Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 11, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Teal Jones to curtail logging, 800 jobs at risk

September 11, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Teal Jones Group is halting all BC coastal logging affecting 300 contractors and—when they run out of logs—500 people employed at company mills. In related news: BC dials back its forecasts as the forestry slump reduces revenues; and property sales plunge in hard-hit communities. Elsewhere: lumber prices remain flat; Canadian housing starts are up; and US mortgage applications rise.

In other headlines:

  • CSA publishes first Canadian guide for wood chip fuel
  • Forest fires in 2017 released staggering amount of GHGs
  • Connecting the dots between the climate and biodiversity crises

Finally, for highlights of BC Wood’s GBM from Whistler, follow @TreeFrogNews on Twitter.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Teal Jones to shut down coastal logging citing weak markets, high costs

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Teal Jones Group quality-control supervisor Leif Lynum has been working in sawmills for so long it has become part of his identity, but one he is starting to worry about just as he can see retirement on the horizon. On Tuesday, Teal Jones Group announced … layoffs for about 300 loggers and uncertainty for some 500 mill employees such as Lynum. …Lynum said he thinks the Hammond decision might be “the tip of the iceberg,” which, along with the growing number of curtailments in the industry, weighs on his colleagues. “A lot of middle-aged guys, or younger, have extremely healthy mortgages or car payments, and it’s straight-up panic when you hear about something that you might not get any more logs, or a greatly reduced (supply),” Lynum said. When workers are worried about such external forces, it can have an impact on safety, said Lynum’s colleague Bill Fulk, a supervisor in Teal Jones’ shingle mill on the adjoining site

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Hundreds of jobs on the line amid latest blow to B.C. forestry sector

By Simon Little and Janet Brown
Global TV News
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Trouble in B.C.’s forestry sector continues, with yet another curtailment being announced that could affect up to 800 workers. Surrey-headquartered Teal Jones Group said Tuesday that it was halting all coastal logging operations in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. …The curtailment is estimated to affect some 300 contractors. Teal Jones also operates two mills and a shake and shingle plant in Surrey, employing about 500 people all together. Company spokesperson Gerrie Kotze is appealing to senior levels of government for help. Teal Jones’ curtailment comes a day after West Fraser announced plans to reduce production at five B.C. sawmills by 15-25 per cent, and implement a two-week curtailment on plywood production. The opposition BC Liberals laid the latest blow to the sector at the feet of the NDP government.

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Teal-Jones shuts down remaining B.C. coast logging operations

By Tom Fletcher
Campbell River Mirror
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Teal-Jones Group reduced its logging on the B.C. coast in May and has now shut down the remainder, including harvest operations in the Fraser Valley and at Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island. The company says continued low lumber prices and high costs for B.C. logs has forced the move, meaning layoffs at Teal-Jones lumber and cedar shake mills in Surrey. It’s the latest in a series of mill closures and curtailments across the province, with Interior lumber operations dealing with reduced cut in the aftermath of beetle epidemics and fires. On the coast, Teal-Jones and other operators say provincial stumpage remains high after lumber prices fell dramatically since the beginning of 2019.

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Teal Jones shutting down coastal logging operations

By Nelson Bennett
Business In
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While economists take the world’s pulse for signs of a looming global recession, for forestry workers in B.C., it’s already here, says Truck Loggers Association executive director David Elstone.“We are in a recession for the forest products sector right now – there’s no doubt about it,” Elstone said, adding it’s only a matter of time before some contractors start declaring bankruptcy and taking early retirement. “I haven’t heard stories yet of people who went bankrupt, but we’re getting really close to that,” Elstone said. “It already is ugly. It’s going to get more ugly.” He was reacting to the latest curtailment announcement. Teal Jones has announced it will cease all logging in its TFL-46 operations – Fraser Valley and Honeymoon Bay. The company cites “weak lumber markets and the high cost of fibre” for the decision.

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Forest industry cuts continue in B.C. as Teal-Jones halts harvesting on coast

By Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Nanaimo News Now
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — The latest shutdown announcement from a wood products firm in British Columbia threatens the jobs of 800 employees in what the province’s forests minister concedes is an industry “correction.” Teal-Jones Group vice-president Gerrie Kotze said Tuesday 300 logging contractors on Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley are out of work immediately and 500 people employed at the company’s two lumber, shake and shingle mills in Surrey will likely be out of work in a matter of weeks as timber supplies run out. …He said he has seen reports from industry watchers who forecast a recovery where stumpage costs make it economical to start up logging and sawmills again but not until the middle of next year. …Susan Yurkovich, Council of Forest Industries president, said the industry is struggling with high costs, fibre supply shortages and tougher global competitors. She said government and industry need to work together to get through this difficult period.

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Slow home sales cool B.C. government revenues this year

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A 16 per cent reduction in home sales and a slump in the forest industry have reduced the B.C. government’s estimated surplus by $95 million, Finance Minister Carole James says. Home sales fell by 16 per cent from April through July, compared to the first quarter of the last fiscal year, James said as she released the B.C. government’s first quarter results for the fiscal year. …The biggest adjustment in the first quarter is property transfer tax, down $385 million from the budget. That was partially offset by income tax revenue, which came in $215 million more than budgeted. Despite struggles in the forest industry and continued cooling of the housing market, the province’s private sector economic forecast council expects its annual growth for 2020 to lead the country. Economic growth is forecast at 2.4 per cent for B.C.

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Subdued James dials back B.C.’s fiscal forecast

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Finance Minister Carole James started 2019 on a positive note, tabling a budget that increased her earlier growth forecast for what would be the second full year under the NDP. … The finance minister acknowledged that another factor in the slower-than-expected growth figures was the succession of bad news in the forest sector. “Top of mind, certainly, for all of us in government — and I think all of us in B.C. — are the mill closures and the challenges we’re seeing in the forest industry,” she conceded. …Nor was the impact of all those closures fully reflected in her latest update. There were about six dozen announcements of closures and reduced operations at B.C. mills before the June 30 end of the first financial quarter. But there have been another three dozen or so since then… …While James blamed the decline in the forest sector on international markets, the pine beetle infestation and neglect under the B.C. Liberals, Teal Jones also singled actions under the NDP.

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Property sales hammered hard as logging falls in north

Frank O’Brian
Business in Vancouver
September 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For Vancouver real estate agent Bruce Long, the impact of the forestry fall-off in northern B.C. hit home this week as one of his clients axed the price of a 32-unit rental apartment building in Mackenzie. Again. “We started off a year ago asking $2.49 million,” said Long of Macdonald Commercial. “Then it was lowered to $1.9 million, then $1.7 million. Now it is at $1.3 million. And they may take less.” …The forestry industry is reeling from a loss of timber due to the pine beetle infestation and forest fires, and a recent downturn in the U.S. housing market. B.C.’s forest industry contributes about $12 billion annually to the provincial GDP, of which about half comes from softwood lumber production. But the B.C. government estimates that the total timber supply will fall from an estimated 65.4 million cubic metres this year to 59 million cubic metres within five years and less than 55 million cubic metres in 10 years.

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Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Says There’s Still a Long Way to go With Softwood Lumber Decision

My Bancroft Now
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski says it’s an encouraging step, but there are steps still to go. The MPP for Renfrew-Nippising-Pembroke was referring to a decision by a North American Free Trade Agreement panel that found that Canadian softwood lumber imports were not hurting the American economy. However, Yakabuski said that the decision was a very small part of the dispute, and there was a long way to go before the dispute is settled. He did say that it was a step in the right direction and an encouraging sign. …He says he is hopeful and confident because Canada has been successful in challenging every decision the Americans have made on the softwood lumber dispute. Yakabuski also said he supports the federal government’s efforts to bring the dispute to an end.

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Indonesia looks to timber, furniture to seize trade war momentum

By Marchio Irfan Gorbiano
The Jakarta Post
September 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The government is mulling over a number of policies to improve the performance of the domestic timber and furniture industries, which it identifies as key industries that could seize the momentum amid an ongoing trade war between the United States and China. In a meeting with industry players in the State Palace on Tuesday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that Indonesia’s timber and furniture products were among the key products that could achieve positive momentum amid the trade war, which has driven down global trade volumes, citing information from the World Bank. “I believe the chances are huge [for us] to fill in the [wood and furniture] market that used to be held by China, but then it left [the market] because of the trade war. This could be our chance,” said President Jokowi.

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Finance & Economics

CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts climbed 1.9% in August

Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corp
CBC News
September 10, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the pace of new housing starts in August climbed 1.9 per cent compared with July. …The increase in the result for August came as the pace of urban starts increased two per cent in August to 213,663 units. Multiple-unit urban starts fell 1.4 per cent to 160,388 units in August while single-detached urban starts increased by 13.6 per cent to 53,275.

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Softwood lumber price movements remain cryptic: 3Q 2019

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
September 10, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

This week benchmark lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr price remained unchanged from the previous week, to close again at U.S. $370 mfbm. One month ago this price was falling, hard. That may have stopped as, by comparison, this week’s price is up +$30, or +9%, from one month ago. Compared to one year ago, this price is down -$112, or -23%.

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U.S. mortgage applications rise as rates fall

The Mortgage Bankers Association
Reuters in The Financial Post
September 10, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

U.S. mortgage applications to buy a home and to refinance one rose in early September as most home borrowing costs fell with some 30-year rates hitting their lowest levels since late 2016. …The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with conforming loan balances of $484,350 or less, fell to 3.82%, which was the lowest since November 2016. It stood at 3.87% in the prior week.

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How The Trade War Will Impact Rent Prices

By Ryan Coon
Forbes Real Estate Council
September 10, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

You don’t have to dig too deep to see how the Trump administration’s tariffs on China will likely impact the real estate industry. Tariffs On Building Materials = Less Construction. …In the short term, the higher cost of building materials will likely mean less construction. Developers will be on the lookout for other suppliers, certainly, but regardless, the cost of materials will likely increase.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

NZ Wood Industry – Zero Carbon – And We Can Prove It

By the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association
Scoop Independent News
September 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

If New Zealand’s ambition is to be a zero carbon economy by 2050 then it must nurture its wood industry. Many industries claim to be driving towards lower emissions but none have the low carbon profile of the wood sector. The WPMA Chair, Brian Stanley, says; “no other major industry in New Zealand can deliver carbon sequestration, carbon storage and emissions reduction like the wood industry”. Mr Stanley adds, “….and the industry now has independent, third-party certification extending right from the forest to the marketplace to prove that our wood-based packaging and construction products do the right thing by the environment. Our customers in New Zealand and overseas expect no less”. Last night in Rotorua, WPMA highlighted that both major international certification programmes for forestry: Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification and Forest Stewardship Council guarantee that wood products from New Zealand come from sustainably-managed forests. 

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Forestry

Global Beer Brand Cerveza Patagonia Honors Montana Forester

By Peter Christian
News Talk KGVO
September 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A global beer brand promoting the protection of the outdoors and the environment has honored a Missoula man for his efforts in reforestation and tree planting. Cerveza Patagonia, a new premium beer brand from Anheuser-Busch has selected Wes Saffar, Director of Reforestation and Partnerships at the National Forest Foundation in Missoula through a program called ‘Cervezas 4 Your Service’. “Our headquarters for the National Forest Foundation is right here in Missoula, Montana,” said Saffar. “Our mission is to promote the health and public enjoyment of the National Forest system, which is a really incredible network of 193 million acres of National Forest land.” One of the projects Saffar is working on involves reforestation of a burned area near Missoula. “A really good example of our work that we do on a national scale that we can see locally is the Lolo Peak burn,” he said. 

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

By Jeff Mulhollem, Pennsylvania State University
Phys.org
September 10, 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. “We found that genetic variation exists in trees from around the country, and through time—especially as the emerald ash borer population collapses because host trees are rapidly disappearing—the resistance that we observed will likely ensure the survival of the species,” said Kim Steiner, professor of forest biology, College of Agricultural Sciences.

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Don’t base forest-management views on headlines alone

By Mark Jacobs, retired Aitkin County land commissioner
Duluth News Tribune
September 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Mark Jacobs

After reading recent media reports regarding the disagreement between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources forestry and wildlife staff over the recent Sustainable Timber Harvest Analysis, I’m concerned about the “interpretation” of some that the forests are being overharvested (“Battle within DNR over logging,” Aug. 13).I would like to offer my perspective as a longtime public forest manager in Minnesota. I think that focusing on the planned timber harvest level is misguided; the focus should be on how that harvest plan is implemented on the ground. …I’m a longtime member of the Forest Stewards Guild, whose tagline is, “Putting the forest first.” Responsible forestry puts the forest first to ensure long-term societal benefits from our forests. Responsible forestry addresses the “why/what/where/when” in forest planning and implementation; that leads to a desired future forest.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canadian Standards Association publishes first Canadian guide for wood chip fuel

By Sebnem Madrali and Jaime Fernandez
Canadian Biomass
September 10, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

A new CSA SPE 2254:19 Guide to Wood Chip fuel: Characteristics, supply, storage and procurement was published in May 2019. This first edition of the guide was developed under the CSA banner with technical guidance from Natural Resources Canada and industry stakeholders. The guide aims to build confidence in an emerging market by linking players in the wood chip fuel supply chain and to become a communication tool by bringing common terminology and language to the marketplace. It is available for online purchasing at CSA web site store.csagroup.org. Why wood chip fuel? Wood chips are well suited to meet energy needs for space heating and hot water in buildings… and displace conventional fossil fuels… wood chips are also a less costly option compared to fossil fuels.

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Forest fires in 2017 released staggering amount of GHGs

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Half a per cent. That’s how much British Columbia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined overall over a 10-year period, according to the B.C. government’s annual greenhouse gas inventory for 2017. But the really disturbing number in B.C.’s GHG inventory is buried down in a section that isn’t actually counted as part of B.C.’s emissions budget: forest fires. In 2017, GHGs from forest fires was a staggering 176 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e). That is more than 2.5 times what B.C.’s total official GHG count was for 2017. It is four times higher than carbon emissions released from forest fires in 2003, which was the previous worst year for forest fires since the province started tracking GHG emissions in 1990.

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Connecting the dots between the climate and biodiversity crises

By David Suzuki
The Georgia Straight
September 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The polar bear has become the poster child for climate-change impacts in the Arctic. Sea ice, which the bears depend on for hunting, is melting at an ever-expanding rate. …Some industries are trying to use the ever-evolving climate crisis to stall habitat protection and recovery. When the forestry industry called for a delay in much-needed recovery measures, citing the need to explore climate-change impacts on caribou populations, some leading caribou scientists wrote: “There is little evidence to suggest that climate change brought caribou populations to their current threatened condition, nor does climate change explain the rapid rates of decline and range recession that are continuing today in many locations.” …As daunting as both crises are, we can’t look away. We must face them and change course. All living things depend on a stable climate and functioning ecosystems. Our planet is the only one with badgers and dragonflies—and chocolate! It’s worth fighting for.

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Groups Call North Carolina’s $4.4B Logging Industry a ‘Climate Catastrophe’

By Jennifer Hermes
The Environmental Leader
September 10, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The logging industry in North Carolina – a significant contributor to the state’s economy – is under fire from The Center for Sustainable Economy and Dogwood Alliance, which are calling the industry a “climate catastrophe.” In a new report, the groups find that industrial logging is the state’s third most carbon intensive sector, just after electricity and transportation – and, the report claims, it goes almost completely unaccounted for. The US South is “ground zero” for destructive industrial logging, and North Carolina is the largest wood pellet exporter in the country, according to the report. The report found that because of short rotation timber plantations for paper, pellets, and low-quality timber, 7.5% of North Carolina (2.6 million acres) is a carbon sequestration dead zone.

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Forest Fires

Thousands pray for rain in Indonesia as forests go up in smoke

Reuters in The Telegram
September 11, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

JAKARTA – Thousands of Indonesians prayed for rain in haze-hit towns on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo on Wednesday, as forest fires raged at the height of the dry season, the state Antara news agency reported. Fires have burnt through parts of Sumatra and Borneo island for more than a month and the government has sent 9,000 military, police and disaster agency personnel to fight the flames. Indonesia’s neighbors regularly complain about smog caused by its forest blazes, which are often started to clear land for palm oil and pulp plantations. But Indonesia said this week it was not to blame and fires had been spotted by satellites in several neighboring countries. Several parts of Southeast Asia have seen unusually dry conditions in recent months including Indonesia, which has seen very little rain because of an El Nino weather pattern, its meteorological department has said.

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