Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 7, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

BC Forest Practices Board says changes needed to maintain public confidence

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 7, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The BC Forest Practices Board says government hasn’t followed up on many of its past recommendations and legislative changes are necessary to maintain public confidence in their management.

And speaking of government challenges, lawsuits are being filed against President Trump’s decision to reduce the size of several national monuments and PR campaigns are being launched, such as outdoor retailing giant Patagonia replacing its usual home page with “The President Stole Your Land.”

In other news: Irving turns its back on New Brunswick’s forest marketing boards; a UNH researcher assesses the climate benefits of wood heat; and [yet another story on how] record-high lumber prices are keeping Canadian mills from cutting production despite softwood duties.

Finally, a century after the Halifax explosion, grim reminders can still be found in trees; and the upside down Christmas tree trend is going viral – but comes with a steep price tag.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Upside down Christmas tree trend going viral – but comes with a steep price tag

By Cassandra Szklarski
Canadian Press in National Post
December 5, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

TORONTO — For those who like to upend holiday traditions, this trend is for you: the upside down Christmas tree. This season, social media is rife with photos of inverted pines and firs that are adorning hotel lobbies, shopping centres and downtown atriums with gravity-defying drama. It’s a surefire showstopper for retailers eager to attract shoppers, but the over-the-top stunt is now making its way into some living rooms, with several retailers offering up kits for the home decorator willing to try something different. But these trendy inverted trees aren’t cheap.

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Business & Politics

Record-high lumber prices keep Canadian lumber industry strong, despite duties

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
December 6, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

TORONTO – With record-high lumber prices and urgent demand from U.S. builders, Canadian lumber firms haven’t had to lay off staff or cut production at all, despite substantial duties on U.S.-bound lumber. Canada’s softwood lumber exports to the U.S. have declined 8 percent since the duties were imposed, but because the wood itself is worth more, the industry hasn’t suffered. VP of international trade and transportation for the Forest Products Association of Canada Joel Neuheimer said the higher price of wood and the insatiable demand from U.S. builders is helping keep the duties from pushing companies to lay off staff, cut production or even close down. …Tight lumber markets are responsible for boosting lumber prices, bringing costs to a 13-year-high in July. Canadian market analyzer Moody’s says that sustained high lumber prices in 2018 will cover the cost of final duties on Canadian lumber imports, benefiting North American producers and timberland owners.

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Western Forest Products to Acquire Processing and Distribution Centre in Arlington, Washington

Western Forest Products Press Release
December 6, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver – Western Forest Products today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Hampton Lumber Mills-Washington to acquire Hampton’s lumber processing and distribution centre in Arlington, Washington. The purchase price of the transaction is approximately USD $9 million and is anticipated to close in January 2018. “This acquisition is a natural fit for Western as it allows us to increase the production of targeted, finished products while also providing a centralized warehousing and distribution centre to more effectively service our selected U.S. customers,” said Don Demens, President and CEO of Western.

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Alberni Valley would benefit from national forest strategy

By the Editorial Board
Alberni Valley News
December 6, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last Thursday’s rally at the ‘curtailed’ Somass Mill was a mix of skepticism and hope for the future of the forest industry in the Alberni Valley. Skepticism because a major forestry company has indefinitely ‘curtailed’ production at one of the oldest mills in Port Alberni, without definitely closing it down. Hope because someone has come forward offering to buy and re-open the mill, investing money in its aging infrastructure. … It would also be a reversal of a trend the forest industry has experienced for nearly three decades now in the Alberni Valley. …It is issues like these that underline how important a national forest strategy is, especially for British Columbian communities such as the Alberni Valley. Alberni’s MP and MLA both say they are working toward such a strategy—it will be interesting to see whether their efforts come to fruition.

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Positives in region’s forest industry

By Brent Linton
The Chronicle Journal
December 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Derek Nighbor

Derek Nighbor, president of the Forest Product Association of Canada, had some encouraging words for the region’s forestry industry. Nighbor was the keynote speaker during the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Leaders Luncheon during a visit to the city, Wednesday. The markets for softwood lumber are strong in the U.S., believes Nighbor, which spell good news for Canadian producers who are concerned over trade disputes with the United States. Nighbor is hopeful for a good deal for Canada with the U.S. and said there should be no impacts on the local mills in the near term. However, he noted those trade deals are critical for jobs in Canada. Innovation is another positive for Northwestern Ontario. There is a huge opportunity because of the move away from the fossil fuel based economy and more environmentally friendly products.

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At loggerheads

By Connell Smith
CBC News
December 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

…The McCreas go back almost two centuries in New Brunswick, and over the years since the first tree was cut, their property in Shannon has grown to more than 2,400 hectares of farm and forest land. Every year, thousands of cords of softwood would be hauled out of the McCrea woods near the Washademoak Lake, enough to employ four men operating a pair of skidders and two logging trucks. But no longer. Forestry giant J.D. Irving Ltd. has changed its way of doing business, bringing logging at McCrea Farms to a complete stop. Under a new “model” reminiscent of bygone times, JDI now buys its logs the way it wants from whom it wants — mostly turning its back on the forest marketing boards created to make the system fair. “I’m not anti-Irving,” said McCrea, who considers JDI co-CEO Jim Irving, and his father, J.K. Irving, friends of the family.

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Tongass in transition: Striking a chord with old growth trees

By Elizabeth Jenkins
KTOO
December 6, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The last sizable timber mill in the state has struggled to find enough trees to keep the saws running. But down the road, a small mom and pop operation is thriving with a unique business model. Alaska Specialty Woods uses salvaged trees to make instrument tops, which are shipped all around the world. But this sustainable company still wants the timber industry to stick around. …This is how the family business gets its wood: from bridges no longer used on old logging roads to trees that have been blown down or are dead standing. Cole says there are millions of acres in the Tongass National Forest, and finding these trees can be like a scavenger hunt. …But in 2014, Cole Sr. says it became nearly impossible to find any living Sitka spruce that wasn’t off limits in the Tongass.

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Finch Paper: Loggers needed to support industry

By Paul Post
The Saratogian
December 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — The North Country has an abundant supply of timber to support the region’s forest products industry. The key is developing a trained, well-equipped workforce of loggers that employers such as Finch Paper, LLC, depend on for their livelihood, a company official said Tuesday. The New York State Wood Products Development Council issued a report this week that says forest products statewide is a nearly $23 billion industry. Glens Falls-based Finch Paper, which employs about 600 people, is a primary local contributor. But all timber comes from independent loggers. “That’s one of our biggest focuses, to make sure there are enough men and women, in small businesses, who are available to supply us with the raw products we need,” said Mike McLarty, vice president for forestry and wood procurement.

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Global Forest and Paper Industry reports on Sustainability Progress

Timberbiz
December 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations’ (ICFPA) has launched its 2017 sustainablity Progress Report. It is the sixth biennial Report highlighting ICFPA members’ progress on the sustainability commitments agreed upon in the 2006 CEO Leadership Statement on Sustainability.  “We are proud to announce our global industry’s continuous progress, which represents our commitment to social and environmental aspects associated with forest management and the manufacture of forest-based products. We look forward to continuing to supply the growing global demand for sustainable products, including fuel, fibre and forest products, while moving towards a greener economy,” ICFPA President Jane Malony said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Nail Laminated Timber Guides Released for Canada, US

Durability + Design
December 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

The Binational Softwood Lumber Council recently released the Nail-Laminated Timber Canadian Design and Construction Guide, co-edited by architecture firm Perkins+Will and structural engineering firm Fast + Epp. Available for free download, the guide provides direction to “ensure safe, predictable and economical use of NLT, including practical strategies and guidance with lessons learned from real-life projects,” according to Perkins + Will.  A guide tailored to the United States was released earlier this year by the same team. “While Canada is a leader in NLT use and home to an array of innovative real-life projects ranging from schools and health facilities to commercial buildings and transportation infrastructure, available informational resources are dated and scarce,” said Rebecca Holt, sustainable building advisor at Perkins + Will.

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New Wood Design Award Category Announced

Wood WORKS! BC
December 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Awards in the various wood design categories honour the creators of new projects that push the limits of wood design in structures and demonstrate excellence in the use of wood.  There are 14 categories including a new award this year: New! Prefabricated Structural Wood. This category recognizes creative design and innovative use of prefabricated wood systems, components and modules in a variety of building types and which exemplify new applications and opportunities for this proven technology. There is no fee required to nominate a project.  Nominations are accepted in up to two categories and self-nominations are encouraged. 

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Architects test mass timber systems for high-rise construction

By Kim Slowey
Construction Dive
December 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Designers of mass-timber structures in the U.S. have made inroads recently. Still, the building material has struggled to gain popularity there due to perceptions of mass-timber being flammable — and dangerous — among other things. Supply-side challenges, for one, have made it more difficult for the mass-timber products to gain popularity in the U.S. Mill owners have expressed little interest in producing the product until there is a steady demand, but demand is unlikely to grow until material prices drop and local codes recognize the new material. Mass-timber advocates argue that the material is resistant to fire because it chars rather than burns, protecting and preserving the strength of the underlying layers.

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Forestry

Changes needed to B.C.’s forest practices legislation

BC Forest Practices Board
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – In a new report released today, the Forest Practices Board is recommending that government make a number of improvements to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). These improvements all have been recommended in previous board reports, but government has never implemented the recommendations. “The board believes these changes are necessary to improve stewardship of B.C.’s forest and range resources and to maintain public confidence in their management,” said board chair Tim Ryan. “We urge government to move quickly to address these priorities.” 

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Mechanized-harvesting machines could improve worker safety

By John Ligtenberg, WorkSafeBC
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West
It’s an exciting time for British Columbia’s steep-slope-harvesting forestry workers and employers. Approximately 25 new mechanized-harvesting machines equipped with winch-assist technology are operating in the province, and another 20 are anticipated to be put into use over the next two years… Advancements in mechanized steep-slope harvesting have the potential to improve occupational health and safety by getting more workers off the hill. But new technology also presents unique hazards and risks that employers need to identify, assess, and account for to prepare workers to operate new machinery safely. …FPInnovations expects to release a study in the fall of 2017, commissioned by WorkSafeBC, about steep-slope harvesting and tethered equipment.

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Forestry Task Force: B.C.’s reforestation practices took root in Campbell River

BC Local News
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Campbell River’s Forestry Task Force produced this article to demonstrate how the current practice of planting trees to restock a harvested forest site started when planting began in Beaver Lodger Forest Lands in 1931. Modern day reforestation in British Columbia took root in Campbell River’s Beaver Lodge Forest Lands. “The forest industry here in B.C. has been active in a significant way for over 125 years, starting in the 1880s,” says Steve Lackey, a member of the City of Campbell River’s Foresry Task Force. “All reforestation in those early years relied upon natural regeneration. Often times, so-called seed trees were left standing in a harvested area and wind would spread seed from their matured cones to restock the surrounding forest lands.”

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How do we take action about our forest concerns?

Letter by Chelsea Holley
Campbell River Mirror
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chelsea Holley

I would like to thank you for publishing the article “No one in Campbell River seems interested in forestry policy any more” in the Wednesday, Nov. 15 paper. …I am a decade-long resident of Campbell River, and before that enjoyed my home in the Comox Valley. …Recently we have discovered that our old growth and second growth forests are home to some brilliant human health allies in the fungi kingdom. …Unfortunately, some of these and many more under-researched mushrooms are not fond of living in forests that have been raped and pillaged. …But how do we get from caring to action?

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A century after the Halifax explosion, grim reminders can still be found in trees

by Meagan Campbell
Maclean’s Magazine
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In a bucket lift, in branches, an arborist slit into a trunk with his chainsaw. He did not find wood inside. “Man, what is in this tree?” Clarence Talbot said to his three crew mates on the ground. …The entire core of one tree trunk was a column of metal shards. ‘It dawned on me, ‘wow, man, this is from the Halifax Explosion,’ ‘ says one arborist. One hundred years after the detonation, Halifax trees are notoriously impure. On Dec. 6, 1917, a French ship containing nitroglycerine and trinitrotoluene (TNT), among other explosives, collided with a Norwegian vessel in the Halifax Harbour, and many of the 2,000 victims were killed by debris. Shards of unidentified flying objects also got lodged into the city’s canopy, and today, lumber mills as far as the southern United States still don’t dare touch logs from Halifax. 

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Decades-past logging still threatens spotted owls in national forests

By Eric Hamilton
University of Wisconsin
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Logging of the largest trees in the Sierra Nevada’s national forests ended in the early 1990s after agreements were struck to protect species’ habitat. But new research reported Dec. 6 in the journal Diversity and Distributions by University of Wisconsin–Madison ecologists shows that spotted owls, one of the iconic species logging restrictions were meant to protect, have continued to experience population declines in the forests. Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology graduate student Gavin Jones, Professor Zach Peery, senior scientist R. J. Gutiérrez, and their colleagues say the owls in the area may still be paying an “extinction debt” that was created by historical logging of large trees. These large, old trees the owls rely on are slow to grow back, meaning the owl population could still be showing the effects of logging that ended decades ago.

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Forest service team to oversee post-fire salvage, reforestation in Montana, North Idaho

By Eli Francovich
The Spokesman-Review
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After more than 700,000 acres of national forest land in Montana and Northern Idaho burned this summer, the Forest Service has created a team to oversee post-fire salvage and reforestation efforts “We’ve had many years where we’ve had fire on the landscape and we’ve learned there is a lot of work left to do on the ground for the resources and for the communities when the flames go out and the smoke clears”, said regional Forester Leanne Marten in a news release. “How we do that and work together across landscapes is imperative to our success, and based on feedback we’ve had from our employees and community’s from previous fires… we’ve learned a regional approach is the most effective.”

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Patagonia joins lawsuits challenging Trump’s monument plans

By Brady McCombs and Michelle Price
Associated Press in the Washington Post
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — Outdoor retailing giant Patagonia on Wednesday joined a flurry of lawsuits challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to chop up two large national monuments in Utah could finally bring an answer to the much-debated question of whether presidents have the legal authority to undo or change monuments created by past presidents. Until that question is answered months or years from now, the fate of the contested lands in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments will remain unresolved. …California-based Patagonia filed its lawsuit on behalf of several other organizations to block Trump’s reductions to Bears Ears. The California-based company said in the lawsuit that Trump’s proclamation shrinking the monument by 85 percent exceeds the president’s authority and strips much-needed protections from sacred tribal lands. Patagonia also replaced its usual home page with a stark message, “The President Stole Your Land.”

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Where Protected Lands Stand After National Monument Review

Associated Press in the New York Times
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump ordered U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke earlier this year to conduct an unprecedented review of 27 monuments established by former presidents over more than two decades on lands and waters revered for their natural beauty and historical significance. Zinke said Tuesday that he’s confident the president will follow his recommendations, which include calls to reduce two other monuments in the U.S. West and to modify rules at six others. He also has said he’s recommending the creation of three new monuments. Zinke released his full report Tuesday, which was previously leaked.

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As needles fall, so does price of beetle-killed pines

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Montanans have grown accustomed to seeing forests turn from green to red to gray as a mountain pine beetle infestation works its way across the landscape. A new survey of sawmill owners in the state now shows what that means to the bottom line of the timber industry. Put simply, the value of a pine tree falls right along with its needles. “The longer you wait, the less value the landowner will get out of it,” said study co-author Dan Loeffler of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. “We’re not giving advice. We’re just quantifying how the industry views these trees.” Together with Nate Anderson of the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Loeffler looked at what the beetle infestation did to the wood supply chain.

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Department of Natural Resources opens public comment period on draft sustainable timber harvest analysis

Forest Lake Times
December 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WYOMING — The Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments by Dec. 30 on a draft sustainable timber harvest analysis that will be used to help determine the statewide timber harvest level on DNR-administered forest land. “This is the public’s opportunity to review the computer modeling data, see the broad range of factors that go into making this decision, and provide meaningful input,” DNR Forestry planner Jon Drimel said in a press release. “The analysis does not identify a recommended sustainable harvest level. Rather, it presents a range of possible harvest scenarios and the effects that varying levels of timber harvest are projected to have on the forest economy, forest ecosystems, watersheds and other indicators of forest health.”

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New Zealand’s Tāne Mahuta – the giant tree that reduces visitors to tears

By Matilda Battersby
The Guardian
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Just a short walk down a wooded gangway into the rainforest of Waipoua, near Dargaville on New Zealand’s north island, is a living giant. Its name is Tāne Mahuta and it’s a kauri tree – one of the largest types (by girth rather than height) in the world. Tāne is named after the Maori forest god and, in the myth, is the fruit of the primordial parents: his growth having broken apart the embrace of Ranginui, the “sky father” and Papatūānuku, the “Earth mother,” allowing the space and light for life to flourish. Walk beneath Tāne, which is 51.5 metres tall and has a trunk girth of 18.8 metres (a challenge for the most ardent tree-hugger), and you can’t help but feel moved – and incredibly small.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Thermal Energy signs deal that’s worth as much as $11 million

By Vito Pilieci
Ottawa Citizen
December 6, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ottawa’s Thermal Energy International Inc. has signed a deal worth as much as $11 million for the refurbishment of an undisclosed pulp and paper mill in the nation’s capital. Thermal Energy, an Ottawa maker of emissions control technologies, announced the deal on Wednesday saying the project included the design, development and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and greenhouse gas reduction at the mill. Once completed the project is expected to provide the customer with annual natural gas savings of more than 35 per cent, while reducing its annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 per cent, or approximately 43,000 metric tonnes.

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Assessing the Climate Benefits of Wood Heat

by John Gunn, University of New Hampshire
Biomass Magazine
December 6, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

John Gunn

Wood pellet heat is a new and growing heating alternative in the U.S., and it has been proposed as a climate-beneficial energy source to replace fossil fuels, though little work has been done to assess this claim.  …Through that study and subsequent work, we have learned three key lessons when it comes to the question of emissions generated by switching from fossil fuels to wood: It matters what kind of energy is being produced, and what kind of fossil fuel is being replaced, if at all; where the energy feedstocks come from matters (e.g., tops and limbs from harvests already happening, or new harvests of whole trees); and how we manage the forest—at both the stand and landscape scales—will influence whether emissions benefits will accrue in the short term, long term, or not at all.  

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