Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for February 22 2019

Today’s Takeaway

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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Business & Politics

Canfor Reports Results for 2018 and Fourth Quarter of 2018

By Canfor Corporation
Cision Newswire
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corporation today reported 2018 and fourth quarter of 2018 results …with reported operating income of $608.6 million, the highest operating earnings in over 10 years, and up $51.2 million, or 9%, from 2017. …For the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company reported an operating loss of $79.1 million, down $280.9 million from reported operating income of $201.8 million for the third quarter of 2018, with the decline in earnings reflecting lower operating income for both the lumber and pulp and paper segments. …Adjusted lumber segment results reflected substantially lower Western SPF and Southern Yellow Pine benchmark lumber prices, lower production and shipments, particularly in BC, and significantly higher unit log costs in Western Canada …Reflecting weaker demand from China, global softwood pulp market demand was down in the fourth quarter of 2018.

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BC’s Top Employers: Winner’s List

Vancouver Sun
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The following organizations are among those chosen as BC’s Top Employers for 2019: Canfor Corporation, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, Interfor Corporation, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.

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Hillcore closes on the acquisition of Lakeside Pacific Forest Products Ltd

By Hillcore Group
Cision Newswire
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Hillcore Group is pleased to announce that it has recently completed the acquisition of Lakeside Pacific Forest Products Ltd.  This is part of Hillcore’s forestry investment strategy that includes the consolidation of fiber supply and the creation of added value opportunities and vertical integration. Lakeside is a forestry company with extensive operations in B.C. with significant annual allowance cut.  Lakeside has adhered to and is aligned with Hillcore’s policy of the strictest forest practices and is a leader in sustainable fibre practices. Hillcore’s Forestry Group now controls significant allowable annual cut and with its current platform is on target to harvest 1.5 million cubic meters by the end of 2021. Allen Soltis, who leads the Forestry Group, said, “we are excited to add such a forestry jewel as Lakeside to our management portfolio.”

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Canfor Pulp Products Inc. Announces 2018 and Fourth Quarter of 2018 Results and Quarterly Dividend

By Canfor Pulp Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Pulp had an exceptionally strong year in 2018, reporting record-high operating income of $246.6 million, net income of $2.83 per share and a return on invested capital of 37%. For the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company reported operating income of $15.6 million, a decrease of $44.9 million from $60.5 million reported for the third quarter of 2018.  Results for the current quarter reflected repairs to one of the Company’s Northwood Pulp Mill (“Northwood”) recovery boilers, and operational disruptions resulting from a third-party natural gas explosion in Prince George early in the quarter, combined with their respective effects on production volumes, shipments and manufacturing costs. 

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United Steelworkers Union and Canfor come to terms on tentative contract

By Brenden Pawliw
My Prince George Now
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Just days after coming to terms with Conifer, the United Steelworkers Union hammered out a tentative agreement with its three Canfor Independents in Prince George, Vanderhoof, and Chetwynd. The deal was reached on Monday between both parties, affecting the Plateau and Polar facilities at Canfor. Local 1-2017 Union President Brian O’Rourke told MY PG Now it was important to get a deal done. …The final step now is the ratification process. “We’re looking at somewhere between two to three weeks so all the information is distributed to the members, they have a chance to view it and ratify the agreement.” The deal comes within a week of the Steel Workers union hammering a tentative deal with Conifer affecting over 2-thousand forestry workers in the Cariboo, Prince George, Houston, Burns Lake, Fort St. James and Mackenzie.

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Northern Pulp says it “cares” – but for whom and for what?

By Joan Baxter, author of The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest
Halifax Examiner
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

“We care,” says Northern Pulp on the website it has created to spread the word that it “cares about forestry families of Nova Scotia.” The site is a vehicle for the company’s letter-writing campaign to get people in the forestry sector to contact Premier Stephen McNeil, their MLA, MP, or even Canadian Senators to ask for an extension to the legislated deadline of January 31, 2020 for the closure of Boat Harbour as a stabilizing lagoon for effluent from the Northern Pulp / Paper Excellence mill in Pictou County. …The Northern Pulp “cares” website is just part of the company’s intensive PR and lobbying campaign, which also means rallying its supporters in UNIFOR to get the pro-mill message out in advertisements on the airwaves and social media.

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CBC’s Information Morning visits Pictou to talk Northern Pulp’s future

CBC News
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

CBC Radio’s Information Morning was in Pictou, N.S., on Thursday for a live show dedicated to the future of Northern Pulp. The mill is facing a legislated deadline of January 2020 to close its Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility, but has indicated it needs a one-year extension to get a replacement plant up and running. It cannot operate without a treatment facility. The company’s controversial proposal includes treating effluent at a new facility on site and piping the waste into the Northumberland Strait. That proposal, which is undergoing an environmental assessment, has divided many locals and raised questions about the environmental and economic implications if the mill is forced to shut down. [Click Read More to listen to the broadcast]

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Mill chatter stirs town

By Carl Clutchey
The Chronicle Journal
February 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products would not confirm Thursday what many in Fort Frances are hoping to be true: that negotiations are underway between the company and a potential U.S. purchaser for the town’s dormant mill. “We don’t negotiate in public or through the media,” said Montreal-based Resolute spokesman Seth Kursman. Though Resolute won’t confirm it, town officials and locals believe that preliminary talks regarding the Fort Frances mill have begun between Resolute and Repap. The Resolute-owned pulp mill has been closed for more than five years, but Repap is believed to have a plan to resurrect it by manufacturing specialty paper bags — if it can get access to wood from the mill’s traditional source, the Crown Crossroute forest. 

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford talks tariffs, trade during trip to Washington

By Shawn Jeffords
The Canadian Press in the National Post
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Doug Ford

Ontario’s premier told an audience in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the American government hurt the U.S. more than Canada. Doug Ford made the comments during an fireside chat with Kelly Craft, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, at an event organized by the Canadian American Business Council. …Ford’s three-day trip to the U.S. capital is a joint mission with the premiers of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said he would be pushing for tariffs on softwood lumber produced in his province to be dropped. …“I don’t think people understand well the tremendous interconnections we have in the forestry business in New Brunswick and Maine.”

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NAWLA is pleased to present the 2019 Mulrooney Award to the late Jack McKinnon

North American Wholesale Lumber Association
February 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Jack McKinnon

Jack’s leadership and vision with the founding of Forest City Trading Group (FCTG) were transformational in the growth of our industry. He saw opportunity that others did not, and took risks others were not yet willing to take. The concept of wholesaling was significantly expanded by the companies comprising FCTG. “Jack, most notably was an innovator, and was charismatic. Those qualities are not frequently found in the same individual. I don’t know where the industry would be today if Jack had lived another 20 years,” said Lorin Rydstrom, FCTG board of directors member and longtime friend of Jack McKinnon’s. “I suspect if he had, the industry would be more efficient and effective than it is today because that’s what Jack wanted to get done.”

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Another possible win for mass timber

By TJ Martinell
The Lens News
February 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Now that the Washington State Building Code Council and International Code Council (ICC) have incorporated advances in cross-laminated timber (CLT) technology, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are proposing to add the mass timber to a special business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for timber manufacturers. Introduced by Sen. Marko Liias, SB 5467 would reduce the B&O tax for CLT manufacturers from the regular rate of .484 percent to .2904 percent, which was created for timber producers a decade ago. Its companion bill is HB 1443, introduced by Deputy Majority Whip Mike Chapman. That bill cleared the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources on Feb. 13 after a public hearing, and it has been referred to Finance.

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Save on tax and save the planet: put some money in forestry

By David Prosser
MoneyWeek
February 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

UK — You can’t expect to find a magic money tree, but if you are a wealthier investor, then adding a forest to your portfolio could boost your returns. In turbulent political and economic times, many investors are attracted to physical, tangible assets. …But while most of us probably have some exposure to property… there’s one “real” asset you perhaps haven’t considered – forestry. … But if you are looking to diversify your portfolio and plan to invest for the long run, it’s an asset class that you shouldn’t ignore. …Woodland covers around 13% of the UK, according to government statistics – the best part of 3.2 million hectares. …What makes forestry particularly interesting though is that it tends to move in a different way from other assets.

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Victorian timber workers face uncertainty as plan for industry’s access to native forests delayed

By Stephanie Anderson and Richard Willingham
ABC News, Australia
February 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Timber workers and businesses are sweating on their future, with the Victorian Government delaying the release of plans for industry to access native timber reserves for logging. The timber release plan is a key strategy that dictates where native timber can be logged by the state-owned VicForests. VicForests told the ABC it had been directed not to proceed with a new timber release plan “until further policy work has been completed”. Under questioning in state parliament about the delayed release of the plan, Premier Daniel Andrews said he would seek an update on its progress from officials. Access to native timber has become increasingly difficult in recent years, with mills forced to receive less supply due to a range of factors, including long-term sustainability of forests, bushfire and native fauna protection.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

A Field Guide to Boxy, Stumpy Apartment Buildings

By Justin Fox
Bloomberg
February 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The U.S. is in the midst of (and may be just passing the peak of) a record-setting large-apartment-building construction boom. …It is only housing units in buildings of 50 units or more that have been going up faster than ever. …These buildings tend to come in a particular shape: wide, and three to seven stories high. I noticed this when I drove across the country last September and wondered what was up with the boxy-looking new apartment buildings in pretty much every city I visited… The most important common characteristic of these “stumpies”, it turns out, is hidden under their skin — in the form of the lightweight wood frame… The simplest and cheapest kind is the all-wood-frame building of three or four stories. …The defining structure of the wood-framed mid-rise boom is what’s called the podium building. … it consists of several wood-framed stories over a podium of concrete. 

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Freres Lumber named to annual list of most innovative companies

Capital Press
February 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LYONS, Ore.  — Freres Lumber Co. has been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019, ranking as the fifth on the Most Innovative Company List in the Urban Development/Real Estate category. …“We are honored to receive this prestigious award and to be recognized for the innovation and application of our invention of Mass Plywood Panel (MPP),” said Rob Freres, president of Freres Lumber. Freres Lumber’s MPP brings new innovation to the mass timber market, and was recently acknowledged for its revolutionary product with the awards of two new patents in the U.S. and Canada. MPP is the first and only mass timber panel constructed entirely out of Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) worldwide, which means it uses approximately 20 percent less wood, costs less, and is as strong as and lighter weight than competing products.

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Climate change report has far-reaching implications for new homes

By Jules Burch
Inside Housing UK
February 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Remember when England was going to lead the world on zero carbon homes? Three years after that was meant to happen, a report published today by the government’s independent advisor on climate change reveals that we are instead going backwards. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warns that “UK homes are not fit for the future”, with progress stalled on reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to adapt the housing stock falling far behind the risks posed by higher temperatures, flooding and water scarcity. …It warns that “there is a risk that the government’s intended ban on combustible materials will affect the uptake of wood in construction (both engineered wood and timber frame homes), with some anecdotal evidence that this is taking place. Clarity from government on the role and fire safety of wood in construction is needed”.

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Wood Technology Society to stage second conference

The Timber Trade Journal
February 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

UNITED KINGDOM — Following the success of last year’s conference, the Wood Technology Society is pleased to announce Timber 2019. The July 3-4 event will bring together wood scientists, wood technologists, and businesses from all areas of the timber industry. The primary aim is to showcase the latest developments in timber research in the UK, and to prompt discussion of new products, processes and concepts and their potential within the UK. This conference will span all topics related to timber – from the largest structures to the smallest models of the influence of ultrastructure on performance. …Topics will range from preservation to panel products; modified wood to engineered lumber.

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Forestry

Still no dates confirmed for caribou recovery consultations

The Alaska Highway News
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Early February has come and gone, and the launch of public engagement on caribou recovery plans in the B.C. Peace has yet to be confirmed. The talks were expected to begin early this month, after Peace River politicians pressed Environment Minister George Heyman and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson for a commitment at the BC Natural Resource Forum in Prince George last month. However, details and logistics have yet to be confirmed, according to the province. …The ongoing delay is frustrating local leaders, who say residents are being kept in limbo. Northern B.C. Liberal MLAs raised their concerns in the legislature this week about closed-door meetings and limited local engagement.

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Sierra Club joins Elphinstone Logging Focus campaign to save ‘oldest trees in Canada’

By John Gleeson
Sunshine Coast Reporter
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sierra Club BC has joined Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) in its campaign to save a cutblock in the Dakota Valley that they say is home to “the oldest living trees in Canada.” The BC Timber Sales (BCTS) cutblock, located 9.5 kilometres from Roberts Creek on Mount Elphinstone, is scheduled for auction in spring 2020. The two groups are calling on the provincial government to direct BCTS to cancel the sale, since the area contains stands of centuries-old cedars. …BCTS, however, says the cutblock’s legacy trees – described as trees that are “exceptionally large and old” – already have a protected status. “For Timber Sale Licence A87126, legacy trees are protected as per BCTS’s best management practices for legacy trees,” the provincial agency said Thursday in an email to Coast Reporter. “BCTS staff also worked collaboratively with the Squamish First Nation to exclude trees from harvest plans that were of cultural interest to the Squamish Nation.”

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Okanagan hopes $111M in B.C. wildfire cash will extinguish fires this summer

By Barry Gerding
Penticton Western News
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Okanagan officials are expected to welcome a provincial government funding commitment of $111 million over the next three years to support wildfire mitigation and prevention efforts. Finance Minister Carole James revealed that spending priority in her 2019-20 budget presentation Tuesday in the Victoria. Bruce Smith, spokesman for the Regional District of Central Okanagan, said fuel modification efforts have been carried out by valley civic governments and the regional district over the past decade. …Sonja Zoeller, communication manager for the ministry of finance, indicated the new fire suppression money will be targeted at direct fire control, communication and community engagement during wildfire season. …As well, a further $13 million has been budgeted to address forest restoration in areas damaged by disease and wildfires.

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Douglas fir beetles targeted on Pablo Mountain

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Helicopters will be used to minimize the spread of Douglas fir beetles on Pablo Mountain, starting as early as Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The project is an expansion of helicopter logging operations that have been underway in the Williams Lake area this winter. Pablo Mountain is about 10 kilometres south of Williams Lake. Douglas fir beetle populations are higher than normal in some parts of the Cariboo, but helicopter logging (used to selectively remove infested trees and protect other trees nearby) and related containment treatments have helped slow the spread of the beetles around Williams Lake. The forest pests normally attack small groups of trees and a significant infestation can weaken and eventually kill a tree over a period of about one year.

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“Boots on the ground” North Thompson Forester recognized for passion and dedication to the industry

BC Local News
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carman Smith, RPF (Ret), of Barriere was presented with the Distinguished Forest Professional award by the Association of BC Forest Professionals at its annual forestry conference in Kamloops on Feb. 7. Carman’s contributions to the betterment of forestry started with his graduation from the Faculty of Forestry at UBC in 1960 and continued to his retirement as Woodlands Manager for Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd. in 2006. During his career in the industry, Carman has operated with passion for the challenging Cedar-Hemlock stands of the Interior, and his contributions to policy development and Land Use Planning in the Kamloops TSA including Mountain Caribou Recovery Planning. …Carman is an innovator who is never afraid to work new technological advancements into his everyday practices, and “can’t” is not a part of his vocabulary.

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Twelve years in, foundation works Usal Forest a stream at a time

By Kalob Chauvin-Payne
The Mendocino Beacon
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In 2007 The Redwood Forest Foundation Inc. bought almost 50,000 acres in one of the steepest and most remote parts of California. …The Usal Forest was also logged heavily during the 20th century, leaving it with streams plagued by eroding hillsides and old growth redwood and Douglas fir groves changed to thicket-like, tanoak-heavy third growth stands. Mark Welther, President and CEO of RFFI, said the group was founded in 1997. …The original mission was to acquire large tracts of land that had been heavily logged over during the industrial timber years and bring it into community control”. …RFFI’s restoration projects focus on three parts: decommissioning failing logging roads, removing Humboldt crossings, and placing large wood structures, boulders and other features in and around streams to make them more hospitable to breeding salmon.

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Surprising findings on forest fires

By Arne Kappenberg et al
Science Daily
February 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TURKEY — Lake Van in eastern Turkey is considered a unique climate archive. Several years ago, an international team of scientists led by the University of Bonn raised sediments from the bottom of the lake reflecting the past 600,000 years. An interdisciplinary group of soil scientists and paleobotanists from the University of Bonn has now evaluated the drill cores for residues of early fires — with surprising findings. The fires did not mainly occur during particularly dry periods as assumed, but in comparatively humid and warm periods — because then the forests grew particularly lush and provided fuel for fires. The results are now published in the journal “Quaternary Science Reviews.” …The study was carried out in the Collaborative Research Center SFB 806 “Our Way to Europe” of the Universities of Cologne and Bonn and the RWTH Aachen.

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Health & Safety

Cancer predictors, tumor formations found in tree DNA

By Shannon Smith
WBIR.com
February 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Inside small poplar tree samples at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is what scientists believe could predict if someone will get cancer. Geneticists at ORNL started looking at poplar trees as a way to create better renewable resources. That species was chosen because the trees grow so fast. Along the way, they saw that the tree’s DNA responsible for forming growths was identical to the genes in humans that form cancerous tumors. “We found that those basic instructions that tell a cell how to behave in specific stages are exactly the same in the plant cell and the human cell,” said lead geneticist Wellington Muchero. When cells start acting out of order, tumors grow. That’s great for the poplar tree, but not so great for humans. The similarities between the two species genetically are nearly identical.

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