Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 9, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Yin and Yang: standing up to Greenpeace…standing up for the threatened caribou

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 9, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Yin and Yang of the forest news world or how seemingly opposite stories may be complementary and interdependent: Seth Kursman explains why Resolute is suing Greenpeace under US racketeering laws; environmentalists say Ontario’s threatened caribou is at greater risk due to exemptions to Ontario’s wildlife laws.

Meanwhile: after 31 years at the helm, Ken Day is passing over the reins of his role at the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest; Atlantic Canada’s woodlot owners could benefit from carbon offsets; a Canadian bill requiring the federal government to consider wood in their infrastructure projects passes second reading; Montana senators’ dueling wilderness bills both get hearings at the Capital; and the Washington Post takes a closer look at the tallest trees in the world.

Finally climate change adaption in BC is human-assisted but “are we playing God?“; and the “Ikea of the coffin world” allows you to assemble your own environmentally friendly, biodegradable, all-wood Exit Box.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Woodworker’s do-it-yourself casket kit allows people to assemble their own exit

Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
February 7, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON — It has been called the Ikea of the coffin world: A ready-to-assemble casket kit. New Brunswick woodworker Jeremy Burrill has been selling simple pine caskets locally for about two years, aiming to give people an affordable and more environmentally friendly option for their send-offs. But when the owner of Fredericton’s Fiddlehead Casket Co. decided to expand his business beyond the local market …the entrepreneur came up with an unconventional solution — a “stripped-down,” do-it-yourself casket kit that could be easily assembled and shipped anywhere a delivery truck can travel. …the biodegradable, all-wood kits include 10 pine panels, 38 cherry pins for joinery and a rubber mallet. They do not have any metal and are joined with wooden pegs. His assembled caskets include cotton cushioning filled with wood shavings to minimize waste and were inspired by a relative looking for a simpler coffin than what they found at local funeral homes.

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Business & Politics

BC MP’s bill on wood infrastructure branches into committee

By Dustin Godfrey
Terrace Standard
February 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

After passing second reading in the House of Commons, Richard Cannings’ bill suggesting Ottawa seriously consider wood structures when constructing federal buildings is moving to the committee level. … The bill saw support from all MPs outside of the Conservative Party, which voted entirely against the bill. …Cannings added Europe also has similar laws surrounding disincentivizing things like vinyl siding. “If they can do it, I don’t know why we can’t,” he said. “We’re going to talk to people in the industry. The Forest Products Association of Canada is very, very happy right now that this passed.” The bill would require the federal government to consider wood in federal infrastructure projects, while taking into account costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

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Fifteen WFP Chemainus sawmill employees on a reduced work schedule

By Don Bodger
The Chemainus Valley Courier
February 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some employees at the Western Forest Products Chemainus sawmill had their hours reduced during November, resulting from a multi-million dollar upgrade. “We have invested $7 million in the Chemainus facility over the past two years to modernize our operations and this has resulted in some reductions in employee hours impacting 15 positions,” noted Babita Khunkhun, WFP’s senior director of communications. “The capital investments and operational efficiencies we have realized are consistent with ongoing efforts to strengthen our competitiveness and increase the facility’s long-term viability.”

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Small Businesses Impacted by Wildfires in British Columbia Receive Recovery Support

Markets Insider
February 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carla Qualtrough

VANCOUVER, BC – Small businesses impacted by the 2017 wildfire season in British Columbia will get help rebuilding thanks to an investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada. Funding will be delivered through Community Futures Development Association of BC (CFBC) and their network of Community Futures offices. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Chair of Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 BC Wildfires Committee, today announced $1,300,000 for CFBC on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).

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Region in midst of real estate boom

By Richard Froese
South Peace News
February 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the biggest booms in residential real estate in a decade hit the High Prairie area in 2017 and the trend is predicted to continue. …The re-opening of Tolko and the confidence in the community and the market has been a huge driving force to boost real estate, he says. “People are anticipating more economic activity in the region,” Olson says. “Tolko is what is creating the confidence and there are more jobs in the community. “You can’t underestimate what that is doing for the community.” A modernization of High Prairie Forest Products is another big boost to the economic growth and confidence. The upward trend is expected to continue.

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No negotiations on U.S. lumber duties

By Barry Gerding
Vernon Morning Star
February 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

There are no solutions on the immediate horizon to resolve the softwood lumber impasse between the U.S. and Canada, says B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. Donaldson said our position remains advocating for a free market exchange of lumber, but negotiations have stopped due to the influence of a powerful lobby group of U.S. lumber producers. “They are not interested in negotiating with us so we are now resorting to pursue our case through the legal system as we have done in the past and won,” Donaldson said. …“We believe those duties are unfair, unjust and unwarranted. …Donaldson also noted that when the last softwood dispute was resolve in 2006, the U.S. lobby interests then still pocketed millions of dollars in the settlement, a potential incentive for dragging Canada through a process it has already lost in the past.

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Standing up to Greenpeace Extortionist Tactics with RICO (podcast with Seth Kursman)

By Sterling Bernett
The Heartland Institute
February 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

As a response to public lies from Greenpeace and other radical environmental groups, Resolute Forest Products is suing under U.S. racketeering laws. Greenpeace made several false and tortious claims concerning Resolute Forest Products logging practices in Canada. Resolute sued in both Canada and the US. Greenpeace issued a correction of some claims at the behest of a Canadian court but continued to lie in public about the company. Now Greenpeace has ignored a court deadline in Canada to turn over documents, while in the US. the case continues. If Greenpeace is found guilty under RICO, of making false statements to hurt Resolute Forest Products operations and to raise money for its operations, it could be liable for as much as $300 million in damages.

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Farmers core plank in forestry’s ‘urgent’ strategic growth plan

By Colin Beetles
The Queensland Country Life
February 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Farmers and farmland use incentives are a central plank in a new strategic plan to bolster the viability of Australia forestry sector. In September last year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that a National Forest Industries Plan would… ensure the $24 billion local forestry industry was a “growth engine” for regional Australia. …The Australian Forest Products Association has now developed a preliminary document to will help to guide the government’s strategic plan. In it, the Association’s President Greg McCormack said the forestry industry’s plan was “urgently needed” due to mounting external pressures. The document highlights reports that show the Australian forestry sector is under intense pressure due to a reduction in plantings causing a sharp a shortage in timber supplies for the local building industry which has experienced a construction boom in recent years but is now facing escalating costs and turning to cheaper imports.

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Japanese timber exports on track to hit 40-year high

By Rober Dalheim
The Woodworking Network
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International
TOKYO – Thanks to skyrocketing demand in China, export values of Japanese timber products are on track to reach highs not seen in 40 years. Full-year figures will likely reach nearly 32 billion yen ($288 million) – up over 30 percent from 2016 according to the Japan Wood-Products Association. Exports for January-November jumped 37 percent from the previous year to $267 million. 2016 saw total exports to value $218 billion: a number that was surpassed in September of 2017. Logs made up the greatest proportion of exported products at 42 percent, with sawn timber following at 17 percent. China is the country’s biggest receiver – importing around 40 percent of Japan’s total wood exports. Demand was highest for logs, in particular, sugi. …NAR says Chinese demand is higher due to an economically-growing China hit by a shrinking domestic housing market.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Condo dwellers look for ways to turn down the volume

By John Lorinc
The Globe and Mail
February 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

This resilient chip is a type of fastener with a rubber gasket that can be installed between the dry wall and the studs to dampen sound.Investors, home buyers and condo corporations can avail themselves of various technical solutions that mitigate certain types of noise, although not all builders will ensure that these features are standard in their projects. …When Diamond Schmitt Architects began designing a luxury High Park condo, the firm knew it faced an unusual technical challenge: the sound and rumble of the Bloor subway that passed just metres from the parking garage. …In new-build single-family homes, sound from flushing toilets, for example, can be efficiently transmitted around the building thanks to the presence of wood studs, which are very effective at shifting vibration to dry wall. …Mr. Ashtiani says it’s possible to isolate those vibrations by installing rubber gaskets and fasteners or “resilient clips” between the dry wall and the studs.

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University Libraries Bring First Cross-Laminated Timber Panel to State

The University of Arkansas News
February 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The First CLT Panel

ARKANSAS — The first cross-laminated timber panel in the state of Arkansas was installed on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the future library storage facility site off Government Avenue in Fayetteville. In attendance were Carolyn Henderson Allen, Dean of Libraries; Roger Boskus and Audy Lack of Miller, Boskus, Lack Architects; Michael Alexander of ConReal; and Daniel Clairmont, director of engineering and construction for University of Arkansas Facilities Management. …The future library storage facility is a high-density, off-site storage facility designed to house low-use items owned by the University of Arkansas Libraries. …Ground was broken for the facility in July of 2017, and construction should be completed by July of 2018.

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Wooden skyscraper eyed for the heart of Tokyo Nikkei

Asian Review
February 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TOKYO — Sumitomo Forestry aims to plant a 350-meter wooden building in the Japanese capital in 2041 as it relies less on home construction in a graying and shrinking Japan. The 70-story skyscraper would grace the Marunouchi business district under plans announced Thursday. It would be reinforced with steel for earthquake resistance. No such project beyond seven stories has been planned in Japan until now. The mixed-use facility is seen housing retail, office, hotel and residential facilities in its 455,000 sq. meters of floor space. Construction costs are estimated at 600 billion yen ($5.5 billion). The 185,000 cu. meters of wood needed would be enough for 8,000 of the company’s built-to-order homes. Sumitomo Forestry will research wood-based materials that can withstand flames for three hours.

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Australia to welcome new era for commercial timber construction

By Forest and Wood Products Australia
Architecture and Design Australia
February 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) has pushed for changes in the National Construction Code (NCC), which would make it easier to use fire-protected timber in all commercial buildings of up to eight storeys in height. These proposed changes in the draft 2019 NCC builds on the program of work undertaken by FWPA, which saw similar changes for apartments, hotels and offices in the NCC 2016. The new proposal has achieved the support of the Australian Building Codes Board’s technical committee, with extensive modelling to demonstrate that timber construction systems can meet the required building and fire safety standards. Timber construction systems permitted under the Code would include both traditional ‘stick’ framing and newer ‘massive’ timber building systems utilising glue-laminated timber, laminated veneer limber (LVL), as well as cross-laminated timber products.

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Forestry

Lantzville councillors request meeting with BC government over woodlot

By Nicholas Pescod
BC Local News
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lantzville councillors are calling on the provincial government to call a halt to any future logging activities within a portion of a local woodlot. During a council meeting on Monday, Lantzville councillors unanimously voted in favour of sending a letter to Doug Donaldson, B.C.’s minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, asking the province to impose a moratorium on logging in within an a proposed protective corridor within Woodlot 1475. Council’s letter will also ask Donaldson to meet with councillors, Snaw-Naw-As chief and council, members of Save Lantzville Forest and John Gregson, the licence holder for Woodlot 1475, in order to discuss a proposed 60-hectare protective corridor within the woodlot. ….Save Lantzville Forest has been fighting to protect 256 hectares of forest in upper Lantzville that is 96 per cent Crown land…

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UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest manager retiring after three decades

By Monika Lamb-Yorski
BC Local News
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stephanie Ewen and Ken Day

Ken Day has been with the research forest in the Williams Lake area since its inception in 1986! After 31 years at the helm, Ken Day is passing over the reins of his role as manager of the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest. Day’s last day is Feb. 16 and Stephanie Ewen, who has been easing into the role while learning from him, will take over. “A big part of the manager’s role is the administrative aspects — budgeting and financial accountability and managing a small staff — but beyond that the manager’s job is to make sure we have effective relationships with all those different spheres that we work in,” said Day. …Day was with the research forest since its inception and said it was born out of an economic development commissioned by the Cariboo Regional District in the mid 1980s.

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Province failing its obligation to repair the Copper River: Northwest Loggers Association

By Rod Link
Terrace Standard
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The association representing small business loggers says the province is failing in its obligation to repair the Copper River Forest Service Road east of Terrace which was heavily damaged during heavy rains and flooding last October. “Our members have had their [logging] equipment stranded for a period of four months,” Northwest Loggers Association president Trevor Jobb said this week of damage which cut off sections of the road. And although Pacific Northern Gas (PNG), which has its own troubles because the rains exposed sections of its main natural gas pipeline, is building a tote road to help with repairs, it won’t be finished for at least a month and even then some logging equipment will still be stranded because its located beyond the tote road’s location, Jobb said.

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Elphinstoners walk Reed Road Forest

Sunshine Coast Reporter
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Almost 50 people showed up on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 3, for a walk in what’s known as the Reed Road Forest (DL 1313). Area E director Lorne Lewis and the Elphinstone Community Association are spearheading efforts to save the 118 acres of forest, which BC Timber Sales has posted to be logged. Creeks rushing down the lower slopes of the mountain were full to overflowing, even flooding parts of the road that day and one of the walk’s organizers, Gayle Neilson, pointed out that without the forest holding soil in place, properties below could be at risk of flooding or even slides. Marilyn Giesbrecht, from the group of neighbours potentially most affected, stressed the need to continue to write letters to decision-makers.

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Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program offers financial support for planting trees

The North Bay Nugget
February 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ten years ago, Forests Ontario and the Ontario government committed to plant 50 million trees across the province by 2025. The 50 Million Tree Program (50MTP) was launched under the United Nations Environment Programme’s Billion Tree Campaign, initiated as a response to the growing impacts of climate change. The 50MTP provides private landowners, municipalities, regions and townships with the opportunity to increase forest cover in Ontario by planting trees. Twenty-four million trees covering 13,000 hectares later, the 50MTP has increased forest connectivity, restoring Ontario’s forests and making strides toward a healthier province. A great deal has been accomplished in this decade.

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Industry exemptions to Ontario wildlife laws put caribou at risk, critics say

By Peter Goffin
The Canadian Press in CTV News
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Environmentalists say Ontario’s threatened boreal caribou will be put at greater risk if the province goes ahead with a proposal to give the forestry industry a two-year extension to exemptions from certain wildlife protection laws. The province argues, however, that it needs more time to come up with a balanced set of protections that meet industry, environmental and community demands. Forestry projects on Crown land — which accounts for the vast majority of Ontario’s forested areas — do not currently have to abide by parts of the Endangered Species. …The government says the five-year exemption — granted in 2013 and set to expire this year — was necessary because the act overlaps with the Crown Forestry Sustainability Act, which requires companies to have a “forest management plan” to minimizes adverse effects on wildlife and the environment.

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USDA announces $17.5 million to fight invasive species

The Associated Press in the National Post
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Spotted Lanternfly

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to fight the spread of the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania. The invasive species was first spotted in District Township in 2014. It has since spread to 12 counties and threatens the state’s $18 billion grape, orchard and logging industries. In an announcement Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says “decisive action” was needed to stop the insect from spreading to neighbouring states.

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Purdue researchers release white paper on Indiana forest management issues

By Darrin Pack
Purdue News Service
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A team of forest and wildlife researchers from Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources has published a white paper addressing three critical questions in the ongoing discussion about management of Indiana state forests. Bob Wagner, department head and professor, said the purpose of the paper, titled “Addressing Concerns about Management of Indiana’s Forests,” was to provide useful information to policymakers and the public. “This is our best science-based assessment from decades of research on these issues,” Wagner said. Questions addressed in the paper are: Are natural disturbances alone adequate to maintain a desirable structure and diversity of Indiana’s forests and wildlife? Is timber harvesting bad for wildlife? How is “old-growth” forest defined, and is it a relevant term for managing Indiana’s forests?

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A closer look at the tallest trees in the world

Washington Post
February 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…For Washington Post photographer Carolyn Van Houten, [photographing Redwoods] was a challenge worth embracing when she joined Post senior national correspondent Scott Wilson on assignment in California last month. The two went along with scientists in California who are mapping the Redwood genome to save the world‘ssingle biggest greenhouse–gas sponge from coastal erosion and climate change. Van Houten, who had seen the Redwoods once before, found capturing the over 2,000–year-old trees and conveying their mysticism and impressive scale complicated — especially on foot. “It’s difficult to get a fullpicture of the scope of a redwood tree in all its layers,” she said. As she and Wilson hiked around the trees and their “fairy rings” — what Wilson calls the “old-growth ancestors … encircled by the young” — she found herself being equally drawn to the details of the trees.

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University of Arizona laboratory educates students, community on tree-based science

By Pascal Albright
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the middle of the exhibit hall at the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research stands a 4,000-pound sample of a Giant Sequoia that began its growth in 212 A.D. and fell in 1915. The laboratory houses over 2.5 million wood research specimens in its archive for study. There are multiple labs in the center, each focusing on a certain study within dendrochronology, like chemistry or anthropology. They all aim to educate the public, as well as do research to better understand climate and history, according to Randall Smith, the lead docent at the lab.  “It takes years and years to reach from beginning to end,” Smith said. “That’s why my big concern with the program here is how do you communicate science to the public.”

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Forest health report focuses on dead trees

Valley Courier
February 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FORT COLLINS – Bark beetles have caused widespread tree mortality on roughly one-fifth of Colorado’s forestland over the past two decades. But the problem of dead and dying trees in the state’s forests offers an opportunity: standing dead trees can hold value for years, and currently are being utilized by wood products businesses in efforts that support forest management efforts. Colorado has more than 100 sawmills, and an estimated one-third of them use beetle-killed trees as part of their wood supply. In Grand County alone, dead trees from over 30,000 acres of private and state land have been sustainably harvested and processed into valuable wood products more than a decade after the mountain pine beetle epidemic impacted the area. …The 2017 Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests, distributed by the Colorado State Forest Service, highlighted these and other facts related to forestry issues. 

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Montana senators’ dueling wilderness bills both get hearings

By Bob Chaney
The Missoulian
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A U.S. Forest Service official offered support to Sen. Jon Tester’s wilderness bill and Sen. Steve Daines’ wilderness study area removal act in a Capitol hearing on Wednesday. Both Montana senators presented their legislation before the Senate Subcommittee on Forests, Public Lands and Mining. Republican Daines’ S. 2206 would remove the WSA designation from five Forest Service areas totaling 449,500 acres, opening them for motorized use. Democrat Tester’s S. 507 would add 79,000 acres of wilderness along the southwestern corner of Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex as well as two recreation areas for snowmobile and mountain bike activity. …“These are lands that have been studied by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and determined not suited for wilderness in their final plans,” Daines said.

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Termites’ unique gut ‘factory’ key to global domination

By The University of Sydney
EurekAlert
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Termites have achieved ecological dominance and now some of the ingredients for their success have been determined to lie in their unique gut microbiome ‘factories’ – which enable the creatures to eat wood, soil and other material generally not considered as food sources by other animals but rather as indigestible. An international research paper, led by the University of Sydney, shows that the majority of micro-organisms in the termite gut is not found in any other animals and that they are not only inherited from parents but are also shared across colonies and among distantly related termite species. …The paper says that the termite gut microbiome is among the most complex of any animal group …”Learning about how termites convert wood and other biomass into sugars may be applicable to the production of sustainable biofuels,” Professor Lo concluded.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Mill leaders looking for solutions to high energy costs

By Anthony Brino
The County
February 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Owners and managers of Aroostook County lumber mills told representatives of the Maine Public Utilities Commission last week that they’re struggling with high electricity prices and uncertainty. …Industrial facilities say electric transmission fees have increased significantly in Aroostook County in the last several years due to a range of factors, including the age of the transmission system and charges for sending power between Northern Maine’s grid, New Brunswick transmission lines and the ISO-New England grid. …“We supply a lot of the residuals to ReEnergy,” said Doug Cyr, human resources manager with J.D. Irving, Maine’s largest timberlands owner and operator of a large sawmill in Nashville Plantation. …In addition to cost, the quality of electricity can be a major concern, said Charles Tardif, vice president of Maibec, the Quebec company that operates the former Fraser Timber sawmill is Masardis.

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If you move a tree in the forest, does anybody notice?

Kayla Zaretzki & Carmen Scott – Selkirk College
The Rossland News
February 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kayla Zaretzki & Carmen Scott

…Every species on the planet has an ideal environment that they like to live in — cedars like a wet soil while ponderosa pines prefer drier conditions. But what if that environment is slowly changing over time? The effects of climate change are undeniably here. …What happens when an area that used to be cooler and wetter become hotter and drier? B.C. is not just going to stand by and find out. Our province is taking climate change adaptation by the horns with AMAT – Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial. Assisted migration is the human-assisted movement of a particular species outside of their normal residential or growing range. …Another argument is a moral one. Are we playing God? Should we let nature run its course regardless of the effects of climate change? Humans have a history of trying our hand at controlling nature and having it backfire.

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Initiatives could benefit local woodlot owners

By Carol Moreira
The Chronicle Herald
February 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Atlantic Canada’s woodlot owners could benefit from the growing tendency of jurisdictions to require businesses to offset their carbon emissions, said Daimen Hardie, executive director and a co-founder of Sackville, N.B.-based Community Forests International. Atlantic Canada has between 70,000 to 80,000 family woodlot owners who are ideally placed to form carbon offsetting partnerships with polluting companies, said Hardie. He said carbon offset initiatives are being led by California, where companies that emit excessive carbon must pay a penalty or invest  in projects that draw carbon from the atmosphere. “To date, 60 million tonnes of forest offsets have been issued by the California Air Resources Board worth more than US$600 million in sales,” Hardie said. He said this region’s mature forests, including the remnants of the Acadian forest, are diverse and stable and can store a lot of carbon.

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University of Vermont Forestry Professor Discusses New Study On Climate Change Impact On Northeast Forests

By Pat Bradley
WAMC – Public Radio
February 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A new paper from scientists in the Northeast finds that tree species are increasingly stressed by the changing climate. Thepaper is titled  “New England and Northern New York Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework Project.” According to the report, habitat conditions for current species like the sugar maple, northern white cedar and balsam fir will deteriorate and those species will likely be replaced by those found south of New England such as black cherry, yellow poplar and hickory.  University of Vermont Associate Professor and Director of the Forestry Program at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources Tony D’Amato was the second author on the USDA paper.  He says the study is an expansion of similar work he was involved with while in Minnesota several years ago.

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Health & Safety

Court reserves decision on Suncor’s random drug testing of employees

By Josee St-Onge
CBC News
February 8, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A panel of judges from the Court of Appeal of Alberta has reserved its decision regarding an injunction that prevents Suncor Energy from randomly testing its employees for drugs and alcohol. Suncor sought an end to the injunction, arguing that random testing is necessary to ensure safety at its worksites. The union that represents 2,800 of Suncor’s employees, Unifor 707A, argued the random tests cause irreparable harm to workers by violating their privacy and dignity. Suncor spokesperson Sneh Seetal said its existing policies are not enough to keep workers safe. …Ken Smith, president of Unifor 707A, says the random testing does more harm than good. 

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Logger Falls Into Sinkhole, Spends Nearly 24 Hours There Before Being Rescued

By Zachary Stieber
The Epoch Times
February 8, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Bill Burke spent nearly 24 hours underground after falling into a 16-foot sinkhole while working as a logger in the state of Washington. “Next thing I know, one foot went down and then both my feet went down. And next thing I know, I’m up to my arms. And then all at once, all the sticks and everything that was holding me up broke, and down I went,” Burke told Q13 Fox. He tried for hours to escape but any attempts were futile. He huddled in for the night and waited for his friend Jimmy Stennett, who had agreed to help him on the job the next morning near Montesano.

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