Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 27, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Russian softwood to China growing despite slowing market conditions

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 27, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The trend is clear – Russia’s softwood lumber production and exports are displacing Canadian and Nordic production to China, despite slowing market conditions. In related news, Madison’s says North American softwood production and demand are coming into balance.

In Forestry/Climate news: the Narwhal reports on why Canada’s Boreal forest is important, and NRDC’s study on the risk represented by our voracious use of toilet paper. Elsewhere: the government of Canada launches a fund to protect species at risk; some logging strategies increase lichen growth for BC Caribou; Washington’s plastic grocery bag ban comes with a charge for paper bags; and the Guardian says if concrete was a country it would be the third largest carbon emitter in the world.

Finally, warm weather is fueling fires through the famed ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ forest.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog News

Read More

Business & Politics

Softwood lumber supply-demand balance restored, prices mostly flat: Feb 2019

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
February 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Prices of a few standard construction framing North American softwood lumber commodities did bounce up last week, but overall most of the market stayed flat. New orders were encouraging if not guarded, as end-users did their best to survive on existing inventories rather than ordering beyond immediate needs in fear of prices dropping again. This is usually the time of year for growing inventories; when U.S. home builders stock up on supplies needed for spring construction projects. …As sales volumes dropped further this week, Canadian WSPF producers felt production and demand were coming into balance. Recent cold weather has slowed down consumption of framing lumber in North American markets, but sawmills have also curtailed their production. …From the point of view of secondary suppliers, the U.S. Northeastern lumber market went further into “hibernation” last week, said Eastern stocking wholesalers.

Read More

U.S. plush toilet paper use wiping out Canada’s forests, flushing away the future: report

By Adrian Humphreys
Vancouver Sun
February 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The voracious use of toilet paper in the United States — with the average American using almost three rolls each week and major manufacturers spurning alternative fibres — is destroying Canada’s forests and causing widespread environmental damage, two international environmental groups say. A report on tissue paper use gave failing grades to the leading toilet paper, tissue and paper towel brands for using only virgin fibre pulp, mostly from Canada’s old boreal forests. “Forests are too vital to flush away,” says the report, called The Issue With Tissue, released Wednesday by Natural Resources Defense Council and Stand.earth, international nonprofit environmental organizations that cooperated on the study. The report hammered the three biggest tissue producers in the U.S. — Procter & Gamble, Georgia-Pacific, and Kimberly-Clark — over their big, recognizable brands such as Charmin, Cottonelle, Brawny, Bounty, Kleenex, Angel Soft, Quilted Northern and Viva.

Read More

Ford government proposes to scrap controversial law placing ‘restrictions’ on development in northern Ontario

By Fatima Syed
The National Observer
February 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Doug Ford & John Yakabuski

The grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation is cautiously welcoming a proposal… after Premier Doug Ford’s government announced a public consultation to repeal legislation adopted by the former provincial Liberal government that gave First Nations some control over development in their traditional territories. The government said that it was proposing to repeal the law with the aim of “reducing red tape and restrictions on important economic development projects” in the northern part of the province, including the Ring of Fire, all-season roads and electrical transmission projects. This objective has… one critic who described the review as a plan to get “First Nations out of the way” to facilitate industry and government’s mining aspirations. …Natural Resources and Forestry Minister John Yakabuski… “We have heard that the act limits development in the Far North of Ontario, where there is so much potential for economic growth and prosperity”.

Read More

Fort Frances council passes Resolute mill motion

By Gary Rinne
TB Newswatch
February 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES — After taking time over the past two weeks to consider a warning letter from Resolute Forest Products, and to hear community input, town council in Fort Frances has passed a slightly-altered motion directed at Resolute and the Ontario government. Councillors Monday night unanimously approved the resolution which “demands” that the company allow bidders for its idled paper mill to negotiate with the province, and that it agree to “engage in a process” to provide access to wood fibre from the forest that supplied the mill when it was operating. Although Resolute’s lawyers had cautioned the town that they considered parts of the motion defamatory, the wording of the version passed Monday is substantially the same as the original text.

Read More

The Russians Are Coming

By Russ Taylor
FEA Canada – WOOD MARKETS
February 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Russ Taylor

The trends are clear – Russia’s softwood lumber production and exports have risen dramatically: Russian softwood lumber production, estimated at 39 million m3 in 2018, has increased by 55% over the past ten years. Russian softwood lumber exports, at 29.3 million m3 in 2018, have nearly doubled over the same period. Russian softwood lumber exports to China were a whopping 15.65 million m3 last year! This is more than double exports in 2014 and now represents a 63% market share of all softwood lumber imports. The nearly 10% increase in Russian softwood lumber exports in 2018 is despite slowing market conditions in China and Russia is aggressively displacing many other countries, including Finland (-32%; -550,000 m3); Sweden (-22%; -200,000 m3); and Canada (-15%; -824,000 m3). [for more on FE!/WOOD MARKETS latest report on the Russia Forest Industry Competitiveness & Export Outlook to 2025 click here]

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Plastic grocery bag ban in Washington advances

By Ryan Blake
The Spokesman-Review
February 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA – The cost of a statewide ban on plastic bags would be shared by stores and customers – but mainly by customers, a Senate committee agreed Monday. A bill, which would ban single-use plastic bags, would require stores to charge customers 10 cents for paper bags as replacements. Stores pay as much as 12 cents for paper bags compared to 2 cents for plastic, said Jan Gee, president and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association. The fee is needed to help stores offset that additional cost, Gee told the Senate… “Bags cost money,” she said. …The fee is effective in encouraging people to bring reusable bags, said Holly Chisa, who represents the Northwest Grocers Association. …The 10-cent bag fee is greedy, said Bill Stauffacher, representing the American Forest and Paper Association, which opposes the bill and the projected drop in paper bag usage it might precipitate. …“This is a direct shot at rural jobs.”

Read More

Ply in the sky: the new materials to take us beyond concrete

By Fiona Harvey
The Guardian
February 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Concrete is everywhere, but it’s bad for the planet, generating large amounts of carbon dioxide. Creative alternatives are in the pipeline. …Making buildings from wood may seem like a rather medieval idea. But there is a very modern issue that is driving cities and architects to turn to treated timber as a resource: climate change. …Concrete is the second most used substance in the global economy, after water – and one of the world’s biggest single sources of greenhouse gas emissions. …The problem with replacing concrete is that it is so very good at what it does… Chris Cheeseman, at Imperial College London… and is likely to continue to be used. …Using wood, for example, is not straightforward. Wood absorbs moisture from the air and is susceptible to rot and pests, not to mention fire.

Read More

Forestry

Why Canada’s boreal forest is gaining international attention

By Jimmy Thomson
The Narwhal
February 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

As the world’s ecological crisis becomes better understood, the boreal forest is becoming somewhat of a celebrity because of one jaw-dropping stat: the Canadian boreal represents 25 per cent of the planet’s remaining intact forest, leading the world alongside the Amazon. What’s more, around 80 per cent of Canada’s boreal is still relatively intact — a rare thing in today’s world. But the boreal is facing threats from logging, mining, fires, pests and the many ways those factors interact with climate change. …The boreal is one of our best hopes for mitigating the effects of climate change and keeping the Earth habitable. Yet it also houses huge deposits of oil and gas and minerals. The decisions being made to protect or exploit it could have repercussions for generations. …The boreal is also a globally significant carbon bank… almost twice as much as what’s stored in tropical forests.

Read More

The Government of Canada is working with communities to protect species at risk and double the amount of protected nature in Canada’s lands and oceans

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
February 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Canada is home to diverse wildlife from coast to coast to coast, and Canadians care about protecting our nature. That’s why we are working with Canadians to protect species at risk and double the amount of protected nature in Canada’s lands and oceans. Today, Environment and Climate Change Canada launched a fund to protect species at risk, in partnership with communities across the country. The Community-Nominated Priority Places for Species at Risk is accepting applications from communities across the country, until April 26, 2019. This funding initiative will provide up to $15.6 million over four years, to support projects in communities that are bringing people together to protect species at risk.

Read More

Growing Lichen for Caribou in the Working Forest

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
February 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Caribou are an iconic Canadian species, appearing on the Canadian 25 cent coin. With their tall and flat antlers, they are the only members of the deer family where the males and females both have antlers. While they are more broadly known globally as “reindeer,” we more commonly refer to the species as caribou in North America. In 2012, woodland caribou in Canada were listed in the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), triggering a sequence of recovery plans for this species. …For decades, our foresters and biologists have been observing and tracking caribou along with the government of Alberta and BC. By gathering this scientific data, we can research and apply better forest management practices for caribou. …Back in 1997, West Fraser, along with several other forest product companies and the University of Alberta conducted a study … to see how we could limit disturbance of mature lichen and improve lichen growth after harvesting trees.

Read More

Beetle scourge forces ash loggers to race against time

By Michael Hill
Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WALTON, N.Y. — Loggers in snowy forests are cutting down ash like there’s no tomorrow, seeking to stay one step ahead of a fast-spreading beetle killing the tree in dozens of states.The emerald ash borer has been chewing its way through trees from Maine to Colorado for about two decades, devastating a species prized for yielding a light-grained hardwood attractive enough for furniture and resilient enough for baseball bats. Many hard-hit areas are east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Some fear areas in the invasion zone like upstate New York might have only five to seven years of ash logging left.”Emerald ash borer is probably the most thorough killing machine that we’ve come across in my career over the last 35 years,” said Tom Gerow, general manager for The Wagner Companies, which specializes in furniture-grade lumber.

Read More

UK wildfires rip through ‘Winnie the Pooh’ forest

The Associated Press in the Toronto Star
February 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LONDON – Unseasonably warm and dry weather have fueled fires in Britain, with blazes at Ashdown Forest — made famous by the “Winnie the Pooh” books — as well as West Yorkshire’s Saddleworth Moor and Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. Crews extinguished two wildfires in East Sussex’s Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for the fictional Hundred Acre Wood in the classic books by A.A. Milne. Ashdown Forest Rangers were not available for comment Wednesday to discuss the extent of the damage. Firefighters are expected to bring the moor fire and the Arthur’s Seat fires under control Wednesday. Britain saw its hottest winter day on record on Tuesday when the mercury hit 21.2 Celsius in London. Wet and windy conditions are predicted for the coming days. [END]

Read More

Forest block blaze in Otago contained

Radio New Zealand
February 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Firefighters have contained the blaze burning in a forestry block near Milton, in Otago. Fire and Emergency were alerted to the fire about 6.45am. At its peak a 400m by 350m fire was burning underneath mature trees in the rural Glenledi area, about 60km south of Dunedin. Eleven fire crews, four helicopters and a specialist command unit from Dunedin were fighting the fire. A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said three rural fire crews and a commercial forestry crew were also at the scene. “There’s no immediate or obvious cause so police and a specialist rural investigator are heading to the scene.”

Read More