Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 3, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

A funny thing happened to Greenpeace’s claims in court

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 3, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

After repeated attacks against Canada’s biggest forest products company for “destroying Canada’s boreal forests”, Greenpeace now says that they were “merely stating an opinion about the logging activity, not a fact”. Emphasizing his rural forestry heritage and the importance of protecting the “lifeblood of the people who live there”, Resolute CEO Richard Garneau adds that “confronting this barrage of misinformation has been more than just about business ethics. It is very personal”.

The “coalition of labour unions environmental activists” calling for a ban on log exports are being “callously disrespectful” to those who “rely on the trade for their livelihoods“, according to Rod Bealing, CEO of the Private Forest Landowners Association. Although Bealing agrees that there is a lack of mill capacity on the coast, he attributes that to BC’s “unattractiveness” from an investment perspective and notes that “there is zero evidence to support the naïve claim that more mills would suddenly be built in BC if log exports were banned“.

Finally, a study by the Athena Institute emphasizes the importance of public policy (such as requiring life cycle assessment) in sustainable building design and in particular, to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions attributed construction materials and processes“. And speaking of sustainable materials, check out the “high profile Timber Vehicular bridge” in the Wood section.

–Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

Export of logs and wood waste responsible for job losses

By Jim Hilton
Williams Lake Tribune
March 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

During the open line show on CBC radio Feb. 27 most of the people phoning in were against the export of raw logs as was the guest, Ben Parfitt, who has written extensively on the topic. He points out that most log exports come off the private forestlands on the coast and companies like TimberWest Forest have deliberately divested themselves of manufacturing facilities to become market loggers and exporters. It is one thing for companies to export logs from their private land but it is inconceivable that the government of the day in 2006 signed over 350,000 cubic metres from public forestlands that could be exported from B.C.’s mid coast… Compounding the problem is that raw logs are not subjected to duties under the soft wood lumber agreement. So if local companies buy the logs and make lumber it will be taxed if they want to ship it to the U.S.

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Canfor Announces Renewal of Normal Course Issuer Bid

Canfor Corporation
Canadian Newswire
March 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor announced today that it has received regulatory approval to renew a normal course issuer bid first launched in March, 2013. Under the new bid, the Company may purchase for cancellation up to 6,640,227 common shares of the Company or approximately 5% of the 132,804,543 Shares outstanding as of March 1, 2017, at prevailing market prices… The Company’s subsidiary, Canfor Pulp Products Inc., has today also announced its renewal of its normal course issuer bid for the purchase of up to 5% of its issued share capital, through the facilities and in accordance with the Rules of the TSX.

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Greenpeace Admits An Anti-Logging Campaign Is Based On ‘Subjective Opinion’

By Michael Bastasch
The Washington DC Daily Caller
March 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Greenpeace admitted in legal filings its campaign to vilify a Canada-based logging company was based on “hyperbole” and “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion” that weren’t meant to be taken literally. That’s what Greenpeace admitted to avoid being held liable for damages in their legal battle against the logging company Resolute and its subsidiaries. The green group began targeting Resolute’s operations in 2012. Resolute CEO Richard Garneau wrote at National Review Online that Greenpeace “harassed companies we do business with, threatening them with the same sort of smear campaign that they launched against us and even instigating cyber-attacks on their websites.”

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Greenpeace admits its attacks on forest products giant were ‘non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion’

By Peter Kuitenbrouwer 
National Post
March 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Greenpeace, after repeated attacks against Canada’s biggest forest products company for “destroying,” Canada’s boreal forests, now says that it was merely stating an opinion about the logging activity, not a fact. After years of weathering attacks on its forestry practices, Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products Inc. last year sued Greenpeace in United States District Court in Georgia under racketeering statutes, alleging that Greenpeace’s repeated attacks on Resolute, to raise money for Greenpeace, amount to criminal activity. In its claim, Resolute noted that Greenpeace has lobbied big Resolute paper customers, such as the Rite-Aid pharmacy chain (which printed its flyers on Resolute newsprint), encouraging them to switch suppliers, because, said Greenpeace, Resolute is a “forest destroyer.”

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A company unfairly attacked by the environmental group has sued it.

By Richard Garneau
National Review
March 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A few years ago Greenpeace and allied groups chose my company, Resolute, Canada’s largest forest-products company, to be their next victim. They compiled a litany of outlandish assertions: We were “forest destroyers,” for example, aggravating climate change, and causing a “caribou death spiral and extinction” in Canada’s boreal habitat. Greenpeace harassed companies we do business with, threatening them with the same sort of smear campaign that they launched against us and even instigating cyber-attacks on their websites. And they bragged about the damage — $100 million, in Canadian dollars — that they claimed to have inflicted on our business. They were lying about our forestry practices, so we did something that none of the group’s other targets have yet found the wherewithal to do: We sued them, in Canada, for defamation and intentional interference with economic relations, and in the United States under RICO statutes.

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Heyfield timber mill: Deadline to save ASH jobs looms

By Kath Sullivan
Weekly Times Now
March 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THE VICTORIAN Government has just two working days to convince the owners of Australian Sustainable Hardwoods not to close its Gippsland timber mill. But the group set up to advise the State Government on options to keep the mill open, and hundreds of workers employed, has not met for two weeks. Now the influential Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union is preparing to rally in Melbourne. “We are serious about these jobs,” CFMEU forestry secretary Frank Vari said. “The Government can fix it, and we expect it to fix it.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood Design Awards in BC

Wood WORKS! BC
March 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wood WORKS! BC’s annual Wood Design Awards in BC is a highly anticipated recognition event, saluting distinguished building and design professionals and excellence in wood use in their projects. The awards celebrate not only architectural and structural achievement, but also the relationship between communities, organizations that produce wood products and systems and the designers who specify wood for their projects. The event takes place on Monday, register online today to secure your table. 

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Construction Corner: Life cycle assessment an essential tool in sustainable design

By Korky Koroluk
Daily Commercial News
March 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new study by the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute pinpoints the need for public policy initiatives to increase the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) as an essential tool in the sustainable design of buildings. The institute, a non-profit based in Ottawa, did the study at the request of Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. of Vancouver. It was published recently on the Athena website. The objective of the study was to review existing and emerging embodied carbon policies for the built environment. It is not, nor was it intended to be, an exhaustive study. It’s a snapshot, but one that is focused exclusively on embodied carbon in buildings. …The study shows a clear trend toward public policy as a tool for encouraging sustainable design in Europe, with four countries — the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland — leading the way. The Netherlands is especially blazing a trail that others may follow.

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York Bridge Concepts™ Masterpiece Vehicular Bridge Installed at the Regional Training Institute Located in Pembroke, New Hampshire

By York Bridge Concepts Inc.
PRWeb
March 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

York Bridge Concepts™ has designed & built a high profile Timber Vehicular Bridge at The Regional Training Institute situated on a military based located in Pembroke, New Hampshire. Utilized by the National Guard, the Regional Training Institute campus is a multi-purpose training facility intended for an array of exercises, drills and a Barracks facility utilized specifically to accommodate visiting members of the Guard. Partnering with Eckman Construction – YBC was carefully selected as the Premier Timber Bridge Builder – granted the task to design and build a long-lasting York Structure for the Army National Guard. This York Timber Vehicular Bridge spans 26 feet wide by 150 feet long with a HS20/44 vehicle load rating – featuring two twelve-foot-wide traffic lanes with a 60-foot center span including transitional glulaminated beams above the 26 feet high wetlands. 

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Holland’s Carbon6 project turns weakness into renewed strength

By Russel Hixson
Journal of Commerce
March 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Officials from Walas, an urban design company founded in the Netherlands, showed off some of the fascinating projects coming out of Europe during Buildex Vancouver, focusing on one of their recent projects deep in South Holland. Carbon6 is located in Heerlen, Holland, an area that has faced decades of economic decline in its traditional industries of coal mining and chemicals. But where many saw stagnation, Walas saw opportunity. …But some solutions aren’t so close by. When Walas set out to build a wood car park facility, they quickly found that the Netherlands and surrounding countries didn’t have any suitable materials that wouldn’t need a coating or epoxy. The team finally settled on a wood from West Africa. But what really sold them was the system of reduced impact logging used to harvest it. Rather than clear cutting an area, trees are taken in a calculated way to ensure a sustainably supply. “The forest has time to regenerate itself,” said van der Ven.

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Forestry

Unlock access to wilderness

By The Editorial Board
Victoria Times Colonist
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver Islanders who like to hike, hunt and fish in remote areas say forestry companies are too often locking them out of their favourite wilderness spots. While the companies have valid concerns, the government has to stand up for British Columbians who expect to be able to take advantage of the backcountry for which this province is famous. On Sunday, frustrated backcountry enthusiasts staged a protest near Port Alberni because Island Timberlands had blocked access to some areas. People trying to get into parks and recreation areas through private lands say they too often encounter locked gates… Island Timberlands said in a statement that access might be restricted “temporarily or permanently, to ensure the safety of the public and our employees and contractors, protection of the environment, and the security of assets.”… Certainly, the forest companies have huge investments in the timber and equipment in those areas. They don’t want some drunken weekend warrior torching part of their livelihood. However, in keeping out the louts, the companies are also keeping out the many responsible hikers and anglers who treat the wilderness with reverence.

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Haida Gwaii forestry project passes two year audit

By Corey Callaghan
CFNR Network
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The watchdog for forestry practices says a company on Haida Gwaii is meeting the regulations for forestry work. The B.C. Forest Practices Board audits companies carrying out forestry projects and ensuring the rules are being followed. The board says Husby Forest Products was under a standard audit for two years and were found to be complying with majority of the guidelines and proper practices. The area being audited was located north of the Masset Inlet. They say the only compliance lacking was mitigating risks for forest fires. Husby eventually did implement the proper measures.

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Audit of Forest Planning and Practices: Husby Forest Products Ltd. – FL A16869

BC Forest Practices Board
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In August 2016 the Forest Practices Board audited the activities of Husby ‘s Forest Licence A16869 in the Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District. Husby is part of the Husby Group, a privately held forest products company with operations mainly located on Haida Gwaii. The licence permits it to harvest 192,044 cubic metres of timber each year within the district. Husby passed the audit with operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction and maintenance, silviculture, and fire protection activities complying in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations. However, because Husby did not complete fire hazard assessments on time, the audit found an area requiring improvement for fire hazard assessments.

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Log Export Ban Advocates are Barking up the Wrong Tree. Again.

By Rod Bealing, Executive Director
Private Forest Landowners
March 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An openly partisan coalition of labour unions and internationally funded environmental activists opposed to BC timber harvesting, are once again promoting the myth that a ban on log exports is the best solution to ensure more logs are milled here in BC. This idea is callously disrespectful to the thousands of hardworking rural men and women who rely on the log export trade for their livelihoods. Not to mention, dangerous because it ignores almost all the evidence of the situation, as well as a shameful waste of time because it focuses on the symptom of the problem, rather than focusing on making BC an attractive place to build new mills. It takes decades to grow a timber crop. During that time millions of dollars are spent on planting, protecting and tending trees. BC’s private forest operations are proud of the fact that our efforts generate 5,000 family supporting rural jobs, $150 million in taxes and over $1 billion in economic activity annually. Banning log exports would destroy this sector overnight.

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Learn about forest fungi and trees at the Garden

Coast Reporter
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Retired provincial forest ecologist and lively raconteur Andy MacKinnon… says, “Plants are fascinating. Fungi are fascinating. But for sheer entertainment value, it’s difficult to beat plants plus fungi. Fungi have been associated with plants since plants first colonized the land, and are requisite partners of almost all of our familiar Pacific Northwest plants.” MacKinnon has co-authored six best-selling books, including the most popular field guide to our native plants, Plants of the Pacific Northwest. His work includes ecosystem classification and mapping, plus a program of forest ecology research focused on old growth structure and composition, the effects of climate change and B.C.’s native plants and fungi.

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City of Powell River seeks legal advice on timber rights

By Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
March 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

City of Powell River is seeking legal advice on the ownership of second-growth trees in Lot 450 between Townsite and Westview. The direction by city council for staff to look into the matter comes after Vancouver-based environmental lawyer Andrew Gage wrote a letter to land owners PRSC Limited Partnership last September. Gage, staff counsel with West Coast Environmental Law, began to look into the matter after Powell River biologist Andrew Bryant sought his advice. Gage suggested in his letter to PRSC that the land owner petition to the Supreme Court of BC to clarify if Island Timberlands actually own the cutting rights to the trees there.

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Public can learn about forestry in Inverness on Sunday

By Kyle LaRusic
Cape Breton Post
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The topic for this Sunday’s panel is clear-cutting and how it’s affecting the environment. …One of the event co-ordinators, Johanna Padelt, is keen on educating the public on what is going on. “Clearcutting terribly affects our environment by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It’s very worrisome,” she said. …The World Resource Institution released a statistic that between 2004 and 2014, Canada had the highest forest disturbance rate in the world at 3.6 per cent. “That number is over four times what it should be. This proves clearcutting is not the way we should be approaching things,” she said. President of Nature Nova Scotia, Bob Bancroft attended the last panel event and his presentation included a map of the province which detailed clearcutting damage.

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Cause of most US wildfires traced to people, study finds

Associated Press in Herald and News
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — People have triggered five out of six wildfires in the U.S. over the last two decades, tripling the length of the wildfire season and making it start earlier in the East and last longer in the West, a new study finds. Even as climate change worsens the nation’s fire season — making it longer and easier to burn more acres — researchers said human activities play an even bigger role. While fire experts have long blamed people more than lightning, the new work details the extent of human-caused ignitions and how they interact with global warming to make matters worse. Scientists analyzing fire data from 1992 to 2012 found that 84 percent of all U.S. wildfires — but only 44 percent of the total acres burned — were started by people, either by accident or on purpose. And human-caused blazes have more than tripled the length of the wildfire season from 46 days to 154 days, according to a study in Monday’s journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Old-growth forests show what Michigan looked like before Paul Bunyan: AUDIO

Michigan Radio
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In some parts of Michigan, there are forests that can take you back in time. Old-growth forests of towering trees offer a rare glimpse at what Michigan looked like before the logging boom of the late 1800’s. Donald Dickmann, a professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Forestry, told Stateside where visitors can see stands of old-growth trees in Michigan. Most old-growth trees have been around for several hundred years and Dickmann said there are still many places around Michigan where people can visit these remnants of Michigan’s early forests.

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Microbes in soil are essential for life and may help mitigate climate change

By Lisa Howard
Phys.org News
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Kate Scow, a professor of soil science and soil microbial ecology at UC Davis, keeps plastic bags filled with soil on her desk… Microbial ecology is one of Scow’s primary research areas. What she is trying to understand is how we can refocus agricultural practices “below-ground” and enhance the activity of beneficial microorganisms. Just a few of her recent research projects include looking at the sensitivity of bacteria and fungi to tillage and cover crops, and the impacts of mineral fertilizer on managed and nonmanaged agricultural systems. Even though microbes in soil are essential for life on earth, scientists readily admit they still know relatively little about them. What they do know is that they are very, very plentiful and very, very diverse… Soil has become a focus for looking at ways to mitigate climate change. Healthy soil is more resilient in a changing environment. It also nourishes plants, which allows the plants to remove carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas—from the atmosphere.

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Chile wildfires leave smouldering tensions over role of forestry industry

The Guardian
March 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The smoke has almost cleared, the blazes that raged over half a million hectares of forests, bush and grassland mostly extinguished, but the air is still thick with recriminations against Chile’s eucalyptus and pine plantation owners who are accused of putting profits before safety. Following the worst fires in the country’s history, activists are asking whether the unregulated expansion of the forestry industry under the dictator Augusto Pinochet will lead to more problems in a future that is likely to be hotter and drier as a result of climate change. Eleven people were killed and close to 1,600 dwellings were lost to the fires which erupted in January, along with hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest and farmland. Fire chiefs said that multiple factors caused the blazes, but environmentalists say the toll was higher than it should have been because plantations had expanded to the edge of communities and companies had failed to insert firebreaks.

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Ancient peoples shaped the Amazon rainforest

Science Daily
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

We often think of the Amazon rainforest as a vast expanse of nature untouched by humans. But a new study in Science suggests that’s not true — in fact, today’s rainforest is shaped by trees that were cultivated by indigenous peoples thousands of years ago. “Some of the tree species that are abundant in Amazonian forests today, like cacao, açaí, and Brazil nut, are probably common because they were planted by people who lived there long before the arrival of European colonists,” says Nigel Pitman, the Mellon Senior Conservation Ecologist at Chicago’s Field Museum and a co-author of the study. The team made the discovery by overlaying data from more than 1,000 forest surveys on a map of more than 3,000 archaeological sites across the Amazon. 

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Deforestation vs. Degradation: How we underestimate tropical forest greenhouses gas emissions

By Neha Jain
Mongabay
March 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs often focus on the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities that lead to tropical deforestation. However, according to a new study published last week in Carbon Balance and Management, policy makers have failed to address the significant levels of carbon dioxide emissions caused by rainforest degradation, which amount to one-third of the emissions arising from deforestation and are five times greater than total emissions from the global aviation sector. For a third of the countries studied, emissions from degradation were even higher than those from deforestation. Until now, the contribution of forest degradation to overall forest carbon emissions has been largely unknown.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Move to lower-carbon economy a major structural shift: Bank of Canada

By Andy Blatchford
Canadian Press in CTV News
March 2, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — The fallout from climate change and the actions needed to deal with it are poised to have “material and pervasive” effects on the economy and its financial system, a senior Bank of Canada official warned Thursday. The transformation to a lower-carbon economy will have important consequences for both aggregate supply and demand, deputy governor Timothy Lane said in a speech. And Canada, he predicted, is positioned to feel it more acutely than most. “Make no mistake: the move to a lower-carbon economy is a major structural shift for the global and Canadian economies,” Lane told a Montreal audience. …Still, Canada has some advantages, he said. He said it’s already a big producer of renewable energy and it boasts a highly educated population with the capacity to develop green technologies. If done right, Lane said carbon pricing and initiatives that ease the flow of private-sector cash into environmentally sustainable investments can do a lot to help address climate change.

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Helping Tug Hill Plateau Forest Cope With Climate Change

By Ellen Abbott
WSKG News
March 2, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

SYRACUSE – The Nature Conservancy is hoping to create a climate resilient forest on the Tug Hill Plateau. The Tug Hill Plateau is the third-largest forest landscape in the New York state — a critical link between the Adirondacks and the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains. Its headwaters pour clean water into Lake Ontario, and the area is home to a variety of wildlife, ranging from black bears to forest birds. But selective cutting has weakened some parts of the forest, according to Nature Conservancy Central And Western New York director Jim Howe. And he says, add to that climate change, and these forests are very vulnerable. “That region is supposed to warm by 4 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050. That’s a lot. And in a region that depends on snow pack like Tug Hill, that’s going to change the forest,” said Howe.

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