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Today's Takeaway

Weird and Wacky Wednesday?

Categories: Today's Takeaway
May 24, 2017
Tree Frog Forestry News

A University of Michigan student wants the wood paneling torn out of the Student Union Building because it’s “sexist and racist". Apparently, the history of wood is a history of oppression. "Rich, white, privileged classes had wood paneling. Poor, minority, excluded classes had to make do with painted walls". We’re not sure if that’s more-weird or more-worrying but according to the author it's based on a “desire to be offended, searching desperately for something to be offended by”. 

With the future of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto in doubt, more than 300 supporters signed a petition to retain it. U of T vice-president Cheryl Regehr said student demand for the forestry faculty hasn’t kept up with other programs.

Critics of California Governor Brown’s budget say he’s proposing to cut $50 million needed to fight fires and fund tree mortality projects across the state.

The architect for the main stadium of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, wants to “go beyond the era of concrete” and "
restore woods that Tokyo lost half a century ago". The stadium is modeled on the pagodas of Buddhist temples. 

And finally, Edward (Ted) Seraphim, the man in charge of West Fraser Timber, is "the most likable chief executive officer in Vancouver", according to Owler, an Internet firm that crowdsources business insights. 


-- Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

University Of Michigan Student Who Insists Wood Paneling Is Racist Gets It All Backwards

By Faith Bottum

Categories: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States
May 23, 2017
The Federalist

Anna Wibbelman thinks wood paneling is sexist. And racist. And all-around bad. That’s why she wants it torn out of the Student Union Building at the University of Michigan. ...Not that she has anything against wood, exactly. But the history of wood is a history of oppression. Rich, white, privileged classes had wood paneling. Poor, minority, excluded classes had to make do with painted walls. Now, Wibbelman thinks, the sheer existence of wood makes students feel the weight of their old marginalization. ...The “legacy of imposing, racist, colonial monuments,” according to African Identity in Post-Apartheid Public Architecture, has resulted in modern minorities who feel “a widespread aesthetic aversion to strong iconic expressions, propagated by monumental mass.” ...All of this is crazy, of course. It is a desire to be offended, searching desperately for something to be offended by. 

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Forestry

VIDEO: Heavy winds a challenge as crews work to contain forest fire burning near Lumby

By Charlotte Helston

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 23, 2017
Info Tel

LUMBY - Emergency crews are battling a forest fire just north of Lumby.  Lumby fire chief Tony Clayton said the fire on forested Crown land started sometime around 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, in the area of Cooper Mountain. Members of the Lumby Fire Department, as well as crews from B.C. Wildfire, are tackling the blaze, Clayton said in an interview Tuesday night. ...Clayton said the fire is roughly five kilometres north of Lumby, as the crow flies. Heavy winds are challenging fire suppression efforts, Clayton said. 

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Out of control fire burning 5 km east of Tete Jaune Cache, B.C.

By Justin McElroy

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 23, 2017
CBC News

An out-of-control wildfire is burning close to a small community near the B.C.-Alberta border but is not considered to be threatening any people or structures.  The fire is believed to be human-caused and is north of Highway 16, approximately five kilometres east of Tete Jaune Cache, B.C.  The B.C. Wildfire Service says it has dispatched 26 firefighters to the scene. While there is no threat to people or property at this time, the fire is highly visible from the town, which has a population of approximately 550 people. "At this point, nothing is threatened. But the winds can change quite quickly ... so, we're monitoring the system closely," said fire information officer Claire Allen. 

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Safety in Forestry Industry Focus of Weekend Conference

By Greg Fry

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 24, 2017
250 News

Prince George, B.C. – From managing worker fatigue to steep slope logging – there will be plenty to learn at this weekend’s BC Forest Safety Council conference at CN Centre. The Conference is a partnership with the Canada North Resource Expo and will begin with two free safety workshops that will focus on log hauling and manual tree falling on Friday. The log hauling session will include a panel discussion on the new 9 axle log truck configuration and a log hauler fatality update from the BC Corner’s Service. “It’s a free event for industry people to attend,” says manager Gerard Messier. “We’re lucky to have Chico Newell with the Coroner’s Service to talk about specific solutions to the challenges we have with log hauling safety and some of the incidents he’s seen.”

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Local Woodlot insect

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 19, 2017
Peace Country Sun

When it comes to trees, there are a few different insects to keep an eye out for this year. “The yellow-headed spruce sawfly has been a problem for spruce the last few years, as well as spider mites,” says Toso Bozic, woodlot management specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “White pine weevil has also been a problem for young spruce trees as they target the leader (the top branch). Poplar and willow tree borer has been very dominant, along with a large infestation of forest tent caterpillar in the northern part of the province. “Sawfly larvae can be removed by hand and squished, whereas mites can be controlled with high pressure soap water, or by encouraging beneficial insects such as lady beetles. Young willow trees infected by willow borer can be cut to the base of the tree. Regrettably, there is very little that can be done with large aspen trees infected by poplar borer.”

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Residents, environmentalists sound alarm over clear cutting in Kananaskis Country

By Michele Jarvie

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 19, 2017
Calgary Herald

Area residents and environmentalists are raising concerns about the effects of upcoming extensive logging in Kananaskis Country. B.C.-based Balcean Consolidated Contracting Ltd. has a timber quota for 430 hectares near Highwood Junction at the south entrance to the provincial park. The wood will be processed at the Canfor mill in Elko, B.C. Concerns range from dismay over visible swaths of bald landscape, to potential effects on jobs, tourism and the environment — including water quality and risk of flooding. “We want the minister to press pause on this so we can assess what is the value of clear-cutting in Kananaskis,” said Stephen Legault, program director at the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.  “Also, over the long term, we need to have conversations about our watersheds. Kananaskis Country is where Calgary and High River and other municipalities downstream get their water from. We want to have those conversations.”

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Board to audit BCTS operations on southern Vancouver Island

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 23, 2017
BC Forest Practices Board

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) program and timber sale licence holders in the South Island Natural Resource District portion of the Strait of Georgia Business Area from May 29 to June 2. Auditors will examine harvesting, roads, bridges, silviculture, fire protection activities and associated planning for compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. ...The audit area includes the communities of Port Alberni, Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan. There are also some operations near Bowser on the east side of Vancouver Island. This BCTS program was chosen randomly for audit from among all the BCTS programs in the province. The board normally audits two BCTS programs each year.

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Forest fire burning near Lumby

By Richard Rolke

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 23, 2017
Vernon Morning Star

A wildfire is being tackled in the hills above Lumby. The blaze on Cooper Mountain was about eight hectares in size at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. An initial attack crew is on scene while air support is also providing assistance. “They will help contain the spread of the fire especially with the windy conditions,” said Claire Allen, a fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service. The cause of the fire is not known at this time. Even with a lot of focus on flooding, Allen says wildfire season is here in the North Okanagan. “We had a damp spring but there are quite dry conditions right now,” she said.

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Regional District of Central Kootenay votes to oppose Ymir logging Nelson Star

By Will Johnson

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 23, 2017
The Nelson Star

There’s no other watershed like it in the Kootenays. According to retired public health inspector Phillip Jackson, the Quartz Creek watershed that serves the population of Ymir is an unusually pristine environment that produces some of the cleanest drinking water he’s ever seen. So when he heard news that it was potentially going to be logged by B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS), his first thought was, “Oh no, that’s not a good idea.” “I’m not against logging in watersheds per se, but this one is so unique and pristine I think it would be a shame to mess with that,” the Bonnington resident told the Star. “I’m not sure what logging would do to the watershed, but it certainly won’t make the water any better and it’s bound to interfere.”

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U.K. timber business has sights set on Northern Peninsula

By Gary Moore

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 23, 2017
CBC News

There's new hope on the Northern Peninsula Tuesday thanks to a potential deal between the province and a U.K. company that hopes to bring life and industry to an area looking to revitalize. Active Energy, a British company that works in the renewable energy, forestry management and timber processing business, has entered an agreement in principle with the province that could bring 45 new jobs to the Northern Peninsula immediately. ...Spinks said his company has developed a biomass fuel called CoalSwitch, which can be used as a substitute for coal in existing coal-fired power stations — without the need for expensive retrofitting.

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Active Energy gets 20-year Northern Peninsula forestry licence

By James McLeod

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 23, 2017
The Telegram

A London-based company called Active Energy Group says it has reached an agreement in principle with the provincial government for a 20-year lease on forestry harvesting rights covering most of the Northern Peninsula. In a news release, Active Energy said the agreement covers 140,000 solid cubic metres of wood annually, on a total land area of 1.2 million hectares in forestry management districts 17 and 18. The news release does not make it immediately clear what Advanced Energy Group plans on doing with all that wood, except that they are “evaluating a number of other collaborative opportunities” for affiliated companies Timberlands International and Advanced Biomass Solutions.

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Fears over future of University of Toronto Faculty of Forestry

By May Warren

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 23, 2017
Vancouver Metro News

A consultation on academic restructuring has sparked a petition to save the faculty, one of only eight in Canada. As climate change makes urban forests more important than ever, students and staff at the University of Toronto’s faculty of forestry are worried about their future. The university is considering changes to its academic structure, inspiring more than 300 supporters to sign a petition to save the faculty. U of T vice-president and provost Cheryl Regehr said student demand for the forestry faculty hasn’t kept up with other programs. She explained that the school is looking for the “best administrative structure” for the study of forest sciences, a subject covered by other disciplines throughout the university. “There’s a possibility that we will change the structure, but we don’t know what that change in structure will be,” Regehr added.

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American Forest Foundation, International Paper, Procter & Gamble and 3M Announce Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative

By The American Forest Foundation

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States
May 24, 2017
Business Wire

Joint effort aims to engage North and South Carolina land owners in Responsible Forestry Practices and Certification. American Forest Foundation (AFF), International Paper, The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) and 3M Company announced today the formation of the Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative a joint initiative in the Coastal Carolinas Plain to educate and engage family woodland owners in sustainable forestry, forest certification, the enhancement of habitat for at-risk species, and the conservation of bottomland hardwood forests. “There is a misconception that you cannot have both paper products and habitat from the same forest, however we have found that wood and wildlife can go hand-in-hand when family woodland owners are sustainably managing, said Paul DeLong, Vice President of Conservation for AFF. “International Paper, P&G and 3M have all shown a great commitment to responsible forestry, making them strong partners in our efforts to increase the number of landowners actively managing their land for wildlife, while providing sustainably produced wood supplies.”

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Governor Brown proposes $50 million cuts in battle against tree mortality

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 23, 2017
Sierra Star

Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown’s revisions to the 2017-2018 state budget say he’s proposing to cut millions of dollars desperately needed to fight fires and fund tree mortality projects across the state. Brown’s updated budget, released last week, cuts funds for local tree mortality efforts from $52.7 million to just $2 million, critics said in a prepared release. They said that is less than 4% of similar funds allotted in January of this year. CalFire would also see a huge cut if the Governor’s budget is approved, critics said. Funding for the extended fire season, increased firefighter surge capacity, Conservation Corps fire suppression crews, and aerial assets is set to be slashed by nearly half - from $91 million to $41.7 million.

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Wildfire above Mogollon Rim helping to clean the forest

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 23, 2017
Payson Roundup

Despite the ban on fires in Tonto National Forest, firefighters continue to manage rather than suppress a recent lightning-caused wildfire above Mogollon Rim, according to the Forest Service. The Snake Ridge Fire earlier this week grew to 125 acres by Baker Butte Lookout in a remote area nine miles northwest of Clints Well. Taking advantage of the relatively cool temperatures and moisture lingering in the fuels, firefighters conducted a series of back burns to contained the fire — but let it continue to burn within those boundaries. ...The Snake Ridge Fire does not have a planned end date, but firefighters have determined an approximate 55,000-acre planning area within which the fire may run its natural course. Firefighters will establish fire breaks around the edges of that planning area, but the fire will probably burn in a patchy way inside that boundary. 

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Company & Business News

Bryan Baeumler Explains: The softwood lumber dispute

By Bryan Baeumler of HGTV fame

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
May 23, 2017
McLeans

HGTV's Bryan Baeumler breaks down the decades-long softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States.

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Lumber exports help push wholesale sales above $60-billion for first time

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
May 23, 2017
Canadian Press in Globe and Mail

Statistics Canada says wholesale sales were up 0.9 per cent in March, surpassing the $60-billion mark for the first time. Total Canadian wholesale sales for that month reached $60.2-billion as strength in lumber exports offset declines in motor vehicles and heavy machinery. The gains were led by the building material and supplies subsector, which set a record high $8.4-billion in March – up 3.9 per cent from February and up 10.6 per cent from March 2016.

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Log exports not killing forestry jobs

By David Elstone, Truck Loggers Association’s executive director

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 24, 2017
Burns Lake Lakes District News

It’s election time and as if on cue that old populist punching bag issue, B.C.’s log exports, has been pulled out to rally the masses. Unfortunately, many of the statements being made about log exports and jobs are misinformed. While the forest industry may have lost 30,000 jobs in the last 15 years, it is definitely not because of log exports. It is because the working forest has shrunk dramatically in that time. ...imply put, it is wrong to say that mills have closed wholly as a result of log exports. Our sawmills and pulp mills have closed because we’re harvesting a lot less trees than we used to. Any industry is affected by many variables. Markets and lack of certainty on the land base have also affected BC’s forest industry.

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Wood pellet plan gets 20-year Northern Peninsula forestry licence

By James McLeod

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 23, 2017
The Telegram

Richard Spinks, CEO of Active Energy Group, says a tentative agreement 20-year forestry lease covering almost all of the Northern Peninsula will create around 70 jobs in the region. Active Energy Group, a London-based company, announced Tuesday morning it has reached an agreement in principle with the provincial government for a lease which would cover all of forestry management districts 17 and 18 — totalling 1.2 million hectares of land. Spinks said the plan is to work with affiliated company Advanced Biomass Solutions to manufacture wood pellets as part of their “CoalSwitch” product — a form of biofuel which is designed to replace coal at existing power plants with no retrofitting. “We’re going to produce the full value-chain in the province, on the peninsula, and capture the value there and the jobs there,” he said.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada confident softwood lumber solution can be found

By Andrew Cromwell

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 23, 2017
Canadian Press in Global News

New Brunswick’s special envoy on trade and softwood lumber says he will work to ensure U.S. politicians know how important lumber is, both as an export for the province and a necessity for American families. David Wilkins, who was the U.S. ambassador to Canada from 2005 to 2009, met with Premier Brian Gallant today in Saint John. In his first 15 months as ambassador, Wilkins helped resolve a softwood lumber dispute, with the support of most of the Canadian lumber industry. “The way to do it is to find a reasonable negotiated settlement and I believe that settlement includes an exemption to the Maritimes, including New Brunswick,” Wilkins said. 

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N.B.'s softwood lumber envoy will seek return of border tax exemption

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 23, 2017
CBC News

New Brunswick's new special envoy to the United States on the softwood lumber tariff dispute says he will begin work immediately to get the province a favourable deal. David Wilkins, who was in Saint John on Tuesday afternoon with Premier Brian Gallant, said his goal is to get a return of the long-standing exemption on border taxes on softwood lumber exports from the province. "New Brunswick benefited greatly from the Maritime exclusion," Wilkins said during a news conference at the Trade and Convention Centre "It took a heavy investment of leadership on both sides of that issue, and that's exactly what we need again. ...Wilkins, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada, was hired by the province this month after the Trump administration announced it will slap tariffs of between three and 24 per cent on softwood lumber from Canada.

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Timber company boss named 'most likable CEO' in Vancouver

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 23, 2017
Vancouver Sun

Edward Seraphim, the man in charge of West Fraser timber, is the most likable chief executive officer in Vancouver, according to Owler, an Internet firm that crowdsources business insights. Owler parsed thousands of CEO reviews from its site users and used the data to compile its first CEO Likeability Report. The reports ranks CEOs in 41 U.S. cities and three — Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal — in Canada. Seraphim with an approval score of 92.3/100 was named Owler’s top CEO followed by Freightera’s Eric Beckwitt at 92.1 and NuData Security’s Michel Giasson at 85.2.  [Tree Frog editors say "CONGRATULATIONS"!

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Nikkola letter: Import tariffs

Letter by Janna Nikkola, Boise

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States; US West
May 23, 2017
Idaho Statesman

Some very dangerous actions are being taken by imposing import tariffs on goods from Canada, China and Mexico. Our trading partners/allies will retaliate by imposing import tariffs on U.S. goods being exported to their countries. Canada has already retaliated against the 24 percent tariff on imported Canadian lumber by banning U.S. imports of coal. This is what happened with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 — which imposed import tariffs on agricultural products being exported to the U.S. Smoot-Hawley was meant to protect U.S. farmers but backfired when our trading partners/allies retaliated with tariffs on goods imported from the U.S. into their countries. This ultimately led to a 66 percent decline in U.S. trade, which no economy could sustain. The Great Depression soon followed.

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Norpac employees get 10% wage cut, retirement reductions

By Marissa Luck

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States; US West
May 19, 2017
Longview Daily News

Norpac has cut its employees’ wages by 10 percent and reduced retirement benefits as it struggles to recover from lost production time and other financial woes. The move left employees frustrated and worried. Employees were notified last Thursday that in addition to the pay cut, the company would no longer contribute to employees’ retirement or 401(k) plans. The company also has placed new restrictions on vacation time aimed at reducing labor costs. The wage and benefit reductions went into effect Monday. Norpac was a 50-50 joint venture between Weyerhaeuser Co. and Nippon, but the mill was bought out by One Rock Capital in October. There are about 400 non-union employees at the Longview mill, which produces newsprint, book paper and office copy paper. The company told employees it needed to take drastic action because the plant lost significant money when it partially shut down earlier this month.

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Wood & Paper Products & Green Building

Olympics Architect Wants to Bring Wood Back to Tokyo's Concrete Jungle

By Aya Takada and Katsuyo Kuwako

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
May 23, 2017
Bloomberg

Look around Tokyo and you can still see the concrete legacy left by the 1964 Olympics and the subsequent economic “miracle.” Wood can change that, says the architect of the main stadium for the 2020 Games. Using Japanese lumber for the centerpiece venue, Kengo Kuma wants to restore woods that Tokyo lost half a century ago in the blitz to build highways, bullet trains and skyscrapers to showcase the recovery from wartime devastation. The design stems from his “natural architecture” concept of making buildings part of a landscape. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg “I want to go beyond the era of concrete,” Kuma, 62, says in an interview in his glass-walled office on the top floor of a Tokyo building. “What people want is soft, warm and humane architecture.” The stadium is modeled on the pagodas of Buddhist temples seen in Japan’s former capitals of Kyoto and Nara.

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