Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 4, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Resolute seeks compensation over government support for competitor mill

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 4, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Resolute blames aid provided to Port Hawkesbury for the closure of its Quebec mill, seeks compensation through NAFTA. In other Business news: tougher pollution standards are in the works for Northern Pulp; Skeena Bioenergy secures agreement to export wood pellets; and Western Forest Products invests in the US. 

In Forestry/Climate news: Rolling Stones’ Chuck Leavell on the woes of a US tree farmer; Oregon’s Kate Brown wants more fed money for thinning; David Robinson’s three wishes for Northern Ontario; a UN program chief sees big potential for biomass in Europe; and ENGO’s on Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics timber sourcing protocol.

Women making news include: Charlene Higgins as CEO of the BC First Nations Forestry Council; Bethany Doss as 2nd Vice Chair NAWLA; and Nicole Hepp as Prince George’s newest conservation officer.

Finally, where in the world is Bill Dumont [going]? Haida Gwaii and the Holy Land.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

New, tougher pollution standards would apply to Northern Pulp effluent pipe, say feds

By Brian Higgins
CBC News
February 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A pulp mill on the Nova Scotia side of the Northumberland Strait was the topic of heated discussion today among MLAs. Top environment officials from Ottawa met with the standing committee on agriculture and fisheries to discuss new pollution regulations that are in the works for pulp and paper mills. “We tell them what the standards are that they need to meet,” said Geoff Mercer, regional director general, Atlantic and Quebec regions, Environment and Climate Change Canada. “And then we regulate them on what those standards are. ‘You shall meet that.'” The feds brought an update on long-awaited new pollution control regulations that would apply to the Northern Pulp mill on Nova Scotia’s north shore and the mill’s proposal to start piping treated waste water farther from shore to reduce environmental impact.

Read More

More women join BC Conservation Officer Service

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
February 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

On her first day working as a new conservation officer (CO) in Prince George, Nicole Hepp hit the ground running. …Hepp, who spent the last four years as a seasonal CO in Manitoba, is one of 20 conservation officers who were sworn in last spring and are now working in various locations throughout the province. Sixteen of the new recruits, including Hepp, are fresh out of the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy (WCLEA) in Hinton, Alta. The other four officers come from law enforcement jurisdictions elsewhere. …Hepp made the choice to become a CO about eight years ago and is one of the two women embarking upon a new career with the BC Conservation Officer Service. …Of the 164 full-time COs working in 45 communities throughout B.C., 13 are women, including two sergeants. Hana Anderson has been a CO for nearly three years.

Read More

BC First Nations Forestry Council Announces Appointment of New CEO

BC First Nations Forestry Council
February 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Vancouver, BC We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Charlene Higgins, as the First Nations Forestry Council’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Charlene Higgins brings over 20 years of experience working with First Nations communities and organizations in BC.  She brings a wealth of expertise in provincial, national and international forest policies and practices. Charlene has continuously advocated for the involvement of First Nations in the governance and stewardship of forests lands and resources, and for the recognition and protection of Indigenous knowledge. “We had over 50 applicants for the Chief Executive Officer Position. Charlene has worked with us for over 10 years, and her experience and caliber brings stability to our organization moving forward” said Chief Bill Williams, Chair of the Board of Directors.

Read More

Another B.C. forest company looks south for lumber mill expansion

By Tom Fletcher
Nanaimo News Bulletin
February 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the B.C. government prepares plans to keep more logs and mill jobs in the province, the latest in a string of forest companies has continued to put its expansion investment into the United States. Western Forest Products announced Friday it has closed a deal to buy Columbia Vista Corp. sawmill operations in Washington. Columbia Vista has operated at Vancouver, WA for more than 60 years, and now employs about 90 people producing 60 million board feet per year of Douglas fir products for the U.S. and Japan markets. As B.C. forest companies have struggled with pressure on timber supply from diminished coastal logging and fire and beetle damage across the Interior, mills have cut production or closed while companies invest in U.S. facilities. Interfor Corp., one of the largest lumber producers in the world, has expanded by buying sawmills in Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina.

Read More

Skeena Bioenergy pellet plant enters long-term agreement with Pacific BioEnergy

By Brittany Gervais
The Northern View
February 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Skeena Sawmills Ltd.’s $20 million pellet plant now has a way to export product from Terrace overseas, solidifying a new category of value-added wood products for the city. The sawmill announced Feb. 1 subsidiary Skeena Bioenergy has entered a long term agreement with international supplier Pacific BioEnergy of Prince George to ship all of its production to Japan power producers via port facilities in Prince Rupert and Vancouver.  The plant is located adjacent to the Skeena Sawmills mill on Hwy 16 west of Terrace and is expected to start production in March 2019, producing around 75,000 tonnes of pellets per year. The finished product will be contained in two silos and then deposited via telescopic chutes into waiting trucks or containers underneath for transport. The silos arrived on the plant this week as it enters the final stage of construction.

Read More

Three wishes for the North: number one

By David Robinson, economist Laurentian University, director Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development
Northern Ontario Business
February 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

David Robinson

What would happen if Premier Doug Ford were to give Northern Ontario three wishes? …One wish would have to deal with the forestry sector. Forestry is the second largest revenue generator for the region. It affects the largest area and the largest number of communities by far. We need something to increase value-added manufacturing from the forestry sector across the whole North. The increase in tax revenue would make it attractive for the province. But how do we increase value-added in Ontario’s wood sector? Right now Canada is the world’s largest producer of low value-added forest products. Organizations like Wood WORKS! Canada, FPInnovations, and the new Mass Timber Institute are suggesting a shift to engineered wood products and cross-laminated timber (CLT). …We need colleges to start training construction workers and building inspectors for the new technologies. …councils across Northern Ontario could… adopt a policy of supporting wood construction for all public buildings. 

Read More

Resolute Forest Products sues for $70M over Port Hawkesbury aid

The Canadian Press in CBC News
January 31, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The federal government said Thursday it will mount a vigorous defence against a $70-million claim for compensation that Resolute Forest Products plans to file under NAFTA. The Montreal-based company said late Wednesday that it’s seeking compensation for losses from the closure of its Laurentide mill in Quebec. Resolute says the closure of its mill in Shawinigan, Que., was a result of competition from a rival paper mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., that reopened in 2012 with provincial government assistance. Under NAFTA rules, the federal government is responsible for acts taken by provincial governments. …The Port Hawkesbury mill, idled for about a year before it was purchased by Pacific West Commercial for $33 million, restarted with provincial government aid of more than $124 million over 10 years. That was in addition to $36.8 million the Nova Scotia government spent keeping the mill in a so-called hot idle state.

Read More

A Hidden Gem: Lumber Careers Become More Attractive to Youth, Women

By Bethany Doss, Capital Lumber and 2nd Vice Chair NAWLA
The Merchant Magazine
February 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Bethany Doss

When I entered the lumber industry more than a decade ago, I had no exposure to and, frankly, no interest in the industry—what interested me was paying the bills. I was fresh out of college, …and in need of a job while I tried to figure it all out. When an entry-level accounting position at a wholesale lumber company opened up, I saw what I thought was a short-term solution. What I found instead was my “forever” career and my passion. I had earned a degree in accounting …but the lumber industry was never even on my radar. …once you get in, you’re going want to stay in! Wood has a reputation—undeserved, in my opinion—for not being “glamorous” or “sexy” enough. As industry participants, we need to stop perpetuating this misconception and start demonstrating how great this work can be. 

Read More

Weyerhaeuser reports fourth quarter, full year results

Cision Newswire
February 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE,  — Weyerhaeuser Company today reported a fourth quarter net loss of $93 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.6 billion. This compares with net earnings of $271 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.8 billion for the same period last year and net earnings of $255 million for the third quarter of 2018. Fourth quarter includes net after-tax charges of $163 million for special items, primarily a non-cash settlement charge related to a previously announced action to reduce our pension liabilities. Excluding special items, the company reported net earnings of $70 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, for fourth quarter 2018. This compares with net earnings before special items of $234 million for the same period last year and $214 million for the third quarter of 2018.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

It’s time for a plywood design renaissance

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
February 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

You can build almost anything out of wood, and you should. Nobody wanted the Mosquito. The Royal Airforce wanted bigger, heavier planes made out of metal, not wood… Today we look to wood to replace concrete and steel in our buildings, because it is strong, easy to work with, and it has a much lower carbon footprint. But why stop there? If we are going to get even close to the IPCC target … by 2030 we have to change almost everything we do, we have to stop making new iron and steel, and we have to replace all our internal combustion engines. We have to stop building out of materials with high embodied energy and carbon. Why not use wood? In the 30s cars were often made with wood, because it was cheaper and easier to work with. …And of course, furniture. …Really, we should be substituting wood for plastic or metals wherever we can…

Read More

NGOs say Tokyo 2020 falling short on timber sustainability

By Jack Tarrant
Reuters
January 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SINGAPORE – Seven environmental non-government organizations, including the Rainforest Action Network, have accused Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers of failing to end the use of timber associated with rainforest destruction and human rights abuses. In a statement, the NGOs said they had been left “deeply disappointed” by a recent revision of Tokyo 2020’s timber sourcing policy. Games organizers announced amendments to their previous policy on Jan. 18. …The key principles of Tokyo 2020’s Sustainable Sourcing Code center on the origin of products used in preparation for the Olympics. …However, the Rainforest Action Network alleged at least 134,400 sheets of tropical plywood, sourced from rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia have been used in the construction of Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues. Tokyo 2020 organizers deny that, say their sourcing protocol has improved and that they are leading approaches to sustainability in Japan. 

Read More

Forestry

Holy Land Tour 2019

By Bill Dumont
Dumont Events and Tours
February 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Israel and Jordan are places of ancient cultures with an exceptional heritage and some very special gardens. Dumont Tours is pleased to offer a unique, custom 15-day tour in May 2019 (April 30-May 15) that includes the prime UNESCO World Heritage sites and many fantastic gardens and farms in this beautiful region. Our tour is organised by Via Sabra a leading Israel based agency registered with IATA creating memorable travel for groups with a reputation for great multicultural experiences and culinary tours. On arrival in Tel Aviv on April 30, we start our Holy Land tour with a visit to the Botanical Gardens at the local university to get an introduction to the region’s plants and climate, followed by a visit to an urban farming complex on a rooftop in the heart of Tel Aviv. Bill Dumont has planned, organised and led many North American and international garden and themed tours.

Read More

Birds contribute to health of Shuswap forests

By Hank Shelley
BC Local News
February 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With this mild winter and little snow, it’s a wonderful time for that daily – or occasional – walk. …One interesting aspect of hooking up with nature is the bird life you may find – from the water ouzel (dipper), to the ratta-tat of the pileated woodpecker. …The bird helps to rid trees of invading and present insects. …The chips of cedar and old spruce wood litter the ground when the bird ravages a tree for grubs and insects. ..Another two tiny birds play a large part in keeping our forests healthy. Studies show that the chickadee and nuthatch help to increase growth in forest trees, by keeping beetles, caterpillars, ants and aphids from the tree branches. The study also showed that having the birds present disrupts the activity of ant and aphid colonies which feed on plant tissue, known as phloem-sap, that carries nutrient through the tree. 

Read More

Government balks at public caribou consultations

By Brendan Kyle Jure
100 Mile House Free Press
February 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The public has a right to be deeply upset with provincial government because of a lack of public consultation on plans to manage the Caribou populations back to health.  … It’s no wonder that a group called Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery (CCCR) is quickly gathering steam out of frustration with the government’s behind closed doors approach to addressing the situation. Aaron Mathias represents the CCCR and says their demands are simple: “We want baseline data on the science behind management decisions, a report on how this will impact the economy in rural British Columbia, and we want a genuine public consultation.” But forest minister Doug Donaldson and environment minister George Heyman are still giving the public, local governments and even MLAs the cold shoulder.

Read More

SFI and AFF join forces to grow family land certifications

February 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Kathy Abusow

Tom Martin

Washington D.C. – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the American Forest Foundation (AFF) have formed a new partnership to grow the amount of certified family and other small holdings in North America.  Through this partnership, SFI and AFF are working together on a Small Lands Group Certification Module, an innovative way to grow certified family lands and small holdings by building on the foundation of SFI’s Fiber Sourcing Standard, and drawing on the strengths of the American Tree Farm System forest management standard. Under this Small Lands Module, companies certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard will be able to form a new type of certification group to certify small lands within their wood and fiber supply area.

Read More

Rolling Stones piano man talks Trump, trade and touring

By Peter Newcomb
Bloomberg
February 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Chuck Leavell

As musical director for the Rolling Stones, Chuck Leavell knows a thing or two about tickling the ivories. But the legendary piano man… spends as much time these days trimming trees. From his Charlane estate in Bullard, Georgia, Leavell manages a sustainable timber operation encompassing almost 4,000 acres of lob lolly, slash and long-leaf pines. …When Trump came into office, several Canadian companies saw the writing on the wall and tried to figure out how they could avoid the levies and started buying up mills in the southeast. It’s now kind of bordering on a monopoly of Canadian mills. As this was going on, the U.S. passed the farm bill, which provides subsidies to American tree farmers and is helping create a glut of timber in the market. …What we’d like to see is tree farmers and forest landowners create a co-op to help offset the imbalance. 

Read More

Feds must do more to manage fire-prone land, Gov. Kate Brown says

Associated Press in The Oregonian
February 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — The federal government needs to send more resources to do more forest thinning on public lands in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday as she searches for ways to stem wildfires that are getting bigger and more dangerous. One possible option Brown said she would consider is allowing some fires to burn, but keeping them away from populated areas, as well as prescribed burns and increased thinning. “Fire is an instrumental part of maintaining a landscape, a healthy landscape,” Brown told reporters in a conference call. But she is being cautious about the approach, citing a megafire in 2017 that wasn’t immediately snuffed out and that threatened the town of Brookings on the southern Oregon coast. “I still feel the pain of the Chetco Bar fire,” she said, referring to the blaze that scorched 190,000 acres over several months.

Read More

Wild bushfires burn through 1,500 hectares of native forest in Chubut province

Buenos Aires Times
February 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Around 200 firefighters were working to control wildfires in Argentina’s southern Chubut province this weekend. The localities of Lago Puelo and Epuyén, in the Lakes region, were the worst affected areas. A helicopter and several planes were deployed to the region to battle the blaze. The fire has encircled entire areas of the province and it remained out of control on Sunday evening. Firemen had worked until 11pm Saturday to control the blaze. Over 1,550 hectares had been lost to the fire, the state-run Télam news agency reported, citing the director of Chubut’s Civil Defence unit Walter Flores. …Unsurprisingly for the Argentine Patagonia at this time of the year, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) is not forecasting rain any time soon. Instead, temperatures could reach 36° in the coming days.

Read More

Palm oil not the only driver of forest loss in Indonesia

By Kemen Austin et al, Duke University
Science Daily
February 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Large-scale agriculture, primarily for growing oil palms, remains a major cause of deforestation in Indonesia, but its impact has diminished proportionately in recent years as other natural and human causes emerge, a new Duke University study finds. …Small-scale farming, which has largely been overshadowed by plantation-scale agriculture as a driver of deforestation, was also found to play a bigger role, accounting for about one-quarter of all forest loss. …Mining and logging roads were also found to be important drivers of deforestation at different times during the study, particularly on the local level. “The takeaway message for policymakers and conservationists is that the causes of forest loss in Indonesia are much more varied than we previously thought.”

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Rising CO2 won’t make trees grow more, study suggests

By Emily Chung
CBC News
February 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Everyone knows plants need CO2 to grow. So it seems logical that the extra carbon we’re spewing into the atmosphere will make plants grow more, capturing more carbon and mitigating climate change, right? …But growing evidence suggests that extra CO2 in the atmosphere isn’t making trees grow more. And, in fact, climate change is generating warmer, drier conditions that could make them grow less in many places. A recent study of extraordinary Quebec cedars that are between 600 and 1,000 years old adds to that evidence. It found rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times made trees more efficient at using water, but didn’t increase the growth of their trunks — and therefore the amount of carbon they stored, the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week.

Read More

Biochar: when burning wood is good

By Annette Chrysostomou
Cyrus Mail Online
February 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

In Cyprus, we use a lot of charcoal… But KTV Green Enterprises, a company based in the mountain village of Kambos, suggests another use for charcoal – to prevent pollution, and increase crop yield, water conservation and electricity production. It is, however, not the same charcoal we use for our grill. …“Biochar is created by collecting dead wood waste from the forests and burning it. This tidies up the forests for the local communities as well as providing local employment,” one of KTV’s directors, Marian Papasolomontos explained. Some people may have doubts. …As part of its Clean Air Strategy, the government proposes to ban the sale of polluting fuels and ensure only the cleanest stoves are sold by 2022. …Biochar is created by using … a process called pyrolysis. The difference being that no oxygen is involved, and nothing can escape from the closed retort kiln, so there is no pollution.

Read More

UN Environmental Program chief: EU should aim for 55% CO2 reduction by 2030

By Frédéric Simon
EurActiv
February 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…So do you believe biomass should be further encouraged? There is a big potential for biomass but a lot of research and development needs to be done. This is where Europe can lead – by doing more research, including on the cost efficiency aspects as well as the costs of transitioning into biomass. Europe can also help identify what works well vis-à-vis biomass, in what industries it brings the most benefits. …For now, we’re testing the appetite for biomass. …We don’t have the capacity of doing research so it’s mostly advocating governments and EU member states to look more into biomass as one of the options. In other parts of the world, where it’s still very ancient, we’re looking at technical assistance to see how biomass can be harvested as a source of energy. We’re mostly talking about electricity for now. But our thinking is still evolving.

Read More