Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 1, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Fort McMurray wildfire finally extinguished after 15 months – Seriously!

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 1, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Beast is finally extinguished in Fort McMurray” — after 458 days! After burning 590,000 hectares and destroying thousands of homes last summer, the fire overwintered in the peat moss. Fortunately, it remained underground and was recently extinguished. Although forest fire news is positive from 100 Mile House, Kelowna, Boulder and Nahanni Butte (North West Territories):

In forestry news, researcher Robert Serrouya says “forget wolf culls: more moose and deer hunting would help BC caribou“, the spruce bark beetle “has spiked in Southcentral Alaska“, and Norbord is already “logging burned wood” from this year’s record fire season in BC.

Finally, Main Gov. Paul LePage has asked the Trump administration to “exempt New Brunswick and Quebec from softwood lumber tariffs” due to the collateral damage it would cause to economies on both sides of the border. 

Hope you enjoy the long weekend and—if applicable—survive the back-to-school rush! 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Forestry Museum celebrates diversity of Canada with All Nation Tree Plant

By Melissa Jameson
Revelstoke Mountaineer
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Interior Forestry Museum is hosting a Canada 150 All Nation Tree Plant during the month of September and are inviting people to participate in the free event. “It’s an international event,” said Glenn Westrup, director of the B.C. Interior Forestry Museum which is located next to the Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre. Westrup said a total of six beds representing six different continents have been prepared at the museum. The idea is to have garden beds representing the six continents that the people of Revelstoke have come from that make Canada a great place.  “There are common varieties to each bed but there are individual plants, for example in the Asian one there’s a Japanese maple. They’re not all local Canadian West Coast plants,” he said.

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Forget wolf culls: researcher says more moose and deer hunting would help B.C. caribou

By Liam Britten
CBC News
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A herd of B.C.’s endangered mountain caribou that lives in Mount Revelstoke National Park has only four animals left after numbering 120 in 1994, according to a University of Alberta researcher. Robert Serrouya gave that example to show the pressing need to find new conservation solutions before these caribou herds disappear forever. “There’s about 50 herds in B.C., and only 10 per cent of those are stable or increasing [their populations],” he said. “The rest are declining or not doing very well.” …Serrouya says logging activities, climate change and forest fires over the last 150 years have removed trees in B.C., replacing them with lighter shrubbery that can remain in place for 30 to 40 years.

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Norbord starts logging burned wood

By Max Winkelman
100 Mile House Free Press
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local logging contractor, Rod Dillman, is the first to begin harvesting in the Gustafsen fire area, says Mike Kennedy, Woodlands Manager with Norbord in an email. He adds that there are some unique challenges logging burned wood. “According to Rod, a primary challenge in logging the burned wood is the increased maintenance needed on his machines. There is a lot of ash dust which, even more than ‘normal’ dirt, tends to stick to surfaces and must be washed off rather than just wiped. It also makes it necessary to change air filters more frequently. Finally, carbon in the ash is hard on the knives used in the harvesting equipment. Rod also states that they are learning as they go, as this is the first time he has operated in such a large area of scorched timber.”

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Forestry review subject of skepticism

By the Editorial Board
The Chronicle Herald
September 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

William Lahey has his work cut out for him. The King’s College president, who co-authored a critically acclaimed regulatory review on aquaculture for the province in 2014, has now been asked by government to look at another controversial issue — forestry practices. More than halfway into a 10-year provincial natural resources strategy that was adopted after extensive public consultations by the NDP in 2011, there’s widespread disillusionment among environmentalists about the McNeil Liberals’ commitment to that document’s goals. Exhibit A was the Liberals’ decision, announced a year ago, to abandon the strategy’s goal of reducing clearcutting to 50 per cent of all forestry harvests.

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Response: ‘Assessing the risk of doing nothing’

Letter by Ian Dunn, RPF, Ontario Forest Industries Association
Bancroft This Week
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ian Dunn, RPF

The Ontario Forest Industries Association is the provincial trade association representing Ontario’s forest sector. …Our sector has received an overwhelming amount of support from municipalities, chambers of commerce, and First Nations in order to develop balanced and evidence-based government policy. …Our world-class sustainable forest management program has served Ontario well by protecting, conserving, and managing all species, including species at risk. …Central to our concern has been the lack of consultation with municipalities and First Nations, the need to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge, the effects of climate change on species at risk, and the livelihood of 57,000 people and their families directly employed by the sector in Ontario. Regardless of what activists might think, sustainability has three pillars: social, economic, and environmental.  I strongly believe forestry, as currently practised in Ontario, is society’s best example of sustainable development.

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Let professional forest managers do their jobs

By Sid Leiken represents the Springfield district, Lane County Board of Commissioners
The Register-Guard
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sid Leiken

The smoke from nearby wildland fires that has enveloped the southern Willamette Valley is a reminder of the importance of public lands management issues on our quality of life in Lane County. …Perhaps what was forgotten was that the trees would continue to grow, and hotter, drier and longer summers would inevitably result in major economic, environmental and human effects from wildland fires. Significant costs from litigation and firefighting drain financial resources of land management agencies and limit their ability to actively manage public lands. …It is time to let professional forest managers do their jobs. Let’s trust in their education and commitment to making Oregon forests both productive and protective.

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Environmental group sues US Forest Service, questions ability to put out wildfires

FireFighting News
August 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Wolverine Fire in central Washington last summer was one of the worst wildfires on record. It started in late July of 2015 and burned until mid-September. Now, one year later, a federal lawsuit has cropped up challenging the authority of the US Forest Service to shelve environmental laws to take emergency actions during a wildfire. On Aug 16, a Eugene-based environmental group filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Spokane, saying that the “community protection line” that was built to protect rural hamlets was “unnecessary, destructive and violated the National Environmental Policy Act’s requirement to assess beforehand the impact of federal actions.” While fire officials said at the time that the 50-mile long, 30-foot wide protection line was to safeguard rural areas in Chelan County – the lawsuit alleges the fire remained miles away.

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Spruce bark beetle activity spikes in Southcentral

By Eilzabeth Earl
Peninsula Clarion
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Spruce bark beetle activity in Southcentral Alaska has jumped this summer, though it’s not as widespread as it was in the 1990s. The U.S. Forest Service measured an sharp increase in the number of acres of forest affected by spruce bark beetles between 2016 and 2017, according to a briefing paper published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The activity this summer is nearly 30 times what it was in 2014, according to the briefing. “In 2017, mortality cause by spruce beetles occurred on nearly 450,000 acres,” the paper states. “… On the Kenai Peninsula, trees missed during previous outbreaks were attacked. North of the Kenai, trees were infested where outbreaks have previously been mostly absent.”

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NY’s ‘Young Forest Initiative’: nice name, bad idea

By Moisha K. Blechman, Climate Crisis Committee, Sierra Club
Albany Times Union
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A major program of the Department of Environmental Conservation is the Young Forest Initiative. Sounds good doesn’t it? A “Young Forest Initiative” suggests that the DEC is promoting the growth of new forest, possibly in lands that have few if any trees. Instead, the reverse is true. With the newly created Doodletown Wildlife Management Area in Columbia County, the “initiative” plans to clear-cut between between 70 and 140 acres designated a forest of “Regional Significance.” The plan includes maintaining it without trees in perpetuity. The DEC justifies the clear-cutting by claiming it is creating shrub-land habitat for the declining New England cottontail rabbit, and at the same time increasing game opportunities for hunters. However, it is questionable if either of those goals will be served by the proposed logging.

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Forest Fires

Aftermath of Joe Rich fire

By Alanna Kelly
Castanet
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire in Joe Rich appears to have done the most damage to the first kilometre of Philpott Road. Firefighters working at the scene believe the fire started in one location and strong winds caused it to jump to two other spots. A tour of the area shows torched trees far into the forest from Philpott Road. Homes don’t start appearing until about three kilometres up. “The majority of the activity you will see, smoke and the odd hot spots mostly visible at night, really will be in that centre area,” said Ben Wasyliuk, Fire Chief Joe Rich Fire Department.

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Military planes help thousands of First Nation evacuees flee Manitoba fires

By Steve Lambert
The Daily Courier
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

WINNIPEG – Many of the 3,700 people fleeing northern Manitoba forest fires were still waiting to fly south on Thursday, more than 24 hours after they left their homes on a journey made complicated by a lack of transportation. “They’re tired. They’re frustrated. There’s anger,” Chief Alex McDougall of Wasagamack First Nation said as he waited along with hundreds of others to board one of two military transport planes bound for Winnipeg, more than 500 kilometres to the south. “Some of us have been sleeping in terminals. Some of us have been sleeping in gymnasiums. There is some food being provided by the local (grocery) stores.”

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Aug 31: “Quieter day” on Elephant Hill fire

By Max Winkelman
100 Mile House Free Press
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

“Definitely a quieter day in terms of weather overall and that comes with quieter fire behaviour as well. Still active across the north of the fire, but in terms of what we’er been seeing in proceeding days, generally a calmer day,” says Elephant Hill Fire Information Officer Claire Allen. Most of the recent growth on the fire occurred overnight yesterday, says Allen. “The fire is definitely still active so it did move a bit closer to Sheridan Lake,” she says, adding that as the smoke never really cleared during the day it’s been difficult to ascertain how close the northern finger of the fire has moved to the lake. “Our crews are working to get around it and the aviation resources did the best that they could given the poor visibility today.”

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Fort McMurray wildfire finally extinguished after 15 months

By Vincent McDermott
Edmonton Journal
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fort McMurray — After 458 days, the Horse River fire that destroyed thousands of homes and scattered tens of thousands of people across Canada is finally dead.  The fire — first spotted on May 1, 2016, before entering Fort McMurray two days later — was declared extinguished on Aug. 2, said Lynn Daina of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. At its height, the May 2016 wildfire burned an area of 589,552 hectares, or 5,895 square-kilometres.  Even after the fire was declared under control on July 4, 2016, embers burned throughout the area during the fall. As the days grew colder, it burned underground and remained there throughout winter. When a fire burns as long and as intensely as the Horse River fire, it is not unusual for a fire to smoulder underground during the winter, feeding off peat and dead vegetation, before returning to the surface in the spring.

 

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‘No cause for concern’: forest fire near Nahanni Butte not spreading toward the community, says ENR

CBC News
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire 20 kilometres from Nahanni Butte, N.W.T., is creating thick smoke in the area. Band councillor Jayne Konisenta says the fire has been smouldering in the mountains since last week, but it appeared to gain strength on Thursday. “I am scared myself because there are a lot of people that don’t own a boat,” said Konisenta. “I myself don’t have a boat to get out, so that’s why I am afraid.” Konisenta says she’s preparing in case the community needs to be evacuated. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) has been closely monitoring the fire from a helicopter.

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Philpott Road wildfire now 30% contained, some evacuation alerts lifted

By Megan Turcato
Global News
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews are getting a better handle on the Philpott Road wildfire burning east of Kelowna in the Joe Rich area. Nearly a week after it first began, the blaze is considered 30 per cent contained. On Thursday, the fire was considered rank one and two, meaning there are smouldering hot spots, lots of smoke and potentially small ground fires. The weather is cooperating. The wind in the forecast has so far not been as bad in the fire area as first thought. However, gusts of wind overnight meant crews couldn’t burn off fuel Wednesday night to help with their containment of the blaze.

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Southeast Montana fire grows to 40,000 acres in its first day

By Sam Wilson
Billings Gazette
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire first reported on the Custer Gallatin National Forest, west of Volborg, Wednesday morning is now estimated at 40,000 acres and continuing to spread quickly to the northwest. Only about 70 personnel are currently deployed at the Sartin Draw Fire, which has spread across a swath of forest and range land including portions of Powder River, Rosebud, and Custer counties. Evacuation orders are in effect for ranches and homes in the area of the fire, although Eric Lepisto, a Bureau of Land Management fire management officer, didn’t immediately have an estimate of how many people or residences are affected.

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Mendenhall Fire 100 percent contained

Billings Gazette
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

After a wildfire blew up over the weekend and briefly threatened as many as 30 homes in the West Boulder area south of Springdale, the fire team managing the blaze declared it 100 percent contained by Wednesday evening. The more than 130 personnel assigned to the 1,275-acre blaze will begin demobilizing Thursday and heading to other wildfires, the evening update from fire information officer Crystal Beckman stated. As of 6 a.m., the incident had been turned over to the Sweet Grass County Fire Department.

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Forest Fires Ravage Southern France

By Nanette Dupree
French Tribune
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

While flood conditions continue to disrupt the United States’ Golf Coast, French citizens and tourists alike are left begging for rain as wildfires continue to burn their way through the country’s south. Despite containment efforts, over 12,000 locals and tourists to the popular French Riviera have been forced to evacuate. The dry end of summer has led to similar conditions in both Portugal and Italy, thus impacting tourism along the Mediterranean Coast.  For days now the coastal portions of France have faced high temperatures, powerful winds, and a lack of rainfall characteristic of the transition from summer to fall. These conditions are the essential “perfect storm” ingredients for wildfires, a fact proven on Tuesday when blazes broke out near Bormes-les-Mimosas, a coastal community in the French Riviera, and on the northern section of the island of Corsica on Monday. 

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Company & Business News

Maine governor says Trump lumber tariffs threatening jobs

By Marina Villeneuve
Associated Press in the US News
August 31, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Main Governor, Paul LePage

PORTLAND, Maine – Gov. Paul LePage has asked President Donald Trump’s administration to exempt eastern Canadian provinces from softwood lumber tariffs that he says will lead to layoffs and shut-down operations in Maine. …LePage, a Republican, asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross this month to exempt Canadian provinces New Brunswick and Quebec from the softwood lumber tariffs. The governor raised the issue with Canadian officials and fellow New England governors at a conference in Canada this week. …LePage said the pressure for the duties is coming from the U.S. lumber coalition. He warned if new, hefty duties remain in place, there will be collateral damage to economies on both sides of the border. …Only companies that prove the Canadian government doesn’t subsidize their labor, electricity or fiber should receive exemptions, said Dana Doran, executive director of Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.

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BSW and Tilhill Forestry announce the vertical integration of timber supply chain

Builders’ Merchants News
September 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

George McRobbie, Managing Director of Tilhill Forestry, has announced the final stage of the completion of Tilhill Forestry’s integration into the BSW Group. This last stage involves the combining of the BSW Sawmills UK log buying team with Tilhill Forestry’s timber harvesting team. The integration process will start immediately and will be a phased process completing by 31st March 2018. Once the integration is complete Tilhill Forestry will have sole responsibility for the sawlog supply into BSW’s UK sawmills. Tilhill Forestry will continue to supply sawlogs, small round wood and biomass to its other customers with no change to the current security of supply or contract terms.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Danish dome-sheltered community center is built with wood

By Kimberley Mok
Treehugger
August 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Domes are fun structures to inhabit, even if they can be difficult to waterproof. Treading the line between outside and inside, permanent and temporary, Danish architect Kristoffer Tejlgaard (who built this reclaimed wood dome previously) has now created what he calls Dome of Visions. . …Wood was chosen as it is a sustainable material that can renew itself. Six large curved glulam members form the dome’s circular foundation, which in turn sits on a screw foundation. Cross-lamintated timber is used for the building inside the dome, which is used for activities and events.

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