Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 21, 2014

Business & Politics

New combustible wood dust policies take effect next month

Journal of Commerce
August 21, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Starting Sept. 1, employers in the sawmill and wood product manufacturing sectors will have to undertake a combustible dust risk assessment, implement a dust management program and perform an audit of the program as soon as reasonable possible. The new policies came about after the WorkSafeBC board of directors approved changes last month. The new policies also create corresponding obligations on supervisors and workers to follow the programs. According to WorkSafeBC, many of the employers already have functioning dust management programs and may only need to make minor modifications to be compliant.

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Brookfield Asset Management reducing stake in Western Forest Products

Canadian Press
August 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Western Forest Products Inc. said Wednesday that Brookfield Asset Management is reducing its stake in the forestry company. Under a secondary offering announced after the close of trading, Brookfield Special Situations Management has agreed to sell 40 million shares at a price of $2.50 per share. The underwriters have also been granted an over-allotment option for an additional six million shares at the same price. Brookfield holds 113,960,052 shares in Western Forest Products, representing a 29 per cent stake.

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Leaders of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Canada issue Joint Statement on the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia

Green Party of Canada
August 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia Green Party Deputy Leader, Brynn Nheiley called on the Nova Scotia government to ensure compliance with all air quality and water quality standards at the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County and to take immediate steps to ensure the health and safety of residents living nearby. Federal Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May also called on the Federal Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose to conduct an independent epidemiological health study of the rates of cancer and other diseases in Pictou County.

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A look at some of the major New Brunswick election campaign issues

The Canadian Press
August 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON – A look at where the major parties stand on some of the issues that will be front and centre in New Brunswick’s election campaign: Forestry: The governing Progressive Conservatives announced in March that the forestry industry would be allowed to harvest an additional 660,000 cubic metres of softwood per year, a 20 per cent hike from existing levels. Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud said the move would make the industry more competitive and create hundreds of new jobs, although it was criticized by environmental groups and others for being unsustainable. 

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Pictou passed air quality probe despite mill emissions

Chronicle Herald
August 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Pictou’s air quality is … all right? Despite a growing Pictou County protest movement against Northern Pulp for violating emissions limits, a 2013 survey of air pollution levels in Canada’s towns and cities puts Pictou in the middle of the pack. The National Air Pollution Surveillance Network has stations in over 200 Canadian communities, including one on Beeches Road in Pictou. The stations feed hourly updates on sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide contents in the air to the Environment Canada-run surveillance network.

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Northern Pulp Mill ordered to clean up by Randy Delorey

Harsher emissions limits also to be imposed next year
CBC News
August 21, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The problem-plagued Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County is being ordered to clean up. Thursday, Nova Scotia Environment Minister Randy Delorey issued a ministerial order “to ensure that Northern Pulp takes measures to reduce air quality emissions that exceed approved limits under the Environment Act.” Though, if Northern Pulp doesn’t bring the mill up to snuff, it’s not yet clear what — if any — consequences it would face. …Delorey has said the government had no intention of shutting down the mill.

Nova Scotia sets May deadline for pulp mill to fix emission problems from The Canadian Press

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Greens join calls for action on Northern Pulp

Chronicle Herald
August 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Green Party leaders have called on the provincial and federal governments to do their parts to ensure the people of Pictou County have clean air to breathe. “We are learning more and more that the health risks posed by the Northern Pulp mill are unacceptable,” Brynn Nheiley, the party’s deputy leader in Nova Scotia, said in a release. “This mill continues to operate under such conditions at the expense of all other industries and businesses in the region. “Immediate steps must be taken to bring this mill into compliance of established health and environmental regulations.”

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Oregon mill fire spread debris, including asbestos

Associated Press
August 19, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A fire at a Springfield plywood mill last month spread debris and ash to a few dozen residential properties, including two at which asbestos has been confirmed. Asbestos was in the plant’s roofing as well as around the steam pipes as insulation, said Chuck Wert, executive vice president of Swanson Group. “There was more than what we originally thought,” he told the Eugene Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/1oOhY7j ). Nearly 40 people reported debris on their properties, and owners of 27 asked for cleanup.

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Kiwi forestry company eyes up small forest owners

TVNZ.co.nz
August 21, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A new forestry company is targeting owners of small forests in a bid to boost returns on what it describes as a looming “wall of wood”. United Forestry Group, backed by Australian timber marketer Pentarch and Chinese conglomerate Xiangyu Group, says the production could be worth $30 billion dollars over the next two decades. UFG wants to consolidate the country’s 14,000 forests under 1000 hectares to create one large, competitive forest which can be harvested sustainably over time.

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Swedish paper and paperboard production fell by 5.7 per cent in Q2 2014

Production of newsprint decreased by 28.5 percent during the same period
Pulp and Paper News
August 21, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

During the first quarter of 2014, production of paper and paperboard declined by 5.7 percent while production of wood pulp was at the same level when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2013, according to new figures from the Swedish Forest Agency. The general trend is that the production of wrapping paper and paperboard for packaging is increasing while production of newsprint and printing paper is decreasing.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood Industry Stands by Safety of Mid-Rise Construction

from Canadian Wood Council – Cement Industry takes ‘cheap’ shot for fear of losing market share
Canada Newswire press release
August 21, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA – It’s a fact; wood-frame construction has been the preferential construction option for millions of homeowners throughout North America for decades. From the historical days when settlers relied on the bounty of the land for their shelter and food, to modern-day advances that have seen the wood products industry grow in sophistication, wood has and always will be a safe and affordable option for construction.

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Forestry

SFI to bring together global forestry and brand leaders in Montreal

Pulp & Paper Canada
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI®) will bring together stakeholders across a broad spectrum – from landowners to brand owners – to discuss and determine actions related to forests at the SFI Annual Conference. This year’s event will be held September 16-18, in Montreal, and will address green building, advancements in forestry research and other emerging forest issues that help shape North America’s future forests.

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How will BC pay for its rising wildfire-fighting costs?

Forestry minister says they have access to contingencies
News 1130
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – With the summer wildfire budget going up in smoke this season, will the province have enough money to pick up the tab? The original amount set aside was $63 million, but so far over $200 million has been spent. Kevin Skrepnek with Wildfire Management Branch tells News1130 that amount will continue to rise because it’s costing upwards of $3 million a day to battle the blazes. So, where will the extra money come from? Steve Thomson, BC’s minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations, says the money is already there. “We have access to contingencies.

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Teachers take forestry boot camp

A handful of science teachers are heading out into the bush this week to learn some ins and outs of the forestry industry.
Prince Albert Daily Herald
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Organized by the Prince Albert Model Forest, the Ministry of Environment-sponsored Forest Boot Camp Project’s intent is for teachers to share what they’ve learned with their students, education co-ordinator Bernadette Slager summarized. “We want teachers to influence the young people to take an interest in the forestry industry,” she explained at the Prince Albert Forestry Centre prior to heading out into the field with 16 teachers from across the province. At the centre of the current effort is a new item in the provincial curriculum titled Environmental Sciences 20, which centers on climate change, science teacher Jeremie Nkunzimana, from Sakewew High School in North Battleford, said.

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New radio channels to be used on local logging roads

Campbell River Mirror
August 19, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

New mobile radio channels for forestry workers and other resource road users will take effect beginning Aug. 23 on Vancouver Island and parts of the South Coast. Campbell River, South Island and Sunshine Coast resource districts will be converting to new resource road radio channels, while the North Island and Sea to Sky resource districts will for the first time be adopting standard resource road channels and call protocols. The changes will impact Forest Service Roads and some Road Permit roads in these areas. All affected road users will need to program the new channels into their mobile radios.

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Ash tree destruction pushing up city costs

Many stumps will have to remain in place for now
Niagra This Week
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THOROLD — City politicians have agreed to spend more than $100,000 to remove ash trees destroyed by the emerald ash borer and which pose a hazard to people from falling limbs. The city is also hoping to get the Region to help it fund the removal of dead trees, and is exploring the cost of replacing the killed-off trees with newly planted trees. City operations director Mike Sauchuk told city council on Aug. 12 that the $108,000 budget overrun they approved will only pay for the cost of chopping down dead trees, not the removal of stumps.

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Secretary’s Column: Skyrocketing Fire Costs

by Tom Vilsack
USDA Blog
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Over the past twenty years, a changing climate, population growth near forests and rangelands, and the buildup of brush and other fuels have dramatically increased the severity of wildfires and the damage that they cause to our natural lands and communities. Year after year, fire seasons grow longer and longer, destroying homes, threatening critical infrastructure and the watersheds that provide clean drinking water to millions of people. Between 1980 and 2011, the average annual number of fires on Federal land more than doubled, and the total area burned annually tripled. Even as fire seasons have grown, the way we pay to fight these fires remains unchanged – and fundamentally broken.

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Forest Service requests more fire funding

Gannett Washington Bureau
August 21, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — The rising costs of fighting wildfires is forcing the U.S. Forest Service to transfer money from other critical programs year after year, hindering the agency’s efforts to protect people, property and endangered species, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday. … risk and restore scorched watersheds and forests after the flames die out, Vilsack said. He released a report showing that 42 percent of this year’s Forest Service budget is for wildfires, up from 16 percent in 1995, and called on Congress to increase the agency’s overall budget and allow the Obama administration to tap into a recently created disaster fund to pay the costs of fighting catastrophic wildfires.

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Northwest wildfires: Crews gain ground against 14 large blazes

The Oregonian
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildland firefighters have continued to make progress in Oregon and Washington, increasing containment lines amid cooler temperatures and higher humidity. Crews are now fighting only four large, uncontained blazes in Oregon and 10 in Washington state. Here’s a rundown, starting with Oregon: The South Fork complex south of John Day has charred more than 65,100 acres and is 83 percent contained.

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Report: Firefighting costs eroding conservation

AP
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Obama administration detailed on Wednesday the toll that the escalating cost of fighting forest fires has had on other projects as it pushes Congress to overhaul how it pays for the most severe blazes. In a new report, the Agriculture Department said that staffing for fighting fires has more than doubled since 1998. Meanwhile, the number of workers who manage National Forest System lands has dropped by about a third. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that accommodating the rapid rise in firefighting costs has harmed an array of conservation efforts. 

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Daines is untrustworthy on forest legislation

Letter by Savino Ranallo
Billings Gazette
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In January, I attended a meeting with Congressman Steve Daines about the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act and the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. I was heartened by the congressman’s apparent desire to work with supporters of both bills to find a compromise that would pass in Washington, D.C. He was pragmatic about the challenges we would encounter, but seemed willing to listen and help move both bills forward. But it came as a surprise to me when I read Daines’ signed letter to John Boehner (Speaker of the House) suggesting complete rejection of any legislation dealing with our national forests on a state level.

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Colorado buys fire-spotting planes to battle fires

Associated Press
August 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — Colorado will begin a new strategy for fighting wildfires in the coming weeks, deploying aircraft designed to pinpoint the location of blazes quicker after the first sighting of smoke with the aim of beginning suppression efforts faster. The state is buying two fire-spotting planes as part of a fleet that state lawmakers approved this spring after catastrophic wildfires raged in consecutive years, destroying hundreds of homes. The planes will have thermal-imaging capabilities from several miles away, and fire officials have set a goal of finding small fires within an hour of reported smoke. No other state owns these types of planes, said Micki Trost, a spokeswoman at Colorado’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

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Forestry officials impressed with tree nursery

James Town Press
August 21, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Providence had about 50,000 street trees in 1907; by 1980 the number had plummeted to just 22,320. Street trees must be replanted to compensate for loss from age and disease. But replanting takes money. …Faced with increasing costs, the organization is now considering establishing its own tree nursery. According to Director Tod Damon, a tree nursery would allow the program to lower its per-tree costs. It would also be an additional way to draw in volunteers.

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