Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 20, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canada invests in climate mitigation, species at risk

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 20, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Gov’t of Canada kicked off its national Nature Legacy initiative with investments in 49 new conservation projects, as well as investments in UBC’s biomass energy capacity. In related news: BC foresters are fighting fire with fire to protect woodlands from climate change; Alaska’s wildfire season is extended due to hot weather; and Spain’s Canary islands are burning out of control.

In Business news: tariffs and falling markets impact BC’s Downie Timber, Home Depot, and a broad range of hardwood lumber and cabinet producers. Meanwhile, the battle over Nova Scotia’s Northern Pulp mill hits the big screen in a new documentary.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Downie Timber to be on brief shutdown

The Revelstoke Mountaineer
August 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Revelstoke’s Downie Timber sawmill will halt production for a shortened week in early September in order to reduce inventory. The mill is scheduled to be down from Sept. 3–6, for a total of eight shifts. The mill will be back in operation on Sept. 9. The sawmill currently operates on two shifts per day. Downie Plant Manager, Angus Woodman, said bad weather such as flooding in parts of central Canada and the eastern US, led to reduced demand, causing inventory to increase. …Downie is focused on specialty products, such as cedar products for fencing, decks and other specialty applications. Woodman says Downie’s focus on specialization sets the Revelstoke producer apart from the woes in other areas of B.C. …Woodman says the mill isn’t planning further closures. 

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BC log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

By Tom Fletcher
Campbell River Mirror
August 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government’s new log export rules aren’t allowing increased log exports, they’re on a path to phase them out and the harvesting jobs that go with them, says a logging company with operations in Northwest B.C. NorthPac Forestry Group has partnerships with Gitxsan, Haisla and Tahltan Nations, among the Indigenous communities that now control much of the timber supply in the B.C. Northwest. NorthPac CEO Cathy Craig has spoken out about claims from Skeena Sawmills that new log export limits from the region are increasing and threatening its Terrace sawmill with reduced log supply. The previous government’s order allowed up to 20 per cent of logs to be exported from the region without offering them for sale to B.C. log buyers. The new export limit is higher, but includes logs that no local buyer wanted to bid on, Craig says… “No one can operate under this kind of uncertainty”…

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Battle over future of Nova Scotia pulp mill reflects wider Canadian debate, filmmaker says

By Michael Tutton
Canadian Press in the Globe and Mail
August 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

For filmmaker David Craig, a new documentary depicting the fraught emotions over the future of a rural Nova Scotia pulp mill is not solely a local story. Rather, as tense lines are drawn over Northern Pulp’s plan to pump wastewater into the Northumberland Strait, he sees a wider tale of how Canadian communities can become divided as the interests of heavy industry are pitted against the natural environment. “People are now seriously asking the question ‘What is the limit to resource exploitation?’ ” the 67-year-old seasonal resident of Pictou County said in an interview. “It’s a microcosm of a much larger national story and international story. And it was taking place in front of my eyes, in my neighbourhood.”…The documentary depicts the subsidiary of Paper Excellence as relying on inexpensive raw materials, while providing well-paid jobs at the centre of a rural forestry industry that supplies the factory with logs and wood chips.

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Home Depot cuts outlook citing tariffs, lumber prices

The Associated Press in the Red Deer Advocate
August 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Home Depot cut its sales expectations for the year as lumber prices slid and the company braces for the potential impact of tariffs on its customers. The Trump administration delayed most of the tariffs it planned to impose on Chinese goods last week and dropped others altogether, responding to pressure from businesses. Lumber prices are falling because of weakness on the home construction. The Commerce Department said Friday that the pace of U.S. home construction fell a sharp 4% in July. …Still, the company handily beat second quarter profit expectations with Americans capitalizing on falling mortgage rates. …“We are encouraged by the momentum we are seeing from our strategic investments…,” CEO Craig Menear said. “That being said, lumber prices have declined significantly compared to last year, which impacts our sales growth.

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AF&PA Statement on Uncoated Free Sheet Paper Anti-circumvention Petitions

The American Forest & Paper Association
August 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Donna Harman

WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association CEO Donna Harman… regarding the anti-circumvention petitions filed by several U.S. manufacturers… with the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission for uncoated freesheet paper in rolls from Australia, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Portugal. …“U.S. trade laws include provisions to ensure that U.S. companies and workers are not harmed by foreign unfair trade practices. The petitions represent an effort to ensure that foreign producers do not circumvent the payment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on uncoated free sheet paper in sheet form that have been in place since early 2016 by importing sheeter rolls into the U.S. that are then converted into sheet form. …“Government enforcement of domestic and international trade rules is important to safeguard the health of the U.S. paper industry.”

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2500 gallon spill at Nippon pulp mill mostly contained

By Alex Bruell
Longview Daily News
August 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

About 2,500 gallons of treated wastewater and sludge spilled from the Nippon Dynawave pulp mill late Sunday morning, according to the state Department of Ecology. The spill was reported at 11:47 a.m., Ecology spokesman Jeff Zenk said Monday. About 2,000 gallons of the material hit the pavement at the Industrial Way mill, where it was captured and drained back into the mill’s treatment system, Zenk said. The other roughly 500 gallons hit soil, he said. Zenk said the cause of the spill remained unclear. He said he didn’t have enough information to say whether the spill caused any environmental damage. “Fortunately, the vast majority of it was captured and drained back into the system,” Zenk said. The Department of Ecology industrial division is investigating the spill, Zenk said, and will determine whether to fine the company. Nippon’s Longview mill makes liquid packaging board and market pulp.

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International log war hurting New Zealand

By Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association
Scoop Independent News
August 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The country’s wood processors say the international log price war and protected overseas economies are crippling the New Zealand trade. The Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association told a meeting in Nelson that distortions in international trade were starting to make it difficult for local processors to be competitive globally. The industry worked to add value to New Zealand’s raw timber and supported 25,000 jobs nationwide, but it was fighting to survive. The association’s chief executive, Jon Tanner, said the global playing field was tilting less in New Zealand’s favour. That was because international competitors were playing by a different set of rules. “And all this, we believe, is being caused primarily by subsidies that are being paid out across the world, and that are supporting the industries we are competing with,” Mr Tanner said.

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Finance & Economics

Negative mortgages set another milestone in no-rate world

By Oliver Telling
BNN Bloomberg
August 19, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, International

The world’s headlong dash to zero or negative interest rates just passed another milestone: Homebuyers in Denmark effectively are being paid to take out 10-year mortgages. …The average American 30-year mortgage rate is 3.6 per cent, the lowest since November 2016. A resulting surge in demand for homes sent total mortgage debt to US$9.41 trillion in the second quarter, surpassing the peak reached during the 2008 financial crisis. 

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Wood Dr. comments on housing starts and cabinets

By Karl Forth
Woodworking Network
August 19, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

U.S. housing starts declined 4 percent in July with a large decline in construction of multi-family housing units. …“These issues mean fewer lower cost homes, including “starter homes” for younger people, as well as fewer cabinets and flooring for all prices of housing.”  …Wengert pointed out that the recent tariffs… against low cost Chinese cabinets will mean higher cabinet and wood flooring costs. …“meaning more composite wood products being used instead of solid wood.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadian government invests $2 million in Toronto office building made of timber

By Ainsley Smith
The Daily Hive
August 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

There’s a four-storey, mass timber office building coming to Toronto, and it’s receiving $2 million in funding over the next three years from the Canadian government. The building will house the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) new administrative office building, and it will position Canada as a global leader in advanced wood building design and construction. Additionally, the completion of the project will expand the Canadian wood market into non-traditional, low-rise office buildings, according to the federal government. The funding was contributed as part of NRCan’s Green Construction Through Wood (GCWood) program, which aims to encourage greater use of wood in construction projects. Once completed, the office will be a net-zero energy­-efficient building.

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Northern wood to build Habitat for Humanity homes

The Sudbury Star
August 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Employees of EACOM Timber and representatives from Habitat for Humanity Canada gathered at the Nairn Centre sawmill last week for the official send-off of the last train loaded with lumber destined for Habitat for Humanity projects in Ontario and Quebec. For the third year, EACOM has partnered with Habitat for Humanity. The mill announced its donation of EACOM wood that would go to build sites in Ottawa, Grey Bruce, Thunder Bay and Montreal. Kevin Edgson, CEO of EACOM, joined Mark Rodgers, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. …“We couldn’t do that work without generous donors like EACOM, who not only support our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live, but work right alongside us to make it happen.”

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Forestry

NRCan is hiring a Forest Project and Program Coordinator

By Natural Resources Canada
Government of Canada
August 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Natural Resources Canada is hiring a Forest Project and Program Coordinator. The salary range is $88,834 to $106,233, and the posting closes on September 19, 2019. Natural Resources Canada seeks a dynamic, creative, and resourceful team player to join the Canadian Wood Fibre to coordinate technology transfer including the management of collaborative agreements. The Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) is a science organization dispersed by design comprising researchers and forestry professionals located in Canadian Forest Service (CFS) centres across the country whose mission is to provide sustainable wood fibre solutions to Canada’s forest sector. You will join a collaborative team integrated with the national research programs of both the CFS and FPInnovations, and strongly oriented to the needs forest sector stakeholders.

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Canada invests $4.3 million in local conservation projects to protect species at risk

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

VICTORIA, BC – …As we work together to double the amount of land and oceans protected across Canada by 2020, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting individuals and communities working to help Canada’s species at risk recover and protecting their important habitat. Today in Victoria, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced more than $4.3 million to support 49 new conservation projects across Canada, over the next three years. These projects focus on protecting priority places, species, and sectors and recovering multiple land-based species at risk and their ecosystems. Many of the projects will be led by Indigenous groups, using Indigenous traditional knowledge, in assessing the species that may be at risk, as well as in developing and implementing protection and recovery measures.

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Contempt charge against Balfour logging protesters dropped on technicality

By Tyler Harper
Nelson Star
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Protesters who blocked a logging road in June have had a civil contempt of court charge dropped against them on a technicality. Jessica Ogden, Mick Grabowski and Brock Schneider refused to comply with police orders in June that they allow logging trucks past them on a forest service road near Balfour. RCMP were enforcing an injunction obtained by Cooper Creek Cedar in B.C. Supreme Court. John Doe, Jane Doe and “persons unknown” were also named as defendants. But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Duncan dismissed the case against the trio on July 25 in Nelson after plaintiff Cooper Creek Cedar failed to file a contempt application. In a statement, Ogden questioned the need for the injunction. 

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Better research rather than fear, misinformation

Letter by Ryan Lengsfeld, Nelson BC
The Nelson Daily
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ryan Lengsfeld

I find the reasons for the glyphosate ban being forwarded by the Regional District of Central Kootenay both misguided and misleading. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson stated in 2018 that reforested areas were being sprayed to kill back broadleaf species and give conifers a chance to establish themselves. He further stated that the Ministry is producing hardier conifers that compete better with other growth on their own. As a result the area sprayed is decreasing as these new varieties come on line. The …sprayed constitutes 0.0016% of the forest area in the province. Such a minor area of use to regrow clearcuts more quickly hardly justifies banning the product. …Insofar as health concerns go Health Canada has deemed it safe if used as recommended. …I advocate for decisions based on science and research rather than fear and misinformation. I truly hope the RDCK follows through on making science based decisions that are devoid of fear based and misleading facts.

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Williams Lake mayor to give presentation at national forest fires symposium

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Walt Cobb

Williams Lake mayor Walt Cobb will be sharing information on how the community is moving forward after the 2017 wildfires during a Forest Fires Symposium in Edmonton later this month. The Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Forest Service have invited Cobb to participate in the symposium, along with a group of 40 to 50 experts. …“I am mainly going to talk about some of the things that went wrong and what went right and what we need to do to fire protect our community.” Some of the items on the agenda include forest community safety, fire risk mitigation, fire management, Indigenous prescribed fires and social and policy dimensions of fire management.

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Burning Questions: The quest to protect B.C.’s woodlands from climate change

By Andrew Findlay
BC Business
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jeff Mycock

There’s plenty we can do to make our timber supply and the communities that depend on it more resilient to catastrophic blazes, say foresters. Erik Leslie… manager of the Harrop-Procter Community Forest near Nelson. …on July 27, 2017, after six weeks of rainless, hot, drought-like conditions, lightning struck. …The obvious takeaway from these back-to-back devastating seasons is that B.C. faces a future of increased forest fire frequency and intensity. But a growing number of land managers and foresters are starting to look beyond that truism by calling out another uncomfortable truth: conventional forestry has not only compounded the risk of forest fires, it also isn’t nearly dynamic enough to address climate change’s toll on forest health. “The question is, how are we managing our forests in light of climate change? I really don’t think we’re ahead of the game on this,” says Jeff Mycock, chief forester for West Fraser Timber.

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As I See It: OSU’s thoughtful forest stewardship

By Bob Conder, chairman, Corvallis Rural Fire Protection District
Corvallis Gazette-Times
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I wonder if Kathleen Dean Moore sees the irony in excoriating Oregon State University for logging its forests while holding a promotion of her 240-page book. In her recent As I See It piece, she is correct that our forests do provide us with soul-calming venues to research our own thoughts and feelings. She was wrong in many other ways. She got it wrong when she wrote, “Once it’s destroyed, it will never return.” Trees grow and OSU replants every place they cut — and OSU maintains specific reserves for old growth and retains many older trees after harvests that will grow into older growth and become habitat for all sorts of creatures. This is not the “clear-cutting” image of a barren wasteland totally denuded of trees — it will grow with many different ages of trees for future generations to enjoy.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada’s $175 million investment in nature kicks off conservation projects in every province and territory

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
August 19, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

VICTORIA – …the Government of Canada launched Canada’s $1.35 billion Nature Legacy initiative, the single-largest investment in nature conservation by a government in Canada’s history. Canada’s Nature Legacy will help double the amount of nature protected on land and in our oceans, transform how government protects and recovers species at risk, and advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Conservation also contributes to Canada’s economy through tourism and jobs, and it can bring benefits 10 to 20 times greater than the original investment. Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced the first in a series of 67 conservation initiatives launching in every province and territory, as part of Canada’s Nature Legacy initiative. These projects are supported by the $175 million federal Canada Nature Fund’s Target 1 Challenge, to expand a connected network of protected and conserved areas across Canada.

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Government of Canada supports climate action by the University of British Columbia

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
August 19, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – British Columbians are feeling the impacts of climate change in their communities, from forest fires to droughts. A recent report from expert Canadian scientists showed that Canada was warming at twice the global average. That’s why the Government of Canada is working with businesses, cities and towns, Indigenous communities, universities, schools and hospitals to cut pollution, protect our health, and make life more affordable. Today, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced support for climate action by the University of British Columbia. The $7.6 million funding will help the University with its biomass expansion project, which will increase the University’s renewable energy capacity. This project will help meet the increasing demand of a growing campus, while reducing emissions.

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Forest Fires

Forest fire 1.5 km from Sara Lake listed as out of control

North Island Gazette
August 19, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire was reported on Sunday in the North Island area. According to Coastal Fire Centre’s Information Officer Dorothy Jacobson, the wildfire is “approximately 1.5 km east of Sara Lake, and it was discovered yesterday sometime in the afternoon.” She noted the fire’s cause is unknown and is currently under investigation, and it is approximately 0.65 hectares in size. “We had two initial attack crews, a helicopter, two officers, a water tender and a feller buncher there yesterday and a third initial attack crew was sent up today,” she said, adding that while the fire is classified as out of control, they expect it to be under control imminently.

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Alaska wildfire season continues with new fires, hot weather

By Dan Joling
Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
August 19, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska’s wildfire season usually ends well before mid-August but persistent hot, dry weather has contributed to the start of new fires and the spread of old ones. High winds Saturday damaged power lines or knocked trees into lines, sparking multiple fires, including one that temporarily shut down the highway between Anchorage and Denali National Park and burned more than 50 structures, said Tim Mowry, spokesman for the Alaska Division of Forestry. Heavy rain has dampened fires north of the Alaska Range but has not reached areas north and south of Anchorage. …July was the warmest month ever recorded in Alaska. On Saturday, a weather system with winds gusting to 40 mph moved into southcentral Alaska. The fire along the Parks Highway began with a tree falling on a power line. …Alaska fire officials have recorded 659 wildfires this year that have burned more than 3,901 square miles (10,104 sq. kilometers).

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9,000 forced to evacuate as fire in Spain’s Canary Islands burns out of control

Associated Press in Global News
August 19, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

An out-of-control wildfire in Spain’s Canary Islands was throwing flames 50 metres (160 feet) into the air on Monday, forcing emergency workers to evacuate more than 9,000 people, authorities said. The blaze — described by the local fire department as “a monster” — was racing across parched woodlands into Tamadaba Natural Park, regarded as one of the jewels on Gran Canaria, a mountainous volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago off northwest Africa. …Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres said 1,100 firefighters were being deployed in shifts along with 16 water-dropping aircraft to battle the blaze that started Saturday afternoon. The local government said around 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres) had been charred in just 48 hours, villages were evacuated and two dozen roads were closed.

 

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