Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 6, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Biomass is a renewable source of energy – with a dash of humour

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

A coalition of forestry associations—under the name Biomass101—is using humour to help explain the “100 Year Fallacy” and why “biomass is a renewable source of energy”. Meanwhile, a new law in Minnesota has “upset environmental leaders and outraged loggers“, given that it could cause the shut down of much of the state’s biomass industry.

Although it’s been a pretty quiet Spring on the forest-fire-front, fires are reported west of Quesnel, above Washington Park atop the Mogollon Rim (60-acres), in Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves (700 acres) and Coconino National Forests (multiple blazes) and in Alaska, northeast of Dillingham (100 acres).

A 6000 hectare forest between Ottawa and Montreal named after Louis-Joseph Papineau—”a famous 19th century Quebec politician and leader of the French-Canadian Patriote movement that rebelled against the British“—will be preserved by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The US Forest Service is planning a massive thinning project in Arizona’s Cragin Reservoir “to prevent a crown fire racing through the watershed and triggering subsequent massive mudslides” in the area.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Forest industry embraces Canada’s nearly $870M in softwood aid Canadian Forest Industries

By Tamar Atik
Wood Business in Canadian Forest Industries
June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The federal government announced on Thursday that it would provide close to $870 million to support Canada’s softwood lumber producers in the face of taxes imposed by the United States. …Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne made the announcement in Ottawa. …“We appreciate that the federal government is standing tall for Canadian forestry communities by launching a comprehensive package in the face of trade actions that we believe are without merit,” said Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada. “These actions by the federal government are a critical step as we work to secure a strong forest sector of tomorrow.” The forest industry accounted for $22 billion of Canada’s GDP in 2016. Most of Canada’s softwood lumber exports go to the U.S., with more than 50 per cent coming from B.C. 

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Holding ourselves to account: 2016 Sustainability Progress Report

TimberWest
June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TimberWest is a proud Canadian timberland management company with more than 100 years operating in coastal British Columbia. We employ over 1,000 people directly and through our contractors. Dozens of forestry communities depend on our commitment to responsible forestry and our economic contribution. We own and manage over 320,000 hectares of timberland, and that comes with great responsibility to the people with whom we work, the communities adjacent to where we operate, and the First Nations whose traditional territories we intersect. Success for us is being proud of what we achieve and how we achieve it. It is in that context that we are pleased to release our 2016 Sustainability Progress Report.

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Stetski hopes federal funding helps local mills

By Trevor Crawley
Cranbrook Daily Townsman
June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Time will tell whether an $867 million support package for Canada’s forestry industry will help blunt the impact of American tariffs, according to Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski. The package, announced by Jim Carr, the federal Minster of Natural Resources, includes loans and guarantees to complement provincial efforts for Canadian companies who operate businesses pertaining to the softwood lumber industry. …“I’m very pleased that the government has come out with this package,” said Stetski. “I do wish it had been earlier and that’s because every business needs to know the environment they’re working in and to plan ahead. “So it would have been nice to have this a while ago. “What I’m going to do is wait a few weeks then start contacting mill owners and managers in the riding to see whether this package is actually accomplishing anything for them or not. I will then be letting government know both if it’s helping and also if it’s not helping.”

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Merger diversifies Rayonier’s business

By Mark Basch
Jacksonville Daily Record
June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

[Shown left are Wayne Weaver and Glynn Wilson] On the surface, Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc.’s merger with Tembec Inc. looks to be all about size and space. The merger of the two cellulose specialty products companies more than doubles Rayonier AM’s size to $2 billion in annual revenue, and expands its geographic reach to markets in Canada and France. However, analysts who follow Jacksonville-based Rayonier AM point out the $807 million deal announced before Memorial Day weekend also will significantly diversify the company’s product mix. …According to Rayonier AM’s annual report, about 55 percent of its sales in the last three years were from acetate tow used to make cigarette filters. The cigarette industry is not the most attractive sector for investors. “The diversification created by the transaction de-risks the Rayonier AM portfolio and re-positions the company in growing end-markets (as opposed to the declining cigarette industry). Therefore, we would expect investors to place a greater value on the pro-forma entity,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn said in his research note.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Family and cultural tradition lives on

By Karen McKinley
Northern Ontario Business
June 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The history of saunas goes back millennia and its applications are still being used today. Krucker Saunas opened a new manufacturing location in the Sudbury suburb of Capreol in what used to be a bus depot. Nicolas Krucker, owner of Krucker Saunas, said it was a perfect fit for his growing business. …His company manufactures saunas, bunkies (small sleep cabins), and decks, as well as wood-fired hot tubs. …All materials, from the steel for the stoves to the wood are 100 per cent Canadian sourced. “We get cedar from B.C., pine from Quebec, even the steel for the roof is from Quebec,” he explained.

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Global Study: Most People Highly Value Paper and Print

By Phil Riebel
Two Sides
June 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The recent issue of Paper360 (May/June) features consumer survey results on global attitudes towards paper and print, as well as toward corporate environmental claims promoting digital over paper-based communications. The article concludes that there is a clear preference for print on paper across all countries and regions analyzed (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States), likely indicating a more fundamental and human way that people react to the physicality of print on paper. Many prefer paper-based communications to digital options for a variety of reasons, including ease of reading, tactile experience, and a lack of internet access. These findings may also be partially explained by neuroscientific studies that have shown that our brains have a much more emotional and meaningful connection when we read on paper versus screens.

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Portland, OR mass timber tower secures construction permits

By Kim Slowey
Construction Drive
June 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The team behind the Framework Project in Portland, OR, announced Tuesday that it has secured the necessary permits to begin construction on the first wood high-rise in the U.S. The 12-story building will also be the tallest mass-timber building in the country and the tallest post-tensioned rocking wall building in the world. As part of the permitting process, building officials tested the design and materials for fire, acoustic and structural performance. The mixed-use tower will include office space, ground-floor retail, social enterprise space, 60 affordable housing units and a tall wood exhibit. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year, with completion expected in late 2018.

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Forestry

‘Blame the males’: University of Prince Edward Island biologist says pollen amounts normal

By Brian Higgins
CBC News
June 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The sights of spring on P.E.I. this year include an eye-catching sight for some Islanders: vivid yellow mats of something or other floating in the water. Relax. It’s tree pollen, according to a UPEI biologist. “Sex is in the air,” said Christian LeCroix. “Pollen is wind dispersed … If you have a pond or shore nearby, it will accumulate in huge quantities.” Some islanders have snapped pictures in recent days of what appears to be an undulating yellow ooze. Photos on social media, taken at the Cavendish section of P.E.I. National Park, look downright psychedelic. According to LaCroix, it’s harmless, and a sign that spring is unfolding as it should. Conifer trees on P.E.I., such as pine and spruce, produce pollen in large quantities.

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Province’s butternut trees may hold the secret to species’ survival

By Viola Pruss
CBC News
June 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Scientists in Fredericton are trying to make a future for the imperilled butternut tree, long a favourite of furniture-makers and the source of a snack for squirrels and birds. With butternut trees in North America at risk of extinction because of disease, the Canadian Forestry Service in New Brunswick wants to save local seeds for future generations. “It’s one of those cases where not doing, [not] taking any action, could result in losing this species, so we really wanted to take some action and just provide for future opportunities,” said tree seed researcher Tannis Beardmore. …Beardmore said the species was listed in 2003 as being at risk when butternuts came under attack from a fungal pathogen that gives the trees long and sunken black wounds known as cankers.

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‘Untouched’ forest between Ottawa and Montreal gets new protection

By Morgan Lowrie
Canadian Press in MetroNews
June 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A pristine section of forest that was once owned by a famous 19th century Quebec politician will become a conservation area, a nature group announced Monday. The Nature Conservancy of Canada announced it will preserve some 6,000 hectares of what was once known as the “Seigneurie Papineau” — a segment of ecologically important forests and wetlands situated between Ottawa and Montreal. The land, located near Montebello, Que. is home to moose, black bears and timber wolves, as well as many species of plants, birds, amphibians and fish, according to the group’s vice-president for Quebec. Joel Bonin says the corridor of wilderness, which is about 20 kilometres by three kilometres, is now protected from development due to a combination of federal government funding and corporate and individual donors.

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New Ag, Interior secretaries call for retaining public lands, upping resource extraction

By Betsy Z. Russell
Spokesman Review
June 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE – The nation’s new secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior brought a message to Boise on Friday: Public lands must be retained, but they also must produce more through resource extraction. “Up front, I’m not an advocate for sale or transfer of public lands,” new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said to whoops, cheers and applause from a crowd of more than 300 at Boise State University. …“I think it’s time we start looking at forests as crops, as agriculture, and use them,” said newly-appointed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “…Our people know trees, they know how to grow trees, they know how to harvest trees – we just need to unleash them and recoup the great resource that we have in our U.S. forests for the health of our local economies and for the value to the U.S. taxpayer.” …“That’s old rhetoric,” said John Freemuth, BSU professor of public policy and a specialist in public lands.

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President’s budget proposal is a step backward for region

By Rep. Derek Kilmer
The Daily World
June 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


As you approach the Wishkah River Bridge you’ll see that great sign declaring “Gateway to the Olympics.” That is not just a sign for tourists looking to explore our forests. For generations of families in Grays Harbor, that gateway has meant livelihood. …The forest — and the industries tied to it — will continue to be an important leg of our economic stool. …And in this region, we are already making some progress. For example, we created the Olympic Peninsula Forest Collaborative to bring all sides to the table to figure out how we can make progress in restoring our forests while increasing harvest levels. …Unfortunately, the president’s recent budget proposal is a step backward. It does not support efforts like this. In fact, it completely eliminates the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration run by the Forest Service. This program provides $40 million every year that goes toward increasing the size and scope of ventures like the one we started here.

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Reservoir at Risk

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
June 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Payson has spent 20 years and some $50 million working to secure rights to 3,000 acre-feet annually from the C.C. Cragin Reservoir — enough to make Payson one of the only places in the state with an adequate, long-term water supply. … Studies suggest that a crown fire racing through the watershed leading into the reservoir could trigger subsequent massive mudslides and ongoing erosion that could in just a few years fill in the deep, narrow reservoir. That’s why the U.S. Forest Service is planning a massive thinning project on the 64,000 acres of densely overcrowded forest on the slopes above the 15,000 acre-foot reservoir. The Forest Service has been working on an analysis of the plan since 2015. The Forest Service expects to finish the study of the effects of the thinning project this year and hopes to start work in 2018.

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Forestry planting by non-farmers up 150 percent

By Ciaran Moran and Claire Mc Cormack
Irish Independent
June 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

There was a 150pc (percent) surge in the levels of forestry planted by non-farmers last year, official figures reveal. The new Department of Agriculture data shows that 35pc of the total area planted in 2016 was carried out by non-farming private investors. Counties with the highest proportion of non-farming investors – more than 40pc – include: Leitrim, Longford, Clare and Cavan. However, forestry companies have been quick to point out that the sharp rise comes from a low baseline figure of just a 3pc nationwide increase in forestry last year. Although there has been much political and some farm community criticism over the Government’s planting ambitions, industry leaders say rural dwellers are mainly behind the 150pc surge. John O’Reilly, CEO of Green Belt, Ireland’s largest private forestry company, says the figure is “very positive”.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire burning out of control northwest of Quesnel, B.C.

CBC News
June 5, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Wildfire Service is responding to a small but out-of-control wildfire burning about 40 kilometres northwest of Quesnel. Thirty-seven firefighters are working with airtankers, a helicopter and heavy equipment to establish a control line around the perimeter, according to a release. The fire was reported yesterday, about five kilometres south of Pantage Lake, and currently covers 84 hectares. It was 25 per cent contained as of 1 p.m. Monday but still burning out of control, according to B.C. Wildfire Service officials.

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Wildfire northeast of Dillingham grew to 1,000 acres Sunday, Forestry Division says

By Dave Bendinger
KTOO
June 5, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire near Okstukuk Lake, 40 miles northeast of Dillingham, had grown to 1,000 acres by Sunday night. After a slow start to the state’s wildlfire season, thunderstorms sparked a dozen or more new blazes over the weekend around Western Alaska. The Kenakuchuk Creek was first reported to authorities by several pilots Saturday, though the smoke was visible from Dillingham, too. McGrath-based fire crews responded Saturday afternoon, according to Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Mowry. “They sent a plane with smoke jumpers to check it out,” he said Sunday. “When they first saw it, it was about 25 acres, and they went to fuel up in Dillingham and came back it had grown to 100 acres.” The fire is in a limited protection zone, and the nearest cabin is several miles away.

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Forest Service manages fires across the Coconino

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
June 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

As one managed wildfire winds down on the Coconino National Forest, two more lightning-caused blazes have sprung up south and west of Flagstaff that are being managed in different ways by Forest Service personnel. This weekend also saw one wildfire within the city of Flagstaff that was caused by an unattended campfire off Ponderosa Parkway north of Route 66. According to the latest reports of forest conditions above the Mogollon Rim, fuels moisture and the energy release component, which is a measure of the potential severity of a wildfire given current conditions, are sitting close to normal levels for this time of year. Officials with the Coconino National Forest said they are not looking at going into fire restrictions above the Mogollon Rim until about mid-June, and that will only happen if the forest continues to dry out and certain criteria are met, including increased forest use, higher temperatures and lower relative humidity.

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New fire burning atop the Rim

Payson Roundup
June 5, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


The Forest Service on Monday issued the following update on the Bear Canyon Fire, burning above Washington Park atop the Mogollon Rim. The 60-acre fire has produced a plume of smoke visible from all over Rim Country. It is burning in the same area as the Snake Ridge Fire. Fire personnel are managing a recent lightning-caused wildfire above Mogollon Rim, allowing it to fulfill its natural role and move across the landscape consuming dead and down wood, pine needles and forest fuels. The Bear Fire is located ten miles southeast of Clints Well in Bear Canyon, a half mile from the edge of the Mogollon Rim. This wildfire is not a prescribed burn, but fire personnel will occasionally conduct burnout operations in specific areas to keep the fire from moving beyond certain boundaries and help direct where and how the fire moves through the landscape.

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Update on the Slim Fire Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

Payson Roundup
June 5, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


The Slim Fire, started by lightning June 2nd and has grown to approximately 700 acres at zero percent containment. There are 227 personnel assigned to combat this fire fueled by Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer with litter and understory with estimated moderate growth potential. Official update from the Forest Service includes the following information and links to additional resources: Fire crews will scout, prepare and burn out along existing roads and dozer lines. Type 1 Helicopters will support crews on the ground at the confluence of Long Tom Canyon and Chevelon Canyon. The operational period objective will focus and work towards fire containment while providing for firefighter safety. No structures are threatened at this time.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The 100 Year Fallacy explained

BioMass101
June 6, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Forest bioenergy, or biomass, is a renewable source of energy, and one recognized by the EPA, EU, and UN as a carbon-neutral part of a clean energy future. Carbon neutrality means that biomass captures as much (or more) carbon as it releases into the atmosphere. That basic scientific fact, rooted in the natural carbon cycle, is affirmed by scientists and forestry experts across the country. But in the face of this clear scientific consensus, a number of activists and lobbying groups stubbornly oppose biomass. These groups repeat the same misapprehensions and misunderstandings loudly and often in an attempt to mislead journalists, cajole policymakers, and deceive the public.  

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New law allows much of Minnesota’s biomass industry to be shut down

By Tom Meersman
Star Tribune
June 5, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Tucked into the omnibus jobs and energy bill signed by Gov. Mark Dayton is a provision that will allow a special fund for clean energy development to be used to shut down a couple of renewable energy power plants in greater Minnesota. …The law has upset environmental leaders who object to how the renewable energy fund will be used. And it has outraged loggers, who first heard of the plan late in the legislative session and said it could devastate many of their businesses. “The irony is that this is in the jobs bill, but it’s going to cost hundreds and hundreds of jobs,” said Scott Dane, executive director of the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota. …At least 20 logging companies are involved as suppliers, he said, representing hundreds of logging and trucking jobs, and some may go bankrupt with the closures because there is virtually no other market for the wood chips.

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