Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 16, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Tolko takes more downtime in BC, Conifex closes Arkansas mill

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 16, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tolko announced more downtime at three BC mills effecting 700 employees, while Conifex closes its Arkansas mill, laying off 92. In related news: BC lumber exports to the US plunge; BC’s minister asks for federal help; and Mackenzie BC workers rally against curtailments. 

Meanwhile; the Town of Fort Frances wants Resolute’s harvesting licence revoked due to a non-compete clause on the sale of its Fort Frances mill, but MPP says the decision was Resolute’s to make. Other companies in the news include Northern Pulp’s potential extension, and Pinnacle’s energy plant expansion.

In Forestry/Climate news: Alberta ups effort on caribou protection plans; New Brunswick’s clearcuts an eyesore and a teaching moment; Ontario researchers seek to make trees more resilient to climate change; and forest fires are getting too hot for fire-adapted animals.

Finally, thanks for your patience while the Frogs recharged their batteries.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Restart for Arkansas sawmill at end; 92 workers to lose jobs

By Conifex Timber Inc.
Global Newswire
August 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

An El Dorado sawmill resuscitated two years ago will be closed over the next 60 days, putting 92 employees out of work. A poor market for lumber forced the decision, said Ken Shields, chairman and chief executive officer of Conifex Timber Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia. …Shields, however, held out hopes for restarting the mill at some point. …Six workers in El Dorado will be retained for support activities, including maintenance of equipment in the event of a restart, said Sandy Ferguson, a Conifex spokesman. Conifex bought the El Dorado facility for $21 million in 2015, years after it had been shuttered by Georgia Pacific. In 2017, the mill reopened after $80 million was put into improvements. …Closing the El Dorado mill will reduce Conifex’s lumber production in the southern U.S. by about 21 million board feet for the rest of 2019, the company said.

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B.C. softwood lumber exports plunge as U.S. duties and slowing construction reduce demand

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
August 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The value of B.C. softwood shipments into the United States has plunged 25 per cent as American duties and lower-than-expected home construction south of the border reduce demand. In the first half of this year, producers in BC sent softwood worth $1.5-billion to the United States, compared with $2-billion in the same period last year, according to trade data compiled by the B.C. government. The volume of lumber exports has also tumbled… down 10 per cent from the same period in 2018. …The slump in exports to Canada’s largest trading partner underscores the tough times faced by B.C. lumber producers, including Canfor Corp. …The combination of excess supplies and dampened demand has translated into lower prices for lumber products. …“It will not be until 2020 before a better supply/demand balance occurs to raise prices,” Russ Taylor, managing director at wood research company Forest Economic Advisors Canada, said in an August report. [to access the full story a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Ministers agree to work together to promote Canadian forestry

Forest Products Association of Canada
August 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Waskesiu Lake, SKAt the close of the 2019 annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) in Northern Saskatchewan, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) announced its support for the Ministers’ commitment to work together to promote Canadian forestry and forest products to the country and the world. FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor … said he was pleased with the discussions and outcomes from this week’s meetings. “This was definitely one of the best meetings of forestry ministers from across Canada that I have attended in recent years,” Nighbor said. “There was a real focus on the big picture”. …“At the backdrop of media reports this week of a possible global recession looming, I was very pleased to see Ministers prepared to stand up for the values of Canadian forestry and the men and women who rely on our sector to pay the rent or mortgage and provide for their families,” Nighbor added.

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Timber belongs to the people of the North Thompson Valley, not to any forest company

Letter by Glen Small, former logger and author, Clearwater, BC
BC Local News
August 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Glen Small

The Timber in the Central North Thompson Valley has been harvested and processed here by the same mill continuously since the Archibald’s started a mill in about 1937… There is enough timberland here to supply a mill for another 80 years and then some if it is managed properly, but the timber has to be milled here in this valley. …The timber belongs to the people of the valley, not to any forest company. Canfor bought … only the RIGHT TO HARVEST, if they choose to close their mill in Vavenby then they lose the right to the timber. …Canfor will never be able to sell all their timber holdings to Interfor for $60 million, as reported. The First Nations, the Community Forest at Clearwater andBC Timber Sales will all want a share. Canfor will be lucky to get $25 million for what is left. …With the strength of Bill 22, the government has the right to stop any transfer of timber licenses. 

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Northern Development Initiative Trust looks to help businesses hit by mill closures

Prince George Citizen
August 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Monday the Northern Development Initiative Trust announced a rebate program aimed at helping small- and medium-sized businesses affected by permanent mill closures and curtailments. The Forestry Affected Business Consulting Rebate program will reimburse businesses for up to 75 per cent of the costs of hiring consultants to assist the firm plan for the downturn in the forest sector. The maximum rebate is $15,000. “The Trust is very aware of the potential economic impacts mill closures and curtailments may have on communities and businesses in our service region,” said NDIT CEO Joel McKay. “This program seeks to help offset those impacts and sustain our communities during this difficult time.”

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Forestry job losses just as important as SNC-Lavalin and auto sector, B.C. leaders argue

By Nicole Oud
CBC News
August 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Justin Trudeau and Amarjeet Sohi

The B.C. government says the federal government should treat forestry job losses in B.C. with the same importance it gives to industries in Ontario and Quebec. …According to Donaldson, more than 3,900 workers have been affected by sawmill closures and curtailments. “There was an inordinate amount of attention paid to the potential job loss at a large corporation like SNC-Lavalin,” Donaldson said.  “I think with the number of workers affected … we need the same kind of attention for an important industry in B.C.” …Donaldson said people are asking for immediate help. “Things like bridging funding for early retirement, tweaks to the employment insurance criteria and assistance with retraining.” …Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty said he doesn’t think the federal government fully comprehends the situation in B.C. …For his part, federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, said he’s acutely aware of the frustration in B.C.

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Pinnacle’s $30 million expansion project gets nod from Williams Lake council

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
August 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.’s request to upgrade and expand production at its plant in Williams Lake was unanimously approved by city council at Tuesday’s regular meeting. Final issuance of the permit, however, will not be approved unless Pinnacle’s application for an amended air quality permit with the Ministry of Environment is granted and its storm drainage design is approved by the City’s engineer. Before council voted, several members of the public spoke against the development permit, many suggesting it is time the plant be moved from its present location at the southwest end of the lake. …Ron Myhre, the general manager of Pinnacle, said because the plant was built in 2004, it is needing to pursue expansion because they are going to be receiving different fibre than in the past.

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Forests minister missing in action

By Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River North
Energetic City
August 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Davies

At a time when he is most needed, the man in charge of the forest ministry appears to be missing in action – still! Doug Donaldson is the NDP Minister of Forests (FLNRORD). He is also one of the few MLAs the NDP managed to get elected outside of the lower mainland in the 2017 provincial election. As such, Donaldson …should be the guy who speaks up for northern and rural communities like ours who depend on natural resources for a living. We have presented options to help the industry. These recommendations have fallen on deaf ears. Seems like, unfortunately for us, when the going got tough, Donaldson stopped showing. …In desperation, Horgan has appointed lower mainland MLA Ravi Kahlon as Donaldson’s parliamentary secretary …The question is, how long will Horgan keep Donaldson in cabinet while the forest industry continues to nose dive?

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Tolko Industries announces more downtime for its Okanagan plants

By Doyle Potenteau
Global News
August 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries says three of its wood mills in the Okanagan will temporarily shut down for two weeks. Citing the ongoing wood downturn, the company announced on Thursday that its lumber plant and plywood plant in Armstrong, plus its White Valley veneer mill in Lavington, will temporarily close. The downtime will run August 17 to September 2. Also, Tolko announced that its Heffley Creek plywood and veneer plant in Kamloops will temporarily close from August 24 to September 2. Connolly says employees were informed of the decision earlier Thursday. “This downtime will affect over 700 of our employees in these operations,” said Connolly.” …More than a month of downtime for Kelowna’s Tolko division was announced at the end of July. The plant will be down from Aug. 6 to Sept. 15.

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B.C. business groups cry bias, pull out of workers’ compensation review

By Rob Shaw
The Vancouver Sun
August 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Harry Bains

VICTORIA — The business community has resigned en masse from a review of B.C.’s workers’ compensation system, saying the government-appointed reviewer is regurgitating recommendations made a decade ago for the B.C. Federation of Labour. A group of 46 associations representing the bulk of the business sector — including… the B.C. Council of Forest Industries  — announced their immediate pullout from a review into the rights of injured workers, how much compensation they get and the responsibilities of employers. The review is headed by retired labour lawyer Janet Patterson. …“The concern is Janet Patterson is biased in how she approaches this review and the focus will be on fairly significant and dramatic wholesale changes in WorkSafeBC.” …Some of the selected issues included: Entrenching a policy of compensation regardless of who is at fault… and reinstating “medical review panels”… to provide independent medical exams.

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Mackenzie workers to rally against curtailments, indefinite closure on two mills

By Kyle Balzer
Prince George Matters
August 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s been nearly a month since Mackenzie’s Canfor sawmill shut down indefinitely and two weeks since a temporary curtailment on its Conifex mill was extended. In response, the local branch of the Public and Private Works of Canada (PPWC) has scheduled a rally in the District next week, protesting the closures and curtailments that have left hundreds without jobs. …Local unions and businesses are hoping their voices will be heard by marching from the forestry building and through the District to the Mackenzie Recreation Centre. The ‘Mackenzie Matters’ event is slated for Thursday, Aug. 22 from Noon to 4 p.m. Once the march is complete at 1:30 p.m., the rally is slated to have politicians and other speakers.

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What have been the trickle-down effects of a struggling forestry industry?

By Matt Fetinko
CKPG Today
August 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE — It’s been a long summer for the forestry industry. A string of closures, curtailments, and shifts cut, have made for tense times among all involved. But lost in the shuffle has been those businesses who rely on forestry workers. CKPG has talked with multiple local businesses that work in the forestry sector to see how they have been affected but none wanted to speak publicly to avoid jeopardizing any existing and pending relationships. In those talks, an unnamed source did mention at least one competitor having to close it’s doors as a result of the closures and curtailments, leading to a potential transfer of contracts. Northern Development Initiative Trust has put in a new incentive for secondary and tertiary businesses. Consulting rebates for small and medium sized businesses are available of up to 75 per cent, to a maximum of $15,000. 

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Fire, pestilence and what remains of B.C.’s forestry industry

By Rob Munro
InfoTel News
August 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KELOWNA – The crises in the Interior forest industry that led to a number of recent mill closures and ongoing cutbacks have been decades in the making. That’s the perspective from Nick Arkle, CEO of the Gorman Group of mills based out of West Kelowna and with operations in places like Salmon Arm, Lumby and Revelstoke. In many ways, today’s problems started when Arkle was starting out decades ago. “When I was a young guy, before I went off to university to study forestry, I was working in our woodlands department here at Gorman’s – so we’re talking 1975, 1976,” Arkle told iNFOnews.ca. “The mountain pine beetle infestations, while they’ve always been kind of endemic in the province — they were always here — that was when they started to be experienced at a sort of epidemic level.” By the 1990s, massive areas of B.C.’s forests had turned red as trees were dying from beetle kill.

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B.C. minister asks for urgent federal help with forestry sector crisis

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
August 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C’s Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson has hand-delivered a direct plea for federal help in dealing with the cascading affects of the growing crisis in British Columbia’s forest industry. With some 3,900 workers put out of work, at least temporarily, in 16 communities over recent months, Donaldson wrote to federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi asking for federal support to deal with the “urgent need” for specific assistance. Donaldson handed the letter to Sohi’s deputy minister Christyne Tremblay Tuesday during the annual Canadian Council of Forest Ministers conference at Waskesiu Lake, Sask. In the letter Donaldson proposed that his deputy minister John Allan and Tremblay work together on adjusting Employment Insurance eligibility requirements for laid-off mill workers, developing early retirement incentives, and establishing worker transition offices. …Opposition forestry critic John Rustad, the MLA for Nechako Lakes, said the measures mirror what his caucus said Donaldson and Premier John Horgan should have been asking for two months ago.

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Smart money is on Northern Pulp deadline extension

By Paul O’Connell
The Chronicle Herald
August 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Stephen McNeil likely didn’t need the reminder from the union representing workers at the Northern Pulp mill near Pictou. …But there was Unifor president Jerry Dias earlier this month, insisting that the province get to work saving his members’ jobs by getting the new treatment plant started. …the clock is ticking toward a deadline that can’t be met. Sooner or later, McNeil will have to deliver bad news to someone. …By holding open the possibility of an extension if the mill meets environmental approval, McNeil is giving its owners tacit approval to keep spending money toward the new treatment plant’s construction. And if you still wonder what might happen to Northern Pulp, consider this: an NDP government spent millions to keep the mill in Port Hawkesbury open in 2012. With hundreds of jobs at stake again, the Liberal government must be thinking very hard along similar lines. [Requires Chonicle Herald subscription to access full story]

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Fort Frances wants Resolute Forest Products’ harvesting licence revoked

Northern Ontario Business
August 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Town of Fort Frances is calling on Queen’s Park to pull Resolute Forest Products’ licence to harvest wood on the Crossroute Forest. …Mayor June Caul called out the “arrogance” of the Montreal-headquartered paper giant for its attempt to “monopolize” control of the nearby Crown forest, and wants the province to cancel the sustainable forest licence (SFL) granted to the company. After town officials learned of Resolute’s imposition of a non-competition agreement on the new owner of the dormant pulp and paper mill, they want the province to step in and transfer Resolute’s share of wood in the Crossroute to new investors who will restart operations at the plant, closed since 2014. “It appears Resolute thinks they own our forests,” Caul read in a prepared statement inside council chambers, flanked by her colleagues. “They’re wrong. The forests of our district belong to the people of Ontario, to our communities, not a Quebec-based multi-national corporation.”

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Regulator takes control of Sussex woodlot owners group

By Connell Smith
CBC News
August 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bill Richards

New Brunswick’s Forest Products Commission has taken temporary control of the Sussex-based SNB Forest Products Marketing Board in a move described by critics as showing “no respect” for woodlot owners. The commission, the official regulator of the province’s seven woodlot owners marketing boards, now functions as SNB’s board of directors. It will oversee staff who negotiate wood prices and manage the purchase and marketing of forest products sales for 8,000 private woodlot owners. SNB chair Bill Richards likened the takeover to putting “the fox in charge of the chicken coop.” …For much of the last decade SNB has been locked in a battle with J.D. Irving… over efforts by forestry companies to bypass wood-price negotiators at the marketing board and buy logs directly from individual woodlot owners.

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Resolute’s deal with Riversedge prohibits restarting the Fort Frances mill

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
August 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES — The mayor of Fort Frances says restrictive covenants attached to the recent sale of the town’s pulp and paper mill amount to “despicable corporate conduct.” At a news conference… June Caul said the covenants show that neither Resolute nor the new owner, Riversedge Developments, had any intention of allowing the mill to start up again. According to town officials, several restrictions were registered on the title of the mill properties on July 9. “These covenants include restrictions…that prohibit the sale to any entity that would manufacture various types of pulp or paper products, restrictions that require the sale of key mill assets for scrap, and restrictions that prohibit a new owner from engaging the provincial government to request access to a wood supply from the Crossroute Forest,” a news release stated.

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Greg Rickford says decisions about Fort Frances mill sale ‘are Resolute’s to make’

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
August 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Greg Rickford

FORT FRANCES, Ont. — Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford has made his first public comment since the revelation that strict conditions were attached to the recent sale of the Resolute pulp and paper mill. Rickford, who’s also the Minister of Northern Development, issued a brief statement Wednesday which gave no indication how the provincial government might respond to a request from the Town of Fort Frances. At a news conference Tuesday, town council called on the province to cancel Resolute’s licence to harvest the Crossroute Forest. Rickford’s statement said the government is committed to making the forestry sector “open for business and open for jobs through the development of a new provincial forestry strategy.” It added, however, that “As the former owner of the pulp mill, decisions regarding the sale of the facility are Resolute’s to make.”

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Powerful video teases grand opening of Alabama sawmill — ‘American dreams begin with American jobs’

By Sean Ross
Yellow Hammers News
August 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Governor Kay Ivey recently declared, “Alabama’s timber industry is at full throttle.” There is no greater evidence to support this statement than the upcoming August 27 grand opening of Abbeville Fiber Sawmill in Henry County. A “who’s who” of state and local dignitaries will be in attendance, including the governor, to celebrate the creation of over 100 direct jobs in the area, as well as significant new tax revenue for the city and the county. However, this new facility is about much more than the facts and figures involved. For this rural Yellowhammer State community, Abbeville Fiber is indicative of a way of life. With the big event coming up, a chill-inducing video featuring the tagline “American dreams begin with American jobs” was released on Thursday evening.

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Russia warns China it could ban timber exports over illegal logging – Vedomosti

Reuters
August 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

MOSCOW – Russia could ban timber exports to China unless Beijing takes action to help mitigate the effects of illegal logging, a Russian government minister said in an interview published on Thursday. Russian authorities this month attributed some of the vast wildfires that have engulfed portions of Siberia in recent weeks to arsonists trying to conceal illegal logging activity. Dmitry Kobylkin, Russia’s minister of natural resources and environment, used an interview with the daily Vedomosti newspaper published on Thursday to complain about what he said was China’s unsatisfactory attitude towards the problem. “They come, buy up the (illegal) timber and leave us to clear up the debris,” Kobylkin said of Chinese loggers. “China must clearly understand that if they don’t take part in resolving this issue, then we will have no other option but to completely ban timber exports.”

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Finance & Economics

Canadian home sales rise 12.6 per cent in July

By Ian Bickis
The Canadian Press
August 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Canadian home sales rose in July in broad gains as markets start to recover from the stress test tightening last year, although economists say global concerns raise some uncertainties for the future. The Canadian Real Estate Association said on Thursday that home sales rose 12.6 per cent in July from a year earlier, and were up 3.5 per cent seasonally adjusted from June.

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US Mortgage Rates Remain Near Historical Lows

Freddie Mac
August 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Freddie Mac… Primary Mortgage Market Survey® showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate… unchanged from last week. “The sound and fury of the financial markets continue to warn of an impending recession, however, mortgage demand reached a three-year high… the decline in rates over the last month is causing a spike in refinancing activity… and purchase demand is up seven percent from a year ago.”

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Builder Confidence Trending Higher as Interest Rates Move Lower

By Robert Dietz
The National Association of Home Builders
August 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 66 in August, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Sentiment levels have held at a solid 64-to-66 level for the past four months. Even as builders report a firm demand for single-family homes, they continue to struggle with rising construction costs. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Federal government puts $2.5 million toward wood construction education

Journal of Commerce
August 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Rick Jeffery

OTTAWA, ON. – The Government of Canada is looking to fund the next generation of engineers and architects looking to design and build with wood. Federal minister of natural resources Amarjeet Sohi announced on Aug. 6 that the government will invest $2.5 million in the Canadian Wood Council’s Advanced Wood Education Roadmap to promote the benefits of and opportunities afforded by using wood in non-residential construction. …The project will design and implement new post-secondary learning curricula, resources, tools and work placements to teach the benefits of wood, wood-hybrid and non-traditional construction. “…Supporting post-secondary institutions will equip future engineers, architects, and builders with the knowledge and skillsets to design and build modern wood structures — resulting in expanded market demand for Canadian wood products, support for job growth, promotion of innovation in research and technology, and mitigation of climate change through carbon absorption and storage,” Canadian Wood Council interim president Rick Jeffery said.

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TIMBER IN THE CITY: Students Awarded Prizes for Innovative Designs Using Wood for NYC

By Parul Bubey
Informed Infrastructure – Civil and Structural Engineers magazine
August 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

NEW YORK —Today, the winning entrants were announced of a student design competition exploring wood as an innovative building material. Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition, organized by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the Binational Softwood Lumber Council and Parsons School of Design, attracted more than 920 architectural students and faculty. Entrants designed proposals to imagine the transformation of our cities through sustainable buildings from renewable resources, offering efficient affordable construction, innovating with new and traditional timber materials, and designing healthy living and working environments. The winning entrants, with prizes totaling $40,000, were chosen by a panel of leading architects and professors based on the design’s ability to integrate wood as the primary structural material while meeting the needs of the local community. …Entrants were challenged to propose construction systems in scenarios that draw optimally on the performance characteristics of not one but a variety of wood technologies.

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6 Ways That Steel Building Structures Are Eco-friendly

By Annie Qureshi
Blue & Green Tomorrow
August 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…here are 6 ways steel buildings structures are the most eco-friendly materials to use. …The pre-engineered nature of steel frames translates to shorter construction times and less construction waste than any other building materials. …Wood can leave as high as 20% waste in construction sites while steel-frames only leave about 2%. Besides, steel is one of the most recyclable building materials today. …steel is one of the most durable building materials in the world today. …A steel building is the most eco-friendlyalternative because they require the least amount of renovation. …Remember that steel is resistant to termites, destructive insects and is reasonably more fireproof than wood. …cities are passing greenhouse laws that construction companies must adhere to.  The use of steel as an eco-friendly material is gaining in popularity. …Steel companies around the world have been working hard to produce more energy-efficient plants with zero emissions. …making steel construction a more eco-friendly alternative than wood construction.

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Canada Strengthens Indigenous Innovation in Saskatchewan’s Forest Sector

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
August 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

SASKATOON – Canada’s forest sector continues to be an important source of employment across the country, including in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. That is why Canada is investing in projects to equip Indigenous communities with tools to build greener businesses and promote economic stability in the forest sector. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced a $3 million investment in Meadow Lake Tribal Council Industrial Investments LP to modernize its NorSask Forest Products facility with necessary upgrades and innovative technologies. The new and improved facility will significantly enhance efficiency and reduce energy consumption while sustaining hundreds of jobs and driving economic growth in the region. The funding is provided through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) program, which supports Indigenous-led economic development opportunities in Canada’s forest sector. 

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Forestry

Project Learning Tree Canada celebrates International Youth Day as Green Ride for Green Jobs bike tour arrives in Ottawa

By Project Learning Tree
Global Newswire
August 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — PLT Canada Green Jobs manager Zac Wagman’s cross-country bike tour to inspire young Canadians to pursue careers in forestry and conservation arrived in Ottawa today to celebrate International Youth Day. Joined by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier, Wagman cycled to Strathcona Park to discuss with youth the possibilities that exist to start their green careers. PLT Canada’s Green Jobs aims to place more than 2,000 young Canadians in the forest and conservation sectors by 2020, with a strong focus on Indigenous, newcomer, and rural youth. “We believe that every youth should have a chance to explore work experiences in the outdoors – and want to support them as they explore their pathway to their green career,” said Kathy Abusow, CEO and President of Project Learning Tree Canada.

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The battle for Haida Gwaii’s cedars

By Ben Parfitt
The Narwhal
August 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On islands known for their monumental works of art, the monumental trees that make that art possible are getting harder and harder to find. Centuries old red and yellow cedar trees, the essential raw materials that make Haida poles, canoes, bentwood boxes, masks, intricately woven hats and so much more possible, are being logged at a steady clip. And once again on Haida Gwaii, there are renewed calls to slow that old-growth logging before it’s too late. …In the ensuing decades, half of Haida Gwaii’s forests would be protected, a level of conservation unrivalled in most jurisdictions around the world. But the flipside of that protection was to concentrate logging on a smaller land base, allowing the assault on cedar, the tree that the Haida co-evolved with over thousands of years, to continue.

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North Cowichan forestry appointment makes sense

By Al Siebring, mayor of the District Municipality of North Cowichan
Victoria Times Colonist
August 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Al Siebring

Re: “Conflict of interest and North Cowichan trees”. Larry Pynn’s commentary could leave a casual reader with some wrong impressions of the role played by Cedar Elliott, the operations manager for Khowutzun Forest Services with respect to his membership on North Cowichan’s Forest Advisory Committee. In spite of Pynn’s insistence that there is “no reason to think [Elliott] is not a good and honourable man … the article certainly leaves the impression … that Elliott has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Nothing could be further from the truth. …North Cowichan council is fully committed to reviewing our forestry operations, and is about to embark on a major public consultation process to that end. We acknowledge there is always room for improvement. But while Pynn may be … “a veteran environmental journalist and winner of eight Jack Webster journalism awards,” it’s clear that his contribution to this discussion is far from balanced.

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Select Seed Co. looking to establish new lodgepole pine seed orchard in Quesnel

By Lindsay Chung
Quesnel Observer
August 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Select Seed Co. Ltd. is looking to establish a new 5,000-tree pine seed orchard in the Quesnel area and is currently on the hunt for the right piece of land. Brian Barber, CEO of Select Seed Co. Ltd. and program manager for the Forest Genetics Council of B.C., met with the City of Quesnel and some community members last month to share information about Select Seed’s plans to establish a lodgepole pine seed orchard near Quesnel, respond to questions and solicit ideas and suggestions. A seed orchard is plantation of selected trees managed to produce seed. The orchard produces cones and seeds from trees that are grafted from selected parents. “The seed orchards are the actual delivery arm of the tree improvement cycle,” said Barber. …Barber says a benefit of seed orchards is being able to increase capacity for reforestation.

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Missing link

Letter by Ray Travers, RFP (Ret.), Victoria
The Prince George Citizen
August 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ray Travers

On July 3, the B.C. Forest Practices Board proposed a new forward looking forest-planning process – described as the “missing link.” This welcome proposal could provide direction to forest operations on public (Crown) land, which is 94 per cent of B.C. and a public asset of enormous importance and value. To be effective and efficient, however, this new planning process will require: outcomes based legislation. This proposed legislation (and regulations) would ensure both political accountability, while enabling practitioners the flexibility required in diverse situations to deliver competent results; forest condition indicators (data), to measure the present condition of our forests, to establish success or failure; an annual sustainability scorecard, to inform citizen owners whether we are winning or losing; and effective corrective action, to contain the losses and restore ecological integrity, quality and value to ensure the multiple benefits from our magnificent forests can be secured and sustained.

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New task forces to dive into Alberta caribou protection plans

By Janet French
Edmonton Journal
August 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s dwindling population of boreal and mountain caribou will return to the fore as the provincial government strikes three task forces to advise how best to balance protection with industrial activity. Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon will announce today his ministry is assembling three regional task forces of up to 16 people each to review a 2017 draft plan to reverse the decline of caribou in 15 areas of Alberta. The provincial government needs to concoct a plan to protect caribou in 15 “ranges” or risks the federal government imposing its own protection measures. Caribou are defined as threatened by Canada’s Species At Risk Act. Nixon said Wednesday the task forces will spend the next year working on the project. So-called “range plans” describing how industrial activity might be limited, caribou habitat restored and predators inhibited, among other steps, should begin rolling out in about 18 months, he said.

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Area tour used to connect Ontario’s north and south when it comes to forestry

Timmins Today
August 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A group of southern Ontario architects, engineers, and union leaders participated in a tour of forestry and mill operations in Timmins, Ont. as part of the It Takes a Forest awareness initiative. Co-sponsored by Forests Ontario, EACOM Timber Corporation and Rayonier Advanced Materials, the tour connected individuals across the wood-construction value chain. …The mill and bush tour was born out of the need to increase awareness around the forest sector, as well as to address the knowledge gap between southern Ontario wood users and northern Ontario wood manufacturers and forest managers.

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Clearcuts around Mount Carleton an eyesore to hikers, a teaching exhibit to industry

By Shane Fowler
CBC News
August 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

On a clear day, you might see 10 million trees from the top of Mount Carleton, according to a hiking map provided by the Mount Carleton Provincial Park in northern New Brunswick. But these days, the panoramic view from the highest peak in the Maritimes also reveals nearly 100 clearcuts, tracts of land shorn of trees. “It’s an eyesore for sure,” said Michel Gallant of Bathurst, hiking down from the summit with his family. …According to forest company representatives, the logging operations around Mount Carleton provide a look at “a working forest” and showcase how important the industry is to the province. “I think it’s a golden opportunity at the park to have some sort of interpretation of what’s happening on that site,” said Mike Legere, the executive director of Forest NB. …Despite the obvious logging, some tourists still find the view breathtaking. 

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Researcher seeks to make trees more resilient amid a changing climate

By University of Toronto
Phys.org
August 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Katharina Braeutigam

Katharina Braeutigam, a plant epigeneticist at the University of Toronto, wants to grow trees fit for a future climate. By studying plants at the molecular level, Braeutigam looks at how trees respond to external signals such as drought, and how they record “memories” of stress. She also researches how they respond to internal signals—specifically those that determine sex. The hope is to find individual genotypes that can be adapted to a changing climate. That’s because a fast-changing environment may not allow trees—which themselves play a key role in driving the planet’s climate by buffering carbon dioxide levels through photosynthesis—to reproduce quickly enough for standard natural selection to happen, leaving them to die in their own habitat. …”Does [a tree] teach its children? This is a hotly debated topic in biology that we call transgenerational molecular memory. We know that this happens in short-lived plants,” says Brauetigam.

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Forest fires are getting too hot—even for fire-adapted animals

By Jason Goldman
National Geographic
August 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…Over millions of years, the forests of western North America have become adapted to routine burning, caused by lightning strikes, allowing forests to retain a variety of old, middle-aged, and young plants that support myriad species of animals. Many of the animals that make their homes in those forests depend on—or at least can tolerate—the disturbance that comes from the blazes. …And while this species does indeed rely heavily on burned areas, it turns out what it really needs is pyrodiversity—a mosaic of burned and unburned areas. In a study published August 6 in the journal The Condor, researchers studied how habitats affected the woodpeckers’ choice of nest sites. …Patterns of forest burning have changed considerably in recent years… many forests now contain massive reserves of unburned fuel. That means that when fires do occur, they tend to burn hotter and longer, and they spread faster.

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State aims to help fight lawsuits challenging Helena-area forestry project

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
August 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state of Montana is seeking to join the fight against lawsuits challenging a major forestry project near Helena. The Montana Department of Justice under Attorney General Tim Fox filed its request Monday to intervene in litigation over the Forest Service’s Ten Mile-South Helena Project. The request has not been challenged by other parties in the lawsuits and allows DOJ to argue the state’s position in several aspects of the cases. “This case is extremely important because of the state lands at issue that could burn, the watershed that’s so important not only under state law concerning ownership of water but public safety and health, and then of course the fire danger because the fuel loading in this area is so high that it’s become a tinderbox,” said Attorney General Tim Fox.

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