Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 3, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Print media more trustworthy than digital due to Fake News

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 3, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Print media is more trustworthy than digital, according to a ten-country survey of consumers by Two Sides. Three of four respondents say “Fake News” is a worrying trend and only one in four trust the news stories they read on social media.

Oregon’s Natural Resource Report says the role of multiple hurricanes and fires are having their effect on demand and thus prices, while Random lengths says that the hurricane-fueled urgency has dissipated but lumber and OSB sales are still brisk.

RBC Capital Markets notes that some US lawmakers oppose the trade case against Canadian newsprint, and notwithstanding lumber duties, White River CEO Frank Dottori took up Resolute’s challenge and donated $20,000 worth lumber to help Houston rebuild.

Forest fires and related sagas refuse to go away with a new fire breaking out in BC’s Okanagan. On the saga front, headlines include:

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Silver Lake Forestry Camp

By Russ Paton
Silver Lake Forestry Centre
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Silver Lake and acres of surrounding forest provide ample room for campers to discover not just the wonders of nature, but the chance to learn, grow and thrive in a healthy outdoor environment. There’s something very special about overnight camps—lessons learned here last well beyond paddling a canoe for the first time or the final campfire—they help shape young lives and inspire new goals and dreams. Recently under new management, the camp is getting much needed infusion of life and programming energy. Check out this new video promoting this unique camping opportunity for youth in the Okanagan. Visit the camp’s website too. 

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Meet the 30-year-old who steered B.C. through the worst wildfire season on record

By Michelle Ghoussoub
CBC News
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kevin Skrepnek

To say that Kevin Skrepnek had a busy summer would be an understatement. As the chief fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service during the province’s worst wildfire season on record, he spent most of the past few months working 16-hour shifts. Between ensuring that government ministries and the public had the latest intelligence on dozens of wildfires, fielding calls from journalists and travelling into fire zones to provide first hand support, Skrepnek also became a dad. You’d think that Skrepnek, a cheerful 30-year-old who bears a striking resemblance to actor Seth Rogan, would be getting some rest. But as the summer turns to fall, Skrepnek has debriefs to complete and data to crunch — after all, the next wildfire season is right around the corner. 

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Keeping ‘close eye’ on fire

By Madison Erhardt
Castanet
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The fire burning in Okanagan Mountain Park is now 2 hectares in size. Fire information officer Justine Hunse, with the BC Wildfire Service, says it is burning at a Rank 1 and 2, meaning it is smouldering, with some open flame. Hunse said a “modified response” is being employed, in consultation with BC Parks. She explained that in the shoulder season when weather is cooler, there are benefits to letting a fire burn. It can clear forest floor debris, making summertime fires less likely. “Even though this a human-caused fire, there are benefits to modified response,” she said. “… So residents may not see the bombers and other activity, but rest assured, we are keeping a close eye on it.”

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Opportunity found in the ashes of local and global wildfires

By Suzanne King
The Ubyssey
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The blanket of smoke that enveloped the lower mainland this summer was a poignant reminder of the exacerbating effects that climate change and human influence have on forest ecology in our province. Countless records were broken — both at home and worldwide — as wildfires were also making headlines in Italy, Croatia, Spain, France and Portugal. According to the 2017 BC Wildfire Index, compiled by Dr. Lori Daniels, forest ecology professor in UBC’s faculty of forestry, B.C. broke 85 maximum temperature records this summer alone. …“With all the trees that have burned — over 1.2 million hectares of forest — we have lost in some areas … ten years’ worth of sustainable forest management and timber. Imagine those small communities in BC whose economies depend on the forest industry,” Daniels said.

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Fanning fear of fire and flood

Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Professional doom-mongers see a great opportunity in this season of B.C. wildfires and the belated return of U.S. hurricanes, which have been widely asserted to be caused by “climate change,”. Desperate, declining news media cranked up the hype. …Regarding fires, the most important news story I saw this summer was by Max Winkelman of the 100 Mile House Free Press… It reports on a UBC study of ancient Douglas fir trees in the Alex Fraser Research Forest near 150 Mile House. Scars on these trees record surface fires at an average interval of 15 years, from 1619 until 1943, when wartime technology for fire suppression put a sudden stop to them to protect timber. Researchers found a shift to denser forests, closer to communities, with a massive increase in fuel load. Why did B.C. record the largest area burned since wildfire records were kept starting in 1950? This is why.

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Forest fire breaks out across Okanagan Lake from Peachland

By Blaine Gaffney
Global News
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A small forest fire is burning in Okanagan Mountain Park — across the lake from Peachland, and it will continue to burn for a while yet. That’s because wildfire officials have decided not to attack the blaze and let it burn some of the ground fuel that has been accumulating in the park. They call it a modified response. “We’re keeping a close eye on the fire but given the fire-weather, the fuel conditions and the time of year, we don’t believe this fire is in any way going to threaten public homes, any public or private property. So the best we can do actually is let this fire burn,” Dale Bojahra of BC Wildfire Service said.

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Don’t censor forest research

By the Editorial Board
Billings Gazette
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Solid, unbiased research presents facts as they are, not as they were expected or preferred to be. Studies supported by taxpayer money should adhere to the highest standards of intellectual honesty. Yet when a University of Montana study of U.S. wildlife management law revealed findings that the U.S. Forest Service leadership didn’t expect — or like — the agency tried to stifle publication. The Forest Service told researchers at UM’s Bolle Center for People and Forests to take the report draft off the center’s website five days after it was posted in June. Dean Tom DeLuca of the UM Frank College of Forestry and Conservation declined to take the report down. The Forest Service objected to the title “Fish and Wildlife Management on Federal Lands: Debunking State Supremacy.” As The Missoulian’s Rob Chaney reported Sunday, three weeks later, the Forest Service terminated a two-year contract with the Bolle Center and its director, Martin Nie, citing the report’s “provocative title” as a reason.

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What the Trump administration doesn’t understand about wildfires

By Char Miller
Los Angeles Times
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The major fires erupting across the West this summer — and now into fall — have burned through more than 8 million acres and $2 billion, raining lung-clogging ash on residents of Seattle, Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, Anaheim and points east. It seems the right time to carefully assess wildland fire, its climate drivers and forest-health consequences.  Alas, that’s the last thing the Trump administration is interested in doing. Its key wildfire officials — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt — have refused to acknowledge the primary role that dangerous climatological factors, such as drought, heat and wind, play in energizing and propelling wildland fire. Instead, they’re fingering “radical environmentalists” who allegedly have scuttled timber sales that would have removed trees and reduced ignition sources.

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Timber Sale Completed in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

The Chronicle
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On Thursday, representatives from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest announced that 5.9 million board feet of timber from the Jane Timber Sale was sold to a business known as High Cascade, out of Carson. Some $525,000 of that sale will be applied to fund road construction and maintenance on 36 miles that will be used to transport the timber from the forest to a mill. Repairs will include surface rock replacement, replacing washed out roads from winter storms and fixing damaged culverts. Crews will also undertake roadside brush clearing, grading and spot patching of paved road sections. A press release sent by Susan Ripp of the Forest Service noted that, “Road improvements provide public benefit for those who access this part of the forest for hunting, enjoying a weekend drive, hiking, and other forest uses. Specifically for those that hike, access to the trail networks in the Trapper Creek Wilderness and the Siouxon area will be greatly improved.”

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Oregon Considering Added Protections For Reclusive Coastal Seabird

By Jes Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows that despite previous protections, the marbled murrelet is still in trouble. And now, the state is considering whether to list the sea bird as “endangered” under the state’s endangered species act. “Overall, it’s an imperiled species, but ultimately the question of whether to up-list or not, that’s a commission decision,” says Christina Donehower of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to make that decision in February. The murrelet was listed as “threatened” federally and by Oregon in the 1990s. Environmental groups are now asking for the change in status. Donehower says changing the status would force the state to develop an official plan to protect the bird.

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We don’t ‘let it burn,’ Forest Service official explains to a skeptical Oregon public

By Jeff Duewel
The Associated Press in the Seattle Times
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

AGNESS, Ore. — Forest Service officials spent over an hour explaining how the Chetco Bar fire went from the size of someone’s backyard to a conflagration that was bearing down on the town of Brookings within five weeks. “Point blank, the Forest Service does not have a let-it-burn policy,” Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Ross McWhorter indignantly answered one of about 20 people at the Agness RV Park next to the lower Rogue River. “Does that answer your question? Our goal was full suppression.” Four such meetings were called late last week to deal with a public fed up with breathing wildfire smoke from multiple fires in southern Oregon and around the West, and to respond to previous meetings where politicians and citizens called for drastic changes in forest management and fire policies. 

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Limpinwood logger ‘profiting from unauthorised works’

By Chris Dobney
Echo NetDaily
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental activists say a company that has been felling old-growth forest on a private property on Boormans Rd, Limpinwood, is being allowed to continue trucking out logs despite a temporary ban on further logging. There is growing anger in the little community between Tyalgum and Chillingham regarding the unauthorised logging and road works by Hewittville Pty Ltd, whose property borders World Heritage forests. …The group held a gathering at Boormans Road on Sunday (October 1) ‘in response to the lack of effective action by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA),’ Mr Sledge told Echonetdaily. ‘Officers from the EPA and Tweed Shire Council visited the logging site recently, and apparently told the Hewittville proprietor that he may take out logs already cut, but not to cut down more trees until matters are further investigated,’ he said.

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Spectral library reveals how boreal trees reflect solar radiation

By Aalto University
Phys.org
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International
The number of Earth observation satellites monitoring the environment is growing fast. New satellites are capable of distinguishing increasingly narrow bands of wavelengths and making increasingly frequent observations of forests globally. This opens up new opportunities in monitoring the state of forests and any changes in it.  … “We measured a total of more than 1 000 spectra from needle and leaf samples from arboretums and botanical gardens in the Helsinki region. We managed to get a total of 25 tree species to the spectral library. Many commercially important species from both North America and Eurasia are included, such as the Siberian larch and the black spruce and the white spruce, which are both common in Canada,” explains postdoctoral researcher Aarne Hovi. …The result benefits studies aimed at identifying different tree species from remote sensing material, as some of the current satellites are already capable of measuring the end of the shortwave-infrared region.

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Company & Business News

The Continuous Digester – what we learned last week

By Paul Quinn and Charan Sanghera
RBC Capital Markets
October 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Random Lengths reported that W. SPF prices were up $6 to $429/mfbm. …that “-fueled urgency dissipated” but mill sales were still brisk, keeping prices on a “solid upward track”. OSB prices were up cross the board again this week. …Activity was said to be “more measured” in the West and Western Canada saw a modest price increase of $3 (to $405). …Paper, Packaging and Pulp – North American pulp prices rising as a consequence of hot Chinese pulp demand and short- term supply shocks. …Some US lawmakers oppose the trade case against Canadian newsprint and other uncoated mechanical paper imports – RISI reports that a bi-partisan group of US lawmakers have written the US International Trade Commission (ITC), urging it to deny Norpac’s petition for antidumping and/or countervailing duties.

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Northwestern Ontario lumber donation arrives in Houston

TB Newswatch
October 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

A shipment of lumber from White River Forest Products will be used to rebuild Houston-area homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in August. The northwestern Ontario company donated more than $20,000 worth of 8-foot 2X4 lumber in response to a challenge issued by Resolute Forest Products to other Canadian lumber manufacturers. Resolute contributed a rail-car load of lumber. Frank Dottori, CEO of the community-based White River Forest Products, spurred his own team to mobilize in response to the challenge.  “We’re proud of our product, and we wanted to help, so we made it happen.  We hope this will turn up the pressure on other lumber companies to follow suit to help people affected by Mother Nature’s rampages on both coasts, in Florida and in Houston, alike,” he said Monday in a statement announcing the shipment.

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Timber up due to big hurricane, wildfire season

By Rick Sohn Ph.d
Oregon Natural Resources Report
October 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

The role of multiple hurricanes, plus fires in Canada and the Pacific Northwest, are having their effects. Fires and forest closures decrease supply. Hurricanes increase demand. Lumber prices have risen. Indications are that wood product markets will continue strong with the hurricane effect. Insurance claims are not settled overnight, so infusions of cash for repairs could be stretched out over several months. Many current projects get disrupted, but repairs become a major factor. Make no mistake. Despite their hardship, major hurricanes do increase wood product demand. Random Lengths reported very strong oriented strand board prices. It is produced in the South, and price has doubled in the last year, with the strongest spike recently. The log price is slightly down this month, but $742 is record-breaking for August. 

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Exports to China a key driver of stable prices in regional log market

By Ben Aulakh
Stuff.co.nz
October 2, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

A growing market for wood to make furniture in China, and the maturing of tree blocks planted on the back of subsidies in the 1990s are driving a strengthening log export market through Timaru. PrimePort announced last week a record financial result since deregulation, some of which was connected to growth in bulk exports such as logs, up 26.4 per cent on 12 months ago. Figures from forestry firm PF Olsen showed prices for export logs increased an average $4 per metre-cubed compared to the previous month. PF Olsen business development manager Scott Downs said the average New Zealand price on its own log price index had risen from around $95 in November 2015 to $125 in August this year. “The index for September has increased $2 from the August index figure and is now back at the $125 mark. “The index is now $6 higher than the two-year average, $12 above the three year average and $16 higher than the five-year average.”

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Forestry an New Zealand First priority for coalition talks

Radio New Zealand News
October 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Winston Peters

Mr Peters has previously championed Northland wood processors, who say they are being pushed out of the market by overseas forest owners and buyers. The new government must act to safeguard wood supply to New Zealand mills by creating a Forest Service, a long-term plan, new state forests and possibly a local quota system like Canada’s, he said. “Without talking about coalition talks before they even start, the reality is you’d find it very hard to find anyone to dispute the common sense and logic of such a strategy,” he said. Labour had adopted part of New Zealand First’s forestry policy in the lead-up to the election, which was possibly flattering but also irritating, Mr Peters said. In the past, successive governments had strategies in place to ensure a continuity of supply to local industry, and support local jobs, he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Transition Sooke hosts second ecohome tour

By Dawn Gibson
Victoria News
October 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Picture a home that is made almost entirely of non-toxic materials, is completely self-sustainable and gets stronger as it ages — sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? But for Arno Keinonen, this is soon to be a reality. …“Our house is the first in the world which uses the hemp-lime material as structural frame,” Keinonen said. The material resembles Lego blocks, and is made from a Calgary-based company called JustBioFibre. …According to Keinonen’s blog, the blocks absorb CO2 while hardening, and after 100 years, they will reach their full strength. He said the blocks are also fire resistant.

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Print and Paper Packs a Punch in a Digital World

Two Sides
October 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

In June 2017, a survey of over 10,700 consumers was commissioned by Two Sides. …The results reveal a strong preference for print when it comes to recreational reading e.g. books, magazines, news, etc. 72% of global respondents prefer printed books, compared to only 9% preferring e-books. Significant country differences were also identified: in Germany, 75% of consumers prefer a printed newspaper, but in Spain, only 42%. Not only is there a global preference for print, there is also greater trust in print. 76% of all respondents believe “fake news” is a worrying trend and only 24% trust the news stories they read on social media. …The common claims assisting this drive to digital, such as “Go Green – Go Paperless” and “Save Trees”, are creating consumer suspicion as 62% of global respondents believe the switch to digital is because the sender wants to save money, not because it is “better for the environment”.

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Timber industry celebrates at Timber Trades Journal Awards 2017

Timber Trades Journal
October 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

About 450 people attended the TTJ Awards last Friday at The Brewery in the City of London – a record number for the event. Host and guest speaker Steph McGovern announced this year’s winners, including James Latham which won the Timber Trader of the Year prize, sponsored by the Timber Trade Federation. Other voted category winners on the night included Brooks Bros in the hardwood category, Arbor Forest Products for softwood, Panel Supplies for panels, International Plywood in the plywood category, East Bros for small timber business, XL joinery for joinery products, Woodpecker Flooring in the flooring category and MTE (Leicester) in the new structural timber systems category.

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