Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 9, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Today is Tax Freedom Day in Canada

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 9, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Parks Canada announced a 14-member advisory panel to guide government on “how it can reach its biodiversity conservation target of 17 per cent of the country’s land and freshwater through a network of parks, protected and conserved areas”.

Thousands of business owners, guides, outfitters, hunters and anglers are “urging Alaska’s congressional representatives and the Trump Administration to keep public lands in the public trust”, in the Tongass National Forest. 

Catalyst Paper was named “one of Canada’s top corporate citizens for the 11th consecutive year” by Corporate Knights Magazine.

Finally, the Fraser Institute is so kind as to remind us (Canadians) that “June 9 is Tax Freedom Day”, with the average family earning $108,674 and paying 43.4% of that to government in one form or another. And thank goodness, as Sandy and I are heading to Ireland today for a week’s holiday. Of course, you and the Tree Frog News will be in the capable hands of co-editor Heidi Walsh.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Canadians Celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 9, 2017

For our Canadian Reader Only
Fraser Institute
June 9, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

In 2017, the average Canadian family will earn $108,674 in income and pay a total of $47,135 in taxes (43.4%). If the average Canadian family had to pay its total tax bill of $47,135 up front, it would have worked until June 8 to pay the total tax bill imposed on them by all three levels of government (federal, provincial, and local). This means that in 2017, the average Canadian family will celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 9. Tax Freedom Day in 2017 arrives one day later than in 2016, when it fell on June 8, because the average Canadian family’s total tax bill is expected to increase at a faster rate this year (2.4%) than the growth in income (2.2%)

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Business & Politics

Softwood Lumber, Dairy, Airplanes: Can Canada’s Export Party Continue?

By Chris MacDonald
The Motley Fool Canada
June 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

While interest rates remain at record lows, Canadian investors continue to mull the potential impacts of changes to currency exchange rates on specific Canadian industries. Statistics Canada published a report last week highlighting the effects of the lower Canadian dollar on Canadian exports to the U.S. …Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced industry-wide countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber… These duties have re-ignited discussions on the softwood lumber issue — an issue which dates back more than a decade, with each side accusing the other of manipulation of some sort. …Shares in firms such as Canfor Corporation have actually risen since the Trump administration announced countervailing duties on April 24 (shares closed at $18.18 on April 24 vs. a share price around $19 today), with markets largely ignoring the effects of such duties on this industry.

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Catalyst Paper named one of Canada’s top corporate citizens for 11th consecutive year; 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report highlights performance

Catalyst Paper Corporation
June 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, (BC) – Catalyst Paper today announced that it has been named for the 11th consecutive year as one of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights Magazine, which reports on corporate sustainability and transparency. “We are proud to be acknowledged for the 11th consecutive year as one of Canada’s Best Corporate Citizens,” said Graham Kissack, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility. “Our leading sustainability performance and transparent disclosure means we provide leading brands with confidence in Catalyst’s growing line of paper and packaging products.” The Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada are selected by Corporate Knights Magazine on the basis of their performance against 14 key sustainability indicators, including greenhouse gas productivity, percentage of taxes paid, health and safety performance, pension fund, supply chain and clean air productivity.

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MP Nault: Forest sector should prepare for a long softwood battle

By  Chris Marchand
The Dryden Observer
June 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

After 35 years and five iterations of a softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States, Kenora MP Bob Nault says $867 million in financial supports for the forest sector and its employees is the beginning of an earnest effort to achieve a long-term solution to a recurring problem. “It’s intended to assure industry, communities and workers that the government of Canada is with them in this battle,” said Nault. “I mean, this is the fifth time we’ve had to deal with the softwood lumber issue from the perspective of the countervailing duties. This is the government’s first response to the industry and communities, especially small single-industry sawmill communities like Ear Falls.”

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3 Top Dividend Stocks in Lumber

By Matthew DiLallo
The Motley Fool
June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

While the lumber industry typically pays above-average dividends, these three stocks currently lead the pack when it comes to yield. The lumber industry can be an excellent source of income for investors because many of these companies choose tax-friendly corporate structures, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs) or master limited partnerships (MLPs). That’s clear by looking at the following chart, which shows that companies structured as a REIT or MLP yield more than twice that of their dividend paying C-Corp competitors.

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Vaagen spinoff will turn scrawny trees into engineered building material

By Becky Kramer
Spokesman Review
June 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West


A spinoff of Vaagen Brothers Lumber Inc. plans to start making a product that could transform how high-rise buildings are constructed, someday making wooden skyscrapers part of city skylines. By late next year, Vaagen Timbers LLC plans to begin producing cross-laminated timber in Colville. The sturdy, structural panels are made from compressed wood where the grain is layered at 90-degree angles. The panels are strong enough to replace concrete and steel in multistory buildings. …“It’s still a new market, but I saw enough opportunities with it to step away from my duties with Vaagen Brothers Lumber to develop this company,” said Russ Vaagen, Vaagen Brothers’ former president, who will head up Vaagen Timbers.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Colin & Justin launch Real Cedar Media Blitz

RealCedar
June 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

As promised during their highly entertaining presentation at Cedar Summit 2017, Colin and Justin have already started extolling the virtues of Real Cedar in various print articles and across all major social media platforms. The dynamic design duo kicked off this celebrity endorsement crusade in the Huffington Post with a cedar-centric feature entitled “Patio Pointers And Terrace Tips To Transform Your Summer”. And more recently, they exploited their transatlantic reach by planting another cedar-centric article in a popular London, England publication. This one is called “Room for Improvement: When it comes to building a deck, Western Red Cedar is the Rolls Royce of lumber.” This syndicated feature also appears in the Toronto Sun & Post Media. As well, they’ve been promoting their upcoming Real Cedar video series with some behind-the-scenes teasers. All the while, they’ve been plugging cedar every chance they get to their ever expanding online community. See below for a sampling of their social media marketing prowess:

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UBC Wesbrook Village condo reaches key milestone

Condo Business
June 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The final mass timber panel has been installed at Adera Development Group’s Virtuoso project in UBC’s Wesbrook Village, marking a key milestone in its construction. The historic development is the first market condominium project built using mass timber, specifically CrossLam Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels supplied by Structurlam Products LP. Virtuoso is a luxury condominium featuring signature West Coast Modern architecture. The residences surround a central Zen garden and feature up to 850 square feet of private outdoor space and a large rooftop patio. The use of mass timber on this project provides it with a sustainable advantage, as mass timber provides legitimate fire resistance, outperforms concrete in seismic conditions and is a superior renewable building resources. Mass timber also reduces the amount of airborne and impact sounds between attached homes, which complements Adera’s Quiet Home technology.

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Forestry

Federal and Provincial Governments Create National Advisory Panel on Canada’s biodiversity conservation initiative

By Parks Canada
Canada Newswire
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canada is committed to conserve at least 17 per cent of our country’s land and freshwater through a network of parks, protected and conserved areas, and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2020. Building this network will be achieved only through a pan-Canadian collaboration and the collective action of many communities, partners and stakeholders. Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, along with the Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, introduced the experts, appointed to a National Advisory Panel, who will advise governments on achieving Canada’s international commitment to biodiversity conservation.

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New pest chomps through Edmonton’s elm canopy

By Gordon Kent
Edmonton Journal
June 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Edmonton’s renowned elm forest is under attack from a tiny insect that’s coating branches and leaves with a sticky film as it slowly chomps its way across the city. European elm scale attaches itself to the bark and feeds on sap, leading to yellow, prematurely falling foliage, branch dieback and, in some cases, death, Mike Jenkins, a senior city biological sciences technologist, said Thursday. He’s concerned that what was once an isolated pest is spreading through mature neighbourhoods where elms are common, including Old Strathcona residential areas and along Whyte Avenue. “It’s been introduced several times in the past decade, but usually doesn’t last because of the harsh winters. The last few years, that’s no longer the case, and they’re getting established,” he said. “Usually, they’re not the cause of mortality, but in trees that are stressed for any other reason, they can be the cause of (its) demise.”

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Forester gains access to documents in complaint

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
June 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A forester who says he was unfairly denied a government job for criticizing B.C. and Haida Nation land-use planning has won access to previously withheld documents. Bryan Fraser, a former operations forester for Teal Jones in Sandspit, has filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. Fraser says that in 2015, he unfairly lost the offer of a senior policy job with BC Timber Sales for political beliefs he expressed years earlier while working on Haida Gwaii. From 2006 to 2010, Fraser was an outspoken critic of what became Haida Gwaii’s Strategic Land Use Agreement. At the time, he claimed it gave the Haida Nation oversight over land values that go beyond the case-law test for an aboriginal right. Fraser also says he obtained cutting permits for Teal Jones in areas that neither the Haida Nation nor the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations wanted logged.

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Trees, Youth, Our Future: Ontario150 Partnership Program Project Supports Exciting Documentary Series

Eastern Ontario Model Forest
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Kemptville, ON – The Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) is thrilled to be the recipient of funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport under the Ontario150 Partnership Program. The Ontario150 Partnership Program will provide $86,000 to the Eastern Ontario Model Forest to support the development of a three-part documentary project that engages youth and illustrates the many forest stewardship career opportunities that are available to young people. Trees, Youth, Our Future tells the story of forest stewardship in eastern Ontario – yesterday, today and tomorrow.  …“Good forest stewardship is a key driver of Ontario’s growth and prosperity, now and into the future. Well managed forests provide Ontarians with jobs, recreation and health,” explains Astrid Nielsen, registered professional forester and General Manager, Eastern Ontario Model Forest. “

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Judge: Federal laws don’t shield Oregon from timber lawsuit

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Federal environmental laws do no preclude a class action lawsuit against Oregon by local governments seeking $1.4 billion for insufficient logging. The lawsuit, on behalf of 14 counties and numerous taxing districts within them, argues that Oregon’s forest management policies have deprived local governments of logging revenues from forests they donated to the state. Attorneys for Oregon claimed that federal environmental statutes, including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, effectively prohibited state forest managers from maximizing timber harvests on that land. Linn County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy has now ruled those defenses are not valid, since the plaintiffs allege Oregon’s forest protections surpassed the requirements of federal law. … Murphy has ruled this defense is invalid because the regulations could have resulted in a breach of Oregon’s contract with local governments, even though the rules were lawfully enacted “through legitimate process.”

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Copper King Fire salvage project decision issued

By the National Forest Service
Clark Fork Valley Press
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Plains, MT. – The Lolo National Forest is proceeding with salvage of burned timber on the Copper King Fire after a decision was signed June, 6 by Forest Supervisor, Timothy Garcia, which authorizes timber salvage and roadside hazard tree removal on approximately 1,761 acres. The decision also approved three miles of temporary road construction, 88 miles of road maintenance, 6,000 acres of tree planting, and motorized use restrictions on 5 miles of trail. Road and watershed stabilization work will commence this month, with burned tree salvage beginning in July after award of timber sale contracts. …“We recognized a need to recover some economic value from the area, and therefore initiated planning for salvage even before the fire was fully contained,” said Dave Hattis, District Ranger for the Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District. Hattis noted Sanders County has unemployment rates nearly twice that of the state average.

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Death of Oregon forestry worker prompts new toolbox talk

Safety and Health Magazine
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Portland, Oregon – The Oregon Occupational Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program recently released a toolbox talk guide in response to a fatal incident in which a forestry worker was killed when a falling tree struck her vehicle. The worker was driving in a densely forested area. According to OR-FACE, it was not apparent that the worker or the tree faller stationed uphill saw one another before the incident occurred. The worker died of traumatic head and neck injuries.

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Thousands of Alaskans sign onto letter requesting public lands remain in the public trust

SitNews
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Today, thousands of business owners, guides, outfitters, hunters and anglers who support conserving and maintaining access to public lands released a letter urging Alaska’s congressional representatives and the Trump Administration to keep public lands in the public trust while celebrating the many uses of the Tongass National Forest. The letter states: “As individuals that depend on access to abundant natural resources, we believe the Tongass National Forest must continue to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service on a multiple-use basis. We stand together in opposition to any effort to transfer management or ownership of Federal public lands in Southeast Alaska to State or private entities [and] any proposals that threaten to unreasonably restrict public access or would harm fish and game populations by eliminating essential federal conservation designations and measures, such as the Tongass 77.”

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Collaborative approach can aid forest and local economy

By the Editorial Board
Yakima Herald-Republic
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It may defy intuition to say that saving a forest involves cutting part of it down. But those who have followed forest issues in Central Washington know how that can work — and has worked. Up in the Nile Valley along the Naches River, officials hope a collaborative effort will make it work. Decades of fire suppression and forest preservation have led to an overpopulation of trees — in some places, at three times the density of forests in their normal state. This makes the forest more susceptible to destructive wildfires and disease, both of which have caused serious problems in Central Washington in recent years. The area of interest is the 57,000-acre Little Crow Area near Nile Creek off State Route 410. What’s being developed is a proposal that is expected to produce about 26 million board feet of timber, the largest U.S. Forest Service project in several years. The Yakama Nation and Boise Cascade have expressed an interest in the project, which would support more than 160 jobs.

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This ‘tree’ has the environmental benefits of a forest

By Chris Giles
CNN
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Air pollution is one of the world’s invisible killers. It causes seven million premature deaths a year, making it the largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organization. …One well-established way to reduce air pollutants is to plant trees, as their leaves catch and absorb harmful particulates. But planting new trees is not always a viable option. That’s why the “CityTree”, a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong. …But the CityTree isn’t, in fact, a tree at all — it’s a moss culture. “Moss cultures have a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant. That means we can capture more pollutants,” said Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions.

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The wood-chopping farmer with an axe to grind on fungus

By Cherie von Horchner
ABC News Australia
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As a volunteer Country Fire Authority firefighter, John Hine is aware of the dangers that lurk in everyday rural life. But the 60-year-old farmer from Woodglen in East Gippsland never dreamt he could court death simply by chopping wood for the fire. “I was just cutting some red gum with the chainsaw. About a month or six weeks later I got severe headaches and fever-like symptoms,” Mr Hine said. …Mr Hine was informed he had contracted Cryptococcus, a disease that kills half a million people globally each year and, in Australia, tends to come from the Cryptococcus gattii fungus that grows in and around eucalyptus trees. “It’s rare,” said James Fraser, a molecular biologist from the University of Queensland. …“Crytococcus neoformans is responsible for half a million deaths a year, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa and less privileged countries … these tend to target people who are immuno-compromised. 

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Forest Fires

Broad Coalition Praises Introduction of Bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Bill

The Nature Conservancy
June 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

The Partner Caucus on Fire Suppression Funding Solutions, a broad, bipartisan coalition of conservation, timber, tribal, recreation, sportsmen and employer groups, praised Representatives Mike Simpson (R-Id.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) for introducing the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2017 (WDFA). The bill would change how the federal government budgets for the suppression of large wildfires to make that process similar to the way other disasters are funded.  For years, the increasing costs of wildfire suppression have hurt the ability of the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior to implement land management activities. …This bill’s new approach to wildfire suppression funding would help avoid the disruptive practice of “fire borrowing.” But most importantly, it addresses the continued erosion of land management programs that results from the increasing suppression levels. 

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Workers fear job losses after forestry burns

By Joseph Chirume
GroundUp
June 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

South Africa — About 200 people at a forestry plantation in the Eastern Cape were evacuated to safe places on Wednesday. This, after a raging veld fire burnt down the farm factory and plantation and was blowing towards their houses. The workers and their families who live at Longmore Sawmill, near Port Elizabeth, have spent two days sleeping in the Thornhill Community Hall. They were evacuated on Wednesday by a combined team of the Kouga Municipality assisted by the police and the local business community. The cause of the fire is still not known. However, the raging fire has spread and by Thursday night had crossed the Van Stadens River into the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality where firefighters were trying to contain it.

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General

These trees always lean toward the equator

By Sherry Noik
CBC News
June 8, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

In a universe of unexplained phenomena, add this: a tree that leans toward the equator no matter where it grows. The Cook pine tilts northward in the southern hemisphere and southward in the northern hemisphere, according to new research published recently in the journal Ecology. “That has never been seen ever in any plant, let alone trees,” said botanist Dr. Matthew Ritter, a professor at California Polytechnic State University and co-author of the paper. The Cook pine is native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific, and has been successfully cultivated in other warm, temperate climates like Australia, New Zealand, California, Mexico and Hawaii, where it grows 15-24 metres high, on average, and up to a towering 30 metres (roughly 10 storeys).

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