Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 5, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

As the clock inches towards the end of 2017…

December 5, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

As the clock inches towards the end of 2017, it seems unlikely a new softwood agreement will be inked, according to the Canadian Press’ Mia Rabson. But thanks to near-record prices and the insatiable demand from US builders, there haven’t been any layoffs yet. 

Other past year reflections include:

In other news: Northern Pulp is trying to calm the fears of fishers over their proposed effluent-treatment plant, while longterm-employee Angus Pellerin “asks the public to keep an open mind“. Elsewhere, New Brunswick’s trade minister rebuffs the idea that the review of their softwood market “is itself a form of subsidy“.

Finally, Fast + Epp were honoured in London, UK with an award from the Institution of Structural Engineers for Brock Commons.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Editorial: Reflecting on the last year in forestry

By Maria Church
Canadian Forest Industries
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada
Birthdays are a good time for reflection. A time to think about what we accomplished over the past year. For those in the business of wood, Canada’s 150th year was full of ups and downs. The softwood lumber trade dispute between Canada and the U.S. took an expected turn for the worse in April when the U.S. announced preliminary countervailing duties of 19.88 per cent on most Canadian lumber producers; some were higher, some lower. …Plans to protect Canada’s dwindling number of caribou also made waves in the latter part of the year. …In B.C. wildfires set a new record for damage, consuming an estimated 53 million cubic metres of timber. …A major announcement came in September when the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers unanimously supported a forest bioeconomy framework to increase and ramp up bio-based projects in Canada.

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Government of Canada Invests in Green Jobs for Youth in the Natural Resource Sectors

Natural Resources Canada
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Creating green jobs ensures that the natural resource sectors remain a source of opportunity and prosperity in a world that increasingly values sustainable practices and low-carbon processes, while alleviating anticipated shortages of skilled workers by offering the next generation a real and fair chance at success. The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that the Government of Canada is investing more than $16 million to create 1,200 green jobs for Canadian youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the natural resource sectors, a tenfold increase in NRCan’s Science Technology Internship Program. …Each year, 11 federal departments and agencies including NRCan invest more than $330 million through the Youth Employment Strategy to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to find and keep good jobs.

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Proposed Mass Sprinkler System Could Aid Province’s Future Wildfire Fight

By Bradley Jones
Summit 107 FM
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An out-of-the-box idea could potentially be added to the BC Wildfire Service’s repertoire of fighting wildfires, as a BC businessman and the province continue discussions. At the Regional District of East Kootenay Friday, Jeff Kelly, a trained BC Wildfire instructor from Fort St. John and the owner of Safeguard, a BC based company and emergency response think tank, shared his proposal with board members on how to effectively fight back wildfires – with the use of a mass sprinkler system. According to Kelly, the system at full capacity can pump 60 million gallons of water in 24 hours, which would be the equivalent to 20 millimetres of rain hitting a wildfire up to a kilometre and a half.

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The three musketeers of logging: meet the LeBeau Brothers

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West
Working for the LeBeau brothers logging operations in Kamloops, B.C., is like joining a fraternity. “LeBeau Brothers Logging was my grandfather’s company which dates back to the 50s. He came up from Vancouver and was hauling logs and loading for Federated Co-op at the time,” he says. After the LeBeau’s grandfather passed away in the 80s the company disappeared for a time. “Our parents did everything they could to keep us out of the bush. They didn’t want us to have anything to do with it. But my brothers and I went back in the bush in 1990,” Brent says. Since then, Craig and Brent have each launched a successful timber harvesting and hauling company in the Kamloops area.

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BC to review 2017 flooding, wildfire seasons

BC Local News
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

George Abbott, John Horgan and Maureen Chapman

Delays in processing claims to B.C.’s disaster recovery programs will be part of a review of the 2017 spring floods and summer forest fires led by a former B.C. cabinet minister and a B.C. Indigenous chief. Premier John Horgan made the announcement Monday in Victoria, appointing former BC Liberal cabinet minister George Abbott and Maureen Chapman, hereditary chief of the Skawahlook First Nation in the Fraser Valley, to their new roles. Interior MLAs have criticized the provincial response to damage claims since the fires were brought under control, citing cases where businesses have waited weeks for payment after staying open to provide goods and services to the relief effort.

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Where protected lands stand after national monument review

By Brady McCombs
Associated Press in Billings Gazette
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump earlier this year ordered U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct an unprecedented review of 27 monuments established by former presidents over more than two decades on lands and waters revered for their natural beauty and historical significance. Trump announced Monday that he will shrink two Utah monuments, but he has not revealed his decision on the others yet. …Zinke recommended reducing four large monuments in the U.S. West and modifying rules at six others, according to a memo leaked this fall. He also has said he’s recommending the creation of three new monuments. He didn’t suggest eliminating any monuments, despite urging by some Republicans in Utah and elsewhere.

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Senate Appropriations releases interior, environment bill

by Larry Dreiling
The High Plains Journal
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thad Cochran

The Senate Appropriations Committee Nov. 20 released a fiscal year 2018 bill that addresses the issues including the U.S. Forest Service firefighting budget, the Environmental Protection Agency and certain threatened species. In a summary of the bill, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-MS, noted that it includes $5.8 billion for the U.S. Forest Service, including the full 10-year average for wildfire suppression costs as well increased funding for hazardous fuels reduction to help prevent catastrophic wildfires. The bill also includes $3.6 billion to fight wildland fire, representing fire suppression funding at 100 percent of the 10-year average and emergency suppression funds made available if regular suppression funding is insufficient to cover the costs of fighting wildfires, a committee statement said. …Senate Appropriations Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, D-VT, said the bill is not bipartisan.

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Despite city tree benefits, California urban canopy cover per capita lowest in US

By the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Southwest Research Station
EurekAlert
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Trees in California communities are working overtime. From removing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, intercepting rainfall and increasing property values, California’s 173.2 million city trees provide ecosystem services valued at $8.3 billion a year. However, according to a recent study, more benefits could be realized if the Golden State’s urban forests didn’t have the lowest canopy cover per capita in the nation. “The structure, function and value of urban forests in California communities,” recently published online in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, reports that California’s 109 square yards of city tree canopy per person lags behind other urban canopy-poor states, such as Nevada (110), Wyoming (146) and Montana (148). And there’s no comparison with well-treed states, such as New Hampshire (1,514), Connecticut (1,214) or Alabama (1,182).

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This Week’s Personality: Chad Sanders in midst of Mohican Forest controversy

By Jim Brewer
Columbus Parent
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Chad Sanders

LOUDONVILLE — By position, Chad Sanders is in the midst of another controversy involving the Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Sanders, a native of Greenwich, has served since 2011 as manager of the Mohican-Memorial State Forest, 4,600 acres of state-owned and state-managed hardwood and pine forest in Hanover Township southwest of Loudonville. He comes to Mohican after working for a decade in the timber industry, for Georgia-Pacific in Coos Bay, Oregon, and later in Fordyce in southern Arkansas for the Plum Creek Timber Co. At Plum Creek, he was responsible for the management of 280,000 acres, mostly harvested for its loblolly pine, as the senior resource forester. “That’s more acreage than the entirety of Ohio’s state forests,” he said. “

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Forestry needs to cover road impacts

Letter by Manu Caddie
The Gisborne Herald
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Why is the exotic forestry industry getting subsidised for business-as-usual costs? I can understand R&D subsidies but if the business case doesn’t stack up, why is it being enabled? It is long-standing council policy that costs which can be attributed to a particular group are met by the exacerbator. That has been the theory but not the reality, as the exotic forestry industry has been effective in lobbying the council for close to a decade to ensure it does not have to carry the extra costs it creates for the council. The roading crisis is attributable to one industry but the council has decided to give that industry special treatment and make the rest of us pay for it. 

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Company & Business News

Atlas Engineered Products continues its aggressive acquisition program with Clinton Truss deal

Proactive Investors USA & Canada
December 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Wood product firm Atlas Engineered Products Ltd has pressed on with its acquisition strategy and is now set to buy Ontario based Clinton Roof Truss Ltd for C$2.1mln in cash. The purchase includes 31,000 sq feet (sq ft) of plant, warehouse and office space on a five acre site, positioned to provide access to the growing Ontario communities west of Mississauga. Moreover, Clinton is growing, said  Atlas, and has over C$3 million in annual sales, strong profitability, and very capable operational leadership. “The acquisition of Clinton represents a major milestone of our acquisition program to significantly broaden our geographic reach,” said Guy Champagne, the president of Atlas.

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Softwood exports to U.S. down but it’s not causing big financial pinch

By Mia Rabson
Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
December 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Canada’s softwood lumber exports to the U.S. have fallen since the Americans imposed new duties earlier this year, but thanks to near-record wood prices the industry isn’t suffering much from the political trade fight. As the clock inches towards the end of 2017, it seems unlikely a new softwood agreement will be inked between Canada and the U.S. this year, but even the industry association representing most softwood producers in Canada isn’t that concerned about it. Joel Neuheimer, vice-president of international trade and transportation for the Forest Products Association of Canada, said the higher price of wood and the insatiable demand from U.S. builders, is helping keep the duties from pushing companies to lay off staff, cut production or even close down.  …Trade data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows the amount of Canadian softwood imported was down eight per cent for first nine months of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.

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This week at the Supreme Court of Canada

By Elizabeth Raymer
Canadian Lawyer Magazine
December 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear four appeals this week. …A tree faller was fatally struck by a rotting tree while working within the area of a forest licence held by West Fraser Mills Ltd. West Fraser was the owner of the workplace, as defined by the Workers Compensation Act. The faller’s employer worked for an independent contractor. The Workers’ Compensation Board conducted an investigation and imposed an administrative penalty on West Fraser. On appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, West Fraser argued that s. 26.2 of B.C.’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation is ultra vires, and that an administrative penalty can only be levied against a person who has, in the course of acting as an employer, committed a violation.

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Looking back on 75 years of the Truck Loggers Association

By David Elstone
Wood Business in Canadian Forest Industries
December 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West
Next year, the Truck Loggers Association is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Formed in 1943, the TLA was created to give independent timber harvesting contractors a collective voice in the changes taking place in society and the forest industry. Guiding the TLA over its 75 years has been the fundamental belief that a strong and sustainable working forest will generate long-term prosperity for the people of B.C., and that the people who work in our forests should share in this prosperity. …Significant anniversaries like this one encourage reflection. In response, we’re writing a book that looks back over our 75-year history. Using our past presidents as the structure, we look at each president’s personal story as well as what happened in the forest industry during their term. The book is in production now and will be available at the TLA convention in January.

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Dirty Dollars

By David Bruser and Jesse McLean
The Toronto Star
November 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

…What happened in Hamilton, the Star has found, is business-as-usual across Canada: Big companies with poor environmental records are getting rich public payouts. A Star investigation found that since 2010 more than $2.6 billion in public money has flowed to dozens of companies that had repeated or significant violations of environmental rules designed to keep the public safe. …Pulp and paper company Domtar, which had 1,800 pollution violations in Ontario from 2011 to the end of 2014, challenged tax assessments, arguing its mills in Dryden and Espanola were valued too high….Since 2010, Domtar has received more than $200 million in federal green subsidies, provincial electricity rebates and to build and maintain public forest roads, while its regulatory fines totaled a comparatively paltry $96,000.

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Northern Pulp meeting with fishermen to discuss proposed pipeline

CTV News
December 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northern Pulp is trying to calm the fears of fishers along the Northumberland Strait by meeting with them behind closed doors about its proposed pipeline. Northern Pulp has proposed a plan to pump effluent, or mill wastewater, into the Northumberland Strait by using a 10.5-kilometre pipe, which has fishers in the area concerned. The province ordered the current treatment facility to close by January 2020. That was a promise made to the Pictou Landing First Nation, which sits next to the facility. Northern Pulp started consultations Monday and is promising a transparent process. …But before Monday night’s stakeholder meeting even got underway, a protest formed outside. “It’s a huge concern to all our fishermen. There’s 1,288 fishermen on P.E.I. and we’re all concerned about this,” says lobster fisherman Charlie McGeoghegan.

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Keep open mind about pulp mill

Letter by Angus Pellerin
The New Glasgow News
December 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

I am writing because I think it is time that my voice as a concerned citizen of this county should also be heard. I became an employee of Northern Pulp in the spring of 2004. I am one of the fortunate people of Pictou County able to secure a permanent job here…. I feel my livelihood in this county is being attacked by individuals because they feel the pulp mill is going to poison our environment with the installation of the proposed new effluent-treatment plant. …Do not get me wrong. I feel everyone’s frustration over this contentious issue. …If for one second I thought the owners of the mill were deliberately doing something to jeopardize my or my family’s health, I would be the first to knock on my general manager’s door and ask some serious questions.

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Trade minister defends paying another expert to review forestry market

By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon
CBC News
December 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Roger Melanson

The New Brunswick minister responsible for trade policy is defending the Gallant government’s decision to use taxpayer money to hire another expert to look at the forestry market in its ongoing fight against U.S. duties on softwood lumber exports. Although the industry had called for such a review to refute the “inaccurate and unfounded conclusions” of the auditor general’s 2015 report, which the U.S. Commerce Department used to argue the province was providing unfair subsidies to local companies, Roger Melanson denies the review is itself a form of subsidy. “We have 22,000 jobs in New Brunswick depending on this industry. It’s a major, very important sector,” particularly in rural areas, he said. “So there’s a lot at stake here.” The review has to be independent and objective, not paid for by industry, he said.

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Port Taranaki buoyed by record number of logs being shipped out video

By Mike Watson
New Zealand Stuff
December 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Port Taranaki is basking in an early summer haze as strong international prices push record amounts of logs through for export. The so-called “wall of wood” shows no sign of tumbling as increasing numbers of export logs are trucked in and shipped out of the west coast port. The growth trend is forecast to continue as strong international market conditions boost trade, and business extending to become year-round instead of seasonal, Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said. Favourable market conditions, low inventory levels in China, and large numbers of harvest-ready trees in the port’s catchment area of Taranaki, King Country and Whanganui had helped push through record numbers of logs in the past 12 months. The forestry industry was enjoying a rise in trade as greater urbanisation in China resulted in greater demand for wood for housing and infrastructure, Roper said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

International engineer award for Brock Commons

The REMI Network – Real Estate Management Industry Network
December 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brock Commons Tallwood House in Vancouver has earned an international award for innovation from the Institution of Structural Engineers. Winners of the Structural Awards 2017 were honoured in London, UK. The Structural Awards are held each year to celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative, creative design professionals and to showcase the world’s cutting edge engineering projects. The Construction Innovation Award is presented to projects that demonstrate structural engineering excellence in the innovative use of construction materials or processes. …The judges praised the engineers, Fast + Epp, on the development of an innovative solution to deliver a highly economic and sustainable alternative to more traditional construction methodology. The new hybrid system sets a new precedent for what can be economically achieved in predominantly timber structures.

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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Tests a Mass-Timber Composite System for High-Rise Construction and Explores a Steel Option

By Wanda Lau
ARCHITECT Magazine
December 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

One reason mass timber construction remains absent from high-rise construction in the United States is because the system remains largely untested in performance and strength. An effort led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and Benton Johnson, an associate director and structural engineer based in SOM’s Chicago office, has been steadily chipping away at the many unknowns of wood as structure through with its Timber Tower Research Project, which began in 2012 and proposed a hybrid timber-concrete composite system for an existing 42-story building. Today, the firm released two new studies in its tall timber design and construction research. “Physical Testing Report #1: Composite Timber Floor Testing at Oregon State University” … and …“American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Steel and Timber System for High-Rise Residential Buildings”

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University of Arkansas Uses Mass Timber for Dorm “Cabin”

By Daedalus Howell
School Construction News
December 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — When one thinks about the American south and “a cabin in the woods,” the notion of a large-scale, mass timber interactive learning project probably comes to mind long after the film “Deliverance” let alone the University of Arkansas. …The 708-bed Stadium Drive Residence Halls feature exposed, locally harvested wood structural elements made from mass timber. And what is this “mass timber?” According to the website reThink WOOD (produced by the The Softwood Lumber Board, a Washington, D.C.-based industry funded group that promotes uses of softwood lumber products in outdoor, residential and non-residential construction), mass timber is a category of framing styles often using large panelized solid wood construction. These include cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber, glue-laminated timber, dowel-laminated timber or glulam panels for floor and wall framing.

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Designed to be relocatable, this prefab wood building is so nice it’s not going anywhere

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
December 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Many researchers have found that the Biophilia Effect, a preference for natural materials, is significant for our well-being, leading to better learning rates, lower blood pressure, reduced stress. Perhaps that’s why this new business incubator building at Australia’s Macquarie University designed by Architectus looks like such a lovely place. It has it all; patterns, views, daylighting and of course, our favorite material, wood. According to the architects, Timber was selected as the main construction material for its capacity to be beautifully engineered, swiftly fabricated to high quality, and for its potential for future dis-assembly and relocation, with the majority of components prefabricated offsite to ensure rapid construction on site and minimal disruption to the concurrent university semester. The resulting building was completed within five months of construction commencing.

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Mjøstårnet IS the world’s tallest

By Rony Delucia
Moelven
December 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

According to director Rune Abrahamsen of Moelven Limtre AS, the answer is mainly because “HoHo-tower” in Vienna – which will stand 84 metres tall –  will not be defined as a timber building. “For a start, Hoho is not a timber building according to how the definition of this will be. It’s a wood-concrete-hybrid building – also known as a composite. Second, the building will not be completed until a month after “Mjøstårnet” is completed. But the latter is a moot point if the first is correct. And there is little doubt that this will be the case,” Abrahamsen says. …Abrahamsen nevertheless emphasizes that for Moelven and the environment in general, it is important that smart wood solutions are used in as many buildings as possible, preferably in combination with other materials, regardless of whether the building is defined as one thing or the other.

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