Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 23, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Trade war caught Canada sleeping. Time to wake up.

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 23, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

One year after Trump launched a series of trade wars, Canada’s economy has been altered, says Kevin Carmichael. In related news: David Elstone says BC’s forestry contractors are losing work amid mill closures; Conifex temporarily curtails its Mackenzie BC operation; Hampton Lumber takes first in safety; and US remodeler and consumer confidence remains strong.

New studies report that: Ontario’s forests are more susceptible to insects and fire; dryer summers are killing Oregon’s native trees; European mega-fires are an increasing threat; and reducing home energy consumption is key to lowering greenhouse gases.

Finally, Montana’s Tippet Rise pavilion employs mass timber of a different kind.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog News

Read More

Business & Politics

One year after the trade wars began, Canada’s economy has been altered

By Kevin Carmichael
National Post
July 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…Since at least the 1960s, economic growth had followed a fairly consistent pattern: exports pick up, business investment follows as companies scramble to keep pace with demand, and the country prospers. After the crisis, something odd happened: investment spiked as commodity prices soared, but non-energy export growth was muted. Investment reversed course when oil prices plunged, and then Trump began sowing seeds of doubt: new tariffs on Canadian lumber imports; the assault on Bombardier Inc…; the overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement…his apparent willingness to blow up global supply chains by picking a commercial and strategic fight with China. … In effect, Trump sabotaged the creative disruption that typically helps an economy regenerate after a downturn. …“The duty has a direct impact on our Canadian production,” Gerrie Kotze, chief financial officer at Teal-Jones Group, British Columbia’s biggest privately owned timber company, told the Financial Post in an interview recently.

Read More

‘The whole industry is shrinking’: Forestry contracters losing work amid mill closures

By Dominika Lirette
CBC News
July 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

The economic downturn in the forest industry is being felt, not only by the hundreds of mill workers who have been laid off or had a reduction in shifts, but also by forestry contractors, such as log truck drivers and independent timber harvesters, that rely on the mills to make money. David Elston, executive director of  which represents forestry contractors across the province, predicts the industry will take a 25 per cent hit in the upcoming months which could lead to bankruptcies and more layoffs. “The challenge is that there’s the entire supply chain that feeds that sawmill and that’s largely my membership, the logging contractor and their suppliers, that are working to maintain that supply chain when the sawmill does not need logs,” said Elston. “There is no revenue for those businesses, because that’s what their job is — to deliver logs.”

Read More

Can’t see the forest for the trees

Adam Olsen, BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands
Victoria News
July 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Adam Olsen

…BC NDP provincial government [recently announced] that they are going to protect 54 individual old-growth trees plus the hectare immediately in their vicinity, or their “friends.” I won’t complain about the 54 trees they are protecting. It’s a big victory that the province is not allowing the entire forest to be logged right up to the ancient creature’s stem…” However, it’s disturbing that there is so little willingness to step up and do what actually needs to be done. Chiefly, we need to protect the integrity and function of ecosystems, not trees. As we heard consistently throughout the Spring legislative session, the Minister of Forests, and his government, see only the value of the fibre. The value of a standing old-growth forest seems to be only in its economic potential for it to become a clearcut. That’s it. …Unfortunately, forestry “management plans” are actually a euphemism for tree cutting plans.

Read More

Finance & Economics

Conifex Temporarily Curtailing Mackenzie Operations

By Conifex Timber Inc.
Global Newswire
July 22, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Conifex Timber announced that it has taken the difficult decision to temporarily curtail its Mackenzie, British Columbia sawmill operations for two weeks commencing July 29, 2019, due to continued high log costs and lumber market conditions. 

Read More

Remodelers’ Confidence Holds Steady

NAHB Now
July 18, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index posted a reading of 55 in the second quarter of 2019, rising one point from the previous quarter. Since the second quarter of 2013, the RMI has been consistently above 50 — indicating that most remodelers report market activity is higher compared to the previous quarter. …“The demand for remodeling continues to hold strong throughout the country,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Tim Ellis. “However, the lack of skilled labor continues to be one of the largest roadblocks in the industry.”

Read More

Americans still upbeat about the economy, consumer sentiment survey shows

By Jeffery Bartash
MarketWatch
July 19, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

A measure of consumer confidence rose slightly in July and clung near a 15-year peak even in the face of rising economic headwinds that are likely to spur the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in a few weeks. The consumer sentiment survey edged up to 98.4 this month from 98.2 in June. …Yet another measure that asks about expectations for the next six months advanced to 90.1 from 89.3. …Americans are a bit less optimistic right now, but they expect the economy to improve slightly in the near future.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Reducing Home Energy Consumption

By Jim Bowyer
Dovetail Partners Inc.
July 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Jim Bowyer

Improving the energy efficiency of existing residential buildings and residential construction are key to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. …Because of the current large inventory of residential structures in the U.S., Canada, and throughout Europe, and the current slow rate of older building replacement… the U.S. federal government and various states offer a range of financial and other incentives to those who wish to upgrade their home’s energy performance. …While energy related requirements of building codes are slowly evolving to require greater energy efficiency, current technology allows building to a far greater level of efficiency than attainable through code compliance. In the U.S. and Canada the ENERGY STAR program and various nongovernmental voluntary green building standards and organizations, including LEED, Green Globes, the Net Zero Project… assist in achieving maximum efficiency.

Read More

Francis Kéré completes timber pavilion at remote Tippet Rise Art Center

By Matthew Messner
The Architects Newspaper
July 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

After seeing Francis Kéré’s Louisiana Canopy installation at the Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, Cathy and Peter Halstead were inspired to commission the Berlin-based architect to add a piece to their vast Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana. A few years on and Xylem, a piece developed in Louisiana, is now complete in Tippet Rise. The art center is home to a number of monumental art pieces, including three large concrete works by Madrid-based architects Ensamble Studio and a complex wooden construction by the New York-based artist Stephen Talasnik. …The 60-foot-diameter pavilion is comprised of thousands of linear feet of ponderosa and lodgepole pine logs. Each log was sustainably sourced from the nearby forests that had been ravaged by invasive mountain pine beetle or wildfires. Once stripped of their bark, the logs were cut to length and bound together to produce the bulk of the pavilion. 

Read More

Forestry

Forestry professional questions patch clear cuts in forest reserve

Letter by Gino Gaiga
BC Local News
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

My name is Gino Gaiga, I worked in the B.C. coast forest industry for over 40 years — the past five years, as a woods foreman. I recently took a walk through the Stoney Hill Forest reserve cut blocks to assess the salvage of the December blowdown. At a February council meeting, councillors voted for low impact salvaging and public consolation. What I saw on Stoney Hill are nothing less than patch clear cuts. Accessing the Stoney Hill forest and its close proximity to a residential area I feel the prescribed logging method could have a detrimental impact to the surrounding area. My reasons are: 1) Visual impact. 2) Soil erosion, and soil contamination from ground-based logging affecting residential watershed. 3) Stoney Hill is rocky with little soil cover, which does not allow trees to root well making them vulnerable under high wind.

Read More

Article on wolves was biased against logging industry

Letter by Norman D Nalleweg, RFT
Campbell River Mirror
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Response to the Mirror front page article under the headline “Wolves on the Island: fact or fiction.”  Are there no forest professionals out there willing to stand up and push back to the obvious attack on the logging industry disguised as an article on wolves. The article seems to indicate that the decline in marmots and deer are solely related to the conversion of ancient forests into a series of roads and tree plantations. The article suggests that there is decades of research that reveals little evidence that wolves cause declines in prey populations but quotes none. ….I would suggest many factors are contributing to the deer populations being what they are including harvesting activities, mining, colonization, hunting, tourism, climate change so why just pick on forest practices?

Read More

Homeowners again offered cash to join battle against ash borer

CBC News
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Ottawa and a local conservation authority are teaming up once again to recruit residents in their fight against the destructive emerald ash borer. For the second year in a row, the city and South Nation Conservation are offering Ottawa homeowners up to $500 per tree to remove and replace trees damaged by the invasive beetle. There’s a 10-tree limit per participant. The emerald ash borer was first detected in North America in 2002, and has since destroyed millions of trees including many in this region. The ash borer gradually infiltrates trees, blocking the passage of nutrients from roots to leaves. It can take years for a tree to sustain serious damage, but homeowners will start noticing dead patches soon after the insects get down to work.

Read More

Forestry ambassadors engage with youth to promote Green Jobs

EACOM Timber Corporation
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS, ONTARIO – Timmins community welcomed Zac Wagman today as he progresses on Project Learning Tree Canada’s Green Ride for Green Jobs on his Picolo Velo wooden bicycle. Starting his day at the EACOM Timmins centennial sawmill with a tour, he then presented the virtues of Green Jobs to youth at the local YMCA and took a scenic ride around the city. …“The partnership with PLT Canada is a natural fit, showing that by managing Canada’s greatest renewable resource responsibly, we generate stable jobs and opportunity for communities like Timmins. We’re happy that Zac is riding across our communities and inspiring youth to consider these wonderful careers in the great outdoors,” concluded Kevin Edgson, President and CEO, EACOM Timber Corporation and Project Learning Tree Canada Board Member.

Read More

Northwestern Ontario forests becoming more susceptible to frequent fires, insect damage, expert says

CBC News
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A researcher with the Canadian Forest Service says, while forest fires are a common and essential part of northwestern Ontario’s boreal ecosystem, climate change will alter how frequently the region sees a “bad year.” The 2019 forest fire season has seen several large fires, some of which have forced evacuations of remote First Nations, burned very close to municipalities and damaged some power and telecommunications infrastructure. “None of the individual fires that are actually occurring would be something that we would say are driven by climate change,” said Joshua Johnston, a forest fire research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service. “Ten, 15 years ago, you might have had a bad year every four or five years.” “What we’re seeing [now] is a trend towards having more frequent activities, so, basically, it’s going to start to become more like an annual basis.”

Read More

Drier summers are killing Oregon’s native trees; residents, scientists worried

By Tracy Loew
Statesman Journal
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s iconic Douglas firs are declining as the state’s summers have grown hotter and drier. Drought also is killing grand fir, and may be contributing to declines in Western red cedar and bigleaf maple. “A lot of people really notice it, especially driving down I-5,” said Christine Buhl, an entomologist for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “They see a lot of dead trees in the hills.” Oregon has experienced drought each summer since 2012, peaking in 2015. While rainfall and snowpack have been close to average the past two years, temperatures in many areas still were above normal. Climate change is expected to increase drought in Oregon. Oregon Department of Forestry scientists conduct statewide aerial and ground tree surveys across 30 million acres each year, recording the number of dead and dying trees from all causes, including drought, storms, disease and insect damage. 

Read More

OSU pauses old growth logging

Corvallis Gazette-Times
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Doug Pollock

The head of Oregon State University’s College of Forestry has ordered a temporary halt to the cutting of older trees on the college’s research forests after questions were raised about a logging operation near Corvallis that took down multiple trees more than 200 years old, including one Douglas fir that may date back to 1599.Interim Dean Anthony Davis announced the moratorium in a memo to students, faculty and staff on July 12, about a month after a logging operation called the No Vacancy harvest was conducted near Sulphur Springs in the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest just north of Corvallis.The 15.6-acre clear-cut was in a stand of predominantly Douglas fir forest with mature trees estimated to be 80 to 200 years old. But after it was logged, people recreating in the area started counting tree rings on some of the stumps and came up with much higher age estimates.

Read More

Health & Safety

Hammond Lumber mills take first in safety

By Rod Wiles, Hammond Lumber
Boothbay Register
July 22, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

The Northeast Lumber Manufacturers Association (NeLMA) announced in July that it has given Hammond Lumber Company four awards for outstanding safety performance during 2018 at Hammond’s sawmill and planer mill in Belgrade. The awards are given to mills operating in the New England states, plus New York and Pennsylvania. A Maine family-owned business founded in 1953, Hammond finished first in Division 2 for the combined operations of both mills. Divisions are determined by the number of worker-hours logged during a calendar year. A Division 1 classification represents 1 to 25,000 hours, while Division 2 represents 25,000 to 50,000 hours. The Maine family-owned business also earned first place in Division 1 for planer-mill safety, first place in Division 2 for sawmill safety, and received a certificate for achieving an accident-free year in both mills.

Read More

Forest Fires

AP Explains: Deadly mega-fires bring new challenge to Europe

By Barry Hatton
Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 23, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

LISBON, Portugal — The European Union describes wildfires as “a serious and increasing threat” across the continent. Most alarmingly, forest blazes are growing in intensity, especially in southern countries such as Greece, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal but also in Scandinavia. Experts warn the continent needs to get ready for blazes that reach a massive new scale. These superfires, or mega-fires, are catastrophic events that kill and blacken broad areas and are hard to stop. Here’s a look at Europe’s wildfire problem. …In Western Europe, people have been leaving the land and moving to the cities. Abandoned fields, pastures and forests have been left to themselves, becoming overgrown with what turns into fuel for wildfires. …Conifer forests and eucalyptus plantations, which provide income for landowners, are common and burn fiercely. The spread of urban areas, meanwhile, has brought homes close to forests, and danger lies in the proximity.
 

Read More