Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 16, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

BC Forest Minister announces $2 million to protect BC’s caribou population

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 16, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC Forest Minister Doug Donaldson announced funding to protect and increase BC’s caribou population last Friday. Meanwhile, a Vancouver Island coalition is calling on his government to protect drinking water; and a retired forester counsels AAC caution due to uncertainty of climate change’s impact on BC’s second growth forests.

Companies in the news include:

Finally, the newest threat to California’s redwoods is… the cannabis industry; and the BC Forest Safety Council raises awareness of the hazards posed by wildfires and beetle-kill stands.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Huge wooden boat being built ‘old school’ on P.E.I.

By Sara Fraser
CBC News
April 15, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

Neil MacKay is building his largest wooden boat in his 32 years of making them; like most lobster boats in P.E.I. waters, Catcher is 45 feet long, but is four feet wider than the typical 14 feet. The 51-year-old has been building wooden boats in his shop in Murray Harbour since 1986, starting right around the time the industry moved, en mass, to fibreglass vessels.  Why wood? “If you ever walk in a fibreglass shop you’d have that answer — it’s just a deadly work environment,” MacKay said. “And I’m a woodworker … wood is my favourite thing to work with.” …The idea is the boat will combine the easy maintenance of fibreglass with the comfort of a wooden hull.

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Business & Politics

Lafarge closure means no relief for Domtar, Tolko tax bills

By James Peters
CFJC TV
April 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — The city’s two heavy industries will see their tax rates remain steady this year, despite Kamloops council’s desire to see the rates drop. In a report to council, city staff review a policy passed in 2017 that heavy industrial companies would have their tax hits capped at a combined $6.2 million. But because of last year’s closure of Lafarge, the tax rate won’t have to dip and revenue from the other two companies — Domtar and Tolko — will remain under that limit. The mill rate for heavy industry in Kamloops will remain at 73.34, as it was last year. The BC average, according to the city, is 24.17.

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Demand for skilled workers persists in forestry

By Lindsay Kelly
Northern Ontario Business
April 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A job seeker looking for work in the forestry sector would have hit the jackpot after stopping by EACOM’s recruitment website in April, where there were posted no fewer than 31 job openings across its various locations… “We’re really having a hard time with skilled and unskilled labour, and this isn’t just a problem of EACOM,” said Christine Leduc, the company’s director of public affairs. “It’s not even just a problem of the Ontario industry; it’s a problem of the national industry.” And the shortage isn’t limited to just the companies, Leduc added. Even contractors are having difficulty filling vacancies. The problem is multi-faceted, Leduc said, and only grows larger as the aging Canadian workforce retires out of the industry without new generations to take their place.

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$50K fine for Domtar’s Espanola pulp and paper company

CBC News
April 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change says Domtar Inc. has been fined for a violation under the Environmental Protection Act. It’s in relation to a spill that happened in 2016 in Espanola. The province says the company didn’t notify the ministry of the spill. The province says on or about Aug. 29, 2016, there was a “discharge of sodium sulphate salt, commonly referred to as a salt cake” into the community from the facility. It says although salt cake is a “white, odourless powder” and is “non-toxic”, several people complained who said the substance coated their vehicles, yards and outdoor furniture. Domtar didn’t tell the ministry about it until Aug. 30. On Thursday, the company was convicted of the offence and issued a $50,000 fine as well as a victim fine surcharge of $12,500.

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Idaho Forest Group acquires Merritt Brothers finger-joint mill in Athol, Idaho

Lesprom Network
April 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Idaho Forest Group, a lumber producer in the Inland Northwest, has acquired the Merritt Brothers Finger Joint mill located in Athol, Idaho. Erol Deren, VP of Sales and Marketing, commented “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. …Buck and Wayne Merritt started Merritt Brothers Lumber Company in 1968 when they purchased an old sawmill in Priest River, Idaho.

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Kane Hardwood dimension mill to close later this month

By Alex Davis
The Bradford Era
April 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Kane Hardwood dimension mill will be shuttered later this month and five workers will be laid off. Kane Hardwood General Manager Richard Engebretsen announced this week that, following an exhaustive review of remaining customers, financial data reviewed by local staff and Collins corporate officers, officials chose to close the mill as of April 28. At the dimension mill, stock begins as red oak, cherry, soft maple, hard maple or beech and is cut and finished to size to meet customer specifications. Products include cut-to-size blanks, edge-glued panels, laminated posts, balusters and moldings“The dimension mill portion of our business has struggled over recent years, and with the news of our largest customer not needing our products, the dimension mill will shut down,” he said. “All other aspects of our business at Kane Hardwood, including our . uninterrupted.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Sustainable design at core of Toronto’s first planned Toronto’s first tall wood building

Proud Green Building
April 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Timber increasingly is becoming a core component of high-performance buildings around the world. It soon will be the foundation for a 12-story structure on Toronto’s eastern waterfront.  George Brown College has unveiled plans to erect the province’s first tall institutional wood building, reports Canadian Manufacturing. Dubbed the Arbour, the building will serve as a campus building for the downtown Toronto college and house approximately 175,000 square feet of floor space. It will cost about $130 million to build, and construction is expected to begin in 2021. “The Arbour is destined to become a landmark in the city, driving forward advancements in sustainable innovation and green buildings throughout Canada,” Anne Sado, the college’s president, said in a statement.

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Peter Pichler’s futuristic installation is made of more than 1600 wood sticks

Design Boom
April 16, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Peter Pichler architecture explores the potential of wood with cave-like installation during milan design week. the future space pavilion is a symmetrical, 12-ton structure made of more than 1600 wood sticks that invites visitors in a playful experience of light and shadow. Located at the courtyard of the Statale University of Milan …the perforated structure comprises three separate wings that gradually change in height by simply stacking and rotating different lengths of wood sticks. an opening serves as the entrance to the pavilion while another two offer views towards the courtyard of the university and other installations.

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Architectural students rewarded in The North West Timber Trade Association (NWTTA) competition

Timber Trades Journal
April 16, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Budding architects have been rewarded by the timber trade for innovative timber design. The North West Timber Trade Association (NTTA) sponsoring of a student Architect prize at the University of Liverpool saw Rhiannon Williams take first place for her project ‘Brewlam’. Her design was one of 10 projects shortlisted from the 180 BA3 Architecture student cohort. In second place was Lauren Greensill with Paws in the Park and third place Kate Johnstone with ‘Connecting Tate’. Rhiannon’ s prize of £500 was presented at the NWTTA annual gala dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Liverpool on March 23, with the prize sponsored by W Howard Group. All 10 shortlisted students are to travel to Lockerbie Sawmill, Dumfries courtesy of timber processing group James Jones and Sons. 

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Forestry

City plans to use laser pulses to help determine if tree canopy is expanding

By Hina Alam
Edmonton Journal
April 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Edmonton is a city of suburbs and cement connected by ribbons of trees tied together by the river valley. And officials want to find out if the city’s already lush tree canopy is expanding, and by how much. Over the next year, the city will develop a plan that sets a clear direction for the management, maintenance and growth of the city’s trees. By 2020, under Edmonton’s urban forest management plan, the city hopes to grow its tree canopy by one-fifth. …City officials want to use a technology involving laser pulses — Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) — either this year or next to measure how much more area the tree canopy covers. LiDAR is already used by multiple departments in the city, and is a cost-effective approach to accurately measure and monitor tree canopy, Shier said.

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Coalition calls on government to protect Island’s drinking water

The Times Colonist
April 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition is urging the government to protect Island drinking water. “The Water Sustainability Act and its regulations, and the Forestry Act absolutely have to be amended,” coalition chairwoman June Ross said. …Last week, members of the coalition met Island MLAs to discuss problems in community watersheds across Vancouver Island. They also discussed their concerns about logging practices in watersheds on private and Crown land, Ross said. …Last year, Island Timberlands gave notice that it intends to conduct industrial activity near the southwest corner of the lake for the 2018 timber harvest. “They managed to pull it back until next year,” Ross said. “But if you look at the Forestry Act, there should be no logging around Langley Lake.” Government faces pressure from resource-extraction industries — forestry, frackers and mining, Ross said. “And people end up paying the price.

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Winter Harbour: survival on edge of Vancouver Island

By Hanna Petersen
Comox Valley News
April 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

….Most Vancouver Islanders have heard of Winter Harbour, few have visited. A quaint Island outpost located at the mouth of Quatsino Sound, it is brief respite of humanity along one the Island’s most isolating stretches of coastline — literally and metaphorically, a port from the storm. …And it has reason to question its future. The 2016 census marks Winter Harbour as having just five permanent residents down from the 20 listed in 2011. It also lists 59 private dwellings, an indication of the transient nature of the community. Few live in Winter Harbour. More visit for while. Or at least they have. …Then, last September, the economy struck another blow: the loss of W.D. Moore Logging, a family-run business that had been operating in Winter Harbour for more than 90 years. About 25 lost their jobs.

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Forests minister announces $2 million for Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund

By Jill Sperling
CFJC Today
April 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

KAMLOOPS — B.C.’s forests minister made a $2 million funding announcement Friday for the restoration of caribou habitat. Minister Doug Donaldson made the announcement at the BC Wildlife Federation’s convention in Kamloops. The money has been granted to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in hopes of protecting and increasing the caribou population in B.C. The foundation is partnering with the province to develop a caribou recovery program involving input from Indigenous groups, industry, recreationalists, and the public. Donaldson says it’s important to maintain provincial control over managing the iconic Canadian species. “We don’t want to see a declining of species, we don’t want to see species going extinct, and we have to manage the land base for all values, and that’s what we want to do as a government in B.C,” Donaldson said.

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The newest threat to California’s redwoods isn’t what you’d think

by Daniel Wayne Rinn
The Washington Post
April 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new industry is thriving in California. It is green in terms of the money being made and the crop itself. Yet it is anything but that when it comes to the environment, posing horrendous ecological threats to the region’s redwood forests. …But this new industry might also undermine the environmental activism that has long fought to preserve the redwoods as a natural resource. Not long ago, activists thought they had won this fight. And they had — until now. They successfully dislodged corporate logging, but the old timber mills are being used to churn out marijuana. …As marijuana businesses repurpose Arcata’s remaining lumber mills, a renewed ecological peril haunts Humboldt County. Just like timber companies in decades past, marijuana interests are positioning themselves to shape regulations that protect the industry, not the environment.

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Legislator disturbed by close-up look at post-logging Yellowwood

By Laura Lane
The Herald Times
April 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Matt Pierce

Matt Pierce took a hike through Yellowwood State Forest’s backwoods Thursday afternoon to get a close-up look at the results of a controversial timber cut this year that removed 1,733 trees the state forestry division sold to loggers for $110,000. Pierce, a Democratic state representative from Bloomington, proposed legislation in 2014 that would have protected the forests, keeping a portion of the state-owned lands in Yellowwood, Morgan-Monroe, Jackson-Washington and Clark state forests free from motorized access, commercial activity and logging. …Pierce was disturbed by the devastation. Seastrom told him the logging was actually carried out well, and that it looks as if steps had been taken to help preserve the soil, limit erosion and keep invasive species from spreading in the native forest.

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More than 2 dozen wildfires burning in Oklahoma, Texas

Associated Press in the Helena Independent Record
April 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

OKLAHOMA CITY  — Strong winds are fueling more than two dozen wildfires burning across Oklahoma and Texas. Authorities say one blaze in western Oklahoma is estimated to be nearly 40 miles (64 kilometers) across at its widest point. Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker says 14 wildfires in the state have charred more than 572 square miles (1,500 square kilometers). The largest is in Dewey County, where more than 375 square miles (970 square kilometers) have been charred. Hundreds of people have been evacuated . There also are at least a dozen wildfires in Texas, including a 12 square mile (31 square kilometer) fire in Wheeler County in the Panhandle. 

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Consultant urges rethink of forestry on Tasman district’s fragile soils

By Cherie Sivignon
Stuff.co.nz
April 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As the call grows for tougher controls on forestry, consultant Roger May adds his voice. Cherie Sivignon reports. Forestry consultant Roger May feels a sense of deja vu. In the 1990s, as part of Eco-Net, he was calling for improved forestry practices on fragile Separation Point granite (SPG) soils in the Tasman district along with more stringent council rules accompanied by increased monitoring and enforcement. Now, as many residents of the district clean up the damage wrought in February by ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita, May finds himself raising those same issues again. From his home in the Orinoco Valley, near Motueka, May says he was not surprised by the devastation inflicted on pockets of the district when the intense rain of Gita caused multiple slips that carried silt and debris on to many properties in their paths.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

We need more boots on the ground to protect our forests

Letter by Anthony Britneff, RPF (ret.)
Vancouver Sun
April 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Anthony Britneff

It is often said that the only certainty is uncertainty. And in the face of uncertainty, it always pays to be careful. When I first became a professional forester in 1974, “climate change” was rarely, if ever, discussed. As the years advanced, we came to see that when it came to climate change and our forests the biggest issue in British Columbia was water. Just like real estate is all about location, location, location, climate change in B.C. is all about water, water, water….Over the past decade and more, we’ve seen what this has come to mean, both in older forests and in the younger forests we planted to replace the older forests we cut down. While we worry with justification about the older forests we continue to lose, there is much to worry about with the younger forests we are inheriting.

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Hardwood forests cut down to feed Drax Power plant, Channel 4 Dispatches claims

By Brendan Montague
The Ecologist
April 16, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Huge areas of hardwood forest in the state of Virginia are being chainsawed to create ‘biomass’ energy in Britain as the government attempts to reach targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in efforts to tackle climate change, an investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches has found. A . …Antony Barnett, reporter at Dispatches, travelled to the southern states of the USA to investigate the source of wood that is now being turned into millions of tonnes of wood pellets to be burnt in Britain’s largest power station, Drax, in North Yorkshire. Footage reveals huge areas of hardwood forest in the state of Virginia being chopped down and removed to a factory owned by US firm Enviva that grinds up logs into pellets. A large proportion of these pellets are then shipped across the Atlantic to be burnt at Drax in the UK – one of Enviva’s main customers.

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Health & Safety

Increasing awareness about wildlife/dangerous trees for field workers

BC Forest Safety Council Newsletter
April 16, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Forest Safety Council’s program development manager, Gerard Messier RPF… presentation on the potential hazards posed by wildfire and beetle-kill stands. Gerard used an example of a serious injury – and the 11-hour extraction of that injured field worker in 2016 – to highlight the need for all workers to be trained to anticipate and recognize hazards. He said this was especially important with activities such as recce, surveying and other field work often done by technologists, foresters and field workers, in fire destroyed/ damaged and insect killed stands. “There is a significant threat to health and safety when field work is done in wildfire and insect killed stands. With 1.2 million hectares lost to wildfires last year alone, exposure to hazards in unstable stands is increased,” said Gerard.

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