The Tree Frog News
Introducing the board of the new BC Parks Foundation
By The Ministry of Environment
An iconic wildlife painter, an internationally recognized leader in the renewable energy industry and a recipient of the Order of British Columbia known for her advocacy work with Aboriginal peoples are among the board members of the new BC Parks Foundation. The 10 members of the BC Parks Foundation board are: Karla Rockwell (board chair), Robert Bateman, Ross Beaty, Ric Careless, Les Doiron, Daniel Johnston, Eric Peterson, Sophie Pierre, Jim Standen. The BC Parks Foundation will help generate private revenue, to be spent on promoting and enhancing the experience in BC Parks.
Exemption granted to cut trees in forest above Nelson to reduce beetle, wildfire risk
By Timothy Schafer
A project to help lower the Douglas fir bark beetle population in the forest above Nelson and reduce the wildfire risk potential has given a local lumber company an exemption to cut trees in an otherwise restricted area. Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd has had a retention visual quality objective granted to it by the province for polygon 158 — directly above and to the southeast of Nelson — to allow the falling of Douglas fir trees through a Douglas fir bark beetle trap tree program, said Kalesnikoff spokesperson Tyler Hodgkinson. "The exemption was granted as a Douglas fir bark beetle infestation has been identified and Kalesnikoff requires this to carry out a trap tree program to control the beetle population with hopes to lower the population," he said. The hillside above Nelson is primarily Douglas fir, Hodgkinson noted, so if the beetle was left unchecked more of the trees could become infested and die.
Campbell River Aboriginal students to get trades training at VIU
By Mike Davies
A group of 10 Aboriginal students from the Campbell River area will soon be getting a unique educational opportunity thanks to a new partnership between Nanwakolas Council and Vancouver Island University (VIU). The participants in the partnership will complete a five-week "Road Builder Foundation" course at VIU to give them an introduction to the skills required in the road building and forestry machinery sector. The course will provide them an overview of the industry including safe work practices, environmental requirements, introduce them to the tools and equipment used in the industry and the principles of civil engineering. Additionally, completion of the program will satisfy the Industry Training Authority's prerequisite for entry into their Heavy Equipment Operator Technician Apprenticeship program.
Merritt mayor wants local lumber to remain in the Nicola Valley
By Michael Potestio
Merritt’s mayor doesn’t want to see local lumber leaving the community. “[That timber is] ours and we feel very strongly that it should be staying here,” mayor Neil Mendard told Minister of Forests Lands and Natural Resources Steve Thomson when the two met at city hall last week. Menard, chief administrative officer Shawn Boven and councillors Linda Brown, Diana Norgaard and, via phone, Coun. Dave Baker spoke to minister Thomson, his deputy minister Rick Manwaring and Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. At issue was the timber that’s leaving the Nicola Valley as a result of Tolko closing its Merritt mill last December, and moving the logs to be processed at its other operations. “We’ve kind of been through the hoops in this area in the last few years, and we want to do everything we can to hang on to the timber that belongs in our particular area,” Menard told Thomson.
Cougar discovery 'exciting,' but unlikely to impact forest management in Ontario, says biologist
The discovery of the body of a cougar in northwestern Ontario is significant, but don't expect it to spark big changes in how northwestern Ontario's forests are managed, says a wildlife biologist in Thunder Bay, Ont. The finding was "quite exciting to hear about," said Ted Armstrong, adding that if it's verified as wild, he believes it will be the first confirmed specimen of the animal in the province. But although cougars are listed as endangered in Ontario, Armstrong said he's doubtful that the discovery will lead to any direct implications for forest management. For that, Armstrong said there would likely need to be a better understanding of the cougar population, and where they live, which would be hard evidence to gather given how seldom the creatures are spotted.
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Oregon Treasurer Backs Away From Move To Privatize Elliott State Forest
By Jeff Maples
The 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest in southwestern Oregon may be staying in public hands after all. Treasurer Tobias Read — who cast a crucial vote last month to proceed with the sale — announced Tuesday that he sees a “path forward” for keeping the forest in public hands. Read said in an interview that it is too early to proclaim certainty that the forest would remain public, but he added, “I would not be making this statement if I did not think that I had a reasonable degree of confidence that this is achievable.” The newly elected state treasurer, a Democrat, shocked Gov. Kate Brown last month when he joined forces with Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson to move forward with the sale of the forest.
Company & Business News
James A. Pattison Acquires 500,000 Shares of Canfor Co. Stock
By Don March
Canfor Co. insider James A. Pattison bought 500,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of C$17.41 per share, with a total value of C$8,705,000.00. Shares of Canfor Co. opened at 17.80 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $2.36 billion and a P/E ratio of 15.67. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $17.40 and a 200 day moving average price of $15.34. Canfor Co. has a 12-month low of $11.96 and a 12-month high of $18.52.
Johns: 2017 federal budget ‘falls short’
By Elena Rardon
Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns is not satisfied with the Liberals’ 2017 federal budget. The Canadian federal government announced its official 2017 federal budget on Wednesday, March 22, and Johns was most critical of what seemed to be missing. “There’s no new money to support the forestry industry,” he said. “We know the forest sector is going through some very difficult times right now, and they failed to provide some support.” For the west coast, where mill layoffs have become more and more frequent, Johns said this is a concern. “It’s a huge opportunity and a missed opportunity to build full time jobs, especially with recent closures of mills,” he said. “In light of what’s happening in the local economy, this is very important.
Steelworkers Launch B.C. Election Campaign
By The United Steelworkers
BURNABY, BC - The United Steelworkers (USW) is launching a campaign to raise issues important to working families during the coming British Columbia election and elect a government that will make decisions that are in the best interests of our province – not the people who make big political donations. ..."We've lost over 35,000 forestry jobs and log exports are at a record high. We've seen temporary foreign workers hired over British Columbians in mining and we've seen the health and safety of workers tossed aside so Christy Clark's financial supporters can make more money. It's time for working people to stand together and elect a government on their side," Hunt says. Hunt says John Horgan and the BC NDP are focusing on the things that matter to everyone – not just the people who give big political donations.
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Good Earth proposing wood plant south of Grand Canyon
By Wendy Howell
Coconino County Planning and Zoning is planning a public hearing March 29 regarding a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) request for a 40-acre wood processing facility south of the Grand Canyon near Valle. Kevin Ordean of Roots Composting and Good Earth Power Soils, Ltd. has requested the TUP to process wood chips and wood poles associated with the Four Forest Restoration Initiative with the U.S. Forest Service. Ordean entered a strategic partnership with GEPAZ in 2015 to produce a line of enriched soil products to be sold and distributed throughout the Southwest. Flagstaff-based Roots became part of Good Earth Power Soils, Ltd., the soils and bagged goods division of GEPAZ. A press release in 2015 stated Roots Composting planned to expand the composting operation to a 37-acre site in Williams, where GEPAZ planned to build a mill and processing facility.
Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
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Trump to sign executive order that will unravel much of Obama’s plan to curb global warming
By Matthew Daly and Jill Colvin
Moving forward with a campaign pledge to unravel former President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to curb global warming, President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday that will suspend, rescind or flag for review more than a half-dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels. As part of the roll-back, Trump will initiate a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation, which was the former president’s signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas.
Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
U.S. plywood makers file petition to curtail “surge” of Chinese imports
By Powell Slaughter
WASHINGTON – The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood has filed "critical circumstances" petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce to stop what it said is a recent surge of Chinese hardwood plywood imports into the United States. The move is in response to what the coalition called "an illegal attempt to flood the market before the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duty orders." In November, CFTHP, a group comprising 12 U.S. hardwood plywood manufacturers, filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking duties on Chinese plywood imports. In December, the ITC voted 6-0 to move forward on the petition, referring the case to DOC for investigation. The coalition's new action means that, if successful, antidumping and countervailing duties will be imposed 90 days earlier than usual, subjecting Chinese hardwood plywood imports to duties of up to 100% or more.
'More manufacturers needed' to jumpstart mass timber industry
By Linda Baker
I caught the tail end of yesterday’s Mass Timber Summit, a Business Oregon-sponsored event timed to coincide but not to be confused with the much larger Mass Timber Conference that starts today in the Oregon Convention Center. The session I attended featured an audience Q&A and an overview of challenges and opportunities associated with developing a mass timber industry in Oregon. Mass timber is the name for the very large, very strong engineered wood panels used in commercial construction, the most recognized being cross-laminated timber, or "CLT." During this still early stage in the game, the dialogue seems to toggle between boosters who view the panels as a solution to a variety of ills — the affordable housing crisis, climate change, rural economic decline — and pragmatists, who caution the state has a long way to go before mass timber catches on as a mainstream building material.
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Chief: Apartment building inspected 50 times before blaze
By Emery P. Dalesio
RALEIGH, N.C. - An apartment building under construction in North Carolina's capital city had been inspected 50 times, most recently on Monday, before it went up in flames near an entertainment district, the fire chief said Friday. Several other buildings were damaged when the fire broke out Thursday night, some of them severely, Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath said at a news conference. A firefighter suffered minor injuries and five people were treated for smoke inhalation, he said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The building's wood-framed construction burned quickly, McGrath said. He said the structure had been inspected 50 times and met all code requirements. "Unfortunately, this building is at the stage when it was extremely vulnerable, before sprinkle systems got in, fire resistant walls were put up," the fire chief said.