Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 28, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

The Softwood Lumber Board has created 2.6 billion board feet of lumber demand

November 28, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) was established in 2012 to promote the benefits and uses of softwood lumber products and their investments to date have resulted in 2.6 billion board feet of new demand, enough to build about 160,000 new homes. 

In other Wood Product news: Stewart Muir in the Vancouver Sun says ‘old’ sectors like forestry are driving technological innovations, The Globe and Mail says timber-frame construction may gain momentum with new federal funding; the Architecture Newspaper says the US Congress is gearing up for a fight over mass timber legislation; and down-under expert Andrew Dunn says the use of timber in multi-storey buildings is not new, “we’re just re-finding old ways of building with modern products“.

In Business news: the US/Canada trade war on newsprint is heating up; Jerry Dias (Unifor) says only cynics would see Resolute’s lumber gift to hurricane victims as a threat; and former Sino-Forest CEO says he is sorry the shareholders lost billions of dollars but that it wasn’t because of his actions.

Finally, new analysis estimates that stopping deforestation and improving forestry practices could cut carbon emissions as much as getting rid of every car on earth.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

The Softwood Lumber Board helps sell more lumber

Softwood Lumber Board
November 27, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

Lumber is an integral part of your business and how America builds its housing. The Softwood Lumber Board’s (SLB’s) mission is to make it much more than that. Our unique programs are showing what is possible when building with wood across residential, commercial, mid-rise, appearance, and even tall building segments. …So far since 2012, our investments have resulted in 2.59 billion board feet of new demand—reflecting a fivefold increase through 2016. 

A recent report by Forest Economic Advisors shows that softwood lumber is not only vital to the industry itself, but also a key economic driver for households across rural America. The average wage for someone working in the softwood lumber industry in America is $54,500 per year, which is $11,000 more than the average rural salary. These earnings mean greater financial freedom and purchasing power, expanding the industry’s overall economic impact.

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Forestry

Federal government should manage Alberta’s threatened caribou: letter

The Canadian Press in Calgary Herald
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Several Indigenous and environmental groups have asked the federal government to step in and protect some endangered caribou herds on provincial land in AlbertaIn a letter to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the coalition said Alberta hasn’t met Ottawa’s deadline for coming up with a plan to save five threatened herds in the northeastern part of the province heavily impacted by forestry and oilsands development. They said if Alberta won’t make the move, Ottawa should. …The formal petition delivered to McKenna on Monday, along with the letter, goes through 11 Alberta laws and concludes none offers legal protections, although Robinson [Ecojustice]  noted some companies try to minimize damage to caribou herds. Alberta and six other provinces continue to fail to meet a federal deadline to release recovery plans for threatened herds in their jurisdictions. That deadline passed in October.

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Winnipeg trying to cut backlog of Dutch elm disease tree removals

By Amber McGuckin
Global News
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Winnipeg is funneling more money into cutting down on the list of trees with Dutch elm disease that need to be removed. In the 2018 proposed budget, the city wants to spend $4.6 million to remove more trees next year. Between initiatives to identify, prune, remove and replace diseased trees, the city expects to spend $18.7 million. In May the city had about 1,500 trees on the waiting list from the last two years to be removed, according to Martha Barwinsky, the city’s forester. “We are losing on average, anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 trees a year over the past five years,” Barwinsky said at the time. “It’s a crazy amount of trees.” In 2014 there were 5,257 trees removed with Dutch elm disease across the city, in 2015 it dropped to 4,849 and in 2016 it climbed to 6,123 trees cut down with the disease.

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Controversial clearcut logging in Kananaskis Country gets approved

By Bryan Labby
CBC News
November 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta government has approved a controversial clearcut in Kananaskis Country, southwest of Calgary, despite opposition from nearby communities, environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts. “When we heard the permits were issued, it was really disappointing,” said Katie Morrison of CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society). Opponents are concerned the harvest will scar the picturesque mountainsides, increase the risk of flooding, impact drinking water, displace wildlife and hurt tourism and livelihoods. The government, however, maintains it listened to people’s concerns and made changes as a result. …The government believes it has alleviated a lot of the opponents’ concerns by approving a plan that allows Balcaen to clear only 255 of the requested 409 hectares (an area about the size of Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir). …While logging has been occurring in the region for years, conservation groups say people will notice this latest harvest plan.

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OPINION: Government overhaul key to forestry reform

By Dale Smith, retired Natural Resources
The Chronicle Herald
November 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The independent review of “forest practices” in Nova Scotia announced by Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller on Aug. 30 should be seized upon as an 11th-hour opportunity to wrest control of our Crown lands from the grip of industrial forestry. …The commitment was intended to provide political cover in response to growing criticism and controversy around forestry practices and the dominant influence of industry over Crown land management. Hot-button issues continue to be clearcutting and the proposed lease of Nova Scotia’s western Crown lands to a consortium of forestry companies. …The end game must focus on the stewardship and sustainability of Crown lands and forests as highly valued natural capital assets that will be relied upon to serve Nova Scotia over the coming years, decades and centuries. It is inconceivable that the paradigm shift of the order of magnitude needed can be led by DNR in its current incarnation.

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Current forest management not working

By Therese MacGregor & Claudette Moore – Concerned Citizens of Jackson and Josephine County
Mail Tribune
November 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Therese MacGregor & Claudette Moore

In response to the Mail Tribune editorial posted Nov. 12 regarding the forest thinning bill, here are some facts that we would like to share: First, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s Fuels Treatment Effectiveness Database, 90 percent of fuels reduction projects — whether carried out through logging, thinning or prescribed fire — were effective in reducing wildfire severity. Salvaging burned timber after a fire allows federal land agencies to recover the economic value of dead and dying trees. Post-fire salvage also protects public safety by removing hazard trees along highways, forest roads and hiking trails that might otherwise fall on people. …Congressman Greg Walden and others understand that such a one-size-fits-all approach to federal forest management is not working. The Resilient Federal Forests Act does not mandate logging and it doesn’t impose any specific forestry prescription across all federal land. 

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Tree harvesting methods protect water quality in Coast Range study

KTVZ.COM
November 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tree harvesting methods designed to protect streams from soil erosion and sedimentation can be effective in maintaining water quality, scientists have shown in a study in the Oregon Coast Range. By following rules enshrined in the Oregon Forest Practices Act, research in the Alsea River watershed showed that a stream draining clear-cut slopes carried no more sediment after harvest than before. In fact, the clear-cut watershed had lower sediment concentrations than streams in two nearby uncut watersheds. While the study shows what can theoretically be achieved, researchers are cautious about applying their results to actual harvesting activities elsewhere. The practices in this study may not represent the variety of conditions faced in forest management across the state, they said. For example, no new roads were constructed in the process of carrying out the study.

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Wildfire fighting funds for Montana need a collaborative solution from Congress

By Tom Puchlerz, biologist and Paul Roos, fishing guide
Great Falls Tribune
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After months of smoke filled skies, the blanket of winter has returned to the northern Rockies. Our stunning vistas are once again visible. 2017 was a record breaking fire season here in Montana, as 141 wildfires burned across our state – affecting over a million acres. Montanans were evacuated, homes were lost, businesses were hurt, and federal and state budgets were severely impacted.  …We traveled to Washington, D.C. a couple weeks ago and were surprised to see Congress proposing new laws to reform forest management faster than one can assign them a bill number. While we appreciate the effort, this reactive frenzy of bill drafting is not in the best interest of our forests or Montanans. Most of the current bills lack bipartisan support and are likely to hurt – not help – our forests and communities.

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Harrowing Northwest Wildfire Season Ends, But Forest Management Debate Burns On

By Jeff Mapes
Northwest Public Radio
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Autumn rains have washed away the smoke of the summer wildfires. But Congress remains embroiled in a high-stakes environmental debate over how to reduce the growing threat of catastrophic blazes in Western forests and rangelands. Lawmakers are under more pressure to act after a wildfire season that was particularly harrowing. Nearly 9 million acres – an area about the size of New Jersey and Connecticut combined – burned. …And here’s what’s making the problem worse: The U.S. Forest Service now spends more than half its budget fighting fires, up from just 16 percent in 1995. That means it is running out of money to work on fire prevention, particularly in the wildfire-prone communities where some 120 million Americans now live. …Randi Spivak, public lands director for of the Center for Biological Diversity, is fighting the Westerman bill. She said past commercial logging has already contributed to the growing wildfire risk.

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Indiana Dept. of Natural Recources seeks to preserve and promote state’s forests

By Cameron Clark, IDNR Director
The Herald-Tribune
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Cameron Clark

A forest is more than trees for timber. If you followed media coverage of the sale at Yellowwood State Forest, you might be surprised to read that statement. The veteran foresters of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources planned and carried out the recent sale to harvest select trees from 299 acres of that forest’s back country. The truth is both the well-meaning people who opposed the sale and the IDNR love our state forests, but we differ on how to care for them. Their approach for the back country is hands off, letting nature take its course. Ours is to scientifically manage an ecosystem that – when land was acquired by the state in the 1950s – barely existed until the foresters planted it. …Our goal is the health of the forests – not profit.

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Windsor sawmill ‘quite a jigsaw puzzle’

By Keith Edwards
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WINDSOR — One donated piece of lumber at a time, volunteers this summer put together the Windsor Historical Society’s new post-and-beam sawmill building — the jigsaw puzzle of Bob Brann’s dreams. Now they’ve got another puzzle to put together: the late 19th-century working sawmill.  Donated by an Albion man and disassembled for the move to Windsor, the sawmill will occupy the 96-by-24-foot building, which is the latest addition to the historical society’s prominent spot on the Windsor Fairgrounds. Brann and others involved helped take the old sawmill apart, but putting it back together, he concedes, “could be quite a jigsaw puzzle.”

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Forestry Quiz Bowl Team Reaches Final Four At National Society of American Foresters Competition

The Pine Bluff Commercial
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Members of the Forestry Club and student chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) at the University of Arkansas at Monticello reached the final four in the National SAF Quiz Bowl competition held recently in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Quiz Bowl was part of the national meeting of the Society of American Foresters and featured 32 forestry and natural resources teams from across the nation. UAM defeated Oregon State, Green River College and LSU before falling to Mississippi State in the semifinals. UAM and Humboldt State finished tied for third.

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Arkansas Wildfires Burn 1805 Acres During Holiday Weekend

By Karen Ricketts
Arkansas Matters
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  – The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission (AFC) suppressed 103 wildfires that burned 1,805 acres on Sunday Nov. 26. Current drought conditions and weather forecasts for low humidity and gusty winds create elevated wildfire danger across Arkansas through this week. 59 Arkansas counties are now under high wildfire danger. Governor Asa Hutchinson joins State Forester Joe Fox in strongly encouraging residents to avoid outdoor burning until the wildfire danger conditions subside.

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Change needed in the forestry industry

By Debbie Gregory
Gisborne Herald
November 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A major step change must occur to take mechanisation to a whole new level to help improve forestry safety, a forestry safety seminar has heard. Forest Enterprises’ Dan Fraser, who has been involved in the forestry industry here for close to two decades said it was time to lift the bar. Forestry in Europe has been using remote controlled equipment — yarders, skidders and forwarders for more than 25 years. …Mr Fraser said future training demands should move away from basic chainsaw skills and incorporate sophisticated machine-operator training and teleoperation. “That is the future of this industry. We need to lift the bar so we are attracting more great people into this industry.

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Trees pledge requires new vision

By Ewan McGregor
The Gisborne Herald
November 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Ewan McGregor

Given this country’s need for more trees, whether natives or exotics, the new Government’s pledge to supercharge tree cultivation is commendable. A billion by the end of a decade! Credible, or fanciful? OK, it’s a notional figure, and no one’s going to keep count, but a worthy cause will be discredited if seen as unrealistic. Surely, though, we want this to work. Ninety percent of our forestry estate is of the productive radiata pine and it seems that the dominant species for this programme is radiata — new Forestry Minister Shane Jones has a symbolic potted pine seedling in his office. But little has been said as to the range of species, and their management. A 100,000 hectares is targeted for planting annually, with much of it private land. How will landowners be induced to plant these trees?

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Company & Business News

Trade war heats up over Canadian newsprint sold to U.S.

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
November 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Stop the presses – U.S. paper mills are upset over what they see as subsidized Canadian newsprint being used by American newspaper publishers. While the softwood-lumber dispute has strained Canada-U.S. trade relations, a separate fight is brewing over other products that Canadian forestry mills sell south of the border, notably uncoated groundwood paper, such as newsprint. …Norpac complains that U.S. paper makers are being hurt by Canadian groundwood… The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to issue its preliminary ruling on imposing countervailing duties by Jan. 8 and anti-dumping duties by Jan. 16. …Canadian paper makers and U.S. newspaper publishers argue that the dispute isn’t about trade. They point out that demand for newsprint has fallen sharply over the past decade, especially as readers shift to digital alternatives such as laptops, tablets and cellphones.

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Tackling the myth of resource versus tech economies

By Stewart Muir, executive director, Resource Works Society.
Vancouver Sun
November 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stewart Muir

It’s common mythology that B.C.’s traditional natural resource economy has reached its end-game and is being replaced by a “new economy” based on technology and innovation. The iconic logger has been replaced in our imagination by a computer programmer, miners supplanted by lab techs. As is usually the case with such convenient scenarios, the truth is not that simple. In fact, B.C.’s ‘old’ sectors like forestry and mining are driving technological innovations that are being put to work here and exported around the globe. Resource-based expertise from this province is pouring into the global knowledge economy, creating employment and opportunities for people from Vancouver’s Howe Street to downtown Fort St. John. This is being driven by smaller companies at the cutting edge of value-added fields like filtration, satellites, GPS, and digital analysis and simulation.

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Babine Forest Products working to diversify markets

BC Local News
November 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Babine Forest Products is continuing with its efforts to expand and diversify markets for its products. Steve Zika, Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Affiliates – company that owns Babine Forest Products and Decker Lake Forest Products – has recently travelled to Asia with a B.C. delegation of over 30 senior executives from B.C. forest companies and associations. Led by forests minister Doug Donaldson, the delegation visited China and Japan earlier this month. “The China economy continues to be very strong with additional potential for selling higher value products for furniture and non-residential applications,” said Zika. “The Japan economy is also showing some growth and they purchase our highest quality products from Babine and Decker Lake.”

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Former Sino-Forest CEO denies role Ontario Securities Commission alleges he played in company’s collapse

By Alexandra Posadzki
The Globe and Mail
November 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sino-Forest Corp. co-founder Allen Chan said he is sorry that the company’s shareholders lost billions of dollars, but he “respectfully disagrees” with the Ontario Securities Commission’s ruling that his actions led to the forestry company’s demise. The OSC ruled in July that Mr. Chan and three other senior executives – Albert Ip, Alfred Hung and George Ho – engaged in “deceitful or dishonest conduct” relating to the company’s standing timber assets and revenue that they knew constituted fraud. …Mr. Chan said he believes the company’s implosion resulted from a series of actions that were not taken during a two-month period when he was discouraged from exercising his CEO duties. On June 2, 2011, short-seller Muddy Waters released a research report alleging that Sino-Forest was a Ponzi scheme and had massively exaggerated its assets. 

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Only Cynics Would See Donated Canadian Softwood As A Threat

By Jerry Dias, Unifor
Huffington Post
November 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

When people are hurting, such as after a natural disaster, the normal human reaction is to find a way to help. …In La Doré, Quebec, where the major employer is a Resolute Forest Products sawmill, the obvious way for them to help victims of a devastating hurricane last August in Florida was to send down some of the softwood lumber they produce at the local mill. …Before that could happen, however, there would be a little matter of anti-dumping taxes to be paid. This is silly, and not what anti-dumping measures are meant to be about. …A gift, however, is not dumping. It is a gift, an act of generosity offered in a natural human response to seeing others in need. Resolute made similar donations to those in need in Texas and Puerto Rico.

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Freres reopens plant destroyed by summer fire

By Justin Much
Statesman Journal
November 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

“It’s in time for Thanksgiving, and that’s a good deal.” Kyle Freres imparted sentiments around Lyons based Freres Lumber Company as it announced that Plant 4 is back up and running, roughly four months since a fire destroyed the building amid the hot days of last summer. “Getting this plant up and going in 3 to 4 months is somewhat of a miracle, especially since we are dedicating a lot of resources to getting our other (mass-plywood panel) plant going,” he said. Freres, the company’s vice president of operations, said getting back to full operation wasn’t without obstacles. The company started Plant 4 operations more than a month ago, but a major electrical failure scuttled the process, leaving them limping through the past month until they could get all aspects into full working order.

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Pulp mill should invest in itself, not legal fees

By Mark Yeager, board member, Altamaha Riverkeeper organization
Savannah Morning News
November 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

What if every Georgia corporation asked for the same freebies the Jesup pulp mill operator, Rayonier Advanced Materials, gets from the state of Georgia? …It just simply wouldn’t be sustainable. Historically, pulp mills are needy polluters. Continuous largesse from the state flows to the Jesup mill. Pollution in the 1950s and ’60s resulted in fish kills. Today, fish are alive in the downstream chemical soup, but inedible. …Mill wastewater could be less damaging. Modern pulp mills around the world exhibit clear wastewater due to utilization of commonly-used technology — Activated Sludge Treatment (AST). Why isn’t AST being applied at the Jesup mill? In a few words: corporate management laziness. …Instead, Rayonier AM squanders substantial sums on legal fees fighting to maintain a faulty wastewater permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

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Multiple fire departments respond to fire at lumber mill on Indian Hut Road in Georgetown

By Mikayla Mercer
WPDE.com
November 27, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Late Monday night, fire crews from multiple area departments responded to a fire at a lumber mill in Georgetown. According to Doug Eggiman with Midway Fire Rescue, crews responded to a fire at 2701 Indian Hut Road. According to the website for Interfor Corporation, the lumber company operates a sawmill at that address. Tony Hucks with Georgetown County Fire EMS said they have multiple crews on site of the lumber mill. Eggiman said Midway sent a ladder truck and a tanker to the scene to assist Georgetown County crews. Georgetown City Fire and Andrews Fire Department also responded to provide manpower to battle the blaze. Hucks said, as of 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, the fire had been marked under control. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

‘Grain for green’: How China is swapping farmland for forest

By Suzanna Dayne
Center for International Forestry Research
November 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Since 1999, China has restored forest landscapes across more than 28 million hectares of farmland and land classified as barren or degraded. As global efforts turn to restoration as a way to mitigate climate change – led by the Bonn Challenge, with the goal of restoring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030 – researchers are looking to China for lessons on how to achieve this. A major driver of China’s success has been the ‘Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program’ (CCFP), also known as ‘Grain for Green’. The program pays farmers to plant trees on their land and provides degraded land to rural families to restore. CCFP has so far cost more than USD 40 billion, including direct payments to more than 32 million rural households.

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Britain’s most unlikely day out? A trip to the power station with its own nature reserve

By Sophie Campbell
The Telegraph
November 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

It looks like a pony nut; a tiny, shiny-sided cylinder of compressed fibre. This is a biomass pellet, made of leftovers from the American sawn-timber industry and shipped over here in bulk to fire three of the six units at Britain’s biggest “half and half” power station at Drax, near Selby in Yorkshire. You can pick up a handful from a tub in its newly-refurbished visitor centre, where you can also power a virtual city using an exercise bike, build a turbine using Faraday’s principles (which are on the national curriculum) and fulfil the energy requirements of the National Grid, shown in huge digits, by frantically winding handles labelled “nuclear”, “hydro”, “gas”, “solar”, “wind” and “biomass”. Who would have thought the power station once vilified as the UK’s biggest carbon emitter could be so much fun?

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Conserving Forests Could Cut Carbon Emissions As Much As Getting Rid Of Every Car On Earth

By Susan Minnemeyer
World Resources Institute
November 27, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New analysis from The Nature Conservancy, WRI and others estimates that stopping deforestation, restoring forests and improving forestry practices could cost-effectively remove 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or as much as eliminating 1.5 billion cars—more than all of the cars in the world today!  In fact, forests are key to at least six of the study’s 20 “natural climate solutions,” which could collectively reduce 11.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. That’s as much as halting global oil consumption, and would get us one-third of the way toward limiting global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels — the threshold for avoiding catastrophic effects of climate change — by 2030. Avoided deforestation could deliver more than 40 percent of total emissions reductions offered by low-cost solutions.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood construction makes for warm, renewable and speedily built homes

By Bryan Tuckey, Building Industry and Land Development Assoc.
The Toronto Star
November 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Providing homebuyers with options, including the material used in the construction of their new homes, is something the homebuilding and land development industry always strives to do. Some homebuyers choose a wood construction home, for various reasons. Wood has a natural beauty that makes it warm and inviting. It is a renewable and recyclable resource, so some buyers choose it to reduce their environmental footprint. Wood also makes for fast, efficient home construction, particularly on smaller sites. Plus, advances in wood science and building technology have resulted in stronger products that have expanded the options for wood construction. Wood’s many advantages were the reason BILD and partners like the Ontario Home Builders’ Association advocated for amendments to the Ontario Building Code to increase the height standard for wood buildings from four to six storeys.

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Wood reaches new heights as a building material

By Adam Stanley
Globe and Mail
November 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

George Brown College has steadily grown since its establishment in 1967 and now operates out of more than a dozen buildings spread throughout Toronto’s core….The public college of 26,000 students plans to erect a 12-storey tower framed of wood at its waterfront campus on Lake Ontario to house its computer technology program and a centre for researching climate-friendly building practices.  …Once ready in 2024, the tower dubbed The Arbour will be the highest wood-framed building for institutional use in Ontario and a significant milestone in the revival of timber as a construction material for tall structures. “The future is certainly wood,” says Shane Williamson, a principal at the architecture firm Williamson Williamson Inc. in Toronto. …The revival may gain even more momentum under a new federal government program announced this fall.

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Congress gears up for a fight over mass timber legislation

By Alex Ulam
The Architect’s Newspaper
November 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The battle over the 2017 Timber Innovation Act is gaining momentum in Washington, D.C., where two new Senate sponsors and four new Congress members have signed on to it since this past May. The pending legislation would provide funding for research into innovative wood materials and mass timber structures above 85 feet. The bill’s proponents are hoping that it will be an impetus for transforming cities and towns across the country with a bevy of mid-rise and high-rise mass timber buildings. “I am very impressed with the large cross-aisle support,” Chadwick Oliver, director of Yale University’s Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, said. …However, the concrete and steel industries are vigorously lobbying to derail the legislation, and have established a website called Build with Strength that contains a detailed critique of the new generation of wood buildings.

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Australia’s largest residential timber building is an affordable housing project

By Katie Camero
The Fifth Estate
November 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

An affordable housing development made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) has opened in Campbelltown, making it the largest residential engineered timber building in Australia and the first in NSW, according to community housing provider BlueCHP. The development, known as The Gardens, comprises three towers with 101 apartments, 56 of which are available for affordable rental. The remaining 45 dwellings have been sold on the private market. …Built with about 22,000 square metres, or 962 tonnes, of CLT – sourced from sustainably managed spruce forests in Scandinavia – The Gardens saw a 35 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from onsite construction, as well as a 60 per cent reduction in waste. Each apartment was designed in accordance to BASIX requirements, achieving an average five-star NatHERS energy rating, Mr Steimbeisser said.

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Timber the Material of the Future on Multi-Storey Construction

By Andrew Heaton
Sourceable
November 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Andrew Dunn

In 2013, Melbourne’s Docklands precinct witnessed the opening of Australia’s first modern high-rise building to be constructed out of engineered timber… Last May, Sydney’s Barangaroo saw completion of the world’s largest commercial office building made out of engineered timber… In Brisbane, ground broke in May on another Lend Lease office tower to be built using engineered timber which when complete will rise to 52 metres. All up, Timber Development Association NSW executive director Andrew Dunn says, the number of modern timber buildings which are equal to or greater than seven storeys in height has risen from none in 2008 to 30 now – of which Australia accounts for four. Whilst engineered timber is much talked about, opportunities also exist using traditional timber framing, which he says in Vancouver accounts for around 70 per cent of new multi-storey buildings of up to six storeys in height.

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