Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 20, 2016

Business & Politics

Our Favorite Way to Invest in a Rebounding Housing Market

Morningstar Advisor
May 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. housing demand has been strong during the first quarter of 2016, with starts growing 15% year-over-year on a seasonally adjusted basis. Better yet, single family starts were up 20% in the quarter, thanks to upward revisions for January and February. …We believe these conditions could lead to starts growing nearly 75% to 1.9 million by 2019, before fading to a demographically sustainable 1.5 million starts in 2024. Canfor Corp., a Canadian lumber producer, is our favorite way to play a rebound in U.S. housing demand. Softwood lumber demand is primarily driven by U.S. homebuilding. We expect constrained capacity to lead to substantially higher softwood lumber prices, nearly tripling operating margins by 2019.

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The zombie softwood lumber dispute is never dead – it’s only sleeping

Konrad Yakabuski
The Globe and Mail
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Two-thirds of the way through the 100-day countdown set in March by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama to agree on the parameters of a new bilateral softwood lumber deal, time is fast running out to reach an agreement before U.S. election fever overwhelms the negotiations. The Canadian lumber industry is still hoping that talks at the bureaucratic level will have advanced far enough that Mr. Obama and Mr. Trudeau can iron out what differences remain when they meet at the North American Leaders’ Summit in late June. But that might just be wishful thinking when it comes to to the zombie of Canada-U.S. trade disputes. The Keystone XL pipeline may have knocked softwood lumber from its perch as the biggest irritant in Canada-U.S. relations in recent years, but no other bilateral dispute has come back from the dead to haunt the bilateral relationship as many times as the $6-billion cross-border trade in two-by-fours.

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Interfor back in the black at beginning of 2016

EUWID
May 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

With a net result of Can$0.80m, the Canadian Interfor was back in the black in the first quarter, after five consecutive quarters of net losses. The adjusted EBITDA, at Can$33.4m, was up year on year by roughly 5%. Losses in turnover in connection with a fall in lumber production of 3.3% to 618m bdft were compensated for by a 1.7% increase in the average lumber price to Can$548/1,000 bdft and significant rises in sales of roundwood and wood waste. Interfor showed growth in con-cern turnover in the reporting period of 4.5% to Can$433.9m.

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Saskatchewan sawmill gets $25M upgrade

Wood Business
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

When C & C Resources purchased the Edgewood Forest Products sawmill in Carrot River, Sask. from Weyerhaeuser and started to operate it in 2012, Edgewood’s mill owners and management quickly realized they needed a new home for its larger logs and improved lumber recovery. …The plywood plant was the home for the majority of Weyerhaeuser’s larger logs. But since that plant was still shutdown when Edgewood took over the sawmill in Carrot River, the company quickly realized it would need to form a plan for its bigger wood.  “Without the plywood plant in operation at that time, it became very apparent that we needed a home for our bigger logs,” explains Byron Warner, manager for Edgewood Forest Products’ Carrot River sawmill.

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Column: Outlook is short-term positive for Cariboo region

Williams Lake Tribune
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As described below, I am assuming the Cariboo region with its diverse forest industry complex will mirror most of the predictions of the recent article by Jim Stirling: Outlook is positive for Canadian timber industry. The International Wood Markets group predicts the five year lumber demand (2014 to 2019) will be reasonably stable with some saw log shortages but increased value of lumber. …“Wood based biomass energy potential of British Columbia. The Cariboo region forest industry is described as very large with 14 sawmills, two veneer plants, one OSB plant, two pulp mills, two pellet plants a board plant and two power plants.” The report describes the possible scenarios on the use of residual fibre resulting from the impending saw log shortages.

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Lake Cowichan welcomes BC Community Forest Association Annual Meeting

BC Community Forest Association
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA, BC – More than 100 delegates are expected to attend the annual gathering of the BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA) May 26-28th in Lake Cowichan. The conference is jointly hosted this year by the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative (CLCFC) and Pacheedaht First Nation. …BCCFA President Erik Leslie commented on the value of the event: “Each community forest is unique. The BCCFA conference is a great opportunity for community forest practitioners and supporters to learn from each other and to see how our host community forest is managed.” The three-day event will be centred in community facilities in Lake Cowichan and will include bus tours into forest operations in the area. Workshops and sessions will cover the technical and policy aspects of community forests. The Pacheedaht will be preparing a traditional feast for delegates followed by an address by Forests Minister Steve Thomson.

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West Fraser: Quesnel MDF plant to restart in October

EUWID
May 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian company West Fraser Timber will probably only recommission the Quesnel MDF plant in British Columbia, which was damaged by an explosion and subsequent fire on 9 March 2016, in October. Apart from repairing the damage, addi-tional fire-safety facilities are to be installed at the plant, which trades as WestPine, prior to recom-missioning. Similar measures are planned at the Whitecourt plant in Alberta which trades as Ranger Board. Total capacity of the two MDF plants has been quoted by West Fraser as roughly 500,000 m³/year.

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Canfor Pulp wins energy conservation award

Canadian Forest Industries
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Natural Resources Canada has presented Canfor Pulp Products Inc. with a Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) Leadership Award in the category of Employee Awareness and Training. Canfor Pulp president, Brett Robison, said the company is proud to have received this honor. “This CIPEC Leadership Award demonstrates that Canfor Pulp continues to be at the forefront of our industry in improving the energy efficiency of our operations.” Canfor Pulp was selected for this award based on the company’s significant achievements in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship within Canada’s industrial sector and for the company’s alignment with the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing its clean growth agenda.

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Leir turns antique truck into Penticton hospital donation

Penticton Western News in BC Local News
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A member of a long-established Penticton family is celebrating his love of vintage vehicles with a generous donation towards Penticton Regional Hospital. Jim Leir recently sold a restored 1918 Mack AC “Bulldog” truck which his father, Hugh Leir, purchased after the First World War for use at the family’s sawmill in Penticton. …The Mack was one of several hard rubber-tired trucks working at the mill at the time, hauling lumber and shunting freight cars in the yards. …“When my father sold the sawmill in 1966, I rescued what remained of the truck and stored it until I began the restoration in 1981.”

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N.W.T. wood pellet mill another step closer to reality

Aurora Wood Pellets closes land deal for mill in Enterprise
CBC News
May 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A proposed wood pellet venture in Enterprise, Northwest Territories, has acquired land for its mill, bringing a six-year slog of development one step closer to reality. Aurora Wood Pellets Ltd. president Brad Mapes said the company purchased 320 hectares of land from the hamlet, or about four square kilometres. The site is about two kilometres south of town. “It took a bit of time to get everything going. I don’t know why. You know how the government works,” Mapes said. Mapes first announced the signing of the land deal in November 2015. The deal closed earlier in May. “It’s a huge piece of land,” Mapes said. “I am almost 100 per cent sure it’s the first piece of land that the hamlet has ever sold.”

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Iroquois Falls releases heavily redacted purchase agreement for mill site redevelopment.

Timmins Press
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Town of Iroquois Falls has publicly released the purchase agreement they signed along with Resolute Forest Products and Riverside Developments to redevelop the former mill site into a multi-use industrial facility. But interested or concerned residents won’t be learning much more about the deal they didn’t already know because the vast majority of the document is redacted. The document, which is available for viewing on the town’s website (as well on www.TimminsPress.com) contains the resolution approved by the town council accepting the agreement, the list of definitions, the signatures of Mayor Michael Shea, Riverside Developments CEO Justus Veldman, and Resolute senior vice-president Jacques Vachon.

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Union vows to fight Tembec layoffs

North Bay Nugget
May 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


The union representing 600 workers at Tembec’s operations in Temiscaming, Que., will fight announced layoffs taking effect June 20. Roger Gauthier, president of Unifor Local 233, said the cuts do not fall within the provisions of the collective agreement between Unifor and Tembec. “We were told the move was to reduce costs . . . but based on our labour agreement, that is not a condition for layoffs,” he said. The company announced Monday it will eliminate 24 positions on the Temiscaming fibreline operations team while five new operations positions will be created. But Gauthier said layoffs can only come into effect for changes in technology or automation, for a total mill or departmental shutdown, for a temporary shutdown of operations, in response to an act of God, for administrative dismissal or for attrition following a voluntary departure.

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Lumber Rules Don’t Fly, Federal Judge Says

Courthouse News Service
May 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The Department of Agriculture failed to justify the amount of money it collects from U.S. lumber companies to support an industry marketing campaign, a federal judge ruled. Resolute Forest Products sued the Department of Agriculture in December 2014, challenging its mandatory assessment on any domestic softwood-lumber manufacturer or foreign importer that ships more than 15 million board feet of lumber per year. The court dismissed all but one of Resolute’s challenges on a Sept. 9, 2015 and remanded the remaining APA claim to the Department of Agriculture for a “reasoned and coherent treatment of its decision to select 15mmbf per year as the threshold amount.”

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Coulson Aviation USA awarded Retardant Aerial Delivery System (RADS) contract by the United States Airforce for C-130 Hercules fleet

Canada Newswire press release
May 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

VANCOUVER, – Coulson Aviation (USA) – The world leader in aerial firefighting technology announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Air Force to design, manufacture, and install up to seven 3500 US Gallon Aerial Retardant Delivery Systems in HC-130 H model aircraft. “We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the United States Airforce to provide them with state of the art retardant aerial delivery systems (RADS) for their fleet of C-130’s,” says Wayne Coulson, CEO and President of Coulson Aviation. Coulson first developed and installed the RADS in 2012 to equip their own C-130H/Q for aerial fire suppression. It currently holds a contract with the United States Forest Service.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Light-gauge steel design tweaked to hit the ‘sweet spot’ for mid-rise buildings Seattle

Daily Journal of Commerce
May 19, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

When the Sparc apartment in Bellevue is finished this summer, the 104-unit building will have a contemporary skin that disguises a new hybrid structural engineering system. The system, designed by Bellevue structural engineering firm Cary Kopczynski & Co., tweaks the light-gauge steel construction method by incorporating a shear wall system that allows engineers to build taller without the higher costs of a reinforced concrete building. …While light-gauge steel construction has been around for years as a substitute for wood-framed low-rise apartment buildings and single-family homes, the Sparc building uses a modified version of traditional light-gauge steel design that allows the developer, Security Properties, to build a few floors higher than a wood-framed building and have greater floor space and ceiling heights.

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Pioneer Millworks Salvages Heart Pine Timbers After Fire Destroys Historic Pullman Couch Co. Building

PR Web
May 19, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FARMINGTON, NY – Pioneer Millworks is reclaiming Heart Pine timbers that survived a devastating fire in the Pullman Couch Company factory in 2013. The fire raged while the city endured freezing temperatures. Despite the fire and ice, thousands of board feet of old Heart Pine endured and today is being given new life as custom timbers, flooring, paneling, and furniture. “Antique Heart Pine is a highly desired species due to its dense grain patterns, deep patina, character, and of course, history,” explains Jennifer Young, General Manager of Pioneer Millworks. “We enjoy the challenge of turning the bones of an old, devastated building into handcrafted pieces for commercial spaces and homes.” The 19,000 board feet of Heart Pine that Pioneer Millworks procured after demolition began has been re-purposed as flooring and paneling in homes and businesses, including a chain of west coast pizzerias. 

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Robot saws its own wood, designs its own house

Popular Science
May 19, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The robot looked at the woods and saw a home. Cameras scanned the trees and algorithms plotted the shape of the wood, finding the center lines and individual strength. Mechanical brains tessellated the shape into a working form, and the robot knew what it must build. In the architecture lab, the robot set to work, trimming, carving, and shaping the logs. The form emerged from the trees, metal refining wood like hominids had first done thousands of years ago. Humans helped, executing the machine’s vision, and the structure was built. The machine, limited by its body, planned and crafted the structure. They can not build it on their own, yet, but that is simply a matter of time and desire.

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Forestry

No light shed on logging

Letter by Laurel Lefay
Coast Reporter
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am an active and avid hiker on our beautiful coast, taking groups up our extensive and varied trails at least four days a week. Lately, however, I’m becoming increasingly concerned with the amount of logging that is going on, especially on Elphinstone, the Chapman and Gray Creek areas. I spent a morning calling around to the SCRD and District of Sechelt and anyone I could think of to find out where to avoid road building, logging trucks flying down the road, and active logging. It’s no fun driving all the way up and finding out you can’t go in. To my surprise, no one could answer my questions of where to avoid or when the logging will be stopped due to a dry forest.

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Woodlots near Kaslo and Creston pass forestry audit

BC Forest Practices Board
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forestry activities on two woodlots in the Selkirk Natural Resource District concludes that the woodlot licensees complied with B.C.’s forestry legislation, according to a report released today. “These woodlots are a mix of Crown and privately owned land and the woodlot licensees must comply with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act in carrying out their activities,” said Tim Ryan, board chair. “We are pleased to see that both of them are carrying out good forest practices on the ground.” The audits examined planning, timber harvesting roads, silviculture and fire protection activities, carried out between September 2013 and September 2015, in Woodlot 438 near Kaslo and Woodlot 1644 near Creston.

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Kaslo woodlot passes forestry audit

Nelson Star
May 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An audit of forestry activities on a woodlot near Kaslo concludes that the licensee complied with BC’s forestry legislation, according to a report from the Forest Practices Board. Board chair Tim Ryan said he was “pleased to see” the licensee is complying with the Forest and Range Practices Act in carrying out their activities. The audits examined planning, timber harvesting roads, silviculture and fire protection activities, carried out between September 2013 and September 2015, in woodlot 438, held by Jeff Mattes 11 km south of Kaslo, west of Highway 31. The audit found that planning and practices generally complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. However, the audit also identified two areas requiring improvement related to fire hazard assessments and annual reporting.

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Selkirk College School of Environment & Geomatics Students Awarded for Superb Work

The Boundary Sentinel
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) Regional Manager Bruce Stevens attended the Selkirk College graduation ceremony last month to honour five students from the School of Environment & Geomatics for their presentations made during the recent applied research conference. The students each received a $250 excellence in technology award for their winning work presented at the April 6 conference where 82 presenters took part in the 14th annual event. …Geoffrey Matheson, a Forest Technology Program student, was recognized for his work using Light Detection and Ranging Data in assessing inoperable terrain deductions from the timber harvesting land base.

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Forestry deal could bring jobs to region

Calaveras Enterprise
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The head regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service in California, Hawaii and the Pacific islands and officials representing the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority Wednesday signed a 10-year deal that is expected to bring new jobs to the region and thin forests to reduce wildfire risk and improve water yields and quality. …Tens of millions of dollars could flow to grant-funded forest restoration and watershed management in the tri-county area, funds that the authority can spend on local contractors, said Steve Wilensky, founding member of the Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group, a community-based organization that works to build fire-safe communities, healthy forests and watersheds, and strong local economies. The consensus group was a contributor to the agreement.

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Comment being accepted on plan to tap open lands fund

By Al Knauber
Helena Independent Record
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A public comment period is underway for a request to tap the Lewis and Clark County Open Lands Program for $260,000 toward the purchase of 729 acres owned by Stimson Lumber Co. …If the project moves ahead, the land would be transferred to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. …The land is currently managed for timber production and Stimson Lumber Co. estimates it holds 3.7 million board feet. A plan for future timber harvest exists for the property although the last time it was logged was in 2007-2008. …The property is also within the Continental Divide wildlife movement corridor which, the application stated, is a priority area for conservation of species such as Canada lynx and grizzly bear, which are a listed threatened species, and wolverine.

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Lumberjack Contests are the Coolest College Extracurricular

How a campfire competition between 19th-century loggers became a professional sport.
Atlas Obscura
May 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Carissa Camenson stood in a vast acre and a half arena in Missoula, Montana, the ground covered with chips and flakes of wood. The sophomore forestry major from Northern Arizona University expertly pulled back and forth on her six-foot-long crosscut saw that sliced through an approximately 20-inch diameter log. Camenson was competing in the single buck contest, one of the hardest logger sporting events at April’s 2016 Association of Western Forestry Clubs (AWFC) Conclave, where some 150 participants sweated to best each other in practices that lumberjacks have used to fell trees for centuries. In the single buck, an individual logger cuts through a large cylinder of wood as quickly as possible with a traditional crosscut saw. Competitive loggers also call the single buck the ‘misery whip’ and the ‘buck-and-chuck.’ “A lot of people do it and then throw up. That’s where they got the ‘buck-and-chuck,’” Camenson says. But despite the rigor and its reputation, single buck is Camenson’s favorite event.

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Water studies prove herbicide ban unnecessary

The Register Guard
May 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As a fellow resident of Triangle Lake, I was extremely disappointed to see Justin Workman’s mischaracterization of events in my community. I have lived and farmed in Triangle Lake for 25 years. My husband is the third generation to live on our farm. We are raising our family here, we drink the water, and we eat the food grown right here in this community. I am also familiar with herbicides — we use them to control weeds that threaten to choke out our crops. We use them safely and according to the label, and I know that my neighbors do as well. We’re active members in this community that we call home, and I feel confident that there is no health risk here from herbicide applications in nearby forestry operations.

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Forestry is a vital part of our state; public lands commissioner must continue sustainable legacy

Letter by Georges Yates
The Seattle Times
May 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


I applaud the recent Seattle Times editorial expressing the important of electing a balanced and pragmatic commissioner of public lands. …I am also a small-forest landowner. My company, Norseman Timber, like the state of Washington, is focused on sustainable forestry. The reality is, if our state’s timberlands were no longer actively managed, they would fall into disarray. Our state’s forest-products industry plants some 52 million seedlings annually, supports some 105,000 jobs statewide, generates almost $200 million in taxes each year and our state public forestlands are a major funding source for our public schools.

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Editorial: Congress needs to help O&C counties

The Bend Bulletin
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bureau of Land Management says its new plan to manage forests in mostly Western Oregon will create a sustainable yield of timber, help wildlife and protect watersheds. But the federal government has made a long, slow walk away from the initial commitments made for the so-called O&C lands. …Timber harvests on O&C lands have fallen about 80 percent, and timber receipt revenues are 35 percent of historic averages, according to Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities. Oregon’s Congressional delegation intervened with federal payments to compensate. Now those have declined. The delegation needs to do more to change how the forests are managed. Just a couple of years ago, Greg Walden, R-Hood River; Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield; and Kurt Schrader, D-Canby, had a bill to permanently protect about half of O&C lands and turn a chunk over to state management for sustainable harvest. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, had a different proposal aimed at improving the harvest. Those efforts did not do the job. What are they going to do now?

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A small patch of old growth forest with big lessons in conservation

Newsworks
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Less than 50 miles from New York City, tucked into a bucolic corner of New Jersey’s expansive sprawl, stands a 65-acre plot of ancient forest. It’s “what America was like the day before Columbus,” said Steven Handel, a plant ecologist at Rutgers University and Director of the Hutcheson Memorial Forest, which Rutgers owns. The approach to Hutcheson, through old farm fields that have been allowed to return to meadows and young forests, serves as a buffer from developed lands. The ground is pockmarked with deer footprints. Handel comes up to a 10-foot deer fence, and enters the enclosure into second growth woods.

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Where are most invasive forest pests? Right here

More advocacy, particularly from environmental nonprofits, needed to stop import of pests
Poughkeepsie Journal
May 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Here in the Hudson Valley, the birthplace of the modern environmental movement, many issues have reverberated powerfully in recent years. Human-induced climate change, hydraulic fracturing, PCBs in the Hudson River and the ecological factors affecting Lyme disease have drawn significant attention, as they should. But did you know that as recently as two years ago, the county which harbored the second-highest number of non-native damaging forest pests in the nation was … Ulster? Ulster County was beset with 41 distinct invasive bugs and blights, according to U.S. Forest Service data I first reported in 2014. Ulster was second only to Suffolk County, which had 42. Guess which county was tied for third?

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Trees seen resting branches while ‘asleep’ for the first time

New Scientist
May 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

They don’t snore, but might creak during their slumbers. For the first time, trees have been shown to undergo physical changes at night that can be likened to sleep, or at least to day-night cycles that have been observed experimentally in smaller plants. Branches of birch trees have now been seen drooping by as much as 10 centimetres at the tips towards the end of the night. “It was a very clear effect, and applied to the whole tree,” says András Zlinszky of the Centre for Ecological Research in Tihany, Hungary. “No one has observed this effect before at the scale of whole trees, and I was surprised by the extent of the changes.” Zlinszky and his colleagues scanned trees in Austria and Finland with laser beams between sunset and sunrise.

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Forest Fires

FireSmart approves $4.1 million to protect Alberta communities from wildfires

Edmonton Journal
May 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A provincial program has awarded $4.1 million to 34 centres across Alberta in hopes they can avoid the huge destruction created by the Fort McMurray fires. The money was approved as part of FireSmart, a project designed to help communities and homeowners take steps to reduce their exposure to wildfire. While the funding is part of a process that started last winter and isn’t a result of the current disasters, people are generally aware of fire dangers, Todd Nash, general manager of the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta, said Thursday. “Most people in northern communities have long recognized the risk,” he said. “It’s certainly something we believe should be a higher priority.” About three-quarters of the money handed out by the association’s FireSmart review committee will be used for “vegetation management,” which mainly involves clearing deadwood and thinning trees that provide fires with fuel.

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David Staples: What created the Fort McMurray wildfire? El Niño, not global warming, scientist says

Edmonton Journal
May 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Too much rain in summer? Blame global warming. Too little rain? Blame global warming. Heck, even if there’s a chinook in January in southern Alberta, blame global warming. Just ask actor Leonardo di Caprio. It was no surprise then when a wildfire raged in the oilsands city of Fort McMurray, the first response from many was to blame global warming. But climate scientist Paul Roundy of the University at Albany in New York state says global warming wasn’t the main culprit in the Fort McMurray wildfire. Instead, Roundy blames El Niño, a weather phenomenon that’s been around for ages. El Niño events come every two to seven years, based on fluctuations in the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean around the equator. The latest event started early last summer and has been massive. “By some measures it was the strongest ever recorded,” Roundy says.

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Warnings issued for long weekend in South Okanagan

Penticton Western News
May 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Campfires, traffic, boating and border wait time warnings were all issued in advance of the May long weekend. No campfire restrictions are in place as B.C. approaches the traditional start of the outdoor recreation season, but a rash of early-season human-caused forest fires has prompted a warning from the B.C. government to take care in the woods. Forests Minister Steve Thomson says a new advertising campaign begins this week on TV and social media to remind people about increased fines in effect for violating fire restrictions. The fine for failing to comply with fire restrictions is increased from $345 to $1,150. A new penalty of failing to comply with a stop-work order made because of fire risk will carry a maximum penalty of $100,000 and one year in prison.

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Premier Brad Wall defends effort to battle forest fires

The Wolf 104.9
May 18, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Brad Wall is defending efforts to battle forest fires in northern Saskatchewan. The opposition is calling on the SaskParty government to expand the budget to battle fires. Wall says major improvements have been made following last year’s difficult season in the north. He says eight additional firefighting crews have been hired in northern communities.  He says the process for evacuation roles between the province and local authorities have been re-evaluated. As well, the Premier says training capacity has been expanded and new equipment has been purchased.

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Province concerned about wildfires

Canadian Press in CFJC Today Kamloops
May 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA. — B-C Premier Christy Clark is calling for a national forest firefighting strategy. Clark says climate change is leading to more wildfires like the ones raging around Fort McMurray, Alberta, and B-C’s Interior is also experiencing similar fire conditions this spring. She says pooling national fire-fighting resources among provinces would be one way to attack the country’s hot spots, along with working together to clear flammable debris from forests. Clark says dry forests and longer fire seasons mean the problem is only going to get worse, and points out that this year’s BC fire season was the earliest on record.

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Fire command centre set up in La Loche, Sask.

Northern village has set up a pre-evacuation checklist for people forced to leave because of smoky air
CBC News
May 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The fire base in La Loche, Sask. is a hive of activity today. Five helicopters and a back burner crew have arrived in the village, located roughly 100 kilometres east of Fort McMurray. The Alberta city is the epicentre of a massive forest fire that has now crossed the Saskatchewan border. While no Saskatchewan communities are at risk of being burned, Acting Mayor Kevin Janvier is glad the situation is being taken seriously. “An emergency operations officer is in town working with us,” Janvier said. “If it’s a time for a call, they’ll assist [with] more resources, emergency social services and stuff like that.”

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Fort McMurray wildfire expands into Saskatchewan

About 771 hectares have burned in Saskatchewan so far
CBC News
May 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The massive forest fire surrounding Fort McMurray, Alta., is now confirmed to have crossed the border into Saskatchewan. Alberta fire information officer Travis Fairweather said on Thursday morning the fire, estimated to be 505,645 hectares in size, has expanded east of the border. So far, about 700 hectares have burned in Saskatchewan, Alberta officials said. The fire is still 30 kilometres from the nearest village, La Loche. The Saskatchewan government provided an update later in the morning. Officials said the Fort McMurray fire is not a threat to La Loche right now, but smoke is becoming an issue there and in surrounding communities.

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Penticton fire department secures wildfire safety grants

By Steve Kidd
Pentiction Western News
May 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Penticton Fire Department is looking to do some preventative maintenance, not on their vehicles, but on some high hazard forested areas. Deputy chief Dave Spalding was before council Monday, looking for their support for a grant application to the Union of B.C. Municipalities Strategic Wildfire Program Initiative in order to develop a fuel management prescription for fuel breaks in the Riddle Road area and near the Penticton Landfill. “These are areas within our borders that have been targeted as high hazard areas that are the first of many to begin with a prescription, then to have fuel treatments to do clean up,” said Spalding. Both areas were identified as high hazard in the community wildfire protection plan, developed with a grant the department received last year.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Pollution-free wood burning is possible

Letter by Patrick Amos, Glenora
Cowichan Valley Citizen
May 19, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are surrounded by an abundance of readily renewable carbon-neutral biomass, but we overlook this abundant fuel supply because we have been conditioned to assume that heating/cooking with wood-fire is laborious and creates atmospheric pollution. Such is not necessarily the case. Pollution results when gases that are drawn (pyrolized) from the wood are not thereafter combusted into flame. This blue and black smoke rising into the sky is wasted fuel that poses health risks to everyone’s respiratory system. But to ban wood-firing on this basis would be akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. …Pollution-free combustion of wood is contingent upon three factors: Time, temperature and turbulence.

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The 30-by-30 Climate Change Challenge

Sparta Capital ltd
May 19, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

In early May the Canadian forest products industry took a formal, public step by pledging to help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy. Their campaign is called the 30-by-30 Climate Change Challenge. The plan is to remove 30 megatonnes of CO2 per year by 2030, which is more than 13 percent of the Canadian government’s emissions targets. The 30-by-30 is an initiative developed by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). The group believes the 30 megatonnes can be removed using the following measures: Forest management (maximizing carbon storage in forests and encouraging tree growth); New technologies (using innovative products and clean tech to displace materials made of fossil fuel); Efficiencies at mill sites.

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