Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 14, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Keep your cool

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 14, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Lots of advice today for the Canadian forest industry on dealing with the US on the softwood lumber agreement. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien says “don’t lose your cool” as difficulties over foreign policy and trade are the norm between the US and Canada. Similarly, Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, says “ignore the noise“. He also praised the federal government for their “robust response” with their funding boost for the industry.

It appears the Gippsland sawmill in Australia will begin closing in August as the owners rejected an offer from the Victoria Government – saying the offer “did not recognise the value of the site and its equipment“. Timber supply to the mill has been reduced by more than half forcing the closure of the mill, devastating the town of Heyfield where it is the largest employer.

New Hampshire loggers face huge challenges as the market for low-grade wood disappears as paper mills and biomass power plants close. Without that market, loggers can’t make a profit from just high-grade wood and it “feels like a race to the bottom“.

The BC Community Forest Association’s annual conference and AGM begins tomorrow in Tumbler Ridge, BC – check out the conference program (if you aren’t lucky enough to be attending) and a thank you to all of the conference sponsors!

— Heidi Walsh, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

2017 BCCFA Conference and AGM: June 15 – 17, Tumbler Ridge, BC

BC Community Forest Association
June 14, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Welcome to Tumbler Ridge for the 2017 Conference and AGM, hosted by the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest. This is the land of waterfalls and dinosaurs, and home of the new UNESCO Global Geopark. We gather to connect with our colleagues, to network and share the lessons we have learned in community forestry. While the uncertain outcome of the provincial election may limit some aspects of our discussion, let’s seize the opportunity to come together to identify the key issues community forests face and define our priorities. You are encouraged to ask questions, to engage in dialogue and share your experiences and ideas. Everyone has something to contribute!

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Forestry

Peachland needs water plan

By Jon Manchester
Castanet
June 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peachland needs a comprehensive watershed protection plan, residents were told at a meeting last week. Nearly 100 people turned out to a town hall meeting held by the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance. The community is experiencing its fourth month of boil-water advisories, creek washouts, slides and devastating flood conditions. Residents were told council is asking the four area logging companies to present their forest stewardship plans to City Hall. “We’re concerned that unrestricted logging, especially clearcut logging, is having a negative effect on our watershed’s health,” said Joe Klein, chair of the alliance. “We need to develop a plan to protect our jobs, our recreation, and our water quality.”

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Plans to log in Kananaskis rile locals, environmental groups

By The Calgary Eyeopener
CBC News
June 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A forested area in the south end of Kananaskis Country in Alberta is slated for logging this winter, prompting some nearby residents and environmental organizations to fight the plan. The group, called Take a Stand for Upper Highwood, is concerned about logging plans for about 450 hectares in an area known as Highwood Junction. “We hike out there quite often and over the winter we noticed some flagging that had happened,” Black Diamond resident Neil Williams told the Calgary Eyeopener. “A trapper in that area told us it was for logging to happen in 2017 and we decided to get involved.” …”It is a critical wildlife corridor according to Alberta Parks and Environment and …we think it is very important to tourism and to protect the watershed in the area, the Highwood River and all the other creeks that drain into it,” Williams said.

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Loading operations: First Nations company keeps mill yard running smoothly

By Maria Church
Wood Business
June 13, 2017
Category: Forestry, Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dallan Holdings, a mill yard services company based in Thunder Bay, Ont., exemplifies what a company can accomplish when it focuses on its people. Co-owner and general manager, Dale Levesque is the man behind that focus. “I have a strong team and workforce behind me. Numerous employees have been working with me since 2003. I’d call it more of a friendship,” Levesque says. Dallan Holdings provides yard services for Resolute Forest Products mills in northwestern Ontario. The company employs 120 people, and approximately one third are First Nations. The company is made up of three partners, Lac des Milles Lacs First Nation, Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, and Levesque. Dallan is an anagram that incorporates the names of the three partners.

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New sustainability solutions

Timber Trades Journal
June 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

How to stand up a sustainability claim for uncertified hardwood was the theme of a recent seminar co-hosted by James Latham, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Timber Trade Federation (TTF). The issue was set in the context that growing numbers of timber businesses and their customers have signed up to the WWF’s forest campaign. This commits signatories to achieve 100% sustainable timber sourcing by 2020 and the most widely accepted proof of this is certification. Yet, primarily due its fragmented forest ownership, certification has so far made only minimal inroads in the US hardwood sector. The importance of ensuring forest and timber sustainability was now beyond dispute, said PEFC International chairman Peter Latham.

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Keeping the Elliott State Forest will cost millions

By Claire Withycombe
Blue Mountain Eagle
June 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Keeping the Elliott State Forest public isn’t cheap. When Oregon’s State Land Board voted to stop the sale of a 82,500-acre swath of the forest near the Southern Oregon coast to a private timber company in May, it gave up the $220.8 million that Lone Rock Resources and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians intended to pay. The state spent more than $3.5 million on the proposed sale, a prolonged bureaucratic process requiring multiple steps, public meetings and many hours of employee time. Now, the Department of State Lands is requesting an additional $5.7 million to pay for continued management of the forest and the development of a long-term plan to protect the forest’s habitat for endangered species….Finally, it’s unclear how much the state may end up spending on legal costs.

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A long way to go on final forest plan

By Dianne L Stallings
Ruidoso News
June 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Officials with the U.S. Forest Service showed up on a rainy night last week with background, explanations and slides to brief attendees on the launch of a formal environmental impact statement as part of a new management plan for the Lincoln National Forest that may not be released until 2020. But many of the questions that followed focused on ensuring local viewpoints will be considered when drafting the broad management document. “How do we as a community get an equal say with a larger group that has the ability to take you to court?” one man asked. Smokey Bear District Ranger Jodie Canfield responded “stay involved.”

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GOP launches new assault on public lands

Summit County Citizens Voice
June 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Once again, Republican lawmakers in Congress are trying to roll back long-standing forest protections on a piecemeal basis, knowing that the public would never stand for a frontal assault on fundamental public lands environmental regulations. The difference now is that they have an ally in the White House willing sign such measures, which makes resistance in the legislature even more critical. In the latest effort, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) reintroduced a measure that would allow logging projects on up to 30,000 acres — more than 46 square miles — of public land to proceed without meaningful public input, regardless of the environmental harms they might cause.

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Loggers give thousands in scholarships to Nevada County youth

The Union
June 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The local Gold Country Chapter of Associated California Loggers (ACL) conducts a raffle each year to raise funds for their annual scholarship program. This year, there were two Nevada County students selected to receive scholarships. Blake Yokom, a graduate of Nevada Union High School, was awarded $1,500 and plans to attend Butte College to study agriculture and fire science. Chase Riedel, a Bear River High School graduate, was awarded $1,000 and is also planning to attend Butte College to become a heavy equipment mechanic. The students’ applications were selected from 10 submissions for the awards. The Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference provided 11 scholarships of $1,000 each to Nevada Union, N.U. Tech, Bear River and Ghidotti High School students.

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Forest Fires

Ontario researchers to study dust for carcinogens after Fort McMurray fire

By Liam Casey
Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist
June 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

TORONTO — A group of Ontario researchers is travelling to Fort McMurray, Alta., next month to study dust left in homes from the forest fire that ravaged the city last year. The team’s work is among several studies that are being conducted on the health effects of the ferocious blaze that forced more than 80,000 people to flee. Arthur Chan, an assistant professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto, said his team has received overwhelming interest from “concerned” homeowners in Fort McMurray who are offering up their places to be tested. “We hope we don’t find anything,” Chan said. “But we’re looking for heavy metals and also some organic compounds that are potentially carcinogens. We’re going to assess those levels and compare to what we know are normal levels in a home in Canada.”

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Report on Fort McMurray wildfire makes explosive criticism

By David Staples
Edmonton Journal
June 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new report on the Fort McMurray wildfire makes an explosive criticism, suggesting if Alberta Forestry officials had used “high risk/high reward” fire ignition techniques to fight the wildfire before it hit Fort McMurray on May 3, 2016, they might have had some success quelling it. “Ignition tactics may have been employed earlier with some success,” the MNP consulting report released last week said. How much validity is there to this notion? Could more of Fort McMurray been saved? The critique has some weight because MNP employed six wildfire specialists from across North America, three to help investigate and three to review the report. I recently spent a month digging into these issues myself and talked at length with Bernie Schmitte, the Fort McMurray forest area manager who led the initial fight.

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Unattended campfire likely cause of wildfire near Kelowna

By Blaine Gaffney
Global News
June 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

UPDATE – The first person to spot the fire says it appears to have started from an unattended campfire. Shawn Lafond was driving by with a friend on Westside Road when they noticed smoke and a flicker of flames. They checked it out and phoned 9-1-1 after finding a campsite with no-one around and a smouldering fire pit. Lafond says he was told by another person in the area campers has been at the site for about three weeks.

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Salmon Arm mayor wants government to reverse cuts to firefighter benefits

By Liam Britten
CBC News
June 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mayor of Salmon Arm says the specialized firefighters based in her town deserve to keep their food and board benefits, even if other firefighters don’t get the same treatment. Nancy Cooper was reacting to details in documents provided by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in a freedom of information request that revealed the provincial government was eliminating food and board benefits for Rapattack firefighters, not for purposes of standardization and saving money, as it had previously claimed publicly, but to eliminate a “culture of elitism.” “Absolutely, they’re an elite group of forest firefighters. Not everyone’s trained to rappel out of a helicopter and fight fires in remote areas,” Cooper told Radio West host Alya Ramadan.

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Two new forest fires in the Northeast Region

Sudbury.com
June 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are two new fires confirmed in the Northeast Region by late afternoon on June 13. Algonquin Park 3 covers 0.1 of a hectare on the south side of Little Doe Lake. Sudbury 3 covers 0.7 of a hectare and is located North of Leinster Lake, to the east of Onaping Lake. The fire hazard is currently low to high across the region, with the highest hazard presenting in the central and the easternmost portions of the region. To see a complete list of fires across the province check out the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s interactive map. You can also get the latest update on the condition of any fire by clicking the fire icon

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Company & Business News

U.S.-Canada Trade Spat Set to Sharpen as Lumber Decision Nears

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg
June 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. is setting the stage to heighten one of its most-contested trade battles with Canada this month as a decision over lumber duties nears. The U.S. Department of Commerce is scheduled to announce whether it will impose preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber by the end of June. While the spat between the world’s two largest trading partners goes back decades, tensions have intensified amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement. The dispute over softwood lumber was reignited in November when the U.S. lumber industry filed a petition asking for duties. The group alleges Canadian wood is heavily subsidized and imports are harming U.S. mills and workers. Lumber futures in Chicago have surged amid concerns that the trade battle will disrupt supplies.

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‘Don’t lose your cool’: Former PM Chretien on rocky U.S. relations

By Jeff Lagerquist
CTV News
June 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The state of Canada-U.S. relations is often “kind of a crisis,” according to former prime minister Jean Chretien. His advice to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and company: “Don’t lose your cool.” Reflecting on his time in office, he explained that dust-ups over foreign policy directives and trade ties have long been the norm for the two nations, and the current list of divergences between Ottawa and Washington are far from unique. “I’m not nervous,” Chretien told CTV News. “When I said no to the war in Iraq, a lot of people were not happy with me in the United States, and we survived rather well.” …Chretien’s reassurances followed a rather blunt assessment of the protracted cross-border dispute over softwood lumber. …“There are always problems when you have almost $2 billion in trade per day,” Chretien said. “That creates a bump and you navigate around it. Don’t lose your cool. That is the way to do it.”

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Federal aid package a relief to forest producers

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
June 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Ignore the noise. That’s what Derek Nighbor is taking away from his many conversations with federal bureaucrats and industry leaders concerning the ongoing softwood lumber dispute. “We respond to what the U.S. does, not to what the U.S. says,” said the CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, in echoing an often repeated line from federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr. “It’s a fine line to being vigilant, monitoring and focusing on what we can control. We’ll get whiplashed if we respond to every word that comes out of Washington these days.” Nighbor had high praise for Ottawa’s $867-million package, announced June 1, to aid forest products exporters hit with U.S. countervailing duties of about 20 per cent. …“We’re very confident the government has done this responsibility so as to avoid any further trade risk, retaliation or further countervailing duties for the U.S.”

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FPInnovations announces collaboration agreement to develop automated electric vehicles in Québec

By FPInnovations
Canada Newswire
June 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTRÉAL – FPInnovations, in collaboration with Motrec International Inc., Technoparc Montréal, ABB Inc., and Ericsson Canada Inc., is pleased to announce a collaboration agreement to develop and create an electric autonomous shuttle, adapted to Canadian winter conditions. This project will make it possible to tackle the various challenges and needs relating to electric and smart mobility and will contribute toward the development of the electric vehicle sector as well as toward supporting the Grappe industrielle des véhicules électriques et intelligents (Industrial Cluster for Electric and Smart Vehicles).

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Loading operations: First Nations company keeps mill yard running smoothly

By Maria Church
Wood Business
June 13, 2017
Category: Forestry, Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dallan Holdings, a mill yard services company based in Thunder Bay, Ont., exemplifies what a company can accomplish when it focuses on its people. Co-owner and general manager, Dale Levesque is the man behind that focus. “I have a strong team and workforce behind me. Numerous employees have been working with me since 2003. I’d call it more of a friendship,” Levesque says. Dallan Holdings provides yard services for Resolute Forest Products mills in northwestern Ontario. The company employs 120 people, and approximately one third are First Nations. The company is made up of three partners, Lac des Milles Lacs First Nation, Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, and Levesque. Dallan is an anagram that incorporates the names of the three partners.

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Governor signs two bills to sales tax exempt some ag and timber products

Vermont Business Magazine
June 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States


Governor Phil Scott on Monday signed S34, an act relating to rural economic development, and H495, an act relating to miscellaneous agriculture and subjects, at Goodridge Lumber in Albany. He said the bills highlight the state’s commitment to our agriculture sector and spurring economic growth for rural communities. These bills create a new exemption from the Vermont sales and use tax for specific types of machinery and equipment used in timber cutting, timber removal, and the processing of timber or other solid wood forest products intended to be sold at retail. …H495 provides a necessary clarification to existing statute that dyed diesel is not subject to Vermont’s sales and use tax, and creates a Water Quality Assistance program to assist timber harvesters in remaining compliant with water quality requirements.

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N.H. loggers struggle as low-grade wood loses its value

By David Brooks
Concord Monitor
June 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

As owner of a logging company, Matt Magoon possesses huge, dangerous equipment weighing hundreds of tons that can chew up entire trees in a few minutes. But the most alarming tool at his disposal during a recent job in Northwood may have been a cheap handheld calculator. “Twelve dollars a ton,” he shouted over the noise of 50-foot pine trees being dragged behind a skidder, after calculating how much he makes for a truckload of wood chips. “That’s it. And I still have to pay my crew, insurance, fuel; pay the landowner … and my family.” This quick calculation – $750 for 30 tons of chips, minus a $390 trucking fee – was alarming because of what it says about the business model that has long sustained New Hampshire’s hundreds of small, independent loggers.

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Gippsland sawmill to begin closure, rejecting offer from the Victorian Government to buy the site

ABC News, Australia
June 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

The owners of the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) timber mill in Gippsland say they will begin closing in August, rejecting an offer from the Victorian Government to buy the site. The mill has been involved in a heated dispute with the Victorian Government and the state-owned logging company VicForests over the amount of timber supplied to the mill. VicForests reduced its offer to supply timber to the mill by more than half, stating it did not have the wood to supply. The mill operators announced earlier this year the supply contract was not sustainable, and if it could not negotiate a better deal the mill would close. ASH employs about 250 people in the tiny town of Heyfield, where locals fear for their future without the town’s largest employer.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Understanding wood pellet quality certifications

By Gordon Murray
Canadian Biomass Magazine
June 12, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The global annual wood pellet trade is currently about 30 million tonnes and growing at about 15 per cent per year. About half of all wood pellets are sold in the industrial sector for power generation while the other half are sold in the heating sector for residential, commercial and institutional applications. …What is wood pellet quality certification? It is the provision by an independent third party – a certification body – that wood pellets bearing the certification trademark conform to specific quality standards. Quality certification is not needed in the industrial pellet sector because buyers and sellers routinely conduct laboratory tests of samples taken from each pellet shipment. In the heating sector, it would obviously be impractical to expect consumers to conduct their own laboratory tests. This is the reason that third-party quality certification was developed for the heating sector.

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