Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 2, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Rising temperatures push BC’s fire danger and health risks up

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 2, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s fire officials “hope for a reprieve” has been dashed as fire danger ratings in many parts of BC are expected to “increase from high to extreme this week with scorching temperatures”. Smokey skies prompted a “high health risk warning by Environment Canada” given the Air Quality Index reading of seven (on a scale of 1-10).

Although Prime Minister Trudeau remains “very hopeful” on softwood lumber, the Canadian Press reports that the “big holdup is third-country imports”. Specifically, “who gets to fill the US demand for lumber in a hot construction market, when American supply falls short”. In the meantime, concerns over high lumber prices persist:

  • It’s supply and demand: B.C. wildfires driving up price of lumber in Newfoundland and Labrador (CBC News)
  • Tariffs Are Behind Skyrocketing Lumber Prices (The American Spectator)
  • Lumber Price Increase Could Affect Housing Costs (Flathead Beacon)
  • Senate Told Affordable Housing Crisis Now a ‘Five-Alarm Fire’ (Court House News)

In forestry news, “Ghost forests“—dead trees along vast swaths of coastline invaded by rising seas—”are something scientists call one of the most visible markers of climate change“; and the spread of the Spruce Budworm is causing “headaches for both the tourism and forestry sectors”.

Finally, a study out of MSU Forestry proves that lignin, a byproduct of paper and bioethanol production, “can completely replace phenol in phenolic adhesive formulation“.

— Kelly Mccloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Pulp mill operator credits hockey for approach to teamwork

By The Forest Products Association of Canada
Wood Business
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

As a former junior hockey league player and Greenest Workforce Green Dream scholarship recipient, Mitch Martell came to his summer job already well equipped for excelling at team performance on the worksite. Now into his third season at Millar Western Forest Products in Whitecourt, Alberta, Mitch credits his hockey-playing days for his successful approach to team work. …Martell is one of ten Greenest Workforce Green Dream scholarship recipients who are sharing, through regular blog posts, their first-hand experiences working at forest operations across the country. 

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Filmon report to be basis for wildfire mitigation efforts, Horgan says

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan says he’s confident the federal government will be there to help British Columbia take the steps needed to prevent more wildfires from threatening communities once this season’s series of massive outbreaks has been dealt with. …Horgan said the Filmon report will “be the foundation for what we do after we get people back to their homes after the fires are out and we start to take stock of what the consequences have been from this season’s fires.” …Written by former Manitoba Premier Gary Filmon more than a decade ago, it set out measures to prevent a repeat of the extensive damage that struck the Okanagan particularly hard in 2003. Key among them was to clear out fuel sources that would pose a threat to homes and businesses if set alight. In May 2015, the Forest Practices Board was highly critical of the slow progress made in B.C. since the report’s release.

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Two case studies examine FireSmart effectiveness

By Anna Kroupina
Crows News Pass Herald
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

FireSmart Canada strongly recommends managing vegetation around one’s yard and home as a way to mitigate the risk of wildfire. FPInnovations conducted two case studies in 2005 and 2007 in natural pine stands of the Northwest Territories to evaluate FireSmart treatments and the effectiveness of thinning crown lines and removing surface fuel. …The study noted that while drastic change were observed in fire behaviours, the treatments did not stop the fire or the spread completely, so thinning should be considered a risk-reduction technique, not a fire prevention technique. 

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Scientists investigate the bug destroying Canada’s forest products

By Clothilde Goujard
Real Estate Tourism
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

High above the northern shore of the St. Lawrence estuary in eastern Quebec, Karl Blackburn could see the damage to the forest below. He was seeing the signs of an epic battle as Canada’s forest products industry finds itself locked into what he described as a race against time. …“Just yesterday I was flying over the land which is largely affected by the spruce budworms and which is really sad to see how massive the affected land is,” said Blackburn, director of Canadian public affairs and government relations for Resolute Forest Products on July 28, in an interview. …“It’s really a race against time which we are seeing, as an industry, to be able to maximize as much as possible the cutting of affected trees and to minimize the loss and waste of these trees that we won’t have had time to cut.” …Lately it has been spreading and causing headaches for both the tourism and forestry sectors.

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Stop Spraying group in New Brunswick urging public to speak up

By Jeremy Keefe
CBC News
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Twelve New Brunswick interest groups are calling on residents to aid in their efforts to stop the use of the herbicide glyphosate from being sprayed on Crown lands. The Alliance to Stop Spraying NB consists of groups from throughout the province who oppose the use of the controversial herbicide. In a media conference Tuesday morning they advised members of the public who see large scale spraying on Crown land to ask crews to leave the areas unaffected. …Stop Spraying says companies such as J.D. Irving and NB Power will soon begin spraying as part of their annual “vegetation management” programs.

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Health dangers of forest fire smoke remain less understood

By Rob Chaney
Montana Standard
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA — …“Ammonia is always present in wildfire smoke, but that’s something that wasn’t previously measured,” said Vanessa Selimovic, a University of Montana graduate student who helped crunch piles of data revealing what’s in those plumes rising around Missoula’s horizon. “There’s acetic acid. There’s formaldehyde and methanol. And it’s hard to say what happens as those compounds age. We don’t know if it gets worse or better if it sits in a valley overnight.” …Selimovic and UM research professor Robert Yokelson participate in a nationwide wildfire smoke project that has revealed much about what goes into those plumes, what happens to the chemical fumes as they age and what that means for land managers. Yokelson said the good news is wildfires don’t typically produce enough of those toxic chemicals to exceed human health risk levels during a fire season. The bad news is wildfires produce far more fumes than prescribed burning during the spring or fall.

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Plan to harvest old-growth forest near Ely pits hikers, skiers vs. timber interests

By Josephine Marcotty
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A state plan to harvest a section of beloved old-growth forest near Ely has riled some of the thousands of hikers and skiers who use it each year to experience northern Minnesota as it once was. Foresters for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) describe the plan as routine forest management that would improve the long-term vitality of the woods. Nearby residents, cross-country skiers and other forest ecologists question the project’s necessity and are urging the DNR to hold off; the parcel includes an extensive trail system that is one of the few ways to get into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) on foot.

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Bioenergy production could play a part in reducing forest fires

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Bioenergy can play a role in reducing the risk of forest fires, according to a video recently published on the European Forest Institute’s (EFI) website. Across the world, forest fires devastate large areas of forest every year. …In its new video, the EFI looks at the factors behind increased forest fire risks in the Mediterranean, and advocates a new vision “based on shifting the focus from reactive fire suppression to long term proactive fire prevention and forest management at the landscape scale.” …Bioenergy, engineered wood products for sustainable construction, biomaterials based on cork and resin, or edible forest products all offer opportunities to develop economic value chains around forests, while also ensuring forests are managed in a sustainable, safe way which reduces the risk of fire. 

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The startling ‘ghost forests’ of the east coast: Climate change before your eyes

ByWayne Parry
Associated Press in the National Post
August 1, 2017
Category: Forestry

PORT REPUBLIC, N.J. — They’re called “ghost forests” — dead trees along vast swaths of coastline invaded by rising seas, something scientists call one of the most visible markers of climate change. The process has occurred naturally for thousands of years, but it has accelerated in recent decades as polar ice melts and raises sea levels, scientists say, pushing salt water farther inland and killing trees in what used to be thriving freshwater plains. …“I think ghost forests are the most obvious indicator of climate change anywhere on the Eastern coast of the U.S.,” said Matthew Kirwan, a professor at Virginia Institute of Marine Science who is studying ghost forests in his state and Maryland. “It was dry, usable land 50 years ago; now it’s marshes with dead stumps and dead trees.” It is happening around the world, but researchers say new ghost forests are particularly apparent in North America, with hundreds of thousands of acres of salt-killed trees stretching from Canada down the East Coast, around Florida and over to Texas.

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Forest Fires

B.C. wildfire status Tuesday: Unprecedented wildfire season

By Paula Baker
Global News
August 1, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire officials were hoping for a reprieve but as temperatures are set to soar, it doesn’t look like that’s coming. More than 150 wildfires are still active in the province and the Cariboo Region has been hardest hit with more than 200 fires this summer that have resulted in 325,000 hectares being scorched. Fire officials are concerned the extreme dry heat could fuel more fires across the region. “This has been a historic few weeks for the province,” Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service said. “We’ve got a state of emergency in effect and the level of activity we’re seeing right now is almost unprecedented. The number of fires we’re dealing with, it’s been a trying time for the Wildfire Service, all the evacuees and all the volunteers for the people who have been displaced… it’s been quite a few weeks.”

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Smokey skies prompt health warning

BC Local News
August 1, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire smoke cast an eerie light over Chilliwack Tuesday morning as an air quality advisory issued Monday continued. The Air Quality Health Index was at seven Tuesday morning, indicating a “high health risk.” Children, the elderly and people with compromised health are being advised to take it easy. For everyone else, says the B.C. environment ministry, “Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.” The poor air quality is being blamed on forest fires from B.C.’s interior, coupled with a change in wind direction. …Compounding the situation is the extreme heat expected throughout the week. Thursday’s forecast high for Chilliwack is 35.

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Heat wave and smoke bring increased danger to B.C.’s south coast

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
August 1, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire danger ratings in many parts of B.C.’s south coast are expected to increase from high to extreme this week as scorching temperatures and warm, smoky winds further dry out local forests. Environment Canada has also issued special weather statements for much of B.C.’s south coast, warning of a heat wave due to a “massive ridge of high pressure,” with temperatures expected to be in the mid to high 30s through Thursday. Air quality advisories are in effect for most of southern B.C. due to smoke. …Metro Vancouver raised the fire danger rating from high to extreme in two of eight watershed areas on Tuesday and expects to raise the rating in three more areas on Wednesday.

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Strengthening Southern Alberta Wildfire prevention measures

Province of Alberta release
BC Local News
August 1, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective immediately, the use of off-highway vehicles in the forest areas of Southern Alberta will be restricted to reduce the risk of wildfires in the area. In addition to the fire bans that are already in place, OHVs will also be restricted on public lands in the Forest Protection Area south of the Red Deer River along the mountains and foothills to the northern boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park. “We are closely monitoring the situation as the fire hazard is reaching extreme levels throughout the forest in Southern Alberta. Any fire that starts could spread out of control in a very short time, that’s why we are taking additional steps to reduce the chance of any human caused fires starting.” Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

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Mexico, U.S. to help fight British Columbia wildfires

By Nicole Mordant
Reuters
August 1, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters from Mexico and the United States were due to arrive in British Columbia this week to help fight 138 wildfires in the Western Canadian province, the provincial government said on Tuesday, as more hot and dry weather was forecast. “They are going to be valuable assets to us just given the situation we’ve got and … the weather forecast,” British Columbia chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said in a daily call with reporters. Mexico will send 108 firefighters and the United States will send 27 to join a force of nearly 4,000 battling blazes that have shut sawmills and mines and forced thousands from their homes. It is so far the province’s third worst fire season on record based on area burnt. Since April 1, 840 fires across the province have charred an estimated 460,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) and destroyed 305 structures.

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Fires are torching Montana, and the money is running out

By Matt Volz
Associated Press in Washington Post
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — Montana’s worst fire season in years is expected to scorch the drought-stricken landscape well into fall, long after the state’s firefighting reserves run out thanks to politicians diverting millions of dollars to fill a budget shortfall. There is only $12 million left of the $63 million in the firefighting fund in June, and the state is burning through that at a rate of $1.5 million a day, state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation director John Tubbs said Tuesday. “We will use up the remaining balance in fairly short order,” he said. The state’s financial worries come as forecasters for the National Interagency Fire Center predict that eastern Montana, southern California and the western Dakotas could be exposed to major wildfire threats into October or November.

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Company & Business News

Canada’s Trudeau ‘very hopeful’ of getting U.S. softwood lumber deal

Reuters
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday he was “very hopeful” of getting a deal with the United States on softwood lumber, which has become an escalating trade dispute ahead of NAFTA talks this month. The dispute which has festered for decades was ratcheted up when the United States imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber exports in June. U.S. producers have said Canada unfairly subsidizes its lumber producers with low fees on timber cut on public land. …”I’ve seen some very positive signs and a good working relationship with folks in the United States who know that we need to get this done,” Trudeau said.

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Prodded by Trump, U.S., Canada and Mexico Prepare to Renegotiate Trade Deal

By Aileen Torres-Bennett
The Washington Diplomat
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into force in January 1994. It was an unprecedented symbol of cooperation between the U.S., Canada and Mexico and has since set the tone for the amicable relationship between the three neighboring countries, even with lingering, and new, disputes. …NAFTA has yielded undeniable benefits for all three parties, but Mexico has emerged as the one that has gained the most. …No one but Trump knows what he will do next. His team seems divided between economic moderates such as Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn on the one hand, and protectionists such as chief strategist Steve Bannon and trade advisor Peter Navarro, who have advocated policies such as restricting steel imports and tariffing Canadian lumber — in line with Trump’s “America first” agenda.

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The big holdup in a Canada-U.S. lumber deal? Russian, German, Brazilian wood

Canadian Press in The Telegram
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Canada and the United States must chop down one big, remaining impediment to a deal on softwood lumber and this obstacle involves wood from neither country but from other places: Germany, Sweden, Chile, Brazil and Russia. This irritant over distant imports is complicating the goal of a quick softwood agreement, something both North American governments say they want to achieve in order to start NAFTA talks in two weeks without a major trade irritant looming overhead. This sticking point involves third-country imports. More specifically, it’s about who gets to fill the U.S. demand for lumber in the event of a hot construction market like the present one, when American supply falls short. …In such an event, Canada is adamant that the agreement should contain what’s called a hot-market provision. One example appears in a sugar deal struck between the U.S. and Mexico this June — if the U.S. seeks additional sugar imports, Mexican suppliers would get a right of first refusal.

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‘It’s supply and demand’: B.C. wildfires driving up price of lumber in Newfoundland and Labrador

CBC News
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

As wildfires continue to burn in British Columbia, some side effects are beginning to trickle down to Newfoundland and Labrador. Sheldon Colbourne, the president of the provincial branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, said Tuesday prices of lumber have begun to rise dramatically across the province. “The mills [in B.C.] are actually shut down so they’re not producing any plywood in there,” said Colbourne. “It’s supply and demand and it’s starting to run out, so the price is going up.” A large portion of the plywood used for construction here comes from western Canada, and that means that home builders are already starting to feel the impact of the wildfires on their pocketbooks.

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Senate Told Affordable Housing Crisis Now a ‘Five-Alarm Fire’

By Britain Eakin
Court House News
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

One third of Americans spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. …Experts and senators alike highlighted these statistics from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University Tuesday during a Senate Finance Committee hearing called to address the affordable housing crisis. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called the crisis a “five-alarm fire.” …But other issues need to be addressed as well, according to Granger MacDonald with the National Association of Home Builders. …“Fees, regulatory compliance, modern building and energy codes, building materials, land and labor costs determine whether a project is financially viable… Building cost and labor shortages compound all of that. The cost of framing lumber jumped by 18 percent, MacDonald said, while the price of other lumber products has increased by more than 30 percent since the beginning of this year.

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Tariffs Are Behind Skyrocketing Lumber Prices

By Andrew Wilford
The American Spectator
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

To say “I told you so” brings no satisfaction. Back in April, President Trump slapped tariffs of around 20 percent on the Canadian softwood lumber industry. At the time, I wrote that it would cause lumber prices to rise, citing estimates that prices could increase by around 6.4 percent. Well, it turns out I was wrong, and lumber prices have not risen by around 6 or 7 percent. Instead, they’ve risen by much more since the spring—as much as 25 percent. One contributing factor for this spike is not hard to see. …The levies make imported lumber more expensive, thus making American lumber a more attractive prospect for reasons not necessarily related to its quality or ease of procurement. It is not surprising that politically well-connected American companies, such as the U.S. Lumber Coalition, were strongly supportive of the import taxes. American lumber companies benefit, but at the expense of American lumber consumers that use the product as an input.

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Lumber Price Increase Could Affect Housing Costs

By Molly Priddy
Flathead Beacon
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

The price of lumber has shot up from last year, a market trend seen as somewhat expected after the Trump administration placed tariffs on Canadian lumber earlier this year. Lumber prices have increased 17 percent from May 2016 to this June, according to trade reports, which have some in the building industry concerned that the cost increases will be passed along to consumers. …Todd Morgan, the director of forest industry research at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, said the [British Columbia] wildfires added to reduced harvest levels already impacted by beetle-killed timber. …Steve Snezek, executive director of the Montana Building Industry Association, said all of the factors coming together right now are a bit of a perfect storm for higher lumber costs, and that ultimately the consumer will pay for it.

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The Fiber Costs for Pellet Plants in North America Have Fallen With the Pellet Feedstock Price Indices Reaching Their Lowest Levels in Over Four Years

By Wood Resources International LLC
PR Newswire
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

With the feed stock shifting towards lower cost fiber, including industry and forest residues, total wood costs for pellet manufacturers fell during 2016 and early 2017, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. The PFPI price indices for the US and Canada have fallen 16% and 26%, respectively since 2013.  Wood pellet manufacturers in North America consume wood fiber from a variety of sources with different price levels, trends and cost drivers. The WRI pellet feedstock price indices for Canada and the US (PFPI-US and PFPI-CA), which were launched in 2013, show a quarterly volume-weighted price for the fiber consumed by each country’s pellet sector. Each individual facility’s estimated mix of fiber (roundwood, sawdust, shavings, microchips, etc.) are calculated using local fiber pricing to determine a weighted price, which is further combined with production capacity and operating rate to calculate the final regional index price.

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Gilman Foundation sells sawmills

By Gordon Jackson
The Brunswick News
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

ST. MARYS — The Howard Gilman Foundation has sold six sawmills and a finger-joint mill in Florida and Georgia to West Fraser, a Canada-based timber company. The deal with the foundation and other shareholders is for an estimated $430 million. The agreement is scheduled to close in the third quarter this year. An administrative office in St. Marys is included in the acquisition. An estimated 900 employees are employed at the Gilman facilities. The mills have a combined annual production capacity of 700 million board-feet of Southern Pine lumber. …Mary Farrell, president of The Howard Gilman Foundation, said she was “delighted” to announce the transaction.

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Sale of exotic timber in US linked to illegal forestry in PNG

Radio New Zealand
August 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

The sale of exotic wood products in US stores could be helping to drive the illegal harvesting of native forest in Papua New Guinea. The NGO Global Witness has tracked the supply chain of timber from PNG through Chinese factories to American retail shelves in its report, Stained Trade. Much of the wood is being cut by Malaysian-controlled companies under PNG’s controversial Special Agriculture and Business Leases system, through which 12 percent of PNG land was leased out. …The taun [wood] was being sold and distributed by a number of different actors in the US. We [Global Witness] chose to write to ten of the more significant ones. Of those, half didn’t respond to our letters. Of the ones that did respond, Home Depot of course is the most commonly known of the companies. And their response was encouraging in that they immediately stopped the sales of the taun that they had in stock.* And they were willing to start discussing what steps could be taken to review and potentially improve their due diligence processes on their supply chain.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BCIT burning to learn with biomass-fuelled boiler system

By Maria Church
Canadian Biomass
August 1, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The boiler system residing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a little ways yet from operational, but as Alexandre Hebert explains, the system is much more than just a biomass boiler; it’s a learning tool. “Our core business is education – everything we do is for students first, and the co-benefit is that it’s good for the planet,” says Hebert, who is BCIT’s manager of zero-emissions buildings and energy systems application. Hebert and his team have planned the boiler system down to the last screw. Every facet of the system was designed with an educational purpose in mind.

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Editorial: Pinnacle is positioning for major growth

By Andrew Snook
Canadian Biomass
August 1, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Canada’s longest-running wood pellet producer is setting itself up for major growth next year. A few months ago, Pinnacle Renewable Energy announced that it plans to build an $85-million, 475,000-tonne wood pellet plant in Entwistle, Alta., a little over 100 kilometres west of Edmonton. While I was initially surprised by the investment, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the potential dividends a plant like this could pay. With an annual production capacity already over 1.5-million tonnes, Pinnacle Renewable Energy is one of the world’s largest producers of wood pellets. By adding the 475,000-tonne capacity plant to its arsenal, Pinnacle is positioning itself to be able to handle increased demands in markets overseas in Asia and Europe. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Katerra is shaking up the construction industry, literally and figuratively

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
August 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

We’ve been watching Katerra, the ambitious construction startup that calls itself a technology startup. …One of the technologies that they are using is Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). …It’s also really efficient; the big slabs of wood are cut to size in the factory and assemble on site quickly, quietly and neatly. In fact the very first tall timber tower, designed by Waugh Thistleton a decade ago, was assembled in nine weeks by four workers. Now Katerra demonstrates that CLT buildings can be remarkably earthquake resistant. On July 27 they tested their CLT design on the big shake table at the UC San Diego. We have noted before that wood is one of the “most suitable material for earthquake resistant construction due to its light weight and shear strength across the grains.”

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Building with wood can lighten environmental footprint

By Issaquah Cedar and Lumber
Seattle Times
August 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

If you’re concerned with reducing your carbon footprint while remodeling your patio or building a new home, there’s good news: cedar and other wood products are an economical and eco-friendly building resource alternative to cement. Concrete, which requires fossil fuel for production, releases a ton of toxic carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for every ton produced. Wood, on the other hand is a natural resource grown only with natural materials – sun, rain and soil – right in our backyard. …A recent study performed by Canada’s leading forestry research laboratory, FPInnovations-Forintek, measured the environmental impact of various building materials from cradle to grave. Complex analysis was conducted on Western red cedar decking and siding, wood-plastic composite decking, brick, fiber-cement and vinyl against a range of measurables such as resource use, water use, energy use, transportation and waste created. Western red cedar products substantially outperformed other materials in every category.

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Lignin can make building materials less toxic, replaces petroleum

By Michigan State University Today
Fox 47 News
August 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A collaborative study by Mojgan Nejad, MSU forestry, proves that lignin, a byproduct of paper and bioethanol production, can completely replace phenol in phenolic adhesive formulation. This research directly impacts housing manufacturing by introducing biobased adhesives made of lignin, a renewable resource, instead of petroleum-based phenol. Nejad’s research is the first instance showing the 100 percent successful substitution of phenol with lignin. For the last 30 years, researchers have been attempting to fully replace phenol in phenol-based glues. However, only partial replacement, up to 50 percent, was possible. The research team was successful in testing plywood samples made of developed resin. When compared to commercial petroleum-based adhesives, the plywood made of lignin-based adhesives exhibited similar shear strength under both wet and dry conditions.

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London-based dRMM studio builds medical centre using revolutionary new building material

By Urshita Gautam
Architectural Digest
August 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Alex de Rijke, Philip Marsh and Sadie Morgan from dRMM—a London-based design studio whose portfolio showcases Kingsdale School Hall, Hastings Pier, Endless Stair, Sliding House, and Faraday House at the Battersea Power Station—were commissioned to make this project a reality. Since pioneering the use of engineered timber as a sustainable and low cost alternative, the studio co-invented Tulipwood CLT in 2013 alongside Arup and AHEC. Maggie’s Oldham is the world’s first building made from hardwood cross-laminated timber (CLT) and marks a milestone in the evolution of modern architecture. …Impactful architecture has always been essential to Maggie’s offerings. They have worked with renowned architects such as the late Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster whose expertise and experience have realised Maggie’s vision of creating calm and uplifting environments for people who visit the centres.

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