Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 21, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Study says the US withdrawal means the TPP will benefit Canada even more

The Tree
February 21, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The text for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is now ready for signing and a new analysis suggests the US withdrawal will result in more economic benefits for Canada. In other news: yesterday’s budget in BC includes more funding for wildfire recovery and fire prevention.

Elsewhere: a proposed law would kill Sandy Springs’ [Georgia] building code restrictions on wood buildings over three stories; Essex County [Ontario] fights to protect its Oak trees from a tree fungus spreading in Michigan; it’s Flagstaff’s turn [Arizona] to tackle the mountain pine beetle and Indonesia mobilizes to combat health-damaging forest fire haze.

The Association  of BC Forest Professionals annual convention starts today in Victoria and tonight’s keynote is a public lecture by Scott Stephens, professor of fire science at the University California Berkeley. The Frogs will be reporting live from the convention floor so check here for regular updates and say hi if you see us!

Finally, a very unique set of wood speakers from discarded wood, based on the same method of making music as a violin.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

B.C. musician uses planks of discarded wood for his unique sound system (with audio)

CBC News
February 20, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Giorgio Magnanensi

Artistic director, composer and conductor Giorgio Magnanensi has designed himself a unique set of loud speakers you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Magnanensi made his loud speakers out of cedar and maple wood. The “resonators,” as he calls them, stand almost a metre-and-a-half tall and about half a metre wide. …The technology of the speakers is based on a very old method of making music, one common in string instruments like the violin. …The difference with Magnanensi’s resonators is that his transducer is an electrical component he plugs into his computer or any other source of audio.

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Business & Politics

Revised Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text ready to be signed by 11 members on March 8

The Chronicle Journal
February 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

François-Philippe Champagne

OTTAWA – The recently rebooted Trans-Pacific Partnership has moved a step closer to becoming reality for Canada. International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the full text of the 11-nation trade pact, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, has been released and will be signed March 8 in Chile. And a new economic analysis of the deal suggests that the net benefits are greater for Canada now that the United States has withdrawn from the agreement. …The analysis said the gains would cover a broad range of sectors, including some agricultural products such as pork and beef, wood products, machinery and equipment, and transportation equipment.

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BC BUDGET: More for wildfire recovery, campsites

By Tom Fletcher
Agassiz-Harrison Observer
February 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is adding $72 million to its budget for wildfire recovery and fire prevention after the record forest fire season of 2017. With wild animals affected by fire and resource roads throughout the Interior, Finance Minister Carole James’ budget also includes $9 million to hire 20 more Conservation Officers and increase programs to reduce human-wildlife conflict. An additional $14 million over three years goes toward improved wildlife management and habitat protection.

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Georgia-Pacific to expand lumber facilities in Warren County

WRDW.com
February 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia-Pacific will be building a new softwood lumber production facility in Warren County, creating new jobs and preserving existing ones. According to a news release from the company, the $135 million facility will be built on property adjacent to the existing lumber mill there. It will be 340,000 square feet and will be capable of “over three times the output of the current facility” built in the early 1970s. …Construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2018, the plant should start operating in spring 2019. Once in production, the new facility will receive approximately 185 truckloads of pine logs a day and produce approximately 350 million board-feet of lumber per year.

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Latvian imports of forestry products up 10.6% in 2017

The Baltic Course
February 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In 2017, Latvia imported EUR 818.447 million worth of forestry products, which was a rise by 10.6% from 2016, the Agriculture Ministry said, cites the Latvian Information Agency. Timber and timber products made up most or 55.9% of total forestry product imports in 2017, accounting for EUR 457.57 million and rising by 12% from the same period a year ago. …Paper, cardboard and their products accounted for 34.4% of total forestry product imports in 2017, or EUR 281.155 million, up 8.5% compared to 2016. …Lithuania supplied the largest amount of forestry products [19.9%]… Russia supplied 12.5%, and Estonia supplied 11.9%. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

MP Richard Cannings speaks to Castlegar council

By Betsy Kline
BC Local News
February 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richard Cannings

South Okanagan West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings appeared before Castlegar council Monday night to give an update on how things have been going in the House of Commons. Cannings reported that the private member’s bill he introduced last fall has made progress, passing a second reading in the House of Commons and moving to the committee level. The bill asks that the government seriously consider using wood in infrastructure. “I thought it would be a good idea, considering the state of the forest industry in Canada that needed some help,” said Cannings of the bill. “It applies two tests to that choice — whether to use wood or some other material … It uses a dual lens, one is the overall cost of the material, the other is the carbon footprint of the material.”

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Bill would kill Sandy Springs’ wood-frame apartments restriction, mayor complains

By John Ruch
The Reporter Newspapers
February 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

John Corbett

A proposed law that would kill Sandy Springs’ restriction on using wood to build large multifamily housing complexes is “disastrous” and would allow “cheap apartments,” Mayor Rusty Paul is complaining. But state Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park), the bill’s lead sponsor, says the law would simply allow developers to be free to choose wood, which he said is safe for construction. “Nothing in this bill forces anyone to use wood. It just prevents them from prohibiting it as an option,” said Corbett about House Bill 876. …In a 2016 decision popular with many residents but opposed by many industry figures, the Sandy Springs City Council adopted a new building code requiring apartment buildings over three stories tall or over 100,000 square feet in size to be constructed with steel and masonry rather than wood framing.

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Setra invests in CLT factory in Långshyttan

By Ari Roul
Chicago Evening Post
February 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood products company Setra is investing in a CLT factory in Långshyttan. The investment aims to meet the great demand for CLT, above all in the Swedish, Norwegian and UK markets. CLT stands for cross-laminated timber, a technique that is growing strongly and is in demand for building everything from apartment blocks to industrial properties. Wood products company Setra is investing in a new factory for CLT in Långshyttan. CLT is a technique appropriate for constructions that require a high degree of strength and bearing capacity while being fire-resistant and relatively light. It also has major environmental advantages, as wood is a renewable material. “We’re now taking the next step towards Setra becoming a wood products company with a high processing capacity. New technology combined with greater awareness of wood being part of the solution to the climate change problem means that demand for CLT is huge.

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Forestry

Canada – US Forest Health and Innovation Summit Rooted in Collaboration

FPAC News Release
Forest Products Association of Canada
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Derek Nighbor

Forest health and innovation challenges and opportunities don’t observe borders and that is the spirit in which delegates will be participating in the 4th Canada-U.S. Forest Health Summit, February 21-23 in Ottawa. “Trade irritants or disputes may generate headlines but beneath that is a successful history of collaboration between Canada and the United States,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, who is participating in the summit. “On both sides of the border, we face complex challenges from addressing climate change to protecting communities from wildfires; to preventing pest outbreaks, supporting species at risk, and protecting watershed health. 

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BC forest practices need to change

Letter by Heather McSwan, Glade Watershed Protection Society
Revelstoke Review
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Regarding the article NDP to Review Forest Practices (Black Press, Feb. 9, 2018): Both locally and province-wide there are watershed, environmental, wildlife and recreation groups concerned with the current state of forestry. The Glade Watershed Protection Society in the West Kootenays is a member of the B.C. Coalition for Forestry Reform, [with] other regions and organizations. Minister Donaldson talks about planting more trees, and diversifying wood products and lumber mills, but this will not be enough. …The premier’s office and the government need to look at the cumulative effects of sustained continual cutting, of adhering to consistently damaging practices like slash burning. They need to act now on climate change. They need to be fearless in the face of industry proponents who advocate for the profitable but short-sighted status quo.

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The Essex Region Conservation Authority joins oak wilt fight as deadly tree fungus threatens to spread from Michigan

CBC News
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

ESSEX COUNTY — The Essex Region Conservation Authority is joining the battle to protect local oak trees from a deadly fungus that has killed dozens in Michigan. Oak wilt has spread throughout the eastern U.S. since 2009, and Michigan State Parks alone have lost more than 500,000 trees, according to ERCA. “If Oak Wilt did become established here, all of our natural areas would be at risk of being negatively impacted,” Rob Davies, ERCA’s Forester, stated in a press release. …ERCA said it plans to partner with the City of Windsor, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and other partners to increase monitoring and awareness of the potentially devastating disease.

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Old-growth clearcutting in Guysborough

By Lois Ann Dort
Guysborough Journal
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

GUYSBOROUGH – The Municipality of the District of Guysborough is home to one of, if not the oldest, stand of old-growth forest in the province. In the Loon Lake area just outside the community of Guysborough stands a hardwood tree that is rumoured to be 600 years old, with a 18-foot circumference at its base. In recent months this stand of trees, situated on Crown Land, has been slated for clearcut, resulting in a few tall hardwoods left towering over the bare landscape. Scott Cook, a local businessman and woodlot owner, has been advocating against clearcuts in this area for years. He told The Journal on Tuesday that a harvest that leaves a few large trees standing will result in a barren landscape, as these trees cannot survive the assaults of sleet, wind and ice storms without a supporting forest.

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Instant economic gratification killing the environment

By Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, Acadia University
The Chronicle Herald
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lately, a heated debate has been taking place within the pages of this newspaper over forestry. One side argues that we need to clear-cut for lumber, pulp, and wood chips. It supports jobs, is good for the economy and it adds to the provincial coffers. Others argue that we are cutting at unsustainable rates, wildlife is endangered, we are losing carbon storage, soils are eroding and the kind of forests that are being clear-cut cannot regenerate. This is an age-old debate regarding resource extraction, whether it involves the tar sands, fracking, forestry, fishing, hydropower or indeed agriculture. Two different value systems are at odds – economics vs. ecology. When will they be reconciled? Our current economic system sees humans as separate from nature and values nature as a store of resources for us to use as we see fit.

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Citizens group gears up for fight against Port Blandford wood cutting proposal

By Garrett Barry
CBC News
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEWFOUNDLAND — A newly formed citizens group in Port Blandford is gearing up to fight government plans to allow commercial wood harvesting near the community. The group, which came together last week, has forced a meeting Tuesday with town and provincial government officials to discuss the plans, which opponents say will devastate the countryside. The proposal is that 158,000 cubic metres of wood be harvested from four distinct areas surrounding Port Blandford, including a cabin area and an area near a salmon river. About eight kilometres of road will need to be built, according to the plan documents, and more road reconstruction will be needed.

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Alliance of First Nations and non-First Nations respond to Toronto Star forestry op-ed

By The Alliance
Ontario Forest Industries Association
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In a February 12th Toronto Star op-ed, it was stated, “There was a time — decades ago — when putting the demands of large forestry companies above the interests of everyone else may have been a good political strategy. It certainly isn’t now.” We would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight, introduce the authors of this misleading article to “everyone else,” and recognize the efforts of Premier Wynne and the Ontario government. …An Alliance of First Nation and non-First Nation leaders representing rights holders, stakeholders, municipal leaders, unions, and Ontario’s forest sector was formed in January 2018 to defend a way of life, with a mandate to grow the responsible use of natural resources in northern and rural Ontario. …Intentional or not, the authors of the op-ed have dealt a blow to the vulnerable communities and First Nations who will be disproportionally impacted by the proposed policy.

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A tale of two forests: exploring forest management in the Pacific Northwest

By Amanda Kelley
National Foundation LTER Network
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

“Social forestry” describes the hybrid system of bottom-up grassroots oversight by local stakeholders and top-down, science-informed policy from larger governing bodies to determine forest management practices. Social scientists from the University of Freiburg in Germany and the University of Oregon analyzed the implementation of social forestry through a comparative case study of two National Forests in Oregon.  A series of interviews with US Forest Service (USFS) rangers, environmental groups, community leaders, and timber industry representatives from the Siuslaw and Willamette National Forests revealed that the two Forests present contrasting manifestations of social forestry. The Siuslaw is known for collaborative and restoration-oriented management, while the Willamette has struggled more frequently with conflict and litigation.

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For trees’ sake: Forest Service tackles bark beetle problem

By Erin Ford
The Grand Canyon News
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — The bright flames of a raging wildfire and the aftermath it leaves behind may cause many to think that the biggest forest danger in the west is unrestrained fire, but the reality is actually much quieter and much, much smaller. …A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about 100,000 trees are felled daily because of beetle damage. In Colorado and California, entire swaths of forests have been decimated by an infestation of the insects. …Lack of forest thinning and fire suppression lead to much denser forests, and once a colony of bark beetles has infested one location, it can easily spread to nearby trees, sometimes flying up to two miles. Large swaths of untreated forests can fall in a few months if enough bark beetles are drawn to the area.

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Hot, dry forests can’t recover from wildfires

By Pete Aleshire
Payson Roundup
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The combination of recurrent drought and wildfires in the West in the past 30 years has made it far more difficult for forests to recover — even during a string of normal or wet years, according to a growing number of studies. As a result, areas burned by big fires like the Wallow, Rodeo-Chediski and even the recent Highline Fire may never return to former conditions, say researchers. As Rim Country savors a couple of wet days… the evidence continues to mount that a warming climate, a century of mismanagement and a new era of megafires may produce long-lasting changes. Perched on the boundary between pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine forests, Rim Country may undergo a wrenching transformation as a result of unremitting fire and drought — coupled with higher average temperatures. 

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Arkansas’ prescribed forest fires decrease wildfire fuel

Times Record
February 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Last year, landowners and agencies applied prescribed fires to 222,375 acres across Arkansas. Forestry and conservation agencies across the state commonly use prescribed fire as a management tool during the months of February to April, when weather conditions allow. “Prescribed fire achieves many management goals, including enhanced wildlife habitat, improved wildfire safety and site preparation for new growth,” an Arkansas Agriculture Department news release states. …Also known as “control burns,” these strategically planned and carefully managed fires make a landscape more resistant to out-of-control wildfires by removing flammable debris and vegetation, as well as “ladder fuels” like branches and leaves that transfer flames upward, the fact sheet points out.

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Health & Safety

Indonesia mobilizes to combat health-damaging forest fires

The Associate Press in the Idaho Statesman
February 21, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Four Indonesian provinces have declared emergencies in anticipation of worsening forest fires that each year spread health-damaging haze across much of Southeast Asia. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said Wednesday that emergency alerts in Riau and South Sumatra provinces will make it easier to mobilize fire-fighting operations and support from the central government. …Record Indonesian forest fires in 2015 spread haze across a swath of Southeast Asia and, according to a study by Harvard and Columbia universities, hastened 100,000 deaths. …Indonesia has declared a moratorium on new development of peatlands and has a plan to restore drained peat swamps by “re-wetting” them… that involves damming the canals that were constructed to drain them.

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