Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: April 2018

Today’s Takeaway

A perfect storm of market factors begets the long awaited lumber supercycle

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 30, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Has the long awaited lumber cycle finally arrived? Speaking at last week’s NAWLA meeting in Vancouver, Russ Taylor (FEA/Wood Markets) says “maybe/probably” due to the interaction of an almost perfect storm of factors. In other Business news: Hakan Ekstrom (Wood Resources Int.) says US softwood demand will peak in 2030; and Paul Whittaker (AFPA) says problems with rail service are hurting Alberta’s lumber industry.

In other news: Climate change-induced forest fires are threatening conifers in western US; climate models are predicting large scale changes in rainfall in the Amazon and across Asia; and an outbreak of toxic caterpillars is causing havoc in the UK.

Finally, the oak tree planted by French President Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump is gone – at least temporarily. It was quarantined.

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NAWLA Regional Meeting a demonstration of optimism for the lumber market

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

If there was any doubt about the optimism for softwood lumber, it was allayed at NAWLA’s 2018 Regional Meeting in Vancouver yesterday. In other Business news: NAFTA negotiations are at a critical point as officials seek a deal by Tuesday; the 13 biggest lumber companies increased production by 2.3% in 2017; and the rail crunch is adding to the cost of lumber at a time of record highs.

In other news: Caribou protection policies in Alberta threaten the “northern way of life“; new conservation officers in BC will “lessen human-wildlife conflicts“; and the humble wood pellet has been gaining momentum in Canada while being criticized for contributing to air pollution in Georgia and Louisiana

Finally, have you ever wanted to ride along with a log through a saw mill? Well, here’s your chance!

–Kelly McCloskey Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Macron and Trump planted tree at the White House. Why it is now missing?

Reuters
April 30, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – French President Emmanuel Macron celebrated the special relationship between the United States and France during his state visit to Washington last week by planting a tree with President Donald Trump on the grounds of the White House. Now the oak sapling is gone – at least temporarily. White House photographers noticed the tree was gone days after it had been planted. Mystery ensued. In fact, the tree, from Belleau Wood in France where almost 2,000 American soldiers died in a World War One battle, had been dug up not long after it was planted. It was put in quarantine, according to U.S. and French officials. The problem: Parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property.

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Business & Politics

Record lumber prices, stellar sawmills earrings the result

By Russ Taylor
Wood Markets
April 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The recent run on lumber prices has put big smiles on the faces of sawmill operators and lumber traders. …While the implementation of U.S. import duties on Canadian lumber was expected to push prices up somewhat, the interaction of several factors — the seasonal impact of summer forest fires in 2017, severe winter weather followed by railcar shortages in 2018, and continued strong demand in export markets — has created an almost perfect storm. …Are we in the “supercycle” we first predicted some 11 years ago? Maybe/probably. …The wild card has been the level of demand and U.S. housing starts: these have recovered much more slowly than almost everyone expected, but are now at a level that reveals the supply gap. …This should translate into windfall earnings in 2018 and 2019, and one issue facing some larger firms will be what to do with the cash generated. Some will likely increase capital expenditures, some will be considering acquisitions, and some will need to resort to buying back their shares.

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BC saw filers share knowledge at 2018 convention

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
April 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West
The BC Saw Filers Association drew an impressive crowd of around 160 registrants to Kamloops, B.C., April 26-28 for what is being called the largest convention of its kind in North America. It’s an encouraging sign for the filers who gathered to discuss not only the latest technology for their trade, but the need to attract new talent. For the first time the convention trade show ran two full days, giving 30 vendors filling 60 booths needed time to show off their latest offerings for the filing room.

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Beaver Lake Cree Nation files costs application in attempt to expedite potential landmark case

By Paige Parsons
The Edmonton Journal
April 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A northern Alberta First Nation is seeking to have the provincial and federal governments ordered to pay its legal costs as it attempts to forge ahead on a lengthy court battle over treaty rights. Beaver Lake Cree Nation first filed a statement of claim against the government in 2008, alleging that the Crown had authorized so much non-Aboriginal usage for development of industries such as oil and gas, agriculture and forestry that the cumulative effect has significantly impeded the way of life for members of the nation, thereby violating their rights under Treaty 6. …The application argues… the Crown is constitutionally obliged to “assess and manage cumulative impacts” on treaty land.

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Alberta forest industry needs the trains to run on time

By Paul Whittaker, president/CEO, Alberta Forest Products Association
CBC News
April 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Whittaker

Canada’s strained rail network is damaging Alberta’s forest industry. After a winter of delayed shipments, high storage and trucking costs, and difficulty getting our products to customers, we need real action to improve the situation. Rail service is having a real impact on our ability to export. During the first quarter of 2018, Alberta’s shipments of lumber to the United States fell 22 per cent. …. Still, mills are having a tough time getting their products to customers, and it’s taking a bite out of exports. The Alberta Forest Products Association has done an informal poll of forest companies, asking, “What percentage of rail cars you ordered this winter arrived on time?” Only one of the companies surveyed got more than half of its cars on time. All other mills were under 50 per cent, with the worst-off mill only getting 14 per cent of the rail cars it ordered.

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NAWLA Regional Meeting a demonstration of optimism for the lumber market

B Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog News
April 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver — If there was any doubt about the current state of the lumber market and the optimism for continued demand in the future, it was allayed at NAWLA’s 2018 Regional Meeting yesterday. Evidence in this regard included the record attendance of 250 lumber executives, including lumber wholesalers, traders, manufacturers and those that provide goods and services to the sector. Moderated by local NAWLA leader Paul Harder (Dakeryn Industries), three keynote speakers provided confirmation of lumber’s rise. Jennifer Cover (WoodWorks USA) noted the significant progress made to grow the mid-rise and tall-wood markets, Russ Taylor (Wood Markets/FEA Canada) demonstrated how supply constraints and high demand have (finally) shepherd in the long-awaited “super cycle” and Derek Orr (Carrier Lumber Ltd.) spoke of the importance of mentors in his rise as a leader in his personal, community and business life. We’ll have a full report on Monday.

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Resolute Invests close to $13 Million in its La Doré Wood Products Facilities in Quebec

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
April 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

LA DORÉ, QC – Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced major investments totaling $12,956,700 in its La Doré wood products facilities, located in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. The announcement was made during a press conference attended by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, as well as dignitaries and company employees. The investments will be used to integrate new technologies into the manufacturing processes in order to sustain the facilities’ continuously enhanced performance in an ever-changing competitive environment. Also through these investments, energy efficiency will be improved as operational processes are modernized. “This is a significant investment for the future of our La Doré facilities,” said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. “We can count on innovation, regional solidarity and the pride our people have in their work to overcome the challenges facing our industry.”

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Premier pleased with work of hired lobbyist, but donations raise questions

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
April 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Brian Gallant

U.S. President Donald Trump may have promised to drain the swamp in Washington, but New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant is having to wade into the muck as he tries to get some trade relief on softwood lumber. Gallant’s latest foray to the American capital included meetings with many officials who have received campaign donations from David Wilkins, the New Brunswick government’s $40,000-per-month lobbyist. They include Mike Mulvaney, the Trump administration’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, who bragged last week that as a Republican congressman, he only met with lobbyists who donated to his campaigns. …Wilkins, hired by New Brunswick last year to persuade the U.S. to lift softwood lumber tariffs, is a lobbyist who gave Mulvaney money.

 

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Nova Scotia launches cleanup process for Boat Harbour wastewater lagoons

By Brett Bundale
Canadian Press in CTV News
April 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s environment minister has released new details of the long-awaited cleanup of Boat Harbour, calling the toxic lagoon one of the worst examples of environmental racism in the province and possibly the country. Iain Rankin said Friday the cleanup of the Northern Pulp mill’s wastewater site, on the edge of a First Nations reserve, will be Nova Scotia’s biggest industrial remediation since the Sydney Tar Ponds. “I don’t think we can overstate the importance of this project,” he said. “There are a lot of unknowns in terms of what contaminants have been in there.” … The Nova Scotia government has committed to closing Boat Harbour by 2020 and restoring the waterway to a pristine tidal estuary.

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US Demand for Softwood Lumber is Forecasted to Increase in the Next 15 years – Where Will the Wood Come From?

By Haken Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
April 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Seattle—US softwood lumber demand is expected to continue its upward trajectory from the lows of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, reaching an all-time high by mid 2020s, according to a newly released US Lumber Outlook Study by ForestEdge LLC and Wood Resources International LLC. In the study’s base case scenario, lumber consumption in the end-use category “Non-Residential Construction” is forecasted to grow the fastest and increase its share of softwood lumber consumption from 11% in 2016 to 14% by 2030. However, the biggest end-use market will continue to be the residential housing sector, including repair and remodeling, at a total share of about 70% of the total lumber consumption by 2030. 

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Weyerhauser profits soar due to strong housing market

By Zack Hale
Longview Daily News
April 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A healthy national housing market buoyed Weyerhaeuser Co. to lofty first-quarter profits, the company reported Friday.Net earnings increased to $275 million, up from $167 million during the same period last year. Net sales were $1.9 billion, nearly $200 million more than the first quarter of 2017.Strong lumber prices drove solid demand for logs, the company said. Weyerhauser’s western timberlands delivered $165 million in earnings — $32 million more than the first quarter of last year. The results are welcome news for the local economy, given that the company still employs several hundred workers here at its at its Longview sawmill and log dock, and within its timber operations.“The housing market continues to grow at a healthy rate,” CEO Doyle Simons told investors Friday on an earnings call.

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American workers who lose jobs in a trade war won’t get much help

By Lydia DePillis
CNN Money
April 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Earlier this month, news came out that 50 Tampa Bay Times employees would face a fate typically reserved for factory workers and steel mill operators: Losing their jobs in a trade dispute. Tariffs the United States imposed on softwood lumber from Canada had raised the paper’s newsprint costs by some $3 million a year, the publisher said, and the business’ already thin margins couldn’t absorb that. Normally, when a job is outsourced or terminated as a result of import competition, workers get some extra help. …But the 56-year-old program doesn’t cover people who lose jobs in later phases of trade disputes. The essential requirement for eligibility is that the job was lost to “foreign competition.” Jobs lost due to tariffs actually levied by the United States — which can raise domestic prices and provoke retaliatory measures from abroad — don’t qualify.

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Wood exports can help 2018 target

Viet Nam News
April 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam can reach its export value target of US$9 billion for forestry products this year through the export of wooden products, said an expert. Việt Nam’s exports account for just 6 per cent of the global timber and wooden furniture market, which is estimated at $120 billion, said Phạm Hồng Lượng, head of the Planning and Finance Department, operating under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Việt Nam Administration of Forestry. Việt Nam holds huge potential for wood processing and production, according to Lượng. The nation has nearly 4,000 timber processing firms, including 1,500 companies specialising in producing wooden products for export.

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Coillte sees Irish forestry value reaching nearly €5 billion in the next decade

Business & Finance
April 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Fergal Leamy

Fergal Leamy, CEO of Coillte, believes the Irish forestry industry could be worth nearly €5 billion in the next ten years. This may be so but the Coillte Chief Executive says that the country as a whole is slow on the uptake of the sector’s potential despite the fact Ireland has faster tree growth than most EU rival countries in the field. Forestation and afforestation rates in Ireland are currently well below the European average. Around 11% of Ireland’s land mass is forested. The EU average stands at 38%.

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Timber industry sees Border checks as part of solution in hard Brexit

By Simon Carswell
The Irish Times
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The timber industry sees a copy of checks on the Canadian-US and Norwegian-Swedish borders as part of preparations for a possible hard Brexit to minimise its impact on Irish-British and cross-Border trade. Concerned that the UK will crash out of the European Union in March 2019 without a deal, the industry made the observations in a new report aimed at preparing Ireland for the worst post-Brexit. The industry supports 12,000 jobs and relies on unrestricted trade north and south of the Border and between the UK and the Republic. It has already felt the pinch from Brexit as the fall in the value of sterling is costing the industry an estimated €40 million to €50 million a year.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadian Timberframes is a local business with a big reach

BC Local News
April 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stephanie and Jeffrey Bowes

Canadian Timberframes have been manufacturing spectacular homes for almost 20 years now. Since first building homes in Golden, it has branched out to build homes and commercial structures all across North America. Owners president Jeffrey Bowes and his wife, vice president Stephanie Bowes say they owe the success of the business to the people and the environment in Golden. “It’s a real kudos to Golden. The fact that we’re here allows us to compete internationally,” Jeffrey says, explaining it’s the quality of wood and the hardworking mentality of the people employed at Canadian Timberframes that is helping to build this company into an “affluent luxury brand.” …The locally-grown slow growth, tight grained Douglas fir tree is having a moment right now. It is the most sought-after wood by architects and clients within the industry and adds to the quality of product we manufacture here.

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Fired up: Why Ottawa’s deputy fire chief wants builders to use less flammable materials

CBC News
April 29, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office investigates the cause of a Stittsville house fire in mid-April that left two firefighters with significant injuries, questions remain. Could the injuries — caused by the firefighters falling through the home’s floor — have been prevented? Was there something about the building materials that made the fire’s progress unpredictable? …What we see with modern residential construction is that we’ve introduced light-weight trusses, silent floors, these pre-engineered floor systems. What they are is one-inch-by-one-inch dimensional lumber. Whereas before, what you had was a solid two-by-10 that would hold up the floors. Well, what science is showing us, from (National Research Council) testing, is that these floors burn through in as little as six minutes from direct exposure to a fire. And that’s about the same time that our firefighters are actually getting set to go in and try to put these fires out.

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Wood bill passes second reading in Legislature

Northern Ontario Business
April 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A bill that would allow the construction of wood-frame buildings up to 14 storeys has passed its next hurdle in the provincial Legislature. Bill 19, The Ontario Forestry Revitalization Act (14-Storey Wood Buildings), 2018, received all-party support during its second reading on April 26. If approved, the Ontario Building Code would be amended to allow the construction of wood-frame buildings up to 14 storeys. Current law only allows for wood-frame buildings up to six storeys. he bill has now been referred to a committee, and a report will come back to the Legislature for review before it can move to third reading. … Fedeli said if it’s approved, the bill would pave the way for projects that are currently in the works, including a 14-storey building proposed by the University of Toronto and a 12-storey building being planned by George Brown College in Toronto.

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Save what remains of New Brunswick’s covered bridges, new group pleads

By Sarah Trainor
CBC News
April 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick is down to 58 covered bridges. In 1953, there were 340 wooden structures spanning rivers and streams across the province. Boucher said  Damage from flood waters, vehicle accidents and industrial mishaps have battered the bridges in recent years, but a newly formed group is troubled by the lack of care and attention made to their repairs. The newly formed group, Covered Bridges Conservation Association of New Brunswick, is now standing guard over what remains of the province’s covered bridges.

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Wood growth model advances genetic engineering of trees for paper, biofuels

By Catharine Paddock
Market Business News
April 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A wood growth model promises to advance genetic engineering of trees for timber, paper, pulp, biofuels, and environmentally friendly products. The idea is to simulate the effects of gene-tweaking on the biology of wood without having to create and then wait for live specimens to grow and be analyzed. Professor Vincent Chiang of the Forest Biotechnology Group at North Carolina State, and colleagues describe their “biosynthesis model” in a paper that was published recently in the journal Nature Communications. The current prototype, or “base model,” allows scientists to observe what happens to wood growth when they manipulate up to 21 genes that control the properties of lignin, a major component of wood.

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Atmos Studio’s sinuous timber staircase spirals through the centre of London restaurant

By Alyn Griffiths
Dezeen
April 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Atmos Studio has completed a flowing staircase made from laminated oak that is the centrepiece of a recently opened restaurant in Mayfair, London. StairStalk is the centrepiece of the Oliver Dabbous’s recently opened HIDE restaurant, where it ascends from a basement bar to the dining areas on the ground floor and upper mezzanine.  The multidisciplinary practice is known for its organically inspired designs and was chosen to create a statement staircase that appears to grow out of the shadows of the basement level towards the daylight above. The overall concept for the restaurant’s interior was already developed by interior designer Rose Murray, director of These White Walls, before Atmos Studio was brought on board to create the showpiece staircase. The restaurant was realised by architectural consultancy Lusted Green.

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Beulah Unveils A Promised Land In Dixwell

By Markeshia Ricks
New Haven Independent
April 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Dixwell neighbors are used to developers trying to woo them with plans for apartments, leaving them asking “‘affordable’ for whom?” They were pleased not to be asking that question after hearing Thursday night about the details of a new planned gateway to their neighborhood with 70 mostly lower-income apartments on a now-vacant lot. The nonprofit development arm of Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church  is looking to put affordable housing across the street, built safely but quickly, with environmentally sustainable materials—namely wood. …The development team believes it can get the project up so quickly because of a new building technology called mass timber construction. …Dixwell Alder Steve Winter said the project hit many sweet spots for him. “It’s affordable, it’s extremely environmentally friendly, it has the potential to be carbon sink maybe even carbon negative, who knows,” Winter said. 

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Forestry

Massive Fire Burns East Of Woodridge Manitoba

By Rachel Siemens
Steinback Online
April 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A massive fire burns between Woodridge and Badger along Provincial Road 203. RCMP are blocking access to roads leading to the fire to keep residents and drivers in the area safe, while fire crews, along with water bombers and helicopters, are working at containing and extinguishing the extensive blaze. According to Woodridge ATV Sandhogs Facebook post, “we have a massive forest fire that started this afternoon off of Fire Guard 14 to the east of Carrick. It is spreading fast with the strong south winds heading towards St. Labre and White Mouth Lake. They have called in water bombers from Winnipeg to fight the fire but with the lakes frozen they have to be refilled at the Winnipeg Airport. All the local fire departments are on hand. The fire is close to Fire Guard 10 and the steel and wood hydro lines.”

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May meeting to address Youbou logging

By Sarah Simpson
BC Local News
April 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A group dedicated to preserving the wilderness behind Youbou has scheduled a May 9 meeting and encourages members of the community to attend. The organizers of the Save Our Holmes group have booked the Youbou town hall for 6 p.m. that Wednesday evening and thus far have a panel of speakers from local and national environmental organizations lined up to talk about forestry in the region and what can be done to preserve nature. Included in that list are representatives from the Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition, the Youbou Timberless Society, the Sierra Club, the Ancient Forest Alliance and more. …“We all want… a moratorium on logging behind Youbou here and hopefully down the road we can have a society and try to do set up a campaign to save the mountain for future generations for the residents,” she said.

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‘Forests Forever’ project at Forest Discovery Centre gets $400K boost

By Lexi Bainas
Lake Cowichan Gazette
April 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chris Gale

The BC Forest Discovery Centre’s $1.3 million Forests Forever project is getting a $400,000 boost from the Island Coastal Economic Trust. Aimed at injecting new life into the Centre, Forests Forever will make it the premier tourism destination on the B.C. Coast to learn about forestry — past, present and future, say proponents. The Centre originally announced the project in October 2017 and has been pulling in donations from all over since then. Western Forest Products has donated $250K, TimberWest has put in $150K, and the Truck Loggers Association has stepped up with $75K already, bringing the total in hand to $975K. There’s plenty of excitement about the new display, too. …“The advances in technology over the past few decades have transformed many aspects of the forest sector and are creating new opportunities for the future,” said Chris Gale, the centre’s executive director.

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Do what you can to be fire smart

By Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper
BC Local News
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nancy Cooper

It’s been a long winter and a slow cool start to spring. Now that seasonal spring weather appears to be upon us it time for yard work and garden cleanup. …The City of Salmon Arm with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) have comprehensive emergency plans with well trained staff and volunteers ready to move into action quickly if needed. The reality is we live a beautiful natural region of forests lakes and watercourses. So we should all be prepared for an emergency and there is much you can do to be “Fire Smart.” The Home Owners FireSmart Manual is available at City Hall and at the CSRD office. This manual states the best protection against loss, damage, or injury due to wildfire is prevention. The following suggestions are from the FireSmart Manual.

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Once Upon a Creek

By July Bradbury
The Coast Reporter
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you look at the B.C. Ministry of Forests map that shows the many forest blocks tagged to be logged in the next few years on Mt. Elphinstone above Roberts Creek, you’ll see, tucked away in the bottom far right corner, almost off the map, a forest designated DL 1313. DL 1313 is uniquely situated because, unlike the other forest blocks on the slopes of Mt. Elphinstone, it is surrounded on three sides by houses. It is truly an urban forest. …But, Richmond said, ordinary citizens are beginning to wake up to the amazing potential of a wilderness forest on their doorstep. …To save DL 1313 will not be easy. A deadline is fast approaching.

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Growers prepare to decide fate of Christmas tree checkoff

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Christmas tree farmers across the U.S. will begin voting May 1 on whether to continue funding a research and promotions “checkoff” program for the crop. The referendum will accept votes until May 31 from roughly 1,500 growers who sell more than 500 trees per year and are thus subject to the 15 cent per tree assessment. The checkoff program, overseen by the USDA and the Christmas Tree Promotion Board, completed its third annual advertising campaign last year since being launched in 2015. Roughly $1.8 million a year is collected under the program, with much of that money directed at an online and social media strategy intended to convince Millenial generation consumers to chose real trees over artificial ones.

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Evacuations ordered, structures destroyed as 8,000-acre Tinder Fire explodes in Arizona

By Ashley Williams
AccuWeather
April 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than 500 homes are under threat from the rapidly expanding Tinder Fire in Arizona, which exploded from 500 to 8,000 acres in the span of a few hours on Sunday. The wind-driven blaze, which originated on April 27 about 1.5 miles northeast of the Blue Ridge Reservoir in Coconino County, has triggered a number of evacuations and road closures in nearby local communities, according to InciWeb. All communities north, east and west of Highway 87 were ordered to evacuate, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. …High winds contributing to the fire’s growth will likely continue to exacerbate containment efforts for the more than 500 personnel working to contain the blaze. …Because the wind direction will remain rather steady over the next few days, this will not be the worst-case scenario, as fire spread should be more predictable than it would be with changing wind directions, according to Duffey.

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Prescribed burn starts 200-acre wildfire southeast of Helena

By Thomas Plank
Helena Independent Record
April 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A 200-acre wildfire sprang from a prescribed burn southeast of Helena Friday afternoon. The fire began burning three miles east of east Helena, just north of Highway 12, as a prescribed burn shot quickly out of control after the wind changed direction. Bob Drake, Tri-Lakes fire chief, said it was actually two different fires but that the teams “got it caught” as of Friday at 4 p.m.”The wind came up from an odd direction,” Drake said. Drake was unsure how many firefighters had responded to the scene as they were “still streaming in.”The fire was on private land. Prescribed burns are common in the late spring when vegetation is still dry enough to burn but there is enough moisture to make them controllable. 

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New York state giving $2.2 million for forestry projects

The Associated Press in Upstate New York
April 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state is celebrating Arbor Day in a big way, releasing $2.2 million in grants for tree planting and community forestry projects across the state. ..The money will come from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. It was established in 1872 to encourage farmers and homesteaders to plant trees to provide shade, shelter, food, fuel and beauty to open areas. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the latest grants on Friday at a tree-planting event in Albany.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change-induced forest fires threaten iconic conifers in western US

By Tibi Puiu
ZME Science
April 30, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Climate change is set to intensify summer droughts and increase forest fire frequency, with drastic consequences for unique bioregions of northern California and southwestern Oregon. Harvard University ecologists zoomed in on a region called the Klamath, a pocket of the Pacific Northwest. It’s one of the most biophysically complex areas in North America and a huge carbon sink. There are 29 species of conifers and various rare plants that grow only here in the entire world. These sort of forests are well-adapted to wildfire but even the most resilient species may find it difficult to recover in the face of abrupt climate change. …Climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of wildfires in the region, allowing shrubs to prosper, which are able to quickly regenerate. In the process of repeated high severity fires, the shrubs squeeze out the conifers. “This is often referred to as a shrub trap”, Jonathan R Thompson said.

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Wood pellet factories tend to smash air quality permits, new report commends Georgia

By David Pendered
Saporta Report
April 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Georgia won praise Thursday in a report largely critical of an issue portrayed as lax enforcement of air quality regulations of the wood pellet industry. Criticism also was laid on the new federal policy that power plants fueled by biomass don’t create carbon pollution. “Georgia has definitely played a leadership role in this [wood pellet] industry,” said Keri Powell, a former senior Clean Air Act attorney with the Atlanta office of the Environmental Protection Agency. Powell … co-wrote the new report, Dirty Deception: How the Wood Biomass Industry Skirts the Clean Air Act, on behalf of the Environmental Integrity Project. The report traces emissions by the fast-growing wood pellet industry. …Sami Yassa, Natural Resources Defense Council, said three Virginia coal-fired plants converted to biomass in 2012 now have higher emissions, and the conversion was so expensive that electricity now costs more than power provided through other alternative sources.

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Scientists project a drier Amazon and wetter Indonesia in the future

University of California – Irving
Science Codex
April 27, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

James Randerson

Irvine, Calif. – Climate models predict that an increase in greenhouse gases will dry out the Amazon rainforest in the future while causing wetter conditions in the woodlands of Africa and Indonesia. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have identified an unexpected but major factor in this worldwide precipitation shift: the direct response of the forests themselves to higher levels of carbon dioxide. “People tend to think that most of the disruption will come from heat going into the oceans, which, in turn, will alter wind patterns,” said James Randerson, UCI’s Chair in Earth System Science. “We have found that large-scale changes in rainfall can, in part, be attributed to the way tropical forests respond to the overabundance of carbon dioxide humans are emitting into the atmosphere, particularly over dense forests in the Amazon and across Asia.”

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Building Out Biomass in the Land Down Under

By Patrick C. Miller
Biomass Magazine
April 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Australia’s bioenergy sector is alive and brimming with ideas about how to keep pace with progress being made internationally. However, biofuels advocates believe the country lacks a clear strategy, as well as policies to harness the environmental benefits and economic potential that biomass energy offers.  “In contrast to the U.S. and Brazil, where supportive policy environments have led to sustained growth in biofuels production and consumption over the past several decades, the biofuels industry in Australia has not developed to the same extent,” states a paper issued earlier this year by the Queensland University of Technology, titled “Biofuels to bioproducts: a growth industry for Australia.”

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Health & Safety

Bulkley forestry audit finds safety issues

By Chris Gareau
The Interior News
April 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Six bridges with structural safety issues were found after an audit of the Bulkley Timber Supply Area (TSA). Four bridges west of Smithers and two in the north section of the TSA have serious issues. These are on forest service roads (FSR) in the wilderness not recommended for travel to the general public, but are used especially in the summer by wilderness seekers. Bridge problems included rotten, broken or missing components, or abutment erosion. A total of 26 bridges were examined. “The number of issues with roads and bridges identified in this audit is concerning,” said Chris Mosher, director of audits for the Forest Practices Board (FPB), in a media release. ”We are also concerned that we continue to see issues with fire hazard assessments, as we have warned licensees that this is a legal requirement that we check in our audits.”

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Get ready for your ‘pack a day’ of summer smoke

David Schott – timber industry spokesman
Mail Tribune
April 29, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Fire is becoming the major focus for this coming summer. …Forest fire smoke is extremely serious and it’s deadly. Just remember back to last summer when we endured seven continuous weeks of smoke. That has been compared to the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 50 or more days. …new research is indicating that such smoke exposure is much more harmful than originally thought. One study estimates that those tiny particles “degrade health and contribute to thousands of deaths each year in the U.S. alone by causing respiratory, cardiovascular and other health problems.” …We need to change the whole philosophy of the Forest Service regarding fighting fires. Unfortunately its planning doesn’t include any consideration for smoke and its health implications. That needs to change. …Also, we need to start thinning and managing the forests now.

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Health warnings after toxic caterpillar outbreak in London

BBC News
April 28, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

An outbreak of toxic caterpillars that can cause asthma attacks, vomiting and skin rashes has descended on London, officials have warned. Oak processionary moths (OPM), which are in their larval stage, have been spotted across the south-east of England and in the capital. Hairs on the caterpillars can cause fevers and eye and throat irritations, the Forestry Commission said. The organisation has issued a caution not to touch the species. …As a caterpillar, each OPM has about 62,000 hairs, which they can eject. Hairs that fall to the ground can be active for up to five years. The moths only live for two to three days in July or August. It is thought that the moths were brought into the UK on trees imported from Europe for a landscape project.

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