Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 15, 2016

Froggy Foibles

For the Kermit Sutra? New mating position reported for frogs

By Malcolm Ritter
The Associated Press – Victoria Times Colonist
June 14, 2016
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

NEW YORK, N.Y. – This just in from the Department of Amphibian Philandering: For years, scientists have thought frogs and toads used only six positions to mate. It turns out they may be wrong. In a forest in India, researchers say, they’ve documented a seventh. This latest entry in the Kermit Sutra is called the dorsal straddle. Like other positions — but unlike mammal sex — it’s aimed at letting the male fertilize eggs outside the female’s body. Researchers spent 40 nights in a dense forest, finding male Bombay night frogs by listening for their mating calls and filming the action when a female showed up.

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Business & Politics

Strong U.S. Housing Market Continues to Drive Recovery in Canada’s Wood Industry

Conference Board of Canada
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Ottawa — Pre-tax profits in Canada’s wood manufacturing industry are expected to grow from $1.1 billion in 2015 to just under $1.5 billion this year thanks to strong demand from the U.S., according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Wood Products Industry Outlook. “With the weakness in the Canadian housing market weighing on the industry, the resurgence in the U.S. housing market is expected to remain the key driver for improving demand for Canadian wood products over the next couple of years,” said Michael Burt, Director, Industrial Economic Trends, The Conference of Canada. “The weakness in the Canadian dollar will also give Canadian wood exporters a competitive edge.”

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The BC Forest Safety Council announces appointment of the Director, SAFE Companies

BC Forest Safety Council
June 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO, BC – Cherie Whelan will be joining the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) as Director, SAFE Companies on June 27, 2016, bringing more than 20 years of diverse health and safety experience to her new role. The recipient of numerous health and safety awards1 of excellence, Cherie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional, and a certified OHSMS / OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor and ISO 14001-Environemntal Lead Auditor. She was most recently TransAlta Energy’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Team Lead, TransAlta Corporation’s lead EHS auditor and TransAlta Corporation’s total safety governance supervisor. 

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Story continues for Coulson Aviation

By Katya Slepian
Alberni Valley News
June 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coulson Aviation is doubling down to look for opportunities at home that are as fruitful as those they’ve secured abroad, according to CEO Wayne Coulson. “The Forest Service put out a request for proposal and they would give consideration to next gen airtankers,” said Coulson. “This is a seven-year contract with three one-year extensions.” The RFP for the 2017 firefighting season, according to the province, “is seeking proposals from qualified firms for the supply of up to two turbine powered airtanker(s) and one turbine powered bird dog aircraft with all personnel and supporting services in order to maintain and /or enhance wildfire control capabilities.”

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Softwood agreement expiration lifts B.C. lumber exports

By Bryan Yu
Business in Vancouver
June 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Early-year data points to a promising year for B.C.’s forestry sector. Total softwood lumber production reached a seasonally adjusted 2.65 million dry cubic metres. While down from February, production climbed 2.2% year over year, pushing year-to-date growth to 5.9%. This was the highest first-quarter production since 2007. Production growth reflects increased international exports, which rose 21.5% from a year ago in the first quarter, with lower dollar-volume growth of 14.6% due to lower average prices. The gap between exports and production growth could reflect sales of existing inventories. Shipments to the U.S. jumped 37% while those to China remained largely the same and exports to Japan contracted.

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Russia posts big increase in lumber exports to China as B.C.’s shipments slide

by Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
June 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West, International

Russian lumber exports to China have surged this year and include a staggering shipment of 1.5 million cubic metres in April alone, according to a new report from industry analyst Wood Markets Group. In total, Russian exports to China since the start of the year are up 50 per cent over the same period in 2015 at the same time B.C.’s exports to China slipped by three per cent. The surge into China was likely an adjustment by Russian producers to make up for a short-term disruption of their sales into the Middle East and North Africa, said Wood Markets president Russell Taylor. However, the speed at which Russian companies were able to divert shipments to China was surprising and indicative of progress they have made in developing supply chains into Asia at the same time B.C. is attempting to improve its own inroads into the region.

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New mill in Mackenzie champions innovation, diversity

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
June 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duz Cho Forest Products celebrated the official grand opening of its new cant mill, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today. The mill was designed to cut cants specifically for export to China, the Middle East, and a small percentage to the United States. It uses small diameter logs – primarily mountain pine beetle attacked logs – that are not used nor wanted by other manufacturers in the area. The mill has also experimented with processing deciduous logs (Aspen). Sawmill residue is sold locally to the Mackenzie pulp mill. The Duz Cho mill provides employment for 28 people and boasts a diverse workforce, with 64% being First Nations.

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Louisiana-Pacific Is Mystery Company Receiving $66M In Public Financing

Twin Cities Business Magazine
June 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The months-long mystery behind which home siding company would be receiving a $66 million subsidy package from the state has finally been made public. Louisiana-Pacific will construct a $440 million plant in Hoyt Lakes. This is the Nashville-based company’s second operation in the state (the other being in Two Harbors). The Hoyt Lakes site will employ 250 people, amounting to roughly $264,000 in state funding per job created. The Duluth News Tribune notes that many of those employees will be loggers and felled tree transporters, a group of workers that has struggled to find employment following years of board plant closures and layoffs at paper mills in the area.

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Local timber farmers hurting as demand for their product slows

Greater Baton Rouge Busines Report
June 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Decreased demand for the high-quality pine timber that is so abundant in south Louisiana is causing a hardship for the area’s timber farmers. Exacerbating the problem is a dearth of timber mills, as several mills in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi have shut down in recent years. “We don’t have enough mills here to create sufficient competition and the mills we do have are not seeking the larger, high grade trees like they once did,” says Warren Peters, owner of Peters Forest Resources, which services the forest industry. “I tell landowners two or three times a week now not to cut their timber this year. There is no place to take it.” Behind the decreased demand for timber is a slowdown in the housing market.

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Price slide for eucalyptus pulp slows in May

EUWID
June 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Hardwood pulp prices have declined further in May, but both suppliers and converters believe the end of the downward trend is nearing. Producers of hardwood pulp have been able to put the brakes on the months-long slide of prices in Europe. In May, depending on the starting level, quotes declined only slightly, said participants from both sides of the market at the beginning of June. At the latest by the end of May, when various Latin American suppliers announced their plans of realising a hike in June, the market received the signal that prices cannot go much lower, EUWID was told.

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Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update

By Wood Resources International
Scoop Independent News
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Seattle, USA. Wood costs for the pulp industry have been falling steadily worldwide for almost five years with hardwood fiber prices declining the most, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) fell by 0.6% in the 1Q/16 mainly because of lower prices for hardwood pulplogs in Russia, …The Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI), dropped one percent in the 1Q/16 from the previous quarter, which was its lowest level since the 1Q/06. The only region that has experienced an increase in wood fiber costs the past few years is the US South, where average softwood pulplog prices in the 1Q/16 were 21% higher than in 2012.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

What drives high cost of building a Vancouver condo?

By Frank O’Brien
Business in Vancouver
June 14, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Construction costs for a typical highrise concrete condominium in Vancouver range from $210 to $270 per square foot, while a low-rise, four-storey wood-frame condominium would cost from $130 to $165 per square foot to build, according to the 2016 Construction Cost Guide prepared by Altus Group.Construction costs for a typical highrise concrete condominium in Vancouver range from $210 to $270 per square foot, while a low-rise, four-storey wood-frame condominium would cost from $130 to $165 per square foot to build, according to the 2016 Construction Cost Guide prepared by Altus Group.

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Tall Wood Building Momentum Reaches Québec

Canadian Wood Council Applauds Announcement of the Origine Project
Canadian Wood Council
June 14, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA – Today was a ground-breaking day for the wood industry, quite literally, as the NEB consortium (consisting of Nordic Structures, EBC Construction and Synchro Immobilier) broke ground in Québec on the Origine project, a 13 storey building of which 12 storeys are mass timber and one is concrete. When completed, the 92 unit condominium complex will join the ranks of the world’s tallest wood buildings and serve as a Canadian example of the research and technology that is involved in taking wood construction to new heights. “Advances in science and building technology, supported by renowned research organizations such as FPInnovations and the National Research Council, are resulting in innovative wood solutions, such as the Origine project, that are safe, sound, and sustainable.” explained Etienne Lalonde

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Construction of the tallest wood condo tower in North America officially begins

Canada Newswire press release
June 14, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC CITY – This morning, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the Origine green condo project, set to become the tallest solid wood condo tower in North America. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume both attended the event to celebrate the project, which has positioned Quebec as a leader in eco-friendly wood construction. Origine will also be the flagship building of the Pointe-aux-Lièvres ecodistrict, in the heart of Quebec City. The 41-metre-tall building, to be delivered by the end of the year, will feature 12 storeys made of gigantic cross-laminated timber above a concrete ground floor. It will house 92 condo units.

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Forestry

Announcements sees nazko first nation receive $100,000 and signing of forest tenure opportunity agreement

By Rebecca Dyok
My Cariboo Now
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A couple of announcements involving the Nazko First Nation were made following Monday’s Natural Resource Ministers Panel. One featured a profit distribution cheque worth $100,000 to the Nazko Economic Development Corporation, the 2nd in the past three years. It was issued by NAZBEC a joint company owned by the Nazko Economic Development Corporation and Pacific Bioenergy Corporation. Don Steele is the Chairman of NAZBEC and the Chairman and CEO of Pacific Bioenergy. “And what it demonstrates is that by working together with a First Nations group we can combine the interests and aspirations of a commercial operation such as ours with a First Nations group that have had a traditional activity in logging to come up with something that works.”

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Dr. John Innes, Dean, Faculty of Forestry appointed for second term

By Angela Redish, Provost and Vice-President Academic pro tem
University of British Columbia
June 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am very pleased to announce that, on the recommendation of Interim President Martha Piper, the Board of Governors has approved the extension of appointment of Dr. John Innes as Dean of the Faculty of Forestry for a second term, commencing July 1, 2016, until June 30, 2021. Under Dr. Innes’ leadership, the Faculty has made outstanding achievements in student learning, which saw, for example, the creation of a new undergraduate program in Urban Forestry and three new professional Master’s programs in Sustainable Forest Management, International Forestry, and Geomatics and Environmental Management; and more than a tripling of the number of co-op placements. With a commitment to student learning and experience, the Dean undertook external program reviews (the first of their kind at UBC) and created the position of Student Development Officer, devoted to enhancing student life.

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Cenovus significantly scales up caribou protection efforts with $32M project

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
June 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY – Cenovus is planning a $32-million project that aims to restore the habitat of dwindling caribou populations around its oilsands sites in northeastern Alberta over the next 10 years. Decades of industry activity in the region have sliced up the boreal forest where the animals live, creating openings that make them more vulnerable to predators. The Calgary-based company has been working since 2008 on pilot projects to help protect the threatened species. The new project aims to replant forests along old access roads and seismic lines in an area covering 3,900 square kilometres — more than 10 times what the company has accomplished through its early-stage work.

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Last minute message from Manitoba could hurt boreal forest world heritage bid

Future transmission lines may influence world heritage designation for boreal forest
CBC News
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With just weeks before a decision on designating a vast area of Manitoba’s boreal forest as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Manitoba government has written the United Nations committee in charge about a possible hydro corridor on the land and environmental organizations say the letter could derail years of work. The Pimachiowin Aki project nomination has been in the works for several years and would give the forest United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site status. The boreal forest, and its associated bid, spans 33,400 square-kilometres of land on both sides of the Manitoba–Ontario border.

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Month-long May camp-out draws attention to state of Crown land

The New Glasgow News
June 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

SCOTSBURN – It takes a lot of devotion to camp in the month of May in Nova Scotia on a remote piece of land by yourself with no fire. But Billy MacDonald is so committed to helping to preserve Nova Scotia’s forests, that’s exactly what he did. …“Basically we were trying to bring some awareness and encourage people to have a greater awareness of Crown or public land owned by the people,” he said. Friends of Redtail Society, of which MacDonald is a member, is encouraging people to take an interest in Crown land, which is owned by the government. To that end, during his stay, members of the public were invited to visit the site, and the group urged people across the province to do the same in their area.

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Teachers’ Tour Offers Unique Opportunity to Learn About Forest Industry

Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
June 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Forestry and Agrifoods Agency and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. will sponsor two educators interested in attending the Canadian Woodlands Forum 2016 Atlantic Teachers’ Tour, Forests Worth Knowing. Teachers and guidance counsellors are encouraged to apply to attend the forest and environmental workshop being held in Miramichi, New Brunswick, in August. The Atlantic Teachers’ Tour provides an opportunity to see first-hand how modern, science based forest management is used to manage our forest resources. Participants will get the chance to tour woodlands, operations and mills, and then bring what they learn back to their respective schools as part of their curriculum or to inform students who are making career choices.  The Canadian Woodlands Forum, which takes place August 8-12, is accepting applications until June 17.

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Triple Tree logging project wrong for Bozeman

Letter by Kate Cremer-Vogel
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Although the Montana constitution still requires the state to log State Trust Lands each year for the monetary benefit of schools, I have great concern for the choice the DNRC has made this time to log part of the Triple Tree Trail and the old-growth forest to the east, which they call “Limestone West” (Google it for more information). Furthermore, DNRC plans to carve out 12 miles of new logging roads in this extremely steep terrain to proceed with logging. Some of the many reasons DNRC’s choice to log this area, which is a stone’s throw from Bozeman, must not proceed are: • Triple Tree Trail is one of the most highly used trails in Bozeman. …• This targeted old-growth forest borders on state forest that has a critical habitat designation due to the endangered Canada lynx.

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Pine Tree Deaths Plague California’s Sierra Nevada

Huffington Post
June 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Summer is just about here, which means thousands of people will be flocking to California’s Sierra Nevada mountains to enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors. Unfortunately, many visitors will be greeted with marred trees and the roar of chainsaws when they visit the pine-heavy portions of the Sierra Nevada’s southern reaches. Thanks in part to the ongoing drought conditions in California, bark beetle infestations have ravaged its stressed trees (particularly Ponderosa pines), which have turned reddish brown with an estimated 60 million trees that are dead or dying. In visiting with the rangers at Dinkey Creek Campground, located in near Shaver Lake in the heart of the thick Ponderosa pine forest, they said hundreds of trees have already been cut down this month for safety reasons with hundreds more needing to be removed this summer.

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The Spotted Owl Is in Peril Again. And You Can’t Blame the Loggers.

June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The most immediate threat to the existence of the Northern spotted owl doesn’t carry an axe. It doesn’t wear plaid, work in a sawmill, or drive a pickup truck featuring a faded yellow bumper sticker reading “Save a logger—kill an owl.” Instead, 25 years removed from the Timber Wars of the early ’90s, which anecdotally pitted hemp-wearing environmentalists against grizzled loggers, the spotted owl is challenged by a foe hardly distinguishable from itself. That’s because it’s another owl. Specifically, the barred owl, an invasive species that has moved into Pacific Northwest forests and wrought havoc on their native cousins. “If we don’t do something about the barred owl, we’re going to lose the Northern subspecies of the spotted owl,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Robin Bown says. “I wouldn’t have told you that 10 years ago.”

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Foresters: Western Oregon BLM Plan Fails to Consider Risks, Needs of O&C Forests

Oregon Society of American Foresters
June 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Resource Management Plan would limit the ability of foresters to ensure the health, resiliency and accessibility across much of the 2.5 million acres of Western Oregon O&C forests, according to a letter sent by the Oregon Society of American Foresters (OSAF) to BLM Director Neil Kornze. The society represents over 800 forestry professionals in the state. OSAF expressed concerns with the agency’s plan to set aside as much as 80 percent of the O&C lands in reserves, where limited forest management activities such as timber harvests and thinning would occur.

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The Spotted Owl Is in Peril Again. And You Can’t Blame the Loggers.

June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The most immediate threat to the existence of the Northern spotted owl doesn’t carry an axe. It doesn’t wear plaid, work in a sawmill, or drive a pickup truck featuring a faded yellow bumper sticker reading “Save a logger—kill an owl.” Instead, 25 years removed from the Timber Wars of the early ’90s, which anecdotally pitted hemp-wearing environmentalists against grizzled loggers, the spotted owl is challenged by a foe hardly distinguishable from itself. That’s because it’s another owl. Specifically, the barred owl, an invasive species that has moved into Pacific Northwest forests and wrought havoc on their native cousins. “If we don’t do something about the barred owl, we’re going to lose the Northern subspecies of the spotted owl,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Robin Bown says. “I wouldn’t have told you that 10 years ago.”

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Forest Fires

Despite more lightning this year, rain keeping fire season at bay

My Yellowknife Now
June 14, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

NWT fire crews are expected to be fully staffed by the end of the week after firefighters currently stationed in Alberta make the trip home. The Northwest Territories has experienced a slow start to the wildfire season so far, with only 10 fires burning an estimated 130 hectares of land since May 1. To put that into context, the 20-year-average would see 22 fires by this point and by this time last year, 58 had been documented. “We continue to have a below-average season,” said Mike Gravel, territorial duty officer with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR). Only five new fires have been documented in the past week – all of which were reported in the territory’s Dehcho region.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BC lags behind provinces on climate change actions: Pembina Institute

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
June 14, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – British Columbia is a climate-change laggard despite its eight-year-old tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels, says a new report by the Pembina Institute. It said B.C. has fallen behind Alberta, Ontario and Quebec in the fight against global warming as those provinces seek ambitious emission reduction targets, the institute’s director Josha MacNab said Tuesday. The report included information from the international Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, which has 16 member countries, including Canada. It concluded B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions could rise by 39 per cent above 2014 levels by 2030. In Alberta, Ontario and Quebec emissions are projected to decrease by 26 per cent, 22 per cent and 23 per cent respectively over the same period, the project found.

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Research Examines Obstacles to Making Biofuel from Perennial Plants

University of Arkansas Newswire
June 14, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A University of Arkansas chemistry professor has received a $400,000 award from the National Science Foundation to investigate a roadblock in the harvesting of biomass from perennial plants for the purpose of creating a source of renewable energy. “Biofuel derived from perennial plants … is most desirable because these plants grow on marginal land and can be harvested repeatedly,” said Feng Wang, associate professor of physical chemistry in J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. “But first we have to solve the problem of breaking down cellulose fibrils before biomass can be considered an economically viable source of renewable energy.” Cellulose fibrils are microfibers of inert carbohydrates within plants. They give wood its durability, for example. Through a process known as pretreatment, chemists separate these fibrils into individual carbohydrate chains that can be digested by enzymes. This process takes a long time, but Wang and other chemists are studying ways to speed it up.

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