Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 12, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Feds declare lynx recovered whereas spotted owl faces new threat (pot smokers)

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 12, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Wildlife officials in the United States declared the Canada lynx recovered and will soon revoke its threatened listing under the Endangered Species Act. Meanwhile, the northern spotted owl is being exposed to high levels of rat poison from illegal marijuana growers in northern California. 

In Business news, Russ Taylor says most lumber markets are “fired up“, while yesterday’s newsprint and WTO headlines linger. Examples include:

  • Trump’s trade chief lashes out after Canada broadens WTO fight (Seattle Times)
  • The US can’t have its WTO and disregard it too (Toronto Star)
  • US threat to leave NAFTA must be taken seriously: Freeland (Canadian Press)
  • Industry responds after US decision to impose newsprint duties (P&P Canada)
  • Newsprint tariffs decried by Higgins (Dem) and Stefanik (Rep) (Lockport Union)

Finally, an Irish whiskey traces “its flavor to one tree” and good news on the green building front. The Green Building Initiative—the only real competitor to LEED—acquired the worldwide rights to the Green Globes certification program (and competition is a good thing).

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

An Irish Whiskey That Can Trace Its Flavor to One Tree

By Shaun Tolson
Robb Report
January 11, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Eight years ago, the production team at Midleton Distillery in County Cork, Ireland, set out to experiment with finishing techniques featuring toasted virgin Irish oak casks. Midleton’s team—conjectured that the source of an oak cask, specifically the region from which the wood was forested—even the individual tree that produced the barrel’s staves—could inject unique personality into an Irish whiskey… To make 29 hogshead casks, six oak trees—all 130 years old—were cut from the Bluebell Forest on the Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny. Each cask was made from the wood of just one of those trees. Subsequently, each bottle of this cask-strength whiskey, which costs $300, can be traced back to one of those Irish oaks—and that lineage is prominently displayed on the label.

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Forestry

How Do We Keep Good Paying Jobs in Northern & Rural Ontario?

By Lauren McBride
Ontario Forest Industries Association
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is holding a hearing in Thunder Bay on Monday, January 15, 2018 regarding Pre-Budget Consultations. The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) will be presenting to the Standing Committee and believes that by working with government, affected stakeholders, rightsholders, practitioners and professional foresters to strategically increase the sustainable use of our Crown forests will make Ontario a world leader in forestry. To maximize the full potential of Ontario’s renewable resource, create well-paying jobs and leave no worker, region or family behind, OFIA will be addressing five key competitive challenges. OFIA’s President & CEO, Jamie Lim, stated, “As a province, we need to acknowledge that trees are the answer. Our forests can support growth, sequester carbon through long-term wood products and allow Ontario’s northern and rural communities to thrive.”

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Federal Emergency Management Agency denies Montana’s request for $44M in disaster aid after historic fire season

The Associated Press in the Billings Gazette
January 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA — The federal government has denied Montana’s disaster relief request for $44 million in the aftermath of the 2017 fire season that burned more than 1,500 square miles. Montana Public Radio reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Gov. Steve Bullock’s request for additional aid in late December. The federal agency has already granted the state $11 million, covering some of the expenses for eight different fires. Montana spent its entire two-year $60 million emergency fund for wildfire suppression in one year, using it up before last season ended. This summer’s fires burned more than 1.2 million acres in the state, with Bullock eventually declaring a state of emergency.

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House bill would speed cleanup on state lands

By TJ Marinell
The Lens
January 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Record-setting wildfire seasons in recent years have prompted consensus among state lawmakers to reform public land management practices. A new bipartisan House bill would enable the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to respond faster to high-fuel loads accumulated on land they manage. …WDFW owns or manages 1 million acres in 33 wildlife areas. While a large portion of the public areas overseen by the state Department of Natural Resources includes forests, WDFW’s property includes land used for grazing and, in the wrong conditions, it can be highly susceptible to brushfires. The state agency can clear fuel loads on its land, but many of the methods first require an Environmental Impact Statement under the State Environmental Policy Act. …“Giving the department this authority has become necessary to help prevent catastrophic wildfires,” Maycumber said at the public hearing. 

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Feds declare lynx recovered

Associated Press in Longview Daily News
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS, Mont. — Wildlife officials in the United States declared Canada lynx recovered on Thursday and said the snow-loving wild cats no longer need special protections following steps to preserve their habitat. The Fish and Wildlife Service said it will begin drafting a rule to revoke the lynx’s threatened listing across the Lower 48 state under the Endangered Species Act. Wildlife advocates said they would challenge the move in court. First imposed in 2000, the threatened designation has interrupted numerous logging and road building projects on federal lands, frustrating industry groups and Western lawmakers. Some scientists and wildlife advocates have warned that climate change could reduce lynx habitat and the availability of its primary food source — snowshoe hares.

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Northern spotted owl being poisoned by California’s illegal marijuana grows

By Valerie Richardson
The Washington Times
January 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Pot smokers, beware: The northern spotted owl, the bird that brought down the Pacific Northwest timber industry, is circling California’s newly legalized marijuana market. A study led by University of California Davis researchers and released Thursday found that two owl species—the northern spotted owl and barred owl—are being exposed to high levels of rat poison from illegal marijuana grows in northern California. The study, published in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, found that “seven of the 10 northern spotted owls collected tested positive for rat poison, while 40 percent of 84 barred owls collected also tested positive for the poison.” The Fish and Wildlife Service, which funded the study, listed the northern spotted owl as threatened in 1990, which led to millions of acres of federal forest being cordoned off from logging.

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USDA commits $4.4 million for three forest restoration projects in Oregon

Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service
January 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. — Wildfire seasons are growing longer and more severe–but thanks to recent federal funding, local communities in Oregon are tackling the challenge head-on through forest restoration.  Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $32 million nationwide investment for wildfire prevention projects on public and private lands, with $4.4 million going to local Oregon projects. The funding is provided through the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership, an initiative led by the chiefs of two USDA agencies—the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Now in its fifth year, the Joint Chiefs’ Partnership brings together local landowners and partners to accomplish forest restoration on both federally managed national forests and adjacent private lands.

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Eight masked protesters issued warnings at Yellowwood Forest

By Emily Hopkins and Sarah Brown
The Indianapolis Star
January 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Eight protesters were issued written warnings Thursday for criminal trespassing at Yellowwood State Forest, according to state officials.  These masked individuals were staging a direct action at the entrance to forest, where a controversial logging operation in the backcountry area is underway.  No arrests were made, according to a statement released by Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Tara Wolf, and the situation ended after the warnings were given.  Brown County resident Dave Seastrom told IndyStar that there was heavy police presence Thursday afternoon on Orcutt Road, which has been used as the access point for logging operations in the forest. This logging began shortly before the new year and has been the focus of much public attention. It is unclear what type of action the individuals were taking in protest and DNR did not immediately respond to questions. 

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Domestic Sea Trade Aids Wood-Boring Beetles’ Range Expansion

By Andrew Porterfield
Entomology Today
January 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Bark- and wood-boring insects rank among the top destroyers of trees and shrubs. One tactic that pest control officials have used to fend off these insects is to halt their entrance to a country at international ports. Recently, however, native species of wood-boring beetles have expanded their range within their normal biogeographic regions, leaving questions about how they got there and how to deal with the damage in their wake. A group of Italian researchers led by entomologist Davide Rassati at the University of Padua found that two types of beetles, in the families Cerambycidae and Scolytinae, could travel within a single country thanks to stowing away on ships between ports, and they can easily travel from local forests to a port and be exported to anywhere outbound ships are traveling.

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Company & Business News

The U.S. can’t have its WTO and disregard it too

By Patrick Leblond
The Toronto Star
January 11, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

On Wednesday, the Canadian government announced it had submitted a request for consultations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge the United States’ countervailing and anti-dumping duties. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland indicated that the step was a necessary response to the earlier softwood lumber dispute, though, the document attacks the entire United States system, not just the decisions on softwood lumber. …The irony here is that Canada is making the same complaint about the United States. In its WTO filing, Canada indicates “that the United States maintains… measures relating to anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings, which are inconsistent with its WTO obligation.” A massive question is left unanswered: why did Canada file this request at the WTO while the NAFTA renegotiations are underway (and nothing short of arduous)? 

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Newsprint tariffs decried by Higgins, colleague

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
January 11, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Biran Higgins

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo/Niagara Falls, is opposing a preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose tariffs on paper commonly used in the print industry.  Higgins, joined by fellow U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, expressed concern this week that the measure will lead to added costs for consumers and potential job cuts at large and small newspaper and book publishing operations across New York state and the nation. …“The proposed duties would cause undue burden, destabilizing the industry, forcing increases in subscription rates for consumers and reducing jobs in an area already stretched thin,” said Higgins, a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade and co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus. “Furthermore, local journalism is the core of our communities’ access to information about government, the economy and community activities; it should not be infringed upon by the claims of a single U.S. producer.”

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U.S. threat to leave NAFTA must be taken seriously: Freeland

By Joan Bryan
The Canadian Press in Business News Network
January 11, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

The Trudeau government appears to have adopted a good-cop, bad-cop strategy for saving NAFTA — coming up with some “creative” new proposals in response to unpalatable U.S. demands while simultaneously signalling its willingness to aggressively attack what it considers unfair American trade practices. But while the government is hoping for the best from negotiations to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated Thursday that it’s also prepared for the worst: a U.S. withdrawal from the continental trade pact. …But taking a tough stand is an approach the Americans can appreciate, International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne argued Thursday. “I think the American colleagues understand when you stand strong in sending a message that said, ‘We will stand up for the forestry industry, we will stand up for aerospace industry, we’ll stand up for Canadian workers’,” Champagne said.

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Industry responds after U.S. decision to impose newsprint duties

Pulp & Paper Canada
January 11, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Numerous Canadian associations and businesses are speaking out after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced yesterday it will levy preliminary countervailing duties of 0.65 to 9.93 per cent on imported Canadian uncoated groundwood paper (newsprint). Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) described the duties as “completely unjustified and protectionist in nature.” “We call on the federal government to stand with us and the over 4,500 hard-working Canadians from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador who could be impacted by this frivolous trade action,” said Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC. “There are 600,000 workers in the newspaper publishing sector as well as the commercial printing sector who are at risk,” said Resolute Forest Products spokesman Seth Kursman. …Dennis Darby, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) president and CEO, noted the decision will not only affect pulp and paper producers but also their entire supply chain.

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Global Lumber Outlook 2018-19—Most Markets Fired Up, Led by the U.S.

By Russ Taylor
FEA Canada (WOOD MARKETS)
January 12, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Russ Taylor

A fter the currency-driven global lumber price slump in 2015, market demand and prices both started to improve in 2016. While overall global demand improved modestly in 2017 — at only half the rate of 2016 — it has been supply disruptions and chang- ing dynamics that created a wild and unpredictable market that surpassed everyone’s expectations. All markets appeared to be at least good to strong in 2017; this included the U.S., Canada, most of Europe, Japan, China and much of Asia. Only one market region remained unsettled again: the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) — Egypt and Algeria, specifically, along with some areas of the Middle East. The U.S. was a solid growth market again in 2017 (the case since 2010), but supply dislocations (forest fires, hurricanes, etc.) and other developments resulted in surging prices throughout the year.

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Catalyst Paper Corporation hit with newsprint duties

By Sara Donnelly
The Powell River Peak
January 11, 2018
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new duty on newsprint announced by US Department of Commerce on January 9 will hit Catalyst Paper Corporation’s BC mills with a preliminary countervailing duty of 6.09 per cent. According to a statement from Forest Products Association of Canada, the duties could be in effect within a few days. “This duty impacts a fairly substantive portion of our overall Canadian production,” said Catalyst spokesperson Eduarda Hodgins. “Anything that challenges our competitiveness is not good. It’s a problem.” …This isn’t the first time Catalyst has had a duty imposed. The last dispute, around supercalendared paper at the Powell River mill, ended with positive news, said Hodgins. “In that case we were found in an investigation to have received no material subsidies,” she said, “and we had our deposits refunded.”

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Trump’s trade chief lashes out after Canada broadens WTO fight

By Josh Wingrove
The Seattle Times
January 10, 2018
Category: Company & Business News

Robert Lighthizer

Canada is escalating its trade fight with President Donald Trump, mounting what the U.S. calls a “broad and ill-advised attack” just as NAFTA talks are set to resume. …It drew a harshly worded response from Trump’s trade czar. “Canada’s claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement. The trade fight already affects… lumber producers like West Fraser Timber and Canfor; and auto companies whose supply chains rely on NAFTA, a pact whose fate is uncertain. Canada has launched WTO complaints over softwood and supercalendered paper, and criticized another round of duties applied in a spat over newsprint this week as “unjustified.” …Lighthizer called Canada’s WTO claims “groundless” and said they “threaten the ability of all countries to defend their workers against unfair trade.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Latest figures show B.C.’s carbon emissions continue to increase

By Gordon Hoekstra
The Vancouver Sun
January 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has quietly released the latest figures on B.C.’s carbon emissions that show the province continues to have an uphill fight to make significant targeted reductions. …More critically, the emission level is only two per cent less than in 2007, putting the province a long way from its original legislated target of reducing emissions 33 per cent by 2020 over 2007. “B.C.’s latest emissions data marks years of failure to reduce emissions by more than a token amount,” said Sierra Club B.C.’s forest and climate campaigner Jens Wieting. Wieting also noted that while forestry carbon credits can be a way to reduce carbon emissions, they must meet legitimate standards and must be combined with meaningful progress in reducing actual emissions. As well, they must take into consideration what is happening on the entire forest land-base, he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Green Building Initiative Acquires Worldwide Rights to Green Globes Certification Program

By Katharine Keane
The Journal of the American Institute of Architects
January 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

This week, the Portland, Ore.–based nonprofit Green Building Initiative (GBI) announced its acquisition of the global rights to the green building rating and certification program Green Globes. The official Green Globes guidelines were introduced in Canada in 2000 and then in the United States in 2004, where it was administered by GBI. “This acquisition is a clear win for GBI and our growing base of Green Globes users,” said GBI president and CEO Vicki Worden in a press release. …Green Globes was most recently managed by Jones Lang LaSalle, which purchased the rights to Green Globes as part of a larger acquisition in 2008. “As a nonprofit, GBI is in a better position to grow the sustainability movement as the sole owner and promoter of Green Globes,” said JLL executive vice president Bob Best in the release.

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Green-roofed office is the first large-scale CLT structure in southeast Europe

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
January 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Instead of concrete or metal, this striking eco-friendly office building in Romania features a sturdy timber skeleton in what’s claimed as the first large-scale CLT structure in southeast Europe. Romanian firm Tecto Arhitectura designed the building as the new office for HSR factory in Reci, Covasna. …Built to minimize thermal loss, the office is built mainly of industrially prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels and gluelam elements. Given Romania’s freezing winters, the architects inserted passive house-standard mineral wool insulation into the walls, slabs, and flat roofs and optimized solar gain in winter. …The facade colors are echoed in the interior, as is a celebration of timber that is featured throughout. …A biomass cogeneration plant provides heating and electricity 

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Aging ironwork? Rusting steel? Nope: it’s MDF for outdoor use

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
January 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

MDF?

Large scale installations by Alexander Devereux for a sculptural parks in the North East of England, inspired by famous bridges in the region, were fabricated from Tricoya, a specialized MDF for outdoor use. Devereux used Tricoya MDF on several projects. Unlike ordinary MDF, which is susceptible to swelling and breakdown even from ambient humidity indoors, Tricoya MDF has an outdoor useful life of 50 years, owing to its treatment with the acetylation process. … The Tricoya wood fibers that have gone through a modification process called acetylation, similar to Accoya wood, alters the cell structure of the wood rendering wood more dimensionally stable.

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