Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 13, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Tolko to close Quesnel mill, drop shift at Kelowna

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 13, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tolko announces it will permanently close its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel, BC and drop a shift in Kelowna; the Forest Minister is saddened by the loss of jobs. In other Business news: Thessalon Lumber lays off 20 in Ontario; EACOM Timbers reaches agreement with Unifor; and New Zealand and China sign forestry cooperation arrangement.

Elsewhere: wildfire prompts evacuation order, state of emergency in central BC; ENGOs threaten legal action if BC spotted owls’ habitat not protected; a tale of two wildfire bills in Oregon, and Oregon becomes 1st state to restrict herbicide linked to tree deaths;

Finally, it’s time to celebrate the elaborate courtship of Maine’s American woodcock.

Kelly McCloskey, a  Tree Frog in Paris

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Froggy Foibles

It’s time to celebrate the elaborate courtship of American woodcock

By John Holyoke
The Bangor Daily News
May 10, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Whenever I need proof that there is a divine sense of humor in the universe, I consider the American woodcock. From all appearances, it is a bird that has been assembled from the spare parts of other birds. It’s got the body of a pigeon, the legs of a chicken, the bill of a snipe, and the eyes of a … of a … Actually, nothing else has eyes like that. The woodcock is the color of leaf litter. It walks as if it is doing the Hokey Pokey. It’s a shorebird that wouldn’t be caught dead at the shore. It’s nicknamed the timberdoodle. …Sadly, woodcock populations are declining nationwide at about 1 percent per year. Happily, we’re doing something about it. Maine has a healthy population. We have a lot of the forest edge habitat necessary for woodcock.

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Business & Politics

Log costs, wildfires cited in decision to close sawmill in Quesnel, B.C.

The Canadian Press in the Whistler Question
May 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

QUESNEL, B.C. — The mayor of Quesnel says the closure of a sawmill in his community is a necessary if difficult step toward keeping British Columbia’s forestry industry alive. Bob Simpson said lumber processing capacity in the province’s Interior has outstripped a supply ravaged by pine beetles, wildfires and overharvesting. “Mills have to close, the total capacity in B.C. has to come down to match the long-term sustainable fibre supply and it needs to come down fairly quickly and fairly dramatically,” he said. Tolko Industries Ltd. said it’s permanently closing its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel in August and reducing the shifts by half at its Kelowna mill in July. …Coralee Oakes, the Liberal MLA for Cariboo North, said BC faces the highest production costs in North America. She called on the government to pause a bill amending the Forestry Act.

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Minister’s statement on Tolko’s closure of Quest Wood mill

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
BC Government
May 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has issued the following statement: “I am saddened by today’s news that Tolko will permanently close its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel and eliminate a shift at its Kelowna sawmill. “The loss of jobs in resource communities is difficult, and my thoughts are with the workers. “I understand that Tolko will provide support to employees at both mills throughout the transition and that representatives from Tolko’s Employee and Family Assistance Program will work to assist impacted employees. Staff from the regional economic development branch of my ministry and staff from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will work with Tolko and the community to co-ordinate the delivery of provincial support programs. We will also work with the federal government to ensure supports are made available to affected workers. 

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Tolko announces sawmill closure in Quesnel, shift reduction at Kelowna

By Doyle Potenteau
Global News
May 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A sawmill in Quesnel will be permanently closed, while another sawmill in Kelowna will undergo a shift reduction, Tolko Industries Ltd., announced on Friday.  Citing high wood costs and weak markets, the company said the closure process for Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel will begin on Friday, Aug. 2. The company said approximately 150 employees in Quesnel will be affected.  In Kelowna, the sawmill will undergo a reduction in shifts from two to one. Approximately 90 employees will be affected by the reduction, which will start on July 12.  “This is a difficult but necessary decision,” Tolko president and CEO Brad Thorlakson said in a press release. “Unfortunately, we do not have enough economic fibre to keep all of our British Columbia mills running efficiently and productively. We knew that [allowable annual cut for timber] reductions were coming in British Columbia due to the devastation caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic.

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National honour for local EACOM worker

The Timmins Press
May 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

EACOM’s Jennifer Tallman, a Cochrane resident, has been received a national award recognizing achievements of women in forestry. “The award comes as both a surprise and honour,” said Tallman. …Tallman was presented with the Women in Forestry Award of Excellence which honours a female leader who is making contributions to strengthen the forestry sector and advance workplace diversity and inclusion. The presentation was made by the Forest Products Association of Canada. …FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor said…“It’s our pleasure to recognize the work that Jennifer Tallman is doing at EACOM.  She is highly respected by her Registered Professional Forester colleagues and for years has been a go-to resource on all things forestry in Northern Ontario.  

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EACOM Timbers reaches its first tentative agreement with Unifor

By Unifor
The Soo Today
May 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Unifor Local 1359 and EACOM Timbers Corporation I-Joist Manufacturer Sault Ste. Marie have reached a tentative agreement early this morning. This will be EACOM’s first collective agreement with Unifor pending the ratification meeting to be held Monday. “The Bargaining Committee was committed to bring to their members a collective agreement they could support knowing it met the needs of the members in their workplace.” said Claire Grisdale President of Unifor Local 1359.  Thank you to the bargaining committee who work diligently to reach the memorandum of agreement, and they will be seeking the support of their members to avert a strike. Votes will be held Monday May 13th and the results will be announced later that evening. 

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Thessalon lumber company laying off 20 workers

By James Hopkins
Northern Ontario Business
May 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Twenty employees have been permanently laid off by Thessalon-based Midway Lumber Ltd. Thessalon is located about an hour’s drive east of Sault Ste. Marie. USW Local 9260 president Scott Dunlop – who was one of the Midway Lumber employees laid off last week – told SooToday that he was hopeful an interim deal would get done that would see the moratorium on cutting in Kirkwood Forest lifted. The moratorium on cutting in the Crown forest was originally put in place as a result of an ongoing land claim that was filed by Thessalon First Nation in the mid-to late-’90s. Dunlop said that he had assurances from Premier Doug Ford, Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski and Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford that an interim deal lifting the moratorium would be reached.

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NZ and China sign forestry cooperation arrangement

The New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
May 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

An arrangement signed by New Zealand and China today paves the way for future forestry cooperation and boosting bilateral trade, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. The arrangement was signed today in Wellington by Shane Jones and Mr Zhang Jianlong, the Administrator of China’s National Forestry and Grasslands Administration. “The updated arrangement supports and strengthens links between government, industry and research institutes in New Zealand and China. It provides a framework to address matters such as sustainability, wood processing and utilisation, and trade and investment,” Shane Jones said. “The forestry sector is an important and growing part of our bilateral trade with China, with export revenue topping $3.2 billion in the year ending 2018. “Much of this growth has come from increased Chinese demand for New Zealand forestry products.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Creating new opportunities for Northern Ontario’s forestry and wood-related industries

By Fednor
Government of Canada
May 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

North Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor. Manufacturers, producers and communities across Northern Ontario will benefit from jobs, growth and a strong economy thanks to a Government of Canada investment of $1,231,800. This FedNor funding will enable the Canadian Wood Council to support more than 200 construction projects, helping to create middle-class jobs and generating up to $126 million in wood sales. …As part of today’s announcement, $1.2 million will support the organization’s highly successful Ontario Wood WORKS!program for a three-year period. Designed to position wood as an ideal choice and best value material for all types of construction, Ontario Wood WORKS! helps to deliver a range of technical support, as well as educational and marketing communication services across Northern Ontario. In addition, the initiative also helps to promote the use of wood in mid-rise buildings, and identify system solutions for the construction of bridges and low-rise commercial buildings. 

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Three future North Bay condos part of all-wood movement

By PJ Wilson
North Bay Nugget
May 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Anthony Rota wants to see wooden buildings rising as tall as the trees that provide their raw material. At a news conference Friday, the Nipissing-Timiskaming MP said efforts are underway to increase the limit on how tall wooden structures can be in the province, doubling the limit to 12 storeys from the current six. “It’s a new endeavour,” Rota said after announcing a FedNor investment of $1.23 million to the Canadian Wood Council to support more than 200 construction projects. “It will have a direct impact” on Northern Ontario employment, Rota said at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. “Northern Ontario is a major producer of wood . . . and this will have a major impact on the economy of Northern Ontario.” The investment, he said, will help create middle-class jobs, particularly in the North, and to generate up to $126 million in wood sales.

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Tzannes-designed timber engineered commercial build wins top property honour

Architecture and Design
May 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australia’s first engineered timber office, International House Sydney, has picked up the state’s top property award. Lendlease was presented with the Property Council of Australia’s Rider Levett Bucknall NSW Development of the Year award at a cocktail reception this evening. “International House demonstrates that mass timber construction is a viable alternative to conventional construction and stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainable design excellence,” says the Property Council’s NSW executive director Jane Fitzgerald. Designed by Tzannes Architects and completed in April 2017, International House Sydney stands six storeys high, constructed entirely from cross-laminated timber and glue-laminated timber, including floors, columns, walls, roof, lift shafts and stairs.

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Forestry

Our Community: Across Canada — on a wooden bike

By Pedro Arrais
The Times-Colonist
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Zac Wagman will cycle across Canada on a wooden bike for more than four months to bring awareness to the official launch of Project Learning Tree Canada’s Green Ride for Green Jobs campaign. Wagman, the manager of the program, will cycle more than 8,750 kilometres from Victoria to St. John’s, N.L., on a Montreal-made Picolo Vélo wooden bicycle. He will visit up to 50 employers in 30 different communities in nine provinces. Along the way, Wagman will profile more than 25 different youth working in green jobs and share their experiences on social media to highlight the types of careers that exist in the forest, conservation and parks sectors. Wagman begins his journey at 1 p.m. Monday from the Pacific Forestry Centre, 506 Burnside Rd. West. Project Learning Tree Canada fosters community interest in the benefits of environmental education and responsible management of Canada’s natural resources. For more information, go to pltcanada.org. [END]

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Wildfire prompts evacuation order, state of emergency in central B.C.

By Amy Smart and Adam Burns
The Canadian Press in the National Post
May 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

FRASER LAKE, B.C. — Fraser Lake Mayor Sarrah Storey was driving back from a soccer tournament out of town when she saw the skyline transformed by a wildfire creeping up a mountain on the edge of her central British Columbia community. The blaze grew from four hectares Saturday morning to 260 hectares that night, prompting a local state of emergency and several evacuations for the area about 140 kilometres west of Prince George. …The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako issued a state of emergency Saturday night and ordered people to leave an area near the community of Lejac, about five kilometres east of Fraser Lake. …As of Sunday afternoon, the BC Wildfire Service said the fire was considered 70 per cent “guarded” but zero per cent contained.

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Environmentalists threaten legal action if B.C. spotted owls’ habitat not protected

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
May 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conservationists are demanding Ottawa do more to protect the spotted owl, and are threatening legal action against the federal government if it doesn’t take more steps to save one of the most endangered animals in Canada. Environmental advocate group Ecojustice says that there are an estimated six spotted owls left in the wild in Canada — all in B.C. — and the animals are at risk of being completely wiped out. Ecojustice and the Wilderness Committee want the federal government to come to the rescue of the birds by committing to a tougher plan for the spotted owl in southwestern B.C. The group recently sent a letter to Catherine McKenna, minister of the Environment and Climate Change, demanding she fulfill obligations to protect and restore species under the federal Species at Risk Act. “Time is running out,” said Ecojustice lawyer Kegan Pepper-Smith in a release.

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Cutting down trees in old hardwood forest ‘scandalous’

By Alex Cooke, Phlis McGregor
CBC News
May 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Bancroft

A well-known wildlife biologist is calling on the provincial government to stop an “outrageous” move to continue harvesting wood from an old forest in Annapolis County. WestFor Management Inc., a sawmill consortium, has the right to harvest wood from a parcel of Crown land — a mixed-age, multi-species old forest. Some of its trees are estimated to be up to 200 years old. While WestFor said its harvest will promote the growth of hardwood trees, Bob Bancroft isn’t convinced, saying the diversity of the forest allows a range of different animals to thrive. “This is public land, and it’s outrageous that people are gonna be able to tear this apart, ‘scientifically,’ they say,” said Bancroft, who’s been studying forests since the 1960s. “It’s actually forest mining is what they’re doing: to take this and tear it apart when there’s so little of it left in the province. It’s scandalous.”

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Independent forestry watchdog finds small-scale salvage met requirements in Cariboo-Chiloctin

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
May 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Small-scale salvage programs and licence holders in the Cariboo Chilcotin region met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act in a recent audit by the Forest Practices Board. The audit looked at timber harvesting, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning between September 2017 and 2018. “Our audit found that salvagers did a good job dealing with trees infested with Douglas-fir bark beetle in the district,” said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board. “Auditors saw a couple of practices that need improvement, but nothing significant.” One salvage licensee harvested some trees just outside the boundary of the licence and several licensees did not document fire hazard assessments following logging. However, as a result of the audit process, one of the licensees has already improved boundary marking procedures to prevent a similar error in the future.

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More can be done to protect watersheds, Mayor says

By Carolyn Grant
Kimberley Bulletin
May 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Earlier this year, Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick had a discussion with Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson regarding watersheds. McCormick was seeking support from the Ministry for a baseline study to measure effects of activity within the watershed, which McCormick believes should be managed as an ecosystem. Included in the agenda of this week’s Committee of the Whole meeting of Council was a report from McCormick putting forward a case for that. In his report, McCormick notes that the latest census figures show Kimberley is one of the fastest growing communities in B.C. The fact that the city does not have, and cannot afford, a filtration plant for water, added to the growing population and growing demands for recreation and logging in the watershed dictate prudent watershed management, he says in his report.

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Tale of two wildfire bills

By Kaylee Tornay
The Mail Tribune
May 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jeff Merkley, Greg Walden

Oregon’s elected officials in Congress aren’t waiting for fire season to put heat on their colleagues to address recurring smoky summers in the West. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, are both pushing forest management legislation that they say will help mitigate wildfires and the smoke that repeatedly hits Southern Oregon especially hard. Both bills seek to bolster thinning and hazardous fuels reduction, but their focuses differ. While Merkley’s bill addresses federal collaborative programs and would funnel more money to counties based on forest thinning contract receipts, Walden’s bill takes aim at environmental review processes that he says slow down thinning work and looks to expand salvage logging.

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Group disappointed after bill eliminates logging conservation licenses

By Larisa Casillas
NBC Montana
May 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Some 400 acres of trees on the Gallatin Front near Bozeman were the target of a logging project, but they will be able to stand tall for the next 25 years. It was made possible through a conservation license. A group of neighboring citizens stopped the Limestone West logging project, outbidding the highest bidder. “I would agree that management of forests can create forest health, but I also believe that there are special places that should be protected and kept roadless, and this Limestone West area is the last roadless area in the Gallatin Front,” said Ron Matelich, who sits on the board of Save Our Gallatin Front — the Bozeman group that paid for the license. But they’ll be the last group to do so. That’s because a Montana House bill aimed at stopping conservation licenses like it made its way to the governor’s desk.

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Oregon Becomes 1st State To Sharply Restrict Herbicide Linked To Tree Deaths

By Emily Cureton
Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon is the first state in the nation to sharply restrict an herbicide known to kill trees, despite federal regulations still allowing the substance as roadside weed control. The product, known as Perspective, was effectively banned this week from wooded areas in Oregon. “This certainly could set a precedent; other states would have to look at their authority to regulate the use beyond the federal requirements,” said Dale Mitchell of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s pesticide program. States are required to enforce federal pesticide regulations, but making the rules set by the Environmental Protection Agency any stricter is rare. If other places decide to adopt Oregon’s customized approach, they may soon run into federal roadblocks. …The die-off was high profile, with predominately old growth trees lost along a scenic road, and it triggered the state’s rule-making. 

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