Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 10, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

While BC and Oregon look to the future, wildfires continue to ravage California

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 10, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Wildfires in California have killed 10 people and more than 100 are missing in a late-season surge of devastation. The record fire season has triggered discussions in BC on how to change the composition of forests, while the US focus is on ways to improve forest health by cutting more trees. Other headlines include:

Failing provincial action on caribou herds, the federal government is warning of tougher rules in the boreal, the David Suzuki foundation called the failure to meet the caribou deadline a “black eye” for Canada, while a new study in Scientific Reports says DNA barcoding technology can help keep tabs on “all the organisms at once”.

Citing the advantages of “clean growth”, Canadian Federal Minister Jim Carr announced a program to facilitate building code changes that will allow tall wood buildings up to 12 storeys. Pushing the envelope further, an 80-storey wooden skyscraper is proposed for Chicago.

In Business news, trade tensions are expected to come up in a Trudeau-Trump meeting this week, Ottawa tells the US Trade Commission that Canadian lumber helps the US and a judge strikes down the deception lawsuit against Menards over claims it deceived its customers with nominal rather than actual lumber dimensions.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Resource firms face tougher rules if provincial action on threatened caribou deemed lacking

By Shawn McCarthy
The Globe and Mail
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The federal government is warning it will impose tougher rules for resource companies working in the boreal forest unless provinces act to protect endangered caribou. Companies involved in oil and gas, mining and forestry are facing a call from scientists and environmental groups that many threatened boreal caribou herds face extinction unless urgent action is taken to protect and restore habitat. Industry officials, for their part, warn that regulatory uncertainty and the potential for restrictive regulations is jeopardizing investment and threatening the significant job losses in Northern and rural communities. In a deal reached five years ago under the federal Species at Risk Act, provinces agreed to report to Ottawa last week on their efforts to ensure caribou are protected and threatened herds recover. 

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Provinces fail to meet deadline to protect threatened boreal forest caribou habitats

By Michelle Ghoussoub
CBC News
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canadian provinces have failed to meet a federal deadline to release plans to protect caribou populations and their boreal forests habitats. In 2012, the federal government found 37 of Canada’s 51 boreal caribou herds were not self-sustaining, with wildlife scientists predicting they could decline by 30 per cent over the next 15 years. Provinces were given five years to develop habitat protection plans under Canada’s Species At Risk Act. The federal government emphasized that all caribou ranges should be at least 65 per cent undisturbed. The deadline set by the federal government was Oct. 5, 2017. So far, no province has publicly released a plan.  Rachel Plotkin, with the David Suzuki foundation, called the failure to meet the federally-mandated deadline a “black eye” for Canada. “Immediate leadership is needed by the federal and provincial governments to reverse caribou decline” she said.

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After devastating B.C. wildfires, Interior residents thankful for community strength

By Liam Britten
CBC News
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While many people and communities suffered dearly from the wildfires that ripped through B.C. this summer, on Thanksgiving, there was also a sense of gratitude for some. On a holiday edition of Daybreak South, voices from B.C.’s Interior said the adversity gave affected communities a stronger bond than they had before. …Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said the damage from the 2017 wildfire season will be long term. The entire city was evacuated. Some residents found jobs elsewhere and won’t come back. Thousands of hectares of forest the logging community relies on was engulfed and won’t grow back for generations. But, Cobb said, the fires gave the community a new perspective. …”Unfortunately, it takes a disaster to do that.”

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Forest Stewardship Council General Assembly Tackles Global Challenges

Markets Insider
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — With growing momentum and urgency behind calls for forest conservation, the diverse membership of the Forest Stewardship Council meets this week in its General Assembly. Founded in 1994 by forward-thinking NGOs and companies, the Forest Stewardship Council uses markets to stop deforestation and forest degradation. Today it is the world’s most trusted forest certification system, safeguarding nearly 500 million acres of forestland, with 32,000 companies in 120 countries marketing FSC-certified products. “We are seeing companies step up to help protect forests, even as we all use forest products every day,” said Corey Brinkema, president of the Forest Stewardship Council US. “This momentum comes not a moment too soon, as climate change puts the need for forest conservation front and center,” he added.

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Scientists go underground to see how Haida Gwaii deer impact the soil

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Holding a spoon heaped with rich black Haida Gwaii soil, Dr. Sue Grayston asked the Ḵay Centre crowd: about how many things live inside? …A UBC professor who holds a Canada Research Chair in microbial soil ecology, Sue Grayston is leading a study of Haida Gwaii soils that is the flip-side, underground version of a 20-year project by Dr. Jean-Louis Martin. The key question for both is, what are invasive deer doing to Haida Gwaii forests? Aboveground, Martin’s team used plant enclosures and sweep-net surveys to track what most islanders can see from walking Haida Gwaii’s many open, moss-carpeted woods. Uncontrolled deer will eventually mow down most western red cedar, shrubs, and wildflowers. For many creatures, that causes a cascade of problems.

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Why not do more to protect the Salish Sea?

By Laurie Gourlay
Victoria Times Colonist
October 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

About this time last year, the Royals were flying over the Salish Sea to Victoria …to endorse the Great Bear Rainforest and announce the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy — uniting 53 Commonwealth members in conserving forests for future generations. They recognized the importance of protecting 85 per cent of the forest and 70 per cent of the old growth. And they acted to protect cultural and natural heritage, freshwater, ecosystems and wildlife habitat. …But what about the nine million Canadians and Americans who will be living in and around the Salish Sea by 2025? …Maybe this fall, when the Oceans Protection Act, Fisheries Act and Canada’s heritage are deliberated and debated in the House of Commons, we should ask our elected representatives about their priorities. Why not the Salish Sea?

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Wildfire risks are increasing in B.C.’s forests

By Nick Raeside, wildfire control
Victoria Times Colonist
October 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The following is a quote from the 1957 B.C. Forest Service Handbook on Forest Fire Suppression: “Small fires of up to 200 or 300 acres may be controlled on what is termed a one work-period attempt.” … ideally, it meant one day. These words were written at a time when the B.C. Forest Service was a well-staffed, efficient organization, working without many of the resources available today. Sixty years later … there have been many technological advances. …But other changes have been less positive. Global warming has led to the spread of forest pests such as the mountain pine beetle due to winters being too mild to hold them in check. Large areas of insect-killed standing timber can pose a high wildfire risk to communities in the B.C. Interior. …In the future, it’s likely the fire season will start earlier and end later. 

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B.C. wildfire plan responds to record burning year

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
October 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robert Gray

The 2017 fire season smashed records in British Columbia, triggering a forest policy discussion that has some intriguing divergence from the parallel debate in the United States. “If they accept this, we’re going to see more smoke in the air,” Robert Gray said of a megafire response plan sent to B.C. Premier John Horgan on Sept. 26. “We got together and said, ‘There’s our window.’ We can really change the way things are going — make transformational change — or do the same things and face the consequences.” “We” includes nine mayors, 20 professors, and five research center managers from Victoria to Cranbrook to the First Peoples’ Ktunaxa Nation. Gray was one of the co-authors, and has a career as a fire ecologist in Chilliwack, B.C. The plan includes 46 recommendations… While it assumes extensive timber industry participation, it also features a big boost in government spending.

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Proposed clearcut near pending expansion of protected wilderness area sparks concern

By Emma Smith
CBC News
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A proposed clearcut near Nova Scotia’s largest protected wilderness area is worrying environmentalists and nearby residents who say it’s a troubling sign of things to come. At stake is about 20 hectares of forest on the edge of a pending expansion to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, a haven for endangered woodland moose that stretches into five counties around Kejimkujik National Park. The province’s harvest plans map viewer shows a proposed clearcut and several “partial harvests” to the southeast of the area on Crown land in Queens County. What it doesn’t show is about 150 adjacent hectares that have been set aside for protection, but are still awaiting approval. …The public comment period for the proposed harvests closed at the beginning of September and the decision will soon go to the Department of Natural Resources for review.

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DNA barcoding technology helping monitor health of all-important boreal forest

By the University of Guelph
EurekAlert
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Boreal forest is essential to Canada and the world, storing carbon, purifying water and air and regulating climate. But keeping tabs on the health of this vulnerable biome has proven to be a painstaking and time-consuming undertaking – until now. Cutting-edge DNA metabarcoding technology developed by the University of Guelph can help speed up and improve the monitoring process, according to a new study published today in Scientific Reports. “We get a lot more information out of DNA, and we were able to reproduce the data and the interpretations of the data that the standard morphology approach provided,” said study co-author Mehrdad Hajibabaei, a professor in U of G’s Department of Integrative Biology. In the study, researchers compared use of advanced DNA meta-barcoding technology — identifying DNA from many aquatic organisms at once — with hands-on identification of invertebrate specimens, used for decades to assess ecosystem biodiversity.

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We know how to fight wildfires effectively. Why don’t we do it?

By Michael Graw, PhD student, Oregon State University
Massive Science Inc.
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Michael Graw

The West is burning. …The price tag for all this? More than $2 billion. And that’s just to contain the fires. Accounting for infrastructure damage and insurance payouts, this fire season will leave taxpayers with a bill likely to top $30 billion. …The US Forest Service approaches fire prevention with a tactic known as “fuels reduction” – essentially, thinning out forests so that any wildfires that do start are not able to spread or intensify beyond firefighters’ ability to control it. …. But while fuels reduction works in theory, its effectiveness is negated in practice by the sheer size of the West. …It turns out that only 1 percent of wildfires each year actually burn forest lands directly adjacent to areas where fuels reduction was carried out. That means that the more than $350 million spent annually on fuels reduction results in virtually no difference in the destructive capacity of wildfires.

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Hands-off forest management goes up in smoke

By Nick Smith, executive director, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities
The Register-Guard
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nick Smith

Sam Krop’s characterization of catastrophic wildfire on public and privately owned forest lands (guest viewpoint, Oct. 4) doesn’t match the reality of what Oregon experienced this summer. But I can see why Cascadia Wildlands and other special interest groups oppose solutions such as the Resilient Federal Forests Act. These bills untie the hands of our federal land managers, and provide them with more tools and resources to restore the health of our public forests, before and after a fire. I don’t know anyone who is proposing to “gut” federal environmental protections and expedite “irresponsible” logging. Yet I do know activist groups have enjoyed a stranglehold over federal environmental policy for the past quarter century, and it’s time to review the results.

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The Latest: Over 100 reported missing in California wildfire

Associated Press in the Washington Post
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Northern California county says it has received more than 100 missing-person reports as family and friends scramble to locate loved ones while wildfires ravage the state. Scott Alonso, communications director for Sonoma County, says the reports have come via calls to a hotline the county set up for the missing. It is possible that many or most of the missing are safe but simply can’t be reached because of the widespread loss of cell service and other communications. The firestorm consuming the state has killed at least 10 people, seven of whom were in Sonoma County.  …More than 5,000 Southern California homes were evacuated Monday as fire crews struggled to battle a rapidly growing brush fire. The blaze has scorched 6,000 acres and destroyed dozens of structures in Orange County.

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Fuels management can be a big help in dealing with wildfires

By Daniel Leavell, Oregon State University
Herald and News
October 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Danial Leavell

I have been teaching about fire in one form or another since 2012 and continue today. That 44-year period is nothing compared to geologic time, but it has had an impression on me. Overall, I have observed temperatures getting hotter earlier in the year, rising higher during the summer and remaining hotter later in the year. …We can use science to manage fires to increase firefighter and public safety, foster forest health, promote fire resiliency and nurture wildlife habitat — while improving economic opportunities that will bring jobs. Or, we can let it burn hot and let it go up in smoke. We can never stop all wildland fires through responsible forest management or otherwise. But, responsible forest management reduces wildland fire risks and hazards. It also reduces fire intensity and severity when they burn in fire-adapted, fire-prone environments.

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Wildfire safety starts at home

By Annette McGee Rasch
Oregon Mail Tribune
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After such a smoke-filled summer, many are fatigued by wildfire and hope next year’s fire season will be less intense. But fire officials and scientists say if future impacts are to be minimized, the public must take personal responsibility on their own properties, embrace common-sense rural development plans and support science-based forest policy. “Especially in the wildland-urban interface zones, people need to become more responsible for their own survivability,” said Illinois Valley Fire District Chief Dennis Hoke. “We can’t look for the government to solve everything. People should ask themselves, ‘What would it take to create the defensible space that can spell the difference between losing or saving my home if a wildfire runs through?’ ”

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Could The Chetco Bar Fire Have Been Prevented?

By Liam Moriarty
Oregon Public Broadcasting
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Chetco Bar Fire, near Brookings on Oregon’s south coast, simmered for weeks in the scars of previous fires in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness before breaking out in mid-August. As the fire raced across the landscape, driven by high winds, the firefighting effort came under growing criticism. For a few weeks in late summer, Chetco Bar was the nation’s top priority fire. …It also – along with other major fires — created unhealthy air quality over western Oregon and northern California. As the fire grew and the air thickened, tempers flared. “It’s horrific. And there is no f#@%ing excuse for it whatsoever. The US Forest Service could have prevented this easily, and they didn’t.”

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Big boost in federal firefighting budget proposed

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Rep. Paul Gosar

A coalition of western congressmen including Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Prescott) this week applauded a $576 million boost in the federal wildfire budget.The group also continues to push for a sweeping waiver of environmental laws to speed up logging projects, a move decried by many environmental groups. The National Interagency Fire Center reports that so far in 2017 some 50,000 wildfires have burned 8.4 million acres. The federal government has spent $2.5 billion on firefighting already this year — a new record. The agency has exhausted its firefighting budget and must now pull money out of other accounts — including the money it had budgeted to thin forests to reduce fire danger. …The Trump Administration responded to a plea for emergency firefighting help signed by 31 western congressmen including Gosar by proposing a $576 million increase in the firefighting budget for the current year. The request accompanied a $12 billion supplemental request to provide relief for areas hit by hurricanes.

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Age before beauty – Grants bring attention to need for ‘young forests’ in New Hampshire

By David Brooks
Concord Monitor
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

When it comes to convincing the public to support the ecosystem known as early successional forests, Scot Williamson of the Wildlife Management Institute knows he’s got a problem. “They’re ugly,” he said Tuesday. That name doesn’t help, either. “You won’t hear me say ‘early successional.’ You’ll hear me say ‘young forest.’ ” he said. …“We don’t have a lot of age diversity in our forests,” said Scott Hall, a senior bird conservation biologist for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, noting that most of New England’s forest were cut a century ago for logging or farmland and have since grown back. “We have a resilience problem when all the trees you have are 60 to 100 years old. You need more diversity.”

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Forestry planting to reach 60-year low amid rules row

By Caitríona Morrissey
Irish Famers Journal
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Farmers are refusing to plant more forestry until Minister for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle changes the rules on planting marginal land and premium payments on set aside land. Latest figures from the Forest Service show that planting is down 20%, the IFA has claimed. The Government’s target is to plant 7,140ha of forestry in 2017. …IFA forestry chairman Pat Collins said the farmers are holding off on planting until Minister Doyle commits to removing restrictions on planting productive marginal land and paying farmers a premium on all land they are obliged to set aside for environmental enhancement. 

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New Zealand forestry a first test in nationalist party’s protectionist agenda

Reuters
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Winston Peters

WELLINGTON – Some New Zealand forest owners are suspending replanting of trees and re-thinking investments as the country’s third-largest export earner finds itself in the sights of maverick politician Winston Peters’ protectionist agenda. The election king-maker last week said he would prioritize a restructure of the forest industry in closely-watched coalition talks with major parties after last month’s inconclusive election result. The plan includes a possible quota system which would force growers to favour local mills over a higher-paying export market. …That has put the Pacific nation’s lucrative forestry sector at the heart of concerns that New Zealand First in power will spell greater government intervention in New Zealand’s small, outward facing economy.

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Tree conference invites citizen-led initiatives for Global Reforestation

By Will Gethin
The Ecologist
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The conference brings together world class speakers with leading-edge information about tree science, tree function and global reforestation strategies. Citizen-led proposals for tree planting and global reforestation will be debated and explored at The Tree Conference at the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury on Saturday 4 November. Leading-edge tree scientists, tree and reforestation project leaders, climate change experts and artists will come together to share their research, practical projects and visions for re-greening our future. The Woodland Trust are among the many partners supporting the conference, who will be sharing information about their Charter for Trees, Woods and People, to be launched on Monday 6 November, inaugurating the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest. 

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2,000-year-old King Billy pines reveal Tasmania’s climate and fire history

By Carol Rääbus
ABC News, Australia
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

King Billy pines don’t really look all that impressive — they’re not the biggest, prettiest or widest of trees — but they can tell us a lot about our history. Athrotaxis selaginoides, known as King Billy or King William pines, are endemic to Tasmania and found throughout the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. The trees, which are actually conifers but not pines, have been used in an eight-year study by an international research team to understand the environmental history of Australia. Kathy Allen from the University of Melbourne led the research team and said the process sampled living and dead trees. …The samples were then combined into what is called a tree ring chronology which dates back 1,700 years.

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Old-growth confirmed at Barrabup forest

The West Australian
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions today released its assessment report into a harvest coupe within the Barrabup forest, confirming old-growth forest in the area. The forest, about 5km north of Nannup, was due to be logged as part of the Forest Products Commission’s three-year South West harvest plan, but logging was temporarily halted in July after a 4km logging road was carved in the area. The DBCA’s report into old growth found about 43ha of previously unmapped jarrah old-growth forest within the 530ha coupe.

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Company & Business News

Judge strikes down Menards 4×4 lumber deception lawsuit

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
October 9, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

CHICAGO – A federal judge has struck down Illinois lumber buyers who sued Menards over claims it deceived them about the size of 4×4 lumber boards. The judge said no reasonable consumers would regard Menards’ lumber descriptions the way plaintiffs Michael Fuchs and Vladislav Krasilnikov did. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $5 million, saying they were “misled” because boards marketed by their nominal size descriptions such as “4 x 4,” were actually 3-1/2 x 3/12 inches in size. Menards, as well as Home Depot – who is being hit with the same lawsuit, said they should not be held liable for labeling boards by their nominal size, a common industry practice. …In a statement to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Eugene Turin of McGuire Law claimed the suit is based on the fact that “reasonable consumers” are unaware of the difference between nominal and actual dimensions.

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Trump’s tough trade talk targets Mexico but his actions are hitting Canada

By Evan Dyer
CBC News
October 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Almost every rally during Donald Trump’s campaign for president featured two bogeymen who were harming the United States and who would be put in their place if he were elected: Mexico and China. …And yet, since taking office in January and appointing Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce, Canada has received more attention. …Canadian trade consultant Peter Clark led many Canadian trade negotiations as a public servant. He said the answer is simple: The Americans fear Mexico more than Canada. …Clark’s view is that Canada could benefit from ditching its polite and reasonable approach and imitating Mexico’s more hard-nosed tactics, targeting the elected officials who are pushing a protectionist agenda. “There are 25 key supporters of the U.S. Lumber Coalition. I would go after each of those senators, and start to make life miserable for the exporters from their state.”

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Trade tensions expected to come up in Trudeau-Trump meeting

By Rachel Alello
CTV News
October 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

OTTAWA – When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down with U.S. President Donald Trump this week, it’s expected the ongoing Boeing dispute with Bombardier will come up, says Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. …Trudeau is set to meet with Trump in Washington, during a two-day trip — overlapping with the kickoff of round four of NAFTA talks in D.C. — followed by a visit to Mexico City where he’s set to sit down with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Freeland expects softwood lumber and the NAFTA renegotiations will also be on the agenda when Trudeau meets with Trump. She said Trudeau will be making a deliberate effort to highlight Canada’s role as the largest market for the U.S., to the “proudly protectionist” U.S. president directly. …Canada’s trade surplus with the United States was $2.3 billion in August, according to Statistics Canada.

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Ottawa tells trade commission its lumber helps, not hurts U.S. market

By Paul Chiasson
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
October 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The flow of Canadian lumber into the United States should be embraced and not feared by Americans, Canada has told the U.S. International Trade Commission. …The Canadian government is leading efforts to persuade the ITC to reverse January’s pro-US decision in the cross-border trade dispute. …For one year after the 2006 Canada-U.S. softwood-lumber agreement expired in October, 2015, a period of free trade existed. …Increased shipments from Canada coincided with rising lumber prices in the United States as US producers became stronger and not weaker during the 12 months of free trade, the Canadian government’s filing said. “During this period of free trade, increasing import volumes coincided with increasing prices and strong domestic industry performance” in the U.S. lumber market, the filing said. “That phenomenon is consistent with the fact that the Canadian and U.S. products are largely complementary rather than directly competitive.”

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Cardinal Equipment acquires Quebec sawmill equipment business Sawquip

By Cardinal Equipment
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
October 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cardinal Equipment of Angliers, Que., announced on Wednesday its acquisition of Lanoraie, Quebec-based Sawquip International. Founded in 1988, Sawquip International designs and manufactures sawmill equipment. Cardinal Equipment specializes in designing, manufacturing and distributing equipment destined to sawmills, forestry, recycling and biomass processing. The company has been in operation since 1980. “Sawquip International has an enviable reputation in matters of equipment quality,” said Cardinal Equipment president Pascal Labranche. “Its products are complementary to the range of products offered or manufactured by Cardinal Equipment.” Sawquip International president Eddy Ste-Croix said it was very important that this transaction be beneficial for his company.

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Fortress Paper restarts production at its dissolving pulp mill

By Fortress Paper Ltd.
Canada Newswire
October 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

VANCOUVER – Fortress Paper Ltd. is pleased to announce that the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill restarted on October 6, 2017, three days earlier than previously announced in its September 27, 2017 news release. The Company has completed the necessary repairs at the FSC Mill caused by the failure of a pressurized auxiliary gas collection system and has re-commenced production of dissolving pulp.  Mr. Giovanni Iadeluca, President of the FSC Mill, commented: “We wish to thank our team at the FSC Mill for their tireless efforts in resolving the system failure and achieving a restart three days earlier than originally anticipated. The FSC Mill restarted the normal ramp up of its operations on October 6th, the production and cogeneration facility are now operating in ordinary course.”

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US clamps down on wooden packaging

Heavy Lift
October 9, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Importers into the USA have been warned that US Customs and Border Protection is about to get a lot stricter on enforcing regulations concerning wood packaging materials.Since September 16, 2005, non-exempt wood packaging material imported into the USA must have been treated at approved facilities in the places of origin to kill harmful timber pests that may be present. The wood packaging material must display a visible, legible, and permanent mark certifying treatment, preferably on at least two sides of the article. …US Customs and Border Protection …has announced that effective November 1, 2017, responsible parties with a documented wood packaging material violation may be issued a penalty, which is a change from the previous published threshold of five violations. Furthermore, there will be no yearly reset for calculating repeat violations as each violation may incur a penalty.

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Timber product exports to hit $8 billion

VietNamNet Bridge
October 9, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Nguyen Ton Quyen, vice chairman and General Secretary of Viet Nam Timber and Forest Product Association, said the impressive growth rate in the first nine months boosts prospects of the wood sector achieving its target. The sector earned $5.9 billion in export revenue from January to September, increasing 11 per cent from the same period last year. The wood export turnover reached some $700 million a month. Viet Nam’s wood products achieved the highest export growth from particle boards, artificial wood boards, melamine-faced chipboards (MDF) and wood pellets. The last three months of the year are generally the peak season for wood and wood product exports, so the industry’s target of $8 billion is deemed attainable.

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China’s sawnwood imports increased by 16% in 1H 2017

Lesprom Network
October 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International
In the 1H 2017, China’s sawnwood imports totalled 18.12 million cubic metres valued at $4.75 billion, a year-on-year increase of 16% in volume and 24% in value, ITTO reported. The average price for imported sawnwood in the 1H 2017 was $262 per cubic metre, up 7% over the same period of 2016. Of total sawnwood imports, sawn softwood imports rose 37% to 12.41 million cubic metres, accounting for 68% of the national total. The average price for imported sawn softwood in the first half of 2017 was $192 per cubic metre, up 12% over the same period of 2016. On the other hand, sawn hardwood imports fell 13% to 5.71 million cubic metres. The average price for imported sawn hardwoods in the first half of 2017 was $414 per cubic metre, up 20% over the same period of 2016.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Making woody biomass truly sustainable

By Dr. Rebecca Heaton
EURACTIV
October 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Biomass is only sustainable and renewable when sourced from responsibly managed forests that are growing, not from old growth, primary forest or protected biodiverse areas. And this should be independently verified, writes Dr Rebecca Heaton, a forester and Head of Sustainability and Policy at Drax Power. Healthy wood markets encourage responsible forest management, which leads to better quality trees and more carbon stored in the forest and in solid wood products. …Sustainable biomass, including forest biomass, accounts for as much as 45% of all renewables consumed in the EU – considerably more than wind, geothermal, hydro and solar put together. …If managed sustainably, biomass is a major part of the energy solution in Europe.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Mass Timber Construction Program Positions Canada’s Forest Industry as a Source of Clean Growth in the Low-Carbon Economy

Natural Resources Canada
October 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Encouraging the long-term use of wood in Canada’s construction industry will help us achieve our climate change goals while increasing the demand for Canadian wood products and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, today announced the launch of a new mass timber program, Green Construction Through Wood (GCWood), aimed at encouraging the long-term use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, such as tall buildings, as part of the Government’s efforts to position Canada as a leader in the global low-carbon economy. The program launch follows the Government’s Budget 2017 announcement of $39.8 million over four years, starting in April 2018, to undertake this initiative.

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Proposed 80-story wooden skyscraper may be a preview of tall timber future

By Patric Sisson
Curbed
October 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

In a city lined with pathbreaking towers and skyscrapers, the River Beech project, if it comes to fruition, may earn its own chapter in the history of Chicago architectural marvels. That’s because this proposed 80-story tower, a joint research project between Cambridge University, Perkins + Will, and Thornton Tomasetti would be a tall wooden tower, a landmark in the accelerating development of high-tech timber as a new type of 21st century building material. “I don’t think there’s a height limit,” says Andy Tsay Jacobs, director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins + Will who has collaborated on the River Beech proposal. “The answer in yes, wood can go 80 stories, no problem. The issues are less on the technical side than on the code side.”

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Cozy egg-shaped treehouses offer stunning views of the Italian Alps

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
October 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A pair of adorable egg-shaped treehouses is hidden away in one of Italy’s oldest forests. Architetto Beltrame Claudio designed these dreamy retreats, called Pigna, that overlook stunning views of the Italian Alps. …Pigna was originally conceived for an architecture competition in 2014 but was only recently completed this year in Malborghetto Valbruna, Italy. …The egg-shaped buildings were constructed from cross-laminated timber with wood fiber insulation. Larch shingles clad the curved exterior punctuated by two covered balconies framing views of the outdoors. “The project started from the desire to create a structure that is not only a refuge for man, but also a natural element of its environment, a mimesis of its surrounding,” wrote the architects. “From the tree, for the tree.” 

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PLP Architecture’s Oakwood Timber Tower 2 is built like a basketweave

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
October 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

I was stumped by their Timber Tower 1, but I am on board with this. One hundred years ago, many of our buildings were built out of wood; now it’s popular again, not only because they are carbon neutral or positive and are built from a renewable resource, but they also go up faster with fewer workers and fewer truckloads of materials. Eighty years ago, engineers like Sir Barnes Wallis built airplanes like the Wellington bomber with geodetic “basketweave” airframes because they were strong and light: “The principle is that two geodesic arcs can be drawn to intersect on a curving surface (the fuselage) in a manner that the torsional load on each cancels out that on the other.” Now PLP architects are blending these two old technologies in their latest tall wood tower, the Oakwood Tower 2 “The Lodge”, to be built in the Netherlands. It has an interesting geodetic curved basketweave structure, just like the old Wellington, which should make it lighter and stronger.

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