May 04, 2023

DHA eNews - DHA Advocates For Low-Carbon Wood Products

This Week's Insights

This week, the Commerce Department extended its deadline again in the Vietnam hardwood plywood circumvention case. The new deadline is May 26. Last July, Commerce released a preliminary ruling that hardwood plywood from Vietnam was circumventing the duties on Chinese hardwood plywood and thus was subject to those duties. The Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood continues to fight hard against circumvention from Vietnam. Learn the latest on industry trade cases by joining us at this year's DHA Annual Meeting & Spring Conference, May 24-26, in Clearwater, FL.

Last week, DHA and our allies advocated for the wood industry by providing comments on the EPA's request for information on construction materials and products with lower embodied greenhouse gas emissions. The request for information is part of the U.S. government's efforts to reduce climate change; they will spend billions of dollars on low-carbon building materials as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. DHA highlighted our recent Engineered Wood Floors Environmental Products Declaration that shows vinyl alternatives have nearly six times greater global warming potential and that decorative hardwoods are the climate-responsible choice.

If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association

Photo © Timber Products Company

DHA Advocates For Low-Carbon Wood Products

DHA, Composite Panel Association, and Hardwood Federation provided a joint response to the Environmental Protection Agency's request for information on construction materials and products with lower embodied greenhouse gas emissions. The comments emphasized that wood products have low embodied carbon—the total amount of carbon emitted during the production process—and that the full building life cycle needs to be considered when assessing low-embodied carbon materials.

REMINDER: Register Now For Details On Congressional Fly-In

DHA members: sign up now for our webinar on Tuesday, May 9, at 1 pm ET about the upcoming DHA/Hardwood Federation Congressional Fly-In. During the fly-in, Hardwood Federation members—including DHA—will advocate for legislative priorities, including the farm bill, with members of Congress and their staff. DHA members who wish to attend the fly-in may register now, too.

Vietnam's Timber Exports Drop Sharply

Vietnam's wood and wood products exports were valued at $4 billion for the first four months of this year. That's a decrease of 28.5% vs. the same period last year. Vietnam's wood products exports alone likely declined by more than 35%.

War Is Ravaging Ukraine's Forests

Nearly one-third of Ukraine's forests, about 7.4 million acres, have been damaged as a result of the Russian invasion. Forest machinery and tools worth more than $11 million and property valued at more than $33 million have been destroyed. 

Russia Steals Timber For Commercial Gain

Russia has been accused of engaging in industrial-scale logging in Ukraine, cutting down large swaths of trees for sale and to strengthen its defensive positions. In a letter to President Putin, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu requested permission to harvest timber and stated that "wood not used for defense will be sold to finance the military operation."

American Wood Council Launches New Wood Sourcing Tool

Now, it's easier for buyers of structural wood products (mostly softwood) to determine which products are sustainable. The American Wood Council launched its Wood Sourcing Tool which provides insights into the sustainability of structural wood products. Sustainability is based on three categories: non-controversial, responsible, and certified, providing different assurances about sustainable forest management and manufacturing processes.

DHA continues to provide information about hardwoods and sustainability on our website.

Canadian Wood Council Launches A New Network

The new Woodworks Innovation Network, created by the Canadian Wood Council, is designed to promote the benefits of wood in construction and to expand market demand for Canadian wood products. The new network was made possible through a partnership with U.S. Woodworks and with financial support from Natural Resources Canada.

Source: Woodworks Innovation Network

See The State Of Canada's Forests

Every year, Natural Resources Canada reviews the social, economic, and environmental state of Canada's forests. The latest report highlights the diversity of Canada's forests, the range of benefits they provide, and how sustainable management supports the forests.

Source: Timberbiz

But, Canada Is Behind On Its Promise To Plant Trees

Two years ago, Canada launched an initiative to plant 2 billion trees by 2030. An audit by Canada's environment commissioner shows that unless there is a dramatic change, the government will plant less than 10% of those trees on time.

Biden Pledges Millions To Stop Deforestation In Brazil

On April 20, President Biden promised $500 million to fight deforestation in Brazil. The funds will be invested over five years and make the U.S. one of the largest donors to the Amazon Fund. The President said that forests are a "key to our future" and "if we lose this natural resource, we can’t get it back easily."

Some African Nations Fail To Comply With Timber Export Ban

Most members of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) are not complying with a log export ban designed to protect forests and create local jobs for processing wood. The ban, enacted last year, is also designed to fight climate change by protecting forests from excessive logging. Only Gabon and the Republic of Congo have suspended timber exports to China and other Asian countries.

Bats Are At Risk

The North American Bat Conservation Alliance reported that more than 154 bat species, about 52% of the known species across North America, are at risk of severe population decline in the next 15 years. Experts say that bats' greatest threats are habitat loss due to climate change, white-nose syndrome, and mortality from wind turbines.

Seattle Airport Goes Green With An Amazing New Timber Expansion

A new Seattle airport terminal will feature a stunning timber interior, inspired by the local area, made from locally sourced Douglas fir. Wood will be sculpted into complex curves to create an eye-catching ceiling. 

ChatGPT's Take On Engineered & Solid Wood Flooring

According to ChatGPT, both engineered and solid wood flooring provide high levels of satisfaction to homeowners. Solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished many times. Engineered wood flooring is more stable and cost-effective, easier to install, and can be a better choice for areas with moisture or temperature fluctuations.

Preservationists Furious Over Destruction Of Historic Wood Floor

Just a few weeks ago, large parts of the original quarter-sawn white oak floors at Pleasant Home, a national historic landmark in Illinois, were ripped out and thrown in a dumpster. Preservationists at the Pleasant Home Foundation said that the destruction of the floor, which dated back to 1897, is "an affront to our organization's principles."

Ash Frame Used As Template For Early Porsche

A massive framework made of ash was used as a template for the first Porsche 356, which was manufactured by hand. The wood frame served as a model for the cars that began rolling off the production line at the Porsche factory in Austria in 1948.

New Compostable Cutlery Is Made From Certified Birch Wood

Eco-Products has created a new line of sustainable products: compostable forks, knives, and spoons, made from FSC-certified wood. The cutlery features a more user-friendly design, too, with a ridge in the handle for a stronger grip and extra durability.

Oregon's Wood Products Manufacturing Is A Key Industry

An economist at the Oregon Employment Department emphasized that wood products manufacturing continues to be a large industry and that it is especially important to rural areas. However, between 1990 and 2020, the annual average employment in wood products manufacturing has fallen by 24,100—more than 50%. Smaller harvests, technology, and economies of scale contributed to the decline.

U.S. Single-Family Housing Starts Improve
U.S. New Home Sales Rise By 9.6%
U.S. Existing Home Sales Dip 2.4%
U.S. Multifamily Units Drag Down Housing Starts
Canadian Housing Starts Decline By 11%
Canadian Consumer Price Index Up By 4.3%
U.S. Home Prices Begin To Soften
Construction Employment Increases In 44 States
Builders "Cautiously Optimistic" In April
Home Remodeling Market Expected To Contract Through Q1 2024
Wood History: Test Your Knowledge

What woods were used in the "Wooden Wonder" de Havilland Mosquito airplane in World War II?

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