence the management are not going away. If they were then I would never support the county staying in this lawsuit.

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Spruce beetles pick up where their pine cousins left off

By Bruce Finley
Denver Post
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Shiny black, bark-eating spruce beetles that kill trees are spreading northward through Colorado’s compromised forests, infesting another 136,000 acres this past year — worsening damage across 1.7 million acres, according to state-federal aerial survey data unveiled Wednesday. These beetles rank among the most problematic of currently proliferating pests, including roundheaded pine beetles, fir engraver beetles, western balsam bark beetles and western tent caterpillars. Colorado State Forest Service officials said they see no alternative other than to let multiple outbreaks play out — despite the impact for water supplies and wildfires. “At this point, there’s nothing stopping the spruce beetle. We’re observing it.

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Deadline passes for districts to opt out of $1.4 billion lawsuit

By Alex Paul
Albany Democrat-Herald
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A handful of taxing districts have opted out of a $1.4 billion breach of contract class action lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Forestry filed in Linn County Circuit Court in March by Linn County. In November, Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy set a deadline of 5 p.m. Wednesday for 15 counties and 150 total taxing districts potentially affected by the lawsuit.  …“We believe 95 percent of the taxing districts will remain in this class action,” said Roger Nyquist, chairman of the Linn County Board of Commissioners. “We think between six and nine taxing districts will opt out.”

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Agencies gather input on harvest, murrelet

By Rick Nelson
The Wahkiakum County Eagle
January 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) hosted a meeting last Thursday to gather public input on plans for sustainable harvest and marbled murrelet management. In November, the DNR released draft environmental impact statements for public review–the Marbled Murrelet Long-term Conservation Strategy, written jointly with USFWS, and the Sustainable Harvest Calculation for state trust lands in western Washington. Staff of the two agencies explained the need for the two plans and different options for implementing them. The agencies have held other meetings around the state and will use the input to work on final drafts later this year.

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Experts discuss Measure L and tree mortality

By Mark Evan Smith
Sierra Star
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In his first town hall of 2017, Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler hosted a panel of experts on both tree mortality and health care issues facing the Mountain Area, as well as an updated presentation on Measure L, a proposed sales tax increase facing voter approval March 7. …Bigelow started with numbers, noting 61,112 acres of Madera County forests have been affected by drought and the bark beetle, alongside 76,878 such acres in Mariposa County, and 80,451 in Fresno County. “We’re surrounded by it, and we’re in the middle of it,” Bigelow said. “And we’re doing everything we can to help mitigate the problem.” One such mitigation – for which Bigelow expressed excitement – was the availability of burners for use by the public at the North Fork Mill Site, where anyone can bring organic materials such as logs or trimmings.

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Benton commissioners vote to stay in suit

By Bennett Hall
Albany Democrat-Herald
January 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A divided Benton County Board of Commissioners has decided to stay in a controversial lawsuit over management of some state timberlands. At a work session in Corvallis on Tuesday morning, the board voted 2-1 to remain a party to the lawsuit, which seeks $1.4 billion from the state of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Forestry for failing to maximize logging revenues from 650,000 acres of state forest trust lands. The class action lawsuit was filed by Linn County on behalf of 15 Oregon counties and dozens of smaller taxing districts. Benton County is one of the smaller parties to the suit, with only about 8,400 acres of forest trust lands within its borders.

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Editorial ignores later O&C legislation

Letter by Doug Bright, Klamath Falls
Herald and News
January 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Your Jan. 19 editorial does a good job of describing the 1937 O&C act but it ignores legislation passed since 1937 that effects how those lands are managed today. You also make a statement that says the current boundaries of the Cascade-Siskiyou monument includes lands which are in Klamath County. This is incorrect. …The commissioners’ view, which you so faithfully print from time to time, ignores significant legislation that was passed by Congress since 1937 that has effected how O&C lands are to be managed today. …If the land does not meet that criterion it is not considered for timber production. The BLM has a similar act as the Resource Planning Act that effects how BLM lands are managed. Seeking a briefing on legislation that effects O&C management from these agencies should improve your knowledge and understanding.

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State thinning preserve in Wallingford to promote growth of endangered pine

By Matthew Zabierek
Record-Journal
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WALLINGFORD — The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is removing hardwood trees from a preserve alongside Wharton Brook State Park to promote growth of the pitch pine and protect the tree species from beetles that have made their way to Connecticut from the southeastern United States. In December, the agency began a 21-acre timber harvest in the Wharton Brook Pitch Pine Natural Area Preserve next to Wharton Brook State Park, which is off Route 5 at the Wallingford-North Haven town line. The harvest is meant to promote the growth of pitch pines. Recently, pitch pines in Conn­ecticut have been threatened by the Southern pine beetle, a species usually found in southeastern states, said Chris Martin, director of forestry at DEEP.

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State’s federal lands may face new pressures from Washington

by Jasper Craven
VT Digger
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A rule change the U.S. House recently passed removes a major roadblock in the process of transferring federal land to states, local communities or, potentially, private developers. …Rep. Paul Grijalva, D-N.M., who is the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, called the new land rule “outrageous and absurd” in a statement after it was passed. …Previously Congress had to calculate and account for any revenue decreases from ceding federal land to a state or community. Many parcels generate federal revenue through means such as energy extraction, tourism and logging. The new rule eliminates that formula, instead mandating that such transfers “shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.”

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Why Maine needs to train the next generation of loggers

By Dana Doran
Bangor Daily News
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Maine’s professional loggers are facing the toughest pulpwood and biomass markets in decades, so it may come as a surprise when veteran loggers say their industry desperately needs to train a new generation of mechanized logging equipment operators for the future. If the logging industry is getting smaller due to difficult times, why train more operators? Simple: Most skilled operators are now at or nearing retirement age. Even if the industry contracts significantly, there will soon be a shortage of them. …That is why the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine has partnered with the Maine Community College System to create Maine’s first mechanized logger training certificate program, which is scheduled to begin operating this year and move to new locations around the state each semester.

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Company & Business News

Hoback ‘concerned’ about trading with President Trump

By Dana Reynolds
PANow
January 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States


The waiting might just be the hardest part. MP Randy Hoback, from the federal riding of Prince Albert, said President Donald Trump made many promises during his election campaign. But which ones he ultimately intends to keep, keeps trade relations between Canada and the U.S. slightly uncomfortable. …“In my visits down in the U.S., they weren’t so concerned about the trade with Canada. Our trade balance is relatively equal. They’re more concerned with the deficits they have with Mexico and China,” Hoback said. …He mentioned softwood lumber as an example. Currently, Canada is waiting for an American decision vis-à-vis tariffs. Until this decision is made, the entire industry is in flux. “

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What Donald Trump and ‘buy American’ means for Canada

By John Geddes
MacLeans
January 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

First came the jolt—not unexpected, yet still jarring—of the bluntly protectionist rhetoric of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. “We will follow two simple rules,” the newly sworn-in president vowed. “Buy American and hire American.” But then, outside this week’s special meeting of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet in Calgary, came soothing words from a visiting Trump adviser, Stephen Schwarzman, head of the mighty Blackstone Group investment company. “There may be some modifications,” Schwarzman said of the Canada-U.S. economic relationship, “but basically, things should go well for Canada.” …“Having access to the NAFTA dispute-settlement mechanism has been useful, for example, in past softwood lumber disputes,” Kronby said, pointing out that Canadian lumber exports to the U.S., a perennial source of friction, are again in dispute this year.

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Opinion: Trump administration brings fresh shot at new softwood lumber deal

By Naomi Christensen, Senior Policy Analyst, Canada West Foundation
The Vancouver Sun
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

President Donald Trump’s trade agenda may be causing some concern in B.C., considering the province relies on the American market to consume more than 50 per cent of its exports. But the new administration also brings a big opportunity that the province must not overlook: a fresh shot at resolving the simmering softwood lumber dispute. …If duties are imposed on Canadian lumber this spring, it is expected they will be a whopping 25 per cent or higher. That translates not just into higher housing prices in the U.S., but lost jobs and wages in the construction and other related sectors. …Restricting the supply and increasing the price of Canadian softwood lumber in the U.S. economy will also impede one of Trump’s key economic promises — to raise GDP growth to four per cent a year.

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Softwood dispute leaves Island economy vulnerable, says analyst

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

After several years of strong financial growth, Vancouver Island should expect a slowdown through 2017 and into 2018, according to the Conference Board of Canada. The board, which presented its Western Business Outlook in Nanaimo on Wednesday, said while the Island has enjoyed economic growth in the 2.5 to 3.5 per cent range over the past few years, it is likely to dip to two per cent this year. That’s because fewer people are moving to the Island and the spectre of a prolonged softwood lumber dispute with the United States, said to Susan Mowbray, senior manager with MNP business consultants. … “The effect will depend on what happens with the softwood lumber dispute and right now we don’t have a good sense of how it will unfold,” said Mowbray.

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Western Forest Products Inc. Announces Remanufacturing Consolidation

By Western Forest Products
Marketwired
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – Western Forest Products Inc. announced today the permanent closure of its South Vancouver Island Remanufacturing plant consistent with its strategy of consolidating operations in its recapitalized facilities. The South Island Remanufacturing plant was indefinitely curtailed in March 2016. All employees from this facility have been provided jobs at the Company’s other operations or received compensation for the closure.

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It’s full speed ahead

By Richard Froese
The South Peace News
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries is another step closer to its commitment to re-open its oriented strandboard plant in High Prairie. However, no date has been set. “The plan is to re-open the mill,” says Bob Fleet, Tolko vice-president of environment and forestry, while speaking during an information session Jan. 20 in High Prairie. About 30 municipal, First Nations, Metis, business and industry leaders gathered at the Peavine Inn and Suites to hear plans. Tolko assured them that all parties with a vested interest would be consulted in the process. Fleet thanked the First Nations and Metis communities along with the Town of High Prairie and Big Lakes County for their support. “We are excited to re-open so we can support the town and the county and the region,” Fleet says.

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B.C. considers business sales tax relief

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. is the only place in North America that charges sales tax on business electricity bills, a cost the finance ministry is considering removing to help the struggling forest and mining industries. The issue was identified in November when an expert panel on tax competitiveness reported back to Finance Minister Mike de Jong. It noted that the province takes in $160 million from provincial sales tax (PST) on electricity bills, part of a generally high-tax environment for business and investment in B.C. relative to the national average. Last week, mayors of eight forest-dependent communities wrote to de Jong and Premier Christy Clark, asking for PST relief for lumber, pulp and paper producers in their communities.

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EACOM installs a new lumber grading system at its Elk Lake sawmill

Lesprom Network
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada


EACOM has completed the installation of a new lumber grading system in the Elk Lake planermill in Canada, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The equipment was manufactured by Autolog, Inc, a Quebec company and features the latest technology in lumber grading. With this recent project, the replacement of the two sawing lines and edger, as well as the reconfiguration of the co-products handling system, EACOM has invested over $13 million into the Elk Lake Sawmill since 2012.

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Botwood Biofuel Plant not a done deal yet

By Patrick Murphy
The Telegram
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

BOTWOOD—Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods Steve Crocker remains cautiously optimistic about a proposed sawmill and biofuel plant in Botwood, but says it is not a done deal yet. “We’re getting there, but there is still some work to do,” Crocker told TC Media Wednesday morning at the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture’s annual general meeting at the Hotel Gander. …When directly questioned however, Crocker is cautious in responding. “We have to keep in mind of existing operators so we’ve got to make sure we find the proper fibre allotments,” said Crocker. “There are so many factors surrounding the fibre supply, and you’re not looking at a fibre supply for one year or two years.

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Domtar to receive $1 million state grant for pipeline project

Bradford Era
January 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

The Commonwealth Financing Authority has approved a $1 million state grant for Domtar Paper Co.’s installation of a three-mile pipeline to its facility in Johnsonburg, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, announced on Tuesday. Scarnati, who was instrumental in securing funding for the project, explained that Domtar owns and operates the paper mill in Johnsonburg Borough where the pipeline will be installed. The project will consist of converting two existing coal fired boilers to natural gas by partnering with Hunt Marcellus. In order to support the conversion to natural gas, the new three-mile gas pipeline will be constructed to supply the facility.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood-and-glue skyscrapers are on the rise

By Jeremy Deaton
Popular Science
April 16, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Wood + Glue = Skyscraper Material: Glue might the best thing to happen to the lumber industry. Adhesives permit manufacturers to cheaply produce wood products that are no longer in the shape of trees. The particleboard in your IKEA coffee table, for example, is made from wood fragments that have been glued together. Lumber producers are now using über-powerful adhesives to assemble massive wood panels with the strength and durability of concrete and steel. Cross-laminated timber, as it’s known, is made of small planks bound together by a polyurethane adhesive. The pioneering technology has freed architects to dream up buildings that were previously inconceivable. “Not only is [wood] attractive and warms up the building,” said Kris Spickler, a heavy timber specialist at cross-laminated timber manufacturer Structurlam, “I think architects really enjoy being able to use a product that they’ve used for interior spaces, and actually use it for the structure itself.”

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General

Study finds that carbon finance is not a one-size-fits-all solution to deforestation

By Mike Gaworecki
Mongabay
January 23, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

Halting the pace at which we’re destroying the world’s forests for agriculture, forestry, mines, and other economic development projects is crucial to combating climate change. Carbon finance, which involves creating monetary incentives for companies and countries to invest in programs to reduce carbon emissions, is one potential solution being employed today. …But a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters earlier this month found that, while carbon finance can be effective in the right circumstances, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. …In other words, the team found that carbon-based payments for conservation, whether they’re delivered through markets or other mechanisms, are appropriate in some places but not in others — which calls into question the practicality of many conservation programs that rely on expectations of future revenue from carbon finance, the researchers write in the study.

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