Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 19, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Oregon showcases mass timber with tallest wood high-rise

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 19, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Portland, Oregon is planning on taking a big stride with the approval of Framework, a 12-story, 145-foot-tall wood high-rise building. Winner of a grant from the Tall Wood Building Competition in 2015, the goal is to showcase mass lumber structures and to boost the state logging industry. Gov. Kate Brown said this project could “act as a catalyst for economic development through the creation of timber and manufacturing jobs in rural economies.” Competitors (e.g. National Ready Mixed Concrete Association) called this project “a dangerous precedent“.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump spoke on the phone Friday about trade, the discussion included steel and softwood lumber, but no further details were provided. There was another conversation last week between David McNaughton (Canada’s Ambassador to the US) and Wilbur Ross (US Commerce Secretary) about softwood lumber – McNaughton says the US wants a deal before renegotiation before NAFTA talks in August, but the deal is “a long way away“.

A massive forest fire (caused by a lightning strike) in central Portugal has claimed the lives of more than 60 people – many died in their cars as they tried to escape. Currently over 1,000 firefighters along with water bombers are still working to contain the blaze.

— Heidi Walsh, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Forestry

Community Forest project focussed on multiple benefits

By Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
Williams Lake Tribune
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last week the members of the Standing Committee for the Williams Lake Community Forest toured some harvesting under way next to Woodland Drive. Community Forest management provided information on logging that is taking place this spring in Douglas fir stands off Birch Lane. This forest is managed by partial-cutting rather than clear cutting, and seeks to achieve multiple objectives: …Ken Day and the management team described the challenge of optimizing multiple objectives throughout the project when trying to meet the needs of the multiple interest groups, local residents and legal obligations. Minimizing the impacts to the local bike groups, maximizing fuel break effectiveness, managing conflicts the cattle grazing, maintaining mule deer habitat, and leaving visual buffers for the adjacent subdivision while managing bark beetles all add to the complexity of harvest planning.

Read More

Chief Forester Sets Annual Allowable Cut for Quesnel TSA

250 News
June 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Quesnel, B.C. – The annual allowable cut for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area was released today and it’s down considerably from where it was in 2011. Chief Forester Diane Nicholls set the cut at 2,607,000 cubic metres effective immediately. “While the new cut level is about 35 per cent less than the four million cubic metres set in 2011, it is close to the average annual harvest over the past three years of about 2.7 million metres and consistent with the allowable annual cut set in 1996 – before the mountain pine beetle infestation began,” reads a statement from Nicholls office. The cut sets limits to harvest maximums of 127,000 cubic metres from deciduous tree – leading stands and 1.25 million cubic metres to living trees. The rest must be harvested from dead trees.

Read More

New pilot project in Beaconsfield aims to protect trees from emerald ash borers

CBC News
June 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Beaconsfield is taking a new approach to try to save its ash trees from emerald ash borer infestations. It’s started a three-year pilot project that involves using traps to help kill off the invasive beetles. The project costs $12,000 per year. The traps, known as the Lindgren funnel trap, will be placed in ash trees. Inside the traps is a fungus that emits an odor that’s attractive to the emerald ash borers. Once they enter the traps, they become contaminated by the fungus. …”It’s a different approach to fighting the emerald ash borer,” said Mayor Georges Bourelle. “It is very important that we try and protect our ash trees and keep as many as we can.”

Read More

Forest Fires

Forest fire breaks out west of 100 Mile House

By Katya Slepian
100 Mile House Free Press
June 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to a forest fire in the Cariboo region. According to the agency, the fire is about 20 kilometres southwest of Lac la Hache, to the northwest of 100 Mile House. (END OF STORY)

Read More

Crews Mitigate Wildfire Risk

CKPG
June 15, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A 15-person crew with the BC Wildfire Service is in the process of reducing interface wildfire risk at a location identified as a high wildfire risk location near Blackwater Road.. “This projects falls within the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and the intent here is to remove any of the excess hazard, whether it be dead standing timber or lying debris” explains Brad Blackwell, Wildfire Technician with the BC Wildfire Service. “The most efficient way to do that is to cut it up, pile it and conduct controlled open burns.” The BC Wildfire Service works closely with the City of Prince George when conducting “periodic” burns within City limits. And while the project is 100% the provincial body’s job, close communication helps offset any potential for misunderstandings.

Read More

Fire burning, but contained, near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T.

CBC News
June 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., are working on one of the community’s first big forest fires of the season about 10 kilometres south of the town. Footage captured from a boat on the Arctic Red River Thursday showed smoke and flames rising above the trees. “I saw the start up of it,’ said Tsiigehtchic Chief Phillip Blake, who owns the boat the video was taken from. “I seen some smoke in the air and the fire had just started.” “We’ve been getting some good weather for the last couple of weeks. There was a bit of wind drying up the forest,” Black said. “With no rain, that makes things dry I guess.” This is the first forest fire near the community this fire season, Blake said. Blake stayed by the fire late Thursday until a fire crew arrived and things “slowed right down.” Everyone in Tsiigehtchic is safe and a group of students who were supposed to be camping in the area moved to safety, he said.

Read More

Jasper Mayor, MP sound alarm over fire risk in national park

By Alicia Asquith
CBC News
June 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West


“Worrisome.” That’s how the Mayor of Jasper described conditions around the iconic mountain town Friday. Richard Ireland said pine beetles have devastated the forest in Jasper National Park, leaving behind an unsightly swath of red, dead trees that are now a major fire hazard to residents and tourists alike. “The dead forest is not so much the tourism concern — it’s a burned up town that can no longer service visitors,” Ireland said. “Apart from the impact it will have on the people who live here, their livelihood, their health and safety and their property.” Areas west of the Jasper townsite are facing the biggest risk right now, specifically the Miette River valley, which leads into British Columbia over the Yellowhead Pass. Ireland fears the increased fuel load in the surrounding forest could make his community the next Fort McMurray.

Read More

Water bomber called to brush fire in Kilbride

By Keith Gosse
The Telegram
June 17, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada


A waterbomber had to be called in to extinguish a brush fire near Old Petty Harbour road in St. John’s Saturday afternoon. The fire was in a wooded area about hundred meters away from homes at the end of the road but was inaccessible to trucks from the St. John’s Regional fire department. Four firefighters from the provincial forestry department were dispatched to the scene but the fire was too large for portable pumps to handle so the water bomber was called to make nearly a dozen drops of water. The blaze was under control by about 6 p.m. and the forestry firefighters used portable pumps to clean up hotspots.

Read More

Army helicopters help fight forest fire

Vertical Magazine
June 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire that reached the Mokuleia Forest Reserve scorched about 450 acres of land and came within less than a mile of some of the world’s most endangered trees before it was extinguished on June 10. The mehamehame trees, also known as the “redwoods of the Hawaiian forest,” are endemic to Hawaii and considered critically endangered. The Waianae Mountain Range is the only place where they are found on Oahu. “There are less than 30 mehamehame trees remaining in the world,” said Kapua Kewalo, the natural resources manager for U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. “And they are male and female trees, meaning that they need to get together to make keiki. With such a small gene pool as it is, every single one of those remaining trees is invaluable.” Charles Gibbs, chief of the U.S. Army Hawaii’s Wildland Fire Division, said fire officials managed to put down the blaze before it reached any endangered native plants.

Read More

Wildfire army stages in Payson

By Keith Morris
Payson Roundup
June 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

No vacancy. The Houston Mesa Campground and its 74 campsites is full — way full. In fact, the campground on Houston Mesa Road in Payson is housing a small army these days. This week more than 900 members of the Southwest Area Management Team fighting the Highline Fire converged on the campground, now transformed into the Incident Command Post (ICP) for the 1,300-acre Highline Fire — which has been giving Rim Country flashback nightmares of the Dude Fire for a week now. It takes about two days to set up a command center and camp for a major fire, said Sandra Lopez, public information officer for the Southwest Area Management Team. “Every day a plan is put together for the suppression effort,” Lopez said. “And that plan will dictate what we need here. So we can adjust accordingly. It can go as high as 1,000 people down to 200 people.”

Read More

Wildfire burning on Ochoco NF northeast of Prineville

KTVZ
June 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – A wildfire possibly sparked by recent lightning is being allowed to burn within roads and natural barriers by crews on the Ochoco National Forest northeast of Prineville, helping reintroduce fire into the area’s ecosystem, officials said Friday. The Central Oregon Fire Management Service and the Ochoco National Forest’s Lookout Mountain Ranger District said they are managing the Wildcat Fire, located a mile west of Spears Meadows south of Forest Service Road 3350 and north of Highway 26 at milepost 42. Forest spokeswoman Susan Garner said Forest Service air attack spotted the fire around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The official said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but noted there was lightning in the area over the past weekend.

Read More

Firefighters continue to battle Portuguese forest fires

RTÉ
June 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

More than 1,000 firefighters are still battling Portugal’s deadliest forest fire after it killed at least 62 people over the weekend. The blaze hit the mountainous area of Pedrogao Grande, 200km northeast of Lisbon, amid an intense heatwave. At least half the victims died in their cars as they tried to flee along a local motorway while many other bodies were found next to the road, suggesting they may have abandoned their vehicles in panic. Despite government assurances that the first response by the emergency services was swift and adequate, many media and residents questioned the efficiency of the operation and the strategic planning in a country which is used to wooded areas burning every year. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa called it the biggest human tragedy in Portugal in living memory. Light rain this morning brought only modest relief to the shocked population and exhausted firefighters. Water planes, including French and Spanish ones, resumed their missions after stopping overnight.

Read More

More than 60 dead in central Portugal forest fires

Associated Press in CBC News
June 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Raging forest fires in central Portugal killed at least 61 people, many of them trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road, in what Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Sunday called “the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years.” Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes said at least 30 people died inside their cars as they tried to flee. He said 17 others died right outside their cars or by the road, 11 people died in the forest and two people died in a car accident related to the fire. He said there was no information on the other two deaths. “For sure, we are going to find some more victims,” Costa said. So far, no one has been reported killed by the fire inside a house. Gomes said 54 people have also been injured, five of them seriously, including four firefighters and a minor.

Read More

Company & Business News

The future of Canada’s forest industry hinges on innovation

By Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada.
The Globe and Mail
June 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Not everyone thinks of innovation when they think of Canada’s forest products companies. But the federal government has fully recognized that the future of the forestry industry and its 230,000 workers depends on the success of its continuing commitment to innovation and sustainable development in every area of the forestry business. The importance of this transformation was underscored by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr in Ottawa’s response to the new round of U.S. tariffs against Canadian softwood-lumber imports. Earlier this month, Mr. Carr announced the federal government would provide $867-million in funds to help the forestry industry in the wake of the unwarranted U.S. duties aimed at Canada. In addition to critical support for forestry employees, the government earmarked a large portion of the new funding to support the sector’s wide-ranging, transformative commitment to overhaul its operations for long-term, sustainable growth.

Read More

Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump talk softwood lumber, steel during phone call

CBC News
June 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed defence spending and trade between their two countries during a phone call on Friday. According to an account provided by the Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders “noted in particular the highly integrated North American steel industry and softwood lumber.” Trump’s administration slapped punishing duties on Canadian softwood lumber in April after taking up the long held argument of the U.S. lumber industry that softwood lumber imports are unfairly subsidized. Just earlier this week Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada and the United States remain “quite far apart” on negotiating a softwood lumber settlement….The White House readout didn’t specifically mention steel or softwood, only adding that the two leaders discussed “various aspects of the strong bilateral relationship between their two countries.”

Read More

U.S. Wants Fast Lumber Deal as Canada Says Much Work Remains

By Josh Wingrove
Bloomberg
June 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States


Canada’s envoy to Washington says President Donald Trump’s administration is interested in a quick deal to end a softwood lumber dispute although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government sees no imminent agreement. Ambassador David MacNaughton said last week U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told him it would be good to get a softwood deal before renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, due to begin as early as August. However, MacNaughton said a deal is “a long way away” with a second round of duties on Canadian lumber expected this month. Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland also said a new pact on softwood — one of the most persistent trade spats between the U.S. and its second-largest trading partner — isn’t imminent. The dispute is raising the cost of lumber in the U.S., contributing to a more than 18 percent surge in wood prices from the end of January to mid-May, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report.

Read More

Premier Philippe Couillard prepares to tackle trade on trip to Washington

Canadian Press in the Montreal Gazette
June 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canadian-U.S. business relations will be at the heart of Premier Philippe Couillard’s visit to Washington, D.C., on Monday. While accompanied by Jean-Claude Lauzon, Quebec’s delegate general in New York, Couillard will meet with a series of U.S. officials and members of the local business community. No surprise, the North American Free Trade Accord, the softwood lumber dispute and the Supply Management and Complaints System against Bombardier filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce by Boeing will be addressed. “Our message to Americans is that trade agreements are good for you as well,” explained Couillard during the National Assembly’s last parliamentary session on Friday. “Nine million jobs in 35 states are dependent on this.” In 2015, according to the minister of the economy, science and innovation, Quebec exported $59.4 million worth of merchandise to the United States, representing 72 per cent of international exports.

Read More

Forest Service grant boosts Freres planned new plant

Statesman Journal
June 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West


Freres Lumber Company in Lyons recently received a boost in its quest to open a new plant to produce a new product on the construction market. The company received a $250,000 U.S. Forest Service Wood Integration grant, which will help pay for a computer numeric code machine to be used in its Mass Plywood Panel plant. The total cost of the machine is just shy of $1.2 million. The company is currently equipping the new plant with aims to have it operating by January. The plant is located between Lyons and Mill City at the site of the former Lyons Veneer and Cedar Mill Co. and is expected to initially employ 20 full-time employees, adding to Freres current labor force of nearly 500 employees in its half dozen operating plants. Overall construction costs of the new plant are estimated to be as much as $23 million. The new machine will enable the plant to finish Mass Plywood Panels to precise buyer specifications.

Read More

Wood pellets catch fire at manufacturing plant, burn up 4 acres in Kremmling

By Jacob Rodriguez
9News.com
June 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Multiple agencies responded Friday evening to reports of piles of wood pellets catching fire at a manufacturing plant in Grand County. The fire began at Confluence Energy near Highway 40 in Kremmling around 2:30 p.m. and promptly spread to nearby sagebrush, says the chief of the Grand County Office of Emergency Management. It’s not clear at this time how the blaze began, but the fire burned up four acres before it was brought under control by crews from several fire departments. The fire is not out, but emergency officials expect it to be in just a couple hours. Kremmling Airport was closed for a short time as a precaution. No one was injured, no structures were threatened and there is no believed danger to the public, authorities say.

Read More

Lewis Planning Board approves Denmark lumber mill expansion

Waterton Daily Times
June 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Planning Board on Thursday signed off on a proposed expansion project at a town of Denmark lumber mill. Board members voted 5-0 to approve the site plan of a proposed 100-by-200-foot building at Johnson Lumber Co., on Route 26 just south of West Carthage. Board member Timothy Petersen abstained from voting, stating he is directly involved with the project through his job at the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency. The Denmark town Planning Board will still need to give final approval to the planned expansion, and the county board recommended it complete part two of the state Environmental Quality Review and seek parking, lighting and landscaping plans from the company, or grant waivers, if needed. County planners also noted that a state Department of Transportation access permit will be required for a new proposed entrance at the site.

Read More

Heyfield job cuts ‘Vic premier’s fault’

By Christopher Talbot
Australian Associated Press in 9news
June 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

A company cutting 50 jobs as it closes a Victorian timber mill says the state government failed to supply enough logs and made an “insulting offer” to buy the business. Australian Sustainable Hardwoods announced it will shut its Green Mill at Heyfield in August, ending green log saw milling at the facility. ASH’s owners Hermal says the shutdown will “technically” cost 50 jobs but the actual number is not known as it will seek to redeploy people “as far as possible”. “It is uneconomic, uncommercial and most unrewarding dealing with the Victorian government and in terms of ASH I don’t want anything further to do with them,” Hermal boss Ron Goldschlager said in a statement on Monday. But a spokesman for Premier Daniel Andrews said negotiations were continuing. …”We purchased the mill under a promise of a new 20-year supply agreement. This wasn’t provided, ” Mr Goldschlager said. “Mr Andrews wanted to offer less for the mill than we have invested in it and far less than would be returned through closure.”

Read More

Good timber offer made: VicForests

Gippsland Times
June 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

VICFORESTS was willing to look at making up a shortfall in timber supply to the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods mill in Heyfield. The claim came after the mill’s owner, the Hermal Group, last week announced it would bring forward its closure, blaming an expected shortage of timber from VicForests. VicForests acting chief executive Nathan Trushell said it anticipated delivering at least 97 per cent of the requested volume for 2016-17 for the Heyfield mill. “The under supply would represent around one week’s cutting for the mill,” he said. “VicForests was willing to look at making up any under supply during the months of July and August, but were advised today that the mill will not accept any deliveries beyond June 30.” The closure of the mill will begin in August, with about 250 workers to eventually lose their jobs. Hermal rejected the state government’s $20 million offer for the mill, claiming it wasn’t a fair commercial offer.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Scientists fear new EU rules may ‘hide’ forest carbon loss

By Matt McGrath
BBC News
June 18, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Leading researchers have condemned attempts to change the way carbon from trees will be counted in Europe. The scientists fear that millions of tonnes of CO2 from forests will disappear from the books if the changes go ahead. Trees are important carbon sinks as they soak up about 10% of Europe’s emissions every year. But some countries want to cut more trees down in future without counting the resulting loss of carbon. Europe’s forests have been increasing for the last century, and over the last 10 years the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of trees have been added every day. However accounting for carbon contained in trees is a fiendishly difficult task. Forests can both soak up and emit carbon depending on how old they are, and how they are managed and harvested.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Oregon looks to help logging industry with country’s tallest wooden high-rise

By Anna Giaritelli
The Washington Examiner
June 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Portland, Ore., is planning to construct the nation’s tallest all-wood high-rise building in an effort to boost the state’s logging industry. Framework, a 12-story, 145-foot-tall building received building permits this month that allow the high rise to exceed the current U.S. cap of 85 feet for an all-wood building. Portland-based Lever Architecture designed the structure and was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in September 2015 in the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. …Some of the grant’s funding was used for scientific tests at Portland State University and Oregon State University, where experts tested the timber’s ability to withstand various conditions. The glued, laminated timber passed a two-hour fire test.

Read More

Ashland Mat uses forests products to protect ground

By Beth Probst
Business North
June 16, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Wisconsin ranks number one for paper production and wood furniture manufacturing. The forestry industry as a whole provides approximately 64,000 jobs with an economic impact of $24.7 billion. …Ashland Mat LLC is located just south of Ashland. The company, which is a subsidiary of Beasley Forest Products, provides hardwood timber mats, also known as crane mats. They are made from hardwoods and are used as temporary roads, bridge decking, drill site pads and other construction projects within environmentally sensitive areas. For example, when a new power line needs to go through an area with soft soil, the mats will be laid out to protect ground cover, allowing for less environmental damage or disturbance. Other common construction projects include oil and gas pipelines, along with wind power and pipeline sites.

Read More

General

Scottish biomass specialist undergoing significant expansion

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
June 19, 2017
Category: Uncategorised
Region: International

A Scottish biomass specialist is set to unveil its UK expansion plans this week, at the Royal Highland Show. Uphall-based Scot Heat and Power is expanding its core offering of highly efficient wood chip/wood pellet-fuelled boilers across multiple Scottish depots. Recently, the company established a new base in Windermere, Cumbria, which it believes will become the lynchpin of its expansion plans. The company is getting ready to announce a multimillion pound pipeline of work which it believes will confirm its reputation as an energy supplier to projects both in England and Scotland. Its presence at the Royal Highland Show, an annual farming and countryside gathering, will be used to demonstrate the company’s ambitions.

Read More