Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 5, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Pinnacle, Tolko to build pellet plant in northern Alberta

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 5, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Pinnacle is partnering with Tolko to build a new wood pellet plant in High Level, Alberta. Other companies in the news include: Canfor Pulp (summer shutdown); Northern Pulp (Unifor encouraged); Resolute (a lesson for the energy sector); and Seaspan (new marine simulator). Meanwhile: northern and central BC community leaders meet to discuss mill closures; and updates on Chinese hardwood and log imports.

In Forestry/Climate news: Ex-forestry CEO Rick Doman’s view on forest management and fires in Canada (podcast); Brazil’s president pushes back on EU criticisms; an LCA expert on embodied carbon in the building industry; and Swiss researcher says planting trees is the best way to fight climate change.

Finally, wood product sustainability stories about BC, Lakehead U, toilet paper and BBQ briquettes.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Rain, Wind, Beetles & Fire

By Russ Taylor
FEA Canada (WOOD MARKETS)
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Russ Taylor

The exuberance from the first half of 2018’s lumber market has long since faded as FEA/WOOD MARKETS’ Global Softwood Log and Lumber Conference switched to a gloomy mood at this year’s event. A year ago, almost all key markets were reporting steady demand amid a tight supply situation, resulting in rising prices. This year, a supply glut has put many softwood lumber prices at or below break-even levels in key market regions, awaiting a kickstart in demand to allow product to work its way through the many supply chains. …China currently has more softwood than it needs. …Short-term impacts have dominated, creating unbalanced market conditions. Any concerns about any potential mid- to longer-term supply dynamics are essentially irrelevant at this time, as the short-term dynamics are all too numerous and need time to be sorted out.

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Boycotts of Canadian energy will leave the planet worse off — good work, activists!

The National Post
By Cody Battershill, CanadaAction.ca
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The latest decision by Zurich Insurance Group — to shift away from Canadian oilsands investments is obviously bad for Alberta and the oilsands but it’s also bad for the global environment. …But the effect of its withdrawal will be to penalize high-performing environmental innovators like Canada and reward unsavoury suppliers like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela — with no net global environmental benefit and maybe even a loss. …The Canadian energy sector could learn from… Resolute Forest Products found out the hard way that Greenpeace’s public attacks on it were — in Greenpeace’s own words — not to be taken literally. …“Their condemnations of our forestry practices ‘do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision,’ ” (they conceded in legal findings). “Their accusations against Resolute were instead ‘hyperbole,’ ‘heated rhetoric,’ and ‘non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion’ that should not be taken ‘literally’ or expose them to any legal liability.”

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Prince George braces for summer shutdown at Canfor pulp mills

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Businesses across the Interior city of Prince George are bracing for spillover effects from the temporary closure of two key employers as the woes of B.C.’s forestry sector deepen. A weeks’ worth of production cuts at Canfor’s sawmills in the region, due to shrinking timber supplies and poor markets, have robbed the pulp facilities of the residual wood chips that are their raw material. So Canfor Corp. last week announced the temporarily suspension of operations at its Northwood and Intercontinental pulp mills, two of three pulp-and-paper facilities it operates there, in phases that will cost some 760 employees three weeks’ to a month’s work over the summer. …the impact will be felt across swaths of the city’s business sector …said city economic development manager Melissa Barcellos. Canfor spokeswoman Michelle Ward said the curtailment will begin July 12 …“The company intends to resume full production at Intercontinental and Northwood in September”.

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Pinnacle Renewable Energy Announces Partnership with Tolko Industries to Develop New Production Facility in Northern Alberta

By Pinnacle Renewable Energy
Cision Newswire
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER –– Pinnacle Renewable Energy announced that it has entered into a limited partnership agreement with Tolko Industries to build Northern Pellet Limited Partnership, a new industrial wood pellet production facility in High Level, Alberta. …The Facility is expected to have a run-rate production capacity of 170,000 to 200,000 metric tons per annum. …Under the terms of the Partnership, Pinnacle and Tolko will each own a 50 percent interest in the Facility. …Pinnacle will operate the Facility and manage all aspects of customer relations, marketing, sales, and logistics. Tolko will supply both heat energy and fibre to the Facility under long-term supply agreements. The Facility, which will be built on land owned by Tolko, will begin construction in the third quarter of 2019. Initial wood pellet production at the Facility is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Politicians looking for initiatives to support communities affected by South Cariboo mill layoffs

By Brendan Kyle Jure
The 100 Mile Free Press
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Various political bodies in the South Cariboo are reaching for solutions and support after the closures and curtailments of several local mills. MLA Donna Barnett, along with Liberal forestry critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and Thompson-Nicola MLA Jackie Taggart met with chambers, councils, private sectors, First Nations, and logging contractors between 100 Mile House and Williams Lake. …The purpose of the meeting, said Barnett, was to “find out exactly where things are at and how we could help. …“The immediate thing is to engage the federal government… to reengage the US… to get the softwood lumber deal done and basically reduce stumpage fees and the Carbon Tax on the forest sector.” …Clinton Mayor Susan Swan also facilitated a town hall meeting in her community.

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Seaspan Marine Transportation Unveils its State-of-the-Art Marine Simulator Facility, Cornerstone of $6.5-Million Training Program

By Seaspan Marine Transportation
Cision Newswire
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bart Reynolds and Frank Butzelaar

NORTH VANCOUVER – Today Seaspan Marine Transportation unveiled its new state-of-the-art Marine Simulator Facility. This world-class facility—the first and only of its kind in North America—is the cornerstone of Seaspan Marine’s $6.5-million, multi-year safety and training program first announced in May of 2018. This world-class training program has been developed in collaboration with SeaWays Global, the international standard bearer in tug training, simulation, auditing and assessments. As part of this multimillion-dollar agreement, Seaspan Marine and SeaWays have developed a customized, first-of-its-kind training program aimed at ship docking and ship assists in our ports. The new marine simulators are a key component of this training program. The facility provides advanced educational opportunities for Seaspan Marine mariners, giving them access to continuous, real-time training. The simulator training will set a new industry benchmark for safety training, environmental performance and operational efficiency.

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Forestry roundtable in Fort St. John today

The Alaska Highway News
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Political and business leaders in Northeast B.C. are meeting in Fort St. John today for a roundtable discussion on the province’s struggling forestry sector. The roundtable was called by Peace River North MLA Dan Davies, and comes in the wake of an indefinite curtailment at Peace Valley OSB in Fort St. John and a summer curtailment at Canfor’s pulp mill in Taylor, as well as other growing cuts at mills across B.C. “At the end of the day, our hope is to pressure the governments, provincially and federally, on ways to help out these communities impacted by forestry’s downturn right now,” Davies said. …Among the guests are MLAs Mike Bernier and John Rustad, mayors and councillors from Fort St. John, Taylor, Hudson’s Hope, and the Northern Rockies, as well as representatives from the Regional District, LP, Canfor.

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Unifor members encouraged by progress made by Northern Pulp

By Unifor
Cision Newswire
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — Unifor is pleased to see that Northern Pulp is making significant progress on the additional information required by the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment in order to achieve approval to build an effluent plant at the Nova Scotia pulp mill. Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director… received an update from company officials, followed by an all-member town hall at the mill on about the status of the company’s response to the Department of Environment’s Focus Report, a report responding to the company’s Environmental Assessment application. The loss of the pulp mill will have far-reaching and huge implications for the entire forestry sector. …Payne said there has always been a solution that resulted in a new treatment facility, that respected First Nations and that also ensured environmental standards were met and exceeded.

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China still a vital market for hardwood from United States

By Li Yan
Ecns.cn
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The American Hardwood Export Council is optimistic toward the Chinese market and committed to discovering more demand for sustainable products despite the headwinds resulting from trade tensions between the two countries. As the largest export destination for U.S. hardwood, China remains a crucial market for the U.S. hardwood industry and the industry is committed to working with the China market, said Michael Snow, the council’s executive director. …Despite the trade dispute, during the past 28 years in the Chinese market, the AHEC said Chinese consumers’ awareness of high-quality sustainable materials has grown. …The trade friction between the two countries has led to a yearly decline in the export volume of U.S. hardwood lumber from January to April. …”American hardwood lumber exports totaled $484 million in China from January to April, a decline from the previous year.

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Forest products and scrap recycling rail shippers seek oversight

By Joanna Marsh
Freight Waves
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The service problems associated with precision scheduled railroading (PSR) have motivated forest products and scrap recycling shippers to press the Surface Transportation Board to renew a longstanding request for regulatory oversight. The American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and other bulk shippers are among the shippers’ groups that have been meeting with STB board members to discuss their argument on why the Board should lift certain commodities from being exempt from jurisdiction from the Board. By lifting the exemption, shippers will have greater access to the STB’s regulatory authority when it comes to disputes over rail rates or rail service, the shippers said. …“It would also create a more level playing field for forest products industry shippers as they would be treated the same as other industries,” Landry said.

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Timber Unity gets presidential invite

By Aubrey Wieber and Claire Withycomb
Herald and News
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Two members of a quickly rising political activist community of Oregon loggers have been invited to the White House to attend a speech on “America’s environmental leadership” on Monday, July 8, by President Donald Trump. Timber Unity, a group comprised mostly of loggers but also truckers, farmers and other Oregonians opposed to a carbon-regulating program proposed by Oregon lawmakers, posted the invitation on their Facebook page Tuesday night. As of Wednesday afternoon, the post had been shared more than 3,000 times and received more than 1,000 comments. A White House official confirmed the invitation to the Oregon Capital Bureau Wednesday. Timber Unity organizers Marie Bowers, a farmer from Coburg, and Todd Stoffel, a log truck driver from Washougal, Wash., will be representing the group at Monday’s event.

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German Log Exports To China Soar

By Jo English
International Forest Industries
July 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In January-May, log imports to China from Russia declined 26.2% y-o-y to 3.6 million m3 with import value dropped 27.2% to $439.8 million, according to China Customs data. U.S. log exports to China fell 39.5% to 1.6 million m3, export value decreased 44.6% to $338.4 million. Share of Russia in Chinese log imports slid 4.97 pp to 14.3% and share of U.S dropped 4.16 pp to 6.5%. From January through May, log imports to China from New Zealand expanded 15.4% to 7.4 million m3 with import value surged 13.2% to $1.04 billion. Australian log exports to China jumped 29.9% to 2.5 million m3, while average price declined 18.5% to $109 per m3. Log exports from Germany to China soared 243.0% to 959.0 thousand m3, average price fell 39.8% to $153 per m3. Total Chinese log imports slid 0.59% to 24.9 million m3, while average price decreased 12.1% to $169 per m3.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

State of the Nation: British Columbia

By Elsa Lam
Canadian Architect
July 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia is leading the charge on sustainability in Canada. Starting in 2017, the province’s Energy Step Code has provided an incremental approach to making buildings net-zero energy ready by 2032. …In coordination with the step code, the City of Vancouver has developed its own zero-emissions energy plan, which aims for all new buildings to be zero emissions by 2030. …The sustainability push in construction is also tied to the province’s strong forestry industry. British Columbia’s Wood First program, initiated in 2009, requires provincially funded projects to use wood as a primary construction material. …B.C. was the first province to permit six-storey wood frame residential buildings, and this spring has moved to allow 12-storey mass timber buildings, a year ahead of a similar anticipated change in the National Building Code. …Meanwhile, several tall wood projects have already been completed after being presented as alternative solutions for compliance with code. 

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Lakehead University leads the way in innovative research

Northern Ontario Business
July 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dr. Sudip Rakshit

Three world-class professors at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay have been named in the latest cycle of the Canada Research Chairs Program. …Dr. Sudip Kumar Rakshit has been renewed as a Canada Research Chair in Bioenergy and Biorefining Processes for a second seven-year term. …His focus is on developing new technologies to produce cleaner energy and chemicals. “The challenges of replacing fossil resources by using renewable resources…is crucial for sustainable development and to limit climate change,” Dr. Rakshit said. The aim of his work is to contribute to the development of a circular bio-economy, where materials are kept within use for as long as possible. …He believes integrating such processes into existing wood-based industries – such as in the pulp and paper sector – would make the overall industry economically viable. There looms, however, the resultant environmental problem and the impact on marine and terrestrial life.

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Toilet paper is getting less sustainable, researchers warn

By Rebecca Smithers
The Guardian
July 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Toilet paper – the one product that the majority of us use just once and flush away – is becoming less sustainable, according to research. Analysis from Ethical Consumer magazine found that major brands were using less recycled paper than in 2011, while only five of the nine major supermarkets (the Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) offered an own-brand recycled toilet paper. The large-scale use of virgin paper contributes to unnecessary deforestation. The UK uses 1.3m tonnes of tissue a year, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries, with the average British consumer reportedly getting through 127 rolls every year. But the growing trend for “luxury” four-ply and quilted toilet roll is fuelling the use of virgin pulp in an effort to create the softest product, the study claims. “There is no need to cut down forests to make toilet roll, yet this is precisely what is happening,” said Alex Crumbie, a researcher for Ethical Consumer.

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Bar-Be-Quick launches eco-friendly briquettes

Convenience Store
July 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Featuring a combination of coconut husk, mango stones and corn stover, the CO2-neutral briquettes are formulated from entirely natural ingredients which would otherwise go to waste. They are odourless, free from chemicals and offer a clean burn with low smoke and a longer burn time than conventional wood charcoal. The bagged briquettes also have a longer, hotter burn, with an average burn time of five hours when used in a smoker or kettle barbecue. Paul Keighley, managing director of Bar-Be-Quick, said: “We pride ourselves on being an environmentally-minded business – we were the first UK charcoal supplier to be awarded Forest Stewardship Council certification –by offering the Wood Free Briquettes, we are taking one step further into offering sustainable products. “The briquettes are created using materials that otherwise would have gone to waste.”

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Forestry

Are forest management practices to blame for fires?

By Danielle Smith
Global News Radio
July 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Host Danielle Smith interviews guest Rick Doman, former CEO of Western Forest Products, a coastal B.C forest company, and founder and former CEO and Chairman of EACOM Timber Corporation, ‎a Ontario and Quebec lumber producer.

 

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Forest Friendly Communities — Education & Training Scholarships

Forest Friendly Communities
July 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Are you a British Columbian pursuing forestry-related post-secondary education or training in BC in 2019/20? Then you should apply for a Forestry Friendly Communities Education & Training Scholarship. The deadline is July 15, 2019. Forestry Friendly Communities is committed to celebrating the proud history and rich future of British Columbia’s forest sector. With forestry generating 1 out of every 17 jobs in the province, the training and education of forestry workers is essential to the industry’s future. This year Forestry Friendly Communities will award three Education & Training Scholarships of up to $1,500 each to British Columbians pursuing forestry-related post-secondary education or training in BC. This includes forestry-specific training, as well as trades training leading to a job within the forest industry. Funding for the Education & Training Scholarship was made possible through a program called Toques for Tuition. Forestry workers, their families, and others purchased $25 Forestry Proud toques from Forestry Friendly Communities, with 100% of proceeds directed to the scholarship fund.

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North Cowichan council suggests local control of forestry

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan wants the province to explore the feasibility of adopting a new model of regionally based forest management in B.C. At its meeting on June 19, council decided to send a letter to the Union of B.C. Municipalities asking for its consideration of taking up the issue with the province at its next meeting. Council will also ask in the letter for UBCM delegates to consider asking the province for the creation of a Forest Charter that includes an overall vision, sustainability principles, and standards and goals for the province’s forests; and have a Forester General appointed by the province to serve as a new independent officer who would work with the regions on local land-planning processes. Coun. Rosalie Sawrie said she’d be proud to support the motion to send the letter. “I think we’ve learned in this municipality just how passionate people are about forestry,” she said.

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Brazil president rebuts European criticism over environment

The Associated Press in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Jair Bolsonaro

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rebutted European criticism over his commitment to the environment on Thursday, saying that foreign leaders have historically influenced decisions that are hindering Brazil’s progress. The far-right president said he had flown over Europe twice and hadn’t seen “even a square kilometer of forest.” …His comments came two days after French President Emmanuel Macron threatened to boycott a recently signed free trade agreement …if Brazil abandoned the Paris climate accord and his environment minister said the country must respect its commitments to protecting the Amazon rainforest. The trade agreement needs the endorsement of each signatory country’s congress. …In June, deforestation in the Amazon grew by 88% compared to the same month last year, according to the National Institute of Space Research.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Embodied Carbon: The Blindspot of the Buildings Industry

By Anthony Pak
Canadian Architect
July 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Between now and 2060, the buildings industry is poised to add a whopping 230 billion square metres of new construction worldwide. That means we will double the amount of buildings we currently have on the planet over the next four decades. …The term “embodied carbon” refers to the carbon footprint associated with building materials, from cradle to grave. Using the scientific method known as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), we can quantify the environmental impacts associated with all of the construction materials used over a building’s lifespan. …The buildings industry consumes almost half of the world’s material resources every year, so we cannot keep turning a blind eye to our embodied carbon footprint. To be clear, I am not saying that embodied carbon is more important than operational carbon. Both are critical. It’s just that, to date, our industry has focused heavily on operational carbon and has mostly ignored embodied carbon.

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Planting 1 trillion trees could be best way to fight climate change

By Shelby Lin Erdman
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Planting 1 trillion trees could be the best way to reduce the effects of climate change, according to scientists. Adding 1 billion hectares of forests could help limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, according to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but if current trends continue, the planet could see that temperature increase by 2030. Swiss researchers wanted to see of if there’s enough room on Earth with existing farmland and cities to support that many extra trees. They reported in Thursday’s edition of the journal Science that there’s enough space to cover 3.5 million square miles, about the size of the United States. …The researchers used satellite images of Earth to determine which areas could support more trees, leaving out agriculture and urban areas. …there’s room for possibly as many as 1.5 trillion trees. …The countries with the most room for new trees include the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Russia, China and Australia.

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Forest Fires

Ministry Natural Resources and Forestry battle growing forest fires in northwestern Ontario

CBC News
July 4, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the forest fire hazard ranges from high to extreme in northwestern Ontario, officials with the Ministry Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) said 12 new forest fires have been confirmed as of Wednesday night. The fires range from 0.1 to 40 hectares and occurred in the districts of Red Lake, Fort Frances, Dryden and Sioux Lookout, with majority of them in the Sioux Lookout District. The MNRF said the fire near the community of Keewayin First Nation has grown to 54,643 hectares in size and is 12 km southwest of the community. An incident management team has been deployed to assess the sprinkler requirements in the area and fire crews and equipment were funnelled into the area all day Wednesday.

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