Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 21, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Happy International Day of Forests – how will you celebrate?

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 21, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Around the world, we’re celebrating International Day of Forests, and here at Tree Frog headquarters in BC, it’s the first day of Spring! So, wherever you are, take time today to recognize a tree, or plant one, or photograph one! Despite Statistics Canada’s claim that the forest sector’s contribution to the economy has declined, professor Tom Beckley at the University of New Brunswick says, “forestry is still relatively healthy“. 

In Business news: a family-owned sawmill in South Carolina is expanding, Charles Ingram Lumber is creating new jobs and new product lines; US newspapers paying higher taxes thanks to tariffs on Canadian pulp are “baffled” saying, “the Canadian government appears to care more about our jobs than our own US government“; and in Maine, tariffs have US Gov. Paul LePage fired-up, where he has been accused of diverting state-owned logs away from companies critical of his position. 

Finally, while the mass timber masterminds are meeting in Portland, a story today in the Corvallis Gazette-Times reports a CLT failure at Oregon State University where a section of CLT subflooring delaminated and “came crashing down”. We’ll keep you posted.

–Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

International Day of Forests: A reason for pride in Canada

By Derek Nighbor
The Canadian Press in the Province
March 20, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

In Canada, the forest industry has been part of our lifeblood and a cornerstone of the economy for decades. The issue of how we manage our forests has also been the topic of healthy debate for generations. However, what is often overlooked is Canada’s global leadership in sustainable forest management and the positive role Canadian forests and the forest products industry play in addressing climate change and providing socio-economic benefits. As we celebrate… it seems only fitting to highlight six areas in which our industry shines internationally.

  1. Canada’s forest laws are among the strictest in the world. 
  2. Canada Boasts nearly 40% of the worlds certified forests
  3. Each year Canada harvests less than 0.5% of our of harvestable forests.
  4. Canada’s Forest sector is leading the way in bio-economy. 
  5. Canada’s forest sector is one of the largest employers in the nation.
  6. Canada’s forest sector is one of the largest employers of Indigenous peoples.

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International Day of Forests 2018

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
March 20, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2018 is Forests and Sustainable Cities. How will you mark the day? Watch the Day of Forests video? Take part in a photo contest? Take a quiz  about forests and cities?

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Froggy Foibles

Ax throwing gains in popularity as pastime, sport

By Robert Bumsted
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 21, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

NEW YORK  — Leave it to the hipsters of Brooklyn to combine craft beer and sharp objects. Kick Axe Throwing is the first bar in New York City to pick up on a nationwide trend of ax throwing, a growing sport that some enthusiasts hope will take off the way bowling did in the last century. “People are like, ‘Sharp objects and beer? What a great idea that is.’ But truthfully, after you have a couple drinks you start to actually throw a little bit better,” said Alexander Stine, an “axepert” at Kick Axe. He honed his own skills growing up in Colorado throwing knives at carnivals and now trains newcomers on proper technique. “It’s about believing in your ability to do something you didn’t think you could do before.” …Playing to the sport’s origins at Canadian logging competitions, Kick Axe’s decor is reminiscent of a ski lodge, complete with flannel chairs and calfskin carpeting.

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Business & Politics

U.S. tariffs on pulp industry unfair

Letter by Todd Doherty, MP, Cariboo-Prince George
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Todd Doherty

It is extremely disappointing that the current U.S. administration has, once again, made the decision to impose unfair tariffs, this time on Canada’s pulpwood industry. The forest industry is the economic backbone for many B.C. communities; there are approximately 21 pulp and paper operations throughout the province, employing tens of thousands of B.C. residents. B.C.’s forest industry employs hundreds of thousands of B.C. residents and contributes billions to the B.C. economy. …Unfortunately, on the softwood file Canadians have seen from the very beginning that Justin Trudeau has failed to secure a new agreement. …It’s unacceptable that Justin Trudeau unveiled a federal budget that does not contain a contingency plan if NAFTA is terminated, or promote policies that make Canada a more attractive place to invest and do business.

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Forestry sector still healthy, despite report of decline, professor says

By Elizabeth Fraser
CBC News
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tom Beckley

Despite a federal report of a continuing decline in Canada’s forestry sector, a University of New Brunswick professor says the industry isn’t going anywhere soon. Tom Beckley, a professor in the faculty of forestry and environmental management at the University of New Brunswick, said forestry is still relatively healthy. A new report from Statistics Canada says the overall contribution of the forestry sector to the Canadian economy has declined since the mid-2000s. …The number of communities where forestry is the main economic driver dropped from more than 400 in 2000 to 105 two years ago, the report found. The sector’s share of the gross domestic product has also declined, from 1.7 per cent in 2007 to 1.2 per cent in 2014.

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Charles Ingram Lumber expands South Carolina sawmill

By Karl Forth
Woodworking Network
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EFFINGHAM, S.C. — Charles Ingram Lumber Co., a family-owned sawmill, is expanding its existing operations in Effingham. With $33 million of capital investment, the company is expected to create 22 new jobs, according to areadevelopment.com. …The company will be adding a new dry kiln this year, which will enable them to dry an estimated 70 million board feet of lumber. The company will also begin construction on a new manufacturing line which, over the next several years, will provide a significant amount of the required additional production.

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LePage accuses committee of ‘witch hunt’ over diversion of state-owned timber

By Kevin Miller
The Press Herald
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Paul LePage

AUGUSTA — A fired-up Gov. Paul Le-Page said Tuesday that political tensions over U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber had no role in a decision to divert state-owned logs away from mills owned by a family critical of his position. LePage told lawmakers they owed him and Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico apologies for what he said were “totally fictional and outrageous” allegations about potential retribution against the owners of several Maine mills. Responding to a legislative committee’s detailed request for information, LePage accused some lawmakers of waging “an inquisition” against his administration for wood-flow issues that he said were made to address an emergency situation in one mill, not to hurt another. …Instead, LePage said “wood is routed where it is needed”.

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Paper tariffs will hurt us

Editorial by CJ Baker
The Powell Tribune
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

POWELL, WYOMING — Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a rather dry statement about an “affirmative preliminary antidumping duty determination on uncoated groundwood paper from Canada.” …Of course, those taxes will be passed directly to customers like the Tribune, where we expect to face $10,000-$15,000 of added expenses just this year. …But the fact is these tariffs will damage our country and lead to lost American jobs — most likely including positions at newspapers in Wyoming. Some papers around the country may be forced to shut their doors. …It’s baffling that the Canadian government appears to care more about our jobs than our own U.S. government.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Alberta college facility wins wood design award

Construction Canada
March 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

An expanded trades and technologies centre at Lethbridge College in Alberta recently received top honours at the Prairie Wood Design Awards for the institutional building category. The Trades Technologies Renewal and Innovation Project was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in association with Sahuri + Partners. “The extensive use of wood supports the goal of creating a cohesive and legible plan that identifies the different program areas,” said Michael Leckman, principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects. …Wood elements in the facility include the wood-lined atrium, central spine ceiling, custom-designed doors, and 22 structural columns. The use of wood as a design element supports the college’s focus on sustainability by making the facility both a showpiece and learning tool for energy-efficiency.

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Wood skyscrapers are coming. Let’s build them right

By Mark Edlen and Denis Hayes
The Oregonian
March 21, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

…We have an opportunity to show builders around the world that it is possible to have it all: Wooden skyscrapers drawn from forests that store more carbon than conventional forests, protect biodiversity, boast clear streams and yield wood for thousands of years. An unconstrained free market will not achieve ambitious environmental outcomes because carbon emissions, fish and bird populations, and clean water are not reflected in the market price of wood. Given our position at the front of the pack, we should set a high bar for the wood we use in our buildings, because many will follow our example. …However, unless we use wood from responsibly managed forests, we are simply replacing one problem with another. Wood is only as good as the forest from which it came.

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CLT panel in Peavy Hall fails

By Bennett Hall
The Corvallis Gazette-Times
March 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Oregon State University is investigating the failure of a massive cross-laminated timber panel in a new building going up on campus but says it has no plans to abandon the project or switch to more conventional materials. The incident, which was disclosed by the university on Tuesday, happened a week ago at Peavy Hall, under construction at Southwest 30th Street and Jefferson Way. A section of subflooring between the building’s second and third stories gave way on the morning of March 14, according to Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for marketing and university relations. He said the 4-foot-by-20-foot CLT panel, made up of five layers of 2-by-6 boards glued together at right angles, came crashing down after it delaminated at one end. “There were no contractors in the area, and no one was injured,” Clark said.

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In Times of Tariffs, Mass Timber May Provide an Alternative to Steel

By Jennifer Lefurgy
NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association
March 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

President Donald Trump recently authorized levies of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum to take effect March 23, 2018. …New tariffs on construction materials like steel could have the unfortunate, unintended side effect of raising construction costs and reducing jobs in real estate development.” …Some industry experts believe that builders will turn to alternative load-bearing materials such as Cross-Laminated Timber, which is less expensive to create, a lower carbon footprint than steel, and can meet demand levels. …Due to a limited number of manufacturers, mass timber was slightly more expensive than traditional stick built and steel construction, but the new tariffs may change this. Moreover, it is not just foreign steel that will be taxed; the recent tariff on foreign-grown softwoods may also decrease mass timber’s competitors while increasing its appeal to builders.

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Bill wiping out Dunwoody and Sandy Springs wood-frame apartment limits passes General Assembly

By John Ruch
Reporter Newspapers
March 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

John Corbett

A bill that would erase Dunwoody and Sandy Springs’ restrictions on wood-frame apartments awaits Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature after the state Senate passed it overwhelmingly March 19. “I don’t think the governor will veto it,” said state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), one of the few to vote against House Bill 876. “I think the cities will probably have to bring a lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of it.” …The bill became a battleground between concrete and timber industry lobbyists. Corbett said codes like Sandy Springs’ are a “thumb on the scale” of the free market. City leaders hammered the bill as an unconstitutional fire hazard. …But Corbett maintained that fire safety was not the crucial point, as buildings would still meet state fire codes. He won General Assembly support, with the bill passing the House 125-43 and the Senate 40-14.

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Forestry

2018 SFI Annual Conference

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

When it comes to providing supply chain assurances, producing conservation outcomes, and supporting education and community engagement – Forests are the Answer. The 2018 SFI Annual Conference will explore this theme and engage you in a discussion focused on why Forests are the Answer to so many of the most important sustainability challenges we face in the sector and in our communities. The SFI Annual Conference brings together thought leaders and influencers: forest sector representatives, conservation and community partners, and Indigenous leaders as well as some of the most engaged forest product customers in North America. This year’s conference will discuss topics relevant to national and international initiatives across the forest sector. Come to the 2018 SFI Annual Conference to learn more and engage with the SFI community. 

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Boer Mountain logging under scrutiny

BC Local News
March 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle has led Burns Lake Community Forest (BLComfor) to prepare for a major tree-removal effort, partly in an effort to stave off forest fires and future bug infestations. But the president of the Burns Lake Mountain Bike Association (BLMBA) says some mountain bikers are concerned the project might move too fast. …The removal of troublesome stands of dead pine would make BLMBA’s trail maintenance work easier, said Guy Epkens-Shaffer, president of BLMBA. He also noted that the goals of BLComfor are important. Still, he said mountain bikers are concerned about the impact that logging could have on the natural beauty of Boer Mountain, especially in the area surrounding Kager Lake. “We want to see the results of the test area,” said Epkens-Shaffer.

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Canada is dragging its feet in protecting Wood Buffalo National Park

By Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi
CBC News
March 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

One year after a United Nations agency warned about the environmental health of Canada’s largest national park, First Nations and environmental groups say not enough has been done to respond. They say the federal government isn’t taking the threats to Wood Buffalo National Park seriously. “The urgency doesn’t seem to be as strong as we would like,” said Melody Lepine of the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. In 2014, it petitioned the United Nations World Heritage committee to help conserve the park. In March 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released a report saying the park is being threatened by energy development, hydro dams and poor management.

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Moose hunting restrictions proposed to help balance population and allocation

BC Local News
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Proposed regulations on moose hunting in the Skeena region are aimed at deterring resident hunters from overshooting their allocation in the south while protecting adolescent bull-moose populations in the north, says the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources. Conrad Thiesson, senior wildlife biologist, said over the phone that one of the recommendations was to extend the general open season from seven days to 42 days to ensure ‘the opportunity for resident hunters is increased,’ while the accompanying proposed antler-restriction could help decrease the number of moose harvested and protect conservation goals.

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Group calls for limited access to backcountry roads near Jordan River

BC Local News
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Controlling access to industrial roads would help solve the garbage and gunfire issue in Jordan River, says a spokesperson for the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association. “Open roads are the cause of road closures,” said Terrance Martin, director of Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association and member of the B.C. Wildlife Federation. “Our association… would like to see these roads have regulated access so it can screen out the bad guys.”…Martin wants industries to work together with the government to start putting gates on the roads after forestry companies are done using them for logging. “Right now the province in this area won’t allow the forestry companies to put a gate on a Crown land road, so either roads are open to everyone or closed completely. 

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Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Western Forest Products Inc. Continue Along Shared Path to Reconciliation

By Huu-ay-aht First Nations
Cision Newswire
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI, BC – Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Western Forest Products today announced the signing of a Reconciliation Protocol Agreement. This agreement continues progress along the shared path to reconciliation and a joint vision for a safe, competitive and forward-looking forest sector in the Alberni Valley. Founded on mutual trust and respect, the agreement affirms the parties’ commitment to seek mutually-beneficial solutions that work to achieve their respective interests, while also developing inclusive opportunities that bolster the long-term sustainability of the forest sector in the Alberni Valley. …This ground-breaking approach guides how Huu-ay-aht and Western will work collaboratively with different forestry tenures, assets and interests to explore opportunities that improve the economic vibrancy of the Huu-ay-aht Ha-houlthee (traditional territory).

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National tree-planting effort would benefit people and the planet

By Rob Keen RPF, CEO, Forest Recovery Canada
The Chronicle Herald
March 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rob Keen

Spring is a time for renewal and growth. In Canada, this means tree-planting. As Canadians, we understand the importance of our trees and forests, and recognize the benefits they provide. …What’s missing from this narrative, at least on the national stage, are the proper incentives and programs to help make it happen. Last month, the federal government created an opportunity to correct this. As part of the 2018 budget, the government pledged over $1 billion towards conservation projects, including those that help to reduce our carbon footprint and help our country meet its international commitment to fight climate change. Enter the concept of a national tree-planting strategy. A nationally-co-ordinated tree-planting initiative is exactly what the federal government should be looking for in terms of a carbon-friendly conservation program. 

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What’s happening to our forests?

By Robert Nasi, Director General, CIFOR
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
March 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Robert Nasi

Today, we’re marking the International Day of Forests. What is the state of the world’s forests? Not as good as we would like to have it. If you look at the various types of forests using a pretty rough classification, the boreal forest has had some problems because of climate change, infestation of pests and a large amount of fire growth. And it is the largest forest on earth, even bigger than the tropical forest. So the situation is a bit complicated there, and with climate change and melting of permafrost, it can be even worse. The temperate forest has been increasing in size during the last five years based on various reports, but the increase is mainly in two plantations.

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Protesters rally as Western Australian agency plans native forest logging increase

By Emma Young
The Sydney Morning Herald
March 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Black Cockatoos

AUSTRALIA – The state’s logging agency has moved to increase logging… even as black cockatoo species relying on these trees are upgraded to “endangered” status. …Hundreds will rally at Parliament on Wednesday as Greens Forests spokeswoman Diane Evers presents Environment Minister Stephen Dawson with a 15,000-signature petition calling for increased native forest protections. …The state’s Forest Products Commission wants to sell more native forest timbers via a new timber yard in the South West, and has sought expressions of interest “to enhance long term industry viability”. The facility would take both native forest and plantation logs and produce mainly low-end products including wood chips, firewood and charcoal, with the potential of biomass burning on the table.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

How does bioenergy fit into Ottawa’s plan to reduce diesel reliance?

By Maria Church
Canadian Biomass Magazine
March 20, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

David Dubois

In February the federal government announced a new program that will fund renewable energy projects in diesel-reliant communities. The program, called Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities, will dole out $220 million over six years for projects that support clean technology or develop local capacity in one of Canada’s 200 communities or industrial sites that rely on shipments of diesel fuel for power and heat. …When Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr officially announced the program details on Feb. 16, it became clear NRCan recognizes bioenergy is an important part of the solution to transitioning away from diesel. …The funding program validates bioenergy as a viable renewable energy option,” Fink Machine’s David Dubois.

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No Electricity From Forests group to battle ‘forest destruction’

By Peter Daniels
Port Macquarie News
March 21, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A new group that opposes large scale forest destruction plans to host a series of public information sessions. The No Electricity From Forests group says there is ‘real community anger’ over proposals to clear-fell increasingly larger areas of local forests, says the group’s spokesperson Frank Dennis. “And this is for wood chipping to provide fuel for wood fired electricity generation with new power stations planned for Bulahdelah, Kempsey and Grafton,” he said. “We intend to oppose what we see as forest destruction on a grand scale.  “While the demand for wood from these three power stations will lead to intensive logging of already highly stressed forests and will have unacceptable impacts; very worrying is the fact that the public is generally unaware that the industry is scaling up its operations.

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Health & Safety

Study finds elevated risk of hearing loss in certain agriculture, forestry and fishing subsectors

By Elizabeth Materson, Christa Themann and Geoffrey Calvert
Safety and Health Magazine
March 20, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — Although work-related hearing loss in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector is lower overall than most other industries, three specific subsectors “would benefit from continued hearing conservation efforts,” according to researchers from NIOSH. After examining the results of 17,300 hearing tests from workers at 458 companies in the AFFH industry sector, the researchers found that 15 percent of noise-exposed workers had experienced some form of hearing impairment, slightly lower than the 19 percent observed within all industries. However, three AFFH subgroups had notably higher numbers of workers with hearing loss, as well as a higher risk of hearing loss: Forest nurseries and gathering of forest products (36 percent); Timber tract operations (22 percent).

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