Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 4, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Canada starts appeal of US softwood lumber tariff decision

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 4, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Canadian government has launched its legal challenge on softwood duties one day after the US finalized its anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates (with slight reductions). Meanwhile, Les Leyne writes about the threat of paper duties on BC’s coastal mills; Don Burnell says online Christmas sales were good news for Washington’s packaging and papermakers; and Russ Taylor forecasts higher lumber prices due to a shortage of North American softwood capacity.

In Forestry news: Nova Scotia environmentalists say clearcutting is destroying bird nests; forest officials in Oregon have authorized some harvesting to reduce the risk of wildfires; and DNA sequencing may have found a solution to the fatal white nose syndrome in bats.

In Product news: timber high-rises are an architectural trend in Australia and Germany, and Ontario is responding with code guidance for using mass timber, while the Mixed Concrete Association is stuck on fear-mongering about fire.

Finally, is tree water really organic?

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Would You Drink Organic Tree Water?

By Mike Pomranz
Food & Wine
January 3, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

Plenty of shoppers have become obsessed with everything organic. …Water technically isn’t organic because it was never alive to begin with. And yet, recently, some entrepreneuring companies have discovered a bit of a loophole in this system—by sourcing their water from trees—and have been expanding the organic water market in the process. The Vermont-based TreTap Beverages is the latest brand to enter the organic water world after getting its line of “sparkling organic tree water” certified with the USDA. “Organic Tree Water utilizes reverse osmosis to separate the tree water from the sap,” the company explains in an announcement. “The remaining concentrated sap is then boiled to make syrup. The extracted tree water not in the concentrated sap is pure, pristine, unadulterated, Organic Tree Water from a source that utilizes sustainable forestry practices; based in VT, employing VT workers and growers.”

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Forestry

Celebrating the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamus Heritage Park

Bridge River Lillooet News
January 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Who among us would have thought 30 years ago that the Stein Valley would be nominated by the Canadian government as a candidate for a UNESCO World Heritage Site? …We retain vivid memories of the 25-year, often bitter debate over the future of the valley. Would it be open for “development” (another word for logging), would some areas be logged or would the entire intact watershed be protected? The forest industry and logging companies argued that it was a resource just waiting to be used and that it would create jobs. The environmentalists maintained it should be protected because of its spectacular scenery and because it was the last unlogged watershed easily accessible from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

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More dust, tourism notable trends in 2017

Editorial
Lake Cowichan Gazette
January 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…While not new by any stretch of the imagination, the fact that we were still talking about the problem of dust and mud coating Youbou from logging trucks heading out of the bush and through town was significant. …Also at issue was the fear that TimberWest could be getting ready to log the steep hill above the town. …Youbou residents object to logging on the spot for a number of good reasons. It would certainly impact the view (clearcuts are not known for their picturesque qualities) and thus tourism. …TimberWest did go ahead with additional paving of the road leading into town where trucks pick up the pesky dust, but community members remain dissatisfied. There is surely more to come between TimberWest and Youbou in 2018.

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Environmentalists worried about potential forestry-related nest loss

By John McPhee
The Chronicle Herald
January 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Thousands of birds are lost each year in Nova Scotia because their nests are destroyed by industrial forestry, a Cape Breton environmental group says. “It’s pretty obvious that there’s a really significant amount of bird nests being destroyed in Nova Scotia per year from clearcutting,” said Neal Livingston of the Margaree Environmental Association. Livingston was referring to a study done by the Avian Conservation and Ecology called An Estimate of Nest Loss in Canada Due to Industrial Forestry Operations. The study, based on 2013 statistics, concluded that between 214,500 and 1.69 million nests are lost each year as a result of logging across Canada. The provincial Department of Natural Resources said… “Bird populations and habitat are impacted by many human activities on the landscape and forestry is not among the most significant source of impacts” compared to cat predation, housing and road development, and vehicle collisions.

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Scientists say this fungus is Dracula with a twist: It kills bats. But it’s afraid of light.

By Darryl Fears
Washington Post
January 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The killer has a scientific name, but its gruesome behavior is familiar to anyone who’s read a horror story. Pseudogymnoascus destructans is essentially a pathogen’s version of a vampire. …The cold-craving fungus causes white nose syndrome, a disease that has wiped out millions of bats as they hibernate, littering caves with their corpses. Yet a study published this week reveals the killer’s glaring weakness: Ultraviolet light destroys it. …one of the study’s four authors, said afflicted bats are being treated with quick pulses of light to determine whether that can destroy the fungus. The first results will not be known for months. …Scientist are exploring a number of other options, too, including bathing infected caves and mines where bats hibernate in light. But the fungus can easily elude light. 

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Kootenai Forest seeks input on West Fork Salvage and Restoration Project

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
January 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LIBBY — The Kootenai National Forest is proposing to log about 5,300 acres of land burned in last summer’s West Fork fire northwest of Libby. … 3,100 acres will be dead and dying trees affected by the fire that burned close to 18,000 acres of national forest lands. …The fact the fire came so late in what was already a busy fire season created a challenge at the time in finding resources to battle the blaze. …Regional Forester Leanne Marten set a timeframe of a year to get salvage sales to market. …“For instance, Grand Fir doesn’t survive fire very well at all,” Gassman said. “If we are going to be able to retain that quality and value for those trees to be turned into boards, we have to get this work done quickly.”

 

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New ‘Ten Cent’ project to be implemented to reduce risk of wildfires

My Columbia Basin
January 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PENDLETON, Oregon – Forest officials on the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests signed a final Record of Decision authorizing implementation of the 37,800 acre Ten Cent Community Wildfire Protection Project. Project activities for both forests include 7,859 acres of commercial harvest, 1,227 acres of small tree thinning, 153 acres of mechanical fuel treatments, 3,557 acres of stream side small tree thinning, and roadside hazard tree removal along haul routes. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest will also implement 9,382 acres of landscaping burning. … The purpose of the Ten Cent project is to reduce the risks of large and severe wildfires, provide a safe working environment for firefighters, and improve the probability of success in protecting life and property on adjacent private lands. 

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Logging isn’t the solution to our wildfire problems

By Pepper Trail
High Country News
January 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Like a lot of small towns in the West, Ashland Oregon is surrounded by conifer forests. The forests grow on public lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and last year, as in many recent years, there were fires on those lands. …Some are taking this opportunity to advocate for drastic changes in public-lands forest management. The primary vehicle for this effort is the “Resilient Federal Forests Act,” H.R. 2936, often called the Westerman bill for its primary sponsor, Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas. In the name of making forests “resilient” to fire, it would promote logging by sharply curtailing existing environmental laws. But we can’t “solve” fire here in Oregon any more than Florida can “solve” hurricanes. Both are natural phenomena – and both are bound to get worse with unchecked climate change.

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Restoring Hawaii’s Forests

By Jackie Young
Hawaii Business
January 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The long-term goal of the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative is to plant 1.3 million trees “Forests aren’t like other commodities. You cannot accelerate the time it takes to grow a tree,” says Jeffrey Dunster, executive director of the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative. “The Chinese understood this. A Chinese proverb says: ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’” HLRI, which has the ambitious goal of restoring Hawaii’s forests, has an unconventional history. Dunster, 58, met his longtime business partner, Darrell Fox, while both were brokers at a Honolulu investment firm in the mid-1980s. “Darrell had always wanted to do a forest,” Dunster remembers. “It’s an economic commodity, plus you’re doing something good for the planet.”

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Woods, whiskey, women and widow-makers caught in lumberjack songs

By Eric Freedman
Great Lakes Echo
January 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Winter was the time of year when the North Woods rang with the sound of axes and saws felling giant white pines. It was the late 1800s, the Golden Age of American Lumbering, and the supply of trees was endless. …But what of the lumberjacks whose perilous labor built the fortunes of timber barons and who endured the hardships and hazards and isolation of those North Woods? Life was in jeopardy. Death loomed as branches –widow-makers — fell, as logs jammed in rivers swollen with spring melt and as diseases ravaged lumber camps. The “Pinery Boys: Songs and Songcatching in the Lumberjack Era” throws light on the lumberjack culture of the era. But others reflect harsher realities, such as this song about a tragedy in Minnesota “concerning a young shanty-boy so tall, genteel and brave.

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Company & Business News

Canada raised pellet exports by 46% in 2016

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
January 4, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

In 2016, considerable growth in exports to the UK and Japan helped to boost Canada’s pellet exports by 46% to around 2.373m t. According to a recent analysis by the Canadian National Energy Board, the exports to buyers in the UK were raised by 38% to 1.664m t, which equates to a share of 70% of the total exports. A total of 272,376 t had been exported to Japan the year before. Owing to the more than threefold increase in exports against 2015, Japan took over from the USA as the second-biggest recipient of Canadian pellets. 169,930 t were exported to buyers in the neighbouring country, roughly 17% less than the year before.

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US Pares Back Duties on Canadian Lumber in Softwood Spat

By Josh Wingrove and Andrew Mayeda
Bloomberg
January 3, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. has slapped final anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian lumber, the latest step in another lengthy legal battle over softwood. …Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. is confident the World Trade Organization, which may end up having to rule on the dispute, will eventually side with the U.S. “The Trump administration will continue to stand up against unfair trade practices that harm American workers and businesses,” Ross said in a statement. “Even our closest allies must follow the rules.” …“It’s pretty much a rubber stamp on what we were expecting,” said Kevin Mason, managing director Vancouver-based ERA Forest Products Research. It means Canadian producers will resume paying the countervailing duty, the preliminary version of which had expired, but have the benefit of a relatively predictable environment for the year ahead, he said.

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2018 Lumber Outlook

By Russ Taylor, FEA Canada (Wood Markets)
Canadian Forest Industries
January 2, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Russ Taylor

U.S. demand will be leaning more heavily on expansions in U.S. production and European lumber imports in the 2018-19 period. Production increases in the U.S. will be subject to many factors, including lumber prices, log supply and costs, financing, supply chain dynamics (including loggers and sawmill workers), etc. This means we could see varying supply responses in different regions of the U.S., and at different times. As we have been forecasting for the last few years (and again this year), there does not seem to be nearly enough available softwood lumber capacity in North America to meet U.S. demand by the end of the decade. …We predict that incremental supplies of logs and lumber will be required each year, and that high lumber prices will result and attract more supply; in 2020 and beyond, there is strong potential for even higher prices.

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Canada starts appeal of US softwood lumber tariff decision

By Vicki Needham
The Hill
January 3, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

The Canadian government on Wednesday said it has launched a legal challenge to hefty duties imposed by the United States on its softwood lumber industry. …“The Government of Canada will continue to vigorously defend our industry and its workers against protectionist trade practices,” Freeland said in a statement. “U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfair, unwarranted and troubling,” she said. …Joe Patton, co-chairman of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, called the duties ” a fair enforcement of U.S. trade law,” in a statement to The Hill.   “For decades, the Canadian government has abused the law and provided massive subsidies to its lumber industry, harming U.S. producers and workers,” Patton said. …U.S. home builders disagree with the lumber industry over the softwood issue and have called the duties “a protectionist measure designed to safeguard the interests of major domestic lumber producers at the expense of American consumers.”

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Canada criticizes US lumber duties put in place on Wednesday

By Rod Nickel
Reuters
January 3, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Canadian government on Wednesday criticized the United States for a decision to impose duties on certain softwood lumber exports and underlined its determination to fight the move.  The duties, which went into effect on Wednesday, are “unfair, unwarranted and troubling,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement. Ottawa has already launched challenges against the duties – which range from about 10 percent to nearly 24 percent, below a preliminary range of about 17 percent to 31 percent – with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).“The government of Canada will continue to vigorously defend our industry and its workers against protectionist trade practices,” Freeland said.

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Island mills face US trade charges

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
January 4, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s coastal paper mills are on the verge of getting dragged into the never-ending softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. A hedge fund that purchased a Washington state paper mill in 2016 is following the path set by some U.S. lumber producers by applying for a duty on Canadian newsprint and other paper on the grounds it is unfairly subsidized and sold in the U.S. for less than market value. That claim has been made for decades about Canadian lumber imports. …But this is the first time it’s been broadened to include a wide range of paper products, including newsprint. …B.C. forest products expert Kevin Mason said there’s a high likelihood that a new duty will be put in place even though U.S. customers, Canadian suppliers and various observers consider it “ridiculous.” …The battleground for the new trade dispute is largely in the east, which makes the origins of the case in Washington state even more suspect.

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Counterpoint: Lessons in civic engagement

By Murray Dobbin
Powell River Peak
January 3, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

City of Powell River council and a group of Townsite residents, called PR Groundswell, are at odds over a planned plant at the south end of the old golf course. …Due to the huge size of Catalyst’s treatment plant, consulting engineers Dayton and Knight told the city it could not be retrofitted practically. A 1200-name petition, city-sponsored open houses and the city’s own citizen advisory committee overwhelmingly rejected privatization. It had no effect. …Even that did not convince the old council. It was only with the election of a new council, with three new councillors, that the Catalyst option was finally put to rest by a majority vote.

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Reconciliation must be a joint effort, say Western Forest Products, Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Letter to the Editor
BC Local News
January 3, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples is the foundation for strong, healthy and sustainable Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across British Columbia and Canada. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) provides the best framework for achieving this reconciliation. Both Canada and British Columbia have taken the historic step of endorsing that framework. …In the Alberni Valley, Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) and Western Forest Products Inc. (WFP) have started the hard work of defining what reconciliation means to them and are piloting a shared vision of what reconciliation could look like in the forest sector. We are hopeful our success will serve as one example of a path forward for all those who work and live in the Alberni Valley.

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Solid Online Sales Are Good News for Washington Papermakers

By Don Brunell
The Chronicle
January 2, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Curbside recycling bins are packed with cardboard shipping boxes from Christmas online shopping. The uptick in consumer shipments is not only good news for the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, but our nation’s papermakers. …USA Today reported “despite thousands of store closings this year, Americans supplied a final flurry of spending to give retailers their best holiday sales since 2011.” The National Retail Federation expects the total to be roughly $682 billion. The good news is most of those shipping boxes are headed back to paper mills instead of landfills. The volume is huge. Amazon, which accounts for about 40 percent of the online sales, uses 1.6 million boxes each day, according to MRBOXonline.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Ontario releases tall wood building construction reference

HPAC Magazine
January 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A technical resource for tall wood building construction aims to help applicants, reviewers and designers meet Ontario Building Code requirements for wood structures above six storeys. It includes two sections: fire safety and structural design. Users can learn about the types of wood products, challenges of wood construction, fire prevention and an overview of Alternative Solutions provisions under the Ontario Building Code. Each section offers information on methods of analysis, methods of design and expected performance requirements. Other topics include thermal performance, acoustic performance and constructability. According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the reference aligns with its objectives to improve opportunities for designers and builders to create new structures and maintain high fire safety standards, as per the Ontario Building Code.

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Portland, Oregon, Senior Housing Complex to be Constructed with Combustible Material Raises Questions About Safety

By National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
For Construction Pros
January 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Following the recently announced plans that Portland, Oregon, will permit a new development geared toward seniors to be built with cross-laminated timber (CLT), …Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association …issued the following statement: Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents deserve the peace of mind that comes with a stable and resilient home, and that means non-combustible building materials like steel and concrete.  Unfortunately, certain developers in Portland have made it clear they would rather tout questionable environmental factors over security as the justification to use this wooden building material, leaving some of our most vulnerable members of the community at risk.

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Cherokee couple gets first steel-framed home

By Chance Hoener
The Morning Sun
January 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CHEROKEE — A McCune native has returned to Crawford County to see his company erect its first metal home in Kansas. NexGen Framing Systems Vice President of Operations Todd Wright… brought the technology to Cherokee to build a home for his grandparents.He said there are two main categories that make the steel-framed houses superior to block- or wood-framed homes. …The first is durability. Wright said the homes are stronger, more durable and lighter than a block- or wood-framed home. …The second thing that sets these homes apart is the impact on the environment — and the inhabitants pocketbook. …The homes are on average 10 percent more expensive than building a traditional home, but Wright said the offset cost in utilities and repairs makes the home much cheaper over its life.

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The RW Kern Center’s Minimalist Timber Structure

By Timothy Schuler
ARCHITECT Magazine
January 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., was designed by Cambridge, Mass., firm Bruner/Cott & Associates to be “rooted in its place,” says principal Jason Jewhurst, AIA. …The Kern Center features a half-dozen wood species, chosen specifically to cohere within the space: black spruce for the glulam; ash and birch for the doors; salvaged red oak for the flooring and monumental stair; pine for the ceiling; and cedar for the exterior. Materials and building systems are left exposed, inspired by the Living Building Challenge’s (LBC’s) push for material transparency. … Instead of uniformly sized beams, Bruner/Cott worked with Montreal-based glulam supplier Nordic Structures, local fabricator Bensonwood, and Newton, Mass.–based structural engineering firm Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates to determine the smallest possible size of each member. 

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Wood: renewable construction material of the future?

Deutsche Welle
January 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

When you think “sustainability,” building with wood isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But a deeper look at the growing trend begs the question: Could wood be a key sustainable resource of our future? …Wood comes from forests — so typically, timber is associated with deforestation. And deforestation is a key environmental problem: not only does it destroy ecosystems and habitat; it’s also a major factor driving climate change. So wood isn’t an obvious choice for eco-friendly construction. But with man-made materials leaving a huge carbon footprint, wooden architecture is enjoying a resurgence. It’s even being touted as our only significant renewable construction material. …Materials like steel and concrete require massive amounts of energy to produce, and are usually transported over long distances. This emits CO2 that contributes to climate change.

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Timber high-rises and trendy laneways to be among architecture trends of 2018

ABC News, Australia
January 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

More pop-up shops, high-rises made of wood and the demise of big box shopping malls — these are just some of the architecture trends you can expect to see in 2018. …Mr Rayner said another trend set to make an impression this year will be cross-laminated timber (CLT). Like plywood, sheets of lumber are layered to make panels that are light, flexible and strong. Research in Australia showed CLT panels could even be used to build high-rise buildings, Mr Rayner said. “It’s caught lots of industries, I think the steel and concrete industry, by surprise. “We’re doing a project on the Gold Coast at the moment that’s got 12-metre-high timber vaults, multiple vaults, all done in this material. “I think it’s the material of 2018.”

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