Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 6, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Trade wars and duties, logging and old-growth, and the state of the world’s forests

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 6, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on each other’s imports today in what Beijing called the “largest-scale trade war” ever. In related news: the US tariffs are hitting a whole slew of Chinese woodworking and panel processing equipment; the WTO ruled for Canada in its dispute with the US on glossy paper duties; and an interactive map shows why Canada has so much more to lose in a trade war.

Other headline grabbers include:

  • The BC Supreme Court on Husby’s right to log old-growth cedar on Haida Gwaii
  • David Elstone on the misconceptions and reality of old-growth logging in BC
  • Ian Dunn on how David Suzuki et al. are blurring the line between opinion and science
  • Lennard Joe on his partnership with SFI and “seven generations” view of forest management
  • The Idaho Dept. of Lands on doubling the timber harvest/restoration on federal land

Finally, two releases of note; the FAO’s state of the world’s forest 2018 report and the BC Forest Practices Board annual report.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

WTO rules in Canada’s favour on dispute with U.S. on glossy paper duties

Canadian Press in CTV News
July 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The World Trade Organization has ruled largely in favour of Canada in a dispute with the United States over duties on glossy paper. The WTO said Thursday it found the U.S. Department of Commerce acted inconsistently with trade rules in its justification for imposing countervailing duties on supercalendered paper, which is mainly used in magazines, catalogues, corporate brochures and advertising inserts. Canada had asked in 2016 that the WTO look into the duties, and how the U.S. went about investigating the issue. Global Affairs Canada spokesman John Babcock said by email that the government acknowledges the WTO ruling that the U.S. breached its obligations when it made its countervailing duty determination.

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Canada has so much more to lose in a trade war than the U.S.

By Max Hartshorn
Global News
July 4, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada and the U.S. share the largest and most comprehensive bilateral trade relationship on earth. …But the trade relationship is far from equal. Publicly available data… show just how critical business with the U.S. is to Canada’s economy. The U.S., on the other hand, is both less reliant on international trade than Canada and far less reliant on Canada as a trade partner than we are on the U.S. The interactive map above lets you see how your home province depends on the U.S. for trade. If you click on the province, you will see the province’s exports to the U.S. represented by the blue dots, and the province’s imports represented by the red dots. Each dot represents $1 billion in traded goods.

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Pulp mill owners evaluate re-opening

By Teena Monteleone
paNOW
July 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The British Columbia based company that acquired the old pulp mill in Prince Albert has taken the first step toward resuming operations. In an email to paNOW, the Director of Corporate Communications, Kathy Cloutier, said “Paper Excellence is currently in the preliminary evaluation phase regarding a business case with respect to restarting Prince Albert Pulp Inc. to produce 1050 Adt/d NBSK pulp as well as produce power for the mill in addition to exporting power to SaskPower.” In order to make a fully informed decision, Cloutier said a request for proposals has been issued seeking engineering consulting services that will outline design, build and start-up of the mill. The request was issued last month with proposals to be received by August 31. 

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High lumber prices keeping forestry sector strong – for now

By Greg Fry
CFJC Today
July 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Harry Nelson

KAMLOOPS — Interior communities dependent on the forestry sector continue to benefit from the high price of Canadian lumber. Associate Professor Harry Nelson with UBC’s Faculty of Forestry notes we’ve seen record prices in the last three months.  “And even now prices at $560 (US dollars) a thousand board feet are exceptional. And that has – pardon the pun – trumped any kind of tariffs.” U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration implemented 20 per cent tariffs on imported Canadian lumber last November after both Canada and the U.S. failed to reach common ground on a new softwood lumber agreement. So, what’s driving these high prices? “I think what we’re really seeing is a supply crunch,” says Nelson. …Nelson expects the high prices to continue as long as U.S. housing starts stay where they are.

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Nova Scotia cabinet shuffle shifts focus to mining, forestry and the environment

My Michael MacDonald
Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
July 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Stephen McNeil shuffled his cabinet Thursday, saying he wants his Liberal government to focus more of its attention on the province’s mining and forestry industries. The changes come as the government adjusts to a shrinking offshore energy sector and increasing scrutiny about the amount of clear-cutting taking place in the province’s forests. One new minister was added to the cabinet — former Progressive Conservative Chuck Porter is now the minister for municipal affairs — and three other ministers were given new duties. Margaret Miller, the former natural resources minister, has been appointed as environment minister, replacing Iain Rankin. Miller served as environment minister between 2016 and the most recent cabinet shuffle in June 2017. “There’s been a renewed focus on the forestry sector,” McNeil said after a brief swearing-in ceremony at the lieutenant-governor’s official residence.

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Northern Pulp’s pipe plan is an ask too far

By Raymond Plourde, Wilderness Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
The Chronicle Herald
July 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Raymond Plourde

Northern Pulp’s proposal to pipe their toxic pulp waste directly into the Northumberland Strait is rightly seen by most Nova Scotians as an unacceptable demand and an ask too far. Their plan to replace the infamous Boat Harbour is to simply redirect their 70 to 90 million litres of effluent per day from that enclosed coastal lagoon to a new and unbelievably inappropriate place, compounding damage upon damage. There is no Plan B. Instead, it’s the familiar gun-to-the-head negation tactics of the almighty pulp mills here in Nova Scotia: “Give us more, always more,” they say. More trees, more land, more money, more free passes to grossly pollute our province and our people, with a healthy dose of “or else we’ll shut down and then sue you big time” thrown in for good measure. Nova Scotians are sick of it.

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As tariffs hit China’s woodworking machinery, other wood products also affected

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
July 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tariffs of 25 percent will be levied on Chinese-manufactured woodworking machinery and panel processing equipment beginning tomorrow, Friday, July 6.  It is part of a trade battle being waged on several fronts by the Trump Administration, and which appears to be escalating as China retaliates with tariffs of its own. …Also included are presses for making particleboard or fiber building board of wood or other ligneous materials, and machinery for treating wood. …Fordaq cites a report by the International Tropical Timber Organization Trade of wood products between China and the U.S. already trending downward. Late last year the U.S. slapped China’s plywood industry with countervailing duties after a Commerce Department analysis showed the engineered panels were being sold at its cost below cost of manufacture.

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Trump triggers tariffs, China retaliates as trade war escalates from threats to reality

By Michael Martina and David Lawder
The Globe and Mail
July 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The United States and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34-billion worth of the other’s imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the “largest-scale trade war” ever in a sharp escalation of their months-long conflict. Hours before Washington’s deadline for the tariffs to take effect, U.S. President Donald Trump upped the ante, warning that the United States may ultimately target over $500-billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the total amount of U.S. imports from China last year. China’s commerce ministry, in a statement shortly after the U.S. deadline passed at 0401 GMT on Friday, said that it was forced to retaliate. …While the initial volley of tariffs was not expected to have major immediate economic impact, the fear is that a prolonged battle would disrupt makers and importers of affected goods in a blow to global trade, investment and growth.

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Woodchip proposal in southern Tasmanian raises questions over truck routes, forestry deals

By Alexandra Humphries and Ellen Coulter
ABC News, Australia
July 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A draft development application for a woodchip export facility near Dover reveals there would be truck movements every five minutes between Judbury and Strathblane 10 hours a day, six days a week. In November, Southwood Fibre, which is part of the Neville-Smith Forest Products Group, announced plans for a $42 million woodchip export facility at Strathblane. That proposal has since raised concerns among some local community members and salmon giant Tassal, which has a nearby lease. Right to Information (RTI) documents obtained by the Tasmanian Greens showed a series of emails between Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT, the state-owned forestry business) and Southwood Fibre, which Franklin MP Rosalie Woodruff said indicates “active collusion” between the State Government and the proponents.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Government of Canada Supports Construction of World’s Largest Passive House Building

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
July 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

SURREY, BC – Energy efficiency is hard to see, but we feel its benefits in our homes, environment and economy. Investments in energy efficiency save Canadians’ hard-earned money. Canada’s clean energy future includes federal investments driving economic growth, reducing environmental impacts and creating new, clean technology jobs for our middle class and those looking to join it. John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale — Langley City, British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the Government of Canada’s contribution to the future site of North America’s first and the world’s largest community centre built according to Passive House certification guidelines in Surrey, B.C. Natural Resources Canada will provide $1.3 million toward the new $43.5-million Passive House community centre through the Energy Innovation Program, which furthers research, development and demonstration of solutions supporting the adoption of high-efficiency building codes.

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Forestry

B.C. court decides company can continue logging centuries-old cedar

By Michael Mui
The Toronto Star Vancouver
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—The B.C. Supreme Court has granted a Delta-based forestry company permission to continue harvesting some 50 hectares of old-growth forest on Haida Gwaii, rejecting an injunction filed by the archipelago’s First Nation to immediately halt logging in contested areas. In a decision issued on Thursday, Justice Gordon Weatherill said he considered harms to both the Haida Nation if the logging were to continue, and harms to Husby Forest Products should the work be stopped, before favouring the logging company. At issue are about 27,000 cubic metres of, primarily, centuries-old cedar left to be felled in five logging areas on Haida Gwaii. The Haida Nation alleges Husby, the forestry company, has already over-logged its allowed limit on Haida Gwaii — a position the company admits, since the limit is not legally enforceable until an order is signed by B.C.’s minister of forests. 

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Comment: Misconceptions about logging

Letter by David Elstone, executive director, Truck Loggers Association.
Victoria Times Colonist
July 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

Re: “If an old-growth tree falls in a forest, does it make political hay?” column, June 29. …What is most concerning about this warning is the misconception this plea has created among the public about how much of B.C.’s forests are protected, and the reality of timber harvesting in B.C., specifically in our rainforests and primary forests. This misconception requires clarification and correction. Most importantly, B.C. has already protected a significant majority of its rainforests and old growth. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of old-growth timber on Vancouver Island’s Crown land is already protected, which is a considerable increase over the past decade. …The current proportion of coastal second-growth harvest has risen steadily over the past decade to about 50 per cent today, and that is forecasted to continue to increase. This has reduced reliance on old-growth harvest as additional areas have been protected.

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Forest Practices Board releases 2017-18 annual report

BC Forest Practices Board
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board has released its 2017-18 annual report, which summarizes the board’s work over the past fiscal year and highlights its current projects. …Part of the board’s role is to receive concerns from the public about matters pertaining to the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. This year, the board received 83 concerns, eight of which are now complaints under investigation. A variety of topics were reported on this year, including the management of at-risk plant communities, grizzly bear habitat, and biodiversity at the landscape level. Other examples include potential impacts from forestry on water quality and supply, road construction on steep slopes and the efficacy of government initiatives. The annual report also highlights responses from both government and industry to recommendations made by the board in reports published in the past couple of years.

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The future looks bright for sustainable forestry

By Lennard Joe
The Kelowna Daily Courier
July 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lennard Joe

First Nations have sustained themselves on the forest land-base for millennia. That fact explains our long-term view on forests, the environment and human and community health: decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. For me, this ‘seven generations’ thinking is real, and represents both where we’ve come from, and where we want to go. It’s a concept you’ll know as sustainability – how we evolve and adjust to the modern world by looking forward over the very long-term. It’s about meeting our needs, minimizing our footprint and retaining who we are as a people over time. But as my community works to become more involved in forestry, additional tools are supporting our seven-generations outlook. A central support is our partnership with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

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Restart long overdue

Letter by Ross Muirhead, Elphinstone Logging Focus
Coast Reporter
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ross Muirhead

Re: “Changes coming as Community Forest directors resign,” June 22. Our organization, Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF), looks forward to a restart on this community forest licence and supports Sechelt council taking these necessary steps to improve oversight of its logging company, the Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF). As the name implies, it’s also about managing the “forests” – not just clearcutting the timber. Under the former president, SCCF disbanded the Public Advisory Committee where operations could be discussed in an open context and cancelled the Walk in the Woods program which allowed the public to view proposed cutblocks and offer input. These two public processes were disbanded without consultation with the district.

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Logging Blockade Planned Near Burns Lake

CKPG Today
July 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – A logging road blockade is planned northwest of Burns Lake Friday morning. A group that claims to represent Hereditary Chiefs with the Lake Babine First Nation, says the band’s elected officials did not receive permission from Hereditary Chiefs before signing logging contracts with Canfor and Hampton. The blockade is targeting Canfor and Hampton logging operations in the area.  The group says it will set up the blockade early Friday morning along the Babine Forest Service road, approximately 18 kilometres northwest of Burns Lake. Interview requests from Canfor and the newly elected Lake Babine Council have not been answered.  

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David Suzuki and Ontario Nature Lobbyists Have Blurred the Line Between Opinion and Science

By Ian Dunn, RPF
Ontario Forest Industries Association
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ian Dunn

With eight staff listed on Ontario’s Lobbyist Registry, the David Suzuki Foundation has twice the number of lobbyists in Ontario than the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA). Ontario Nature has three registered lobbyists, including the main author and one of the reviewers of the opinion piece entitled,“From Climate to Caribou: How Manufactured Uncertainty is Affecting Wildlife Management.” We are asking governments and the public to reject the campaign rhetoric from anti-forestry lobbyists as science. Opinions, motherhood statements, and value-laden language belong in fundraising campaigns, not scientific literature. Having more in common with a press release, the article referenced in DavidSuzuki’s July 3, 2018 Chronicle Journal article offers no original data or novel research, only a thinly- veiled rant with footnotes. As such, this commentary was published in the “In My Opinion” section of the Wildlife Society Bulletin. 

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Snohomish County family wins tree farm award

Capital Press
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The New family, owners of the Nourse Tree Farm in Snohomish County, has been named the 2018 Tree Farmer of the Year in Washington. The Washington Tree Farm Program presented the award at the Washington Farm Forestry Association’s annual meeting. The New family has a 160-acre tree farm and has owned the land for 75 years. The family has managed the forest for seven years and received American Tree Farm System certification last year, according to a press release. …New credited Washington State University Forestry Extension and the Washington Farm Forestry Association with helping the family develop a plan and meet stewardship goals.

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Idaho gears up to boost logging, restoration on federal land

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Idaho has more than doubled the number of workers assigned to logging and restoration projects on federal lands in the state with the goal of doubling the timber harvest and restoration treatments on by 2025. The Idaho Department of Lands starting this week is increasing the number of workers, from five to 13, taking part in a federal-state partnership allowing state workers to manage timber sales on U.S. Forest Service land. One of the eight new workers is for projects on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land. The new state workers will be paid from timber sales and federal funds. The partnership is made possible under the Good Neighbor Authority passed by Congress more than a decade ago and expanded in the 2014 Farm Bill. 

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Pine beetles return to South Carolina, putting forests at risk

By Bo Petersen
Charleston Post Courier
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The ambrosia beetle has been chewing up the prized red bay trees on the South Carolina coast. The aphid-like woolly adelgid is killing the majestic Eastern hemlocks in the mountains. A fungus is infesting beloved dogwood trees across the state. So many pests are killing so many iconic Southern trees that it’s easy to overlook the most destructive one of all: the Southern pine beetle. But it’s back. And forestry consultants have begun to alert their clients. …After 15 years of lying low, the pine-chomping pest is resurging, feeding on acres of trees that were weakened or knocked down by recent storms, fires and a two-decade long, off-and-on-drought. Infestations have turned up in Oconee County and along the Savannah River. In-between stands 13 million acres of pine forests in South Carolina worth an estimated $21 billion.

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Giant Bell Township oak may be one of the biggest in the state

By Mary Ann Thomas
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
July 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

For a forester in Pennsylvania, finding a red oak tree with a circumference of about 26 feet and a height of 120 feet is about as likely as seeing Bigfoot. But a giant does exist just beyond the fields of a Bell Township farm, rivaling some of the largest red oaks in the state, according to preliminary measurements. And it probably has been there for 400 years. Tom McQuaide of Torrance, a forester with Pennsylvania Forest Management, is in the process of submitting the tree’s measurements for inclusion in the Champion Trees of Pennsylvania, a registry of the state’s largest trees measured by several factors, including height and girth.

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FAO publishes new State of the World’s Forests report 2018

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
July 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Rome – Time is running out for the world’s forests, whose total area is shrinking by the day, warns a new FAO report urging governments to foster an all-inclusive approach to benefit both trees and those who rely on them. Halting deforestation, managing forests sustainably, restoring degraded forests and adding to worldwide tree cover all require actions to avoid potentially damaging consequences for the planet and its people, according to The State of the World’s Forests 2018. Forests and trees contribute far more to human livelihoods than is commonly known, playing crucial roles in food security, drinking water, renewable energy and rural economies.  They provide around 20 percent of income for rural households in developing countries – notably more in many areas – and fuel for cooking and heating for one in every three people around the world. “Forests are critical to livelihoods” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

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Polish environment minister: Too many species are protected

By Vanessa Gera
Washington Post
July 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Henryk Kowalczyk

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s environment minister has angered environmentalists after saying he favors reducing the number of protected species including elk and bison because some of the animals damage crops — but he added it isn’t easy in an age of “excessive sensitivity to animal protection.” Henryk Kowalczyk told residents in the northern town of Mlawa that his ministry had suggested to regional environmental authorities that they might grant more permits to hunt elk, bison and beavers. These are all protected species under European law and the hunting of them is strictly controlled. “We live in times of excessive sensitivity to animal protection, to put it mildly,” Kowalczyk said Sunday, adding that his predecessor, Jan Szyszko, had given permission for the hunting of elk but had to cancel that almost immediately under pressure.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire near Sooke still burning as of Thursday evening but now 50 per cent contained

By Luisa Alvarez
Chek News
July 5, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The smell of smoke filled the air Thursday as the wildfire northwest of Sooke continues to burn. …It’s burning about 18 kilometres northwest of Sooke on privately managed forest land. The fire began on Monday covering just four hectares but the wind carried embers to other areas and it’s grown to 84 hectares. Incident Commander for Fire 998 Dimitri Vaisius says significant progress has been made since yesterday when it was just 10 per cent contained. “We had crews working on it overnight. …We are now wrapped at 80 per cent machine guard and 50 per cent contained,” said Vaisius.

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Mapping trims size of SW Oregon wildfire

By Barney Lerten
KTVZ.COM
July 5, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

GOLD BEACH, Ore. – The Lobster Creek Fire in southwest Oregon is “shrinking,” as due to more accurate mapping, the fire size is now 397 acres, the Oregon Department of Forestry said Thursday. As the edge of the fire cools, allowing closer access, firefighters are able to utilize handheld global positioning system (GPS) devices to trace the perimeter more closely and move from an estimate fire size to a more precise calculation. Containment has reached 30 percent, officials said. Mop up operations will continue over the next few days until the fire is in a state that the fire team is comfortable handing the incident back to the Coos Forest Protective Association.

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Fire near Oregon-California border jumps I-5

Associated Press in the Daily News
July 5, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — The Latest on wildfires in the Western United States: Authorities say a fire that jumped across Interstate 5 south of the Oregon border in California has closed the southbound lanes in that area. The Oregon Department of Transportation said Thursday evening the southbound lanes would remain closed at Ashland, Oregon, with no estimated time for reopening. …The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday night that the blaze had burned nearly 8 square miles. The department says multiple structures are threatened, damaged or destroyed. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Siskyou County, citing “extreme peril” to people and property.

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