Daily News for December 03, 2021

Today’s Takeaway

Is lumber’s price rise a canary-in-the-coal-mine for others?

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 3, 2021
Category: Today's Takeaway

Fortune Magazine asks: is the lumber price rise a canary in the coal mine for other goods? In related news: the Washington Post says Biden’s duty hike is misguided; the Steelworkers demand federal action; and US contractors expect higher prices. In other Business news: Canfor announces flood-related curtailments; Red Leaf Pulp gets federal support for straw pulp technology; and more on the Paper Excellence Powell River mill closure. Elsewhere: Jean-Pierre Martel is appointed head of Canadian Federation of Forest Owners.

In other news: the wood pellet industry is on the rise, but the climate benefits of biomass are not clear cut; a European study says forests offer minimal protection against major floods; FSC Canada’s François Dufresne in CEO Magazine; and more from First Nations and ENGOs on BC’s old growth deferrals.

Finally, NRCan’s Charlotte Norris raises the importance of soil on World Soil Day.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Raising awareness about the importance of soil

By The Pacific Forestry Centre
Natural Resources Canada
December 3, 2021
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Research has shown that soil disturbance associated with some forestry practices can lead to soil degradation and affect long-term forest productivity. Further, these effects are often slow to manifest, taking several decades to measure and understand — demonstrating the value of long-term research efforts that federal science can provide to the sector. Charlotte Norris, is a soil biogeochemist at the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria, British Columbia where her research is focused on forest soil health. …Norris brought her skills in data collection and analysis to the Pacific Forestry Centre in 2019 where she continues Doug Maynard’s research legacy in long-term productivity trials in the BC interior … to investigate effects of soil compaction and organic matter retention on forest productivity over the long term. Norris expects the results to confirm … that organic matter removal would have negative effects on tree survival and growth, and soil compaction would adversely affect tree survival and growth.

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Business & Politics

Jean-Pierre Martel Appointed Head of Canadian Federation of Forest Owners

Canadian Federation of Forest Owners
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Jean-Pierre Martel

OTTAWA—The Canadian Federation of Forest Owners (CFFO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jean-Pierre Martel, M.Sc., F.Eng., as Executive Director. Martel will represent the united voice of 450,000 private forest land owners across Canada. CFFO members produce nearly 20% of Canada’s timber supply and forests products, employing tens of thousands of Canadians… “Ultimately, the ability of CFFO members to continue to manage their forests, generate revenues, create and sustain jobs and provide real solutions to climate change is dependent on the very best policy and leadership,” said CFFO Chair Domenico Iannidinardo. “This is exactly what a forest sector leader like Jean-Pierre Martel brings to our organization.” Through his roles with industry while at the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Martel is known for his direct contribution to the creation of FPInnovations, an R&D organization advancing technologies and strengthening innovation in the Canadian forest sector.

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The supply chain is so dysfunctional even lumber prices are back up 120%

By Lance Lambert
Fortune Magazine
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

When the lumber bubble popped this summer, economists and commodity traders alike pointed to its swift correction… as an indication that other material shortages and supply chain woes would subside if simple economics was given time to work its magic. But that “transitory” narrative—something Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said this week he no longer stands by—is facing another challenge: Spiking lumber prices. On Wednesday, the futures price for framing lumber hit $870 per thousand board feet. That’s up 124% since August. …Do resurgent wood prices foretell that other goods? Lumber prices were after all the canary in the coal mine for existing shortages that continue to plague the economy. It’s hard to say. …Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, tells Fortune that while the worst of the shortages will soon be in the rearview mirror, some shortages and supply chain issues could take until beyond 2022 to get resolved. 

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Biden is hiking lumber tariffs at the wrong time

The Editorial Board
The Washington Post
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau

President Biden said this week he has “used every tool available to address the price increases” that have pushed inflation to a 30-year high. Not quite… the Commerce Department just doubled the average tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. This lumber tariff increase on one of America’s closest allies is particularly ill-timed and misguided. All of this is happening just as Mr. Biden is advocating for the biggest investment in decades in affordable housing in his Build Back Better plan. The stiffer duty will almost certainly lead to higher prices for new homes and heftier fees for renovating kitchens, decks and more. Nor does the U.S. lumber industry need extra protection right now. Anyone involved in construction or who has attempted a do-it-yourself project during the pandemic knows that lumber costs have skyrocketed lately. …The US only produces about 70 percent of the lumber it needs, notes Daowei Zhang at Auburn University. 

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One Smithers mill alone generates $120 million in economic impact annually

By Thom Barker
The Interior News
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province’s recent decision to protect more old growth forest has many people in the Bulkley Valley forestry sector worried about the potential economic impact it could have on the area. Last week, local loggers, truckers and other forestry contractors took to the streets of Smithers to raise awareness of the role the industry plays in the Bulkley Valley. Economically, despite declines in forestry over the past two decades … the industry is still a major economic driver in Northwest B.C. …To put it in a more local context, one sawmill in Smithers alone is responsible for approximately $120 million of economic impact. According the company documentation, in 2020, Pacific Inland Resources paid out $120.287 million. This includes $51.6 million in log delivery costs, $24 million in lumber freight, $11.9 million in stumpage fees and timber rentals, $$7.9 million in maintenance and operating expenses, $955,000 in capital construction, $2.9 million for silviculture and $834,000 in property taxes.

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Powell River mayor comments on Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat’s indefinite curtailment

The Powell River Peak
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

City of Powell River has responded to news that Paper Excellence is indefinitely curtailing production at its Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill. …Mayor David Formosa… “The city is already working with Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, the provincial government and other agencies to support [the employees] through this difficult time.” Formosa stated that city has done everything within its power to keep the mill viable for more than a decade, including providing property tax relief. …He added that there are opportunities to redevelop the site. “Paper Excellence, the BC Government, and Renewable Hydrogen Canada have been in extensive discussions to transition the mill into a significant hydrogen and clean fuel production facility,” stated Formosa. “As I’ve said for many years, the site has excellent infrastructure to support new industry.”

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Kelowna company gets $3.8 million for wheat straw pulp mill

By Carli Berry
InfoTel News Ltd
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The federal government has awarded a Kelowna company $3.8 million to commercialize a pulp mill that will use wheat straw as a plastic alternative. Red Leaf Pulp Ltd, based in Kelowna, will put the funds towards a pulping technology, transforming the agricultural residue with no former end use into high-quality cellulose pulp, which can be used in recyclable consumer products like packaging, moulded cups and plates, tissues and towels, and printing and writing paper, according to a press release from the Government of Canada. “This environmentally conscious pulping method could be a game changer in the paper industry, in addition to conserving Canada’s forests, which are a vital stabilizing force for the global climate,” according to the press release. Red Leaf Pulp aims to open its first operating plant in Saskatchewan, the first it Canada, in 2024.

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Paper Excellence closes mill in Powell River putting 206 out of work

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paper Excellence is shutting down the Catalyst Paper mill in Powell River indefinitely putting 206 people out of work, deeming the facility “not viable” with global paper markets shrinking and prices falling. The mill had just restarted operations in May after an almost year-long shutdown… but is now enduring “significant ongoing financial losses.” “We restarted it in May of this year very, very hopeful we could make a go of it,” said VP Graham Kissack. …A pulp-and-paper mill has operated on the site since 1912, but paper prices are weak in a market that is shrinking, Kissack said. …Employees at the mill “kind of (saw it coming),” considering that all of its product was being shipped to China in the middle of a global shipping crisis. …The company said it will offer employees opportunities to fill jobs at its four other mills in B.C. “where possible.”

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Lumber tariffs hike could hit Cochrane mill indirectly

By Caitlin Clow
Cochrane Today
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nate Horner

COCHRANE, Alberta — Canadian forestry companies will pay more for future exports to the U.S. after last week’s announcement, but it’s unlikely Cochrane’s Spray Lake Sawmills will be directly affected. …“Higher tariffs for our forestry companies is completely unacceptable,” said Forestry Minister Nate Horner. Affected companies in Alberta will pay between 11.12 per cent and 19.54 per cent on future exports, Horner said. …“The U.S. is a critical customer for us, with 91 per cent ($1.2 billion) of our softwood lumber exports going there,” Horner said, noting an estimated $5.6 billion in duties has already been collected from Canadian companies since 2017. …Spray Lake Sawmills’ VP Ed Kulcsar said… “They don’t directly affect us as we don’t ship directly to the US. [However,] the increased rates could limit Spray Lakes’ sales to local wholesalers if they export it to the U.S. 

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United Steelworkers Union Demands Federal Action to Stop New U.S. Softwood Lumber Tariffs

By United Steelworkers Union
Business Wire in the Financial Post
December 1, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNABY, British Columbia — As Members of Parliament prepare for another debate in the House of Commons to discuss growing softwood lumber tariffs, the United Steelworkers union (USW) is calling on the federal government to move from empty talk to tangible action to support the workers whose jobs and ability to support their families are at risk. “A week has gone by since the U.S. said they were doubling softwood lumber tariffs. The thousands of Canadians who work in the industry across this country deserve real action from the federal government,” said Jeff Bromley, Chair of the USW Wood Council. “More empty words won’t put food on the table or keep a roof over their heads.” …The USW Wood Council has organized a nationwide advocacy campaign, Forestry Is for Everyone , calling on the federal government to resolve the softwood dispute and to implement a strategy to support workers and struggling forestry companies.  www.forestryisforeveryone.ca 

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Canfor Pulp Announces Production Curtailments in Response to Supply Chain Challenges

By Canfor Corporation
Cision Newswire
December 2, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC –– Canfor Pulp announced temporary production reductions at Northwood Pulp and Taylor Pulp in response to the significant transportation interruptions being experienced in BC. The Company’s pulp shipments have declined as a result of the recent weather-related transportation disruptions. With pulp mill inventories nearing capacity, the Company’s pulp production will be reduced until such time as the BC transportation network is able to return to more-normal operating conditions. This will result in reduced production achieved through a minimum two-week curtailment of Canfor’s NBSK production at Northwood Pulp and a minimum four-week curtailment of the production of BCTMP at Taylor Pulp. …”Our employees have worked very hard to mitigate the impacts of the supply chain challenges and it has now become critical to reduce production to manage inventory levels and ensure employee safety,” said Canfor Pulp’s CEO, Don Kayne.

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US Doubles Tariffs on Canadian Softwood Lumber and Contractors Expect Higher Prices

By Jeff Yoders
Engineering News Record
November 30, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The Biden administration’s US Commerce Dept. on Nov. 24 followed through with expected anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber producers, placing tariffs of 17.99% on their imports, more than twice the rate of 8.99% during the Trump administration. “These unjustified duties harm Canadian communities, businesses, and workers,” said Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of international trade, in a sharply worded statement. …However, U.S. lumber producers welcomed the stiffer penalties on what they have alleged for more than a decade was unfair competition due to government subsidies by Canada to its mills and producers. “The U.S. Lumber Coalition strongly urges the administration to continue full trade law enforcement,” said Jason Brochu, chairman of the U.S. Lumber Coalition and co-president of Pleasant River Lumber Co. …The British Columbia Lumber Trade Council mentioned the fragile post-pandemic recovery of lumber markets in its remarks lamenting the U.S. actions.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Case Study Delivers Insights On Low Carbon Building

Innovatek
December 3, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Building with engineered wood instead of concrete and steel offers a significant win for the environment, a new case study revealed. The study used Clearwater Quays apartments in Christchurch as its test case. Clearwater Quays is being constructed as a part of Mid-Rise Wood Construction, a public-private programme encouraging the use of New Zealand-engineered timber in mid-rise, prefabricated buildings. “Calculations show that using wood in place of concrete and steel to build this five-storey building is removing over a million kilograms of carbon dioxide from the environment,” says Barry Lynch. …The Clearwater demonstration building is part of the ‘Mid-Rise Wood Construction’ partnership between Red Stag and the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). The programme aims to accelerate and increase the use of mass timber and prefabrication in a range of public and commercial building types.

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Forestry

Sustained management: François Dufresne

The CEO Magazine
December 3, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

François Dufresne

François Dufresne is a forest engineer who, after completing a Master of Business Administration, spent a large portion of his career in the finance sector. He became CEO and President of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Canada almost 10 years ago. …François admits the job is not without its challenges. “On a global scale, I think the biggest challenge we face is penetrating difficult landscapes, particularly in the tropics and the global south,” he explains. …Locally, the organization is focusing on having a more effective outreach to Indigenous communities in Canada. …Having implemented clear mandatory requirements based on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the FSC is also looking to preserve the Canadian boreal caribou. …Currently, FSC International has 229 million hectares of FSC-certified forests. …“In Canada, we have about 50 million hectares. We want to add another 25 to be at 75 million hectares by 2030,” François shares.

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New mapping shows approved or pending logging permits in at least 50,000 hectares of BC’s target deferral area

By Torrance Coste, Wilderness Committee
Nation Talk
December 2, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

New mapping analysis by the Wilderness Committee shows at least 50,000 hectares — more than four times the area of the City of Vancouver — of the old-growth forest the B.C. government has targeted for deferral has been approved for logging, is pending approval and in some cases has already been logged. Despite assurances from the government that progress towards deferrals is underway, logging is still proceeding in at-risk old-growth. …“The takeaway here is that in absence of immediate deferrals, tens of thousands of the 2.6 million hectares of old-growth the BC NDP government committed to set aside is under imminent threat of logging. Some of it has already been logged or is being logged as we speak,” said National Campaign Director Torrance Coste for the Wilderness Committee. “The B.C. government threw the 2.6 million hectare number out there and patted itself on the back for it as if it was an accomplishment rather than a vulnerable target.”

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Western Gives Back to Communities this Holiday Season with $100,000 for Food and Toys

Western Forest Products
December 2, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, British Columbia – Western Forest Products is again teaming up with community groups and First Nations partners across the areas it operates to give back during the holiday season. The company is contributing $100,000 to 30 community groups and First Nations partners to help provide food and toys for the holidays where they are needed the most on the coast of B.C. and Washington State. “We recognize the recent supply chain issues combined with higher-than-usual demand since the pandemic started puts additional strain on services accessed by those requiring support. This donation is one small way we can support individuals and families in need and spread some hope and happiness during the holiday season,” said Don Demens, President and CEO of Western. “This is a time for giving, and we are grateful that we are able to do our part to make the holidays a little merrier for those dealing with hardship.”

Additional coverage in the Powell River Peak: Powell River Action Centre Food Bank receives funds from Western Forest Products

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B.C. government falling short with old-growth forest protection, say Indigenous leaders

By Karl Yu
Vernon Morning Star
December 2, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stewart Phillip

B.C. Indigenous leaders say the government is falling short in its efforts to protect old growth forests. At a press conference Dec. 1, members of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs called the current process inadequate, specifically pointing to a 30-day limit to respond in relation to old growth logging deferrals. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC president, said it was a “critically important discussion.” …Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a lawyer and expert on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said there have been long-standing issues with excluding First Nations and recognizing forests as part of their traditional territories. The government’s actions are contrary to the UN resolution, she said. …Phillip said it is important to understand the “deplorable state of affairs within B.C. forest lands.” …“The forest industry itself has traditionally been the piggy bank for the provincial government, no matter what political stripe they may be,” said Phillip. 

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Huu-ay-aht disagree with old growth logging deferrals

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
December 1, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

When the B.C. government announced one month ago that it would defer logging on 2.6 million hectares of old growth forests, it also gave First Nations 30 days to indicate whether or not they agree with the deferrals. The Huu-ay-aht now has an answer for the government: It disagrees with the deferrals, and it will make its own decisions on how it manages its own treaty lands. And while the Huu-ay-aht have agreed not to log 96% of old growth identified in a two-year deferral, it can’t agree not to log 645 hectares, which is 4% of the forest under the two-year deferral. …”We have now confirmed that 33 per cent, not three per cent, of our Hahuułi (territory) and TFL 44 is old growth,” Chief Coun. Robert Dennis Sr. said in a press release. That 3% estimate was arrived at by three independent researchers in a study, B.C’s Old Growth Forests: A Last Stand for Biodiversity.

Additional coverage in The Victoria Times Colonist, by Roxanne Egan-Elliot: Huu-ay-aht First Nations agree to old-growth logging deferral

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Three years after a landmark report, it’s logging as usual in Nova Scotia’s forests

By Close Logan
The National Observer
December 3, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

A 2018 report by William Lahey was supposed to serve as a sustainability roadmap for Nova Scotia’s forestry industry, but three years later, the author says clear-cut logging and sub-par forestry practices still abound. …Although there is some “good faith” planning going on at the government level, Lahey said that so far, nothing has changed on the ground. Five of 45 recommendations have been implemented from the initial document. Recommendations that have been implemented include licensing of Crown land to the Mi’kmaq Forestry Initiative and goals for the implementation of an ecological forestry model in a new piece of provincial legislation. …”It is a particular concern that forestry that is not ecological forestry continues to be conducted on Crown lands that will be largely reserved for ecological forestry once the triad is finally implemented on Crown land,” reads part of the 2021 evaluation.

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Managing forests to reduce wildfires

Capital Press
December 2, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In Southern Oregon, the Nature Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service and Klamath Tribes set up what became one of the nation’s largest outdoor laboratories. …The experiment: To determine how best to manage forest land to reduce the damage a wildfire causes. The Nature Conservancy, which owns a vast swath of forest land, thinned one portion, performed controlled burns on another portion and did both on still another. Other portions were left unmanaged to serve as controls that would allow scientists to compare the management practices. …What the experiment showed was fascinating and provides a giant step in the direction of determining how best to manage forests. It found that the portion of the forest left unmanaged was incinerated. Feeding on the excess fuels, the fire turned trees into charcoal, and the soil was transformed into a dead zone. So much for the theory that forests should be left unmanaged.

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Christmas tree buyers face reduced supplies, higher prices after extreme summer heat in Oregon and Washington

By Terence Chea
Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 2, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Even Christmas trees aren’t immune to the pandemic-induced shortages and inflation plaguing the economy. Extreme weather and supply chain disruptions have reduced supplies of both real and artificial trees this season. American shoppers should expect to have fewer choices and pay up to 30% more for both types this Christmas, industry officials said. “It’s a double whammy — weather and supply chain problems are really hampering the industry,” said Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, an industry trade group. “Growers have been hard hit by floods, fires, smoke, drought, extreme weather conditions. Record-breaking heat and wildfires in late June took a heavy toll on Christmas tree farms in Oregon and Washington, two of the nation’s largest growers.

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The Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest District names new leader

By Vickie Aldous
Oregon Mail Tribune
December 1, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tyler McCarty

The Oregon Department of Forestry announced this week that Tyler McCarty has been named district forester for the Southwest District serving Jackson and Josephine counties. With more than 20 years of experience in fire protection, forestry and emergency services in Southern Oregon, McCarty is a familiar face on the local firefighting scene. He has served as interim district forester for the ODF Southwest District since June 2021. “It’s humbling to be selected as district forester of the district I’ve spent my career in,” McCarty said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead it and continue the good work in fire suppression and forestry that Southern Oregon has come to expect.”

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Reasons to oppose forest preservation bills

By John Scanlon – retired habitat program supervisor for MassWildlife
The Daily Hampshire Gazette
December 2, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

John Scanlon

The recent guest column published by the Gazette by a member of the Wendell State Forest Alliance contained so many false claims that’s it’s hard to know where to begin my response. Let’s start with the patently false claim that habitat management has caused mass extinction and climate disruption. Fake news, anyone? …It’s easy to protest forest management, but the hard work of climate change mitigation involves keeping forestland in forest use. The men and women of Massachusetts who participate in licensed, regulated hunting, fishing, and trapping contribute more than a million dollars annually to public land acquisition that keeps forest land in forest use. How much has the Wendell State Forest Alliance done to protect Massachusetts forestlands from conversion to development …Stop the harvesting of renewable wood products? What do you replace the wood with? More use of carbon-spewing plastic, concrete and steel, anyone? 

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Forests offer minimal protection against major flood events

By Trinity College Dublin
Phys.Org
December 3, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: International

DUBLIN, Ireland — New research examining whether forests can mitigate flood risk suggests they may offer less protection against major events than had been hoped. Although the work, which was carried out in forest sites in Ireland and the UK, showed forests can suppress small storm flows it also underlined that they are likely to make minimal difference in reducing the devastating impacts of major flood events. The work has just been published in the journal, Science of the Total Environment. Liwen Xiao in Trinity’s School of Engineering, was the senior author. He said: …”The common perception among many natural resource managers and the public that forests can mitigate large flood events hasn’t been well examined. “Our work showed that forests reduced storm flows but only when the peaks of the floods were well below the average peaks seen in a typical year.

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How a shortage of timber pallets could affect supermarket supplies this Christmas

By Kellie Lazzaro, Megan Hughes, and Warwick Long
ABC News Australia
December 2, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A national shortage of wooden pallets could threaten the supermarket supply chain in the lead up to Christmas. …But the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union said the Dormit mill was running out of logs and was winding down production. CFMEU national secretary, Michael O’Connor said the Australian Food and Grocery Council has warned unions and the Victorian Government that supermarkets could face a critical shortage of household goods and other supplies in the lead up to Christmas if more timber was not released. Mr O’Connor said there was a dire shortage of timber available due to the Victorian Government’s decision to end native logging by 2030. …In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Victorian Government said the worldwide shortage of pallets was due to a number of factors including trade issues, bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic. Adding, litigation against Vicforests was placing additional strain on availability of timber in Victoria.

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World Soil Day 2021: History, significance and theme; all you need to know

The Free Press Journal
December 3, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: International

World Soil Day (WSD) is observed annually on December 5 as an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources. World Soil Day became an international day after the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) recommended it in 2002. Under the leadership of Thailand and within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, FAO supported the formal establishment of World Soil Day. The FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013. It even requested its official adoption at the 68th United Nations General Assembly. As a result, in December 2013, the UN General Assembly responded by designating December 5, 2014, as the first official World Soil Day. …Controlling soil pollution is critical as micro-organisms working continuously for preserving our ecosystem perish and bad soil management affects life below the ground. Soil is home to more than 25% the planet’s plant life and 95% of our food comes from the soil. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate benefits of wood pellet industry not clear cut

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
December 2, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

As evidence mounts that more and more low-value trees are being harvested in B.C. to feed the growing wood pellet industry, B.C.’s forestry and environment ministers may have some explaining to do. To date, the B.C. government has not done a very good job of explaining the environmental calculus that could very well justify the harvesting of trees to be burned to produce power in Europe. It has therefore left the growing wood pellet industry in B.C. vulnerable to criticisms that cutting down trees in B.C. to produce power in the UK is environmentally regressive. A new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) raises questions about the increased harvesting of whole live trees to feed the growing wood pellet industry, which appears to be growing in proportion to the shrinkage of traditional sawmilling. …Now pellet producers are harvesting more and more live trees, says Conservation North. 

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Maine Voices: Our state’s forests are a vital part of our world’s climate solution

By Karin Tilberg
Portland Press Herald
December 3, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

We’ve been hearing a lot about forests lately, including the reports from Glasgow, Scotland, and the COP26 Summit regarding important steps to combat climate change. …Make no mistake, Maine’s forests are expansive – the North Woods is generally considered to be 12 million acres – 3.5 times the state of Connecticut. …However, by current estimates, Maine loses about 10,000 acres of natural and working lands to development each year – a figure that is projected to grow in coming years. …The recent report “Maine Won’t Wait,” published by the Maine Climate Change Council and endorsed by Gov. Mills, calls for forest conservation to play a significant role as a natural climate solution. …“Maine Won’t Wait” calls for increasing the share of conserved Maine land to 30 percent, up from about 21 percent now. Forest conservation is identified as an essential strategy and must proceed rapidly to achieve this goal. 

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Drax boosts biomass ambition with plan to double production of wood pellets

By Cecilia Keating
Business Green
December 3, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Drax is betting big on the expansion of the biomass energy sector over the coming years, with plans announced yesterday to double its wood pellet manufacturing capacity between now and 2030. The power company, which runs the UK’s largest power station in Yorkshire, is now aiming to produce eight million tonnes of compressed wood pellets at its mills by the end of the decade. Currently the firm produces four million tonnes of wood pellets annually, of which half is sold to third parties and half burnt at the Drax Power Station, which has been gradually converted from running on coal to biomass in recent years. Drax has also confirmed plans to significantly expand sales of its wood pellets to other energy generation companies, setting out a target yesterday to sell four million tonnes of wood pellets to third parties by 2030, up from two million tonnes today.

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Pellet-burning consumers building their inventory for winter

By Tim Portz, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute
Biomass Magazine
December 2, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Tim Portz

As this issue of Pellet Mill Magazine is delivered to pellet producers around the country, it will find them wrapping up their 2021 fiscal year, but squarely in the middle of the 2021-’22 heating season. One of the unique aspects of our industry is how prime selling season lands astride two calendar years, evenly split by New Year’s. The fourth quarter finds pellet-burning consumers finally heeding their thermostats and building their inventory for winter. In every year since at least 2016, the highest-grossing month for pellet sales has been either October or November. The first quarter of the fiscal year coincides neatly with the back half of the pellet-buying season, and in years with an early onset to winter, consumers with pellet appliances realize they’ll have to augment their inventories to make it through the season. 

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