Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: US East

Froggy Foibles

Lumber and Lace Fashion Show

By Kelly Humphrey
Pine and Lakes Echo Journal
October 12, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The Lumber and Lace event presents designs both inspired by and using materials from the building industry. Organizers described the event as an “abstract fashion show dedicated to the local building industry, showcasing the creativity and resourcefulness of our industry professionals while raising funds and awareness for local causes.” All money raised at the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association event goes to the Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity and Tools for Schools program. The event included voting by surprise guest judges. More than 30 member businesses participated in the first Lumber and Lace with nearly 200 people attending. The public event is open to all designers, MMBA members, non-members and nonprofits.

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Business & Politics

FOR/Maine Coalition Awarded $1.1M to Implement Ambitious Plan to Grow Maineʼs Forest Economy to $12B by 2025

By Shawn Cunningham
WAGM TV Maine
October 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Washington DC– The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded a $1.1-million Economic Development Administration grant to the University of Maine to continue to support the FOR/Maine coalition as they implement their ambitious plan to stabilize, diversify and grow Maine’s forest economy by 40% over the next 5 years. The grant will be matched with $499,000 in state funds and $278,608 in local funds. …Building on the nearly $1 billion of recent and announced capital investment in traditional wood products, Phase II of FOR/Maine will focus on sustaining that momentum, commercializing new uses of wood, and establishing Maine as a global center of wood technology innovation. 

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Leadership award honors AWP co-founder

The Preston County News & Journal
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Patricia Crites

KINGWOOD — The National Hardwood Lumber Association is now recognizing women in leadership within the industry and gave its first-ever “Women in Leadership” award to a West Virginia businesswoman.Patricia Crites, co-founder of Allegheny Wood Products Inc., received the posthumous honor at the NHLA’s recent national conference in New Orleans. Nearly 50 years ago, Patricia. Crites and her husband, John, co-founded Allegheny Wood Products Inc., which has grown to be one of the largest hardwood lumber companies in the world with exports entailing 30 countries worldwide. …Like many women senior executives, Crites set a standard for Allegheny Wood’s family business culture and women in the hardwood lumber industry that still exists today.

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American Forest Management Announces New Chief Executive Officer

By American Forest Management
GISuser.com
October 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Brent Keefer

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – American Forest Management, a national land management and real estate brokerage firm, today announced that industry veteran Brent Keefer has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2020. Keefer will succeed Roy Belser, who has served as interim chief executive officer for the past six months and will continue to maintain his role as Chairman of the Board. …Keefer brings with him over 30 years of experience… Most recently, he was the president of Hancock Timber Resource Group. …In his new role as CEO, Keefer will oversee American Forest Management’s 48 offices throughout 11 regions and over 265 employees. 

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Affiliates of The Lyme Timber Company acquire approximately 49,600 acres of timberland in Tennessee and Alabama

WoodBizForum
October 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Affiliates of The Lyme Timber Company LP closed on approximately 46,900 acres of timberlands in southeastern Tennessee and northern Alabama adjacent to the Emory River and Brimstone properties owned by affiliates of Lyme. According to the announcement, this diverse, natural Appalachian hardwood property has an established log yard and accesses robust local markets. A forest carbon sequestration project is underway, and Lyme expects to maintain certification for this property under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. Earlier, Lyme fund established an operating company, the Straight Fork Timber Company, Inc., now Straight Fork Forest Management LLC. 

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ND Paper will make ‘substantial’ investment in its Rumford paper mill

By Christopher Burns
The Bangor Daily News
October 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

RUMFORD, MAINE — ND Paper announced Tuesday that it will invest in significant upgrades to its Rumford mill in the coming year. The company will shut down its No. 9 machine in early 2020 for a rebuild to increase its pulp capacity, while its three paper machines — Nos. 10, 12 and 15 — will undergo significant upgrades as well to increase capacity and quality. The No. 12 machine will be converted to focus on specialty packaging products, while the increased capacity to the other paper machines will allow the Rumford mill to maintain its current paper production with two machines, ND Paper said. ND Paper also plans upgrades to its mill in Biron, Wisconsin.

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Forestry budget critical to health of industry, forests

Letter by Jeff Stant, Indiana Forest Alliance and Ray Moistner, Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association
Brown County Democrat
October 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

…the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association and the Indiana Forest Alliance have disagreed and at times clashed over issues involving the management of our state forests. But recent joint meetings have revealed one very important area on which we can both agree and have pledged to work on together to find a solution that benefits all Hoosiers and our state’s forest resources. …Although our organizations may differ on priorities and management philosophies, our common concern is for the overall health and growth of our state’s public and private forest resources. Without at least the minimum level of sufficient assistance from our state’s forestry experts, private forestland owners will be unable to maintain this forest base, and we will see reductions in Indiana’s overall forest. These reductions will hurt the forest products industry… and Indiana’s quality of place, both critical to making Indiana a diverse and attractive option for our citizens and workforce. 

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New wood pellet plant will create 85 jobs in Sumter County

WTOK-TV
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey joined executives with Enviva and local leaders today to announce that the company expects to invest approximately $175 million to construct a wood pellet production plant in Sumter County that would provide an economic boost to West Alabama. “I’m so proud to have this expansion in rural Alabama,” said Governor Ivey. “It ignites rural small towns and being from The Black Belt myself I am proud of that.” Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler said the proposed facility, to be located at the Port of Epes Industrial Park, is expected to create a minimum of 85 full-time jobs and generate an estimated 180 additional jobs in logging, transportation and local services in the region. “This is a county that has a tremendous labor force,” said Keppler. “It’s got very robust wood fiber resources, tremendous forestry as well as a fantastic logistical footprint.”

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China trade war triggers closings, layoffs at US hardwood lumber mills

By Diana Olick
CNBC Politics
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

It is hard times for the U.S. hardwood lumber industry. The trade war with China has caused a steep drop in U.S. exports of the product, and now the industry is cutting jobs. China used to account for about half of all U.S. hardwood lumber exports, about $2 billion annually. The Trump administration’s 25% tariff cut through that demand. In the 12 months since tariffs on U.S. hardwood were announced in July of last year, lumber exports to China were down $615 million, according to the American Hardwood Export Council. “The American hardwood industry is facing a watershed moment in China,” wrote Tripp Pryor. …“The real long-term danger here is that we are losing market share that will not easily be won back.” …“Instead of buying from the U.S., …they’re buying from places like Russia and Central Africa and Southeast Asia.

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Leadership evolution at Hancock Lumber

The LBM Journal
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Paul Wainman

LBM Journal has learned that Paul Wainman will become president of Hancock Lumber effective January, 2020. Wainman, who will keep his role as CFO, will be just the eighth person to serve as president since the company’s founding in 1848. Kevin Hancock, who has been president since 1998, as well as CEO and Chair for almost as long, will continue as CEO and Chair. “I’m not retiring, nor am I getting ready to retire. I’m just evolving my role, and remain excited about our future,” Hancock explains. “It’s best to be proactive and measured about senior leadership changes within a company, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. On one level, Paul becoming president is a big moment. On another, it’s a subtle change by design. Our executive team is staying intact, and our executive processes will continue as they are.”

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Domtar to Reduce Papermaking Capacity at Two Mills

By Domtar Corp.
Businesswire
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

FORT MILL, South Carolina — Domtar Corporation announced today that it will permanently shut down two of its paper machines. The closures will take place at the Ashdown, Arkansas pulp and paper mill, and the Port Huron, Michigan paper mill. These measures will reduce the Company’s annual uncoated freesheet paper capacity by approximately 204,000 short tons, and will result in a workforce reduction of approximately 100 employees. The closure of the Ashdown paper machine will be effective immediately and the closure of the Port Huron machine by mid-November. …The Ashdown mill will continue to operate one paper machine. …The Port Huron mill will continue… utilizing three machines. …“This proactive measure is necessary due to increased imports and declining paper demand,” said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar.

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New Jasper wood mill to create 60 jobs with possibility of 250 in future

By Mike Lout
KFDM News
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A new wood mill will create about 60 jobs with the possibility of 250 in the future. KJAS is reporting Texas Cross Laminated Timber, LLC is expected to expand its wood products business to Highway 63 East in Jasper. The property encompasses 92 acres at site of the former Louisiana Pacific Plywood Mill. …The Executive Director of the Jasper Economic Development Corporation, Eddie Hopkins, said… the operation would be at the 92 acre site of the former Louisiana Pacific Plywood Mill on Highway 63 east, which closed in 1997. The exact start up date is not known, but Hopkins indicated that equipment was ordered and on the way and that the installation and construction of the mill would probably began in February.

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Timber industry expecting major boom on heels of Henry County announcement

By Caleb Ayers
The Roanoke Times
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

With more than 40 years in the forestry industry, Kenneth Scruggs… timberland manager with the Reidsville, North Carolina-based Gregory Pallet Co., serves as a liaison between landowners, loggers and mills throughout North Carolina and Virginia. …With last week’s announcement that Canadian company Teal-Jones Group will invest $21 million in Pine Products Inc. in Henry County, creating 67 new jobs, Scruggs said the action will also benefit the industry in neighboring Pittsylvania County. Although not a direct investment into the county, the expansion will contribute to additional jobs up and down the supply chain. …Drew Arnn, the senior area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, said this scheduled expansion of Pine Products likely won’t result in any significant production increases or new planters, but it will improve returns for the landowners and farmers who already have growing trees.

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Timber company dropping hotly contested Moosehead development plan

By Kevin Miller
Portland Press Herald
September 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The timberland company Weyerhaeuser is asking to terminate a massive rezoning plan for the Moosehead Lake region that was the focus of years of debate and regulatory battles over development in Maine’s North Woods. In a filing this week submitted precisely 10 years after the original rezoning, Weyerhaeuser told the Land Use Planning Commission that the company wants to end the development and subdivision zoning rights for nearly 1,000 house lots and two resorts near Maine’s largest lake. The land was rezoned for development in September 2009 as part of the contentious Moosehead Region Concept Plan granted to Plum Creek Timber Company, which merged with Weyerhaeuser in 2016. “Unfortunately, the impact of the 2008-2009 recession forever changed the United States development landscape,” Weyerhaeuser senior asset manager Luke Muzzy wrote to the commission.

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Here’s where redevelopment stands at 6 Maine paper mills that have closed since 2008

By Matthew Stone
Bangor Daily News
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Wednesday’s news that a cross-laminated timber manufacturer plans to open shop on the site of the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill means the site of another defunct Maine paper mill is in line for some redevelopment. Here’s a look at where redevelopment stands at other mill sites where papermaking operations have stopped since 2008. Paper mills in Madawaska, Baileyville, Skowhegan, Rumford, Jay and Westbrook have continued to operate through that time.

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Company plans $31M factory at Lincoln paper mill site, will employ 100 people

By Charles Eichacker
The Bangor Daily News
September 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Nick Holgorsen and Ralf Meier

A North Carolina company that makes a composite wood material used in construction plans to invest $31 million into opening a new factory in Lincoln that will employ about 100 people. LignaTerra Global LLC will build its new 300,000-square-foot plant on a section of open land that was formerly part of the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill site, but that the town bought early last year. The company initially planned to open its plant at the former paper mill site in Millinocket but withdrew those plans late last year as a local economic development group struggled to resolve an old federal tax lien on the property. …Nick Holgorsen, LignaTerra’s managing director and co-founding partner said Lincoln’s proximity to forests and big Northeastern markets with a demand for building materials, the region’s workforce and the helpfulness of town officials all played a role in the company’s decision to open a plant there.

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Hard Times: New England Hardwood Industry Struggles Amid Trump’s Trade War

By Wilder Fleming
Vermont Public Radio
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Trevor Allard stands in the sawmill’s observation deck at Allard Lumber. …The company manufactures high-grade hardwood boards from the forests of New England and upstate New York. It employs about 50 people, part of an industry that tends to be made up of small, family-run operations, but together employs tens of thousands of people in New England and nearly 700,000 across the country. And it’s an industry that’s been hit hard by President Trump’s trade war with China. But unlike some other agricultural sectors affected by escalating tariffs, the hardwood industry has received little to no compensation from the federal government. …The hardwood industry in the U.S. has been shrinking for decades. But in the wake of the Great Recession, China has been a bright spot. That is, until the trade war.

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What’s Driving Delivered Softwood and Hardwood Prices Higher in the US Northeast?

By Forest2Market
Paper Age
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Several factors have combined in the US Northeast over the last decade to negatively impact the region’s forest products industry. Most importantly, demand for one of the region’s pivotal products — printing and writing papers manufactured from hardwood and softwood pulp — continues to decline rapidly; production of printing and writing papers has declined by 6% annually since 2009. The secondary market for harvest residue and mill residual hog fuel — biomass chips used to generate electricity — has also been hard hit and is on life support throughout much of the region. However… demand is shifting between various types of paper products. As a result of this increase in demand, softwood and hardwood fiber prices are also increasing throughout the region. …Southern mills are primarily capitalizing on the growth of the boxboard segment, but mills in the Northeast are using softwood resources to support robust tissues and specialty papers segments.

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Hold the shovels on that Chinese pulp mill

By Max Brantley
The Arkansas Times
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The state of Arkansas yesterday issued an air permit for the proposed Shandong Sun Paper Mill near Arkadelphia, but don’t expect a groundbreaking soon. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who’s made Chinese investments a major thrust of his economic development agency, touted the permit at a media-only meeting yesterday. …The announced pulp mill, a garment plant in Forrest City… have not gotten off the ground. The problem isn’t only air permits. (Or the expensive water treatment plant that must be built for the Sun mill.) …Slow progress on Chinese projects in Arkansas, particularly the pulp mill, can be explained by the trade war Donald Trump is waging with China. In addition to making Chinese investors skittish about U.S. investments, the tariffs are a real detriment.

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Air permit paves way for $1.8B pulp mill in Arkansas

By Stephen Steed
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Sun Bio received an air permit Monday from the state, allowing the company to begin construction of a $1.8 billion pulp mill first announced for Clark County more than three years ago. Some 350 people will be employed at the mill when it opens — up from the 250 employees projected in April 2016. Investment in the project also increased from $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion when Shandong Sun Paper Industry changed the project’s mission in early 2018. That change forced the China-based company to restart the application process for the necessary air and water permits from what is now the Department of Energy and Environment and its Division of Environmental Quality. The mill is expected to provide another 1,000 jobs in the logging industry and more than 2,000 jobs during construction, officials have said.

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SFPA Mourns the Passing of William Almond

The Southern Forest Products Association
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

William Almond

William Almond, Almond Brothers Lumber, passed away Sunday, September 22, at the age of 67. William joined Southern Forest Products Association in 2010 and served on SFPA’s Board of Directors from 2010-2018. He was a true southern gentleman with a deep passion for the Southern Pine Lumber Industry. William served on SFPA’s Executive Committee from 2013 through 2018 in various positions including Treasurer, Vice-Chair of Board, Chair of Board, and two terms as Immediate Past Chair. The profound level of commitment William gave to SFPA and the Southern Pine Lumber Industry enhanced our organization and industry in countless ways. [The link to William’s full obituary is the Read More]

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tall buildings made with wood help loggers and the climate

By David Brooks
Granite Geek
October 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Tackling the biggest problems of the world today and in the future could benefit from technologies of the past. “This is back to the future,” is how Joe Short, vice president of Northern Forest Center, put it at the start of a conference Friday discussing mass timber, which uses wood to replace steel and concrete in buildings as tall as a dozen stories. …Mass timber is of great interest to the logging industry because it uses a large variety of trees… creating a market that would benefit loggers and forest owners in New Hampshire. …Friday’s two-hour conference at the UNH law school in Concord was held by the Northern Forest Center, UNH Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Division of Forests & Lands. …So far, however, New Hampshire has seen no activity.

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Stick-built apartments are a rising risk in the Triangle

By Brian Powell, attorney living in Durham
News Observer
October 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

We all know the old folktale about the three little pigs – two built their houses out of quick and cheap materials like sticks and straw so that they could spend more time goofing off. …why are municipal leaders in the Triangle working with developers to cover our cities with dangerous, hastily constructed condos and apartment homes made out of sticks? We recently reported that yet another mixed-use wood-frame apartment complex is slated to go up next to Durham Central Park soon, but it is past time for leaders to begin limiting the hazardous trend of wood constructed complexes taking over the city. …Here’s the problem: the projects…are all made out of cheap wood – “stick” construction is the industry’s term. [it] saves wealthy developers more money but renders buildings extremely vulnerable to fire (particularly during construction). …Other communities have pushed back against this trend. …In the end, doing nothing is an unaffordable risk.

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Is this the in-flight meal tray of the future?

By Samantha Sugerman
News Center Maine
October 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

…on a long-haul economy flight, and you might be offered a drink, in a plastic cup, which you’ll stir with a plastic stick….You might enjoy a meal which you’ll eat with plastic cutlery, also wrapped in plastic. The list goes on and on. Put together, that contributes to the 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste from passenger flights each year. A new exhibition at London’s Design Museum aims to rethink the waste we generate when we travel. Design firm PriestmanGoode has worked up an environmentally-friendly version of the traditional economy meal tray. The base is made out of coffee grains, it uses a waffle cone for the desert dish, and algae skins contain milk and vinaigrette. The salad pot is made from a pressed banana leaf and the “spork” (a spoon and fork combined) is made from coconut wood, a cheap and easily-available material.

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Fay Jones School Hosts Symposium on Design Excellence in Timber and Wood

University of Arkansas
October 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and the U.S. Forest Service will host the Timber! Design Excellence in Timber and Wood Symposium on Oct. 4-6 on the University of Arkansas campus. This three-day event brings together an international cohort of architects and engineers whose work specifically in wood demonstrates excellence in design and innovation. While the sustainable argument for the use of mass timber is clear and the economics of its production, distribution and construction applications are improving, demonstration of mass timber as a material capable of true design excellence must now have the foreground. “Since my arrival in 2014, I’ve asked questions of imperative value for the Fay Jones School,” said Dean Peter MacKeith. “Chief among them has been, ‘What does it mean to be a school of architecture and design in a state 60 percent covered in forest?’” 

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A sustainable market for coal, replacing wood?

Inside Composites
September 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded US$ 1.5 million to an Ohio University professor to develop engineered composite decking boards from coal. Industry partners are providing an additional US$ 500,000 in funding. Jason Trembly, Russ Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE)… aims to utilise coal in the manufacture of construction composite building materials in collaboration… …Manufacturing the coal-based composites requires less energy – and results in lower manufacturing costs and emissions – than manufacturing commercial wood plastic composites. Also more affordable to consumers, the materials provide a new, sustainable way of using coal. …Consol’s VP Dan Connell believes the initiative has the potential to open up an alternative, sustainable market for US coal. …Studies show the global plastic composite market… is expected to reach US$ 8.76 billion by 2023. 

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The latest central Ohio apartment feature: wood framing

By Jim Walker
The Columbus Dispatch
September 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Code changes and cost issues are leading developers to frame mid-rise apartment buildings with wood instead of steel and concrete. Throughout town, apartment complexes up to six or even seven stories are framed with wood. While Ohio code limits wood buildings to 85 feet in height, developers elsewhere are looking to frame far taller buildings with wood. Many of those apartment buildings going up in central Ohio are adding a new feature to multifamily living: wood construction. A change in building codes allows apartments built largely of wood to rise six or seven stories high, compared to the more traditional three or four stories. “It’s the norm now,” said Amit Ghosh, the chief building official with the city of Columbus. …“Wood is renewable as opposed to concrete and steel,” Oakley said. “It’s also easier to achieve good sound ratings between floors with a wood structure. With a four-inch concrete floor, every footstep will translate.”

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The Rise of Mass Timber Office Buildings in Texas

By Donald R. Powell, principal of Dallas-based architecture firm BOKA Powell
D Magazine
September 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Don Powell

…My lifelong desire has been to design buildings that connect to a higher calling. …About five years ago, I had a conversation with Drew Steffen about Hines’ T3 office building in Minneapolis. …That conversation piqued my interest in the timber part of the equation because it struck an emotional chord in me. Seeing photos of the pristine wood ceilings, columns, and beams inspired me to explore the use of mass timber as a viable structural system for office buildings, hotels, and multi-story housing. I then met with Gerald Epps, the owner of StructureCraft, to determine a pathway for constructing mass timber buildings in Texas. …Mass timber is not an inexpensive way to build an office building. But it is so unique and attractive to employee-minded corporations, that the response from the leasing market has been a resounding success. Attracting and retaining employees is the number one motivating factor in corporate America.

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Forestry

Florida timber farmers face tough choices year after Michael

By Bobby Caina Calvan
Associated Press in The Times and Democrat
October 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…It’s been an excruciating year for the Leonards and other Panhandle families who make their living off the land. …Less than a fifth of the 2.8 million acres of timberland destroyed by Hurricane Michael have been salvaged. Tons of timber will most likely be left to rot. There are so many fallen logs that they’d fill more than 2.6 million logging trucks. Trees once towered over much of Calhoun County, an inland expanse of tiny communities surrounded by forests that suffered the most catastrophic damage to the region’s timberland. Stands of pines… are now mostly gone. …Federal relief hasn’t come fast enough, even though the government authorized a $19 billion relief package — held in limbo until this past summer because of political clashes in Washington — to assist communities across the country hit by wildfires, flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes. Florida officials estimate that the timber industry sustained nearly $1.3 billion in losses.

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UNH researchers find northern forests have lost crucial cold, snowy conditions

By University of Maine
EurekAlert
October 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DURHAM, N.H.–As the popular saying goes, “winter is coming,” but is it? Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found clear signs of a decline in frost days, snow covered days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health. “Winter conditions are changing more rapidly than any other season and it could have serious implications,” said Alexandra Contosta, research assistant professor at UNH’s Earth Systems Research Center. “Whether precipitation falls as snow or rain makes a big difference, whether you’re talking about a forest stream, a snowshoe hare or even a skier.”

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Timber company dropping hotly contested Moosehead development plan

By Kevin Miller
The Press Herald
September 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The timberland company Weyerhaeuser is asking to terminate a massive rezoning plan for the Moosehead Lake region that was the focus of years of debate and regulatory battles over development in Maine’s North Woods. In a filing this week submitted precisely 10 years after the original rezoning, Weyerhaeuser told the Land Use Planning Commission that the company wants to end the development and subdivision zoning rights for nearly 1,000 house lots and two resorts near Maine’s largest lake. …“Unfortunately, the impact of the 2008-2009 recession forever changed the US development landscape,” Weyerhaeuser manager Luke Muzzy wrote to the commission. …the company has no plans for development on the rezoned land.“This zoning will allow us to practice our usual, sustainable forest management on this land,” Fife said.

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‘Without Wood There Would Be Hardly Any Music’: Chuck Leavell Talks Forest Preservation

By Susan Bence
WUWM 89.7
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Chuck Leavell plays keyboards with the Rolling Stones. But he’s also a passionate environmentalist and forester. “There was a personal connection for me. Where does that wonderful thing that’s given me so much joy and a great career come from? Of course, it comes from the resource of wood, as do many, many other musical instruments. Without wood there would be hardly any music, we’d just be singing acapella,” Leavell explains. He’s a longtime tree farmer and the co-founder of The Mother Nature Network. Leavell recently launched a show called America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell to draw more attention to their importance. Leavell was in Wisconsin last week, filming footage for an upcoming segment for America’s Forests. …The segment featuring Wisconsin, which includes Milwaukee’s urban forestry program as well as a stop to see Lynden Sculpture Garden’s magnificent trees, will air sometime in January.

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Forestry commission issues advisory. Drought conditions, high temperatures cause state to see wildfires

The Times-Journal
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Alabama Forestry Commission has issued a Fire Danger Advisory for all 67 Alabama counties effective immediately until rainfall is received. Current drought conditions and persistent high temperatures have combined to create a high probability of fuel ignition and an atmosphere favorable for wildfires. In the last 30 days, AFC wildland firefighters have battled 192 wildfires burning approximately 2,221 acres of land across the state. …Although the state is not under any type of burn restriction, the Commission urges everyone to delay outdoor burning until conditions improve if possible. While under the fire danger advisory, all necessary safety precautions should be exercised when doing any type burning.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Georgia Public Service Commission dabbles in ‘bio-foolery’

Dr. Michael G. Noll – president of Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy
The Valdosta Daily Times
October 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Michael Noll

It is mind-boggling that some still promote biomass incineration as a clean source of energy. It is not. Quite to the contrary. About 10 years ago, Atlanta-based Sterling Energy tried to hoodwink our community into such an undertaking… However, economic and environmental realities, including health risks associated with biomass incineration, soon caught up with them. …biomass incinerators are dirtier than coal plants (e.g. in regard to particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide) and like coal plants they emit vast amounts of carbon dioxide (or CO2), and all of this at a time when we already experience the consequences of man-made climate change (e.g. more severe weather events, increased food insecurity, climate refugees). You see, that’s another myth regarding biomass energy, which is circulated by politicians and the special interest groups they work with or for: that the burning of wood is carbon-neutral. It is not.

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New York skyline goes green for the biggest Climate Week in the world

Climate Week NYC
September 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

New York, NY To kick off Climate Week NYC 2019 (September 23rd to 29th) iconic buildings across New York City went green this evening (September 22nd) to show their support for climate action. On the eve of the Opening Ceremony, One World Trade, One Five One, One Bryant Park, Javits Center, 30 Rock, The Weylin, Madison Square Garden and Empire Outlets turned the famous New York City skyline green. …This was a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, who will be hosting over 100 events as part of Climate Week NYC to explore the role of Nature-Based Solutions in tackling climate change. This year, Climate Week NYC will double in size with over 350 events taking place across over the week, breaking last year’s record of 150. From film screenings, panel discussions, nature walks and theatre shows, New York is set to transform into a thriving hub of climate action.

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New solutions from America’s oldest natural resource industry

By William Reilly, former president of the Wood Wildlife Fund
The Richmond Times-Dispatch
September 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

It’s clearer than ever that we have an urgent need for deliberate and coordinated action to address threats posed by climate change. …The answer, according to the IPCC, lies in sustainable management of global land resources, including promoting forest management that is aimed at storing carbon while yielding timber, fiber and bioenergy. While it might seem unfeasible for these priorities to be in alignment, the Southern forest products industry is a case study for how harvesting trees can result in more carbon stored in forests. …The South also is home to new and emerging industries that are doubling down on the climate mitigating benefits of working forests. One great example is the growing modern bioenergy industry. Renewable wood energy, or bioenergy, can immediately replace coal and other fossil fuels.

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Federal Ruling On Biomass Subsidies Marks Double Defeat For Timber Sector

By Annie Ropeik
New Hampshire Public Radio
September 19, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Federal regulators said that a state law passed last year to subsidize biomass power plants is invalid, marking the second big defeat in two days for New Hampshire’s forest products industry.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is siding with New Hampshire’s ratepayer advocate and a conservative lobbying group, which filed the petition against the 2018 subsidy law. That law requires utilities to buy electricity from six struggling wood-fired power plants in the state. It hasn’t taken effect yet – Eversource and the biomass plants couldn’t agree on contracts, and the state declined to step in. Now, FERC says the law would mean the state is setting an electric rate – something only federal regulators are empowered to do. It means FERC likely wouldn’t approve any contracts filed under the law, making it effectively void despite an ongoing state Supreme Court challenge. 

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Health & Safety

WorkSafeNB investigating death of worker at Fredericton sawmill

By Andrea Jerrett
CTV News Fredericton
October 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

HALIFAX — WorkSafeNB is investigating the death of a worker at a sawmill in Fredericton. The workplace accident happened Thursday at Devon Lumber on Gibson Street. The Fredericton Police Force confirms it responded to the incident at Devon Lumber, but says the investigation has been turned over to WorkSafeNB. “The investigation will help us determine how the fatality may have been prevented and whether there were any violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or its regulations,” said Laragh Dooley, director of communications, in a statement. Dooley says WorkSafeNB won’t be releasing any information about the worker or the circumstances surrounding their death at this time. Devon Lumber remains closed Friday.

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Introduction to mechanized logging safety

Vermont Biz
October 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

October 8th and 9th 2019, The Logger Education to Advance Professionalism (LEAP) program is offering a modernized logging safety course. The program is one of the requirements for participants to become eligible for the Vermont Logger Safety and Workers’ Insurance program, a certification in high demand by contractors, that can result in a 15% discount on workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The course will cover many safety elements in a mechanized logging environment, as well as expectations set for employers and employees, delivered by safety qualified instructors. …Logging is statistically a high risk occupation and this program has been designed to reduce the risk of injury to those working on logging operations. A credible safety training program, combined with an on-site inspection of logging operations to ensure that safe practices learned in training have been implemented, have been proven to reduce injuries, claims and costs in other states.

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Forest Fires

Ahead of wildfire season, officials urge caution

By USDA Forest Service
The Sampson Independent
October 9, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — As we enter the start of the fall wildfire season, the N.C. Forest Service and the USDA Forest Service urge visitors and North Carolinians to be cautious with campfires and when burning yard debris. This reminder coincides with National Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 6-12. The fall wildfire season typically lasts from mid-October until mid-December, the time of year when people do a lot of yard work that may include burning leaves and yard debris. The leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina is debris burning.

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