Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 9, 2016

Business & Politics

Sawmill expansion brings $3M investment, three new jobs

GoDanRiver.com
June 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Gregory Lumber in Java will be investing $3 million in construction and equipment to add an automated lumber sorting system to the sawmill, according to an announcement made this morning by state Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Center in Chatham. The investment is expected to increase the sawmill’s productivity by 50 percent and create three new jobs. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has approved a $50,000 grant from the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to assist with the project, which Pittsylvania County is matching with local funds.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Fire safety guideline developed for midrise wood construction

Daily Commercial News
June 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

In consultation with key stakeholders, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has developed a best practice guideline for fire safety during construction of five- and six-storey wood buildings in the province. “While following these best practices may not eliminate all risk, the practices should minimize the risk of a significant construction site fire occurring in the first place, as well as to reduce the spread and impact of such a fire should one occur,” the document states. “Builders are encouraged, where possible, to follow these suggested best practices or to devise equally effective approaches that achieve a similar level of performance.” The publication comes in the wake of changes to the Ontario Building Code that came into effect in January 2015 allowing construction of five- and six-storey buildings of predominately wood construction.

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BREEAM Green Building Rating System Arrives in US

Environmental Leader
June 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

BREEAM, the leading UK green-building rating system, has crossed the pond and is looking to take on its US counterpart LEED. BREEAM, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, is managed by London-based Building Research Establishment, or BRE, and used in countries around the world. BREEAM has been the dominant environmental assessment system for buildings in the UK for almost two-dozen years. According to a BRE spokesperson, BREEAM has completed more than 542,868 certifications and has more than 2,242,262 registered buildings in 77 countries. In contrast, US Green Building Council’s LEED has completed about 80,000 certifications and has about 1 million buildings in the process of getting certified.

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Is Wood The New Concrete Of The 21st Century?

By Christy Gren
Industry Leaders Magazine
June 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Wood is undeniably the eco-friendliest building material on the planet. When it comes to ecological building materials, wood has its own class and nothing can be compared to it. Wood is indeed the most priceless asset for the people and the Earth since trees are self-regenerating like any crop and can absorb carbon dioxide as they grow. Just like snowflakes, no two pieces of wood can ever be the same on the planet. Vancouver architect, Michael Green long-time advocate of timber construction and the Canadian wood frame construction has proposed North America’s tallest ‘wooden’ skyscraper in a bid to change the face of sustainable architecture.

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With Connecticut Foundations Crumbling, ‘Your Home Is Now Worthless’

New York Times
June 7, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

…Across nearly 20 towns in northeastern Connecticut, a slow-motion disaster is unfolding, as local officials and homeowners wrestle with an extraordinary phenomenon. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of home foundations that have been poured since the 1980s are cracking, with fissures so large you can slip a hand inside. …The scope of the problem is so vast that state officials have begun an investigation, and they recently announced that the crumbling foundations had been traced to a quarry business and a related concrete maker, which have agreed to stop selling their products for residential use. 

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Forestry

Canadian Council of Forest Ministers recognize the value of innovation and Indigenous participation in the forest sector

Released in partnership with the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers.
Yukon Government Press Release
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

DAWSON CITY–The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) met today in Dawson City, Yukon to renew its commitment to key challenges and opportunities for Canada’s forests and forest sector. During their meeting chaired by the Government of Yukon, the Council agreed to renew the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy, and discussed the ways in which the forest sector can contribute to Canada’s climate change objectives, enhance innovation and industry transformation, encourage greater Indigenous participation in the forest sector and support bioenergy development, and demonstrate sustainable forest management. The Council also discussed the softwood lumber file and reaffirmed the importance of achieving a managed trade agreement with the United States.

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Canadian Council of Forest Ministers reaffirm a strong, joint commitment to wildland fire management

Yukon Government Press Resease
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

DAWSON CITY–At their annual meeting in Dawson City, Yukon today, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers placed a priority focus on wildland fire management. Despite their ecological benefits to forests, predicted increase in the frequency and severity of wildland fires poses tremendous risks for public health and safety, and infrastructure. The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers agreed that federal, provincial and territorial governments have a strong leadership role to play in addressing these challenges. While many factors contribute to fire hazards and situations across Canada, ministers recognize that the effects of climate change will only increase the number and risks of more severe fire events. Given this context, it is more important than ever that governments collaborate, with other impacted stakeholders, on a strategic and horizontally coordinated approach.

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Public outcry wins reprieve for threatened toads near Summit Lake

The Castlegar Source
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Concerns by the local residents, environmental groups and the Okanagan First Nation that proposed logging above Summit Lake Provincial Park could crush hundreds of blue-listed toads while destroying their habitat has resulted in logging being stopped until winter said Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS) in a media release Wednesday. The VWS said the decision was apparently made by the logging company — the Nakusp and Area Community Forest — but was released to the local environmental society by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. “Logging at this time would not have been Best Management Practices, it would have been Worst Possible Management Practices,” said Craig Pettitt, a director of the Valhalla Wilderness Society in the media release.

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Alberta plans to add 1.8 million hectares of protected range for woodland caribou

By Colette Derworiz
Calgary Herald
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province says it will protect an additional 1.8 million hectares of woodland caribou range in northern Alberta and work to increase populations in central Alberta — in what one conservation group is calling a “boreal bonanza and foothills fiasco.” On Wednesday, Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips said the province is moving forward with caribou protection plans for a number of reasons. “We inherited a bit of a policy logjam on this,” she said in an interview. “Certainly, there were a number of jobs at risk both in the energy and the forestry sector, and we have a looming federal deadline for us to file our range plans for this particular species at risk. “It made for a number of tough choices.”  Phillips said they engaged a mediator, who consulted with Aboriginal, environmental and industry groups, and have accepted his report for caribou range protection in central and northern Alberta.

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Interior needs to look beyond exporting raw resources

by Eric Allen
Prince George Citizen
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The expression “fiddle while Rome burns” means to spend time enjoying yourself or doing things that are not important when you should be dealing with a serious problem. One cannot help but think that our various levels of government are doing just that when it comes to what is taking place in north-central B.C. If there ever was a time when we should be dealing with the serious problem of job security and job creation in the region, this is the time. …The interior of B.C. is totally reliant on the exporting of lumber, pulp and paper, mineral products and, to some extent, food products.When the market for these products decline, we are immediately affected, which is what is happening at the present time.

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Alberta considers fencing off calving pens for caribou in impacted forests

Canadian Press in Cowichan Valley Citizen
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Scientists are putting Alberta at the head of the herd among provinces with a strategy to preserve threatened caribou that includes sectioning off forest to protect calving cows. While the plan for a $40-million restoration of industry-damaged habitat and huge new protected areas has drawn applause, questions remain about whether calving pens will do any good. “It could be an OK idea, but there’s no evidence for it,” said Mark Hebblewhite, a University of Montana biologist familiar with Alberta’s caribou conflicts.

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US agents move against illegal timber imports from Amazon

By Mica Rosenberg
Reuters in Bangor Daily News
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

NEW YORK — U.S. agents searched the offices of a California-based wood importer this week as part of a broadening government crackdown on imports of illegally harvested timber, according to a previously unreported federal search warrant seen by Reuters. The Department of Homeland Security agents are probing whether privately held Global Plywood & Lumber Inc. violated U.S. and Peruvian law by importing wood that officials say was taken from the Amazon without proper permits, according to the warrant filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego on Monday and executed on Tuesday.

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WDFW hopes to expand wildlife area in Toutle River Valley

The Longview Daily News
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two proposed land transactions may eventually lead to more public access to state forests in the Toutle River Valley. This week, Cowlitz County commissioners endorsed the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s plan to buy more than 4,000 acres from Weyerhaeuser Co. to expand the WDFW’s Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area, an area popular with elk in winter months. But it could take years, and about $10 million in public funding, before the purchase goes through. The 6,500-acre Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area is open to the public in summer months. But Weyerhaeuser owns most of the land between Spirit Lake Memorial Highway and the wildlife area With the company’s new fee access program that starts in August, people would have to purchase a $300 permit for motorized access or $50 walk-in permit to approach the wildlife area from most sides.

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Daines bill would promote better forest management through tribal, federal cooperation

Ripon Advance
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) would improve management of forestland through better cooperation between tribes and federal agencies. The Tribal Forest Participation and Protection Act, S. 3014, would establish a new tool for Indian tribes and federal agencies to undertake restoration projects that help promote active management and improve forest health. “We need commonsense forest management reform that cuts through the bureaucratic red tape, improves the health of our forests, creates good paying jobs and reduces the risk of catastrophic forest fires,” Daines said.  

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Tree-killing emerald ash borer found in Omaha; ‘what’s to come is not pleasant’

Omaha World-Herald
June 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The emerald ash borer, believed to be the most destructive insect to afflict trees in North America, has been found for the first time in Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture confirmed Wednesday that the invasive beetle is in Pulaski Park in South Omaha. The infestation is probably in its early stages, because foresters and arborists have been searching for signs of the beetle for several years and haven’t found any, said Graham Herbst, the eastern Nebraska community forester for the Nebraska Forest Service. How established the beetle is matters, because that will determine how quickly the infestation marches through metro Omaha.

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Southern pine beetle causing problems for pine trees in McIntosh County

WTOC.com
June 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – It’s one of the most destructive insects native to South Georgia, and it can wreak havoc on the pine tree crop. The Georgia Forestry Commission says there hasn’t been an outbreak of southern pine beetle cases in the last 20 years, but now, unfortunately, it’s back on their radar. Since March, the Forestry Commission has investigated 46 outbreaks, and while those affected areas are no bigger that the square footage of your average kitchen, it’s still very concerning. The pine tree crop is a billion-dollar industry in Georgia, and one that creates thousands of jobs. Anytime there is a threat to the cash crop of the logging industry, the Georgia Forestry Commission takes it very seriously. From the sky, they identify problem spots, and then contact the property owners to let them know there’s an outbreak.

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Forest Fires

South African firefighters in Alberta ‘demobilized’ over pay dispute

by Justin Giovannetti and Geoffrey York
Globe and Mail
June 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

After less than a week on the job, 300 South African firefighters in Alberta have gone on strike in a pay dispute. All of the firefighters have been “demobilized” since the strike, and some or all of them will be flown home, their managers say. The firefighters arrived in Canada last month, singing and dancing as they landed at Edmonton airport, gaining media attention across Canada and internationally. But now they are angry that they are receiving an allowance of only $15 a day during their Canadian deployment, in addition to their South African salaries, despite promises of additional money.It’s unclear how many of the firefighters will be returning to South Africa, since it will depend on the wildfire situation in Alberta, but all 300 of them have been “demobilized” since the pay dispute began on Wednesday, their South African managers say.

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Singing South African firefighters dispute pay at Fort McMurray wildfire

Crews refuse to work Wednesday, unsettled by media reports claiming they’re making $15-$21 an hour
CBC News
June 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

South African firefighters who made international headlines for singing when they arrived in Canada have now turned to protests to dispute the wages they’re being paid. About 300 firefighters who came to Alberta last month to help fight the Fort McMurray fire did not report for work Wednesday because of a pay dispute. Bitiro Moseki, one of the firefighters based at a camp north of Fort McMurray, said they are being paid $15 a day. “It’s 15 not even per hour, it’s 15 per day,” said Moseki. While that may seem hard to believe, given that Alberta expects to move to a $15-an-hour minimum wage by 2018, a contract thought to be between the firefighters and their employer seems to back up the claim. The Alberta government says it made a deal with the South African government for the firefighters’ services.

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Two new wildfires lit in Fort McMurray Forest Area Wednesday

MyMcMurray
June 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As of 5:30 p.m., Wednesday two new wildfires started in the Fort McMurray Forest Area. One of them has already been extinguished, the other is being held by 12 firefighters and two helicopters. That fire is located about 100 kilometres north of Fort McMurray approximately 3.9 kilometres north west of McClelland Lake. Currently the 0.1 hectare fire isn’t threatening any communities. The Horse River Fire is still considered out of control and is estimated at 587,707 hectares in size including the portion on the Saskatchewan side of the border, it too isn’t threatening any communities.

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Chiloquin-area fire continues to spread in high winds

Herald and News
June 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Crews are continuing to battle a wildfire near Chiloquin as night winds sent the blaze across containment lines Monday, according to authorities. The Draw Fire had burned 537 acres as of Tuesday afternoon in an area of the Fremont-Winema National Forest 20 miles northeast of Chiloquin. The fire was sparked by a lightning strike Sunday night as local temperatures reached into the 90s. On Monday, winds reaching 55 mph pushed the fire southeast past containment lines and, by that night, the blaze was entirely uncontained.

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Oslo area hit by two massive forest fires

The Local
June 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

A fire helicopter and the efforts of firefighters and the Norwegian Civil Defence were able to get two wildfires north of Romsås in Oslo under control on Wednesday afternoon. Fire broke out in two places at transmission towers in a wooded area north of Romsås in Oslo on Wednesday and the dry forest floor and winds brought the fires dangerously close to area neighbourhoods. Police asked residents on Romsås, Ammerud and Grorud to keep their windows closed due to heavy smoke and wind in the area, while students at Bjøråsen school at Romsås were evacuated because of the smoke.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Ontario Releases New Climate Change Action Plan

Government of Ontario in Thunder Bay News Watch
June 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario is continuing to lead in the growth of the low-carbon economy with the release of the province’s Climate Change Action Plan, which will provide people and businesses with tools and incentives to accelerate the use of clean technology that exists today. Through this plan, the province will continue to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to fight climate change. Building on Ontario’s landmark climate change legislation, the plan will ensure that proceeds from the province’s recently finalized cap and trade program are invested in a transparent and accountable way back into green projects that will help households and businesses reduce greenhouse gas pollution and save on their energy costs. [Download the full plan here http://www.applications.ene.gov.on.ca/ccap/products/CCAP_ENGLISH.pdf]

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Five things you need to know about how Ontario’s climate change action plan will affect your life

Canadian Press in National Post
June 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — Ontario’s action plan on climate change, expected to be released today, will include financial incentives to get cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks on the roads and to convince homeowners and businesses to lower their carbon footprints. The plan, obtained by the Canadian Press, calls for government spending of $5.9 billion to $8.3 billion on climate change initiatives over the next five years. The money would come from the $1.9 billion the Liberal government expects to raise each year by auctioning off pollution emission credits when Ontario joins a cap-and-trade market with Quebec and California next January.

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Roger A. Sedjo and Stephen Shaler: Congress confirms biomass helps fight climate change

The Gainesville Sun
June 7, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States


In a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation, the Senate recently passed a far-ranging energy bill. Critics quickly homed in on a unanimously adopted amendment recognizing the renewability and carbon benefits of biomass energy derived from wood and plant material. That designation puts biomass in the same category as wind, solar and other renewables in the eyes of federal officials. Critics claim lawmakers have gotten out in front of the science and that there’s not enough evidence to definitively prove biomass’s environmental benefits. They’re wrong. Science recognizes biomass is a well-established way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Supporting biomass energy provides one more important strategy for fighting global climate change.

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Forest Service Releases Full Data Set For Moss Study

Oregon Public Broadcasting
June 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service has released the data that kicked off concerns about Oregon’s system of monitoring air quality and air toxics in Portland. Hundreds of readings gathered all around the city are expressed on an interactive map that shows readings taken in 2013. The study examined mosses growing at more than 300 spots in Portland. The foresters then studied 22 elements the moss contained, including six metals that could damage human health. Research forester Demetrios Gatziolis says while the findings suggested pollution hot spots, they don’t provide clear information about air quality. “We presently have no evidence to suggest that any moss-derived concentrations have anything to do with the quality of the air we breathe. The relationship is suggested but not conclusive,” he said.

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Springfield Health Board Urged To Review Biomass Project

WAMC.org
June 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts have won support for a last-ditch bid to block the project. The Springfield City Council approved a resolution calling on the city’s Public Health Council to hold a site assignment hearing on the project. Councilor Orlando Ramos, the resolution’s sponsor, said he is not concerned by threats from the plant’s developer to sue if the local health board gets involved. “I am more concerned about the public health and safety of our residents. I am concerned about the asthma rate in the city of Springfield. I am concerned about the air quality in the city of Springfield,” said Ramos.

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