Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 6, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Donaldson & Ralston play Santa at COFI, announce recipients of wood monies

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 6, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC Ministers Donaldson and Ralston announced the recipients of monies totalling $7.8 million to promote the use of BC wood overseas, advance wood building systems and products, and expand global markets. Also at COFI: federal Minister Marc Garneau is bullish on NAFTA and softwood lumber; Duncan Davies (Interfor) says it “will boil down to goodwill between Trump and Trudeau”; and columnist Neil Godbout says despite its problems, the sector continues to turn “bitter lemons into sweet lemonade.” 

In other news: ERA’s Kevin Mason explains why lumber prices are at 5-year highs (video); BC Premier Horgan speaks to the importance of social licence in Merritt; Wildfire forecasters predict trouble for BC this year; and biomass plant openings are celebrated in California and New Mexico.

Finally, giving millennials what they want (tons of wood) in Austin, and timber makes its debut in Europe’s first eco-mosque.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Ministers bring chequebook to COFI convention

By Bill Phillips
The Prince George Daily News
April 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

The province is committing $7.8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood overseas, advance wood building systems and products, and expand global markets. …Of the $7.8 million, $5.985 million will be made available for activities targeted at expanding markets for B.C.’s wood products, with investment priorities that reflect evolving market opportunities in Asia and North America. The remaining $1.852 million will be made available for activities delivered through the Wood First program… 

  • BC Wood Specialties Group – $1.06 million
  • Canada Wood Group – $3.26 million
  • Canadian Wood Council – $717,000
  • Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau – $123,000
  • Construction Foundation of BC – $81,000
  • Council of Forest Industries – $448,000
  • Engineered Wood Products Association (APA) – $45,400
  • FPInnovations – $202,000
  • University of British Columbia – $329,100
  • University of Northern British Columbia – $40,900
  • Western Red Cedar Lumber Association – $1.09 million
  • Wood Pellet Association of Canada – $62,900
  • Wood Products Council – $379,000

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VIDEO: Softwood Lumber Top Of Mind At COFI

By Cheryl Jahn
CKPG Today
April 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duncan Davies

Slow and steady. That was the message from the Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Canada – U.S. Relations, Marc Garneau, to delegates at the Council of Forest Industries convention. The matter is currently undergoing a dispute resolution process both with NAFTA and the World Trade Organization.  But, the current price of lumber is at all times highs and that has curbed the urgency by Canadian softwood producers to push the issue, even while they pay an average tariff of 20% on products heading into the U.S. “We think, this time, we’ve got a situation where demand for lumber in the U.S. is going to continue to grow for a period of time, absent of some kind of financial shock or geopolitical shock,” says Duncan Davies, the President & CEO of Interfor. “We think the market’s going to be strong, which gives us the time to be very structured in our defence.” However, Garneau says that’s not the point.

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BC Government investing whooping $7.8 million to forestry sector

By Jeff Slack
My Prince George Now
April 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Ralston

The BC government is investing $7.8 million to promote the use of wood overseas. …“Expanding our international markets, especially in Asia, is crucial to the long-term success of B.C.’s forest sector,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs and Trades. “This funding support opens the door to more trade opportunities for B.C. companies, and will lead to greater innovation in the industry.” Of the $7.8 million, $5.985 million will be available for activities aimed to expanding markets, while the remaining $1.852 million will go to the Wood First program. …“The collaborative approach between industry and government toward market development ensures that our sector remains competitive and that we can continue to develop and diversify opportunities for the sector in targeted export markets,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO, Council of Forest Industries.

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Forestry’s fine future

By Neil Godbout
The Prince George Citizen
April 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pity poor forestry. The industry has been declared dead even more times than the newspaper sector. Like the print media, forestry continues to adapt, continues to make money, continues to make valuable contributions to the community, continues to drive politicians crazy. As Council of Forest Industries (COFI) delegates sit down today in Prince George for the final day of their annual convention, they see forestry surrounded by nothing but problems. Business as usual, in other words. Forestry seems to be one of those businesses that does nothing but lurch from one crisis to the other, making money the whole time. …Yet if there was ever an industry to perfect the recipe for turning bitter lemons into sweet lemonade and sell it for a tidy profit, the B.C. forestry sector would rise to the top of the list. They’re so resilient that they don’t even fear an NDP government any more.

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Garneau talks NAFTA, softwood lumber

By Frank Peebles
The Prince George Citizen
April 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Marc Garneau

The federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, also happens to be the chair of the Cabinet Committee on Canada-United States Relations. …it was announced from Washington that the two countries and Mexico had suspended formal NAFTA talks in favour of a more expedited government-to-government set of meetings. “There is an increase in the momentum at the moment,” Garneau said. …”On softwood lumber we are in the middle of dispute resolution,” under a NAFTA and World Trade Organization process. “We’ve done this four times before over the years, and we have always won, and we feel we’re going to win again this time because the same arguments apply.” …If the American economy was not as healthy and there wasn’t a high demand, we would be in a crisis situation.

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Lumber prices at 5-year highs a year after softwood duties from the U.S.

BNN
April 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

 

Video story: Kevin Mason, managing director of ERA Forest Products Research, discusses why lumber prices and Canadian lumber stocks are higher one year since the U.S. slapped softwood duties on Canadian producers.

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HORGAN TALKS: Premier maintains faith in forestry in Merritt

By Dara Hill
The Merritt Herald
April 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

Forestry has been a major player in Merritt’s economy for years, contributing a great deal of jobs and wealth in the region. That’s not to say there haven’t been bumps along the way, such as Tolko’s Merritt mill closing down and the ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the Unites States. …When asked about the tools the B.C. government is able and willing to use to help protect communities ensure they not only survive, but thrive, Horgan stressed it comes down to the interests of the community. “It really comes down to social license,” he said. “I think it’s the role of government to make sure the tenure holders, the companies that have been developing those assets for the province, also recognize they have a responsibility to the communities they operate in,” he said.

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Catalyst cuts back production at Powell River mill

By David Brindle
The Powell River Peak
April 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fibre shortage has left Catalyst Paper Corporation with no options but to curtail production on paper machine 11 at its Powell River mill. …Layoffs are not anticipated as a result of the curtailment and employees impacted will be given alternate duties at the mill, according to Catalyst vice-president, environmental health and safety, Graham Kissack. …The primary driver for Catalyst’s production cutback is the shortage of fibre, making it uneconomical to run paper machine  10 and paper machine 11, according to Kissack. But, he said recent United States Department of Commerce anti-dumping duties also led to the production cut.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

End of nightmare in sight for homeowners dealing with invasive dry rot fungus

By Julia Page
CBC News
April 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

…Dry rot fungus had spread throughout the house’s wooden structure, the mushroom slowly eating away at the building’s foundations. Its Latin name is Serpula lacrymans, but contractors sometimes refer to it as “building cancer.” …Last week’s provincial budget includes a $5.6-million envelope to grapple with the problem of dry rot fungus, called mérule pleureuse in French. The bulk of the money — $5 million — will be invested to create a government intervention program to be managed by the province’s housing agency, la Société d’Habitation du Québec. The province said it will distribute $300,000 this year to help homeowners with dry rot.

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Construction Corner: Could wood be the new Styrofoam?

By Korky Koroluk
Journal of Commerce
April 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tian Li and Liangbing Hu

…If you’re interested in insulation, you may be surprised to learn that researchers have found that by stripping away all the filler material in wood, leaving just their fibres, the resulting “nanowood” material outperforms just about all existing insulation. Wood, it seems, might be the new Styrofoam. A research team at the University of Maryland developed this new nanowood simply by exposing wood to three simple, cheap chemicals: sodium hydroxide, sodium sulfite and hydrogen peroxide. …these substances strip out the cell walls in wood… leaving behind just the skeletal nanofibres of cellulose. It seems the unusual properties of the resulting nanowood can be attributed to the fact that these nanofibres are mostly parallel to one another. And the solid filler material in wood that will usually convey heat is gone, replaced by air. Poorly conducting air.

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East Austin Office Giving Millennials What They Want: Tons of Wood

By James Rambin
Towers Austin
April 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Early last year, we got a first look at what was then called Osten Hall, a five-story office project developed by Endeavor Real Estate Group… it’s the first building in the city to incorporate CLT, a material with emerging popularity for both its aesthetic and structural qualities among architects and engineers. And believe me, I’ve talked to quite a few of them — they’re hyped about this stuff. …Anyway, Endeavor is wisely leaning on the draw of this unique material to attract office tenants, particularly the youthful variety. Wood, it seems, is authentic, and authenticity is worth literally everything from a marketing perspective: “Every generation wants to connect with the spaces they interact with, and Millennials are no different”. Hey, it sure beats drywall. 

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Green Building Council of Australia recognises Environmental Choice New Zealand

Environmental Choice New Zealand
Scoop Independent News
April 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

New Zealand furniture, fittings and flooring manufacturers with the Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ) label have just received a big boost for their business prospects in Australia. That follows Level A recognition of the ECNZ specification for furniture, fittings and floorings by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). …Francesca says EC-32-17 verifies that the products are “environmentally preferable”, with minimal environmental impact through their life cycle… She says the biggest environmental impact with the products arises during the sourcing and processing of the materials used. “Where the materials are natural such as wood or bamboo, their origin – a sustainably managed forest for instance – is important.

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Islam’s green future: Inside Europe’s first eco-mosque

By Anna Pukas
Arab News
April 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CAMBRIDGE: Green is the color of Islam and also the color that symbolizes eco-friendly, sustainable living. A building under construction in Cambridge seeks to marry both in what will be Europe’s first eco-mosque. The project is 10 years in the making and has tested the ingenuity of architects and engineers. But it is on track to open in early 2019 not only as a place of prayer but also a space for teaching and welcoming people of all faiths. …It was also his idea to make the mosque as “green” as possible. ..Curved timber supports shaped like trees hold up a latticed ceiling. …The mosque’s green credentials are impressive. The timber supports are made of Scandinavian larch wood from a sustainable forest.

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Forestry

Wildfire forecasts predict hot, dry conditions in B.C. this year

By Bethany Lindsay
CBC News
April 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s still early in the year, but preliminary forecasts from federal government scientists suggest B.C. may be in for another active wildfire season. The Canadian Wildland Fire Information System released its latest seasonal forecasts this week, predicting that most of the southern half of B.C. will be more vulnerable than normal to wildfire throughout June, July and August. Richard Carr, a fire research analyst with the Canadian Forest Service, said there’s no reason to be alarmed, but the current climate models suggest above-average hot and dry conditions in some parts of the province — leaving those regions ripe for wildfire. “By the time we get into June … we’re starting to pick up on potential problems in the southern half of B.C., kind of extending up to the northeast,” he said.

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Premier aims to implement forthcoming wildfire recommendations quickly

By Jill Sperling
CFJC Today
April 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — As the wildfire season approaches, and several significant grass fires have already sparked in this region, the premier is addressing the preparations his government is making.  Following the worst wildfire season on record in British Columbia, the government requested an updated Filmon report, which was first compiled after the wildfires in 2003. According to Premier John Horgan, that report is expected to be delivered this month.  “I’m anxiously awaiting the report,” he said, “but we’re not waiting for the last paragraph and reference and recommendation. Ministers are already working on the learnings that we’ve found from the people, the front-line workers, whether they were in Williams Lake, or out in the Chilcotin, or right here in Kamloops. We’re getting as ready as we can be and hoping that we don’t have horrific floods before we have horrific fires.” 

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Northern Manitoba to New York City: Birch syrup producers tap into economic opportunities in boreal forest

By Riley Laychuk
CBC News
April 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While many see the main economic potential in Manitoba’s vast boreal forest in the logging industry, Alan and Johanna McLauchlan …products go from …northern Manitoba forest to the busy streets of New York. Their family-run business, Rocky Lake Birchworks, is one of just two birch syrup producers in Manitoba, and among only a handful in Western Canada. …It takes between 125 to 135 gallons of sap to make one litre of syrup. “It’s unique,” said Alan in describing the taste, warning that it does not have the flavour of the maple syrup everyone knows. “It’s a totally different taste. Our pure syrup is a much darker syrup.” 

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Opinion: Alberta’s resource-first policies put woodland caribou on path to extinction

By Charlotte Dawe – Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
Edmonton Journal
April 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a weird feeling waking up to news that humans have driven yet another species to the edge of extinction. The world recently learned the heartbreaking news that the northern white rhino is officially on death’s door. What species is next? If we don’t do anything now, woodland caribou in Canada are on the same path as the northern white rhinos. They’re on a steep slide to extinction due to relentless resource extraction in the heart of their habitat. But unlike the northern white rhinos, their fate isn’t sealed — yet. Unfortunately, Alberta’s government is proving itself to be the grim reaper of species-at-risk in Canada.

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Forestry keeps bringing opportunities, challenges for Gina Thomas

My Monique Harrison-Henderson
The Meridian Star
April 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Gina Thomas

Florida native Gina Thomas grew up in a paper mill-dominated town, where timber and a thriving paper mill were critical to economic life.  “I lived a mile north of the paper mill,” the former Cantonment, Florida, resident recalled. “The whole community was basically centered around the paper mill. Everybody in my family worked there and in the summers when I was in college, I worked inside the paper mill, too.” Because she was surrounded by so many paper mill employees, Thomas said she never gave much thought to the idea that forestry is a male-dominated industry. When it was time for her to decide what career she wanted to pursue, forestry just felt like a natural fit. …Thomas said a variety of skills are necessary to be effective in forestry. Math and science knowledge is essential. Being open to learning how to use new technology also is important, she said.  

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Ribbon cutting at biomass facility on April 6

By Carolyn Shipp
The Plumas County News
April 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The opening of the new biomass project has been a long time coming, but it is finally here. On Friday, April 6, the Sierra Institute will introduce the working biomass system at the county’s Health and Humans Services Center through a ribbon cutting ceremony. After three years of hard work by the county, and the Sierra Institute, the state of the art facility will offer heating for the large building. …The building is made of cross laminated timber, which is made of wood that is weakened by bark beetle, but when compressed together, makes a substance stronger than steel. “The heating system and the CLT building together are a demonstration of how rural communities can increase utilization of low-value wood.”

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The Best of Both Worlds

By TS Last
The Albuquerque Journal
April 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

JEMEZ PUEBLO – Jemez Pueblo Gov. Paul Chinana remembers the day in 2000 the Cerro Grande Fire started. …The governor recalled that fateful day while at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Walatowa Timber Industries’ new pellet plant on Wednesday. In a way, the tiny pellets used primarily as heating fuel play a small role in preventing another catastrophic fire in the Jemez Mountains. They come from trees harvested to thin the Santa Fe National Forest. The pellets also play a bigger role in creating economic development opportunities on the pueblo and providing New Mexicans with a home-grown product that should fill a niche in the marketplace. …Not only that, due to their high burn efficiency and density, pellets produce much lower particulate emissions than firewood or petroleum fuels.

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Health & Safety

Gun management by wildlife division sloppy but improving, auditor general finds

CBC News
April 5, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

A report by the auditor general says the fisheries and land resources department has improved how it keeps track of firearms and ammunition in its wildlife division, but more can be done to safeguard and properly manage guns. Julia Mullaley was asked to do the report in 2017 after the department was restructured and “anomalies” were found in gun controls within the department. The matter was also refered to the RCMP for a review. The department said in a news release Thursday that the police investigation is over and no evidence of criminal activity was found. …The audit looked at guns used by the wildlife division for use in firearms safety and hunter education courses and in public workshops such as Becoming an Outdoorswoman. Some of the guns were also used by field staff responsible for wildlife control.

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Sparwood investing $50k into hazard specific emergency plans

By Jeff Johnson
B-104 Total Country Radio
April 5, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The District of Sparwood is investing $50,000 into emergency planning after last year’s historic wildfire season. Director of Corporate Services Michelle Martineau says they are looking to hire a consultant to develop hazard specific plans for the community. She says they want to have the plan updated ahead of the 2019 fire season. “Each event that happens, you don’t necessarily follow the same steps. So this ensures that we respond quickly and efficiently to mitigate any damages that could be done,” Martineau says. “If there’s a wildfire, then we just pull that plan and we know what steps to follow for that type of event.” Martineau says the timing of this work couldn’t be better.

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Helicopter non-profit looks to fill rural B.C. service gaps

By Betsy Kline
The Nelson Star
April 5, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new not-for-profit society is hoping to fill some service gaps in the emergency medical services field in British Columbia. According to the organization’s website, Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical (TEAAM) is a group of paramedics and physicians dedicated to providing advanced life support (ALS) medical care in remote, difficult to access locations. …About two weeks after they decided to form the organization, the founders came across BC Forest Safety Ombudsman Roger Harris’s report… calling on the government… to make changes. “It basically laid out exactly what we were building,” said Randell. “For example, if we pulled up to a remote logging site where an air ambulance couldn’t land… we could take the patient out of that entrapment and provide medical care and then hoist them up into the aircraft.”

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