Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 17, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Forests have a climate change Superpower!

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 17, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Today marks the start of a celebration for the Truck Loggers Association in BC. With a sold out convention, and a new book, the TLA enter into their 75th year representing the independent logging sector on the BC coast.

Is the European paper industry straying into anti-competitive behaviour? A special unit covering the paper sector is making unannounced inspections in an effort to unveil price fixing and customer allocation.

A new character may soon grace the pages of your favourite comic books! A recent study found forests have a climate change superpower. Reactive gases released by trees may have a cooling effect on the atmosphere. Authors suggest that climate policies will require a “robust understanding” of this effect when looking at land use changes. 

Finally – are modern day foresters smarter than they were in the past? Why don’t you see for yourself – can you pass the 1925 forest ranger exam? If you need a refresher, register today for the ABCFP conference coming to Victoria in February – it’s the last day of early bird pricing. 

—Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Can you pass this forest ranger exam from 1925?

Oregon Live
January 16, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

So you think you’re pretty knowledgeable about the Oregon outdoors, huh? Know your ash from alder, your atropa belladonna from solanum nigrum? Think you’d make a pretty good forest ranger, do you? No matter how much you know today, you still may struggle with this forest ranger examination from 1925, recently unearthed by the folks at the U.S. Forest Service. …The 80-question exam includes sections on fire, forestry, wood, lumbering, grazing, lands and general information – all to be completed within three hours.  

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Business & Politics

Today’s timber markets: Who will buy Northeast’s low-grade wood?

By Charles Levesque & Eric Kingsley, partners, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions
TreeSource
January 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Van Webb, a logger and farmer from Sunapee, harvested from a mostly white pine lot on a 57-acre property in Unity, N.H., in 2016. Many of the pine trees he harvested were low-grade — meaning the logs could not be sawed into boards at a sawmill. Instead, he sent the wood to the biomass plant in Springfield, N.H., where it was burned to create electricity. Without a local market for this low-grade material, the harvest would probably not have been possible. “I don’t know what we’d do if the Springfield wood energy plant was gone. In this part of the state, there is no other low-grade market for pine.” Webb said. …On an average timber harvest in New Hampshire and the rest of the Northeast, easily 70 to 80 percent of the timber standing is comprised of low-quality trees.

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Mohegan Holdings stepping up wood-pellet exports

By Brian Hallenbeck
The Day
January 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Mohegan Holding Co., the Mohegan Tribe’s nongaming business arm, announced Tuesday that it has formed a new division, Mohegan Renewable Energy, to export wood pellets and other biomass energy sources to global markets. The division has acquired a Crossville, Ala., manufacturing plant producing 100,000 tons of wood pellets a year. The plant will combine with a facility in Jasper, Tenn., to ship more than 180,000 tons of wood pellets a year to major utilities in the United States and internationally. The increase in production will lead to the creation of 50 new jobs in the coming months, Mohegan Holdings said in a news release.

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Euromoney’s RISI unit raided by EU antitrust authorities

By Rochelle Toplensky, Katie Martin and Matthew Garrahan
Financial Times
January 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

European Commission regulators have raided publisher Euromoney’s newly-acquired specialist unit covering the paper industry as part of an investigation into the kraft paper and industrial paper sack sector.  Euromoney confirmed the “inspection” by antitrust authorities at the Brussels office of RISI, the US business it bought last year for $125m, and said it was “committed to working fully” with the probe. The European Competition Commission confirmed “its officials carried out an unannounced inspection at the premises of a company operating in the kraft paper sector” …part of a probe into anti-competitive practices including price fixing and customer allocation. …RISI is a price reporting agency for the forest products market and organises industry events. It is not unusual for competition authorities to look into industry meetings… As a place where companies meet to exchange information, officials can seek to find out if that might stray into anti-competitive behaviour.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The 2017 Wood Design & Building Award Winners Announced!

By Natalie Tarini
Canadian Wood Council
January 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Ottawa, ON – Wood Design & Building magazine is pleased to announce the award recipients for the prestigious 2017 Wood Design Awards program. Winning projects were selected by an esteemed architectural jury… The Canadian Wood Council, as well as this year’s sponsors, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Western Red Cedar, and Sansin, also granted special awards. Unique to this year’s program, two special jury awards were selected, one for technical innovation and one for public art education. …“The Wood Design & Building Awards program has been in existence for over 30 years,” explains Etienne Lalonde, Vice-President of Market Development for the Canadian Wood Council. “We’ve been continually impressed with the quality of submissions each year, and it’s a testament to the sophistication of wood products, due to improvements in technology and advancements in applications.”

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Forestry

Truck Loggers Association kicks off 75th convention in Victoria

By Andrew A. 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. The Truck Loggers Association will celebrate 75 years at its annual convention, which kicks off today at the Victoria Conference Centre and Fairmont Empress Hotel with 400 industry veterans. 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. “I’m sure we will be trying to answer a million and one questions about that.”

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Standing Tall & Strong for 75 Years: New Book Tells How Forestry Contractors Fought For BC

Truck Loggers Association
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver – The Truck Loggers Association (TLA) is commemorating its 75th anniversary by publishing a new book—Timber Forever!—that tells the story of BC’s first and largest logging contractor association through its 40 presidents. The book will be launched at the TLA’s 75th Annual Convention & Trade Show taking place January 17 – 19, 2018 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Centre. “I learned a lot about the history of forestry in BC as we wrote this book,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “Early TLA members embraced the end of the steam-driven era of logging by rail in favour of trucks and rode the wave of mechanization in the woods. The TLA would become an influential voice for BC forest industry’s small business interests, advocating against the allocation of the public forest resource into the hands of a few since its beginning.”

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Fuel management logging to begin near 108 Mile Ranch

BC Local News
January 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fuel management work is scheduled for the Walker Valley Greenbelt in the 108 Mile Ranch area over the next month to reduce the risk of an interface fire and remove hazardous burnt trees, according to a release by the Cariboo Regional District (CRD). “The west side of Walker Valley will be selectively thinned by an average of 40 per cent in order to restore the forest density to its historic norm. This is a continuation of the Fire Smart fuel management work undertaken in recent years in greenbelt areas throughout the 108 Mile Ranch area.” They expect the costs of the work will be offset by the value of the timber, says to Electoral Area G Director Al Richmond.

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New funding opens for industry innovation

By Jackie Lieuwen
The Terrace Standard
January 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Northern Development Initiative Trust has announced two new funding programs to support innovation in forestry, as priority, but also mining, energy, agriculture and aquaculture. Priority is on to projects in communities impacted by the mountain pine beetle epidemic, but it’s not exclusive to those, and other innovative projects would be considered. The Northern Industries Innovation Fund is a restructured Forest Innovation Fund with up to $750,000 annually for innovative industry projects for privately-owned, northern, incorporated companies with less than 500 employees. …The second fund, the strategic initiatives fund, is for municipalities and First Nations for projects that focus on long-term economic transformation and sustainability. It has a $900,000 budget.

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Demand environmental oversight for clearcuts

By Bob Bancroft, President, Nature Nova Scotia
The Chronicle Herald
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…As a biologist, I’ve been involved in the data-gathering for environmental assessments (EAs) that governments demand for certain development proposals that precipitate environmental change. In the past, I have been hired to undertake an EA of a cornfield by a concrete company that had applied to remove its gravel. Why are no EAs required for large-scale forest removals? There is a good reason for demanding an EA: Better safe now than sorry later. Woodlands all over Nova Scotia are being skinned alive, their biomass trucked away, often for low-value fibre products. Large clearcuts do not resemble any natural disturbance. …EAs should be a prerequisite for large clearcuts. Most populations of forest-dwelling wildlife species, ranging from lichens to moose, are at risk. …Why don’t forest species deserve more serious accommodation in this province?

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Pulp mill effluent shouldn’t affect fishery in Northumberland Strait, says UPEI expert

CBC News
January 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mike van den Heuvel

Plans by a Nova Scotia pulp mill to pipe treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait shouldn’t pose a significant risk to water quality in the strait, says an expert on the subject — though he understands why fishermen are concerned about it. “If the effluent is treated in a very state-of-the-art treatment system, consistently, I think the likelihood for there being effects is minimal, based on what I presently know,” said Mike van den Heuvel, director of the Canadian Rivers Institute at UPEI. He’s also a Canada Research Chair in watershed ecological integrity.  Northern Pulp’s mill in Pictou, N.S., wants to start discharging its treated effluent into the strait starting in 2020 when it upgrades its treatment system. 

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Can Ontario’s north have jobs — and caribou, too?

By Steve Paikin
TVO (blog)
January 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…One of the best examples of this north-south split relates to whether we can create jobs in the north and save the caribou. For more than a decade, the Ontario government has been trying to find the sweet spot between two potentially competing interests: improving the economy of northern Ontario through forestry, and protecting — through the Endangered Species Act — the caribou that rely on those forests. …Many northerners think Queen’s Park is focused on saving the caribou at the expense of jobs. …The Endangered Species Act has created some strange bedfellows since it was passed more than 10 years ago. For example, Indigenous leaders, municipal politicians, and large businesses all find themselves on the same side of the issue — trying to create forestry jobs and opportunities for people in northern Ontario, while the province, in their view, stymies them.

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Researchers find post-fire logging harms spotted owls

Phys.org
January 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildlife ecologists studying the rare spotted owl in the forests of California have discovered that large, intense wildfires are not responsible for abandonment of breeding territories. Instead, the researchers found that post-fire logging operations, which are common on both private and National Forest lands, most likely caused declines in territory occupancy of this imperiled wildlife species. In the absence of post-fire logging, they found no significant effect of large forest fires on spotted owl territory occupancy. Post-fire logging damages important spotted owl foraging areas in “snag forest habitat” that is created by patches of intense fire. This habitat is rich in the small mammal prey species that the owls feed upon, but post-fire logging largely removes this habitat, thereby causing higher rates of territory abandonment.

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Mass tree die-offs lead to disaster, and a Cal Poly professor is looking for answers

By Lucas Clark
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
January 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Richard Cobb

An international study published by a Cal Poly forestry professor found that trees around the globe are dying faster due to prolonged exposure to drought and heat — and those deaths are creating prime conditions for the kinds of devastating wildfires and mudslides California has seen this year. Richard Cobb, who is in his first year teaching in Cal Poly’s natural resources management and environmental sciences department, led a collaboration of 20 researchers across 17 countries that aimed to address the potentially deadly and destructive conditions resulting from future forest die-offs with the hopes of spurring better forest management. …According to the study, researchers are finding that many of the forest disturbances seen around the globe — defined as a temporary change in environmental conditions that causes a pronounced change in ecosystem — are linked.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Minister adamant carbon plan satisfies federal rules — despite deviations

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
January 16, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Serge Rouselle

The New Brunswick government is sticking to its story that its climate plan complies with federal requirements — even as Ottawa drops hints that failure to do so could cost the province a lot of money. Environment Minister Serge Rousselle was reacting to new details of the federal “backstop,” the carbon pricing that the Trudeau government will impose on provinces that don’t go along with its plan. Those details, released Monday, include a suggestion that in recalcitrant provinces, Ottawa could return carbon-price revenue directly to individuals rather than to provincial governments. …J.D. Irving vice-president Mary Keith said Tuesday that the company is reviewing the new federal details and had no comment on them. She said the company’s pulp and paper emissions have cut their carbon footprint in half since 1990.

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Some businesses backing Washington carbon tax measure

By Phuong Le
The Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
January 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Gov. Jay Inslee

SEATTLE — Microsoft, REI and other businesses joined environmental Tuesday in testifying in support of Gov. Jay Inslee’s ambitious proposal to tax fossil fuel emissions to fight climate change. Inslee has proposed a new tax of $20 per metric ton of carbon emissions that would start in 2019 and increase over time. Money raised pay for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, manage stormwater and reduce wildfire risks. …Bill Stauffacher, who spoke for the Northwest Pulp and Paper Association, said it would have a huge economic impact on that industry. “Our initial analysis paints a stunning a painful picture about how we would be impacted,” he said. …REI’s Marc Berejka told lawmakers that the bill… recognizes the importance of healthy forest and waters, that it combats forest fire and that sets aside money to address environmental hazards.

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Study reveals forests have yet another climate-protection superpower

By Morgan Erickson-Davis
Mongabay
January 16, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…As big carbon storehouses, forests have the power to influence the climate. …A new study, published last week in Nature Communications, finds forests may have an even bigger cooling effect on climate than we thought. …Scientists looked at reactive gases emitted by trees and other vegetation, finding they have an overall cooling effect on the atmosphere globally. As forests are cleared, emissions of these cooling reactive gases are reduced. The researchers estimate the loss of this function this may contribute 14 percent towards deforestation-caused global warming. The authors write that effective climate policies will require a “robust understanding” of the relationship between land-use change like deforestation and climate, and urge more research be done toward this goal.

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