Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 3, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

New NAFTA shows limits of America First; and the reactions keep coming in

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 3, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway
Region: Canada, United States

The world’s trading system survived the most protectionist US administration in memory, as the new NAFTA shows limits of America First. The reason—according to the Wall Street Journal—the resistance Mr. Trump encountered from Congress, business, his advisers and Canada and Mexico. A summary look at the range of reactions to the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

In other news: Resolute is selling its South Carolina paper mill; Palmer Renewable Energy plans its biomass launch in Oregon; Miller Western wins a safety award in Alberta; and the US Senate narrowly passed Daines’ bill to “end fringe litigation and the endless barrage of timber lawsuits“.

Finally, Canadian Women in Timber pays homage to BC’s forest sector on its Forest Awareness Day.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Canadian Women in Timber Celebrate Forest Awareness Day

Canadian Women in Timber
October 3, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Women in Timber are planning a celebration—one that pays homage to BC’s forest sector – Forest Awareness Day. For almost 30 years we’ve put the first Wednesday of October aside to look to our forests, and recognize them for the bounty they provide for us. Our grassroots organization is closely connected to the natural resource sector, and as such, we know how important forests are to every British Columbian. Our directors and members are volunteers who work at the community level to bring Forest Awareness Through Education to people who may not be as familiar with our forests. This year we are asking you to join us!

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Business & Politics

New Nafta Shows Limits of ‘America First’

By Greg Ip
The Wall Street Journal
October 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

To free traders, the new Nafta is a bitter pill to swallow. It introduces managed trade to autos, waters down the foreign rights of corporations and normalizes national security as a pretext for tariffs. Many of its improvements, such as on intellectual property and labor rights, were already in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which President Donald Trump has withdrawn. But the verdict is different when judged by a different standard—how the world’s trading system survives the most protectionist U.S. administration in memory. The new deal shows the limits to Mr. Trump’s “America First” agenda and an underlying resilience to the existing order. The reason: the resistance Mr. Trump encountered from Congress, business, his own advisers and U.S. trading partners. This circumscribed his leverage and may again in the future. …Had U.S. negotiators proceeded without Canada, there was a real risk that Congress wouldn’t ratify an agreement. (full story with WSJ digital subscription only)

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A look at the range of reactions to the new US Mexico Canada deal

The Canadian Press in the Guardian Charlottetown
October 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Here’s what political and industry leaders are saying about the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement: “It’s an agreement that will be good for Canadian workers, good for Canadian business, and good for Canadian families — Prime Minister Trudeau. …”It is a great deal for all three countries — U.S. President Trump. …”Trudeau is trying to claim credit for things Conservative governments had already locked down —Andrew Scheer. …”This agreement is a highly significant achievement for Canada — former prime minister Mulroney. …”We’re calling on the Trudeau Liberals to compensate our farmers” — Ontario Premier Ford. …”The Liberals made concession after concession” — United Steel Workers Canadian Director Neumann. …”The USMCA will ensure certainty and improved trade stability” FPAC CEO Nighbor.

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Millar Western’s operations win Health & Safety Excellence Awards in Canada

WoodBizForum
October 3, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Millar Western Forest Products’ Fox Creek and Whitecourt wood products operations have been recognized at the 2018 Alberta Forest Products Association AGM and Conference for exceptional safety performance. According to the announcement, Fox Creek operation won the Health & Safety Excellence Award for 2017 in Sawmill Category1 (40,000-400,00 hours worked), while Whitecourt operation won the Health & Safety Excellence Award for 2017 in Sawmill Category 2 (400,000+ hours worked). Fox Creek was also honoured for long-term commitment, winning the Outstanding Achievement in Healthy and Safety Award for 2015-2017.

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Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry roundtable tour aims for economic growth in forestry

By Joshua Santos
The Daily Press (Timmins)
October 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Representatives of the Government of Ontario will be touring the Northeast to develop a strategy for economic growth within the forestry sector. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will be hosting a number of roundtable discussions across the province to gather feedback. They begin their tour in November. The decision has been lauded by the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities. Jeff Yurek, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, said, “We want to ensure the forestry sector is going to be driven by a long-term vision of growth and be sustainable for communities across the province. …Scheduled meetings include stops next year in Kapuskasing on Wednesday, Feb. 6, Timmins on Friday, May 3 and Hearst on Friday, May 17.

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Mills in good shape after deal, union

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
October 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Unifor spokesman Steve Boon says forestry operations in the district are still in a good position, after this week’s trade deal. “Obviously, we would’ve preferred there was some kind of settlement that came out of NAFTA that was directly tied to resolving the softwood dispute,” he said. The last softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. expired in 2015. Boon added market conditions are good right now, and they allow mills to absorb tariffs on lumber from the area that’s exported to the United States. “I mean, it’s not something you want to absorb long-term, but our mills are positioned to absorb those 20 per cent duties that are currently applied,” he added.

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Resolute to Sell Catawba, SC, Paper and Pulp Mill

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
October 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement with New-Indy Containerboard, LLC for the sale of its Catawba, South Carolina, paper and pulp mill, for a total purchase price of about $300 million, consisting of $260 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments, and the assumption of approximately $40 million of balance sheet liabilities, largely net pension benefit obligations. Catawba’s operation includes a kraft mill and a pulp dryer to produce market pulp, a thermomechanical pulp mill as well as a lightweight coated paper machine. The facility currently employs 460 people. Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, New-Indy will offer employment to Catawba employees effective upon closing of the transaction, which is expected at or around year-end. The sale is subject to certain closing conditions.

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Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities welcomes new forestry strategy

By Gord Young
North Bay Nugget
October 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities is applauding the province’s plan to develop a strategy aimed at promoting economic growth in the forestry sector. FONOM issued a release Monday welcoming the “government’s plan to develop a provincial forestry strategy to reduce red tape and create an environment that supports growth and competitiveness within the sector.” “We thank the minister and his government for taking on this initiative to ensure the forest sector remains competitive. FONOM looks forward to providing input throughout the consultation process,” said FONOM President Danny Whalen, a councillor in Temiskaming Shores. He said Kapuskasing mayor Al Spacek, FONOM’s past president, will represent the federation in the initiative.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Local Trees Can Help Solve Our Housing Crisis

By Timothy A. Schuler
Hawaii Business Magazine
October 2, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A UH graduate’s relentless three-year quest proves even invasive trees can be turned into useful, even beautiful, dwellings. …Native to Indonesia’s Molucca Islands, Falcataria moluccana was brought to Hawaii in 1917 by botanist Joseph Rock. Thousands of albizia seedlings were planted to reforest the islands. …The tree grows so fast …that its wood is spongy and as flimsy as cheap wooden chopsticks. Is albizia the answer to Hawaii’s housing crisis? Probably not. It could take years before albizia is available at a commercial scale… However, Hawaii is poised to enter the “timber age.” …The Hawaii Wood Utilization Team is doing what it can to allay fears and speed adoption. Currently, it is working to find workarounds to code compliance and other obstacles in collaboration with WoodWorks, a national nonprofit funded in part by the Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board, which provides education, resources and free technical support on large-scale timber projects.

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Stockholm might get an entire neighborhood of 31 wooden skyscrapers — take a look

By Peter Kotecki
Business Insider
October 2, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

All around the world, skyscrapers are increasingly featuring mass timber instead of steel or reinforced concrete. Architects praise timber structures, which use large, prefabricated wood pieces, for their resistance to fire and ability to sequester carbon. Skylines in US cities like Chicago may soon include wooden skyscrapers, and the state of Oregon recently legalized mass timber high-rises. In Toronto, Canada, Sidewalk Labs— which is affiliated with Google’s parent company, Alphabet — is planning to build a high-tech neighborhood out of mass timber. Another neighborhood of wooden skyscrapers has been planned for Stockholm, Sweden, where local firm Anders Berensson Architects was commissioned to design a district with 31 towers made from cross-laminated timber.

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Forestry

City greening experts from around the globe gather in Vancouver

By Tree Canada
Cision Newswire
October 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Vancouver will host the largest international conference on urban forestry ever held, when more than 700 urban greening experts from across the world assemble for the International Urban Forestry Congress (IUFC 2018) from October 1st to 3rd. Trees and green spaces are crucial components of our cities and towns. However, most cities are still losing trees and green spaces due to climate change, invasive pests, development, and densification. Under the title ‘The Urban Forest – Diverse in Nature’, IUFC 2018 will focus on the importance of diversity in terms of using a wider range of trees (and other species) to make cities more ‘climate proof’. The unique three-day event will include a variety of keynote speaking sessions, Tree Academy classes and workshops, field trips and a tree climbing competition.

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Nelson student wins forestry scholarship

Nelson Star
October 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Daniel Burgel

A Nelson student at Selkirk College has received a forestry scholarship from the B.C. Council of Forest Industries. Daniel Burgel, who is studying forest technology at Selkirk, was one of 10 British Columbians to win the $1,500 scholarship. The council’s president and CEO Susan Yurkovich said in a statement that the scholarship is meant to support the next generation of foresters.  “The forest industry needs bright, young minds and our industry offers diverse career opportunities in manufacturing, environmental management, technology, trades and professional services,” she said. Burgel, an L.V. Rogers graduate, was the only West Kootenay recipient. [END]

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Daines seeks end to fringe litigation with pilot arbitration program for Forest Service

By Martin Kidston
Missoula Current
October 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Republican majority on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources narrowly passed a bill by Sen. Steve Daines Tuesday that seeks to end what the Montana lawmaker describes as an endless barrage of lawsuits filed by fringe environmental groups against timber projects that enjoy collaborative support. Daines’ bill, which cleared the committee on a bipartisan 13-10 vote, would establish a five-year pilot program allowing arbitration to occur on two litigated Forest Service projects each year. The two projects must be located in Montana, Idaho or Wyoming. “Litigation from a few fringe groups is having a devastating impact on Montana,” Daines told the committee. “It’s a constant, unending barrage of lawsuits, now spanning more than a decade, and it’s hurting our forests and crushing our wood products communities. We have, in essence, replaced loggers with lawyers.”

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UP legislators, road commissions at odds over logging truck restrictions

By Julie Williams
Upper Michigan Source
October 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. Senate Bill 396 is a proposal by Senator Tom Casperson. The bill’s wording would allow logging companies to determine when a gravel or dirt road can be used by their trucks during the spring season when many roads are under weight-restriction guidelines. Right now the decision lies solely on county road commissions. “The roads are very tender, you’re going to create too much damage by hauling either logs or equipment out of the field at this time,” said Jim Iwanicki, Engineer Manager at the Marquette County Road Commission.  … Senator Casperson says logging company’s decisions would still be based on weather and would take road commission recommendations into consideration. 

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Spotting a Southern Pine Beetle infestation

By David Jones
WCJB
October 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. — Landowners with pine trees on their property know all too well how important it is to protect against Southern Pine Beetles. The species extends across the southeastern United States and can cause millions of dollars in damage. The beetle is smaller than a grain of rice. Unlike most pine beetles which only attack trees that are sick or dying, the Southern Pine Beetle is also capable of attacking healthy pine trees. This makes it a problem the Florida Forest Service has targeted for decades. “Maybe 10 thousand of them might actually go into a healthy tree and attack that healthy tree at one time,” said Forester Dave Conser of the Florida Forest Service. “If you can imagine being stuck by 10 thousand needles at one time, we’d be in trouble.”

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Liberals ‘cave in’ and reject calls for new Great Forest National Park

By Richard Willingham and Stephanie Anderson
ABC News, Australia
October 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A new national park in Victoria’s central highlands — home of the state’s animal emblem, the leadbeater’s possum — will not be created if the Coalition win government. Speaking at Melbourne Zoo on Monday, Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the creation of a Great Forest National Park was not on the Coalition’s agenda. Junior Coalition partner the Nationals have been clear in opposing the park. Mr Guy said the Liberals and Nationals were unified on their policy towards a Great Forest National Park. “Our policy on this is 100 per cent rock solid and is 100 per cent correct together,” he said. Environmentalists have been pushing to set aside 355,000 hectares of land to create the Great Forest National Park. Logging of native timber occurs in the region and the industry says a national park would destroy the sector.

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By gum: tiny wasp may protect mighty eucalyptus trees

The NZ Environmental Protection Authority
Scoop.co.nz
October 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is considering an application to release a parasitoid wasp to control the eucalyptus tortoise beetle. Scion, the Crown Research Institute focused on research, science and technological development for the forestry and timber industries, has lodged the application. …“According to the applicant, the beetle costs the forest industry $1.0-$2.6 million a year in chemical control costs. …Farm foresters and owners of moderately-sized eucalyptus plantations cannot afford aerial spraying, so biocontrol is their only realistic option to combat damage done by the beetle, Scion notes. “Eucalyptus trees are grown in New Zealand as a source of products such as woodchips for paper and cardboard manufacture, lumber, and durable poles which do not require preservative treatment,” Dr Thomson-Carter says.

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B.C.’s tree seed bank plants hundreds of millions of seedlings each year

By Gordon McIntyre
The Vancouver Sun
October 2, 2018
Category: Forestry

The seeds of an idea from the 1950s took root in Duncan and today has branched out to a massive operation in South Surrey that has the goal of planting replacements for every lost tree in the province, and more. “We’re a full-service facility that process cones and seeds,” Dave Kolotelo, cone and seed improvement officer at the B.C. Tree Seed Centre, said. “We store seeds and prepare seeds for nursery sowing in British Columbia.” …This year more than a quarter-billion seedlings will be planted with seeds provided by the centre’s 36 tonnes of seed stock from 15 species. That represents about $80 million of seeds on-site. …The centre also houses a gene bank, with 10,000 tree seeds from 42 species and is working on the restoration of whitebark pine, a long-living but endangered species found at high elevations.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Palmer Renewable Energy plans spring groundbreaking for Springfield biomass plant

Jim Kinney
Mass Live
October 2, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

SPRINGFIELD – Palmer Renewable Energy is planning a spring groundbreaking for the $150 million biomass energy plant it wants to build in East Springfield, an attorney representing the company said Monday. The move comes more than two years after the last time the wood-to-energy project was in the news and follows more than a decade of litigation, regulatory approvals and neighborhood protests.  …Fitzgerald said the groundbreaking is set for spring after conferring with his clients. …Fitzgerald said Palmer Renewable Energy is a separate company owned by investors including the Callahan family, who sold Palmer Paving to Peckham.

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