Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 8, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC Timber Sales not complying with old growth logging rules: Ancient Forest Alliance

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 8, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC Timber Sales is not complying with old growth logging rules, system is “truly corrupt“, says the Ancient Forest Alliance. Elsewhere in BC: rethinking forestry in Terrace; Pinnacle’s expansion in Williams Lake; and Burnaby sues Domtar over decades-old contaminated land. Meanwhile: Fortress cellulose to take downtime in Quebec and Oregon logging industry hurt by log price drop. 

In other news: the USDA speaks out on the wood-carbon connection; FPAC on Canada’s bioeconomy potential; industry exec on Nova Scotia’s plastic bag ban; and Pasadena, California bans wood roofing and permanent wood foundations.

Finally, a dressing from tree bark could transform the treatment of wounds.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Rethinking forestry forum builds case for a long-term plan in B.C.

By Brittany Gervais
Terrace Standard
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Skeena BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross hosted a public forum in Terrace Oct. 3, bringing a variety of people together to share opinions and experiences concerning the recent decline in the forestry industry. …Figuring out a simple solution won’t be easy, Ross says, but the current way B.C.’s forestry sector operates is not flexible enough to work today. “Over the past year, a number of companies have come to me to say they’d love to set up a plant in Terrace. But the climate’s not right — taxes are too high, land prices are too high, there’s too much red tape. If we had one modular building facility to manufacture buildings here, how could we guarantee that facility a supply of wood?” Ross says, noting a lot of businesses in Terrace depend on export markets. “…it’s already complicated. How do we make it easier … and more importantly, how do we get the forestry industry to survive?

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Expansion underway at Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant in Williams Lake

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Construction is underway at the Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. plant in Williams Lake to expand its operations. The company received its permit from the Ministry of Environment on Aug. 20, 2019 for the upgrade. …Under the new permit, the plant will continue to be expected to suppress fugitive dust from the entire site and continue to review its fugitive dust plan every year. …If fugitive dust becomes a concern, the ministry may require Pinnacle to implement additional measures to control, monitor or assess fugitive dust emitting from the facility, the permit notes. ​New for the plant is the requirement to prepare a visible emission reduction plan for the belt dryer and rotary drum dryer.

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Burnaby sues pulp and paper giant over contaminated land next to Fraser River

By Cornelia Naylor
Burnaby Now
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Burnaby is suing one of North America’s biggest pulp and paper companies over a strip of contaminated city land right next to the Fraser River. Domtar Inc… used to operate a plant that produced roofing shingles and asphalt at an adjacent property at 8355 Wiggins St. in the Big Bend area. …The property, which backs onto the Fraser River, is now listed on the B.C. Contaminated Sites Registry. …“Domtar knew or ought to have known its activities on the source property would cause or was likely to cause the city property to contain waste and become contaminated,” states the notice. …The city is suing the company for the cost of cleaning up the strip of land and for damages. Domtar has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

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Firefighters respond to Miramichi mill fire

CBC News
October 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Miramichi mill has been engulfed in flames since late Monday night. The Miramichi Lumber Products facility, which has been closed since 2013, was still smoking by 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Videos and photos on social media showed firefighters battling the flames. …Miramichi Fire Department Chief Tony Lloyd was not available for comment Monday night and early Tuesday morning. In 2015 there was another fire at an electrical room and small office in the mill. The New Brunswick government  previously filed a lawsuit to get the insurance money from that fire in 2016.

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Fortress Global Enterprises Announces Market Downtime

By Fortress Global Enterprises
Cision Newswire
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

VANCOUVER — Fortress Global Enterprises announced that it will be taking market downtime at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Thurso, Québec. The ongoing United States-China trade dispute, as well as weakening Chinese domestic textile and apparel consumption has destabilized the demand for dissolving pulp and caused a significant decline in pricing. As a result, the Company will deploy a temporary market curtailment strategy to preserve the option of restarting the mill once prices rebound. Accordingly, the Company will take market downtime at the FSC Mill commencing October 8th, 2019 for an unspecified interim period. Market downtime will allow the Company to manage its dissolving pulp inventory build-up.

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Central Oregon logging industry drops amid construction downturn

By Michael Kohn
The Bulletin, Oregon
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

For longtime lumberman Bruce Daucsavage, 2019 has been one of the most challenging years for the timber market in recent memory. The general director of Prineville-based Ochoco Lumber is attempting to ride out a downturn in the timber industry that has battered prices, closed sawmills and slowed tree-thinning projects on federal forestlands. …The price drops have rattled Oregon’s timber market. In March, Swanson Group closed its mill in Glendale. Then in April, Georgia-Pacific Wood Products. …In May, Stimson Lumber cut 60 jobs at Forest Grove. …Reasons for the downturn in the market are complex, involving currency exchange rates, competition from foreign markets, tariffs and the construction market. …Jim Geisinger, of Associated Oregon Loggers, said the down market for timber is largely a reflection of slower housing starts across the country for most of this year.

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France will not sign Mercosur deal under current conditions

Reuters
October 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Elisabeth Borne

PARIS – France will not sign the EU-Mercosur farming deal struck between the European Union and the Mercosur countries of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay under current conditions, France’s environment minister said on Tuesday. “We can’t sign a trade treaty with a country that doesn’t respect the Amazon forest, that doesn’t respect the Paris (climate) treaty. France will not sign the Mercosur deal under these conditions,” minister Elisabeth Borne told BFM TV. French President Emmanuel Macron said late August he had decided to block the EU-Mercosur deal, accusing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of lying in playing down concerns about climate change, drawing criticism from Germany and Britain. [END]

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Finance & Economics

Canada: Housing Starts remain strong

By Sandeep Kanihama
RBC Capital Markets
October 8, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Canadian housing starts were above consensus at 221,000 annualized units in September with six-month trend remaining close to a cycle high. …The latest permit data (247,000 in August) points to further strength ahead. After slowing throughout 2018 and early this year, the six-month trend in housing starts has reversed course, picking up to a near-cycle-high 223,500 annualized units.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Plastics exec says Nova Scotia’s plastic bag ban will cost jobs, increase landfill waste

By Andrew Rankin
The Chronicle Herald
October 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Joe Hruska

The coming single-use plastic bag ban will eliminate local industry and end up diverting more plastic to landfills, says a Canadian Plastics Industry Association executive.  Joe Hruska, the association’s vice-president of sustainability, said the province ignored the group’s repeated requests to have input into the proposed law that’s expected to be passed during the fall sitting. …We haven’t been able to meet with the minister of environment or the premier.” …He proposed a three-bag option …that includes charging customers according to each option’s environmental footprint: a 10 cent charge for single use plastic bags, 30 cent charge on paper bags and $2.50 for reusable bags. Paper bags have an even higher carbon footprint than plastic bags, reusable bags can’t be recycled and often end up in landfills, he said. …Banning plastic bags, he said, would mean more people would end up purchasing kitchen catchers that contain 30 to 70 per cent more plastic than grocery bags.

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City Adopts New Stricter State Building Codes for Fire Safety, Construction and Mechanical Codes

By Eddie Rivera
Pasadena Now
October 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CALIFORNIA — Pasadena will see new and stricter state building codes in 2020, particularly with regard to fire safety. Pasadena’s City Council Monday night approved the adoption of the new codes, as well as amendments that would keep in effect some even stricter local codes passed in 2016. …All local California jurisdictions must adopt and enforce the new codes, which will become effective January 1, 2020. But local jurisdictions may amend the State regulations to address issues of local or regional importance such as fire or earthquake hazards. …As examples, the new codes will prohibit wood roofing materials, and permanent wood foundation system. The codes will also prohibit staples as fasteners. New codes will also add requirements related to added structural stability, said the report.

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The dressing made from tree bark which could transform treatment of wounds and reduce scarring

By Pat Hagan
The Daily Mail
October 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A bandage made from bark could transform the treatment of wounds. The soft dressing contains tiny fibres extracted from birch trees grown in Finland which are strong enough to provide a ‘scaffold’ on to which healthy new skin cells can grow. They are also super-absorbent so can mop up moisture from a wound that might otherwise allow bacteria to grow, leading to an infection. Called FibDex, the tree-based bandage is the first of its kind to be approved for use in the UK. Research shows just one plaster is enough to help difficult wounds heal, whereas most dressings have to be changed every few days. The wood fibres also produced less scarring and greater skin elasticity than some conventional dressings… [and] it’s biocompatible, which means it does not cause the body’s immune system to react.

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Forestry

‘Indicative of a truly corrupt system’: government investigation reveals BC Timber Sales violating old-growth logging rules

By Judith Lavoie
The Narwhal
October 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbians are near-immune to such images these days, with old-growth clearcutting a common sight. But something about the images coming out of Vancouver Island’s Nahmint Valley struck a chord. …Following their expedition, the Ancient Forest Alliance submitted a complaint. …The results of those investigations, obtained by the Ancient Forest Alliance through a Freedom of Information request, and reviewed by The Narwhal, show BC Timber Sales is not complying with rules designed to ensure sufficient old-growth forest is retained to avoid loss of biodiversity. …Yet despite the clear and unequivocal tone of recommendations made by investigators in the summer of 2018, little change has been effected on the ground, where clearcutting in the Nahmint has continued unabated. …Investigators concluded that there appear to be “legacy compliance issues” with timber harvesting in the Nahmint — meaning the overcutting probably dates back 18 years. 

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Conservationists attack NDP government over old-growth logging

By Linda Aylesworth
Global News
October 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Video Story: Conservationists are accusing the provincial government of ignoring its own rules and regulations covering the logging of old-growth trees. 

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‘It is beyond time to protect our forests and in particular any remaining old-growth’

Letter by Amanda Vaughan, Black Creek
Campbell River Mirror
October 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

To Minister Doug Donaldson and Minister George Heyman: This photo was taken this summer from the boundary line of Strathcona Park. On one side of the logging road is old-growth park and on the other side of the road is destruction. On one side, the forest sequesters carbon, makes its own climate, holds moisture in the ground, supports groundwater, headwaters, rivers, ecosystems. On the other side, it is trashed. On one side the park is oversubscribed with tourists, many from abroad, come to see ‘Beautiful BC’; on the other side nothing but ghastly ugliness, greed run rampant. It is beyond time to protect our forests and in particular any remaining old-growth. This thought is brought to you every day, with all the scientific backing and passion that people can muster. Yet still the government fails to act.

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Forestry crash no surprise

Letter by June Ross
Castanet
October 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As a tax-paying citizen, I am writing about all the complaining about forestry job losses. Why does this now, after 40 years of inaction by any government, come as a surprise?  There are forestry acts …and regulations that have done nothing for us citizens. …The lack of regulations to control corporate forestry practices has left us all screaming for our forests to be saved, screaming for our wildlife to be saved, screaming for the streams where the salmon spawn to be saved, screaming for our drinking water sources to be saved. While I feel empathy for the forest reliant communities, they, along with the loggers and the fallers, knew this was coming. The lost jobs need to encompass retraining in renewable resources. Our forests as we knew them are not renewable. Our drinking water watersheds are not renewable, our wildlife that is going extinct is not renewable. Jobs are!

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Rambling Man says, “Here we go again.”

Letter by Jim Lamberton, Clearwater, B. C.
The Clearwater Times
October 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Lamberton

Many kudos go to the hundreds of logging trucks and loggers who made the convoy to Vancouver to protest the NDP’s ridiculous handling of the many lost jobs in the forest industry. On July 1, Forest Minister Donaldson should have reduced the stumpage rate, not increased it. If Donaldson thinks that by reducing the stumpage, he’d give the USA reason not to eliminate the tariff on lumber, then he’d better give his head a shake. Here we go again, right back to the early 1990s when approx. 15,000 loggers (including me) marched on Victoria to protest the ridiculous wait times for the approval of cutting permits and the mountain of NDP red tape. Two things must happen if the logging industry in BC is going to survive: ban all raw log exports (that includes squaring four sides and exporting them as cants) and rescind all tree farm licenses. 

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‘We’re fighting for our industry’: Campaign launches to promote forestry John Watson

By John Watson
The Daily Herald-Tribune
October 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta Forest Products Association has launched a campaign intent on sharing pride in the forestry industry, and awareness of sustainability to Albertans. An industry operating in Alberta for more than 80 years, it has become the third largest industry in the province and is an “integral part of the environment, society, culture and the economy.” “Our industry has a really good story to tell and we’re really trying to change the narrative within our industry,” said Timberlands Manager Dana Quartly. …“It’s really focused on the value of the forest, not just the forestry industry,” said Jon Taszlikowicz, woodlands manager for Canadian Forest Products. …“We’re fighting for our industry; we’re fighting for long term sustainability to maintain a presence within our communities for generations to come.” “The timing is right,” said Taszlikowicz.

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Forest industry in a shambles

Letter by George Manners, Cowichan Bay
Lake Cowichan Gazette
October 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is high time that an overhaul must take place (as a priority piece of legislation) to take back the tenures, also private ownership agreements that are now current…. Raw log exporting has to stop. Certain companies are and have a serious deleterious effect not only for lower taxes collected but for unemployed citizens of British Columbia. In order to be able to revive this once great industry serving the people of B.C. [there needs to be] honest intention by our government to move this legislation forward at speed, forget the partisan politics, start today. …I did hear today that one of the forest companies had bought two mills in the good ol US of A; now isn’t that just dandy, shut the mills down here then buy other mills in America then export the raw logs over the border. Our government has a lot to learn about business.

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Current predicament in B.C.’s forestry industry predictable

Letter by Jim Cooperman, President, Shuswap Environmental Action Society
Salmon Arm Observer
October 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Cooperman

As a long-time forest activist who once worked in the forest industry, my message to the province regarding the closure of sawmills and loss of jobs is, “the future we warned about has arrived.” For decades we have cautioned that the province’s forests are being overcut and the result will be degraded ecosystems, loss of species, damage to fresh water supplies and the loss of jobs. The industry is the architect of their own demise and while forest workers are but pawns in this travesty, the forest companies have taken their well-subsidized profits and invested the money into sawmills in the U.S., where tree plantations grow many times faster than they do here. British Columbia’s forests have been ravaged and, while B.C. citizens are left with the mess, the corporations will continue to profit south of the border. While mill closures and job losses are depressing, today’s crisis was so predictable and was so preventable.

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Report says federal agency lost $600M on Tongass forest

Associated Press in the Seattle Times
October 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JUNEAU, Alaska — The U.S. Forest Service has lost nearly $600 million through its management of the Tongass National Forest, according to a new report. The study by the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense calculated the forest service’s losses through roadbuilding and timber sales, Coast Alaska reported Monday. The average net loss has been about $30 million annually over the past 20 years, the report said. …Taxpayers for Common Sense warned a rollback of the federal Roadless Area Conservation Rule would accelerate the trend of the forest costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies. …The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected in the coming weeks to decide whether to formally roll back the Roadless Area Conservation Rule in Alaska. “The system is clearly broken if we are so underwater with our timber sales,” said Autumn Hanna, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Delivering on Canada’s bioeconomy potential

By Robert Larocque, FPAC
Canadian Biomass Magazine
October 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Robert Larocque

Forest products have been a lynchpin of the Canadian economy for centuries, if not millennia… our nation is uniquely positioned to lead the world in next-generation thinking around the bioeconomy. However, without a modern, adaptive regulatory framework and policies that support innovation and investment, the full potential for Canada to lead the world in biomaterials, biofuels and biochemicals might never be realized. …For its part, the forest products sector has been in the business of innovation for decades – long before the potential of the bioeconomy was fully understood. …In addition to biofuels and technologies that will enable everything from toothpaste to LCD screens to be made from wood products, the environmental advantages associated with building with wood products are now undeniable. 

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The Wood Product and Carbon Connection

The USDA Forest Service
October 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

When we think of a renewable resource…. Rarely does a stand of trees root in our idea of a renewable resource. But the cycle of seed, plant, grow, and harvest makes trees a natural renewable resource and this is something we, at the USDA Forest Service, would like everyone to know. …When people use wood-based products in place of fossil fuel-intensive products — like steel, concrete, or plastic — there is a permanent benefit to our atmospheric home. For instance, buildings framed in wood release 26 percent less carbon than steel-framed buildings and 31 percent less than concrete-framed buildings. Similarly, when people install wood floors instead of vinyl flooring, carbon emissions can be as much as 20 times lower. Simply put, by building with wood, we’re opting to store additional carbon in everyday products and buildings.

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