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Austria, Canada, UK and Uruguay achieve PEFC re-endorsement

Fri, 2018-05-18 08:05
The Austrian, Canadian, UK and Uruguayan national forest certification systems have successfully achieved PEFC re-endorsement, confirming they continue to meet our globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks. Combined, these four systems account for over 40 million hectares of sustainably...

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Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

CPAWS Celebrates Alberta’s Announcement of the World’s Largest Boreal Protected Areas Network

Tue, 2018-05-15 19:27
Edmonton - Canada’s boreal forest faces a brighter future with today’s exciting protected areas announcement from the Government of Alberta! This afternoon, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks announced the creation and expansion of five wildland provincial parks in northeast Alberta, making up an addition of 1.36 million hectares to Alberta’s protected areas network.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Sawmill Sid’s Tree and Wood Recovery Centre

Mon, 2018-05-14 08:37
Sidney Gendron runs Sawmill Sid, a family-run sawmill that collects felled and diseased trees at its Tree and Wood Recovery Centre in Mississaug, Canada. Source: CBC Canada Once processed, downed trees can be repurposed as furniture, art pieces or materials for housing and construction. Sawmill Sid is part of a nascent wood recycling industry that aims to combat climate change by diverting landfill waste and reducing the carbon footprint of the forestry industry. “When trees come down because of storm or disease we try and play our part in making sure as much is used as possible,” said Mr Gendron, who runs the sawmill in partnership with his wife, Sheila, and daughter, Sacha. “We make sure that we get the highest and best value out of that wood,” he said. Mr Gendron said his sawmill has already received 15 to 20 dump-truck loads of wood from a recent windstorm. “Our yard is pretty full right now,” he said. Mr Gendron buys logs and trees from city woodlots or takes donations from private companies looking to get rid of used wood. They sort it, cut it and the resell the lumber to suppliers who make it into finished products. The company’s customers include developers, renovators and restaurateurs who want to buy local, but also artisans and craftspeople who turn the wood into art and other products. Richard Posa is an artist and builder who recently became a customer of the Gendrons. He uses salvaged wood to make art, sculptures and furniture. “Out of every tree, every chunk of wood, something can be made from it,” said Mr Posa. Mr Posa says the variety of wood he has access to has increased since meeting the Gendrons. “The wood resource is practically endless now,” he said. “Especially with the storm that came down the other day.” Mr Gendron says much of the “wood waste” generated each year is turned into wood chips and sent to landfills, where it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A city spokesperson says Toronto paid some Can$450,000 last year to companies who chip wood in tub grinders — large machines that convert logs and trees into wood chips — while charging companies like Sawmill Sid to get access to the wood. However, all chipped wood from city-owned trees is reused in the Toronto’s tree planting programs. Mr Gendron would like it to be easier for companies like his to access used wood. “We are taking wood that would normally be chipped and putting it into the hands of woodworkers across Ontario and allowing them to be sustainable themselves,” said Mr Gendron. “We’re building sustainable neighbourhoods and businesses within the GTA.” On top of diverting landfill waste, reusing trees and logs keeps the carbon inside the wood, said Gendron. The company claims it captured over 6800 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2016 by making re-used wood products. Sacha Gendron, Sidney’s daughter, believes this number will rise in the coming years. “As climate change progresses we’re going to see more storms, more damage and more wood waste,” she said. “We need to get the public to understand that there are alternatives to common practices that are taking place such as chipping.” Jim Donaldson, the CEO of the Alberta-based Canadian Wood Waste Recycling Business Group, says it will take a big shift in government thinking for the wood recycling industry to take off. His group is bringing together industry and academia to shepherd the development of a wood recycling industry across Canada. “The biggest problem is lack of education at a governmental level,” said Donaldson. “The City of Toronto has a pretty good wood reuse program but where they’re missing is reusing used wood.” Donaldson says a lot of wood that is burned or chipped and sent to landfill can easily be repurposed. One of the main problems, he says, is the lack of reliable data. His business group is conducting 35 feasibility studies to fill in this knowledge gap. For the Gendrons, it’s only a matter of time before people catch on to the value of recycling wood. “Recycling was tough to get started but now everyone does it without even thinking,” said Sidney Gendron. “We need to start thinking about what’s the right thing to do here, and keep on doing it.”
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Trump’s gift of high lumber prices

Mon, 2018-05-14 08:36
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange futures contract for the softwood two-by-fours used in framing houses closed at its highest price ever. Source: Justin Fox for Bloomberg If one adjusts for inflation, current prices are no longer record-setting. But an interesting pattern does appear if one adds in a few other key data points. It appears that every time the US picks a fight with Canada over its alleged subsidies of softwood lumber, which comes from coniferous trees such as pines, firs and cedars, US lumber prices go up. The US-Canada softwood lumber war first flared up in the early 1980s. Imports of lumber from Canada had been on the rise as environmental restrictions cut back on logging in US National Forests, and the US timber industry began to complain that Canadian local, provincial and national governments, which own almost all of the country’s forest land, were charging such low prices for timber that it amounted to an unfair subsidy. That has remained the chief complaint ever since. Various bi- and multi-lateral trade organizations have been charged with evaluating it, and as my former Bloomberg Opinion colleague and longtime softwood-lumber-trade-dispute aficionado Megan McArdle put it in a column last year: After that happens, the tariffs go down again and lumber prices drop … until another president decides to make a stink about Canadian softwood lumber. Donald Trump started doing that soon after taking office, and now the average duties on Canadian lumber are up to 21%. Unlike some of Trump’s other trade actions, this clearly does not signify a major departure from past presidential practice. But it’s worth asking whether it makes any sense. The main beneficiaries of these softwood lumber trade spats appear to be owners of the land on which softwood-lumber-producing trees are grown. Most timberland in the US is in private hands, and the biggest owner by far, according to the latest survey by Forisk Consulting Weyerhaeuser Co., a publicly traded real estate investment trust that has seen its stock price rise about 20% since the beginning of 2017. Billionaire John Malone is also in the top 10, as are the California and Massachusetts state employee pension funds. Yale University’s endowment does not appear on Forisk’s list but reported owning more timberland in 2009 than any entity but Weyerhaeuser does now. Investment returns on timber in US have been on a long decline, but they do seem to have perked up in the past during softwood lumber trade disputes. If cheap Canadian lumber has been hurting the US timber industry it’s been helping the much-larger US housing construction industry and the many buyers of its products. And for home builders, the recent price increases have been a challenge, as Bloomberg’s Jen Skerritt reported in March. I’m willing to believe that there are cases where restricting trade or otherwise favoring domestic producers makes sense — to protect a nascent industry, for example, or to keep key technological capabilities from slipping into the hands of an economic or political rival. No such justification springs to mind here. I also have some trouble with the notion that Canada is somehow cheating by selling its softwood lumber at a lower price than US timber owners think it should. Maybe it’s just cheaper to grow pine trees in Canada.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

CEOs of Canada’s 12 largest environmental groups grade the federal government on progress

Wed, 2018-05-09 09:42
OTTAWA – A report released today by the leaders of Canada’s top environmental organizations reviews the progress of the federal government in meeting its platform and mandate commitments on environmental issues across the country.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

The Government of Canada and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society reach an important agreement

Tue, 2018-05-08 14:17
Today, an important step was taken to protect species at risk in Canada. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society agreed that, moving forward, the Government of Canada will track and report unprotected critical habitat for species at risk on non-federal lands, 180 days after critical habitat has been identified. In addition, the federal government has committed to addressing Species at Risk Act reporting requirements.
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CPAWS welcomes 2017 Round Table Response

Mon, 2018-05-07 12:56
OTTAWA – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomes the release today of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s formal response to her 2017 Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada in which she unequivocally reaffirms that ecological integrity will be the first priority in all aspects of national park management, and that this will take precedent over the use of our national parks.
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CPAWS Frustrated with Wait for Minister’s Response to the Round Table on Parks Canada

Wed, 2018-05-02 16:50
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society today expressed its disappointment and serious concern with the lack of action by the federal government and Parks Canada on improving the management of our national parks.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Timber Industry Brexit Forum

Mon, 2018-04-30 22:17
The timber industry sees a copy of checks on the Canadian-US and Norwegian-Swedish borders as part of preparations for a possible hard Brexit to minimise its impact on Irish-British and cross-border trade. Source: The Irish Times Concerned that the UK will crash out of the European Union in March 2019 without a deal, the industry made the observations in a new report aimed at preparing Ireland for the worst post-Brexit. The industry supports 12,000 jobs and relies on unrestricted trade north and south of the Border and between the UK and the Republic. It has already felt the pinch from Brexit as the fall in the value of sterling is costing the industry an estimated €40 million to €50 million a year. Among the measures highlighted by the Timber Industry Brexit Forum that includes semi-State forestry firm Coillte are practices in use on the Norwegian-Swedish border such as interchangeable customs officials, mutual trust and training of border officials, and mutual recognition of customs officials and police. The forum has taken the most effective practices used at the Scandinavian and North American borders to map out measures to reduce the cost of trade in wood products between the Republic and the UK in the report called Brexit: Protecting Growth in the Irish Timber Industry. “We see elements of these models, together with other smart solutions, as providing the basis for a bespoke model for UKEU trade which would minimise the impact of Brexit on the Irish timber industry and indeed across many industries in Ireland,” Fergal Leamy, chief executive of Coillte said. Other solutions include agreeing matching regulations between the EU and the UK on low-risk products and adopting the best international technological practices on number-plate recognition and data collection as well as a mutually recognisable single database for trades. The industry wants the EU and the UK to agree advanced authorisation mechanisms at the busiest Irish border crossings and British and Irish ports, and to introduce a fast-track program similar to one in place under a free-trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico for regular cross-border travellers.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Exporting a rare tree-t to Canada

Mon, 2018-04-23 20:32
A Wollemi Pine, one of the world’s oldest and rarest tree species, was today bequeathed to the Canadian people as a gift to mark 150 years since the Canadian Confederation in 1867. Source: Timberbiz The Wollemi Pine was thought to be extinct, until it was rediscovered in NSW in 1994, previously known only through 90 to 200 million year-old fossils. Head of Plant Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr Marion Healy, congratulated the people of Canada on reaching this milestone and highlighted the behind-the-scenes work that allowed the pine to travel safely around the world. “This tree spent the first seven years of its life at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra where it grew to a height of two metres – only a fraction of its potential height of 40 metres,” Dr Healy said. “Departmental officers, along with staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the Canadian Government, worked closely to ensure the smooth and safe transportation of the Wollemi Pine to Ottawa. “While a shame to ruin the surprise, it was important to work with Canadian officials to develop a thorough treatment and handling plan in order to head off potential biosecurity threats and ensure the tree survived the journey. “The plant was treated with a fungicide and insecticide, and the growing media had to be steam treated to ensure that unwanted insects and plant material couldn’t hitch a ride on the tree and threaten Canada’s agricultural industries and environment, not to mention the close friendship between our two countries. “The tree is believed to live for around 500 years, so I hope it will be on-hand to help Canada to celebrate its 650th anniversary.”
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Project Learning Tree Canada to Place 600 Youth in Green Jobs Through the CPC Network

Tue, 2018-04-03 04:00

Ottawa, ON — Project Learning Tree (PLT) Canada and the Canadian Parks Council (CPC) announced a partnership to place 600 youth in summer jobs in Canada’s provincial and territorial parks in the summers of 2018 and 2019. PLT Canada has received approximately $4 million through the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program to offer a 50% wage-match to support summer green job placements for youth.  

La version française.

Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

$10,000 conservation prize honours slain philanthropist

Wed, 2018-03-28 10:52
Nominations are now open for the second-annual $10,000 Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize to honour the slain philanthropist and to reward a conservation hero who has made personal financial sacrifices.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Presenting Taking Root’s Model to the UN

Mon, 2018-03-26 17:40

Can smallholders become the core of Nicaragua’s new reforestation strategy? Rome, Italy – This March, Taking Root’s Canadian and Nicaraguan directors presented their smallholder reforestation model by special invitation at the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO was particularly interested in Taking Root’s experience in Nicaragua implementing climate-smart agroforestry practices that generate millions […]

The post Presenting Taking Root’s Model to the UN appeared first on Taking Root.

Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Two new “Areas of Interest” announced for marine protection in Nova Scotia

Fri, 2018-03-23 08:49
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS) welcomes today’s announcement by the federal government that it intends on creating two new marine protected areas in the waters surrounding Nova Scotia.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

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 […]
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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