Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: January 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Transportation agency to hold public hearings on rail delays in BC

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 15, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canada’s transportation regulator has launched an investigation into delays at BC’s railways that—according to FPAC’s Derek Nighbor—cost lumber producers more than $500 million over two years. In other Business news: West Fraser announced more temporary curtailments in three BC Interior mills; the TLA’s Making it Work conference kicks-off tomorrow, where (per Tom Fletcher) log exports are high on the agenda.  

In Wood Product news: the US Code Council’s recent embrace of tall timber buildings is driving CLT production growth and inspiring architects to design skyscrapers out of wood. Elsewhere, a floating timber bridge is proposed to connect Brooklyn and Queens in New York.

Finally, the Washington Post on Trump’s executive order that promotes logging as a means to help curb wildfires.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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John Brink, BC Rail settle decades-old dispute prior to court date

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 14, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Prince George lumber manufacturer John Brink and BC Rail settled their decades-old dispute over the land Brink built his sawmill on. In other Business news: Wood Resources on the declining trade of softwood lumber in 2018; Nova Scotia’s Premier speaks to the Northern Pulp dispute; Georgia Pacific’s mill closure will ripple across Louisiana; 10 years after expropriation the Abitibi Consolidated’s mill site has yet to be cleared up; and Western Forest Products commits to noise reduction at its Duke Point mill.

In Forestry news, more on: BC efforts to preserve a newly-found old growth forest; the US gov’t shutdown impact on wildfire preparations; and the 2018 Farm Bill. Elsewhere, Health Canada says concern over glyphosate use in forest management is not scientifically supportable.

Finally, to be healthy, black bears need more than an all-you-can-eat salmon buffet.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update

By Haken Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Declining trade of softwood lumber, plummeting lumber prices in the US and slowing wood demand in China were some of the biggest international lumber developments in the 3Q/18, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Global trade of softwood lumber from January through September 2018 was down 2.5% as compared to the same period last year. China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the MENA region reduced their imports, while the US and continental Europe have imported more lumber this year than in 2017.

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Making Sure BC’s Forestry Sector has a Strong, Sustainable Future

By Premier John Horgan
The Truck Loggers Association
January 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Permier Horgan

From day one, our government has been about people. We’re working every day to make life better for people all over the province. That means investing in good-paying, sustainable jobs in every corner of B.C., including in B.C.’s iconic forest industry. The forest sector is a cornerstone of economic activity in British Columbia, supporting families, communities, and jobs across our province. … One-third of our exports are forest products, which means that forestry jobs also extend into urban B.C… The Truck Loggers Association selected a theme of “Making it Work” for this year’s convention, representing so much that is going on across the forest sector, as well as your organization’s 75 years of representing logging contractors and other members. In that regard, I am pleased that Dan Miller has been able to help logging contractors and licensees reach agreement to work together on developing rate models and rate determination factors.

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Transportation agency launches probe into rail service in Vancouver area

By Eric Atkins
Globe and Mail
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada’s transportation regulator has launched an investigation into railway service in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland after receiving complaints from companies that rely on the Port of Vancouver to reach markets. …The hearings mark the first time the agency has used new powers granted by the federal government last year. …The CTA said the probe will examine if some commodities are given preference over others… Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of Forest Products Association of Canada, said rail delays in B.C.’s Lower Mainland have cost producers more than $500-million in the past two years. “We are seeing an unprecedented number of trade deals being signed and significant federal investment in infrastructure. Now is the time to understand why things are not working as well as they should be. We need to ensure the system in the Lower Mainland is able to respond to the current and future needs of Canadian exporters,” Mr. Nighbor said. [A Globe and Mail subscription is required to read this full story]

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West Fraser Announces Temporary Production Curtailments in British Columbia

By West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Cision Newswire
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Today, West Fraser announced temporary curtailments of approximately three weeks of production throughout the first quarter of 2019 at each of three British Columbia sawmills:  Chasm, 100 Mile House, and Chetwynd.  In addition, the Williams Lake Sawmill will be shut down for approximately a week to complete certain capital upgrades.  The decision to temporarily reduce production at Chasm, 100 Mile House, and Chetwynd is a result of price declines in lumber markets, high log costs and log supply constraints. Total production curtailed in the first quarter of the year is expected to reduce SPF lumber production by approximately 50 million board feet, in addition to previously announced measures. West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.

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Log exports high on agenda for B.C. NDP and forest industry

By Tom Fletcher
Victoria News
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest industry leaders are gathering in Vancouver this week to hear from the B.C. government how it will move ahead on the province’s log export policies, after years of NDP demands while in opposition to reduce log exports in an effort to keep local sawmills going. B.C. cabinet orders allowing logging contractors on the Central and North Coast to export up to 20 per cent of their unprocessed logs are due to expire at the end of January. …B.C. Premier John Horgan and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson are expected to address the annual convention of the Truck Loggers Association, which has argued for many years that premium log export revenues are vital to keep loggers in business so they can also harvest lower-grade timber to bring to B.C. mills.

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Brink drops lawsuit against BCR Properties

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Brink

A long-running legal battle between Prince George lumber manufacturer John Brink and BCR Properties Ltd. over the state of the site where he had planned to build a sawmill has come to an end. A consent dismissal order was filed Dec. 12 stating that the proceeding be dismissed without costs to any party and that the dismissal is “for all purposes of the same force and effect as if judgment had been pronounced after a hearing of this action on its merits.” The order is signed by the lawyers representing Brink and BCR Properties. The matter – a dispute over the condition of a property at 1077 Boundary Rd. in the in the BCR Industrial Site – had been set to go to trial this past Monday and was to last 44 days, according to a trial brief submitted by BCR Properties.

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Western Forest Products pledges to address noise from Duke Point sawmill

By Dominic Abassi
Nanaimo News Now
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO — Randy Shalagan has spent many nights hiding in a spare room over the last several months, trying to escape an unwanted intruder invading his home. But the intruder isn’t the type that can be stymied by fancy home security systems. That’s because it’s incessant industrial noise from a Duke Point sawmill. Shalagan said it was mid-August when he first noticed a constant humming noise inside his waterfront condo along the Newcastle Channel at Cypress St. and Stewart Ave. …One sleepless night, Shalagan said he had enough and went on an exploration mission at 2 a.m. He traced the sound to the Western Forest Products sawmill in Duke Point. The plant is roughly five kilometres, as the crow flies, from Shalagan’s condo and the noise travels a clear path across Nanaimo’s inner harbour.

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10 years after expropriation, Abitibi waste still in the ground

By Leigh Anne Power
CBC News
January 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A decade after the provincial government became the owner of a shuttered mill, whatever toxic mess lies beneath has yet to be cleaned up. In 2008, when Abitibi Consolidated announced it was closing its Grand Falls-Windsor paper mill, the Danny Williams government reacted by expropriating the company’s assets. Among them, the provincial government would later learn, was the mill building and its polluted grounds. Now, a decade on, the building is gone, but whatever is buried on the site — accidentally appropriated by the province — remains. …Junior Downey worked at the Abitibi mill for 36 years. He said he knows about containers of PCBs, waste oil from machinery and other contaminants buried on the site. …In 2012, the government asked the Supreme Court of Canada to be considered a primary creditor so it could claim cleanup fees from the company’s assets. The court refused, leaving the cleanup in the hands of the province.

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Premier hopes ‘cooler heads prevail’ as pulp mill works on assessment

CBC News
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he’s concerned about the threat of confrontation and violence as Northern Pulp works on its environmental assessment for a controversial plan to pump treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait. The Nova Scotia government has committed to stopping the flow of effluent from the Abercrombie mill to the heavily polluted Boat Harbour lagoon by Jan. 31, 2020. The lagoon is next to the Pictou Landing First Nation. The wider Gulf of St. Lawrence fisheries region is home to lobster and crab fisheries that brought in over $1.2 billion worth of catch in 2016. “People are very entrenched on both sides of this issue,” said McNeil. “There’s indication of very little flexibility on both sides. Those are always challenging positions for anyone to be in, for the company to be in, for our government to be in and for that community.”

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Forest2Market Report Shows Changing Demand for Wood Fiber is Impacting Residuals Markets

By Morgan Brinton
Forest2Market
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

CHARLOTTE, NC — January 8 — As global consumer trends and demands continue to shift at an escalating pace, a new Forest2Market report shows that both structural and temporal market shifts in recent decades have impacted the markets for wood fiber residuals. The report, Changes in the Residual Wood Fiber Market 2004 to 2017, analyzes data … to understand the relationship between the supply and demand of wood residual materials over a 14-year period. …“While global markets continue to chase consumer trends, this report clearly demonstrates that rapidly-changing preferences present new opportunities for an evolving forest industry” said Pete Stewart, President and CEO of Forest2Market. “Structural changes have affected the hardwood market in the South in ways that cannot be reversed, and the increased demand for softwood makes the …region a profitable destination… However, any growth opportunity in the PNW will be hamstrung due to high costs and resource constraints.”

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Georgia-Pacific Announces Layoffs, Says It Will Stop Printing Office Paper

By Tasnim Shamma
WABE 90.1 FM
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Atlanta-based paper, chemicals, packaging company Georgia-Pacific announced it’s leaving the office paper business. The company laid off more than 650 people at its mill in Hudson Port, Louisiana, and about 40 salespeople in Atlanta on Thursday. Director Robert Izlar leads the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia and is the former executive director of the Georgia Forestry Association. “Younger generations, compared to my generation, and I’m a baby boomer, I print everything,” Izlar said. “Maybe they don’t do that. So there’s a decline in demand.” Georgia-Pacific said the printing and writing business was not sustainable and that it will close down the paper operation by mid-March. “People just aren’t using as much office paper anymore,” said Karen Cole, a spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific.

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Alexander Lumber closing area stores

By Nick Vlahos
Gatehouse Media Illinois
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

AURORA, Ill. — Alexander Lumber Co. is closing several of its legacy lumberyards across central and western Illinois. The locations in Canton, Lincoln, Monmouth, Rushville and Taylorville are set to close permanently. The Bloomington location will merge into the existing LeRoy location. The Gilman location will merge into Watseka and Fairbury. “We intend to focus on our core pro builder customer in the Chicago and other mid-sized markets, especially those in Wisconsin, Iowa, and other surrounding states, should any opportunities arise,” says Russ Kathrein, President/CEO of Alexander Lumber. Each of the closing lumberyards will hold liquidation sales from mid-January through the end of Feburary 2019. …Alexander operates 15 locations in Illinois, two in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. The company was founded 128 years ago.

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Lumber Company Deemed Total Loss After Fire

CBS Pittsburgh
January 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PITTSBURGH – Officials investigating a fire that tore through an East Bethlehem lumber and hardware store was deemed a total loss. East Bethlehem Fire Chief Mark Giovanelli suspects a wood-burner heating system at Millsboro Lumber and Hardware could be to blame for Saturday’s blaze. …The Ark Avenue business lost an estimated $1 million according to Giovanelli. Inside the retail store, the business sold construction supplies, painting tools and more. …Giovanelli said that the fire was difficult to fight following the collapse of the steel roof which prevented water from dousing hot spots.

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Louisiana State University economist estimates paper mill shutdown will lead to loss of nearly 2,800 jobs in ripple effect

By Timothy Boone
The Advocate
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific’s decision to stop producing office paper at its Port Hudson mill and lay off 650 people could ripple into an estimated loss of nearly 2,150 other jobs across Louisiana, an economic model produced by an LSU AgCenter economist shows. The layoffs will result in the loss of nearly $188 million in labor income and nearly $22.8 million in tax revenue for state and local governments, said Shaun Tanger, a forest economist at the AgCenter. “This is a conservative number,” Tanger said. The figures don’t capture the ripple effects into nearby Mississippi, where some people live and work in the timber/paper industry and could be doing the lion’s share of their business in Louisiana, he said. …Along with the loss in jobs and tax revenue, the prices that nearby landowners will get for their hardwood and pulpwood is expected to fall because of the reduced demand from Georgia-Pacific. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UBC installation mixes wood and robots

By Warren Frey
Journal of Commerce
January 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Students at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have used [wood] and the newest in robotics to create a temporary art installation in the centre of the campus. The Wander Wood Pavilion, a wooden curved rounded shell that forms into a bench, was a collaborative effort between several different sets of participants … as part of Robot Made: Large-Scale Robotic Timber Fabrication in Architecture, a workshop involving 15 architecture students along with external partners. UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) had a leading role in the project, spearheaded in part by professor AnnaLisa Meyboom… “We (myself and the Centre of Advanced Wood Processing here at UBC) obtained a grant from Forest Innovation Investment to run the workshop. We brought in collaborating experts from Germany and University of Waterloo. The participants are the students from a course I teach as well as people from industry who sign up.” Meyboom said…

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International Code Council moves to embrace taller mass timber buildings

By Antonio Pacheco
The Architect’s Newspaper
January 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

After over two years of testing and several rounds of deliberation, the International Code Council has settled on a batch of modest code changes that will embrace tall timber buildings in the United States. The changes are due to take effect in 2021, after approval from ICC’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings in December 2018. …New International Code Council tall timber building standards could streamline the approval of projects that once required extensive testing and review. …The officials conducted research and performed multiple fire tests—including controlled burns of five two-story CLT structures at the National Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Baltimore—to back the safety of their proposed changes. …Seattle-based architect and mass timber specialist Susan Jones of atelier jones… “The codes are solid and very conservative, given the performance the material showed.”

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The U.S. mass timber industry is maturing while it branches out

By Sydney Franklin
The Architects Newspaper
January 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…What’s clear is that U.S. demand for wood buildings is there. The country’s largest producer of cross-laminated timber (CLT), SmartLam, has experienced such rapid growth since opening six years ago that it is building a new headquarters in Columbia Falls, Montana, and planning a second facility in Maine to supply what the industry thinks will be an influx of midrise construction in New York and other cities along the Eastern seaboard. “The expansion here is simply driven by need,” said SmartLam CEO Casey Malmquist. “There’s always been a grassroots support for CLT in the U.S. and a recently increased interest in research and testing. But now we’re no longer speculating about whether it will work—it’s going mainstream.” While similar Pacific Northwest companies like DR Johnson and Katerra, as well as firms such as LEVER Architecture and Michael Green Architecture, have long led the field, production is growing in uncharted territories. 

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CRÈME proposes floating timber bridge to connect Brooklyn and Queens

By Sukjong Hong
The Architect’s Newspaper
January 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Currently the only link between the rapidly developing neighborhoods of Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is the Pulaski Bridge, a six-lane drawbridge. …Brooklyn-based CRÈME/Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design wants to change that by proposing the LongPoint Bridge, a 250-foot-long crossing… distinguished from its counterparts across the city for its lightweight, floating timber construction. …Glulam beams joined by galvanized steel braces and pins rise in two trussed peaks of armature around the nearly 50-foot-tall masts. …Its height above the canal allows smaller vessels to pass underneath, but for larger boats, the bridge pivots open in the middle, with each section moving on propeller-driven pontoons. This floating feature also allows the bridge to rise and fall with the tides. According to Jun Aizaki, the firm’s founder and principal, the bridge’s design and timber composition allows it to be assembled off-site and installed quickly and inexpensively.

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How to build a skyscraper out of wood

By Jeff Spross
The Week
January 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Building skyscrapers out of wood: It sounds bizarre… But it could actually be the future of construction. “Each material has its different pros and cons, and there’s no reason that timber shouldn’t be part of that larger discussion,” Todd Snapp, an architect with the global firm Perkins + Will, told The Week. “I can’t say it’s better than steel or concrete. I can say it should be just as relevant in the discussion of what material to use.” Snapp is the design principal guiding the firm’s River Beech Tower project, an 800-foot residential skyscraper that would be built almost entirely out of wood. The tower was designed in parallel with a master plan the firm was awarded to develop an area in Chicago’s downtown… Cambridge University’s Natural Material Innovation project came to them [with the] idea to pick a real-world site and then develop the building [to] give the Cambridge group specific structures, practices, and so forth to test out in the lab.

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Forestry

Statement from Health Canada on Glyphosate

By Health Canada
Cision Newswire
January 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Health Canada’s primary objective in regulating pesticides is to protect Canadians’ health and the environment. …Following the release of the Department’s final re-evaluation decision on glyphosate in 2017, Health Canada received eight notices of objection. There have also been concerns raised publicly about the validity of some of the science around glyphosate in what is being referred to as the Monsanto Papers. …After a thorough scientific review, we have concluded that the concerns raised by the objectors could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data. The objections raised did not create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017 re-evaluation decision for glyphosate. Therefore, the Department’s final decision will stand. …No pesticide regulatory authority in the world currently considers glyphosate to be a cancer risk to humans at the levels at which humans are currently exposed. We continue to monitor for new information… 

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13 First Nations come together to create new forestry agreement

By Bryn Eneas
CBC News
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thirteen Indigenous communities who control more than 50 per cent of the provincial allocated and active wood supply in Saskatchewan have banded together. An agreement signed between the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, Big River First Nation, Pelican Lake First nation, Witchekan Lake First Nation and the Meadow Lake Tribal Council was formalized in early December. …Rob Fincati, CEO of Montreal Lake Business Ventures, said… “We see this as a way to really assert our ancestral, territorial rights”. He said beyond asserting those rights, the agreement between the bands is also a way to protect their assets in dealings with forestry corporations. …Fincati said one of the objectives of the bands in the agreement was to bring a pulp mill back to the Prince Albert region. The former pulp mill closed in 2006.

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Haida Gwaii’s northern goshawks: Highly distinct and at risk

University of British Columbia
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Haida Gwaii’s small population of northern goshawks—already of great concern to conservationists–are the last remnant of a highly distinct genetic cluster of the birds, according to a new genomic analysis by University of British Columbia researchers. “Goshawks across the British Columbia Coast appear to be declining, however, the distinct Haida Gwaii population is at a particularly high risk of extinction with such a small population size,” says Kenneth Askelson, a researcher with the UBC Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, who co-led the study. Latest counts puts the population on the archipelago at roughly 50. The genomic findings add new context and impetus to efforts to save this vulnerable pocket of goshawks, which are one of BC’s most iconic birds of prey.

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Study shows black bears need a variety of salmon species to be healthy

The Canadian Press in the Province
January 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Black bears need access to different species of salmon rather than huge numbers of a single variety in order to be healthy, a new study by Canadian researchers indicates. Lead author Christina Service said if bears have access to a “portfolio of different salmon species” then the animals have access to more food for a greater part of the year. “It is the equivalent of humans going to an all-you-can-eat buffet,” said the PhD candidate from the University of Victoria, adding that different species of the fish have different run timings and use different habitat. …The team of researchers used chemical techniques on hair samples from 379 black bears and 122 grizzly bears between 2009 and 2014 to estimate their salmon consumption, which showed population productivity and health. They studied animals across a 22,000-kilometre stretch along coastal British Columbia’s “Great Bear Rainforest.

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B.C. conservationists want protection for ‘Canada’s most magnificent’ old-growth forest

The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
January 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conservationists in British Columbia are pushing for protections on an area of old-growth forests they describe as “Canada’s most magnificent.” The grove is located on Crown land in the San Juan River Valley near Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation band. …Most of the grove is unprotected, with a small portion — about four hectares — off-limits to loggers through the provincial government’s old-growth management area, he said. …This forest can be saved from logging if the provincial government simply extends its existing old growth management area, which currently protects about two hectares of this grove, he said. The B.C. Ministry of Forests said in a statement that the grove is contained in a woodlot operated by Pacheedaht Forestry Ltd., and there is no imminent logging planned.

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B.C. ancient tree lovers unveil ‘Mossome’ grove as part of bid for new protections

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
January 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conservationists on Vancouver Island have documented a unique grove of ancient trees which it wants protected from logging due to its ecological value. “This is perhaps the most magnificent and stunningly beautiful old-growth forest I’ve ever seen,” said Ken Wu, executive director of the conservation group, Endangered Ecosystems Alliance. Wu, 44, has been exploring forests on Vancouver Island to campaign for their protection for the past 28 years. The latest find, a 13-hectare parcel on public land, is located near Port Renfrew along the San Juan River and within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation. It features massive old growth Sitka spruce and bigleaf maples, which are covered is hanging mosses and ferns. Wu and campaigners with the conservation group, Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA), have nicknamed the grove ‘Mossome Grove,’ a blending of the words “mossy” and “awesome.”

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Roddickton-Bide Arm protest demands local logs be cut home

By Stephen Roberts
The Telegram
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

“Our logs stay here.” That was the message Roddickton-Bide Arm gave the provincial government and Active Energy Group during a protest staged Monday afternoon, Jan. 14. Some 100-200 residents of Roddickton-Bide Arm, including individuals from neighbouring communities, marched from the Green Moose Interpretation Centre to the forestry building to protest the lack of movement on re-opening a sawmill in the community. All the while, carrying signs, they chanted their message, “Our logs stay here” demanding the right to have their own logs, in forestry area 18, cut into timber. Roddickton-Bide Arm Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald, with speakerphone in hand, led the speakers. … Trevor Fillier, president of the Northern Peninsula Loggers Association, gave an impassioned speech. “If we don’t cut the timber at our sawmill there’s nothing moving!” a fiery Fillier declared to cheers from the crowd. “There’s other local pulp wood being sold of this coast and it’s got to stop. 

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408-year-old tree discovered in Algonquin Park’s unprotected logging zone

By Kristin Rushowy
The Toronto Star
January 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Researchers have discovered a 408-year-old tree amid a stretch of old-growth forest in Algonquin Park, located in an unprotected zone open to logging, the Star has learned. The Ancient Forest Exploration and Research group — a non-profit, charitable educational organization — recently made the find west of Cayuga Lake.It also identified three trees that are more than 300 years old, and five that are more than 200 years old, out of the 10 trees examined.“Based on mapping we’re pretty sure significant tracts of very old forest have also been logged in the past 10 years, or are currently being logged,” senior ecologist Mike Henry told the Star. The group is now calling on the provincial government to safeguard the area. …The hemlock located last fall is estimated to be more than 408 years old, and “we can only know the ages of the remaining trees by coring trees and counting rings,” Quinby added. 

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Trump’s executive order will aggressively cut more forest trees

By Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin
The Washington Post
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

With a partial government shutdown looming, President Trump quietly issued an executive order that expands logging on public land on the grounds that it will curb deadly wildfires. The declaration, issued the Friday before Christmas, reflects Trump’s interest in forest management since a spate of wildfires ravaged California last year. While many scientists and Western governors have urged federal officials to adopt a suite of policies to tackle the problem, including cuts in greenhouse gases linked to climate change, the president has focused on expanding timber sales. The executive order instructs the secretaries of agriculture and interior to consider harvesting a total of 4.4 billion board feet of timber from forest land managed by their agencies on millions of acres, and put it up for sale. The order would translate into a 31 percent increase in forest service logging since 2017.

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Trimble provides comprehensive solution for forestry supply chain management

By Trimble
Geospataial World News
January 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

US: Trimble announced that it has released its Connected Forest Xchange (CFX) and Connected Forest Business (CFB) as core solutions to provide the global forestry industry with an end-to-end ecosystem for supply chain management, trading partner collaboration, and financial settlement. CFX and CFB are integral to Trimble’s Connected Forest initiative to provide solutions to manage the full raw materials lifecycle of planning, planting, growing, harvesting, transporting and processing. Trimble’s CFX supports collaboration among wood supply stakeholders by providing a cloud-based clearinghouse for log load data transactions, including scale tickets, load information and transportation monitoring in real-time. All stakeholders are able to make more informed decisions, improve their fiber visibility and increase their productivity. Trimble’s CFB is a contract and financial system to streamline harvesting and fiber-related transactions.

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Farm Bill Includes Some Pro Forest Reforms, President Issues Pro Active Management Order

TimberLine Magazine
January 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The forest products sector got some of what it wished for Christmas in the recently passed 2018 Farm Bill. …Dana Lee Cole, executive director of the Hardwood Federation, commented, “The Hardwood Federation was very pleased that many of our top priorities are contained in the 2018 reauthorization of the Farm Bill, including essential funding for export promotion programs, resources that will further develop capacities for tall wood buildings, measures to facilitate the installations of biomass heat and power systems and improvements to federal forest management practices.” …The American Wood Council, which partnered with the National Alliance of Forest Owners and the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association in lobbying for passage of the Farm Bill, also praised the outcome. “We are pleased that the final Farm Bill promotes further research and development into mass timber,” said council president and CEO Robert Glowinski.

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Wildfires deadly but essential

By Don Adams
Mail Tribune
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Now with warmer, drier environmental conditions, terribly destructive fires and expensive fire-fighting operations have become the new normal. Brush removal and control burn operations are increasingly used to reduce danger from fire. Though effective, much of the thinning and control burning effort is regional, involving a relatively small percentage of brush/forest acreage. Instead of small localized thinning efforts, a national program similar to that of the 1939 Works Progress Administration is required, or an expansion of the Veterans Fire Corps initiative of California. Major problems that might be addressed by a national brush/debris cleanup program include: costs of fire suppression, escalating cost of property insurance, unemployment of urban youth and ex-military, and deterioration of air quality. 

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People are cutting down Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park during the government shutdown

By Katey Psencik
Salina Journal
January 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than 800,000 workers are furloughed during the current government shutdown, which has been in effect since Dec. 21. As a result, many of the nation’s parks have been left unprotected. One of the most glaring effects is in Joshua Tree National Park, where the namesake trees are being destroyed by visitors, causing the park to announce a temporary closure (which was later averted “by immediately utilizing revenue generated by recreation fees”). “There have been incidents of new roads being created by motorists and the destruction of Joshua trees in recent days,” park officials said in a statement. The park was able to use Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to bring in maintenance crews to address the ongoing issues at the park. …the trees are at risk of being affected by climate change in the coming years. The park alone may lose many of its trees by 2100 due to rising temperatures… 

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Beleaguered firefighters put on hold by government shutdown

By James Rainey and Phil Helsel
NBC News
January 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Controlled burns have been put on hold. Fire training sessions have been canceled. The hiring of hundreds of seasonal firefighters has been delayed. The nation’s wildland fire service — trying to regroup this winter after two of the biggest and deadliest fire seasons on record — has instead been cast into a state of anxiety by the three-week-old partial government shutdown. That’s because some firefighters with the Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management are among the approximately 800,000 government employees either furloughed or working without a guarantee of pay. The shutdown has affected hundreds of regular fire and support personnel at those agencies, along with seasonal “hotshots” and others who swell the fire lines during the forest and brush fire emergencies … with increasing intensity … according to wildfire experts. A Senate Appropriations Committee report estimates that as many as 5,000 Forest Service firefighters may be working without pay.

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Forest plan not visible to public due to government shutdown

Associated Press in Capital Press
January 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. — The public is unable to view final updates to a northwestern Montana forest management plan due to the federal government shutdown. The Missoulian reports Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber published the final record of decision of the Forest Land Management Plan and an amendment to grizzly bear recovery management policies in the Federal Register on Dec. 27. The plans and amendments are available on the Forest Service website, but the record of decision was not released. Swan View Coalition Director Keith Hammer provided a copy of an email exchange he’d had with Weber. The supervisor wrote, “We have regional direction not to send this out or post until shutdown ends and we have funding.”

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Aspen Center for Environmental Studies examines how the forest will recover from Lake Christine Fire

By Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
January 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Aspen-area forests took a beating this year from drought and hot temperatures while parts of Basalt Mountain suffered severe enough fire damage that it could take centuries for some vegetation types to recover, according to an assessment by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. ACES released its annual State of the Forest Report on Friday. …Blue spruce and subalpine fir destroyed by the fire are unlikely to bounce back quickly, if at all, McCurdy said. Lodgepole pines have adapted differently to fire and depend on it to open their seeds. Aspen trees tend to bounce back well and there’s potential they could spread on the mountain, McCurdy said. The recovery is going to show how forests are dynamic places where change happens in spurts, he said. 

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Loggers in Virginia have record-breaking year

Associated Press in the Washington Post
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

RICHMOND, Va. — The amount of timber harvested in Virginia last year set a record. A new report from the state forester said receipts from the Virginia Forest Products Tax show a record-breaking volume of trees being cut down. The volume of softwood trees increased 20 percent while the volume of hardwood went up by 9 percent. The report also says that number of hardwood and softwood trees planted last year greatly exceeded those cut down. Virginia has about 16 million acres (6.5 million hectares) of forestland, with the vast majority owned privately. Deciduous trees, or those that drop leaves in winter, make up about 80 percent of Virginia’s forests.

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Wet winter weather likely spells shortages for Arkansas lumber mills, industry

By Ryan McGeeney, U of Arkansas
Newton County Times
January 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MONTICELLO — Timber harvests in Arkansas dropped off steeply in the final month of 2018, as heavy and persistent rainfall throughout much of the state made the process increasingly difficult and expensive.  According to severance tax reports …total tonnage harvested in 2018 dropped more than 6.2 percent from 2017’s harvest…. While month-to-month harvest numbers in 2018 were actually stronger than 2017 for about half the year, Arkansas wood processing facilities received … 47 percent less than the next lowest monthly harvest in two years. The reduced harvest is already leading to shortages at lumber mills throughout Arkansas… Matthew Pelkki, associate director of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Forest Resources Center, said said that unless Arkansas now experiences a dryer-than-average first quarter, lumber yards will probably not be able to catch up without incurring higher costs, either hauling timber from greater distances or trying to contend with saturated forest soils.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Woodlot owner says the full costs of alternatives to wood heat are overlooked

Letter by Harold Macy, Headquarters Creek Woodlot Ltd.
Comox Valley Record
January 13, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Harold Macy

The anti-wood burning film noted in today’s (Jan. 11) Record presents several other methods of heating one’s home on this cool and damp Island. I will argue that each of them share an environmental footprint much greater than firewood. The opponents support the use of heat pumps, natural or propane gas, or wood pellets. Let’s have a closer look at each of these sources of comfort. …[Wood] is perpetually renewable and is sourced locally. For many years TimberWest and other industrial companies disposed of post-harvesting residue by smoldering slash piles which admittedly were problematic. However, the contractor operating out of our family woodlot now has an agreement to sort out the recoverable firewood, haul it to the processing yard and cut it into lengths then deliver it to local homes…. It is a win-win-win situation. …Before you jump on the anti-stove bandwagon, look carefully at the true costs.

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