Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 10, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

John McCain and Jimmy Carter. Good cop, bad cop?

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

Bad cop Jimmy Carter—the 39th president of the US—penned an op-ed in the Washington Post titled: “Trump is right. Canada’s lumber trade practices are unfair”, although he conceded that “lumber sales are a major source of income for his family”. Meanwhile, good cop John McCain—a distinguished US Senator—“lamented that this was a poor way for President Donald Trump to start relations with a neighbor”.

In other softwood news, Commerce Secretary Ross says “US withdrawal from NAFTA is back on the table” while a few local stories include “a mixed bag of winners and losers” (Montana), “Notley chooses diplomacy over threats” (Alberta) and forestry legend Jim Pattison “stays calm amid trade tensions” (British Columbia).

Paul Quinn, RBC Capital Markets, is still “waiting for reality to sink in” in his latest market update. Quinn believes that lumber prices will “weaken over the next 6 to 9 months due to high lumber inventories and the historical pattern of pricing and duties”.

And finally—thankfully!—the Elliott State Forest saga is over as the Oregon State Land Board “ditched its plan to sell the forest” to a timber company. Future options being examined include “selling it to Oregon State University for research while allowing timber harvesting, public access and protection of endangered species”.


— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Lumber Pricing: Still waiting for reality to sink in

By Paul Quinn, RBC Analyst
RBC Capital Markets
May 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Following last month’s announcement by the US Department of Commerce’s of preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) imposed on Canadian lumber producers and recent industry trends, we believe NA lumber prices have peaked for the year and will begin to correct downwards to more balanced levels. Lumber prices remain poised to correct downwards – We believe that lumber prices will weaken over the next 6 to 9 months. Relatively high lumber inventories, the historical pattern of pricing and duties, the lower C$, significant capacity adds and early strength in NA housing starts (which has likely pulled demand forward) all point to lower lumber prices in the near-term.

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US withdrawal from NAFTA is back on table: Wilbur Ross

By Adrian Morrow
The Globe and Mail
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Trump administration may tear up the North American free-trade agreement and negotiate separate deals with Canada and Mexico, President Donald Trump’s point-man on the file is warning. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also served notice Tuesday that Washington will be “more aggressive” in fighting back against what it believes are unfair trade practices, such as slapping tariffs on imports. And he lashed out at British Columbia Premier Christy Clark over her move to ban U.S. coal shipments from her province’s ports. Mr. Ross laid out the administration’s trade agenda at a Council of the Americas conference at the U.S. State Department in Washington. …Mr. Ross also promised to get tougher on other countries that the U.S. believes are cheating on trade. He cited last month’s decision to slap import duties on Canadian softwood lumber as an example.

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Lumber Tariffs Create Mixed Bag Of Winners And Losers

By Nate Hegyi
Montana Public Radio
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

An escalating trade war brewing between the United States and Canada could save timber mills in Montana, but at the cost of over 1,000 jobs north of the border in British Columbia. …It’s something Montana lumber producers have been asking for, and it’s a test of Trump’s ‘America First’ trade policy. But, Ron Toyota the mayor of Creston, British Columbia, half a day’s drive from Missoula. He says this trade war is more of a tug-of-war. “Your government is trying to create jobs. Our government is trying to create jobs. …And Canada is putting up a fight. They’ve threatened to ban or tax U.S. goods coming across the border, including Montana coal, and they’ve proposed aid packages to assist Canadian forestry workers and companies hurt by the duties. And those hurt probably won’t include Canada’s largest lumber producers. …Instead, it’s the small, family-owned mills that’ll come out bruised.

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Tensions over time: A primer on the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute

By Alyse Kotyk
The Globe and Mail
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States


The resumption of an old battle over softwood lumber and U.S. allegations that Canada unfairly subsidizes its industry provided some lift to BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark’s election campaign.. As the debate promises to drag on for weeks, possibly months, here’s an explanation of how we got to this point. ….Harry Nelson, assistant professor in UBC’s department of forest-resources management, said Canada’s timber industry tends to operate on more of a long-term basis. ..South of the border, however, most timber is privately owned, which shapes the country’s lumber industry in a very different way. Wood from these privately owned companies is sold on the open market and stumpage fees are determined competitively, rather than by law. “They are in the business of growing timber, a lot of them kind of grow it as a crop,” Mr. Nelson said about the U.S. lumber industry.

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Jimmy Carter: Trump is right. Canada’s lumber trade practices are unfair.

By Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States.
The Washington Post
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

I agree with the recent decision of the White House and the Commerce Department to impose anti-subsidy duties against Canada’s unfairly traded softwood lumber imports. This belated enforcement of U.S. trade laws will help millions of private timberland owners, American forestry workers and members of their local communities by leveling the playing field in the timber industry.  …With moderate adjustments in management, there is enough timberland in the United States to supply the total American market with lumber. Without adjusting any U.S. timber policies, and if we are able to compete on a level playing field against Canada, our production of lumber could satisfy more than 84 percent of total U.S. demand, according to Western Woods Products Association data. …While there are many benefits to harmonious bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada, our neighbor to the north must still play by the rules and stop engaging in its unfair trade practices.

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John McCain, Jimmy Carter, and Canadian lumber: one’s more sympathetic

by Alexander Panetta
Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist
May 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Two historic figures in American politics spoke about the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute this week — one sympathetic to the northern neighbour, and the other less so. The good cop: John McCain. Bad cop: Jimmy Carter. The ex-presidential nominee and ex-president offered contrasting views this week on the Trump administration’s decision to slap duties up to 24 per cent on Canadian lumber and initiate the latest round in a recurring trade feud. … “Couldn’t we have tried to sit down and negotiate that issue? Rather than send the message early in the administration that we’re going to retaliate?” the Arizona senator said during a conference at the U.S. State Department on Tuesday. . …America’s 39th president would beg to differ. Carter penned an op-ed in the Washington Post titled: “Trump is right. Canada’s lumber trade practices are unfair.”

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Canadian softwood lumber could find a home in China, says Canadian ambassador

By Alexandra Zabjek
CBC News
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

With Canada’s softwood lumber industry facing tumultuous trade relations with the United States, it may want to “seize” the opportunity to export more products to China, says Canada’s new ambassador to China. “With trouble on the U.S. front in that sector, it’s more natural for Canada to turn to China as a partial recipient of Canadian forest products,” said John McCallum, who spoke to a Chinese delegation meeting with Alberta business leaders in Edmonton on Tuesday. McCallum has been on the job in China for just five weeks, while the Alberta government — which hosted the Chinese delegates — recently returned from its own trade mission to China. The ambassador stressed that the United States “will always be Canada’s number one trading partner. “But the point is we’re also trying to diversify our trade. 

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Here’s why some logs are exported

By Dan Albas, Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola
The Daily Courier
May 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the challenges all provincial and federal governments face is communicating policy in a manner that is easily understood by citizens. …In principal, most would agree exporting raw logs to be processed in mills outside of British Columbia should not occur if B.C. lumber mills are closing as a result of a lack of timber supply. This raises the question why has no provincial government of any political stripe actually banned raw log exports once in power. Part of the answer to this question is understanding how the process around exporting raw logs, technically known as “unmanufactured timber” actually works. Essentially, the process involves three steps. …The intent of my column is not to defend raw log exports as, ideally, I believe governments of all stripes support increased value-added wood manufacturing here in B.C.

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Thomson: Notley chooses diplomacy over threats in softwood lumber scrap

By Graham Thomson
Calgary Herald
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

I guess it can’t hurt. The Alberta government has hired Gary Doer to defend Alberta’s softwood lumber industry in Washington, D.C. …But can he play hardball for Alberta’s softwood? …We’ve already seen a glimpse of Doer’s more diplomatic strategy when he spoke to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce last November. …“Canada is the largest customer of goods and services coming from the United States of any country in the world, and we buy more goods and services from the United States than the whole European Union,” said Doer. “We’ve got to say that over and over and over again.” …But even if Doer can’t make one whit of difference, his appointment serves a useful purpose for Notley. In politics, it’s important to be seen sending in the cavalry even if the guy on the horse is not so much Sir Lancelot as Don Quixote.

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Coulson Forest Products sells to Surrey-based company

By Karly Blats
Albernie Valley News
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coulson Forest Products has been sold to the family-run San Group of Companies based out of Surrey. Wayne Coulson, president and CEO of the Coulson Group, will stay on as an advisor but said his main focus now is on aviation. “We’re to a point now where we’re so heavily involved in the world market of firefighting it just needs my time and direction,” Coulson said. “All the experience I’ve learned over time here in the lumber world I’m now putting that experience to work in the world of wildfire.” Coulson Forest Products was founded in 1960 by Cliff Coulson. The mill acquired its first forest license in 1972 in Toquart Bay, and its second license in 1984 and formed a joint venture company with the Ehattesaft Band called Hecate Logging.

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Forestry legend Jim Pattison stays calm amid Canada-U.S. trade tension

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Through the thick and thin of trade wars, B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison has learned to sleep soundly next to the twitchy U.S. elephant. Mr. Pattison, 88, has seen his share of softwood-lumber battles between Canada and the United States, dating back to the initial skirmish in the early 1980s. …“I am disappointed that we have to go through this, but you know, it’s just part of business,” the chairman and chief executive officer of Jim Pattison Group told The Globe and Mail. …Through private companies that he owns, he also has stakes in sectors such as forestry, notably his 47.4-per-cent interest in lumber producer Canfor Corp. Mr. Pattison is maintaining his calm demeanour as the Trump administration not only slaps duties on Canadian softwood shipments into the United States but also pushes to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement. 

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Softwood lumber dispute ripples through Squamish

By Jennifer Thuncher
Squamish Chief
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…While US machinations do impact our community, for the most part, Squamish has dodged the worst of it. …Our local logging industry, like the rest of the B.C. coast, is more dependent on East Asia – Japan, China, Korea – for its sales. In B.C. there are effectively two forest industries: coastal and interior. …The coastal industry works with a different species mix, wood product end uses and markets than the interior, Andersen said. …AJ Forest Products in the Squamish Valley has been manufacturing B.C.’s Western Red Cedar lumber since 1974 and currently has 30 employees. Western Red Cedar is a specialized product that previously had a small tariff, Todd Kion, the company’s general manager, told The Chief. “With the current announcement, all U.S. bound cedar is now subject to a substantial tax that will be harmful to AJ Forest Products and the community of Squamish,” Kion said. “Cedar has been caught in the overall legal action by the U.S. We hope this will change with the next set of negotiations.”

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Plywood duties may have impact on domestic producers

By Thomas Russell
Furniture Today
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government’s potential imposition of duties of more than 100% could put a dent in hardwood plywood imports from China, which could curtail use of this material in domestic made cabinetry, shelving and, to a lesser degree, U.S.-made furniture. In late April, the International Trade Administration announced preliminary duties as high as 111.09% for 61 Chinese manufacturers of hardwood plywood products including hardwood and decorative plywood and certain veneered panels. Another manufacturer, Linyi Sanfortune Wood, received a preliminary duty of 9.89%. …The impact on the furniture industry could be small as it represents roughly 5% of the coalition’s market for hardwood plywood, compared to 20% when the domestic industry was still strong. But any duties on Chinese-made boards could change some of the purchasing habits for those producers that now buy from China.

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Somewhat Negative News Coverage Extremely Likely to Impact Lumber Liquidators Holdings Stock Price

By Andrew Walz
Base Ball News Source
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Media coverage about Lumber Liquidators Holdings (NYSE:LL) has been trending somewhat negative this week, according to AlphaOne Sentiment Analysis. The research firm, a service of Accern, identifies negative and positive media coverage by monitoring more than twenty million news and blog sources. AlphaOne ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Lumber Liquidators Holdings earned a news sentiment score of -0.06 on AlphaOne’s scale. 

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Shuttered Maine Mill Land One Step Closer to Becoming an Energy Park

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
May 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — The company seeking to build a $240 million biorefinery in East Millinocket has reached a settlement to buy the property, which it expects to close by early June. The buyer, EMEP LLC, said in court filings that it has reached a deal with the property owner, North American Recovery Management, which it expects will close within 60 days. Until then, both sides have asked the court to put all proceedings on hold regarding EMEP’s complaint that it negotiated the right to buy the property for $1.75 million. The court approved that motion Friday and lifted restrictions on the buyer selling the property. The notice of the settlement did not include any details about the terms of the agreement, and an attorney representing the buyer declined to comment.

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Louisiana Pacific delays Iron Range siding plant that got state incentives

By Mark Reilly
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
May 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Louisiana Pacific Corp. made news last year when when the Minnesota Legislature offered it millions of dollars in incentives to build a home-siding plant on the Iron Range, without even knowing its identity. Although the company did purchase a former mill in Cook, Minn., Minnesota Public Radio reports that Louisiana Pacific officials have delayed their Minnesota plans, saying the company will upgrade a plant in British Columbia first. LP Chief Operating Officer Brad Southern told analysts on a recent conference call that the Cook site — and another in Quebec — are the “likely options for future siding expansion.” But that still puts any Minnesota expansion off until at least 2020 (though construction would happen before then if Minnesota beat out Quebec for Plan B).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Quebec City construction crews cap tallest wood condo building in North America

Canadian Manufacturing
May 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC CITY—On May 8, the capping ceremony for project Origine, the tallest wood-constructed condominium in North America, took place in Quebec City’s Pointe-aux-Lièvres eco-district. The building, constructed by a consortium of EBC inc., Nordic Structures and Synchro Immobilier, is a 12-storey wood structure on top of a one-storey concrete podium. The 41-metre tall condo uses cross-laminated timber as its primary building material. …The wood used in these structures is naturally fire-resistant, absorbs humidity in the summer, provides insulation from the cold in the winter, and because of its light weight, is also less vulnerable to earthquakes. …However, not everyone was happy with the new provincial regulations for wood structures. The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) said the construction of wood buildings over 12 storeys circumvents the Canadian building code process.

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Forestry

Accountability model flawed

Letter by Alex E. Inselberg, M.Sc.
Vernon Morning Star
May 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The actions of the BC Liberals since 2002 prove that Greg Kyllo’s polished statements on environmental integrity are dishonest and misleading. In the early 2000s, Gordon Campbell’s Liberals introduced an American import called the professional reliance model (PRM); a dark experiment in environmental stewardship. The professional reliance model asks that corporations and other business interests hire their own independent “qualified professional” (QP) to ensure that government regulations are addressed. However, if by following government regulations the QP interferes with their client’s plans (conflict of interest), the business-friendly PRM guarantees the client always has the upper hand (who pays the piper, calls the tune). 

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Critics say Liberal forestry plan is reinventing the wheel

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
May 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


Nova Scotia’s Liberal leader says it’s time to review forestry practices in the province, but environmental advocates say that work has already been done and it was Stephen McNeil’s government that resisted acting upon it. McNeil and his party released their platform for the environment on Monday. …But Raymond Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator for the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, said that advice is already available.He noted that some of the most extensive consultation in recent memory in Nova Scotia went into the natural resources strategy developed under the former NDP government. One of the key recommendations to come from the strategy, which included community input, was reducing levels of clear cutting as a harvest method by 50 per cent. …. In August, the Liberal government announced it was backing away from the reduction target when it released an update to the strategy. Plourde said it’s neither “logical or necessary” to have a whole new study.

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It’s unanimous: Elliott State Forest will remain publicly owned

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
May 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Elliott State Forest, the 82,500-acre Coast Range parcel the state nearly sold to a timber company, will stay in public ownership, bringing an end to Oregon’s years-long flirtation with divesting the land. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and state Treasurer Tobias Read voted Tuesday in Salem to halt the sale, pulling the remote forest back from the brink of a plan that was wildly unpopular with hunters, anglers and environmental groups. The potential divestiture had put Oregon at the forefront of a nationwide debate over publicly owned land, leaving a Democrat-controlled state positioned to do something that some Republicans, including President Donald Trump’s interior secretary, have rejected.

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Oregon timber counties struggle as federal support dries up

By Gillian Flaccus
Associated Press in The Oregonian
May 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ROSEBURG, Ore. — So much timber money once flowed into this rural Oregon county that its leaders set up committees to find ways to spend it. Today, Douglas County’s library system is on life support, and its sheriff’s department is on track to lose funding. Nearly 30 years after environmental protections slashed logging in federal forests, Oregon counties like this one that thrived on timber revenues for decades are struggling to provide basic services. These so-called timber counties received hundreds of millions of dollars during logging’s long heyday, and since then the federal government has continued to pour money in to make up for timber’s downfall. Now the money has dried up and people are reluctant to tax themselves, leaving leaders scrambling and public institutions in free fall.

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Middle schoolers take science lessons from Forest Service

By Loretta Yerian
Williams-Grand Canyon News
May 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Williams Middle School students can officially be called tree huggers after a field trip to the Williams Ranger District office May 4. One-hundred and forty middle school students spent the morning with U.S. Forest Service rangers learning how science is applied to many areas of our lives and career paths. “We are trying to teach kids how we incorporate science into what we do in our day to day jobs,” said Neil Weintraub, South Kaibab zone archaeologist. Students spent the morning at seven different stations — wildland fire, archaeology, wildlife, botany/range, silviculture and timber and two recreation stations that included a 20 minute nature walk and an area where students were blindfolded and asked to locate a tree based on its texture and circumference. Many students wrapped their arms around their tree and breathed deeply, taking in the scent and feel of the tree.

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NW forests at crossroads, new book’s authors say

KTVZ
May 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Pacific Northwest faces two stark choices for managing its forests, scientists suggest in a new book. One choice leads to stagnant or declining rural communities and risks to some native species, and the other leads to environmental benefits and increases in employment. In “People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest,” forestry scientists at Oregon State University, the USDA Forest Service and other universities and research organizations offer a detailed look at the region’s forest management as well as its history, new science discoveries and projections for the future. The Northwest Forest Plan mandates a one-size-fits-all management approach, said Thomas Maness, dean of the College of Forestry and co-author. “Yet we know that Northwest forests are exceedingly diverse and fragmented. We have an opportunity to actively manage for the desired characteristics of the landscape, while at the same time producing revenue to support communities and pay for management,” he added.

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Oregon State Land Board: Oldest state forest to stay public

Associated Press in the Herald and News
May 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — The Oregon State Land Board on Tuesday ditched its plan to sell the Elliott State Forest, deciding to keep it in public hands and ordering the Department of State Lands to examine options, including selling it to Oregon State University for research while allowing timber harvesting, public access and protection of endangered species. … Almost three hours of testimony by forestry experts, local citizens and the president of Oregon State University preceded the decision. Some had carried signs with slogans like “keep public lands in public hands” but left them at the entrance of the Department of State Lands building. State police stood at the entrance and were scattered among the crowd of some 150. One woman’s T-shirt said: “May the forest be with you.”

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Giant air tanker used to attack growing Georgia wildfire

By Russ Bynum
Associated Press in Washington Post
May 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Firefighters called up a giant air tanker to attack a rapidly growing wildfire that threatened homes Tuesday on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp near the Georgia-Florida state line. The modified DC-10 jet liner, capable of dumping 11,600 gallons (44,000 liters) of chemical fire retardant in a single run, was joining nearly 700 firefighters and support personnel working to contain the blaze with bulldozers, helicopters and smaller planes. …The fire has burned roughly 220 square miles (570 square kilometers) since a lightning strike ignited the blaze April 6 inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The flames mostly stayed on public lands and posed no threat to populated areas until Saturday, when strong winds pushed the fire across the protective barrier plowed around the swamp’s perimeter. The multi-agency command team fighting the fire had reported no homes burned. But it warned hot, dry conditions Tuesday could cause the fire to spread rapidly.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Kamloops council reverses course on lifting wood-fired burner ban

By Andrea Klassen
Kamloops This Week
May 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wood-fired burners remain illegal in Kamloops. City councillors have pulled back on a plan to allow biomass boilers that were subject to a near decade-long ban. After passing a motion last week to rescind a wood-fired boiler ban to make way for new provincial regulations, councillors on Tuesday, May 9, voted down by a 4-2 margin a third reading that would have officially changed the bylaw. Councillors Tina Lange, Denis Walsh, Arjun Singh and Dieter Dudy voted against the motion, with councillors Pat Wallace and Ken Christian in favour of proceeding with lifting the ban. Dudy, who last week voted to repeal the ban, said he changed his mind because of concerns new rules were not well understood. “I don’t necessarily have a problem with inviting new technology that could help us deal with climate change and look at alternative ways of heating and cogeneration, but I think we need to have it done in a way that it’s understood not just by the six of us here,” he said.

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Island Lake biomass research yields compelling early results

By Taylor Fredericks
Canadian Biomass
May 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s been almost six years since the Island Lake Biomass Harvest Experiment was established in the Martel Forest region near Chapleau, Ont., and though the project is still in its early stages, researchers have begun to share some surprising findings from their ambitious harvesting experiment. A collaborative project between Tembec Chapleau Operations and a wide array of local, provincial, and federal partners… The goal of the project is to determine what effects different levels of biomass harvesting intensity might have on boreal forest biodiversity, soil properties and stand productivity, and to provide a venue where interested stakeholders can learn more about intensive biomass harvesting. Now, nearly six years on, they have begun to share some of their early findings with the public.

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