Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 5, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC Oscars recognize designers that push the wood envelope

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 5, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC Wood WORKS! recognized the designers and developers that pioneered the booming trend towards mid-rise wood construction in BC. The Oscars-like, sold out event showcased unique architecture and innovative structural engineering across 14 award categories. 

In Business news: the National Real Estate Investor says cost volatility is straining multifamily developers; the LBM Journal forecasts stability and fluctuation for the lumber and panel market; Wilkinson speaks out for BC’s struggling sawmills; and Canada’s Ambassador to the US on how to win in Trump’s Washington. Companies making news include Canfor; JD Irving and Northern Pulp.

Finally, rethinking old-growth forests using lichen as an indicator of value.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

BC Oscars recognize designers that push the wood envelope

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
March 5, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Wood Council initiative to grow the market for wood hosted its 15th annual wood gala awards at the Vancouver Convention Centre Monday evening. The event, organized and hosted by Wood WORKS! BC, was a sold-out affair with 460 attendees. Co-hosts Greg Sinclair (Wood WORKS! chair) and Lynn Embury-Williams (Executive Director) spoke of the “exciting times in BC” given the 2009 building code change that allowed mid-rise wood structures and the new changes that will soon allow timber buildings up to 12 storeys. To date, more that 400 mid-rise buildings and multi-building complexes have been constructed or are in the process of being designed and built. 

With more than 103 nominations for 14 award categories, the Oscars-like event was a showcase of innovation, efficiency, beauty and environmentally sustainable design. Top award winners included Shelley Craig of Urban Arts Architecture who snagged to coveted Wood Champion Award for her work in support of the 2009 mid-rise code changes and the championing and adoption of its application and use since. 

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Business & Politics

In Depth: Lumber and structural panels

By Michael Berger
LBM Journal
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

For these unsung heroes of construction, staying flexible is the key for distributor success. …The coming year for the lumber and structural panel market can be best defined by an equation that consists of two somewhat opposing terms: stability and fluctuation. The stability side of the equation can be found in the housing market, which many experts see as remaining stable for 2019. …When compared against 2018 numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau that show a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.256 million as of November 2018, it appears on the surface that the market is poised to maintain—if not slightly increase— its rate of housing starts. …“However, in recent conversations with our customers and builders, more of them are approaching 2019 with increased caution and uncertainty as compared to even six months ago.” Others, however, see a potentially more positive future over the next 12 months. …As to fluctuation, it’s all about price. 

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An inside look at how to win in Trump’s Washington

By Paul Wells
Macleans Magazine
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

David MacNaughton

After serving as the Liberal campaign co-chair in Ontario in 2015, David MacNaughton was named Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. …In 2016, he suddenly became point man on Canada’s tense relationship with the erratic new U.S. president, and the high-stakes NAFTA negotiations. …”Obama very much wanted to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership passed and approved by Congress, and anything that would get in the way of that, he didn’t want to deal with. He didn’t want to settle softwood lumber. …Their original proposal in terms of the sunset clause would have led to uncertainty in terms of investment that would have made it extremely difficult. No question we wanted Chapter 19 to stay in. That is the one thing that has allowed us to have a decent outcome on softwood lumber negotiations.

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Canfor Pulp Announces Renewal of Normal Course Issuer Bid

By Canfor Pulp Products
Cision Newswire
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER – Canfor Pulp announced that it has received regulatory approval to renew a normal course issuer bid first launched in March, 2013. Under the new bid, the Company may purchase for cancellation up to 3,262,537 Common Shares of the Company… at prevailing market prices, in accordance with the rules of The Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX“). …The renewed normal course issuer bid will commence on March 7, 2019 and continue until March 6, 2020. …Canfor Pulp believes the normal course issuer bid is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders. Canfor Pulp’s parent company, Canfor Corporation, has today also announced its renewal of a normal course issuer bid for the purchase of up to 5% of its issued share capital.

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Wilkinson levels criticism against NDP over struggling sawmills

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Wilkinson

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is accusing the NDP government of inaction in the face of an ongoing decline in the forest sector. …Wilkinson emphasized economic issues when asked for the top three matters the party is pursuing on behalf of voters in north-central B.C. He said government revenues from the resource sector… are on course to drop 30 per cent, “and they don’t plan to do anything about it.” Concurrent with that, Wilkinson made note of the slowdown in the forest industry as sawmills invoke production curtailments in the face of softening lumber prices, timber supply constraints and the[US]. …While the provincial government can do little to stem a slowing of the U.S. housing market and a consequent drop in the price of lumber, Wilkinson said there are still levers it can control, notably the mid-term timber supply. …Canfor, Conifex and West Fraser have all cited log supply and log costs as reasons for curtailments.

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Prime Minister says Nova Scotia has lead on Northern Pulp effluent plans

The Canadian Press in the Bay Today
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Justin Trudeau

CHARLOTTETOWN — Justin Trudeau says his government is concerned with plans by a pulp mill in northern Nova Scotia to dump treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait, but the prime minister says there are no plans for a federal environmental assessment because Nova Scotia has that responsibility. Trudeau was asked about the Northern Pulp project during a visit Monday to Prince Edward Island, where Premier Wade MacLauchlan has raised concerns about the environmental impact of the project. “This project is of concern to us,” Trudeau said after a funding announcement in Charlottetown. “We know that we need to protect our coasts and our oceans.” But, the prime minister said the project is a covered by provincial jurisdiction. “It’s a provincial lead, going through environmental assessments, but the federal government is looking into ways that it can support,” he said.

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J. D. Irving Ltd. recruiting immigrants for work in village of Chipman

By Shane Fowler
CBC News
March 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

For the first time in years the population of Chipman hasn’t declined. Councillors say it held steady last year because of an influx of skilled workers recruited by J.D. Irving Ltd. from around the globe to its local forestry operations. …Eighteen new residents have already moved in to the rural community. He says they’re coming from Ukraine, Latvia, Finland, and Brazil. …West says it’s his understanding that JDI is bringing in as many as 3,000 workers from outside of New Brunswick over the next three years to fill positions in southern New Brunswick because the company cannot find employees locally. …The workers are coming through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program — a federal program for employers looking to recruit internationally for jobs they have been unable to fill locally.

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Volatility in Construction Materials Pricing Is Putting Strain on Multifamily Developers

By Bendix Anderson
The National Real Estate Investor
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Apartment developers continue to be stressed by the unpredictable cost of construction materials. Overall, materials prices keep rising faster than inflation. But what’s worse is that prices for individual construction materials are unpredictable from month to month. The price of lumber and diesel fuel has fallen sharply, for now. But new policies from the U.S. government continue to jolt the markets, from possible sanctions on oil producing countries like Venezuela to government tariffs on imported steel. …For now, developers don’t have to pay nearly as much for lumber as they paid in the summer of 2018. But prices are unlikely to stay low for long. “The trade trouble with Canadian lumber is not resolved and will result in higher prices than would otherwise persist sans tariffs,” says David Logan, director of tax and trade policy for the NAHB. “The uncertainty in the market will contribute to price volatility as well.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Excellence in structural and architectural wood design recognized at 2019 Wood Design Awards in BC

Wood WORKS! BC
March 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC ‐ Inspired architecture and innovative structural engineering using wood in a remarkable diversity of building types, sizes and purposes were in the spotlight tonight at the 15th annual 2019 Wood Design Awards in BC, sponsored by Wood WORKS! BC. More than 400 distinguished architects, structural engineers, developers, project teams together with industry sponsors and guests, gathered this evening to celebrate excellence in contemporary wood design and building. The annual awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre recognizes innovation and leadership in advancing wood use in design and building while honoring structural and architectural achievement using wood. There were 103 nominations in 14 categories from many locations in BC as well as the US and Asia, with international projects in China, Korea and Tajikistan.

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Tissue products are a sustainable choice

Letter by Mark Pitts, Executive Director, Printing-Writing, Pulp and Tissue
Recycling Today
March 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Mark Pitts

Contrary to what the report featured in “Advocacy groups take issue with tissue” (published 2/25/2019 on RecyclingToday.com) suggests, tissue products are a sustainable choice. Whether made from responsibly sourced wood fiber, paper recovered for recycling or a combination of the two, U.S. tissue manufacturers ensure that the resources used to make them are appropriate to meet customer needs and will be plentiful for generations to come. North American forests are among the most sustainably managed forests in the world. A fact that is lost in the article is that tissue manufacturers actually drive demand for recycled fiber, consuming 4.4 million tons of recovered paper in 2017 to make new products. In 2016, 90 percent of the 76 U.S. mills that produce tissue paper used some recovered paper to make new tissue products. Seventeen of these mills used only recovered paper.

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Forestry

Embracing the job: Q&A with Canfor senior forester Judy Vasily

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Judy Vasily

Judy Vasily, a registered professional forester, is the senior manager of strategic planning and business development in the Residual Fibre Group at Canfor Pulp in Prince George, B.C. As she advanced in her career, Judy was often the only woman in the room. She is now happy to be inspiring a growing number of women joining the industry. CFI: How did you get into the forest industry? I’m going into my 20th year at Canfor and I’ve been in the forest industry since 1993. I graduated from UBC with a forestry degree and then I wrote my exam and became a registered professional forester. …I absolutely love Canfor, it’s a great company, and there have been so many opportunities available. That’s really what kept me here. It’s kept me interested.

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Fuel management work continues around 108 Mile Ranch

By Brenden Kyle Jure
100 Mile House Free Press
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 108 Greenbelt Commission has continued its work to reduce the risk of wildfire in the Walker Valley area of 108 Mile Ranch. This year’s work entails selectively thinning trees in two areas on the west side of the railway track through logging. “I’m happy to say that the Greenbelt Commission’s fuel management work west of the railway tracks has been strongly encouraged and supported by the BC Wildfire Service,” said Al Richmond… When all this work is completed, the BC Wildfire Service has said this wide fuel break will significantly reduce the risk of a serious interface wildfire in the area.” …Most of the logging in those areas has been completed with one small four-hectare area… require heli-logging operations due to a very steep slope. 

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Breaking the glass: Q&A with Tolko trader Judy Johnston

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Judy Johnston

Judy Johnston is a plywood sales representative for Tolko Marketing and Sales in Vernon, B.C. She has been in the forest industry 43 years. …What led you to begin your career in the forest sector? It’s interesting to look back actually, from being in the mill and doing mill stats to woodlands logistics, sales assistant and then trader for 28 years. …Find an advocate, first thing. And just do it. Push ahead. If you want it and that’s where you want to go, get there. Use all the human resource assistance you can. …The rewards for working in the forest sector are good living. It’s a community. …When you learn about the industry and see that it is such an umbilical cord to everything we do, you sit up and take pride in it as well. …It’s a pretty cool industry.

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BCTS keeping DL 1313 ‘on hold’ pending minister’s decision

By Sophie Woodrooffe
Coast Reporter
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It remains on their list but BC Timber Sales won’t be auctioning cutblock DL 1313 in Elphinstone until they receive direction from B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. “Staff have heard from BC Timber Sales that they are … on hold with respect to District Lot 1313 and they are awaiting the minister’s decision on this,” CAO Janette Loveys told the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board at a Feb. 28 meeting. She said ministry staff had also confirmed with SCRD on Monday that an anticipated letter from Minister Donaldson “is prepared, it just hasn’t been sent yet.” Directors have been seeking to take forest licence A91376, also known as the Reed Road Forest, off the auction list for several years. In December, they requested an immediate Cabinet Order to suspend the auction.

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RDEK director admits defeat in Fernie logging fight

By Kimberley Vlasic
The Golden Star
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) won’t intervene in private land logging like their West Kootenay colleagues, despite mounting public concern in Fernie.  The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has been in negotiations to buy land owned by Nelson Land Corporation since last summer. …The potential deal comes amid concern planned logging will reduce the recreational and aesthetic value of Cottonwood Lake Regional Park and the Apex and Busk ski areas. …“The RDEK is not in a position to do anything about it. There’s a private land logging commission and there’s no legislation around that,” he said. “We have no ability to zone or do anything and if we did at this point, they would be grandfathered.”

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Rethinking old-growth forests using lichens as an indicator of conservation value

By the Canadian Museum of Nature
Phys.org
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Two Canadian biologists are proposing a better way to assess the conservation value of old-growth forests in North America—using lichens, sensitive bioindicators of environmental change. Dr. Troy McMullin, lichenologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and Dr. Yolanda Wiersma, landscape ecologist at Memorial University of Newfoundland, propose their lichen-focussed system in a paper published today in the Ecological Society of America journal, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment….”How do we select the forests with highest conservation value? How do we decide what to protect and what to cut? Lichens are part of the answer.”Old-growth forests, especially those in North America, are perceived to be rich in biodiversity, in addition to capturing aesthetic and spiritual values. These forests are usually defined by the age of the trees, with conservation and management practices developed accordingly. McMullin and Wiersma say this is an over-simplification, as it overlooks the importance of biodiversity in those habitats.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Bord na Móna cited in landmark EU case on use of forest biomass

By Kevin O’Sullivan
Irish Times
March 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Classifying forest biomass as a renewable fuel “fatally undermines the goals of the new European Renewable Energy Directive”, according to plaintiffs from six countries including Ireland in an action filed on Monday at the European General Court. Each claims to have suffered, in diverse and particular ways, from the consequences of the directive’s biomass energy policy. One of the plaintiffs, Tony Lowes of Ireland’s environmental NGO Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), has cited the co-firing with biomass of Ireland’s peat-powered electricity generating plants in the midlands. The lawsuit seeks to remove forest biomass from the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive recently approved by the EU, The directive, known as RED II, raises the overall EU target for renewable energy sources consumption by 2030 from 20 per cent to 32 per cent.

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