Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 20, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Should Lighthizer lighten up?

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

Two Globe and Mail stories on Mr. Lighthizer’s—Donald Trump’s pick for trade negotiator—comment that fixing the “very serious lumber problem is at the top of his U.S.-Canada to-do list“. Columnist Barrie McKenna suggests he “lighten up” and “ask himself: Where is the crisis? Prices are up, mills are operating near full tilt and housing starts are on a tear“… BC envoy David Emerson described Mr. Lighthizer’s comments as “concerning but not unexpectedly concerning”, but then referenced the US administration’s history of using “fabricated or semi-fabricated information to put interim duties in place”. His conclusion: “I’ve called it a shakedown in the past and I’ll continue to call it a shakedown”.

NRCan published an interesting piece on safe trade in forest products because “pests living outside of their usual range can tip the natural balance of forests and forests ecosystems, leading to devastating consequences”. Ecologist George Wuerthner argues that “while it may seem intuitive that logging would reduce wildfire and improve forest ecosystems, what is intuitive is not always supported by science”. And a nice video on how giant sequoias need fire to survive.

Finally, being that it’s already tomorrow in Australia and NZ—the United Nations International Day of Forests (March the 21) recognizing the many benefits that forests bring to our lives—is already being celebrated. The theme for 2017 is Forests and Energy.

–Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Province provides $2.2 million to fight invasive plants in Thompson-Nicola

By Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations 
Government of British Columbia
March 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The British Columbia government is investing $2.2 million in a pilot project over the next three years to explore new ways of managing invasive plants in the Thompson-Nicola region, MLA for Fraser-Nicola Jackie Tegart and Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced today. The three-year project is the result of an extensive stakeholder consultation process led by Tegart. The project is aimed at expanding and improving current efforts to contain and eradicate spotted knapweed and other invasive plants in the region.

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B.C. inventor of wildfire-fighting Bambi Bucket inducted to hall of fame

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
March 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Salt Spring Island entrepreneur Don Arney has been a big-dream inventor since childhood. One of his earliest ideas was for a blimp/airplane hybrid and while still just 12, he drew up a proposal and sent it to the president of the Avro Canada aviation company.  He was chuffed when he received an encouraging letter in reply, but a little chagrined later after he’d learned enough physics to realize that idea wouldn’t fly. But the inventor trait followed him all his life and has now earned him induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Alexandria, Va. for the Bambi Bucket. The collapsible fabric container which Arney invented in the early 1980s is now the go-to standard for helicopter firefighting in 110 countries around the world.

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Audit of Canada Resurgence finds issues

BC Forest Practices Board
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forest licence A16884, held by Canada Resurgence Developments Ltd. (CRD), found most forestry activities complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, but found two activities did not meet legal requirements, according to a report released today. “Our auditors found that CRD did not ensure that two log stringer bridges were safe for industrial users, which does not comply with the legal requirements,” said board chair, Tim Ryan. “CRD’s silviculture records for some of the free-growing cutblocks were missing, and the auditors were unable to confirm that free-growing obligations were met for those cutblocks,” said Ryan. “This also does not comply with the legal requirements.”

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New terms of reference for SCRD advisory committees

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors have approved terms of reference for reorganized advisory committees. Terms of reference for the ports monitors committee, natural resources advisory committee (NRAC), and agricultural advisory committee (AAC) were adopted at the Feb. 23 SCRD board meeting after being endorsed by the planning and community development committee on Feb. 16. …NRAC will also play more of a technical advisory committee role “on resource issues and developments that may have an impact” on the SCRD. Issues that could be referred to NRAC include: development proposals with potential significant impact on resource use, environmental impact of resource activities on air, land, watersheds, lakes and the ocean or other impacts, zoning bylaw and official community plan amendments, timber harvesting operations and forestry plans, existing or proposed government regulations affecting natural resources on the Sunshine Coast, and plans or proposals submitted to the SCRD by referral agencies.

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Half a million needs a watchdog

By John Harding
North Island Gazette
March 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It sounds like a lot of money, $500,000. For almost all of us, it is. Governments, however, can chew through that chunk of change in a heartbeat. When the provincial government announced last week it was granting the Regional District of Mount Waddington a half million bucks to “develop a strategic economic development plan to create jobs in the forestry sector,” alarm bells sounded. Yes, it’s a positive development. First, it’s important to note it’s our money. The forest companies and those who work in that sector send millions in taxes and fees to Victoria every year. So forgive us if we don’t get on bended knee to say “thank-you, oh great and benevolent provincial government.”

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Students log in time at Northern Lakes College forestry fair

By Richard Froese
South Peace News
March 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Career opportunities in the forest industry were presented to local Grade 9 students at a forestry fair in High Prairie on March 7 at E.W. Pratt School. Students from High Prairie schools Prairie River Junior High and St. Andrew’s School, Gift Lake, and Atikameg examined the options of training and careers at the fair. “They’re starting to think about what career they want to pursue and know what courses they need in high school,” says Brian Panasiuk, who chairs Northern Lakes College dual credits and recruiting… Other participating agencies included Alberta Works, Registered Apprenticeship Program, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Rupertsland Institute, and Work Wild.

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Canadian Forest Service Scientists Increase the Safe Trade of International Forest Products

By Eric Allen and Meghan Noseworthy, Pacific Forestry Centre
Natural Resources Canada
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest and wood pests are sometimes inadvertently moved along the international trade routes of wood commodities like logs, sawn wood, chips, and other wood-related items such as wood packaging material. Countries are taking notice because pests living outside of their usual range can tip the natural balance of forests and forests ecosystems, occasionally leading to devastating consequences. These risks are amplified given the importance of forest products to the Canadian and global economies. Canadian forest product exports to the world totalled $34.4 billion in 2016, an increase of 5.3 percent from 2015.  Understanding the pathways by which pests move and averting their entry and spread is key to maintaining the safe trade of forest products. 

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Oldest sugar maple is entwined in Canada’s history

By Tanya Talaga
The Toronto Star
March 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The country’s oldest sugar maple has been around a lot longer than Canada itself. The Comfort Maple, which stands 24.4 metres tall, can be found in Pelham, Niagara Region. With a trunk six metres in circumference, it’s estimated to be between 441 and 541 years old, according to the Ontario Forestry Association. The tree was named after the Comfort family, who bought the land in 1816. Keeping the visually stunning tree alive is the job of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. It has a long-term lease of the land around the tree — 999 years or “when the tree dies, whichever comes first,” said the authority’s Michael Reles. The authority has a full-time arborist who prunes and tends the tree.

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Innovation in education

By Lindsay Kelly
Northern Ontario Business
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sault College is making an $18.2-million investment into a new facility that will support new programs, applied research, and enterprise. The Institute of Environment, Education and Entrepreneurship (iE3) will be built on campus and house programming in the natural environment, geographic information systems (GIS), and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors. …With the new facility will come new programs making use of new technology; in particular, there will be applications for drones, which are already in wide use in forestry applications and of ecological management functions. …Coccimiglio also anticipates there will be opportunities for partnership with some the Sault’s world-class forestry institutions: Natural Resources Canada, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, and Ontario Forest Research Institute.

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Court keeps college in timber lawsuit

By Edward Stratton
The Daily Astorian
March 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Linn County Circuit Court has denied Clatsop Community College’s attempt to leave the $1.4 billion timber lawsuit against the state. The college board voted 4-3 in January to opt out. But board member Esther Moberg’s vote, submitted via email, was later invalidated, resulting in a tie and the college’s inclusion in the lawsuit. At the direction of the college board, college President Christopher Breitmeyer sent a letter to Linn County Circuit Court asking about a way out. “The board realizes that the deadline for class certification has passed and that removal from the class may not be possible, but still wishes for the court to be aware of this request and to take any actions that may be appropriate,” Breitmeyer’s letter said. Linn County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy replied that the court would deny the withdrawal “absent the agreement of the parties or some evidence that you did not receive proper notice.”

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Monument expansion violates federal law

By Travis Joseph, president & CEO, American Forest Resource Council
Mail Tribune
March 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This paper has reported on multiple legal challenges to President Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon and Northern California. As a lead plaintiff in one of those challenges, I want to explain why we — members of the forest products industry — filed a lawsuit. The reason might surprise you. …However, in this case, the lands designated by President Obama had already been designated by an act of Congress (the O&C Act) for a completely different purpose: supporting local governments through sustainable forest management. …What it does mean is that the O&C Lands are required by law to produce timber. By contrast, President Obama’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion explicitly prohibits harvesting timber on these same lands. This conflict is at the heart of our lawsuit: Can a president — Democrat or Republican — unilaterally designate public lands for a specific purpose even if that purpose directly contradicts federal law and congressional intent?

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Libby logger cuts across the grain

By Elka Wood
The Western News
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In 1984, Bruce Vincent was a logger in Libby, working the family business in a town with five vigorous mills in operation. Now, after seeing through “the timber wars” of the 1990s, Vincent is a public speaker who travels the world with his message, and whose book, “Against the Odds: a Path Forward for Rural America” with co-authors Nicole J. Olynk Widmar and Jessica Eise, was published on March 13. The three authors admittedly come from very different backgrounds, said Vincent. But what they have in common is “the need to discern the difference between fighting and leading.” …In his quest to define a new environmental vision for rural America, Vincent draws from his life experience in Libby during the 1990s. As his community fractured into two opposing camps, Vincent was torn in half: “I’ve always considered myself an environmentalist and a logger,” he says.

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Logging may not help prevent severe fires Bend Bulletin

By George Wuerthner, Ecologist
The Bend Bulletin
March 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

While it may seem intuitive that logging would reduce wildfire and improve forest ecosystems, what is intuitive is not always supported by science. …But science tells us otherwise. Similarly, while trees killed by wildfire may seem like a loss, it is what maintains a healthy forest ecosystem. Thus, logging which reduces dead trees, impoverishes our forests. Indeed, the snag forests resulting from high severity fires have the second highest biodiversity after old growth forest stands. Some two-thirds of all wildlife species utilize dead trees and down wood at some point in their life cycles, and the major source for large episodic inputs of dead wood comes from the above natural agents. … Dead trees are also a major storage component for carbon. Numerous studies have confirmed that logging/thinning reduces carbon storage in our ecosystems.

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Watch: How giant sequoias, earth’s largest and longest-living trees, need fire to survive

By Scroll Staff
Scroll.in
March 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The blackened landscape seen after forest fires, whether caused by natural or man-made factors, always gives the impression of large-scale devastation. However, in some cases, forest fires are beneficial to the ecosystem. For instance, forest fires have helped giant sequoias – earth’s largest and longest-living trees – to survive. Native to the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, giant sequoias – which are one of the three species of coniferous trees known as redwoods – can stand up to 325-feet tall and live for more than 3,000 years. 

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Crews battle wildfire near Colorado college town

Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
March 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOULDER, Colo. Firefighters were able to contain about half of a small but potentially dangerous wildfire just west of downtown Boulder, Colorado, that forced hundreds to flee and sent up thick plumes of black smoke. Boulder County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Wagner said the blaze may be human-caused and that hikers and transient campers frequent the area where it erupted — a wooded, mountainous place a couple of miles from Pearl Street, the shopping and dining hub in the heart of the university city. Officials ruled out any lightning strikes or downed power lines, Wagner said. The fire started in the Sunshine Canyon area, which is dotted with expensive homes and rustic mountain residences. Dead trees exploded and sent black smoke skyward.

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Supervisor Cline pushing Gila Community College Forestry Class

By Michele Nelson
Payson Roundup
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Supervisor Woody Cline is following through with one of his campaign promises — pushing forestry and timber –— and Gila Community College is there to help. The GCC board learned at its meeting on March 2 that Cline is willing to do what it takes to get folks into forestry. “Dr. (Stephen) Cullen met with County Supervisor Woody Cline,” said Jay Spehar, board president. “He’s from Young. He has asked us to put together a special student recruiting campaign for the Payson campus forestry program. He’s hoping to get that program pumped up.” Payson Dean Pam Butterfield said that along with fire science, forestry is an area of study at GCC with benefits to get students into a four-year program.

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Science finds a way to bring back the American chestnut tree

By Kate Allen
Toronto Star
March 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

In target, scope, and sheer lethal speed, the obliteration of the American chestnut is an ecological disaster without precedent. …Then, in less than 50 years, the trees were gone. An exotic blight, accidentally carried over on an Asian chestnut variety, began infecting American chestnuts as the 20th century dawned. …Now, a century later, an American research team has an equally unprecedented solution: a genetically modified American chestnut. By splicing a single gene from wheat into the tree’s genome, scientists from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) have engineered blight-resistant saplings.

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Fifteen West Virginia forester jobs restored

By Eric Eyre
Charleston Gazette-Mail
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Fifteen West Virginia foresters are getting their jobs back. The Division of Forestry recalled the laid-off foresters Friday, after transferring funds from the Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training. “They’re coming back, and we’re excited about that,” said Randy Dye, the forestry division’s chief. In July, the government laid off 37 foresters — half the division’s field workers who battle wildfires and monitor logging operations. Timber industry executives blamed then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for the cuts. Tomblin aides countered that the industry refused to support a severance tax rate that would have kept the foresters on the state payroll. A lower severance tax — approved by the Legislature last February — slashed $1.8 million from the forestry division’s budget. Gov. Jim Justice plans to talk with timber industry officials about putting back in place a 2.78 percent severance tax on timber, according to a news release.

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Battling the ash borer: A look at the plan to contain invader ravaging Berkshire trees

By Dick Lindsay
Berkshire Eagle
March 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

PITTSFIELD — State foresters can’t stop the emerald ash borer, they can only hope to contain the killer insect rapidly ravishing white ash in Western Massachusetts. With the Berkshires ground zero for the invasive bug, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is looking to selectively remove dead or dying ash from along public roads passing through DCR lands within the Berkshire Forestry District from the New York border to the Connecticut River. The ash borer was first detected in Dalton five years ago and has since radiated throughout the county, spreading eastward. The Berkshire region has the state’s largest concentration of ash trees. If successful, the proposed logging work should slow the spread of the ash borer, remove the liability of dead trees falling on the roadways and salvage usable ash for lumber, firewood and pulp.

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Celebrating forests on International Day of Forests

By Scion Research
Scoop.co.nz
March 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tomorrow is the International Day of Forests, a day celebrated annually on 21 March to recognise and promote the many benefits that forests bring to our lives. Forests play a very important role in New Zealand. The Forestry industry is the 3rd largest primary industry exporter, providing over 26 000 jobs and almost 5 billion dollars to the economy annually. Forestry also benefits the environment by stabilising soil, lifting water quality, storing carbon and supporting biodiversity. Not to mention that most of our homes and much of our furniture are constructed from trees, or products derived from trees. But the benefits of forestry extend further still. Scion, the Crown research institute dedicated to growing New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wellbeing through trees, has a unique understanding of the role of forests in our past present and future.

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Ecologist proposes a new model to help meet global forest restoration goals

By Jennifer Mcnulty
Phys.org
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tropical reforestation is an important part of the global effort to mitigate climate change, but ecologist Karen Holl says current international goals may be overly ambitious. “The science and practice of restoration are often quite separate, says Holl, an expert in tropical forest restoration. “Scientific research takes place at a small scale, and we’ve rarely tried to integrate results on the broad scale people are talking about. There’s a mismatch between these really big goals and what’s being done on the ground.” …Restoration goals need to be tailored by region and employ a multi-stakeholder “bottom-up” approach that engages landowners, NGOs, local governments, researchers, private companies, and indigenous and community groups, says Holl. That will be the key to the development of cost-effective management practices that are practical at a large scale.

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Company & Business News

Canada’s strong lumber case could falter in a ‘Buy American, Hire American’ world

By Barrie McKenna
The Globe and Mail
March 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

These should be happy days for the U.S. lumber industry. Prices are up, mills are operating near full tilt and housing starts are on a tear… Surely, in this auspicious environment there should be plenty of spoils for everyone, including Canadian producers, who have roughly a third of the massive U.S. lumber market. The United States, after all, can’t produce all the lumber it needs, and has historically depended heavily on imports from its northern neighbour… And yet, U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick to be his administration’s top trade negotiator said fixing the “very serious” lumber problem is at the top of his U.S.-Canada to-do list… Mr. Lighthizer should lighten up. The first question he might ask himself is: Where is the crisis?.. But duties or taxes are not what the U.S. industry wants. It’s seeking a permanent limit on lumber entering its market – not unlike the strict quotas Canada imposes on imported dairy and poultry products.

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Forestry workers to meet MPs for softwood lumber lobby

By Unifor
Canada Newswire
March 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Unifor members from across Canada will meet with MPs next week to discuss how the federal government can save good Canadian jobs during Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement negotiations. “The stakes couldn’t be higher for one of the largest sectors of Canada’s economy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The Trudeau government must stop negotiating trade agreements from a position of fear and get a softwood deal that benefits Canadian forestry communities.” As Canada’s third largest export sector, forestry directly employs 202,000 people in every region of the country. The forestry sector’s $24-billion positive trade balance represents a quarter of Canada’s total trade surplus.

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Mill the logs where they are cut

Letter by Rod Retzlaff
Nelson Star
March 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “BC Liberals: Government versus the people” (Letters, March 8). I heartily agree with Mr. Armstrong’s analysis of our current provincial government, especially in regard to log exports, but it is actually much worse than what Mr. Armstrong described. One of the major log exporters is now debarking the logs in order to get more on a ship and thereby make more profit. They then claim that those logs are not log exports but value-added lumber exports. In my mind, that is a huge insult to the intelligence of the people of B.C. …Rural British Columbians need to demand the return of the requirement to mill logs where they are cut, and our vote is about the only thing we have to demand it with.

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Canadian softwood lumber in U.S. crosshairs, B.C. envoy says

By Sunny Dhillon
The Globe and Mail
March 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s envoy in the latest softwood-lumber dispute will be back in Washington next week and says recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade nominee show he’s “clearly got his crosshairs on Canada.” …Mr. Emerson, in an interview Friday, said Mr. Lighthizer’s comments were “concerning but not unexpectedly concerning.”…“I’ve called it a shakedown in the past and I’ll continue to call it a shakedown. It’s a fully legalized system, which, every time we win, they tweak the legislation to make it a little tougher. And so that’s basically the game,” he said. Mr. Emerson said he expects formal negotiations to begin before the summer. If the U.S. administration and stakeholders want to reach a deal, he said it could be done in a matter of months. But if “they want to extract every pound of flesh they can, it could go on for a long time.”

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Pulp mill site of minor fire

Prince George Citizen
March 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A minor fire broke out at the Canfor Pulp’s Intercon pulp mill on Thursday. Company spokeswoman Corinne Stavness said it was located at the chip infeed, where the raw material enters the mill. “Our internal fire control systems triggered to contain the fire, and our employees followed all procedures including calling the fire department who responded promptly,” Stavness said. “There were no injuries and there was minimal damage.”

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Foresters hard up to fight softwood lumber dispute

By Jon Thompson
TB Newswatch
March 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — Ontario and Quebec chambers of commerce say forestry companies are preparing for a trade war with the United States over softwood lumber and are asking the Canadian government for help. The chambers are sending a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, requesting the federal government commit to loan guarantees as Canadian companies will need to set money aside for legal action…. Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce president Charla Robinson said forestry companies need support so capital isn’t restraining them if the fight breaks out again. “When there’s tariffs put in, when there’s duties that are being imposed by the government, everything is in the courts but in the meantime, companies have to put the dollars they would be putting into those tariffs into a special bank account to show they have the money to pay those at the end if they lose,” Robinson said.

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Drax bids to acquire two distressed US pellet plants

Lesprom Network
March 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Drax has been notified that the sellers of Texas Pellets and Louisiana Pellets have delayed the processes for the sale out of bankruptcy of these assets, originally scheduled for 1 and 2 March. It is expected that these processes will continue during March, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Drax previously notified the market of its participation in these processes and had submitted initial cash bids for the operating assets of Texas Pellets and Louisiana Pellets. Drax remains an interested party in the acquisition of these assets. Drax has indicated its intention to expand its self-supply compressed wood pellet operations to support 20-30% of its generation requirement.

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Huber Engineered Woods settles patent suit with Georgia Pacific Wood Products

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
March 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Specialty building products manufacturer Huber Engineered Woods LLC says it negotiated a settlement with Georgia Pacific Wood Products in the patent infringement lawsuit it filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. In Huber Engineered Woods LLC v. Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC, Civil Action No. 3:16-cv-399, filed in June 2016 by the Charlotte-headquartered manufacturer, alleged that GP’s ForceField® products infringed HEW’s patents for its ZIP System sheathing and tape products. The settlement includes a license under HEW’s patents to GP to cover sales of GP’s ForceField products with a payment of an undisclosed upfront amount and ongoing royalties.

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Heyfield mill not for sale to Victorian Government, owners plan to relocate operation to Tasmania

By Peter Lusted
ABC News, Australia
March 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

The owners of the Heyfield sawmill have no intention to sell it to the State Government and have revealed more about details of their plans to relocate the mill to Tasmania. The jobs of 260 Heyfield workers are in limbo after they were told on Friday that the site would close within 18 months. The mill’s owners, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH), rejected a timber supply offer from state-owned logging company VicForests, deeming it unsustainable. The State Government indicated it would consider buying the mill, but ASH director Clinton Tilley scoffed at the suggestion. …”We would plan that as parts of Heyfield became no longer needed, that we would look to relocate down to Tasmania,” he said.

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Heyfield mill move to Tasmania should not involve taxpayer funds, Greens say

ABC News, Australia
March 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Environmentalists and the Greens want a commitment that taxpayers’ money will not be used to secure a deal to move a Victorian sawmill to the state. The Greens have raised questions about what the Tasmanian Government has promised sawmiller Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH), which has foreshadowed plans to move its Heyfield mill and set up in Burnie. The announcement has left the jobs of 260 workers at the Gippsland mill in limbo. …Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor had similar concerns, after the State Government passed legislation this week to allow logging in 350,000 hectares of forest previously earmarked for protection. “I think Tasmanians would like to know what is the nature of those discussions. Have any assurances been made about access to the 350,000 hectares?” she said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Splitting hairs over splitting wood

By Peter Holmgre, CIFOR, Director General
Center for International Forestry Research
March 20, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The past month has seen a fierce international and academic debate flare up again over the large-scale use of wood to produce energy, notably in Europe. When we agreed on “Forests and Energy” as the theme for this year’s International Day of Forests on 21 March, we had no idea that there would be such a timely opportunity to share how forests and biomass can deliver crucial energy to support the livelihoods of billions of people, and at the same time provide major opportunities for our climate-smart future. …So what to make of this heated debate? …? It would appear that the bioenergy debate needs a broader and more long-term perspective. Focusing only on subsidy schemes and the associated accounting related to greenhouse gas emissions to meet policy targets in the next few years does not provide a holistic picture of a future that we may want to aspire to.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Lumber giant Canfor makes oil from wood waste

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
March 15, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canadian logging giant Canfor Pulp has announced its developing the first ever commercial-scale biocrude oil plant. Biocrude is a synthetic fuel under investigation as a substitute for petroleum. Canfor says the biocrude will be nearly indistinguishable from traditional crude oil. “In the next few years we’ll be announcing a project and building a real facility that will produce upwards of 400,000 barrels of oil a year,” said Bret Robinson, president of Canfor Pulp. The project comes after Canfor announced it was working with an Australian-based startup firm Licella Fibre Fuels, which developed a process that converts biomass into biocrude. Canfor will turn its wood waste from its three British Columbia facilities into biocrude.

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Nova Scotia backs higher wooden homes

Chronicle Herald
March 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The provincial government is adopting changes to the National Building Code which include increasing the maximum height of wooden residential buildings from four to six storeys. “These changes will align the provincial building code with the latest National Building Code standards,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Municipal Affairs in a news release. “Allowing taller wooden buildings will open up new, sustainable opportunities for the forestry sector in our province.” The Fire Safety Act and Regulations will also be changed to enhance safety requirements for the taller wood buildings.

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52 types of wood and the trees they come from

By Olivia Biggs
Woodworking Network
March 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

It’s good to know what type of product you’re working with. Because the natural world of wood is so perfectly unpredictable and varied, familiarity with tree types and wood grain is one of the most important skills of woodworking. Learning about the different types of woodgrain, and the trees they come from, can help a skilled woodworker expand their horizons. While many customers seem to love certain hardwoods, the trees they come from can often be endangered or exceedingly rare. Sometimes, the best types of wood are more obscure. There are so many options out there, from the ridiculously hard African blackwood to soft pines, from the colorful purpleheart to the patterned Koa, from the ordinary cypress to the lovely-smelling cedar

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TallWood Design Institute established at Oregon State U.

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
March 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design at Oregon State University has been renamed as the TallWood Design Institute. The institute brings together the OSU College of Forestry; OSU College of Engineering; and the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. It’s the nation’s only research collaborative that focuses exclusively on the advancement of structural wood products, and will serve as a national research, education, teaching and outreach hub in the development of tall wood buildings. Iain Macdonald, an international leader in high-rise wood structures who led the Centre for Advanced Wood Products at the University of British Columbia for the past 10 years, has been hired as its first acting director.

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Federal legislation could bolster Michigan’s wood products industry

By John Wiegand
MiBiz
March 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Legislation proposed earlier this month in the U.S. Senate could provide a boost to Michigan’s nascent advanced wood products industry. The bill, dubbed the Timber Innovation Act of 2017, calls for an increase in federal spending on research and development for “innovative wood products.” Specifically, the legislation supports continued efforts to develop wood buildings that reach taller than 85 feet and are constructed primarily from high-tech timber products. In introducing the bill earlier this month, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said supporting the advanced wood products industry could create jobs across Michigan and the U.S. and increase the availability of an environmentally friendly building material. “Currently, construction in the U.S. doesn’t use wood as the main building material, particularly in buildings more than three stories,” Stabenow told MiBiz.

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NZ at forefront of timber renaissance for commercial buildings

By Chris Hutching
Stuff.co.nz
March 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Daryl Patterson is a good humoured evangelist when it comes to timber construction – not just framing in houses but for high rises and commercial buildings. His message about lighter weight timber buildings has particular resonance for the “shaky isles” – especially Wellington’s reclaimed waterfront – even though Christchurch’s central city rebuild is dominated by concrete and steel. Patterson is head of operational excellence at Australian development company Lend Lease and has been in New Zealand for the past fortnight presenting awards for timber construction, and holding industry forums with Kiwi experts in the field.

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General

The Continuous Digester – what we learned last week

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
March 19, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

  • Lumber – Random Lengths reported that SYP prices were down $9/mfbm to $475/mfbm while W.SPF fell $2 to $352. For SYP, buyers were hesitant to enter the market this week given uncertainty around the market’s direction in the spring. 
  • OSB – OSB prices were largely flat in all regions, except Western Canada where prices declined slightly. 
  • Paper, packaging, and pulp – RISI reports that North American containerboard producers are starting to push through their announced $50/ton price increase on linerboard and corrugating medium. 
  • NBSK hits $1,060 in March with another $20 on the way – RISI reports that US NBSK list prices were up $30/mt to $1,060/mt in March and notes that a number of producers have announced another $20/mt for April. 

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