Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 10, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Professional reliance report sends a chill up the spine of resource industries in BC

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 10, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s Professional Reliance Report is equated to the old and costly Forest Practices Code, in a story in Business in Vancouver, and “may send a chill up the collective spine of all resource industries.” In other Business news: the decision to end duties on Canadian glossy paper nets millions for one US competitor; and how should the US retaliate against Canada for screwing its own citizens with dairy tariffs? By screwing US citizens with softwood tariffs of course!

Forestry headlines include: forest fire flair-ups in northeastern Ontario, Colorado and California; and opposition to logging in BC’s Skagit Valley; and the Columbia River Gorge.

Finally, a California study says grasslands are more reliable carbon sinks than trees; and—after years of debate—Maine lawmakers decide that forest rangers can carry firearms.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Shooting ourselves in the foot with tariffs

By Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University
The Toronto Star
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Canadian government, lining the pockets of its dairy producers, imposes high tariffs on American dairy imports. That forces Canadians to pay higher prices for dairy products. …What should the U.S. response be to Canada’s screwing its citizens? If you were in the Trump administration, you might propose imposing tariffs on soft wood products that Americans import from Canada — in other words, retaliate against Canada by screwing American citizens. Canadian lumber — such as that from pine, spruce and fir trees — is used in U.S. homebuilding. Guess what tariffs on Canadian lumber do to home prices. …This retaliation policy is both cruel and not very smart. …The ruse used to promote producer interests through tariff policy is concern about our large trade deficit.

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Waratah Forestry Equipment names new leadership for North American market

Heavy Equipment Guide
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Elliot Little

Waratah Forestry Equipment has appointed Elliott Little to the position of Manager of North American Waratah Distribution. As part of his new role, Little will be responsible for managing the North American Waratah business and leading distribution teams in the United States and Canada. “Elliott is an industry veteran who has extensive experience in the forestry industry,” said Heather Robinson, general manager of Worldwide Distribution for Waratah. “His previous roles will allow him to transition seamlessly into his new position.”

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Professional reliance report chills industry

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
July 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In BC, you would be hard-pressed to find a single piece of legislation that was more reviled by the B.C. business community – or more costly – than the B.C. Forest Practices Code. … So when COFI president Susan Yurkovich recently invoked the Code as an example of what might return to BC if recommendations for overhauling BC’s professional reliance model are adopted, it may have sent a chill up the collective spine of all resource industries in BC, especially forestry. …“That’s exactly why the last system was ultimately rejected. Basically it gridlocked the regulatory scheme.” But the BC Ombudsman is applauding Haddock’s work, saying it echoes many of the same recommendations the office has made for improving the professional reliance model. …Professional associations fear a return to a more prescriptive regime in which government bureaucrats dictate each decision, every step of the way.

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Canada’s Catalyst Paper to tap into Indian paper bag and kraft market

By Rushikesh Aravkar
Print Week
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada-based paper manufacturer Catalyst Paper, which has been supplying newsprint in the Indian market for decades, has launched a range of lightweight virgin kraft paper substitute grades for packaging. Mark Petersen, vice president, said, “We think we have a specific niche in the Indian corrugated market with regards to virgin food safe paper. …In the wake of the rising concerns about the possible health risks arising from chemicals migrating into foods from packaging, the new Catalyst grades of paper are seen as a solution to make packaging safe for food contact. These grades are suitable for making lightweight micro-flute corrugated boxes for food applications as well as paper bags, wrapping paper, and place mats in restaurants.

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Domtar Takes Next Step in Lignin Development with Prisma

Domtar Corporation
July 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Domtar’s Biomaterials team and research partners have been focusing time and resources on lignin development — specifically, developing lignin-based materials that could eventually serve as sustainable and biodegradable alternatives to petroleum and other fossil fuel–based products. We recently took another step forward in lignin development and the process of commercializing lignin-based applications by investing in Prisma Renewable Composites, which is developing advanced materials from lignin and other natural resources. With this investment, we will help commercialize the process of using lignin to make engineered plastic compounds, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and other high-value applications. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to partner with an industry-leading renewable composite company,” says Mark DeAndrea, Domtar’s vice president of Biomaterials. “This investment leverages Prisma’s scientific research capabilities and unique product development strategy with Domtar’s commercialization and lignin production expertise.”

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U.S. tariffs removed from Port Hawkesbury Paper’s products

By Wendy Martin
CBC News
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A paper mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., is celebrating a decision by the United States Department of Commerce to end countervailing duties that were imposed in 2015 on its glossy paper. Some American companies had complained that several Canadian mills, including Port Hawkesbury Paper, were receiving unfair subsidies. …The decision to end the duties came Friday, after the last remaining U.S. producer of glossy paper involved in the complaint, Verso Corp., withdrew its objections. Verso reached a settlement with Port Hawkesbury Paper and J.D. Irving of New Brunswick this spring, which will see the two Canadian companies pay Verso up to $42 million. That money will come from the duties that the Canadian companies will be refunded, dating back to 2015.

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Point Tupper mill’s power rate continues

By Nancy King
The Cape Breton Post
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

POINT TUPPER, N.S. — The provincial energy regulator has approved the continuance of the special power rate paid by Port Hawkesbury Paper based on the belief that it is better for all users to have the mill in production. …The decision order does impose a condition — that Port Hawkesbury Paper contribute any duties returned toward Nova Scotia Power’s fixed costs — following a victory last week by the mill in having countervailing duties on U.S. glossy paper imports overturned. When the mill reopened in 2012 after a yearlong sales process, new owners Pacific West Commercial Corp. received a special load retention tariff for the electricity that it uses.

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Wood Pellet Industry Insurance Risks

By Bryan Gaston
Biomass Magazine
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Bryan Gaston

Fire risk within the wood pellet industry is high. So high, in fact, that fires in varying degrees of severity have been commonplace, and are viewed by many as inevitable—simply a byproduct of the industry. [This] raises insurance questions. Currently, there are traditional insurance options available to participants in the wood pellet industry. …Like any insurance product when placing coverage, carriers will assess risk, review claim history (if applicable) and evaluate other factors to determine whether to place coverage, and on what terms. …A possible means to obtain insight into future trends is to draw parallels to other industries or sectors. An interesting comparison to the wood pellet industry is the oil and gas industry. …the oil and gas industry’s insurance trends over the past 50 to 100 years may provide some insight into future insurance trends in the wood pellet industry. 

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Governor announces jobs coming to idled Dungannon factory

The Coalfield Progress
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Ralph Northam

The old Louisiana-Pacific fiberboard factory in Dungannon has sat idle and empty for more than 20 years. Soon, the 117,000-square-foot building will be the site of a $3.76 million investment that will create 50 new jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday morning. During a brief swing through far Southwest Virginia, Northam visited Dungannon bearing the news that Mountain Top Timber Products LLC will expand it wood chipping operations to the facility. The company will add a new sawmill and dry kiln capacity, according to a press release. Over three years Mountain Top Timber Products will create 50 new jobs… and will commit to purchase over $14 million of Virginia-grown timber from area loggers and forestland owners,” the release states.

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BW SLC Holdings Discloses Acquisition of Securities of Conifex Timber Inc.

By BW SLC Holdings, LLC
Cision Newswire
July 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NEW YORK  – BW SLC Holdings, LLC announces that it has acquired beneficial ownership of, or control or direction over, an aggregate of 8,252,373 common shares of Conifex Timber Inc.  and 2,304,878 warrants to purchase common shares of Conifex. The Acquired Shares and Acquired Warrants were issued as partial consideration for the sale by BW SLC and others to a subsidiary of Conifex of all the outstanding membership interests of Suwannee Lumber Holding Company, LLC, Suwannee Timber Management, LLC and Caddo River Forest Products, LLC. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Perth jumps into timber with 10-storey hotel

By Poppy Johnston
The Fifth Estate
July 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Western Australia is joining the timber trend sweeping the eastern seaboard with its first timber-framed building, a 10-storey hotel at inner city Northbridge. The $14 million “Leadlight” hotel… being developed by Adam Zorzi and Rod Hamersley’s Australian Development Capital has got the green light to build what will be one of the largest timber structures in Australia. …the location of the site above the Northbridge tunnel posing a key challenge. The building’s proponents, including Perth-based Klopper and Davis architects and Hera Engineering, landed on the use of lightweight mass timber to allow the tower to be built above the usual three-storey height restriction. …As well as using locally-sourced timber – a hybrid of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber – other sustainability features of the Leadlight plans include targeting a 5 star Green Star rating … to attract a “young, edgy crowd” as their core client base…

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Forestry

Firefighting personnel deployed to Ontario and Quebec

By BC Wildfire Service
Government of British Columbia
July 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The BC Wildfire Service is sending firefighting personnel to Ontario and Quebec to help with firefighting efforts in those provinces, due to an increasing wildfire threat in Eastern Canada. When they arrive, the B.C. personnel will be deployed as needed in each province to assist with the firefighting situation. …The request for assistance was made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the mutual sharing of firefighting resources between B.C. and other jurisdictions. All associated costs will be covered by the jurisdiction that requested the resources. Given the invaluable assistance that Ontario and Quebec provided to B.C. last year, during one of the province’s worst wildfire seasons, the BC Wildfire Service recognizes the importance of sharing firefighting resources. Crews can be deployed out-of-province for up to 19 days, but they can be recalled at any time.

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Horgan should cancel logging plans for Skagit Valley

By Ken Farquharson and Tom Perry
The Vancouver Sun
July 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Timber Sales is about to tender cutblocks in the Skagit Valley right beside Manning Provincial Park. Roadbuilding for logging high in the subalpine is ongoing as we write. This is against the interests of B.C. Parks and the requirements of the Skagit River Treaty. Premier John Horgan can stop it with a telephone call to the responsible minister. …A little known result of the Skagit River Treaty was creation of the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission… with a mandate to conserve and protect wilderness and wildlife habitat; enhance recreational opportunities in the Skagit Valley; and acquire mineral or timber rights consistent with conservation and recreation purposes. Yet B.C. Timber Sales, a branch of the B.C. government, is now attempting to frustrate that mandate, and the long-term objective of B.C. Parks, on lands formerly protected within Manning Provincial Park.

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Lightning main cause of forest fires

By Rob Munro
The Kelowna Daily Courier
July 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…In the United States… a recently released study of 1.5 million government records of wildfires over 20 years (1992-2012) shows that 84 per cent were human caused. …That study found that humans extended the forest fire season into the spring and fall, although the worst day for human caused fires is July 4 because of the heavy use of personal fireworks in that country. But, human-caused fires accounted for only 44 per cent of the total area burned. Lightning-caused fires burned the rest. …“Humans cause slightly more than half of all wildland fires in Canada, typically in populated forest and grassland areas,” states the Natural Resources Canada website. “Because of where these fires occur, they are usually spotted early and can be reached quickly by firefighting crews. Still, the threat they pose to human safety and property makes them a major concern for firefighting crews.”

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Admitted to cutting endangered trees: Sentencing hearing for Alberta ski resort

By Bill Graveland
The Canadian Press in CTV News
July 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY — The Crown says a lack of oversight on the part of a world-renowned Alberta ski resort led to endangered trees being cut down five years ago. The Lake Louise resort in Banff National Park pleaded guilty in December to cutting down a stand of trees, including some whitebark pine, along a ski run in 2013. The resort will be sentenced on two charges — one under the Species At Risk Act and the other under the Canada National Parks Act. …The hearing is also to determine how many trees were cut down. …The maximum fine under the Species At Risk Act for each tree destroyed is $300,000, while the maximum per tree is $250,000 under the National Parks Act.

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First Nation wants to help caribou recover from forest fires

By Sarah Pruys
Cabin Radio
July 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Deninu K’ue First Nation, in partnership with environmental research consultants LGL Limited, is launching a three-year study of how boreal caribou habitat recovers after a forest fire. The territorial government announced funding for the study earlier this month through its Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources says the program focuses “on understanding environmental trends and the cumulative environmental impacts of human and natural changes in the NWT.” Twelve projects researching fish, water, and caribou will split $760,000 in funding. Rosy Bjornson, who works for the First Nation and is from Fort Resolution, is helping to lead the caribou habitat study. “The goal of this project is to address knowledge gaps that limit our ability to ensure sustainability for boreal caribou in our traditional hunting areas,” she said. The study uses a mix of traditional knowledge and western science to monitor caribou habitat.

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After Years Of Debate, Lawmakers Decide That Forest Rangers Can Carry Firearms

By Mal Leary
Maine Public
July 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

By wide margins, lawmakers have overridden Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of legislation allowing forest rangers to carry firearms, ending a long legislative fight. Rep. John Martin a Democrat from Eagle Lake, opposed the measure in the past, but voted against the veto. …The proposal to allow forest rangers to be armed has been controversial since it was first introduced in 1997. LePage objected to the the current version, arguing that it would permanently change the way rangers do their job. But supporters say rangers are often called on to back up police or game wardens in rural areas of the state and should be armed just like other law enforcement officers.

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10 months after the Eagle Creek Fire erupted, Gorge shows promising signs of recovery

By Kate Williams
The Oregonian
July 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s been 10 months since the Eagle Creek Fire tore through the Columbia River Gorge. It blackened tens of thousands of acres, sent frantic residents fleeing from their homes and blanketed Portland with smoke and ash. By the time the massive blaze was considered fully contained in late November, nearly 50,000 acres had been consumed by the conflagration. Though it’s considered contained, parts of the fire still smolder in the most remote areas that burned.  Even with embers still smoking, parts of the Gorge have gone from ashen black to verdant green in less than a year. It’s a sign, fire experts say, that fire is a natural phenomenon, and that the Gorge as we know it will be back again.

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Rethink clear-cut logging plans in gorge

By Arlene Burns and Peter Cornelison
The Portland Tribune
July 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Recently, corporate giant Weyerhaeuser Co. bought land in the national scenic area between the communities of Hood River and Mosier, and obtained a permit to create the biggest clear-cut in the gorge since the passage of the 1986 National Scenic Act. …Our communities are within the protected boundaries of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, one of only nine such areas in the nation. It has been rated by National Geographic Traveler magazine as the world’s sixth-best sustainable tourist destination. One would not expect clear-cuts to be allowed within a national scenic area. However, due to a loophole in the 1986 law, clear-cuts are exempt from the National Scenic Area Act on nonfederal land in certain parts of the national scenic area

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A once and future forest

By Clark Walworth and Anne Niblett
Coos Bay World
July 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BRIDGE — …For the first time in a century and a half, the Coquille Indian Tribe is preparing to manage its forest land by its own rules. Under federal legislation signed in January, the tribe no longer must follow the “standards and guidelines” of federal agencies. “Now the tribe can begin to lay the foundation for forest management for generations to come,” said Darin Jarnaghan, the tribe’s natural resources director. The likely result? Increased timber production. A more flexible, sensible approach to environmental protection. Attention to a wide range of species instead of just a few. “Our focus is on a holistic, balanced approach to forest management,” said Colin Beck, the tribe’s forest manager. “…Our goal is to provide a sustained level of timber harvest while still meeting the needs of all of the species that call the forest home.”

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NZ Institute of Forestry proposes new national forest policy

By Margereet Dietz
Newsroom Pro New Zealand
July 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry proposed the introduction of a new national policy for the industry at the sector’s annual conference in an effort to help the government “develop sound long-term strategies for forestry development.” David Evison, president of the NZ Institute of Forestry, presented the Forest Policy for New Zealand, to Forestry Minister Shane Jones today. “Unlike many countries, New Zealand has no national forest policy,” Evison said in a statement. “Government decisions on matters as diverse as climate change, water quality, taxation, overseas investment and land use have too often adversely affected our forests.” …The proposal has been in the works for four years and covers all forests, management objectives, tenure types and all species, the group said.

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Forest Fires

Forest fire puts northeastern Ontario community under state of emergency

CBC News
July 9, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire has put people around the northeastern Ontario community of Temagami on evacuation alert, with residents being told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.  The fire that was sparked by a lightning strike Sunday southwest of the town has already seen the forced evacuation of 20 homes in Temagami Shores, about 100 kilometres north of North Bay. An evacuation of nearby provincial parks, including of Finlayson Point and Marten River, has also occurred. Dan O’Mara, acting mayor of Temagami, said the town has declared a state of emergency and has opened the arena in Temagami North for anyone who needs a place to stay. …The OPP and nearby local fire departments have been working with the ministry to beat back the fire. 

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Colorado wildfire update: Firefighters turn corner on largest fires with some help from long-overdue rain

By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post
July 9, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Over the weekend firefighters gained the upper hand on the largest wildfires in the state, managing to keep them in check while enlarging fire lines, authorities say. However, a few smaller wildfires have been reported. Currently there are a dozen active wildfires burning from the Wyoming border to southern Colorado. Here’s a synopsis of current conditions of Colorado wildfires above 1,000 acres.

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Klamathon Fire now 36,500 acres and 40 percent contained

By Zack Urness
The Statesman Journal
July 9, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Klamathon Fire on the Oregon and California border grew to 36,500 acres Monday night but improved to 40 percent containment, officials said in an evening report.  The fire inched its way forward on the Oregon side but only grew slightly to the northeast.  The progress allowed fire officials to downgrade evacuation levels in the Colestin Valley, outside Ashland, from “go now” to “get ready.” …“I’m confident that if the winds tonight (Monday), continue out of the northwest… we will turn the corner,” Southwest Oregon District Forester Dave Larson told the Ashland Daily Tidings. The next few days will remain crucial in projecting whether the fire becomes a long-term event.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Grasslands more reliable carbon sink than trees

By University of California, Davis
Phys.Org
July 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Forests have long served as a critical carbon sink, consuming about a quarter of the carbon dioxide pollution produced by humans worldwide. But decades of fire suppression, warming temperatures and drought have increased wildfire risks—turning California’s forests from carbon sinks to carbon sources. A study from the University of California, Davis, found that grasslands and rangelands are more resilient carbon sinks than forests in 21st century California. As such, the study indicates they should be given opportunities in the state’s cap-and-and trade market, which is designed to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. …”Looking ahead, our model simulations show that grasslands store more carbon than forests because they are impacted less by droughts and wildfires,” said lead author Pawlok Dass …The study does not suggest that grasslands should replace forests on the landscape or diminish the many other benefits of trees.

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Health & Safety

Forest ecology shapes Lyme disease risk in the eastern US

By Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Science Daily
July 9, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

In the eastern US, risk of contracting Lyme disease is higher in fragmented forests with high rodent densities and low numbers of resident fox, opossum, and raccoons. These are among the findings from an analysis of 19 years of data on the ecology of tick-borne disease in a forested landscape, recently published in the journal Ecology. Lyme disease is the most frequently reported vector-borne disease in the US. “Using nearly two decades of data on the forest food web, we were interested in untangling the ecological conditions that regulate the number of infected ticks in the landscape,” explains Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and one of the paper’s lead authors. …In the absence of vaccines, giving people the right information at the right time and place is critical to reducing cases of tick-borne disease.

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One dead, two seriously injured in forestry operation

Radio New Zealand
July 10, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A man who was critically injured during a commercial forestry operation in Bulls is now in a serious condition. Emergency services were called to a property in Pukehou Road just before 2:30pm yesterday. One person died at the scene and another received critical injuries after a tree fell on their vehicle. A third person received serious injuries. The 27-year-old man with critical injuries was flown to Palmerston North Hospital, before being moved to Wellington Hospital’s intensive care unit. WorkSafe has made initial inquires into the case and said they were investigating. [END]

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