Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 21, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Our BIGGEST thanks on the SHORTEST day of the year

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 21, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Our BIGGEST thanks to all our readers and sponsors on the SHORTEST day of the year – the winter solstice. But why the lag between the shortest day of the year and the lowest average daily temperature of the year? According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s because the Earth’s thermal mass still retains heat from the summer and cools gradually. The coldest day of winter doesn’t occur for another month and a half.

In today’s news: Trump signs 2018 Farm Bill; why construction costs are up; Canada’s smorgasbord of bad weather; why California needs to start more fires; and the ridiculously large number of trees New Zealand needs to plan to be carbon neutral.

Finally, on our last News day of the year: a Danish TREEdition and the Tree Frog’s favourite Yule Tide Fly Stew. Your faithful Frogs will be back with all the headlines on January 2nd, 2019!

Best wishes for a successful, healthy, and joyful new year!

Kelly, Sandy and Heidi

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Special Feature

My Danish Christmas TREEditions

By Henrik Laursen, Dan Vik Marketing Services Ltd.
Letter to Tree Frog Editors
December 19, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hej Kelly, Heidi and Sandy, In my Danish World, there are actually only 3 days to Dec. 24th.  I do not mind also celebrating the Canadian one, on December 25th. In my tradition, it has to be a Noble Fir, and we walked ours home today. Shall do a bit of trimming today, and most likely complete decorating at some point. I brought a lot of decorations with me from Denmark; some would be from the late 1800s/ early 1900s. Have added since. Why must it be a Noble Fir?  Because the branches are sturdy with good spacing.  This is a requirement, as we put around 30 live candles on it:  50% red + 50% white = Canadian and Danish colours.

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Merry Christmas and All the Best for 2019!

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
December 21, 2018
Category: Special Feature

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Business & Politics

Universal Forest Products Banks on Acquisitions, Costs High

By Zacks Equity Research
Nasdaq
December 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Acquisitions have been an integral part of Universal Forest Products Inc. ‘s UFPI portfolio enhancement strategy. Robust U.S. construction market, along with solid demand for repair and remodeling activities also bode well. However, higher lumber prices , along with rising labor and transportation costs raise concerns for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company.  Universal Forest Products has been following a systematic inorganic strategy to expand market reach and boost profitability, while strengthening its product portfolio. The company acquired North American Container Corporation in June 2018. This acquisition will help strengthen its product portfolio and customer base by bringing corrugated, steel and hardwood packaging solutions under one roof. Also, the buyout will enable the company to penetrate into growth markets and improve technological expertise. Additionally, it acquired Expert Packaging and Fontana Wood Products in April 2018, following the acquisition of Spinner Wood Products and Great Northern Lumber in the month of January. 

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What’s Up With Construction Costs?

By Issi Romem
Buildzoom
December 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The housing market appears to be reaching a cyclical peak, with falling home sales suggesting that already-slowed price appreciation may soon turn negative. Yet even now, residential construction still hasn’t recovered to its average historical levels. …After falling or remaining flat for three decades, real construction costs have increased sharply since the mid-2000s. The rise was driven by both material and labor costs. …Material costs vary relatively little across cities, but labor costs differ substantially and account for the bulk of geographic variation in overall cost. …Rising labor costs can fuel a vicious cycle whereby costly construction dampens the supply of housing and exerts even greater upward pressure on labor costs (in several distinct ways).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tree resin could replace fossil fuels in everything from printer ink to shoe polish

By Marlene Cimons
Popular Science
December 21, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…Today, the loblolly is serving a more noble purpose by helping limit the need for fossil fuels. Researchers, tinkering with the tree’s genetics, have found a way to reverse-engineer how the loblolly produces resin, a discovery that could help manufacturers produce greener alternatives for a range of goods now made with oil and gas, including surface coatings, adhesives, printing inks, flavors, fragrances, vitamins, household cleaning products, paint, varnish, shoe polish and linoleum. “The chemical composition of resins is not very different from that of certain fractions currently obtained from crude oil,” said Mark Lange, a professor in Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry. Lange wants to improve the production of resin to help reduce the chemical industry’s reliance on fossil fuels.

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Forestry

Environment Canada meteorologist says 2018 was ‘smorgasbord’ of bad events

The Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

…“It was almost a smorgasbord of everything that could go wrong,” said David Phillips, senior climate scientist for Environment Canada. “I don’t think there was anything missing.” Smoke, said Phillips, was Canada’s top weather story this year. …There were more than 250,000 lightning strikes in southern British Columbia between April and August. On one day alone there were 20,000. The resulting huge wildfires thickened skies from coast to coast with smoke that could be detected as far away as Europe. …Calgary recorded 478 hours of smoke and haze. Edmonton only had 230 hours of smoke by comparison, but that was still more than double the usual. While factors including forestry practices and urban spread influence the effects of wildfires, Phillips said it comes down to weather.

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Statement by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay on the Government of Canada’s support for the International Year of Plant Health (2020)

By The Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Cision Newswire
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, today issued the following statement in support of the United Nations’ proclamation of the International Year of Plant Health in 2020. “The federal government recognizes that protecting Canada’s plant resources is vital to food security and the wellbeing of Canadians. Plants are not only the first link in the food chain, they are critical to Canada’s economy. The national crop industry generates over $22 billion in exports alone. While we work hard to maintain the highest level of plant health and food safety in Canada, the spread of pests and diseases – especially through global trade and travel – presents serious risks to agriculture and to our environment. I am honoured to announce the Government of Canada’s support of the adoption of the United Nations’ resolution on the International Year of Plant Health in 2020.

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‘The legacy Carihi gives to the community’

By Braden Majic
Campbell River Mirror
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carihi students will soon have a large cedar log in its works yard as part of a long-awaited canoe carving project. Principal Fred Shaub calls it “the legacy Carihi gives to the community.” It has been an idea in the works for nearly two years, Schaub says, and he is excited at the possible opportunities ahead for students and the community. The Aboriginal Education Advisory Council gave their blessing for the project, which then led to further consultation with local First Nations, all giving their approval to Carihi. “Then it was just waiting, waiting, waiting to get that call,” Schaub says. The call finally came and Nov. 29 was the first day of a long journey. Several students and staff of Carihi got to go into the forest near Eve River, outside of Sayward, to see the tree that was to become the canoe.

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Trump signs 2018 Farm Bill

By Erin Voegsel
Biomass Magazine
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

On Dec. 20, President Trump signed the $867 billion 2018 Farm Bill into law. The bill, titled the Agricultural Improvement Act, or H.R. 2, reauthorizes several Energy Title programs, including the Rural Energy for America Program and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. …A copy of the conference report released on Dec. 10 indicates the bill includes reauthorizes several Energy Title programs, including the Biobased Markets Program, the Biorefinery Assistance Program, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, the Rural Energy for America Program, the Feedstock Flexibility Program, and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. The Repowering Assistance Program is repealed. …In addition, the bill changes the name of the Community Wood Energy Program to the Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation Program and relocates the program under the bill’s Forestry title.

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Biomass decision may save forest restoration efforts

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
December 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Arizona Corporation Commission this week agreed to require the state’s utilities to buy or produce 90 megawatts of energy annually from biomass — saving the forest restoration industry from collapse. The Corporation Commission on a 4-1 vote ordered the reluctant staff to come up with a proposed set of rules to create a market for the 1.5 million tons of branches, brush and debris created by thinning 50,000 acres of overgrown forest annually. “We were in a desperate situation,” said Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin, a leading member of the stakeholders group for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). “This is critical.” The ACC staff had drafted a report questioning the value of extending even the current mandates to buy 28 megawatts of power, much less expanding the requirement to 90 megawatts.

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Why your Christmas tree is green and other piney facts

By Brett French
Helena Independent Record
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Yay! Christmas is only a few days away. By now I hope you have your Christmas tree up and decorated. Having a pine tree in your house for Christmas is believed to date back to the 1500s in Germany, and became more popular in the 1800s thanks to the English Queen Charlotte, who brought the tradition from her childhood home in Germany. Here are some interesting facts about the pine family — Pinacea — which includes most species of Christmas trees that we’re familiar with like the Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, ponderosa pine and even the lodgepole pine. …These needles on many types of pine trees stay green all winter, thus the name evergreen. …Some pine trees also produce a type of antifreeze that keeps those needles from freezing in the cold. That same antifreeze is responsible for producing the wonderful pine smell that a Christmas tree produces

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Here’s how California can use fire to solve its wildfire problem

By Julia Rosen
The Los Angeles Times
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If California wants to get out in front of its wildfire problem, scientists have some clear but counterintuitive advice: Start more forest fires. Decades of research shows that lighting fires under safe conditions not only clears out the dead plants and thick underbrush that fuel many severe wildfires, it also restores a natural process that once kept forests healthy and resilient. It can be tricky to pull off because all fires, whether natural or intentional, are inherently dangerous and smoky. Even so, experts say the benefits far outweigh the risks. California’s overgrown forests came under scrutiny when President Trump blamed them for the state’s recent fires and called for more aggressive management. Experts say the diagnosis was misplaced… nevertheless, scientists and land managers agree on the importance of reducing flammable fuel in California’s vast conifer forests. 

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Alaska’s top forester talks timber in Southeast

By Jacob Resneck
KTOO Alaska Public Media
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dave Schmid

The appointment of the U.S. Forest Service’s top official in Alaska was recently made permanent. Dave Schmid oversees 22 million acres in the Tongass and Chugach national forests. He replaced Beth Pendleton who spent eight years in the job. Schmid didn’t tip his hand to where he stands on proposals to roll back back the federal roadless rule in Tongass National Forest. The state of Alaska has repeatedly taken the agency to court over the rule, though public hearings held in recent weeks were largely packed with roadless rule supporters. He said six alternatives are currently under consideration by his agency. …Asked about the balancing act required… Schmid spoke of his office’s commitment to all facets of the region’s economy, including timber.

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City receives urban forestry grant

Hudson Star Observer
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Hudson is among 30 Wisconsin communities, nonprofits and counties to share more than half a million dollars in state grants to promote and sustain urban forest resources in the state. The city of Hudson was awarded $24,095.51, at the top of the award range spanning from $1,000 to $25,000. Hudson will use the grant to fund a variety of urban forest projects including the Tree Trek program near EP Rock Elementary, updating the city’s tree ordinance, developing an urban forest management plan, stocking the gravel bed nursery with 100 trees and offsetting the costs for the trade-a-tree program. The grant will also help with the removal and treatment of ash trees after Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in the city this past summer.

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Celebrate the winter solstice to reclaim the festive spirit

By Gillian Monks
The Guardian
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Midwinter celebration is our oldest, most important festival, dating back tens of thousands of years. The day of the winter solstice – usually around 21 December – is the date when we experience the shortest day and the longest night in the northern hemisphere: the exact time when our part of planet Earth is leaning furthest away from the sun. …Protecting fragile life until it can be “reborn” by the sun is the basis for our beloved customs of bringing evergreenery, yule logs and trees into the house. People believed that the spirit of summer, life and growth went to shelter in the evergreen bushes and trees in winter – and that by cutting them and bringing them inside they were being offered shelter until the spring. …Candles, fairy lights, and lanterns reflect the importance of creating warmth and light and encouraging the return of the sun. Midwinter is a solar event that symbolises the rebirth and continuation of life.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The trade-offs of burning wood for fuel

By Leila Philip
The Boston Globe
December 20, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

I am splitting firewood. …Like many who live in rural New England, we heat primarily with wood. …Given where we are now, is heating with wood a truly “green” alternative? We know we are failing to curb the human-generated carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. …Burning trees to generate heat or electricity has been considered “carbon neutral,” because burning a tree gives off the same amount of carbon as it would if it decayed naturally. …But this equation of carbon neutrality fails to take into account that it takes little time to burn wood but years to grow that tree back; there is a long carbon payback time. …As we face climate change, we each need to consider what choices we have.

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Forest-based biomass industry: Where are we today and where are going tomorrow?

Bio-Based World News
December 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

“This will be a year when the industry starts to tell its story a bit louder.” 8,000 years ago a squirrel could have swung through the trees from Lisbon to Moscow without touching the ground. That’s how abundant forests once were across Europe. This was just one of many interesting facts given out by Berry Wiersum, CEO at paper-based packaging company Sappi Europe, when he gave a snapshot of the European forest bioeconomy at the 8th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference (NWBC). This event – a leading meeting forum for wood biorefinery professions – took place at the Scandic Marina Congress Centre in Helsinki, Finland, on 23-25 October and was hosted by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Delegates also heard how the forest-based biomass industry was helping to build a bioeconomy at a time when impending threats of climate change and peak oil were driving the world towards increased use of biomass for chemical compounds and other materials. Wood density in Europe is also growing.

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Billions more trees needed for New Zealand to be carbon neutral

By Matt Brown
Stuff.co.nz
December 21, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New Zealand needs to plant a ridiculously large number of trees and Shane Jones’ one billion tree plan is only a fraction of what is required. According to a report released by the Productivity Commission in August, New Zealand won’t be carbon neutral by 2050 without a massive increase in forestry planting to offset the carbon being produced. The commission’s models required the planting rate to double, from 50,000 hectares to 100,000ha per year and the length of the programme to triple from 10 to 30 years. More than 3 million hectares of land had been marked as potentially suitable for forestry in a Ministry for Primary Industries map, including the likes of the Wither Hills Farm Park, in Blenheim, a council-owned recreational reserve and pastoral farm.

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