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Today's Takeaway

Forest fire season delayed in most of Canada

Categories: Today's Takeaway
May 23, 2017
Tree Frog Forestry News

Multiple reports today say forest fire crews are "enjoying a slow start to the wildfire season" in most parts of Canada, thanks to wet weather. Not so in Nova Scotia where “a rash of wildfires kept firefighters busy over the long weekend”, or in Georgia where “an Ohio wildfire crew was dispatched to assist”, or in San Diego where a wildfire "forced hundreds of campers to flee - threatening homes in a nearby community".

The cost of saving Oregon’s Elliott State Forest may have just risen by more than $3 million as "Roseburg-based Lone Rock has filed a tort claim notice with the state for damages and expenditures". Further north, timber harvests may be affected by a "conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet", which is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The plan is due by the end of 2018.

A smattering of softwood lumber stories of note include:

  • The Business Council of BC pens a letter to President Trump noting that "Canada is the biggest export market for a solid majority (35) of US states"
  • The federal trade minister says tariffs will "drive an increase in exports to China"
  • Oregon’s Wyden accuses "Canada of politicking lumber duties probe"
  • Wyden also speaks up against "China’s illegal dumping of hardwood plywood"
  • Trudeau says "Canada always prevails and will again".
And where else would you discover the Elfin mountain toad, than in Southern Vietnam’s elfin forest. 

-- Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Have you registered for our Annual General Meeting yet?

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada
May 23, 2017
Forest Stewardship Council

As part of a growing and strengthening FSC International system, the role of FSC Canada in the network has never been more relevant. Twenty years after the establishment of FSC Canada, the organization is well-positioned to expand its impact on the achievement of environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of Canada’s forests. ...As we approach the final stages of FSC Canada’s Forest Management Standard revision process, we encourage members and stakeholders to join us in reviewing the proposed changes, including a review of intact forest landscapes; woodland caribou; free, prior and informed consent; and Indigenous Cultural Landscapes. Provide your input and join the discussion to build momentum for the transition towards the new Forest management standard.

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Fire crews enjoy slow start to wildfire season, but brace for hot, dry summer

By Bonnie Allen

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 22, 2017
CBC News

A fairly wet spring has meant fewer wildfires than normal on the Prairies. Saskatchewan has had about 65 wildfires, well below the province's five-year average of about 120 by this time. Alberta is reporting about 220 wildfires, compared to more than 500 by this time last year. Fire fuels such as grasses, shrubs and twigs aren't as dry and don't catch fire as easily. Most of the wildfires so far have required an immediate response from either crews on the ground or aircraft dropping water, but were easily extinguished."This spring, we've received a lot more rain, we've had a lot more moisture — so it's been a lot wetter of a spring," wildfire information officer Travis Fairweather said from inside Alberta's wildfire command centre in Edmonton.

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Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation creates legacy fund for city

By Alex Cooper

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 19, 2017
Revelstoke Review

Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation’s first dividend to the City of Revelstoke will go towards a special project. RCFC, which was founded in 1993, has paid off its debts and after 23 years, the city’s investment paid off to the tune of $300,000. “It’s a dividend to the city but it’s going into a reserve fund to be used on some appropriate project that the city and RCFC agree on,” said Geoff Battersby, the chair of RCFC. The goal is to raise the profile of RCFC by attaching its name to a legacy project in the community, he added. “The city representatives on the board of directors did not want it to go into general revenue and disappear,” he said. Council approved the move and set up a special reserve fund for the money. There hasn’t been any discussion yet on what to spend the money on.

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Community needs clarity regarding Upper Clearwater

Letter by D. Simms

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 20, 2017
Clearwater Times

The controversy triggered by Canfor's plan to log in the Upper Clearwater will eventually touch nearly every person in the town of Clearwater, whether or not the plan proceeds. Unfortunately, the words being tossed around by Canfor and the Ministry of Forests don't tell us how people will be impacted. First, we had the forestry open house in which Canfor laid claim to all kinds of wonderful things: sustainability, respect for community values, respect for the environment, consultation and so on. This was probably the same message given to Canfor's customers and its shareholders. Here, everything was glowing, without a fault to be seen. Regarding consultation, if the document called the Guiding Principles, hammered out by residents of the Upper Clearwater, does not constitute consultation, then what does? After years of meetings, wrangling and give-and-take on the part of local residents, Canfor seems ready to ignore the way residents see the issue.

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Ontario forest fire season off to a slow start thanks to wet weather

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

Forest fire officials in northwestern Ontario say the decidedly wet, cool weather across most of the province this spring has had a dampening effect on the start of the forest fire season. "The weather has been rainy and cold at times which has lowered the fire hazard across the northwest region," said Jonathan Scott, a fire information officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. "That's led to a decreased amount of fire starts." As of May 19, Scott said only 56 small fires had been reported in Ontario this year, burning 44 hectares. The 10-year average typically sees over 170 fires burning about 12,000 hectares. As it stands now, it is a slower start to the fire season," Scott said.Despite that slow start, Scott said fire hazards will increase as the forests dry out, and the weather gets warmer.

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Dry trees and high winds feed forest fires in Nova Scotia

By Paul Palmeter

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada East
May 22, 2017
CBC News

A rash of wildfires in mainland Nova Scotia kept firefighters busy over the long weekend. By mid-afternoon Monday, a dozen fires were reported in woodlands around the province. It was a restricted burn day for the entire province, meaning burning is only permitted after 7 p.m. and before 8 a.m.  "In the past couple of days it's been very dry with a lot of wind," said Kara McCurdy, the fire duty officer at the Department of Natural Resources provincial fire centre in Shubenacadie. ...The responding crews had a tough time battling the blaze because there was so much smoke in the air, making it unsafe for them. "The conditions were dangerous for them to be in there so having the aerial attack with the helicopters was the best decision."

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Walk in the Woods engages public on issues of forest stewardship

By Carlton Owen, President and CEO

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States
May 23, 2017
US Endowment for Forestry and Communities

...More than two years of discussions and research has yielded a first-of-its-kind pathway for the people who steward or enjoy North America’s forests to actively engage with their families, neighbors, friends, and others in talking about the importance of the continent’s forests and their many values. “Walk in the Woods uses the power of social media for those who work in, make a living from, care about, or benefit from forests – that’s all of us – to share their own experiences and views about the bounty of forests and their myriad uses,” said Carlton Owen, President & CEO of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment). The Endowment has partnered with over 110 organizations, including state and federal natural resources agencies, forest products producers, conservation organizations, and universities, to create the North American Forest Partnership (NAFP). ...In addition to the Walk in the Woods website, NAFP seeks seek to have participants share via various social media platforms.

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New lichen database takes big picture approach to forest monitoring

By Amy McDermott

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States
May 22, 2017
Mongabay

The United States Forest Service is about to release a huge new database chronicling the abundance and diversity of lichens across the country. Why lichens? Because these amalgamations of fungi and algae or cyanobacteria — often found crusting over rocks and tree trunks or garlanding branches — are super sensitive indicators of air quality and climate change. ...“Lichens are such an easy thing to study and observe, and yet they can tell you what’s going on with the air,” Andrea Pipp, a botanist for the Montana Natural Heritage Program who helped collect the lichen data but is no longer affiliated with the project, told Mongabay. “And they can tell you before it kills the trees and before it hurts us.”

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Ohio crew called for Georgia wildfire assistance

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States
May 20, 2017
Circleville Herald

COLUMBUS — An Ohio wildfire crew consisting of six people and one wildfire engine from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) departed Saturday to travel to Georgia, where they were dispatched to the West Mims Fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Kingsland, Georgia, to help fight the wildfire. “Ohio is again responding to the call for assistance with a national emergency, this time in Georgia,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “Our crew and engine are well-prepared for initial attack, structure protection and other special assignments to protect life, property and natural resources under very challenging circumstances.”

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New road and landowner collaboration key to harvesting young growth Tongass timber

By Elizabeth Jenkins

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 22, 2017
KTOO

After new federal plans were set in motion last year, old growth logging in Alaska’s national forests is on its way out. Still, the feds have to make some timber sales available in the Tongass. And so, the U.S. Forest Service is in the early stages of planning one of its first young growth sales since the switch, just outside of Ketchikan. Mike Sallee is a small mill operator in Ketchikan, who deals mostly in dead and down trees, and he owns a homestead on nearby Gravina Island. His neighbors on Gravina are big landowners, like the state, the feds, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, and the university and mental health trusts — all of which can sell trees on their land for profit. In the past, Sallee says some of the landowners haven’t left Gravina in good shape. He’s noticed a tangle of trees still on the ground after they’re done logging. “Places that I had been hiking through and hunting for decades [were] basically turned into like a blowdown,” Sallee said. Which is why Sallee says he’s not enthusiastic about a road being built by the state on the island, slated to be completed this year.

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More Fallout from the Aborted Sale of the Elliott State Forest: Jilted Buyer Will Sue State

By Nigel Jaquiss

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 22, 2017
Willamette Week

Earlier this month, the Oregon State Land Board voted to reverse its earlier decision to sell the Elliott State Forest north of Coos Bay to a group led by Lone Rock Timber. The sale, which the three-member board tentatively agreed to in February for a price of $221 million, collapsed May 9 under the weight of opposition from environmental groups. Last week, the Roseburg News-Review reported that Roseburg-based Lone Rock has filed a tort claim notice with the state, seeking to recoup $1.3 million in expenses and $2 million in damages for the increase in value since the board, composed of Gov. Kate Brown, state Treasurer Tobias Read, and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, agreed to the sale.

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Department of Natural Resources: Sustainable harvest, murrelet plan due by end of 2018

By Rob Ollikainen

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 22, 2017
Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIA — A pair of planning documents that will affect timber harvests on the North Olympic Peninsula for the next decade will be completed by the end of 2018, a senior state Department of Natural Resources official said. Angus Brodie, DNR deputy supervisor of uplands, said an agency review of 6,500 public comments and other factors have delayed the timeline for the 2015-2024 sustainable harvest calculation and long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet. “We had hoped to have the final environmental impact statements out by the end of this year,” Brodie said in a Friday telephone interview. “We’re moving that out to the end of March [2018].” ...Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach, who represents 21 timber counties as vice chair of the Board of Natural Resources, said the DNR board will be “making some decisions” on preferred alternatives in July.

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Political leader fears funding for tree mortality projects may dry up

By Cory James

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 19, 2017
ABC30 News

SHAVER LAKE, Calif.  --What spent years to grow, went down in just a matter of minutes. It was one of thousands of dead trees in Shaver Lake threatening roadways in the mountain community. Because of that, crews for the past eight months have been working to take the trees down. Cory Burkarth with Caltrans said along with it helping reduce the spread of wildfires, the efforts are also ensuring the safety of drivers. ...As workers, chopped down and cleared up trees reaching more than 100 feet, Assemblyman Jim Patterson was there in midst of it all. The Central Valley leader said Governor Jerry Brown, in his updated budget, cut funds for local tree mortality efforts from $52 million to $2-million. Patterson told us even though we got a lot of rain this year, now is not the time to penny pinch.

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The Latest: Wildfire threatens rural homes outside San Diego

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 20, 2017
Associated Press in the Washington Post

A fast-moving wildfire has forced several hundred campers to flee a campground south of San Diego and is threatening homes in a nearby community. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention says the blaze broke out Saturday amid hot, dry conditions near State Route 94, south of Jamul (HAH-mool). It has burned at least 800 acres. Officials evacuated about 330 recreational vehicles at the campsite as wind-swept flames spread at a dangerous rate. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports a late-afternoon shift in the wind pushed the blaze toward the community of Dulzura. Residents there were put on notice about the possible need to evacuate their homes.

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Sutherlin High School wins award for providing forestry opportunities to students

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 20, 2017
Associated Press in Herald and News

SUTHERLIN — On behalf of the Oregon Natural Resources Education Fund, the Society of American Foresters presented an award certificate at a May 15 Sutherlin School Board meeting to Sutherlin High School and instructor Wes Crawford to show support for the school’s commitment to providing educational opportunities in forestry. The amount ONREF awarded to the Sutherlin Agricultural Science and Technology Program for the 2017-18 school year was $1,500. Sutherlin’s program was established in 1978 and today has 125 students enrolled. That’s 31 percent of the entire student body at Sutherlin High School. The funds will go toward providing students with clinometers, spencer tapes, compasses and GPS units. These forestry tools will benefit up to 50 students yearly. Sutherlin’s ASTP program contains four courses: introduction to agricultural science; agricultural biology; horticulture and natural resources; and horticulture and forestry.

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4FRI looks to reboot

By Emery Cowan

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 21, 2017
Arizona Daily Sun

In mid-March Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell received a stern letter from the office of Arizona’s senior senator. The letter from Sen. John McCain focused on the largest contractor on the 2.4 million-acre Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI. The company, Good Earth Power AZ, had thinned just 8,332 acres of the contract's 300,000-acre goal, despite being halfway through the contract’s 10-year time period. ...With that point acknowledged and accepted, the Forest Service and the 4FRI stakeholder group are now redirecting their focus and resources to parts of the project that have already proven more successful or have potential to turn the tree-thinning program around. It’s a pivot many see as crucial to accelerating 4FRI toward its original goal of mechanically thinning 50,000 acres a year over 20 years in order to begin restoring Arizona’s fire-adapted ponderosa pine forests before they burn up instead.

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Judge orders $100K payment for timber poaching

By Stephen Floyd

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
May 19, 2017
Herald and News

A Bly family has been ordered by a judge to pay $99,732 to the owner of a neighboring tree farm after they allegedly poached four acres of timber in 2015. On Thursday, Judge Andrea Janney ordered judgments against Loyd Jensen, Carolyn Jensen and Dustin Owings after they failed to respond to an unjust enrichment lawsuit filed last year. Janney ordered judgments of $33,244 against each plaintiff with interest accruing at nine percent per year until paid. The defendants were sued Dec. 19, 2016, by Ada Cannon after they clear-cut four acres of a 40-acre timber property owned by Cannon, resulting in the loss of 53 mature trees. The suit said the Jensens live next to the tree farm on the 16500 block of Fishhole Creek Road, in Bly, and Owings is their grandson.

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For Foster Tech students, Logger’s Meet more than a championship

By Jake Hanstein

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
May 21, 2017
Daily Bulldog

HOULTON - On May 11 and 12, up and coming forestry folks from around the state of Maine gathered for the 41st annual Logger's Meet. The Foster Career and Technical Education Center's forestry program contains students from Mt. Blue, Spruce Mountain, Mt. Abram and Rangeley High Schools. For the forestry departments across the state, the Loggers Meet is the holy grail of the lumber land. The meet showcases contestants ability to chop, saw and throw their way to victory. In addition to physical exerting events, knowledge particular to the forestry field is tested. Rod Spiller and Chris Maxim teach students not only forestry for future job talents of the trade, but put an emphasis on work ethic and safety while doing so.

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Rising seas could be turning Jersey’s coastal cedars into ghost forests

By Frank Kummer

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
May 22, 2017
Philly.com

Jennifer Walker picked her way through the swamp, avoiding the muck while ducking under branches and climbing over felled trees. To her left loomed one of the large “ghost forests” of the Jersey coastal plain: dead Atlantic white cedar trees, standing pale and bare at the edge of salt marshes. . ... Dead cedars and ghost forests are not new. Some have been around for decades. Walker’s own work uncovered trees that died hundreds of years ago, sunk in muck — yet rot-resistant — along the Mullica River. New Jersey’s coast has been “sinking” since ice sheets began their retreat at the end of the ice age. But scientists are alarmed at the affect that rising sea levels and more frequent big storms could have on still-healthy cedar forests living between the Pinelands and coastal saltwater marshes. Salt water kills the Atlantic white cedar with a vengeance.

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Crews still battling large fire near Wharton State Forest

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
May 20, 2017
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman

SHAMONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. Firefighters are battling a blaze that has burned roughly 300 acres near New Jersey's Wharton State Forest. The fire in Shamong Township was spotted around 9:45 a.m. Saturday by staffers at the New Jersey Forest Fire Service's Medford Fire Tower. It was about 50 percent contained by early Saturday night. State officials say no evacuations have been ordered and none of the roughly 30 homes in the area have been damaged by the flames. Firefighters set up a large containment area around the fire and were setting backfires to stop the main blaze. They also have been conducting backfire operations between the main fire and the homes.

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Firefighters battling brush fire and scared rattlesnakes

By Pat Eaton-Robb

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
May 19, 2017
Associated Press in the Washington Post

HARTFORD, Conn. — Firefighters battling a brush fire near the Appalachian Trail in western Connecticut were dealing with another threat this week — rattlesnakes. Authorities said the blaze burned about 200 acres of rugged terrain in an area known as Schaghticoke Mountain in Kent between Wednesday and Friday afternoon, when it was brought under control. Kent Volunteer Fire Chief Alan Gawel, the incident commander, said the fire disturbed dens of the timber rattlers and more than a dozen snakes were spotted fleeing the heat , including one that slithered between the legs of a firefighter on Thursday. “As you are trying to create a fire line in the rocks, boom, there’s a snake,” he said. “It’s a real battle, not to mention what it does to your nerves.” Several dozen firefighters from 17 departments helped battle the fire, and no one had been bitten. But authorities have alerted hospitals to make sure they have a supply of anti-venom.

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High-tech rainforest map brings climate and conservation efforts into sharp relief

By the University of California, Los Angeles

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
May 23, 2017
Phys.org

Outside of the Amazon, the rainforests of central Africa are the largest in the world. They contain huge amounts of carbon and wildlife—two items at the top of the list for those looking to protect the planet's health. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to 60 percent of those rainforests. Today UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the World Wide Fund for Nature, or WWF, and the Congolese government published a report and carbon density map that shows the entire country's forests in greater detail than ever before, empowering global efforts to protect them. ... It combines data from satellites and an airplane-based laser detection system known as LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, to map the height and crown of trees at a fine-scale resolution. The report also includes information about how carbon distribution correlates with topography, soil type and rainfall.

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'My worst nightmares are coming true': Europe's last primeval forest on 'brink of collapse'

By Christian Davies

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
May 23, 2017
The Guardian

Scientists and environmental campaigners have accused the Polish government of bringing the ecosystem of the Białowieża forest in north-eastern Poland to the “brink of collapse”, one year after a revised forest management plan permitted the trebling of state logging activity and removed a ban on logging in old growth areas. Large parts of the forest, which spans Poland’s eastern border with Belarus and contains some of Europe’s last remaining primeval woodland, are subject to natural processes not disturbed by direct human intervention. ...“At some point there will be a collapse, and if and when it happens, it’s gone forever – no amount of money in the universe can bring it back,” said Prof Tomasz Wesołowski, a forest biologist at the University of Wrocław who has been conducting fieldwork in Białowieża for each of the last 43 years.

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Elfin mountain toad discovered in misty, mossy elfin forest

By Melissa Breyer

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
May 19, 2017
TreeHugger

The newly discovered horned mountain toad found in Southern Vietnam's elfin forest is the smallest of its species – and is already considered endangered. If one were to discover a tiny one-inch toad with fascinating horn-like projections above its eyes, would there be any better place to do so other than in an elfin forest? For that, a group of herpetologists exploring the elfin forest on Langbian Plateau, Southern Vietnam, should feel rather fortunate. The setting in question is a highland wet subtropical evergreen forest – one which the newly discovered elfin mountain toad (Ophryophryne elfina) calls home. The name, incidentally, translates to "elfish eyebrow toad." The wee toad lives on summits higher than 6000 feet in an area near the sea where rainfall is plentiful.

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Company & Business News

Business Council of British Columbia: Letter to President Trump

By Jock Finlayson

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
May 17, 2017
Business Council of British Columbia

Dear President Trump: The Senate’s recent confirmation of Robert Lighthizer as the new United States Trade Representative signals that the work to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will get under way soon. Against that backdrop, we hope you and your cabinet officials will keep in mind a number of important facts regarding the U.S.-Canada economic and trade relationship. Canada is the biggest export market for a solid majority of U.S. states – 35 states in all, based on the most recent count. The list includes Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New York, along with Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Idaho. Last year, American companies sold $2.2 trillion worth of goods and services to customers in other countries. Of those foreign customers, Canadians were the biggest buyers of American-made products and services, supporting millions of U.S. jobs in the process.

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U.S. Duties Will Drive Canadian Wood Exports to China, Minister Says

By Keith Zhai

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
May 22, 2017
Bloomberg Politics

A rise in U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood will help drive an increase in lumber exports to China and other Asian markets, Canada’s top trade official said. “There’s an enormous opportunity,” said Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne in an interview in Singapore on Monday. “Diversification is the key, that’s why Canada has an ambitious trade agenda.” With other Canadian industries also bracing for increased U.S. tariffs, Champagne will travel to South Korea next week as the north American nation tries to boost trade and stimulate its economy. ...“What the Chinese were saying is you’re providing a much-needed solution that the Chinese side needed,” Champagne said. “This is beyond selling. This is about working together to tackle a challenge for them.”

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President Trump’s claim that ‘we always lose’ in U.S.-Canada trade disputes

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
May 22, 2017
The Washington Post

This new talking point by the president on NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, piqued our interest. We wondered: What court in Canada with a majority of Canadian judges rules against the United States in trade matters? The White House and the Commerce Department did not respond to our requests. But there’s really only one court — more accurately, a dispute resolution panel — that fits his description. So we, with the help of NAFTA experts, decoded what he meant. ...The outcomes of U.S.-Canada cases facing a panel review have been mixed, and both sides have won and lost cases. But a 2007 study found that NAFTA binational review panels reversed U.S. agency decisions two-thirds of the time. (The researcher of the 2007 study has not updated this report.) The U.S. lumber industry and Canadian officials acknowledge Canada has fared better in lumber disputes.

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Lumber and Mar-a-Lago

Letter by Steve Malinsky

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
May 21, 2017
Concord Monitor

The United States is now charging an import duty on Canadian (and American) lumber crossing the Canadian border into the United States. ...The taxes are going into the U.S. Treasury, but the homeowner is effectively paying this tax. It is sad that the lumber industry is the low-hanging fruit to pluck for testing the waters on reaction to Donald Trump’s decision to create “border” taxes. ...Trump has spent over $25 million so far this year on his trips to Mar-a-Lago. This is almost precisely the taxes on 4,000 homes that are going up this year utilizing Canadian lumber. The money goes into the Treasury and out again for Trump’s weekends.

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Oregon senator accuses Canada of 'politicizing' lumber duties probe

By David Lawder

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
May 19, 2017
Reuters

WASHINGTON  - U.S. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden on Friday accused Canada of "politicizing" a U.S. government anti-subsidy investigation into Canadian softwood lumber imports by threatening retaliation against wine and other products from his home state of Oregon. Wyden told Reuters in an interview the trade case has broad support in Congress and is supported by evidence, adding that Canada's reaction is unfair.  "They tried to politicize it when they said we're thinking about retaliating against Ron Wyden because he has been one of the ringleaders of this," Wyden told Reuters. "I want it understood that what we're talking about is supported by 25 senators from both political parties on the merits."

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Canada always prevails in U.S. softwood dispute and will again, Trudeau says

By Mia Rabson

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
May 19, 2017
Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun

OTTAWA — A made-in-Canada solution to help softwood producers and workers weather the storm of U.S. duties has been delayed at least until the end of May. ...Cabinet discussed a package of options for up to $1 billion in aid for the softwood industry earlier this week, but negotiations with industry and provincial governments are still underway. A source with knowledge of the negotiations says Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr had hoped to have the plan ready to present publicly by the end of this week, but things didn't quite come together in time..... Multiple sources say there were meetings at the provincial level to discuss the package options this past week. A Quebec source told the Canadian Press the government was reluctant at first to do any kind of aid package, but has since changed its mind. ..."The fact that every time the U.S. has done this over the past decades they've been shown to be wrong in doing that and we know that we're going to be able to continue to stand and defend Canada's industry," Trudeau said during a stop in Surrey, B.C.

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Timber tariff cuts different ways in Canada, U.S.

By Nate Hegyi

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 22, 2017
WTVF Public Radio

Workers from the WynnWood sawmill in southeastern British Columbia are buying bags of chips and hot dogs at a nearby gas station. Owner Betty Ann Gordon is at the counter, ringing people up. Like many folks around here, Gordon’s business depends on the mill. And right now there’s some uncertainty. “Nobody knows ... what’s going to happen,” she said. That's because a trade war is brewing between the United States and Canada over timber. New timber tariffs could save mills in the U.S., but at the cost of jobs in Canada. In May, there were shift cuts at seven sawmills owned by Resolute Forest Products in Quebec, affecting more than 1,000 workers. And in British Columbia – a major world exporter of softwood lumber – mills and timber workers are bracing for more.

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Huu-ay-aht First Nation buys land from Western Forest Products

By Karly Blats

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
May 20, 2017
Alberni Valley News

Huu-ay-aht First Nations have purchased three properties in Sarita Bay from Western Forest Products for $3 million. The land includes Western’s dry land sort in that part of the Alberni Inlet. The transaction also involves a long-term lease back of the dry land sort to Western, an agreement to harvest 200,000 cubic metres of timber from Huu-ay-aht Lands, and an employment and training agreement that seeks to increase the number of Huu-ay-aht citizens participating in the forest sector. “As a Nation, we want to focus on building a safe and healthy community, and that starts with good relationships, first with our citizens but also with our neighbours and business partners,” said Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr.

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Province Close to Finalizing Twenty Year, 1.2-Million Hectare Forestry Deal with British Company

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

The provincial government is close to finalizing a deal to provide a European energy company with a timber licence for 1.2 million hectares of crown land. London-based Active Energy Group has entered into an agreement in principle with the Newfoundland and Labrador Government for a Crown timber licence and proposed 20-year forestry management agreement. The agreement, if finalized, would give the company and its affiliate Timberlands International the right to harvest and use up to 140,000 solid cubic metres of wood annually from the Forestry Management Districts 17 and 18 on the Northern Peninsula.

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Senator Ron Wyden Speaks Up Against China's Illegal Dumping of Hardwood Plywood

By Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
May 19, 2017
PR Newswire

WASHINGTON  -- The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood today hosted an event at the National Press Club with guest speakers Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Brad Thompson, CEO of Colombia Forest Products and Tim Brightbill of Wiley Rein LLP, to discuss China's unfair trade practices. With the help of unfair government support, Chinese imports of hardwood plywood have flooded the U.S. market in recent years and are decimating the U.S. hardwood plywood industry. ..."Chinese imports are at an all-time high, and the U.S. hardwood plywood industry is in jeopardy," said Sen. Wyden said. "This is a bipartisan issue. It's critical that the Trump administration stand up to China's unfair trade practices and take action to protect thousands of American jobs in Oregon and across the country."

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NZ log prices advance in ‘humming’ forestry sector

By Tina Morrison

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
May 22, 2017
Scoop.co.nz

New Zealand export log prices generally rose this month, as key fundamentals move in the country’s favour, AgriHQ said. Prices lifted through all unpruned export log grades this month, while pruned logs experienced some minor weakness, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. “The key fundamentals at the wharfgate have swung ever so slightly into NZ exporters’ favour,” AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his report titled ‘Forestry sectors keeping humming’. Shipping rates advanced by a small margin but appear to have plateaued and may ease in coming months, exchange rates had moved in New Zealand exporters’ favour, and demand from overseas markets was good across the board, he said.

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'Serious concern' in industry over Natural Resources Wales timber deal

By David Deans

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
May 22, 2017
BBC News

A controversial £39m Natural Resources Wales deal to sell timber to a sawmill that was not put out to tender has generated "serious concern" in the timber industry, it has been claimed. David Sulman of the UK Forest Products Association criticised an apparent lack of "openness and transparency" in the deal. The deal had been criticised by auditors. NRW said the contracts were awarded in "extraordinary" circumstances. In 2014 a company was awarded a series of contracts worth £39m to purchase both spruce and larch timber - the latter from forests where a fungus disease causing extensive damage, Phytophthora ramorum, was present. The contracts were part of action NRW - which sells timber from publicly opened woodlands - took to deal with the disease, amid a rapid increase in its spread the previous year.

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Celebrating the best in forestry

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
May 20, 2017
Gisborne Herald

BRIAN Deam was a popular winner of the Eastland Wood Council (EWC) Skilled Professional of the Year title at the 2017 awards held last night. Nearly 500 people packed the Showgrounds Event Centre to applaud his effort, and others honoured for their work in the local forestry industry. It is the eighth year the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards have been run and again they attracted some “stellar entries”, said EWC chief executive Prue Younger, who paid tribute to the thousands involved in an industry that meant much to the wider region. “These awards are a chance to celebrate the efforts of those out there doing it, but are also an important part of the promotion of the industry and recognition of the continual upskilling of our workforce,” she said. Ms Younger said huge inroads had been made across the industry, but there was still plenty to work on.

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Ta Ann confident export log prices will remain robust

By Hanim Adnan

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
May 20, 2017
Star Online

Stiffer conditions imposed on the local timber industry in terms of lower export quotas, higher taxes and the focus on certifications have been most challenging for players operating in Sarawak. Analysts say the prospects of the timber industry does not look promising this year as the earnings of most public-listed timber companies will likely be dragged down by unfavourable developments in the local and overseas front. PublicInvest Research in its recent report has deemed the timber business as “no longer attractive” being hard hit by difficulties and vulnerable to risk exposure. ...When contacted, Ta Ann group managing director and CEO Datuk Wong Kuo Hea maintains that continuing demand for its timber and timber products as well as increasing demand for palm oil will form the base for the growth story of the group.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Stop hoping we can fix climate change by pulling carbon out of the air, scientists warn

By Chelsea Harvey

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
May 22, 2017
Washington Post

Scientists are expressing increasing skepticism that we’re going to be able to get out of the climate change mess by relying on a variety of large-scale land-use and technical solutions that have been not only proposed but often relied upon in scientific calculations. Two papers published last week debunk the idea of planting large volumes of trees to pull carbon dioxide out of the air — saying there just isn’t enough land available to pull it off — and also various other strategies for “carbon dioxide removal,” some of which also include massive tree plantings combined with burning their biomass and storing it below the ground. ...Forests have long been recognized as one of the world’s most important natural carbon sinks, capable of storing large amounts of carbon that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere. Simply preserving the world’s forest resources — and replanting areas that have already been deforested — is viewed as an important step in protecting the climate.

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Wood & Paper Products & Green Building

Wood is the most renewable resource

By Bill Cook, MSU Extension Forester

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States; US East
May 22, 2017
Daily Press

ESCANABA — Every material thing we use begins with extraction of natural resources and ends with disposal. The only truly renewable and sustainable raw material is wood and that begins with logging. The extraction, processing, manufacturing, and eventual disposal of raw materials and goods entails a complex web of economic activity and energy consumption. The full “life cycle” of a particular product describes the impacts of that product from its cradle to its grave. The impacts can have various measures, such as energy consumption, carbon balance, or water use. Wood, by any measure, is the most environmentally-friendly raw material at our disposal. For these reasons, an environmentally-conscious person ought to be favoring wood use over other natural resources, within the sustainability limits of the forests, of course. Loggers are our allies in building a more sustainable society.

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Homes of the future

By Donna Fleming

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
May 20, 2017
New Zealand Herald

We Kiwis have a long history of, and great fondness for, wooden homes. And now wooden buildings - or specifically those made of a specially engineered timber - look set to become the homes of the future, says Martin Udale. He's the director of Tall Wood, a company that makes a kind of manufactured wood, known as tall timber. It has joined forces with property developer Twenty Twenty Property Partners to build apartments using this material at Hobsonville Point. Their development, The Grounds, will be the first of its kind in New Zealand, but this technology is widely used overseas, with high-rise buildings in Canada, Austria and Australia being constructed from tall timber. "There's a big trend internationally towards using engineered timber - it has been used in Europe for over 40 years - and it is well-proven, just not in this part of the world where we don't know a lot about it," says Martin.

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Should Architects and Engineers Use More Wood in Skyscraper Construction?

By Dion Greg Reyes

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
May 19, 2017
GineersNow

The world’s tallest building is the Burj Khalifa or the Khalifa Tower found in Downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The 828-meter tower started construction on September 2004 and opened on January 2010. Much of the materials used in this building are concrete, steel, composites, and glass, which are the usual composition of a skyscraper. ...But a civil engineer like me could not help but think: how long should one go through the world’s tallest buildings list to find one structure having wood as its primary material? Far too long, perhaps, as I discovered that it takes more than 15 of the tallest wooden building to be as high as the Burj Khalifa. The wooden skyscraper I am talking about is called the Brock Commons, which is currently the world’s tallest at 53 meters tall. It is a dormitory for students of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

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