Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 31, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Lumberjills dominate logger sports and hemp makes a comeback

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 31, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Did you watch the US President give his State of the Union speech last night? He didn’t say much about softwood, but here’s a few related headlines for you:

Two Aboriginal award nominations have opened in Canada today, both sponsored by the Forest Products Association of Canada; nominate your pick for the 2018 Aboriginal Business Leadership Award and the Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth.

In other news, logger sports at the University of British Columbia are dominated by women; borrowed from British Columbia, transplanted fishers in Washington are making babies; and finally—the Romans did it—and as more states (and provinces) legalize marijuana, watch for more structures built from hemp!

— Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Trump says global trade will be fair and reciprocal

By Vicki Needham
The Hill
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

President Trump

President Trump said Tuesday night that the days of unfair trade are over and the United States will improve global agreements and make way for new deals. Trump has promised to overhaul U.S. trade policy but so far through his first year has yet to form any new trading partnerships or remake established trade pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs and our nation’s wealth,” he said during his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.“The era of economic surrender is over,” he said. …In his speech, Trump didn’t mention NAFTA, the deal with South Korea or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he withdrew from shortly after taking office.

Read More

Montreal NAFTA talks wrap up, but tensions remain

By Kelsey Johnson
iPolitics
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The North American Free Trade Agreement survived another round of negotiations. Canadian, Mexican and American officials wrapped up negotiations Monday in Montreal where all three countries agreed to more talks in late February in Mexico City. However, tensions remain — notably between Canada and the United States. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer criticized each others trade policies. …The American trade secretary also criticized a unidentified Canadian proposal — which Freeland said was related to services — and said if roles were reversed and it had been tabled by U.S. negotiators, Canadians would have considered it a “poison pill.” Freeland took the opportunity to flag the softwood lumber file, which she said remains an issue separate from NAFTA.

Read More

Launch of Aboriginal Business Award for forest industry

Forest Products Association of Canada
Cision Newswire
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

OTTAWA – Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business today announced that nominations are open for the 2018 Aboriginal Business Leadership Award. The $5,000 award recognizes and celebrates First Nations entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business that exemplifies business leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance and the delivery of high-quality products and services. The recipient must also demonstrate a strong, long-term commitment to the Aboriginal community, particularly in supporting Aboriginal employment. “Aboriginal communities and businesses play a large role in the success of the forest products industry,” said Derek Nighbor, President, and CEO of FPAC. 

Read More

Barrhead reaction to Timeu Forest Products closure

By Barry Kerton
The Barrhead Leader
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

That is how County of Barrhead reeve Doug Drozd characterized the closure of the Timeu Forest Products. It is a blow to the community. That is how County of Barrhead reeve Doug Drozd characterized the closure of the Timeu Forest Products. Like many people in the area Drozd had heard the rumour that the mill near Fort Assiniboine might close, but he didn’t know that it had happened until the Barrhead Leader called asking for his reaction. … “It’s a great loss to the community and it is very unfortunate that those jobs are no longer in the area,” he said, noting a number of workers at the Timeu mill lived in Barrhead. “The forestry industry is very important to the area, but it speaks to the difficulties the industry is having.” 

Read More

President Donald J. Trump Is Promoting Free, Fair, and Reciprocal Trade

The US Whitehouse
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

President Trump

America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth. President Donald J. Trump is standing up for American interests and protecting American economic and national security by taking tough enforcement action against countries that break the rules. During 2017, the Trump Administration conducted 82 major antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, a 58 percent increase over 2016. This includes the first self-initiation of an antidumping investigation in 25 years. Many of these investigations resulted in import duties to address dumping and subsidies, including one in response to Canada’s unfair trade in softwood lumber.

Read More

Chinese company says it will increase investment in Arkansas pulp plant, could add up to 100 new jobs

By Rachel Herzog
Arkansas Online
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A Chinese company will put more money and jobs into its Arkansas industrial plant than it originally planned, according to a Tuesday news release. Sun Paper announced the total investment in its pulp mill outside of Arkadelphia is now $1.8 billion, increasing from its initially projected $1 billion. The number of jobs at the mill is expected to top 350, according to the release. Previous reports state the mill expected to employ 250 people. Gov. Asa Hutchinson called the company’s decision “welcome news.”

Read More

Almost 3m m³ more logs taken in by Finnish industry

EUWID
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Finnish timber industry took in a total of 47.5m m³ of logs in 2017, roughly 2.9m m³ or 6.5% more than a year earlier. This surpasses the volumes of 2015 and 2014 by 7.4m m³ and 5.5m m³ respectively. Member companies of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF) accounted for 35.2m m³ last year after 32.9m m³ in 2016. The proportion of the total volume accounted for by FFIF members thus remained unchanged at 74.1%. Owing to generally very brisk demand, average log prices rose in Finland as well. The FFIF’s surveys show that the average price for on-stump sawlogs were 4.7% higher than the year before at 57.64 €/m³.

Read More

Timber supply continuity is a growing issue

Timber Trades Journal
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

As this issue of TTJ went to press, the sad news broke about the failure of Scottish sawmiller James Callander & Sons and the loss of 89 staff there. This Falkirk based £12m annual turnover firm, established in 1946, was a victim, KPMG administrators say, of several issues, including an inability to secure the quantity of supplies necessary to operate at optimum levels. No-one likes to see well-established timber companies fail. It’s difficult to know how big an issue raw material supply was at Callanders but speaking more generally about log prices and product price increases to manufacturers, distributors and merchants for this issue’s Fencing Sector Focus it’s clear that homegrown log supplies/prices is a hot issue at the moment.

Read More

Tasmanian election: Timing of Liberals’ north-west mill deal under scrutiny

By Emily Street
ABC News, Australia
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian Liberals have defended their decision to approve a $13 million forestry grant in their final days of government and announce it on the state election campaign trail. The Liberal Government signed a deal last week providing the Victorian timber company Hermal Group with $13 million, plus a $30 million loan, to build its new hardwood mill in Burnie. The mill will process plantation timber supplied by Forico and turn it into cross-laminated panels, commonly used in the construction industry. Hermal expects the mill to be operational by 2020, creating 160 jobs in construction and more than 200 jobs in operation….”People were wondering why we weren’t calling an election sooner,” he said.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Montreal Wood Convention returns in March 2018

By Tamar Atik
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
January 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sven Gustavsson

In Sven Gustavsson’s words, “if you’re anyone in the wood products trade in North America,” the Montreal Wood Convention is a must-attend. “The fact that 20-25 per cent of the people there are American buyers and another 15 per cent are the major Canadian buyers of our products – it’s that interaction which is at the core of the entire event,” said Gustavsson, who is softwood manager at the Quebec Wood Export Bureau. The convention, which is taking place March 20-22 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, includes a seminar examining the current market and the U.S.-Canada trade dispute. There will also be a focus on the aftermath of hurricanes in the southern U.S. after significant damages in 2017, and what that will mean in terms of building codes and demand for forest products.

Read More

There’s No Place Like Home, Especially if It’s Made of Hemp

By Adam Popescu
The New York Times
January 29, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The Romans have been using it since the days of Julius Caesar, but not to get high. Both Washington and Jefferson grew it. Now that several states have legalized the use of marijuana for some recreational and medical purposes, one of the biggest untapped markets for the cannabis plant itself — at least one variety — could be as a building tool. The most sustainable building material isn’t concrete or steel — it’s fast-growing hemp. Hemp structures date to Roman times. A hemp mortar bridge was constructed back in the 6th century, when France was still Gaul. Now a wave of builders and botanists are working to renew this market. Mixing hemp’s woody fibers with lime produces a natural, light concrete that retains thermal mass and is highly insulating. No pests, no mold, good acoustics, low humidity, no pesticide. It grows from seed to harvest in about four months.

Read More

Forestry

Forest industry and Canadian Council of Forest Ministers open applications for sixth annual Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth

By the Forest Products Association of Canada
Cision Newswire
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) are proud to open applications for the seventh annual Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth program. Since 2012, the Skills Award for Aboriginal Youth has been recognizing exceptional Aboriginal youth who go above and beyond to support their communities and contribute to the forest sector. In 2015, FPAC collaborated with CCFM to expand the program and offer two awards. The two awards, each worth $2500, will honour First Nations, Métis or Inuit individuals with strong academic standing who are committed to their field of study and to pursuing a career in the forest sector. “Aboriginal governments, communities, businesses and individuals play a huge role in the success of the forest sector” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, FPAC.

Read More

Fort McMurray embraces plan to bolster wildfire prevention in region

Canadian Press in Lethbridge Herald
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – Lawmakers in Fort McMurray have approved a plan to help prevent destructive wildfires such as the one that ravaged the community in 2016. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo council says the five-year mitigation strategy includes a more robust fire prevention program. The plan calls for more tree and brush clearing and for residents to remove any combustible material within 1.5 metres of homes. The fire that roared through the region in May of 2016 forced more than 80,000 people from the area and destroyed almost 2,600 dwellings. A report on the fire released last year said a blizzard of blazing embers blew over fireguards and a river to ignite fires in residential neighbourhoods.

Read More

‘From the Hill’ — BC’s natural resources Rossland Telegraph

By Dick Cannings, MP South Okanagan-West Kootenay
The Rossland Telegraph
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dick Cannings

In mid-January I attended the British Columbia Natural Resources Forum in Prince George.  This is one of the biggest gatherings of resource companies, government leaders and nongovernment organizations in Canada, and is always a good place to hear the latest news from that sector. I was happy to see federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr there, as I’d urged him last year to consider attending.  Opening the Forum from the heart of BC’s forest sector, Minister Carr concentrated on issues facing the forest industry, including beetle epidemics, fires and trade disputes.  He reiterated the need to diversify our markets, in part by diversifying our products to take advantage of the mass timber revolution in building. …The wealth of Canada has been built on our shared natural resources, and with careful planning to ensure a healthy environment, those resources will continue to be the backbone of our national economy.

Read More

Thunderjacks and thunderjills: UBC’s loggers’ sports team promotes ‘equity and diversity’

By Stephanie Wood
The Ubyssey
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Saturday, January 27, the UBC loggers’ sports team — also known as the Thunderjacks — hosted their third annual intercollegiate competition. However, many of these loggers didn’t fit the lumberjack stereotype people may have in mind — in fact, about half of the competitors were lumberjills. “We have the most diverse team I’ve ever seen,” said Sharman Prior, one of the team’s organizers. “Last year, we had maybe two guys on the team and eight women.” The Thunderjacks, established in 2014 with the loggers’ sports reinvigoration here on campus, long stood out in the typically male-dominated sport, said team president Marie-Eve “Merve-of-Steel” Leclerc. “We’d go to schools in the States which have very established teams and it was the opposite – they had more men than women.”

Read More

Provincial govenment helps fund local pine beetle control efforts

By Spencer Van Dyk
The Crag and Canyon
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canmore is getting a helping hand in its fight against the western pine beetle, thanks to a $75,000 cheque from the province. Alberta’s been in a decades-long battle with the beetle since it crossed the border from B.C. and ravaged trees in the province. “It is a pest that we’re having trouble getting rid of completely, because frankly our winters are not as cold as they once were,” said minister of agriculture and forestry Oneil Carlier at the grant announcement last week. “So the pest is here, it’s going to be a matter of control. We’re controlling it and have been doing a good job of controlling it, it’s probably not a matter of getting rid of it.” …The work must be done before fire season starts, said parks and cemetary coordinator Barbara Buchmann.

Read More

Bozeman group proposes forest consider more wilderness, wildlife management areas

Ravalli Republic
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Bozeman-based coalition proposed Tuesday that the Custer Gallatin National Forest protect 130,000 acres of wilderness in its new plan. “Our groundbreaking agreement will protect the character of our wild backyard — the Gallatin and Madison Ranges — while also maintaining access for all the different ways we recreate in this place,” said Hilary Eisen, a Bozeman backcountry skier and climber, in a statement.  The forest is taking comments on its proposals through March 5. In its document the agency had recommended more than 116,000 acres be considered for wilderness. The document will guide forest management for the next 10 to 15 years. …The Gallatin Forest Partnership, a group that includes mountain bikers, hunters, conservationists, horseback riders, and other recreationists, came up with its own recommendations for several forest attributes.

Read More

Once-Vanished Fishers Are Making Their Comeback In Washington

By Ken Christensen
Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Biologists released a handful of weasel-like animals called fishers into the Washington Cascades in 2015. Two years later, they returned to see if they were surviving and reproducing. …The animals are fishers — sleek, furry, forest-dwelling relatives of weasels, mink and otters. For Lewis, hearing the sound of one of their tracking devices is a long-awaited reunion. Two years ago, he brought them here. In the early 1900s, the fisher disappeared from the forests of the Pacific Northwest, including the Cascades. So Jeff Lewis led a group of scientists in an effort to re-establish the population. Now, he’s searching for clues to find out whether the effort worked… Following the lead of successful recovery plans in other parts of the country, Lewis hired licensed trappers to collect fishers in British Columbia. He transported them in wooden boxes to Washington and set them loose on their former habitat.

Read More

South Dakota Logging Operation Underway After Park Wildfire

Associated Press in the US News
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

RAPID CITY, S.D. — One of the largest operations to salvage timber in South Dakota’s Custer State Park is underway following a wildfire that thinned the forest in December. About 15 contractors will log nearly 6,200 acres of charred Ponderosa pines over the next six to 12 weeks, the Rapid City Journal reported . …”We’ll be dealing with this fire for the next five to ten years,” said Mark Hendrix, the park’s resource program manager. Hendrix said the longest operations will include erosion control and weed spraying, but logging is the focus for the next few months. Forester Amanda Morrison said logging improves safety for visitors and aids the forest floor. She said there will be higher than normal grass and shrubbery growth this spring and summer.

Read More

Governor’s plan to log state parks is a bad idea

Letter by Robert Beanblossom, member Society of American Foresters
The Record Delta
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

I retired after 42 years with the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources and worked both for our state park system and the Division of Forestry. I am an active member of the Society of American Foresters (chairman in West Virginia in 2008 and 2009) and am now volunteering with the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina. With a strong background in professional forestry, I have no problem with timber harvesting performed under the guidance of scientific forest management. It is essential that we do an even better job of managing our forests. I am very proud of the profession of forestry. …However, I also strongly believe that some forest lands should be set aside undisturbed for the enjoyment by man and to preserve their old growth ecological characteristics.

Read More

Sparta Mountain forestry work to start in February

By Bruce A. Scruton
New Jersey Herald
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

HARDYSTON — Forestry work in two areas of the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area could begin in two weeks, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The notice said work “will begin on or about Feb. 14, 2018, and end prior to April 1, 2018,” but also noted work could resume after Nov. 15. The April 1-Nov. 15 timeframes coincide with state regulations that ban all but the smallest forestry work in the spring, summer and early fall because of breeding habits and summer habitat for several endangered species, such as birds and bats. …The “treatment” will be to selectively take out either single trees or small groups to “mimic gap-phase replacement,” according to the final forestry plan for the wildlife management area.

Read More

Timbering in state parks can be done responsibly

Editorial Board
Charleston Gazette-Mail
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

There’s been a lot of discussion of whether West Virginia should change existing law and allow timbering in its state parks. Senate Bill 270, introduced Jan. 15 at the request of Gov. Jim Justice, would allow selective timber-cutting in isolated areas of state parks. Money generated from timber sales would be used “exclusively for the purposes of maintaining, improving, and operating state parks,” reported Gazette-Mail Outdoors writer John McCoy. “Goodness knows, parks need the money,” McCoy wrote. “According to some estimates, they need $50 million worth of repairs and upgrades to get them back in decent shape.” …Besides limiting the clearing to an average of four trees per acre, any new legislation should also protect what little old-growth forest exists on state park land.

Read More

Forest owners boss: ‘Sustainable forest management crucial to maintaining carbon cycle ‘

By Samuel White
EurActiv
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Emma Berglund

Sustainable forest management is vital to ensure that Europe meets its climate and energy goals. But over-regulating forest bioenergy would damage the sector’s economic performance and undermine its potential for climate change mitigation, Emma Berglund told EURACTIV in an interview. Emma Berglund is the secretary general of the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF). She spoke to EURACTIV’s Samuel White. …When we talk about forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation, we need to understand the full picture. The best long-term strategy to maximise their potential is to have a sustainable and active forest management strategy. So we can adapt the forest and make it more resilient and ensure it is healthy and vital.

Read More

Australian trees ‘sweat’ to survive extreme heatwaves, researchers reveal The Guardian

By Calla Wahlquist
The Guardian
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Australian researchers growing trees in climate change conditions have found the leaves “sweat” to survive extreme heatwaves. The year-long experiment showed that trees continue to release water through their leaves as an evaporative cooling system during periods of extreme heat, despite the carbon-fixing process of photosynthesis grinding to a halt. Previously, scientists believed that photosynthesis and transpiration – the process of releasing water – were linked, meaning one would not occur without the other. Prof Mark Tjoelker from the University of Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment is one of the authors of the study, which was published in Global Change Biology this month. Tjoelker said the findings had significant implications for climate change because they showed that trees stopped capturing carbon during extreme heatwaves, which are predicted to become more frequent and severe in the future.

Read More

Police get a lift as they try to remove high-rise logging protesters

By Adam Carey
The Age, Australia
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Police have been lifted into the air in the jaws of a logging tractor as they tried to break up a blockade by environmental activists who have camped out in the remote East Gippsland highlands to obstruct plans to log old-growth forest there. Officers with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources joined local police in the removal of the group of about 12 protesters on Wednesday so that logging machinery could enter the forest. The protesters, who had camped out for more than a week, had forced the suspension of plans to harvest native timber from a previously untouched area of state forest at Granite Mountain near Buldah​, in one of the most remote corners of the state. 

Read More

First New Species of Temperate Conifer Tree Discovered in More Than a Decade

By Game Popkin
National Geographic
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

It’s not every day—or even every decade—that a new species of conifer is found in the world’s temperate forests. But late last year, researchers announced a new species of hemlock tree from Korea. The new tree could help save one of its better-known cousins—a North American hemlock species being annihilated by a voracious insect. But the new find is so rare that it’s already being considered for an endangered-species listing itself. “It’s probably the rarest woody plant in Korea, if not the world,” says Peter Del Tredici, a botanist at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum in Boston, who was on the team that discovered the tree. …Whether or not the new tree helps save American hemlocks, it shows that mega-diverse tropical forests aren’t the only places that still need to be explored, adds Robert Jetton, a forestry expert also at North Carolina State.

Read More

Forestry safety fears feed skill shortage

By Paula Hulburt
Stuff.co.nz
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

One of New Zealand’s biggest industries is facing a boom, but skilled workers are thin on the ground. Forestry experts in Marlborough say the industry has been branded with an undeserved reputation for poor safety practices; putting potential employees off signing up. Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology tutor and former forestry worker Jason Gillespie says technological advances and better safety procedures have helped make the sector safer than ever before. And he says the industry is in desperate need of skilled workers as it faces a boom in business. …”These days, no-one is allowed in the forest without a radio, everyone has one … each site does extensive training in escape routes. All our students are taught about safety,” says the Blenheim-based teacher.

Read More