Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 7, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

NAFTA negotiators down to three issues: Chapter 19, culture and dairy

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 7, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

With President Trump’s deadline looming, US and Canadian negotiators are tackling the final three NAFTA issues, retention (or not) of Chapter 19, cultural issues and dairy. In related news: Trudeau accuses Trump of flouting trade rules; while Chrystia Freeland says the dialogue is still constructive. Companies in the news include Canfor’s Isle Pierre shut down; Interfor’s record hiring of co-op students; Pinnacle’s purchase of an Alabama wood pellet facility; and Roseburg’s mill fire in Missoula.

In Forestry / Fire news: a video showing the incredible precision of the air crews fighting a massive BC wildfire; the California wildfire that closed a major freeway has tripled in size; and the insurance claims from the Carr and Mendocino wildfires are massive.

Finally, live from the Global Buyers Mission – an update on Day 1 of WoodTALKS; and the Sasquatch gets the last laugh (in the BC Supreme Court).

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

WoodTALKS Speaks to the Importance of Integrated Design

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 7, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week, 800 buyers, sellers and specifiers of value-added wood products have gathered in Whistler for the Global Buyers Mission (GBM), Canada’s largest show of its kind. And on day one, WoodTALKS—a wood design and construction education event held in conjunction with the GBM—was front and centre. First to the podium was architect Bo Helliwell of Blue Sky Architecture, renowned for his distinctive and stunning West Coast timber architecture. …Peter Moonen of Wood WORKS! BC’s fame, presented next on wood construction and durability and “what you think or may not know to make wood last”. …Architect Oliver Lang’s information-rich presentation was a look into the future as it relates to society’s housing challenge of ensuring livability, sustainability and affordability. …Shelley Craig of Urban Arts Architecture spoke of her firm’s 100 Mile Building journey with the Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library. …The day’s final presentation by architect John Hemsworth and engineer Robert Malczyk was a touching story about Rebuilding the Heart of a Small Community, one hockey arena at a time. 

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Froggy Foibles

Sasquatch gets the last laugh

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
September 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

There’s a lot of snickering and snide jokes about the B.C. Supreme Court decision this week to not recognize the sasquatch. But it doesn’t take an outdoor-education degree to tell who’s laughing the hardest — the sasquatch himself. …Based on this week’s ruling, he’ll continue lurking in the bush with no regard for modern-day wildlife expectations. You’d think a regulation-happy, process-oriented NDP government would be the first to recognize the need for a wildlife-management plan and lots more studies of these creatures. …But B.C. retaliated that his suit was unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous and vexatious. That’s an awful lot of adjectives to throw up against a guy just because he believes in Bigfoot. It said the case is based on assumptions and speculation and “lacks an air of reality.” That sums up every question period ever held in the legislature. But you don’t see the court declaring that MLAs don’t exist.

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Business & Politics

US-Canada trade talks restart, tackle ‘final’ issues

By Daina Beth Solomon and David Lawder
Reuters
September 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON – U.S. and Canadian negotiators pushed ahead in grinding talks to rescue the North American Free Trade Agreement on Thursday, but a few stubborn issues stood in the way of a deal, including dairy quotas, protection for Canadian media companies, and how to resolve future trade disputes. U.S. source familiar with the discussions in Washington said it was still unclear whether the two sides could bridge the gaps or whether President Donald Trump will opt for a Mexico-only bilateral trade deal. “We’re down to three issues: Chapter 19, the cultural issues and dairy. We’ve created leverage and driven Canada to the table,” the source said. “Part of our problem is that Canada has been backsliding on its commitments (on dairy).”  …Trump has set a deadline for a deal this week

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Trudeau accuses Trump of flouting trade rules

By Adrian Morrow
The Globe and Mail
September 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took aim at President Donald Trump, arguing Canada must preserve a key dispute resolution mechanism in the North American free-trade agreement because the U.S. President “doesn’t always follow the rules.” Mr. Trudeau affirmed that Chapter 19 is a “red line” for Canada. “We need to keep the Chapter 19 dispute resolution because that ensures that the rules are actually followed. I mean, we have a President who doesn’t always follow the rules as they’re laid out,” he said in an interview with an Edmonton radio station on Wednesday. …Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to Washington on Wednesday to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. She described the talks at his office near the White House as “productive” with “goodwill” from the Americans. Negotiators from the two countries planned to meet again late into the night, she said. [Full story available to Globe and Mail Subscribers only]

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Canada’s Chrystia Freeland calls NAFTA talks ‘constructive’ but still no deal

By S.A. Miller
Washington Times
September 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

Canada’s top trade negotiator stepped out of high-stakes talks with the Trump administration Wednesday to say that the dialogue was “constructive” but had yet to hit upon a deal. The talks to remake the North American Free Trade Agreement resumed after grinding to a halt last week. “We continue to work hard,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters camped outside the talks in Washington. “The atmosphere continues to be constructive and positive. There is good faith and good will on both sides.” U.S. Trade Representative Robert LIghtizer and Ms. Freeland are the chief dealmakers at the table. But on the sidelines, President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have dug into seemingly irreconcilable positions. 

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Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Enters Southeast U.S. – Announces Agreement to Acquire 70% Stake in Industrial Wood Pellet Production Facility in Alabama

Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc.
September 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, Sept. 6, 2018  – Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 70 percent interest in an operating industrial wood pellet production facility located in Aliceville, Alabama from The Westervelt Company, a diversified land resources company. Westervelt will retain a 30 percent interest in the Aliceville Facility. The Aliceville Facility has an annual production capacity of approximately 270,000 metric tons of industrial wood pellets. Approximately 210,000 metric tons per annum is committed under a long-term off-take contract to a major European utility. The remaining production volume from the Aliceville Facility will be sold through Pinnacle’s contracted backlog of long-term, take-or-pay off-take contracts. …Westervelt is currently ramping up production at the Aliceville Facility. Pinnacle is partnering with Westervelt to optimize asset configuration, distribution logistics and fibre supply.

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Isle Pierre Shut Down

By Cheryl Jahn
CKPGToday.ca
September 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – Canfor has become a casualty of the wildfires. It’s Isle Pierre operation has been shut down this week due to a lack of log in the log yard due to the wildfires.  “Due to the extreme fire weather in North Central BC, the vast majority of harvesting activities had been halted in the region west of Prince George,” Canfor wrote in a statement. “As a result, the log inventory at Isle Pierre Sawmill was depleted.  Operations at the mill were suspended on Tuesday. Harvesting activities have resumed this week. The company says it is “optimistic” operations at that mill will resume on Monday, September 10th. 

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Interfor Hires Record Number of Co-op Students in 2018

By Brenda Martin
Interfor Corporation
September 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Interfor Corporation Interfor employed 40 co-op students in 2018—the most ever in a single year—and will be in universities and colleges again this fall to grow our program for 2019. “The co-op program is an important part of our growth and our future,” says Mark Stock, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Information Technology. “We’re focused on developing our own talent at Interfor. The hope is that twenty years from now many of these co-op students will hold significant positions in the Company.” Recruitment Specialist Jennifer Irving explains how a co-op job can lead to more opportunities. “Several co-op students are going back to school this fall knowing they have a full-time, permanent job with Interfor when they graduate next spring.”

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Crews called to fire at Roseburg Forest Products

NBC Montana
September 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Missoula Fire Department and Missoula Rural Fire District crews responded to a fire at Roseburg Forest Products in Missoula at 8:36 p.m Wednesday evening. Assistant Chief Paul Finlay confirmed the fire was in a sawdust storage area and conveyor areas. He said workers from Roseburg’s fire brigade were already working to attack the fire when additional crews arrived.  Crews applied water and hand lines. Four engines, two ladder trucks, one ambulance and three command rigs responded. They remained on scene for around three hours. Finlay said they do not know how the fire started, but that these fires are common with the dry wood products that the Roseburg plant uses. No injuries were reported. [End of story]

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China ups ante in trade war, imposes tariff that could doom US paper recycling

By Heather van Blokland
Payson Roundup
September 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX – Most of the headlines from the trade war between China and the United States have focused on tariffs on aluminum and steel, but China also has placed a levy on recycled paper pulp. While not as well known, the 25 percent tariff could bankrupt the beleagured recycling industry in the United States. China’s latest round of retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., …includes something called “recovered fiber materials,” basically, the paper, newspaper and cardboard that we put in the recycle bin. …China is the top importer of U.S. recycled paper, buying 2.73 million tons of U.S. corrugated cardboard during the first half of 2018 and 1.4 million tons of all other U.S.-sourced recovered fiber. Without China as the buyer of American recycled paper, the future of U.S. recycling is in doubt.

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Trade panel smart to nix paper tariffs

By The Editorial Board
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
September 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. International Trade Commission recently and unanimously rejected tariffs imposed on newsprint and other forms of uncoated groundwood paper imported from Canada. The decision by the commission appropriately rejected tariffs levied by the Trump administration’s Commerce Department in response to a complaint by a single U.S. paper manufacturer owned by a hedge fund. The commission currently has five members (one seat is vacant): two Republicans and one Democrat appointed by President Barack Obama; one Democrat appointed by President George W. Bush; one Democrat appointed by President Donald Trump. …The tariffs didn’t make sense and weren’t supported by the vast majority of the affected paper producers in the United States and Canada. Technically labeled as anti-dumping and countervailing duties, the tariffs were initiated by the U.S. Department of Commerce in response to a petition by one paper producer in Washington state.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Toronto timber build could be a trendsetter: developers

By Patricia Williams
Journal of Commerce
September 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Construction is underway in downtown Toronto on a multi-storey mixed-use project that incorporates an innovative combination of glulam and cross-laminated timber (CLT). The timber installation, scheduled for completion in mid-September, encompasses a combined floor and roof area of 3,800 square metres. The development, located at the southwest corner of Charles and Yonge streets, is thought to be the first significant contemporary “mass timber” project to proceed in the city’s downtown core. …“Timber construction is definitely staking a new claim, so many years after now century-old wood buildings were being constructed in the city,” said Gary Williams, president of Timber Systems Ltd. …For its part, Timber Systems has worked with Brook McIlroy on several projects in the past. The firm has a three-decades-long history of working with Blackwell on a variety of wood projects.

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‘Fire risk’ warning for new Suvarnabhumi terminal design

By Mongkol Bangprapa
Bangkok Post
September 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Engineering Institute of Thailand has warned that the winning design for the new passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport poses a huge fire risk with its huge wooden structures. EIT executives held a media conference at the institute in Bangkok on Thursday to issue the warning. Vice president Kecha Thirakomen said the winning design requires a lot of wood and the use of timber pillars and ceiling support beams increased the risk in the event of a fire. “They would catch fire quickly. The fire would be extensive and fierce. High-level wooden beams would be engulfed in rising heat that would be trapped under the ceiling. Standard fire-fighting systems like sprinklers and hoses would not be able to cope,” he said. “A passenger terminal could contain tens of thousands of people at any time,” he added.

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Forestry

Taking back control of resource extraction on public land

By Briony Penn is currently working with Xenaksiala elder, Cecil Paul, Wa’xaid
Focus on Victoria
September 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sonia Furstenau

An August roundtable meeting to discuss the future of BC’s public forests is held in the Cedar Room of the Legislature. It seems appropriate, as the threatened western red cedar is one of the victims of 17 years of a failed regulatory model for our public forests—at least according to most of the people seated around the table. It is also the first time in 17 years that this type of citizen engagement about the future of public forests has been convened in the Legislature. The person responsible for spearheading this conversation is Sonia Furstenau, Green MLA. She introduced one of the four conditions in the NDP/Green Supply and Confidence Agreement: a commitment to review the professional reliance model (PRM) of forest management in British Columbia. 

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The forest we’ve got is due to the choices we’ve made for centuries

By Gary L. Saunders, retired DNR extension forester
The Chronicle Herald
September 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Gary L. Saunders

Good news that the long-awaited Lahey report on Nova Scotia forest policy is finally out and available online. Thanks for your recent even-handed review. As a forester with no love for industrial clearcutting but some knowledge of provincial forest history, I look forward to studying it. However, knowing forest ecology and our long history of forest use and abuse, I expect no quick fix. With luck my six-year-old Halifax granddaughter will see progress; the rest of us won’t. Why? Because forests are slow, politics is fast, and our 30,000 woodlot owners are proud individualists. Your typical Acadian sugar maple or red spruce takes 200-plus years to mature. Your average politician lasts four years in office. And our private landowners hold the winning cards.

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Over 350 hectares of Cobequid Hills Acadian forest gifted to Nature Conservancy

By Harry Sullivan
The Chronicle Herald
September 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TATAMAGOUCHE — A large plot of pristine Acadian forest in the Cobequid Hills of New Annan is to be preserved in perpetuity, thanks to the family of a former Truro doctor. “Today we are establishing a new nature reserve in your neck of the woods,” said Craig Smith, a program director with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Speaking to an audience gathered at Creamery Square in Tatamagouche, Smith said the donation of 366 hectares of forest land by the three sons of the late Dr. George and Phyllis Cook is the largest conservation project undertaken by the conservancy in Nova Scotia this year. It’s also the largest project the agency has partnered in over the past five years in Canada. The forest, dominated by sugar maples, beech and birch, along with scattered growths of pine, ash and hemlock, is made up of “some of the highest quality Acadian forest” his team has documented in the region, Smith said.

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State officials seek public’s help to find ash trees sold in Maine this summer

The County
September 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) is seeking the public’s help in locating ash trees sold by a major retailer in Maine this summer. Entomologists are concerned that they may contain emerald ash borer (EAB), a tree-killing insect that wipes out ash trees in areas where it is present. EAB arrived in North America from overseas late in the last century. From its initial beachhead in Michigan, it has spread throughout more than half the country in wood products including firewood, but also in trees sold for planting. Last month, DACF personnel discovered ash trees for sale at a major retailer that had been shipped from a New Jersey nursery that was inside an EAB quarantine area. Those trees were immediately removed from sale and destroyed. The New Jersey nursery reported shipping three (3) additional trees to Maine stores which were sold before DACF personnel discovered the quarantine violation.

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Forest Fires

Video shows incredible precision of air crews fighting BC’s massive Shovel Lake wildfire

By Jon Azpiri
Global News
September 5, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews are making steady progress on a number of wildfires across the province, thanks in part to water drops like the one captured in a recent viral video. In the video, pilots expertly douse a batch of flames burning in the Shovel Lake wildfire with a level of precision that is hard to believe. An Erikson S64 Aircrane approaches a fire after filling its giant tank with water using a long hose — sea snorkel — dangling from the aircraft.  

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Northern California wildfire triples in size, spurs evacuations

CBS News
September 6, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

REDDING, Calif. — An explosive wildfire has nearly tripled in size overnight in Northern California and prompted closure of a major freeway, just weeks after a nearby blaze that left neighborhoods in ruins and killed eight people, officials said Thursday. The fire that erupted Wednesday afternoon and devoured timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 near the Oregon state line had expanded to 23 square miles Thursday, prompting mandatory evacuations, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement. That’s up from 8 square miles burning Wednesday. Authorities said Thursday night that 45 miles of I-5 will remain closed until at least Friday morning. The highway runs north from the Mexico border through California, Oregon and Washington state to the border with Canada.

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New wildfire ordinance on hold

By Morgan Theophil
Ashland Daily Tidings
September 5, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

While designating Ashland a wildfire hazard zone would allow the city to dictate new safety measures within the entirety of city limits, some residents are concerned about how the new label could impact their insurance. The Ashland City Council on Aug. 21 had unanimously approved the first of two readings of amendments to the city’s Wildfire Mitigation Ordinance, which would designate the entire city of Ashland as a wildfire hazard zone … since that designation would allow the city to mandate such firesafe steps as banning wood-shake roofs on new construction. But rather than reading and passing the second and final reading, the council voted to postpone the second reading two or four weeks. City Council members said residents have expressed concerns about how their insurance companies will react if their home is suddenly declared to be in a wildfire hazard zone, fearing increasing costs or denial of insurance altogether.

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Wildfires yield $845 million in losses

By Lisa Krieger
The Mercury News
September 6, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Residents and business owners have filed more than $845 million in insurance claims as a result of this summer’s Carr and Mendocino Complex wildfires, the first data on what’s likely to be massive bill from a series of blazes that have hit the state this year. The startling tally comes less than a year after the devastating Wine Country fires in October totaled $10.4 billion in losses, making them the costliest wildfires in U.S. history. This year, more than 10,000 insurance claims have been filed for property losses as a result of the two Northern California fires, which damaged or destroyed more than 8,800 homes, 329 businesses, and more than 800 private autos, commercials vehicles, and other types of property, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said on Thursday morning. …“The worst may be yet to come,” Jones said, noting that wildfire season peaks in the fall.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

50 Million Trees helps landowners

By Meghan Balogh
The Kingston Whig-Standard
September 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forests Ontario is encouraging landowners who want to plant trees on their properties to begin planning for spring by investigating the 50 Million Trees Program. The 50 Million Trees Program is a provincial initiative administered by Forests Ontario that wants to see 50 million new trees planted in Ontario by the year 2025. The initiative is part of the United Nations’ goal to plant one billion trees worldwide every year. “The 50 Million Tree Program is designed to significantly reduce the costs to landowners of large-scale tree planting and thereby increase the number of trees planted across the province,” a news release from Forests Ontario said. Landowners with at least one hectare of open land who are interested in reforestation can access some valuable resources through Forests Ontario and the local partners — such as the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority — who help administer the 50 Million Trees Program.

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Loggers, Environmentalists Rally Against Energy Bills Veto

Associated Press in US News
September 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

CONCORD, N.H. — Nearly 100 loggers, biomass plant owners and environmentalists have rallied on the grounds of the Statehouse in favor of overturning Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of two energy bills. The group, several who brought their logging trucks to Thursday’s rally, argued the vetoes hurt the state’s economy, especially the biomass industry and forestry-related businesses which send wood to those plants. They estimated plant closings could cost 1,000 jobs and eliminate 100 megawatts of energy. One bill would require utilities to purchase power from independent biomass power plants. Sununu said the bill amounted to an immense subsidy for six companies. The second would have expanded net metering, which allows small-system power generators to get credits for electricity they send to the grid. Lawmakers return to consider vetoes Sept. 13.

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