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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And the Oscar winner is: La La Land – wait, no – its Moonlight

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 27, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

That was awkward – the 89th Academy Awards ends in “a gaffe for the ages”. Not quite up to the Wood Design Awards standard. And speaking of awards, congratulations to Paul Lawson, John Armstrong and Rita Winkler, BC’s newest Distinguished Forest Professionals, per the Association of BC Forest Professionals AGM on Friday.

Don Demens, CEO of Western Forest Products, speaks his mind on potential softwood lumber duties (he’s not happy) and he’s confident that Western is well positioned to “weather the storm” this time around.

Finally, given recent news trends, it’s not surprising to read that the president of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association has some alternative facts to share. Commenting on AWC’s Bob Glowinski’s retort to the Maitland City Council effort to prohibit wood-frame multi-family construction, Mr. Garbini informs us that wood is a “vulnerable building material” and that it is “prone to molding and warping when subjected to flood waters”. 

–Tree Frog Editors

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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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Forestry

SFI Conservation Grants Feature Collaboration From 37 Different Groups Spanning North America

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
February 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON, DC and OTTAWA, ON — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced five conservation grants today. SFI is bringing together a diverse range of people from 37 organizations to support research that directly influences future forests. This year’s grants focus on the connection between sustainable supply chains and natural resource issues we all care about — like carbon storage, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests with exceptional conservation value.  ..”I’m thrilled to see the breadth of collaboration of so many groups,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “Critical issues like biodiversity and carbon storage are best tackled when we pool our collective knowledge and resources. These grants are an example of how the SFI community is growing and collaborating to quantify the conservation impact of certified forests.”

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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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People rally near Port Alberni against diminshing access to forested lands

By Kendall Hanson
CHEK News
February 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite the snow, hundreds of people from Campbell River to Victoria to Port Alberni rallied on “the Hump” by Highway 4 Sunday. They were at an access point to Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park but to get to the park you need to cross Island Timberlands property. People say it and the company’s other gates across the Island, have been increasingly locked… “These accesses have been used for generations and according to the law are still supposed to be available to us,” says Alberni-Pacific Rim NDP MLA Scott Fraser. “The governments caving in to maybe corporate pressure… In a statement BC’s Forests and Lands Minister Steve Thomson says, “Recently roads have been gated due to extreme winter conditions and unsafe driving conditions. Roads can also be gated to avoid interference with active harvesting operations.”

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Firefighting planes grounded because of drone

Abilene Reporter-News
February 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Two Texas A&M Forest Service planes fighting a wildfire in Erath County had to be grounded Thursday because of a drone flying near the fire. Flying a drone near a wildfire creates a serious safety hazard for firefighters and halts the assistance of any firefighting aircraft, the forest service said in a news release. “Even a small drone can cause damage to an aircraft,” said Phillip Truitt, Texas A&M Forest Service communications specialist. Because firefighting tankers fly so low, they are more vulnerable to collisions with drones. Truitt said this was the first incident that he knew of in which a drone has interfered with planes dropping retardant on a wildfire.

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WV Forestry division move could restore jobs

By Eric Eyre
Charleston Gazette-Mail
February 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

With support from his former state Senate colleagues, West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt is pushing a bill that would transfer the Forestry division from the Commerce Department to the agency he oversees — a move that could restore forester jobs that were cut last year. “I need those people who were laid off,” said Leonhardt, a former Republican state senator who took over as Agriculture commissioner last month. “They have that expertise to make sure logging is done properly to protect the beauty of our state and our natural resources. But we also want to make sure we have commonsense regulation so the timber industry can flourish.”

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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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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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Environmentalists who exposed logging have charges thrown out

By Bianca Hall
The Age
February 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Two environmentalists who entered an East Gippsland logging coupe to document the destruction of rainforest have had charges against them dismissed. The court decision is the final chapter on what has been a two-year saga for Ed Hill and Joe Henderson, whose actions led to the state government conceding it needed to bolster timber harvesting rules – but who were then charged on summons with illegally entering the logging zone. The men, who describe themselves as “citizen scientists”, say they found evidence the state-owned timber corporation VicForest had illegally logged protected rainforest canopy trees in the Bendoc State Forest in April 2015.

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International NGO releases report on illegal logging in PNG (audio)

By Bruce Hill
ABC News, Australia
February 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An international NGO says foreign logging companies are continuing to operate in parts of Papua New Guinea where the practice was supposed to have stopped. The claim is made in the Oakland Institute’s report “Taking on the logging pirates”. The Institute’s policy director Frédéric Mousseau says the report is only one part of their effort to tell the world what’s going on in PNG’s forests.

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Company & Business News

New report says raw logs exports at record levels

By Kendall Hanson
CHEK News
February 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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B.C. should focus on forestry, not LNG dream

Guest Editorial: Scott Doherty, Ben Parfitt and Jens Wieting
The Province
February 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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 calls for curb on B.C. log exports

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
February 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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Softwood Lumber – Trump admin to further squeeze Canadian manufacturing?

By Peter Ewart
250 News
February 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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Raw Logs and Lost Jobs: How the BC Government Has Sacrificed Forest Communities

By Ben Parfitt
The Tyee
February 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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B.C. Coast braces for softwood lumber battle

By Darron Kloster
Victoria Times Colonist
February 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The largest lumber producer on B.C.’s coast believes it is in a better position to weather the storm of a softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. than it was in the early 2000s, when punitive damages on exports crippled the company. Don Demens, chief executive of Western Forest Products, said the firm is not happy about being in the position of once again facing the prospect of having duties imposed on exports to the U.S., but he’s confident the company can handle it. “We think we are in better position than we ever have been before, but we think this is a difficult time and we will have to work our way through it.” …Demens said Western has a strong balance sheet, has significantly diversified its markets so there’s no reliance on the U.S. and has invested millions into sawmill operations to ensure they are efficient. “

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Cancel the Softwood Lumber Agreement

Letter by Dick Murphy
Castlegar Source
February 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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Mercury still leaking into river upstream from Grassy Narrows First Nation, suggests report

CBC News
February 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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NB Power faces searing critique from J.D. Irving Ltd., as rate hearing ends

By Robert Jones
CBC News
February 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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Unions, exporters prepare for softwood lumber battle

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
February 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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Timmins economic outlook predicts population decrease

By Alan S. Hale
Timmins Press
February 26, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce released its Ontario Economic Report for 2017, which describes the business organization’s outlook for the provincial economy for the next year. The Timmins Chamber of Commerce’s take on the report is that the potential growth in the forestry, transportation and accommodation sectors will help offset negative effects of outmigration, staffing challenges, and rising energy rates. …The analysis also says that a rebound in commodity prices and a low Canadian dollar “bode well for forest products, particularly lumber, panels and engineered products.” …”Expected tariffs on softwood lumber exports to the U.S. (following expiration of the 2006 agreement in 2016), possible U.S. border taxes on imports and buy American policies under a Trump administration add risk to the outlook,” the analysis reads.

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Northern Softwood Lumber Bureau Merges Into NELMA

Miller Wood Trade Publications
February 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
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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Canadian trade agreement and weather causing volatility in lumber prices

By Maury Thompson
The Post Star
February 26, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

The expiration of a long-standing trade agreement between the United States and Canada, combined with other factors, is causing volatility in lumber prices as the spring construction season is getting underway. “We’ve certainly seen a run up in prices here this spring,” said Rory Patterson, director of purchashing for Curtis Lumber, a regional lumber and building supplies chain. Canadian lumber mills, which primarily supply lumber companies in the local region, are raising prices in anticipation that the U.S. International Trade Commission will impose a 30 percent duty and penalty, retroactive 90 days, on lumber being imported from Canada to the United States, because of unfair trade practices since the U.S.-Canada softwood trade agreement expired about 18 months ago.

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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: Company & Business News
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: Company & Business News
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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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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Designer forests: Scientists hope to tune up Canada’s trees to thrive in changing climate

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
February 26, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest geneticists aim to tune up Canada’s working forests with trees better suited to changing climate conditions and that increase timber yields by up to 30 per cent in the bargain. The $5.8-million project won’t be creating genetically engineered trees, rather the researchers will scour the genes of diverse existing populations of important species such as Douglas fir and lodgepole pine for useful and often highly localized adaptations to heat, cold, drought, snow and rain.  “Trees of the same species from warm places tend to grow longer and faster than trees from colder places, but they might be less cold hardy,” said lead researcher Sally Aitken, a forestry professor at the University of British Columbia. “So there is significant genetic variation between a larch from one place and another.”

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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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Wood, Paper & Green Building

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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Can you extend that skyscraper? Yes you can

By Aisha Dow
The Age
February 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Can you build an extension on a skyscraper? The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is ‘yes’. Developers can now add many extra levels to the rooftop of existing high-rise buildings due to advances in technology. ….The trend has also been fast-tracked by the development of very strong and lightweight timber. “This cross-laminated timber product is almost like a flat-pack system, it’s similar to an IKEA kitchen essentially,” Mr Colella said. “It comes in a series of panels and they are lifted up and assembled on site with very minimal manual labour. …In Southbank, timber will be used to more than double the height of a seven-storey office building and showroom at 49-59 Southbank Boulevard, above.

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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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General

Unions, environmentalists call for log export ban

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

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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