Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for February 26 2020

Business & Politics

Arrests made in B.C., Ontario blockades, as anti-pipeline protests spread

By Wendy Stueck, Eric Atkins & Molly Hayes
The Globe and Mail
February 26, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A new wave of protests in support of those opposed to a pipeline project in B.C. hit the country Tuesday, dashing hopes that rail service would return to normal after police dismantled a blockade that had paralyzed much of the country’s rail traffic for weeks. …Canadian National Railway served an injunction Monday night and again on Tuesday to protesters encamped on a railway in Hamilton. The protesters left late Tuesday evening. The encampment blocked GO train commuter traffic and CN freight trains. …A handful of new blockades at Vancouver’s port and elsewhere also sprang up this week, after police on Monday arrested protesters and cleared a rail blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville. …The loss of rail transport has disrupted Canada’s manufacturing industries and harmed its international reputation, said Bob Masterson, head of the Chemistry Industry.

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U.S. Stocks Start to Recover From Coronavirus Rout

By Kevin Granville
The New York Times
February 26, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Stocks on Wall Street rebounded on Wednesday, recovering from back-to-back losses this week that had wiped more than 6 percent off the S&P 500. The recovery came even as major markets in Europe and Asia continued to drift lower, as investors reacted to reports of the coronavirus quickly spreading across the globe. …The virus outbreak that began in China has now infected more than 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700 around the world. Authorities in Italy are struggling to contain an outbreak that is threatening to disrupt Europe’s fourth-largest economy. …South Korea is working to manage the largest outbreak outside of China, with more than 1,200 reported cases. …As the virus spreads, economists warn the crisis could roil global supply chains and hamper economic growth.

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British Exports to EU Could Fall 14% in No-Deal Scenario: UN Study

By Michael Shields
Reuters in the New York Times
February 25, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

GENEVA — British exports to the European Union could fall by as much as 14% if the two sides are unable to strike a free trade deal and could be 9% lower even if an agreement is reached, a United Nations study found. The imposition of tariffs under a no-deal scenario would crimp trade, with the effect amplified by so-called non-tariff measures such as quotas, licensing and regulatory measures. The agriculture, food and beverages, and wood and paper sectors seem particularly exposed, it found. …In a no-deal scenario, Ireland’s exports to the UK are expected to drop 10%. …Britain has said it wants a Canada-style trade deal with the EU, but the EU has said this would require Britain to accept a level playing field in areas from state aid to taxation.

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B.C. Forestry Alliance says more aid for forest industry and communities needed

Campbell River Mirror
February 25, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Forestry Alliance (BCFA) is calling on the provincial government to protect the current harvestable land base and establish a “working forest” that will sustain the forest industry now and into the future. “Last week over a thousand people showed up on the front lawn of the Legislature because they are deeply concerned about their future in B.C.’s forest industry,” Steve Venus, one of the grassroots organizers with B.C. Forestry Alliance, said in a press release. “These are hard-working people and they presented a petition with 8,000 signatures calling on the government to ensure a predictable and long-term fibre supply.” …“Throwing a few million dollars at the industry is a band-aid approach. We need long term solutions for a struggling industry,” said Carl Sweet, spokesperson for the BC Forestry Alliance.

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Clearwater mayor prepared to picket the Legislature over forestry crisis

By Bill Cowen
RADIO NL 610
February 25, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The proposed transfer of cutting rights in the North Thompson from Canfor to Interfor continues to drag on and the mayor of Clearwater is hoping he won’t have to take drastic measures. The proposed $60-million deal has seen little change for more than eight months now and if there isn’t any movement by the forest ministry soon, Merlin Blackwell has said he’s prepared to go all the way to the legislature in Victoria and he reiterated it on the NL Morning News. “…I have a great deal of sympathy for both of them (Forest Minister Doug Donaldson and Deputy Minister John Allen) on this. At the same time we both have a job to do and I hope they understand that my job is to represent my people as firmly and loudly as possible and they have, obviously, the same responsibility to all of us.”

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Nova Scotia Liberal budget opens up spending taps as province faces slowing economy

By Keith Doucette and Michael Tutton
The Canadian Press in Bloomberg
February 25, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Karen Casey

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Liberal government is opening the spending taps for roads and hospitals as economic growth is projected to flatten in what could be an election year. The 2020-21 provincial budget tabled Tuesday features $11.5 billion in spending with a modest surplus of $55 million and a record-setting capital plan of just over $1 billion for school building, highway twinning and hospital renovations and redevelopment. …However, her high hopes come amid projections of a major hit to the economy with the closure of the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County. The Finance Department says the decline in forestry will deprive the province of $32 million in personal and corporate taxes this year. …Premier Stephen McNeil said the infrastructure spending is not connected to the mill closure.

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Short-line railroader grants temporary reprieve to keep Huron Central running

By Ian Ross
Elliotlake Today
February 25, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Genesee & Wyoming Canada is postponing its end-of-March decision to chop rail freight service between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, citing “notable progress” in their talks with Ottawa and Queen’s Park on much-needed track maintenance funds. Christian Richard, the chief commercial officer with the railroader [said] he’s seen enough headway in recent weeks to defer their March 31 drop-dead date “as long as there continues to be positive signals.” But it’ll only be a stay of execution unless the feds and the province can cobble together a $40-million package for track maintenance and safety upgrades to the 278-kilometre line. …The rail line services Domtar’s pulp and paper plant in Espanola and EACOM’s sawmill operation in Nairn Centre. …The loss of the line would likely jeopardize 200 with EACOM, and 500 jobs at Domtar …For Domtar, rail is the primary mode of moving their specialty paper products to market.

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More Wood Use In New Zealand Would Help Environment And Reduce Market Pressure In China

By New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Scoop Independent News
February 26, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Forest Owners Association says the government should be looking at more wood use in New Zealand, which would have environment and trade benefits. The Association President, Peter Weir says it’s time the government turned the negative log market situation in China into a positive outcome in New Zealand. …Peter Weir says, “all the government needs to do is introduce the wood preference policy that the Labour Party promised in the last election and at the same time it should target the worst fossil fuel users in New Zealand to encourage a transition to renewable biofuels.” …“Coal is the worst fuel for emitting carbon dioxide. The government could put a carbon tax on coal of say $200 per tonne, and use the income to assist industries, schools and hospitals convert to biofuels, including wood chips.”

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Coronavirus: Log jam at Chinese wharves as forestry industry feels impact

By Debrin Foxcroft
Stuff.co.nz
February 24, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — The lack of space at Chinese ports is causing significant issues for New Zealand’s forestry industry. The Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir said in a statement that precautions in China against coronavirus had resulted in almost no off-loading of logs in China for processing. He said the industry understood the remaining log yard space at most ports near processing centres was quickly disappearing. Forestry companies had hoped processing would pick up after the extended New Years break, introduced by the Chinese Government to stymie the spread of the virus, but this had not happened, Weir said. “In regions where there is no domestic sawmilling, many harvest contracting crews are being put on reduced hours or, worst case, stood down,” Weir said.

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Finance & Economics

A Strong Start For Housing In 2020

By Stephen Percoco
Seeking Alpha
February 26, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

2019 was a solid year for U.S. housing. While still subject to modest revisions, government figures show that new residential sales increased 10.4% from an estimated 617,000 units in 2018 to 681,000 units in 2019. Single-family housing starts advanced 1.4% to an estimated 888,200 units in 2019 from 875,700 units in 2018. …With the strong start and barring any economic shocks, I anticipate that new home sales will be up 6.5% and single-family starts up 8.4% in 2020. Many publicly-traded builders have the potential to exceed those averages, owing in part to their focus on entry level buyers.

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Rayonier Advanced Materials Announces Fourth Quarter and 2019 Results

By Rayonier Advanced Materials
Businesswire
February 25, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

In conjunction with Fourth Quarter and 2019 results, Rayonier Advanced Materials announced actions to further reduce costs and improve cash flow. The Company reported a loss from operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 of $119 million, compared to income from operations of $99 million for the prior year. Fourth quarter 2019 loss from operations was $57 million, compared to income from operations of $7 million for the prior year comparable period. …“2019 was a difficult year, negatively impacted by global trade disputes and sales price declines across our commodity businesses,” said Paul Boynton, Chairman. 

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Boise Cascade to cease production at Roxboro, North Carolina facility

By Boise Cascade Company
Global Newswire
February 24, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: US East, United States

Boise, Idaho — Boise Cascade announced the permanent curtailment of its I-joist production facility in Roxboro, North Carolina. The shutdown will affect approximately 29 employees. The company anticipates discontinuing production by the end of Q1 2020, though inventory shipment may continue into Q3 before all operations cease. …“However, costs at Roxboro are not where they need to be in comparison to other Boise Cascade mills. That fact, in conjunction with the single-family housing market trends, have led us to this difficult decision,” said Chris Seymour, VP of Manufacturing Operations.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Building codes must harmonize on wood: Residential Construction Council of Ontario

By Grant Cameron
Daily Commercial News
February 25, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario should immediately take steps to harmonize the province’s building code with the national system so that wood can be used in more mid-rise and taller residential buildings. That’s the opinion laid out in a letter sent recently by Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), to staff at the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “RESCON believes that harmonizing the Ontario Building Code with the National Building Code (NBC) should be an urgent priority as Ontario is already well behind many other jurisdictions,” he wrote in the three-page letter. “To ensure the successful and prompt harmonization of the Ontario Building code with the National Building Code it is imperative that government and industry work together.” The next edition of the NBC, expected to be published at the end of the year, will allow the use of tall wood construction with fire-resistant material for up to 12 storeys.

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Look west for true innovation in tall wood homes

Richard Lyall, RESCON
The Toronto Sun
February 24, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

ONTARIO — “It’s good to be Alberta-bound.” – Gordon Lightfoot. I couldn’t help but think of this as a province better known for its oil industry than its forestry sector will permit wood towers up to 12 storeys, doubling the previous building code height limit. Here, we’re still stuck on six. …This despite the fact that MPP Vic Fedeli tabled Bill 19 in March 2018 that would allow mass-timber buildings up to 14 storeys. It’s still under consideration. …It has taken a few years for Ontario builder/developers to plan and build six-storey light wood-frame buildings, and once again, the country’s economic engine (so we tell ourselves) can’t keep up with other Canadian jurisdictions when it comes to engineered mass timber. …There are many mass-timber projects in Canada and Europe going higher than six. …Right now, the focus for Ontario is to go from six to 14.

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Revealing Canada’s first zero-carbon, mass timber college building

Construction Canada
February 25, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dialog, EllisDon, and Smoke Architecture have won a competition to design Centennial College’s A Block Expansion Building in Toronto. The structure could be the first net-zero carbon, mass timber, higher-education facility in Canada when complete in 2023. It also seeks to embody the college’s commitment to truth and reconciliation. Dialog and Smoke approached the project using the Mi’kmaq concept of ‘Two-eyed Seeing’—viewing the world through both an Indigenous and a Western lens—and were inspired by the Anishinabek ‘Seven Fires’ prophecy that says we need to pick up things ‘left by the trail.’ …The design team embraced Indigenous approaches to living in harmony with nature. This approach augmented Western notions and methodologies of sustainability and pushed them to explore ideas beyond Zero-carbon Building certification and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

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First cellulose fibers conference delves into textile-related future

Home Textiles Today
February 25, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Cologne, Germany – More than 200 participants representing 26 countries took part in the 1st International Conference on Cellulose Fibers here, celebrating continued growth within the textiles market. Cellulose fibers, which are the fastest-growing group within the textile industry, now account for 6% of the world market. The conference covered the entire value chain, from feedstocks through finished products, including cellulose fibers such as rayon, viscose, modal and lyocell and its woven and non-woven applications. …Sustainability was a major topic, with cellulose fibers’ lower environmental impact vs. petrochemical fibers or cotton highlighted. But Nicole Rycroft of Canopy pointed out the importance of wood for cellulose fibers coming from certified sustainable forestry, as well as alternative feedstock sources. 

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Tallest timber adaptive reuse building set to open

Editorial Desk
Architecture AU
February 26, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

MELBOURNE, Australia — A new hotel due to open later in 2020 is set to the tallest timber adaptive reuse building in Australia. Bates Smart designed a 10 storey structure made from engineered timber that sits top of an existing office building in Melbourne’s Southbank. The Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Southbank is set to open later in 2020. The existing concrete-framed building on Southbank Boulevard was designed to accommodate only six additional levels – were those levels to also be made from a concrete frame. By using a lighter, engineered timber structure, an extra four storeys became structurally feasible. Julian Anderson, Bates Smart director, said that the hotel was the world’s largest engineered timber extension, with around 5,300 tonnes of cross-laminated timber sourced from suppliers with Forest Stewardship Council certification used in its construction.

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Sourcing central to grading standards in UK

By Dan Ridley-Ellis, Edinburgh Napier University
The Timber Trade Journal
February 25, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Dan Ridley-Ellis

It matters where timber comes from – more specifically where trees grew – because growth conditions infl uence wood properties. These effects are numerous, including both environmental factors and the effects of forestry practice. …Importantly, the correlations between wood properties and the things we use to sort and grade timber can also change. This is one reason why we still have numerous visual grading standards in use for structural timber. …The recently revised European standard for machine grading settings (EN14081-2) attempts to improve things, partly with the introduction of “standardised areas”. …Visual grading, on the other hand, remains rather vague. As forestry, the timber trade, and the use of timber all change over time, the justification of long standing practice without problems is becoming less solid.

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Forestry

Final Cut: Forestry of the future – the sustainable revolution

By Francis Charette, Research Lead, FPInnovations
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
February 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Francis Charette

For the past three years, I have led a research program at FPInnovations called Forestry 4.0. Our objective is to build momentum towards sustainability by bringing more automation to forest operations in Canada. I am talking about autonomous trucks, platooning systems and automated harvesting machines. Forestry 4.0 was developed to create solutions for challenges affecting the forest industry, such as labour shortages, high fibre-supply costs and forest connectivity, as well as to improve our environmental performance. …New computer technology such as automation, cyber-physical systems, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will drastically change the forest industry for the better and ensure its competitiveness. …The forest industry, through forest intensification, is among the few industries that can grow while reducing its GHG emissions and remain sustainable. 

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Indigenous Forestry Career Fairs

BC First Nations Forestry Council
February 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC First Nations Forestry Council is thrilled to announce the dates for the 2020 Indigenous Forestry Career Fairs. The Indigenous Forestry Career Fairs offer a unique space to connect Indigenous talent with forestry jobs, training, and education opportunities. Participants will get to:

  • Meet with potential employers from all areas of forestry
  • Learn about training opportunities
  • Find out more about educational programs in forestry
  • Hear from industry leaders on work happening on BC forestry
  • Win door prizes, grand prizes, and more!

Following the success of our 2019 career fairs, we will be adding an additional fourth event on our tour around BC. Be sure to check the website for more information including dates and locations nearest to you.

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Leq’a:mel First Nation recognized for work protecting spotted owl

By Adam Louis
Agassiz-Harrison Observer
February 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Leq’a:mel First Nation – along with the Ts’elxweyeqw and Skwah First Nations – was one of the three non-renewable forest licenses (NRFL) in the Chilliwack Natural Resource District to earn a good forestry audit score from the Forest Practices Board. The Leq’a:mel First Nation Forestry Limited Partnership is located in the Statlu Creek area west of Harrison Lake. “Our audit found that all three licensees carried out good forest practices and met the requirements of forest practice legislation,” said Forest Practices Board chairman Kevin Kriese in a statement.

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Dept. of Forestry burning through money

The Editorial Board
The Register-Guard
February 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Oregon — Imagine telling your bank that you can’t pay your mortgage because you’re five years behind in filling out timesheets at work. …Sadly, the Oregon Department of Forestry is making a similarly pathetic claim. Officials at the agency say they’re about five years behind submitting invoices, mostly to the federal government, for reimbursement for firefighting costs. …As a result, department officials are telling the state Legislature they need emergency funding, or they’ll run out of money as soon as next month — about eight months into the state’s two-year budget cycle. …Department officials say they’ll need somewhere between $52 million and $132 million to ensure there’s enough funding to continue basic operations as well as fight fires this year. …Some steps are being taken to speed up the process. …But as the department’s financial problems mount, the Legislature needs to examine the competence of the people in charge. 

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Sweden’s forest crimes

By Julian Klein, Isadora Wronski, Kelsey Perlman, Almuth Ernsting, Jana Ballenthien and Robin Wood
Euractiv.com
February 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Sweden is consistently ranked near or at the top of the world’s most environmentally-friendly industrial nations. …However, when it comes to Swedish forests – which cover almost 70% of the country – it is a very different story. Sweden is the world’s third largest exporter of paper, pulp and sawn wood products. The country promotes itself as a paragon of sustainable forestry practices. But this is an illusion on a grand scale. In truth, old, natural forests are more scarce in Sweden than ever before. Sweden still holds a considerable proportion of the remaining high conservation value forests of northwestern Europe but the area is decreasing. …The climate crisis is being used by the Swedish forest industry as an excuse to increase its forest harvest and production rates.

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