Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 15, 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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Business & Politics

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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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