Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 8, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Wood’s reputation gathers steam in the UK and down under

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 8, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Evidence of wood’s rising international reputation dominates today’s news. In addition to more coverage on Oregon’s approval of what will be the “tallest wood high-rise in the US”, a “first of its kind soccer stadium”, was announced in southeast England “constructed entirely of wood,” and a “wood encouragement policy” is being developed in Tasmanian, which “will require wood to be considered as the first-choice construction material during the initial stages of public building projects”.

Similar wood encouragement policies have been adopted around the world, including Rotorua in New Zealand, Hackney in London, British Columbia in Canada, Finland, France and The Netherlands.

Despite a budget cut of almost one billion, US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell is confident they can “still suppress 98 percent of fires during the initial attack”, but the 2018 budget “proposes very difficult reductions in some very important programs”, [such as trail and road maintenance].

Finally, citing the importance of laws that protect Canada from an orthodoxy that “could attack your livelihood with impunity”, Nigel Hannaford, (Stephen Harper’s former manager of speechwriting) says “Resolute’s suit is anything but vexatious. In fact, it’s time somebody stood up to Greenpeace”

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Community forest lacks vision

Letter by Steve Perkins
Powell River Peak
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Powell River Community Forest operation announced a record-setting year [“Community Forest posts record profits,” May 31] for 2016. Planet Earth also recorded a record-setting year as global temperatures continued to rise and cause even more catastrophic weather events and patterns. Coincidence? Powell River would be wise to consider shedding its shortsightedness by exploring alternate avenues for annual revenue generation for local organizations. These could include, but are not limited to, the establishment of a philanthropy society and/or by designing a charitable consumption tax.

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Lobbying against Kananaskis logging plans continues

By Krista Conrad
Okotoks Western Wheel
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


Plans for clear-cut logging at Highwood Junction didn’t get the response opponents to the project were hoping for when the plan received attention in the legislature last month. Dr. David Swann, MLA for Calgary-Mountain View, raised the issue in the House on May 18, questioning why the government would allow a company from BC to clear-cut in the Highwood region where logging would affect watershed, wildlife, tourism and recreation. “When I heard more about the Highwood confluence and accelerating the take there, and not only threatening our water supply but also recreation and tourism opportunities that have been there, I couldn’t help but raise the issue, which I’ve done intermittently in the last year,” said Swann in an interview with the Western Wheel. He said he wants to see a review of the decision to allow Balcaen Consolidated Contracting to clear-cut in the region, and proof of the benefit to Albertans.

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Prescribed fire a burning success

By Paul Clarke
Jasper Fitzhugh
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


By all accounts a prescribed fire carried out by Parks Canada near Fiddle Creek last week was a raging success. Approximately 40 personnel and four helicopters carried out the prescribed fire along Highway 16 near the east boundary. The fire was initially expected to be postponed until the fall because of damp conditions, but Parks Canada opted to carry through with its plans on May 30. The prescribed burn is part of a series of planned fires in the Athabasca Valley near the Park’s eastern boundary to slow the spread of the mountain pine beetle into neighbouring lands and to create a fireguard to prevent wildfire from spreading beyond the park.

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Endangered Quebec caribou herd spared indignity of capture as zoo rescinds offer to house them

By Graeme Hamilton
National Post
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — Instead of ending their days ogled by tourists and schoolchildren in a zoo, an endangered herd of Quebec caribou will remain in the wild. On Tuesday, the Zoo sauvage de St-Félicien said it was rescinding its offer to house the caribou, citing a sharp public backlash against the proposed move and a newly published environmental report concluding the province had not adequately studied the herd’s prospects for survival in the wild. Christine Gagnon, director of conservation and education at the St-Félicien zoo, said public opposition had been mounting since the Quebec government announced in April its plan to use a helicopter to chase and capture the roughly 15 remaining members of the herd outside Val d’Or, Que. …In Quebec City Tuesday, Luc Blanchette, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, acknowledged that the government did not conduct any studies before deciding to move the herd. But he said the herd is doomed.

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Turning forests into wood pellets

June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As reported in The Telegram May 24th, the province’s minister responsible for forestry, Steve Crocker, has agreed to allocate 140,000 cubic metres of wood fibre per year for a period of 20 years to Active Energy Group (AEG), a London-based consortium. This is a significant commitment of wood to a new and unknown operator, and has the potential to greatly affect the ecology and economic value of Newfoundland’s forests. Does it make sense? …We can do better than remove 140,000 cubic metres of fibre per year to generate economic return from our forests. Describing the forest resource as “underutilized,” as Minister Crocker does, ignores the many interests and uses of that forest, whether for woodland caribou and songbirds or for the hinterland experiences provided by outfitters or the intact viewscapes desired by salmon anglers.

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Forest Service chief confident on wildfires despite proposed budget cut

By Joe Gilmore
Cronkite News
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Forest Service faces a $970 million budget cut in 2018, but the chief of the agency told a Senate panel Wednesday he is confident the service will have the resources to battle wildfires next year. Chief Tom Tidwell acknowledged that President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget plan proposes “very difficult reductions in some very important programs,” but said that it will let the service focus on the “highest-priority work” and “support our states.” …Tidwell said President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget will provide the resources “that are necessary for us to maintain our success rate of suppressing 98 percent of our fires during the initial attack.” The proposed budget is a mixed bag for the agency. While Trump’s budget would cut the overall Forest Service budget by $970 million next year, it also calls for an increase of almost $500 million to the agency’s Wildland Fire program.

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New smartphone app lets Coloradans test health of trees

By Karen Antonacci
Longmont Times-Call
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For Longmont and Boulder residents worried about the emerald ash borer, there’s an app for that. The Colorado State University Boulder County extension and the Colorado State Forest Service collaborated to develop an app that will help people determine whether they have an ash tree. The app, called EAB/Ash Tree ID, may be the first of its kind, according to Keith Wood, community forester for the Colorado State Forest Service. “Looking around the country, we thought that there may have been something developed already from the Midwestern states or somewhere, but we didn’t find anything,” Wood said. The app asks the user a series
of questions about their tree, including visual aids such as pictures of
different leaf formations. Based on the answers, the app determines
whether the tree is an ash tree and gives links to state resources about
the emerald ash borer.

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Environmental groups appeal Hebgen logging suit to Ninth Circuit

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
June 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two environmental groups are asking a federal appeals court to act quickly to prevent logging near Hebgen Lake next month that they say will harm Canada lynx. Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council appealed a federal district court’s ruling against them to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week. They’re asking the appeals court to issue an injunction before June 30 to prevent the U.S. Forest Service’s Lonesome Wood 2 logging project from going forward. The Forest Service could begin work in early July if the injunction is not granted. Mike Garrity, the executive director of Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said the agency is planning to log old growth timber near the lake, and that it’s the “last place they should be having a subsidized timber sale.”

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From MT to DC, Forest Service budget plan draws fire

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
June 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service’s proposed 2018 budget presents its public and private observers with lots of rebuilding work to do. On Wednesday, Montana’s Democratic and Republican senators both challenged Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to replace or re-energize programs slashed in President Donald Trump’s preliminary budget plan. And more locally, Forest Service partners have started bracing for dramatic losses of funding. “This budget is a wreck,” Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana told Tidwell during a hearing before the Senate Interior Appropriations Committee. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, pressed Tidwell for stronger efforts to get national forest timber into local sawmills and maintain trails and roads.

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Forest Fires

Pantage Lake growing, more contained

By Spencer Gowan
My Prince George Now
June 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Wildfire Service says the Pantage Lake wildfire “being held”, which means it’s unlikely the fire will spread beyond predetermined boundaries, weather permitting. As of noon today, the fire had grown to 168 hectares and is about 55% contained. That’s about 25% more contained than Tuesday even though it’s grown about 10 hectares. The blaze, located about five kilometres south of Pantage Lake and 40 kilometres northwest of Quesnel, was discovered Sunday. 

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From floods to forest fires

By Colin Darce
Castanet
June 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Although much of the Okanagan Valley remains swamped, wildfire season is here at higher elevations. With high heat in the forecast, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is asking the public to be fire smart while venturing outdoors. B.C. Wildfire Service firefighters already have their hands full assisting with sandbagging in many communities, and a forest fire would mean that help would no longer be available. …Several spring wildfires have already flared up across the B.C. Interior. Spring rain has allowed for an abundance of grass and vegetation, which is drying out rapidly as the snow melts and ground water recedes.

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Coconino and Kaibab Forests respond to Kendrick Mountain wildfire

Williams News
June 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Fire personnel from the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests are responding jointly to a lightning-caused wildfire located on the northeast side of Kendrick Peak in Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. A Type III Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander True Brown assumed command of the Boundary Fire at 6 a.m. June 7. The 380-acre Boundary Fire is currently burning on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest but is expected to move onto the Kaibab National Forest side of the boundary line within the next several days. …The WFDSS analysis indicates that the main fire suppression tactic to be employed on the Boundary Fire will be indirect suppression tactics. Indirect suppression tactics are firefighting actions that are not directly adjacent to the flaming front of a fire.

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Company & Business News

Canfor Receives Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association Leadership Award

By Amy Rose
Canfor Blog
June 7, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the second year in a row, Canfor is thrilled to receive an award from the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA). As well, one of our employees, Brandon Collison, received an Outstanding Achievement Award. …PGNAETA awarded Canfor with the Leadership Excellence Award at their Spirit of Unity award gala in Prince George. This award acknowledges Canfor as a leader in our efforts to advance First Nations citizens in the field of employment development, and celebrates our vision and focus toward building a diversified workforce. This includes Canfor’s development of Aboriginal Cultural Competency training, a tool that will eventually be rolled out within the company to help educate Canfor employees in the areas of culture diversity and sensitivity. 

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It’s time somebody stood up to Greenpeace

By Nigel Hannaford, former Manager of Speechwriting for Stephen Harper
Toronto Sun
June 7, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

We have become used to climate-change warriors saying the science is settled, then trying to shut down debate by calling those who disagree with them ‘deniers,’ who don’t deserve a hearing. But Greenpeace has now gone one better. It’s trying to ensure a forest company that does deserve a hearing, because it’s suing them for defamation, doesn’t get it in Canada. In its dealings with Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products, Greenpeace certainly has a case to answer. …In fact, it’s time somebody stood up to Greenpeace. Notwithstanding the supreme confidence Greenpeace places in its self-declared moral superiority, it has published false statements about Resolute. For example, it has already had to walk back and publish a retraction concerning its false allegations that Resolute had cut trees in an area it had promised to spare.

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U.S. Lumber Coalition objects to Canada subsidizing

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
June 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Lumber Coalition, a trade group that had been rallying against the extension of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with Canada, came out as expected against the Canadian government’s plan to spend C$867-million in subsidies for Canadian softwood producers hurt by newly imposed lumber tariffs. …”Announcement of a new government subsidy for Canadian softwood lumber producers only further tilts the trade scale in Canada’s favor, threatening more than 350,000 jobs in communities across the United States,” said U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesperson, Zoltan van Heyningen.

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Charlotte-area company drops off new Fortune 500 list

By Jenna Martin
Charlotte Business Journal
June 7, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

A Fort Mill-based pulp and paper company has dropped off Fortune magazine’s listing of the largest U.S. public and private corporations for 2017, leaving six such firms in the Charlotte region. Domtar Corp., which saw a 3.2% decline in revenue during the last fiscal year, slipped to 505 from 489 in 2016. The company posted revenue of nearly $5.1 billion in its most recent fiscal year — down from about $5.3 billion the previous year. Domtar employs 9,700 workers — 600 of whom are headquartered in the Kingsley Park area of Fort Mill — and supplies more than 50 countries with paper and fiber-based products.

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Domain Timber acquires Timbervest’s $1 billion portfolio

By Karen M. Koenig
Woodworking Network
June 7, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA, Ga. — Domain Timber Advisors LLC has acquired Timbervest LLC’s timberland and related fund management business. Financial terms of the May 30 purchase were not disclosed. The asset purchase includes Timbervest’s infrastructure and personnel responsible for managing a 530,000-acre timberland portfolio spread across the major timber producing regions of the United States. The portfolio has a market value of approximately $1 billion, according to a statement from Domain Timber. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Domain Timber is an affiliate of Domain Capital Advisors LLC, an investment management firm.“The Timbervest portfolio is a natural extension of Domain’s real estate investments and provides increasing diversification for our investors,” said Patrick R. Leardo, CEO of Domain Capital Holdings.

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ABARES report bodes well for forest industry

Magnet
June 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Australia’s forest industry has achieved record levels in value and volume plantation of harvested logs. A report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) states log harvests exceeded 30 million cubic metres for the first time in 2015–16, valued at over $2.3 billion. ABARES acting executive director Peter Gooday said growth had been underpinned by continued strong export demand, especially for hardwood and softwood woodchips and roundwood logs. The report is good news for Eden, with Allied Natural Wood Exports stating hardwood and softwood plantation developments as key strategies for the future, as well as new wood processing technology and innovation.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

LePage’s latest salvo in energy fight aims to link long-term energy deals to forest jobs

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
June 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage submitted a bill to lawmakers Wednesday that would allow forest product manufacturers to land special long-term energy contracts, as long as they maintain certain employment levels. LD 1632, introduced by Sen. James Dill, D-Old Town, expands an existing program created to encourage development of small renewable energy projects. The bill would add incentives for newly constructed combined heat and power systems, such as biomass generators that also channel the waste heat into some other process. It requires that each project “demonstrate growth in a reasonably timely manner” of three manufacturing jobs per megawatt of installed generation capacity.

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Brazil rollback of environment rules blow to Paris pact

By Sarah Dilorenzo
Associated Press in the Washington Post
June 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

SAO PAULO — Brazil is considering measures that would roll back environmental protections and make it difficult to meet its Paris climate accord targets — a signal it is stepping back from its global leadership on climate change just as the United States is also retreating. Congress has already passed two measures that will dramatically reduce the size of protected environmental reserves. …This comes at a time when the Amazon and Atlantic rain forests are being cut at the fastest rate in nearly a decade, and the violent struggle for control of forested land is in on the rise. “Brazil is throwing aside the opportunity to be a leader on these questions,” said Marcio Astrini, coordinator of public policy for Greenpeace in Brazil. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Timber construction has lumber milling machinery rolling

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
June 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. – Timber construction is opening a new market that has been keeping lumber and milling machinery busy at a growing number of wood products companies, including Montreal’s Nordic Structures, Sauter Timber in Rockwood, Tennessee, SmartLam, in Columbia Falls, Montana, and D.R. Johnson, in Portland, Oregon. Oregon-based D.R. Johnson Wood Innovations, a subsidiary of D.R. Johnson, specializes in the manufacture of cross-laminated timber, or CLT, and glue-laminated beams from Douglas fir and Alaskan yellow cedar. D.R. Johnson Wood was the first U.S. company to receive APA/ANSI certification to manufacture structural CLT panels – and CEO Valerie Johnson plans to help grow the U.S. market.

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A Cross Laminated Timber High-Rise Is Coming To Portland, But Not Washington

Associated Press in KXRO News
June 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Oregon — City officials in Portland, have approved a construction permit for the first all-wood high-rise building in the nation. Developers announcing the approval Tuesday say it’s a milestone for wood technology. …Construction is expected to begin this fall. In Washington, the current State Building Code does not allow for high-rise buildings made of CLT due to height constraints. An amendment would need to be made before a similar structure can be built in the state.

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Framework Tall Wood Tower in Portland sprouting soon

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
June 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

There are many reasons to promote the use of wood in construction. The main one is carbon; if a tree falls in the forest, the CO2 that was absorbed while it grew is released as it rots. If a tree is harvested and turned a building and a new tree planted, then the carbon is locked in for the life of the building and the new tree absorbs more CO2. But in Cascadia, the Pacific Northwest in the USA and Canada, the forests historically provided thousands of jobs in the forestry industry. A lot of these jobs disappeared when the big trees were chopped down and when steel and concrete became the common materials for construction.

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Oregon city approves permit for US’ first all-wood high-rise

By Gillian Flaccus
Associated Press in Phys.org
June 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Officials in Oregon have approved construction permits for the first all-wood high-rise building in the nation. Construction on the 12-story building, called Framework, will break ground this fall in Portland’s trendy and rapidly growing Pearl District and is expected to be completed by the following winter. The decision by state and local authorities to allow construction comes after months of painstaking testing of the emerging technologies that will be used to build it, including a product called cross-laminated timber, or CLT.

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Georgina fire chief named Chief of Year says safety ‘team effort’

By Heidi Riedner
York Region
June 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

When it comes to fire safety, you could say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Georgina’s fire department has always been proactive when it comes to education and prevention and its chief, Ron Jenkins, got a little hardware in recognition of that fact. …The prestigious recognition comes on the heels of a unique project teaming up Sutton District High School students and new recruits with the department. Shop students spent the past two months building more than a dozen wood props to have firefighters burn them down for live burning training exercises teaching firefighters modern fire behaviour tactics. …On June 6, Georgina firefighters conducted a fire behaviour demonstration at the school and treated the students who assisted in building the props to lunch. Georgina’s department is also part of a new regional education campaign, Take Action York! launched June 2 engaging 1,000 homes across York’s nine municipalities.

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

Architecture and Design
June 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Tasmania is developing a new policy that will require wood to be considered as the first-choice construction material during the initial stages of public building projects. Making this announcement, State Treasurer Peter Gutwein said that Tasmania will be the first state in Australia to develop a wood encouragement policy, following recent changes to the National Construction Code that allow for timber products such as CLT to be utilised in more construction projects. The policy requires responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, in all new-build and refurbishment projects. …Similar wood encouragement policies have been adopted by Latrobe City Council and Wellington Shire in Victoria as well as around the world, including Rotorua in New Zealand, Hackney in London, British Columbia in Canada, Finland, France and The Netherlands.

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UK Team to Get a Sustainable Wooden Stadium

By Christine Walsh
Jetson Green
June 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

It’s always great to hear about new, large-scale construction projects getting underway in a sustainable way. One such is certainly the new stadium that will soon be built for the Forest Green Rovers soccer team in the UK. It will be designed and built by Zaha Hadid Architects, and it will be a low-carbon structure made out of sustainably-sourced wood. …This stadium will be the first of its kind constructed entirely of wood. While the use of this sustainable material is commendable, it does present a risk of a devastating fire, while a building of such size could arguably never be considered entirely sustainable, due to the amount of electricity it requires to run. Heating such a structure is also quite a burden on the environment. Yet given the alternative of building it out of concrete, this stadium will still very sustainable.

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General

Turning forests into wood pellets

June 8, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

As reported in The Telegram May 24th, the province’s minister responsible for forestry, Steve Crocker, has agreed to allocate 140,000 cubic metres of wood fibre per year for a period of 20 years to Active Energy Group (AEG), a London-based consortium. This is a significant commitment of wood to a new and unknown operator, and has the potential to greatly affect the ecology and economic value of Newfoundland’s forests. Does it make sense? …We can do better than remove 140,000 cubic metres of fibre per year to generate economic return from our forests. Describing the forest resource as “underutilized,” as Minister Crocker does, ignores the many interests and uses of that forest, whether for woodland caribou and songbirds or for the hinterland experiences provided by outfitters or the intact viewscapes desired by salmon anglers.

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