Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 8, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Tall Timber, Trade and Trump… and a Tracking Technicality

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 8, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tall Timber is in the news with more on: Toronto’s massive Quayside waterfront plan; Oregon State U’s earthquake-friendly forestry building; and Georgia’s debate over wood’s use above three-storeys. In Business news: the China trade war is taking its toll on hardwood producers; and a PR effort for Northern Pulp is questioned.

In other news: support and ridicule for Trump’s recent thinning initiatives; support and distain for BC’s Forest Minister’s apparent blockade support; friction over Alberta’s plan for a new park; and the value of agricultural woodlots in Southern Ontario.

Finally, many of you were unable to click through to our website from the link in our email because of a security warning. The issue wasn’t with www.treefrogcreative.ca but rather the tracking technology employed by iContact (our messaging service). We have assurances that the issue has been resolved, but if you are still concerned, you can always type our URL (www.treefrogcreative.ca/news) directly into your search bar. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

‘Voice of the forest’: George the snail, last of his kind, dies at age 14

The Guardian
January 8, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US West

As New Year’s Day broke in the Hawaiian Islands… George, the last snail of his kind and a local celebrity, was dead at age 14. The passing of George, a tree snail… epitomizes the decline of biodiversity on the Hawaiian islands, where climate change and invasive predators have taken a heavy toll on native animals and insects. …George, who never lived in an actual forest, was still a mascot for endangered Hawaiian snails. …Despite his celebrity status, George wasn’t the prettiest snail to look at. …Although scientists had hoped that George, a hermaphrodite, would have offspring, his solitary life ruled out that possibility. Despite the sad fate of the Achatinella apexfulva, the Oahu lab has thousands of native snails in residence, and scientists have begun re-introducing some of the adults into remote forests where they hope they will thrive.

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Business & Politics

Hereditary chiefs in B.C. stand opposed to Coastal GasLink pipeline despite injunction

By Chantelle Bellrichard
CBC News
January 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hereditary chiefs and their supporters are standing their ground in a remote area of B.C., despite a court injunction saying they must move and grant access to a company trying to build a pipeline in the area. …TransCanada has said it signed agreements with all First Nations along the proposed pipeline route. But the hereditary leaders say those agreements don’t apply to the traditional territories. …Supporters at the camps remain opposed to the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in the territory, despite the fact elected band councils along the route have made agreements with the company. …Among the visitors on Sunday was Doug Donaldson, the NDP MLA and B.C. minister of forests, lands, and natural resources operations. …”The purpose today is to support and recognize that the hereditary chief have a responsibility for stewardship of the yintah [land],” responded Donaldson.

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Shocked local MLA joins cry against activist agenda

East Kootenay News Weekly e-know
January 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tom Shypitka

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka (BC Liberals) says he is shocked by the hypocrisy of the NDP provincial caucus publicly declaring support for the Unist’ot’en LNG pipeline blockadecamp in northern British Columbia. “This is very big news for British Columbia,” Shypitka said of the protest that has resulted in a blockade camp near Smithers by the Wet’suwet’en First Nation. He singled out Stikine MLA and Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson. “Minister Doug Donaldson is supporting this illegal blockade. What is more shocking is it is this very Minister’s office that issued the permits for this Trans Canada LNG pipeline project,” he said.

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Northern Pulp, Scotsburn Lumber, and US tariffs

By Tim Bousquet
Halifax Examiner
January 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Last month, Scotsburn Lumber sent out a letter encouraging “all our employers, contractors, business owners, forest landowners and associated suppliers to call or write a letter to your local or elected official” to express support for Northern Pulp Mill and its efforts to continue operating after the deadline for stopping the dumping of mill effluent into Boat Harbour. …But the letter caused me to wonder about the relationship between Scotsburn Lumber and Northern Pulp Mill… in particular how the provincial government has financially supported the mill and perhaps, by extension, the forest industry generally. …This looks, well, sketchy. It appears that while Northern Pulp may not “own and control Scotsburn Lumber,” the Widjaja family controls both Northern Pulp and Scotsburn through different holding companies. So the legal control is one level up, but the actual management coordination is, or at least was, right there through the persons of Andreas Kammenos and G. Wayne Gosse, as I detailed above.

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Hardwood resources set strategies for 2019

By Thomas Russell
Furniture Today
January 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Thomas Russell

The China factor has been having an impact on more than just the companies importing product from there. Hardwood producers interviewed in both the Appalachian region and the Pacific Northwest reported a strong first half in 2018, but that quickly changed by summer when the trade war started heating up. As with the furniture industry, lumber producers say they have been able to shift some product to wood manufacturers in Vietnam as well as Mexico and even the U.S. during this period of uncertainty. The balance of their supply has remained in limbo, illustrating how much the hardwood industry has relied on China for export sales in the past 15 to 20 years, particularly as the furniture industry has shifted production there from the U.S. during that same period. …But the problem is not simply due to the tariffs. It’s also due to the softening of the Chinese economy.

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Forest fire insurance costs soar

Reuters in CNBC
January 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

MUNICH – Forest fires caused by climate change are costing insurers more than ever, with the deadly fire that ravaged northern California the single most expensive natural disaster in 2018, Munich Re said in its catastrophe report on Tuesday. The California wildfire that devastated the small town of Paradise in November caused losses of $16.5 billion, of which $12.5 billion were insured. Worldwide natural disasters caused $160 billion in economic damage in 2018. That was down from $350 billion the previous year, but a number of devastating hurricanes had contributed to the high losses in 2017. Insurers and reinsurers paid out $80 billion for natural disaster claims last year, down from $140 billion a year earlier but almost double the 30-year average of $41 billion, the reinsurer said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

‘Building Innovation’ with Sidewalk Labs’ Karim Khalifa

By Elsa Lam
Canadian Architect
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

“In December, Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs unveiled its draft master plan for the Quayside neighbourhood in Toronto. Their proposal includes a dozen mass timber towers—some up to 30 storeys high—connected by underground freight and waste tunnels, and flexible podium (or “stoa”) levels. Canadian Architect editor Elsa Lam spoke with Karim Khalifa, Director of Buildings Innovation at Sidewalk Labs, about the architectural details of the proposal. Here are highlights from their conversation: …”From the beginning, the proposal that Sidewalk put together looked at how to create a really sustainable district. Tall timber was an obvious go-to. Before I joined Sidewalk, I had been doing six to eight storey mass timber buildings in Europe. Here we had the chance to stretch the limits of where tall timber could go.”

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New Peavy Hall design to showcase industry’s future

By Vada Shelby
The Daily Barometer
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

In early 2019, OSU will have a new forestry building, complete with “rocking wood.” …According to Geoff Huntington, director of strategic initiatives at OSU, this building will display a unique type of design with structural integrity needed to allow the building to be reoccupied after an earthquake. The new Peavy Hall will include a new type of engineered plywood and cross laminated panels, along with a variety of wood products all sourced within 300 miles of campus. Those involved with the design aimed to use a new type of material to improve sustainability and increase earthquake resistance. “It has been our intention to demonstrate the capabilities and the future of our important wood products industry here in Oregon,” Huntington said. …The term “rocking wood” is used to describe the cross-laminated timber used in making MPP, because it can counter the pressure given by strong winds or earthquakes. 

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Timber is a Hot Topic in Georgia Politics

By Adina Solomon
Next City
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

…residents and commuters won’t see as much construction break ground in Dunwoody for a while. That’s because in late November 2018, the city passed a six-month moratorium on multi-unit building applications and permits. The reason? Timber. Back in 2014, after consulting with building and fire safety experts, Dunwoody passed an ordinance requiring office and residential buildings more than three stories high to be built with concrete and steel, not wood. Other suburban cities around Atlanta had similar ordinances. …Georgia’s forest industry, the second largest industry in the state, relies on timber production and its use in construction. Ordinances impeding that grabbed the industry’s attention. “We felt that it was unfairly discriminating against products that we produce here in the state,” says Andres Villegas, president and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association. “Lumber is just as safe as steel or concrete when it’s used correctly.”

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IKEA is betting on cellulose. What does it mean for the future of fabric?

By Fred Nicolaus
Business of Home
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

IKEA is a paradox. As the world’s largest “fast furniture” brand, the Swedish giant’s business model has had an undeniable environmental impact. On the other hand, few megacorporations have been as aggressive in pursuing sustainable practices. Last summer, IKEA made an ambitious pledge: By 2030, it would use only renewable and recyclable materials in its products. Reaching the target will require across-the-board innovations in wood, metals, plastic and, of course, fabric. To that end, in 2014, IKEA partnered with H&M and Swedish inventor Lars Stigsson to develop a sustainable wood-based fiber. Now the initiative, called TreeToTextile, has a new partner: Finnish pulping conglomerate Stora Enso. The news signals a gear shift—the project has moved out of the test phase and into production. 

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Forestry

Natural Resources Canada is looking for Data Specialists/Analysts

By The Pacific Forestry Centre
Government of Canada
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Have you ever wanted to be a part of a world-renowned science institution? Here’s your opportunity to use your skills and showcase your talents at the Pacific Forestry Centre, Natural Resources Canada (Government of Canada). PFC is an exciting and fun place to work with full amenities. We are looking for a Forest Data Analysts and a Forestry Data Specialist. All positions are at our Victoria location. The Data Analysts will work with other team members on the establishment of a new national forest field plot dataset, integrating field plot data collected across Canada by various agencies into a single, analysis-ready, open data resource, which will be used for forest research and cumulative impact assessments. The Data Specialist will work as a member of Canada’s National Forest Inventory project offices to systematically evaluate, clean and ingest spatial data into a new datacube and spatial databases for further analysis. [Direct links to jobs are highlighted above].

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What can the federal government do to help the forest industry?

By Richard Canning’s, MP
The Penticton Western News
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

We’ve heard a lot in the news lately about the challenges facing the oil sector, but much less about the serious problems confronting another natural resource industry — forestry. …So, what can the federal government do to help the forest industry? It should settle the softwood lumber dispute that has dragged on far too long. …Fuel loads are now dangerously high and create ideal conditions for catastrophic fires… treatments are not just needed in B.C.; they are needed across the country wherever communities touch on forests. …As I’ve suggested in my private members bill, C-354 (now in the Senate), government procurement powers could be used to build more large government buildings out of wood. …To make sure of that, the federal government needs to invest more in research around the role our forests could play in helping us sequester carbon dioxide and reach our Paris targets.

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UBC Researcher Competes for International Forestry Innovation Award

Forest Products Association of Canada
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA: Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased to announce that a graduate researcher at the University of British Columbia’s School of Biomedical Engineering has been chosen as the Canadian finalist for the global Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Award. Amir Kashani is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Genome Sciences and Technology, and his winning entry highlighted his master’s research project on the biovalorization of lignin.  As noted by FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor, “We are very excited by Amir’s work and his ability to compete on the world stage.  His research has the potential to help us develop an entirely new suite of forest sector bioproducts. This is the kind of leading-edge research that puts our country’s forest products sector at the forefront of innovation, and we can take pride in the fact that it’s happening right here, at home, in Canada.”

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On the Rockies’ edge, frictions form over Alberta’s plan for new provincial park

By Jeff Lewis
The Globe and Mail
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Battle lines are being drawn in Alberta’s back country over the NDP government’s plan to set aside an area roughly the size of Rhode Island as provincial parkland. The clash over conservation comes amid a widening revolt against environmental regulation in the oil-rich province, and provides an early glimpse at contours that will shape this spring’s Alberta general election. Premier Rachel Notley’s government… has pitched the proposed Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park as a means of diversifying the battered provincial economy through tourism. Conservation groups say it’s a chance to create a needed haven for vulnerable and threatened species in an otherwise loosely regulated back country laced with logging roads, forestry clear-cuts and trails carved by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). They also see such wilderness parks as a bulwark against climate change.

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Seeing the forest through the trees

By David Gough
The Chatham Daily News
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There’s money in agricultural woodlots. That was the message that Dave Pullen passed on at a session at the Southwest Agriculture Conference held at the Ridgetown campus of the University of Guelph. Woodlands have the high potential to generate a more significant part of farm revenue in southern Ontario, said Pullen, who is a municipal forester for Huron County, where his roles include forest conservation, management and extension services. Input costs to manage woodlands are low and timber production potential is high, he said. There’s money in woodlots in the form of financial returns on the timber harvested and protection against soil erosion in adjacent fields caused by both wind and water. Sometimes there is a struggle within agriculture about the value of woodlots, but Pullen said the two can exist very well.

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President’s executive order might open national parks to logging

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Lloyd Alter

Apologies to The President of the United States for posting this in the Climate Change category; he doesn’t believe his own scientists about it, and certainly doesn’t believe that it caused all the forest fires that devastated the west last year. But Americans can rest assured that he is not ignoring the crisis in the forests. He just signed executive order 13855 Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests. …Apparently nobody has been managing the forests, allowing dense trees and undergrowth to take over. Oh, and wait, there’s more: “These conditions… have weakened our forests… and placed communities and homes at risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires.” …It is a remarkable document. It blames forest fires on management, bugs and drought while totally avoiding the mention of climate change. It expands logging operations and sets up opportunities for burning biomass. 

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OSU scientist, others urge review of forest biotech limits

KTVZ.COM
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A coalition of forest scientists, including Steve Strauss of Oregon State University, is calling for an immediate review of international policies that the group says put unreasonable and harmful limitations on biotech research. This petition follows on the release of a major report on The Potential for Biotechnology to Address Forest Health from the National Academy of Sciences that has identified biotechnologies as key tools for helping to manage forest health and associated pest epidemics. The petition hosted by the Alliance for Science is asking sustainable forest management systems –  among them the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, two key certifying bodies – to take a look at their views opposing genetically modified trees “and bring them in line with current scientific evidence.”

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Congress boosts forest thinning projects

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
January 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Efforts to salvage the stalled Four Forest Restoration Initiative got a modest boost in the lame duck session of Congress, before the partial government shutdown. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) sponsored a provision in the Farm Bill that would make it easier for the Forest Service to strike a deal with local counties to thin dangerously overgrown forests. …The measure could help boost the efforts by Coconino, Gila, Apache and Navajo counties to help push forward the most ambitious forest restoration project in the history of the country. 4FRI has languished for the past decade for lack of a contractor that could undertake large-scale forest thinning work….Moreover, the Forest Service has recently doubled the potential length of a thinning contract — from 10 years to 20 years. Loggers have argued only such a long-term contract with its guarantee of enough wood will justify an investment in new mills.

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Revised Brazilian forest code may lead to increased legal deforestation in Amazon

By Flavio Freitas
Phys.org
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Up to 15 million hectares of tropical rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon could lose protection and be clear-cut because of an article in the country’s new Forest Code. The warning comes from Brazilian researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ-USP) and Swedish researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. They recently published a paper on the subject in Nature Sustainability. “The 15 million hectares that could become deprotected as a result of this rule in the new Forest Code,” said Gerd Sparovek , a professor at ESALQ-USP. …Sparovek explained that until 2012, the Forest Code required private landowners in the Amazon region to set aside 80 percent of their property with intact native vegetation in what the law terms a “legal reserve.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Plant pines, not natives to make money from carbon farming, says consultant

By Heather Chalmers
Stuff.co.nz
January 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Landowners planting forests for carbon credits should plant pine trees rather than natives to achieve the best returns, a carbon consultant says. Ollie Belton, a partner of Permanent Forests NZ a Christchurch-based carbon consultancy, said that the rate that natives absorb carbon dioxide was much lower than for pinus radiata. Sequestration calculations used by the Emissions Trading Scheme for forests under 100 hectares showed that pinus radiata absorbed almost 1000 tonnes of carbon over 25 years, while native forests absorbed less than 300 tonnes. Belton said measurements he had done on native forests of more than 100ha showed most performed less than the ETS calculations, some only achieving a half to a third of this. In contrast, many pine forests performed better than the default figures.

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