Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 23, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Judge rules on Resolute vs. Greenpeace, racketeering dismissed, defamation can proceed

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 23, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

In dismissing most of Resolute’s suit vs. Greenpeace, a judge says the company’s racketeering complaint doesn’t prove “actual malice“, as required by California’s anti-SLAPP law, but rules defamation suit can proceed. In other Business news: Ontario’s forest industry pitches its wish list for gov’t; Boise Cascade makes leadership changes; and more on the pending investigation into rail car rationing by Canada’s railways.

In Forestry/Climate news: BC’s forests fix and store huge amounts of carbon; Yellowstone’s forests could become grasslands; and US forest soils emit more pollutants with climate change. 

Finally, mass timber projects are celebrated in Toronto; Milwaukee; Australia and the Arctic.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

FPAC Welcomes Canadian Kraft Paper as its Newest Member

Forest Products Association of Canada
January 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA:Today, Derek Nighbor, President and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), announced that Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Ltd. is joining FPAC as its newest member. Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Ltd. is an integrated kraft pulp and paper mill located in The Pas, Manitoba, 620 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.  The mill has been in operation since 1971 and manufactures high performance unbleached extensible sack kraft paper, which is sold globally for various packaging applications. “We are pleased to have Canadian Kraft Paper in the FPAC fold …,” said Nighbor.  “Canadian Kraft Paper is now the eleventh mill to join the FPAC family in the last year. Having them on board as part of our growing membership not only gives us further access to some great forest industry people, insights, and experiences in Manitoba, but also further strengthens our ability to speak with one voice in Ottawa on behalf of the sector,” Nighbor added.

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Greenpeace Beats Back a SLAPP Lawsuit—for Now

By Mark Hertsgaard
The Nation
January 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

“Game, set (match not yet) ” to Greenpeace. So said Jim Wheaton, analyzing the judge’s ruling in a landmark lawsuit brought against Greenpeace by a $3.5 billion logging company represented by Donald Trump’s personal attorneys. …Observing oral arguments… Wheaton anticipated an uphill climb for Resolute, telling The Nation, “California has a strong anti-SLAPP law.”… which requires a plaintiff “to prove actual malice by the defendant,” said Wheaton, a founder of the First Amendment Project. “The judge said that [Resolute] didn’t meet that burden.” …Initial news posts echoed press releases from Greenpeace and Stand.earth, celebrating that Resolute’s lawsuit had been “dismissed.” This was technically true, but misleading. Judge Tigar’s ruling did dismiss Resolute’s lawsuit, but it did so with “leave to amend.” (The judge signaled during oral arguments that he would follow this course, if only to preclude getting overruled on procedural grounds.

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Greenpeace Defeats Most of Logger’s RICO Suit

By Nicholas Iovino
The Courthouse News
January 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

SAN FRANCISCO – Environmental groups on Tuesday defeated the bulk of a lawsuit claiming they conspired to smear a logging company with false statements, but Greenpeace must still face defamation claims for two statements it published. “The judge’s decision to throw out the abusive racketeering charges is a positive development and a win for advocacy,” Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said. …US District Judge Jon Tigar ruled that nearly all of the 296 “defamatory” statements cited in Resolute’s complaint are “shielded by the First Amendment as not provably false, or statements that ‘cannot reasonably be interpreted as stating actual facts.’” Tigar… concluded the environmental groups’ use of the word “destroy” is “hyperbolic opinion describing a loss of forest trees, which did occur.” However, the judge refused to dismiss defamation and state law unfair competition claims related to two statements made by Greenpeace employees. Resolute’s attorney Michael Bowe said… Resolute will file an appeal to revive claims dismissed.

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U.S. judge dismisses racketeering suit against Greenpeace, Stand.earth

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
January 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A District Court judge in California has dismissed a racketeering suit filed by Quebec’s Resolute Forest Products against Greenpeace and Stand.earth, but ruled a defamation suit can proceed. Resolute has sued Greenpeace in Ontario, and also filed defamation and a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization suit against it and Stan.earth in the U.S.  …Stand.earth and Greenpeace have called the company’s legal tactics a SLAPP suit and federal court Judge Jon S. Tigar agreed to dismiss all but one of the claims under California’s anti-SLAPP legislation. In dismissing all but one of the claims against the two environmental groups, the judge awarded costs to them. …In a statement posted by Resolute, the company claims the decision was not a total defeat because the judge said one particular allegation of defamation could go forward. The judge also said Resolute “adequately alleges” that two of the defendants named in the case knowingly distributed defamatory statements.

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Pacific BioEnergy to supply two Japanese power plants

Prince George Citizen
January 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pellet producer Pacific BioEnergy Corporation said Monday it has landed two new long-term supply contracts with Japanese power producers. The company will be supplying a combined 170,000 metric tonnes per year to them by 2022 for two newly-built biomass power plants. The contracts will last until 2030 and 2035 respectively and will be intermediated through Sumitomo Corporation, PacBio’s 48-per-cent shareholder and marketing partner.  “This new business assures the continued strong presence of our Prince George and affiliated manufacturing operations in the dynamic and growing Asian market,” said company CEO Don Steele. “This business, in addition to existing contracts in the European and Japanese markets, demonstrates the fulfillment of over 12 years of pioneering market development work in the Asia region.”

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Railways ration space as commodity congestion problems worsen

By Rod Nickel
The CountryGuide
January 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Winnipeg — Canada’s two major railways are rationing space on trains traveling to the country’s biggest port and recently prioritized some commodities over others to deal with congestion. …That move prompted Canada’s transport regulator last week to start an investigation into rail services around Port Metro Vancouver, after shippers complained of “discriminatory treatment of certain commodities” by Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway. …Embargoes also added costs for pulp and paper producers, who are trying to bolster ties with Asian buyers amid ongoing tariff disputes with the United States. For a second consecutive year, the railways imposed more embargo restrictions on pulp and paper than usual in December, leading to shipping delays, according to the Forest Products Association of Canada, whose members include Canfor and West Fraser Timber. …Poor rail service costs the forest products industry $500 million annually.

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How Can We Make Ontario Open for Business?

Ontario Forest Industries Association
January 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs held a hearing in Dryden on Monday, January 21, 2019, regarding Pre-Budget Consultations. The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) presented to the Standing Committee and believes that by working with government, affected stakeholders and rightsholders, practitioners and professional foresters to strategically increase the sustainable use of our Crown forests will make Ontario a world leader in forestry. To maximize the full potential of Ontario’s naturally renewable resource, create well-paying jobs and make Ontario open for business, OFIA addressed three key competitive challenges. OFIA’s Director of Forest Policy, Ian Dunn, stated, “We are asking government to recognize the importance of public investment into multi-use, Crown road infrastructure. …we encourage government to establish a Made-in-Ontario Commercial Loan Guarantee Program. …We urge the government to consider the latest science and develop a path forward … to managing species at risk.”

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National Wood Flooring Association Launches “Real Wood. Real Life.” Campaign

The Floor Daily
January 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

St. Louis — The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) is launching a new effort to help homeowners learn more about the characteristics and benefits of real wood floors. The “Real Wood. Real Life.” campaign provides information on choosing the right wood floor, selecting a professional for the job, and conducting maintenance properly. …The NWFA is reaching consumers with this information via the new Homeowner’s Handbook to Real Wood Floors and WoodFloors.Org. Whether a homeowner is trying to decide between solid or engineered wood or looking for ways to protect floors from their pets, the handbook and website are a one-stop shop for wood flooring tips.

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Boise Cascade announces officer promotions and retirements

By Boise Cascade
Nasdaq
January 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho – Boise Cascade announced the promotion of four company officers and the retirements of two veteran industry leaders. Nate Jorgensen has been named chief operating officer, responsible for overseeing the Wood Products and Building Materials Distribution divisions. …Mike Brown has been promoted to executive vice president and will lead the Wood Products division, as the successor to Dan Hutchinson who is retiring on April 1 with nearly 39 years of service. …Erin Nuxoll has been promoted to senior vice president of human resources. …Jill Twedt, vice president of legal, has been promoted to general counsel and she also currently serves as corporate secretary. Nuxoll and Twedt will be assuming the responsibilities held by Senior Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel John Sahlberg, who is retiring.   

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Leahy and Scott announce grant to support forestry industry

Vermont Biz
January 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Governor Phil Scott (R) and US Senator Patrick Leahy (D) on Tuesday encouraged Vermont communities struggling to overcome the decline in the forestry industry to consider utilizing a new $7 million grant program to spur new economic opportunities. The NBRC (Northern Border Regional Commission) is seeking grant proposals through its newly launched Regional Forest Economy Partnership from governmental units and non-profit organizations across the four-state region from New York to Maine, including Vermont. The grant program aims to address the economic shift produced by the consistent decline of the forest products industry that has contributed to the displacement of workers and outmigration in the region. Through his work as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy directed the NBRC to support initiatives related to the forest-based economies and set aside a collective $7 million for this work.   

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Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Department serves diverse interests. That’s not all bad.

Bangor Daily News
January 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Amanda Beal

On Friday, Gov. Janet Mills announced her last nominee for a Cabinet position — Amanda Beal to head the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The announcement came weeks after Mills’ first Cabinet picks. Behind the scenes, the administration juggled the diverse interests that come with a department that has so many diverse missions, and constituencies. A nominee with a strong background in conservation may not be palatable to agriculture and forestry interests, for example. On the other hand, someone with experience in the commodities sector may be concerning to conservationists. …Deputy commissioners are likely to bring backgrounds and skills from all three areas — farming, forestry, and land use and conservation. However, the department’s broad mission has prompted some to restart a conversation about breaking the department into smaller pieces. …But giving up on a merged department may be premature.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Can Sidewalk Labs realize a totally timber smart city?

By Jonathan Hilburg
The Architect’s Newspaper
January 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Can one of the world’s oldest building materials form the foundation of a sensor-integrated “smart” neighborhood? Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs is making a go of it on the Toronto waterfront, and has enlisted wood advocates and Katerra partner Michael Green Architecture (MGA) to design flexible, mixed-use timber buildings for its 3-million-square-foot Quayside project. If the 12-acre site is developed as planned, it would become the largest timber project in the world. …MGA has designed a kit-of-parts that can be used for buildings of every scale, and Sidewalk Labs is reportedly looking at constructing a collection of 12 mass timber towers, with the tallest topping out at 30 stories. Sidewalk Labs is aiming to build within Quayside’s existing zoning, which would entail 90 percent residential development.

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Rare timber frame, 21-story downtown Milwaukee apartment tower wins Plan Commission approval

By Tom Daykin
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
January 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A downtown Milwaukee apartment high-rise that would use high-grade timber, not steel, for its frame has won Plan Commission approval. The 21-story, 205-unit development, named Ascent, would be one of the tallest such buildings in the world. …The project would use an unusual but trending construction technique known as mass timber. …The 238-foot Ascent would be the tallest mass timber building in the western hemisphere, said Tim Gokhman, a New Land director. It would eclipse an 18-story mass timber university residence hall that opened in 2007 in Vancouver, British Columbia. New Land hopes to start construction this fall, and complete the project by spring of 2021. It also needs Common Council approval.

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Fireproofing made of recycled paper — Insulation for timber houses

By EMPA, Swiss Federal Laboratories for materials Science and Technology
Newswise
January 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Franziska Grüneberger – researcher in the laboratory for applied wood materials has achieved her goal … fireproof insulating material – a big step to save fossil fuels. …The secret lies in what the recycled paper fiber cube doesn’t do: crumble. This very property is important to offer long-term protection against fire for load-bearing elements on timber houses. Precisely this firmness, however, is hard to achieve in the industrial production of insulating layers. “We’re not dealing with insulating mats here, which workers have to cut to size and shape and slot into the components,” explains Grüneberger. “Instead, the recycled paper fibers are automatically blown into a cavity until it is filled completely.” …By isofloc’s reckoning, the new insulation will hit the market… in around a year’s time. Mountains of waste paper will then be turned into a valuable insulating material … as the only loose insulating material on the market, it can also be used industrially for effective fireproofing. 

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Volunteers assemble futuristic cross-laminated timber cabin in the arctic

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
January 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NORWAY – Various Norwegian architecture groups designed a cross-laminated timber (CLT) cabin that was put together by volunteers over 1,500 hours. After finding and mapping out a suitable site in 3D using a drone and photogrammetry software, architects designed 77 unique CLT panels that would be assembled on site like a 3D puzzle. Designers then tested the cabin by simulating wind conditions and arctic storms in an artificial setting. 3D printing was utilized to test how the panels would fit together, reports designboom. …The cabin is very minimalist – featuring just a wood burning stove, nominal seating, fireplace, and a window. It exists for hikers trekking through the cold town of Hammerfest, Norway. A second cabin is in the works.

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Forestry

Punish polluters with jail if necessary: B.C. poll

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
January 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jack Wong, Foundation CEO

…More than 80 per cent [of British Columbians] support strong penalties — including jail time — for people and companies that damage our natural environment, according to a poll of 1,658 British Columbians conducted by McAllister Opinion Research. The poll was commissioned by the Real Estate Foundation of B.C., a philanthropic group directed by appointees from the real estate industry and government. Similarly, 81 per cent want to see large companies finance a pool of funds that would pay for the full cost of restoration after logging, mining and oil and gas extraction. It appears we no longer trust resource companies to pony up after the fact, the pollster said. …About two-thirds of respondents say that sustainable land use matters “a lot” when defined as “taking care of and using the land in a way that does not harm the ability of the next generation of people living in your community to meet their needs.”

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Penticton Indian Band firms win grants

By Colin Dacre
Castanet
January 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The grants are among 68 announced last week eligible to communities and First Nations smaller than 25,000 people. …The PIB-owned Snpinktn Forestry Ltd. was given $10,000 to help create a new industry-training standard that promotes Indigenous values. …Lower Similkameen Indian Band’s Skul’qalt Forestry was given $10,000. …“It takes a lot of hard work to develop ideas that can stimulate local prosperity and create jobs for small communities,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Rural citizens are resourceful, and the calibre of these project development applications reflects their ingenuity and commitment to community development.”

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Logging exports send jobs, money to other countries

Letter by Janet Marx
Peninsula Daily News
January 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Janet Marx

To our misfortune, timber interests dominate local governments. Our Clallam County Commission is dominated by current and former timber-company executives. The Port of Port Angeles is another institution dominated by corporate timber interests. …There are two vacant positions but no forest scientists, environmental representatives or citizens-at-large. …Each year, the Port of Port Angeles exports between 800 and 100 million board feet of raw logs to Asia. This represents the loss of hundreds of local mill jobs. …Mills generate far more local economic activity than logging exports. …If the county and port commissioners really want to help our communities, they should look beyond the timber industries’ exports and self-interests.

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Yellowstone’s forests could become grasslands by mid-century

By Michael Wright
The Idaho State Journal
January 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The twin forces of wildfire and climate change could turn the forests of Yellowstone National Park into grasslands by the middle of this century, according to a new study. The study, published in Ecological Monographs, found that warmer and drier conditions make it tougher for lodgepole pine trees and Douglas firs to regenerate after being consumed by fire. It also found that the trees that do regenerate have a tough time surviving for very long. Winslow Hansen, a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University and the study’s lead author, said the findings show that forests in and around the park are “at a tipping point.” He said intensified drought in the coming decades, especially after wildfires, could transform both Yellowstone and the surrounding ecosystem.

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Air pollutants from US forest soils will increase with climate change

By Ryan Mushinski et al
Science Daily
January 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A study from Indiana University has found that trees influence whether soil can remove or emit gases that cause smog, acid rain and respiratory problems. The chemicals, collectively known as reactive nitrogen oxides, are produced by soil bacteria that feed on naturally occurring ammonium — as well as nitrogen fertilizers from industrial and agricultural sources that enter soil from the atmosphere. …”This study has profound implications for future air quality,” said Jonathan Raff, associate professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington. “Human activities, such as fire suppression, fertilizer use and climate change, are causing forest populations to shift from stands of trees whose soils do not emit these gases to those that do. …Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio are the states expected to have the highest emissions of nitrogen oxides from forest soil.

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When bad logging can actually be good

By Larry Czelusta, the Forester for Wexford, Missaukee and Kalkaska counties
Cadillac News
January 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The soil beneath us used to be considered as a forever thing. …But it isn’t. Following decades of logging, and then plowing, landowners learned that the soil that covers the earth can be abused and sometimes lost; through the effects of fire, wind and water. …But what about our forests? Much of the forests that we see today were cleared land in the early 1900s. The soils that these forests are growing on were likely burned and eroded as well. Native forest soils of Michigan were shaded and cool. …The debris left by loggers may be unsightly, but it is the key to rebuilding the soils. You see, logging debris can be a good thing. …I would recommend having the debris cut by the logger to within two feet of the ground. This will cool the ground, as well as have the ground moisture begin the process of decomposition sooner.

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Small trees are among the oldest in Congolese rainforest

By the University of Exeter
Phys.org
January 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forest giants have long been considered the oldest trees in tropical forests, but new research shows small trees can also be very old, and can even grow older than the big ones. Scientists associated with the Royal Museum for Central Africa published this finding in the journal Nature Plants. The discovery that small trees can live longer, and therefore hold on to longer-term carbon, has important consequences for forest policy in the tropics. Scientists… made the surprising conclusion that some small trees …in the southwest of Congo, are much older than they look. … “We found that a tree with a diameter of 10cm can easily be 300 years old, while trees ten times larger may be half the age,” said forest ecologist Bhély Angoboy Ilondea, of the RMCA. …”Understanding the role of these small trees is also urgent considering that many tropical forests have undergone an increase in drought, fire and logging over recent decades.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Carbon clarifications

By Dr. Jim Pojar, forest ecologist and co-author of the book Plants of Coastal British Columbia
Prince George Citizen
January 21, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Pojar

Forests fix and store huge amounts of carbon. Forestry is also B.C.’s biggest source of carbon emissions. Yet the province’s forest carbon strategy seems to be that our forests will all soon burn up, fall to beetles or blow down. We should quickly log much more, store carbon in long-lasting wood products and landfills, use logging debris for biofuel, and promptly reforest to take up more carbon. Here are seven forest carbon myths tied to this strategy. 1) Forestry is carbon neutral. …2) Young forests take up more carbon than they emit and are carbon sinks. …3) Forests are impermanent carbon banks doomed by wildfire and insects. …5) Forestry slows global warming because logging shifts carbon to long-lasting products, and replacement forests rapidly absorb more carbon. …7) Generating energy by burning woody biomass is both renewable and carbon neutral. 

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Health & Safety

Collapsed floor traps worker at decommissioned North Island pulp mill

By David Gordon Koch
The Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle
January 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety

Campbell River — A collapsed floor trapped a worker and caused a gas leak at a former North Island pulp mill on Saturday, but nobody was harmed in the incident, according to Thomas Doherty, chief of the Campbell River Fire Department. …It’s unclear what caused the collapse. Demolition work is currently underway at the former mill, but not at the building where the collapse took place on Saturday, Doherty said. …The collapse resulted in the rupture of a 400-pound oxygen tank and a 100-pound propane cylinder, and firefighters cordoned off the area and let the gases dissipate, according to Doherty. …The site of the former Catalyst pulp and paper mill, which closed permanently in 2010, is currently owned by Rockyview Resources. 

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