Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 15, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

RISI Viewpoint: New year brings cautious optimism & continued supply concerns

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 15, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Housing demand has RISI expressing optimism for wood products in 2018 but with some incertitude, due to the status of NAFTA and softwood lumber, supply-side constraints, tax changes and an expected rise in OSB mill restarts. Other trade headlines suggest: “standing up to Trump” may be wise; Trump may be “striking a softer tone” on NAFTA; and [perhaps most importantly] ignoring the media may be best, as last time “it took a breakdown in talks” before progress began.

In Forestry news: Ontario moves to relocate caribou off of a remote island due to the recent arrival of wolves; California is allowed to continue killing barred owls to protect the spotted owl; European forests are half what they were 6,000 years ago; and Finland is using Big Data to help with sustainable forestry.

Finally, Nevada just appointed their first female State Forester. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Trump strikes softer tone in latest NAFTA comments

By Adrian Morrow and Bill Curry
The Globe and Mail
January 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

At the end of a week during which fears of the demise of NAFTA sent markets gyrating, the United States is giving Canada and Mexico hope that the continental trading block may not be doomed after all. U.S. President Donald Trump said the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement is “moving along nicely,” while House Speaker Paul Ryan called for the United States to change the pact from within rather than abandon it. Canada expressed cautious optimism in the face of the softer tone – but warned that with the unpredictable Mr. Trump, Ottawa would not let down its guard. In a wide-ranging interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump said he still planned to “terminate” NAFTA if a deal cannot be reached, but that he would prefer it did not come to that.

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Standing up to Mr. Trump

Editorial Board
The Hamilton Spectator
January 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Canadian government’s decision to drag the United States before the World Trade Organization just as make-or-break NAFTA talks are set to resume will strike some people as poor timing and even worse judgment. It’s like calling the police on a noisy neighbour when what you really want is an invitation to the neighbour’s party. …Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, key cabinet ministers and supportive provincial premiers have all embarked on diplomatic pilgrimages to the United States to persuade state governors as well as leaders in Washington to keep NAFTA alive. Yet far from exorcising America’s protectionist demons, Canada has seen the U.S. slam Canadian softwood lumber, newsprint and Bombardier jets with crippling new duties. …Canada’s WTO challenge speaks to the president in the tough, clear and confrontational language he so loves. Perhaps he’ll respect the tone, if not the message.

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Then, as now, preserving NAFTA is all about playing defence

By Gordon Ritchie
The Globe and Mail
January 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Gordon Ritchie

The Canadian media universe is aflutter over the possible collapse of the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. …When I was negotiating the original FTA, I was struck by the high drama in the Canadian media, who covered every twist and turn in detail, with a large contingent of reporters waiting outside every negotiating session to question the principals. Meanwhile, in the meeting room, the atmosphere was largely one of boredom as the busy work of negotiations proceeded without any engagement on the real issues. It took a breakdown of those talks before the real talks could begin. Without any inside information, I believe the current talks are facing the same situation. …The real issue then, as now, was unilateral American “unfair trade” actions applied aggressively and unreasonably against successful imports from Canada, most notably on softwood lumber.

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RISI Viewpoint

By Jennifer Coskren and David Fortin, RISI
Building Products Digest
January 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

By any measure, 2017 was a good one for the wood products markets. The larger question looming, however, is whether 2018 will usher in a similar wave of rising prices and increasing demand. Given the current state of wood products markets in late 2017, optimism is not unwarranted as housing is expected to finally sustain a 1.3 million unit pace next year as household finances continue to firm. However, uncertainty over the extent to which bilateral trade agreements will stifle Canadian lumber supply, coupled with tax changes and a rise in OSB restarts, will likely lead to another year of cautious inventory buying. …Meanwhile, the supply challenges resulting from the wildfires are expected to linger in 2018 as producers in British Columbia and the U.S. West Coast struggle to rebuild log decks as demand rises.

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All Americans should strongly oppose misguided tariff on Canadian newsprint

By the Editorial Board
The Florida Times-Union
January 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Susan Rowell

The U.S. government is slapping a tariff on Canadian newsprint that will hurt the American newspaper industry. It’s a tariff that is opposed by the trade group for the American newsprint industry, the American Forest and Paper Association.  …National Newspaper Association President Susan Rowell, publisher of The Lancaster (S.C.) News, said in a statement that “forcing us through protectionist trade practices to buy less paper would lead to small newspapers and a less informed community. In the end, the U.S. newsprint producers would be harmed. We would be harmed. Jobs would be lost. NNA is urging the Commerce Department to recognize the economic realities we all face.” …The Commerce Department would be wise to follow this ethical dictum: Make a decision that will help the greatest number of people and businesses. Listen to the newspaper industry.

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Details of new Northern Pulp treatment facility still up in the air

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
January 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Robert Fry

Two years before it’s supposed to be running, Nova Scotians don’t have an estimated cost to replace Northern Pulp’s treatment facility or what portion they, as taxpayers, will have to cover. The provincial government and Northern Pulp haven’t even yet sorted out who will own the facility that has to be working by 2020 when the existing treatment plant at Boat Harbour is legislated to close. “Details around who owns and operates the effluent treatment facility, and who pays for it, are all part of negotiations which have yet to occur,” said Marla MacInnis, spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in an emailed response to The Chronicle Herald on Wednesday. …In 2011, Northern Pulp was bought by its current owner Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp. of British Columbia.

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Pulp effluent answers not always clear: expert

By Adam MacInnis
The Chronicle Herald
January 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

There’s a test that’s common when it comes to checking for acute toxicity in effluent. You stick trout in it for 96 hours. If the fish survive and show no sign of dramatic health change, it meets the standard. If they die, it fails But when it comes to how much damage pulp effluent does on a long-term basis, the answers may be less clear. And fishermen and others are worried that a new system for Northern Pulp’s plant in Pictou County that will pipe treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait will be bad news for the environment. To get some answers, we asked two scientists who are experts in the field of environmental monitoring as well as the engineer who was hired to design the new treatment facility.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

First in the state

Plumas County News
January 14, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Sierra Institute’s cross-laminated (CLT) timber building to house its biomass project began Dec. 6 and 7 in Quincy. The system will provide heat for Plumas County’s Health and Human Services building near Feather River College. All of the panels were erected in two days. The giant roof panels weigh 6,500 pounds. “The building is constructed of CLT wall and roof panels — it’s all wood, and just as fire and seismic safe (if not more so) as metal buildings given its thickness,” according to Sierra Institute’s Camille Swezy. Houston Construction of Quincy is the general contractor for the entire project. “These guys should be proud of their work as this is the first full CLT building in California and their work has certainly put Quincy on the map in the wood products and mass timber world,” said Sierra Institute’s Camille Swezy.

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The green shift: Inside Moelven

By Mark Spence
Construction Global
January 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

On 1 March 2019 one of construction’s most exciting structures will officially open. Mjøstårnet, which translates as the ‘tower of Lake Mjøså’, is an 81m-tall timber construction that will house offices, a hotel, apartments, a restaurant and a roof terrace. The brainchild of Arthur Buchardt, Mjøstårnet offers a degree of proof that tall buildings can be built using local resources, local suppliers and sustainable wooden materials. …Construction Global sat down with Rune Abrahamsen, CEO of Norwegian timber manufacturer Moelven Limtre AS, the man tasked with delivering Buchardt’s dream, to discuss what the success of Mjøstårnet could mean for the future of the industry. …Ultimately, there can be little doubt that the official unveiling of Mjøstårnet will represent a record-breaking feat of ingenuity and sustainability. Whether or not the industry as a whole embraces the viability of major, wood-based structures as a realistic alternative, is to be seen.

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Forestry

Environmentalists seek to protect an endangered BC landscape

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
January 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Environmentalists in B.C. want conservation-minded people to spend Sunday writing letters of support to protect one of the province’s most beautiful but endangered landscapes. The province is currently collecting feedback until Monday on its proposal to protect 1,125 hectares of the Coastal Douglas fir ecosystem on parts of southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. …”It’s one of the most pleasant climates and one of the most beautiful landscapes,” said Ken Wu about the landscape. He is executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance. “It’s also at greatest risk for annihilation of a good deal of the bio-diversity.” The province says the ecosystem contains the greatest number of species-at-risk in B.C. and only eight per cent of it is protected from activities like logging. 

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Government launches operation to move endangered caribou herd off wolf-laden island

By Liam Casey and Michelle McQuigge
Canadian Press in CTV News
January 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario government has launched an operation to relocate an endangered herd of caribou off the remote island on which they have been systematically hunted down by recently arrived wolves. The operation, which began on Saturday and is described by government officials as a “delicate dance”, involves rounding up the remaining caribou off Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior and transporting them by helicopter to the nearby Slate Islands. Officials with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said they hope the relocation will allow the herd a chance to rebuild, adding the desire is to see the animals one day return to Michipicoten.

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O‘ahu’s First Legacy Forest Project Announced

Big Island Now
January 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The first O‘ahu Legacy Forest was announced by the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI), located at Gunstock Ranch in Lā‘ie-Mālaekahana. The initial project will span more than 500 acres of land slated for permanent reforestation. The forest will support over 600,000 newly planted Legacy Trees and be home to numerous rare and endangered species. …HLRI is working with Gunstock Ranch, a 750-acre working horse and cattle ranch, and land manager Hawai‘i Reserves Inc., to return the area to a native forest. Hawai‘i Reserves manages the property affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “This reforestation project underscores our desire to beautify these lands and enhance the environment,” said Hawai‘i Reserves Inc. President R. Eric Beaver.

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Nevada Appoints First Female State Forester

KKOH
January 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Kacey KC

The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources selected Kacey KC as Nevada’s first female State Forester and Firewarden. Director Bradley Crowell made the public announcement on Friday. “I am proud to have Kacey take the helm at NDF as Nevada’s next State Forester,” he said. “Her proven leadership and strong background in forest management will help establish NDF as a premier natural resource management and wildfire agency.” As state forester, KC will lead the Nevada Division of Forestry to manage and protect the state’s forest and rangelands, and safely respond to wildland fires. Governor Brian Sandoval expressed his support for the appointment, quote: “Kacey’s skills and commitment to the enhancement, conservation, and protection of our forests and rangelands will serve Nevadans well.”

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Court approves killing barred owls for spotted owl protection

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Killing barred owls to help threatened spotted owls isn’t prohibited by an international treaty aimed at protecting migratory birds, according to a federal appeals court. Since 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has shot barred owls as part of an ongoing study to see if their removal will mitigate the decline of spotted owls, which are smaller and more sensitive to habitat disturbances. Friends of Animals and Predator Defense, two animal rights groups, filed a lawsuit accusing the government of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which implements international agreements to prevent the extinction of bird species….The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected this theory, ruling that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s language and intent is broad enough to encompass the barred owl removal research.

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Trump’s Budget Proposal Inducing Anxiety In The Rural West

By Kirk Siegler
National Public Radio
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

President Trump promised to be a champion for rural America. But his plan to cut rural development funds causes anxiety in at least one timber country town that’s struggling to diversify its economy. This week, President Trump renewed a campaign promise saying he will be a champion for rural America. But his budget proposal last year floated steep cuts to many federal rural economic development programs. NPR’s Kirk Siegler has been visiting a remote corner of Idaho timber country where federal dollars have been used to diversify the economy…In remarks this week aimed mostly at farmers, the president talked about his push to expand rural broadband and promoted the tax cuts that he says will spur investment in rural America. This kind of talk resonates in the Idaho mountains where there’s a long history of fights with the federal government over logging on public land.

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Bureau of Land Management management plans get open house

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Joe Ashor

Bureau of Land Management stakeholders can review the agency’s draft management plan at three upcoming meetings in the Missoula area. “It’s an opportunity where the public can talk to our resource specialists,” Missoula BLM Field Manager Joe Ashor said. “It’s for anyone interested in our multiple-use and sustained-yield mission. Issues range from forestry and wildlife to mining, range management and recreation.” The update affects a 31-year-old resource management plan covering 162,000 acres of public surface land and 200,000 acres of federal underground mineral interests in nine counties across western Montana. …The plan affects recreation areas, off-highway vehicles, timber harvest, livestock grazing, rights-of-way and land tenure categories. 

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Delisting of lynx based on pending court date, not science

By Mike Garrity, Executive Director, Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Great Falls Tribune
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Mike Garrity

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a review of the status of lynx, which were listed as “Threatened” on the Endangered Species list in 2000. Now, in the new world of Trump’s fact-free, anti-science, war-on-wildlife administration, the FWS recommends removing lynx from Endangered Species Act protections completely, writing: “Considering the available information, we found no reliable information that the current distribution and abundance of resident lynx in the contiguous United States are substantially reduced from historical conditions.” The agency does not even attempt to provide the public with an estimated current population number of how many lynx there are because the agency has no idea. Fish and Wildlife Service has no idea how many lynx there are for one simple reason; the agency no longer monitors lynx populations! 

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Rayonier first corporate sponsor for Forestry Conclave

The Tifton Gazette
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TIFTON — When 300 college and university students from across the south visit Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on March 22-24 for the Forestry Conclave, Rayonier will help to pave the way. ABAC Chief Development Officer Deidre Martin said Rayonier is the first corporate sponsor for the 61st annual event which involves timber sports competition. “ABAC is very excited about hosting the 61st Forestry Conclave in March,” Martin said. …Martin said that sponsorship funds will help to cover the cost of hosting the event and purchasing necessary equipment such as axes, saws, and personal protective wear. 

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Europe’s lost forests – study shows coverage has halved over six millennia

By Alan Williams
Phys.org
January 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

More than half of Europe’s forests have disappeared over the past 6,000 years thanks to increasing demand for agricultural land and the use of wood as a source of fuel, new research led by the University of Plymouth suggests. Using pollen analysis from more than 1,000 sites, scientists showed that more than two thirds of central and northern Europe would once have been covered by trees. Today, that is down to around a third, although in more western and coastal regions, including the UK and Republic of Ireland, the decline has been far greater with forest coverage in some areas dropping below 10 percent. However, those downward trends have begun to reverse… The study is published in Nature’s Scientific Reports and lead author Neil Roberts, Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Plymouth.

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How forests could limit earthquake damage to buildings

By Edwin Cartlidge
Physics World
January 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Buildings in the future could be isolated from earthquakes by being placed behind rows of trees. That’s according to physicists in France, who have shown that certain seismic waves, known as Love waves, could be diverted away from the Earth’s surface as they pass through a forest containing trees of a certain height. The forest acts like a metamaterial – an artificial structure usually used to steer electromagnetic radiation around objects. …The researchers considered what would happen when Love waves approach a forest containing rows of progressively shorter trees. …The waves would then set the trees shaking and so turn them into secondary sources that dissipate most of the vibrational energy downwards through the Earth. Conversely, they found that when Love waves approach a forest with progressively taller trees, the seismic energy should largely reflect back to where it came from.

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Using Big Data for sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishery

By Maria Burns
The Daily Telescope
January 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As part of an international consortium, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing new solutions for the responsible and sustainable use of the resources of agriculture, forestry and fishery. The main goal is to use Big Data particularly in the raw material production for the bioeconomy industry to produce food, energy and biomaterials. In forestry, MHG Systems leads pilots that develop services enabled by forest data. …The Data-Driven Bioeconomy project… deals with massive flows of information collected through sensors placed in the soil and air as well as from aerial and satellite imagery. …The agriculture, forestry and fishery pilots of the project are developing common software tools for analysing and refining information flows. 

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Foreign investment ban could hurt billion-strong tree-planting plan

By Susan Edmunds
Stuff.co.nz
January 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Government could be about to fell its own tree-planting plans. Sources say Treasury has drafted legislation that it will put to Cabinet at the end of the month which will bring forestry cutting rights into the Overseas Investment Act framework. That would mean foreign purchasers would have to be vetted by the Overseas Investment Office before they bought the right to forest trees in New Zealand. Forestry consultant Pete Clark said it would be unfair and have a significant impact on New Zealand’s forestry sector, which is reliant on foreign investment. “It’s like saying if you want to invest in cows, you need to go through the Overseas Investment Office. Forests are a crop on the land. I would have thought Kiwis would be concerned about the land itself, which is already clearly captured.” He estimated $15 billion to $20b of forests were already in foreign ownership.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

LePage rightly opposes biomass subsidies

By the Editorial Board
Central Maine
January 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Maine lawmakers faced a crisis in 2016: subsidize the biomass industry or see hundreds of jobs vanish. …Here in 2018, we see that the governor was right on the mark. Maine-taxpayers are helping out-of-state companies buy wood chips that are burned to make electricity, which is then sold back to Maine people for higher than market rates. And now there is a bill before the Legislature requesting a $25 million bond to subsidize biomass infrastructure so this cycle can continue. LePage is against it, and so are we. What was a crisis two years ago is now just the way things are. It’s time that Maine look to the future of how it will manage its forest, instead of clinging desperately to what has already been proven not to work.

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‘Smoke and Mirrors’ in REDII biomass debate?

By Luke Acton
Bioenergy Insight
January 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The European Bioenergy Association (AEBIOM) has released an op-ed accusing NGO’s of derailing discussions about the EU’s renewable energy future with ‘radical statement’ and ‘non-peer-reviewed studies’. On 10 January, FERN, an NGO that monitors forests in Europe, released a report denouncing plans by EU leaders to include wood in their 2020-2030 Renewable Energy Directive as a renewable fuel. They criticised the rubric of the plan, which does not include air quality as a factor in determining which sources of energy to support. …AEBIOM recently criticised the report, calling it ‘morbid mathematics’, and in a new new op-ed, AEBIOM General Secretary Jean-Marc Jossart denounced the use of non-peer-reviewed papers to hold the debate ‘hostage’ with ‘radical statements’.

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Sustainably harvesting roundwood for use in bioenergy is good for forests

By The U.S. Industrial Pellet Association
Politico
January 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Randy Rogillio

Meet a U.S. forester who has been sustainably harvesting for decades. Meet Randy Rogillio. The owner of a Mississippi forest management and sustainable harvesting company, Randy is one of a new generation of lifelong U.S. foresters committed to using sustainable methods to provide Europe with renewable energy. …Sustainable biomass fuel pellets from the forests Randy and his team manage go to plants including Drax, Europe’s largest sustainable biomass user, which supplies 17 percent of the U.K.’s renewable electricity. By switching to using sustainable biomass instead of coal in half of their units, Drax has reduced its emissions by more than 80 percent. We asked Randy to explain more about the renewable industry that helps to power a continent.

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