Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 5, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

COFI Convention starts tonight!

Tree Frog Forestry News
April 5, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Logging permits issued by government agencies in Alaska and BC are being criticized for poor oversight and failing to protect habitat. In Alaska, an environmental group is citing the US Forest Service’s own internal report, saying that forest managers “allowed logging companies to cut corners” which meant they “didn’t accomplish their environmental goals” and had “significant monetary losses“. A group of citizens near Wells Gray Park are hoping their appeal to the Canadian federal government to issue an “emergency stop” under the Species at Risk Act will stop logging currently happening in critical habitat for the endangered Southern Mountain Caribou.

Congratulations to Dr. Ron Sederoff, winner of the 2017 Marcus Wallenberg Prize – “the Nobel prize of forestry”. Recently retired from North Carolina State University, Dr. Sederoff founded the forest biotechnology research group at the University in 1987. Dr. Sederoff says it “was the probably the best place in the world to set up such a program“. One major achievement of the group was to accelerate the breeding cycle of pine trees.

Showing a further split in the support for the Tasmanian government’s proposed plan to allow logging in currently protected forests, the largest hardware retailer in the country has said it will not sell timber sourced from these areas. While smaller mills are behind this legislation (to be debated next week), the Forest Industries Association Tasmania is not stating “if the timber is controversial the markets will not buy it“.

The Council of Forest Industries annual convention starts tonight in Vancouver and the Frogs will be reporting from the convention floor.  Say hi if you see us!

– Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

B.C.’s forests can be sustainably harvested

By Kathy Abusow, President & CEO of SFI Inc.
The Vancouver Sun
April 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Whoever first made the observation that an individual “couldn’t see the forest for the trees” was pointing to a common problem — particularly about forests themselves. …While I love parks, most people think that parks and protected areas are the only mechanisms to address conservation objectives. That’s not true. Well-managed forests that include timber harvesting can be actively managed to provide habitat to maintain or recover species, to increase carbon storage and to purify our water. Working forests that are responsibly managed provide us not only with these conservation benefits, but also with the jobs that can sustain rural communities, and life-enhancing products such as homes that provide our shelter, books and paper that support culture and literacy, and renewable and recyclable packaging for food and consumer products.

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Caribou, Logging, Wolves and Corporate Donors

The Boundary Sentinel
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

What poses the greatest hazard to BC’s endangered Southern Mountain Caribou — habitat loss, wolves, or corporate donors? Or are all three of those factors linked, and if so, how? This opinion piece is from DeSmog Canada. Read and contemplate. The B.C. government is granting logging permits in critical caribou habitat, despite evidence that B.C.’s Southern Mountain Caribou are being driven to extinction by habitat loss — a move that has driven citizens to call on the federal government to enforce the Species At Risk Act.  Among the hardest hit regions in the province is the area in and around Wells Gray Park, the scenic home to Helmcken Falls, two hours north of Kamloops.

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BC Rural Dividend grant provides a boost to Fort Nelson

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Government of British Columbia
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT NELSON – Under the BC Rural Dividend, the provincial government is providing $100,000 to the Fort Nelson region, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson and Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett announced today. $50,000 is being awarded to the Fort Nelson First Nation and $50,000 will go to the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. The funds will be used to support initiatives that will diversify and expand the forest economy in the region.

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Forest Service mishandled timber sales, environmental group says

By Ed Schoenfeld
KTOO Public Media
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Washington, D.C., environmental group is accusing the Tongass National Forest of breaking its own timber-sale rules. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility cites internal Forest Service documents in its critique of Tongass management. The national forest includes most of Southeast Alaska. Executive Director Jeff Ruch said forest managers didn’t sufficiently review or monitor sales. They also allowed logging companies to cut corners, he said. “And as a result, there were significant monetary losses,” Ruch said. “They didn’t accomplish their environmental goals. And the oversight was so poor that the Tongass National Forest didn’t even have copies of the contract, let alone the backup data,” Ruch said.

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As wildfire season stretches, Forest Service shifts, balances priorities

By Erin Ford
Grand Canyon News
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the wildfire season is about 78 days longer than it was in 1970, leading the Forest Service to strike a balance between maintaining forests and fighting more fires. Over the past two decades, the Forest Service has shifted personnel to keep up with the increasing number and severity of wildland fires. In 1998, the agency employed about 17,000 workers to maintain forest properties. As of 2016, that number had dropped to 10,000. Over that same period, the number of fire personnel has increased about 68 percent, up from 5,000 in 1998 to around 8,400 in 2017. The agency has also had transfer funds from forest management to firefighting.

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Fires, thinning create healthier foreset

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Patchy. That’s what you want. Whether it comes to bark beetles, forest fires, migrating birds, elk or deer — what you want are forests with patches thick with trees, open areas and hillsides burned decades ago. This conclusion has emerged from a series of recent studies on bark beetles and tree densities. The studies support the underlying logic of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), an ambitious effort to use a reinvented, small-tree logging industry to thin the forest and diversify the landscape. The project has lagged far behind the schedule needed to thin the first installment of 300,000 acres.

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NC State Prof Wins International Forestry Prize

By Liz Schlemmer
WUNC 91.5 North Carolina Public Radio
March 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A recently retired North Carolina State University professor capped his career with a prestigious international award. Dr. Ron Sederoff has been awarded the Marcus Wallenberg Prize for his work on the molecular genetics of trees. The award is known as the Nobel prize of forestry. Sederoff has been a professor at N.C. State since 1987. He founded the university’s forest biotechnology research group. “I came to set up this program because North Carolina State University was probably the best place in the world to set up such a program, because of its long history of work on trees,” Sederoff said. He added that the program has attracted students and scientists from 15 countries around the world.

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Commonwealth Conference Day 2 starts with Global Forestry Conclave

Daily Pioneer
April 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The second day of the 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference began with the Global Forestry Conclave for discussion on the role of forestry in implementing international agreements in Commonwealth member nations and beyond with the focus on moving from agreed texts to action on ground. The conclave came up with recommendation to relook to the joint forestry management conservation strategies, to strengthen the partnership between research and development institutions, industry and voluntary organisations with the increased use of social media to generate awareness and to educate the negotiators so that they could understand the problem of implementation.

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How to protect Peru’s rainforest? Indigenous land titles, researchers say

By Chris Arsenault
Thomson Reuters
April 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

RIO DE JANEIRO – Providing formal land ownership titles to indigenous communities is one of the most effective ways to preserve endangered rainforest in Peru’s Amazon, said a study published on Monday. Forest destruction dropped 75 percent on land once it was formally granted to indigenous communities, said the study by American researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Analysing satellite data and land ownership certificates, the researchers compared forest cover on territory before and in the two years after it was formally titled to indigenous communities. They make the case that granting land titles to indigenous communities who currently control about 10 million hectares of forests in Peru has direct, measurable benefits for Amazon preservation.

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Native forests threatened by myrtle rust

Scoop.co.nz
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The arrival of myrtle rust, threatening some of New Zealand’s most precious native trees, shows the kind of impact climate change could have on the country, says Forest and Bird. Myrtle rust, or Puccinia psidii, is a fungus with spores that are spread by the wind, and is likely to affect pohutukawa, rata and manuka, as well feijoas and guavas. Originating in South America, it has already spread to other countries, including Australia, where it has wiped out some native tree species… Ms Hallett says that while its not known whether this particular disease is linked to a warming climate, we should expect to see new and potentially devastating pests and diseases arrive in the country and take hold as the climate changes.

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Forestry can uplift poor: Expert

The Tribune India
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Dr Peter Holmgren, Director General, Center for International Forestry Research, has stated that forestry should help create livelihood opportunities for the poor. Talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Forestry Conference today, Dr Holmgren said forestry should benefit people. “Forestry across the globe must create livelihood opportunities to eradicate poverty,” Dr Holmgren said. He admitted that people faced problems in countries where there are government owned forests. 

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Forest conservation program full steam ahead, says Department of Environment and Natural Resources

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Manila Bulletin
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is pushing for the full implementation of a forest conservation strategy to help reduce climate change impacts in the country. DENR’s Forest Management Bureau, in cooperation with the German Government’s Environment Ministry, is working together for the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) strategy to help reduce impacts of climate change by protecting and sustainably managing the country’s forests. The DENR-FMB and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the German government’s international development cooperation agency, have been working together for the sustainable management of forests through the joint project “Preparation of a National REDD+ Mechanism for Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Conservation of Biodiversity in the Philippines” or the National REDD+ System Philippines.

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How to stop deforestation: ‘Indigenous people are the best park rangers’

By The Center for Global Development
The Guardian
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Trees soak up greenhouse gases, so how do we ensure their protection? Our experts offer seven ideas for the conservation and restoration of forests.1 | Stop subsidising agriculture that harms forests. 2 | Invest in indigenous people. 3 | Talk about the causes of deforestation. 4 | Show that conservation is not a barrier to economic development. 5 | Pressure companies to monitor supply chains. 6 | Take action at a local and a national level. 7 | Offer incentives, but also be vigilant on enforcement

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World is home to ‘60,000 tree species’

By Mark Kinver
BBC News
April 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

There are 60,065 species of trees in the world, according to a comprehensive study of the world’s plants. Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) compiled the tree list by using data gathered from its network of 500 member organisations. It hopes the list will be used as a tool to identify rare and threatened species in need of immediate action to prevent them becoming extinct… The data revealed that Brazil was the nation with the greatest number of tree species, home to 8,715 varieties. Apart from the polar regions, which have no trees, the near-Arctic region of North America had the fewest number of species, with less than 1,400.

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Company & Business News

BMC Acquires Texas Plywood & Lumber and Code Plus Components

LBM Journal
April 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA — BMC Stock Holdings, Inc.has acquired substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Texas Plywood & Lumber Company, Inc. and Code Plus Components, LLC. Through these acquisitions, BMC enhances its footprint in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. markets, respectively. Peter Alexander, president and CEO of BMC… “each of these transactions is in line with our strategy to pursue accretive acquisition opportunities that are easily integrated and enable BMC to expand strategically in select markets… TexPly was founded in 1953 and is led by Geoff Yates who will remain with BMC.

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Bunnings won’t stock timber sourced from areas logged under Tasmanian Government plan

By Georgie Burgess
ABC News, Australia
April 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International


Australia’s largest household hardware chain will not sell timber sourced from contentious Tasmanian forests that the Government wants to re-open to logging earlier than planned. The suppliers of timber to Bunnings have informed the retail giant that they would only source wood from existing forest coupes. …Bunnings had a “long-standing commitment to pursue sustainability across our operations by striving to make them socially responsible and economically viable,” Mr Schneider said. He said Bunnings had “committed a zero-tolerance approach to illegally logged timber almost two decades ago … and we can now state with confidence that more than 99 per cent of our timber products are sourced from low-risk plantations or verified legal and sustainable forest operations”.

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Positive outlook for forestry sector

By the New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
April 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston has welcomed new forecasts showing forestry export revenue set to rise further over the next two financial years. The Ministry for Primary Industries’ first quarterly update of its Situation Outlook for Primary Industries shows forestry export revenue is forecast to rise 5.8 per cent to $5.4 billion for the year ending June 2017, and a further 8.8 per cent to $5.9 billion in the year to June 2018. “Rising log exports are behind this positive forecast, with a strong demand from China due to its expanding housing market. This, combined with low shipping costs, has driven harvesting to record levels,” Ms Upston says. “Increased building activity in Auckland and Christchurch are also driving domestic consumption of sawn timber, up 7 per cent in the year to September 2016, which is great news for the forestry sector.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Could This Enzyme Help Turn Biofuel Waste into Something Useful?

By Sarah Yang
Berkeley Lab News Center
April 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A protein used by common soil bacteria is providing new clues in the effort to convert aryl compounds, a common waste product from industrial and agricultural practices, into something of value. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Sandia National Laboratories working at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have resolved the protein structure of the enzyme LigM, which is utilized by the soil bacterium Sphingomonas to metabolize aryl compounds derived from lignin, the stiff, organic material that gives plants their structure.

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Sale of LaSalle pellet plant moves forward

By Jeff Matthews
Alexandria Town Talk
April 4, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A subsidiary of British power company Drax Group was the winning bidder in a recent auction of a bankrupt pellet plant in Urania. The $35.4 million bid by Drax Biomass Inc. for Louisiana Pellets Inc. is expected to be approved by a federal bankruptcy court judge, and the sale could be finalized this month. “We’re thrilled with the outcome of last week’s auction,” said Pete Madden, president and CEO of Drax Biomass. “Louisiana Pellets sits in the middle of a healthy and vibrant wood basket and is served by modern infrastructure, making it an ideal addition to our asset portfolio. We’re excited by the prospect of joining Urania’s business community, and we look forward to increasing our presence in Louisiana, which has been a key partner in our growth as a business.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

VIDEO: The 13th Annual Wood Design Awards

By JOC News Service
Journal of Commerce
April 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 13th annual Wood Design Awards were held March 6 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, highlighting the year’s best wood projects across a wide spectrum of categories. Wood WORKS! BC executive director Lynn Embury-Williams spoke to the Journal of Commerce about this year’s nominees, and said wood structures are getting bigger, more complicated and in many cases are integrating into hybrid structures where wood is the main component. Dana Westermark of Oris Consulting won the Wood Champion award for his work on implementing wood use on five- and six-storey midrise residential construction, and spoke to the Journal about the challenges of working on ambitious wood-centred structures.

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Woodturners create ‘unique’ massive platter for Canada’s 150th birthday

By Doug Johnson
Edmonton Journal
April 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Edmonton Woodturners Guild’s plans for this Canada Day are big enough they needed to jerry-rig their lathe. Ten members from the group have teamed up to create a 1.6-metre-diameter commemorative platter they hope will help usher in Canada’s 150th birthday. The unusually large piece is made of strips of poplar, laminated together to make a plank that was about 1.8 metres in diameter before the team cut it down with a band saw. After some extensive lathing and smoothing, the team turned half-circle shaped “beads” into the wood, forming 150 rings around the circumference of the platter. “Our objective in this whole thing was to create a unique piece of art to honour and commemorate Canada’s 150th,” Bill Nestor, chapter president of the Edmonton Woodturner’s Guild, said recently. At the centre of the platter sits a maple dome that contains a map of Canada showing each province and territory and the dates each joined Confederation. 

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Composite decks offer the look of real wood

Delta Optimist
April 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Decks add character and functionality to a home, increasing outdoor entertaining space and often times improving the resale value. Homeowners have various options when choosing decking materials, but one such option, composite decking, is growing in popularity. Decks used to primarily be made from pressuretreated lumber. While lumber remains a popular material, more and more homeowners are opting for composite decking products. As anyone who has pressure-washed, stained and sealed wood decks can attest, such spaces require lots of upkeep to look new year after year. Composite decks require much less maintenance, making them highly attractive to homeowners who would rather spend time using their decks instead of maintaining them.

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Check out these decked out IKEA stools by Vancouver university students

By Wanyee Li
MetroNews Vancouver
April 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Students in a UBC forestry program [The Bachelor of Science in Wood Products Processing] used industry-grade coating techniques to upgrade the popular furniture buy. Wood science students at the University of British Columbia have transformed $20 Bekvam step stools into colourful masterpieces. It’s the type of DIY many people do in their own homes but UBC forestry students took it another level, using industry-grade coating technology to beautify more than a dozen stools. Students were showcase their designs to industry experts from across Canada on Monday afternoon. The assignment is part of a class in UBC’s faculty of forestry. 

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Build Better, Stronger, Faster with CLT

By Joyce El Kouarti
USDA
April 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service is working to build markets for innovative forest products. One of these products, cross-laminated timber, also known as CLT, offers an opportunity for raising tall buildings with wood, opening up a completely new market for wood products. And there’s tremendous opportunity to increase the market share for wood-based construction… The Forest Service is playing a lead role in researching and bringing CLT building technology to the United States. Scientists from the agency’s Northern Forest Research Station are studying the economic feasibility of using low-grade hardwoods for CLT production. The Forest Products Laboratory collects data on CLT’s engineering properties as well as its fire, moisture, and seismic performance.  

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10 exceptionally tall wood buildings

By Matt Hickman
Mother Nature Network
April 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood is a growing presence in modern skylines across the world, and these timber giants are worth shouting about from the treetops. Although you can find wood buildings of considerable height in locales across the globe, most of these structures are limited to houses of worship and historic structures and not typically tall buildings found in dense urban settings — you know, residential high-rises, office towers and run-of-the-mill skyscrapers.

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Composite Prime hits the decks of British gardens

By John Carlon
British Plastics and Rubber
April 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A new composite timber and plastic product has been launched in Britain by two seasoned timber merchants. Composite Prime is supplied by Dom Harrison and Charles Taylor, based in Wharfedale, Yorkshire. Established in 2014, the company has done extensive research and development and will now sell direct the product which may replace timber decking in British gardens. Taylor, who owns Taylor’s Timber Centre in Bradford, is a third generation timber merchant whose family has been established in the timber industry since 1950, while Harrison hails from a family active in plastics.

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Timber interiors get big tick from judges: Highly Commended holiday homes

By Colleen Hawkes
Stuff.co.nz
April 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Timber interiors are hot right now, and these two holiday homes show exactly why they work. The two houses are the Highly Commended winners in the Resene Timber Design Awards 2017. The winning house, Point Wells Gables by Paterson Architecture Collective, Steven Lloyd Architecture & Glamuzina Architects featured on Stuff last month. The first Highly Commended house featured here is no awards newcomer. Torea Studio on the Waimea Estuary in Tasman Bay has already won a 2016 NZIA Branch Award. …The other Highly Commended entry was this Pakiri bach by Box, which was just what the owners ordered – simple, small, elegant and modern. The two wings are separated by a covered outdoor space.

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