Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 30, 2016

Business & Politics

No word of progress at Canada-U.S. softwood lumber talks in Ottawa

By: Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in the Winnipeg Free Press
May 27, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL – Canadian softwood lumber negotiators held a one-day meeting with their U.S. counterparts in Ottawa this week but there was no report of progress on the contentious trade issue. Alex Lawrence, a spokesman for International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, described the meeting, held Thursday, as “an informative exchange.” Officials said they expect talks to resume shortly, but no date has yet been set. The two sides are under pressure to reach a deal before October, a one-year period since the previous agreement expired in which neither side can take punitive actions. …However, CIBC forestry analyst Hamir Patel says time is running out to a deal, noting that the Americans believe a framework has to be found by around June 18 for an agreement to be in place by October, while Canada views June as “more of a checking in” date.

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Out of work Alberni loggers worried about losing medical benefits

By Dean Stoltz
Chek News
May 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Stelmacker has had lots of time for gardening this spring. He’s one of about 125 workers who have been off the job since Christmas because of a dispute between his employer Island Pacific Logging and Western Forest Products. “We don’t know how long this is going on. We have no idea” lamented Stelmacker when CHEK News visited his Port Alberni home for an interview Sunday. The dispute is over the rate Island Pacific Logging should be paid by WFP and has left 232,000 hectares of land on the island between Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Lake Cowichan quiet. “You try to cope with it as best you can. Some of us are able to depend on our personal lines of credit and to get by. We’re selling things. People are selling their cars, their boats. I’m going to sell my truck and my canoe to try to keep some cash coming in” said Stelmacker.

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Locals hope Prince Albert pulp mill will reopen in 2020

Paper Excellence says changes in market conditions could derail plans for opening
CBC News
May 27, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

People in Prince Albert are still hoping their pulp mill will reopen. Ten years ago, Weyerhaeuser closed the Prince Albert Pulp and Paper Mill, costing 700 people their jobs. In 2011, current owner Paper Excellence stepped in and bought the plant, proposing to reopen the pulp side of the mill, while shuttering the paper facility. In a speech to the Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce this week, Paper Excellence reiterated its plans to reopen the mill by 2020. However, that will only happen if market conditions are favourable. …Meanwhile, people in Prince Albert say it would be a huge blow if the mill doesn’t reopen.  “It would be a disaster for us,” said Deputy Mayor Don Cody. “We are in negotiations presently with taxes, which is a confidential thing, but it would be devastating if it totally closed and was torn down.”

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Canfor Pulp Products Inc. and Licella Fibre Fuels Pty. Ltd. enter into a biofuels-biochemicals joint venture agreement

Canada Newswire press release
May 27, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Licella Fibre Fuels Pty Ltd.  and Canfor Pulp Products Inc. (TSX: CFX), through its subsidiary Canfor Pulp Ltd., have signed an agreement to form a joint-venture under the name “Licella Pulp Joint Venture”. Licella Pulp Joint Venture is a strategic relationship between the two companies that will investigate opportunities to integrate Licella’s unique Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) upgrading platform into Canfor Pulp’s kraft and mechanical pulp mills to economically convert biomass, including wood residues from Canfor Pulp’s kraft pulping processes, into biocrude oil, to produce next generation biofuels and biochemicals. This additional residue stream refining would allow Canfor Pulp to further optimise their pulp production capacity.

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Resolute FP fined for 2014 workplace injury in Iroquois Falls, Ont.

CBC News
May 27, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A workplace injury, at the now closed-down paper mill in Iroquois Falls, Ont. has left Resolute Forest Products with a $55,000 fine. It was in October 2014 when an employee suffered hand fractures while working on the winder of a paper machine. The case was before the courts in Timmins, Ont. on Thursday. The Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found the machine did not have the proper guard in place. Investigators said two other areas on the equipment had pinch points or moving parts, which were also unguarded. Resolute Forest Products pleaded guilty and was fined $55,000 for the workplace accident.

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West Coast log exports down, lumber exports up in first quarter of 2016

USFS Pacific Northwest, Research Station
May 26, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. The latest data summarizing West Coast log and lumber exports in the first quarter of 2016 were released today by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. The data—covering exports during January, February, and March 2016—were compiled and analyzed by Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station. The first-quarter decline in West Coast log export volume compared to last quarter is a result of reduced demand from Asia, particularly China, Zhou said. The first-quarter increase in West Coast lumber export volume is a result of increased demand from Germany.

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Pocatello company proposes Potlatch wood pellet mill

Associated Press in Washington Times
May 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

POTLATCH, Idaho – A Pocatello-based company wants to operate a wood pellet plant in northern Idaho that has been closed since 1981. The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that Centennial Renewable Energy Solutions LLC has been working with the city of Potlatch for more than a year in hopes of taking over the former Potlatch Mill. The facility would create pellets from residual wood scraps and sawdust from area mills.

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Fire destroys 4 Yale forestry school buildings

Fox 61
May 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EASTFORD — A three-alarm fire has destroyed four buildings owned by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The Hartford Courant reported the fire was reported just after 7 p.m. Saturday in a densely wooded area of Eastford. Fire Chief Gordon Spink said that the buildings are a “total loss.” No injuries were reported. The buildings were used by Yale for forestry training and were located in the Yale Myers Forest, which encompasses nearly 7,800 acres in the northeast corner of the state of Connecticut.

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Maine Voices: Biomass plays vital role in Maine’s forestry industry

by Josiah Pierce, former president of the Small Woodland Owners of Maine
Portland Press Herald
May 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BALDWIN — When the U.S. Senate passed an energy bill last month, most commentators praised it as an example of compromise between the major parties. But a handful of critics have blasted the bill because of a bipartisan biomass amendment sponsored by Maine’s Susan Collins, a Republican, and co-sponsored by Maine independent Angus King and several of their colleagues. They want it deleted in the upcoming House-Senate conference committee. These critics don’t seem to understand the basics of today’s forest-based economy. …Today, we need to leverage all the potential market opportunities for Maine wood if we are going to preserve our industry and maintain our forestland. This is where biomass and Sens. Collins’ and King’s amendment comes in.

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Power from pellets Drax facilities boost timber industry in Louisiana and Mississippi, port in Baton Rouge

The Advocate
May 27, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Reducing dependence on fossil fuels has been one of the great issues of the 21st century for businesses and governments. Officials with a British power company think they have an answer to reducing carbon emissions, thanks to wood produced in Louisiana and Mississippi. Officials with Drax Group recently held an open house for their Amite BioEnergy wood pellet plant in Gloster, Mississippi, a little over an hour north of Baton Rouge. The event drew a range of officials, from local county commissioners and legislators, to state forestry leaders. The plant has been in production for several months, and on average, 57 truckloads of wood pellets are heading down the highway, bound for the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. At the port, the pellets are placed in large storage domes until they are transported by ship to the United Kingdom. There, they are used as fuel in power plants, instead of coal.

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Indian company offers to buy parent firm of Rumford mill

Kejriwal Group International offers to buy British Columbia-based Catalyst Paper
Portland Press Herald
May 27, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A paper recycling company from India has expressed interest in buying Catalyst Paper Corp., including its mill in Rumford. Kejriwal Group International, based in Mumbai, has sent a letter to the majority owners of Catalyst, saying it would offer $6 per share for the British Columbia-based company. Kejriwal is affiliated with the company that expressed interest in buying Verso Paper’s Bucksport mill in January 2015. That mill ultimately was closed and sold for scrap. Catalyst’s board of directors said Monday it would evaluate the offer. “(We are) encouraged by KGI’s proposal, which could provide the company with a significant amount of capital, which further enhances and accelerates Catalyst’s planned growth initiatives,” the board said in a statement.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

This Canadian passive house factory was built from its own prefab wood panels

Inhabitat
May 27, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

The Passive House Factory in British Columbia is the functioning embodiment of the very ideals that it is promoting. The factory was made from the same prefabricated wood it produces for other eco-friendly buildings. This meta maneuver was brought to life by Hemsworth Architecture, whose expert design helped to create the first facility of its kind in North America. Screens made from two-by-fours make up the building’s facade, with each side featuring unique spacing between the wood to accommodate its relation to the sun. The firm stated, “The two-by-fours were prefabbed into screens and left unfinished to naturally weather over time.”

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Downtown Eugene’s next big office building to rise this summer

The Register-Guard
May 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Architects Greg Brokaw and John Rowell and business owner Kaz Oveissi are close to breaking ground on a significant new building in downtown Eugene. But this isn’t the controversial on-hold proposal to build an apartment and retail building on Broadway Plaza, the city-owned public space known better as Kesey Square. …The building’s exterior will be made of traditional metal and cement. But the group plans to build the floors with cross-laminated timber beams, a growing trend in construction. The beams are made from layers of wood glued together, similar to traditional laminated beams but larger and stronger. It’s the same material Springfield officials hope to use for a proposed city-owned parking garage in the Glenwood area. “We’ll be the first (cross-laminated timber) building, I believe, in Eugene-Springfield,” Brokaw said.

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Wooden Skyscrapers? A New Market Rising In Eiffel’s Iron Shadow

France has long been an innovator in building materials, from the steel spledor of the Eiffel Tower to concrete to suprisingly resistant wood.
World Crunch
May 27, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International


PARIS — Canadian architect Michael Green thinks the sky’s the limit for buildings made with wood. And it was in Paris, with a project called the Baobab Tower, that the “high priest” of wooden high-rises hoped to prove it. Controversy surrounding the Tour Triangle (Triangle Tower), a conventional skyscraper planned for the French capital, ended up killing Green’s 35-story (120-meter) project — at least for now. Paul Jarquin of the company REI France, which collaborated on the Baobab Tower plan along with an architecture firm called DVVD, insists the project has only been postponed. Even if the Baobab blueprints don’t, in the end, amount to anything, the idea behind them — that wood can be used instead of steel and concrete to construct multi-story structures — is making serious inroads around the world.

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Forestry

Huge forest along Manitoba-Ontario border moves closer to UNESCO recognition

Canadian Press in The Coast Reporter
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

WINNIPEG – A vast stretch of boreal forest along the Manitoba-Ontario boundary moved one step closer to international recognition Friday, as two UNESCO advisory bodies recommended Pimachiowin Aki be deemed a world heritage site. The federal, Manitoba and Ontario governments have put up millions of dollars over the past decade in the attempt to secure the designation for Pimachiowin Aki — an Ojibwa phrase that translates as “the land that gives life.” The effort was dealt a setback in 2013, when the same UNESCO advisory groups said it was unclear whether the area — a relatively untouched stretch of forest half the size of New Brunswick — is unique. The governments submitted a reworked bid with more information about the ties between the area’s indigenous inhabitants and the land, and the advisory groups have recommended the bid be given final approval at a meeting of the UNESCO world heritage committee in Turkey in July.

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Steve Lawson was a warrior for the wilderness

Globe and Mail
May 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steve Lawson, environmental activist, master boatman and perhaps one of the few people who has ever looked into the eyes of both a cougar and a killer whale, was usually way out front. When he died recently, surrounded by his family at his home on Wickaninnish Island near Tofino, an important voice in the wilderness was silenced. In 1984, nearly a decade before he and some 800 others were arrested for blockading logging in Clayoquot Sound, Mr. Lawson was leading a small protest to stop MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. from cutting the old-growth forest on Meares Island. …Steve Lawson is gone. But the great trees, and the bears he fought to protect – for his children and yours – are still there. That’s some monument.

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Outdoor classrooms provide unique learning experience in Saskatchewan

By Tiffany Cassidy
CBC News
May 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a breath of fresh air for students in Stockholm, Sask. Their school has created an outdoor classroom, where any class from math to English can be taught. The space is made out of paving stones and has a small barn. It’s built within a bluff of trees and is a big enough space to accommodate all 90 students in the kindergarten to Grade 9 school. “It just provides you another opportunity to entice you to be outside and learn,” said the school principal Reg Leidl. Leidl said many of his staff are passionate about outdoor learning and were concerned that children no longer played enough outside. They call it a “nature deficit.”

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Drought prompts Cowichan River supply rationing

Victoria Times Colonist
May 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cowichan River stewards are taking emergency measures to ration the water supply, calling it the new “worst year” for early drought conditions. Cowichan Lake, which feeds the river, is about 46 per cent full — the lowest late-May level since the weir was built in 1957, according to the Cowichan Valley Regional District. “This year is the worst ever. It feels like we just keep redefining the worst year, every year,” said Brian Houle, environmental manager for Catalyst Paper, which operates the weir. Pressure has been mounting in recent years on the river, which is a vital resource to a variety of stakeholders — from the salmon that spawn there to the 600 millworkers whose livelihood depends on its flow.

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New community forest award honours life of Robin Hood

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
May 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robin Hood from Likely, B.C. may not have been from Nottingham but his legend for those involved in the province’s community forests is as big as the heart he had for the communities in which he worked. Last night, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced the creation of a new $10,000 grant to be given annually to the community forest that best exemplifies the values exhibited by the late Robin Hood and the community forest program. These values include community leadership, providing local and social economic opportunity and passion for community forestry. Thomson made the announcement at the 14th annual BC Community Forests Association convention.

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Protected B.C. caribou herd welcomes 11 new calves

First Nations conservation program brings herd back from the brink
CBC News
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Once hundreds of animals strong, the Klinse-Za caribou herd of northeastern B.C. had only 16 members in 2013. Now, thanks to the conservation efforts of local First Nations, the birth of 11 new calves brings that number up to 61. Now in its third year, a program spearheaded by the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations captures pregnant female caribou and allows them to raise their calves in a protected environment free of predators before eventually releasing them. …The herd has historically spent its winters high in the mountains, where wolves have trouble getting to them. But new logging roads now give wolves easy access to the caribou’s former sanctuary. He said the program’s success is encouraging but not enough on its own — and neither is the province’s wolf cull program. He says the only long-term solution is habitat protection.

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County leading in managing sustainable forests

The Daily Observer
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Renfrew County is taking the lead when it comes to managing sustainable forests, an industry expert reaffirmed Wednesday. Rob Keen, chief executive officer of Forests Ontario, credited the county with its support of the forestry sector but readily admitted most residents around the province do not appreciate how critical logging is to Ontario. “We have a lack of knowledge of how well we manage our forests,” said Keen revealing that a recent poll showed that 62 per cent of Ontarians either were unaware or had no opinion about the forest industry. Forests Ontario, a non-profit charity that act as voice for the province’s forests by supporting forest restoration, stewardship, education and awareness, is leading an initiative called “It Takes A Forest.”

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Guest Opinion: On BLM forests, more common ground than you might think

by George Sexton, conservation director for the Klamath Siskiyou Wildands Center.
The Mail Tribune
May 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We should also note that conservationists want to find long-term solutions to the financial challenges that have rocked O&C counties. Rural counties and rural communities should benefit from the neighboring BLM forests that are literally in our backyards. It is extremely significant and noteworthy that both the counties and conservation organizations oppose clearcutting of BLM public forests. This is a breakthrough that has profound implications. Clearcutting increases fire hazard to adjacent landowners, degrades watersheds, eliminates wildlife habitat, undermines the recreation economy and short-changes local mills and forest workers who have invested in the infrastructure that supports forest restoration. We can do better.

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Working forests need balanced management

Letter by Michael D. Jackson
The Olympian
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Voters should keep in mind the importance of temperance and balance with the next elected lands commissioner. I would like to remind our community of the importance of working forests and how important striking a balance between the economy and environment is when it comes to forest management. I work as a forester for Professional Forestry Services, Inc., which manages forestland for private timber landowners. These landowners provide sustainable and environmentally sensitive forest management, certified in many cases by American Tree Farm. …As the economic driver in rural communities, private forest management not only protects the environment but also provides economic
opportunity for many rural families.

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Oregon Timber Grower Complains Of Helicopter Herbicide Spraying

Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Peter and Pam Hayes’s claim about herbicide exposure in the forest of the Oregon Coast Range begins the same way as most from the news in recent years. On May 17, they and two others were out tending their property. They heard a helicopter in the distance and thought little of it. Then, they say, they began to smell and taste chemicals. “The helicopter was not over me. It was not droplets. It was just a super strong, strong taste,” Pam said. Both are familiar with the idea of aerial spraying. Pam and her husband, Peter Hayes, are fifth generation loggers and the owners of Hyla Woods in Washington County. Peter is a former member of the Oregon Board of Forestry. He’s also become an advocate for more environmentally friendly logging practices, including the elimination of herbicides.

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Kisatchie National Forest to restore longleaf pine acreage

American Press
May 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Kisatchie National Forest officials on Thursday announced a new initiative to restore the acreage of longleaf pine on private lands statewide — boosting it from 2.5 million to 8 million acres over the next few decades. The initiative, called the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership, involves several federal agencies. “The Joint Chief’s approach is an all-lands approach,” said Eddie Taylor, Kisatchie Forest supervisor. “We are endeavoring to utilize federal lands along with private, enthusiastic landowners that are willing and wanting to work with longleaf pine.” Taylor said that by the end of the late 1800s the longleaf pine ecosystem, which covered 90 million acres from Virginia to East Texas, began to dwindle. With a lack of federal lands in Louisiana, he said, officials decided to reach out to private landowners.

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Is This the Future of Small-Scale Forestry in Maine?

Bangor Daily News
May 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…While browsing videos of harvests online, I kept coming across these strange logging systems utilizing ATVs with a forwarding trailer equipped with a hydraulic crane. Conspicuously, almost all of these videos were coming out of Sweden, Finland, and the Czech Republic. I viewed the system at first with great skepticism, seeing it as a set-up that would have severe operational limitations, but the more I watched, the more impressed and fascinated I became. Able to be fitted to wheeled or tracked ATVs, tractors, or bulldozers, these trailers are extremely modular and adaptable to whatever conditions the forest may present. Indeed, a trove of videos and images exist of these systems harvesting in snow and on hillsides and performing a variety of different silvicultural operations ranging from commercial thinnings of plantations to the harvesting of higher-grade hardwood.

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BREAKING: Norway commits to zero deforestation

Mongabay
May 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Norway is a leader in funding forest conservation around the world (see here, here, and here, for example), and has also taken a stand for the human rights of forest communities. But now the country has announced that it will walk the walk itself. In what’s being hailed as a groundbreaking move, the Norwegian parliament pledged today that the government’s public procurement policy will be going deforestation-free. The Rainforest Foundation Norway, which has worked for a number of years to secure a zero deforestation commitment from the Norwegian government in regard to its supply chains, said in a statement that “Norway is the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation in its public procurement.” The Norwegian parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment made the pledge in a recommendation on the government’s Action Plan on Nature Diversity.

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Forest Fires

Siphon Creek wildfire over 85,000 ha

My Prince George Now
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Siphon Creek wildfire has grown to 85,300 hectares. BC Wildfire is showing the fire has grown nearly 10,000 ha in two weeks. Almost a quarter of that (22,600 ha) is burning in Alberta. The fire is about 40% contained, with six helicopters and over 130 fighting the blaze. The Beatton Airport Road wildfire is 90% contained. It hasn’t grown much at all in almost two weeks and is hovering around 15,739 ha. There are eight firefighters and two pieces of heavy equipment fighting there. END OF STORY

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B.C. Bracing for Expensive Wildfire Season

By Greg Fry
250 News
May 28, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government is burning through this year’s wildfire budget. The government has set aside $63 million for the current fire season but as of yesterday it has already spent over half that – $37,836,773. To date, that figure is the highest it’s been the past 10 years. At this time last year for instance, the government had spent just over $26,650,000 and that included efforts put into fighting the massive Little Bobtail Lake fire near Norman Lake. To put the money spent into perspective, fire information officer Ryan Turcot says the 10-year average as of May 27th is $9,889,464 though he notes it’s not necessarily a sign of things to come.

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Air Canada Flies 300 Firefighters from Johannesburg, South Africa to Assist with Alberta Wild Fire

CNW in Edmonton Journal
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa and EDMONTON, AB – Air Canada flight AC7007 departed O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa early today en route to Edmonton, Alberta with 300 South African firefighters on board. It is carrying the largest number of wildland firefighters ever brought into Canada. The Air Canada Boeing 777-200LR is carrying firefighters from South Africa’s Working on Fire Program (www.workingonfire.org) who will assist in firefighting efforts underway in Northern Alberta. It is also that organization’s largest-ever deployment.

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Naomi Klein says Alberta wildfires linked to climate change in Calgary address (with video)

By David Bell, Mike Symington
CBC News
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Refusing to link climate change to the Fort McMurray wildfires puts Albertans at odds with the scientific consensus and it’s a barrier to a meaningful conversation on how to move forward, an award-winning journalist told hundreds at the Congress 2016 of the Humanities and Social Sciences on Sunday. Naomi Klein, a best-selling author, social activist and filmmaker addressed themes from her most recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, in Calgary, the heart of the oil and gas industry in Canada. While Klein expressed compassion for the evacuees of the Fort McMurray wildfire, she said refusing to link it clearly to climate change is shortsighted.

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Activist Naomi Klein links Fort McMurray wildfire to climate change at University of Calgary speech

By Colette Derworiz
Calgary Sun
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Activist Naomi Klein ruffled some feathers in the heart of Alberta’s oilpatch Sunday, linking the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire to climate change and calling for an end to fossil fuels. Speaking at Congress 2016, which is being held at the University of Calgary, Klein said last year’s Paris climate change agreement didn’t go far enough. “It is a breakthrough and, if it’s all we do, it will be an ecological disaster,” she told the crowd of almost 500 people. “If we are serious about keeping warming below 1.5 C, it does kind of mean the end of the fossil fuel era, which I know is a little bit hard to hear in this city.” …Officials with the U of C said Klein’s overall message is an important one to foster debate both in Alberta and across Canada.

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South African firefighters flying in to help fight Fort McMurray wildfire

CBC News
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The first thing the 281 South African firefighters did when they touched down in Edmonton was sing.  They sang soldier songs — songs of South Africa — while the large crowd gathered their to welcome them cheered.  Khomt Alucie, one of the firefighters who made the journey, said the group has only known each other for a day and singing is how they bond.  “It gives us moral courage, it gives us teamwork,” she said. “If we become tired in the fire we sing.

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AFD calls Div. of Forestry, JBER for assistance with wildfire near East Anchorage

KTVA Alaska
May 27, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage Fire Department is responding to a wildfire just less than a mile from an East Anchorage neighborhood. The fire was first reported at 5:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. AFD Fire Chief Denis LeBlanc said the fire was located on military land and was difficult to reach, so the department has reached out to the Alaska Division of Forestry and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for assistance alongside AFD units dispatched to the area. A private pilot flying over the fire reported to AFD it was roughly 50 feet by 60 feet in size, LeBlanc said. 

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Paying to fight forest fires with forest-health funds is a disaster

Congress needs to treat forest fires as natural disasters and use emergency funds to fight them, not drain money from forest management.
The Seattle Times
May 28, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

AFTER two record-setting wildfire seasons, and with Washington forests already burning, state leaders are again pressing for basic changes in how the expense of these natural disasters is covered. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for smart revisions in how the budget for the U.S. Forest Service works. To cover the costs of fighting devastating wildfires across the West, the Forest Service has to raid funds set aside to keep forests healthy and reduce fire danger. As Inslee and Goldmark point out in their May 19 letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, money is taken from accounts “intended to improve forest health and prevent the very sorts of conditions that can exacerbate fires.” The term of art is “fire borrowing.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is granting $8.8 million for the production of advanced biofuels.

The Green Optimistic
May 28, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

This translates into jobs at associated facilities in 39 states becoming sustained. Credit goes to the successful Advanced Biofuel Payment Program that was laid out in the 2008 Farm Bill. Advanced biofuels is another word for second generation fuels. Biofuels can be produced from several types of sustainable feedstock. The bio-based, renewable energy standards are becoming increasingly important during climate change being that a clean-energy economy could be established. Biomass is less harmful than other sources, as it typically will not impact biodiversity, negatively impact food crops, and will produce little greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides a clear source of renewable energy and opens up new career paths in the biofuel energy industry.

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Why I’m glad lawmakers, LePage helped the biomass industry

By Robert Dorsey – president and CEO of the Aroostook Partnership
Bangor Daily News
May 29, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The public-private initiative Aroostook Partnership has a clear mission to drive economic development in Aroostook County. Because the forest products industry is the largest economic engine in The County, the partnership took a strong interest when the Maine Legislature and Gov. Paul LePage began to discuss LD 1676, An Act to Establish a Process for the Procurement of Biomass Resources, this past winter. As members of the partnership’s Northern Maine Forest Products Industry Cluster, more than 25 businesses, landowners, educators and economic development officials related to forest products have been meeting regularly over the past two years to advance initiatives to benefit and grow the industry in northern Maine. We were among the many people who advocated for passage of LD 1676.

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Emissions change promises to spur forestry

New Zealand Herald
May 28, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The price of a tonne of New Zealand carbon in the emissions trading scheme has pushed through $15, in theory creating break-even conditions for forestry planting based on carbon farming. In the Budget this week, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett confirmed a widely expected cancellation of subsidies to major emitters over the next three years. The cancellation immediately improves the prospects of a higher carbon price. A price from $15 a tonne starts to make carbon capture through forest planting commercially viable. The carbon price collapsed from a high point of $21 in 2011 to trade as low as 35c a tonne in 2014 as cheap eastern European carbon units flooded global markets which were already reducing emissions due to lower industrial activity after the 2008 global financial crisis.

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General

Wood first policy in Tasmanian the first of its kind in Australia

Architecture and Design
May 29, 2016
Category: Uncategorised

Tasmania is developing a new policy that will require wood to be considered as the first-choice construction material during the initial stages of public building projects. Making this announcement, State Treasurer Peter Gutwein said that Tasmania will be the first state in Australia to develop a wood encouragement policy, following recent changes to the National Construction Code that allow for timber products such as CLT to be utilised in more construction projects. The policy requires responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, in all new-build and refurbishment projects. Welcoming the announcement, Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko commented that responsibly sourced, certified wood delivered significant positive environmental outcomes to the building project…

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