Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 9, 2015

Business & Politics

Producers brace for end of long truce in U.S.-Canada lumber wars

Globe and Mail
March 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s lumber producers should be a happy lot. The U.S. housing market is coming back, exports are rising and the Canadian dollar is cheap. But the industry has a wary eye on its own version of the doomsday clock – the countdown to the Oct. 12 expiry of a long truce in the Canada-U.S. lumber wars. A date that seemed far off when the deal was struck in 2006 is now just a couple of seasons away. Under the deal, Canada is required to put an escalating tax on exports as softwood lumber prices drop below a predetermined threshold. It’s a form of managed trade, designed to control access to the U.S. market and limit potential harm to producers there. You might expect that Canadian lumber producers would be anxious to escape those shackles. They’re not. 

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Alberta forestry grows while oil and gas shrinks

CBC News
March 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While pink slips are being handed out in the oil patch, the resumes are rolling in for the province’s forestry industry. A combination of new markets and a recovering U.S. economy are providing an injection of activity to the industry at the same time that many people laid off from the oil and gas sector are looking for work… The upsurge in forestry isn’t a surprise to Paul Whitaker, president of the Alberta Forest Products Association. For the past two years he has watched the industry grow or “rebound” at a rate of about 10 per cent a year, growth he expects will continue.

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NDP question gov’t on WorkSafeBC no show

Prince George Citizen
March 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Opposition NDP put the Attorney General in their crosshairs over the handling of the current coroner’s inquest into the Lakeland Mills explosion. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton fielded questions from B.C. NDP members in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday afternoon over the lack of participation by senior WorkSafeBC officials and shortage of funds made available for legal counsel for Lakeland employees called as witnesses. B.C. NDP leader John Horgan referred to a March 2 Vancouver Sun story about WorkSafeBC former president and CEO David Anderson and former vice-president in charge of investigations Donna Wilson not being called as witnesses in the proceedings taking place at the Prince George Law Courts.

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Treaty breach claim based on cumulative impacts

Allegations of treaty breach results from decades of industrial activity in Peace River region
Business in Vancouver
March 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A generation of industrial development that has compromised the rights to hunt, trap and fish in the Peace River region is a breach of treaty rights, the Blueberry River First Nation argues in a claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court March 3. The claim is unique, says former B.C. attorney general and treaty minister Geoff Plant, because it is based not on any specific activity or alienation of a specific right, but rather on the cumulative impact on the livelihood of Treaty 8 First Nations from decades of industrial activity. “This case is the first case I know of in Canada where a First Nation is raising a complaint about cumulative impacts of multiple activities and it will almost certainly make new law to that extent,” Plant said.

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Jobs lost as Quebec mill closes paper machine

Canadian Press
March 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products Inc. says it will close a specialty paper machine at its mill in Alma, Que., in a move that will see the loss of about 85 jobs. The Alma paper mill employs 340 people with annual production capacity of 350,000 metric tons of specialty papers across three machines. The company says the closure of the paper machine at the mill represents a reduction of 75,000 metric tons of annual capacity. Resolute says it will work with union representatives and government to help the affected employees who may have the opportunity to transfer to other company operations.

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Weyerhaeuser spokesman addresses low dollar, wood rights

Kenora Online
March 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A slide in the Canadian dollar may not be good news for snowbirds on vacation, but it’s good news for exporters. Wayne Roznowski from Weyerhaeuser offers an update. “Stronger American dollar is probably going to make us more attractive, in that way,” he said. “Again, it’s certainly reason for optimism.” The company’s looking to hire more skilled trades, as the recovery in the American housing market continues. Weyerhaeuser spokesman Wayne Roznowski says there’s been some slow progress, when it comes to movement on wood rights in the Whiskey Jack Forest.

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What To Make Of Lumber Liquidators — Should We Believe Anderson Cooper and Whitney Tilson?

The Motley Fool
March 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Back in late 2013, flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL ) was the classic American success story. Founder and Chairman Tom Sullivan had taken the business from one location and turned it into the country’s largest retailer of wood and wood laminate flooring in about 20 years. Investors who bought shares after the IPO in late 2007 saw 10-fold returns by November of that year: Since then the company has faced a Department of Justice investigation into illegal wood sourcing activity, a weak housing market that has seriously affected sales, and now a report from 60 Minutes, in which Anderson Cooper accuses the company of selling laminate flooring that is not only illegal in California but could put people’s health at risk.

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Odd winter means wood is piling up, prices down

The Roseburg News Review
March 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

ROSEBURG — With the deep freeze that has inundated the eastern half of the United States contributing to the drop, prices for logs and lumber processed on the West Coast have dipped over the last couple of months. Sales are down and wood inventories are up. The market today is not what was being hoped for and expected just a few months ago. “There was a quick uptick in the market in late 2014, and that had a lot of people in the industry anticipating a good start to the new year,” said Shawn Church, editor of Random Lengths, a Eugene-based publication that tracks the log and lumber businesses.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

VIDEO: The 2015 Wood Design Awards

Journal of Commerce
March 7, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

British Columbia’s best and brightest wood designers and architects gathered recently at the Vancouver Convention Centre to celebrate the year’s achievements in wood use implemented in the built environment. The Journal of Commerce spoke to winners Michael Green of Michael Green Architecture, who won both the Wood Innovation and Architect award, and Marie Odile-Marceau, who won the Wood Champion award.

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Oregon team will use peer review process to try new seismic design

Daily Journal of Commerce
March 7, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A 32-story skyscraper planned for Portland’s Lloyd District won’t follow state building codes in its seismic design. The Oregonian reports the American Assets Trust tower will be the first in the city to follow an alternative peer review process. Developers and engineers expect to prove through computer simulations their design will hold up as well as the building code specifications. They says the peer review process will allow for faster, less expensive construction and a more flexible interior design… Andy Peterson, manager for plan review and permitting at the Portland Bureau of Development Services, said the peer-review process could clear the way for other types of alternative construction, such as taller wood-framed buildings. State and federal officials are promoting the idea of building with wood because it’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Plus, it could be a boon for Oregon’s timber industry.

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WoodWorks Announces 2015 Wood Design Award Winners

Construction Magazine Network
March 7, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Oakland, Calif. – WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, announced the winners of its 2015 Wood Design Awards at the Bay Area Wood Solutions Fair in Oakland, Calif. on January 27, 2015. “The Wood Design Awards are an opportunity to recognize extraordinary buildings that exemplify, not only wood’s beauty, but the versatility and structural performance attributes that make it such an interesting material to architects and engineers,” said Jennifer Cover, PE, executive director of WoodWorks. “Collectively, this year’s award winning projects celebrate the kind of innovative thinking that continues to expand the possibilities for wood use—and bring wood’s cost, sustainability and other advantages to a wider range of projects.”

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Forestry

ELF urges Sechelt council to save ‘Chanterelle Forest’

Coast Reporter
March 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) is urging District of Sechelt council to “rein in” the Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) and save a proposed cutblock in the Wilson Creek watershed that ELF has dubbed the Chanterelle Forest. Located on the west side of Wilson Creek and designated EW28 in the SCCF work plan, the surveyed cutblock was brought to ELF’s attention by an organic farmer on Field Road who supplements his income by harvesting wild mushrooms, ELF’s Ross Muirhead told council Feb. 18. “There’s a lot of different ecological reasons that this area is particularly robust in summer and winter chanterelles and pine mushrooms,” Muirhead said.

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Dutch elms: moving cut wood can spread disease

CBC News
March 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Work to cut down about 320 diseased Dutch Elm trees in the city, begins next week and Charlottetown officials are asking the public not to move the wood. The wood is diseased and must be disposed of properly in order to manage the spread of the disease, says Beth Hoar, the city’s parkland conservationist. “The elm trees that are infected with the Dutch elm disease, they become infected by a beetle called the elm bark beetle. It actually hibernates in the wood of the diseased tree,” said Hoar. Charlottetown parkland conservationist Beth Hoar says, at this time of year, wood from cut Dutch elms is infected with the hibernating elm bark beetle. “So right now it’s hibernating in that wood.

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Lord of the Tree Rings

Pacific Standard Magazine
March 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Forget reading tea leaves. To forecast the future, NASA climate modeler Benjamin Cook looks to tree rings. Some woody species live for centuries, even thousands of years, growing when times are lush and halting during dry spells. Their annual rings tell their story—the thicker the circle, the better (and wetter) the year… His latest research, published last week in Science Advances, reveals that when it comes to drought, the West ain’t seen nothing yet. Sometime between 2050 and 2100, extended drought conditions in the American Southwest and central Great Plains will become more extreme than the megadroughts of the 12th and 13th centuries. 

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Bowing to pressure, 3M agrees to reshape its sustainable forestry policies

Minnesota Post
March 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

After a long siege of public pressure and negotiations, punctuated occasionally by media-savvy comic stunts, the 3M Co. has gone from the doghouse to darling of sustainable-forestry activists… In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, 3M veep Jean Sweeney said the Maplewood-based corporation will end its reliance on assessments by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, widely regarded as a greenwashing arm of large logging companies, to ensure that its purchasing doesn’t needlessly harm forests, communities or workers’ rights… But rather than simply replace SFI with a more respectable certification outfit, such as the Forest Stewardship Council, for one leading example, 3M has elected the unusual and surely more expensive approach of doing its own screening, auditing and reporting throughout a vast supply chain.

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Montana timber industry guardedly optimistic on future, hope for more federal forest logging

The Republic
March 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GREAT FALLS, Montana — The outlook for the forest products industry in Montana is guardedly optimistic — knock on wood, say industry experts. The national demand for timber, based on slowly increasing U.S. housing starts, is expected to continue its gradual rise since hitting rock bottom during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, said Todd Morgan, a certified forester and director of the Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Timber prices have risen substantially and the number of Montanans working as loggers, mill workers and forestry support roles has increased the last few years, which are promising signs, said Julie Altemus, executive vice president of the Montana Wood Products Association.

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Committee hears bill to create land transfer task force

Associated Press
March 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — A state House committee has heard testimony for and against a bill that would create a task force to study the feasibility of the state assuming ownership or management of federal land now run by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Proponents cited loss of access to forests, the increasing threat of wildfires and pests such as mountain pine beetle and other problems under federal management as reasons for supporting the study of state management. Opponents said the idea of turning over control to the state doesn’t have merit, and a study is a waste of time.

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New supervisor named for Tongass National Forest

Associated Press
March 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JUNEAU, Alaska — Regional forester Beth Pendleton has announced the hiring of Earl Stewart as the new supervisor for the Tongass National Forest. Stewart is the forest supervisor for the Coconino National Forest based in Flagstaff, Arizona. According to a release, Stewart is expected to report for his new job in May. The Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the country. It covers much of southeast Alaska. Stewart will replace Forrest Cole, who has served as Tongass forest supervisor since 2003. Cole is retiring.

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Sustainable forest management principles

The Missoulian
March 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There have been several recent opinion articles in the Missoulian decrying environmental organizations for working collaboratively with our legislative representatives as well as with other community organizations and businesses, such as snowmobilers, wood product manufacturers, loggers, ranchers, county commissioners, state and federal agency managers. The complaint is that they have “sold out;” “making deals with the devil(s).” I have a different perspective. All the people and organizations that have invested time over the past 10-15 years in collaborative efforts have engaged in grass-roots democracy.

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