Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 4, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Companies like Canfor, West Fraser and Interfor are booming

Tree Frog Forestry News
April 4, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Despite lumber tariffs, forest companies in Western Canada are booming according to The Motley Fool. Strengthening demand from China, a recovering US housing market and improving efficiencies are behind soaring stock prices for Canfor, West Fraser and Interfor. Meanwhile, the union that represents forest sector workers across Canada is crafting an agreement with Resolute Forest Products that Unifor rep Stephen Boon says will form a template for the rest of the country and “reflect workers’ priorities”. 

In Wood news, insurers are being advised to “take a second look” when writing risks for tall wood structures; and manufacturers of MDF and hardwood plywood face new formaldehyde standards – the president of the Composite Panel Association explains

Community forests are in the news:

The Council of Forest Industries opens their annual convention today in Prince George. We wish COFI and conference delegates a successful event.

–Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Will Lumber Stocks Continue to Soar in 2018?

By Karen Thomas
The Motley Fool
April 3, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lumber stocks have been soaring. With the U.S. housing market steadily recovering, and strengthening demand from China, companies like Canfor, West Fraser, and Interfor have been booming. Increasing returns, stronger pricing, and improving efficiencies have sent these stock prices soaring in the last few years. …Canfor has a high percentage of its lumber capacity in Canada (70%), this will likely keep a lid on the shares until a resolution is reached. Canfor Pulp… benefits from Chinese demand for softwood pulp and strong global pulp prices. …West Fraser has 50% of production is out of the U.S… but the company is still vulnerable to the softwood lumber dispute. …Less than 20% of Interfor’s total production is made of Canadian production being shipped to the U.S., and so it is less vulnerable. …This year should see continued strength in the housing market in the U.S. as well as continued strength in demand from China.

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Domtar workers preparing for negotiations

By Ryan Forbes
Kenora Online
April 3, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Unifor National Representative Stephen Boon says that Unifor Local 324 and 105 in Dryden are closely monitoring Resolute talks, as close to 600 forestry workers in Dryden are heading to the bargaining table later this year.  Unifor will be sitting down with Resolute Forest Products to negotiate language, contract term and key monetary issues such as wages, benefits and pensions. Once an agreement with Resolute is reached, it will serve as a template for negotiations with all other industry employers, including paper mills, sawmills and related forestry operations.  “I’m eager to get forestry workers what they deserve: a fair collective agreement that reflects their contributions to the industry,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The forestry industry in Canada is well-positioned for a pattern agreement that reflects workers’ priorities.”

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Worldwide pulp manufacturers see profits rise due to rising prices

IHB The Timber Network
April 3, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Pulp manufacturers in many countries have seen their wood fiber costs go up during 2017, with the biggest increases in US dollar terms occurring in Western North America, Europe, Russia and Australia, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) increased for the third consecutive quarter to reach $89.08/odmt in the 4Q/17, 4.0% higher than in the same quarter in 2016. Hardwood fiber prices have also trended upwards over the past year, with the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) reaching its highest level in almost three years during the 4Q/17. …Wood fiber costs remain the single largest cost component in the manufacture of wood pulp, ranging between 40-60% of the total cash costs, depending on region and pulp grade.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Bid for taller wood structures raises red flag for one insurer

By Gre Meckbach
Canadian Underwriter
April 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Given a recent movement afoot to increase height limits for wood frame buildings in Canada, property insurance underwriters need to be wary of writing risks for such structures, an expert with one insurer notes. …Wood buildings taller than 10 storeys include the Brock Commons student residence at the University of British Columbia and the 13-storey Project Origine condo tower in Quebec City. Placing insurance for a tall wood building is “definitely something that deserves a second look” from an underwriter, said Louis Gritzo, vice president and manager of research with Rhode Island-based insurer FM Global. … “Sprinklers are just an absolute necessity.” …Some risk can be mitigated by the type of material used. …Whether or not tall wood buildings would cost more to insure than concrete and steel, “these are things that deserve a closer look,” said Gritzo.

 

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Quick guide to the EPA Formaldehyde Regulation: What woodworkers need to know

Jackson Morrill, Composite Panel Association President
Woodworking Network
April 3, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

If you manufacture finished goods that contain particleboard, medium density fiberboard or hardwood plywood, then you likely have been preparing to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products rule.  If this is the first time you have heard of this Regulation, known also as “TSCA Title VI” after the statutory authority for the regulation, there is still time to prepare for compliance, but time is of the essence.  This article provides a general outline of the TSCA Title VI requirements applicable to manufacturers of finished products containing composite wood panels, as well as the key dates for compliance, which have only just been finalized through recent litigation. 

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Forestry

Logan Lake Community Forest paying dividends to the community

By Dara Hill
Merritt Herald
April 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logan Lake Community Forest presented the District of Logan Lake with a cheque for $1,607,070 at their open house on March 27. Garnet Mierau, a registered professional forester who helps manage the Logan Lake Community Forest, said the event was a reflection of the organization’s commitment to their community. “We’ve made a bit of money and we’re happy to give it back to our shareholder — the District of Logan Lake,” he said. “It’s a bit of a community celebration, and it’s just shy of 1.7 million dollars. It’s a big deal for a little town like this,” he added. The Logan Lake Community Forest manages a tenure of approximately 16,700 hectares of forest on behalf of Logan Lake’s citizens.They focus on managing the extraction of timber resources as well as protecting the forest.

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Islanders aim for better deal on Haida Gwaii community forest

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Islanders want a community forest, but not the one the province has suggested so far. That is the upshot of a letter sent to B.C.’s forests ministry from the Misty Isles Economic Development Society (MIEDS) on March 29. The five-page letter asks the province to extend the deadline for negotiating a Haida Gwaii Community Forest, both to allow for more discussion and to wait for new, more accurate forest inventory data from the Timber Supply Review expected later this year. Back in December, the province sent MIEDS an invitation to apply for a community forest tenure that required 50/50 revenue sharing with BC Timber Sales for most of its annual cut. For an area-based tenure expected to yield about 80,000 m3 a year, 55,000 m3 would have to be auctioned through BCTS.

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Change needed now to avoid more devastating wildfire seasons: Struzik

By Mike Davies
Campbell River Mirror
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ed Struzik

We’d better get used to hearing, “this is the worst fire season on record,” according to Ed Struzik, one of the foremost Canadian experts on wildfires and author of Firestorm: How Wildfires Shape our Future. Struzik was the latest presenter in the Museum at Campbell River’s Diamond Lecture Series. He says fire seasons aren’t going to get any better until we change our mindset around how to deal with them – and we’d better get serious about doing so. “I’d been working on the book before the Fort McMurray wildfire of 2016,” Struzik told the crowd at the museum lecture, “and when that fire started burning, I called up a wildfire scientist by the name of Mike Flannigan – probably one of the best in North America – and I said, ‘I missed my chance to get this book out there,’ and he laughed at me and said, ‘oh, there’ll be another big fire season soon enough.’”

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Provincial forests minister declines meeting about Lantzville woodlot

By Nickolas Pescod
The Nanaimo News Bulletin
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It appears that the minister in charge of forests is no longer open to meeting with Lantzville councillors to discuss measures to protect parts of Woodlot 1475. Earlier this year, Lantzville councillors sent a letter to the minister requesting an in-person meeting with Doug Donaldson, B.C.’s minister of forests… In a letter dated March 25, Donaldson said he does not “believe a meeting with all parties is necessary at this time” and rejected the proposed 60ha protective corridor as well as imposing a logging moratorium in the woodlot. “The ministry reviewed the proposal carefully and considered the need to balance local economic, environmental and social needs. Much of Crown land in the Lantzville area is already under a form of protection,” Donaldson said in the letter.

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Valemount Community Forest restructure tackles liability, taxes

By Andru McCracken
The Rocky Mountain Goat
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Valemount Community Forest Corporation is seeking to restructure itself, which would split its forestry activities inside Village boundaries from its land use activities outside. VCF has been owned by the Village of Valemount, but there is a proposal to transfer some of its assets to a new corporation called Valemount Economic Development Corporation and to establish two new Limited Partnerships. According to Craig Pryor, manager of the Valemount Community Forest, the idea is to insulate the Village of Valemount from liability and to free the community forest from tax implications.

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Foresters and ecologists see forests differently

By George Wuerthner, ecologist
Helena Independent Record
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

George Wuerthner

There is a huge difference between the industrial forestry worldview and an ecological perspective. Many people assume that foresters understand forest ecosystems, but what you learn in forestry school is how to produce wood fiber to sell to the wood products industry. I know because I attended a forestry school as an undergraduate in college. Assuming that foresters understand forest ecosystems is like assuming that a realtor who sells houses understands how to construct a building because they peddle homes. Foresters usually view ecological disturbance from insects, drought, wildfire and disease as undesirable and indications of “unhealthy” forests. That is why they work to sanitize forests by removing dead and dying trees and attempt to limit with thinning influences like bark beetles or wildfire.

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Conifers are encroaching on coastal meadows

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GOLD BEACH — Wildlife biologists and an army of chainsaw-wielding volunteers are in the early stages of an ambitious effort to reclaim for wildlife portions of 334 acres of former forest meadows that are losing their long-term battles with encroaching fir trees. Lack of wildfire and commercial forest thinning have allowed Douglas firs and other conifers to overtake the edges of a series of Coast Range meadows in Curry County that are home to Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer and forest birds such as grouse and quail. Under an agreement with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is being joined by volunteers in cutting back these encroaching conifers to restore some of the fragmented habitats, said Bree Furfey, an ODFW wildlife biologist in Gold Beach. 

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Bipartisan federal fire funding fix is good news for Washington state

By Hilary Franz, WDNR and Mike Stevens, Nature Conservancy
Union-Bulletin
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hilary Franz

Mike Stevens

…Wildfires come at a high price to our communities, our economy and our public agency budgets. …Now, thanks to a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders, including Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, this practice of “fire borrowing” will come to an end. The inclusion of a fire funding fix in the omnibus spending bill — signed into law March 23 — means Washingtonians can expect stable Forest Service budgets and predictable investments in the health of our federal forests. Our forest health crisis is bigger than any single agency. There are 2.7 million acres of “unhealthy” forests across Eastern Washington, spanning federal, state, local, private and tribal lands. These diseased and dying forests make easy kindling for wildfires.

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Kalama students tend forest in natural resource program Longview Daily News

By Jaime Archer
The Longview Daily News
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Science teacher Chris Stone at Kalama Middle-High School launched a natural resources program this year, serving many purposes. First, the class shows students real-life applications of science and provides hands-on learning. Moreover, the course “makes students aware of career opportunities in forestry in particular,” according to Superintendent Eric Nerison. …In the classroom, Stone leads lessons on invasive species, ecology, tree identification and other topics. The heart of the program, however, is outside, among the forest’s mossy trees and rocks. Though most districts would need field trip slips and a school bus to bring students to the great outdoors, in Kalama the forest is only a three-minute walk from the classroom door.

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Fire funding fix welcome, but delayed

Editorial Board
The Mail Tribune
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It sounded like good news, and it is, but a long-awaited fix for wildfire funding won’t kick in for two more smoke seasons. Oregon’s congressional delegation announced the long-awaited changes in how firefighting costs are covered with great fanfare last month. …Wildfires currently are not eligible for emergency funding that is routinely provided for floods and other natural disasters. Now they will be, thanks to that $23 billion emergency fund — but it doesn’t kick in until 2020. In the meantime, the new budget does include some extra money for firefighting this year — $500 million — and a little more for forest management ($40 million). But the federal government spent more than $2.6 billion fighting fires last year alone. …Waiting two more years for protection against catastrophic firefighting costs is far from ideal, but the delay is still preferable to business as usual.

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The Father of Southern Forestry: Cenla museum honors Henry Hardtner

By Max Lindsey
KALB TV
April 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Henry Hardtner

RAPIDES PARISH, La. – If you know anything about forestry, chances are you’ve heard of Henry Hardtner, the man considered the premier pioneer of reforestation. “He’s the father of southern forestry,” said Jim Barnett, historian and volunteer at Southern Forestry Heritage Museum. …Hardtner started a saw mill in Urania in the early 20th century, and soon took issue with how much of Louisiana’s forests had been clear cut. So, he turned to reforestation. “He was one of the first lumbermen that decided, ‘hey we could grow another crop of pine trees, that would be economically feasible to do,’” said Barnett. …The Henry Hardtner Exhibit is now open to the public, including a replication of Hardtner’s old office.

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Shane Jones’ $1 billion message – do not delay

By Benn Bathgate
Stuff.co.nz
April 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Shane Jones

He’s the $3 billion Minister – and he’s in a hurry. Regional Development Minister Shane Jones used a speech to Rotorua’s Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday to call for applications for funding from his $1bn a year Provincial Growth Fund. … On forestry however, Jones was much more receptive. He said Rotorua would be home to the standalone Ministry of Forestry, but he warned against expecting too large a jobs boost from the Ministry alone. “I want people planting trees, not pushing pens,” he said. “I don’t want a bloated bureaucracy.” …. He also admitted his target of planting one billion trees was “fanciful” but argued aspirational targets were needed to boost a sector he described as “undervalued, under utilised but still with great capacity”.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Audit exposes Canadian climate failures

By David Suzuki
The Georgia Straight
April 3, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Scientists, academics, environmentalists, and communicators have urged governments to take the climate crisis seriously for decades. …We’re failing to take the necessary steps to confront or adapt to global warming. The current U.S. administration is going in the opposite direction. In Canada, despite hopeful rhetoric after the 2015 federal election and leading to the Paris climate summit, neither the federal nor provincial governments are doing enough to indicate they even understand the severity of the crisis. …The audit is clear that Canada’s climate is “becoming warmer and wetter, and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. Climate change impacts are felt across Canada and pose significant risks to Canadians and the economy.” Costs are mounting in the face of increasing and more intense floods, forest fires, heat waves, melting sea ice, rising sea levels, and thawing permafrost.

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Biomass owners say director of logging trade group is bad-mouthing business

By Tux Turkel
The Press Herald
April 3, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

On the eve of a crucial subsidy vote by state regulators, the owners of two beleaguered biomass power plants said that their multimillion-dollar investments are being undermined by unsubstantiated charges made by the head of Maine’s logging trade group. Fahim and Kimberly Samaha say Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, is spreading false rumors that the Stored Solar LLC biomass plants… are in financial trouble and have laid off most of their workforce. But the Samahas say the plants are currently in a planned shutdown because an early mud season has made timber harvesting difficult, and because demand for electricity has tapered off with mild weather.

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