Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 31, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Resolute, Norbord and Enviva Q3 results are down as expected

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 31, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Resolute, Norbord and Enviva Partners reported third quarter results yesterday and as expected, earnings were down or non-existent. In other Business news: the Conifex-Hampton deal is okayed; Resolute extends Ignace, Ontario mill shutdown; and it will take more than lower mortgage rates to lift the US housing market.

In Forestry/Climate news: BC adds teeth to its Climate Change Accountability Act; Sudbury’s acid-damaged lakes are recovering well; and a new study says GHG emissions caused by damage to tropical forests are underestimated by a factor of six. Meanwhile: high winds are fueling wildfires in Oregon and California; but in an era of megafires is Canada learning from the US experience.

Finally, Fort St. John’s 8-meter-high lumberjack is felled by flames.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Froggy Foibles

Alaska Highway’s 8-metre-high lumberjack landmark felled by flames

By Dominika Lirette
CBC News
October 30, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A landmark statue has burned to the ground around the Mile 62 mark on the Alaska Highway in northern B.C. The enormous fibreglass lumberjack that used to stand just outside of the former Clarke Sawmill, about 25 kilometres north of Fort St. John, went up in flames late Sunday night, said Debbie Lee Clarke, whose father bought the statue in the late 1970s. …No one knows for certain what caused the fire, but Clarke thinks someone may have shot fireworks or a flare gun at the lumberjack. … For those outside of the Clarke household, the statue was a landmark that signalled how far people were from Fort St. John.

Read More

Business & Politics

Norbord Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results; Declares Quarterly Dividend

By Norbord Inc.
Cision Newswire
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

TORONTO — Norbord reported Adjusted EBITDA of $33 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared to $36 million in the second quarter of 2019 and $211 million in the third quarter of 2018. The quarter-over-quarter decrease was driven by lower panel prices and shipments in Europe, which more than offset improved manufacturing costs in North America, while the year-over-year decrease was primarily due to lower North American OSB prices. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $24 millioncompared to $18 million in the prior quarter and $190 million in the same quarter last year. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $11 million, down from $21 million in the prior quarter and $23 million in the year-ago quarter. …”We have started to see improvement this past quarter,” said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s President and CEO. 

Read More

Canada’s Forestry Sector Supports Plan for Canada’s Future Growth

Forest Products Association of Canada
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Earlier today, the Business Council of Canada (BCC) issued a report that calls on the country’s newly elected MPs to come together and support a forward-thinking agenda that will improve the lives of Canadians.  Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) supports this forward-thinking and collaborative approach to securing Canada’s economic future. Developed by the Task Force on Canada’s Economic Future, the report is the result of a national consultation process that spanned a period of nine months. It presents six practical recommendations to expand Canada’s economic potential, spur investment and job creation, and ensure a better future for all citizens. …“As one of Canada’s largest employers and exporters operating in more than 600 communities, our sector understands the need for a national economic plan that reflects regional priorities and strengths,” noted FPAC President and CEO, Derek Nighbor. 

Read More

Government okays Conifex-Hampton deal

BC Local News
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has approved the transfer of Conifex Timber’s forest license to Hampton Lumber. Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests… said the deal was given the green light on Oct. 25. …”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.” …While FLNRORD has approved the transfer, the sale has not yet closed, said Steve Zika, CEO of Hampton Lumber. …The sawmill sale affected more than 220 employees of the Fort St. James facility. Once finalized, the deal with Conifex will expand Hampton’s activities in the region beyond its Babine and Decker Lake Forest Products mills.

Read More

Shutdown of Ignace sawmill extended to next year

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

IGNACE, Ont. — A prolonged shutdown of the Resolute Forest Products sawmill at Ignace will be extended through the winter. The town’s mayor and the Steelworkers union both say Resolute has indicated the mill will not resume operations before next spring. When a two-month shutdown began last April, the company said it was because of a shortage of logs that  resulted from wet conditions in the bush over a period of many months. In June, Resolute said an issue with the sawmill’s kilns and deteriorating market conditions would keep the mill closed until July, and the kilns out of service until September. However, the mill remained shut down through the summer and into the fall. …Market conditions have been blamed by other forestry companies for the shutdown of numerous mill and woodlands operations in British Columbia this year, affecting hundreds of workers.

Read More

Resolute Reports Preliminary Third Quarter 2019 Results

Resolute Forest Products Inc.
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTRÉAL — Resolute Forest Products reported a net loss for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, of $43 million, or $0.47 per share, compared to net income of $117 million, or $1.25per diluted share, in the same period in 2018. Sales were $705 million in the quarter, a decrease of $269 million from the year-ago period. The third quarter of 2018 included sales from the Catawba (South Carolina) and Fairmont (West Virginia) facilities, which were sold in the fourth quarter of 2018. Excluding special items, the company reported a net loss of $34 million, or $0.37 per share, compared to net income of $96 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2018. “Ongoing weakness in market pulp pricing had a significant impact on our quarterly results,” said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer.

Read More

Enviva Partners, LP Reports Financial Results for Third Quarter 2019 and Announces Seventeenth Consecutive Distribution Increase

By Enviva Partners, LP
BusinessWire
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BETHESDA, Md.–Enviva Partners, LP today reported financial and operating results for the third quarter of 2019. “As expected, our financial and operating performance for the third quarter was a significant step up from the second quarter, and with the ramp-up of the Hamlet plant, we continue to believe the fourth quarter will be a significant step up from the third,” said John Keppler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enviva. “We also are very excited that our sponsor has commenced construction of the fully contracted Lucedale production plant and the related Pascagoula terminal, part of the newest cluster of assets we expect to be made available to the Partnership, which should pave the way for the Partnership to double its expected 2019 adjusted EBITDA over the next few years.” 

Read More

Nannup timber mill stripped of contract after on-selling logs from WA native forests

By Frances Bell and Jon Daly
ABC News Australia
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Western Australia’s second largest timber mill has been stripped of a major native timber supply contract after it was exposed by a whistleblower on-selling more than 100 tonnes of marri logs overseas. Under its contract with the Forest Products Commission (FPC), Nannup Timber Processing is required to process all logs from state-owned native forests in WA. However an FPC investigation triggered by a whistleblower has found that in the first six months of this year, the Nannup mill on-sold at least 165 tonnes of state-sourced marri logs for export. WA Forestry Minister Dave Kelly described it as a serious breach of contract. The contractual requirement to locally process timber from state-owned native forests is aimed at protecting WA timber industry jobs and ensuring logs are processed into value-added products like furniture and flooring. “We’re about protecting the West Australian timber industry and local jobs,” Mr Kelly said.

Read More

Finance & Economics

It Will Take More Than Lower Mortgage Rates for a Housing Rally

By Ben Casselman
The New York Times
October 31, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

The Federal Reserve is hoping that its latest interest-rate cut will help keep the economy safely at cruising altitude. But don’t expect it to provide much of a lift to the housing market. …Interest rates still matter for housing. The Fed’s first two rate cuts this year helped stabilize the housing market, which had been heading for a major slump. …But few economists expect the housing market to take off, because rates aren’t what was holding back housing in the first place.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

WAN Awards 2019 Future Projects – Education goes to George Brown College Tall Wood Building

By Nav Pal
World Architecture News
October 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

TORONTO — The Arbour will be the home to the School of Technology and the Tall Wood Research Institute on George Brown College’s expanding Waterfront Campus. The opportunity to combine a learning institution within a developing urban neighbourhood sets fertile ground for Change, inspiring young minds to shape the future of the city. This 10-storey tall wood, low carbon building will be the first of its kind in Ontario, featuring ecological innovation across its entire life cycle and be a model for 21st century smart, sustainable, green building innovation throughout Canada. The project brings an innovative structural approach that revolutionizes the future of large span tall wood construction by fully taking advantage of the spanning capabilities of cross laminated timber structures.

Read More

UBC-WMC Online Management Skills Training Courses

Wood Manufacturing Council
October 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing has released its On-line Management Skills Training schedule for Fall 2019. Two modules, Safety and Human Resources Management, as well as New Product Development, will be offered starting November 4 th , 2019. Each module has email and phone support from a tutor. The management training program is in the form of a set of 9 short, affordable online training courses for wood products manufacturers. Program development was undertaken by the Wood Manufacturing Council and it is open to all. Costs are $445 (6 week courses) and $495 (8 week courses). The modules each require approx. 35-45 hours of study over a six-week or eight-week period, (depending on the module). They are developed specifically for the wood products industry, and include numerous case studies and industry examples. Graphics and diagrams are used extensively.

Read More

Multiple disciplines tackle mass timber’s challenges

By Don Procter
The Daily Commercial News
October 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Marco Vandermaas

Leading proponents of mass timber engineering, architecture and construction recently held a workshop in downtown Toronto, examining problems and solutions to enclosures and structures in the fledgling mass timber field. Toronto architect Marco Vandermaas… Among the key points of designing mass timber projects is that the buildings have an identifiable base, middle and top. “Some of the challenges come from step-backs and how you deal with the envelope and the structure changing,” he told participants. …“Architecture is that place between science and art and that is where you can be extraordinary”. …David Moses, principal of Moses Structural Engineers… told workshop participants that while wood receives high marks for carbon sequestration, successful green designs pay attention to cladding systems as well.

Read More

Work begins on mass timber office building at Pease

The New Hampshire Business Review
October 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Ground has been broken on 90 Arboretum Drive, the first office building in New Hampshire to be built using mass timber construction. Developed by Manchester-based Farley White Interests, the 72,000-square-foot building at Pease International Tradeport was designed by SGA Architects of Boston. The building is the first Class A office building in New Hampshire to use mass timber, the developer said. ..According to Nordic Structures… wood production emits 30% less carbon dioxide than concrete or steel. …The project is being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield, whose Denis C.J. Dancoes II said… “the benefits of mass timber are becoming more and more evident to developers and office occupiers alike; healthier and more aesthetically pleasing buildings with a significantly smaller carbon footprint.”

Read More

Forestry

Era of Megafires sparks Vernon discussion

By Jennifer Smith
Vernon Morning Star
October 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia is facing severe wildfire conditions which means there is an immediate need to change how we address hazards associated with longer fire seasons and extreme conditions. …To help facilitate these discussions a free public presentation of Era of Megafires will be held at the Vernon Campus of Okanagan College Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. …Era of Megafires is a one hour video presentation, which will be followed by a discussion with Lind and Professor Barb Ramovs with the Department of Geography and Earth & Environmental Science at Okanagan College. “This is not just a conversation for emergency services responders and forestry professionals,” said Sue Saunders, Emergency Program Coordinator. “This is something that impacts every community member and all of us need to know the current state of our forests and how we can become resilient in the face of wildfire.”

Read More

Okanagan College offering tuition-free training for log truck drivers

By Colin Dacre
Castanet Kelowna
October 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Okanagan College in Oliver is offering tuition-free training for log-truck drivers.  The professional log truck driver program will be offered at the OC Oliver campus starting Nov. 19 — a 16-week program consisting of 10 weeks of classroom training and six weeks on the road.  It’s being offered tuition-free for eligible students who: meet the definition of an “EI client”, are eligible for WorkBC Case Management and who have been referred by a WorkBC Case Manager, and who possess a valid driver’s license. “This program was designed by the BC Forest Safety Council in consultation with log truck and truck harvesting advisory group members across the province,” said Dennis Silvestrone, director of continuing studies and corporate training.

Read More

Sudbury’s acid-damaged lakes have recovered faster than expected, experts say

By Colleen Romaniuk
Northern Ontario Business
October 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sudbury’s acid-damaged lakes have made a faster recovery than experts thought possible.  According to John Gunn, director of the Vale Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University, this is “proof positive that clean air produces clean water.” Since the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1990, a lot of research has been done on a national and international level on the recovery process of severely damaged lakes. Researchers have done a lot to investigate the different factors that go into that recovery. …Gunn and his team have also discovered that the recovering forest population has also positively impacted our bodies of water.  One of the reasons is that trees slow down the wind so the warm surface water doesn’t get mixed into the depths of the lake.  The forest also sheds leaves and branches around the lake. This debris creates what Gunn calls “forest tea” in the water. 

Read More

Town hall shines spotlight on Roadless Rule

By Ari Snider
KCAW Raven Radio
October 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than 50 people turned out Tuesday night for a town hall meeting on the Roadless Rule organized by the Sitka Conservation Society. The Trump Administration has proposed exempting Alaska from the 2001 rule designed to protect large swaths of public land from further development and resource extraction.  Critics of the proposal believe that a full exemption would lead to increased old-growth logging on the Tongass National Forest. The town hall was designed to bring people up to speed on the current debate over the rule, answer questions about Forest Service land management practices, and demonstrate how to craft an effective public comment.  Everyone who spoke at the event was in favor of preserving the Roadless Rule in some form or another. Zach LaPerriere, a woodworker and small-scale logger, said he doesn’t support the current timber industry model of shipping unprocessed trees abroad.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Will Canada ever learn from California’s wildfires?

By Glenn McGillivray, managing director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
The Globe and Mail
October 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Large swaths of California are once again ablaze… an omen portending a future that will see bigger and faster-moving wildfires… And this, say fire experts, is a bad sign for Canada’s west, which has already seen a doubling of area burned since the early 1970s, and is projected to see another doubling – possibly a tripling – by the end of the century. …We are fortunate to have an organization called the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), whose primary job is to coordinate the sharing of forest-fire-fighting resources among the provinces and, sometimes, between countries. The well-conceived and well-run service provided by CIFFC goes a long way to filling gaps that arise when provincial resources are pushed to the max by overly active wildfire seasons, such as those experienced in B.C. in 2017 and 2018 and Alberta this year. But much more will have to be done.

Read More

Climate action gets new teeth with accountability act

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
October 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Better accountability, transparency and more detailed targets for climate action will be mandated under a new Climate Change Accountability Act. “We’re committed to meeting our climate targets and making sure our CleanBC plan gets us to where we need to go – that means being honest and transparent about our progress to make sure people can determine we’re on the right track,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. …To make sure the Province is on track for long-term legislated emissions reductions, government will be required to set an interim emissions target on the path to the legislated 2030 target – which is 40% in greenhouse gas reductions below 2007 levels. Separate 2030 sectoral targets will also be established following engagement with stakeholders, Indigenous peoples and communities throughout the province. This will make sure carbon pollution is reduced effectively across B.C.’s economy, homes, workplaces and transportation choices.

Read More

Saving the forest and the trees: Charity buys woman’s old-growth Acadian forest

By Tori Weldon
CBC News
October 31, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW BRUNSWICK — A charity based in Sackville is buying an old-growth forest in Cambridge-Narrows that has been in environmentalist Robena Weatherly’s family for generations. Community Forest International bought the 350-acre property (about 141 hectares) through its carbon offset program. Weatherly still has the original land grant given to her great-great-great-grandfather, neatly written on yellowed paper. It’s dated 1812. …CFI is a non-profit that works to protect forests. It developed a carbon offsetting program that essentially sees businesses pay the group to preserve old-growth forests.

Read More

Climate emissions from tropical forest damage ‘underestimated by a factor of six’

By Graham Readfearn
The Guardian
October 31, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by damage to tropical rainforests around the world are being underestimated by a factor of six, according to a new study. Research led by the University of Queensland finds the climate impact of selective logging, outright clearing and fire in tropical rainforests between 2000 and 2013 was underestimated by 6.53bn tonnes of CO2. The numbers are likely conservative, and also did not include emissions from other woodlands or the massive boreal forests in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Study co-author professor James Watson said: “We have been treating forests as pretty one-dimensional, but we know degradation impacts carbon. The bottom line is that we knew the numbers would be big, but we were shocked at just how big.”

Read More

Forest Fires

Wildfire erupts near Reagan library in Southern California

By Marcio Sanches and Gregory Bull
Associated Press in Herald and News
October 30, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — A new wildfire erupted Wednesday in wind-whipped Southern California, forcing the evacuation of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and nearby homes, as both ends of the state struggled with blazes, dangerously gusty weather and deliberate blackouts. The brush fire broke out just before dawn in the Simi Valley area north of Los Angeles and grew to more than 400 acres (162 hectares). They gave no immediate estimate of how many people were ordered to leave. …Meanwhile, frustration and anger mounted across Northern California as Pacific Gas & Electric Co., undertook its third round of sweeping blackouts in a week, hoping to prevent its electrical equipment from toppling or coming into contact with branches and sparking fires. …The National Weather Service issued an extreme red flag warning for high winds for much of Southern California through Thursday evening, with some gusts expected to reach 80 mph (130 kph). 

Read More

22 Oregon wildfires sparked by dry winds and timber slash burns

By Zach Urness
Salem Statesman Journal
October 30, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Twenty-two wildfires were sparked Tuesday and Wednesday by high winds and dry conditions across northern Oregon. Four of the wildfires grew to larger sizes, including blazes near Detroit, Gates, Molalla and Sheridan, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.  Fire teams are actively fighting the blazes, but none have threatened structures or led to road closures at this time, officials said. The fires are officially under investigation, but the suspected cause in the majority of cases is that old slash burns — typically woody debris from logging operations — that were kicked up by the high and dry conditions.  “The majority would have been slash piles lit previously, sometimes weeks ago, when conditions were good for burning,” Oregon Department of Forestry spokeswoman Bobbi Doan said. “Burning slash piles wasn’t allowed yesterday and today.”

Read More