Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 9, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Saving the Redwoods and the unsolved mystery of the marbled murrelet

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 9, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Today marks the centenary celebration by the Save the Redwoods League, one of America’s first conservation organizations. Other feature stories include claims that restrictions on old-growth logging haven’t increased the marbled murrelet population; and why sustainable forest management does not make wood a good climate alternative to fossil fuels.

Elsewhere, BC’s spruce beetle outbreak is now the largest in recorded history; researchers in Alberta determine that it’s people, not roads that threaten Canada’s grizzly bears; Canada defends BC’s market-based system of setting stumpage fees; US newspaper publishers keep pressing the downside of potential newsprint duties; and Tolko resumes building its fire-damaged mill in Williams Lake.

Finally, since I’ve got your attention, the Tree Frog News supporter roll-over date is February 1, 2018. And if you’re a regular reader of the Frog, you know that we exist solely because of the generosity of our sponsors and our many “frog-friends”. Bottom line, if you like what you read—you can ensure we continue via our Friend of the Frog donations page. Your small contribution truly makes a difference!

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

2018-2022 Research Report on North America Plywood Market

By Socorro Barner
Daily Commercial News
January 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Socorro Barner

North America Plywood market Research Report is segmented by leading manufacturers, regions, applications and North America Plywood type to provide all crucial details to the readers. A comprehensive study of North America Plywood market based on product portfolio, applications, cost, manufacturing processes involved in North America Plywood market are evaluated at depth in forecast in [United States, Canada and Mexico]. In coming years Plywood in North America is slated to see more emerging players which will lead to tremendous development. North America Plywood growth, market scope, and North America Plywood revenue are cited in this report. In-depth study of North America Plywood competition, developments, growth opportunities and factors limiting the market growth are analyzed in detail.

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British Columbia lets market dictate timber fees, Canada says

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
January 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada is defending provincial timber fees in hopes that a binational panel will compel the Trump administration to revoke punitive duties on Canadian softwood. British Columbia, Canada’s largest softwood exporter into the United States, operates a market-based system of setting fees for producers to harvest trees on Crown land, the Canadian government said. …British Columbia’s system means competitive auctions drive what the provincial government collects from lumber firms for rights to chop down trees, Canada said in an 82-page document, part of a series of papers submitted recently by Canada to the U.S. section of the NAFTA Secretariat during the appeal process. …”BCTS auctions cover approximately 20 per cent of the B.C. Crown standing timber supply for the year, with this 20 per cent chosen to be representative of the entire public timber supply,” Canada said.

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Donald Trump is obsessed with the trade deficit, but does it even matter?

By Stuart Thomson
National Post
January 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…In an interview with the New York Times, United States President Donald Trump pulled back the curtain on his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and, spoiler alert, they pretty much just bickered about economics. …Trump, though, is essentially correct in his claims that the United States runs a big trade deficit overall… But does it matter? Is a trade deficit bad for the economy? University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe said that in analyzing the health of an economy he would put “zero” attention on the balance of trade. And as far as bilateral trade deficits, like the one Trump thinks the U.S. has with Canada? “Less than zero,” said Tombe. …Three major factors identified by economists in the persistent U.S. trade deficit are the U.S. dollar’s status as world reserve currency, the low savings rate in the country and near-constant deficits run by the government.

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Newspaper publishers: Tax on Canadian-made newsprint would hurt U.S. businesses, readers

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
January 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The wood war on the Canadian border has a new player: the U.S. newspaper industry. …Then last fall, a paper company in Washington petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose duties on Canadian “uncoated groundwood paper,” commonly known as newsprint. That drew counter-requests from two coalitions of newspaper publishers and printers from across the United States, warning that punishing Canadian papermakers actually would cause more damage to thousands of small publishing companies and the readers who depend on them. “We urge you to heavily scrutinize the antidumping and countervailing duty petitions filed by North Pacific Paper Co.,” one group  of 1,110 newspapers of wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Dec. 4. …They also noted that the American Forest and Paper Association, a trade group representing U.S. paper industry, opposes the duty petition. Their letter was released on Jan. 4.

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B.C. delegation headed to Asia on wide-ranging trade mission

By Lindsay Kines
The Times Colonist
January 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Ralston

B.C.’s minister of trade hopes a trip to China, South Korea and Japan this month will strengthen ties to those countries in the face of rocky relations with the U.S. Bruce Ralston said the 10-day trade mission with Premier John Horgan will tout a range of provincial industries, rather than a single sector. “Trade relations with our first customer, the United States, are somewhat strained,” Ralston said in an interview on Monday. “I’m not prejudging the outcome of the NAFTA talks or the softwood talks, but I think it’s important that we, as an export-oriented economy, look to our other customers. And China, Japan and Korea are No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 in terms of our top export destinations.” …The trade mission runs Jan. 20 to 30. 

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Merritt mayor says city doing ‘quite well’ one year after Tolko mill closure

By Jill Sperling
CFJC Today
January 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MERRITT, B.C. — A little over a year after the Tolko sawmill in Merritt closed, mayor Neil Menard says the city is doing ‘quite well.’ “The businesses felt it a little bit at first, because they were concerned,” he said, “but I think right now we’re back to an even keel and everybody is feeling good and doing okay.” Menard says that concern spawned from the loss of more than 200 jobs in the community when the mill closed in December 2016. He says the community did what it could to support those who were left without employment. “The transition committee did a really good job working with all those that were affected, a number retired, I don’t think any left the city.” Some former Tolko employees have gone on to further education, while others are commuting to work elsewhere. [END]

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Tolko resumes rebuilding fire-damaged sawmill in Williams Lake

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
January 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Work is underway at Tolko Industries Ltd. Lakeview Division in Williams Lake where the sawmill building was damaged by fire at the beginning of November. The Tolko board has approved the sawmill’s reconstruction, said Tom Hoffman, Tolko’s manager of external and stakeholder relations. …As the equipment is evaluated and assessed, there will likely be some changes made, to the mill, but Hoffman said it is still way too early for him to even suggest what those changes will be, noting the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Hoffman said the company is trying to keep on as many employees as possible to work at the site, while contractors with cranes and other skills have been hired for the rebuilding project.

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AF&PA Targets Trade, Transportation, Paper-Options Safeguards and Regulatory Reform Among Top 2018 Advocacy Priorities

By The American Forest & Paper Association
Digital Journal
January 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Donna Harman

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced its top 2018 advocacy priorities that include free and fair trade, transportation efficiencies, regulatory process reforms, and government policies that respect market dynamics for paper-based products. The association will pursue them as it supports the pulp, paper, packaging and wood products industry’s ability to grow the economy and create American manufacturing jobs. “Enactment of historic comprehensive tax reform sets a welcome stage for AF&PA to focus on key 2018 advocacy priorities that will further our industry’s ability boost the economy and create jobs and opportunity for all Americans,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.

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Blue Ridge Lumber plans $2.7 million expansion

By Karen Koenig
Woodworking Network
January 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

FISHERSVILLE, Va. – Blue Ridge Lumber announced plans recently to invest nearly $2.7 million and increase its hardwood exports. Along with the expanding production at the Essex County lumberyard, the company plans to add 17 jobs. Blue Ridge Lumber is adding new dry kiln capacity and has committed to purchase more than $5.2 million of Virginia-grown logs and lumber over the next three years, according to a statement from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office. Founded in 1981 and based in Fishersville, Virginia, Blue Ridge Lumber operates six facilities throughout the state, with products exported worldwide.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

British Columbia seeking public input on review of provincial building codes

By Ian Burns
The Lawyer Daily
January 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The government of British Columbia is in the process of updating the province’s building, plumbing and fire codes, and is seeking public input on what they should look like. …The codes establish the minimum requirements for safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection of buildings, and energy and water efficiency, said Byers. “Therefore it is important that they are updated to support the construction sector’s innovative building methods and materials and reflect recent standards,” she said. “In addition to including close to 600 changes from the 2010 edition of the national codes, the next British Columbia codes will contain significant changes in 20 topic areas including accessibility, energy efficiency, six-storey wood frame buildings, stair safety, radon and asbestos.”

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Politicians pose on plastic bags

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
January 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a municipal election year … for communities around B.C. …The flavour of the year for 2018 looks to be plastic bags. The nanny-state enthusiasts at Victoria city hall are running to the front of this parade, imposing fines and regulations …to stop [businesses] from recklessly putting customer purchases into plastic bags. …These social engineering bylaws don’t come close to getting rid of plastic bags and packaging. …Frozen peas and other convenience foods will continue to be sold in plastic bags. Electronics, tools and toys will still come in those hard bubble packs that require a Jedi light-sabre to open, and all that stuff has to be sorted and recycled. …Two obvious absurdities arise. Most “reusable” bags are made from woven plastic, generally shipped from China. And as Victoria admits, making paper bags produces more greenhouse gas emissions than turning natural gas into plastic bags.

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The Glacier Shelter Built from Nothing but Wood

By Ella Thorns
Arch Daily
January 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

At an altitude of 2735m, architecture students at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have built The Bonatti Bivouc, a temporary refuge for the A Neuve’s glacier. The shelter uses the envelope as a structural object, eradicating the need for metal, screws, or nails. Informed by theoretical architect Semper, their design uses the joints to form a piece of architecture. Bonatti Bivouc was inspired by vernacular Swiss construction raccard so that the wood construction system of the shelter can survive these heights using the right insulation. The glacier poses much difficulty due to both the altitude and potential for glacial movements, therefore the structure has been made to be mountable and demountable to survive in such conditions.

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Forestry

B.C. spruce beetle outbreak now largest in recorded history

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
January 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The outbreak of spruce beetle infestation in north-central B.C. rose to record-breaking levels in 2017, and the latest government data shows no sign of it slowing down. Aerial surveys revealed 340,000 hectares of forest are now impacted by the beetle — more than 45 times the pre-outbreak levels of 7,653 hectares recorded in 2013. “This is a significant concern,” said Jeane Robert, the regional forest entomologist for the Omineca and Northeast regions with B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, calling the outbreak “larger and more severe than we have seen in the past.” Robert explained that spruce beetle outbreaks are normal, but changing weather patterns and warming winters are likely contributing to the severity of the current situation.

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Study finds people, not roads, bother Canada’s grizzly bears the most

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in the Globe and Mail
January 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s not necessarily the roads in the backcountry that bother grizzly bears. Sometimes, it’s the people on them. That’s one of the conclusions of new research from the University of Alberta — and it could have big implications for resource development. “There’s no doubt that roads themselves are probably not that bad for bears,” said Clayton Lamb, a University of Alberta biologist and co-author of a paper published Tuesday in the Journal of Applied Ecology. …But keep the public off resource roads and grizzlies rebound. Industry use of such roads is sporadic. Public use is regular. “Closing roads to the public restored bear density in some small areas where this was done,” Lamb said. “We would close those roads to the public and then we would elevate bears back up.”

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Mountain pine beetles not all dead yet

By Joshua Santos
The Daily Herald-Tribune
January 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mountain pine beetles continue to decimate forests in the area surviving prolonged winter months. The pesky bugs have become an issue at the Jasper National Park recently, as foresters have seen a tenfold increase in beetle infestations, according to the Calgary Herald. The buggers however seem to fade away from Grande Prairie. “The majority of the beetle issue has passed, here in town. Most of our beetle issue now is further south of town like around Musreau Lake and south. That’s where our level one programs are taking place,” said Devin Letourneau, forest health officer of agriculture and forestry for the Grande Prairie forest area. …Letourneau said the bugs should die if left exposed to -40 degree celsius temperatures, which the province hasn’t seen lately.

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Cautious attitude needed to protect watersheds

By Heather McSwan, Glade Watershed Protection Society
The Nelson Star
January 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A recent opinion article ‘Logging in Watersheds’ was submitted to the Nelson Star by members of the Interior Lumber Manufacturer’s Association. In the face of climate disruptions and the knowledge that resource extraction is exceeding supply, the public and provincial /regional governments are becoming aware that something needs to change. The current archaic system of clearcuts and slash burning are not viable today. Questions are being asked about professional reliance and ‘best practices’, and doubt is being raised about how logging fits into the landscape of B.C. today, both economically and environmentally. …In her article “Bringing Public Confidence to B.C.’s Forest Management”, the CEO of the BC Association of Forest Professionals, Christine Gelowitz stated that the forest industry generates $12.9 billion in GDP. This echoes the CEO of the ILMA “The importance of the forest industry can’t be overstated.” Actually, it can be overstated, and it often is.

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Learning from past mistakes

By Zack Metcalfe
The Chronicle Herald
January 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In 1968 the U.S. federal government established Redwood National Park, an outstanding slice of the only coastal redwood habitat on Earth… These trees would lose over 90 per cent of their historic two million-acre range in time — two thirds of the park itself were logged before its protection — but within these 58,000 acres at least, they would be allowed to persevere. …It’s been reported that, just in advance of Jimmy Carter’s establishing signature in 1978, several logging companies instructed their employees to knock down every tree they possibly could; harvesting could wait. …This, in a nutshell, is how I feel about modern forestry in Nova Scotia, an industry whose practices are largely unsustainable, the consequences of which will be with us for centuries. …If the history of Redwood National Park can teach us anything, it’s that slow progress breeds even slower recovery.

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‘Be more curious’ about forest management Finnish scholar advises Canadians

By Cathy Alex
CBC News
January 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lauri Sikanen

Tourists in Finland often tell Lauri Sikanen, who works at the country`s Natural Resources Institute, that driving around the Scandinavian nation is “like being in a green tunnel all the time.” But even a lifetime of experience in that landscape, wasn’t enough to prepare the visiting scholar for the vastness of Canada’s forests… said Sikanen, who just concluded four months as the chair of Finnish studies at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. …Because Canada is so rich in so many resources, including fossil fuels, Sikanen believes both industry and science may have overlooked the economic potential of forests not only in terms of lumber or pulp and paper production, but as a renewable resource made up of many components. 

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Drier, warmer climate impeding forest regeneration, research shows why some Canadian forests aren’t growing back after wildfires

By Jonathan Forani
CTV News
January 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forests are defined by their resiliency, their ability to regenerate after fire rips through the landscape. That image isn’t just familiar to the news cycle — it’s a natural cycle. “Forests are used to burning,” University of Guelph ecologist Merritt Turetsky told CTVNews.ca. “They have been burning for 5,000 years since fire came into the landscape.” But a growing body of research suggests humans are messing with that resiliency. “What we’re doing as a result of human climate change is we’re really whacking that resilience cycle,” she said. Forests are drier than they’ve ever been and the forest fires that typically have allowed them to regenerate are burning more intensely than ever, instead leaving soil conditions too stressful for seedlings to grow.

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The Unsolved Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet

By Eric Wagner
Hakai Magazine – Coastal Science and Societies
January 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Despite years of conservation efforts, endangered marbled murrelet populations are not increasing. These Oregon researchers aren’t giving up hope. …Marbled murrelets are dove-sized seabirds that range along the North American coast from southeastern Alaska to Northern California. …But where murrelets nested was known to scientists only in bits and pieces for almost 200 years after the species was first described in 1789. Then in 1974, a tree surgeon climbed an enormous Douglas fir in California. …It was partially with the murrelets’ dire straits in mind that broad restrictions were placed on old-growth logging across 9.7 million hectares of federal land in the United States under the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan; individual states also curtailed the harvest on their lands to a lesser extent. In British Columbia, more than a quarter of nearly two million remaining hectares of suitable murrelet nesting habitat is on protected land.

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Save the Redwoods League Celebrates 100 Years of Protecting California’s Majestic Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Forests

By Save the Redwoods League
PR Newswire
January 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — Save the Redwoods League, one of America’s first and most respected conservation organizations, is celebrating a century of protecting, restoring and connecting people to the iconic redwoods of California. Established in 1918, the League has protected more than 200,000 acres of majestic redwood forests in California and helped to create 66 redwood parks and preserves. The League has pioneered innovative, science-based forest-restoration techniques and touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people by connecting them to the marvels of nature throughout the redwood forest. More than 31million people from around the world visit the redwood forest each year.

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Dave Ring Named State Forester of Year

By Heidi Desch
The Daily Inter Lake
January 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dave Ring

Dave Ring, Stillwater Unit Manger for the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, has been named DNRC Forester of the Year. Dave Ring leads the management of the Stillwater State Forest, the oldest state forest in Montana, but much of his focus is actually on the future of the ecosystem. …Ring is the Unit Manager for the Stillwater State Forest, a 93,000-acre section of land near Olney that is the largest state forest under the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. …Sonya Germann, the DNRC Forest Management Bureau Chief, said the selection committee for the award agreed that Ring is one of the DNRC’s finest employees and that his work has been pivotal in legacy projects on the Stillwater.

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Galloway forest set for TV starring role

BBC News
January 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

John Coughtrie and Archie McNeillie

Scotland — A new six-part television series is to put the Galloway forest and the people who live and work there centre stage. The Forest is produced and directed by Jack Warrender who grew up on a farm in nearby Barr in South Ayrshire. …Filmed over the course of six months and narrated by actor Mark Bonnar it looks at all aspects of life in and around the area. Forestry workers, wildlife rangers, tree planters, astronomers and rally drivers are among those to feature. …”We are producing 600,000 tonnes of timber every year out of the Galloway forest – that’s 24,000 lorry loads of timber.” …”There’s a lot going on here and it’s not just the forestry – there are a lot of environmental programmes, tourism, recreation,” he said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Power plants could consume wood from thinning projects

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
January 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Burn it. Before we burn. That’s the bottom line when it comes to preventing the kinds of megafires that in the past two months have burned thousands of homes in California. Fortunately, we could actually clear a million acres of tree thickets while generating electricity, without a net increase in heat-trapping pollutants, according to a recently completed study by Arizona Public Service One catch: The cost of building power plants to burn the millions of tons of small trees and debris would add between $1.54 and $4.13 to the average homeowner’s monthly bill, according to a report the Arizona Corporation Commission directed APS to prepare. …The estimates don’t take into account the potentially enormous savings that would stem from the dramatically reduced chance that a megafire like the Rodeo-Chediski or the Wallow Fire would inflict major damage. 

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Why ‘sustainable forest management’ does not make wood a good climate alternative to fossil fuels

By Tim Searchinger (Princeton University) and Wolfgang Lucht (Humboldt University)
EURACTIV
January 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

On 14 December, a number of world-renowned scientists warned that the present version of the European Parliament’S Renewable Energy Directive gravely threatens the world’s forests and climate by encouraging countries to cut down trees and burn them as “renewable energy”, instead of burning only residues and wastes. …a small group of bioenergy academics disagreed. They essentially argued that it is defensible to cut down trees to burn them so long as other trees in the forest or in the country are growing enough to keep the forests in balance. …All the world’s annual, commercial wood harvest could at most provide around 3% of the world’s energy. Although the details of this one directive may seem like a small issue, the wrong vote would effectively launch a major new assault on the world’s forests. To avoid that, legislators should instead restrict the use of forests for renewable energy to the traditional sources of residues and waste.

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