Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 13, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Business groups say pipeline dispute is hurting investment confidence in BC

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 13, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Forestry and other business groups are urging the BC government to save the Trans Mountain pipeline for reasons that include concern for investor confidence. Meanwhile: Megan Thomas (CBC) compares the dispute to BC’s 1993 War in the Woods; and Tristan Hopper (National Post) notes the hypocracy—given that Vancouver is North America’s largest exporter of coal (and a bargaining chip in the softwood lumber dispute). 

In company news: West Fraser and Western Forest Products stocks get high ratings; a one-in-100-year rainfall leads to a culvert lawsuit against Weyerhaeuser; and the BC Court of Appeal orders a new trial on Canfor’s forest fire watch obligations.

Finally, a new census shows dire situation for BC’s caribou; and a mélange of algae, eucalyptus and bioenergy could help make CO2 vanish from thin air.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Top High Growth TSX Stocks This Month

By Wade Goff
Simply Wall St
April 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Investors tend to look for stocks that have a strong future outlook. Why invest in something that will grow slower than the rest of the market? In terms of profitability and returns, stocks such as West Fraser Timber and [Western Forest Products] are expected to outperform its peers in the future. I would suggest taking a look at my list of companies that compare favourably in all criteria, and consider whether they would add value to your current portfolio. West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (WFT) produces and sells lumber, panels, and pulp and paper in western Canada and the southern United States. …WFT’s impressive outlook on all aspects makes it a worthy company to spend more time to understand. …Western Forest Products Inc. (WEF) operates as an integrated forest products company. …WEF is expected to deliver a positive top-line growth of 14.53% over the next couple of years, according to market analysts.

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Yes, anti-pipeline Vancouver really is North America’s largest exporter of coal

By Tristan Hopper
The National Post
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Lately, it’s one of the few things that oil boosters and environmental activistscan agree upon: Calling Vancouver a hypocrite for opposing carbon emissions while also being the continent’s largest coal port. And both camps are correct. According to the data, Canada’s mecca of anti-pipeline sentiment does indeed rank as the largest single exporter of coal in North America. …In recent years, however, Vancouver’s coal ports have also accommodated a massive increase in exports of thermal coal. …Controversially, almost all of this thermal coal is coming from the United States. As lawmakers in Washington and Oregon have begun shutting downtheir own coal ports due to environmental concerns… In August, then-premier Christy Clark called for a ban on Vancouver exports of U.S. thermal coal in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. 

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U.S. publishers worry about pricier newsprint with new tariffs

The Associated Press in NBC News
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MILWAUKEE — Newspaper publishers across the U.S. already strapped by years of declining revenue say they’re dealing with an existential threat: Recently imposed tariffs on Canadian newsprint driving up their business costs. …The tariffs, imposed in January and increased in March, are not permanent yet. But newspaper publishers are bracing for another blow to an industry that has shrunk with the loss of advertising revenue to the internet. Critics of the paper tariffs say the businesses that will ultimately be harmed are not Canadian paper producers, but U.S. newspapers. … “To get an unbudgeted increase of this magnitude will be for many publishers very, very serious to catastrophic,” said Tom Slaughter, the executive director of the Inland Press Association.

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COFI signs letter concerning investment confidence in BC

By Jeff Slack
My Prince George Now
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

Over 70 groups across BC have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier John Horgan, and Premier Rachel Notley. The letter highlights the concern businesses have over the issue surrounding the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and whether or other businesses can invest with confidence. The BC Council of Forest Industries was one of those groups, with President and CEO Susan Yurkovich saying the forestry sector is foundational for our province and BC needs to stay competitive in the market. In question period in the legislature today Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount brought up the gathering.

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B.C. Appeal Court decision clarifies duty on forest fire watches: Crown

By Ian Burns
The Lawyers Daily
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mark Oulton

The B.C. Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial to determine liability for a 2010 forest fire that caused over $5 million in damages, stating the original trial judge erred when interpreting provincial regulations on when a company’s obligation to conduct a fire watch begins and ends. …Having found that the fire was caused by lightning and not the operation of logging equipment, at trial Justice Bruce Greyell said the province failed to prove that the absence of a fire watch caused or contributed to its losses from the fire. …At trial, one of Canfor’s experts, Bruce Blackwell, said even if the fire was caused by lightning, the defendants’ harvesting activities led to flaming combustion by exposing the smouldering holdover fire to higher wind velocities. …Mark Oulton, who represented Canfor, said his client was “disappointed” with the result and is considering their options.

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Business groups gather for action on Trans Mountain pipeline

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Henry Braun, Mayor of Abbotsford

Small business, forestry, mining and other business leaders spoke in Vancouver Thursday to urge the federal government to save the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. The group is laying out a strategy to mobilize public support for the project, concerned about Canada’s reputation as a safe place to invest. Participants include Greg D’Avignon, president of the B.C. Business Council, Susan Yurkovich, president of the Council of Forest Industries… Yurkovich said the forest industry represents one in 17 B.C. jobs, in an industry that depends on investor certainty to develop technology and international trade. “We believe the impasse over the Trans Mountain project has shaken this faith,” Yurkovich said. …After the cancellation of the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipeline projects, Gardner noted that the CEO of the Royal Bank has warned that investment is fleeing Canada.

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One-in-100-year rainfall leads to lawsuit against forestry firm

By Greg Meckbach
Canadian Underwriter
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A company responsible for culvert maintenance is facing a lawsuit over the shutdown of a railway after an “unprecedented” summer rainfall event in northwestern Ontario. The case raises an issue about the appropriate size of culverts for contemporary rainstorms. For example, are culverts designed for one-in-25-year rainstorm events sufficient, or should they be designed for one-in-100-year events? …CN is suing forest products company Weyerhaeuser Company Limited. …“CN claims the railway washout was caused by Weyerhaeuser’s negligent design, installation, and maintenance of two new culverts. The allegations have not been proven in court. …Justice Rasaiah ruled that CN is barred from suing for negligence by Ontario’s Public Lands Act. But CN can still try to sue Weyerhaeuser for nuisance and strict liability.

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Capacity challenges, tariff impacts grappled with at New Orleans event

American Journal of Transportation
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Lee Goodwin

…Cargo Connections Conference… helped attending industry leaders be better equipped to wrestle with congestion and capacity challenges but left them still worried about uncertain impacts of new U.S. import tariffs while encouraged by projections of a rebound of the breakbulk and multipurpose sector. …However, such a level of sanguinity was not articulated at the CCC by executives of leading beneficial cargo owners when it comes to moving their goods regardless of modality. Boise Cascade’s international transportation manager for building materials distribution, Lee Goodwin, said his Idaho-based wood products megafirm is encountering virtually unprecedented chokepoints in rail and truck shipping and at many ports. “It’s been very difficult across the board in all modes,” Goodwin said.

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Idaho Forest Group acquires Merritt Bros. mill

Coeur d’Alene Press
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Kevin Esser, Erol Deren and Buck Merritt

ATHOL — Idaho Forest Group, a lumber producer in the Inland Northwest, has acquired the Merritt Brothers Finger Joint mill located in Athol. “This acquisition gives us the opportunity to learn the value-added finger-joint manufacturing process. It will enable further utilization of the fiber resource and compliments our other facilities making the most of the logs that we procure for our mills. We will carefully evaluate the capital needs of this site and invest accordingly,” said Erol Deren, Idaho Forest Group VP of Sales and Marketing. Buck and Wayne Merritt started Merritt Brothers Lumber Company in 1968 when they purchased an old sawmill in Priest River.

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Washington industries could be hit by trade war

Vancouver SW Washington Business Journal
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

As Trump and China square off, exchanging lists of items that could become part of a massive trade war, Washington state has a lot to lose. About 40 percent of jobs in Washington are tied to international trade, and China is the state’s biggest international trading partner. Each year, tons of agriculture, lumber and other local products make their way to the Port of Vancouver for shipping overseas. But with China potentially targeting a wide array of Washington products, those businesses could suffer, and industries could see layoffs as a result. “There’s a lot in Washington that could potentially be hit, including aircraft, agriculture, wood and paper,” said Lori Otto Punke, president of the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT).

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The Global Sawlog Price Index has increased by 9.8% during 2017

By Hakan Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

In the 4Q/17, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) rose one percent from the previous quarter to reach just over $76/m3. This was the fourth consecutive quarter- over-quarter rise, with the GSPI being up 9.8 percent in one year. Sawlog prices have gone up universally in US dollar terms in 2017, with the biggest growth occurring in Eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and in Western North America, while the price movements have been more modest in the US South, Latin America and Oceania, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Sawlog prices in the Western US have seen a spectacular increase in less than two years. A combination of restricted log flows due to wildfires, low sawlog inventories, and strong domestic lumber markets resulted in a substantial jump in sawlog prices in the western states in the 4Q/17.

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Northland Forest Products honored by US Small Business Administration

Seacoast Online
April 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Jamey French

CONCORD — The U.S. Small Business Administration and the New Hampshire Bankers Association recently announced Northland Forest Products of Kingston and Troy, Virginia, was selected as the 2018 Small Business Exporter of the Year for New Hampshire and New England. Northland Forest Products (NFP) is a hardwood lumber processor and distributor producing their own exclusive brand of lumber for markets in the U.S. and 26 nations around the world. NFP was founded in 1970 with a history dating back to the late 19th century through the family of its President Jameson “Jamey” French of Portsmouth. Now in their fourth generation, the business continues to serve as a leader in innovation and responsible forest stewardship.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UNBC’s Wood Innovation Research Lab gets financial boost from federal government

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
April 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) at UNBC will see its equipment paid for by Ottawa thanks to an $800,000 investment. The equipment will be arriving at the lab later this year and will include structural testing equipment along with a hydraulic power unit and a climate chamber. This will put the program in a great position with hybrid wood structures. “This type of equipment will allow us to do that type of testing within that facility and then take that research question and then put it out into the industry that says we can build these buildings,” says Dr. Geoff Payne, Vice President of Research and Graduate Programs.

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In a concrete jungle, one architect pushes for ‘plywood for giants’

By Clair Enlow
Crosscut
April 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Timber is coming back in the Northwest. I don’t mean old growth forests. Those have been holding steady for a couple of decades. I mean architecture. Cross-laminated timber, or CLT, is a material a true modernist can love — and not just for furniture and finishes. It’s very strong, and too beautiful to hide inside walls. It’s meant to be the wall — to hold off the elements and hold up the building, too. Architect and University of Washington professor Susan Jones loves it. …She loves it so much that she just wrote a book about it: “Mass Timber”. …Anyway, sawmills only deal with young, small logs. As for our logged-over lands, they’re not much good for anything, including the environment, unless they are managed, according to Kate Simonen, an architecture professor at the University of Washington studying building materials.

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Paper biomass to build lithium-sulfur batteries

By Bethan Grylls
New Electronics
April 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Researchers at Rensselaer have developed a patented method to use cheap and abundant paper biomass to make lithium-sulfur batteries. A major by-product in the papermaking industry is lignosulfonate – a sulfonated carbon waste material, which is typically combusted on site, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere after sulfur has been captured for reuse. Using this cheap and abundant paper biomass, a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute said they can build a rechargeable lithium-sulfur battery.

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House of Heroes by White Arkitekter provides space for children with long term diseases

By Hope Daley
Archinect
April 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Hjältarnas Hus (House of Heroes) is a new facility by White Arkitekter functioning as a temporary home for families with young children suffering from long term illness. The project is a collaboration between the Sweden Västerbotten healthcare council and the organization “Hjältarnas hus”…Apart from the atrium section, the entire building inside and out is made out of wood. The joists between the floors are constructed of cross-laminated wooden slabs with glulam beams underneath. Facades are also made of wood including boards of tricoya milled with an intricate pattern. Tricoya wood composite was chosen due to its outstanding qualities, it is the only wooden product that lasts 50 years untreated. The roof is constructed of glulam with white metal sheets as surface layer. Inside walls and ceilings are clad with fir. The building is designed to achieve a Miljöbyggnad Guld (highest level) environmental standard.

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Forestry

War in the Woods resonates 25 years later with new environmental battle on B.C. coast

By Megan Thomas
CBC News
April 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

… At its peak in 1993, the War in the Woods drew celebrities and focused international attention on the ancient forests of Clayoquot Sound, 265,000 hectares of old-growth rainforest that surrounds the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet. It also galvanized B.C.’s environmental movement and inspired a new generation of environmentalists who are now fighting an emotional battle against a pipeline expansion through the province. Many of the people and groups who put Clayoquot Sound on the map are applying their knowledge and connections to the fight against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Some have called it the next War in the Woods.

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Chief forester has work cut out for her on 10-year annual allowable cut

By Jim Hilton
BC Local News
April 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Intended to serve as a guide for forest professionals, a report issued following the 2017 wildfires details the many changes resulting from the wildfires. The document, titled Post-Natural Disturbance Forest Retention Guidance by authors Diane Nicholls, Chief Forester, Dave Peterson and Tom Ethier, was released Jan. 19 to provide guidance for forest professionals who will plan and implement retention strategies in areas that have experienced extensive natural disturbances. When planning retention during salvage logging the authors list six points that should be contemplated in order of priority. The first four relate to human safety and existing infrastructure, ecosystem values related to water quality and wildlife habitat, impacts on environmental and societal values and adaptation of forests to improve resilience to climate change. The last two points concern shifting logging from un-damaged stands to damaged stands wherever possible and recovering value from the burnt timber before the wood quality deteriorates.

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New caribou census data shows dire situation across B.C.

The Nelson Star
April 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) says the de-facto extinction of the international South Selkirk caribou herd (census found only three animals remain, all females) is a conservation disaster, and is calling for an immediate moratorium on industrial activity in southern mountain caribou critical habitat. …“This is an emergency,” said Candace Batycki of Y2Y. “For decades B.C. has failed to protect sufficient critical habitat to even maintain mountain caribou, never mind recover them. …“The functional loss of this herd is the legacy of decades of government mismanagement across caribou range,” says caribou expert Mark Hebblewhite, with the University of Montana. “B.C. has permitted logging, road-building, unsustainable recreation, oil and gas development and mining to continue in mountain caribou habitat for decades.

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Lake to be drawn upon as emergency intake water source: Public Works

by Timothy Schafer
The Nelson Daily
April 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The city has begun work on an emergency intake project… at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek on the city’s waterfront. The intake is intended for emergency situations where normal creeksources have either been adversely impacted and are unusable for a period of time, or in a drought situation… said Colin Innes,
city director of Public Works and Utilities. …Protecting the city’s water source and watershed will be paramountthis year as Kalesnikoff Lumber Company in Thrums will be looking to salvage dead timber in order to suppress a Douglas-fir bark beetle infestation in the Selous Creek area just west of the city. The wood needs to be removed in order to safeguard the city’s secondary drinking water source, said Gerald Cordeiro, development supervisor of Kalesnikoff Lumber Company.

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PROVINCE IMPROVES ACCESS TO FORESTRY ROADS

By Mackenzie Read
My Timmins Now
April 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

You will be getting more access to forest roads. The province is making a $74-million investment into the Provincial Forest Access Roads Funding Program to improve community access to the remote roadways. The province says the forestry industry uses these roads for harvesting and reforestation on Crown lands, but improving industry access makes for more strategic harvesting. It says providing more access to the most remote areas of the province could economically benefit… by improving forestry management and route access. The province says this will also improve the crucial routes used for emergency preparedness, fire response and evacuation.

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Berkeley ecologist selected as a lead author for IPCC report

By Brett Israel
University of California Berkeley
April 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Patrick Gonzalez

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has selected Patrick Gonzalez as a lead author for its next major report on climate change. Gonzalez is an associate adjunct professor in the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. Gonzalez will be the lead author for a chapter about ecosystems. IPCC is the scientific panel that produces the authoritative reports on human-caused climate change, which are then used as the standard references for scientists and policymakers. For this work, IPCC was awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. …He will be the lead author for chapter two, “Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their services.” 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Edmontonians can chart future rise in temperatures with new Atlas tool

By Hina Alam
The Edmonton Journal
April 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new tool combines the old-world power of storytelling techniques with science to help people understand what the future might look like. …In Edmonton, the average historical temperature saw about three days with temperatures above 30 C, but towards the middle and end of the century there are expected to be more than 20 days when the mercury goes above the 30 C mark. …And this change in temperatures and precipitation will have ripple effects. “So when you see the trends where things are going there is a real important question regarding management of forests,” he said, giving an example. The loss of cold will mean there will be new pathogens coming into forests. The mountain pine beetle, he said, moved into Alberta from B.C. and is now moving into northern Alberta.

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Algae-forestry, bioenergy mix could help make CO2 vanish from thin air

Blaine Friedlander, Cornell University
Phys.org
April 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

An unconventional mélange of algae, eucalyptus and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage appears to be a quirky ecological recipe. But, scientists from Cornell University, Duke University, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo have an idea that could use that recipe to help power and provide food protein to large regions of the world – and simultaneously remove carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere. “Algae may be the key to unlocking an important negative-emissions technology to combat climate change,” said Charles Greene, Cornell professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “Combining two technologies – bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, and microalgae production… could provide enough scientific synergy to help solve world hunger and at the same time reduce the level of greenhouse gases that are changing our climate system,” Greene said.

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Biomass project ribbon cutting draws a crowd

By Maggie Wells
Plumas County News
April 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

This is only the beginning — a theme on the lips of many of the speakers at the ribbon cutting for the new biomass boiler project April 6. The torrential downpour on  Friday afternoon could not put a damper on the excitement of the staff of Sierra Institute, especially biomass project leader Camille Swezy, as she greeted community members and forestry employees for the welcome and ribbon cutting for the brand new biomass project, which will provide both heat and fuel for the county building in Quincy. Swezy, and later Sierra Institute Director Jonathan Kusel, emphasized the project was one of cooperation and financial support between various entities: their own nonprofit, the California Energy Commission, Plumas National Forest and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, among others.

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Health & Safety

Monitoring wood dust hazards: Who’s in charge

By Jamison Scott
Woodworking Network
April 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines combustible dust as “fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in the air, in certain conditions.” For a combustible dust explosion to occur, five factors must be present: fuel (combustible dust), ignition (heat or spark), oxygen (air), dispersion (dust suspension) and confinement. Removal of any one element will eliminate the possibility of occurrence. The following is a list of some of the agencies and organizations involved in monitoring dust hazards in the woodshop: OSHA: Last year OSHA put the brakes on establishing a combustible dust standard. Currently, the General Duty Clause is being cited for these violations, referencing NFPA as a resource; NFPA: Creates voluntary consensus standards used by OSHA, AHJ, Business Owner and other related parties; CCOHS & WorkSafeBC: The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety and WorkSafe BC have defined prevention measures on workplace safety…

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