Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: March 2017

Today’s Takeaway

NAFTA in the spotlight as US starts the negotiations

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 31, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Canadian Press reports that President Trump will sign an executive order today calling for a study to determine which of its trading partners “are using abusive trade practices to run export surpluses“. Canada is among the countries to be examined. The Trump administration also spelled out what it wants “in an overhaul of NAFTA“. Two interrelated proposals include “getting rid of the ability of countries to appeal unfair trade actions to an independent panel” and adding a ‘safeguard’ weapon “giving the US the power to unilaterally slap tariffs on imports when a US industry is under threat”.

RBC’s Paul Quinn has two research notes out today (on Tissue manufacturers and West Fraser Timber), but what caught our eye was his softwood lumber comment that the previously proposed “hard cap on volume or quota”  by Canada “will be difficult to withdraw now” and “we continue to expect “shock and awe” rates in the 30% to 40% range”.

Representatives from more than 400 companies from 22 countries are in Portland Oregon this week to learn about the wonders of mass timber construction, while on the other side of the continent, (in a presentation to Moulding and Millwork producers), Virginia Tech’s Bob Smith stated that cross-laminated timber and mass timber construction “is the most exciting thing in the wood industry since the invention of plywood.

Finally, the BC Green party has released a major plank of its election platform, “an increase in the carbon tax to $70 a tonne (from $30 today) by 2021“.

–Tree Frog Editors

Read More

Special Feature

B.C.’s forest industry to address future challenges and opportunities at convention

Council of Forest Industries
March 31, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC — Almost 600 industry and government leaders, expert speakers and attendees will gather in Vancouver for the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Annual Convention. Delegates will hear where the sector is headed in a future filled not only with challenges but also opportunities. The size of this year’s event speaks to the importance of an industry that provides 1 in 16 jobs in British Columbia and is the economic driver in 140 communities throughout the province. This is the first time the Annual Convention has been held in Vancouver. …Premier Clark will provide the closing keynote address of the 2017 COFI Convention. This will be one of the last major presentations Premier Clark will make prior to the election, starting 5 days later, and her attendance demonstrates the importance of the forestry sector to the B.C. economy.

Read More

Forestry

Steep fines, imprisonment included in new anti-wildfire legislation

By Vincent McDermott
Fort McMurray Today
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the days get hotter and drier, the province is reminding Albertans that new legislation aimed at stopping reckless behaviours that could start wildfires includes fines of up to $1 million and even jail time. The changes to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act, which were announced in October, will take effect tomorrow, March 31. Under the new legislation, individuals who refuse to follow orders related to preventing forest fires face a maximum fine of $100,000 or two years imprisonment if the actions lead to a wildfire. These actions could include ignoring a fire ban or abandoning a campfire. Corporations could also be fined up to $10,000 per offence per day for less severe industrial offences, such as not having proper firefighting equipment on site or a suitable wildfire plan.

Read More

Forest Company Broke Law in Keeping Logging Plans Secret

By Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee
March 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Forest Practices Board has found Lemare Lake Logging Ltd.’s operations in the East Creek Valley on northern Vancouver Island met provincial standards, but that the company had failed to follow the law requiring it to provide public access to its site plans. “The board concludes that the licensee did not provide the complainant with reasonable access to [site plans] ‘on request at any reasonable time’ as required by [the Forest and Range Practices Act],” concluded the report released this week. “The investigators found that, for a variety of reasons, the complainant was unable to view the [site plans] for over six months,” the report said… Logging in the area has been controversial since at least 2003, when the Wilderness Committee campaigned to protect it.

Read More

Report: Forest Planning and Practices at East Creek

BC Forest Practices Board
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In May 2016, Sierra Club BC submitted a complaint about logging practices in the East Creek Valley. This valley is just north of Mquqwin / Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park on northwest Vancouver Island. Sierra Club BC (the complainant) was concerned with a wide range of issues related to forest planning and practices. The Board examined the licensee’s forest operations on the ground in the East Creek Valley, their planning activities relating to the operations, and whether the licensee provided adequate access to site plan information when requested by the complainant.

Read More

Council drafts forest health resolution

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Williams Lake city council is tackling the issue of forest health in a resolution it will be submitting to the North Central Local Government Association for consideration. The resolution advocates for the extraction of diseased trees taking precedence over park or protected area designations, as well as other restrictions such as mule deer winter range or old growth designations… You talk to people in the forest industry and they will tell you there is a whole hillside going down to the Fraser River that is already grey with the fir beetle… If there’s one thing we learned with the mountain pine beetle infestation was how it raved and roamed from Tweedsmuir Park across the province of B.C. to wreak absolute havoc in our communities as we tried to get in front of it.

Read More

The Cheakamus Community Forest illusion

By Leslie Anthony
Whistler Pique Magazine
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Why the f*@# are we still cutting old growth?” This emerged to a friend in a chairlift conversation. Not from a forest-savvy environmentalist, but an investment banker, a champion of the capitalist machine. Even he couldn’t understand the flawed, anachronistic policy of Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) that sees the less than one per cent of original old-growth forest cover remaining in B.C. relentlessly removed. Certainly as a Whistler second homeowner, this fellow might have been leaning on aesthetic considerations, or property values. But he wasn’t; instead, as a money man he understood the zero economic sense in continued feeding of old growth to feed B.C.’s gluttonous raw-log export dragon, and that the value of a standing tree of more than 250 years (the province’s definition of old growth) was considerably higher than that of any log — be it for ecological or touristic reasons.

Read More

Gypsy moth spray treatment planned for Saanich

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Government of British Columbia
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has been issued a pesticide use permit to aerial-spray 182 hectares of residences, park and farm land around Elk Lake in Saanich with a spray approved for use on organic farms, to eradicate a growing population of gypsy moth and minimize the risk they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees. …Btk is naturally present in urban, forest and agricultural soil throughout the province. It does not harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects and only affects caterpillars after they have ingested it. The 2016 gypsy moth trapping data revealed that a population of moths on Bear Hill, north of Elk Lake, in Saanich has persisted for at least three years and appears to be growing.

Read More

Former MLA focuses on forest sector

Salmon Arm Observer
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A former Shuswap MLA will try and address some of the challenges within the logging sector. George Abbott and his partners at Circle Square Solutions have been selected by the provincial government as the independent facilitator to find solutions that strengthen relationships between logging contractors and licensees… An economic assessment and review of the contracting sector has been completed that will help develop baseline information and identify economic drivers within the sector. Abbott will use data collected in the review, and information assessing the key drivers of licensees’ competitiveness, to suggest potential opportunities and structure a focused consultation process with the contractors and licensees.”

Read More

Activists shouldn’t determine state forest policy

By Anna Yarbrough, third-generation forester
The Register-Guard
March 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Legislature is considering a bill that should have the attention of every Oregonian. …Forestry is the backbone of Oregon’s heritage, and this legislation flies in the face of scientifically backed forest management. I am an Oregon State University-trained professional forester who grew up on a tree farm that was passed down to my dad from his father….That is why I can’t help but characterize HB 3226 as the most offensive bill I’ve had the displeasure to read. This bill would scrap the Oregon Forest Practices Act. Make no mistake, this is not an update to current regulations. This is an affront to everything for which our industry stands, brought to us by an activist organization that clearly does not understand or appreciate how forestry works and the years of research and practice that have gone into it.

Read More

Their son was killed working a logging job. Now they want other teens protected.

By Rob Hotakainen
McClatchy DC
March 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON- After witnessing his youngest son, Cole, get crushed to death in a 2014 logging accident in Washington state, Tim Bostwick is convinced the industry is unsafe for teens. “He was barely just 18 and I got him the job – that’s something I’ve got to live with the rest of my life,” said Bostwick, 42, a third-generation logger from Winlock, Washington. … Bostwick and his wife, Wendy, want Congress to reject a bill that would change the federal child labor law to allow 16-and 17-year-olds to operate mechanized logging equipment on family operations so long as they’re under parental supervision. The bill, called the Future Logging Careers Act, has unanimous backing from Idaho’s all-Republican congressional delegation, which says the measure would give a head start to kids who want to pursue logging careers.

Read More

Debating the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Crater Lake Wilderness proposal would designate 500,000 acres to be protected as wilderness. …Tara Brown, Crater Lake Wilderness coordinator for Oregon Wild, said as climate change and human impact lead to the destruction of forestland, it’s important to implement wilderness designation so the park and natural areas near it will be protected for future generations. …But according to Wayne Brady, who retired from the Forest Service after more than 35 years of working in the North Umpqua District, there are already enough protections on the land included in the proposal, and a wilderness designation would restrict public recreation and economic growth. “They would have you believe that people will flock to the Umpqua Valleys to bask in the wonders of their wilderness,” Brady said. “But the reality of wilderness is much different.”

Read More

Bill would create tax credits for wildfire buffers around homes

By George Plaven
Eastern Oregonian
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregonians who live in and around the forest may receive a tax credit for establishing wildfire buffers around their property under a proposed bill in Salem. Senate Bill 1017 calls upon the state forester to set new guidelines for buffers, encouraging the removal of all trees within 300 feet of any residential structure. Homeowners who comply with the standard would be granted an annual tax credit, though the amount has not yet been specified. Sen. Ted Ferrioli is sponsoring the bill, which received a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Ferrioli’s district was ravaged by wildfire in 2015, when the Canyon Creek Complex burned more than 110,000 acres and destroyed 43 homes.

Read More

Don’t muddy the water

By Todd Vaughn of Tiller, member, Responsible Forest Initiatives
The News-Review
March 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The other day, on the way home from town, as we turned up-river from Tiller, we noticed that Elk Creek looked like chocolate milk pouring into the river. …Could logging have caused this problem? …No. That is the grand illusion, perpetrated by the folks that profess to be “protectors of the watersheds.” The muddy slurry pouring into Elk Creek is actually coming from the Stouts Creek Fire scar. …There has been cumulative damage to our watersheds from large wildfire events starting with the Tiller Complex Fire (80,000 acres), in 2002. …Our group, “Responsible Forest Initiatives,” has proposed a long-term forest plan called “Anchor-Point Restoration” that will do exactly this, and if adopted by our district, we may actually have something left to argue about, 20 years from now.

Read More

Longtime Vader Forester Remembers Giant of the Forest

By Aaron Kunkler
The Chronicle
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Hayes-Booth Tree Farm has sat on a secluded patch of land outside of Vader for more than 60 years… Paul Hayes, 89, has been in the forestry industry in the Pacific Northwest and beyond since 1955. Standing on his front porch, he pointed to the tree-lined hillside. He said nearly every tree on the hill is one he’s planted over the years. Hayes was quick to turn the conversation from himself to a Lewis County relic — a tree with a 10-foot or greater diameter he found in the 1950s near Pe Ell. …Walking through his humble home on his tree farm, it also becomes evident that forestry is more than an occupation for Hayes but rather a way of life.

Read More

State shouldn’t invest more in a losing asset

By the Editorial Board
The Bend Bulletin
March 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State Treasurer Tobias Read has reversed his position and joined Gov. Kate Brown in her effort to keep the Elliott State Forest in public hands. No loss of public land may be acceptable to some people, but it’s hard to see how it is a sound fiscal decision. The Elliott is supposed to help make money for Oregon schools. But it does not. The forest’s management is restricted by environmental regulation. It loses money and that is expected to continue. ….Brown and Read need to provide some sort of new math that makes their plan make sense for a cash-strapped state.

Read More

Put Interior’s Western HQ in Boise. Our NIFC is the model for federal collaboration

By Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson he wants to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters out of Washington, D.C., into the West. Why stop there? Why not move the entire Department of Interior to the region where most of its management takes place?… Few ideas are better than moving the people who are in charge of managing 600 million acres of public forests, parks, rangelands, wildlife refuges and Indian trust relationships closer to the people and the land they steward. In a time where regional collaboration is emerging to replace central control as the mode of governing, it makes sense to put the land, water, fish and wildlife the agencies in the thick of things.

Read More

Navy communications station manages ancient forest near Wheeler Mountain

By Sarah Arney
Stanwood Camano News
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Five thousand acres of old growth forest just a few miles upriver from Stanwood provides home to many Northwest native plants and animals. Naval Radio Station Jim Creek was built back in the 1950s to support communications of the Pacific Naval Fleet. When the acreage was acquired, the Navy did not purchase logging rights. Up until 1990, the rugged terrain had prevented road construction and preserved the giant trees, now 250 feet tall and 11 feet in diameter… “This project is a shining example of the DOD’s concern for our nation’s natural ecosystems,” said Terri Jones, a forester with the Navy. “Jim Creek will remain a diverse ecological legacy and natural classroom for coming generations.”

Read More

Associated Contract Loggers & Truckers to hold annual meeting and banquet

Hometown Focus
March 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TOWER – The 2017 annual meeting and banquet of Associated Contract Loggers & Truckers (ACLT) will be held at Fortune Bay Resort Casino in Tower on Friday, April 7. This represents a change from prior annual meetings that were held as part of the MLEP/LogSafe training conference. The day will be filled with FISTA (Forest Industry Safety & Training Alliance) training sessions and CPR/first aid and safety training seminars. The theme of this year’s event is Meeting the Challenge,” said Scott Dane, ACLT executive director. “And this year has been every bit a challenge, but that is what these guys do.”

Read More

Sterling Forest logging should benefit the birds

By Caleigh Cross
Stowe Reporter
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Sterling Forest? It’s for the birds. At least, that’s the idea. Stowe town officials and Audubon Vermont conservationists hope the forest will be avian haven once a timber harvest is completed there. This harvest is the third phase in a plan developed in 2001 to harvest the forest while improving it for outdoor recreation and wildlife. It’s being a three-way partnership involving the town government, which owns the land, Vermont Land Trust, which holds the conservation easement on the land, and Audubon Vermont, in charge of making sure the forest is a good habitat for migratory birds.

Read More

Proactive approach can slow approach of emerald ash borer

By Irene North
Star-Herald
March 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


A small insect that can’t fly great distances at once is slowly making its way into Nebraska. …Emerald ash borer can be traced back to Detroit, Michigan, where it is believed they arrived by ship on pallets. …Although it is slow moving, traveling three to five miles per year, that doesn’t mean it will take 10 years or more to arrive in the Panhandle. “If we count on it by itself, it will be a long time,” said Amy Seiler, community forestry specialist, Nebraska Forest Service. “But the main way emerald ash borer is spread is by moving firewood.”The Nebraska Forest Service is being proactive by communicating with the public and keeping an eye out for the pests. “There are traps set up across the state, monitoring in high traffic locations where the insect could potentially travel,” Seiler said. “If they find anything, they will let the public know.”

Read More

The American Woodcock, And Why We Should Be Cutting More Trees

By Joe Smith
The Nature Conservancy
March 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Throughout their lives and even within a single day, American Woodcock are citizens of many habitats. . …In a landscape now controlled by humans, the balance of habitat types can become skewed. Up through the early part of the 20th century, mature forest was a scarce commodity. Nearly every square inch of North America was systematically logged and logged again at a rapid clip. …Since then, land conservation, decreasing demand for forest products and globalization have relieved some of the logging pressure on eastern U.S. forests. Now, especially in the Northeast, the challenge is to make sure that there is enough forest being cleared to supply the regenerating shrublands and young forest that many species (like woodcock) depend upon.

Read More

City’s urban forester in place

By Lindsay McReynolds
The Herald-Citizen
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Cookeville’s first urban forester has been on the job for about a month. She already is taking an inventory of trees in city parks. “I’m collecting information about the tree canopy and what we need to do,” Cookeville Urban Forester Jaime Nunan said Wednesday at the city’s Walnut Park, where she was measuring trees. Nunan, a Florida native, holds a agriculture business degree from Middle Tennessee State University and worked in the forestry program at Fort Campbell, Ky., where her husband is stationed in the Army. “I fell in love with forestry there,” Nunan said. “They have a great forestry program.” … “We’re excited to have the new urban forester on board,” he said. “As urban forester, Jaime will assist multiple departments as well as address citizen inquiries related to tree planting and care.

Read More

Fragmentation of tropical forests increases global emissions of greenhouse gases

Phys.Org
March 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

When talk is of important ecosystems, tropical forests are top of the list. After all, half of the carbon stored in all of the Earth’s vegetation is contained in these ecosystems. Deforestation has a correspondingly fatal effect. Scientists estimate that this releases 1000 million tonnes of carbon every year, which, in the form of greenhouse gasses, drives up global temperatures. That is not all, however, reveals a new study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Maryland. A team of scientists has discovered that fragmentation of formerly contiguous areas of forest leads to carbon emissions rising by another third. Researchers emphasise in the scientific journal Nature Communications that this previously neglected effect should be taken into account in future IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports.

Read More

Company & Business News

What the U.S. NAFTA demands mean for Canada

By Andrei Sulzenko – former Canadian trade negotiator
The Globe and Mail
March 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Reports Thursday say the Trump administration is moving forward on setting out its NAFTA renegotiation objectives for Congressional review. Although still in draft form, there are no great surprises, and there may be more smoke and mirrors than fire below. …In other words, there’s no free lunch; and that’s why safeguards are used relatively seldom. A U.S. push to change existing rules, say to lower NAFTA threshold levels for safeguard action, would be a non-starter, as Canada and Mexico would be better off under more stringent WTO provisions. …The most troublesome element of the whole U.S. laundry list is the apparent targeting of NAFTA’s Chapter 19 dispute-settlement provisions related to the application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties. …It is, therefore, a favourite protectionist instrument, the most prominent of which has been the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States involving allegedly subsidized Canadian exports.

Read More

Trump to order probe of 16 countries’ trade practices, including Canada

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
March 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump is about to order a study on the U.S.’s major trading partners to determine which ones are using abusive trade practices to run export surpluses — and Canada is among the countries to be examined. The president will sign an executive order Friday demanding a study within 90 days of all the ways other countries allegedly pull a fast one on the United States through anti-competitive trade practices. …Softwood lumber represents a smaller share. But it’s a significant source of Canada-U.S. trade disputes, and could be the source of yet another one: Trump is signing a second executive order Friday, and it involves toughening the system for collecting anti-dumping and countervailing duties in trade disputes.

Read More

Tissue Tracker: Operating rates climbed higher in February

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
March 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

RISI released US Tissue stats for February. Converted product shipments and parent roll production were higher y/y while operating rates increased m/m to 94.9%, in line with the 10-year average for February. Converted product shipments 1.8% higher y/y – Total At-Home (consumer) shipments of converted tissue products increased 1.4% y/y and are 1.6% higher YTD. This strength was attributable to higher volumes in bathroom tissue (+1.4% y/y; +1.6% YTD) and towel (+1.8% y/y; +1.8% YTD).

Read More

Trump’s NAFTA goals: ‘What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine’

By Barrie McKenna
The Globe and Mail
March 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The Trump administration has spelled out in eight pages what it wants from Canada and Mexico in an overhaul of the North American free-trade deal. But don’t be distracted by the jargon about rules-of-origin, trade remedies, procurement and state-owned enterprises contained in the letter to members of Congress. This is essentially a “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine” manifesto…Two interrelated U.S. proposals present the biggest threat to Canada. The U.S. wants to get rid of what was the centerpiece for Canada of the original Canada-U.S. trade agreement – namely, the ability of countries to appeal unfair trade actions to an independent panel. Canada has used the Chapter 19 dispute settlement regime dozens of times since 1994, including in the early 2000s to remove punishing U.S. duties on softwood lumber…But the Trump administration would couple that with a special “safeguard’ weapon, giving it the power to unilaterally slap tariffs on imports from Canada and Mexico when a U.S. industry is under threat.

Read More

On the road with West Fraser

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
March 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Impact: Neutral. We spent the day marketing with West Fraser in New York.Timing of a potential softwood lumber deal is unknown; quota hard to take off the table – With no one currently in charge of the US Trade, the majority of lumber companies present at our conference this week suggested that government-to-government negotiations wouldn’t occur until later this Spring. We do believe that the announcement of CVD (April 24th or earlier) and AD (mid-June) duties will accelerate the conversation on the Canadian side, hopefully leading to a consensus opinion. In the Obama-Trudeau softwood lumber negotiations, the Canadian government proposed a hard cap of volume or quota. We suspect that it will be difficult to withdraw this option now that it’s been tabled by the Canadians. We continue to expect “shock and awe” rates in the 30% to 40% range.

Read More

Are the Irvings Canada’s biggest corporate welfare bums?

By Bruce Livesey
National Observer
March 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

…Corporate welfare is often defined as grants, subsidies and even tax breaks or incentives bestowed by governments on large corporations. The subject has been in the news lately, in particular over the federal and Quebec governments’ decision to bail out Bombardier… Which begs the question: are the Irvings the biggest corporate welfare bums in Canada? The answer is simple: it’s impossible to find out. Still, the veil was partially pulled back last year when the US Dept. of Commerce released its findings into an investigation into J.D. Irving, Ltd. that examined some of the subsidies and tax breaks the forestry, shipbuilding, transportation and media conglomerate has been receiving… On the forestry front, there is evidence the New Brunswick government is subsidizing the Irvings to cut down forests on public lands – and losing money in the bargain.

Read More

Lumber Dealers Meet with Congress Members

LBM Journal
March 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

The National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association hosted 175 attendees at the 2017 Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference this week in Washington, D.C. As part of the meeting, NLBMDA members took to Capitol Hill to meet with their lawmakers about several issues affecting the lumber and building material industry. Issues of priority to NLBMDA and its members include regulatory reform, renewal of the U.S. / Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement, preservation of the mortgage interest reduction, and estate tax repeal.

Read More

Maine’s New Forest Economy — The Forest Industry Reinvents Itself

By Christine Parrish
The Free Press
March 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

When the Maine Pulp and Paper Association, an industry advocacy group, closed its doors due to lack of membership earlier this year, it seemed that King Paper was dead. It isn’t. It’s just no longer in charge. At a forum sponsored by E2Tech, an organization focused on environmental technology and energy, it appears industry leaders are moving on. While the content of the meeting was mostly about the new opportunities for biomass and wood-based biofuel, Patrick Strauch, the director of the Maine Forest Products Council, hit on the real revolution in Maine’s forest economy: collaboration.In the world of global markets and iPads, a stable forest-based economy requires not just new products and investors, but also cooperation with community developers and others to help strengthen the economies of small rural towns.

Read More

The Economics and State of the Wood Market

By Tara Taffera
Door and Window Market Magazine
March 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

“My goal is to try to convince you that things are pretty good,” said Bob Smith of Virginia Tech University when addressing members of the Moulding and Millwork Producers Association who are hosting their annual meeting in Williamsburg, Va., this week. And for wood as a whole—things are very good… But the big news for the industry is a new market—cross-laminated timber and mass timber construction. “This is the most exciting thing in the wood industry since the invention of plywood,” said Smith… “That’s good news for this industry,” he said. “If they’re going to put wood on the outside they are going to put wood on the inside. The steel industry is so scared that have a $10 million ad campaign against it.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. Greens would more than double provincial carbon tax

By Rob Shaw
Vancouver Sun
March 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — The B.C. Green party released a major plank of its election platform Thursday, with a climate change plan to more than double the carbon tax over four years and expanding it to additional pollution sources. Leader Andrew Weaver said a Green government would move quickly to shift the economy to clean energy production and a high-tech industry… The Green announcement calls for an increase in the carbon tax to $70 a tonne by 2021 from $30 a tonne today. The tax would also be expanded to capture fugitive and vented emissions, at a lower rate, and would also cover forest slash pile burning, which accounts for 15 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions… The B.C. Liberals said in a news release that Weaver’s plan would hurt vulnerable B.C. employers and the forest industry at a time they can least afford it.

Read More

Forests’ Role In Climate Mitigation Bigger Than Previously Thought

By Antonio Pasolini
Justmeans
March 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

There are many reasons that forests should be protected. …forests are efficient carbon sinks that keep CO2 levels under control. Regarding the latter, this environmental ‘service’ naturally offered by forests was widely recognized at the Paris Agreement as a critical component of the deal. “But we didn’t go far enough,” says Alec Giffen, a senior advisor for the New England Forestry Foundation, which has published a new study that further bolsters the case for forest protection. The new paper, published in the Journal of Forestry, claims that New England’s forests (and by extension any other forests) can do a much bigger job in climate mitigation than previously thought. Created as a collaborative effort between The New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), Woods Hole Research Center and the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, the authors of the study, …suggest that growing sustainable forests and then using forest products in tall wood buildings, could capture and store ‘globally significant amounts of carbon’. This would help eliminate the carbon pollution that comes from the manufacture of concrete and steel.

Read More

Researchers discover tree trunks act as methane source in upland forests

By Adam Thomas
Phys.Org
March 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A new study from the University of Delaware is one of the first in the world to show that tree trunks in upland forests actually emit methane rather than store it, representing a new, previously unaccounted source of this powerful greenhouse gas. Methane is about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, with some estimates as high as 33 times stronger due to its effects when it is in the atmosphere. Because of methane’s global warming potential, identifying the sources and “sinks” or storehouses of this greenhouse gas is critical for measuring and understanding its implications across ecosystems.

Read More

Camptonville Forest Bioenergy Facility awarded $4.9 Million in California Energy Commission Funding

By Camptonville Community Partnership
YubaNet
March 29, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…The planned community-scale Camptonville, California forest bioenergy power plant is proposed to receive $4.9MM in funding from the California Energy Commission as part of its Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant program, Demonstrate and Evaluate Environmentally and Economically Sustainable Woody Biomass-to-Electricity Systems category. The project is one of two in the State that are proposed for funding, with the other being the Mariposa Biomass Project. Camptonville’s 3 MW direct combustion boiler steam turbine generator power plant will integrate advanced emissions controls and a state-of-the-art low water use condenser using the EPIC funding and will be the first of its kind in California. …The plant is proposed to be a combined heat and power facility meaning it will produce both electricity and heat using forest biomass.

Read More

Wood waste has a purpose

By Julie Crick
Michigan State University Extension
March 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

>
…The St. Paul District Energy facility burns as much as 250,000 tons of wood waste each year, drawing from the urban tree trimmings, damaged tree removal, habitat restoration activities and the leftovers from forest management activities that occur within 50 miles of the facility. As many as 45 semi-tractor trailer loads of wood chips are delivered from a nearby collection yard each day to keep the combined heating and power system working 24 hours a day. …After turning the blades, the steam is then used to create hot water for the District Energy hot water loop, which consists of 106,100 trench feet of underground supply and return piping that can circulate up to 1 million gallons of hot water (180-250 degrees Fahrenheit) to service more than 85 percent of St. Paul’s downtown square footage.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

How green really are tall timber buildings?

By Kim Moore
Oregon Business
March 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Organizers of this week’s International Mass Timber Conference in Portland devoted a whole track of their three-day event to environmental and sustainability aspects of the mass timber sector — an indication of how important sustainability is to the tall timber building brand. Manufacturing of cross laminated timber, or CLT has the potential to revitalize the timber sector and the rural communities in Oregon that have fallen on hard times because of the widespread closure of timber mills across the state. But experts concede the environmental benefits of CLT are complex and difficult to measure… Brent Davies, a vice president at Ecotrust, said during a panel discussion at the mass timber conference that sustainability goals embodied in CLT branding depend on practices certified under the Forest Stewardship Council… Despite the drawbacks, numerous studies show tall timber buildings sequester more carbon than concrete buildings.

Read More

‘Mass timber’ in Oregon’s future, speaker predicts

By Eric Mortenson
Capital Press
March 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND — Speakers at the Oregon Mass Timber Summit acknowledged some hangups, but said they’re still optimistic using fabricated wooden panels in tall buildings can revitalize the state’s timber industry and restore jobs in rural areas. Valerie Johnson, whose D.R. Johnson Lumber Co. in Riddle, Ore., was the first to make cross laminated timbers certified for tall construction, said the state is still having “intense” harvest management discussions. “But if there’s a way to create more jobs with the same log supply, why don’t we get on about that?” she said. The March 27 summit in Portland focused on the Oregon industry and served as a prelude to the International Mass Timber Conference held in Portland later in the week.

Read More