Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 29, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canfor agrees to go private, Conifex tenure transfer approved

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 29, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canfor has entered into an agreement with Jim Pattison’s Great Pacific Capital Corp. to take the company private; as BC approves its first Bill 22 case, allowing Conifex to transfer its forest tenure to Hampton Lumber. In other Business news: Potlatch reports Q3 profits; mislabeling of wood products in the US is alarmingly common; and modified wood products put pressure on treated lumber.

In other news: the US Forest Service says the new Tongass rule doesn’t mean more logging; an Alberta field trial converts forest residues into natural gas; spark detection systems help with combustible dust, and California wildfires have echoes of 2017

Finally, the wood company and the weed company have settled their dispute.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canfor Agrees to Going Private Transaction at $16.00 per Share

Canfor Corporation
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Vancouver, BC — Canfor Corporation announced that, based on the recommendation of an independent committee of Canfor’s board of directors, it has entered into an arrangement agreement with Great Pacific Capital Corp. Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, Great Pacific, which along with its affiliates owns approximately 51% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Canfor, will acquire all of the Canfor Shares it does not already own for cash consideration of $16.00 per Canfor Share. …Conrad Pinette, Chair of the Special Committee, said, “Following the conclusion of this evaluation, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with Great Pacific. The Special Committee believes that the transaction represents fair value for Shareholders and is the correct path forward for Canfor, Canfor employees, communities and Shareholders.”

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Government approves forest tenure transfer

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

B.C.’s minister for forests has approved the first forestry tenure transfer under a new tenure control act that was intended to address the concentration of tenure among major forestry companies in B.C. Doug Donaldson, minister of Forests, has approved the transfer of a forestry licence held by Conifex to Fort St. James Forest Products, a subsidiary of Hampton Lumber Mills. …“I determined that this transfer is in the public interest and will benefit British Columbians,” Donaldson said in a press release. Earlier this year, the NDP government introduced a new act, Bill 22, which was intended to address the heavy concentration of a dwindling forestry tenure supply among a handful of major forestry companies. …”As a condition of the transfer, Hampton has committed to build a new mill in Fort St. James that will be operational within 36 months of closing the transaction with Conifex,” Donaldson said.

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Why 25 B.C. lumber mills have stopped operating

CBC News
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The heavily interconnected B.C. forestry sector is facing a crisis as 25 mills have ceased operating this year, leaving more than 6,000 people out of work.  [CBC video on Mackenzie BC]

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Conifex’s forest tenure has been transferred to Hampton Lumber in Fort St. James

By Aman Parhar
Terrace Standard
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dave Salmon

The province has approved the transfer of Conifex’s forest licence to Hampton. …As a condition of the transfer, Hampton has committed to building a new sawmill in Fort St. James, Donaldson added, noting the sawmill will be operational within 36 months of the closing transaction with Conifex. …This approval came as a result of changes made to Bill 22, Donaldson said. Bill 22 was introduced in 2019 at the legislative session in spring, and this bill requires forestry companies to obtain approval from the forestry minister before transferring tenure agreements to another party. There was a lot of debate in regard to this legislation with forest companies skeptical of government involvement in tenure. The approval of Conifex’s sale to Hampton is the first approval of tenure transfer under the recent legislative amendments due to Bill 22, Donaldson said. Mayor Bev Playfair of Fort St. James said the news is great for the municipality.

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Spark causes fire in Smithers pellet plant dryer

By Marisca Bakker
The Interior News
October 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Smithers Fire Department was called out to a structure fire at the Pinnacle pellet plant early Friday morning. Approximately 25 firefighters responded at around 3:30 a.m. “When we are arrived, we were told it was in the dryer within the pellet plant. The sprinkler system within the plant operated,” said Fire Chief Keith Stecko. “What appeared to have happened, a spark had gotten into the system and tripped the fire system to allow the sprinkler system to operate.” There were no injuries. This is the third fire in the past 10 days in Smithers. [END]

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Minister’s statement on tenure transfer from Conifex to Fort St. James Forest Products

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, has released a statement regarding the transfer of a forest licence from Conifex to Fort St. James Forest Products: “I approved the transfer of a forest licence and associated road permits from Conifex Timber Inc. to Fort St. James Forest Products, a subsidiary of Hampton Lumber Mills. After a comprehensive review of this public asset, I determined that this transfer is in the public interest and will benefit British Columbians. As a condition of the transfer, Hampton has committed to build a new mill in Fort St. James that will be operational within 36 months of closing the transaction with Conifex. It is my expectation that Hampton will continue to work closely with First Nations to develop business and capacity-building arrangements and hire local workers. In addition, it must meet with the United Steelworkers’ local, and continue discussions with Fort St. James Green Energy and local logging contractors.”

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Canfor backs Jim Pattison’s billion dollar takeover bid

By David Carrigg
The Vancouver Sun
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Pattison

A special committee of lumber giant Canfor’s board has approved an almost $1-billion offer from a Jim Pattison company to take full control of the company. …Pattison’s company Great Pacific Capital Corp “will acquire all of the Canfor shares it does not already own for cash consideration of $16 per Canfor share.” Great Pacific Capital currently owns 51 per cent of Canfor, a public company. Once the transaction is complete (subject to a shareholder vote), Canfor will become a private company under the Pattison conglomerate umbrella. …The special committee has given shareholders five reasons why the offer should be accepted. These were that the offer was for 80 per cent more per share than the day before the offer was made, that it was a cash offer, that the lumber industry was in difficulty, that an independent evaluation of the share price offer was reasonable and that there were limited alternatives, given Pattison already had 51 per cent of the company.

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Simpson shares highlights from meeting with forestry area managers

BC Local News
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the opportunity to sit down with local managers from the provincial forestry ministry for close to four hours earlier this month was useful. During the Oct. 22 city council meeting, Simpson provided an update from the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) board meetings. He noted the special board meeting, held Oct. 3, was very interesting, as they had discussions with the Cariboo area managers from the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) about the state of forestry in the region and maintenance of forest service roads. “We had almost four hours with the local FLNRORD folks around the state of timber supply and the state of local forestry,” he said. “It was noted again quite strongly that any dialogue around changing the stumpage system is highly inappropriate. The managers from the local forestry offices were challenged about that right away.”

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Small Enderby wood-based business on upswing, but changes to forest policy needed, argues owner

By Tiffany Goodwein
Vernon Matters
October 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

ENDERBY, BC — With news of lumber industry curtailments throughout the Okanagan impacting hundreds of jobs, an Enderby wood-based business seems to be on the upswing. “We actually are 100 per cent booked for the coming year. We could actually expand our operations given enough fibre to do so,” said Peter Sperlich of Canadian Pride Log and Timber Products. …His company manufactures log houses and timber products and employs about 20 people in Enderby. But even riding on an upswing comes with a set of challenges—particularly with getting quality logs. …Imposing incentives that would benefit smaller companies is what Sperlich and the BC Log and Timber Building Industry are pushing for as a change in forest policy. …He thinks an employment ratio needs to be considered for any Crown harvest forest analysis. …At a media event Friday, Liberal MLA Greg Kyllo expressed a nod of support.

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‘Undo our past mistakes’: St. John’s to collaborate with Memorial University to promote urban forests

By Juanita Mercer
The Western Star
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sheilagh O’Leary

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — At the Ecological Services of the Forest conference in St. John’s last week, Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary struck up a collaboration with Memorial University to improve the city’s forests. At the regular council meeting on Monday, O’Leary said she spoke with Dalhousie University’s Peter Duinker, an urban forestry expert, about what is making Halifax so successful in encouraging forests in the urban environment. He said it was the collaboration with the university. “We have collaboration with the university in many different ways, especially in terms of international students and economic development, but in terms of urban forestry I don’t think that we’ve really gone down that road,” O’Leary told reporters after the council meeting.

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Marijuana company settles trademark lawsuit with wood business Boise Cascade

By Shira Schoenberg
MassLive.com
October 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The wood company and the weed company have settled their dispute. Boise Cascade Company and New England Treatment Access reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit, in which the lumber company had alleged that NETA was ripping off their trademarked logo. Peter Brown, a spokesman for NETA, said in a statement, “The matter has been resolved amicably.” …Boise Cascade said NETA was infringing on the lumber company’s trademark by using a similar logo, a green tree in a circle. NETA denied wrongdoing. NETA owns marijuana dispensaries in Northampton and Brookline. …The parties filed a joint motion in September agreeing to dismiss the case, with no costs awarded on either side.

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Illegal logging possibly contributes to majority of mislabeled wood in US markets

By Mariecor Agravante
Inhabitat
October 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

In a first-of-its-kind study, the World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute and United States Forest Service collaboratively found that a disconcerting 62 percent of the U.S. wood products studied were mislabeled. Mislabeling often signals wrongful supply chain violations — illegal logging and deforestation — that consequently hamper endeavors to promote sustainable wood.  According to Amy Smith, the World Wildlife Fund’s forests deputy director, “Wood products are intentionally mislabeled, sometimes to pass off lower-value wood for more expensive varieties, and sometimes to cover up the fact it was illegally sourced. We wanted to know how often this fraud occurs, and our study indicates it could be alarmingly common. The wood you think you are buying is not what you get.”

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Finance & Economics

PotlatchDeltic Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results

By PotlatchDeltic Corporation
Business Wire
October 28, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash.–PotlatchDeltic Corporation  today reported net income of $20.6 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, on revenues of $226.3 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2019. “Our third quarter Adjusted EBITDDA was $55 million, as our businesses executed well on factors within their control,” said Mike Covey, chairman and chief executive officer. “Real Estate continues to have a strong year, selling double the number of rural acres that we expected as well as closing a commercial real estate transaction in Chenal Valley during the third quarter. Wood Products established new quarterly lumber production and shipping records and remains on pace to complete $40 million of capital projects to expand capacity and increase grade recovery. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Putting the Pressure on Pressure-Treated Lumber

By Nigel F. Maynard
Professional Builder
October 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…If you haven’t heard of Kebony, don’t fret. It’s one of a handful of new(ish) exterior-grade wood products that purport to offer enhanced performance compared with traditional pressure-treated lumber. Other brands include: Lignia Wood Company, Thermory USA, Accoya, Nova USA Wood Products, Well Done (Westwood Timber Group). Such products are either treated with what the manufacturers say are more environmentally friendly chemicals or with alcohol from agricultural waste, or are processed using heat and steam. Whatever the specific treatment process, the producers promise more or less the same things: rot and warp resistance, protection from decay, and a more attractive appearance.  What’s more, they position the material as an alternative to tropical hardwood decking and cladding, as well as traditional pressure-treated pine and fir. …A new generation of wood aims to eliminate the downsides of traditional treated wood. 

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Tree house, state park visitor center, library annex and more win AIA awards

By Leslie Newell Peacock
Arkansas Times
October 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects has presented honor awards to five designs by Arkansas architects for structures both in and out of Arkansas and announced four other awards. The honorees:  The Evans Tree House at Garvan Woodland Gardens was designed by Modus Studio of Fayetteville for Garvan Gardens, the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas. The treehouse is constructed of 113 ribs of Southern yellow pine from Arkansas and is the first of three planned for the garden. …The Library Annex was designed by Miller Boskus Lack of Fayetteville to provide a cost-effective expansion of the University of Arkansas library and features cross-laminated timber panels for roofs, walls and floors.

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Forestry

Trump’s new Tongass rule doesn’t mean more logging

By Marc Heller
E&E News
October 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If the timber industry in Alaska is looking to harvest more trees, the Trump administration’s proposal to open roadless areas in Tongass National Forest to logging might not be the way to get there. That’s the conclusion from the Forest Service, which said its plan to lift the Roadless Area Conservation Rule on all 9.2 million acres of roadless areas of the country’s biggest national forest won’t produce any more timber than leaving the restrictions in place. The seemingly counterintuitive finding is spelled out in the draft environmental impact statement and proposed regulations the Forest Service released Oct. 15 and raises a question among conservation and environmental groups opposed to the change: Why push for a roadless exemption to open more areas to logging when more timber isn’t in the offing?

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Forest Education Foundation 2019 conference

Timb@rbiz
October 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Forest Education Foundation (FEF) has announced its 2019 conference – The Stories Behind Our Trees with keynote speakers from the US, workshops, networking and an industry forest field day. The event will run from 31 October to 1 November in Launceston, Tasmania. The conference aims to connect industry professionals with educators to facilitate dialogue around communicating about forest systems, the importance of forests and the ways that people interact with forest landscapes. With collaboration from educators and industry the conference theme – The Stories Behind Our Trees will focus on our personal connection to forests and how these stories can lead to education for sustainability and active participation in the future of forests and forest industries. Keynote speakers are Rick Zenn an internationally respected environmental educator and Norie Dimeo-Ediger, director of K-12 education for Oregon Forest Resources Institute. …The FEF hopes industry participants and local teachers to develop and build shared goals for forest education 

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Illegal logging drops in Monarch butterfly wintering grounds

By Marl Stevenson
The Associated Press in the Missoulian
October 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MEXICO CITY — Tree loss in the wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly in central Mexico is down by about 25% this year compared to last year as a sharp drop in Illegal logging more than made up from an increase in tree deaths due to lack of water or disease, experts said Monday. Monarchs need healthy tree cover to protect them rain or cold weather in the pine and fir mountaintop forests in Mexico where they spend the winter. Millions of monarchs make the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) migration from the United States and Canada, and then return, each year, though no single butterfly lives to make the complete trip.Environmentalists and officials in Mexico expect a strong turnout this year of monarchs, in part because of last year’s population rebound.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Renewable natural gas start-up company completes key milestone converting Alberta forest residues into pipeline-quality gas

By G4 Insights, Natural Resources Canada, Natural Gas Innovation Fund, Canadian Gas Association, Alberta Innovates, ATCO, FPInnovations
Alberta Innovates
October 28, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – An innovative clean energy start-up company, G4 Insights Inc., has successfully demonstrated in a field trial that forestry industry residues can be turned into renewable natural gas (RNG). Their RNG technology demonstration project has been supported by a federal-provincial-industry partnership with the common goal of clean energy distribution into homes, businesses and industry connected to the natural gas infrastructure system. The federal-provincial-industry consortium includes Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF), Alberta Innovates (AI), ATCO and FPInnovations, who have collectively invested a total of $2.8 million in grants and in-kind, for the testing and demonstration of G4 Insights’ PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation (PCH) technology. This technology, when commercialized, will convert forestry biomass into RNG that can be added to the existing natural gas distribution system and used interchangeably by customers without any equipment modifications.

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Health & Safety

Dealing with Combustible Dust

By Anna Simet
Biomass Magazine
October 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, United States

To combat the common problem of dust collector fires and explosions often experienced in the woodworking industry, Flamex pioneered utilization of a new technology in North America by introducing its spark detection and extinguishing system in 1977, and it became the first of its kind to become FM Approved. Since that time, thousands of Flamex Systems have been installed in woodworking facilities across North America and beyond. When the wood pellet industry entered a period of rapid growth over a decade ago, it was a natural fit for the company. “We specialize in industries that handle combustible dust, so we’re germane to the wood pellet industry—there are many fire hazards associated with the processes,” says Allen Wagoner, Flamex president. Today, Flamex has thousands of installations in applications of all kinds across North America, belonging to global fire protection industry company Minimax-Viking.

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Forest Fires

‘This time feels worse’: California fire has troubling echoes of 2017 blaze

By Susie Cagle
The Guardian
October 28, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The wind whipped through the flats of Sonoma county on Sunday morning, spreading dry autumn leaves and oily shreds of eucalyptus through the streets of downtown Santa Rosa.  Late the night before, authorities had ordered parts of this north San Francisco Bay area city to evacuate along with much of the surrounding county, as the wind-swept Kincade fire burned eight miles north-east. Debbie, who declined to give her last name, stood in the doorway of her home in Coffey Park that she recently, finally finished rebuilding after it was destroyed by wildfire in 2017. She covered her face with both hands. “I’m not leaving again. This time I’m gonna stay and I’m gonna burn in my house,” she said. “PG&E has not learned anything? Are they trying to kill us?”

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