Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 8, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

The EPA says burning wood to generate power is ‘carbon-neutral.’ Is that true?

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 8, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The EPA says burning wood to generate power is ‘carbon-neutral.’ Is that true? Tufts Professor Emeritus William Moomaw says “biomass does not introduce new carbon into the system… but it does transfer carbon from forests to the atmosphere”. In related news, Nova Scotia woodlot owners are encouraged to sell carbon credits rather than carbon logs; while California researchers find a way to predict shifts in water and forest carbon levels due to climate change.

In other news: BC urges Ottawa to help with US paper tariffs; BC appoints three new members to its Forestry Practices Board; Canfor announces plans to upgrade it Camden SC mill, the U of Toronto is set to build a 14-storey wood tower; and Canada’s best new buildings receive Governor-General’s Medals.

Finally, Olympic National Park plans to eradicate non-native mountain goats; while Oregon sets aside resources to create a new endangered species plan.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog News

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Business & Politics

Trade War: Great For Canadian Lumber?

Seeking Alpha
May 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

In April 2017, the United States slapped countervailing duties of up to 24.12% on Canadian lumber imports, followed by additional anti-dumping duties of up to 7.72% in June 2017. Normally, when your biggest customer starts putting up big taxes on your product, that’s not good for business. Other countries are taking away market share from Canadian firms. Exports of Canadian lumber are also getting hammered because moving anything on rail in Western Canada is a disaster right now. Naturally, Canadian lumber companies have rallied, seeing their shares rise roughly 50%. Wait, what? …Yes, lumber prices were driven up by the tariff. But if you look at history and decide that the tariffs are getting repealed, you can’t have it both ways – when the tax comes off, the price should fall. If the tax sticks, then you can’t treat the tax as temporary anymore.

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University of Northern British Columbia grad named to Forest Practices Board

Prince George Citizen
May 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tara Marsden

A University of Northern British Columbia graduate is among three new appointments to the Forest Practices Board. Tara Marsden earned a masters in political science at UNBC and has worked with First Nations governments across northern B.C. on land and resource governance and management issues, according to a statement issued Monday by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Marsden is the sustainability director with the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office in Gitanyow and is a member of the Gitanyow First Nation. She has also served as the B.C. Leadership Chair for Aboriginal Environmental Health at UNBC and has been an instructor at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. Marsden is a member of the Gitanyow First Nation.

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B.C. urges Ottawa to help paper mills fight tariff

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
May 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper and its host communities needs the assistance promised by Ottawa sooner rather than later, B.C. Premier John Horgan has reminded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Horgan wrote to Trudeau after convening a meeting with executives of Catalyst Paper, local and provincial politicians representing North Cowichan, Port Alberni and Powell River, where pulp and paper mills are major employers. (See full letter below.) “The massive tariffs imposed by U.S. authorities at the behest of a single Washington state company put the jobs of 1,600 British Columbians working at three Catalyst pulp mills at risk,” Horgan wrote in a letter to Trudeau. “While I appreciate the magnitude of other U.S. actions may seem signifiant – steel, aluminum and softwood lumber stand out – the future of three coastal communities is at stake in this matter.”

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Three new members appointed to the Forest Practices Board

Forest Practices Board
Government of British Columbia
May 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Larson

Tara Marsden

Rick Monchak

Bruce Larson, Tara Marsden and Rick Monchak have been appointed to the Forest Practices Board for two-year terms, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced. Larson, who will also serve as vice-chair, has been a professor at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry since 2002. …Marsden has a master of arts degree in political science from the University of Northern British Columbia, and has worked with First Nations governments across northern B.C. on land and resource governance and management issues. …Monchak is a professional forester with a long history of working on the B.C. coast. Monchak, who retired from TimberWest in 2017, holds degrees in biology and forestry from the University of British Columbia.

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Christmas Tree Growers to Vote on Check-Off Program

Wisconsin Ag Connection
May 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The USDA announced it is currently conducting a referendum for eligible producers and importers of Christmas trees to decide whether to continue the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Order. As part of federal statute, the program will continue if its favored by a majority of producers during the referendum period. Growers must have produced, cut and sold more than 500 trees over the past year to participate in the vote. Developed to strengthen the position of fresh cut Christmas trees in the marketplace, the check-off program assess 15-cents per tree sold in the U.S. for promotional and research purposes. The mail-in ballot surveys are due by May 31. Wisconsin ranks fifth in the nation for the number of Christmas trees harvested, behind the states of Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania. [end of story]

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Canfor Southern Pine Upgrades Camden, South Carolina, Sawmill

Area Development Online
May 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Fred Stimpson

Canfor Southern Pine, a leading integrated forest products company, will invest $40 million to upgrade its existing sawmill in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. …The company’s Camden facility has been in operation since 1983 and manufactures dimension lumber. To accommodate its continued growth, Canfor will be installing a new planer mill, as well as new equipment throughout the sawmilling operation to address critical areas that limit production capacity. The expansion will begin this year and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. “We appreciate the commitment of both the state and local governments. Their partnership was critical in the decision process of the board” said Canfor Southern Pine President Fred Stimpson.

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The UK timber industry faces a potential £1bn bill if Britain leaves the EU Customs Union, the Timber Trade Federation is warning

The Construction Index
May 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The timber tax bomb will explode if EU imports cease being VAT free.  “Some 90% of timber used in construction is imported from Europe, which British timber supplies are insufficient to replace,” said TTF managing director David Hopkins. “Under the proposed Taxation Bill, once the UK leaves the EU and its VAT area, VAT on EU imports will have to be paid up-front. This will cause considerable problems for the SMEs who make up the majority of our sector.” Additional problems, not just for the timber sector but for construction supply chains in general, include potential delays, and greater costs for storing timber at ports and in administering customs checks and documentation, the federation says.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Governor-General’s Medals award the best new buildings in the country

By Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail
May 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Beautiful design can show up in a hospital, in a park, and even under an expressway. That’s the message of the 2018 Governor-General’s Medals in Architecture, which recognize the country’s best projects. Many of these buildings continue the mainstream of Canadian high architecture, devoted to natural materials, quiet forms and craftsmanship; Omar Gandhi, a first-time winner, moves that tradition along. But there are divergent voices in the muscular steel of Winnipeg’s 5468796 and the minimalism of Toronto’s GH3. …GH3 – This drum-shaped pavilion places zig-zagging wooden columns behind a skin of reflective glass.  …Fort McMurray Airport – The main roof rests on long cross-laminated timber beams, and the passenger areas, the GG jury says, “are carefully organized to create a sense of calm and comfort.”

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StartUp Revelstoke hosts wood products innovation night

By Jocelyn Doll
The Revelstoke Review
May 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cornelius Suchy

Have you ever thought about making plastic out of wood waste? Advance BioCarbon 3-D does just that and was one of the businesses presenting at StartUp Revelstoke’s Innovation night last Tuesday. …Forestry and wood are one of Revelstoke’s main industry’s and LaFlamme wants entrepreneurs with ideas about how to make use of that resource to set up shop in Revelstoke. …One presenter, Greg Hoffart of Tree Construction, talked about locally made mass timber. …Cornelius Suchy, of Canadian Biomass Energy Research also presented six business ideas that could be done locally.

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University of Toronto to build academic wood tower on downtown Toronto campus

By Romi Levine
University of Toronto
May 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The University of Toronto is set to build a 14-storey academic tower made of timber on its downtown Toronto campus – expected to be the tallest mass timber and concrete hybrid building in North America. It follows a growing international trend towards tall timber structures, which have been lauded for their low carbon footprint, fire safety and faster construction time. “There are a lot of compelling arguments for the use of wood,” says Gilbert Delgado, U of T’s chief of university planning, design and construction. Recognizing the benefits of building with timber, the Ontario and federal governments are providing funding for buildings that use the material. U of T’s wood tower will be financed in part by those government subsidies, and through university funds and philanthropy, says Delgado.

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Property start-up Cube Haus taps award-winning British architects to create ‘infill’ prefabs

By Betty Wood
The Spaces
May 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Property start-up Cube Haus has assembled a stellar cast of architects – including Sir David Adjaye and Carl Turner – to design a range of modular prefabs that can slot into the city’s ‘left over’ spaces. Cube Haus is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Philip Bueno de Mesquita and Paul Tully. …Cube Haus takes the pair’s desire to ‘disrupt the existing housing market further,’ by developing these ‘infill’ plots with adaptable, architect-designed homes. …Each prefab dwelling is made using cross-laminated timber and can be built off-site in a factory before being installed on sites ranging from back-yard plots to rooftops. …While Cube Haus designs are customisable, a two-bedroom design clock in at approximately 646 sq ft, and the three-bedrooms version at 1,184 sq ft. Self-build buyers can buy ‘off the peg’, or commission their home to be built and installed on a site acquired by Cube Haus.

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Forestry

Earth Rangers host Living Forests Photo Contest

Earth Rangers
May 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Did you know that 10% of the world’s forests are found right here in Canada? With so many forests in Canada, we want to see what makes your unique. Take a photo that captures the beauty of Canada’s forests! Head out to the woods with your family for a forest adventure and see if you can snap some pics that will fit into our three categories: Forest Animals; Forest Landscapes; and Trees. The “Living Forests Photo Contest” is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding residents of Québec) who are age 12 or under at the time of entry into the Contest, provided that consent is obtained from a parent or legal guardian to enter the Contest and to be eligible to win. Contest closes August 20, 2018. 

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Tories say Pineland’s $4M debt leftover from NDP

By Nick Martin
Winnipeg Free Press
May 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rochelle Squires

MANITOBA has swallowed a $4-million debt the former NDP government ran up on the Pineland Forest Nursery, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle said in an interview Monday evening. “The $4 million that Pineland was in arrears has been dissolved by the province,” Squires said. “We paid that debt.” The huge nursery and seed depository near Hadashville will be closed by year’s end, and the Tory government has issued a request for proposals for private buyers who would use the property as they wish — possibly to grow cannabis. Marijuana is expected to be legalized in Canada later this year. “Pineland was run into the ground by the members opposite,” Squires said earlier Monday in question period. “Our government has a plan that is better for the environment and for the economy.”

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These super wildfires call for new ways to fight them

By Don Brunell, retired president, Association of Washington Business
The Columbian
May 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Don Brunell

With western wildfires growing in size and destroying more homes, farms and businesses, there is a need for new tools and approaches. The infernos are spreading so fast, they are outstripping our ability to fight them in traditional ways. …Last year, wildfires nationwide consumed 12,550 square miles, an area larger than Maryland. The federal government spent more than $2.7 billion on firefighting — a record that far surpassed the previous high point of $2.1 billion set in 2016. …One new tool is the converted jumbo jet. During the height of the Montana wildfires last summer, a DC-10 tanker was based at Helena’s regional airport and loaded with 10,000 gallons of retardant for each mission. …Along with climate change, preventing and stopping mammoth wildfire is gathering lots of attention in Congress these days. …We cannot eradicate wildfires. They have been part of our ecology for thousands of years.

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Park service releases final goat management plan for Olympic National Park

Peninsula Daily News
May 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The growth in the population of mountain goats in Olympic National Park will start skidding to a halt this summer. The National Park Service plans to move the non-native goats that can be captured to the U.S. Forest Service land in the North Cascades, where they are native, according to the final environmental impact statement issued Friday. Those that cannot be caught will be shot, probably starting in 2019. The strategy is the park service’s preferred alternative for its new Mountain Goat Management Plan. …The plan’s purpose is to allow Olympic National Park “to reduce or eliminate the environmental damage created by non-native mountain goats and the public safety risks associated with their presence in the park,” the park service said.

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Oregon receives grant for endangered species study

By Tom James
Assoicated Press in KPIC
May 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Federal and state funds totaling $1 million have been set aside to study a new endangered species protection plan in Oregon forests, a decade after a similar effort stalled amid controversy. The money is earmarked to pay for the first step in laying out new rules for protecting endangered species in 630,000 acres of state-owned forest land west of the Cascades, including large tracts on the state’s northern coast. The plan would consider species including the spotted owl and marbled murrelet, and set guidelines for timber harvesting and recreational use. Officials hope the study phase will take about a year, followed by a year to craft the rules themselves, and a final year of review, said Cindy Kolomechuk, leader of the project at the Oregon Department of Forestry.

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Urban Forestry plan workshop scheduled for Wednesday

By Jeffrey Schweers
The Tallahassee Democrat
May 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TALLAHASSEE — The City Commission has scheduled a workshop to get an update on its urban forestry master plan Wednesday and give staff further direction. …”For me, the most beneficial thing will be their first impressions about the information we found about the urban forest,” said Mindy Mohrman, the urban forester for the joint city-county planning department. …What they found so far, using high resolution satellite imagery, is that the city’s tree canopy covers 55 percent of the land area. That makes sense, given Tallahassee’s designation for over 24 years as a Tree City USA from the Arbor Day Foundation. …New goals will likely include species expansion, reduction of invasive species, canopy expansion, and so forth, planners said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The EPA says burning wood to generate power is ‘carbon-neutral.’ Is that true?

By William Moomaw, Professor Emeritus, Tufts University
The Conversation Canada
May 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently told a group of forestry executives and students that from now on the U.S. government would consider burning wood to generate electricity, to be “carbon neutral.” The executives… greeted the news with enthusiasm. But I did not. Biomass does not introduce new carbon into the system, as its supporters point out. Yet it does transfer carbon from forests to the atmosphere, where it traps heat and contributes to climate change. As a scientist and the coordinating lead author of the IPCC report on renewable energy, I have concluded from extensive scientific studies that converting forests into fuel is not carbon neutral. The scientists who study climate change, the global carbon cycle and forest ecology tend to reject the notion of biomass carbon neutrality. Some forest economists and forestry scientists, however, support the notion of carbon neutrality, depending on the circumstances.

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Carbon offsetting could preserve N.S. forests, but researchers raise concerns

CBC News
May 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dale Prest

A Maritime organization wants to protect Nova Scotia’s forests by ensuring they’re more valuable left standing than harvested. Dale Prest of Community Forests International and the Climate Forest Company wants to meet with woodlot owners in Nova Scotia to discuss how they can sell polluters the rights to the carbon stored in their forests. Prest told CBC’s Information Morning that forests are cheaper in Nova Scotia than southern Ontario. “When you talk about the cost of actually committing to a long-term, 100-year contract, we’re really at a competitive advantage here in the Maritimes,” he said. “We know that the Acadian forests … is a very stable, diverse forest type.” Community Forests International has bought 705 acres of forest outside Sussex, N.B. Polluters including power generators and fuel importers buy credits to compensate for the greenhouse gases they emit. 

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Research duo finds way to predict shifts in watersheds as climate changes

By Emily Halnon
Phys.org
May 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

During the longest drought in California’s modern history, a pair of UO researchers headed into the woods of the Sierra Nevada to investigate how forest composition affects water supply and what changes may come as climate change alters the ecological makeup of forests. What they found is a way to use the relationship of trees and soils to predict shifts in water and carbon levels in these mountain forests and watersheds. Combining their findings with historical data, they suggest a possible 10 to 60 percent increase in regional water loss as climate change pushes tree species to migrate to different elevations. UO postdoctoral researcher Toby Maxwell of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution and Lucas Silva, a professor of environmental studies and geography, led the study, which was done in collaboration with soil scientist Will Horwath of the University of California, Davis.

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