Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 29, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Wildfires on the rise due to climate change and past forest practices

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 29, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

In a feature story, CBS’ 60 Minutes makes the case that wildfires are on the rise due to “drought, climate change and past fire suppression practices”. Former USDA under secretary, Robert Bonnie, opines that “for so long we preached fire suppression and putting out those small fires, we’ve built up fuel loads. And so our fires are burning hotter. They’re more catastrophic”. In a related story, an Arizona company is moving to “increase the number of acres that get thinned to prevent wildfires”.

Coulson Aviation has purchased six Boeing 737-300s from Southwest Airlines and plans to convert them into water bombers. “The planes will have 4,000-gallon capacity for water or retardant, plus space for 63 passengers or firefighters”.

Bob McDonald (host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks) added his voice to the Potsdam Institute report conclusion that “planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere cannot substitute for cutting carbon emissions”. Unfortunately, McDonald failed to mention that the study did support these kinds of “mitigation efforts”, nor did he consider the recent PICS research by Dr. Werner Kurz et al on how “forest management could contribute 35 per cent of Canada’s 2050 carbon-emissions reduction target”. (See Friday’s news for that story).

Finally, Paul Quinn (RBC) reports that lumber prices have declined with “traders expressing confusion regarding market direction“. He notes that “SPF prices have fallen by 10% since the peak on April 14 at $420/mfbm” and he expects to see them “decline to under $350 before they recover”
— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Perry Ridge protectors win respite from loggers

By John Boivin
The Castlegar Source
May 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There’ll be no logging on the east side of Perry Ridge in the Slocan Valley until the mid-2020s, people opposed to forest operations in the area have been told.“At this time, [BC Timber Sales] does not have further plans on Perry Ridge for 5-7 years other than the active TSL being harvested currently,” writes Tara DeCourcy, Woodlands Manager of the Kootenay Business Area. “Barring an outbreak of a forest pest, we will not proceed with further development for at least 5 years.”DeCourcy made the statement in a February letter to Marilyn Burgoon, the head of the Perry Ridge Water Users Association. While Burgoon was pleased with the decision, she said it was far from the protection they’re seeking for the slopes behind her Slocan Valley home.“I’ve been at this 30 years, and I’ve been through their planning tables, they will only do what they are legislated to do,” she says.

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Panel discusses benefits and challenges of 9-axle configurations

By Derek Clouthier
Truck News
May 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Many in the log hauling industry in B.C. would like to see the province fall in line with other jurisdictions and permit the use of 9-axle configurations. A B.C. Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) panel discussed the benefits and challenges of going from eight to nine axles, which are currently only granted on a case-by-case scenario in the province. George Funk, owner of Blue Valley Enterprises, said his company went through testing of the 9-axle configuration and the only difference he noted was that it felt like there was a slight loss of power due to the higher payload. “I’m a person who likes change as long as it’s a positive change,” Funk said, adding that with ongoing technology advancements, the loss of power could be put in the rearview mirror in the near future. Funk said the stability of the 9-axle was good, and tracking was a bit less, with drivers relaying some additional movement, or floating, on icy roads.

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Reforestation efforts get underway in Fort McMurray

By Kyle Morris
Global New
May 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The effort to get Fort McMurray back to normal following last spring’s massive wildfire continued Saturday, as volunteers lined up to help plant trees in the region. Tree Canada president Michael Rosen told the Alberta Morning News that they’re starting by planting trees in the city itself. “We’re not going to have a chance to replace all of the trees lost, because there were quite a few trees lost,” Rosen said. “The fire was huge, it was the size of P.E.I. But we at Tree Canada, we made a point to come out last year and take a look and we decided that we’re going to focus on the trees in town. The trees that are closest to the people who live here. We’re starting with the recreational trails that Fort McMurray is known for. People really want to see that canopy of trees.”

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Acting on your instincts

By Derek Clouthier
Truck News
May 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Tom Yearwood, CEO of the Denning Health Group, said on the shoulders of company supervisors rests the responsibility to ensure the proper management of workplace substance abuse policies – or they will face the consequences. Referring to Bill C-45, Yearwood pointed out that the regulation states that if a supervisor is aware or has knowledge that a worker is impaired in any way while in the workplace, and an incident occurs as a result, the supervisor is liable and could face serious implications. “Bill C-45 is very real,” Yearwood said, adding that he was not trying to frighten those in attendance of the B.C. Forest Safety Council’s Interior Safety Conference May 27 in Prince George. With criminal liability imposed on knowing supervisors in the event of a workplace injury, death or incident, some could face 10 years in prison, life when a fatality occurs, or stiff fines.

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Tree nuts a possible weapon in battle against colon cancer

By Julie Steenhuysen
Reuters
May 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

CHICAGO – Colon cancer survivors who ate at least two ounces (57 grams) of tree nuts a week – roughly 48 almonds or 36 cashews – were significantly less likely to have their cancer return or to die from their cancer than those who did not eat nuts, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. The finding by Dr. Temidayo Fadelu of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and colleagues is the latest to suggest a health benefit from nut consumption. The researchers analyzed a questionnaire about dietary intake from a clinical trial of 826 patients with stage III colon cancer – a stage in which the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes but not other parts of the body. All of the patients in the study had received surgery and chemotherapy to treat their colon cancers.

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Editorials on Elliott State Forest illustrate rural/urban divide

By the Editorial Board
The News-Review
May 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The News-Review frequently runs editorials by other newspapers, in addition to our own, on our opinion pages. Sometimes the views expressed by the editors at other newspapers accord with our own. Other times, though, it seems we’re viewing the world through very different lenses. Nowhere has the urban/rural divide been clearer than in the editorials we, and the Portland Oregonian, produced after the State Land Board backed out of the Elliott State Forest sale. …On Sunday, we ran an editorial from the Oregonian in which it praised Brown’s proposal in glowing terms. The governor “showed foresight,” made a “bold challenge,” and her proposal represented “unflinching advocacy.” …Back in December, we wrote that we were encouraged by Lone Rock’s proposal and we hoped it would serve as “a model for future efforts on government-owned timberlands.”…The fundamental differences in these editorial stances illustrates a broad chasm between how ruralites and urbanites view the forests.

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A winning formula for all of Oregon

By Democrat Ron Wyden who represents Oregon in the U.S. Senate
The Oregonian
May 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

To generate jobs in rural Oregon while protecting our timeless treasures. Based on what I’ve heard from Oregonians and others working toward that shared objective, here’s my four-step roadmap of how we get there. 1. Increasing the logging harvest in a sustainable way and restoring long-standing timber payments to counties in Oregon and nationwide aren’t mutually exclusive. We must do both. …2. Our nation’s method of funding firefighting must be updated. …3. Oregon stands at the precipice of pioneering new purposes for timber. …4. Fighting Against Unfair Trade

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New leaders hope to speed up Arizona forest-thinning project

Associated Press in the West Plains Daily Quill
May 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A new leadership team has taken over a major forest-thinning project in northern Arizona. The new leaders of Good Earth Power AZ hope to make the Four Forestry Restoration Initiative project more productive and efficient, improving on the number of acres of forest that get cleared out to prevent wildfires, The Arizona Daily Sun reported recently. Good Earth Power AZ has the largest contract in the project but has struggled to keep up. About eight or nine investors stepped into the company in November and took over operational control to move the work on the project forward, new CEO Bill Dyer said. Dyer plans to bring the company’s thinning operation from about 2,400 acres (9,712,464 sq. meters) a year to 15,000 acres (60,702,900 sq. meters) to 18,000 acres (72,843,480 sq. meters) between June 1 and May 2018. The goal is to increase the tree thinning rate to get as much of the acres outlined in the contract finished before the term ends in 2022, he said.

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Forest Fires

Forest fire near Manitoba First Nation quadruples in size

CBC News
May 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An out-of-control forest fire north of Red Sucker Lake First Nation quadrupled in size Friday, the Manitoba government says. The fire, which on began Wednesday, measured approximately 575 hectares Friday afternoon, an increase from 120 hectares Thursday evening. The blaze is still about seven kilometres north of Red Sucker Lake First Nation, a fly-in community 535 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. Approximately half of the 900 residents in the community, 450 people, have been evacuated over health concerns from poor air quality, said the Canadian Red Cross. The number is larger than the organization previously thought because more people presented with health concerns than initial estimates.

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Wildfires on the rise due to drought and climate change

By Steve Inskeep
CBS News – 60 Minutes
May 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

Fighting wildfires in America cost federal agencies almost $2 billion last year including more than half the budget of the U.S. Forest Service. Wildland fires are growing worse in a time of drought and climate change, and the biggest and most destructive fires can’t be stopped. They are a force of nature: imagine trying to stop a hurricane. Yet the government has to try, because more than a 100 million Americans now live in — or near — forests and grasslands that can erupt in flames.

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Company & Business News

Paper, Packaging & Forest Products

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
May 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Random Lengths reported that the decline in SYP prices abated this week, with prices remaining flat w/w at $442. W. SPF prices showed some weakness, falling $4 to $376. For SYP, most mills reported prices near last week’s levels, with traders expressing confusion regarding market direction. For W. SPF, lack of demand continues to weigh on prices, with buyers able to draw on inventory while prices remain elevated. We note that W. SPF prices have fallen by 10% since the peak on April 14 at $420/mfbm and we expect to see them decline to under $350 before they recover. OSB – In what was a quiet trading week, OSB continued its month-long slide. 

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Softwood lumber: The never-ending battle

By Gordon Ritchie, former free-trade negotiator, special envoy for softwood lumber, and author
The Globe and Mail
May 26, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

In the iconic film, Groundhog Day, the hero is obliged to relive the day’s events over and over again. That also describes the softwood-lumber dispute between Canada and the United States. The two most important points to understand about the latest round in this never-ending dispute are these. First, it was not triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s aggressive “America First” agenda. The dispute, in its current form, dates back to the early 1980s (some would say 1880s) and is now in its fifth iteration. Groundhog Day, indeed. Second, it truly has little to do with Canadian resource-management practices, although these have long been used as the pretext by U.S. industry protectionists and their agents in successive administrations and U.S. Congresses. Imports from Canada reduce lumber prices in the United States, to the benefit of American home buyers and builders, but at the expense of producers. It is worth billions of dollars to these producers to be able to raise prices without fear of being undercut by more efficient producers from the north. And a small fraction of those billions is enough to buy the highest-priced lawyers, lobbyists and legislators.

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Island’s Coulson converting six planes into water bombers

By Amy Smart
Victoria Times Colonist
May 26, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Port Alberni aviation company is turning six passenger aircraft into water bombers. Coulson Aviation has purchased six Boeing 737-300s from Southwest Airlines and plans to convert them into “Fireliner” air tankers. The planes will have 4,000-gallon capacity for water or retardant, plus space for 63 passengers or firefighters. “We’ll be the only air tanker in the world that has capacity to do that. So that will give us a chunk of market share in the industry,” said Wayne Coulson, chief executive of the Coulson Group of Companies. The first aircraft was repainted in Spokane, Washington, and arrives in Port Alberni today. Installation of the tanks begins in June and should be complete by November. After two weeks of flight tests by the U.S. Forest Service in Southern California, where the aircraft will be tested for “next generation” classification, it should be ready for service by the end of the year.

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‘This is not new’: Natural Resources Minister assures lumber discussions ongoing with U.S.

By Jeremy Keefe
Global News
May 26, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr assured that discussions remain ongoing over the United States’ Department of Commerce decision to end the exclusion on Canadian softwood lumber from countervailing duties. “This is not new,” said Carr, while touring H. J. Crabbe & Sons Ltd. lumber mill in Florenceville-Bristol, NB. “To come to New Brunswick is to remember that the first lumber dispute was actually in 1829 between New Brunswick and Maine.” Premier Brian Gallant also toured the location which employs approximately 50 people. “Coming here to visit a place like Crabbe, to fully understand what this means to them, to fully understand what they’ve been doing for years to try to modernize so that they can compete on an international scale,” Gallant said.

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Local timber producers welcome Canadian tariff

By Tom Griffith
Rapid City Journal
May 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Black Hills timber harvesters and a local industry trade group are lauding the Trump administration’s announcement this week that it will impose tariffs averaging 20 percent on softwood lumber entering the U.S. from Canada. …Local timber producers agree, and they welcomed the tariffs, which they say could lead to more U.S. timber production, healthier forests and more jobs. “I’m not going to condemn Canada, but as an offshoot of the British Commonwealth, they have protected jobs, provided labor incentives and huge benefits to the Canadian rail system to transport wood very cheaply,” said Jim Neiman, president of Hulett, Wyo.-based Neiman Enterprises Inc., which operates three major sawmills in the Black Hills and another in Montrose, Colo. “The last 10-year tariff expired in October of 2015, and as soon as that expired, the Canadians flooded the lumber market and drove prices to nearly as low as the recession of 2007-08,” Neiman said. “I am a supporter of free trade, but it has to be fair trade, and we have not had fair trade with Canada.”

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Irish firm wins €1.2m contract for system to track tree growth

By Barry O’Halloran
The Irish Times
May 29, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Irish specialist software developer Treemetrics has won a €1.2 million contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide a system for tracking tree and forest growth. The Cork-based company has developed a system using satellite technology that allows forestry owners and investors to accurately measure and record the growth of their assets over time rather than estimating them Treemetrics confirmed that it has agreed a deal worth €1.2 million with the ESA under which its technology will feed data on forest growth and development into the agency’s satellite communications systems. …The agreement will ultimately provide forest owners with real-time information on the progress of their investments, tackling a key issue for investors, who up to now had to rely on estimates, according to Treemetrics chief executive Enda Keane.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Ely area loggers upset with biomass provisions in energy bill

By Nick Wognum
The Ely Echo
May 26, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Ely area loggers could lose millions of dollars in biomass contracts if the jobs-energy omnibus bill passed by the Legislature is signed by the governor. Gov. Mark Dayton has not yet indicated whether he will sign the bill which contains a provision relating to requiring Xcel Energy to purchase power fueled bbiomass.The jobs-energy omnibus bill is opposed by the Association of Contract Loggers and Truckers. A provision in the bill would put an end to biomass in northeast Minnesota and cause the loss of hundreds of logging jobs, according to Scott Dane of the ACLT. “These loggers have invested millions of dollars in equipment and now they’re having the rug pulled out from under them with nine years remaining on the agreement,” said Dane.

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World Bank extends $3.8m forest carbon facility to Nasarawa, Ondo

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
The Nigeria Guardian
May 29, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

With Nigeria losing about 3.5 per cent of its forest yearly, which is between 350,000 and 400,000 hectares of forestland, the World Bank has been extended Nigeria Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Readiness Programme to Nasarawa and Ondo States. The programme by the United Nations REDD Programme and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) has the World Bank as an implementing partner and main vehicle for REDD+ readiness in the country, with an initial priority focus in Cross River State. Under the $3.8 million FCPF support, the success story is being replicated in two other states of Nasarawa and Ondo. The goal of the programme is to enable Nigeria to contribute to climate change mitigation through improved forest conservation and enhancing sustainable community livelihoods.

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Planting trees can’t counter carbon emissions

By Bob McDonald, host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks
CBC News
May 26, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

A new report from the Potsdam Institute in Germany shows that planting trees and other plants to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere cannot substitute for cutting carbon emissions. Growing trees and other kinds of “biomass” have been thought of as an effective countermeasure against our rising global carbon emissions. In fact, countries that preserve forests or green spaces can receive carbon credits that they can trade or sell to other countries that are polluters. The researchers looked at several scenarios. One was the the “business-as-usual” scenario, in which greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at current rates, and which scientists fear could lead to a global average temperature rise of 4.5 C by 2100.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

“Wood Buildings – Moving to Mainstream” at the Architectural Institute of Canada’s Festival of Architecture

Journal of Commerce
May 26, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Penelope Martyn, the green building manager at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and Angelique Pilon, the research manager for the UBC Sustainability Initiative were the presenters for the “Wood Buildings – Moving to Mainstream in Canada” session at the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Festival of Architecture on May 26 in downtown Ottawa. Wood, Martyn said, is currently viewed as a commodity rather than a tradition for Canada, but there is a First nations tradition of creating with wood. There was also a European tradition of post and groove as well as square lofts. There are also buildings in Vancouver with wood columns and beams as well as brick. Mass housing came at the end of the 19th century using stick frames. First Nations wood culture collapsed as did the European tradition.

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Bill Fisch education centre aims to work like a forest ecosystem

By Dan O’Reilly
Daily Commercial News
May 29, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

An almost century-long endeavour to preserve and enhance York Region, Ont.’s managed forests reached another milestone earlier this year with the LEED Platinum certification of the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre. Set in the Hollidge Tract in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, the 362-square-metre (4,000-square-foot) single-storey building is the first regionally owned facility to achieve that designation. Last year the centre won the Public Project of the Year at the 2016 Ontario Public Works Association Awards in the category of historic restoration and preservation. This year it was awarded the 2017 American Public Works Association’s Public Project of the Year. The region is also pursuing certification under the Living Building Challenge, which measures sustainable building performance through a ‘pedal’ system.

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Cape Breton University professor develops environmentally friendly charcoal that could change the industry

Cape Breton Post
May 26, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

SYDNEY, N.S. — It’s completely black but nearly totally green. Gritty and sooty, yet great to use for washing up. Know what it is? Give up? It’s biochar, an environmentally friendly charcoal developed at Cape Breton University by professor Stephanie MacQuarrie and business partner Barrie Fiolek of B.W Bioenergy. The pair recently co-founded a company called Breton Organic Charcoals to sell their product, which they say can replace and outperform the activated charcoal currently used in hundreds of different applications, ranging from water filtration and environmental remediation to farming and cosmetics. Compared to activated charcoal, which is typically made from coconut, bamboo or coal, then “activated” by being heated to extreme temperatures as high as 2,000 C, or even treated with chemicals, the biochar developed at CBU is as green as it is black.

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Wood buildings getting taller and NZ among the pioneers

By Bob Brockie
Stuff.co.nz
May 29, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Some concrete buildings munted in the Christchurch quakes are being replaced with wooden buildings. Among them is a university building, which, at four storeys high, will be the country’s tallest wooden building. This wooden building is the brainchild of Canterbury University professor Andy Buchanan who specialises in innovative timber construction, fire and earthquake risk, and who has spent time at the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Canada. Canadians got off to an early start in 2014, when they constructed an eight-storey building out of douglas fir. It was among the tallest wooden buildings in world at the time, and it has served as a model for builders everywhere.

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