Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 26, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Signs point to quotas in possible Canada/US softwood lumber settlement

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 26, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

NAFTA and Softwood Lumber headlines include:

  • Signs point to quotas in possible Canada/US softwood settlement
  • Ross loses power struggle with US Trade Representative Lighthizer
  • Seven members of the Senate want a “clean quota” agreement 
  • Trudeau insists NAFTA must have dispute mechanism despite US demands

On the forest fire front:

  • More than 550 Ontario firefighters deployed to BC
  • Edmonton-based soldiers deployed to BC to assist with wildfire emergency
  • BC wildfires live: prepare for the return of winds and high temperatures
  • BC ranchers face devastating wildfire losses when they return home
  • 12 active forest fires burning in the northeast (Canada)
  • The latest in Europe: almost 1,700 firefighters tackling wildfires in Portugal

A battle over construction techniques could be brewing in Waltham as the “Mayor calls for development curbs after a massive 10-alarm fire destroyed an unoccupied 260-unit building”. Waltham Fire Chief Paul Ciccone said the “complex was in line with all building codes–but the wood-frame construction didn’t do firefighters any favors”.

Finally, the New Brunswick Select Committee on Cannabis got an earful of “workplace safety concerns” from Chris Macdonald of J.D. Irving.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Ducks Unlimited, First Nations and Metis partner to study N.W.T. Boreal forest

By Jimmy Thomson
CBC News
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada is in the middle of an ambitious survey of over 31 million hectares of the Northwest Territories’ wilderness. A team of technicians is flying over the territory by helicopter to get a closer look at the different facets of the boreal forest, in order to help with future land use planning. “It’s the biggest project we’ve ever done, to date,” said Kevin Smith, national manager of Ducks Unlimited Canada’s boreal program. “We have four remote sensing analysts working on it, plus a number of technicians from Dene First Nations.” Smith said the First Nations and Metis involved in the project will use the data to inform their land claim and development plans.

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The World Lost A Huge Chunk Of Its Forests In 2015

By Ethan Weston
Newsy.com
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

The world lost around 49 million acres of forest in 2015, according to new data from Global Forest Watch. A lot of those losses happened in the tropics, especially in Papua New Guinea and West Africa. West Africa is especially vulnerable to deforestation due to its palm oil plantations. Sierra Leone saw a 12-fold increase in deforestation compared to 2001. …But it wasn’t just the tropics that saw massive deforestation. Canada, the U.S. and Russia lost the most forest cover in 2015. The causes are a bit different though. Logging, wildfires and pests were the main causes in those three countries.

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UBC Faculty of Forestry seeking world’s best and brightest applicants for $280,000 Future Forests Fellowship

The University of British Columbia
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Faculty of Forestry is proud to announce that the Future Forests Fellowship has been renewed for a second 4-year period beginning in September 2018. This prestigious award is the largest in the world for an incoming PhD student, providing $280,000 over 4 years. The Future Forests Fellowship is made possible by a private Canadian foundation, which created it to draw attention to how forestry research impacts global issues. The Faculty is deeply grateful to the private foundation that made this landmark contribution. The first (and so far only) recipient of the Fellowship is Sara Barron, whose research looks at how future urban forests can be designed and planned to be climate-ready, support local ecosystem services, and improve the health and well-being of local residents.

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Biologically diverse B.C. to benefit from pledge for endangered-species law

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As Canada’s “most biologically rich province,” B.C. stands to benefit hugely from a long-awaited provincial government commitment to create a species-at-risk law, a senior official with the David Suzuki Foundation said Tuesday. B.C. is home to some 76 per cent of Canada’s bird species, 70 per cent of freshwater species and large iconic ungulates and carnivores that have been extirpated throughout much of their historic range, Faisal Moola, a foundation director-general, said in an interview. Yet the absence of a “stand-alone” endangered species law has resulted in sub-standard protection for at-risk plants and animals, along with their habitat, he said. 

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Area residents voice opposition to logging plan for Highwood River valley

By Colleen Schmidt
CTV News
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Opposition to a plan to log a prominent part of Kananaskis Country is growing and a new poll shows the nearly 70 percent of respondents are against the idea. A patch of forest near Highwood Junction is scheduled to be logged later this year and the plan will change the southern entrance to Kananaskis Country for years to come. A recent poll, commissioned by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, found 68 percent of people surveyed in Calgary and nearby communities are opposed to the logging plan. “Many people in Calgary and surrounding communities already believe that Kananaskis Country is already protected when in fact only just over half of it is protected as either an ecological reserve or provincial park. There’s a big gap between people’s understanding of what actually goes on in Kananaskis Country and what happens on the ground,” said Stephen Legault, from Yellowstone to Yukon.

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Threat of fire ‘imminent’ at Boer Mountain site

BC Local News
July 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) plans to mitigate wildfire risk at the Boer Mountain Recreation Site by removing dead pine. “The threat of forest fires in the Boer Mountain area is imminent; we are on borrowed time,” said BLCF manager Frank Varga. “The mean fire interval in this forest type is about 125 years.” A large fire occurred at Boer Mountain in 1922, burning 2080 hectares around the edges of the site. Two years later, a smaller fire burned 31 hectares about 2.5 km southwest of Boer Mountain; and in 1967, another large fire burned 1083 hectares northwest of the site. However, all these fires were human-caused. “A fire of any size could considerably spread quite quickly to adjacent properties and down into town, or spread further uphill into the mature spruce stands that are on the opposite side of Boer Mountain,” continued Varga.

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New Brunswick ranks 2nd-last in Canada in efforts to protect nature, group says

By Maria Jose Burgos
CBC News
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

New Brunswick ranks second-last in the country in protection of land and water, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society says in its annual report on environmental efforts. The report calls Canada a “laggard,” too, saying its commitment to protecting nature is last among G7 countries. The report ranks all the provinces and territories for their commitment and says New Brunswick is “well behind” most, with only 4.7 per cent of land and water protected. “The government hasn’t made any commitment to establish new protected areas, unlike most of the other provinces and territories that are working on a plan,” said Roberta Clowater, executive director of the New Brunswick chapter of the charity, which calls itself CPAWS.

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Speaking up for Forestry Workers and Communities

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – With forestry companies facing duties and tariffs in the wake of U.S. litigation against Canadian softwood lumber, there are concerns some B.C. communities will be hit hard. That’s why Council for the City of Prince George is being called upon to support a special resolution. The report from the Mayor [Lyn Hall] on this matter states the expiration of the Softwood Lumber agreement could have a devastating impact on “forest dependent communities, mills, industry workers, businesses and residents.” There are worries some mills may be forced to close because the companies cannot carry the extra financial burden being created by the U.S. imposed duties and tariffs.

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Terrace Community Forest Says Log Exports Most Feasible Option

By Jaylene Matthews
CFTK TV
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Representatives of the Terrace Community Forest say they currently have no better options than to export their logs. The Terrace Community Forest is an independently operated logging company owned by the city, A portion of The Community Forest’s revenue goes to community grants, and much of the rest goes to general revenue for the City of Terrace. The community forest logs portions of land around the Kitimat Valley, Deep Creek, and Shames River. Although they’d like to keep their wood in the area – the sawmills in this region don’t currently have the capacity to efficiently process it . In today’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Kim Howarth, representing the Community Forest, explianed why the wood they’re logging is best for export.

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Why London claims to be the Forest City

By Hala Ghonaim
CBC News
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Joe O’Neil can’t remember a time when London wasn’t nicknamed the Forest City. O’Neil, the former chair of the city’s advisory committee on heritage, said it’s not the numbers, but a green history that crowned London as the Forest City. …O’Neil said London briefly lost its claim to the Forest City after development projects stripped the land of its green spaces. However, replanting strategies are underway to reconnect the city to its roots. For every 1,500 trees that are chopped down annually due to poor health, the city replants 5,000.

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Vail Resorts announces new plans to attain ‘zero net footprint’ by 2030

Vail Daily
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts announced Tuesday that the company will pursue a comprehensive sustainability commitment, called “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint.” The project, announced to employees at a companywide event, commits to zero net emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfill by 2030 and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat. …Inspired by Whistler Blackcomb’s environmental commitment, “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint” comprises three elements: emissions, waste, and forests and habitats, with an approach to each that was developed in consultation with leading sustainability experts in the industry.

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Loved to death: Sequoia national monument faces wildfires and logging

By Oliver Milman
The Guardian
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For the largest living things standing on the planet, California’s giant sequoias have an unassuming, almost gentle aura to them. The recognizable cinnamon-colored bark is soft and fibrous. Its cones are modest. When cut down, the trees tend to shatter and won’t produce reliably sturdy timber. These majestic plants have a lineage stretching back to the Jurassic period, but fears over their future have prompted a somewhat counterintuitive plan presented to the Trump administration – in order to save the giant sequoias, some say, their surrounding area must be stripped of protected status.

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Can we love a resource without killing it?

By Todd Wilkinson, author of Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek
Planet Jackson Hole
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JACKSON HOLE, WY – If your favorite place on earth was facing a threat, an impact that you know will only grow in magnitude, what would you do to defend it? Rick Bass has become one of America’s best-known literary environmentalists by marshalling sweet narratives to safeguard “the Yaak”—a rugged and remote river valley wedged between a line of the Purcell mountains in far, far northwestern Montana. …During the height of the timber wars in the 1980s and 1990s when the Forest Service stubbornly adhered to a policy of identifying the biggest trees on public lands and unsustainably liquidating them to produce cheap merchantable timber, Bass, hunters, anglers and a coterie of others put the Kootenai National Forest—“the largest timber producer in the Forest Service’s Northern Region”—under a high beam of unwanted scrutiny.

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Oregon River Stands Up for Its Rights

By Kai Huschke, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Pagosa Daily Post
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Last week, the Siletz River watershed in Lincoln County, OR, filed to intervene in a lawsuit, making it the third ecosystem in the United States to seek standing to protect its rights. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are attempting to overturn a Community Bill of Rights law adopted by Lincoln County voters in May. The ordinance establishes rights to clean air, water, and soil, and the rights of ecosystems and natural communities to be free from toxic trespass caused by aerial sprayed pesticides. The practice is banned as a violation of those rights. Plaintiffs contend that their “right” to aerially spray pesticides overrides any claimed right by the community to ban the harmful practice, regardless of the health and safety of people and ecosystems.

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‘Ambition needed’ for Welsh forestry

ITV News
July 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Welsh Government should urgently rethink its woodland strategy and aim to significantly increase planting rates, according to a National Assembly committee. A new report calls on the Welsh Government to be more ambitious on woodland policy in Wales and address barriers to increasing planting, which can bring environmental benefits, improve well-being and support businesses in Wales. The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee launches its report, ‘Branching out: a new ambition for woodland policies’, at the Royal Welsh Show.

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People and wildlife now threatened by rapid destruction of central America’s forests

Phys.org
July 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Central America’s largest remaining forests are disappearing at a precipitous rate due to illegal cattle ranching, oil palm plantations, and other human-related activities, all of which are putting local communities and the region’s wildlife species at high risk. A new comprehensive study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) titled the “Human Footprint and Cow’s Hoofprint Analysis” was presented this month for validation and analysis by indigenous groups, protected area agencies, and civil society organizations from nine countries. This spurred the development of a joint commitment known as “The Petén Declaration.” Signed by 25 of the attending organizations, the declaration recognizes the causes of forest loss and commits to concrete actions to address them.

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National Tree Day: Get gritty with Planet Ark

Murray Valley Standard
July 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Planet Ark invites South Australians to get gritty by joining the country’s biggest nature care events, Schools Tree Day on July 28 and National Tree Day on July 30. Last year more than 21,500 South Australians helped plant 61,600 trees across the state. This year Unity College and South Primary School will hold events in Murray Bridge on Friday. Mid Murray Landcare will be active at Cambrai on Sunday, as will the Scrub Huggers at Mannum and the Friends of the Coorong at Meningie. National Tree Day is an opportunity to do something good for the environment and experience the positive benefits associated with spending time in nature.

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Forest Fires

More than 550 Ontario firefighters deployed to BC

Thunder Bay News Watch
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

THUNDER BAY — Ontario will send another 125 firefighting personnel to British Columbia this week. They will join over 430 Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry staff already helping BC deal with a rash of serious fires. The MNRF says the first wave of 140 firefighters rotating back to Ontario will arrive home next week. The province has also loaned BC firefighting equipment including 10,000 lengths of hose and over 200 pump kits.

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Edmonton-based soldiers deployed to B.C. to assist with wildfire emergency

By Caley Ramsay
Global News
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 200 Edmonton-based soldiers have been sent west to help with the ongoing response to the B.C. wildfires. The majority of the 225 soldiers are from the 3rd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force West. The men and women left for B.C. following a request for additional help from the RCMP. The soldiers will assist the RCMP in providing information to the public and working at points along the various access roads in affected areas. They will also help with the ground evacuation of residents in distress and deliver aid to affected areas.

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B.C. Wildfires Live: Prepare for the return of winds and high temperatures

By Scott Brown and Patrick Johnson
Calgary Herald
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire situation over the past few days may have been calm but officials are warning the fight is just beginning. “Typically this is when our core season kicks in,” B.C. Wildfire Service chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said on a media call on Tuesday afternoon. The weather forecast continues to call for hot and dry conditions over the coming days and high winds are expected. “Those are going to be a challenge,” Skrepnek said. “We’re seeing any rain in the immediate future.” …More than 3,770 square kilometres have burned so far this fire season.

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Back from the fire line

By Alex Cooper
Vernon Morning Star
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ryan Gow was exhausted. The leader of the Columbia Unit Crew, he agreed to meet for an interview over breakfast at 9 a.m. the morning after returning from a gruelling two weeks on the front lines of the raging wild fire near the villages of Ashcroft and Cache Creek. “All I want to do is sleep,” he told me after showing up 40 minutes late, and only after I woke him up with a phone call. I didn’t blame him. …The ground was as dry as it gets. “If you were to have a campfire, you wouldn’t need kindling,” he said. “You could light a log with a lighter.” …“As much as I like being outside and getting dirty and working with a great crew, it’s when you’re working on incident that is this close to British Columbians and you’re able to help them — whether its floods or wildfires – it’s so rewarding.”

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July wildfires have been ‘almost unprecedented’: Skrepnek

By Katya Slepian
Vernon Morning Star
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are 154 fires burning across the province as of Tuesday afternoon. Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said that the province has spent $138.1 million fighting 771 wildfires that have burned 377,000 hectares. The 2017 fire season has now cost the province over double the 10-year -average. It far exceeds the 2016 fire season costs, which as of July 25 sat at $79 million. It’s yet to beat 2015 however, which sat at $146 million as July 25. There were 12 new fires started on Monday – a number that continues to trend down. The province has 4,300 ground crew, including both firefighters and support staff, fighting fires. Of those, 1,000 come from out of province and 2,000 are forest industry contractors. They are supported by 180 aircraft.

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Good news from the fire’s front lines

By Andrea Demeer
Penticton Western News
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The smoke is definitely clearing from Princeton’s forest fire. That’s according to the information officer for the new Incident Management Team – a crew from New South Wales Australia – in an interview with The Spotlight Tuesday. …Tuesday the IMT employed a helicopter with thermal-imaging technology to fly over the area, identify hotspots and record their locations in GPS. “Then the crews go out with their GPS and they can go right to the spot,” said Doyle. Tuesday the survey showed 43 hot spots, compared to a similar scan a week previous that indicated 150 problem areas. “It’s absolutely going to make [firefighters] more efficient on the ground and hopefully speed up the progress of getting this fire out.” …The 12-member Princeton IMT is part of a 53-person contingent from Australia that arrived in British Columbia last Wednesday to aid in the battle against 155 wildfires in the province.

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B.C. ranchers face devastating wildfire losses when they return home

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Ranchers in the centre of B.C.’s cattle country are facing “heartbreak” as they return to scorched fields, dead livestock and damaged infrastructure following weeks of wildfires. Kevin Boon, the general manager of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, said the process of tallying losses has just begun and could take some time because the extreme heat of the wildfires would leave little evidence of carcasses. He said it’s expected hundreds if not thousands of cattle were killed or injured by the fires. …The devastation is expected to take an emotional toll on ranchers who have seen their livelihoods disappear in an instant, Boon said, adding it will continue to have long-term effects beyond the immediate costs of rebuilding.

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12 active forest fires burning in the northeast

Sudbury.com
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

While there are no new fires burning this week so far, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is dealing with 12 active fires in the northeast. Eleven of those 12 fires are located in the far north and are being observed, rather than battled at the moment, as fire does provide ecological benefits to forests. A fire near Kirkland Lake is under control at four hectares. The forest fire hazard ranges from low to extreme, with the areas of most concern located in the north of the region. [END]

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Wildfires force 10,000 from tourist-packed French Riviera

Reuters
July 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

MARSEILLE – Firefighters evacuated thousands of campers and local residents after a wildfire broke out on France’s tourist-thronged Riviera coast overnight. The blaze was the latest of several wind-whipped fires that are ravaging forest and scrubland on the hills and slopes that spill into the Mediterranean sea between the Marseilles and the city of Nice in the southeastern corner of France. Not far west of the yacht-filled marinas of Saint-Tropez resort, 10,000 people were evacuated – 3,000 of them from campsites – as a fast-encroaching fire ripped through the hills of La Lodes les Manures, the Lavabo and Bromes.

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The Latest: Firefighters battling 18 Albania wildfire spots

Associated Press in the Washington Post
July 25, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

PARIS — The Latest on wildfires in southern France and Portugal : Albania’s interior ministry says that some 130 firefighters are battling 18 fire spots around the country Wednesday. …Wildfires are burning across swaths of central and southern Italy, aided by the region’s drought and high temperatures, but authorities say most have been caused by arson. …Firefighters have stepped up their battle against flames lapping at Mediterranean forests in the picturesque French hilltop town of Bormes-Les-Mimosas, where at least 10,000 people were evacuated. …Almost 1,700 firefighters supported by 17 water-dropping aircraft are tackling wildfires in Portugal, where every summer large areas of woodland are scorched.

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Company & Business News

U.S. negotiator wrests control of NAFTA file from Wilbur Ross

By Robert Fife, Steven Chase and Adrian Morrow
The Globe and Mail
July 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

[Content available to G&M subscribers only] U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears to have lost a power struggle to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for overall management of free-trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico. The battle over control of U.S. trade policy involving two of President Donald Trump’s top cabinet secretaries comes as Canada prepares for tough negotiations to rewrite the North American free-trade agreement. In a sign that difficult talks lie ahead, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau laid down his first marker on Tuesday, saying Canada considers it “absolutely essential” that NAFTA retain a dispute-resolution mechanism, something the Trump administration wants to scrap. …Mr. Ross, a former Wall Street investment banker, and Mr. Lighthizer, a veteran trade litigator, are both protectionist at heart, but the U.S. Trade Representative is expected to be an easier negotiating counterpart for Canada. …One of Mr. Lighthizer’s initial NAFTA moves was to formally name John Melle, a career civil servant who oversees trade in the Americas, as the chief U.S. negotiator. According to a former colleague who did not want to be identified, Mr. Melle will be focused on reaching a deal on which everyone can agree – which could be good news for Canada and Mexico.

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Trudeau insists NAFTA must have dispute mechanism despite US demands it be eliminated

Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
The Chronicle Herald
July 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA — Any renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement will have to include a fair process to resolve disputes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. In the summary of its objectives in the renegotiation of NAFTA, the White House signalled last week that it wants to entirely eliminate the chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism. …The White House argues the panels have ignored relevant U.S. laws when making their decisions and believes the courts are the better option for ensuring U.S. interests are protected. But Trudeau said Canada will demand that a dispute settlement process remain part of any rebuild of NAFTA. …Chapter 19 has resulted in a number of positive trade decisions for Canada including on softwood lumber. Even though softwood lumber is not included in NAFTA, the chapter 19 process can still be used to appeal duties applied to it.

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U.S. Lumber Coalition Applauds Senate Finance Committee Members’ Push for Fair Trade Agreement with Canada

By US Lumber Coalition
PR Newswire
July 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — In a letter today, Senators… of the Senate Finance Committee urged Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to negotiate a softwood lumber trade deal with Canada that would lessen the harmful impact of subsidized Canadian lumber imports on the U.S. economy. The Senators’ letter also expressed strong support for fair competition and the enforcement of existing U.S. trade laws. “The U.S. Lumber Coalition applauds the efforts by members of the Senate Finance Committee to push for a fair trade deal, especially the letter’s provision calling for a clean quota agreement to hold Canada to its commitments and maintain a stable, enforceable system,” U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesperson Zoltan van Heyningen said. 

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Senators urge quotas on Canadian lumber, consultations with Congress

By Vicki Needham
The Hill
July 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Seven members of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday called the Trump administration to set quotas on Canadian softwood lumber and closely consult with Congress during negotiations of a final agreement. Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) want U.S. trade officials to negotiate a “clean quota” agreement to address the softwood lumber spat with Canada. “Any long-term agreement must stop the harmful effects of subsidized and unfairly traded Canadian lumber on fair competition with the U.S. producers,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

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B.C. wildfires likely to add to U.S. homebuyers’ frustration, as lumber supply crunch worsens

By Erica Alini
Global News
July 26, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfires that are burning up British Columbia may well be fueling homebuyer frustration south of the border, by exacerbating a shortage of lumber in the U.S. that’s helping push home prices there to unprecedented highs. As the fires multiplied across B.C., several lumber mills had to temporarily halt operations, worsening a pre-existing lumber supply shortfall in the U.S. U.S. homebuilders have been struggling with high lumber prices in recent months, and the inventory of homes available for sale has been dropping for 25 straight months on a year-on-year basis. This, in turn, has helped send the median price of a house in the U.S. to an all-time high of US$263,800 (C$329,761) last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. It was the sixth straight month of record high increases and 6.5 per cent above the median price a year ago.

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Council Says Yes to Forestry Resolution

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
July 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C – With the softwood lumber agreement having expired, and the resulting tariffs and duties levied on forestry companies, Council for the City of Prince George has approved a special resolution. The resolution comes from Councillor Frank Everitt, who wants to see forestry communities and workers to speak up about the importance of the industry “In the past communities were not involved in the process, the province wasn’t involved in the process , it was just the federal government.” He suggests people speak up whenever and wherever possible including in Washington “Absolutely! Its about people and we want them to understand in the (Forestry) Ministry in our community and throughout northern British Columbia so we start here and get the message out here then we move to other areas of the province.”  

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Workplace safety concerns expressed at N.B. cannabis committee hearing

CTV News
July 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Saint John business community spoke out about the legalization of marijuana at a public hearing on Tuesday. The New Brunswick government’s Select Committee on Cannabis is conducting hearings around the province in advance of setting regulations governing the sale of marijuana. The Select Committee on Cannabis, composed of eight MLAs, was informed ofconflicting opinions at the hearing. Among the presenters Tuesday was industrial giant J.D. Irving. Chris Macdonald, J.D. Irving’s director of government relations,expressed concerns about workplace safety when marijuana is legalized next year.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canadian airlines aiming to become a biofuel superpower, reduce carbon footprint

By Ross Marowits
Victoria Times Colonist
July 25, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

MONTREAL — The country’s top airlines say resource-rich Canada has the potential to become a biofuel superpower by transforming forest residue and agricultural crops into energy that can help the industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Canada actually has an opportunity like no other country where it can displace large amounts of fuel and reduce large amounts of carbon,” Mena Salib, Air Canada’s manager of aircraft noise and emissions, said Tuesday after speaking to a global biotech conference. Salib said the industry wants to procure biofuels from local sources instead of transporting it far to meet demand. “The prize would be technology from Canada, the feedstock is from Canada and it is used by Canadians.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Mayor calls for development curbs after giant Waltham fire

By Ignacio Laguarda
Wicked Local
July 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A battle over construction techniques used by new development could be brewing in Waltham in the wake of a massive 10-alarm fire that destroyed an unoccupied 260-unit building on Sunday, July 23, putting nearby residents at risk and destroying a neighboring business. The construction material of the structure – mostly wood frame – has been called into question after the complex caught fire on Sunday morning, and the combustible nature of the edifice caused it to quickly erupt into a giant blaze. While the construction was in compliance with building and fire codes up until the fire, many are wondering if such large structures should be allowed to be built with flammable material, even if developers are drawn to its relative inexpensiveness.

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Fire Officials To Discuss Cause Of Massive Dorchester Fire At Press Conference

CBS Boston
July 26, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

DORCHESTER — Boston Fire Department officials will hold a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the cause of a fire that ripped through Dorchester’s expansive Treadmark Building last month.More than 125 firefighters responded to that blaze on Dorchester Avenue,  which shut down the nearby Ashmont MBTA station and sent nearby residents inside because of smoke and poor air quality. …At the time, on the scene, Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said those construction materials made things dangerous for firefighters. “It was a very difficult fire to fight,” he said. “It got into the void space. It’s lightweight construction, which makes it very difficult for us.”

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Chief Says Wood Frame Construction Made Mass. Fire Difficult To Fight

Builder
July 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WALTHAM (CBS) — Authorities said the flames that destroyed a Waltham apartment complex over the weekend were able to tear through the building so quickly because of its wood-frame construction. Five buildings were reduced to charred debris in the fire, which began around 4 a.m. Sunday. The complex off Elm Street was still under construction, so nobody was inside at the time. It took crews from over a dozen different communities nearly four hours just to get the stubborn flames under control. Waltham Fire Chief Paul Ciccone said the complex was in line with all building codes–but said this was a case where the wood-frame construction didn’t do firefighters any favors.

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Wood — Building Material of the Future

By Tara Loader Wilkinson
Billionaire
July 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Architects, builders and designers are pointing to how people are rediscovering a love of wood in and around their homes. “I feel there is a ‘movement’ to use wood in architecture now,” says Lidewij Lenders, Dutch architect and co-founder of MAATworks. “Where in the past wood was used because it was available and cheap, we see now that there are very different reasons to use wood,” she explains. …Last year, MAATworks created a slender five-storey Amsterdam townhouse entirely out of wood, which it named Houten Herenhuis (wooden house), for a client who was “enamoured of Scandinavian wooden homes”. With a bright-red façade and large windows displaying an angular engineered pine staircase, the award-winning residence instantly catches the eye. Lenders has since been commissioned to build several more wooden homes in a similar style. …Technological advancement in techniques means that wood can not only be used to create unique furniture pieces and fantastical residences, but is now being used to build skyscrapers. A number of these are already changing the skyline.

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