Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 22, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

“Happiness grows from trees” and other forestry news!

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 22, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

We report to you today from Victoria, BC at the Association of BC Forest Professionals’ 70th AGM and conference. The show was a sellout, with 400+ delegates packing the presentations to standing room only. Check our coverage below for the latest from chief foresters, fire experts and more. 

My favourite quote for today comes from Sumitomo via the Pars Herald — “‘happiness grows from trees’ and cities become forests from building out of timber rather than concrete.” The wood trend is continuing around with world, with new towers popping up all over the place, today we look to Norway who is reaching up to be the tallest wood tower. The American Wood Council is working ensure the ongoing trend – to date they have 100 on-line courses about wood building because “Wood is the go-to material for builders in North America”! 

Quesnel’s Chamber of Commerce hosted a dynamic presentation on preparing your business in the event of a wildfire, Parks Canada is planting thousands of whitebark seedlings in the Kootenay National Park in fire impacted forests and a review of forest practices in Nova Scotia has been given a two-month extension.

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Special Feature

ABCFP kicks off its Conference with a Panel of Chief Foresters

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
February 22, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) kicked off their annual conference with two workshops, a plenary of chief foresters and a public lecture on the future of wildfire in BC. The three-day conference promises to be an outstanding event given the attendance of more than 400 delegates and high profile speakers such as Minister George Heyman (Environment and Climate Change) and Doug Donaldson (Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) still to come. Al Gorley (the Host Committee Chair) and Diane Nicholls (BC’s Chief Forester) introduced the first plenary “Charting the Path for Truly Sustainable Forest Management”. Gorley and Nicholls spoke of the forest professional’s management challenge given the need to balance ‘expectations and realities’—effectively the conference theme.

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People and Communities are the Answer to BC’s Future Wildfire Threats

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
February 22, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The summer of 2017 brought the worst wildfire season in BC history with 1.2 million hectares burned. Is this the new normal? How do we reduce the associated risks to our forests and our communities? Cue Deputy Minister Tim Sheldan to introduce Dr. Scott Stephens, Professor, Wildland Resource Science, University of California, Berkeley. With five of its 20 most destructive wildland-urban interface fires occurring last year, it was a similar story in California.  With unbridled passion and considerable knowledge of the Mexican and Australian experience, Professor Stephens spoke of the new normal in California – climate change and larger and more frequent fires. 

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Business & Politics

Mill, First Nations, sign MOU to create forestry jobs in Merritt

By Greg Fry
CFJC Today Kamloops
February 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chief Aaron Sumexheltza

KAMLOOPS — An important step has been taken to ensure the future of the forestry sector in Merritt. The Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation, Stuwix Resources Ltd and Aspen Planers have announced they’ve signed a long-term memorandum of understanding agreement that sets out a framework for negotiating business agreements related to the parties timber and sawmill interests. Chief Aaron Sumexheltza says it was necessitated by the Tolko mill closure in Merritt in December 2016 which cost the community more than 200 jobs. “So, what we felt is that we needed to support, and I needed to support our band, in creating jobs and wealth and training,” he says

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Unifor targets Resolute as eastern Canada bargaining ramps up

CBC News
February 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Unifor has selected Resolute Forest Products as the target company in a new round of “pattern bargaining,” which the union hopes will set a precedent for all of eastern Canada’s forestry industry, a Unifor spokesperson said Tuesday. Pattern bargaining involves the union working out a deal on major, industry-wide issues such as wages, benefits and pension plans with a specific employer, and then the pattern is used as the union negotiates with other employers in the sector. “It’s not uncommon,” said Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor national president Jerry Dias. “It’s happened in eastern Canada for many, many years.” “The advantage is it’s time saving for the employers, it’s also time-saving for us,” he said.

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P.E.I. senator questions federal minister over pulp effluent

The Guardian
February 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Diane Griffin

P.E.I. Senator Diane Griffin is keeping the heat on the federal minister of fisheries over the proposed new effluent plant in Pictou County. …On Tuesday, federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc appeared before the senate where Griffin asked him about the Northern Pulp mill. Griffin referred Premier Wade MacLauchlan’s letter to the federal minister in January expressing concerns that an outflow pipe placed in the Northumberland Strait could have unintended consequences for P.E.I.’s commercial fishery and aquaculture industries. Grffin said addressing this issue should be a high priority for the federal minister. “What is the government doing to address the situation of effluent discharge from the Pictou pulp mill?’’ Griffin asked. “Have you and the minister of environment and climate change heard the concerns of the P.E.I. government and fishermen?’’

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Deltic Timber, Potlatch complete merger

El Dorado News-Times
February 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

El Dorado-based Deltic Timber Corp. and Potlatch Corp. have completed their merger into PotlatchDeltic Corporation. The merger with the Spokane, Washington-based company was announced in late October, creating a new company with nearly 2 million acres of woodlands in the South and Pacific Northwest. According to a news release, the merger was successfully completed Tuesday in an all-stock transaction. Its shares will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker PCH. “Today marks the beginning of a stronger PotlatchDeltic, positioned for growth,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Covey said in the release. “We are thrilled to be celebrating this milestone and eager to begin integrating our business and capturing significant merger benefits. Our businesses have solid plans in place to deliver on our synergy commitments and provide a seamless transition for our customers and other stakeholders.”

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Arkansas Governor’s Report: Now On The Radar For New Business

By Jack Rogers
Business Facilities Magazine
February 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Asa Hutchinson

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s economic development strategy for Arkansas is focused like a laser on substantially improving the Natural State’s business climate and making targeted investments to stimulate market-driven growth. … …Arkansas is aiming to achieve “zero waste” of its timber resources by working with technologically advanced mills to convert unused timber products into biomass energy. “When it comes to the future of our forests, high-tech means there is nearly zero waste,” said Hutchinson. “The goal is for 100 percent of the biomass removed from the forest to be used for a salable product through efficient conversion technologies, recycling, wood fiber or generating energy from renewable sources. These adaptations and the renewable nature of the products play an important role in producing a resource that is making our planet greener and more sustainable.”

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Saving jobs prompts vote to save a sawmill

By Tim Howard
Clarence Valley Daily Examiner
February 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THE JOBS of eight sawmill workers were a key factor in allowing a mill near Grafton to keep operating despite doubts about the legality of its operation. Councillors voted 7-1 to allow the Raging Red Timbers mill at the Pinnacles, north of Grafton, to keep operating, but at a reduced capacity, while it allowed the mill owner to modify its application to the council. The decision reflected last week’s committee recommendation. The council was flooded with submissions opposing the mill operation and its proposal to modify its development consent, first granted in 1998 by the Copmanhurst Shire Council, to allow it to install a wood chipper and 5000-litre diesel fuel tank. It received 19 submissions and a petition with 205 signatures opposing the increase in the mill operations.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

American Wood Council’s self-directed study program tops 100 Courses

American Wood Council
February 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

LEESBURG, VA. – The American Wood Council’s (AWC) self-directed study program now has 100 available online courses (eCourses) about wood. Course areas range from the use and application of AWC standards, building codes, design considerations, and green buildings and materials. The program was originally launched in November 2014, with nine courses. “Wood is the go-to material for builders in North America because it’s easy to build with, strong, and renewable. We also have some of the highest construction standards in the world. AWC is committed to making sure code officials and designers are familiar with the latest applications of wood design and construction,” said AWC Senior Director of Education Michelle Kam-Biron. “This milestone of reaching 100 eCourses is a reflection of the dedication and hard work of AWC’s outstanding education team.”

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Would You Believe It – A Skyscraper Built From Timber

By Mohsen Salami
Pars Herald
February 22, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Japanese architects have a crazy plan to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper reaching more than 1,100 feet into the heavens. Only the steel heart of the tower will be metal – about 10% of the structure is metal to add rigidity in case of earthquakes. The 1,150-foot W350 Tower (350 metre) will have 70 floors and provide more than 8,000 homes in the Japanese capital of Tokyo – a city regularly hit by earthquakes. …The skyscraper is planned to celebrate the 350thanniversary of timber firm Sumitomo Forestry and expected to be finished by 2041. Although constructing a wooden skyscraper so high is a new idea, building out of wood is not. …One worry for the architects is how the building will cope in a fire. …The Sumitomo web site notes ‘happiness grows from trees’ and that cities become forests from building out of timber rather than concrete.

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Norwegian timber tower will reach new heights

By Adam Williams
New Atlas
February 22, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Following our coverage of a tall wooden tower that might get built, here’s one that is being built. Named Mjøstårnet, it’s currently under construction in Norway and will rise to a height of 81 m (265 ft) once complete, making it the new world’s tallest wooden building. Kind of. Maybe. That depends on rule changes which may or may not come into force. Either way, the project offers some insight into the challenges of tall timber construction. As things stand, the world’s tallest timber tower will be Vienna’s 84 m (275 ft) Ho Ho Tower once it’s complete. However, the influential Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which keeps track of such things, is set to bring in new rules to the effect that buildings like the Ho Ho, which have a concrete core, be defined as wood-concrete hybrid structures.

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Forestry

Quesnel Chamber of Commerce hosts post-wildfire business meeting

BC Local News
February 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce hosted a well-attended event – 10 Steps to Prepare Your Business for Evacuation – and it was very interesting, says local Chamber president Julia Dillabough. She adds there were 30 people in attendance, including representatives from the Cariboo Regional District, farmers and ranchers, different businesses within Quesnel, Councillor Ron Paull and the local Wildfire Recovery Team, which helped put on the event. …Steve Richburg [a forest protection officer] led off with a presentation about FireSmart, which is about people clearing away trees, shrubs and other flammables away from their homes so there isn’t any fuel for wildfires. Richert talked about his experiences during last summer’s wildfire season and 10 of his steps on properly protecting homes inside the city.

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Eco-forestry expert Herb Hammond speaks at UVic

By Lisa Best
iHeartRadio
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Herb Hammond

An eco-forestry expert with over 40 years experience will speak tomorrow night at the University of Victoria.  Herb Hammond will share his knowledge of options for the industrial forestry model, that he believes is failing ecosystems and communities across BC. The event will be held on the same day as the annual general meeting of the Association of BC Forest Professionals’ (ABCFP), which represents the largest group of forestry professionals in Canada. The majority of original old-growth forests across British Columbia have been logged, and many forest ecosystems are now threatened. 

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Parks boosting whitebark pine planting

By Cathy Ellis
Rocky Mountain Outlook
February 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Endangered whitebark pine trees are getting a helping hand in Kootenay National Park. Parks Canada crews planted more than 1,000 whitebark pine seedlings in the aftermath of last summer’s Verdant Creek wildfire, which burned about 18,000 hectares in Kootenay National Park and neighbouring Assiniboine Provincial Park. The fire burned through areas of important habitat of whitebark pine, which is listed as an endangered species under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). In Canada, the tree is restricted to high mountain elevations in British Columbia and Alberta. Officials say it’s an important tree for a host of reasons, including for wildlife, such as red squirrels, grizzly bears and Clark’s nutcrackers that love feeding on its large, fatty, and nutritious seeds.

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BC suspends fisher relocations to Washington state amid habitat loss to logging and wildfires

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is one of the most secretive and unknown creatures in our forests, but also one of the fastest in short bursts. It mainly hunts snowshoe hares, squirrels, rodents, and birds, but also holds the distinction of being able to kill porcupines — a seemingly impenetrable prey — by attacking their faces. …Now, the fisher is emerging as B.C.’s unlikely canary in the coal mine, a warning sign for the ecological impact of aggressive clearcut logging and extensive wildfires. “It’s too bad,” said Brian Dack, Kamloops-based president of the B.C. Trappers Association.”People in the Lower Mainland are only concerned about the (Trans Mountain) pipeline expansion, when more emphasis should be put on the Interior of the province and all of the habitat loss …”

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Port Blandford residents tell forestry officials ‘no way’ to clearcutting

By Jonathan Parsons
The Western Star
February 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

PORT BLANDFORD, NL — Government’s plan to clear cut an area near the community as part of its five-year operating plan for forestry Zone 2 (2017-2021) is not acceptable to the citizens of Port Blandford. That appears to be the consensus from a public meeting on Tuesday night, Feb. 20, which drew more than 100 people concerned about the provincial Forestry and Agrifoods Agency’s plan to allow a clear cut in the area. “We’re going to stop at nothing to prevent and protect what we’ve had for hundreds of years,” Port Blandford resident Cliff Matthews said to begin the meeting. “Clearcutting is not acceptable in Port Blandford.” …Two representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources (forestry and wildlife) — Colin Carroll and Steve Balsom — were in attendance.Balsom, who is an assistant deputy minister in the department, fielded questions for about an hour.

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Independent review of Nova Scotia forestry given two-month extension

Canadian Press in Financial Post
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — The independent review of Nova Scotia’s forestry practices has been extended by two months. Announced Aug. 30, the review headed by University of King’s College president Bill Lahey was originally due next Wednesday, but is now expected to be completed by the end of April. Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller says Lahey requested the extension because more work is required to complete the report. Lahey has said he’s been given a broad mandate, including the ability to examine clear cutting. The controversial practice drew public attention in 2016 when the Liberal government said it was backing away from a previously stated goal of reducing the practice on Crown land by 50 per cent.

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Colville National Forest plans for larger 2018 harvest

By Brandon Hansen
The Independent
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After two years of low timber harvest on the Colville National Forest, forest officials are saying that 120 million board feet (MBF) could be harvested this year due to federal programs and private initiatives. According to CNF Public Relations staffer Franklin Pemberton, programs in the 2014 Farm Bill have been utilized to help forest management work more efficiently.  …The Mill Creek A to Z project has been a unique program designed to allow private business to partner with CNF staff to clear some of the regulatory hurdles associated with timber harvests and restoration projects. The private mill company Vaagen Brothers Lumber, which was awarded the 10-year contract for the A to Z project, addressed the cost of the National Environmental Protection Act study required for timber work on the forest by hiring a private company to do the study.

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Future Forestry Workers Career Day

By Mary Bullwinkel
Oregon Logging Conference
February 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

To attract the next generation of workers to the timber and other natural resource industries, a new event is planned as part of the 80th Annual Oregon Logging Conference. It’s called Future Forestry Workers Career Day and it’s happening on Friday February 23rd at the Lane County Event Center and Fairgrounds. More than 500 9th thru 12th grade students, teachers, and career counselors representing 22 high schools in Oregon, along with speakers and exhibitors have signed up to participate in what is hoped to become an annual event. This is a half-day, hands-on, career planning opportunity for high school students and will include activities and exhibits that highlight current job opportunities for ambitious and interested young men and women.

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Pennsylvania installing new towers to help find forest fires

Associated Press in Allentown Morning Call
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Pennsylvania is getting new lookout towers to help fight fires in state forests. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said Wednesday it’s in the middle of a $4.6 million effort to renovate and replace 16 towers on state forest lands. Many date to the 1940s and earlier. The new towers are considered sturdier, are safer to get up and down and have weatherproof areas at the top. Many are getting new radio communications equipment.

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Sustainable forests: training and jobs add fire power

By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
February 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The longleaf pine ecosystem in the United States has shrunk from 90 million acres to just 3.4 million over time. Consequently, nearly thirty animal species that rely on it for habitat are now endangered or threatened. Natural longleaf pine forests have been replaced in the landscape by development and plantations of loblolly, slash and sand pine. What’s left of the existing longleaf pine range has been degraded by the exclusion of fire. …To reverse the degradation of longleaf pine forests, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is partnering with the Student Conservation Association and US Forest Service to recruit and train the “fire starters of tomorrow.” …Support from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has helped anchor one Fire Mentoring Program crew in a priority longleaf pine landscape in southeast Georgia and northeastern Florida.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

NDP Told to Step Up Game on the Environment

By Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee
February 22, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Representatives of environmental groups welcomed the increase to the carbon tax in British Columbia’s budget, but said the government needs to do more to address climate change, land use planning and building a sustainable economy. …Finance Minister Carole James, who had put the spending focus on housing and child care, said Wednesday the government has made a start on environmental measures in the budget and there will be more to come. Tim Pearson, the communications director for the Sierra Club, said that while the attention to affordability was needed, the approach should be extended to the environment. …Ian Bruce, the David Suzuki Foundation’s director of science and policy, said raising the carbon tax is a great start and that the government needs to use the increased revenue from the tax to invest in clean energy and incentives for efficiency that will help mitigate climate change.

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Health & Safety

Loaded logging truck plunges down steep embankment

By Angie Mindus
Williams Lake Tribune
February 21, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A loaded logging truck is barely recognizable tangled in logs and trees after sliding off the Spanish Lake Road at Keithley Creek Road Wednesday morning. The truck cut a swath through trees as it plunged more than 70 feet down a steep embankment. Road conditions at the time were icy, while the road in that area is steep. More than 35 homes lost power as a result of the incident after trees that were hit by the truck fell onto nearby power lines. BC Hydro has since restored power to the area.

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