Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 8, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Smoke doesn’t impede vision at the Global Buyers Mission

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 8, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

While late-season wildfires choke cities with smoke and Parks Canada says the Waterton Lakes Nation Park could get worse, the debate over the role of fuel reduction management continues unabated. In the Montana Standard, George Wuerthner asks  “What for? Most wildfires would self-extinguish anyway and it fails to address the real problem—the warming climate”. Over in the Register-Guard, forest broker Roy Keene claims says “increased logging isn’t the answer”.

Other forestry headlines include:

A story in Canadian Underwriter highlighting how you can use alternative materials such as mass timber “if you can demonstrate they meet the minimum safety requirements” in Ontario is a great sequel to today’s special feature on the Global Buyers Mission in Whistler—Canada’s largest value-added wood products event. 

Finally, is your dairy-free, non-GMO “milk” made from free-range trees? This one is.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

WoodTALKS Speaks to the Importance of Collaboration

Kelly McCloskey
Wood N Frog Communications Ltd.
September 7, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week, 800 buyers, sellers and specifiers of value-added wood products have gathered in Whistler, for the Global Buyers Mission (GBM), Canada’s largest show of its kind. And on day one, WoodTALKS—a wood design and construction education event held in conjunction with the GBM—was front and centre with seven speakers.

First to the podium —surprisingly perhaps—was Rob Third, President of George Third & Son, a centuries-old steel fabrication and engineering company. But the bewilderment was short lived as Rob spoke about his company’s prominent role in the timber/steel hybrid structures used in the Richmond Speed Skating Oval and Telus Pavilion Canopy and in particular the complex, integrated design processes that were required. Not historically a wood enthusiast, Rob noted that his company now advertises their services jointly with StructureLam. Next up was Vancouver architect Oberto Oberti, the man behind some of the biggest ski resorts on the planet. Oberto highlighted the aesthetic, economic and healthy environment benefits of these structures, calling them the “gifts of timber structures”.

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Froggy Foibles

Food labels now say “free-range trees,” which might be even more insane than “gluten-free water”

By Chase Purdy
Quartz Media
September 7, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Is your dairy-free, non-GMO “milk” made from free-range trees? This one is. In the wild world of product claims, the fledgling macadamia-nut-milk industry is charging into the US market elbows out, taking pot-shots at the dairy and almond industries along the way. This explains the unabashed claim on Milkadamia’s cartons, which is that the company only sources nuts from so-called “free-range trees.” The Chicago-based company’s nuts are grown from trees in Australia, then shipped to the US for processing. To be sure, “free-range tree” does not fall within the scientific lexicon used by horticulturalists. It’s nothing more than a marketing ploy to hook consumers enamored by product claims. Milkadamia cartons go on to explain that its milk comes from “trees supporting life, not trees on life support,” meaning they aren’t attached to irrigation systems.

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Forestry

Forest Sector Launches Website Campaign to Share Facts on Caribou

Forest Products Association of Canada
September 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has launched a new website – cariboufacts.ca – to share facts with Canadians about caribou herds and to urge the federal government to build caribou plans that address the many complex factors that are impacting caribou populations across the country. FPAC also wants to ensure that the government’s plans don’t unnecessarily put rural and northern jobs at risk. “We can all agree that we want caribou populations to be around for generations to come. We are urging the federal government to ensure that it’s doing right by caribou and right by forest workers in communities across Canada by building caribou plans that are based on sound science. This will help us achieve a balanced and sustainable way forward for all,” said FPAC CEO Derek Nighbor.

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Canada accepts Tribunal decision for Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Alberni Valley News
September 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian government has decided to uphold the ruling regarding the Specific Claims Tribunal Decision awarding Huu-ay-aht First Nations $13.8 million in compensation for breaches of duty. Huu-ay-aht filed a claim with the Tribunal in 2011 about logging that took place on former Numukamis IR1 between 1948 and 1969. Huu-ay-aht chiefs petitioned Canada at the time of the logging operations, asserting that the licence should be cancelled, to no avail. In 2014, the Tribunal found that Canada had breached its fiduciary obligations numerous times in relation to the sale of the timber. Justice Whalen found that Canada had not acted in Huu-ay-aht’s best interests and had entered into an unlawful contract, and that Huu-ay-aht had received far less for its timber than it ought to have.

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Annual Summer Business and Market Summit

Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
September 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Each year we hold this business market session to get intelligence on pending demand for seedling and reforestation and consulting services prior to the annual bidding and negotiating season for silviculture and forestry services. Last year our provincial government made major commitments to carbon sequestration, reforestation and restoration work that will set market conditions for the next five years at least. Part of the workshop will look at the longer term view around future prospects and opportunities for forestry businesses in the light of these promises. We will be hearing from presenters from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, BC Timber Sales and the Ministry of Forests Lands Resource Operations & Rural Development. There is no cost to register for this event and both WFCA members and non-members active in the industry are invited to attend.

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Clash over caribou, jobs in Whitecourt

By Peter Shokeir
Edmonton Journal
September 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Whitecourt  – Government officials, environmental organizations and forestry groups offered clashing opinions about the way forward on caribou at a forum in Whitecourt on Thursday. The Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce hosted the Caribou, Forestry and You Public Information Awareness Panel to discuss Alberta’s future Caribou Range Plan and how the local forestry industry may be affected. The 11 panel members included environmentalists, forestry industry representatives and elected officials from all levels of government. “There is not one individual here who wants to destroy the caribou. There is not one individual here who wants to destroy jobs,” said Yellowhead MP Jim Eglinski, who acted as the moderator. “The chamber has done a very good job getting a diverse group here.”

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Momentum against glyphosate spraying picks up

By Shane Fowler
CBC News
September 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Opponents of glyphosate spraying say they feel they have momentum on their side.  In the last two weeks, the municipalities of Upper Miramichi, Moncton, and Petitcodiac have all started to question the practice of spraying glyphosate in their jurisdictions.  The mayor of Moncton has even gone so far to request a ban on spraying near parts of the city’s watershed.   Glyphosate opponents are comparing their efforts to early protests against fracking — protests that eventually pressured the New Brunswick Liberals into making a campaign promise to place of a moratorium on fracking. That later became a full ban. Many opposed to spraying are hoping that glyphosate spraying, like fracking before it, will become an election issue.

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First Nations’ group developing Ogoki Forest management plan

TB Newswatch
September 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A business operated through a partnership of three First Nations says the Ontario government has awarded it and two partners the contract to develop the next 10-year management plan for the 11,000-square-kilometre Ogoki Forest. Agoke Development Limited Partnership (ADLP) says it is also in talks with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) about an interim arrangement that would allow it to take over management of the forest starting next April. The Ogoki Forest is just east of Wabakimi Provincial Park and is about 400 km northeast of Thunder Bay. The company said the forest management plan (FMP) will be developed together with GreenForest Management and Four Rivers Environmental Services Group.

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‘Fuel reductions’ rebuttal lacks basic understanding of wildfire, forest ecology

By George Wuerthner, ecologist
Montana Standard
September 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

George Wuerthner

The recent op-ed in The Montana Standard supporting more “fuel reductions” by Dave Atkins and 11 other signers demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic wildfire and forest ecology. While the authors acknowledge there are times when fuel reductions do not work due to extreme weather conditions, they still argue that it’s worth doing them. What for? Most wildfires burning under less than “red flag” conditions tend to be easily controlled, and if left alone, would self-extinguish anyway, as Canadian researchers have shown. …The fallacy of the fuel-reduction argument is that it fails to address the real problem of more frequent and larger fires; fuels are not the problem — the warming climate is. 

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Increased logging isn’t the answer to wildfires

By Roy Keene, private forest broker, Eugene Ore.
The Register-Guard
September 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Roy Keene

A guest viewpoint by Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken in the Aug. 31 Register-Guard claims that if professional forest managers were allowed to do their job, they would increase federal logging. Increased federal logging, he further claims, would bolster our economic and environmental well-being while reducing forest fires Ironically, the same claim was made by politicians over a century ago when they opposed efforts by Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, to protect public forests from more logging. Empowered by Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, Pinchot was able to save more than 200 million acres of public forests from further exploitation and privatization. Where is Pinchot’s vision and spirit in today’s forestry profession?

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Increases in Wildfire-Caused Erosion Could Impact Water Supply and Quality in the West

Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
September 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. As a number of previous peer-reviewed studies have shown, the area burned annually by wildfires has increased in recent decades and is expected to continue to increase this century. Many growing cities and towns rely on water from rivers and reservoirs that originates in watersheds where wildfire and sedimentation are projected to increase. Increased sedimentation could negatively impact water supply and quality for some communities.

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As fires rage, Congress debates forest policy – but will it do anything?

By By Mike Dennison
KTVH
September 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA – As fires rage in Montana’s forests this summer, the debate over the role and effect of forest policy is raging as well – but it’s uncertain whether and what Congress will do to change anything. Montana’s two Republican members of Congress say good forest management has been handcuffed by environmentalists’ lawsuits, and that it’s time to make it harder to challenge logging projects that remove dead and dying timber before it burns. “These radical environmentalists have prevented hard-working Montanans from having jobs, and this just adds more fuel, literally, to these wildfires,” U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said on the floor of the Senate Wednesday. “If you do not manage the forests, they become unhealthy, they become prone to wildfire.”

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A Native American tribe is helping a forest adapt to climate change

By Samantha Harrington
Yale Climate Connections
September 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

In the Northwoods of Wisconsin, members of the Menominee Tribe are logging acres of trees. They’re trying to stop the spread of a disease called Oak wilt. But instead of just replanting oaks, in some places, the tribe’s foresters are planting non-local species. Handler: “They’re more common maybe a hundred miles to the south in Wisconsin. And these are species like white oak, bur oak, black cherry, black walnut, chinkapin oak, even hackberry, and some disease-resistant American elm trees. They picked species intentionally that are projected to increase or do better under future climate scenarios.” That’s Stephen Handler with the USDA Forest Service. He says these hardwood trees can still be harvested and sold for lumber. But these changes will give the forest a better chance to thrive as the climate warms.

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8600 bags of wood recalled over bark beetle fears BBC News

By Conor Macauley
BBC News
September 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Six major retailers in Northern Ireland have had to destroy or send back thousands of bags of firewood they had on sale because it posed a potential risk to commercial forestry. A total of 8,600 bags of conifer firewood were taken off the shelves. It followed an inspection by plant inspectors from the Forest Service. They found the wood was from Britain where a certain type of beetle exists that is not present in NI, and that the wood did not comply with regulations. Were the bark beetle to be carried in the firewood and become established in Northern Ireland it could cause “significant damage” to coniferous trees. Commercial forestry is an important business in Northern Ireland; last year the Forest Service sold 400,000 cubic metres of wood.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire near Waterton Lakes National Park could get worse, Parks Canada

CBC News
September 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and fire information officer Matthew Anderson

The wildfire burning near Waterton Lakes National Park could get worse Friday with forecasted weather conditions, according to Parks Canada, but the province says it’s prepared to help as hot and dry weather continues in southern Alberta. The only fire burning out of control in Alberta is in the Slave Lake area, but conditions remain extreme in southern Alberta. In the southwest corner of the province, Waterton Lakes National Park remains under evacuation alert as the Kenow wildfire in British Columbia closes in. “Weather conditions are forecasted to change on Friday, which could lead to increased fire behaviour,” Parks Canada said in a release. Wildfire prompts evacuation alert for Waterton Lakes National Park Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said at a Thursday news conference in Lethbridge that the situation is bad but the province is prepared.

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Late-season wildfires choke US cities, towns with smoke

By Keith Ridler
Idaho Statesman
September 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Heavy winter snow and a very wet spring in the Western U.S. generated predictions the 2017 wildfire season would be tame. But it’s shaping up to be one of the worst in U.S. history in land burned. Across the region, smoky haze in cities and towns prevented people from going outside except for short periods and prompted potential bans of high school football games. In some areas where homes have burned, people have stayed in makeshift shelters for weeks. Some of the biggest fires this year started in early September, when the wildfire season usually starts winding down. A look at the impact of the fires across the region…

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Smoke, ash from forest fires bad for your car: ‘What it’s going to do is eat clear coat’

Justina Coelho
KMTR.com
September 5, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Ore. – The smoky air and ash are not just bad for your health: they are also affecting the health of your car. The question is: How do you safely remove it? “Leave it to the professionals,” said Devin Hansen, owner of Versionex Auto Body in Eugene. Hansen warned that brushing the ash off can scratch the paint. And washing it off can cause even bigger problems, if not done properly. “It’s going to activate the ash that is on your car and create something called potassium hydroxide,” Hansen said. “And once that’s wet, what it’s going to do is eat clear coat.” Hansen said if you let water sit on the ashy surface long enough, that could ruin your paint job. Hansen recommends washing it yourself or taking it to a car wash, but focus on drying it completely when you are done.

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Company & Business News

Labour accused of ‘rifling through’ NZ First’s forestry policy

By Dene Mackenzie
Otago Daily Times
September 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters

Labour appears to have lifted a New Zealand First policy straight from a speech made on Tuesday by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.  Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said yesterday,  in a statement  headed “Labour backing forestry to grow”, Labour would establish a new Forestry Service in Rotorua.  …Two days earlier, Mr Peters announced in Northland he would split forestry from the Ministry of Primary Industries to re-establish the NZ Forestry Service as a practical, get-things-done department. … Following Labour’s policy release, Mr Peters said it was one thing to steal policies but it was dishonest not to acknowledge where they came from. “The desperate two old parties are obviously rifling through our speeches and documents for ideas.

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Rotorua mayor, industry welcome Labour’s forestry pledge New Zealand Herald

By Tess Nichol
New Zealand Herald
September 8, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern at Red Stag Timber. 

Rotorua’s mayor and the boss of New Zealand’s biggest sawmill have welcomed Labour’s announcement it would set up a new forestry service in Rotorua if elected. It would be established as part of the Ministry of Primary Industries but may be made into a stand-alone service, party leader Jacinda Ardern announced while in the city yesterday morning. Ms Ardern made the announcement at Red Stag timber, saying she wanted to see wood processed and manufactured onshore, rather than being sent overseas as raw logs. The Labour leader said her government would give first preference for using wood in new building projects, such as its “KiwiBuild” programme to build 100,000 affordable homes.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tall Storey

By Greg Meckbach, Associate Editor
Canadian Underwriter
September 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A guideline that would allow for designing wood buildings in Ontario taller than six storeys high is raising some support and some concerns. In Ontario, “if you can demonstrate that a build­ing constructed from some material — other than steel or concrete — meets the same minimum safe­ty requirements as the Building Code, you can use that alternate material, such as mass timber,” says Michael de Lint, director of building regulatory reform and technical standards at the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON). Ontario is not the only province where the wood building issue is receiving attention.

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