Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 28, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

House Republicans promote forest thinning to curb wildfire

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 28, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

With wildfires “raging through the West“—House Republicans “took a chainsaw to federal regulations” that have created a fire-friendly environment on public lands by “slowing forest-thinning and dead-tree removal”.  In Utah, lawmakers are insisting that logging could have prevented a wildfire that has “burned 13 homes and forced the evacuation of 1,500 people“. 

Slow-growing pine trees better withstand a bark beetle outbreak”, according to US Forest Service researcher Sharon Hood. In other research, the University of BC is seeking funding for a simple blood test to diagnose when Western red cedar trees, which “can cause problems for those who inhale their dust on the job” is the cause of worker asthma.

Meanwhile, more reaction to the anti-dumping duties on softwood lumber:

  • Canada in the right on softwood dispute, will keep working with US: Trudeau (Canadian Press)
  • Duties dampen BC sawmill production (Business in Vancouver)
  • Why New Brunswick has much more riding on lobsters than softwood (Business News Network)
  • Maine governor to seek NB softwood exemption in White House talks (Canadian Press)
  • Duties on lumber now enough to threaten thousands of US jobs (National Association of Home Builders)
  • Canada and US drawing closer to ending latest softwood lumber dispute, sources say (National Post)
— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Committee turns down request for RDN to be part of Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Nanaimo board does not want to be involved with the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR). At the last …meeting on June 13, staff recommended that the board authorize execution of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make the RDN an official partner with the MABR. …The purpose of the MOU is to create a foundation for regional co-operation between Vancouver Island University and the RDN in areas of mutual benefit that pertain to the MABR. …[Nanaimo director Bill] Yoachim raised concerns about the MABR’s position against the logging industry, which he based on past disagreements with the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation. He feels that by signing the MOU, the RDN would be handcuffing the First Nations from their rights. Area G director Joe Stanhope indicated the MOU is not about going against the forestry sector and explained that it’s all about science-based forestry renewal.

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B.C.’s official tree is a source of health problems for many in forestry industry

By Pamela Fayerman
The Vancouver Sun
June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

They are a central part of Northwest Coast aboriginal culture, not to mention the construction industry and provincial economy, but western red cedar trees — B.C.’s official tree — also cause serious lung problems for those who inhale their dust on the job. Hans Brezina, 57, knows this too well. The Mission-area man happily worked in the forestry industry for three decades, but had to give it up a few years ago because of serious asthma. …Gillian Burnett, government and media relations officer with WorkSafe, said there are standards for cedar dust control in sawmills and requirements for employers to control exposures. A pamphlet that WorkSafeBC distributes to those in the forestry industry about western red cedar asthma says employers must control dust levels, take ventilation measures, inform workers about health hazards and use respirator masks when necessary.

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Sustainable forest is art, science and philosophy

By Sara McCleary
Sault This Week
June 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


Algoma Highlands Conservancy owns about 1,200 hectares of land around King Mountain. It takes sustainable forest management seriously. Doug Pitt, a research scientist with Canadian Forest Service and a conservancy board member, explains the idea, “in the simplest terms”. “We all derive benefits from the forest — everything from toilet paper to the lumber that we build our houses with; sustainable forest management is keeping the forest healthy so that it continues to provide these benefits for our children and grandchildren.” The “philosophy, science and art” behind sustainable forest management comes down to finding a balance between meeting societal and economic demands for forest products and maintaining the health of the forest, he said. At this time, three of the largest local conservancies, including Algoma Highlands, just north of Goulais River, have found this balance without harvesting a healthy tree.

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Seeing the forest through the trees with a new LiDAR system

By the Optical Society of America
Phys.org
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Shortly after lasers were first developed in the 1960s, LiDAR—whose name originated as a combination of “light” and “radar”—capitalized on the newly unique precision they offered for measuring both time and distance. LiDAR quickly became the standard method for (3-D) land surveys and is now used in a multitude of sensing applications, such as self-driving cars. …With a specially designed laser system and a new methodology based on gated digital holography, research from the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C., now provides a method to give LiDAR an enhanced ability to see through otherwise obscuring elements of terrain like foliage or netting.

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Federal legislation could clearcut forest protections

By Brenna Bell, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) coordinator and staff attorney for Bark
Pamplin Media Group
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Over the past 40 years, the network of federal laws and regulations have ensured that public lands, resources and wildlife have been managed to balance multiple values and uses. A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would unravel the delicate balance struck by these laws and would increase commercial timber extraction on National Forests at the expense of all other public values. The “Resilient Federal Forest Act of 2017” (H.R. 2936) is an extremist bill that would make significant changes in how the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act are applied to forest management and would severely limit judicial review of timber sales….The proposed bill would massively increase the size of timber sales excluded from environmental analysis to 10,000 acres for some kinds of projects and up to 30,000 acres for others.

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Bullock says western states are making progress in better managing forests, rangelands

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITEFISH — After a year of working to bring diverse interests to the table to find better ways to manage forest and rangelands across the West, Gov. Steve Bullock said progress had been made but more needs to be done. Bullock presented a report Tuesday on his National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative at the Western Governors’ Association meeting in Whitefish. “I’m confident this initiative will inspire further commitment among western governors and our partners to continue working together, in a bipartisan way and on a collaborative basis, to promote the health and resilience of our forests and rangelands,” Bullock said. During a discussion Tuesday, the governors in attendance and other stakeholders said they were pleased with the progress to date. Governors have hosted workshops across the West in the last 12 months to begin the work of developing the initiative.

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Court ruling blocks $1.4 billion timber class-action suit

By Holly Owens
Herald and News
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALBANY — A judge has ruled that Oregon counties can’t sue the state government in the face of a $1.4 billion class lawsuit that seeks damages for logging practices. The June 20 decision reverses an earlier ruling by the same judge which stated that counties could seek damages from state government, the Capital Press reported. The new ruling by Linn County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy considers counties subdivisions of the state and therefore they can’t sue the state government for money. The lawsuit, filed in March, accuses the state of Oregon of insufficiently logging state forests. The suit states the 14 counties gave the state forestland expecting to receive a portion of logging proceeds in return. …Murphy said he’s “well aware this interpretation contradicts” his previous ruling, but the case was complex.

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Study: Slow-Growing Pine Trees Better Withstand Bark Beetles

June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When a bark beetle outbreak started killing off decades-old pine trees in a research forest in western Montana, Forest Service researcher Sharon Hood made the best of the situation. She started studying which trees were dying, hoping that information would help land managers. In the past, forest managers tended to plant fast-growing trees, but Hood and her team found slow-growing trees are the ones most likely to survive a beetle outbreak. “We want our forests to be as well protected as possible from bark beetles,” Hood said. “Trees provide these huge ecosystem services: carbon storage, water quality, timber products.”

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Support grows for thinning trees to combat forest fires as wildfires scorch West

By Valerie Richardson
The Washington Times
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — With wildfires already raging through the West, House Republicans took a chainsaw Tuesday to federal regulations that have created a fire-friendly environment on public lands by slowing forest-thinning and dead-tree removal. The House Natural Resources Committee passed the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, moving to combat the rise in catastrophic wildfires by reversing what sponsors described as the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management’s “anemic forest management efforts.” “As we debated this bill, dozens of wildfires continue to burn in the Southwest,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman, Arkansas Republican and the bill’s sponsor. …“Our forest health crisis can no longer be neglected,” said chairman Rob Bishop, Utah Republican.

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Listen to forest beats to assess environmental health

By Yao-Hua Law
SciDev.Net
June 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

KUALA LUMPUR—By analysing the composition of sounds in a forest — called a soundscape — scientists can make cost-effective and reliable assessment of the forest, according to a new study conducted in Papua New Guinea (PNG).  A soundscape’s saturation refers to the variety of pitches, or frequencies, found in the sounds. The study, published in Conservation Biology on 14 June, confirmed that land-use zones with intact forest cover had significantly higher soundscape saturation. Autonomous recorders set up at 34 locations in the Adelbert Mountains of PNG covered sites ranging from pristine forests to small cacao farms. Led by Zuzana Burivalova, tropical forest ecologist at Princeton University, the study recorded almost 1,300 hours of sounds in July 2015.

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Forest disturbance leaves some bats stressed and under the weather

By Christine L. Madliger
Oxford Academic – Oxford University Press
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In the face of logging and forest fragmentation, what is a bat to do? Interestingly, the type of roosting site a bat uses may have a big influence on how habitat disturbances affect them. It turns out that bats that roost in caves may have an easier time coping with change. Traditionally, conservation scientists have focused on population size to measure how disturbances affect species, but this type of monitoring can take years to indicate that there is an issue. This lag time is one reason why some conservation scientists are turning to physiology. …Not surprisingly, the researchers found fewer bats in the disturbed sites versus the recovering sites. But forest disturbance only impacted the physiology of some species and barely affected others. Where was the pattern? It seemed that foliage-roosting bats living in disturbed forests weighed less, and some also exhibited weakened immune systems.

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Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping

By International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Phys.org
June 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International


Using forest biomass products—such as timber, fuel wood, or paper—in a sustainable manner, without exhausting resources or diminishing forest biodiversity, requires transparency on the origin and management of those forests. One way to implement sustainable forest management is by certifying the area. By showing where certified forest areas are located and how they correlate with non-certified and primary forest land, a new global map released in June 2017 can provide a basis for a global pathway towards sustainable resource use. To address the lack of openly accessible data on forest certification on a sub-national level, the global map shows certified forest areas at 1 kilometer resolution—far more detailed than currently available maps. The map, which is available freely online and described in an article in the journal Forest Policy and Economics, was developed by researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) together with the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

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Forestry competition winners revealed at this year’s Royal Cornwall Show

By Paul Armstrong
The Falmouth Packet
June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A new area of woodland near Truro was among the winning entries in the 2017 edition of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association’s woodland competition. The results were announced at this year’s show for the five competition categories with Lady St Levan, this year’s show president, presenting the awards in the main ring. The judges praised Lesley and Simon Trehane, the winner of the ECC International Perpetual Trophy for the best new woodland planted since 2002 for their “well established but already productive” woodland at Pencoose, St Erme near Truro. They added that the well-designed woodland worked well on a small scale so the owners could keep a close eye on detail, meeting its objectives of producing firewood, encouraging wildlife and creating an attractive landscape. Chris and Penny Gregory from St Cleer were awarded the Silvanus Perpetual Trophy for the best restored woodland for Gilly’s Wood at Trethinnick.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire near Kamloops

By Jon Manchester
Castanet
June 27, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Wildfire Service firefighters are battling a fire within sight of Kamloops. The Dew Drop fire is estimated at 75 hectares in size and is considered active. It is believed to be human caused and was discovered June 16, however, it was initially allowed to continue as a controlled burn. That has since changed since the growth of the fire, and air tankers were called in Monday. Photos of the blaze have been shared widely on social media as it is within view of the city. It is located in the Lac Du Bois grasslands protected area, west of Kamloops, on the north shore of Kamloops Lake.

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Crews fighting Miller Bench wildfire near Pemberton

By Paula Baker
Global News
June 27, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 20 firefighters are battling a human-caused wildfire 10 kilometres northwest of Pemberton. The Miller Bench fire is four hectares in size and is burning in the Pemberton meadows area, according to Coastal Fire Centre information officer Marg Drysdale. Drysdale says there is no campfire ban in the Coastal Fire Area but they are watching on a day-to-day basis as we head into the long weekend. So far they have had seven campfires that escaped into nearby forested areas this year in the Coastal Fire Area but they were able to be controlled quickly. As the temperatures across the province climbed to record highs over the weekend, the number of wildfires burning around B.C. also increased. A six-hectare blaze is currently burning out of control near Tatla Lake, about 200 kilometres west of Williams Lake. There is no threat to homes but smoke can be seen from Highway 20.

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Utah wildfire grows to largest active fire in the U.S.

By Brady Mccombs
Associated Press in the Denver Post
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

SALT LAKE CITY — The nation’s largest wildfire has forced more than 1,500 people from their homes and cabins in a southern Utah mountain area home to a ski town and popular fishing lake. Firefighters battled high winds Monday as they fought a fire that has grown to 72 square miles (184 square kilometers) and burned 13 homes — larger than any other fire in the country now, state emergency managers said. Some flames reached 100 feet high, while fire crews faced dry, windy conditions Tuesday and a “high potential” for extreme fire behavior, officials said late Monday. The estimated firefighting costs now top $7 million for a fire started June 17 near the Brian Head Resort by someone using a torch tool to burn weeds, they said. Investigators said they know who the culprit is, but they haven’t yet released the person’s identity or what charges will be leveled.

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Santa Clarita Wildfire Containment Up to 75 Percent

NBC Los Angeles
June 27, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters have increased containment of an 800-acre brush fire north of Los Angeles entering the third consecutive day of the firefight. The fire in Santa Clarita was about 75 percent contained as of midnight, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. It was started Sunday by a crash on the southbound 14 Freeway near the Sierra Highway off-ramp. The crash caused a tree to catch fire, and those flames spread toward Disney Ranch, a soundstage and film production complex. The blaze caused a power outage at Disney Ranch, cutting electricity to 76 nearby homes. …The fire broke out during one of the warmest days of the year in Southern California. At times, four water-dropping helicopters and two fixed-winged aircraft were involved in the firefighting effort.

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Utah officials blame lack of logging for major wildfire

By Brady McCombs
Associated Press in The Chicago Tribune
June 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Insisting that logging could have cleaned up dead, bug-infested trees that are fueling a Utah wildfire, a Republican state lawmaker blamed federal mismanagement and lawsuits by “tree hugger” environmentalists for the blaze that has burned 13 homes and forced the evacuation of 1,500 people. A conservation group called that contention “shameful” and misleading, saying it fails to take into account climate change and drought. In addition, a U.S. Forest Service researcher said logging probably would not have made a big difference in the high-altitude fire that is sending embers from tree-to-tree over long distances — normal for the ecosystem. Utah state Rep. Mike Noel said Tuesday he wants to use the fire near the ski town of Brian Head and a popular fishing lake to highlight the imbalance of power afforded environmental groups under previous presidents and to ease bureaucratic and legal blockades for logging companies.

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Firefighting ranks swell as Brian Head Fire sits at 10 percent containment

By Daniel Woodruff
KUTV.com
June 27, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Panguitch Lake, Utah — More than 1,600 people are now fighting the Brian Head Fire in southern Utah which was 10 percent contained Tuesday evening, according to fire officials. The human-caused blaze, which has been burning since June 17, has scorched nearly 50,000 acres. However, updated acreage estimates were not expected until Wednesday morning. While crews battled high winds Monday, Tuesday’s winds were “remarkably lighter than expected,” fire officials said in a news release. They said Wednesday was expected to bring stronger winds before calming down again Thursday. …As crews wrapped up their efforts for the day, some of them were met with an unexpected surprise heading into Panguitch. Children holding signs saying “Thank you” had set up lemonade stands and were offering free drinks and treats to the firefighters.

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Company & Business News

Forest sector will continue to fight for jobs and communities affected by additional duties

By Richard Walker, Communications and Public Affairs
Forest Products Association of Canada
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber. The duties, a response to a petition filed by the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION), are set at as follows: “Canfor 7.72 percent; Tolko 7.53 percent; West Fraser 6.76 percent and Resolute 4.59 percent. Other Canadian producers will pay 6.87 percent, raising the overall punitive tariffs to a weighted average of 26.75 percent.”  “These duties stand to impact hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada. “The duties are unwarranted and without merit. These duties will have a negative impact not only here in Canada but also on U.S. consumers. Currently, American demand for lumber far exceeds what the American industry is able to produce. They need Canada’s softwood lumber.”

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Greenpeace mobilizes the literary elite in its fake ‘free speech’ defence against Resolute

By Peter Foster
Financial Post
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products has distinguished itself in the corporate community by being prepared to take on the lies and intimidation tactics of radical environmental juggernaut Greenpeace, but the price is having to suffer repeated low blows and threats to its business. The latest came when Greenpeace pressured Arnaud Nourry, the head of Paris-based publishing giant Hachette, a major Resolute customer, to write a letter that appeared to threaten Hachette’s business with Resolute. Greenpeace has for years been fundraising by harassing Resolute as a “Forest Destroyer.” Four years ago, Resolute CEO Richard Garneau threw away the usual playbook of corporate appeasement and sued Greenpeace for malicious defamation. Last year he upped the ante by bringing a suit against Greenpeace in the U.S. under RICO racketeering laws.

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Canada Sticking To Its Guns In Softwood Dispute With US: Trudeau

By Mia Rabson
Canadian Press in Huffington Post
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will persist with its efforts to negotiate a new softwood lumber deal with the United States despite a second round of import tariffs slapped on Canadian wood by the United States this week. Late Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled Canadian softwood producers were dumping lumber into the United States at prices lower than market value in Canada and added another 6.87 per cent in import duties to most Canadian softwood. The decision — which is a preliminary figure awaiting final determination later this year — brings the average import duty to 26.75 per cent, when added to the countervailing duties the United States imposed at the end of April, arguing Canadian wood is unfairly subsidized.

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Canada in the right on softwood dispute, will keep working with US: Trudeau

By Mia Rabson
Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
June 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The fact that new anti-dumping duties slapped on Canadian softwood companies came in lower than expected has Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr hoping the United States is finally accepting that Canada isn’t subsidizing the industry. The U.S. Department of Commerce added another seven percentage points to the total average import duties on Canadian softwood Monday, accusing the industry of selling wood in the U.S. at rates lower than in Canada. Industry analysts expected the duties would be at least 10 per cent. They come on top of countervailing duties imposed in April which averaged out at about 20 per cent and range from about three per cent to 24 per cent. …[Conservative MP Randy] Hoback said he thinks the ultimate result will be more consolidation of the industry in Canada, with the biggest companies snapping up small outfits to get access to their wood quotas without necessarily keeping their sawmills open. “We’re going to see small towns turn into ghost towns,” said Hoback.

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Fighting US tariffs familiar ground for BC Lumber Trade Council

By Shannon Waters
My PG Now
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

As BC softwood lumber producers brace for additional duties on their exports to the US, BC Lumber Trade Council President Susan Yurkovich says it could be worse. “BC, 15 years ago, really started pushing hard to diversify our markets particularly in Asia before we would have been probably 80% exposed to the US market we are probably in the 50% world now and we’ve moved about 30% of our lumber products offshore.” Yurkovich would like to see even more market diversification for Canadian lumber to reduce impacts from US trade actions. She says US lumber producers have essentially weaponized the country’s trade laws to punish competitors.

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Duties dampen B.C. sawmill production

By Bryan Yu
Business in Vancouver
June 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

As expected, policy uncertainty related to the softwood lumber dispute weighed on first-quarter forestry activity. Aligning with a shallow export trend, B.C. sawmill production in March was up slightly from same-month 2016 at 2.8 million dry cubic metres, but followed an 8% drop in February and a series of significant declines in prior months. Through the first quarter, production fell 3%. While preliminary countervailing duties averaging about 20% were not announced until April, and with anti-dumping still to be determined, the high likelihood of implementation – and unknown magnitude and degree of retroactivity – likely affected early-year production decisions. The one-year grace period after the expiry of the softwood agreement ended last October, giving way to duty determination.

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Softwood agreement needs attention

By the Editorial Board
Victoria Times Colonist
June 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

While members of B.C.’s legislature play their political games, Canada and the U.S. are involved in a softwood-lumber war that could cost the provincial economy dearly. Get the partisan wrangling over quickly, and get on with looking after the interests of the province. …The softwood issue got several passing mentions in the legislature this week, but it was largely finger-pointing. NDP Leader John Horgan listed the softwood lumber agreement among the “messes” that were “the creation of 16 years of B.C. Liberal governments.” That elicited this response from Forests and Lands Minister John Rustad: “We heard something historic today. The leader of the opposition talked about softwood lumber in the legislature for the first time in four or five years.” …Our politicians should be working together to protect an important sector of our economy, rather than booting it about like a soccer ball as they strive to score points against their opponents.

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Ontario Stands with Forestry Workers and Businesses in Face of Unfair Duties

By the Office of the Premier
Government of Ontario News
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry issued the following statement responding to the announcement of new duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.: “The Ontario government will continue to stand alongside forestry workers and businesses — and the communities across the province that depend on it. We are frustrated that the U.S. Department of Commerce has decided to impose additional unjustified duties on Ontario’s softwood lumber producers. Ontario and Canadian softwood companies export their products at fair market prices, and these “anti-dumping” duties are protectionism — plain and simple.

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Maine governor to seek NB softwood exemption in White House talks: minister

By Kevin Bissett
Canadian Press in the National Post
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON — Maine’s governor is expected to support New Brunswick’s bid for exemption from softwood lumber tariffs at a White House meeting Wednesday, the province’s trade minister says. The U.S. Department of Commerce hit Canada late Monday with an additional 6.87 per cent in preliminary average anti-dumping tariffs, leaving the industry facing average duties of about 27 per cent. The decision exempts the other three Atlantic provinces, but New Brunswick — exempt from such tariffs in the past — is not. The province’s trade minister, Roger Melanson, said Premier Brian Gallant has been talking with Maine Governor Paul LePage to make the province’s case.

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N.B mill owner tells U.S. thousands of Maine jobs at risk over softwood lumber duties

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada


One of New Brunswick’s largest forestry companies is using its U.S. connections to argue that New Brunswick should be excluded from punishing U.S. duties on the province’s softwood lumber exports. Twin Rivers Paper Co. has told the Trump administration that thousands of jobs in Maine are jeopardized because New Brunswick isn’t exempt from the duties. That’s because the company’s Edmundston mill is linked, literally, to a large paper mill in Madawaska, Maine, that relies on New Brunswick wood chips and biomass. But the June 12 request to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to win the exemption for New Brunswick. …The June 12 letter from Twin Rivers represents the first time the company has taken its own stand on the issue separate from the New Brunswick Lumber Producers, an ad hoc group formed to make the province’s softwood case in Washington.

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Quebec leaders mull next steps in softwood lumber dispute

CTV News
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Quebec government is calling the new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber ‘unjustified’ and ‘abusive’ as they try to determine what to do about it. Premier Philippe Couillard and several of his cabinet ministers met in Quebec City Tuesday with key players to discuss the softwood lumber file and upcoming NAFTA negotiations. “This question of international trade is vital for Quebec. We need to export, we need to keep the markets open in order to create — protect, but create also – high-quality jobs all across Quebec, in all regions,” said the premier. …“We believe that it is unjustified, like the previous tariffs that were imposed a few months ago,” said Economy Minister Dominique Anglade. …Quebec said it’s hoping to reach a negotiated settlement with the U.S. but, like Ottawa, it said it’s also prepared to take this dispute to court.

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Why New Brunswick has much more riding on lobsters than softwood

By Jameson Berkow
Business News Network
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

As long as Americans keep on driving to their favourite lobster joints, New Brunswick will survive this latest softwood lumber dispute with the United States. …While the softwood lumber sector contributes more than $1.45 billion to the provincial economy and employs more than 22,000 New Brunswick residents, according to industry group Forest NB, it is far from the province’s most valuable export. Slightly more than $400 million worth of softwood lumber was exported from New Brunswick in 2015 – the most recent year for which data is available; but that is barely more than half the $741 million worth of crustaceans exported from the province and barely one third of the pulp and paper products that Americans purchased from the province.

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Duties on Lumber Now Enough to Threaten Thousands of U.S. Jobs

By The National Association of Home Builders
NAHB – Eye on Housing
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

…The annual effects of this tariff in 2017 include a loss of $685.5 million in wages and salaries for U.S. workers, $481.8 million in taxes and other revenue for governments in the U.S., and 11,336 full-time U.S. jobs. …Home builders are one of the largest consumers of softwood lumber in the U.S. The effects of the higher prices the tariff would cause them to pay for lumber (assuming the conventional price elasticity for housing demand of -1) include a $1,701 increase in the price of an average single-family home, $489 increase in the market value of an average multifamily home, $1.30 billion reduction in investment in single-family structures, and $200.8 million reduction in investment in multifamily structures.

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Long-Term Impact of Tariffs on Canadian Lumber Unclear

By Kate Klein
Hardware Retailing
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Tariffs the U.S. government implemented in late April on Canadian softwood lumber haven’t had a jarring impact on lumber prices in the U.S. so far, according to some American lumberyard owners. …Bill Klingbeil, owner of Klingbeil Lumber Co. in Medford, Wisconsin, was concerned that lumber prices would jump due to the tariffs, but he hasn’t seen much of an impact yet. “It was such an awfully wet spring, so building was not at a robust time,” he says. “It didn’t affect people as much as we might think.” Klingbeil had expected prices to go up on the 80 percent of lumber he sources from Canada. 

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U.S. Slaps Dumping Duties on Canadian Lumber as NAFTA Fight Looms

By Emily Stewart
The Street
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

The U.S. Commerce Department has rolled out a new round of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber as the Trump administration postures ahead of NAFTA negotiations later this year. …U.S. lumber stocks were mixed at market open Tuesday in the wake of the Commerce Department’s announcement. Washington-based lumber company Weyerhaeuser (WY) fell by about 1% soon after trading started, while shares of timber real estate investment trust Potlach (PCH) edged slightly higher. Homebuilders PulteGroup (PHM) , Toll Brothers (TOL) , and D.R. Horton (DHI) all opened higher; Lennar (LEN) and NVR (NVR) declined. “The homebuilders definitely care but for the most part have believed that these costs will be passed along to the end users — in this case, the home buyers,” Miller said. “The belief for the most part is that the costs will just be passed along the whole supply chain.”

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Fire at plant is “major blow” to Freres Lumber, company executive says

By Neil Zawicki
Albany Democrat-Herald
June 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

A fire that began near a drying station in a Freres Lumber veneer plant Monday evening in Lyons spread above the fire suppression system and ultimately destroyed about 2 million feet of dried veneer product, said Rob Freres, the company’s executive vice president. . …The setback comes at a time when Freres Lumber is gearing up to produce its new mass plywood panel, a structural, load-bearing laminate product that could be used to build high-rise buildings. Freres said part of that new product was to be crafted in plant 4, but that a new facility, planned for completion at the end of the year, will be able to offset the loss. “While this is a very serious blow, we can put together the materials we need to complete the recipe for our new engineered products,” he said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

China Breaks Ground On Ambitious And Self-Sustaining “Forest City”

By Robin Andrews
IFL Science
June 27, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…Now it seems they have broken ground on the construction of perhaps their most audacious endeavor yet – a forest city that aims to be sustainable and air pollution-free. Back in February, an Italian architectural agency named Stefano Boeri Architetti (SBA) announced that they had plans to build two towers smothered in verdant plant-based glory in the Chinese city of Nanjing. Based off an earlier version in Milan, this habitable “vertical forest” was designed to break up smog, absorb carbon dioxide, and pump out delicious oxygen – ultimately helping clean up the rather grim skies of this sizable metropolis. …Containing all the modern amenities of a major city, it will be covered by 1 million plants (from 100 different species) and 40,000 trees. They claim that it will be able to absorb roughly 10,000 tonnes (11,020 tons) of carbon dioxide and masses of polluting aerosols per year.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Strong structure by Parksville’s future tradespeople

By Adam Kveton
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
June 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

It will provide cover for bikes at Ballenas Secondary School, but the timber frame project has already done much more than that. Ballenas students have worked on every aspect of the project: from engineering and designing work to concrete pouring, rebar, welding and wood construction to create a 10-foot by 40-foot timber frame structure in front of the school. …But projects like this continue to address a problem in both B.C. and Canada, said Ayers. “We have such a shortage of skilled people in this province and all over Canada,” he said. But more and more students are gaining interest in trade skills, and taking part in these sorts of projects.

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Anvil Centre receives LEED Gold

Journal of Commerce
June 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – The City of New Westminster has announced that the Anvil Centre and the Anvil Centre Office Tower have officially received LEED Gold certification by the Canada Green Building Council. Anvil Centre, which opened in 2014, was built with a number of sustainable design features that align with the city’s commitment to environmental sustainability, explains a release. …Moreover, 88 per cent of construction and demolition waste was diverted from the landfill and 68 per cent of all wood based materials are Forest Stewardship Council certified.

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California Real Estate Inspection Association Urges Property Owners to Have All Guardrails, Decks and Balconies Professionally Inspected

California Real Estate Inspection Association
PR Newswire
June 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

ALISO VIEJO, Calif — As the weather gets nicer, social gatherings increasingly move outdoors. The California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) urges property owners to have their guardrails, decks and balconies professionally inspected prior to any gatherings. Most experts agree that the typical service life of a wood deck is around 10-15 years. There are over 50 million decks in the U.S.; many were built prior to the building codes providing any significant guidance. Over half of all decks are believed to be beyond their service life and in need of significant repairs or replacement. …The statistics are sobering. According to Don Bender, Director Wood Materials & Engineering Department at Washington State University, “When a deck collapses, 75% of the people on it will be seriously injured or killed.”

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