Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 11, 2016

Special Feature

Innovation, New Products, Future Opportunities

Tree Frog News
April 10, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ken Shields, CEO of Conifex Timber opened the session with commentary on how his firm became a next generation forest company by building a biomass power plant next door to his lumber mill. Notable comments by Ken is that the power plant provides stable revenues with no “lumber price cycles” and with opportunities in bio-transportation fuels and bio-based chemicals/materials, the future “is indeed bright”. Glenn Mason, ADM Natural Resources Canada, provided some history on the sector (the good and bad times) but also why he believes its time to reposition it as a climate change solution provider, a clean-tech leader and a focal point to engage indigenous Canadians. Government can’t do it alone and thus Glenn emphasized the need for industry to be involved, to embrace change and to seek new partnerships. The panel was moderated by Lynn Embury-Williams of BC Wood WORKS!

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CEO Panel

Tree Frog News
April 10, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Three BC Forest Sector CEOs were asked to comment on a range of topics. Ron Gorman of Gorman Bros noted that diversity in company size and product focus was an asset to the province and there were far more similarities than differences in the concerns companies face. Issues noted include the SLA and retaining industry’s social licence to operate. Ted Seraphim of West Fraser emphasized his priorities as safety for their employees, access to high quality, affordable fibre and achieving their potential as a company. Duncan Davies of Interfor updated the group on the SLA noting that most of the exchanges to date have been “posturing” rather than “negotiations” with the US industry saying it wants a quota system while BC/Canada are seeking managed trade. Frustrating is the fact that US consumer opinion has no role in US trade policy and the facts don’t matter anyway, as their laws are designed to protect their trade interests. The panel was moderated by Jess Ketchum who noted that all three of the companies represented still had original family members active in their operations.

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Premier Christie Clark Provides Keynote Presentation

Tree Frog News
April 10, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Capping the high powered and informative list of presenters was BC Premier Christie Clarke. And she didn’t disappoint. The Premier summarized the recent investments her government has made in support of forests and forestry ($85 million in the Forest Enhancement Society, $10 million for the Forests For Tomorrow Program and $75 million for the new Rural Dividend Program) as well as their efforts to raise the profile federally of the importance of securing a Softwood Lumber Agreement (but not unless its a good agreement for BC) and their work on a competitiveness strategy for the sector. The Q&A session proved most interesting with questions related to First Nations and access to fibre (more First Nation partnerships required), the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendation to increase carbon taxes (not a given), the loss of forest land in the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement (its a win-win for all interests), whether they should stop log exports (nope as it would hurt industry and rural communities) and the importance of upgrading our workforce skills (highly important but we need to rethink how we educate our youth with a greater focus on the trades). 

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Business & Politics

How Christy Clark Talks to Kids about Taxes

‘If we don’t cut down trees in BC, we have to take more money from your mom and dad.’
The Tyee
April 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

By her own account, Premier Christy Clark tells children that if it weren’t for logging British Columbia’s forests, their parents would face higher taxes and require government handouts. But an observer says Clark does a disservice to children when she oversimplifies the choices governments make. “There’s always one child, no matter where I talk to kids from in the province, who when I ask them what they’d like to do, what their wish would be if they could be Premier, is they say, ‘We should stop cutting down trees,'” Clark said in an April 8 speech to the Council of Forest Industries convention in Kelowna. “I’m glad they say it, because it’s a chance for education,” Clark said. “I get a chance to say to them, ‘You know, if we don’t cut down trees in British Columbia, we have to take more money from your mom and dad.'”

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B.C. invests $8 million to advance wood and grow global markets

Government of British Columbia
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Government of British Columbia announced today that it is investing $8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood, help advance wood building systems and products, and to expand global markets for B.C. wood products. Premier Christy Clark made the announcement while attending the Council of Forest Industries annual convention in Kelowna. “B.C.’s vibrant and globally competitive forest industry relies upon international markets for wood products. By advancing market development efforts we are helping to generate economic activity across the province, strengthening B.C. communities and creating and sustaining jobs,” said Premier Clark.

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Premier pledges to promote wood COFI2016

Kelowna Daily Courier
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government will invest $8 million to promote B.C. wood, Premier Christy Clark announced at a forest industry convention in Kelowna on Friday. Forestry is the lifeblood of B.C., providing thousands of jobs across the province, Clark told the Council of Forest Industries convention. “Our forest industry is part of what makes British Columbia not just one of the most economically stable places, but most environmentally stable places in the world,” said Clark. A main priority remains ensuring a new softwood lumber deal is made with the U.S., said Clark. “We provide 50 per cent or more of softwood that Canada exports around the world, and we need to make sure that our softwood lumber interests are protected,” she said.  “It means that absolutely under no circumstances will we accept an agreement that includes quotas.” …Clark also said the province has no intention of eliminating raw-log exports. “The raw-log industry is vital,” she said.

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Premier bearing gifts

Castanet Kelowna
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s just good manners to bring a gift when you are invited to someone’s house. Premier Christy Clark minded her manners when she spoke Friday, at the conclusion of the Council of Forest Industries Convention in Kelowna. Clark announced the province will be investing $8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood, help advance wood building systems and products, and to expand global markets for B.C. wood products. “Some of that is going to Canada Wood Group to continue expanding the use of wood in China, Korea and Japan,” said the premier. “Some of that will go to COFI to support them in the same markets and, as you probably know, we are investing $5 million in opening door for our wood products in a brand new market, in India.”

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B.C. Hydro spent $17.5 million to not buy power

Vancouver Sun
April 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It cost B.C. Hydro $17.5 million last year to ask eight Independent Power Producers of biomass energy to turn off production because their power was not needed, a sizeable figure that B.C.’s energy minister said actually resulted in millions of dollars in savings for ratepayers. During estimate debates this week, Bill Bennett, the minister of energy and mines, said it would have cost B.C. Hydro about $26 million to buy the unneeded power from the biomass projects, meaning, he claimed, ratepayers realized savings of about $8.6 million. Hydro critic Adrian Dix, however, framed the accounting differently, suggesting during the estimates debates that Hydro actually paid millions in contract penalties to the IPPs, which are all connected to pulp mills, to not produce electricity at a time when overall rates are going up… “B.C. Hydro is paying $17.5 million not to take power.”

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Gary Lamphier: Alberta’s forest products sector on an upswing

Edmonton Journal
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s $4-billion forest products sector enjoyed solid growth in 2015, offering a bit of relief to struggling resource towns that have been slammed by the downturn in the oil patch. The Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA), which represents most of the province’s key industry players, says its members generated revenues last year of more than $3 billion year. That was up more than $150 million or 5.2 per cent from the $2.89 billion in revenues generated in 2014. The uptick was led by Alberta’s pulp and paper mills — located in resource towns like Whitecourt, Peace River, Boyle and Hinton — which racked up $1.4 billion in revenues in 2015. That’s a gain of $191 million or 15.7 per cent over the previous year, reflecting increased output and stronger prices.

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After fire, Weyerhaeuser hopes to reopen plant in west Eugene soon

Register Guard
April 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The cause of a fire late Saturday night at the Weyerhaeuser plant on North Bertelsen Road in west Eugene remains under investigation, Eugene Springfield Battalion Chief Jeff Kronser said Sunday. A total of 30 firefighters and 10 fire apparatus responded to the scene shortly after the call was received at 10:39 p.m., Kronser said. The first company was able to see fire and smoke from the roof area and so called in a second alarm, Kronser said. However, the fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes and the back-up crew returned to its station without engaging the fire, ­Kronser said.

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Weyerhaeuser Names Jim Kilberg Senior Vice President, Real Estate, Energy, and Natural Resources

CCFGroup
April 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

FEDERAL WAY, Wash., — Weyerhaeuser Company today announced the appointment of Jim Kilberg as senior vice president, Real Estate, Energy and Natural Resources, effective April 11, 2016. He will become part of the company’s senior management team and report to Doyle Simons, president and chief executive officer. Kilberg succeeds Tom Lindquist, who has decided to leave the company mid-year to pursue new business ventures.  “Jim is a proven, dynamic leader with extensive real estate expertise and tremendous credibility within the company and industry,” Simons said. “I have full confidence that under Jim’s leadership, our Real Estate, Energy and Natural Resources team will achieve our goal of delivering the most value from each of our 13 million acres of timberland.”  Jim Kilberg is an experienced forest industry and real estate executive who served as senior vice president of the Real Estate, Energy and Natural Resources business of Plum Creek since 2003. 

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Fire Crews Respond to Fire at Weyerhaeuser Plant

KEZI.com
April 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Ore. — Local firefighters were prepared with more crews after a mill fire broke out in West Eugene. Fire officials say they had nine fire apparatus and twenty seven fire fighters on the scene at the Weyerhaeuser plant on Saturday night. Fire crews responded at 10:40 p.m. to the mill on the 100 block of North Bertelson Road in West Eugene. Officials said the fire started inside one of the buildings at the Mill. Officials said crews worked quickly and put out the fire in twenty minutes. Officials said, because the fire was at a lumber mill, they brought in more crews.

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A Look at Lumber Prices and a Timber ETF

ETF Trends
April 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Guggenheim Timber ETF, which features exposure to global companies that own or lease forested land and harvest the timber for commercial use and sale of wood-based products, is off 6.5% year-to-date. If some predictions about lumber price declines are accurate, CUT could be in for some more trouble. Lumber prices have been strong to this point in 2016 and although the commodity is overlooked relative to gold or oil, it is viewed by some savvy market veterans as an accurate gauge risk appetite and sentiment. The problem for CUT and timber stocks is that lumber prices could be turning lower.

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World’s largest single-line softwood pulp mill progresses

FINLAND: Facility will use gasification technology and export about a terawatt-hour of electricity per year
Ends Waste and Bioenergy Magazine
April 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Fnnpulp has submitted documentation for an environmental and water permit for a €1.4bn bioproduction mill, which will produce a large amount of electricity as well as pulp. According to a statement, released on 7 April, the permit is for the vast under-development complex in Sorsasalo, Kuopio. As well as covering activities and emissions during operation, the permit application also covers water collection and discharge… The site would be world’s largest single-line softwood pulp mill, processing about 2.9 million tonnes of wood per year into 1.2 million tonnes of pulp for the tissue and packaging board industries, alongside 60,000 tonnes of tall oil.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UVic scientists developing smart cement that heals, seals cracks

Times Colonist
April 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Scientists at the University of Victoria are working to cement their lead in making so-called smart concrete that heals and seals cracks, greatly reducing potential infrastructure disasters and extending lifespans of buildings and structures. Civil Engineering Prof. Rishi Gupta says his department is conducting research to develop material combinations that produce long-lasting, crack-free concrete and mixtures that can heal cracks… “In my world we talk about concrete, and concrete is the world’s most used construction material,” he said at a recent display of his research at the British Columbia’s legislature… “We are working with fibres that actually go into concrete,” he said. “B.C. is one of the leaders in fibre-reinforced concrete.” Gupta said his department is testing the healing and sealing abilities of concrete as varying amounts of fibres are added to the mixture such as industrial waste like fly ash and wood cellulose.

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West End condo tower facade designed to be ‘ephemeral’

Vancouver Sun
April 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Reflective shingles on the facade of a proposed new residential tower on the West Georgia corridor are intended to make the building as ephemeral as possible, according to the Japanese architect who designed the building. …The building’s balconies will be made of wood. Kuma said he likes to use wood because of its warmth as a material. Using it on balconies will give “each unit the feeling of being close to the ground, and to nature.” …“The materiality — wood balconies and ephemeral facade — responds to the abundance of nature and the beautiful characteristics of natural light in Vancouver.” Wood and greenery are also major elements in Kuma’s design of Tokyo Stadium. …“There is also an important historical reference in the tradition of wood structures — the oldest wood structures in the world are in Japan. Given this context, I would like the stadium to relate to both the environmental and psychological values of the country.”

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Business gutted by fire in downtown Ayr

CTV News Kitchener
April 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Downtown Ayr was closed off on Saturday night, after a fire broke out at a business near the river. Fire crews were unable to enter Riverbank Interiors and had to attack the flames through broken windows. The call came in around 8:30 p.m., and officials say there were no injuries and no one was in the building… The building was built in 1904 and has been used to house council chambers, served as a fire hall and at one time a jail complete with prison cells. “With the heavy timber construction that exists, it doesn’t burn through near as quick and therefore you don’t get the same collapse as we do in the modern day construction,” said Shantz.

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A Win for Forest Conservation: US Green Building Council to recognize ATFS

Huffington Post
April 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

This week, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced it is encouraging more responsibly sourced building materials by giving credit for wood from American Tree Farm System (ATFS) certified forests, and other credible forest certification systems such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), through a new path in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. This is a milestone victory for forest conservation and family forest owners across the country, especially Tree Farmers, certified through ATFS. While this new addition to LEED may sound small, it’s actually huge.

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LEED Pilots Legal Wood, Expansion of Certified Wood

By Paula Melton
Building Green
April 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

A pilot credit calls attention to illegal logging while also opening LEED to SFI and other certifications. Many new buildings—including, presumably, many LEED buildings—contain illegally harvested wood. LEED has no requirement for project teams to vet non-certified timber sources when specifying wood products. A new alternative compliance path (ACP), now available throughout the LEED rating systems as a pilot credit, aims to address the issue of sourcing illegal wood. The credit, Legal Wood, encourages market testing and feedback that may be used to develop and refine a future LEED prerequisite prohibiting illegal wood and fiber. It ought to be a no-brainer. But there’s a catch, and it’s a controversial one, because of parts of the credit language that go beyond the requirement of legality…

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US Green Building Council (USGBC) Announces LEED Recognition for Certified Wood

Softwood Lumber Board
April 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Yesterday the US Green Building council (USGBC) announced a new Alternative Compliance Pathway credit for recognition of responsible, legal sourcing of wood. Wood certified under programs identified through ASTM D7612-10 (including SFI, ATFS, CSA, and PEFC) will be compliant for credit in both LEED v4 and the older LEED 2009. The Softwood Lumber Board congratulates USGBC on this move and its recognition of a more inclusive set of certification systems. This is an important step forward in increasing the use of softwood lumber products in sustainable and economically viable non-residential construction.

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Timber skyscraper plans considered by London

Engineering and Technology Magazine
April 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

London’s first timber skyscraper could become a reality in the near future after researchers presented the Mayor of London Boris Johnson with conceptual plans for an 80-storey, 300m-high wooden building integrated within the Barbican… The use of timber as a structural material in tall buildings is an area of emerging interest for its variety of potential benefits; the most obvious being that it is a renewable resource, unlike prevailing construction methods which use concrete and steel. The research is also investigating other potential benefits, such as reduced costs and improved construction timescales, increased fire resistance and significant reduction in the overall weight of buildings. Dr Michael Ramage, director of Cambridge’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation…“If London is going to survive it needs to increasingly densify. One way is taller buildings. We believe people have a greater affinity for taller buildings in natural materials rather than steel and concrete towers.

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Architects propose world’s tallest wooden tower in London

Construction Drive
April 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The historic Barbican housing estate in London could soon see the addition of a 984-foot-tall wooden skyscraper, according to Dezeen. London-based PLP Architecture and a team from the University of Cambridge have designed and engineered the 1-million-square-foot structure with 1,000 residential units to meet all standard fire regulations. If the 80-story tower is approved and built, it would be London’s second tallest building and the world’s tallest wooden tower. Architects and researchers submitted their proposal to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

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Japan pins tech hopes on game-changing nanofiber

Japan Times
April 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Carbon fiber may often be dubbed the next-generation material, but it’s another product — cellulose nanofiber — that is increasingly attracting attention among manufacturers. A low-weight, high-strength material, cellulose nanofiber has potential use in a wide range of products, including auto parts, food packaging, clothing, cosmetics and inks. Recognizing this, and in light of the nation’s existing forest farming industry, the government is promoting the material whose market is expected to reach ¥1 trillion annually in Japan by 2030. So what is cellulose nanofiber? A wood-derived fiber, it is essentially made by pulping wood fibers to a nano level of several hundredths of a micron and smaller, or about 10,000 times thinner than human hair.

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Forestry

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, VIU team up for fire prevention

CHEK NEWS
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“You can see where they’ve trimmed the branches on the tree, they’ve gone quite high here” said Nanaimo Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Brad Wood. He was highlighting the work done by Forestry Students at Vancouver Island University as they cleared brush around a cabin on campus. Initially it can be a lot of work but clearing combustibles around the structure and removing low hanging branches on nearby trees can save your home or business during fire season. “Normally these branches would be hanging down on to the forest floor here so in the event of a fire that fire would come up, get into these branches, go straight up into the tree canopy and continue on” added Wood.

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Monique Keiran: Spreading fungus threatens B.C.’s bats

Times Colonist
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Scientists have since confirmed that the bat, of the common species known as the little brown bat or Myotis lucifugus, had suffered from an advanced case of white-nose syndrome. The fungus-caused disease has decimated bat species across northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada… The implications for B.C.’s forests, gardens, farms, vineyards and orchards are enormous. A recent U.S. study projects bat losses due to white-nose syndrome could cost the agricultural industry up to $53 billion. The costs will come from crops lost to feeding insects and from additional costs to control insects chemically. A B.C. study documented that bats can help dampen forest-pest outbreaks. The researcher estimated that, during an outbreak of western spruce budworm in the south–central Interior in the 2000s, bats ate about 140,000 moths per 10 square kilometres each growing season, as well as consumed large quantities of budworm caterpillars. 

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Grappling with pest problems, forestry sector seeks new markets

‘Like many businesses, you’re looking to diversify markets for your products,’ says association president
CBC News
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

The mountain pine beetle has had a huge impact on B.C.’s forest industry, but it’s not the only issue facing the industry… The conference winds up today, but before the conference began, Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries spoke with Radio West host Audrey McKinnon. What kind of shape is the forest industry in since the mountain pine beetle epidemic? Certainly the mountain pine beetle epidemic has had an impact. Over the last couple of years, we had an uptick in our annual allowable cut in order to move some of that beetle-infested wood out. We are now coming back down to normal levels of harvest, so that is an adjustment for the industry and communities to go through.

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Minister meets with forestry players at Wooddale

The Telegram
April 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There wasn’t necessarily a lot new in what Forestry and Agrifoods Agency Minister Chris Mitchelmore heard at an industry engagement event in Wooddale last week, but there is one matter he intends to make an immediate priority. The minister said he heard lots about the limiting nature of the current Crown permit procedure. It guarantees access to timber for just one year. He was previously aware of the issue. …“If we could, it would create an opportunity for companies that are out there that are in the harvesting business to look at a more long-term view, to look at financing, making investments to be more modern, and that would be a positive step for the industry as a whole.” …“Forestry is a renewable resource and it’s going to be around for a long time and I’ve been very passionate about it since I’ve been MHA,” he said.

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Aerial Pesticide Spraying To Kill Gypsy Moths In Portland, Vancouver

Oregon Public Broadcasting
April 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Agriculture plans to spray an organic insecticide across thousands of acres of North Portland and Vancouver, Washington, over the next month to eradicate invasive gypsy moths. The state found three Asian gypsy moths and two European gypsy moths in traps last year in North Portland and across the Columbia River in Vancouver. According to ODA spokesman Bruce Pokarney, the moths pose serious risks to trees and forests, and so far the state has managed to prevent them from taking hold. “It’s a tremendous defoliator,” he said. “In the caterpillar stage, the moth eats leaves right off the trees. The Asian variety is of more concern to us because it has a wider appetite. It actually eats coniferous trees. 

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The telltale selfie that nailed the man responsible for California’s epic King fire

Washington Post
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In 2014, California was burning… Among the most devastating blazes was the King fire in El Dorado County, which ignited on Sept. 13, 2014 and raged on for 27 days. Behind the destruction was a single 37-year-old man, Wayne Allen Huntsman, who pleaded guilty to setting the King fire last Friday. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $60 million in restitution to victims…. In all, the fire covered 97,000 acres, and was at times larger in size than cities like Atlanta, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Portland. By the end, it had destroyed a dozen homes and countless out-buildings… Huntsman played a selfie video that showed himself standing in a clearing in the forest with fires distantly burning on either side of him. “I got fire all around me,” Huntsman said in the recording. “I got fire right there,” he pointed and moved the camera in a circle, “Look at me, babe. I got fire right there.”

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Relocation of wildfire aircraft draws criticism

Associated Press in Billings Gazette
April 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GREAT FALLS — The U.S. Air Force is being criticized for a proposal to relocate military air tanker equipment used to fight wildfires to Nevada instead of Montana after officials from Montana said the planes and the support teams in Montana would be closer to bigger fires in several Western states. Montana Sen. Sen. Steve Daines sent a letter to the Air Force asking why Nevada was chosen for the Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems, which includes equipment that can be installed in C-130 cargo plans to drop retardant on wildfires. The system can be used by governors where the Air National Guard flight crews operate it, including Wyoming. Colorado uses an Air Force Reserve Command unit. The Department of Defense provides the aircraft.

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Lolo Forest plans burns around Missoula Valley

The Missourian
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Missoula air might get smoky on Monday if weather conditions permit some prescribed burning on hillsides around the valley. The Lolo National Forest plans to burn undergrowth in the Blue Mountain Recreation Area and the Butler Creek drainage as soon as fuel and air quality conditions allow, according to forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig. The Blue Mountain Unit 24 burn should cover about 80 acres and is next to a similar area burned last spring. Its goal is to promote Ponderosa pine regeneration and improve forest floor vegetation while reducing dead fuel concentrations. The Butler Creek burn near Snowbowl Road is intended to kill up to 75 percent of the shrubs in the area and reduce ground fuels with low-intensity fire.

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Nebraska Forest Service acquires advanced wildland fire simulator

Wildfire Today
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We have written before about the Simtable that can project a spreading fire and an aerial photo onto a sand table that has been sculpted to resemble the topography for that area. It is an excellent training tool to simulate a potential fire or an actual on-going fire… NFS Fire Management Specialist Seth Peterson says the simulation gives fire officials advance knowledge of what they would need to do if a fire breaks out in a certain area. It could also make a big impact during a real wildfire event. A smartphone app for firefighters in the field can add valuable, on-site information to the simulator to make it react in real time. “That iphone will know where he is on the map, and the IC (Incident Commander) will be able to see exactly where that firefighter is on the line. The firefighter can then update off his phone and basically feed the IC all the information he needs to be making all the decisions, without even being on the fire,” says Peterson.

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Guest Opinion: Proposed road closures threaten access to public lands

By Gary Reed, Phoenix
Mail Tribune
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…In June 2000, after the environmentalists had totally devastated the logging industry with the spotted owl and other environmental concerns, the Clinton administration decided to create the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which now totals 62,000 acres. As a point of comparison, the average annual Oregon harvest of timber from World War II through 1989 was 7 billion to 9 billion board feet, which sent $1.5 billion of O&C money to local counties and schools. In 2013 only 4.2 million board feet were harvested, and today less than $40 million is being used as a Band-Aid through Congress. The BLM now carries an inflated number of employees, expenditures have skyrocketed and logging has decreased. …History proves that where timber is not logged, fires will eventually arrive. …Closing any roads and denying the access of any part of the forest is not acceptable.

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Merle Haggard and the Politics of Salmon

San Diego Free Press
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

During the battle to save the pristine salmon and steelhead habitat of Headwaters Forest in 1998, I got a phone call one morning from Mike Sherwood, then the California Director of the Sierra Club. He told me that country legend Merle Haggard (who passed away on his birthday, April 6, this week) and actor Woody Harrelson would be appearing at the State Capitol for a noontime rally… Haggard explained to me that he was there to stop the logging of redwood and Douglas-fir forests on the North Coast by Pacific Lumber Company, the once sustainably run timber company that had been bought by the corporate giant Maxxam in a hostile take-over. Haggard… was there to urge the Legislature to not fund the Headwaters Forest deal between the federal government and Pacific Lumber unless measures protecting forest watersheds were adopted. He also recommended the removal of state and federal officials responsible for the destruction of forest habitat.

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Mapping the world’s biomass to better tackle deforestation

By combining satellite with on-the-ground data, new map offers more accurate biomass information
CIFOR Forest News
April 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

One of the early successes in efforts to combat global warming has been a renewed push to tackle deforestation in some of the world’s last remaining tropical rainforests. But, the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program – a UN effort to improve forest management in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – has suffered from a lack of dependable data to assist policy makers in quantifying how much biomass is present in the forests of Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. There are several data sets available for countries looking to quantify their biomass and, in doing so, establish a baseline that would allow them to demonstrate they are making progress in reducing deforestation. However, because these maps depend heavily on satellite data, they have often been criticized as inadequate.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Nova Scotia Power biomass plant will no longer run 24/7

Ecology Action Centre calls the rule change ‘a great first step’ to eliminating biomass
CBC News
April 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia Power no longer must run its Cape Breton biomass plant around the clock to produce electricity — which may mean savings for customers. In documents filed Friday with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, the power company estimated it could save $9 million in 2017 by running its Point Tupper facility on an as-needed basis.  Burning wood chips, bark and sawdust to produce electricity costs more than using coal, oil or natural gas, but a provincial law designated the biomass plant a “must run” facility. That meant the utility had to run the plant 24/7. …Ray Plourde [Ecology Action Centre] “It’s horribly inefficient and it probably causes as much greenhouse gases as coal. Today the government has made a great first step in addressing the issue of the use of forest biomass for terribly inefficient electricity generation.”

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New biomass regulations in NS will reduce trees being cut

CTV News
April 9, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

New rules around biomass production in Nova Scotia will reduce the number of trees being cut down in the province for a plant in Port Hawkesbury. When it opened in 2013, the plant was billed as a renewable energy facility that would help the province meet clean energy targets. Now government is scrapping regulations requiring the plant to run at full capacity. “Which is going to significantly reduce the amount of primary forest products being used at that facility,” said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Michel Samson. According to Nova Scotia Power, the plant uses as much as 50 truckloads – or 2000 tonnes – of biomass per day, producing up to four per cent of the province’s overall electricity.

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Climate Change Debate Must Include Nishnawbe-Aski Nation

Net News Ledger
April 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – “The boreal forest in NAN territory is one of the largest potential carbon sinks to mitigate global climate change but this legislation does not identify how these benefits will be allocated to NAN First Nations as Ontario moves towards a cap and trade economy,” said Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox. “NAN First Nations are the stewards of the land and our territory will be a key part of any efforts to address climate change. We are willing to work on global solutions but require a defined process to engage in a collaborative effort that respects Aboriginal and Treaty rights.”

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A practical solution to climate change?

April 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

… We are being told by the vast majority of scientists that trees and other plants consume carbon dioxide and with the aid of photosynthesis (sunlight) produce cellulose containing carbon and at the same time release oxygen. In the case of trees, cellulose is wood. So every piece of wood contains carbon taken from carbon dioxide and stores it. We are also being told by the vast majority of scientists that young trees consume carbon dioxide faster than older mature trees. These same scientists will tell us that forest fires produce huge amounts of carbon that is released into our atmosphere. Well, we can be thankful that there are groups of people in the Flathead Valley who are working very hard to solve the global carbon dioxide problem.

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Explainer: 10 ways ‘negative emissions’ could slow climate change

Carbon Brief
April 10, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Carbon Brief takes a closer look at 10 of the most frequently proposed NETs, which you can also see in the infographic at the top of the page…Afforestation and reforestation... Because trees take up CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow, planting more trees means boosting how much CO2 forests absorb and store. As a method of removing CO2 from the atmosphere, this is one of the most feasible options, although it still has drawbacks and uncertainties. Biochar – Biochar is the name given to charcoal that is added to soils rather than burned as a fuel. The charcoal is produced by burning biomass, such as wood, crop wastes and manure, while cutting off the supply of oxygen. This process is known as pyrolysis. Building with Biomass – Plant-based materials can be used in construction, storing carbon and preserving it for as long as the building remains standing. For example, timber and bamboo can be used for structural elements, hemp and wool for insulation, and hemp-lime for walling. These materials provide an alternative to standard construction materials, including steel and concrete, which are typically carbon-intensive to produce. 

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