Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 10, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Softwood Lumber Dispute Heats Up

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 10, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Gordon Ritchie, former ambassador and negotiator of the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement say’s “Canada can’t afford to play nice if Trump triggers NAFTA talks”. With the US reactivation of claims of lumber subsidy, Mr. Ritchie states that “it’s unlikely the US negotiators will be any more reasonable this time around”. His bottom line: “Canada must come to the table with its own serious demands and stand up to the neighbourhood bully”.

Given the reported cabinet shuffle coming this week, it appears Prime Minister Trudeau may have got the message. According to Fife in the Globe and Mail, changes under consideration include Minister of International Trade, Freeland, taking over Foreign Affairs from Minister Dion because his “cranky personality might not sit well with the Trump government”. Hmmm.

According to Ewart in 250 News, the threat is even greater than feared as the US has broadened its net to include more value-added softwood products.  According to Ewart, “it is another example of how the US promotes ‘free trade’ one day and ‘protectionism’ the next, according to whatever suits its purposes – everyone else, including Canada, be damned”. And the timing couldn’t be more awkward for the BC Liberals, according the Palmer in the Vancouver Sun, with “the anti-dumping verdict due on or about May 4, the week before the provincial election”. 

In other news, the Ontario forest industry is hoping to find a middle ground as their exemption from Ontario’s Endangered Species Act nears expiration in mid-2018.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

Canada can’t afford to play nice if Trump triggers NAFTA talks

By Gordon Ritchie, former ambassador for trade negotiations and deputy chief negotiator of the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement 
Globe and Mail
January 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to “rip up” the North-American free-trade agreement (NAFTA) if he is unable to renegotiate it on his own, very aggressive terms. The Canadian and Mexican governments have made a virtue of necessity by expressing their openness to renegotiation. What are the benefits and risks? …Top of the list will be the restriction of imports of softwood lumber from Canada, which refused U.S. demands in the FTA to enshrine special restrictions singling out lumber imports from Canada. Successive U.S. administrations, succumbing to the enormous political power of the lumber lobby, then pursued claims that Canadian softwood was subsidized by the producing provinces and injured U.S. domestic producers. 

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Trudeau prepares for the Trump era with cabinet shuffle

By Robert Fife
Globe and Mail
January 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in the midst of planning a cabinet shake-up as the Liberal government gears up for the challenge of dealing with an unpredictable Donald Trump presidency and his espousal of protectionist policies. Mr. Trudeau and top advisers have been meeting over the past week on the design of the new cabinet team that could be unveiled as early as Tuesday, according to a government insider. …Chrystia Freeland, the International Trade Minister, could be promoted to foreign affairs, although Mr. Trudeau might want to keep her in the current job so she can assume the key role of renegotiating the North American free-trade deal.

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All signs point to punishing lumber duties from U.S.

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
January 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — The B.C. Liberals put up a brave front last week when the Americans issued a preliminary finding of guilt against Canadian lumber imports for harming U.S. producers. “These are allegations that, time after time, have been proven false,” declared the statement Friday from Forests Minister Steve Thomson in response to the unfavourable ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission. “B.C.’s forest policies are trade compliant,” he continued, citing multiple previous rulings by international trade tribunals. Never mind that those have not stopped the Americans from imposing punishing duties on Canadian softwood time and again. “With the forecast for continued increase in U.S. housing starts, the U.S. needs our lumber and penalties only hurt housing affordability for middle-class Americans by raising building costs,” continued Thomson, appealing to the interests of U.S. consumers over industry.

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Softwood Lumber Battle Heating Up

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
January 6, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled on the allegations of unfair trade practices against Canadian softwood lumber producers, and says there is “injury”. The ruling means the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue its investigation to Canada and Canadian softwood lumber producers. “These are allegations that, time after time, have been proven to be false before NAFTA and World Trade Organization tribunals” says B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Steve Thomson. He says the province’s forest policies are “trade compliant” and that the issue can only be resolved with “a fair, negotiated trade agreement with the United States, not more litigation.”

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US broadens net against Canadian softwood imports

By Peter Ewart
250 News
January 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The US International Trade Administration (USITA) has expanded its net to include a number of value-added Canadian softwood products it will be investigating for so-called “unfair trade practices.” This follows an announcement last week by USITA that Canada, with its softwood exports, has caused “injury” to US producers. As Madison’s Lumber Reporter notes, the original intent of US anti-dumping duties (ADD) and Countervailing Duties (CVD) was to apply these to “primary mills” only and not to downstream industries that further process or fabricate the wood, e.g. value-added products. However, over the years, the US Lumber Coalition has continually pushed to expand the net. For example, it argued for drilled and/or notched studs to be included. This was “quickly expanded to include all drilled and/or notched lumber, as well as angle end-cut material, none of which required further fabrication after import.”

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Ryan Wheaton & Lisa Perry talk Sierra Pacific Industries

Firber One News Radio
January 6, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West


Shelton city manager Ryan Wheaton and Lisa Perry from Sierra Pacific Industries came on to talk about the progress on the Sierra Pacific Industries plant in Shelton. The “Focus On Shelton” is sponsored by Our Community Credit Union.

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US Continues Probe Into Canadian Lumber Imports

By Glen Shapiro
Global Tax News
January 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

On January 6, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) decided that there is a reasonable indication that the US domestic industry is being materially injured by imports of softwood lumber products from Canada that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value. As a result of the ITC’s affirmative determinations, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) will continue to conduct its antidumping (AD) and anti-subsidy countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on the imports, with its CVD decision due on February 20, 2017, and its preliminary AD margin determination due on May 4, 2017. On December 16, Commerce announced that it had initiated AD and CVD investigations concerning Canadian softwood lumber product imports on December 16, 2016. AD margins on these imports, which were valued at USD4.5bn in 2015, are alleged at between 20.12 and 53.08 percent.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

WOOD DESIGN AWARDS IN BC – Call for Nominations

Wood WORKS! BC
January 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nominate a deserving architect, engineer or building owner for an innovative and inspiring wood project. Celebrate excellence in wood building and design as winners are recognized before their peers, industry leaders and media at the much-anticipated annual awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Monday, March 6th. Recognize projects throughout BC – and now internationally with the International Wood Design category. There is no fee required to nominate a project. Nominations are accepted in up to two categories and self-nominations are encouraged. Projects must have been completed in the past 3 years i.e. since December, 2013 and may not be resubmitted to win a second time in the same category.

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Minneapolis home to largest mass timber building in the U.S.

Journal of Commerce
January 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States


MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. – Minneapolis is now home to the first modern mass timber office building in the U.S. Designed by Vancouver-based Michael Green Architecture (MGA) in conjunction with architect-of-record DLR Group, the seven storey office building in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighbourhood is the largest mass timber building in the United States….T3, which stands for Timber, Technology, Transit, consists of 224,000 square feet of office and retail space. More than 3,600 cubic metres of exposed mass timber columns, beams and floor slabs recall the heavy timber construction of the building’s predecessors. T3’s approach uses engineered wood components, chiefly glulam and nail laminated timber (NLT), for the roof, floors, columns and beams, and furniture.

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Forestry

Assistant Deputy Minister Resource Stewardship Report: Regional Results of the Forest and Range Evaluation Program

By the Forest and Range Evaluation Program
Government of BC
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This sixth annual overview of the Forest and Range Evaluation Program (FREP) summarizes regional-level program findings and makes recommendations for continued improvement of on-the-ground resource management practices. With a target audience of natural resource professionals and decision makers, this report aims to encourage dialogue and inform decision making among those who manage British Columbia’s natural resource values on behalf of the public. The development of FRPA had several key goals, including: Simplifying the forest management legal framework; Creating a “freedom to manage” approach for defined results; and Maintaining the high environmental standards laid out in the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (FPC).

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CNA is studying invasive insects to protect Newfoundland ecosystems

By Anthony A. Davis
MacLeans
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The lily leaf beetle, with its shiny scarlet back, “is a cute little beetle,” admits Barry Hicks, who established the Applied Entomology Lab at the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in 2008. …It’s just one of the invasive insects showing up in Newfoundland and Labrador that could mess with the island’s ecosystem, and that Hicks and some of his first-year biology students are studying. . … Each year, one, two or three students help Hicks, which includes studying European fire ants and spruce budworm. After causing mass defoliations in the 1970s and 1980s in parts of Newfoundland, Labrador and New Brunswick, another spruce budworm outbreak could pose a serious threat to the lumber industry.

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Foresters seek common ground on endangered species management

By Ella Myers
Northern Ontario Business
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario forest industry is hoping to find a middle ground as their exemption from Ontario’s Endangered Species Act nears expiration in mid-2018. Planning forester Scott McPherson said even though the industry is exempt from ESA, the sector adheres to unique regulations for managing and caring for species at risk. At Nipissing Forest Resource Management (NFRM) and the Vermilion Forest Management Company (VFM), for whom McPherson works, employees regularly work to ensure the safety of Blanding’s Turtles in their Sudbury Forest operations. …The companies undertake these initiatives under the Crown Forestry Sustainability Act (CFSA), under which Ontario foresters operates. Other industries don’t have comparable endangered species regulation.

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Carbon credits finance sustainable forestry project

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

On a country back road near Penobsquis, an experiment is underway that its supporters hope will point the way to a market-driven, low-carbon economic boom for New Brunswick. A non-profit organization called Community Forests International bought more than 285 hectares of forest from a private landowner and is now harvesting it using low-impact, sustainable methods. Since 2012, CFI has sold $300,000 in carbon credits from the land to customers and has used the sales revenue to finance its work. “We’ve offset an awful lot of carbon, held it up in this forest and prevented it from going into the climate and contributing to climate change,” Dale Prest, the non-profit’s ecosystem services specialist, said during a recent wintry walk through the woodlot.

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Environmentalists win $60,000 for blocking motorized juniper removal

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An environmentalist group has won more than $60,000 in attorney fees for blocking juniper removal with motorized vehicles on 80,000 acres in Eastern Oregon. U.S. District Judge Garr King has awarded the Oregon Natural Desert Association nearly $63,500 because the nonprofit prevailed in a lawsuit opposing the use of motorized vehicles in an 80,000-acre “wilderness study area” near Steens Mountain. Ranchers and local officials worry the prohibition against motorized vehicles will impede juniper removal to the detriment of habitat for the sage grouse. The bird’s declining population has prompted restoration efforts in the arid West to forestall its designation as a threatened species, which would likely curtail cattle grazing on public land.

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Forest Health And Fire, A Dangerous Balance

By Pete Aleshire
Payson Roundup
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The task of saving the forest — and places like Payson — keeps getting more complicated. A series of comprehensive studies suggest large-scale restoration logging can play a key role — but not without a dramatic change in the use of fire. However, without such a delicate balance between managing fire and fighting it — the southwest will likely lose most of its pine forests. These conclusions emerge from some of the most recent studies on the impact of wildfires, logging, rising temperature and controlled burns on the forest. The studies have sobering implications for Rim Country, where a dense, often-sickly forest poses an existential threat for forested communities.

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Counties pressured to exit $1.4 billion forest lawsuit

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fifteen Oregon counties must soon decide whether to opt out of a class action lawsuit seeking $1.4 billion for allegedly insufficient logging in state forests. As the Jan. 25 deadline approaches, a coalition of environmental and fishing groups is urging counties and the taxing entities within them — including school and fire districts — to exit the litigation. The North Coast State Forest Coalition, which represents the seven organizations, hopes to send a message that counties and taxing districts see state forests as more than just “piggy banks,” said Chris Smith, the coalition’s coordinator. …John DiLorenzo, the attorney representing Linn County, said the groups within the coalition have nothing to lose with their request, but counties and tax districts will suffer remorse if they opt out. “It’s a half-baked strategy,” DiLorenzo said.

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Forest Service approves logging project in Crazy Mountains

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
January 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Federal officials have OK’d a logging project in the northwestern portion of the Crazy Mountains. The U.S. Forest Service released a decision on the Smith Shields Forest Health project, a logging operation near Wilsall. The agency plans to harvest trees on roughly 1,660 acres in the Smith Creek and Shields River watersheds in the name of reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires and improving tree health. …ut Sara Johnson, the director of Native Ecosystems Council, said she worries the project might reduce cover for wildlife, cause snow to melt earlier and reduce shade that keeps water temperatures low. “(Logging is) devastating to wildlife and now it will increase the warm water in rivers and it’s going to increase your early snowmelt,” Johnson said.

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Forest policy requires a balanced approach

By Jim Geisinger, executive vice president of Associated Oregon Loggers
The Register-Guard
January 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As the 40-year timber veteran cited in Andy Kerr’s Jan. 3 guest viewpoint, I am cautiously optimistic the next two years will offer new opportunities to bring balance to federal forest management. With better management and proactive policy changes, our leaders have the ability to create and support family-wage jobs, conserve natural resources, maintain access to public lands, restore forest health and protect our drinking water. We believe it’s better to actively manage our forests for the future, for multiple uses and benefits, rather than locking them up and walking away. Far from being “Big Timber,” Oregon logging companies are predominately small, family-owned businesses. We are trained in the latest, science-based forestry practices and continually invest in cutting-edge equipment and technology.

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Protecting the Elliott

Letter by Pam Driscoll, Dexter
The Oregonian
January 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Elliott State Forest is named after the first state forester, Francis Elliott. It has the only significant old-growth trees left on state-owned forest land. At its December meeting, the Oregon Land Board, whose members are the governor, state treasurer and secretary of state, gave us another chance to keep the forest from being sold. This forest land is the largest contiguous coastal forest in Oregon, is home to important endangered indicator species and provides many ecosystem services. ..We could decouple the forest from the Common School Fund and pursue the possibility of getting paid for the carbon this vast forest sequesters via carbon offset credits. For example, Microsoft bought 35,000 carbon offset credits from a Nisqually land trust on 520 acres of a forest preserve near Mt. Rainier.

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Park logging extended to pay debt, reach goals

By Tristan Baurick
Kitsap Sun
January 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Kitsap County’s park logging program fell short of loan payments and harvest goals in its first four years of operation. The county commissioners voted to extend the self-sustaining pilot program another two years, allowing more time to repay $75,000 in start-up costs and ratchet up forest thinning projects in five county parks. “We want to continue operations so revenue comes in and we pay off the remainder of the loan,” Parks Director Jim Dunwiddie said. County forester Arno Bergstrom said progress has been slow but careful. “Our goal was not to do this at light speed,” he said. “We wanted to take a measured approach.”

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County joins lawsuit challenging forest plan

By Jane Stebbins
The Curry Coastal Pilot
January 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Curry County Board of Commissioners decided Wednesday to join the Association of O&C Counties (AOCC) and pay its share of a lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s forest plan and allow timber companies to cut more trees than the agency has proposed. The amount Curry County will pay into the estimated $530,000 suit is almost $20,000, based on the acreage of its 93,416 O&C acreage in the county. That money was budgeted in this fiscal year’s budget. The suit, represented by the Portland law firm of Stoel Rives, would likely take two years, barring any appeals. The decision was among many facing commissioners in their first meeting of the year.

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Timber harvest benefits many

By Nicholas Handy
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
January 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


Cutting down trees in a forest – on Mount Monadnock no less – is a scary proposition for many but believe it or not, it does come with a breadth of benefits for the environment and hikers. This past Saturday, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests lead a timber harvest tour on land it owns on the mountain, offering the about 40 in attendance an opportunity to learn all about the benefits of the nonprofits’ selective tree cutting. “People oftentimes judge a timber harvest like this be what they can see,” said Dave Anderson, Director of Education and Volunteer Services with the Forest Society. “That’s why we are so enthusiastic about hosting these tours; cutting these trees can lead to positive changes.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Fragmentation boosts carbon storage along temperate forest edges

By John Cannon
Mongabay
January 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The fringes of temperate forests in New England grow faster than their counterparts deeper in the forest. That means they’re able to take up and store more carbon than originally though, though it’s not enough to compensate for what was lost to create the edge in the first place.Scientists and conservationists worry about the cascade of detriment that results from slicing up blocks of forest, especially as the amount of intact forest dwindles globally. But recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that we might be underestimating the positive impacts that fragmentation can have in certain places, particularly on how much carbon the newly created edges pull from the atmosphere. 

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