Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: January 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Not the season (perhaps) but wildfire risks and rewards dominate the news

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 19, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Not the season (perhaps) but wildfire risks and rewards dominate today’s news. This includes an update on the fire risk posed by millions of dead trees in California; the proactive burning of trees to combat the mountain pine beetle in Jasper; and the USDA’s Joint Chief’s Partnership in forest health (or Washington’s “willful negligence” in the opinion of some). The ‘rewards’ include the 1,600 nominations for BC’s Above and Beyond Awards, recognizing those involved in the 2017’s wildfires.

In Business news: Reuters reports that most economists expect a positive outcome in the NAFTA negotiations, while softwood lumber production is up in the US but down in Canada. At the Truck Loggers conference, Premier Horgan wants to reconnect communities with industry but expresses dismay at the growth in BC log exports; while David Elstone said “it’s time for BC to stop the hoop jumping to appease the unappeasable”.

Finally, US researchers say ‘super yeast’ from pine trees could help replace gasoline as a transportation fuel, and wood’s ability to absorb vibration makes it the preferred substrate for one bicycle producer.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Truck Loggers Association kicks off 75th convention in Victoria

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 18, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The BC Truck Loggers Association (TLA) dominates today’s news with the start of its 75th convention in Victoria. A sampling of the headlines include: Softwood lumber dispute top of mind at this week’s TLA convention; Despite lumber dispute there remains a sense of optimism among contractors; TLA members waiting for word on review of the viability of logging contractors; and [says David Elstone] “we’re in it for the long haul“.

In Business news: Federal Minister Jim Carr announced funding for forest sector innovation and diversification at the BC Natural Resources Forum; BC Premier John Horgan says the sector “can still do wonders” even though it’s facing hard times; Nathalie Des Rosiers is Ontario’s new Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; and coverage on Tolko, JD Irving and Port Hawkesbury Paper.

Finally, Oregon celebrates America’s first “domestically fabricated CLT building” and the wood fibres in China’s thin-walled Flamenco Ice Tower make the ice “three times stronger than ice alone”.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO visit Golden

By Dallin Cervo
The Golden Star
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada was in Golden last week. He and MP Wayne Stetski, toured the LP mill to discover what issues and opportunities are available in the community and to make any necessary improvements. Derek Nighbor represents Canada’s forest products sector on two global boards. …“I understood housing issues is a common concern in the community,” Nighbor said. “It seemed to be a running theme in my discussions.” Through his discussions Nighbor was able to gain insights on how important jobs in forestry are to Golden and how more support is needed for a strong mill and work force. …Nighbor said these issues are evidence of climate change in Canada’s forests and sustainable forest management and actively managing our forests will be an important tool to help in the fight against climate change.

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More than 1600 nominated for going above, beyond during 2017 wildfire season

By Kyle Balzer
My Prince George Now
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Approximately 133 people in the Cariboo will be receiving certificates of appreciation from the province after having been nominated for the Above and Beyond Awards. Spokesperson with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, Jeremy Uppenborn says 1,630 nominations were submitted and there was a large variety of nominations for groups and individuals. …The Above and Beyond Awards were announced by the BC government on October 14th, 2017, by Premier John Horgan and Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson.

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Researchers find simple key to risk of severe peat fires

Phys.Org
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The scrawny black spruce trees that push up through the peat bogs of Canada’s boreal forest are valuable indicators of fire risk, say researchers who studied a burned-over area just outside Fort McMurray, Alberta, where a devastating wildfire struck in 2016. The science behind their findings is complex, but the conclusion is simple: in a peat bog, bigger trees mean greater risk of high-severity fire. …Where the spruce are small, there is more moisture in the ground and more sunlight gets to the sphagnum moss that acts like a fire blanket across much of the landscape. In a peat land, the difference between the largest and smallest trees is not great. The researchers found that the threat comes from trees just 5 metres tall. …The solution, at least for the short term, appears to be to remove large trees and encourage the beneficial sphagnum moss to grow back. This is the focus of a new study called Boreal Water Futures, led by Waddington.

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Logging injunction to be lifted in forest popular with mushroom pickers

By Bethany Lindsay
CBC News
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging trucks will return to a community forest on the Sunshine Coast later this month, after a judge agreed to lift a temporary injunction granted to a group of mushroom pickers. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lisa Warren has ruled work can resume in the so-called Chanterelle Forest on Jan. 25, according to activist Ross Muirhead. He said the decision came after he and his fellow plaintiffs were unable to prove they could pay more than $200,000 in potential damages to the logging company. “We’re disappointed that the courts forced us, as private citizens, to show that we were in a position to undertake to pay for the inflated damages that the logging company … was claiming,” Muirhead told CBC News.

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Our region’s communities heavily rely on the forestry sector — Let’s not change that for now

By Thomas Kervin
North Island Gazette
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thomas Kervin

Recently the Sierra Club visited Cafe Guido in our local community. Conversations stemmed from interpretations of data they had collected from the BC government. To make it short: they called for protecting old-growth trees from what they’d claim to be unsustainable practice in the logging industry. …The one thing that is certain is this — Port Hardy was built on logging and it continues to rely on it as a strong foundation for our local economy. …Sure, the question could be framed around whether this is sustainable, and it needs to be stopped, but who would personally want to be the one to tell those some thousands of forest sector workers that they’re out of a job? So instead of regulating the companies more, we could offer long-term solutions such as diversifying our economy…The question is this — what could we even diversify into?

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Time for a facilitator to speed up the salvage of burned timber

By Jim Hilton
The Williams Lake Tribune
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a recent interview Premier John Horgan said one of the most important forest issue arising from last year’s wildfires was to salvage the burned timber as soon as possible. In recent discussions with some industry people they were a little frustrated with what they thought was a slow response by government in getting the process started for the timely harvesting of the burned timber on crown land associated with the replaceable forest licences. …One of the major issues on salvage of crown land was apparently the silviculture responsibility along with a stumpage rate that recognizes additional costs of harvesting and milling burnt timber. …In my opinion we should be looking at a government appointed facilitator with powers necessary to encourage a fair decision. 

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Trees being burned on border of Jasper park to combat mountain pine beetle

By Bob Weber
The Canadian Press in the National Post
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — Foresters and provincial officials are burning tens of thousands of trees east of Jasper National Park to try to slow the spread of mountain pine beetles. “There’s a lot more activity in the Edson-Hinton region, higher than past years, as we deal with some of this immigration that’s occurring,” said Mike Underschulz of Alberta Agriculture. The province expects to cut and burn up to 90,000 trees killed by the beetles this year throughout the province, Underschulz said. …Richard Briand of West Fraser Timber says the company has moved crews from other areas of its lease to deal with infected trees near Hinton. He said West Fraser has had to change its long-term plans because of damage from the beetles.

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ELF looks to Sechelt council to halt logging after court lifts injunction

By Sea Eckford
The Coast Reporter
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) is once again asking councillors in Sechelt to step in and halt logging in part of the Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) after a B.C. Supreme Court injunction was lifted on Monday. Justice Lisa Warren granted a temporary injunction Dec. 22 after ELF brought forward a petition claiming the Community Forest, and its operating company Sechelt Community Projects, didn’t properly consult with the community and stakeholders before tendering contracts to cut EW28. …The extension came with a condition, however.  ELF members listed as petitioners had to “file undertakings as to damages and proof acceptable to SCPI [SCCF’s operating company] of their ability to pay” by Jan. 15. Justice Warren is expected to hear arguments around the issues raised in ELF’s original petition over two days beginning March 5.

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Truck Loggers Association kicks off 75th convention in Victoria

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite the softwood lumber dispute and uncertainty over the future of the province’s forest industry, there remains a sense of optimism among the industry’s contractors as they prepare for their annual convention in Victoria this week. …TLA executive director David Elstone said the convention aims to celebrate the industry’s resiliency, even though it can’t answer some of the more pressing questions it currently faces. “I think what’s top of mind and what overrides almost everything is the contractor sustainabiity review,” he said. …The review is designed to improve the competitiveness of forest-sector contractors and strengthen relationships between logging contractors and licensees. “I can’t tell you how much anticipation there is for the report. From a contractor’s perspective, it is undoubtedly the biggest thing to happen to the sector in terms of forest policy since the early 2000s,” he said.

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B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Truck Loggers Association celebrates its 75th anniversary in Victoria this week, with coastal logging contractors waiting for the NDP government to put its stamp on forest policy and help a struggling industry. Premier John Horgan speaks to the convention for the first time Thursday, and members are waiting for word on the provincial review of the viability of logging contractors that was promised by former premier Christy Clark at last year’s convention. …The convention opened with a keynote address by Patrick Moore [who] recounted the history of his family company, W.D. Moore Log Co., which shut down last fall after 90 years of operation at Winter Harbour on northern Vancouver Island. …High U.S. lumber prices have the remaining loggers running full tilt, but current conditions for the industry leave them with the narrowest of operating margins, he said.

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Alliance Between First Nations, Municipal Leaders, and Industry Formed to Defend a Way of Life

Ontario Forest Industries Association
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An Alliance of First Nation and non-First Nation leaders representing rights holders, stakeholders, municipal leaders, unions, and Ontario’s forest sector has been formed to defend our way of life, with a mandate to grow the responsible use of natural resources in northern and rural Ontario. …The Alliance was recently formed in response to the potential negative impacts of proposed species at risk (SAR) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) policy on communities and the forest sector across northern and rural Ontario.  “We’ve looked after the land for hundreds of years,” said Chief Joe Ladouceur, from Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation. “We know how to manage our own forests. The government is taking food off the tables of First Nations.” The Ontario Forest Industries Association, stated, “Workable provincial and federal policy developed with input from … professional foresters will maintain and grow good paying jobs in northern and rural Ontario.

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Require environmental impact statement for every wildfire allowed to burn

By Chuck Hinkle
The Montana Standard
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On Sept. 9, 1942, as an act of war, the Japanese dropped two incendiary bombs on the forest near Brookings, Oregon. Their goal was to create massive forest fires that would panic the people… Now people paid to manage our forests are telling us that burning our natural resources is good and natural, even in the rainforests of the coast. It has been proven that the dense wood smoke that we have endured in the past is hazardous to our health. It is now obvious that the U.S. Forest Service is letting many of the fires burn and in fact lighting thousands of acres in their burnout operations. …What has happened to our country? Where is common sense? 

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129 Million Dead Trees Blight California Landscapes

Mountain News
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An additional 27 million trees have died throughout California over the past year, bringing the total number to “a staggering 129 million dead trees” on 8.9 million acres, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced in a joint statement with Cal Fire. The trees, which have died due to drought and bark beetles, continue to pose a hazard to people and critical infrastructure. “The number of dead and dying trees has continued to rise, along with the risks to communities and firefighters if a wildfire breaks out in these areas,” said Randy Moore, regional forester of the USFS, Pacific Southwest Region. …Although California received record-breaking rains in winter 2016-17, the effects of five years of severe drought, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and rising temperatures have led to historic levels of tree die-off.

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Another View: How Washington fueled our wildfires

By Jessica Morse, candidate for congress
Press Tribune Newspaper
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jessica Morse

It’s time for some straight talk about this year of record-setting wildfires. These are … political disasters. This year’s fire season has been the worst on record for California. …But even if you think the role of climate change is murky when it comes to wildfires, it is absolutely clear that bad forest management and willful negligence have made fires much worse. …The result has been a vicious cycle: the US Forest Service spends more and more to fight fires that get worse and worse, but the fires keep getting worse because it has less and less money for long-term fire prevention. …They call this “fire borrowing,’’ and it’s been gutting fire prevention for years. …It’s time to fully fund fire prevention and healthy forest management, so that putting out today’s fire doesn’t make the next one more likely.

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100 million dead trees in the Sierra are a massive risk for unpredictable wildfires

By Brett Israel
UC Berkeley
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The [drought] problem is so severe in the central and southern Sierra Nevada that some areas have experienced greater than 90 percent tree mortality. The study authors caution that these dead trees have created unprecedented levels of fuel, which could create dangerous wildfires in the near future that are beyond the predictive capacity of current fire models, making fire behavior and its impact on structures and public safety difficult to manage and predict. Forest managers have already been struggling to determine whether the massive number of dead trees will increase wildfire intensity and/or severity, what the near- and long-term effects on forest communities will be and how land management agencies should respond.

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Wildfire salvage projects underway

By Augusta McDonnell
KPAX.com
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – 700,000 acres burned on National Forest land in this summer’s wildfires, and there are plans now in place proposing to salvage about 30,000 of those acres, according to Julia Altemus, Executive Director of the Montana Wood Products Association, who spoke in front of hundreds of business people on Tuesday. The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce event “Rising From the Ashes” was packed with people there to learn about the impact of 2017’s fires and how to prevent destruction in the future. Altemus says that the wood products industry is hoping to access timber that could be harvested this summer, as certain types of trees begin to lose their value over time.

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Legislation allowing timbering in state parks sparks debate

By Jessica Viccaro
Mountain Statesman
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GRAFTON—After the introduction of proposed legislation that would allow commercial logging in West Virginia State Parks, many residents of West Virginia have concerns about the bill. Senate Bill 270, was introduced at the request of Governor Jim Justice, and sponsored by Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, as well as Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion. The proposed bill would lift a ban on state park timbering that has been in effect since 1931. The purpose of the bill is to authorize the Director of the Division of Natural Resources to implement a sound silvicultural management plan for state park lands, which may include the harvesting of timber, provided that certain requirements are satisfied.

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USDA Investing Millions in Forest Health & Water Quality Projects through Joint Chiefs’ Partnership

CBS News – WVNS TV
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ELKINS, WV – The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest nearly $32 million this year to mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems in 24 states and Puerto Rico.   More than $2,457,750 of that funding will support forestry projects in West Virginia. …”This USDA program brings together a wide variety of state, federal, and local partners to facilitate rural prosperity and economic development in West Virginia,” said Clyde Thompson, Monongahela National Forest Supervisor.  “Together we will implement projects to control non-native invasive species, restore spruce forests, improve fisheries and wildlife habitat, and enhance tourism through trail projects and improved forest health.”

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Supreme Court mulls taking frog-protection case

By Scott Bomboy
The Constitution Daily
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

On Friday morning, the Supreme Court will consider in private conference the case of unwanted government protection for prodigal endangered frogs from Mississippi that could return to Louisiana. In Markle v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the dispute is over the protection of land that could potentially host the dusky gopher frog, which actually doesn’t live on the property in question in Louisiana but is an endangered species. (A related case, Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is also at private conference.) …The Fish and Wildlife Service wants a 1,500-acre tract of privately owned land protected as a potential breeding and living space for the frogs, which currently live in Mississippi and were once believed to live in the tract in question in the 1960s. The tract’s owners want to develop the land and harvest its timber.

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University of Florida forestry has wide, practical impact on industry, natural resources

By Sean Arnold
The Chiefland Citizen
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Dr. Red Baker

The UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) boasts a wide scope of research and services, touching on everything from the hit film Finding Dory, to converting pine chemicals into jet fuel, to working with cutting edge industry applications for drones and electronic mapping. The new SFRC director, Dr. “Red” Baker,” paid a visit… to discuss the program’s unique accomplishments and its current projects that continue to shape the future of the industries of forestry and natural resources. Baker outlined the three main units of the SFRC, which includes its oldest part, the forestry division, as well as the fisheries and aquatic sciences program, a major part of which is operated in Cedar Key, and, thirdly, the geomatics unit. The latter includes remote sensing, satellite imaging, surveying and mapping and drones.

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Georgia Forestry Foundation launches new brand

By Pamela Miller
Atlanta Journal Constitution
January 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Georgia Forestry Foundation is launching a new logo and brand identity to accurately reflect the growth of the foundation since 1990, when the previous logo was introduced. The foundation has as its primary goal connecting 10 million Georgians to 22 million acres of working forests by promoting the abundant natural resource in Georgia’s backyard. Georgia is the number one forestry state in the nation, and GFF is establishing this brand to honor industry professionals, engage nature enthusiasts, and educate all Georgians about the critical role the forestry.

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Brazil seizes over 400 containers in fight against illegal logging

Reuters
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Police in Brazil have seized 444 containers in an investigation into illegal logging in the country’s vast Amazon, federal authorities said on Thursday, as the nation seeks to cut down on the widespread practice. The seizures are part of an investigation taking place at ports in the Brazilian riverside city of Manaus, a key trans-shipment point for illegal timber, police said in a statement.  Police have inspected only one-fifth of the containers so far. They were found to contain logs that, if laid in a line, would stretch for 1,500 kilometers (930 miles), the police said. About half of the logs were bound for export to the United States or Europe, they added.

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Company & Business News

NAFTA talks seen ending happily, despite growls from Trump

By Anu Bararia and Bruno Federowski
Reuters
January 18, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

President Trump

BENGALURU/SAO PAULO – The North American Free Trade Agreement will probably be renegotiated successfully with only marginal changes, said a large majority of economists in a Reuters poll, despite the Trump administration’s saber-rattling. Only four of 45 economists polled this week said they thought the deal would be terminated… The remarkably sanguine view from economists in Mexico, Canada and the United States is a sign many experts are taking U.S. President Donald Trump’s repeated warnings that he wants his country to withdraw from the pact, which he has repeatedly said is unfair to American businesses, with a grain of salt. …Respondents in the poll cited the energy and technology industries as among potential winners…However, the economic impact will largely be neutral or positive for each country.

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North American softwood lumber production up 0.6%

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
January 18, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

At a total of 36.19m m³, north American production of softwood lumber in the third quarter of 2017 was 0.6% higher than in the comparative quarter of the preceding year. Against the background of increases of +1.8% and +1.7% recorded in the first and second quarters respectively, the increase rate thus levelled off significantly. This is the result of contradictory development on a regional basis. Whilst production in Canada declined by 3.4% to 16.08m m³, US sawmills… were able to increase production by 4.1% to a total of 20.12m m³. Accumulated over the nine-month period, FAS recorded an increase of 1.7% to 110.62m m³ for north American production of softwood lumber. 

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Firefighters battling fully involved blaze at south Vancouver sawmill

CBC News
January 19, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver firefighters are on scene battling a fully involved fire at Mainland Sawmills on Yukon Street near Kent Avenue in south Vancouver. Thick smoke can be seen in the area and fire boats have been deployed along the Fraser River. More to come…

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Building Forest Policy for British Columbians Without Catering to Foreign Interests

Truck Loggers Association
January 18, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver – BC needs to change its perspective on softwood lumber trade with the US to better support the provincial forest industry. “Looking at everything through a US trade lens stops us getting to the heart of forest policy issues in BC,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “We can’t have frank conversations about forest policy, regulations and initiatives because we’re always looking over our shoulder at the US.” The report on the Contractor Sustainability Review led by George Abbott is due later this month and the TLA wants to make sure forest industry and government are in a position to act on its recommendations. “BC provincial governments have modified forest policy and regulation to assuage U.S. interests more than once. …which resulted in sweeping changes to BC’s timber harvesting rights and stumpage systems,” said Elstone. “Unfortunately, those changes ended up negatively affecting BC’s timber harvesting contractors and rural communities.”

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Horgan tells truck loggers he wants to reconnect communities with B.C. forestry industry

by Dirk Meissner
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
January 18, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

Premier John Horgan says the relationship between British Columbia and the forest industry has fractured over outdated government policy that hurts communities and threatens many small business contractors. He told delegates at the Truck Loggers Association’s convention on Thursday that the once solid social contract between the industry, government and communities is in need of repairs. …”We want to try and reconnect the social licence that existed over the decades in B.C.,” he said. Horgan said previous Liberal government policy introduced in 2003 allowed forest companies to ship timber to mills of their choice. The result was industry bypassing communities and small contractors even though the timber is located close to their homes, he said. Horgan said he’s deeply concerned about increases in the export of raw logs from B.C. since the policy changes. “When we see raw log exports… rise from eight per cent in 2003 to 23 per cent last year, that raises questions.

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Government of Canada Takes Action to Support Innovation in British Columbia’s Forest Sector, Sustain Middle-class Jobs for Canadians

Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
January 17, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Carr

PRINCE GEORGE, BC – Innovation in the forest sector will help to combat the effects of climate change, create new markets for Canadian forest companies and sustain good, middle-class jobs for Canadians. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, today announced funding of $6.45 million for six projects in British Columbia to promote innovation and diversification in forestry and support collaboration with Indigenous communities. The Minister made the announcement during the B.C. Natural Resources Forum. The funding delivers on the Investments in Canada’s Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) through the Strategic Partnerships Initiative for Indigenous Economic Development. The recipients are: Pacific Bioenergy Prince George Limited Partnership: $3.19 million… Structurecraft Builders Inc.: $1.93 million… The Tsay Keh Dene CHP Biomass Energy project: $25,000… Gitxsan Development: $1.165 million.

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Six projects receive federal support

By Arthur Williams
The Prince George Citizen
January 17, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Carr

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced $6.45 million in funding for six resource projects on Wednesday during the B.C. Natural Resources Forum at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre. Funding for the two industrial and four First Nations projects comes from the Investments in Canada’s Forest Industry Transformation program and the Indigenous Forestry Initiative. “Our government believes in the forest industry,” Carr said. “Today we see what happens when the resources of the country are matched with the resourcefulness of the people.” The largest grant, $3.19 million, went to local wood pellet producer Pacific BioEnergy Prince George Limited Partnership. Pacific BioEnergy vice president Paul Kalil said the company has developed a system to clean rocks, dirt and other debris from forest residues left behind by conventional logging operations so that it can be used to create wood pellets.

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First Nations, municipalities and industry stakeholders form forestry alliance

Northern Ontario Business
January 18, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Indigenous communities, municipalities and other Northern leaders and organizations have formed an alliance to promote forestry in Northern and rural Ontario. On Jan. 18, the group, which goes simply by “the Alliance,” issued a press release indicating its concern about the province’s proposed policies on species at risk and the Endangered Species Act, and how they could impact the forest sector across Northern and rural communities across Ontario. …Jamie Lin, president and CEO of the Ontario Forestry Industries Association (OFIA), said the sector needs “workable provincial and federal policy” in order to maintain industry jobs. “Workable provincial and federal policy developed with input from stakeholders, rights holders, practitioners, and professional foresters will maintain and grow good-paying jobs in Northern and rural Ontario,” she said.

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Newsprint tariff will harm newspaper industry

By Nicole Allegrezza
The Long Island Advance
January 18, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Thanks to the North Pacific Paper Co., a single mill based out of Washington State filing a petition claiming Canadian mills are selling newsprint under value, printers and publishers can expect countervailing and antidumping duties as soon as this week — adding as much as 10 percent to the cost of newsprint. …Paul Boyle, senior vice president of the News Media Alliance, explained that the petitioner is an outlier, owned by a New York hedge fund operator with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally. …The News Media Alliance is requesting the Commerce Department to scrutinize NORPAC’s petition and for members of Congress to express their concerns. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada funds British Columbia pellet, bioenergy projects

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
January 18, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Natural Resources Canada has awarded $6.45 million to support six projects in British Columbia that aim to promote innovation and diversification in forestry and support collaboration with Indigenous communities. Several of the projects address bioenergy. “Technology and innovation have placed our forest sector at the threshold of a new era,” said Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr. “Adopting new ways of using renewable forest materials will help ensure that Canada’s forest sector continues to play a key role in our economy and contributes to efforts to address climate change.” Pacific Bioenergy Prince George Limited Partnership …The Tsay Keh Dene CHP Biomass Energy project …The Gitxsan Development Corp. …The Kwadacha First National [were all awarded funds].

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‘Super yeast’ could be a game-changer for US ethanol production

Biofuels International Magazine
January 18, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

US researchers have developed a ‘super strain’ of yeast that can efficiently ferment ethanol from pretreated pine – one of the most common tree species in the US. The scientists from the University of Georgia (UGA) claim that their research could help biofuels replace gasoline as a transportation fuel. …Published in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels, the research shows that pine fermented with the new yeast can withstand toxic compounds, and produce ethanol from higher concentrations of pre-treated pine than previously possible. …”Companies are interested in producing ethanol from woody biomass such as pine, but it is a notoriously difficult material for fermentations,” said prof. Doran-Peterson. “The big plus for softwoods, including pine, is that they have a lot of sugar that yeast can use,” she said. …The discovery could be hugely significant for the US biofuels industry. 

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Japan names first 5 Registering Organizations under Clean Wood Act

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
January 18, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Japan’s Forestry Agency has named the first five organizations that have been certified to register companies policies for compliance with its Clean Wood Act, according to a notice filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. The Clean Wood Act was implemented in May and impacts most forest products, including logs, lumber, furniture and wood pellets. The law is a described as a voluntary norm of conduct that applies to all Japanese wood-related business entities. It aims to ensure domestic and imported wood are harvested legally.  “Unlike the U.S. Lacey Act, the Clean Wood Act does not penalize… illegally sourced wood products,” states the GAIN report. “Rather, the [government of Japan] intends to create an environment that rewards companies for making an effort to distribute legally harvested wood. 

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European Energy Exchange announces first trade in wood pellet futures

Biomass Magazine
January 18, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The European Energy Exchange registered the first trade on Industrial Wood Pellets Futures on its platform on Jan. 15. The trade for 10 lots in the Feb. 18 delivery is equivalent to 1,000 metric tons and was brokered by Tradition on behalf of Vattenfall Energy Trading and Total Gas & Power Ltd. …Quoted in U.S. dollars, the product offers access to a wide range of existing EEX market participants, from utilities and producers to traders. “EEX launched this contract to give market participants an opportunity to manage their price risk and to deliver a clear and transparent price signal for this fast growing commodity.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Made of Wood and Begging to Be Ridden: The Renovo Pursuit

By Ron Koch
Bicycling
January 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

If you’ve ever hit a baseball with a wooden bat, you may have sensed that the power the bat transmits to the ball feels lower than that of an aluminum bat. Wood has a natural tendency to absorb vibration. Perhaps this is why I’ve frequently used the term “wooden” to describe a lifeless, overly damped ride. I’ll never do it again—not in a derogatory sense, anyway. The Renovo Pursuit, a road bike with a wooden frame handmade in Portland, Oregon, has a ride that’s lively, smooth, rigid, and well damped without being overly so. …When you own a Renovo, you own a bike made from sustainably sourced materials and renewable resources. The Pursuit, for example, is made primarily from Oregon-sourced Port Orford cedar, chosen for its high stiffness-to-weight ratio

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How to best design your new home to minimise bushfire risk

By Natalie Hordov
The Eastern Reporter
January 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Architectural design principles can minimise the risk to property and lives during a bushfire, according to Archicentre Australia. …While legislation was in place in most states to regulate construction in designated bushfire-prone areas, Mr Georgiev said there were always opportunities to design beyond these standards and specific to the environmental circumstance. …“There are always sensible design precautions to be taken regardless of there being few, if any, statutory requirements… Mr Georgiev said non-combustible materials were generally acceptable, with the use of timber restricted to certain fire-tested species. …Mr Georgiev warned treated timber did not have any fire-retardant value and fumes from burnt treated timber could be toxic.

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Thin-walled Flamenco Ice Tower rises high in China

By Adam Williams
The New Atlas
January 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

With winter in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, ’tis the season for frozen architecture projects, such as the Icehotel and SnowVillage. Similarly, a team of Dutch and Chinese students and professors have built a 31 m (101 ft)-tall ice tower in China that features walls with an average thickness of just 25 cm (9.84-in). …Its design is inspired by traditional Chinese architecture and the shape of the Andalusian flamenco dress, which is reflected in the billowing section nearest the ground. The team refers to the tower as the “world’s largest ice shell.” However, it’s not made from frozen water alone. Crucially, construction involved mixing wood fibers and cellulose into the ice, which reinforces it. Indeed, the team says that the added fibers makes the ice three times stronger than standard ice.

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