Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for July 07 2020

Today’s Takeaway

US Department of Commerce lifts tariffs on shakes & shingles

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 7, 2020
Category: Today's Takeaway
Region: United States

The US Dept of Commerce announced the immediate lifting of tariffs on Canadian Western Red Cedar shakes & shingles. In related news: the softwood lumber dispute adds to US homebuilder costs; lumber and panel shortages put consumers on hold in Nova Scotia and North Carolina; Norbord continues with flexible operations; the ProDealer summit goes virtual; and Canada’s consumer confidence rises for 10th straight week. 

In other news: BC wildfires are down by 1/3 due to a soggy June; beetle-mania in North Eastern Ontario is linked to past forest fires; the BC College of Applied Biology on the regulated and reserved practice of applied biology; and fire concerns persist with mass timber towers.

Finally; the democratization of remote sensing, a webinar by UBC’s Nicholas Coops. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

US Dept of Commerce Lifts Tariffs on Canadian Shakes & Shingles

The US Dept of Commerces in FEA
July 6, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

After a two year long battle, between the Canadian Shake & Shingle Alliance and the U.S. Dept of Commerce, on whether Canadian Wester Red Cedar Shake & Shingles were subject to U.S. Softwood Tariffs, on Friday, June 26th, 2020 the U.S. Dept of Commerce published in the Federal Register a “Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling”.  …The Notice states that “the petitioner never intended for cedar shakes and shingles to be covered by the Orders,” and that Commerce now finds that “the scope of the Orders do not cover certain shakes and shingles exported by the SSA.” …With regard to new shipments, companies may commence entries of cedar shakes and shingles immediately.  With regard to refunds, CBP by statute has 6 months to comply with Commerce instructions.

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A forgotten trade spat with Canada is costing U.S. homebuilders

By Jen Skerritt
BNN Bloomberg
July 6, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

As a wave of pent-up homebuying emerges across the U.S., a pesky and oft-forgotten trade dispute with Canada is boosting building costs. A long-simmering spat between the U.S. and Canada over softwood lumber is adding to the expenses homebuilders face in the fallout from disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic, said David Logan, director of tax and trade policy analysis for the Washington-based NAHB. Lumber mills in the Pacific Northwest cut production amid lockdowns, and builders are buying more wood from Canada, he said. …Lumber futures have soared more 70 per cent from a four-year low on April 1. Supplies tightened at a time when people stuck at home spent more time on repairs and improvements. …The odds are low that the Canada-U.S. fight will be settled this year. The Trump administration has focused on trade disputes with China, and prices are strong, said Kevin Mason, of ERA Forest Products Research.

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Norbord Provides Update On Q2 Capacity Utilization

By Norbord Inc.
Cision Newswire
July 6, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TORONTO – Norbord Inc. today announced an update regarding the second quarter 2020 capacity utilization of its North American oriented strand board (OSB) and European panel mills. On March 25, in response to the significant market uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic, Norbord announced adjustments to its operating configuration to match production with reduced demand for its products. On May 6, as part of its first quarter 2020 results, Norbord announced that it had reduced its operating mill capacity by approximately 35% for the month of April, but that there were early signs of improvement across various end markets for the Company’s products. …Given the uncertainty around the depth and duration of the economic impact of COVID-19, the Company will continue to use the flexible operating strategy employed during the early stage of the pandemic to adjust operating schedules as necessary.

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College of Applied Biology releases paper on draft definitions for Regulated and Reserved practice in applied biology

BC College of Applied Biology
July 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The College of Applied Biology has submitted its Regulated and Reserved Practice for Applied Biology proposal to the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance and is beginning its discussions with other professional organizations. The definitions once finalized will be used in regulations under the Professional Governance Act that will apply specific measures for the practice of applied biology in BC. All College registrants are invited to review the paper.  In 2002 the College of Applied Biology Act was introduced… The Act established the College of Applied Biology to protect the public interest by “preserving and protecting the scientific methods and principles that are the foundation of the applied biological sciences”. In October 2017 the province initiated the Professional Reliance Review that looked at the governance structures of five (5) professional regulators whose registrants work in resource management.

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Lumber shortage raises big issues for construction industry

By Paul Palmeter
CBC News
July 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NOVA SCOTIA — There’s a lumber shortage in Nova Scotia and it’s forcing big and small construction companies to make some tough decisions on what jobs they can complete. …One of the reasons for the shortage is the industry has been overwhelmed with people doing projects during COVID-19. “Like everything else with COVID, the plants were brought down to about 50 per cent efficiency and it takes a couple months for that to trickle on down,” said Scott Smith, president of the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association and the president of Rooftight Construction Ltd. …Pressure-treated lumber is especially hard to come by. …Plywood has also been in high demand over the last two months. “There is no supply left in Atlantic Canada. Replacement from Western Canada is 5-6 weeks away … Costs are through the roof.”

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ProDealer Industry Summit Going Virtual

The Merchant Magazine
July 6, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

After careful consideration… the NLBMDA Board of Directors has decided to cancel the traditional in person ProDealer Industry Summit, scheduled to take place October 7-9 in San Antonio and transition to a virtual experience over the same dates. The association has been intently monitoring recent developments regarding COVID-19, specifically in the state of Texas and determined that the only path forward was to cancel the in person event and transition to a virtual experience. NLBMDA will be sharing more information regarding the new ProDealer Industry Summit virtual experience in the coming weeks and ask that members still save the dates of October 7-9 to join the virtual experience.

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Treated lumber shortage leaves customers waiting to finish projects

By Nick Hedrick
The Journal Review
July 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SOUTH CAROLINA — As the waiting list for deck projects stretches into jacket weather season, one of Mat Haworth’s employees spends the day calling suppliers, placing orders for whatever 2-by-4’s or 4-by-4’s haven’t already been snatched up. The nationwide shortage in treated lumber has left lumber companies and hardware stores with empty shelves as homeowners tackle home improvement projects in a time of social distancing. …Projects are scheduled through late September, well past the typical six-week time frame. At Town & Country Homecenter, the lumber counter began selling more treated wood in May, said president Jack Whitecotton. By June, the lumber was harder to come by. Sales of treated lumber have jumped by 143% this summer, Whitecotton said. The store has sold out of 4-by-4’s. The cost for the wood is also surging, up as much as 45% from before the surge. …Suppliers can’t promise when the next shipment will arrive.

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American Forest Management Acquires Family-Owned Forestry Consulting Firm in Virginia

American Forest Management
July 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NORTH CAROLINA — American Forest Management is pleased to announce the acquisition of South Rivers Forestry Consultants LLC (SRF), a family-owned forestry consulting business started by Jess and Valerie Crawford in 2006. SRF specializes in long-term timber management for non-industrial private landowners and large commercial clients in North Carolina and Virginia. As part of the acquisition, American Forest Management will gain all client contracts and take over a lease of SRF’s Stony Creek, Virginia, office. All three foresters from SRF are joining American Forest Management and they will continue to serve clients from the same office. 

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Finance & Economics

Consumer Confidence Rises for 10th Straight Week in Canada

By Theophilos Argitis
Bloomberg
July 6, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Consumer confidence continues to show signs of improving in Canada, inching higher for a 10th straight week, though gains are slowing. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, based on a random survey, ticked up slightly to 46.2 last week, from 46 a week earlier. That’s up almost 10 points from a record low in April as the country gradually reopens from Covid-19 restrictions, but still hovering at about one-fifth below historical averages. The 10-week rally is the longest since Nanos began weekly tracking in 2013. However, one potential concern is that sentiment may be a plateauing at below pre-pandemic levels.

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Canada’s lumber production decreased by 7.9% in March

Lesprom
July 6, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Canada’s lumber production increased 6.5% from February to 5 009.2 thousand cubic metres in March. Production was 7.9% lower than in March 2019, as Statistics Canada reported.  Sawmills shipped 4 643.4 thousand cubic metres of lumber in March, up 12.5% from February and down 9.2% from March 2019. [End of Story]

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Amazon joins CanopyStyle to end the use of Ancient and Endangered Forests in viscose clothing

By Amanda Carr, director of strategic initiatives
Canopy Planet
June 25, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The CanopyStyle initiative has a new, powerful partner in the effort to end the use of Ancient and Endangered Forests in apparel fabrics — the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon. Amazon has just announced its timelined commitment to ensure that by 2022 all of the company’s private label clothing will not include “rayon or viscose derived from ancient and endangered forests, or from endangered species’ habitats or other controversial sources as defined by Canopy reports and tools”. …Teams at Amazon UK and Amazon US will be using the CanopyStyle Hot Button Report to inform their procurement decisions. Amazon will also be supporting the … use of recycled clothing to make new viscose fabrics, rather than … Ancient and Endangered Forests. …Canopy is working with hundreds of companies to [replace] 50% of tree fibre currently used in the viscose and packaging supply chains with Next Generation alternatives.

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Inside Innovation: ‘Ply-scrapers’ shoot higher as fire concerns smolder below

By John Bleasby
Daily Commercial News
July 7, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

News of a 40-storey wooden office tower planned for Sydney, Aus. is proof that mass timber construction (MTC) is gaining increased global acceptance as an alternative to traditional construction methods.  Tall buildings built largely from MTC demonstrate a trend towards structures now being dubbed “ply-scrapers.”  Promoters of MTC have long been enthusiastic about the reduced carbon footprint made possible by using engineered wood to replace steel and concrete. …However, acceptance of MTC as a building material in large buildings, in either whole or in part, is not universal. Despite tests by safety authorities around the world, including Canada, concerns over fire resistance continue.  …Those reservations are shared by Lethbridge Professional Firefighters’ I.A.F.F. Local 237 president Warren Nelson.  “We have concerns with these large buildings solely being made of wood, and the potential for rapid fire-spread throughout these buildings.”

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Forestry

Shaping the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standards – second comment period complete

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
July 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

SFI’s standards, when leveraged with our three other pillars of work – conservation, community and education – provide practical, scalable solutions for markets and communities committed to a sustainable planet. Through the SFI Standards, more forests are well managed, which means more effort is put into conserving healthy wildlife, providing clean water and making more sustainable wood, paper and packaging products available for consumers and companies. SFI appreciates the 2,300 individuals and organizations that registered for our nine standards revision webinars and submitted comments on the first draft of the SFI 2022 Standards. Working together is critical to ensuring the sustainability of our planet and this is exemplified by the diversity of people that contributed in the second-comment period. Participants including landowners, forest product manufacturers, Indigenous Peoples, conservation organizations, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, educators, local communities, and government agencies provided constructive input for SFI review.

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The Democratization of Remote Sensing

UBC Faculty of Forestry
July 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This webinar hosted by the UBC Faculty of Forestry will help you learn more about remote sensing technologies and how to maximize the potential of the data they produce. Thursday, July 9, 2020 – 12:00PM – 1:00PM PDT. Remote sensing – collecting imagery of the Earth’s surface – is cheaper and easier than ever before. We can now see everything from a single leaf to the entire planet. The technology has exploded in the past five years, with vast amounts of data generated everyday. But data isn’t knowledge or insight, and making that conversion is the key to making sound decisions for your business or organization. Professor Nicholas Coops is a recognized expert in remote sensing, and a key contributor to Canada’s world-leading position in remote sensing in forestry. 

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Municipal logging program generates minimal profits, ships raw logs offshore

Letter by Larry Pynn
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than six out of 10 trees harvested in North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve last year were exported as raw logs, according to the 2019 Forestry Report.  Raw-log exports totalled 63 per cent of the municipal harvest of 15,255 cubic metres in 2019, up from 58 per cent of 11,562 cubic metres in 2018.  That’s right, in the midst of a moratorium on new logging contracts pending a public consultation on the 5,000-hectare forest reserve, the municipality found a way to increase harvesting through blowdown timber and fulfillment of outstanding logging contracts.  The fact that most of North Cowichan’s logs are exported further erodes the argument that logging of the forest reserve is needed to support the local economy.  Note that logging last year in the forest reserve created as few as an estimated 10 direct jobs — at least two of those municipal staffers.

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Beetle abundance attributed to forest fires

By Jim Moodie
North Bay Nugget
July 7, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Beetle-mania seems to be gripping North Bay lately as numerous black bugs with hard wings and long antennae… These beetles — casually referred to as pine or longhorned beetles, but properly known as white-spotted sawyers — are capable of delivering a nip, although it’s not really their nature to go looking for a fight, according to a forest entomologist. …Taylor Scarr, research director with the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie says the beetles, distinguished by a white spot at the back of their necks, are native to Ontario and appear every year, but may be more conspicuous right now because of events that occurred a couple of years ago. …People will sometimes confuse a female sawyer with an invasive Asian beetle, says Scarr, as both have long antennae and speckled backs, but the invader is “a bigger, more robust insect, with white markings that are much sharper.”

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The Northwest Forest Plan, how is it working out?

By Mike Bormuth, retired forester
Capital Press
July 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Mike Bormuth

As a career forester and near daily observer of forest management plans and their physical application for more than 45 years, I have seen the results of both natural events and management’s planned activities in our public forests.  It is my intent to explore in this article one part of the Northwest Forest Plan and comment on the apparent outcome and trajectory of the decisions and actions of management and the concurrent natural processes.  One of the decisions that came out of the Northwest Forest Plan are designated areas called Late Successional Reserves. The goal was to restore the function and appearance of older natural forests that would be similar to those prior to the arrival of settlers in the Pacific Northwest. It has been a quarter century since the plan was initiated and it is time to see if it is working as anticipated.

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Let them eat wood

By Anne Salmond
Scoop Independent News
July 7, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The farmers are right. As the price of carbon rises, the settings in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will make it more profitable to plant pine trees than to grow food (or native forests) in many parts of New Zealand. On the East Coast, for instance, a landowner will be paid 10 times more by year 5 for planting pine trees instead of native forest, and farmland is going under pine trees in many places. With wool prices at historic lows, and rising carbon prices, this trend will only accelerate. On highly erodible soils, the folly of planting shallow-rooted pine trees and clear-felling them every 25-30 years is obvious. Witness the tsunami of logs and sediment that have drowned streams, rivers, houses, fields, beaches and harbours in places like Tolaga Bay, Marahau, and many other parts of New Zealand.

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Sustainable Timber Tasmania releases plans to clear fell 4569 hectares in the North-West over three years

By Meg Powell
The Advocate
July 7, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

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Health & Safety

Weyerhaeuser fined for worker injury in Hudson Bay

By Susan McNeill
The Nipawin Journal
July 6, 2020
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, US West

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan –The Canadian division of an American timber giant has been fined for a workplace injury that happened in Hudson Bay in October of 2017. On June 23, Weyerhaeuser Company Limited of Vancouver was fined $182,000 after pleading guilty to one count under Saskatchewan’s workplace health and safety legislation, according to a news release from the provincial government. The regulatory charges came in the wake of an Oct. 5, 2017 incident where a worker was seriously injured in Hudson Bay after being hit by a forklift, the province said. The firm, which is the Canadian arm of U.S.- based Weyerhaeuser Company, pleaded guilty to contravening a clause of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in Hudson Bay Provincial Court on Nov. 26, 2019. As a result, the company was fined $130,000 with a $52,000 surcharge. [END]

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Forest Fires

As far as B.C. wildfire forecasters are concerned, June did what they hoped

CBC News
July 7, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It only takes a quick glance at British Columbia’s fire danger map to see the province is in good shape.  The vast majority of the province is covered in lime green and cool blue, indicating the risk of a wildfire starting in those areas is “low” or “very low.” Patches of land on the coast are marked as a “moderate” risk, but the blaring red of extreme risk is absent.  A damp, chilly June can take most of the credit.  “This month delivered,” said Armel Castellan, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.  “When you look at it from a drought and from a wildfire perspective, you couldn’t ask for better.”  …Castellan said some places in B.C. saw “upwards of 140 per cent” of their normal precipitation in June, particularly in northern B.C.

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Good progress reported on forest fire burning north of Kamiskotia Lake

By Bob McIntyre
My
July 6, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

That forest fire north of Kamiskotia Lake is still burning, a day after first being spotted.  MNRF information officer Isabelle Chenard says four fire ranger teams of four members each are on scene.  “They’re making good progress on fire suppression and the fire size is seven hectares,” she tells My Timmins Now Dot Com.  “The status of the fire is still not under control, but as I mentioned, they are making some excellent progress.”  The blaze is between Kamiskotia and Hicks Oke Bog Provincial Park.  Meanwhile, the forest fire hazard depends on exactly where you are.  Chenard says there was only scattered rainfall this afternoon.  “Areas that have escaped the highly localized rainfall remain in a high to extreme hazard for today in the region,” she states.

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