Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 3, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Amid discouraging earnings, BC Gov’t proposals top industry concerns

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 3, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Amid discouraging earnings, West Fraser’s Ted Seraphim puts BC’s proposed forest policy changes at the top of his concern list. In related news: first quarter earnings are down for Interfor, Norbord and Rayonier, but up for Mercer. Meanwhile: a decision on Northern Pulp’s effluent plant may be deferred until after the federal election; and a new bill seeks to exempt Maine loggers from federal antitrust laws.

In Forestry news: BC delays timber auction to assess legacy trees; and Nature Ontario’s top ten concerns on the province’s Endangered Species Act amendments. In US Wildfire news: forest fires are accelerating snowmelt; western forests have a fire debt problem; not all fire is bad fire; and how to fireproof your home.

Finally, chick here to check out the Who’s Who of Hoo-Hoo in Vancouver. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

The Who’s Who of Hoo-Hoo in Vancouver

By Sandy McKellar
Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club
May 2, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club hosted their annual Members’ Night Reverse Draw and Dinner last night at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver. “This event is growing in popularity,” said organizer Jay Puder of Transpac Group about the sold-out event. This forest industry fraternity dates back to 1892, when it was founded in Gurdon, Arkansas! Special guests at the Vancouver event included Hoo-Hoo International, Snark of the Universe, Jack Miller and his wife Rita, who travelled from Boston to join fellow lumbermen (and women). Miller was presented with a Yellow Cedar talking stick by Vancouver Club President Stirling Angus. The highlight of the event was the Reverse Draw, this year Mike Wilson took home the pot! Learn more about the Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club and their upcoming International Convention (Whistler, BC) here.

 

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Business & Politics

John Horgan’s lack of consultation with industry concerns West Fraser boss

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
May 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ted Seraphim

VICTORIA — The John Horgan government’s recent and proposed changes in forest policy are generating uncertainty in the industry and discouraging investment, says the head of one of B.C.’s largest forest companies. West Fraser CEO Ted Seraphim laid out his case during a call with investment advisers from the major banks last week, following release of a discouraging earnings report for the first quarter of the year. After acknowledging declining markets in the U.S. and production curtailments on this side of the border, Seraphim put the NDP government at the top of the list of concerns. “What gives us the greatest concern are the myriad of policy changes that the B.C. government is planning to implement that could potentially impact the B.C. forestry industry,” he declared. Moreover those changes were being undertaken after no consultation with West Fraser or the other major players in the B.C. industry.

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Interfor Reports Q1’19 Results

Global Newswire
May 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Interfor Corporation recorded a net loss in Q1’19 of $15.3 million, or $0.23 per share, compared to $13.5 million, or $0.20 per share in Q4’18 and net earnings of $32.7 million, or $0.47 per share in Q1’18.  Adjusted net loss in Q1’19 was $12.7 million compared to $20.2 million in Q4’18 and Adjusted net earnings of $36.5 million in Q1’18. Adjusted EBITDA was $16.3 million on sales of $451.2 million in Q1’19 versus $8.9 million on sales of $468.5 million in Q4’18.  The Q1’19 Adjusted EBITDA included approximately $1.2 million of expenses that were refinements of prior estimates.

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Ottawa withholding Northern Pulp assessment order until after federal election

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
May 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The public will not be allowed to know whether a federal environmental assessment was recommended for Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent treatment plant before it is a moot point. According to the legislation governing it, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency had 45 days from Northern Pulp’s Jan. 31 registration of its controversial project with the province to determine whether a significantly longer federal assessment would be required. With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau having suggested it was a provincial responsibility… sought to find out whether staff at the federal agency responsible for conducting federal assessments shared that point of view. …That would, coincidently, push the release of the recommendation until after the federal election scheduled for Oct. 21. …McCarthy said that a history of backroom dealing between the provincial government and the mill has created a climate of distrust in Pictou County.

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Norbord Reports First Quarter 2019 Results; Declares Quarterly Dividend

Cision Newswire
May 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – Norbord Inc. today reported Adjusted EBITDA of $42 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $70 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $170 million in the first quarter of 2018. The decrease versus both comparative periods was primarily due to lower North American oriented strand board (OSB) prices. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $23 million compared to $50 million in the prior quarter and $156 million in the same quarter last year. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $21 million compared to $24 million in the prior quarter and $18 million in the same quarter last year.

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Boycotts don’t resolve political disputes

By Michael Cianchette
Bangor Daily News
May 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Troy Jackson

…This week saw Maine Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson present a bill which would exempt loggers and haulers from federal antitrust laws under rules presently applied to farmers. There is probably a lot more nuance to the proposal; I’m not sure it’s where we agree. Rather, one of Jackson’s points was well-made. He — and others — suggested to the Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee that the timberland owners were threatening to blackball any harvesters or truck drivers who spoke in favor of the proposal. While it is not clear whether any such threats were made, if they were, they are unacceptable. That was Jackson’s argument, and it’s a good one. …In this scenario, loggers are more akin to those picking apples. But harvesting timber takes substantial financial resources; skidders and trucks are far from free. That is why the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine testified neither for nor against Jackson’s proposal.

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Rayonier Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Business Wire
May 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WILDLIGHT, Fla.-Rayonier Inc. today reported first quarter net income attributable to Rayonier of $24.8 million, or $0.19 per share, on revenues of $191.5 million. This compares to net income attributable to Rayonier of $40.5 million, or $0.31 per share, on revenues of $203.2 million in the prior year quarter. First quarter operating income was $38.5 million versus $57.1 million in the prior year period. First quarter Adjusted EBITDA1 was $79.0 million versus $93.2 million in the prior year period. …“We are pleased with our strong start to 2019, particularly in our Southern Timber segment,” said David Nunes, President and CEO. 

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Mercer International Inc. Reports Strong 2019 First Quarter Results

By Mercer International Inc.
Global Newswire
May 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NEW YORK — Mercer International today reported first quarter 2019 Operating EBITDA increased to a record $123.8 million from $99.4 million in the first quarter of 2018 and $118.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. For the first quarter of 2019, net income increased to $51.6 million… from $25.6 million in the first quarter of 2018 and $45.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.  Mr. David M. Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Pulp pricing was generally softer quarter over quarter, however, there was some modest price improvements late in the current quarter resulting from better paper producer demand.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UMaine will get world’s largest 3D printer and use wood-based plastic to make boat molds

By Eesha Pendharkar
Bangor Daily News
May 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Come October, the largest 3D printer in the world will be installed at the University of Maine in Orono. One of its first uses will be to print a boat mold that boat builders can use. The substance behind the 3D printing operation will be a wood-based plastic developed at UMaine. The boat mold is one of the first objectives of a new, bio-based 3D printing program that’s a collaboration between the University of Maine and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The hope is that the initiative could make 3D printing more useful in manufacturing while reinvigorating Maine’s forest products industry by finding new uses for wood-based products. …“The material is nanocellulose, basically a tree ground up to its nano structure. These materials have properties similar to metals,” Dagher said.

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Forestry

B.C. delays Island timber auction near park

By Lindsay Kines
The Times-Colonist
May 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A backlash against plans to log old-growth forests near Port Renfrew has prompted the B.C. government to push back the timber sale by two weeks. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said the delay will allow the government to investigate concerns raised by environmental groups. The groups reacted angrily after B.C. Timber Sales advertised plans to auction 109 hectares of old-growth forest in seven cutblocks — two of which come within 50 metres of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. The Ancient Forest Alliance says logging will damage forests that buffer the park. …Donaldson said B.C. Timber Sales has extended the auction deadline to May 10 in response to the outcry. “It gives us more time to investigate… It’s part of best practices under B.C. Timber Sales to provide protection for those legacy trees.”

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Haida Nation and Communities Collaborate for Community Forest

Coast Funds
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Council of Haida Nation and communities on Haida Gwaii have worked collaboratively for many years to manage a community forest … and aim to have the forest’s tenure allocated in the coming year. In 2013, the Province allocated 80,000 cubic metres for a community forest that had to be harvested in partnership with BC Timber Sales (BCTS). CHN leadership and Haida Gwaii communities have not accepted the offer, stating that it does not maximize local control, jobs, sustainable management, access to timber for local sawmills, and revenues that the public wants to see invested in Haida Gwaii. CHN and Haida Gwaii community leadership intend to jointly meet with Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests to advise that the proposed 80,000 cubic metre tenure should be offered to the Council of the Haida Nation. The Nation’s forestry company, TAAN FOREST, is a prime example of how benefits from forestry can and should be returned to local communities. See the Council of the Haida Nation press release here for additional coverage.

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Spruce budworm spraying planned for Cariboo region

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Up to 17,000 hectares of Douglas fir forest in the Williams Lake and 100 Mile House timber supply areas will be aerially treated to reduce western spruce budworm populations. The biological insecticide Foray 48B will be applied by aircraft from approximately June 5 to July 5, 2019, depending on weather conditions. …proposed treatment sites are located in the 100 Mile House and Cariboo-Chilcotin natural resource districts. …The western spruce budworm is an insect native to B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. In its larval stage, it defoliates Douglas fir, true firs, spruce and larch trees. A budworm outbreak has the potential to seriously harm or kill trees over large areas. The Pest Management Plan and maps of the treatment areas can be viewed at the Cariboo Region Forest Health Program office in Williams Lake. The office is located at 640 Borland St., Suite 200.

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Endangered Species Act Review: Ten things you need to know PART II

Ontario Nature Blog
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In February 2019, we sounded the alarm about the provincial government’s plans to amend the Endangered Species Act, 2007. Well, their proposed amendments are in and it’s worse than we predicted. On April 18, 2019, Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks posted an overview of its proposed changes to Ontario’s ESA. These changes would roll back protections for Ontario’s most vulnerable plants and animals and give industry and developers the green light to destroy their habitats. In effect, if the changes go forward, the act would be repealed in everything but the name, rendering it pointless. Here are our top 10 concerns: Pay to slay… Rejecting science… Deserting “edge of range” species… Limiting protections… Sweeping authorizations for harmful activities… Dodging ESA requirements… Interfering with the listing of species at risk… Goodbye expert input… and Delays, delays, delays.

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Algoma University, Sault College, Ontario Forest Research Institute & Natural Resources Canada’s Great Lakes Forestry Centre Sign MOU

By Algoma University
Soo Today
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

On Thursday, May 2, Algoma University, Sault College, Natural Resources Canada’s Great Lakes Forestry Centre and the Ontario Forest Research Institute signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding for Research, Innovation and Education. “Algoma University is pleased to formalize this collaborative partnership with Sault College, the Canadian Forest Service and the Ontario Forest Research Institute that will continue the positive momentum generated this past year through the creation of our School of Life Sciences and the Environment and the Office of Research and Innovation,” notes Asima Vezina, president and vice-chancellor. …The MOU provides a variety of opportunities and benefits for all organizations involved. There will be increased opportunities in natural resources, environmental science and forest science research and education that may exceed what the organizations could do separately.

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Forestry does have impact on caribou

Letter by James Kimberley
The Chronicle Journal
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

ATIKOKAN Mayor Dennis Brown has publicly stated that in recent years it has been shown species like caribou thrive in areas where forests have been harvested. I am not sure where he got his information. To date, the delays in policy direction of woodland caribou versus wood harvesting is because the jury is still out on the effects of logging has on woodland caribou. Mayor Brown should share his “studies” and conclusions on woodland caribou habitat requirements with the public and how he came to these conclusions. There has not been a caribou seen seen in the Atikokan area for 100 years or more. Logging in the Atikokan area has changed the landscape and forest composition since logging first occurred at least 80 years or more ago.

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How to help fireproof your home before the next big wildfire

By Lisa Boone
The Los Angeles Times
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As Los Angeles homeowners prepare to trim grass, weeds and trees for the annual brush clearance inspections, the L.A. County Fire Department’s Forestry Division advises moving beyond standard procedures when it comes to reducing wildfire risk. “The state is trying to pull away from the term ‘brush clearance’ and change the mind-set,” says Assistant Chief J. Lopez. …So what should homeowners do? “Harden your homes,” Lopez says. …Wood fences can easily ignite. If you can’t install… nonflammable fencing, Lopez advises installing a protective barrier made of stone or metal between any wood fencing and your house. …Replace wood shake and shingle roofs. …shredded rubber mulch burns most easily, while composted wood chips burned the least. …Keep decks clear of debris, enclose the area underneath decks with fire-resistant materials.

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Western forests have a ‘fire debt’ problem

By Courtney Schultz, Cassandra Moseley and Heidi Huber-Stearns
The High Country News
May 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As spring settles in across the United States, Western states are already preparing for summer and wildfire season. And although it may seem counter-intuitive, some of the most urgent conversations are about getting more fire onto the landscape. …Humans have inextricably altered U.S. forests over the last century through fire exclusion, land use change, and now climate change. We cannot undo what has been done or suppress all fires – they are part of the landscape. The question now is where to invest in restoring forest conditions and promoting more resilient landscapes, while reducing risks to communities, ecosystems, wildlife, water and other precious resources. As part of a broader community of scientists and practitioners working on forest and fire management, we see prescribed fire as a valuable tool in that effort.

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Not all fire is bad fire – Creating healthy forests around Lake Tahoe

By Paula Peterson
The South Tahoe Now
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Vegetation fires are natural and were normal before policies were created to suppress them for fear of uncontrollable and destructive wildfires as seen in the late 1800s. …It took until the 1960s for policies governing wildfire suppression changes once people recognized fire as a natural process necessary for new growth. Today, policies advocating complete fire suppression have been exchanged for those that encourage wildland fire use, or the allowing of fire to act as a tool, such as the case with prescribed burns. “Not all fire is bad,” said Cal-Fire Division Chief Chris Anthony. …In the Lake Tahoe Basin, agencies have been conducting prescribed fires and tree-thinning operations to bring back healthy forests and catch up on repairing the actions of pre-1960s. 

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New Oregon wilderness bill seeks protection of Rogue and Mololla, but wildfire concerns raised

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden isn’t finished trying to create new wilderness and recreation areas across the state. After passing legislation earlier this year that applied the highest form of environmental protection to 10,000 acres in the Coast Range and 250 miles of rivers, Wyden returned Wednesday with a new conservation bill. The Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, would create new recreation areas around the Rogue and Molalla rivers, expand the Wild Rogue Wilderness and outlaw mining on 100,000 acres in southwest Oregon. Opponents of the bill said the legislation could make wildfires worse, especially in a southwest Oregon region hit hard by wildfire the past five years, while limiting timber supply. …“This bill recognizes these special areas in southwestern Oregon and on the Molalla need protections while maintaining proven forest management strategies that reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Wyden

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Bray Mill Fire in southern Oregon grows to 400 acres, marking third large wildfire of season

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bray Mill Fire burning in Southern Oregon north of Klamath Falls grew to 400 acres Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Fire teams are actively attacking the fire 4 miles northeast of the small town of Chiloquin, where warm conditions have already begun drying out the forest, officials said. The fire is currently around 25 percent contained and teams are hoping for full containment by Thursday night. “Things are looking good this morning,” fire information officer Angie Forbes said. “There is no forward momentum to the fire.”  The blaze marks the third large wildfire of the season. The Santiam Park Fire burned 189 acres near Lyons in March and while the Flynn Fire burned 162 acres last weekend near Adel. 

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Forest fires accelerating snowmelt across western US, study finds

By Portland University
Phys.org
May 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Forest fires are causing snow to melt earlier in the season, a trend occurring across the western U.S. that may affect water supplies and trigger even more fires, according to a new study by a team of researchers at Portland State University (PSU) , the Desert Research Institute (DRI), and the University of Nevada, Reno. It’s a cycle that will only be exacerbated as the frequency, duration, and severity of forest fires increase with a warmer and drier climate. The study, published May 2 in the journal Nature Communications, provides new insight into the magnitude and persistence of forest fire disturbance on critical snow-water resources. Researchers found that more than 11 percent of all forests in the West are currently experiencing earlier snowmelt and snow disappearance as a result of fires.

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Log trains are getting longer

By Pam Graham
The Wairarapa Times-Age
May 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WAIRARAPA, NEW ZEALAND — Trains carrying logs from Wairarapa to Wellington are going to be longer from this month, ultimately increasing capacity by a third and taking 6000 logging trucks a year off the road. KiwiRail’s group general manager of sales and commercial, Alan Piper, says about 15 wagons will be added to one of the two daily trains once more wagons become available. …Two hundred new wagons intended for logs are due to arrive by the end of the year and KiwiRail is also converting container wagons nearing the end of their useful life to carry logs. …Log exports from the region are booming and when Shane Jones visited last year the industry raised the issue of capacity constraints on log trains. He is Forestry Minister and Regional Economic Development Minister. 

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Health & Safety

11th hour note causes rush to hold Day of Mourning ceremony in Lake Cowichan

By Lexi Bainas
Cowichan Valley Citizen
May 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lori Iannidinardo

In spite of a rocky run-up, the annual Day of Mourning ceremony for fallen workers at Lake Cowichan’s Forestworkers Memorial Park went smoothly Sunday, April 28. There was some doubt Friday, April 26 that it was going to happen at all. A late message from the Nanaimo, Duncan & District Labour Council — the usual organizers of the event — said that they wouldn’t be holding it. No reason was given. A quick post on Facebook to let everyone in Lake Cowichan know led to an immediate response. Lakers would do it themselves, since it was an important recognition of the area’s deep roots in the forest industry. Before the dust had settled, CVRD chair Ian Morrison, and Lake Cowichan council were on board, WorkSafe BC was ready to take part, long-time loggers’ safety advocate Lori Iannidinardo said she’d be there…

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American Loggers Council Supports Bipartisan ‘Safe Routes’ Legislation for Log Trucks

The American Loggers Council
Cision Newswire
May 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

HEMPHILL, TEXAS — The American Loggers Council applauded the introduction of the bipartisan Safe Routes Act of 2019 (H.R. 2453) allowing log trucks to utilize federal interstates for short-haul trips. The legislation was announced today by U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI). …The ALC along with its partners have advocated “Safe Routes” legislation to allow the industry’s trucks to haul state legal weight tolerances on the Federal Interstate Highway System, which often provide safer routes to mills. Due to inconsistent truck weights in many regions throughout the country, trucks hauling logs to mills are often forced to use city, county and state roads, where more than 96 percent of log truck collisions occurred, according to a study. …Dructor says improving log truck safety will help in the recruitment of new operators to replace an aging workforce.

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Alta Mill boasts one year accident free

By Tannay Yeoumans
Bonners Ferry Herald
May 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

NAPLES — Alta Forest Products, located in Naples, has reached the achievement of one year completely accident free. This is the first time that the company has reached this goal at the Naples facility, and the second time for any Alta facility, company wide. At the mill, there are three main departments: day shift production, swing shift production, and the maintenance crew. Each department, and the facility as a whole, has achieved the accomplishment of one year accident free, which also represents the first time that all three departments have worked as a whole to remain accident free. “I can’t say how proud I am of our employees,” said Jeremy Dineen, safety and human resources manager at Alta, Naples.

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