Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 13, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

US home building in urban areas greatly increases wildfire risk

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

In today’s news: US home construction over the past decade has increased the high-risk woodland-urban interface by more area than the state of Washington; two US fire scientists received the pinnacle of recognition for improving the US National Fire Danger Rating System; unauthorized drones are hindering wildfire response in Texas; and thinning is proposed to reduce fire risk in Missoula County.

On the wildlife front, rat poison is killing owls in BC; logging is being blamed for the loss of bird nests in Nova Scotia; and environmentalists say a rare salamander is threatened in Oregon. 

In Business news: the global forest industry performed well in 2017; lumber stocks are up again; and Pinnacle and West Fraser are converting a particle board facility in Smithers to pellets.

Finally, Goddess Gala celebrates female truck logger (BC); and convention goers can check out the Montreal Wood Convention (March 20-22); or the Print and Packaging Summit in DC (June 19-20).

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

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Business & Politics

Lumber Stocks Popped 3-7%: Is This the Start of a Sector Rally?

By Brad Macintosh
The Motley Fool
March 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canfor Corporation continues to rally into 2018. This stock popped 3.7% for the day and is now approaching its all-time high of $31.80. West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. is another market beating lumber pick, up 3.6% in one day. Should we be bullish on Canadian lumber stocks? …January 2018 home-building numbers were up 7% compared to 12 months prior. This is part of a larger, multi-year trend; the demand for homes continues to grow. …According to the National Association of of Home Builders, lumber and its installation cost account for 18% of the cost to build a new home. That is a decent chunk of the building budget. …How did high-yielding Norbord Inc. do on March 9th’s punch up? It’s up 3.2%. 

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Goddess Gala event empowers women

By Hanna Petersen
North Island Gazette
March 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gaby Wickstrom and Jacqui Beban

The North Island Goddess Gala Movement helped North Island women celebrate International Women’s Day while also raising $3,000 for a women’s scholarship fund. The March 8th gala at the Gate House Theatre featured …special guest speaker Jacqui Beban, who is the first female present in the history of the 75-years-old BC Truck Loggers Association. …Co-organizer Gaby Wickstrom, also announced that thanks to the help of corporate sponsors, West Coast Helicopters and Strategic Natural Resources, they were able to dedicate 100 per cent of the $1,500 dollars raised in ticket sales towards two women’s scholarships. …A highlight of the gala was the inspiring speech given by Beban, where she spoke about her experience being a leader in the male-dominated logging industry. 

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Gas prices going up, ambulance fees going down: Manitoba budget

By Kelly Geraldine Malone
The Canadian Press in the National Post
March 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cameron Friesen

WINNIPEG — Manitoba residents will be paying just over five cents more for a litre of gas after the carbon tax kicks in Sept. 1., but the province has promised that all its revenues will eventually be returned to Manitobans through tax reductions. Premier Brian Pallister said Manitobans have had to learn how to do more with less, and with the upcoming carbon tax and increased hydro rates, he said it’s important to find a balance to make sure money is still ending up on Manitoba families’ tables. …The carbon tax will also affect natural gas, diesel and propane but marked fuel used in agriculture, mining and forestry will be exempt.

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Smithers Pellet Ltd to redevelop particle board facility to produce pellets

Canadian Press in the National Post
March 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc. says it’s moving forward with plans to redevelop an existing Smithers, B.C., particle board facility to produce wood pellets. The company is redeveloping the site under the Smithers Pellet Limited Partnership, in which it owns a 70 per cent interest and West Fraser Timber Co Ltd. owns the rest. Pinnacle says the facility will have an annual production capacity of 125,000 tonnes and will be linked directly by rail to its Westview Port Terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. The company says pellet production is expected to start in the third quarter this year and that it already has secured wood fibre supply and off-take agreements under long-term contracts.

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Print & Packaging Legislative Summit 2018

What They Think
March 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Reston, Va. – Registration is now open for the Print & Packaging Legislative Summit 2018, coming June 19 – 20 to Washington, D.C. …The co-hosts of the Legislative Summit are AICC, the Independent Packaging Association; the Association for Print Technologies (APTechSM); the Fibre Box Association (FBA); Printing Industries of America (PIA); Idealliance; and Specialty Graphic Industry Association (SGIA). …Representing a $1.4 trillion share of the U.S. economy, the thriving printing, packaging and mailing industry employs 7.5 million workers. At the same time, it is challenged by a transformed market where digital electronic communication competes directly with traditional paper-based mail and advertising, a shortage of qualified workers, and laws and regulations that stifle business growth.

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Lawsuit saying Home Depot tricks buyers of 4X4 lumber is deep-sixed

By Jonathan Stempel
Reuters
March 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Home Depot Inc of deceiving shoppers about the size of its four-by-four lumber. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in Chicago rejected plaintiff Mikhail Abramov’s claim that the largest U.S. home improvement retailer should be held liable for selling lumber as 4 inches thick by 4 inches wide, when the dimensions were actually 3-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches. While not persuaded by Atlanta-based Home Depot that the lumber’s actual size was“common knowledge,” Coleman said its labels reading“4X4-6’” would not have misled reasonable consumers. …U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang, who also sits in Chicago, in September dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by Abramov’s law firm against home improvement retailer Menards.

 

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The global forest industry in Q4/2017

Fordaq
March 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Global Sawlog Price Index increased to US$76.34/m3 in the 4Q/17, up 1.0 percent from the 3Q/17. Sawlog prices have gone up universally in US dollar terms in 2017, with the biggest growth occurring in Eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and in Western North America. …Pulp manufacturers in many countries have seen their wood costs go up during 2017, with the biggest increases in US dollar terms occurring in Western North America, Europe, Russia and Australia. …Pulp production was up throughout the world in 2017 with the total production reaching just over 53 million tons, or 3.2% more than in 2016. …Trade of softwood lumber reached an all-time-high in 2017 as demand for wood was strong in most key markets around the world. …Global trade of wood pellets has grown quite substantially over the past five years, from 11.8 million tons in 2013 to 18.3 million tons in 2017 with Europe being the dominant market.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

One week before the Montréal Wood Convention 2018, will you be there?

Montreal Wood Convention
IHB The Timber Network
March 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The organizers of the Montréal Wood Convention 2018, the Quebec Wood Export Bureau, the Quebec Forest Industry Council, the Ontario Forest Industries Association and the Maritime Lumber Bureau are pleased to invite the industry to the 2018 edition that will be held from March 20 to 22 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montréal. More than 340 companies are already registered as exhibitors for this event. 

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Perkins + Will’s Prismatic Facade Scheme Wins Competition for York University Building in Toronto

By Perkins + Will
Arch Daily
March 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Perkins+Will’s triangulated facade scheme has won an international competition for the design of the new School of Continuing Studies at York University’s Keele campus outside of Toronto, Canada. Beating out proposals from top firms… Perkins+Will’s design twists as it rises, both reacting to solar optimization studies and opening up the building to create a new gateway at the campus’ southeast entrance. …The design is aiming for a range of sustainable metrics, including targeting a minimum of LEED Gold certification and a Passive House standard building envelope. …In addition, the architects and school are collaborating to explore the possibility of introducing mass timber as the building’s main structure. 

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AWC sings praises of mass timber

Hardware + Building Supply Dealer
March 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Robert Glowinski

American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued a statement following Governor Jay Inslee signing SB 5450, which directs the state of Washington to enact the tall wood building code changes when adopted by the International Code Council. The move will help jump start mass timber construction in the state. “Mass timber is a new category of wood product that will revolutionize how America builds. Beyond its aesthetic qualities, wood is among the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly of all building materials. …“The entire construction industry is changing. AWC applauds Washington state for helping pioneer better places for us to live and work.”

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Forestry

2018 Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award Recipients Announced from Canada and the United Kingdom

By Dana Collins
Canadian Institute of Forestry
March 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Mattawa – The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC) is pleased to announce the four award recipients of the 2018 Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award. Daniel Root from the University of Toronto and Erin Pearson from College of the North Atlantic were selected among talented competition as the Canadian recipients, while Tom Haynes and Michael Wilson from the University of Cumbria, were selected among top United Kingdom applicants. Now in its fourth year, the Award program is fully endorsed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales – a UK-Canada partnership between The Prince of Wales’ Duchy of Cornwall, the Institute of Chartered Foresters in the UK, and CIF-IFC in Canada, sponsored by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. “This unique and prestigious Award helps foster future forest leaders by recognizing young professionals with a passion for forestry and natural resources management,” explains Dana Collins, Executive Director, CIF-IFC.

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Earth will become a moonscape at this rate

Letter by Marlene Spaeth
The Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This letter is to the greed of our logging companies in this province. I sit in my living room watching truck after truck of saplings going by and am thoroughly disgusted by what these people classify as logs — maybe six inches at the butt and three at the top. People talk about our environment and global warming and the atmosphere and don’t get what the rape and pillage of our forest lands contribute to this problem. These people make money and become rich; they leave nothing for our children’s future. Between the logging practices, oil being sucked out of the centre of the earth, cars, planes, etc., what do we expect Mother Earth to do?

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Twice as many owls dying from rat poison: B.C. government

By Katya Slepian
BC Local News
March 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The number of owls dying of poisoning in B.C. more than doubled over a six-month period, according to the agriculture ministry. Five of the owls that were necropsied from October to January had likely fatal traces of rat poison, the province told Black Press Media, compared to just two between June 2016 and July 2017. Two owls died of poisoning in North Vancouver, while one was in Stanley Park and two were in Greater Victoria. A sixth owl, not submitted to the ministry, died of poisoning in South Surrey in December. Caitlin Folvik, a raptor care assistant at Delta’s Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, said the facility has seen a spike in non-fatal poisonings too. …Residents leave out poison to take care of the pests, but Folvik said rats don’t die right away after consuming the poison. “They start to act kind of drunk and are easier for the owls to pick off.”

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Billboards warn of nest loss due to Nova Scotia’s forestry practices

By Erin Pottie
The Cape
March 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Cape Breton environmental group is raising a red flag on the loss of bird nests through industrial forestry practices. The Margaree Environmental Association paid to have three large billboards erected in and around Halifax earlier this week to bring awareness to the destruction of wildlife and wildlife habitats. Showing a nest of young birds against a de-forested backdrop, the environmental society estimates that 80,000 nests were destroyed in Nova. …Bruce Nunn, a spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources, said… “Bird populations and habitat are impacted by many human activities on the landscape and forestry is not among the most significant source of impacts,” said Nunn.

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Fire scientists receive national honor for risk-rating system

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
March 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Matt Jolly & Larry Bradshaw

It was hard to tell which mattered more to Matt Jolly and Larry Bradshaw: the plaques of silver boots awarded by their superiors or the roomful of applause from their fire-science peers. On Friday, Jolly had just wrapped up a presentation of a new National Fire Danger Rating System he and Bradshaw had finished last fall. It will go into service this fire season, helping incident commanders and first-year firefighters predict their risk as they go into the field. They weren’t warned that the project had earned the Forest Service’s Gleeson Award — the highest honor given for innovation and initiative in fire research. “Wildfire fighters across the nation will be able to make better decisions because of this,” Rocky Mountain Research Station leader Colin Hardy said. “This is the pinnacle of recognition in the fire community.”

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Rare Salamander’s Survival Threatened By Logging, Environmentalists Say

By Jesse Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
March 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmental groups are petitioning the federal government to add an Oregon salamander to the federal endangered species list. They say plans to boost logging on federal land are a major concern.  The Siskiyou Mountains salamander lives only in its namesake mountains straddling the Oregon-California border. It lives in damp mossy areas of old growth forest George Sexton of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center says the Bureau of Land Management made changes in 2016 that roll back protections. “I don’t have a lot of faith that the BLM is going to protect wildlife habitat, even when it knows that rare species are relying on it,” he said.

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More homes built near wild lands leading to greater wildfire risk

By Eric Hamilton
University of Wisconsin-Madison
March 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than 10 million acres burned across the country during the 2017 U.S. wildfire season at a cost of more than $2 billion — the largest bill ever. And while many factors affect the risk for wildfires, new research out of the University of Wisconsin–Madison shows that a flurry of homebuilding near wild areas since 1990 has greatly increased the number of homes at risk from wildfires while increasing the costs associated with fighting those fires in increasingly dense developments. The so-called wildland-urban interface, or WUI, where homes and wild vegetation meet, increased rapidly from 1990 to 2010, adding a collective area larger than the state of Washington across the contiguous United States. …The increase in the WUI also affects the spread of invasive species, pollution, and the spread of disease between pets and wildlife, scientists say.

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Unauthorized drones hinder wildfire response

By Cash Payne
Big Country Homepage
March 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ABILENE, Texas – The Texas A&M Forest Service is coming off an active weekend with fifteen wildfires reports since Friday which destroyed over thirty-nine hundred acres. Wildfires present plenty of challenges for those fighting them. Forest service officials say the use of drones can interfere with the emergency responders ability to save people and property. Just this weekend, we’re told a drone forced a firefighter plane away from a fire because it is not safe for the forest service to fly while drones are in the area. “If we have air attack and aircraft in the area and a drone goes up, it pretty much ceases our operation with the air attack,” said Nick Dawson, a fire coordinator with the Texas A&M Forest Service, “because the seats will get low enough to drop the retardant, and if the drones in the area, you don’t know the damage it could cause to a plane or bring down the aircraft.”

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Missoula County proposes forest thinning, development guidelines in new wildfire protection plan

By Sherry Devlin
Missoula Current
March 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Prodded by last summer’s wildfires, Missoula County is revising its Community Wildfire Protection Plan, a document that identifies wildfire risks across 2,600 square miles and the actions needed to reduce or eliminate those risks. Open for public comment through April 12, the plan will be explained during a public open house on March 22. …The goal is to create a “fire-adapted” community, not to eliminate wildfires, said Adriane Beck, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management. The plan explains: “Eliminating wildfire from Missoula County is not possible or desirable. However, by understanding the fire environment, reducing the number of unwanted human ignitions, using prescribed fire as a tool when appropriate, and taking other measures to reduce wildfire spread and intensity around developed areas, it is possible to eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property from the wildfires that will burn in Missoula County.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Bioenergy Plantations: A step towards meeting our climate change goals

By Zoe Doran
McGill Tribune
March 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

…Since 2015, it has become increasingly apparent that further reducing emissions will not be enough to achieve the goals that were set in Paris. Instead, many scientists are turning to negative emission technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which combines multiple existing technologies to extract previously emitted CO2. BECCS operates by cultivating fast-growing grasses and trees grown on large-scale bioenergy plantations that are burned to generate energy. But, instead of emitting carbon into the atmosphere after a burn, the carbon produced from biotic material is pumped and stored underground. Uniquely, BECCS releases zero greenhouse gases, as the grasses and trees absorb atmospheric carbon through carbon sequestration. This technology returns atmospheric carbon to the geological reserves where it originated, eliminating emissions while generating energy.

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The surprising leader in the $36 billion global market for ‘payments for ecosystem services’

By David Bank, CEO ImpactAlpha
ImpactAlpha
March 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Environmentalists have talked for decades about the value of the clean air, clean water, biodiversity and other “services” provided by nature. Now comes the fullest accounting to date of actual transactions that pay for such services. The headline number: between $36 billion and $42 billion per year, in more than 550 “payment for ecosystem services” programs worldwide, according to the compendium, published (paywall) in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Sustainability. “These markets are growing,” James Salzman, the professor at both the UCLA School of Law and UC Santa Barbara who led the study, said in an interview. “This is still a relatively young approach. It hasn’t grown as fast as some boosters had hoped. But this is real money.” The notion behind payments for ecosystem services is to create incentives for landholders to manage their property to ensure the water supply, flood control, carbon capture, wildlife habitat and other natural “services.”

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Health & Safety

Modern homes are burning faster, and this is why

By Don Hudson
Good 4 Utah
March 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Nowadays, fewer homes catch fire than in the past. However, when they do, they burn hotter, faster and more dangerously than ever before. Modern structure fires burn eight times faster than fires in the past few decades. …George continues to explain that the size of an average home has increased about 56% since the 1970s. In addition to that, there have been major changes to the way modern homes are constructed. …open concept floor-plans have also seen a major spike in popularity. “This creates an environment inside where the fire has much more space to grow,”  he explains. …One of the largest components to the spread of modern fires is the fuel that now exists inside our homes.  “We’ve transitioned away from primarily organic materials, meaning wood, cotton, wool, furs, to much more synthetic or man-made materials,” George says, “…These modern fuels have two to three times the amount of energy as their legacy counterparts.”  

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Firefighters done gathering evidence as 8 buildings still uninhabitable at scene of massive fire

By Jace Larson
The Denver Channel
March 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — Firefighters have completed gathering physical evidence from the scene of a large fire that burned an apartment complex under construction, Denver Fire Department Chief Eric Tade told Denver7. Fire crews will now begin forensically examining the evidence as they search for what caused the building near 18th and Emerson to catch on fire Mar. 7. Two people were killed, and six other people were hurt. Fire damaged 13 buildings, according to Andrea Burns, communications director for Denver’s Community Planning and Development office. …The fire occurred when more than 50 construction workers were building a new wood-frame apartment building that was set to open later this year.

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