Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 1, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

A Stark Reminder of the Importance of Forest Safety

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 1, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Notwithstanding the significant progress made in reducing serious injuries in the forest sector—worldwidea stark reminder today of the risks that remain.

First, our thoughts and condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Ivor Lundin, a worker at Tolko’s Kelowna mill who died yesterday when his boom boat sank. Although police have yet to officially release his name, Kelowna Capital News is reporting that “Ivor Lundin was remembered on social media sites as a kind man who was good at his job”.

In other safety news, the BBC is reporting that a “forestry worker has died in an accident near Selkirk” in Scotland and J.D. Irving has been “charged with two counts of violating the OH&S Act in connection with the death of a worker last year at the company’s Sussex sawmill” in New Brunswick. In his ongoing quest to “build a world class safety culture“, Rob Moonen, CEO of the BC Forest Safety Council is heading to New Zealand to talk about BC’s “Safe Certification system”.

In other news, the Pallet industry is reporting that in response to inclusion of “unassembled pallets (pallet kits) and notched stringers” in the US Softwood petition, “some pallet companies are trying to switch customers to hardwood while others are looking to softwood from the United States”.

Finally, a provocative story by Peter Foster on the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA). According to Foster, “One of the most ignominious deals in Canadian business history, is being quietly euthanized”.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

New, genome-based tools touted to defend forests against rising tide of foreign, invasive species

By Randy Shore
The Vancouver Sun
February 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Government and university-based scientists are working on a new generation of handheld genomic tools that will help defend forests in B.C. and across the country from foreign, invasive species. “We have a portable device that we are using now that can take a (DNA ) sample on the spot like an insect egg or larvae and within hours you get an answer,” said Richard Hamelin, a professor of forestry at the University of British Columbia. The devices — bigger than an ’80s cellphone, but smaller than a loaf of bread — are being designed to precisely identify known threats, such as Asian gypsy moth and sudden oak death, that could threaten Canada’s $33-billion forest export industry.

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Tumbler Ridge Community Forest Corp. gets clean audit from Forest Practices Board

By Trent Ernst
Tumbler Ridge News
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tumbler Ridge Community Forest (TRCF) was recently subject to a full scope compliance audit looking back over the last two years. According to the recently released audit, the operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction, deactivation and maintenance, silviculture, or fire protection activities carried out by the TRCF “complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations. All activities were well done including harvesting fire interface areas adjacent to the town of Tumbler Ridge.” Community forests are area-based forest tenures that give communities exclusive rights to harvest timber while managing forest values such as recreation, wildlife, water and scenic areas.

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Highway tolls the death of rural Nova Scotia, warns lumber manager

By Fram Dinshaw
The Chronicle Herald
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A woodlands manager has penned an open letter to provincial and federal politicians, warning that highway tolls would cause the “complete destruction,” of western Nova Scotia’s sawmill industry. Barrett Lumber Company’s David Barrett wrote his letter just days after the province began public consultations on highway twinning on Jan. 24. Road tolls to pay for such road improvements remain one possible option. “If toll roads were established, I feel it would be another nail in the coffin of rural Nova Scotia and increase the anti-Halifax feeling that many Nova Scotians have today,” said Barrett in his letter.

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If I were Chief of the Forest Service…

By Jim Petersen
Evergreen Magazine
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Lyle Laverty is one of two Forest Service veterans known to be on the Trump Transition team’s list of candidates to be the next Chief of the Forest Service. The other is Michael Rains, who we are interviewing in a few days. In this interview, Mr. Laverty answers as series of questions we posed concerning issues of great concern to forest collaborative stakeholders who have been the subjects of a series of in-depth Evergreen interviews we initiated in early 2015. Mr. Laverty’s career track is somewhat unique. He has served in both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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Republicans move to sell off 3.3m acres of national land, sparking rallies

By Caty Enders
The UK Guardian
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Now that Republicans have quietly drawn a path to give away much of Americans’ public land, US representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah has introduced what the Wilderness Society is calling “step two” in the GOP’s plan to offload federal property. The new piece of legislation would direct the interior secretary to immediately sell off an area of public land the size of Connecticut. In a press release for House Bill 621, Chaffetz, a Tea Party Republican, claimed that the 3.3m acres of national land, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), served “no purpose for taxpayers”. But many in the 10 states that would lose federal land in the bill disagree, and public land rallies in opposition are bringing together environmentalists and sportsmen across the west.

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Trump hiring freeze: seasonal firefighters, park rangers exempt

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thousands of seasonal jobs in the Northwest could be safe after all, following a clarification of President Donald Trump’s 90-day hiring freeze of civilian federal workers. Park rangers and firefighters hired each summer to serve the nation’s public lands appear to be exempt from the freeze, according to a memo issued Tuesday evening by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. A list of exemptions to the hiring freeze included “seasonal employees and short-term temporary employees necessary to meet traditionally recurring seasonal workloads,” the statement said. A second exemption said the head of any agency can exempt any position deemed necessary to “meet public safety responsibilities, including essential activities to the extent that they protect life and property.”

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Forest plan meeting draws 70 to Civic Center

By Karl Puckett
Great Falls Tribune
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

About 70 residents talked with U.S. Forest Service officials Tuesday in Great Falls about wilderness, timber harvesting, roads, how changes in Washington, D.C., might affect local planning and other topics at a meeting at the Great Falls Civic Center to gather public input on a proposed new forest plan for Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. “It’s kind of a vision of where we want to go,” Deb Entwistle, forest plan revision team leader, said of the plan, out for public comment until March 31. It was the seventh of nine meetings the U.S. Forest Service is conducting on the 191-page draft plan, which was released for public comment in December. The new plan spells out “desired conditions” for the new forest, lands that are suitable for multiple uses including timber harvesting, priority restoration watersheds and areas to be recommended to Congress for wilderness.

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Protecting Alaska’s Old Growth Rainforest

By Brendan Jones, writer and a Stegner fellow at Stanford University
Huffington Post
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

One of the benefits of living in Alaska is that the rest of the country tends to forget about you. The frozen north, may they remain happy while gnawing on whale. Which is concerning because the country’s largest national forest, and the world’s most expansive temperate rainforest, could be next on the chopping block. This past December the Forest Service announced a move away from clearcutting. However, the incoming congress, along with the Alaska delegation, led by Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, has threatened to undo the move, characterizing it as a last-minute Obama environmental land-grab. This could not be farther from the truth. …Donald Trump’s election has brought a renewed sense of optimism to the timber industry – especially old school timber interests nostalgic for the glory days of the timber boom-time. It shouldn’t.

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Lone Rock sees long-term view of forest management

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Roseburg-based business Lone Rock Timber Management Company has operated in Oregon forests for four generations. Now, the family-owned company and partner Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians hope to acquire the Elliott State Forest to keep the land in local ownership and manage the forest for timber harvest while meeting conservation and public access requirements. …“Lone Rock is an innovative local landowner that has long established roots in the community,” said Tim Vredenburg, the director of Forest Management for the Cow Creek Tribe. “They haven’t been here as long as the tribe, but they do still approach management of their lands through a generational lens so in some regards, I think that makes for an easy partnership.”

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Arkansas Forestry Commission Recaps 2016 Wildfire Activity

Booneville Democrat
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Annually, the Arkansas Forestry Commission recaps wildfire activity, cause, and frequency for the previous year based on data collected from AFC officials and compiled through the AFC Dispatch Center. Data is also used to create a wildfire outlook for the year ahead. …How did 2016 compare to previous wildfire history in Arkansas? 2016 was another relatively low year for wildfire frequency in Arkansas, with the most recent high wildfire frequency year still being 2012 when 34,434 acres burned in 2,148 wildfires. The most common months for wildfire frequency in Arkansas are February, April, August and October, due to low humidity, dry vegetation and gusty winds common for those months. Higher wildfire frequency in December was related to drought conditions across most of Arkansas. The top two causes of Arkansas wildfires have remained the same for over a decade.

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Lawmakers again consider bill to arm Maine forest rangers

By Kevin Miller
Portland Press Herald
January 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA — A proposal to allow Maine’s forest rangers to carry guns resurfaced Tuesday in the State House, once again drawing support from law enforcement groups and opposition from large landowners and the LePage administration. This is the fourth year in a row that lawmakers have considered proposals to arm or better protect Maine Forest Service rangers who patrol the state’s vast timberlands. Past proposals have fallen victim to cost concerns and political wrangling. The latest bill aims to reduce the costs to taxpayers by allowing forest rangers to carry their own personal guns – rather than state-issued sidearms – as long as they’ve received proper firearms training.

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Forestry worker dies in accident near Selkirk

BBC News
February 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Emergency services were called to Sunderland Hall late on Tuesday afternoon following reports of a man being badly injured. Despite efforts from paramedics and the call-out of an air ambulance team, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Members of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team were also called out due to the difficult terrain in reaching the casualty. A spokesman said: “All involved are deeply saddened by this tragic outcome and our thoughts are with the family of the deceased.” The Health and Safety Executive has been made aware of the accident and a full investigation into the circumstances will be launched.

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Company & Business News

Canadian Softwood Duties Could Impact Pallet Market as Investigation Continues

By Chaille Brindley
Pallet Enterprise
February 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

…Unassembled pallets (pallet kits) and notched stringers are included in the expanded scope of the U.S. petition, and the DOC has decided to go ahead with the full scope of the petition in its investigation phase. The DOC might decide to limit the scope of any trade action if it finds that duties are warranted… Some pallet companies are trying to switch customers to hardwood. Others are looking to softwood from the United States. What is clear is that any decision to impose duties would have significant market impacts. And although the Canadian government will likely challenge in international courts any duty assessed, they would still have to put up the money ahead of time as bond, which would amount to a significant price increase for Canadian material.

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Ex-general and Liberal U.S. point man urges ‘calm’ in dealing with Trump

By Mike Blanchfield and Andy Blatchford
Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — One of the Trudeau government’s top guns on dealing with Donald Trump — retired general Andrew Leslie — evoked the calm, stiff-upper-lip British approach in dealing with the unpredictable new U.S. president. “All of us have to stay calm and carry on. We will make sure that we take care of our interests — security, trade, a whole host of others — while defending our values,” said Leslie, who was appointed earlier this month as parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister… That approach was essentially endorsed by business leaders who met Leslie last week… “There’s a lot of alignment in the business sectors about continuing to nurture that relationship with the U.S. and for those in the U.S. who might not realize how important it is, to re-educate and remind them,” Derek Nighbor, the head of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said in an interview. But many in the business community are also worried about what lies ahead.

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The boreal forest ‘agreement’ was an eco-radical shakedown. Thankfully, it’s finally dead

By Peter Foster
National Post
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), one of the most ignominious deals in Canadian business history, is being quietly euthanized. Last week, its Ottawa-based secretariat was closed, without fanfare or eulogy. However, most of the agreement’s signatories seem as reluctant to admit its demise as they have been to acknowledge its true nature. According to Derek Nighbor of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), which led the industry into the deal in 2010, the agreement isn’t really dead; it is “transitioning to a new model.” …So what exactly is the CBFA, why was it a bad deal, and why is everybody so keen to claim that it is still nailed to its perch?

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Body of man who died at Tolko Mill recovered

Kelowna Capital News
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kelowna RCMP report that the police underwater team were able to recover the body of a man who died last night in the waters near Tolko Mill. Social media has identified him as Kelowna’s Ivor Lundin, who was remembered as a kind and competent man. “Kelowna and West Kelowna RCMP continue to work closely with the BC Coroners Service and WorkSafe BC as they attempt to determine what factors may have led to this tragic incident,” says Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “Investigators continue to interview witnesses, and begin the planning process for recovering the sunken vessel for examination.”… Don Hanson, communications manager at Tolko Industries, said that the mill’s focus is on Lundin’s family and the employees who were suffering from his loss. “Until the investigation wraps up I can’t say much further on the employee,” said Hanson. “It’s devastating news for Tolko. 

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J.D. Irving faces charges after worker’s death at Sussex sawmill

By Connell Smith
CBC News
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada


J.D. Irving, Limited has been charged with two counts of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the death of a worker last year at the company’s Sussex sawmill. William Gregg, who had worked at the mill for 26 years, suffered a head injury in the chipper building on Feb. 29, 2016. The 52-year-old man later died in hospital. The charges follow an investigation by WorksafeNB. They allege the company failed to provide the necessary supervision to ensure an employee’s health and safety, and failed to ensure a machine that was to be cleaned was “locked out” and could not be energized.

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Annual Report Shares Successes and Lessons of 2016 and Beyond

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) today released its 2016 Annual Report titled, Rooted: 2016 Annual Report and a Look Back at the Last Ten Years. The report highlights a broad spectrum of work undertaken or furthered by the Endowment in 2016, focusing on both success and lessons learned. “Transparency and communication are at the core of our values at the Endowment,” said Endowment President & CEO Carlton Owen. “As such, we strive to provide a comprehensive, engaging, and revealing report at the end of each year that shares our story with our peers and others with interest in our work. This year’s annual report has the added value of highlighting the broad scope of work we’ve undertaken since our inception in 2006.”

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Ex-Democratic ag secretary endorses Perdue

By Greg Bluestein
Atlanta Journal Constitution
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Sonny Perdue snagged the endorsement of his Democratic predecessor on Tuesday as he prepares for U.S. Senate confirmation hearings to be Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary. Ex-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Perdue’s background as a former Republican governor helped prepare him for the “opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities.” The Trump administration said Perdue is the only Cabinet nominee to secure the support of his predecessor in the Obama White House. “Coming from Georgia he knows the importance of maintaining healthy forests so he will be supportive of the Forest Service in its mission of protecting and restoring our forests,” said Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who headed the agriculture department for eight years under Obama.

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Cow Creek and Lone Rock win 2016 Business Innovation Award

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
January 29, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

The Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians and Lone Rock Timber Management Company were recognized for their resourcefulness and creativity in their proposal to buy the Elliott State Forest from the state of Oregon. The two chamber members won the 2016 Business Innovation Award at the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Membership Meeting & Awards Banquet Thursday night. “The ‘out-of-the-box’ innovation of these two members will provide benefits that reach beyond our county boundaries,” 2016 Board Chair Kent Rochester said as he announced the award. “It has set an example of thoughtful cooperation and is the gold standard for future proposals.”

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Port cargo handling surges to three-decade high

By Marissa Luck
Longview Daily News
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

About 8.33 million tons of cargo moved through Port of Longview docks in 2016, the most in at least 30 years, on the strength of record-breaking shipments from the Export Grain Terminal, the port announced Wednesday. …Yet the surge in cargo activity apparently has not created profits.. …Log exports haven’t fully recovered yet: There were 112,718 million board feet of logs exported in 2016, less than half of what was exported at a peak in 2013, when growth in the Chinese housing market boosted demand for logs. “I don’t expect that volume (of logs) to grow in 2017. We just don’t see the market improving in the China. I’ve met with all of our log customers and they feel in 2017 it will be status quo. They don’t feel there will be tremendous growth,” said Laurie Nelson-Cooley, manager of business development at Port of Longview.

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Maine made the right choice to bail out the biomass industry

By Dana Doran, executive director Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
Bangor Daily News
February 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

In 2016, Maine lawmakers wagered that incentives to stabilize the biomass electric industry and preserve the jobs and forest health benefits the industry supports would pay off. This past week we learned they were right. …As part of the deal, up to $13.4 million in tax dollars were made available over two years to incentivize those contracts, but it was only last week that an analysis of the return on the investment became available, as the BDN outlined in a recent article. That article found that “the order released Wednesday summarized a consultant’s findings that each dollar of bailout should generate $18.52 back in economic benefits to the state.” …What that means is that the $13.4 million investment is expected to generate more than $248 million in total economic activity over two years, and it will sustain more than 280 jobs in logging and trucking and at the plants.

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Critical step forward for Maine’s forest industry

By Sen. Angus King
Sea Coast Online
January 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Maine has a long and proud tradition in the forest products sector dating back centuries to when our state’s towering pines were crafted into masts for the British Navy. …Now nearly four hundred years later, our forest industry remains essential to Maine’s economy and helping Maine’s rural communities thrive in the 21st century. That’s why the recent interagency report and funding from the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) is so encouraging. The EDAT, which Sen. Collins and I requested last March, is an integrated, multi-agency team that brings together local, state, and federal partners to build a bottom-up strategy to foster innovation and commercialization for the future of Maine’s forest-based economy. The report – released in mid-January – outlines strategies and recommendations to support this essential Maine industry and is accompanied by over $1.5 million in federal grants aimed at addressing critical needs to strengthen our biobased economy and communities across Maine.

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New keynote speakers strengthen conference

Scoop.co.nz
February 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Loggers and forest managers have been quick to capitalise on the latest Forest Industry Safety Summit set to run next month in Rotorua… Rob Moonen, CEO of the BC Forest Safety Council will be the keynote speaker on day one of the conference,” says Stulen, “and he has been directly involved with running the BC forest industry’s SAFE certification system for most of the past decade.” Rob’s involvement is very timely, with the work on our own safe certification program now in its final stages with our own Forest Industry Safety Council,” added Stulen. “The loggers and their safety teams in BC have learned a lot from experience in 10 years and Rob will bring their story to share with our industry safety leaders – which really is everyone on the forest floor.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Industrial Users Overtaken Users of Appearance Lumber

Pallet Enterprise
February 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Researchers analyze trends in hardwood market and question if future trends will follow the same patterns. Industrial users have overtaken users of appearance lumber in terms of U.S. consumption of hardwood lumber, a trend that has been firmly established for at least seven years. However, U.S. Forest Service researchers consider the shift to be an anomaly that has gone against the grain of historic market conditions. The study by William Luppold and Matthew Bumgardner concluded that the market may return to a more typical historical pattern in the near-term, but it will depend on construction-related markets as well as global demand for American hardwoods. 

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Spoiler Alert: Consumers Still Prefer Paper Communications

By Domtar
Justmeans
January 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Advances in technology and increasing environmental awareness are spurring more companies to go paperless with their communications. Whether it’s billing or information sharing, businesses view — and often promote — paper-free outreach as a more sustainable option. But such claims are often inaccurate and misleading. A new survey commissioned by longtime Domtar partner Two Sides North America and conducted by leading international research firm Toluna shows that a majority of Americans want to retain the choice for a paper option rather than be forced into digital-only communications. …As Two Sides notes, U.S. forests have grown 3 percent in area and 58 percent in wood volume over the past 60 years. Paper is also among the most recycled products on the planet, with a 66 percent recovery rate in 2015.

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Architecture School Experiments with Ozark Forest Timber

By Hillary Hollis
The Arkansas Traveler
January 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

After receiving a $250,000 grant, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, in a collaborative project with other centers, will build a prototype apartment using wood from the Ozark National Forest in efforts to improve forest health and economic growth. The architecture school and the Arkansas Forest Research Center in the UA System Division of Agriculture will work together on a project, called “From Forest to Campus: The Innovative Timber University,” said Peter Mackeith, dean of the architecture school. They will harvest the surplus of wood this spring and then use the wood and begin designing fall 2017, MacKeith said. The project will have two parts. While the architecture school will be designing the prototype apartment, the Monticello’s School of Forestry and Natural Resources will use the leftover wood to create wood pellets to heat buildings, Mackeith said.

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Solar-powered timber tower focuses on flexibility

By Adam Williams
New Atlas
January 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Tall timber construction is on the rise, but if you’re not yet convinced it’s a good idea, then perhaps Patch22, designed by Frantzen et al architecten, may change your mind. Located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the wooden high rise ticks all the right boxes: inviting, sustainable and above all flexible, it allows residents to enjoy whatever layout they want – even to the point of putting their bathtubs on the balconies. …The high-rise features a solar panel array on the roof which produces electricity, sending any excess juice back to the grid (and, presumably, drawing from the grid too if the solar power falls short). …You still can’t really talk about a wooden high rise without the question of fire coming up, but it’s far from a tinder box. “Fire regulations were met with by simply enlarging all the wood dimensions,” explains the company in a press release. 

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Timber Revolutionises High-Rise Construction

Military Technologies
January 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Timber construction could revolutionise skyscraper typology, says Dr Philip Oldfield, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales. Dr Oldfield will be appearing at the inaugural Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit in Melbourne to discuss opportunities for rethinking Australian tall building design inspired by climate, culture and context. His presentation will explore opportunities for reinvention in tall towers, looking at how they can play a more generous role in future cities as well as accommodate innovative new functions and provide places of community and recreation in the sky. “For me the most exciting development is the growth of timber as a potential structural material in tall buildings.”

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General

Clallam County trust lands panel delivers final report

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
February 1, 2017
Category: Uncategorised
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — After 14 months of research, discussion and debate, the Clallam County Trust Lands Advisory Committee has delivered a final report to the three county commissioners. The report reaffirms a Nov. 18 committee recommendation that commissioners not seek reconveyance of 92,500 acres of state-managed forest trust lands in Clallam County. Instead, commissioners should consider hiring a staffer or a consultant with forestry experience to act as a liaison with the state Department of Natural Resources and to seek a detailed inventory of DNR trust lands, the committee recommended Tuesday. “I do think there is a problem with the quality of the inventory information,” said Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach, who also serves as vice chair of the state Board of Natural Resources, in a Tuesday work session.

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