Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 19, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US housing starts rebound, Steelworkers reject Western’s offer

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 19, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

US housing starts rebound despite a slight drop in homebuilder confidence, pointing to housing market strength. In other headlines: the Steelworkers Union rejected Western Forest Products’ offer and their request for binding arbitration. Meanwhile: a Marshall Plan to rescue the BC Interior; Canfor shareholders to vote on going private; and Irving Tissue invests in Georgia, big time.

In other news: Mosaic employs cameras to deter backcountry vandals; opposition rises to US Roadless Rule changes; and Scientist uncover resistance genes for the deadly ash tree disease.

Finally, Sierra Pacific’s Red Emmerson; Vancouver Sun’s Gordon Hoekstra and BC conservation officer Blake Parker are recognized for their good works.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Union rejects offer from Western Forest Products; no talks scheduled

Victoria Times Colonist
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Talks have broken off between Western Forest Products and the union representing nearly 3,000 workers on the coast. …The union said it wants a four-year deal with raises of three per cent in the first two years and 2.5 per cent in each of the last two. United Steelworkers president Brian Butler accused the company of “game-playing” and said Western Forest Products left the table instead of responding to the union’s last contract offer on Sunday. “Our offer is aligned with recent forest industry collective bargaining settlements.” …Demens said, “we asked the local union bargaining committee to allow employees to return to work while they ask membership to vote on our proposal.” The union responded by saying the proposal by Western Forest Products is a “desperate attempt and has failed to undermine the solidarity of members.” …The union has also rejected the company’s request to go to binding arbitration.

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Saving B.C.’s forestry towns—a Marshall Plan for the Interior of the province

By Eric Denhoff, former deputy minister in BC
The Georgia Straight
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The crisis in the woods is different from any other B.C.’s forest industry has faced in recent years. …Towns from Mackenzie to Fort St. James, from Quesnel to 100 Mile House and beyond are facing potential devastation as current and potential closures wreak havoc on their towns. …My concern is that …A mill closes in the Lower Mainland, throwing 150 workers out of jobs, and Vancouver doesn’t notice. …But in small-town B.C., when you lose 150 or 200 jobs, you pretty much lose the town. So, what can be done? 1. Let’s immediately enable these hard-hit towns to offer complete municipal and regional property-tax exemptions to new businesses. … 2. Let’s join with Ottawa to get dramatic new assistance to companies willing to locate in these towns and smaller cities. …3. Let’s start moving the bureaucrats to small town B.C. …4. Let’s bring in the world’s leading diversification experts and get some long-term planning going.

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Canfor Obtains Interim Order for Plan of Arrangement Special Meeting Scheduled for Shareholder Vote

Canfor News Release
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Corporation announces that, further to its news release on October 28, 2019, the company has obtained an interim order of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in connection with the proposed arrangement with 1227738 B.C. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Pacific Capital Corp., to be implemented under a statutory plan of arrangement pursuant to section 288 of the Business Corporations Act. The Interim Order provides for, among other things, the holding of a special meeting of the holders of common shares of Canfor to consider and vote upon the Arrangement. 

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Western Forest Products says contract talks with striking union have stalled

By Gord MacDonald
Global News
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver-based Western Forest Products has announced that contract talks with the United Steelworkers Union have ended after 14 hours of bargaining on Saturday and Sunday. Western Forest Products president Don Demens says mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers told the company Sunday that talks were over. He said the company offered the union a five-year deal with a $2,000 signing bonus and wage hikes of two per cent for the first four years and 2.5 per cent in the fifth year. The company says it previously dropped pension plan alternatives opposed by the union and has also dropped “all remaining proposals that the union opposed, including modernizing agreements dating back to 1986, which would support future employment.” Demens says the company asked the union bargaining committee to take the offer to a membership vote, which was rejected, as was a request for binding arbitration.

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West Coast Lumber and Building Material Association honors members, elects officers and directors

LBM Journal
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Red Emmerson and Mark Boone

While West Coast Lumber and Building Material Association (WCLBMA) members gathered to elect new officers at its annual convention in Sacramento, the organization also presented one of its infrequent Lifetime Achievement Awards to the founder of Sierra Pacific Industries, Archie “Red” Emmerson. In presenting the award WCLBMA President Mark Boone said, “If you know anything about the importance of the timber and lumber industry in America, this individual perhaps represents the face and spirit of the industry more than about anyone.” …Emmerson is still actively involved in the company at 90. …Betsy Bendix named WCLBMA Associate of the Year. …Newly elected to the board are: Emily Brown Morgan, Ashby Lumber, Berkeley Calif.; Merritt Goodyear, Trinity Lumber, Weaverville Calif.; and Brian Bunt, Windsor One, Petaluma Calif. Marc Mizgorski, Hayward Lumber, Monterey Calif., was re-elected for a second term on the board.

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Irving Tissue investment in Macon nears $1 billion

The Albany Herald
November 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA Gov. Brian Kemp announced that Irving Tissue, one of North America’s leading manufacturers of household paper products, will expand its operations in Macon, creating more than 150 jobs and investing $400 million in a new manufacturing facility following the grand opening of the company’s most recent plant in Macon. …This new announcement comes on the heels of the official opening of Irving Tissue’s newest plant in Macon, a $470 million project employing more than 200 people. The grand opening for that facility took place in conjunction with the announcement of the new expansion. …Similar to the newly opened facility, the new plant will manufacture premium household paper products and create management, supervisory and machinist positions in Macon.

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NZ First-linked company applied for $15m govt loan

By Kate Newton & Guyon Espiner
Scoop Independent News
November 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Brian Henry & Winston Peters

A forestry company with close links to New Zealand First has revealed it applied for a $15 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund, which is overseen by NZ First minister Shane Jones. RNZ revealed last week that Future Forest Products spent six months in discussions with government officials over its Provincial Growth Fund bid and also wanted up to $95m in funding through the One Billion Trees programme. Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston Peters and judicial officer for the New Zealand First party, is a founding director of NZ Future Forest Products, which he helped to set up in March. His son, David Henry, is another founding director and the company’s managing director, and Winston Peters’ partner Jan Trotman was made a director of the company in August.

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Finance & Economics

Homebuilder confidence slips slightly in November

By Diana Olick
CNBC Markets
November 18, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

The national association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell 1 point to 70, after rising steadily since June to the highest level of the year last month. Anything above 50 is considered positive. The index measured 60 last November. Of the index’s three components, current sales conditions fell 2 points to 76, traffic of prospective buyers dropped 1 point to 53 and sales expectations in the next six months rose 1 point to 77.

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U.S. housing starts rebound; permits highest in over 12 years

By Reuters
The Financial Post
November 19, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. homebuilding rebounded in October and permits for future home construction jumped to a more than 12-year high, pointing to strength in the housing market amid lower mortgage rates. Housing starts increased 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.314 million units last month, with single-family construction rising for a fifth straight month and activity in the volatile multi-family sector rebounding solidly, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. …Housing starts advanced 8.5% on a year-on-year basis in October. Building permits surged 5.0% to a rate of 1.461 million units in October, the highest level since May 2007. …The sector, which accounts for about 3.1% of the economy, however, continues to be hobbled by land and labor shortages.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Traveling wood display highlights the benefits of softwood lumber construction

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
November 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The traveling exhibit “Think Wood Mobile Tour” will be on display through Nov. 20 on the Arkansas Union Mall on the University of Arkansas campus.  The exhibit, set up in a converted storage unit, is a museum-like display that showcases the environmental and economic benefits of different softwood lumber and engineered wood products and their many uses in both residential and commercial construction. The traveling exhibit features a variety of interactive elements, such as building models, kiosks and LED screens, that tell the wood story from forest to market. The tour is provided in partnership by the Softwood Lumber Board, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, and APA-The Engineered Wood Association, and it is endorsed by the National Building Museum.

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Stora Enso launches new concept for constructing office buildings from wood

Lesprom
November 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International
Stora Enso is launching a new building concept that makes it easier for architects, engineers and developers to design office buildings from wood. The concept provides guidance on the use of prefabricated wooden building components, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network.  Wood components and building concepts are sustainable alternatives for replacing fossil-based concrete and steel and for reducing CO2 emissions in construction. Stora Enso has developed a new flexible, modular wooden office concept which meets all requirements for open space, grid space and clear ceilings. The concept enables office adaptation and demonstrates how the building products and applications can be used in a way that meets fire safety and acoustics regulations.
 

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Forestry

Photo contest showcases the value of B.C. forestry

Canadian Forest Industries
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The benefits of forestry are evident in our everyday lives. From working in forestry to using products made of paper to living or working in beautiful timber buildings, the industry is a cornerstone of Canada. The photos we have received so far as part of our fourth annual forestry contest, in partnership with COFI, reflect this. This year, we asked British Columbians to submit photos showcasing the benefits forestry provides them. The submissions we have received so far showcase the value of B.C.’s forests and the many ways in which we interact with them. Don’t miss your chance to win a gift card and be featured in CFI! The photo contest is open until December 18. 

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Conservation officer of the year follows in father’s footsteps

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Blake Parker

Blake Parker has always viewed his father as a hero. Growing up in the north eastern city of Fort St. John, Parker would sometimes tag along with the B.C. conservation officer to investigate wildlife complaints, getting a first-hand look at what his father did for a living. That experience, combined with a love of the outdoors, fuelled Parker’s interest to someday pursue a career as a conservation officer too. Now, the 37 year old is following in his father’s footsteps and has returned to his hometown to work as an acting sergeant responsible for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service’s (COS) North Peace zone. He has also been named the 2018 conservation officer of the year, a recognition that makes his family proud.

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Bush cameras installed to deter backcountry vandals and thieves

Nanaimo News Now
November 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI — A Vancouver Island forestry giant has turned to concealed bush cameras in response to thieves, vandals and illegal trash dumpers. Mosaic Forest Management vice president Domenico Iannidinardo said a small number of people abusing access to their private forest lands forced the company’s hand. “We do have a security team that helps us track the two per cent that are at risk of ruining safe, reliable public access on our private lands for the other 98 per cent,” Iannidardo said. …Iannidardo said Mosaic Forest Managment spends “hundreds of thousands of dollars” annually in clean-up costs and repair bills due to vandals and thieves. He said the company is trying to increase access to their lands during hunting season.

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Forest Enhancement Society of BC Funded Project in Nazko Shows Value in Wildfire Risk Mitigation Work

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire risk mitigation project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) working with the Nazko Logging Ltd. Partnership showed its value when a downed powerline started a fire in the area. “The good work of the team in the fuel management treatments meant that the area where the fire started had already been cleared of debris, brush, dead trees, and ladder fuels,” said Ray Raatz of FESBC. “The fire stayed low to the ground and didn’t have an opportunity to go up into the crowns of the trees, which meant crews had a better chance to respond and there was relatively little damage. It shows the value of proactive wildfire risk reduction work.”

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At US Forest Service hearing, Sitkans make a unanimous case for a roadless Tongass

By Ari Snider
Alaska Public Media
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Frederick Olsen Jr.

Sitka residents recently got their chance to hear directly from the U.S. Forest Service about the agency’s proposal to exempt Alaska from the federal Roadless Rule. At a Nov. 12 public meeting on the Rule and a subsistence hearing that followed, Sitkans expressed strong support for keeping existing protections in place. But some are starting to lose faith in the public comment process. …Most public meetings throughout the region have demonstrated opposition to the exemption. That trend continued in Sitka, where around 100 residents attended two back-to-back hearings at Harrigan Centennial Hall on Nov. 12.  Although several Southeast Native organizations have formally opposed the proposed Roadless exemption, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska has not.  …At both Sitka hearings, there was broad support for Alternative 1 instead — the so-called “No Action” alternative, which would make no changes to the existing rule.

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Scientists uncover resistance genes for deadly ash tree disease

By the Queen Mary University of London
Phys.org
November 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew sequenced the DNA from over 1,250 ash trees to find inherited genes associated with ash dieback resistance. The study, published in leading journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, showed that resistance is controlled by multiple genes, offering hope that surviving trees could be used to restore diseased woodlands, either by natural regeneration or selective breeding. Professor Richard Nichols, author of the study from Queen Mary University of London, said: “We found that the genetics behind ash dieback resistance resembled other characteristics like human height, where the trait is controlled by many different genes working together, rather than one specific gene.”

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Health & Safety

Investigative journalist drives change in logging truck safety

The Terrace Standard
November 18, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gordon Hoekstra

Award winning Vancouver Sun investigative journalist Gordon Hoekstra says graduating from Langara College in 1992 and getting his first journalism job at the Prince George Citizen was a “huge turning point” in his life. So was his first major investigation. Hoekstra answers questions about his early, award-winning work on logging truck safety. The series of 35 stories, called Dying for Work, earned The Citizen a Michener Award in 2006. “I started having conversations with truckers, who told me about working long hours on narrow roads. ‘It’s always push, push, push,’ they said. …I wrote stories about how around two dozen drivers had died in a decade, how drivers were expected to continue to die, about the industry, and how things could have been fixed and they weren’t. As a result, the province hired a forestry coroner and announced more than $20 million in upgrades to forestry roads.”

 

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