Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 2, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Union deals, wood innovation and frog urine!

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 2, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

In Business news: It looks like the pulp and paper sector in Canada has a new bargaining agreement, both Unifor and Resolute have press releases out today; and Skeena Sawmills in Terrace has announced a week long shut down due to log shortages.

Wood innovation and research has arrived in Prince George with the opening of the new state-of-the-art laboratory at the University of Northern BC. Additional funding for tools and research will come from a grant announced by Advanced Education, Skills & Training Minister, Melanie Mark. Where will the students come from? Thanks to a donation from Canfor, the Prince George school district has a new carpentry/trades centre – where youngsters can get excited about hands-on trades. 

Also speaking to staffing and trades, Wood Business has a feature story by David Elstone of the BC Truck Loggers Association discussing the forest industry labour shortfall. 

We leave you with true Froggy Foible this morning – a wood frog who has to cross his legs all winter – for his own survival!

Sandy McKellar — Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Wood frogs’ No. 1 option: Hold in pee all winter to survive

By Seth Borenstein
The Associated Press in ABC News
May 1, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

If you’ve ever been unable to find a bathroom in a moment of need, you know the gotta-go feeling. That’s nothing compared to the wood frog, which doesn’t urinate all winter. In Alaska, wood frogs go eight months without peeing. And scientists have now figured out how they do it, or more accurately, how they survive without doing it. Recycling urea — the main waste in urine — into useful nitrogen keeps the small frogs alive as they hibernate and freeze, inside and out. It doesn’t warm them up. Instead, urea protects cells and tissues, even as the critter’s heart, brain and bloodstream stop.

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Business & Politics

Lack of logs forces temporary shutdown of Skeena Sawmills

By Quinn Bender
The Terrace Standard
May 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Skeena Sawmills is shutting down the mill for a week due to a shortage of logs available for purchase. The mill announced the temporary closure until May 7 in a press release Tuesday, saying the allowable annual cut provides only half of what they need to operate on one shift. The other half is purchased locally, but Roger Keery, Skeena’s vice president of operations said strong log export conditions and poor road conditions from a harsh spring breakup have resulted in a significant log shortage for local mills. “A stable log supply is essential to local jobs, businesses and small communities like Terrace,” said Keery. “But our mill is at a competitive disadvantage as the current rules allow for some logs from the area to be exported before first being advertised to local mills.”

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Addressing the forest industry labour shortfall

By David Elstone, TLA
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
May 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone


For the past decade, employers and forest industry stakeholders have increasingly been challenged to find well-trained, competent people to meet their staffing needs. Current and pending shortages were officially compiled in 2013 for the B.C. Coast… In summary, the analysis projected 4,700 job openings would appear by 2022, or about a quarter of the current coastal forest industry workforce. …In response to this dilemma, in 2016 the TLA proposed a logging contractor training tax credit to ease the financial burden of on-the-job training for contractors. …The TLA is asking the new government to review the work done thus far on this creative idea to resolve a major challenge for our industry and could become a template for similar programs across Canada.

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Resolute Announces Ratification of Unifor Labor Agreement in Canada

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
May 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced the renewal of the collective agreements at eight of its pulp and paper operations in Canada. A tentative agreement was reached between Unifor and Resolute on April 16, 2018, to renew the collective agreements for a four-year period. The master agreement was accepted by the majority of union members at each mill during the ratification process. “We are pleased with the support expressed by our employees. The company and the union have invested a great deal of time and resources over the last several years addressing public policy issues facing our company and industry. The collaborative environment we enjoy today is built on mutual trust and transparency,” said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. 

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Workers approve tentative agreement between Unifor and Resolute Forest Products Français

Unifor Release
Cision Newswire
May 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Unifor members have voted 74 percent  in favour of the tentative agreement with Resolute Forest Products that will set the pattern agreement for the pulp and paper industry in Eastern Canada. …In all, some 15,000 members will be affected by the pattern agreement. …Highlights of the deal include:

  • Wage increases of 2 percent the first two years and 2.5 percent the last two years;
  • Wage adjustments of $0.40/hour for members working in production;
  • Wage adjustments of $0.75/hour for skilled trades workers effective May 1, 2018, and of $0.50/hour effective May 1, 2021;
  • Improvements to the pension plan and insurance benefits;
  • Wage progression amendment entitling employees to receive 100% of their salary after 1,000 hours worked;
  • Contribution of $0.02/hour to Unifor’s Canadian Community Fund.

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Doug Ford promises ‘real, formal revenue sharing’ from forestry, mining

The Soo Today
May 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Doug Ford

Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford promised northerners a cut of the money the province collects for aggregate licences, stumpage fees and mining tax during a rally in Timmins this afternoon. He also committed to cutting through the “special interest and bureaucratic delays” preventing the Ring of Fire and other resource projects. “We’re going to introduce real, formal revenue sharing for northern resources,” said Ford. “This means that more money from mining, forestry and aggregates stays right here in the North for the people of northern Ontario.” He said the revenue sharing will benefit communities, including indigenous communities. While he doesn’t have a breakdown… he says it will be in the range of $20 to $30 million.

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Domtar Quarterly Financial Report: Q1 2018

By Domtar Corporation
Business Wire
May 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

FORT MILL, S.C.–Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) today reported net earnings of $54 million ($0.86 per share) for the first quarter of 2018 compared to a net loss of $386 million ($6.16 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2017 and net earnings of $20 million ($0.32 per share) for the first quarter of 2017. Sales for the first quarter of 2018 were $1.3 billion. Excluding items listed below, the Company had earnings before items1 of $55 million ($0.87 per share) for the first quarter of 2018 compared to earnings before items1 of $40 million ($0.64 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2017 and earnings before items1 of $20 million ($0.32 per share) for the first quarter of 2017.  

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Investment in wood science supports student innovation, research

By the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Government of British Columbia
May 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – Engineering students in Prince George now have access to a state-of-the-art research facility to create sustainable wood engineering solutions, with the opening of the Wood Innovation Research Laboratory at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The lab provides students, researchers and faculty members from UNBC with the ability to build and test large-scale wood structures, using engineered wood products, which complements the Wood Innovation and Design Centre next door. Features of the 1,070 square-metre lab include a wood conditioning and processing room, and office and classroom space for research and teaching. …“The next generation of tall wood buildings require new wood-based hybrid connections, components and systems. This investment in equipment and infrastructure will provide UNBC researchers with the capacity to conduct experiments and expand analytical research into these important structural applications,” said Thomas Tannert, UNBC tall wood and hybrid structures engineering research chair.

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UNBC Wood Innovation Research Lab opens

By Stuart Neatby
The Prince George Citizen
May 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The UNBC Wood Innovation Research Laboratory, a modern facility geared to building tall, large-scale wood structures, officially opened on Tuesday afternoon, with an announcement of additional funding for equipment by the provincial and federal governments. The new research lab… includes a wood conditioning and processing room, a 1,070 square-metre lab and classroom space for research and teaching. Advanced Education, Skills & Training Minister Melanie Mark topped off a day of post-secondary funding announcements in Prince George by announcing a $799,000 grant for state-of-the art tools and equipment. …Mark said the facility will allow the province to offer post-secondary students in the region a chance to study at a university that will be leading research in tall wood construction.

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School District 57 Utilizes New Skills Trailer

By Kendall Robertson
CKPG Today
May 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

PRINCE GEORGE- Thanks to a donation from Canfor, School District 57 has a new trailer full of carpentry tools. Students were once brought to the College of New Caledonia to learn trades, but now, the class comes to them.  The skills trailer sets up shop at elementary schools around the district, for a week-long class to teach them how to build step stools. But it’s more than just learning how to saw and sand. District Career Coordinator, Bruce Northrop, says learning a new skill and finishing the project on their own instils confidence in students. 

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Forestry

Positive report for community forest

By Keith McNeill
BC Local News
May 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

George Brcko

Wells Gray Community Forest has distributed a total of $2.2 million to projects in Clearwater and Wells Gray Country since its inception in 2006. That’s according to a report released during the community forest’s annual public meeting held Thursday evening, April 26. “Things are working for the community forest. It’s pretty exciting what we’ve done,” said general manager George Brcko. The figure includes about $1 million given out as regular grants (for example, $12,000 to Yellowhead Community Services for an outdoor stage and $9,000 for a laser engraver and 3-D printer for Clearwater Secondary School), and $1.2 million in large grants (for example, $300,000 to District of Clearwater for the bio-energy heating unit being installed at the Sportsplex).

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Government announces renewed focus in crusade against invasive species

By Chris Newton
Energetic City
May 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. government and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. have released an updated five-year strategic plan to combat invasive species, while the government also proclaimed May 2018 as Invasive Species Action Month. Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to this province, or are outside of their natural distribution areas. Invasive plants, for example, can reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops. Some may pose a health risk to animals and people. “Once invasive species become established, they can spread rapidly, and seriously disrupt B.C.’s ecosystems if left unchecked,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. 

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Martin Mars waterbombers still hold appeal, says Vancouver Island historian

By Mike Youds
Alberni Valley News
May 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Harrison

There’s no doubt in Doug Harrison’s mind that giant flying tankers such as the Martin Mars could once again play a role in controlling coastal wildfires. Harrison — who grew up at Great Central Lake in the 1950s and watched as the famed firefighting aircraft took flight — returned to Port Alberni last month as a guest of the Alberni Valley Heritage Society. The retired engineer and firefighter, gave a firsthand, seat-of-the-pants account of the Mars and some of the major blazes they fought in the area. …At the time, the Mars epitomized the philosophy embraced by those in the forest industry when it came to wildfire: Hit it hard and hit it fast.

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Eastern Ontario Model Forest launches educational video series on forest stewardship

Eastern Ontario Model Forest
May 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) and Pinegrove Productions have produced a new documentary video series that celebrates stewardship of Ontario’s natural heritage in forestry. Trees, Youth, Our Future is a two-part series that tells the story of forest stewardship in Ontario and encourages the next generation of leaders to embrace it. “Forest stewardship is one of Ontario’s key economic drivers and provides jobs, recreation and healthy lifestyles for the people who live here,” explains Astrid Nielsen, General Manager.

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Province offers revised forest harvest plan to Port Blandford

Jonathan Parsons
The Telegram
May 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

PORT BLANDFORD, N.L. —  The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has officially offered a revised plan to both the Town of Port Blandford and its citizens regarding forest harvesting in the area, while the Port Blandford Citizens Against Clearcutting group will be reviewing the proposal this evening. The changes to the five-year forestry plan stem from protests this year from members of the community who did not want to see clearcutting in the Southwest River Valley area surrounding Port Blandford. …In its revised plan the department calls it a compromise, saying they’ve considered the suggestions from the residents and are “acting on the majority of requests.” …The department adds, to ensure “modest harvest activities,” the total allowable annual cut won’t exceed 4,000 cubic metres of material for each of the two harvesters.

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Illegal campfire sparked Arizona fire

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
May 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Authorities say an illegal campfire sparked a wildfire in Arizona that has prompted evacuations while burning 30 buildings and threatening about 1,000 homes and other structures. Coconino National Forest officials said Tuesday that investigators determined that an abandoned campfire in an area where such fires are temporarily banned started the blaze. The fire south of Flagstaff has burned nearly 18 square miles (46 square kilometers). An investigation is ongoing. Forecasters say the Southwestern U.S. faces significant wildfire danger this summer because of drought and thick stands of grass left over from last year. The National Interagency Fire Center said Tuesday the danger of significant fires will be above normal in Southern California through the end of August.

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Humanity is waging an inexplicable war on trees. It’s not going to work out for either side

By Patt Morrison
Los Angeles Times
May 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Do we ever really pause to think of a tree as its own self? Not as a picturesque forest backdrop to our vacation selfies, not as lumber for a deck, nor as the makings of a campfire — but a tree as a living thing with billions more of its kind, that, all together, undergird our human existence, and, in fact, make it possible? No, it’s not likely that we do. We treat thousand-year-old groves as if they were last season’s growth of Christmas trees. We guard our money, we put alarms on our cars, but for the forests that clean the air and enrich the soil, we just mow them down like so much field corn. We post no guards on old-growth woods, and so timber cartels simply hack down and steal trees that are older than the printed word, cut them up and sell them for millions of dollars on a black market for rare wood, like illegal weapons or poached ivory.

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Gianforte: Congress working on forest jobs

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
May 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Greg Gianforte

As a group of land managers debated ways to find jobs in Montana’s public forests, Rep. Greg Gianforte assured them Congress was working on the problem too. “The fundamental solution is we’ve got to get back and manage our forests again,” Gianforte, R-Montana, told the Montana Counties Forest Summit attendees on Tuesday. “Until we do, these severe fire are going to continue. We know the benefits when we manage our forests. There’s healthier forests, more habitat, more wildlife, we have jobs and the fires are less severe.” Gianforte touted the elements of the Resilient Federal Forest Act he cosponsored in the House of Representatives. …The bill passed the House last November, but has been stuck in the Senate, Gianforte said.

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Conservation group acquires nearly 18,000 acres of forest in coastal Maine

By Bill Trotter
Bangor Daily News
May 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A Virginia-based group has acquired three forested properties totaling nearly 17,900 acres in Hancock and Washington counties. The Conservation Fund acquired the properties on Tuesday from H.C. Haynes, Inc., a forestry company based in the Penobscot County town of Winn. The properties — the purchase prices of which were not disclosed — will be conveyed to other nonprofit conservation organizations after those groups raise money to purchase them. The goal of the acquisition is to protect wildlife habitat, ensure future recreational access, and support the economies of nearby coastal communities, according to a prepared statement the fund released this week. “Working forests, coastal landscapes, and aquatic habitats define Maine’s environment, communities, economy and way of life,” Tom Duffus, vice president of the fund, said in the statement.

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