Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 7, 2017

Forestry

Forestry project aims to protect Williams Lake from wildfire threats

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
July 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Efforts are underway in Williams Lake to create a fuel break that will protect residential areas from the threat of wildfires approaching from the west. Under the direction of Williams Lake Community Forest manager Ken Day, crews have begun clearing a 300-metre wide pathway in the community forest’s Flat Rock block that will eventually be 11 kilometres in length. “We have been asked by the Cariboo Region and the forest district to create a shaded fuel break to protect the city of Williams Lake and the local area from a wind-driven crown fire approaching from the west,” Day said Wednesday as he gave the Tribune a tour of the area. “If you think back to 2010, and the concerns we had with west of the Fraser River and everybody was on high alert in the log yards to deal with sparks, etc. That’s what we are addressing here. ”

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Young Innovators: Student unfolds secrets of boreal forest moss Saskatoon

By Federica Giannelli
Saskatoon StarPhoenix
July 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…“Now I know mosses have a whole secret world,” says Mélanie Jean, a University of Saskatchewan biology PhD student. “It’s like discovering a mini forest in the forest.”  Not just pretty, mosses contribute up to 30 per cent of Canada’s boreal forest total growth every year, while maintaining the organic floor necessary for evergreens to grow. Jean presented evidence at two major ecology conferences showing that a combination of fire and climate is changing where moss grows. Without mosses, some evergreen forests will not grow back, something scientists had not known until now. …Mosses also insulate the boreal forest’s permafrost soil, making the forest a good carbon sink. The forest stores more carbon than it releases in the soil, which helps combat greenhouse emissions. Without mosses, the permafrost would melt and release the carbon captured, hastening climate change.   

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Clear-cutting freeze needed in community watersheds

By Joe Klein, chair, Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance
The Kelowna Daily Courier
July 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peachland has a water problem, as do many Okanagan towns. This year, Peachland declared a state of emergency due to a mudslide located near logging roads; a boil-water advisory (a record four months, with the ban just lifted); flooding of streams and Okanagan Lake (due partially to man-made deforestation of our town’s watershed). …People may be surprised to learn that clear-cut logging comprises 97 per cent of all logging in the Okanagan. Clear cuts create flooding, as they lose precipitation (rain and snow melt) 40 per cent quicker than a canopied forest, resulting in greater peak flow and flooding. While the province mandates Peachland provide safe drinking water for its citizens, it does not permit the town any authority in the watershed, the source of our drinking water.

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EACOM Partners with Habitat for Humanity for Canada’s 150th

EACOM Timber Corporation
July 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Montreal, QC – In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, EACOM Timber Corporation is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity Canada as a Community Builder sponsor for the 2017 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to build 150 homes across Canada July 9-14. …Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a path out of poverty works in synergy with EACOM’s commitment to offering quality Canadian softwood lumber to the North American home building market. There is a natural partnership between our two organizations that we are proud to announce in celebration of Canada 150,” said Kevin Edgson, President and CEO of EACOM. “We are further pleased that, as a part of Habitat Canada’s Indigenous Housing Program, the Carter Work Project will build with over 30 Indigenous families.”

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Getting Along in the Kootenai

By Tristan Scott
Flathead Beacon
July 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


A mere two miles from the timber town of Libby, a wilderness area spans 94,000 acres, a safe haven for dense groves of Douglas fir and cedar, elk and bears, soaring peaks and glacial lakes. The nearby Kootenai River features class IV rapids and a world-class fishery, while downtown’s craft brewery bustles with activity. It’s the latest evidence of the changing landscape swaddling Libby, a timber town that once stood out among the largest sawmill complexes in the world. Today, there isn’t a single mill producing timber in Lincoln County, yet local stakeholders are optimistic about the future of forest management. …A prime example of that pulling together is the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition, a partnership of recreationists, business owners, mill operators, and conservationists who believe there’s room for competing and complementary interests to coincide across their vast forest

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Some groups nervous about relationship with Iowa Department of Natural Resources after forestry bureau dissolved

KCRG
July 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa — One point two million dollars. State lawmakers cut that much money from this year’s budget for the Department of Natural Resources. Now the DNR has made adjustments, and some people are wondering when eastern Iowans will feel the effects. …The Johnson County Conservation Board worked closely with the forestry bureau for years. Now it’s wondering if that partnership will continue after the DNR’s cuts. “They’re an integral partner. We work with them on a lot of different public outreach activities, trying to educate people on forest health” said Brad Freidhof, the Johnson County Conservation Program Manager. Those are just some of the the things the forestry bureau did across the state of Iowa.

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Teachers tour forestry industry

Nassau County Record
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The 17th annual Florida Forestry Teachers’ Tour taught 46 state educators about the forestry industry. Educators from as far away as Destin down to Key West learned about the valuable economic impact of the dynamic forestry industry. The four-day tour ran from June 20-23 and spanned 300 miles through four Florida counties. Teachers visited with federal, state and private timber growers, saw a logging operation on Rayonier property, a prescribed burn on Jennings State Forest and a red-cockaded woodpecker conservation area on Camp Blanding. Teachers also toured the West Frasier saw mill in White House, the West Rock papermill and box plant in Fernandina Beach and Symrise Inc. chemical plant in Jacksonville. These interactive stops provided teachers with a holistic understanding of forestry in Florida and gave an overview of the vast forest products industry.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire on North Shore of Stuart Lake

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
July 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service is battling a small, but stubborn fire at Stuart Lake. The fire was reported earlier today and crews had a challenging time getting to the scene says PG Fire Centre’s Amanda Reynolds, “They had to access it by boat and by helicopter.” The fire is 0.3 hectares in size “We’ve got four crews on site, the fire is 50% contained, crews are continuing to hose the fire.” She says while the fire is currently listed as being “out of control” the work of fire crews will hopefully change that status to “being held”. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Intense heat wave feeds fire season

By Adam Williams
Kamloops This Week
July 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It was the third-driest June on record and Environment Canada is expecting more parched conditions for Kamloops in July. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Wednesday afternoon, warning of an extended stretch of hot weather. The statement highlighted a ridge of high pressure strengthening over B.C. through Sunday, leading to several days of above seasonal temperatures. …High temperatures and dry weather have led to extreme fire ratings across much of the Kamloops Fire Centre. The B.C. Wildfire Service has responded to 58 fires so far this year — 16 of which are still active — that have burned 343 hectares. …By comparison, firefighters had responded to 91 fires by this time last year, but only 239 hectares had been burned.

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100 Mile House fire at 140 hectares

By Tara Sprickerhoff
Pentiction Western News
July 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Five properties in the Tatton Station Road area have been evacuated by the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) Emergency Operations Centre. An evacuation order is now in effect for four properties along Tatton Station Rd and one on Abel Lake Rd. Evacuees are encouraged to register at an evacuation centre set up at the curling rink on Airport Road in 100 Mile House. The fire is now estimated at 380 hectares says Keven Skrepnek, chief fire information officer for BC Wildfire. There are 60 firefighters working on the fire with firefighters and heavy equipment. 

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Crews attacking 20-hectare wildfire south of Port McNeill

CTV News
July 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews are battling a wildfire that sparked on northern Vancouver Island Wednesday night and has now grown to 20 hectares in size. The blaze is burning just north of Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park and about 15 kilometres south of Port McNeill. According to the BC Wildfire Service, 35 firefighters and three fire officers have been deployed on the ground while three helicopters are bucketing water onto the fire. An air tanker was also en route to assist crews. Fire information officers say the wildfire is believed to have been caused by humans. Earlier in the day, the fire was reported as 15 hectares in size but was later upgraded to 20 hectares, making it the third-largest wildfire currently burning in the province.

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Small forest fire near Big White

By Alistair Waters
Vernon Morning Star
July 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West


B.C. Wildfire Service crews are responding to two small fires 12 kilometres southeast of Big White. Southeast Fire Centre fire information officer Carlee Kachman said Thursday there are two initial attack crews, consisting of six personnel, on the larger fire, which is 0.8 hectares in size. …Kachman said there are no communities or structures in the area of the fires an air tanker dropped retardant on fires Wednesday. 

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Wildfire burning west of 100 Mile House, B.C. grows to 500 hectares; evacuation orders issued

By Paula Baker and Jesse Ferreras
Global News
July 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An aggressive forest fire burning seven kilometres west of 100 Mile House continues to grow, and an evacuation order has been issued despite the efforts of air and ground crews. The fire spanned two hectares before jumping from 140 to 225 to 260 to 500 hectares by Thursday night. The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has issued an evacuation order for 33 properties in the area. According to the CRD, three evacuation orders have been ordered. …According to the Cariboo Fire Centre, the fire started Thursday morning along the Gustafsen North Forest Service Road and is zero per cent contained. “It is burning in some relatively dense timber, so it’s an aggressive fire, it’s burning quite hot and that has challenged our efforts,” BC’s Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek said.

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Wyoming’s Keystone Fire Triples in Size Overnight

By Nick Learned
K2 Radio
July 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A fire burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest roughly tripled in size Wednesday night into Thursday morning as firefighters work to protect buildings and establish containment lines. The Keystone Fire grew to roughly 1,300 acres Wednesday night, said Rocky Mountain Team Blue Operations Section Chief Rob Powell in a video update Thursday morning. …Powell said some 60 percent of the fire is burning in timber which has been killed by the mountain pine beetle, which has wreaked havoc in forests throughout the western U.S. and parts of Canada. Beetle-killed trees dry out and become brittle, making it more dangerous for fire crews to fight the flames. “It’s just too dangerous to get into the fuel type, due to all the snags and the heavy dead and down [timber], and the active fire behavior that we’re at with no escape routes and no safety zones,” Powell said. “That’s why we have to go bigger.”

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Sequoia National Forest Wildfire Scorches Over 16 Square Miles

Associated Press in CBS News
July 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

KERNVILLE, Calif. — California’s largest current wildfire has grown to more than 16.5 square miles in the rugged southern Sierra Nevada. The U.S. Forest Service says the blaze in Sequoia National Forest about 17 miles north of Kernville is 8 percent contained Thursday. The fire has been burning in brush and timber in the Schaeffer Mountain region near the Kern River since it was ignited by a lightning strike on June 24. No structures have been lost. More than 600 firefighters are on the lines.

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Smoke jumpers on way as Mount Potosi wildfire grows to 100 acres

By Mike Shoro
Las Vegas Review-Journal
July 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire burning on the Pahrump side of Potosi Mountain had spread to 100 acres late Thursday, Las Vegas police said. Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Peter Kisfalvi said a fire near Cottonwood Pass had burned as many as 100 acres as of 11 p.m. and still was burning. Dispatch records listed the fire at 75 acres as of 2 a.m. Friday. The wildfire was one of two reported Thursday afternoon. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service crews responded to the fires, the smaller of which began about 5:20 p.m.

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Company & Business News

New U.S. softwood lumber duties impact too early to say

By Kevin Hampson
Daily Herald-Tribune
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

New U.S. softwood lumber duties are “a hell of a drag” on Canadian producers, but it’s too early to say how bad the impact will be, said Paul Whittaker, president of the Alberta Forest Products Association. …But he cautioned it’s too early to tell how it will affect jobs. Tariffs aside, he said other conditions in the U.S. market are in Canada’s favour: The U.S. dollar value is up compared to the Canadian dollar and demand for housing is high. …Grande Prairie-Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin said the government is not doing enough to secure a new softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. “The Softwood Lumber Agreement expired on Oct.12, 2016 after an extension made by the Conservative government in 2012. The Liberal government has failed to negotiate a new agreement, putting almost 400,000 jobs across the country at risk.

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Firm taps urban timber for value-added business

By Kirthana Sasitharan
Business in Vancouver
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C.-based company is filling a niche in the Vancouver market for sustainable products. Eric Savics and Danny Hagge of Van Urban Timber are the co-founders of one of the city’s only urban salvage companies specializing in start-to-finish wood products. The pair developed the idea for a company that recycles wood by turning it into value-added products after Hagge noticed the number of felled trees on building sites being thrown into landfills and/or used for firewood. “It started when I was working on all these carpentry sites,” Hagge said. “They would always have the arborist in with excavators on site, and the arborist would always knock the trees down on site. Being a builder, I would always ask these arborists, ‘What are you guys doing with those logs?’ And every time it was the same answer: ‘Do you want them for firewood?’ or ‘They are going to the landfill.’”

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Fluctuating forest industry performs well in first quarter

By Tyler Nyquvest
Business in Vancouver
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada’s forestry sector might be facing one of the most volatile times in recent history, yet recent figures suggest it’s off to a solid start in 2017. The latest annual report from accounting firm PwC shows optimistic first-quarter results for the forest industry. According to Forest, Paper and Packaging Deals Insights Quarterly, there have been 23 deals in the first 90 days of 2017, with a total value of US$4.2 billion. The top five deals accounted for about US$3.8 billion. Those deals included two transactions in the Americas region, two in the Asia-Pacific region and one in the Europe, Middle East and Asia region.

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Cando wins Domtar contracts in Wisconsin Cando wins Domtar contracts in Wisconsin

Pulp and Paper Canada
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cando Rail Services has won contracts to offer rail switching services at Domtar pulp and paper mills in Rothschild and Nekoosa, Wis. Cando says it was selected in part “because of its excellent safety and operational record as a switching provider at multiple locations across North America.” The new contracts build on the relationship that was established when Cando performed rail switching services at Domtar’s Dryden, Ont., mill.

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La Tuque biomass projects get federal funding boost

By Maria Church
Canadian Forest Industries
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Two forest sector projects in La Tuque, Que., are getting financial assistance from the federal government through the Quebec Economic Development Program. Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT) is receiving $500,000 in repayable contribution to carry out feasibility studies needed to start up a biorefinery that would convert forest biomass into biofuels.  John Lewis, a subsidiary of Groupe Rémabec, is getting a $569,250 contribution to install a third finishing line and moulding equipment in its La Tuque wood processing plant. The plant produces popsicle sticks for the food industry from white birch logs. 

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New Brunswick trade minister got things wrong on softwood lumber, says woodlot group

CBC News
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

The New Brunswick Woodlot Federation says a provincial cabinet minister should get his facts straight when he argues against higher U.S. duties on softwood lumber from the province. Roger Melanson, the minister responsible for trade policy, was wrong to say recently that nothing has changed in the way the province has managed Crown forests over the last four decades, the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners says. …But Rick Doucett, president of the woodlot federation, said this isn’t the case. But Rick Doucett, president of the woodlot federation, said this isn’t the case. “We barely survived the last 10 years,” Doucett said in an interview. “And that’s a bit of a slap in the face to the private wood sector to say nothing changed.” “Something changed and we felt it and we have been clawing our way back to being where we need to be in order to provide an enormous economic benefit.”

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Department of Commerce extends final antidumping duty determination deadline in hardwoodplywood case

By Thomas Russell
Furniture Today
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it is delaying the final results of its antidumping investigation into Chinese-made hardwood plywood until mid November, or about two months later than the original deadline. In announcing preliminary duties of 57.36% on more than 500 Chinese producers of the raw material, which includes hardwood and decorative plywood and certain veneered panels used in domestically made cabinetry, RVs, shelving and furniture. The scope of the investigation excludes finished products such as furniture and cabinetry imported from China.

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Environmental Protection Agency certifies SCS Global to test composite wood items for formaldehyde emissions

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

EMERYVILLE, Calif – Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services said that it is now approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Third Party Certifier for the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products, commonly referred to as the EPA Formaldehyde Rule. In this role, SCS is now authorized to conduct independent certification assessments of composite wood products under Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA) Title VI. …The EPA Formaldehyde Rule was published December 12, 2016 and became effective May 22, 2017. An extension on the deadlines that had been proposed has now been withdrawn.

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Rumford paper producer eyes taxpayer-backed loan for tissue machine

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Canadian papermaker Catalyst Paper wants Maine taxpayers to back a loan of up to $25 million to help it purchase a machine to make tissue paper at its mill in Rumford. The company has applied to the Finance Authority of Maine for a $25 million loan under the agency’s Major Business Expansion program, according to minutes from the authority’s April meeting. If approved, it would be only the second project to get financing through the program. The other project was also for a tissue paper machine, with $7.5 million approved for the $120 million installation of a tissue machine at St. Croix Tissue in Baileyville.

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Forestry still a key in Alabama economy

Times Daily
July 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

The forest products industry remains one of the strongest industries in Alabama in terms of annual capital investment and employment, according to a report released recently by Gov. Kay Ivey and the state Department of Commerce. In the 2016 New and Expanding Industry Report released by Ivey and Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, forestry accounted for 50 projects in 2016 with $1.197 billion in new capital investments and 1,005 direct jobs created. This represents 28.5 percent of total capital investments in Alabama for the year and 6.8 percent of total jobs created.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Two Spokane Valley factories imminent

By Mike McLean
Journal of Business
July 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Progress Rail Services, of Albertville, Ala., and Menlo Park, Calif.-based Katerra Inc. might be gearing up to announce soon their plans to construct plants that that could lead to hundreds of living-wage manufacturing jobs in Spokane Valley. Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc., is a supplier of railroad and transit system products and services to the global railroad industry. …Katerra is a design-build contractor that recently launched an initiative to prefabricate multifamily and commercial structures using an eco-friendly product called cross-laminated timber. …Katerra earlier this year opened a cross-laminated timber panel manufacturing plant in Phoenix, and announced it plans to “expand our manufacturing reach in the near future.” …Katerra also recently launched a 12-story multifamily high-rise CLT project in Portland.

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Industry leaders capturing timber’s commercial advantages

By Innovatek
Scoop.co.nz
July 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australian companies are moving ahead of their New Zealand counterparts in commercial building. Wood is one of the key factors in the advantages they have gained. There is now a strong trend for new commercial buildings being built in timber. Engineered wood is clearly giving industry leaders the edge over traditional materials in many ways. Companies like Lendlease and Strongbuild are among the leaders in Australia, and are at the leading edge of the building industry for both mid-rise residential construction and high-rise office buildings. First mover advantages such as speed of construction, material savings and performance on certain sites are giving the leaders an edge over traditional materials. Both companies are part of an upcoming conference called “Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber in Construction”, running on 28 September in Rotorua.

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General

Intense heat wave feeds fire season

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 7, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

It was the “third-driest June on record” and Environment Canada is expecting more parched conditions in July. Not surprisingly, the headlines are trending as follows:

  • Wildfire burning west of 100 Mile House, B.C. grows to 500 hectares; evacuation orders issued
  • Crews attacking 20-hectare wildfire south of Port McNeill
  • Wyoming’s Keystone Fire Triples in Size Overnight 
  • Smoke jumpers on way as Mount Potosi wildfire grows to 100 acres
  • Sequoia National Forest Wildfire Scorches Over 16 Square Miles

In related news, efforts are underway in Williams Lake to “create a fuel break that will protect residential areas from the threat of wildfires”.

Accounting firm PwC reports that Canada’s forest sector is “off to a solid start in 2017” despite the new US duties and concerns about rising fibre costs. But the optimistic first-quarter results aren’t restricted to Canada as PwC reports globally “there have been 23 deals in the first 90 days of 2017, with a total value of US$4.2 billion.”

In other business news, two Quebec firms are getting financial assistance to pursue new products, including “wooden popsicle sticks” and a “biorefinery that would convert forest biomass into biofuels.” Two Spokane Valley companies are gearing up to announce their plans to construct plants, including the “design-build contractor that launched a 12-storey multifamily high-rise CLT project in Portland“.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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