WoodWeek – 7 October 2020

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. Thanks to the Champion Freight team we have a graphic summary of the latest monthly update for export log markets. Champion Freight's latest report shows shipments to China month-on-month to end of August were up by 10 percent, thus bumping overall log export values up 11 percent.

Today we also cover this year’s NZIF award winners. Bruce Manley receives the 2020 Kirk Horn award in recognition for the major impact he’s made from a lifetime’s work as a researcher and educator. Bruce is head of the forestry school at University of Canterbury.

Working with Bridge It NZ (you must have seen their signs on the highways – they’re everywhere), JNL’s engineering team has discovered the joys and savings from designing and installing relocatable bridges in their East Coast forestry estate. “A lot of our forests are still in their first rotation and we have identified a handful of other sites that are likely to require bridges in future,” explains JNL’s Planning and Engineering Manager Patrick Bethel.

Next we are proud of a milestone to be showcasing a massive first for engineered wood this month in Rotorua. On 20th October architects, engineers and construction professionals will celebrate a first in commercial buildings in New Zealand – an iconic 9-storey building in downtown Auckland. It’s called Auckland City Mission Homeground. This project is the tallest timber building in New Zealand. It is revolutionary in its use of cross laminated timber (CLT) on such a large scale. CLT is the answer for sustainable building. It adds value to a natural, renewable resource through technology – as well as being earthquake safe, economical and good for the planet. See the WoodWorks Conference page for more details. Our Innovatek team are set to grow our industry events in this space throughout 2021 and beyond.

And finally, registrations continue to pour in for this year’s ForestTECH 2020 event running on 18-19 November, both for those traveling through to Rotorua, New Zealand and for the many signing up to the new on-line coverage being provided for the first time this year. Early bird registration rates close this Friday 9 October. Also, three practical workshops have been set up before and after the event (at no additional cost for ForestTECH 2020 delegates) for those attending the ForestTECH 2020 conference and exhibitions. For two of the workshops, spaces are limited and are being filled on a first-in-first-served basis.

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Log export market update

Thanks to the Champion Freight team we have a graphic summary of the latest monthly update for export log markets. Champion Freight's latest report shows shipments to China shipments month-on-month to end of August were up by 10 percent, thus bumping overall log export values 11 percent.

Log export values to South Korea were down 10 percent month-on-month in August Logs to India were down 46 percent compared to August 2019, affirming South Korea as our second most important export log market.

Log export values into China year-on-year (y-o-y) to the end of August were down 18 percent. The negative trend was mirrored across all other export markets leaving the total down 20 percent y-o-y. Logs to South Korea, now our second largest log market, decreased by 19 percent y-o-y to end of August.

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Fresh thinking from JNL

A bridge designed to carry heavy forestry loads is a substantial capital investment – but what if you could relocate that bridge and use it across multiple harvests? That’s exactly what Juken NZ Ltd (JNL) decided to do when commissioning two new bridges. In a first for Bridge It NZ, both crossings are designed to be disassembled in the years to come and moved to new sites within JNL’s forestry estate on the North Island’s East Coast in New Zealand.

“A lot of our forests are still in their first rotation and we have identified a handful of other sites that are likely to require bridges in future,” explains JNL’s Planning and Engineering Manager Patrick Bethel. “So having the ability to pick a bridge up and transport it elsewhere – at a fraction of the price to build a new one – is an ideal solution. We can move them to suit our harvesting and heavy traffic requirements.”

The first bridge at Rata Road, Wharerata (just south of Gisborne) was installed in August 2020. An existing culvert had blown apart during a storm many years ago, and until now JNL hadn’t required access to that particular block in the Pamoa Forest so the issue remained unresolved.

Pat weighed up the cost of installing another culvert versus building a bridge. The ongoing maintenance costs required to keep culverts clear of debris to avoid scour and erosion issues meant a bridge would be cheaper in the long-run. Bridges also provide greater clearance and flow capacity and are a better ecological option for native fisheries.

“We looked at the real cost – not just the installation. The maintenance you can spend on culverts and pipes can get pretty hefty, pretty quick. And that’s where the bridge really shines for us. It’s pretty much a case of ‘put it in, walk away’ and not have to worry.”

After carrying out all necessary site investigations, Bridge It NZ’s engineering partner designed an 18m x 4m steel beam bridge with timber deck capable of holding a full HNH072 load (required for forestry truck and trailer units and heavy machinery). Resource and building consent was obtained from Gisborne District Council and Bridge It NZ fabricated and installed the new bridge, taking care of the entire project management process.

A second relocatable bridge will be installed at ‘Centre Track’ in late 2020. Together, both crossings will give JNL the ability to access and harvest around 425,000 tonnes of wood from the Pamoa Forest in the next four to five years. Another significant benefit is the two bridge crossings will shave 24km off each round trip to the harvest site, allowing JNL crews to avoid some treacherous roads and saving an estimated NZ$1 million over the duration of the upcoming harvest.

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NZIF award winners celebrated

Recognition for forestry’s 2020 high achievers – The New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) has announced the winners of its prestigious 2020 awards. In what has been an exceptionally difficult year for many, the forestry sector remains a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy. NZIF President James Treadwell says the industry is working hard to thrive with the unique challenges of 2020. But according to Treadwell “We’re fortunate with our high-calibre industry professionals who set the standards for others to aspire to. The NZIF relishes the opportunity to celebrate with ‘the best of the best’ and to proudly champion the recipients of NZIF’s awards.”

This year’s recipients are acknowledged for their diverse range of skills and experience. From hard graft and commitment at grass roots level, to high level policy planning and execution, and academic leadership. 2020’s New Zealand forestry ‘heroes’ are Bruce Manley, Julie Collins and Adrian Loo. The NZIF has also appointed two new Fellows, Bill Liley and Dennis Neilson.

The highest honour in New Zealand forestry is the Kirk Horn Award, which is the oldest science award in New Zealand. This biennial prize recognises a person for their outstanding contribution to the forestry industry at large. Bruce Manley (inset, top right) receives the 2020 award in recognition for the major impact he’s made from a lifetime’s work as a researcher and educator. This has culminated at the University of Canterbury where Professor Manley is the Head of the Forestry school. Highly respected by students and industry members alike, under his leadership, the forestry faculty has developed into a thriving hub of good practice and innovation, which bodes well for the future of the industry.

The NZIF Forester of the Year is a highly coveted prize which rewards a person for their outstanding contribution to the forestry sector within the year. The 2020 recipient is Julie Collins (inset, bottom left). Collins has demonstrated exemplar leadership, excellence and personal integrity in her work within the industry for decades. Using her impressive body of high-level policy planning expertise, Collins today heads Te Uru Rākau, the government Forestry Agency. She ensures a strong voice for forestry within government and is a key supporter of diversity in the industry, giving her time freely to inspire others.

The Prince of Wales Sustainability Cup recognises the achievements of an outstanding young forest professional who is highly engaged in the principles of sustainable forest management. This year’s recipient is Adrian Loo (inset, bottom right). Performing exceptional forestry management work, he is an environmental manager working with the 1BT program to encourage new planting. Loo works hard to focus landowners on diversification of land use through the addition of exotic and native forests. He is dedicated to growing the estate in an environmentally sustainable way and actively promoting these concepts to others. A founding member of Future Foresters, young Loo is already strongly committed to inspiring others to focus on the wise use and conservation of forests and their ecosystems.

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Tall timber building sets new record

This month's 5th Annual WoodWorks Conference will feature a range of mass timber innovations in commercial building. The jewel in the crown will be a wonderful new building in downtown Auckland for serving a charitable purpose.

Construction of the Auckland City Mission (ACM) HomeGround Development required the demolition of three existing buildings and will be followed by the refurbishment of the heritage- listed “Prince of Wales” building. Most of the structure will be made of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

When completed, the Auckland City Mission project will be the tallest CLT building in New Zealand.

Fast Facts:
Basement – 3 tenancies, back-of-house facilities and 38 carparks;
Ground floor – Café, Pharmacy and ACM Reception;
Level 1 – ACM Offices, meeting rooms, etc;
Levels 2 and 3 – Medical treatment centre incl. Dental, GPs, detoxification facilities, patient rooms, and communal areas;
Levels 4 to 8 – 80 supportive housing apartments, incl. balconies to each apartment;
Roof level – Communal spaces (meeting / conference rooms, roof terrace, greenhouse space etc.) and Plant Rooms.

More: See Woodworks events or the Built Environs project page

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Komatsu adds head for eucalyptus

New harvester head adapted for eucalyptus Komatsu Forest presents a brand-new harvester head specially adapted for the harvesting of eucalyptus. The new model head is a Komatsu S162E, (E for eucalyptus).

20 years ago, the company launched the first harvester head adapted for eucalyptus, the 370E, which was equipped with a more robust frame construction and a felling link dimensioned for the power of an excavator. The head has been much appreciated and has over the years gained two companions in the eucalyptus forest, V132E and C202E. However, all these heads are modified and originally designed for softwood species like pine and spruce.

The new Komatsu S162E is specially designed for fast and efficient felling in eucalyptus stands. With sustainability and longevity in focus, the head has been designed to withstand the tough stresses it is subjected to. The fact that the components of the head are well-proven ensures efficient felling in challenging conditions.

The S162E is optimised for delimbing and debarking eucalyptus trees with a diameter of between 20-26 cm. To optimise the debarking process, the head has angled feed roller arms, and the frame has a support roller in the middle to minimise friction.

The head is also equipped with four hydraulically manoeuvrable delimbing knives and a fixed top knife, which further improves the debarking process. In order to reduce environmental impact caused by oil leakage, the hoses of the head are equipped with ORFS couplings.

"With its unique characteristics, the S162E becomes an efficient and well-adapted harvester head for eucalyptus harvesting,” says Tobias Ettemo, Product manager at Komatsu Forest. The head will primarily be mounted on excavators but is also available for rubber wheel machines, such as the Komatsu 951 harvester.

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FOA industry snapshot released

FOA Facts and Figures annual update released - The annual industry update from Forest Owners Association (FOA) - Facts and Figures 2019/20 is now available online. Due to budget constraints, there are no plans to print copies – it is only going to be available online.

Facts and Figures on the forest industry is a yearly summary of the state of the industry, including production figures, data on exports, training, health and safety, carbon capture and log prices. The latest edition includes selected worldwide forest information produced every five years by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Facts and Figures 2019/20 can be viewed here

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Large scale eucalyptus seeding in Victoria

Airlift operation to bring forest back after bushfires - The Victorian Government is undertaking the largest forest restoration effort in the state’s history with a $7.7 million operation that airlifted tonnes of eucalypt seeds into areas of forest devastated by last summer’s fires.

Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said, “This airlift operation has seen helicopters drop tonnes of eucalypt seeds across areas devastated by the latest fires. It is the largest forest restoration operation in Victoria’s history.”

Funding from Bushfire Recovery Victoria’s $110 million State Recovery Plan is helping recover thousands of hectares of burnt Mountain and Alpine Ash forest and enabling seed to be collected from healthy bushland to ensure the re- seeding work can be ongoing.

Between May and July more than 4.5 tonnes of eucalypt seed, 3 tonnes of which came from VicForests’ contingency reserves, was spread by helicopter across nearly 11,500 hectares of fire ravaged country, an area the equivalent of about 5,650 MCGs.

Thousands of the seeds are currently growing into stunning giants of the Australian bush, including the iconic Mountain Ash – the tallest flowering plant in the world – and, Alpine Ash which also reaches a significant size.

The re-seeding focuses on areas of nationally distinctive forests in Gippsland and North East Victoria that also suffered the impacts of fire in 2003, 2007 and 2014, and were severely burned again in the 2019/20 season.

The 2019/20 summer fires severely impacted Alpine Ash forests in both State forests and national parks, creating concern that without action some plant species could be compromised. The BRV funding will also support research to better understand the impact of high severity bushfires to guide future forest restoration efforts.

The project is being delivered by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning in partnership with VicForests, Parks Victoria, and contractors from regional Victoria. More than 56 people have been working on the reforestation project. All activity has complied with DHHS requirements to prioritise the safety of the Victorian community as well as staff.

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East Coast: RMA breach brings fine

Forest management company PF Olsen has been fined NZ$198,000 for poor harvesting practices that contributed to the devastation caused by forestry waste at Tolaga Bay in June, 2018. The company was sentenced by Environment Court Judge Brian Dwyer in Gisborne on 15 September.

It pleaded guilty earlier this year — a day ahead of a scheduled judge alone trial — to a Resource Management Act charge that between June, 2017, and June, 2018, it discharged contaminant, namely sediment and forestry waste, on to land at Paroa Forest in circumstances where it could (and did) enter water.

The offence is punishable by a fine of up to $600,000. All but 10 percent of the fine will go to Gisborne District Council. Paroa Forest is an 1800-hectare plantation forest to the west of Tolaga Bay, owned by Permanent Forests Limited, and one of thousands of forests across New Zealand managed by PF Olsen.

Terrain is steep and prone to severe erosion. The Tapuae and Waipurupuru streams flow through it. These and other tributaries flow from the forest into Uawa River. The company was the holder of four consents authorising the usual work associated with forest harvesting, and none of which allowed discharge of forest waste to water or to land where it could enter water.

Tolaga Bay was hard hit by the first of two storms in the region in June, 2018. Heavy rain caused severe flooding in the nearby Tupuae catchment on June 3 and 4 and the mobilisation of a huge volume of sediment and wood debris from the area’s plantation forests. An estimated 47,000m3 of woody debris smothered Tolaga Bay beach, with significant but unknown quantities of woody debris deposited elsewhere in the Uawa catchment.

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NSW: Majority of harvestable native forests damaged

NSW: Two-thirds of 'harvestable' native forests damaged by summer bushfires - Almost two-thirds of NSW's state forest set aside for logging was damaged during last season's huge bushfires, adding pressure on remaining unburnt regions.

Data compiled by the Department of Regional NSW shows that almost 430,000 hectares of so- called harvestable native forest were damaged by fire, or about 62 per cent of the total. By contrast, the damage to public hardwood plantations was only about 16 per cent, or more than 5500 hectares.

A document dated May 2020 states that without government support, the gross value added by the forestry and timber processing industry in NSW would shrink by $75 million over the coming three years.

"As salvage operations wind down, [gross value add] is forecast to be about $915 million lower over 15 years," the report said, adding the loss of supply "significantly" threatened the viability of a "world-scale industry."

The details of the extent of the fire damage to state forests come days after the Herald reported that Deputy Premier John Barilaro had insisted timber contracts held by state-owned Forestry Corporation be met from forests such as Lower Bucca near Coffs Harbour.

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Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia: Burnt timber for Heritage Fleet

A partnership between Forestry Corporation and Sydney Heritage Fleet has seen a shipment of bushfire salvaged timber delivered to help preserve heritage ships across Australia. The timber comes from the iconic Sugar Pine Walk and adjacent Douglas fir plantation near Tumut which were destroyed in the 2019- 20 bushfires, but still salvageable.

Sydney Heritage Fleet is storing the timber in its Bathurst storage facility and will work with historical ship custodians across Australia to make use of it, said the organisation’s Shipwright Superintendent, Peter Gossell.

“We are pleased to see this resource going to help maintain Australia’s historical ships, and appreciate the support of Forestry Corporation,” Mr Gossell said.

“Douglas fir in particular is well suited to shipbuilding and repair due to its strength, durability and light weight. There are around 20 historical ships across Australia that will need repairs at some point, so it’s great to have this resource on hand when needed.”

Forestry Corporation’s Haulage and Sales Manager, Nick Firth said the original plantations were established in the 1920s as part of forestry trials happening at the time.

“Sadly these stands were destroyed in last summer’s bushfires, but we are pleased to see Sydney Heritage Fleet is able to put the timber to use and help maintain Australia’s heritage maritime fleet,” Mr Firth said., “and we have harvested small amounts of this timber in the past for Sydney Heritage Fleet to repair ships such as the James Craig, but the impact of the bushfires has meant around 70 large timber logs are now available for stockpiling.

“We’re pleased to see this resource support Australia’s historic boat fleet and help preserve these iconic ships for future generations.”

Forestry Corporation has covered all costs of harvesting and transporting this timber from Laurel Hill to the Sydney Heritage Fleet’s storage facility in Bathurst.

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Forest Growers look for future funding boost

Australia’s forest growers are being asked to support a proposed increase to the sector’s R&D and biosecurity levy to address the decline in funding and capacity for vital forest science research, development and extension (RD&E) and to tackle ever-increasing biosecurity threats.

A group of forest growers that collectively produce over 90 per cent of Australia’s log volume has developed a research strategy that, if supported across the sector through a proposed increase to the Forest Growers Levy, will boost productivity, lower costs, increase resilience and reduce losses from drought, fire, pests and diseases.

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has backed the proposal and urges all Australian forest growers to support the minor increase which will deliver benefits across the plantation and native forest estates through Commonwealth-matched RD&E projects.

“With this proposal forest growers have the chance to increase current investment levels for RD&E and biosecurity to grow our renewable industry over the long term, increase the resilience of our forests, and build much-needed RD&E capacity”, AFPA Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton said.

“Australia’s biosecurity threat from exotic pests has never been higher. For example, Giant Pine Scale was discovered in 2015 in Victoria and then South Australia and has since been declared un-eradicable in Australia. This exotic pest may be slow moving, but it has a devastating impact on the trees it infests. Investing in biosecurity will help us improve Australia’s success rate in eradicating exotic pests which currently sits at half the success rate achieved globally.”

Forest growers are seeking industry-wide support for an increase to the existing forest growers levy of $0.135 per m3 of log in two parts:
• an increase to the forestry RD&E levy from $0.05 to $0.135 per m3 and
• an increase to the PHA biosecurity levy from $0.005 per m3 to $0.05 per m3.

The proposed levy increase needs to be agreed and voted on by a majority of forest growers who participate. To register to be part of the voting process, and participate in the consultation process, please visit https://ausfpa.com.au/forest- growers-levy/ or email forestgrowerslevy@ausfpa.com.au or call (03) 6163 8901 by the 6th November 2020.

“I encourage forest growers across Australia to become involved in the current consultation process and participate in voting. Achieving this proposed RD&E & biosecurity levy increase is a critical next step to investing the future of our renewable forest industry,” Mr Hampton concluded.

Source: Australian Forest Products Association

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... kids these days are SMART

I figured that by the age of seven it was inevitable for our son to begin having doubts about Santa Claus.

Sure enough, one day he said, "Dad, I think I've figured something out about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy."

Taking a deep breath, I asked him, "What is that?"

He replied, "They're all nocturnal."


Turning the tables ... if you want to find out how smart your kids really are, see if they know the answers to these (ok, its really just an excuse for some Dad jokes):

Q:How do you make Lady Gaga mad?

A: Poke her face.

Q: What starts and ends with an E but contains only one letter?
A: An envelope.
Q:What do you call a funny mountain?
A: Hill-arious.

Q: How do you make a tissue dance?
A: You put a little boogey in it.

Q: Why are frogs happy?
A: They eat whatever bugs them!

Q: What do you call an alligator with a vest?

A: An investigator.

Q: What has four wheels and flies?
A: A garbage truck.

Thanks for keeping up with the latest wood news with us!
Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen, Editor

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