Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 7, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Innovations may drive the economy but remember “just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s bad!”

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 7, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

As you can see from our Special Feature, we’re once again rubbing elbows with the forest sector, this time at ForestTECHX. Last night was the meet and greet, and today we look forward to the technical sessions. Watch the Frog on Friday for the overview. 

On the trade front, Canada has come out triumphant after a NAFTA tribunal ruled against Mercer International’s claim that it’s pulp-mills were discriminated against by BC Hydro and the BC Utilities Commission. But the trade war continues, and Canada’s Federal Finance Minister addressed questions about the dispute at a Business Council of BC meeting on Tuesday, where COFI’s Susan Yurkovich emphasized the importance of a streamlined approach to regulation. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization has a new online platform for monitoring the world’s forest resources. Using Google Earth and the computing power of Google the tool allows users with no remote sensing experience to monitor forest cover changes over time. 

Finally, we’ll close with horse logging in Prince Edward Island – why? “It’s just good for the soul, good for the woods, good for the environment. Just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s bad.”

–Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

ForestTECHX kicks-off high-tech forestry conference in Vancouver

Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
March 6, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC – ForestTECHX kicked off its forest management technology conference last evening with a sold out trade show. The two-day conference—which brings the latest inventory and harvest planning technologies from around the world to Vancouver—promises to be an outstanding event. “The world’s leading technology experts in forestry metrics are here” says conference organizer Anthony Robinson, of Logging & Sawmilling Journal. LSJ is working in partnership with long-time tech transfer specialists John Stulen (Innovatek) from New Zealand.

Joining the panel of international speakers are leading specialists in forestry geometrics from across Canada, including keynote Dr. Nicholas Coop, UBC Faculty of Forestry and Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing. The Frogs are attending, so stay turned for updates. And click Read More for a few images from last night’s kick-off.

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Froggy Foibles

How Does Petrified Wood Form?

By Mark Mancini
How Stuff Works
March 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles

Glen Rose, Texas is a place where the prehistoric and the modern are visibly intertwined… Trees were also plentiful — and many of them were gradually turned into a type of fossil known as petrified wood. …How is such a transformation possible? …Once in a while a newly-deceased tree gets rapidly buried by mud, silt or volcanic ash. This blanketing material then shields the dead tree from oxygen. …Meanwhile, mineral-laden water or mud seeps into the dead tree’s pores and other openings… [and] its organic material gets replaced by silica and other minerals. Over a period of a few million years, those minerals will crystalize. 

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Business & Politics

The Future of Cedar in an Evolving Market

By the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
Building-Products
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Most would agree there are few industries with as many unpredictable variables as those found in the softwood lumber business. In fact, the last two years can be described as tumultuous, at the least. …Furthermore, the role between distributor and retailer saw significant change and will continue to do so. Given the unsettled nature of the market, what can 2018 and beyond look like for real cedar products? In the search for insight, the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association worked with Home Innovation Research Labs (HIRL, formerly National Association of Home Builders) and MSC Marketing Solutions Consulting to quantify the U.S. residential WRC market and identify growth opportunities. …Current indications are for continued economic and housing start growth, with a stable and sustainable supply of WRC to meet demand.

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NAFTA tribunal rules Canada did not violate trade agreement in pulp mill case

The Canadian Press in CTV News
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK — A NAFTA tribunal has ruled against a U.S. pulp company that claimed it was discriminated against by B.C. Hydro and the B.C. Utilities Commission. Mercer International Inc. mounted a $250-million claim against the Canadian government in early 2012, alleging that BC Hydro and the B.C. Utilities Commission violated its NAFTA rights by discriminating against the power-generating operations at its pulp mill near Castlegar, B.C. The company said competing pulp mills in the province have received more favourable treatment in regards to the purchase and sale of power by the provincial government’s BC Hydro, costing Mercer $19 million per year between 2008 and 2012. …The tribunal awarded Canada approximately $6.9 million in costs.

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Japanese envoy says signing of new TPP sends message to China on trade rules

By Mike Blanchfield
The Canadian Press in the National Post
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Francois-Philippe Champagne

OTTAWA — As Canada, Japan and nine other countries prepare to sign the rebooted Trans-Pacific Partnership this week in Chile, some see it as a way to set the stage for closer relations with China. They are hoping to send a message not so much to the absent Trump administration as to an increasingly assertive China on why global trade rules are good for everybody, says Japan’s envoy to Canada. “How do we engage the Chinese people on the rules-based economy?” Kimihiro Ishikan, the Japanese ambassador to Canada, asked in an interview. …Ishikan said Japan hopes that the successful launch of the new TPP, known as the CPTPP, will eventually attract China and other Asian countries. …International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is travelling to Chile this week to sign on the new TPP.

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Finance Minister Morneau pressed on competitiveness by Vancouver business audience

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Morneau

B.C. and Alberta’s dispute over Kinder Morgan… “is one of those frustrating things that happens in a democracy,” federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau acknowledged in front of a Vancouver audience Tuesday. …The crowd… was more interested in shorter-term concerns such as American tax changes, a potential trade war with the U.S. and the competitiveness of B.C.’s resource sector. “Particularly in BC, we are a highly resource-dependent economy, and making sure we have a streamlined approach (to regulation) is critically important,” said Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries. …Morneau said that while some might be skeptical of the overhaul the government is proposing to give its environmental review process, he is hopeful a new process that aims to deal with conflicts upfront will help get to better decisions. …On a potential trade war with the U.S., Morneau shed no new light on how Canada will eventually react to U.S. tariffs

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Roseburg Forest Products to acquire Pembroke MDF in Ontario

Roseburg News
March 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, United States

Oregon-based Roseburg Forest Products recently reached an agreement in principle with Pembroke MDF, Inc. to purchase Pembroke’s medium density fiberboard (MDF) and molding production facilities located in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Upon final due diligence and Board of Director approval, the parties expect the sale to close by April 9, 2018. The acquisition will be Roseburg’s first international purchase and will continue the company’s expansion throughout North America. Roseburg is currently building an engineered wood products plant in Chester, S.C., and recently acquired 158,000 acres of timberland in Virginia and North Carolina.

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Here’s why Trump’s tariffs could be bad news for Pennsylvania | Analysis

By John Micek
Penn State Live
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Phyllis Yaffe

If there’s anyone who’s watching what happens with the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, it’s Phyllis Yaffe. Based in New York City, Yaffe is Canada’s Consul General to the United States, and her ambit includes the Keystone State, three other states and Bermuda. Pennsylvania does about $19.9 billion in trade with Canada… and 30 percent of state exports are Canada-bound, . …On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said Canada and Mexico could be exempted from tariffs as part of a renegotiation of NAFTA. …In a nod to the Trump White House’s ongoing unpredictability, Yaffe drily observed “That was today, so we wait to see what else will happen.”

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Resolute Forest building Calhoun, Tenn., distribution center

By Mike Pare
Chattanooga Times Free Press
March 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

St. Louis-based developer CRG today announced a partnership with Resolute Forest Products for the design and construction of a distribution center on the site of Resolute’s tissue facility in Calhoun, Tenn. …Patrice Minguez, president of Resolute’s Tissue Group, said a recently constructed tissue machine and converting operation in Calhoun has positioned Resolute as one of the fastest growing providers of quality tissue products in North America. …Construction is slated for completion by August 2018.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Residential building triples in value, NZ commercial construction flatlines, consents show video

Stuff.co.nz
March 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — In response to the country’s housing crisis, residential builds have come to dominate the pool of approved building consents. Since the global financial crisis in 2008, the value of residential construction projects has ballooned from about $1 billion to just under $3b in December last year, Statistics New Zealand data shows. The amount of money being spent nationwide on commercial builds has increased slightly over the same time period, but only by about $500,000. The incline in residential build spending first began a steady climb at the start of 2013. The time coincides with a lot of building done in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes. 

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Forestry

Rezatec extends its global reach into Canada with its geospatial data analytics

Real Wire Press Release
March 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER – Rezatec, the leading provider of geospatial data analytics to the Forestry sector, today announced that it is to provide its forestry attribute data products to the BC Oil and Gas Research and Innovation Society, the not-for-profit society enabling research to inform environmental matters related to oil and gas exploration and development in BC. …Working closely with local partner Forsite… Rezatec will map the estimated tree height and density of canopy cover across a vast study area of over 80,000 km2. The resulting map will cover all anthropogenic features of interest and also the surrounding forest to provide a comparative reference of regeneration status.

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Province to hold public session on caribou plan

By Kevin Hampson
Daily Herald-Tribune
March 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta government is seeking feedback from the Grande Prairie region on its proposed caribou range plan. Staff from Alberta Environment and Parks will be discussing the draft Woodland Caribou Range Plan on Thursday, March 8, at the Elk’s Lodge from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The draft plan is a response to the federal Species At Risk Act, which requires Alberta to manage 65% of habitat critical for caribou, whose populations are declining.  The province says the draft, released late last year, set the direction for planning, but the specifics still have to be worked out. Feedback collected at the engagement session will help them do that, a release said. “We will continue to plan for the range-specific details, applying the direction contained in the Draft Provincial Woodland Caribou Range Plan at the landscape level. We need your feedback to help shape how this will be done.”

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Map released showing dwindling old-growth forest on Vancouver Island

By the Sierra Club of BC
The Canadian Press in CTV News
March 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sierra Club of B.C. has released a new map showing that endangered old-growth rainforests on Vancouver Island are becoming – in its words – “as rare as white rhinos.” The environmental group says the map shows the most endangered old-growth rainforest with the biggest trees and highest carbon storage per hectare now only covers 6.5 per cent of the island. Senior forest and climate campaigner Jens Wieting says the group shared its maps and recommendations with the new B.C. government, which failed to provide any meaningful funding to protect old-growth in last month’s budget.

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Standing deadwood threatens tree replanting efforts near Keji

By David Burke
CBC News
March 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mary Jane Rodger

There’s an ominous creaking sound in the fire-ravaged forests near Kejimkujik National Park as the wind blows through a forest of blackened trees.  The majority of those trees are dead, kept upright only by a tiny portion of their roots that survived the Seven Mile Lake and Maitland Bridge forest fires back in 2016. “The fire was actually so deep because of the drought conditions at that time that it burnt some of the roots in some of these shallow-soiled areas, so you can kind of put your hand on a tree and it falls over in some areas,” said Mary Jane Rodger, the general manager and forester with the Medway Community Forest Co-operative, which manages 15,000 hectares of Crown land in Annapolis County. 

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Why some P.E.I. loggers still use horses — not trucks — to clear dead trees

By Pat Martel
CBC News
March 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada
Scott Taylor harnesses up his huge 12-year-old Percheron horse, Mike, and they head off into to the woods. They’re continuing a tradition that’s been carried out for generations on P.E.I. — horse logging. …It would be quicker and perhaps easier to use an ATV or truck, but the Taylors prefer to use horses to haul logs. “It’s just a nice experience,” Scott said. “If you’re on a tractor, you’re hearing the roar of the engine but out here, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the city.” …A decade ago, in an effort to rejuvenate the woods with as little disturbance as possible, the P.E.I. forestry department put out tenders to horse owners to clear trees the old-fashioned way.

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‘Consider compromise’ Byrne asks Port Blandford residents against clearcutting

By Jonathan Parsons
The Packet
March 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — While the residents of Port Blandford offer a resounding ‘no’ to planned clearcutting in their forests, Fishery and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne is asking them to “consider compromise.” Byrne told The Packet in an interview today, following a meeting at Confederation Building with members of the concerned citizens group, that he’s also met with local harvesting operators, and says they would welcome the notion of compromise. The meeting with Byrne is the latest development in the efforts by citizens of Port Blandford to have the province pull back on its plan for clearcutting a section of forest in zone 2, including the South West River Valley and Thorburn Lake.

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FAO, Google collaborates on new forest data tool

BizCommunity
March 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The efficient monitoring and reporting on forest cover and land use is essential in monitoring progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and crucial for countries adapting to and mitigating climate change. FAO’s new online platform for reporting on the status and trends of the world’s forest resources will enable countries to increase the efficiency of their reporting process and improve the consistency, reliability and transparency of forest data. …The new tool contains a number of new features including improved data entry and data visualisation, and review and analysis functions. The platform has a more user-friendly interface, which allows adding data, copying and pasting from existing entry sheets and documenting national data sources.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

UVic’s Ideafest: Is apathy about climate change the greatest threat to the planet?

By Richard Watts
The Victoria Times Colonist
March 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate change has contributed to record forest fires, insect infestations and destructive hurricanes. But stirring people to action can still be tough, a UVic geographer and a psychologist say. Chris Bone, assistant professor of geography at the University of Victoria, said people now appreciate natural forces, like fires and storms, are related to climate change. But natural systems don’t exhibit obvious causal links. “We are not going to have more fires or bigger fires every single season or bigger insect outbreaks every year,” Bone said. “It’s more complex than that.” …Bone, who studies relationships between “disturbances” like fires and insects and geography, said natural disturbances have been increasing, in frequency and severity, in recent years.

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Bord na Móna abandons plans for €60m wood pellet factory in US

By Barry O’Halloran
The Irish Times
March 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

State energy company Bord na Móna has dropped plans to spend €60 million building a wood pellet factory in the US. The news comes as the company prepares to announce plans designed to safeguard 2,100 jobs in the midlands by supplying fuel to power plants. Last year, Bord na Móna said it wanted to spend €60 million building a factory in the US state of Georgia that would turn willow trees into pellets to be exported to the Republic as fuel for electricity generators. It is understood that Bord na Móna has decided not to go ahead with this plan, as it has enough sources of biofuels closer to home in both Ireland and Europe. The State company is likely to confirm that it will not go ahead with the proposal on Wednesday, when it will announce plans to develop its biomass business, part of its strategy to move from peat production while preserving jobs.

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Health & Safety

Target shooting under scrutiny at Jordan River

By Dawn Gibson
Victoria News
March 6, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry workers in Jordan are increasingly finding themselves caught in the crossfires of target shooters. “My biggest concern is that someone is going to get killed or injured,” said Mike Hicks, the Capital Regional District director for the Juan de Fuca area. “I’m aware that some loggers have had to call their head office for help because they were in the trees working and people were shooting in the same area not knowing the workers were there.” Hicks said the issue now isn’t that people are going there and shooting their guns for sport, it is that people are shooting in restricted areas and at logging equipment, putting workers in danger as well as the public who may be out walking or hiking.

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