Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 3, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Evacuations, air quality warnings spread South and East

August 3, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Wildfires and hot, dry conditions across the Pacific Northwest and in New Brunswick spur evacuations, air quality warnings and restrictions on forestry operations. Here are the headlines:

  • Oregon wildfires prompt governor to declare state of emergency
  • Evacuations ordered near Lincoln as fire activity increases (Oregon)
  • Wildfire smoke, heat threaten air quality (Washington)
  • Highest fire risk in years forces province to restrict forest operations (New Brunswick)

Yesterday’s news on softwood lumber (e.g., comments by Trudeau and Horgan, and a report by The Canadian Press on what’s holding up a deal) has “CIBC analyst Hamir Patel encouraged“. But if you’re looking for where the line has been drawn in the sand, the Globe and Mail reports that it “would be at Chapter 19, NAFTA’s dispute-panel system”.

In forestry news, Poland continues to “clash with the European Union over logging in a primeval forest,” and a review of humans’ impact on tropical forests shows that “humans have been altering these environments for at least 45,000 years”.

Finally, mass timber is featured in the Institution of Structural Engineer’s—the world’s largest organization dedicated to the art and science of structural engineering—2017 Structural Awards shortlist. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Editorial: Why do environmental groups villainize the forest sector?

By Maria Church, Canadian Forest Industries
Wood Business
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

I had a conversation with a close friend recently that naturally turned to our jobs. I told her I’m proud to work with an innovative industry that’s helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Her eyebrow shot up. That reaction is not surprising, I told her. It’s counterintuitive for the public to see an industry that’s chopping down trees as a champion of the environment. Campaigns like Greenpeace’s “Resolute: Forest Destroyer” have garnered support from celebrities and use strong language to persuade the public that the company is wiping out “critical habitat areas” and “endangered forests.”  It doesn’t take much convincing. Trees are the obvious symbol of a healthy environment. Cutting trees down, naturally, must be bad for the environment. It’s a simple story to sell. But nothing is ever that black and white.

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RDN to renew Arrowsmith CPR Regional Trail licence

By Michael Briones
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Nanaimo accepted Island Timberland’s offer to renew the 2000 Arrowsmith CPR Regional Trail licence for another two years. That’s good news for recreational users of the popular 10-kilometre trail that runs up from Cameron Lake through the private forest lands to the old ski hill site in the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District’s Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park. The board unanimously voted in favour of renewing the two-year licence with Island Timberlands that expired last March. 

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Weaver tirelessly fought for wilderness areas

By Andy Kerr
The Register-Guard
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Today, polls consistently show overwhelming bipartisan support among Oregon voters for protecting more federal public lands as wilderness. Even in rural Oregon, a majority wants more wilderness protected. Such was not always the case. By enacting the Wilderness Act of 1964, Congress preserved certain areas containing mainly higher-elevation forests or rock and ice above timberline. Logging was generally not a significant issue. …On average, during each year Weaver was in Congress (1975-86), more than 100,000 acres of wilderness was established in Oregon, a record bested only by Sen. Maurine Neuberger, who served only one full term, which included the year The Wilderness Act was first enacted.

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Slow Wood

Eugene Weekly
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Don Andre hacks at an overgrown trail with a machete on a 17-acre community-owned forest, within earshot of Highway 20 a couple miles east of Newport. …The organization he helped found, the Oregon Coast Community Forest Association (OCCFA), is part of a growing movement to reimagine the relationship between timber communities and the forests that surround their homes. Across the state, Oregonians are working to develop forest management techniques and economic models that preserve forests for multiple uses.  This movement is much akin to the organic and slow food movement. Forest owners and timber communities are envisioning a timber economy that balances a healthy landscape with quality products and fair compensation for workers. And they’re counting on people caring about where their wood comes from.

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Conservation group keeps recreation a priority in forests

By Luke Thompson
Yakima Herald
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CLE ELUM, Wash. — Beautiful vistas, dense stands of green trees and well-maintained roads to adventurous trails should ensure traffic to the Central Cascades Forest keeps rising along with the area’s rapidly growing population. So when The Nature Conservancy bought 48,000 acres from Plum Creek Timber for $49 million in late 2014, the nonprofit group knew preserving opportunities for people to get outdoors would be key to its mission. …“I think we want people to love these forests and take good care of these forests,” said James Schroeder, the conservancy’s Seattle-based director of forest conservation and partnerships. 

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The race to save Romania’s forests: how illegal loggers lay waste to the wilderness

By Stephen McGrath
New Statesman
August 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Heavy rain clatters on the windscreen of Ion Holban’s four-by-four as he shifts through the gears to make it up a steep dirt track deep in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, a wilderness where pristine forests host bears, wolves, lynx and wildcats. Holban wants to keep it this way, which is why he has organised a 50-strong group of experts and campaigners to join him on a week-long mission to map out the vast tracts of ancient woodland before it’s too late. “There’s pressure from logging all across Romania,” says Holban, the campaign co-ordinator of Agent Green, an anti-logging NGO. “The government is not treating the virgin forests with the respect and value that they deserve. There’s very little protection in place.”

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Humans have been altering tropical forests for at least 45,000 years

By Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History et al.
Phys.org
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The first review of the global impact of humans on tropical forests in the ancient past shows that humans have been altering these environments for at least 45,000 years. This counters the view that tropical forests were pristine natural environments prior to modern agriculture and industrialization. The study, published today in Nature Plants, found that humans have in fact been having a dramatic impact on such forest ecologies for tens of thousands of years, through techniques ranging from controlled burning of sections of forest to plant and animal management to clear-cutting. …The global data compiled for this paper shows that a pristine, untouched tropical forest ecosystem does not exist – and has not existed for tens of thousands of years. 

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EU warns Poland not to defy court ban on forest logging

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BRUSSELS — The European Union warned Poland Wednesday not to continue logging in Europe’s last pristine woodland after Warsaw vowed to defy a ruling by the EU’s top court to stop cutting down trees in the Bialowieza Forest. European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said “complying with decisions of Court of Justice of the EU is indeed an integral part of European law upon which our very union is founded.” Poland’s environment ministry said Monday it would keep logging despite the ban. Polish news channels have broadcast footage of fresh logging this week.

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Old-growth trees to be ‘woodchipped, wasted’ under specialty timber access plan

By Rhiannon Shine
ABC News Australia
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Government released a draft plan for public consultation which sets out future access to special species timber. The Government said the plan would simplify the application process to harvest speciality timbers and balance conservation needs while assisting the forestry sector. The Wilderness Society’s Vica Bayley said based on a Forestry Tasmania report released in May, more than half of the trees cut down under the proposal would be wasted. …Specialty timber user Andrew Denman, who is also on the advisory council, said the Wilderness Society’s claim that 60 per cent of trees would be wasted was “farcical”.

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Poland Clashes With European Union Over Logging In Primeval Forest

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The lush, green canopy that is Bialowieza Forest spans 350,000 acres between Poland and Belarus. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a variety of endangered species like the European bison. It also has some of the last old-growth forest in Europe, untouched by human hands, and there is a great deal of international interest in preserving the forest’s delicate ecology. …But the Polish government insists Mother Nature has lost control of Bialowieza Forest. Poland’s Minister of the Environment Jan Szyszko has repeatedly warned of a spreading bark beetle infestation targeting spruce trees in particular. …Last year, he approved a plan that triples the amount of logging in parts of the forest. It sparked an international outcry.

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Forest Fires

Wildfires in western Canada on near-record pace

Summit County Citizens Voice
August 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada is on track for a near-record wildfire season this year. So far, there have been more than 500 fires just in British Columbia, burning across more than 1 million acres. Firefighting costs have already reached more than $172 million, and weeks of warm and dry weather will keep the fire danger high. Most of the fires have been in three main areas, according to NASA, which has been tracking the burned areas via satellites. Most affected are the Frasier Plateau north of Vancouver, the Thomas Plateau, east of Whistler, and the region east of Kamloops. All current fires of note can be viewed on this interactive map. According to NASA, this is the third-worst fire season on record for B.C.

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Clinton residents angered over controlled burn now raging out of control

By Karin Larsen
CBC News
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents of Clinton in the B.C. Interior are accusing crews of recklessly setting control fires after a prescribed burn quickly got out of hand Tuesday, jumping the highway and burning an entire mountainside and beyond. Local cattle rancher Greg Nyman said the fire, which was set by B.C. Wildfire personnel on the east side of Highway 97 near the Loon Lake Road junction, quickly turned into a “fire tornado vortex.” By Wednesday, it had forced an evacuation order for a large area to the southwest of Clinton. “It just went unbelievably wrong,” he said. “The wind was blowing hard out of the northeast, and they were trying to burn to the northeast. I don’t know what kind of magic they thought was going to happen.

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Controlled burn north of Cache Creek goes wrong, threatening homes and worrying residents

By Patrick Johnston
Vancouver Sun
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Eyewitnesses say a four-square-kilometre blaze to the southwest of the massive Elephant Hill fire, between Cache Creek and Clinton, is a case of a controlled burn gone wrong. “My heart’s breaking, looking up at it,” Greg Nyman said Wednesday of the inferno that was threatening his home. The fire was intentionally started by the B.C. Wildfire Service on a height of land east of Highway 97 on Tuesday afternoon, looking to burn-off fuel that might otherwise be consumed by the Elephant Hill blaze. A shift in the wind drove part of the controlled burn west, across the highway, threatening a number of properties. Nyman’s home, near the intersection of Hwy. 97 with Loon Lake Road, is one of those threatened. His cows graze on land on the east side of the highway; an area burned by the Elephant Hill fire last month.

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Harrop Creek wildfire grows to 1,000 hectares

Castlegar Source
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

To protect the public and to aid in fire suppression, BC Wildfire Service has closed the Harrop Mainline Forest Service Road and the East Harrop Mainline Forest Service Road. …The Harrop Creek wildfire once again increased in size Tuesday night, going from 655 hectares to an estimated size now of 1,000 hectares. …The smoke from the wildfire filled the valley surrounding Nelson. People with respiratory issues may wish to contact their health professionals.

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Pine beetle epidemic creating heightened wildfire risk

The Fitzhugh
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you thought the number of trees affected by the mountain pine beetle was bad this year, you haven’t seen anything yet. If experts are right the number of infected trees is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, effectively turning Jasper National Park’s forest into a sea of red and dead pine trees. From an ecological perspective this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as mountain pine beetle are a naturally occurring species in Western Canada, however once the beetles move on they leave behind a forest of dry tinder that increases the wildfire risk to communities such as Jasper. …During the meeting Fercho emphasized that while trees killed by the pine beetle increases the wildfire risk, it doesn’t change the overall threat wildfires pose to communities such as Jasper. “Fire is fire, it doesn’t matter if it’s beetle infested or not,” said Fercho. The main difference is a beetle-killed forest is much more volatile, sending embers soaring into the sky and starting spot fires ahead of the fire.

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Officials give update on Alberta fire situation

By Carlie Connolly
Sylvan Lake News
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the fire hazard having grown steadily in southern parts of Alberta and the forests throughout the mountain areas, stronger prevention measures have been put in place. This includes the restriction of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) 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 Parks. “OHV’s can cause wildfires when debris gets caught up in the hot spots of the vehicle,” said Oneil Carlier, minister of Agriculture and Forestry in a news conference held Tuesday morning. He said the OHV ban will help reduce the chance that a wildfire will start in this already dry area.

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Highest fire risk in years forces province to restrict forest operations

CBC News
August 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

With the forest fire hazard in New Brunswick at its highest level in more than 20 years, the province has restricted forestry operations starting at noon Thursday. Harvesting and other activities will not be allowed from noon until 8 p.m. for forest operations that involve two or more people or use mechanical equipment. “I am pleased that a number of forestry companies voluntarily adopted these measures earlier this week,” the minister, Rick Doucet, said in a statement. “While these restrictions are forestry operations on Crown and private lands, including private woodlot owners, this a good reminder to anyone in New Brunswick forests, recreational users and others, to take precautions and curtail their activities to help mitigate the risk of forest fires.” 

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Wildfire smoke, heat threaten air quality

By Rose Lundy
The Longview Daily News
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Wildfire smoke, boiling weather and sluggish atmospheric conditions will continue threatening air quality in Cowlitz County and much of Southwest Washington well into next next week, clean air officials said Wednesday. The Southwest Washington Clean Air agency issued an air pollution advisory Wednesday which will remain in effect until Tuesday. An agency monitor shows that Longview is laden with about 47 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter — 12 micrograms above the healthy air quality level. …These readings mean that air is at an unhealthy level, and it could cause trouble for people who have respiratory ailments, the elderly and the very young. 

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Evacuations ordered near Lincoln as fire activity increases

By Angela Brandt
Independent Record
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Authorities ordered the evacuation of up to 10 homes in the Lincoln area Tuesday as gusty winds led to increased wildfire activity nearby.  Officials put the order into effect in the Upper Stonewall Creek area around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office was to lead the evacuations.  The residences, a mix of year-round and seasonal homes, were deemed immediately threatened by a wildfire. …The winds changed direction to the northeast, as predicted, causing increased fire behavior and a spot on the west side of the handline at Park Creek, she said. 

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Oregon wildfires prompt governor to declare state of emergency

By Samantha Matsumoto
Oregon Live
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Several wildfires and hot, dry conditions across the state prompted Gov. Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency Wednesday.  Record-breaking heat, continuing hot weather and forecasts for thunderstorms have put Oregon in critical danger of fires, Brown said in a statement.  “As Oregon faces a near record-breaking heat wave, the threat of wildfires increases,” Brown said. “I am thankful to the firefighters and crews working tirelessly throughout the state and remind all Oregonians to be safe and follow posted fire bans.” Brown’s declaration allows the Oregon National Guard to mobilize resources to assist the state Department of Forestry and the state Fire Marshal’s Office. 

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Wildfire threatening homes in Chuckanut Mountains

By Robert MIttendorf
Bellingham Herald
August 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire burning since Tuesday afternoon in the Chuckanut Mountains grew to 60 acres as wind picked up overnight and is threatening four homes in a slow advance, fire officials said Wednesday afternoon. More than 120 firefighters from local, state and federal agencies are working to contain the fire, which is burning in steep terrain near an old clearcut around the Burnout Trail south of Larrabbee State Park. Firefighting aircraft and bulldozers are joining the effort Wednesday, said Michael Krueger, public information officer for the Burnout Road Fire. “The fire is what we call slope- and wind-driven,” Kreuger said. “It’s moving quickly upslope,” but not so quickly otherwise, he said. “It’s moving south, driven by winds from the north.”

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Forest fires hit Indonesia, as scientists warn blazes are

By Joe Sandler Clarke
Energydesk
August 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Forest fires are once again sweeping across Indonesia, with academics warning that the blazes, which have become an annual event since the mid-1990s, have become the “new normal”. So far five Indonesian provinces have declared emergencies as result of forest fires, according to officials. Satellite images collected by Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority showed 170 hotspots in the country at the end of July, with the regions of East Nusa Tenggara, West Kalimantan and the province of Aceh in northern Sumatra the worst affected. Local media reports suggest that dozens of people have been hospitalised due to smoke inhalation in Aceh.

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Company & Business News

Reports on softwood lumber encouraging, offer hope of a deal: CIBC analyst

By Alexander Panetta
Canadian Press in Kelowna Daily Courier
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON – The latest news on softwood lumber is being greeted as an encouraging sign by one analyst, who points to several developments that increase hope of a deal between Canada and the United States. That sense of optimism is being expressed by Hamir Patel, the director of paper and forest products research at CIBC Capital Markets, who points to three recent signs: Comments from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, comments by B.C. Premier John Horgan, and a report by The Canadian Press on what’s holding up a deal. “We have been encouraged by signs of further progress,” Patel said in a newsletter.

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Is Chapter 19 worth fighting for in NAFTA negotiations?

By David Parkinson
The Globe and Mail
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

If you’re looking for where the line has been drawn in the sand along the 49th parallel for the coming North American free-trade agreement negotiations, it would be at Chapter 19 – NAFTA’s system for using bilateral panels to adjudicate anti-dumping and countervailing cases. The Americans see the dispute-panel system as an affront to the sovereignty of their domestic laws and courts, and want to scrap it. The Canadians see it as a vital defence against unjust protectionist attacks, and look prepared to go to the wall to keep it. You’d think for something so contentious, someone would actually be using it. …But for all the hoopla around Chapter 19 – and we can expect a lot more of it as the trade negotiations heat up – Canada has taken a grievance to a Chapter 19 dispute panel just three times in the past decade. The United States hasn’t taken a case against Canada to a Chapter 19 panel since 2005.

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Western Announces Second Quarter 2017 Results

By Western Forest Products Inc.
Marketwired
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Western Forest Products reported adjusted EBITDA of $47.1 million in the second quarter of 2017, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $43.0 million in the second quarter of 2016, and $34.0 million reported in the first quarter of 2017. Western leveraged its flexible operating platform to mitigate US softwood lumber duties, overcome log supply challenges and capitalize on improved market pricing. Net income of $25.6 million ($0.06 per diluted share) was reported for the second quarter of 2017, as compared to $23.8 million ($0.06 per diluted share) for the second quarter of 2016 and $16.2 million ($0.04 per diluted share) in the previous quarter.

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Canfor Pulp announces capital projects worth $105 million

By Omkar Khalap
Pulp and Paper News
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Pulp Products is planning to undertake capital projects worth $105 million at two pulp mills located in Prince George and Taylor in British Columbia, Canada. “These projects reflect Canfor Pulp’s commitment to sustainable pulp production while continuing to improve the cost competitiveness of our pulp mills,” said, Brett Robinson, President, Canfor Pulp. The pulp and paper supplier will invest $65 million for installation of a new 32 megawatt condensing turbo-generator at Northwood Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp mill in Prince George. The company will also invest $40 million in upgrading the refining line at the Bleached Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp mill in Taylor. [END]

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Truck Loggers Association breaks down forest industry job loss

By David Elstone, Executive Director, TLA
Wood Business
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The forest industry, like all Canadian natural resource sectors, has long had the distinction of providing good, family supporting jobs in rural communities around the province. According to Statistics Canada, in 2000 B.C.’s forest industry employed close to 100,000 people directly, together with the plethora of indirect jobs needed to support the industry. However, since that time significant job loss and mill closures have occurred within the industry. The environmental community has been quick to jump on these job-loss stats and use them as part of their anti-log export campaign. Many headlines read something like: Log exports responsible for mill closures and provincial industry job loss. However, a more in-depth look at the data paints a much different picture.

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Power line sparks fire at mill

BC Local News
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

An early morning fire had Hall 1 and 2 firefighters scrambling. Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley says they received a call of power lines down at the plywood mill at Canoe Forest Products. Held up briefly by a train, firefighters arrived to find a small crane on fire and a power pole arcing and sparking. “We immediately upgraded the fire as there was sawdust on the ground,” says Shirley. “It was a quick response but we couldn’t start suppressing the fire until the power was shut down.”

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Corewood Sawmill, a boost for Houston economy

By Ann Marie Hak
Houston Today
August 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Three forest industry parties in Houston, Canfor, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc’ and the Tahtsa Group have come to agreement with Corewood Sawmill in order to reduce wood waste. “For me, I wanted to see and do something to create jobs from something that was being thrown away,” said Klaus Posselt, President and CEO of the Tahtsa Group, based in Burns Lake. “We could do a lot more. The biggest challenge is making some changes to the outdated forest act so that more of these types of fibre can be accessed and fast tracked. The provincial government needs to understand how important it is to small communities, especially given the overall decrease in fibre supply.”

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Forestry firm’s fate may lie with state

Views and News from Norway
August 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Shares in crisis-ridden forestry firm Norske Skog rebounded this week after Prime Minister Erna Solberg wouldn’t rule out contributing to a rescue plan for the last major receiver of timber in Norway. While some wealthy forest owners and investors seem to welcome state assistance, others warn against it. The fate of Norske Skog is likely to set off debate within Norway’s minority coalition government that Solberg still leads. Carl Otto Løvenskiold, who owns most of the forest land north of Oslo, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) that he fears a threatened shutdown of Norske Skog’s plants in Halden and Skogn. That would mean timber, once one of Norway’s most important resources, would need to be sent abroad for processing or conversion into paper.

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NZ commodity prices level off in July, annual growth strong

By Sophie Boot
Scoop Independent News
August 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

New Zealand commodity prices dipped in July, with meat prices down for the first time this year, though prices across raw materials remain strong. …Forestry increased 1 percent in the month, though there were offsetting movements at the sub-component level, with log prices up 2.2 percent in July while wood pulp prices fell 1.9 percent. “Log prices continue to be supported by Chinese demand with port-level inventory and offtake continuing to track favourably,” Williams said. “The Chinese government has also announced lower import tariffs on logs in a bid to curb the use of logs from their own native forests. Local demand has experienced the usual seasonal slowdown, but unpruned demand for structural timber and posts/poles remains strong.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New West Wing of Penticton Lakeside Resort Is Now Open To The Public

Digital Journal
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The new West Wing of the Penticton Lakeside Resort opened to the public on June 23rd , and features 70 additional rooms, 20 of which are suites. The trademarks of the expansion are mass timber construction and large balconies, one of the leading building types of its generation in North America. Most of the rooms have a view of Okanagan Lake. Designed by CEI Architecture, and built by Greyback Construction, great care was taken to emphasize and highlight the wood structure and finishing of the building, that completes its design and structural integrity. Large amounts of wood are featured on exposed ceilings, and panels that separate the units on the deck, as well as throughout interior corridors, and the grand atrium and staircase, which connects the central lobby with the 2nd floor open foyer. The attention to detail and the consideration taken to showcase the use of the wood makes this building a truly world-class facility. 

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Wood from the Hood

Comstock’s Magazine
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The end of an urban tree’s life is a big deal. Here’s why. Urban trees and salvaged lumber removed due to death, disease, damage or construction are typically burned, chipped or disposed of in landfills. We’re throwing away viable lumber: 3.8 billion board feet that could be generated annually from these trees, according to the U.S. Forest Service. That’s equivalent to 30 percent of the hardwood lumber commercially harvested in U.S. forests. In response, an urban wood movement is growing across the country to reclaim this substantially-untapped natural resource, and efforts are booming in the Sacramento region. Jennifer Alger, of Far West Forest Products, a family-owned and operated corporation specializing in urban, salvaged and reclaimed wood in Sheridan, in Placer County, is leading the cause on the West Coast. 

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Open to the Community: New Energy Works Timberframers is Raising the Roof for St Pius X Church

By New Energy Works Timberframers
PR Web
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

On New Years Day, 2015 a devastating fire claimed the St. Pius X Church in the Town of Chili, New York. Rebuilding the St Pius X Church is underway and will see the raising of a timber frame truss roof system by New Energy Works Timberframers this week. Beginning Thursday, August 3 through Friday, August 4*, New Energy Works will be raising the heavy timber trusses at 2998 Chili Ave in Rochester, NY. …The raising will include hand crafted from kiln dried Douglas fir timbers in New Energy Works Farmington NY shop. Each truss spans 37 feet and is joined with traditional mortise and tenons, secured with hardwood pegs. Integrated structural steel tie rods help carry the load to steel beams bearing the trusses. Ten trusses will remain visible in the completed church.

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Waltham ‘tired’ of wooden apartment fires

Concrete Construction
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

On Monday evening, Waltham city councilors voted unanimously to call on the state of Massachusetts to implement tighter restrictions on the size of wood-frame residential buildings after a massive ten-alarm fire destroyed a wooden apartment complex under construction in late July. …“Monday’s declaration that Waltham residents are fed up with preventable fires is a step in the right direction,” said Kevin Lawlor, a spokesperson for Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association comprised of fire service professionals, engineers, architects and industry experts. “Build with Strength will work with any community anywhere in the U.S. that wants to learn more about non-combustible construction methods that protect communities from preventable disasters.”

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Dieffenbacher plans Algeria, Vietnam MDF lines

By Angel Kipfer
Woodworking Network
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

ALGERIA and VIETNAM – The first half of 2017 showed to be successful for Dieffenbacher with well-filled order books before the Ligna trade fair in May. The company’s new stand at Ligna reflected that success as it presented numerous new developments and solutions for complete production plants and plant modernization.  By the end of the second quarter, three additional projects were booked including the Algerian company, Bigstar, via its subsidiary Panneaux d’Algérie who entrusted Dieffenbacher with the delivery of a complete MDF plant with CPS+ marking Dieffenbacher’s first greenfield project on African soil and the first continuous press operating in North Africa.

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Your Floor May Be Made of Illegal Tropical Wood

By Stephen Leahy
National Geographic
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

U.S. consumers may unwittingly be fueling illegal logging in Papua New Guinea’s tropical forests simply by shopping at furniture stores and home improvement retailers like The Home Depot. A two-year investigation by Global Witness, an international non-profit exposing injustice and environmental destruction, has tracked the 9,000-mile journey of illegally harvested timber from the South Pacific nation through Chinese factories to retail shelves in the U.S. While the U.S. bans import of illegal wood, China does not. And China sells $15 billion worth of wood products to the U.S. every year. (Last year U.S. flooring giant Lumber Liquidators agreed to pay $13 million in penalties for importing Chinese-made products linked to illegal logging in Russia, a violation of the Lacey Act, which bans illegal trade of illegal wildlife and plants.)

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The 2017 Structural Awards shortlist revealed

Specification Online
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Institution of Structural Engineers reveals the shortlist for The Structural Awards 2017, featuring 43 entries selected from 119 projects globally. Now in its 50th year, these prestigious annual awards showcase the world’s best engineering structures and demonstrate the diversity of structural engineering. The shortlisted projects highlight the ingenuity and creativity of structural engineers, celebrating both these forward-thinking professionals and the world’s most cutting-edge engineering. Finalists include: The Smile, the centrepiece of the 2016 London Design Festival – Structural Engineer: Ove Arup and Partners LTD – The Smile represents the first ever use of large hardwood cross laminated timber.

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EPA Approves ANSI as a Recognized Accreditation Body under the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Rule

By Monika Donimirska
Sat PR News
August 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

NEW YORK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an accreditation body (AB) to provide services under the EPA’s Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products rule. ANSI is one of four ABs recognized by EPA to provide accreditation services under the final rule, which is intended to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. The rule includes formaldehyde emission standards applicable to hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard, and finished goods containing these products.

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