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Forest Products Industry

Tokyo’s Olympic village plaza made with borrowed wood

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 19 min ago
The Tokyo Olympic Village Plaza is the gateway to the Olympic and Paralympic Village of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and offers a wide range of services to athletes, team officials, guests and the media during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Source: Timberbiz It is located in Tokyo’s waterfront district and has everything from a cafe to a bank to a medical station to a hair salon. Team welcome ceremonies are held at the Plaza. In line with the natural feel of the National Stadium, the 5,300 square metre Plaza is made of wood, from timber donated by 63 municipalities in Japan. The 40,000 pieces of wood are branded with the name of the municipality that donated them. After the Games, the Plaza will be taken down and the wood will return to the donors, who will recycle for use to build local facilities that will help to commemorate the Games – for example, public benches or parts of school buildings. Timbers including larch, Japanese cedar and Japanese cypress were donated. The village was designed by local Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei. “Use of wood from different regions throughout the building will express diversity and harmony,” said the Olympics in a press release. “In addition to revitalising the timber industry and contributing to the conservation of sustainable forests, use of Japanese lumber reflects the goal of reducing environmental impacts and realising sustainability by leaving a legacy that attests to the participation of all regions of the country in the Games.”

Kuitpo Forest TreeClimb feedback

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 20 min ago
The South Australian Government wants feedback on the establishment of a new environmentally sensitive treetop adventure facility alongside the Chookarloo Campground in Kuitpo Forest Reserve. Source: Timberbiz The Government is working with TreeClimb SA to develop an aerial adventure course adjacent the Chookarloo Campground within Kuitpo Forest. TreeClimb SA has been successful in obtaining funding through the South Australian Government’s Nature Based Tourism Co-investment Fund for the project. Tree Climb SA will be responsible for the management of the facility and will be required to establish a Licence Agreement. So the SA Government is seeking your thoughts on the project to ensure all issues are considered when developing this new tourism initiative. Your ideas and feedback will help shape the vision of this new sustainable nature-based tourism initiative for Kuitpo Forest Reserve. The design and footprint of the project will be very similar to TreeClimb in the Adelaide Park Lands. It is an aerial adventure course comprising of approximately 12 elevated treetop ropes and zipline courses of varying difficulty. As part of the infrastructure, TreeClimb will erect a modern lightweight building to accommodate a check-in area, safety and harnessing area and will include a small café and decked area for users and visitors. The building will be designed to ensure it fits comfortably into its natural landscape and will utilise removable footing systems to reduce the impact to the area and allow removal at the end of the agreed license period. The design will also include an interactive education room to provide schools and visitors with the chance to learn about conservation and broader environmental challenges. The plan also includes the development of a “nature play” zone within the course design and will be accessible for all forest visitors free of charge. The feedback opportunity closes 16 August 2021. For more information https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/treeclimb-kuitpo-proposal

Vic Code of Practice for Timber Production submissions close today

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 21 min ago
Submissions to the Victorian Code of Practice for Timber Production close today and the organisation representing timber merchants and retailers is urging members to make a submission. Source: Timberbiz The MGA/TMA, says that if the code is not fixed, contractors and their crews are likely to be stood down and wood supply to sawmills may diminish further or cease completely. The MGA/TMA says that with the existing timber supply issues, the industry cannot afford to have even less product available. “As we know, there is a great sense of pride among timber communities and their contribution to Victoria over many generations,” the MGA/TMA told its members. The MGA/TMA was proud of its sustainable industry, which supplied wood fibre products that Victorians utilise every day. “The Victorian native forestry needs your help,” the MGA/TMA said. “Please go to https://www.saveourforestrycommunities.org/makeasubmission and let the Victorian Government know you support changes to the Code of Practice for Timber Production by making a submission before it closes today.” MGA/TMA said it was making a submission but with the additional voices of its members via their submissions, the greater chance they have of being heard.

Heyfield Timber Festival back on this year

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 21 min ago
After a 27-year hiatus, the Heyfield Timber Festival is set to return in August 2021 to celebrate the small town’s proud history and the relevance of the modern timber industry. Source: The Gippsland Times The Heyfield Timber Festival began several decades ago as a way of recognising the enduring relationship the district has with its forests, and Heyfield’s reliance on the timber industry for its prosperity. First milled locally in the late 1800s, timber is deeply embedded in the district’s psyche and over the years hundreds of local families have gained employment directly or indirectly through its mills. In the 1950s, Heyfield was widely known as a major timber town, with mills supplying timber for houses and businesses, and timber playing a large role in the town’s culture and its residents’ sense of wellbeing. Heyfield is now the principal source of treated hardwood in Victoria. The Heyfield Timber Festival drew hundreds of visitors from Gippsland and beyond who came for the carnival atmosphere and to acknowledge the significance of the industry to the local economy. In the 1980s the festival showcased the process of logging, transport and production or utilisation of the timber, and featured a parade with log trucks, wood chopping competitions, displays of machinery, entertainment and carnival rides. The brainchild of the festival’s 2021 revival, Heyfield woman Felicia Stevenson, said this year’s festival would see it stick largely to its roots as a community event for the whole family, but with a strong focus on the sustainability of the industry. “Our logo is ‘sustainability from the hills to the mills and beyond’, and that’s largely our message,” she said. “The idea came to me as a way of showing the community what the timber industry is about, its benefit to the community and its contribution to sustainability.” There will be food trucks, market stalls, information stands, entertainment, truck displays, vintage car and motorbike displays, and educational material to show people what happens to the timber once it is logged. “A lot of people think our timber is just logged for woodchips, so we want to show them what it’s really about,” Ms Stevenson said. The festival committee, which has raised about $50,000 through community events and received support from the Wellington Shire and local businesses, promises something for the whole family. Ms Stevenson said highlights would include the spectacular wood chop event on Saturday, dog jumping, children’s entertainment, country market stalls, food trucks and live bands playing until late. On Sunday, there will be an iconic truck and community group parade, and buses taking local school groups to Australian Sustainable Hardwoods for an educational tour. On Sunday, August 1, there will be a fundraising evening at Heyfield Memorial Hall, featuring Gippsland-raised musician and Golden Guitar nominee Michael Waugh. For more information: https://www.heyfieldtimberfestival.com.au/event-details-1

New Forests acquires 156,000 acres in US

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 22 min ago
New Forests Pty Limited has disclosed the acquisition of the 156,000-acre Hilt-Siskiyou Forest, a mixed-conifer forest along the California and Oregon border, from the Fruit Growers Supply Company (FGS) alongside an institutional investor client. Source: SWFI Fruit Growers Supply Company was created by the Sunkist Growers in 1907 to manufacture wood crates for Sunkist’s California grown oranges. Fruit Growers Supply Co. has owned and operated core areas of the Hilt-Siskiyou Forest for more than a century. New Forests manages more than US$300 million of California forestry investments as part of its US$4.5 billion global portfolio. New Forests’ investment strategy in the United States is to acquire and manage forestry assets for sustainable timber production, environmental market exposures, and conservation. The global forestry investment management firm seeks to deploy at least US$500 million in capital for multiple clients in US forests during the next 24 months and is actively considering additional investments in the Pacific Northwest, Lake States, New England, and Appalachia. This acquisition forms part of New Forests’ broader investments in the Klamath River watershed. In 2011, New Forests financed and developed the first forest carbon project in the California regulatory carbon market in partnership with the Yurok Tribe on land held by the tribe near the Klamath River. In 2016 and September 2018, New Forests acquired on behalf of investors several forest properties in the Klamath River watershed, including the Ke’pel Creek and Pine Creek forests, which New Forests enrolled in California’s climate program to conserve the properties for long-term carbon storage and growth. The deal in September 2018 includes the purchase of 10,400 acres of Humboldt County timberlands from Soper Company. The estate is known as the Pine Creek Timberlands and completes the placement of an investment fund focused on high carbon value forests in California. The Pine Creek Timberlands include Douglas fir, mixed hardwoods, and redwood stands. The property has historically been managed for high value Douglas fir timber. The estate complements the recent acquisition of a predominantly redwood and Douglas fir forest with parcels located near Eureka on behalf of the same fund. New Forests also announced the acquisition of approximately 170,000 acres of mixed conifer forests in Northern California in early 2018, now operating as Shasta Cascade Timberlands LLC. The settlement on Pine Creek Timberlands brings New Forests’ US timberland assets under management to 186,000 acres. New Forests is the largest timberland investment manager in Australia and has operated in New Zealand since 2005.

Fonterra switches another plant to wood biomas

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 22 min ago
New Zealand Minister for Energy and Resources Hon Dr Megan Woods officially opened Fonterra’s new wood pellet boiler at its Te Awamutu plant, and the Co-operative announced details for its next site to exit coal – the Stirling cheese plant in Otago. Source: Timberbiz Otago’s ‘fantastic little cheese plant’, will be coal free and using wood biomass to fire the site by August next year. This will make Stirling Fonterra’s first 100% renewable thermal energy site, a significant step towards the Co-op’s goal of getting out of coal all together by 2037. By switching to wood biomass, the site’s annual emissions will reduce by 18,500 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of taking more than 7000 cars off the road. Fonterra General Manager Operations Lower South Island, Richard Gray says it’s another huge decarbonisation milestone for the Co-op. “Sustainability is at the heart of our strategy, and this project is something that will be good for the environment and local community.” “As well as the site being coal free there are additional environmental benefits the new boiler will bring, including reduction in wastewater, noise, solid waste to landfill and air discharge emissions. “There are also economic benefits for the community – the installation will contribute more than $10million into the region, along with supporting an estimated 10 jobs in the wood biomass industry. “Our Stirling site exports to customers in more than 10 countries, including Japan and South Korea, and we’re looking forward to sharing this news with them also.” The wood biomass will be sourced Pioneer Energy who are locally owned by Central Lakes Trust. The Trust distributes grants to charitable causes in the Central Otago region. “Pioneer Energy is very proud to be involved with, and tosupport, Fonterra’s move across from coal to biomass at their facility in Stirling,” said Pioneer Energy CEO, Fraser Jonker. “Pioneer Energy has a proven record for the installation of new, and conversion of existing, boilers to biomass, and with our own wood fuel division assuring quality and security of local supply for the fuel, have mitigated any perceived risk of making this very important transition to a low carbon future.” Stirling is the third significant fuel switching project the Co-op has undertaken in as many years. The conversion of Fonterra’s Te Awamutu site to wood pellets has resulted in a 10% reduction in the Co-op’s coal use, and at Brightwater at the top of the South Island, the team is co-firing wood biomass. These three projects, when combined with our other energy efficiency work, will reduce the Co-op’s emissions by 135,000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking close to 52,000 cars off the road. With this latest announcement, eight out of Fonterra’s 29 sites remain to be removed from using coal.  

Diversity Action Plan to deliver Tasmanian forestry more scope

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 23 min ago
The Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network (TFFPN) will deliver a Diversity Action Plan for the forest industry which aims to increase the gender and cultural diversity of the workforce. Source: Timberbiz The project was a key commitment in the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s First 100-day Plan and will provide $300,000 to the Network to develop and deliver an industry-driven Diversity Action Plan over the next two years that will attract more women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to the forest sector. Network Convenor, Therese Taylor said industry is committed to broadening and bolstering its workforce with a range of skilled workers and that now is the right time to develop a whole-of-industry approach to improving diversity outcomes. “It’s no secret the forest industry in Tasmania has historically been overwhelmingly male-dominated and not particularly culturally diverse – in fact, women currently comprise only 16% of the sector,” Ms Taylor said. “But we also know that improved diversity outcomes are shown to increase productivity and improve culture in the workplace. “We are thrilled that the Tasmanian Government is supporting the Network to develop and deliver this important piece of work, which will not only benefit those in the industry, but Tasmania more broadly through improved economic and social outcomes.” Recent industry reports, including, ‘A Strategic Growth Plan for the Tasmanian forests, fine timber and wood fibre industry’ (2017), ‘Northern Tasmania Regional Forestry Hub: Culture, Training and Skills Assessment’ Report (2020), and the ‘Tasmanian Forest Industry Workforce Development Plan’ discussion paper (2021), have all highlighted the lack of workforce diversity as a significant issue affecting the future of forestry in the state—particularly in regional and remote areas. “The evidence from these reports suggests that the industry across the different sectors is experiencing significant issues attracting a diversity of cohorts from the community—specifically women, young people, and recent migrants—to its workforce,” Ms Taylor said. “The Diversity Action Plan project presents a considerable opportunity to develop a new, robust, skills-based forestry workforce that is more reflective of the broader community in which it is based.”

Boral agrees to sell its timber business to Pentarch

Australian timber industry news - 14 hours 26 min ago
Boral Limited has entered into an agreement with Allied Natural Wood Enterprises Pty Limited (Pentarch Group) to sell its Australian hardwood and softwood timber business for $64.5 million. Source: Timberbiz The purchase includes Boral’s nine sawmills in NSW, making Pentarch the largest hardwood processor in NSW’s $7 billion forestproducts industry. “It’s an exciting time for the forest industry in NSW especially as Pentarch is focused on innovating technologies to optimise the use of Australia’s high-value native forest resource,” Australian Forest Products Association NSW CEO Sue Grau said. “Pentarch will be part of the sustainable hardwood timber industry continuing to provide product for Sydney’s floors, decking and stairs and vital softwood for housing frames,” she said. “With the purchase including Boral’s half share of the Highland Pine sawmill at Oberon, Pentarch will be operating in both the softwood and hardwood sectors. This will contribute to developing a united and strong industry voice. “The current pandemic has highlighted the need to secure future timber supplies in the state and AFPA NSW will continue to support businesses like Pentarch in both the development and innovation of the industry. “It’s great to have some good news in these challenging times for many in the forest products industry and beyond,” Ms Grau said. The divestment of the timber business, which is expected to be completed in 2021, is in line with Boral’s strategy of resetting its portfolio of assets, positioning Boral to build a stronger core business that delivers improved results. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary pre-closing conditions. “The sale of Boral’s Timber business represents another important milestone in focusing our portfolio and positioning for the future,” Boral’s CEO & Managing Director, Zlatko Todorcevski, said: “In Australia, our focus is on our leading integrated construction materials business and maturing our adjacent growth strategies such as recycling, waste, supplementary cementitious materials and lower carbon products. “The sale of Boral’s timber business to the Pentarch Group, a private company with growing interests in the forest products sector, is a good outcome for this business and its customers,” he said. “Boral has owned and operated the timber business for many decades and I want to take this opportunity to formally recognise the enormous contribution employees and management have made over the years to the wider Boral group.”


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by Dr. Radut