Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 26, 2016

Business & Politics

Lumber exports shift to U.S. as China sales slump

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
August 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Wood products exports from Canada to Asia were down 18 per cent in the first six months of 2016, with the biggest decline being softwood lumber from B.C. to China, according to the Seattle-based Wood Resources International. Lumber sales to China are on pace to drop by 50 per cent this year compared to 2014, as B.C. lumber producers direct their sales to a healthy U.S. lumber market, according to customs data tracked for the Wood Resources Quarterly.

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Manitoba First Nations group wants to buy Tolko paper mill in The Pas

Canadian Press in Global News
August 26, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WINNIPEG – A group that represents 30 northern Manitoba First Nations wants to talk with the province about buying a mill that is closing in December. Tolko Industries says its mill near The Pas will close on Dec. 2, putting 332 employees out of work. Sheila North Wilson, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., says the closure will affect many First Nations in the north. She says it will also affect many more jobs in the timber and forestry business in the area. North Wilson says her group wants to meet with Premier Brian Pallister about First Nation ownership of Tolko’s mill operations, as well as First Nations securing timber volumes in Tolko’s forest licence area.

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Brink buying Vanderhoof Specialty Wood Products

Prince George Citizen
August 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brink Forest Products Ltd. said Thursday it has entered into an agreement with the BID Group of Companies to purchase Vanderhoof Specialty Wood Products Ltd. “The acquisition of VSWP makes Brink the largest remanufacturer and finger-joint producer in Canada,” owner John Brink said in a statement. “It will also provide added purchasing power in the constant pursuit of finding suitable fibre and low grade lumber for our operations.” The purchase will increase the number of facilities it owns to three. It operates Brink Forest Products Ltd. in Prince George and Pleasant Valley Remanufacturing Ltd. in Houston. As well, it has added two new finger jointing lines at its Prince George facility in the past decade and is planning further expansion at its Houston operation.

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Buy out Tolko mill, turn over timber rights, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak asks province

Winnipeg Free Press
August 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Indigenous residents of northern Manitoba demanded Thursday that the provincial government find a way to buy out the Tolko mill in The Pas and turn over the company’s timber rights to them. Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) expressed the deep concerns of the MKO First Nations following the announcement by Tolko Industries that the mill operations in The Pas will shut in December. “The announcement of the closure of Tolko’s mill in The Pas will touch many MKO First Nations and will touch the lives of our MKO First Nation families throughout the north,” she said in a news release.

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Northern Grand Chief calls on premier for ‘made-in-Manitoba buyout’ of Tolko paper mill

CBC News
August 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, the group that represents northern chiefs, wants to start a dialogue on First Nations’ control of Tolko’s paper mill in The Pas. The mill is set to be shuttered in early December, throwing more than 300 people out of work. n a statement, North Wilson says MKO has “deep concerns” about the closure of the Tolko operation and wants to meet with both Premier Brian Pallister and Cathy Cox, the provincial minister responsible for sustainable development. The Grand Chief says she wants to open talks for a “made-in-Manitoba buyout” of the mill and also to create a different model for timber allocations and timber volumes.

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The value of logs and lumber exported from North America to Asia fell by 33% from 2013 to 2015

American Journal of Transportation
August 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Exportation of wood products from the North American west coast to Asia was fairly uneventful up until 2010 when shipment of particularly logs from the US and lumber from British Columbia took off to levels not seen for almost 20 years. From 2009 to 2013, the value of logs and lumber shipped over the Pacific Ocean surged from 1.7 billion dollars to 4.9 billion dollars. Since the record high in 2013, the total export value has fallen quite substantially and was just over 3.3 billion dollars in 2015.

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McBride Joins Lester Group

LBM Journal
August 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Ken McBride of Danville has joined The Lester Group as Director of Manufacturing for the Fortress Division. The Lester Group owns Fortress Wood Products which makes pressure treated lumber and board stock for commercial and industrial buildings. Fortress Wood has plants in High Point, Henderson and Elizabeth City, NC. Lester also owns Fortress Door in Fredericksburg, which manufactures commercial doors.

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Latest stats show 2% growth in Swedish softwood export volumes

Timber Trade Journal
August 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Latest Swedish softwood export statistics show exports of sawn and planed softwood amounted to 5.7 million m3 in January-May, 2% more than the same period last year. The figures from Statistics Sweden relate to January-May and show exports to Sweden’s largest single market – the UK – remained similar to last year, with sawn and planed exports reaching 1.148 million m3. Planed exports were also similar at 706,900m3. But the stats show an increase for the month of May (compared to May, 2015), with sawn and planed exports up 14% and planed exports rising by 10%.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

World’s tallest timber tower topped off

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
August 25, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

It seems like only yesterday that Acton Ostry’s wood tower for the University of British Columbia was a controversial rendering. Now the structure is complete, topped off, eighteen floors of glue-laminated wood columns supporting cross-laminated timber floors. It went up really fast (just 66 days) and in fact is ahead of schedule; according to UBC: John Metras, the managing director of UBC Infrastructure, confirmed the building is ahead of schedule. The last wood panel – called a cross laminated timber floor panel — was installed on August 9 and the last glue laminated column was installed on August 12 — ahead of schedule. “Construction just went really smoothly,” explained Metras. “It was well designed and the construction sequence went smoothly.”

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Atlanta Suburb Says ‘NO WAY!’ to Wood Construction

Construction Equipment
August 25, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

While other cities are flaunting their new wood skyscrapers, a suburb of Atlanta is prohibiting all future wood-frame building taller than three stories and larger than 100,000 square feet, such as apartment buildings. The Sandy Springs lawmakers question the longevity, quality and safety of wood structures compared to those made of steel and concrete. Sandy Springs, Georgia is an upper middle class suburb of Atlanta with a median family income of $100,679 in 2013. The American Wood Council and Georgia Forestry Association objected, saying wood construction was more sustainable and that adoption of the ordinance could hurt the industry.

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Federal government millions for prefabricated multi-storey housing

By Marie Sansom
Government News Australia
August 26, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

From homes that can be unfolded and assembled without machinery to carbon positive modular houses and contemporary beach shacks, the prefab market in Australia is looking exciting, sustainable and beautiful. While multi-storey buildings have usually grabbed less attention in the prefab space, attention to larger housing solutions is gathering momentum. Now the University of Sydney and construction heavyweight Lendlease have been awarded a $3 million Commonwealth government grant to research pre-fabricated multi-storey housing. The five-year industry-led project, bankrolled by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) program, will design and build prototype housing using high-tech renewable materials and use cutting edge manufacturing methods.

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Forestry

Hand-in-Hand takes preschoolers out to the woods

By Jocelyn Doll
Campbell River Mirror
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Early Years Nature Education Program that made waves in Cumberland last year and Comox last spring is coming to Campbell River. The upcoming summer camp at the end of the month, and the preschool program coming this fall, takes the three and four-year-olds outside the traditional classroom and into the forest. “You bring them to the outdoor elements, to the forest, and it just provides the perfect setting for those children to be the children that they are,” said Jarrett Krentzel, director.

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Elphinstone Logging Focus denies protesters violated campfire ban

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) activists are facing scrutiny over campfires in the area around their latest protest camp. ELF established a camp on Mount Elphinstone in June in an attempt to prevent harvesting on a cutblock known as A87125, which is near mountain biking trails and inside the area ELF wants to see added to the existing provincial park. The camp is also in an area included in the campfire ban imposed by the Coastal Fire Centre on Aug. 17. Since then complaints about the protesters having a campfire have appeared on social media and been sent to Coast Reporter. ELF’s Ross Muirhead said the complaints may be about a “secondary camp” not affiliated with the group, and that ELF volunteers have been following the ban.

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Dutch elm disease study in Fredericton shows mixed results

By Jordan Gill
CBC News
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A 15-year study into Dutch elm disease in Fredericton found half of the local trees tested showed at least some tolerance to the disease. Grafts were from cuttings from local elms 15 years ago and they produced 150 trees. Those trees were later inoculated with spores from the disease to see if any of them survived. Half of the grafts that were injected with Dutch elm disease spores suffered heavy damage, while a quarter of them were somewhat damaged and the other quarter showed little ill effects. Dale Simpson, manager of the National Tree Seed Centre, said the grafts that sustained heavy damage will be removed and the others will be monitored.

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Liberal MLA slams NDP’s glysophate spraying

The Chronicle Herald
August 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Liberal MLA Joachim Stroink says the NDP’s sudden concern over herbicide spraying is disingenuous, given that the Dexter government sprayed glyphosate annually over thousands of hectares of forest, including Crown lands. “Why wasn’t this an issue when the NDP were approving glyphosate spraying for four straight years?” asked Stroink in a news release. “Where was the concern from that caucus when their own government was applying glyphosate on Crown lands?” Herbicide spraying has been authorized annually for nine years in Nova Scotia.

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Expert panel member critical of Nova Scotia’s clear cutting policy

Canadian Press in Global News
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A member of an expert panel that examined management of Nova Scotia’s natural resources in 2011 says he’s disappointed the province is moving away from a goal of reducing clear cutting in forests by 50 per cent. Allan Shaw, chairman of the Shaw group of companies, said Thursday a progress update released last week by the Department of Natural Resources doesn’t include the “better balance” between conservation and development that was called for five years ago. The update said the province’s 10-year natural resources strategy committed to taking action on forestry practices such as clear cutting and whole-tree harvesting based on “our best information and intentions at the time.” But the document said “times had changed” and that the department had learned more about what it means to take an “ecosystem-based, landscape-scale approach to land management.”

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Program trains Indigenous for careers in natural resources

CBC News
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s been a whirlwind summer in the forests of Northern Ontario for a group of Indigenous youth, but they have a new and valuable skill set to show for it. Forty-six youth celebrated their graduation from the award-winning First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program on Thursday afternoon with a ceremony at the Fort William First Nation Pow Wow Grounds on Mt. McKay. The ceremony marked the beginning of a new career in the natural resources sector, built on the skills they’d learned over the last two summers, which included chainsaw and brush saw operation, forest fire fighting (the students receive their forest fire suppression ticket as part of the program), and tree planting.

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Yosemite, and President Obama, head into virtual reality

By Anick Jesdanun
Associated Press in The Missoulian
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

NEW YORK — In a new project with National Geographic, Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to project himself into virtual reality — in this case, a 360-degree representation of Yosemite National Park. The 11-minute VR video , narrated by Obama, is one part paean to the wonders of America’s national parks and one part warning of the threat posed by climate change. It’s also a testament to how powerful VR can be when done right. …Although the video advocates visitation and preservation, the experience is mostly an opportunity to marvel at Yosemite’s natural wonders, from the giant El Capitan rock formation that opens the video to the tall sequoia trees filling Mariposa Grove and the Merced River rushing through Yosemite Valley.

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Park Service marks centennial with new citizens, monument

Associated Press in Atlanta Journal of Commerce
August 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday on Thursday with events across the U.S. including the creation of a giant, living version of its emblem in Washington, D.C., a naturalization ceremony on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and an outdoor concert at Yellowstone National Park. The centennial comes as the agency that manages national parks as well as historic places welcomes a new national monument and nature forces some changes in the party in the West. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says all Americans deserve the chance to experience the national parks. Speaking below the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana on Thursday night, Jewell said Americans from all walks of life should see themselves in the country’s public lands.

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Preserve national parks for future generations, Interior secretary says at Glacier

By Vince Devlin
Billings Gazette
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HIDDEN LAKE OVERLOOK — One hundred years ago, Congress created the National Park Service and gave the federal agency its increasingly difficult marching orders. On Thursday, the Secretary of the Interior spent much of that centennial day here in Glacier National Park, hiking a popular trail, traveling the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road in a historic 1930s-era Red Bus, and pondering “how we can fulfill the obligation given to us 100 years ago today, to preserve these resources for future generations.” Sally Jewell probably already knew part of the answer. It won’t be easy, especially given the Earth’s changing climate, coupled with the increasing popularity of parks such as Glacier.

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Oregon audit: Forestry department stretched too thin

Associated Press in Mail Tribune
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BEND — The time, effort and money spent fighting wildfires has strained workers and harmed other programs at the Oregon Department of Forestry, according to an Oregon state audit. The wildfire workload has increased and department staffing has not kept pace, according to the audit, forcing more employees to do fire-related assignments and work longer hours. The audit says the forestry department is fighting more severe fires with about the same number of employees it had 20 years ago, reported The Bend Bulletin. The department provides fire protection on about 16 million acres of private and public forestland in Oregon. It also handles land and recreation management, among other things, for the state’s forests.

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Advocates outraged Washington preparing to kill wolves

By Nicholas Geranios
Associated Press in Statesman Journal
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash.  — Wolf advocates are outraged that the state is preparing for the second time to exterminate an entire wolf pack for preying on livestock in northeastern Washington state. This is the second time in four years that a pack of endangered wolves has received the death penalty because of the grazing of privately owned cattle on publicly owned lands, the Center for Biological Diversity said.
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Fine after weed killer sprayed on timber workers? $53,000

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A helicopter spray company whose pilot doused timber workers in weed killers and then ignored a state order to stop spraying will be fined $53,552. The state Department of Agriculture on Thursday finalized its penalty against Banks-based Applebee Aviation, levying a $10,000 fine against its owner, Michael Applebee, and a $43,552 fine against the company. The company and Applebee both had their spraying licenses suspended for a year. Though the fine is well below what the state proposed, it is still the largest on record against the helicopter companies whose use of herbicides on Coast Range clear cuts have for years drawn complaints from neighbors.

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California: Protections imposed for endangered frogs, toads

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Associated Press in Washington Post
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — Two types of yellow-legged frogs, and a kind of toad found in Yosemite National Park, won extra protection Thursday when federal authorities declared nearly 3,000 square miles in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains as critical habitat for the endangered animals. The designation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service means closer controls on human activities that could threaten the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, the mountain yellow-legged frog, and the Yosemite toad. The designation mainly affects federal land. Naturalist surveys of California’s Sierra mountains from a century ago described the yellow-legged frogs as lining almost every foot of mountain lake shores, said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

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Forest Service Addresses Restoration With Timber Sale

By Sabrina Biehl
My Mother Lode
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sonora, CA — The Wrights Creek Plantation in the Mi-Wok Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest is moving forward with a plan to have vegetation and trees removed. The first timber sale opportunity was advertised on August 24, 2016 and according to U.S. Forest Service Spokesperson Kathryn Wilkinson “Implementation of the project can begin immediately.” …The project is called unique because it takes a “proactive approach addressing the unprecedented tree mortality affecting the forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains,” according to Wilkenson who adds, “Mortality due to drought and insect and disease has already begun within, and in the vicinity of, the project area.”

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Oregon Douglas fir trees stunted by fugal disease

Associated Press in Herald and News
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE (AP) — Oregon State University researchers have found that an increasing number of Douglas fir trees in the Oregon Coast Range are suffering from a fungal disease. The Register-Guard reports that according to a survey conducted by the Swiss Needle Cast Cooperative of Oregon State University, trees infected with Swiss needle cast have their growth stunted by about 50 percent, which is causing an annual economic loss of $128 million. Douglas fir forests are common in Oregon because the trees are valued for lumber. By stunting growth, the fungal disease limits the number of board feet available to sell.

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Do two Texas billionaire brothers now own a big chunk of S. Idaho?

By Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

One of the largest chunks of private land in Southern Idaho changed hands for the second time this year and the apparent new owners already have a reputation for shutting the public out. Southern Pine Plantations, a private timberland investment company based in Macon, Ga., sold the 172,000 acres of timberlands. Those forests, primarily in Valley, Boise and Adams counties, are intermingled with Boise National Forest, Payette National Forest and Idaho state endowment lands, along with other nonindustrial private lands. The deed, which was filed in Valley County on Tuesday, lists D.F. Development LLC as the new owner with Robert Early as the contact at a mailing address in Cisco, Texas.

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Loggers fear National Monument could destroy forest industry

By Shawna Newcomb
WCSH6.com
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BELGRADE, Maine—On Thursday, those who represent the logging industry in Maine expressed their concerns about the new Katahdin National Monument. Professional logging contractors of Maine fear it could destroy their industry. Just a few weeks ago, the federal government gave a multimillion dollar grant to help boost Maine’s forest-based economy. Some loggers think the new monument would hurt the state’s most historic industry. Their biggest concern was access. Access to landowners who traditionally managed their land and harvested their timber and access across a road system that moves wood frequently and isn’t necessarily built for tourist traffic.

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New ‘sleeping beauty’ frog discovered in fragmented Peruvian forest

By Apoorva Joshi
Mongabay
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The world of amphibians has a new official member, with a species of rain frog discovered recently in and near Tingo Maria National Park in Peru’s central Andes. The new frog, Pristimantis pulchridormientes, is described in a study published this month in ZooKeys, and at least part of its population occurs in forest habitat that’s been highly fragmented by agriculture. Located in Peru’s Huallaga basin in the Huanuco Department, researchers found individuals of the new species in lower-montane forest in the national park between 1,000 and 1700 meters in elevation.

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Fungal threat: Secret Wollemi pine population offers hope for species’ survival

My Marcus Strom
The Sydney Morning Herald
August 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

It was the botanical equivalent of finding dinosaurs alive – but now the Wollemi pine faces a new threat to its fragile existence. In 1994 the world was stunned when David Noble, a park ranger on a holiday hike, stumbled upon a living population of conifers that before then had been seen only as fossils. Botanists at the Royal Botanic Garden, including Cathy Offord, realised the plant was one thought long-extinct with a presence in the fossil record going back 90 millon years. The Wollemi pine was reborn. Now those trees hidden deep in the Blue Mountains are under threat. One of the four stands of Wollemi pine has developed a fungal disease, likely from unauthorised hikers carrying in the Phytophthora mould.

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Egyptian researchers discover a way to grow forests in the desert with sewage

By Juile Rodriguez
Inhabitat
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Desertification is a major issue throughout Africa, but there’s a simple way to stop the spread of deserts into fertile land: planting forests. The problem is that in the regions hardest hit by the phenomenon, there simply isn’t enough clean water to properly nurture the trees and keep them healthy. But an innovative project in Egypt proves that it can be done using repurposed wastewater instead of tapping into the sparse fresh water supply. The trees grown in the forest are thriving, and in fact, the eucalyptus trees have been found to produce wood at four times the rate of pine plantations in Germany.

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Finland: Timber felling up by almost 7% in first half-year

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
August 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Timber felling in Finland in the first half of 2016 increased year on year by 6.6% to 28.9m m³ across all forms of forest ownership. According to calculations made by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) that increase was mainly attributable to more felling of industrial timber. The volume of industrial timber harvested up until the end of June, at 17.4m m³, was 8% higher year on year. Felling of industrial spruce timber in-creased year on year at an above-average rate of 9% to 4.8m (4.4m) m³, while there was growth in the volume of harvested industrial pine timber of 7% to 7.7m m³ and of industrial hardwood timber of 8% to 4.8m m³.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

It’s Happening Now: Climate Change Is Killing Off the Yellow Cedar

By John R. Platt
Hakai Magazine – Coastal Science and Societies
August 26, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Actually proving a species is being affected by climate change, and not some other factor, is incredibly difficult. You can see the dead and dying from the air. In coastal Alaska and British Columbia, swaths of yellow cedar trees are losing their needles and withering away. Under normal conditions, these economically and culturally valuable hardwood trees can live 1,000 years or more, but enough of them are dying that the trees are now being considered for protection under the US Endangered Species Act. A yellow cedar’s demise is not instantaneous. It takes years for a tree to die, slowly, from the inside out. It has similarly taken a long time to prove exactly why these trees are dying. After three decades of searching, scientists have finally resolved the cause: climate change.

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Biofuels not as ‘green’ as many think

Eurekalert
August 25, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Statements about biofuels being carbon neutral should be taken with a grain of salt. This is according to researchers at the University of Michigan Energy Institute after completing a retrospective, national-scale evaluation of the environmental effect of substituting petroleum fuels with biofuels in the US. America’s biofuel use to date has in fact led to a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions, says lead author John DeCicco in Springer’s journal Climatic Change. The use of liquid biofuels in the transport sector has expanded over the past decade in response to policies such as the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

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Climate change taking toll on American pika’s Western lands

By Brady McCombs
Associated Press in The Missoulian
August 25, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — Populations of a rabbit-like animal known as the American pika are vanishing in many mountainous areas of the West as climate change alters its habitat, according to findings released Thursday by the U.S. Geological Survey. The range for the mountain-dwelling herbivore is decreasing in southern Utah, northeastern California and in the Great Basin that covers most of Nevada and parts of Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California, the federal agency concluded after studying the cuddly looking critter from 2012-2015. This study’s conclusion marks a more authoritative statement about the role of global warming on the animal compared to research released in 2003 that found climate change was at least partly contributing to the animal’s decline.

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Forest Fires

Crews battle Mill Bay wildfire as highway traffic halted

By Asymina Kantorowicz
CTV News Vancouver Island
August 25, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Traffic was stopped on a busy Vancouver Island highway as crews battled a nearby wildfire that broke out in Mill Bay. The fire, called in as a brush fire roughly around 1 p.m., was initially estimated to be about half a hectare in size but has since grown to 1.5 hectares. Officials said it originated around Trowsse Road near Bamberton Provincial park. … The fire appeared to be under control at one point, but flared up again and moved dangerously close to the Trans-Canada Highway. Smoke plumes could be seen on either side of the highway and the Coastal Fire Centre confirmed embers had sparked another fire on the other side of the busy route. Just after 6 p.m., Beck said there was still a “very sufficient” fire still burning on the west side of the highway.

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Crews battle wildfire near Bamberton; Malahat reopened in both directions

Victoria Times Colonist
August 25, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The majority of the larger wildfire near Bamberton is now contained as fire crews continue to battle a smaller blaze on the west side of the Island Highway. Local and provincial fire crews are attacking the fires tonight to prevent them spreading in the current tinder-dry conditions. The main fire, on the east side of the highway, was reported about 1 p.m. As of 7 p.m., the blaze, covering 1.4 hectares, was 95 per cent contained, said Marg Drysdale, fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service. “So that’s very good progress, very rapid progress,” she said. The wildfire jumped the highway and spread to the heavily forested west side. That fire is about 0.8 hectares and is 20 per cent contained.

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Keeping eyes on the forest: A look at Alberta’s wildfire lookouts

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
August 25, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Stephanie Stewart disappeared 10 years ago while working alone at one of Alberta’s wildfire lookouts. The mystery put a spotlight on her job and the province’s network of lookouts. Here are some facts: There are 127 wildfire lookouts in Alberta, the most of any province. Some are towers and others are house-style lookouts on high points. Some are fly-in only, but most have road access. Most towers are about 30 metres high. The first permanent lookouts were built in 1915. Although they’ve since been refurbished or replaced, most remain in the same areas. Workers in lookouts are called “observers.” They detect almost one-third of the average 1,500 wildfires each year.

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Catastrophe averted

By Darren Handschuh
Castanet Kelowna
August 25, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A potential catastrophe was averted north of Vernon Wednesday evening after a wildfire broke out next to McLennan Road in the BX area. When fire crews arrived shortly after 6 p.m., they found a rank 2 and 3 fire on the move. BX/Swan Lake Fire Chief Bill Wacey said the fast-moving fire “candled probably a dozen trees. “It was advancing quickly towards a couple houses.” Wacey said the flames came within eight metres of a home. “It had a lot more catastrophic potential,” said Wacey, adding there are more than 40 homes within a 500 metre radius of the blaze. “We had two fires; one was about 285 yards from the main fire,” said Wacey, adding there were also spot fires starting up that crews quickly tackled.

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Singapore shrouded in smog as haze returns to SE Asia

By Niniek Karmini and Stephan Wright
Associated Free Press in Yahoo
August 26, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Acrid smog blanketed Singapore Friday as the city-state was hit by the year’s first major outbreak of haze, an annual crisis sparked by forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia. Singapore’s air quality index reached unhealthy levels with conditions deteriorating through the day, marking the worst haze episode in the city since vast parts of Southeast Asia were blanketed in smoke in 2015. Last year’s haze outbreak was among the worst in memory, shrouding Malaysia, Singapore, and parts of Thailand in acrid smoke.

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