Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 5, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Truck driver shortages hitting Canada’s forest products sector

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 5, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

We’ve made some changes: if you’re having trouble finding your favourite news—keep scrolling—because the Tree Frog News is shaking up the order of things and adding a new Health and Safety category. Forest company and business news has been renamed Business & Politics and is now the lead category, followed by Wood & Paper Products, Forestry, Carbon & Climate and finally, Health & Safety.

In today’s news: a shortage of truck drivers has forced at least one producer [Weyerhaeuser] to slow production; Don Demens corrects the record on WFP’s Somass mill curtailment—”it’s due to a lack of suitable log supply and softwood duties, not log exports”; and Millar Western makes seven senior management appointments. Other companies in the news include Domtar and Northern Pulp, Port Hawksesbury and Montrose Forest Products.

In Forestry news: BC’s Chief Forester says not all timber destroyed by the 2017 fires should be salvaged; fire ecologist Robert Gray says “dead wood must be salvaged from the forest floor” to prevent wildfires; Alberta ramps up “a war that can never fully be won” against the pine beetle; and BC MLA [Donna Barnett] calls for aggressive action on the Spruce beetle.

Finally, the building material of the future is… old buildings (just add mushrooms).

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Truck driver shortages hitting Canada’s forest products sector

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in National Post
February 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – A shortage of truck drivers is hampering the country’s forest sector as shipments have been delayed and at least one producer was forced to slow production because of a lack of wood chips. Weyerhaeuser Co. chief executive Doyle Simons said Friday that availability of transportation services has been a challenge, especially in the past quarter. “We, like other companies, are, in fact, seeing that type of tightness,” he said during a conference call about the company’s results. Simons said the company faced truck and rail disruptions, mainly in December, and took a US$10 million to US$15 million hit in the fourth quarter. “So as we move into 2018, we think that will continue to be a headwind in terms of availability but more so increasing rates both on the truck and rail side,” he told analysts. 

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Mill closure due to log supply and duties, not log exports

By Don Demens, CEO Western Forest Products
The Vancouver Sun
February 4, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: Status Quo Not an Option for Forest Industry, Opinion, Jan. 28. Western Forest Products’ Somass mill was specifically referenced in this article. This mill was indefinitely curtailed in July 2017 due to a lack of suitable log supply and the need to improve efficiencies in light of the U.S. imposition of softwood duties on high value products. To be clear, the decision was not in any way connected to log exports as Arnold Bercov suggests — Somass produced western red cedar and, by law, cedar logs cannot be exported from B.C.’s public tenure. The curtailment of the mill was a difficult decision and was not made lightly. All impacted hourly employees were offered voluntary severance and provided support in exploring alternative employment opportunities within our operations.

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Millar Western announces key appointments

Lesprom
February 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West
J. Craig Armstrong, President and CEO, announces key appointments to the senior management group of Millar Western Forest Products. Mr. David Anderson has accepted the new position of Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Dave assumes responsibility for all manufacturing and woodlands operations, and will work closely with managers in pulp, wood products, woodlands and fibre-supply teams to optimize operational performance while maintaining the health and safety of all employees. Mr. Brian McConkey has taken on expanded responsibilities as Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs.

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Domtar says material in river is fully treated effluent from Kamloops pulp mill

By Andrea Klassen
Kamloops This Week
February 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A spokeswoman for the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops said coloured discharge seen on the shoreline of the Thompson River is simply fully treated effluent that is visible due to lower than normal river levels. Bonny Skene, Domtar’s public affairs manager for Canada, said in an emailed response to KTW that the company has verified the effluent-treatment system at its Mission Flats Road mill is operating normally. “The effluent from the mill continues to be fully treated before being released to the river and we are operating in accordance with environmental requirements,” Skene said. “The water level of the river is currently very low, even for this time of year, making parts of the diffusion system visible on or near the surface of the water.”

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MLA Houston says Northern Pulp wastewater standards too low

By Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
February 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jim Houston

A Pictou County MLA is calling for an increased level of ministerial scrutiny of a proposed wastewater treatment facility at the Northern Pulp mill. “This is a very serious issue and it is one that we can’t get wrong,” said Tim Houston, the Progressive Conservative member from Pictou East. “There is no going back if a mistake is made here. That’s why we need to hold it to the appropriate level of scrutiny and people need to feel comfortable that it’s been properly scrutinized.” Houston has sent a letter to Environment Minister Iain Rankin asking him to raise the bar on the environmental assessment process pertaining to the new treatment facility that is to be built on mill property, to be operational by January 2020.

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Port Hawkesbury Paper hasn’t met target for contribution to NSPI’s fixed costs

By Nancy King
Cape Breton Post
February 3, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Port Hawkesbury Paper hasn’t met the contribution to Nova Scotia Power’s fixed costs originally outlined in its special power rate. When the mill reopened in 2012 after a yearlong sales process, new owners Pacific West Commercial Corp. received a special load retention tariff for the electricity that it uses. Under the tariff, the mill is to pay for the costs of generating electricity for it to operate and also make a contribution to NSP’s fixed costs. The rate was to be in effect for 7.5 years, but there was a provision that if the mill had not made a $20-million contribution to NSP’s fixed costs in the first five years of the arrangement, some cost components of the rate could be reopened.

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Montrose mill eyes San Juan Forest for timber

By Jim Mimiaga
The Journal
February 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Montrose Forest Products has announced it is working on plans to expand its Montrose mill to process ponderosa pine harvested from the San Juan National Forest in Southwest Colorado. The $20 million mill upgrade is pending long-term timber sale assurances from the national forest plus blessings from counties where the timber will be logged, said Norm Birtcher, a resource forester for the company. “Once those agreements are in place, the plan is to move forward,” he said Wednesday during a special meeting with Montezuma County commissioners. “The San Juan Forest has been very cooperative to work with.” The mill would produce one-by-four, one-by-six and one-by-eight lumber for construction and decking. The chips and bark will be sold for oil fields, landscaping and other uses.

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Weyerhaeuser reports fourth quarter, full year results

By Weyerhaeuser Company
PR Newswire
February 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Weyerhaeuser Company today reported fourth quarter net earnings of $271 million or 36 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.8 billion. This compares with net earnings from continuing operations of $62 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.6 billion for the same period last year. …For the full year 2017, Weyerhaeuser reported net earnings of $582 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $7.2 billion.

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Timber industry report for Feb. 4

By Rick Sohn, retired forest manager
The News-Review
February 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Rick Sohn

Southern Oregon log prices hit a 25-year record this month. Most product prices are keeping up with logs, but some lumber prices are lagging. Weekly mortgage interest rates are also rising rapidly again. Building with wood is a bargain today. Recent trends of lumber, logs, home construction and housing markets are compared in this month’s timber report. The biggest news this month is the jump in log price, already in record territory for recent years. …This month’s price is a recent record, 25 years to be exact. …Studs had a $5 rise in price, but it is no match for the $53 rise in log prices. Mills which produce low value commodities like 2×4 studs, as well as some other lumber dimensions, are having a harder time competing for logs. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Ash a powerful and versatile wood

By Mark Cullen, Author and Broadcaster
The Sudbury Star
February 4, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mark Cullen

What is it, this love affair that we have with wood? Robert Penn has some suggestions. He is the author of The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees, a book that is a deep dive into the meaning of wood. …The ash tree has been under attack here in Ontario. Emerald Ash Borer has wreaked its havoc with many of our native ash, which is why we write this column on an ash desk that Mark made with his own hands. …The Man Who Made Things out of Trees, by Robert Penn. Published by Penguin in the UK and W.W. Norton & Co. in the USA

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The Building Materials Of The Future Are … Old Buildings (Just add mushrooms)

By Katharine Schwab
Co.Design
February 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Every year, more than 530 million tons of construction and demolition waste like timber, concrete, and asphalt end up in landfills in the U.S. …But what if all of the material used in buildings and other structures could be recycled into a new type of construction material? That’s what the Cleveland-based architecture firm Redhouse Studio is trying to do. The firm, led by architect Christopher Maurer, has developed a biological process to turn wood scraps and other kinds of construction waste like sheathing, flooring, and organic insulation into a new, brick-like building material. …The biological process entails using the binding properties of the organisms that create mushrooms, called mycelium. Once the waste is combined with the mycelium, it is put into brick-shaped forms, where it stews for days or weeks, depending on how much mycelium is added. 

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New Mactan Cebu airport terminal set to open by middle of 2018

By Marlen Limpag
My Cebu
February 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in the Philippines is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to have it ready to operate by the first of June. …the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million. It pays tribute to Cebu as a resort island and Cebuano heritage of furniture making in the terminal roof that uses glulam, first ever use of the material in an airport, and mimics ocean waves.

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This Luxury Treehouse Is Nestled Around A 100-Year Old Oak Tree

By Ali Vaqar
Wonderful Engineering
February 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Atelier LAVIT is a Paris based architectural and design studio and it just completed the stunning Origin Treehouse nestled around a 100-year old oak tree. The Origin Treehouse, located in Raray, France is inspired by a bird’s nest and is the latest addition to the Les Cabanes des Grands Chênes treehouse hotel. …The 23 square meter treehouse cabin was built using locally sourced timber and is designed in such a way that it gives the guests the impression of being a natural extension of the tree. …“Our woods come from local forest species so as to limit the carbon footprint, and are replanted to ensure the renewal of the forest,” says Lavit. “We only use wood from PFC-certified forests: Douglas fir and larch are the most used species because they are naturally rot-proof, so they do not need treatment.”

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Forestry

Political populations’ plague wildlife management

By Chris Genovali, Raincoast Conservation Foundation
Vancouver Sun
February 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Raincoast Conservation Foundation scientists and associates from the U.S. and Sweden have published a devastating critique of wildlife management in North America and beyond. The international team, led by Dr. Chris Darimont, exposes the faulty underpinnings of how wildlife is managed by many governments across the political spectrum and around the world. Reporting in an open access paper in the journal Conservation Biology, researchers from Raincoast, the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University reviewed the scientific literature for cases in which independent scientists scrutinized government reporting of wildlife population sizes, trends and associated policy. …The authors of the …paper hope their findings will ultimately lead to widespread reform. “In a post-truth world, qualified scientists at arm’s length now have the opportunity and responsibility to scrutinize government wildlife policies and the data underlying them,” states Chris Darimont

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Alberta ramps up fight against pine beetle

By Sammy Hudes
Calgary Herald
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s fight against the ravenous pine beetle rages on, with the province providing thousands of dollars to control and eradicate the insect’s population, but officials say it’s a war that can never fully be won. “Beetles are in our system now to stay, since they’ve kind of breached the Rockies in large numbers in the early 2000s,” said Mike Undershultz, a senior forest entomologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “Now they’re here.” The only way to have success in managing mountain pine beetle populations is to do it “aggressive and long-term,” Undershultz said. …Upwards of 90,000 infested trees throughout Alberta will be cut and burned this year to help control mountain pine beetle outbreaks and stop the bugs from spreading. The estimated cost to the province is $18 million.

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Dead wood must be salvaged from forest floor to prevent wildfires

By Robert Gray, Fire Ecologist
The Vancouver Sun
February 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A debate has been raging in the central interior of British Columbia over the pace and scale of post-wildfire salvage of dead trees. …The salvage debate pits those who want to recover any remaining economic value in burnt wood while still possible from those who don’t wish to see another major disturbance (logging) visited on a site that has just experienced a major disturbance. The province has just waded into the debate with the release of the report: Post Natural-Disturbance Forest Retention Guidance. This document is intended to guide forest recovery post-wildfire; including where and how to salvage. …A better strategy is to look to what we know about historical resilience, couple that with our predictions of climate change influences… It will mean removing large quantities of dead wood everywhere they pose a future threat to resilience regardless of land designation.

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Logging complaint leads to recommendations for change

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
February 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After investigating a complaint about logging on the Sunshine Coast, the Forest Practices Board (FPB) is making recommendations that could lead to changes to the way plant species are protected. The complaint was filed in August 2016 by Elphinstone Logging Focus, as the group was trying to stop logging in a BC Timber Sales cutblock on Mount Elphinstone known as A87125, part of the area known by many locals as the Twist and Shout Forest….In a report released late last week the FPB, an independent watchdog that reports to the provincial government, found that those plant communities were present in the logging area, but that BCTS did nothing wrong in the way it managed the cutblock.

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Species-at-risk remain at risk despite government efforts

By Glenda Luymes
Vancouver Sun
February 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An endangered caribou herd that rears its young deep in the B.C. backcountry was put at risk this winter by a covert construction project that was eventually foiled by natural resource officers. The scheme, which involved someone using heavy equipment to clear a deactivated forest service road that had been closed to protect the Klinse-Za caribou herd near Chetwynd, highlights the struggle to save at-risk species, which are threatened by habitat loss, recreational activities and invasive species. Despite federal legislation and a patchwork of provincial regulations, Canada is failing to adequately protect many vulnerable animal populations, according to a study released Friday by the Smart Prosperity Institute. Of the more than 350 imperilled species assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, more than 85 per cent have seen no status improvement or have deteriorated, said Scott McFatridge.

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Spruce beetle outbreak requires aggressive action

By Donna Barnett
BC Local News
February 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Donna Barnett

Spruce beetle outbreaks occur throughout B.C. and usually last up to seven or eight years. These insects are native to our province and they normally feed on the inner bark of weakened or fallen trees. However, spruce beetles are quite capable of killing healthy trees under the right conditions. Warm springs, dry summers and mild winters all conspire to increase beetle populations. Unfortunately this year appears to be shaping up for a serious infestation and perhaps the worst since the 1980s. The latest aerial survey reveals nearly double the presence of spruce beetle across the province. To make matters worse, it is hard to detect infested trees because they do not display any signs of distress until 13 to 15 months after being successfully attacked.

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Not all timber destroyed by 2017 forest fires should be salvaged, chief forester says

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
February 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Diane Nicholls

B.C.’s chief forester says she recognizes the economic desire to harvest wood damaged in 2017’s record-setting wildfire, but warns the long-term health of ecosystems must trump short-term commercial gains. Fire-damaged wood is only commercially viable for two to three years, and both local governments and private companies have been calling for a salvage plan after more than 1.2 million hectares of forest burned last year, most of it in the province’s Cariboo region. Chief forester Diane Nicholls said the amount of timber burned or damaged is “substantially greater” than the annual allowable cut in many areas and that it is “unlikely” all of it can be salvage logged. In a 26-page guide released last week, Nicholls said it is important to recognize the role forests — even burned ones — play in supporting the long-term health of ecosystems and wildlife habitat.

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What lies beneath: Deer Lake investigates salvage potential of sunken wood

CBC News
February 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The town of Deer Lake, on Newfoundland’s west coast, is looking into a project that lends a whole new meaning to recycling. It’s investigating the possibility of salvaging old pulp logs that have been on the floor of the lake for decades — remnants of a time when wood was moved to the province’s paper mills by water rather than in trucks. There could be money to be made. “This wood is perfectly preserved because it is underwater and the water has been so cold over the years,” said the town’s economic development officer Damon Clarke. “So there is good markets for this wood for musical instruments, furnishings, floor covering, that sort of thing.” 

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Tongass timber and the roadless rule

By Rich Moniak
Juneau Empire
February 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

During his State of the State address last week, Gov. Bill Walker said “Alaskans are the ones best positioned to determine responsible development” of natural resources in Alaska. He’s not the first, and won’t be the last, to make that argument. But he’s wrong to apply it to the impact of the Roadless Rule on the Tongass National Forest. Because its trees and minerals don’t belong to us. Walker’s comments follow a long litany of high pitched, misleading rhetoric preached by the state’s elected officials about management of the Tongass. The Roadless Rule in 2001 gave it a new twist. Almost immediately after its implementation, the state sued the federal government.  …But the part that hasn’t changed in 25 years is the economics of building roads to access timber. It’s still not profitable.

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Forest service must take action, salvage the timber

By Russell Huntington President, KH2A Engineering
Curry Coastal Pilot
February 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Russell Huntington

On a recent business trip to Brookings, I got to travel into the Chetco Fire area and observe the salvage operations on privately-owned land.  This land is being logged prematurely because of the fire but nonetheless the dead trees are being removed. Some of this dead timber is too small to be sold but is being removed and the ground prepared for replanting.  Adjacent to this private land stands the charred remains of U.S. Forest Service timber (my land, your land, my trees) where the dead trees that are merchantable are still standing, waiting for bugs to render them worthless.  The loggers are there: why have we not contracted them to salvage our timber? The private landowner is paying the salaries of all the loggers I saw on this mountain and paying for all the equipment costs.

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Colville National Forest poised to set records as both timber harvest, restoration increase

By Fred Willenbrock
The Spokesman-Review
February 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COLVILLE – After decades of declining timber harvests and forest restoration projects, the Colville National Forest has turned a corner and is dramatically increasing both. According to recent forest management estimates, the forest is poised to be the No. 1 forest products producer in the Pacific Northwest, an area containing 17 National Forests in Oregon and Washington. The forest is expected to yield 120 million board feet of forest products in 2018, compared to 70 million board feet in 2017, said Colville forest supervisor Rodney Smoldon. Compare that to the two years before 2017, when the forest’s output didn’t reach 50 million board feet; or since the late 1990’s, when it struggled to offer 40 million board feet per year. …Smoldon said he credits the advances to a mixture of local collaboration and use of innovative management tools Congress has provided, including those in the 2014 Farm Bill. 

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Conference explores complexities in forestry

By Amy Xiong
Yale Daily News
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

About 150 researchers, students and practitioners from around the world came together over the weekend to share their work on tropical forests. Organized by about 20 students in the Yale chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters, this year’s event was the 24th annual ISTF conference. The forum — centered this year on the theme “Attending to Socio-ecological Complexity in Tropical Forest Landscapes” — fostered discussions about the different ecosystems, sociopolitical regimes and stakeholder perspectives within each tropical forest region. …Previous ISTF conferences focused on issues such as sustainable development, tropical forests under a changing climate and financing of forest conservation. This year’s theme emphasized three aspects of complexity within tropical forests: ecological complexity, sociopolitical complexity and complexity of scale.

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Ireland misses 2017 forestry planting target by 22%

By Conor Finnerty
Agriland
February 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Ireland missed out on its forestry planting target by 22%, according to figures released by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed. This means that just over 1,600ha less forestry was planted in 2017, than originally targeted. Minister Creed revealed the data in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s spokesperson on agriculture, Charlie McConalogue. Commenting on the matter, Minister Creed said: “The National Development Plan 2007-2013 set out planting targets for the period 2007-2013 at 10,000ha per annum.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The County’s Climate Plan Promises a New Land Use Battle

By Ry Rivard
By Voice of San Diego
February 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

San Diego County’s climate action plan is meant to control the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the county. As written, the plan will let suburban sprawl projects offset their carbon footprint by planting trees on the other side of the world. San Diego County has struggled for years to come up with a plan to fight climate change. California requires local governments to come up with so-called climate action plans. The county approved one in 2012, but it was rejected by the courts. Now, county officials are taking another crack at it. …Environmental groups argue that it will be hard for the county to police whether these credits are doing what they’re supposed to if the projects – like tree plantings – are happening in far-flung places.

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Health & Safety

Investigation into Tolko workplace death ongoing one year later

By Kathy Michaels
Kelowna Capital News
February 2, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s been a year since a Kelowna man died while captaining a tugboat for Tolko Industries mill on Okanagan Lake and a full grasp of what happened that night has yet to be made clear. Ivor Lundin, a Tolko employee for more than 15 years, had been working on a company boat shortly before 9:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 30 when coworkers called 911 because the ship had gone down. His body was discovered on the ship and later recovered. WorkSafe BC said this week that the investigation is ongoing and more information should be available next month. Tolko management say is also awaiting results for the investigation and representatives say they have implemented some changes since that day.

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Crews from multiple departments put out massive lumber yard fire in Stokes County, North Carolina

By Michael Polarchy
MyFox8
February 4, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. – It took a massive amount of manpower to put out a fire in Stokes County Saturday afternoon. The fire broke out at Bill Hanks Lumber yard on Piney Grove Church Road at about 1:15 p.m. …Firefighters had to endure a brief shortage of water and were forced to find it from a different source in the area. “They had to set up different water pumps and rely on tankers to bring water in,” Booe said. He said the lumber yard itself created more problems. Booe said it had too much sawdust and piles of lumber near the fire, which helped the fire spread. …Officials on scene said no one was hurt during the fire.

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Australia to begin use of electronic work diaries as US drivers baulk

By Kirstin Payne
Big Rigs
February 5, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

As The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator finalises its consultation period on the future of voluntary electronic work diaries in Australia, American drivers are working to fight against the mandate of their use. Despite the support of the the United States’ largest trade transport organisation, the American Trucking Associations, the mandate of electronic logging devices has come under fire. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been the loudest critic of the legislation which became effective across North America last year – the end result of a decade long push for the mandate. …”Industry representatives put the view that voluntary electronic work diaries must enable greater flexibility and individually tailored fatigue management for drivers, who at the moment can’t rest when they are tired because of the prescriptive fatigue rules,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.

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