Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for July 17 2019

Business & Politics

Lumber Declines Despite A Dovish Fed

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
July 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…The lumber futures market has done an excellent job of predicting price action in the commodities market. …The price of lumber traded to its high in May 2018, before many other raw material prices fell on the back of the ongoing trade dispute with China. Therefore, the lumber has been a leading indicator, at times. …The weekly chart highlights that lumber futures have been steadily declining since mid-June, even as other commodities have displayed price strength. The news that the Fed plans to cut the Fed Funds rate by the end of 2019 has not supported the price of lumber, which is a critical component when it comes to construction. While a falling interest rate environment should favor the price of wood, the price has declined in what has been a “buy the rumor and sell the fact” reaction to the prospects for lower US interest rates.

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Muted demand keeps softwood lumber prices low as futures tank

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Until Tuesday all eyes were on trading of softwood lumber futures on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange. The July contract closed Monday unchanged at $360. By Tuesday morning the September contract was down $12 and trading at $336, with little optimism of the recent price drops reversing direction. For it’s part, cash price for benchmark construction framing dimension softwood lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2×4 was down $10 on the previous week, at U.S. $392 mfbm. At producers, sawmill order files were barely longer than a week, although most manufacturers were quoting a two-week order file. …Among players in the west there were rumours circulating of still more curtailments and down-time. …The U.S. housing market looks tepid at best, but not because people are not looking to buy property.

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Statement confirms sale of Fort Frances mill

The International Falls Journal
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The paper mill in Fort Frances has been sold by Resolute Forest Products according to a statement issued Monday. …The Town of Fort Frances wishes to confirm for all of its citizens, stakeholders, and regional partners that the properties comprising the pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances have been sold by Resolute Forest Products. These properties have been transferred to a new owner, which we understand to be a subsidiary of Riversedge Developments that is held in partnership with a local entity. …The town’s goal has been — and continues to be — returning this key economic asset to productive use that preserves its operating capacity and makes use of our region’s publicly-owned forest resources. …Judson said while Monday is a milestone, there are still details to be learned.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Commercial Real Estate: Net Zero Energy-Ready building competition winners announced

By Evan Duggan
The Vancouver Sun
July 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A mass-timber office project in Vancouver and a four-storey timber-frame rental apartment in West Kelowna are among the 11 winners of the province’s pilot Net Zero Energy-Ready Competition (NZERC). The 11 ongoing development projects were selected by a jury of government, utility and industry leaders with knowledge of high-performance buildings. The winners will receive up to $390,000 each to put toward completing their buildings. …Highstreet Ventures won a construction incentive for one of its four-storey wood-frame rental apartment buildings at their Carrington View complex. …The jury also selected a 10-storey mass-timber office project at 2150 Keith Dr. in east Vancouver. The Bentall Kennedy building, designed by Dialog architects, will have offices, meeting areas and a research and innovation department. The building will have a highly efficient mechanical system, passive design elements, a high-performance building envelope and will incorporate renewable materials, including B.C. timber.

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Forestry

Fort Nelson poised for benefits from B.C.’s largest community forest

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of BC
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents and area communities that have long fought to revive Fort Nelson’s forest sector are starting to realize the benefit of their efforts with the approval of the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement, in partnership with the British Columbia government. …The agreement has an allowable annual cut of 217,650 cubic metres per year from 191,571 hectares of Crown land, including a BC Timber Sales volume reservation of 32,650 cubic metres annually. …The applicants submitted a management plan for approval that includes stand-level retention targets of 8.9% for wildlife tree retention areas, ungulate winter ranges and consideration of possible future impacts to the timber-harvesting land base for boreal caribou management. Old growth retention targets will be a minimum of 37% in the Northern Boreal Mountains and 17% in the Boreal Plains.

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New cut level set for Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
The Government of BC
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective July 16, 2019, the new allowable annual cut (AAC) for the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area is 2,582,350 cubic metres, announced Shane Berg, deputy chief forester. The new AAC is a 59% increase from the previous allowable annual cut of 1,625,000 cubic metres set in 2006 and includes partitions to encourage an expansion of forestry opportunities in the northwest portion of the TSA and promote a return to harvesting the deciduous timber profile. “The Fort Nelson TSA contains a vast area of mature deciduous stands,” said Berg. “I am confident that my decision will encourage forestry opportunities for First Nations and other operators, while maintaining responsible management of biodiversity objectives.” …Wildlife in the TSA, including boreal caribou, northern caribou and Stone’s sheep, are protected by ungulate winter ranges and wildlife habitat areas. 

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Announcing the Smallholder Access Program, an Innovative Approach to Responsible Forest Certification

The Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance
WebWire
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and a consortium of… forestry corporations announce the launch of the Smallholder Access Program. …The program is a two-year FSC pilot project designed to increase access to forest certification for woodland owners under 250 acres. The SAP will be available to landowners across Southern and Central Appalachia, encompassing parts of Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. In its pilot phase, the SAP will be limited to a total enrollment of 7,400 acres. …Pending the success of the Smallholder Access Program, the principles behind the approach may be applied in other locations in the US and around the globe, with the intention of making FSC certification more available and relevant to smallholders in other regions.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Corporation Commission torches forest thinning efforts

By Peter Aleshire
The White Mountain Independent
July 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission torched forest restoration efforts last week by voting 3-2 to ditch a proposed rule requiring utilities to produce 60-90 megawatts of electricity from biomass. Specifically, the divided commission voted to not move forward on a plan to convert one unit of the soon-to-close Cholla power plant to burning up to 60 MW of wood scraps, presumably from some 50,000 acres worth of forest restoration projects. Officials throughout Northern Arizona have been lobbying the corporation commission for a year to create a market for the millions of tons of wood scraps. …Commissioner Justin Olson led the charge against biomass, arguing electricity users shouldn’t have to subsidize forest restoration efforts through higher monthly bills.

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Health & Safety

Quick lane change causes log truck to roll over; 4 vehicles hit by logs, troopers say

By Rolf Boone
The Olympian
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

A tractor-trailer hauling logs rolled over Monday and scattered logs across northbound Interstate 5 in Lewis County, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers say four vehicles were hit by logs. Two people were injured: the 49-year-old McCleary man driving the log truck, and a 33-year-old Tacoma woman in a separate vehicle. Both were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital. …the tractor-trailer was headed south on I-5 near Centralia when it failed to slow for traffic and made a quick lane change. The truck rolled over as a result and scattered its load over the freeway median into the northbound lanes.

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Citronelle police investigating fatal crash on Highway 45

By Mark Kent
The Call News
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

CITRONELLE, ALABAMA — A head-on collision shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday took the lives of a log truck driver and a man driving a Ford Fusion, Citronelle Mayor Jason Stringer said. …The logs of the log truck came loose, with some going through the cab and others taking down utility poles and power lines, also rupturing a gas line in the area, witnesses said. …The wreck left heavy amounts of debris on the highway, and the two vehicles ended up off the east edge of the highway, coming to rest about 500 feet apart. By noon, there was still some smoke rising from the area around where the log truck came to rest. …“The log truck was on fire, and it blew a gas main,” Burgin said. “Power lines were down, and there were logs all over the place.”

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