Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for January 19 2021

Today’s Takeaway

Alberta launches Google-style virtual forestry tours

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 19, 2021
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Alberta Forest Products Association launches Google-style virtual forestry tours with movie star Nathan Fillion. In related news: the BC Forest Practices Board Chair on the coming year; a new factsheet by Two Sides on Canada’s paper and packaging industry; Forests2Market on the upside of e-commerce on paper recycling; and a new video series on the Australian timber industry

In other news: Biden’s climate plan will help address western wildfires; Minnesota’s forests eyed for cutting greenhouse gases; and the US Forest Service axes the large-tree logging ban in Oregon. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s Chief Forester speaks to the need for more diverse profession, and an update on the Association of BC Forest Professionals upcoming AGM.

Finally: Resolute has a new CFO, and Pinnacle Renewable Energy helps Prince Rupert’s port grow.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Port cargo volume growth continues despite pandemic obstacles

By K-J Millar
The Northern View
January 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE RUPERT, BC — Another record has been set with annual cargo volumes for 2020 nine per cent more than in 2019, and progress on several key projects aimed at sustainability continue to grow and diversify the port complex, the Prince Rupert Port Authority announced. In a year marred by uncertainty, more than $50 billion in increased international trade has been facilitated through Prince Rupert, Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of Prince Rupert Port Authority, said. …“The Port’s highest total volume to date was led by a rise in exports of coal, propane, and wood pellets. Ridley Terminal saw a year-over-year increase of 26 per cent, driven by demand for thermal coal. …Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s Westview Terminal had a record year, exporting 1,474,301 tonnes of wood pellets, an increase of 33 per cent over 2019.

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Resolute Announces Appointment of Sylvain A. Girard as Chief Financial Officer

By Resolute forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
January 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sylvain Girard

MONTRÉAL – Resolute Forest Products announced that Sylvain A. Girard will join the company and be appointed as senior vice president and chief financial officer as of March 2, 2021. His term will begin the day after Remi G. Lalonde, currently Resolute’s senior VP and chief financial officer, assumes the position of president and chief executive officer. …Mr. Girard most recently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. Previously, he held senior executive positions with General Electric Company. …He graduated from McGill University in 1992 with a bachelor of commerce in finance and international business.

In related news: Resolute announces proposed offering of $300 million senior unsecured notes.

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US finds no evidence of dumping of wood mouldings and millwork from Brazil

By US Department of Commerce
FEA – Forest Economic Advisors
January 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The Department of Commerce on December 29th, 2020 announced its final antidumping duty and countervailing duty determination on wood mouldings and millwork products from Brazil and China. The Department of Commerce found no dumping on wood mouldings and millwork products from Brazil and therefore, there will be no AD order and duty deposit requirement for imports of wood mouldings and millwork products from Brazil. Upon the issuance of Commerce’s final determinations on wood mouldings and millwork products, the International Trade Commission must make its final determination on whether the domestic industry is injured or threatened with injury by way of imported wood mouldings and millwork products from Brazil. …The ITC vote is currently scheduled for 22 January.

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Finance & Economics

Rise in e-commerce has increased the value of recycled mixed paper

By Savannah Franklin
Forest2Market Blog
January 19, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Since many businesses have switched to a work-from-home mode of operating, the demand for printing and writing paper has decreased significantly. Even though this was an unexpected hit to a segment already in a state of decline, some mills have found a silver lining and have been substituting mixed paper from recycling programs for the discarded office paper. …Overall collection volume from recycling programs in the United States is up about 7% from this time last year, and it’s expected that prices for mixed paper will continue to rise in 2021 as e-commerce orders continue to increase. …As we navigate into 2021, we expect to see demand for corrugated cardboard continue to increase in tandem with e-commerce, as well as demand for mixed paper as more mills seek to take advantage of a viable waste stream and substitute it where applicable.

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Continued Gains Single-Family Permits

By Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington
NAHB – Eye on Housing
January 19, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Over the first eleven months of 2020, total single-family permits issued year-to-date  nationwide reached 888,217. On a year-over-year basis, this is an 12.2% increase over the November 2019 level of 791,452. Year-to-date ending in November, single-family permits across the four regions ranged from an increase of 14.4% in the South to an increase of 8.0% in the Northeast. …Year-to-date, ending in November 2020, the total number of multifamily permits issued nationwide reached 429,734. This is 8.6% decline over the November 2019 level of 470,070.

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Cladding crisis threatens UK housing market

Scottish Construction Now
January 18, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

UK flat sales have halved as official data reveals for the first time how a scandal over the poor construction of recent homes is trickling into the economy. …It is the first official confirmation that fears over unsafe housing are significantly affecting the market. …Thousands of families in the UK are trapped in flats they cannot sell because of fire risks discovered after the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017. Checks uncovered decades of regulatory failure and poor construction that left 200,000 high-rise flats wrapped in flammable materials. …Partial timber cladding, flammable balconies and missing fire barriers inside walls meant the four-storey block, in Sidcup, failed an “external wall system” safety check. …Transactions for flats fell at almost twice the rate of those for houses, suggesting the cause is not the pandemic.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
January 18, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Construction is well underway on the new 650-metre elevated wooden pathway that is being built just north of the Malahat Summit. Ken Bailey, general manager of the approximately $15-million Malahat Skywalk project, said the sky walk is expected to be completed by late this spring or early summer, in time for the upcoming tourist season …A.Spire by Nature, a company led by two of the founding partners in the successful Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish, and the Malahat Nation have partnered in the Malahat Skywalk project that intends to combine nature-based tourism with a cultural tourism experience. The sky walk will see an elevated wooden pathway constructed through an Arbutus forest leading to a gentle, accessible spiral ramp climbing up to a 40-metre high sightseeing lookout where visitors will witness magnificent views of the Finlayson Arm and distant coastal mountains.

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Forestry

Common Environmental Misconceptions About the Canadian Paper and Paper-based Packaging Industry

By Kathi Rowzie
Two Sides North America
January 15, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Canadian Paper and Paper-based Packaging industry is among the most sustainable industries in the world, but there are still significant gaps between public perceptions and actual fact when it comes to related environmental topics such as forestry, greenhouse gas emissions and recycling. For example, a recent Two Sides survey found that Canadian consumers rank pulp and paper products as a leading cause of deforestation – which they are not. For example: At the end of 2019, Canada had over 168 million hectares of independently certified forest land (to either CSA®, SFI® or FSC®). Nearly half of Canada’s forests are certified and 37% of all certified forests worldwide are in Canada, the largest area of any country. – NRCan. …Canada recycles almost 70% of its paper and cardboard, making it among the top paper recycling countries in the world. – FPAC. Download the fact sheet here.

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Women in Wood launch e-newsletter

Women in Wood
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Happy New Year and welcome to the brand new Women in Wood e-newsletter! This past year has been a bit bonkers but we’ve been so inspired by this growing community and how we’ve all adapted to a world that looks very different than it did one year ago.  So, in the spirit of staying connected in a digital world, we hope you enjoy the first edition of our newsletter, in this issue we talk WIW Year in Review, energy solutions in Ghana, Boots, and T-Shirts! 700 new members, 300 hoodies, 6 meet-ups, our 5 year anniversary, and a new graphic to celebrate diversity, whew! 2020 was a BIG year. We couldn’t be more proud that even during a year like no other, our community has grown globally, and is a network to support each other through the great times and… not so great times. …we can’t wait to see what 2021 will bring!

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Take Advantage of the 2021 ABCFP Conference Early Bird Rate

The Association of BC Forest Professionals
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Deadline to get the early bird rate for the virtual 2021 ABCFP Forestry Conference and AGM is January 22. Sign up now for just $75 (plus GST) and join the over 700 delegates already registered. The three-day conference, scheduled for February 3–5, 2021, offers 12 separate professional development sessions on a range of critical forestry topics. Hear from experts on how to deal with some of the most pressing issues facing forest professionals today:

  • Assessing and Managing Risk – Glynnis Horel, P.Eng, FEC, HM;
  • Making Ethical Decisions – Shawn Ireland, Ed.D;
  • Understanding First Nations Considerations on Natural Resource Projects – Clifford White (Nees Ma’Outa), Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission, and Garry Merkel, RPF; 
  • Forest Road Bridges and Crosssings: What You Need to Know – Lee Deslauriers, RPF, P.Eng;
  • Wildfire Response and the Practice of Professional Forestry – Kelly Johnston, RPF;
  • Forest Landscape Planning: Transforming How We Manage BC’s Forests – Diane Nicholls, RPF, ADM, BC Chief Forester;
  • Climate-based Seed Transfer – Sally Aitken, PhD, Colin Mahony, Ph.D, RPF, Will MacKenzie, MSc, RPBio; and Pamela Dykstra, MRM, RPBio, P.Ag;
  • Enhancing Your Forest Planning and Practices with LiDAR – Colin Chisholm, RPF;
  • Fibre Use and the Future of Wood Pellets – Gordon Murray, RPF, CPA, CMA.

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Public invited to comment on Okanagan Timber Supply Area

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of BC
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Comments are being accepted until March 18, 2021, on a discussion paper released as part of a comprehensive timber supply review for the Okanagan Timber Supply Area. The discussion paper provides the results of the timber supply analysis. It also describes the geography, natural resources and current forest management practices in the Okanagan Timber Supply Area, all of which will be used by the chief forester in the allowable annual cut (AAC) determination. Feedback from Indigenous peoples and the public will also be considered by the chief forester before setting the new allowable annual cut. The Okanagan Timber Supply Area covers nearly 2.4 million hectares in the south-central region of the province, with almost 760,781 hectares available for timber harvesting.

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Eye on B.C.’s Forests Newsletter – Winter 2020-21

BC Forest Practices Board
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kevin Kriese

Here in BC the coming year will continue to see a significant focus on big issues from the past year; the economic transition in the forest sector driven in part by declining fiber supply, managing the implications of the COVID 19 pandemic, and implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. The province also has a new government, who has committed to update forestry legislation, to implement the recommendations in the report “A New Future for Old Forests,” and to restructure the current Ministry of Forests…. The FPB is continually stretched in our ability to cover the complexity of issues in BC. With so many initiatives underway, it is critical that our organization identify our priorities and focus on them. The FPB strategic plan, developed in 2019, guides us when setting priorities. …In the coming year, the Board will continue to focus on potential changes to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).

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‘Healthy dollop’ of Nathan Fillion: Alberta group snags actor as host of virtual forest tour

By Allison Bench
Global News
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nathan Fillion

The Alberta Forest Products Association has launched an online forest tour that features one of the province’s most famous faces: Nathan Fillion. Fillion got his start in Edmonton as part of the Rapid Fire Theatre and Die-Nasty improv groups. He rose to fame after his role in TV series Firefly. The AFPA launched the Virtual Forest Tour featuring Fillion in hopes of drawing audiences in by combining comedy with education. …Jason Krips, president of the AFPA, said that the agency wanted a way to make the virtual tours stand out. Fillion certainly adds some spice along with the education in his narration. The tour starts with a pick between young, growing, or mature — but “choose wisely,” Fillion says. …The AFPA hopes the virtual tours help Albertans realize the importance the harvesting cycle — which is actually around a 200-year cycle of cutting, planting and growing — is for the environment.

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Forest Service axes 21-inch logging ban in Eastern Oregon forests

By George Plaven
The Bend Bulletin
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND — The Trump administration is removing a decades-old ban on logging large trees in six national forests across Eastern Oregon and southeast Washington. …Rather than a blanket restriction on logging large trees, the U.S. Forest Service will replace the 21-inch rule with a more flexible guideline that generally calls for protecting old-growth forests, but allows land managers to make exceptions if they meet the agency’s long-term restoration goals. …“This will help us to better manage forests for wildfires and other disturbances, and to protect old trees that are hard to replace once lost,” said Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa. Emily Platt, project coordinator for the Forest Service said that — while it may seem counterintuitive — logging certain types of large trees can actually improve forest health and boost the number of old, large trees on the landscape.

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Readers respond: Timber industry protects environment

Letter by Jarrod Burcham, Lebanon
The Oregonian
January 17, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I earn my living working in the woods. There is not a day that goes by that we, as an industry, don’t think about taking care of the environment. In the decision-making process, protecting streams and wetlands comes second only to safety. To say that as an industry we are only out for profits is an untrue and uneducated statement (“Readers respond: Change Oregon forestry laws,” Jan. 12). Today, for example, we didn’t work because of how much it has rained in the past 24 hours. I didn’t make any money, the other employees, the company I work for, and the landowner we contract for did not make any money. We could have worked, but to avoid putting mud into streams, we chose not to. I’m fairly certain that is the exact opposite of putting profits first. We want to do what’s best for the environment, wildlife and the communities we work around. At the end of the day, no one cares more for the landscape than those of us who earn a living working on it.

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Maine TREE announces Rack as new director of education

Bangor Daily News
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Jessie Rack

AUGUSTA — The Maine Timber Research and Environmental Education Foundation (Maine TREE) has hired Jessie Rack as its new director of education. This position is responsible for sustaining and expanding Maine TREE’s capacity to meet the needs of schools, teachers, parents, students and other partner organizations for environmental education programs connected to Maine’s forests. In her most recent role, Rack coordinated the University of Arizona’s Supporting Environmental Education and Communities Program, providing environmental education outreach to Title I K-12 classrooms. “I am excited to be joining Maine TREE because it gives me the opportunity to help connect Maine teachers and their students with the forest, giving them the tools to engage safely and effectively with nature,” Rack shared in starting in her new position. “I’ve used the Project Learning Tree curriculum for many years and love how it is both multidisciplinary and inclusive in its approach to teaching and learning.”

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Minnesota’s forests and land offer big opportunities to cut greenhouse gases

By Jennifer Bjorhus and Greg Stanley
The Star Tribune
January 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Reforestation and cover cropping should be on the front lines of Minnesota’s fight to reduce greenhouse gases and could cut up to one-fifth of the state’s heat-trapping emissions. The climate impacts of how Minnesotans manage and work the land is front and center in “Nature and Climate Solutions for Minnesota,” a new report out Monday by the Nature Conservancy. “It’s the type of solution that our state needs right now and that we haven’t yet capitalized on,” said lead author Sachi Graber, climate policy associate at the organization’s local chapter. The 13 practices the study measures underscore the power of simple plant photosynthesis. …While greenhouse gases from electricity generation continue to fall as utilities retire and replace coal plants with cleaner energy sources, Minnesota has failed to meaningfully cut global warming emissions in nearly every other sector.

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Wisconsin’s First Female Chief Forester Says Profession Must Become More Diverse

By Megan Hart
Wisconsin Public Radio
January 19, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Heather Berklund

Achieving a social, economic and ecological balance is critical when it comes to managing Wisconsin’s 17 million acres of forest, says Chief State Forester Heather Berklund. She was named to the role with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in October, becoming the first woman to hold the position. Berklund, who grew up in the Driftless Area and studied forestry at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, told WPR’s “The Morning Show” that forestry hasn’t historically been a diverse profession, but it’s important that changes moving forward. “Hopefully, I can be that face and get people excited, just recognizing that diversity and people working together is where we need to go in the future,” she said.

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New video series sheds light on Australian timber industry

By Wood Solutions
Architecture and Design Australia
January 19, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — WoodSolutions InFocus is a new video series offering insights into the forest and wood products industry, from growing trees to producing timber and timber products. Learn more about how trees are grown and timber products made through these informative videos. In The Art and Science of Growing Wood episode, discover the complex and finely-tuned process of timber production right from growing trees, and everything from genetics to the latest sensor technology. In the second episode, find out how laminated veneer lumber is made and why it’s a popular choice for an increasing range of structural applications. The next episode examines the process from growing softwood to producing structural grade timber in a mill. The fourth video in the series focusses on the making of cross laminated timber.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biden climate plan to address worsening Western wildfires, but it will take years

By Sack Urness and Damon Arthur
The Statesman Journal
January 18, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Climate change has tilted the future toward more fire and that’s unlikely to change in the short term, experts say, even as President-elect Joe Biden unveils a climate plan aimed at combating human-caused warming of the planet. …Biden’s $1.7 trillion, 10-year plan for aggressively reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving to a 100 percent clean energy economy no later than 2050 could help stave off the most catastrophic wildfire scenarios, particularly in the second half of the 21st Century, but it’s not a cure-all. …In the meantime, say fire experts, aggressive action is needed to improve forest health and transform communities into places equipped to handle a future of more and bigger fires. In this story, we’ll look at how climate change has fueled larger and hotter fires, and the things experts say we can do now to mitigate the worst type of disasters. 

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Wood residuals from new US facility to be turned into biomass products

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
January 18, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Rambler Wood Products will invest $7.6 million (€6.2 million) to establish a new, value-added wood products manufacturing facility in Virginia, US, with wood residuals to be converted into biomass products. The investment will see 73 new high-wage jobs created in the area. In the 300,000-square-foot facility, Rambler will convert high-quality white oak into barrel staves for the West Virginia Great Barrel Company and other cooperages in the region. The facility will also use Red Oak and lower value hardwoods to produce dimensional lumber for sale to flooring manufacturers, pallet production, and for use in the mining industry. The wood residuals will be sold to paper companies or further manufactured into biomass products. The remaining wood chips and sawdust will be sold to paper manufacturers or made into wood pellets.

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