The Tree Frog News
RCMP probe suspicious fire at logging site
CHAPMAN CREEK WATERSHED
Police are investigating a suspicious fire that took place on the AJB property in the Chapman Creek watershed that was recently at the centre of a logging protest. Sunshine Coast RCMP spokesman Const. Harrison Mohr said the fire occurred overnight on Oct. 21 and caused severe damage to a log processor. “We’re looking at probably hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage,” Mohr said Wednesday. “At this point we’re not able to confirm if it’s arson or not.” RCMP would release more details on the incident, likely before the end of the week, he said.
No change for Dawson Creek timber supply area cut level
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
VICTORIA - Effective Oct. 30, 2014, the allowable annual cut for the Dawson Creek timber supply area remains at 1,860,000 cubic metres which was first set in 2003, deputy chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today. Maintaining the allowable annual cut level will help preserve the short-term timber supply. Under the allowable annual cut decision, a maximum of 978,000 cubic metres per year can be harvested from spruce- and pine-leading stands. The Dawson Creek timber supply experienced a relatively low level of pine mortality during the mountain pine beetle infestation.
UBC honours research forest manager
Alex Fraser Research Forest manager Ken Day is one of five University of B.C. staff to be presented with the university’s 2014 President’s Service Award for Excellence. He will be officially presented with the award at the university in November. The awards recognize excellence in personal achievements and contributions to UBC and to the vision and goals of the university. Day has managed the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest near Williams Lake since it was first established in 1987.
Tuition-Free Training Offered for Potential Transportation and Forestry Workers
Responding to specific needs in the region, Selkirk College has partnered with the federal and provincial governments in launching two tuition-free programs to get unemployed and under-employed residents the training they need to be job ready. Starting in November, eligible individuals have an opportunity to enrol in Professional Driver Training (Class 1) or Safety in Resource Industry (Forestry Training). “The programs are intended to provide enhanced employability opportunities for participants,” says Gregg Neelin, Manager of the Selkirk College Community Education & Workplace Training department.
Downunder bug war staged to safeguard SA’s commercial forests
One tiny Australian wasp is killing another tiny Australian wasp in South Africa’s commercial forests – and it is a good thing. Leptocybe invasa, the bad guy in this story, was first spotted in Eucalyptus trees outside its native Australia in 2000, in Israel, says the University of Pretoria (UP) Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute’s (FABI’s) Professor Bernard Slippers. The tiny wasps and their eggs hijack the trees in order to feed on them. These trees, full of ‘cancerous’ growths, never grow to their full potential, and become like a shrub, or, in some cases, die.
The UK is safe from damaging forest pest
THE UK is said to be safe from the threat of one of the most invasive and damaging forest pests in the world, according to latest findings by scientists from Forest Research in Wales using a new computer modelling system. The latest information tool-kit has been developed in Wales, as part of the REPHRAME project, which aims to help reduce the impact of the pine wood nematode to the pine woods of Europe. At the final workshops of the three-year project held in Spain and Portugal, researcher Dr Hannah Gruffudd told delegates how her computer modelling system could help forecast when and where the nematode would strike next.
Forestry contractors welcome review
The Association is praising the review group the creation an industry action group, that includes a Māori representative. The Independent Forestry Safety Review panel released its final report today, outlining a myriad of recommendations to be implemented over three years. Those include the introduction of a Forestry Leaders Action Group comprising government, industry and workers, to oversee the changes. The group is to be set up within three months. The president of the Forest Industry Contractors Association and managing director of Kajavala Forestry said the voice of those on the forest floor had been missing until now.
Forestry safety action plan launched
A three-year plan to reduce injuries and fatalities in the forestry sector is being launched in Rotorua today. The Independent Forestry Safety Review was announced in January in response to the industry's poor safety record. Since 2008, 32 lives have been lost on the forest block. The injury rate is double that of other sectors and the fatality rate is 15 times the overall rate for all sectors. After months of consultation, the review panel is today presenting its recommendations in front of industry stakeholders and forestry workers at Rotorua's Distinction Hotel.
NZ forestry workers' scary death rate from The Otago Daily Times
Forestry staff seen as 'bottom of the barrel' from Stuff.co.nz
Unions will pick up the Forest Safety challenge
“The report of the Independent Forest Safety Review Panel is a wake-up call for all stakeholders in the forest industry, including unions,” said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union. “Together with the Council of Trade Unions, FIRST Union has been vigorously campaigning over the last three years to make New Zealand forests a safe place to work. “The Forest Safety report pulls no punches and puts the responsibility on all forestry stakeholders including workers and unions to work together to bring a sea change of safety improvements in the industry.
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India's richest forests hit by road-building push
India lost a chunk of its forest wealth in the first six months of 2014 as regional offices and State Advisory Groups (SAGs) of the Environment Ministry approved 50 of the 65 proposals which required clearing of forest lands. While about 77 per cent of the projects were cleared, only one proposal was declined and seven deferred, an analysis by the environment impact assessment think tank EIA Resource and Response Centre (ERC) revealed. Under the Forest Conservation Rules of 2003, proposals involving the diversion of forests between five and 40 hectares are examined by the regional offices in consultation with SAGs of the states and Union Territories.
Company & Business News
NewPage sells Biron Mill
BIRON, Wis - The Biron Paper Mill has been sold. The buyer is a Canadian company called Catalyst. They've also announced on their web site that they're also buying the pulp mill in Rumford, Maine. Both properties had been run by NewPage. The purchase price is $74-million. Catalyst owns three other mills in Canada. It's unclear how long it will take for the sale to be completed. The Biron mill employs more than 400 people. Catalyst said in a press release that the acquisitions allow them to increase capacity and better serve their customers.
Canadian company to buy paper mill in Rumford from The Portland Press Herald
Press Release from Catalyst Paper Corporation
Sappi North America wins 2014 PPI Awards for Excellence in Mill Management
Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of coated fine paper, pulp and release paper, has been selected as a winner in two categories of the paper industry’s prestigious 2014 Pulp & Paper International (PPI) Awards – Managing Risk and Safety and Mill Manager of the Year. These awards are the only global honors recognizing the achievements of companies, mills and individuals in the pulp and paper sector. Sappi’s selection as a winner highlights its unique dedication to building a safe, sustainable work environment with a strong culture of committed, highly skilled employees.
Plight of Lakeland workers debated in legislature
Bruce Germyn didn't know his name would come up Wednesday afternoon in the provincial legislature, but he's glad it did. The former edger operator and safety officer was one of 22 injured in the April 2012 Lakeland explosion that killed Glenn Roche and Alan Little. On his behalf, Opposition leader NDP John Horgan asked Premier Christy Clark to reassert a promise she made at Germyn's hospital bedside after the explosion. "Christy Clark did come to me and assure me she was going to take care of me," Germyn said Thursday. "WorkSafe has failed not only me, numerous workers." Germyn said he has been fighting with Worksafe for more than a year and knows of six other Lakeland workers who are also having trouble with their claims.
Grappling with industrial manufacturing
After over five years of research and development, a revolutionary $1.3-million “Made-in-Campbell River” piece of forestry equipment has been shipped to its buyer. “The whole world is watching this,” said George Lambert, President of T-Mar Industries, who developed the new grapple yarder. “New Zealand knows about this. The U.S. is watching this. The whole world is paying attention to this project, so it’s a really great thing for Campbell River. It’s really exciting.” According to Lambert, old-growth forests and second-growth forests present different challenges to foresters, and yet there was until now only one type of yarder to do both types of jobs.
Resolute says lower costs will create incentive to harvest infected Quebec forest
MONTREAL – Quebec needs to heed the lesson of British Columbia and lower stumpage costs to create an incentive for companies to harvest sections of the province’s forests that are dying from a budworm infestation, the head of Resolute Forest Products said Thursday. An estimated three million hectares of Quebec’s forest, mostly in the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, are infected by the budworm, which primarily kills balsam fir and white spruce.
US timberland, unusually, outperforms farmland
Timberland has, for the first time in four years, proved a better investment than farmland, as the improved world economy drives demand for wood for both construction and energy. US timberland returned 1.47% in the July-to-September quarter, the best performance for the period in seven years, according to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (Ncreif). It also, narrowly, outstripped the 1.45% returned by farmland – a rare occurrence.
Weyerhaeuser reports higher third-quarter profit
Timber conglomerate Weyerhaeuser Co's third-quarter profit rose as it recorded a gain of about $1 billion on the divestiture of its home building unit. Net income rose to $1.15 billion , or $2.15 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $157 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier. Third-quarter earnings include $966 million from discontinued operations related to the divestiture of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company. Excluding items, the company reported net earnings of $178 million, or 33 cents per share. Revenue was nearly flat at $1.9 billion.
Weyerhaeuser Profit Rises, Outlook Appears Soft from The 247wallst.com
Timber sales spike in the Bighorns
Timber isn’t a big industry in the Bighorn Mountains, but timber sales in the area have spiked in numbers not seen since the housing market crashed in 2008. Litigation over timber sales in Montana coupled with widespread devastation from the mountain pine beetle have sent Montana logging companies south to the Bighorns. Kelly Norris, district forester for Wyoming State Forestry Division has watched competition over timber sales sprout during the past year in the southern Bighorns.
SFPA: Southern pine lumber exports up 20% in August 2014
Southern pine exports were approximately 44 million board feet (MMbf) during August 2014. This volume represents a hefty increase of 20% above the same month last year, and a solid year-to-date boost of 22% when compared with the first eight months of 2013. Offshore shipments during July roughly break down as follows: 20.9 MMbf dressed, 9.1 MMbf rough, and 14 MMbf treated lumber, as the Southern Forest Products Association said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.
Forestry Tasmania's $43m loss nothing to do with 'peace deal', say experts
Tasmanian government blames deficit on deal brokered by Labor and Greens to protect 400,000 hectares of forest
Environmentalists and the forestry industry have rejected the Tasmanian government’s claim that a disastrous deficit posted by the state’s taxpayer-owned forest corporation was the result of a “peace deal” between loggers and green groups. ...But the leader of the Tasmanian Greens, Kim Booth, said the company’s financial statements showed that timber production had increased in the past year. “The figures are there. The more trees they cut down, the more money they lose,” Booth said. “They’ve nearly doubled the volume of pulpwood exports, and the other products like sawlogs and special species have stayed relatively unchanged.
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Mercer International's 3Q revenue up 12% year-over-year to $301.6 million
Mercer International Inc. reported results for the 3Q ended September 30, 2014. Operating EBITDA in the 3Q 2014 increased to $67.6 million from $32.8 million in the 3Q 2013 and $41.9 million in the prior quarter of 2014, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. For the 3Q 2014, Mercer International had record net income of $88.3 million, or $1.38 per basic and $1.37 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $3 million, or $0.05 per basic and diluted share, in the 3Q 2013.
Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Biomass research centre opens in northern Ontario
Confederation College officially opened the Ontario Power Generation BioEnergy Learning and Research Centre (OPG-BLRC) in early September. The facility, located in Thunder Bay, Ont., offers opportunities for demonstration, training and applied research related to biomass energy, including fuel quality, emission and combustion efficiency. “The new Bio-Energy Learning and Research Centre will provide hands-on training for students in this emerging bio-energy field and will be integral to the success of many upcoming small to mid-size biomass projects here in Northern Ontario,” said Lorne Morrow, CEO of CRIBE (Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy), a contributor to the project.
Researchers turning wood waste into energy, agricultural resource
CLE ELUM, Wash. — Scientists are searching for the fuels of the future in high-tech laboratories around the world, but last week one research team debuted its new technology at a wood-chipping plant tucked in the forest outside Cle Elum. That’s because their technology runs on wood chips. Roasting the wood, which might be otherwise worthless, at high temperatures without oxygen, creates a bio-oil similar to petroleum and a flammable gas that can be captured to run the burners. It also produces bio-char, a charcoal-like material that has applications in agriculture as a soil additive and in water filtration.
Challenge can be met to save Rocky Mountain forests, scientists find
Scientists speaking at a forum Tuesday of prominent research organizations presented details of how climate change is already impacting forests in Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization covered a six-state area encompassing New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho as well as Colorado. Yet, the speakers seemed surprisingly optimistic. “Our main conclusion is the future of our forests depends a lot on quickly we can curb heat-trapping emissions,” said Tom Easley of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.
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Gainesville biomass plant earns FSC certification
The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC), a 102.5MW biomass-fired power plant in Florida, US has received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The certification affirms that GREC's purchase procedures for its waste wood fuels conform to the FSC Chain of Custody standard. It is the first power generation facility ever to receive this certification. The certification assessment was conducted by SCS Global Services, a third-party certification body accredited under the FSC programme. FSC certification is considered the world's gold standard for responsible forestry practices in the forest products industry.
Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
BLOG: Passive House in Canada and beyond
Dr. Guido Wimmers was the presenter for Passive House in Canada: the Past, Present and Future at the Wood Solutions Fair, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Oct. 30. Wimmers, who is a professor at the University of Northern B.C. in Prince George, started by pointing to the Austria House, built in Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics, as the first Passive House in Canada. Austria House was the first building to use diagonally dowelled timber. "It's a relatively easy and cheap way to produce massive wood panels," he said. Austria House was also the first building to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) in Canada.
Research: building with wood is healthier
Recent studies indicate that buildings with a high level of wood content have a positive physiological impact on the human nervous system. At Greenbuild 2014, David Fell, research leader for market research at FPInnovations, discussed research findings linking wood in building and reduced stress for their occupants. According to Fell, recent studies, along with evidence emerging from Europe and Asia, suggest that the use of wood indoors lowers stress reactivity of the sympathetic nervous system—which is associated with lower blood pressure, lower heart-rate, lower psychological stress, lower susceptibility to illness, and a better ability to focus attention.
BLOG: From Small to Tall: The Road to the Wood Innovation and Design Centre
J. Eric Karsh presented From Small to Tall: The Road to the Wood Innovation and Design Centre at the Wood Solutions Fair at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Oct. 30. Karsh began by highlighting 3D software and CNC fabrication as innovations that have pushed the industry forward, but the main innovation is timber systems. The North Vancouver Civic Centre used timber systems such as cross-laminated timber panels (CLT) as part of the roof structure and also for acoustic purposes. Glulam was also used in the flooring. ...The Tall Wood Report, published in 2012, looked at the possibility of
building a 30-storey wood buildings. It was met with skepticism, but out
of that report came the Wood Innovation and Design Centre.
Wilson School of Design Construction delayed
Construction of the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design, a $36-million project at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Richmond campus, has been delayed. The design school website still states that the project will be completed in January of 2016. Gordon Lee, the vice-president of finance and administration for KPU, says that construction was delayed due to budget concerns. “The construction bids went out, and estimates for building costs came in and they were over budget.”
New version of LEED brings big changes to material selection
A rush to register LEED projects under the expiring 2009 version is expected to occur as the deadline for LEED Version 4 (LEED v.4) lands on the North American construction industry June 2015. It includes significant revisions impacting the materials and resources sections... "Under the current rating system, there are a number of credits earned for different attributes or certification," Campbell said, referring to credits earned for items such as recycled content, material sourced regionally or wood from a sustainable managed forest.
LEED v4 Delayed for One Year; 61% of Green Builders 'Not Ready'
WASHINGTON – Due to market conditions and a lack of user readiness, the U.S. Green Building Council extended registration for LEED certified projects under LEED 2009 until Oct. 31, 2016 in order to provide user additional time for users to prepare for LEED v4. The original date for LEED 2009 registration to close was June 15, 2015. But a survey conducted during the October 2014 Greenbuild conference, revealed 61 percent of respondents said they are “not ready” or “unsure” if they are ready to pursue LEED v4 and require additional time to prepare. LEED v4 features increased rigor and multiple updates in the rating system.
HSE Pens Open Letter on Timber Frame Fires
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published an open letter to all parties involved in the design, specification, procurement and construction of timber frame structures. After a spate of high-profile incidents, with the University of Nottingham chemistry laboratory fire being the most widely reported, the HSE’s letter outlines its expectations in relation to the management of fire risks prior to and during the construction of timber frame structures, which fall within its remit.
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Green building materials in short supply as GCC green building industry soars
As architects and developers in the GCC push towards creating more green buildings, the demand for sustainable building materials may exceed the supply. Efforts towards a more sustainable urban infrastructure were slow to take of in the GCC, but government efforts to promote sustainability over the last three years have seen a recent surge in movement towards green construction projects as developers realise the increasing need for buildings to display sustainability in order to be marketable to an increasingly environmentally-conscious brand of consumer.