Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 20, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Blatant electioneering or good forest management?

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 20, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The B.C. government announced $150 million in new monies for the Forest Enhancement Society of BC on Friday. While the province’s announcement led with the positive “climate change and job creation” benefits of restoring beetle killed forests, Vice-Chair of the Society Jim Snetsinger emphasized the reduction of forest fire hazards and cleaning up the still-standing dead wood which is “at the end of its shelf life from an industrial prospective”.

Not surprisingly the NDP took a different view, with MLA Harry Bains quick to call the forest announcement “an act of blatant electioneering” and “signs of past mismanagement”. South of the 49proof positive that residents of Washington State can be equally estranged on forest ownership/management—four more story-offerings on the on-again-off-again “sale of the Elliott State Forest”.

Forest research is in the news today with UBC researcher Jack Saddler “marvelling at how wood waste can actually make people fly”. He’s currently part of a project to convert forest residues into jet fuel.  Over at the University of Alberta, researchers are trying to figure out how to combat climate change in the boreal forest. One solution is “planting trees further north – but how far can you go before cold takes its toll”?

For those of you not residing in BC, Happy Family Day and/or Presidents Day.

–Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Now We’re The Western Forestry Contractors’ Association

Western Forestry Contractors Association
February 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

New organization, same logo sort of… Members of the Consulting Foresters of British Columbia (CFBC) and the Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association (WSCA) have voted to combine their organizations into the new Western Forestry Contractors’ Association (WFCA). The WFCA is expected to be a stronger voice in advocating for forestry in Western Canada and representing the business interests of its members. There was strong support for the move among members of both organizations in votes taken at their respective AGMs earlier this year.

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$150-million reforestation investment will help fight climate change, create more rural jobs

By the Office of the Premier
Government of British Columbia
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Today, Premier Christy Clark announced $150 million for the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia to plant tens of millions more trees, which will help fight climate change and create over 3,000 jobs in rural British Columbia. “This is an investment in our forests, in B.C.’s rural communities – and the world’s clean air,” said Premier Christy Clark. “This initiative is another example of how we do business in B.C., striking a balance between environmental protection and economic priorities. That’s the approach that has built Canada’s leading economy, and a world-recognized leader on climate action.” …“The rehabilitation and reforestation of damaged forest stands will provide significant greenhouse gas benefits and increase the use of low-quality fibre,” said Jim Snetsinger, vice-chair, Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia.

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BC government commits $150 million to forest rehab

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government announced $150 million in spending Friday February 17 to “treat” forests to reduce wildfire hazards, rehabilitate forests damaged by fire and disease and increase B.C.’s carbon sink. …Although tree-planting is part of the projects that will be funded, cutting trees is also a big part of the plan. Jim Snetsinger, vice-chairman of the Forest Enhancement Society, said that forestry companies with Crown forest licences have already made good use of much of the pine beetle kill. But some of the stands of beetle kill timber is still standing, because there’s little profit to be made in harvesting it. “It’s basically coming to the end of its shelf life from an industrial perspective,” Snetsinger said.

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BC Greens defend forestry

By Dan Hines, forestry spokesperson for the BC Green Party
Castanet
February 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year’s provincial Throne Speech provided a few passing sentences about B.C. forestry and the B.C. Liberal government’s approach in the coming year and beyond. On reading these few words, one would come away with the impression the key problem facing the industry is access to the U.S. market and the softwood lumber agreement… There is no mention in the Throne Speech of increasing raw log exports, the aftermath of the mountain pine beetle, mill closures, or the crashing annual cut. Raw logs, failed mills and the beetle epidemic reveal the set of serious problems in our current forest policy and economy. The challenge is how to turn this around before we dig ourselves into a bigger hole.

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B.C. forest recovery gets $150 million

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


The B.C. government has unveiled the latest step in its climate action plan, a one-time $150 million fund for forest rehabilitation and tree planting. Premier Christy Clark visited a Canfor tree nursery at Prince George Friday to announce the funding, estimating it will provide 3,000 jobs over the next five years in rural communities around the province. The funds go to the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., set up a year ago to restore damaged forests, reduce forest fire risk and increase forest carbon capture. …Jim Snetsinger, who was B.C.’s chief forester during the peak years of the mountain pine beetle outbreak in the B.C. Interior, is now vice-chair of the Forest Enhancement Society. He said in an interview the new fund will enable the society to extend beyond fire protection projects and into more replanting and rehabilitation.

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Province putting $150 million into silviculture

By Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark announced a $150 million investment in silviculture Friday in Prince George.  She added that it was part of the government’s 10-year commitment to put $800 million into forest replanting efforts. “The new forests will reduce greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, and we are also going to seek innovative solutions to help us meet our climate goals at the same time,” said Clark, speaking at the J.D. Little Forest Centre owned by Canfor. “But let’s never forget that the most basic solution is Mother Nature’s solution, and that is sequestering carbon in our forests. Planting more trees is good for fighting climate change…I think of that as $800-million invested in climate change. But also, just as importantly, it’s $800-million invested in working people in British Columbia to make sure they have a job to go to every day and money to look after the people they love. In that time, these programs are going to create 20,000 jobs – most of them in rural and northern communities – and it will represent a reduction in 11.7 megatonnes of greehouse gasses.”

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Gallant government ‘still making decisions’ about forest plan changes

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Brian Gallant says his government will reveal “in the next few weeks” whether it will make changes to the controversial forestry plan put in place by the previous Progressive Conservative government in 2014. The plan gave forestry companies increased wood allocations that were supposed to spur the creation of hundreds of new jobs, in part because of mill expansions. But environmentalists and private woodlot owners complained in 2014 that the plan, and resulting contracts signed with the largest companies, gave away too much. Gallant told reporters those contracts make the review “a bit more complicated.” The premier acknowledged two years ago the wood allocation provisions could not be changed.

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The past and promise of Hemlock Hill

By Zack Metcalfe, freelance environmental journalist
The Chronicle Herald
February 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Oh, what our forests must have looked like a few hundred years ago, before the blossoming of industry removed their oldest aspects and encouraged a permanent youth in the trees across our province. It teases the imagination how tall they must have stood back in the day, or could stand again if given a few centuries of peace and quiet. By mid-January these daydreams left me no choice but to see old growth in person, to track down one of the ecological scraps mercifully overlooked in our pursuit of good lumber… I don’t know what the forests of Nova Scotia will look like in my lifetime, in a hundred years or in a thousand, but if our remaining scraps of old growth have a hand in shaping that future, we’ll all be much better off.

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Lumber companies file lawsuit over monument expansion

By Vickie Aldous
Mail Tribune
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two lumber companies filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the legality of President Barack Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument during his last days in office. Murphy Co. and a related company, Murphy Timber Investments LLC, filed the complaint in federal court in Medford against President Donald Trump, acting U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kevin Haugard, the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management. The new administration could choose not to defend the lawsuit. “The monument expansion is already having an immediate impact,” said Murphy Co. President John Murphy. “The Griffen Moon Timber Sale within the expansion area that was scheduled to be sold this summer has now been withdrawn without any replacement timber sale. 

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Bozeman legislator proposes eliminating wilderness study areas

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A legislator known for supporting motorized access to public lands has introduced a resolution asking Congress to un-designate Montana’s wilderness study areas. Rep. Kerry White, R-Bozeman, submitted House Joint Resolution 9 on Friday. It calls for dropping nearly 1 million acres from possible federal wilderness consideration. Wilderness study areas in Montana exist mainly on U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management public lands. If enacted, the resolution would ask Congress “to enact legislation to release all wilderness study areas identified and specified in the Montana Wilderness Study Act of 1977.” It also asks Congress to manage those places according to the Forest Management Act of 1897 “to improve and protect the forest … for the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States.”

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Rural counties need a longterm solution as federal program expires

By Tim Freeman president of the Association of O&C Counties, Simon Hare, association’s vice president and Craig Pope, association’s secretary/treasurer
The Oregonian
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Secure Rural Schools program, which provided funding to timber dependent communities hit hard by declining harvests, is often described as a “lifeline” to rural Oregon counties with forest lands under federal ownership. Yet the program expired in October 2015, resulting in a 90 percent revenue reduction to counties struggling to balance budgets and still provide minimum service. …It’s a myth that logging on federal lands would have to be increased to unsustainable levels to restore the rural economy and reverse damaging cuts to local services. Higher levels of harvest can be achieved on our federal lands while still protecting the recovery of endangered species, providing clean water and fish habitat, ensuring landscape resiliency, supporting a wide range of recreational opportunities and increasing carbon storage.

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Voters should decide Elliott’s fate

Letter by John S. Dearing
The Oregonian
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


The 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest was the first state forest established in Oregon and named after the first state forester, Francis Elliott. State leaders are seriously considering selling this forest. I am appalled! This is like selling Crater Lake National Park to a “developer” (think of all the building sites around the rim!). The state needs to find a way to log part of the forest to meet its obligations to schools. If a logging company can log it, the state should be able to. … I believe a sale of the public’s property of this magnitude should be subject of a public vote. The citizens of Oregon (and no one else) own Elliott State Forest, and only they should decide its fate.

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Federal lands

Letter by Ashley Lipscomb
Idaho Statesman
February 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The neighborhood is going to hell in a hand basket, and Rocky Barker’s blog post “Otter says feds aren’t the enemy, embraces Good Neighbor plan,” is fueling the flames (January 2017). “Good neighbor” plans require the Forest Service to complete environmental review of timber sales on federal land, but the Idaho Department of Lands implements the project. This is an underhanded way of eventually transferring public lands to the state. Must be why Otter likes the idea so much. Barker forgot the Forest Service pulled the Clearwater Basin Collaborative’s 10-year, 80-million board feet Clear Creek timber sale due to potential litigation. Projects based on inaccurate sediment modeling won’t cut the muster.

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Billings’ new city forester: ‘I just want people to appreciate trees as much as I do’

By Mike Ferguson
The Billings Gazette
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


His job title — “city forester” — may sound like a contradiction. But Steve McConnell, who’s been on the job for the city of Billings for about six weeks, has a good idea how he can help build on Billings’ long history of caring for and about its estimated 90,000 trees. “Trees are part of the infrastructure of a city, and people take them for granted,” McConnell said Tuesday from his cubicle far from any trees, at the Billings Operations Center. “They are an essential part of our green infrastructure, as opposed to our gray infrastructure,” such as roads, bridges and pipes. McConnell, who has a doctorate in forestry from the University of Idaho, also studied forestry at the University of Washington and Virginia Tech.

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Logging work on uptick in Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

By Karl Puckett
Great Falls Tribune
February 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

AUGUSTA – Tom Ide, who hauls logs for a living, waited for his truck to be loaded with 50 saw logs weighing 80,000 pounds… Logging hasn’t been this good in the forest in decades, according to timber and Forest Service officials. Across the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, from Lincoln to Augusta to White Sulphur Springs, seven logging projects are either in progress, about to begin or recently completed, including the Benchmark job where Ide was working earlier this month. “As long as I’ve been here they’ve been primarily focused on the Helena side,” said Tim Seidel, a timber sale administrator for Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. “Now within the last four years or so they started making more push to have more timber harvest on the Lewis and Clark side.”

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Hitting the Elliott pause button should help get things right

By the Editorial Board
The Oregonian
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…If it seems clear the state intends to unload the Elliott for $221 million and invest it to support school districts statewide, it’s just as clear Brown has reversed from the board’s position in 2015, when it decided to sell the Elliott in the first place. More power to her. Things change. …Selling the Elliott State Forest now might create remorse down the line, especially as the forest’s values deepen in a state whose public land holdings have dwindled over several decades…. It’s often too easy to spend public money. But it’s always hard, and sometimes impossible, to recover or reclaim a natural asset, even if conditions upon its sale are designed to achieve proper stewardship and ensure public access. Members of the land board, as well as the Legislature, should think hard about this before they decide what’s right for Oregonians now and ahead.

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Wisconsin budget proposal moves forestry division up north

Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
February 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MADISON, WIS. — A Wisconsin lawmaker says he believes Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to move the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ forestry division up north will help with recruitment.  Wisconsin Public Radio reports the governor’s 2017-2019 budget proposal requires the headquarters for the state’s chief forester to move by January 2018 to an existing DNR facility north of Highway 29, which runs from Eau Claire to Green Bay. Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst said he supports the move because some foresters don’t want to work in Madison. “They like to hunt. They like to fish.

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Drought, beetles wreaking havoc

By Tripp Williams
The Columbia County News Times
February 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The year 2016 has proven to be one that none of us can remember having such extremes. We have gone from hurricane damage near the coast to severe fire damage in north Georgia, and across the majority of the state we have seen extreme drought. This drought has caused long-term damage to hardwoods and pines in our area. Immediate damage from this drought is evidenced by dying tree tops, brown leaves and dropping needles. Long-term damage to root systems is likely. During the next two to three years, we will see both hardwoods and pines dying due to root damage suffered during this drought. An update was sent from the Warnell School of Forestry, detailing a major outbreak of engrave beetle for pines in Georgia. 

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Forest managers prep for prescribed burns even after wildfires

By David Cobb
Chattanooga Times Free Press
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

More fire is on its way to area forests just months after rain extinguished the last embers of a historic and costly wildfire season. Authorities will have more say in where it starts and how it spreads this time. Officials with the Cherokee and Chattahoochee National Forests plan to continue their annual prescribed burn programs in the coming weeks, even after they watched fires started by lightning or arson burn through thousands of wooded acres in the latter half of 2016. “We’ll do it cautiously to start with,” said Jeff Gardner, Conasauga district manager of the Chattahoochee National Forest. “We’re looking at starting off with a smaller burn size, at least at first. We’re still in a drought, but the severity has dropped.”

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Environmentalists propose strict new measures to curb Maryland forest loss

By Erin Cox
Washington Post
February 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

More than 14,450 acres of Maryland’s forests have disappeared to development in the past eight years, and conservationists say that’s the good news. Before the recession dampened the building industry, about 7,000 acres of Maryland’s tree canopy vanished every year. Now, as the economy rebounds, environmentalists are seeking a stronger state law to prevent further degradation of one of the best filters of Chesapeake Bay pollution — contiguous forests that once blanketed the state. “We’re still losing forest land, and this bill is asking someone who cuts down an acre of forest to plant one,” said state Sen. Ronald N. Young (D-Frederick), who sponsored the measure.

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Forest Stewardship Council cuts ties with Austrian timber giant over illegal wood, EIA comments

By Environmental Investigation Agency
BusinessWire
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BONN, Germany — The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) today announced its decision to immediately disassociate from the Austrian timber giant Holzindustrie Schweighofer (Schweighofer), one of its largest members, due to the company’s persistent and indiscriminate sourcing of illegal timber in Romania. The decision follows a year-long investigation by an FSC Expert Panel, which concluded that Schweighofer had created a business “culture” favoring cheap wood over legal wood in its Romanian sourcing. “Europe’s last great forest is under threat due to illegal logging, and Schweighofer has been the main culprit,” said Alexander von Bismarck, Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency. “With this decision, FSC is taking concrete action to avoid certifying trade in stolen wood.”

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Chile: 70,000 ha forest plantations affected by fires

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forest fires which broke out in central Chile in mid-January destroyed a total of 556,000 ha forest and grassland by the end of the month. Of this figure, 70,000 ha of forest plantations were affected. This was reported by Spanish news agency EFE on 1 February on the basis of a report by the chairman of Corporación Chilena de la Madera (CORMA), Fernando Raga. According to Raga, the damage for plantation growers which ensues amounts to a value of US$350m. This amount does not include damage in subsequent areas of the timber processing industry, for example due to fire damage at affected production locations or as a consequence of production stoppages caused by an insufficient supply of raw materials.

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An industry worth half a billion: Wales launches forestry inquiry

FarmingUK
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into forestry and woodland policy in Wales. This will include looking at the Welsh Government’s delivery of its ‘Woodlands for Wales’ strategy. The Committee’s aim is to assess the delivery of the strategy in terms of its four strategic themes. It would like to know to what extent people feel the Welsh Government is delivering against the themes: Serving local needs for health, education and jobs; a competitive and integrated forest sector and environmental quality – making a positive contribution to biodiversity, landscapes and heritage, and reducing other environmental pressures.

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Company & Business News

BC needs to be part of the overall softwood lumber strategy: Ambassador

By Rebecca Dyok
My Cariboo Now
February 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Federal government is confident a new softwood lumber agreement with the United States could be in the works with Donald Trump. According to Canada’s ambassador to the US David MacNaughton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a good discussion behind closed doors with the newly elected President about exportation and says it’s important to come up with the right strategy. “BC is so important to this country, to its exports of softwood lumber; I’m here to make sure that British Columbia is very much part of developing the overall strategy, not just we develop it and say, ‘will you please follow along.’” While discussions in the White House were brought up consistently about a new agreement when Barack Obama was still in power, nothing seemed convincing.

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Domtar power failure behind pungent Kamloops air

By Kim Anderson
Vernon Info News
February 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – An unplanned power outage at the Domtar pulp mill was behind the pungent smell that lingered in the city yesterday evening. Domtar’s mill power source was cut off at about 4:45 p.m. yesterday, Feb. 18. Bonny Skene, regional public affairs manager with Domtar says it was a full and unplanned power outage. “The odour-causing emissions that are usually burned during processing were released into the atmosphere as a safety measure. You don’t want vessels under pressure when the power is out and things are shut down,” Skene says… The smell stuck around after power was restored and many Kamloops residents took to social media, looking for answers.

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J.D. Irving Ltd. to replace Doaktown sawmill in 2017

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
February 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

J.D. Irving Ltd. plans to go ahead with the replacement of its Doaktown sawmill this year after two years of delays. The company confirmed that it will start work on the project, which was originally scheduled to get underway in the spring of 2015. Doaktown Mayor Bev Gaston first revealed the new start date in an interview with CBC News last week. “Yes, actually it’s supposed to start in the spring, sometime between April and August, I guess. They’ve expanded it now to do some more things so that’s great.” He said the company told him the mill would be “quite a bit bigger” than originally planned, which would probably mean more jobs and more property tax revenue for Doaktown. Mary Keith, JDI’s vice–president of communications, confirmed the 2017 start in an email statement Friday.

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NAHB Shares Builders’ View of Rising Lumber Prices

LBM Journal
February 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

The National Association of Home Builders shared a post to its NAHB Now blog Friday examining how rising lumber prices are weighing on builders. Randy Strauss, owner of Strauss Construction in Amherst, Ohio, heard the news from his lumberyard: Lagging domestic supply and increasing tariffs on Canadian lumber mean that Strauss is looking at prices increases this spring as high as 30% by April.That’s about when he’ll start breaking ground on a home that his client signed a contract for last week—a large custom home that includes a $60,000 lumber package. With an expected $18,000 cost increase, “there goes my profit,” he said. Negotiations on a new softwood lumber agreement between the United States and Canada ground to a halt at the end of 2016 and likely are stalled pending the results of an investigation into unfair import practices requested by the U.S. Lumber Coalition.

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Portland-based company acquires portions of Mary’s River Lumber

By Brad Fuqua
Philomath Express
February 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Portland-based Patrick Lumber Co., announced this week it has acquired a portion of Mary’s River Lumber Co., near Philomath. The acquisition includes 8 acres that encompasses five dry kilns and the remanufacturing plant on Noon Road west of town. It also brings a dozen jobs to Philomath. “The Philomath operation will begin by processing primarily high-grade Douglas fir and hemlock lumber creating an opportunity for a dozen employees with plans for expansion,” Patrick Lumber officials said through a press release. McCool Millworks, which opened early last year in Sweet Home after relocating from Goshen, is leasing space from Patrick Lumber to head operations. “Currently, we use them for our remanufacturing at their Sweet Home location,” said Chelse Brown, Patrick Lumber marketing coordinator. “We’re separate, not the same company, but we run a lot of our products through them.”

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Labour plan could benefit Hawke’s Bay

By Nicki Harper
New Zealand Herald
February 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Labour’s pledge to inject up to $20 million to support the construction of a timber pre-fabrication plant in Gisborne would have spin-off benefits for Hawke’s Bay, but to work needs both rail and road transport options between Gisborne and the Napier Port, says Hawke’s Bay regional councillor Alan Dick. Labour leader Andrew Little announced yesterday that if elected a Labour-led government would provide a stimulus package up to $20 million to enable the construction of a timber prefabrication plant and associated infrastructure in Gisborne. “One of the biggest strengths of the Gisborne region’s economy is timber, yet too many logs are being shipped straight offshore without jobs and value being created for locals.

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NZ roundwood log prices jump to a record

By Tina Morrison
Scoop.co.nz
February 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Strong domestic building activity combined with buoyant horticulture and viticulture industries has pushed up the price of roundwood logs to a record. The average price for roundwood logs rose to $90 a tonne in February, up $5 from January’s average price and at the highest level since AgriHQ began collecting the data in early 2002. New Zealand local councils approved consents for 29,970 new dwellings last year, up 10 percent from the previous year, as record net migration and low interest rates spur demand for additional housing. A booming horticulture industry is also spurring investment activity in that sector, helping stoke demand for roundwood. 

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New export operation for private plantation timber is set take off at Hobart’s Macquarie wharf

By Blair Richards
The Mercury
February 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

THE growth in environmentally certified private plantation forestry continues to gather pace with logs collecting at Macquarie Wharf as part of a new export operation. Neville Smith Forest Products subsidiary SmartFibre and SFM Forest Products are preparing to export privately sourced hardwood and radiata pine whole logs from Hobart. SmartFibre general manager Danny Peet said the operation offered a solution to private landowners whose forests had stagnated over many years because of a lack of an export option. Mr Peet said the operation had certification from the Australian Forestry Standard and Forest Stewardship Council.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

U of A researcher looks at moving forests north to battle climate change

By Morgan Smith
News Talk 770
February 19, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

University of Alberta researchers are trying to figure out how to combat climate change in Alberta’s boreal forests. One solution is planting trees further north – but how far can you go before cold takes its toll? U of A Forest Geneticist Andreas Hamann is trying to answer that question by examining the rings of trees for signs of frost damage. Hamann told the Alberta Morning News his study is trying to answer two questions: “How far do we have to move trees north to avoid loss in growth and pests and diseases? And at the same time, the other part of it: How far can we move them north before they run into trouble with cold damage?” Luckily for Hamann, his study has a 40-year head-start.

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Are dams and LNG shutting out biofuels in B.C.?

By Jon Hermandez
CBC News
February 19, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Advocates warn the Site C dam could drive away innovation in B.C.’s energy sector. UBC researcher Jack Saddler marvels at how wood waste can actually make people fly. He’s currently part of a project to convert forest residues into jet fuel — a process he believes could redefine air transport in a low-carbon future. “The only alternative green up aviation is ‘biojet’,” he said. “You’re not going to electrify [airplanes], you’re not going to go nuclear.” ‘Biojet’ is just one of many potential biofuels that B.C. researchers in the bioenergy sector are exploring. But some clean energy advocates worry that bioenergy — or renewable energy produced by living organisms — might be losing steam in the province thanks to big energy projects like the Site C dam, which advocates warn could ultimately drive out innovation in the industry.

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$185M biofuel agreement will mean ‘major changes,’ Botwood mayor says

By Chris Ensing
CBC News
February 17, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Botwood is one step closer to an economic boost that the mayor hopes could bring financial stability to the central Newfoundland town and neighbouring communities for decades to come. The Newfoundland and Labrador government has signed an agreement in principle with NewGreen Technologies for a proposed $185-million biofuel plant to be built in Botwood.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Botwood Mayor Scott Sceviour told CBC News on Friday. “I think most importantly it’s going to be a huge benefit to the Exploits Valley and the central region, and of course the province as a whole.”

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Protected areas found to be ‘significant’ sources of carbon emissions

By Benji Jones
Mongabay
February 17, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Deforestation is a big source of atmospheric carbon, one that is increasingly targeted by climate change mitigation projects around the world. Now, even forests in protected areas can be “significant” sources of carbon emissions, researchers say. According to a new study published last week in Scientific Reports, a journal by Nature, deforestation within protected areas of the tropics – especially those within Brazil and Indonesia – releases millions of metric tons of carbon every year. Cutting down forests deals a double-blow to the climate. Research indicates forest loss not only releases carbon dioxide directly into the atmosphere – accounting for nearly a fifth of anthropogenic, or human-caused, carbon emissions – but it also shrinks the so-called “lungs” of the Earth.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Lakeside tops off construction

By Dale Boyd
Penticton Western News
February 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The six-storey, 70-room expansion to the Penticton Lakeside Resort has been officially “topped off.” The ceremony held on Feb. 17 had contributors to the project signing a panel symbolically hoisted to the top of the structure. The construction of the expansion had incorporated innovative mass timber, cross-laminated panels supplied by Structurlam. …Dan Ashton, Penticton MLA, was at the ceremony and congratulated Lakeside general manager David Prystay. “You’ve outshone yourself one more time. What an incredible project,” Ashton said, adding praise for the efforts made to keep the project local with Structurelam, Nick (Architect) and Greyback Construction. “This is a real made-in-Penticton project.”

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La Conner library moves forward in efforts for new facility

By Marilyn Napier
Skagit Valley Herald
February 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LA CONNER — Almost five years after the La Conner Regional Library Board bought property at 520 Morris St. for a new library, talks continue about how to pay for the project… Plans for the new library include a new design concept that uses cross-laminated timber, which is a wood panel product. Library board chair Robert Hancock said in a news release that cross-laminated timber will speed up construction and create a lighter environmental impact. “It (the timber) will help create new business opportunities and jobs in the 10th District and elsewhere in the state by highlighting and accelerating the growth of this new technology,” Hancock said in the release.

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Timber’s green shoots: Hume, Vin Harink to build CLT childcare centre

By Michael Bleby
Financial Review
February 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Hume Partners Property, the developer behind Melbourne’s tallest timber commercial tower, is also building its smallest – a single-storey childcare centre. The company backed by BRW Rich-Lister Peter Scanlon has partnered with childcare industry veteran Vin Harink to build Australia’s first childcare centre out of cross-laminated timber (CLT). Construction of the one-storey centre in South Oakleigh, with approval for 139 children, will start as soon as a building permit allows it on the 3300 square-metre site, said Mr Harink, one of three directors of Hume Childcare Pty Ltd. CLT, part of a growing move towards prefabrication in Australian construction, permits customised pre-cut timber panels to be assembled on-site.

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Tanzanian start-up turns urban waste into “plastic lumber”

By Nellie Peyton
Thomson Reuters Foundation
February 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

DAKAR – A young Tanzanian entrepreneur is turning the country’s mounting plastic waste into “lumber” to help meet demand for housing in its growing cities, in an effort to reduce depletion of forests. Christian Mwijage decided he could tackle those problems in one go – by turning discarded plastic bottles into building materials that can be used instead of wood… The company says it is reducing waste in the East African nation’s cluttered commercial capital, while creating jobs for young people and saving trees… “It’s a pressing issue in our country – I feel like we have a big problem with plastic waste,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, explaining why he started the company in late 2015.

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