Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 15, 2014

Business & Politics

No charges to be laid in Lakeland Mills sawmill blast that killed two workers

By: Gord Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
April 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – A special administrator has been appointed to drive changes to serious investigations at WorkSafeBC after no charges were laid in a second deadly sawmill explosion investigation, in part because the investigation was mishandled. Gord Macatee, a former senior B.C. bureaucrat, is responsible for ensuring WorkSafeBC can conduct world-class, complex investigations, Labour Minister Shirley Bond said Monday. She made the announcement after the Crown decided not to lay charges in a 2012 mill explosion.

No charges approved against Lakeland Mills from The Prince George Citizen
No charges in Prince George sawmill blast from The BC Local News
No charges in Lakeland Mills sawmill explosion that killed 2 from CBC News
WorkSafe BC under new management but mill owners won’t charged from the Globe and Mail
No charges laid in second deadly BC mill blast: Criminal Justice Branch from the Canadian Press

Press release from BC Government

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Les Leyne: WorkSafe investigations embarrassing

Victoria Times Colonist
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The déjà vu Criminal Justice Branch report Monday on why again no charges will be laid in another mill explosion put enormous pressure on the government to shake up WorkSafe B.C. and force improvements in its accident investigations. For the second time in four months, the CJB reviewed a WorkSafe report on a fatal accident and concluded there isn’t enough evidence to lay charges. It would be easier to take if Crown counsel were reviewing impeccable reports that looked at all the evidence and simply didn’t make a legal case. But in both cases, the Criminal Justice Branch is saying that WorkSafe came up short in its investigations into the deaths of four people, and the serious injuries to 42 others.

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In One Small Town, a BC Story of Ups and Downs (with video)

Welcome to Houston, where the mill is closing and lives and dreams hang in the balance. First in a series.
The Tyee
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

No one in the town of Houston, British Columbia, expected the Houston Forest Products mill to stay open indefinitely. But before last October’s closure announcement by mill owner West Fraser, they didn’t expect it to close so soon, either. “We didn’t expect it for another two to three years,” District of Houston Mayor Bill Holmberg said. The district had suspicions West Fraser was considering closing their mill: it’s a known fact in the area there isn’t enough wood available along Highway 16 to keep all the current mills running, and West Fraser hadn’t invested in major upgrades to Houston Forest Products in a few years

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Lakeland and Babine Inquests Could Be Combined

250 News
April 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- There is a possibility a Coroner’s Inquest into the Lakeland Mill explosion could be combined with one already planned to examine the Babine Forest Products blast. Chief Coroner Lisa LaPointe says that possibility is under consideration ” A decision on this issue will be made after a review of the WorkSafeBC Report into the Lakeland incident to determine the commonality of issues between the two incidents.

Coroner’s Inquest into Lakeland Mills requested from HQ Prince George

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With retirements, Weyerhaeuser makes changes

Puget Sound Business Journal
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser Co. announced that three top executives are retiring, and the company has announced four new moves. The Federal Way timber giant (NYSE: WY) said Devin Stockfish will become senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, succeeding Sandy McDade, senior vice president, general counsel, who will retire in July. Kristen Sawin has been named vice president, government relations, environment, health and safety, and will report to Stockfish. Sara Kendall, vice president, corporate affairs and sustainability, will retire May 2.

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Sawtimber, pulpwood markets improving, but challenges remain

Mississippi Business Journal
April 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Markets for Mississippi’s sawtimber and pulpwood are bouncing back from the economic recession, but the industry is not improving across the board. “Slowly but surely, markets for sawtimber are beginning to grow again after the sharp declines seen after the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the ensuing recession,” said James Henderson, associate Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University. “But the closing of the International Paper mill in Courtland, Ala., will have an impact on north Mississippi’s pulpwood markets.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wooden skyscrapers good for climate and rural areas

Julia Altemus writes on behalf of the Montana Wood Products Association.
The Missoulian
April 15, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

If we are serious about tackling climate change, then the solution may be found in building the city of tomorrow to look more like the city of yesterday. As glass and steel towers continue to rise, wood skyscrapers are likely to start sprouting alongside. Multi-story and high-rise wood buildings are already planned or rising in Europe and Canada. They are architecturally distinct, and they are made of the original green building material. …By making the case for more wood in construction, the USDA is calling attention to the value of sustainably grown and managed forests and the products they produce in storing carbon throughout the building’s lifecycle.

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Forestry

Genetically engineered trees hailed as environmental breakthrough

Vancouver Sun
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Researchers have genetically engineered poplar trees with lignin that breaks down more easily, opening the door to cheaper biofuels and wood pulp that require only a fraction of the energy and chemicals to produce. By inserting a piece of code isolated from a Chinese herb into the DNA of a poplar tree, scientists at the University of British Columbia, Michigan State and University of Wisconsin-Madison have produced a tree designed for easy deconstruction. The code alters the chemistry of some of the bonds that hold together lignin, the organic polymer glue that makes trees tough and rigid and protects the energy-rich cellulose within cells. 

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Is there a future for forestry in B.C? (radio broadcast)

CBC News
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Is there still a future for forestry in B.C.’s Interior? Dozens of mills have shut down, and tens of thousands of mill workers and loggers have lost their jobs. Our next guest believes forestry may be down, but not out, that’s if local people take back their timber. Vicky Husband has worked in forestry for more than 30 years.

Is there a future for forestry in BC – interview with Peter Ewart

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Mars bomber future now up in air

Provincial government awards aerial firefighting contract to Conair, not Coulson Flying Tankers
Alberni Valley Times
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

About this time each year, for as long as many Alberni Valley residents can remember, it would be time for the Hawaii Mars water bomber to be put back in Sproat Lake for another season of fighting fires. But as the provincial government has recently confirmed, its aerial firefighting contract has been awarded to Abbotsford based Conair, and not Coulson Flying Tankers. “The last few years we’ve had her in the water right about now, getting ready for the season,” said Coulson Group of Companies CEO Wayne Coulson.

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Burning merchantable timber in B.C. still a problem

Williams Lake Tribune
April 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Using a conservative estimate, there were 3,500 jobs lost in a 12-month period when the logs left after logging were burned. In the true spirit of recycling, I took this information from an article by Ben Pratt, Nov 29, 2006, in The Tyee. Some highlights of the article are as follows: “B.C.’s Ministry of Forests has long maintained a database known as the harvest billing system. “The database allows anyone to access information on the amount of trees being logged. By doing six simple searches of the database covering the most recent 12 months, The Tyee arrived at a province-wide figure for the amount of wood listed as ‘waste/residue.’

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Shelley Fralic: It’s my tree and I’ll chop it if I want to

Proposed Vancouver bylaw crosses the private property line
Vancouver Sun
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Noticed, late on Friday afternoon: 1) several tree removal trucks near a New Westminster apartment building, the intent clearly that of the annihilation of a copse of mature trees; and 2) a chainsaw-wielding man at a Washington State beach cottage de-limbing a stately birch that was overstepping its boundaries. And, I thought, this is the way things should be. Trees need to be taught a thing or two, like they can’t just grow any which way they want without repercussions. 

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Tenure issue not a priority

Letter by Don Kayne – B.C. government should focus on maintaining health of interior forest sector
Vancouver Sun
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is undertaking a public consultation process focused on setting parameters for converting some volume-based tenures in the province to area-based. Canfor understands that the brief consultation process is part of Minister Steve Thomson’s mandate letter and we hold Minister Thomson and his officials in the highest possible regard. However, B.C.’s interior forest sector is undergoing a significant transformation in the wake of the mountain pine beetle epidemic, and in our view, this is absolutely not the time for major changes to tenure administration.

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Forum urges residents to Stand Up for forests

Prince George Citizen
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Stand Up for the North Committee hosted a forum on Saturday to voice concerns about the current state of forest management in B.C., and proposed changes to the forest tenure system. Approximately 200 people came out to hear from First Nations, labour leaders, forestry policy analyst Anthony Britneff and noted environmentalist Vicky Husband. …”Really we haven’t managed our public ecosystems well. I’ve done some work on the [Atlantic] cod fishery. The cod fishery was the most productive in the world, and we killed it,” she said. “I’m afraid we’re doing the same to our forests.”

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Appellate Panel Weighs Flathead River Logging

Courthouse News Service
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE – A 3,000-acre logging project along Montana’s Flathead River could threaten grizzly bears, lynx and bull trout, environmentalists told the 9th Circuit. Friends of the Wild Swan and The Swan View Coalition sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service twice in 2012 to stop different phases of the timber harvest. Logging is scheduled to begin this summer, but the federal complaints remain pending in Missoula, Mt. The Spotted Bear and Soldier Addition projects will take place immediately across the Flathead River from one another in a remote location surrounded by the Bob Marshall and Great Bear wilderness areas.

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Study of dead wood in old-growth Iranian forest provides information for forest management

Virginia Tech
April 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Dead wood, such as old stumps and logs, is often overlooked when examining forest’s vitality; however, new research from old-growth forests in Iran point out the importance of this often-overlooked forest feature. “Dead wood is great habitat for wildlife, provides a sheltered environment for young seedlings, holds soil and moisture on the site, and stores carbon,” said Carolyn Copenheaver, associate professor of forest ecology in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Way’s forest research rooted in new CFI funding

UWO
April 14, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Danielle Way needed a window into our past, in order to provide us a direction for the future.
In support of her efforts, the Western Biology professor received $179,347 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (previously named Leaders Opportunity Fund) toward equipment allowing Way to analyze climate change impacts on Canada’s boreal forest. The funding was announced on Monday. Way’s lab is one of 149 facilities at universities across the country to benefit from new federal investments through the Leaders Fund.

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Nutrient-Rich Forests May Absorb More Carbon

University Herald
April 14, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The ability of forests to absorb carbon from atmosphere depends on nutrients available in the forest soils, according to a recent study. An international team of researchers found that forests growing in fertile soils with ample nutrients are able to sequester about 30 percent of the carbon that they take up during photosynthesis. In contrast, forests growing in nutrient-poor soils may retain only 6% of that carbon. The rest is returned to the atmosphere as respiration. 

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Actual prices of fuel pellets on the Polish market in the first quarter of 2013

Ukranian Biofuel Portal
April 14, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

According to the annual EU report on the biofuel sector, European countries are the world’s largest consumer of wood pellets. The total consumption of the biofuel was 14 m tons in 2013. Wood pellet producers are in all counties of the Old World. Thus, more than 500 big European enterprises made produced about 11,2 m tons of wooden pellets in 2013. Key players on the pellet market are the countries, which government and legislation are much concerned about environmental protection, namely – Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Italy and Germany.

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Global study: REDD+ initiatives see challenges — and opportunities

Forests News
April 14, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

 

BOGOR, Indonesia — Actions must be taken to clarify land tenure in forest-rich developing countries, and to improve the economic viability of REDD+ or risk jeopardizing efforts to reduce deforestation and mitigate climate change, a new study based on 23 forest carbon initiatives suggests. Hundreds of pilot initiatives designed to test the feasibility of REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, have got under way in recent years. But with obstacles mounting and a climate agreement still elusive, some initiative proponents are losing their enthusiasm for REDD+, according to the study, led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

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Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

The Independent
April 14, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Amazon rainforest is becoming increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic forest fires due to a combination of droughts, climate change and human activities such as deforestation, farming and habitat fragmentation, a major study has concluded. One of the last great wildernesses on earth – known as the lungs of the world – is balancing dangerously close to a “tipping point” where forest fires will become so commonplace and extensive that they will change much of the landscape forever, scientists said.

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Greenhouse gases up 2.2% in 2012, after dry year cut hydro-electricity and dairy herd grew.

The New Zealand Herald
April 15, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New Zealand’s emissions of greenhouse gases grew 2.2 per cent in 2012, accelerating from 1.4 per cent in 2011. The increase, reported by the Ministry for the Environment in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory, also exceeds the average since 1990, over which period the cumulative increase in emissions was 25 per cent. Emissions in 2012 grew by 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, reflecting 900,000 tonnes or 2.9 per cent more from the energy sector, as a dry year reduced hydro-electricity production, and an 800,000 tonne or 2.4 per cent increase in agricultural emissions as the dairy herd grew. 

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