Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 31, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

State of Canada’s Forest Report Worthy of a Reprise: Wood Business

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 31, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Although released last month, Wood Business re-featured The State of Canada’s Forests Annual Report 2017 [and thus have we]For longer than Canada has been a country, forestry has been an integral part of the Canadian story, and this year’s report is packed with info on its history, importance, challenges and future. The images alone of late-1800’s timber rafts on the Ottawa River and last year’s natural disaster in Fort McMurray, make this a collectors edition. Along with NRCan’s other feature today, it’s worth a read! 

In other news, a business forum aims to “strengthen the [NAFA] ties that bind New Hampshire and the Great White North”; Unifor fails to find common ground with the US Commerce Secretary; US WoodWorks plans a 3rd international mass timber conference; and timber is on the rise in France.

In forestry news, researchers in BC have developed a prediction system for human-caused wildfires; Oregon may reclassify the marbled murrelet as endangered; and a grant from the US EPA may help eradicate the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Finally, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark ruling this week on the Ktunaxa Qat’muk appeal regarding what constitutes “a reasonable standard for consultation and accommodation” .

Happy Hallooooooweeeen.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Forest sector strategies for climate change mitigation

By Carolyn Smyth and Werner Kurz, Canadian Forest Service
Natural Resources Canada
October 30, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Scientists examine how forests and wood products can reduce emissions to the atmosphere. Pacific Forestry Centre research scientists Carolyn Smyth and Werner Kurz model the impact of various strategies on the greenhouse gas balance of Canada’s forest sector. Modeling several decades into the future allows scientists to ask, “What mitigation actions will work best for each region?” and assess how changes in activities or technology can reduce future emissions or enhance removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Forests play an important role in the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is the movement of carbon from land and water through the atmosphere and all living things.  …This dynamic process of absorbing and releasing carbon constantly affects the global carbon balance.

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Forestry

Natural Resources Canada releases State of Canada’s Forests report

By Tamar Atik
Canadian Forest Industries
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Natural Resources Canada has released its 2017 State of Canada’s Forests report. This latest edition delves into forest fires by examining the Fort McMurray fire, and explaining why Canada’s forests need fires. There is also a focus on the bioeconomy of Canada’s forest sector, and a look at Canada’s timber forest products. …The largest portion of the 2017 report assesses sustainability indicators such as whether timber is being harvested sustainably, how disturbances like forest diseases and insects shape Canada’s forests, how Canadians benefit from forests through employment, and how the forest industry in turn benefits Canada’s economy.

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Forestry Teachers’ Tour—From Ancient Trees to Christmas Trees

By Sandy McKellar and Ryan Dvorak
Festival of Forestry
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On August 23, 2017, 18 eager school teachers came together from a range of schools across the Lower Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island—their common thread was a desire to learn more about the forest sector in British Columbia. Hosted by Festival of Forestry tour guides Michel Vallee and Ryan Dvorak, they were ready for three days of forest-immersion. This year’s tour was based in Port Alberni—Along the way, special guests joined the group to share their expertise and answer questions. They included Makenzie Leine, forester and communications director from Island Timberlands, Warren Lauder, manager of Hupacasath First Nation forestry, Ken Epps of Island Timberlands, and Rhonda Morris, the district manager for the South Island Natural Resources District.

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We need more people fighting wildfires

Letter by Larry Russell, retired forester
Kamloops This Week
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…I am a 79-year-old retired forest service employee. My long suit was fire suppression. I have been writing letters to the premier, starting with Gordon Campbell in 2003, all to no avail, but this year’s response took the cake. I received a two-page glowing report from a PR person that made this year’s fire control efforts appear fantastic. Here is a sentence right out of her letter: “Confronted by an average of 2,000 wildfires each year, highly trained provincial fire crews were successful in containing 94 per cent of all wildfires in BC. by 10 a.m. the following day.” Was she watching the same evening news as me? Our forest firefighting capabilities are grossly understaffed, undertrained and underfunded. …We also need another Filmon Report, but this time focused on fire suppression and made up of forest industry personnel and people with fire experience.

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Supreme Court to rule on Ktunaxa Qat’muk appeal

By Trevor Crawley
The Free Press
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to deliver a landmark ruling on Thursday in the case of religious freedom that is at the centre of dispute between the Ktunaxa Nation Council and the provincial government over the development of a proposed ski resort west of Invermere. …In 2012, the provincial government approved a master development agreement for the resort. That touched off the court battle, as the Ktunaxa challenged the approval of the plan in BC Supreme Court seeking a judicial review, arguing that they were not adequately consulted during the development plan process. After a nine-day trial in 2014, Justice John Savage eventually ruled that the provincial government and Steve Thomson, the Minster of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources at the time, had passed a reasonable standard for consultation and accommodation during the Master Development Plan process.

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Creature no larger than a grain of rice colours BC forests a deathly red

By Jonny Warschauer
Ubyssey Online
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A quiet battle is being fought in the forests of western North America, and millions of pine trees are dying in its wake. Shades of green that once permeated the flora of British Columbia’s forests are disappearing. …According to Christine Chiu — a graduate student focusing on botany and chemical ecology at UBC — climate change, specifically rising temperatures, has played a major role in the widespread decline of the forests over the course of the past two decades. …Treating this problem has proven difficult, to put it mildly. “Preventing the spread of this species is extremely laborious,” said Chiu. …Imagine hunting for a needle in a haystack, except the needle only becomes visible after it’s too late.

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B.C. researchers develop prediction system for human-caused wildfires

CBC News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Pickell

A team of B.C. researchers has developed a system it says can be used to predict the likelihood of human-caused wildfires in boreal forests, allowing fire officials to focus their preparations and prevention efforts. The system uses satellite imagery to track the growth of new leaves in forest undergrowth during the spring, which gives the researchers an idea of how flammable a given tract of forest is going to be over the rest of the season. “We essentially just go download that imagery and process it and create a prediction on about a week-by-week basis,” said Paul Pickell, a post-doctoral fellow in UBC’s Faculty of Forestry. “We can know by the end of March, before the start of the fire season, essentially when is going to be the most flammable part of the fire season for human-caused fires.”

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Teachers taught hands-on

By Ryan Forbes
Kenora Online
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Canadian Institute of Forestry delivered the first Teacher’s Tour in northwestern Ontario recently. The tour was for 20 teachers in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board to participate in classroom sessions led by forestry professionals, to clear up misconceptions about the industry. Domtar hosted the group and provided a facility tour, while the Dryden Forest Management Company led the group in a field tour of active harvest operations, providing hands-on activities for the group of teachers. “We are so excited to be bringing this program to life in Northwestern Ontario,” says Dianne Loewen, Canadian Institute of Forestry’s Director for the Lake of the Woods Section.

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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife looks at reclassifying marbled murrelet

By Saphara Harrell
Coos Bay World
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Marbled murrelets could be re-listed as endangered under Oregon’s Endangered Species Act. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) released a draft status review on the marbled murrelet after a petition from several environmental groups to reclassify the bird. Marbled murrelets are small seabirds that nest in old-growth forests and forage in the ocean. They are found along the Pacific Coast, from Alaska to California. The seabird, which is considered endangered in both California and Washington, is currently listed as threatened in Oregon. Murrelets were federally listed as threatened in 1992 in the three states. Murrelets have an 80 percent chance of going extinct in the Siskiyou Coast Range by 2060, according to ODFW’s report. There has never been a petition to change the listing of a currently-listed species under the Oregon Endangered Species Act, according to Martin Nugent with ODFW. Over the years, species have been added or removed under the state act, but no species has been uplisted.

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Gianforte calls for lawsuit reform while touring Beaverhead-Deerlodge timber work

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DEER LODGE — Blocking frivolous lawsuits and boosting emergency spending on wildfires would help restore Montana’s forests to better health, Rep. Greg Gianforte said while touring clearcuts in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on Monday. “Healthier forests give more habitat for wildlife, increased sporting opportunities, they’re good for our economy, they create jobs, and they reduce the intensity and catastrophic nature of fires,” Gianforte said. “Everybody wins.” …At a roundtable discussion of the legislation …Montana Wood Products Association Director Julia Altemus told the congressmen that litigation was the main threat to timber supply. “In (Forest Service) Region 1, it’s really what hampers our ability to get into the forests,” Altemus said. That has forced the agency to spend nearly 60 percent of its time designing forest projects on “bullet-proofing” its defense on National Environmental Policy Act challenges, compared to just 20 percent in past years.

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$600K Environmental Protection Agency grant to stop invasive species killing Eastern Hemlock trees

By Jim Harger
Michigan Live
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Environmentalists hope a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will help them find and eradicate the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a tiny insect that’s damaging and killing Eastern Hemlock trees in West Michigan. The grant was awarded to the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative earlier this month. “The Eastern Hemlock tree plays a crucial role in the forests in Michigan. Hemlock trees are long-lived and provide habitat for a large variety of birds and animals, offering both shelter and forage,” said Kathy Evans, an environmental program manager at WMSRDC.

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Leadbeater protection costs VicForests

By Philip Hopkins
Gippsland Times
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WOOD supply cutbacks because of Leadbeater’s Possum protection measures, which decimated supply to a Heyfield sawmill, plunged VicForests into the red in 2016-17, according to the company’s annual report. The company’s result after tax was a loss of $3.2 million because of a $6.9 million decrease in the accounting valuation of the area of state forest available for timber harvesting. Profit from operations before tax was $1.5 million. VicForest chief executive Nathan Trushell said it was a good result, considering the operational challenges they had faced. The loss was the outcome of more forest being placed in reserves, and not a reduction in demand for timber. “Due to an increase in conservation efforts, areas previously available to us have been excluded from timber harvesting over the past year,” Mr Trushell said.

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Forest fires scorch northern Italy, force hundreds to flee

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Switzerland and Croatia have sent aircraft to help Italian firefighters battle forest fires that have scorched parts of northern Italy and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. Authorities in Piedmont and Lombardy are seeking to have states of emergency declared for their regions, which have been hit by an abnormally dry summer, little autumn rainfall and winds that have helped spread the flames. Interior Minister Marco Minniti held a crisis meeting Monday with emergency authorities in Turin, capital of the hard-hit Piedmont region, and said evidence points to arson as the cause for at least some of the fires. The fires have contributed to a thick cloud of choking smog that has covered northern Italy for days.

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Attitude to growing more timber on Scottish farms needs a root and branch review

By Stuart Goodall, chief executive, Confor
The Scotsman
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Stuart Goodall

…For example, construction, farming and forestry are three industries that have tended to operate independently, with different cultures and ­identities, and often a sense of rivalry: farming versus forestry, rural versus urban. Yet they are intimately linked and could help Scotland to maintain its positive momentum in meeting climate change targets. Around the world, best practice land use involves diverse systems in which food and wood are produced alongside the provision of other rural services such as renewable energy production, tourism, and nature ­conservation. The most sustainable towns and cities are those which ­utilise renewable materials and which care about where their resources come from. …I suggested to the committee that when farmers plant trees on their land, that should be acknowledged as part of their sector’s contribution to tackling climate change.

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Logging trucks on collision course with protesters over old-growth forest

By Adam Carey
The Age, Australia
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental activists have set up a blockade at a remote old-growth forest in East Gippsland in a last-ditch attempt to disrupt logging plans. Harvesting of native timber is due to begin as soon as Wednesday in a previously untouched part of the Kuark Forest near Orbost, even as environmental lawyers take legal action to have logging in the area ruled illegal.  …The decision was made after the Andrews government approved the work with tougher new conditions imposed on VicForests, which will likely reduce the number of large old trees the agency can harvest. …But the new restrictions have failed to mollify conservationists who want to put a complete stop to timber harvesting in the Kuark. 

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Company & Business News

Unifor and U.S. commerce secretary agree on key NAFTA strategy: Dias

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
October 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Jerry Dias

WASHINGTON — Unifor president Jerry Dias says he and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross have agreed that combating low Mexican wages is the key to breaking the impasse at NAFTA renegotiations. Both agreed that Canada and the United States have been hurt by the siphoning off of manufacturing jobs to Mexico and must work together to pressure the country to drive up wages, Dias said Tuesday in Washington, D.C. …Unifor said other key issues addressed at the meeting between Dias and Ross included the imposition of duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. Dias said they were unable to find common ground on softwood lumber and doesn’t anticipate a resolution to the dispute any time soon.

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New Hampshire-Canada trade connections are strong despite NAFTA flap

By John Koziol
New Hampshire Union Leader
October 30, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

WHITEFIELD — The ties that bind New Hampshire and the Great White North are strong, despite the current controversy over the North American Free Trade Agreement. One-third of Granite Staters have a Franco-Canadian heritage, and 40,000 Granite State jobs are directly linked to Canada. That conclusion emerged Oct. 27 during the New Hampshire-Canada Business Development Forum at the Mount View Grand Hotel, which included discussion of North American Free Trade Agreement. …Now under fire by President Donald Trump for being unfair to the U.S., NAFTA, said Shaheen, “did not just happen,” nor should the U.S. unilaterally withdraw from it. …The discussions at that table included the U.S.-Canada dispute over lumber. …Ryckman said the issue is between lumber mills on either side of the border, “not the land owners or the logs.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BC government announces climate advisory council

Journal of Commerce
October 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The province of British Columbia has created a new advisory council to provide strategic advice to the government on climate action paired with economic growth. The Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council will provide advice on actions and policies that can contribute to carbon pollution reductions and optimize opportunities for sustainable economic development and job creation, explains a release. …The council will hold its initial meeting soon, followed by quarterly meetings where advice and feedback on climate policy will be forwarded to the environment and climate change strategy minister and the climate action secretariat on a regular basis.

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Elevated CO2 and Ozone Improve the Growth of Japanese Cedar Trees CO2

By Tree Physiology
Science Magazine
October 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) is a key silviculture species in Japan, making up approximately 44 percent of the country’s plantation area. Given such prominence, Hiraoka et al. write that “in order to adapt to future environments, tree improvement programs will need to consider rising O3 and CO2 concentrations, as well as other changes in climate” that may occur. Therefore, as their contribution to this effort, the team of seven Japanese researchers investigated the individual and combined impacts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) on the growth of Japanese cedar. …Results of their analysis revealed that C. japonica had a low sensitivity to the negative (growth-retarding) effects of O3. …trees growing in the elevated O3 environment had higher plant dry mass than their ambient counterparts, though the difference were not statistically significant.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Mass Timber—the Construction Industry’s New Disruptor—to Draw Hundreds of Global Experts to 3rd Annual International Mass Timber Conference

By About WoodWorks – Wood Products Council
PRWeb
October 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Returning for a third year in Portland, Oregon, the International Mass Timber Conference retains its focus on the biggest disruptor in mid- to high-rise building construction in almost a century—cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other mass timber products. The conference is produced by Forest Business Network in cooperation with the wood design experts at WoodWorks – Wood Products Council and welcomes international attendees to the Oregon Convention Center, March 20-22, 2018. …“WoodWorks has a unique role in that we provide free technical support related to the design of wood buildings, which also gives us a unique perspective on the use of mass timber,” said Bill Parsons, PE, vice president of operations for WoodWorks, a co-producer of the conference. “We’re supporting significantly more mass timber projects, but what’s especially interesting is what’s driving the tremendous spike in interest.

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Why Timber Towers Are On the Rise in France

By Jenny Che
CityLab
October 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Spurred by concerns over climate change and the negative impacts of concrete manufacturing, architects and developers in France are increasingly turning to wood for their office towers and apartment complexes. Concrete was praised through much of the 20th century for its flexibility, functionality, and relative affordability. In France, the material ushered in an era of bold modernist architecture including housing by Auguste Perret and Le Corbusier. Today, however, wood is lauded for its smaller environmental footprint and the speed with which buildings can be assembled. “Wood had largely disappeared and was seen as a quaint material,” says Steven Ware, a partner at the architecture firm Art & Build, whose latest wooden office building opened in Paris’s 13th arrondissement earlier this summer. “[But] the energy it takes to put a concrete building up, to run it, and then dismantle it when it becomes obsolete was too much. Using mass timber in office buildings seemed like something we had to do.”

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