Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 1, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News: Two Sides

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 1, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Two Sides is promoting a new book that claims to debunk common forestry and paper myths: Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News. In other Forestry news: a preview of the IMAX film on BC’s threatened ancient rainforests; an update on BC’s Abbott/Chapman report; and more pushback on Ontario’s tree planting program cut.

In Business news: Wood Resources on sawmill margins in 2018, construction trends in 2019, Canfor Corp’s losses and Canfor Pulp’s income in Q1; and Södra’s CLT expansion plans. In Safety news; Worksafe BC investigates logger death on northern Vancouver Island and Tolko adds sobriety checks following boom boat drivers death. 

Finally, the five second rule does count as does the type surface you drop it on. Who knew?

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Does the five second rule count when you drop food?

By Nadine Carroll
Yahoo News Australia
April 30, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, United States

Most of us have dropped a tasty treat on the floor and the inevitable question runs through through your head: “Does the five second rule count?” …Does it matter what type of surface the food landed on?  …The surfaces tested were carpet, wood and laminated tile. …In less than five seconds there was a bacterial transfer significant enough to ‘infect’ someone and that risk increased the longer the food stayed in contact with the contaminated surface. …Carpet was shown to be the most ‘hygienic’… most likely due to the “salmonella mixture” sinking deep into fibres. …And of course, no amount of research will ever be able to answer the rhetorical question: If you eat something that you dropped on the floor and nobody is around to see you drop it – did it really fall on the floor?

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Business & Politics

Sawmill Profit Margins Fell Substantially in North America During the Second Half of 2018 After Reaching Record Highs in the 2Q/18

By Wood Resources International LLC
Cision Newswire
April 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

SEATTLE, WA — Lumber prices in North America continued their decline from the 3Q/18 with another quarter of substantial reductions. Average lumber prices for southern yellow pine were down 12% quarter-over-quarter in the 3Q/18, which was then followed by a reduction of 17% in the 4Q/18. With practically no change in log or chip prices, gross margins, and the EBIDTAs, have plunged in the Southern states, after having reach a 13-year high in the 2Q/18, as reported in the latest issue of the WRQ. However, the region’s sawmill margins were still well above their ten-year average margin. With lumber prices continuing to decline faster than log prices in early 2019, profit margins have continued to slide in the 1Q/19. Sawmills in British Columbia have also seen the prices for lumber in the US market come down substantially during the second half of 2018. 

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Canfor Reports Results for First Quarter of 2019

By Canfor Corporation
Cision Newswire
May 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – For the first quarter of 2019, the Company reported an operating loss of $69.9 million, an improvement of $9.2 million from the operating loss of $79.1 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2018. The modest increase in financial performance reflected improved operating earnings for the pulp and paper segment and one month of Vida earnings following the closing of this acquisition on February 28. Reported results for the first quarter of 2019 included a net duty expense of $36.3 million, at a combined countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty rate of 26.24%, compared to $39.9 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2018 at a cumulative combined duty deposit rate of 16.14% (for the 18-month administrative review period ended December 31, 2018). Reported results in the first quarter of 2019 also included a $38.6 million lumber and log inventory write-down, in addition to the $36.7 million write-down reported in the fourth quarter of 2018. 

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Canfor Pulp Products Inc. Announces First Quarter 2019 Results and Quarterly Dividend

By Canfor Pulp Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
May 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Company reported operating income of $18.1 million for the first quarter of 2019, up $2.5 million from the fourth quarter of 2018, as improved production and increased shipments more than offset the impact of lower US-dollar pulp prices to China. Notwithstanding previously announced kiln-related operational disruptions at two of the Company’s Northern Bleach Softwood Kraft (“NBSK”) pulp mills in January and challenges associated with severe winter weather, pulp production was up 22% from the previous quarter, largely as a result of significant downtime taken at the Company’s Northwood pulp mill in the comparative period to perform repairs to one of its two recovery boilers. The weaker pulp market conditions experienced towards the end of 2018 extended into early 2019, and, as a result, global softwood pulp producer inventory levels remained well above the balanced range through the first quarter. 

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3 Construction Industry Trends Continuing in 2019

By Chris King
Modern Contractor Solutions
May 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The construction industry continued to grow throughout 2018, even as labor shortages plagued different sectors. …2019 should continue to be a time of growth and expansion for the construction industry, even as some factors remain unpredictable. …In recent years… drone usage within the construction industry is becoming more widespread in order to gain photographs and video of the construction site’s landscape. …The number of modular and prefabricated construction projects should continue to increase throughout 2019. …The cost of building materials increased steadily throughout much of 2018. This expensive trend is not expected to go anywhere in 2019. The most increased costs were for materials such as iron, steel, and softwood lumber.

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Södra to expand production of cross-laminated timber

The Construction Index
May 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SWEDEN — Södra has announced plans for create an additional cross-laminated timber facility in Värö that will bring its production capacity to enough for about 5,000 apartments a year. The new facility will be established at the combined plant in Värö, where Södra’s first CLT facility has already been co-located with the company’s pulp mills and sawmills. “Society’s driving forces for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are strong, and the interest in sustainable construction is growing in the market,” said president and CEO Lars Idermark. “A higher rate of timber construction is playing a key role in the growing bioeconomy.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Want to develop in timber? Changes to the National Construction Code makes it easier

By David Rowlinson, Planet Ark
The Urban Developer, Australia
May 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — The adoption by Australian states and territories of the National Construction Code 2019 will see new changes that allow buildings of all classes to be constructed with timber building systems. The changes for buildings up to 25 metres — typically 8-storeys — marks an exciting opportunity for developers looking at exploring the use of different materials in their projects. In 2016, the NCC moved into a three-year amendment cycle, which signals significant change for residential building practice. …Timber building systems — such as traditional lightweight timber framing, cross laminated timber (CLT), laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glue laminated timber (glulam) – will be approved for use in a range of new buildings, including retail, aged care accommodation, schools, and hospitals.

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Forestry

Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News

By The Two Sides Team
Two Sides
April 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

John Mullinder started his journalistic career in New Zealand before emigrating to Canada in the mid-1980s. Over the past 27 years, Mr. Mullinder has led a national environmental council for the country’s paper packaging industry. Frustrated by encounters with people who knew so little about forestry and paper production but had plenty of opinions about killing and saving trees, John was compelled to write a book called, Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News. “Many people believe that cutting down trees is deforestation and the emotional image they associate with this is an ugly clear cut,” states Mr. Mullinder.  “I debunk these myths with hard facts, well-documented evidence, references and real images of deforestation.” Deforestation is often incorrectly defined and associated with the forestry products industry.

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Vancouver Island’s ancient rainforests are under threat. This artist is making them into magic

By Lise Hosein
CBC News
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In her new massive IMAX film, Kelly Richardson pays homage to ancient trees — and imagines a better future. Recently, it was announced that 109 hectares of old-growth rainforest will be auctioned off in the same area in which video installation artist Kelly Richardson filmed her latest work, Embers and the Giants. It’s threatening news to Richardson, who is already so aware that gigantic trees like the ones in these woods are at risk of being destroyed. Richardson, whose large-scale cinematic videos imagine sci-fi landscapes and fantastical worlds, sees science fiction as a vehicle for change — and that’s why she incorporates it into her works. She explains: “What science fiction does brilliantly is it allows us to experience what life might be like. And so I use it to suggest potential futures, should we continue down our current trajectory of planetary pillaging and consumption.”

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Cache Creek man ordered to pay $500K for wildfire that sparked on his property

By Ashley Wadhwani
BC Local News
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Cache Creek man has been ordered to pay $500,000 to cover some of the costs of fighting a large wildfire sparked during a controlled burn on his property. The B.C.’s Forest Appeals Commission determined that a 2012 fire near Pavilion Lake, west of Kamloops, was caused when Brian Cecil Parke failed to contain a controlled fire on his property. Parke was originally ordered to pay nearly $922,000 in 2017, which included $300,000 in hourly and overtime wages of fire crews, as well as $235,000 in helicopter fuel and flight costs. That amount was reduced earlier this month after Parke appealed. According to the original ruling, Parke was burning a category 3 open fire, which is used to burn material in piles larger than two metres high and three metres wide. All open burns of this size must first be registered through the BC Wildfire Service.

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Abbott/Chapman report: progress update

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has released its updated action plan in response to the government-commissioned, independent Abbott/Chapman report on the unprecedented 2017 wildfire and flood seasons in British Columbia. The initial action plan was released October 2018, with a commitment to provide updates over six-month intervals until October 2020. The update details action taken on the 108 recommendations from Chief Maureen Chapman and George Abbott’s report, Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia. The B.C. government’s emergency management efforts also consider other recent reports, such as the auditor general’s report, Managing Climate Change Risks, and the federal House of Commons June 2018 report, From the Ashes: Reimagining Fire Safety and Emergency Management in Indigenous Communities.

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Forestry companies present annual plans

By Taryn Brandell
The Whitecourt Star
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WHITECOURT — The annual forestry open house had a number of regional forestry companies present their various plans for this timber year to Whitecourt residents. …The companies included ANC Timber, Blue Ridge Lumber, Millar Western and Weyerhaeuser. The groups attended a number of other open houses in nearby communities. Roxanne Smestad from Blue Ridge Lumber said that these open houses provide forestry companies with an opportunity to share their annual plans with the public and receive feedback. …One of the main areas Blue Ridge Lumber will be focusing on is firesmarting the Swan Hills and Fox Creek area. …In previous years, former Whitecourt-Ste. Anne MLA and agriculture and forestry minister Oneil Carlier attended.

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Forests Ontario explains how the 50 Million Tree Program helped the economy and environment

By Fatima Syed
National Observer
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Two days after the Doug Ford government eliminated the largest tree-planting program in the country, Ontario’s Environment Minister Rod Phillips was in the Town of Ajax — the eastern Ontario riding he represents — to take part in the annual community tree planting event. Organized by Forests Ontario (a non-profit funded by the province), the event aimed to plant 2,000 trees in Ajax’s Paulynn Park. Rob Keen, the CEO of Forests Ontario, who leads the 50 Million Tree Program the Doug Ford government eliminated, was present at the event. Keen said he has a “constructive” discussion with Phillips about the program. Phillips was “open-minded” and wanted to talk more, Keen said. But official government messaging has been misleading on the topic, Keen said. …spokespeople for both Premier Doug Ford and Natural Resources and Forestry Minister John Yakabuski have said the program was not meeting its target, and thus proving to be ineffective.

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Lake Superior caribou survival hanging in the balance, biologist says

CBC News
May 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wolves ate 900 Lake Superior caribou in 4 years. A retired biologist says the survival of Lake Superior caribou is hanging in the balance due to the impact wolves have had on the herd. Gord Eason, who had a long career with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, in Wawa, Ont., said wolves got to Michipicoten Island via an ice shelf five years ago. So began the rapid decline of the herd. “During the cold winter of 2014, three or four wolves got across to the island on the ice and they started to reproduce and built their numbers up to close to 20,” said Eason.”And there were around 900 caribou on Michipicoten Island according to our projections, and (the wolves) did them in in a matter of about four years. By last winter they were gone.”

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50 Millions Trees Program Should Not Be Cut – NDP MPP

Net News Ledger
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Judith Monteith-Farrell

QUEEN’S PARK – The 50 million trees program, a program that creates jobs and fights climate change, should not be scrapped by the Ford government, said NDP MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell during question period Tuesday. “This government is cutting a program that aimed to plant 50 million trees across the province.  This program would have created good jobs and helped grow our forests,” said Monteith-Farrell, the NDP’s Forestry critic. “This cut comes at a time when we are experiencing more extreme weather events and we need to take action to fight climate change.” Monteith-Farrell reminded the Ford government that when they were in opposition they claimed to support planting three times as many trees as the 50 million trees program, but now in government, they are cutting the program altogether.

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Annapolis County residents want ‘Old Growth’ Corbett Lake Crown forest left alone

By Lawrence Powell
The Truro Daily
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

BRIDGETOWN, N.S. — Annapolis County residents concerned about the state of Nova Scotia’s forests want a parcel of Crown forest slated for harvest at Corbett Lake left alone. Bev Wigney and noted biologist Bob Bancroft walked the peninsula between Dalhousie and Corbett lakes April 28, sizing up a partially harvested lot and a second parcel that could see partial harvest soon. “In a perfect world, it would have been better off to just leave that whole peninsula between the two lakes as a natural area,” said Wigney. “When you look at what has been going on all around that part of the county, there has been widespread clear-cutting — almost all of the forests are already gone. This was one of the few remaining tracts that had not been razed.” 

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Nature Conservancy of Canada receives $1 million gift from J. D. Irving, Ltd.

The Journal Pioneer
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In celebration of National Wildlife Week earlier this month, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s national Landmark Campaign has received a donation of $1 million from J.D. Irving. The gift will allow the NCC to conserve more habitat for wildlife, complete conservation science and research projects and fund student internships and volunteer programs. …As a long-time supporter, J.D. Irving, Ltd. has entrusted thousands of acres to NCC for conservation, including about 9,000 acres of ecologically-significant land in southwest Nova Scotia and a property at the Musquash Estuary, near Saint John, N.B. …This $1 million donation will support NCC’s goals to secure at least 500 new land conservation projects and 10 large-scale signature land conservation projects across Canada.

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Chronicles of the Rings: What Trees Tell Us

By Jim Robbins
The New York Times
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, International

TUCSON — From the early 1700s until the 1960s, the fast moving river of wind known as the North Atlantic Jet Stream, which drives weather extremes over Europe, was pretty steady on its course. Then it became less predictable. But instrument data alone can’t tell the jet stream’s movements for comparison over the centuries, given that scientists began keeping records of weather events via instruments only in the late 19th century. The rings of trees, however, offer a far more complete historical picture of climate variations. …In recent years, the techniques for extracting information from tree rings has been honed and expanded. …The field “has exploded,” Edward Cook, director of the tree ring lab at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said. The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research here at the University of Arizona was founded in the 1930s.

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Helping build fire-resilient communities

By Mike McInally
The Albany Democrat-Herald
May 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If it seems like we write this editorial earlier and earlier every year — well, that’s because we do. But it also seems as if the mid-valley enters wildfire season earlier and earlier every year — and that each fire season lasts longer, with the fires burning hotter and in more unpredictable ways. …In fact, the Oregon Department of Forestry already is reporting 31 fires thus far this year on lands protected by the state, and that number certainly will start to explode in the coming months. …But there are things that homeowners and communities in the widland-urban interface can do to reduce wildfire risks, and Wildfire Preparedness Day offers an opportunity to chip in with neighbors on projects designed to prevent wildfires or to limit their severity.

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Idaho governor says federal-state program may tame wildfires

By Keith Ridler
The Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Brad Little

BOISE, IHAHO — Local, state and federal officials along with conservation groups and logging interests have to find common ground to reduce increasingly destructive wildfires in the U.S. West, Gov. Brad Little said Tuesday. He told several hundred participants at an Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership meeting that they have the chance to make a new federal-state program called the “shared stewardship” agreement a success. “We have got to get this done,” the Republican said. …Idaho signed the agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture late last year that allows state participation in federal timber sales and restoration work like prescribed burns and tree planting on private, state and federal lands.

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These charts show just how much forest we’re losing every year

By Mikaela Weisse
World Economic Forum
April 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The tropics lost 12 million hectares of tree cover in 2018, the fourth-highest annual loss since record-keeping began in 2001. Of greatest concern is the disappearance of 3.6 million hectares of primary rainforest, an area the size of Belgium. The figures come from updated data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch. Old growth, or “primary” tropical rainforests, are a crucially important forest ecosystem, containing trees that can be hundreds or even thousands of years old. …Once these forests are cut down, they may never return to their original state. For the first time, new data on the location of primary forests can help distinguish loss of these important forests from other tree cover loss. …Hundreds of countries and companies have made commitments to reduce or eliminate deforestation by 2020. As we draw closer to this deadline, some countries are making real progress…, but many others are trending in the wrong direction.

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Health & Safety

Sobriety checks implemented at Tolko following boom boat driver’s death

By Kathy Michaels
InfoTel News Ltd
May 1, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

KELOWNA – It’s been more than two years since the boom boat Ivor Lundin was captaining off the shores of Okanagan Lake sank, prompting Tolko Industries to adopt new protocols addressing employee sobriety and invest in better safety equipment. Changes to the logging company’s safety regime were highlighted this week in a WorkSafeB.C. report, detailing the investigation into the Jan. 30, 2017 incident. …Tolko did not have “a firm policy regarding the assessment of the sobriety of workers at the start of the shift.” …”Since this incident, they’ve implemented a system for all workers to check in with a supervisor for assessment at the start of the shift and a company-wide training program to assist supervisors in the detection of substance abuse in the work place.”

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Man dies in workplace incident at logging site on northern Vancouver Island

By Katie DeRosa
Victoria Times Colonist
April 29, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A man in his 40s is dead after a workplace incident on a forestry operation on northern Vancouver Island. B.C. Coroners Service and WorkSafe B.C. were notified Sunday of the death, which happened at a logging site near Holberg. The Forestry Ministry said the logger worked for Lemare Lake Logging, a company based in Port McNeill. According to the company’s website, it has a team of 400 forestry workers and has been operating on northern Vancouver Island and B.C.’s central coast for more than 30 years. Richmond Plywood Ltd. holds the forest licence. …Neither the B.C. Coroners Service nor WorkSafe B.C. has released the cause of death, but both agencies are investigating. …WorkSafe’s investigation will try to determine the cause of the incident and contributing factors to prevent similar incidents in the future, Fitzsimmons said. Last year, five logging workers were killed in workplace accidents.

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New review of worker safety underway, 7 years after deadly B.C. mill explosions

Canadian Press in the CBC News
April 30, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing four workers who died in two British Columbia sawmill explosions in 2012 says it hopes a new review of worker safety ordered by the provincial government will lead to overdue justice for survivors and families of the victims. Steve Hunt, district director for the United Steelworkers union, said previous inquiries into the explosions at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake and Lakeland Mills in Prince George raised more questions than answers, and he hopes the new review prevents similar disasters from happening in the future.  …But Hunt said he has been advocating for a further review and alleges WorkSafeBC, also known as the Workers’ Compensation Board, mishandled its part of the investigation in a way that prevented criminal charges from being laid in either case. …He accused WorkSafeBC of acting in the interests of industry instead of the workers it is supposed to represent

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