Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 20, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Forest fire woes expand to Eastern Canada and Montana

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 20, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Although BC, California and Washington state still dominate today’s Forest Fire news, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Montana are reporting “very high forest fire risk“, increased “fire activity” and sadly, the “fatality of a 19 year old fire fighter” in Missoula. The good, the bad and the ugly include:

  • Okanagan Centre fire evacuation order lifted 
  • Santa Barbara County firefighters progress with wildfire containment
  • Verdant Creek wildfire in Kootenay National Park within 2 km of Sunshine Village
  • Blatant disregard for wildfire hazard deserves harsher punishment 
  • Extreme and aggressive California wildfires force thousands to evacuate 

In other fire news, BC’s newly minted NDP government was quick to “extend the state of emergency for wildfires by two weeks and boost payments to evacuees”.

In business news, more coverage on the “Tembec sale” controversy, “soaring lumber prices” due to the fires in BC and the tax on Canadian lumber and “Donald Trump’s wish list [re: NAFTA] and closing the book on Chapter 19”. According to lawyer, Riyaz Dattu, the problem with the dispute settlement mechanism is “Canada’s success rate with issues like softwood lumber that keep cropping up every few years.” 

And finally, a good news story out of Australia titled “Wood be good: Why top Australian architects love timber for building homes”. According to Andrew Dunn of the Timber Development Association—who is currently touring Oregon and BC along with two-dozen Australian architects, engineers and building experts—“wellbeing is the buzzword with timber. It makes you calmer.”

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Bowen Island residents fight provincial logging plans: Mayor

By Matt Robinson
The Vancouver Sun
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bowen Island residents are outraged over a plan that could open nearly 30 per cent of their picturesque island to industrial-scale logging, says their mayor. The 50-square-kilometre island sits just off West Vancouver at the entrance to Howe Sound, features in offshore views from other parts of the Lower Mainland, and has not been logged in decades. But foresters are now viewing Bowen as a potential source for as much as 250 truckloads of fir, hemlock and cedar logs a year for the next two decades, Mayor Murray Skeels said in an interview this week. Skeels said he only learned of the plan last month when a planning forester at B.C. Timber Sales, a government agency that manages about 20 per cent of the provincial Crown’s annual allowable cut of trees, contacted the municipality about its proposed “forest stewardship plan.”

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New Forests Minister Doug Donaldson Says Wildfire Crisis Uppermost in His Mind

By John Crawford
CFTK TV
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC’s new Forests Minister says the people impacted by the province’s wildfire crisis are uppermost on his mind as he assumes his new duties. Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson was given the portfolio by Premier John Horgan, as the NDP government was sworn in Tuesday in Victoria. “My thoughts are with all of those who have been evacuated and firefighters and emergency responders because that’s front-of-the-house as far as the issue goes in my new portfolio,” he said. Donaldson also said he’s working with the former minister — Nechako-Lakes Liberal MLA John Rustad — to make sure no one falls through the cracks because of the change in government.

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Bypass road suggested as cure for problem of logging truck dust in Youbou

By Lexi Bainas, Lake Cowichan Gazette
BC Local News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fighting the dust in Youbou is an ongoing battle. Logging trucks hauling loads from forests west of the community along the only road east carry dust or mud and debris with them, dropping it along Youbou Road, especially near the west end of the community. At times the dust is so thick visibility becomes near zero, and homes along the road habitually keep their windows and doors closed to try to keep out the mess. Area director Klaus Kuhn has been talking again with TimberWest about it. He is hoping to hold a town hall meeting before the end of August so that Youbou residents and property owners can learn the details of a possible plan by the company to construct a logging road higher up the mountain side that would bypass the entire community, hopefully taking the dust with it.

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Editorial: Blantant disregard for wildfire hazard deserves harsher punishment

BC Local News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Is it time to bring in harsher punishments for starting a wildfire – however unintentionally? As we all watch with heartbreak, forests across Beautiful B.C. are burning out of control – destroying homes and businesses and threatening wildlife, livestock and more, while thousands of hectares of forests go up in flames In fact, more than 35,000 British Columbians have been forced from their homes, evacuated to 11 emergency centers set up across the province, including in nearby Cloverdale. Of the more than 650 wildfires in B.C. since the beginning of 2017, more than half are believed to have been human caused, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. That means more than half of the wildfires were easily preventable. …In the 1970s and into the early ’80s, at Manning Park, a very potent- in your face- warning stood on the side of the road showing a cigarette being hung by a noose. The message was very clear. It likely was taken down because it was too shocking and too offensive in these politically correct, ultra sensitive times we live in.

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Donaldson Co-Chairs Wildfire Task Force

By John Crawford
CFTK TV
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On his first full day as BC’s Forests Minister, Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson has been given a key job by Premier John Horgan. Donaldson and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth will co-chair a cabinet task force, focused on managing BC’s Wildfire crisis. Horgan made the announcement this morning, flanked by the two ministers and by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who is the government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. …Premier Horgan also announced he was extended the provincial state of emergency for another two weeks. He said anyone who is kept out of their home for more than 14 days will get a second payment of 600 dollars, to be administered by the Canadian Red Cross.

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Premier John Horgan extends state of emergency as B.C. deals with wildfires

By Rob Shaw
Vancouver Sun
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan has extended the provincial state of emergency for wildfires by an additional two weeks and boosted aid payments to those who were forced to evacuate their homes. Horgan emerged Wednesday from his new government’s first cabinet meeting at the legislature to announce additional payments of $600 for each household for every 14 days evacuees are unable to return home due the wildfires raging in the province’s interior. Distribution of funds is being coordinated by the Red Cross. More than 45,000 people have been forced from their homes as 140 wildfires continue to burn in B.C.’s Interior, including 15 that are threatening communities.

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Newfoundland forest management plans undergoing environmental assessments

The Telegram
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has registered several five-year forest management plans for districts in the province for environmental assessment.  Details were provided in an environment assessment bulletin released by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment this week. The department’s proposal for Forest Management District 23, which covers an area of 2.2 million hectares and is located generally between the Labrador coast and the Mulligan and Red Wine rivers to the west, will enable the harvesting of 78,500 cubic metres of timber, construct approximately 20 kilometres of primary forest access road, and apply silviculture prescriptions on approximately 375 hectares throughout the district within the five-year period.

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Forest Service needs to explain tanker decision

By the Editorial Board
The Bend Bulletin
July 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As the U.S. Forest Service fights dozens of wildfires across several states, it isn’t using one of the biggest weapons available: a converted Boeing 747 that can drop 19,000 gallons of flame retardant in a single run, covering a path 200 feet wide and up to 2 miles long. And it won’t say why. An Associated Press report out of Boise, Idaho, says Jim Wheeler of Global SuperTanker Services has filed a protest after the Forest Service set a 5,000-gallon limit for firefighting aircraft without offering an explanation. The Forest Service told the AP it can’t comment on use of the 747s because of Wheeler’s protest. That circular reasoning leaves everybody in the dark. Is this cost-cutting, as suggested by watchdog and firefighter advocacy groups?

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Marbled Murrelet study along the Oregon coast

July 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OREGON COAST — From the Simpson Reef overlook, two field technicians are holding out antennas, listening for marbled murrelets. The crackle of the receiver can be heard above the wind and seals as it scans through 61 frequencies unique to each of the threatened seabirds that have been tagged. The scans are part of a larger research project on the Oregon Coast that aims to learn more about the elusive bird and its nesting sites to help inform conservation planning for the species. The study, led by Oregon State University assistant professor and senior researcher Jim Rivers, is the first to tag marbled murrelets on the open ocean. “One of the things that’s worth emphasizing is that previous studies that have worked on murrelets have typically worked in inlets or bay,” Rivers said.

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Colorado State Forest changing in the aftermath of the mountain pine beetle

By Pamela Johnson
Loveland Reporter-Herald
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

District forester John Twitchell looks at the dead stands of ponderosa pine where once the red stain of mountain pine beetle painted its deadly swath. “They’re kind of gray ghosts now,” said Twitchell, who works for the Colorado State Forest, which is located on nearly 72,000 acres north of Fort Collins, a small section in Larimer County but mostly in Jackson County. The scourge of the mountain pine beetle is old news now, but it is something forest managers will be dealing with for decades to come. The destruction left behind is being managed in different ways. Some trees will be left to naturally fall and decompose. Some stands have been logged to make way for new growth, to simulate to an extent, what a natural fire would do for the landscape, to diversify the age and species of trees. The logs are sent to Saratoga, Wyo., where they are made into lumber, and the proceeds go back into managing the forest.

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Pressure builds to stop logging

By Karen Hunt
The West Australian
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Nannup residents met with members of the Greens Party on Thursday as they continued to press for a moratorium on logging of Barrabup Forest. The forest, located 5km from the town centre, is top of the list on the Forest Products Commission’s 2017 logging schedule and expected to yield 13,500cubic metres of jarrah. However, plans to log 530ha of Barrabup have been halted pending an assessment of its old growth status. Conservationists say it is one of few high conservation value jarrah forests left near Nannup that has not been intensively logged, with rich indigenous and non-indigenous heritage. Greens South West MLC Diane Evers said Barrabup could be worth more left untouched, pointing to previous commission losses from native forestry.

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Mothers vs. loggers: the destruction of Bia?owie?a Forest splits Poland

By Rachel Fritts
Mongabay
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In a recently logged clearing outside Krakow, Poland, a woman sits on a tree stump, nursing her child. She looks down affectionately, her purple knitted cap and magenta jacket vividly defined against the subdued brown hues of the surrounding arboreal graveyard. She is not alone. Several other women are dotted about the clearing, sitting on tree stumps of their own. Each mother holds a child in her arms. These are the women who speak for the trees. Matki Polki na wyr?bie or “Polish Mothers at the Felling” is a grassroots group of local mothers formed earlier this year to protest newly intensified logging practices that are slashing their way across the Eastern European country. …In March 2016, Polish environment minister Jan Szyszko green-lighted a three-fold logging increase in Bia?owie?a, the largest of Europe’s last old-growth forests.

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Koala habitat in northern NSW destroyed by logging, environmentalists claim

By Greg Miskelly
ABC News Australia
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A koala habitat 50 per cent larger than the Royal National Park has been destroyed by logging, according to a new conservation report. The report titled Clearing Koalas Away by conservationist Dailan Pugh, says more than 23,000 hectares of koala habitat near Coffs Harbour has been “virtually cleared”. “They’re hitting them really hard. We’re looking at about 40 per cent of koala habitat in state forests,” he said. “Their own modelling is showing these areas are important but they’re ignoring that. Mr Pugh, an environmentalist for over 40 years, sourced the forestry data under freedom of information (FOI) legislation, in a bid to measure logging against known koala habitats.

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Great Progress with PEFC Eco-Certification of NZ Forests

By the NZ Forest Certification Association
Scoop.co.nz
July 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Illegal forest management practices are a global problem. Governments and markets around the world are increasingly requiring proof of legality for harvested wood products. . …PEFC certification became available in New Zealand in 2016. This followed the recognition of New Zealand Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) as the PEFC national governing body for New Zealand in early 2015. PEFC endorsement for the New Zealand forest certification scheme based around the New Zealand Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (NZS AS 4708) was achieved at the end of 2015. In
the last month, three forestry companies (RMS Forests Ltd., (the former Wellington Regional Council forests), Hancock Forest Management NZ Ltd., and Timberlands Ltd.) have achieved PEFC certification for over 400,000 hectares of forest – about 20% of NZ’s plantation forest estate.

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Forest Fires

The ‘Postmen’ ship supplies to communities impacted by wildfires

By Tara Sprickerhoff 
BC Local News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Kristopher Mercer got to work mobilizing a network of organizations and volunteers who fall under the banner “The Postmen” in order to start shipping food and supplies towards the Cariboo. The group started in 2016 in response to the Fort McMurray fires. Mercer, who hails originally from Fort McMurray, got a call from his brother saying people were on the highway needed fuel. Mercer made his way up, putting a message onto social media that he was on his way. By the end of the trip, he says, there was a convoy of people passing out donations to those stuck on the roads. From there the group expanded, helping evacuees across Alberta. When Mercer saw the need in B.C., he volunteered his and the group’s experience and network to aid wildfire victims throughout the province.

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Nature Conservancy of Canada closes access to lands due to fire risk

By Ezra Black
BC Local News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

In response to the extreme fire situation, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is suspending public recreational access to all its lands in the province, including two in the Fernie area. The organization announced the precautionary measure on July 18 to minimize the chance of human-caused wildfires, said Lesley Marian Neilson, the organization’s engagement manager. “We hope this is a short term suspension of access,” she said. “But we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the situation on the ground.”

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Okanagan Centre fire evacuation order lifted

BC Local News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The last Lake Country residents impacted by Saturday’s wildfire are heading home. The Okanagan Centre fire evacuation order was rescinded for 58 properties on Nighthawk, Long and Tyndall roads at 8 a.m. Wednesday. …”They should be prepared to leave on short notice,” states COEO. Ground crews will continue extinguishing spot fires and conducting danger assessments and falling trees in fire impacted areas throughout the day Wednesday. The public must stay out of fire-affected areas for their own safety and obey all warning and hazards signs. Parks, trails and public and private lands in the area of the fire remain closed, including Jack Seaton Park and trails.

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Verdant Creek wildfire in Kootenay National Park within 2 km of Sunshine Village

CBC News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A forest fire raging in Kootenay National Park is about two kilometres away from Sunshine Village ski resort, but there are no plans at this point for an evacuation. There are about 150 guests and 100 staff at the lodge, which stays open during the summer for hikers, says chief operating officer Dave Riley. Riley says he’s in touch with Parks Canada officials a couple times a day for updates on the fire, which was sparked on Sunday by a lightning strike in the Verdant Creek area. “At this time, we’re just standing by. We are in full operation with the hotel and restaurants, but the hiking trails are not open,” he said.Riley says there are sprinklers and pumps in place to protect the buildings if that becomes necessary.

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Forest fire in Glacier national park now at 1100 hectares

Revelstoke Mountaineer
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Mountain Creek fire in Glacier national park has grown to about 1,100 hectares in size as of Wednesday, July 19. It’s one of nine fires in the park touched of since July 10. Parks Canada spokesperson Shelley Bird said that crews are managing the fire with fire, using helicopters to light new fires around its perimeters to burn up fuel and slow the spread of the fire and eventually contain it. The fire is within the boundaries of the park and is not threatening any infrastructure at this point. Cool air in recent days has aided the fire suppression efforts, but the mass is expected to lift tonight, but potential lightning storms are in the forecast, causing concern about new fire starts.

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Bulkley Valley joins wildfire effort

BC Local News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Even though the wildfires are many hours away by road, local resources are being used to help battle the raging forest fires in B.C.’s Interior. Smithers firefighters are currently battling the flames in the Interior. The team of four firefighters were deployed last Thursday evening to Cache Creek along with a firetruck and pickup truck. The four men who volunteered to help in the effort are Ian Smith, Sean Rowell, Kasper Green and Nathan Combs. …The Salvation Army’s Smithers’ location is helping out in Prince George, offering evacuees support. “We’re providing emotional, spiritual care and … they’re helping out with food services. They’re giving out clothing vouchers,” said Tim Sharp, director of the Bulkley Valley Salvation Army. …The Red Cross is asking for cash donations to help it organize relief such as cots, blankets, family reunification and financial assistance for food, clothing and personal needs. …Smithers Fire Rescue released instructions on how to prepare for an emergency should something happen locally. 

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Northwestern Ontario’s biggest forest fire still burns

TB Newswatch
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — The largest forest fire of the year in the Northwest continues to burn in a remote area about 300 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. Dubbed Nipigon 09 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the fire has burned across an area of more than 10,000 hectares since it was sparked by a lightning strike on July 1. The fire is located about 28 kilometres northwest of Eabametoong First Nation (Fort Hope). A ministry spokesperson told Tbnewswatch there are no logging operations in the area. No waterbombers are currently assigned to the fire but there are fire rangers on the ground. According to a ministry news release, the ministry has employed what it calls “a modified response with limited suppression being performed on sections of the fire.”

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Editorial: Hot times

The Telegram Newfoundland and Labrador
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

What a difference a day makes. Monday, there was only one area of the province where the provincial forestry service was forecasting “very high” forest fire risk in its new forest fire index. By Tuesday morning, 12 regions — including almost all of central Newfoundland and a good chunk of the area monitored in Labrador — were forecast to soon be at “very high” and three regions in Labrador were forecast as “extreme.” The only area left in the province expected to remain at “moderate” was a section of the Great Northern Peninsula. The recently introduced web-based service — you can find it here http://www.faa.gov.nl.ca/forestry/forest_fires/ — is a great idea, because you can see at a moment not only what the risks are, but where active fires are burning. But the current fire forecast is only part of the story. With the most recent changes to the weather forecast for many parts of the province, reducing the chance of rain showers and forecasting continued high temperatures, it’s likely the fire risks will continue to rise.

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New fire evades Lincoln initial attack

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Several small wildfires added acreage Wednesday as warm and gusty conditions returned to western Montana. A lightning strike from Tuesday night’s storm ignited the Arrastra fire on the Lincoln Ranger District. It’s now consumed 150 to 200 acres. A 30-person volunteer crew responded to the initial report of smoke on Wednesday morning and nearly had the fire surrounded by ground line, but windy conditions allowed it to escape containment. Forest Service officials plan to fully suppress the fire as soon as resources can be assembled. A community meeting in Lincoln’s Hooper Park is set for 7 p.m. Thursday. About 25 miles southwest of Philipsburg, the Meyers and Whetstone fires are 69 and 374 acres respectively. Both were started by lightning and are completely uncontained. Three 20-person hand crews assisted by two helicopters are on scene.

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Santa Barbara County firefighters progress with wildfire containment

By Joe Payne and Kasey Babnash
Santa Barbara Sun
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson had some good news to share with the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors at its July 18 meeting—the Alamo Fire near Santa Maria was 100 percent contained, and significant progress had been made against the Whittier Fire. At 62 percent containment, that blaze continued to burn in the Santa Ynez Mountains south of Lake Cachuma after charring more than 18,000 acres, destroying 46 structures, and damaging seven others. The threat to neighborhoods, infrastructure, and businesses prompted California Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County on July 16.

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Feds Examine Military Flares In Mysterious Oregon Wildfires

By Tony Schick
Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Federal and state agencies are investigating a string of wildfires in southeastern Oregon with a potential link to military training exercises. Seven small fires ignited across state and federal lands on July 11, all attributed to human activity — a suspicious pattern that indicates they could be connected, according to federal officials. “The thing that’s a little bit different with this is the number that occurred simultaneously,” said Brett Fay, Assistant Regional Fire Management Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. …A remnant of a military flare was found at one of the areas burned, triggering a call to the Air National Guard, which uses flares in self-defense training exercises over those same areas that burned. Flares are deployed in air combat to draw heat-seeking missiles away from their targets.

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Wildfire Roundup For July 19, 2017 MTPR

By Eric Whitney
Montana Public Radio
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A lightning strike near Lincoln grew into a nearly 200-acre blaze today. The Arrastra Fire is burning in very steep terrain a few drainages west of the 1,800-acre Park Creek Fire. Peri Suenram, public information officer for the Park Creek Fire, says the new blaze is on a steep, heavily timbered hillside burning through beetle-killed trees. “It’s still initial attack,” Suenram says. “There are 30 people up on the hill and they are using a helicopter on it doing bucket work.” Local Forest Service officials decided to fully suppress the fire, given the predicted weather for the next couple of days and other fire activity in the region. Suenram says more lightning is expected to move into the area tomorrow and Friday. A public meeting about the Arrastra Fire is planned for tomorrow (Thur 7/20) at Hooper Park in Lincoln at 7PM.

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Missoula man, 19, dies while fighting forest fire

NBC Montana
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. – Grayback Forestry said an employee was killed Wednesday while fighting a forest fire at the Lolo National Forest. “It is with sadness that on July 19 an employee was killed in the line while fighting a forest fire,” a news release said. The man, who has not been identified, was 19 years old and lived in Missoula. He died after being struck by a falling tree, the company said. He was part of a 20-person attack crew fighting a fire on the Seeley Ranger District of the national forest, according to the company. No other details surrounding the incident have been released.

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Company & Business News

NAFTA revamp talks will start next month in Washington

By Vicki Needham
The Hill
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The first round of negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are set for next month in Washington, D.C. …John Melle, assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere, will serve as chief negotiator for the NAFTA negotiations. …Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, on Monday called the administration’s negotiating objectives “hopelessly vague” in how the changes would benefit the United States on issues such as intellectual property, investment, currency manipulation and government procurement. …The Trump administration said a main focus… is to reduce trade deficits among the nations. Trade experts have said that the Trump administration is too preoccupied with imbalances. …The newer issues reflect Trump’s skeptical approach to trade that include eliminating the Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism, a move applauded by U.S. Lumber, which is in a long-standing dispute with Canada over the lumber trade. 

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NAFTA: Donald Trump’s wish list and closing the book on Chapter 19

By Adam Frisk
Global News
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. President Donald Trump released a long list of his administration’s objectives in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Monday and among the United States’ goals is the elimination of Chapter 19; the trade dispute panel that has favoured Canada in the past. …NAFTA’s Chapter 19 dispute panel has heavily favoured Canada in past rulings, including the ongoing softwood lumber dispute. Riyaz Dattu, a lawyer with Osler International Trade and Investment, has been involved in several Chapter 19 review cases. He suggests Canada’s success rate is part of the reason Trump is reviewing the issue. …“The pivotal industry at this point in time that relies on Chapter 19, because it’s a perennial case that keeps cropping up every few years, is softwood lumber,” Dattu said. “The U.S. on the other hand says that NAFTA is the only agreement where we agreed to this financial panel process, it’s an aberration, it’s been misused, abused and that U.S. courts are the proper venue to review decisions of the Department of Commerce and the U.S. ITC and therefore they want Chapter 19 to go away.”

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Newbie Lloyd would be wise to watch the Wright way

by Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — When incoming premier John Horgan announced Don Wright as his choice to head the public service, the responses were invariably positive. Deputy minister with NDP and B.C. Liberal governments. Forest industry executive. CEO for the credit unions. Harvard-educated economist. BCIT president. There was no challenging the Wright resume. More than that, were the assurances from the New Democrats that his main task would be to preserve the professionalism of the provincial public service, not preside over a partisan housecleaning. One thing to say it, another to pull it off. …Tim Sheldan stays in forests where he worked with Steve Thomson and lately John Rustad and, as of Tuesday, New Democrat Doug Donaldson.

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Coast Forest Products Association Congratulates New BC Government

Coast Forest Products Association
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coast Forest Products Association would like to take this opportunity to congratulate British Columbia’s 36th premier, John Horgan and his newly sworn in cabinet. Our Association would also like to give special acknowledgement to Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser, Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy George Heyman, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills & Training Melanie Mark and Parliamentary Secretary for Trade George Chow. These ministries are significant to the coastal forest sector in that they strongly influence the sector’s ability to continue to be innovative, expand and find new ways to partner with Indigenous Peoples and ever improve the sustainability of our world class forest management and products.

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Tembec sale? Sounds far from a done deal

Northern Ontario Business
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

One of the Tembec’s largest shareholders, Oaktree Capital Management, is coming out against the proposed US$320-million sale of the regional forest products giant to Rayonier Advanced Materials, a Florida cellulose maker. The Los Angeles-based investment firm announced July 17 that they intend to line up Tembec shareholders in opposition to the proposed transaction announced on May 25. …A special meeting of Tembec shareholders is scheduled for July 27. …”We have held shares in Tembec for almost a decade and are highly supportive of management and the board of directors,” said James Bennett, founder of RCA, in a statement. …“They have done a terrific job in turning around the company into a profitable and growing enterprise. While they support the Rayonier merger, we are not prepared to vote for the transaction unless Rayonier responds more appropriately to the points made by Oaktree.

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Regulators asked to scrutinize voting for Tembec takeover

By Nicolas Van Praet
The Globe and Mail
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

A U.S. investment management firm is turning to securities regulators in Ontario and Quebec to address some of its concerns about Rayonier Advanced Materials’ proposed takeover of Tembec Inc., saying there are disturbing questions about the role of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. in the deal. …The complaints come amid souring prospects for the $807-million (U.S.) transaction. Oaktree and Restructuring Capital Associates, another Tembec shareholder, have both confirmed they oppose the friendly agreement. They say the offer is too low, a view supported by proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co., which is recommending Tembec investors vote against the deal. Oaktree’s appeal to regulators centres on the declaration, made by Tembec and Rayonier when they announced their friendly merger May 25, that Fairfax, a major Tembec shareholder, “is supportive of the transaction.” Fairfax subsequently sold its position in Tembec in the days that followed. 

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Trump tariff contributes to lumber price rise

By Tim Silfies
WFMZ Allentown
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

The price of lumber is going up. “Drastically,” according to Bob Butz, the general manager of People’s Coal & Supply Co. in Stockertown. “From early spring until now, approximately 20-25%.” The company buys lumber from vendors and sells it. When they pay more, customers pay more. The question is, why are prices rising? For one thing, Mother Nature is not helping. “The fires in British Columbia,” said Butz. “These mills are being shut down.” But there’s also another reason. In April, President Trump put a tax of up to 24 percent on Canadian lumber coming into the United States.

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Housing starts jump as construction, home buying get back on track

By Andrea Riquier
MarketWatch
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Builders broke ground on more homes in June, and figures from a prior month were revised up, allaying fears that the housing recovery had stumbled in the spring. Housing starts were at a 1.22 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, 8.3% higher than in May and 2.1% higher for the year. The MarketWatch consensus of economists called for a 1.16 million annual pace. May’s data, originally reported as the lowest in eight months, was revised up to a 1.12 million annual pace. Builders also applied for more permits to construct homes, a good signal of increased activity ahead. Permits, at a pace of 1.25 million, rose 7.4% for the month and 5.1% for the year. Single-family starts were 6.3% higher than in May, a sign builders are prioritizing construction of homes to be purchased, rather than rented.

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Soaring lumber prices a problem for home builders, buyers

By Chris Isidore
CNN Monday in Binghamton.com
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – The price of lumber is soaring, and home builders are worried. Lumber in June cost 17 percent more than it did just a year earlier, and it’s even more expensive than during the building boom last decade. …Strong demand is one reason for rising lumber prices. Housing starts are up 3 percent this year compared with the same period last year, according to the Census Bureau. And building permits are up twice as much, showing more building plans in the pipeline. But the Trump administration has also proposed a tariff of up to 24 percent on Canadian lumber. The administration says the Canadian government creates an unfair advantage by subsidizing the lumber industry. The trade group believes such a tariff could drive up the price of an average home by $3,000. 

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No wider problems behind timber deal, says Lesley Griffiths

BBC News
July 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

A controversial timber deal has not revealed wider problems at Natural Resources Wales, according to the environment secretary. Lesley Griffiths made her comments despite damning criticism from AMs. They said Natural Resources Wales (NRW) had been “in denial” and showed “arrogance” when criticised by the assembly’s Public Accounts Committee. It followed NRW’s decision to sell timber to a sawmill company for £39m without a proper business case. The 10-year contract was signed with BSW Timber in 2014, but has now been cancelled after the company failed to open a new saw line as expected. In a Senedd debate, Ms Griffiths said the committee had “highlighted some weaknesses”.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood be good: Why top Australian architects love timber for building homes

By Paul Best
Domain
July 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

John Wardle Architects readily admits to being “obsessed” with using timber in residential designs. “Every piece is different and unique,” says Diego Bekinschtein, who oversees the Melbourne practice’s residential houses sector. JWA‘s affection for wood reflects the attraction of many to this medium. Even in the face of our love for a more clinical modern aesthetic, we have an on-going attachment to this most ancient of building materials. Sydney architect James Fitzpatrick says this ardour for the arboreal speaks to our affinity for the natural world. “We’re becoming aware of the biophilic nature of timber,” he says. “We just prefer a lovely timber window over aluminum.” Scientific research backs this up – studies have found we feel healthier and happier both physically and mentally surrounded by wood. “Wellbeing is the buzzword with timber,” says Andrew Dunn, head of the Timber Development Association, which oversees the Australian Timber Design Awards. “It makes you calmer.”

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Unassuming buildings lead way on Riba architecture shortlist

By Edwin Heathcote
Financial Times
July 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A photographer’s studio, a home in north London and an events building on Hastings pier are all on an intriguing and unpredictable shortlist for this year’s Riba Stirling prize for excellence in architecture. …One residential building, however, does appear on the list, a slender, gabled apartment house with distinctive wicker balconies. Built in London’s fiercely gentrified Stoke Newington, the brick-clad building is actually constructed from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), a prefabricated panel that has become a greener alternative to concrete or steel structures. Also built using CLT is a new events space on the rather sorry-looking Hastings Pier.

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