Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 14, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Lumber prices may foretell next downturn

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 14, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Looking at lumber prices, time is running out to prepare for the next downturn, says Seeking Alpha. In other Business news: Kruger begins construction of its tissue plant in Sherbrooke, Quebec; Southern Pine, OSB and softwood plywood to be included in new China tariff; and wood buildings could be the solution to BC’s housing crisis.
 
In Forestry/Climate news: BC Green MLAs Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen call for logging moratorium, say Vancouver Island’s old growth is under attack; logging bill would allow Maine loggers to bargain for fair compensation; and the level of carbon dioxide on Earth is highest it’s ever been since the existence of mankind.

Finally, Yellowstone’s Grizzlies are wandering farther from home, while Ontario uses sardines to assess the health of its bear population.

Kelly McCloskey, a Tree Frog in Paris

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Business & Politics

Trying to Predict Future Earnings Per Share Growth? Monitor Lumber Prices

By Frank Holmes
Seeking Alpha
May 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

On Friday the Trump administration made good on its threat to raise tariffs on as much as $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent. …Stocks sold off last week on the tariff news and plunged even further Monday after China announced that it would retaliate. …Below are three charts that I think will convince investors that time is running out to prepare for the next major downturn… by Michael Kantrowitz, head of Cornerstone Macro. …One of the most eye-opening charts illustrates the close relationship between lumber prices and future earnings per share (EPS) growth. …In the chart below, lumber prices have been advanced forward six months to illustrate the lag time between changes in price and EPS estimates. When lumber tanked over the 12-month period, EPS followed around six months later. And when lumber soared, EPS estimates shot up. You may have already detected the warning signal that lumber’s flashing right now.

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Kruger Products begins construction of its tissue plant in Sherbrooke English Français

Cision Newswire
May 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SHERBROOKE QC – KP Tissue Inc. and Kruger Products L.P. today dedicated the construction site of their future Sherbrooke tissue plant that will be equipped with Canada’s most advanced and best-performing TAD technology. …Located in the borough of Brompton, the new plant will be constructed on a site adjacent to an existing Kruger paper mill, along the Saint-François River. This $575-million investment will create 180 jobs in Estrie, as well as some 1,700 direct and indirect jobs during the construction period that will end in 2021. In addition, a large number of local suppliers will be involved in this vast construction site that represents one million person-hours of work, which is equivalent to about 10% of person-hours worked annually in all of Québec’s industrial construction sector. 

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Southern Pine Lumber Included in New Tariffs

The Southern Forest Products Association
May 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Southern Pine lumber exports to China will face a 20% import tariff, rising from the current 10%, effective June 1st. Other species as well as OSB and softwood plywood will face a 25% tariff. The measure comes in retaliation to the U.S. raising tariffs on Chinese imports after trade negotiations between the two countries reached an impasse last week. The talks, centering on unfair trade practices and protection of intellectual property rights, is expected to continue among high-level officials before a meeting between President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping in June. Below is an unofficial translation of the softwood products facing increased tariffs. Southern Pine shipped as “other pine” or “other coniferous lumber” is subject to a 20% duty. Note that, as in the past, the list may change. Exporters are urged to confer with their freight forwarder.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Paths for Growth in Canada’s Forestry Sector

C.D. Howe Institute
May 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Canada’s forest products industry is facing barriers to growth that require innovation, new trade markets and supportive government policies to overcome, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In Branching Out: How Canada’s Forestry Products Sector is Reshaping its Future, author Eric Miller examines how the sector is responding to its challenges recommends policies that will help expand its contribution to the Canadian economy. The external forces buffeting Canada’s forest sector – price swings, US trade protectionism, and shifting market demand for its core products – have challenged the sector to become an innovation leader, he writes. As a natural resource-based sector, it also has had the come to terms with the challenges of sustainability and associated changes in the regulatory environment. “Today, Canada’s forest sector shows potential as a leader in innovation, environmental sustainability and international trade,” says Miller. 

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Wood buildings could be the ‘made in BC’ solution to housing crisis

By Eric Andreasen, VP Marketing/Sales, Adera Development Corporation
Daily Hive
May 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Superseding plans for Canada’s National Building Code changes next year, Premier John Horgan has announced plans to fast-track BC as the leader of sustainable buildings in Canada by applying recent changes to the BC Building Code, allowing for construction of wood buildings up to 12-storeys. This is a positive direction for the province, and a strategic move which will not only stimulate the local forestry industry, but should ultimately attract other developers to take the leap from concrete construction to an environmentally-conscious alternative providing more affordable housing solutions for British Columbians. I hope other developers will adopt this material in their construction process and realize its potential as a solution to environmental and economic issues affecting many people today. Sustainability is an integral part of Adera’s core values here on the West Coast; we strive to come up with innovative ideas when approaching our own projects to inspire others and to improve the communities we build in.

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South African student wins global award for wood-based project

All 4 Women
May 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Jane Molony and Martin Wierzbicki

The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) has announced the three global winners of the 2018-2019 Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award. University of Pretoria Masters student MartinWierzbicki along with Elina Pääkkönen (Finland) and Chinmay Satam (USA) were lauded for their novel wood-based research projects. They made their official presentations in Vancouver, Canada last week to industry executives at the ICFPA-hosted international CEO Roundtable, a biennial gathering of forestry and forest product companies. The international competition – now its second round – aims to attract submissions from aspiring scientists and young engineers who are developing novel solutions using wood fibre, process improvements or other products along the forestry-pulp-paper value chain.

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Forestry

Greens call for moratorium on old growth logging

By Sharon Vanhouwe
My Coast Now
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry and community stakeholders joined the B.C. Greens in calling for a moratorium to protect Vancouver Island’s vital old-growth forests. B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen says the provincial timber agency is actively auctioning off the remaining old-growth for logging. He says 79 per cent of the original productive old-growth forests on the Island have been logged, including 90 per cent of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow. Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson says the NDP is not managing the old growth forests on Vancouver Island to zero. He says there are 500 thousand hectares of old growth forests that are protected, but he says he does acknowledge the concern and that’s why the province will be consulting the public about the issue in the very near future. MLA Sonia Furstenau, deputy leader of the B.C. Greens says stakeholders and experts are clear the government is inflating the amount of productive old-growth that is protected from logging. [END]

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New 15-hectare wildfire breaks out just west of Osoyoos as province’s fire danger rating climbs

By Simon Little and Shelby Thom
Global News
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service has been called to the south Okanagan, where a new wildfire has broken out near Osoyoos. The fire is burning about 12 kilometres west of the lakeside community near Highway 3, and was about 15 hectares in size Monday afternoon, according to the service. No structures were immediately threatened by the fire, but the smoke was visible from both the highway and from Osoyoos, the wildfire service said. The fire is classified as “out of control,” and officials describe it as an aggressive surface fire which is moving quickly. The fire is suspected to be human-caused. The BC Wildfire Service said it has 28 personnel on site, and two helicopters have been deployed.

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The flip side of the caribou closure coin

Letter by Michael Austin
Rocky Mountain Goat
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

 …What does it say about us as a culture if we allow an iconic animal deemed so important that it appears on our currency, an animal that has evolved here over the last two million years and at one time lived in every province, die on our watch due to our avarice, incompetence, and mismanagement? If we exterminate the caribou, knowingly or unknowingly, what’s next? Do we recall all the 25 cent pieces and re-mint them with a big X across the caribou? Perhaps we should replace the caribou engraving on the quarter with an epitaph on a tombstone, “Here lies the caribou, another victim of our shortsighted mismanagement – May it Rest in Peace.” 

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The Island’s old growth is under attack

By Sonia Furstenau, Green Party MLA, Cowichan Valley
Victoria Times Colonist
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sonia Furstenau

Vancouver Island marches ever closer to losing its last remaining productive old-growth forests, and yet government after government continues to advance the same policies. So far, the B.C. NDP government has maintained that same status quo. Let me be clear: Logging productive old growth is not in any way sustainable. It’s a finite resource on Vancouver Island, and most of it is already gone. That’s a critical threat — not only for species and habitats, but for jobs. There are mills that are fitted to process only old growth. What are those workers going to do when we run out? It’s time we took a different approach that protects our old-growth forests and gives a real future to the communities that rely on them. …We must protect the last of the old growth on Vancouver Island for future generations, because we recognize that ultimately it belongs to them, not us. 

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Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry uses sardines to update its bear population data

Thunder Bay News Watch
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry biologists determine the health of northern Ontario’s bear population.  This month, ministry staff will set up special survey stations — baited with sardines — to collect small samples of fur from hungry bears. When the animals follow their noses to the fish, they’ll have to navigate past some barbed wire. As they rub against the wire, they will leave behind a hair sample that can be sent to a laboratory for DNA analysis. The data will be collected over several weeks, which tells biologists which bears are returning to the snack bar and which have come for the first time. The MNRF says this information will help scientists estimate the number of bears in each area being surveyed. 

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Why prescribed burns are so important to Southern Arizona

KOLD News 13
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TUCSON, AZ – Have you ever wondered why fires are intentionally prescribed to certain areas throughout Southern Arizona year after year? Prescribed fires are intentionally set by trained fire managers under predetermined environmental conditions to meet a wide variety of park management objectives including reducing the risks of unnaturally heavy fuel buildup, the potential for destructive wildfires, and the potential loss of life and property; and to perpetuate species that require the presence of fire for survival. Much like a doctor would provide a planned course of action for a sick patient, the fire managers prescribe a specific treatment to maintain a healthy ecosystem. …A burn prescription helps ensure that the objectives of the burn are met, as well as addressing safety issues. …The burn prescription determines the environmental conditions necessary for meeting resource objectives in a safe, effective manner. T

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Logging bill can help correct a long history of injustice in Maine woods

By Jason L. Newton, assistant professor of labor, Cornell University
Bangor Daily News
May 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Logger and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson recently introduced LD 1459, a bill that would, for the first time in history, give Maine contract loggers the legal right to collectively bargain for fair compensation. This bill is being introduced as rising demand for shipping supplies might revitalize production. For more than 150 years, the loggers who made Maine forest products have been denied a fair share of the profit they produce. This is because many loggers were categorized as “independent contractors.” “Contracting out” is a tactic that companies use to cut costs and prevent unionization, but in Maine this practice has a long history that voters and legislators should consider. …The independence of contract work has been valued by Maine loggers since the 19th century but as a legal designation contracting has kept workers apart and competing. This benefits mills and landowners, but harms loggers.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The level of carbon dioxide on Earth is highest it’s ever been since the existence of mankind

By Devika Desai
The National Post
May 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Data from a Hawaii observatory has recorded atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over 415 ppm, marking a historic precedent. There is more carbon dioxide on the planet than ever since the dawn of humanity, according to a Hawaii observatory. Data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has recorded atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at 415.26 parts per million (ppm), marking a historic precedent in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of homo sapiens. “Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago,” tweeted Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist. “We don’t know a planet like this.”

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Yellowstone’s Grizzlies Wandering Farther from Home and Dying in Higher Numbers

By Johnathon Hettingg
Inside Climate News
May 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Over the past 200 years, these [Yellowstone National Park] forests provided a last refuge for grizzly bears in the contiguous U.S. from the westward expansion of towns, farms and ranches. In the high-altitude forests, the bears could rely on squirrels’ caches of whitebark pine seeds as an abundant and important food source. Today, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of just two places—along with Glacier National Park—where large populations of grizzly bears can be found in the Lower 48. But those dying forests [pine beetle] signaled trouble for Yellowstone’s grizzly bears and their already diminishing food supply. As warmer winters allowed the beetles to spread and devastate the whitebark pines, the bears have been increasingly wandering out of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s high-altitude forests and into more human environments, and they are dying in greater numbers than they have in decades, federal data show.

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