WoodWeek – 20 September 2017

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Heading across the Tasman with Australian forest news up first. The state government has sold 29,000 hectares of hardwood plantations, to help meet the “sale objectives” of the transition from Forestry Tasmania to Sustainable Timber Tasmania. The deal only included the sale of the trees, not the land.

Interested in keeping up with the Joneses? Tallwood House in Vancouver is now occupied - and it’s the tallest timber building in the world. Next week we will have the project manager from that Vancouver project, Karla Fraser, leading our panel of international experts as keynote speakers at our engineered wood conference. It's all about “Changing Perceptions of Timber in Mid-Rise Construction.” Its on next Thursday in Rotorua. To register, go to www.cpetc2017.com< /a>.

Watch this space for some exciting developments now that Bob Jones has announced his plans for a tall timber office building in downtown Wellington. Have we got the capacity, expertise and investment for multi- residential buildings? We certainly have a housing shortage that is crying out for a solution. This is tall timber’s time to shine – you heard it here first!

New Forests has released its 2017 Timberland Investment Outlook, the latest in a biennial market analysis series that explores trends and opportunities for investors in the international forestry sector. The 2017 edition includes up-to-date information on trends in timberland investment and timber markets as well as exploring how the forestry sector can contribute to international climate change policies and sustainable development goals.

Meanwhile in Canberra, even without an election looming, Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced the development of a comprehensive plan to support the growth and sustainability of the Australian timber industry over the coming decades. In presenting the keynote address to a gathering of some 500 forest industry leaders at the AFPA Gala Dinner at Parliament House last Tuesday, the Prime Minister committed to a National Forest Industries Plan.

Everybody loves trains right? You will shortly. Today, we’ve got the great back-story to the re-opening of KiwiRail’s main North Line to Kaikoura on 15 September. When you watch the video you’ll realise that the backbone of our small country is the massive energy and can-do attitudes of the many, many KiwiRail people who worked above and beyond the call of duty to bring rail back into service in just 10 months.

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Dairy farming threatening role of forestry

Dairy farming threatening forestry's role in reducing emissions

A forest owner's group says efforts to meet emissions reduction targets is being derailed by a lack of affordable land for tree planting.

In a recent submission to the Productivity Commission, it says forest owners are being outbid for land by dairy farmers. They have proposed some provocative solutions. One of the submission's authors is the chairman of the Forest Owners Environment Committee, Peter Weir.

To listen to the five-minute interview from RNZ's Morning Report yesterday click here >>

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Forest assets sold for A$60 million

The state government has sold 29,000 hectares of hardwood plantations, to help meet the “sale objectives” of the transition from Forestry Tasmania to Sustainable Timber Tasmania.

Resources Minister Guy Barnett made the announcement via a video on Premier Will Hodgman’s Facebook page on Thursday morning.

Mr Barnett said the $60.7 million deal went to Reliance Forest Fibre, which has an ABN registered in the ACT.

Mr Barnett said the buyer would establish a “local management team” and use Tasmanian contractors.

He called it “a very good outcome for Tasmania’s forest industry, our economy and taxpayers, and well above expectations.”

Mr Barnett said the sale met the objectives of paying down the debt to move Sustainable Timbers Tasmania, which was formerly Forestry Tasmania, to full sustainability.

He added that the deal only included the sale of the trees, not the land.

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New Forests publish outlook update

2017 Timberland Investment Outlook Published - Latest report updates information on international forestry investment trends, timber markets, technological advances and forest sector links to sustainable development.

SYDNEY, 14 September 2017 – New Forests has released its 2017 Timberland Investment Outlook, the latest in a biennial market analysis series that explores trends and opportunities for investors in the international forestry sector. The 2017 edition includes up-to-date information on trends in timberland investment and timber markets as well as exploring how the forestry sector can contribute to international climate change policies and sustainable development goals.

New Forests’ CEO David Brand commented, “Forestry, or timberland, investment is maturing as an asset class, and investment managers must increasingly demonstrate how they add value, such as through active management, re-segmenting mature markets, or positioning investments to benefit from structural market shifts or technological advances. The 2017 Timberland Investment Outlook reviews some of the key trends related to timber markets, sustainability, and technology that investors can use in developing investment strategies.”

The 2017 Outlook demonstrates that investor appetite for timberland assets is still strong and notes that the difficulty in expanding timberland assets under management is leading some investors to seek to hold core assets, especially in mature markets like the US, Australia, and New Zealand, for the long term. This is a function of the relatively small size of the investible universe of suitable timberland assets relative to other real assets and challenges to expanding into new geographies and emerging markets.

The overall market outlook for timber and wood fibre appears positive. With a steady recovery of the US housing market, economic recovery in Europe, and the continuing consolidation of Asia as a major market for wood products, demand appears set to remain strong. On the supply side, there is a need to continue to expand timber plantations and enhance the productivity of existing plantations to keep up with rising demand.

“One of the changes in the market since our 2015 Outlook is the growing emphasis on sustainable investment initiatives, which are naturally aligned with opportunities in the forestry asset class,” noted Brand. The report describes how rising demand for investment strategies that create positive social and environmental impacts is not only important to comply with institutional investor policies, but also increasingly essential to maintain political support for international investment.

“New Forests believes that the forest sector offers positive attributes for investors, including climate mitigation, benefits to rural economies and individuals, and the stable, long-returns that come from a perpetual asset. Investors seeking to meet goals for decarbonisation of investment portfolios or link impacts with the UN Sustainable Development Goals may find that forestry investments contribute to these initiatives,” said MaryKate Bullen, New Forests’ Associate Director of Sustainability.

Bullen added, “In the near term we see an opportunity for blended finance – such as combining climate and sustainability-oriented concessional finance with institutional investment in forestry – to reduce risk and support greater institutional investment in emerging markets. In the long-term the goal is to demonstrate that concepts of shared value, climate friendly land use, and landscape management generate higher total returns than an emphasis on maximising short term distributions.”

The 2017 Timberland Investment Outlook also suggests that increasing demand for renewable materials and low carbon inputs are supporting growth of the bio-economy, including demand for new timber and wood fibre products. The bio-economy is steadily expanding with markets for packaging, hygiene products, fabrics, energy, and fuels anticipated to continue to rise. The report looks at examples such as advanced wood pellets, cross laminated timbers, and wood-based fabrics and fibres to highlight the ongoing expansion of the bio-economy.

Brand commented, “We see innovations across wood products manufacturing and the bio- economy, with materials science leading to a proliferation of new energy products, fibre, biochemical, and building products. As timber markets continue to evolve, forestry investors may be exposed to changing market opportunities and some may actively contribute to developing these markets. Similarly, innovation and the application of new technology at the forest asset level can enhance commercial performance by improving growth and yield, enhancing desirable wood properties, and strengthening risk management.”

“We hope the 2017 Outlook provides useful insights into how institutional investors can seek out the right investment opportunities that are positioned to generate positive returns in today’s dynamic timber and fibre markets.”

The 2017 Timberland Investment Outlook is available for download at www.newforests.com.au/TIO2017.

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National forest industries plan announced

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced the development of a comprehensive plan to support the growth and sustainability of the Australian timber industry over the coming decades.

In presenting the keynote address to a gathering of some 500 forest industry leaders at the AFPA Gala Dinner at Parliament House on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committed to a National Forest Industries Plan.

“Tonight I am pleased to announce I am requesting Anne Ruston to help us develop a new Government Plan that will underpin growth in the renewable timber and wood-fibre industry and work with a new government plan to give you the vision and certainty you need. We are committed to developing this industry as a growth engine for regional Australia.’’ Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, AFPA Gala Dinner, Parliament House, Canberra. September 12, 2017.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said the Australian Government saw a bright future ahead for forest industries. “The Australian forest industry directly provides tens of thousands of jobs, many of which support rural and regional communities. The Turnbull Government reaffirms its strong support for the sector and is committed to further collaboration to achieve certainty into the future,” Minister Ruston said.

AFPA Chairman Greg McCormack has enthusiastically welcomed the development of a National Forest Industries Plan. “The guiding policy documents used by Government to frame responses to our industries were both delivered last century: the 1992 National Forest Policy Statement and the 1997 Plantations Vision 2020 plan. Our industries have changed dramatically since then and I am delighted the Prime Minister has recognised that it is vital that Government and Departments also update their approach,” Mr McCormack said.

“The new Government National Forest Industries Plan will, we trust, outline actions to support the industry to establish new plantations, increase investment and grasp opportunities in the emerging bio-economy to turbo-charge regional job creation and economic development.”

The Gala Dinner was also an opportunity to celebrate the industry’s best and brightest, with the announcement of the winners of the inaugural 2017 Forest Industry Innovation Awards.

“AFPA congratulates our three award winners – OneSafeGroup for Innovation in Safety, Timber Communities Australia for Innovation in Training, and AKD Softwoods for Innovation in Business. The winners in each category were presented with a $1000 cash prize and a beautiful timber trophy,” Mr McCormack said.

Source: AFPA

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ForestTECH - Extra workshops added

In conjunction with our ForestTECH 2017 conference, Interpine Innovation will run an introductory workshop for ForestTECH delegates after each event: Friday 17 November in Rotorua + Thursday 23 November in Melbourne.

They are designed to teach local forestry companies on how to manipulate, process and visualise LiDAR datasets, with a specific focus on forestry derived outputs. These include terrain and vegetation surfaces and vegetation related metrics.

In New Zealand, the practical course includes hands-on labs and presentations and will be held at the computer facility at Toi Ohomai in Rotorua, just down the road from the ForestTECH 2017 venue. In Australia, participants will bring along their own computers. The workshop will be run at the ForestTECH 2017 conference venue in Melbourne.

Presenters include Interpine team members and Dr Martin Isenburg, a presenter at the ForestTECH series. Dr Isenburg is an independent scientist, lecturer, and research consultant who has created a popular suite of LiDAR processing software modules called LAStools that is the flagship product of rapidlasso GmbH, Germany.

See http://rapidlasso.com for more information.

Further details are available on the ForestTECH 2017 programme and conference You can also register online at: www.foresttech.events.

Information and registrations for the additional workshops in both countries can be made at here. Note, for the workshops, numbers will be limited so if wanting to secure a space, it would be wise to register early.

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KiwiRail to Kaikoura: Outstanding achievement

Remember when the Kaikoura earthquake stuck on 14 November? Everyone in the upper South Island does. Especially the hardworking operations teams at KiwiRail whose livelihoods hung in the balance as landslides severed damaged 800 sites closing the main North line. The line is absolutely critical – it’s the crucial link for transporting day-to-day living needs from the North Island to the heart of the mainland.

On 15 September the main line re-opened and the first train ran. To celebrate the event, KiwiRail recently released this video, acknowledging the incredible engineering and earthworks carried out to reinstate what Mother Nature had taken away all along the main North line.

The numbers that pop up in this rapid story of nature's devastating power and the equal and astounding efforts of 1500 men and women who brought back the rail service so vital to our long skinny country.

When you watch this you will realise that the backbone of this country is the incredible collective energy and can-do attitudes of the many, many people who have worked above and beyond the call of duty to bring rail back to serve our communities and industries, as is vital to our future prosperity.

You'll be proud to call yourself a Kiwi when you've see the power and commitment of the people who brought the line back to life in record time. Enjoy!

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Inside world's tallest mass timber building

“Plyscraper,” “woodscraper,” call it what you will, but the timber age is upon us. Brock Commons Tallwood House, the recently completed student residence building at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, now occupies a prominent position within architecture: the tallest building with a timber structure in the world.

Designed by the Canadian practice Acton Ostry Architects Inc., the project was a collaborative effort of a number of leading companies and consulting firms including Fast + Epp, Austria-based Architekten Hermann Kaufmann, and GHL Consultants Ltd., along with the renowned manufacturer of mass timber products and packages, Structurlam. Lead project manager was the team from Urban One builders.

“We found that working with wood, we could reduce timelines for construction. The assembly of the wood structure went up incredibly quickly, faster than we even expected”, explained John Metras, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development at UBC.

Stretching up to a height of 53 meters, the building houses 404 students and comprises a mix of one-bedroom and studio units, study and social spaces, and a student lounge on the topmost floor. With the design and construction team working in tandem from the very beginning, the process was streamlined by a thorough testing of wood-to-wood connections on a two-story mock-up prior to on-site construction. This not only allowed the team to test structural stability, but also helped perfect the timeline of the project.

Even more pertinent to the prefabrication process was a detailed 3-D model, which helped various departments to collaboratively discuss and apply ideas prior to finalizing them for actual fabrication or construction.

Owing to meticulous planning and the efficient integration of construction and design processes, Brock Commons was completed within a mere 70 days after the prefabricated components were ready for assembly – considerably shorter than the amount of time it would have taken to complete a concrete building of the same size.

More >>

Source: Arch Daily

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Cummins beats Tesla

Tesla is expected to unveil its electric semi-truck next month, but Cummins just beat them to the game with its own fully-electric heavy-duty truck. Cummins is known for its hardworking diesel engines, but now the company is looking to the future with the debut of the electric Concept Class 7 Urban Hauler EV.

The Cummins electric truck, known as AEOS, is powered by a new battery pack that is lighter and denser, giving the truck a longer driving range and faster charging times.

The truck can carry up to 44,000 pounds and its 140 kWh battery pack only takes an hour to charge on a 140kWh charging station. The AEOS only has a 100 mile- range, which means that it’s more ideal for shorter trips in urban environments. Tesla’s semi is expected to have a driving range of around 200-300 miles.

Cummins hopes to cut the charging time down to 20 minutes by 2020. For drivers that need a longer driving range, the company is working on an extended-range model that will use a diesel engine to act as a generator for the battery pack. The extended-range model will have a much more usable driving range up to 300 miles and will cut emissions by 50 percent compared to diesel-hybrid trucks.

Source: inhabitat.com

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Korea to benchmark Japan’s forestry job creation

With South Korea aiming to quadruple its forestry employment, Japan’s policy -- which has sparked an interest among the young generation -- could be the thing to aim for.

The high-level dialogue Monday between Korea and Japan held at the Korea Forest Service headquarters in Daejeon offered a nation suffering from chronic unemployment a chance to benchmark Japan’s track record of a recovery in forestry employment, the officials said.

The two-hour meeting was held in light of the Korean government seeking a breakthrough in the nation‘s prevailing youth unemployment, the ongoing retirement of baby boomers born between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, as well as shortcomings in the workforce to address forestry issues.

The meeting, attended by eight representatives of each nation including top forestry policymakers at a city some 140 kilometers south of Seoul, added spice to KFS Minister Kim Jae-hyun’s earlier efforts that came in line with the Moon Jae-in administration’s fiscal stimulus mainly intent on stimulating job creation and pursuing wage-led growth.

After taking office on July 18, Kim in August vowed to establish a 40-member team, led by the minister himself, to outline a policy to create forestry jobs and a nongovernmental committee to advise policymakers dedicated to the task.

By 2022, the KFS seeks to add over 45,000-strong workforce, from some current 15,000, mainly to enhance welfare impacts of forest and deal with disasters in forests, which cover 63 percent of the nation. Some 19,000 forestry workers will be added by the end of this year, according to the plan.

Japan, also with nearly 70 percent of its land occupied by woods, has ensured sustainable growth of forests, strengthened forest management and stabilised timber supply, all while conserving forestry employment.

The Forestry Agency of the neighboring nation, headed by Director General Shuji Oki since July, has strived to maintain the number of employees related to forests while increasing the proportion of youth employment in the field, thereby making a decline in the number of forestry jobs a thing of the past.

Japan’s young workers in forestry jobs accounted for 18 percent as of 2010, up from 10 percent in 2000, while over the cited decade, elderly employment there dropped to 21 percent from 30 percent, according to data from the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The number of forestry workers over 30 years has shrunk to a third in Japan, from 146,322 in 1980 to 51,200 in 2010, the data also showed. A good sign, however, is that the degree of decline has narrowed to 2 percent over a five-year period beginning from 52,173 in 2005.

Japan’s Forestry Agency picked “Green Employment,” a career-building program to train on-site forestry engineers, as the main driving force of spurring the forestry employment in the high-level talks.

Some 15,000 new workers from 2003 to 2014, or about 4 in 10 new forest workers in the cited 11 years, went through the project that encompasses annual student grants of up to 1.5 million yen ($13,490) for a maximum two years, government subsidies of 90,000 yen a month for a three-year training program and state- sponsored additional training for further career enhancement.

Forestry jobs in Japan vary from timber suppliers and forest managers to furniture makers, forest therapists, forest foragers and consultants to community restoration.

More >>

Source: Korea Herald

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... survey jokes

As in surveys of the polling kind, not those technical folks planning our new highways ...

The personnel office received an email requesting a listing of the department staff broken down by age and sex. The personnel office sent this reply:

"Attached is a list of our staff. We currently have no one broken down by age or sex. However, we have a few alcoholics."


And now to the ultimate survey ... "Elections"

With only a few days left before these jokes get stale for another 3 years here goes:

1. If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it. — Mark Twain

2. The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

3. Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.

4. Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?

5. Elections are when people find out what politicians stand for and politicians find out what people will fall for.

6. What's the difference between a politician and a flying pig? The letter 'f'.

Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen
Innovatek Ltd innovate | communicate | motivate

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