Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 12, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

The debate continues

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 12, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The debate continues over logging’s role in forest health with headlines such as logging is necessary (Bangor), the balance between fire, our forests (Albany), government a poor manager of forests (Klamath Falls), and are Canada’s forests turning into deserts (Kelowna). Also – a feature story in Wired Magazine: The science of fighting wildfires gets a satellite boost.

In business news, Fox News says lumber prices are expected to rise due to hurricanes while Alberta’s Brock Mulligan (AFPA) says it’s too soon to tell how the industry will be affected. Researchers at the University of Northern BC and New Hampshire’s Northern Forest Center received grants to advance solutions in wood-concrete composite products and provide technical assistance to wood products, respectively.

Although forest fires are in decline, residents of southern Alberta are fleeing their homes as the Kenow wildfire explodes in Waterton Lakes National Park and lightning in Oregon sparked 20 new forest in the Willamette National Forest.

Finally, meet Robert Wright, landscape architect and the new dean of Forestry at the University of Toronto. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Environmental, forestry groups debate Caribou Range Plan

By Peter Shokeir
Whitecourt Star
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Government officials, environmental organizations and forestry groups offered clashing opinions about the way forward on caribou at a forum in Whitecourt on Sept. 7. 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. …Chichak estimated that over 1,200 jobs in the forestry sector could be lost if the plan is improperly implemented and that this number didn’t include other job sectors such as energy.

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Firefighters get a hand in B.C. budget

By Matt Robinson
Vancouver Sun
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan

Forest fires have taken an unprecedented toll on British Columbians this year, including a financial hit of an estimated $600 million, according to Monday’s provincial budget update, which included a modest investment for firefighters. The wildfires have charred more than a million hectares of forest this year, put thousands of residents out of their homes, and tied up more than 1,600 firefighters and support staff from this province and beyond, said Finance Minister Carole James in her budget speech. This summer, “B.C. experienced the worst wildfire season ever in our history,” James said, before she announced $15 million in new spending over three years to upgrade wildfire facilities around the province.

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Art exhibit celebrates indigenous identity

Nanaimo News Bulletin
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vince Smith

Three indigenous artists representing the three major language groups on Vancouver Island have been brought together to show off their work under one roof. …TimberWest commissioned each artist to create between eight and 12 pieces for the seven-week exhibition, which begins on Thursday (Sept. 14) with an opening reception in VIU’s Malaspina Theatre. “The intention behind that is to provide them not only with a showcase event where they can show off some of the commissioned pieces they’ve done for TimberWest, but more importantly their entire catalogue and provide the public with a really great opportunity to understand the differences and uniqueness of each of these three major language groups,” TimberWest communications director Monica Bailey said.

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Are Canada’s forests turning into deserts?

By Reg Volk
The Daily Courier
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We tend to think of Canada as a world leader in preserving natural habitat and forests. Wrong. In fact, Canada ranks way down the list and a long ways behind — get this — India, where you can see just as many wild species as in Africa. Canada is only slightly behind Russia and Brazil for extraction of forested lands. It seems that, in Canada, if we are not clearcutting forested areas to the maximum, then we are burning them away with human-caused fires. I was a little startled to hear the claim of conservationist Harvey Locke, on CBC recently, that much previously forested areas are returning to grasslands due to lack of moisture.

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Obishikokaang Certifies To SFI Standard To Enhance Forestry Operations, Sustainability And Economic Development

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Canada Newswire
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced today that Obishikokaang Resources Corporation has certified more than 1 million hectares of the Lac Seul Forest in Northern Ontario to the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard. Lac Seul First Nation, also known as Obishikokaang, is the oldest Reserve in the Sioux Lookout District. Lac Seul First Nation has over 800 members and is made up of the communities of Kejick Bay, Whitefish Bay and Frenchman’s Head, all located on the shores of Lac Seul. “Lac Seul and the surrounding forest have always provided for the economic and cultural well-being of the people of Obishikokaang. Certifying to SFI is part of our commitment to the kind of sustainable business practices that are designed to protect the environment and support economic growth. Band members are working as part of the management teams, supervising harvesting and playing an important role in forest regeneration,” said Clifford Bull, Chief of Lac Seul First Nation.

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Meet Robert Wright, new dean of Forestry at University of Toronto

University of Toronto
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Robert Wright, Dean of Forestry, U of T

…Robert Wright, a long-time member of U of T’s academic community, is beginning a two-year term as dean of the Faculty of Forestry. A landscape architect, he is also director of the Centre for Landscape Research at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. He starts his new job as the university considers the best structure for forest science and forestry education to flourish at U of T.  Forestry has six full-time faculty members and 111 graduate students and for several years has faced questions about its future. …“We need to find what the best organizational strategy is to support the faculty and the students and the research. That’s really what it is all about.”

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Government a poor manager of forests

Letter by Scott Samuel
Herald and News
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Flashback to the “endangered” Spotted Owl issue, fabricated by wealthy environmentalists who had never fired a Daisy BB gun or set foot in a Northwest forest, resulting in the government confiscation of millions of acres of forest land — How has that worked out for us thus far? Answer: we have lost thousands of good paying logging and timber jobs. We import timber from Canada. The Spotted Owl is still facing extinction, not because of man but because of another owl and inbreeding. The government is not managing our forest resources in our best interest, but in theirs. Much of the out-of-control fires (like Chetco near Brookings) is due to government (U.S. Forest Service) mismanagement of millions of acres of forest land.

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The balance between fire, our forests

By the Editorial Board
The Albany Democrat-Herald
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

You might have a vague memory of the devastating wildfires of 1988 in Yellowstone National Park. The fires made news throughout the world and were spectacular (and terrifying) to behold. The fires burned through 800,000 acres, about a third of the park. They came close to destroying two historic destinations, including the visitors’ center at Old Faithful. Property damage at the time was estimated at about $3 million. People said the park would never be the same. And it wasn’t. But a different Yellowstone emerged, literally from the ashes. …But the fact is that many of these fires are not disastrous events for our forests. In fact, the occasional low- or medium-intensity fire plays an important role in those ecosystems. And we have a much broader idea today of the role fire plays in our forests and how the land bounces back.

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The Science of Fighting Wildfires Gets a Satellite Boost

By Megan Molteni
Wired
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Climate change only makes the cycle more vicious: Less water leads to more fuel leads to more fire means more money to fight fires means less money to manage forests, and now we’re back to too much fuel. Since 1985, global warming has nearly doubled the annual number of acres burning in the western US. …So what is a scrappy, resource-strapped agency like the Forest Service to do? That’s where science comes in. An emerging consensus suggests that officials should spend less time thinning out forests where a fire might hit, and more time figuring out what the specific conditions are when a fire actually does. But to do that, they’ll need some help from outer space.

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Logging is necessary for Katahdin Woods and Waters’ future sustainability

By Dana Doran, executive director, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
Bangor Daily News
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Dana Doran

As debate continues over the future of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the myth that active timber harvesting within its boundaries would be a bad thing is being repeated too often for professionals in the logging industry to ignore. A recent report citing an unnamed source indicates Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendations on allowable uses in the monument may include “ allowing demonstrations of historic logging practices.” An Aug. 29 BDN editorial about Secretary Zinke’s review of the monument contains the line, “Logging, of course, isn’t needed in the monument.” This akin to stating that a newspaper, of course, shouldn’t be printed on paper. Logging is not only necessary for the monument, but is just what it requires to achieve long-term sustainability.

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Logging industry wins battle for review into leadbeater’s possum endangered status

By Rob Harris
Herald Sun
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

VICTORIA’S faunal emblem will have its critically endangered listing reviewed after a successful push from the logging industry. The leadbeater’s possum received the highest possible legal protection under national environment law just two years ago. But the listing for the rare animal — whose numbers in Victoria’s central highlands are thought to have dropped by 80 per cent since the mid-1980s — has hit a hurdle. The Herald Sun can reveal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has directed the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to fast-track a review of the listing. Industry group Australian Forest Products Association requested the possum’s status be reviewed in March, citing evidence the possums had been found across a wider habitat range than understood at the time of its listing.

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EU and Poland go head-to-head over logging in ancient forest

By Marion Solletty
Politico
September 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LUXEMBOURG — Poland’s already tense relationship with the European Commission soured further on Monday after Brussels demanded before the European Court of Justice that Warsaw face financial penalties for improperly cutting trees in the protected Białowieża forest. Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko showed up in person to defend his government’s position — a sign of the importance Warsaw places on the case. “The Commission tells us this is one of the best-preserved forests in the world. That’s because the Polish people know how to do this,” Szyszko told the court, taking aim at what he called the Commission’s intervention in an issue he said he considered part of Poland’s heritage. “I can see people from the Commission wanting to teach us lessons.”

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Forest Fires

Finlay Creek wildfire is 65 per cent contained

InfoTel News
September 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

SUMMERLAND – The Finlay Creek wildfire remains active, however, there are no active evacuation orders or alerts in the Central Okanagan Regional District. Today, Sept. 11, crews from B.C., Ontario and Quebec fighting the over 2,200 hectare Finlay Creek fire which is now 65 per cent contained, according to Heather Rice with B.C. Wildfire. Crews battling the blaze have support from nine pieces of heavy equipment, one helicopter and an incident management team. “We continue to have good success. Weather and calm winds have helped us get upper hand,” Rice says. A crew of 116 personnel, including out of province firefighters from Ontario and Quebec are still on scene, however, they are reducing their number of heavy equipment and helicopters.

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Border fire growing slowly

By Chantelle Deacon
Castanet
September 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Diamond Creek Wildfire continues to grow slowly, but is still not considered a threat to structures.  The wildfire was 8,000 hectares on Saturday, growing slightly to 8,334 hectares as of Monday morning.  The fire sparked south of the border on July 23 in Washington State, crossing into B.C. on Aug. 29.  “Not much has changed on it, it’s at 0 per cent containment and considered out of control,” said fire information officer Max Birkner. The B.C. Wildfire Service is currently flying over the area twice a day by helicopter to map the fire, determine whether growth has occurred and develop a strategy and tactics in the event the fire threatens values, such as structures, timber and resources.

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Cardston County declares emergency as Kenow wildfire explodes in Waterton Lakes National Park

By Sarah Lawrynuik
CBC News
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents of rural southern Alberta are fleeing their homes Tuesday as the Kenow wildfire expands faster than officials had expected.  In Pincher Creek, the evacuation notice came without warning just after 10 p.m. MT Monday. Throughout the night, the area under order continued to expand. The evacuation boundary currently includes all residents south of Highway 505.  Cardston County declared a state of emergency shortly after 1 a.m. overnight, saying in an alert to residents, “Fire has left Waterton Park and has entered the county.”  A Parks Canada spokesperson told CBC News that an update on the fire would not be available until later Tuesday morning, but added, “Parks Canada is actively managing fire at various locations in the national park.”

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Two Wilderness Fires Grow, Send More Smoke to Bitterroot

By Steve Fullerton
KLYQ.com
September 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

In the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Hidden forest fire and the Chute Creek forest fire were active Sunday, according to Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest officials. The Chute Creek Fire, west of Blodgett Lake, made a “0.7 mile run” Sunday and brings the total acreage to 3,683 acres, measured by an infrared flight Sunday night. The lightning-caused fire was detected August 13 and is 8 miles southeast of Elk Summit Guard Station. It had been fairly inactive during the past week. The Hidden Fire has spotted over into the the Fred Burr Creek drainage. Still in the wilderness, the fire grew by over 700 acres Sunday and is now 12,157 acres in size. The Sunday advance was on the northwest part of the blaze, crossing Big Sand Creek.

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‘Steep and dangerous terrain’: New wildfire burning east of Oakridge

KVAL.com
September 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Ore. – Lightning sparked 20 new fires on the Willamette National Forest last week. “Firefighters have quickly responded to all of them and the majority of the fires have been kept to an acre or less,” the USDA Forest Service said in a statement Monday. The Kelsey Fire outside Oakridge is the exception. Burning about 9 miles east of town, the fire had already scorched 10 acres when first discovered. It has since burned 30 acres – and continues to grow, burning in an old fire scar littered with dead trees. “Due to the hazards posed by steep terrain and levels of snags, firefighters are primarily using aerial resources to fight the fire,” according to the Forest Service. “To date, two scoopers and three helicopters have worked to dampen the blaze. Other resources are also assisting where possible.”

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Eagle Creek fire will keep some Columbia Gorge trails closed until spring

By Jamie Hale
The Oregonian
September 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…Unaffected trails will likely be accessible once the fire is contained and the area is assessed for safety, but thanks to further dangers that come with the rainy season, trails burned by the blaze might not be safe to hike until spring. “Even if folks feel like we should be getting in there right away, it would be futile,” said Dawn Stender, trail crew supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. “It would be futile to do any sort of trail work before the winter.” Because the fire is still burning, there’s no way to know for sure how many and which specific trails will be affected – and how badly they’ll actually be burned.

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Company & Business News

Too soon to tell Harvey’s impact: AFPA

By Kevin Hampson
Alberta Daily Herald Tribune
September 11, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s too early to tell just how the lumber industry will be affected as Houston rebuilds in the wake of Harvey, said Brock Mulligan, spokesman for Alberta Forest Products Association. Goldman Sachs said Saturday Hurricane Harvey is expected to be one of the costliest disasters in postwar U.S. history, even more so than 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane destroyed or damaged more than 203,000 Texas homes… If it generates more demand, it will be in the context of a market that’s already fairly high, he noted. For the week of Sept. 1, western spruce-pine-fir was priced at $395 USD per 1,000 board feet, compared to $311 a year ago, according to Random Lengths. “We’re talking about a pretty significant price increase there, and that’s just primarily due to demand,” Mulligan said.

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64th North Star Expo Returns to Grand Rapids

Business North
September 11, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Grand Rapids, MN—Minnesota’s biggest logging equipment show is returning to ItascaCounty! The 64th Annual North Star Expo opens Friday September 15 th at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids. Admission to the two-day event is free. The Expo features more than 100 exhibitors, including over $15 million in the latest logging, trucking, and sawmill equipment and technology. In addition, the North Star Expo is partnering with a variety of organizations, including Log-A-Load For Kids on a live harvest during the event, with all proceeds going to benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in the Twin Cities.

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Lumber Prices Expected To Rise Due To Hurricanes

WWNY TV 7
September 11, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

The destruction left behind by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey is creating a need for lumber and other housing supplies in the southern United States. Here in the north country, the effects of that demand are just starting to appear. “Right now lumber’s gone up about 2 percent. They expect prices to continually increase into October, but it really depends. There’s another hurricane right behind this one, so who knows when it’s gonna affect it,” said Bob VanTassel, general manager at Charles Garlock and Sons Ace Hardware. …Aside from lumber, VanTassel says shingles and other roofing materials could soon be harder to come by as well. But the real problem will likely be trucking. A high number of deliveries headed south means fewer trucks available for deliveries up north.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Preserve Old-Growth Forests to Keep Carbon Where It Belongs

By Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC
The Tyee
September 12, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hardly a day passes without news of unprecedented wildfires, hurricanes, and other climate related-disasters. In British Columbia alone, more than one million hectares of forests have burned so far this year — the highest number since records started. The carbon emissions from this year’s fires are so massive that the total annual greenhouse gas emissions of the province will be several times higher than in previous average years. Failing to act on climate is no longer an option. Severe climate impacts are already here. . …Just as we must set aside large fossil fuel reserves as “unburnable” carbon, we also have to map the world’s remaining carbon-rich, old-growth forests and protect ecosystems like the globally rare temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest as “unharvestable” carbon.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

University of Northern British Columbia researchers receive funding worth $1.1 million

The Prince George Citizen
September 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

University of Northern British Columbia researchers received a combined $1.1 million over five years in new funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). …Engineering associate professor Thomas Tannert will receive $170,000 to advance research and solutions in wood-concrete composite floors and wood-concrete structural load-resisting frames. The research will have an impact on the structural use of wood and will increase its market share in a variety of residential and non-residential buildings. …Engineering assistant professor Asif Iqbal will receive $100,000 to explore building structural systems that will be suitable for tall wood structures. The research will lead to better seismic performance of tall wood structures.

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Unique building method used in South Sioux City structure

By Nick Hytrek
Sioux City Journal
September 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SOUTH SIOUX CITY | From the street, the building taking shape next to South Sioux City’s Community Orchard looks like many others. Even up close, the untrained eye might not notice too many differences. But if you tried to find another like it in Nebraska, you couldn’t. The building, which will primarily be used for storage for materials and equipment at the orchard, is one of two designed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln architecture students that uses Cross Laminated Timber, or CLT, a heavy timber product that’s a lighter alternative to concrete or iron to build floors, ceilings and walls. …Griffiths said CLT hearkens back to the days of heavy timber structures such as log cabins. It’s becoming popular in the northern United States and in Canada. When South Sioux City officials contacted UNL to see if students would be interested in designing the building at the orchard, Griffiths thought the new technology would be a good fit here.

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Grant Intended to Grow Wood Products Industry in 4 States

The Associated Press in Maine Public
September 12, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CONCORD, N.H. – The U.S. Department of Commerce says it is giving a Concord, New Hampshire, firm more than $500,000 to try to build the economy of the northern forest region of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York through investing in the wood products industry. The commerce department says the grant is going to Northern Forest Center Inc., which it says will bring technical assistance to wood products companies and related firms in the states. The department says it is expecting the project to help create or retain 400 jobs.

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Demand for prefab timber exceeding supply: Strongbuild

By Larry Schlesinger
Financial Review (Australia)
September 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Adam Strong, Strongbuild

The managing director of off-site construction specialist Strongbuild, Adam Strong, says demand for prefabricated building components, including those made from CLT, is exceeding the supply of these products in Australia. “There’s a lot of momentum in the market and demand so we are pretty well placed. But we need more people providing these products,” Mr Strong said. Over the past 12 months turnover has increased 25 per cent at Strongbuild’s off-site panelisation factory in Sydney’s north-western suburbs. Other pioneers in the prefab space include development and construction giant Lendlease, which opened its own prefabrication factory in Sydney last year. …Mr Strong said demand was growing despite concerns about the safety of wood-based building products like CLT following the recent Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London.

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