Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 6, 2016

Business & Politics

B.C. Briefs: Moose riders charged, progress made on softwood deal

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
July 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. lumber industry is relieved to see progress in talks to renew the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement, which the U.S. government showed little interest in as it expired last fall. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement after their meeting in Ottawa, describing the results of three months of behind-the-scenes talks. It identified goals including “provisions for region or company exclusions if justified.” The statement acknowledges the increase in cross-border ownership of forest products producers, and says a key feature of a new agreement would be “designed to maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed US. market share to be negotiated.”

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Does the expiration of the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber agreement spell the end of Alberta’s forestry industry?

by Robbie Jeffrey
Alberta Venture
July 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nestled in Alberta’s boreal forest, at the confluence of four waterways, is Whitecourt, population 9,600. The town sits at the metaphorical centre of Alberta’s forestry sector, which anchors a network of lumber yards, pulp mills and paper plants that stretch across the nearly two-thirds of this province that is forested. Some of the country’s largest lumber companies operate here. It’s home to Millar Western’s pulp mill and lumber yard, and is a base for West Fraser and Alberta Newsprint Company, all within earshot of minor hubs like Fox Creek and Blue Ridge. Forestry in Alberta is a $4-billion-per-year industry, and the lifeblood of oft-forgotten northern towns like Kinuso and Hines Creek. …But the industry is tense. The trade of lumber between Canada and the U.S. isn’t free, exactly.

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Global lumber industry on pace for a second consecutive record-breaking year

Business in Vancouver
July 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Global softwood lumber production is on pace to break the record set in 2015. That production is being driven in large part because the top 10 importing countries increased lumber imports during 2016’s first quarter. Global production is up 20% in the year’s first quarter compared with the same period in 2015. According to Wood Resources International LLC, Canadian lumber production was also “sharply higher” during the same period. According to the Council of Forest Industries, China is the world’s largest lumber importer. Approximately a third of B.C.’s lumber goes to China, second in terms of the province’s export market behind the United States.

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First Nations sawmill builders look to the past to solve 21st century problem

Duz Cho Forest Products mill designed to keep dangerous wood sawdust outside and process small beetle-killed wood inside
Business in Vancouver
July 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

When Duz Cho Logging went into the sawmilling business, the First Nations company went old school, turning to bush mill technology to solve a modern-day problem. Instead of installing its modern high-production sawmill inside its building – a former finger-joint plant in the northern B.C. town of Mackenzie – Duz Cho installed it on the outside. The company did so to achieve a specific goal: eliminate the enclosed space that increases the hazard of combustible dust explosions. Duz Cho made the decision to return to the days of outdoor bush mills, where lumber was cut at the harvesting site, shortly after the 2012 Lakeland and Babine sawmill explosions. Four people died in those explosions, attributed to accumulations of combustible sawdust within the enclosed sawmills.

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Wide gulf of opinion runs through coastal forestry debate

By Albert Van Santvoort
Business in Vancouver
July 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The coastal forest industry is facing economic and environmental constraints, while the municipalities most affected by the industry are unsure how to balance the two. “It’s positive to maintain natural green spaces and protected areas,” said Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams. “It’s also positive that there have been identified areas where there is continued allowable cut so that the industry can remain viable as well. It’s all about maintaining that balance.” The Truck Loggers Association (TLA) conducted two surveys of community leaders’ views of changes to coastal forestry between 2004 to 2015. The survey gauged support by community representatives, including mayors, for both the coastal forest industry as well as public parks and protected land.

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Columbia Falls: Fight for logging, displaced workers

Letter by Taylor Rose, candidate, House District 3, Montana Legislature
The Missoulian
July 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The unexpected closure of two Weyerhaeuser mills is one of the greatest travesties that could hit Columbia Falls. Another noble icon of our community is going to disappear and it is unacceptable that it had to come to this. Weyerhaeuser stated that the reason for the closure was due to lack of available timber supply. This is the classical narrative we hear from the wood products industry thanks to the harmful regulations of the federal government and their radical green allies. These policies must be stopped. There was never an attempt by Weyerhaeuser to get local input from local community leaders on trying to find alternatives to closures. They also effectively lied to us last November when they assured our community that existing manufacturing facilities “will remain in Montana and the jobs associated with manufacturing will remain” and then pull this on us.

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UPM invests further EUR 98 million in its Kymi pulp mill

IHB – The Timber Network
July 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

UPM invests Euro 98 million in Kymi pulp mill in Finland in a move to strengthen its position as a supplier of bleached chemical pulp for growing consumer and industrial end-use segments like tissue, specialty as well as packaging papers and board. “Over the past three years we have significantly improved the production efficiency of our pulp mills. This EUR 98 million investment in Kymi will strengthen our position on the pulp market with competitive costs and low risk. After the completion of this project, we will have increased our annual pulp production capacity altogether by over 500,000 tonnes since 2013,” saysHeikki Vappula, Executive Vice President, UPM Biorefining.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Product Innovations: Cross-Laminated Timbers in Steel Moment Resisting Frames

Metal.com News
July 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A recent article in Engineering News-Record, examined new trends in building materials. One of them was new uses for cross-laminated timber combined with metals. “For us, right now, the real exciting stuff is in the mixing of materials,” Charlie Carter,American Institute of Steel Construction vice president and chief structural engineer, told ENR. “Steel has always done that, of course. A big innovation in mixing materials that I see coming is the wood industry pushing cross-laminated timber.” Steel Moment Resisting Frame with CLT infill wall. Illustration courtesy of Earthquake Spectra. Putting wooden CLT panels into a steel moment resisting frame, then putting them both on a concrete topping, is becoming very competitive with a typical flat-plate concrete standard floor, according to ENR.

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Super-local Passivhaus Caretaker’s House is built from locally grown and felled timber

Inhabitat
July 6, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A rustic log cabin may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a low-cost home made from locally felled trees, but Invisible Studio defies expectations with the contemporary Caretaker’s House. Located in the countryside of Dorset, England, the Caretaker’s House at Hooke Park is a Passivhaus building built only from timber grown and felled on site. The building was developed from an Architectural Association student concept design and is said to be the “world’s first green timber building insulated to Passivehaus standards.” The 120-square-meter Caretaker’s House is constructed from a variety of unseasoned timber, including larch, cedar, and spruce, but uses the wood for more than just its framework. The wood is also used for heating and insulation, particularly on the relatively closed north side, which features thick and heavy timber walls.

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Australia’s first breathing green wall to reduce headaches and poor productivity at Barangaroo offices

By Nicholas Rider
Architecture and Design
July 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A six-metre high, breathing green wall will provide Lendlease workers with fresh, clean air when they move into their new global headquarters at Barangaroo this year. Positioned within their offices at new Tower 3 International Towers Sydney, by Rogers Stirk Partnership, the massive breathing wall is an active, modular green wall system, made up of 5,000 plants, which has been scientifically proven to speed up the removal of air pollutants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lendlease claim that the wall will benefit the health and wellbeing of their employees, and there are a string of recent studies that back this up.

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Forestry

Board to audit Canfor’s forestry activities near Golden

BC Forest Practices Board
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of Canadian Forest Products on tree farm licence 14, in the Rocky Mountain Resource District, during the week of July 11, 2016. The auditors will examine all operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture and wildfire protection practices for compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. Canfor’s forestry activities are located 32 kilometres southwest of Golden, in the East Kootenay.

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Grizzly bears need to be protected

Letter by Louise Taylor,
Whistler Question
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Grizzles spotted at Olympic Park” published June 6. The sighting of grizzlies in Callaghan Valley does not automatically mean that the population is recovering or as the photographer Coleman stated, “a testament to Olympic Park and their management.” Human encroachment into the Callaghan Valley undermines the bears’ survival as they need large intact wilderness areas to thrive, which is why I urge the SLRD to reject the proposed expansion of Canadian Wilderness Adventures (CWA) operations in the Callaghan Valley. Much more action is needed to ensure the threatened Squamish-Lillooet grizzly bears survive, let alone recover.

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Regional district quits forestry group over new rules

By Kristen Douglas
Campbell River Mirror
July 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Strathcona Regional District says it will no longer participate in a forestry advisory group that ejected one of its directors from a meeting. The board, at last week’s Thursday meeting, decided to terminate its membership in the Mid Island Forest and Lands Advisory Group (MIFLAG) so long as new rules governing the group stand. New Terms of Reference, written by Western Forest Products which hosts the MIFLAG meetings as part of its certification process, have not been changed despite claims from the regional district that they are arbitrary and unfair.

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Riding high on Vancouver Island

Victoria News
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Manara is president and one of the driving forces of the United Riders of Cumberland, the small but hard-working volunteer group behind the creation of this mountain bike haven. It partnered with TimberWest, Hancock Forestry, the Comox Valley Regional District and the Village of Cumberland, to obtain the necessary legal protection for the activity in a manner that doesn’t infringe on forestry. In exchange, it got guaranteed continued access to build and use the trail system and support for a variety of community initiatives like trail mapping and information kiosks around town and online.

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Fundraiser supports unemployed loggers

By Karly Blats
Alberni Valley News
July 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fundraiser for more than 100 Franklin River loggers who have been out of work since Dec. 22, 2015 was held on June 30 in the Blue Marlin Inn parking lot. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to United Steelworkers Local-185 union to help pay for the unemployed loggers’ medical benefits that ran out last week. …Rowlinson, who has been logging for 23 years, said the rate dispute between Western Forest Products and their woodlands contractor, Island Pacific Logging, is frustrating for the loggers involved and he has no idea why it’s taking so long to be resolved.

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Tree-planting program takes root in Hamilton after Hydro One clear-cut

City of Hamilton to put $400,000 aside to fund a tree planting program for Ward 5
CBC News
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Just over a month after a section of land along the Red Hill Valley was clear-cut by Hydro One, Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins is sowing the seeds for a tree planting program. Hundreds of mature trees were lost as a result of Hydro One’s vegetation-clearing efforts at the end of May. As a result, the power authority has offered the city $20,000 in compensation: $10,000 for the Red Hill Valley corridor and $10,000 for the Hamilton Beach corridor clear cut. Last year, Hydro One cleared the vegetation in the corridor along the Beach Strip. On Monday, Collins put forward a motion at the city’s general issues committee to have $400,000 made available to fund a tree planting program in his ward. He said with the trees lost in the recent clear-cutting and the ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer, it was like “a double-whammy” for the city

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Forester alarmed after Emerald ash borer beetle found in Thunder Bay

‘It could be here already. We just haven’t detected it yet,’ forester says of looming invasion
CBC News
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The city’s resident forester says she was alarmed to hear an invasive beetle species that devastates urban tree populations has arrived in northwestern Ontario, less than 600 kilometres east of Winnipeg. Late last week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed emerald ash borer beetles had been spotted in Thunder Bay. Once the iridescent beetles make their way into trees and lay eggs, it’s next to impossible to get rid of them. Last year, the beetles were found in Duluth, Minnesota, which is even closer to the Manitoba border. “The one thing with Thunder Bay, it’s still further away than the find near Duluth,” Martha Barwinsky, the forester responsible for managing Winnipeg’s urban tree population, told CBC News.

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Snow Basin second try

Baker City Herald
July 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tree-killing bugs don’t know the difference between a Douglas-fir that’s 22 inches in diameter and one that’s 21 inches. Neither does a wildfire. Unfortunately our public forests sometimes are managed not by scientific principles but by legal ones. And the latter, too often, are arbitrary. …The Wallowa-Whitman wants to revive Snow Basin, but this time complying with the 21-inch limit. This is not an ideal solution but, given the legal constraints, it’s the best alternative. The project will benefit public forests, support local jobs and create lumber and other valuable products.

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Mill in Noti ran for two days before learning of reported log-spiking

The Register-Guard
July 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NOTI — In the heated logging debates of the 1990s, some environmentalists turned to spikes to try to make their point. By pounding metal or ceramic spikes into large, live trees, they hoped to keep them standing. Loggers faced the danger of their saws binding and bursting on the spikes. The extreme tactic was something fading into the history of Oregon forest management — until last month, when a group called SAP boasted through an Earth First! website to have entered the Swanson Brothers mill in Noti on June 11 “and placed dozens of metal spikes in the trunks of old-growth logs.” Without warning about the alleged spiking, the mill ran that same day, a Saturday, said Larry Konnie, president of Swanson Brothers, a family-owned mill about 20 miles west of Eugene. “It makes me think they wanted to hurt somebody,” he said.

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Honor multiple uses of the forests with active management

Arizona Daily Sun
July 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The common thread is that the national forests are living up to the multi-use mission, but with varying degrees of success. The Oak Creek recovery may be due more to luck than anything else – the weather has been just right to stabilize what could have been a very unstable canyon corridor. And although emergency managers have put in early warning systems for fire and floods, the creekbed remains publicly accessible along its entire length in the canyon. On weekends, it is subject to massive beer parties, illegal campfires, and inadequate waste disposal. If the Forest Service could bite the bullet and limit travel in much less fragile areas above the rim, maybe it is time to limit access along portions of the creek in the interest of restoring them to their natural state.

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Solutions needed to balance needs of forest

by Doug Robertson, former Douglas County Commissioner.
The News-Review
July 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

From his home in Washington, D.C., it is easy for Andy Kerr to take shots at Douglas County and the men and women who work in our local forest products industry. Yet Oregon hasn’t “moved on” from a renewable, sustainable industry that helped build this state and will help build its future. It has moved on from Andy Kerr, which must be devastating to his ego. While Kerr has taken credit for personally “destroying the timber industry,” he only deserves credit for perpetuating conflict, misinformation and his own self interests. He isn’t concerned with the consequences of “hands-off” forest management, which has brought catastrophic wildfires, insect infestations and degraded wildlife habitat. He has nothing to say about the socio-economic impacts of higher poverty and unemployment, nor the severe drop in revenues that has resulted in deep cuts to essential public services.

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Tree-killing moth caterpillars are invading thousands of acres across Colorado forests

Denver Post
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Black-tusked tussock moth caterpillars are munching fir trees along Colorado’s Front Range, spreading across 25,000 acres in one year and forcing a $293,000 helicopter chemical assault to stop them. The U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Springs launched the aerial attack to hammer the bugs over five days in June. They’re relying on a new power granted by Congress to act quickly, without full environmental review, against insect invasions. A chopper sprayed a biological insecticide, Foray 48B, steering clear of endangered species and waterways. Caterpillar infestation of normally deep-green Douglas firs — fading to gray-brown now near Colorado Springs, Boulder and Larkspur — has raised concerns about catastrophic wildfires, recreation and tourism, and water supplies.

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How some Vt. loggers work to be a cut above the rest

WCAX
July 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ROCHESTER, Vt. – Sam Lincoln has been a full-time professional logger for going on a decade. “We’re out here harvesting a natural resource that’s in demand and doing it in a sustainable way,” Lincoln said. “And there’s a lot of satisfaction in that.” Like many, he’s been certified by the LEAP program– Logger Education to Advance Professionalism. But this spring he took it a step further, gaining master logger certification. “I felt like it would help bring credibility to my operation with new landowners who I didn’t have any experience with, foresters who I hadn’t worked with,” Lincoln said. “We just want to bring professionalism to the logging industry throughout New England,” said Ted Wright of the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands.

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Hartwick Pines: Towering forest, lumber lore

Lansing State Journal
July 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GRAYLING – Twins Jessica and Natalie Northrop had just strolled through the cool green hush of a 49-acre stand of old-growth white pine forest. Ancient trees towered over fallen trees covered with lichen and a forest floor sprouting maples no bigger than marigolds. “It’s really cool,” said Natalie, holding a park trail map. They had walked there from a pretty little chapel tucked into the woods at Hartwick Pines State Park. “I’m like the navigator.” The Northrop family of Brandon, Florida, which also includes parents Colleen and John, and sons Logan, 11, Dominic, 5, and Roman, 1, made the park part of a two-week Michigan visit. Dominic, meanwhile, was having a ball checking out the bunks at the park’s logging museum, springing onto a blue-striped, straw-stuffed mattress then off again.

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Understanding forest fire history can help keep forests healthy

Eureka Alert
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For nearly a century, forest fires have been viewed by scientists and the public as dangerous and environmentally damaging disasters. However, recent research has shown that forest fires are vital to maintaining healthy forests. While people in the western portions of the U.S. experience forest fires often and know of their value, many people on the eastern side of the U.S. do not know of their importance. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers have studied tree rings throughout Oklahoma and Tennessee to determine the history of fires in those areas. Michael Stambaugh, assistant research professor in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, says understanding this history is important for managing and improving the ecology of forests in the future.

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Provincial park a ‘tinderbox’ that could threaten homes

By Jack Knox
Times Colonist
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, Canada, Canada West

Just half an hour from downtown Victoria, John Dean Provincial Park is an oasis. Towering cedars and Douglas fir sway in the wind rushing up Mount Newton. Craggy Garry oaks look like something out of Tolkien. Ferns and moss-covered rocks paint the forest floor in shades of green. Monday morning, the only sounds came from at least five species of birds simultaneously competing for air time in an otherwise silent Eden. “It’s a tinderbox,” says Edo Nyland. If a fire ever catches hold in this park, heaven help the Saanich Peninsula, the octogenarian says.

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GE Trees bad for exports and enviroment

GE Free New Zealand
Scoop Independent News
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Certified timber exports as well as the environment will be put at risk if Genetically Engineered Trees are included in the National Environment Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). Certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) does not allow GE trees and is an important quality mark for timber exports. Minister for the Environment the Hon. Nick Smith and his caucus colleagues will soon be signing off the NES-PF and are being urged to remove the GE-tree clause. The GE-tree clause, if enacted, would removes the democratic process around protections for the community and environment given through the RMA. …The dangers of genetically modified trees for New Zealand’s ecosystems, including essential soil organisms, plants, birds, and insects could be widespread, permanent, and economically damaging.

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Forest Fires

Burns Bog fire nearly contained but area will take years to regenerate

Vancouver Sun
July 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West


Shortly after a 200-hectare fire was extinguished in Burns Bog in 2005, invasive species, such as the European Birch, were sprouting from the blackened earth and making it difficult for the domed peatlands to heal. Today, 11 years later, the bog’s natural carpet of sphagnum moss is still struggling to fully regenerate in some areas following the intense blaze — which seared about a metre of peat — resulting in dense populations of pine and birch trees that thrive in drier conditions and alter the unique ecosystem, said Richard Hebda, a member of Metro Vancouver’s scientific advisory panel that offers advice on managing the bog. “The sphagnum is literally the living skin of the bog and it takes some time for the healing to take place,” he said. “It will take some time to know if it’s recovered. Big destructive fires are not something the bog can tolerate.”

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Fort McMurray wildfire now considered under control

Fire detected May 1 forced mass evacuation of city before consuming 589,552 hectares of forest lands
CBC News
July 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Fort McMurray wildfire, which forced the largest evacuation in Alberta’s history and consumed more than 2,400 structures and nearly 600,000 hectares of forest, is now classified as under control. Cooler temperatures, rain and firefighting efforts combined to bring the fire to heel, wildfire information officer Laura Stewart said Tuesday. The wildfire hazard in the Fort McMurray region is now classified as low. The fire’s status was downgraded Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. MT, Stewart said. Nonetheless, a lot of work remains as firefighters continue to look for and put out hotspots, she said. The next phase is to extinguish the fire, which will likely take until the summer of 2017, she said.

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Burns Bog revitalization may have helped curb blaze

Peat bogs more efficient than rain forests at absorbing C02, says professor
CBC News
July 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Burns Bog, the nature conservancy now ablaze southeast of Vancouver, has been called the lungs of B.C.’s Lower Mainland. The spongy moss blanketing the bog’s peatlands in the 3,000-hectare conservation area acts as some of the world’s most efficient carbon dioxide absorbers. It’s also great at resisting fire, said Mike Waddington, a professor in McMaster University’s school of geography and earth sciences. Community efforts more than a decade ago to save and restore the beloved bog likely left it healthier and better able to resist a wildfire, experts say. “Peat bogs store a lot of carbon,” Waddington said.

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Crews battling forest fire near Sheet Harbour, N.S.

CTV News
July 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Firefighters are battling a forest fire roughly two hours outside of Halifax. Two helicopters, nine tankers and 40 firefighters responded to the scene Tuesday afternoon. The fire started in a wooded area near Malay Falls, N.S., close to Sheet Harbour, N.S. No evacuations or injuries have been reported, and the fire, which is roughly four hectares in size, isn’t near any residential buildings. “Basically what our crews encountered was a relatively aggressive, fast-moving fire,” said forest fire technician Dave Steeves. “The terrain and the local winds are not helping things at all. The fuels in here are extremely dry and the rugged hilly typography is aiding and pushing the fire along the standing timber and slash that’s all throughout the area.”

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Firefighting funding is a knotty issue

by Michael Coleman
Albuquerque Journal
July 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…I recently spoke with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico about fire funding in separate interviews. The two Democrats’ remarks revealed a disconnect between the Obama administration and Congress, with Udall describing Vilsack’s near-term approach to wildfire funding as “irresponsible.” Vilsack and Udall both support long-term legislation that would classify major wildfires as “natural disasters” to be fought using federal emergency money, similar to how the U.S. pays to contain and mitigate damage from floods and hurricanes. That proposal has been on the table for several years, but congressional consensus remains elusive. …Vilsack told me that this year he won’t authorize any more fire borrowing within the Forest Service budget, period. So, if the agency runs out of cash to fight fires this summer, Vilsack said he’ll demand that Congress appropriate more money.

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UPDATE: Pole, Fine fires near Ennis still burning

Helena Independent Record
July 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Personnel including firefighters and smoke jumpers continued on Tuesday to fight wildland fires southwest of Ennis in the Gravelly Mountains. The 46-acre Pole and Fine fires about 15 miles from Ennis had not been contained as of noon Tuesday, according to a Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest press release. Seventy-nine personnel are currently on scene. A partial closure of Forest Service Road 290 from the intersection of FS Road 292 south to Warm Springs Road and FS Road 290 is in place. The fires, caused by lightning on Thursday, are burning within a mile of each other in standing dead and downed timber. Firefighters are battling the fire as it moves from the timber stands into meadows to minimize exposure to snags.

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Cooler temperatures, predicted rain could help firefighters can control of Observation blaze near Hamilton

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
July 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – The weather finally appears to be lining up on the side of the men and women battling the Observation fire southwest of Hamilton. With a wetting rain in the forecast for this weekend, U.S. Forest Service public information officer Ann Rys-Sikork said it appeared the situation was looking good for firefighters to get the upper hand on the 1,365-acre lightning-caused fire. “We’re not out of it yet,” she said. “We’re still in the midst of firefighting, but we’re not losing it. If we can stay at the pace we’re at, we got it. We’re on a good trajectory.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Redwoods potent in climate fight

Santa Cruz Sentinel
July 5, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

California’s ancient redwood forests aren’t just majestic and among the oldest living things on Earth — a new study finds they are a particularly potent weapon against global warming. The towering trees remove and store more carbon from the atmosphere per acre than any other forests on the planet, including tropical rain forests, researchers found in a discovery that could influence everything from logging rules to how parks are preserved as the state grapples with climate change. “The story of the carbon is huge,” said Robert Van Pelt, a scientist at Humboldt State University who helped lead the research. “The carbon part of a redwood may be more important than the lumber part in the coming decades.” Scientists have long known that redwood trees, because they can live more than 1,000 years and grow to immense heights, are able to capture significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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General

Wildfire burning near Fort Smith ‘no longer poses a threat’

My Yellowknife Now
July 4, 2016
Category: Uncategorised
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire that had Fort Smith residents on evacuation alert is under control and no longer poses a threat to the community. That’s according to the Government of the Northwest Territories, which issued an update on the situation Sunday. On Friday afternoon, a wildfire was discovered roughly five kilometers southeast of Fort Smith on the Alberta side of the border. At the time, officials said the fire posed no immediate threat to the community but that residents should be prepared to evacuate in the event of an emergency. By 3pm Friday, the fire was being held after crews from the NWT and Alberta responded using a combination of water and fire retardant.

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Congressional Fight Raging Over Best Way to Fund Wildfire Fight

NBC News
July 4, 2016
Category: Uncategorised
Region: United States

As wildfires burn across the American West, a fight is raging behind closed doors on Capitol Hill as Democrats and Republicans go back and forth on the best funding to battle the blazes. Democrats want to give the U.S. Forest Service more money and greater flexibility to fight deadly blazes currently ravaging parts of California, Arizona and other states. Republicans agree that more needs to be done, but want the agency to better target its funding as it works to fight fires. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service is also using up 52 percent of its current $5 billion budget to fight forest fires. The fire season so far is severe with 20 wildfires raging in various states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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Bitterroot Forest supervisor signs off on Westside timber project

Missoulian
July 6, 2016
Category: Uncategorised

HAMILTON – Bitterroot Forest Supervisor Julie King signed off on a project Monday that would thin more 2,300 acres of forest almost directly downhill from a fire burning southwest of Hamilton. The Observation fire has already touched the western edge of the Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project, but officials are hoping that predicted wet and cooler temperatures will help keep that fire at bay. The project is the second to last that needs to be done to complete a yearslong effort to reduce fuels along the border between private and federal lands on the west side the Bitterroot Valley. When completed, the project will have thinned about five miles of national forest along that borderline between Lost Horse and Roaring Lion creeks.

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Tree-planting program takes root in Hamilton after Hydro One clear-cut

City of Hamilton to put $400,000 aside to fund a tree planting program for Ward 5
CBC News
July 6, 2016
Category: Uncategorised

Just over a month after a section of land along the Red Hill Valley was clear-cut by Hydro One, Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins is sowing the seeds for a tree planting program. Hundreds of mature trees were lost as a result of Hydro One’s vegetation-clearing efforts at the end of May. As a result, the power authority has offered the city $20,000 in compensation: $10,000 for the Red Hill Valley corridor and $10,000 for the Hamilton Beach corridor clear cut. Last year, Hydro One cleared the vegetation in the corridor along the Beach Strip.

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Forest loss coincides with endangered species habitat: study

Canadian Press in Sunshine Coast Reporter
July 5, 2016
Category: Uncategorised

Research based on satellite imagery shows that almost all industrial activity in Canada’s intact forests is occurring on the home ranges of endangered species. A report released Tuesday by Global Forest Watch Canada says 92 per cent of the land affected supports at least one endangered species. It says 14 per cent of activity — mostly in the forestry and energy sectors — occurs where there are at least six species at risk. “It doesn’t mean that all forestry is bad,” said Wynet Smith, the group’s director. “But in terms of habitat for certain species, especially species at risk, how much disturbance there is, is key.”

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