Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 16, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Climate change implicated in loss of insect abundance in some tropical forests

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 16, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Climate change is implicated in the loss of insect abundance in some tropical forests, and is hyperalarming—given its impact on the broader ecosystem. In related news: climate change may also threaten the availability and economic accessibility of beer; Canadian MPs debate the recent UN report; and more investment is sought for Ontario’s Biomass Innovation Cluster.  

In other news: Paper Excellence targets Asia with its Catalyst purchase; Tolko curtails production at its Quest Wood mill in BC; prescribed burning takes hold in Washington state, hurricane Michael may have implications for Florida’s forest sector and its building code; and California utilities shut off power amid wildfire concerns.

Finally, the US National Forest Week starts next week and the American Forest and Paper Association has plans to celebrate.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Climate change is coming for your beer

By Fiza Pirani
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 15, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Last week, the United Nations warned that if governments don’t act on climate change within 12 years, there will be additional threats to the global environment. …Now,  a new study from climate researchers in the United States, China and Britain suggests a beer shortage is brewing. …Using a process-based crop model and an economic model, the researchers examined the effects of heat waves and drought… that will also affect where barley is grown. That means beer prices on average would double, even adjusting for inflation. …“Although not the most concerning impact of future climate change, climate-related weather extremes may threaten the availability and economic accessibility of beer,” researchers wrote. “Our aim is not to encourage people to drink more beer now,” says study author Dabo Guan.

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Business & Politics

New owners of Crofton mill see bright future for industry

By Robert Barron
Lake Cowichan Gazette
October 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paper Excellence Canada sees forestry as a sunrise industry, rather than one that is on the decline… The Richmond-based forest company bought Catalyst Paper and all its assets last week… Kathy Cloutier, director of corporate communications at Paper Excellence, assured the approximately 570 workers currently employed at the Crofton mill, as well as Catalyst’s 1,000 mill workers at its other two mills in Port Alberni and Powell River, that their jobs and benefits will continue untouched into the foreseeable future. …Cloutier said Paper Excellence is looking at expanding its markets globally, with a particular eye on Asia. She said the middle class in many Asian countries continues to grow at a fast rate, leading to more demands for such luxury goods as paper tissue and towels… “We’re very excited about the opportunities for the pulp and paper industry in Canada, and we see a lot of growth here,” Cloutier said.

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Tolko to curtail operations at Northern B.C. mill

By Ronan O’Doherty
The 100 Mile Free Press
October 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries Limited has told their employees in Quesnel that they will be curtailing operations at their Quest Wood lumber mill effective immediately. The decision is based on high log costs and poor market conditions according to an email from Donna Pincott, Tolko’s Manager of Communication. “Over 100 employees are affected,” she wrote, “As you can imagine, we deeply regret the impact this will have on our employees and their families.” This number does not take into consideration indirect employees like logging contractors, so the total number could be much higher. “Maintenance will continue to operate beyond the production curtailment date to ensure the mill is ready to resume future operations,” Pincott added.

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US Lumber and panel market report

Random Lenghts Publications
October 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Random Lengths Lumber Market ReportFraming lumber prices continued to tumble, as supplies easily outpaced demand across North America. Fear of downside risk kept most buyers on the sidelines, and the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price fell by double digits for the fifth consecutive week. The composite price fell $16 to $373, its lowest level since February 2017. A limit-down move in the November futures contract Thursday, and back-to-back days of plunging prices on the stock market gave buyers additional reasons for caution.

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Join AF&PA in Celebrating National Forest Products Week!

By Donna Harman, CEO
AF&PA Blog
October 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Donna Harman

National Forest Products Week (NFPW) is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited to get the party started! Here at the American Forest & Paper Association, we’ll be celebrating the 58thanniversary of NFPW from October 21 – 27, and we hope you’ll join us. …We represent one of the largest manufacturing sectors in America with approximately 950,000 employees at facilities in rural and urban communities. …We’ll be highlighting a number of topics – trade policy that supports open markets for our products, recycling best practices and sustainable manufacturing, including energy production from carbon neutral forest biomass residuals. We will also celebrate the value our employees provide to the industry and the paper and wood products they produce. …Let’s all make the year’s NFPW the best ever!

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New Chief of the U.S. Forest Service to Speak at SFI Conference

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Globe Newswire
October 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Newly appointed Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Vicki Christiansen will participate in the “Inspiring Women Leaders in Sustainability” panel at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s Annual Conference on October 18. The panel will discuss responsible forest management, forest health and the leadership role women are playing on a range of sustainability issues. Speakers will also share their stories about encouraging women to take leadership roles. Other panel speakers include Bettina Ring, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Dana Collins, Executive Director, Canadian Institute of Forestry, Lisa Allen, State Forester, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Laura Schweitzer, Executive Director, Council of Western State Foresters/Western Forestry Leadership Coalition. The keynote address this year will be delivered by Dan Lambe, President, Arbor Day Foundation and it will focus on the importance of trees and forests in public and private partnerships. 

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Florida’s timber industry could be affected by Hurricane Michael

By Michele Forehand
Dothan Eagle
October 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Florida timber industry could be affected by Hurricane Michael, both now and years down the road. Florida has more than 17 million acres of forests, and the vast majority of those timberlands are working forests. Florida also has more than 400 logging companies across the state that depend heavily on a good timber harvest. Timber is one of the largest industries in the state of Florida. However, after Hurricane Michael many timber and logging companies are worried how the timber is affected today and how it will be affected 10 years from now. “My concern is what the availability of timber will be the next 10 years,” said Dwayne Taylor with D&S Logging and Chiploa Timbers Harvesting Inc., in Chipley.

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Canfor’s Dedicated Trucking Line Unveils New Website and Logo

By Carl Hamilton
Canfor Blog
October 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

New South Express (NSE), our award-winning dedicated trucking line, is a… transportation logistics specialist and leader in safety plays a key role in delivering our southern yellow pine products to our customers in the US. NSE has been part of the Canfor group since the New South acquisition in 2006, and has been growing ever since with its operations now covering the Carolinas, Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia. More recently, NSE has focused on the growth required to meet the future market demands for Canfor southern yellow pine products. …With an expanding fleet on the horizon, our need to recruit quality drivers is key to Canfor’s success in meeting our customer needs.

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US-China trade war creating uncertainty in forestry sector, says Papua New Guinea Forest Industry Association

By David James
Business Advantage PNG
October 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The forestry sector is keeping a close eye on the US-China trade war, which has created uncertainty in the market, according to Bob Tate, Executive Director of the Papua New Guinea Forestry Industry Association. He told Business Advantage PNG that China remains PNG’s dominant export market. With 88 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s timber exports sold into China for processing and on-selling into the US, the sector is keeping a close eye on the US-China trade war, says Tate. Of PNG’s total timber exports of 3,260,501 cubic metres in 2017, 2,869,240 cubic metres went to China. Over the last year, he says, volumes rose slightly and prices are averaging out at around the high $US90 per cubic metre. ‘So far, those trade wars have not directly affected forestry nor forest products,’ he told Business Advantage PNG. ‘But they’ve created a high degree of uncertainty and caution in forest products markets.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Building with wood to ease student housing crunch

By Chandel Diebold – Forestry Innovation Investment
REMI Network Design Quarterly
October 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

…With thousands of names on waiting lists for student housing at British Columbia universities, the skyrocketing demand in an already crowded and expensive rental market has inspired an innovative solution at Trinity Western University (TWU). The …university in Langley, B.C., did something recently that no other university in Canada has ever done. The school hired Metric Modular, a B.C. based modular builder, to build the tallest wood-framed modular student housing complex in Canada. The entire five-storey structure of Jacobson Hall was was completed in just nine months, adding housing for about 220 students who moved into their new residence in September, just in time for school. …A modular wood building proved to be the perfect solution for TWU who were able to build a student residence to meet their needs at over 53,000 square feet, while keeping the cost within budget and accelerating the traditional speed of construction.

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Michael lays bare Panhandle’s weaker building codes

By Gary Fineout
Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Unlike in South Florida, homes in the state’s Panhandle did not have tighter building codes until just 11 years ago; it was once argued that acres of forests would provide the region with a natural barrier against the savage winds of a hurricane. Many of those structures did not withstand the fury of Hurricane Michael, which slammed into the area last week with winds of up to 155 mph (250 kph), leaving acres of flattened houses and other buildings in its wake before roaring across the Georgia border inland. …He said engineers will be asking how old the destroyed and damaged buildings were and under what version of the Florida building codes they were built. They also will be looking at the differences between the structures that survived and those that did not.

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Modified wood maker Kebony doubles production capacity with new plant

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
October 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

BELGIUM – Modified wood cladding and decking manufacturer Kebony announced the opening of the company’s new factory in Flanders, Belgium. “The opening of our second factory is a momentous occasion in Kebony’s history and will be vital to our continued growth for many years to come,” said Kebony CEO Bruno Van den Branden said. “We are delighted to be in a position where we can significantly increase our production capacity of environmentally friendly products, which will only serve to help us to continue positively influencing the sustainable construction industry worldwide.” The Kebony technology modifies sustainably sourced softwoods by heating the wood with a bio-based liquid. By polymerizing the wood’s cell wall, the softwoods reportedly take on the attributes of tropical hardwood including high durability, hardness, and dimensional stability.

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Forestry

Port Alberni’s Thompson family honoured for forest stewardship

Albernie Valley News
October 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI – Todd Thompson and his mother, Joan Thompson, are being recognized by the Province of British Columbia with the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management for the Coast. “The Thompsons have created value out of their sustainable, small-scale forestry operation – one that exceeds social and environmental requirements and focuses on the Port Alberni community,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. …“The Thompsons have been an integral part of the Port Alberni community for generations,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “This award is just a small token of appreciation for their many community contributions economically, recreationally, historically and as outstanding local citizens.”

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Future Natural Resource Leaders meet in Scio, Oregon

By Jan Jackson
Capital Press
October 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SCIO, Ore. — Scio High School hosted the first-of-the-school year Future Natural Resource Leadership (FNRL) of Oregon Career Development Event on Oct. 11, drawing 193 students who competed in competitive activities that included forestry skills, tree and tool identification, first aid procedures, map reading, speeches and job interviews. FNRL, chartered in 2016 to bridge the gap between classroom training and real world applications, is one of seven Career and Technical Student Leadership Organizations in Oregon. …Each high school program is locally controlled and varies by needs of the communities, strengths of the advisers and direction of the local school district. The FNRL is a state Career Technical Student Organization and is basically the leadership portion of the program. The CTSO also hosts different events for students including leadership training and FNRL state convention.

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Controlled burns in Oregon: Can more fires create less smoke?

By Kale Williams
The Oregonian
October 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

About 30 members of the crew stood in the morning still of the forest as Katie Sauerbrey laid out the plans for the day. Some carried shovels or pickaxes. Others leaned against trucks and peered at maps of the area. All listened intently as she outlined the risks of their operation. There were 1,000-foot cliffs that fell to the ocean. There were unmarked barbed wire fences. There was a steep drainage full of thorny blackberry bushes. There would be fire. And they would be the ones to light it. …With fire comes smoke, though, and that’s been the big stumbling block in making wider use of controlled burns. The Oregon Smoke Management Plan, adopted in 1972 to conform with the federal Clean Air Act, essentially prohibits any controlled burn that results in visible smoke in a populated area.

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National Forest Foundation Wins Top Honors From Arizona Forward for Northern Arizona Forest Fund

By The National Forest Foundation
Cision Newswire
October 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX — On October 6th, the National Forest Foundation received the top honor at Arizona Forward’s 38th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards presented by Southern Rockies Program. The organization’s Northern Arizona Forest Fund received a Crescordia award as a “Sustainability Champion” and the President’s Award, beating out dozens of other organizations for the highest honor of the evening. …”We are thrilled to be recognized for the Northern Arizona Forest Fund,” said Mary Mitsos, NFF President. “This approach is one example of how we work to improve these incredible landscapes. Across the country, the NFF is creating innovative conservation partnerships like the Northern Arizona Forest Fund that leverage funding to make lasting improvements to America’s 193 million acres of National Forests.”

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California utilities shut off power amid wildfire concerns

By Paul Elias
Associated Press in ABC News
October 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Concerned about downed power lines sparking wildfires, two major California utilities took the rare step of cutting power to customers amid high winds — and another power provider was considering similar action. The move came as strong winds swept California, knocking down trees and power lines. …In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric for the first time began cutting power Sunday night to tens of thousands of customers after the National Weather Service warned of extreme fire danger across the state due to high winds, low humidity and dry vegetation. San Diego Gas & Electric followed suit Monday, turning off power to about 360 customers in foothill areas near Cleveland National Forest, where multiple blazes have scorched large swaths of land in recent years. …Pacific Gas & Electric expects to pay billions of dollars in wildfire damages and has sought ways to limit its liability through the courts and Legislature.

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Setting Fires to Control Wildfires: a Profound Change Takes Hold in Washington State

By Hal Bernton
The Seattle Times
October 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…In the more arid ponderosa-pine forests of Central and Eastern Washington, these controlled burns have emerged as a key tactic in protecting communities from wildfires, which are expected to torch more acreage as climate change — spurred by greenhouse-gas pollution from fossil fuels — warms the region. After more than a century of scrambling each summer to put out fires, the push to light them in the fall and spring represents a profound change. U.S. Forest Service officials are eager to expand these cool-season burns on federal lands, where they have been carried out in combination with thinning accomplished with chain saws and mechanical brush cutters. This work is no cure-all for the smoke that blanketed the Puget Sound region in August. But Forest Service officials say it could help Northwest firefighters gain better control of summer blazes.

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Burning impact: What happens after the fire

By Annette McGee Rasch
The Mail Tribune
October 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Only 2 percent of the land affected by the 211,801-acre Klondike and Taylor Creek fires on the Wild Rivers and Gold Beach Ranger Districts burned at high severity; an additional 75 percent burned at “low” or “very low” severities — or remained “unburned,” according to a recent U.S. Forest Service assessment. About 20 percent burned at medium severity. This was determined by Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team members — soil scientists, hydrologists and other Forest Service specialists — who combined ground observations with information from aerial reconnaissance flights and satellite-generated images to produce a soil burn severity map that will now be utilized to create an action plan. The BAER team just wrapped up a two-week project to identify “imminent post-wildfire threats to human life, safety, property, and also, critical natural or cultural resources on Forest Service lands,” according to public information officer Andy Lyon.

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Warning: Christmas Tree Spotted Lanternfly Could Infest Homes

By Jason Hall
Newsweek
October 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The spotted lanternfly could spoil many families’ holiday season, according to New Jersey agricultural expert Joseph Zoltowski, director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry. Zoltowski says the tree-killing insect could potentially spread to homes by hiding in Christmas trees and leaving eggs to hatch. The spotted lanternfly, which is a native of eastern Asia … has spread throughout the eastern parts of the New Jersey. …A woman in Warren County, New Jersey, found lanternfly eggs attached to her Christmas tree once the insects hatched inside her home. …Zoltowksi suggests those buying pre-cut Christmas trees inspect them carefully for eggs and live insects before making their purchase. …any presence of the bugs could spread in someone’s home. “It’s a bad bug in that it could affect all types of agriculture,” Zoltowski said.

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A new classification system of the world’s tropical forests

Research Matters
October 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…The advent of phylogenetics, or the study of evolutionary relationships among biological entities using genetic data, has aided in establishing new, evolutionary connections among several plant and animal species across the world. In a recent study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), an international team of researchers have phylogenetically classified the world’s tropical forests into five principal floristic regions—Indo-Pacific, Subtropical, African, American and dry forests that include the famed forests of Andes ranges and Brazilian Cerrado. “This study is different in the fact that for the first time a global classification of forests based on inventory data using phylogenetic (evolutionary) similarity between tree communities is produced”, remarks Dr Ferry Slik, an Associate Professor at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

MPs debate climate change after UN report warns of dire consequences

The Canadian Press in CBC News
October 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

MPs spent their first day back in Parliament after Thanksgiving break debating the perils of climate change. The emergency debate was granted by House of Commons Speaker Geoffrey Regan just a week after the United Nations climate change arm dropped an explosive warning. It bluntly said the world is on the precipice of major disasters… including more violent storms, more frequent flooding, longer droughts and more forest fires. …Canada would need to cut its annual emissions almost in half from current levels within 12 years to meet that goal but currently aims to cut them by a little more than 25 per cent by 2030. And the current climate plans — with carbon pricing, energy efficiencies, renewable power sources and technological innovations — don’t even get Canada to the existing goal.

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PWU Calls for More Investment in the Thunder Bay Region’s Biomass Innovation Cluster

The Power Workers’ Union
Global Newswire
October 16, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — The Power Workers’ Union believes the recent decision by Ontario Power Generation to close the world’s largest generating station to be converted from coal to advanced biomass in Thunder Bay, is short-sighted. “It will ultimately lead to the disappearance of the region’s established biomass innovation cluster and most importantly the significant economic, environmental and social benefits it provides,” stated PWU President, Mel Hyatt.  “We believe it’s time to grow these benefits, not kill them.” Over the last decade, Ontario invested about $200 million dollars in the region’s biomass innovation cluster, most of it for the conversion of the publicly-owned Thunder Bay and Atikokan stations to biomass.  Millions of dollars were also invested in innovative biomass research at Confederation College, Lakehead University and the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-economy.

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‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss

By Ben Guarino
The Washington Post
October 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too. …The latest report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that this startling loss of insect abundance extends to the Americas. The study’s authors implicate climate change in the loss of tropical invertebrates. …The loss of insects and arthropods could further rend the rain forest’s food web, Lister warned, causing plant species to go extinct without pollinators.

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Several species of insects have almost completely vanished from some tropical forests

By Eric Stokstad
Science Magazine
October 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Insects and other arthropods have declined by up to 99% over 4 decades in a Puerto Rican forest, apparently because of climate change, according to new study. …Previously, most insect declines have been documented in temperate ecosystems and blamed on habitat destruction, insecticides, and climate change. …Meanwhile, the average maximum daily temperatures in the Puerto Rican forest have risen 2°C, and by 2.4°C in the Mexican forest. Ecologists know excessive heat can harm animals, especially those that have evolved to live in relatively constant tropical temperatures. The damage hasn’t been limited to arthropods. As their biomass declined in Puerto Rico, so did numbers of animals that eat them. …The researchers say climate change, by driving down arthropod populations, could disrupt tropical forests even more than previously thought.

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