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NZ – Port of Tauranga does Ruakura logistics deal

International Forest Industries - Thu, 22/08/2019 - 13:16

August 2019 saw Port of Tauranga and Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) subsidiary Port Ruakura LP announce a long- term partnership to support the development of the planned Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton.

The agreement allows Port of Tauranga’s cargo trains running between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga to service Ruakura Inland Port, giving Waikato-based importers and exporters direct access to fast international shipping services calling at Tauranga. Tauranga is the only port call for the biggest container ships visiting New Zealand.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the planned Ruakura Inland Port offers significant cargo handling capacity and scope to meet future needs. The 480 hectare Ruakura estate has 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses including the planned 30 hectare inland port.

“The Ruakura development will provide a highly efficient rail hub in the Waikato by utilising our existing train services linking our MetroPort Auckland inland freight hub with Port of Tauranga, which is New Zealand’s international hub port and the main cargo gateway for the upper North Island,” he says.

“It’s an excellent example of Port of Tauranga’s partnership approach to providing supply chain infrastructure beyond our Bay of Plenty hinterland.”

Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive Chris Joblin welcomed the long-term partnership on behalf of Port Ruakura LP.

“The agreement will see Port of Tauranga trains initially call at Ruakura four times daily and this is likely to grow. This service will underpin the significant supply chain savings we have been modelling with prospective customers and tenants of Ruakura,” he says.

About Ruakura – Ruakura is a visionary logistics hub designed to help importers and exporters unlock the golden triangle. Offering genuine scale, the core of the development is a 30ha inland port which will offer direct access to major seaports via main trunk rail services and the Waikato Expressway.

Complementing the inland port is a 192ha logistics and industrial precinct offering room to grow for businesses seeking a substantial footprint, and adjoining precincts for commercial, residential and retail use.

Ruakura is long-term project by Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and its business partners. TGH’s track record includes quality developments at The Base, one of New Zealand’s largest shopping centres, and hotels at Auckland Airport and Hamilton as part of the $950m diversified portfolio it manages on behalf of 76,000 Waikato-Tainui iwi members.

Photo: Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns (left) and Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive, Chris Joblin (right).

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New leader for RDO Equipment/Vermeer

International Forest Industries - Thu, 22/08/2019 - 12:49

RDO Equipment is the world’s largest Vermeer and John Deere dealer, and in Australia RDO have an investment and strong partnership with the Vermeer brand which Julie will oversee.

Julie has a strong track record in operations and management, having spent the last nine years working for oil and gas company Senex Energy Limited, firstly as their CFO, then managing their strategic planning portfolio and most recently, running coal seam gas projects, from exploration right through to start up.

In her new role, Julie will continue to establish the RDO Equipment business in Australia and set the strategy and goals to cement our place in this market, ensuring resources are in position to meet the needs of our new customer base.

“I have big goals for RDO to become the best dealership business in Australia and am excited to support the growth of the John Deere Construction and Forestry range throughout our RDO dealerships,” Julie says.

For Vermeer, her goal is to continue to grow the brand across the country and ensure their existing customers are well looked after from sales to service and parts support.

“Vermeer is already a well-established brand in Australia, and I’m looking forward to working with a team that I’ve seen is motivated and engaged with the products to help support their growth.

“Both RDO and Vermeer are two incredible companies with the raw potential to become market leaders. I’m excited to start just as RDO comes into the Australian market, provide focus and be the glue to get everyone firing in the same direction and get the business to be what it can be,” she says.

Julie’s first few weeks have seen her visiting the eight RDO and Vermeer dealerships across Australia to meet the teams behind the great brands. Her focus will be to work with the wider leadership teams and forge plans for the next 12 months for both businesses.

Photo: Julie Whitcombe has joined RDO Equipment and Vermeer as their new Chief Operating Officer across both companies.

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NZ – Can pine forests be nurseries for natives?

International Forest Industries - Thu, 22/08/2019 - 12:32

Carbon dioxide-capturing pine forests could be nurseries for native trees in New Zealand – Parliament’s environment select committee has heard the case for using quick-growing exotic trees, such as pines and eucalyptus, to capture carbon dioxide is compelling.

Fast and slow-growing exotic and native trees could be grown together to help New Zealand capture carbon dioxide and protect biodiversity, a Parliamentary select committee has been told.

At the third day of the environment committee’s Christchurch hearings into the Climate Change Amendment (Zero Carbon) Bill, University of Canterbury forestry professor Euan Mason said the case for using exotic trees, such as pines and eucalypts, to capture carbon dioxide was compelling.

Unfortunately, indigenous vegetation grew too slowly and could not sequester carbon dioxide fast enough to allow the country to meet its emissions targets.

On warm and damp sites, radiata stands could be a nurse crop for native forest. As long as seed sources were available, the carbon dioxide reservoirs would ultimately change to become native forest, Mason said. He recommended radiata pine and other exotics be established as permanent carbon forests with the proviso that, for every 10ha of exotics, 1ha of local native stands “are either identified or established to act as seed sources for the gradual succession to native forest as carbon reservoirs”.

Photo: Volunteers planting native trees at Rai Valley. About 700 rimu, totara, lowland ribbonwood, matai and other native trees were planted. Native forest may eventually take over as the country’s carbon dioxide reservoirs.

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Pölkky Oy invests in new planing mill in Taivalkoski

International Forest Industries - Thu, 22/08/2019 - 12:05

Pölkky Oy has announced the construction of a new planing mill in Taivalkoski, Finland. The value of the investment is 10 million euros and is part of the company’s new investment program.

The new planing mill will produce a variety of processed wood products for both exports and the domestic market. The facility is expected to be up and running in the fall of 2020, and will directly employ 10 people. The new facility will have an annual capacity of over 100 000 m3.

“Investing in the construction of the new planing mill in Taivalkoski is part of our new strategy which aims to increase our ratio of further processed wood products and to improve our profitability. The new planing mill also enables us to react even faster to our customers’ needs. Collaboration with the Taivalkoski municipality has been very good”, says Petteri Virranniemi, CEO at Pölkky Oy.

“The new plant will have a high degree of automation and will use cutting edge technology. In particular we are investing in the possibility to make fast cutting pattern changes”, comments Pekka Tuovinen, Technical Director at Pölkky Oy

Earlier in 2019 Pölkky Oy announced its first stage in the investment program with the modernization of the sawmill in Kajaani, which will also be incrementally implemented starting H2 2020.

Pölkky Oy uses 1 400 000 m3 of raw timber annually, across its four sawmills in Finland. The company’s turnover is 180 million euros. Pölkky has 420 employees in wood procurement, sawing and processing. Pölkky is a family company, now in the third generation.

Pölkky Oy is the largest private wood processing company in northern Finland. The sawmills and further processing facilities run by Pölkky Oy are located in the heart of Finland’s best raw timber region, in Kuusamo, Taivalkoski and Kajaani. Pine represents 75% and spruce 25% of their production. Pölkky also has a pressure treatment facility in Oulu

Contact:
Petteri Virranniemi, Chief Executive Officer, Pölkky Oy
Tel. +358 40 522 4390

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Hardwood chips demand strengthens daily – can we supply

International Forest Industries - Thu, 22/08/2019 - 11:38

A big deficit in the supply of hardwood woodchips is expected in the Asia-Pacific in the next three-to-five years, with demand in China, already the world’s biggest importer, expected to continue growing, according to Australian forestry giant Midway Group. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz

Midway’s managing director, Tony Price, told the recent DANA conference in Brisbane that Japan’ demand for hardwood chips was still strong, while Vietnam remained the region’s biggest supplier, followed by Australia.

Mr Price said China had been a strong and consistent importer of hardwood chips since 2007, with imports now more than 12 million bone-dry million tonnes. Capacity had expanded, with big growth in areas such as tissue production.

“There is an increased appreciation of higher quality eucalyptus woodchips. Customers are moving to longer term contracts and six-monthly pricing. The prices are equivalent to, or better than Japan,” he said.

Japanese imports had increased since 2013 despite predictions of a contraction, but long-term demand was expected to decline.

“With increasing competition from China, Japan has diversified its supply sources,” he said. However, biomass demand was set to take-off, with a number of dedicated biomass power stations active.

Mr Price said demand in Taiwan and South Korea remained stable, focussed on cheaper, lower quality fibre, but biomass demand could grow in Korea.

“Indonesia is now an importer. It has rapidly moved from an exporter to an importer due to increases in consumption and reduced availability of domestic fibre,” he said.

Imports had grown significantly this year and were on track to exceed one million BDT. In contrast, India was not yet a significant player.

“The market is yet to develop,” he said.

Mr Price said Vietnam’s hardwood woodchip supply had been predicted to tighten, but it continued to grow.

“They have very short rotations so have the ability to quickly respond to demand. There are good margins along the entire supply chain from grower to exporter,” he said. “The Government would prefer longer rotations and domestic value-adding.”

Vietnamese supply continued to grow to fill reductions from other countries.

“Other suppliers are expected to reduce due to a combination of domestic demand and limited plantation availability,” he said. These countries included Chile, Thailand, South Africa, Malaysia and Ecuador.

Mr Price said Australian plantation supply had doubled since 2013 due to the maturing of the hardwood plantation resource. However, further rises in plantation supply were limited and would drop from 2023 for at least five years, he said.

Demand for hardwood logs had affected the woodchip supply.

“There is potential to increase supply from managed regrowth forests,” he said.

NSW, Tasmania and Western Australia had certified, well-managed forests. In the longer term, additional supply required reinvestment and expansion of the plantation base, he said.

Mr Price said potential competitors to Australia in the Asia-Pacific were South America – Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. However, prices would have to cover the high shipping costs. “It is difficult to see where further additional supplies will come from,” he said.

One possible source was Mozambique, or possibly Cambodia or another new South-East Asian supplier.

Midway’s managing director, Tony Price

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Clark Tracks – Production Capacity Increasing In Q4-2019

International Forest Industries - Thu, 22/08/2019 - 10:50

In response to the heavily growing demand, Clark Tracks is pleased to announce it is expanding the production facilities in Dumfries, Scotland. The new 4100 m2 production space is adjacent to the existing one, increasing the total space to 7500 m2, which is more than twice than before.

“In the new factory we are investing in automation and streamlining the production process whilst maintaining the flexibility for bespoke products” says Stewart Kelly, director, Clark Tracks.

The new space and additional capacity is taken into use in Q4-2019. During the next two years Clark Tracks will be able to double its production capacity. Total investment is approximately £2.5M.

Clark Tracks Ltd, part of Nordic Traction Group, specialise in developing and manufacturing forest machine tracks to suit almost all Cut-to-Length machines and Skidders. The company has manufactured forest machine tracks for over 30 years.

More information:
Stewart Kelly, stewart@clarktracks.com
Director, Clark Tracks

Tero Järvinen, tero.jarvinen@nordictraction.fi
CEO, Nordic Traction Group

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Queensland urged to reject proposal to close pine plantations

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 07:44
The Queensland State Government has been urged to reject an “absurd, outrageous and highly destructive proposal to close our pine plantations”. Gympie MP and opposition spokesman for agricultural industry development and fisheries and forestry Tony Perrett was responding to a proposal handed to the State Government to turn 21,000ha of prime pine logging plantation in the Imbil State Forest into subtropical rainforest. Source: Timberbiz Under the proposal put forward by Sunshine Coast journalist and naturalist Greg Roberts, leases to the hoop pine plantations would be revoked and the plantations allowed to regenerate. They would then be allowed to regenerate as subtropical lowland rainforest, a category listed by the Federal Government in 2011 as critically endangered. Industry sources have labelled the idea as a “fantasy”. The plan is opposed by some conservationists because it defies a widespread view that pristine natural areas are worthy of protection but that the likes of man-made pine plantations have no environmental value. Imbil State Forest is part of 330,000ha of Queensland pine plantations currently under lease to logging company HQ Plantations. HQP group manager stewardships David West said the company was open to negotiation but needed further information. However, industry sources pointed out that, regardless of any other objections, the State Government was unlikely to have the available funds to pay out the HQP group. Mr Perrett said rejection of the proposal had to be “clear and unequivocal and leave no wriggle room’’. “Local industry and timber manufacturers are already contacting me raising their serious concerns that this will destroy their economic viability in this region. “The loss of that much forestry will decimate the industry. If the Government doesn’t reject this outright we will know that this is clearly the first shot across the bow in an underhanded scheme to close up the Imbil State Forest.” Mr Perrett said the proposal was based on “deliberate fabrications”, and was “misleading, manipulates the truth, and uses emotive language to deliberately portray the forestry industry and those with grazing rights in a bad light”.  

Non-native tree-feeding pests invading US forests

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:58
Worldwide, forests are increasingly affected by non-native insects and diseases, some of which cause substantial tree mortality. Forests in the United States have been invaded by a particularly large number of tree-feeding pest species. Source: Timberbiz While information exists about the ecological impacts of certain pests, region-wide assessments of the composite ecosystem impacts of all species are limited. A new study by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) titled Biomass losses resulting from insect and disease invasions in US forests analyzed 92,978 forest plots distributed across the conterminous United States to estimate biomass loss associated with elevated mortality rates caused by the 15 most damaging non-native forest pests. These species combined caused an additional tree mortality rate of 5.53 TgC per year. Compensation, in the form of increased growth and recruitment of non-host species, was not detectable when measured across entire invaded ranges but does occur several decades following pest invasions. In addition, 41.1% of the total live forest biomass in the conterminous United States is at risk of future loss from these 15 pests. These results indicate that forest pest invasions, driven primarily by globalization, represent a huge risk to US forests and have significant impacts on carbon dynamics.

Ponsse fares well despite difficulties

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:57
Despite uncertainties in the world’s economy, the demand for Ponsse forest machines continued to be brisk during the last quarter, the company said that its order intake was very good. At the end of the period under review they totalled EUR 361.1 million and the company said that with the improving availability of components, manufacturing volumes at the Vieremä factory have been growing. Source: Timberbiz According to Ponsse, its Vieremä factory and the manufacturing network surrounding it are working well. There are still some risks related to the availability of components, but the situation is constantly improving. Factory maintenance work during the summer was successful, and the operations of the factory started normally at the beginning of August. The challenges in starting the production of new products during the first quarter of the year have been resolved but the extensive damage caused by bark beetle in Europe is having an impact on the timber market. Felling related to preventing and mitigating forest damage is temporarily increasing the amount of harvested timber in Europe, which also has a short-term effect on international timber flows.

BUGA a wood pavilion robotically manufactured

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:56
The BUGA Wood Pavilion in Germany is celebrates a new approach to digital timber construction. Its segmented wood shell is based on biological principles found in the plate skeleton of sea urchins, which have been studied by the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) and the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart. Source: Timberbiz As part of the project, a robotic manufacturing platform was developed for the automated assembly and milling of the pavilion’s 376 bespoke hollow wood segments. The stunning wooden roof spans 30 meters over one of BUGA’s main event and concert venues, using a minimum amount of material while also generating a unique architectural space. The pavilion builds on the biomimetic principle of using “less material” by having “more form”, both on the level of the overall shell and its individual segments. In order to minimize material consumption and weight, each wood segment is built up from two thin plates that plank a ring of edge-beams on top and bottom, forming large scale hollow wooden cases with polygonal forms. The bottom plate includes a large opening, which constitutes a distinctive architectural feature and provides access to the hidden connections during assembly. The lightweight building elements are connected by finger joints. In the assembled state, the shell works as a form-active structure through its expressive doubly-curved geometry. In this project, the co-design algorithms developed by the project team generate the shape of each element of the pavilion according to architectural design intent and structural requirements, while all robotic fabrication aspects are directly embedded and negotiated. Despite the incredible short development time of only 13 months from commission to the opening, the integrative computational process allows for the careful design of each building element in minute detail. A transportable, 14-axes robotic timber-manufacturing platform was developed by ICD University of Stuttgart and BEC GmbH for production. The flexibility of industrial robots allows the integration of all pre-fabrication steps of the pavilion’s segments within one compact manufacturing unit. During production, each bespoke shell segment is robotically assembled. The prefabricated shell segments were assembled in 10 working days by a team of two craftsmen, without the usually required extensive scaffolding or formwork. All building elements are designed for disassembly and reuse on a different site. The BUGA Wood Pavilion is located on the Summer Island of the Bundesgartenschau 2019.

Scion studies fire as a tool for rural land management

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:54
Fire is considered a useful tool for rural land managers but using it comes with risks. The attitudes and perceptions of rural land owners and residents to using fire as a land management tool have been surveyed by Scion’s Rural Fire Research team. Source: Timberbiz Fire in New Zealand has a long history of use by rural land owners and managers to reduce pests and disease, regenerate land and clear vegetation. However, perceptions around the risks of burns getting out of control, impacts of smoke pollution and ecological damage threaten its continued use. With almost 700 responses from rural land managers, rural populace, and rural fire personnel, the survey identified differing perceptions about the suitability of using fire. Around half the respondents used fire and nearly 80% support its use. People’s attitudes for and against using fire were explained by: The benefits of fire use The traditional use of fire as a tool Regulations and liabilities Smoke impacts from fire The risks from (fire use) knowledge loss and changing land use. Males, those currently using fire and/or managing larger land areas had a more positive attitude to fire use. People who were concerned about negative smoke impacts were less likely to agree that fire was a good rural land management tool. The continued use of fire as a useful tool requires understanding current management practices and clear guidelines around best practice in using fire in New Zealand. Scion is working with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, international research groups and fire agencies to develop training courses, tools and best practice guidelines that meet land management objectives while taking into consideration smoke nuisance and possible ecological impacts.

Swinburne study sheds light on tropical forests rising carbon

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:52
Studies of the world’s tropical forests have pinpointed how much water plants put back into the atmosphere compared with how much carbon they take up, with lower rainfall linked to increased efficiency. By studying how efficiently plants use water, researchers from Swinburne and the University of California have determined how well forests are acclimating to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Source: Timberbiz The researchers concluded that some drier conifer forests are acclimating two to three times faster to rising carbon dioxide than wetter, conifer forests, meaning they are more efficient in their water use. The results of this research were in the journal Nature Communications. The findings help explain why rainfall in the Amazon is unevenly distributed, and why some regions are drying out at a faster pace. This new research provides empirical evidence that could be used to refine models of predicting current and long-term rainfall, and improve the reliability of predictions. It also has implications for how water is stored and used in areas where it is known that plants put less water back into the atmosphere. Lead researcher, Swinburne Professor of BioScience and Innovation, Mark Adams says this study is particularly strong because it draws on data from multiple sources across the world. “Our findings are not reliant on any one study or research group. Our small research team worked for several years to compile and explore the data. A unique feature of the final analysis was the focus on rate of change,” he said. “Many previous studies have observed that water use efficiency rises with atmospheric carbon dioxide. What hasn’t been clear is the rate of change. Once we focused on that, novel patterns emerged.” Those patterns are backed by other recent US research showing that drier conifer forests are also acclimating to rising carbon dioxide better than wetter conifer forests. The research is hugely significant for the world’s large expanses of tropical forests, but also has implications for Australia. The study showed that on average over the last century, leguminous trees – or trees that produce seeds in pods – used water more efficiently than nonlegumes. Much of inland tropical and sub-tropical Australia is dominated by acacias, which are leguminous. “While Australia lacks anything resembling an Amazon basin, it does have vast expanses of legume dominated vegetation. We lack a serious understanding of the implications of this for our hydro-climates,” Professor Adams said. “If those Acacia woodlands are transpiring less water as a result of the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide, then we have a serious job ahead to understand potential consequences for run-off and infiltration to replenish ground water, as well as impacts on rainfall.”

Master Builders predict a downturn in commercial building

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:51
Forecasts released by Master Builders Australia suggest that the next few years will be a bit softer on the commercial building front. The favourable economic backdrop is forecast to propel commercial building forward by another 6.5% during 2019/20. Source: Timberbiz However, market activity is then expected to revert to lower levels. By the end of our forecast horizon in 2023/24, the size of Australia’s commercial building market is projected to be 8.9% smaller than in 2018/19.. “Commercial building has been a bit of a dark horse over recent years, growing steadily to reach its highest level on record,” Master Builders Australia’s Chief Economist Shane Garrett said. “Demand for commercial building projects has been whetted by the environment of exceptionally low interest rates. A significantly larger population means that we need more schools, more hospitals, more shops and more restaurants. In addition, the strong gains in employment have boosted the amount of office building work making it over the line. “The segments to see the toughest conditions over the next few years include building for accommodation, offices and education. These are the parts of the market which generally performed best over recent years.’’ It was not all bad news as several segments of commercial building are set for healthy growth over the period to 2023/24, including retail/wholesale, transport buildings and health facilities. “If the rollout of newly committed government infrastructure work were to be speeded up, this would enhance the viability of more projects in the commercial building space and get recovery underway more quickly,” Mr Garrett said.

Maryborough timber industry day

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:50
The Maryborough timber industry day held last weekend was attended by local parliamentary members and media from various sources. Presentations were made by Sam Slack (Slacks Hardwood), Mick Stephens (Timber Qld), Michael Guerin (Agforce) and Sean Ryan (PFSQ) emphasising the strength, sustainability and job production that the industry provides. Source: Timberbiz The event was organised to highlight the risks to the industry due to the multiple changes government is attempting to implement, the organisers say this is without the benefit of readily available science based data and is instead driven by the election cycle and city ideologues. Organisers say there is a simple solution which has been in place in Tasmania for almost 30 years – a designated timber production area on private land, registered against the Deed of Title and bound by an accredited management plan overseen by landholders themselves. Landholders, sawmillers and staff, haulage companies and all the ancillary workers such as mechanics, fuel providers, equipment providers, need certainty and security.  

Professional Ownership & Driver Wellbeing program

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:49
Registrations of interest are being sought from drivers, management and staff in the timber industry to take part in the Australian Forest Contractors Association’s Professional Ownership and Driver Wellbeing program. Source: Timberbiz The program will be delivered via a series of 30 free forestry sessions across Australia specifically targeting drivers, management and staff within the industry. AFCA has been allocated $140,000 in heavy vehicle safety funding to support the program through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) 2019 Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Federal Government. The program has been developed by Australian Trucking Safety Services & Solutions and KJ Training and Consulting to address the ‘human factor’s such as fatigue, inattention and complacency. These ‘human factors’ have been identified as the underlying causes of several recent crashes in heavy and light vehicles in the forest industry. The program will provide an opportunity to address these factors and complements work already occurring within the industry relating to Chain of Responsibility, Registered Codes of Practice and training about significant risks such as truck rollovers. The aim of the program is to guide participants to adopt a proactive, intrinsically motivated view of solutions to driving challenges. The 30 sessions will be delivered over a 2½ hour session by two facilitators to assist drivers and management to collaboratively develop personal management tools, challenge participants to examine personal ownership and responsibility for their own and the community’s safety and show them how to develop a personal risk reduction plan and build on key learning outcomes from the Heavy Vehicle Rollover Awareness Program. Sessions will be limited to a maximum of 40 participants per session. To register your interest visit https://www.afca.asn.au/podw-program-1/podw-program

Northern Australian forestry industry forum

Australian timber industry news - Wed, 21/08/2019 - 04:46
Northern Australian forestry industry stakeholders are encouraged to register for the last of four consultation forums to have their say on future actions for the region’s industry growth. Source: Timberbiz The forum, being held in Kununarra on 5 September (dial in and video conferencing option available on request), is part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) project to identify the growth potential for northern Australia’s forestry and forestry products industry. Forum participants will be invited to provide input into initial findings of a literature review of strategic documents and regulatory frameworks to identify the extent of commercially productive resources including native, plantation and farm forests. The project team seeks to develop longer term relationships with forum attendees to seek further input on the final report and future actions for policy, R & D and investment decisions. Forums are open to anyone engaged in or wanting to be engaged in the forestry and forest products industry, but specifically: forest owners and managers harvesting contractors processors Land Councils Associations and peak industry bodies Government representatives The forum will be on Thursday 5 September from 11.00am – 1.00pm at the Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development Conference Room, 1 Durack Drive, Kununurra. To register to attend this free forum, please RSVP sarah@timberqueensland.com.au  providing your name and contact information.

Harvesting Irony in Alaska

NYT Logging Industry - Tue, 20/08/2019 - 12:00
Global warming, budget cuts and musical instruments carved from ancient trees: A summer in Sitka is an exercise in extremes.

UK forest stamps showcase forests and forestry

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 20/08/2019 - 03:11
Six special stamps featuring forests of the UK are being circulated to showcase the character and varied colours of the nation’s forests. The stamp launch coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Forestry Commission which was founded on 1 September 1919. Source: Timberbiz Responsibility for forests and woodland across the remainder of the UK has, over the years, devolved to different government agencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As well as providing sustainable timber to UK industry, in the last 50 years the Commission’s focus has grown to embrace other areas. It is active in wildlife conservation, especially endangered bird and butterfly species, and the preservation of National Parks and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In the early 20th century, extensive tree felling left the country’s timber resources severely depleted. The First World War in particular had a huge impact; by the end of it, with forests ravaged in support of the war effort, the UK’s woodland cover was at an all time low of just 5%. In response, the Forestry Act was passed, and in September 1919 the Government established the Forestry Commission, demonstrating its support for the creation of productive, state-owned forests to replenish the much-depleted supplies of home-grown timber. The first Forestry Commission trees were planted in Devon’s Eggesford Forest in December 1919, and in the following years a large program of land acquisition and tree planting took place across the UK. In its centenary year, Forestry Commission England looks after more than 1500 woods and forests and provides expert advice and guidance regarding forests owned by others. It is the country’s largest landowner, managing diverse landscapes, including forests, heathlands, mountains, moors and urban green spaces. It works closely with Scottish Forestry, Forestry and Land Scotland, Natural Resources Wales and Forest Service Northern Ireland. Featured in the set are images of the following forests: Glen Affric; Sherwood Forest; Glenariff Forest; Westonbirt; The National Arboretum; Coed y Brenin and Kielder Forest. Glen Affric in Inverness-shire, is managed by Forestry and Land Scotland and is a fragment of the once extensive Caledonian Forest. Its rugged Scots pines and graceful birches are the signature trees in a landscape where forest, lochs, river and mountains combine to create the perfect Highland setting. Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire is famous for its rich assemblage of ancient oak trees, such as the Major Oak. The atmospheric image on the stamp shows a fine stand of conifers in the early morning light, reflecting the mixed planting found across the whole forest. Managed by the Forest Service Northern Ireland, Glenariff Forest Park in County Antrim, boasts a beautiful mixture of views and trails that allow the visitor to enjoy a wide variety of walks and activities. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is the Forestry Commission’s flagship collection of trees in England. First created by the wealthy Holford family almost 200 years ago, it is one of the most beautiful and diverse botanical collections in the world. The 600-acre (243ha) site with 17 miles (27km) of paths showcases 3000 tree species, including the Japanese maples seen on the stamp in autumnal colours. Located near Dolgellau in the Snowdonia National Park, Coed y Brenin is now one of the flagship forests of Natural Resources Wales. Commercial softwood forestry across some 7650 acres (3093ha) of Forest Park combines with recreational facilities. Kielder Forest in Northumberland is the largest human-made forest in Britain, stretching 250 square miles (647sq km); around 75% is covered by trees. The Forestry Commission harvests around 500,000 cubic metres of timber here each year. The felled areas are replanted using a mixture of conifer and broadleaf trees, and parts are left open to create a diversity of habitats.

Austrofoma demonstration event for forestry machines

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 20/08/2019 - 03:09
Austrofoma is the Austrian forestry machine and device demonstration where all the machines on display are shown performing real-life tasks, unlike standard exhibitions where they are only seen while stationary. The event is on once every four years. Source: Timberbiz All the machines will be used in the circuit during the event. Regular machine demonstrations will also take place in the bioenergy village. Machines and devices from the following areas will be exhibited and/or demonstrated: • Four-wheel tractors, special forestry tractors and articulated tractors • Forwarding trailers and side-mounted and top-mounted winches • The planting of trees and plants on banks alongside roads that are being built • Forest assessment, economic planning, GPS and GIS • Forestry chains, cables and tyres • Forestry training • Forest plants and seeds • Forest maintenance • Forest protection, fertilising and plant protection • Forest road redevelopment • Forwarders and crane trailers • Radio, communication and control • Harvesters and processors • Wood labelling and measurement • Wood loading cranes • Hydraulics and service • Yarders for downhill and uphill log winching • Long-distance cableways • Log lines • Chainsaws and forestry tools • Protective equipment. The event is on from 8 to 10 October and more information is at www.austrofoma.at/news.html

CLT and mass timber products show green credentials

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 20/08/2019 - 03:04
Those close to the forest products supply chain have watched with great interest as the cross-laminated timber (CLT) and “mass timber” building products industry has exploded over the last decade. The free market has ultimately driven the remarkable growth of the industry, which is helping the “green” movement to reassess the benefits of wood as well. Sources: Forest2Market, Timberbiz There are myriad structural, cost and environmental benefits to using CLT and other mass timber products in suitable construction projects: CLT-based buildings take less time to construct; because mass timber panels are prefabricated, smaller crews can assemble structures more safely and in less time. The speed advantage is amplified because manufacturing can occur simultaneously with site and foundation work, reducing down time between construction phases and shortening construction time. CLT-based buildings are more energy efficient. Unlike other building materials, they are comprised completely from renewable materials that sequester carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere indefinitely Using wood in place of fossil fuel-intensive materials avoids most of the greenhouse gases that would have been emitted during the manufacturing of such products. While a ton of cement emits nearly a ton of carbon in its production process, a ton of timber has the potential to remove (and store) up to two tons of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere. New construction projects with CLT are becoming more commonplace across the globe, and the demand for these materials is driving manufacturers to scale their businesses to meet the increased interest While an anti-forestry narrative fueled by half-truths and emotion is certainly alive and well among critics of wood products industries, there are signs that the conversation is quickly shifting. Addressing “climate change” and its many peripheral debates is becoming a central topic in global politics and on the international stage, which presents an opportunity for the forest products value chain to educate the public with actual science, data and reason. Case in point: Rather than relying on the same old anti-forestry trope to induce fear of climate change, a recent article published by the BBC takes a decidedly independent tone and explores the many benefits of wood-based building products derived from working forests. In his article, journalist Tim Smedley highlights the importance of keeping forested lands forested. Working forests play an important role in keeping forested land forested as previous analyses have demonstrated. Working forests store carbon, provide recreational opportunities and support the economic vitality of many rural communities. However, working forests face competing land use pressures that place them at risk of conversion to other uses. As Smedley notes: “Canada’s great forests for example have actually emitted more carbon than they absorb since 2001, thanks to mature trees no longer being actively felled. “Arguably, the best form of carbon sequestration is to chop down trees: to restore our sustainable, managed forests, and use the resulting wood as a building material.” Modern forest management regimes are designed to maximize timber growth and, as Smedley adds: “… typically plant two to three trees for every tree felled – meaning the more demand there is for wood, the greater the growth in both forest cover and CO2-hungry young trees.” In decades past, members of the forest value chain rarely received honest treatment in the larger conversation about the importance of working forests, demand for wood products, forest fire management, etc. The benefits and popularity of CLT and mass timber products are helping to change the conversation, which is a welcomed change.

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by Dr. Radut