Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Today’s Takeaway

Today’s Takeaway

‘Historic’ BC caribou recovery plan includes forestry closures

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 22, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

An ‘historic’ draft agreement between BC, Ottawa, and First Nations proposes resource development closures in critical caribou habitat to help recover three dwindling herds. In other Forestry news: America’s reindeer go quietly extinct; US lawmakers call for more forest thinning to reduce wildfire risk, while the practice is well underway in central BC; and three [forest-friendly] wishes for Northern Ontario.

In other news: East Texas gears up for wooden high-rises; the US Endowment and USDA announce mass timber demonstration grants to promote wood innovation; and six EU countries are accused of importing illegally harvested timber.

Finally, lots more on International Forestry Day from the CIF, USDA and Treehugger.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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International Day of Forests begets messages of honour, eduction and fear

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 21, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Today is International Day of Forests and thus a day to honour the professional foresters who look after them, says FPAC’s Derek Nighbor, while SFI and the FAO speak to the importance of forest eduction. Elsewhere: the NY Times looks back at Britians’ World War II Lumberjills; The Hill says US climate policy must protect forests and communities—not industry; and the Narwhal doubles-down on NRDC’s tree-to-toilet pipeline.

In other  news: US-China trade tensions cloud construction outlook; BC looks to diversify beyond the US and China; and more on Resolute’s logging rights and Fort France’s mill prospects.

Finally, SFI conservation and community grants reach 130 groups across Canada and the US.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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The ups, downs and maybes of Canada’s pulp and paper mills

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 20, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s Premier celebrates the Catalyst Paper purchase by Paper Excellence and their unconditional guarantee of existing pensions. Elsewhere, Fort Frances, Ontario is profoundly disappointed with Resolute’s rejection of Repap’s offer, while the local MPP remains optimistic the mill is viable. In other Business news, Canada’s resource sector applauds the federal budget’s forest product focus—notably FPACFPInnovations and Ontario MP Rusnak.

In Forestry news: BC ups its wildfire budget and prepares new strategies as a dry spring unfolds; Washington and Oregon identify communities most threatened by wildfire; and California redeploys Trump’s National Guard to the fire lines.

Finally, the Green Building Council is piloting a ‘timber traceability‘ LEED credit; and Greenpeace pans Ontario’s endangered species review.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Ontario favours mill reopening but Resolute rejects Repap offer

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

Ontario has thrown its support behind the reopening of the Fort Frances pulp and paper mill, but Resolute rejects Repap’s bid, says it will proceed to redevelop the site. In other Company news: Paper Excellence completes purchase of Catalyst’s mills in BC; Georgia Pacific upgrades its Rome, Georgia dimension mill; and Interfor releases its 2018 corporate sustainability report.

In other news: North American lumber production edged up due to US output gains; global lumber trade fell 7% in 2018; Brazil’s indigenous leaders battle to save their land; and Oregon’s new Wildfire Response Council to determine adequacy of current prevention efforts.

Finally, March 21st is International Day of Forest. How will you mark the day?

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Cement Industry says BC premature, tall wood building safety not proven

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 18, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Calling for a freeze on permits, the Canadian Cement Industry says BC’s decision to preempt the national building code and allow 12-storey wood buildings is premature and unsafe. In related news: Kalesnikoff starts construction on mass timber mill; Structurlam touts CLT prefabrication benefits; Minnesota looks to lure a CLT manufacturer; and a tour through Stora Enso’s plant in Grums, Sweden.

In other news: Repap submits offer for Resolute’s Fort Frances mill; Columbia Forest Products hopes to re-open its Rutherglen North Bay mill; and Roseburg is under investigation for potential use of illegal okoumé wood. Elsewhere: insurance companies use artificial intelligence to assess wildfire risk, while wildfire preparations are underway in Nova Scotia and Alberta.

Finally, wolf cull isn’t a caribou solution for a former conservation officer.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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BC’s leadership in mass timber ‘years in the making’

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 15, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s engineered wood leadership was many years in the making [decades actually]. Stories celebrating the evolution include: more tall wood on the way (Business in Vancouver); what mass timber means for Vancouver Island (CHEK News); Kalesnikoffs to build mass timber facility (West Kootenays); and Portland readies for the largest gathering of mass timber experts in the world. Elsewhere: the World Council on tall buildings updates criteria for what qualifies as ‘all timber‘; and an Arkansas lawmaker says “if we want more trees, we should use more wood products“.

In Forestry/Climate news: Nova Scotia to regulate biodiversity; a US study on barriers to northward tree migration; and a climate project aims to help BC forest professionals rethink their prescriptions.

Finally, six years later Resolute vs. Greenpeace continues; and after seven years California’s drought is finally over.

Oh… and have a Happy St. Paddie’s Day weekend.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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BC doubles allowable height of wood buildings to 12-storeys

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 14, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The BC Government’s decision to double the height limit for wood buildings—ahead of next year’s scheduled change to the national building code—gets kudos from the forest industry and the building and design community. In related news: the first large-scale mass timber residence hall opens in Arkansas; Lendlease puts its CLT plans on hold in the wake of the UK’s combustible materials ban; and BC’s newest sawmill plans to produce engineered wood products from low grade logs.

In other news: US construction input prices rise for first time since October; conservation of boreal caribou get a boost in the Northwest Territories; clearcuts among reasons cited for BC’s monster spring floods; the US moves to lift grey wolf endangered species status; and Trump’s 2020 wildfire budget is the largest ever [or perhaps not].

Finally, Vancouver’s ‘email a tree‘ initiative wins gov’t waste award.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Housing starts rebound, softwood lumber prices soften in January – go figure!

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 13, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

January US housing starts came in well above expectations as they rebounded from December’s plunge, but after remaining flat for several weeks, softwood lumber prices dropped. In other Business news: Lumber Liquidators agrees to major penalty in flooring scandal; the Steelworkers say their Northern BC deal is good but WFP’s shutdown news is a bargaining tactic; and more on the Fort Frances/Resolute debacle.

In other news: Nelson Bennett and Port McNeil residents give the NDP’s Coastal Revitalization Plan a reality check; Alberta’s Wood Buffalo Park gets a buffer; Oregon lawmakers want to ban clear cuts; NRDC takes on Charmin’s sustainability claims; and a North Carolina fire chief addresses mid-rise fire concerns. 

Finally, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, Fox News and Trump.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Canada morns the loss of woodlot champion and others in Ethiopian crash

March 12, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Canadian forest sector is morning the loss of forestry champion Peter deMarch, a life-long forest advocate and chair of the Canadian network of provincial woodlot owners and chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance. Also among the 139 people that perished in the Ethiopian plane crash was Micah John Messent, a budding environmental leader. Our sincere condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of everyone who perished in the crash.

In other news: Port Alice BC braces for a future without Neucel pulp mill; a fire halts work at Catalyst Paper in Port Alberni, BC; pressure builds on Resolute in Fort Frances, Ontario; the Edmonton Journal on the Domtar mess; and Canfor faces a fine for an injured Vavenby, BC worker.

Finally, a beetle that benefits forests and a new study says wolves must die to save Canada’s caribou.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Western to take down time in Port Alberni as San Group expansion begins

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 11, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Market conditions in Japan are forcing Western Forest Products to curtail its Port Alberni Sawmill operations for four weeks, while construction on the town’s newest sawmill—by the San Group—is creating fresh optimism. In other Business news: COFI is optimistic about China despite the Huawei affair; Indiana wants to expand its hardwood industry; and more friction in Pictou over Northern Pulp as well as in Fort Francis over Resolute.

In other news: Vancouver BC approves iconic 10-storey timber building, Vancouver WA wants to build the tallest wood building in the US; forest health is the focus of foresters in Colorado and Montana; and California carbon credits help protect South Carolina forests.

Finally, BC’s natural resource officers may be armed with pepper spray to defend themselves against intoxicated, confrontational people. Yikes!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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International Women’s Day, gender equity and diversity

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 8, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

International Women’s Day. Dating back more than 100 years and spurred by labour movements across North American and Europe—today we celebrate the individual achievements of many women in the forest sector as well as related gender equity and diversity strategies.

In other news: David Suzuki speaks out on climate change and concrete; the Wall Street Journal on the impact of biomass protests on investors; The Hill on industrial wood burning and climate change; Biomass Magazine on the sector’s explosive growth; and the Wood Pallet Industry on packaging recycling rates. Elsewhere, two BC MLAs on banning glyphosate; and Oregon’s new slash-burning smoke rules. 

Finally, the next line of defence against wildfires—the fire-resistant home.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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US Coalition seeks revision of current duties on 1000 Canadian companies

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 7, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Under the Dept of Commerce’s annual review process—which takes 12-18 months—the US Coalition is seeking duty revisions on 1000 Canadian companies. In other Business news: concern over the future of Northern Pulp spurs legislation by Nova Scotia’s premier; COFI confirms BC premier Horgan will speak at upcoming conference; and a construction overview for the state of Oregon.

In Forestry news: BC introduces protection for heritage and archeological values; the U of Victoria has a study on BC’s freshwater challenges; a New Brunswick group wants to save the Acadian forest from climate change; the Guardian recycles the Big Lonely Doug story; and CBC plans a week’s worth of Vancouver Island forest industry stories.

Finally, its last call for Rainier Beer’s Tabs for Trees program.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Flushing out the truth about US and Canadian forests

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 6, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US and Canadian forest industries take issue with NRDC’s recent toilet paper claims, saying tissue products are a sustainable choice and it’s their report that belongs in the toilet. In related news: SAPPI on paper that inhibits germ growth without chemicals; and California may phase out paper receipts. Meanwhile, inventors of bullet-proof wood create fire-proof wood; tall-wood buildings are sprouting up in Canada; Sweden’s tallest timber building is open for business; and more on BC’s wood design awards.

In Business news: the ups and downs on lumber prices (Madison’s); the building permit trend is encouraging (National Bank); clarity on the softwood lumber dispute (Russ Cameron); and a policy review preview for BC’s Interior (Minister Donaldson).

Finally, celebrating International Woman’s Day at: FPAC, West Fraser, Blue Ridge Lumber and Tolko; and BC’s air quality was among the world’s worst in 2018.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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BC Oscars recognize designers that push the wood envelope

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

BC Wood WORKS! recognized the designers and developers that pioneered the booming trend towards mid-rise wood construction in BC. The Oscars-like, sold out event showcased unique architecture and innovative structural engineering across 14 award categories. 

In Business news: the National Real Estate Investor says cost volatility is straining multifamily developers; the LBM Journal forecasts stability and fluctuation for the lumber and panel market; Wilkinson speaks out for BC’s struggling sawmills; and Canada’s Ambassador to the US on how to win in Trump’s Washington. Companies making news include Canfor; JD Irving and Northern Pulp.

Finally, rethinking old-growth forests using lichen as an indicator of value.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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As biomass makes gains in Europe, ENGO’s question its sustainability

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 4, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

It’s a time of optimism in the biomass industry as the EU looks to bioenergy as a means to lower carbon emission and Toshiba announces plans to open a new plant in Japan. In contrasting news: campaigners say biomass threatens Europe’s forests; an ENGO lawsuit calls EU biomass a false solution; and green groups in France oppose coal to biomass conversions. Meanwhile, National Geographic has a GHG-explainer.

In other news: Toronto has plans for the tallest wood-framed office tower in North America; Haida Gwaii mapping reveals rare ecosystems; FSC Canada readies its new forestry standard; Ontario forest industry’s AGM highlights; and Oregon State University seeks to improve wildfire modelling.

Finally, how Australia’s bush fires generate their own lightning.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Neucel lays off remaining employees, unlikely to open again

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 1, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

After four years of curtailed operations, Neucel Specialty Cellulose laid off its remaining BC employees–Minister Donaldson offers his regrets, Mayor says unlikely the mill will open again. In other Business news: an Alberta sawmill speaks out on carbon taxes; US cabinet manufacturers on tariffs and duties; and Pacific Gas and Electric says it likely caused the devastating Camp Fire in California. In company news: Coulson Aviation and US Lumber expand, Northern Pulp is criticized and Western Forest Products adds to their board.

In other news: an update from NRCan’s Deforestation Monitoring Group; wildfire season comes early to Alberta; the US Northwest Forest Plan fails to reverse declining bird populations; and mass timber is touted as a means to reduce Canada’s CO2 emissions, and as a cost effective way to meet Vancouver’s housing needs.

Finally, tree rings help Pacific Northwest scientists date earthquakes back to 400 AD.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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NAHB, housing starts point to negative impact of rising costs

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 28, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The NAHB says US tariffs on Canada and China are contributing to the rising cost of building materials. In related news: ABC News reports that December’s housing plummet is due to higher prices and affordability challenges. In company news: Canfor completes its Swedish acquisition; Cascade closes two paper machines in Ontario; Mercer is a top Alberta employer; Westview’s pellet fire impact; and West Fraser hosts Trades Day in Quesnel.

In other news: SAPPI joins the Sustainable Apparel Coalition; Washington State University on heat-treated wood and recycled carbon fiber; WoodWorks US announces its design winners; rebuilding the Alberta boreal forest after mining; and carbon black is dissed as green(wash) in BC.

Finally, biocontrol measures approved in NZ’s beetle battle, and the world’s most poisonous mushroom is spreading in BC.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Russian softwood to China growing despite slowing market conditions

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 27, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The trend is clear – Russia’s softwood lumber production and exports are displacing Canadian and Nordic production to China, despite slowing market conditions. In related news, Madison’s says North American softwood production and demand are coming into balance.

In Forestry/Climate news: the Narwhal reports on why Canada’s Boreal forest is important, and NRDC’s study on the risk represented by our voracious use of toilet paper. Elsewhere: the government of Canada launches a fund to protect species at risk; some logging strategies increase lichen growth for BC Caribou; Washington’s plastic grocery bag ban comes with a charge for paper bags; and the Guardian says if concrete was a country it would be the third largest carbon emitter in the world.

Finally, warm weather is fueling fires through the famed ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ forest.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog News

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US residential construction declines in December but permits are up a bit

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 26, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

After a delay due to the government shutdown, the US Commerce Department construction data shows a double-digit percent drop from November’s pace, but building permits are up a bit. In other Business news: New Brunswick Premier reports little US interest in reopening the softwood lumber talks; Canfor and Pinnacle report banner 2018s; and the UK faces a wood pallet/phytosanitary crisis without a Brexit deal. 

In Forestry/Climate news: Canada is criticized for using its forests to help meet its GHG targets; Caribou protection plans worry BC interior lumber producers; research efforts help predict future wildfire changes in Oregon, and New Mexico, while California’s environmental policy is causing their forests to become net CO2 emitters.

Finally, stories on wood and fire safety that could prompt building code changes in Halifax and the UK

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Capturing carbon via increased forest growth, negative-emissions technology

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 25, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Some positive news on capturing carbon: word that the world’s forests are taking up more of it, and combining energy production with carbon capture and sequestration could be a powerful negative-emissions technology. Elsewhere: Jeffrey Simpson on why no one wants to invest in Canada’s resources; and the Toronto Star on the NDP’s plan to revitalize the BC forest industry.

In Forestry news: Alberta’s forest industry is optimistic but guarded on the cold weather’s impact on the pine beetle; business interests clash with caribou survival in BC; and California foresters want more thinning, but hurdles abound despite the availability of funding.

Doing some reconnaissance? What goes around [often] comes around—and we have almost a decade worth of forestry news archived to prove it.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

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Canfor reports strong year in 2018 despite declining Q4 earnings

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 22, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canfor reported strong 2018 earnings despite fourth quarter challenges due to rising costs and falling prices. In related news: Canfor and the United Steelworkers have a tentative agreement for Canfor three independent mills; while Canfor, Interfor, West Fraser and DLA Piper are among those chosen as BC’s top employers for 2019. 

Elsewhere: three eastern premiers talk softwood and tariffs with US lawmakers; more on Northern Pulp and the Fort Frances mill; and NAWLA’s prestigious Mulrooney Award is bestowed posthumously to Jack McKinnon of Forest City Trading Group.

Finally, poplar trees may be cancer predictors and soil sediments in Turkey point to violent forest fires between the ice ages. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Speech from the throne: use recycled TP and less of it

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 21, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

North America has a “tree-to-toilet” problem, according to the NRDC and its over-use is contributing to climate change and habitat destruction. In related news: the Nature Conservancy says agreement on how many trees it takes to make a forest can help end deforestation; Denmark’s forest floors are showing evidence of species depletion; and Norway pays Indonesia to preserve its tropical rainforests.

In other news: plans for the tallest wood building in North America are okayed in Milwaukee; Sidewalk lab’s approach to financing its [tall wood] neighbourhood plan in Toronto is questioned; BC allocates more funding for wildfire response; Forests Ontario says the province needs more trees; and the Town of Fort Frances, Ontario rallies to save its mill.

Finally, FPAC announced its Awards of Excellence program while Georgia recognized forest land stewardship.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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US homebuilder sentiment rises as interest rates stay in check

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 20, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

US homebuilders are feeling better as February marks the second month where all three ‘sentiment’ index components showed gains. In other Business news: BC expects forestry revenue to fall in 2019; the US-China trade war reduces log exports from Oregon; and both the town council and union speak up for the Ontario’s Fort Francis mill.

In Wood Product news: zero carbon buildings offer GHG reductions, receive Gov’t of Canada support; the US Dep’t of Defense eyes CLT; I-Joists are under the gun in Idaho; and the latest renderings for Toronto’s Timber City. Elsewhere: IMAX releases its Great Bear Rainforest film; new research says glyphosate can persist in edible plants; and Indonesian children exposed to forest fire smoke while in the womb show stunted growth.

Finally, NASA says the Earth is greener than it was 20 years ago, while logging in Australia is measured by the cricket field.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Green Party leader say’s Nova Scotia should shutter Northern Pulp mill

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

Green Party leader Elizabeth May says Nova Scotia should shutter the Northern Pulp mill. In other Business news: China’s slowing growth cuts into softwood demand; last week’s winter weather cast a pall over North American demand; Conifer reaches tentative deal with United Steelworkers; Domtar and Unifor reach agreement on retirement packages at Ear Falls; and the bidding process for Fort Frances mill gets nasty.

In Forestry news: FPAC’s Derek Nighbor on the changing face of the workforce; fire ecologist Robert Gray on how to make BC’s forest fires less damaging; and Dr. Tom Pugh (U of Birmingham) on why young forests—rather than tropical rainforests—are the world’s biggest terrestrial carbon sinks.

Finally, stories on: tall wood manufacturing in Washington and Australia; tall wood construction in BC and Texas, extraordinary prefab houses around the world. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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China log imports up 9%, lumber imports down by 1%: FEA Wood Markets

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 15, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

China’s demand for logs and lumber grew in 2018, but most of the gains were earlier in the year, according to FEA Wood Markets. In other Business news: more on Canadian lumber profitability amid declining US shipments; BC Hydro will continue to purchase power from independent power producers despite reduced demand; a new study on the US hardwood industry’s contribution to the economy; and the world’s largest pulp mill opens in Sweden.

In other news: Prince George’s winter is not cold enough to kill the beetle; and Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce speaks out on Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. In wildfire news: California looks to insure against losses; a new weather tool helps predict fire risk; studies abound on the effect of logging and land use planning as a solution; and a new additive provides fire protection for wood.

Finally, a gallery of BC forester photos and congratulations to Donna Harman, AF&PA’s CEO, on her pending retirement.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Increased log exports are the result of BC mill closures — not the cause

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 14, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Increased log exports are the result of mill closures — not the cause, according to the Northwest Loggers Association. Elsewhere: the Town of Fort Frances accuses Resolute of intimidation; Nova Scotia’s Premier is willing to change policies to end US tariffs; Western Forest Products has a record year; and Mosaic—the timberland manager for TimberWest and Island Timberlands—is hiring bigly.

In Forestry news: a new book on the South Selkirk caribou; and concerns over logging in Campbell River and Cowichan Valley BC, Alaska and Eugene, Oregon. Meanwhile, pro-forestry coverage via Canwel, West Fraser Timber, Forests Ontario, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the US Dep’t of the Interior.

Finally, BC’s wood design nominees are announced and BC’s forest professionals are honoured. Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Housing starts, transportation problems and slowing economic growth

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 13, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The rebound of  softwood lumber prices (Madison’s) is being hampered by rail transportation and difficult weather conditions (West Fraser), as well as US-China trade tensions and slowing economic growth (Wall Street Journal).  

In Wood Product news: structural timber is in the midst of a US renaissance; wood’s evolving role in US apartment construction; the UK wood cladding ban means rethinking CLT; and Australia’s eco-building materials include bamboo, hempcrete and recycled plastic.

Finally: the recent cold snap won’t eradicate Alberta’s pine beetles; ENGO’s sue in support of Montana grizzlies; and California tree mortality is fuel for future wildfires.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Market forecasters see diverging paths

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 12, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Might be time to break out the Magic 8 Ball, as market prognostications abound. MarketWatch sees a bear-market correction; Wood Business looks on the bright side; Random Lengths reports momentum but also hints of caution; CMHC says Canadian housing starts are steady; and according to one US journalist—Rolling Stone Chuck Leavell can’t get no timber satisfaction.

Companies in the news: Western Forest Products’ CEO on its commitment to BC manufacturing; Paper Excellence is closer to acquiring Catalyst Paper; Resolute opens path to Fort Frances mill demolition; and Georgia Pacific closes its Glynn Country Georgia sawmill. Elsewhere; the BC Institute of Technology graduates its first class of experts in industrial wood processing.

Finally, the Great Bear Rainforest hits the big screen and the classroom.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Canada’s forest industry scales back amid soaring costs

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 11, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canada’s forest companies are scaling back their Canadian based mills—amid rising log costs and falling lumber prices—as capacity shifts to the US south; although Interfor says it’s shipping more lumber from Canada to China as a result of Chinese tariffs imposed on US producers. In related news: the competitiveness of the BC forest industry, and market and fibre challenges facing the sector over the next few years, were front and centre at the BC professional forester meetings last week.

In other news, an update on: BC’s Professional Governance Act; Structurlam’s expanded mass timber operation; and Forest Ontario’s award winners. Elsewhere: why extreme cold is good for Alberta’s forests; and how forest fires are wrecking havoc in Australia and New Zealand.

Finally, youth are the focus with: FPAC’s #TakeYourPlace campaign, the BC First Nations Forestry Council career fairs, and UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest outdoor classroom.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Lumber prices rebound as construction material buying season gets going

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 8, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

North American softwood lumber prices shot up spectacularly last week as lean inventories forced large-volume buys in advance of the construction season. In other Business news: Northern Pulp tables its plan for effluent treatment; Catalyst shuts its Powell River mill due to boiler leak; Haddock Lumber will build a state-of-the-art lumberyard in Maine; and Interfor reports 2018 growth despite challenging fourth quarter.

The BC professional foresters conference in Kamloops dominates today’s Forestry news as Minister Doug Donaldson announced: the completion of the forest inventory program review, funding for enhanced fibre utilization, and his phased approach to forest practices changes; while emphasizing the importance of building public trust via BC’s new Professional Governance Act. In other Forestry news: BC drops the Clayoquot Sound AAC and an update on NRCan’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative.

Finally, a fatal wood dust explosion in Belgium and how the humble tree is making a  tall-wood comeback in Toronto.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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BC foresters focus on climate change, species at risk and forest resilience

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 7, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) kicked off their annual conference yesterday with in-depth discussions on climate change and species at risk, prior to a plenary on the challenges and importance of planning for healthy and resilient forests. Today’s topics include: water woes, road liabilities, and the forest professional in the classroom—to name a few.

In other Forestry news: more on the threatened BC caribou, old growth protection efforts on Vancouver Island, the shortfall in meeting the US Northwest’s biodiversity goals, as well as logging controversies in Alaska and Indiana. In related news: climate modelling shows significant shifts in 21st century Pacific Northwest coastal forests.

Finally, Conifex is the latest company to take downtime due to falling prices.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Smoke from wildfires is like a ‘chemical soup,’ says Alberta researcher

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 6, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Inhaling smoke from a wildfire can be equal to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, says researcher Mike Flannigan. In related news: the size of wildfires across the US West has increased dramatically but still burn only a fraction of the area they did before Europeans arrived. Elsewhere, ENGO’s turn up the heat on BC’s old growth logging; opportunity abounds in the UK’s unmanaged forests; and Project Learning Tree’s latest forest education tools.

Companies making news include: Fortress’ bioproducts demonstration project; Prince Albert’s pending pulp mill reopening; South Enderby Boards’ mill fire; Tolko’s acquisition of Columbia Containers; Freres’ Lumber mass panel patent; GP’s groundbreaking in Albany; and Canfor’s Houston mill curtailment.

Finally, the number one green college in the US plans to use mass timber

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Innovation in production, design and use of wood products

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

Innovation in the production, design and use of wood products dominate today’s headlines. Specifically, how the new ICC code enables tall wood buildings in the US, and the fire testing that supported the change; how innovation in wood technology is improving our sustainability factor and related innovation showcases in Vancouver, BC and Hanover Germany; and the 2019 nominees for BC’s 15th annual Wood Design awards.

In other news: Quebec and Canada support CelluForces’ cellulose nanocrystal facility; a  Mississippi mill manager is invited to Trump’s State of the Union Speech; and a PEW foundation feature on logging’s role in wildfire management.

Finally, the Frogs will be reporting live from the Association of BC Forest Professionals AGM in Kamloops. Looking forward to talking with some of you at the ice breaker!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Resolute seeks compensation over government support for competitor mill

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 4, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Resolute blames aid provided to Port Hawkesbury for the closure of its Quebec mill, seeks compensation through NAFTA. In other Business news: tougher pollution standards are in the works for Northern Pulp; Skeena Bioenergy secures agreement to export wood pellets; and Western Forest Products invests in the US. 

In Forestry/Climate news: Rolling Stones’ Chuck Leavell on the woes of a US tree farmer; Oregon’s Kate Brown wants more fed money for thinning; David Robinson’s three wishes for Northern Ontario; a UN program chief sees big potential for biomass in Europe; and ENGO’s on Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics timber sourcing protocol.

Women making news include: Charlene Higgins as CEO of the BC First Nations Forestry Council; Bethany Doss as 2nd Vice Chair NAWLA; and Nicole Hepp as Prince George’s newest conservation officer.

Finally, where in the world is Bill Dumont [going]? Haida Gwaii and the Holy Land.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Silver lining on polar vortex: reprieve from tree-killing insects

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 1, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tree Frog is pleased to announce that today marks the start of our second decade of producing our news service. We couldn’t have done it without our supporters and readers – so thank you all for helping us reach this exciting anniversary!

One upside to the polar vortex deep freeze is a reprieve from invasive insects such as the gypsy moth and hemlock woolly adelgid. In other Forestry news: Oregon looks to ban herbicides containing amicocyclorachlor; a North Carolina company stops using methyl bromide to debark it logs; and an ENGO suit claims Green Diamond Resource Co. is harming martin habitat.

In Business news: Northern Pulp will be forced to shut down temporarily without a one-year extension for an effluent plan; Western Forest Products completes acquisition of Columbia Vista mill; Resolute shared plunge 12% due to lumber woes; and Australia codes will allow 8-storey timber systems, while CLT loses ground in the UK.

Finally, its World Westlands Day, which is good news for ducks and threatened alpine frogs.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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As climate gap widens, Canada looks for carbon credits in California and its own forests

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

As its climate gap widens, Canada looks to purchase California carbon credits and claim the carbon in its forests—despite evidence that Canada’s forests are carbon emitters. In related news: National Geographic speaks to renewable energy trade-offs, WRI/Yale University on why cities need to grow up, not out; and ENGO groups oppose biomass power plant conversions in the UK.

In other news: winners and losers in the US lumber trade war; how the CLT industry is responding to the UK combustibles ban; the potential of timber in New Zealand’s core-wall systems; and Japan’s shift to small-scale forestry. Also, more on Canada’s rail car investigation; BC’s Steelworkers negotiations; Northern Pulp’s effluent facility; and BC’s caribou recovery efforts.

Finally, a soliloquy of sorts on the role of paper bags in a 1945 murder.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Gov’t of Canada invests in forestry jobs and strategies for managing wildfires

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 30, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

In separate releases, the Gov’t of Canada announced monies for LP’s Dawson Creek mill upgrade, and for climate change adaptation projects, such as examining cost-effective strategies for managing wildfires. In other Business news: 2019 looks good for CN Rail despite forest product woes; Canfor temporarily curtails production at three BC mills; and BC Forest Minister Donaldson defends move to restrict log exports.

In Forestry/Climate news: the US shutdown has delayed wildfire preparations; California is streamlining its review process for wildfire-related forest treatments; Montana’s forests are now CO2 emitters; the UK has a unique forest carbon opportunity; and what Fortune 500 investors need to know about climate risk and resiliency.

Finally, Milwaukee endorses 21-storey timber building, and a new virtual reality experience can transform you into a tree.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Apocalyptic reporting on global warming has made us all panicky: Lomborg

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

Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, says shallow, apocalyptic reporting on global warming has made us all panicky, whereas the truth is comparatively boring. In related news: the Sierra Club takes aim at BC’s hidden carbon emissions; habitat decline threatens BC trappers; and concerns over logging make the news in 100 Mile House; Northern California, Poland, Ireland and Madagascar (the rosewood trade).

In Business news: Tolko prepares to recall workers as Williams Lake rebuild nears completion; Northern Pulp and fishermen reach testing agreement in Nova Scotia; Newfoundland has a new forestry plan; and Paper Excellence welcomes BC’s coastal revitalization strategy.

The final straw: Ben & Jerry’s announces plan to eliminate single-use plastic straws and spoons.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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More downs than ups forecast in 2019 for forest products

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 28, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Log and lumber prices will be less volitile but also less attractive in 2019, according to ERA’s Kevin Mason, while Forest2Market says 2019 markets will be mostly flat or trending down except for offshore imports, pulp and CLT. Elsewhere, a preliminary report confirms rail embargoes on Canadian commodities; while Resolute, EACOM, Nechako Lumber and Active Energy Group make news in their communities.

In other news: concerns are raised about Wood Buffalo National Park; BC’s caribou recovery strategy; and the lack of protection for Nova Scotia’s endangered species; while plastic takes a beating in Halifax, Washington State, and the corporate headquarters of Samsung Electronics.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Scientist expect big rise in CO2 in 2019 as El Niño reduces tree growth

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 25, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Scientists expect CO2 to rise significantly in 2019 as trees will grow less due to El Niño-caused drier weather. In related news: NRCan scientists research drought tolerance; FPInnovation releases videos on resource roads and wetlands; and ENGOs take legal action in support of Alberta caribou.

In Business news, more on: BC’s proposed changes to log exports and contractor sustainability; TimberWest’s logging lawsuit; forestry’s downward trend in Northern BC; and the US trade war’s impact on EACOM

Finally, a mish-mash of wood product stories on: fibre insulation panels; glulam, mass timber code changes; wood skyscrapers and Woodrise 2019.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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