Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 27, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Special Feature

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

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

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

Read More

Business & Politics

Will Trump fire his US Trade Representative? Not Likely

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

Robert Lighthizer

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

Read More

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

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

David MacNaughton

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

Read More

ABCFP Awards Honour Forest Professionals From Across BC

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

Wes Bieber, Walter Tymkow and Lorne Bedford

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

Read More

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

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

Robin Modesto

Morgan Kennah

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

Read More

Business to bear brunt of budget tax hikes

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
February 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hanif Karmally

Businesses in B.C. would be wise to start budgeting this year for new payroll taxes in 2019, and some should expect to pay double for one year, because they will be paying Medical Services Plan premiums and the new payroll tax. …Hanif Karmally, vice-president and chief financial officer for lumber producer Teal-Jones Group… welcomes the provincial budget’s social spending, because it benefits employees. He added that other budget measures, such as higher carbon taxes and a 1% increase in corporate taxes, are “incidental.” But he calculates that shifting the burden for MSP onto business will add $500,000 to $600,000 to his company’s costs for the first year. …Once the MSP premiums are eliminated, the new payroll tax will still cost his company $200,000 a year more than what MSP premiums cost.

Read More

Trial by fire: Saving the family sawmill

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
February 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West
The story of Northland Forest Product’s fight against The Beast – the fire that ravaged Fort McMurray in May 2016, destroying close to 2,500 buildings – is almost hard to believe. On May 3, as Fort McMurray emptied under the mandatory evacuation order, about 30 people took refuge at the Northland Forest Products sawmill site 18 kilometres north of the city on the shores of the Athabasca River. …Those who stayed were not inactive. In the first week staff with the help of government cleared out the trees that surrounded the mill and set up lawn sprinklers and later water cannons. They placed a sprinkler on the roof of the planer, and others to surround the main office building. …The entire ordeal lasted just over a month and in spite of a few threatening days, the fire never reached the mill.

Read More

Maritime fishermen’s groups pull out of meetings with Northern Pulp

By Richard Woodbury
CBC News
February 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Groups representing fishermen’s associations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. say they won’t meet with representatives from Northern Pulp unless the paper mill provides an alternative to its plan to pump treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait. . “They’re asking us to take all the risk. …”They’re asking us to take all the risk. One hundred per cent of the risk is going to be borne by the fishermen. If something goes wrong, it’s our fishery,” said Ronald Heighton, the president of GNSFPB. …Rather than using the pipe, Northern Pulp should use peroxide instead of chlorine dioxide for bleaching purposes, or produce a lower-quality paper that would produce zero effluent, Heighton said. …Kathy Cloutier, the communications director for Northern Pulp, said these options aren’t feasible.

Read More

US new-home sales drop 7.8 per cent in January to 593,000

By Paul Wiseman
The Associated Press in The National Post
February 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. homes fell in January for the second straight month, failing to rebound from a weather-related drop in December. The Commerce Department says last month’s sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000, lowest since August and down 7.8 per cent from a revised 643,000 in December. Economists had expected new home sales to bounce back after tumbling in December as harsh winter weather chilled demand. Sales skidded 33.3 per cent in the Northeast in January from December and 14.2 per cent in the South. But they rose 15.4 per cent in the Midwest and 1 per cent in the West. The median price of a new home dropped to $323,000, down 4.1 per cent from $336,700 in December.

Read More

Over 100 firefighters battle blaze at Virginia lumberyard

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
February 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ARRINGTON, Va. – It took the effort of over 100 firefighters all night to subdue a blaze at a Turman Tye Lumberyard in Virginia. Authorities are estimating more than $500,000 worth of lumber and equipment was destroyed. Efforts to control the fire were complicated by the nearest fire hydrant being located more than two miles away from the scene, reported local news sources. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries. Assistant Fire Chief for the Lovingston Fire Department Derek Kidd said the blaze occurred in a dry kiln used to store lumber. …The Group is involved in every step of the forestry process and employs over 500 people throughout Virginia. 

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

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

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

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

Read More

Is creating plastics from biomass really a ‘green’ idea?

By Clare Goldsberry
Plastics Today
February 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

In the quest to add sustainability and green cred to plastics (which its detractors believe it lacks), many scientists continue their attempts to make plastic from various natural materials such as algae, switch grass, corn and sugar cane. Most of these scientists discount the fact that plastic made from petroleum is also natural—there’s nothing un-natural about petroleum or natural gas. …scientists are trying to take the pliable nature of plastic in another direction, developing new and renewable ways of creating plastics from biomass. …But just how efficient is biomass in producing plastics? And, given that all biomass contains CO2 (plants are massive storehouses for this critically necessary gas), just how much CO2 will be released into the atmosphere in processing biomass? 

Read More

Guess joins retailers committing to fabrics that protect forests, locals

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

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

Read More

Wood conference looks at role of timber in design and construction

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

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

Read More

Forestry

See infestation that could plague Canadian homes this spring

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

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

Read More

Canada’s Boreal Forest is a thriving social community of trees that work together

By David Suzuki
CBC – The Nature of Things
February 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Contrary to popular perception, trees don’t live in isolation. The boreal forest is a vast botanical network that circles the entire northern hemisphere. And trees living there have a secret social life, with the forest community joining ranks to work together.  “We have this idea that trees are independent individuals…but what we have discovered is that they’re not independent, they will form unions,” says Annie Desrochers, a Quebec biologist featured in What Trees Talk About. Smart and resilient, they share resources, fight animal predators and even change the weather. New research emerging from Canada’s boreal forest shows us that trees’ influence reaches well beyond their world — and into ours.

Read More

New technology to detect living pinewood nematode in wood

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

Dr. Isabel Leal

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

Read More

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

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

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

Read More

LCBO raises funds for Forests Ontario

By Forests Ontario
Cision Newswire
February 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – Starting February 26th, the public can support Forests Ontario by making a donation at any of the more than 650 LCBO stores throughout Ontario. Donation boxes for Forests Ontario will be displayed at LCBO checkout counters until March 31st. …2018 will be the third consecutive year that the LCBO has supported Forests Ontario as part of the Provincial Donation Box program. Donations have supported Forests Ontario’s annual Community Planting Weekend. The Community Planting Weekend is a longstanding tradition for Forests Ontario. …”As a socially responsible community-minded retailer, LCBO is pleased to partner with Forests Ontario and support a variety of worthy causes through the Giving Back In Our Community fundraising program,” said Jennifer Bell, LCBO Executive Director Corporate Communications and Social Responsibility.

Read More

State ramps up for historic fire season

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

Jeff Whitney

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

Read More

Study: Oregon landowners overwhelmingly follow forestry rules

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

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

Read More

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

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

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

Read More

Hidden ‘rock moisture’ could be key to understanding forest response to drought

University of Texas at Austin
Phys.org
February 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Research conducted by The University of Texas at Austin and University of California, Berkeley has found that a little-studied, underground layer of rock can hold significant amounts of water that may serve as a vital reservoir for trees, especially in times of drought. The study, published in the journal PNAS on February 26 looked at the water stored inside the layer of weathered bedrock that commonly lies under soils in mountainous environments. …”How trees can survive extended periods of severe drought has been a mystery,” said Richard Yuretich, director of the National Science Foundation’s Critical Zone Observatories program, which funded the research. “This study has revealed a significant reservoir of trapped water that has gone unnoticed in the past. 

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Red flags, alarm bells present in forests of the northeast

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

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

Read More

Climate Change Expected to Impact Maple Syrup, Lumber, and Christmas Trees (with audio)

By Heather Goldstone and Elsa Partan
NPR for Cape, Coast and Islands
February 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

When we think about the impacts of climate change in New England, our minds often go to the ocean and coasts. But a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that New England’s forests are vulnerable, as well. …“The longer growing season is of course, potentially a good thing for our native species, but it also benefits invasive species as well, so that’s one downside,” said Jennifer Hushaw, an Applied Forest Scientist with the Climate Services Program at Manomet in Plymouth and a contributor to the report. While some species will enjoy the longer growing season and hotter weather, other trees will suffer. Those include New England’s sugar maples and balsam firs—trees with economic importance. “Some of the forest types that are expected to have the greatest vulnerability are those dominated by spruce and fir,” she said.

Read More

Biomass policy under the spotlight as EU talks kick-off

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

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

Read More

Climate value of Earth’s intact forests

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

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

Read More

New Zealand carbon emission rise lags economic growth, but forestry carbon sink shrinking

Scoop.co.nz
February 27, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 24 percent in the past 25 years, but grew more slowly than the economy in general, Stats NZ said today. The first report of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts shows the impact of what we are doing to the natural environment and what is being done to protect it, as well as the importance of natural resources to the economy. Economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions increased from 1990 to 2015 from 61 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 1990, to about 76 million tonnes in 2015, the latest available period. …Primary industries accounted for only 7.4 percent of economic activity, but 61.4 percent of industry emissions, which was mainly due to methane emissions from agriculture.

Read More

Health & Safety

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

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

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

Read More

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

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

Christian Fournier


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

Read More

Controlled burns reduce health dangers of wildfire smoke

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

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

Read More

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

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

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

Read More