Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 10, 2019

Business & Politics

West Fraser to Reduce British Columbia Lumber and Plywood Operating Schedules and Production

By West Fraser Timber Co.
Cision Newswire
September 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER — West Fraser announced it will introduce variable operating schedules at five of its BC sawmills that will result in an estimated decrease of production in the range of 15-25% of current B.C. lumber production. …The potential effect of the revised operating schedules could be an aggregate reduction by up to an estimated 100 million board feet through to the end of the year. West Fraser also announced that it would curtail B.C. plywood production for two weeks reducing output by approximately 9 Msf. The variable operating schedules for sawmill operations and the curtailment of plywood operations in B.C. are expected to commence September 16, 2019. …West Fraser anticipates continuing the variable operating schedules at its B.C. sawmills until market and economic conditions support a return to full production.

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Workweek reduced at West Fraser operations in the Cariboo

By Rebecca Dyok
My Cariboo Now
September 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Employees at West Fraser operations in Williams Lake, Quesnel, and 100 Mile House will be going home with a smaller paycheque. West Fraser announced Monday it will introduce variable operating schedules at five of its BC sawmills that will result in an estimated decrease of production in the range of 15-25% of current B.C. lumber production. Taking a hit are mills in Williams Lake and Quesnel that will have their workweek cut down to four days starting next week, and in 100 Mile House down to three. Williams Lake Plywood and Quesnel Plywood will also be curtailing operations for one week. “It’s not a good news story in the forest industry,” said USW President 1-2017 Brian O’Rourke“Keeping workers going three and four days a week though is obviously a whole lot better than total curtailments we’ve seen in other places.”

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BC Wood Hosts Canada’s largest Show for International Buyers of Value-added Wood Products

BC Wood Specialties Group
September 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Hawrysh

Whistler, BC – More than 400 buyers and specifiers of value-added wood products will be hosted by BC Wood Specialties Group (BC Wood) at its 16thannual Global Buyers Mission (GBM) September 11-13 in Whistler, BC.  The GBM is Canada’s largest and most important show for sellers and buyers of value-added wood products.The pre-qualified buyers—hailing from 20+ countries worldwide—will join 300 BC and Canadian manufacturers exhibiting at the event. Last year the GBM generated over $34 million in new direct sales, but according to BC Wood CEO Brian Hawrysh, “the larger benefit lies in the quality leads and relationships fostered for long-term growth, which according to a recently completed Natural Resources Canada survey, is already occurring”. 

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Lumber industry website adds live chat

By Robert Dalheim
The Woodworking Network
September 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Jeff Easterling


The Northeastern Lumber Manufacturer’s Association has added a live chat service option for website visitors. Upon visiting the main NELMA website at nelma.org, a chat box—featuring avatars of its cartoon mascots—pops up encouraging users to ask questions or talk about NELMA products. Once the visitor clicks on the box, they are connected to a NELMA staffer, typing on behalf of the cartoon character. …“The live chat takes service and responsiveness to another level,” said NELMA President Jeff Easterling in a release. “We’ve all been frustrated by not being able to get a live person when we need customer service help; hopefully the live chat further minimizes that unsatisfactory option, at least in this corner of the wood industry!”

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Finance & Economics

It May Take Years for Home Building to Get Back to Historic Levels

By Zillow Research
Yahoo Finance
September 9, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Today’s slow pace of single-family home building isn’t expected to get back to historic norms until 2022 or later, and expectations for home value growth over the next few years continue to weaken, according to a Zillow survey of 100 economists and real estate experts. …On average, they expect annual home value growth – currently growing at a 5.2% pace – to slow to 3.6% by the end of this year.

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Global forest industry hit hard in Q2, pulp demand down

By Wood Resources International LLC
Pulp & Paper Canada
September 9, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

The global forest industry has had a difficult second quarter with softening prices and excess supply, according to Wood Resource Quarterly’s 2Q/2019 report highlights.

  • The Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) fell by 1.5 per cent .
  • The Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) was down 0.5 pr cent
  • The prices for NBSK and BHKP market pulp in July were down as much as 26 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

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Softwood consumption expands for 3rd year in a row

By Wood Resources International LLC
The American Journal of Transportation
September 9, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

The global flow of softwood logs from countries with a surplus of wood raw- material to regions with tight, or costly log supply, and higher consumption of forest products continued to expand for the third consecutive year in 2018. Sawlog prices fell throughout the world in the 1Q/19 due to either plentiful supply or reduced demand for lumber, depending on region. The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) fell 1.8% to the lowest level noted since the 2Q/17.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

San Antonio office building construction includes more wood

By Josh Baugh
WRAL.com
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

— the Soto construction site smells of freshly cut wood. “That’s a common comment,” said Hunter Kingman, development manager for Hixon Properties. The San Antonio Express-News reports what’s uncommon is that much of the 140,600-square-foot, six-story office building is being constructed of wood — and less of concrete and steel. Proponents of what is called mass timber construction see it as an innovative way to offset greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Not everyone is convinced of its environmental benefit, while much is still unknown about the production methods. The Soto is the first large-scale mass timber project in Texas and the fourth in the U.S., said John Beauchamp, chief investment officer for Hixon. It’s more common in Europe. “It’s the equivalent of taking 290 cars off the road for a year or enough energy to operate 129 homes for a year,” Beauchamp said.

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‘Don’t demonise timber-framed buildings’ – architects react to Worcester Park fire

By Jim Dunton
Building Design Online
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Architects have voiced concerns that the latest major blaze at a timber-framed housing development could wrongly demonise a “perfectly safe” building material. Fire destroyed a JTP-designed four-storey apartment building at Worcester Park in the early hours of yesterday in a blaze that firefighters said was “well-developed and intense” by the time they arrived on the scene.  …Ash Sakula Architects founding partner Robert Sakula said councils and other social landlords had exhibited a marked push away from exterior cladding or components that were in any way combustible in the wake of 2017’s Grenfell Tower fire. …But he stressed that structural timber was a separate issue. “It’s not that there is anything actually wrong with timber frame if it’s done properly. Fire shouldn’t be able to get into the cavity,” he said.

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Forestry

A Beachcomber’s Love Story

By Abi Hayward
The Tyee
September 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sam Lamont and Anne Clemence

When I reach Anne Clemence on the phone, her accent is unmistakeably English and she speaks with a smile in her voice. I’ve called her because I am collecting stories about the heyday of log salvaging in British Columbia. Log salvagers also go by the name of beachcombers, or log salvors. They scour the waters and beaches for loose logs, most of which have escaped while being towed from point to point, and sell them to brokers who resell them to be milled. Decades ago, log salvaging provided enough money and adventure to attract Anne Clemence and many others, even spawning a hit CBC television show, The Beachcombers. Though more scarce today, log salvagers still ply B.C.’s coast. Some 40 scavenge along the Fraser River, one expert told me. But the best days are over, I keep hearing. Anne is 86 now. I ask her when she first started log salvaging.

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Board to audit community forests

BC Forest Practices Board
September 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will audit forest planning and practices on the 100 Mile House Community Forest and the Clinton Community Forest during the week of Sept. 16, 2019. Auditors will examine whether timber harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning carried out between Sept. 1, 2017, and Sept. 20, 2019, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. Community Forest Agreement K2W is held by 100 Mile Development Corporation and is located to the east of 100 Mile House. The community forest is approximately 18,500 hectares in size. Community Forest Agreement K4F is held by Clinton and District Community Forest of BC Limited and is located in the area surrounding the town of Clinton and Marble Range Provincial Park. The community forest is approximately 62,400 hectares in size.

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70,000 trees planted through Pacific Western Brewing program

Alaska Highway News
September 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pacific Western Brewing patrons bought enough beer to plant 70,000 trees this summer. The figure, released Monday, comes as a result of PWB’s “Cariboo Cares” reforestation program in which the brewery contributes 25 cents to the cause for each six pack sold. The trees, consisting of spruce and lodgepole pine seedlings, were planted at a site about 50 kilometres southwest of Prince George and came at a critical time for B.C.’s forestry-dependent Interior, said PWB general manager Scott Rattee. “The downturn in the forest sector has taken a heavy toll with several hundred direct and in-direct jobs lost in Prince George and neighbouring Interior communities,” he said. Neil Hughes, a forester at the Ministry of Forest’s lands’ resource practices branch, echoed Rattee’s comment. …”Having local companies like PWB recognize the situation and, more importantly, step up to do something to help is a wonderful example for others to follow.”

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Indigenous rights plan sparks concern in B.C. communities

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

When B.C.’s mayors and councillors gather for their annual convention this month, their top issue is keeping a seat at the table as the province remakes its land use consultation with Indigenous people. The B.C. NDP government is expected to move ahead as soon as this fall with legislation to enact the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The doctrine of “free, prior and informed consent” on land use has been controversial since the UN declaration was passed a decade ago, with Canada removing its objection to its language in 2016. The issue emerged this spring as communities found out about the B.C. government’s development of new restrictions on industrial development in caribou habitat. …The Union of B.C. Municipalities executive has made the issue its top resolution for the convention. Their resolution calls for “principles of mutual respect, consultation and cooperation” as specified in the Community Charter to be maintained in future.

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Comment period wrapping up on central Tongass logging, forest work

By Joe Viechnicki
KFSK
September 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A public comment period is ending soon on proposed logging, recreation and stream work on the Tongass National Forest near Petersburg, Wrangell and Kake. The Central Tongass Project could supply old growth timber for Southeast’s logging industry. But the U.S. Forest Service continues to face questions about a lack of specifics for its most recent logging plans. A draft environmental impact statement outlines potential logging and tree thinning, road building and culvert replacement, stream restoration, weed removal along with cabin and trail work on the 3.7 million acres of the Petersburg and Wrangell Ranger Districts of the Tongass. Acting forest supervisor Troy Heithecker explained the scope of the project during a public meeting in Petersburg. …The document looks at possible logging of up to 150 million board feet of old growth timber around over the next 15 years. Another 80 million board feet of young-growth timber could be cut over the same time. 

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High school students MAP the future of forests at Michigan State University

By the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
September 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Sustainable forest management is an important tool to ensure a healthy planet and shared global prosperity. However, despite a great need for future leaders in sustainable forestry, there are difficult barriers for many youths interested in pursuing related degrees. The Multicultural Apprenticeship Program (MAP) at Michigan State University (MSU) seeks to change that. The program gives underserved high school students hands-on exposure to careers in sustainable forestry. In partnership with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, MSU wants to share their success and grow the program. Through MAP, high school students from Michigan and other parts of the United States have the opportunity to explore careers in forestry, natural resource management, animal sciences, and other related fields. Sponsored by MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MAP pairs each student with a faculty member on a project that provides both fieldwork and laboratory experience.

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Ash tree species likely will survive emerald ash borer beetles, but just barely

EurekAlert
September 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

“Lingering ash.” That’s what the U.S. Forest Service calls the relatively few green and white ash trees that survive the emerald ash borer onslaught. Those trees do not survive by accident, and that may save the species, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a six-year study of ash decline and mortality. The research shows some ash trees have varying degrees of resistance to the strangely beautiful, invasive beetle from Asia. The study is unique because it took place at a plantation of ash trees planted on Penn State’s University Park campus in the mid-1970s. 

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Fires are burning where they never used to burn

By Greg Mullins, former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner
The Sydney Morning Herald
September 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Greg Mullins

As northern NSW and southern Queensland burn, there has been much discussion about an “early” bushfire season. Unfortunately, this is our new normal. While the official NSW bushfire season has always been from October 1 to March 31, long term records show that fire seasons now start much earlier, and last longer. …This is a clear long-term trend, driven by the warming and drying effects of climate change. It is not conjecture, but established fact, verified by the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, and the Bushfire/Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. …There is another, more far-reaching cost than the human impact: destruction of natural ecosystems and our fragile environment. …As sensitive ecosystems burn, and communities are threatened, we will hear the platitudes of concerned politicians… It’s time to see that matched by action in the form of genuine policies on climate change and protection of our unique environment.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada West

B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions increased again in 2017, despite reduced carbon dioxide intensity from key sources including oil and gas refining and road transportation. The B.C. environment ministry released its latest data Monday, reporting a 1.7 per cent increase over 2016 in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. After accounting for one million tonnes of carbon offsets from forest management projects, net emissions were calculated at 64.5 million tonnes for the year. …That was the year that the NDP government replaced the former B.C. Liberal government, which had gone five years without increasing the province’s carbon tax, which could also have improved B.C.’s results, Heyman said. …The official B.C. total does not include the effect of a record year for area burned by wildfires in 2017. The provincial data show wildfire emissions for the year of 176,550 tonnes, almost three times total emissions from the officially measured sources. For 2016, the wildfire emissions were 12,500 tonnes.

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Forest Fires

Wind-Whipped Plumas National Forest Wildfire Chars 68 Square Miles

Associated Press in CBS SF Bay Area
September 9, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

QUINCY — A massive wildfire in a remote area of California’s gold country grew overnight to more than 68 square miles, officials said Monday. The U.S. Forest Service said containment on the blaze in the Plumas National Forest remains at 7 percent. Erratic winds were making conditions difficult for the more than 800 firefighters battling the blaze. Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for scattered rural properties in the forest, the forest service said. To the west in Tehama County, fire crews have contained 50 percent of a blaze that has destroyed two structures and burned nearly 14 square miles. The blaze started by lighting Thursday has burned through brush and timber west of Red Bluff. It led to mandatory evacuations that remain in place.

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