Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 25, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Markets sustain hurricane-fuelled price surge for third week

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 25, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Random Lengths says lumber and OSB prices were up again last week as the hurricane-fuelled price surge continued for a third week. Meanwhile, RISI reports the biggest monthly NBSK market pulp hikes in memory due to hot Chinese pulp demand.

On softwood lumber, Maine Governor LePage’s accusation—that corporate greed is causing skyrocketing lumber prices—is “illogical and irresponsible“, according to the owners of Pleasant River Lumber. Meanwhile, Canada’s former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney says NAFTA’s Chapter 19 dispute panels “served all three parties brilliantly“, while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveils his plan to make Australia’s forest industry an international powerhouse.

Although the Forest Fire section of the News has been retired for another season, stories on fire and forest management—good and bad—endure:

Finally, wood is featured for its earthquake performance (vis-a-vis Mexico), its new highpoint (24 storey in Vienna), its potential (in New Zealand)  and its beauty (there once was a man from Nantucket…).

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Robot tree climbing chainsaw

By Andrew Liszewski
Gizmodo
September 23, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

If you thought lumberjack would be one of the last jobs to be replaced by robots and automated machinery, you’ll want to re-plan your future after watching this tree-climbing, chainsaw-wielding contraption shimmy up a trunk while slicing off every single branch in its path. …But as the Instagram account that posted the video, Hand Tool Rescue, asks, “How does it know when to stop?”

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Forestry

B.C. wildfire season could lead to tree planting boom

By Simon Little
Global News
September 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Lawrence

It’s a potential silver lining to B.C.’s devastating, record-setting wildfire season: a possible boom in the tree-planting industry. …“It takes time to grow seedlings, so we won’t see huge increases into 2018, but into 2019 and beyond we’ll definitely see numbers coming up,” said John Lawrence, CEO with Brinkman and Associates Reforestation. …He said replanting fire-ravaged areas could both boost those numbers, and potentially extend the planting season for people already in the industry. “Typically if there is a salvage logging operation that takes some time. In some of these areas they’ll want to do some assessments because in some areas natural regrowth of the forest will be an important component and we wouldn’t necessarily need to move too quickly on planting, we’d want to see how that comes about first.”

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To prevent future forest fires, investment must be made now

By Tim Ryan, RPF, Chair, Forest Practices Board
The Merritt Herald
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tim Ryan, RPF

From Sept. 23 to 30, Canada will be marking National Forest Week. Established around 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week, the origins were to encourage greater public awareness towards Canada’s forests. At the time, the greatest threat to forests came from forest fires, mainly due to human causes. Since then, National Forest Week, as it was renamed in 1967, has evolved to encompass the many and varied human and environmental aspects of Canada’s forest resources — past, present and future. While much has changed in the last century, one could be forgiven for concluding that once again, the greatest threat comes from forest fires, only now due in large part to climate change. …It’s time for B.C. to start being proactive — not reactive — when it comes to wildland fire. What’s needed is leadership to galvanize action and for all parties to get involved — the province, municipal governments, First Nations, the forest industry and individual citizens.

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Allowable Annual Cut will be impacted by fires

By Jim Hilton, retired agrologist and forester
Williams Lake Tribune
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the number and intensity of the wildfires in 2017 there will be an impact on the allowable annual cut (AAC) but the question is how much of an impact and when will it come. The most immediate impact of the wildfires will be the need to harvest the dead and damaged wildfire trees. …The challenge for the government and licensees will be to harvest as much of dead/damaged material as possible before they move back to the green timber which will be in shorter supply forcing a reduced allowable annual cut (AAC). The only way to determine an accurate AAC is to have a new determination based on a re-inventory of the Crown forest land and in particular the timber harvest land base.

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Waterton forest will renew after wildfire, but it will take decades: Experts

By Lauren Krugel
The Daily Courier
September 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WATERTON, Alta. – Lockey Craig figures he’ll be long gone by the time Waterton Lakes National Park returns to its former beauty. “I’m 56 so I’m thinking before I die, it won’t look good,” says the president of Waymarker Hospitality, which runs several hotels and restaurants in the southwestern Alberta park. A powerful wildfire tore through Waterton about two weeks ago. Fire crews managed to save the townsite, but many other parts of the mountainous park were torched, including popular hiking and boating spots. “It will be decades before the forest looks like it used to, no question about that,” Craig says. “The long-term impacts on the guest experience and visitation in Waterton are going to be horrific, no question about it. 

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Board to audit Downie Street Sawmills

BC Forest Practices Board
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of Downie Street Sawmills on forest licence A31102, near Revelstoke, during the week of Oct. 2, 2017. Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning, carried out between October 2015 and October 2017, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, as well as the requirements of the Revelstoke Higher Level Plan Order. The order requires the licensee to comply with government objectives for biodiversity emphasis, mature and old forests, and caribou and grizzly bear habitat management.

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More elms marked for death right now than have been in Winnipeg for 20 years

By Bryce Hoye
CBC News
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

City forester Martha Barwinsky

There are more trees marked for death right now than Winnipeg has seen since the mid-1990s, and the city’s forester says the backlog of infected elms is helping Dutch elm disease spread. “Basically we just don’t have enough resources to keep up with these high numbers,” Martha Barwinsky said.  “We’ve reached a critical point in the management of Dutch elm now, and definitely we need to get this backlog dealt with.” At about 230,000 individual trees, Winnipeg is home to the largest population of American elms in North America. The city’s forestry branch estimates there will be 8,321 trees tagged with those ominous orange dots by Sept. 30 — including 821 that were marked in 2015 and 2016 and still haven’t been cut down.

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Forest industry steps up to support Thompson Rivers University saw filer program

By Angie Mindus
Williams Lake Tribune
September 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Saw Filer Apprenticeship Program at Thompson Rivers University Willams Lake Campus got some much appreciated support from industry this week. Canfor and HMT Machine Tools Canada teamed up to donate a Vollmer CHC20 top and face grinder to TRU’s saw filer program. The saw filer program, the only one of its kind in Canada and the Western United States, has seen 219 graduates since it started in 2013 and shows no signs of slowing down. “There is a lot of excitement among industry to see that program brought back,” said Travis Emel, operations training lead for Canfor, of the TRU saw filing program. Emel and many others were on hand for the unveiling of the equipment in the trades department at TRU Monday. 

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What goes on at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre?

Soo Today
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Natural Resources Canada’s Great Lakes Forestry Centre invites you to celebrate National Forest Week by participating in fun and informative tours, led by friendly and knowledgeable forestry experts.

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Sensible land management serves our community well

Letter by Steve Clark
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
September 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state’s DNRC proposal to harvest live and dead timber in the Limestone area seems to have revived some old and tired laments from those who don’t mind coming here to live in wood houses and enjoy the benefits of roads and schools that receive funding via revenue generated by certain state lands as per the Montana constitution. …Given the build-up of forest fuels generated by three bark beetle attacks since the early ’80s, there is essentially an entire forest laying on the ground over thousands of acres directly above town.  …With the tragedy unfolding in Texas and Florida and the tremendous demand for wood about to hit the national market, maybe there are other values of a higher concern right now than what is being proffered by those with means or who simply want to obstruct any sensible land management. 

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Idaho, Forest Service work to boost logging on federal land

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in The Oregonian
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

The U.S. Forest Service and Idaho have forged 10 agreements for logging and restoration projects on federal land in what officials say could become a template for other Western states to create jobs and reduce the severity of wildfires. Under the deals, Idaho foresters will administer timber sales on about 10,000 acres (40 square kilometers) the federal agency has on its to-do list but can’t complete because the money for the work is instead going to fight wildfires. So far this year, the cost of that fight has surpassed $2 billion — more than half the federal agency’s annual budget — during one of the worst fire seasons on record in the West. The state work involves managing timber sales to a lumber company after determining how much is available and sometimes even marking what can and can’t be cut.

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South Dakota forest officials rush to finish timber analysis

Associated Press in Gillette News Record
September 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The U.S. Forest Service is hurrying to finish an analysis of available timber in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest following the pine beetle epidemic. The work usually takes a decade, but forest officials are trying to finish in two years. Forest officials announced in March the end of a 20-year mountain pine beetle epidemic that affected about 450,000 acres, or roughly a third of the forest. The beetles kill pine trees and left large areas of the forest brown. Officials hope the accelerated analysis will help the Forest Service decide the appropriate amount of logging to allow now that the epidemic has ended. The forest is well-known for its significance in the timber industry.

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Gianforte pushes for forest management on tour stop

By Patrick Reilly
The Daily Inter Lake
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte took his “Forest Jobs Tour” to Columbia Falls Friday, touring F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company and calling for changes in forest policy. Speaking with reporters and employees at the firm’s 94-year-old mill, Gianforte stressed the need for some logging and thinning, or “forest management,” to tame future wildfires and boost Montana’s economy. “When we do forest management, we have more habitat, there’s more wildlife, there’s more hunting opportunities, we have more jobs in our mills, and fires are less intense and don’t spread as far,” he told the Daily Inter Lake. …“The intent of this,” Gianforte told reporters, “is to allow input from the community, so all voices are heard, but to reduce the frivolous lawsuits from environmental extremists.”

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Federal court upholds contentious ‘roadless rule’ for national forests

By Jacob Resneck
KTOO Public Media
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal court upheld a rule limiting road construction and logging on about 50 million acres of national forestland nationwide. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision Thursday was hailed by Alaska conservation groups defending the U.S. Forest Service’s roadless rule. “It’s a huge victory,” said Meredith Trainor, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council which opposes expanded logging in the Tongass National Forest. “The state of Alaska has been attacking the roadless rule almost since the rule was first written back in the early 2000s. The roadless rule protects intact forested lands within the national forest system, so it obviously has a big impact on the people of Southeast Alaska and the Tongass National Forest.”

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4FRI thinning, tree removal ramps up near Parks

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A 1,039-acre tree thinning and log removal project associated with the Four Forest Restoration Initiative has begun on the Kaibab National Forest west of Flagstaff. The timber sale area is located about 11 miles north of Parks just south of Forest Road 171 and west of Kendrick Mountain Wilderness near Pumpkin Center. As the tree cutting and removal work progresses, residents and visitors can expect to see heavy, mechanized equipment and workers in the project area and an increasing number of log trucks traveling along the haul route. Harvesting operations are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The major haul route will be from the project area south along Forest Road 141 through Parks to Interstate 40. It is possible that there could be a significant number of trucks hauling timber through this area until project completion.

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Initiative benefits future of forests

By Kathy Moser, Department of Environmental Conservation
Albany Times Union
September 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Kathy Moser

Given questions regarding the Department of Environmental Conservation’s young forest initiative, we thought it important to set the record straight on our science-based initiative to advance forest management in Wildlife Management Areas across New York to enhance habitat and improve forest health. The young forest initiative provides multiple benefits, from restoring populations of declining species to sustaining forests for future generations. Launched to help declining species such as American woodcock and eastern box turtle, New York’s young forest initiative is part of a collaborative, 18-state effort to create young forest habitat to benefit more than 50 at-risk species.

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Hundreds of acres of Moray forestry to be felled to prevent spread of infectious disease

By David MacKay
Press and Journal
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Thousands of lodgepole pine trees on the Glenlivet Estate will be felled in an attempt to protect the rest of the species. Plants on the Crown Estate land have become infected with red band needle blight, which is caused by fungus. Attractions at Glenlivet will close at the end of October until Easter while about 200 acres of “dead or dying woodland” is cleared. Two large harvesting machines will move in on the land to work for several months. Most of the wood is expected to have degraded and will be used as biomass fuel. …The large site will be replanted over the next two years to coincide with an expected upsurge in the pine weevil population, which feed on roots of felled trees.

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Fiji’s forestry sector

The Fiji Times
September 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…The forestry sector in Fiji is managed mainly by the Ministry of Forests with the aim of adopting a more modern approach through a process known as multiple use management. This facilitates the provision of timber resources, bio-energy production, habitat preservation, clean water production, biodiversity conversation, employment and carbon sink. It is estimated that Fiji is covered by approximately 1.1 million hectares (ha) of forests, representing 56 per cent of the total land area (Global Canopy Programme, 2017). This includes 526,453ha of native forest, 76,171ha of pine forest and 54,000ha of mahogany forest. Fiji’s major forest commodities include mahogany, pine and woodchips, sandalwood and teak.

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Company & Business News

LePage’s Canada-first message hurts Maine sawmills

By Jason and Chris Brochu, owners, Pleasant River Lumber
Bangor Daily News
September 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

In his recent address to Maine, Gov. Paul LePage recently made the accusation that corporate greed from U.S. lumber producers is causing “skyrocketing” lumber prices. This is illogical and irresponsible. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we feel it is our responsibility to defend our industry from our governor’s false claims. Worse yet, he used the devastation of the recent hurricanes to call for a Canada-first trade policy, risking the jobs of hundreds of thousands of American workers. We run four lumber mills in Maine that directly employ more than 300 people and indirectly support thousands of workers throughout the state….For decades, the U.S. softwood lumber industry has dealt with Canada’s unfair trade practices. …In this environment, U.S. mills struggle to maintain production and employment levels even though we have the capacity and desire to grow and add more jobs.

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Markets sustained, hurricane fuelled, price surge for third week

By Paul Quinn and Charan Sanghera
RBC Capital Markets
September 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Random Lengths reported that W. SPF prices were up again this week (+$7) to $423/ mfbm. Order files are into the latter half of of October as some buyers are still trying to cover fall needs. SYP prices up $17 to $403/mfbm as “markets sustained a hurricane fuelled price surge for a 3rd consecutive week”. …OSB – Prices increased again this week, with all regions topping $400/msf for the first time since early 2013. …US Housing starts figures likely to see near-term weakness/volatility. …Another trade dispute looming as Norpac’s filing against Canadian newsprint and mechanical specialty imports gets off the ground. The decision now sparks an approximately year- long US DoC and ITC investigation. …Hot Chinese pulp demand driving strong pricing – According to RISI, NBSK market pulp producers announced the biggest monthly hikes in memory for shipments to China.

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Solar Panels Perfect Case Of Protectionism Costing More Jobs Than It Saves

By Jeffrey Dorfman
Forbes Magazine
September 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The International Trade Commission ruled on Friday that imported solar panels from China and other countries were injuring U.S. manufacturers which will provide President Trump with the opportunity to impose tariffs. However, to protect the jobs of Americans who manufacture solar panels, the President would have to endanger the jobs of a larger groups of Americans: those who install the solar panels at our homes and businesses. …This type of situation where saving some jobs comes at the cost of other jobs is not unusual, but rather is the standard in international trade disputes. American lumber producers complain about cheap Canadian lumber imports, but Home Depot, Lowe’s and the construction industry all gain jobs from that cheaper lumber. President George W. Bush provided protection to U.S. steel producers, but at a cost of perhaps 200,000 U.S. jobs in steel consuming industries such as auto manufacturing.

 

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Save NAFTA’s Chapter 19, says Mulroney: ‘We had quite a fight in 1987 to get it’

By Armina Ligaya
Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
September 22, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

B. Mulroney and C. Freeland

TORONTO — Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney says it’s worth saving a key NAFTA dispute-settlement mechanism that he fought hard to include in the original bilateral free-trade deal, as the U.S. now calls for its elimination. Mulroney says this system of private-arbitration panels in the North American Free Trade Agreement known as Chapter 19 has served “all three parties brilliantly for many years.” “Some people disagree with that assessment, but they can make their case at the bargaining table and we see where it come. …It regulates disputes between companies over dumping, used successfully by Canada in cases such as the battle over softwood lumber. However, Washington critics have long detested Chapter 19, and have called for the arbitration system to be overhauled.

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Forestry Challenges and Bright Future Outlined at COFI Dinner

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
September 22, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

Prince George, B.C. – The Council of Forest Industries  gathered in Prince George last evening for a  dinner,  and an opportunity to   talk about the challenges, and opportunities that lie ahead. COFI CEO Susan Yurkovich  admits there are  a number of  current issues facing  the industry,  not the least of which is  the  softwood lumber agreement, but the  wildfires of the  summer  of 2017  are  also a major factor, “We have tough times,  we’ve had tough times as an industry before, and the thing  about this sector is it’s highly resilient.”  …Although there are challenges,  Yurkovich says there  are many  great things happening in the industry, “We’ve got a ton of things we are doing to try  to work to diversify our markets, so when we talk  about innovation, it’s not just about innovation of products and new  technology, we are also innovating to find  new markets, so in-fill wall systems,  taller buildings,  there’s a ton of work going on there, and that’s really exciting. ”

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Carole James on taxes, spending and economic risks

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 22, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Exports up 12.8%, retail sales up 8.8%, employment up 3.8%… Without acknowledging the previous government that helped put it in that position, Carole James boasted of B.C.’s strong fiscal position. ….James pointed out that B.C. has insulated itself somewhat from U.S. trade dispute shocks through export market diversification. Whereas 75% of all B.C. lumber went to the U.S. when the last softwood lumber agreement was signed in 2006, it’s now down to 65%… However, B.C.’s forestry industry now has a new challenge, thanks to this season’s unprecedented wildfires, which wiped out about a year’s worth of annual allowable cut. James confirmed that the loss of so much timber will have a long-term impact. “There’s a lot of fibre in that area that will now be pulled out of market,” James said.

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Wildfire salvage timber: Tolko finds hope when all seems lost

By Janice Lockyer
Williams Lake Tribune
September 22, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

As forest fires tore through the Cariboo this summer, and the evacuation order was issued, the top priority for everyone was to protect people, their homes and the assets of the community. The same was true for Tolko Industries Ltd. “With two operations in Williams Lake, our main concern was making sure our employees were safely evacuated and our mills were well protected,” said General Manager, Cariboo Lumber, Randy Chadney. “We had great support from our Tolko team, particularly our Woodlands team, the community and the various wildfire professionals here in town and in the forests.

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Despite setbacks and questions, a company pursues new multimillion-dollar markets for Maine wood

By Tux Turkel
Portland Press Herald
September 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Arthur House

BUCKSPORT — …an entrepreneur is trying to write a new chapter in Maine’s forest products industry. …Last week, loads of logs were put into containers and trucked to Boston, where cargo ships are expected to bring them this week to China to become lumber. But Boston is only an interim step on a proposed path to transform Bucksport, as well as nearby Searsport, into a fiber hub where ships can call to export underutilized Maine wood to Asia and Europe. Much has been said and written about the potential for repurposing the five Maine paper mills that have closed over the past three years, and the challenges of finding new markets for 4 million tons of wood once used for pulp and power. There have been setbacks, and Arthur House, president of Searsport-based Maine Woods Biomass Exports LLC, has had his share.

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Arsonists on NSW north coast in sights of Forestry Corporation

By Helen Merkell
ABC News, Australia
September 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Hidden cameras are being rolled out in north coast New South Wales state forests in a bid to prevent people deliberately lighting bushfires. The Forestry Corporation of NSW said 70 additional cameras were going into forests around Wauchope, Taree, the Hunter, Coffs and Casino. Forest protection manager Karel Zejbrlik said ranger patrols were also being ramped up in all state forests to try and catch arsonists, after a spate of suspicious fires. “The people lighting these fires are criminals,” Mr Zejbrlik said. “They’re not only putting the lives of members of the public in danger, but firefighters. “The activities these arsonists are conducting are criminal activities, and it can take a week to stop and round up the fires that they are causing.

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Forests jobs are a priority for the Hodgman Government ahead of state election

By Guy Barnett
The Mercury Australia
September 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Minister Guy Barnett

TASMANIA — Hodgman Liberal Government’s commitment to rebuilding Tasmania’s forest industry is about growing investment, creating jobs, increasing exports and confidence and ending public subsidies. Since the 2014 election we’ve seen that our plan is working, with a 33 per cent increase in forestry jobs and a 32 per cent increase in production since 2013-14. In addition, following the recent announcement of a fantastic $60.7 million agreement for forestry rights for pulpwood plantations, Sustainable Timber Tasmania will be debt free and well on the way to being commercially sustainable.

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Turnbull unveils plan for Australia’s ‘forest industry international powerhouse’

By Colin Bettles
North Queensland Register
September 24, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull

AUSTRALIA — A strategy plan to help inject longer term certainty and sustainability to boost the $23 billion forest industry’s economic output – especially in the regions – has been revealed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Turnbull announced the National Forest Industries Plan would be pursued by his government to ensure the forestry industry was a “growth engine” for regional Australia. …“So tonight I’m very pleased to announce that (Assistant Agriculture and Water Resources Minister) Anne Ruston will help us develop a new government plan that will underpin growth in the renewable timber and wood-fibre industry. …“Above all this is an industry that looks to the future, to advanced manufacturing, biofuels, new carbon-positive building such as XLam’s new cross-laminated timber plant near Wodonga, the first of its kind in Australia.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Stop Blaming Wildfire Season on Poor Forest Management

Letter by Todd Tanner, freelance writer
Flathead Beacon
September 23, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

I noticed that Sen. Steve Daines seems to be blaming the lion’s share of Montana’s incredibly bad 2017 wildfire season on forest mismanagement. Sadly, Daines doesn’t know what he’s talking about. …Just so we’re clear, NASA has stated that last year – 2016 – was the planet’s hottest year on record. It broke the old high-temperature record, which was set back in 2015. The previous record was set in 2014. That’s right. The three hottest years ever recorded have been the last three years. In case there’s any doubt in your mind, human-caused climate change is real, it’s happening right now, and it’s threatening our future.

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Burning biomass for electricity costly, says UGA researchers

By Lee Shearer
Athens Banner-Herald
September 24, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Burning wood pellets to produce electricity is a costly alternative, University of Georgia researchers have found. Bin Mei, a professor in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, teamed with Purdue University professor Michael Wetzstein to analyze the dollars and cents of this type of biomass burning. Wood pellets are widely used in Europe to produce electricity on an industrial scale. European countries have turned to wood pellets as one alternative in a drive to reduce consumption of fossil fuels such as coal. But that switch carries a high price, both in the cost of the wood pellets and in the cost of retooling coal plants so that they can burn wood pellets.

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Japan fires up biomass energy as fuel shortage looms

The Nation Newspaper
September 22, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As the sun sets on Japan’s solar energy boom, companies and investors are rushing into wood-burning biomass projects to lock in still-high government subsidies. More than 800 projects have already won government approval, offering 12.4 gigawatts (GW) of capacity –equal to 12 nuclear power stations and nearly double Japan’s 2030 target for biomass in its basic energy policy. The sheer number of projects has raised questions about how they will all find sufficient fuel, mostly shipped in from countries such as Canada and Vietnam, while some experts question the environmental credentials of such large-scale plants. The projects approved to date that use general wood fuel would need the equivalent of up to 60 million tonnes of wood pellets.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

See the world’s next tallest wood building: Timber Building Tour 2017

By Harry Urban
Woodworking Network
September 23, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Vancouver, BC — The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at the University of British Columbia in collaboration with the University of Northern British Columbia will lead a technical tour to Austria December 2-9, 2017. The tour will start in Vienna, with a visit to the construction site of the world’s next tallest wood building, the 24 story Ho Ho Tower. The next three days will be spent traveling through Austria visiting manufacturers of prefabricated energy efficient homes, modular building systems fabricators, and innovative mass- timber components manufacturers. The tour will culminate at the 23rd Holzbau Forum, the world’s largest international conference on wood building and design, in Garmisch Partenkirchen.

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Mexico’s powerful earthquakes deliver lessons for Victoria

By Sarah Petrescu
Victoria Times Colonist
September 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

A series of powerful earthquakes that struck Mexico this month have a lot to teach Vancouver Island about preparing for the Big One, experts say. “We have a very similar situation here,” said John Cassidy, a Sidney-based seismologist with Natural Resources Canada. “Both of these earthquakes in Mexico involved ocean plates being pushed down. We have the same situation with tectonic plates about 45 kilometres below Victoria.” …Cassidy said it’s important to recognize that the buildings in Victoria are very different from those in Mexico, due in part to B.C.’s stringent building code. “And in Victoria, most of the buildings are wood-framed, which fare better in shaking than the older concrete buildings in Mexico,” he said.

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Picturesque St-Sauveur domain was inspired by Nantucket Island charm

By Anne Gardon
Montreal Gazette
September 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

When building your dream home, construction experience, from building materials to workmanship, is a precious asset. The owner of this New-England style residence certainly did not lack expertise in this field. …When asked about where he got the inspiration for his design, Marcil mentions Nantucket, Mass. Western cedar wood was used for the walls, roof shingles and almost everything else, such as the door and window frames. Marcil is proud to point out there is not a square inch of Gyprock or plaster board anywhere to be found in the house. The outer walls were stained a pale greyish-blue to imitate the bleached look of wood exposed to the briny ocean air.

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Student housing

Letter by Derek Hodgin, professional engineer
The Post and Courier
September 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Derek A. Hodgin, P. E.

As students return to colleges across the country, many are moving into recently constructed mid-rise wood-frame buildings that are intended to meet minimum building code requirements, to be reasonably safe and durable. The mid-rise wood-frame student housing business is huge. There has been such a tremendous amount of construction, and competition is fierce. The industry has responded by spending money on amenities and marketing gimmicks to attract students, rather than on improved construction quality. Our forensic engineering firm has investigated water intrusion, wood rot, termites, fire-safety issues and structural failures on more than 20 mid-rise wood frame projects in the last two years, and they are becoming more frequent.

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NZ urged to build more high rises using wood

By Andrew McRae
Radio New Zealand News
September 23, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Tallwood House

Karla Fraser, a senior project manager at Urban One Builders in Vancouver, is in New Zealand for a conference in Rotorua later this week She worked on the Tallwood House at Brock Commons in Vancouver, the tallest timber building in the world, which opened in July. It is an 18-storey building housing students at the University of British Columbia. She said a fear of building high-rises with wood had meant the idea had been slow to take off. There had been concerns about moisture levels in the wood, and fire risk. Ms Fraser said a lot of work went into the design and testing of the building and fears had been assuaged. She said it made sense to use wood, particularly in countries with an abundance of timber like Canada and New Zealand.

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