Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Our hashtag of the day is #tomorrowstimbertalent

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 28, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Commentary on Canada’s 2018 budget includes a feature on addressing the need for more women in construction trades, and FPAC provides a breakdown on how the budget will benefit the forest sector.

Cleaning-up: BC’s West Fraser Timber is designing an engineered cover that will keep coal pile contaminants from entering into adjacent land areas and Northern Pulp has been given a cleanup directive from the Nova Scotia government to manage power boiler ash. 

The BC Wood WORKS! awards are still rocking the news scene (in Penticton and Whistler), and in the UK, TRADA is encouraging more young people to think about wood with their Urban Buzz program where 60 students from 28 universities competed in a timber design competition. 

The University of Arizona notes a disturbing trend in wildfires that shows an increase in area burned that will continue into coming decades in the Pacific Northwest. They hope their research serves as a ‘wake-up call to public agencies and landowners’. Protecting forests from fire, a collaborative approach is working in Ashland, Oregon, and California is asking for increased funding to bring in extra firefighters and implement a more nimble response time when help is needed.

—Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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And the Oscar goes to… Brock Commons, in a record three categories

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 27, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Wood WORKS!—the Canadian Wood Council initiative to grow the market for wood—turned 20 in 2018, and the anniversary was celebrated at this year’s Wood Design Awards in BC. And the Oscar (in a record three categories) goes to… Brock Commons. Elsewhere, brick and beam construction makes a comeback in Toronto thanks to changes allowing taller wood structures.

In Business news: advocates for a deal are emerging in round seven of the NAFTA negotiations; US home sales drop for the second straight month; Maritime fishermen snub Northern Pulp: and the ABCFP elects new leaders and honours its members.

Forestry commentaries include; Suzuki on the Boreal; NRCan on the pinewood nematode, Arizona on the 2018 fire season; Oregon on loggers’ compliance rate; and California and Arizona on the health dangers of wildfire smoke. 

Finally, cloths retailer Guess commits to endangered forests and there’s “nothing un-natural about petroleum.”

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Excellence in structural and architectural wood design recognized at 2018 Wood Design Awards in BC

BC Wood WORKS!
February 26, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Innovative architectural and structural design in taller and larger mass timber buildings headlined the 2018 Wood Design Awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre Monday evening. The 14th annual event, organized and hosted by Wood WORKS! BC, honoured excellence in wood building and design, and recognized leadership and innovation in wood use. Nearly 500 guests attended this year’s celebration of wood, including distinguished building and design professionals, owners, local and provincial government representatives, industry sponsors and guests. …The Brock Commons – Tallwood House was the most celebrated project of the 2018 Wood Design Awards in BC, with a win in a record three categories, including the Engineer Award, the Architect Award and Wood Innovation Award. The 18-storey project, located at UBC in Vancouver, was the tallest hybrid mass timber building in the world at the time of construction.

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Business & Politics

Budget 2018 helps support forest sector priorities on: addressing climate change; skills training and expanding trade

By Richard Walker
Forest Products Association of Canada
February 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) sees some encouraging opportunities for Canada’s forest products sector in today’s federal budget including measures to support our transition to a low carbon economy, skills training, and expanding trade. In the budget tabled today by Finance Minister Bill Morneau entitled “Equality & Growth a Strong Middle Class”, he earmarked: Over $2 billion to support skills training to help build a workforce for the future; Commitment to protect and expand markets; Over $3 billion for environmental initiatives to help address climate change, support conservation and move to a low-carbon economy. “Budget 2018 sends some positive signals that support the forest sector’s priorities, with investments to build capacity to address climate change, skills training to build a workforce for the future, and supports the further diversification of our export markets,” said FPAC CEO Derek Nighbor.

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New tools to attract women to construction in budget 2018

By Vince Versace
Journal of Commerce
February 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

An anecdote about “Joan the plumber” of Algonquin College and the unveiling of new funding tools to boost the entry of women into the trades and construction are examples of how federal budget 2018 could impact the construction industry. The budget announced the creation of an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, a Women in Construction Fund and a new pre-apprenticeship program, which are all initiatives that are in line with government’s overall focus on gender equality and growth for the Canadian middle class. During Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget speech, he said the nation’s future success rests on making sure all Canadians have an opportunity to work and that they have the courage “to try new things and forge new paths” like Joan, a student at Algonquin College. Joan returned to school after raising her family, he explained.

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Will Trump fire his US Trade Representative? Not Likely

By Peter Clark
iPolitics
February 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Robert Lighthizer

MEXICO CITY — Round 7 of the NAFTA renegotiations are underway. Advocates in both Canada and the U.S. for a bilateral Canada-U.S. deal are emerging . It appears that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was trying to characterize US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as being the effective “bad” cop and that it is now time for Wilbur to come to the rescue as the deal maker to deliver to POTUS the great deal he wants. Ross’ track record as Commerce Secretary of a new Softwood Lumber Agreement is underwhelming. Or perhaps the Softwood Lumber Coalition is calling the shots more effectively than usual. …Will POTUS, ever seeking instant gratification, …push his USTR for faster progress? Or replace him? Not likely.  Signs on the trade front appear to be pointing in the opposite direction. White House Uber protectionist in residence Peter Navarro has been rescued from exile and promoted to boot.

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West Fraser Timber to supply engineered cover for Union Bay coal hills

By Scott Strasser
Victoria News
February 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has revealed new information on the long-awaited plans for the Union Bay coal hills. …Adjacent to the section previously owned by Kensington Island Properties (KIP), the rest of the coal hills is leased by the Crown to forestry company West Fraser Timber. The company’s lease expires later this year. …An email to the Record from the ministry said that West Fraser Timber is “developing a detailed design plan for an engineered cover” at its own cost that will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment for review. The engineered cover will envelop the entire contaminated area. According to the ministry, the engineered cover will impede water access to the coal pile, reducing acid rock drainage and the release of metals to the environment.

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Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton to Address COFI Convention

Council of Forest Industries
February 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David MacNaughton

Vancouver, BC – The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is pleased to welcome Ambassador David MacNaughton to its annual convention to be held in Prince George from April 4 to 6, 2018. The Ambassador will provide the keynote luncheon address on Thursday April 5th. “With NAFTA discussions underway, and the softwood lumber dispute in litigation, Ambassador MacNaughton’s participation at the COFI convention comes at a critical time in trade relations between Canada and the United States,” said Susan Yurkovich, COFI President and CEO. “British Columbians, the forest sector, workers and communities have a lot at stake in the trading relationship with the U.S., and we look forward to hearing Ambassador MacNaughton’s insight into what lies ahead.”

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ABCFP Awards Honour Forest Professionals From Across BC

By Dean Pelkey
Association of BC Forest Professionals
February 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wes Bieber, Walter Tymkow and Lorne Bedford

Vancouver—The Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) presented awards to eight forest professionals from Victoria, Clearwater, Houston, Nelson, and Port McNeill for their contributions to the forest stewardship and the sustainable management of BC’s forests. The awards were presented during the association’s annual conference February 22 in Victoria. Two individuals were also named honorary members for their outstanding contributions to for-estry and the profession. “The ABCFP recognizes these individuals because of their many years of public service through their dedication and expertise in pursuit of sound forest management practices. Congratulations to all award winners; their achievements serve as an inspiration to our members who diligently and passionately work day in and day out to ensure BC’s forests are sustainably managed for future generations,” said Mauro Calabrese, RPF, RPBio, and ABCFP past-president.

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Campbell River professional forester elected president of Association of BC Forest Professionals

Association of BC Forest Professionals
Campbell River Mirror
February 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robin Modesto

Morgan Kennah

Robin Modesto, a registered professional forester and professional engineer from Campbell River, was acclaimed as president of the 71st council of the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) at its annual general meeting and conference in Victoria on February 22. Morgan Kennah, a registered professional forester from Victoria, assumes the association’s vice president position. …The ABCFP Council governs the affairs of the association and works to fulfill the ABCFP’s mandate to ensure BC’s forests are in good hands. Council is made up of 10 elected councillors and two non-member lay councillors who are appointed by the provincial government. …Modesto is currently the manager, supply chain and land use, at Interfor Coastal Woodlands division. …Morgan Kennah is currently the Director, Strategic Initiatives, Northeast Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in Victoria.

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Directive issued to Northern Pulp after ash leak earlier this month

The Canadian Press in CTV News
February 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — An ash leak at the Northern Pulp mill earlier this month prompted a cleanup directive from Nova Scotia’s Environment Department on Tuesday. The directive says the mill, located at Abercrombie Point near Pictou, must submit a plan to prevent further discharges of power boiler ash slurry into a ditch northwest of the facility’s power boiler ash pond by June 29. Environment Minister Iain Rankin said Tuesday the spill was “small” and “low risk to the environment.” “The actual material itself, the fly ash, is not toxic,” he said. “So … we were basically comfortable with the directive and happy that they self-reported it to the department.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Okanagan buildings recognized for excellence in wood design

By Kristi Patton
Penticton Western News
February 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two Okanagan projects and an industry leader in wood construction have been recognized by the 2018 Wood Design Awards. Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led program of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood products and building systems. The Penticton Lakeside Resort, west wing construction by CEI Architecture Associates Inc. won the Commercial Wood Design award and the trades renewal and expansion project at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College took the Institutional Wood Design award. …Bill Downing, president of Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation of Penticton, was presented the Jury’s Choice Award. He has been a wood industry leader and advocate for wood for more than 30 years.

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Whistler’s Solana Condos Win the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certified Wood Award

By Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
GlobeNewswire
February 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — A commitment to use responsibly sourced wood products has earned Whistler-based Innovation Building Group an award from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The SFI Certified Wood Award is part of the Wood Design & Building Awards program. Innovation Building Group received the award, for its multi-residential project Solana in Whistler, BC, at the Wood WORKS!BC 2018 Wood Design Awards Gala in Vancouver on February 26. …“Solana exemplifies our commitment to constantly improve the quality of the homes we build. We used leading edge, made-in-BC products in the sustainable design and construction, like LVL [laminated veneer lumber] panels certified to SFI,” said Rod Nadeau, Managing Partner and founder of the Innovation Building Group. “Health and comfort, through advanced air and lighting systems and natural materials, like wood, were the primary goals in the Solana design.”

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Liberty Village building project a sign of the future (and the past)

By Christopher Hume
The Toronto Star
February 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

…The latest sign of what lies ahead is a handsome midrise commercial property on Atlantic Ave. in Liberty Village. …The five-story building, expected to be finished by year’s end, marks the first time brick-and-beam construction has been used in Toronto in almost a century. …By contrast, brick-and-beam construction knows no limits. Even better, the presence of wood gives these buildings a warmth and character that make them more attractive than ever. “We’re taking the best of new technology and combining it with brick and beam,” explains Jeff Hull, president of Hullmark, the developer of 80 Atlantic, which he calls a “new heavy timber building.” Designed by Quadrangle Architects, this project is among the first to take advantage of changes to the Ontario Building Code that allow for wood-framed structures as tall as six rather than four storeys. 

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Guess joins retailers committing to fabrics that protect forests, locals

By Ellen Wulfhorst
Reuters
February 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

NEW YORK – Fashion retailer Guess Inc. is adopting a policy to trace the sources of its wood-based fabrics, joining an array of fashion companies aiming to rid their supply chains of products from endangered forests, the company and activists said.  The new Guess policy seeks to trace the origins of its viscose, rayon and modal fibers in a bid to battle deforestation and protect the rights of people living in at-risk forests, Chief Executive Victor Herrero said in a statement. Production of wood pulp for fabric can involve clearing forests to build eucalyptus plantations on land traditionally used by indigenous communities, campaigners say. The issue is particularly acute in Indonesia. U.S.-based Guess, the maker of designer jeans, accessories and other apparel, is the latest fashion company to adopt policies to keep its supply chain clean of products that endanger forests and indigenous land rights.

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Top timber talent from UK universities win Urban Buzz 2018

Timber Research And Development Association (TRADA)
February 28, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A talented multidisciplinary team of #tomorrowstimbertalent from some of Britain’s best-known universities have won TRADA’s prestigious undergraduate Urban Buzz competition. …Speaking on behalf of the winning team, Edward Shaw said: “We are so excited to win Urban Buzz 2018. Representing our respective universities, presenting our designs to a panel of eminent judges, learning to work under pressure in a multidisciplinary team and innovating with timber has all been a fantastic experience.” …60 students from 28 universities took part in an intense ‘charrette-style’ challenge at the University of Sheffield last weekend, to conceive ways that timber can be used in the creation of a timber multi-storey car park.

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Consultation starts on fumigant to replace methyl bromide

New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Scoop Independent News
February 28, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Tom Hammand

Consultation starts on fumigant for forest industry to replace methyl bromide. A significant milestone has been reached in replacing methyl bromide as the standard fumigant for export logs and timber. The Environmental Protection Authority has just released application details for approval of ethanedinitrile (EDN) as a fumigant for log and timber exports. The forest industry anticipates EDN could replace methyl bromide fumigation which is used on log exports to China and India. …The Chair of Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Don Hammond, says approval by the EPA is the critical first step into its use in New Zealand to ensure log exports are free of pests the importing countries don’t want.

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Wood conference looks at role of timber in design and construction

Construction and Civil Engineering News
February 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The 8th annual Wood Conference, well-respected knowledge platform for architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and timber experts, took place on the 15th of February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. With attendance having grown tenfold since its inception in 2011, this year’s event, themed ‘Fascination Wood’, brought local and international experts together to share insights into the extensive possibilities of timber in design and construction. Hosted for the first time in partnership with Forum Holzbau, leading platform for world-class specialist conferences in wood architecture and design, the Wood Conference played host to timber and related industry professionals and delegates from South Africa and abroad.

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Forestry

See infestation that could plague Canadian homes this spring

By Leeanna McLean
The Weather Network
February 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

While most people are looking forward to warmer temperatures and spring blossom, Saskatoon resident Tammi Hanowski fears her home will once again be plagued by caterpillars. Hanowski was one of several Canadians who experienced a near-biblical swarm of forest tent caterpillars last May. …The amount of time in between outbreaks is dependent on what province you live in, according to Dr. Amanda Roe, research scientist with the Great Lakes Forestry Centre. In Ontario for instance, an infestation can occur every eight to 10 years, and can last two to three years. The insect has historically caused extensive defoliation of trembling aspen, oak, ash, maple and white birch trees. 150,000 hectares of land was defoliated by forest tent caterpillars in 2009, according to Natural Resources Canada.

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B.C. government increases protection for threatened species

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is protecting more wildlife habitat areas for the northern goshawk and marbled murrelet to help populations of these birds recover, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, announced today. “These unique species of birds require mature and old-growth forest areas for breeding, and with their numbers declining, we need to do more to help them recover. These implementation plans will include habitat protection, species inventory and monitoring,” said Donaldson.  Northern goshawks are large hawks that usually build their nests in large trees in mature or old-growth forests along B.C.’s coast. A pair of goshawks will use the same breeding area year after year, but may make new nests as part of their courtship rituals. Marbled murrelets are the only coastal seabirds that nest in forested areas, usually on mossy platforms high in old-growth trees.

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Audit of Forest Planning and Practices: Downie Street Sawmills Ltd. FL A31102

BC Forest Practices Board
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In October 2017 the Board audited forestry operations on Forest Licence A31102 held by Downie Street Sawmills Ltd. (Downie) within the Selkirk Natural Resource District. This audit included harvesting, roads, silviculture, wildfire protection and associated planning that took place over a two-year period starting in October 2015. Downie’s activities generally complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations. However, the audit noted a significant non-compliance related to some road construction practices on steep terrain.

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New technology to detect living pinewood nematode in wood

By Isabel Leal – Pacific Forestry Centre
Natural Resources Canada
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dr. Isabel Leal

Canada is the fourth largest forest products exporter in the world, in 2016 exports increased by 5.3% to $34.4 billion. International trade in wood products brings the risk of the movement of tree pests, which can cause ecosystem and economic damage.  Pinewood nematode (PWN), the causal agent of pine wilt disease, has resulted in pine tree mortality in countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Portugal and Spain. The PWN nematode is native to North America pine tree species, but pine wilt disease is not present in Canadian forests. However, trade in pine wood commodities such as logs, untreated wood products, and wood packaging material are potential pathways for the international spread of PWN when its vector, pine sawyer beetles, are also present. 

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Site C faces rising costs owing to work stoppage, BC Hydro says

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
February 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Hydro says it faces substantial new costs for the Site C dam after agreeing to suspend work on a portion of the construction until the courts can hear an injunction application this summer by a First Nation seeking to block the $10.7-billion project. …A lawyer for BC Hydro, Mark Andrews, confirmed in a Feb. 16 letter that the Crown corporation has stopped logging along the western end of the transmission line corridor, to protect areas identified by the West Moberly as culturally and ecologically critical, to allow “an orderly resolution of these issues.” The work stoppage applies to a little more than a third of the planned 75-kilometre transmission line – an area that is 260 hectares in total and includes old growth and mature forest.

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Spruce budworm funding welcomed as push to keep species out of Nova Scotia continues

By Andrea Gunn
The Chronicle Herald
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Those in Nova Scotia’s forestry sector will likely rest a little easier knowing scientists will be able to continue working on a solution to stop the spread of the destructive spruce budworm. The federal 2018 budget, tabled Tuesday, proposes investing up to $74.75 million over five years starting in 2018–19 to prevent the spread of spruce budworm. The funding is to be made available on a 60-40 federal to provincial and industry cost-sharing basis, allowing academia, industry and others to continue to work together to protect the region’s forests. … “There’s a lot riding on this,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of Forest Nova Scotia. “We’re very pleased that our federal government partners have come to the table with this funding. This is certainly going to give us the best opportunity to take on the pest.”

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Aspen Planers expecting larger timber supply with recent MOU with Lower Nicola

By Chad Klassen
CFJC Today
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

KAMLOOPS — Aspen Planers says the memorandum of understanding signed last week between the Merritt mill and Lower Nicola Indian Band will boost its timber supply and keep it going well into the future. “It helps us because the Lower Nicola Indian Band has a long-term timber license in the amount of 50,000 cub metres per year,” says Aspen Planers executive vice-president Bruce Rose. “That’s one aspect that helps us because those logs will be directed to the Merritt mill.” The mill is now the cornerstone of the Merritt economy, the only one remaining in town, 14 months after Tolko shut down. A family-run operation that provides 150 direct jobs to Merritt. 

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Appeals court sides with Forest Service on Hebgen Lake logging

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal appeals court has sided with the U.S. Forest Service in a lawsuit over a logging project on the southwestern shore of Hebgen Lake, bringing an end to a five-year legal battle. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s 2016 decision to lift an injunction on the Lonesome Wood 2 project, which the Forest Service first proposed in 2012. Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council first sued over the project in 2013, arguing that it would harm habitat for grizzly bears and Canada lynx. The project consists of thinning on roughly 2,500 acres of land near summer homes on the southwestern shore of the lake. … Jason Brey, the Forest Service’s Hebgen Lake district ranger, hailed the decision, saying that it’s nice to “get the legal wrangling behind us.”

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Could forest collaborative work?

By Jane Stebbins
Curry Coastal Pilot
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Brookings might be able to learn a thing or two about forestry management from its neighbors over the pass in Ashland, who have for eight years been managing the forest by thinning and burning. Ashland is trying to protect its only water source from contamination that occurs after a wildfire. Brookings, while it has an eye on the Chetco River’s headwaters for contamination after the Chetco Bar Fire, also got a reality check when that wildfire crept to within 5 miles of city limits last fall. Ashland’s success was the result of collaboration, citizen input, some good timing and a little luck. Realizing it needed to protect its only water source, the city of 21,600 people launched a Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and a local habitat project group.

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California fire chiefs seek money to prepare for wildfires

By Jonathan Cooper
Associated Press in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ken Pimlott

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California fire chiefs said Wednesday that reinforcements were too slow to arrive in last year’s ferocious firestorms and asked lawmakers for $100 million to call in extra firefighters when weather conditions are ripe for a conflagration. The fire chiefs said drought and climate change will cause longer, more severe fire seasons, and the state’s “mutual aid” system for sharing resources across departments can’t keep up. “We need to be more nimble in the first few hours of these incidents,” Gossner said. “Prepositioned engines, that would have helped. It wouldn’t have solved everything but it would’ve helped. Those fires killed 44 people in several counties north of San Francisco and destroyed 8,900 buildings.

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Wildfire problem will grow in coming decades

University of Arizona
Phys.org
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The massive wildfires that burned in California, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, British Columbia and other parts of North America in 2017 in many cases exhibited a disturbing trend: a marked increase in the amount of area burned. …That trend will continue in coming decades across the Western U.S. and northwestern Canada, though not uniformly, according to a recent study. …”Wildfires act as a multiplier of other forces such as climate change, exposing more and more areas not only to the immediate effects of fire, but also to the resulting cascade of ecological, hydrological, economic and social consequences,” Falk said. “We hope that this research will be a wake-up call to public agencies and legislatures at all levels.

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State ramps up for historic fire season

By Michele Nelson
Payson Roundup
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jeff Whitney

Alarmed at the state of fire fuels in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey and State Fire Marshall Jeff Whitney held a press conference on Feb. 22 to discuss preparations for what’s shaping up as a “critical” fire season. An intense monsoon abruptly ended with four months of bone-dry weather which has dried out the forest to historic levels, despite two recent winter storms. “Chaparral is stressed, ponderosa pine and pinyon juniper land, they’re all stressed at this point because of the drought,” said Whitney. …Ducey said the Legislature had no plans to address Firewise or WUI codes. “This is not on the legislative agenda (this year),” he said. “Our concern is the fire season in front of us.”

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Study: Oregon landowners overwhelmingly follow forestry rules

By Mateusz Perkowski
The Capital Press
February 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s forestland owners are overwhelmingly following regulations aimed at managing and harvesting timber, though they’ve fallen short on some counts, state regulators found. Landowners had a compliance rate of 97 percent with 57 key rules related to logging, road building and water protection under the Oregon Forest Practices Act, according to a study by the Oregon Department of Forestry. For example, the timber industry strictly avoids removing vegetation along streams during harvests. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, we get it right,” said Paul Clements, ODFA’s training and compliance coordinator, during the Oregon Logging Conference Feb. 23 in Eugene, Ore. Most of the impacts from non-compliance were minor, but there were certain rules where the timber industry had room for improvement, he said.

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ArborGen Enters Partnership With South Carolina Forestry Commission to Operate State Nursery

By ArborGen and The South Carolina Forestry Commission
Business Wire
February 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

RIDGEVILLE, S.C.–ArborGen, a global leader in the sale and development of advanced genetic seedlings that improve the productivity of forest trees, today announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with the South Carolina Forestry Commission. The exclusive 10 year agreement will allow ArborGen to modernize and operate the Taylor Nursery in Trenton, S.C., increasing its annual capacity to 30 million units. “We are excited to make our entire portfolio of seedling genetics even more accessible to landowners in this area and look forward to providing our industry expertise and customer service to South Carolina and surrounding states,” said President and CEO Andrew Baum.

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The forest wars: loggers v greenies in Victoria, NSW

By Graham Lloyd
The Australian
March 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Deep in East Gippsland’s Kuark forest, ancient trees tower overhead, the scent of sassafras wafts on the breeze and birdsong fills the air. Old-growth trees such as these provide a rare example of a landscape undisturbed by human harvest. But Kuark is under threat of logging. Had it not taken action, Environmental Justice Australia says, by now the birdsong in Kuark would have been replaced by the sound of chainsaws, and the fragrance of sassafras supplanted by the odour of diesel. The Kuark action taken in the Victorian Supreme Court is one of two legal challenges that point to the shape of things to come as the Keating era Regional Forest Agreements expire and discussions about how to manage forests nationally come to a head. Logging companies want increased access to timber and funding for new plantations.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Red flags, alarm bells present in forests of the northeast

By Matt Market
Toledo Blade
February 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

BENEDICTA, Maine — An autumn drive through the rugged forests of New England and eastern Canada presents a convincing case that this is the place where postcard images are made. … Looking deeper, biologists see red flags and hear the clanging of alarm bells. “When I see that forest, I see change,” said Justin Richardson, a biogeochemist and assistant professor in the University of Massachusetts Department of Geosciences. …Mr. Richardson conducted extensive research on the changing climate and its impact on the forests of the region. …Besides the accompanying impact on the many birds and mammals that utilize this diverse forest habitat, Mr. Richardson said the climate-related change in the forest will likely alter the way the trees in the region cycle nutrients and store toxic metals in their underlying soil.

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Biomass policy under the spotlight as EU talks kick-off

By Frédéric Simon
EurActiv
February 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The European Union’s proposed new biomass policy has enough built-in safeguards to ensure it doesn’t lead to additional carbon emissions, an EU official told a EURACTIV event last week, amid warnings that the policy risks making global warming worse by increasing deforestation. As final talks to rewrite the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive kick off on Tuesday (27 February), campaigners are lining up their arguments in favour or against the use of biomass for heating and power generation. …Volpi pointed to the new sustainability criteria included in the recast directive, saying they “introduced minimum safeguards” to ensure biomass consumed in Europe only comes from sustainably managed forests that take into account their capacity to suck up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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Climate value of Earth’s intact forests

Wildlife Conservation Society
Science Daily
February 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New research published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution demonstrates the extraordinary value of Earth’s remaining intact forests for addressing climate change and protecting wildlife, critical watersheds, indigenous cultures, and human health. Yet the global policy and science communities do not differentiate among the relative values of different types of forest landscapes — which range from highly intact ones to those which are heavily logged, fragmented, burnt, drained and/or over-hunted — due in part to the lack of a uniform way of measuring their quality. With over 80 percent of forests already degraded by human and industrial activities, today’s findings underscore the immediate need for international policies to secure remaining intact forests — including establishing new protected areas, securing the land rights of indigenous peoples, regulating industry and hunting, and targeting restoration efforts and public finance. 

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Health & Safety

Safety committee releases 2018 work plan and agenda for Prince George safety forum

By Gordon Murray
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
February 26, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada and our members are committed to making consistent, measurable progress on safety performance. We believe that all injuries and occupational illnesses are preventable, and are committed to a goal of zero for all of them. WPAC’s Safety Committee has completed its 2018 Work Plan. As in past years, we are publishing the Work Plan as a means of being held publicly accountable for our performance. …The Safety Committee’s practice is to hold one hour conference call on the second Wednesday of each month. The agenda for each call includes: (1) reviewing progress by committee members on action items agreed to on the previous conference call, (2) bringing forward new tasks from the annual work plan, (3) reviewing any incidents which may have occurred since the previous call, and (4) one committee member sharing a safety tip from that member’s own operations. 

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Rethinking safety: What does a sawmill safety culture mean to you?

By Christian Fournier, Fornebu Lumber
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
February 26, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Christian Fournier


How many times you have heard the phrase “safety first” or “everything starts with safety”? …As a safety professional at a sawmill, it can be challenging at times to know which approach is the best for motivating employees and staff to be more safety conscious in the workplace and at home. Why at home as well? About 70 per cent of all injuries occur at home. Our end goal is to create a safety culture. But what is a safety culture exactly? The common definition is a set of beliefs that are acceptable to a group, but there is much more to a safety culture than that. At my workplace I decided recently to try to increase the safety consciousness of the employees and staff by involving them in our monthly safety meetings.

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Controlled burns reduce health dangers of wildfire smoke

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
February 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

So here’s another great reason for the Forest Service to set as many prescribed burns as possible. Fighting air pollution. Turns out, big wildfires pump three times as much dangerous air pollution as anyone realized — and way more than a low-intensity, controlled burn. The conclusion comes from a groundbreaking study based on flying a DC10 loaded with scientific instruments through the turbulent, black, choking plumes of three wildfires —including the 2013 Rim Fire, then the third largest fire in California history. The huge plane jumped, dropped and lurched as the superheated air rose from the fire, battering the nauseous scientists as the smoke seeped into the cabin. But the arduously gathered data demonstrated that a wildfire in the real world puts at least three times as many pollutants into the air as lab-based burn studies had previously estimated.

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Following The Fire: Montana Scientists Seize Chance To Scrutinize Smoke Exposure

By Nora Saks
Washington Post
February 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Jean Loesch and her family live in Seeley Lake, Mont., which saw the longest and most intense smoke from Montana’s wildfires last summer. …The smoke from the fires was so thick outside, Loesch said, the family couldn’t see the trees across the street… The family is typically pretty healthy, but not this year. Loesch got pneumonia and the kids had bloody noses. And now, even with the smoke long gone, the children continue to have trouble with their lungs. …Researchers don’t know a lot about what that kind of extended smoke exposure does to the average person. Most previous studies have focused on indoor wood-burning stoves, urban air pollution and the effects on firefighters. But the way the smoke piled up and stuck around a whole town this summer was new. …Chris Migliaccio, immunologist says “We have no idea what the long-term effects are.”

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