Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 6, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

US links steel tariff to NAFTA, pushes for quick deal given US midterms

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

In response to Trump’s threat to use steel tariffs to force a quick NAFTA deal, Trudeau registered his serious concern in a phone call last evening. Adding to the unprecidented urgency—according to trade czar Lighthizer—are the US midterm elections and legally required consultations, which means a deal must be struck within weeks. Related commentary: why the tariffs impact multifamily construction most; and Minister Freeland sharpens her tongue.

Companies in the news include: Canfor (two top employer awards); Canfor Pulp (a leadership change); Weyerhaeuser (revenue growth); Tolko (MOU with First Nations); and IWI (Bonfield sawmill to be built).

In other news: Canada’s environment minister says “we’re all in” on climate targets despite emissions gap; SFI announces conservation grants that support sustainable forestry; New Zealand moves to protect the world’s most evolutionarily distinct frog and Greenpeace wants us to protect forests by eating less meat and dairy

Finally, the Softwood Lumber Board released its 2017 Annual Report. Impressive demand gains yet again!

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Softwood Lumber Board’s 2017 Annual Report: Real Growth. Lasting Roots.

Softwood Lumber Board
March 5, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) released its 2017 Annual Report which highlights its most successful year yet and shows its accomplishments in what it has set out to do—protect and grow markets, sell more lumber, and accrue benefits for the entire softwood lumber industry. Third-party analysis shows… over 3.6 billion board feet of new demand since 2012. In that time, the SLB has generated $19.74 of revenue on every $1 invested. SLB-funded initiatives generated 1.02 billion board feet of incremental softwood lumber demand in 2017:

  • Mark Brinkmeyer (Idaho Forest Group): “The SLB has become the preeminent industry-sponsored initiative working to advocate for our products in the building sector. ”
  • Don Kayne (Canfor): The SLB is a game changer for our industry. It expands markets by creating new opportunities for softwood lumber. We could never achieve the same level of success working individually.”

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Froggy Foibles

Inspired by local forestry scene, Peak Axe Throwing opens its doors

By Matthew Timmins
The Revelstoke Mountaineer
March 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

The tourists look up out of their windows in awe as… trucks carrying giant cedar trunks dwarf their rental cars. The locals do the classic Revy lane switch as to not get stuck behind the slow moving tonne of wood. Neither demographic likely thinks about it again. But one Revelstoke local who has found inspiration from the heart of the community – the forestry industry – is trying to bridge that gap between industry and public by offering a uniquely Canadian, Revelstoke-based experience. Peak Axe Throwing opened its doors to the public last month, allowing guests a chance to try their hand at throwing an axe at a 120-pound, three-foot-wide giant spruce target.

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Business & Politics

What home buyers and renters need to know about Trump’s steel tariffs

By Jacob Passy
Market Watch (Wall Street Journal)
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A can of soda and a six-pack of beer may become more expensive thanks to the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. And housing could cost more too. …Home builders immediately slammed the plan. …The tariffs… will have an impact on new home prices if the cost of those materials increases in the U.S. But that effect will likely be more muted because new homes typically have more wood than metal, said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at real-estate website Zillow. …There are exceptions to that rule, however. Unlike with single-family homes, however, apartment and condo buildings require a significantly more steel and aluminum in their construction than they do lumber. “You’ll see more price pressure in the multifamily space,” Terrazas said. And those costs may get passed onto both buyers and renters.

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Trudeau, Trump talk tariff threat over phone chat

By Alexander Panetta
The Canadian Press in CTV News
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump on a day the United States revealed it might use the threat of tariffs as a negotiating tactic to force a quick NAFTA deal. …The Canadian prime minister called Trump in the evening. …Sources described the conversation as cordial, and said Trudeau told the president that he shares a desire to conclude a NAFTA agreement. …But Trudeau described the tariff threat as unhelpful. Trump is threatening to announce them within a week, in the thick of a congressional election in the steel-producing state of Pennsylvania that Republicans fear losing. …Lighthizer expressed an unprecedented urgency… he made public his hope of renegotiating NAFTA, of completing the legally required consultations and of proceeding to a ratification vote before a new Congress gets sworn in next January. That would mean completing the deal within weeks, at a breakneck pace.

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‘Time is running very short’ for NAFTA, U.S. trade rep says, as potential steel tariffs loom large

By Marie-Danielle Smith
The National Post
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA — With prospective steel tariffs from the United States looming ahead, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is continuing to make progress, albeit slowly. The clock is ticking before a Mexican general election campaign gets underway next month. Congressional mid-terms this fall could also create a different American political situation that may rejig negotiating priorities or the outcome of Congress’s requisite approval of a new deal. …As the seventh negotiating round wrapped up in Mexico City, the Canadian in charge of NAFTA had a sharper tongue than her American counterpart for seemingly the first time. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland took an opportunity to state Canada’s position on steel — that considering Canadian steel to be a “national security” threat under U.S. commerce department rules is “absolutely unacceptable” and, if it happens, that Canada will retaliate with “appropriate responsive measures.”

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Lumber tariffs don’t draw protests of steel and aluminum

By Karl Forth
Woodworking Network
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Last week, within hours after Trump announced the 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, many industries rose up in protest, said Gene Wengert, the Wood Dr. …“Why didn’t we see this when the 20 percent-plus tariff on Canadian lumber was announced, which will affect housing starts as house prices will jump $5,000 or more. Housing is 12 percent of the GDP. Plus, a shortage of wood might drive prices even higher in repair and remodeling. “All this will affect furniture, cabinets, flooring and millwork directly. Who is watching out for our forest products interests? Why didn’t we see a response similar to the steel response?

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The BC Forest Practices Board is accepting expressions of interest for the position of Board Chair

BC Forest Practices Board
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Forest Practices Board is currently accepting expressions of interest from experienced leaders who are respected by a wide range of forestry-interested stakeholders. As Chair, you have a reputation for high standards, objective and balanced judgment, fairness and consistency. You are an innovator and have the visionary direction to guide the FPB during a time of significant challenge and change for forest and range management in the province. Successful candidates have high ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings, and exercise sound judgment and skill in setting assignments and in communicating with other public or government agencies, industry, community members or other stakeholder groups. You thrive on objectively analyzing forestry issues of public importance and providing strategic direction. Expressions of interest will be sent to Dave Clarke by midnight on March 11, 2018.

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Canfor Proudly Receives 2 Top Employer Awards

By David Calabrigo
Canfor
March 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

We are proud to share that Canfor has once again been named one of BC’s Top Employers. This is the sixth year in a row and I truly take pride in the fact that Canfor continues to be recognized as an employer that is a leader in our industry in offering a great place to work. We have also been named as one of Career Directory’s 2018 Best Employers for Recent Graduates, an award that Canfor is happy to receive for the first time. Canfor prides itself on the amount of new graduates who enter our workforce each year, and continuing to cultivate relationships with post-secondary institutes ensures we prepare our future workforce with the best training to maintain our forests.

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Canfor Pulp Announces Leadership Changes

Canfor Pulp
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC — Canfor Pulp Products Inc. announced today that, due to an organizational change, Brett Robinson, President of Canfor Pulp, will be leaving the Company, effective today. The President responsibilities for Canfor Pulp will be consolidated under Don Kayne, CEO of Canfor Pulp and Canfor Corporation. Brett Robinson became President of Canfor Pulp in 2012, previously serving as Executive Vice President of Pulp Operations. “Over his more than 25 years with Canfor, Brett has been an excellent contributor and leader in our organization. He leaves a strong legacy and team, and we thank him for his many contributions,” said Canfor Pulp Products Inc. CEO Don Kayne.

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Tolko and Whitefish Lake 459 Sign Agreement

Tolko
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A strong, long-standing relationship serves as the foundation of a new three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) that supports Tolko’s goal of achieving stable, sustainable cuts and Whitefish Lake 459 First Nation’s goal of developing economic opportunities.  The agreement allows Tolko and Whitefish Lake 459 to cooperate in logging and hauling opportunities with the First Nation’s Crown wood tenure and deciduous timber allocation (DTA). Tolko will be given consideration to log and harvest Whitefish’s DTA as well as purchase timber the First Nation has harvested through its own holding company. “This agreement provides a secure, stable fibre source for Tolko and economic opportunities for Whitefish First Nation,” says Dave Bickerton, General Manager, Prairie Woodlands.

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Bonfield sawmill going ahead

By PJ Wilson
The Sudbury Star
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NORTH BAY, ONTARIO — To those on the outside looking in, a proposed sawmill in Bonfield looks like it’s stalled. But that’s anything but the case, according to Donna Maitland of the Mattawa-Bonfield Economic Development Corp. The $140-million mill, which will be built in the area of Pine Lake and Trout Pond roads… is still in the approvals stage involving various government ministries. …The operation will include drying kilns, a planer mill, a moulder mill, and CNC facilities, with a main processing plant building, an administrative building, and ancillary buildings. The operators have already received letters of intent for the supply of lumber for the mill from five “neighbouring” forests – Algonquin Park, Nipissing, Temagami Forest, Temiskaming and Sudbury.

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Jobs, timber harvest bills still eyed for Legislature

by Mark Swanson
The Peninsula Daily News
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Christine Rolfes and David Frockt

OLYMPIA — Three bills and a key budget proviso might improve prospects for job growth on the Olympic Peninsula and in rural and coastal areas across the state, a legislator says. …DNR is currently determining how many thousands of acres can be opened to harvesting without harming the marbled murrelet population. …Meanwhile, House Bill 2282… directs the department to annually assess the effects on state revenues from conservation strategies developed by the state Board of Natural Resources. …A third bill… would add cross-laminated timber to the state building code, making it easier for businesses to incorporate timber-dependent technology in residential and commercial construction.

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Weyerhaeuser posts growth from wood products

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

US-American Weyerhaeuser has announced that its Wood Products division ended the fourth quarter of 2017 with much better revenues and earnings than one year earlier. Average sales prices had increased in all product segments, with the highest growth rate of almost a third reported for OSB. Sales volumes, which include amounts purchased through the Distribution division, improved for the most part. Softwood plywood (-15.9%) and MDF (-22.4%) were the only products to see lower sales. The division’s consolidated revenues thus rose 19.0% to US$1.228bn.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Zaha Hadid Architects Joins Open Source Wood

By Metsä Wood
Cision Newswire
March 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

WASHINGTON — Metsä Wood is pleased to announce that London based Zaha Hadid Architects has joined the Open Source Wood initiative – the pioneering open innovation project aimed at facilitating knowledge sharing and growth in modular wood construction. The collaboration kicks off in the early part of 2018 and includes a design proposal for a multi-story residential structure using wood elements from the Open Source Wood web library as the primary building material. …Open Source Wood… explore the possibilities of using wood in urban construction. Since its inception in June of 2017 Open Source Wood has attracted the attention of professionals and media around the globe.Learn more about Open Source Wood http://www.opensourcewood.com

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Forestry

SFI Conservation Grants Feature Collaboration From 45 Different Groups Across the U.S. and Canada

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI)
GlobeNewswire
March 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON and OTTAWA — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced five conservation grants today that will advance our shared understanding of the conservation benefits associated with well‑managed forests across the United States and Canada. These grants feature collaboration between SFI and a diverse range of partners and experts from 45 organizations to advance SFI’s ground breaking Conservation Impact Project. This year’s grants focus on key natural resource sustainability issues, such as investigating climate resilience and carbon storage, improving water quality and quantity in forests, and enhancing biodiversity. Specific areas of study include caribou, steelhead trout, and boreal bird habitats, forest carbon values, and links between best management practices for water and forest practices. Ultimately, results will help clarify the connection between sustainable forest management, responsible supply chain choices, and environmental benefits we all care about.

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Volunteers help clear combustibles in Millennium Park

By Sara Donnelly
Powell River Peak
March 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

During the winter months, storms and inclement weather cause combustible materials to accumulate in local forests, which can build up to dangerous levels and cause summer fires, according to Powell River Regional District manager of emergency services Ryan Thoms. “We’re always having to maintain trails because trees are falling over in windstorms,” said Thoms.  Several groups of volunteers have stepped up in recent years to help maintain local trails and parks, and one of their goals is fire mitigation. The Bloody Old Men’s Brigade (BOMB) Squad is among the groups clearing brush and cutting down trees in Millennium Park on a regular basis during the winter. According to BOMB squad coordinator Patrick Walsh, since the park is located is the centre of Powell River the threat of an urban fire is a concern.

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Prescribed fires beneficial to Wayne National Forest

Logan Daily News
March 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LOGAN — Workers will be turning up the heat to maintain a healthy Wayne National Forest. Prescribed burns are planned in several areas including Hocking County. About 1,282 acres are set to be burned between now and May 31, with around 311 acres to be burned in the area of Gore-Greendale Road. Wayne National Forest Athens Ranger District Jason Reed said prescribed fire brings life to the forest.  “Our forests have a lot of tall oak trees, but the ground is covered in red maple and plants that thrive in low light conditions. Prescribed fire is an important tool we have to help change these conditions,” Reed said. Reed explained that professional firefighters use fire to increase plant diversity on the ground and allow more light to reach the smaller oaks, so that they can continue to grow tall to maintain a healthy, diverse forest that is essential to Ohio’s wildlife.

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Traps to protect evolutionarily distinct and endangered frog

Scoop Independent News
March 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

One of New Zealand’s most bizarre and rarest creatures is getting an expanded line of defence via a self-resetting trap network in the Whareorino Forest in Waikato. The Archey’s frog, one of only two native frogs found on mainland New Zealand. Described as the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered amphibian by global conservation initiative EDGE, the Archey’s frog has strange features like muscles for tail-wagging, despite not having a tail, and an abnormally high number of vertebrae. Unlike most frogs, the Archey’s frog can’t croak, they don’t have ear drums, and young hatch as froglets so they don’t have a tadpole stage. …The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the Archey’s frog as Critically Endangered.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

‘We’re all in’: Environment minister says Canada will meet Paris climate targets despite emissions gap

Canadian Press in the Montreal Gazette
March 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Catherine McKenna

EDMONTON — Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada is committed to meeting its climate change targets despite a growing gap between promises and emissions projections. “We’re absolutely committed to meeting our target,” McKenna, in Edmonton for an international conference on cities and climate change, told The Canadian Press. “We’re all in.” …“It’s a good-news, bad-news story,” said McKenna. “Our economy is growing and our projections are based on our economic growth. It just means that we need to be doing more. There’s huge opportunities that we haven’t built into our target.” …“It’s a 2030 target,” she said. “We’ve said this is a transition and you don’t transition overnight.” …The federal government is also counting on reforestation to reduce Canada’s carbon footprint, because growing trees pull carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in forests. “We need to figure out the opportunities. We know that they’re huge.”

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Alberta’s most abundant tree species under threat

By Tony Kryzanowski
Alberta Farmer Express
March 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Alberta is experiencing a significant dieback of one of its most abundant species, and while some landowners are skeptical of the cause, evidence points to climate change as one possible contributor. A massive poplar dieback is occurring throughout North America and this is only part of the problem. Where it is dying, it’s not growing back. Whether the dieback is positive or a negative from a farming perspective depends on your point of view. Some landowners have chosen to convert land where dieback is occurring into pasture, said Toso Bozic, a provincial agroforestry specialist. But from an environmental, water retention, fire hazard and forestry perspective, it’s not good news, he added.

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Nobel-winning climate scientist: Temperatures rising, but predicted precipitation increase uncertain

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
March 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Steve Running

By 2050, temperatures in Helena could look more like Salt Lake City, a Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist [University of Montana professor Steve Running] said Monday, with the only remaining question being whether a predicted uptick in winter precipitation will come to fruition. …Since 1986, wildfire seasons are nearly 80 days longer, with increases in large fires and fires at high elevations. …Running noted that forest fuels are one area where humans can take immediate control, as addressing climate change is a longer term proposition. That leaves a question of what to do with the logs and branches produced by clearing fuels. Biomass burner prototypes are still not economically viable, Running said, and past interest in producing ethanol has also run its course. Running now sees strong possibilities in “bioenergy plants.”

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Dartmouth hires consultants to explore options for new power plant

By Jacob Chalif
The Dartmouth
March 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Dartmouth has hired Goldman Sachs consultants to explore options for constructing a new power plant. …By 2025, the College hopes to obtain 50 percent of its energy supply from renewables, and 100 percent by 2050. …Mills said he expects that the new plant will use biomass, a renewable energy source, instead of the heating oil currently used. …The College is considering using wood chips as its biomass energy source, according to Mills. Since burning wood chips releases much less energy than oil by volume of material burned, the plant would require a much larger storage capacity for wood chips than the current plant has for oil, Mills explained. Environmental studies professor Andrew Friedland said wood chips should not be the College’s final goal in its search for renewable energies. Instead, they should be used for a period of time as a transition to “true, non-depletable renewables like wind and solar,” he said.

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Greenpeace wants us to eat 50% less meat and dairy by 2050

By Katherine Martinko
Treehugger
March 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

“What’s for dinner?” is a question that most parents field mindlessly on a daily basis, but as Greenpeace points out in a new report, it’s one of the most critical questions facing humanity right now. The report, titled “Less is More: Reducing Meat and Dairy for a Healthier Life and Planet,” sets an ambitious goal for reducing global meat and dairy consumption by 50 percent by the year 2050. Greenpeace says this is necessary if we hope to stay on track with the Paris Agreement and avoid dangerous climate change. The authors of the report point out that there are multiple benefits to reducing meat and dairy: 1. It fights climate change… 2. It means less deforestation… 3. It protects endangered species… 4. It protects water sources.

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