Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 17, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Rhetoric over, NAFTA begins, SLA not quite yet

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 17, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

With the NAFTA talks starting today, the softwood lumber dispute will now “take a distant back seat”, according to a commentary by RBC. However, the authors note: “NAFTA was an artificial deadline”, Trump could leverage the goodwill from a softwood agreement with Canada to “secure a better NAFTA deal with Mexico” and Trump “still has leverage over the US Coalition given the final duty and injury rates are still weeks away”.

The Associated Press writes that delivering on Trump’s NAFTA promises will be difficult as it will “require approval from a divided Congress”. Further, the administration wants to eliminate the dispute-resolution process, which “lets Mexico and Canada appeal unfavorable rulings by US courts”. Indeed, in a CBC report on NAFTA’s importance to New Brunswick’s manufacturing sector (absolutely fundamental) Minister Freeland said the loss of Chapter 19 would be fodder for “Canada walking away from the talks”.

In other business news, slumping demand has Norpac idling one of its paper machines in Longview WA and Resolute is permanently closing two of its paper machines in Calhoun, GA. Meanwhile, Finland based Stora Enso announced its investment plans for the next two years.

The BC Wildfire Service reports that BC’s wildfires have destroyed 8944 square kilometres of forest, breaking the previous record of 8,550 square kilometres, set in 1958. According to David Suzuki, these “wildfires are a climate change wake-up call”.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Special Feature

SLA 3: Not quite yet

Paul Quinn and Charan Sanghera
RBC Capital Markets
August 16, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

No deal before NAFTA – Canada and the US could not agree on a softwood lumber deal before the NAFTA negotiations began today. While this was more of an artificial deadline… NAFTA will be the focus and a new softwood lumber agreement will now take a distant back seat. …Resolving softwood lumber might help Trump with NAFTA – We believe that US President Trump’s real issue with NAFTA is with Mexico. …We also believe that the US President needs a “win”. In facilitating a long-term deal on Canadian softwood lumber imports, we anticipate that President Trump could leverage the expected goodwill gained from Canada to help secure a better NAFTA deal between the US and Mexico. 

So what does it take to get an agreement on softwood lumber? We believe that it is in the US Coalition’s best short-term interest to keep the present CVD and ADD rate situation going for as long as possible. Based on past disputes, it is likely to take Team Canada a couple of years to successfully move the final rates materially lower. …However, over the longer term, we believe that a quota-based softwood lumber deal is in the interest of the US Coalition. So what’s needed? We believe that Trump has leverage over the US Coalition while the final duty rates are still in the determination stage. 

Read More

Forestry

New Report: Adequacy of Brushing in the BCTS Chinook Business Area

BC Forest Practices Board
August 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Board received a complaint that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) in the Chilliwack area was not doing enough to remove competing vegetation on their recently planted cutblocks. The complainant was concerned that it could result in plantations growing poorly due to competition with brushy vegetation and that BCTS might not meet its legal obligations for reforestation. The Board examined BCTS’s post-planting silvicultural practices on the ground and reviewed records of brushing activities. The investigation concluded that BCTS did reduce its brushing in the Chilliwack operating area between 2013 and 2016. The Board also concluded that BCTS is undertaking adequate measures to reduce competing brush and comply with its legal reforestation requirements.

Read More

Reducing fire danger in West Arm Park

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star
August 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

West Arm Provincial Park is at high risk for wildfire, and B.C. Parks has published a plan to reduce the danger. The West Arm Provincial Park Fire Management Plan states that much of the park sits between seven and 10 on a 10-point fire risk scale. But local forester and a fuel mitigation consultant John Cathro, who co-authored a similar plan for the City of Nelson, says the park’s forest is no worse than anywhere else in the local area where fire has been suppressed for many decades. “It is a forest that grows very quickly, puts on a lot of biomass, and is taking on the condition of a forest that is overstocked, has too many trees per hectare, too many trees fighting for a limited amount of sunlight and water and soil nutrients,” he said. “As a result it is showing signs of decay and forest health mortality.”

Read More

Workplace Safety North opens new health and safety training facility

CBC News
August 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There’s a new hub for workplace health and safety in Sudbury, Ont. Workplace Safety North (WSN) has opened a new training centre at 235 Cedar Street in the downtown. The building is also home to the headquarters for Ontario Mine Rescue. WSN provides health and safety training, with a focus on mining and forestry. It’s the only provincial health and safety association based in northern Ontario. The organization plans to support underserviced areas across the north says director of mining, Mike Parent. …”What we want to do is kind of give a home to health and safety, a place where people know this is where you go for health and safety training,” says Parent.

Read More

Reduced forest fire risk prompts New Brunswick to lift forestry restrictions

Canadian Press in CTV News
August 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government has lifted restrictions on forestry operations as the risk of forest fires fades. On Aug. 3, the government put a halt to harvesting, forwarding, site preparation or pre-commercial thinning between noon and 8 p.m. for all operations with two or more people, or operations using mechanical equipment. At the time, Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet said the forest fire hazard in the province was the highest in 20 years. Doucet says while he has lifted his ministerial order, the government will impose conditions again if conditions warrant. A total of 160 forest fires have burned almost 108 hectares of forest so far this year.

Read More

Oregon State University professors discover new 100-million-year-old species of tree from fossilized flowers

KPTV.com
August 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, OR  – Professors at Oregon State University have discovered a new species of tree from 100-million-year-old fossilized flowers. George Poinar Jr., professor emeritus in Oregon State University’s College of Science, said it’s the first time seven complete flowers of this age have been reported in a single study. The flowers range from 3.4 to 5 millimeters in diameter, necessitating study under a microscope. Poinar and collaborator Kenton Chambers, professor emeritus in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, named the discovery Tropidogyne pentaptera based on the flowers’ five firm, spreading sepals; the Greek word for five is “penta,” and “pteron” means wing.

Read More

Oklahoma foresters gathering information about trees and forest health

NewsOK
August 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

What type of forests or woodlands are present in Oklahoma? What tree species are in the state’s counties? Are our forests healthy? These and many other questions will be answered as a Forest Inventory and Analysis crew from Oklahoma Forestry Services begins collecting data on plots in Caddo, Canadian, Grady, Oklahoma, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, Noble and Payne counties. Foresters began such data collection in 2009. Every year, they continue gathering information about the amount of land under forest cover, the type of forests and tree species that are present, tree size, invasive species and forest health issues, according to a news release.  …The information gathered from the analysis determines the status of the local forest resource and shows trends in the forests of Oklahoma. The data contributes to similar nationwide efforts of the USDA Forest Service.

Read More

World Bank pledges $24 mn to enhance India’s forest ecosystem services

Web India 123
August 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Finance Ministry and the World Bank on Wednesday signed a grant agreement of $24.64 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank for ecosystem service improvement project, said an official. The project would be financed entirely by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund. The project’s duration is five years. “The objective of the Project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the departments of forestry and community organisations to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in central Indian highlands,” a release said.

Read More

Forest Fires

Elephant Hill fire poses ‘no significant threat’ to City of Kamloops

InfoTel News
August 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – The Elephant Hill wildfire is burning far enough away from the City of Kamloops that there’s no significant threat at this point. Kamloops Fire Rescue says in a news release that the blaze is about 40 kilometres away from city boundaries. Although it poses no imminent threat, Kamloops Fire Rescue has prepared a wildfire protection plan. It includes additional firefighter support and equipment, and if necessary, executing a measured evacuation. Kamloops Fire Rescue is monitoring how close nearby fires are to Kamloops and they’re in daily communication with B.C. Wildfire. The release states there has been some confusion about how close the fire is to the city, as online wildfire maps can be easily misread.

Read More

Citizens save the day

Darren Handschuh
Castanet
August 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

They don’t have an official fire department, but residents of Paul Lake near Kamloops have each other. A spontaneous response by 30 residents early Monday not only saved the day, but the forest as well. Resident Ed Lund said strong winds knocked power lines onto an outbuilding, which caught fire about 12:30 a.m. The flames melted phone lines, cutting off calls for help. …By the time BC Wildfire crews arrived, the residents had the flames knocked down. The fire flared up again later that morning, but Lund said charged lines were left in place, and the hot spots were quickly knocked down.

Read More

BC’s wildfire season surpasses 1958 record for amount of land burned

Canadian Press in The Kelowna Daily Courier
August 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – British Columbia’s wildfires have destroyed a record amount of forest, brush and grassland, surpassing the devastation of nearly 60 years ago. Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service said about 8,944 square kilometres have been scorched by fires, breaking the previous record of 8,550 square kilometres, set in 1958. …Agriculture officials at the federal and provincial government levels are also working to tally damages that farmers and ranchers have suffered as a result of the fires. Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and B.C. counterpart Lana Popham met in Victoria on Tuesday. Popham said she understands people are facing “extraordinary costs” after their land, equipment, crop and livestock were destroyed and both levels of governments are working as quickly as possible to deliver help.

Read More

Forest fire up Fall Creek burning in heavy timber, scar of 2003 fire

KVAL
August 15, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOWELL, Ore. – A lightning-caused fire has burned 2,380 acres of heavy timber east of Eugene/Springfield. The fire is 3 percent contained. The Jones Fire was discovered Thursday, August 10. The next day, a towering plume of smoke could be seen from parts of the metro area. The fire is burning about 10 miles northeast of Lowell. No homes have beeen destroyed, but private timber lands and public lands are threatened by the fire, according to a daily briefing. A public meeting on the fire is planned at the Lowell Fire Hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday. “The fire is partially burning in the 2003 Clark fire footprint which has a number of standing dead trees as well as dangerous snags,” fire managers said in a briefing Tuesday. “The fire has been challenging for fire resources due to steep terrain, unimproved roads, and limited accessibility to the fire lines.”

Read More

Lincoln wildfire roars to life

By Karl Puckett
Great Falls Tribune
August 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LINCOLN — It sounded like a jet airplane. “That’s the fire making a run,” said Al Ward, division supervisor for the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Type II team, as the Arrastra Creek Fire reared up and roared across a ridge. Ward was just inside the containment line watching as the fire blasted a devilish brew of white and black smoke, and groups of trees exploded in orange flames. “Then you’ll hear boom!, boom! boom!, and that’s trees falling,” Ward added. On cue, what sounded like pops of gunfire exploded as trees or branches crashed to the ground.

Read More

Oregon National Guard heads to wildfire near Crater Lake

By Andrew Selsky
Associated Press in The Bulletin
August 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

  — Spc. Alex Beall, an Oregon National Guard member who fought in the war in Afghanistan, is being deployed along with more than 100 fellow guard members to take on a different foe: A wildfire at the state’s iconic Crater Lake. More than 100 members of the Oregon National Guard received refresher wildland firefighting training Tuesday at site outside of Salem, the state capital. They were among 375 citizen soldiers and airmen who also fought fires in 2015, including a wildfire near the small city of John Day that destroyed 43 homes and nearly 100 barns, workshops and other structures.

Read More

Umpqua forest wildfire spurs evacuation in Douglas County

By Samantha Matsumoto
The Oregonian
August 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Residents in a Douglas County community were evacuated from their homes Wednesday night as wildfires scorched over a thousand acres near the Umpqua National Forest. Fire officials issued level 3 evacuation notice for the Dry Creek and Illahee area. They urged residents to leave immediately as the Umpqua North Complex fires burned across 1,410 acres Wednesday evening.  Residents in Moore Hill Lane in Idleyd Park are on a level 2 evacuation notice, meaning they should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.  The complex is several fires that started Aug. 11 in the Umpqua National Forest about 50 miles east of Roseburg. The fires’ causes are under investigation. 

Read More

Firefighters contain destructive wildfire near Athens

By Alkis Konstantinidis and Phoebe Fronista
Reuters
August 17, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

ATHENS – Firefighters on Wednesday contained a wildfire burning for nearly four days near Athens after it destroyed thousands of hectares of pine forest and dozens of homes. The fire broke out on Sunday in Kalamos, a coastal holiday spot some 45 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital, and spread quickly to three more towns, stoked by strong and changing winds. By Wednesday afternoon, the blaze had decreased in intensity and the perimeter contained by firefighters was expanding, Fire Service Spokeswoman Stavroula Maliri said. Rugged terrain dotted with small communities had made the fire-fighting in the towns near Athens difficult, with winds rekindling the blaze at many spots.

Read More

Company & Business News

Rhetoric over: Three-nation effort to revise NAFTA begin

By Paul Wiseman
Associated Press in the Tampa Bay Times
August 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, President Donald Trump reserved particular scorn for one: The North American Free Trade Agreement. The NAFTA agreement with Mexico and Canada was “the worst trade deal in history,” candidate Trump declared. …But it’s clear that delivering on Trump’s campaign promises will be difficult. A new version of NAFTA would require approval from a divided Congress. …The administration has riled Canada, for example, by saying it wants to eliminate a dispute-resolution process established under NAFTA. That process lets Mexico and Canada appeal unfavorable rulings by U.S. courts and agencies in trade cases. …But the panels have a reputation for overturning U.S. trade decisions. That is especially so in cases involving Canadian softwood timber imports to the United States — a long-standing source of conflict.

Read More

NAFTA talks ‘absolutely fundamental’ to provincial economy, says manufacturers group

By Viola Press
CBC News
August 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Joel Richardson

As talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement kicked off Wednesday, a lot is on the line for New Brunswick businesses trading with the United States. Fifty per cent of the province’s gross domestic product is tied to exports, and New Brunswick is the most extensive trade economy in the country, said Joel Richardson, regional vice-president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. He said the renewed NAFTA negotiations are “absolutely fundamental” to the provincial economy. …While Freeland remained optimistic ahead of Wednesday, she also announced earlier this week that Canada could walk away from the talks if the U.S. pushed to remove a key dispute-settlement mechanism in the trade deal. The so-called Chapter 19 regulates disputes between companies over dumping and illegal subsidies, including cases such as softwood lumber.

Read More

Norpac to slash production; potential layoffs loom

By Marissa Luck
Longview Daily News
August 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Norpac will slash its production by nearly a third in October, idling one of three paper machines at the Longview mill in effort to remain competitive, the papermaker announced Wednesday. The production cut could lead to an unknown number of layoffs at one of Longview’s major employers. About 400 non-unionized employees work at Norpac, but the company said it was unsure how personnel changes could pan out in the coming months. Employees reportedly were told that possible layoffs could be based on a mix of seniority and mill needs, according to millworkers.

Read More

Resolute Forest Products in Charleston to lay off 31 percent of its workforce

NewsChannel9.com
August 15, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

CHARLESTON, Tenn. — Citing slumping demand, Resolute Forest Products in Charleston (former known as Bowater) has announced a restructuring plan at its plant that will result in a total of 222 layoffs out of its workforce of 713 people – or 31 percent. The company said on Tuesday that the paper machines #3 and #5 at the Calhoun plant will permanently close. Spokeswoman Debbie Johnston says “This decision is motivated by challenging long-term market conditions – including unprecedented demand decline – for newsprint and uncoated groundwood paper produced on the machines.” She says sales for those grades are down 8 percent for the first six months of 2017, and down 52 percent over the last decade.

Read More

EXPO 2017: A Great Success!

Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition
August 15, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

The 2017 edition of the Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition – Expo 2017 – was a spectacular showcase for the wood products industry in Atlanta. Sponsored and conducted by the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) every two years since 1950, this event has traditionally included many of the biggest names in the business displaying everything from sawmill machin- ery to materials handling equipment, attracting key representatives from the nation’s largest wood products manufacturers. For three days, 186 exhibitors displayed the latest equipment, technology and services available. Fea- turing a oor plan that was larger than the 2015 event with nearly 2,000 exhibitors and visitors in at- tendance, Expo 2017 covered more than 55,000 square feet in two halls of the Georgia World Congress Center. And the growth of the show was evidenced by the list of 35 rst-time exhibitors. Click here to see a collection of photos from the show.

Read More

Stora Enso to invest EUR31m in new PE coating line in Beihai, China

Packaging Business Review
August 16, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Finland-based pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso is planning to complete its investments in various assets by 2019. The company is investing €31m a new polyethylene coating line in the new consumer board mill in Beihai, China. …€70m in a new polyethylene extrusion coating plant at Imatra mills in Finland. …€16m in a new chemical facility at the consumer board mill in Skoghall of Sweden. …€16m in Skutskär mill of Sweden …€9.1m in the consumer board mills in Imatra and Ingerois of Finland and Fors of Sweden, as part of its efforts to support the commercialisation of microfibrillated cellulose. Stora Enso will invest about €26.5m in Skutskär pulp mill… €28m at the Heinola Fluting mill. …€45m in a new production unit for cross laminated timber (CLT), which is related with the Gruvön Mill in Sweden.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wildfires are a climate change wake-up call

By David Suzuki
BC Local News
August 16, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Suzuki

Wildfires are sweeping B.C. Close to 900 have burned through 600,000 hectares so far this year, blanketing western North America with smoke. Fighting them has cost more than $230 million — and the season is far from over. It’s not just B.C. Thousands of people from B.C. to California have fled homes as fires rage. Greenland is experiencing the largest blaze ever recorded, one that Prof. Stef Lhermitte of Delft University in the Netherlands called “a rare and unusual event.” Fires have spread throughout Europe, North America and elsewhere. In June, dozens of people died in what’s being called Portugal’s worst fire ever. Meanwhile, from Saskatchewan to Vietnam to New Zealand, floods have brought landslides, death and destruction.

Read More

Tropical trees maintain high carbon accumulation rates into old age

Phys.org
August 16, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Tropical trees maintain high carbon accumulation rates into old age, according to a study published August 16, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Michael Köhl from the Universität Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues. Trees play an important role in mitigating climate change by storing carbon in their biomass. While old trees are generally acknowledged for their long-term carbon storage, a lack of long-term individual tree data makes it difficult to estimate carbon accumulation over a tree’s lifetime. …The researchers found that the rates of growth and carbon accumulation of the trees varied significantly more throughout their lifetime compared to trees in managed forests, although as expected younger trees generally stored less carbon, and older trees stored more. In contrast, the trees studied in this natural tropical forest also maintained high carbon accumulation rates toward the end of their lives, accumulating 39-50% of their final carbon stock in the last quarter of their lifetimes.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

“Women in Wood” promotes women in an industry dominated by men

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
August 16, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lloyd Alter, Kathy Abusow, and Alexis Ashworth

Wood is a growing industry, so to speak. When sustainably harvested and managed, it is the greenest building material. That’s why codes are being revised and more, taller wood buildings are being built. But from right where it starts in the forest, where most of the fellers (that’s what they call lumberjacks) are fellers, the industry is dominated by men. Women are in fact only 18.4 percent of the industry. (I would have thought it was even lower!) So I was intrigued to learn that there is actually a bit of a movement happening, called Women in Wood,and that they were helping build some houses for Habitat for Humanity near Ottawa, Canada, just a few hours away from me. …SFI is the main sponsor of Women in Wood, and its members have donated thousands of hours to Habitat for Humanity, and is making a big push to support indigenous housing in Canada. 

Read More

Tall wood buildings: Going up

College of Forestry
Oregon State University
August 16, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Ari Sinha, Andre Barbosa and Chris Higgins are working on a project called “Framework” (Framework Project LLC), a 12-story, mixed-use structure in north Portland. It was created by a team from LEVER Architects and Project. The project won the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, a contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. The team was awarded $1.5 million toward the project. “The USDA grant will allow the project to engage the exploratory phase, including the research and development necessary to utilize Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and other engineered wood products in high-rise construction in the United States,” LEVER says.

Read More

Maine company seeks to produce innovative wood-fiber insulating boards

By Tux Turkel
Portland Press Herald
August 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Maine’s glut of softwood fiber created by closed paper mills makes the state an ideal location for a factory that can produce insulation board from wood, a Belfast architectural and construction firm says, and it’s trying to find a European manufacturer that shares that vision. …GO Logic also has been in discussions with a Maine lumber company that could be a source of sawmill waste, as well as a family-owned lumber yard with nine stores in Maine’s midcoast. Taken together, these actions are another example of how businesses are looking at Maine’s abandoned paper mill sites and surplus capacity in wood harvesting to create new opportunities. Other efforts involve biofuels, agriculture and electricity generation.

Read More

Quality assurance of NZ wood products moves to new level

Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association of New Zealand
August 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

New Zealand wood products already undergo strict and independent, third-party scrutiny to ensure that they comply with the NZ Building Code. All NZ wood products are made to standards and codes set by the official NZ standards body, Standards New Zealand, and by the building industry regulator, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Adherence to these standards is then assured through inspection by independent verifiers operating throughout the country. … “That said, in this day and age, customers require much more from our product range. Our customers want to be assured that the products they are buying come with hard evidence that they are doing the right thing for the environment”, says WPMA Chair, Brian Stanley. “This is why I’m delighted to announce today that the WPMA and thinkstep Ltd are working together to enable processors and manufacturers of NZ wood products to state with certainty the environmental impacts of the products they produce and the processes they use.”

Read More