Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 1, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Lawmakers call for more concrete or steel in large buildings

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 1, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Referencing the Waltham and Edgewater apartment fires—that would have housed more than 750 people—lawmakers in Massachusetts and New Jersey are calling for “more concrete or steel in large buildings” rather than wood. Their message bluntly put: “stop stalling on fire code reform. The fact that no one died in that fire was just plain luck.

Wildfire experts in Colorado are debating “who is to blame for intense wildfires”, in Today’s News-Herald by Scott Orr. Researchers from the University of Colorado claim that “wildland fires have grown in number, size and intensity, climate change is behind this increase and more fires translate to an increased health risk”. Scott Spleiss (Fuels, Prevention and Detection Battalion Chief for the Prescott National Forest) disagrees in part, noting that “we’re having more and larger fires because of the success that we had, in our past, of putting out fires”. Meanwhile fire author George Weuthner questions whether “fuel reduction is a good strategy to alter fire behavior.

Tree Frog congratulates FPInnovations for receiving the Omond Solandt Award, presented “to a public or private organization that has made an outstanding contribution to operational research in Canada“, and UNBC Student Lindsay Albers for receiving the “Green Dream Scholarship” awarded by the Forest Products Association of Canada.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Trudeau urges Canadians to give to B.C. wildfires fund, but feds aren’t matching donations

By Mia Rabson
CBC News
July 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encouraged people over the weekend to donate to the Canadian Red Cross to help British Columbians affected by raging wildfires and he made a similar appeal for Ontario and Quebec flood victims earlier this year. However unlike many international disasters like the earthquakes in Nepal two years ago or in Haiti in 2010, Canada’s appeal for domestic donations isn’t shored up by a pledge that the government will pony up an equal amount of cash to match the individual donors. The federal government has had matching contribution programs for more than a dozen international events since 2004, but it has only ever done it once for a natural disaster in Canada, the massive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta. last year.

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Opinion: Policies work against sound forest management

By Anthony Britneff, retired BC Forest Service professional
Vancouver Sun
July 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Most people in Metro Vancouver and Victoria fail to appreciate the importance of our province’s vast forests. But those living in more rural settings see things differently. Communities like Skidegate on Haida Gwaii, Fort Nelson in B.C.’s distant northeast, and Cranbrook in the east Kootenay may be separated by more than 1,000 kilometres, but their residents know that the health of their communities rests in part on the health of their forests. Unfortunately, there is disturbing evidence that fundamentally important decisions are being made by public servants in Victoria that work against the sound management of local forests, and that may be positioning rural communities for unnecessary hardship in the years ahead. One of the most important of those decisions is the setting of logging rates known as the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC).

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UNBC Student Receives Green Dream Scholarship

CKPG TV
July 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A UNBC Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student is shifting her gaze to the forestry sector. Lindsay Albers was one of 10 students in Canada to receive the Greenest Workforce Green Dream scholarship. The 21-year-old spent the summer working as part of the bioproducts and energy team at the West Fraser’s Hinton Pulp operation thanks to the scholarship. “I was set on becoming a doctor,” says Albers. “However, I realized that my calling was elsewhere within the sciences.” …She says forestry is one of the most sustainable industries, adding she is excited about new technologies being developed within the sector.

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Old-fashioned horsepower: Logger relies on draft horse in the woods

By Jordan Gill
CBC News
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forestry worker in central New Brunswick is going back to old-fashioned horse power to make a more stable living. Craig Sabean, the owner of Napadogan Horse Logging, may be new to the horse business, but he has been in the forestry business since 2008. Sabean said his experience working for a marketing board and for J.D. Irving Ltd. showed him a demand for a different way of harvesting wood. “I kind of saw there was a niche market for wood that you couldn’t really cut with a harvester, and there was people who really didn’t want harvester damage,” Sabean said. The solution: going back to a kind of logging used for centuries, before harvesters and skidders hit the scene. “I liked horses and I like working with them,” he said.  “I like animals so I thought it’ll be a win-win for me.”

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Dutch elm disease has ‘hit this area quite badly’

By Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles
North Bay Nugget
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dutch elm disease is showing no signs of slowing down, killing hundreds of trees in the Nipissing area. The evidence is startling as you travel throughout the city, specifically in the Pinewood area and along Copeland and McIntyre streets. “We’re losing most of the elms in the city,” says Hal Falk, owner and operator of Eagle Tree and Landscaping Service. “The disease has hit this area quite badly. The sad part is the U.S. has spent millions of dollars to try to find a cure, but there’s really nothing that can stop this fungal disease.” Dutch elm disease is an invasive and highly infectious fungal disease that was confirmed in Ontario in 1946.

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Are we to blame for intense wildfires?

By Scott Orr
Today’s News-Herald
July 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If you feel as though wildfires have become bigger and more common recently, you’re not imagining things, say some scientists, who claim human-caused climate change is behind the blazes. “Increased forest fire activity across the western United States in recent decades has contributed to widespread forest mortality, carbon emissions, periods of degraded air quality, and substantial fire suppression expenditures,” said John T. Abatzoglou of the University of Idaho and A. Park Williams of Columbia University. They said, in a 2016 paper, their research demonstrates that “human-caused climate change caused over half of the documented increases in fuel aridity since the 1970s and doubled the cumulative forest fire area since 1984.”

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Fuel reduction does not significantly alter fire behavior

By George Wuerthner – ecologist and author
Helena Independent Record
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Recently it was reported that two fires were burning in the Stonewall Mountain area near Lincoln. And the headlines and Forest Service have implied that had proposed fuel reduction projects in the area occurred, perhaps there would be no fires or they would be easily contained. One needs to question such assertions and assumptions. There is very little empirical evidence that fuel reductions are a good strategy or really work. Next time someone suggests that fuel reductions stopped a fire or significantly affected fire behavior, one must ask for more information. …In almost all the instances that I have reviewed of fuel reduction “successes” these other factors that are critical to fire spread occurred.

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Campaign targets pests wiping out ash trees

Batesville Herald Tribune
July 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

INDIANAPOLIS – The campaign lends itself to winks and jest (“Your ash is in trouble”; “Prepare to kiss your ash goodbye.”) But advocates are quite serious about fighting the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees since it first came to the U.S. in 2002. As of March 2017, EAB has been documented in all 92 counties in Indiana. Without aggressive action, experts say 95 percent of all Indiana ash trees will be lost within 10 years. The Save our Ash Trees campaign calls on Hoosiers to help treat species that once composed 15-20 percent of Indiana forests. The campaign is a joint effort of the Indiana Parks Alliance (IPA) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ divisions of state parks and nature preserves.

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Poland vows to keep logging ancient forest despite EU court ruling

By Agnieszka Barteczko
Reuters
July 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WARSAW – Poland said on Monday it would press on with logging the country’s primeval Bialowieza forest in defiance of an injunction by the European Union’s top court, saying it needed to cut down trees to defeat insect pests. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered Poland last week to immediately stop large-scale logging in the ancient forest, one of many cases that has pitted the nationalist, eurosceptic government in Warsaw against the bloc. Poland said it would keep logging in the forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site which straddles the border between Poland and Belarus and is home to European bison as well as rare birds.

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Forest Fires

Prime Minister Trudeau thanks crews for efforts fighting B.C. fires

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
July 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

WILLIAMS LAKE — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked those on the front lines of British Columbia’s firefighting efforts as he stopped in Williams Lake on Monday. Trudeau addressed about 250 people from the fire service, police and military who have been helping to keep the wildfires from overrunning communities in what has been a devastating fire season. He thanked the workers on behalf of all Canadians for “stepping up,” saying it is reassuring for people to see everybody pulling together. “It’s something that is just part of who we are as Canadians, as British Columbians and I really appreciate it.” …Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, said the visit means “a great deal” to fire crews who have been impacted both personally and professionally by the aggressive fire season. …The political visit comes as the forecast calls for another week of hot, dry weather.

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Banff’s Sunshine Village closes again as fire on Alberta-B.C. boundary rages

Kelowna Daily Courier
July 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

BANFF, Alta. – A resort in Banff National Park will be closed indefinitely as a wildfire burns in the wilderness close to the Alberta-B.C. boundary. Sunshine Village, a popular ski hill that has summer hiking trails, says it’s moving lodge guests and staff to the town of Banff. Firefighting equipment is being brought to the property as a precautionary measure. Parks Canada ordered the resort to clear out guests 10 days ago to make room for firefighting crews and heavy machinery to fight the Verdant Creek wildfire a couple of kilometres away.

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Forest fire concerns in Manitoba heating up

By Timm Bruch
Global News
August 1, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It may not be as dramatic in Manitoba as it is in other parts of the country, but British Columbia isn’t the only province feeling the heat this forest fire season. As of August 1st, 75 fires are currently burning in the province, many of those caused by the extreme heat and lack of rain. Manitoba Conservation’s fire program manager, Gary Friesen, said the weather is cause for concern right across the prairies. “We do need some rain throughout the province,” said Friesen. “Hopefully with a little less lightning, because the conditions are good for starting those lightning fires.” The 75 blazes vary in size — some of them so remote they don’t require any action — but the number of fires started has been on a steady increase in recent weeks with highs into the 30 degree Celsius range.

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‘Like walls of flames’: Miscou forest fire hasn’t grown but still ‘out of control’

By Elizabeth Fraser and Viola Pruss
CBC News
July 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire on New Brunswick’s Miscou Island was still considered out of control as of 8 p.m., but didn’t grow Monday the way some fire officials originally feared, a ranger said. “We haven’t had to call on any aerial support,” said Roland Roy, provincial forest ranger and incident commander for the fire.  “Everything is looking good, a lot better than it did yesterday afternoon,” He said firefighters have kept the fire within a certain area, but “we haven’t been able to close that loop yet.”

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Company & Business News

FPInnovations receives Omond Solandt Award

FPInnovations Blog
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

FPInnovations is pleased to announce that it has received the Omond Solandt Award, which is presented annually to a public or private organization that has made an outstanding contribution to operational research in Canada. The award was presented on July 18 by Bernard Gendron of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Transportation and Logistics, and was accepted by Francis Fournier, Director of FPInnovations’ Québec laboratory at a ceremony that took place within the IFORS 2017 Conference in Quebec City. The Omond Solandt 2017 Award from the Canadian Operational Research Society was given to FPInnovations to highlight its commitment to research, particularly through its promotion of operational research in Quebec and in Canadian industrial practice as a whole. 

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Inventors Seek to Launch Commodities-Style Online Way to Buy, Sell Lumber

By Craig Webb
ProSales Magazine
July 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Two commodities trading veterans have begun to seek investors in an electronics marketplace for buying and selling lumber, a venture that they expect to launch in spring 2018. Called LumberXchange (LX), the electronic marketplace is intended to make transactions possible in real time. LX will make pricing more transparent, speed up deal-making, reduce personnel needs, and cut overall transaction costs, according to co-owners Mike Wisnefski and Tony Verga. “We want to go in and become the marketplace for the industry,” Wisnefski said. …LumberXchange’s system will integrate current freight rates with market prices of inventories, and it can show inventory status at multiple locations.

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Trex Company Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results

Stockhouse
July 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

…The Company reported net income of $28.8 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, representing growth of 22% and 21%, respectively, from the $23.7 million, or $0.80 per diluted share, reported in last year’s second quarter. …“Trex core decking and railing product sales increased 10% in the second quarter, as we sold significantly less excess polyethylene, using it internally to accommodate strong demand. Our analytics indicate that the marketing campaigns we launched in early 2016 to target the large wood decking market continue to gain traction in the replacement market as well as with consumers seeking out ‘green building’ alternatives. At the same time, we are investing in R&D to remain a leader in product innovation, and are funding fast-return projects that drive operating leverage.”

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Alabama forest products industry poised for gains after strong year

By Dawn Azok
Made in Alabama
July 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Last year, Alabama recorded forest products industry projects involving $1.2 billion in new investment and more than 1,000 anticipated jobs, according to the Alabama Forestry Association and the 2016 New and Expanding Industry Report issued by the Alabama Department of Commerce. The investment total made forest products the state’s top Accelerate Alabama target industry for 2016, surpassing the juggernaut automotive and aerospace industries, which recorded impressive totals of their own. …Meanwhile, innovation is being seen across the industry, in both products and processes, Muehlenfeld added. “A good example of product innovation would be the announcement in June by International Beams, which is building the first plant of its kind in the eastern U.S. to produce a new engineered wood product, cross laminated timber, in Dothan,” he said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Emission Trading Scheme Imbalance Will Cost New Zealanders

New Zealand Institute of Forestry
Scoop Independent News
August 1, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Recent updates to the Government’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) are a mixed bag according to sources in the New Zealand Forestry industry. Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett announced a raft of changes in the fraught area of global emissions last week. Key players in the Forestry sector are concerned that these changes will end up costing New Zealanders unnecessarily, and jeopardise meeting our international obligations. …Right now the forestry sector needs clarity. It’s time for the Government to issue a strong message to foresters and say you will not be disadvantaged by any future changes to the ETS framework. Certainty is required. It’s forestry. We’re dealing with an investment that takes 30 years to mature.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood prefabricated construction getting attention

By Lance Tao
Canada Wood
July 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Canada Wood China participated in a 3-day trade show – “2017 10th Green Architecture and Construction Materials Expo” (also known as “ESBuild”) from July 5th to July 9th. The trade show is recognized as the top exhibition of green building materials in Asia. …As China is undergoing massive urbanization and construction industrialization has been put on the priority of government agenda, Prefabricated Energy Efficient Wood.

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Mass-wood CLT building survives earthquake test

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
July 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SAN DIEGO – Katerra… completed full-scale validation of a new CLT seismic shear wall. The successful test took place on the world’s largest outdoor shake table, at the University of California San Diego. The results showed that:

  • Under medium intensity the system experienced no damage ‘
  • Under large and extreme intensity, damage occurred, but only at the connection devices
  • Collectively, the CLT performed as well as steel or concrete. However, in the event of an earthquake, Katerra’s wall system allows the damaged connection devices on the building to be pulled out and replace, often within just hours, rather than scrapping the whole structure – something not possible with steel or concrete. 

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Editorial: Stop stalling on fire code reform

North Jersey.com
July 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

State legislators should figure out who is in charge of keeping New Jerseyans safe from potentially deadly apartment fires: themselves, or lobbyists for influential state trade groups who have a vested interest in seeing deficient fire codes remain the way they are. Those codes were the ones in place in January 2015, when a five-alarm fire raced through an expensive Edgewater apartment complex, leaving 500 people displaced. The fact that no one died in that fire was just plain luck. The fact that no concrete steps have been taken to change the state’s building codes, to make them safer, is just a pitiful shame. …Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s office has indicated more time is needed to get various groups and entities on the same page. …As Edgewater Fire Chief Thomas Jacobsen has advocated, more noncombustible materials – concrete or steel – should be used in large buildings, instead of having them so reliant on wood constructions.

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First U.S. Hardwood CLT Project in Development

By Chaille Brindley
Pallet Enterprise
July 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

If Yugon Kim realizes his dream, the new office building or housing complex going up in your city may be made out of large hardwood panels called cross laminated timber (CLT). …Kim’s Boston-based, architectural design firm IKD just won a $250,000 grant from the Forest Service for designing, developing and constructing the first hardwood CLT demonstration project in the United States. …Why Hardwoods? The simple reason is that Kim wanted to use local materials, and hardwood is in abundance in Indiana. Also, he saw opportunities due to the availability and density of low-grade hardwoods.

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Waltham lawmaker calling for stricter building code after massive blaze

Box 25 Boston
July 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WALTHAM, Mass. – Waltham City Council is calling on state leaders to stiffen regulations around the material used in new construction residential complexes. Last week a multi-million-dollar development that would have housed more than 260 people was destroyed as fire tore through multiple buildings that were under construction. …Logan said hearings must be held at the state level to investigate the building code that allows for structures to be built this way, and is calling for regulations that involve more steel and concrete with less wood. Monday night, Logan introduced a measure to the council that passed 14-0.

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Leading Design Professionals Recognise Wood Solutions

By Innovatek
Scoop Independent News
August 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Across a range of professional disciplines more architects, designers and project managers are finding that engineered wood is now rapidly becoming the leading choice for solutions to meet demands of both building codes and building owners. A bonus for this burgeoning new development is that engineered wood products are increasing the product of choice of discerning architects and designers. These changes bring advantages including better earthquake engineering design, faster and cheaper project management and material cost benefits. Beyond the construction benefits that wood brings, the people occupying these new age office buildings are reporting high levels of satisfaction with the working environments that offices designed in wood bring their occupants.

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Oh snap! This company transforms used chopsticks

By Kathleen Kinney
Scoop Independent News
August 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Chopsticks are one example of a single-use product ? like straws or plastic cups ? that environmentalists decry for their wastefulness. While some of these items are recycled, most end up in landfills, where they decompose and release greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. …Last year, a German-born a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia (Canada) school of forestry decided to tackle the problem. Felix Böck started collecting used chopsticks from Vancouver restaurants and taking them to his lab at UBC, where they could be dried, coated, and pressed into tiles. …Böck launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance ChopValue ? a company that turns discarded chopsticks into useable furniture and objects. The business currently employs nine people, four of them full-time staff.

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General

Indiana Could Learn Logging Practices From Neighboring States

By Veronica Carter
Eagle Country 99.3
July 31, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

States that neighbor Indiana are protecting their old forests, and conservation advocates want to know why the Hoosier State isn’t doing the same. …Rae Schnapp, conservation director for he Indiana Forest Alliance, says there aren’t many protections in place for Indiana’s 158,000 acres of forest land, and legislation to protect some of it has failed despite widespread public support. …Andrew Duncan, a specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry, has advice to Indiana: Follow guidelines set by the Forest Stewardship Council, which he says has a goal of protecting and maintaining natural communities, while at the same time harvesting valuable timber.

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