Category Archives: Special Feature

Special Feature

Shifting supply/demand balance suggests lumber prices likely to fall in Q3

The Canadian Mortgage Professional
July 7, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

Surging construction costs, supply chain snarls and unprecedented demand led to something of a wild ride for lumber prices at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. …According to Vancouver-based consultant Russ Taylor prices are around 50% above what would traditionally be considered a good market, although inflation, rising interest rates and cooler demand in the DIY market mean they’re likely to decline imminently. …Some of the challenges associated with the pandemic appear to be easing, with more mills now able to operate, produce lumber and bring supply into the market. …While the supply problem in the market is easing, inventory is still “quite low,” meaning that those who need to buy at present are propping up lumber prices to some degree. However, that situation will probably end before the season is out, according to Taylor, as some construction pauses due to summer breaks or hot weather.

“Unlike the first half of the year where it was too much demand and not enough supply, now it’s going to be too much supply, not enough demand,” he explained. “My expectation is we’re going to see some further price reductions into the third quarter – but probably not for a little while.” Taylor expects prices to correct by another 25% to 35% to somewhere in the low-to-mid-$500s – although that would still keep them well above historical and pre-pandemic levels. …The futures market is seeing lumber trading at $655 for July to September, even higher than its current levels. Still, that should be taken with a pinch of salt, Taylor said. “It’s just that it doesn’t really reflect reality – but it is reflecting some bullishness right now because the market is a bit tight,” he said. …“I think by the end of July into August, we’ll see a correction and we’ll see where futures are trading then.”

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Protectionist barriers to softwood lumber: A costly measure

By Montreal Economic Institute
Cision Newswire
June 30, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL – The Canada-US softwood lumber dispute that has lasted some forty years is good for neither country, MEI researchers conclude in a publication launched today. The drop in Canadian production has direct consequences on this country’s forestry industry, and is not offset by the increased production south of the border, which leads to a net loss in the volume of wood available in the American market. This artificially induced greater scarcity of wood leads to higher costs for consumers. …The financial repercussions are 26 times greater for the US population than for Canadian producers. They represent a loss of economic well-being of US$1.5 billion for consumers south of the border. The loss of well-being for US consumers is also estimated to be 7% higher than the gains for American producers.

“It’s clear that Canada loses numerous business opportunities because of the tariffs. However, it’s Americans who suffer the most from the protectionist measures put in place by their government. US politicians should take note of this and see the harm they’re causing their own population,” argues Gabriel Giguère, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. “The reason is simple: The reduction of imports of Canadian wood is not fully offset by increased internal production, which reduces the quantity available for consumers. This necessarily entails price increases.

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Largest Ever Mass Timber Fire Test Happening in Ottawa

By Etienne Lalonde
Canadian Wood Council
May 11, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

OTTAWA, Ontario—The Canadian Wood Council has partnered with federal and provincial governments to conduct a series of five separate research burns on a full-scale mass timber structure in Ottawa. The largest burn, happening on a 2-storey, 3700 ft structure, will take place at the end of June, with the following four burns happening over the summer of 2022. The purpose of the project is to support market acceptance of tall and large mass timber buildings in Canada.

By designing and executing a series of demonstration fire research burns on a full-scale mass timber structure, and collecting data from these burns, our objectives are to: Showcase, through fire demonstration tests, that mass timber construction is a safe and viable alternative to other more conventional construction systems (steel & concrete); support the implementation and adoption of the 2020 edition of the National Building Code of Canada; support the transition to performance-based codes and future code change proposals.

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Mass Timber can be a great option for construction – if it’s sourced sustainably

Forest Stewardship Council Canada
April 28, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Toronto, Canada—FSC Canada congratulates the City of Toronto for incorporating mass timber as part of an upcoming affordable housing pilot project. The pilot project, if approved, would create one of the largest wood buildings in Toronto, a 10-storey building with 200 rental units at Dundas and Ossington. The building will use the Toronto Green Standard Version 4, which outlines that 25% of the raw materials meet at least two of the criteria listed – one of which is the wood products must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or CaGBC-approved equivalent. “Right now, as the construction industry looks for sustainable ways to meet increased housing demands around the world, mass timber is taking centre stage.” says Francois Dufresne, president of FSC Canada. “However, not all mass timber is created equal. It is critical to assess not only the distance the timber needs to travel but also the source of the wood.”

During a recent discussion series, Material Worlds: Mass Timber, hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Dufresne shared that while mass timber remains a better option in construction versus steel and concrete, the worst-case scenario timber design (i.e. sourcing wood from unsustainable sources and transporting it over long distances) continues to emit carbon and contribute to global warming. Whereas the best-case scenario, timber design from sustainable sources transported over shorter distances, can sequester carbon and have a cooling effect. (To view the full Material World’s discussion click here.)

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COFI keynotes speak to industry’s regulatory, transportation, geopolitical and economic challenges and risks

Kelly McCloskey, Editor
The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 28, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

Kelly McCloskey

In her first public speech as the new president and CEO of CN, Tracy Robinson acknowledged the appropriateness of her presence at COFI, given that the forest sector has been ground zero on supply chain challenges and market volatility. …”We don’t play favourites”, Robinson assured the delegates, “but we do need to better understand your industry’s issues and challenges, and your views on where increased services will be necessary.” …Next up, Robert Johnston of the Eurasia Group, spoke on four global risks facing the forest products sector. …On Russia and its war on Ukraine, Johnston said that, “regardless of the endgame, none of the multinationals that left Russia will be returning”. …Jock Finlayson of the Business Council of BC, spoke of the headwinds facing Canada and BC due to slowing growth, inflation, recession risks, covid-shutdowns and rising business costs. …Paul Jannke of Forest Economic Advisors, spoke of the changes in lumber trade flows due to the war, and the challenges of forecasting in today’s market. … Luncheon keynote Harjit Sajjan, Minister of International Development, updated the delegates on PacifiCan, a new British Columbia-specific agency in 2021-22. …Finally, Dr. Wenran Jiang, President, Canada-China Energy & Environment Forum put a spotlight on China, how they perceive the world around them — they feel threatened — the state of Canada/China relations and the best path forward.

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Exploring the Application of Remote Sensing to Track Forest Carbon

By Sandy McKellar
Natural Resources Canada
March 30, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Through carbon capture and sequestration, Canada’s forests play a critical role in the fight against climate change. Carbon gains have been realized through world-class sustainable forest management while at the same time, insects, wildfire, and other natural disturbance impacts work to release carbon back into the atmosphere. To monitor and help manage forest carbon stocks, the Government of Canada has developed a sophisticated approach to carbon accounting and reporting. A highly specialized team of research scientists, programmers, analysts, and remote sensing specialists make up the Carbon Accounting Team in the Canadian Forest Service.

Dr. Piotr Tompalski, NRCan’s newest research scientist in the Carbon Accounting Team, has been instrumental in implementing the use of remote sensing data for estimating aboveground biomass. “Today, laser scanning (or LiDAR – Light Detection and Ranging) allows us to create accurate 3D models of a tree or a forest stand that can be measured automatically,” Tompalski explained. …“By utilizing the remote sensing data, we aim to improve the accuracy of carbon modelling and reported greenhouse gas emission values.” Tompalski explained, “Future decisions based on the reported data will therefore become more informed since the uncertainty in the carbon levels will be lower”. 

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What Do Canadians Think of Canada’s Forest Products Sector?

By David Coletto, founding partner and CEO, Abacus Data
Abacus Data
March 24, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Everyday, Canadians interact or use products produced by Canada’s forestry sector. Yet, despite this, few really understand how the sector works. …understanding what the public knows and doesn’t know about forestry is critical to policy makers, elected officials, and others who want to see Canada’s forestry sector thrive and grow. Abacus Data was commissioned by the Forest Products Association of Canada to conduct a national public opinion survey to understand what Canadians know about Canada’s forestry sector and how they feel about it. 

…Over a short period of time, impressions of Canada’s forestry sector have improved substantially. Today, more Canadians have a positive impression of the sector, more say they have at least a limited understanding of how it works, and more aware of some key facts about it. Despite this, most remain unconvinced that Canada is a global leader in how it manages it forests – despite clear evidence to the contrary. While these polling results are positive, they aren’t surprising. At a time when the next generation of Canadians are looking for renewable and sustainable answers to economic questions, Canada’s forestry sector stands out because of its considerable potential.

As the public’s concern about climate change and sustainable grows, so too will its demand for sustainable building materials. Canada’s forest products sector is well positioned to respond. I suspect its reputation will continue to improve as more Canadians learn about what the sector is doing to meet the climate crisis head-on.

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UBC’s history teaches us that we can do more for Ukrainian people

By Yotam Ronen, PhD Candidate
The Ubyssey
March 22, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, International

When I started my PhD back in 2018, I went on every single campus tour I could find. …Some highlighted the Sopron Gate, a monument donated by alumni of the Hungarian Forestry School in Sopron in Hungary to the UBC Faculty of Forestry. This beautiful gate was donated to commemorate an act of solidarity performed by the UBC community towards students and faculty in Hungary, some 65 years ago. Following the 1956 revolution in Hungary, students and faculty faced the violence of the Soviet army. In September 1957, at the invitation and support of UBC, 14 faculty and 200 students from the Hungarian Sopron University of Forestry came to UBC.

Today, Ukraine is suffering a brutal war as Russian soldiers invade the country… And many of us feel powerless and sit hoping that our leaders do the right thing. …More than 60 years after their arrival in Canada, the choice to help those in need in Hungary proved to be a success. Many of the students who came from Sapron continued to graduate school, and many made a considerable impact in the field of forestry. …UBC can and should offer subsidies and funding schemes to incoming and current students at all levels of study, tuition deferrals and exemptions, housing opportunities for incoming Ukrainian students and their families to help incoming and current students cope with the traumatic effects of this war. …The time to act is now.

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Russian war creates bull market for commodities, shifts in wood markets and trade

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
March 16, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, International

Nelson Bennett

Canada and Russia have a few things in common. Both are vast, northern countries rich in natural resources, and both are major exporters of key commodities like oil, natural gas, lumber, minerals, metals, potash and wheat. But in Europe, the U.S., Japan, South Korea and several other countries, Russia is now a pariah. …Hakan Ekstrom, of Wood Resources International, predicts some dramatic shifts in wood markets and trade to result. …While China may absorb some Russian exports that might otherwise go to Europe or Japan, Ekstrom thinks Russia’s forest industry could enter a long-term decline… in much the same way that Venezuela’s oil industry did, because it may have trouble financing new mills or buying new machinery and equipment.

“They have the trees – they just don’t have the capacity to bring out those trees to manufacturing facilities,” Ekstrom said. …“Even if Putin decides that the Russian banks should try to continue to give money to investors, those investors have nowhere to go because they don’t have the machinery, the scanners, the optimizers, the electronics. …Biomass includes wood pellets burned as an alternative to coal in thermal power plants. …“With Europe losing Russia, they might be willing to pay more for pellets wherever it is in the world, and B.C. is one of the few places outside the U.S. south that can produce large volumes of pellets,” Ekstrom said. …Producers in Sweden and Germany could end up supplanting some of what is lost from Russia in Europe, which might mean fewer exports to the U.S. and higher demand and prices for Canadian lumber in the U.S. There may also be sustained high prices for pulp and paper. 

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Growing and Diversifying BC’s Value-Added Wood Exports

By Kelly McCloskey, Editor
The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 24, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

BC’s forests are once again headlining mainstream newscasts with for-and-against opinions on logging old growth and managing forests for wildfire and climate change resilience. One area where there is broad concurrence however, lies in the objective of maximizing the value generated for every log harvested—which is why governments and industry associations support value-added wood companies to expand their markets. Ask any value-added manufacturer what it takes to accomplish this and you’re apt to hear about the usual constraints to expansion, such as a lack of skilled labour, fibre supply, financing and market intel/experience.

With respect to the latter, we noticed that BC Wood’s Export Readiness Training Program kicks off this Wednesday, so we decided to take a closer look. Initiated in 2019 and supported by funding by BC FII and NRCan, this in-depth, webinar based, 9-module program guides participants through the complete process of exporting. …So – how are they doing? Based on a survey of previous year participants, the program is very well received.

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New study confirms BC wood pellets are responsibly sourced

By Gordon Murray, Executive Director
The Wood Pellet Association of Canada
September 20, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC – A new study confirms that wood pellets in BC are sourced entirely from sawmill and harvest residuals or from low-quality logs and bush grind rejected by other industries. The study was commissioned by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. Respected forest experts Professor Gary Bull, Dr. Jeremy Williams, Dr. Jim Thrower and Mr. Brad Bennett. …“We reviewed the data for virtually every truckload of fibre for each pellet mill in the province and were able to source forest-based residuals down to the forest harvesting block for each mill,” said Bull.

“The findings were clear: 85% of the fibre for pellets comes from the by-products of the sawmills and allied industries, and the remaining 15% comes from bush grind and low-quality logs where the only other option is to burn the low-grade logs and brush piles on site in order to reduce fire risk.” In addition, almost all the pellets produced in B.C. are certified under the international recognized Sustainable Biomass Program and the fibre is from sustainably managed forests in B.C. certified under the Canadian Standards Association, the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative “The notion of harvesting whole stands of timber or displacing higher value forest products for the purpose of producing wood pellets is counter to the overall economic and environmental objectives of using wood pellets,” added Thrower.

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BC’s wood pellet power play – mills stoke uptake of wood waste into a booming global market for biomass energy

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 13, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Joe Aquino

British Columbians of a certain age may remember beehive burners. Most towns in B.C. with a sawmill had one. In the late 1990s, the B.C. government began phasing them out, and in their wake a wood pellet industry began to grow to deal with sawmill waste. It seemed like a win-win situation for the environment and forest industry – one that reduced air pollution, addressed the sawmill waste problem and provided a renewable, carbon-neutral energy source that was starting to displace coal. As countries like Japan and the U.K. began displacing coal in thermal power plants with biomass, a market for wood pellets began to grow. About 60 per cent of Europe’s renewable energy is bioenergy, mostly wood biomass. But as the demand for wood pellets has grown over the last two decades, so too have concerns about the wood pellet industry and its impact on forests. 

Environmental groups like Stand.earth and the Natural Resources Defense Council in the U.S. have been stepping up campaigns against the industry, questioning the climate calculus that deems biomass to be carbon neutral. Forests are important carbon sinks, after all. If living trees are cut down to produce energy, the carbon neutrality of biomass may be called into question. That’s especially true if more trees are harvested than regrown. Currently, most of the inputs used in B.C. pellet mills come from sawmills and harvest residuals such as slash,  which is typically burned anyway. On average, about 80 per cent of the inputs in Drax’s seven wood pellet mills in B.C. is sawmill waste, Drax’s Joe Aquino said. About 20 per cent is harvest residuals – branches, treetops and low-value logs that sawmills don’t want. …Drax insists that it is not harvesting trees in Canada to make wood pellets and that doing so would make no economic sense. Trees are valuable, after all, and wood pellets are at the bottom of the forestry value chain. 

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Biomass: Carbon neutral or worse than coal? Burning plants and trees to generate energy complicates CO2 equation

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 14, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

As of 2020, 22 per cent of Europe’s energy came from renewables. But 60 per cent of that is bioenergy – much of it wood biomass. It’s an industry that has come under intense scrutiny and criticism of late from environmentalists. …Despite what IPCC scientists say about bioenergy’s role in shifting the world’s energy generation away from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, environmentalists say bioenergy’s climate benefits no longer add up. …As biomass energy demand grows, they say the industry is running out of wood waste and increasingly resorting to harvesting forests. BIV put that question to five scientists:

  • Generally, biomass as an energy source is much better than coal, said Joana Portugal Pereira, senior scientist for the IPCC’s Working Group 3 on Mitigation of Climate Change.  …However, there may be genuine concerns about the carbon deficit – the time it takes for regrowing trees to absorb the CO2 released on combustion. The deficit may widen the more whole lives trees are used, instead of wood waste that is already being generated through forestry anyway, especially if the forests are not sustainably managed. 
  • As long as wood waste that is already being generated is used to make wood pellets, the carbon deficit is less of an issue, said Chris Bataille, adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and a lead author for the IPCC Working Group 3’s sixth assessment.
  • Mark Jaccard, an SFU sustainable energy economist and contributor to the sixth assessment of the IPCC Working Group 3, says, “… even if it was dedicated biomass plantations managed for soil conservation and sustained annual allowable cut, it would still be fine to use bioenergy and it would still be net-zero emission.” 

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Forest sector icon Mike Apsey dies at 84

Legacy.com
September 11, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

APSEY, Thomas Michael (Mike) April 1, 1938 – September 1, 2022

Mike Apsey passed away peacefully in his sleep, September 1, after a lengthy struggle with dementia. Happily, Mike never lost his ability to recognize his beloved wife, Sharon, who was with him the day he passed. Born in Vernon. BC, Mike graduated from the University of British Columbia’s Forestry Department in 1961 and over the next four decades became one of Canada’s most influential and respected forestry professionals. He began his career in the provincial government’s Department of Industrial Development, Trade and Commerce, before being recruited as an analyst for Vancouver based forestry company Macmillan Bloedel. …Returning to B.C. [from Turkey] in 1970, he served as a vice president of the Council of Forest Industries. In 1978, Mike became the Deputy Minister of Forests for British Columbia, a position he held until 1984. Leaving that post, he took on the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Forest Industries of B.C, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.

In retirement, Mike remained active, attending numerous speaking engagements and serving on various committees… During this period, with the encouragement and collaboration of Ken Drushka, a distinguished author, Mike published his memoir, titled “What’s All This Got To Do With The Price of 2 X 4’s?” Mike’s dedicated service to BC’s forest services earned him several honours, including the Rielle Thomson Award, the Chevalier de l”Ordre du Merite Agricole from the Government of France, a Certificate of Appreciation from the Government of Canada, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from UBC. In 2002 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.

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Kalesnikoff Lumber provides the opportunity for a Ukrainian family to reunite

Black Press in the Creston Valley Advance
August 9, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Misha Sergyeyev & Emre Şenay

Misha Sergyeyev was safely out at sea when Russia invaded Ukraine. His wife, youngest daughter and mother-in-law weren’t so fortunate. …Twice the women reached a checkpoint only to be turned back by Ukrainian soldiers. On their third try, they escaped to Romania and moved on to Turkey. …Emre and Oksana (Misha’s eldest daughter) had immigrated to Canada years earlier. Oksana began working to bring her family to Canada as refugees, a process complicated by the fact that her grandmother didn’t have a passport or other personal identification. Meanwhile Emre wondered if there might be a place for Misha at Kalesnikoff. He was a skilled professional with 25 years as an electrical and technical officer on ships. “I just made Chris Kalesnikoff aware of it, and then he gave us a chance,” says Emre. 

Misha is now an electrical assistant on Kalesnikoff’s resource team. …While other relatives escaped to Poland, the family still has cousins and friends in Ukraine. Most are in rural areas where it’s safer, but some remain in the cities. “They’re not afraid,” Misha says. His brother-in-law tells him, “If we die, we die. If we live, we live.” Emre explains: “If fear is preventing you from living your life, you stop being afraid … They just live with that fact. It’s unbelievable to me too but I can kind of relate.” …Misha expects the war to drag on for another year or two, with recovery efforts stretching well into the future, so the family is settling in the Kootenays for the long haul.

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West Fraser releases 2021 Sustainability Report

West Fraser Timber Company
July 28, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Our 2021 Sustainability report was released on July 27, 2022. It outlines our environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance for the past year. Sustainability has been a central principle at West Fraser since our company was founded more than 65 years ago. Over the years, our approach has continued to evolve to reflect who we are and what we value as an organization.  “In 2021, we took important steps toward becoming a sustainability leader, and today we are sharing our progress with the release of our 2021 Sustainability Report,”  said Ray Ferris, West Fraser’s President & CEO. “We understand the importance, and necessity, of doing the right thing for the environment, our communities and our employees while sustainably and profitably growing our business.  We are proud of our past, but even more excited about our future.” We welcome you to view the report and the progress we’ve made toward our goal of becoming a leader in sustainability.

Our 2021 Sustainability Report tells the story of a pivotal year of growth for West Fraser. We worked to embed a shared culture of sustainability and credible elevation of environmental and social considerations in our business decisions across a newly formed organization. It was a year in which we learned from new colleagues, established new goals, and developed and implemented strategies to achieve our sustainability ambitions. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on climate action, our people, our communities, safety performance, meaningful Indigenous relations and sustainable forest management.

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Old growth update

Mike Copperthwaite, Patrick McMechan, Nick Arkle, and Fernando Cocciolo
The Revelstoke Review
June 20, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

In November 2021, the Provincial Government announced its intention to work in partnership with indigenous communities to temporarily defer the harvest of British Columbia most rare, unique, and at-risk old growth forests. …Unfortunately, though well intended, the roll-out of the old growth deferral strategy has been poor and has left Indigenous groups, our community and the local forest industry in a state of flux with uncertainty and some unrealistic short-term expectations by some. Over the past six months, the forest industry has been working hard to limit or completely avoid its impacts to the proposed old growth deferral areas. These changes have not been insignificant and have led to major disruption to operations, shutdowns for contractors, and the loss of a number of well-paying industry jobs in our community.

It is not a case of ‘talk and log’ but a case of identifying clearly understood time periods and objectives and developing a plan together to get to where we collectively want to get to. It is about balance. …We believe this community, working in collaboration with the Indigenous title holders, can show how complex planning processes can be done together. Respect and trust will be critical. To get it wrong will have a long-lasting negative impact on our environment and our community.

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Western Red Cedar Lumber Association partners with BC Cancer to create healing space for families

Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
June 21, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Biophilic design is proven to provide substantial therapeutic benefits that expedite healing and recovery. Wood, such as Real Cedar, is essential when it comes to designing health care facilities. The BC Cancer design team is building a new Supportive Care Centre that will include Real Cedar features, providing the calming effects of warm, soothing cedar throughout the building, creating an environment where patients will be more receptive to the many healing services the centre has to offer. From the time of diagnosis and up to 18 months after treatment, patients can receive support by the center’s dedicated healthcare professionals. The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) is proud to provide the materials to help make this vision of holistic healing a reality. WRCLA invites our partners to join us in this initiative. All funds raised through this initiative will support the establishment of a stand-alone Supportive Care Clinic at BC Cancer – Vancouver. DONATE TODAY!

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Downie Timber CEO Nick Arkle on BC old-growth review

By Aaron Orlando
The Revelstoke Mountaineer
May 24, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nick Arkle

Arkle said that Downie has adapted to many changes since it was purchased in 1990, including pivoting to different markets over the years, such as the Middle East, Europe and Japan, and the U.S. The change has affected the species of trees they milled. Arkle said the current challenge to adapt to is changes to B.C. old growth policy and also changes brought by the B.C. government’s work to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the province. “This is where the impact is on Downie Timber. It’s what does the future look like, what kind of volumes are going to be available to us? What’s going to be the cost of accessing those volumes?” Arkle asked, saying there is a need for predictability, which they don’t have now. 

Arkle said the planning process for harvesting takes about two years, making it challenging to adapt to sudden policy changes. …Arkle said Downie is working on bringing together an Indigenous and community-led effort. “It really is about getting First Nations with us, looking at the local data, using Indigenous knowledge, getting the experts, sitting down together and figuring out how we can identify what really are meaningful deferrals, and not just a blanket deferral on anything that has a colour on a map.” …Arkle acknowledge changes in “social license” around old growth harvesting, saying the company wants to work with parties involved to come up with a plan. “We have to work with our communities, we have to work with our Indigenous leadership and communities to come up with that balanced plan for the future, because it’s too important not to get right.”

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Canfor Partnered with Parks Canada for Wildfire Risk Reduction, Mechanical Harvesting a Proven Success

Canfor Corporation
May 20, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor was selected by Parks Canada through a competitive bid process to undertake a large-scale mechanical fuel reduction program on Pyramid Bench in Jasper National Park over winter 2018 – 2019. The project was designed to reduce the risk of severe wildfire impacting the town of Jasper, which had increased substantially due to the recent mountain pine beetle outbreak in the surrounding forest. The program demonstrated that mechanical harvesting can be successfully used as a tool to reduce forest fuels in environmentally sensitive locations with high recreational use adjacent to communities.

Parks Canada contracted Canfor to reduce the amount of dead and dying trees in mountain pine beetle affected forest at Pyramid Beach, watch a video about the Jasper National Park Fuel Reduction Program.

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Susan Yurkovich’s Wrap Up From the COFI Convention

By Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO
Council of Forest Industries
April 29, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tree Frog News is pleased to present the full transcript of Susan Yurkovich’s Wrap Up at the 2021/22 COFI Conference. Susan is in a class of her own when it comes to putting on a major conference and simultaneously capturing the key highlights and lessons learned. As is past years, Susan’s summary is sure to be the most read story in Today’s Tree Frog News.

It has been so great to be back in person at the COFI Convention and we have had a fantastic couple of days with tons of food for thought. After a wonderful warm welcome from Elder Dennis Joseph, Minister Conroy opened our program and reiterated the hopes the Province has for the future of forestry here – one that is sustainable, inclusive and committed to reconciliation. She underscored the importance of working together because in her words, “no one knows better how this industry works than the folks in this room” and I’m sure we will all want to take her up on this invitation as we chart our path forward. We were SO pleased to have Tracy Robinson here in here first public address. The new leader of CN, she described the railroad as ‘the spine of steel that connects the North American economy’ and that spine is under pressure.  She acknowledged that in her words, the “business relationship with CN has been strained…”

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A picture summary of day three at the #COFI2022 Convention

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog News
May 2, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

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Susan Yurkovich, Katrine Conroy kick off COFI conference

Kelly McCloskey, Editor
The Tree Frog News
April 28, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week, almost 800 business, government, First Nations and community leaders have gathered in Vancouver for the B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI) annual convention—the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of COFI opened the conference noting her delight to be in a (real) room connecting with so many provincial, municipal and First Nation and industry leaders. Noting the many issues the sector faces as it emerges from the pandemic, Yurkovich said, “there are lots of good people here with big ideas on how to build a strong economy and brighter future for our planet, where B.C.’s globally leading sustainable forestry practices and low-carbon forest products can play an outsized role.” 

Yurkovich introduced Squamish Nation Elder Dennis Joseph, who welcomed the delegates, and Vancouver Councillor Lisa Dominato, who spoke of the importance of the sector to city and the province. Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, provided an overview of her deep roots in the industry and the government’s vision for a “high value,” not “high-volume” forest sector. Recognizing that BC needs a “strong primary industry for secondary manufacturers to survive”, Conroy challenge the primary and value-added producers to get together on their own proposals for how government can provide more reliable access to timber and “get the right log to the right mill”.

Dennis Joseph

Lisa Dominato

Katrine Conroy

 

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Day 2 at the #COFI2022

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 28, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

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COFI kicks off their Conference with sold out Ice Breaker

Kelly McCloskey, Editor
The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 27, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich & John Desjardins

The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) kicked off their annual forestry conference—the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019— with a sold-out Ice Breaker in Vancouver. The two-day conference promises to be an outstanding event given the expected attendance of more than 750 delegates and high profile speakers such as Tracy Robinson, President and CEO of CN, BC Premier John Horgan and BC Minister of Forests Kristine Conroy. Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of COFI opened the conference noting her delight to be in a (real) room connecting with so many provincial, municipal and First Nation leaders as well as the many firms and individuals that service and supply our mills. The event sponsor, John Desjardins, National Sector Leader, Forest Products at KPMG shared the stage, emphasizing the importance of the sector to KPMG—as auditors, tax advisors, forest certifiers and GHG reporters, and the importance of the conference as a place to create dialogue on the many issues facing the sector.

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Council of Forest Industries Ice Breaker Event

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog News
April 27, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

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Introducing Pacific HemFir

Pacific HemFir
April 26, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC─Made from one of the most plentiful and renewable species in the province, www.PacificHemFir.com introduces a renewed commitment by the provincial and federal governments and industry to market BC Pacific HemFir products as a local, sustainable, carbon friendly building material. “There’s a reason why Pacific HemFir is called wood that works,” explains industry expert Rick Jeffery. “It’s strong, dense and durable, all-important attributes that make Pacific HemFir a high value wood with superior technical performance.” Pacific HemFir is 100% renewable. Grown and harvested within the context of British Columbia’s leading sustainable forest management regime, Pacific HemFir is a natural solution that helps mitigate climate change, locking in carbon over the wood product’s lifetime. Its cachet is only just beginning to be appreciated by professionals, looking for a low carbon solution in new applications and building projects, but together these qualities make Pacific HemFir an exceptional fit for most structural, appearance and industrial uses.

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Genetic Resistance Employed to Save Western White Pine from a Fungal Invasion

By Sandy Mckellar
Natural Resources Canada
March 28, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western white pine is an important conifer species that produces highly prized straight-grained, non-resinous wood used in lumber and value-added products. Once prevalent in BC’s forests, this white pine species almost vanished when, in the early 20th century, an exotic pathogen called Cronartium ribicola was introduced into North America from Europe — killing up to ninety-five percent of Canada’s wild stands of western white pine. “This situation may become worse because climate change makes the race between trees and pathogens even more unpredictable,” said Dr. Jun-Jun Liu, a molecular forest pathologist working to save the threatened pines.

The disease caused by this fungal invader is commonly called white pine blister rust (WPBR), it attacks and kills white pines of all ages. The impact of the fungus has led the federal government to declare one native white or five-needle pines (whitebark pine) endangered in accordance with the Species at Rick Act. …Liu and his team at Natural Resources Canada’s Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria, British Columbia are engaged in long-term research to identify and enhance a genetic resistance road-map. They screen trees with disease resistance in order to develop genomics-based breeding tools. 

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Protecting the last intact Garry oak ecosystems

By Sandy McKellar
Natural Resources Canada
March 4, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

James Miskelly

Biologist James Miskelly works as a Forestry Officer in the Federal Lands Program at Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service (CFS). Based out of the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria, BC, he is part of a team that provides land management expertise to the Department of National Defence (DND)-Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt—home to unique and endangered Garry oak ecosystems. …BC’s natural Garry oak ecosystems are threatened by land conversion for agricultural, residential and industrial development. Less than five percent remain in a near-natural condition, and they too are threatened. Habitat loss, fragmentation, encroachment of woody species (as a consequence of fire suppression), and invasion by exotic species, has led to the designation of more than 100 species of plants and animals that live in Garry oak ecosystems as  “at risk” by the Government of BC. …“We are engaged in some of the largest stewardship projects in these ecosystems in BC,” says Miskelly. 

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Remote Sensing in Canada — a Data Revolution!

By Sandy McKellar
Natural Resources Canada
February 4, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Txomin Hermosilla

To measure and catalogue Canada’s massive forest resource—covering more than 350 million hectares—requires advanced technologies and a data revolution. Twentieth century innovation in remote sensing gave foresters the ability to observe forests from above, first from the air, and then from orbit. Innovations have further revolutionized forest monitoring and management. Satellites, airplanes and drones can now capture unprecedented amounts of data with an accuracy and intelligence that allows foresters to create information-packed maps and visual displays. NRCan’s remote sensing researchers are leading this revolution. Canada’s forest scientists collaborate on many projects to study what the data are revealing about forest characteristics, both at home and around the world. The Pacific Forestry Centre (PFC) in Victoria, BC, has a dedicated team engaged in this cutting-edge forest research. Using the latest in computational technology to analyse a variety of remotely sensed data, scientists like Txomin Hermosilla are monitoring and reporting on Canada’s forest changes following disturbance events. 

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ABCFP Awards Recognize Contributions to Forestry in 2021

Association of BC Forest Professionals
February 2, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver — The Association of BC Forest Professionals is recognizing 17 forest professionals with awards for their outstanding service and contributions to bettering the practice of forestry across the province in 2021. “Peer recognition of a job well done or extended excellence over the course of a career is both humbling and meaningful to the forest professionals responsible for caring for one of BC’s most treasured resources,” said Garnet Mierau, RPF, ABCFP president. The awards are based on nominations submitted by other forest professionals. The winners were honoured at the ABCFP’s 74th annual forestry conference and AGM, held virtually February 2-4, 2022.

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Using Genomics to Protect Forests Against Pathogens and Adapt to Climate Change

Natural Resources Canada
January 26, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian forests are threatened by pathogens and ecosystem-changes driven by climate change. At the same time, accelerated international trade has provided a conduit for invasive (non-native) pests. To help protect the forested land base from these threats, research scientists at Natural Resources Canada, in the Pacific Forestry Centre (PFC) in Victoria, are contributing to a unique field of research called genomics. Exploring the magic of genomics are NRCan research scientists Nicolas Feau (a forest pathologist and mycologist) and Gwylim Blackburn (who specializes in the ecology and evolution of invasive insects). Blackburn, who says we’re in a genomic revolution right now, enthused, “the last ten years have been an incredible period – thanks to advancements in genetic data collection, computing capacity and statistical tools – it’s like being at a carnival with all the ride tickets you could ever want. And having candy floss too!”. 

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ABCFP Forestry Conference Only 11 Days Away

Association of BC Forest Professionals
January 21, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 2,000 people have already registered for the 74th ABCFP Forestry Conference and AGM, which is only 11 days away. Don’t miss out. Our forestry conference helps contribute to the continuing professional development of forest professionals across British Columbia. With over 50 speakers, our program line-up includes:

  • Blueberry River First Nation – Cumulative Effects Court Decision
  • Managing Conflict in Polarizing Times
  • Preparing for Wildfire: Lessons from Logan Lake and Tremont Creek Wildfire
  • Collaborative Visitor Use Management in the Sea to Sky
  • A New Perspective on Managing Interior Douglas-fir
  • Cyber Threats and Professional Liability: What You Need to Know
  • Future of Forest Management in a Changing Climate
  • How Long is Too Long? The Persistence of Glyphosate in Forest Plant Tissues
  • Forestry and Biodiversity in the Age of Genomics and Climate Change
  • Forest Minister’s Keynote Address with the Honourable Katrine Conroy

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The History of Logging Protests in British Columbia (Part 2)

By David Brownstein, The Canadian Forest-History Preservation Project
Network in Canadian History & Environment
January 14, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

This is the second part of two posts on the history of BC logging protests. Part 1 began with the observation that contemporary logging protests are but the most recent statement in a longstanding conversation. Here, in part 2, another two cases (Cathedral Grove 1929-1947 and Hollyburn Ridge 1938-1944) further identify several enduring themes. …While the characters involved changed by decade, location, and motivation, in almost all cases, the protesters lived in Victoria or Vancouver. On the whole, most people didn’t care about trees coming down somewhere, they simply didn’t want their trees to be felled. And initial complaints came from pre-existing organizations with allied goals. In time, this would shift, to see organizations created around particular protest movements. 

There are also many differences, such as the particular motivations to prevent logging… and Indigenous voices were entirely absent in the six historical cases. …The greatest difference of all is that neither contemporary protestors nor the demands of reconciliation will be satisfied by exchanging old growth logging rights in one place for those in another. Corporate gifts to the citizens of BC, as in the Strathcona Park leases or Cathedral Grove lands, are unlikely to function as an escape hatch, as they did in the past. Because today’s protesters… will not be content to have just “their” trees remain standing. This means that… there is only one historically tested way out of the current Fairy Creek old-growth controversy: the public buyout, a taxpayer-funded scheme by which existing licensees are compensated for having their logging rights extinguished, in favour of either transfer to First Nations, or preservation. …And it is safe to assume that mitigating historical contingencies will be expensive. 

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Giving Communities the Power to Make Informed Decisions About Wildfire Mitigation

Natural Resources Canada
January 14, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate change is increasing the frequency of hotter and drier weather conditions, while past successful wildfire suppression has created large swaths of fire deficit areas across Canada. At the same time, urban sprawl and out-migration is pushing more people and homes beyond city limits and into the transition zone of wildland areas [creating] a greater risk of a wildfire disaster – driving evacuations when fires strike and dramatically increasing the human and financial losses. …To better prepare for and respond to such risks, a team of research scientists at the Pacific Forestry Centre (PFC) in Victoria are evaluating wildfire mitigation options for communities in the wildland urban interface. Two researchers, Nirmal Subedi and Keldi Forbes — Wildfire Research Economists in the Forest Research Economics Group — are developing economic decision making support tools to aid in deciding when and where to implement wildfire suppression treatments crucial to the safety and viability of communities.

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San Group to Acquire Interfor’s Acorn Forest Products Sawmill

San Group
April 12, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada East

LANGLEY, BC – San Group and Interfor Corporation announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which San Group will acquire Interfor’s Acorn sawmill assets located in Delta, BC. …Pursuant to the Agreement, San Group will acquire all the assets and inventory of the Mill and hire all employees currently employed at the Mill. The acquisition builds on San Group’s fully integrated value-added wood products processing methodology and positions the company’s Innovative Lumber Manufacturing Systems with the Mill’s production capabilities. …After the acquisition, San Group’s production capacity will exceed over five hundred million board feet making San Group the second largest sawmilling company in the Coastal Region of British Columbia and one of the largest privately held forestry companies in Western Canada. 

“Acorn’s complementary sawmilling technology, customer base, and geographic footprint make it an excellent fit with our value-added business model, and the transaction strengthens our global wood products export base,” said San Group’s Co-Owner, Kamal Sanghera. …Suki Sanghera, San Group’s, Co-Owner said: “This transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to San Group by connecting Acorn’s production capacity with our current facilities, and to provide current and new employees an opportunity to join a company whose philosophy is centered on increasing the longevity of our forests through value added manufacturing. …Mr. Sanghera added, “One of our first major deals in the lumber industry was with Mr. Sauder in the early 1990’s. We are humbled to now have the opportunity to purchase Acorn. We will strive to live up to his family’s name and their contribution to the BC forest industry.

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Sustainable Forest Management: A Climate Change Mitigation Tool

Bruce Lippke, professor Emeritus, University of Washington
CORRIM
January 2, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States

President Biden’s executive order on forests and climate change has spurred renewed interest in CORRIM’s fact sheet on sustainable forest management as a climate mitigation tool.

Bruce Lippke

Concerns over climate change have become a global priority. Proposed natural climate solutions to address this issue include stopping forest harvest, extending harvest rotation age, and planting more trees. These measures have only limited ability to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and can possibly be counterproductive because: intensive management increases carbon sequestration rates, allowing for fewer acres to produce more wood; tree growth slows down with age; and climate driven disturbance impacts are reducing the benefits of longer rotations. …Sustainable forest management acts like a pump that transfers forest carbon to other uses and storage pools. Harvesting trees transfers carbon from the forest to wood products. Continued investment in sustainably managed forests can increase forest carbon storage while providing for a continuous supply of wood for future needs. 

Managed forests worldwide represent 7% of total area but provide 41% of the global wood supply. They are highly efficient at removing CO2 from the atmosphere and converting it to carbon storing products. Forests managed for timber sequester carbon at a faster rate than unmanaged forests. Carbon uptake in US forests and wood products offset 14% of the US annual carbon emissions. …Unmanaged forests are not faring well due to climate change impacts. The acres burned in these forests has more than doubled since 2000. Forestland that is sustainably managed will sequester more carbon over medium to long- term time horizons… and free up other forests to provide benefits such as biodiversity that require a different management approach.

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Experience Hoo-Hoo Hospitality at the 130th Convention in Sacramento

Sacramento Hoo-Hoo Club #109
July 8, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States, US West

The International Order of Hoo-Hoo invite you to join them this September in Northern California, where the Sacramento Club are hosting the 130th convention of this historical organization. “We’re going to highlight the incredible history, scenery and hospitality that Sacramento and Northern California have to offer,” said club treasurer John Taylor. “Our plan is to show off Sacramento’s new up and coming urban downtown. To bring to light the area as a leader in farm-to-fork dining with a train ride reception and dinner at the California State Railroad Museum and to highlight the rich history and to have some fun with a lumber themed mystery theatre dinner on board the Delta King, an old time paddlewheel ship moored in Old Sacramento.  We will cap it off with an incredible Gala Dinner Dance.” Hotel discounts are available until August 15. Register online to be a part of this unique forest sector event!

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New markets for wood products help preserve US forests

Forests2Market Blog
June 6, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States, US East

There is an ongoing disconnect that tends to resurface in the debate surrounding the use of woody biomass to create renewable products that are displacing fossil-based products. This includes bioenergy, biofuels and biochemicals. …This is a curious battle for detractors of biomass to wage. On the one hand, there is disdain for all forms of fossil energy. Yet, on the other hand, the world’s most reliable and available renewable resources (trees) must also remain “off limits.” In the case of wood pellets, the primary point of contention is typically framed as: “Burning trees is permanently decimating southern forests.” 

…Since the middle of the twentieth century, the amount of timberland in the US South has remained stable, increasing by about 3% between 1953 and 2015. During this period, economic growth and increased construction spurred consumer demand for forest products, which led to a significant increase in timber harvests by almost 60%. Yet, over this same period, the amount of wood fiber inventory in southern forests more than doubled. …The growth of the forest products industry, including the wood pellet sector, continues to create new demand for biomass, which has resulted in an increase, rather than a reduction, in forest inventory. In other words, healthy demand is driving reforestation, not deforestation across the US South. …When forestland ownership becomes uneconomical, the risk for converting the land to other uses increases. With such conversion, the forest is lost forever. Keeping the economics of private forest ownership strong, including the utilization of low-value forest materials, is a key component in preserving the proven relationship between environmental and economic interests of the forest.

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Fifty architects and designers you need to know on Earth Day

Dezeen
April 22, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

To celebrate Earth Day we’ve compiled a list of architects and designers… who are doing pioneering work, ranging from exploring timber construction to designers thinking radically about circularity and scientists developing new low-carbon materials:

Andrew Waugh, co-founder of Waugh Thistleton Architects – a vocal advocate for building more sustainably and an outspoken critic of existing UK regulations relating to environmental construction. As part of his role in the Architects Declare pressure group, Waugh co-authored a recent report setting out ways to reduce carbon emissions associated with the built environment.

Marco Vermeulen, founder of Studio Marco Vermeulen – a Dutch architect and founder of his namesake design office Studio Marco Vermeulen. Vermeulen is known for his use of timber and raw materials to create sustainable buildings as well as his research into sustainable forestry and how it can be used to form a circular approach to construction.

Michael Green, founder of Michael Green Architecture – a Canadian architect at the forefront of mass timber innovation in North America and the world. He has authored two books on the subject and delivered a TED Talk titled “Why we should build wooden skyscrapers”.

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