Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Unions, environmentalists call for log export ban

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 28, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Backed by “major forest-sector unions and environmental groups”, a report by Ben Parfitt (policy analyst for the CCPA – Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives), is calling for a ban of “log exports from old-growth forests”, increased taxes for the “export of second-growth logs” and policies to “increase value-added manufacturing” in BC. The premise: “growing log exports” means associated “job losses”.

The problem is—as conveyed by Rick Jeffery, president of the Coast Forest Products Association, “the reverse is true”. “Log exports are a very important part of the economics of the coast, ensuring that we can harvest the entire profile of the allowable cut, and that means getting into some of the harder, more economically challenged areas into the lower quality stands,” Jeffery said.

Not discussed in today’s coverage but noteworthy is how Canadian log export policies play into the Softwood Lumber dispute. The US Coalition claims that “log export restrictions have the effect of insulating lumber mills from world market prices for logs” which [in their view] is a subsidy because it “suppresses the price for domestic logs”. According to 250 News, “there is some irony in all of these claims” given that the US South “has the highest profit margins in North America“.

Also ironic is the fact that Unifor—a sponsor of CCPA’s “ban log exports” story—is in today’s news “preparing for the softwood lumber battle” with the US, in partnership with lumber producers. According to national spokesman Steve Boon, “it is now more important then ever that our federal government stand up and fight for free and fair access to the U.S. market”

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Special Feature

BC Wood hits home run at wood design forum

By Sandy McKellar and Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog News Editors
February 27, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a venue known for celebrating creativity, BC Wood hosted “Gray Conversations: A Living with Wood Forum” at the Museum of Vancouver as part of the first ever WOOD WEEK BC. The sold-out event was an inspirational tribute to wood use in architecture and design. The evening began with a tactile display of a unique wood stools designed by students from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. While servers paraded tasty treats served on Douglas-fir slabs, guests were encouraged to vote for their favourite student design team. The highlight of the evening was the panel of Pacific Northwest designers. Run as a Q&A, moderator Jamie Gillin asked a series of questions that resulted in animated and passionate discussion amongst the participants.

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Business & Politics

Raw Logs and Lost Jobs: How the BC Government Has Sacrificed Forest Communities

By Ben Parfitt
The Tyee
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Its members include the most powerful players in the province’s forest industry, companies that do the vast majority of logging on British Columbia’s coast. Its website boasts of “innovative, high-tech” companies whose workers turn out “a growing array of forest and wood products.” But in truth, members of the Coast Forest Products Association are far from the job creators they could be. While forest industry manufacturing on B.C.’s coast stagnates, CFPA member companies, including the huge corporations TimberWest, Western Forest Products and Interfor, collectively ship millions of cubic metres of raw, unprocessed logs out of the province each year — a practice the association claims will increase profits, which may one day lead to investments in new sawmills. Included in the export mix are logs from old-growth trees harvested on Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, the Nass Valley in northern B.C. and up and down the province’s coast, including in the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C.’s much-touted showcase for coastal forest conservation and “ecosystem-based” logging.

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Softwood Lumber – Trump admin to further squeeze Canadian manufacturing?

By Peter Ewart
250 News
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Are the current softwood lumber trade negotiations between Canada and the US just another predictable chapter in the long history of softwood disputes? Or is there more going on here? Certainly, the election of Donald Trump as US president has added some new features to the dispute in which the US side claims (despite being repeatedly overruled by NAFTA and WTO panels) that Canada is subsidizing its lumber exports. …Thus, it is imperative, if and when, a new Softwood Lumber Agreement is signed, that Canada does not agree to any US imposed limitations on Canadian government (both federal and provincial) investment in forest stewardship, science, technology, and innovation or to changes in our system of forest ownership, management and log pricing that hurt us. To do so will be to surrender our sovereignty as a country. Today, more than ever, we need our own path forward.

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New report calls for curb on B.C. log exports

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

If the amount of logs exported by B.C. forest companies in 2016 were milled into lumber, it would have been enough to build 134,000 single-family homes, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The centre threw that statistic into a report to illustrate their argument about the impact of log exports, a hot-button political issue for B.C.’s coastal communities that have suffered the decline of lumber manufacturing over the last decade-and-a-half while exports of unprocessed timber has soared. “The troubling reality is that since 2003, the door has been wide open for companies to close mills and export logs instead,” said Ben Parfitt… Forest Minister Steve Thomson said the report is “misguided” for not recognizing the role that exports play in maintaining timber flows and employment in logging communities.“Obviously, we’d like to see as large a percentage of logs manufactured here in B.C. as possible,” Thomson said, adding that the province is co-operating with the industry on a strategy to keep the sector competitive.

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B.C. should focus on forestry, not LNG dream

Guest Editorial: Scott Doherty, Ben Parfitt and Jens Wieting
The Province
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the B.C. government’s promise of tens of thousands of jobs in a new liquefied natural gas industry in tatters, the province’s long-neglected forest industry has the potential to help close the widening employment gap between heavily populated areas like the Lower Mainland and the rest of the province. The provincial government regulates this industry, but for the past four years it has offered no substantive policies to stimulate job growth in the sector that has historically been the economic backbone of many rural communities in B.C. The most visible consequence of this laissez-faire approach is the rising wave of raw, unprocessed logs that leave the province annually, resulting in an ever- shrinking number of jobs per trees cut… It’s beyond time that the provincial government ended years of policies that remove value from our forests. 

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New report says raw logs exports at record levels

By Kendall Hanson
CHEK News
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new report shows the number of raw logs being exported from BC are at record levels. But those who depend on the forestry industry say those exported logs represent an opportunity lost… The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is calling for a ban on the export of raw logs from old growth forests… “The concern that our organization has, and several environmental organizations, and labour organizations is that that’s a tremendous lost opportunity in terms of creating jobs here in British Columbia.”… The Catalyst mill, in Port Alberni, started a three day shutdown today. The company blames a shortage of wood chips due to winter weather curtailing logging. But the Union representing pulp mill workers says the export of raw logs also plays a role.

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Cancel the Softwood Lumber Agreement

Letter by Dick Murphy
Castlegar Source
February 24, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Americans are correct about the Softwood Lumber Agreement. They say that giving vast tracts of crown land to the timber corporations with almost carte blanche management restrictions is an unfair trade advantage. The way we manage the forest is unfair for the forest. We are cutting way too much wood and the only management tool seems to be the clear cut. At present the feller-buncher and the chip-n-saw represent the Canadian approach to forest management — capital intensive with very little labour involved. …Wake up, cancel the Softwood Lumber Agreement. Decrease the annual cut. Join with the Americans and work toward a future that will see healthy forests across Canada.

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Unions, exporters prepare for softwood lumber battle

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Softwood lumber workers and producers are rallying their supporters. Unifor national spokesman Steve Boon says they’ll be meeting with MPs in Ottawa next month. “We have finally seen a rebound, since the forestry collapse in 2008-09 and just locally we have seen 100s of well-paying jobs restored at Kenora Forest Products and EACOM’s Ear Falls sawmill over the last two years. It is now more important then ever that our federal government stand up and fight for free and fair access to the U.S. market,” Boon said, in an email. Federal and provincial governments are preparing for a new round of tariffs from the American government. The last softwood lumber agreement expired in 2015.

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NB Power faces searing critique from J.D. Irving Ltd., as rate hearing ends

By Robert Jones
CBC News
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NB Power endured a searing critique from its largest customer toward the end of its five-day rate hearing in Fredericton last week, but with no party seriously opposing the utility’s need for a rate hike, it seems likely a jump in costs is on the way. The utility appeared in front of the Energy and Utilities Board last week to defend its request for a two per cent overall rate hike beginning April 1, which includes a 2.3 per cent increase for residential customers… NB Power witnesses at rate-hike hearing challenged about executive pay raises Eight hearing participants either actively supported or did not oppose NB Power’s request for increased rates during closing arguments.However, Christopher Stewart, a lawyer for J.D. Irving Ltd., ripped the utility for not taking enough responsibility for causing its own financial problems or helping to fix them.

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Mercury still leaking into river upstream from Grassy Narrows First Nation, suggests report

CBC News
February 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An old chemical plant in Dryden, Ont., is still leaking mercury and contaminating the Wabigoon-English River system near the Grassy Narrows First Nation in northwestern Ontario, suggests a new report from a group of scientists. Last summer the team sampled the mud at the bottom of the river as it passed the old paper mill site where paper was bleached and from two lakes upstream. According to the report released to CBC News ahead of a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday, the team found that mercury levels in the mud are low until the river passes the plant site. “Then it goes to super-high, about 130 times higher than background (normal) levels as it passes by the old plant site,” reads the document. “These findings are strong evidence that the old plant is still leaking old mercury into the river.”

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Northern Softwood Lumber Bureau Merges Into NELMA

Miller Wood Trade Publications
February 24, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Cumberland, ME–Recently it was announced that the Northern Softwood Lumber Bureau (NSLB) has merged into the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA), headquartered here. The decision to start the merging process was finalized at an August 2016 NSLB board of directors meeting. The NELMA name will remain in place.
The merger marks the first time two grade rules writing agencies have merged in North America; there are now six grade rules writing agencies. “We are very excited to join forces with the Northern Softwood Lumber Bureau and welcome their members into NELMA, and we look forward to working with them to extend NELMA programs across the Great Lakes area,” said
Jeff Easterling, president of NELMA. “To address specific needs of our new members, a Red Pine Committee will be added to the NELMA structure, with a kick-off meeting scheduled for first quarter 2017.”

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Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against Rentech, Inc.

By The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
BusinessWire
February 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NEW YORK — Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, announces that it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of Rentech, Inc. securities from November 9, 2016 through February 20, 2017, both dates inclusive. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Rentech investors under the federal securities laws. To join the Rentech class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1057.html for information on the class action.

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European sawmills gain market share in East Asia

Lesprom
February 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Over the past year, European sawmills have continued to take market share in China, Japan and other countries in East Asia. It has become a natural focus as continued low activity in European construction reduced the lumber consumption there. In China, Europe’s (excl. Russia) market share increased to a record level in 2016, reaching 9% compared to 8% in 2015. Russia’s market share increased from 49% to 55%. The large increase for Russia corresponds to a volume increase of 3.1 million m³ (+37%). Finland and Sweden also had significant increases in volume percentage (+57% resp. + 35%), according to an analysis by Woodstat who specializes in market analysis for the lumber industry.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Province Providing Funds to Train Newcomers for Wood Manufacturing Jobs

Government of Manitoba
February 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Manitoba government is partnering with the Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC) to prepare newcomers in the Winkler/Morden region for jobs in the wood manufacturing industry, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today. “Wood manufacturers in the Winkler/Morden region have told us they need help recruiting skilled workers to fill vacant positions,” said Wishart. “We are investing in this training initiative to help connect workers with in-demand jobs in a growing industry.” The province is providing more than $90,000 for the Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum Project, which targets newcomers with an English proficiency of between four and six on the Canadian Language Benchmark.

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Maitland City Council is right to demand durable building code requirements

Letter by Robert Garbini, president of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
Winter Park/Maitland Observer
February 23, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

These efforts, if enacted, would create a more resilient Florida, and would benefit Floridians for generations to come. Yet, in an argument advocating for wood-framed construction made on these pages, American Wood Council President Robert Glowinski misses the mark and fails to account for Florida’s unique history, geography and challenges. …According to a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Concrete Sustainability Hub that looks at the expected weather hazard costs of a building over its lifecycle dependent on location, a $10 million non-engineered wood building could be expected to face more than half a million dollars in hazard related damage over 50 years, while a $10 million engineered concrete building is expected to face only $165,000 over the same period.

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Wood technology investment in forestry sector

By the New Zealand Government
Scoop.co.nz
February 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced $2 million funding for a wood-processing facility which uses automation and robotics to turn low-value pine trees into high-value wood products. This is just one of the local initiatives announced at the release of the Tair?whiti Economic Action Plan in Gisborne. “Forestry is a major employer in the region and this funding accelerates research and development in this sector. This technology from Wood Engineering Technology Ltd ensures that even low value ‘pulp’ logs, or forestry blocks on remote sites, can become economically viable,” says Mr Bridges.

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All-timber apartments assembled like flat-packed furniture

By Mary Lloyd
ABC News, Australia
February 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A material used in construction for centuries is making a comeback, as developers and builders take timber to new heights. … A panel thuds into place. A drill whirs. A radio sings out over workers’ voices. Then, the screech of machinery from the other site. Over the road, a conventional build is underway — mostly steel and concrete. But this one is an all-timber project — 101 residential units in towers up to eight storeys high, made completely from pine. “It’s the perfect product for us to take our projects taller,” StrongBuild managing director Adam Strong says. They are not using conventional wood, but manufactured, engineered materials collectively known as mass timber. Among them is cross-laminated timber (CLT) — layers of wood, glued together under high pressure with the grain of each perpendicular to the one before.

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Forestry

Fears that logging will threaten water sources

By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
February 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


Proposed logging by Canfor Corp. in the Upper Clearwater Valley threatens neighbouring Wells Grey Park and endangers water sources, a long-time property owner charged. “They just keep coming back for more and more,” said Roland Neave, a Kamloops businessman and author of a guidebook on the park. The debate over logging in the valley between Clearwater and Wells Grey Park dates back decades, to the late 1970s. …Neave said residents have held meetings with the Ministry of Forests and Canfor for four years to come up with a solution. “We were stunned in December when the Ministry of Forests issued the first permit,” he said. “Now there’s a lot more.” …Phone calls and email messages to Canfor were not returned by KTW press deadline yesterday.

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Third logging fatality

By Jon Manchester
Castanet
February 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A logging truck driver was killed last week near Fort St. John when his truck failed to negotiate a curve and rolled. The BC Forest Safety Council reports that on Feb 16, the driver was fatally injured north of Fort St John, in poor road and weather conditions. The Coroners Service and RCMP are investigating. This was the third harvesting fatality of 2017, the safety council says. It recommends industry workers assess road conditions and suspend or delay work if necessary.

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ABCFP honours five forest professionals for outstanding work in sustainably managing BC’s forests

Association of BC Forest Professionals
February 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

(Vancouver)—The Association of BC Forest Professionals presented awards to five forest professionals who made significant contributions to the profession and study of forestry, ensuring BC’s forests are managed to the highest environmental standards. The awards were presented Thursday in Prince George during a ceremony at the ABCFP’s annual conference. “These awards recognize the dedication, expertise and achievements of forest professionals. Congratulations to the award winners; their achievements serve as an inspiration to all our members who diligently and passionately work day in and day out to ensure BC’s forests are sustainably managed for future generations,” said Christopher Stagg, ABCFP president.

  • Distinguished Forest Professional Award: Paul Lawson, RPF, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Distinguished Forest Professional Award: John Armstrong, RFT, ATE, Infinity Forest Solutions, Kamloops
  • Distinguished Forest Professional Award: Rita Winkler, PhD, RPF, Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Kamloops
  • Registered Professional Forester of the year: Ian Smith, RPF, BC Timber Sales, Terrace
  • Registered Forest Technologist of the year: John Hopper, RFT, BC Timber Sales, Kamloops

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Williams Lake forest professional takes helm of forestry association

Association of BC Forest Professionals
February 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

(Vancouver)—Mauro Calabrese, a Registered Professional Forester and Registered Professional Biologist with more than 20-years’ experience, was acclaimed as president of the 70th council of the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) at their annual general meeting and conference in Prince George. Robin Modesto, a Registered Professional Forester and Professional Engineer from Campbell River, takes over as the association’s vice president. The 70th council includes forest professionals from around the province who have a variety of backgrounds that will help lead the work of the ABCFP. This year’s council includes representatives from government, large forest companies, and independent consultants.

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Introducing the Western Forestry Contractors’ Association

Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
February 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George — John Lawrence, President of the Western Silviculture Contractors’ Association and Mike Trepanier, President of the Consulting Foresters Society of BC are pleased to announce a merger of these two organizations to form the new Western Contractors’ Association (WFCA). The WFCA is an association of contractors and forest consultants who provide all levels of pre- and post-harvest planning and implementation services to the forest industry including forest engineering, timber cruising, strategic planning & timber supply analysis, nursery seedling production, silviculture service, tree planting & stand tending and wildfire management services.

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Canada’s forest industry papers over threat to the boreal

By Susan Casey-Lefkowitz
Natural Resources Defense Council
February 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

“The Broadback is basically our last intact forest. All of the traditional and cultural activities that we practice out there on the land, that’s who we are. That’s us.” So explains Youth Chief Melanie Neeposh, one of the voices of the Waswanipi Cree featured in a video calling for the protection of the Broadback River valley, which contains some of the last intact boreal forest landscapes remaining in territory they’ve called home for millennia. This call for boreal forest protection has come under attack by Canadian forest industry trade organizations in recent weeks. A recent letter from the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), the Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) and the Ontario Forest Industry Council (OFIC) suggest they want to see logging in this region continue. They specifically attack NRDC for our partnership with the Waswanipi Cree. 

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Trees to be lasting legacy of Montreal’s 375th

By Allison Hanes
Montreal Gazette
February 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Of the many legacy projects launched to celebrate Montreal’s 375th birthday, the effort to plant 375,000 trees in the city and region is a breath of fresh air. Expanding the tree canopy by three per cent will, quite literally, improve air quality as well as the health and well-being of Montrealers. But the plan, which is being spearheaded by Jour de la Terre Québec, is funded by donations from non-profit organizations, companies and individuals. That’s also a novel approach to commemorative projects, instead of using public money to build walkways and light up bridges. To top it off, the program will pilot an innovative strategy to ensure the trees survive and thrive for generations to come — which could end up being the most significant result of this celebratory initiative.

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Ontario government ordered to pay members of First Nation $390,000 after logging charges dropped

By Colin Perkel
Canadian Press in The Toronto Star
February 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario government has been ordered to pay four aboriginal people $390,000 after the prosecution decided at the last minute to withdraw illegal-logging charges the men had faced for eight years. In an unusual decision, Ontario court judge Romuald Kwolek found the prosecution’s behaviour justified the costs award to the members of the Batchewana First Nation. “Such an award is appropriate to express the court’s denunciation of the Crown’s actions in the circumstances of this case while providing reasonable indemnification,” Kwolek said in his judgment released this month. “This delay by the Crown in reaching a decision to withdraw the charges … was ‘a marked and unacceptable departure from the reasonable standards expected of the prosecution’.”

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Forestry workshop held in Kenora

By Ryan Young
Kenora Online
February 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


It’s all about innovation. FP Innovations and the Canadian Institute of Forestry held an Excellence and Innovation in Operational Planning workshop at Seven Generations Education Institute in Kenora this week. The workshop was held to showcase technology that’s out there and available for forest operations planning. Dean Caron, an industry advisor for FP Innovations, described one of the exciting technologies that was discussed – 3D imagery. “We’re using what are called anaglyphs, which when you view it with a set of 3D glasses you can see the forest in 3D,” Caron said.

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California court expands endangered-species removal powers

By Sudhin Thanawala
Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
February 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO The California Supreme Court on Monday said petitioners seeking to remove a subset of coho salmon from the state’s endangered species list could present new evidence to argue the listing was wrong. In a unanimous ruling, the court overturned a lower court decision that said efforts to remove the salmon and other species could only argue that the listing was no longer necessary. The high court decision came in a lawsuit by Big Creek Lumber Co. and the Central Coast Forest Association, which includes forest landowners. They filed a petition to remove a subset of coho salmon from the state’s endangered species list, arguing that the listing was wrong because the fish were not native to the area and were introduced and maintained there artificially using hatcheries.

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Oregon Secretary Of State Criticizes Governor For Reversal On Elliott State Forest Sale

By Jeff Mapes
KUOW
February 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson on Saturday criticized Gov. Kate Brown for reversing her position on privatizing the 83,000-acre Elliott State Forest. Richardson — who last year became the first Republican elected to statewide office in Oregon since 2002 — spotlighted the controversial proposal to sell the forest during a speech to more than 1,500 social conservatives gathered in Portland. They were at the Oregon Convention Center for an annual event known as the Freedom Rally. …”The governor said, ‘We can’t sell this, we can’t,'” Richardson said in a mocking tone. “And I’m thinking, where were you in August of 2015 when you said, ‘Yes, we will sell it.'” After his speech, Richardson said in an interview, “I am critical of Kate Brown for that. If they didn’t want to sell the Elliott, they should have made that decision back in August of 2015.” 

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Macra under fire on forestry ‘bubble’ claim

By Claire Mc Cormack
Irish Independent
February 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Macra na Feirme claims that the current national forestry policy is creating a “bubble” that will damage young farmers’ prospects have been dismissed by the main farming organisations and forestry interests. Last week, the rural youth organisation launched its afforestation policy and challenged the current forestry strategy which it claims is being “bullishly” implemented by the Government. Although Macra does not oppose forestry, national president, Seán Finan, said levels of grant aid and premiums available are in “direct competition” with the interests of young farmers nationwide. He called for the current forestry programme to be re-examined.

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Jobs warning over Tasmanian Government logging plan, as Labor flags no vote

By Richard Baines
ABC News, Australia
February 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The plan to reopen land for logging to stimulate the Tasmanian timber products industry could backfire and cost jobs, an independent Upper House MP says. …Ruth Forrest, the Member for Murchison in the state’s north-west, said the feedback she had received had not been positive. “What I’ve heard unequivocally from major timber employers is that they don’t need the timber and that they don’t want it opened up because of fears it will create a ruckus in the forest again. “Their markets and their customers may steer away from their product because of that.” The plan has so-far garnered little support, with a potential major customer James Neville-Smith stating he would not buy the wood unless it was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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Where have all the trees gone? Wales faces up to a looming timber crisis

By Andrew Forgrave
Daily Post Wales
February 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

sectors can claim to be as sustainable as forestry and timber processing: trees that are harvested for society’s wider benefit can be replanted in an endless, carbon-friendly cycle. This is an industry which also delivers a raft of environmental benefits, offering important habitats as well as water management and flood prevention services. Yet in recent years alarm bells have been ringing amongst processors and end users. Since 2001, the area of productive conifer woodland in Wales has fallen sharply, fuelling concern over the country’s long-term supply of timber. For a country that relies heavily on timber imports, the prospect of Brexit has further deepened the anxieties within this half-billion-pound sector. Much-vaunted attempts to ramp up tree-planting rates in Wales have largely disappointed.

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Sawmill boss warns against return to Tasmanian ‘forest wars’, says wood may go unclaimed

By Georgie Burgess
ABC News, Australia
February 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The head of Tasmania’s largest native sawmill has warned no-one in the forestry industry wants a return to the “forest wars” and says wood from forests the Government is proposing to reopen to logging may go unclaimed. State Parliament returns next week, and the Government will table legislation to allow 356,000 hectares of reserves to be logged, ahead of the 2020 moratorium date. …NSFP director James Neville-Smith today told ABC Radio Hobart he had made it clear to the Government that the industry did not want to return to conflict of years ago. He said that his company would only take wood that had Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, stressing the “the wood that we would buy would not be contentious and therefore perfectly legitimate for a legal business like ours to purchase”.

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Tasmanian special timbers sector affirms support for Liberals’ forestry plan

By Blair Richards
The Mercury
February 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TASMANIA’S special timbers sector has reiterated its support for the Liberals’ plan to bring forward logging in forests set aside under the former Tasmanian Forest Agreement. When State Parliament resumes next week the Liberals will waste no time tabling legislation to open up an additional 356,000ha of forests to harvesting. …Users of special timbers will be among the first to be able to access the areas for selective harvesting from October. Boat builder Andrew Denman said access to the areas would ensure the industry had access to sustainable volumes of specialty timbers on a “tread widely and lightly basis”. …The support from the Tasmanian Special Timbers Alliance comes after major industry players expressed doubts about the plan.

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Forest & Bird to defend New Zealand’s conservation land

By Forest and Bird
Scoop Independent News
February 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental organisation Forest & Bird will argue in New Zealand’s highest court that specially protected conservation land belongs to New Zealanders and to nature, and can’t be traded away for commercial development. Forest & Bird is appearing in the Supreme Court to defend the Court of Appeal’s 2016 decision that the Department of Conservation’s planned land swap enabling the Ruataniwha dam was illegal. The case is being brought by Conservation Minister Maggie Barry alongside the dam company, Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company. “The Court of Appeal held that the Minister can’t treat public conservation land as if there were a ‘revolving door’ between protected and not protected,” says Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canfor Continues Focus on Bio-Fuel Development

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
February 27, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- It has been nearly a year since Canfor went public with its exploration of creating bio-crude from pulp operation waste streams. “We are continuing to develop the project from a demonstration plant level to a commercial level” says Martin Pudlas, Vice President of Operations for Canfor Pulp. That’s a huge step in the development of a sustainable fuel. “It’s a very big step, if it was easy, someone would have done it already.” Pudlas says full time resources have been allocated to the project which is being done in partnership with Licella Fibre Fuels of Australia. ” We continue to work with a number of companies that have come forward, interested in the off take, which demonstrates that once we make this product it’s going to have very good value in the marketplace.”

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Planting tomorrow’s trees today; climate change is threatening the health of Canada’s forests, but revolutionary genomics research will give foresters a way to push back

By Genome British Columbia
MarketWired
February 24, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Traditional methods for reforestation use seeds from local tree populations. With the climate quickly changing, these local trees will be poorly adapted to new environments that not only have warmer temperatures, but also more disease pressures. … Dr. Sally Aitken of the University of British Columbia (UBC) is leading a team, including Sam Yeaman of the University of Calgary and Richard Hamelin of UBC and Université Laval, that will use genomics to test the ability of trees from different populations to resist heat, cold, drought and disease, and identify the genes and genetic variation involved in climate adaptation.

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Forests to provide a quarter of Paris Agreement’s pledged mitigation

By Dr. Jo House and Dr. Giacomo Grassi
Carbon Brief
February 27, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Paris Agreement on climate change set new targets for the world. Notably, it called for warming to be limited to “well below” 2C and for carbon neutrality (“net zero”) by the second half of this century. Forests play a major role in the pledges made by countries towards meeting the Paris targets. Our analysis, published today in Nature Climate Change, shows that countries expect the land sector to provide a quarter of their pledged mitigation efforts up to 2030. Accurately measuring the role of the land sector in achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement relies on consistency between the data submitted by individual countries and independent scientific assessments. If these numbers don’t match, it can undermine confidence in assessing progress toward the “below 2C” target.

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Unions, environmentalists call for log export ban

By Nelson Bennett 
Business in Vancouver
February 27, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

One of the planks in NDP Leader John Horgan’s election platform is made from raw logs (he wants their export “curtailed”), and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is helping him hammer it down. Horgan has criticized a sharp increase of raw logs from coastal forests over the past decade and has promised to curtail those exports, if the NDP forms government, although he has stopped short of promising an outright ban. The CCPA published a report Monday February 27 that says one out of every three trees cut on the B.C. coast were sold as logs to export markets in 2016 – 6.6 million cubic metres, which is slightly short of the 6.9 million cubic metres record in 2013. This is at a time when the Interior forest sector is facing a long-term shortage of timber, thanks to the Mountain pine beetle epidemic that wiped out half of the merchantable timber in B.C.’s interior… Rick Jeffery, president of the Coast Forest Products Association, says the reverse is true. “Log exports are very important part of the economics of the coast, ensuring that we can harvest the entire profile of the allowable cut, and that means getting into some of the harder, more economically challenged area into the lower quality stands,” Jeffery said. “Log exports help you do that and they help you do that in a manner that puts logs in front of domestic mills.”

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The Continuous Digester – what we learned last week

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
February 26, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

Random Lengths reported that SYP prices were up $12/mfbm to $488/mfbm while W.SPF decreased $4 to $385. For SYP, upward momentum continued into midweek after which many large distributors moved to the sidelines… OSB prices were stronger in all regions. North Central was up $3/msf at $305, Western Canada increased $2 to $275, Eastern Canada gained $5 to $285, the South West increased $4 to $319, and the South East surged $4 to $306… US kraft liner export prices climb $30-50/ton – With more on the way in upward price spiral, US kraft linerboard export prices are climbing in global markets in response to improving box demand in many regions and recent supply disruptions (Hurricane Matthew last October and IP’s digester explosion at Pensacola). 

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