Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 6, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Largest timber office building in the US coming to New Jersey: Michael Green

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 6, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s Michael Green and New York’s Lotus Equity Group are planning to build the largest timber office building in the US. The three interconnected buildings will be anchored by an 11-storey timber skyscraper. Elsewhere in NJ, Jim Tedesco kicked off his [Bergen County] reelection campaign with a push for building code changes related to lightweight wood construction [given the 2015 Edgewood apartment fire]. 

In Business news: New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant is heading to Washington to plead his case for a softwood lumber exemption; have NAFTA’s prospects brightened?—the Globe and Mail says “not likely“,  the World Politics Review says “US hard-line approach no way to strike a deal“. Elsewhere, SFPA reports record exports in 2017.

Finally, are we entering the bio-age? Yes – according to Natural Resources Canada. Time to fight fire with fire? Yes – says a California watchdog. Do forest companies need avalanche protection plans? Yes – according to WorkSafeBC.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Have NAFTA’s prospects brightened?

By Andrea Suzenko
The Globe and Mail
February 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

In recent months, the collective wisdom among NAFTA commentators has been that the United States was pushing one-sided, win-lose demands on Canada and Mexico as a set up for giving notice of withdrawal from the agreement. That was then. Now, a much more nuanced picture is emerging, significantly reducing the probability of the U.S. side taking that step, even as a negotiating tactic. …Does all this signal a turning of the tide, or is it more likely a short-term feint? The evidence suggests the former; and, as always, it’s mainly about U.S. politics. …What then, is the likely scenario going forward? It appears to be more of the same trench warfare, potentially leading to exhaustion and stalemate.

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Trump’s Hard-Line Approach to Trade Talks Is No Way to Strike a Deal

By Susan Ariel Aaronson
World Politics Review
February 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

In making trade policy, process is as important as substance. If the process is perceived as fair, the participants, both citizens and policymakers, will likely view the outcomes as fair. The Trump administration has never understood that. It demands “fairness” from its trade partners but doesn’t always treat them fairly. …By constantly slamming the negotiating tactics and proposals of Mexico and Canada, U.S. negotiators are unlikely to achieve a better deal with NAFTA. These hard-line tactics also ignore how times have changed. In 1993, the U.S. accounted for 26.6 percent of global GDP, and Canada and Mexico desperately needed preferential trade with their neighbor. Today, America’s share of global GDP is down to 24.5 percent. While the U.S. is a huge market for Canada and Mexico, both countries increasingly look to Asia.

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PC leadership hopefuls at odds over Northern Pulp

By Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
February 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The proposed Northern Pulp wastewater treatment facility has left duelling Progressive Conservative leadership hopefuls on different sides of the fence. …The new plant design would have treated wastewater discharged through an outflow pipe into the Northumberland Strait, a move that area fishermen say can never happen. Kathy Cloutier, communications director for Paper Excellence Canada, the parent company of the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County, said the company expects the environmental assessment application for the replacement project will be formally registered with the Environment Department in late spring or early summer. She said the company is fully committed to ensure it is operational by January 2020. …Lohr said Monday that it is time to take a stand for Nova Scotia men and women who earn their livelihoods in the forestry industry.

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N.B. premier heading to Washington to seek exemption to softwood lumber tariff

By Mike Cameron
CTV News Atlantic
February 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Brian Gallant

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant is heading to Washington this week to plead his case for an exemption to a trade impasse threatening the province’s softwood lumber industry. “We believe it’s also very important for the U.S. economy to be able to get softwood lumber from Canada and specifically from New Brunswick,” Gallant said in Saint John Monday. Gallant will be meeting with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, along with Maine Gov. Paul Lepage. LePage is a political ally of President Donald Trump and campaigned for him in the presidential election. …Maine and New Brunswick have a lot in common when it comes to forestry. Companies like J.D. Irving Ltd. are big players in the province and state.

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Pope Resources Announces Two Property Acquisitions By ORM Timber Fund IV Totaling $113.9 Million

By Pope Resources
PRNewswire
February 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

POULSBO, Wash. — Pope Resources reported that its private equity timber fund, ORM Timber Fund IV (REIT) Inc. (“Fund IV”), completed two acquisitions at the end of January 2018 totaling $113.9 million for 36,900 acres.  Pope Resources (the “Partnership”) co-invests 15% of the capital in all acquisitions by Fund IV, so the Partnership’s portion of these recent acquisitions totals $17.0 million.  These timberlands acquired by Fund IV include a significant proportion of currently merchantable timber which is expected to generate strong cash flows for Fund IV, and indirectly for the Partnership, in 2018 and beyond.  

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SFPA: Southern Pine lumber exports reach record $312 million in 2017

Lesprom Network
February 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Exports of Southern pine lumber continue to surge and reached a record level of $312 million in 2017. Within this volume, exports of pressure-treated lumber also reach an all-time sales record of $175 million, a 28% increase from the previous year, as the Southern Forest Products Association says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Exports have jumped sharply in regions targeted by the Southern Pine Council’s (SPC) international market development efforts. Record sales were achieved in China and emerging markets recently targeted by SPC in Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America.

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Hancock Lumber acquires Mainely Trusses

By Craig Anderson
The Press Herald
February 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Kevin Hancock

Hancock Lumber of Casco said Monday that it has acquired Mainely Trusses, a roof and floor truss manufacturer based in Fairfield. The acquisition will add a new product line to Hancock’s manufacturing portfolio, the company said. The addition of Mainely Trusses makes Hancock Lumber the first retailer in Maine to own and operate its own roof and floor truss manufacturing facility, the company said in a news release. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. “When the opportunity to acquire Mainely Trusses materialized, we recognized quickly that it would be a good long-term move that strengthened both companies,” Kevin Hancock, president and CEO of Hancock Lumber.

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UK homegrown sector lobbies minister on log supply/pricing crisis

Timber Trades Journal
February 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

About 30 representatives across the UK homegrown timber industry met in Edinburgh with Scottish minister Fergus Ewing on Monday to discuss the current log supply/price crisis gripping the sector. Sawmills and other timber processors came together with the Forestry Commission and others in the supply chain at the meeting with the cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity. Stuart Goodall, chief executive of Confor, said the industry wanted to be open with decision makers about the situation which has seen many sawmills reduce production in the face of rocketing log prices.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tedesco to push for changes to the state fire code

By Richard Cowen
NorthJersey.com
February 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Jim Tedesco

HACKENSACK — Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco kicked off his reelection campaign Monday morning amid of a chorus of Democratic leaders led by Gov. Phil Murphy, who came to sing his praises. Tedesco, the affable volunteer firefighter and former mayor of Paramus, celebrated his 65th birthday by announcing he’s running for a second term as county executive. …Tedesco said he also would push for changes to the state fire code to prevent horrific fires such as the 2015 blaze at the Avalon apartment complex in Edgewater, which displaced more than 1,000 people. Tedesco has called upon the state Legislature to change the building code regarding lightweight wood construction and require the installation of masonry fire walls that extend to the roof. 

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The Lego Group Joins How2Recycle for Clearer Toy Packaging Recycling

By Alyssa Danigelis
Environmental Leader
February 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The Lego Group has joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s How2Recycle program, announcing plans to begin labeling the toy packaging for US consumers this year. By the end of 2018, Lego says that more than 60% of the company’s new toy boxes will have the How2Recycle label.  …Back in 2012, the toy company committed to using only paper from forests which have been managed under sustainable principles. In 2015, the company reached its goal to use Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and packaging for all of its operations. …“Lego bricks are made from the highest quality plastic…” a Lego spokesperson told Environmental Leader in 2016. “So we are searching for a new material that is not based on oil.”

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Timber skyscraper planned for Riverfront Square

By Karin Yi
NJ.com
February 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The site of the old Newark Bears Stadium will be anchored by an 11-story tall timber tower — the beginnings of a new vision for sustainable construction and modern architecture in the city. …”Good buildings are good neighbors and we envision a sustainable, efficient and architecturally-stunning future for Newark,” said Michael Green, founder of Michael Green Architecture, which designed the building. The wood skyscraper is part of the estimated $1.7 billion mixed commercial and residential space planned for the old stadium and surrounding land. An additional 2 million square feet of offices, 2,000 residential units and public open space are planned for the area, which is being pitched as 24/7 downtown destination in the heart of the Broad Street corridor.

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The largest timber office building in the U.S. will anchor Newark, N.J. mixed-use development

By David Malone
Building Design + Construction
February 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Riverfront Square, a proposed 11.8-acre mixed-use development in Newark, N.J. will include a 500,000-sf timber office building. According to Michael Green Architecture, the building’s architect, and New York-based real estate development and investment firm Lotus Equity Group, the new structure would be the largest timber office building in the country when it completes construction. …The decision to use mass timber for the office building was made, he said, about a year ago, “close to when we started the design process.” He said his firm “wanted [the building] to be a project of the future: affordable and sustainable, with a lower carbon footprint.” Lotus is also exploring using mass timber to build some of the residential component of Riverfront Square, too. The 500,000-sf mass timber office building will be three interconnected sections, at heights of six, eight, and 11 stories, respectively.

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Forestry

What’s the Difference Between EFI and NFI? Demystifying Current Acronyms in Forest Inventory in Canada

By Pacific Forestry Centre
Canadian Forest Service
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The forest inventory business is changing. For forest professionals, keeping up-to-date on technological innovations and understanding the different sources of forest inventory information available (and the associated terminology) can be challenging. There are two acronyms in particular that invite confusion: NFI and EFI. NFI stands for National Forest Inventory and represents a type of inventory: an NFI is designed to provide high-level information to support national-level forest policy and reporting information needs. Enhanced Forest Inventory (EFI) represents an approach to forest inventory that makes use of advanced remote sensing technologies such as Airborne Laser Scanning, also known as LiDAR (light detection and ranging), in combination with ground plot data, to generate inventory attribute information.

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Job Shadowing Experience in the Forest Sector

TimberWest
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Caelan McLean

In August, TimberWest had the pleasure of hosting Caelan McLean, a 17 year old Grade 12 student from Highland Secondary School and member of K’omoks First Nation, for a 10 day summer work experience.  Caelan wanted to better understand the career possibilities in the forest industry and we were more than happy to show him. Over the course of his 10 day work experience Caelan got to job shadow our Log Purchase department and go Timber Cruising, learn about Log Scaling and Log Quality, head out with our Silviculture crew, spend time with our biology and forestry summer students, and learn about the importance of water monitoring with our hydrology team.

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Town, County get grants for mitigating pine beetle

By Peter Skokeir
The Whitecourt Star
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Government of Alberta recently announced grants for local municipalities to help them be more aggressive towards the mountain pine beetle. The province will give $29,000 to the Town of Whitecourt and $26,000 to Woodlands County. Oneil Carlier, Whitecourt-Ste. Anne MLA and Alberta minister of agriculture and forestry, explained that the purpose of these grants was for the control and suppression of the mountain pine beetle. …Municipalities will use the grants to develop programs that are effective in their own regions, Carlier explained, adding that these are a few of the many investments the province has made towards mitigating the mountain pine beetle.

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BC wildfire and flood review kicks off consultations

By Jennifer Norwell
CBC News
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Province-wide consultations began Monday in Kamloops as part of a review to hear stories about last year’s devastating wildfires and spring floods. The independent review was launched last fall get feedback on how to better plan for future environmental disasters. More than 65,000 people were displaced last summer. Fires burned 1.2 million hectares of forest and there was widespread flooding in communities like Cache Creek, Kelowna, Vernon and Dawson Creek. …John Horgan appointed former provincial cabinet minister George Abbott and Maureen Chapman, a First Nations leader, as the chairs of the review in December of 2017.

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This is your drinking water, folks

Letter by Jim Neu
The Register-Guard
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After the public forum on Jan. 30, County Commissioner Sid Leiken stated the polluting of our drinking water from herbicidal aerial spraying was a significant statewide issue but the commissioners’ hands were tied. Commissioner Jay Bozievich was so frustrated with the issue that he pulled a scheduled May work session from the agenda, stating he didn’t want to waste the public’s money. Despite more than 200,000 customers that consume 7.5 billion gallons of water annually and are the owners of the Eugene Water & Electric Board water system, the timber industry has been allowed for the last 40 years to spray endocrine disruptor chemicals on the watershed that supplies our water.

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Time To Fight Fires With Fire, Watchdog Group Suggests Capital

By Ezra David Romero
Public Radio News
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A California watchdog group is calling to change the way forests are managed — including controlled burns of at least a million acres. The Little Hoover Commission, a watchdog group tasked with questioning the efficiency of state programs, recommends in its new study, Fire on the Mountain: Rethinking Forest Management in the Sierra Nevada, immediate action when it comes to reducing the risk of damage from fires.  Pedro Nava, the chair of the bipartisan commission, recommends starting with prescribed burns — where fires are lit on purpose as a management tool — to thin out areas of overgrown forest. “We know that a forest that has been thinned in that way doesn’t burn as hot, doesn’t burn as long and is not as dangerous,” Nava said.

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Warm weather halts Hamilton logging project

By Kevin Maki
NBC Montana
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With warmer weather conditions and mud, folks in the Bitterroot haven’t been seeing those log trucks transporting timber from the Westside Thinning Project south of Hamilton. Pyramid Mountain Lumber Company voluntarily stopped logging in the area until it gets colder. …The spring-like weather has just about everybody in the valley dealing with mud and sloppy conditions. …The frost protected the soil from erosion, the terrain and roads from the impact of heavy equipment and trucks. But in recent weeks that ground has started to thaw out. Bitterroot National Forest timber sale administrator Jon Garlitz said Pyramid halted logging a couple weeks ago.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Are we entering the bio-age?

By Maria Church
Canadian Biomass
February 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

“It’s clear we’re at the threshold of the bio-age.” It was a powerful statement from Kim Rudd, parliamentary secretary to the minister of natural resources, at an industry event in Ottawa late November. And if it at all reflects the sentiment at Natural Resources Canada, it’s a call to action for biomass producers to make noise in the marketplace. There is a strong reason to think 2018 will be a banner year for biomass. …Lack of awareness is still the No. 1 hurdle to growing the local wood pellet heating market. Consumers need to hear the good news story of how wood pellets provide efficient home heating at a comparable price long term. With that goal in mind, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada launched www.woodpelletheat.ca, a website dedicated to sharing information on wood pellets as a renewable heat and power source.

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Captain Wilcox to anchor at Civic Centre in Port Hardy

By Tyson Whitney
The North Island Gazette
February 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Captain Peter Wilcox, the founding director of the Inside Passage Decarbonization Project (IPDP), wrote a letter to Port Hardy council requesting the usage of the council chambers for their first annual Solutions Summit in March. [The Mission of the IPDP is to replace high-carbon tar sands and sensitive-habitat sourced marine fuels available in the Inside Passage with …bio-based renewable fuels] …Wilcox, who then stated they want to encourage “the development of clean, waste-based biofuels and bio-lubricants in appropriate locations and scales in Washington, BC and Alaska, such as what Canfor is doing with renewable diesel and aviation fuel from cellulosic waste near Prince George.”

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Health & Safety

Plant cooperating with WorkSafeBC following fire

By Roger Knox
Vernon Morning Star
February 5, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lavington’s Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. plant is cooperating fully with WorkSafeBC following a flash fire at the mill. The incident happened at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21, at the plant in the 9900 block of School Road. Nobody was injured. “We can confirm that we did experience an event involving a failed bearing at the plant,” said Leroy Reitsma, Pinnacle president and chief operating officer. “No one was hurt and no material damage was sustained. “The majority of the plant continued to operate while we conducted an investigation prior to resuming full operations.”

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WorkSafeBC says employers need avalanche protection plan for backcountry workers

Canadian Press in The Province
February 5, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

RICHMOND, B.C. — Employers in British Columbia have been warned they need to develop plans to keep their workers safe from avalanches. WorkSafeBC, the provincial occupational health and safety authority, tells employers in a news release that workers in the backcountry, including self-employed workers, face a potential risk of serious injury in what is an active avalanche season. …Patrick Davie, WorkSafeBC manager of prevention field services, says employees in the oil and gas, forestry, pipeline construction, highway maintenance and mining industries are at the greatest risk. …Since 1998 in B.C., avalanches have caused the deaths of three workers and 52 time-loss injury claims, including two injury claims in 2017, the release says.

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