Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 1, 2015

Business & Politics

Signs point to major shake-up at Tembec

Globe and Mail (may require subscription)
August 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Could Tembec Inc.’s days as an independent forest products company be numbered? There’s certainly enough fresh timber for the rumour mill these days regarding the fate of the Montreal-based lumber, paper and specialty pulp producer. The shares fell to penny-stock status recently after Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook for the company to negative from stable, and investor jitters ramped up on balance-sheet concerns. Analysts have been lowering their share-price targets after Tembec – challenged by increasing competition and volatile pricing in specialty pulp markets – posted on June 30 a huge miss on the consensus estimate of a third-quarter loss of 4 cents.

Read More

Wildfires & record setting temps effect on log prices

Natural Resources Report
August 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Like last winter, extreme weather has hit again, this time in the form of a hot weather and serious localized forest fires. Markets and demand for wood products are continuing to improve. Trends of lumber, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2006. …With wood products demand continuing to rise, stud prices might also rise. This is not always good for the mills, since log prices often rise even more when shortages occur. Like housing, which was affected by extreme weather last winter, stay tuned for weather-affected markets in logs and wood products this summer, especially if housing continues to pick up.

Read More

Increasing demand for wood fiber imports in India

Pulp and Paper News
August 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

India has limited domestic forest resources to supply its forest industry, and with growing domestic demand for forest products, the country’s pulp mills and sawmills have found it necessary to increase importation of wood raw-material both in the form of wood chips and logs. Over the next five years, demand for paper is expected to increase by between 2-12% annually, depending on paper grade.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Letter to the Editor: Quebec wood guide comments miss the mark

Journal of Commerce
September 2, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

To the editor, Comments by the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) in the Aug. 25 article, “Cement association slams Quebec wood guide,” are lacking in a fair representation of the issues and opportunity at hand. At question is whether the Régie du bâtiment du Québec’s newly released Construction of Mass Timber Buildings Up to 12 Storeys – Directives and Explanatory Guide was developed within a recognized building code compliant framework. The fact is that the Quebec Construction Code, which is based on the model National Building Code of Canada, recognizes and permits the use of demonstrated alternative solutions for building designs that are not currently prescribed in the code.

Read More

Homebuilders call new labor law ruling crippling

CNBC News
August 31, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Homebuilders are balking at a new labor law ruling that puts them on the hook for issues involving millions of subcontractors. Roofers, plumbers, electricians, framers are just some of the 25 categories of subcontractors used to build a home. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could, in some cases, now deem them “joint employees” of the homebuilders. “The homebuilding industry, which is primarily made up of small businesses who rely greatly on the work of subcontractors would overwhelmingly be harmed by the new standard,” said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) …The revised standard is designed “to better effectuate the purposes of the [Joint Employment] Act in the current economic landscape,” according to an NLRB release

Read More

Suppliers Offer Latest Technology for Grinding

Pallet Enterprise
August 31, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Leading suppliers explain the latest developments in wood grinder technology. This guide is designed to help anyone in the market for a wood grinder for pallets and related wood waste. Suppliers of grinding equipment are important partners to the pallet industry and its related industries, such as sawmills and lumber remanufacturing. Pallet manufacturers and pallet recyclers and related industries generate significant volumes of residual or waste wood material, and these businesses are faced with the challenge of disposing of the material or processing it into a marketable product that will help improve a company’s bottom line.

Read More

Forestry

In praise of urban forests

Michael Rosen, president of Tree Canada
Edmonton Journal
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Protect city’s mature trees, activists urge,” Aug. 19
I applaud the Glenora Conservation Association and the City of Edmonton in their ongoing attempts to protect and save Edmonton’s mature tree canopy. It is clear there is a desire to balance the needs of new homeowners, and protect the trees. As the president of Tree Canada, Canada’s only national, not-for-profit dedicated to greening communities, I work with communities, provinces and even the federal government to help create, grow and protect urban forests. Urban forests should be a priority at every level of government. Trees are crucial to human health, and to the health of our communities and planet.

Read More

Column: Research and development needed in rehabilitation of forest stands

Williams Lake Tribune
August 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the recent Logging and Sawmilling Journal, Tony Kryzanowski raises some interesting questions about research and development (R&D) of Canada’s forest industry. He starts by discussing the massive changes that have occurred in Canada’s forest industry over the past decade. He then asks some questions. Is industry getting the best bang for its buck? Have R&D groups swung the pendulum too far away from delivering on science and technology with tangible deliverables in favour of support for more academic, less immediately tangible research? After a number of other questions related to industry needs, he states that he doesn’t know the answer and he observes that many R&D groups seem to be struggling to find their footing and purpose and would appreciate some feedback from stakeholders like industry and government.

Read More

Kelowna-Lake Country Questionnaire | Norah Bowman NDP

KelownaNow
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KelownaNow interviewed candidates running in the 2015 Federal Election in the Kelowna-Lake Country riding… 5. How will your party support the provincial/national economy? Do you think the Canadian economy is slumping into a recession? …Our resources such as timber and oil should be processed in Canada, providing good jobs to Canadians. In BC alone, we have lost tens of thousands of jobs to raw log exports – we need good, stable, manufacturing jobs in lumber and oil in our own country… 8. Wildfires have been plaguing B.C. for the better part of 2015, pushing our expenditures into the hundreds of millions. How will you push for more federal involvement in terms of funding, resources, etc.? …9. By mid-August, most of Interior B.C. was under a Level 4 drought classification, how would you push/promote for better water conservation in British Columbia?

Read More

Fungus infects nearly 200 pine trees in Fredericton

CBC News
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

About 200 pine trees in the capital city have been infected with a damaging fungus and many will need to be removed, according to an official with Fredericton parks and trees department. The fungus, diplodia tip blight, can turn the needles on pine trees brown and make them appear dead. Diplodia kills new shoots, major branches and ultimately entire trees.  The parks and trees department says two- and three-needle species are susceptible, such as Red, Mugo and Austrian. Pines, which are 25 years or older, are more susceptible to the disease. 

Read More

Elm trees in Charlottetown inoculated against disease

CBC News
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new technique is being used by Charlottetown to help protect the city’s remaining American elms.  The trees are being inoculated against Dutch Elm disease. “This inoculation is just a little bit of a boost for the tree,” says Beth Hoar, the city’s parkland conservationist. “It’s not a guarantee, but I find it very exciting that we’re really have a chance to see if we can save some of those magnificent trees that we have in the city.”  The roots of the American elm are exposed, holes are drilled and tubes are inserted into the base of the tree. Water is mixed with the inoculate and then flushed through the whole tree. Before only small amounts of inoculate were injected into the tree. 

Read More

Thank you to groups whose lawsuits ‘allow for catastrophic fires’

The Argus Observer
August 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thank you Idaho Rivers United and organizations like yours for protecting our environment and our way of life. Thank you all for suing the Forest Service and the BLM and creating the conditions on our national forest and range lands that allow for catastrophic wildfires. Thank you for caring so much that policies like yours are destroying critical species habitat and millions of our wildlife perish every year because you think you know better how to manage these lands through litigation rather than the agencies and their trained personnel. Thank you for caring so much for our children. Your actions to prevent the Idaho Department of Lands from managing our timber has led to the reduction in funding Idaho’s school children by $1.6 million.

Read More

Comments sought on proposed timber project

Ravalli Republic
August 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bitterroot National Forest’s first vegetative management project that was proposed under new rules allowing an expedited process is ready for public review. The Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project is seeking to commercially harvest or thin about 2,300 acres of national forest lands between Lost Horse Creek and Roaring Lion Creek. The area was part of more than 5 million acres in the state nominated by Gov. Steve Bullock last year for priority restoration work under the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill contained a provision that allowed the governor to nominate national forest lands impacted by insects and disease for an expedited process for forest management, which includes logging.

Read More

Finally, a glimpse at true cost of stupidity

High Plains Journal
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Much of the West (excluding California) had big rains this spring, causing good forage growth. Vogler knew that would yield a huge amount of fuel on the ground and fire suppression efforts would not be increased. The result: big fires. The frustration in all of this is that our government treats it as though they like fires because then they can employ a lot of people in trying to contain them instead of simply managing the resources correctly and preventing them. Vogler was right.  Far too many self-proclaimed experts and government officials are trying
to plant seeds of fear about the carbon effects of grazing and logging.
Keep in mind that a nation that does not produce carbon does not
produce anything. Carbon emissions are a part of nature.

Read More

Your View: BLM forest plan not ridiculous — it’s the law

by Ron Sadler, retired Chief of Forestry Planning for the BLM
Coos Bay World
August 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Aug. 25 must have been designated “O&C Day” within the offices of The World. The edition on that day contained a front page article regarding the on-going planning process being carried out by the BLM leading to a new management plan for the O&C timber lands as well as a staff editorial which chastises the BLM for “failing to meet our economic need.” Both articles seem to have been driven by the vitriolic comments of Commissioner Bob Main that “I’m really ticked off … This is just really ridiculous.” What is apparently driving Main is his belief that the BLM has given “almost no consideration to the O&C Act of 1937” in its draft EIS for the new management plan.

Read More

Hebgen Lake logging project still on hold

Associated Press in The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge kept a timber sale near Hebgen Lake on hold Monday, ruling against two federal agencies’ bid to throw out an injunction filed by environmental groups. Siding with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled that the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t do enough to gauge a proposed logging project’s effects on grizzly bear and lynx, even after Morris sent them back to the drawing board in late 2014. Alliance’s executive director Mike Garrity hailed the decision in an email, saying that the Forest Service “tried to get away with breaking the law.”

Read More

Grizzly bears ensured safe passage on Glacier Park’s western edge

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
September 1, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Grizzly bears should have secure ways to move between state and federal forests on Glacier National Park’s western edge under an agreement reached in a 3-year-old legal fight. The Montana Land Board unanimously approved a settlement on Monday with three conservation groups that restores core grizzly security areas in the Coal Creek and Stillwater state forests north of Whitefish. …The agreement sets limits on human activity on about 22,000 acres spread across seven zones of the two state forests. It prohibits permanent roads, restricts logging to times when the bears are hibernating for the winter and limits helicopter flights over the zones.

Read More

Zinke calls for timber work

Daily Inter Lake
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The day after a fast-growing fire forced the evacuation of Essex residents from their homes, Montana’s lone congressman on Friday visited the fire team’s camp at the West Glacier koa. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., who is from Whitefish, connected Northwest Montana’s multiple wildfires to his bill that would aim to increase harvest and fuel treatment on federal forests. “This is completely avoidable,” said Zinke, gesturing to the thick haze that has enveloped the region for the past week. The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, of which he is a cosponsor, passed the House last month and Zinke said he has been pressuring the Senate to bring it up for consideration.

Read More

Editorial: Water everywhere and nowhere

Eastern Arizona Courier
August 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…We’d also like to see congressional action on forest thinning. Overgrown forests are a dual threat — too many trees mean less have access to the aquifer, which results in too many dead, dying and dry trees. And too many dry trees mean the risk of major wildfire is increased. The numbers of catastrophic fire in the West is on the rise. Through Aug. 3, there have been 36,754 wildfires in the United States, burning 5.9 million acres of land. In 2014, that number was 3.6 million acres burned. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over the past 20 years, wildland fires have accounted for $6 billion in insured private property losses, which does not include the tens of billions in losses to public lands and denied private property claims.

Read More

Forests must be managed

Letter by David Johnson
The Spokesman Review
August 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Apart from the radical lack of snowpack last winter and the lack of rain recently, (both likely symptoms of climate change), our forestlands have been mismanaged and neglected for decades. All forested land – private, state and federal – should be intensively managed to reduce fire danger, improve timber quality and conserve our aquifers. A forest is the same as a garden; it needs to be weeded and thinned to be productive and attractive. Instead, much of it has been allowed to grow wild, with the resultant overcrowding and masses of dead and undesirable fuel just waiting for a spark. The problem is that such fine-tuned care is costly and labor intensive with little immediate payoff.

Read More

Natural Resource Working Group joins 4FRI

White Mountain Independent
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — The Four Forests Restoration Initiative, better known as 4FRI, just got a whole lot bigger with the signing of the 4FRI Charter by members of the Natural Resource Working Group. The official signing took place at the NRWG meeting on Aug. 18 at the Navajo County Show Low Complex. NRWG started initially in 1975 and has evolved over the years to include such groups as the counties of Apache and Navajo, Eastern Arizona Counties Organization, Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State Land Department, Arizona Forester, Nature Conservancy and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, among many others. (A future article will cover the history of NRWG).

Read More

LePage tells Obama to steer clear of national park debate

Bangor Daily News
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has sent letters to President Barack Obama and Maine’s congressional delegation to express opposition to as-yet unreleased proposals that would apply national monument protections to federal land in the Gulf of Maine and land eyed for a national park in the Millinocket area. …“I am hearing more and more that national park proponents are considering seeking a national monument designation after their proposal was defeated at the polls in Medway and East Millinocket,” wrote LePage in an Aug. 28 letter to Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree. “A national monument designation makes Maine timber off limits to the forest products industry.”

Read More

Tree felling in Chawton Park to combat disease

UK Forestry Commission
September 1, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Larch trees in Chawton Park Wood, near Four Marks, will be felled during September to help control an outbreak of a tree disease. The trees are dying of ramorum disease, caused by a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora ramorum, and cutting them down is the only way to limit its spread to other trees and plants. Bruce Rothnie, the Commission’s South England District manager, said: “Ramorum disease is very destructive to many species of trees and other plants, so we have a legal obligation and a duty to our neighbours to remove the infected trees as quickly as possible to protect other trees and plants.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Lumber company will use excess heat from LFG facility

Renewable Energy from Waste
August 31, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Excess heat from Waste Management’s landfill-gas-to-energy facility in Wampsville, New York, will be used by Johnson Brothers Lumber Companies (JBL), based in Cazenovia, New York, to dry the company’s lumber. The LFGTE facility is part of a public-private partnership between Waste Management and Madison County, New York’s Department of Solid Waste and Sanitation. The facility became operational in 2009 and is generating 1.4 megawatts of electricity. The facility also produces thermal energy to heat three on-site buildings, from methane gas from the county’s landfill. 

Read More

U.S. Wood Pellets To Fuel British Subsized Power Plant

Woodworking Network
August 31, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON – Macquarie Capital and Macquarie’s Commodities and Financial Markets group say they signed an agreement to support MGT Power Limited in the financing of the 299 megawatt renewable energy plant. To be located in Teeside, UK, the project has received a UK Government-supported Contract for Difference financial aid. Biomass is seen as a reliable source of large-scale renewable energy for Britain, needed to supplement intermittent renewable generation (such as wind and solar) and to help the UK meet its legislated renewable energy targets.

Read More

Forest Fires

Philippine bomber in WWII colours

Alberni Valley Times
August 30, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The twin Mars bombers don’t look quite the same anymore. Visitors and residents on Sproat Lake this week will have a chance to see the Philippine Mars bomber out on the water in its original colours. Both Martin Mars water bombers will be parked at the Coulson Flying Tankers base on Sproat Lake at the end of this week, but pilots will need to taxi the Philippine out on the water first in preparation for its flight south of the border in the spring as part of a transfer to the U.S. National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. The mighty Philippine won’t be airborne yet, but it will be moved out in front of the Hawaii Mars as the twin flying tankers are parked on land at the bomber base, said Wayne Coulson, CEO of the Coulson Group, which owns and operates the Martin Mars aircraft.

Read More

Sask. sees $292 M deficit triggered by forest fires, low oil

CKOM.com
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest fires and the declining price of oil have taken a big bite out of Saskatchewan’s finances. The books on the first quarter of the 2015-2016 fiscal year were opened up Monday and they show the province currently has a projected deficit of $292 million. The spring budget predicted a surplus of $107 million. “While it’s concerning, obviously, it is manageable,” stated Finance Minister Kevin Doherty. …The province is also on track to spend roughly $100 million more on
wildfires than what had been budgeted. Doherty said that figure includes
fighting the fires and also evacuating people from their homes while
protecting those structures.

Read More

Forest firefighting not just about strength, but smarts

Nanaimo Daily News
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The picture of a sweaty, exhausted firefighter silhouetted against an orange blaze has become an iconic image in this summer of bone-dry conditions and record-high heat. The season is not yet over, and already more than 1,500 fires have raged across the province, with about 300,000 hectares burned. On Aug. 18, the provincial government pegged the cost of fighting B.C. wildfires at $200 million and B.C. Premier Christy Clark warned that amount could double by the end of the season. Though the images of hard-working men and women fighting fires in some of the province’s most remote regions offer an accurate depiction, they don’t tell the whole story of the job, says Xenius Damborg.

Read More

National Forests on the brink

by Marshall Matz, specializes in agriculture issues at OFW Law and Bill Imbergamo, Executive Director of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition.
Agri Pulse
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

It’s another hot, dry summer, and another several million acres of public forests are going up in flames. As the end of August approaches, over 7 million acres have burned – including almost a million acres of National Forests, and those losses should concern all Americans. You can see a map of the current large fires at this link. …In short, any legislation to address the fire funding crisis also has to address the forest management crisis. There is a hard core of activists who will use every weapon at hand to delay and disrupt needed management, and Congress needs to send an unmistakable message: management of our forests can’t wait. National Forests are not National Parks. They have different statutory purposes and the Congress should not allow the statutes to be amended through litigation.

Read More

Pay the piper: Oregon pursues damages from fire starters

Fire starters face big expenses in cases of negligence or crime
The Mail Tribune
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Forestry officials say a potential multi-million dollar claim against a Douglas County resident believed to have accidentally started the Stouts Creek fire is still under consideration. While no one expects to collect anything close to the cost of the fire — currently estimated at more than $36 million — the state will pursue damages in cases involving negligence or criminal conduct. Kyle Reed, a fire prevention specialist for the Douglas Forest Protective Association, says fire officials were able to determine the suspected fire starter, who they have declined to identify, was using a lawnmower in violation of fire season equipment restrictions when the fire began July 30.

Read More

Let’s not fiddle while Montana burns

by U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke
Great Falls Tribune
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

There are 26 wildfires in Montana burning thousands of acres of our national parks, forests and grasslands. This is in part because of the dry and hot weather we’ve had, but even more so due to decades of poor management of our forests. The evidence? One need look no farther than one of the first fires of the season, the Glacier Rim Fire, which quickly burned 100 acres of dead timber and thick regrowth brush in the same area of the 2003 Roberts fire. This is not a new problem. Montana has been a tinderbox for a long time. Rather than sit idly by as our forests go up in smoke, I took action. Earlier this summer, I co-authored the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 to help end the catastrophic wildfires that plague Montana and other Western states.

Read More

Forest fire season winding down in B.C.

by Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in Williams Lake Tribune
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Campfire bans have been lifted for most of B.C. heading into the Labour Day weekend, and rain in most areas of the province has helped crews make progress on most of the 176 fires burning in B.C. as of Monday. …Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for the B.C. Wildfire Service, cautioned that areas of high and extreme fire danger remain in the Chilcotin, South Thompson River valley and the southern part of the Prince George fire centre. But continued cool weather and showers this week offer some relief for communities and firefighters.

Read More

Rebuilding A Forest After The Burn (audio)

Jefferson Public Radio
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Canyon Creek Complex has left big swaths of Malheur National Forest with charcoal stumps and ashen hillsides. When the first big rain of the year comes through, much of that ash will end up clogging streams and culverts if measures are not taken now to shore up vulnerable hillsides. So even as the fires are still burning, the Forest Service is already coming up with a plan for restoring the burned area.

Read More

Wildfires spark debate

Lawmakers say changes needed; Forest Service says it’s doing its best with available funds
CDA Press
August 30, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Brad Corkill is fuming over the wildfires that have devastated the Northwest this summer. “In my opinion, these fires are completely avoidable,” said Corkill, owner of Whiteman Lumber Co. in Cataldo and an Idaho Fish and Game commissioner. “The Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe national forests have not had a major fire since the early 30s. These forests were, until 1993, two of the most heavily managed in the entire U.S. Forest Service system. They were logged in a responsible, professional manner.” Corkill is a 40-year veteran of the timber industry, including 37 of those years in North Idaho. He believes changes in forest management over the past 20 years have led to wildfires raging out of control this summer.

Read More

Fire Burning Near Roosevelt

Grows to 800 acres despite air assault
Payson Roundup
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Lightning sparked a brushfire on August 27 afternoon two miles west of Roosevelt Lake on the slope of Peters Mountain. By Monday afternoon, it had grown to 800 acres. Forest Service crews moved immediately to put it out, dispatching a Very Large Airtanker (VLAT) to make retardant drops and assist firefighters on the ground with establishing containment lines. Three engines, two hand crews and one air attack plane labored to rough out a line, although that had zero percent containment on Monday.

Read More

Rain and rising humidity help firefighters in West

Peninsula Daily News
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE — Rain and cooler temperatures Monday helped firefighters battling a series of big blazes in north-central Washington and other states in the West. In Washington, the North Star Complex of wildfires stood at 313 square miles and was about 22 percent contained. A small amount of rain that fell Sunday didn’t even reach the floor of the burning forests, but raised humidity levels, which helped firefighters, fire spokesman Donnie Davis said. Temperatures in the 50s and 60s on Monday morning inhibited growth of the fire, which was burning east of Omak and north of Nespelem, Davis said.

Read More

Highway 20 reopens as North Cascades wildfire danger eases

Associated Press in Longview Daily News
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Highway 20 through the North Cascades National Park has reopened after being closed more than a week due to wildfires. The Bellingham Herald reports that the highway opened around noon Sunday after rainfall over the weekend reduced the fires’ threat. Several fires were sparked by lightening in early August in timber and underbrush in the area. The North Cascades National Park visitor center was also scheduled to open Sunday, as well as several campgrounds in the area.

Read More

Fish Creek fire calms after weekend rampage; residents report 100-foot flames

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
September 1, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

TARKIO – When Jason Cataldo saw the 100-foot-long flame front coming over the ridge toward the Hole in the Wall Lodge last Friday, he prepared for the worst. “We knew if the wind blew right, it would come right over the top of us, and that’s what it did,” the lodge manager and outfitter said on Monday. “It burned right to the creek, even burned a little island in the creek. Clearwater Crossing took the brunt of it, just match-sticked it. Of the Forest Service buildings there, the tack shed might have survived. The cookhouse and some of the storage sheds, all there is left is metal and bed frames and cinder-block chimneys.

Read More

Warning over busy bushfire season across southern WA as forecast identifies higher risk

ABC News, Australia
September 1, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Residents across much of the southern half of Western Australia are being urged to prepare for a tough bushfire season, with an increased fire risk being predicted. The Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook has predicted the state’s South West is at a higher risk this year due to a lack of rainfall, soil dryness and high fuel loads. WA’s South East, Murchison, Goldfields and Desert areas have also been recognised as being at risk for above normal fire activity due to higher fuel loads. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said the outlook highlighted the bushfire danger facing WA.

Read More

General

Norske Skog Tasman takes top honours

September 1, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

Since 2013 Norske Skog Tasman has commissioned a 20.5 MW geothermal power plant, developed a production optimisation model and become the electricity market’s first ‘dispatchable demand’ participant. Along with a host of other, smaller initiatives, the company’s relentless pursuit of energy generation and efficiency were enough for it to win the Element-sponsored Large Energy User Initiative of the Year at this month’s Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards. The win was made all the sweeter given the company produces the paper upon which Element is printed.

Read More