Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for August 23 2019

Today’s Takeaway

California wildfire evacuations, Amazon fires and fake news

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 23, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Unfortunately our server went down minutes before we were to post the news with our summary blurb. Rather than delay the news further, we’re sending it without the blurb. Sorry for the inconvenience. At least it’s a light news day.

Hope you have a nice weekend.

Kelly

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Froggy Foibles

Wooden electric motorcycle is a dangerous beauty

By Kate Murphy
UK Motor1
August 22, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

This innovative electric motorcycle from French company Newron is among the first to break the traditional motorcycle design trend. The first thing you’ll notice is that quite a lot of it is made out of wood. That alone is a radical departure from typical motorcycle design, but one that will not catch on where there is any kind of weather. The second thing you’ll notice is that pillar of wood right at the front of the seat. Stop too hard and that thing will be all up in your business, and not in a good way.

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Business & Politics

Acadian Timber shares fall after Brookfield sells its 45% stake to Macer

Canadian Press in the Toronto Star
August 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Shares in Acadian Timber Corp. continued to drop in value two days after Brookfield Asset Management Inc. said it sold its 45 per cent stake in the timberland operator to privately held Macer Forest Holdings Inc. of Toronto. Brookfield announced after markets closed Tuesday it had sold the stake for $128 million or $17 per share. Since then, the shares have dropped by more than three per cent from Tuesday’s close of $17 to $16.41 by the end of trading Thursday. Vancouver-based Acadian announced that because of the sale, Benjamin Vaughan of Brookfield would step down as chairman and be replaced by Malcolm Cockwell, a Macer principal and managing director at Haliburton Forest who has been on the board since May 2018. …RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn says in a report the shakeup removes a known business entity in Brookfield but might be welcomed by investors…

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‘We want to stay’: Locals rally in Mackenzie, B.C., after mill closures

By Dominika Lirette, Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
August 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nearly 1,000 people marched at a rally in Mackenzie, B.C. to draw attention to the devastating effects the downturn in the forestry sector have had on the community.  … MacKenzie residents are worried that without government intervention, they could be forced to leave town as job losses continue. …Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests said he’s tried to secure funding from the federal government. However, he said he doesn’t think the government should intervene in stumpage prices. “Stumpage rates are at the very heart of one of the longest running trade disputes between Canada and the U.S.,” Donaldson said. He added B.C. Timber Sales, a government agency that manages some of the province’s allowable cut for Crown timber, has been working with Conifex to address some of the short-term fibre access issues and he hopes they will be resolved by the end of the month. 

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“Our logs, our jobs”

By Dave Branco
CKPG Today
August 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MACKENZIE – That was the chant as hundreds of Mackenzie residents took to the streets in a rally to express their concerns over the future of forestry in that community. In June, Canfor announced a six-week curtailment of operations, citing high log costs and adverse market conditions. Before the six weeks was up, that became an indefinite closure. Conifex followed suited suit shortly thereafter with curtailments of their own. Hundreds of jobs have been impacted. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson made a special trip to the community to meet with Mayor Joan Atkinson, local First Nations and unions today. In the short term, Donaldson says BC Timber Sales is working closely with Conifex to ensure that mill has enough timber to get up and running again by September 2, as scheduled.

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Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

By Karl Yu
The Ladysmith Chronicle
August 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Benefits for striking Western Forest Products workers on Vancouver Island could be disrupted at the beginning of September, according to the company and union. United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 employees have been behind picket lines since July 1 and the company has maintained benefit payments to striking workers, but Susan Dolinski, Western’s vice-president said that is contingent on payment from the union, which it isn’t receiving. “So we’ve… fronted the cost… for the last two months and while we awaited payment,,” said Dolinski. …Brian Butler, local president, disagrees… he believes the two sides are bound by a 1993 decision, passed by the union and industry trustees, stating that benefits will be maintained during a labour dispute and repaid on a graduated basis once employees are back at work. The company has claimed the provision has been cancelled, said Butler, but it hasn’t produced evidence suggesting that is the case.

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Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in the Sooke News Mirror
August 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson spoke to a forest industry rally in Mackenzie Thursday, where all three three sawmills are shut down and the pulp mill may soon have to follow. …That leaves the pulp mill, now owned by Paper Excellence, as the only operation still running, and it depends on sawmill waste. …Morris said there are 3,000 people still living in Mackenzie… and about a third of them came out to the rally. They didn’t have much to cheer about. Donaldson told the rally that he has met with players looking for solutions, and the provincial agency B.C. Timber Sales is in discussions with Conifex to provide enough timber to restart its sawmill in September. …He warned that while reducing provincial stumpage is often suggested, that’s an action sure to spark further trade actions from U.S. lumber producers. …Donaldson said he has called on the federal government.

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Missoula County to EPA: Keep focus, funding on pulp mill cleanup

By Laura Lundquist
KPAX Western Missoula News
August 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA — If the Environmental Protection Agency wants to cut back on projects, the Missoula Valley is not the place to do it. That was made clear to new EPA Region 8 Administrator Greg Sopkin as he and four other EPA employees sat down with Missoula County commissioners, citizen advisory group members and conservationists to discuss work on the Smurfit Stone millsite cleanup plan Wednesday afternoon. Commissioner Josh Slotnick told Sopkin that the once-polluted Clark Fork River now adds to Missoula’s appeal and attracts many people and businesses to the area. …After emphasizing that the Smurfit site was still in the early stages of the Superfund process, Sopkin said the EPA team would figure out what to do once the environmental assessment and a feasibility study were complete.

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Finance & Economics

Low OSB prices and downtime in North America hit Norbord group profits

Timber Trades Journal
August 22, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Global panel producer Norbord Inc has reported adjusted EBITDA of US$36m in the second quarter of 2019 compared to US$42m in the first quarter of 2019 and US$273m in the second quarter of 2018. The decrease versus both comparative periods was primarily due to lower North American OSB prices. …European operations delivered adjusted EBITDA of US$21m, unchanged versus both the prior quarter and same quarter last year.

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Wood Industry Outlook Hit by Low Lumber Prices, Soft Housing

By Shrabana Mukherjee
Nasdaq
August 22, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Dismal Prospects. …Volatility in lumber price has been a major concern. …The industry’s prospects are highly correlated with the U.S. housing market condition. Any untoward situation influencing the construction and housing sectors will impact the industry participants’ financials. …Nonetheless, the operating backdrop is improving for the U.S. homebuilding space courtesy of declining mortgage rates and moderating home prices.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. wood: a growing part of the neighbourhood

By Patricia Williams
The Journal of Commerce
August 23, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Showcasing the beauty of wood, BC forest products from sustainably managed forests are being used to help make these important facilities feel warm and inviting, enhancing well-being. Scott Groves oversees the design, construction and operation of all civic facilities in Surrey, B.C. …Surrey adopted a Wood First Policy in 2010 that recognizes wood’s social, environmental and economic benefits, and makes it the material of choice for public buildings. Many other communities are also using B.C. forest products in their recreational facilities. …The West Vancouver Aquatic Centre features custom-designed glulam mullions. …In Vancouver, adjacent to the Pacific Spirit Regional Park, the Wesbrook Community Centre fits in naturally with its surroundings. …The beauty of B.C. wood was showcased to the world at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games. …These projects and others are featured in a newly released book, Naturally Wood.

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EPA Publishes Final Formaldehyde Rule

The Decorative Hardwood’s Association
August 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The EPA TSCA Title VI final rule for formaldehyde emissions for composite wood products has been published in the Federal Register and is now official. The rule was changed to address technical issues raised by stakeholders – including those raised by HPVA Laboratories® (soon to be Capital Testing). The changes mean that EPA TSCA Title VI now aligns better with CARB requirements and will help streamline compliance programs. Composite wood products must still meet emission standards, be tested and certified, and sold with a label stating that they are TSCA Title VI certified. Finished goods containing composite wood products must still be sold with a label stating that they are TSCA Title VI compliant.

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Construction continues on Spokane’s largest energy saving building

By Shayna Waltower
KREM2
August 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. — When complete, the Catalyst building in Spokane’s U-District will be the city’s first zero energy and zero carbon facility. The $64 million, 159,000 square foot building… was intended to be a model for future structures in the area, said Gabe Boeckman, for the McKinstry construction company. …One of the most significant features of the Catalyst building is its net-zero energy supply. …Any excess energy will go to Avista for use in the company’s power grid. Construction crews are in the process of putting up walls. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) will reinforce the building. …He said the building will be the first office building in Washington and one of the largest buildings in the world to use CLT for reinforcement. The Catalyst building will bring in about 1,000 Eastern Washington University students to work with professionals from Avista and other companies.

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Fire Sparks Concerns Over Timber Use in Construction

Roofing Today
August 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A RECENT fire in Barking, that engulfed 20 flats with wooden balconies, has put timber under the spotlight with questions being raised on how to minimise the risk of fire during the construction process. Here, Jeremy English, UK Sales Director of Södra Wood, offers some advice. Timber is becoming increasingly popular as a construction material and not just for external structures like the balconies highlighted at Barking. As with any building material, it’s all about understanding what you are working with. Why is timber use growing in popularity? Durable and versatile… Low carbon footprint… Predictable charring rates… Mitigating fire risks during construction.

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Forestry

How does the Peace fit?

By Evan Saugstad, former mayor of Chetwynd
The Prince George Citizen
August 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Evan Saugstad

I keep wondering what our good government’s final verdict will be for what I call their caribou caper. After reading Vaughn Palmer’s Aug. 2 Vancouver Sun opinion piece, I thought I should say my two-bits, once again. Will Premier John Horgan, Environment Minister George Heyman, and the unofficial leader on the further left, Andrew Weaver, really be so crass to say they have consulted with the good people of Northeast B.C. and are moving forward with their Section 11 Agreement with West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations, as it was originally written? Is that how they believe consultation is conducted in the new world of “deep” consultation, as prescribed in their new environmental assessment process? And then I think, hell yes, why would they do anything else but sign it, and then tell us to butt out? …Think about it. We embody most everything they abhor.

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Government of Canada supports Government of Yukon and First Nations in protecting nature in Peel watershed

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Government of Canada
August 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

MAYO, YT—Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, joined the Government of Yukon and First Nations partners to support the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan, which creates new protected and conserved areas to safeguard the watershed and the wildlife that call it home. These new protected areas will also help Canada double the amount of nature it is protecting in our lands and oceans. The Peel Plan is an agreement between the Government of Yukon and the First Nations of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vuntut Gwitchin, and Gwich’in Tribal Council and is supported through the Canada Nature Fund Target 1 Challenge. By working together, more than 3.8 million hectares of our nature will be protected in the Yukon—an area the size of Switzerland. Management plans will also be developed through this partnership, which will include monitoring and recreational management of the area.

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‘Too Many Trees’: Forest Service Re-Ups Efforts To Find Contractors

By Lauren Gilger
KJZZ 91.5
August 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service is offering up one of the largest Requests for Proposals in the history of the agency in an attempt to make real progress on the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. The massive project seeks to thin and restore 1 million acres of national forest lands in Arizona so they can be less susceptible to the kinds of catastrophic wildfires seen so often today.  The project, however, hasn’t gotten very far. Both of Arizona’s senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally, have criticized the Forest Service’s progress on the far-reaching initiative in recent months. In the first phase of the project, Sinema said the Forest Services issued an RFP for thinning on 300,000 acres of Arizona forests but only about 12,000 acres have actually been thinned. Now, officials are hoping the new RFP will spark a refresh in the market.

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Melbourne loses 15bn litres of water annually from logging catchment, study finds

By Adam Morton
The Guardian
August 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Logging is causing Melbourne’s main catchment area to miss out on about 15bn litres of water each year, equivalent to the amount used by 250,000 people, a peer-reviewed study has found. If logging in Victoria’s Thomson catchment continues as planned, that number would increase to 600,000 Melburnians by 2060, according to the research from the Australian National University. The researchers said logging in the catchment made little economic sense given the water lost was worth far more than the timber, most of which is used to make paper. …David Lindenmayer, an ecologist and the paper’s co-author, said nearly 15,000 megalitres of water was being lost annually due to logging in the Thomson catchment. Melburnians on average use 161 litres each a day.

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Merkel backs Macron’s call for G7 talks on Amazon fires

By Tom Phillips
The Guardian
August 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Angela Merkel has backed Emmanuel Macron’s call to put the fires in the Amazon on the agenda at this weekend’s G7 summit, after the French president said the situation amounted to an international crisis. …“When the G7 comes together this weekend, then the chancellor is convinced that this acute emergency in the Amazon rainforest belongs on the agenda.” Macron’s intervention had prompted a furious response from his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro. “I regret that President Macron seeks to take advantage of what is a domestic Brazilian issue and of other Amazonian countries for personal political gain”. In a second tweet, he said: “The French president’s suggestion that Amazonian matters be discussed at the G7 without the involvement of countries of the region recalls the colonialist mindset that is unacceptable in the 21st century.”

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Indonesian walking 700 kilometers backward to save forests

By Fadlan Syam and Niniek Karmini
Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BEKASI, Indonesia — An Indonesian man is walking more than 700 kilometers (430 miles) backward from his village in eastern Java to the country’s capital to raise awareness about deforestation. Medi Bastoni began his arduous expedition on July 18 from his home on the slope of Mount Wilis, a dormant volcano in East Java province that has been affected by deforestation. The 43-year-old is expected to arrive in the capital, Jakarta, on Friday. He hopes to meet President Joko Widodo, and ask him to re-plant trees on Mount Wilis and elsewhere. “I’m doing this to raise people’s awareness of deforestation,” Bastoni said when he reached Jakarta’s satellite city of Bekasi, about 22 kilometers (13 miles) east of the capital. “I need the president’s support to help reforestation efforts, hand-in-hand with other communities.”

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Forest Fires

Fast-moving wildfire erupts in California, forcing thousands to evacuate

The Guardian
August 23, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A fast-moving wildfire that broke out on Thursday in northern California has forced the evacuation of nearly 4,000 residents, racing across at least 600 acres within just a few hours, officials say. The Mountain fire, which erupted on the outskirts of a national forest in northern California, has threatened 1,110 homes and structures. As of Thursday evening the fire was 0% contained and officials in Shasta county described the situation as “very fluid”. …“Jones Valley and Bella Vista area residents! This situation is very fluid and rapidly changing, if you do not see your road listed but feel you are in danger YOU MAY EVACUATE to Shasta College Gymnasium,” the sheriff’s department said in a separate tweet.

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As forest fires rage, experts worry about the future of the Amazon

By Nicole Mortillaro
CBC News
August 22, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

As of Thursday, there are more than 165,000 fires burning in the Amazon rainforest — and a significant number of them, more than 75,000, are burning in Brazil. …And it is in crisis, experts say. And what’s making it worse, say some, are some of the economic and environmental policies put in place by the Brazilian government under the leadership of President Jair Bolsonaro… While some of the fires are naturally occurring, Amnesty International has also documented a number of arson attacks, allegedly by illegal loggers, miners and cattle ranchers, in Indigenous territories in the Amazon this year, including in Rondonia state, said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty’s secretary general. …On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to call the Amazon fires an “international crisis” that should be discussed by the G7 summit that will begin on Saturday in Biarritz, France. …Bolsonaro responded angrily to what he regarded as meddling.

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Amazon rainforest fires called a ‘very serious threat’ but misinformation is going viral

CBC News
August 23, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

The wildfires burning in the Amazon rainforest have prompted a public outcry on social media, with many accusing news organizations of either ignoring the crisis or being slow to report on it. …a number of photos have gone viral, purportedly depicting the devastation wrought in the area. But how accurate are those pictures, and just how bad is the situation? CBC News answers those questions. …But news outlets have found that some of these photos are of different fires at different time periods from different geographic locations. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio reposted a picture on his Instagram, with more than three million likes, but CNN reported that it found the same picture on a website published in 2018. As for four photos shared by actor David  Licauco, none are of the current fires, CNN reported.  Instead, it discovered that one is of a 2018 wildfire in Sweden and another was from Montana in 2000.

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