Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 17, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Wildfires and hurricanes prove deadly in Europe

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 17, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

While some Californians start to return to their charred homes, fires in Portugal and Spain are responsible for 39 deaths and hurricane Ophelia’s winds have killed three in Ireland. Elsewhere, budget cuts hurt Alabama’s fire preparedness, but weather in Central Oregon [officially] terminates the fire season.

The US lumber industry stands firm in their subsidy claim against Canadian producers while Russ Taylor says “if there were subsidies, American companies would be buying mills in Canada and they are not”. Meanwhile, a federal judge dismissed Resolute’s lawsuit against Greenpeace but opened the door for the company to correct its deficiencies and proceed with the case.

A first-ever gathering of specialists in Colorado seeks profitable uses of biomass to make forests less fire susceptible, while a Washington State research team have found a way to replace ethanol with biofuels created from lumber mill waste.

Finally, while Glulam makes inroads with bridges and CLT is a game changer in residential towers, the Massachusetts Concrete industry says costs and nostalgia are not reasons enough to boost building with wood.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

U.S. lumber industry slams Canada in trade filing

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
October 16, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The American softwood industry is urging the U.S. International Trade Commission to stand firm against Canada, accusing Canadian producers of flooding the market with subsidized lumber. As the Washington-based ITC gets closer to issuing its final determination in December in the trade battle, the U.S. lumber lobby is taking the opportunity to hammer Canada. “The softwood lumber dispute is indeed long-running, but that is because the fundamental problem driving this dispute has not changed: Canadian producers operate in a system that incentivizes production through the government’s provision of low-cost raw materials and other assistance,” the American group said in a recent 376-page filing to the ITC. Barring a trade truce between United States and Canada, the ITC is expected to make its final ruling by Dec. 21. …Canada has steadfastly argued that its industry isn’t subsidized while maintaining Canadian lumber shipments help and don’t hurt the U.S. sector.

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Sawmills in US South have 25-30% margin and those in Eastern Canada just around 10-15%

Lesprom Network
October 16, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Russ Taylor

BC Interior has an advantage over the West coast of USA, but mainly because of currency. If there were any subsidies, American companies would be buying mills in Canada and they are not. There are three companies in BC that have purchased 48 sawmills in the U.S since 2004. Interview with Russell Taylor, President at Wood Resources International. In August International Wood Markets Group was sold to Forest Economic Advisors. Why did you decide to sell the company? [Russ] I think that it is mainly a succession strategy. FEA is very heavily focused on North America. We’re focused on North America too and we do a lot of international reports and research. So the idea was to consolidate our experiences and expand the international exposure for FEA. It’s very much a win-win situation. 

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No One Wants To Talk About Ontario’s Disappearing Blue-Collar Communities

By Robert Waite
Huffington Post Canada
October 16, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

…[This story] is about a town in Northern Ontario, Kapuskasing… It is about the fact that even in an age of global warming, life in Canada north of 45 degrees latitude can be precarious. …My travelling companion… had last been there 35 years ago. …Her employer was Kimberly-Clark, the mammoth paper products company who operated a pulp and paper mill, Spruce Falls, in partnership with the New York Times. At that time, the mill employed over 3,000 workers. The town had more than 12,000 inhabitants. …But the reality is that Kapuskasing and many other resource-based communities in Canada’s north face a very uncertain future. Young people are leaving. One regional staple — forest products — is fading because harvested forests, when re-planted, recover much more slowly than those in the U.S. southeast.

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Lac Seul First Nation in northwestern Ontario looking to expand local sawmill

By Jackie McKay
CBC News
October 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The local sawmill at Lac Seul First Nation is looking to expand its business as company officials say the four-person operation can’t keep up with demand for its products. “It’s a good problem to have,” said Bert Hennessey, the general manager of Obishikokaang Resources Corporation — a forestry company owned by the First Nation that oversees the sawmill. Lac Seul is about 400 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay. Small ‘micro’ houses are one of the sawmill’s products. (Andreas Zailo) The community-owned sawmill was created to build local infrastructure and create jobs. While the facility produces lumber for construction, it also makes finished products, such as floating docks for tourism camps, picnic tables and two small A-frame houses for the local school.

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Judge Fells Logger’s RICO Lawsuit Against Greenpeace

By Nichoas Iovino
Courthouse News Service
October 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge dismissed without prejudice a lawsuit accusing Greenpeace of conspiring to defame a logging company as a “forest destroyer,” sparking some feisty comments from Greenpeace’s general counsel and what he called President Trump’s “go-to law firm.” U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar found most of the alleged “false statements” Greenpeace and co-defendant Stand made about Georgia-based Resolute were opinions on environmental issues, which are protected by the First Amendment.  …Tigar found such matters of scientific debate are supposed to be settled by the scientific community, not the judiciary. …But he gave Resolute a second chance to amend its lawsuit, which the company said it will do. “We will correct those purported deficiencies in an amendment, and proceed with the case,” Resolute attorney Michael Bowe, with Kasowitz Benson Torres in New York City, said in an email.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Washington State University researchers create renewable jet fuel

By Jonathan Villanueva
The Daily Evergreen
October 16, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A WSU research team, Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, have found a way to replace ethanol based energy sources with biofuels created from lumber mill waste. Co-director of NARA Mike Wolcott said waste from lumber mills can be used in commercial airliners; the long term goal behind the project was to replace ethanol based energy sources with an environmentally friendly approach. Last year, Wolcott and his 32-person team found a way to use wood waste to power airliners like Alaska Airlines. He said, they demonstrated it by having an Alaskan Airliner travel from Seattle to Washington, D.C. last November.

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Glulam making its way from buildings to bridges

By Katie Camero
The Fifth Estate
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Glulam is making its way from buildings to bridges, becoming a cost-effective, viable and sustainable alternative to steel and concrete, according to research out of South Dakota State University in the US. Researchers at the university’s J Lohr Structures Lab tested the strength of a glulam bridge as part of a push to give counties and towns more options when designing new bridges or replacing old ones. “To our knowledge, this is the first time that full-scale testing has been done on glulam timber bridges,” co-principal investigator Mostafa Tazarv said. Bridges on low-traffic county and township roads must be strong enough to withstand great weight – enough to support the typical 15 fully loaded trucks per day that cross these roads, Dr Tazarv said.  …Glulam construction costs can also be anywhere from 25 to 50 per cent less than conventional bridges, he said.

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Cost concerns, nostalgia are not reason enough to boost building with wood

Letter by Craig Dauphinais, Massachusetts Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association
Boston Globe
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Craig Dauphinais

Anyone who has been watching the local news the last few months would know we’ve got a problem in the Boston area. Major fires at wood-frame apartment complexes under construction in Weymouth, Waltham, and Dorchester have drawn firefighters from across the Commonwealth, and in the case of Waltham, led local officials to call on the state to tighten building codes. Despite this, Renée Loth’s Oct. 2 Opinion column, “Don’t give up on building with wood,” glosses over the vulnerabilities that exist with the use of combustible construction materials, and instead advocates for the material because, among other things, it’s “cheaper” and has “historic [and] romantic appeal.” There’s a reason that architects and developers who are committed to building durable structures use concrete and steel-framing: It’s simply more resilient.

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London’s soaring timber tower could be a game changer for CLT

By Don Procter
Daily Commercial News
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Kevin Flanagan

The world might not be quite ready for soaring timber skyscrapers but one architectural firm is getting headlines for a proposed wood tower that would be the tallest building in London, England. The conceptual 80-storey building called Oakwood Timber Tower “is the largest use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in the U.K. and in Europe,” Kevin Flanagan said at the recent Green Building Festival in Toronto. …The tower is engineered in a series of quadrants or bundled columns, much like Chicago’s 1,450-foot-tall Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, Flanagan said. As big city cores such as Toronto’s are pressured to intensify, CLT could prove to be a prime building material for residential towers, he said. “Rather than create CO2, by harvesting the renewable timber you can reduce CO2 (emissions) and actually go negative,” he explained.

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Forestry

Woodlots strive for peak performance at conference

By The Federation of BC Woodlot Associations
Clearwater Times
October 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woodlot licensees from around British Columbia met at Sun Peaks Resort on Oct. 1-3 for the 30th annual Federation of BC Woodlot Associations and 20th annual Woodlot Product Development Council general meetings and conference. This year’s theme, which marked two important anniversaries but was also shadowed by an unprecedented wildfire season in the province, was “Achieving Peak Performance.” …Representatives from municipal and provincial governments, stakeholders in agriculture and forestry met to consider the increasing demands facing B.C.’s forests and share ideas on upholding the social license by balancing sustainable forest management with environmental, social and economic values. 

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Equipment Donation Supports Skilled Trades Training

By Corinne Stavness
Canfor
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor and the forest products industry relies heavily on the skilled trades’ workforce. As a result, Canfor continually looks for ways to support the success of this important sector of our industry’s workforce. One recent example is through an equipment donation to Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Williams Lake, BC. Canfor donated a Vollmer CHC20 top and face grinder. With this donation, students will be able to learn how to operate, repair and make adjustments to this machine, which is one of the important machines used by saw filers. Before it was donated, Canfor partnered with HMT Machine Tools Canada to rebuild the grinder. The work done by HMT will prolong the life of this equipment and ensure the learning environment suitably mimics the real-world.

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?Esdilagh First Nation bans moose hunt in its traditional territory

BC Local News
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Another First Nation community in the Cariboo Chilcotin has declared a ban on moose hunting within its traditional territory. The ?Esdilagh (Alexandria) First Nation located along the Fraser River between Williams Lake and Quesnel, announced Monday they made the decision following a community meeting held Oct. 5. “The community discussed this season’s wildfires, the effects it has had so far within their traditional territory and the devastating impact it will have on moose,” stated a press release from ?Esdilagh. “Moose populations in ?Esdilagh’s territory are already at an unprecedented low level, and as a result of the 2017 firefighting, there are many new roads and access to sensitive moose habitat.”

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Mountain Pine Beetle open house held in Hinton

By John Hopkins-Hill
Hinton Parklander
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An open house about the Mountain Pine Beetle on Oct. 11 at the Hinton Centre gave citizens an update on the situation in Hinton and the surrounding area. Representatives from West Fraser, the Town of Hinton, Yellowhead County, the Government of Alberta and fRI Research were on site. Hans van Klaveren, parks, recreation and culture manager for the Town of Hinton, said that the town removed just under 1000 trees from town-owned and private lots in Hinton last spring. …Mayor Rob Mackin said that Hinton is the “epicentre” of Mountain Pine Beetle in Alberta, and that the focus now has to be on all levels of government and industry working together to combat the problem.

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Earth-i’s satellite imagery chosen to monitor tree logging in Canada

EARTH-i
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EARTH-i today announced that it has been appointed by the Ministry of Environment for the Province of Saskatchewan to help monitor the logging of trees across a forested area of some 3500km². Earth-i will be supplying high-resolution images that will enable the Ministry to prevent illegal logging – and ensure sustainability and compliance. Canada is the world’s largest exporter of softwood lumber. Its forests account for 9% of the world’s forest cover and 40% of the world’s sustainably managed forests. To help protect its commercial forests from over-harvesting, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment has been using satellite images for several years.

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Moncton mayor says new working group will study glyphosate spraying

By Tori Weldon
CBC News
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dawn Arnold

Moncton’s mayor, Dawn Arnold told council on Monday night that the city, with staff and elected officials from Riverview and Dieppe met with representatives from the province’s departments of agriculture and environment to put together a working group to look at glyphosate spraying near the municipalities’ source of drinking water, Turtle Creek Reservoir. Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview get their drinking water from the Turtle Creek Reservoir … southwest of Moncton, Mayor Arnold asked the province to stop spraying the controversial herbicide glyphosate near the watershed in August. Arnold said last Thursday’s meeting with the province involved, “fullsome discussion around glyphosate.” “We agreed moving forward that we will put together a scientific working group that will work toward eliminating risk in our watershed,” said Arnold.

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Wildfires continue to advance across Northern California as firefighters gain ground

By Scott Wilson
Washington Post
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…While firefighters have made gains in containing more than a dozen fires in Northern California during the past week, here in the Valley of the Moon, the burn risk is still high. The fire’s advance from the peaks of Sugar Loaf and Hood mountains has been steady, despite the gentle wind. As the sun rose Monday, exhausted firefighters changed shifts in a thick, ground-level smoke. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials organized lines at the edge of the valley floor as the blaze threatened to roar down through windblown canyons. … California officials say 41 people have died and more than 3,500 buildings have burned, most of them houses. … But the fire’s stubborn advance also highlights the conditions working against its containment: hillsides of oak and pine that are dry as tinder, a rugged topography often unnavigable by large teams and trucks, and a shifting wind that will decide the fate of this valley regardless of the resources in place now.

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry closes central Oregon fire season

KTVZ News
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PRINEVILLE, Oregon – The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District terminated fire season at 12:01 a.m. on Monday.  Recent weather patterns combined with shorter days and cooler nights have reduced the risk of large fire growth. “Under these conditions, fuels won’t be able to dry out enough to be a significant hazard and they no longer warrant the need for us to be in fire season,” said District Forester Mike Shaw. Termination of fire season brings an increase in outdoor burning from activities such as fuel reduction, yard debris clean-up, and operations to reduce slash in managed forests. 

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East Hampton’s first pine beetle infestation fells 800 trees

By Rachelle Blidner
Newsday
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The southern pine beetle that has decimated thousands of trees around Long Island has hit East Hampton Town for the first time, forcing officials to plan to cut down 800 infested trees. …Town officials said they are applying for a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grant to cover the estimated $80,000 cost of killing beetles by cutting down trees to expose the pests to the cold. …Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc said the infestation has already increased within the past two weeks, making him concerned “we’re going to lose most, if not all, of the trees eventually” in areas of Northwest Woods. “It’s probably unstoppable, but we’re going to make an effort as best we can,” he said.

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Budget cuts leave Alabama Forestry Commission locations understaffed

By Matt Fernandez
CBS 42 News
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Alabama — Budget cuts are forcing the Alabama Forestry Commission to deal with a smaller workforce during October and November, a time in the year they say they are busy fighting wildfires. The Shelby County and Talladega County Alabama Forestry locations do not have any staff at their offices. Alabama Forestry Commission Regional Forester Jason Dockery tells CBS 42 they usually have two or three people at each of these locations. Though equipment remains in those counties, neither location has had a staff since the spring.

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Storm Ophelia: It will be weeks before scale of damage to Ireland’s forests will be known

By Claran Moran
Farm Ireland
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

It could take weeks before the scale of damage caused by Storm Ophelia to Irish forestry is known, according to the state’s forestry company Coillte. Coillte Forests remain closed to recreational users and the general public today, while forest workers and contractors clear the resulting storm damaged trees and carry out assessments of the windblown damage caused by Hurricane Ophelia. It says this work and the process of accessing the cost and full extent of the damage is expected to take a number of weeks to complete.

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Wildfires responsible for 39 deaths in Portugal, Spain

Associated Press in CBC News
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Wildfires in Portugal killed at least 35 people, injured dozens more and left others missing in the country’s second such tragedy in four months, officials said Monday. In neighbouring Spain, four deaths were reported. The fatalities in Portugal occurred in densely forested parts of central and northern part of the country after blazes broke out in “exceptional” weather circumstances, Civil Protection Agency spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar said. The situation was still “critical” because of unseasonably high temperatures, Gaspar said. But cooler, wetter weather is approaching, which may give some respite to firefighters tackling the blazes….She said 56 people were injured, 16 of them seriously, and nine people were reported missing in the blazes that broke out over the weekend.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

ENVIRO NOTES: Local reaction to global warming

By Roy Strang, RPF retired
BC Local News
October 16, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

There’s no doubt that British Columbia is a forested province and, though there’s still some debate about causes, it’s also generally agreed that our climate is changing. What do the impending changes mean for B.C’s forests in general and the Semiahmoo Peninsula in particular? If forecasts are accurate, we can expect warmer temperatures, more erratic rainfall and less snow. The impact on our forests has already been seen in the recent damaging outbreak of mountain pine beetles as one consequence of a change, which was brought about, at least in part, by a series of relatively mild winters – and now we’re suffering the worst fire season on record.

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New Study Finds Nature is Vital to Beating Climate Change

The Nature Conservancy
October 16, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting climate change than previously thought, according to the most comprehensive assessment to date of how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and stored in forests, farmland, grasslands and wetlands using natural climate solutions. The peer-reviewed study …published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, expanded and refined the scope of land-based climate solutions previously assessed by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change. The findings are expected to bolster efforts to ensure that large-scale protection, restoration, and improved land management practices needed to stabilize climate change are achieved while meeting the demand for food and fiber from global lands.

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Colorado to Host Gathering of Biomass Experts Looking at Wildfire Solutions

By Ryan Lockwood
Pagosa Daily Post
October 17, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Although Colorado experienced a relatively moderate wildfire season in 2017, the current catastrophic losses faced by California and some other Western states highlight the need to address wildfire-prone forests on a regional basis. Yet an ongoing challenge to forest management in Colorado and throughout the West is finding profitable uses for the wood, or biomass, removed to make forests less susceptible to catastrophic wildfires. As part of this year’s recognition of National Forest Products Week – celebrated during the third week of October each year – Colorado is serving as the location for the first-ever gathering of forest products utilization specialists from states across the West, in the form of a newly formed Forest Utilization Network established by the Council of Western State Foresters. CWSF is hosting the first event in Denver this week.

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