Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 15, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canada to appeal WTO anti-dumping ruling

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 15, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canada will appeal the WTO panel decision allowing the US to use “zeroing” to calculate anti-dumping tariffs, while a ruling on the more significant countervailing duties is still to come. In other Business news: the federal and Ontario governments go to court over the validity of the fed’s carbon tax; NRCan invests in UNB’s climate adaptation technology; and Maine invests in wood insulation and in wood fuel from biomass.

In caribou news: FPAC’s Derek Nighbor responds to an NRDC letter in the Washington Post; while industry concerns are aired in the local Vanderhoof and Revelstoke newspapers.

Finally, the cement and concrete industry are at it again – ‘whack a mole‘ style.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada appeals WTO finding in lumber dispute with U.S.

Reuters
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chrystia Freeland

OTTAWA — Canada will appeal last week’s decision by a WTO panel to allow the US to use “zeroing” to calculate lumber anti-dumping tariffs, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday. “We firmly believe that the U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfair and unwarranted,” Freeland said. …Canada had launched the technical dispute with the WTO in 2017, saying it would forcefully defend its lumber industry, but last week’s long-awaited decision sided with the United States. The United States had suffered a string of defeats at the WTO over zeroing, a calculation method that was ruled to have unfairly increased the level of U.S. anti-dumping duties. …Last week, Canada said it was looking at ways to boost the effectiveness of its retaliatory tariffs against the United States.

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WTO ruling could mean perpetually higher softwood duties

By Albert Van Santvoort
Business in Vancouver
April 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While not entirely a loss for Canada, a recent ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) means that Canada’s softwood lumber exports could face perpetually higher U.S. duties. The two countries moved one step closer to resolving their $6 billion softwood lumber dispute after the WTO concluded April 9 that the U.S. did not properly follow the rules when calculating the duties placed on Canadian softwood lumber. The up to 7.28% duty that U.S. President Donald Trump slapped on the softwood lumber industry in November 2017 did not correctly calculate the punitive taxes, according to the WTO. The anti-dumping duty is a tax that is placed on a foreign good believed to be priced below market value. However, the ruling wasn’t all in Canada’s favour. “The WTO ruling is a case of a glass half full,” said Werner Antweiler, economist with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

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Canada Invests in Climate Change Adaptation in the Forest Sector

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Matt DeCourcey

FREDERICTON — Climate change needs to be tackled head on in order to build a better future for Canadians. …Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary… on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced an investment of $300,000 to University of New Brunswick for a climate change adaptation project. Funded through NRCan’s Climate Change Adaptation Program, UNB’s project will focus on the socio-economic costs and benefits of adapting to climate-induced changes, such as drought and wind, in Atlantic Canada’s forests. Findings from this analysis will help those in the forest sector and communities, including Indigenous peoples, plan and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. UNB will assess how adaptation, such as assisted species migration and other management practices, could help ensure our forests continue to support the economy and local communities.

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Ontario challenge of federal carbon tax heads to court this week

By Colin Perkel
CTV News
April 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — The federal and Ontario governments are set to square off in the province’s top court this week over Ottawa’s climate change law in a fight experts say is as much political and ideological as it is legal. At issue is the validity of Liberal government legislation that imposed a charge on gasoline and other fossil fuels as well as on industrial polluters. The law applies in those provinces that have no carbon-pricing regime of their own that meets national standards. Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government under Premier Doug Ford — supported by like-minded premiers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick — has denounced the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act as an illegal tax grab that will force up the price of gasoline and heating fuel. …The four-day hearing… will also hear from a plethora of interveners. They include provinces such as Saskatchewan and British Columbia, Alberta Conservatives.

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Forest products companies get innovation boost in Maine

The Association Press
April 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Susan Collins

AUGUSTA, Maine — A pair of Maine forest products companies is receiving $1.5 million in technology grants to bring innovation to one of the state’s oldest industries. The Maine Technology Institute is awarding $750,000 to GO Lab of Belfast. The other half of the money is going to Biofine Developments Northeast for a project in Bucksport. GO Lab… makes insulation from wood fiber that is designed to be renewable and recyclable. The company’s production facility is located in a former paper mill in Madison. BDNE is in the midst of developing a facility to facilitate production of a renewable heating oil substitute using wood biomass. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, call the awards a “substantial investment” in new technology. [END]

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Not the whole story on wood buildings

Letter By Michael McSweeney, President and CEO Cement Association of Canada Bart Kanters, President Concrete Ontario
The Recorder & Times
April 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Build with facts, not fiction—We would like to correct misleading and inaccurate information … in the news story “Wood buildings the future?”. The story reported on Mr. Andrew Melchers’ (local architect) presentation to the local group Transition Brockville and contained incorrect information about the environmental impact of building materials like wood and concrete. Facts and science are on the side of audience members who reportedly challenged Mr. Melchers’ comments about the “green” value of wood as a building material. Mr. Melchers admitted he needed to do a little more research and we would like to support him by sharing the following key findings from the most recent research on this topic: – Independent and peer-reviewed research by the International Institute for Sustainable Development has uncovered serious gaps in how carbon is measured in building materials. The research singles out forestry products as a problem saying their benefit in reducing carbon is exaggerated and often overstated

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Timber Frame Vs Post And Beam Construction

By Sheri Koones
Forbes Magazine
April 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Post and beam and timber frame are both beautiful methods of building but most people think of them as one and the same. Although they are similar, there are subtle differences between them.  Both are methods of building that create a frame that is self-sustaining and carries the weight of the house. The main difference in the two types of construction is the method of joining the parts. Timber frames are always made with solid wood with mortise-and-tenon connections and secured with wood pegs. Post and beam construction typically uses half lap joinery with hidden fasteners, and decorative metal braces some of the time. The other difference is in the type of wood that is used. Post and Beams can be constructed using engineered wood… Timber frames are constructed using only solid timber.

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Fire-Resistant Upgrades Could Be a Game-Changer in Wildfires

By Dale Kasler and Phillip Reese
The Claims Journal
April 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PARADISE, California — …The Carrells’ home survived the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history with a couple of warped window frames, a partially charred down spout and a stubborn smoky smell inside. Most of their neighborhood was destroyed. …Why were some houses saved and others incinerated? As millions of Californians brace for another wildfire season , a McClatchy analysis of fire and property records shows the answer might be found in something as simple as the roofs over their heads and the year their house was built. A landmark 2008 building code designed for California’s fire-prone regions — requiring fire-resistant roofs, siding and other safeguards appears to have protected the Carrells’ home and dozens of others like it from the Camp Fire. …Advocates say fire-resistant building materials aren’t particularly expensive. 

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Forestry

Products from Canadian forests are environmentally responsible

Letter by Derek Nighbor, President, Forest Products Association of Canada
The Washington Post
April 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Derek Nighbor

In her March 30 letter, “Giving caribou a fighting chance,” Natural Resources Defense Council boreal corporate campaign manager Shelley Vinyard said Canada has “unfettered clear-cut logging operations in caribou habitat” and “logging companies are destroying caribou habitat, with few environmental safeguards.” In Canada, our forests are publicly managed under the world’s most rigorous forestry laws and regulations. Forest plans consider multiple values, including for more than 500 animals, birds and fish that live in our forests. We support at-risk species, including caribou, through research, habitat protection and community discussions. We have virtually no deforestation or illegal logging, and Canada’s professional foresters prioritize the protection of our watersheds and wetlands and work to keep communities safe from wildfires.  Canada harvests less than 0.5 percent of its forests annually and has retained more than 90 percent of its original forest cover. 

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Industry in and around Vanderhoof concerned about the new Caribou recovery agreement

By Aman Parhar
The Vanderhoof Omineca Express
April 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The province is set to hold a public information session in Vanderhoof on April 25. …Similar public engagement meetings have already been held in the Peace and Caribou regions, where the public feedback has indicated a real concern among rural residents of job loss and access restrictions as the two governments move to recover the caribou, a federally-listed species at risk. “Canfor is very concerned and we believe the draft caribou protection agreements will significantly impact our industry, our employees and the communities where we live and work,” said Michelle Ward, director of corporate communications for Canfor. “We are disappointed by the lack of meaningful consultation with industry and communities. We hope there will be more consultation on these agreements.” Mayor Gerry Thiessen of Vanderhoof said he believes the effect of this agreement will be significant.

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Downie Timber plant manager emphasizes need for science-based decisions, socio-economic analysis in caribou recovery plan

By Aaron Orlando
The Revelstoke Mountaineer
April 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Angus Woodman

Ahead of the April 15 caribou consultation session on the federal-provincial caribou consultation in Revelstoke, plant manager Angus Woodman spoke with the Mountaineer to share his views on the draft agreement that was revealed in March. …Woodman was moderate in tone during the conversation, saying it’s difficult to assess what the implications of the draft agreement will be for Downie Timber at this point due to the lack of details available. …“We just want to make sure all factors are considered, both the socio-economic impacts of certain treatments, and certain biological science-based plans,” he said. …Woodman said Downie has been involved in caribou management plans in their woodland operations for over 20 years, and that caribou recovery-related reductions in the mill’s fibre supply has had a cumulative effect.

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Professor earns timely honor for wildfire research

Sacramento State University
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Anna Klimaszewski

For thousands of years, Native Americans living in the Sierra Nevada routinely set small, controlled fires to manage the forest, increase visibility and herd wild game. Is it time to embrace the old strategy anew? …New research by Anna Klimaszewski-Patterson, a Sacramento State assistant professor of geography, suggests the answer is yes. “We should be taking Native American practices into account,” said Klimaszewski-Patterson, whose dissertation on the subject recently won the prestigious J. Warren Nystrom award from the American Association of Geographers (AAG). …Klimaszewski-Patterson uses paleoecology – the study of past ecosystems – as well as environmental archaeology and predictive landscape modeling in her current work, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. She won the Nystrom award after presenting her paper at the AAG’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

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Removing beetle-killed spruce at state campgrounds is a costly endeavor

By Heather Hintze
KTVA Alaska
April 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Getting rid of beetle-infested spruce trees at state campgrounds in the Mat-Su could cost more than $1 million. The State Parks superintendent for the Mat-Su area, Stuart Leidner, said the state is working to secure federal funding through the U.S. Forest Service for the project. Signs of spruce beetle kill are all over the South Rolly Lake campground in the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area. …Area forester Stephen Nickel with the Division of Forestry said the division started monitoring the problem around 2015. Now the spruce beetle population is overwhelming. “We’re approaching a million acres worth of spruce beetle activity,” Nickel said. The excessive amount of dead trees have impacted several campgrounds. Alaska State Parks closed the South Rolly Lake campground and the Byers Lake campground in Denali State Park. Superintendent Leidner said it’s not safe to have people in tents or RVs near the towering dead spruce.

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Clatskanie students compete during Forestry Skills Day

By Christine Menges
The Chief
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Climbing trees with spurs on, sawing through a log with a handsaw, and setting chains around logs to lift them are skills real foresters use—and also skills that Clatskanie Middle/High School students practiced during the annual Forestry Skills Day. Five visiting schools also competed… This was the sixth competition of the year, and there will be one more at the state convention on April 26 and 27, which will be held at Hopkins Memorial Forest, an affiliate of Oregon State University. Forestry Skills Day (FSD) is split into two categories: technical and physical. The technical skills that FSD tests are plant and tool identification, map reading, compass and pacing, written expression, job interview, prepared speech, job demonstration speech, first aid, log scaling and timber cruising. The physical skills that are tested include cable splicing, cross cut, choker setting, hose lay, spur climbing, arbor climbing, and log rolling.

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Critics of Bitterroot, Lolo forest plans question why they were left out of meetings

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
April 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A pair of stakeholder forums about the future of the Lolo and Bitterroot national forests raised complaints from groups wondering why they weren’t invited.National Forest Foundation facilitator Ben Irey described the meetings in Lolo and St. Regis as informal opportunities to get people talking about the coming forest plans that will guide each national forest’s staff in long-term decision-making. Critics questioned why the Forest Federation and Forest Service leaders didn’t publicize the meetings beyond direct invitations to some groups who’d participated in a policy review a year ago. …It was obviously an attempt to control who was there,” said George Nickas of Wilderness Watch, an environmental group frequently critical of Forest Service land management. “It was a way to set up a Forest Service/National Forest Foundation-directed collaborative to supplant the public process in developing forest plans.”

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Economic study illustrates 4FRI’s barriers and successes

By Scott Buffon
Arizona Daily Sun
April 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The largest project to restore the forest health in the history of the United States Forest Service has had difficulties reaching its goal of trees thinned per year, but its attempts have still made a sizable impact on the rural economies of northern Arizona, a new study has shown.The Conservation Economics Institute authors Evan Hjerpe and Anne Mottek-Lucas studied the financial impact that the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, 4FRI, has had on Coconino, Navajo, Apache, Gila and Greenlee counties. The authors found that almost 1,000 full and part time jobs were generated last year and that the project’s influence spread across 140 different industries creating close to $150 million in regional output. Additionally, $50 million was created as income for workers in the same year. Dick Fleishman, 4FRI operations coordinator, thinks the study is a great indicator of the reality and potential of 4FRI and their attempts to thin large swaths of forests in northern Arizona.

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Forestry camp held for students

The Leader-Herald
April 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Fonda-Fultonville High School students …recently participated in the first-ever “Into the Woods” forestry camp held at the Oswegatchie Educational Center in Croghan. The camp introduced high school students to career opportunities in the forestry and wood products industry and advanced the state’s efforts to support agricultural education programs. …The program aimed to help participants learn first-hand about the career opportunities available in the forest products industry. Students with an interest in forestry careers participated in the free three-day training, where they learned about the basics of forestry management and timber production. …The event was sponsored by the New York State Wood Products Development Council, in coordination with the New York State Future Farmers of America Leadership Training Foundation, the New York Forest Owners Association and several private partners.

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Timber production forests find place in Forest Act draft

By Jayashree Nandi
Hindustan Times
April 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The draft Indian Forest Act 2019, an amendment to the Indian Forest Act 1927 includes so-called production forests, mainly commercial production of timber, pulp, pulpwood and other non-forest produce, in its definition of forests. This means commercial plantations will also be counted as forests. The draft also states that production forests can be notified in reserve forests, even inside protected forests. State governments can notify production forests for a specified period; the area for plantation will be considered based on forest productivity and privileges of the local communities, says the draft. The state government also has the right to impose cess or taxes on the forest land used for such production. These provisions have got environmentalists worried.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

What You Need to Know About the New Canadian Climate Change Report

By Rachel Chen
Chatelain Magazine
April 11, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Usually, when scientists talk about the front lines of climate change, it calls to mind small island nations at risk of being flooded by rising sea levels. But when Environment and Climate Change Canada released Canada’s Changing Climate Report on April 1, it emphasized that Canada’s North has started melting.  …It’s the first report from an initiative that Natural Resources Canada began in 2017 to assess how climate change is impacting the country—and what we should do next.  Unfortunately, it’s projected that Canada overall will warm at almost twice the global average regardless of what we do to fight it. …There are two main reasons for Canada’s rapid warming. Warming has been strongest over land masses versus over large bodies water, and, well, Canada has a lot of land. Second, warming is consistent across the Arctic—and the Canadian Arctic is no exception. 

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Trees value in climate battle not fully exploited

Letter By John Evanochko, Murrayville
BC Local News
April 13, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

…While there has been reference to the many benefits that trees provide, one in particular has received cursory discussion, and that is the capacity of trees to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide… This capacity is not given much credit, most likely because trees, when they die… decay and release that carbon back into the atmosphere. But there is a way of interrupting that carbon cycle, by subjecting the woody material to a process called pyrolysis, heating the wood in a low oxygen environment. Up to 40 per cent of that carbon can be conserved in the form of charcoal, which, when encapsulated in the ground, breaks down extremely slowly, sequestering that carbon for centuries, even millennia. …Regional consideration needs to be given to develop woody material processing systems, creating charcoal/biochar, so as to serve a longer term purpose in mitigating the impact of climate change… because we all know that atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing.

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