Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 16, 2014

Business & Politics

Investigation finds sawmill owners invested in production, not safety

The Globe and Mail
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The owners of the Lakeland sawmill in Prince George invested millions of dollars in recent years to boost production, but didn’t put the same effort into safety measures, an investigation into the explosion that killed two workers has concluded. Greg Stewart, president of the company that owns Lakeland Mills, said Tuesday his company will embrace a culture of safety when a new replacement mill opens this fall, but maintained management “did everything reasonable to ensure our mill was safe.”

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Decision not to lay charges the right one: Lakeland’s Greg Stewart

Prince George Free Press
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greg Stewart says he understands the desire to find someone to blame for the catastrophic explosion and fire that killed two workers at Lakeland Mills two years ago. …. He added the company “failed the expectations of our founders and, most importantly, our employees. For that, and for the impacts it has had on our employees, their families and our community, I will be eternally sorry.” Stewart said he believes the Criminal Justice Branch made the right decision.

Lakeland working on Rebuilding Worker Trust from 250 News
Lakeland did its best to respond to Babine: mill boss from The Prince George Citizen

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Macatee to head up WorkSafeBC following Lakeland Mills decision

Prince George Free Press
April 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Labour Minister Shirley Bond announced Monday that a coroner’s inquest will be held into the Lakeland fatalities. B.C. Ferries Commissioner Gord Macatee is temporarily replacing outgoing WorkSafeBC CEO David Anderson and will oversee changes to worker protection and investigation, Bond said.

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Dix pushing for public inquiry into sawmill explosions

Prince George Citizen
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Opposition New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix continued to call for a public inquiry into the Lakeland and Babine sawmill explosions when he was in Prince George Tuesday, a day after the Criminal Justice Branch said no charges will be pursued against Lakeland’s owners. Coroner’s inquests into the two incidents, which occurred three months apart in early 2012, will be held and may be combined into a single inquest, but Dix said they won’t go far enough. He said the inquest into the 2008 deaths of three workers at a Langley mushroom farm resulted in a six-page report and, in its summary of the incident, just one sentence referred to WorkSafeBC, saying only that it did not conduct a formal inspection.

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‘Another day of pain’ for Lakeland Mills families: Bond

Prince George Free Press
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shirley Bond says it’s “unimaginable” what the Roche and Little families went through on Monday. It was on Monday when the families of Glenn Roche and Al Little learned regulatory charges won’t laid in connection with the April 23, 2012 explosion and fire at Lakeland Mills that killed the two men and the injured 22 others. “Families are disappointed, they’re hurt, and they’re angry,” the minister for jobs, tourism and skills training and responsible for labour said Monday. “I have expressed my profound disappointment with what happened. I am driven to ensure that we find ways to improve, so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Minister of Jobs calls for Lakeland Coroner’s Inquest from 250 News

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More criticism of decision not to lay charges in fatal Prince George sawmill blast

CKNW
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A leader of the United Steelworkers says he’s stunned at the lack of charges to be laid in a second deadly sawmill explosion in B-C. Steve Hunt says he’s not surprised that WorkSafeBC’s investigation into the sawmill explosion in Prince George didn’t net any charges. It’s the same thing that happened into the earlier probe into the Burns Lake mill blast. But Hunt says he’s amazed Crown counsel didn’t try to help WorkSafe so the mistakes didn’t happen the second time.

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Lakeland Mills widow ‘outraged’ by Criminal Justice decision

Prince George Citizen
April 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Angry and tearful, the wife of a worker killed two years ago in the fire and explosion at Lakeland Mills was not surprised but still disappointed with the Criminal Justice Branch’s decision to not pursue charges against the sawmill’s owners. “Our worst fears have come about,” Ronda Roche, 43, said Monday, moments after emerging from a meeting between Lakeland employees and officials from the branch and WorkSafeBC at the Civic Centre. Roche’s husband of 22 years, Glenn, 46, was one of two workers killed in the April 23, 2012 explosion, leaving behind Ronda and their 14-year-old son, Mason. The other worker killed was Alan Little, 43. Another 22 people were injured. Reading from a statement, an emotional Roche said the decision has left her “outraged but also saddened.”

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Complaints about temporary foreign worker program spread

April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

… Vern Doak is a crane operator with 37 years experience who lives in Vernon. In early March he was contacted by his union, who informed him that an American company, Oregon-based O & S Contracting, had work for him building a cogeneration plant near Mackenzie in north-central B.C. …O & S had been retained by Conifex Power — a division of B.C.-based Conifex Timber — to build a cogeneration plant in the area.  …Brian Cochrane of the International Union of Operating Engineers said he complained to Conifex vice-president Pat Bell — a B.C. Liberal cabinet minister until April — but the situation was not resolved. The incident is now the subject of a Federal Court challenge.

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Lumber mills in the Kootenays say they need more wood (radio)

CBC Daybreak South
April 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Representatives from those mills will meet with local politicians later today. Lumber mills want to make sure they have enough wood. That could mean accessing timber supply, perhaps in areas currently restricted. Jessara Sinclair looks at what they want.

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Atholville mill’s tax cut leaves residents with bigger bills

6 pulp mills had tax value slashed this year after appealing tax assessment
CBC News
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Atholville residents were hit with a record property tax increase this year in the wake of a big reduction in the tax assessment on the northern village’s biggest taxpayer. The AV Cell mill in Atholville appealed its property tax assessment this year and won a big reduction, similar to the other five pulp mills in New Brunswick. Property tax assessors cut the assessed value of the mill by more than half, resulting in the town losing $400,000 in tax revenue.

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Group opposes resumption of log exports

The Jakarta Post
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A group of wood-based producers has strongly opposed the government’s plan to resume log exports, fearing the move will cause a shortage of domestic supply. The Indonesian Rattan Furniture and Craft Association (AMKRI) secretary-general Abdul Sobur said Tuesday that such a shortage would prevent the local wood processing industry from tapping into surging demand here and overseas. The demand for wood products, such as furniture, would rise significantly nationwide along with stronger purchasing power of the country’s population, Sobur said. He said the business group had targeted exports of all wood products, including rattan-based ones, to top US$5 billion in the next four years.

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Forestry SA jobs facing the chop, minister Leon Bignell holding talks

ABC News, Australia
April 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Forests Minister Leon Bignell has confirmed Forestry SA is keen to cut almost 100 jobs in South Australia over the next two years. Mr Bignell has met Forestry SA officials at Mount Gambier and says the Government now will consider the organisation’s proposed cuts. “Forestry SA obviously has a view that they want to reduce the workforce here by 45 staff next year and 50 the year after to save between $8.5-9 million,” he said. The minister says he plans to meet the forestry workers’ union, the CFMEU, to hear its concerns.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

CO2, climate and the case for wooden skyscrapers

E&E Publishing
April 15, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

It’s been nearly a century and a half since steel replaced wood as the primary material of ships, bridges and other large infrastructure manufactured by the developed world. By the early 20th century, steel constructs like the locomotive and the skyscraper had become symbols of the Industrial Revolution and testaments to human ingenuity. But progress is not always linear — sometimes, it doubles back. Today a small but committed cadre of architects, firms and government agencies are re-examining the case for wood as a building material and finding it not just feasible, but perhaps more sustainable than conventional materials.

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Forestry

CEO of Canfor comes out against proposed tenure changes

250 News
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The CEO of Canfor Corporation, Don Kayne, notes in his World of Wood blog that the BC Interior forest sector is “undergoing a significant transformation in the wake of the mountain pine beetle epidemic” and that there is much uncertainty about timber supply. However, he states that now “is absolutely not the time for the provincial government to make major changes in tenure administration” in the province, and that “there are many higher priorities that would yield greater positive impacts.” This statement is a direct rebuke to the provincial government regarding its current campaign to set the parameters for more area-based tenure in the province’s forests, specifically Tree Farm Licences.

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Wildfire season starts early across B.C.

Global BC News
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire season has come early this year in B.C. and crews are battling to contain multiple blazes. Five homes in Bridge River near Lillooet are under an evacuation warning Tuesday. Nearly two dozen firefighters, along with two helicopters, are fighting to contain a 20 hectare fire spotted in the area Monday. Meanwhile in the Okanagan, crews are still fighting the region’s first substantial wildfire of the year. The blaze started last Thursday, seven kilometres north of Osoyoos, on land owned by the Osoyoos Indian Band.

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Logging unlikely to increase existing risks at Duhamel Creek

BC Forest Practices Board
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board accepts the opinions of professional geoscientists that the risk of flooding or landslides resulting from logging activity at Duhamel Creek is low, according to a report released today. “Primarily because of their location, the three specific cutblocks that were the subject of this complaint should not increase the risk to residents on the Duhamel fan,” said Tim Ryan, board chair. “However, the watershed has a history of natural flooding and slides, and previous reports have identified a high risk to residents on the Duhamel fan, so it’s understandable that they are very concerned about any forest development in the watershed.”

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Prevention key to eliminating forest fires: conservation officer

The Telegram
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are lots things people working in the forestry sector can do to help the Department of Natural Resources reduce the amount of wilderness lost to fires. Jonathan Foley, a conservation officer, says nothing can be more effective than prevention. Foley addressed delegates of the Forestry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Tuesday at its third annual Health and Safety Symposium in Deer Lake. There have been 1,209 forest fires in the province in the past 10 years, he said, burning a total of 350,000 hectares.

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Pine beetles have ministry of environment concerned

Prince Albert Daily Herald
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

While your typical mountain pine beetle may appear to be harmless, a provincial forest entomologist and pathologist says looks can be deceiving. Ministry of Environment representative Dr. Rory McIntosh was at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Tuesday to help educate people about how dangerous the beetle is in large groups, especially in northern Saskatchewan. “It’s kind of safety in numbers,” he says. “They’ll attack the tree and overcome it. They bring with them a blue stain fungus, and together they end up killing the tree.”

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Judge sides with Forest Service on timber sale

An environmental group has failed to stop a 2,000-acre thinning project in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest. 
Capital Press
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge has shot down several environmentalist arguments against a 2,000-acre thinning project in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service found that thinning was necessary for forest health but the Bark environmental group filed a lawsuit seeking to block the Jazz timber sale last year. The controversy centered on rebuilding about 12 miles of temporary roads, which Bark claimed would reactivate large-scale soil shifts known as “earthflows.” 

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Timber campaign cash OK with state lands chief

The Seattle Times
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

… Goldmark pledged that he was the candidate to do away with backroom deals and restore trust to the office. “I will not accept money from the industries that I’ll be regulating,” the Democrat said at a public forum in Gig Harbor that year, during his successful campaign to unseat Republican Doug Sutherland, the incumbent commissioner of public lands. His vow didn’t last. Over the past three years, Goldmark has accepted about $100,000 in campaign contributions from timber and wood-product companies — 20 percent of the money he’s collected over that time, according to a Seattle Times analysis.

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Aging planes being used to battle wildfires (with video)

KPAX
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – As wildfire season quickly approaches – and with much of the West crippled by drought – Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., is calling on the Pentagon to use military planes as air tankers. The U.S. Forest Service calls them large air tankers: planes capable of dropping up to 10,000 gallons of fire retardant in front of fast-moving blazes. If deployed early in a fire, they can stop a wildfire before it incinerates homes and lives. But these days, that’s a big “if”. Many of the planes firefighters depend on date from World War II – or soon after.

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Restoration Commences on Area Devastated by Douglas Complex Fires

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Roseburg, OR – Today, the Communities for Healthy Forests, Inc. (CHF), with support from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, Inc. (SFI®), held a ceremony celebrating the restoration of the Douglas Complex fire devastation area. The Douglas Complex wildfires gripped the State of Oregon in August of 2013, threatening homes, and forcing evacuations and road closures. Approximately 3,000 firefighters were called-in to battle the fires, including the National Guard, but were hampered by the extremely rugged terrain.

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Soil texture key in deforestation

Yale Daily News
April 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A new Yale study reveals soil texture is key to understanding the vulnerability of an ecosystem to deforestation. Researchers led by postdoctoral fellow Thomas Crowther from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies have identified soil texture as a defining characteristic for predicting the effects of deforestation. While current understandings of deforestation are drawn from a small number of studies whose results are location-specific, Crowther’s study considers 11 different sites ranging from Alaska to Hawaii. The finding, which was published in Global Change Biology on April 1, allows researchers to predict where deforestation will have the most substantial effect. 

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Premier accused of using the forest peace deal’s achievements to sell wood in Japan

ABC News, Australia
April 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Premier, Will Hodgman, has put environmental groups further offside by promoting their support for the timber industry to attract Japanese buyers. Mr Hodgman has declared his week-long trade trip through China and Japan a successful exercise in building relationships with potential investors. He admits the trip was more about opening doors than signing deals. …Mr Hodgman says he told Japanese buyers that Tasmania’s timber industry would continue to be supplied only from forests considered by environmental lobby groups and the Greens to be “non-contentious.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Amazon trees vulnerable to fire and climate combination

BBC News
April 15, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The combination of fire and extreme weather could accelerate tree mortality in the Amazon, a study has suggested. Researchers said field experiments showed that severe droughts could trigger dieback of forests in the near-term. Efforts to curb deforestation needed to be accompanied by initiatives to stop land management fires spreading into adjoining forest reserves, they added. The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-author Paulo Brando, a researcher from Brazil’s Amazon Environmental Research Institute and the Woods Hole Research Center, US, explained that the findings were based on data gathered from a long-running field experiment, described as the first of its kind.

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General

Complaints about temporary foreign worker program spread

April 16, 2014
Category: Uncategorised

… Vern Doak is a crane operator with 37 years experience who lives in Vernon. In early March he was contacted by his union, who informed him that an American company, Oregon-based O & S Contracting, had work for him building a cogeneration plant near Mackenzie in north-central B.C. …O & S had been retained by Conifex Power — a division of B.C.-based Conifex Timber — to build a cogeneration plant in the area.  …Brian Cochrane of the International Union of Operating Engineers said he complained to Conifex vice-president Pat Bell — a B.C. Liberal cabinet minister until April — but the situation was not resolved. The incident is now the subject of a Federal Court challenge.

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