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Updated: 7 min 28 sec ago

Top picks for profits on Forests Day

Wed, 2018-03-21 20:40
Blazing threats of global warming have raised panic alarms across the globe, leading to greater consciousness toward building up forestry. Probably this is why a single day has been accommodated since March 21, 2013, to honor the worth of forest reservation. Source: Nasdaq Agreed, it is a socially-conscious idea, but the investing world has a lot to benefit from forestry.  Many companies are engaged in the timber industry. The industry has a low or negative correlation with traditional asset classes. Including this asset class in one’s portfolio provides excellent portfolio diversification, resulting in low volatility of portfolio returns. Investors might be surprised to know that timber ETFs like iShares Global Timber & Forestry ETFWOOD have easily surpassed broader market indices like the S&P 500 this year. The fund has gained more than 37% in the last one year (as of Mar 20, 2018). Lumber prices have been benefiting from the supply crunch (due to last year’s wildfires in Canada’s British Columbia, the world’s top exporter of softwood lumber) and strained trade relations between Canada and the United States. Last April, President Donald Trump announced a tariff of up to 24% on imports from the Canadian softwood lumber industry. Amid rising prices, US builders are reported to be hoarding lumber ‘for what is expected to be one of the busiest construction seasons in years,’ according to Wall Street Journal. Agreed, housing starts slipped 7.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.236 million units in February, but single-family projects rose for the second consecutive month. Single-family housing units under construction witnessed the highest number in February since June 2008. With single-family homebuilding making up the largest pie of the housing market, the timber industry definitely has a reason see price escalation. Moreover, profits from harvesting wood are subject to low-taxed capital gains. This makes shareholders in forest product companie organized as REITs enjoy higher current income. Weyerhaeuser Company REITWY yields about 3.60% annually while Catchmark Timber Trust Inc ‘s CTT dividend yield is 4.24% (as of Mar 20, 2018). Stock Picks Given this upbeat backdrop, we have highlighted a few timber-related stocks that investors could consider for a greener portfolio. All stocks come from a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 4%). Louisiana-Pacific Corporation LPX This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company manufactures building materials and engineered wood products in the United States, Canada, Chile and Brazil. The stock has a VGM (Value, Growth, Momentum) of B. Universal Forest Products Inc. UFPI It is a holding company of businesses that form one of the largest producers of wood and wood-alternative products in North America. It has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Rayonier Inc. RYN It is a timberland real estate investment trust with assets located in some of the most-productive timber growing regions in the United States and New Zealand. It has a Zacks Rank #2. Potlatch Corporation PCH This Zacks Rank #1 company is a Real Estate Investment Trust with timberlands in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota and Mississippi. Boise Cascade L.L.C. BCC This Zacks Rank #1 company operates as a wood products manufacturer and building materials distributor. The stock has a VGM of A.  
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

US hits Canada with newsprint duties

Wed, 2018-03-14 21:32
American government hit the Canadian forestry industry with more duties this week as it upheld counterveiling duties on Canadian newsprint. Source: Times Colonist The United States Department of Commerce said in a statement that a preliminary investigation found Canadian exporters underpriced uncoated groundwood paper by between 0 and 22.16%. Uncoated groundwood paper includes newsprint, as well as book publishing, printing and writing papers. “President Trump made it clear from the beginning that we will vigorously administer our trade laws to provide US industry with relief from unfair trade practices,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. The department said it determined Canadian exporters have sold newsprint in the US at as much as 22.16% less than fair value and it will collect cash corresponding to those rates. It noted that the maximum margin of 22.16% is lower than the up to 54.97% rate alleged by Washington-based North Pacific Paper Company, which made the petition to the department to impose the tariffs. It complained Canada was dumping newsprint into the American market and unfairly subsidizing its industry at home. Canada is the largest exporter of newsprint in the world, with a market dominated by Resolute Forest Products, Kruger and Catalyst Paper Corp of British Columbia. The department calculated a dumping rate of 22.16% for Catalyst Paper Corp, and all other producers excluding Resolute Forest Products and White Birch, which were both found to have dumping rates of 0%. The department’s investigation into the alleged dumping began in August 2017, and an International Trade Commission investigation began the following month. The department said a final determination in the investigation will be made in August. It’s the second time the Trump administration has slapped duties on the Canadian forestry industry in recent months. In December, the US International Trade Commission upheld tariffs on softwood lumber after it determined the lumber imported from Canada is subsidized and injures the US industry. Canada filed a wide-ranging complaint to the World Trade Organization in January about the way the US applies punitive tariffs, directly tied to softwood lumber.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Canada Still Failing Wood Buffalo National Park A Year After UN Report

Wed, 2018-03-14 11:50
Fort McMurray, Alberta - On the anniversary of Environment Minister Catherine McKenna characterizing an international report that concluded governments have failed to protect Wood Buffalo National Park as a “call to action”, a coalition of Indigenous and environmental groups is still waiting for that action.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Is Canadian forestry education a dying field of study?

Tue, 2018-03-13 23:07
Justin M. Gaudon, PhD candidate Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto   Canadian forestry is undoubtedly an important discipline, especially in light of climate change, for many ecological, socio-cultural, and commercial reasons, including the large amount of carbon forests hold. Climate change makes forestry education and research in Canada essential because Canada’s forests are changing […]
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

CPAWS celebrates “historic investment” in nature conservation in Federal Budget 2018

Mon, 2018-02-26 09:44
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – CPAWS applauds today’s announcement of $1.3 billion dollars of new federal funding over five years to protect Canada’s land, ocean, and wildlife. This unprecedented investment will support Canada’s efforts to achieve its commitment to protect at least 17% of our land and 10% of our ocean by 2020, delivering on the Prime Minister’s promise that Canada will achieve and substantially exceed this target in the coming years.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Canadian take on forestry safety

Wed, 2018-02-14 20:15
On 18 October, 2017, a logger was killed in a tragic incident near Mackenzie in northern British Columbia, Canada. The operator was using a feller buncher to cut timber on a slope when the machine tipped over backwards, cutting off his escape route when the machine caught fire. Source: OHS Canada The logger’s death was devastating for his family, his community and his co-workers. While the cause of the incident is still under investigation by WorkSafeBC, the question arises: What can we do now to try to prevent this from happening again? That was one of the key issues discussed when WorkSafeBC’s Forest Industry Advisory Group met in November 2017 to talk about concrete steps that employers can take to make remote mechanized logging safer. Here are some of the considerations discussed: First, it is critical that employers have an effective plan in place for those who work alone and designate a contact person to whom the lone worker can check in with on a regular, agreed-upon schedule. The worker must always carry a functioning communication device — a satellite phone, cell phone, two-way radio or satellite transceiver — as well as the check-in contact information. The designated contact must have a copy of the working alone procedure and any applicable emergency-response plan, contact information, locations and/or maps that may be necessary for a rescue. Every check-in call must be recorded, and if the worker fails to check in, the contact must initiate search procedures as outlined in the plan — be that rendering assistance personally or contacting someone close by who is trained, equipped and able to assist. Second, employers should consider situations in which their machines have the potential to roll over and particular hazards that may result. In recent years, the changing landscape of logging operations has meant an increase in the use of steep-slope harvesting equipment. Employers, suppliers and manufacturers must ensure that their mobile equipment meets the requirements outlined in the Workers Compensation Act and Parts 16 and 26 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. That includes ensuring that mobile equipment weighing 700 kg or more has a rollover protective structure, as well as structures that guard against falling, flying or intruding objects or materials. Similarly, any tools carried inside the cab need to be secured so as not to create additional hazards. Should a rollover happen, some of the questions that an employer needs to consider include whether they have the equipment necessary to respond in such an emergency and can they be easily accessed and transported to the work site, as minutes can make a difference between life and death in a rescue operation. Third, every piece of mobile equipment must have an alternate means of escape that is clearly marked both inside and outside the cab. Other requirements that an exit should meet include the following: exits must not be located on the same surface as the cab door; they must be usable at all times; they should not pose additional hazards; they can be opened from the inside or out without tools when the equipment is in use; and exits should provide a clear opening with dimensions that comply with the relevant ISO Standard. The employer should test the alternate exit regularly and provide training to familiarize workers with its location and operation, as well as ensure that they can fit comfortably through it in an emergency, as physical fitness or size may be obstacles to a quick escape. If the backup exit is blocked and/or the worker is unable to move, employers must consider what tools can be used to extricate a trapped worker. The fact that machines are designed to keep hazards out poses a particular challenge, as specialized cutters might be needed to pierce cab windows. A supplementary fire extinguisher for use by the rescue crew should always be within reach. Finally, consider where this rescue equipment might be stored; ideally, it will be attached to the machine itself for ease of access.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Softwood Lumber & The US Forest Service

Wed, 2018-01-24 03:19

What do the Softwood Lumber dispute and the US Forest Service have to do with one another?  At first glance, very little.  However, there could be an unlikely connection.  One of the main complaints from the US Forest Industry (Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports) has been that the Canadian Forest Industry had been subsidised with … Continue reading "Softwood Lumber & The US Forest Service"

The post Softwood Lumber & The US Forest Service appeared first on Theforestblog.

Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Forests, bioenergy and climate change mitigation: are the worries justified?

Tue, 2018-01-16 10:00

A group of scientists has published a Letter exploring the use of forest biomass to produce energy, ahead of the European Parliament vote on the EU Renewable Energy Directive on 17 January.

Download the letter as a pdf

There is heated debate about the best way to realize the potential of our forests in the fight against climate change. In the EU, the debate is currently very much focused on questioning the use of forest biomass to produce bioenergy. Our view[1] is that bioenergy from sustainably managed forests can contribute positively to climate change mitigation. 

One of the criticisms against forest bioenergy refers to the observation that a tree stops growing and accumulating carbon when it is cut, and the carbon stock in a single stand decreases at harvest. But this narrow perspective overlooks fundamental principles behind forest management, which is coordinated across the whole landscape to maintain forest growth and obtain a continuous flow of wood for the forest industry. 

In the absence of management, forest growth rates decline and disturbance risks increase as trees become mature. Therefore, while old and unharvested forests can hold large amounts of carbon per hectare, they have a lower sink strength and may become carbon sources instead of sinks. Sustainable harvesting of trees and managing stem densities and species composition helps to maintain net forest growth (i.e., carbon sink) at a high level, allowing sustained harvesting. The forest growth rates can be enhanced through silviculture, such as species selection, planting and other management options. This has been the case for example in the Nordic countries. 

The carbon stock at a regional or national level can in fact increase simultaneously with increases in harvesting. Indeed, the EU forest carbon sink and forest harvesting have increased simultaneously since the 1960s. This situation is to a large extent the result of improved and more extensive forest management. The increased demand for forest products – including bioenergy products – stimulates and provides income for active forest management that promotes regeneration, enhances growth and helps protect forests against disturbances, such as fires. 

EU forests and the forest sector currently achieve an overall climate change mitigation impact that corresponds to about 13% of the total EU emissions[2]. This includes the carbon sink of forests and harvested wood products, as well as the reduction of emissions achieved when wood products are used instead of emission-intensive materials such as concrete, steel and plastics, or when bioenergy is used instead of fossil fuels. It is important to understand that forest bioenergy is not an independent enterprise but an integral part of forestry-industry-energy systems. Bioenergy systems are often components in value chains or production processes that also produce products such as sawnwood, paper and chemicals.

In most European countries, sawlogs and pulpwood are the main income-generating wood assortments from managed forests. Processing these to produce forest products generates side-streams of residues that are used for bioenergy. Small trees from thinnings, logging residues, and low-quality wood that is not suitable to produce sawnwood and paper products are also used for bioenergy. This situation is reflected in the fact that despite forest bioenergy having increased significantly in the EU in this century, the roundwood production is at the same level today as it was in the beginning of the century. The increased forest bioenergy production is neither the result of EU having increased energy wood imports. Currently, about 96% of the forest bioenergy use in the EU is based on domestic raw materials. Also, EU wood fuel imports - 4% of EU forest bioenergy use - are roughly equal to its wood fuel exports (Data: FAOSTAT).

There can be synergies and trade-offs between forest carbon sequestration and biomass production. Which approach is more beneficial depends on priorities concerning short-term vs. long-term climate objectives, expectations concerning society’s future dependence on carbon based energy and materials, and whether these needs can be met in a climate friendly way without using biomass. Related to this, there is increasing concern that the Paris Agreement target – to limit global warming to well below 2ºC – will not be achieved unless large amounts of CO2 are withdrawn from the atmosphere. Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is one of the major options for atmospheric CO2 withdrawal.

A holistic perspective that recognizes the multiple roles of forests and forest sector in the GHG balance in needed: the system assimilates CO2 from the atmosphere, stores carbon in soils, standing biomass, and in wood-based products, and it helps to avoid GHG emissions by displacing fossil fuels and other emissions-intensive products. Very detailed regulation, such as imposing strict cascading principles or restricting eligibility for bioenergy to specific feedstocks (e.g., excluding all roundwood, irrespective of size or quality) may prevent the effective management of forest resources to economically meet multiple objectives, including climate change mitigation and adaptation.

A concern expressed in the debate is that the wood demand for bioenergy may rise enormously, threatening the existence of forests. As bioenergy is typically a side-product of forest harvesting and wood processing, and sustainable forest management (SFM) principles provide safeguards against overharvesting, the forest sector’s contribution to providing biomass for bioenergy will be limited. To address sustainability concerns, the EU has set criteria to which bioenergy must comply. Several countries have set additional more strict criteria, in some cases allowing only biomass from certified sources.

In the past, the European forest sector has responded to increased demand for sawnwood and paper by expanding forests and intensifying management to increase wood production. Similarly, the likely response to increased bioenergy demand will be to devise management approaches that enable biomass production for energy in conjunction with supply of sawlogs and pulpwood. Considering market realities, SFM requirements and existing regulations around bioenergy, we do not expect to see a paradigm shift towards large scale cutting of forests solely for bioenergy.

[1] The views expressed in this Letter are those of the authors and not those of their institutions.

[2] Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Philippe Delacote, David Ellison, Marc Hanewinkel, Marcus Lindner, Martin Nesbit, Markku Ollikainen and Annalisa Savaresi. 2015. A new role for forests and the forest sector in the EU post-2020 climate targets. From Science to Policy 2. European Forest Institute.


Göran Berndes
Professor in Biomass and Land Use. Dept of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
IPCC Lead Author (Special Report on on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation); Contributing Author (5th Assessment Report); Expert Reviewer (4th Assessment Report)

Johan Bergh
Professor in Silviculture with Focus on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. Dept of Forestry and Wood Technology, Linnaeus University, Sweden.

Annette Cowie
Professor. School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Australia
Member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of The Global Environment Facility (GEF), Washington DC, USA.
IPCC Lead Author (Special Report Climate Change and Land)

Gustaf Egnell
Associate professor in Forest Based Bioenergy. Dept of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.

Lauri Hetemäki
Adjunct Professor in Forest Economics and Marketing. Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki.
Assistant Director, European Forest Institute, Finland

Pekka Kauppi
Professor in Environmental Science and Policy. Faculty of Biological end Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
 IPCC Lead Author (2nd Assessment Report) and Co-ordinating Lead Author (3rd Assessment Report)

Madhu Khanna
ACES Distinguished Professor in Environmental Economics. Dept of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Werner Kurz
Senior Research Scientist, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada.
Coordinating Lead Author or Lead Author of seven IPCC reports.

Marcus Lindner
Principal Scientist, Resilience Programme. European Forest Institute, Germany

Tomas Lundmark
Professor in Silviculture. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden
Director, Unit of Field Based Forest Research, SLU, Sweden
Member of the Advisory Panel of The Swedish National Forest Program.

Gert-Jan Nabuurs
Professor European Forest Resources, Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen University and Research
IPCC Co-ordinating Lead Author (4th Assessment Report; Good Practice Guidance LULUCF) and Lead author (3rd Assessment Report; Special Report LULUCF)  

Ralph E. H. Sims
Professor in Sustainable Energy. Massey University, New Zealand
Director, Centre for Energy Research
Member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of The Global Environment Facility (GEF), Washington DC, USA.
IPCC Co-ordinating Lead Author (4th Assessment Report; Special Report on Renewables; and 5th Assessment Report).

Birger Solberg
Professor in Forest Economics. Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway.
IPCC Review editor (3rd Assessment Report) and Lead author (Special Report on Land Use Changes and Forestry)

Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

CPAWS welcomes support for a historic conservation investment in Budget 2018

Tue, 2018-01-09 16:58
CPAWS welcomes support from 116 federal MPs and Senators who have signed a letter to the Minister of Finance asking for a historic investment in protecting Canada’s land, freshwater and ocean in the upcoming federal budget.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

CPAWS welcomes support for a large conservation investment in Budget 2018

Tue, 2018-01-09 16:58
CPAWS welcomes support from more than 100 federal MPs and Senators that have signed a letter to the Minister of Finance asking for a historic investment in conservation in the upcoming federal budget.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Escape To Freedom: A Forestry Revolution – Thoughts by Kianna Gnap

Wed, 2017-12-20 20:01
UBC graduate Kianna Gnap recently wrote an article for History Magazine on Hungarian Forestry student refugees and their impact on the Canadian forestry industry.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

BC’s Glass Sponge Reefs added to Canada’s Tentative List for World Heritage Sites

Wed, 2017-12-20 11:24
Ottawa, Ont. - The holidays are looking brighter this year with the announcement that British Columbia's Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound glass sponge reefs are being added to Canada’s tentative list for World Heritage Sites.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Year in Review on Protecting Canada’s Land and Freshwater Shows Slow Progress

Wed, 2017-12-20 08:55
Ottawa – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is calling on governments to speed up progress towards protecting at least 17% of Canada’s land and freshwater by 2020.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

CPAWS Welcomes Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve Management Plan

Fri, 2017-12-15 11:07
YELLOWKNIFE – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) NWT chapter welcomes the release of the Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve Management Plan, the first for Nááts’įhch’oh, and is pleased that the plan considers both cultural and economic benefits for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of the Tulita District.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Landmark Supreme Court decision is a victory for First Nations and environmental groups.

Fri, 2017-12-01 13:59
Yukon First Nations and environmental groups have won a landmark Supreme Court case. The judgment released today upholds a land use plan that protects the majority of the Peel Watershed in northeastern Yukon. It’s a massive victory for Yukon First Nations and cause for environmental celebration on a global scale.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News