Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 1, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Lumber V may look like its predecessors but it doesn’t sound like it

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 1, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Softwood Lumber V looks a lot like its four predecessors—when it comes to how creative the US Dept. of Commerce can be and how each region of Canada seeks to minimize its impact . But what is significantly different this time around is the volume and breadth of the rhetoric, due in large part to the boisterousness of the US administration, the significance of the pending NAFTA negotiations and the electioneering in BC, Canada’s largest lumber exporter. Here is a sampling of today’s hullabaloo:

  • BC Premier Christy Clark hopes to hit Back at lumber tariff with US coal ban (Canadian Press)
  • Trump just created a new enemy for America’s housing market (NAHB in Fortune Magazine)
  • Trump stands to win big on tax reform, but a trade war with Canada could change everything (National Taxpayers Union)
  • What does Trump’s 20% tariff hike on Canadian softwoods mean for architecture? (Architect News)
  • Trump’s softwood tariff makes him Canada’s most effective environmentalist (Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post)
  • Trump has turned his back on the one thing that makes the world rich and happy (Linette Lopez in Business Insider) 
  • On Canadian lumber tax, builders worried about profits, not buyers (US Lumber Coalition in The Hill)

In other news, wood-frame buildings could fill Toronto’s real-estate market’s “missing middle: gentle density that’s between three and 11 storeys”, and, it’s rare that a governor shows up to celebrate a new condo tower, as “Oregon pushes for wooden skyscrapers to revive timber industry”.

And on a lighter note, the annual effort to “stymie the stink of ginkgo fruit set to begin in D.C.” and the Canadian Senate wrote a kids’ book: ‘Wise owls’ bring order to forest of bickering beavers and bears.


— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Annual effort to stymie the stink of ginkgo fruit set to begin in D.C.

By Martin Weil
The Washington Post
April 29, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Forget for a moment Washington’s so-called “swamp” and those who talk of draining it. The city has a big stink, and on Monday, the District government will begin its annual effort to squelch it. The putrid odor comes from the fruit, or seed pod, of the ginkgo tree — much admired for the brilliant color of its fan-shaped leaves in autumn. But autumn is also when the female ginkgo drops its fruit on the ground. Burst open or trodden underfoot, the fruit releases an odor that has little parallel in the annals of urban noxiousness. For years, the District Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over street-side trees, has used spraying to curb the ginkgo’s assault on the olfactory senses.

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Forestry

Signed MOU set the Pro-Forestry Tone at 2017 AVICC Convention

Coast Forest Products Association
April 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In contrast to years past, the 2017 Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) Convention in early April revealed a markedly new tone – one that was more forestry informed, and, as it appeared more supportive. The Convention opened with a formal welcome and presentation commemorating the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Coast Forest Products Association (CFPA) and AVICC (see news release). Aimed to improve communication, bolster engagement, and strengthen relationships between coastal communities and forestry, the signing by both associations’ presidents, Rick Jeffery of CFPA and Barbara Price of AVICC marked the end of almost a year’s worth of collaboration between the CFPA staff and member companies and the AVICC.

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Logging like a wildfire

By Arthur White-Crummey
Prince Albert Herald
April 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfires conjure up feelings of terror: fear of property damage, habitat loss, even death. But fire can also be our friend, and Dave Stevenson doesn’t think we’re having enough of them. “When you hear in the news, in the media, that a forest was destroyed by fire, that’s garbage,” he told a forestry symposium organized by the Prince Albert Model Forest on Tuesday. Stevenson works for the forest service, a branch of the provincial Ministry of Environment. Fire, he said, is part of the natural forest cycle. It regenerates aging growth and creates habitat for a diverse range of species. “Species have evolved with fire in their landscape,” he said. “Boreal forest is a fire driven ecosystem. Fire is what drives the change and the rebirth of the forest.”

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Cutting to the core

By Bryce Borlick
Revelstoke Mountaineer
April 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Macpherson will be clear-cut again — this time to deal with a rapidly-growing infestation of Douglas fir bark beetles. “Under the Forest Health Strategy for the district, all licensees … are obligated to deal with forest pests,” said Practices Forester Rob Mohr, speaking on behalf of BC Timber Sales at a recent Revelstoke City Council meeting. Over the last year, the BCTS has been monitoring beetle activity in a three-hectare patch of forest that contains sections of the Berm Donor and Super Happy Fun trails, and its conclusions are that the area should be harvested before the trees die and timber value is lost. 

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The Senate wrote a kids’ book: ‘Wise owls’ bring order to forest of bickering beavers and bears

By Marie-Danielle Smith
National Post
April 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — In a forest full of bickering beavers and bears, a band of wise owls brings order to chaos, spotting, from its lofty perches, perfect ways to unite the animal kingdom. This fairy-tale scenario is how the Senate is branding itself to kids in a new picture book obtained by the National Post, which describes itself on the back cover as an “endearing, whimsical fable” that’s “sure to appeal to children of all ages.” The Senate is often in crosshairs. …Approved by a group of senators, the story, produced in-house, features the genesis of a Council of Animals (read: House of Commons) full of disagreeing foxes and squirrels. They’re to govern the “Forest of Canada,” ruled from afar by a great lioness (read: the Queen). Animals choose the “most popular among them” to sit on the council (read: MPs). …Senators will be able to bring copies when they visit schools.

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Canadians chop to the top

By Kerry Gillespie
The Toronto Star
April 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Growing up in Maple Ridge, B.C., with a father and grandfather who thought chopping wood and climbing trees against the clock was fun, meant that getting an axe was no different than a pair of hockey skates or a football. …Hart is the overall Canadian champion and world record-holder in one of the six men’s events in Stihl Timbersports, a touring series with national and international stops. …Carroll played hockey, soccer and baseball before discovering timber sports at agricultural college and she was hooked. Men have been swinging axes competitively in Canada since the 1800s, when rival logging camps battled for bragging rights, and for the last three decades as part of the Stihl Timbersports series. But women have only been competing on that tour for three years. It still surprises people.

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11 of the most endangered trees in America

By: Angela Nelson
Mother Nature Network
April 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

More than 6,400 trees are listed as globally threatened on the IUCN Red List, according to the Global Trees Campaign. Over 1,100 trees are critically endangered and in need of immediate conservation action. By some estimates, as much as 10 percent of the world’s trees worldwide are threatened with extinction — and many of those are in our own backyard. From the California coast to an Arkansas forest, the United States is home to several species of threatened and endangered trees. Their populations have decreased due to disease, insects and pests, development, logging and more. Here are 11 types of trees in America with an uncertain future.

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Groups sue to halt Crazy Mountains logging project

By Brett French
The Billings Gazette
April 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Two Montana-based groups filed suit in a Missoula federal court this week for a preliminary injunction and to permanently halt a proposed logging project in the Crazy Mountains. The Native Ecosystems Council and Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed the lawsuit on April 27 seeking judicial review based on concerns about removal of hiding cover for elk, effects on pine marten and loss of habitat for Canada lynx, among other issues. The proposed Smith Shields Project would log about 1,600 acres across a 19,000-acre project area to reduce the threat of wildlife to nearby homes and recreational residences by removing dead and dying trees, according to Marna Daley, spokeswoman for the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

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4FRI contractor goes for commercial composting

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
April 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


The company that holds the largest contract on the 2.4 million-acre Four Forest Restoration Initiative is moving forward with a commercial composting operation that will help use up the massive amounts of woody biomass produced from its tree thinning work. The move comes nearly two years after contractor Good Earth Power AZ first took steps to pursue composting tree limbs, needles, tops and small trunks — collectively called biomass or slash — by entering into a partnership with Flagstaff-based Roots Composting. After facing zoning ordinance roadblocks on its initial plan to produce commercial compost on a property in Williams, Good Earth received approval from the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday to start up such an operation on a 40-acre site in Valle, just to the east of Highway 64.

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The technology behind growing trees

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
April 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This is the first in a four-part series about technology used in the timber industry. The wood products industry has implemented technological advances into each step of the process, from growing seedlings to monitoring tree health, and from milling to creating finished boards. “With forestry, our technology is amazing because it’s always changing,” said Casey Roscoe, senior vice president of public relations for Seneca Jones Timber Company. “We are always trying to figure out the best way to do things, whether it’s the technology that helps rivers thrive or technology that helps foresters do their jobs.” …Researchers do not alter the genetics of the trees, but test them to find which are the heartiest growers of the bunch.

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South Georgia wildfire close to 100,000 acres

By Steve Burns
Atlanta Journal of Commerce
April 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The wildfire that started in southeast Georgia earlier this month has burned almost one-fourth of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, officials said Saturday. Known as the West Mims Fire, the blaze now has torched 94,664 acres and is just 8 percent contained, according to a statement from the team that is battling the blaze. Waycross will be impacted by smoke throughout the day, officials said. “Smoke could travel as far north as Hazlehurst,” according to the statement. Individuals sensitive to smoke were encouraged to avoid lengthy or heavy exertion outdoors. …The Georgia Forestry Commission is managing the containment team, with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Forest Service and athe U.S. Forest Service.

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Company & Business News

On Canadian lumber tax, builders worried about profits, not buyers

By Zoltan Van Heyningen – executive director of the U.S. Lumber Coalition
The Hill
May 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Following a lengthy, detailed investigation initiated in November 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce last week determined that Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. market are subsidized and set an average tariff of 20 percent to offset these subsidies. For the U.S. forestry industry, the full and effective enforcement of the U.S. trade laws by the Trump administration means that more softwood lumber will be produced in the United States by U.S. workers. Trade law enforcement brings about a shift in production volume to satisfy the U.S. market — away from Canada and to U.S. companies, workers and their communities. …Importantly, a careful reading of the NAHB editorial finds no argument that the tariff would significantly affect the actual number of homes built or result in a meaningful increase in new home prices. The reason? As independent industry analysts have concluded, the tariff has no significant effect on the cost of home construction. 

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Trump stands to win big on tax reform, but a trade war with Canada could change everything

By Brandon Arnold – executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union
The Hill
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Free market advocates can find plenty of encouragement in President Trump’s tax reform plan. The proposal contains a multitude of provisions that would spur economic growth, including dropping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 15 percent. However, the enthusiasm for his proposal is somewhat blunted by Trump’s earlier announcement of a tax hike on American consumers in the form of a big tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. The 20 percent tariff could cost homebuyers billions of dollars. …Trump’s lumber tariffs represent another unfortunate chapter in a decades-long saga of protectionism and legal wrangling between the U.S. and Canada. The latest skirmish could prove to be a relatively small incident, but it has the potential to escalate and cause significant economic, as well as diplomatic, harm.

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Trump: U.S. has been on ‘wrong side’ of NAFTA for many years

Canadian Press in The Toronto Sun
April 29, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

HARRISBURG, Pa. — President Donald Trump has again raised the spectre of the U.S. pulling out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying America has been on the “wrong side” of the trade pact for “many, many years.” Trump told a rally in Harrisburg, Pa., on Saturday night that he’ll try to renegotiate the agreement with Canada and Mexico, but will terminate NAFTA if a “fair deal” for the U.S. can’t be reached. Trump also noted that his administration has ordered the collection of “billions and billions of dollars” in duties on imports from countries he says “break the rules.” The U.S. has already imposed tariffs of up to 24 per cent on Canadian softwood timber and is investigating whether steel and aluminum imports pose a threat to national security. Trump told the crowd he was prepared to announce a few days ago that the U.S. was leaving NAFTA until he got calls from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto asking to negotiate.

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Open letter to B.C. Steelworkers

By Leo Gerard, international president, United Steelworks of America
The Georgia Straight
April 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

To: All B.C. Steelworkers, No matter what side of the border I work on, more and more I hear from right-wing politicians who don’t really have any ideas of their own so they just make things up. Apparently this B.C. election is no different. BC Liberal leader Christy Clark has falsely claimed that my meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump was about softwood lumber—she just made that up—in fact it was about protecting our members’ jobs in the steel industry in both the U.S. and in Canada. Clark even claimed she’s been to Washington, D.C. to defend B.C.’s lumber industry—she made that up too. Again, in fact, I have been to Washington, D.C., to defend our members in Canada’s forest industry and I’ll go again and again and again until we get a fair deal that protects our members’ livelihoods and Canadian forest communities.

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Moody’s: Canadian lumber tariff may take up to 6 months to impact U.S. homebuilders

By Brena Swanson
Housing Wire
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

It may take homebuilders up to six months to feel the financial impact of the Trump administration’s recently announced tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imported into the U.S. Canadian lumber producers, however, don’t share the same timeline and will feel an impact immediately, but since many U.S. homebuilders lock in lumber prices months in advance, they will only have to reckon with higher prices when these forward contracts expire, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service. …Now more than a quarter into 2017, homebuilders have already felt, or will soon feel, the impact of higher softwood lumber prices, and the additional cost impact of a 20% tariff may range from negligible (in accordance with the old Wall Street adage of ‘buy on the rumor; sell on the news’) to as high as 20%, Moody’s stated.

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Tariff puts WA lumber company’s plans on hold

By Dan Wheat
Capital Press
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

OROVILLE, Wash. — A 20-percent U.S. tariff on softwood lumber imported from Canada will cause a drop in trade and a pause in Canadian lumber planning, says the manager of a lumber re-manufacturing company in this U.S.-Canadian border town. “We were looking to expand and now those decisions are on hold,” said Will Verner, operations manager of Oroville Reman & Reload which is part of Gorman Brothers Lumber, West Bank, B.C. Oroville Reman & Reload and other Canadian lumber companies, some also looking to expand U.S. operations, will begin looking at markets other than the U.S., Verner said. The company finished 73 million board feet of lumber in 2016, making it a large company, and plans to be at that level again this year despite the tariff, Verner said.

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Trump’s softwood tariff makes him Canada’s most effective environmentalist

By Lawrence Solomon, policy director, Toronto-based Environment Probe
Financial Post
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Move over, David Suzuki. Thanks to Donald Trump’s newly imposed tariffs on our exports of softwood lumber to the U.S., the greatest protector of Canada’s environment is now Donald Trump. Cold, hard numbers can’t measure an environment’s value, but they can demonstrate the extent to which an environment can be cheapened by its owner, when its owner is a government whose currency is votes and whose planning horizon extends no farther than the next election. …Last year, B.C. fetched that 25-cent rate on one-third of its total harvest of 21.2-million cubic metres. In exchange for that levelling of provincial forest, the B.C. treasury obtained a paltry $5.3 million. …Why would politicians sell so much forest for such a pittance? Political contributions from the forestry industry explain part of the motivation, but rural jobs explain most of it.

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Trudeau has ‘window’ to settle softwood dispute before NAFTA talks: Raymond Chrétien

By Catharine Tunney
CBC News
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

According to former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Raymond Chrétien, the Trudeau government has a small window to settle the softwood lumber dispute out of court before U.S. President Donald Trump kicks off his renegotiation of the ?North America Free Trade Agreement. …But Chrétien, who is also Quebec’s lead negotiator on the softwood lumber file, told CBC Radio’s The House host Chris Hall that the dispute doesn’t have to get that far. “I’m confident that there’s a window, perhaps for a negotiated settlement for the following reason: Mr. Trump has indicated that he wanted a quick … renegotiation of NAFTA, but this is not possible in my view,” he said. “So why not solve the lumber dispute before you tackle the more comprehensive, complicated NAFTA negotiations?” Chrétien said in an interview airing Saturday. “So hopefully there’s a small window there and I’m sure that in Ottawa they would welcome a softwood lumber deal.”

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Editorial: Time to include lumber in NAFTA

By the Vancouver Sun Editorial Board
Vancouver Sun
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Despite talk of diversification and the paradigm shift from goods to services, the forest industry remains a mainstay of British Columbia’s economy. It contributes about $12 billion to gross domestic products and 140 communities depend on it for their livelihood. One out of four jobs in manufacturing is in the forest industry. Nearly a quarter of all rail traffic in B.C. is forest products. Forest products, principally lumber and pulp and paper, account for 35 per cent of all exports from B.C. Our province represents half of Canada’s softwood lumber production. And roughly half of B.C. softwood lumber exports are destined for the United States. So this week’s action by the U.S. Department of Commerce to slap countervailing duties averaging 20 per cent on Canadian lumber exports on the dubious charge that they are subsidized is a serious matter that demands quick resolution. Unfortunately, the resolution process through the World Trade Organization, the North American Free Trade Agreement settlement mechanism and/or litigation is anything but quick.

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US thermal coal exports targeted by campaigning BC premier

By Andrew Topf
Mining.com
April 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

US thermal coal exports targeted by campaigning BC premier
Christy Clark is appealing to the Canadian Prime Minister to retaliate against a new US tariff on Canadian lumber. The premier of British Columbia, Canada, has proposed a ban on the export of U.S. thermal coal from its ports in retaliation for the recent imposition of a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. …Clark also tied her proposed thermal coal ban with her Liberal government’s plans to build liquefied natural gas plants in northern B.C. and export the fuel to Asia. She said a ban on U.S. thermal coal shipments would help develop the nascent B.C. LNG industry, arguing that if China shifted from coal to natural gas if would have a “a massive impact” on greenhouse gas emissions, according to Canadian Press, carried in a Huffington Post report.

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Christy Clark vows to take softwood lumber fight to Washington

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark says she will go to Washington to defend her province’s interests in softwood lumber against attacks from the Donald Trump administration after the B.C. election if she is still premier, a trek her counterparts in Alberta and Saskatchewan have already made. Ms. Clark has spent the days since new punitive tariffs on Canada’s softwood-lumber exports to the United States were announced earlier this week telling voters she is the only political leader on the ballot who will stand up to the United States and get a good deal for British Columbia. But she has faced criticism because she has not been to the U.S. capital to lobby on British Columbia’s behalf since April of 2015. …But Carlo Dade, director of the Centre on Trade and Investment Policy for the Canada West Foundation, said the BC Liberal government has failed to nurture its relationships in the United States, and that will make it tougher to protect the province’s interests.

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Trump’s tariff on lumber to have trickle down affect in Smithers

By Marisca Bakker
The Interior News
April 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The United States government’s decision to impose increased duties on Canadian lumber exports is going to be felt here at home. One small sawmill in Moricetown is bracing for the hit. Kyahwood Forest Products, owned by the Moricetown Band, currently employs 58 people. The softwood lumber mill makes finger joint studs for the North American housing market, with most of their products destined for the US. The almost 20 per cent new duty on Kyahwood’s products into the United States is also retroactive ninety days. In the past 90 days, shipments to the US grossed $1,918,159, meaning the retro sum owning is $381,330, according to a press release from the Moricetown Band.

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Sigurdson Forest Products Ltd. should have special circumstance exceptions owner says

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
April 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

To cope with a 19.8 per cent softwood countervailing tariff and an anti-dumping duty, Sigurdson Forest Products Ltd. in Williams Lake will have to tighten its belt, said owner Brian Sigurdson. “We will have to watch our numbers very closely.” “We have a 70 per cent U.S. market overall,” Sigurdson told the Tribune Wednesday. “It’s a big volume. Texas is the hot spot for us – all our finger joint goes there. Other than that it can pretty well go anywhere in the U.S.” The company has 120 people directly on payroll, plus 50 loggers, 50 truckers and other spin offs, he added. During the last softwood lumber dispute, there was an option for companies with unique circumstances to apply for exclusion. This option has, up to this point, been denied by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Threat of economic turmoil over softwood tariff becomes B.C. election issue

By Dirk Meissner
Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
April 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — A hefty American tariff on Canadian softwood could be devastating for British Columbia’s economy, but it may also be advantageous for political leaders on the campaign trail who are looking to cement or build their images with voters, says a former premier. The imposition of tariffs as high as 24 per cent on Canadian softwood exports shot the issue to the top of B.C.’s election campaign, with Liberal Leader Christy Clark and John Horgan, leader of the New Democrats, quickly portraying themselves as towers of strength ready to shoulder tough times ahead. …”[Clark]’s obviously trying to present herself as a calm, experienced leader,” said Ujjal Dosanjh, a former B.C. New Democrat premier and federal Liberal member of Parliament. “Whether she succeeds or not remains to be seen.” …”It’s fascinating to watch a provincial leader position herself as a peer of, and as a dialogue partner with, a national leader,” [David Black] said. “Things don’t usually work that way.”

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B.C. softwood lumber envoy distances himself from Christy Clark’s threats

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s special envoy on the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute is distancing himself from Premier Christy Clark’s threats of trade retaliation. Former international trade minister David Emerson, who was appointed in February to represent the province in Washington, said in an interview he was not consulted on Ms. Clark’s bid to block shipments of thermal coal in a tit-for-tat measure in response to the new punitive softwood lumber tariffs imposed on Canada’s softwood exports to the United States. “I have not participated in searching for retaliation measures,” he said Friday. “I’ve been aware of the thinking going on, but candidly I got a call this week that indicated it was a go.” …Mr. Emerson said both sides in this dispute will need to be cautious about inflaming public opinion on either side of the border.

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‘Everything is on the table’: Alberta communities react to U.S. softwood lumber tariffs

By Stuart Thomson
Edmonton Journal
May 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s forestry communities are in an impossible spot after new tariffs were imposed by the United States on softwood lumber exports. With job losses looming, municipalities that rely on the forestry industry are crying out for support — but that support could be seen as further subsidies and invite more trade actions. Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier said he spoke to his federal and provincial colleagues on Thursday and the response is a work in progress. “We’re making sure we don’t give any particular tools in the Americans’ tool box that they can use against us,” said Carlier. “We really have to be quite careful about whatever support we do.” Woodlands County Mayor Jim Rennie said about one-fifth of his community is employed by one of the three big lumber mills in the area and estimates that another one-fifth of the community is employed indirectly by the industry. …University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe said the government can’t support the lumber companies directly but can find creative ways to support the workers.

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New Brunswick announces efforts to fight for continued Atlantic tariff exemption

By Kevin Bissett
Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government is calling for an immediate start to negotiations between Canada and the United States to ensure softwood lumber from Atlantic Canada is exempt from countervailing duties. Provincial governments in the region have warned that the duties could lead to mill closures and lost jobs. “New Brunswick and the Maritimes are not subsidizing the industry and we want to retain that status,” said Roger Melanson, New Brunswick’s minister responsible for trade policy. …Under the preliminary decision, softwood from most Atlantic Canada mills will be subject to a duty of almost 20 per cent when exported to the United States. The exception is New Brunswick’s J.D. Irving Ltd., which was slapped with a countervailing duty of three per cent, the lowest for any producer in Canada. Melanson said the lumber industry in the region is heralding the ruling for Irving as an example of how the lumber industry operates in Atlantic Canada.

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Quebecers protest U.S. softwood lumber tax, hope to send ‘strong message’

CBC News
April 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

More than 1500 people gathered in the Lac-Saint-Jean area to denounce the new American tax on softwood lumber, Sunday afternoon. Citizens and politicians marched in the northern Quebec town of Dolbeau-Mistassini to protest ?the Trump administration’s imposed tariffs of up to 24 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber imports. Canadian lumber imports are expected to face new duties starting next week, after a U.S. Commerce Department investigation released last Monday concluded that softwood lumber imports are unfairly subsidized. Roughly 90 per cent of the province’s lumber exports head to the U.S. and the forestry sector accounts for 60,000 jobs in Quebec. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard attended the march, along with Lac-Saint-Jean Conservative MP Denis Lebel and Dolbeau-Mistassini Mayor Richard Hébert.

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Dairy and softwood bluster is pure Trump posturing

By Dan Leger
Chronicle Herald
May 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

All that is old becomes new again and all that is new becomes old. Such is the rhythm of Canada’s economic relationship with a self-absorbed United States. … The lumber and dairy disputes were so sensitive that both required special treatment in the trade deals of 1988 and 1994. So it’s an old story with a new twist, President Donald Trump. He got elected railing against foreign trade and now claims Canadian cows and trees pose a dire threat to the U.S.A….This is typical Trump: all bluster and baloney. He needs to validate his longstanding claims that trade agreements don’t work, so he’s trying to make NAFTA unmanageable. …The truth is smashing trade agreements and raising tariffs will damage Trump’s own constituency. The cost of new homes, renovations and furniture will rise and American jobs will be lost if duties make lumber more costly.

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Trump has turned his back on the one thing that makes the world rich and happy

By Linette Lopez
Business Insider
April 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

…It was President Theodore Roosevelt, America’s most successful populist, who opened up trade with Canada and the Caribbean. He had his reservations about free trade, but he also saw it as a challenge that the U.S., as a strong nation, should face with energy. After all, he loved a competition. This is the opposite of the lethargy Trumpians recommend. Instead of innovating our economy, they prefer to reignite old fights. The 20% tariff the administration just put on softwood lumber is a perfect example. …”It is an old subject, unfortunately, it’s coming back,” Carl Grenier, a former executive vice-president (1999-2006) of the Free Trade Lumber Council and current professor at the University of Leval in Canada told Business Insider. “There is a pattern in the three deals that have been made in the past… each deal has been more restrictive to the US market than the previous one. That’s why it [this fight] keeps coming back even though we’ve beaten them every time, it never seems to die.” Grenier accuses the US lumber industry of seeking a hand-out, and hurting Canada’s industry in the process.

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On lumber and dairy, Trump is right to blame Canada

Letter by C. Arnold McClure, Shirleysburg, PA, owner McClure Mills Farms.
The Washington Post
April 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Regarding the April 26 Economy & Business article “Fear of trade war with Canada grows”: … In the lumber business, Canadian government subsidies lowered the price of Canadian lumber to the point that sawmills in the Northwest were forced to shut down. Note how the proposed tariffs on Canadian lumber were welcomed publicly by Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota.

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Trump Just Created a New Enemy for America’s Housing Market

By Granger MacDonald – chairman of the National Association of Home Builders
Fortune Magazine
April 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Americans of all political persuasions and economic strata can agree that policies that support affordable homeownership and housing are laudable and worth pursuing. So every citizen should be deeply concerned about the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recently announced plan to impose countervailing duties averaging 20% on Canadian softwood lumber. This unjustified tax will raise the cost of housing for millions of American households. …Americans of all political persuasions and economic strata can agree that policies that support affordable homeownership and housing are laudable and worth pursuing. So every citizen should be deeply concerned about the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recently announced plan to impose countervailing duties averaging 20% on Canadian softwood lumber. This unjustified tax will raise the cost of housing for millions of American households.

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Would you pay more for a house to save a lumber job?

By Jonathan Lansner
Orange County Register
April 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

To me, one of the grand economic questions is just how much will the typical American pay to save another American’s job? While it’s great to talk about “America First” … what if American-made doesn’t offer the best value or top quality? Prime example: Tariffs on Canadian lumber. The Trump administration is slapping a 20 percent tariff on certain imported wood from Canada, the type of lumber typically used in new residential construction. The beef? Canadian lumber makers get an unfair cost advantage vs. U.S. competitors due to Canadian government subsidies. Not only do Canadians disagree about the alleged trade trickery, they are threatening their own brand of retaliation. Yes, cheap foreign wood — fairly created, or not — costs certain American workers their jobs and U.S. manufacturers’ profits. Yet other stakeholders — U.S. lumber users and indirectly U.S. homebuyers — enjoy the lower-cost materials. Roughly one-third of homebuilding lumber is imported with 95 percent of that supply coming from Canada.

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Domtar Corporation Reports Preliminary First Quarter 2017 Financial Results

By Domtar Corporation
BusinessWire
April 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

FORT MILL, S.C.—Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) today reported net earnings of $20 million ($0.32 per share) for the first quarter of 2017 compared to net earnings of $47 million ($0.75 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2016 and net earnings of $4 million ($0.06 per share) for the first quarter of 2016. Sales for the first quarter of 2017 were $1.3 billion. Excluding items listed below, the Company had earnings before items1 of $20 million ($0.32 per share) for the first quarter of 2017 compared to earnings before items1 of $47 million ($0.75 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2016 and earnings before items1 of $22 million ($0.35 per share) for the first quarter of 2016.

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Many Maine sawmill owners are not cheering Trump’s lumber tariff

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
April 29, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — The 3-mile haul into Maine from Fontaine Lumber’s Woburn, Quebec, mill just got a lot more expensive. Each load of rough-cut and dried spruce and fir will get hit with a new 20 percent tariff at the end of Route 161, as the wood enters Coburn Gore and heads for finishing at the company’s Maine mill in Stratton. About half of the Stratton mill’s supply of rough-cut wood comes across the border. The rest is dried and milled in Maine. “For us, it’s not good news,” Nicolas Fontaine, president of Fontaine Lumber and Stratton Lumber, said. Fontaine’s operation is one of three with mills on both sides of the Maine-Quebec border, turning out lumber mostly from spruce and fir. Much of it comes from Maine woodlots. The complex cross-border ties mean the preliminary tariff from the U.S. Department of Commerce is getting mixed reviews.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Move to Re-Introduce Partially Untreated Timber Dangerous

By Red Stag Timber Ltd
Scoop Independent News
May 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is secretly pushing to allow partially untreated framing timber back into the New Zealand Building Code. The move risks reigniting the Leaky Home Crisis, estimated to have already affected up to 80,000 houses and cost New Zealand up to $30 billion. Last year MBIE took over the timber treatment standards process and one of the changes it intends to introduce is to allow envelope treated timber. Envelope treatment involves a thin layer of treatment around the outside, but leaves the inside untreated, and at risk of decay where the timber is cut or holed, as is what happens to almost all timber. “The leaky home crisis was New Zealand’s largest man-made disaster”, says Red Stag Group CEO Marty Verry.

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Australia’s first cross-laminated timber office built in only a year

Architecture and Design
May 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australia’s first engineered timber office building has opened its doors at Sydney’s Barangaroo, just one year after construction began on site. Developed by Lend Lease as the ‘front door’ to Barangaroo South, International House Sydney is built entirely of the industry’s ‘rising stars’ – Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue-Laminated Timber (Glulam). Project architects at Sydney practice Tzannes say the design and construction of the building, as well as the choice of building materials, were born from a big picture and first principles analysis – the project’s siting in the masterplan meant it had to demonstrate leadership in environmentally sustainable design and foster wellbeing for users.

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‘Wood’ you like to have a different building?

By Pavitra Sriprakash
The New Indian Express
April 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood is among the top sustainable building materials in my country,” said Japanese architect Yasuki while commencing his lecture at a local architecture college. Students looked aghast at my friend since wooden buildings are non-existent in urban India. The reason for this soon became obvious: almost 100% of forests in our country are protected, but 80% of the forests in Japan are managed for commercial use, that includes applications in the building industry. …Consumption of Indian made materials have by and large increased, but stringent green rating conditions in buildings dissuades use of wood products. The amount of certified wood needed to attain a LEED point remains significant, and the building industry perforce imports to meet demand. …If you think wood is a wonderful material, then support forestry and nurture more trees. After all, two thirds of Japan’s land area is forest!

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