Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 1, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US economy, housing market forecasts remain strong

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 1, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Freddie Mac—a US owned mortgage corporation—forecasts GDP and housing sales to remain strong in the fall. In other Business news: Interfor mills its last log at Hammond Cedar, Teal-Jones looks to Virgina because it can’t make money in BC; and former Kamloops mayor says Premier Horgan needs to listen to the truck loggers.

In Forestry/Climate news: restoring tropical forests one tree at a time; and Ireland joins the rush to tackle climate change by planting trees. Finally, mid-rise and tall wood buildings are the focus of two major conferences this week—Woodrise in Quebec City and Timber! in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Horgan needs to listen to message sent by truck loggers

By Mel Rothenburger – former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor
CFJC Today Everything Kamloops
September 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — I happened to be in Vancouver when the convoy of logging trucks rolled through town blasting their horns to the cheers of thousands who lined the streets under the sky scrapers. I confess I felt a lump in my throat watching and hearing those trucks go by, and several people I talked to afterwards all said they felt the same way. The forest industry is the life blood of the economy in Interior B.C., and it’s under threat. Those truck operators got out of bed in the middle of the night and linked up at several points along the way from the north end of the province to the Thompson and Okanagan valleys, making their way to the Coast in a convoy 17 km. long. …I consider myself a practical environmentalist, one who happens to think we’ll always need the forest industry and we shouldn’t blame those who make a living from it under the rules that are set for them.

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Teal-Jones is investing in Virginia because it can make money there, and not here

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — In a speech to local government leaders last week, B.C. Premier John Horgan voiced frustration about a recent meeting with the major forest companies. …“But”, said Horgan, “it is hard for me to listen to companies say they’re in distress when they’re making multimillion-dollar investments in the U.S. and Europe, and around the world.” …“For too long we have been sending our logs offshore without adding any value.” …He singled out Kalesnikoff Lumber, a family-owned business, for “seeing the writing on the wall.” …But Horgan used it to take another swipe at forest companies who’ve not been lining up to invest in B.C. “Kalesnikoff Lumber sees the opportunity and that’s why they’re investing not in Virginia, not in Alabama, not in Sweden, but in the Kootenays.” …In short, Teal-Jones is reducing operations in B.C. because it can’t make money here. It’s investing in Virginia because it can make money there. …there’s a message there for [Horgan] and his government, if only they would listen.

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Last log filmed at iconic Maple Ridge mill

By Phil Melnychuk
Maple Ridge News
September 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The sad start of the end of Hammond Cedar mill happened Friday as up to 50 workers put in their last shift. Owner Interfor announced in September it will be closing the mill, which has operated at the site for more than a century. Interfor will be selling the 28-acre property located in Maple Ridge on the banks of the Fraser River near the Golden Ears Bridge. With the mill now entering the clean-up phase, processing of raw logs has now also stopped. Mill worker Ian MacKinnon was on shift Friday to watch the last log being loaded on to the cut-off saw. He videod it and posted it on Facebook as a testament to the end of an icon in Maple Ridge.

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Prem Watsa’s ‘mindboggling’ explanation of forestry takeover prompts judge to award shareholders millions

By Doug Alexander
Bloomberg News in the Financial Post
September 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Prem Watsa

Canadian investor Prem Watsa was “purposely forgetful” and offered a “mindboggling” explanation in court testimony explaining why he backed a low-ball bid for a pulp mill in a sale to Resolute Forest Products Inc., a Montreal judge concluded in the seven-year-old case. Testimony by Watsa, chairman and chief executive officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc., was so problematic it helped convince Montreal Superior Court Justice Michel Pinsonnault to award some Fibrek Inc. shareholders $13.5 million, plus interest. …A spokesman for Fairfax disputed the judge’s conclusions, and said the company may appeal. …The case centred around Resolute’s December 2011 offer for Fibrek. Fairfax was the most important shareholder and insider of both Fibrek and Resolute, according to the judgment.

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Finance & Economics

Freddie Mac September Forecast: Housing to Remain Strong Heading into the Fall

Global Newswire
September 30, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Freddie Mac’s September Forecast mortgage originations will reach $2.1 trillion in 2019 driven by a surge of homeowners refinancing into a lower mortgage rate along with strong homebuyer demand. …While mortgage rates have ticked up in recent weeks, they remain lower than they were a year ago which will help boost sales headed into the fall.” …For full year 2019, expect GDP growth of 2.2%… expect the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to remain below 4.0%… the single-family housing starts forecast remains unchanged at 870,000… home sales to be slightly higher at 5.98 million.

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U.S. Lumber Sourcing Spikes After Canadian Logistical Delays, Mill Closures

By Robert Dalheim
ThomasNet News
September 30, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

In today’s Report, we’re looking at sourcing activity for Lumber by users of the Thomasnet.com platform. Our data shows that over the past twelve weeks, sourcing activity for Lumber is up 69% over its historical average. It’s also up 70% year over year. …When we looked at Lumber in a Thomas Index Report last summer, prices were skyrocketing to record levels. But when bad weather in Canada caused substantial logistical delays, lumber shipments were pushed back into the second half of the year. This excessive supply caused an almost 50% price drop for lumber products.

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Fed’s Charles Evans Says U.S. Still on Path for ‘Solid’ 2.25% GDP This Year

By Michael Derby
The Wall Street Journal
September 30, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said… The U.S. economy should grow by around 2.25% this year, which is “a solid number, as it exceeds my view of the economy’s long-run potential growth rate.” …Mr. Evans expects the jobless rate to stay at a level just under 4% and he sees inflation slowly moving up to the central bank’s 2% target over the next several years. …Mr. Evans noted that the stability in his outlook owes to the fact that the economic fundamentals remain “solid.” [WSJ subscription required to access full story]

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The second edition of the Woodrise International Congress opens today in Quebec City

By FPInnovations
Cision Newswire
September 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC CITY – In Quebec City, September 30 – October 4, 2019, FPInnovations (Canada) and the FCBA Technological Institute (France) are pleased to host the Woodrise 2019 congress, dedicated to the construction of mid-rise and tall wood buildings. The congress brings together nearly 1,000 participants and exhibitors from some twenty countries to share the latest developments and discover the most recent advances in wood construction around the world. The congress was launched with the opening address by Jean-François Lépine, master of ceremonies, who earned renown as a journalist and international correspondent before becoming the Director of Quebec’s representations in China. In attendance were Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (Quebec); Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests (British Columbia); Christyne Tremblay, Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada; Stéphane Renou, President and CEO of FPInnovations; Christophe Mathieu, Executive Director of the FCBA Technology Institute; and many partners, industry members and international delegates.

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SmartLam Expanding with New Coast-to-Coast Facilities

By Tristan Scott
Flathead Beacon
October 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The rapidly growing local wood products manufacturer SmartLam is expanding its operations beyond the Flathead Valley in a move that positions the company at the forefront of the global cross-laminated timber industry. Casey Malmquist, president and general manager of SmartLam Technologies Group, which reorganized as SmartLam North America on Oct. 1, said the local growth of its Columbia Falls headquarters would mean additional jobs for the Flathead Valley. …SmartLam has also acquired a state-of-the-art facility in Dothan, Alabama, which was formerly IB XLam. With the two operational production facilities in Montana and Alabama, SmartLam North America will immediately lead the industry with a combined capacity of 6 million cubic feet of annual CLT production, Malmquist said. …In 2012, Malmquist co-founded SmartLam in a warehouse attached to Western Building Center in Columbia Falls, becoming the nation’s first commercial manufacturer of CLT.

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Fay Jones School Hosts Symposium on Design Excellence in Timber and Wood

University of Arkansas
October 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and the U.S. Forest Service will host the Timber! Design Excellence in Timber and Wood Symposium on Oct. 4-6 on the University of Arkansas campus. This three-day event brings together an international cohort of architects and engineers whose work specifically in wood demonstrates excellence in design and innovation. While the sustainable argument for the use of mass timber is clear and the economics of its production, distribution and construction applications are improving, demonstration of mass timber as a material capable of true design excellence must now have the foreground. “Since my arrival in 2014, I’ve asked questions of imperative value for the Fay Jones School,” said Dean Peter MacKeith. “Chief among them has been, ‘What does it mean to be a school of architecture and design in a state 60 percent covered in forest?’” 

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Forestry

City’s tree canopy goal achieved 11 years early

By Steve MacNaull
The Kelowna Daily Courier
September 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tara Bergeson

Tara Bergeson, the City of Kelowna’s urban forestry technician, said, “there’s nothing like walking down a street and being shaded by beautiful trees and hearing the rustling of leaves.” Plus, trees regulate temperature. “They have incredible temperature-reduction abilities, which are so important in these times of global warming,” said Bergeson. …This makes the news that 23% of Kelowna is covered in trees so thrilling. In forestry lingo, it’s called urban canopy cover. To qualify as a tree or contributing to the canopy, the trees, including orchard trees, or shrubs, have to be at least three metres high. …In 2007, an urban forest effects analysis found that Kelowna’s tree canopy was 13%. The city’s Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy and Official Community Plan set the goal of 20% urban canopy cover by 2030. A recent light detection and ranging study using data from planes flying overhead, done for the Okanagan Basin Water Board, puts Kelowna’s tree coverage at 23%.

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Working Together: Theme for the 2019 SISCO Fall Field Tour in the Okanagan

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
September 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Summerland, BC: The Southern Interior Silviculture Committee (SISCO) is set to host their 2019 Fall Field Tour in the Okanagan Oct 1 – 3, 2019. The theme is Working Together: Integration and Collaboration – the Necessary Ingredients to Achieve Results in Natural Resources Management. The tour will visit sites where collaboration has been a key element in achieving desired results in forest management. …“SISCO has organized a winter workshop and summer field tour every year for more than 30 years,” said April Anderson RPF, Administrator and Scholarship Liaison for SISCO. “These workshops and field tours provide silviculture foresters the opportunity to exchange ideas and information about current silviculture practices, issues, and research activities.” …Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of FESBC, is excited to take in the tours with the others to learn about the exceptional forest management that resulted from collaboration between the Okanagan Nations Alliance, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd., the forestry ministry, and others.

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Norbeck Society Calls For Meeting With Forest Service, Interested Parties On Timber Sales

By Lee Strubinger
SDPB Radio
September 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Black Hills forest advocate says the current scale and pace of logging in the forest is unsustainable. In a letter to the forest service, the Norbeck Society says the pace of logging has stayed consistent, despite insect infestation and wildfire depleting the merchantable volume of timber. The Norbeck Society is requesting the forest service put a pause on selling timber and asking for a collaberative meeting with forest service officials and the timber industry to work out a plan for 2020. The call comes after the group posted photos on Facebook of the removal of large trees they say came from the Black Hills. Mary Zimmerman is the Norbeck Society vice president. She says the group would like to see the sale volume decrease temporarily, until more data comes in.

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Clearing the way for forest health: Big machines help thin forest near Cle Elum

By Karl Holappa
Yakima Herald Republic
September 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CLE ELUM, Wash. — A series of machines worked through the forest near the Buffalo Springs area in Upper Kittitas County last week in an effort to reduce fuels that contribute to wildfires. The four-month project is being applied to approximately 120 acres of land managed by The Nature Conservancy. Along with fuels reduction through noncommercial thinning, fire breaks are being created on the property, which borders private landowners. The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Forest Restoration and Fire Reese Lolley said the organization has restored approximately 550 acres of forest stand conditions within the Central Cascades since 2015. The Nature Conservancy is coordinating with Kittitas Fire Adapted Communities Coalition partners to initiate the next thinning and prescribed burning project along Cle Elum Ridge to reduce fuels and restore forest conditions. 

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Efforts to plant more trees in Ireland fall short by thousands of hectares

By Mark Hilliard
Irish Times
September 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International
 

Efforts to increase tree planting in Ireland, a key component of climate change mitigation, have fallen short of targets by thousands of hectares of land. An analysis of afforestation by the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) found a shortfall of 44 per cent in 2018 targets alone and a budget under-spend of €11 million. Competing land use, including an expansion in dairy farming, has been cited as a reason for a deficit in activity. Since 2015, just 22,500 hectares of land have been planted against a target of over 27,000. “Forests are increasingly recognised as a means to sequester carbon and help reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions,” the report noted, as well as counting other environmental and employment benefits. …Ireland has one of the lowest levels of forestation in the EU – in 2017 about 11 per cent of the country was covered in trees compared to a European average of 38 per cent in 2015.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Georgia Public Service Commission dabbles in ‘bio-foolery’

Dr. Michael G. Noll – president of Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy
The Valdosta Daily Times
October 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Michael Noll

It is mind-boggling that some still promote biomass incineration as a clean source of energy. It is not. Quite to the contrary. About 10 years ago, Atlanta-based Sterling Energy tried to hoodwink our community into such an undertaking… However, economic and environmental realities, including health risks associated with biomass incineration, soon caught up with them. …biomass incinerators are dirtier than coal plants (e.g. in regard to particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide) and like coal plants they emit vast amounts of carbon dioxide (or CO2), and all of this at a time when we already experience the consequences of man-made climate change (e.g. more severe weather events, increased food insecurity, climate refugees). You see, that’s another myth regarding biomass energy, which is circulated by politicians and the special interest groups they work with or for: that the burning of wood is carbon-neutral. It is not.

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Restoring forests 1 tree at a time, to help repair climate

By Christina Larson
The Associated Press in the Washington Post
September 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

MADRE DE DIOS, Peru — Destruction of the forests can be swift. Regrowth is much, much slower. …In a corner of the Peruvian Amazon, where illegal gold mining has scarred forests and poisoned ground, scientists work to change wasteland back to wilderness. …They labor amid spectacular recent losses — the Amazon jungle and the Congo basin ablaze, smoke from Indonesian rainforests wafting over Malaysia and Singapore, fires set mostly to make way for cattle pastures and farm fields. …Rebuilding woodland is slow and often difficult work. And it requires patience: It can take several decades or longer for forests to regrow as viable habitats, and to absorb the same amount of carbon lost when trees are cut and burned. …And yet, there is urgency to that work — forests are one of the planet’s first lines of defense against climate change.

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Ireland Commits To Plant 440 Million Trees To Help Tackle Climate Change

By Trevor Nace
Forbes
September 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Every year for the next twenty years Ireland plans to plant 22 million trees, totaling 440 million trees planted as part of an overall strategy to combat climate change. There is increasing momentum that revegetating our natural environments can be a major player in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. After all, trees are excellent at taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locking it away as part of the tree’s tissue. Irish officials announced that this will be part of an overall climate action plan and part of an overall goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. The report states: “The Climate Action Plan puts in place a decarbonisation pathway to 2030 which would be consistent with the adoption of a net zero target in Ireland by 2050.”

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