Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 6, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Trump, Trade and Bio-fuel

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 6, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Using a ‘silver lining’ colloquialism to describe Canada’s “increasingly complex and gloomy economic situation”, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland wants you to believe that Canada’s cup-is-half-full “despite growing protectionist and nationalist movements in the United States and elsewhere”. The premise being that with its open and trade-friendly environment “Canada is bucking the trend in the face of populist movements seeking easy targets such as immigrants and trade agreements”.

The Biomass industry is also trying to forecast what the coming Trump administration will look like. Notwithstanding the anticipated weakening of the federal EPA (and demise of the Clean Power Plan), Bob Cleaves, President of the Biomass Power Association, believes that—in a world where environmental regulation is increasingly driven at the state and local level—the “nonpower benefits of biomass power will become even more pronounced”.

Sticking with this theme, Grand Falls–Windsor Mayor Barry Manuael is speaking out on the need for the Ontario government to approve the allocation of 285,000 cubic meters of fibre for a proposed Biofuel plant in Botwood Ontario.

— Tree Frog Editors

Read More

Business & Politics

Prices lower for pulp and plywood; mixed for lumber, OSB and paper

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
January 6, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The main lumber pricing benchmarks were down q/q in Q4 with Western SPF and Eastern SPF down 2% and 4% respectively, while Western SYP prices were up 6%. Average quarterly OSB prices were mainly lower q/q with North Central down 5% and Western Canada down 10%, while the South East showed strength up 3%. Plywood prices decreased 10% in the quarter. Papergrade pulp list prices in North America were lower with NBSK prices down 1% q/q and BEK prices 2% lower. Commodity DP prices increased 2% q/q and BCTMP prices decreased 3% q/q… The Canadian dollar weakened 2.2% q/q, which should help amplify results for Canadian producers within our coverage space. The US dollar strengthened by 3.5% vis-à-vis the Euro.

Read More

Freeland sees opportunity for Canada amid rising protectionism, nationalism abroad

By Sidhartha Banerjee
Canadian Press in Sudbury.com
January 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL — International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland sees a silver lining for Canada in 2017 despite an increasingly complex and gloomy economic situation worldwide. Enormous opportunity exists for Canada amid growing protectionist and nationalist movements in the United States and elsewhere, Freeland told an international-relations group Thursday… The ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the United States and a vow by president-elect Donald Trump to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement loom large on a packed horizon… Freeland noted that negotiations on the matter have been “historically difficult.” Quebec Forestry Minister Luc Blanchette, who attended the event, reminded the federal government the industry provides 60,000 jobs in 220 municipalities in the province.

Read More

Fire crews quickly stamp out small fire at Domtar

By Doug Collins
CFJC Today Kamloops
January 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Fire crews braved the extreme cold and icy conditiions last night to put out a small fire at the Domtar mill at Mission Flats. KFR were called to the scene about 8:45 last night, to assist Domtar emergency personnel deal with a fire that had made its way between two panels on the outside wall of one of the buildings. It took some time to get the blaze out as crews had to get into the wall to deal with the blaze, and the cold weather coupled with freezing water from fighting the fire created some problems in tackling the source. But after a couple of hours work, crews were able to get the small fire completely extinguished.

Read More

Canfor evolves forestry through tech and innovation

By The Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
BC Government
January 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Have you ever wondered which British Columbia companies incorporate the most innovation and the latest technology? Would it surprise you to know that tech touches nearly every industry in B.C.? British Columbians may be interested to discover forestry company Canfor is near the very top of the list of tech adopters. Canfor is one of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper and a leader in bioenergy production, with a strong presence as one of Prince George’s major employers. …Director of biofuel development James Spankie explains how Canfor marries technology and innovation with forestry to maintain that position as a global leader. “Our pulp mills incorporate the latest technology, such as specialized flame cameras that optimize heat efficiency in our kilns and turbo generating equipment to take the steam that runs the mills and generate electricity,” says Spankie.

Read More

Investment at risk says Grand Falls-Windsor Mayor

By Colleen Lewis
The Advertiser
January 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


“This needs to get the attention it deserves,” said Manuel. “How can you let an opportunity like this pass?” Manuel is referring to a proposed biofuel plant in Botwood. Newgreen Technology has requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the province for 285,000 cubic meters of forest fiber. The MOU is necessary for the company to proceed to the next stage of development. The request for the MOU has been in the hands of the provincial government for roughly nine months. “We’ve been talking to government, to our local representatives, to make our voice heard in this,” said Manuel. “Our understanding is this proposal is from a company who are presenting a viable business opportunity that is not going to take any investment or financing from Government.” Manuel says the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is behind any proposal that could bring more jobs to the region.

Read More

Assistance available for laid-off Weyerhaeuser employees

By Colter Lairy
NBC Montana
January 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

KALISPELL, Mont. – Workshops are being held by the Job Service in Kalispell to help workers get back on their feet after two Weyerhaeuser mills closed this summer laying off over 100 people. Sawmill and plywood workers are eligible for a program that will help them land back on their feet, and now the job service is working to get additional administrative office workers eligible for those benefits. The Kalispell Job Service has been putting on workshops to help Weyerhaeuser employees get the training they need for new jobs ever since the announcement of the layoffs.

Read More

Port signs deal with company that will ship timber to Asia

By Dave Gallagher
The Bellingham Herald
January 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

BELLINGHAM — The waterfront will be seeing more shipping export activity in the form of timber. The Port of Bellingham announced Wednesday that it had signed a lease with GrandCamp International LLC to export logs from this area to Asia through the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. The 5-year lease includes 5 acres of property and up to 7 acres of optional water area near the shipping terminal. Trucks loaded with logs will enter the area from Cornwall Avenue and store the logs on open land, with the option of some of the logs being put in the water. The number of logs to be shipped through the terminal will be determined by demand. When asked for an estimate at a Port of Bellingham commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, GrandCamp Managing Member Steve Grandorff said filling a typical ship would take between 1,200 and 1,400 truckloads, with a ship arriving every two or three months.

Read More

Cold-weather fire at Roseburg mill quelled

By Kim Briggeman
The Missoulian
January 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Temperatures of -9 degrees that froze cooling equipment are thought to be the cause of a Thursday morning fire at the Roseburg Forest Products plant on Raser Drive. Firefighters were dispatched to the mill in northwest Missoula at 9:35 a.m. and launched an aggressive response that included two ladder trucks to attack the flames with steady streams of water from above. Roseburg continued operations throughout the morning. The fire was quelled and firefighters released at 12:10 p.m. The fire ignited in wood shavings used in the manufacture of particle board and extended into the walls of the “pre-dry building,” according to Missoula Rural Fire chief Bill Colwell.

Read More

Woodgrain Millwork announces $4 million expansion, new jobs

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
January 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

LENOIR, N.C. – Wood products manufacturer Woodgrain Millwork is building a new $4 million pellet mill at its Lenoir manufacturing site. The company said 15 new full-time jobs will be created. The 15,000-square-foot project, expected to be completed this spring, will manufacture and package wood fiber pellets to be used for animal bedding and fuel products. Woodgrain Millwork will sell the pellets to retail outlets and distribution centers. Based in Fruitland, Idaho, and founded in 1954, Woodgrain Millwork manufactures wood moulding products at its Lenoir facility and employs approximately 150 people. Woodgrain Millwork is the largest wood moulding products supplier to Home Depot.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Gorgeous new prefab is modular. Or is it Flat-pack? Or post-and-beam? Never mind.

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
January 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

We have always drawn a distinction between modular construction, where boxes are built in a factory with interior finishes installed, and flat-pack construction, the colloquial IKEA-ish name for panellized construction, where panels are built in the factory and assembled into boxes on site. Now we have the Backcountry Hut Company, which is producing what Residential Architect calls A Flat-Packed, Made-to-Order Modular House that Doesn’t Sacrifice Design. And I was confused. Is it modular, is it flat-pack, or is it post and beam? …It is a beautiful design, and the idea of extruding out these planning modules is attractive from a marketing point of view, but it seems to me that they are handcuffing themselves to the worst limitations of modular construction while getting none of the benefits.

Read More

Is What You See What You Get? Linking Forest Health to Wood Quality

By Rebecca Wallace
United States Department of Agriculture
January 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But can a piece of wood be judged by the tree it was cut from? Researchers from the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and the University of Georgia are working to find out. Loblolly pine is widely planted in the southeastern United States. The plantations are highly productive, generating lumber for construction, and they are managed specifically to address increased population growth. This makes loblolly pine one of the most important tree species in the world in terms of wood use.

Read More

American Hardwood Export Council partners with top UAE designers for key project

Trade Arabia
January 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

DUBAI—The American Hardwood Export Council (Ahec), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, is collaborating with seven of the most prominent and exciting designers in the UAE for its ‘Seed to Seat’ project. The designers have been given an open brief and asked to design ‘something to sit on’. The pieces, which will be made from a selection of four American hardwood species, will be unveiled at Design Days Dubai 2017 expo to be held from March 14 to 17 at Dubai Design District. With Seed to Seat, Ahec aims to identify the true environmental impact of design and build on its extensive work with life cycle assessment (LCA).

Read More

Forestry

Environmental group challenges Clearwater forest logging

Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
January 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

LEWISTON, Idaho – An Idaho conservation group has filed a lawsuit over the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to log and build a temporary road in an undeveloped part of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. Friends of the Clearwater filed a lawsuit challenging the Forest Service’s analysis that found logging and other work near Orogrande won’t degrade the area or threaten its roadless status and its future as a potential wilderness designation, The Lewiston Tribune reported. …Friends of Clearwater Ecosystem Defense Director Gary Macfarlane said the Forest Service’s environmental analysis did not meet standards required by the National Environmental Policy Act. He also said the analysis is contrary to other roadless area logging decisions the agency has made.

Read More

No, California’s Forests Aren’t Failing to Regrow After Big Wildfires

By George Wuerthner, ecologist and writer, serves on the Science Advisory Board of Project Coyote
Earth Island
January 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The findings were viewed with alarm by some, with some news reports suggesting that California’s forests were not regenerating after high severity wildfires. To be fair, the study was not intended to review all the benefits of high-severity blazes, but what it lacked was context. First, even the authors admitted that the paradigm used to determine conifer regeneration is biased towards timber production. Besides, there are many nuances in interpretation that were only mentioned in the body of the study that few bothered to review. As a result, the report has generated undue concern and panic among the public that the state’s forests may be disappearing. With regards to context, the authors, for one, choose to focus on the increase of wildfires in the past three decades, arguing that blazes during this period were more severe and extensive than wildfires in the past.

Read More

Forterra land purchase will protect 376 acres of land from development

SnoValley Star
January 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nonprofit group Forterra recently purchased 376 acres of land — 300 acres of which is old growth forest — around the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers. The land will be permanently protected from development. Finalized Dec. 29, the purchase included 220 acres around Blethen Lake and 156 acres around Titicaed Creek. The Blethen Lake parcel is located in the upper Quartz Creek area in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley. It will be added to the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation area. The Titicaed Creek parcel is located in the North Fork Tolt River watershed and has never been logged. The properties provide high quality habitat for pikas, black bears, wolverines, pine martens, cougars and a wide variety of birds, including northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets.

Read More

Kitsap County buys 1355 acres of land from timber company

Associated Press in East Oregonian
January 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT GAMBLE, Wash.  — Kitsap County is buying 1,355 acres of land from a local timber company in a deal that will triple the size of Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park. The Kitsap Sun says the $2.3 million agreement announced Tuesday allows Poulsbo-based Pope Resources to log the property in sections over the next 25 years. The public will have access to the land during that time. Supporters say the deal ensures that one of the largest lowland forests in the Hood Canal watershed will be permanently protected. Seattle-based nonprofit group Forterra negotiated the agreement. The state Department of Ecology provided the money.

Read More

Measuring trees with the speed of sound

By the Botanical Society of America
EurekaAlert!
January 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International


Living trees can rot from the inside out, leaving only a hollowed trunk. Wood rot in living trees can cause overestimates of global carbon pools, timber loss in forestry, and poor tree health. …But how do foresters and researchers see into a living tree to measure wood decay? They use sound. In a recently published article in Applications in Plant Sciences, a team of professors, teachers, and students established methods for using a sound wave technology called sonic tomography. Their methods were derived from measurements on more than 1,800 living trees of 173 tropical rainforest tree species in the Republic of Panama.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Sourcing of wood pellets in US could destroy forests, say critics

By Niall Sargent
Irish Times
January 6, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Plans by Bord na Móna to import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wood pellets from the southeast of the United States to fuel an electricity power plant in the midlands could devastate forests there, critics say. In a report to the Government released under the Freedom of Information Act, Bord na Móna forecast it would struggle to find enough locally produced wood and other biomass for its plant in Edenderry, Co Offaly. In the document, written in 2013, the semi-State said its biomass needs “cannot be met from the existing indigenous supply sources” and calls for a greater supply of pulpwood from State-owned forests.

Read More

Biomass and the US EPA Under Trump

By Bob Cleaves
Biomass Magazine
January 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

…Since Election Day, the media and Washington insiders have been placing their bets on what the coming Trump administration will look like, and the policies it will implement, along with the Republican-controlled House and Senate. …Given a likely growing state authority on environmental regulation, we are cautiously optimistic for stronger support for biomass power. On the state and local levels, the nonpower benefits of biomass power become even more pronounced than they often are by looking at the full national power supply. Because of the current state of the power market, with fossil fuels like natural gas costing a fraction of wood fuels, we are seeing what happens when a state faces a potential reduction of power from biomass.

Read More