Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 1, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

US lumber production to rise as Tolko makes foray into US south, Rex Lumber to expand.

March 1, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tolko is making its first venture into the US south while Rex Lumber plans a new sawmill in Alabama. Once built, the two plants will produce annually half a billion board feet of lumber. But what will sawmills of the future look like? The Logging and Sawmilling Journal has a feature interview with UBC professor Julie Cool

In other Business news: both Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills are appealing the fines levied for their 2012 sawdust explosions; Sandy Springs mayor and fire chief protest wood-frame apartments; New Zealand cements its position as China’s top source of logs and APA announces changes to its Board of Trustees.

Elsewhere: the carbon holding potential of forest soils; Vermont forests vulnerability to climate change; NZ companies spend more for logging security and a court in Brazil delivers a blow to Amazon activists.

Finally, while lots of  trees are hermaphroditic—their flowers have both male and female parts—here’s one that can switch genders.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

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Special Feature

What’s the Difference Between EFI and NFI?

By Graham Stinson and Joanne White, Natural Resources Canada
Natrual Resources Canada
February 28, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Forest inventories in Canada are evolving as new technologies are incorporated into the inventory process. Governments and industry are under increasing pressure to reduce inventory costs, while simultaneously producing improved information to support the increasingly complex demands associated with forest management. 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. Amidst all this change in forest inventories in Canada, there are two acronyms in particular that seem to invite confusion: NFI and EFI. NFI stands for National Forest Inventory and represents a type of inventory with a very specific purpose: an NFI is typically designed to provide high-level information to support national-level forest policy and reporting information needs. 

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Froggy Foibles

Why Do Some Male Trees Turn Female?

By Amy Ellis Nutt
The Washington Post in NDTV
February 28, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

It’s not often a scientist reaches into fantasy literature for the perfect analogy. “Usually trees take a long time to respond to their environment,” said botanist Jennifer Blake-Mahmud. …A lot of trees have some type of flower, which contains their sexual organs. The showier plants, like cherry, magnolia and dogwood, flaunt their sexuality. …Only when the trees bloom can you figure out their sex. Lots of trees are hermaphroditic – that is, their flowers contain both male and female reproductive parts. …Acer pensylvanicum, a striped maple found in the northeast United States and southeastern Canada, is that rarest of species: Not only can it take a mere three weeks to bloom (a nanosecond in arboreal terms), but an individual tree can switch genders, from male to female.

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Business & Politics

$115M lumber mill planned for central Louisiana

Associated Press in Bristol Herald Courier
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

BATON ROUGE, La. — A $115 million lumber mill will be constructed in central Louisiana and is expected to create 110 onsite jobs, under plans announced Wednesday. Ruston-based Hunt Forest Products said it will build the facility in Urania, in LaSalle Parish, in a joint venture with Canadian forestry company Tolko Industries. Construction is expected to start in April, with operations slated to begin in early 2019. “We are excited to be bringing a high-tech sawmill — and the skilled jobs it will provide — to central Louisiana, and to provide a local outlet for the massive inventory of southern yellow pine that exists in this region,” company co-owner James Hunt said in a statement. Gov. John Bel Edwards hailed the project as a “great economic boost” in the heart of Louisiana’s timber country.

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Tolko announces joint venture to build sawmill in Louisiana

The Columbia Valley Pioneer
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Brad Thorlakson

Tolko Industries has partnered with Louisiana-based Hunt Forest Products to build a state-of-the-art sawmill near Urania, La. Construction of the approximately USD $115 million project is expected to commence in April and be completed by December 2018. It will employ about 110 people, and will produce southern yellow pine lumber from timber harvested in the surrounding area. …“This is our first venture into the United States,” said Brad Thorlakson, Tolko president and CEO, “and we are thrilled to be in Louisiana with Hunt Forest Products.” …The scope of the project includes a 200 million-board-foot facility that will consume approximately 850,000 tons of timber annually, three continuous dry kilns and a planer facility.

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New Trustees Join APA Board

APA – The Engineered Wood Association
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Ed Alias

Four new trustees have been elected to the APA – The Engineered Wood Association Board of Trustees, filling vacancies created by retirements and new executive assignments. They include Bruce Alexander (Norbord), Andrew Konieczka (GP), Mike Brown (Boise) and Jason Ringblom (LP). Trustees leaving the APA Board include Mike Dawson (Norbord), Mark Leutters (GP), Mary Jo Nyblad (Boise), and Brad Southern (LP). “This is a significant time of transition for the APA Board. We are grateful for the time and leadership of our outgoing board members and look forward to working with our new trustees,” said Ed Elias, APA President. “They are a highly talented group of individuals who bring fresh ideas and perspective to our Association.”

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What will sawmills of the future look like?

By Paul MacDonald
The Logging & Sawmilling Journal
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Julie Cool

It really is stunning to look at sawmills today, and compare them with sawmills— and the way lumber was produced—30 or 40 years ago. The amount of technology that is now employed in areas such as scanning and optimization is nothing short of staggering. …It raises the question about what lies in the future for Canada’s sawmills: will a sawmill be run someday from a Smartphone? And will we continue to see mills become even more technologically sophisticated, at the cost of jobs in the industry? …Julie Cool, Assistant Professor in Wood Machining in the Department of Wood Science at the Faculty of Forestry, pondered for Logging and Sawmilling Journal what mills might look like in five, 10 years—and longer out. Cool has an interesting perspective; in addition to her position at UBC, she has also worked at industry research organization FPInnovations.

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Federal budget raises questions about Canada keeping its competitive edge

Northern Ontario Business
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canada’s competitiveness in the world was a familiar refrain coming from industry and business groups commenting on the Feb. 28 federal budget. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said the 2018 budget doesn’t address basic fundamental issues facing the economy. …Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) likes the government devoting more than $2 billion for skills training, $3 billion on environmental initiatives to create a low-carbon economy, and a commitment to protect and expand markets. “Budget 2018 sends some positive signals that support the forest sector’s priorities, with investments to build capacity to address climate change, skills training to build a workforce for the future, and supports the further diversification of our export markets,” said FPAC CEO Derek Nighbor.

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New Alabama lumber manufacturing facility will create 110 jobs

By Hanno van der Bijl
Birmingham Business Journal
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MONTGOMERY —A lumber manufacturer plans to invest millions of dollars in a new sawmill in Alabama. Rex Lumber Co. will invest $110 million in a new lumber manufacturing facility in unincorporated Pike County. The move is expected to add 110 jobs to the region’s forest products industry. Site work at the new sawmill is expected to begin March 15. Once complete, the new facility is expected to produce at least 240 million board feet every year. “Our fourth-generation family-owned business is looking forward to a long and prosperous future in Pike County and the great state of Alabama,” said Caroline McRae Dauzat, a co-owner of Rex Lumber. The manufacturer operates two sawmills in Florida and another in Mississippi.

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JELD-WEN parts ways with CEO, announces two acquisitions

LBM Journal
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — JELD-WEN Holding, Inc. has announced a leadership transition with Chairman of the Board, Kirk S. Hachigian, assuming the duties of CEO on an interim basis. The company also announced an agreement to acquire American Building Supply, Inc. and A&L Windows Pty Ltd. JELD-WEN Board of Directors announced the departure of President and CEO, Mark Beck, effective Feb. 27, by mutual agreement. …Hachigian, Chairman of the Board and former CEO, will assume Beck’s duties while the Board conducts a search for a new CEO. …JELD-WEN has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of ABS. ABS supports distributors, dealers, and home centers with a broad product range of doors, frames, and hardware for both the residential and commercial markets. Through its Doormerica division, ABS manufactures decorative, specialty, and architectural doors, including the Millennium Door series.

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New Zealand log exports to China at record levels

By Tina Morrison
New Zealand Newswire
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand exported a record volume of logs to China last year as Asia’s largest economy clamped down on harvesting its own forests. And the future points to constant or better demand in coming months, according to AgriHQ’s latest forestry market report. The country shipped a record 18.8 million cubic metres of softwood logs overseas in 2017, with exports to China jumping 29 per cent and accounting for three-quarters of the total. New Zealand cemented its position as China’s top source of softwood logs last year, with its share of the market lifting to 36.3 per cent from 34.7 per cent. China’s overall demand for softwood logs increased 10 per cent to 31 million tonnes as the country clamped down on harvesting its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. Wood Design Awards event the largest yet

Journal of Commerce
March 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kevin Mahon and Etienne Lalonde

The designers and builders of British Columbia’s best wood projects are in the spotlight. Wood WORKS! BC held its 14th annual Wood Design Awards on Feb. 26 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, with winners spanning the gamut from small and large institutional structures to the multiple award-winning Brock Commons — Tallwood House building, currently the tallest wood structure in the world. This year’s event was the largest yet, with close to 500 contractors, architects and others from the construction and forestry sectors in attendance. …Lynn Embury-Williams also said the provincial government has made an effort to help support and grow the B.C. wood design industry. “B.C. is a leader in wood design and many of the designers here at the awards work all over the world. It’s a great thing to keep innovating in B.C. because it helps ensure that demand continues to increase.” she said.

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Standing Tall

By Courtney Healey
Canadian Architect
February 28, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Because it’s 2018, tall wood and mass timber are here to stay. In the race to be the tallest wood tower in the world, he current title-holder, as of this writing, is Brock Commons Tallwood House, an 18-storey student residence at the University of British Columbia, designed by Acton Ostry Architects (AOA) in Vancouver. As Bruce Haden reported in this magazine during the building’s construction last year, we know that mass timber 
is light, fast and clean; it’s good for the environment and for the Canadian forestry sector. For anyone still wondering why we don’t see more tall wood buildings, it remains largely a regulatory issue, as building codes scramble to catch up with the advances in material and construction methodology. …Brock Commons Tallwood House helps industry and regulators take important steps toward a future of mass-timber buildings.

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Sturgis tiny house is built with sturdy & renewable cross-laminated timber (Video)

By Kimberley Mok
Treehugger
February 28, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The tiny house movement has come a long way in the last decade or so, having evolved from its rustic, DIY roots into a flourishing field where we’re seeing a lot of tiny homes using innovative materials and building systems, as well as prefabricated, high-tech smart tiny housing units. Cubist Engineering is offering this 170-square-foot modern gem of a tiny house that’s built with one of our favourite materials: cross-laminated timber. CLT has been popular in Europe for decades, and is now making its presence known in North America — it’s a strong material that is not only lighter than concrete, but also sequesters carbon and is renewable. …Clad with shou sugi ban wood siding on the outside, and white oak wood flooring and reclaimed white oak trim inside, the Sturgis’ airy interior boasts one big space-saving trick we are now familiar with in tiny spaces: a retractable queen-sized bed that can be lowered down from the ceiling with the push of a button.

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Sandy Springs mayor, fire chief to protest wood-frame apartments bill

By John Ruch
Reporter Newspapers
February 28, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Mayor Rusty Paul

Sandy Springs’ mayor and fire chief will speak at a firehouse press conference March 2 to protest a bill that could kill local cities’ restrictions on wood-framed apartment buildings. The bill is turning into a battleground of construction material lobbies, as the timber industry reportedly had a big influence on its filing, and the press conference is organized by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. A Sandy Springs building code change passed in 2016 requires apartment buildings over three stories tall or over 100,000 square feet in size to be constructed with steel and masonry rather than wood framing. Dunwoody already had a similar code in place. Both codes would be killed by House Bill 876, which says that “no county or municipality shall prohibit the use of wood as a construction material so long as such use conforms to all applicable state minimum standard codes and the Georgia State Fire Code.”

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Forestry

SFI Community Grants Feature Collaboration From 102 Different Groups Spanning the U.S. and Canada

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Globe Newswire
March 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON and OTTAWA — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced 18 community grants today that will advance the quality of life in communities across the United States and Canada. SFI is bringing together a diverse range of people from 102 organizations to support community engagement projects. SFI engages local communities through a variety of initiatives including youth outreach, forest education programs, supporting tribal and Indigenous values, and green building projects for low-income families. …“Every year our community grants reach more people. In 2017, we tapped a network of 50 organizations. This year we’ve doubled our reach and I’m confident we will continue to build on this momentum as we come together to strengthen our shared links to the people, communities and well‑managed forests we all care so passionately about,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

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Logging in Vernon’s watershed

Letter by John Huddart
Vernon Morning Star
February 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I’m writing this letter because of the logging currently being performed on the top of Vernon Mountain in the Vernon’s watershed areas. To say I’m concerned is an understatement. It is obvious that our world weather is changing to more extremes. …It’s a known fact that logging, once done, dries out that terrain. Logging on Vernon Mountain like what’s going on right now will lead to less water holding, faster run off, more erosion and ultimately less water for all the residents of Vernon.  …I ask why it’s being allowed to happen with no oversight from the city of Vernon, B.C. government and federal government? Aren’t these controlling parties supposed to be looking after our resources and our people?

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Opposition ramps up as logging work starts

By Don Patterson
Okotoks Western Wheel
February 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Opposition to clear-cut logging plans in the Highwood Junction area ramped up after access roads and a temporary bridge were constructed last week. In November, the Province gave the green light to B.C.-based Balcaen Consolidated Contracting Ltd. to log 255 hectares near the intersection of Highway 40 and Secondary Highway 541.  The logging will take place over the next two years. …The logging plans resulted in vocal opposition from many sources, from businesses and municipalities to recreation users and conservationists. They don’t plan to sit quietly as work begins, said Neil Williams, spokesperson for Take a Stand for the Upper Highwood. “Since last March, we’ve been trying to get a resolution not to have logging done at the Highwood Junction and along the Highwood River, but that falls on deaf ears,” he said. Members of the group want to see the Highwood Junction area protected against logging.

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Stumping the spread of the mountain pine beetle

By Simon Ducatel
Sundre Roundup
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Although the Sundre forestry area has yet to become overrun by the problematic mountain pine beetle infestation, the potential of the pest spreading remains well within the realm of possibility. “It’s always on the radar,” Bruce Alexander, Sundre Forest Products general manager, said about the migration of the tiny parasitic insect that has plagued other forest ranges to great environmental and economic cost. For the past roughly 10 years, measures to mitigate the potential spread have been aggressively pursued, Alexander told the Round Up. “We’ve been on a healthy pine strategy, which the Alberta government put in place back in about 2008” and has since continued to support, he said. That preventive approach essentially involves focusing harvesting efforts specifically on the age class of the lodgepole pine — the type of tree that the beetles tend to prefer, he said.

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Wilderness Study Area rhetoric hurting our ability to work together

By Russ Ehnes – Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association
Helena Independent Record
February 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Recently much attention has been given to those opposed to Senator Daines’ effort to remove these WSA designations. Unfortunately, much of it has been based on misinformation and false statements. Montana’s wilderness study areas (WSAs) are exceptional places to find what all of us in Montana love: the rugged outdoors, abundant wildlife and a place to get away. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ bill to remove the WSA designation from five U.S. Forest Service areas in Montana does nothing to change that or how these areas are currently managed. What it does do is release these areas, which have never been recommended for wilderness designation in any final agency plan, to be managed under current forest plans. …Fast-forward to now. Hundreds of miles of trails for mountain bikes and OHVs and hundreds of thousands of acres of snowmobile access have been lost within these areas because of court decisions that have driven agency decisions.

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Bid to halt abolition of forestry body

By Kevin Keane
BBC News
February 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SCOTLAND — A last ditch attempt is being made to convince Members of the Scottish Parliament not to abolish the Forestry Commission in Scotland on the eve of its centenary. A Scottish government bill to make forestry a government department will go through its final stages at Holyrood on Thursday. But many in the sector say it is a bad move which will see the loss of decades of forestry experience. George Anderson from the Woodland Trust feels that losing Forestry Commission Scotland would be a mistake. “We feel that the Forestry Commission in Scotland has been an amazing brand which is so well known.”

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Brazil’s top court approves controversial forestry law

BBC News
February 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Brazil’s supreme court has upheld major changes to laws protecting the Amazon rainforest, delivering a blow to environmentalists. The revision of the 2012 law includes an amnesty programme that scraps penalties for landowners who have cut trees down illegally in the past. Environmentalists say it will make illegal deforestation of the world’s largest rainforest acceptable. Farmers say the changes give producers confidence to grow the economy. …Attorney General Grace Mendonca has defended the change saying it struck a balance between environmental protection and economic development. The revised rule will reduce the amount of land that should be restored by 112,000 sq miles (290,000 sq km) – an area the size of Italy. It also provides an amnesty from fines owed for illegally clearing trees before July 2008.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Vermont forests vulnerable to climate change, study finds

By Elizabeth Gribkoff
The Vermont Digger
February 28, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

It was an offhand remark Gov. Phil Scott made in December, and probably regretted. “Climate change could be in some ways beneficial to Vermont,” he said, suggesting that in an era of extreme weather events the Green Mountains might be an appealing destination for climate refugees. The comment was criticized as insensitive. And for the state’s forests, it isn’t true. A study published this month by the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station cautions against any thinking that climate change could be a boon to Vermont. “Forests in Vermont and across the northeastern United States are under increasing stress from changing temperatures and precipitation regimes and increasing prevalence of invasive insects and disease,” said Anthony D’Amato, a forest researcher at the University of Vermont.

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Forests can capture more carbon to ease climate change

By Blaine Friedlander
The Cornell Chronicle
February 28, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

In an effort to offset greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate climate change, research scientists report that soil in forests can capture and hold a large quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Reforesting lands that have lost their forest cover due to cultivation, clear-cutting or fire could sequester two petagrams – or two billion metric tons – of carbon in soils in a century, which is about 10 percent of total U.S. forest carbon sequestration, said Cornell doctoral candidate Kathryn Hofmeister, a co-author on University of Michigan-led research published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS), Feb. 26. The study examined the potential to expand the soil carbon sequestration in reforested areas.

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Health & Safety

Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership and province team up to practice for wildfire emergency

By Sheena Roszell
Everything Grande Prairie
February 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

If disaster strikes, it’s best to be prepared.  So, this week, the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership and the province are teaming up to practice what to do if there is a wildfire emergency.  “That is part of being prepared,” said Jennifer Wood, Program Coordinator for G-PREP.  “And if we don’t think about how we would respond to it, then we are not going to be as successful as we could be if we ever had to respond to (a wildfire emergency.)” The province does this every year and this year’s scenario is a forest wildfire that moves quickly through rural communities to a large urban centre. “The province came up with the scenario of a wildfire and absolutely, after Fort McMurray, it’s important for all of us to think about the what-ifs and this is certainly relevant for parts of our region,” she said.

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Sawmill owners appeal WorkSafeBC fines for fatal blasts

The Prince George Citizen
February 28, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The owners of two northern B.C. sawmills where sawdust-fueled explosions killed four men and injured many others are appealing the fines subsequently levied against them. Both Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills have asked the Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal to review the penalties WorkSafeBC imposed following the blasts in early 2012, a WorkSafeBC spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. The agency slapped Babine with more than $1 million worth of penalties for a January 2012 explosion that leveled its Burns Lake-area sawmill. …And Lakeland was hit with nearly $725,000 for a similar type of disaster in three months later. …The fines are the highest WorkSafeBC has ever levied. …Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed against WorkSafeBC by employees at both sawmills remains before the court.

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Starting our Journey to Zero: Recognizing Safety Milestones Across Tolko

Tolko Blog
February 28, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brad Thorlakson

In December, we recognized employees at Lavington and Meadow Lake as the first divisions to achieve 250,000 consecutive hours without a recordable safety incident as part of Tolko’s new Safety Recognition Certificate. To commemorate the honour, President and CEO, Brad Thorlakson, recently visited each mill and presented the certificates to employees. He also presented a cheque in the amount of $1,000 to each mill to donate to the charity of their choice.  “I was proud to personally deliver this recognition to the crews at Lavington and Meadow Lake,” says Brad. “They have reached a significant milestone and their success is a testament to teamwork and serves as an example of what can be achieved when safety is a priority for everyone.” This new certificate program was implemented as part of Tolko’s Journey to Zero – the next phase of Tolko’s strategic plan to create the culture to care and strong safety behaviours.

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Forestry companies spending large on security

By Thomas Manch
Stuff.co.nz
February 28, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — Trespassers with mischievous intent have forestry companies paying more for security.  Illegal hunting, rubbish dumping, vandalism and drug growing are all happening on vast tracts of private forest land. Companies are building stronger gates to bar public access, only to find better tools are being used to dismantle them. Hancock Forest Management environment manager Sally Strang said the company spent $449,999 on security in the year to December 2017, including $250,000 on repairing and replacing vandalised gates and locks. …It’s not just to keep people out from hunting … there are a number of other reasons and some of them are a little worse, more malign than hunting,” Maunder said.

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