The Tree Frog News
The following letter was set to Dave Lasser from Sunshine Coast Community Forest and copied to Coast Reporter.
On the Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) website, under Forest Stewardship Plan, I read the following high-level statement: “Biodiversity will be managed on landscape and stand levels within the CFA tenure area.” .... When referring to “managing” biodiversity, what models does SCCF use in assigning a metric to biodiversity levels within your operating areas? ...When Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) looks at SCCF’s logging operations they all occur in heavily logged out watersheds where a certain amount of biodiversity existed pre-logging (the baseline), and then over time biodiversity levels have declined as forest and vegetation was lost due to industrial-scale logging.
Turn tree farm into success story
Johnson is a Saskatoon resident who farmed in southern Saskatchewan and was involved in agriforestry. The federal government will this year dispose of the PFRA's Shelterbelt Centre at Indian Head. Having grown to a capacity to annually supply farmers with seven million seedlings that will help soil conservation and provide wildlife habitat, the centre has provided nearly 600 million trees over 114 years. As a division of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, the centre has supplied 30 species of trees free of charge to farmers.
Ancient fires stoke CRD climate plans
In the wilderness of a remote South Island lake, Kendrick Brown leans over the boat’s edge and drives a hollow tube into the soft lakebed sediment below. ...Brown’s project team is based out of the Pacific Forestry Centre in Saanich and includes research technician Nicholas Conder, Nicholas Hebda, and University of Victoria co-op student Kiera Smith. While the focus is on the past, the results can help inform about the future. ...Scientists hope the data may serve as a first-order reference to what future conditions may be like if induced by climate change.
Column: Private versus public philosophy to managing our forests
As a result of the different approach to forest management there have been a number of royal commissions and a variety of legislation resulting from different government philosophies. As Ken Druska points out in his book Tie Hackers and Timber Processors a good example was with the NDP government (1972 to 1975) which purchased a number of forest companies, was involved in industry transfers and appointed Peter Pearse to conduct a Royal commission. Some of the concerns raised by Pearse were the following: The ever increasing size of fewer forest companies caused the erosion of opportunities for others to play a constructive role in the industry.
Get smart about bears
While winter means some of the Alberni Valley’s resident black bears are still fast asleep, both the uncharacteristically warm weather and the approaching spring mean that residents should be on their guard. There have been 318 reports of black bears in Port Alberni from April 1, 2014 to Jan. 27, 2015 and 25,000 province wide. Black bears typically venture into urban areas for garbage and fruit. While those are strong bear attractants, they’re also relatively easy to address.
Wet'suwet'en Say Forest Practices Have Improved, Following Unfavourable Audit
The Wet'suwet'en First Nation says it's confident a new management approach to forest resources will address concerns raised in an audit of its operations near Burns Lake. The Forest Practices Board said the audit found several violations under the Wildfire and Forest-and-Range-Practices Acts, during operations aimed at salvaging beetle-killed timber between September 2011 and October 2013. The Wet'suwet'en say, since then, the first nation has engaged a new manager for the licence, and its economic arm, the Yinka Dene Economic Development Limited Partnership, is now directly overseeing the operation.
BCTS delays tender for Elphinstone cutblocks
BC Timber Sales has delayed tendering a cutblock package for Mount Elphinstone “to provide additional opportunity for dialogue between BCTS and Sechelt First Nation,” a spokeswoman for the province said this week. The delayed timber sale includes a second-growth cutblock in the Gough Creek drainage basin near Clack Creek on Elphinstone’s lower slopes and an unconnected block of old growth forest in Dakota Bowl, both designated as A87126. Originally scheduled to be advertized in the fall, the tender has now been deferred until “sometime after April or May,” said Vivian Thomas, communications director for the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations.
Fleming forestry students given leg up on university degree
Urban forestry technician co-op students now have option to graduate with a college diploma and university degree in four years
LINDSAY - Fleming College students taking the urban forestry technician co-op diploma program can now go on to take the University of New Brunswick’s bachelor of science in forestry with a major in urban forestry. The university recently received approval for the urban forestry major from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission as part of the two-plus-two diploma/degree program offered jointly through Fleming and itself. Students in the program spend two years at Fleming’s Frost Campus and earn a technician diploma before going on to the university for another two years to earn their degree. Students graduate in four years with both the diploma and degree, and have the benefit of a paid co-op experience while they are at Fleming.
Tree Ottawa asks Nepean to help plant one million trees
Tree Ottawa is asking Nepean residents to help reach their goal of planting one million trees by Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. The project, which is part of non-profit Ecology Ottawa, hopes to engage residents across the city to help plant and protect trees. “We need your help to plant one million trees,” Velta Tomsons of Tree Ottawa told more than 20 residents at a workshop in Nepean on Jan. 20. “We’re not going to be able to do it by ourselves.”
A New Eco-Friendly Credit Card
Earth lovers, rejoice! Now you can help reforest the Amazon while making everyday purchases with a new eco-friendly credit card. A company called Sustain:Green offers a credit card to consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint — for every dollar cardholders spend, Sustain:Green says it will purchase two pounds of carbon offsets.
How teenage lumberjacks can keep Oregon's timber industry alive
Oregon's timber industry hasn't exactly been robust. You can see the charts showing a steady decline, read environmentalists' 2015 plans to increase state authority over the industry or listen to conventional wisdom that says people just don't need as much lumber as they used to. But let's not write a eulogy so soon – there's reason to believe the industry is far from dead, and I'm not just talking about last year's report that found Oregon's timber harvest had reached its highest level in seven years. Oregon's timber industry might live on longer than expected, in part thanks to events like the Astoria Timber Festival.
Tongass planning meeting closes with hope
A diverse group of Tongass Forest stakeholders closed a four-day meeting Friday afternoon with a feeling that surprised many: optimism. “I’m guardedly optimistic,” offered Les Cronk, a timber industry representative from Ketchikan, as the Tongass Advisory Committee reflected on its progress. Each committee member who spoke in turn offered similar comments about how far the group has come and how hopeful they are that they will find the common ground necessary to present a satisfactory recommendation to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service.
Governor Doug Ducey Announces State Forester
Phoenix, Arizona - Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Jeff Whitney as director of the Arizona State Forestry Division. "Jeff possesses more than 40 years of professional experience in forestry and fire prevention," said Governor Ducey. "Particularly in a state that is no stranger to large and destructive wildfires, Jeff's background and expertise as a National Type 1 Incident Commander will be integral to the health of our forests and the safety of our communities." Mr. Whitney most recently served as executive director of the Fire Program Analysis for the U.S. Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service.
Big Ivy friends, Forest Service to talk logging
Friends of Big Ivy, an area of the Pisgah National Forest near Barnardsville, will be hosting a meeting with federal forest rangers to discuss a draft of a plan that would allow logging in the area. At issue is the U.S. Forest Service draft plan that will guide resource management in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests for at least the next decade. The current draft identifies nearly 700,000 acres of the one million areas in the two forests as being suitable for logging, including the Big Ivy area. Opponents of the plan are attempting to have the Big Ivy area redesigned, a move that would restrict or prevent logging. Advocates in the Bluff Mountain area have formed a similar coalition.
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Reguly: How Norway’s guilt is saving the planet
For most of the developing world, endless climate change summits and accords are as welcome as droughts and floods... It will see Norway pay Liberia up to $150 million (all currency in U.S. dollars) to stop the rapid destruction of its ample forests. The amount is a fortune for the West African country, a perennial economic basket case with a gross domestic product of less than $2 billion and practically no money to fight the Ebola crisis. The agreement does not prevent Liberia from cutting down trees. It is designed to replace the wholesale forest destruction with a trim job.
Company & Business News
Frustrated truckers carry out rolling strike through Metro Vancouver
They’re upset with new port rules for licensing
VANCOUVER – Frustrated truckers held a rolling strike today with more than 300 semis holding up traffic on some major routes. They’re upset with new rules at Port Metro Vancouver. At this point port licenses have only been approved for 68 companies, which is down from 165. That leaves about 600 drivers out of work and they say the process in deciding who gets a license has been unfair. Today’s protest started in Delta and went through Richmond via Highway 91, it ended up in Vancouver and down Highway 1 back to Surrey.
Container truckers protest Port Metro Vancouver's licensing decisions from The Province
Lower oil prices, dollar to fuel growth in B.C., report says
VANCOUVER — British Columbia is poised to be a top economic performer in Canada, with lower oil prices working to the province's advantage, according to a report by the Business Council of B.C. Real GDP growth is expected to rise from 2.3 per cent in 2014 to 2.6 per cent in 2015 and 3.1 per cent in 2016. Unemployment is expected to drop from 6.1 per cent in 2014 to six per cent. ...The forestry sector will also gain from the expansion of U.S. home building as well as a weaker Canadian dollar, the report added.
Controversial Lavington pellet plant moves forward as critics appeal
COLDSTREAM – Plans for a controversial pellet plant in Lavington seem to be moving ahead. One of the companies behind the project, Pinnacle Renewable Energy, says the plan is to start moving soil next week to prepare for construction. The plant is expected to use sawdust and shavings from the nearby Tolko sawmill. However, its planned location near an elementary school is raising concerns, particularly about air quality. Now critics of the project are appealing a provincial permit for the plant and are pushing Coldstream’s council to take action.
Forestry sector remains strong
As the price of oil continues to decline, stooping to $44.56 Thursday afternoon, so too are the hopes for a strong economy in 2015. Paul Whittaker, president and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) said while the oil and gas sector is a strong contributor to the provincial and national economy, the forestry sector can not be discounted... We have (approximately) 13,000 to 15,000 employees, employed throughout the industry throughout the province and, by the math that we’ve seen, every job in forestry tends to be a spinoff of a couple of other jobs in support of the industry so it’s a fairly major employer,” said Whittaker.
Radio - Governor General has high praise for Harmac pulp mill
The Governor General made a couple stops in Nanaimo, as part of a tour of western Canada highlighting “innovation, education and mental health”. David Johnston and his wife visited Harmac Pacific pulp mill on Thursday morning, and he had high praise for what he saw. Johnston says the employee-owned, value-added business model is one that should serve as an example for the rest of the country, as Canada strives to build a healthy economy. Johnston also spoke to graduating Vancouver Island University students and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the convocation ceremony.
Opinion: Oil patch retraining?
Ending oil and gas use will require help for workers
The steady stream of bad news from Alberta’s oilpatch is a potent reminder of the boom-and-bust nature of being a resource-commodity exporter. It’s a story deeply understood in resource communities, as decisions made halfway around the world dictate whether you will have a job tomorrow. We also need to stop lumping in all resource sectors together. While fossil-fuel industries are at the heart of the climate problem, there can and should be a bright future for renewable resources like forestry. With strong stewardship and enhanced value-added, forestry in B.C. could support an additional 20,000 good permanent jobs — far more than will arise from any LNG development. This means reversing direction on forestry policies that have gutted the industry and its connection to supporting communities.
Permit for Northern Pulp mill tightens emissions, effluent over five years
HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government has granted a renewed industrial permit to a pulp mill that has come under fire for exceeding pollution limits. Environment Minister Randy Delorey says the new permit responds to concerns raised by residents of Pictou County, some of whom have complained for years about the Northern Pulp mill. Delorey says the five-year permit includes tighter limits on air emissions, wastewater effluent and water usage. The permit says the mill must reduce particulate emissions to about five times lower than levels set in the previous permit.
Northern Pulp emissions must be 5 times lower from CBC News
New caps on emissions, water use, wastewater for Northern Pulp mill from The Chronicle Herald
Tembec to update Ontario sawmills, put off Quebec spending until wood costs cut
MONTREAL – Tembec plans to invest about $50 million over the next five years to upgrade it Ontario sawmills, but will put off any spending in Quebec until the province lowers wood costs, which are the highest in North America. The Quebec-based forestry company said Thursday it can’t justify investing in the province where log costs are 20 per cent higher than Ontario. Chief executive James Lopez said Quebec could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in investments if Tembec’s rivals also put off spending until the government changes its policies.
Weyerhaeuser misses Street 4Q forecasts
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. _ Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY) on Friday reported fourth-quarter profit of $177 million. The Federal Way, Washington-based company said it had profit of 31 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 27 cents per share. The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 28 cents per share. The timber and paper products company posted revenue of $1.79 billion in the period, also missing Street forecasts. Analysts expected $1.81 billion, according to Zacks.
Press Release from Wyerhaeuser
Swedish sawlog prices rose by 5% in 2014
In 2014, Swedish sawlog prices rose, while pulpwood prices fell in comparison to 2013. Totally, the sawlog prices rose (delivery timber) by 5% in 2014 compared to the year 2013. There was an increase in the regions of Central and Southern Sweden by 7% while prices in the region Northern Sweden fell by 5%. The increase was larger for the sawlog of Norway spruce than of Scots pine with 6% respective 3%, as Swedish Forest Agency said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Pulpwood prices fell by 4% in 2014 compared to 2013. Prices fell mainly in the regions of Northern and Central Sweden by 8% respective 4%.
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Guyana’s declared timber exports
Letter by Howard Bulkan
I have read recent articles by both PM Hinds and Minister of Natural Resources & the Environment Robert Persaud reporting that all is well in the timber industry. Both of these gentlemen reported that more value-added activities are being encouraged along with the other usual rhetoric. ... Readers can judge for themselves what the real story is. My opinion is that this represents a national tragedy.
Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Obama's Climate Plan Could Threaten U.S. Forests
President Obama’s signature environmental initiative, his Clean Power Plan, is designed to fight climate change and crack down on America’s carbon-emitting power plants. But behind the scenes, a dispute is raging over obscure language that could promote the rapid destruction of America’s carbon-storing forests. This highly technical but consequential fight over the Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to “bioenergy”—energy derived from trees, crops, or other plants—has gotten lost in the larger hubbub over the Obama plan’s impact on coal, and the potential upheaval in an electricity sector that will be forced to rein in its greenhouse-gas emissions for the first time.
$5 million awarded for bio-energy plant
A grant for nearly $5 million has been conditionally awarded to The Watershed Research and Training Center for the North Fork Community Power Forest Bioenergy Facility, a 1 MW (megawat) biomass plant which will be built on the old mill site in North Fork. (Once operating, the facility would generate enough electricity to power about 1,000 homes on an annual basis). The facility will be a demonstration project operated in conjunction with researchers at the University of California who will study how to be more efficient transforming biomass to energy.
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Carbon credits: Astoria sees forest through trees
Astoria stands to receive new revenue, help combat climate change, through carbon credit project
In an innovative trade-off, Astoria has agreed not to aggressively harvest timber in the Bear Creek watershed over the next decade in return for carbon credits that could help industrial polluters offset carbon-dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. The city is partnering with The Climate Trust, a Portland nonprofit that would purchase the carbon credits. Utilities with fossil-fuel driven power plants pay the trust to find projects that offset pollution and meet the requirements of Oregon’s landmark emission standards law.
Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
This "Simple Home" has legs
Back in the early days of the shipping container, there wasn't much of the handling infrastructure to move them from truck to ship to train; in fact, there wasn't any. So my dad's company designed their containers with big square sockets at the corners (this was before dimensions and corner castings were totally standardized)... That's why I was so excited about Gerhard Feldbacher's Simple Home; it is delivered on a flatbed and supported on legs. This makes it a lot easier to transport and set up than a shipping container, there is no need for a crane to drop it on the ground. The Home to Go model is made of wood, is 8'-6" wide (the widest you can go down the highway without special permits and licences) by 25' long.
Wood to could to can
...I've harshly criticized WIDC in past editorials for being an outrageously expensive building for a few dozen students and faculty, made worse by the fact that the students and faculty will be in exile downtown, rather than up on the main campus. The history of innovation certainly has tales of talented inventors working in isolation but those stories are rare, which is what makes them so interesting. ... Universities have known this for centuries, which is why academics and students across many disciplines are brought together in one place. ...Put it all together and WIDC could become Prince George's "cauldron of innovation," a place where a wealth of ideas could benefit the entire region and change the world.
Live Oak Bank Building Tops WoodWorks' 2015 Wood Design Awards
OAKLAND, CA -- WoodWorks, a project of the Wood Products Council, revealed the winners of its 2015 design awards. Taking the Jury's Choice award was the Live Oak Bank Headquarters located in Wilmington, NC. The 36,000-square-feet, U-shaped building features 50,000 feet of locally sourced cypress. Additional winners are listed below. ...“The Wood Design Awards are an opportunity to recognize extraordinary buildings that exemplify, not only wood’s beauty, but the versatility and structural performance attributes that make it such an interesting material to architects and engineers,” said Jennifer Cover, PE, executive director of WoodWorks.
Sustainable Construction: Building A Greener 2015
Since the first skyscraper (a building at least 500ft/152m tall) pierced the clouds in Chicago in 1884, these towering, defining aspects of the modern cityscape have erupted in astonishing number. ...Sustainable construction accounts for a far more complex series of targets than most people may assume. ...Perhaps surprisingly, the future of mainstream construction could see steel substituted for wood. ...Could 2015 be the year of the plyscraper? It’s not a question that many people are asking, but that’s mainly due to unawareness rather than willingness. ...Yes, wooden buildings could alleviate the dangers of urbanization continuing to pollute the planet, but what about the existing urban areas already made of asphalt, granite and concrete?
RUMANA BILL PLACES MORATORIUM ON APPROVALS, CONSTRUCTION OF MULTI-FAMILY DEVELOPMENTS IN LIGHT OF EDGEWATER FIRE
To prevent another inferno like the recent Avalon Bay at Edgewater fire that displaced more than 1,000 residents, Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana is having legislation drafted that will place a moratorium, of up to two years, on the approval for and/or construction of multi-family housing developments until the state’s building code is revised and adopted. “The lightweight wood construction used to build the Edgewater complex is the reason the fire raced through the luxury apartment development so quickly,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris. “Buildings constructed with such highly flammable materials are virtual tinderboxes.
BLOG: Value both offsite and onsite
Lorne Derkson, president of Alliance Truss Group, gave a talk titled "Offsite vs. Onsite – understanding value" on Jan. 29 at the Wood Works! BC Wood Symposium. He was the first speaker for the Off-Site Construction from a Manufacturer's Viewpoint seminar. His company started supplying off-site framing services to construction projects in 2003. "We believe that nearly any wood frame project can be built offsite," he said. In some sectors it has been a challenge. He noted that in mid-rise developments, the initial costs are very competitive, and in most cases savings compound as it moves forward as huge amounts of time are saved.
BLOG: Realize the Full Potential of Off-Site Construction seminar by Mark Taylor with PCL
Mark Taylor, vice president of permanent modular construction for PCL presented: Realize the Full Potential of Off-Site Construction - What Designers and Contractors Need to Know at the International Wood Symposium. "The construction industry is a dinosaur in my opinion," said Taylor as he started his presentation. He added that the industry has been doing things the same way for thousands of years and cited masonry as prime example. He said that the industry needs to innovate and evolve. Taylor said private construction is more open to innovation.
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UK Experience in Mid-Rise Solid Timber Buildings at the International Wood Symposium
Liam Dewar, the director of Eurban Limited in London, England discussed midrise solid-timber construction at the International Wood Symposium in Vancouver, B.C. His talk, UK Experience in Mid-Rise Solid Timber Buildings, included bringing delegates up to speed on the solid wood building industry in his home country. He gave a brief overview of early wood construction, which started with horizontal design. This is still the case in areas of central Europe, where the trees grow long and straight. But in areas like Vancouver, the design is much more vertical, which improves structural performance.