Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 6, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Flushing out the truth about US and Canadian forests

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 6, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US and Canadian forest industries take issue with NRDC’s recent toilet paper claims, saying tissue products are a sustainable choice and it’s their report that belongs in the toilet. In related news: SAPPI on paper that inhibits germ growth without chemicals; and California may phase out paper receipts. Meanwhile, inventors of bullet-proof wood create fire-proof wood; tall-wood buildings are sprouting up in Canada; Sweden’s tallest timber building is open for business; and more on BC’s wood design awards.

In Business news: the ups and downs on lumber prices (Madison’s); the building permit trend is encouraging (National Bank); clarity on the softwood lumber dispute (Russ Cameron); and a policy review preview for BC’s Interior (Minister Donaldson).

Finally, celebrating International Woman’s Day at: FPAC, West Fraser, Blue Ridge Lumber and Tolko; and BC’s air quality was among the world’s worst in 2018.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Softwood lumber prices up from last month; down compared to last year: March 2019

By Keta Kosman
Madison’s Lumber Reporter
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

After a sleepy end to 2018, the manufacture, sale, and consumption of North American dimension softwood lumber in 2019 to date has bobbled to relative normalcy. In the type of data that analysts like Madison’s loves, the wholesaler (producer or secondary supplier) price of benchmark framing softwood lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr last week is up +22% from one-month-ago, but down -21% from the same time last year. Given the seeming moderation of other benchmark construction framing lumber items as well (please see graph of price history below), the price levels last week might be setting a new floor. Depending on where print is this Friday, it’s possible operators are beginning to know what their sales prices will be over this next US home building season.

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Believe the worst is over for the U.S. housing market? Then this is a stock to watch

By Davie Berman
The Globe and Mail
March 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. housing market sent troubling signals toward the end of 2018, walloping companies with direct ties to the home-building sector, but also creating some great buying opportunities for anyone who likes beaten-up stocks. Norbord Inc. is a name to watch here. The Toronto-based company, which makes oriented strand board used in home construction, has a particularly volatile relationship to U.S. housing numbers: The share price fell nearly 45 per cent between June and October… and has been coasting along two-year lows for most of the past four months. …Just maybe, the worst is over for the U.S. housing market as the Fed eases up on interest rate hikes and borrowing costs stabilize. Jocelyn Paquet, an economist at National Bank Financial, pointed out that U.S. residential building permits over the past three months have exceeded the number of housing starts at a difference not seen in more than 10 years. [to read the full story a digital subscription is required]

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Softwood Negotiations

By Russ Cameron, Independent Wood Processors Association (IWPA)
Submitted Editorial
March 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

I was reading the latest criticism leveled against the BC Government for not having reached a new Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA).  I forgive any politician that doesn’t know how it works, provided that they actually don’t know, and aren’t just figuring they can get away with it because they think BC Public doesn’t know how it works. Here are five things you need to know. 1. This is a commercial dispute between the US companies that buy their logs on the open market and the Canadian companies that have exclusive renewable rights to public timber that is priced using various formulas. Given that 95% of Canada’s forests are under Provincial jurisdiction, the Federal Government is only involved in this commercial dispute because it crosses a border.

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Forest policy review slated for Interior, minister says

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
March 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

The provincial government will conduct a review of forest policy as it relates to the [BC] Doug Donaldson said Tuesday. Slated to begin by the end of April and be completed by the end of this year, Donaldson said it will follow on one for the Coastal forest sector. …Donaldson… said some of the initiatives regarding the increased use of fibre will impact the Interior. However… “it’s really about curtailment and a lack of wood in the Interior.” The review is among a handful of steps Donaldson noted in response to criticism B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson leveled… that the NDP has done little to ease the pain area sawmills and their workers are feeling. …And he made note of the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. Established in 2016… to improve damaged or low-value forests and encourage the use of fire from those forests.

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Northern Pulp’s environmental documents: missing mercury, a pulp mill that never was, and oodles of contradictions

By Joan Baxter, author of “The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest
The Halifax Examiner
March 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

There is much to wade through in the documents Northern Pulp submitted to Nova Scotia Environment, when it registered its “Replacement Effluent Treatment Facility” for a 50-day, Class 1 environmental assessment. For citizens who want to comment, they need to slog through 1,586 pages in 17 registration documents. …The public was given only one month — until March 9, 2019 — to comment. …Not surprisingly, the submission starts on a very encouraging note. …Dillon Consulting… provides a table indicating the “significance of project-related residual environmental effects” on 18 items. …Every single one of them is assessed as “NS”, or “No Significant Residual Environmental Effect Predicted.” Every. Single. One. This could mean either of two things. One, there is nothing to worry about. …There is, of course, an alternate interpretation, that there are many significant risks, which Northern Pulp is downplaying or ignoring altogether.

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Marathon has new hope to redevelop former pulp mill site

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
March 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Redeveloping a once-contaminated former pulp plant has been a millstone around the Town of Marathon’s neck for years. But a new provincial government, intent on cutting red tape and regulations, has lifted hopes in the community on the north shore of Lake Superior that wants to start promoting its biggest economic development asset as a business park. …Potential environmental legacy issues have been a roadblock to any new development on the brownfield site. …The since-demolished Marathon Pulp property has been in limbo for a decade since bankruptcy forced the closure of the mill and the loss of 240 jobs in 2009. What was left behind was a toxic mess. After the mill’s owner, Tembec, paid for the cleanup, the then-Ministry of Environment and Climate Change placed stringent conditions prior for any sale process.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Why tall wood-framed buildings are sprouting up across Canada

The Milbank Monitor
March 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Michael Green

TORONTO — Six years ago architect Michael Green took the stage at a TED conference and called for a global era of wood-framed skyscrapers. Some were skeptical. “People really thought I was an idiot,” said Green in a recent interview. “I got constant comments from my peers just saying this guy didn‘t know what he was talking about, this will never happen, the construction industry doesn‘t change. And look at it now, it‘s made a massive amount of change.” Almost non-existent a decade ago, tall wood buildings have defied skeptics and are sprouting up in cities across Canada as the wood industry sees opportunity, developers embrace new designs and momentum builds to reduce the heavy carbon footprint of concrete and steel in construction as the urgency of the battle to combat climate change grows.

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2019 B.C. wood awards showcase timber creations as they trend upwards

By Warren Frey
Journal of Commerce
March 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s wood architects, engineers and builders showed off a rich variety of nominated projects recently at the 15th Annual 2019 Wood Design Awards. The awards, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, welcomed more than 400 architects, engineers, developers and project teams as 103 nominated projects in 14 categories were celebrated. “We had a brand-new building code implemented in December of last year and that will allow a greater variety of taller and bigger buildings in wood. Some designers have been working on those buildings and they’ll be showcased,” said Wood WORKS! BC executive director Lynn Embury-Williams. “The national 2020 building code will also allow wood structures up to 12 storeys. Whenever these things are worked on, designers are already planning buildings and there’s over 20 being planned in B.C. So we won’t see any of those (at the awards) this year but certainly we will in future years.” 

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UNBC’s Wood Innovation Research Lab wins wood design award

By Hanna Petersen
Prince George Matters
March 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George is now home to another wood building that has been provincially recognized for excellence in design. UNBC’s Wood Innovation Research Lab… has won the Environmental Performance Award at the Wood Works! 2019 Wood Design Awards in B.C. The awards are the initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with the goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. …UNBC’s Wood Innovation Research Lab was selected because it demonstrates a significant contribution to improving the overall environmental performance of all buildings. …The wall truss design had to be unique due to the Passive House requirements. …With a score of 0.07, the building surpassed the Passive House requirement by nearly a factor of 10. 

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Tissue products are a sustainable choice

By Mark Pitts, AF&PA
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” (RecyclingToday.com) suggests, tissue products are a sustainable choice. …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. Recycled content in tissue products varies according to the suitability of the fiber for use in the end product. Not all fibers can deliver the same attributes as softness, strength and absorbency that a diverse consumer base demands, which is why a wide array of consumer tissue products are available today.

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Will California Phase Out the Use of Paper Receipts to Document Retail and Service Sales?

By Charles White and Brandon Reilly
Manatt.com
March 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Phil Ting

California Assembly Member Phil Ting introduced AB 161 on January 7, 2019, which would phase out the use of paper receipts in favor of electronic ones. This bill would require, beginning January 1, 2022, that a proof of purchase be provided to a consumer… only in electronic form unless the consumer requests that the proof of purchase be provided in paper form. The Ting bill is being pushed by Green America, which has published a report calling for the end of using paper receipts—largely based on concerns about toxic materials allegedly contained in many such paper receipts. …Manatt is participating in an industry coalition, led by the American Forest and Paper Association, that has prepared an information piece outlining the benefits of the continued use of paper sales receipts. Concerns about the bill include misrepresentation of environmental and health impacts, privacy issues and impacts on consumers and local government.

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Inventors of bullet-proof wood create fire-proof wood

By Ian Randall
Chemistry World
March 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A fire-retardant structural material can be made by chemically softening and compressing wood to remove the spaces between cell walls. When burnt, the resulting material forms a protective char layer on its outside which helps preserve its internal strength. The use of wood in structural applications is limited by both its inherent flammability and susceptibility to rapid collapse on burning. Wood can be made more fire-proof by chemical treatments – such as through injections of halogenated flame retardants, or coatings of inorganic nanoparticles – but these approaches are typically either prohibitively expensive, fail environmental and health standards, or result in insufficient structural strength. Liangbing Hu and colleagues of the University of Maryland in the US show that their process to create bullet-proof wood through densification also confers fire-resistant properties without recourse to potentially toxic or environmentally-unfriendly materials.

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Your doctor’s office may soon be less germy because of a Maine paper mill

By Lori Valigra
The Bangor Daily News
March 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Sappi, once synonymous only with large forests and paper mills, during the past 30 years has turned its expertise with wood to the fashion runways and even doctors’ offices. …More recently, Sappi’s texturing expertise is being tested in the medical world to create surfaces with miniscule textures on them. Potential uses are in doctors’ offices and in ambulances. The physical structure of the surfaces inhibits microbial growth without requiring chemicals. The textured papers also can be used to make tiny patches for patient diagnostics. The reason for the technology focus: Sappi’s legacy commercial and publishing paper business is shrinking and will continue to shrink, said Beth Cormier, vice president of research and development and innovation at Sappi North America’s Technology Center in Westbrook. “Sappi has used research and development on how to get into new markets,” she said.

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Glulam to be Made from Icelandic Lumber

By Gunnar Jonsson
Iceland Review
March 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Over the last few weeks the Icelandic Forest Service, Límtré/Vírnet and Innovation Center Iceland have been conducting research into the possibility of using Icelandic lumber to produce glue laminated structural beams, sometimes called glulam, RÚV reports. Imported wood has hitherto been used for the application. Glulam is a type of engineered wood, made from lumber that is bonded together with structural adhesives. It is commonly used as structural beams in all types of man-made structures, such as sports halls, glasshouses, gazebos and even bridges. “We’re very excited about this. It’s great that we’re embarking on this journey,” says forester Trausti Jóhannsson. “Finally we’re creating real lumber from our trees, people are saying. Not just cutting them down, putting them in the wood chipper and then burning them. We’re now thinking towards the future.”

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Sweden’s tallest timber building is open for business

By David Malone
Building Design + Construction
March 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Made of solid timber and situated about an hour from Stockholm in the Kajstaden district of Västerås, a recently completed multifamily development has become the tallest timber building Sweden. The walls, beams, balconies, elevators, and stairwells are all made from cross-laminated timber. Rising 8.5 stories and spanning 7,500 sm, the Kajstaden project features four apartments on each level. Each floor took three craftsmen an average of three days to build. The project uses mechanical joints and screws, which means, if necessary, the building can be taken apart at a later date and the materials reused. It is estimated that a building made of solid wood instead of concrete will have a total carbon dioxide savings of 550 tons of CO2 over the building’s life

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Forestry

Flushing out the truth about our Canadian forests

Forest Products Association of Canada
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A US-based environmental lobby group recently released a misleading report about tissue and toilet paper that takes aim at Canadian forests and forestry workers. It marks yet another attack on Canadian natural resource jobs and rural and northern towns by U.S. special interests who simply do not understand how carefully and sustainably we manage our forests in Canada. The report, produced by New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), claims that American consumers are “destroying” Canada’s boreal forest by using too much toilet paper. It is important to note that this is the same lobby organization that came to Ottawa last November and told a Canadian audience that we do not replant or regenerate our forests. A blatant lie that was appropriately called out on the spot. …Canada’s registered professional foresters look after Canada’s forests. …On behalf of our forestry professionals, their families, and their communities, FPAC can play the pun game too. We believe it’s the recent NRDC report that belongs in the toilet.

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Meant to be a millwright: Q&A with Jennifer Sartorius of West Fraser Hinton Pulp

By Kristina Urquhart
Pulp and Paper Canada
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jennifer Sartorius is the interim maintenance superintendent at West Fraser Hinton Pulp. Pulp & Paper Canada talked to Sartorius … to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. In her Q&A below, Sartorius tells us how she switched from criminology into the trades – and never looked back. …”My biggest challenges, as far as personally – I had never touched a wrench in my life. I took criminology in college and stepped into a mechanical trade where I had no idea what I was getting into. But what I found was that no matter what industry I was in – I started in pulp and paper at Whitecourt, a Millar Western pulp mill – everyone was wonderful. They accepted me whether I was female or not. Whether I had any experience or not, they just accepted me. …But it’s been a pretty positive career so far.”

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Diversity wins: Q&A with Tolko’s Michelle Mercer

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Michelle Mercer is Tolko’s new HR advisor of diversity and inclusion in Vernon, B.C. After 21 years with Tolko, first as a temp, then 15 years in the woodlands department and seven as an executive assistant, Michelle recently took on a brand-new position that aims to increase diversity and inclusion at Tolko. She hopes to eventually eliminate the need for her job. …What advice can you share with women considering a career in our industry? I would say: what are you waiting for? Honestly it’s such a fascinating industry. I’ve been here 21 years and I haven’t stopped learning. I think the whole industry, not just Tolko, is starting to really focus on promoting and attracting a more diverse workplace, now is the time to jump in and join the forestry industry.

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B.C. community raises $50K to save a beloved forest, but it may be too little, too late

By Judith Lavoie
The Narwhal
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Cottonwood Lake near Nelson draws thousands of summer visitors… Andrew McBurney [is] spokesman for the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society, a non-profit group formed in December to fight logging plans that residents believe threaten the widely used park and the nearby Apex Nordic ski trails. Residents fear clearcut logging on adjacent privately owned land will destroy the scenic value of the small park and cross-country ski trails and, because of the steep terrain, could destroy unique wildlife habitat and cause landslides and flooding. …Hans Cunningham, a Regional District of Central Kootenay director, said residents and local politicians were horrified when they realized the land above the lake was about to be logged.

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Bush life: Q&A with silviculture supervisor Rashelle Lala

By Maria Church
Woodworking Network
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rashelle Lala is a silviculture supervisor for Blue Ridge Lumber, a subsidiary of West Fraser in Whitecourt, Alta. New to the industry in 2015, Rashelle says it was encouragement from family and a draw to the outdoors that led her from her city roots to a career in the bush. And she hasn’t looked back. …Any advice to share with others interested in joining the industry? Definitely don’t be intimidated and work hard. It’s not something you can just get into; you have to work at it. I think that there is a perception that it’s this male-dominated industry. But there are so many women now and more are getting into it. From the very start of my forestry path I’ve had a lot of strong and empowering women to look up to. 

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RCMP arrest logging protesters near Meadow Creek

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

RCMP arrested three people after they allegedly obstructed vehicles entering a worksite north of Kaslo. …The three people arrested are part of the group Water for Life… group representative Jessica Ogden states that “mass clearcutting of our bio-diverse, climate stabilizing forest reduces our community’s ability to combat climate crisis through carbon sequestration. The group asks for the cancellation of all cutting permits in community watersheds. …Bill Kestell, forest manager for Cooper Creek Cedar… was concerned about what he said is misinformation being given by the protesters. …Under the process known as the professional reliance model, a professional forester creates a cutting permit that “meets or exceeds the eight government stated objectives. …That assessment work is presented to government which then issues a permit.

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Ontario wolves moved to Isle Royale: joint program between province and U.S. park doubles the population

By Gord Ellis
CBC News
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The population of wolves on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale, in Michigan, doubled recently thanks to a joint reintroduction program between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and the U.S. National Park Service. Phyllis Green is the Park Superintendent at Isle Royale National Park. She said the wolves were made available thanks to the co-operation of the OMNRF. The talks and plans to get Ontario wolves to Isle Royale began in the fall of 2018, she explained, and came to fruition last month. …Green said the wolves have been reintroduced to help control the moose population on the island, that is estimated to be near 1,500 animals. The hope is that a genetically revitalized wolf pack will help keep the moose herd from over-browsing the island and starving. There is already evidence the Minnesota wolves have found the moose.

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Advocating for change: Q&A with Kate Lindsay, VP sustainability at FPAC

By Kristina Urquhart
Pulp and Paper Canada
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada
Kate Lindsay is the vice-president, sustainability and environmental partnerships at the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).  Pulp & Paper Canada talked to Lindsay and several other women working in the pulp, paper and forestry sector for a weeklong series to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. In her Q&A below, Lindsay tells us how an early interest in the forest led to her career as a biologist-turned-forestry executive. Kate Lindsay: “I primarily focus on forest management files, but also the sector as a whole around sustainability issues and pieces of legislation that interact with sustainable forest management, like the Species at Risk Act, the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act. I work directly with the government, so I’m on a couple of advisory committees and panels. I’ve been appointed by the minister to provide a forestry perspective on implementing those pieces of legislation.” 

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Timber industry challenge to Cascade-Siskiyou Monument expansion gets its day in court

By Jes Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A timber industry lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was to be heard by a federal judge in Medford on Tuesday. The case, Murphy Company v. Trump, argues the former president did not have the authority to enlarge the monument because the expansion included Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands, also known as the O Lands, that had already been designated for timber production. …Using the executive authority granted in the 1907 Antiquities Act, President Barack Obama expanded southern Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument during his final days in office in 2017.

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California officials focus on forest management after fires

By Sudhin Thanawala
The Associated Press in the Helene Independent Record
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — After successive years of devastating wildfires, California’s fire agency announced a plan Tuesday that would dramatically increase the removal of dead trees and other forest management efforts with the help of the National Guard. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection released a list of 35 priority fuel-reduction projects it wants to start immediately across the state over roughly 90,000 acres. That’s double the acreage the agency aimed to cover in the current fiscal year, CalFire Deputy Chief Scott McLean said. The agency is also seeking National Guard assistance to coordinate the work. McLean said it was the first time he could recall turning to the National Guard for help with clearing trees and vegetation. …The 35 projects are based on input from local Calfire units and would reduce wildfire risk to more than 200 communities, according to Calfire.

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Washington-based company purchases NewLife Forest Products, acquires 4FRI contract

By Wendy Howell
The Williams News
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The company that holds the largest contract for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) has new owners. Pacific Northwest logger Tom Loushin and his former Washington-based company are part of a merger that included investing in NewLife Forest Products which has held the U.S. Forest Service phase I stewardship contract of 4FRI since 2013. Loushin brings over 40 years of logging and industry experience to northern Arizona and hopes to jump start the lagging restoration of the overgrown ponderosa pine forests with his expertise in large-scale timber operations acquired while working in Washington state and Alaska. NewLife Forest Products, LLC has plans to build a state-of-the-art lumber mill at a site purchased on Garland Prairie Road in Williams. “It will be the first mill of that caliber in the state of Arizona,” Loushin said.

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Owls against owls in a challenge for survival

By The Ecological Society of America
Science Daily
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Scientists are puzzling out how to address the declining numbers of northern spotted owls (NSO) in their Pacific Northwest forest habitat. A new study in the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecological Applications explores the reasons why spotted owls are losing a foothold in their habitat, forecasts future habitat conditions and species interactions, and suggests best management practices. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service first listed the species as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in the late 20th century because years of over-logging left the owls’ forest home degraded. …the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan … focuses on preserving and increasing the acreage of the spotted owls’ preferred mature forests habitat. …The invading barred owl competes with the spotted owl for prime nesting spots and hunting areas. The barred owl is winning the fight and may push the spotted owl to localized extinction in the region in the next few decades without managers intervening.

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Northern Arizona University forest geneticist collaborates on first full-genome sequence analysis of aspen trees

By Kerry Bennett
Northern Arizona Univerisity News
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Although the North American quaking aspen tree is a time-honored local icon here in Flagstaff, it has the broadest distribution of any tree on the continent, growing from coast to coast across the U.S. and Canada. It’s also a close relative of the Eurasian trembling aspen, which can be found in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. The two species belong to the genus Populus, and because of their prevalence across the northern hemisphere, a multidisciplinary international team of 26 scientists recently completed the first study to understand how genomic determinants affected the trees’ adaptive evolution. The study is important because it provides a starting point for comparative and evolutionary genomics in the field of forest trees. …The Populus genus has a number of novel features compared to many other model systems, including its ability to self-clone, great longevity—the oldest living organism in the world is an 80,000-year-old aspen grove—and abundant genomic diversity.

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University of Montana researchers study Alaska forest fires over past 450 years

The University of Montana
EurekAlert
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – In a recent study, University of Montana researchers explored the ways forest succession and climate variability interacted and influenced fires in Alaska’s boreal forests over the past four centuries – from 1550 to 2015. “We reconstructed fire activity over the last 450 years using lake-sediment records,” said Tyler Hoecker, the study’s lead author. As part of his master’s thesis work in the Systems Ecology program in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, Hoecker collected lake-sediment cores near the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge in central Alaska, a fire-prone area that also has many lakes. …”Understanding how slowly varying processes like succession and climate affect fire activity is difficult to do in a single human lifetime,” Higuera said. “Paleoecological records, like the lake sediments used in this study, extend the window of observation further into the past, allowing scientists to understand long-term change and put ongoing change into context.”

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Georgia Forestry Had Economic Impact of $21.3 billion in 2017

All On Georgia
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Georgia’s forest industry continues to fuel the state’s economic engine. According to a new report, in 2017, increases were recorded in the number of jobs, net state revenue, and output – the total revenue generated by the industry. Statistics documented in “2017 Economic Benefits of the Forest Industry in Georgia, 2017,” from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institution, detail advances made in categories across the board. “Georgia’s forest industry is making steady gains that impact everyone in the state,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams. “The number of jobs and compensation are up, dollars brought into the state are up, and tax revenue generated for the state was $970 million. Simultaneously, our forests are providing critical environmental services. It’s a healthy report to kick off the new year,” Williams said.

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Origin and species: fighting illegal logging with science

By Robin Millard
The Associated Free Press in the Yahoo News
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

London – A timeworn laboratory in Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens may not seem like the obvious epicentre of efforts to halt international illegal logging. Beakers bubble away on a hotplate, while suspect guitars that have been sent by customs officials for testing sit on top of shelves lined with tattered old journals and reference books in a multitude of languages. But scientists at the Wood Anatomy Laboratory, part of the research centre at the gardens in Kew, southwest London, are working on a new global project to help precisely identify the origin and species of timber. …Much of the import and export business relies on paper trails for verification. However experts hope that their new project can, in future, provide enforcement agencies with some hard science that can quickly identify through checks whether a wood species is as claimed, and exactly where it was grown.

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CNI Forestry establishes all-female logging team in Rotorua

By Zizi Sparks
The New Zealand Herald
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A group of women have found employment together in an unlikely industry as new figures show job advertisements in the Bay of Plenty are soaring. CNI Logging has been working with 18 women as part of a process to choose an 11-strong, all-female team to work in silviculture. Health and safety recruitment officer Joe Taute said he believed the team would be the first all-female team in the forestry industry. “There’s a shortage of female employees in forestry everywhere so we’re trying to be a bit different and try something new.” Taute said crew members would start out “getting bush fit”. “We’re trying to get them used to the idea of waking up at 5.30am and getting home at 5pm. We’ve set up an introduction to forestry to get them bush fit to start with then move into planting and pruning.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada Invests in Clean Energy for Indigenous Communities in the North

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
March 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

INUVIK, NT – The best solutions for combating climate change in rural and remote Indigenous communities come from the people who live there. That is why Canada is investing in these communities and enabling them to use less diesel fuel and more renewable energy. These investments will tap into the vast potential for forest-based biomass and renewable energy and increase economic competitiveness while protecting the environment. Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories Michael McLeod, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced an investment of more than $3.5 million in two Indigenous-owned Nihtat Corporation projects that will create jobs, cut energy costs and reduce fossil fuel consumption in the North. …The second investment of $220,000 will enable Nihtat Corporation to undertake a capacity development study to look into options for wood pellet plant development, wood-based biomass opportunities and biomass supply chain enhancements in the Beaufort Delta region.

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Health & Safety

Prince George among cities with worst air quality worldwide in 2018: report

By Joti Grewal
BC Local News
March 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The thick, black smoke last August that had people in Prince George waking up in the dark put the area among the 10 worst cities in the world that month for air pollution. That’s according to a new report, released Tuesday, from Greenpeace, sounding the alarm about the high level of air pollution recorded in B.C.’s Interior in 2018. The “unhealthy” range on the Air Quality Index is 55.5-150.4. Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake had readings of 74.2, 72.2 and 67, respectively – the worst in Canada for that month. …Comparatively speaking, the level of pollution in these regions was roughly five times the 2018 average, prompting the World Health Organization to flag them as well. “Our province’s vulnerability to forest wildfires has a major impact on the air we all breathe and has serious public health implications,” said Eduardo Sousa, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Canada.

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