Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 11, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Christmas tree farmers launch “got milk” campaign to combat fake trees

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 11, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Christmas tree farmers launched a “got milk” like campaign to combat the growing fake tree market. The campaign is called “It’s Christmas. Keep It Real!” Meanwhile Finland’s prime minister says, “Climate Change is real” and “Trump wasn’t wrong but it’s not raking, it’s thinning“. 

In Business news: Hakan Ekstrom says world sawlog prices fell in Q3; the Washington Post says China is subverting US tariffs on plywood by shipping through Vietnam; Susan Yurkovich says China is too important a market to pass on; Finning International appoints West Fraser’s Ted Seraphim to its Board; and the Canadian Steel Producers hire former FPAC executive Catherine Cobden.  

In Wood Product news: CLT is touted as the “need of the hour” while char is challenged as a fire insulator

Finally, new research says urban frogs are sexier than forest frogs. Allegedly.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Frog sex in the city: Urban tungara frogs are sexier than forest frogs

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Phys.org
December 10, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

In Nature Ecology and Evolution, researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute report that male tungara frogs in Panama City put on sexier mating displays than frogs living in nearby tropical forests. “Tungara frogs sound a bit like pinball machines,” said Wouter Halfwerk, assistant professor at Vrije University in Amsterdam, and visiting scientist at STRI. “To their simple tun sound, they can add extra elements like the sound, gara, to make complex calls: tun gara gara—hence their name. Some people call tiny tungara frogs the acoustic equivalents of peacocks. They are nothing to look at, but just like male peacocks have fancy tails to attract females, tungara frogs add extra sounds to their calls to lure females in.”

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Business & Politics

Canadian Steel Producers Association Appoints New President

By Canadian Steel Producers Association
Global Newswire
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Catherine Cobden

OTTAWA — The Board of Directors of the Canadian Steel Producers Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Cobden to the position of President, effective January 2, 2019. “Catherine has over 25 years of industry association, regulatory and advocacy experience in building strategies and relationships,” said Sean Donnelly, Chair of the Board of Directors of the CSPA. “Catherine’s wealth of experience, proven leadership skills and knowledge of government will be valuable assets that will ensure the steel sector’s long-term success.” Most recently, Catherine was President of Cobden Strategies Inc. …Previously, Catherine spent 13 years at the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). As Executive Vice President of FPAC, she played a key role in developing the sector’s long-term strategy by charting a new dynamic direction for the sector.

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Mercer International Inc. Completes Acquisition of Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd.

Mercer International
Nasdaq
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

NEW YORK — Mercer International today announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Daishowa-Marubeni International (DMI). DMI owns 100% of a bleached kraft pulp mill in Peace River, Alberta and has a 50% interest in the Cariboo Pulp and Paper Company, a joint venture which operates a bleached kraft pulp mill in Quesnel, British Columbia. Mr. David M. Gandossi, Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We are pleased to announce the completion of our strategic acquisition of DMI, which increases our current Canadian operations and presence in Asia and expands our product offering to include northern bleach hardwood kraft pulp.”

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Finning Announces Board Chair Succession and Board Appointment

Finning International
Global Newswire
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER — Finning International announced today that Mr. Doug Whitehead is retiring as Board Chair and Board member effective January 15, 2019 after 20 years with Finning. Doug joined Finning in 1999 as Chief Operating Officer and took the reins as Chief Executive Officer in 2000. …Mr. Hal Kvisle, an independent director, will succeed Mr. Whitehead as Board Chair. Mr. Kvisle joined Finning’s Board in July 2017. …Finning is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Edward (Ted) Seraphim as an independent director to the Board of Directors effective January 15, 2019. …Currently, he is Chief Executive Officer of West Fraser Timber Company Limited, which he joined in 1997. 

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Forest companies heading for China without B.C. government officials

By Dirk Meissner
Canadian Press in CTV News
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

VICTORIA — Forest industry leaders from British Columbia are continuing a trade mission to China without provincial government officials, who are cutting short the trip to Asia as a court case involving a senior executive of Huawei Technologies unfolds in Vancouver. Susan Yurkovich, president of the Council of Forest Industries, said Monday long-standing business relations with China are separate from legal issues involving Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom company, who was arrested in Vancouver and has applied for bail. Yurkovich made the comments in a telephone conference call, “We are looking forward to moving forward to China,” she said after the B.C. delegation’s stops in South Korea and Japan. “A large business delegation is heading over there to continue on with the meetings we have set up. As you probably know, China is our second largest market after the United States.”

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Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

By Alex Cooke
Canadian Press in the National Post
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ellen Page

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism of a Nova Scotia pulp mill, rallying her 1.4 million Twitter followers against its plan to build an effluent pipeline into the ocean. “Nova Scotia government MUST stop its corporate welfare for company that is literally destroying the province,” the Halifax-born movie star tweeted Monday about the Northern Pulp mill. “Enough is enough.” The plan to dump treated effluent from the company’s Abercrombie, N.S., mill into the Northumberland Strait has raised the ire of fishermen, environmentalists and the P.E.I. government. Page has been waging a Twitter campaign against Northern Pulp for weeks, often retweeting criticism of the mill. …A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge ruled last week the province must consult with the Pictou Landing First Nation on any funding of Northern Pulp’s effluent treatment facility.

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Miramichi Lumber brings Judicial Review Application Forward Challenging New Brunswick Crown Annual Timber Right Allocations

Miramichi Lumber Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MIRAMICHI, NB – The Judicial Review Application, filed by Miramichi Lumber Products and Daniel Anderson …seeks to quash the decision of the Minister of Energy and Resource Development dated May 14, 2018 advising Mr. Anderson of  the prescribed annual allocation of timber from Crown lands under License No. 3 for the 2018-2019 operating year and of the allocations for Chaleur Sawmills Inc., Fornebu Lumber Company Inc., J.D. Irving, Limited, and others, by “Treelength.  Minimum 10 cm top” This action is taken on the basis that the above purported allocations of timber from Crown Lands by “Treelength. Minimum 10 cm top” are not authorized by the Crown Lands and Forest Act and the regulations thereunder.  Rather, the Act states that timber on Crown Lands shall be allocated by species or groups of species and by  classes of timber… Treelength is not a prescribed class of timber.

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China Subverts Tariffs, Trade Gap Gets Wider

By Kenneth Rapoza
Forbes Magazine
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

Chinese exporters (and likely their American counterparts) have figured out a way for some items to skirt tariffs. U.S. Customs and Border Protection determined last week that Chinese hardwood plywood is circumventing lumber tariffs by using Vietnam. The end-around is expected to have begun when duties were applied to certain types of lumber worldwide back in January. Shipments from ports in Vietnam continued through July, and imports from China rose a whopping 165.4%, creating what looks like a whole new market out of nothing. The supply chain for certain types of construction wood has also shifted out of Panama and Portugal, but there is no evidence there that mainland China is the source of that wood. …The trade war is not over. The Xi-Trump “peace treaty” begins January 1 and ends around April Fool’s Day (buyer beware).

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China log demand stable but lower freight costs absorbed by higher NZD. Sawn timber exports strong especially to the EU, and prospects bright

By Scott Downs
interest.co.nz
December 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The sale prices for New Zealand logs in China remains stable. Ocean freight costs have reduced by $2-3 USD per JASm3, but the strengthening of the NZD against the USD more than offset the gains from the reduction in shipping costs. The overall result was an average $5 NZD per JASm3 reduction in December At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices offered at ports around New Zealand for export logs. …The October 12-month value of New Zealand’s sawn timber exports totalled 938 million while the value of logs exported totalled 3,649 million. These values for sawn timber and logs are 11% and 28% increases respectively from the previous October 12-month period.  

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The Global Forest Industry in the 3Q/2018

By Hakan Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Softwood sawlog prices declined throughout the world in the 3Q/18. Consequently, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) fell 3.7% from the 2Q/18 to the 3Q/18, the second consecutive q-o-q decline. The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€) has fallen for two consecutive quarters to €83.58/m3 in the 3Q/18. The WRI’s Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was practically unchanged from the 2Q/18 to the 3Q/18. However, there were price adjustments of softwood chips and pulplogs around the world with q-o-q increases of over five percent in Norway, Sweden and New Zealand, and price declines of more than four percent in Brazil, Chile, Russia and Western Canada. Hardwood fiber prices were generally lower in the 3Q in the key markets around the world, which led to the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) falling 2.0% q-o-q in the 3Q/18.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Need of the Hour: Sustainable Construction Materials

By Sandali Tiwari
Market Research Blog
December 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Extensive R&D activities, wide-ranging acceptance of the products along with initiating building codes is expected to stimulate the demand supply of cross laminated timber in the non-residential applications. A notable factor here is that since the recent past, adhesive bonded cross laminated timber has been witnessing significant demand in the cross laminated timber market on a global basis. …Cross laminated timber helps in reducing the impact of construction activities on the environment as well as decreases disturbance in the local communities. …Growing demand for reducing fresh water consumption… rising need for enhancing indoor environment quality that helps in environment sustainability is estimated to fuel growth and development in cross laminated timber market. …Cross laminated timber market of Canada and U.S is foreseen to be substantially driven by growing demand from the engineers and architects for using building systems and building products that are highly based on wood. 

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Woodrise 2019 announces its preliminary program

https://woodrise2019.ca/en/news/launch-of-the-preliminary-program-for-woodrise-2019/
FPInnovations
December 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

September 30 – October 3, 2019, Quebec City, Canada, will host the second edition of the Woodrise, an international congress that brings together all the main stakeholders, decision-makers and professionals involved in mid-rise and high-rise building construction. The Program Committee, composed of industry members from various sectors, has been active for many weeks now in order to present a program that will meet or even surpass the participants’ expectations. The theme of the 2019 edition of this Congress is “Building cities for humans and future generations”. Participants will have the opportunity to hear two introductory presentations and take part in three plenary sessions on issues related to wood construction worldwide.

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Eco ‘Unbuilding’ Ensures Material from Demolished Homes Is Re-used

By Michelle Gamage
The Tyee
December 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The house is being demolished, and work crews have taken three weeks to strip it down to its Douglas fir frame. …In a traditional demolition the next step would be to rip apart the frame and recycle the lumber by chipping and burning it for fuel. But that, according to a Vancouver company, is a waste of valuable resources. “This frame isn’t from your spindly little spruce trees we’re cutting down today,” said Adam Corneil, co-founder and CEO of Unbuilders. “These were 500- to 1,000-year-old trees, the big monsters we rarely cut today and rarely even see.” …And now, as some 1,000 homes are being torn down in Vancouver each year. “It’s really not waste — it is wasted. This is all reusable material,” Corneil said, gesturing around the home.

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Fortress Global Licenses Mondelēz Xylitol Technology

By Fortress Global Enterprises Inc.
Cision Newswire
December 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

VANCOUVER – Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Fortress Advanced Bioproducts Inc., into a Technology License and Collaboration Agreement with  Mondelēz International, Inc., one of the world’s largest snacking companies. …Mondelēz has agreed to grant an exclusive worldwide license to FortressAB to use its sugar-based bioproduct manufacturing technology…to provide an environmentally sustainable process to produce cost-optimized, sugar-based bioproducts, including xylitol, a premium low-calorie sweetener used in gum, candy and food products. Fortress Global produces an ideal feedstock for the process at its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Thurso, Québec, by rinsing hemicellulose sugars from sustainably harvested, non-GMO, hardwood trees. 

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Construction Concerns: Char as Fire Protection

By Gregory Havel
Fire Engineering
December 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

For more than a century, it has been proposed that a layer of char on the surface of heavy timbers acts as insulation and will slow or prevent further burning of the wood. …Yet buildings of wood construction… continue to burn and are destroyed by fire. …This proposal is again being used by the people who today promote the use of “mass timber” in construction, which includes glulams, “cross laminated timber [CLT],” “nail laminated timber,” and other variations.  The U.S edition of the Cross Laminated Timber Handbook …restates this proposal in Chapter 8… I propose that char on the surface of wood that is still burning is not an insulator; rather, it is still fuel at or above its ignition temperature and is part of the combustion process. …To preserve …occupants of these new mass timber buildings as well as …firefighters …heavy timber or mass timber construction must provide the following:

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Finland chooses sustainable fashion — a gown made of birch in time for the holidays

AALTO University
EurekAlert
December 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Jenni Haukio

HELSINKI–Finland has always drawn on its vast forests for inspiration, and the country can now lay claim to fashion worthy of admiration by design and nature lovers worldwide. A diverse team at Aalto University has designed and produced an evening gown made of Finnish birch trees, using a sustainable technology called Ioncell. Jenni Haukio, spouse of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, donned the sustainable yet elegant gown to begin the holiday season and mark the Nordic nation’s 101 years of independence at Helsinki’s Presidential Palace. From fibre to yarn and fabric to final product, a diverse team of researchers, experts, and students made the gown a reality on the Aalto University campus. The Ioncell process, developed by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, aims to change the way we make clothes.

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Forestry

Caribou recovery planning too important to stay behind closed doors

By Bob Zimmer, MP for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies
Alaska Highway News
December 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Zimmer

I am deeply concerned at the lack of invitation and involvement by our affected communities in the caribou recovery planning. We are hearing of plans, but it seems only a select few are being allowed to participate. Recently, I sent a letter to Premier John Horgan supporting the call by many of our local representatives to have the ministers involved in the caribou protection process arrange to meet with all the northern and interior mayors and regional district chairs …to come up with a plan that mitigates the risks to both the caribou and our communities.  We looked forward to attending the …meeting that provincial officials had scheduled with the Peace River Regional District to hear more about their caribou recovery plans, and were deeply disappointed when this meeting was cancelled because the province refused to allow the general public to attend.

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Fire-proofing West Kelowna forests

By Ron Seymour
The Kelowna Daily Courier
December 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A plan to fire-proof forests in West Kelowna carries a $1.4 million price tag. …Collectively, the lands encompass nearly 200 ha. “The number one highest hazard is the east side of Mount Boucherie in an area known as Eain Lamont park,” reads a report… It costs an average of $7,500 to undertake fire mitigation work on one hectare of land. …For the first time, some public money is available to help private landowners undertake fire mitigation work on their own property. That’s said to be an important development given the risk that fires on private land can pose to the community. …Considerable work to thin out forests has already been done in and around West Kelowna. … “We’ve reduced the density of the stands from 1,100 trees per hectare to 350,” Dave Gill of Ntityix Resources, a forestry management company owned by the Westbank First Nation, told city council in August 2017.

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Christmas tree farmers combat popularity of artificial trees

By Gillian Flaccus
Associated Press in The Missoulian
December 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

TUALATIN, Ore. — Christmas tree farmers nationwide have launched a social media campaign to get Americans to buy real trees this season. The Christmas Tree Promotion Board worries that more Americans are opting for artificial trees as they become more realistic-looking. Between 75 and 80 percent of Americans who have a Christmas tree now have an artificial one. The $1 billion market for fake trees is growing at about 4 percent a year — even though they can be reused again and again. The campaign called “It’s Christmas. Keep It Real!” is based on other popular agricultural campaigns like “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” and “Got Milk?” Tree farmers pay 15 cents for each tree they harvest to the promotion board for the ad campaign and other related work. [END]

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Judge dismisses lawsuit to block forest project in Elkhorn Mountains near Helena

Associated press in Helena Independent Record
December 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a tree-thinning project in the Elkhorn Mountains near Helena. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen on Monday rejected arguments by Native Ecosystems Council and Montana Ecosystem Defense Council that the project conflicts with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest plan and needs deeper environmental analysis. Christensen wrote that the project is minimalist in scope and that the U.S. Forest Service made a reasonable decision to approve it after considering the relevant factors. [END]

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Judge dismisses lawsuit to block Montana forest project

The Associated Press
NBC Montana
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a tree-thinning project in the Elkhorn Mountains near Helena. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen on Monday rejected arguments by Native Ecosystems Council and Montana Ecosystem Defense Council that the project conflicts with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest plan and needs deeper environmental analysis. Christensen wrote that the project is minimalist in scope and that the U.S. Forest Service made a reasonable decision to approve it after considering the relevant factors. The project proposes hand slashing or prescribed burning where needed across more than 13,000 acres. The goal is to improve foraging and habitat for several animals, including elk, deer, moose, trout and birds. [END]

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Strengthening forest governance is vital for growth of Southeast Asia’s forests

By Jeffrey Williamson
CIFOR Forest News
December 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Asia Pacific – The Greater Mekong Region in the transnational region of the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia experienced a 5.1 percent decline in total forest cover from 1990 to 2015, according to a recent study conducted by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Based on current data, this trend is predicted to get worse. From 2010 to 2015, the total loss of forest was 325,600 hectares a year with positive growth rates in certain countries. These figures, however, partly hide the fact that many countries are reforesting large areas through plantations, while their natural forests are being lost at an incredible rate. Consequently, World Wild Fund for Nature predicts that the GMS could contribute up to 17 percent of the total amount of global deforestation experienced by 2030.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Finland’s prime minister: ‘Climate change is a real thing’

By Josh Rogin
The Washington Post
December 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Juha Sipila

Most of Finland was baffled last month when President Trump… said that unlike Americans, Finns “spend a lot of time on raking” their forests and, therefore, “don’t have any problem” with forest fires. But Finland’s prime minister understood what Trump was talking about. Juha Sipila was in Washington late last month with a message not only about managing forests but also about climate change and the need for international action to mitigate its effects. …“He was not wrong, but it’s not ‘raking,’ it’s ‘thinning,’ ” Sipila told me in an interview. …Like Finland, California spends billions on forest management, and the president’s call for better management only goes so far. The larger issue of climate change — which Trump and his administration focus less on — is where the long-term danger to forests may lie and where Finland is way ahead of the United States.

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Forest advocates make plea for biomass power plants

by Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
December 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Backers of a historic plan to restore forest health and save rural communities from wildfires made a desperate plea to the Arizona Corporation Commission this week to require power companies to burn wood scraps for energy. …The forest restoration backers want the Commission to require power companies to buy at least 90 megawatts of energy from biofuel power plants burning plant waste. Currently, a single biomass-burning power plant in the White Mountains produces about 28 megawatts annually. Some proposals suggest putting a new wood-burning power plant in Payson, which would produce perhaps 150 jobs. …A study by Arizona Public Service concluded building new plants to burn biofuel would cost substantially more than generating the same amount of energy from new natural gas or solar facilities. 

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Health & Safety

Firms to pay $9M to settle suit over 2012 California fire

The Associated Press in the Seattle Times
December 10, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Officials say a construction company and a logging firm have collectively agreed to pay $9 million for damages resulting from a 2012 wildfire that burned more than 1,600 acres of national forest land in Northern California. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento says Monday that the agreement settles a lawsuit brought by the federal government against Kernen Construction and Bundy & Sons Logging. Prosecutors say Bundy logging equipment hauled by Kernen became unsecured and dragged along a highway, causing sparks that ignited dry vegetation. The resulting blaze charred a swath of brush and timber within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Neither company admits liability for the fire under the settlement. [END]

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