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Today's Takeaway

Proof positive that lawyers are in the lawsuit business

Categories: Today's Takeaway
Jun 22, 2017
Tree Frog Forestry News

Summer started at 10:24 Tuesday, June 20th and according to some of today's extreme headlines, the fire season is surely upon us:

  • Forest fires, cancelled flights and melting roads as extreme heat takes hold (Europe)
  • Deadly Portugal wildfire 'had criminal origins', fire chief claims (Portugal)
  • Extreme heat making wildfire battle tougher (US Southwest)
  • Climate vs. logging in forest fire causes (US West)
Researchers at a British University are "pumping a forest full of carbon dioxide"—to levels expected in 2050—to measure how it copes with rising levels of the gas and answer questions about their capacity to absorb carbon long-term.

The other shoe is set to drop for softwood lumber this Friday as the US announces anti-dumping duties on Canadian imports and "analysts expect anti-dumping duties between ten and 12 per cent".

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association isn’t holding back in their efforts to influence the Trump administration's infrastructure initiative. Amongst their emotive claims, "American infrastructure comprises the schools where we send our children, we must not settle for “good enough” in choosing building materials".

Proof positive that "lawyers are in the lawsuit business”, Menard’s and Home Depot are being sued for five million each for deceptive advertising. Apparently, they sell the lumber as 4x4s without specifying that the boards actually measure 3½ inches by 3½ inches. Who knew?

-- Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Slicing Through Lumber in Stop Motion Looks Absolutely Alien

By Blake Rodgers

Categories: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Nerdist

There’s nothing that makes us happier than finding new beauty in something that we’ve always looked at as mundane. It’s even better when the beauty of something as terrestrial as sections of trees becomes utterly otherworldly if presented in the right way. Woodswimmer was brought to our attention by a recent post on Sploid and has us mesmerized by what it uncovers. Vimeo’s Bfophoto combined hundreds of “cross-sectional photographic scans of pieces of hardwood, burls and branches” that, when edited together, give us a unique view inside the composition of the wood. Not only does it show us the “growth” of a tree (in its destruction at least) but the result is something that looks completely alien.


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Forestry

Forest Products Association of Canada announces 2017 Green Dream Bloggers

By Fiona McDonald

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada
Jun 20, 2017
Forest Products Association of Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Green Dream program. The ten chosen students will receive a scholarship and an iPad mini or GoPro camera to help them blog about their experiences working in Canada’s forest products industry throughout the summer. “These youth are the future of the forest products industry. By sharing their adventures they are showcasing the many benefits and opportunities that come with working in our sector,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, FPAC. “Supporting talented youth and encouraging them to pursue forestry careers is vital to the success of the forest products industry.” The GreenestWorkforce.ca is an online resource website highlighting careers in Canada’s forest products industry and features a job-matching tool to match job seekers with rewarding careers in the sector. Career opportunities in Administration, Science and Engineering, Woodlands, Skilled Trades and Mill Operations are open now across the country.

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Still no funds for watershed

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Jun 21, 2017
Vanderhoof Omineca Express

The Nechako watershed roundtable’s strategies to improve the health of the Nechako watershed still have no funding. The work was done in 2015 and 2016, with the official launch in Nov. 2016. However, the roundtable’s operational funding ended last October. Since then, the group has researching sustainable funding mechanisms that can be accessed through local governments. “These kind of mechanisms, if successful, would be multi-year and provide more certainty for the roundtable versus shorter term, year-to-year grants,” explained Theresa Fresco with the Fraser Basin Council, which serves as secretariat for the roundtable. ...The changing climate has contributed to the mountain pine beetle epidemic and other adverse impacts; the iconic Nechako white sturgeon have become an endangered species; creeks and streams throughout the watershed have degraded; and the diversion of water out of the Nechako River system continues to impact many aspects of watershed health.

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TimberWest announces Vancouver Island First Nation Cultural Art Showcase Program

By Monica Bailey

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Jun 21, 2017
TimberWest

Nanaimo, BC – In celebration of National Aboriginal Day, TimberWest is proud to announce its First Nation Cultural Art Showcase Program which recognizes and supports three First Nation artists representing their major language group on Vancouver Island. The program commissions the artists to design, create and showcase their cultural art work at a seven-week art show in September hosted at the Nanaimo Art Gallery at Vancouver Island University (VIU). The artists are: Curtis Wilson from Campbell River in the Kwakwaka’wakw territory, Richard Thomas of the Coast Salish Stayout Tribe, and Vince Smith of the Ehattesaht tribe in the Nuu-chah-nulth territory. “We are pleased to shine a spotlight on these remarkable artists, and provide the public with a viewing experience that will tell a story about Vancouver Island’s First Nation culture.” says Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. “We look forward to the opening event in September at VIU.”

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Clearcut leaves 'big, ugly, bald spot' across from Wentworth ski hill

By Nina Corfu

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada East
Jun 21, 2017
CBC News

A clearcut in Nova Scotia's Wentworth Valley is being called a "great big, ugly, bald spot," and is being criticized by an environmentalist and by the operator of a nearby ski hill who worries it will damage his tourism plans. The land — on top of Higgins Mountain and opposite Ski Wentworth — is owned by Northern Timber and being harvested by Northern Pulp. Jordan Sprague, president of the non-profit Wentworth Community Development Council, said while his group is committed to remaining neutral on the issue, none of the 15 to 20 people who attended a June 12 community meeting on the subject were in favour of the clearcut. ...Sprague said some members of the council are concerned the clearcut could hurt the tourism plan they are designing for the region, which involves promoting cycling, hiking and waterfall trails, as well as a series of look-offs.

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Westerman pushes bill to grease wheels on cutting in forests

By Frank Lockwood

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Arkansas Online

WASHINGTON -- If U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman's legislation passes, it'll be easier to cut down trees in the nation's forests and harder for critics and federal courts to slow the process. The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, which Westerman introduced late Tuesday, is backed by the timber industry and House Republican leadership, but opposed by a long list of environmental groups. If passed, it would eliminate the need for lengthy federal environmental assessments in many instances, allowing projects to move forward in months that might otherwise have taken years. ...Judges would no longer be allowed to issue restraining orders or preliminary injunctions to halt salvage operations or reforestation efforts in the wake of large fires or some other "large-scale catastrophic event." ...Environmentalists who successfully sued would no longer be able to recover attorneys fees for "forest management activity challenges," the law states.

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The Forest for the Trees

By Carl Segerstrom

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Jun 22, 2017
Eugene Weekly

Across a lush brook with tumbling miniature waterfalls and past about a quarter mile of trail-less forest there’s a hand painted canvas sign in a large Douglas fir tree that reads: “Logging cancelled due to climate emergency!” In this section of 100-plus foot trees, within earshot of the trucks rumbling through McKenzie Bridge on Highway 126, the Cascadia Forest Defenders are tree sitting to protest the Goose timber sale. Since the Goose Project was proposed in 2009 there has been a contentious debate over how to manage the section of public timberlands. After years of back and forth, logging and road building is underway and the Forest Defenders are up in the canopy, placing themselves as the last line of defense in the stand they now occupy. 

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US Forest Service finally kicks off the GMUG (Colorado) management plan revision process

By Toni Todd

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Crested Butte News

The United States Forest Service typically revises its forest management plans every 15 to 20 years. The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest, or GMUG, has become a long-running exception to that practice. ...According to the USFS website, the process to revise the GMUG management plan officially began June 2. ...The first open-house forum for Gunnison is scheduled for July 27. ...The USFS hopes to complete the assessment phase of the new GMUG forest plan by the end of 2017.

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House Logging Bill (HR 2936) Guts Federal Environmental Laws, Literally Privatizes Public Lands, Creates Logging Free-for-All

By Western Environmental Law Center

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Common Dreams

TAOS, N.M. - Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives begins its consideration of HR 2936, known as the Westerman Bill after its author, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR). The bill contains a cornucopia of loopholes, exemptions and categorical exclusions for environmental, judicial, and public review; and, incredibly, gives away public lands to adjacent private landowners. The bill would be disastrous for forest health, requiring unsustainable logging, transferring endangered species authority away from the expert consulting agencies, and eliminating environmental analysis for a huge number of logging projects. 

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Defeat for Tasmanian Government's plan to unlock forests for logging

By George Burgess

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Jun 22, 2017
ABC News Australia

The Tasmanian Government's horror week in the upper house has continued, with MLCs swinging the axe on its contentious forestry legislation. The bill would have allowed logging in 356,000 hectares of forests two years earlier than a moratorium would have allowed. It was defeated in the Legislative Council, with seven MLCs voting it down, with five in favour. The defeat came after the upper house blocked the Government's mandatory sentences bill on Wednesday night, a policy it took to the 2014 election.

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Timber industry needs more local businesses

By Nelson Kairi

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Jun 21, 2017
Papua New Guinea Post-Courier

Nineteen percent of businesses in the country’s timber industry is foreign owned. This is according to NCD regional candidate, Francis Neil Tanga. Tanga, the non-parliamentary leader of a new political party, Nations Interest Party, stated that a large chunk of the industry, is Malaysian owned and called for this to change. He said locals should have a fair share of business opportunities since this are their lands and natural resources. Mr Tanga claims that the legislation introduced by the colonial rulers which is still in use, only favors the government and not the people. He said that everywhere else in the world, customary landowners control the dealings with investors and their government only the mediator role, but that is not the case in PNG.

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Primary Sector Science Roadmap ‘not all about food’

By NZ Forest Owners' Association

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Jun 22, 2017
New Zealand Scoop

The just released Primary Sector Science Roadmap features a pine tree nursery on its front cover. The Forest Owners Association says this is a clear signal that the primary sector is not just a food sector. The FOA president, Peter Clark, says size and importance of the forest sector for New Zealand, as at least the third most significant export category, is often ignored. “A year ago, at Mystery Creek, John Key launched the Primary Industry Champions campaign for recruitment into the primary sector. It’s a hugely important project to fill the looming shortfall of many tens of thousands of workers in the primary sector,” Peter Clark says. “But the problem was that it ignored everything but food. There was nothing in the publicity about forestry, nor for that matter other fibres such as wool.”

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Poland says primeval forest should not be UNESCO natural heritage site

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Jun 22, 2017
Agence France-Presse in Yahoo News

Warsaw - Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko, whom green activists have criticised for allowing large-scale logging in the ancient Bialowieza forest, on Wednesday called for the vast woodland to be stripped of UNESCO's natural heritage status, which bans any human intervention. Bialowieza, straddling Poland's eastern border with Belarus, includes one of the largest surviving parts of the primeval forest that covered the European plain 10,000 years ago. It also boasts unique plant and animal life, including the continent's largest mammal, the European bison. "The Bialowieza forest was granted UNESCO natural heritage status illegally and without consulting the local community," Szyszko said in a statement, after having announced that "a complaint had been lodged with the prosecutor's office" regarding the matter.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire grows to 10,000 acres near John Day River

By Barney Lerten

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
KTVZ News

Nearly 100 firefighters were working Wednesday to contain a new wildfire on rangeland near the John Day River that grew to an estimated 10,000 acres on steep slopes in afternoon winds, officials said. Crews were called to the Rhoades Canyon Fire, east of Clarno, after it was reported just before noon Tuesday south of state Highway 218 a mile east of the John Day River. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lisa Clark said the fire grew quickly to the south due to light, dried-out grass, steep slopes and wind. Authorities were investigating the cause of the fire, which was 30 percent contained by late Wednesday.

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It’s fire season in N. Utah — which means it’s time to start paying attention

By The Editorial Board

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Standard Examiner

Summer started at 10:24 p.m. Tuesday, June 20. Fire season in Northern Utah officially begins three days later — which means it’s time to start paying attention. The Weber Fire District announced Monday that it’s banning fireworks and open fires in unincorporated parts of the county east of U.S. 89, Harrison Boulevard and Mountain Road. ...“The current weather and the conditions of vegetation in the affected areas have created risk of wildland fire,” Thueson said in a news release.

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Strong winds fan Brian Head Fire to 5,000 acres

By Tiffany Frandsen and Pamela Manson

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
The Salt Lake Tribune

Driven by strong winds Tuesday night, the Brian Head Fire made a run to the northeast, growing to 5,000 acres by Wednesday. But the fire was moving away from the town — which remained under evacuation Wednesday — and had burned around, not through, the Thunder Ridge Boy Scout Camp, fire officials said. The Dry Lakes area, which is northwest of Brian Head and consists of mainly cabins, was evacuated Wednesday night, confirmed Forest Service spokeswoman Cigi Burton. The Clear Creek, Beaver Dam and Horse Valley areas — all northeast of Brian Head — were evacuated Wednesday night, said Shayne Ward, spokesman for Utah's Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. ...As of Wednesday morning, the fire had burned an estimated 2,761 acres. It was 15 percent contained that night.

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Climate vs. logging in forest fire causes

By George Wuerthner

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Record Spotlight

The timber industry and the U.S. Forest Service aggressively market the idea that reducing fuels through logging/thinning programs will result in a significant decrease in acreage burned, firefighting costs and the number of high-severity fires. However, it is climate/weather, not fuels, that drive all large wildfires. The factors responsible for all large wildfires are drought, low humidity, high temperatures and, most importantly, wind. If you have those ingredients in the same place with an ignition, you get a wildfire that can’t be stopped — until the weather changes. The recent extreme drought that gripped California was the biggest factor in creating the ideal conditions for large, high severity blazes.

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Extreme heat making wildfire battle tougher in Southwest US

By Astrid Galvan and Angie Wang

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Associated Press in Idaho Statesman

An extreme heat wave in the Southwest U.S. made the fight against a series of wildfires more difficult Wednesday, including one that has destroyed at least four homes in an Arizona town known for its wineries, authorities said. Temperatures in parts of Arizona, California and Nevada soared to nearly 120 degrees (48.9 Celsius) this week, creating problems for firefighters. In California, two firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries as they battled a blaze in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. In New Mexico, authorities say a brush fire destroyed sheds and vehicles on private property and sent two residents and a firefighter to the hospital for smoke inhalation and other minor injuries.

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Confusion over plane crash claims as Portugal struggles to put out deadly fire

By Miguel Pereira and Miguel Vidal 

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: International
Jun 20, 2017
Reuters

Portugal carried out a massive operation to combat its deadliest forest fire on record, which has killed 64 people, amid confusion about the fate of a firefighting plane which had earlier been reported to have crashed on Tuesday. The disaster, now into its fourth day, also prompted Prime Minister Antonio Costa to question the emergency response system. Victor Vaz Pinto, commander of the civil protection agency, said a helicopter had been sent out to search for the aircraft but had found nothing. "I have no information that any airplane working for civil protection has crashed," said Vaz Pinto, adding that an explosion heard by many in the vicinity may have been caused by abandoned gas bottles. Local media had earlier reported a Canadair plane had crashed.

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Deadly Portugal wildfire 'had criminal origins', fire chief claims

By Connor Sephton

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: International
Jun 21, 2017
Sky News

A fierce wildfire that killed 64 people in Portugal over the weekend has been brought under control, officials have confirmed. ...Although officials have said a dry lightning strike sparked the forest fire, the head of the nation's volunteer firefighters has said he suspects the blaze has "criminal origins". Prime Minister Antonio Costa has demanded an explanation for what went wrong in the initial response by emergency services, amid reports that Portugal's plans for a fire of this scale had not been revised for four years. Many of those who died perished on a single road as they tried to escape, with locals saying the highway should have been sealed off sooner.

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Forest fires, cancelled flights and melting roads as extreme heat takes hold

By Henning Gloystein

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: International
Jun 21, 2017
Independent.ie

Extreme heat across large tracts of the northern hemisphere raised fears for crops in China, fuelled forest fires in Portugal and Russia, forced flight cancellations in the US, and melted tarmac on roads in Britain. Yesterday marked the summer solstice - the longest day of the year - and temperatures reached the high 30s in European cities such as London, Paris and Madrid. Rounding up the record temperatures set in the past two months, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said the Earth was experiencing "another exceptionally warm year" and the heatwaves were unusually early. ...The hot, dry weather is a major factor behind forest fires that have killed dozens of people in Portugal. And the Russian news agency Tass reported scores of forest fires, mostly in Siberia and the far east region of .

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Portugal contains wildfire that killed 64

Categories: Forest Fires
Region: International
Jun 21, 2017
Associated Press in Belfast Telegraph

A wildfire that killed 64 people last weekend has been brought under control, Portuguese authorities said as a minute's silence was held in memory of victims of the country's deadliest natural disaster in decades. "The fire is no longer progressing," Civil Protection Agency spokesman Vitor Vaz Pinto said, adding that hundreds of firefighters would remain on the scene to prevent it from reigniting. Since Saturday, more than 1,000 firefighters and more than a dozen water-dropping aircraft were deployed to tackle the blaze that had raged across the central region of Portugal, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) north of Lisbon. Some of the personnel and equipment were sent by other European Union countries and Morocco.

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Company & Business News

'Business as usual': Companies optimistic about exports despite coming NAFTA clash, says Export Development Canada

By Alicja Siekierska

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Jun 21, 2017
Financial Post

Canadian companies are feeling optimistic when it comes to trade, according to a new report from Export Development Canada, despite some concerns about the rise of global protectionism and ramped up anti-trade rhetoric south of the border. The Trade Confidence Index, an EDC survey released Thursday that measures Canadian exporters’ level of confidence and expectations of trade opportunities over the next six months, jumped by 1.6 points from 72.3 last autumn to 73.9. EDC vice president and chief economist Peter Hall said the results are surprising, given a range of factors including the upcoming renegotiations of NAFTA, a potential border tax and ongoing trade disputes, such as the softwood lumber spat. 

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Trump’s trade chief promises tougher enforcement, but offers no deadline for new NAFTA deal

By Nicole Ault

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Jun 21, 2017
Washington Times

President Trump’s top trade negotiator outlined a tougher line on enforcing U.S. deals and told a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday that the administration has no hard deadline for completing the renegotiation of the NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico. ... Mr. Lighthizer signaled that the administration will take its time getting a new agreement and told lawmakers he hopes the revised accord will serve as a model for bilateral trade deals with other nations. “The only deadline we have is that we’re going to get a good agreement, one that is transformative and a very high-standard agreement,” Mr. Lighthizer said in the packed hearing room.

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2nd wave of softwood lumber duties sets up 'dangerous' talks for Canada

Janyce McGregor

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Jun 21, 2017
CBC News

The other shoe is set to drop for softwood lumber producers Friday as the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to reveal preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian imports. Combine this with the retroactive countervailing duties announced in April, and the already-high stakes for trade negotiations between Canada and the United States may rise again. Regardless of whether there's evidence of unfair trade, don't expect a finding that lumber was not dumped "because you can't get any leverage for NAFTA negotiations from that position," said Cyndee Todgham Cherniak, an international trade lawyer with LexSage Professional Corporation. "You would need to have anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties for that negotiation to lead to a position where Canada has to concede." ...Analysts expect anti-dumping duties between ten and 12 per cent.

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Canfor Sponsors Students to Participate in Innovation Event

By Don Kayne

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Jun 15, 2017
Canfor Blog

For the second time, Canfor is delighted to partner with Schweighofer in support of global innovation in forestry. Canfor is sponsoring nine students from universities across Canada and the United States to attend the prestigious bi-annual Schweighofer Prize ceremony and participate in the student innovation workshop conference, with Canfor as a co-sponsor. With this opportunity, the students will have the opportunity to share their breakthrough research, meet innovative industry leaders and participate in international networking. Both events will take place in Vienna, Austria next week. 

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Wood pellet industry lauded for safety improvements

By Frank Peebles

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Jun 21, 2017
Canadian Biomass Magazine

A safety meeting that fit inside an office last year has now grown to the size of a convention centre. In only a few years’ time, the British Columbia wood pellet manufacturing sector went from one of the worst corporate citizens to one of the best, for employee safety, and broke some moulds along the way. If a biofuel executive had said such things, it might be construed as industrial propaganda, but these were the words of hard-line WorkSafeBC agents who once viewed the wood pellet industry as the juvenile delinquent on the natural resources block. It was only a couple of decades old, but was already a chronic abuser of safety rules and hostile to inspectors. ...Dustin Meierhofer had a long career in operational forestry before recently shifting to the BC Forest Safety Council. He applauded the wood pellet industry for its innovative leadership.

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Fire at Tolko Industries

By Madison Erhardt

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Jun 21, 2017
Castanet

Firefighters responded to a fire in the chip pile at Tolko Mill in Kelowna Wednesday afternoon. Smoke was visible from the building about 1 p.m. When crews arrived on scene, they approached the pile and found that a loader was on fire. "The Tolko crews had extinguished the fire, and right now, crews are making sure that nothing transfers into the chip pile, which could become quite a big problem, said KFD Platoon Capt. Tim Light. "Being a machinery, it's likely some mechanical thing went wrong," he added. (END OF STORY)

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Market improvement prompts Tolko to restart High Prairie OSB mill

By Maria Church

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Jun 21, 2017
Wood Business in Canadian Forest Industries

Tolko Industries is restarting its oriented strand board mill near High Prairie, Alta., and looking to employ about 175 people.  The mill closed in 2008 in response to record low North American housing starts and a resulting drop in the market for OSB. The company credits improving markets and optimism that housing start will continue to trend upwards for the decision to restart the OSB mill. Production is expected to begin in early 2018. Once fully operational, the mill will employ about 175 people and support a contractor logging workforce. Tolko currently employs 330 people at its High Level lumber mill and 150 people at the Athabasca (Slave Lake) OSB mill.

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Province targets mining, forestry with electricity cost-reduction program

By Brendan Kyle Jure

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Jun 21, 2017
North Bay Nipissing

ALMAGUIN — The Ontario government will reduce electricity costs up to 25 per cent for businesses in northern Ontario, according to a media release on June 20. “Ontario’s largest mining companies require considerable amounts of energy to operate their facilities,” said Chris Hodgson, president of the Ontario Mining Association. Mining and forestry companies are two of the industries targeted, in an attempt to keep them competitive. “Our government recognizes the unique challenges that large and industrial businesses face in the north,” said Bill Mauro, Minister of Northern Development and Mines.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Coffee, the fuel of the future?

By Riana Soobadoo

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International
Jun 22, 2017
Dispatch Weekly

In a couple of weeks, the city of London could be seeing the first ever red bus powered by coffee. This incredible achievement, which is sure to make more than one head turn, will be the result of BioBean, a start-up which is gathering waste from coffee chains and converting it into liquid fuel. BioBean is the first company to use a patented biochemical method to extract oil from coffee grounds, which, through hexane extraction, evaporates the waste grounds. The process transforms around 15 to 20% of the waste into oil. BioBean founder, Arthur Kay, founded the company under the mantra: “there is no such thing as waste, just resources in the wrong place”. True to their beliefs, BioBean does not throw away their by-products. Instead, it uses the remaining mass left over after the hexane extraction, to create bio-mass pellets, which can be burnt as fuel in wood burners and are currently available to buy.

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Interview with Bio-Energy Expert André Faaij: “So Much Nonsense Has Been Told, High Time for the Real Story”

By Karel Beckman

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International
Jun 21, 2017
The Energy Collective

“An enormous amount of nonsense” has been told about bio-energy, says André Faaij, scientific director of Energy Academy Europe and professor Energy Systems Analysis at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. According to Faaij, it is high time for the real – scientifically validated – story. “The bio-based economy is indispensable for our climate policy and can mean huge progress for agriculture and nature in developing countries”. Interview with an energy and environmental expert who is indignant about the European debate on bio-energy.

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Biomass could be one solution to Australia's energy problems: Clean Energy Finance Corporation

By Angela Lavoipierre

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International
Jun 22, 2017
ABC News Australia

As Australia hunts for solutions to its energy problems, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) wants to put biomass back on the agenda. It has asked political leaders to actively consider using organic matter as fuel as an option to bolster the baseload energy supply. Biomass is the energy that can be generated through breaking down organic material such as wood waste, ethanol, and municipal waste. The CEFC, which was established by the Gillard government to encourage investment in renewable energy, believes the use of biomass is a missed opportunity for Australia. ..."What we are talking about is collecting the waste traps out of forestry operations and using those for the powering our potentially powering, rather than them just going to waste."

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British forest pumped full of CO2 to test tree absorption

By Matthew Stock

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International
Jun 21, 2017
Daily Mail

STAFFORD, England, June 21 - Researchers at a British University have embarked on a decade-long experiment that will pump a forest full of carbon dioxide to measure how it copes with rising levels of the gas - a key driver of climate change. The Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment at the University of Birmingham's Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) will expose a fenced-off section of mature woodland - in Norbury Park in Staffordshire, West Midlands - to levels of CO2 that experts predict will be prevalent in 2050. Scientists aim to measure the forest's capacity to capture carbon released by fossil fuel burning, and answer questions about their capacity to absorb carbon pollution long-term.

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Wood & Paper Products & Green Building

Durable infrastructure drives America’s economy forward

By Robert Garbini, President, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States
Jun 21, 2017
The Hill

The Trump administration has signaled that they will begin a campaign emphasizing their goal of aligning American infrastructure with 21st century standards. ...As Congress considers the logistics involved in carrying out the administration’s ambitious infrastructure initiative, they would be wise to pay considerable mind to building materials. ...Time and scrutiny have revealed concrete to be the gold standard for safe and dependable construction. Concrete does not warp like wood or rust like metal, thereby nullifying the costly issues of humidity and water damage. Unlike wood, concrete does not rot—conversely, it strengthens with age, as the water inside it slowly evaporates. Concrete has long been held as the favored material for storm shelters and structures in fire and earthquake zones. ...Being that American infrastructure comprises our roads, our bridges, our town halls, the schools where we send our children, we must not settle for “good enough” in choosing building materials; our communities deserve the best.

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Athena Sustainable Materials Institute Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation in the Green Building Sector

By Athena Sustainable Materials Institute

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States
Jun 21, 2017
Canada Newswire

OTTAWA - This year marks the twentieth anniversary of our founding. To celebrate our success and to honour all those who helped us get here, we are hosting a reception in downtown Ottawa to celebrate the milestone. The Athena Institute is a non-profit consultancy and think tank in life cycle assessment (LCA) for the built environment. The North American pioneer in construction-sector LCA, the Athena Institute works with sustainability leaders in product manufacturing, building design, construction, and green rating programs to enable smaller footprints in the production and consumption of materials, buildings and infrastructure. Athena's common-good work includes free LCA software tools for architects and engineers and the development and maintenance of the large LCI/LCA database on construction materials and processes that underlies our tools.

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Lumber lawsuit challenges the size of a 2×4

By Bob Collins

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States; US West
Jun 21, 2017
Minnesota Public Radio

Anybody who’s ever bought lumber knows that a 2×4 isn’t a 2×4, a 1×6 isn’t a 1×6, and a 4×4 isn’t a 4×4. “Anybody who’s in the trades or construction knows that,” Tim Stich, a carpentry instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Lawyers are not in the trade or construction business, however. They’re in the lawsuit business, which is why Menard’s and Home Depot are being sued for deceptive advertising. A Chicago law firm has filed suits seeking $5 million because 4x4s aren’t being advertised as 3 1/2 x 3 1/2. Yevgeniy Turin of McGuire Law, the firm filing the suit, says whatever everybody knows isn’t what most people buying lumber know.

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Whacked with a 4x4: Menards, Home Depot face lawsuits over descriptions of lumber size

By Rick Romell

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States; US East
Jun 21, 2017
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Menards and Home Depot stand accused of deceiving the lumber-buying public, specifically, buyers of 4x4 boards, the big brother to the ubiquitous 2x4. The alleged deception: The retailers market and sell the hefty lumber as 4x4s without specifying that the boards actually measure 3½ inches by 3½ inches. The lawsuits against the retailers, would-be class actions, were filed within five days of each other in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois. Attorneys from the same Chicago law firm represent the plaintiffs in both cases. Each suit seeks more than $5 million. “Defendant has received significant profits from its false marketing and sale of its dimensional lumber products,” the action against Menards contends. “Defendant’s representations as to the dimension of these products were false and misleading,” the suit against Home Depot alleges.

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World’s tallest timber office building launched at the RNA Showgrounds and it will open its doors late 2018

By Chris Herde

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Jun 22, 2017
The Courier-Mail

NEXT year Brisbane will be the home to the world’s tallest and largest engineered timber office building. Acting premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad and Impact Investment Group today joined Lendlease to celebrate the launch of 25 King at the RNA Showgrounds redevelopment in Bowen Hills. At a height of almost 45m, the ground plus nine-storey tower designed by Bates Smart will become the future home of global engineering firm Aurecon. The tower includes three bespoke ground level retail tenancies built using a revolutionary building timber technology called cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulum (glue laminated timber) which has a structural strength akin to traditional concrete and steel. [includes time-lapse video]

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All-timber office building to be built in Brisbane

By Chris O'Brien

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Jun 22, 2017
ABC News Australia

Fire and termites will be no threat to a nine-storey all-timber office block to be built in inner Brisbane, according to the construction team. Taller wooden buildings exist in Australia and around the world but 25 King, now underway at the $2.9-billion RNA Showgrounds redevelopment site, is touted as the tallest engineered-timber office tower on Earth. The Brisbane building is due for completion in late 2018. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) - layers of wood glued together under high pressure with the grain of each perpendicular to the one before and glulum - glued-laminated timber - will be used to erect the 45-metre tall structure. ...25 King will be Lendlease's fifth engineered timber building in Australia.

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Camp Adventure - The Treetop Experience

By Ayda Ayoubi

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Jun 16, 2017
Architect Magazine

The Treetop Experience designed by Effekt, is a new and unique experience destination. A 600 meter treetop walk connected to a 45 meter tall observation tower creates a unique opportunity to take a walk above the treetops and experience the stunning nature of the preserved forest from another perspective. The tower and treetop walk is as a seamless continuous ramp that makes the forest accessible to all - regardless of their physical condition. ...the surface of the boardwalk and ramp is made from timber from the forest’s own production.

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