Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 4, 2013

Business & Politics

Lumber production steady in August: Central 1

Business in Vancouver
November 1, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

British Columbia lumber production remained steady in August, according to a November 1 report released by Central 1 Credit Union. Despite this stability, momentum appeared to be stalling after gains earlier in the year, due to a slight dip in housing starts in the United States. The production slowdown is expected to be temporary. Fears that quantitative easing would be tapered led to a jump in mortgage rates, resulting in a slowdown in housing starts. Housing starts are expected to pick up as interest rates decrease.

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Kyahwood Forest Products mill closes

Prince George Free Press
November 1, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Kyahwood Forest Products mill, owned and operated by the Moricetown Band, is closed until further notice due to debt and cost of operating, a letter dated Oct. 10, 2013 said. The Kyahwood mill created finger-joint studs for vertical panelling, which was manufactured wood waste delivered from a Houston mill. The cost of shipping the wood from Houston to Moricetown was part of the reason for the indefinite Kyahwood closure.

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Shuttered B.C. sawmills cause unseasonal spike in lumber price

Stockhouse
November 2, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lumber traders struggled back to their desks Monday morning after an epic North American Wholesale Lumbermen’s Association AGM in Las Vegas, NV, last week to discover very weak field inventories and continued strong demand, writes Keta Kosman in Madison’s Lumber Reporter http://madisonsreport.com. Naturally, lumber prices responded generally upward as the usual seasonal slowdown of lumber buying and selling continues to be elusive so far this year. Customers in the US, having refused to stock up on wood due to concern that prices might crash, were forced to book significant orders with lumber producers this week.

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Terrace Bay mayor resigns over mill assessment

CBC News
November 3, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The mayor of Terrace Bay has resigned, citing what he calls “irreconcilable differences” with councillors over a potential reassessment of the town’s pulp mill. Michael King made his decision after council opted to negotiate a settlement with AV Terrace Bay, which owns the mill and has filed for reassessment of its municipal tax rate with the province’s Assessment Review Board. In a statement released last week, the township’s four councillors predicted the review will likely result in a drastically reduced tax rate for the mill, since recent applications from similar operations in Dryden and Espanola have led to decreases in excess of 65 per cent. King said he agrees a reduction is likely, but he would rather see council fight the company’s application.

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Tender going out for Bowater demolition

Nova News Now
November 2, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Two tenders have gone out for the former Bowater Mersey paper mill in Brooklyn, one for demolition and one for sale of assets. Bowater Mersey’s downtime has been extended a week, due to market conditions. The mill will reopen on Jan. 16. Deloitte Restructuring Inc., on behalf of the province of Nova Scotia has put out a call for sale of a papermaking machine and other equipment still left on the mill site. The funds raised from the sale will go back into the company that took over the site, ReNova Scotia Bioenergy Inc.

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Domtar appeal could cost taxing districts

Port Edwards official: Effects of property assessment case could be ‘devastating’
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
November 2, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

PORT EDWARDS — Four government taxing districts could be facing major financial problems if an appeal filed by Domtar Corp. regarding its former mill property’s assessment is successful. In 2008, Domtar officials requested a $19.15 million reduction to its $27.4 million assessed value from the state. The appeal to the assessed value of the property is scheduled to be heard in a state court in Madison on Nov. 11, 12 and 13, said Joe Terry, Port Edwards village administrator. 

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Charleston a big factor in Plum Creek’s purchase of MeadWestvaco land

The Post and Courier
November 3, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

I t’s not every day, or every decade, even, that Charleston lands a billion-dollar real estate deal. One such rare fish came swimming along last week in the form of Plum Creek Timber Co. The Seattle-based real estate investment firm announced that it’s buying 610,000 acres of timberland and other property from MeadWestvaco Corp. The $1.1 billion deal wasn’t a shocker. MeadWestvaco announced earlier this year it was seeking a buyer for its real estate to unearth the money it had planted decades ago to help feed its paper mills with pine fiber. And it seems to have found a suitable purchaser in Plum Creek Timber, which is among the largest private U.S. landowners.

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Tri Pointe nears $2.7 billion deal for Weyerhaeuser unit: sources

Chicago Tribune
November 3, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tri Pointe Homes Inc is near a deal to buy Weyerhaeuser Co’s homebuilding division for about $2.7 billion, which would make it one of the 20 largest homebuilders in the United States, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. The two companies are working toward an announcement possibly as soon as Monday, said the people, who cautioned that the proposed transaction is still subject to last-minute details and that the timetable may yet slip.

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Haddaway Hall: The house a lumber baron built

The News Tribune
November 3, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Haddaway Hall, the former Weyerhaeuser mansion, is an artifact from a time when Tacoma had a legitimate claim to being the “Lumber Capital of the World.” Built by Weyerhaeuser Lumber Co. President John P. Weyerhaeuser in 1923, the mansion occupies a North End Tacoma promontory at the end of North Stevens Street. That promontory commands a panoramic view stretching from the Olympics to the west to Mount Rainier on the east… The home was occupied as a family residence for only two decades of its 90-year history. The Weyerhaeusers lived there until 1936 when John Weyerhaeuser died at 57 of cancer.

Related Story:  Historic Tacoma mansion at center of neighborhood showdown

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Businesses will suffer if Hanjin exits Port of Portland

By Steve Zika, CEO Hampton Affiliates
The Oregonian
November 3, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

…I heard the news that Hanjin is considering discontinuing their container shipments out of the Port of Portland. This is a potential disaster and embarrassment for the state of Oregon and the many companies who rely upon this access to international markets. For the last five years, our company has worked hard to develop markets for our value-added lumber products outside of the U.S. Not only has the Great Recession decreased U.S. homebuilding by 50 percent from its peak, but increasing railroad rates have made it cheaper to ship lumber to Shanghai than to Chicago. Our sawmills in Oregon and Washington are dealing with the highest log costs in the world due to radical environmental litigation that has shut down federal forests and surging raw log exports to Asia off private lands. Any curtailment of market access or additional freight costs puts the future of Pacific Northwest sawmills and their family wage jobs further in doubt.

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Why Expanding Certifications Is Good for Wood Products Industry

Woodworking Network
November 1, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

… This is a positive step forward for the U.S. wood products industry because: Unlike LEED, Green Globes recognizes more than just wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This will broaden the use of material certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and give architects and designer choices when specifying wood products. It opens the door to additional programs in the future. Good forestry practices are good forestry practices, and now that the GSA is accepting to new points of view this should only grow in the future.

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Wilderness Society warns ‘toxic’ pulp mill project will fuel forest feud

ABC News, Australia
November 3, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A signatory to Tasmania’s forestry peace deal has warned conflict could reignite over the sale of the Tamar Valley pulp mill, describing it as still “toxic.” Receivers last week advertised Gunns’ Tasmanian forestry assets including the permits, designs and site of the Bell Bay pulp mill. The Wilderness Society’s Vica Bailey says there is still strong opposition to the mill, despite changes in the forestry industry, and many issues remain unaddressed. “There are issues to do with marine pollution into a very slow-flowing part of Bass Strait; there are air pollution issues in a highly stressed air shed of the Tamar Valley, let alone the nature of the rorted assessment project that lost so many people,” he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Attack ad reignites feud between concrete and wood industries

Edmonton Journal
November 2, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

EDMONTON – An attack ad has reignited a simmering feud between the Canadian wood industry and rival groups in the construction sector. The Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association recently paid for full-page ads in major newspapers that position wood-frame construction as vulnerable to insects, severe weather and fire. The ad features a picture of wreckage caused by an Oklahoma tornado and bears the headline: Wood First? First to go. The ad plays off the British Columbia government’s Wood First Act of 2009, which specified that wood must be the dominant building material in all publicly funded provincial buildings… Giroux disputes the notion that the forest-products industry has been seeking an unfair advantage. “What the wood industry is trying to do is fairly position wood as a totally appropriate alternative for use as a construction material. 

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Forestry

Cathedral Grove threatened by nearby logging, conservationist says

MetroNews Canada
November 3, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada’s oldest and most-renowned forest is facing new threats as logging on a nearby mountain opens the way for collateral damage to Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, local conservationists say. Island Timberlands, based in Nanaimo, is in the midst of clearing a road to a plot of Douglas fir trees on the southwest-facing slope of Mount Horne, a plot of land estimated to be about 40-hectares. While the land itself is not part of Cathedral Grove, Ken Wu, executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance, said once the logging is finished Cathedral Grove will feel the after effects… According to Wu, logging of Douglas fir trees on Mount Horne will destroy the winter habitat of black-tailed deer, pollute the Cameron River from siltation which runs through Cathedral Grove and feeds the local wildlife and plant life…

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The Liberals’ forest plans are not sustainable

The Province
November 9, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the recent announcement that two sawmills in the communities of Quesnel and Houston will close with the loss of more than 430 jobs, the time has come to face an unpleasant but necessary truth. Our forests are so depleted as a result of the unprecedented Mountain Pine Beetle outbreak and more than a decade-long logging frenzy in response to it, that we cannot possibly sustain the sawmilling industry that we currently have. The provincial government has known for years that this would happen, yet did nothing of consequence to prepare for it. Worse, it now appears to be using the unfolding crisis to set the stage for the virtual privatization of British Columbia’s public forests, a move that it knows full well most members of the public oppose.

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Proposed forest policy leaves First Nations bereft

BY STEWART PHILLIP AND BEN PARFITT
Vancouver Sun
November 1, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

Ten years ago, the provincial government made the welcome decision to provide greater opportunities for First Nations to participate in and benefit from forestry operations in British Columbia. The result was a flurry of new resource and revenue sharing agreements between the government and numerous First Nations that underscored the government’s commitment to enter a “new relationship” with the province’s First Peoples. There was a fundamental flaw with the agreements, however, one that is now painfully obvious as today’s government contemplates controversial new rules that could allow a handful of companies to further entrench their monopoly control of our forestlands.

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B.C. old-growth logging plan slammed by conservationists

Island Timberlands plans to log forest on Vancouver Island
CBC News
November 2, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

Conservation groups are demanding forestry company Island Timberlands abandon plans to log old-growth forest on the perimeter of a Vancouver Island provincial park.  The company is building a logging road to a site that sits 300 metres from the border of MacMillan Provincial Park, best noted for a protected stand of old-growth trees within the park known as Cathedral Grove. Ken Wu of the Ancient Forest Alliance, an environmental activism group, is asking the provincial government to step in and negotiate a deal with Island Timberlands that would prevent any old-growth logging near the site.

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Terrace-based logging company settles up with city

Terrace Standard
November 2, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

YAORUN Wood, the log export company working out of Terrace who had fallen behind on three months of payments to the city for the log sort yard they lease on Keith Ave. squared up that and other debts this week. On Nov.1, the city confirmed they had received a cheque for the outstanding $30,000 in lease payments, and were no longer considering actions against the company. Previously, Mayor Pernarowki had said that continued nonpayment would result in the city taking back the lands and seeking to lease it to a different company.

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Future Options Pondered for Forest Fuel Management

The Columbia Valley Pioneer
November 1, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While most stakeholders recognize money is better spent preventing forest fires than putting them out, needed improvements to the existing forest fuel reduction framework in B.C. are yet to take shape. “Fighting fires always comes at least to $100 million (per year), and sometimes much more,” said Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA and opposition forestry critic Norm Macdonald. “The current system has only dealt with about four to five per cent of what’s identified.” Within a two-kilometre buffer zone around Invermere, the District of Invermere recently began tree removal and brushing work on a 96-hectare block adjacent to the Toby Creek Road near Lake Lillian.

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Forest economics tome from former UBC professor set to hit bookshelves in China

November 4, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

A classic textbook on forest economics by former University of BC professor Peter Pearse is to be relaunched in China in November, where an estimated 10,000 students are studying the field Pearse pioneered in Canada. And even if only half of them read it, the humble textbook written by Pearse and co-author Daowei Zhang could become a best-seller, at least by Canadian standards, where 5,000 copies sold is the benchmark. Pearse, who retired from his teaching position at UBC’s faculty of forestry in 1996, has partnered with Zhang, who is one of his former grad students, to rewrite his original 1990 Introduction to Forestry Economics textbook.

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Forest fire season pretty quiet

Chronicle Journal
November 2, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East

The 2013 forest fire season is one for the record books, particularly for the low number of fires and hectares burnt. …Along with the quiet fire season, there were no fire-related evacuations, Restricted Fire Zones or Emergency Area Orders put in place in the Northwestern Ontario, Pridham said. Provincially, the Ministry of Natural Resources reports that there were 576 wildfires in 2013 with less than 46,000 hectares of forest blackened.

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Judge OKs Kootenai logging project, says won’t affect grizzly bear habitat

The Missoulian
November 2, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA – An on-again, off-again logging project in the Kootenai National Forest may be going ahead after a federal judge refused to block it during a lawsuit appeal. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said in his order Thursday that the project is based on sound science and should not adversely affect threatened grizzly bear habitat… Mike Garrity of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies says his organization will seek another injunction if the work begins.

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Scientists oppose two logging bills in Congress

The Oregonian
November 2, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than 200 biologists, ecologists and other scientists are urging Congress to defeat legislation they say would destroy critical wildlife habitat by setting aside U.S. environmental laws to speed logging of burned trees at Yosemite National Park and other national forests and wilderness areas across the West. The experts say two measures pushed by pro-logging interests ignore a growing scientific consensus that the burned landscape plays a critical role in forest regeneration and is home to many birds, bats and other species found nowhere else.

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White oak decline mysterious to foresters

The Missoulian
November 3, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

COLUMBIA — …White oak trees are dying at higher than expected rates in pockets of Missouri, but their symptoms aren’t consistent. In 2011, foresters started getting increased reports of declining white oaks, a top timber product in Missouri, but the mystery of exactly what is killing the trees has left forest experts scratching their heads. Even after taking the effects of last year’s severe drought into consideration, the rate of decline for white oaks is still abnormally high… White oak trees are an important timber product in Missouri; the wood is used to produce pallets and barrels for whiskey and wine. The white oak industry hasn’t been affected by the decline yet, and it is too early to tell when or if it will be.

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Guyana fears losing funds pledged by Norway amid deforestation

Edmonton Journal
November 3, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana says it fears it could lose up to $20 million in annual payments from Norway after officials noted the deforestation rate has increased slightly in the South American country. The two countries had signed a deal in 2009 in which Norway pledged a $250 million grant as an incentive for Guyana to protect its lush forests. But Forestry Minister Robert Persaud says an ongoing gold boom and the construction of a hydroelectric project have led to thousands of hectares of forest being cleared.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Actions to Combat Climate Change Spur Legal Uncertainties

AGFAX.com
November 4, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The threat of climate change has pushed governments to take action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from transportation and power generation. An important part of this policy design includes accurately accounting for the lifecycle GHG emissions of the alternatives to fossil fuels. Both the U.S. EPA and the California Air Resources Board have made determinations about the carbon footprint of biomass-based energies, but two recent federal court decisions demonstrate the difficulties they may face incentivizing biomass-based energy through application of carbon accounting methodologies.

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Redwood trees reveal history of West Coast rain, fog, ocean conditions

Environmental Research Web
November 1, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Many people use tree ring records to see into the past. But redwoods – the iconic trees that are the world’s tallest living things – have so far proven too erratic in their growth patterns to help with reconstructing historic climate. A University of Washington researcher has developed a way to use the trees as a window into coastal conditions, using oxygen and carbon atoms in the wood to detect fog and rainfall in previous seasons.

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Flushing our future down the toilet

Sydney Morning News
November 4, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

When future historians cast around for symbols of our current age of consumerism, I reckon they’ll be hard pressed to go past toilet paper. …It’s a rather perverse “f-you” to Mother Nature yet hardly the sole example of humanity’s belligerent and systemic disdain for its well-being, nor of our cavalier attitude to trees. …In his international bestseller Collapse, Prof. Jared Diamond recounts perhaps the starkest example of a “society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its resources” – Easter Island.

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‘Forest People’ Can Gather Necessary Carbon Data

Climate Central
November 3, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON – You don’t have to be a sophisticated scientist equipped with all the latest gizmos in order to work out just how effective a particular forest is as a carbon sink, a critical way of soaking up greenhouse gases. The job, researchers believe, can be done just as accurately by the people who live in the forests, most of whom probably have neither modern instruments nor scientific training. And the forests themselves will probably gain as well, because the local people will have more reason to feel they are buying into the trees’ conservation and so will have an incentive to protect them and work with conservationists from outside the forests.

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Trees ‘shield vulnerable species from climate change’

BBC News
November 1, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Forests with dense canopies create a microclimate that protects a variety of cold-adapted plant species from warming air temperatures, a study has shown. Researchers found plants that favoured cooler conditions fared better under dense canopies than in ones that were more open to the elements. They added that these conditions could be a “critical mechanism” in the conservation of forest plant diversity… “These results suggest that recent forest canopy closure in northern hemisphere temperate forests has buffered the impacts of macroclimate warming on ground-layer plant communities, thus slowing changes in community composition,” they wrote.

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Ancient woodland may hold clues to hidden effects of climate change

The Herald
November 4, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Ancient Westcountry woodland could hold the key to unlocking the hidden effects of climate change on forests and its indigenous wildlife. An intricate study of tree growth in North Devon and Plymouth is expected to provide a template for volunteer scientists around the UK to help monitor the effects of global warming. Scientist Alison Smith has begun a four-year research programme at Clinton Devon Estates’ Hunshaw Woods near Torrington which could produce an inexpensive and easy-to-use toolkit to equip an army of “citizen scientists” in their local woodlands. It is hoped the work will ultimately be carried out by volunteer groups from local communities and schools across the UK.

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General

Forest economics tome from former UBC professor set to hit bookshelves in China

November 4, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

A classic textbook on forest economics by former University of BC professor Peter Pearse is to be relaunched in China in November, where an estimated 10,000 students are studying the field Pearse pioneered in Canada. And even if only half of them read it, the humble textbook written by Pearse and co-author Daowei Zhang could become a best-seller, at least by Canadian standards, where 5,000 copies sold is the benchmark. Pearse, who retired from his teaching position at UBC’s faculty of forestry in 1996, has partnered with Zhang, who is one of his former grad students, to rewrite his original 1990 Introduction to Forestry Economics textbook.

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Ganaraska Forest logging during bird nesting season ruffles feathers

Local conservation authority re-writing rules to avoid logging during nesting season
Northumberland News
November 3, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

CLARINGTON — Protests are rising over migratory birds, their nests and young being accidentally destroyed when the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority allowed logging during the spring nesting season. “That’s just not acceptable, and it’s not necessary, that’s the most aggravating part,” said Clarington resident Jim Richards. Approximately four per cent of the Ganaraska Forest — 361 square miles — is logged each year. Logging can let light into the forest floor, create new wildlife habitats and add to the biodiversity of the forest.

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