Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 11, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Western to take down time in Port Alberni as San Group expansion begins

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 11, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Market conditions in Japan are forcing Western Forest Products to curtail its Port Alberni Sawmill operations for four weeks, while construction on the town’s newest sawmill—by the San Group—is creating fresh optimism. In other Business news: COFI is optimistic about China despite the Huawei affair; Indiana wants to expand its hardwood industry; and more friction in Pictou over Northern Pulp as well as in Fort Francis over Resolute.

In other news: Vancouver BC approves iconic 10-storey timber building, Vancouver WA wants to build the tallest wood building in the US; forest health is the focus of foresters in Colorado and Montana; and California carbon credits help protect South Carolina forests.

Finally, BC’s natural resource officers may be armed with pepper spray to defend themselves against intoxicated, confrontational people. Yikes!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

BC’s forest industry is constantly developing innovative products & services for the green construction industry.

By BC Trade and Investment
Government of British Columbia
February 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry is an important sector for British Columbia, and B.C. is committed to sustainable forest management to preserve this natural resource. The province also leads the world in forest innovation with engineered wood products, the world’s tallest wooden structure and clean bio-energy. Looking to invest and expand? B.C. is the best place to grow.

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New mill, new optimism after years of forestry decline in Port Alberni

CBC News
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In Port Alberni, and the rest of Vancouver Island, forestry jobs have been on the decline for the past two decades for reasons that include everything from increasing mechanization to shifts in global markets. …But a short drive down Port Alberni’s waterfront from the closed Somass mill, construction is starting on a brand new sawmill that is bringing some hope for new jobs. A BC company called the San Group is investing about $70 million to build the new mill and associated re-manufacturing plants. It plans to produce high-value engineered wood products from smaller logs. …The investment comes as the B.C. government implements policy changes for the forest industry. …In the meantime, Port Alberni Mayor Shari Minions is getting ready to welcome the first new mill operation in years, and the jobs that come along with it.

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B.C. exporters feel chill in Canada-China freeze

By Chuck Chiang
Business in Vancouver
March 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

For some of B.C.’s largest export sectors, a potential disruption of trade with China – the spectre of which has risen after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou – would be severe if not catastrophic. …As for one of B.C.’s biggest exporters to China, the forest products sector, a top official said she remains optimistic despite the risk of Ottawa’s relationship with Beijing deteriorating… “It’s not the only place where we have, from time to time, difficult trading issues,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries. “I mean, we’ve had trade issues with the U.S., too. It’s part of being in an export industry in an export country, and you are going to run into complications from time to time. We have to find a way to work through them.” China is again the second–largest destination for B.C. wood-product exports, taking up about 25% of the total.

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Western Forest Products to shut Alberni sawmill for a month

By Susie Quinn
Alberni Valley News
March 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberni Pacific Division Sawmill in Port Alberni will be closing for a month starting on March 18. Western Forest Products owns and operates the mill. “We are temporarily suspending operations for a four-week period starting on March 18,” WFP director of communications Babita Khunkhun confirmed late Friday, March 8. “This decision is directly related to market conditions. Our APD facility mainly produces products for the Japanese market, so it’s related to market demand for that product.” Khunkhun said employees at APD have been advised of the shutdown. When asked if there is a solid date for when the mill would restart, she said the shutdown is for four weeks. “We have advised our employees that it will be for a four-week period. If it changes we will advise them at that time.”

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Friction in Pictou: Community divided on proposed changes to pulp mill operations

By Jill English
CBC News
March 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

For more than 50 years, white foam and dark water have filled part of a lifeless harbour on Nova Scotia’s north shore. Now the hunt for solutions is creating a rift that’s pitting industry against industry and neighbour against neighbour. At the centre of it all is the Northern Pulp mill that has been permitted to dump effluent into Pictou County’s Boat Harbour since opening in 1967. The province has ordered an end to this, which puts the community in a bind — the wastewater still needs to be treated and released somewhere if the mill is to stay open. …”My message to communities is let’s modernize the way we’re working within our traditional sectors,” says Premier Stephen McNeil. “We have to bring it to the standards of today and not be stuck in the ’60s.”

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Resolute Forest Products not honouring sustainable forest licence agreement, says First Nations leader

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
March 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A northwestern Ontario First Nations leader maintains Resolute Forest Products shouldn’t be permitted to take Crown wood out of the Fort Frances area. Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief of Treaty 3, said the conditions of the provincial sustainable forest licence (SFL) agreement that the Montreal forest products company holds for the Crossroute Forest “does not appear to have been honoured.” “Resolute not only closed its Fort Frances mill, but has been cutting trees from our forest for its operations outside of Treaty 3. It is unclear who authorized this change,” he said in a March 7 news release. “Certainly, no authorization for this arrangement was ever sought from the Treaty 3 First Nations, nor would an authorization likely have been granted, because our traditional law requires that our resources support the local economy of our territory.”

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Georgia timber industry hurt by storms, driver shortage but there’s reason to be optimistic

By Maggie Lee
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
March 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Andres Villegas

ATLANTA — The timber plots that blanket something near two-thirds of Georgia are, for their owners, a retirement, or a kid’s school tuition maybe… Most Georgia timberland is held by relatively small, often family, enterprises. Hurricane Michael … wiped away three-quarters of a billion dollars in timber alone. The state is still counting up the damages from storms last weekend that hit Harris and Talbot counties hard. And then there are other stresses for the industry: it’s hard to find log truck drivers; and insurance, equipment and fuel for them isn’t getting any cheaper. It takes years just to grow little trees that will be thinned for pulp — maybe two decades or more for the sturdy trees that become, say, telephone poles. In the meantime, there are costs like property taxes to be paid. …Andres Villegas, CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association [is] optimistic about the industry, though there are some challenges.

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GROWTH PLAN: Study says state’s hardwoods underutilized

By Roger Schneider
Hendricks County Flyer
March 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GOSHEN — The largest agriculture sector in Indiana, the hardwoods industry, wants to expand, and a new study may help it do so. The “Indiana Hardwood Assessment” is a study undertaken by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development. The study was completed in December and presented to the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermens Association in February. Ray Moistner, executive director of the association, said a lot of Hoosiers, including state legislators, are surprised when they hear that hardwood lumber is the top agriculture segment in the state. Moistner said the industry has a $10 billion footprint in Indiana. “The reason hardwoods is the largest ag industry by far is because of the vertical integration of our industry here,” Moistner said. “We grow the trees here, we process and have sawmills and veneer mills.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Vancouver approves ‘cellular’ timber building that resembles a honeycomb

Journal of Commerce
March 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The City of Vancouver has approved a 10-storey global headquarters project for Nature’s Path Foods. The mass timber building with a cellular design will be built in East Vancouver on Clark Drive …the building will be 10 storeys with a total floor area of 167,492-square-feet. …Martin Nielson, the architect on the project, designed it with the company’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2020 in mind. …The project will also be entirely made of wood above the second floor, as the company stated it is important to support the B.C. economy as well as renewable, carbon sequestering material. Plans suggest using a perimeter timber brace frame to free up the core and provide transparency. It will have glazed exit stairs and thermally isolated balconies that are pinned to the building but self supported.

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Resilient farm building design could minimize damage and loss

By Angela Gismondi
The Daily Commercial News
March 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Randy Drysdale

With the increasing number of fires occurring in farm buildings, insurance companies are urging constructors to consider resilient design. “What we would like to do as a group of insurance companies, we would like to have some say in how buildings are built,” said Randy Drysdale, assistant vice-president of loss control and technical development for Farm Mutual Reinsurance. …“What we would like to see is resilient design incorporated when a structure is rebuilt. …Things to consider include compartmentalization, fire-rated assemblies, fire stops, fire dampers, sprinklers and control devices inside the barns. “Really the barns are built to burn. They are organized kindling,” Drysdale stated. “There are combustible materials, wood frame, unprotected structures, generally too far away from fire halls to have the fire department make a big difference.” 

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Billion dollar baby: New builds down but home renovation industry thriving in Newfoundland and Labrador

By Jeremy Eaton
CBC News
March 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Victoria Belbin

It’s no secret the once red hot economy, which saw trucks fly off car lots and new homes rise faster than Nan’s homemade bread, has cooled considerably in recent years in Newfoundland and Labrador. But while people are hesitant to build a new house, they are quite content to fix up what they already own. “New home starts are down but the renovation and repair sector is thriving — it’s still a billion dollar industry,” the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of N.L.’s CEO Victoria Belbin said. …”We call it the HGTV effect,” Belbin said …”We’re promoting the finger joint,” said Mike Stevenson, a Brunswick Valley Lumber employee who represents Sexton Lumber. …Stevenson believes Sexton Lumber is only place in the province making this product. Finger jointing required specialized equipment shipped in from Europe to make it.

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Trendy timber at chic Waterfront Vancouver?

By Allan Brettman
The Columbian
March 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

In its brief existence, The Waterfront Vancouver has offered an urban development few could have thought possible in Vancouver. … It makes sense then that one of those blocks may one day be the home of a construction style that is the hot new thing. The Trestle, as it’s been named, would be built on the development’s Block 14 with mass timber construction, employing all-wood structural components and rising to a height that would make it the tallest wood building in the United States, at least for now. The apartment house would be the latest in a line of other wood structures built by its Portland-based architecture firm. …As associate director of the Tall Wood Institute at Oregon State University, Iain Macdonald is particularly evangelical about mass timber construction. Before joining the institute in 2016, Macdonald led the Centre for Advanced Wood Products at the University of British Columbia for 10 years.

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Forestry

Income, education among factors affecting access to urban green space

By Stephanie Blain
The Ubyssey
March 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Local parks, gardens and tree-lined streets can be important resources for people who live in cities. However, not everyone in urban areas has the same access to these green spaces. A recent study conducted by researchers at UBC’s faculty of forestry found that access to urban green spaces is affected by a range of socioeconomic factors, leading to inequitable access to this resource. …The study examined how socioeconomic and demographic factors related to urban green space access. It looked at 10 different urban areas in the United States. Unsurprisingly, access to green spaces was related to population density and neighbourhood age. However… In many cases, the socioeconomic factors that determine access to vegetation are the same ones that determine access to other resources in society. “Income was a strong predictor. …Education was also found to be important.

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Igniting community generosity, one firewood permit at a time

By TimberWest
The Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Every year in early December, TimberWest gets the opportunity to recognize important local community groups in the Lake Cowichan area thanks to the hard work of Jayne Ingram, co-owner of BRI Security, and retired town councilor. Over the past several years, Ingram has coordinated the TimberWest U-Cut firewood lots in Lake Cowichan, and developed the giving back culture strongly associated with the permit sales, where 100 per cent of the funds collected are donated back into the community to worthy organizations during TimberWest’s annual Day of Giving in December. So far the program has generated more than $45,000 with all proceeds directly supporting important local organizations.

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Colorado locked into losing approach of suppressing wildfires rather than boosting forest health, experts say

By Bruce Finley
The Denver Post
March 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Colorado leaders are facing hard facts on the state’s increasingly strained forests: 1,249 wildfires burned a near-record 524,282 acres last year, five times the average. …And money spent trying to suppress wildfires — $40 million by the state and $120 million by the U.S. Forest Service, three times what the feds spent in 2017 — drained coffers. …But Colorado still is locked into what state and federal foresters call a long-term losing approach of trying to suppress wildfires instead of boosting forest health. …“If we don’t start paying attention to the health of our forests, it is not going to get better,” state forester Mike Lester warned. …“People are going to have to invest in the health of our forests.” …That means selectively thinning forests to let in light and revive natural processes, rendering forests more resilient in the face of worse wildfires.

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When Douglas fir burns, SPARKS FLY

By Vickie Aldous
Mail Tribune
March 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New research shows Douglas fir trees produce more flying embers that can spark new fires compared to Ponderosa pines — bad news for Southern Oregon forests that are losing their pines. Airborne embers can travel more than a mile, jumping wildfire containment lines, highways and rivers to start new spot fires among trees and homes. Most past research has focused on how those embers travel and ignite various types of flammable material, according to Oregon State University scientists. In the new study, OSU scientists looked at the trees that are producing embers. They burned different species of trees and counted the number of flying embers produced, and how many of those embers were hot enough to leave char marks on fabric. The char marks revealed which of the sparks could have started new spot fires.

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State agency looks to more logging, improved forest health

By Amy Beth Hanson
Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
March 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — Montana’s forestry agency is working with federal, local and private organizations to increase logging on national forests to improve forest health and decrease the risk of disease and catastrophic fires. State lawmakers are supporting a $2.2 million request from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to hire people to help implement the Good Neighbor Authority program. Montana’s forestlands are deteriorating because of insects and disease, fire seasons are lasting longer and the numbers of acres burned has increased 15-fold over the past 20 years, Forestry Division Administrator Sonya Germann told a House appropriations subcommittee in January. Poor forest health impacts drinking and irrigation water, recreational assets, homes, communities and fish and wildlife habitat, she said.

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Wayne National Forest plans fires for tree, wildlife health

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
March 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Nearly 2,000 acres of Wayne National Forest in Ohio will be intentionally burned over the next three months as part of the area’s fire management efforts. Forest officials say scientists who study native plants, birds and other wildlife believe prescribed fire helps maintain healthy oak forests. They say controlled blazes help increase nutrient availability in the forest and remove some leaf litter and smaller trees and brush. That, in turn, allows more sunlight to reach the forest floor to regenerate oak and hickory trees and sun-loving plants.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Musing about environmental change

By Bob Handfield
The Penticton Western News
March 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The IPCC (United Nations Climate gurus) says we have 12 years to save the earth. …As a geologist, I know the earth’s climate has undergone radical changes over many eons. …How do the current changes fit in? …One of our problems I think is to blame global warming for nearly everything bad that happens. Two years of record forest fires might well be the result of global climate change but there is a fair chance that the enormity of the fires was due to 75 years of forest mismanagement practices (as documented by numerous studies) or possibly a combination of both. The worst fire year in BC was 2018, the second worst was 2017, the third worst was 1958. Said a different way: at the time, 1958 was a record fire year and it took 59 years to break that record.

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Pass Clean Energy Jobs to protect Oregon’s timber industry

By Sarah Deumling, Owner, Zena Forest Products
Statesman Journal
March 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Sarah Deumling

Oregon’s natural resource heritage is a point of pride for our state. What we have is special, and it deserves to be passed on to the generations that follow. … Just outside Salem sits 1,300 acres of our family’s forest, the Zena Forest. …It makes up one of the largest contiguous blocks of mixed conifer forest in the central Willamette Valley. It includes large areas of endangered Oak Savannah and Oak Woodland and contains headwaters of Rickreall, Yamhill, and Spring Valley watersheds. …We strive to be a model of sustainable forestry. That’s why we’re passionate supporters of the Clean Energy Jobs bill, legislation being worked on right now in Salem to cap and price pollution from Oregon’s top emitters. About 100 companies are responsible for between 83 percent and 87 percent of our state’s entire carbon pollution, and this bill aims to reduce that pollution to below 1990 levels.

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South Carolina forests are protected for trapping carbon, with a little help from California

By Chloe Johnson
The Post and Courier
March 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

South Carolina and California have little in common politically, but the Golden State’s laws are protecting the Palmetto State’s trees. California’s cap and trade program, which took effect in 2013, is the nation’s most expansive regulatory scheme aimed at fighting climate change in part by preserving forests. …Crucial to the program’s success are forests like those found in South Carolina and around the Southeast: forests full of fast-growing, long-living hardwood trees capable of sequestering hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon from the atmosphere. …While all forests sequester carbon to some degree, the Southeast’s hardwood swamps are some of the most capable of sucking greenhouse gasses out of the air, said Patricia Layton, a forest geneticist at Clemson. …To be eligible to sell credits under California’s rules, the forest has to be under threat of cutting and conversion. 

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Health & Safety

Report recommends batons, pepper spray for B.C. natural resource officers

By Maryse Zeidler
CBC News
March 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s natural resource officers should be armed with batons and pepper spray to defend themselves against the intoxicated, confrontational people they sometimes face on the job, according to a recently released report.  Natural resource officers enforce provincial rules related to the environment. Their jobs include managing wildfire risks at campsites and on private property, investigating unauthorized use of Crown land and educating the public.  Joel Johnston, a violence prevention consultant, wrote the March 2018 report for the Forestry Ministry’s Compliance and Enforcement Branch. It was released last week as part of a Freedom of Information request. The report says the officers are not properly equipped for the risks they commonly face, which include groups of drunk campers, mentally unstable people living on Crown land and people with weapons like knives, axes and firearms.

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‘Pure anger’: Residents neighbouring Domtar site respond to cancer rate findings

By Jordan Omstead
CBC News
March 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jason Reagan has already booked an appointment to get tested for lung cancer. He has lived beside the former Domtar site in northeast Edmonton for 13 years, along with his wife, Maureen, and their seven children. This week, a provincial health assessment revealed higher than expected rates of three types of cancer — lung, breast and endometrial — among people who lived near the former wood-treatment plant for 10 or more years. “Our main concern is what health risks we’ve already been exposed to. Is this actually going to hurt us in the future? Because if it is, they better get us out now,” Reagan said. …The Domtar site operated between 1924 and 1987, using creosote to preserve wood. The company did some remedial work on contaminated lands around the plant in 1994, before selling the site to 1510837 Alberta Ltd. in 2010.  

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Share the Road programme teaches Whanganui’s Carlton School students about logging trucks and road safety

New Zealand Herald
March 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Carlton School students now know what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat of a logging truck and what they can do to help with road safety. McCarthy Transport, FOMS and the Southern North Island Wood Council, led by McCarthy’s Wanganui Transport Hub manager Greg Wood, spent Friday, March 8 talking to Carlton School pupils about the Share The Road programme. Developed by the Log Transport Safety Council (LTSC), Share The Road is a programme to educate students in schools that are located on or near routes that logging trucks travel. Carlton School is on Carlton Ave, which is part of State Highway 3. “It was a great opportunity to present to the 280 students,” McCarthy Transport’s HSQE manager Cheryl van der Heyden said.

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