Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 2, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

IMAX film hopes to inspire more BC forest and marine protection

Tree Frog Forestry News
November 2, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Filmmaker and renowned activist Ian McAlister is taking BC’s Great Bear Rainforest to new heights with an IMAX film. In other conservation news, the Toronto Star says “the woodland caribou will be extinct by the end of the century” if the current rate of decline continues; while Saskatchewan just put its caribou plan out for review.

The Resilient Federal Forest Act passed the US House by a 232 to 188 margin, although a similar version passed in 2015 and then died in the Senate. AWC’s Bob Glowinski likes that the bill would facilitate the use of innovative wood products such as mass timber.

Some US fire experts believe they are being blocked from a fire conference due to their views on climate change; to burn or not to [let wildfires] burn is under debate in Saskatchewan; and researchers in Alberta have developed an index to identify where wildfires create freshwater supply risks.

Finally, although Arkansas University’s plan to build a timber dorm is questioned, Britain’s top architecture prize is a wood “masterpiece” and Wood WORKS! Ontario honours 12 leaders in wood design and innovation.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Canada must save the woodland caribou

By the Editorial Board
Toronto Star
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The woodland caribou, a symbol of our country, considered sacred and a vital resource in many Indigenous communities, will be extinct by the end of the century if the current rate of population decline is allowed to continue. Faced with this alarming fact, the federal government five years ago took action, asking every province to develop a plan to protect the animal. … The causes of the animal’s extraordinary decline are many, including climate change and increased predation, but none is so salient as the boreal’s degradation by human activity. …Of course, the impact on industry and jobs of greater habitat protection must be managed. But if we do nothing, the outcome is all but certain: some alive today will live to see a country without caribou. …In Canada, by virtue of our vast wilderness, rich wildlife, three oceans and enormous holdings of fresh water, we have a special responsibility to conserve. Yet recent reports suggest we are failing in this regard.

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No ‘let it burn’ wildfire policy: Wildfire Management

By Glenn Hicks
paNOW
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steve Roberts

Provincial wildfire officials said categorically there is no ‘let it burn’ policy in Saskatchewan. Indigenous leaders have been critical about a policy that, as they see it, compromises their Treaty right to fish and gather. They feel their resources are being left to the mercy of fires like the ones that got close to Pelican Narrows in September. There are also concerns about smoke compromising residents’ health. But Steve Roberts from Wildfire Management said every wildfire is tackled based on various priority criteria. “There is no ’let it burn’ policy in Saskatchewan,” Roberts said. “Every fire is assessed and every fire has decisions on actions to best manage it based on the threats it poses.” Roberts said human safety was the number one priority followed by communities and critical infrastructure as determined by the province.

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Elephant Hill wildfire expected to keep smouldering until spring in some areas

By Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“It was an unprecedented summer in terms of the area burned and the money spent on fire suppression,” says Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer for the BC Wildfire Service.  …He adds that we can expect that the fire will be smouldering deeper underground in places for several months. “When the snow melts we could have parts of it pop up; smouldering pockets of smoke won’t be uncommon. We’re not terribly concerned about it.” People are still working on the Elephant Hill wildfire, which has been 100 per cent contained since late September. “We’re doing rehabilitation of the landscape. Putting in fireguards can impact the land, so we’re going back in and trying to mitigate that. People will be out there for a long time, working on this.”

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Province releases draft range plan to conserve woodland caribou

By Bryan Eneas
paNOW
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government is now one step closer to protecting the woodland caribou population in central and northern Saskatchewan. Woodland caribou are a threatened species according to the federal Species at Risk Act. All species listed as threatened require a National Recovery Strategy, which was first introduced by the federal government in 2012. The draft range plan introduced by the government on Oct 30 is the province’s response to the federal government’s national recovery strategy. Saskatchewan is just the second province to have a plan in the works. The draft plan will now undergo a 60-day public review process according to Michael McLaughlan, the caribou project manager from the wildlife, fish and lands branch of the Ministry of Environment. …McLaughlan said depending on the amount of response to the draft, it will take between one and three months to create the final version of the plan.

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Two-year trip through B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest focus of new IMAX film

CTV News
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wild, two-year journey through B.C.’s breathtaking Great Bear Rainforest will soon grace the largest screens in the world as a feature-length IMAX movie. Filmmakers have partnered with First Nations to provide an in-depth look at the region – a raw landscape rife with grizzly bears, wolves, whales and the famed Kermode or “spirit” bear. “The goal is to make a beautiful film about this coast,” said Ian McAllister, a filmmaker with the non-profit conservation group Pacific Wild. “This is probably the biggest natural history film that’s ever been done in Canada and it’s taken a lot of very talented people to make it happen.” …”It’s going to be very exciting to see that through that lens,” said Heiltsuk Nation member William Housty.

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Scientist grades water risks from wildfires; Prairies at top of list

By Bob Weber
CBC News
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Prairies top a newly developed index of places where wildfires could create freshwater supply risks. “We are a population depending on water coming from a fire-prone area,” said Francois-Nicolas Robinne, a University of Alberta geographer whose research has just been published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. Larger and more frequent wildfires are one of the more commonly anticipated effects of climate change, as warmer weather dries forests out. Those fires have significant effects on freshwater. Burned-over areas can be prone to floods, mudslides and contamination. All of those create problems for downstream users accustomed to reliable, predictable, relatively clean flows. They also have major impacts on plants and animals living in the watershed.

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McBride Community Forest back on track, a really tough track

By Andru McCracken
Rocky Mountain Goat
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andru McCracken

If there were only 9 or 10 people at the annual general meeting of McBride’s community forest, it might have been due to a newly elected board and a new manager. But it would have been nice if more people had been there in person to learn about the challenges facing the community. Gene Runtz, the new community forest manager, is a plain talker. What he said about the community forest’s ability to provide cedar to local mills sent a chill down my spine. I can’t imagine what mill owners are thinking. Runtz estimated the amount of cedar that they could produce would keep a half a shift running at each of the local cedar mills, unless the Ministry of Forests allows them an exemption. Even with an exemption for low grade cedar from government, the road is tough. Runtz has a plan to get more tenure and ship low grade cedar from what he calls Prince George east.

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Forests need better management

By Dr. Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, professor emeritus, Acadia University biology department
The Chronicle Herald
November 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dr. Soren Bondrup-Nielsen

Wood is a renewable resource — its use is as old as humanity. Like any renewable resource, its use should not exceed the growth of trees. Cod were a renewable resource but we fished at a greater rate than cod could reproduce and grow; the industry collapsed. Where are we headed in forestry in Nova Scotia? The products of our forest industry range from low-value wood chips to higher-value lumber and wood-fabricated material. The wood for this comes largely from clear cutting. …Harvesting has been intense. . …Are we heading in the same direction as we did with the cod? Some of the data certainly seem to show a parallel pattern. We are not there just yet, but harvesting for wood chips can get us there in a hurry. Harvesting for wood chips is often done by chipping everything on site.

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Wood Council applauds House passage of Resilient Federal Forests Act

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Robert Glowinski

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  American Wood Council  released the following statement regarding the U.S. House of Representative’s passage of the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017. The bill includes the research title of the Timber Innovation Act, which would establish a performance driven research and development program for advancing the use of innovative wood products in building construction. “The United States has an opportunity to help bring an innovative and sustainable technology to our nation’s construction industry,” said AWC president and CEO Robert Glowinski. …Supporting mass timber construction is a win-win because it would introduce new carbon-neutral building materials to our urban areas, as well as job creation in rural areas.”

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House approves forest bill, but support is minimal

By Katy Sword
The Columbian
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

R-Jaime Herrera Beutler (right)

There’s an internal congressional battle for wildfire management reform. The long-standing battle progressed Wednesday as the U.S. House approved the Resilient Federal Forests Act with a vote of 232 to 188. The bill expands access to logging and exempts 30,000 acres of annual forest land activity from environmental review, refers federal Endangered Species Act lawsuits to an arbitrator in lieu of a courtroom and allows the U.S. Forest Service to use disaster funding to fight fires if earmarked funding runs out. Local lawmakers agree: Something needs to be done to fix wildfire funding. But support for the Resilient Federal Forests Act is minimal. The White House doesn’t support the bill as is, according to a statement released Wednesday.

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Forest Service fire experts blocked from attending major fire conference

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Matt Jolly

Several of Missoula’s top federal fire scientists have been denied permission to attend the International Fire Congress later this month, leading conference organizers to suspect censorship of climate-related research. “Anyone who has anything related to climate-change research — right away was rejected,” said Timothy Ingalsbee of the Association for Fire Ecology, a nonprofit group putting on the gathering. “Most of the folks from the Missoula fire lab, the vanguard entity in the Forest Service — all but a handful got cut. We were expecting about 44 scientists from the Rocky Mountain Research Station, and only six or seven have been permitted to attend,” Ingalsbee said. …“As a leader of scientists and manager of climate science research, that’s simply not true.” Hardy said the Forest Service allowed his lab to send six people to the Orlando conference. He had 20 applicants.

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What A Scientist Lost In The Eagle Creek Fire

By Ericka Cruz Guevarra
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Johanna Varner’s trip to Oregon in October was a shot in the dark. But she hadn’t planned it that way. In fact, she’d planned her trip months in advance. Varner was returning to the same sites in the Columbia River Gorge that she’s visited every year since 2010. She left temperature sensors there for her research on pikas, a small rabbit-like animal typically found at higher elevations.  The pikas in the Gorge are special. They live at the lowest elevation for pikas anywhere in the country. Her temperature sensors were keeping track of the unique microclimates the pikas were inhabiting in the Gorge. Then the Eagle Creek Fire set more than 48,000 acres of the Gorge ablaze. At just 50 percent containment as of Oct. 21, the fire has made it dangerous for scientists and even the firefighters to get into certain areas of the Gorge. “That shifted my priorities for the week a little bit,” said Varner.

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House approves bill to speed logging to combat wildfires

By Matthew Daly 
Associated Press in the Washington Post
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — Responding to deadly wildfires in California and the West, House Republicans on Wednesday passed a bill to allow faster approval for logging and other actions to reduce the risk of fire in national forests. The House voted 232-188 to loosen environmental regulations for forest-thinning projects on federal lands. The measure now goes to the Senate. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the bill was needed to protect the nation’s forests “from the kind of devastation that California experienced.” The GOP bill “will help us stop forest fires before they occur,” said Ryan, R-Wis. Republicans and the timber industry have long complained about environmental rules that block or delay plans to cut down trees to reduce fire risk. Democrats and environmentalists say GOP policies would bypass important environmental laws to clear-cut vast swaths of national forests, harming wildlife and the environment.

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Lake Serene Trail saved from logging after fundraising campaign

by Sarah Anne Lloyd
Curbed Seattle
November 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Lake Serene Hiking Trail, which includes trails to both Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls, will be preserved as it is thanks to a fundraising campaign by sustainability nonprofit Forterra. Located near Index, Washington, includes a portion that’s owned by timber company Weyerhaeuser. The trail was shut down in September to prepare for logging and to make some trail improvements. The trail was set to reopen next summer, but with Weyerhaeuser’s portion logged. This week, Forterra met its fundraising goal of $275,000 from more than 600 people to preserve the trail, and will move toward the lower part of the trail from Weyerhaeuser, who’s willing to sell. The total project cost is $800,000, which includes money from the Snohomish County Conservation Futures program. $75,000 of the fundraising money came from a couple who took their first hike together on the trail. After Forterra acquires the land, it will be open to the public indefinitely.

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Company & Business News

AFPA awards Norm Boucher as honorary member

By Chris Funston
Peace River Record Gazette
November 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

As a passionate advocate and innovator in the forest industry for over 40 years, Norm Boucher of Boucher Bros. Lumber Ltd was awarded the Honorary Member Award by the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA). …Boucher has been in the forest industry his whole life. He first began working in the industry when he was 15 years old. He worked with his father until he became partners with his brother Jean Louis, starting the Boucher Bros. sawmill in Nampa in 1978. He went out to be the founder of he Manning Diversified Forest Products sawmill that began operations in 1992 and remained president of the company until selling his shares in 2004.

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Timberland ownership company CatchMark closes $43.3M acquisition

By CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc.
Wood Business
November 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East

CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. has acquired 14,923 acres of prime timberlands near the southeast coast of Georgia for $43.3 million, excluding closing costs.  The timberlands in Long and McIntosh counties, the Coastal Georgia Acquisition, expand CatchMark’s positioning in one of the most competitive wood baskets of the U.S. South, increasing its regional holdings by 36 per cent.  The acquisition includes 72 per cent pine plantations with stocking of 81 tons per acre. Approximately 92 per cent of the inventory volume is pine and 65 per cent of the inventory volume is chip-n-saw or sawtimber with an average pine plantation age of 19 years.

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Rayonier Advanced Materials Reports Third Quarter 2017 Results

By Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc.
Businesswire
November 1, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE:RYAM) today reported third quarter 2017 net income of $16 million, or $0.28 per diluted common share compared to $22 million, or $0.44 per diluted common share in the third quarter of 2016. Third quarter 2017 pro forma net income was $10 million, or $0.18 per diluted common share, compared to $22 million, or $0.44 per diluted common share in the third quarter of 2016. Third quarter 2017 pro forma net income and diluted earnings per share are adjusted for transaction costs and an unrealized gain on a derivative instrument, both associated with the pending acquisition of Tembec. Additionally, the 2017 earnings per diluted common share amount reflects the impact of the Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock issuance in the third quarter of 2016.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Leaders in wood innovation honoured at awards

By Patricia Williams
Daily Commercial News
November 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jury’s Choice

Institutional Award

Architects, engineers, developers and other construction industry professionals at the forefront of wood design in the province were recognized during the recent 17th annual Ontario Wood WORKS! Awards. The awards program honours people and organizations that through design excellence, advocacy and innovation are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction. … Ten awards went to specific wood projects and two were given to professionals for contributions to the building industry that advance the case for wood design and construction.

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Justifications for timber dorm don’t hold up

Letter by Chris Bolton
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
November 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Chris Bolton

I was shocked to read in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Oct. 23 article about a University of Arkansas dorm to be built of timber. According to the article, this timber framing system will cost $1.3 million more than alternative methods of steel/concrete or concrete framing of the structure. The article then proceeded to justify this decision with more than one-half page of hog-wash trying to explain their decision. …Most of the buildings above three stories in height, their structural frames were either concrete framed or combination of steel framed/concrete. This five-story building, being a “dorm” with such high degree of occupancy (students), would worry me about the safety issue in the event of a tragedy like a fire. I do not understand the reason behind this decision, as to not only why one would spend more money, but “perhaps” add a safety risk due to this type of design.

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Britain’s Top Architecture Prize Awarded to ‘Masterpiece of Regeneration’

Urban Developer
November 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A historic pier in East Sussex that was devastated by fire has won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award — the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize — after a multi-million pound redevelopment. Nicknamed the Plank, Hastings Pier is the work of London-based architects de Rijke Marsh Morgan. The pier reopened to the public last year, its restoration cost £14.2 million. RIBA president and jury chair Ben Derbyshire said Hastings Pier was a “masterpiece of regeneration and inspiration”. …Creative use of timber is at the heart of the transformed pier design. The new visitor centre is a 100 per cent cross-laminated timber structure, clad in the limited timber decking that survived the 2010 fire. This reclaimed timber was also used to make the furniture on the deck, designed by dRMM and Hastings & Bexhill Wood Recycling Ltd as part of a local employment initiative.

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