Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 27, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

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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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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Williams Lake forest professional takes helm of forestry association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Third logging fatality

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Forest & Bird to defend New Zealand’s conservation land

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

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

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Tasmanian special timbers sector affirms support for Liberals’ forestry plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Company & Business News

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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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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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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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

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

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

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

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Province Providing Funds to Train Newcomers for Wood Manufacturing Jobs

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

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

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Maitland City Council is right to demand durable building code requirements

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

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

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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

The Continuous Digester – what we learned last week

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

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

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