Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 13, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

‘Canada does not treat us right’: Trump threatens new tax

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 13, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Speaking at the White House yesterday, President Trump complained about Canadian trade practices while “threatening some as-yet-undefined international tax“. Elsewhere on trade: Policy Options has a piece on the “lessons learned from the 2017 softwood lumber dispute“; and the Book Manufacturers’ Institute joined the growing coalition against US tariffs on Canadian newsprint.

In Forestry news: World Wildlife Fund Columbia considers lessons from the Great Bear Rainforest; US Secretary Zinke orders more aggressive practices to prevent catastrophic wildfires; Congress failed to include wildfire legislation in the budget due to last minute roadblocks; and Missoula forester Mark Finney says the problem with wildfires is that “nobody owns them“. 

Finally, a few repeats from yesterday—given it was a holiday for some—include: marbled murrelet listed as an endangered species in Oregon; and Tom Maness, Oregon State’s Dean, calls the new Forest Science Complex “transformational” despite its challenges”.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Learning from the 2017 softwood lumber dispute

By Zara Liaqat
Policy Options
February 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

To absorb the US duties of 2017, Canadian softwood lumber companies must increase production, improve efficiency and upgrade lumber quality. …Numerous complex forces of demand and supply are at play in the US softwood lumber market. …Forest fires in British Columbia resulted in an overall decline in the province’s lumber production last year. …At the same time, intensifications in US housing starts as well as repair efforts in Texas and Florida after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma created a heightened demand for lumber. …Furthermore, escalating prices prompted US lumber companies to increase their own production. …But the higher prices are not likely to last. Production is going up in the US… and it is expected that the gap left by lower Canadian lumber exports to the US in 2017 will be filled by lumber imported from other countries.

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‘Canada does not treat us right’: Trump threatens new tax

The Canadian Press in CBC News
February 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump is complaining about Canadian trade practices while threatening some as-yet-undefined international tax that has revived fears he might be contemplating new American import penalties. He made the remarks at the White House on Monday while unveiling a long-awaited infrastructure plan. During a lengthy session with reporters, he complained about countries considered allies of the U.S. “Canada does not treat us right in terms of the farming and the crossing the borders,” Trump said. “We cannot continue to be taken advantage of by other countries.” It’s unclear what he was referring to. In the past, he has complained about Canada’s dairy controls and softwood lumber. Administration officials have also expressed anger over Canada’s wide-ranging attack at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the U.S. system for imposing duties.

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Once Again, Congress Fails To Close Deal On Wildfire Legislation

By Jeff Mapes
Oregon Public Broadcasting
February 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Exasperated members of Congress say they came close last week to ending the longtime stalemate over legislation aimed at reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfires. But they say last minute roadblocks kept a tentative deal from being included in the budget bill Congress passed last week to keep the federal government open. “We all had high hopes we would get something done,” said Travis Joseph, president of the Portland-based American Forest Resource Council, a wood-products industry group. “I think everybody is frustrated.” …But there’s been controversy over how how to manage federal lands that are increasingly prone to wildfire  — and the wildfire and forest management issues are now tightly linked.

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Ethisphere Institute today announced International Paper and Weyerhaeuser as two of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies

Pulp & Paper Canada
February 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Two forestry, paper and packaging companies are being recognized for their commitment to integrity and prioritizing ethical business practices. The Ethisphere Institute today announced International Paper and Weyerhaeuser as two of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies. In total, 135 honourees were recognized this year, spanning 23 countries and 57 industries. …International Paper has been recognized for 12 consecutive years, while this is Weyerhaeuser’s ninth time making the honouree list. …Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance, and leadership, innovation and reputation.

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Labor Shortage? Take a Dip in the Pool of Cooperative Education

By Sabrina Seccareccia
Building-Products
February 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

…it’s no secret that the next wave of professionals is poised to retire as the sector continues to mature, and filling the gap is quite literally one of the most important things to be done. …As we scout for those up-and-comers to run our businesses in the future, we’re fortunate that there is a wellspring of promising individuals—in the cooperative education pool. … these programs are invaluable resources, both for companies hoping to discover promising new talent and for young people seeking to get a better feel for what it is like to work in the forest products industry. …co-op programs are a godsend for lumber suppliers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and beyond. As we realize the need to replace retirees with passionate, young employees, we can also provide a great way to give prospects a taste of actual work life in their field of interest.

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Efforts to save Ponderay Newsprint plant lead to lawsuit settlement

By Becky Kramer
The Spokesman Review
February 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

With the goal of keeping its largest customer afloat, the Pend Oreille Public Utility District has settled a 2-year-old lawsuit with Ponderay Newsprint Co. …The settlement, announced last week, ends a dispute that was scheduled to go to trial in June. However, questions linger about the long-term viability of Ponderay Newsprint, which buys about 70 percent of the utility’s electric load. …About 139 people work at the [Washington State] newsprint operation, which is jointly owned by Resolute Forest Products of Quebec and several large publishing companies, including McClatchy, Media News and Gannett.

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Book Manufacturers’ Institute Joins Stop Tariffs on Print and Publishers Coalition

By The Book Manufacturers’ Institute
Printing Impressions
February 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – The Book Manufacturers’ Institute officially joined the STOPP Coalition, which stands for Stop Tariffs on Print and Publishers. The STOPP Coalition consists of printers, publishers, and paper suppliers, as well as their associated trade groups, that represent mostly small businesses …in the United States. …A single paper supplier, NORPAC, alleges that Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper …are being subsidized or shipments are being dumped into the United States, putting downward pressure on price. …NORPAC is …owned by a New York hedge fund, with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally.  The majority of the U.S. newsprint manufacturers, and even the American Forest and Paper Association – as well as their U.S. customers, oppose the NORPAC petitions. …A decades-long shift toward digital platforms is the reason for the financial harm to U.S. newsprint producers; not unfair pricing from Canada.

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A lot going on in wood processing

By Jeremy Muir
Gisborne Herald
February 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Confirmation Juken New Zealand is proceeding with its plan to stop plywood and laminated veneer lumber production in Gisborne, at the loss of about 100 jobs — half its workforce here — was expected but that does not make it any easier for all those affected. There is another two weeks of uncertainty now for Juken staff and their families, with the company starting a process to confirm which roles and exactly how many will go. Fortunately a major new work opportunity has arrived at just the right time, with Far East Sawmills taking over the former Prime sawmill and looking to take on 50 to 60 staff by April. It has bought the mill from Eastland Community Trust and plans to invest $9 million to upgrade equipment. In the future it wants to run multiple shifts and employ up to 100 staff. Far East Sawmills will also partner with secondary processors on or adjacent to the 22 hectare mill site at Matawhero, which ECT retains ownership of.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

An Industry Forum – for the first time ever!

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance
February 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Reserve March 23, 2018 in your calendar for Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s (VIEA) first ever Island Wood Forum at the Nanaimo Cottonwood Golf Course. This event will be of particular interest to those directly involved in wood manufacturing. Anyone who is active in the wood industry value chain will wish to participate. This Forum is a result of three years of work by VIEA to help expand markets and diversify value-added wood manufacturing on Vancouver Island. Through wood industry stakeholder meetings, interviews, surveys, product research, economic analysis, and business case development, the Economic Alliance has developed a starting point for meaningful dialogue about opportunities to generate more wealth and increase sustainable production on Vancouver Island. Access to fibre and access to markets are reoccurring themes.

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Multifamily Passive House completed in Vancouver

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
February 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Accepted wisdom in North America is that the Passive House standard is just for houses, too expensive, and too hard. Many people ask, “Why bother when you can pop a solar panel on top and get Net Zero?” That accepted wisdom got challenged last year and another kick was delivered with the recent opening of The Heights in Vancouver by Cornerstone Architects. …There are a couple of reasons that developers might choose to build Passive House. According to Scott Kennedy of Cornerstone told 8th Avenue that they could save $450,000 on mechanical systems and another $150,000 on natural gas if they built to a passive house standard. …The Heights is a mid-rise building built of wood, with 14 inch thick walls including rock wool insulation and 2 inches of polystyrene to wrap up any thermal bridges, totaling R40.

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The future of forestry: Oregon State University college gets a major makeover, but not everyone approves

By Bennett Hall
The Seattle Times
February 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Tom Maness

…Oregon State University’s George W. Peavy Forest Science Center stands out. Now under construction, the centerpiece of the new Oregon Forest Science Complex is being built with massive panels of cross-laminated timber and wooden support beams. The three-story classroom, lab and office building is calculated to serve as a showpiece for the Oregon timber industry and position the school as a leader in the emerging field of commercial construction using advanced wood products. “This building is transformational in what it’s going to do for our college,” said Dean Thomas Maness. But the project is also more than a year behind schedule, 33 percent over budget and, for some, a symbol of deep divisions within the college. …“Once we’re done, everybody will forget about it,” Maness said. “They’re going to be really proud of it.”

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World’s Tallest Timber Tower Might Get Built in NYC

By Christine Walsh
Jetson Green
February 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The New York City-based architecture firm DFA Studio recently turned in a proposal for an observation tower made of wood.  If built, the structure would be the tallest timber tower in the world, and would offer great views of NYC from its location in Central Park. In addition to that, it would also be used to filter the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in the park, turning it into a freshwater pond which everyone could use. The Central Park Tower, as it is named, would be made using mainly Glulam (glue-laminated timber). Structurally, it would feature a steel core, a complex wooden helix that would be wrapped in timber lattice, and a transparent PVC skin. It would be anchored on a concrete base with stabilizing cables. The tower would be 712 ft (217 m) high.

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China releases new national standard for timber structure design

By Eric Wong
Canada Wood Blog
January 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

China has released a new design code for timber structure, which encourages industry to expand the use of wood and improve the grading system of wood strength. The new standard, which numbered as GB50005-2017, will come into effect on August 1 this year, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural construction. …The new version has highlighted contents about the grading system of wood strength and its design specifications. It also pledges to improve the design criteria for glued timber structure and light wood structure.

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If urban densification is inevitable, then let it be done with a material that makes us happy

Clare Farrow
Dezeen
February 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The mass-timber revolution is coming, says Clare Farrow, co-curator of the new London exhibition Timber Rising: Vertical Visions for the Cities of Tomorrow. Revolution is in the air. In this year of centenaries … the world of architecture, engineering and construction is experiencing its own, quieter form of revolution: the rise of mass timber as an alternative to the dominance of concrete and steel. …the material chosen is the most ancient one of all. … timber has more to offer than its carbon credentials alone. Wood has a combination of lightness and tensile strength that nature excels at mastering. It is five times lighter than concrete, and yet it has comparable strength-per-weight ratio. This lightness…has led architects and engineers to consider how mass timber might be used for urban densification. …Timber towers can also be ingeniously inserted into awkward, narrow urban spaces that are impossible for other materials.

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Forestry

First Nations, Conservation Fund Take Lessons to Colombia

By Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee
February 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Representatives of two First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and a conservation financing group are in Colombia this week to share what they’ve learned about supporting environmental stewardship and sustainable economic development. The trip follows a visit to British Columbia in 2015 by a World Wildlife Fund delegation of Indigenous people from around the world, said Brodie Guy, the executive director of Coast Funds. …As part of the [Great Bear Rainforest agreement process], Coast Funds was created in 2006 with a $60 million endowment to encourage stewardship and a further $60 million to help fund the creation of First Nation-owned businesses. The money came from the provincial and federal government and six foundations. …the goal of the meetings is to “identify lessons learned and recommendations that strengthen …long-term financing mechanisms for conservation, and mitigation or adaptation to climate change initiatives, with Indigenous peoples.”

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Nova Scotia’s game sanctuaries protect game, but not their habitat

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
February 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A large wooden sign at the entrance to the Liscombe Game Sanctuary warns that hunting and trapping are forbidden. Clearcutting, quarrying and gold exploration, however, are fine. And all three are happening in the Liscombe Game Sanctuary with the Crown’s blessing. …A quarter of the Liscombe Game Sanctuary’s 42,311 hectares is privately owned – most of that by Northern Timber Nova Scotia. …Northern Timber purchased 475,000 hectares of land from the Pictou County pulp mill’s former owners, including portions within the game sanctuary, in 2010 courtesy of a $75 million loan from the province. Large areas of the sanctuary have been cut. Randy Milton, manager of ecosystems and habitats for the Department of Natural Resources, said the ‘game sanctuary’ designation protects animals from hunting or trapping but not their habitat.

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We don’t have to choose between jobs and saving woodland caribou

By Julie Boan, Bruce Hyer & Dave Euler
The Toronto Star
February 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has missed the mark if she thinks a further delay to caribou habitat protection — by extending the forest industry’s regulatory exemption from Ontario’s Endangered Species Act — will win northern votes. There was a time — decades ago — when putting the demands of large forestry companies above the interests of everyone else may have been a good political strategy. …The local mill is no longer at the core of our northern identity. …The United States purchases the majority of wood fibre from Ontario — almost all of it, in fact. If real forestry jobs are lost in our community, it will be the result of many factors, including missteps in trade negotiations, the exchange rate, past unsustainable forestry practices, and automation … but not from protecting the furred and feathered co-inhabitants with whom we share our incredible northern forests and waters.

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Secretary of Interior orders more aggressive fuel management

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
February 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

In a message to Directors and Managers in the Department of the Interior, Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered “more aggressive practices” to “prevent and combat the spread of catastrophic wildfires through robust fuels reduction and pre-suppression techniques”. The directive, dated September 12, 2017, attracted attention today when Mr. Zinke referred to it in a press release about the President’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019. “In September, I directed all land managers to adopt aggressive practices to prevent the spread of catastrophic wildfires,” said Mr. Zinke in the February 12 release. “The President’s budget request for the Wildland Fire Management program provides the resources needed for fuels management and efforts that will help protect firefighters, the public and local communities.”

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Beetle Damage Primes Colorado Forests For Intense Wildfires

By Desmond O’Boyle
KUNC
February 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bark beetle devastation has been an ongoing issue in Colorado’s forests for years and remains a concern into 2018. The latest Colorado State Forest Service report says more than 200,000 acres of active infestations were observed in high-elevation spruce-fir forests in Colorado. Dan West, an entomologist with the service, says drought conditions have contributed to conditions that encourage tree-killing bark beetles to reproduce. “When you have widespread contiguous forest that are all in a susceptible size class, and growing dense with reduced defenses, it just sets the stage for beetle outbreaks like we’ve seen in the past few years,” he said. …While funding for clearing out the debris and brush responsible for more intense has historically been hard to come by, some are finding another purpose for beetle-killed trees. …But most of Colorado’s mills are smaller operations, and the state lacks the capacity to fully address the needs of forest management.

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Forest Service puts new 4FRI large-scale forest thinning contract on hold

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
February 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A key project to speed up and expand forest restoration in northern Arizona will now be delayed to a time uncertain. For the past year, stakeholders in the 2.4 million-acre Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, had been under the impression that the Forest Service was making progress on issuing a large-scale contract for tree thinning and forest biomass removal on up to 500,000 acres. But at a meeting last month, the Forest Service announced it won’t be soliciting proposals for the contract. The agency had initially agreed to a plan under which it would release a request for proposals in December 2017.

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Once Again, Congress Fails To Close Deal On Wildfire Legislation

By Jeff Mapes
Oregon Public Broadcasting
February 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Exasperated members of Congress say they came close last week to ending the longtime stalemate over legislation aimed at reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfires. But they say last minute roadblocks kept a tentative deal from being included in the budget bill Congress passed last week to keep the federal government open. …As Western wildfires have grown in intensity, Congress has struggled over what to do. There’s broad agreement that the U.S. Forest Service needs relief from the rising cost of firefighting, which now consumes more than half of the agency’s budget. But there’s been controversy over how how to manage federal lands that are increasingly prone to wildfire  — and the wildfire and forest management issues are now tightly linked.

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Research forester: Americans must take ownership of wildfires

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

Who “owns” wildfire? Montana saw 1.4 million acres burn in 2017. No year since 1910 left such a scar. And that’s likely to get worse until Americans take ownership of fire the same way they own responsibility for their personal health, according to research forester Mark Finney of the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula. “If you think of it like health care, it’s like we get rid of all the doctors’ and dentists’ offices and only use emergency rooms and ambulances,” Finney told the Missoula County commissioners last week. “If we did that, the general state of our health would be terrible. Yet that’s what our fire management program essentially is. …“But nobody owns wildfire,” Finney said. “It’s a natural disaster — an act of God. Then everybody gets to claim to be a victim.” But what would happen if someone did “own” wildfire? 

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Marbled murrelet officially listed as endangered species in Oregon

By Andrew Theen
Oregon Live
February 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Marbled murrelet, a threatened seabird that nests in old-growth forests throughout the Pacific Northwest, is officially an endangered species in Oregon. …The vote also puts Oregon on the same page as neighboring California and Washington, which both uplisted the seabird from threatened to endangered in recent years. It’s unclear what the decision would mean for the timber industry, though large and small interests lobbied against the vote Friday. …Bob Sallinger, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland, seemed stunned by the decision which came after commissioners were initially deadlocked at a 3-3. …Sara Duncan, director of public affairs for the Oregon Forest & Industries Council, issued a statement saying the group was disappointed. …Much of the concern centers around logging activity on state and private land. …Wildfires also play a role.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Stora Enso bring bio-based lignin to market as a replacement for oil-based phenolic materials.

By Stora Enso
Bio-Based World News
February 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Stora Enso… have officially launched their bio-based lignin product, LineoTM. …Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of the Stora Enso Biomaterials division, says, “Having increased our lignin focus in recent years, we’re delighted to launch Lineo. Lignin is a non-toxic raw material with traceable origin and stable cost structure, and bio-based Lineo is ideal for companies looking for alternatives to oil-based products. We believe that everything made from fossil-based materials today, can be made from a tree tomorrow.”

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Health & Safety

Unifor to testify against workplace surveillance

By Unifor
Cision Newswire
February 13, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA – Unifor will take its battle with the federal government over proposed workplace surveillance legislation to the Senate on Tuesday. “Video-recording workers on the job is a surveillance tool, pure and simple,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We’ve campaigned against this over-reach from employers from the start. Managerial video surveillance cannot become the government standard.” ..Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, proposes to require all railway operators install and utilize Locomotive Voice and Video Recorders (LVVRs). Unifor says the government has provided little evidence to demonstrate how LVVRs will be an improvement over the “black box” data recorders already installed on trains.

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Kamloops wood-manufacturing firm fined $25,000 by WorkSafeBC

Kamloops This Week
February 11, 2018
Category: Health & Safety

The latest WorkSafeBC report of companies fined for violations includes a Kamloops wood-products manufacturing facility that was fined $25,000 after an employee’s hand was injured by spinning blades. …The worker had shut down the saw and removed the dust hood to clean the machine. The spinning blades, which had not yet come to a complete stop, contacted the worker’s hand and the worker was injured. WorkSafeBC officials inspected the worksite and determined the machine had not been locked out when the incident occurred and that no written lockout procedures were in place. WorkSafeBC also found the worker had not been trained in safe work procedures for cleaning the saw.

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