Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 14, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Irving retains right to buy directly from woodlots but it’s not a free market

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 14, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The New Brunswick Forest Products Commission sided with Irving lumber in its eight-year dispute with the Sussex-based marketing board, allowing the company to purchase directly from private woodlot owners. However, it comes with licensing rules that affirm the board has authority to regulate wood sales and thus, according to the CBC, it’s “not a free market”.

In Forestry news: BC will resume helicopter logging of beetle impacted Douglas-fir trees; Saskatchewan is putting more money into stopping the mountain pine beetle; Ontario is clearing forests infested with the emerald ash borer; and the US Forest Service wants to log ahead of the spruce budworm in South Dakota.

Finally, MP Richard Cannings wants to make it mandatory for the Canadian government to consider the use of wood in all federal infrastructure projects.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

A model development and application guide for generating an enhanced forest inventory using airborne laser scanning data and an area-based approach

Natural Resources Canada
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Airborne Laser Scanning data—also known as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)—enables the accurate three-dimensional characterization of vertical forest structure. Airborne Laser Scanning data have proven to be an information-rich asset for forest managers, enabling the generation of highly detailed digital elevation models and the estimation of a range of forest inventory attributes (e.g., height, basal area, and volume). Good practice guidance synthesizes current knowledge from the scientific literature and practical experience to provide non-experts more detailed information about complex topics. With this guide, our goal is to inform and enable readers interested in using Airborne Laser Scanning data to characterize, in an operational forest inventory context, large forest areas in a cost-effective manner. 

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A Voice for the Forests: Examining the Illustrious Career of Biologist, David Lindsay

TimberWest
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Lindsay (and frog!)

“Forestry is all about managing balance.” – Dave Lindsay
Dave Lindsay has worked in the forest sector as a biologist for 42-years. Over the span of his illustrious career, Dave has conducted world-leading research, written policy and collaborated on forestry and environmental regulations that helped shape the industry. His passion, knowledge and experience contributed to BC emerging as a leader in sustainable forest management. …TimberWest would like to sincerely thank Dave for his dedication to TimberWest, his colleagues, and the many people he helped influence and mentor along the way. He has profoundly changed the way we work in the forest, and TimberWest wishes him the very best for his well-deserved retirement.

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Catalyst Paper agrees hydrology study needed for Sproat Lake

Letter by Walter Tarnowsky, Catalyst Paper
Alberni Valley News
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Walter Tarnowsky

At Catalyst Paper, one of our core values is to engage stakeholders on issues of mutual interest. This was of particular importance last month when the company was directed by the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District to remove of one of three gates from the Sproat Lake weir, which is a permanent structure that maintains minimum lake levels during dry summer months. It was our responsibility to ensure that all watershed stakeholders were informed and consulted before we took action. As soon as we completed that process, we acted without delay. We now know that the removal of one gate from the weir had a negligible impact, accounting for about one percent of the total flow during the flood condition. …We agree that a hydrology study would help the region better understand the complexity of the Alberni watershed.

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Helicopter logging to resume next week for beetle impacted trees

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
BC Local News
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents should anticipate hearing the sounds of helicopter logging on Crown Land in the Williams Lake area in the next few weeks. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development announced Wednesday it will begin the second year of helicopter logging operations to minimize the spread of Douglas fir beetles on Crown land. “Douglas fir beetle populations are currently higher than normal in parts of the Cariboo,” the ministry noted in a press release. “The insects normally attack small groups of trees and a significant infestation will weaken and eventually kill a tree over the period of about a year.” As part of the Williams Lake Beetle Management Unit 2017 Treatment Plan, helicopter harvesting will be done on steep slopes in the Williams Lake area to remove infested trees.

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EDITORIAL: Logging companies owe Alberni Valley a meeting over access

BC Local News
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s not surprising that forest companies cancelled their appearance at Monday’s Port Alberni city council meeting. The vitriol and threats spewing from a few members of the public angry that these companies are blocking access to the backcountry is enough to make anyone hesitate facing a crowd. The negativity and vigilantism is also making it difficult for those backcountry enthusiasts who are trying to come to an agreement with the companies. How can any progress be made when people are threatening on social media to destroy private property, no matter how empty these boasts may be? …The logging companies owe backcountry users in the Alberni Valley a conversation about access. Residents owe the companies some civility to allow that meeting to happen. Both sides need to think about solutions.

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Nazko guide-outfitter looking for stewardship from Province after wildfires

BC Local News
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For Stewart Fraser, guiding has been his lifeblood for the past 20 years. He knows his territory in the Nazko area like the back of his hand and the guide area has been his livelihood and provided for his family. When the Plateau wildfire raged through his territory this summer, destroying his ranch and everything he worked so hard to establish, Stewart says he was devastated. “This fire was started by Mother Nature, but went rogue through human mismanagement.” It’s a four-part story for this land-based businessman, who has watched the evidence pile up over the years and has viewed the results firsthand. …The game changed dramatically in 2012 when the Province introduced professional reliance, which replaced the existing FPC and put monitoring in the hands of the large licencees.

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Saskatchewan puts more cash toward fighting pine beetles in northern Alberta

By Creeden Martell
CBC News
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saskatchewan has approved another $300,000 toward the continued implementation of a strategy to try and stop the spread of a beetle that has devastated forests further west. That brings the amount of cash available from Saskatchewan to fight the mountain pine beetle in northern Alberta this fiscal year to $800,000 total. The mountain pine beetle affected forests in British Columbia with particularly bad outbreaks in the ’80s and ’90s, and has spread into Alberta. It’s native to Canada but is spreading beyond its historic geographic range and into the boreal forest. There are about 34,000,000 hectares of boreal forest in Saskatchewan, with 11.7 million of those hectares falling in the commercial forest zone. Forestry is the second largest industry in northern Saskatchewan, accounting for nearly $1 billion in forest product sales in 2016.

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Dorval council passes bylaw to protect trees on private property

By John Meagher
Montreal Gazette
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dorval city council approved an bylaw amendment that will allow the city to preserve trees in property that are to be developed in the future. Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau said the new bylaw will pertain more to wooded lots that contain the most “majestic trees. “We want to save trees that, let’s say, have the most the impact on a property,” the mayor said. Rouleau said he new bylaw “to better protect private woods in a residential project” won’t directly affect the McConnell Woods property that local residents fought to preserve when it went on the auction block last  summer.  The city was unsuccessful in trying to buy the sprawling waterfront property on Lakeshore Rd. for $15.4 million,

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Emerald ash borer stripping Grand River watershed forests

By Melanie Ferrier
CBC News
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stephen McQuigge

When he signed up to be an arborist, Stephen McQuigge knew he would be dealing with damage caused by a little green beetle known as the emerald ash borer. …”You can get it in your head, but not really get it with your heart until you start cutting everything down,” he told CBC News. “So, I knew it was coming, but it is discouraging to be in the middle of it and have to remove all these trees.” McQuigge is the superintendent of arboriculture with Grand River Conservation Area, which manages 30,000 acres of forest in southwestern Ontario. Of the estimated 500,000 ash trees in the forest, 14,000 are marked for the chopping block, because they have been infested by the emerald ash borer and pose a safety risk if they were to fall down of their own accord.

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Bringing on new urban forester vital for City of Thunder Bay: councillor

CBC News
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s been more than a year since the City of Thunder Bay has had an urban forester on staff, and the city is falling behind as a result, one councillor says. The previous urban forester, Shelly Vescio, left the position in October 2016 after 21 years in the role. Thunder Bay City Councillor Andrew Foulds, who chairs the city’s Earthcare committee, said he’s a bit frustrated over how long it’s taken to hire a replacement. As a result, Foulds said, the city is playing catch-up with regards to urban forestry. For example, more trees were cut down than planted in Thunder Bay in recent years, and the emerald ash borer will also see more trees lost. …The city has taken steps to fill in the urban forester gap, Foulds said.

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Christmas tree shortage will be felt for a long time

By Katherine Martinko
Treehugger
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

… If you had difficulty finding a Christmas tree this year, or had to pay through the nose in order to obtain one, you’re not alone. A widespread Christmas tree shortage is afflicting the US, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, where tree growers are short about 1.5 million trees this year and unable to meet demand. …The challenge is felt most acutely by small-scale, independent nurseries and vendors, which do not have the large contracts with Christmas tree farms that big box stores, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart, and Costco, hash out years in advance. Those big businesses are the first to receive …trees, whereas the smaller businesses are forced to shop around and increase prices. …Since fir trees take around 10-12 years to reach holiday height, there’s no quick fix for this supply-and-demand problem. 

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Here’s Why It’s So Difficult To Control California’s Wildfires

By David Lohr
Huffington Post
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s Thomas Fire is the fifth-largest wildfire in the state’s modern history. It’s also the biggest of six wildfires now raging in the state that have forced the evacuation of 98,000 people. …In addition to strong winds and dry foliage, human error and ignorance are contributing to the fire’s damage, experts say. …“A frustration in the fire protection community is that a lot of people want to live in the country … without understanding the risk,” McMullen told HuffPost. …Strong winds can cause a fire to blow like a blast furnace, he said. “They can burn so fast and furious that they will incinerate trees,” McMullen said. “I’ve personally seen where these fires have incinerated pine trees up to 50 feet high ― nothing but blackened branches, and at the top a full-blown Christmas tree. It’s a remarkable thing to see.”

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Forest Service timber sale proposed for budworm blighted acreage

By Max Miller
Cody Enterprise
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Forest Service tree specialist Amy Haas has seen enough. For five years now, Haas, Rapid City, S.D., Forest Service entomologist Kurt Allen and USFS landscape architect Paul Valcarce have watched as an infestation of the spruce budworm expanded its footprint on a nine-mile long corridor alongside the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. Haas said she hopes 2018 will be the year when a longtime plan to log the dead wood out of the area goes through. By harvesting, the Service aims to decrease fire risk and spur faster regeneration of the forest rather than to halt the spread of the insect. According to an environmental assessment published last month, the Service is planning to put 2,078 acres of timber out for bid along WYO 296.

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Letter: Uphold forest’s legacy for future generations

Letter by Paul Bryan
The Daily Journal
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ plan to log Yellowwood Back Country Area is being driven by an ideological obsession to manage trees in our state forests as a crop rather than concern about the health of the forest as asserted by DNR Assistant Director of Communications Marty Benson in a letter to the editor published in the Daily Journal on Dec. 6, 2017. Rather than logging virtually all of the state forests, the law that Benson sites requires DNR to manage the state forests for all Hoosiers’ benefit. Mr. Benson is mischaracterizing the history of this forest and DNR’s role in its return. It was not “an ecosystem that barely existed until the foresters planted it.” 

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Court challenge to logging in Victorian highlands could have national impact

By Calla Wahlquist
The Guardian
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Green groups are challenging the validity of a Victorian forestry agreement in the federal court in a case that could have repercussions for the Australian logging industry as a whole. Environmental Justice Australia, acting on behalf of Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum, has argued that the regional forest agreement covering Victoria’s central highlands region, which is home to the critically endangered possum, is invalid because the Victorian government failed to perform the requisite reviews. …In a two-day hearing … Environmental Justice Australia will argue that the failure to produce five-yearly reports meant the RFA was invalid and, in the absence of that agreement, logging and other activities in the mountain ash forests was subject to environmental laws, such as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.

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The nature of deaths in the forestry industry is changing, worrying WorkSafe NZ

By James Paul
New Zealand Stuff
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Nicole Rosie

WorkSafe NZ is concerned about a rising number of deaths in the forestry industry after Tuesday’s fatal accident in which a bulldozer crashed off a steep Wellington bank, killing its driver. This year’s total death toll reached six when the vehicle crashed down an 80-metre drop in Makara, on Wellington’s west coast. While that is fewer than the 2013 high of 10 deaths, it is an increase of two on 2016, and three on 2015. The death of a digger driver on Wellington’s west coast on Tuesday takes the forestry industry’s death toll to six, two more than last year’s total. In previous years, the causes of forestry deaths generally involved tree-felling, WorkSafe chief executive Nicole Rosie said.​ However, half of this year’s deaths have involved being in or around machinery.

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Company & Business News

Woodlot groups welcome proposed licensing rules for timber sales

By Connell Smith
CBC News
December 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Andrew Clark

New rules the New Brunswick Forest Products Commission has proposed for wood sales are being welcomed by marketing board officials as a step forward. The commission has suggested the licensing of all sellers, buyers and mill owners dealing with private woodlots in the territory of the Sussex-based SNB Marketing Board. “I think it’s a step forward,” said Andrew Clark, a director with the Carleton Victoria Forestry Products Marketing Board. Clark said the licensing rule would likely be adopted by all seven marketing boards and would keep woodlot groups updated on what is happening in their territories. “We aren’t getting back proper information from some of the people who are operating as direct contractors,” Clark said. “We’re not getting back proper information as to scale, volume, copies of transportation certificates — basic information for the boards to know how much wood is moving, what species, what grade, what class.”

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4-0 vote proves unfair lumber trade

By Nicholas Johnson
The World Newspaper
December 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

COOS BAY — Last week, the United States International Trade Commission ruled that the U.S lumber industry has been materially injured by the dumping of subsidized Canadian softwood into American Markets. Around 80 percent of U.S lumber in the market is privately owned. Whereas Canadian lumber is subsidized by the government, which allows them to flood U.S markets and undercut domestic lumber. The 4-0 unanimous vote by the ITC will propose new duties on imported Canadian Softwood, which are likely to be incited by the end of this calendar year.  …“That 20 percent will partially offset the unfair subsidies those Canadian firms enjoy. It has the effect of leveling the playing field. It should, and will allow U.S producers to produce more lumber and have larger part of our own market,” Former Lumber Coalition director Steve Swanson said.

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Commission sides with US lumber mills

By Patrick Reilly
The Daily Inter Lake
December 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Chuck Roady

U.S. lumber mills have gained some ground in a long-running trade dispute. Since November 2016, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce have been investigating allegations that Canada’s government unfairly subsidizes its lumber industry, and that many of those mills dump underpriced lumber on the U.S. market. …But reactions are more muted in the Flathead Valley, where tariffs and investigations like these have vexed lumber producers and consumers for years. Neither they nor their Canadian counterparts see last week’s ruling as the end of the fight. …Chuck Roady, manager at F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber in Columbia Falls, ranks imports as Stoltze’s third-biggest challenge, behind timber supply and federal forest policy. The Commission’s full report will become available later this month. But already, Roady feels vindicated.

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Russia: sawn timber export value up by 25.5%

IHB The Timber Network
December 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

In the first ten months of 2017, Russia increased its sawn timber exports again, both in value and in volume terms, indicate the statistics published by the Russian Federal Customs Office. Thus, during the first ten months of the current year Russia exported 15.21 million tonnes of sawn timber. That is 12.09% more than during the respective period of the last year. The total value of the exported Russian sawn timber increased as well. In January-October 2017 it came up to $3.33 billion having gone up by 25.48%.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

EU must not burn the world’s forests for ‘renewable’ energy

Letter by multiple scientists
The Guardian
December 14, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The European Union is moving to enact a directive to double Europe’s current renewable energy by 2030. This is admirable, but a critical flaw in the present version would accelerate climate change, allowing countries, power plants and factories to claim that cutting down trees and burning them for energy fully qualifies as renewable energy. …Unfortunately, the directive moving through parliament would go beyond wastes and residues and credit countries and companies for cutting down additional trees simply to burn them for energy. …The reasoning seems to be that so long as forests re-grow, they will eventually reabsorb the carbon released. Yet even then, the net effect – as many studies have shown – will typically be to increase global warming for decades to centuries, even when wood replaces coal, oil or natural gas.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cannings picks forestry bill for his one kick at the can

The Osoyoos Times
December 12, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

MP Richard Ccannings

Federal backbench MPs normally only get one kick at the can to bring a private member’s bill or motion forward for debate and a vote in each Parliament. MP Richard Cannings has decided to use his one chance for a bill supporting the forestry industry in his South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding. Cannings’ bill promotes the use of wood in federal infrastructure projects. …Bill C-354 had its first hour of debate in the House of Commons on Nov. 27. If passed, the bill would require the federal government to consider the use of wood in federal infrastructure projects, taking into account the associated costs and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by using wood products.

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Innovative structural panels to be installed at biomass site

By Maggie Wells
Plumas County Newspapers
December 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Sierra Institute begins construction on California’s first full cross-laminated timber building this week. Cross-laminated timber, referred to as CLT, is a structurally sound wood product that is seeing increased use in construction projects throughout the country. Buildings using this product include structures in Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Research and development work has found this sturdy material to be seismic and fire safe alternative to steel and concrete, and also offers an opportunity to keep carbon sequestered in a wood product,” said project manager Camille Swezy. He hopes the CLT building,  at the Courthouse Annex biomass project site, will put Quincy on the map by showcasing the potential for use of the wood product.

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