Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 31, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Michael Green / Katerra deal suggests intriguing possibilities for tall timber

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 31, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Billion-dollar construction startup Katerra’s acquisition of Michael Green Architecture suggests “intriguing possibilities for tall timber“, according to Curbed Magazine. In related news, Steve Cavanaugh of DLR Group, tells the story behind the US’s largest mass timber building—T3 in Minneapolis.

Companies making headlines today include:

  • Interfor signs an MOU with the Penticton Indian Band
  • Catalysts sells it US assets to focus on Canadian operations
  • Kalesnikoff Lumber takes care of its people and forests
  • Aspen Planers passes a BC Forest Practices Board audit
  • CP Rail settles with Teamsters, ending one day strike
  • The Resolute / Greenpeace lawsuit is now in court
  • Canfor wins an NRCan energy efficiency award
  • TimberWest releases its 2017 sustainability progress report
  • Tolko supplies log booms for beachfront protection

Finally, a few forestry stories of note: Manitoba seeks to resurrect Pineland Forest Nursery; the USFS says “fire seasons” have become “fire years” due to climate change; and tree rings are helping measure Arizona’s mega drought.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada Recognizes Industry Leaders and Expands Energy Efficiency Programs

By Natural Resources Canada
Government of Canada
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Energy efficiency in industry strengthens competitiveness, lowers costs, maximizes profits and promotes a more sustainable environment. Promoting and rewarding energy-efficient practices are key components of Canada’s approach to transitioning to a clean energy future. Canadian leaders in energy efficiency were celebrated today at the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) Leadership Awards. The Awards were presented during the biennial ENERGY SUMMIT in Vaughan, Ontario, co-hosted by Natural Resources Canada, Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) and CIPEC. These CIPEC leaders were honoured for their exceptional achievements in promoting and improving energy efficiency, cutting costs and improving productivity through sustainable energy use: …Energy Performance Management: Canfor Pulp Ltd.

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Lawsuit Against Greenpeace Raises Freedom of Speech Concerns

By Matthew Parsons
Human Rights Watch
May 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Today, a US federal court heard arguments in a lawsuit against Greenpeace that raises serious concerns about freedom of expression.In May 2016, Resolute Forest Products, a Canada-based logging company, filed a CAD$300 million lawsuit against Greenpeace and Stand.earth, as well as five staff members, under a US racketeering law enacted in 1970 and used to prosecute the mafia. This legal strategy has lead nongovernmental organizations and others to accuse Resolute of trying to silence environmental activists. …Resolute alleges not only that it has suffered immense financial harm as a result… Why should we pay attention to this lawsuit? Because a number of environmental and human rights groups claim that it is emblematic of an abusive legal strategy to muzzle activists that speak against destructive corporate practices, known as “strategic lawsuits against public participation,” or SLAPPs. 

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Public warned to stay away from flood protection log booms

BC Local News
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Starting Thursday, crews will install log booms on Okanagan Lake in the Central Okanagan to protect public infrastructure and beachfront areas from possible high winds and wave action. The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre says three sets of log booms will be installed just offshore near Swim Bay in Peachland, off Hot Sands Beach in Kelowna’s City Park, and off the Maude-Roxby Bird Sanctuary in Kelowna. More log booms may be deployed in other areas over the next week if needed. Wood products company Tolko, which operates a mill in Kelowna’s North End, is supplying the logs for the 1.7-kilometres of log boom to be used. The booms will be anchored with chains attached to concrete blocks placed on the bottom of the lake. The blocks will be marked with buoys on the surface and boaters are asked to keep away from the log booms to avoid damage.

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Catalyst sells US assets to focus on Canadian operations

By David Brindle
The Powell River Peak
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The sale of two mills in the United States on May 25 means Catalyst Paper Corporation has only its three Canadian pulp and paper mills producing product, including in Powell River. Catalyst entered into an agreement with Hong Kong’s Nine Dragons Paper to sell its mills in Rumford, Maine, and Biron, Wisconsin, and the company’s US headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, for $175 million (US). …“This transaction allows Catalyst to repay a significant portion of our debt and focus on our British Columbia operations,” said Catalyst president and chief executive officer Ned Dwyer. …Catalyst is being pressured by United States Department of Commerce protectionist trade measuresthat target Canadian producers of uncoated groundwood paper. Catalyst’s BC mills are taking the biggest hit.

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Penticton Indian Band, Interfor sign MOU

By Colin Dacre
Castanet
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chad Eneas & Rick Slaco

It’s a big day for the Penticton Indian Band, with the signing of an MOU between the First Nation and Interfor. The agreement will see greater collaboration between the PIB and company on things like the environment, cultural sites and economic partnerships. “A lot more communication between us, and much more up front,” Interfor VP Rick Slaco described the agreement.” …“This is not business as usual, this is the new business. The business is built around that respect and understanding,” he added. The agreement is a first between Interfor and an Okanagan Nation Alliance First Nation, although Slaco said they would be interested in pursuing similar agreements with the rest of the ONA. …“It symbolizes that, I think, Interfor recognizes our aboriginal rights and title as a legitimate government,” said PIB Chief Chad Eneas.

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Respecting the land: Family mill takes care of its people and forests

By Trevor Shpeley
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West
It is said that if you want to truly understand somebody then you have to know all about where they live and where they come from. That is certainly the case with the Kalesnikoff family and the sawmill complex they operate on the bank of the idyllic Kootenay River between Nelson and Castlegar, B.C. …In 1939, deep into the Great Depression, brothers Sam, Peter and Koozma took a look around and noticed that there were people out making a living logging and milling lumber. …They built the first mill in Blueberry, just south of Castlegar. …With Ken finding himself more and more involved in the politics of forestry, a fourth generation of Kalesnikoffs have taken over the day to day running of the mill.

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TimberWest Publishes Sustainability Progress Report

TimberWest
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TimberWest released its 2017 Sustainability Progress Report. The Report focuses on progress in key areas of sustainability including Safety, Environment, First Nations, and Local Communities. “We are on a journey to constantly improve what we do, and how we do it. We set key improvement targets every year, and measure our progress against these goals” said Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. “TimberWest has been part of the fabric of Vancouver Island for over 100 years.  We strive to be highly responsible stewards of the land and do the right thing by First Nations, the communities, and the thousands of people who work for TimberWest directly and indirectly.” …“Our areas of focus for 2018 include working towards zero injuries by targeting a further significant reduction in injury frequency – we will only truly be successful when everyone goes home safely, every single day,” continued Mr. Zweig. 

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Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement With CP, Ending Strike

By The Teamsters Canada
Cision Newswire
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY – The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) reached a tentative agreement with Canadian Pacific (CP) to renew the collective agreement for over 3000 conductors and locomotive engineers, ending a strike which began at 2200 ET yesterday. At the same time, the parties have reached a tentative agreement for the Kootenay Valley Railway (KVR). Full operations at CP and KVR will resume tomorrow at 0600 local time across Canada. “We would like to thank our members for their incredible support throughout this process,” said Doug Finnson, President of the TCRC. “We believe this is a fair contract that our members can feel good about ratifying. I am personally very satisfied with what we have negotiated.” The tentative agreement must now be ratified by TCRC members, a process which will take place over the coming months.  

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Small sawmill outside Grand Falls-Windsor a total loss after fire

CBC News
May 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A small sawmill outside Grand Falls-Windsor has been destroyed by fire. Grand Falls-Windsor fire chief Vince Mackenzie said the RCMP were alerted to the fire at Pearson’s Peak around 8:30 a.m. Thursday by passersby. Mackenzie said the sawmill is a total loss. No cause has been identified yet, but the RCMP will investigate. No one was injured while battling the blaze. Provincial officials with the forestry and agrifoods department are on scene, ensuring there is no danger of starting a forest fire.

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Wajax opens new Sudbury location

By Lindsay Kelly
Northern Ontario Business
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wajax is marking a milestone at its Sudbury branch, with the opening of a new, 42,500-square-foot facility on the outskirts of the city. …The company previously served Sudbury-area clients from three different divisions – equipment, power systems, and industrial components – all operating independently. But two years ago, Wajax opted to consolidate the three divisions into one unit, said Kyle Doherty, Wajax’s regional sales manager for Northern Ontario and branch operations manager for the Sudbury location. …The equipment division tended to service mainly forestry and construction, but it’s now taking on more work in mining, he noted. Similarly, most customers for the industrial components division came from industrial plants, but the company is now eyeing new opportunities in forestry.

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Mississippi U.S. House election: Perry Parker

By Sarah Fowler
The Clarion Ledger
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Perry Parker

Parker, 52, of Seminary, is a businessman running as a “political outsider.” Parker said he wants to use his business experience in Washington and is looking to serve, not for a job or career. Do you agree with President Trump’s tariff policy, and how do you believe it would affect Mississippi? I believe that a renegotiated NAFTA that will create opportunities for our lumber industry to compete with heavily subsidized Canadian lumber is a must, and I fully support President Trump in that effort. I don’t believe that our issues with China should be remedied on the backs of American farmers. I’ll remind the White House of that fact and make plain how that negative outcome for farmers makes no sense for our country.

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Forests watchdog sends ultimatum to Indonesian paper giant

Associated Press in Vancouver Sun
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

BANGKOK — The main global group for certifying sustainable wood has sent a “come clean” ultimatum to one of the world’s largest paper companies and its billionaire Indonesian family owners following evidence it continues to cut down tropical forests and operate through corporate proxies. A May 28 letter from the Forest Stewardship Council seen Wednesday by The Associated Press makes four demands of Sinarmas and the Widjaja family that it insists must be met within days. The conglomerate’s years long effort to be readmitted to the council, whose stylized tree mark is an influential endorsement in the global marketplace, could be completely undone if it doesn’t comply. It was expelled in 2007 for extensive destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Accelerate Live! talk: T3 mass timber office buildings

By Steve Cavanaugh
Building Design + Construction
May 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

When the nine-story, wood-framed Murray Grove multifamily project opened in London in 2009, it sparked both inspiration and debate over the use of mass timber technology for high-rise construction.  Almost overnight, the design and construction community worldwide become fascinated with the high-tech modern-day application of one of the world’s oldest construction materials.  …In this 15-minute talk at BD+C’s Accelerate Live! conference, Steve Cavanaugh, a Principal and Design Leader with DLR Group, tells the story behind T3, including the social and market drivers that resulted in this unique solution, information about the sustainable aspects of the work, and insights into the thought behind the design.

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Are tall timber buildings the future of construction?

By Patrick Sisson
Curbed
May 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Michael Green

Billion-dollar construction startup Katerra’s acquisition of Michael Green Architecture suggests intriguing possibilities for sustainable construction. Tall timber construction, hyped as one of the next big things in architecture and construction, has slowly gained traction as a small number of multistory projects have started to showcase the possibilities of a more sustainable type of building. …Earlier this year, Katerra, a Silicon Valley startup focused on the construction industry, received $865 million in funding from the SoftBank Vision Fund, a billion-dollar venture capital firm that has invested in leading startups such as Uber. Today, Katerra used some of its sizable bankroll to acquire Michael Green Architecture Inc. (MGA), a Vancouver-based firm and one of the pioneers of tall timber construction.

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Metsä Wood: Modular Wooden Living on the Rooftops of Poissy

By Metsä Wood
Markets Insider
May 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In response to housing challenges and environmental issues in urban areas, extending buildings upwards is a logical solution. As part of an urban development project in Poissy, near Paris, 33 new apartments were constructed on top of existing residential buildings. The apartments were built with prefabricated wooden modules made from fast, light and green Kerto® LVL products. Thanks to the prefabrication and light wooden structures, the construction took only six months to complete. Prefabrication and use of wooden structures make building extensions fast and economical. Metsä Wood ‘s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) is an ideal material for designing and constructing additional floors in urban environments. Wooden modules are light to transport and lift. Prefabrication ensures quick installation.

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Macquarie Uni’s prefab ‘innovation hub’ named best education building in Australasia

By Patrick Hunn
Architecture AU
May 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A timber, prefabricated “innovation hub” by Architectus has been named the overall winner of an awards program that rewards innovative education design. The Macquarie University Incubator won the overall prize at the 18th Excellence in Educational Facilities Awards. The awards are organized by the Association for Learning Environments Australasia… The organization draws its membership from both education sector and design and architecture. The Incubator was also the winner in the “New Construction / New Individual Facility over $8 million” category. …The predominantly timber building, which was fabricated off–site and assembled at Macquarie University, includes a ceiling structure made of cross–laminated timber (CLT), large span Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) beams and Glulam V columns. Construction involved Lipman and Strongbuild.

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Forestry

WoodValue: Extracting More Value from the Forest

FPInnovations Blog
May 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

On the surface, logging and sawmilling might seem quite simple, but the reality is a complex science with a multitude of factors that impact bucking, sorting, and manufacturing. And, due to the difficulty in making sense of the variables when attempting to identify opportunities, dollars are being left on the table. FPInnovations’ latest technology, WoodValue, is an advanced decision support tool that is helping forest companies maximize their output and revenue by improving the log purchasing process with better information. …Still in the prototype phase, users in Quebec and B.C. are already realizing the tool’s worth. Mills have been encouraging their log buyers to adopt WoodValue in an attempt to move towards standardization and more objective decision-making. …The hope is to commercially launch the product within the next year, when the group will truly begin to understand the extent of the industry need and demand for FPI WoodValue.

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Revisiting tenure: Managing competitive forests to supply a competitive industry

By Tony Rotherham and Ken Armson
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
May 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Tony Rotherham

Ken Armson


Canada has 397 million hectares (ha) of forested land. Approximately 190 million (48 per cent) is considered to be suitable for long-term sustainable management for the production of timber, while 165 million ha (87 per cent) of that forest is publicly owned and managed under the authority of the provincial governments. Another 20 million ha (10 per cent) are private woodlots owned by some 450,000 rural families across Canada, with the average size 40 ha. The balance, five million ha (3 per cent) is in large blocks of private forest land owned by a mix of private investors, forest products companies and pension funds. The Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) is approximately 230 million m3 (165 million m3 of conifer and 65 million m3 of hardwood). This article, for the most part, excludes B.C. The structure and supply chain of the industry in B.C. has been different, due largely to tree size.

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Tolko supports School District 27’s Heavy Metal Rocks program in BC’s Cariboo-Chilcotin

Tolko
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a major sponsor dropped out of the Heavy Metal Rocks program, Tolko has stepped in to donate $2,000 to ensure that the program continues. Heavy Metal Rocks is a project that provides grade 11 and 12 students an opportunity to explore rewarding career choices as heavy-duty equipment operators in the logging, natural resources, and construction industries. Several Tolko employees took the time to offer their skills for the program. Liane Skellett, administrative assistant with Tolko’s Soda Creek Division, taught the students how to build their resumes. HR Manager, Tina O’Neill conducted interviews and provided students with tips on how to improve their interview skills. Gary Rouse, Lakeview log yard loader, trained students to operate the wheel loader, and Joe Webster of Cariboo Woodlands organized equipment, contractors, and assisted with supervising the site.

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Students in the driver’s seat

By Richard Froese
South Peace News
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

E.W. Pratt students were given hands-on experience in the driver’s seats of a forestry simulator that visited the High Prairie school May 7-11. Simulators of heavy- duty equipment returned to the school for the third straight year from the Woodland Operators Learning Foundation, affiliated with Northern Lakes College and established by forest resource stakeholders. “I want to get some experience and I’ll probably operate a machine like this in real life,” says Grade 12 student Thayne Schur-Auger. “I want to work in the forest industry.” Students operate the computerized forestry simulators for six hours as part of their education program. …Before getting into the driver’s seat, students were required to complete online computer courses in forest protection and stewardship and research and development related to the industry.

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Jasper National Park has options on wildfire danger

Letter by Ken Hodges and Emile Begin, RPFs
Jasper Fitzhugh
May 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The information in the (letter) of May 17 in the Fitzhugh is bang on.  Parks have the authority to do a lot more than what they are doing. From the large turnout at the public forum held earlier this month, it is apparent that the people in Jasper are concerned and have every right to be, their houses and livelihood are at a very high risk of being destroyed. …In this case, Jasper Park staffs are not truly cognizant of the potential of a fire in the current conditions.  They have limited experience or understanding in these types of conditions or resulting fire behavior. With ground fuel including spring growth that will dry out in midsummer from a lack of moisture, ground and ladder fuels from 100 years of Parks fire suppression and beetle killed forests (2017 – 93,000 ha) you have a powder  keg waiting to blow-up. Parks Canada has created unnatural forest conditions in Jasper National Parks by their actions (fire suppression) creating abnormal fire conditions and prime food for the mountain pine beetle.

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Request for Pre-Qualification Now Being Received for Pineland Forest Nursery Sale

Global Newswire
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Manitoba government has posted a request for pre-qualification as it seeks to bring new life to Pineland Forest Nursery after the operation in its current form winds down on Dec. 31, 2018, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today. “We expect there will be significant interest in this incredible asset and we look forward to an interesting array of ideas and proposals for this opportunity,” said Squires. “We also want to be clear that the province will continue its commitment to reforestation and seedling planting, maintain the vital seed bank that is part of the Pineland operation and ensure the research being conducted by the University of Winnipeg continues at the site.”

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Resident gets meeting with Jasper National Park super on forest fire

Jasper Fitzhugh
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Marie-France Miron

Marie-France Miron got a quick response from Parks Canada’s man in Jasper after threatening a protest over the agency’s “inaction” on the threat of wildfire Wednesday afternoon. …“I understand very clearly that you and other residents have serious concerns about the wildfire risk in Jasper,” Jasper National Park superintendent Alan Fehr wrote. “‎I can personally assure you that Parks Canada takes wildfire risk and emergency planning and preparations extremely serious.” He said he is willing to meet and discuss what measures Parks has taken past, present and future. …Miron posted on her Facebook page SaveJasperNoFire that the protest at an unspecified time and location would be calling for a clear-cutting of the forest around the Jasper townsite. Miron and others believe that is the best way to protect the town in case of forest fire.

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Aspen Planers passes provincial audit

By Wendy Fraser
The Bridge River Lillooet News
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An audit of 0866740 B.C. Ltd., held by Aspen Planers… has found compliance with most requirements of the BC Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The forest licence is in the Cascades Natural Resource District. …Nearby communities include Bralorne and Gold Bridge. …”The audit did find some issues with how Aspen had managed visual quality,” said Bruce Larson, vice-chair of the Forest Practices Board. …The audit also found that Aspen assesses the fire hazard for its harvest blocks as part of the final road and block inspection, but its assessments do not adequately consider the risk of a fire starting and spreading. This is considered an area for improvement.

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Small and mighty: New Brunswick loggers adapt to be lean and efficient

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
May 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Richard and Michel Plourde


Contractors in Atlantic Canada are among the smallest in the country. Canadian Forest Industries 2016 Contractor Survey confirms that 58 per cent of loggers in Atlantic Canada have five or fewer employees compared to the national average of 24 per cent. For the Plourde brothers in New Brunswick, small is the best model for them to efficiently run their contracting businesses. Richard and Michel Plourde divided the assets of their joint logging company, M&R Plourde, in 2016 to begin their own ventures. With just one or two pieces of iron each and both employing just one or two operators, the contractors managed to bring in a combined 110,000 cubic metres in 2017 for AV Group NB — the owner of two dissolving pulp mills in New Brunswick.

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Maritimes warned about beetles that have laid waste to Canadian trees

The Canadian Press in CTV News
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON – The Maritimes are being warned about the arrival of an invasive, tree-destroying beetle that has already done significant damage in Ontario and Quebec. The Nature Conservancy of Canada says the emerald ash borer has been discovered in Edmundston, N.B., and is urging the public to help reduce its spread. …It is a non-native, invasive beetle, originally from Asia, that is spreading rapidly and threatening forested areas throughout North America. Five of Canada’s ash species have been listed as critically endangered because of the emerald ash borer.

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Where has all the tree cover gone? Fast time passing?

By Eric Freedman
Great Lakes Echo
May 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A nationwide loss of tree cover includes all the Great Lakes states but Minnesota, according to a new study. …Among the other Great Lakes states, Illinois, New York and Ohio registered the largest percentage loss and Wisconsin the smallest. During the five-year study, urbanization and suburbanization nationwide added about 167,000 acres annually of pavement and other impervious cover, such as roads and buildings. …In total, 45 states showed a net decline in urban tree cover, according to the study. …Reasons for the changes include development, storms, disease, fire, pests and property owner choices on what to do with their land. …For example, the invasive emerald ash borer has devastated tens of millions of ash in Michigan, many of them street trees that had been planted – ironically – to replace elms previously killed by Dutch elm disease, said Kevin Sayers, the state urban forestry coordinator at the Michigan DNR.

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How will the Forest Service change to deal with the “fire year”?

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
May 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

In addition to asking the interim Chief of the Forest Service, Vicki Christiansen, why the agency cut the number of large air tankers on exclusive use contracts by 35 percent, we also asked her what changes the agency is making now that they say longer “fire seasons” have become “fire years” due to climate change. Question: Since the Forest Service is now using the term “Fire Year” rather than “Fire Season”, will a large number of seasonal firefighters be converted to work year round? VC: “An effective response …requires strong cooperation between federal agencies, states and tribal organizations. …With these strong partnerships, we are prepared for what we expect to be another active fire season.  …This year, the agency has more than 10,000 firefighters, 900 engines, and hundreds of aircraft available to manage wildfires in cooperation with…partners. At this time, there is no national direction to change seasonal tours.”

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Land, Water and People: Spruce-fir—Our most abundant forests

By Mike Blakeman
The Valley Courier
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Our most common forest type is also the one that has gone through the most change in the last 15 years. Spruce-fir forest covers more than 30 percent of the Rio Grande National Forest and is found in the subalpine zone sandwiched between the mixed conifers of the montane zone and the treeless, high elevation alpine zone. …As anyone who spends time on the Rio Grande National Forest knows, the spruce-fir forest has gone through a big change over the last 15 years. Millions of Engelmann spruce trees have died due to an ongoing spruce beetle epidemic. …The “dead” forest isn’t really dead, it has just changed and we have front row seats to watch the new forest flourish.

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How tree rings help measure Arizona’s ‘mega drought’

By John Patrick
KGUN TV Arizona
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After a record low winter run-off, some water experts are now calling this Arizona’s worst mega-drought in recorded history, even when compared to tree-ring data that goes all the way back to the 1300s. Twenty-three years is the blink of an eye when it comes to tree-ring chronology, but, according to Charlie Ester with the Salt River Project, that’s about as long as the current drought in Arizona has been ongoing. …Several years ago, SRP teamed up with the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, where the ponderosa pines gave them a glimpse into the last 700 years and, according to Ester, the last two decades have been the driest ever. “The current 23-year period has gotten less run-off than any of those other periods.

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New kinds of fertilizers for a sustainable forestry

By The Marcus Wallenberg Foundation
My News Desk
April 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Torgny Näsholm

Torgny Näsholm is awarded the 2018 Marcus Wallenberg Prize for having documented how trees use amino acid molecules as sources of nitrogen. He has also shown how this organic nitrogen dominates the nutrition of trees in boreal forests. The findings have resulted in new types of fertilizers. Professor Torgny Näsholm, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden, has examined the role of amino acids in supplying the nitrogen required for the growth of forest trees. His work has caused a paradigm shift in explaining the nutrition of plants.For his discoveries Torgny Näsholm is awarded the 2018 Marcus Wallenberg Prize of SEK 2 million. The new insights inspired Torgny Näsholm to develop fertilizers based on amino acid and nitrogen. Field studies revealed the improvement of shoot growth when seedlings were grown on this organic nitrogen. Leaching of nitrogen was also reduced compared to conventional inorganic fertilizers.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Russia and Japan to collaborate on biomass project

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
May 30, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As part of the Russia-Japan Investment Fund (RJIF), the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and JBICIG Partners (a subsidiary of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation) have agreed to ‘collaborate and consider’ potential investments in Russia’s bioenergy industry. The forestry company RFP Group from Russia and investment company Prospect from Japan have also signed onto the agreement. The group plans to work on a facility to process waste from the timber industry into wood pellets. The plant is to have a total production capacity up to 135,000 tonnes per year. Construction is expected to start in the summer of 2018, with operation in 2019. There is scope to expand the capacity of the plant and construct of additional facilities with a capacity around 500,000 tonnes per year.

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Health & Safety

Mechanized Harvesting: a Safer Alternative to Manual Tree Falling?

FPInnovations Blog
May 29, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Manual tree falling is the most frequent cause of fatal accidents in motor-manual forest harvesting operations and is recognized as one of the most dangerous occupations worldwide. British Columbia is no exception and given the unique and diverse forest ground, climate, and stand conditions around the province, the estimated 2,000 active fallers often face demanding and dangerous tasks. WorkSafeBC has long recognized the potential of mechanization as a means of improving safety in forest operations. The recent rapid developments and implementation of winch-assist technology have provided a platform for wider application of mechanized operations. …WorkSafeBC solicited proposals to address the following question : Under What Conditions is Mechanical Harvesting Going to be a Safer Alternative to Manual Tree Falling in B.C.? …FPInnovations completed a …comprehensive report entitled Mechanized Harvesting, a Safer Alternative to Manual Tree Falling.

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Two workers killed at Australian paper mill

By Paul Bartizan
World Socialist Web Site
May 31, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Two workers are dead and a third is in critical condition following a deadly gas leak at a paper mill in the regional Australian city of Albury on May 24. Ben Pascall, 28, was found unconscious on top of a tank and died soon afterwards in hospital. Lyndon Quinlivan, 36, died later, leaving behind a young family. Tom Johnson, 22, remains in hospital on life support. At least another 12 workers taken to hospital were later discharged. About 150 workers at the Norske Skog mill were evacuated. …The gas believed responsible for the workers’ deaths is hydrogen sulphide… which in low concentrations smells like rotten eggs. It is a by-product of the breakdown of wood fibre used to make paper. …At this stage the cause of the gas exposure is unclear… Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Dave Corben praised the company’s response. [And] said the union has no plan for industrial action.

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