Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 10, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

WTO panels established in softwood lumber dispute despite US opposition

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 10, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Despite US opposition, two WTO dispute settlement panels were established yesterday in Geneva to review the softwood lumber dispute [a free temporary subscription is available to read the whole story]. In related news: the National Association of Home Builders said [on Fox News] that the lumber tariffs are “killing the US construction industry”; transportation shortages have dramatically reduced Canadian lumber exports to the US; and NAFTA talks are now being fast-tracked.

In other news: the Public and Private Workers of Canada [formerly the Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers union] criticize the BC government for not supporting rural communities and for continuing log exports; high snowpack may lead to floods in wildfire-ravaged BC; and California’s cap-and-trade program is being used “to keep trees in the ground” in Alaska.

Finally who knew soiling your undies could be so much fun? …the Soil Conservation Council of Canada suggests you test your soil’s health!

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Hey Canada: It’s time to soil your undies…again

Soil Conservation Council of Canada
Cision Newswire
April 9, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

Who knew soiling your undies could be so much fun? …April 15 kicks off National Soil Conservation Week and the Soil Conservation Council of Canada wants you to bury a pair of cotton undergarments to check the health of the soil under your care. …The Soil Your Undies test shows just how biologically active your soil is. After a couple months buried, there shouldn’t be much left of your knickers if there is abundant life in your soil. To get started, all you need is a pair of new, 100 per cent cotton white briefs, a shovel, and a flag to mark the site. A helpful step-by-step guide on how to properly Soil Your Undies is available at www.soilcc.ca.

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Business & Politics

WTO panels established in softwood lumber dispute

World Trade Online (Subscription)
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Two World Trade Organization dispute settlement panels were established on Monday to review complaints brought by Canada against U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber. The panels were established at the second request of Canada during an April 9 meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body, according to a Geneva trade official. …Canada’s complaints center on claims that the U.S. improperly calculated its antidumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber. …Canada also claims the U.S. violated a slew of articles in the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. …The U.S. reiterated its stance that the urgency claim was “unwarranted” and said there was no reason the antidumping dispute required more urgency than any other complaint in the WTO dispute settlement system, according to the official. [a free temporary subscription is available to those who wish to sign up to read the whole story]

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Mexico: 80 per cent chance of new NAFTA, as talks spread across continents

By Alexander Panetta
The Canadian Press in the National Post
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — A rush to conclude a new NAFTA agreement could see negotiations spread this week across two continents and more than 5,600 kilometres in a spurt of non-stop bargaining. Officials return to the bargaining table Tuesday in Washington, and sources say the week could end with the politicians leading the talks — Chrystia Freeland, Ildefonso Guajardo, and Robert Lighthizer — meeting Friday during the Summit of the Americas in Peru. …The cause of this rush is a de facto deadline, about a month from now, for concluding an agreement this year, after which the talks could languish into 2019 while Mexico elects a new president and the U.S. elects a new Congress. What are the odds of success? Guajardo put a number on the likelihood of a deal by early May: “A very high probability — 80 per cent,” he said.

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Lumber trade war slaughtering US construction industry

By Julia Limitone
Fox Business
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Stuart Varney & Jerry Howard

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) is not happy with President Donald Trump’s steep tariffs on Canadian lumber which are killing the construction industry, according to NAHB CEO Jerry Howard.  “It’s ludicrous that a neighboring country like Canada is not being able to import into our country,” Howard told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” on Monday. “We are importing lumber from Russia to build our American homes – it just doesn’t make sense.” …“It’s very, very difficult for our builders absorb that kind of an increase,” he said. The construction industry is still in recovery mode from the recession and while demand is up, the industry still has a ways to go.“We are still only at about 66% capacity,” Howard said.

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Where is the NDP’s economic plan for rural British Columbians?

By Arnold Bercov – president of the Public and Private Workers of Canada
The Province
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan and his team made a calculated decision going into last spring’s provincial election to focus on wooing urban voters, with an “affordability agenda” tailored to speak to financially stretched families… The strategy worked, but left unaddressed the serious problems that confront working families outside of Greater Vancouver and Victoria. …And frankly, we’re worried by the government’s ongoing silence and seeming indifference to rural residents more generally and First Nations’ communities specifically. The trends in the forest sector are particularly abysmal. …A vision that includes coherent policies to end log exports and ensure that “waste” wood isn’t burned by the drove as it is now and brought to market instead. This is how we hold onto the dwindling number of value-added mills we still have in B.C. and diversify what we produce.

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B.C. softwood lumber exports to U.S. fall 20 per cent amid railway woes

By Ross Marowits
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Softwood lumber exports from British Columbia to the United States plunged 20 per cent in March from a year ago, the federal government said, amid railway transportation problems. …First-quarter shipments from the B.C. Interior, which account for more than 90 per cent of B.C.’s lumber exports, were 18 per cent weaker than a year ago, largely due to transportation issues. B.C. Coastal shipments were 36 per cent lower. Shipments from Quebec were down 16.6 per cent in the first quarter and Ontario was 8.6 per cent lower. Alberta was down 28 per cent while the Maritimes were nearly five per cent higher. …Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets said transportation shortages were at the forefront of a recent Montreal wood convention. “Canadian railway and trucking officials in attendance pledged that improvements were expected soon, but … two weeks since the convention most traders report that rail service in Western Canada remains poor.”

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Roseburg Forest Products completes purchase of Pembroke MDF in Ontario, Canada

KPIC News
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Roseburg Forest Products announced Monday that it has completed the purchase from Pembroke MDF, Inc. of Pembroke’s medium density fiberboard (MDF) plant and molding production facilities located in northeastern Ontario, Canada. The two companies reached an agreement in principle in March 2018, RFP officials said, dependent upon final due diligence and Board of Director approval. “This acquisition is a strategic step toward expanding our North American footprint and increasing our presence in the MDF market,” Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery said. “The Pembroke plant and its employees are an excellent addition to our enterprise. We look forward to getting to know the employees and the Laurentian Valley community.”

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture visits local lumber mill

By Brad Stacy
The Morehead News
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue… toured Harold White Lumber Company. During Perdue’s brief media availability, the Secretary discussed recent proposed tariffs between the U.S. and China. …“We have many acres (of timber) across the country and we feel private operators do it very well,” Perdue said. “We are here to find out how we can better help with White’s and their company, and what we can learn from them on how to better manage our national forests.” Perdue toured the facility and looked at the shutter line, in which hardwoods are used to create high-end shutters. …He then applauded President Donald Trump for discontinuing unfair trade practices of China that “have been going on for too long, ever since they joined the WTO. “The intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of our high-tech products is no longer acceptable,” Perdue said.

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Forestry

Province should end raw log exports

By Al Sahlen, National secretary-treasurer, Public and Private Workers of Canada
Prince George Citizen
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

 Al Sahlen

Dear Mr. Horgan, I was dismayed to read your speech to COFI in Prince George on April 6 and to see not one word about raw log exports.  We are facing a crisis in fibre supply in this province. Mills are in precarious situations in regards to having enough fibre to run and yet the province is allowing six million cubic metres of fibre (raw logs) to leave this province annually. That’s more than enough to cover the AAC drops in the 100 Mile House and Williams Lake areas with lots to spare. When the NDP initially allowed raw log exports in the ’90s, it was for excess logs only. The Liberals ended appurtenancy and created an artificial surplus of excess raw logs by having smaller mills shut due to no available logs in their area at a price they could afford. You have the ability to end this industry-wrecking practice.

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Local delegation visits Ottawa over caribou plan

By Peter Shokeir
The Whitecourt Star
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local delegation visited Ottawa on March 29 to speak with the federal government on the potential impact of Alberta’s caribou conservation plan. Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak and Coun. Ray Hilts were among those who attended, as well as several industry representatives. …The delegation met with Amarjeet Sohi, federal minister of infrastructure and communities, and Jonathan Wilkinson, parliamentary secretary to the federal minister of environment and climate change and the one spearheading the caribou range planning. According to Chichak, the delegation supported caribou conservation and advocated for a “solution-based approach” but also warned about the potential negative impact for communities dependent on forestry and oil and gas. …“The federal government also recognizes that this has to be a pragmatic approach,” Hilts said.

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Green side up: planting Vancouver’s canopy, one tree at a time

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Stephen

Vancouver Park Board workers Michael Robinson and Tim Witheridge are one of several crews whose job it is to plant trees along streets and in parks to help increase their number across the city. …The City of Vancouver is aiming to plant 150,000 new trees across Vancouver in a 10-year span, from 2010 to 2020, as part of its Urban Forest Strategy.  A main goal is to increase the city’s canopy … from 18 per cent to 22 per cent. Vancouver had 22-per-cent canopy cover in in 1995, but a combination of development, pests and even property owners bent on improving their views by cutting down mature trees, caused that figure to decline. According to foresters like the Park Board’s Bill Stephen, urban forests clean the air, slow climate change, ease strong winds, conserve rainwater, provide wildlife habitat and contribute to a sense of wellbeing for city residents.

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B.C.’s forest sector: Writing the book on innovation

By Kathy Abusow, SFI President
The Vancouver Sun
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While British Columbians often associate exciting innovations with computer science and the Internet, our forest sector has been playing a substantial role in leading-edge technology. These new ideas have made our world a better place. Our forest sector has developed ground-breaking applications from stewardship through manufacturing that have greatly improved the lives of so many — “killer apps” to use the jargon of the web….But innovation is not just about products — it’s also about developing new and better processes and standards. …BC was at the forefront of adopting rigorous, independent, third-party certification for its forests. …From developing new engineered wood products that allow for innovative building design to being at the forefront of forestry research, certification and green building, we’re ensuring Canadian forests are better managed than ever using a number of “killer apps.”

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High snowpack could lead to floods in wildfire-ravaged B.C. interior

BC Local News
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A higher-than-usual snowpack in April could lead to increased flooding risk in B.C.’s wildfire-ravaged interior, officials say. River Forecast Centre hydrologist Jonathan Boyd said this winter’s snowpack sits at 127 per cent – 32 percentage points higher than last winter’s. “The provincial average was 123 per cent of normal in 2012 … and there was considerable flooding throughout the province,” Boyd told reporters Monday. …The risk comes as fires burn away trees that provide shade and allow for slower melting. Heavy melts in those regions could lead to riverbank erosion, as well as damage to dikes. “Due to the fires, there’ll be a lot more debris in rivers going downstream … which can lead to erosion along banks and dykes,” Boyd said.

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City of Phoenix, State Forestry working to curb ‘Aleppo Pine blight’

By Lindsay Reiser
KPHO Phoenix
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX …The City of Phoenix tells us they are monitoring the Aleppo Pine blight, which they say they are seeing Valley-wide, and is not restricted to city parks. They’re now working with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management to figure out what’s causing it. …”Those 120-plus-degree temperatures contributed to a lot of what you’re seeing with this dieback,” Owens said. The State Forestry Department said they’re also looking at several factors, including water stress, insects and air quality. They are creating a task force and inviting members of each municipality to take part, to preserve our urban forestry.

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Schools bring home awards from logging conference

By Mary Bullwinkel
Redwood Times
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Under the theme “Growing Trees and Careers in the Redwood Region,” the 80th annual Redwood Region Logging Conference (RRLC) was held in March at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah. …Education is a key focus of the RRLC every year, including activities such as awarding scholarships, recognizing the young student artists who participate in the mural contest, a career day, and the first day of the conference being dedicated to onsite visits from local students. This year 1,200 students from Mendocino and Lake Counties attended Education Day on March 15. Periods of rain did not dampen the spirits of the students who were escorted around the Fairgrounds by volunteer tour guides to learn more about the timber industry and enjoy some of the events taking place. …More than 250 Mendocino and Lake Counties high school students attended Career Day.

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Plan examines options for forest management on Navajo Nation

Farmington Daily Times
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SHIPROCK — With more than 700,000 acres of forestland across the Navajo Nation, the tribal department that oversees that territory is developing a plan to guide the land’s management and use of its resources. The tribe’s forestry department started the process of developing the Navajo Forestlands Integrated Resource Management Plan 11 months ago. On Thursday, a member of the consulting firm helping the department provided information about the plan to tribal members at the Sen. John Pinto Library at Diné College’s south campus. …Melissa Antol, community coordinator for Revolution Advisors said the plan is not being developed to execute any projects. Rather, the document would provide guidance to the department for how resources should be managed in the future. “Instead of just looking at the forest, it looks at all the natural, cultural and economic resources that comprise the entire forestland area,” Antol said.

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Forest Service Cutting Firefighting Aircraft Contracts

By Edward O’Brien
Montana Public Radio
April 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service has scaled back the number of firefighting aircraft that might be available this summer. Edward O’Brien explores on what that might mean for Montana. …All told, there will be just about the same number of air tankers available this fire season as last, but, potentially at more expense.  Jennifer Jones of the U.S Forest Service declines to explain the risks and rewards of that approach, opting instead to point out that air tankers are valuable tools that help reduce the intensity and spread of wildfire. “So that firefighters on the ground can construct fire line safely. That’s the way that fires are put out. “Generally, air tankers alone do not put out wildfires,” Jones says. “It’s hard for people to understand that, because those air tankers dropping the red retardant are very visible. That’s what the public sees. They don’t see the boots on the ground.” 

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Iceland to be first UK supermarket to cut palm oil from own-brand products

By Rebecca Smithers
The Guardian
April 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

UK — Iceland is to become the first major UK supermarket to pledge to remove palm oil from all its own-brand foods, in a bid to halt the ongoing destruction of tropical rainforests in south-east Asia. The frozen food specialist will reveal on Tuesday that the controversial ingredient has already been taken out half of its own-label range, with the rest being reformulated by the end of 2018. Palm oil… is currently found in more than half of all supermarket products, from bread, pastry, biscuits, cereal and chocolate to soap and detergent. But the complex supply chain means only a small percentage of the palm oil used to make these products comes from an officially approved sustainable source. Palm oil is also used in cosmetics and biodiesel.

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Fishing is important – but the forestry sector is twice the size

By Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive, Confor
The Scotsman
April 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Stuart Goodall

…Forestry is a £1 billion a year industry in Scotland, employing more than 25,000 people. In terms of value to our economy, that’s more than twice the size of fishing. Fishing is a very important sector to Scotland – but so is forestry. Perhaps the scale of the industry isn’t fully appreciated… It’s important to look at Scotland’s new forestry legislation in the context of its time – and in 2018, forestry and wood processing is growing in importance in Scotland. This growth, however, fuels pressures which must be resolved if the sector is going to continue to flourish in future. …It was in this context that Confor had concerns about some of the amendments to the new forestry legislation brought forward by MSPs. …Confor is pleased that our proposal for a new Chief Forester was accepted as part of the new legislation – the first major forestry law changes in 50 years. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

20-year anniversary of North American industrial wood pellet exports

By FutureMetrics
Canadian Biomass Magazine
April 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West
Twenty years ago on April 6th 1998, the first trans-ocean bulk shipment of wood pellets from north America, which were carried on the Mandarin Moon, arrived and began discharging 15,000 metric tonnes of wood pellets at the port of Helsingborg, Sweden. FutureMetrics’ partner and operations expert, John Swaan, entered into the first offtake agreement for bulk pellet delivery from north America, produced the pellets at his pellet plant in Prince George, B.C., and loaded the ship in Prince Rupert, B.C., on Feb. 9, 1998. After a long transit from the west coast of Canada to Europe, the ship was unloaded in Helsingborg, Sweden for use as fuel by Helsingborg Energi.

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Circular economies: A waste and pollution solution

By Paulina Hrebacka
Inside Ottawa Valley
April 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Warren Mabee

Warren Mabee is an associate professor of Geography at Queen’s University and Canada Research Chair in Renewable Energy Development and Implementation. He is also the director of Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy. On March 20 he gave a talk in Kemptville Ontario about circular economies. Mabee discussed the current state of energy usage worldwide… as well as their renewable energy usage, including biomass. He delved into the efforts that many countries have made to reduce their use of energy sources like coal, and invest in renewables such as wind and solar. …Mabee wants to change the way we see objects like pieces of wooden furniture. He wants us to see their potential as not only a source of fuel, but also as a combatant to climate change; a storage unit for excess carbon to inhabit, limiting the time it spends lingering in the atmosphere.

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Sealaska Corporation announces multimillion dollar deal to keep trees in the ground

KTOO Public Media
April 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Big greenhouse gas emitters in California are now able to buy carbon offset credits based in Alaska. The Southeast regional Native corporation Sealaska is using some of its lands for carbon sequestration. Thousands of acres of old growth trees will stay intact for over 100 years. It’s the first carbon bank in the state to be approved for the market. Sealaska says its another way of securing a future for shareholders. …Anthony Mallott… is Sealaska Corporation’s President and CEO. …The corporation manages around 360,000 acres in Southeast Alaska, and Mallott says developing the natural resources, like timber, was an important part of creating the first dividends for its shareholders. …So, Mallott says the corporation faced a challenge. How do you protect those sensitive areas and still make money for shareholders? …Enter the California cap-and-trade program. 

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