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Woodland caribou are listed as a Threatened Species in Alberta. Many herds now have fewer than 100 individuals and continue to decline. People are probably the main cause; where roads are built and where industry works on the landscape, the caribou fare poorly.
The new paper describes how caribou from two Alberta mountain herds, Narraway and Redrock-Prairie Creek, have shifted their home ranges over a period of 15 years so that they spend more time in high elevation habitat during spring, and linger longer in fall and early winter before returning down the slopes to the forest. In this way, the herds have continued to avoid signs of human use despite the area of clear-cut logging, roads, and oil and gas wells growing with their ranges from about 500 km2 to almost 1200 km2 during those 15 years.
Since 1998, the forestry company Weyerhaeuser and the Government of Alberta have been monitoring herds by putting GPS collars on adult female caribou. The collars transmit their position for two years before automatically detaching. The goal is to get collar data from approximately 10 animals from each herd every year, and by 2013, 93 caribou had been monitored in the Redrock-Prairie Creek herd, and 59 in the Narraway herd.
Caribou Program biologist Doug MacNearney and his co-authors used the collar data to calculate each collared caribou’s movement rates to identify the start and end of their seasonal migrations. They then calculated the size of the herd’s range in each of those seasons and the different kinds of habitats based on elevation and the plants that characterise the area. For example, the average home range size for caribou in the Narraway herd is just about 4 km2 when calving, which makes sense given how short the calving season is and the low movement rates of females at such a delicate time. That is also the time that the herd is highest up in the safety of the mountains, at an average elevation of over 1700 metres. That home range up in the alpine is just 16% conifer forest. On the other extreme, the average home range size in early winter for that same herd is 75 km2 as the caribou complete their migration down to the foothills (their home range at this time is 73% conifer at an average elevation of 1300 metres).
The final step was to look at how those characteristics—habitat, home range size, movement rate, etc.—changed from 1998–2013 and how that was related to the growing habitat disturbance down in the foothills. The paper’s authors used a clever new application of an old method, where they treated the distribution of disturbance as if it were another animal on the landscape instead of one of the control variables. This has the huge advantage of letting them directly compare where the disturbance is with where the caribou were between 1998 and 2013.
What they found was that despite the increase in human activity, the herds maintained their very low overlap with disturbed areas. As disturbance grew down in the foothills, the caribou spent more time up in their alpine refuges during the winter, when they would normally descend to the forest.
We know that caribou, like other ungulates, shift their ranges to lower quality habitat to avoid disturbance. This could give them a respite from the threats that disturbance throws at them, such as stress, more predators, and vehicles, but there are downsides. There is only so much alternative habitat that can sustain the herds. If caribou spend more and more time in alpine habitat during the winter when conditions are harsh and food is scarce, they could face worse body condition, fewer calves surviving and greater risk of disease. A home range that includes more alpine might also increase their risk of being wiped out in one unlucky event, like the avalanche that killed the Banff herd.
It will be vital to monitor how caribou ranges are changing in order to keep conservation planning current. To this end, the Caribou Program at fRI Research has a suite of projects that are providing government and industry the tools and information they need to stabilize, recover, and sustain caribou populations in Alberta.
Doug’s co-authors are wildlife biologist Karine Pigeon, Laura Finnegan and Gord Stenhouse—the fRI Research Caribou Program and Grizzly Bear Program leads respectively, and UBC’s Wiebe Nijland and Nicholas Coops. The paper, “Heading for the hills? Evaluating spatial distribution of woodland caribou in response to a growing anthropogenic disturbance footprint” was published in Ecology and Evolution.
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Stretch, V, Z. Gedalof, J. Cockburn, and M. F.J. Pisaric. 2016. Sensitivity of reconstructed fire histories to detection criteria in mixed-severity landscapes. Forest Ecology and Management 379 (2016) 61–69.
In heterogeneous forest landscapes prone to wildfires, accurate classification of the fire regime beyond direct observations and records is difficult. This is in part due to the methods used to reconstruct historical fires in complex, heterogeneous landscapes with varying fire severities. Mixed-severity fire regimes, defined as variations in wildfire severity over time and/or space, have important implications for ecosystem functioning and forest management. Fire event detection is used to reduce uncertainties in historical tree-ring proxy records. The number of fire events considered in fire regime classification varies based on detection criteria (filters) that are researcher-selected, such as number of trees or plots recording fire. Here we analyzed the sensitivity of fire regime classification to common detection criteria in a mixed-severity fire regime in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada. We found that detection criteria bias records toward high-severity events and against potentially ecologically significant low-severity fires in mixed-severity regimes, ultimately classifying them as higher severity. We conclude that detection criteria methods must address the scale that is relevant to the ecological or management questions being addressed.
Sawmill owners and managers are continually striving to maximize the profit made from each log purchased in order to outcompete other sawmills. A simple prescription for this is to keep raw material costs as low as possible while maximizing sales; it’s manufacturing 101, but as the old saying goes, “it’s easier said than done.”
An extraction backpressure steam turbine and a condensing steam turbine supply electricity and process steam for the pulp factory in Ortigueira, in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. "For the Klabin project we delivered highly specific, very complex steam turbines that the customer has integrated into a customized process cycle. These two Siemens SST-800 steam turbines are a very good example of our excellent performance capabilities in terms of complex, customer-specific steam turbine projects," said Ronald Schmidt, head of Europe Industrial Steam Turbines at the Siemens Power and Gas Division.
The new plant is uniquely flexible, because it has two production lines and can produce two types of fiber simultaneously. The factory has an annual production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of pulp. 1.1 million metric tons of bleached hardwood pulp (eucalyptus) and 400,000 metric tons of bleached softwood pulp (pine), a portion of which is converted into fluff pulp for products like baby diapers.
Approximately 150 MW of electricity, or more than half of the total of 270 MW produced, is fed into the national power grid. That's enough to supply electricity to a city of a half-million people.
4Q FY 2016 vs 4Q FY 2015:
GAAP sales of $373.8 million vs $402.5 million
Negative foreign exchange impact of $6.0 million
GAAP operating income of $10.3 million vs $9.5 million
GAAP net loss attributable to MPS of $6.7 million vs $4.9 million
GAAP net loss attributable to MPS of $0.09 per share vs $0.08 per share
Non GAAP net income attributable to MPS of $2.2 million vs $5.1 million
Non GAAP net income attributable to MPS per share of $0.03 vs $0.08
Adjusted EBITDA of $49.4 million vs $54.0 million
Negative foreign exchange impact of $0.2 million
Adjusted EBITDA margin of 13.2% vs 13.4%
Early debt repayment of $20.0 million in June 2016
FY 2016 vs FY 2015:
GAAP sales of $1.66 billion vs $1.62 billion
Negative foreign exchange impact of $77.2 million
GAAP operating income of $84.1 million vs $71.0 million
GAAP net income attributable to MPS of $2.1 million vs $6.5 million
GAAP net income attributable to MPS of $0.03 per share vs $0.10 per share
Non GAAP net income attributable to MPS of $48.0 million vs $21.7 million
Non GAAP net income attributable to MPS of $0.66 per share vs $0.35 per share
Adjusted EBITDA of $254.3 million vs $231.0 million.
Negative foreign exchange impact of $12.4 million
Adjusted EBITDA margin of 15.3% vs 14.3%.
Early debt repayments totaling $60.0 million in 2016, excluding debt repayments from the IPO proceeds
Marc Shore, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We had a very successful 2016, notwithstanding some significant challenges. EBITDA was a record $254.3 million despite a negative foreign exchange impact of $12.4 million. EBITDA margin grew by 100 basis points over the prior year to 15.3%. The business also generated approximately $109 million of free cash flow which allowed us to make early debt repayments of $60 million. In addition to the challenges of foreign exchange, we were disappointed with top-line sales. This was due to the fact that a number of our core customers’ businesses are below expectations in the current fiscal year.
As we enter fiscal 2017, we are enthusiastic about our prospects. Our facility improvement plan is gaining traction and other measures that we have taken to enhance profitability are also being implemented. The company also remains committed to sourcing strategic and accretive acquisitions and there are several opportunities in the pipeline. However, foreign exchange will continue to be a significant negative impact in fiscal 2017. The Brexit vote has resulted in a meaningful devaluation of the GBP and this will again impact both sales and EBITDA.”
Discussion of Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2016 Results
GAAP net sales for 4Q FY 2016 and fiscal year 2016 were $373.8 million and $1,661.4 million vs net sales for 4Q FY 2015 and fiscal year 2015 of $402.5 million and $1,617.6 million. 4Q FY 2016 and fiscal year 2016 include negative foreign exchange effects of $6.0 million and $77.2 million when compared to the prior period. On an end market basis, Consumer, Healthcare and Media comprised 48.4%, 44.3% and 7.3% of total net sales in 4Q FY 2016 respectively, and 50.6%, 38.5% and 10.9% of total net sales for the fiscal year ended 2016, respectively.
Net sales in the quarter and for the year to date period were impacted principally due to the foreign exchange effects noted above, as well as a decline in non-toy media sales compared to the prior year ($4.8 million and $36.8 million, respectively), the decline in sales of a Disney toy project where Disney has exited the business ($10.4 million and $30.8 million, respectively), and the decline in UK tobacco sales due to UK tobacco legislation ($3.3 million and $14.2 million, respectively). The effect of the year over year Disney toy project and the UK tobacco decline is winding down and expected to impact year over year comparisons in 2017 by approximately $11.0 million and $5.9 million, respectively.
For the full fiscal year, gross margins continue to improve. Gross margin for the quarter and for the year to date period were 19.4% and 21.3% respectively, vs 20.6% and 20.5% in the corresponding prior year periods. Included in the 19.4% margin is approximately 170 basis points representing restructuring and plant closure costs. The improvement is principally due to the Company’s operational focus on plant manufacturing metrics, previously announced and achieved acquisition synergy targets, and appropriate cost savings capital investments.
GAAP operating income for 4Q FY 2016 was $10.3 million, vs $9.5 million for 4Q 2015. GAAP operating income for fiscal 2016 was $84.1 million vs $71.0 million for fiscal 2015. Included in the current fiscal period is approximately $27.0 million of stock compensation recorded in connection with the vesting of shares from the Company’s initial public offering. Excluding this charge, operating income for fiscal 2016 would have been $111.1 million, an increase of $40.1 million or approximately 230 basis points when compared to the same period in the prior year.
GAAP net loss attributable to MPS for 4Q FY 2016 was $6.7 million as compared to $4.9 million for 4Q FY 2015. GAAP net income attributable to MPS for the Fiscal Years 2016 and 2015 were $2.1 million and $6.5 million respectively. GAAP net income in 4Q FY 2016 and Fiscal Year 2016 include negative foreign exchange effects of $0.2 million and $12.4 million. In addition, GAAP net income for YTD 2016 includes the previously mentioned stock compensation expense.
Non GAAP net income attributable to MPS for 4Q FY 2016 and fiscal year 2016 were $2.2 million and $48.0 million vs non GAAP net income attributable to MPS for 4Q FY 2015 and fiscal year 2015 of $5.1 million and $21.7 million. Adjustments to non GAAP net income are principally net of tax adjustments related to stock compensation expense, restructuring charges associated with plant closures, foreign exchange, expenses associated with acquisition transactions and debt extinguishment related costs.
Adjusted EBITDA for 4Q FY 2016 was $49.4 million (13.2%) vs. $54.0 million (13.4%) in 4Q FY 2015. Adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal year 2016 was $254.3 million (15.3%) vs. $231.0 million (14.3%) in fiscal year 2015. Adjusted EBITDA margin was driven by the Company’s operational focus on plant manufacturing metrics, previously announced and achieved acquisition synergy targets, and appropriate cost savings capital investments.
Cash balances as of June 30, 2016 were $44.8 million. There were no amounts outstanding under our revolving credit facility. Total debt net of cash was $863.1 million including deferred finance fees and debt discount of $16.1 million. At June 30, 2016, trailing twelve months acquisition adjusted pro forma EBITDA was $255.2 million, and the pro forma leverage ratio was 3.46.
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Earnings Conference Call and Webcast
The Company will host a conference call on August 22, 2016 at 4:30pm ET, which can be accessed by dialing 877-705-6003 (domestic) or 201-493-6725 (international). Supplemental materials for today’s call can also be found on the investor relations portion of the Company’s website
The Company will also host a live webcast of its conference call which may be accessed on the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at multipkg.com. A replay will be available approximately three hours after the call, through August 29, 2016, accessible by dialing 877-870-5176 (domestic), or 858-384-5517 (international). The passcode for the replay is 13642269.
Non GAAP Financial Measures
The historical financial information included in this presentation includes financial information that is not presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”), including Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow Yield. Management uses these non GAAP financial measures in the analysis of financial and operating performance because they assist in the evaluation of underlying trends in our business. Our use of the terms Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted Operating Income, and Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow Yield may differ from that of others in our industry. These items should not be considered as alternatives to net income (loss), operating income (loss), or any other performance measures prepared in accordance with GAAP as measures of operating performance or operating cash flows or as measures of liquidity. Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted Operating Income, and Adjusted EBITDA have important limitations as analytical tools and should be considered in conjunction with, and not as substitutes for, our results as reported under GAAP. This presentation includes a reconciliation of certain non GAAP financial measures with the most directly comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP.
About Multi Packaging Solutions
Multi Packaging Solutions is a leading global provider of value-added packaging solutions to a diverse customer base across the healthcare, consumer and multi-media markets. MPS provides its customers with an extensive array of print-based specialty packaging solutions, including premium folding cartons, inserts, labels and rigid packaging across a variety of substrates and finishes. MPS has manufacturing locations across North America, Europe and Asia.
High-speed moulder line to Japanese Chugoku Lumber Co. Through great co-operation with our Japanese dealer Oki Kikai Co. Ltd., System TM managed to win the order of a high-speed moulder line to Chugoku Lumber Co. in Japan. System TM designed the system solution and implemented Microtec scanning equipment in the line.
The high-speed moulder line from System TM The solution from System TM is a high-speed moulder line for finger joint and glued laminated boards. The line consist of an automatic infeed system, a heavy duty Opti-Feed 6000. The infeed system is with continuous feed, ensuring that a pack is always ready on the conveyor belt to be fed to the line. The workpieces are high-speed single-piece fed to a stud carrier that consist of a moisture meter, a Curvescan from Microtec, an automatic out sorting of workpieces for finger joint, a high-speed board turner and a multi head cross-cut saw model MK2, that cuts the workpieces in very exact lengths.
The workpieces that are sorted for finger joint are stacked continuously and the packs are either transported to storage or destacked and fed to a finger jointing line. The cut workpieces are transported through a Viscan from Microtec before being distributed between two moulders that are running different dimensions. After each moulder, an operator quality sorts the moulded workpieces and they are sorted between two automated Opti-Stack 3000 stacking systems. The line consist of four Opti-Stack 3000 in total. When the packs are full they are automatically transported on a roller conveyor to a press line where the workpieces are glued, or an option is to take the packs and transport them to storage.
Solutions from Microtec The main focus of System TM and our wood scanning partner Microtec, is to optimize and truly utilize the raw wood and wood resources of our customers. This is done through System TM’s designed system solutions combined with high scanning technology from Microtec. The high-speed moulder line to Chugoku Lumber Co. is no exception, and the following equipment from Microtec has been implemented in the solution:
- For the first time in Japan, a Microtec Viscan strength grading solution has been installed. Viscan is a measuring unit for determining resonant frequency thanks to a high performance laser vibrometer. Through this, Microtec provides an output control for grading classes and also supports the customer in finding the thresholds.
- The second solution from Microtec is a Curvescan C shape scanner that works in transversal feeding and, thanks to a sophisticated laser triangulation process, accurately measures the geometry of the workpieces. Curvescan works at high-speed and generates constant and very reliable results. It determines twists, bows and spring on each workpiece according to the customer’s threshold values.
Written by Michael Victor for the Water, Land and Ecosystems blog Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals on hunger and poverty will require a 50 percent increase in food production in the next 15 years. In fact, a global food revolution is urgently needed, argues a recent paper by a number of leading scientists working with […]