Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 13, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Bigger, hotter fires—hotter, drier climate

Tree Frog Forestry News
December 13, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Bigger, hotter fires—hotter, drier climate. US researches working in the Rockies conclude that many areas recovering from wildfires may no longer be suitable for growing forests. And, although single fire events may show that fires have a relatively small impact on soils, over decades, Stanford University has found that frequent fires can reduce stored nutrients, most notably in broadleaf forests. 

Despite fires and politics, wood continues to keep the attention of the building sector. The American Forest Resource Council president is encouraging Oregonians to use more renewable resources to make innovative building materials. And in the UK, a CLT dome presides atop a new mosque. Cladded in gold, and made from sustainably-managed forests, it will complete the prayer hall crafted from man-made trees and other timber elements. 

We’ve got two new tools that support architects and engineers in using wood. A new on-demand webinar released by reThink Wood features carbon-neutral, mass timber design, with a focus on passive design principles, and in BC, the latest expertise, resources and workshops are collected together as part of a web portal called Wood Innovates BC (see today’s ad).

—Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Expanding Vernon’s WildSafeBC initiative

By Barry Gerding
BC Local News
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The WildSafeBC Program is hoping to expand beyond the city borders of Vernon next year. Frank Ritcey, provincial WildSafeBC coordinator, wants to enlist the Regional District of North Okanagan to expand the reach of the local public wildlife awareness and education initiative. …The program, organized by the BC Conservation Foundation, looks to reduce human-wildlife conflict through public education, innovation and cooperation. WildsafeBC is an off-shoot of the Bear Aware program, a realization by the BCCF that other wildlife beyond bears pose conflicts with communities and were on the increase. …Feeding wildlife, he noted, is the worst thing Vernon residents can do, because if they find a food source they will keep returning.

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Cumberland nature-based preschool hosts forest practitioner course

By Scott Strasser
Comox Valley Record
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Twenty education and child care practitioners from across Western Canada were in the Comox Valley last week for a five-day course focusing on how to implement nature-based learning into educational programs. The Child Nature Alliance of Canada — a non-profit organization based out of Ottawa — puts on the Forest Practitioners course throughout the country. The course brings educators together to learn about nature-inspired education and how it can benefit young children. Nature-based learning differs from traditional learning in that students primarily learn and play outdoors in environments such as forests or beaches, rather than in classrooms.

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Port Alberni pitches wildfire suppression centre

By Elena Rardon
Alberni Valley News
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The city of Port Alberni approved an application on Monday to the Rural Dividend Program for funding towards the creation of a Wildfire Suppression Centre of Excellence in the Alberni Valley. The economic development department prepared an application … for the fourth, and most likely final, intake of the province’s Rural Dividend Program, which grants funds to help rural communities stabilize their economies and create long-term employment. A Wildfire Suppression Centre of Excellence would aim to develop solutions to the escalating issues of economic, social and environmental damages caused by interface and wildfires worldwide. According to economic development manager Pat Deakin, the project would involve the creation of innovative approaches to better protect structures and communities from wildfires in the future.

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Community forest eyes burn piles for industry

By Andru McCracken
Rocky Mountain Goat
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Valemount Community Forest was able to catch up on burning piles of wood debris left over from logging operations thanks to helpful weather over the past weeks without smoking out Valemount, according to manager Craig Pryor. But when it comes to lighting logging leftovers on fire, Pryor is not a fan. “It’s a cost. It’s a liability. It is bad PR. There is not much good about burning,” said Pryor. “We don’t want to burn; we’d rather use it.” Pryor has been working hard on solutions. A pellet plant, for example, could turn that waste into useful fuel and create jobs for the community, he said. But Pryor said pellet plants report being too far away to use waste wood from here. 

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Commitment By Minister to move Lake Superior Caribou a Good First Step In Correcting Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Management Mess

Wawa News
December 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…the Honourable Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry announced that they would be acting to preserve the Lake Superior caribou by moving caribou to the Slate Islands. The Minister’s decision to preserve the last caribou of Lake Superior came after extensive lobbying efforts by Michipicoten First Nation. In a call with Minister McGarry on December 4th, Michipicoten First Nation Chief Patricia Tangie requested the immediate translocation of caribou from Michipicoten Island to the Slate Islands, as well as to Leach and Montreal Islands. …It is very unfortunate that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) allowed the situation to get to the point where the translocation of caribou is required. Michipicoten First Nation requested the non-lethal removal of the wolves as early as April 10, 2017. Unfortunately, that option was definitively ruled out

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Some forests aren’t growing back after wildfires, research finds

By Emily Chung
CBC News
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Bigger, hotter wildfires are ravaging forests and burning them to the ground more frequently as the climate gets hotter and drier. Now a new study shows that in some places in the U.S., those forests may never grow back. That adds to evidence that amid climate change, some forest landscapes — including those in Canada — can change dramatically after being burned. The new U.S. study looked at 1,500 forest sites affected by 52 wildfires in five states in the U.S. Rockies between 1985 and 2015. It found overall decreases in the amount of tree regrowth since 2000 compared to before 2000 due to warmer, drier conditions. …Those areas may no longer have suitable conditions for the growth of tree species that were there before and may become other types of ecosystems, such as grasslands.

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How frequent fires change ecosystems over time

By Stanford University
Futurity: Research News
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Over decades, frequent fires can reduce the amount of stored carbon in nitrogen savanna grassland and broadleaf forest soils, partially because of reduced plant growth, researchers report. These findings are important for worldwide understanding of fire’s impact on the carbon cycle and for modeling the future of global carbon and climate change. The results offer a new perspective on the impact of fire on soil fertility. “Almost all the synthesis studies done to date conclude that fire has relatively little effect on soils, but in large part, researchers focused on a single fire event,” says Adam Pellegrini, a postdoctoral scholar at the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences at Stanford University who is also lead author of a new paper outlining the findings.

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New tree species in Brazil probably the world’s heaviest living organism

Phys.org
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Kew scientists, in collaboration with researchers from Brazil and Canada, have recently published a description of a new tree species from the legume family (Leguminosae or Fabaceae). Dinizia jueirana-facao G.P. Lewis & G.S. Siqueira, discovered in Brazil, grows to a whopping 40 metres with an estimated weight of up to 62 tonnes. Dinizia jueirana-facao grows in a narrowly restricted area of Atlantic forest in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo. It is Critically Endangered – we know of only 25 of these trees in the whole world – a fact which helps to explain why such a majestic species has gone undiscovered and scientifically unnamed for so long. If such gigantic species are being described as new to science in the 21st century, just imagine how many smaller organisms are still waiting to be discovered?

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OPINION: A hierarchy of sustainable forestry

By Einar Christensen
The Chronicle Herald
December 12, 2017
Category: Forestry

In October I joined more than 600 other residents of Nova Scotia to participate in a “mock” funeral for Nova Scotia’s sustainable forests.  Organized by Jamie Simpson and Bob Bancroft, it was held to publicize the plight of our mismanaged forestry sector — mainly as a result of poor leadership from the Department of Natural Resources. This forestry mismanagement didn’t come about overnight, of course. It had been deteriorating for years but was really helped along by the former minister, Lloyd Hines. …Although Hines was recently moved out of the DNR portfolio, we can only hope that the new minister, Margaret Miller, does a better job of listening to (and acting on) the wishes of Nova Scotians who are knowledgeable about and truly care about our forests.

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Company & Business News

J.D. Irving Ltd. victorious over wood marketing board, but new rules coming

By Connell Smith
CBC News
December 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forestry giant J.D. Irving Ltd. has won its challenge against a Sussex-based marketing board that tried to regain control over how wood is bought and sold in southern New Brunswick. The New Brunswick Forest Products Commission agreed with JDI and other companies that the SNB marketing board overstepped its authority when it issued an order saying all wood had to be sold to the board and bought from the board. But in a surprise move the commission also drafted proposed new rules to be used by wood sellers, contractors and purchasers operating in SNB’s territory, including JDI. The commission, which heard the case in the summer, threw out the SNB order that declared sales and purchases could only be made through the board. The commission described the order as an improper attempt by SNB to use its regulatory powers to force Irving to negotiate.

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American Wood Council elects Roseburg Forest Products CEO Allyn Ford as chairman

Lesprom Network
December 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Allyn Ford

The American Wood Council (AWC) elects Roseburg Forest Products CEO Allyn Ford as the AWC chairman for a one-year term, effective in January 2018.  Danny White, a director of T.R. Miller Mill Company, was elected the first vice-chairman, and Neil Sherman, executive vice president of siding at LP Corporation, was elected as second vice-chairman. Current AWC board chairman, Stimson Lumber CEO Andrew Miller, will serve as the immediate past chairman. Sean McLaren, vice president of U.S. lumber operations for West Fraser, was confirmed as a new member to the AWC board.  

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Days Creek company awarded patent for log yard system

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
December 10, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

A muddy mass of debris left in a logging yard moves through the chutes and conveyors of the Walker DeRocker and comes out in four separate piles: small rocks, large rocks, fine soil and bark. J&S Walker Manufacturing and Mike Morris of Days Creek were granted a patent Nov. 7 for this log yard waste separation system, which has been running at C&D Lumber in Riddle for the last four years. In unpaved logging yards like the one at C&D, layers of rocks sit under the piles of cut logs to keep them clean before they are picked up to be processed at the sawmill. The Walker DeRocker is meant to transform the yard debris left behind into products that can be reused or sold. 

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Month After Fire Destroys Mill, Future Remains Unclear

By Justin Franz
Flathead Beacon
December 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

More than a month after the SK Fingerjointer, Inc. burned to the ground, officials in Libby say it’s still too early to tell what will happen at the old Stimson Lumber Co. site. Tina Oliphant, executive director of the Lincoln County Port Authority that was leasing the finger jointer facility to SK Fingerjoint, says the company is still evaluating its options moving forward and has not decided if it will rebuild. “No decisions have been made yet,” she said. The mill site caught fire on Nov. 5. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said no foul play was expected and officials believe an electrical issue most likely sparked the blaze.

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Egypt represents an attractive market for US softwood lumber

Southern Forest Products Association
December 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Egypt represents an attractive market for U.S. softwood lumber, according to a Southern Pine Council market assessment recently completed. Egypt is the largest market for softwood lumber in the Middle East and North Africa. Lumber demand is set to rise sharply over the coming years as its economy improves and several large-scale developments are in works. With no domestic lumber resources, Egypt must rely entirely on imports to satisfy burgeoning demand. The Egyptian government is investing heavily in infrastructure; a government initiative to build one million housing units as well as a multi-billion dollar project to build a new administrative capital to seat the national government is expected to drive growing demand for softwood lumber. …This research project was supported by funding from the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Emerging Markets Program.

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New chapter for forestry in New Zealand

By New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
December 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Forestry Minister Shane Jones has today welcomed the separation of portfolios within the Ministry of Primary Industries, saying it marks a new era for forestry in New Zealand. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will reorganise its functions to create a stronger focus on core responsibilities. Four new, separately branded portfolio-based branches will be established within MPI –Fisheries New Zealand, Forestry New Zealand, Biosecurity New Zealand and New Zealand Food Security. Mr Jones says the refocusing of the ministry’s functions will put greater emphasis on forestry, in line with the Government’s dedication to the sector.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood Pellet Association of Canada makes strong case for pellets in New Brunswick

By Maria Church
Canadian Biomass Magazine
December 12, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jonathan Levesque


Each year thousands of tons of wood pellets are shipped out of the Port of Belledune in New Brunswick to fire biomass generating stations in Europe, while thousands of tons of coal are shipped in to power the Belledune coal-fired generating station, just a stone’s throw away. This ironic image dominated conversation at the NB Wood Pellet Forum held by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and Canadian Biomass in Fredericton… “It seems crazy that we are using the Port of Belledune to ship wood pellets to Europe, and the same port to bring in coal. Why not keep those wood pellets here?” WPAC executive director Gord Murray asked the audience of about 75 stakeholders, ranging from consultants and pellet producers to government and NB Power representatives.

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How much did climate change affect California’s wildfires? Depends on where you are.

By Umair Irfan
Vox
December 12, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Across the United States, some 58,000 wildfires have burned more than 9.2 million acresthis year, making the air in many towns and cities too dangerous to breathe. All told, 2017 is now second only to 2015 as the worst wildfire season on record. …So what’s going on here? This must be climate change at work, right? Yes and no. Scientists have found that human-caused climate change is increasing the frequency and size of wildfires for much of the United States, particularly in forested areas like those that burned in Montana in September and in Northern California in October. …Jon Keeley, a senior scientist at the US Geological Survey and an adjunct professor at the University of California Los Angeles says, “When we look at Southern California and coastal California, there’s no relationship between climate change and fire.” 

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Arizona regulators explore ramping up use of forest biomass for power

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
December 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Should utility customers pay a surcharge for bioenergy that helps utilize trees thinned from Arizona’s overstocked forests? That was one possibility discussed last week at a first-ever workshop on forest bioenergy hosted by the Arizona Corporation Commission. Representatives from some of the state’s largest utilities, businesses, nonprofits, the Forest Service, and state and local governments all had a chance to weigh in at the workshop, which focused on the problem of biomass in Arizona’s forests and the opportunities and commercial viability of using that forest material to generate power. “We’re looking at…addressing it in a way that we can make some significant progress in bringing back the health of our forests,” said Commissioner Boyd Dunn, who initiated the workshop. “We’re here discussing an opportunity to address this whole issue by utilizing the Arizona Corporation Commission as a catalyst.”

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Analysis: Pulp mill would reduce Estonia’s carbon footprint

ERR
December 12, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Margus Kohava and Aadu Polli

Est-For Invest, a company planning to set up a €1 billion pulp mill near Tartu, presented an analysis carried out by the Tallinn Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), according to which building the pulp mill would reduce Estonia’s carbon footprint. Evelin Piirsalu, senior expert at SEI’s Tallinn Center, said that firstly, Estonia’s biogenic carbon footprint should be reduced as carbon will be bound into the products during wood refining. Piirsalu in the second part of the presentation nevertheless said that the analysis does not conclusively assess the biogenic impact of the mill as it is not possible to give an assessment without knowing the life span and reprocessing methods of the products to be produced.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New webinar on timber explains strategies for profitable passive design

Proud Green Building
December 12, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

reThink Wood has released a new webinar on demand that explains strategies for profitable, carbon-neutral design using mass timber while adhering to passive design principles. The webinar, titled “Successful Strategies for Profitable, Carbon-Neutral Designs Using Passive House and Mass Timber,” is accredited by the American Institute of Architects. The course’s availability comes as durable, high-quality wood buildings are considered the new standard for high-performance construction. Aligning the construction efficiency and environmental benefits of modern wood technologies with passive design principles can create energy-efficient and carbon neutral buildings that reduce energy bills and benefit architects, developers, owners and cities, those in the industry say.

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Forest products key factor in Oregon’s future

By Travis Joseph, president/CEO, American Forest Resource Council
The Register-Guard
December 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Do you think we should use more renewable resources? Do you think our renewable resources should be locally sourced, instead of imported from other states or countries? Lane County is home to one of the most valued renewable resources — wood products. Wood products are derived from sustainably managed forests and are both renewable and recyclable. …The benefits of wood products are impressive — they are biodegradable, require little energy to produce, store carbon, can be used to make innovative building materials (like cross-laminated timber) that are fire-resistant and earthquake safe. Not to mention, wood products are part of Oregon’s identity, heritage and culture. Despite these benefits, the debate over public forest policy often loses sight of the big picture.

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Cambridge’s massive new mosque is taking shape and it’s going to be spectacular

Cambridge News
December 12, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A massive new £17 million mosque in Cambridge is taking shape – with the golden dome now up. This picture shows how the construction of the building – which had been estimated to cost £15 million – moves on apace and is set to open next year. …A statement by the project organisers said: “Work on the timber elements of the prayer hall is now complete, and the studwork partitions for the male and female ablution areas are in place. “This week the master-craftsmen of Blumer-Lehmann begin work on the ‘trees’ of our magnificent atrium, together with the teaching zone and the cafeteria.” …The dome is made out of cross-laminated timber harvested from sustainably-managed forests. The contractors will add a gold-coloured cladding material and a crescent.

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