Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 9, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Todays news is brought to you by the letters C, L & T and by the colour pink

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 9, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Mass timber and CLT dominate today’s headlines. Specifically, as a means for: California to address its housing crisis; Louisiana to reshape its skyline; American builders to reduce their costs; and the Czech government to house their foresters. And supporting the trend is an international mass timber conference in Portland. Elsewhere, a Q&A on traditional wood-frame as it’s under the gun due to an apartment fire in Denver

In other news: a female woodland firefighter is named Interim USFS Chief, US steelmakers cheer tariffs, while Canada dodges the tariff bullet; conservationists say the deadly bat disease is coming to BC; and researchers at Wisconsin-Madison say florescent pink “is the new black” [for high-vis vests] because it’s more visible in Autumn.

Finally, ForestTECHX wraps up a successful Vancouver show. Click here for the Frog’s speaker highlights and pictures.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

ForestTECHX Wraps up a Successful Vancouver Show!

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
March 9, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Stulen

The latest forest mapping and harvest planning technologies were the topic of the day at ForestTECHX in Vancouver Wednesday. The sold out event was packed full of information on the pace of change and how satellite, LiDAR and photogrammetric imagery is changing how we measure and manage our forests. As well as how automated measuring and monitoring systems in harvesters have been proven to lift log grades and outturn. The conference was sponsored by long-time tech transfer specialist John Stulen of Innovatek, New Zealand in partnership with Rob Stanhope’s Logging & Sawmilling Journal. [Check out our photo gallery]

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Business & Politics

Canada dodges tariff bullet, at least for now: U.S. grants provisional exemption

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
March 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Canada appears to have dodged a protectionist bullet, as one of only two countries to receive a provisional exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs set to rip into America’s trading relationships around the globe. President Donald Trump signed proclamations Thursday slapping U.S. tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum from almost every country, with the penalties snapping into effect in 15 days. …The only two countries escaping tariffs were America’s neighbours: Canada and Mexico. …Trump danced around the question of whether the tariff threat will be used to bully Canada and Mexico at the NAFTA bargaining table. He said only that the reprieve remains in place for now and… ”If we don’t make the deal on NAFTA, and if we terminate NAFTA … we’ll start all over again.

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FPAC applauds the federal government on the signing of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

Forest Products Association of Canada
March 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

Forest Products Association of Canada applauds the Canadian government, and in particular Minister Champagne, on the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. This agreement will benefit the Canadian forest products industry by eliminating tariffs, as well as providing clear provisions to help settle disputes and avoid unfair blocking of imports because of concerns about issues such as insects or other contaminants. …“The CPTPP will increase Canadian forest products access to key global markets,” says CEO of FPAC, Derek Nighbor.

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As U.S. Steelmakers Cheer Tariffs, A Michigan Factory’s Future Looks Bleak

By Aaron Selbig
National Public Radio
March 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

American steel manufacturers are excited about the Trump administration’s plan to levy 25 percent tariffs on imported steel. …But in one Michigan county that voted heavily for Trump, people are worried that tariffs could force a big local plant to shut down. …A century ago, this town played a key role in the timber industry. …Simonds manufactures blades …Their steel products, which end up in the lumber industry, are made from a type of steel that isn’t produced by any U.S. mill. “There’s only four mills in the world that we’re aware of that provide this,” says Campbell. “Two are in Europe and two are in China.” …McGee says a 25 percent steel tariff would be devastating and give Simonds’ foreign competitors a big advantage. “This plant could shut down,” she says. “And all 80 employees here — a lot of very good people — could all lose their jobs.”

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German foreign trade in OSB heading upwards again

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
March 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

After the losses in the third quarter of 2017, German exports and imports of OSB recovered again to some degree at the end of the year with both export and import volumes higher than both the preceding quarter and a year earlier. The fourth quarter was the second-best quarter of last year for imports; the first and second quarters turned out to be better for exports. Provisional data from Destatis, German exports of OSB in the fourth quarter were 9% higher than a year earlier at 124,847 m³.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Trump’s Steel, Aluminum Tariffs: Timber Gets a Shot

By Laura Calugar
The Commercial Property Executive
March 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Steve Conboy

Following the imposed tariffs… These materials are some of the most commonly used in the construction of commercial buildings, so the decision could put more pressure on already high costs. …We wanted to find out more about their consequences, so Commercial Property Executive talked to Steve Conboy, a timber construction expert. Conboy teaches an American Institute of Architects-certified course on the history of mass timber construction and its potential as a less-expensive and more environmentally friendly alternative to steel and concrete. …We have millions of acres of reforestation and CLT allows juvenile wood fiber to meet the demand because of the process of multiple layer lamination, creating a product that has structural load values that can meet or beat steel in ground movement engineering and fire safety failure.

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Wood-frame apartments are cheaper to build, but fire risks increase

By Jennifer Kovaleski
The Denver Channel
March 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

DENVER – There are more than a hundred apartment complexes under construction or recently completed in Denver built with wood frames, like Emerson Place, which burned to the ground in Uptown Wednesday. …The most vulnerable state of construction for these types of builds because none of the fire protection is installed yet. Similar scenarios have played out at apartment construction sites in Raleigh, North Carolina and Kansas City, Kansas and they were all built with wood framing. Denver developer David Berton said the reason builders use wood is because it’s cheaper than concrete and steel, in some cases by 30 to 40 percent. …”When buildings are constructed out of wood and all of the safety measures are put in place, they are safe structures.”

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Answers to some of your questions about the Denver construction site fire

By Marshall Zelinger
9News.com
March 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Denver building inspectors make 2,000 visits to construction sites each week. The Emerson Place Apartment construction site that burned on Wednesday, killing two, has passed every city inspection it has requested. …Viewers were curious about the wood construction of the apartments … asking: “5 story housing building…out of wood. Shouldn’t even be allowed by code.” “It’s usually a financial decision, and across the United States residential construction projects, similar to this, are the majority of the time, are made out of wood,” said Denver’s Building Official Scott Prisco. “It’s pretty typical. It’s not unique to Denver or this region, it’s across the United States that wood is used for this type of residential construction.” He said wood construction is allowed for buildings that are less than 75-feet tall.

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How a fire that decimated downtown Denver in the 1800s led to the city’s ‘brick ordinance’

By Kurt Sevits
The Denver Channel
March 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

DENVER – A deadly fire that destroyed an apartment building under construction near downtown Denver this week might not have happened if an old city ordinance were still on the books today. Denver’s so-called “brick ordinance” requiring fire-resistant buildings was enacted in reaction to a large fire that wiped out a huge portion of the city’s downtown business district in the 1800s. …It isn’t clear when the ordinance ended, but builders have been using wood frame construction in Denver for decades now and as of March 2017, there were more than 100 wood frame apartment buildings under construction or recently finished in the city.

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Restoration business repurposes old Moffat County saw mill

By Sasha Nelson
Craig Daily Press
March 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CRAIG — The process begins with the harvest of trees killed by mountain pine beetle and ends with the production of about six blue pine products. “The wood straw pays the bills. We’re also producing custom-cut lumber, fence stays and selling waste logs for firewood,” said Mountain Pine Manufacturing President Trent Jones. …He and his business partners …purchased the old Cox family sawmill. “The mill has been closed for about 20 years. We made an effort to clean up the property and to bring in some modern equipment, and we are open for business,” Jones said. …The building, meant for molding production, is now geared for the production of wood straw, also called wood strand mulch — developed by the U.S. Forest Service as an alternative to agricultural straw for use in erosion control. 

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Can mass timber help California build its way out of the housing crisis?

By Antonio Pacheco
The Architect’s Newspaper
March 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

If California’s gubernatorial candidates are to fulfill their ambituous goal of adding up to 3.5 million new housing units across the state over the next eight years, new efforts will need to be undertaken to streamline and reform the state’s sagging construction industry—Could this effort create an opening for mass timber construction to take hold in the Golden State? It might… For one, there’s a growing push for new urban housing in California that could soon make the mid-rise apartment the state’s quintessential dwelling type. There’s strong reason to believe that if proposed regulatory changes go as planned, cities in the state could see a flowering of the kinds of four- to eight-story multi-family structures mass timber excels at delivering. …Secondly, mass timber is becoming more widely-accepted as a building approach, reflecting a growing awareness of its inherent structural and fire-safety benefits.

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International Mass Timber Conference Addresses Innovative Mass Timber Technology and the Seismic Shift It’s Sending Through the Building World

By WoodWorks and Forest Business Network
Cision Newswire
March 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The world continues to urbanize and cities are building up, not out. And as those taller buildings rise, designers are looking at wood again rather than automatically choosing concrete and steel. City planners, architects, builders, and forestry experts can credit climate change, carbon footprint considerations, and a host of new mass timber products for rearranging the deck chairs in the construction world. As the International Mass Timber Conference rolls into the Portland Convention Center, March 20–22, for its third annual event, the ambitious agenda examines the new face of mass timber construction, offering attendees unparalleled knowledge and networking opportunities. The conference is co-produced by Forest Business Network in cooperation with the wood design experts at WoodWorks–Wood Products Council. …The speakers’ lineup includes technical experts versed in construction techniques, manufacturing methods, adhesive advancements, the safety aspects of cross laminated timber (CLT), and numerous other perspectives on engineered wood products.

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Louisiana business owner pushes for timber high-rise building

By David Ade and Ashleigh DeLuca
KALB News
March 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Washington (Gray DC) — A skyscraper made out of wood? …Roy O. Martin wants to reshape the skylines of American cities, with a new twist on an old-fashioned material. “Can you make multi-story buildings just out of wood? And the answer is, yes,” he said. Martin owns a lumber company based in Alexandria, Louisiana. He said the U.S. is lagging behind other countries in using wood to build tall buildings. Martin believes if the U.S. can catch up, it will help people in his region. “It’s a great way to maximize the forest that we have right here in Louisiana,” said Martin. The American Wood Council tells us wood buildings are better for the environment, faster to build, and potentially cheaper than concrete and steel buildings.

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Project of the Year (subcontract up to £1m): Winner

Construction News
March 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wiehag scooped this award for its outstanding work in designing, manufacturing and installing a ‘free form’ timber roof over the new Abbey Wood Crossrail station. The complexity of the design and the unusual choice of material saw the timber specialist score highly on the judges’ cards, as the project required innovative thinking and has produced a roof that is very low-maintenance and has strong sustainability credentials. Wiehag used glued laminated timber (also known as glulam) as the main material for the roof, which is modelled on a manta ray fish. …The company hopes the success of the project can demonstrate how engineered timber can offer a genuine alternative to normal steel structures, and that glulam timber can be used successfully in a wide range of applications.

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Lenzing unveils sustainable complete shoe concept

Innovation in Textiles
March 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Regenerated cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing participated for the first time at Lineapelle in Milan, last month, where the Austrian company unveiled its complete shoe concept – shoes made almost entirely from its eco-friendly Tencel Lyocell fibres. …Due to their eco-friendly production and bio-degradability, two criteria which are increasingly significant in the shoe sector, Tencel Lyocell fibres are said to be an ideal alternative to conventional materials. “Tencel Lyocell fibres are produced from wood pulp. This is made of sustainable wood farmed in accordance with the strictest guidelines for wood and pulp procurement applicable for the Lenzing group. The closed loop process for Lyocell fibres guarantees minimum environmental impact thanks to low water and energy consumption and the sparing use of raw materials. This production cycle was awarded the ‘European Award for the Environment’ by the European Union,: Lenzing continues.

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Green-roofed Czech Forestry Headquarters seeks symbiosis with the forest

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
March 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Imagine if your office was set in the middle of a forest—that’s the image Chybik + Kristof aims for in their competition-winning designs for the new Czech Forestry Headquarters. Located in Hradec Králové, the office building draws direct inspiration from the surrounding forest with its liberal use of timber, a facade evocative of tree trunks, and canopy-like green roofs that encourage bird nesting. The interiors continue the vision of the forest as a workplace with a calming environment full of greenery and natural materials.

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Forestry

Conservationists sound alarm as deadly bat disease creeps toward B.C.

CBC News
March 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Vancouver-based bat conservation group is sounding the alarm that a disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America could be headed to B.C. “White nose syndrome” is a deadly, fungal disease that originated in New York in 2006. …Mandy Kellner, provincial coordinator for the B.C. community bat program, said that conservationists were shocked that it spread west so quickly. “We thought we had a lot of time for managing the disease and monitoring and planning the recovery of affected species, but then in 2016 and 2017 infected bats were found near Seattle in Washington state, so less than 150 kilometres from Vancouver,” she said. …”It’s really severe. It has consequences for insect control, which has implications for the agricultural community and then for the forestry industry,” she said.

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Logging delayed one year

By Sophie Woodrooffe
The Coast Reporter
March 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone residents will have at least one more year to enjoy a forest lot that community members have been lobbying to preserve as a park. BC Timber Sales’ auction of cutblock A91376, located on District Lot 1313, has been deferred until next year “to allow for more discussions with the Sunshine Coast Regional District and other members of the community.” …Lorne Lewis, director for Elphinstone, said he had recently received unofficial word that the delay would take place. “We still have a lot of work to do to get it conserved,” he said.

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May I suggest the “ROOM IS LOST”

By Bruce Jackman, former alderman
The North Island Gazette
March 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “You’ve lost the room” Bood tells Western Forest Products. May I suggest the “ROOM IS LOST”. The Regional District, the associate municipal councillors and Mayors are elected to attend to matters of municipal infrastructure, sewer and water etc. not to use their offices as a platform to express their personal opinions and ideology. The accounts of the meeting I have read suggests a very hostile attitude towards Western Forest Products. Most of the issues discussed would appear to be the responsibility of the Provincial Government. Perhaps those concerns should be presented to the Province rather than the Kangaroo Court venue that is presently being pursued.

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Lobbying for Kenora, forestry

By Ryan Forbes
Kenora Online
March 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield and city staff have been putting in a lot of extra miles recently. Canfield and city staff were a part of the Ontario Good Roads Conference, and Canfield was a guest speaker at the annual general meeting for the Ontario Forestry Industry Association – both in Toronto. Canfield detailed what took place at the OFIA’s meeting.  “We spoke about some of the issues around forestry, endangered species and working with the government to make sure that they don’t shut down any more forestry opportunities because of endangered species that are not actually endangered. We’ve got a lot of land in Ontario. We’re three times the size of Finland, yet we harvest 80 per cent less trees. It was good to be a part of the conference. Forestry is huge in Ontario, major employers and tax-payers. We want to make sure that they’re around for the long-term,” he said.

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Interim Forest Service chief named amid misconduct charges

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
March 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

BILLINGS, Mont. — President Donald Trump’s administration moved quickly Thursday to install a female wildland firefighter to lead the U.S. Forest Service after the agency’s former chief stepped down amid sexual misconduct allegations. The appointment of Vickie Christiansen as interim chief came as lawmakers from both parties called for more aggressive efforts to combat a culture of harassment and retaliation within the Forest Service. …Christiansen has been with the Forest Service for seven years and became a deputy chief in 2016. Before joining the federal government she’d worked in forestry for 30 years at the state level, in Arizona and Washington. …Tooke’s departure came just days after PBS NewsHour reported he was under investigation following relationships with subordinates.

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New website focuses on Vermont forest resources

Eagle Times
March 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation have partnered to develop a comprehensive online resource to provide information about forests and related topics to landowners, educators, town officials and forestry professionals. The new website, www.ourVTwoods.org, is organized by audience and by topic, making it easy for visitors to find resources tailored to their interests. Topics include water quality, conservation, wildlife, recreation, maple sugaring, timber harvesting and forest-based products and industry, among others. Users also can learn about local, regional and statewide events, such as forestry workshops and field walks, and stay updated on useful resources for healthy forests. …“Our goal was to create one website where Vermonters could go to connect to the wealth of information and resources about our forests,” said Kate Forrer, UVM Extension community forestry specialist. 

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Fungi research explains wood decay

By Eui Young Kim
Yale Daily News
March 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Contrary to the traditional scientific understanding, researchers discovered that the mere knowledge of abiotic, or nonliving, conditions is insufficient to predict how fungi will decay wood. …“The outstanding question when we’re looking at climate change is how microbes respond to increasing temperature or acid rain,” said Daniel Maynard GRD ’17. …According to Maynard, an increase in soil temperature consistently leads to more activity in fungal communities and an increase in the decomposition rate, which releases more carbon into the atmosphere. By contrast, scientists have overlooked dead wood decomposition because it is harder to analyze. Research shows that wood does not respond in the same way soil does, as the decomposition rate does not necessarily increase as temperature increases.

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Tropical deforestation: the need for a strategy adjustment

By Dan Nepstad
Mongabay
March 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

We are in the midst of the greatest global effort in history to end tropical deforestation, driven largely by the importance of tropical forests for tackling climate change. An exciting new dimension of this effort is the announcement by hundreds of businesses that they intend to shift to “zero deforestation” sourcing of the commodities they import from the tropics. Unfortunately, progress has not been as rapid as many had hoped; the chances of avoiding catastrophic climate change are smaller as a result. In one respect, we are winning battles but losing the war. In the two mega-deforestation countries, Indonesia and Brazil, the forest loss associated with the expansion of palm oil and soybean production has declined. 

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Health & Safety

Is there hope beyond Hope for rural ambulatory care?

By Betsy Kline
The Westerly News
March 8, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Health Minister Adrian Dix has acknowledged that ambulance services in British Columbia need to improve — but it is something that he has been saying for quite a while. …Dix said that some improvements are already taking place, “We are in the midst of organizing and making improvements to the ambulance service.” …B.C. Forest Safety Ombudsman Roger Harris issued a report last fall calling out what he sees as a rural/urban divide in the level of ambulance services provided across the province. …“I think the forest ombudsperson has done a thoughtful report and we need to respond to it — and we will,” stated Dix, who says to expect improvements in the coming months. …“When people say that the service has been inadequate in rural B.C. — I agree with that,” stated Dix.

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Florescent pink coming to a forest near you?

By Tracie Mitchell
Northern Wyoming Daily News
March 8, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

WORLAND – Wyoming Senate File 61, a bill which would allow people hunting in Wyoming to wear either florescent orange or florescent pink passed through the Senate on Feb. 19. …Flitner said Wednesday, “For me honestly, this bill is about safety and possible dollars injected into our retail sector.” During the Committee of the Whole [first reading] co-sponsor Rep. Flitner (R-Greybull) explained that scientific data supports that florescent pink in the field is more visible to the human eye. …According to information from University of Wisconsin-Madison textile science professor Majid Sarmadi, “It is well known that blaze orange provides a very good contrast in the wooded areas in the spring and summer. However, when visually compared to the orange colors found in the fall leaves, blaze orange was harder to detect than the pink colors that were tested.”

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