Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for December 15 2017

Today’s Takeaway

European Union sets target of zero for emissions from forest sector

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 15, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost absorption from forests as a way to tackle climate change were agreed to by the European Union. The agreement sets a “zero target” for the sector, which would be a 30% emissions cut by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Closer to home, the San Group has “thrown down the gauntlet” saying they want to purchase all of Western Forest Products’ assets in the Alberni Valley; the New Brunswick government is accused of favouring JD Irving in their dispute with woodlot owners; and former senator Max Baucus says Canada has crossed the line between fair and unfair trade with softwood lumber.

Finally, in Forestry news: BC environmentalists ask Ottawa to use the Species at Risk Act to protect the mountain caribou; Northwestern Ontario mayors are fed up being portrayed as environmental laggards; the Haida Nation says the BC government doesn’t have permission to grant logging contracts; and China enacts a ban on commercial logging in its natural forests.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Local guides aren’t happy with grizzly ban

By Michael Grace-Dacosta
Smithers Interior News
December 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tyler Berry won what appears to be the Northwest Guide Outfitters last award for best grizzly bear Dec. 2. “It took us 50 hours on horseback, 10 days of grueling hunting, it didn’t come easy,” said Berry of the journey to get the bear. “I’ve been in the bush for 13 years, since I was 17. I’m 30 now and that was my first grizzly guided hunt that I’ve done and it could be the last.” The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said while the ban on trophy hunting is in effect, the regulations are currently being finalized. Under the ban it is illegal for a hunter to keep a grizzly’s head, paws or hide after a kill.

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Environmentalists petition Ottawa to protect mountain caribou from extinction

By Keith Fraser
Vancouver Sun
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. environmentalists want Ottawa to take measures to protect mountain caribou, which they consider to be in imminent danger of extinction. The University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre and the Valhalla Wilderness Society have presented a petition to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna claiming that all 10 of B.C.’s most southerly mountain caribou populations are at risk.  They’re seeking federal cabinet approval of an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act that would put in place strategies to conserve the populations. …The petition says that a provincial strategy to recover the caribou has failed because the government has refused to curb most logging of the caribous’ old-growth forest habitat and has also neglected to implement snowmobile bans recommended by its own team of biologists.

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Tension escalates in Haida Gwaii forestry dispute

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tensions between the Council of the Haida Nation and the province of British Columbia have escalated, with the Haida telling forestry companies they will not be allowed to log timber sold to them by the province. Letters have been sent to two companies who recently purchased logging rights on Haida Gwaii, saying that because the Haida Nation did not approve the purchases, they will not be recognized. The letters are the latest in a series of actions the nation has taken to express its displeasure with the province’s management of forestry assets on the archipelago off B.C.’s West Coast. Haida Nation president kil tlaats ‘gaa (Peter Lantin) has warned frustration among the Haida “has built up to a place where it’s going to build up.”

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Audit of B.C. Timber Sales finds issues

BC Forest Practices Board
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

VICTORIA – An audit of the South Island District portion of the B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) Strait of Georgia Business Area has found compliance with most, but not all, requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, according to a report released today. “While BCTS met most of its obligations, the audit did find one steep section of road that did not comply with requirements for safe road construction,” said board chair Tim Ryan. “Following the audit fieldwork, BCTS immediately hired a qualified professional to address the issue and that section of road has since been rebuilt.” “Auditors also found one timber-sale licence holder who did not maintain natural drainage patterns and caused disturbance to streams on one cutblock,” added Ryan.

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Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association answers caribou critic

Letter by David Canfield, past-president, Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association
The Chronicle Journal
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

David Canfield

ON behalf of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA), I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the Nov. 27 op-ed, Boreal Caribou: Scientists refute forestry claims, by Julee Boan. Ms. Boan takes offence to the information regarding Caribou Facts presented by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) noting that further clarification was provided on their website. She goes on to comment that NOMA “didn’t get the memo” insinuating that our organization is choosing to promote inaccurate information from industry talking heads. As the forest industry is the backbone for the economy for many NOMA member communities, we get our data from the practitioners that actually work in the forest every day; professional foresters, industry workers and scientists. …Yes NOMA did get the memo. We are the faces of forestry. …We look at the whole picture and not just an ideological approach.

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Fire lookouts are hot destinations, but face an uncertain future in the Pacific Northwest

The Oregonian
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Imagine waking up to the sun cresting a ridge of the Cascade Mountains. You look out the window, and through the dawn light you can see clouds still settled over a lush alpine forest. You’re in a tower in the sky, in the shadow of our tallest peaks, surrounded by wilderness. Camping in a fire lookout tower is like no other experience in the Pacific Northwest. …But booking a night in a fire lookout can be harder than getting a ticket to “Hamilton,” thanks to high demand, short supply, and prices from $35 to $65 a night. Of the hundreds of lookouts in Oregon and Washington, only 22 are available to the public. …As technology makes fire lookouts obsolete, federal and state agencies are stuck with the question of what to do with the towers. Should they be turned into vacation rentals? Torn down? Preserved in public parks and museums?

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Westside thinning project begins in Bitterroot

By Kevin Maki
NBC Montana
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON, Mont. – Crews have begun a 1,000-acre timber thinning project on the Bitterroot National Forest south of Hamilton. The Westside Vegetation Management Project is an effort to improve forest health and to reduce fire hazards close to private property. The project will extend from Gold Creek to Lost Horse. This week crews began harvesting trees that burned in the Roaring Lion Fire more than a year ago. The Westside timber sale was in the works before fire raced through Roaring Lion. Most of the trees planned for thinning on the west side did not burn. But fire scorched many of the trees in the Roaring Lion Fire area where crews were working Thursday. “It hadn’t been thinned in probably 100 years,” said Bitterroot National Forest timber management assistant Ryan Hughes. “So it was overpopulated and overcrowded.”

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Conservation group raises concerns about proposed Wolf Creek logging

By Marcy Stamper
Methow Valley News
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A proposed forest-improvement timber sale in the Wolf Creek area won’t allow healthy regeneration of the forest and could exacerbate erosion into the Methow River and endanger fish, according to Conservation Northwest. The conservation group submitted comments this week to the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the proposed Virginia Ridge FIT (Forest-Improvement Timber) sale. DNR plans to log 750 acres in the Virginia Ridge and Wolf Creek areas, plus a small section near Mazama, next year. …But Conservation Northwest said much of the Virginia Ridge/Wolf Creek area was heavily logged in the 1980s and almost all big trees were cut. “There are not enough large old trees to call this uneven-aged,” said Conservation Northwest in its comments on the proposal.

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Study shows sustainable forestry sustains these 5 birds

By the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
TreeHugger
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A sustainable forest is like a giant nest that protects the birds that live in it. Among forest wildlife, birds are especially important because they serve as early indicators of forest health, water quality, air quality, and climate change. Think of the bird in the forest as the canary in the coal mine. A recent study focused on how well sustainable forests protect these five species of birds in the Southeastern United States:  Swallow-tailed Kite, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Wood Thrush, Swainson’s Warbler and Prairie Warbler. The study was led by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) with funding from a Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) conservation grant. …Findings from the ABC study confirmed that sustainably managed forests provide healthy habitat and make a significant contribution to the preservation of the five species of birds studied.

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Division of Forestry headquarters opens

By Sarah Goodrich
The Inter-Mountain
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Woody Thrasher (left)

BUCKHANNON — Community members, landowners and wood industry representatives gathered together to welcome West Virginia Division of Forestry’s Region 3 headquarters to Buckhannon. The Region 3 headquarters is the first new office to open since the Division of Forestry converted its former three-region system to six in October. …Division of Forestry Director Barry Cook explained that, under the Forestry’s previous three-region system, the territories were too large for foresters and residents to get to know each other. Now the six region system will allow stronger communications between the foresters and community members.

 

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Chinese logging ban boosts demand for foreign logs

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International
CHINA The Chinese government has enacted a ban prohibiting commercial timber harvests in its natural forests. The ban is designed to counter decades of over-cutting in Chinese forests, which contributed to a 5% drop in the country’s log production in 2017. Though the country will need to import more logs, it’s unclear how motivated Chinese buyers will be to compete with domestic sawmills, which are currently offering high prices. “To expand the market, they’re going to have to go head-to-head with the mills,” said Gordon Culbertson, international business director at Forest2Market, an Oregon-based consulting firm for wood product companies. Since 2013, China’s log production has fallen from more than 2.8 billion cubic feet to just under 2 billion cubic feet. The logging ban is expected to cause shortages for at least another three years. China remains the top recipient of U.S. hardwood logs, boosting its imports by 19%. 

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Company & Business News

Canada crossing fine line between fair and unfair trade

By (D) Max Baucus and (R) Judd Gregg
The Hill
December 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

As former senators representing Montana and New Hampshire, both of which border Canada, we experienced firsthand the value in a close relationship with America’s northern neighbor as a friend, strategic ally and trading partner. …There is a very fine line between fair and unfair trade, and finding a balance between the two can take some work. For example, Canada’s domestic policy is to subsidize its lumber producers, thus they produce softwood lumber materials below market prices. …Subsidized Canadian lumber imports are a violation of our trade laws. We were encouraged by the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission’s enforcement actions. Through their actions, we’re one step closer to restoring fair trade and ensuring that the best businesses survive because of their ingenuity and hard work, not government subsidies.

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San Group wants to expand forest holdings in Alberni Valley

BC Local News
December 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kamal Sanghera

San Group Mill owners Kamal and Suki Sanghera have thrown down the gauntlet versus competitor Western Forest Products and say they want to purchase all of WFP’s assets in the Alberni Valley—including WFP’s tree farm licence, Somass Mill and Alberni Pacific Division (APD) Sawmill. The Sangheras spoke of their commitment to bring forestry jobs back to the Alberni Valley during a luncheon Wednesday at their mill on the Alberni Inlet. That would mean keeping raw logs in Port Alberni mills, and not shipping them overseas, as has been the practice for a number of years now. “Every month we are shipping out close to 130,000 cubic metres of raw logs,” Kamal Sanghera said. “Our game is to keep those logs right here in Port Alberni and create jobs right here.”

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Resolute employees out of work after contractor shuts down

CBC News
December 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

More than 40 Resolute Forest Products employees are hoping they’ll be back to work soon after a contractor they were working with ceased operations. The employees, all members of the company’s woodlands division, were working with a company called Marcri Logging. However, the workers were told on November 17 that Marcri Logging was ceasing operations, and there was no more work for them as a result. United Steelworkers Local 1-2010, which represents the employees, told CBC News it is “working hard to get them back to work,” but added it’s a complicated situation when company employees are working for a contractor.

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Liberal minister cheered as he stands up for Irving and big mills

By Connell Smith
CBC News
December 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rick Doucet

The New Brunswick government appeared to come down on the side of the biggest mill owners Thursday in the dispute with marketing boards representing woodlot owners. The issue was raised by Green Party Leader David Coon during question period in the legislature Thursday. “Why has the minister of energy and resource development abdicated his legal responsibility to woodlot owners and failed to enforce his own legislation?” Coon asked. …Minister Rick Doucet appeared to admonish Coon for raising the issue at a time when the province is fighting punitive trade tariffs imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department. “It’s about time we started to stand up for the mills in this province,” Doucet said to loud cheers from members of the Liberal caucus.

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Western Forest Products acquiring operations from Hampton Lumber

HBS Dealer
December 14, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Western Forest Products Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Hampton Lumber’s processing and distribution facility in Arlington, Wash. The purchase price is $9 million and is expected to close in January 2018, Western Forest Products reported. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company also said the operations are ideally suited for Western Forest Products central distribution needs with direct rail service — including close proximity to the company’s major U.S. markets. “This acquisition is a natural fit for Western as it allows us to increase the production of targeted, finished products while also providing a centralized warehousing and distribution center to more effectively service our selected U.S. customers,” said Don Demens, president and CEO of Western Forest Products.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

How a small North Okanagan community saves money and lowers its carbon footprint

By Charlotte Helston
InfoTel News
December 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Grahame Go

ENDERBY – You might know Enderby for its proximity to the scenic Shuswap River or popular Mabel Lake, but the small North Okanagan community is also home to a state of the art clean energy heating system. It’s called a biomass boiler and it uses scrap wood chips to heat water, which is then circulated through underground pipes to 12 businesses in the city’s downtown. The fossil fuel alternative is commonly found in Europe but is fairly unique in this part of the world. “Places like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have not just hundreds, but thousands of them,” Burkhard Fink says. …“The wood we are burning is equivalent to the wood rotting naturally in the bush,” Go says. Enderby mayor Greg McCune says he’s proud the city is leading the way and setting an example for how communities can use alternative energies.

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US Energy Administration revises bioenergy, wood heating forecasts

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
December 14, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, revising its 2017 and 2018 forecasts for bioenergy production and residential wood heating. The EIA currently predicts wood biomass will be used to generate 117,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, falling to 114,000 MWh per day next year. Generation from waste biomass is expected to increase, from 57,000 MWh per day this year, to 60,000 MWh per day next year. The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.274 quadrillion Btu (quad) of waste biomass this year, increasing to 0.287 quad next year. The sector is also expected to consume 0.24 quad of wood biomass this year, falling to 0.222 quad next year.

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European Union strikes deal on zero emission target for forest sector by 2030

By Paola Tamma
Euroactiv.com
December 15, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

EU member states reached a preliminary agreement with the European Parliament on the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) regulation on Thursday, agreeing to set a “zero target” for emissions from this sector, in a plan described as “unambitious” by green groups. …the LULUCF sector is required to contribute a 30% emissions cut by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, as part of the EU-wide commitment to cut overall emissions by 40% by 2030. Member states and MEPs agreed to the “no-debit rule” or zero target, meaning that their total emissions from this sector must not exceed their CO2 removals deriving from forest harvesting or land-use change. Further carbon absorption (or carbon ‘sinks’) can be achieved through reforestation and sustainable management of forests, croplands and grasslands.  

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Forestry as a tool to counter Climate Change: Members of the European Parliament strike deal with Council

EU Reporter
December 15, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost absorption from forests as a way to tackle climate change were informally agreed by Parliament and Council on Thursday. “Two years after the conclusion of the climate change agreement in Paris, we have today achieved a major success for the EU’s climate commitments. …Forest management should continue to be active and sustainable in the future, as this is the only way to ensure that it has a positive impact on ecology and economy. We have found a credible balance between flexibility and comparable accounting rules for the 28 member states. The proposed law would lay down rules under which EU countries have to ensure a CO2 emissions are balanced by CO2 absorption by forests, croplands and grasslands.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood Innovates BC

naturally:wood
December 15, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Home to one of the world’s most sustainable and globally-competitive forest sectors, British Columbia is actively taking steps to advance the use of wood and establish B.C. as a globally recognized centre of excellence for wood innovation, and a showcase for local forest products in wood construction, interior design and daily living.  Wood Innovates BC profiles the latest B.C. expertise, wood design resources, events and workshops, to encourage exchange on technological developments, research, building and manufacturing efficiencies and innovations. Partners include University of British Columbia’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture; FPInnovations; BC Wood; Wood WORKS! BC; and University of Northern British Columbia and other design, building and manufacturing associations and commercial organizations. 

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The future of architecture is lumbering toward us

By Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail
December 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

…I’m on the third floor of T3, an innovative office building that will soon be home to an Amazon, but the familiar whiff of wood is everywhere, oozing from the brawny beams and knotty softwood decking that support the floor above. This 220,000-square-foot structure in Minneapolis, its design led by British Columbia’s Michael Green Architecture and StructureCraft, will house tenants seeking the latest in office space. Here, that means glue-laminated beams and nail-laminated timber floors. It means wood. “It’s changing the paradigm of what the future of office buildings might look like,” says Michael Green, its lead architect. …These projects are signs of an architectural revolution. In many settings, timber is becoming cost competitive with concrete and steel; it is beautiful; and it is more sustainable than those energy-intensive materials. For the construction industry and for forest-rich Canada, this could be a big deal.

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