Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for February 20 2020

Today’s Takeaway

CN Rail forced to cancel 400 trains, adding to forest industry woes

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 20, 2020
Category: Today's Takeaway
Region: Canada, United States

CN Rail was forced to cancel more than 400 trains amid rail blockades, driving up forest industry supply chain costs. In other Business news: Canada’s Natural Resources Committee plans to study the sector’s challenges; BC’s budget pleases Andrew Weaver but disappoints the opposition; as the government’s North Island MLA says the ‘working forest‘ message is being heard. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia adds an innovation rebate program to its forestry transition program.

In Forestry/Climate news: the forestry downside of Alberta’s Teck Mine approval; Canadian Parks & Wilderness calls for more protection; the fishery value of not logging in Alaska’s rainforests; and a new golden era for forestry in Scotland.

Finally, sustainable fashion—seeing the wood for the trees.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

CN Rail layoffs will ‘further complicate’ tangled supply chain, industries say

By Rachael D’Amore
Global News TV
February 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Blockades across Canada’s railway system have choked branches of the supply chain for two weeks. Now, industries are facing a new hurdle — the layoffs of hundreds of CN Rail workers. …“Our last situation like this was the CN Rail strike in November… and it took us over a month to recover,” Joel Neuheimer, VP for the Forest Products Association of Canada. …“Given that we’re in day 13 of the blockade now, it’s going to take at least twice that to recover.” …CN says it’s been forced to cancel more than 400 trains and keep a significant portion of the network at a standstill. …Canada’s forest sector — which includes lumber and wood products like pulp and paper — has already seen a loss of $100 million since the blockades sprang up two weeks ago. The pulp side of the industry is being hit the hardest, Neuheimer said.

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North Island MLA on forestry sector: ‘Their message is being heard’

By Troy Landreville
My Campbell River Now
February 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Island MLA, Claire Trevena, says she’s listening to the concerns of the forest industry. This comes in the wake of yesterday’s B.C. Forestry Alliance rally in Victoria. … They were calling on the government to defend the harvestable land base. …Trevena said she went out to the lawns of the legislature to speak with a few people at the rally. “Obviously their message is being heard,” Trevena said. “We know that forestry is vital for not just communities but for the economic health of the province, and we continue to work to try and make sure that it is viable.” She pointed to the Coast Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative, and the $5-million Coast Logging Equipment Support Trust designed to help contractors avert foreclosure of logging equipment on the coast, as examples of what the province is doing to support the sector. Trevena said forestry is “still foundational” to B.C.’s economy.

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B.C. forestry crisis having an impact on Interior real estate market

By Ashley Legassic
CFJC Today
February 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — The province’s forestry crisis appears to be having an impact on the B.C. real estate market. BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson says most housing markets in B.C. are expected to experience a recovery this year — but that likely won’t be the case for communities impacted by the declining forestry sector. …“I think the one that’s probably the most prominent in its struggles is the forestry industry and we’re starting to really see that link into things like housing demand as well,” he says. “So in the big forestry-focused communities — Kamloops, Vancouver Island and the north — we’re off to a pretty slow start in 2020 with all of those markets actually experiencing declining sales year over year in January.”

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Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
February 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. NDP government’s latest budget carries on with its post-election program of subsidized housing, climate measures and taxes, while building up capital debt to record levels for hospital upgrades, transportation and other public works. …The budget offered little new for the forest industry, as loggers rallied outside the legislature, with a $13 million fund to pursue the government’s waste wood recovery and delivery of a $69 million package for communities that have lost sawmills. …Former B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver said he is “delighted” with the budget, including one of its few new spending measures, a grant program for post-secondary studies including diplomas and certificates under two years. …The budget projects small operating surpluses for three years, helped by personal and business income tax revenue and strong employment from projects including the Trans Mountain and Coastal Gaslink projects.

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Cariboo North MLA and forest industry workers want more from BC Budget

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
February 18, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes says at first glance, it appears today’s provincial budget doesn’t have a lot for those being impacted by the downturn in the forest industry. That won’t sit well with forestry workers who were rallying outside on the front lawn of the legislature. Oakes says they represented small businesses, contractors, and logging truck drivers. “The message really is that the forest sector is in crisis. We are in a time of significant change and we all know that. The challenge is the folks out on the front lawn want to know what are the elected officials going to do.” …“Last year when they took the money out of the rural dividend they said that they were going to restore that funding, and we were hoping to see that in this budget. …We’ve lost 32,000 private sector jobs and we really want to see what the plan was to get that back.”

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‘We were fighting for people before us and in the future:’ forestry workers due back on the job

By Alex Rawnsley
Nanaimo News Now
February 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO — An incredibly tough nearly eight months off the job is coming to an end. An agreement between United Steelworkers 1-1937 and Western Forest Products (WFP) was ratified by 81.9 per cent. Bill Merriman, a long-time boom operator at WFP’s Duke Point mill, told NanaimoNewsNOW the strike impacted a lot of younger workers with families. …“A lot of the younger people realized that we were fighting for people before us and in the future. That’s what kept people really strong, we didn’t want to go backwards.” …Merriman believed the contract will help in future negotiations with other companies and unions around the province. …He said pressure mounted from those outside the industry to stop strike action and return to work while negotiations continued.

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Ottawa to study forestry issues

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
February 20, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Natural Resources Commitee in Ottawa will be taking a closer look at the issues facing the forest industry. Kenora MP Eric Melillo says…“I’m pleased… The forestry sector has seen reduced revenues, mill closures and job losses across the country, and the Kenora riding has not been immune.” The committee’s work will be a wide-ranging study that will incorporate insights from a variety of experts and stakeholders. It coincides with work at the provincial level. …The news comes sawmill workers deal with the bankruptcy of Kenora Forest Products, in part due to American tariffs on softwood. The deadline for bids to purchase the facility passed Feb. 14, and a proposal by the bankruptcy trustee is expected in early April.

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Lumber Producers Want To See North American Trade Deal Ratified Soon

By Brad Perry
Huddle Today
February 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW BRUNSWICK — Lumber producers in New Brunswick are calling on Parliament to ratify the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement. The trilateral free trade agreement, which has already been ratified by the U.S. and Mexico, is still being studied by a House of Commons standing committee. New Brunswick Lumber Producers (NBLP) said ratification may allow for a final settlement in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute. “Currently, the majority of NBLP members are paying a crippling duty of over 20 percent on exports to the United States,” said the NBLP. …On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland urged her fellow MPs to ratify the new agreement as quickly as possible.

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Maryland Department of the Environment to sue Verso

WCBC – Cumberland Broadcasting Company, Inc.
February 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The state of Maryland, through the Department of the Environment, issued notice Wednesday that it intends to bring a lawsuit in federal court against the former owner of the Luke paper mill, alleging seepages into the North Branch Potomac River threaten public health and the environment. The suit will be filed under federal hazardous waste law to stop the alleged discharge and require an appropriate cleanup. Verso owns the mill, located in Luke, and Beryl, West Virginia, with facilities spanning the Potomac River at the site. Paper products were manufactured there until Verso announced on April 30 the mill would close. It was subsequently shut down on May 30, displacing nearly 700 workers. According to MDE, a black substance that may include contaminants from caustic and corrosive “pulping liquor,” coal ash or other undiscovered sources continues to seep from a riverbank at the paper mill site and into the river.

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Greenpeace Campaigner Of 22 Years Announces Bid To Stand For Parliament

By Steve Abel
Scoop.co.nz
February 20, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Steve Abel

NEW ZEALAND — Steve Abel was selected last night as the Green Party candidate for the New Lynn electorate in West Auckland. The Long time environmental activist and Greenpeace’s former Senior Campaign and Political Adviser stepped down from the organisation in December last year to stand for Parliament. …Abel says he will advocate for the Greens bringing “transformational policies” to the voting public. “We need government policies that are equal to the scale of challenge that we face with the ecological crisis,” he says. …Abel began his activism in 1998 with Native Forest Action and the successful campaign to stop Timberland’s West Coast native logging during which he was arrested for locking himself to a five-ton logging helicopter.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Adapting quickly to changing markets

By SM2 Initiative
FPInnovations
February 14, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the sawmill industry develops, it is facing many challenges; however, it is being offered many business opportunities as well. With this in mind, FPInnovations recently conducted a detailed study mainly aimed at presenting the sawmill industry with new product and market opportunities. The study showed the changes in wood-using industries and the need for the primary wood processing industry to acquire agile and flexible processing methods. The project, funded by the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, was specifically designed to support and guide ongoing research projects under the SM2 Initiative, in order to meet the demand for new products and to present 4 or 5 products that have passed the summary analysis tests and that offer the best potential for success as new business opportunities or research projects.

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A net-zero, cross-laminated timber apartment complex will rise in Boston

By Shane Reiner-Roth
The Architect’s Newspaper
February 19, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Thanks to support from the U.S. Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board, developer Placetailor and Boston-based architecture firm Generate have collaborated to design a carbon-neutral apartment block in Roxbury, a neighborhood in the south end of Boston. Named Model-C, the 5-story, 19,000-square-foot building will contain 14 residential units. Model-C will be assembled using a cross-laminated timber kit-of-parts and will be net-zero energy and net-zero carbon for its first decade of operation. …The entire building, including bathroom “pods,” will be prefabricated in sections off-site. …Its plans have been certified by PassivHaus and meet the standards of the new Boston Department of Neighborhood Development’s “Zero Emissions Standards”. Once complete, Model-C will be one of the only totally timber buildings in Massachusetts, and one of the least energy-intensive buildings in America.

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Sustainable fashion: seeing the wood for the trees

By Jussi Piira, Stora Enso
The Environmental Journal
February 20, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The fashion industry has taken a battering in recent years for its eco-credentials, so how can we shop more sustainably? …Fashion can be as fossil-fuelled as any car. As recently as 2016, 65% of global textile fibre volume was fossil-based fibres such as polyester and nylon. …These materials are plastics, and they do not biodegrade well in landfill, contributing to our pervasive plastic pollution problem. …What about natural alternatives then: wool, silk, linen, cotton? Of these, only cotton is anything close to a serious contender, with 23% of the market. However… It takes as much as 12,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton. …Man-made natural materials? …Viscose can be a far more sustainable option for textiles. For a start, it is created from a renewable resource – trees – that can be regrown and even act as carbon sinks if responsibly managed.

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Forestry

Government’s historic nature investment is producing results, but more needed

By Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Cision Newswire
February 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) released a report today to mark two years since Budget 2018, when the federal government announced the biggest-ever investment in Canadian nature. The CPAWS report finds that the historic $1.3-billion investment has stimulated provincial and territorial government efforts, resulting in new protected areas. …The CPAWS report also finds that the federal investment has unleashed an equally historic investment by the private sector, ultimately reaching $500 million. …However, the report also makes clear that the federal government’s latest targets, to protect 25% of Canada’s lands and freshwater by 2025 and 30% by 2030, will require more investment. Canada currently protects 12.2%, with current projects expected to push that number to roughly 17%.

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Clinton and District Community Forest passes audit

BC Forest Practices Board
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of the Clinton and District Community Forest in the 100 Mile House Natural Resource District has found nearly all activities in compliance with British Columbia’s forestry legislation. The audit examined forestry activities carried out between September 2017 and September 2019 to see if they met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. During this period, the community forest harvested approximately 63,000 cubic metres of timber in 17 cutblocks, 70% of which was salvage of timber damaged by the Elephant Hill Wildfire. “The community forest worked closely with government staff for operations within the Elephant Hill wildfire complex,” said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board.

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What the Teck Mine Will Destroy

By Andrew Nikforuk
The Tyee
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Any day now, the Trudeau government is expected to render its verdict on the $20-billion Teck Resources Frontier mine. …There’s been a lot of published debate about whether the economics make any sense. Less covered has been the environmental toll. …Despite finding “significant adverse effects,” the panel declared that the mammoth project was in the public interest. …In the meantime, here’s what the panel said the mine will destroy or imperil: The project will destroy 292 square kilometres of the boreal forest, most of which is prime waterfowl habitat. …The report adds, “The project is likely to result in a significant adverse effect to biodiversity, primarily as a result of the loss of wetlands and old-growth forests.” …In addition, the project “has the potential to make an incremental contribution to already existing significant adverse cumulative effects to woodland caribou.”

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Residents convey concerns to BCTS and Tsain-ko over logging in Egmont

By Sophie Woodrooffe
The Coast Reporter
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Timber Sales (BCTS) and Tsain-ko have agreed to meet with residents for a second time after hearing their concerns that logging in the Egmont area could threaten drinking water, harm the economy and create traffic problems during the height of tourist season. Tom Johnson, woodlands manager for BCTS’s Chinook business area, said BCTS and Tsain-ko agreed to meet again with the North Lake Residents’ Association and Egmont Community Club in mid-March. He told Coast Reporter the cutblocks slated for harvesting in 2020 are “in the early stages of development” and “plans will be fine-tuned as we move forward.” At separate meetings with the two organizations on Feb. 13, residents sought information on how the logging proposed for 2020 and 2021 would affect their neighbourhoods and recreation areas essential to the tourism industry.

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Pre-DEMO Conference on the digital transformation in forest operations

FPInnovations
February 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

FPInnovations is partnering with the Canadian Woodlands Forum, Laval University and the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre in the organization of the September pre-DEMO 2020 Conference entitled “Digital Transformation in Forest Operations: A leap forward in driving business growth and competitiveness.” Scheduled for September 22-23, the conference is taking place just before the large DEMO 2020 equipment live demonstration. The two-day conference will provide a forum to explore upcoming technological leaps at the doorstep of forest operations. Exciting recent developments in the fields of topics such as robotics, automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data will be presented.

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Nova Scotia sleepwalked into Northern Pulp crisis

Letter by Joel Henderson
The Cape Breton Post
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The closure of Northern Pulp is a serious blow to woodlot owners and forestry workers across Nova Scotia. …Many lessons can be learned from this catastrophe. The one I wish to focus on is this: it is imperative that a robust planning process be in place to ensure that industries which are systemically important to Nova Scotia can be supported or transitioned in as orderly and non-disruptive a fashion as possible. …It’s not a transition so much as it is shock therapy for communities that are over-reliant on single industries. The problem is that decisions of when to support these industries… how to diversify local economies and what to do when these sectors falter, is highly politicized. …There should be a non-political, arm’s-length provincial entity mandated to identify, monitor and plan for the future of critical industries like forestry.

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Nova Scotia announces rebate for investments in forestry operations

By Adam MacInnis
The Cape Breton Post
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Nova Scotia government has launched a program it believes will help the forestry sector adopt new technology and approaches to become a more competitive and sustainable sector. The province announced the Forestry Innovation Rebate Program for forestry companies that invest in their operations to grow, diversify and increase competitiveness in global markets. …The program has been endorsed by the Forestry Transition Team and will be administered by Nova Scotia Business Inc. It will apply to eligible capital projects worth between $1 million and $15 million. Companies could be eligible for a rebate of 25 per cent up to a maximum rebate of $3.75 million. …Government will fund the rebate program with $5 million in both 2020-21 and 2021-22. This is in addition to investments already announced and separate from the new $50 million forestry transition trust.

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‘Last ditch’ effort for harvest plan consensus

By TJ Marinell
The Lens News
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON STATE — A new technical work group has been formed to examine an alternative harvest plan for certain small forestland owners in Western Washington that was first submitted to the Forest Practices Board five years ago. It’s been five years since the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) first submitted its alternative harvest plan to the Forest Practices Board (FPB) as part of the 1999 Forests and Fish Law that would allow certain foresters to log more timber on their land without harming fish habitat. …Under WFFA’s proposal, foresters with more than 20 acres but who log irregularly would be able to harvest timber closer to streams than currently allowed, with buffer zones based on stream width. …We certainly understand this proposal is a huge, uncomfortable paradigm shift for many, but we believe our proposal does no harm.”

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Report: Work to reduce wildfire risks has economic benefits

By Susan Montoya Bryan
Associated Press in The Missoulian
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Projects to reduce the risk of wildfires and protect water sources in the U.S. West have created jobs and infused more money in local economies, researchers say, and they were funded by a partnership between governments and businesses that has become a model in other countries. A team from the U.S. Geological Survey reviewed work being done in several counties along the New Mexico-Colorado border that make up the watershed of one of North America’s longest rivers, the Rio Grande. The review shows how public-private partnerships could become a critical component for safeguarding the land and benefiting the economy amid the threat of federal funding cuts and worsening wildfires brought on by climate change.

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Public loses on federal timber sales

By Mike Garrity, Alliance for the Wild Rockies
The Missoulian
February 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Mike Garrity

When Idaho billionaire Ron Yanke purchased the timber mills in Townsend and Livingston years ago to form RY Timber, he also bought lots of former Anaconda Company timberland. But just like Champion International and Plum Creek Timber who, according to a University of Montana study, cut trees three times faster than they could grow back, RY has already overcut their private land. Both Champion and Plum Creek are gone from Montana …The Montana timber industry once again wants to rape and run. Just as environmentalists were not to blame for its overcut private lands (which are now filled with stumps, knapweed and degraded streams), environmentalists should now be lauded, not blamed, for trying to stop such destruction on our public lands.

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Alaska’s Forests Contribute Millions of Salmon to Fisheries

Alaska Native News
February 18, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new federal report says that Alaska’s rainforests contribute an average of 48 million salmon annually to the state’s commercial fishing industry. The study led by the US Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station found that the average value of these “forest fish” when they are brought back to the dock is some $88 million annually. …According to study lead Adelaide Johnson, a Juneau-based hydrologist, the research group suspected that many of the ocean-caught Pacific salmon who support the fishing industry likely began their lives in forest streams that drain the Tongass and Chugach national forests. …Forest Service researcher Ryan Belmore, who like Johnson is based in Juneau, Alaska, said their findings underscore just how important Alaska’s forest rivers and lakes are for sustaining salmon. 

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The New South Wales government drops forestry privatisation plan after bushfires devastate plantation

Australian Associated Press in the Guardian
February 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New South Wales government won’t proceed with privatising Forestry Corporation’s softwood plantation business after an unprecedented bushfire season. The government decided to forgo a long-term lease of the business after a five-month investigation which took into account recent damage to the state’s forestry assets. About 25% of Forestry Corporation’s softwood division suffered fire damage over the summer. NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said the government’s priority was to help the forestry industry get back on its feet. “Regrowing our forests, getting new trees in the ground, and strengthening the industry so its long-term future is secure is where we are focusing our energy,” Barilaro said in a statement on Thursday. The decision comes after Guardian Australia revealed in December the NSW government was poised to privatise state forests to raise $1bn for infrastructure projects.

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Ewing to herald a new golden era for forestry in Scotland

By Terry Murden
The Daily Business Group
February 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SCOTLAND — Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing will address a group of investors, farmers and landowners on Thursday to highlight the benefits of planting new woodland in a “golden era” for forestry in Scotland. Mr Ewing will speak at Forestry in Scotland: Investing in the Future, at a time when Scotland is planting almost 85% of all new trees in the UK. He will be joined by… Stuart Goodall of forestry and wood trade body Confor. …Mr Ewing said: “We are moving into a new golden era for forestry in Scotland. With full devolution of forestry policy and our 2018-19 planting target smashed, we have a great base to build on. “The focus now is to plant more modern, sustainable forests and to use more home-grown wood – to tackle the climate emergency and to provide jobs in our rural economy.

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