Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 9, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

‘Tis the season for learning – about wood innovation and design!

November 9, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) and Wood WORKS! are omniprevalent in today’s news. World trends in wood design will be front and centre at BC Wood WORKS! conference next Tuesday; Timber Engineering and BEER are featured Wednesday by Alberta Wood WORKS!, and CWC has an online webinar featuring architect Russell Acton of Brock Commons fame. Elsewhere, Wood WORKS! Ontario’s award recipients are still making news in Thunder Bay.

In Forestry news: public comment is sought on ways to protect BC’s Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem; civility and accuracy are being called for in Nova Scotia’s forestry debate; the hemlock woolly adelgid has turned up in Nova Scotia’s forests and wolf specialist Diane Boyd says  wolves need both private and public lands protected in Montana. 

Finally, the Hill—Washington’s political rag—has a guest opinion piece on what’s next with softwood lumber and how the feud may impact the NAFTA talks [spoiler alert – it’s litigation]. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Wildland Fire Canada 2016 presentations released to the public

By Daniel Perrakis
Wildland Fire Canada 2016
November 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

The Wildland Fire Canada 2016 conference, held in Kelowna, BC just over one year ago, may seem like a distant memory to the 370 attendees who took part. But now you can watch some of the presentation videos from the conference online! On the one year anniversary of the conference select keynote and workshop presentations were opened to the public on Vimeo. With winter on its way across Canada, and the 2017 fire season finally ending, it seems that we’ll have no shortage of topics to discuss at the next conference, tentatively scheduled for Ottawa, Ontario sometime in 2019. Until then, watching the clips from last year’s conference will hopefully provide some additional food for thought.  

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Public consultation for Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem protection

By Andy Neal
Check News
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Forest Ministry is inviting public comment on more ways to protect the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem. New proposed areas for protection of the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem are along the southeast coast of Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. The land parces are 1,125 hectares and supplement the more than 2,000 hectares already protected. The Forests Minstry says as part of the Province’s old growth initiative, the proposal will contribute in the long-term toward old growth protection. Of the 256,800 hectares of the range in British Columbia, only nine per cent is provincially owned.

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Civility, accuracy needed in forestry debate

By Val Traversy, retired trade official
The Chronicle Herald
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It is difficult, even for one who has been active with forest stewardship groups and the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association’s Forestry Lab, to unravel all of the conflicting claims of governments, industries, environmental groups and others about forest health and forest management in Nova Scotia. …Sadly, the Healthy Forest Coalition (HFC) demonstrated at the recent “forest funeral” in Halifax that the solitudes remain firmly in place. The objectives of the HFC may be laudable, but the Coalition appears to have turned to some less laudable tactics. Two tactics that were on display on the “forest funeral” podium were, in my view, particularly troubling: …Some speakers declared that there has been no reduction in industrial harvesting. That’s simply not true. …A central demand of the HFC has been the removal of senior DNR staff, principally because of past industry connections. This is unfair, indeed unjust.

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Hemlock tree-destroying pest arrives in Nova Scotia

By Cassie Williams
CBC News
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A hemlock tree-destroying pest has turned up in Nova Scotia and don’t count on frosty temperatures to kill the tiny beasts.  The hemlock woolly adelgid attacks eastern hemlock trees by feeding on the nutrient and water storage cells at the base of the trees’ needles, killing them.  Ron Neville, a plant health survey biologist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, is investigating how far the pests have spread throughout the province since they were first detected here in mid-July. So far, the hemlock woolly adelgid — or HWA — has been found in five counties: Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne and a few sites in Annapolis and Queens. “In Digby and Yarmouth County, it’s fairly widespread and less so in Annapolis and Queens,” Neville told CBC’s Information Morning

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Why Community Forests are Key to Solving Challenges of Urban Living

By Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation
Triple Pundit
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

What comes to mind when you think of forests? …As the world becomes more urban, now is the time to invest in healthy community forests. Municipalities have started to recognize the economic, environmental, and social value of trees in community infrastructure. Strategically planted trees can save municipalities money, improve the quality of life for residents, and lead to happier communities as a whole. …In 2016, Tree City USA — a program of the Arbor Day Foundation that sets the framework for forestry management programs — reached a record number of involved communities. Towns and cities of all sizes are investing in urban forestry. Collectively, communities spent $1.1 billion last year in forestry management. …If ever there was a time to plant trees in our communities, now is that time.

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Don’t let this federal wildfire fix go up in smoke

By the Editorial Board
Tri-City Herald
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Washington state officials recently released a 20-year plan to improve the health of our forests and reduce wildfires. …Now it’s time for federal lawmakers to do their part. …The proposal would accelerate the environmental review process for certain management practices like logging, controlled burns and salvaging timber. But that seems to be a sticking point with many lawmakers in the Senate, including Washington state’s Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. . …Whatever the differences, the goal of both the House and Senate proposals is the same: to make our forests healthy once again, and to prevent them from burning up year after year. Federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to find a way to compromise. If state policymakers representing over 30 groups can find a way to agree on a forest restoration plan, then so can they.

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Study: Without forest treatment, wildfire above Fort Valley means inundation

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The scenario is far from unlikely: a wildfire rips through the forest that covers the southwest flank of the San Francisco Peaks above Fort Valley and Baderville. Soon after that, heavy monsoon rains sweep through the area, causing a 100-year flood event. …The study focused on Fort Valley and Williams, aiming to determine the extent of flooding both communities would see if nearby forests burned and then were hit with heavy rains. Then, the modeling was shifted to gauge the potential for forest treatment operations to reduce post-wildfire flooding impacts. The authors produced projections for a handful of scenarios: first, if the forest remains unburned; second, if the forest is treated with tree thinning and prescribed fire and then sees wildfire; and third, if the forest remains untreated and burns in a wildfire. Those scenarios show forest treatment makes a big difference.

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Wolf specialist Diane Boyd: ‘You have to make it work in the middle’

By Keila Szpaller
The Missoulian
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A lot of people talk about the important role federal and state lands play in protecting wolves. But Diane Boyd, a wolf and carnivore specialist, said those public landscapes often are at high elevation and don’t harbor wintering populations of deer and elk. …that wolves need both private and public lands protected, and the private swaths are critically important. …Since 2011, though, wolves have been hunted in Idaho and Montana, and Boyd said she believes it’s having an impact. She said an estimated 80 percent to 85 percent of wolf mortality is human-caused, some legally. “I believe that the human harvest is significant enough it’s causing a slow and steady decline,” she said.

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Forest claims exaggerated

Letter by Blair Moody, CF, Fellow, Society of American Foresters
Mail Tribune
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Blair Moody

Recently, the House passed the Resilient Federal Forests Act, of which Rep. Greg Walden is a supporter as are other Republicans and Democrats across the nation. A local environmentalist is “terrified” that Walden would support the act. This environmentalist makes some exaggerated and misleading claims about local areas of notoriety being “slicked off,” although he knows darn well he and his cronies wouldn’t allow that to happen, nor will the established laws already protecting these areas. What he claims may happen in Section 913 is nothing more than clarification and reaffirmation of the existing O&C Act of Aug. 28, 1937 which, among other mandates, does call for permanent forest production, something the BLM hasn’t been able to accomplish lately due to various required legal environmental and wildlife regulations, all of which he supports.

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Dobbs Logging recognized as ‘outstanding logger’

By Emily Gedde
International Falls Journal
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Gordon Dobbs and Dan Pherson

Gordon Dobbs took some time out of sitting in a deer stand this week to provide a few comments on a recent recognition the logging company he co-owns received last month. The Forest Resources Association and STIHL Incorporated honored Dobbs Logging Inc. of Littlefork, as the Lake States Region 2017 Outstanding Logger at FRA’s Lake States Region fall meeting in Duluth Oct. 25. “It feels pretty nice,” a humbled Dobbs told The Journal Tuesday. “It’s nice to have been recognized and nominated by Dan Klocek, our Packaging Corporation of America forester.” …Dobbs asked that his $250 cash award from STIHL be donated directly to the Log-a-Load for Kids program in support of Gillette Children’s Hospital.

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A Radar-Based Change Detection Technology Is Helping Preserve Our Forests

By Rachel Wolfson
The Huffington Post
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…Foresters are joining forces with the space industry to develop solutions to help preserve our environment’s natural assets. This new approach is sometimes referred to as precision forestry, and it relies on the newest technological solutions driven by data. …PlanetWatchers, for example, is a startup that applies remote sensing, radar satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to monitor natural assets, such as forests. PlanetWatchers’ founders, Ariel Smoliar and Roi Shilo, used remote sensing and radar satellite imagery during their military service and in their scientific research. The two discovered that this advanced technology could also be used to detect the slightest anomalies in our forests.

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Sarawak committed to safeguarding forest ecosystem

By Sharon Ling
The Malaysia Star Online
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

KUCHING: The state government is committed in ensuring sustainable forest measures are in place for Sarawak. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state government recognised the importance of sustainable forest management to address the issues of forest degradation and deforestation which plagued some countries undergoing rapid development. “We are also aware of the problem and taking steps to safeguard our forests. “However, the forest ecosystem is highly complex and influenced by numerous external factors.

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Minister of Forests Shane Jones targets timber ‘shysters’

By Laura Lane
The New Zealand Herald
November 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Shane Jones

New Minister of Forests Shane Jones could prune out “shysters” buying small pine plantations, harvesting the trees, selling the logs overseas and putting the stripped land back on the market without replanting.  …The land, often isolated, steep and covered with stumps, would in most cases be very costly to clear for pastoral farming. Mr Jones said that, during a pre-election meeting with Northland plantation forestry company officials, he was told about a network of “shysters” focusing on buying small woodlots, some paying cash and selling the logs overseas without giving local wood processors a chance to use them. The minister was aware selling the woodlots was a priority for some landowners who had waited more than 25 years for the trees to grow and lacked funds to replant them.

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Company & Business News

War of the woods: US-Canada lumber feud can impact NAFTA talks

By Stephen Claeys
The Hill
November 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

One of the world’s longest-running trade disputes is the disagreement between the United States and Canada regarding softwood lumber. …Commerce’s latest antidumping and countervailing duties will not become permanent until and unless the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) finds that imports of Canadian softwood lumber are materially injuring, or threaten to materially injure, the U.S. domestic softwood lumber industry. The ITC is scheduled to make this determination around Dec. 18. …Litigation will certainly be the next step. Canadian producers and exporters of softwood lumber are sure to assert that commerce’s antidumping and countervailing duty determinations, as well as probably the ITC’s injury determination, violated U.S. law. …The final implication of the softwood lumber cases is what impact they may have on the talks to renegotiate NAFTA. …The greatest impact of the dispute most likely will be on the negotiation of whether to retain the Chapter 19 binational panels in NAFTA.

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Conifex Announces Strong Third Quarter Results

By Conifex Timber Inc.
Marketwired
November 9, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA– Conifex Timber Inc. (“Conifex”, “we” or “us”) (TSX:CFF) today reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017. Adjusted EBITDA*, including countervailing (“CVD”) and anti-dumping duty (“ADD”) deposits of $3.4 million, was $12.1 million, compared to $10.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and $8.5 million in the third quarter of 2016. …Our revenues totaled $120.3 million in the third quarter of 2017, an improvement of 3% over the prior quarter and 16% over the same quarter last year. Our revenue growth over the previous quarter was mainly attributable to a slight increase in our lumber segment revenues, and a 30% increase in revenues from electricity sales. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, our lumber segment revenues increased by 15% and our bioenergy segment revenues by 24%.

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Shutdown application filed by Tolko

By Cole Wagner
Merritt Herald
November 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A year after its Merritt mill was permanently shuttered, Tolko Industries has started the process of dismantling some of the equipment on site in order to help process an influx of fire-damaged timber at other B.C. mills owned by the company. “We are sending some of the debarkers to Lakeview and Soda Creek to help improve the debarking quality for fire damaged wood,” explained Janice Lockyer, communications advisor for Tolko Industries. While the company still has no concrete plans for the Merritt property, Lockyer said the company will continue to look for other homes for the some of the equipment onsite. …Meanwhile, Tolko Industries has applied to the BC Assessments Office for a shutdown allowance, a move which will shrink the industrial tax base for the City of Merritt in 2018.

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Libby fire shocks community, hits local economy

By Nicole Miller
KPAX
November 7, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

LIBBY – A town in shock today as one of it’s largest businesses burned to the ground Sunday. One of the few remaining lumber mills in the state is no more, and investigators don’t know why. It was Sunday afternoon and flames could be seen shooting from the SK Fingerjoint Mill in Libby. “Heavy fire coming through the roof upon arrival of the scene. Life safety was the first priority. I think you had eight to 10 personnel there with an engine and a water tender,” Libby Assistant Fire Chief Steve Lauer said. …The 18 employees — including the owner of the business Dan Kneeler — have been displaced, but Libby Mayor Brent Teske says the community is standing behind them. “It was a good viable economic industry and our last foothold into the timber industry,” Mayor Teske said. …There’s still no word on what sparked the blaze.

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Government rejects claim that waste log export operation is ‘rorting’ federal subsidy

By Georgie Burgess and Emilie Gramenz
ABC News, Australia
November 9, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

The claim that the Government is misusing a federal transport subsidy is “absolute nonsense”, Resources Minister Guy Barnett has said. Majestic Timbers has government approval to use the generous Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) to export waste logs from Hobart’s Macquarie Wharf. Under a government-approved plan, the company buys 180,000 tonnes of residues a year and ships them in containers to Asia, collecting at least $3 million in scheme payments over 12 months. The ABC understands Sustainable Timber Tasmania (formerly Forestry Tasmania) receives at best $10 a tonne for the product, a price set by Treasury. Independent Denison MHR Andrew Wilkie described the operation as a “rort”. But Resources Minister Guy Barnett has defended the use of the scheme, firing back at Mr Wilkie on ABC Radio Hobart.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Innovations and current trends in structural and architectural wood use in design and building to be presented at Vancouver conference

Wood WORKS! BC
November 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pre-registration ends tomorrow but there’s registration at the door on the day of the event. The latest expertise, innovations, current trends and project developments in wood design and building will be presented in Vancouver next week at the 2017 Wood Solutions Conference. Speakers from Canada and around the world, including Australia, the UK and Austria will inform and inspire BC’s architects, engineers and other design and building professionals on Tuesday, November 14 at the Vancouver Convention Centre – East. The conference is presented by Wood WORKS! BC and the Canadian Wood Council with funding from Natural Resources Canada. Along with an exceptional lineup of national and international speakers, there will be an interactive trade show and many engagement opportunities with distinguished industry leaders, design and building innovators, product experts and key members of project teams.

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Timber EngiBEERing Seminar

Wood WORKS! Alberta
November 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Calgary seminar is sold out! Don’t delay in registering for the Edmonton seminar. Interested in learning more about mass timber design and modern timber connection systems? We’ve organized an educational event specifically for timber engineers interested in structural design of mass timber components and timber connection systems. This is an opportunity to learn about new research completed with local universities and explore interesting timber projects through interactive design sessions and live testing demonstrations. Enjoy delicious food and refreshing beer from local breweries while you network with other like-minded engineers.

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Wood WORKS! award honours innovative design of Thunder Bay carpentry training centre

By Cathy Alex
CBC News
November 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Thunder Bay company earned top honours at the recent 17th annual Wood WORKS! Awards celebration in Toronto, a program of the Canadian Wood Council. FORM Architecture Engineering in Thunder Bay took home the Northern Ontario Award for its innovative use of a variety of wood products in the city’s new Carpenters Union Local 1669 Training Centre. The carpenters union wanted something that highlighted northwestern Ontario, and showcased the materials they use everyday on the job, said Matthew Mills, a partner with FORM and the lead designer on the project, “Obviously, Thunder Bay, in the middle of the trees, you have to build out of wood,” he said. …This is the sixth Wood WORKS! award that FORM Architecture Engineering has received.

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