Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 21, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Wood: The Lethal Renewable Energy Swindle?

Tree Frog Forestry News
April 21, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

In a flurry of stories, Prime Minister Trudeau “brushed off an attack” by “no more Mister Nice Trump” after the latter “added softwood lumber to his anti-Canada trade rhetoric”. Meanwhile, Canadian Trade Minister Champagne “was on his way to China looking for an alternative to the US market”.

A diverse coalition of forest sector unions and environmental activists rallied at the BC Legislature yesterday, “calling for a ban on raw log exports and a transition to sustainable second growth forestry“. Coincidentally (?), in a Vancouver Sun op-ed, Philip Cross, formerly chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada, writes that the long-standing call for more value-added exports “is hardly possible or desirable”

Bjorn Lomborg, the Skeptical Environmentalist isn’t skeptical when it comes to the use of wood pellets to generate electricity. In Forbes magazine, he calls government policies to incentivize biomass “flawed” and their desire to transition to renewables “premature”. Lomborg believes that “we will only solve global warming when solar and wind can compete with fossil fuels“, which will require a “huge investment in green energy R&D“.

Finally, our condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of those who died or were injured after a logging train operated by Western Forest Products derailed near Woss, BC. 

–Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Alleged lack of protection for caribou prompts lawsuit against McKenna

By Mia Rabson
Canadian Press in CTV News
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — A wildlife advocacy group is taking Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to court for allegedly failing to tell Canadians how the country’s woodland caribou are being protected. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society said Thursday it had filed an application for judicial review in Federal Court in Montreal. The Species at Risk Act requires the environment minister to “form an opinion about whether or not the critical habitat of the woodland caribou is protected,” lawyer Frederic Paquin told a news conference. “She was supposed to form that opinion more than four and a half years ago and she failed to do so,” said Paquin. “She is quite late.” 

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The perils of living in Shuswap slide country

By Jim Cooperman
Salmon Arm Observer
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While the Shuswap is not as prone to landslides as the coast or the Kootenays, nonetheless this region does experience extreme instability far too often and the problems are likely intensifying. A number of factors are behind the increase, including geography, climate change and forestry. Some areas are definitely more susceptible, including Sunnybrae where a mudslide recently destroyed two homes, and above Mara Lake, where concern about landslides has prompted the regional district to support a logging moratorium. …. …Now Tolko wants to log this hillside yet again, despite the obvious risks to the community below. …Given the higher probability for future slides and this region’s topography and logging history, it would be wise to be better prepared and be more cautious with forest development.

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Coalition Calls For End To Raw Log Exports And Old-Growth Logging In Lead-Up To Election

By The Wilderness Committee
Abbotsford Today
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers from the BC forest industry, First Nations’ representatives, environmental activists, and citizens rallied at the BC Legislature today. The diverse coalition called for a ban on raw log exports and a transition to sustainable second growth forestry. The groups are calling on all provincial parties to commit to these policies before the May 9 election. The coalition also wants to see greater involvement of Indigenous Nations in forest management in BC. “The BC government has allowed companies to export logs and kill BC jobs for far too long,” said Arnold Bercov, President of the Public and Private Workers of Canada

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ELF does not speak for mountain bikers

Letter by Warren Hansen, RPF, Langdale
Sunshine Coast Reporter
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the April 7 opinion letter (“Trail won’t stand up”), ELF’s Ross Muirhead is once again attempting to speak for the mountain bikers and trail building, stating that tree canopy is required to protect trail integrity. He points to examples of poor drainage and trail erosion on the New Frogger trail built by the Community Forests. This latest verbal attack on the Frogger trail is just a veiled effort to push ELF’s campaign to denounce the great support that the Sunshine Coast Community Forest is giving back to our recreation community. …One last thing – I can only think that ELF is saying this about Frogger to connect mountain bike trails to its protectionism rhetoric and tactics. We want to be part of the solution and will continue to work with others who want to share our little patch of Earth; so please leave us alone – you do not speak for us.

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Community forest reports at annual meeting

Clearwater Times
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

General manager George Brcko highlighted the WGCFC (CF) activities for 2016, what is planned for 2017 and summed up the past five years of accomplishments for the Community Forest. The Community Forest has completed 10 years of operation and its second cut control, which is a proud achievement for the corporation. Volume harvested in 2016 was 24,117 m3 and was competitively bid and awarded to a local contractor. As safety is of utmost importance to the CF board, all company’s working for the CF must be SAFE certified with the BC Forest Safety Council. To ensure continuous harvesting opportunities that are profitable the CF board of directors has a timber management goal to maintain a four-year standing timber inventory (STI). STI is cut-blocks developed with referrals completed and ready to harvest, which allows the CF to take advantage of upcoming markets.

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Snow could put a damper on forest fire season

By Elizabeth Fraser
CBC News
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Oh the weather outside is frightful — but that could mean a shorter forest fire season. Earlier this month, the province reminded New Brunswickers the start of the forest fire season was near. But the snow that fell on the province this week and over the winter may have pushed the start back a bit. “It goes away quickly but the forest fire season can start quickly also,” Roger Collet, the province’s wildfire prevention officer, said on Information Morning Fredericton. The season typically runs from the third Monday in April until Oct. 31.  “Whether it’s two weeks early, two weeks later, generally it happens every year,” Collet said. Overall, he expects a fairly quiet season, similar to last year. The department will just have to wait and see as the weeks unfold, he said. “We can’t tell until we’re actually there.”

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Cantwell Urges Trump To Reverse Decision That Would Slash Funding For Fighting Fires

US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) sent a letter to President Trump calling for the use of science-based approaches to restore forest health and for a reversal of the $600 million cut to firefighting proposed in the President’s budget. In the letter, Senator Cantwell argued that the government’s approach to managing wildfires is inadequate in the new era of intense wildfires we now face. Wildfires have already burned 2.2 million acres this year. This level of activity is 400 percent above normal, and the science tells us this trend will continue. The Senator wrote, “Wildfires are serious business in the West and, increasingly, throughout our nation. I am writing to implore you to implement policies based on science to govern our country’s response to these potentially deadly blazes and to grow the economy of rural areas.”

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U.S. Sen. Barrasso Reintroduces Bill to Ramp Up Logging, Reduce Protections for Endangered Species on National Forests

Center for Biological Diversity
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON— U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) reintroduced legislation this week to significantly ramp up damaging logging, threaten endangered species and limit citizen and judicial efforts to prevent destruction of our national forests. Barrasso’s bill (S. 879) would eliminate any input from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists on threats to endangered species from all logging projects that purport to be “restorative.” That would allow the U.S. Forest Service to review and rubberstamp its own proposals on how best to address “unhealthy” forests. “This bill would allow the timber industry to dramatically increase dangerous logging under the guise of ‘ecosystem restoration,’” said Randi Spivak, public lands director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Senator Barrasso’s bill would greenlight reckless and irresponsible logging in our national forests, at the expense of our most endangered species.”

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Timber Information Report Deadline Moved Three Years

Centralia Chronicle
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A bill allowing for the extension of time to report timber purchase information to the Department of Revenue was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday. First introduced by 19th District state Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, the law allows for potential changes in tax policy and market conditions by extending the deadline from July 2018 to July 2021. “The timber industry continues to play a vital role in our region’s economy,” said Walsh… Because changes often occur in tax policy and market conditions, a three-year extension is better than a permanent change, Walsh said in a press release. This extension helps ensure stumpage tax rates are based on actual market value and not on other sources of information. In addition, it protects landowners from unnecessary costs and reduces the risk of misreporting information, he said.

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Here’s a proposal in place of Wild Olympics legislation

Letter by Ray Nason, Commercial Tree Farmer
Peninsula Daily News
April 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In response to the April 9 letter to Peninsula Voices, “Kitchel’s failure,” we can improve on oxygen output by cutting the tree after its fastest growth, which concludes the tree’s most oxygen-productive time. It’s not complicated science to determine when a tree is at its best producing-oxygen cycle. Simply measure the growth rings. Under state law, during cutting, the streams and wetlands are protected by buffers up to 200 feet on each side. After harvesting the trees, the choice becomes whether to make them into lumber or sell the logs on the world market. In addition, a harvest tax of 5 percent is added to the other taxes on the sale of the logs. This all produces many jobs and revenue for our economy, as well as increases much-needed oxygen for our air.

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‘There’s virtually no jobs available for people’

Shaimaa Khalil interviews Mark Mahon
BBC News
April 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Americans are taking stock of what President Trump has achieved in his first months in power. On the last leg of her road trip across the US Newsday’s Shaimaa Khalil is in Idaho, a state which voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. The timber industry is a big employer in northern Idaho and logging is a crucial part of that. Shaimaa spent time at a logging yard and spoke to Mark Mahon – he calls himself the WOOD’S BOSS!

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See a large tree? It may qualify for the Champion Tree Program

By Campbell Vaughn, agriculture and natural resources cooperative extension agent for Richmond County
The Augusta Chronicle
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


My aunt introduced me to a program years ago called the Georgia Champion Tree Program, which I have found to be tons of fun for a plant person like myself. The Georgia Champion Tree Program is overseen by the Georgia Forestry Commission and documents the largest known trees of a particular species in the state. …So how does the Georgia Champion Tree Program work? To be eligible for the Georgia Champion Tree Program, a species must be recognized as native or naturalized in the continental United States…..Get out and have some fun looking at large trees. Take a quick measurement of the circumference and see how it stacks up to the biggest in the state. You never know until you check.

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Crews prepare for growing Okefenokee wildfire to march north

By Noelani Mathews
Associated Press in WCTV
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

FOLKSTON, Ga. — Firefighters are getting ready for a wildfire that’s burned 35 square miles of public land near the Georgia-Florida state line to spread northward in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, the fire is roughly a third of the size of Tallahassee’s city limits. Leland Bass of the Georgia Forestry Commission said Thursday forecasters expect winds in the coming days to push the fire deeper into the refuge, where lightning sparked the blaze April 6. Firefighters have been fortifying fire breaks along the swamp edge in an effort to keep flames from spreading to nearby communities.

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Florida forestry official warns wildfires likely to get worse

By Lloyd Dunkelberger
Daily Commerical
April 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TALLAHASSEE — With the state battling 106 wildfires covering 124,000 acres as of Wednesday, Florida’s top forestry official warned the fire season has yet to reach its peak. Jim Karels, director of the Florida Forest Service, said Florida is experiencing an “active early fire season,” with drought conditions throughout the state. “We tend to peak in the months of April, May and June. And many times, the worst is in May and June. So this is early,” Karels said as he joined Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam at a news conference to ask Floridians to step up efforts to prevent fire outbreaks through vigilance and precautions. The current fires include 78,000 acres under the state’s jurisdiction and 46,000 acres under federal control.

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Company & Business News

Trudeau defends Canada’s dairy system against Trump protectionist charge

By Leah Schnurr and David Ljunggren
Reuters Canada
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA  – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday brushed off an attack by U.S. President Donald Trump on Canada’s system of dairy protections, saying every nation defended its agricultural industries.Trudeau told Bloomberg Television that the United States in fact ran a dairy surplus with Canada. Trump took aim at Canada’s dairy industry this week and said on Thursday “what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace”… Trump’s comments were the second time this week he has attacked Canada’s dairy industry and on Thursday he included the lumber, timber and energy sectors in a list of what he said were problematic areas of trade… “Our producers and workers have never been found in the wrong .. the United States needs Canadian lumber. A protracted dispute will only drive up the cost of wood and homes for U.S. consumers,” Freeland said.

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Canada softwood industry seeks China sales, as Trump widens trade attack

By Mike Blanchfield
Canadian Press in CTV News
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — As Donald Trump added softwood lumber to his anti-Canada trade rhetoric Thursday, Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was on his way to China with an entourage of industry representatives looking for an alternative to the U.S. market. One senior government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity characterized one portion of the visit as a “trade-mission oriented trip on softwood.” New Brunswick, Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario producers were all represented. “For all sorts of reasons, we’re striking while the opportunity is ripe, to showcase, to take companies with us to promote them,” said the official, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss details of the trip.

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No more Mr. Nice Trump: president fires warning shot on Cdn wood, dairy, lumber

By Alexander Panetta
Canadian Press in Winnipeg Free Press
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Ever since Donald Trump’s election last fall, the Canadian government has clung to a strategy of low-drama, under-the-radar conversations about trade to keep investors calm in the choppy waters of a NAFTA renegotiation. It has no plans to change course, no matter how hard the U.S. president tries to rock the boat. Officials perceive Trump’s sudden spurt of Canada-bashing as a calculated move, typical of his negotiating style, and designed to instill a little fear as NAFTA talks approach. “(We) are not fazed by it,” one such insider said Thursday. …”We can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “Included in there is lumber, timber and energy. We’re going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly.”

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Canadian minister looking forward to Trump trade talks

By Rob Gillies
Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

TORONTO- A Canadian government minister said Thursday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration is looking forward to trade negotiations with Donald Trump despite the U.S. president’s recent ramp up of criticism of Canadian policy. …Canadian Natural Resource Minister Jim Carr told The Associated Press that the government will make its arguments about trade based on facts. “Decision makers make statements that indicate a position that they intend to take and we’re in the business of responding to positions that are actually taken,” Carr said when asked about Trump’s comments. “Our government looks forward to sitting down with the United States. We will judge American policy when American policy is announced.” Carr said Canada’s government knows it can make a very persuasive case for the integration of the two nations’ economies when the sides meet for trade talks in a few months.

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More ‘value-added’ exports for forestry products hardly possible or desirable

By Philip Cross – formerly chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada
Vancouver Sun
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a long-standing call of unions and industrial planners in Canada that the key to future prosperity is to export fewer natural resources by keeping them in Canada for processing and then shipping exports with more “value added.” Forestry products are a regular target for this vision, where government fiat would displace market forces in determining our exports. However, the argument literally doesn’t even apply well to the forest-products industry. Already, most of the $41.3 billion of exports of forestry products take place after some or extensive processing. In 2016, exports of unprocessed logs totalled only $800 million, or less than two per cent, of all forestry-product exports (and not substantially more than the $400 million of log imports into Canada last year).

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Two dead, three injured in lumber train derailment on Vancouver Island

Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

WOSS — Police say a train derailment in the tiny community of Woss on northern Vancouver Island killed two people and injured three others on Thursday. Dave Rushton, the community’s regional elected representative, said the cause of the accident is under investigation but early reports indicate a crew was on the tracks when the rail cars approached without warning… The train is operated by Western Forest Products, one of the area’s major employers. Don Demens, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement Western Forest Products is co-operating with authorities in the investigation of the derailment. The company took over the historic forestry rail route in 2006. Construction of the 90-kilometre rail line started in 1917 and is now known as the Englewood Railway of Western Forest Products. It is the only remaining log transport railway on Vancouver Island.

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Catalyst receives favourable U.S. ruling on countervailing duties

Catalyst Paper
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West


Richmond, (BC) – The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has issued Final Results of its expedited review of Catalyst Paper and found the company received a negligible (de minimis) amount of subsidies during the applicable review period. “We are pleased with the result, which confirms the DOC’s November 2016 preliminary finding that Catalyst did not receive any material subsidies from the provincial or federal governments,” said Joe Nemeth, President & Chief Executive Officer.

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Forest industry braces for softwood lumber duties

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
April 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Softwood lumber was on the menu as the President of the Council of Forest Industries was the guest speaker at the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Quesnel on Thursday. Susan Yurkovich says while the share of BC lumber exports to the U.S. have went from 84 percent in 2006 down to 59 percent in 2015, the Americans are still the province’s best trade partner. Yurkovich says that is why getting a new softwood lumber agreement is so important. She says the forest industry is now bracing for more duties… “Next week the final date that the department of commerce can determine what the counterveiling duty will be is the 24th and it will become public on the 25th.”

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Truck Loggers Association survey incorrectly reported

By David Elstone, RPF, Executive Director, Truck Loggers Association 
Sunshine Coast Reporter
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am writing to correct the statements made in your April 14 article entitled: “SCRD to be briefed on BCTS plans.” In this article, the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) finding in our survey of coastal community members was incorrectly cited (the 47 per cent was transposed to be 74 per cent) and as a result, does not suggest as reported that a strong majority of people living in rural coastal communities believe that “more should be done” to protect our forests from logging. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In the TLA survey, we also asked: “Should the government be doing more, less or the same to support the forest industry in your community?” and the response was 66 per cent feel more should be done to support the industry.

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2 confirmed dead after logging train derails on Vancouver Island

CBC News
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two people are dead after a logging train derailed on north Vancouver Island at 8:45 Thursday morning. One person is in critical condition in hospital and two others remain in serious condition. It happened in the tiny community of Woss, between Port McNeill and Campbell River. The BC Coroners Service, RCMP and WorkSafeBC are all investigating the cause of the derailment. WorkSafeBC says it received a report Thursday morning of workers pinned under logs. Western Forest Products confirmed its personnel and materials were being transported on the Englewood Railway train when it derailed. The train is used for logging operations on the north Island. 

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Irving Paper has tariff reduced in NAFTA battle with U.S.

By Gail Harding
CBC News
April 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Irving Paper Ltd. has had its tariff reduced from 18 per cent to 5.97 per cent by the United States Department of Commerce following its expedited review of supercalendered paper from Canada. The reduction comes after the tariff was upheld earlier this week by the North American Free Trade Agreement panel that was hearing a challenge against unfair tariffs. The company was among several Canadian companies that challenged the International Trade Commission in Washington over the tariffs imposed on the glossy paper they exported to the U.S. from January to December 2014. The decision was released Thursday. 

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Yarmouth residents launch lawsuit against town over water contamination

By Preston Mulligan
CBC News
April 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

A group of property owners in the Yarmouth area has launched a lawsuit which claims the town is responsible for contaminating their water. The statement of claim alleges the town was negligent in the way it handled the decommissioning and disposal of the former Ibbitson sawmill that once operated near Lake George — the largest lake in Yarmouth County and the source of the town’s water supply. …In the court documents, the plaintiffs say the source of the contamination comes from the old 246,000-litre dip tank on the sawmill site. The tank contained a liquid fungicide product used for wood preservation.

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Decline in available workers a growing concern

Timmins Press
April 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS – Northern Ontario is leaking workers and people. If nothing is done, that could easily turn into a flood, the Northern Policy Institute warns. In a release, the Northern Policy Institute said the North will be short 75,000 workers and 150,000 people by the year 2041, even after allowing for the expected growth in the region’s Indigenous population. …“For example, the forestry sector was decimated by a combination of high U.S. tariffs, the slump in the U.S. housing market, and limited access to Crown land for a number of small producers. …However, to make up for out-migration, the institute suggests Northern Ontario would have to attract, on average, some 6,000 people a year, starting next year and every year for the next 25 years.

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Sudden Oak Death impacts wood exports

By Jane Stebbins
The Curry Coastal Pilot
April 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

The impact of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) on Curry County trees is starting to hit industry pocketbooks, Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman learned last week. Already, problems are arising with wood exports from within the quarantine area around Brookings, with South Korea refusing to take logs shipped from the Port of Coos Bay and bulb retailers refusing to import lily bulbs from Curry County. State Rep. David Brock Smith of Port Orford anticipated that, and formed a SOD Task Force with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley to address the problem and perhaps obtain federal funds to stop the spread of SOD. Sudden Oak Death is a waterborne pathogen that attacks tanoaks — and now, other conifer trees. Stopping its slow but steady march northward — primarily to keep it out of the agricultural lands in the Willamette Valley — has been difficult, at best, primarily due to a lack of funding.

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Carter Holt Harvey shuts down operations at Myrtleford mill

By Anthony Galloway
Herald Sun
April 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

VICTORIA’S timber industry has taken another hit with the owners of the Myrtleford mill locking out about 200 workers and shutting the operation down. Timber giant Carter Holt Harvey has been accused of treating its workers “like zoo animals” after it erected fencing around the mill on Wednesday morning and hired security to keep them out. The company and the workers, represented by the CFMEU, have been in a dispute over a new enterprise bargaining agreement since late last year. The workers and the union are fighting the company moving its annual 14-day shutdown period from Christmas to February, and are also demanding a 3 per cent annual pay rise over three years.

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Radial timber mill opens in Victoria with world-first technology that cuts logs ‘like cake’

By Isabella Pittaway
ABC News, Australia
April 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

A new mill opening in eastern Victoria today is bucking the trend of closures in the timber industry by producing a niche products for architects. Radial Timber, which claims to be the only commercial radial sawmill in the world, is opening in Yarram in south-eastern Victoria. The $5 million mill will employ 20 people and initially produce 12,000 cubic metres of timber a year. Radial Timber owner and managing director Chris McEvoy said the technology used at the mill was the first of its kind and developed locally in Gippsland. “Most timber mills traditionally get a round log and cut it up square and then cut boards off from that,” he said. “We cut it into wedges and then we cut those wedges into boards and it basically works with the growth stresses in the logs giving you a much more stable product.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

How much risk should taxpayers assume?

By the Editorial Board
The Ellsworth American
April 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Late last year, Maine’s Public Utilities Commission awarded subsidies worth $13.4-million to two alternative energy companies to restart four of Maine’s biomass plants — two in Aroostook County at Ashland and Fort Fairfield, one in Penobscot County at West Enfield and one in Washington County at Jonesboro. …Then, three weeks ago, the wheels apparently fell off for Stored Solar as loggers and other vendors claimed that they had not been paid for over a month. …Biomass is viable — on a large scale. It is a high risk, high reward enterprise with a great upside for Maine and its vast woods industry if properly operated and properly supervised by the PUC. 

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More native forest can help firms manage emissions

By the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Scoop.co.nz
April 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Companies with high greenhouse gas emissions face the risk of high costs in a carbon market where prices could soar as high as US$190 per unit. Researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research have today released a report showing an environmentally and economically attractive way to decrease the risk for those high emitting companies by establishing more native forest. The report, commissioned by Air New Zealand, explores some of the barriers and potential to get more native forestry offsets created in New Zealand. “Eight percent of the forest land registered in the ETS is native,” said Dr Suzi Kerr, Senior Fellow at Motu and co-author of the report. “Since 2008, however, only 500 Ha of new native forest has been established and registered. 

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Wood: The Lethal Renewable Energy Swindle

By Bjorn Lomborg
Forbes
April 17, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A new report revealing that using wood pellets to generate electricity can actually speed up global warming should be the final nail in the coffin for the flawed policy of biomass subsidies. Policies designed to incentivise green energy use are not only having a dubious effect on climate change, they are destroying biodiversity and even killing many thousands of people… The problem comes from a governmental desire to transition to renewables before they are ready. We use biomass to cover for inefficient solar and wind, which need backup power when it isn’t windy or sunny. We will only solve global warming when solar and wind can compete with fossil fuels on their own merits. To achieve that, huge investment in green energy R&D, including batteries, is needed.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Building with wood

By Richard Cannings, Member of Parliament for South Okanagan-West Kootenay
Penticton Herald
April 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

I recently attended the annual Council of Forest Industries convention in Vancouver, getting the usual updates on the economic outlook for the B.C. forest industry. COFI also provides a great opportunity to meet many of the mayors, town councillors and regional district representatives from my riding. We talked a lot about the softwood lumber negotiations and the prospect of “shock and awe” duties and quotas that might be levied on Canadian exports in the coming weeks. Government and industry representatives are working to diversify our forest product markets so that we are not so dependent on American sales. Economists at the COFI meeting discussed in detail the prospects for increased sales to China (Russian competition seems to be overwhelming) and India. …The move to constructing large buildings with wood is happening quickly, and Canada is fortunate to be on the leading edge. A boost from government procurement would keep us there.

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How an innovative wood product could put our forests back to work

By Samantha Wholfeil
Inlander
April 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Spokane is getting what city planners believe is its first building made from cross-laminated timber or CLT, a wood building material that has people excited about its sustainability and the potential to put local forests to work. Mike Bradley, project manager with Beacon Builders, is excited about using CLT to build a new gym for CrossFit Duratus at 711 N. Helena St., about a half-mile from Gonzaga… “We all are passionate about the product, the idea and the potential for this building to be a catalyst for other buildings not only in Spokane, but all around our country,” says Owens. “This is a very elegant, performance-based product that happens to also be made out of a renewable resource we could do right here. Spokane could become the center of the CLT industry for the nation.”

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Ford tests bamboo wood for use in car interiors

By Dan Gessner
New York Daily News
April 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

With eco-friendly being the way to go these days for auto manufacturers, Ford is proposing the use of a sustainable material in its vehicle body structure that you might never have expected. The automaker has announced its desire to incorporate bamboo wood into the construction of its car interiors. Before you scratch your head, know that bamboo is actually a very strong material. Its tensile strength (in other words its resistance to breaking) is already well documented and actually better than some metals. Ford also has tested the combination of bamboo fibers and plastic, noting that it performed “comprehensively better” than a number of other options. It has even survived heat tests of up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Hines’ T3 Office Is Another Step Forward for Timber Construction

By Beth Mattson-Teig
UrbanLand Magazine
April 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Hines is widely known for building glass and steel skyscrapers across the globe. So, it would seem that the developer is going a bit against the grain in its latest endeavor with a boutique office property in Minneapolis made largely of wood. The new 225,000-square-foot (21,000 sq m) T3 office building is being touted as the largest mass timber building in the United States to be constructed in recent history…The building also emphasized sustainability throughout and has achieved Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status… Hines also is moving forward with additional timber office buildings. At present, the developer has five new timber office projects in various stages of development in the United States, including projects that have been announced in Chicago and Atlanta. “So, the idea is very much in play in other markets,” notes Pfefferle.

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Our future is in the forest and it’s Green Gold

By Stuart Goodall – Chief Executive of Confor
The Scotsman
April 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SCOTLAND’S wealth of trees and forests has been described as ‘Green Gold’ – a national resource that can unlock environmental, social and economic riches… This fact is reflected in the Scottish Government’s ambitious tree planting targets. While the driver is climate change mitigation, this initiative will help Scotland derive even greater value from its rich reserves of green gold. It will also benefit those who live and work in these buildings; modern, well-designed, wood-rich homes that cost little to heat and keep warm. The plan to use more timber in construction is a big deal and can help meet the Scottish Government’s target to build 50,000 new affordable homes by the end of the parliamentary session in 2021. 

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General

Hardwoods Announces Update Regarding US Trade Investigation Against Chinese Import Plywood

By Hardwoods Distribution Inc.
Canada Newswire
April 19, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

Langley, BC – Hardwoods Distribution Inc. today announced that the US Department of Commerce has issued its preliminary determination regarding countervailing duties against hardwood plywood manufactured in China and imported into the United States. As previously announced by the Company, on November 18, 2016 a trade case was filed in the United States seeking the imposition of countervailing duties and antidumping duties against Chinese hardwood plywood. The trade case was brought by a coalition of U.S. plywood manufacturers, alleging that Chinese imports are subsidized by the Government of China and are sold in the United States at prices below cost. The Company estimates that approximately 11% of its total sales is product imported from China that would be subject to the trade case.

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