Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 11, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Incremental demand and record lumber prices not celebrated by Truck Loggers

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 11, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Softwood lumber dominates today’s headlines: Don Kayne (Canfor) says the Softwood Lumber Board has created a billion board feet of demand; Andrew Hecht (Seeking Alpha) says lumber prices are at record levels; and Dave Elstone (TLA) says the “increased cash flow isn’t making its way to truck loggers”.

In other news: Jon Moore (WD Moore Logging) sees changes in Winter Harbour; Frank Dottori (White River Forest Products) is modernizing his mill; Steve Zika (Hampton Lumber) is positive on 2018; and WTO’s creation of two dispute settlement panels is now official.

Finally, Alaska transitions to second growth logging in the Tongass and Vermont passes a bill with the “rebuttable presumption” that logging is not a nuisance.

Show your support for anti-bullying – get your pink-on!

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

One year, 1 billion board feet

Don Kayne, CEO Canfor
Softwood Lumber Board
April 10, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

Don Kayne

Since its inception, the SLB has united the industry to promote the benefits and uses of softwood lumber in residential, non-residential and new market segments… Thanks to the collective impact of our investments, more than 1,000 projects were converted to wood construction. This represents more than 1 billion board feet of incremental softwood lumber demand. A tremendous success.

Looking ahead to 2018, the softwood lumber industry can capture significant upside potential through a continued commitment to the SLB model—but we also face new threats. Today, markets in which wood has been a historical leader need defense against threats from competing materials. …Growing market share in non-residential construction, and at five stories and above, needs to be defended and still has opportunity for significant growth.

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Business & Politics

Lumber Hits Another Record

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Since late 2015, the price of wood has been rising, and in 2017, it surpassed all previous highs. The rally has extended into 2018. As the chart highlights, the price of lumber futures on the CME reached a bottom in January 2009 following the global financial crisis at $137.90 per 1,000 board feet. In September 2015, lumber made a higher low at $214.40 per 1,000 board feet. Taking the stairs up since September 2015: 

  • A new record in 2017.
  • The trend continues in 2018.
  • NAFTA and tariffs could create shortages.
  • New home construction supports higher highs, but be careful.

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WTO creates two dispute settlement panels to review U.S. softwood lumber duties

Canadian Press in CTV News
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL — The World Trade Organization says its dispute settlement body has agreed to establish two panels to examine Canada’s complaint about duties imposed by the United States on softwood lumber imports. The Canadian government requested March 27 that a panel be set up to examine the dispute… It also requested a second panel to review the U.S. use of differential pricing methodology in its anti-dumping determinations. The U.S. objected to the Canadian requests, which argue that the anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on softwood lumber imports were inconsistent with U.S. obligations under the agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures and the general agreement on tariffs and trade. It has also raised concerns that Canada’s request for a panel included an item that wasn’t identified in its request that wasn’t part of the consultations. The U.S. said the request included claims against the measures that don’t exist and therefore couldn’t be challenged.

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Sharpening the Saw

Paul Harder
Harder.Blog
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Its been said that there is power in staying connected to other people in your industry. My fifth consecutive B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Convention, held in Prince George last week, provided again opportunity to return with ideas to sharpen skills and stay abreast of a rapidly-changing lumbering landscape. The listed takeaways include a surprise at how few marketing and sales types were among more than 550 delegates who packed the Prince George Civic Centre. …At first glance, the 2018 COFI Convention struck me as perhaps being lighter on content in comparison with past years. However, on second glance, it was rich in both content and opportunity, with plenty to digest. As one among four delegates from Dakeryn Industries, I again return from this convention with new and enlightening ideas. For us all, it was a worthwhile time to ‘sharpen our saws’.

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Record lumber prices not helping truck loggers

By Bill Phillips
The Prince George Daily News
April 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

There were more than just forest company executives in the crowd at the Council of Forest Industry convention in Prince George last week. …“It was great to hear a commitment from the premier and the government ministers,” said David Elstone, executive director of the organization that represents about 500 truck logging companies across the province. “They are trying to demonstrate that they do care.” However, the truck loggers are facing challenging times, even as lumber prices stay at more than $500 per thousand board feet. That increased cash flow isn’t necessarily making its way to truck loggers. “Many multi-generation contracting businesses that have contributed to the success of their communities are now considering leaving the business altogether,” said Elstone. “This is in sharp contrast to the major sawmill businesses in the province experiencing record-high commodity and lumber prices. It’s time to do something about this.”

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Output steady at mills in Burns Lake

BC Local News
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steve Zika

Production is steady at local sawmills and the outlook is good for the coming season, despite ongoing trade disputes, rail transport problems and the long-term decline in northern forestry caused by the pine beetle. That’s the assessment of Hampton Lumber CEO Steve Zika, in an interview with the Lakes District News. Speaking from Portland, Ore., where the company is based, Zika said that Babine Forest Products is operating at close to normal capacity — two shifts daily, or sometimes three for the planer that smooths the wood before it ships — while Decker Lake has been operating at just below two shifts. Both mills are owned by Hampton Lumber. The prolonged winter logging season has yielded a good supply that has filled the yards for both, said Zika. “It was a pretty good winter for logging,” he said.

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Winter Harbour is facing big changes

By Hanna Petersen
North Island Gazette
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Winter Harbour, the quaint West Coast village located at the mouth of Quatsino Sound, is a community that has seen its fair share of changes over the years. It is currently suffering from the loss of W.D. Moore Logging, a family-run business that has been operating in Winter Harbour for over 90 years. “The harbour is continuing to survive and operate as normal, despite major changes and challenges,” said Andrea Vance, who owns the general store, marina, and fuel dock known as the Outpost at Winter Harbour, with her husband Greg. …Now with the closure of W.D. Moore, coupled with the impact to sports fishing from recent changes to the Fisheries Act…Winter Harbour is going through another transition. …“Winter Harbour is in quite a transition right now with us downsizing the camp,” said Jon Moore, whose great-grandfather Albert Moore founded what became W.D. Moore Logging in the late 1920s.

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Kamloops pulp mill to receive new machines to reduce air pollution

By Karen Edwards
InfoTel News
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – Residents of Kamloops can expect to breathe in cleaner air this summer if Domtar officials bring in new machines to the Kamloops pulp mill to reduce and improve air pollution. In an annual air report prepared for Kamloops city council by Domtar, the company will invest $3.5 million towards new machines. One is an electro-static precipitator that is used to remove smoke and dust particles from gases and the other is a scrubber used to clean and reduce air emissions. It will also eliminate the need for liquid sulfur dioxide – one of the most hazardous liquids used at Domtar mill. The 2017 pulp mill data also shows air emissions and odour from the manufacturer has decreased in the last few years, but the report does not say if the new equipment will reduce odour caused by air pollution.

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Ontario Supporting Sawmill in White River

By Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Government of Ontario
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario is supporting White River Forest Products to upgrade and modernize its sawmill in White River, helping to create and maintain 176 highly skilled jobs and boost economic growth. White River Forest Products sawmill has brought good jobs to the community — not only those at the sawmill itself, but local spinoff jobs in transportation, forestry and retail. White River Forest Products operates in partnership with Pic Mobert First Nation. Today, approximately 25 per cent of the mill’s employees are from the First Nation community. Through funding from Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund, the company will be able to increase production by 30 per cent and support new product development in this competitive sector.  “We are pleased to see the government recognizing the value of supporting job creation in green industries like forestry”, said Frank Dottori, President & CEO White River Forest Products.

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Corner Brook Pulp and Paper to remove nearly century-old waste from Humber Canal

By Geoff Bartlett
CBC News
April 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nearly a hundred years after it sunk to the bottom, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is putting together a plan to remove waste from the Humber Canal. About a year ago residents spotted debris floating in the Humber Canal waters. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper then hired divers, who located two sunken barges used during the original construction of the canal between 1923-1925, and two barrels from the 1940s or ’50s. “It’s certainly something from quite a number of years ago,” said Darren Pelley, the general manager for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. “In fact, from many years prior to Kruger’s operation of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and Deer Lake Power.” The Humber Canal is an 11-kilometre waterway that connects Grand Lake, the largest lake on Newfoundland, to the forebay at the Deer Lake Power facility.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Winners of the 2018 Awards for Engineering Excellence Announced

Association of Consulting Engineering Companies
April 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – The 29th Annual Awards for Engineering Excellence Gala, honoured the innovation and technical excellence of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia (ACEC-BC) member firms. …This year’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Engineering Excellence winner was Fast + Epp for the Tallwood House at Brock Commons project. The TallWood House at Brock Commons is an 18-storey, 400-bed student residence on the campus of the University of British Columbia. Reaching 53m, it has been recognized as the tallest mass timber hybrid building in the world. From the outset, the question was not, “Is it possible to go 18 storeys with timber,” but rather, “Can this be built at a price competitive with concrete construction?” A “no” answer would have meant the building would be constructed with concrete – and there was just 10 months to design it. 

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New tech can automatically identify & separate wood species

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
April 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West
BRITISH COLUMBIA Canadian forestry research non-profit FPInnovations has shown that it is possible to automatically separate softwood lumber species with a high rate of success, boosting productivity at a dry kiln. Working with Autolog, a Canadian maker of sawmill automation machinery, FPInnovations created a real-time automated system for identifying and separating wood species based on near infra-red (NIR) spectroscopy. FP says the NIR tech has an efficiency rate of over 95 percent. Advantages include reduce costs compared to manual classification, says FP, in addition to improving value, volume, and recovery during sawmilling operations. Drying costs would also be improved through a better separation of species presenting variations in drying schedules.

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New juniper wood standards boost market potential

KTVZ.COM
April 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University scientists have concluded an exhaustive series of tests on western juniper lumber and opened the door to commercial wood markets for an invasive tree that has spread widely across Central and Eastern Oregon and other parts of the Great Basin. The test results were accepted in February by the American Lumber Standards Committee, a nonprofit organization whose accreditation program forms the basis for the sale of most softwood lumber sold in North America. Acceptance means that, for the first time, western juniper will be listed in the National Design Specification for Wood Construction, the handbook used by engineers and buyers to select wood for applications from sign posts to houses. Increased use of western juniper could lead to new markets for the trees that are being cut to restore sagebrush and rangelands in the West.

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Forestry

Jasper National Park not prepared for potential forest fire ‘catastrophe,’ researchers say

CBC News
April 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two B.C. researchers say Jasper National Park is due for a catastrophic forest fire — and they’re worried officials aren’t doing enough preparation and prevention for it. Emile Begin and Ken Hodges said a major forest fire in the area is an inevitability. “It’s a matter of when, not if,” Begin told CBC’s Radio Active. They’ve both been foresters for 40 years and have been studying Jasper National Park. They’ve found multiple issues with the forest that make it susceptible to a fire. “You have fire suppression that has occurred for many years — therefore, you get a lot of dead fuel that would have been consumed by a natural process,” Hodges said. “The mountain pine beetle adds even more fuel to the situation.”

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Alaska’s transition away from old growth logging just got a big step closer

By Catherine Mater, author – Tongass Second Growth Transition Project
Juneau Empire
April 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Catherine Mater

For over a decade, the Forest Service has worked to create consensus on a transition from old growth logging to young growth sales on the Tongass National Forest. In 2016, this effort produced a historic agreement by the Tongass Advisory Council (TAC), whose members came from environmental and industry groups, Alaska Native Corporations, the State and hunting and fishing interests. …But new data from 2016-2017 inventory work conducted by the Forest Service, and recent pilot young growth milling study development efforts undertaken by the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Lab (PNW) show how 2020 could be the year to begin transition from old growth to young growth logging on the Tongass. …With the right Forest Service inventory work and pilot milling study done, 2020 could be the year that the Forest Service stops embroiling the region in controversy and gets going on the transition away from logging old growth…

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Gianforte and Daines: Forest plan will help Montana

By Steve Daines, U.S. Senator & Greg Gianforte, U.S. Representative
Montana Standard
April 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Steve Daines

Greg Gianforte

Snow may still be on the ground, but last year’s wildfire season isn’t too far from memory. We have good news for Montanans, though. After years of negotiation, we have finally secured a deal that moves forward on much-needed forest management reforms. Montanans get it: A managed forest is a healthy forest. But decades of mismanagement, environmental lawsuits and excessive red tape have kept responsible forest management projects from moving forward on thousands of acres. There are many consequences to this delay, including increased risk of wildfire. Just last year, Montana lost over 1.2 million acres to wildfire. We toured wildfire sites, spoke with incident commanders and saw the devastation firsthand. The deal achieved earlier this month cuts red tape, reduces fringe litigation, accelerates commonsense fire reduction projects, modernizes the way we pay for catastrophic wildfires and keeps the federal government’s promise to Montana counties.

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Agriculture law seeks to ensure Vermonters ‘right to forestry’

By Mike Polhamus
Vermont Digger
April 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Michael Snyder

A bill establishing a “right to forestry” in Vermont would help hard-up foresters expand their operations and keep more of the state’s forests eligible for protection under the current use program, supporters say. The bill already won a unanimous vote in the Senate and on Tuesday received unanimous support from the House Committee on Agriculture. Titled S.101, the bill establishes a “rebuttable presumption” that logging is not a nuisance, meaning that a logging or forestry operation can only be found to be a nuisance if it is negligent or violate state or federal law. …Many of Vermont’s loggers and foresters are struggling to stay in business without a ready buyer for their low-grade wood, and this is one of several measures intended to assist them, said Michael Snyder, commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

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‘Uncertainty’ around ash dieback concerning forest owners

By Conor Finnerty
Agriland
April 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

There are significant concerns in relation to ash dieback in Ireland, according to the chairman of the Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners (LTWO) group, Colum Walsh. It was just one of the issues raised at the group’s recent annual general meeting (AGM), which was attended by approximately 120 members. Speaking to AgriLand, Walsh said: “Currently, forest owners that may have ash dieback are unsure of what to do. “Other ash growers are very angry and annoyed that such a disease was let enter the country via imported ash saplings from continental Europe, and feel they have been let down by the forest service.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Who speaks for nature?

By George Erickson – Thorium Energy Alliance
Mesabi Daily News
April 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The recent MDN article titled Logging Industry in Limbo, predictably focused on money, without even a nod to the environment that sustains us. That environment, which we have damaged by creating 1.8 trillion tons of excess, non-natural, man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, needs protection, not more damage by those who profit from any scheme that we can conveniently call “green”. …Alternative energy advocates claim that the CO2 created by burning biomass will be absorbed by our forests, which supposedly makes the practice renewable – but that’s absurd. …From the instant that trees are felled to when their pellets or chips are converted to smoke, there is money to be made – and big money now trumps any concern for our environment.

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Tree rings provide vital information for improved climate predictions

Umeå University
EurekAlert
April 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Jüergen Schleucher and Thomas Wieloch

Due to their worldwide distribution, trees have an extraordinary role in removing excessive amounts of CO2 released by our highly industrialized and mobile modern societies from the atmosphere. So far however, no tool exists which would enable scientists to precisely calculate the carbon dioxide uptake of trees over their whole lifetime. Using a decade-long sequence of annual growth rings from pine trees, scientists at the NMR Centre at Umeå University’s Chemical Biological Centre, have introduced a highly advanced technique for tracking the carbon metabolism of plants and its environmental controls. This technique lays the foundation for much improved parameterizations of climate change and global vegetation models, which will tell what the future holds in store.

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