WoodWeek – 22 September 2021

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Greetings from another positive week in wood. Since we last shared WoodWeek with you, New Forests CEO David Brand has released a new paper on climate issues and forestry as a land use. In it, he argues the case for integrating land use and forestry into climate policy at international and national levels. He also highlights that there may be new approaches beyond just using carbon offsets to provide financial support for the land use transition. Let us know what you think.

With an eye to the future, beyond replacing diesel power in truck units, our colleagues in Canada are working on a powered trailer for cleaner transport options. Its tempting to think powering a logger trailer is new technology. However, it's actually a nod to history, as powered trailers were first innovated by my late father—in-law, Jim Wilkinson, founder of Tasman Special Vehicles. He designed, built and tested them for a pioneering log transport company in Kaingaroa Forest in the early 1960’s. FPInnovations is now working to develop a hybrid tractor-trailer for use in forestry operations. The objective is to replace one of the conventional axles on forestry trailers with a drive axle powered by an electric motor. The system would be combined with a conventional tractor to create a parallel hybrid configuration.

We hope you enjoy this week’s SnapSTAT. It shows export log prices on a 3-year rolling average to June 2020. Thanks to our feature sponsors - Chainsaw & Outdoor Power and Oregon.

Our annual ForestTECH 2021 conference, exhibitions and workshops are running on 23-24 November in Rotorua. Last year this event drew a large audience online as well as being popular with our NZ delegates able to enjoy in-person experience. Once again we are offering virtual registrations for our colleagues in Australia and further afield through live streaming. Click here for full details.

As carbon prices continue to climb in the short-term, some regional leaders are trying to put a stick into the spokes of the proverbial forestry ‘cycle’ in rural districts. In response, FOA president Phil Taylor, says it is contradictory for the Wairoa District Council to declare climate change to be a key issue in its Long-Term Plan in January, and a few months later lead a national charge to put every obstacle in the way of achieving carbon sequestration through forestry.

Finally this week, we have news that Ikea is coming to Southland, just not the way you're thinking.

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The Toughest Part of Addressing Climate Change

(OPINON David Brand) Land Use and Forestry — The Toughest Part of Addressing Climate Change? I was a forest researcher working in the Federal Government of Canada in 1992 when it was announced that Maurice Strong, Chair of Ontario Hydro, the largest electric utility in North America, had agreed to purchase over 30,000 acres of rainforest in Costa Rica to offset some of the company’s environmental damage from its greenhouse gas emissions.

Maurice Strong was equally a visionary and an enigma—a Canadian oil and gas executive who became the Secretary General of the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. However, the media and government immediately ridiculed Strong’s deal as a waste of taxpayers’ money. Despite Strong’s reputation and charisma, he couldn’t pull it off, and one of the world’s first forestry carbon transactions was dead on arrival.


Source: Newforests.com

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Towards Heavy Vehicle Electrification

Hybrid Truck-Trailers: A breakthrough towards the electrification of heavy trucks - Since technology for full electrification of these heavy trucks isn’t yet ready to meet contemporary operational requirements — partly due to their weight and the long distances they need to travel — FPInnovations is taking a big step in that direction to make this happen.

FPInnovations is working on a cutting-edge project to develop a hybrid tractor-trailer for use in forestry operations. The objective is to replace one of the conventional axles on forestry trailers with a drive axle powered by an electric motor. The system would be combined with a conventional tractor to create a parallel hybrid configuration.

The approximately $2.5-million hybrid tractor-trailer project falls under the umbrella of Natural Resources Canada $155-million Clean Growth Program (CGP) that invests in clean technology and R&D in the energy, mining, and forestry sectors. FPInnovations also gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The benefits are many
The hybrid system, with regenerative braking that recharges the batteries, will be compatible with log trailers and biomass trailers.


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RNZ: Carbon Farming 'Biggest Land Use Change'

(RNZ Nine to Noon) Concerns the boom in carbon farming will dictate the future of New Zealand's sheep, beef and production forestry, and questions over who has oversight over what one academic is calling "the biggest change in land use in New Zealand's modern history".

Kathryn speaks with Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University Keith Woodford, who says the implications are massive. Also Forest Owners Association chief executive Phil Taylor, also managing director of the American owned forestry management company Port Blakely.


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Anti-Forestry drive a step backwards

Foresters are calling a proposed anti-forestry coalition of local bodies a prejudiced step backwards in time and destructive for their communities both environmentally and economically.

The mayors of Tararua and Wairoa have written to fellow mayors throughout New Zealand wanting money to fund a report designed to show that forestry is negative and ought to be restricted.

The President of the Forest Owners Association, Phil Taylor, says it is contradictory for the Wairoa District to declare climate change to be a key issue in its Long-Term Plan in January, and a few months later leads a national charge to put every obstacle in the way of achieving carbon sequestration through forestry.

“Unfortunately, some council leaders are also off-beam with their understanding of the economics of forestry as well,” Phil Taylor says.

“The recent MPI commissioned PwC Report quite clearly found forestry was much higher in earning power and employment than using the hill country land for continuing to farm livestock.”

Farm Forestry Association President, Graham West, says the terms of reference the Wairoa and Tararua mayors have set out for their report, are fixated on forestry and don’t look at the diverse and long-term interests of their constituency.

“The mayors demand a long-term plan for forestry. But they haven’t done the same for farming.”

“East Coast councils should be carefully looking at the impact of climate change in an already dry region and what viable land use options there are, including a mix of forestry.”

“Banning tree planting is not going to increase wool prices, nor ward off the threat of synthetic meat. New local processing industries, for both food and fibre need to be developed, which will support farming communities in the longer term,” Graham West says.

“Tree farming will supply the raw material for the rapidly emerging bioeconomy, and that in turn may need new tree species instead of radiata pine.”

“The mayors could be encouraging a report which is broader and objective. A report like this could help councils build a resilient economy for their communities.”

Graham West says the Climate Change Commission has budgeted an extra 380,000 hectares of new forest planting over the next 15 years.

“Hopefully, most of this planting will be integrated into farming systems, including on Wairoa and Tararua farms. Farmers should not have to fight their councils for the opportunity to earn a more diverse and reliable cash flow than they do now.”

Phil Taylor says some councils, such as Hawkes Bay Regional Council, are taking advantage of opportunities for forestry.

“Some councils see forestry as a good income earning investment for future generations, and doing their bit for the environment at the same time.”

“In this case, Hawkes Bay is grappling to meet new government water quality standards, while at the same time one of their districts is trying to make the job to comply harder.”

Phil Taylor says regional economies stand the most to benefit from New Zealand’s move away from fossil fuels to wood-based bioenergy.

“This imminent transformation to satisfy overseas consumers of our primary products, has already been recognised by a significant part of the agriculture sector who have not been slow to embrace forestry.

Phil Taylor says in light of these factors, he is strongly urging councils who have received the two mayors’ letter to have a good think about the skewed terms of reference.

“It would be a good time for local government to do an objective analysis of land use choice and opportunities. Our industry would be delighted to have input into this, as I am sure would Federated Farmers and other farm organisations.”

“What none of us need is a call to legislate against farmer choices based on what appears to be a set of prejudices to keep farms free of any trees.”

The storm is described in detail here:

See the Forestry Letter to all Councils here>>

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SnapSTAT - Log Export Values

Graph: Average price of radiata pine logs exported from New Zealand (By grade, rolling 3-year average to June 2020, NZD per cubic metre free on board) More>>

Source: Ministry for Primary Industries Te Uru Rakau

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Forest Facts & Figures Updated

This brochure, published yearly, contains background information and statistical data on the New Zealand forest industry. It is jointly released by FOA and MPI. You can order printed copies of New Zealand Forest Facts & Figures online using the order form here.

Note the 2016-2017 issue is only available in electronic format.

Read the updated Forest Facts and Figures 2020/2021 from Forest Owner Association here

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Forest Owners Refute EDS Attack

EDS attack on forestry ignores threat of climate change - The forest industry is calling a media statement from the Environmental Defence Society an ill-informed rant against forestry which ignores the threat of climate change. Forest Owners Association President, Phil Taylor, says he would not have expected what amounts to a denial of the significance of climate change from an environmental organisation.

“EDS acknowledges the need to address climate change. But then EDS condemns the central role plantation forests must play over the next three decades if we hope to get New Zealand to carbon neutral.”

“At the moment, our forests offset a full third of all New Zealand industry and agriculture emissions. As we head to the critical next three decades of the global fight against climate change, our forests will be even more important.”

Phil Taylor says the huge challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source is vital. “But without fast growing plantation trees filling the carbon gap the task would be politically and technically impossible”.

“Without more exotic forest plantings, farmers would have to severely cut back on their stocking rates to compensate. Their production would fall. Does the EDS want that?”Phil Taylor says the EDS suggestion to plant more native trees for carbon sequestration may make sense - but only in the long term.

“The climate scientists tell us we need real action now to avoid a runaway catastrophe. We don’t have long enough to wait for native trees to lock up carbon from the atmosphere. Pines and eucalypts do it in years. Even the fastest growing indigenous trees take decades.”

“Indigenous forest carbon sequestration hardly registers by 2050. It can only become significant in the 22nd century. To change the Emissions Trading Scheme to favour carbon in native trees, as the EDS wants, flies in the face of science and jeopardises any attempts to get New Zealand to Carbon Zero by 2050”.

Phil Taylor says the EDS complaint about foreign investment in forestry is also misplaced. “EDS claims of unspecified ‘vast swathes’ of overseas investment reads as cheap xenophobia.”

“Most overseas interests in forestry in New Zealand earn no carbon credits. Forests earn their own way economically. Forests are also vital for the developing bio-economy in New Zealand to replace unsustainable use of petrochemical derived products.”

“It can be done over a small area. It’s not ‘swathes’ as EDS would have us believe. The 380,000 extra hectares of new planting the Climate Change Commission envisages would take less than four percent of the current hill country farm estate out of farming – and the least productive farmland at that.”

Phill Taylor says large and small exotic forests harbour substantial intrinsic biodiversity, contrary to EDS’s claim. “EDS says it supports farming, while it attacks forestry. The fact is that there is at least as much indigenous habitat in our forests as there is on farmland.”

Source: NZ Forest Owners' Association

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IKEA comes to Southland

Ikea Owner buys Forest in Otago - Ingka Group was approved to make the purchase of Wisp Hill by the Overseas Investment Office in August.

A lease-back requirement will allow the former owners to properly phase out their operations over a minimum three-year period.

The company said it planned to plant 3300 hectares with radiata pine this year, with the long-term plan of planting 3000 hectares with over 3 million seedlings in the next five years. Some 2200 hectares would be left to naturally revert into native bush.

Managing Director of Ingka Investments, Krister Mattsson said responsible forest management created jobs and added value in local communities by supporting the local economy.

"Having a good impact in the neighbouring communities is an important part of our approach to responsible forest management. We will work closely with the former owners of the land and with local forestry specialists to prepare the land for a new forest," Mattsson said. She added the focus was on growing the forest over 30-plus years to contribute to removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

"We are delighted to expand our forestry portfolio into a new country and this investment demonstrates our long- term commitment to New Zealand. Responsible forest management, reforestation and afforestation all form part of the solution for climate change, and we are committed to enhancing carbon removal through our forests," she said.

Ingka Group currently owns around 248,000 hectares of forest in the US, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

Source: RNZ

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Midweek humour - airplanes seem fair game


10 reasons why English is weird

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.

3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse refuse.

4. We must polish the Polish furniture.

5. He could lead if he could get the lead out.

6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9. When shot at the dove dove into the bushes.

10. I did not object to the object.

See you again next week.
John Stulen

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