Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 5, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Carbon emissions from deforestation smaller than thought

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 5, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

A new study says human-made net carbon emissions from deforestation are about a fifth of what was previously estimated. In related news: ENGO’s pan BC’s ‘log and talk‘ consultations;  Alberta appoints caribou task force members; a Tongass alternative—shift to second growth logging; Northern Wisconsin secures clean SFI/FSC audits; and the UK plans to tackle climate change by planting trees.

In other news: a new wood-based cellulose can capture hormones from wastewater; California lifts wildfire evacuations; Ontario reports lower 2019 forest fire losses; Canada’s lumber production is up slightly; Rayonier announces Q3 losses; and Sappi concludes purchase of Quebec’s Mantane pulp mill.

Finally, the Frogs are on location at CWC’s Wood Solutions Conference in Vancouver today. Hope to see you there!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

University of Northern British Columbia Faculty Association issues 72-hour strike notice

The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing faculty at the University of Northern British Columbia has issued a 72-hour strike notice. The UNBC Faculty Association says pickets will go up at the Prince George campus, the Terrace campus, and at the Wood Innovation and Design Centre on Thursday morning if a deal is not reached. The union says the university will continue to update students and staff with official decisions, including the status of classes following Monday’s strike notice. …University spokesman Matt Wood says UNBC remains committed at this point to negotiating with the faculty association at the table.

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Sappi successfully concludes its acquisition of the Matane Mill in Quebec Canada from Rayonier Advanced Materials

By Sappi Limited
Cision Newswire
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

JOHANNESBURG — Sappi Limited, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, specialities and packaging papers, graphic papers and biomaterials, announced that all conditions precedent relating to the acquisition of the Matane high yield hardwood pulp mill in Quebec Canada from Rayonier Advanced Materials have been fulfilled and closing has been completed. The main benefits of the acquisition include: Increases Sappi’s pulp integration for its fast-growing packaging businesses in both North America and Europe… Will enable supply to be increased over time to Sappi’s mills in North America and Europe as demand increases and capacity expands in certain growth businesses.

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Timber investment firm to sell off $3K in acreage

Associated Press in The Longview Daily News
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, Ore.  — A timber investment firm is selling more than 3,000 acres along the Columbia River that has been used to grow poplar trees, a newspaper reported Monday. Greenwood Resources had used the land to grow poplar trees for the U.S. paper industry, but experts say stiff international competition and a low profit margin has made that difficult, the Capital Press reported. Poplar plantations arose due to steep logging declines on federal land in the Pacific Northwest as paper companies worried about acquiring sufficient wood chips to run their plants. That shortage never materialized, however, and efforts to grow larger poplar trees for use in furniture construction were stymied by competition from alder wood. Alder trees grow naturally in Pacific Northwest forests and don’t need to be grown on plantations, making them cheaper. Greenwood Resources…is selling off the final 12 parcels of what was once part of a much larger operation in Oregon and Washington.

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Rayonier Advanced Materials Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results

By Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc.
Business Wire
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

JACKSONVILLE, Florida –Rayonier Advanced Materials reported a net loss from continuing operations for the third quarter of $14 million, or $(0.29) per diluted common share, compared to income from continuing operations of $30 million for the prior year quarter. Adjusted net loss from continuing operations for the 2019 third quarter was $15 million compared to adjusted net income from continuing operations of $27 million for the prior year quarter. The net loss from continuing operations for the third quarter 2019 improved $5 million compared to the second quarter 2019. Adjusted net loss from continuing operations improved $3 million for the same periods.

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Queensland Government allows timber industry to keep harvesting native forest, says it will save up to 500 Wide Bay-Burnett jobs

By Josh Bavas
ABC News, Australia
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Annastacia Palaszczuk

Thousands of hectares of native forest north of Noosa, which had been due to become national park, will now be open to the timber industry in order to save hundreds of jobs. The Queensland Government made the decision to extend the current harvesting permits in the Wide Bay-Burnett region until 2026 but would not say how much land would be accessed. The current permits were due to expire in 2024, threatening up to 500 workers. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Cabinet decided to back “sustainable” jobs in the region. “These are good, decent jobs,” she said. “Some of those hardwood plantations didn’t work in the areas they were designated to, so where else is there the possibility that they can? …Instead, about 20,000 hectares of state-owned land south of Noosa will now be slated for conservation by 2024.

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Finance & Economics

CMHC’s Housing Market Trend Predictions For 2020

By Jenny Febbraro
Toronto Storeys
November 4, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

The two-year slowdown Canada experienced in the housing market is now officially over. The Canadian housing market has finally come out of its slumber since the imposed stress-test halted market progress. However, it is expected to improve most dramatically in Ontario and Quebec. 3. …The CMHC says the total number of homes that started construction in 2019 is about the same ballpark total we should expect for both 2020 and 2021, in line with the historical average for annual home construction.

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Canada’s lumber production up slightly in August

By Statistics Canada
Lesprom Network
November 5, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Сanada’s lumber production increased 3% from July to 4 628.8 thousand cubic metres in August. Production was 15.8% lower than in August 2018, as Statistics Canada said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Sawmills shipped 4 776.5 thousand cubic metres of lumber in August, up 3.3% from July and down 17.9% from August 2018. [END]

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Willamette Falls Paper Company Creates A New, Non-Wood Paper Product

By Monica Samayoa
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

An Oregon paper mill company has successfully created a new, non-wood paper product that uses agricultural waste to produce paper. The West Linn-based Willamette Falls Paper Company made its first non-wood paper product using pulp from wheat straw fibers. The new product uses 10% of fibers which are collected from the shaft of the wheat and broken down into microscopic fibers, which are then used to make both coated and uncoated paper. “We want to be the first coated paper mill to offer non-wood grades made in the U.S. and sourced with local agricultural waste, in this case, straw,” said Phil Harding, the director of technology and sustainability at Willamette Falls Paper Company. “Our long-term focus is sustainable paper-making, and successful trials using non-wood raw materials is another step toward this goal.”

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Wood-based fiber captures hormones from wastewater

By Aalto University
Phys.org
November 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University have developed a wood-based cellulose fiber yarn that is an affordable solution for capturing pharmaceutical substances—especially ethinylestradiol in contraceptive pills—that would otherwise end up in bodies of water. By attaching a cyclic sugar onto the surface of the cellulose fiber yarn, the research scientists were able to create a material that efficiently captures ethinylestradiol (EE2), a hormone used in contraceptive pills. …”Hormone capture would be most effective in wastewater treatment plants and hospitals, since the wastewater in these facilities contains a higher concentration of the compounds. We are developing a wood-based affordable material that could be thrown into a tank in a wastewater treatment plant or used as a filter in a pipe connected to the tank.

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Forestry

While government consults, and consults some more, logging in B.C.’s old-growth forests continues

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
November 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has launched another round of talks on the future of the province’s old-growth forests. While they talk, logging those forests continues apace. This is what the conservationists, who have already participated in extensive consultations with the government, describe as “log and talk.” Forests Minister Doug Donaldson has been talking-while-logging for some time already. In January, he sought submissions from stakeholders in response to a government discussion paper on improving the province’s forestry regime. The responses were due last summer, which is when he appointed an old-growth strategic review panel to carry out more consultations. …Mr. Donaldson has to walk a line between conservation values and the demands that he maintain forestry jobs in a sector that is struggling. …He promised “significant changes” are coming in the spring legislative session.

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Members of three Alberta caribou task forces announced

By Lisa Johnson
Edmonton Journal
November 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jason Nixon

The province announced members of three new caribou task forces now charged with finding a way to balance Alberta’s at-risk caribou population protection with industrial activity Monday. Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon announced the newly-appointed members of the three regional task forces that will cost a combined $3.75 million. “A uniquely Alberta solution is absolutely critical. It will be the most effective way to ensure that the path forward is in the best interest of Albertans, and is not imposed by those who may not understand our landscape and the needs of our job creators,” Nixon said. The three task forces, divided into geographical sub-regions, will have 42 members and will each be chaired by a local MLA. They include representatives of municipalities, Indigenous communities, the forestry industry, trappers, recreational users and environmental organizations. Roughly one-quarter of the task forces are made up of Indigenous and Métis representatives.

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Odds are strong your hardwood floor was harvested illegally

By Rachel Koning Beals
Market Watch
November 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, International

…Updated forensic testing of wood brought into the U.S. suggests mislabeling of illegally logged timber remains a problem across industries turning out furniture, flooring, musical instruments and sporting goods. In a recent study, the World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute and U.S. Forest Service found that as much as 62% of U.S. wood products — mostly imports — were mislabeled. Researchers used forensics, checking wood samples against the Forest Service’s reference specimens, to uncover evidence of mislabeling, which could mean wood was logged illegally, research lead Alex Wiedenhoeft, a botanist with the U.S. Forest Service, explained. The advocacy groups worked with the government lab to examine 73 commercial wood products sold by major U.S. retailers, which were not identified in the report. Wiedenhoeft and team found that 40 of the 73 products tested were labeled as the wrong tree species; 20 weren’t even solid wood, despite being labeled as such.

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To keep life in the forest, shift Tongass timber now

By Steve Cohn and Christine Woll, the Nature Conservancy in Alaska
The Anchorage Daily News
November 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Science is continually expanding our knowledge of how nature works and how it fulfills our needs. In Alaska, we’re learning how the ancient old-growth trees that enrich our lives and symbolize the Tongass National Forest are now more valuable than ever. The Tongass also has a new generation of younger forest stands – places where trees have grown up after old-growth logging. These growing forests… are ready to play a new role in the economy of Southeast Alaska. …What does this mean for today? The Tongass National Forest is left with a growing second generation of trees and a sharply diminished old-growth forest. …There is now ample opportunity to provide local mills with young-growth trees, easing pressure on remaining old-growth forests. Entrepreneurial experiments in milling and marketing new value-added wood products are already underway.

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Northern Wisconsin counties earn high marks for forest management

By Shelley Nelson
The Superior Telegram
November 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Douglas County’s forest management practices raised no concerns among auditors reviewing policy and practice for sustainability. Douglas was among four counties in northern Wisconsin audited for certification through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council this summer. Both third-party certification programs came up with no findings that needed correction in Ashland, Barron, Bayfield and Barron counties. “It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it,” said Mark Heyde, forest certification specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “It’s super uncommon.” …The Wisconsin DNR holds the third-party forest certification programs for forest land own by the state and county forests, which collectively makes up the largest public landholding in the state. …Certification is voluntary and individual counties are free to choose one, both or neither of the certification programs.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Salish Soils taking over wood waste collection from Sunshine Coast Regional District

By Sophie Woodrooffe
Sunshine Coast Reporter
November 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

As of Nov. 13 wood waste will no longer be accepted at the dump on Dusty Road. Instead, Salish Soils in Sechelt will be collecting the waste… Wood waste will continue to be collected at the Pender Harbour Transfer Station. For several months the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), which runs the landfill, wrestled with the build-up of wood waste… SCRD directors voted to award a $500,000 contract to Salish Soils in May, which would introduce a new wood processing method. …Salish Soils would collect the wood, grind it and send it to Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. But that contract was due to start in fall, leaving an interim period when wood would continue accumulating at the Sechelt landfill. In September, directors unanimously voted to award Salish Soils an interim contract worth approximately $200,000 to haul and dispose of the material from Pender Harbour and the Sechelt landfill before the larger contract kicks in…

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Planned biofuel plant for Northern Peninsula ‘still active,’ minister says

By Ariana Kelland
CBC News
November 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Gerry Byrne

The future of the proposed Timberland biofuel plant on the Northern Peninsula isn’t dead in the water, according to Minister Gerry Byrne, but it’s far from a done deal. PC MHA Pleaman Forsey asked about the plant during the opening of the fall sitting of the House of Assembly Monday, nearly one year after Timberlands, the local subsidiary of Active Energy Group, secured timber rights. “Twelve months have passed, no timber has been cut, no ground has been broken to build a plan,” Forsey said during question period. “The people on the Northern Peninsula is  wondering if this project will happen at all.” Byrne, minister of fisheries and land resources, said his department has been in touch with the company in the last several weeks about the project.

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Carbon emissions from deforestation much smaller than previously thought, economists say

By Ohio State University
Science Daily
November 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Cutting down trees inevitably leads to more carbon in the environment, but deforestation’s contributions to climate change are vastly overestimated, according to a new study. Deforestation for timber and farmland is responsible for about 92 billion tons of carbon emissions into the environment since 1900, found a study led by researchers at The Ohio State University and Yale University. “Our estimate is about a fifth of what was found in previous work…” said Brent Sohngen. He said that widely accepted estimate didn’t take into account the planting of new trees and other forest management techniques that lessen the environmental burden. The model used in this study did take those factors into account. …The study appears in the Journal of Forest Economics. …Previous estimates argued that about 27 percent of humanmade net carbon emissions were from deforestation whereas the new research estimates that the correct number is just 7 percent.

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Government launches new scheme to boost tree-planting

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Forestry Commission
The Government of UK
November 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

UK — The government launched a £50 million scheme to help boost tree-planting rates in the fight against climate change. The new Woodland Carbon Guarantee will encourage farmers and landowners to plant more trees and create new woodland in return for payments as those trees grow. It gives land managers in England the long-term financial income they need to invest in carbon sequestration – the process by which trees lock up and store carbon from the atmosphere. Successful participants will be offered the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the government over 35 years at a guaranteed price set by auction, providing new income for land managers who help businesses compensate for their carbon emissions.

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Health & Safety

Flames, gear and risks of photographing California wildfires

By Marcio Jose Sanchez
The Herald and News
November 4, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

SANTA PAULA, California — It’s ironic, but momentarily forgetting some of my safety gear ended up saving my life. It happened as I drove late Thursday into the heart of a wildfire that had erupted near the city of Santa Paula, a two-hour drive west of Los Angeles. …Dressed in flame-resistant clothes, heavy boots and carrying my two cameras, I spent a few minutes walking around and surveying the scene before starting to shoot photos. After a few minutes, I realized I had forgotten my helmet and fire shelter, essentially a tarp that can be deployed to cover and protect your body if you can’t escape flames. So I began walking back to my car, and a few minutes later two large burning branches crashed in the exact place where I had been standing.

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Forest Fires

More than 530 fires burned approximately 269,600 hectares of forest this summer

North Bay Today
November 4, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

October 31 marked the end of this year’s wildland fire season, and a government report shows the season saw more than 530 fires burn approximately 269,600 hectares of land. While this year’s fire season was lighter in terms of total number of fires than last year when more than 1,000 wildland fires burned in central and northern Ontario, several large fires this year affected people and businesses in the north. An additional $60 million was spent to fight forest fires through the 2019 season, battling fires that covered almost the same amount of land compared to last year. Two large fires burned in the Red Lake area, in total scorching more than 140,000 hectares of land and forcing the evacuation of almost half of the Pikangikum First Nation population.

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Forest fire outbreaks declined in 2019

The Thunder Bay News Watch
November 4, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — Data from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry shows there were far fewer forest fires in Ontario this year than last, but the devastation was about the same. The 2019 wildfire season officially ended on Oct. 31. There were 537 fires this year, well down from the 1,324 fires that occurred in 2018, and considerably below the 10-year average of 855 fires. But the number of hectares burned over the course of the season was roughly the same as last year, at 270,000 hectares. More than half the forest destruction occurred in the Red Lake district, where two large fires scored over 140,000 hectares.

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California evacuations lifted as wildfires become more contained

By Christopher Weber
The Associated Press in PBS Newshour
November 4, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — Authorities lifted evacuation orders as firefighters made progress Sunday on a large blaze that sent thousands fleeing homes and farms northwest of Los Angeles. Crews working in steep terrain were tamping down hotspots and keeping an eye on lingering gusts in mountain areas that could carry embers, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Steve Kaufmann. “I’d say we’re cautiously optimistic,” Kaufmann said, citing calmer winds overall and rising humidity levels. Firefighters have contained 70% of the blaze known as the Maria fire, which has burned nearly 15 square miles (39 sq. kilometers) of dry brush and timber. Three buildings were destroyed. More than 11,000 people evacuated after the flames spread Oct. 31 during dry winds that fanned fires across the state this fall.

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