Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 22, 2016

Business & Politics

Canada Feels Anti-Trade Winds Blowing North From U.S. Election

By Josh Wingrove
Bloomberg News
August 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. presidential election is looming large at the Canadian government’s summer retreat, with U.S. trade ties among the discussion points for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet. Trudeau and his ministers are holding a quarterly retreat in Sudbury, Ontario, on Sunday and Monday. The closed-door meetings include a presentation on Canada-U.S. relations led by the Canadian ambassador to Washington, David MacNaughton, and Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, according to Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad. Trudeau’s cabinet will further discuss U.S. trade during a “fireside chat” Sunday evening, Ahmad told reporters Sunday. Canada and the U.S. appear headed for conflict on trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and on softwood lumber. 

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Softwood warning from MP

Castanet
August 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Ottawa is leaving the forestry sector vulnerable to another punitive trade dispute with its inability to secure a new softwood lumber agreement, says Kamloops MP Cathy McLeod. B.C.’s forestry sector is particularly at risk. More than 15,000 jobs were lost in the province in the last softwood lumber dispute with the U.S., which extracted $5.4 billion in duties from the industry across Canada. The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP said she’s disappointed that Liberal MPs voted down a Conservative motion Thursday intended to make progress with a national agenda on negotiations she believes are going nowhere.

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Commodity downturn puts divide in B.C.’s economy

By Derrek Penner
Time Colonist
August 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

LNG Canada’s decision to delay deciding to build its $40-billion liquefied natural gas export project hit Ellis Ross, the Haisla First Nation’s chief councillor, in the middle of a summer of more buoyant news for the B.C. economy… To get a sense of how deeply the downturn has taken hold in the community of 5,400, someone has to just look at its light industrial area, said Kim Eglinski, a local business owner and president of the Fort Nelson and Area Chamber of Commerce… She said the community still has confidence that LNG will be developed, though the industry might not get as big as was hoped, and she has hope for some revitalization in the forest sector. “We can’t rely just on natural gas, we can’t rely just on forestry, just on tourism,” Eglinski said. “And let that be a lesson for every community out there.” The province is working to diversify smaller communities, said Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin and parliamentary for rural development to Forests Minister Steve Thomson.

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How Analysts Feel About Western Forest Products?

Press Telegraph
August 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Out of 3 analysts covering Western Forest Products, 3 rate it a “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 0 “Hold”. This means 100% are positive. Western Forest Products has been the topic of 7 analyst reports since August 26, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. Below is a list of Western Forest Products latest ratings and price target changes. The stock decreased 0.95% or $0.02 on August 19, hitting $2.09. 

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Town seeks stronger support for Tolko

By Richard Froese
South Peace News
August 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Plans by Tolko Industries to re-open its OSB plant west of High Prairie are being pushed further along by Town of High Prairie council. At its regular meeting Aug. 9, council approved a motion from Mayor Linda Cox that administration work with the mayor to contact Big Lakes County and Kee Tas Kee Now Regional Council to co-host a workshop to discuss the extension of the forest management area with parties from the region. That came from a motion and discussion in-camera. “As one of the players that supports Tolko’s request to renew the FMA, we are looking at the option to move the renewal process forward,” Mayor Linda Cox says.

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Council debates mill activity

Vernon Morning Star
August 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dust control technology at a Lavington plant has sparked debate over potential explosion risk. Some Coldstream politicians are worried the recently installed cyclone bag houses at the Tolko planer mill could put residents at risk. Considering the close proximity to Lavington Elementary school, the fire hall, railway and residences, council has made a recommendation stating that it is important to ensure the proper maintenance and operation of the cyclone bag-houses. It has stated this and other concerns in a letter to the Ministry of Environment in response to Tolko’s application to amend its emissions permit. “We’re simply flagging this as a concern,” said Coun. Richard Enns.

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Deadline for definitive agreement extended between Catalyst shareholders, potential buyer

by Lexi Bainas
Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper Corporation announced Aug. 17 that its four largest shareholders have agreed to continue talking with Kejriwal Group International on a possible sale of the pulp and paper giant. The shareholders, who control close to 80 per cent of Catalyst, are Mudrick Capital Management, L.P., Cyrus Capital Partners, LP, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. and Stonehill Capital Management LLC. They have now amended a previously announced statement of support for KGI and, accordingly, have filed amended Schedule 13Ds with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a press release stated.

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NZ export log prices fall to 8-month low

Scoop.co.nz
August 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices slid to an eight-month low in August as a stronger local currency and higher shipping rates dented returns.The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs dropped to $110 a tonne in August, from $114 a tonne in July, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. That’s the lowest level since December’s $104 a tonne. Shipping rates to both China and South Korea have advanced about 8 percent this month, rebounding from their lows, as fewer ships visit New Zealand due to greater northern hemisphere demand and a drop in local appetite for cargo such as palm kernel. A lift in the New Zealand dollar has also made the country’s exports less competitive after the Reserve Bank cut the benchmark rate this month but was less definitive than expected about the need for further easing.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Beautiful timber office sequesters carbon in Austria

Infotel News
August 19, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Architecture firms JOSEP and Atelier Gerhard Haumer teamed up to design a beautiful timber office with a small carbon footprint. Dubbed 52 Cubic Wood, the two-story office features a Y-shaped layout to overlook views in three directions. Timber was selected as the primary building material for its low-energy, sustainable features and ability to sequester carbon.Located in Mödling, Austria, 52 Cubic Wood is mostly clad in vertical strips of timber carefully crafted and joined together. In addition to its beautiful appearance, timber was chosen over concrete and steel because of its advantage as a “carbon sink” thanks to trees’ absorption of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. That carbon is not released until the timber decomposes or is burnt.

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Forestry

Revelstoke needs to clean up act to protect bears, says wildlife officer

By Michael Platt
Calgary Herald
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The conservation officer who helped to kill nine nuisance bears over three days in Revelstoke says the carnage will likely continue in coming weeks, because the southeast British Columbia city has a serious problem with garbage and fruit trees. Dan Bartol, an officer in the Columbia Kootenay Zone, says he’s already received calls about more nuisance bears over the weekend, having had the unpleasant task of helping euthanize nine black bears in and around Revelstoke last week, including a sow and cubs, and a fearless bruin feasting on open buckets of waste food in a downtown alley. “The common thread here is garbage and fruit trees, and that’s creating attractants for bears to come into the town, because there’s nothing to stop them — there’s no deterrent at all,” said Bartol.

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Proposed clear cut near Kejimkujik National Park concerns environmentalists

Seeing a clear cut forest is ‘always a shock,’ says Friends of Keji Cooperating Association
CBC News
August 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Environmentalists are concerned about a proposed clear cut near the southeast border of Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park that comes close to a habitat for endangered turtles. An online map by the province shows almost 134 hectares of former Bowater land in Queens County — near Loon Lake and close to a back country camping site — is being considered for harvest. Norm Green, the board chairman for the Friends of Keji Cooperating Association, said one of his primary concerns with the proposal is the endangered Blanding’s turtle. The turtles have a known habitat just north of the proposed harvest area, said Green.

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Petition pushes council to act on emerald ash borer threat

Kyle Jessiman says the urban forest serves important functions
CBC News
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Thunder Bay, Ont. man has launched an on-line petition asking the city to protect its ash trees from the emerald ash borer. A report from the city forester, which was considered by council last month, recommends treating half of the eligible ash trees with a substance that protects them from the invasive beetle. Kyle Jessiman has written to city councillors, urging them to accept the forester’s recommendation, he said – but he’s worried some councillors are balking at the $6.3 million price tag. In July, Thunder Bay city councillors delayed a decision on whether to adopt a proposed action plan to combat the emerald ash borer in the city.

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Look up and learn: Community forester says thinning projects affected Roaring Lion fire’s spread

by PERRY BACKUS
Helena Independent Record
August 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON — There’s a lot to learn by simply looking up along Judd Creek Hollow. The subdivision along this once-scenic road was devastated by the fast-moving Roaring Lion fire that literally roared to life on the last day of July. Eleven of the 16 homes lost to the fire were destroyed here. On a recent morning, Bitterroot Resource Conservation and Development Area community forester Byron Bonnie drove through the blackened forest bordering both sides of the road. As he passed homes burned to their foundations and others that survived the inferno, Bonnie mentioned nearly every place by name.

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Tester learns about wildfire fighting efforts firsthand

By MIKE FERGUSON
The Billings Gazette
August 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said it’s easier to justify to his Senate colleagues the expense of fighting wildfires in the West if he’s seen those operations first-hand. That’s one reason the Montana Democrat took a 60-minute tour this week of interagency dispatch and firefighting facilities at Billings Logan International Airport. Aviation and Transit Director Kevin Ploehn and Irv Leach, fire management officer for the Bureau of Land Management’s Billings office, helped lead the tour for Tester and his staff. “Nothing comes without a price tag,” Tester said following the Wednesday tour, which also included an up-close look at a Conair fire tanker aircraft.

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2 men suspected of starting fire could get $37 million bill

Associated Press in The Washington Post
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. — Two men suspected of starting a wildfire last year that scorched 40 square miles of Oregon forestland could soon get a bill for at least $37 million. Jeff Bonebrake with the Oregon Department of Forestry says they’re still finalizing firefighting costs for the 2015 Stouts Creek fire that burned east of Canyonville. The agency will send a bill once that’s done. The Oregonian/Oregon Live reports that fire investigators believe 70-year-old Dominic Decarlo, of Days Creek, and 64-year-old Cloyd Deardorff, of Yuma, Arizona, used their lawnmowers during hours prohibited by fire restrictions when the blaze started July 30, 2015.

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Fungal Disease Grows Among Douglas Fir Trees On Oregon Coast

Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new survey finds a growing number of Douglas fir trees in the Oregon Coast Range have been infected over the past decade with the fungal disease known as Swiss needle cast. Researchers with Oregon State University say the epidemic has grown by as much as 30 percent in a single year. Though its growth has slowed recently, aerial surveys show the disease is visibly infecting more than four times as much forestland as it was 20 years ago. Dave Shaw, director of the Swiss Needle Cast Cooperative at OSU, says the fungus plugs openings in the needles that normally carry air and water in and out of the tree. “It doesn’t kill trees,” he said. “The main effect is to reduce productivity and tree growth. So from that perspective it’s not as bad as bark beetles or fire or some of these other things that can kill trees.”

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Burned: Lawmakers call for change within U.S. Forest Service

By Laura Gunderson
The Oregonian
August 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A bipartisan group of local, state and federal lawmakers in Oregon is renewing calls for a basic overhaul of the U.S. Forest Service. Their comments came this week in the wake of an investigation by The Oregonian that revealed how years of failed Forest Service policy and flawed budgets helped fuel the catastrophic Canyon Creek fire in August 2015. …Holding a copy of The Oregonian’s investigation “Burned,” Wyden stood inside the same building in Boise where he and the other lawmakers made the same pitch last year. Since that meeting, the Canyon Creek wildfire burned through more than 110,000 acres – parts of which had been slated in 2006 for thinning, logging and controlled burns aimed at helping to prevent such a catastrophic fire.

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Wood so dense it doesn’t float

By Kenneth Setzer
Miami Herald
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The almost-mythical lignum vitae tree is surprisingly easy to grow. It suffers from a reputation as slow growing and hard to find, but this native is easily incorporated into landscaping and gardens. Lignum vitae is known as “wood so dense it doesn’t float.” You may not want to build a boat with lignum vitae, it’s true, but it has served boat builders for centuries due to its hardness and resistance to decay and insects, perfect for parts of rigging needing great strength and durability. More recently lignum vitae was used for ship and submarine propeller bearings for the same qualities, plus the wood’s resinous nature provides its own lubrication.

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This tree might be the oldest living thing in Europe

By Rachel Feltman
The Washington Post
August 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

More than a thousand years ago, in the 940s, Europe was a very different place. The Byzantine Empire was at its peak and Vikings sailed the seas. In the midst of it all sat a little sapling, one that would grow into a tree that still thrives today. According to scientists, a Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) growing in the highlands of northern Greece is more than 1,075 years old, making it the oldest single tree known in Europe. Some caveats here, before you have the chance to email me a “correction”: There are many older “trees” in Europe, some of which have lived for nearly 10,000 years. But those trees are clonal, reproducing asexually over and over again throughout history.

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Why frogs can tell you more about the forest than tigers

Times of India
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

India — Scientists point at frogs as environmental indicators. Studying these creatures that range in size from 1 to 20 cm, provides clues on the impact of climate change. The romance of the rain has always inspired novelists, poets and musicians, but the monsoon also calls out to evolutionary biologists, who study how life evolved on earth. Scientists are heading out to record calls and document tiny species that are easiest to find in the rain — frogs. “It’s a beautiful adventure to walk with the frogs following their calls, wait for the rain to stop and record their music,” says Vineeth Kumar, 26, a research scholar studying amphibian acoustics at Mangalore University, who will be going to the Ghats in Dakshin Kannada district in search of frogs in a couple of weeks.

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Forest industry fearful as farmers sell immature logs

Stuff.co.nz
August 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Jobs and environmental sustainability are under threat from foreign log buyers who are flying over New Zealand forests and offering struggling landowners cash to buy immature trees. That’s the claim of saw millers and wood industry organisations, who say they now have grave concerns about the country’s long-term log supplies. Brian Stanley of The Wood Council said he was getting reports from Northland of sales of logs as young as 18-years-old, when the trees should ideally be left to grow for another ten years.”You’ve got overseas buyers from India, China and I think the Middle East as well flying into New Zealand, grabbing a chartered flight from Ardmore, and flying over all the forests.

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Forest Fires

High temperatures prompt warning over increased risk of forest fires in B.C.

By Paula Baker
Global News
August 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

High temperatures, dry weather and gusty winds are expected throughout most of the province this weekend, which may prove to be one of the hottest of the year. Accompanying those high temperatures comes an increased risk for forest fires popping up and fire crews are already busy. The BC Wildfire Service said crews are preparing for more fire activity and urges the public to be cautious with activities in the backcountry. From April 2016 to yesterday, the service has responded to 873 wildfires, of which 403 were caused by people.

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Fire Threatening Paisley, Oregon, Now 40 Percent Contained

Associated Press in the Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters have contained a sizable portion of a wildfire threatening Paisley, Oregon. Tamara Schmidt of the U.S. Forest Service says the blaze burning northwest of town was 40 percent contained Friday morning. Crews planned to reinforce containment lines during the afternoon and start mopping up the fire that’s burned more 5 square miles. Elsewhere, a 200-acre wildfire burning west of Sunriver was about 25 percent contained. Roughly 70 homes remained on alert to be ready to evacuate if the situation worsens. In Eastern Oregon, the state’s largest active wildfire has now scorched 45 square miles near Unity. The western edge was the center of activity on Thursday as spot fires continued to burn vigorously.

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Wildfire near West Yellowstone 20 percent contained

Associated Press in The Missoulian
August 19, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Firefighters have stopped the growth of a wildfire burning on the west side of Yellowstone National Park. The fire is burning about 4 miles north of West Yellowstone, Montana. It has burned nearly 200 acres. Officials say they have contained about 20 percent of the fire and expect to make more progress over the next couple of days. About 80 firefighters are working to put it out. It is one of six fires burning mainly in remote areas of the park. All major tourist areas remain open and unaffected.

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The Latest: All wildfire evacuees allowed to return home

Associated Press in The Missoulian
August 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PHELAN, Calif. — The Latest on California wildfires: Authorities have lifted all evacuation orders for residents affected by a Southern California wildfire that drove thousands from their homes. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department made the announcement Sunday afternoon. Residents must show proof of residency to return, and some may come back to a home without electricity as crews continue to work on restoring utilities. About 82,000 people were ordered to leave their properties on Tuesday when the fire broke out 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Most of those residents are returning to find their homes intact, though not all. A preliminary damage assessment found 105 homes and 216 outbuildings destroyed.

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Firefighters gain on devastating California blazes

By John Bacon
USA Today
August 21, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters in Southern California were gaining ground Sunday on a devastating blaze that destroyed more than 100 homes in mountainous San Bernardino County, while another blaze farther north threatened the iconic Hearst Castle. The fires were among several burning in tinder-dry California, where years of unrelenting drought have left much of the state vulnerable this fire season. The Blue Cut Fire, raging about 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles, had burned almost 60 square miles of rugged country while forcing up to 80,000 people to flee their homes. Most evacuation orders were lifted over the weekend as firefighters worked to solidify containment lines, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

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Copper King, Roaring Lion fires expected to worsen Monday with increased winds

By Peter Friesen
The Missoulian
August 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States, US West

The Copper King fire, burning eight miles east of Thompson Falls, grew several hundred acres over the weekend due to warm, dry weather and wind. The fire, which started July 31, was at 3,404 acres Sunday morning, according to a U.S. Forest Service release. Fourteen engines, seven crews, three helicopters and one fixed-wing plane were assigned to the fire, for a total of 297 personnel. The Copper King fire was at 30 percent containment, according to the release. Windy conditions pushed the fire east to the top of Kookoosint Ridge and stirred up flames in Buckeye Canyon. Crews built handline around the two areas.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. government climate plan is a fraud, plain and simple

By Tim Pearson
Georgia Straight
August 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s quite simple really. Global warming is primarily caused by burning fossil fuels. So climate action must start with reducing our fossil-fuel dependence. But no, B.C.’s climate plan chooses to start elsewhere, with a burning desire to export liquefied fracked gas. The plan the B.C. government revealed today is not a climate plan, it’s a climate fraud… Instead, the government offers a promise that tree planting will come to the rescue, like a knight in shining armour. But this is not a fairy tale. And to have any chance of living happily ever after, we need proven measures, based on science. The proposal to plant a lot of baby trees is a climate con job. Don’t get me wrong, there are very real benefits to planting trees, but as a climate change antidote it won’t pay real dividends for many decades. Forests need to mature before they can capture significant amounts of carbon. We don’t have that time to wait.

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Tree planting, gas leaks next in climate plan

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
August 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has given up on its 2020 goal for greenhouse gas emissions and is looking to tree planting, agricultural efforts and cleaning up the natural gas industry to reach its longer-term goals. Premier Christy Clark announced the province’s latest plan Friday, confirming that it would not proceed with its advisory committee’s key recommendation to resume increasing its carbon tax on fuels in 2018. That committee concluded that even with aggressive increases in the tax, the 2020 goal to reduce emissions by a third from the 2007 baseline would not be met. 

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Maine trees could fuel military jets, but as long as oil costs $40 a barrel, it’ll be a while

Bangor Daily News
August 20, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

For the last decade, there has been a concerted push in the U.S. to replace petroleum-based fuel with plant-based biofuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the nation’s reliance on foreign oil. The alternative fuel revolution has so far belonged to corn, but efforts to develop a wood-based biofuel, particularly jet fuel, from Maine’s abundant timberland got a boost last month when the U.S. Department of Defense announced a $3.3 million investment into ongoing research at the University of Maine. This infusion comes as part of federal measures to help Maine’s flagging economy after a spate of mill closures.

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