Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 12, 2016

Business & Politics

Serious fire at Houston Canfor sawmill

By Colin Dacre
My Prince George Now
May 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canfor Sawmill in Houston was the site of a serious fire throughout the night. Canfor spokesperson Corrine Stavness says a fire was discovered in the kiln structure around 4:50pm Tuesday. It took place in one of the mills older older kilns, constructed in the late 60s. The company says there are six older kilns on site, however just three were operable and were being used for extra lumber drying capacity. Stavness says the newer kilns, the sawmill and the planer mill structures were not impacted by the fire.

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Reunion to mark decade since pulp mill closed

By Jennifer Thuncher
Squamish Chief
May 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A reunion is being planned for September for former Woodfibre pulp mill employees and their families.  Francine Erickson lived at the former Woodfibre township site until she was 18 and remembers an idyllic childhood. “It was beautiful,” she said. “We had everything over there. We had a bowling alley, we had a store, we had a café, pool, tennis courts, movie theatre, community club.”  Children went to elementary school at a community school on the site and then took a ferry to attend Howe Sound Secondary.  Erickson’s family was the last to leave Woodfibre when the township was disbanded in 1973.

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Canfor blaze among biggest Houston fire chief has seen

The Interior News
May 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Houston Fire Department chief Jim Daigneault said yesterday’s major blaze at Canfor in Houston was the biggest sawmill fire he had witnessed in 14 years as a firefighter. More than 20 firefighters worked in shifts throughout the night to extinguish the fire, which started at about 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. Nobody was injured and all mill staff were safely evacuated to a muster point, where the RCMP conducted a head-count… Four of the six burning kilns were filled with drying lumber, adding more fuel to the fire and presenting a difficult task for firefighters.

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14 million barrels or about $760-million

By Brent Jang
Globe and Mail
May 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The risk of damage to oil sands plants in Alberta has receded, but the impact of the wildfires on the petroleum industry will be felt for weeks. The wildfires in the Fort McMurray region have placed the spotlight on an industry that has been reeling from low oil prices. … Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. are the two largest operators, each with a capacity of 350,000 barrels a day at their main plants. With the evacuation of Fort McMurray last week, thousands of employees and their families exited. Projects such as those operated by Syncrude and Suncor relied on essential staff to carry out controlled shutdowns. Smoke became a concern in the days after the evacuation on May 3, though the operators said on the weekend that there wasn’t any danger to workers on site or to the facilities.

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Lakehead University Biorefining Research Institute creates advisory committee

By Lakehead University – Media Release
Thunder Bay News Watch
May 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new advisory committee will provide direction to Lakehead University’s Biorefining Research Institute that will benefit Northwestern Ontario’s forestry sector. The advisory committee is comprised of individuals from academia, government and industry. “This committee is very important to the BRI because it will provide feedback and direction that we need to achieve our goals and objectives,” said Dr. Lew Christopher, Director of the BRI. “One of the committee’s goals is to help establish partnerships with industry, government and academic institutions that will assist the BRI with its research,” he said. The BRI is advancing research in two priority areas in Lakehead’s Academic/Research Plan – the Environment and Natural Resources, and Advanced Systems and Technologies.

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Hancock Lumber president wins national book award

Mainebiz
May 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

When Hancock Lumber President Kevin Hancock isn’t busy running the sixth-generation family business, or opening yet another retail store, he somehow found time to win a national book award for his 2015 memoir “Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse.” “Not For Sale” was the winner of the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards leadership category — the book was named as a finalist in the Spirituality category. “Not For Sale” chronicles Hancock’s search for healing via Pine Ridge, an Oglala Lakota reservation in South Dakota, after being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia — a disorder that causes spasms in the larynx, for which there is no prevention and no cure. Hancock also details how the $140 million company emerged from the crisis healthier than before.

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Sandalwood industry restructure: Aboriginal groups feel left out, but FCP says opportunities exist

ABC News, Australia
May 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Western Australian government is reforming the wild sandalwood industry and recently held a briefing in Kalgoorlie-Boulder for parties interested in tendering for harvesting contracts. However, some Aboriginal groups said they still felt locked out, although the government said there were avenues for smaller operators to enter the industry. Current contracts for the harvesting, processing, marketing and sale of wild sandalwood are due to expire at the end of June 2016. In 2014-15, WA’s wild sandalwood generated more than $25 million in revenue for the Forest Products Commission and is, on average, worth $11,000 per tonne. Taking the opportunity to review past practices, the State Government is attempting to make the industry more sustainable and reign in illegal operators through a restructure.

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Metsä Wood’s profit decreased by 31.6%

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
May 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In the first quarter of 2016 the Metsä Wood timber products division within Finnish Metsä Group was confronted by a 31.6% decline in the operating profit to €5.4m. The deterioration in results was due to decreased lumber prices. The turnover of the business division, at €208.4m, remained virtually stable compared to the previous year. Lumber deliveries to Arabic countries as well as, in particular, to Asia increased markedly in the period covered by the report. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Innovation to push BC forward: experts

By Warren Frey
Journal of Commerce
May 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia industry experts are looking to innovation in materials and methods to push the province forward. Construction consultant Helen Goodland led a seminar at the Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s recent Construction Leadership Forum in Whistler, B.C. She was joined by Craig Mitchell of Britco LP and Sean Kennedy of Equilibrium Consulting to dive into the future of the British Columbia construction industry. …Kennedy pointed to wood construction as an area where B.C. is innovating and said the future of the industry lies with timber. “It’s strong, it’s green and it’s a great material to work with,” Kennedy said. Brock Commons, an 18-storey student residence on the University of British Columbia campus, is currently the tallest wood building in the world, but Kennedy said there are case studies that could go up to 80 storeys using post-tensioning timber. “In an earthquake, the structure would sway but retain its form,” he said.

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Manitoba First Nation to build 30 mould resistant homes for $9M

CBC News
May 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Misipawistik Cree Nation (MCN) near Grand Rapids, Man. says it has purchased 30 new mould and fire resistant homes designed by world-renowned architect Douglas Cardinal. MCN Chief Harold Turner said the community took out a $9 million loan to pay for the prefabricated homes he hopes will solve a long-standing issue in the community. …His “Cardinal House” design uses cross-laminated timber (CLT) as the principle building material. CLT is an environmentally sustainable, sturdy material made from gluing wood together. It’s replacing concrete and steel in many new building constructions in Europe, he said. “The timber structures like this are lighter than concrete or steel but because they’re heavy timber construction, they’re even more fireproof,” Cardinal said.

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Teaming up to improve fire safety

Heating Plumbing and Air Conditioning Magazine
May 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) and the Ministry of Labour (MOL), have developed a new guideline that aims to enhance fire safety within and around mid-rise buildings while they are under construction. The Best Practice Guideline complements recent amendments made to the Ontario Building Code, which permit mid-rise (five and six storey) buildings of wood frame construction. These amendments came into effect in January 2015.

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Wood buildings proposed for sustainable Detroit development

Phys.org
May 10, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US West

There’s a crate in Venice, Italy, that contains a vision of the future for a city that needs one. And two professors at the Rice School of Architecture are anxious to see it opened.
The crate contains their impressive 4-by-5-by-8-foot wooden model of a towering mixed-use structure designed to transform Detroit. It’s part of a proposed strategy to bring a run-down industrial neighborhood back to life and awaits installation as the Rice University team’s entry in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. …The professors see their proposed waterfront structure as a gateway destination for the neighborhood. It features a 40-story residential tower, a hotel, a conference center and an outdoor performance space facing a river walk that is already under development. The design is made primarily of renewable wood. …Pope said the extensive use of wood composites as basic construction materials is a trend that hasn’t been fully exploited – and needs to be.

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Forestry

Fleming Announces Partnership with UBC

Extra Peterborough
May 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Fleming College has announced a special partnership with the University of British Columbia.  Going forward, graduates of Fleming’s Urban Forestry Technician Co-op program have the option of completely a Bachelor degree at UBC. The signed agreement means grads of the two-year diploma program can finish their degree with three years of study in B.C.  The new degree program is the first of its kind in western Canada.   END OF STORY

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Nothing Can Replace Being In Nature (But VR Comes Close)

Huffington Post Canada
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

…Author Richard Louv categorizes a suite of childhood problems — including bullying, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity — as “nature deficit disorder”, induced or worsened by too little physical exposure to nature. The average Canadian kid today spends more than six hours a day glued to a screen — mobile phones, computers, televisions — and less than eight minutes a day outside! That’s one reason why the David Suzuki Foundation is encouraging people to get outside for 30 minutes a day in May with its 30×30 Nature Challenge.

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Global experts support proposed B.C. cave protection bill

Vancouver Sun
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Karst experts from around the world are lending support to an NDP private member’s bill designed to protect B.C.’s fragile and extensive cave systems from damage by individuals and corporations such as logging and mining companies. Scott Fraser, MLA for Alberni-Pacific Rim, a hot bed of karst on Vancouver Island, plans to introduce the B.C. Cave Protection Act later this week. “I’ve contacted the world’s experts and all agree that B.C. is in desperate need of proper legislation,” he said in an interview. …The bill would prohibit, in part: the dumping of logging slash or “rock quarrying” in a cave; altering the water flow into a cave; and the sale of speleothems.

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Public input invited on Quesnel Timber Supply Area

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


Comments are being accepted until July 15, 2016, on a discussion paper released today as part of a comprehensive timber supply review for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area. Public feedback on the discussion paper will be considered by the chief forester before setting the new allowable annual cut. The discussion paper provides the results of the timber supply analysis, including a base-case harvest forecast. It also describes the geography, natural resources and current forest management practices in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area. The timber supply area covers approximately two million hectares and includes the city of Quesnel, the communitites of Wells, Red Bluff, Barlow Creek, Dragon Lake, Bouchie Lake and the villages of Nazko and Kluskus.

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Ash tree inventory in Winnipeg prepares for emerald ash borers

City of Winnipeg crews need to go onto private property to prepare for arrival of beetle: officials
CBC News
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Winnipeg is asking people not to move firewood on their properties, as city staff head out to do an inventory of ash trees on private property. The inventory is to prepare for the arrival of the invasive emerald ash borer beetle. The beetle eats and kills ash trees. The majority of Winnipeg’s ash trees are on private property and having an inventory of the trees will help preparedness efforts, city officials said. All city staff will carry official City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba identification cards. They ask homeowners to leave their firewood in their backyards, and they ask people not to buy firewood from out of the province.

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Crews to spray Winnipeg for forest tent caterpillars, elm bark beetles

City of Winnipeg crews to be deployed Sunday and Monday with organic and chemical sprays
CBC News
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

City of Winnipeg crews will begin spraying for forest tent caterpillars on Sunday and elm bark beetles on Monday. Crews will start spraying trees to kill forest tent caterpillar larvae in Kildonan Park at 9:30 p.m. Sunday. After that, boulevards, cemeteries and other parks will be sprayed. City officials are predicting a “significant amount” of caterpillars this May and June. Crews use a biological, organic spray called Btk, and homeowners can apply for 30-metre buffer zones if they don’t want the product used near their properties. On Monday, the elm bark beetle control program begins in Glenwood, Norwood East, Norwood West, Alpine Place, Elm Park, Lavalee, St. George, Varennes and Worthington.

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Beaconsfield councillor wants access to documents

By Kevin Woodhouse
The Suburban Quebec
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the elected official for District 4 in Beaconsfield, Councillor Pierre Demers is having some trouble accessing information for two silviculture reports. The reports detail the treatment of the EAB (Emerald Ash Borer) from two property owners of Angell Woods, Yale Properties and the Association for the Protection of Angell Woods (APAW). “The reason I want access to these documents is that, as a city, we will be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting the threat of the EAB, and as a councillor and city representative I think it important that I have as much information as possible, including all the silviculture plans that were lawfully given to the city of Beaconsfield,” said Demers.

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Charges may be laid in clear-cutting of land in Long Lake Provincial Park

The Chronicle Herald
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Those responsible for clear-cutting acres of land in Long Lake Provincial Park could soon face charges, the provincial government has confirmed. Nova Scotia Environment has taken six months to investigate the illegal clear-cutting of up to 20 acres of parkland in Harrietsfield and the subsequent infilling of some of the parkland by someone who was filling in an adjacent property. The stretch of affected land runs alongside Old Sambro Road northeast of Leiblin Drive, near an Irving gas station. A spokeswoman with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment said conservation officers have completed their investigation and information has been turned over to the Crown for review. “We are consulting with them in order to determine the next steps,” Heather Fairbairn said in an e-mail.

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Mi’kmaq First Nations sue New Brunswick over forestry strategy

8 chiefs say 2014 changes infringe on Aboriginal and treaty rights of Mi’kmaq people
CBC News
May 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Seven Mi’kmaq First Nations have filed a lawsuit against the New Brunswick government over its forest policy and management agreements with industrial forestry companies. The chiefs contend the province’s forest strategy, management agreements, management plans and the Crown Lands and Forests Act itself amount to an unjustified infringement of their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. “We will continue to defend our territory and our treaties against unjustified infringements of our title and rights,” said Eel Ground First Nation Chief George Ginnish. The chiefs opposed the forest strategy brought in by the Alward government in 2014 which allowed for a 20 per cent increase in the annual allowable cut of softwood on Crown land.

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Blackfoot-Clearwater supporters ask Congress to act on protections

The Missoulian
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Supporters of the unfinished Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Project ramped up their efforts Tuesday, releasing the first of a series of videos asking Montana’s congressional delegation to support the campaign. The 10-year-old project combined a mix of wilderness designations, timber supply improvements, recreation areas and habitat restoration work on public land between Lincoln and Condon, around the fringes of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. It was one of three components of Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, which has not made it out of Congress since it was proposed in 2008. …The appeal got a mixed response from Democratic Sen. Tester and Republicans, Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke. Both Zinke and Daines said they were still collecting public input on the Blackfoot-Clearwater concept, and were focusing current efforts on forest management legislation.

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65,000 acres designated Oregon spotted frog ‘critical habitat’

Capital Press
May 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than 65,000 acres have been designated “critical habitat” for the Oregon spotted frog, a threatened species at the center of a lawsuit over irrigation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the critical habitat designation in Oregon and Washington, which includes 20 miles of river, provides a “road map” to guide conservation efforts for the frog. While the federal government claims the designation won’t have regulatory impacts on private property, attorneys for natural resource industries say critical habitat does pose a concern for landowners. Actions that adversely affect or slow the recovery of critical habitat are considered unlawful “take” that’s prohibited by the Endangered Species Act, said Karen Budd-Falen, a natural resource attorney in Wyoming.

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Forest County sawmill equipment company a ‘way of life’ for Cleereman family

WJFW
May 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

NEWALD – Most people in the Northwoods couldn’t find tiny Newald on a map. The community is little more than a cluster of houses in the middle of the Forest County woods. But to the people of Cleereman Industries, it has been the center of success for decade after decade. “It’s kind of a family business. It started out with my great-grandpa, and my grandpa, and my dad,” said Cleereman Industries Vice President Paul Cleereman. Generation after generation of Cleereman men have been in the automated sawmill carriage business, supplying sawmills with the equipment to transform logs into lumber. “It’s in your blood, you know? It just gets to be a way of life,” Cleereman said. “If you think about it, I’m third generation.

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Rhinelander hopes to be considered for Division of Forestry move

WJFW
May 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

RHINELANDER – The Northwoods is already home to much of the timber and logging industry in Wisconsin. Now, it could be home to the Division of Forestry as the DNR explores a possible relocation. Rhinelander is officially submitting a proposal to be the new location of the forestry headquarters. Republican lawmakers asked the DNR to create a plan for a move up north in the last budget. The DNR requested information from interested locations, including Rhinelander. The Rhinelander City Council passed a resolution Monday night agreeing to draft a formal proposal. Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner said it would “mean a lot” for the city to become the new location of the Division of Forestry.

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Putin issues scolding for forest fires spreading in Russia

Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a scolding for the forest fires spreading across eastern Siberia, as happens nearly every year at this time. Putin on Wednesday told officials responsible for firefighting in the affected regions that despite efforts to stop the uncontrolled burning of fields ahead of planting season, “we are unable to prevent such negative developments as we see today.” The head of the national center coordinating the firefighting operations, Viktor Yatsutsenko, told Putin that no one has been killed by the fires and although four villages have been damaged or destroyed, more than 70 others have been protected. He said thousands of firefighters and dozens of aircraft are working to control the more than 116 fires burning across Siberia and the Far East. END OF STORY

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Forest Fires

Carbon release in wake of Fort McMurray wildfire spikes greenhouse gasses

By Ainslie Cruickshank
Edmonton Journal
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the fight against climate change, forests play a critical role — drawing more greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere than they emit. But when they burn, much of those stored gases are released back into the atmosphere. So far, the fires in Fort McMurray have released the equivalent of roughly five per cent of Canada’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, said Werner Kurz, a senior research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service in charge of Canada’s National Forest Carbon Accounting System. The average emissions from forest fires in the boreal plains, where the northern Alberta fires are burning, are about 170 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per hectare, Kurz said.

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Made-in-B.C. disaster assessment app offered to Alberta

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A made-in-B.C. damage assessment tool capable of real-time data collection during and after large-scale catastrophes is being offered to the government of Alberta as it struggles with the damage caused by a wildfire in Fort McMurray. The smartphone-based app allows workers in the field to send damage assessments and photos to a central command centre in seconds, a process that used to take hours, if not days. “Reporting from the field gives us real-time data,” said Steven Bibby, manager of security and emergency services at B.C. Housing, the lead agency for building damage assessment in the province. “It can tell us how many evacuees might be able to return home right away or how many don’t have a home to return to, unfortunately. That gives you the opportunity to line up all the additional supports that people need, everything from psycho-social assistance to cleaning kits and financial help.”

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Forest products firms also hit by Fort McMurray blaze

By Gary Lamphier
Edmonton Journal
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The multi-billion-dollar oilsands facilities around Fort McMurray weren’t the only large industrial operations at risk when wildfires tore through the region over the past week. Alberta’s $4 billion forest products industry also felt the heat, quite literally. Two industry players in particular — Fort McMurray-based Northland Forest Products, a big sawmill operator, and Boyle-based Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries, one of Canada’s top pulp producers— suffered unspecified losses to timberlands that will take months to quantify. Company officials with both firms say they’ll start assessing the extent of the fire damage in coming weeks, once smoke from the blaze, which now covers an estimated 220,000 hectares, starts to clear.

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Wildfire on the run at Fort McMurray, firefighters say

‘We think we got this thing beat in McMurray,’ fire chief in Wood Buffalo municipality in Alberta says
CBC News
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters are starting to believe they have the upper hand against the 229,000-hectare wildfire near at Fort McMurray, Alta., that has forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes. “We think we got this thing beat in McMurray,” said Darby Allen, fire chief for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “We’re looking pretty good. We’re still worried about our communities in the south a little bit, but we’ll get it.” Firefighters from Quebec arrived Tuesday, with 22 New Brunswick firefighters scheduled to arrive Wednesday.

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Fort McMurray evacuees on frustrating path to safely return home

By Jana Pruden
Globe and Mail
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Frustration is mounting among some displaced Fort McMurray residents who are becoming increasingly anxious to get home after last week’s wildfires but still have no idea when – or how – that will take place. In her daily media briefing on Wednesday, Premier Rachel Notley reiterated plans to have more information for evacuees in the next two weeks, but stressed that it’s not yet safe for people to return to the northern Alberta community. She said the re-entry of residents isn’t based on a specific timeline, but on meeting certain criteria to ensure the safety and security of residents.

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Nova Scotia firefighters to help battle Manitoba forest fires

Two large fires burning near Manitoba, Ontario border
CBC News
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Twenty firefighters from Nova Scotia will fly to Manitoba on Friday to help battle forest fires burning. The forest fire threat across Nova Scotia ranges from low to moderate in most areas, allowing the provincial government to spare them. “We’ve had some co-operative weather,” said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines. “I never used to like rain till I got this job. But at this point in time we’re in fairly good shape. We’re very conscious that, that can change within 48 hours.” There are two large forest fires. One in Beresford Lake and one in Caddy Lake. The 20 from Nova Scotia will be dispatched to Beresford.

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Staying behind in Fort McMurray, Lou Callan provided glimpse of damage

By Kelly Cryderman
Globe and Mail
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the fires raged, when most everyone else was leaving Fort McMurray, Lou Callan stayed put. Along with a small contingent of residents of the Northern Alberta town who refused to leave – or sneaked back in – Mr. Callan stayed in the city for more than three days after the mandatory-evacuation order was issued, when most of an estimated 2,400 houses and buildings burned. The 51-year-old spent his time driving around, trying to avoid the RCMP and doing tasks and chores for people who wanted to be there, but couldn’t. His photos and video of the cityscape in the days after the evacuation gave thousands of people an early glimpse of whether their homes were still standing or not. “I was just helping. That’s all,” he said in an interview from Lamont, Alta., where he and his wife are now staying at a hotel.

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2 Fort McMurray fires join, covering 229,000 hectares

Kelowna Now
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to a recent wildlife update from the province of Alberta, fire conditions are still extreme. There are a total of 25 wildfires are burning, with one out-of-control. Currently there are 1,547 firefighters, 121 helicopters, 194 pieces of heavy equipment and 28 air tankers battling the flames. The two fires in the Fort McMurray area have joined, forming a fire that is now approximately 229,000 hectares in size. There are 700 firefighters, 26 helicopters, 13 air tankers available and 46 pieces of heavy equipment units working on the Fort McMurray fire alone. At last update on Tuesday night, the wildfire was about 25 to 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border.

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Tickets for wildfire infractions in BC spiked in 2015, report shows

By Brent Holmes
The Globe and Mail
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The number of people fined for violating rules designed to prevent wildfires in the province spiked last year, with officers handing out three times as many tickets than a year earlier, according to statistics compiled by the BC Wildfire Service. The increased enforcement occurred even as the number of fires caused by humans decreased slightly, and as the provincial government promised to crack down on people who violate rules against campfires and other activities, with significantly higher fines that began in April. The issue took on a new urgency earlier this week, when wildfire officials said at least 10 fires currently burning in the province’s northeastern region were likely set deliberately. 

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Fire hazards on decline in north

Prince Albert Daily Herald
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cooler temperatures and high humidity have combined to significantly reduce the wildfire threat level in Northern Saskatchewan, and that means fire bans in the area could be over soon. According to officials from the Ministry of Environment, conditions across the province have improved, with only the western part of Saskatchewan remaining at high risk. Steve Roberts, the executive director of Wildfire Management, said that means they’ll be re-evaluating fire bans put in place. “With extra precipitation and cooler temperatures and higher humidity, we now have a portion of the province, only in the western section of the forest, that remains at a high or extreme fire hazard,” Roberts said on Tuesday.

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Waterloo-based Aeryon Labs to help map Fort McMurray wildfire

Ventus Geospatial gets approval to fly unmanned aerial vehicles to survey damage, company says
CBC News
May 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West


A company based in Waterloo, Ont., says it has received approval to provide drone assistance in mapping out the fire-ravaged regions of Fort McMurray, Alta. On Tuesday, Aeryon Labs wrote on its website that Calgary-based Ventus Geospatial was given an emergency complex restricted special flight operations certificate (SFOC) by Transport Canada in order to operate the unmanned aircraft over the areas affected by wildfire, which is currently restricted airspace. …”The fire around Fort McMurray has affected in excess of 220,000 hectares. Using high resolution geolocated imagery and thermal infrared sensors, the team at Ventus have been approved to use the SkyRanger to co-ordinate with and assess forest fighting efforts,” the company said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Growing trees for climate change

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
May 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Disagreements persist on the extent of humanity’s role in the current changes to B.C.’s climate and our ability to influence it, as many readers have told me in the past week. But almost everyone seems to agree that growing more and healthier forests is a good strategy. I would add that harvesting and building with wood preserves its captured carbon, a fact not much discussed in emotional appeals against logging. …I spoke last week with Derek Nighbor, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, after he announced his industry’s 30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge. That’s a goal to reduce the industry’s net carbon emissions by 30 megatonnes a year by 2030. That would be 13 per cent of the Canadian government’s emission target.

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Working Together To Prepare Forests For A Changing Climate USDA.gov

By Todd Ontl
USDA Blog
May 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

All this month we will be taking a look at what a changing climate means to Agriculture. The ten regional USDA Climate Hubs were established to synthesize and translate climate science and research into easily understood products and tools that land managers can use to make climate-informed decisions. The Hubs work at the regional level with an extensive network of trusted USDA agency partners, technical service providers, University collaborators, and private sector advisers to ensure they have the information they need to respond to producers that are dealing with the effects of a variable climate. USDA’s Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate.”

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This scientist just changed how we think about climate change with one GIF

By Chris Mooney
Washington Post
May 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Ed Hawkins spends his days doing, you know, climate science. A professor at the University of Reading in the UK, he has published widely on the overturning circulation in the north Atlantic Ocean, as well as trends for sea ice in the Arctic and how to predict future temperatures, among other topics. And he contributed to the most recent mega-report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which everybody cites for pretty much everything in this area. He’s now famous, though, for something quite different. 

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