Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 4, 2017

Froggy Foibles

Frog evolution linked to dinosaur asteroid strike

BBC Science and Environment
July 3, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A new analysis shows that frog populations exploded after the extinction event 66 million years ago. It would appear to contradict earlier evidence suggesting a much more ancient origin for many key frog groups. The work by a US-Chinese team of researchers is outlined in the journal PNAS. Frogs became one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates, with more than 6,700 described species. But a lack of genetic data has hampered efforts to trace their evolutionary history. The new study shows that three major lineages of modern frogs – which together comprise about 88% of living frog species – appeared almost simultaneously.

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Business & Politics

National Associations of Home Builders: Here’s how the Canadian lumber tariffs add to the current housing shortage

By Brenda Swanson
HousingWire
July 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The looming Canadian lumber tariffs do little to solve the actual lumber problem in America, mostly putting homebuilders and homebuyers at a greater loss, the National Associations of Home Builders explained after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced another tariff this week. To NAHB, the potential 30% jump in Canadian softwood lumber would jeopardize affordable housing in America. Softwood lumber is made from trees that have cones, such as spruce, pine and fir. It’s primarily used in home construction, and the U.S. is also Canada’s biggest export market. In a follow-up interview with HousingWire, the association explained, “NAHB and its members depend on a steady, affordable supply of quality lumber to build homes.” The best way to accomplish this is a speedy and sustainable softwood lumber agreement, which to NAHB, the new tariffs don’t do.

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Global timber and wood products market update from Wood Resources International LLC

American Journal of Transportation
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

“Volatile” could best describe many of the North American regional market conditions in the first quarter of 2017! The volatility came in many different areas; adverse weather events, operation breakdowns, plant explosions, and idling, as well as uncertainties over looming trade policy decisions, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR). Wood flows across Canada and the U.S. northern tier of states as well as through the Pacific Northwest were impacted by weather–either too much snow (leading to transportation difficulties), or mild temperatures followed by early breakup.

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B.C. premier-designate John Horgan talks with Trudeau, plans Ottawa visit

By Dirk Meissner
The Canadian Press in the Toronto Star
June 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA—British Columbia premier-designate John Horgan said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday about the softwood trade dispute with the United States and he is planning meetings in Ottawa and Washington, D.C. Horgan, who will head a minority NDP government, said he expected the meeting with Trudeau will happen before the recall of B.C.’s legislature, now expected shortly after Labour Day.  …B.C. is Canada’s largest producer of softwood lumber accounting for about half of overall production. Horgan said he’ll head from that meeting in Ottawa down to Washington, where he also plans to advocate for the province in the softwood dispute. He promised during May’s election campaign to travel to Washington within 30 days of becoming premier.

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Face to face meetings and international trade disputes

Column by Kick Cannings MP
The Nelson Daily
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last Monday I travelled to Washington, DC with Tracey Ramsey, the NDP critic for International Trade. I was there in my role as NDP critic for Natural Resources, and we were both there to talk about softwood lumber with senators, congressmen and their staff. …Our visit happened to coincide with the announcement of a second round of duties placed on exports of Canadian softwood lumber. …The conversations on Capitol Hill were interesting on a number of levels. Many politicians and staffers appeared unaware of the long and tortured history of the five softwood lumber disputes dating back to 1982. Many didn’t know that Canada had won repeated appeals of American duties, four times at the World Trade Organization, and ten times at various NAFTA dispute resolution panels.

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Employee dies after industrial accident at Domtar’s Kamloops mill

By Ashley Legassic
Infotel News
June 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – A Domtar employee is dead and another is injured after a heavy equipment accident at the Kamloops pulp mill. Domtar’s manager of regional public affairs, Craig Timm, said in a statement today, June 30, that the incident happened around 3 p.m. yesterday. Two employees were injured in an accident with heavy equipment at the plant. Timm said the mill emergency response team responded to the incident and other emergency services were called to the scene. Both employees were taken to Royal Inland Hospital by ambulance, where one employee died and the second employee has been treated and is under observation.

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Jaffray lumber mill lays off workers in the face of softwood lumber bills

By Ezra Black
The Free Press
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local forestry company is cutting production as the United States prepares to charge additional duties on softwood lumber exports. “Half of our operation is shut down right now and we’ve got about eight guys laid off,” said Jay Nelson, who is in charge of purchasing and personnel at Galloway Lumber Company. “It’s an incredible hit to a company our size.” Galloway, which has less than 50 employees, has shut down its planing mill that takes cut boards and turns them into finished dimensional lumber. Their sawmill is working at well below capacity.

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New round of U.S. softwood lumber duties

By Jeremy Appel
Whitecourt Star
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s lumber industry and government, as well as their federal counterparts, are getting ready to take on the U.S. in international tribunals after the Americans imposed a second round of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber on June 26. …Brock Mulligan, spokesman for the Alberta Forest Products Association and Softwood Lumber Trade Council, said that although the new round of duties are troubling, now is not the time to panic. “It’s definitely going to be a further barrier to competitiveness, which in our largest export market is worrisome for sure. We’re going to have to see what the impact of the tariffs is through a full market cycle,” he cautioned. “We’re fundamentally opposed and we’re going to fight them,” Mulligan said.

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Domtar Responds To Glen Murray That It Is Innocent

CKDR
June 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Domtar is reacting to comments made by Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray that the company isn’t cooperating with orders to investigate possible mercury contamination near the Dryden mill site. In a release to CKDR News, Domtar says it has already voluntarily shared historical mercury sampling data with the Ministry as well as voluntarily conducted additional survey work on mill property. The company notes Ministry officials and representatives from Grassy Narrows were allowed to observe the work. Domtar adds they already voluntarily provided the government additional access to the mill site for additional mercury sampling work, and, if needed remediation. ..The release says while the company continues to be willing to provide the Ministry of Environment with any access it requires to complete this work, Domtar will challenge any order that seeks to compel the company to undertake activities that are clearly the responsibility of the Province.

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An inside look at how Koch Industries does business

By Christopher Leonard
Washington Post
July 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Charles and David Koch are best known for their controversial political empire, where they ply their combined personal fortunes of nearly $96 billion into conservative causes and candidates across the nation. They’re less known for the business empire that’s enabled that wealth: Koch Industries. …A year-long look into Koch Industries’ $21 billion purchase of wood and paper giant Georgia-Pacific, involving interviews with Georgia-Pacific employees from the factory floor to the executive suite, offers a rare view into how the brothers run their businesses. …Charles Koch, who did not comment for this story, has implemented deep changes at Georgia-Pacific. Most of them exploit one of Koch’s key advantages: The company is privately held, with essentially only two shareholders: the brothers. This gives the firm flexibility to operate in a way that makes it more nimble than many publicly traded firms. 

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Ex-assemblyman Gordon to head California Forestry Association

By Dave Boyce
The Almanac Online
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Rich Gordon, a former member of the state Assembly and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, has dropped plans to run for another elective office, a seat on a state tax board. Mr. Gordon said he has accepted an offer to be president and chief executive of the California Forestry Association, a post he will take on July 17. He’ll be leaving the government-relations position he’s had since January with Caminar for Mental Health in San Mateo, he said in an interview. As the forestry association’s chief executive, Mr. Gordon will work four days a week in Sacramento and telecommute on the fifth. He will retain his home in Menlo Oaks, he said.

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Crackdown on Canadian lumber good news

By Laurel Beager
International Falls Journal
June 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Additional trade penalties on Canadian softwood lumber imports are good news, say state and federal officials. U.S. Sen. Al Franken called the action Tuesday by the United States Department of Commerce another victory for Minnesota timber workers and their families. For the past year, Franken has pressed the federal government for action on Canadian lumber, which he says will help improve the demand for Minnesota-sourced timber. Minnesota Rep. Rob Ecklund and Wayne Brandt, executive vice president of the Minnesota Forest Industries, said they think the penalties will open talks for a new agreement between the two countries on softwood imports. …“I’ve heard from lumber producers and sawmills across Minnesota that are struggling to get by after being forced to grapple with an influx of unfairly priced foreign imports,” said Franken.

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Victoria government to buy Heyfield timber mill

By Pia Akerman
The Australian
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Victorian government has intervened to stop a further 250 jobs leaving the Latrobe Valley, reaching an in-principle agreement to buy the country’s largest hardwood timber mill. Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford today confirmed an agreement had been reached with Australian Sustainable Hardwoods to buy the Heyfield mill, just two weeks after the company said the government’s offer was unacceptably low. ASH announced earlier this year that it had no option but to shut down because its timber allocation from state logger VicForests was too low to support sustainable operation. The company blamed the government for failing to review environmental controls on the Leadbeater’s possum that ruled out extensive tracts of commercial forestry zones from logging.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

After being destroyed in a fire, Canadian-firm Patkau Architects rebuilds the Temple of Light

By Mackenzie Goldberg
Archinect
July 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Construction is nearing completion on the Temple of Light at the Yasodhara Ashram in British Columbia, Canada. Located near Crawford Bay and a visible landmark from Kootenay Lake, the temple was the vision of Swami Radha, a pioneer in the North American yoga movement who completed the original center in 1992. …The Temple of Light employs a unique system that was developed through design research at Patkau Architects. The structure is primarily wood and almost entirely prefabricated off site in modular units. While the surfaces of the building curve continuously along multiple axes, their constituent parts are built of straight engineered timber. The design minimizes complex joinery, and yet the assembly is a highly sophisticated combination of CNC milling and hand craftsmanship, executed by Spearhead Timberworks. The dome-like volume is a combination of a ribbed vault and an integral shell, with the prefabricated wooden modules working together like stones in and arch.

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Mass timber company plans for future growth in Montana

By Alyssa Gray
Daily Inter Lake
July 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Cross-laminated timber manufacturers, mass timber experts and lumber enthusiasts gathered in Columbia Falls last week for the 2017 Mass Timber Rising Tour and Workshop. Put on by the Forest Business Network, the workshop included panels from experts and manufacturers in the industry as well as a tour of the local cross-laminated timber (CLT) manufacturer SmartLam. To test the progress of CLT, SmartLam has partnered with Australia-based international property and infrastructure group Lend Lease, undergoing testing for bombs, wind, seismic events and ballistics. In those tests, SmartLam received a two-hour fire rating and a four-hour fire exposure rating, said Casey Malmquist, president and general manager for SmartLam.

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Huge development to bring 14-story high-rise to downtown Tacoma

By Kate Martin
The News Tribune
July 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A 14-story high-rise could be the centerpiece of a roughly $60 million development proposed along two blocks in Tacoma’s Brewery District. …While the 14-story tower would use cross-laminated timber for each floor, reports that it would use the wood product for its entire superstructure are incorrect, Spurlock said. “It will have a continuous steel structure all the way up, with wood floors,” he said Wednesday. …“The high-rise will be the one that raises the most questions and be the most complicated” among city planners, Sullivan said, because cross-laminated timber is such a new product. The complex would take years to build, and Sullivan said the builder could incorporate more cross-laminated timber to buildings as regulators gain more familiarity with the product.

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Plans for engineered timber fire station show material is not a safety risk

By Willow Aliento
The Fifth Estate
July 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

If you needed proof that timber buildings could provide comparable fire safety to typical construction, look no further than Maryborough in Queensland, which is set to break new ground in the use of engineered timber for an overhaul of its 1950s heritage fire station. The project involves some of the leading innovators in the space, including Hyne Timber, XLam, Hutchinson Builders, Baber Studio and the University of Queensland’s Centre for Future Timber Structures (CFTS). …Dr Cristian Maluk, lecturer of structural fire safety engineering at UQ, said mass timber construction could have the same or better reaction to fire as concrete and steel constructions. This is why its use for the Maryborough Fire Station and Emergency Response Centre is supported. “Design solutions including engineered timber products have demonstrated to be fire safe and viable,” Dr Maluk said. “The market for timber buildings is expected to imminently grow following the fire safety engineering developments used for the design of timber structures.”

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Grant to find solution to hazardous treated timber waste

By the New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
July 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International


Grant to investigate solution to hazardous treated timber waste Scion is to investigate the feasibility of remediating treated timber with government funding of $163,000, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a preservative for timber that has been commonly used in New Zealand since the 1950s. However, CCA-treated timber becomes a hazardous waste material when sent to landfill, that can leach arsenic into the ground. “To date, there have been no practical remediation options available to this problem, so I am delighted that Scion believes they may have one and that I am able to support them in testing its feasibility,” Mr Simpson says. “This study could provide New Zealand with an opportunity to divert CCA-treated timber from landfills and offer an environmentally friendly solution reusing both the wood fibre and the extracted metals.”

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Forestry

Northwest Alberta councillors worry province’s caribou plan will hurt forestry industry

By Scott Leitch
Edmonton Journal
July 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Councillors in six northwestern Alberta municipalities are worried a “cookie-cutter” solution to dwindling caribou populations would cause a serious drag on the local forestry industry. Each province and territory is required to develop caribou range plans by October, which the federal government will then adopt or reject. The plans are to help the threatened species’ low populations recover. Preliminary plans from the provincial government set aside 1.8 million hectares for permanent protection in Alberta’s northwest corner. After learning of the plan in 2016, councillors from six northwestern municipalities formed the Northwest Species at Risk Committee to develop an alternative plan which doesn’t involve permanently protected areas.

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Haines forestry funding included in Alaska operating budget

By Emily Files
KHNS.org
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There is some good news for the Haines State Forest. The local forestry office has been in jeopardy ever since the legislature zeroed out its funding two years ago. But in the most recent state operating budget, one-time funding for the local forestry post made it through. This was the budget that almost didn’t pass. But the Alaska Legislature finally came to an agreement and averted a government shutdown just eight days before the deadline. Now that the dust has settled, Forestry Director Chris Maisch says a $102,000 allocation for Haines survived budget negotiations. “I won’t say the pressure’s off,” said Maisch. “But it certainly buys us some time to think about how we could develop a long term-plan to think about how we could continue to staff the office with at least one individual.” Juneau Rep. Justin Parish was on the legislators who worked to get the Haines Forestry funding into the operating budget.

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Salvage sale approved to reap timber from 2014 wildfire

Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LEWISTON, Idaho – The supervisor of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest approved a redesigned logging plan for a timber sale that will see fewer trees cut and more assurances that scenic views and water quality are protected. The Johnson Bar Salvage Sale was first approved last year, but it was halted by a federal judge who granted a temporary injunction requested by the Friends of the Clearwater and Idaho Rivers United. The two environmental groups sued the U.S. Forest Service, saying the sale would harm water quality and steelhead habitat. They said the sale also would mar views along the Selway River, which was among the first rivers designated by Congress to be part of the nation’s Wild and Scenic River System, the Lewiston Tribune reported Thursday.

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Resilient Federal Forests Act reintroduced with wide support

By John Lovett
Van Buren Press Argus-Courier
July 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Testimony in May to the House Committee on Natural Resources stated there are more trees dying in Colorado and California than trees growing. U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas says this is a result of decades of forest management abandonment on federal lands in western states. In contrast, the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas has shown an increase in biodiversity. “They’re using timber management and continue to grow more than they’re using,” Westerman said of those in the Ouachita National Forest. With biodiversity and geography in mind, Westerman explained the bill provides a framework for “all stakeholders” to come together and create a forest management plan for various geographies. “This is not about clear cutting,” Westerman said of allowing salvaging of “snags” left behind in a disastrous wildfire.

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Oregon Lawmakers Want $100M To Protect Part Of Elliott State Forest Jefferson Public Radio

By Anna Griffin
Jefferson Public Radio
July 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon state lawmakers want to use $100 million in state bonds to help keep the Elliott State Forest in public hands. Oregon legislators released their list Monday of projects to bond in the next two years. Money for the Elliott State Forest is the most controversial item. The 82,500-acre Southern Oregon forest is supposed to be used to raise money for education, but revenue from timber harvests has dropped in recent years. State leaders had planned to sell the forest to a private timber company and a partnering Native-American tribe. But environmentalists objected. In May, Gov. Kate Brown, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and Treasurer Tobias Read voted as the State Land Board to stop the sale and instead pursue other ideas for keeping the forest public.

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Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest spraying for bark beetles

ABC FOX MT
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service will be applying insecticides in recreation sites throughout the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest over the next several weeks. Current mountain pine beetle activity has heavily affected many areas throughout southwest Montana and has already impacted some individual trees within popular recreation areas. …“Spraying will begin in early July with individual tree treatments in those places we know a large majority of forest visitors and users will be this summer – campgrounds, day-use areas, and trailheads,” commented Silviculturist Anton “Campground users will notice packets stapled to trees… To be effective, we must spray the live trees before the beetles fly again and bore into and, subsequently, lay their eggs in the new-found trees.”

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Lawsuits coming over plan to remove Yellowstone grizzles from endangered list

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Arguing that politics shouldn’t overrule science, two coalitions of environmental groups and an Indian tribe announced plans on Friday to sue the federal government over delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The U.S. Interior Department published its final rule removing Endangered Species Act protections from Yellowstone grizzlies on Friday. The same day, grizzly protection advocates filed two separate 60-day notices of intent to sue over the delisting. The notices make it highly likely the bears’ fate will return to court before state wildlife managers in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming get an opportunity to open grizzly hunting seasons. Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso represents the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe, Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association and the Sierra Club on the first intent-to-sue notice filed on Friday.

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Thinking big: In the Valley of the Giants, tall trees reign supreme

By Bennett Hall
Corvallis Gazette-Times
July 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Here in the Valley of the Giants, a protected pocket of public land about 30 miles west of Salem, there is an unusual concentration of massive old growth conifers. But somewhere on that mist-shrouded hillside, Hopkins believes, may be the biggest of them all. “There are some big ones out here,” said Hopkins, a biologist with the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that oversees the area. “Most of the biggest ones are right around 280 feet, but there may be a 300-footer out here.” …Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this isolated grove is the simple fact of its survival in the midst of an industrial logging zone. Viewed from above, it appears as a small island of primeval forest in a sea of clearcuts and second-growth timber plantations.

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Mandated education efforts dwindle, but DNR says they are priority

By Steven Verburg
Wisconsin State Journal
July 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The political pressure and budget cuts that dismantled the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources science research bureau are also taking a toll on the agency’s ability to engage the public in conservation. Under Gov. Scott Walker, the DNR has reduced environmental education efforts despite state law and department regulations mandating an active effort to ensure that citizens understand natural resources topics. “It just seems like they are getting out of the business of educating people about our natural resources, which seems strange to us,” said Betsy Parker, of the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education, a nonprofit whose 400 members work in parks and outdoors centers.

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Kodama leaving as head of Forestry Commission

The Times and Democrat
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

COLUMBIA — South Carolina State Forester Gene Kodama announced that he will be “departing” the Forestry Commission in January 2018. He is only the 10th state forester since the agency’s inception in 1927, serving the third-longest tenure of his predecessors. “I am not using the word ‘retire’ because I plan to continue to work, but in a different setting that could be in either the public or private sector,” Kodama said in a statement. “This has been an extremely difficult decision to make because my almost 10 years of working with the commission and all its partners in the forest products industry, the General Assembly and the natural resources community has been a fantastic, rewarding experience.”

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Timbering near Copperhill needs extra attention

By Pam Sohn
Chattanooga Times Free Press
July 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Now, a proposed logging plan called the Dinkey sale project in the Cherokee National Forest in Polk County, Tenn., has conservationists worried once more about the upper waters of Tumbling Creek, a sparkling trout stream that winds through hemlocks and beech trees about 10 miles east of the old mining site and the town of Copperhill. Well over 1,000 acres of regrown forest would be cut — some clear-cut, some cut to leave just five or six trees per acre. There also would be at least 700 acres of prescribed burns. Much of the area in question is on steep slopes and sensitive soils. If past Cherokee National Forest logging history in the Copperhill region is any indication, regrowth would be iffy, and severe erosion would be a good bet.

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Europe’s contribution to deforestation set to rise despite pledge to halt it

By Arthur Neslen
The Guardian
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Europe’s contribution to global deforestation may rise by more than a quarter by 2030, despite a pledge to halt such practices by the end of this decade, according to a leaked draft EU analysis. An estimated 13m hectares (Mha) of the world’s forestland is lost each year, a figure projected to spiral in the next 30 years with the Amazon, Greater Mekong and Borneo bearing the brunt of tree clearances. But despite signing several international pledges to end deforestation by this decade’s end, more than 5Mha of extra forest land will be needed annually by 2030 to meet EU demand for agricultural products, a draft EU feasibility study predicts.

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The black forest and climate change

By University of Freiburg
Phys.Org
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As the climate change progresses, droughts are expected to become more and more common and more intense in Europe, as in many parts of the globe. However, many plants are not able to handle this kind of climate. This includes the Norway spruce, which is Germany’s most important commercial tree species and accounts for the majority of trees in the Black Forest. Valentia Vitali and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus from the Chair of Silviculture at the University of Freiburg are thus studying other types of needle-leaved conifers to find alternatives. Conifers play a far greater role in commercial forestry and climate protection than broad-leaved trees.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Dust Safety Week 2017 is a wrap!

By Maria Church
Canadian Biomass
July 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Dust Safety Week 2017 is wrapping up today after five days of coverage on new developments and processes to help sawmills and pellet plants manage combustible dust. Our main stories this week stemmed from the Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s safety conference that took place in Prince George June 13 and 14. WorkSafeBC occupational safety officer Mike Tasker told attendees the wood pellet industry has made rapid progress in safety, moving from one of the worst offenders to one of the best. An article from WPAC executive director Gord Murray urged pellet operators to keep their foot on the gas to improve safety even more. He focused on the importance of process safety management.

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Kimberly-Clark struggles with post-consumer waste as it surpasses carbon goal

Edie
July 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Personal care consumer product manufacturer Kimberly-Clark has surpassed a 2016 emissions goal, and is forging ahead towards a 20% reduction by 2022, as outlined in the company’s latest sustainability report. Released last Friday (30 June), Kimberly-Clark’s latest report details the progress made against key indicators of its Sustainability 2022 strategy, established last year on the back of “aggressive goals” that were surpassed by the firm. The latest report highlights a 16.8% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions against a 2005 baseline. Kimberly-Clark, which is which is responsible for brands such as Kleenex, Andrex and Huggies, had set a 10.7% reduction goal for 2016. “At Kimberly-Clark, our vision is to lead the world in essentials for a better life, and through our commitment to sustainability, we are proud to demonstrate our values through proactive environmental and social programmes in the communities where we live, work and sell our brands,” the company’s chief executive Thomas J. Falk said.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire burning at base of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler

By Cheryl Chan
Victoria Times Colonist
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters are battling a fire at the base of Blackcomb Mountain near Whistler Village. The Resort Municipality of Whistler said the ground fire was ignited around 5:30 p.m. Sunday above Painted Cliff Road in the Blackcomb Benchlands area. No homes or structures are affected. More than 50 firefighters from Whistler Fire Rescue Service, Whistler Blackcomb, and the B.C. Wildfire Branch are responding, with at least five aircraft dropping water and fire retardant on the fire. The B.C. Wildfire Branch has sent 19 firefighters, two helicopters and air tankers to fight the blaze, said fire information officer Marg Drysdale.

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Fire near Harrison Hot Springs, BC, triples in size overnight

By Matt Meuse
CBC
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters in B.C. are working to contain an out-of-control, human-caused forest fire near Harrison Lake that tripled in size overnight. The fire was first reported Saturday afternoon. By the evening, it was 20 hectares in size and had grown to 60 hectares by Sunday morning. B.C. Wildfire Services issued a notice-to-leave order for the area Sunday afternoon to clear people out. The order does not affect residences or businesses.

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Reckless disregard for fire safety in B.C.’s backcountry an ongoing problem

By Patrick Johnston
Vancouver Sun
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Spotting the messy aftermath of campfires and fireworks in the backcountry should give anyone pause. …Rene Lemckert is an avid backcountry user. A week ago on a ride up the Harrison East Forest Service Road, he came across a chilling site: a pile of recently used fireworks, casually tossed on the side of the road. Below, a steep cliff, with trees below. …Marg Drysdale from the B.C. Wildfire Service’s Coastal Fire Centre said the risk of fires starting from fireworks — which are currently prohibited — or careless camp fires was anticipated ahead of the Canada Day long weekend. …Lemckert is blunt about the recklessness he sees: “there’s an old saying, ‘you can’t fix stupid.’” 

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Fire burning near Muskrat Falls still out of control, bigger than thought

By Jonny Hodder
CBC News
June 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The forest fire burning west of Muskrat Falls in Labrador is now estimated to cover an area roughly 609 hectares, nearly three times larger than initial estimates. The updated measurement is based on GPS tracking, according to the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources. Despite the significant jump in reported size, it says the fire has not grown since Thursday. The blaze is still being labelled as out of control, but is now 60 per cent contained. It is burning near the Edward’s Brook area of central Labrador, about 40 kilometres west of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The provincial forest fire duty officer Boyd Pittman told CBC News the town and the nearby power lines were in no immediate danger. “Any smoke and threat is away from infrastructure and away from town,” said Pittman.

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Montana smokejumpers among those fighting US wildfires

By Susan Montoya Bryan
Associated Press in The Missoulian
June 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

RIO PUERCO, N.M. — Flying 3,000 feet above desert scrubland in New Mexico, Nick Stanzak taps the first smokejumper on the shoulder to signal it’s his turn to leap from the twin-engine plane. In pairs of two, a team of eight elite firefighters from Idaho and Montana parachute down to the dry Rio Puerco tributary of the Rio Grande. Each carries about 100 pounds of gear as part of regular training to be ready to be dropped close to wildfires that might break out in remote areas of the Western U.S. Nearly 30 wildfires are currently burning — including an Arizona blaze that forced the evacuation of thousands of people plus others in California, New Mexico and Utah. Federal officials this week raised the preparedness level for U.S. firefighting forces because of the heightened fire activity.

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Noel is off-base blaming big fire on ‘bunny lovers’

By the Editorial Board
Salt Lake Tribune
June 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Whenever something big and bad happens, it is just human nature that we search for something big and bad to blame. …That paranoia was given voice the other day when a member of the Utah Legislature, whose political bread and butter is blaming outsiders for everything bad, started spouting off about how the Brian Head fire in southwest Utah was the fault of “bunny lovers” and “tree huggers” and federal officials who left the area ripe for such a large blaze. …But, unlike Noel and some other Utah state officials, neither the Forest Service nor independent experts were buying the idea that rooting out the bark beetles’ victims or otherwise going all Paul Bunyan on the landscape would have helped much.

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One Thousand Hectares Burned In Forest Fire in Turkey

Prensa Latina
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Amid a heat wave that has affected the whole country, a forest fire that broke out near Turkey”s third largest city Izmir has entered its third day, threatening the water flow of the city and its surrounding districts due to the damage it caused in power lines leading to a dam that serves as the city”s main water supply. Eleven helicopters and 4 fire planes are fighting the huge fire in Izmir. Speaking to reporters in Izmir, Ismail Üzmez, head of the General Directorate of Forestry, explaiend that amid a heat wave sweeping across the country, temperatures reached up to 41°C (105.8°F) in Izmir and more than 40°C in western Turkey. As the heat wave and dry weather has increased the risk of forest fires, people in urban areas have also been affected from power and water cuts while trying to cope with temperatures some 10 degrees above seasonal averages.

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