Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 29, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

US postpones decision on softwood. Limbo period in play.

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 29, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US Secretary of Commerce postponed the final decision on softwood lumber by two months to “provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand and to reach an equitable and durable suspension agreement”. Related news coverage speaks to the “reprieve for Canadian producers” and “uncertainty over what the new [price] floor is” as the duties came off in recent days.

Other softwood headlines—from a meeting of New England governors and eastern premiers—include:

California’s fire chief blames “climate change and years of mismanaging forest” for this year’s severe fire season. Meanwhile, FPInnovations is “expanding wildfire expertise across Canada” and Rob Chaney has a story on “how mapping fire behaviour helps forecast tactics“. 

In other forestry news, FPAC’s Derek Neighbor wants to “protect caribou… and thousands of jobs“, the National Observer has a multi-part feature on BC’s “forest and its keepers“, and University of Guelph toxicologist Len Ritter, says “worry about glyphosate spraying in [Moncton’s] reservoir is unwarranted“.

Finally, a new study in Alaska finds that “grizzly bears choose berries over salmon” — thanks to climate change.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Forestry

Protect caribou . . . and thousands of jobs

By Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada
The Chronicle Journal
August 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

Canada’s leading forest products companies and the 230,000 people we employ in hundreds of communities across the country are urging the federal government to give serious thought to adjusting the procedures and timing of the Caribou Recovery Strategy to achieve a more balanced and sustainable way forward for all. We believe that the current process could jeopardize thousands of jobs in rural and northern Canada and the well-being of hundreds of communities — while not reaching the important caribou recovery goals that we all want to achieve. …It is critical that the government base caribou recovery decisions on a thorough scientific assessment of all causes of caribou decline, from human and natural disturbance to climate change, predation, pathogens and disease.

Read More

Expanding Wildfire Expertise Across Canada

By Ray Ault
FPInnovations Blog
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Wildfire events in Canada continue to take a heavy toll on ecosystems, community health and safety, and the economy. Extreme events like the massive fire in Fort McMurray, AB, illustrate the devastating human, environmental, and economic impacts. “As wildland fires become more frequent, larger, and costlier, FPInnovations is working to apply the unique firefighting expertise we’ve developed in Alberta, across Canada. There’s a lot of interest from other provinces in what we’re doing,” says Research Manager Dominik Roser. FPInnovations has the only wildfire operations research program in Canada with direct links to forest fire agencies and fireline operations.

Read More

The forest and its keepers

By Jenny Uechi
National Observer
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vast, green forests and the wild creatures that inhabit them have inspired and motivated Vicky Husband over a lifetime. An Order of Canada recipient, Husband is revered by British Columbia environmentalists for her commitment and advocacy. When prompted with a simple question about these forests, Husband embarks on a conversation that leads the listener down the winding pathways of forestry politics and onward through the long and dense history of logging and forest conservation on B.C.’s coast. …Husband fears that if taken for granted, the ancient forests which have been integral to B.C.’s industry, tourism, and cultural identity will become a thing of the past. 

Read More

Major seed distributer to be shut down in 2018

By Roger Klein
CTV News
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A major seed distribution plant in Angus is being shut down by the provincial government. The Angus Seed Plant once provided all of the seeds used in reforestation efforts across the province. It currently operates at 20 per cent capacity. But come next year, Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry plans to shut it down. “We are going to be moving out of an industrial size plant to a native tree seed genetic archive,” says Ken Durst, regional services manager for the MNRF. “That’s going to be focused on biodiversity and climate change science.” The tree seed plant has been in operation since 1923.

Read More

Low wages driving tree planters out of province, say contractors

By Emma Smith
CBC News
August 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Some tree planters in Nova Scotia say they’re worried about the future of their industry as the average contractor nears 50 years old and young workers move west.  Adam Forest, who’s worked in the silviculture industry for 20 years, says people are being driven away by low wages and an uncertain work schedule.  “For years now I see guys come out, go broke, hurt themselves, wreck their cars and quit. So this constant cycle of rookies just turns the work into low quality and low profit,” said Forest, who lives in Bridgetown, N.S. …Forest says the rates paid to silviculture workers… haven’t been significantly increased for two decades. Meanwhile, out-of-pocket expenses such as gas and equipment have risen. 

Read More

Worry about glyphosate spraying in reservoir is unwarranted, says toxicologist

By Nathalie Sturgeon
CBC News
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dr. Leonard Ritter

Fears that glyphosate, which the New Brunswick forest industry uses to kill maple, oak and other hardwood growth, might be dangerous to water are unwarranted, says a toxicologist from the University of Guelph. Len Ritter, a professor emeritus of toxicology, said he has worked with herbicides and chemical residue his entire career. He said government restrictions designed to protect drinking water from  glyphosate contamination should be reassuring to the public. “I think we’re all concerned about the quality of water,” Ritter said Monday on Information Morning Moncton. …Ritter said many of the studies on the effects of herbicides are done by industry, then submitted as part of the regulatory process. There is no reason for the public not to trust the studies because of who sponsored them, he said.

Read More

Forest Service gets a veteran for its head

By the Editorial Board
The Albany Democrat-Herald
August 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Tony Tooke

Something unusual happened last week with the Trump administration, and you might have missed it, because it involved the U.S. Forest Service, a federal agency that makes big news around these parts but rarely is in the spotlight in Washington, D.C. Here’s the headline: The administration has appointed a new chief for the Forest Service who is, by all accounts, qualified to run the agency. Tony Tooke, who has worked on or for national forests since he was 18, is the new head of the agency. He becomes the 18th chief of the Forest Service. Tooke replaces Tom Tidwell, who has been head of the Forest Service since 2009. …Here’s the surprising thing about the Tooke appointment: Organizations that haven’t had one good thing to say about the Trump administration, including some environmental organizations, are praising it.

Read More

Mapping the future: Fire progression files help forecast tactics

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
August 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Many Missoulians will never forget watching the Lolo Peak fire race along its namesake mountain last week. From a computer’s perspective, the outbreaks on Aug. 17 and 18 look no less impressive, if somewhat detached from the drama of after-dark evacuations and homes burning to the foundations. And thanks to the expanded real-time capabilities of modern mapping, fire behavior specialists have magnified their ability to turn yesterday’s progression into tomorrow’s prediction. …“Fire progression mapping has been around for decades,” Kelley acknowledged. “We used to do it with hand mapping. …Now what happens is we get an IR flight, it automatically draws lines in GIS (geographic information system), which gets downloaded to an FTP (file transfer protocol) site, and we have it ready for the morning briefing.”

Read More

Cal Fire Chief Blames Wildfires on Mismanaged Forests

By Derek Fleming
Courthouse News Service
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Despite near-record rainfall in California this past winter, the state has already seen more – and larger – fires so far in 2017, and the director of the state’s firefighting agency blames climate change and years of mismanaging forests. Fueled by dense, fast-growing brush, 4,266 wildfires have burned over 300,000 acres statewide as of Aug. 1. So far this year, the Golden State has experienced its third and seventh largest fires in history. With the trailer for the new Netflix series “Fire Chasers” playing, Cal Fire chief director Ken Pimlott told members of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation that California’s efforts toward fire preparedness are far from finished.

Read More

Forest Service releases draft decision on Ten Mile-South Helena Project

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest released a draft decision Monday for a major forestry project west and south of Helena. The Ten Mile-South Helena Project covers more than 61,000 acres from Helena’s South Hills to the Continental Divide. The project proposes timber harvest and prescribed burns focused on wildfire protection, improving trail maintenance and protecting infrastructure for Helena’s water supply. The Forest Service proposed the project in 2014 after the agency prevailed in litigation over the Red Mountain Flume/Chessman Reservoir Project. That project also focused on protecting water supply infrastructure but saw criticism from wildlife advocates due to concerns over logging.

Read More

Williams to lead Georgia Forestry Commission

By Lee Shearer
Athens Banner-Herald
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

State Rep. Chuck Williams

State Rep. Chuck Williams of Watkinsville will become the next director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. Gov. Nathan Deal announced the appointment Monday. Williams’ appointment means Clarke and Oconee County voters will be picking two new state representatives in a special election in November. Williams, named Georgia’s Tree Farmer of the Year in 2005, has represented District 119 since 2011 and has held positions as a member of the forestry commission’s board of directors, with the Georgia Forestry Association and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia.

Read More

Climate may quickly drive forest-eating beetles north, says study

By Columbia University
Phys.org
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Over the next few decades, global warming-related rises in winter temperatures could significantly extend the range of the southern pine beetle—one of the world’s most aggressive tree-killing insects—through much of the northern United States and southern Canada, says a new study. The beetle’s range is sharply limited by annual extreme temperature lows, but these lows are rising much faster than average temperatures—a trend that will probably drive the beetles’ spread, say the authors. …The study points to “huge vulnerability across a vast ecosystem,” said lead author Corey Lesk, a graduate student at Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. “We could see loss of biodiversity and iconic regional forests.

Read More

Officials: Lanternfly could pose threat to farmers, timber industry

By John Zaktansky
Sunbury Daily Item
August 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Forget about the gypsy moth, emerald ash borer and stink bug. Pennsylvania has a new invasive insect species, and according to officials with Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture, it could be the worst one yet. …The lanternfly is a plant hopper, moving from plant to plant and piercing the stem or trunk of each as it goes, according to Sven Spichiger, entomology program manager with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. …Jon Geyer, with the state’s Hardwood Development Council, admitted that the lanternfly poses a huge threat to Pennsylvania’s timber industry. “Pennsylvania leads the country in the amount of hardwood trees we produce — it’s more than a $20 billion industry for our state alone — so this threat could have serious effects,” he said.

Read More

NZ First Has Vision to Revitalise And Future-Proof Forestry

By The New Zealand First Party
Scoop Independent News
August 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand First has a vision for our forestry industry and its future – the government has none. Having a vision is critically important for New Zealand because forestry is our third biggest export earner behind dairy and meat. However, New Zealand First is deeply concerned at issues facing the industry and particularly the excessive harvesting that is going on. We believe there is insufficient planning for the future. We want to ensure continuity of supply for both the domestic and export industries. …We decided on the Canadian model with one very important difference. Canadian forestry is predominantly publicly owned through provincial governments and is subject to WTO unfriendly subsidies. Here, forestry is predominantly private including iwi and is unsubsidised.

Read More

Forest Fires

B.C. Premier John Horgan tours wildfire-affected areas

Canadian Press in CBC News
August 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan said it will take years for ranchers, tourism operators and communities to recover from this year’s devastating wildfire season. Horgan was in the B.C. Interior Monday to once again visit affected areas. He reassured residents that financial assistance is part of the rebuilding process. “That always is the place you start. You want to make sure the resources are there, the dollars are there to make a difference,” Horgan said in Kamloops. He travelled to several communities in the Interior with Forests Minister Doug Donaldson, looking for first-hand information from firefighters and residents.

Read More

Umpqua North Complex east of Roseburg grows to over 18,000 acres

KCBY
August 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

GLIDE, Ore. — It was a challenging day for firefighters Sunday battling the North Umpqua Complex. It’s current size is estimated at 18,073 acres with 7 percent containment. As expected, fire activity intensified in the afternoon as temperatures rose into the mid 90s and relative humidity dipped into the teens, officials said. The increased activity produced a 30-acre spot fire from the Happy Dog Fire on the east side of Forest Road 28 that firefighters are using as a primary containment line. Firefighters are currently battling to contain that fire.

Read More

Whitewater Fire slowly grows over 10,000 acres near Mount Jefferson

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
August 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Whitewater Fire is no longer the top priority in Oregon, but the blaze burning near Mount Jefferson has remained active during the past week. The Whitewater Fire has blackened 10,118 acres, mostly in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, and has moved within 2 miles of State Highway 22. The Little Devil Fire, now 312 acres, is 2.5 miles southeast of Breitenbush Hot Springs. “Both fires are still active and have grown some in size, but they’re not growing in leaps and bounds the way the Whitewater Fire was earlier,” incident spokeswoman Sandra Lopez said. No evacuations or plans to close Highway 22 are in place. While there’s a large closure in effect for the northern half of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, all campgrounds and most trails in the Detroit Lake area remain open.

Read More

Wildfire near Cle Elum grows, causes evacuations, closures

By Marilyn Napier
KOMO News
August 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. — All Forest Service lands in the upper Cle Elum Valley are closed and evacuations are in place due to the Jolly Mountain Fire north of Cle Elum, according to a news release. The fire, which is located 11 miles northwest of Cle Elum in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, has grown to more than 4,600 acres since Aug. 11. According to the release, additional firefighter resources responded to the area Sunday and dropped nearly 85,000 gallons of water on the fire. Officials reported that fire activity increased Sunday because of higher temperatures and lower humidity. Because the Jolly Mountain Fire is on steep terrain, officials said, the fire is posing challenges to firefighters.

Read More

Chetco Bar Fire grows to 117,000 acres, but doesn’t move closer to Brookings

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
August 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s largest wildfire continued to grow Monday, but it didn’t move any closer to the nearby town of Brookings.   The Chetco Bar Fire, burning in southwest Oregon, is now 117,669 acres, up from around 108,000 on Sunday. The fire grew mostly to the north and east, and primarily in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, fire officials said. In the north, it moved toward the Big Craggie Botanical Area, a remote series of peaks in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. To the east, the fire moved toward Dry Butte and Taggart’s Bar along the upper Chetco River. The edges of the fire closest to homes and towns have remained in check, as the fire remains around 5 miles from Brookings, incident spokesman Terry Krasko said.   

Read More

Company & Business News

Timber: The American Coalition will Block an Agreement

By Patrick Bellerose
The Sherbrook Times
August 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard

A new agreement on softwood lumber would already be signed, if it wasn’t for the blocking of US firms, considers Philippe Couillard. His counterpart in New Brunswick, Brian Gallant, said on Monday that the american and canadian governments came very close to an agreement on softwood lumber over the last few months. “Even to the point that the people thought that there was an agreement”, he confided during the press conference that concluded the 41st annual Conference of the governors of New England and premiers of eastern Canada in Charlottetown. …An analysis shared by the governor of Maine, Paul LePage, for whom “the problem would be solved” if it was up to the two governments. “I think the coalition of timber companies that are part of the coalition, are the ones that keep him from getting to a resolution,” said republican representative considered close to the president Trump.

Read More

U.S. hurricane will boost lumber prices: expert

By James Risdon
The Chronicle Herald
August 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Hurricane Harvey’s path of devastation in the southeastern United States is likely going to push lumber prices up — but not right away, says a lumber industry broker. “Over time, there will be a bit of an increase but it will be much more gradual than most people expect,” said Joel MacLaggan, the sales manager at Waverley-based lumber broker Eacan Timber, in an interview Monday. “It’ll be over the next year or two.” …Once the storm subsides and residents return to their homes, then insurance companies will have to start assessing the damage, he said.

Read More

Canadian lumber producers get reprieve with end of 20% of preliminary duties

By Ross Marowits
The Canadian Press in the Montreal Gazette
August 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL — Canadian softwood lumber producers are getting a temporary reprieve as a large portion of preliminary duties in place for four months have ended pending a final decision. Most lumber companies will pay 6.87 per cent in anti-dumping tariffs after a 19.88 rate for countervailing duties formally ended as of Saturday. Five producers singled out have paid duties between 9.89 and 30.88 per cent. All others paid 26.75 per cent. …Although countervailing duties formally came off in recent days, Canadian producers have been able to ship products south of the border without CVDs since Aug. 14 by delaying paperwork by up to 10 days, says lumber analyst Hamir Patel of CIBC World Markets. …”This is sort of this limbo period of 10 days or two weeks,” said Madison’s editor and publisher Keta Kosman. “It will be interesting to see what the new floor is now.”

Read More

U.S. postpones decisions on softwood lumber investigations to November

By Gail Harding
CBC News
August 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has announced he will postpone the final decision in the investigations of anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty of imports of softwood lumber from Canada until mid-November. “I remain hopeful that we can reach a negotiated solution that satisfies the concerns of all parties,” said Wilbur Ross Jr. in a statement Monday.  “This extension could provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand and to reach an equitable and durable suspension agreement.” …Ross said the final determinations in the investigations will be made no later than Nov. 14. It was previously said the decision would be made in early September. …Because the countervailing duty is aligned with the anti-dumping investigation, that final determination will be announced at the same time. 

Read More

Trump ally reassures Canadians: ‘He really truly believes in having free trade’

By Kevin Bissett
Canadian Press in CBC News
August 28, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

A key ally of Donald Trump says Canadians should understand the U.S. president believes in free trade, and they shouldn’t read too much into what they hear. Maine Governor Paul LePage, in Charlottetown for a meeting of Eastern Canadian premiers and New England governors, said he’s spoken to Trump on the subject and he is confident any issues with NAFTA “can be fixed.” … LePage has also proposed that the leaders gathered in Charlottetown join together on another trade irritant: softwood lumber. He wants them to write a letter supporting exemptions on duties for softwood lumber from Atlantic Canada and Quebec. LePage said the pressure for the duties is coming from the U.S. Lumber Coalition.

Read More

Progress being made in softwood lumber dispute, says Irving

By Kevin Yarr
CBC News
August 29, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jim Irving

J.D. Irving CEO Jim Irving says eastern Canada and New England are coming together to work towards a resolution of the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the U.S.  …”The governor of Maine’s been excellent,” said Irving. “We’re coming together as a region. That’s what this is all about today is the region. Governors and premiers and industry trying to fix a problem.”

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biomass forum set for Thunder Bay this October

Northern Ontario Business
August 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The second annual Biomass North conference will bring together leaders from various sectors to discuss challenges and opportunities in the bioeconomy. Biomass North Forum 2017: Opportunities for Challenging Times will be held Oct. 11-12 … in Thunder Bay. …Challenges to be discussed include the North American Free Trade Agreement, the softwood lumber dispute, economic development barriers in the North, Northern infrastructure challenges, adapting to climate change, and sector transformation.

Read More

Alaskan grizzly bears choose berries over salmon — thanks to climate change, study finds

By Josh Magness
Miami Herald
August 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

When one thinks of climate change, a few things come to mind: rising sea levels, more powerful storms and the potential for an acceleration in extinctions. Now, you can add the dietary choices of grizzly bears to that list, according to study published Aug. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Usually, the freshwater streams of Kodiak Island, Alaska, brim with salmon that grizzlies love to eat in the early summer. Then, later in the summer, the bears decide to munch on elderberries, which typically ripen in late August and early September, according to the Telegraph. But the study, conducted in 2014, found that the bears weren’t hunting for salmon in the first months of summer — instead, they opted for red elderberries, which came into season early because of warming temperatures from climate change.

Read More

The new UK government needs an immediate exit strategy from bioenergy

By Sasha Stashwick – Natural Resources Defense Council
BusinessGreen
August 29, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Few issues command cross-party consensus in the aftermath of this recent election. One that does is the Conservative’s plans for phasing out coal-fired electricity in the United Kingdom. …But burning wood for electricity – known as “biomass” – is anything but green. It makes climate change worse, imperils threatened forests, and increases emissions of dangerous air pollutants. This misguided policy has made the United Kingdom the world’s largest importer of wood pellets, with most used to fuel inefficient, electricity-only power stations. …While the climate impact of switching from burning coal to burning biomass has been disputed by those in the industry, the science is clear that not all forest biomass is “carbon neutral”.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Plyscrapers Are On The Rise, Cutting Carbon Emissions In The Process

By Jonny Tiernan
CleanTechnica
August 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

In building construction, there are a plethora of materials available that are more environmentally friendly than concrete. …You’d be forgiven for thinking that a highrise structure of any notable size could only be erected using concrete and steel, but with the arrival of plyscrapers, this notion is being turned on its head. …The clear advantages of plyscrapers are leading to their increasing popularity across the world, but there are still regulatory hurdles to jump before there is widespread adoption. In the US, for example, the building codes in certain areas prohibit wooden structures over a certain height. When these regulations are updated we can expect to see many more of these plyscrapers reaching for the skies. Notable plyscraper projects include…

Read More