Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 15, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

BC brings in the big guns to lead the softwood negotiations

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 15, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

After a congenial and well-staged meeting with President Trump, Canada is still talking about Prime Minister Joe – oops, Justin Trudeau’s path to success for softwood lumber trade. In BC, the Conservative party warns that despite the friendly tone of the meeting, it “does not mean BC’s major exports of softwood lumber to the US are out of danger”. In fact, Premier Clark has secured some big muscle to help in the negotiations, appointing past Canfor CEO and former trade minister, David Emerson to represent BC’s interests in Washington. Emerson said he is looking forward to defending “BC companies, workers and communities against the false subsidy allegations made by the US lumber industry”.

In other areas of contention, stories abound across the Pacific Northwest discussing the fate of the Elliott State Forest. With a negotiated sales agreement pending, the state governor put forward “a last-minute proposal to maintain public ownership” forest, but the proposal was opposed by the state treasurer and secretary of state. Adding to the cacophony are the voices of social justice groups who claim that the environmental community failed “to work with Oregon’s Native American population to find a solution” to the state forest sale. 

–Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

New 4FRI timber sale begins on Kaibab Forest

Williams-Grand Canyon News
February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Staff on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest are laying out two new timber sale projects located south of Interstate 40 between Forest Road 141 near Bootlegger Crossing and Forest Road 62 in the Garland Prairie area. The areas to be harvested are part of the 3,347-acre Beacon Hill and Mineral Springs timber sale projects, which have been designated as part of the ongoing Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) effort. Active forest restoration work will begin once the contract has been awarded, which is expected sometime in 2018. In the meantime, residents and visitors to the area can expect to see trees and internal boundaries marked with orange paint, which will eventually serve as visual guidance to the contractor regarding Forest Service expectations for treatment.

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Study: low and medium intensity wildfires help forest

By Trudy Balcom
Payson Roundup
February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Low-intensity wildfires help restore forests, according to a study conducted by the Ecological Research Institute at Northern Arizona University and recently published in a scientific journal. Institute Research Director Dr. David Huffman presented the findings published in Forest Ecology and Management recent at the 4FRI Stakeholders group meeting in Flagstaff. Huffman said forest managers in recent years have been taking a more hands-off approach to some wildfires in remote areas that do not threaten roads or structures in hopes the fires will restore rather than destroy the forest. The study of 10 wildfire locations in the Coconino and Kaibab national forests offers support for that hope. The 10 areas had all burned in the past 10 years and crews managed each of the fires for resource objectives, Huffman said. The researchers rated the effects as unburned-low severity; low severity; moderate severity and high severity.

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Land board votes to sell Elliott State Forest, but decision not final

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


The Oregon State Land Board changed gears again and voted to sell the Elliott State Forest to a Roseburg timber company on Tuesday, but the decision isn’t quite final. The board voted 2-1 to proceed with the sale to a partnership of Lone Rock Timber Company and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. …However, the sale of the 82,500-acre forest near Coos Bay won’t be finalized until a meeting on April 4. Brown directed the state land board to come up with an option to keep forest publicly owned. …Richardson said it would be unethical to say no after the proposal was formulated and the bid made, at cost to the state government and to the bidder. “You keep your promise, and it’s up to the state to do that,” Richardson said.

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Letter accuses Oregon environmental groups of ‘white privilege’ on Elliott forest sale

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A collection of social justice groups has sent a letter accusing Oregon’s environmental community of failing to work with Oregon’s Native American population to find a solution to the Elliott State Forest. In a letter sent by the Western States Center, Unite Oregon and the NAACP Portland, the groups accuse Oregon environmental groups of working from a place of “white privilege” and “exposing a rift between (the) environment and Tribes that should not exist.” …“Your organization has mobilized opposition to the sale, with little to no engagement with the Tribes who would have, once again, become the stewards of this land along with their neighbors whom they have developed relationship, trust and, shared vision with at Lone Rock Timber Company,” says the letter, which is addressed to six environmental groups.

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Oregon takes big step toward privatizing Elliott State Forest

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Elliott State Forest took another big step toward being sold Tuesday. Gov. Kate Brown had made a last-minute proposal to maintain public ownership of the 82,500-acre forest in the Coast Range northeast of Coos Bay. But Oregon’s newly elected treasurer and secretary of state broke their silence about the forest’s future, opposing Brown at a meeting of the three-member State Land Board. State Treasurer Tobias Read, a Democrat, and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, a Republican, both supported the ongoing effort to privatize the land and sell it to a logging company, which bid in conjunction with several Native American tribes and The Conservation Fund. …Read said the proposal to sell the land to Lone Rock Timber Management wasn’t perfect, but was the state’s best option. “I can’t simply cast it aside,” Read said. “I think it is the best and most realistic proposal we have in front of us.”

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Traffickers log Madagascar timber with impunity, study says Idaho Statesman

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JOHANNESBURG  — A new report says at least 350,000 trees were cut down in protected areas in Madagascar between 2010 and 2015, reflecting minimal government controls over the country’s rosewood and ebony timber. The study released Tuesday by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group, says at least 150,000 tons of logs were illegally exported to China, Malaysia, Mauritius and elsewhere over the same period. The group says political instability, poor governance and corruption and other factors contributed to an “anarchic” situation from which it will take years for the environment to recover. It cites a failure to punish well-known traffickers of hardwood.

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Company & Business News

Timber ETFs Gain Popularity Amid Trump’s Infrastructure Plans

By Paul Weisbruch – VP ETF/Options Sales and Trading at Street One Financial
ETF Daily News
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Yesterday, Canada was in the headlines thanks to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s very public meeting with President Trump, and one cannot talk about Canada without mentioning timber, which has been a staple of the country’s economy since the 1800’s. …Back to timber, WOOD (iShares Global Timber and Forestry, Expense Ratio 0.47%, $221 million in AUM) is the biggest of only two funds that populate this specific niche space, but competing CUT (Guggenheim Timber, Expense Ratio 0.70%, $180 million in AUM) is not terribly far behind in terms of asset size. Neither fund trades a ton of volume regularly, where WOOD averages about 27,000 shares traded daily versus CUT’s 35,000 shares. Both funds have prospered on Canada’s recent equity market strength, as well as an overall appetite for Materials in general amid the feel that the Trump administration will be pro-growth in terms of the infrastructure space on the whole.

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Ex-minister David Emerson is B.C. trade rep on softwood lumber

Canadian Press in Global News
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – A former federal cabinet minister has been appointed the B.C. government’s trade envoy to try and reach a new softwood lumber deal with the United States. The province says David Emerson will also work with the federal government to get a new agreement. …He also worked as CEO of lumber producer Canfor, which the province says gives him a “broad base of knowledge to defend B.C.’s forest policies” when negotiating with the U.S. …Emerson said in a statement that he’s excited about his new post. “I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the B.C. lumber industry and Canadian ambassador to the U.S.A., David MacNaughton, as we defend B.C. companies, workers and communities against the false subsidy allegations made by the U.S. lumber industry,” he said.

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Conifex Announces Appointment of Director

By Conifex
MarketWired
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Conifex Timber Inc. is pleased to announce that Janine North has joined its Board of Directors. Ms. North has extensive background and experience in the resource sector, particularly in the northern interior region of British Columbia. Ms. North is the recently retired CEO of the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), a regional development corporation focused on building a stronger economy across central and northern British Columbia. Ms. North’s previous roles prior to NDIT included management of logging and trucking companies, and management of certain forest districts in British Columbia.

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65 employees laid off after Meadow Lake sawmill fire

CBC News
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire at NorSask Forest Products has meant half of the company’s workers have been laid off. On Jan. 12, a fire broke out at the Meadow Lake, Sask., sawmill’s intake plant, where logs are stripped of their bark. The resulting damage meant that the plant can’t process logs and is operating at 25 per cent capacity. Before the fire, the plant was operating at full capacity and was employing about 130 people. “We are a two-shift operation and we were going full blast,” said NorSask CEO Al Baliski. “It was a significant impact to us.” The plant sells 2×4 and 2×6 boards, mainly used in home construction. Around 60 per cent of its lumber is exported to the United States. It’s still not clear what caused the fire. NorSask is owned by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council and is one of the largest First Nations-owned sawmills in Canada.

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BC Conservatives welcome Trump comments on NAFTA

By The BC Conservative Party
Wire Service Canada
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Campbell River, BC — “It was a welcome surprise when President Trump declined to use his meeting with Mr. Trudeau to attack Canada’s contentious lumber exports to the United States but that does not mean B.C.’s major exports of softwood lumber to the U.S. are out of danger,” said B.C. Conservative Party president Corbin Mitchell, noting the industry is again in the midst of a trade dispute in which U.S. lumber producers are again alleging that Canadian lumber (which comes mainly from B.C. and Quebec) is being subsidized by provincial governments allowing the lumber to be priced below fair market value, thus eroding sales of U.S. lumber.

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Campbell River and the Island see employment growth increases in 2016

By Mike Davies
Campbell River Mirror
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET), reports that all of the recent provincial employment increases were in the Lower Mainland or the capital region are somewhat overstated. …“Forestry’s been very strong,” Baikie says. “It still continues to have many different opportunities in terms of the range of occupations within the industry, from the harvesting side to the technical-type positions and certainly the trades positions – equipment operators and whatnot. We certainly don’t generally see them at the top in this quarter, but when you look at the annual statistics, they’re always near the top.” In fact, Forestry positions made up 17.7 per cent of the regional NIEFS job postings from October to December, while retail/wholesale positions only made up 10.1 per cent.

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Premier Clark names David Emerson as BC’s envoy to US on softwood lumber

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

In 2006, David Emerson — then Canada’s minister of international trade- signed off on a ten year truce in the Canada/U.S. softwood lumber dispute. Now, a decade later, Premier Christy Clark has tapped the seasoned civil servant, business executive and former MP to be B.C.’s trade envoy to Washington D.C. representing the province’s interests in the latest round of the long-running trade battle. “At this stage, I would say we are at a standoff,” Emerson told Postmedia News following his appointment. Emerson, a lumber trade expert for the Paul Martin and Stephen Harper governments, was CEO of Canfor Corp. — Canada’s largest lumber producer — in the late 1990s.

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Domtar reports 4Q sales of $1.3 billion

Lesprom Network
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Domtar Corporation reported net earnings of $47million for the 4Q 2016 compared to net earnings of $59million for the 3Q 2016 and net earnings of $57million for the 4Q 2015. Sales for the 4Q 2016 were $1.3billion, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Operating income was $74million in the 4Q 2016 compared to an operating income of $92million in the 3Q 2016. Depreciation and amortization totaled $85million in the 4Q 2016. For fiscal year 2016, net earnings amounted to $128million compared to net earnings of $142million for fiscal year 2015.

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Forestry profits put Marlborough in strong financial position

By Elena McPhee
Stuff.co.nz
February 15, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Booming logging prices have put Marlborough in a better financial position than expected this year, despite November’s earthquake. A financial report presented to the Marlborough District Council last week revealed the council’s total income was ahead of budget by more than $1.06 million. More income was generated from MDC Holdings than expected, which includes Port Marlborough and Marlborough Airport, with some of the extra $261,140 donated to the Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust. Income from Marlborough Regional Forestry, 88 per cent of which was council-owned, was $531,000 higher than budgeted for because of “exceptionally good” logging prices.

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Uruguay’s hope of pulp mill announcement still far away, despite presidential visit to Finland

MercoPress
February 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Talks between Uruguay’s government and Finnish pulp and paper maker UPM on a new pulp plant project in the Latin American country are proceeding, Uruguay’s president Tabare Vazquez said on Monday. Uruguayan media reports said last month that UPM and the local authorities were close to reaching a deal on a project to construct what would be the company’s second pulp mill in the country, and which would cost in total US$4 billion. UPM has confirmed initial talks but has denied that any quick deal is in sight, citing uncertainties regarding local infrastructure development and labor disputes.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change panel urges delay in Oregon forest policy decisions

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
February 14, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Oregon’s forest store the equivalent of about 9.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide — roughly 150 times as much as the state emits per year. Activists often urge a speedier government response to climate change, but the Oregon Global Warming Commission doesn’t want to rush any decisions involving forest policy. Angus Duncan, the commission’s chair, recently told Oregon lawmakers it’s better to wait until it’s better understood how forest management can offset carbon emissions, which are blamed for climate change. Up until now, the OFWC has focused on quantifying the amount of carbon absorbed by forests across different regions in the state. Altogether, Oregon’s forest store the equivalent of about 9.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide — roughly 150 times as much as the state emits per year, according to the commission.

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