Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 6, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Closed BC Interior sawmill adds to local woes

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

Evacuated in July due to wildfires, Tolko’s Lakeview sawmill in Williams Lake was shut down again over the weekend, but this time due to a fire from inside the mill. According to the Globe and Mail, the mill was already facing an uncertain future due to the softwood lumber dispute and uncertainty over future harvest levels

Ben & Jerry’s [yes – the ice cream company] has joined four other retail outlets “imploring the government to protect woodland caribou from unsustainable logging practices“. Punching back, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities say the caribou population has “been rising thanks to sound forestry practices“. 

In other news, Westerman’s Forestry Bill has cleared the House and now heads to the Senate where its future is less certain. Oregon’s delegation split on the vote; the Editorial Board of the Press Democrat says we should fight wildfires without gutting conservation rules; while the News Tribune points to other legislative blueprints for fire protection

Finally, Lloyd Alter of TreeHugger fame, has two stories on the reasons to build and build big with wood from the Toronto Wood Solutions Fair; and a wood-based textile developer is converting pulp directly into textile fibre without using chemical solvents.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Two Canadian producers on next steps following softwood decision

By Tamar Atik
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canadian softwood lumber producers Western Forest Products (WFP) and Interfor commented in separate news releases on the U.S. Commerce Department’s final decision to apply subsidies to all Canadian producers. …“Interfor is of the view that these duties imposed by the U.S. are without merit and are politically driven,” the company stated. …WFP stated it has mitigated the duties by increasing lumber sales to China. …“As we expect retroactive duty application to be reversed, consistent with the results of past softwood lumber disputes, we will recognize the retroactive duties as a deposit only upon payment,” WFP said. …“Interfor intends to vigorously defend the company’s and the Canadian industry’s positions through various appeal processes, in conjunction with the B.C. and Canadian governments,” Interfor said.

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Is Canada Really Our Worst Trade Enemy?

By Charles Wallace
Forbes Magazine
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

As President Trump heads to Asia, his administration has scored another victory in its effort to reduce imports into the United States that it believes hurt American workers. But the campaign so far seems to be targeting not China or Mexico, but Canada. …Why all the attacks on Canada? Most likely because it is an easy target. Unlike China, which routinely violates World Trade Organization rules by making it impossible to do business there without a local partner, Canada is completely open and transparent. …While I’m all for countering disruptive trade practices, attacking Canada in this way seems increasingly like a big bully poking his finger in the little kid’s eye. In the end, we wind up hurting American consumers and making our closest trade partner ― it takes more U.S. exports than any other country ― feel angry and betrayed. Is that smart politics?

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Closed BC Interior sawmill adds to local woes

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
November 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Operations at a sawmill in British Columbia’s Interior, temporarily evacuated over the summer because of massive wildfires, has now been shut down following a fire inside the mill. For an industry already struggling with the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute, destruction by the mountain pine beetle and last summer’s massive wildfires, the shutdown of Tolko Industries’ Lakeview Mill in Williams Lake is just one more blow for the province’s forestry-dependent communities. Structural engineers aim to be able to get into the mill site on Monday to assess the damage, but the mill, which employs 170 workers, was already facing an uncertain future as it processed wood salvaged from forest fires that are still smouldering in some parts of B.C. “I don’t know how much more the people of Williams Lake can handle,” Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said on Sunday.

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Crews continue to fight fire at Williams Lake sawmill

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Terrace Standard
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries confirmed Friday afternoon that firefighters remain at the Lakeview Mill in Williams Lake where a fire broke out at the sawmill about 6:20 p.m. Thursday. “As their efforts continue, we want to inform employees that the mill — sawmill and planer — will not operate today,” communications advisor Janice Lockyer said. “Supervisors will be contacting employees directly to share additional details as they become available.” Lockyer said she could not comment on the extent of the damage to the structure at this time, but once the fire is extinguished and there is an examination of the affected areas by a structural engineer, Tolko will be able to share more information. “We anticipate this assessment will occur over the weekend and into next week,” Lockyer said.

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Fisherman slams proposed pulp mill treatment plant as “cancer factory”

By Fram Dinshaw
The New Glasgow News
November 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW GLASGOW – A Merigomish fisherman denounced a possible effluent treatment plant at Northern Pulp as a “cancer factory,” after a meeting with local politicians Sunday. Joey Savoie, who sails out of Lismore, said that fishing in the Northumberland Strait is already subject to heavy restrictions such as avoiding one zone contaminated with salt, a natural material. But the proposed treatment plant may add to his woes by pumping treated effluent into the Northumberland, Strait after the current wastewater lagoon at Boat Harbour is shut down in three years. “It’s a lot of livelihoods on the line. It’s not safe. It’s a cancer factory,” said Savoie. A delegation of local fishermen and First Nations discussed these concerns and others with Nova Scotia Environment Minister Iain Rankin, Central Nova MP Sean Fraser and Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane. Northern Pulp said in a statement last week that wastewater would undergo a new activated sludge treatment process including aeration, clarification and recycle stages in a new plant on its mill site. Only then will effluent be released into the sea.

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J.D. Irving says U.S. needs proof of province’s ‘free market’ in wood sales

By Connell Smith
CBC News
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jerome Pelletier

J.D. Irving Ltd says the provincial government needs to persuade Washington the wood supply in New Brunswick is operating as a free market. Irving is New Brunswick’s biggest player in the softwood lumber market and a major exporter to the United States. …On Friday, the vice-president of JDI’s sawmills division said the Commerce Department’s ruling could lead to spending cutbacks. “When your revenue is cut by 10 per cent, capital projects will be reviewed,” said Jerome Pelletier. “For the short term, our intention is to keep operating our mills the same as we are operating today.” Pelletier said U.S. Commerce authorities were reacting to reports there is “market distortion,” when it comes to wood sales from private woodlots in New Brunswick.

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Pope Resources Reports Third Quarter Income Of $1.7 Million

By Pope Resources
PR Newswire
November 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

POULSBO, Wash. — Pope Resources reported net income attributable to unitholders of $1.7 million, or $0.38 per ownership unit, on revenue of $18.8 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. This compares to net income attributable to unitholders of $2.0 million, or $0.45 per ownership unit, on revenue of $13.2 million for the third quarter of 2016. Net income attributable to unitholders for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 totaled $5.2 million, or $1.17 per ownership unit, on revenue of $52.0 million

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Canfor makes donation toward Advanced Manufacturing Training Center

Magnolia Reporter
November 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Canfor Southern Pine, the operating company for Canfor’s operations in the United States, is providing financial assistance to South Arkansas Community College to build the Charles A. Hays Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (AMTC). With its $25,000 donation, Canfor Southern Pine is supporting the skilled training necessary for its current and future workforce and to support the economic growth of the region. Upon completion in the late spring of 2018, the 14,000-square-foot building will provide training space for advanced welding, process technology, industrial technology: mechatronics, industrial safety and rail-car and tanker loading, among others.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

What’s the best way to build in wood?

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
November 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

…Since CLT was invented in Austria 25 years ago and first received serious exposure with Waugh Thistleton’s first timber tower a decade ago, interest in and use of the material has exploded. CLT manufacturing plants are being built wherever there are trees. Timber towers are getting taller. It is marvellous stuff that is displacing a lot of concrete. I like it and I write about it a lot. …We say that wood is a renewable resource and it’s true; Sandra Frank noted that the wood in her company’s Strandparken project was replaced by new growth in 44 seconds. But as I learned recently from Grace Jeffers, trees might be renewable, but forests are not. …Given the pressures on our resources, do we not have an obligation to choose the system that uses the least amount of material, even if it is renewable? 

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Marimekko begins co-operation on development of wood-based textiles

By Rocco Frangione
Helsinki Times
November 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Marimekko has expressed its confidence in the commercial potential of wood-based textiles by embarking on co-operation with Spinnova, a developer wood-based textile fibres based in Jyväskylä, Central Finland. Spinnova is currently researching methods to increase the amount of textile fibre produced by its proprietary technology, according to Helsingin Sanomat. Marimekko highlights that the wood-based textiles developer is currently the only one in the world that is able to convert pulp directly into textile fibre without using chemical solvents. Fabrics made out of the fibre, it adds, have a smaller ecological footprint than traditional alternatives as they can be reused, recycled and composted. Chemical solvents are used, for example, in the production of viscose.

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Dalston Lane: The world’s largest Cross-laminated timber building

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
November 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Dalston Lane is currently the world’s largest building constructed with Cross-laminated timber (CLT), the fancy new building material that is having its moment. There are so many reasons to love the stuff; it looks beautiful, it stores carbon, it is made from a renewable resource. Who would have thought that the reasons CLT pioneers Waugh Thistleton used the stuff was that it was cheap and fast. But it’s true; the first CLT tower, Murray Grove, only got approved by the developer when they could prove that it would cost less overall than a standard building. They buried the stuff in drywall because who would want to live in a wood tower?  Anthony Thistleton, speaking in Toronto at the Wood Solutions Fair, explained that the reasons for using CLT are prosaic: it is a lot lighter.

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Forestry

Lobby groups say environmentalists bent on destroying forest industry

By Rocco Frangione
My North Bay Now
November 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities says environmentalists ignore that climate change is a threat to the caribou.  Instead FONOM and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association say these groups keep blaming the forest sector for the caribou drop.   However both lobby groups say the caribou population has actually been rising thanks to sound practices.  FONOM says instead of criticizing forestry, environmentalists should consider a research paper that says changes in winter temperatures could reduce caribou numbers by 2050.  The lobby groups say the information is found in the research journal Rangifer and details how winter changes could cause a significant drop in the caribou population. …The lobby groups say instead of looking at these results, the environmental groups continue to try and shut down forestry which is both a renewable and sustainable industry.

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Heavy forest fire season cost $118 million

By Carl Clutchey
The Chronicle Journal
November 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire season dominated by lightning strikes – especially in the latter part of the summer – cost Ontario taxpayers $118 million for fire-fighting initiatives, including ground crews and waterbombers, the province says. The amount is a lot less than some previous seasons, in which the price-tag has gone as high as $231 million. The lowest has been about $75 million. Although lightning accounted for most of the blazes, just over 200 of the 776 fires that burned across the province were caused by human carelessness, according to an interim report on the season by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. In all, there were more fires this summer than in 2016, but the total for this season – 776 – was lower than the 10-year provincial average of 791.

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Ice cream company causes caribou protection debate with Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities and Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association

By Emma Meldrum
Timmins Press
November 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NOMA and FONOM are defending their work after Ben & Jerry’s announced it will “implore the government of Canada to protect woodland caribou, a species that is under threat by unsustainable logging practices.” Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities issued a joint statement on Monday in response to the ice cream company’s announcement earlier this month. “To claim Ontario has not acted to save caribou is conveniently ignoring over 20 years of hard work, 600 tracked animals and $11 million…of government research,” stated the NOMA and FONOM release. “Campaign science is once again attempting to shut down Ontario’s most renewable and sustainable sector, at the expense of 57,000 hardworking men and women in northern and rural communities across the province.”

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Congressman Westerman’s Forestry Bill Clears U.S. House & Heads To Senate

By Jacob Kauffman
WKNO National Public Radio
November 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

R-Bruce Westerman

Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman’s bill to change how federal forests are managed passed in the U.S. House on Wednesday and is headed to the Senate. Last year a similar version of Westerman’s Resilient Federal Forests Act passed the House but stalled in the Senate. The Republican lawmaker tells KUAR this time around he expects better results in the upper chamber.”The administration wants to see it put in place, so we’ve got the administration helping to push it through the Senate,” said Westerman. …While Westerman touts the bill as a way to scientifically manage overgrown forests, a number of opponents have come out of the woodwork like the Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Getting back to the basics of forest management

By Frances Lamberts
Johnson City Press
November 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An article, long ago in this paper (in 1989)… quotes a forester from the then Unaka Ranger District stating: “One of the most important parts of the Forest Service’s management plan revolves around the cutting and development of massive amounts of timber.” But the American people were asserting broader values of the public forests, as Theodore Roosevelt had done in founding them. He insisted on water supply as being their first and most important use, since “forest protection alone can maintain the stream flow necessary for irrigation in the West and prevent floods destructive to agriculture and manufactures in the East.” Preservation of timber supply a “second reason,” Roosevelt held preservation of our biological heritage to be among their other, essential purposes. 

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Fight wildfires without gutting conservation rules

By the Editorial Board
The Press Democrat
November 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Millions of acres have burned in the West in recent years. Sonoma County experienced some of the worst of it in recent weeks. Congress might finally be ready to help, but Republicans cannot seem to pass meaningful reform without using it as a vehicle to roll back environmental protections. …On Wednesday, the House passed the Resilient Federal Forests Act sponsored by Rep. Bruce Westerman, a Republican from Arkansas. His bill would improve the funding situation for fires, but that is mostly an afterthought.  …Congress can fix the wildfire funding problem without layering on controversial anti- environmental measures and sops to the timber industry. Logging can be part of successful forest management, but only if it’s done with environmental and strategic oversight. Lawmakers must remember that we hold national forests and other public lands in trust for future generations.

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Two reasons to hope western wildfires can be tamed

By the Editorial Board
The News Tribune
November 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Critics accuse the Trump administration of trying to muzzle climate-related dialogue at the International Fire Congress later this month; indeed, no U.S. climate change researcher has been permitted to talk at the annual meeting on wildfire suppression. A Forest Service scientist was scheduled to speak but was denied approval last week. And yet there’s no denying climate change is lengthening wildfire season in western states, especially in places like rain-deprived Eastern Washington, where millions of acres of densely packed forests have turned to kindling. On the heels of another historic wildfire season, two new blueprints for fire prevention give us hope. The first is the state’s 20-year forest health strategic plan introduced last week by Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz. The second is a piece of bipartisan, three-state legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

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Opposing realities debate forest protection

Letter by Anthony Britneff, RPF (ret.)
Victoria Times Colonist
November 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, US West

Re: Debate on Vancouver Island’s old growth forests must be based on facts, not emotions The difficulty with any conversation about old growth forests begins with the definition (Nov 1). The commentary misses the point of the public discussion on Vancouver Island’s remaining old-growth forests. The question is: “What is the per cent area of original, productive, old-growth forest below 300 metres elevation on slopes under 17 per cent that is protected on Vancouver Island in parks, old-growth management areas, wildlife habitat areas, and other reserves?” Using one of the most complete datasets available for Vancouver Island, a GIS specialist and biologist ran the analysis to answer this question. Only six per cent is protected.

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Oregon delegation split on forest lands bill, first steps in wildfire prevention

By Connor Radnovich
Statesman Journal
November 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A bill reshaping federal forest land management passed the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, splitting Oregon’s delegation on the vote and underscoring their disagreement on how best to prevent dangerous and expensive wildfires. Not only is there long-standing debate among lawmakers and activists on how best to balance environmental protection, stewardship and business enterprise, but also on which step of fire prevention comes first: funding or management. …Two Oregon delegates, bill co-sponsor Republican Rep. Greg Walden and Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader, voted for the legislation, praising it for providing flexibility to the forest service in fighting fires and giving more access for salvage logging after a large fire. “Bottom line is what we’re doing now is obviously not working,” Schrader said. …The Oregon lawmakers who voted no fell more on the funding and environmental side of the arguments. 

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Tasmanian farmers sow agroforestry seeds as demand for timber rises

By Emilie Gramenz
ABC News, Australia
November 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Graham Freeman

Tasmanian farmers have jumped on the ever-growing demand for timber, establishing private plantations on their properties. Graham Freeman was taking a punt when he planted a broken hillside on his property at Milabena, in north-west Tasmania, with sequoia redwoods — a tree that grows to towering heights in northern California. “I wasn’t driven by potential monetary gains put it that way, it was just having an interest in those things,” Mr Freeman said. … Mr Freeman is one of a handful of farmers in Tasmania who have established small plantations on their properties. In a state that lived through the so-called “forestry wars” for decades, stirring up interest in tree farming is not always easy.

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