Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 21, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Speech from the throne: use recycled TP and less of it

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 21, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

North America has a “tree-to-toilet” problem, according to the NRDC and its over-use is contributing to climate change and habitat destruction. In related news: the Nature Conservancy says agreement on how many trees it takes to make a forest can help end deforestation; Denmark’s forest floors are showing evidence of species depletion; and Norway pays Indonesia to preserve its tropical rainforests.

In other news: plans for the tallest wood building in North America are okayed in Milwaukee; Sidewalk lab’s approach to financing its [tall wood] neighbourhood plan in Toronto is questioned; BC allocates more funding for wildfire response; Forests Ontario says the province needs more trees; and the Town of Fort Frances, Ontario rallies to save its mill.

Finally, FPAC announced its Awards of Excellence program while Georgia recognized forest land stewardship.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

FPAC Announces Second Annual Awards of Excellence Program

Forest Products Association of Canada
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Ottawa:  Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) announced that its Awards of Excellence luncheon will take place this year in Vancouver on May 9th.  The second annual event recognizes and celebrates the men and women who have made special contributions to strengthen Canada’s forest products sector and our forestry communities. “We launched the Awards of Excellence program last year to honour some of our best and brightest, and to celebrate some special people doing incredible work in our industry,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “The event is also a chance for us to thank some people who might not work in our sector, but have been champions alongside us in supporting sustainable forest management and the economic benefits that Canadian forestry brings to our communities and the country,” Nighbor added.

Read More

Fight Climate Change: Use Recycled Toilet Paper and Less of It

By Tiffany Kary
Bloomberg
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

America has a “tree-to-toilet” problem. That’s according to a study out Wednesday that says the largest U.S. makers of at-home tissue products—Procter & Gamble Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Georgia-Pacific—use only virgin fiber in their major brands, and no recycled content, a vast sustainability gap compared to other brands that use all recycled fiber. …“Forests are too vital to flush away,” Natural Resources Defense Council and Stand.earth say in the report, which finds Canadian boreal forest makes up a quarter of the world’s remaining intact woodlands, and store more carbon per hectare than other types. …Canada also caught some of the blame for what the NRDC’s report calls the “issue with tissue.” Recent findings that logged forests don’t fully regenerate undermines the Canadian government’s claims about replanting, the group says. Around 600 indigenous communities, and the habitats of caribou, lynx, and migratory birds are also affected.

Read More

Consumers’ use of toilet paper wiping out habitat, heating planet, report says

By Ellen Wulfhorst
Thomson Reuters Foundation
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK – Americans use more toilet paper than anyone else in the world, helping destroy the habitats of native people who live where it is sourced and contributing to global warming, a research study said on Wednesday. U.S. consumers use roughly three rolls of toilet paper a week, accounting for a fifth of the world’s tissue consumption, according to the report by environmental groups Stand.earth and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Single-use tissue products such as toilet paper used in the United States are made from wood pulp, mostly derived from logging in the old-growth northern, or boreal, forest in Canada, where logging companies clear cut more than a million acres (405,000 hectares) every year, the NRDC said. The forest plays a key role in combating global warming because it absorbs and stores carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that contributes to it, the group said.

Read More

Boot allowance an issue as Weyerhaeuser Mill employees remain without a contract

By Andrea Demeer
BC Local News
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Employees at Weyerhaeuser Mill in Princeton are still without a contract, and negotiations between labor and management have again come to a standstill. Jeff Roos, president of the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association, said owners “[remain] prepared to return to the bargaining table in an effort to conclude negotiations…currently no further dates have been agreed to.” Mill workers have been without a contract since July 1, 2018. They voted throughout the region in favor of a strike mandate last October – with 99 per cent of Princeton workers supporting the move. While rotating strikes took place within the local in December, as well as in the north, they did not affect Weyerhaeuser. …Last week a tentative agreement was reached between the Council of Northern Interior Forest Industry Relations (CONIFER) and the union representing workers there.

Read More

Community tries to save Fort Frances mill from destruction

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, ON — Observers say they have never seen so many people at any meeting of Fort Frances town council. With the fate of the Resolute paper mill on the agenda, the viewing gallery was jammed Tuesday evening, requiring town officials to provide seating for spectators to watch the proceedings through a video feed to a separate room. The special meeting called by council gave stakeholders and community members an opportunity to express their concern about the growing prospect the idled mill will be demolished by a company with which Resolute has already reached what it calls a “backstop” agreement.  According to one councillor, Michael Behan, the loss of the mill would have “a 7.6 per cent tax impact” on Fort Frances. Speakers endorsed council’s effort to head that off by supporting a sale to an investment group that proposes to reopen the mill to produce specialty paper.

Read More

Council to ‘stand up for citizens’

By Duane Hicks
International Falls Journal
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fort Frances council has a duty to defend the interests of its constituents and so has decided after all to consider a proposed resolution regarding the bidding process for the possible sale of the local mill. In an official statement issued by the Town of Fort Frances last week, it indicated council was set to consider the resolution at a special meeting Tuesday. “Our council has a duty to defend the interests of our constituents and their rights over local, publicly-owned resources,” the statement said. As reported earlier this week, a resolution for consideration by council was prepared in response to correspondence received by the town from Resolute Forest Products on Feb. 8. …Resolute informed the council that it had “signed a backstop agreement to transfer the Fort Frances mill property to a community redeveloper.”

Read More

Universal Forest Products signs agreement to acquire Wolverine Wood Products

By Universal Forest Products
Global Newswire
February 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Universal Forest Products announced that one of its affiliates has signed an agreement to purchase the operating assets of Wolverine Wood Products, Inc. Founded in 2008 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by Mike and Bernadette Petersen, Wolverine Wood Products manufactures wood panel components for furniture, store fixtures and case goods, with anticipated annual sales of $5 million. The acquisition will expand Universal’s capacity to produce value-added wood components for customers in the Midwest. Mike Petersen, owner and president of Wolverine Wood Products, will remain with the company as general manager.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Row breaks out over Sidewalk Lab’s Toronto smart neighbourhood plan

Global Construction Review
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A row has broken out over a plan to develop a next-generation smart neighbourhood in Toronto after the developer revealed plans to finance it with fees and taxes that would normally be collected by the city government. Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet and a sister company of Google, released an update on its plan to build a model neighbourhood of the future in Toronto last Thursday (14 February). The update sets out the objectives of the district and its business case, and includes new renderings of its mass-timber buildings from Norwegian architect Snøhetta and London-based Heatherwick Studio. …However, an internal report was also leaked last week that revealed Sidewalk Labs’ plan to lay claim to fees and taxes in exchange for funding Toronto’s waterfront transit, prompting critics of the project to question whether it should be allowed to continue.

Read More

Western Hemisphere’s Tallest Timber Tower Okayed

By Jeramey Jannene
Urban Milwaukee
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A zoning change for the tallest wood building in the Western Hemisphere was given unanimous approval by the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee Wednesday morning. New Land Enterprises is planning to build Ascent, a 21-story tower with 201 apartments, on a long-vacant site… The tower would be largely built of a man-made lumber product that is designed to be environmentally friendly and more attractive than steel or concrete. “The goal of the glazing in large part is to expose that material,” said architect Jason Korb of the tower’s many windows. “I think the design is outstanding,” said committee member and area alderman Robert Bauman. …The engineered material offers substantial environmental benefits over steel or concrete. Because of its reduced weight, it also can reduce the size of a building’s foundation allowing faster construction. Construction speed is further enhanced with the use of prefabricated components.

Read More

Philip Vivian on how a society expresses its values in what it designs

By Branko Miletic
Architecture and Design Australia
February 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Philip Vivian

We talk with Bates Smart director Philip Vivian on the sustainable benefits of timber architecture, the urgent need for urban densification, building for the long term, affordable housing and automation in design. …Why is timber making a comeback and where do you see it becoming central to construction? …I think the comeback now is really about sustainability; we’re saying timber sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, so it’s helping us tackle the issue of climate change. Not only is it sequestering carbon, but it’s also replacing other materials that have high embodied carbon. …What are the positives of a timber frame building from a design perspective? …The idea of a warm natural material with natural finishes is very alluring for an architect; it’s also a material where you can expose structure. The interesting thing is timber is really cost neutral with traditional construction at the moment.

Read More

Forestry

North Cowichan makes decision on 2019 forestry plans and budget

The Chemainus Valley Courier
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan council considered options for 2019 forestry operations within the Municipal Forest Reserve and endorsed completion of existing 2018 forestry contracts and harvesting of trees blown down from the December 2018 windstorm. …Council’s decision means an anticipated budget shortfall of around $150,000, and confirmed the shortfall will be offset by around $25,000 from the Forestry Reserve Fund and $125,000 through budget savings that staff will recommend. …Council also adopted a revised terms of reference for its Forest Advisory Committee at the meeting and decided to expand its membership to include a registered professional biologist, three community members, and representatives from local Indigenous groups. The expanded committee’s mandate will include a full review of forest management practices and short and long-term recommendations.

Read More

Fish and Game donates to land trust, Cumberland forest society

By James Wood
My Comox Valley Now
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

COURTENAY, B.C- Two conservation groups in the Comox Valley have gotten major donations from the local fish and game group. According to a news release from the Comox Valley Land Trust, the Cumberland Community Forest Society, and the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association (CDFGPA), the association has given $50,000 towards both organizations. $25,000 is going towards the land trust’s project to securing the Morrison Headwaters Nature Preserve, which is a major area in the Puntledge River system for Pink and Coho salmon. The trust has until March 31st of this year to raise the funds to purchase 22 hectares of the site, and 90 per cent of the funding goal has been met, due to the contribution from CDFGPA, community donors and other partners. “We want to extend our deep gratitude to the CDFGPA for this generous donation,” said Tim Ennis, CVLT Executive Director, in the release.

Read More

More money in B.C. budget for wildfire response as natural disaster costs soar

By Shelby Thom
Global News
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2019 B.C. budget allocates more funding towards disaster response, but the leader of the B.C. Green Party says better policies need to follow suit in the face of climate change. Budget 2019 includes a wildfire response funding increase from $64 million to $101 million per year “in recognition of increased wildfire activity.” However, the province has spent more than that during every wildfire season since 2011. “It’s basically the bare minimum that the government is allocating for wildfire response but it’s not enough if fires were as strong as they were in the past,” said UBC Okanagan economics instructor Julien Picault. …Other wildfire-related items in the budget include $13 million over three years to restore forests damaged by disease and wildfire and the distribution of $60 million announced in 2018/19 for fuel management.

Read More

Assessment must be done before blowdown salvage

Letter by Sabine Almstrom
Cowichan Valley Citizen
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The consultant should provide advice on how to proceed in the most environmentally sensitive manner. …The size of blowdown in the North Cowichan municipal forest reserve, estimated around 8,000 cubic metres, is huge and constitutes an enormous loss of valuable trees. Salvage of such a magnitude of trees should not be undertaken by the municipal forestry department without a prior environmental assessment by a qualified and independent ecological consultant. The consultant should also provide advice on how to proceed in the most environmentally sensitive and least harmful manner. The affected areas are just too large, with too many ecosystem-based complexities that need to be considered. We can’t let salvaging go ahead just as business-as-usual. To do so would be utterly irresponsible.

Read More

Believe it or not, Ontario needs more trees!

By Rob Keen, CEO
Forests Ontario
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rob Keen

Having spent my life surrounded by trees, – 40 years in a professional capacity – I know when our forests are healthy, they provide an impressive range of services and benefits. While the value of our forest’s ability to sequester carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change is undeniable, trees do so much more. …Recent news media coverage contends that increases in forest fires and insect infestations are converting our forests into being a carbon source rather than a carbon sink. With more trees equaling more carbon sequestration, healthy, growing, well-managed forests absorb significantly more carbon than they emit. The forests best suited to adapting to climate change and  most resilient to natural disturbances are large, contiguous, diverse, and healthy. Forests like this are better equipped to mitigate and adapt to climate change effects. Planting more trees make sense.

Read More

Bozeman Republican pushes repeal of law at center of Limestone logging fight

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Kerry White

MONTANA — A Republican state lawmaker wants to eliminate a law that lets people try to stop timber sales by bidding against loggers, a rarely-used option at the center of a logging fight southeast of Bozeman. House Bill 441, sponsored by Rep. Kerry White, R-Bozeman, would repeal the law that created the conservation license in lieu of timber sale, a procedure that allows logging opponents to try to outbid timber companies to block logging for a set amount of time. Conservation licenses have only been requested twice, most recently on the Limestone West Timber Sale. …A 25-year logging deferral is up for bid alongside the timber sale. It’s the first time a license blocking an entire logging operation has been offered for bid. 

Read More

Logging opponents push to block Montana timber sale

Associated Press in Billings Gazette
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOZEMAN — Attorneys for a group of logging opponents have pushed for an injunction against a timber sale southeast of Bozeman, arguing the state set unfair terms for the auction. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports attorneys for Save Our Gallatin Front urged a Gallatin County judge on Tuesday to block the Limestone West Timber Sale, a 443-acre (179-hectare) project the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation proposed for school trust lands.

Read More

John Cobb is named Tree Farmer of the Year 2019 By the WV Senate

WV News
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

On Monday Feb. 11, West Virginia Senator Mike Romano, who represents Lewis County, read a resolution he wrote acknowledging John Cobb as Tree Farmer of the Year. While on the Senate floor, Cobb explained how West Virginia landowners with defined property goals, which can include improving habitat for Whitetail Deer, Ruffed Grouse, Woodcock, Wild Turkeys and Cerulean Warblers, can qualify and earn a future income from commercial timber sales, culling invasive species of plants, like Multi-flora Rose, Autumn Olive and Grapevines, improving stream and water quality and abating soil erosion. Any landowner with over 10 acres can apply for financial assistance.

Read More

Corporate landowners recognized for stewardship

The Albany Herald
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp recognized three corporate forest landowners for their stewardship and land management practices benefiting wildlife across Georgia. Georgia Power, Weyerhaeuser and CatchMark Timber Trust were honored as 2018 partners in the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership. Administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, Forestry for Wildlife Partnership is a voluntary program that promotes sustainable forest and wildlife conservation in corporate forestry practices. Partners tailor guidelines to improve management for reforestation, harvesting techniques, recreation, sensitive natural sites and outreach. The 2018 partners were recognized in a brief ceremony Tuesday at the State Capitol including DNR Commissioner Mark Williams, DNR Wildlife Resources Division Director Rusty Garrison and others. …All of the conservation enhancement components and reporting procedures are compatible with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Read More

‘It eats everything’—the new breed of wildfire that’s impossible to predict

By The EU Research & Innovation Magazine
Phys.Org
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

We’re fighting a different kind of wildfire whose behaviour experts are struggling to predict. Climate change and negligent forest management are causing higher-intensity, faster-moving fires that can generate enough energy to evolve into erratic firestorms, known as pyroCbs, in the face of which first responders can do little. “Traditionally we could predict the fire behaviour and the direction of the fire but under those conditions and those moments it’s not possible,” said Marc Castellnou, president of the Spanish independent wildfire prevention group Pau Costa Foundation. As a wildland fire analyst with the Catalan fire services, Castellnou reconstructs wildfires using simulations, satellite, on-the-ground and other data. This wildfire shows a different behaviour than those of the past, he says. “It eats everything.”

Read More

Forestry industry in limbo as Andrews stalls timber release plan

By Adam Carey
Sydney Morning Herald
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Victoria’s state-owned forestry corporation has been told to suspend the release of new areas of native forest for logging, in a decision the timber industry says has put scores of regional small businesses in peril. The Andrews government has intervened to stop VicForests putting out its next timber release plan, due to concerns about threats to protected wildlife and the impact of recent bushfires and climate change on the state’s forests. The timber release plan – a document that identifies areas, called coupes, that can be logged over the next three to five years – is already more than a year overdue. On Thursday VicForests said the Andrews government had directed it not to proceed with a timber release plan until further policy work was completed. …Internally, the Victorian Environment Department has been pushing for an end to native timber harvesting within all old-growth forests – a recommendation the Andrews government has not run with.

Read More

German energy giant North Rhine-Westphalia agrees to halt logging in Hambach Forest

Deutsche Welle
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The company has agreed to a request by the NRW state government, signing a one-year moratorium on logging. The state asked RWE to halt logging to ease tensions at the site, which has become a flashpoint for protests.  North Rhine-Westphalia’s (NRW) State Premier Armin Laschet announced a moratorium on logging at the contentious Hambach Forest on Wednesday. Speaking to the state parliament, Laschet said that he had received written confirmation that energy giant RWE would not move forward with plans to deforest the site. Laschet told parliamentarians, “This means that there will not be any felling of trees until the autumn of 2020.” Laschet had asked for the moratorium as a way to calm a tense standoff between environmentalists and RWE. The Hambach Forest site has been the scene of violent clashes between police and environmentalists protesting to protect the woods by erecting treehouses and chaining themselves to RWE equipment.

Read More

Serious species depletion of Danish forest floors, watchdog warns

By Stephen Gadd
The Copenhagen Post
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

When it comes to forests and woodland areas, Denmark is rather well off compared to a lot of countries. However, all is not entirely well down in the woods. A new report from the Danish environment protection agency’s national watchdog NOVANA reveals that the forest floor in a number of the EU-protected forests is showing evidence of species depletion. Signs of this were seen in four of the 10 types of woods that have been looked at, reports DR Nyheder. The main reason seems to be commercial forestry. Although the forests are on the protected list, it is still permitted to exploit them commercially. “We’ve examined the finest and most irreplaceable Danish forests and they are the ones showing the most signs of being cultivated. There are simply fewer habitats and less biodiversity in them,” said one of the authors of the report, senior researcher Rasmus Ejrnæs from Aarhus University.

Read More

How many trees make a forest?

By Jon Fisher
Mongabay
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

We can agree that deforestation continues to be a massive global problem — in 2016, the world lost over 29.7 million hectares (73.4 million acres) of tree cover, an area almost as large as Italy. That doesn’t even include the loss of grasslands, wetlands, and other important ecosystems. But what exactly is deforestation? For that matter, what is a forest? This is not just semantics. The lack of clarity around defining forests generates difficulties in how we measure deforestation — and in turn, how we stop it. Does a patch of brand-new seedlings count as a “forest”? Should we count three trees or three hundred? What about woodlands with lots of open grassy clearings? And some trees are lost each year due to forest fires or log harvesting, but the forest will regrow. We generally don’t count that as deforestation, but it can look similar.

Read More

New growth for Australian Forests: report

The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences
Mirage News
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Peter Gooday

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has released Australia State of the Forests Report 2018. Acting Executive Director, Peter Gooday, said the five-yearly report covered all areas of Australia’s forests—public and private forests, forests managed for production and forests managed for conservation. …“In 2015–16 Australia’s forest area was 134 million hectares, and has increased by almost 4 million hectares over the previous 5 years. …“The area of commercial plantations did reduce, however, by 44 thousand hectares or 2 per cent between 2010-11 and 2014-15. “In 2015-16, the value of logs harvested from native forests and commercial plantations was $2.3 billion, and the value of production of wood products industries was $23.7 billion. “Australia’s trade in wood products experienced strong growth, with imports and exports combined exceeding $8 billion for the first time in 2015–16.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Indonesia to get first payment from Norway under $1b REDD+ scheme

By Hans Nicholas Jong
Mongabay
February 21, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

JAKARTA — It’s taken nearly a decade, but Indonesia is finally set to receive the first part of a $1 billion payment pledged by the Norwegian government for preserving some of the Southeast Asian country’s vast tropical rainforests. Indonesia’s environment minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, and her Norwegian counterpart, Ola Elvestuen, made the announcement in Jakarta on Feb. 16. The payment, whose amount is yet to be determined, is for Indonesia preventing the emission of 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) through reducing its rate of deforestation in 2017. “Indonesia has embarked on bold regulatory reforms, and it is showing results,” Elvestuen said. “It may be too early to see a clear trend, but if deforestation continues to drop we stand ready to increase our annual payments to reward Indonesia’s results and support its efforts.” The two countries signed the $1 billion pact in 2010, under the REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) mechanism.

Read More