Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 25, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Hampton Lumber to buy idle Fort St. James mill from Conifex

The Tree Frog Forestry News
June 25, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Hampton Lumber plans to buy Conifex’s idle Fort St. James BC operation—and build a new sawmill; while Boreal Bioenergy is also looking at Fort St. James (and Nelson) to expand their torrefied wood pellet business. Elsewhere: Norbord is cleared to restart its Alberta OSB plant after wildfire scare, the caribou recovery moratorium has MP Bob Zimmer concerned; MLA John Rustad says BC’s July 1 stumpage increase is flawed; and Home Depot’s CEO on lumber and Lowes.

In other news: Toronto’s waterfront community will be built with Ontario forest products/mass timber; a BC Forest Safety Council update on faller training; BC is encouraged to follow the fed’s lead and declare a climate emergency; and Dovetail Partners has a new Executive Director.

Finally, wearing wood-based lingerie has never felt so good.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Conifex and Hampton Lumber Announce Agreement for Sale of Fort St. James Sawmill

By Conifex and Hampton Lumber
Global Newswire
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER, BC — Conifex Timber announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Hampton Lumber for the sale of its Fort St. James sawmill and associated forest license.  The purchase price is approximately $39 million plus the market value of finished lumber and log inventory at closing. Ken Shields, Conifex’s Chair and CEO, stated: …”We believe this transaction supports the Province’s objectives for industry rationalization that is mindful of the impacts on people, communities and First Nations. …Hampton Lumber CEO Steve Zika commented that… “We intend to build a new sawmill in Fort St. James.” Due to continued uncertain market conditions, Conifex does not expect to resume normal operations at the Fort St James site prior to closing of the transaction.

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Home Depot CEO Craig Menear On Lowe’s Newest CEO

By Jacob Wolinsky
CNBC in Value Walk
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

CRAIG MENEAR: …Lumber has continued to be pressured in the marketplace, for sure. Weather is improving slightly as it moves forward. And we see great demand when the weather is normalized. DAVID FABER: What’s going on with lumber prices? CRAIG MENEAR: So, what happened is you had a wet early part of the year. There were logs backed up. The mills needed to process the logs. They had some challenges doing that. And then of course with the wet weather, there is not much demand on the building side. It’s really the building part of the business, the new construction that drives the lumber prices. It’s not our part of the business. So, that’s really what’s come together to kind of create the perfect storm, if you will, that has lumber prices down about 40% year over year. COURTNEY REAGAN: And that’s a problem because lumber is often a project starter. 

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Quesnel Meeting Draws Large Crowd For Forest Industry In Crisis

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
June 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The forest industry is in crisis and we need help. That’s the message that Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes hopes people will send to Victoria and Ottawa following a meeting with contractors and forestry workers in Quesnel yesterday. Oakes says contractors are telling her that things need to be implemented in the community immediately. “What they are saying is look we need programs in place that have existed in the past to help small businesses. Those programs will not be put in place for small businesses unless the local working group asks the province and the province asks the Federal Government to implement these types of supports. Oakes says it is also important for financial institutions to send the message to Toronto that additional supports are needed to help small businesses and contractors, and she says that ask also has to be made by the province to the federal government as well.

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Quesnel Mayor Says Process Is In Place To Help Displaced Forestry Workers

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says a transition team is in place and workers displaced by the closure at Tolko will be helped. Simpson says it’s the same process that was used when the Canfor and Northstar mills closed. “That’s a group that comes together made up of the company, the workers representatives, in this case the Steelworkers Union, and then the appropriate ministry representatives from the province and the federal government. They sit down and start mapping out the specific needs of the workforce that’s being impacted.” Simpson says at the political level they are having conversations with the province through the Premier’s office and the Minister of Forests. He says they hope to retool the workforce so that they can move into areas of need such as the trades as one example.

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Stumpage costs to increase on July 1

By Aman Parhar
BC Local News
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad

With the forest industry in British Columbia going through turmoil, Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said the lumber industry will see a tough time this summer with stumpage prices going up further on July 1. “This increase in stumpage is going to make operating in B.C. more costly. There is a flaw in the stumpage system because there is a six month to one year delay in how prices work. So now we are seeing prices go up, due to high prices from last year where now prices have collapsed and stumpage is not reflecting it,” Rustad said. …”We are in an uncompetitive situation and mills are taking more down time due to the high cost structure,” he said. …He said residents of Alberta don’t pay carbon tax. …“There are 17 to 19 different things that the provincial government has recently added that have driven up cost,” Rustad added.

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Boreal Bioenergy seeks mills to set up production in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson

By Tracy Teves
Energetic City
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Based Boreal Bioenergy is looking to expand their production of torrefied wood pellets and has identified sites of interest in both Fort St. John and Fort Nelson. The company that takes wood fibre from wood waste such as damaged pine beetle stock uses a process of torrification in which wood biomass is heated in a special process which creates pellets that burn like coal.  Jason Janus, of Boreal Bioenergy, shares the customer base in Japan is substantial and growing, which has demand on the McBride plant four times greater than the plant, can produce. Sites have been identified in both Fort St. John and Ft. Nelson as good options yet have not been decided upon.

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Norbord’s High Level, Alberta OSB Mill Resumes Production

By Norbord Inc.
Cision Newswire
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – Norbord Inc. today reported that its OSB mill in High Level, Alberta was cleared to restart, and safely resumed normal operations over the weekend. The MacKenzie County mandatory evacuation order and town of High Level evacuation alert were both lifted this afternoon and MacKenzie County remains under an evacuation alert. On June 18th, Norbord reported that its High Level OSB mill had temporarily suspended production due to the wild fires burning nearby in the region. All non-essential mill employees were safely evacuated at the time and the mill did not incur any damage. The curtailment is not expected to materially impact Norbord’s second quarter results.

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Canadian Producers Settle into Southern Pine

By David Koenig
Building Products Digest
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

It wasn’t too long ago that it was inconceivable to imagine Canadian companies would be selling southern pine. But today three of the five largest producers of southern lumber are headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. Just as dramatically, those three leading Canadian manufacturers now operate just as many—and in one case significantly more—sawmills in the U.S. than they do north of the border. The disparity seems likely to grow even larger, as the companies further expand operations in the South and idle less-profitable facilities in Canada. How did this change happen and what has been the net result? It began inconspicuously enough in 2000, when West Fraser Timber bought a pair of southern mills from Plum Creek. The idea at the time was to spread its operations over a wider geographic base, taking its “successful, low-cost lumber manufacturing approach” closer to its customers and a “long-term, plantation-based fiber supply.” 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Earning LEED points with certified wood

By Annie Perkins, Sustainable Forestry Initiative
US Green Building Council
June 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

An Alternative Compliance Path allows LEED projects to achieve an existing green building credit, using an alternative approach to what is specified in the existing rating tool. Pilot ACPs are used to test new ideas before they are fully integrated into the LEED rating systems. Builders and architects can use wood and paper products certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standards to achieve a point in the Certified Wood Pilot ACP under LEED 2009 and achieve a point in the Sourcing of Raw Materials Pilot ACP under LEED v4. In order to achieve a LEED point, the user must know that: 100% of the forest products are from legal (noncontroversial) sources; 70% are from responsible sources; and the remainder must be certified sources as evidenced by a chain-of-custody certification.

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5 key take-aways from Sidewalk Labs’ master plan for Quayside and Toronto’s waterfront

By May Warren
Toronto Star
June 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Google’s sister company Sidewalk Labs provided the first detailed glimpse of its proposal for a smart-city development on Toronto’s waterfront. …Here are five things you need to do know about the plan: Sidewalk Labs wants to expand beyond the Quayside development and says the 12-acre site is only Phase 1 of its plans for a much larger area of waterfront. …Sidewalk pledges that half of all housing units would be purpose-built rentals and 40 per cent of the units would be family-sized units of two bedrooms or more. …The plan says that Quayside will be the first neighbourhood built entirely of mass timber. A new Ontario-based factory would produce building materials, and, Sidewalk promises, be the catalyst for a new industry. The plan also details a number of other urban innovations planned for the neighbourhood, including building raincoats — to block rain, wind and sun along sidewalks…

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Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs Recognizes that Communities of the Future will be Built with Ontario Forest Products

By Ian Dunn
Ontario Forest Industries Association
June 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Today, the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) applauded SidewalkLabs’ proposed Master Innovation and Development Plan, which showcases the use of Ontario forest products. The plan proposes to build a new neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront almost entirely out of tall timber. “Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside development is focused on using building materials that are more sustainable without sacrificing affordability or design flexibility,” says Jamie Lim, President and CEO of OFIA. “Building with tall timber systems is the obvious choice. We believe innovative and ambitious projects, such as Sidewalk Lab’s proposed development, recognizes that we are in a wood construction renaissance. The project also compliments the Ontario Government’sproposed Provincial Forestry Strategy by aspiring to grow our renewable natural use and use locally sourced forest products in innovative construction.” Tall timber is a safe, efficient and sustainable form of engineered wood.

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Fiber-reinforced polymer pultrusions replace wood for structural applications

By Sara Black
Composites World
June 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Wood is revered for a reason — it is used for creating warm, inviting home environments, furniture, art and more. Remember the wooden rollercoasters of old? Despite its sentimental value, wood can’t make it in most harsh industrial environments, says Eric Kidd at Bedford Reinforced Plastics: “When exposed to moisture or water, wood is susceptible to warping, rot, mold and mildew. And when in a seaside or coastal location, the moisture, in addition to higher winds and salt spray, creates an especially corrosive environment that can cause a wood structure to break down more quickly over time.” Unlike wood, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) is unaffected by salt spray, moisture or prolonged immersion in water, making it a good material choice for piers, pilings, pedestrian bridges, cooling towers and other structural applications in harsh environments.

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Wearing Sustainable Lingerie Has Never Felt So Good

By Judy Chen
FashNerd
June 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…choosing lingerie that flatters the figure while remaining comfortable can sometimes feel like an endless endeavour. Adding sustainability into the mix may seem a bit out of grasp. However, sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics that are flattering and offer maximum comfort have become increasingly abundant in the market …A new flurry of lingerie brands has emerged… Some of the best innovations in lingerie have been in new sustainable wood-based fibres that can significantly reduce the fabric’s impact on the environment. …Wood-based fibres are produced from wood sourced in sustainably managed forests, which tend to have a far less detrimental impact on the environment in comparison to other natural fibres. …Wood-based fibres don’t just help the environment; they also offer great comfort to the wearer too. TENCELTM branded lyocell and modal fibres, for example, provide enhanced breathability and lasting softness, they are more effective … at keeping the wearer cosy. 

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Forestry

Women in log hauling: Dorothy shares her experience

BC Forest Safety Council
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dorothy Teichroeb is a Professional Log Truck Driver based in Vanderhoof and has been hauling logs for three years. “What inspired me to go into this industry is my dream to fly. I received all of my training with E and R Professional Driving Center, a local driving school (which I highly recommend!). Acquiring my class one was the easier part. Thankfully I was fortunate enough to have great bosses and an extremely patient brother to give me hands-on training. The first three to four months I had my hands full and sometimes felt slightly overwhelmed. For trucking industry safety I feel that there should be a training period after you have passed your test. That is the most important thing I would stress! Just to have “professional” written on my driver’s license did not give me the training I needed for driving off-highway, or extreme road conditions.

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Peace moratoriums the latest blow to B.C. forestry

By Bob Zimmer, MP, Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies.
The Alaska Highway News
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Zimmer

…These issues have now only been exacerbated by the province, along with their federal Liberal counterparts, imposing a two-year moratorium on new natural resource development in our region as part of their caribou recovery plans. I am deeply concerned that this interim moratorium will lead to permanent restrictions and I fail to see how pushing pause on natural resource development will “limit economic impacts” as Minister Donaldson would have us believe. There’s no denying that all of us care about the caribou and bringing the herd back, however, we have heard from local experts that a moratorium would not necessarily be effective in seeing caribou numbers increase. Instead, this decision will surely have a greater negative impact on our local mill operations, with more closures likely to come.

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B.C. is in a grim cycle: First spring, then drought, then fires. Why won’t the province call it a climate emergency?

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
June 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Earlier this week, the House of Commons declared a climate emergency in Canada. In B.C., which has been hammered in recent years by record-breaking wildfires, droughts, flooding and a forest-destroying plague of pests, the provincial government isn’t ready to make that declaration. …Jonathan Boyd, a hydrologist with the B.C. River Forecast Centre, says the drought concerns across the province are due to a confluence of events: Since mid-January, B.C. has experienced a lower-than normal snowpack, unusually warm spring temperatures, precious little rain and record-breaking heat. “It’s been one of the fastest melts of the snowpack we have seen, so it puts us in a vulnerable situation for drought,” he says. …The Sierra Club BC is calling on the B.C. government to declare a forest and climate emergency – the group points to the logging practices in the Cowichan Valley as an example of how human disturbances are increasing the risk of unmanageable climate impact.

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800 spruce seedlings planted at Beatton Provincial Park

Alaska Highway News
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Friday June 21, the Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club collaborated with Canfor to plant some 800 spruce seedlings in Beatton Provincial Park.  With the creation of a stadium area, for staging cross country ski race events, the WJNSC sought to mitigate the loss of trees by planting spruce seedlings around the stadium area where the aspen are more open or less mature. Fourteen volunteers participated, over half from Canfor, as well as Whiskey Jack and a BC Parks volunteer. The seedlings were provided by Canfor. Fortunately, the bugs kept away and the heat of the day was avoided by starting early in the morning.

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‘We’re losing these’: Man campaigns to save native species in Toronto’s ravines

By Muriel Draaisma
CBC News
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Eric Davies

Determined to save native species in Toronto’s ravines, University of Toronto PhD forestry student Eric Davies has begun a campaign. It involves lobbying the city, enlisting support from other foresters, and drawing public attention to the problem of invasive species, which are the biggest threat facing Toronto’s ravines. With science, money, political will, support from tens of thousands of local residents and a team of foresters leading the effort, Davies says he firmly believes the ecological integrity of Toronto’s ravines could be restored. … On a recent walk through a ravine near downtown Toronto, Davies pointed out the non-native trees. Dead trees were scattered about the forested area. There was garbage, and invasive species had taken root. “Norway Maple, Norway Maple, Norway Maple,” he says. Then, halfway down a steep slope, he spotted a towering Eastern White Pine. “Here, look at this. This looks to be a survivor.”

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Dovetail Partners Announces Ashley McFarland as Executive Director

Dovetail Partners
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Ashley McFarland

Minneapolis, MN – Dovetail Partners, a Minneapolis-based environmental non-profit, is pleased to announce the addition of Ashley McFarland as executive director. McFarland brings expertise in water resources, agronomic research, and program management. …Most recently, Ashley served as the Director of the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center where she managed a diverse research portfolio spanning across multiple agricultural sectors. …McFarland also served as the northern Idaho water quality extension educator for University of Idaho. …McFarland will be based out of Duluth, MN.

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Health & Safety

Update on revised New Faller Training Program – BC Forest Safety Council News

BC Forest Safety Council
June 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Piloting of the New Faller Training Program by all three WorkSafeBC approved administrators (the BC Forest Safety Council, Energy Safety Canada, and
BC Wildfire Service) took place in 2018. Feedback was gathered during this time from all involved via interviews, surveys and workshops. The feedback received from the pilots and from an initial WorkSafeBC review is currently being applied to the program and should be completed by the end of this month for review and approval by the administrators before being submitted to WorkSafeBC for final approval. WorkSafeBC will review the training program starting next month (July) followed by a final pilot this fall, with anticipated final approval and rollout to industry in 2020.

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Forest Fires

Firefighters contain fire south of Squamish

The Squamish Chief
June 24, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews have stifled the Lions Bay area fire, which BC Wildfire Service is declaring human-caused, though officials have yet to determine the exact details of how the blaze was triggered.  Marg Drysdale, fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, said on Monday afternoon that the fire, which covers three hectares, has been 100-per-cent contained. She said classifying the fire as caused by a person also encompasses equipment-caused fires. Previously, officials were examining the possibility that a downed power line could have sparked the blaze, but that theory has not been confirmed, Drysdale said. “The cause is under investigation,” said Drysdale. “There was some suspicion at the very beginning but now they’re just calling it under investigation, because that has not been clarified….They’re going to have to look deeper into that.”

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Crews battle wildfire overnight near Pender Harbour, B.C.

CBC News
June 24, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews are battling a small wildfire overnight near Pender Harbour in B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. The B.C. Wildfire Service says a three-hectare wildfire is burning on Cecil Hill. The fire broke out at about 5 p.m. PT on Monday. No homes and structures are under threat. Thirteen firefighters and five helicopters have been deployed, fire information officer Donna MacPherson said. Air tankers were used Monday to drop fire retardant. The fire is burning on a steep hill in an area with dense forest canopy, MacPherson said. “It’s a low-intensity ground fire, so it’s burning underneath the trees. It’s not the trees themselves that are on fire.” The source of the fire is still under investigation, but it’s believed to be human-caused.

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Timmins 2 forest fire is now being held

Sudbury.com
June 24, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There were no new forest fires reported in the Northeast Region by late afternoon June 24. At the time of the MNRF update, there is one wildland fire in the region. Timmins 2 covers 4,645 hectares and the fire is now being held. Crews continue to identify hot spots along the fire’s perimeter. Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry staff continue to work with the community of Gogama to aid community leaders and area residents. At the time of the update, the fire hazard is mostly high across the Northeast Region, with a few areas north of Chapleau showing an extreme hazard.

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Fire hazard listed as extreme, despite rain

By Ryan Forbes
Kenora Online
June 25, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Despite some rain in the forecast, crews with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are continuing to suppress a number of forest fires across the region. Residents are reminded to always practice fire safety when burning outdoors. …Red Lake fire 14, the fire that prompted Pikangikum First Nation’s now-ended evacuation, is listed as under control at 3,835 hectares. Crews are continuing to search and suppress hot spots. Red Lake fire 17, northeast of Trout Lake, is being held at 6,507 hectares. …There are currently 10 active fires in northwestern Ontario. The forest fire hazard is listed as high to extreme across most of the region, with only a few areas seeing any fire hazard reductions from the rain so far.

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