Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for December 18 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Timber Innovation Act to support wood use in large scale buildings

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 18, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Legislation supporting the expansion of wood for use in large scale buildings (in the form of the Timber Innovation Act) is heading to the president’s desk for approval. In related news: Canada Wood signs an MOU with Korean Architects; the U of Toronto plans to merge its faculties of Forestry and Architecture; the Softwood Lumber Board completes its leadership transition; and innovative wood-based fabrics aim to replace microplastics.

In Forestry/Climate news: did Jerry Brown do enough on climate change (LA Times); California’s catastrophic wildfire season is not the new norma(Wall Street Journal); ENGO’s bemoan the non-closing of biomass loophole at COP24 (Mongabay); and how much is a tree worth (the Australian edition).

Finally, need a break from the Christmas hullabaoo? Airbnb just listed this pinecone-shaped treehouse in California.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada Wood Korea signs agreement with Korean Institute of Architects

Journal of Commerce
December 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER — Canada Wood Korea and the Korean Institute of Architects have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help Korean architects work better with Canadian wood. The technical co-operation agreement was signed on Dec. 7 by senior forest industry representatives on the Forestry Asia Trade Mission… “South Koreans’ interest in wood construction is growing because they recognize that wood construction fares better than other materials in the event of earthquakes. By promoting the benefits of wood and sharing technical expertise, we can open up new opportunities in Korea for our province’s high-quality wood products. This, in turn, supports forestry jobs in B.C.,” said B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson in a statement.

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Huu-ay-aht First Nations purchases interest in Western Forest Products

By Susie Quinn
Alberni Valley News
December 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

First Nations Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr.

Western Forest Products has sold ownership interest in its Port Alberni forest operation to the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. The announcement was made Dec. 14 at Pacific Coast University in Port Alberni. The purchase has been set up as a limited partnership for $7.2 million, representing a seven percent share for Huu-ay-aht. Assets in the limited partnership will consist of some of Western’s assets in its Port Alberni forest operation, including TFL 44. The deal makes room for Western to sell incremental interest in the limited partnership to the Huu-ay-aht in the future. Western will still access fibre from TFL 44 to support its B.C. manufacturing facilities. …Don Demens, president and CEO of Western Forest Products, said the deal “is a positive step towards increasing First Nations participation in the forest sector, which will benefit the Nation, local communities, Western and our employees.”

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Unifor reaches understanding with proposed buyer of Fort Frances mill

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
December 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, ON — The labour union that represented workers at the Resolute Forest Products mill in Fort Frances says it has already been in discussions with a potential buyer of the mill. According to Unifor national representative Stephen Boon, the union has talked to Repap Resources Group, headed by Sean Twomey, about its proposal to purchase the mill, and “it is fair to say that we have a general framework in place for finalizing a long-term start-up collective agreement upon the successful sale of the mill.” The Town of Fort Frances announced last Thursday that Repap, a private investment group, is partnering with 4Front Capital Partners in a bid to buy the shuttered mill from Resolute. According to the statement, Repap has “the intention of quickly moving to restart the facility in 2019” to produce sack Kraft (packaging grade) paper.

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Southern Forest Products Association on Egypt, new members and Softwood Conference

Southern Forest Products Association
December 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Egypt is the largest market for American softwood products in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Providing customized training and technical assistance to enable Egyptian wood traders and specifiers to choose the correct grade, size and species is a Phase Two objective of American Softwoods’ emerging markets program. Providing Egyptian joinery and furniture manufacturers with alternative sources of supply is another goal. …SFPA welcomes LaSalle Lumber Company, LLC, as its newest Lumber Manufacturer member. Tolko Industries, headquartered in Vernon, BC, has partnered with Louisiana-based Hunt Forest Products to build a state-of-the-art sawmill near Urania, Louisiana. …A detailed summary of the 2018 International Softwood Conference, held recently in Riga, Latvia, has been prepared by Charles Trevor, the Southern Pine Council’s consultant based in London. 

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Alabama lumber company makes $18 million investment into Coosa County mill

By Kyle Morris
The Yellowhammer News
December 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

An Alabama lumber company is making a large investment into one of its oldest and biggest mills in the Yellowhammer state. Central Alabama Wood Products announced last week that it is investing $18 million into an expansion of a Coosa County sawmill in the town of Nixburg, according to the Alexander City Outlook. The investment comes amid the need for a high-tech sawmill operation that will replace one of its current mills at the company’s Nixburg site producing hardwood crossties. …The new expansion will double production capacity, according to Jones.

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European Union urges Ukraine to lift moratorium on export of round logs

112 International
December 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The European Union has urged Ukraine to lift the moratorium on the export of round logs or roundwood as Interfax reported citing the results of the fifth session of the Association Council Ukraine-EU. “The EU has urged Ukraine to continue the fight against concealed interests for the improvement of the business and investment climate, urgently eliminate trade irritants, including the moratorium for the export of the round logs,” the message said. The sides urge to pay special attention to the efficient and timely implementation of the points of the free trade zone, further promotion of the trade and elimination of the technical trade barriers, including in the spheres of the customs procedures, technical regulations, sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements and the reforms of the food products safety system, system of the state procurement and protection of intellectual property rights.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Softwood Lumber Board completes leadership transition

Softwood Lumber Board
Global Newswire
December 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Cees de Jager

Washington — The Softwood Lumber Board is pleased to announce that it has completed its leadership succession plan. This was an important undertaking as the Board entered its second term following the successful revote of our Softwood Lumber Check-off program. …“I want to thank Steve for his tireless and inspired leadership of the SLB from its creation through the revote.” said Chairman Marc Brinkmeyer. …The SLB will move forward under the leadership of Cees de Jager as President and CEO. …Ryan Flom has assumed the role of Chief Marketing Officer. ….“The SLB has matured as an organization, evolving from a start-up check-off program to a sophisticated industry influencer. The SLB will continue to focus its investments on building codes, communications, and conversion from other materials to wood as a building material,” said SLB CEO Cees de Jager. 

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What is the relevance of LEED as more green rating systems emerge?

By Don Procter
Daily Commercial News
December 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Oleksandra Onisko

The number of green building rating systems on the market has increased over recent years but LEED remains the standard for sustainable best practice. That is according to Mercedes Byers and Oleksandra Onisko of Pratus Group, a full-service sustainability and energy management firm focusing on buildings. The Toronto-based company works extensively with LEED. Among its peers, LEED is “the most popular, most marketable…easily adapted, accessible and ever-evolving rating system,” Onisko told an audience at a Buildings Show seminar on the relevance of LEED going forward. However, as other green rating systems gain a foothold, more of the Pratus Group’s clients have been questioning LEED’s relevance. As a case in point, Ontario’s energy code “is fairly stringent” and incorporates sustainability measures. Isn’t that enough? Some developers are asking, Onisko said.

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Pinecone-shaped treehouse provides stunning 360-degree views of dense Redwood forest

By Nicole Jewell
inhabit
December 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Suspended 60 feet above ground in the majestic red wood forest of Bonny Doon, California, this stunning pinecone-shaped treehouse was carefully crafted to let guests reconnect with nature. Designed by builder Dustin Fieder of O2 Treehouse, the Pinecone, which is listed on Airbnb, is clad in multiple diamond-shaped panels carefully layered to create the unique shape. The all-transparent facade provides guests with stunning 360-degree views of the dense tree canopy. … Guests to the treehouse can access the gorgeous tiny treehouse via a 30 – 60 degree alternating step access ladder. However, the steepness and height of the ladder is not for the faint of heart and there is a harness and ascension safety system for those who would like to take the safer way up.

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Timber Innovation Act heads to president’s desk

By Jesse Major
Peninsula Daily News
December 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Maria Cantwell

PORT ANGELES — Legislation that aims to accelerate the research and development of wood for use in construction projects is heading to the president’s desk after the farm bill, which includes the Timber Innovation Act, passed through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The Timber Innovation Act, which U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., reintroduced in the Senate this year and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, helped introduce in the House, will help speed up research and development of wood products, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), in large scale building projects and is expected to boost the state’s growing CLT production. …“The Timber Innovation Act will create new jobs across rural Washington by fostering innovation. The building technologies promoted in our bill, like cross-laminated timber, will bring several wins to Washington, including faster construction of buildings, more eco-friendly buildings and new timber jobs,” Cantwell said in a statement.

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Sweden to build tree houses at Expo 2020 Dubai

By Oscar Rousseau
Construction Week Online
December 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Sweden Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will feature tree houses as part of a design to recreate the Nordic forests of Scandinavia in the desert. Designed by a team of architects from France, Italy, and Sweden, the pavilion will blend western and Islamic art styles by incorporating Swedish nature with Middle Eastern mashrabiyas [a type of projecting oriel window enclosed with carved wood latticework located on the second story of a building or higher]. Stockholm-based Alessandro Ripellino Architects, Studio Adrien Gardère, and Luigi Pardo Architetti are the companies behind the successful design. Hundreds of tree trunks will rise from the ground floor, giving visitors the impression they are walking through a forest. Some of these trunks will support raised offices and meeting rooms, making them look like three houses.

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Furniture firms eye up Mexico, Canada

Viet Nam News
December 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

HCM CITY — Mexico and Canada will be promising markets for Việt Nam’s wood and furniture products when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP) takes effect in early 2019, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Deputy Minister Trần Quốc Khánh said exports to Canada were worth over US$129 million last year and are expected to top $140 million this year. “The CPTPP will open opportunities for products such as wood flooring and bars to Canada because the market will immediately scrap the import tariff of 3.5 per cent when the agreement comes into effect. “Products such as plywood, picture frames, door frames and especially furniture will also have an opportunity because import tariffs of between 6 per cent and 9.5 per cent will be eliminated as soon as the agreement comes into effect.

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Innovative fabrics aiming to minimize microplastics

By Regina Henkel
Fashion United Magazine
December 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

It is suspected that synthetic fibres contribute in a critical way to polluting our environment with microplastics. Now fabric manufacturers have reacted to this problem and introduced a number of new solutions to the market. Solid and insoluble synthetic polymers – i.e. plastics – that are smaller than five millimeters are called microplastics. Though they are barely visible to the naked eye, they still threaten our environment. …Italian fabric manufacturer Pontetorto presented the world’s first fleece fabric with a roughened inside last year whose fibres are biodegradable, even in seawater. Thus, Biopile is the first fleece fabric whose fibre web does not secrete dangerous microplastics because it consists to 100 percent of the wood cellulose fibre Tencel by Austrian textile and cellulose fibre producer Lenzing Group. Tencel is biodegradable and decomposes in any environment in about 90 days without residue.

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Forestry

VIDEO: Where do We Stand group releases video in bid for re-examination of North Cowichan forest reserve logging

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
December 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A five-minute video showing the beauty of the six areas that make up North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve has been posted online.  Icel Dobell, a member of the Where do We Stand group that was formed to protect and preserve the reserve’s 5,000 hectares, was the director and writer of the film… She said she wanted … the public to see from a higher perspective, through drone footage, the extraordinary legacy of the municipal forests, a quarter of which she claims is planned to be clear cut in the next 12 years, and all of it within 50 years. “As soon as people find out that a quarter of our municipality is public forest, the first thing almost everyone says is, ‘I thought all the forests were owned by private forest companies’. Then they ask ‘Why are we clear cutting our own forests? How much money are we making?’

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HarvestTECHX: Register by Thursday December 20th to get Super Early Bird rates

HarvestTECHX
December 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver is the location for HarvestTECHX 2019, the third international forest harvesting technology conference, scheduled for March 12-13, 2019. Registrations are already pouring in as loggers and foresters get ready for the next phase of technology breakthroughs in their industry. With this popular event, we are keen to remind everyone to register by the 20th to get the best rates for your team. This event sold out in 2016. In the past 3 years, the leaders in forestry and logging from Canada, USA, New Zealand and Chile have been quick to take up new technologies for harvesting steep slopes. The automation of tasks previously done manually has helped improve both safety and productivity. Winch-assist machine technology was the key to extending the capacity of mechanised harvesters in steep forests. Now, a new set of remote operation technologies is set to be unleashed.

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New U of T proposal would see Faculty of Forestry join John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design

The University of Toronto News
December 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new proposal would see faculty, staff, and students from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry join the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design as of July 1. The academic restructuring proposal comes after a year and a half of extensive online and in-person consultations. …The Faculty of Forestry currently has five full-time faculty members and one contractually limited-term appointee as well as 122 graduate students. …The proposal also includes the addition of five new faculty positions in forestry-related fields to allow integration into the Daniels Faculty’s various program offerings. …“Combining the Daniels and forestry faculties will pave the way for more collaboration and interdisciplinary research,” says Robert Wright, the dean of forestry.”

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Only Good Management Can Prevent Forest Fires

By Tom McClintock, US Congressman, 4th Congressional District
Wall Street Journal
December 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Pundits and politicians have taken to calling …catastrophic wildfire “the new normal.” But California’s experience in the 21st century is neither new nor abnormal. It is, in fact, the old normal. The devastation unfolding today is how nature manages forests. …Nature deals with morbid overcrowding through drought, disease, pestilence and ultimately catastrophic wildfire. Scientists studying charcoal deposits in California estimate that prehistoric wildfires destroyed between 4.5 million and 11.9 million acres a year…. Our modern sensitivities reel at the devastation of the Camp Fire… Yet in 1910 the “Big Burn” in Idaho and Montana consumed three million acres, wiped out seven towns, and killed 87 among a far smaller and sparser population. …The environmental left blames climate change. Yet this doesn’t explain the dramatic difference between federal lands and private forests that practice scientific forest management. …Ironically, in the name of improving the environment, we have surrendered our forests to a policy of neglect…

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SCA to develop autonomous forestry machines

Lesprom Network
December 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International
SCA is participating in a comprehensive project to develop autonomous forestry machines. The goal is to make things easier for operators and ultimately to be able to control forwarders from an office, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The forest industry is now entering into the development of automated work tasks. With the Auto2 project, the forest industry wants to use the technology to develop autonomous forwarders – the machines that carry the harvested timber to the forest road. Auto2 will begin by focusing on the machines themselves, giving them the capability to plan their driving, move through the terrain and make sure that there is a safety zone around the machine so that no one is injured. …In the future, it may be possible to control machines from the cabin or the office.

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Trees are worth billions to Australia’s economy — but how we value them is changing

By Farz Edraki
ABC News Australia
December 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

How much is a tree worth? In economic terms, your answer depends on how you value them. Forestry exports contribute $3 billion to Australia’s economy; its manufacturing, sales and service income make up around $24 billion per year. Increasingly, agroforestry and carbon abatement initiatives also provide an economic benefit. …Forestry makes up less than 1 per cent of Australia’s economy, which is not an insubstantial figure at a regional level. And forest scientist Rowan Reid says the branches of the tree economy spread wider than you may think. …Peter Kanowski, a professor of forestry at the Australian National University, says we need to change the way we value trees to assess their full benefit. …he says a tree’s profitability is about more than the wood sales it generates; they deliver “a much wider range of ecosystem services”. This includes “carbon sequestration [and] water catchment values, depending on the tree’s biodiversity”.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Did Jerry Brown do enough on climate change?

By Jacques Leslie
The Los Angeles Times
December 17, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown, in the last term of his two-part, 16-year governorship, came close to redeeming his environmental faults. Brown deserves a salute for striving to get out the message that climate change is indeed, in his words, a global “existential crisis” and that we are living in the “new abnormal.” …In environmental justice, Brown’s record was undistinguished. …He has used wildfire effectively to proselytize for climate action, but his solution — more money for forest logging — isn’t what most California fire and forest ecology experts stress. In recent years, the state has suffered an array of environmental woes, to varying degrees climate-related: the catastrophic fires, drought, heat waves, encroaching sea levels, dwindling fish stocks, toxic air quality. Brown’s climate efforts have been profoundly important; it’s a measure of the breadth of the environmental crisis that they haven’t been nearly enough.

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COP24: Summit a step forward, but fails to address climate urgency

By Justin Catanoso
Mongabay.com
December 17, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

KATOWICE, Poland – COP24, the most important United Nations climate summit since Paris in 2015 produced “1,000 tiny steps forward” but not the robust global consensus on climate action that observers demanded in order to meet the urgency of the moment. …Of great concern, COP24 failed altogether to address the bioenergy issue: an IPCC carbon counting loophole that originated in the Kyoto Protocol, and was carried forward in the Paris Agreement. …Pleas for emissions-accounting reform by NGOs fell on deaf ears. …According to critics, the loophole threatens the emission-reduction goals of the Paris Agreement, making them difficult, if not impossible, to meet, while encouraging deforestation where we can least afford it – old-growth forests in Eastern Europe and tropical rainforests in South America. Both Brazil and Peru are already gearing up to meet Europe’s demand for wood pellets to be burned as fuel.

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Health & Safety

Health and safety year in review 2018

By Jeremy Warning
Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine
December 17, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

Jeremy Warning

This year saw significant developments in occupational health and safety law across Canada. …Employers must now deal with the myriad of issues accompanying the legalization of recreational cannabis. …In West Fraser Mills Ltd. v British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada found that a site owner could be penalized under British Columbia’s Workers Compensation Act. …The majority… concluded that the involved provision of the OHS Regulation was a reasonable exercise of the power conferred by the act. It found that an owners’ duties are not limited to those set out in the Workers Compensation Act as the involved provision of the OHS Regulation is a “natural extension” of the owner’s Workers Compensation Board duty to ensure compliance. The majority also held that West Fraser Mills was an “employer” for the act’s purposes. The upshot is that the penalty section of the act may be applied broadly.

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