Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 26, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Lights go dark for Earth Hour but BC Hydro reports uptick in power usage

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 26, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

To highlight climate change, in countries around the world, people were switching off their lights for Earth Hour, except perhaps in BC where an uptick in power usage was reported. In related news: a study suggests half of Alberta’s boreal forest could disappear due to wildfires and climate change; while an EU report points to how the forest sector helps address climate change. 

In Wood product news: Portland is considering CLT for its airport expansion; while the CLT panel failure at Oregon State University spurs critics of mass timber. Elsewhere, recycled cardboard pallets are introduced in Germany; and the challenge of implementing a Wood First policy is discussed in New Zealand.

Finally, BC Minister Donaldson says the level of raw log exports is not acceptable; Alberta’s caribou recovery plan won’t occur without federal funds; Maine’s Governor is to be investigated over a possible timber diversion, and the US Federal spending bill is described as a “shift in the right direction” for wildfire funding.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Processing burned timber a focus for West Fraser

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
March 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

To date West Fraser has delivered approximately 3,350 truckloads of burned timber to Williams Lake and another 1,000 truckloads to 100 Mile Lumber, the company’s woods manager Mark Runge said Wednesday. The 3,350 truckloads, or 184,000 cubic metres, is enough supply the Williams Lake sawmill for 52 days, he said. “Most of this volume has come from log purchase arrangements with deeded private properties in the Williams Lake area, the UBC Research Forest and the Military Reserve at Riske Creek with deliveries from our own license starting up in February.” Almost immediately West Fraser began receiving burned wood taken from local ranches around Williams Lake. “Some of the ranchers allowed us to put our logging contractors that would normally operate on our license onto their private property,” Runge said.

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Softwood lumber supports could aid Corner Brook mill

By Ashley Fitzpatrick
The Telegram
March 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Government of Canada has a pot of money the province and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper can tap into for support, as new U.S. tariffs hit the company and the larger Canadian forestry sector. At the start of June 2017, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced $867 million in supports for softwood lumber producers and the communities put at risk of financial harm in the ongoing trade dispute with the United States. With another dispute now started — and new, preliminary tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper products (including newsprint) — MP Gudie Hutchings stood in the House of Commons Thursday calling for the offers of financial support to extend beyond softwood lumber producers. The pulp and paper mill in Corner Brook is in Hutchings’ riding.

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No deal on proposed Botwood wood chip project: Minister

By Garrett
CBC News
March 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The latest proposal that promised to breathe new life into the Botwood harbour has reached a stalemate. U.K.-based Bulk Logistics has been unable to reach a deal with the provincial government on timber rights according to Gerry Byrne, Newfoundland and Labrador’s minister of land resources. Byrne said the company, which had eyed the 285,000 cubic metres of timber which was once owned by Abitibi, has turned down a smaller, 60,000 cubic metre offer from the provincial government. It would have been the third-highest allocation to a company in the province, according to the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources. “We’ve been actively engaged with the company itself, and got to the point where we were prepared to sign a memorandum of understanding that would be based on a 60,000 cubic metre allocation, initially,” Byrne told reporters Friday. 

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Lawmakers To Investigate LePage Administration Over Diversion Of State-Owned Timber

By Steve Mistler
Maine’s Public Radio
March 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The state legislature’s investigative office has been tasked with another project: determining whether the LePage administration retaliated against Maine mill owners because the owners disagree with the governor’s stance on tariffs on Canadian lumber. The unanimous vote by the Government Oversight Committee to authorize the investigation came just two days after Gov. LePage tore into lawmakers for questioning his administration’s abrupt decision to divert publicly-owned logs from mills owned by Jason and Chris Brochu to a Canadian-owned company. State Sen. Tom Saviello, a Republican from Wilton, requested the investigation after LePage challenged him to do so during a hearing held before the agriculture committee earlier this week. “If you look at the history that I provided to you, it appears that it maybe some kind of possible retribution because of the Brochus’ stance on the tariffs coming in,” Saviello said.

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New Zealand log exports top 1M cubic metres in January

By Tina Morrison
Scoop Independent News
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand exported more than one million cubic metres of softwood logs in January, only the second time in the country’s history that such a high volume has been shipped in the month. The country exported 1.1 million cubic metres of softwood logs overseas in January this year, up 32 percent on January 2017, according to data from Global Trade Information Services published in AgriHQ’s monthly forestry market report. That’s the highest level for the month since 2014 and only the second time volumes have exceeded 1 million for a January month. “New Zealand’s softwood log exports started 2018 with a bang,” AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his March report under the heading ‘Flying start for log exports’. “The strong start to 2018 bodes well for the coming year, as January is historically the weakest month each year.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Coastal Innovation: veneer facility thinks outside the box

By Maria Church
Wood Business
March 23, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Pauze


On the picturesque shores of Vancouver Island, in the city limits of Nanaimo, B.C., a veneer and roundwood facility has been efficiently turning 100 per cent Douglas fir into quality veneer sheets since 1988. Over the past several years Coastland Wood Industries has undergone expansive capital projects, including adding a third lathe line, new scanning system, and new strapping system. A philosophy of consistent improvement and innovation has made Coastland one of the largest dedicated veneer facilities in North America. …  “We’re able to do all of this because we have an ownership group that trusts our judgement and allows us to come up with new ideas,” operations manager Doug Pauze says during an interview with CFI at the Nanaimo facility. “It’s fun coming to work each day and being able to have a direct impact on the company.”

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CLT panel fails during construction of $80M OSU building

By Kim Slowey
Construction Dive
March 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Aside from one of its buildings featuring CLT, OSU has been involved in mass-timber research as well. In December, the university and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) released the results of two studies involving mass timber composite and CLT and concrete floor system supported by structural steel. …However, the safety discussions that typically surround mass timber construction, particularly its use in high-rises, are those related to fire safety, not structural integrity. …critics of mass timber maintain that concrete or steel construction is much safer, and, according to a study for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, some insurers might agree. The study found that builder’s risk and commercial property insurance policies are more likely to be higher for wood-framed multifamily buildings than those made of concrete. 

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CLT is considered for PDX expansion

By Angel Kipfer
Woodworking Network
March 23, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland International Airport (PDX) could be incorporating a new, eco-friendly wood products technology in its $1.3 billion, five-year expansion. Cross laminated timber (CLT) has already been used for a 12-story building in Portland’s Pearl District which is made primarily from huge laminated wood floor and wall panels, beams, and posts. Mass timbers, which include laminated wood floor panels, support beams, and posts, are being considered as prominent design elements in the renovation of the core terminal area at PDX. According to Bill Browning, the founder of the Terrapin Bright Green design firm looking at the airport redesign, CLT is comparable to steel and concrete, and is more environmentally friendly. 

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Timber! cardboard cuts out weighty wooden pallets

Air Cargo News
March 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Germany-based Trilatec has introduced a lightweight, 100% recycled cardboard alternative to traditional heavy timber pallets. “This is a revolution in the airfreight sector“, said Andreas Langemann from Trilatec, inventor and manufacturer of the novel transport system, adding that “initial experiences” with airlines have shown that 1,200 tons can be saved annually. Trilatec said that its squAIR-timber system is “up to 80% lighter compared with conventional pallets”, adding that disposal of the new material can be carried out in “an environmentally friendly way, using a paper recycling facility”.

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Mayor Steve Chadwick explains challenges of Wood First policy in Rotorua

By Samantha Olley
Rotorua Daily Post
March 24, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Steve Chadwick

The challenges of adopting a “Wood First” policy were put before industry leaders this week when Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick spoke at the ForestWood 2018 Conference. Four years ago Rotorua Lakes Council became the first local authority in New Zealand to adopt the policy. …Chadwick’s speech topic at the conference in Wellington on Wednesday was the “challenge Rotorua Lakes Council faces to keep Wood First relevant to the community, investors, and stakeholders when the value proposition for building in wood is still to gain traction”. …”Once you put the stake in the ground, developers start to get on board, which is exciting, but building standards and earthquake standards from central government are a challenge. “At the conference, I encouraged central government to adjust legislation to make it easier to use wood in buildings.”

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Forestry

Level of raw log exports not acceptable, says NDP Minister during Nanaimo visit

Nanaimo News Now
March 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

NANAIMO — While issues like the Trans Mountain pipeline and affordable housing dominated much of their first year in power, it appears curbing raw log exports is still on the radar for B.C.’s NDP government. During a visit to Nanaimo’s Coastland Wood Industries last week, Minister of forests Doug Donaldson said an innovation working group formed to study the industry should be prepared to present some solutions soon. He said six-million cubic metres of raw logs were exported in 2016. “That’s something that nobody finds acceptable. What our emphasis has been is trying to turn our attention to how do you have more of those logs processed in mills in B.C.,” Donaldson said. …”This is a process and it will take a little bit of time to turn around.”

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Wildfire recovery and prevention still a hot topic for City and Cariboo Regional District

By Melanie Law
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
March 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Quesnel and Cariboo Regional District (CRD) are continuing to commit time and resources to wildfire recovery and prevention. At the most recent North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee on Mar. 13, representatives from the City and CRD heard from contractor employees with the Fraser Basin Council on both topics. The wildfire recovery update outlined all activities that the sub-regional wildfire recovery team is focusing on. …The wildfire recovery team also reported that they are continuing to assess the impact of the wildfires on urban and rural businesses. They have requested an extension to the Red Cross’ April deadline, to June 2018, as they are finding many more businesses are now realizing they have been affected by loss of income due to the wildfires.

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Williams Lake Community Forest focuses on fir-beetle, wildfire mitigation and education

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
March 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Williams Lake Community Forest continues its efforts to remove Douglas-fir beetle impacted timber on its Flat Rock Block. “We’ve taken out 200 truckloads over the winter,” said Hugh Flinton who along with Kent Watson of C&P Management Group took over the management role of the community forest on Dec. 31, 2017. They replaced Ken Day who recently retired from the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest and had managed the community forest. Douglas-fir bark beetle wood has been taken out of the Flat Rock block near Esler entirely this winter. The area escaped last summer’s wildfires, although in the community forest’s Big Lake block there were three small fires, which were put out very quickly with the help of the Big Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. 

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Alberta’s stance on caribou a ‘national test case’ of Species at Risk Act

By Colette Derworiz
Canadian Press in CBC News
March 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A caribou researcher says Alberta’s decision to suspend portions of its draft plan to help the threatened animals recover is the first major test of the federal Species at Risk Act. The province has sent Ottawa a letter that raises concerns about the socio-economic impacts of the recovery plan. “It’s a bit surprising and dramatic but it’s actually not, really,” said University of Montana biologist Mark Hebblewhite, who is part of a science advisory group on boreal caribou for Environment Canada. “Not just myself, but lots of other people have seen a showdown like this coming. “Caribou to me are the biggest national test case of the Species at Risk Act in Canada. To date, we have had very inexpensive species-at-risk problems. This is not an inexpensive species-at-risk problem.” Alberta’s draft plan is designed to help threatened woodland caribou recover in 15 different ranges.

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Union Bay trustee concerned over continued lack of written agreement on logging delay

By James Wood
My Comox Valley Now
March 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Elliot

UNION BAY, B.C- An apparent verbal agreement with a logging company south of Courtenay still isn’t sitting well with Jim Elliott. Elliott, who serves on the trustee board of the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID), previously spoke about his concerns about the district’s drinking water source possibly having logging activity conducted on it’s shoreline. The area’s water system draws from Langley Lake. Logging company Island Timberlands owns the land around the lake, and had been planning on cutting close to the water this year. …Elliott wasn’t happy with that state of affairs. “I would really like to see something in writing, because things can change,” said Elliott. …UBID administrator Gordon Mason declined to answer questions about the logging issue following the March 22 meeting.

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Now is the time for action to preserve Manitoba’s vital boreal forests

By Martin Zeilig
CBC News
March 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…”There’s at least a hundred years of work left to do,” said the late boreal ecologist and zoologist at the University of Manitoba in response to my question about how much more research was needed to fully understand the boreal forest — Manitoba’s (and Canada’s) dominant forest ecosystem. That was more than 20 years ago, when I was working on a story about the Taiga Biological Station, which was established by Prof. Pruitt in adjacent Atikaki Provincial Park — about 215 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg…. Now, the critical value of those regions is highlighted in a new and comprehensive report titled The Exceptional Value of Intact Forest Ecosystems, published in the Feb. 26 issue of Nature Ecology & Evolution.

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Memorial gazebo to honour logging history in Woss

BC Local News
March 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Mount Waddington is raising money to build a gazebo in Woss that would act as a memorial to workers who have perished in the logging industry. Back in April of 2017, the Englewood Logging Train (which ran on a 90-kilometre logging line from Vernon Lake, through Woss, past Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park to Beaver Cove) was involved in an accident where three people were killed when the train derailed. The logging train was shut down by Western Forest Products last November, after 100 years of operation. “I have initiated a campaign to construct a gazebo in Woss as a memorial to workers who have perished while working in the woods while also celebrating the history of logging in the Nimpkish Valley,” said Pat English, the Regional District of Mount Waddington’s Manager of economic development, at the RDMW Board of Directors meeting March 20.

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Wildfire funding fix will take ‘a period of years’ to protect US forests

By Gregory Scruggs
Thomson Reuters Foundation
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

SEATTLE – A deal in last week’s U.S. federal spending bill to fund wildfire fighting has drawn praise but also some concern over a provision relaxing rules on cutting trees in national forests. The $1.3-trillion bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday set up a contingency account for wildfire fighting funded with up to $2 billion a year for a decade. Previously, the escalating costs of fighting worsening wildfires, especially in the western United States, has seen federal officials take money from budgets for other activities like maintaining campgrounds and trails. “This will end the fire borrowing that we have seen that has prevented us from doing the kind of fuel reduction that we would like to see to protect our communities,” said Washington senator Maria Cantwell.

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Wildfires shift in a better direction

By the Editorial Board
The Bend Bulletin
March 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires are nonpartisan. But fixing the way the federal government pays for wildfires has taken more than a decade — and it’s not over yet. Congress needs to bring an end to the practice of draining accounts to reduce fire danger to fight wildfire. The new budget bill veers in the right direction. When there’s a wildfire on federal land, the federal government usually moves in to fight it, as long as it’s not in a wilderness area. But again and again, the Forest Service blows right through its wildfire budget. It then raids other parts of its budget to pay for wildfire costs. That means less money for everything else that the Forest Service does — including thinning, mowing and prescribed burns that can reduce fire danger and severity.

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Friendly fire: Tough choices for land managers

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
March 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Setting and managing wildfires offers the best way to reduce catastrophic wildfires in an era of deepening drought, longer fire seasons and rising temperatures, according to Northern Arizona University researcher Pete Fule, writing in Reform Forest Fire Management. Ironically, the vast swaths of federally owned land in northern Arizona actually offers a critical advantage in making sweeping changes in fire management, according to another study of prescribed fires, this one by researchers from Texas A&M University, published in the peer-reviewed journal Ecological Applications. That study found the fears of lawsuits filed by private landowners severely limits the ability to use prescribed fire in areas of the country where public and private lands are widely intermingled. By contrast, the federal government owns millions of acres in northern Arizona — making it easier to deploy prescribed burns.

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Oral arguments made in timber harvest lawsuit

By Katy Nesbitt
The Obser
March 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PENDLETON — U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Sullivan heard oral arguments Monday afternoon in Pendleton for a lawsuit attempting to halt timber harvest in the Lostine River corridor. Attorneys for plaintiffs Greater Hells Canyon Council and Oregon Wild argued that the U.S. Forest Service’s Lostine River Corridor Safety Project did not comply with the National Forest Management Plan, the Wild and Scenic River Act and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act. The Lostine River Road is approximately 17 miles long, beginning in the town of Lostine and ending at the Two Pan Trailhead. The road, campgrounds and trailhead parking areas are all in what is considered managed forest adjacent to more than 360,000 acres of protected land and old growth habitat within the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

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Forest issues need fact-based collaborative approach

By Christopher Dunn, James Johnston &John Bailey, Oregon State University College of Forestry
The Bend Bulletin
March 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…We all perceive fire and the natural world differently. This is a good thing. Diversity in thought and perspective helps solve complex issues. That is why the collaborative approach to forest management pursued by the Forest Service and Deschutes Collaborative is so important. It is critical that stakeholders work together and make decisions based on facts. A guest column on March 4 by George Wuerthner titled “Logging doesn’t restore the forest” was short on facts. Wuerthner’s column falsely claimed that the Forest Service and Deschutes Collaborative are creating even-aged plantations. Neither the Forest Service nor the Deschutes Collaborative are creating even-aged plantations or planning to do so. They promote thinning, or the selective removal of trees to reduce stand density for the benefit of retained trees. Clear-cutting creates even-aged plantations. These activities are drastically different in purpose and outcome, and even-aged plantations are rarely fire resilient. 

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Exclusive: sawmillers call for access to Victorian parks and water catchments

By Gregg Borschmann
The Guardian
March 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Sawmillers say industry in ‘wind-down mode’ as state government discusses logging agreements extension. Victoria’s national parks and water catchments should be opened up for sustainable logging, according to a group of six Victorian sawmillers. The sawmillers – who call themselves the G6 – say the Victorian timber industry is in crisis. They want access to either more timber or exit packages. “At the moment, everyone is in denial but we’re in wind-down mode. We’re about to fall over a ‘resource cliff’ in two years time,” says Brian Donchi, resource manager for Fenning Timbers in Bairnsdale and member of G6. “There won’t be enough wood for all the mills.” …The Victorian cabinet meets in Melbourne on Monday to discuss the future of the timber industry and the extension of controversial regional forest agreements (RFAs). …But Guardian Australia understands that the Victorian environment minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, is arguing for a full scientific investigation of native forests… before any long-term extension.

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Victorian forestry deals extended to 2020

Daily Mail
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Anne Ruston

Victoria’s forestry agreements have been extended until 2020 in a bid to boost the state’s timber industry. The agreements allow the logging of native forests on public lands, and provide exemptions to Commonwealth environmental laws. Extensions have been granted until March 31, 2020 by the Victorian and federal government in state’s East Gippsland, Central Highlands and North East regions. It brings them into line with existing agreements in West Victoria and Gippsland and paves the way for longer-term extensions. “The signing demonstrates our governments’ shared interest in ongoing native timber industry, and the jobs and economic prosperity it creates,” Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston said in a statement on Tuesday.

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University of Agricultural scientists to breed Mexican bug to kill forest weeds

Karnataka Forest Department
The Times of India
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BENGALURU, INDIA: Scientists at the University of Agricultural Sciences are all set to increase the breeding of a Mexican bug species to contain the spread of lantana camara, an invasive weed that is killing undergrowth in forests across the state. Lantana lace bug (tingid) is considered an effective biological solution to control growth of the weed, one of the reasons for the spread of forest fires. …A senior forest department official said they will soon allow field trials on these bugs in selected forest patches in the state.

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Forestry and mining the only industries where women consistently paid more

Stuff.co.nz
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — Forestry and mining workers’ wage growth has been tumultuous over the years, yet in the wake of the global financial crisis the median wage for women spiked. …Forestry and mining are the only sectors in New Zealand where the median wage for women had historically exceeded that of men. From 2006 to 2010, women workers’ median wage was significantly higher than men, data from Statistics New Zealand found. At its highest, the median wage for women was nearly $3 higher than the median wage for men in early 2009. …New Zealand Institute of Forestry general manager Tim Thorpe said…”People think of forestry being just out there in the bush… but you’ve got scientists working in the sector, marketing professionals, and that could be areas where there are more female employees earning higher wages.”

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Conservationists and foresters at loggerheads over Poland’s ancient forest

By Marcello Rossi
Thomson Reuters Foundation
March 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BIALOWIEZA, Poland  – …the town of Białowieża looks undisturbed. But until a few weeks ago, it wasn’t unusual to see protests here featuring banner-wielding demonstrators and government officials arriving in black sedans, escorted by the police. …Besides causing rifts in the local community, the dispute over the forest has put further strain on the relationship between the nation’s right-wing government and the European Union, leading to a legal battle that is still continuing. In late February, the advocate-general of the European Court of Justice said Poland had infringed EU laws by increasing logging in the Białowieża forest over the previous two years….Poland, which defied two previous orders to halt logging in the forest, has said it will comply with the EU’s final ruling.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Earth Hour sees declining participation, uptick in power usage in B.C.

By Katya Selpian
The Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle
March 25, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite most British Columbian’s best intentions leading up to Earth Hour, BC Hydro says that electricity usage either increased or plateaued during 2018’s event. Earth Hour – an annual worldwide event to turn lights off for an hour in support of conservation and climate change – ran from 8:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The province saw a 0.2 per cent increase in electricity use during Earth Hour despite a March report showing that seven out of 10 British Columbians intended to power off for Earth Hour.

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Half Alberta’s boreal forest could disappear due to fires and climate change

By Collette Derworiz
Canadian Press in CTV News
March 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — A study shows half of Alberta’s boreal forest could disappear in just over 80 years due to wildfires and climate change. The research, published Monday in the journal Ecosphere, gives a glimpse at how vegetation could change based on the current rate of carbon emissions and climate change. “We found that wildfire could initiate the conversion of approximately 50 per cent of the current boreal forest into grassland or deciduous open forest,” said Diana Stralberg, who did the research as part of her PhD in the biological sciences department at the University of Alberta. …The study simulated wildfire using a model from Natural Resources Canada and data from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute to determine what vegetation might grow back under future climates. Marc-Andre Parisien, a fire research scientist at Natural Resources Canada, said the potential for change is strong.

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Possible biomass shutdowns loom; $27 million loss for Minnesota loggers

By Adelle Whitefoot
Duluth News Tribune
March 25, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The logging industry in Minnesota has seen a lot of changes over the past year that could negatively affect it. Blandin Paper Co. shut down its No. 5 machine and the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation last year allowing Xcel Energy to negotiate a shutdown of three renewable energy plants. …The provision was …signed by Gov. Mark Dayton. Though Dayton signed the bill, he did take issue with the provision allowing Xcel to terminate its contracts with the three biomass plants. “We do not yet know the full impact these provisions will have on the loggers, mills and truckers … Dayton wrote to Sen. Michelle Fischbach last year. “A meager effort to study the economic impact on this industry, after the fact of passing these policy provisions, is inadequate.” …The Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers (ACLT) of Minnesota have filed a lawsuit against Xcel, Benson Power and Laurentian Energy under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act

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Lights go dark for Earth Hour to highlight climate change

The Associated Press in the Herald and News
March 25, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON — In Paris, the Eiffel Tower went dark. In London, a kaleidoscope of famous sites switched off their lights — Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye. …It lasted for just an hour and its power is purely symbolic. But in countries around the world, at 8:30 p.m., people were switching off their lights for Earth Hour, a global call for international unity on the importance of addressing climate change. Since beginning in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has spread to more than 180 countries, with tens of millions of people joining in, from turning off their own porch lights to letting the grand sites like the Opera House go dark.

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Study demonstrates ways to increase climate benefits from forests

By European Forest Institute
Phys.Org
March 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A new science-policy report from European Forest Institute demonstrates how different Climate-Smart Forestry measures in three European regions can enhance the role of forests in tackling climate change. Forests and the forest sector play a significant role in climate change mitigation through the capture of CO2 in forests and wood products, as well as through material and energy substitution. Climate-Smart Forestry (CSF) is a targeted approach or strategy to increase the climate benefits from forests and the forest sector, in a way that creates synergies with other needs related to forests.

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