Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 19, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Housing starts drop in the US, Green jobs for Canadian youth, and fire, lots of fire

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 19, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Despite stories in yesterday’s news on the strength of the wood market, US housing starts continue to fall with lumber prices and labour shortages to blame; Alabama welcomes a new sawmill, expected to create 100 jobs; while more US senators voice their opposition to tariffs on Canadian newsprint. 

In Forestry news, the CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative commends the government of Canada for funding Green Jobs in Green Spaces – a program for youth. Dutch elm disease continues to spread in Regina; urban trees in Edmonton are at risk of drought; and Montreal looks to increase tree cover by 25 per cent. 

The bulk of today’s headlines are forest fire related, from British Columbia, through the US west and all the way to Sweden and the Arctic Circle

–Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Who Are The Major Shareholders Of Canfor Corporation?

By Frank Brewer
Simply Wall St
July 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

I will be analyzing Canfor Corporation’s recent ownership structure… the impact [of ownership] has been observed in both the long-and short-term performance of shares. The effect of an active institutional investor with a similar ownership as a passive pension-fund can be vastly different on a company’s corporate governance and accountability to shareholders. While this may be more interesting for long-term investors, short-term investors can also benefit by paying attention to when these institutions trade in order to take advantage of the heightened volatility. …With an institutional ownership of 24.29%, CFP can face volatile stock price movements if institutions execute block trades on the open market, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade. …A big stake of 25.72% in CFP is held by the general public. …Another group of owners that a potential investor in CFP should consider are private companies, with a stake of 0.0078%. 

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US housing starts hit nine-month low; permits fall

By Lucia Mutikani
Reuters
July 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – U.S. homebuilding fell to a nine-month low in June and permits for future construction declined for a third straight month, dealing a blow to the housing market as it struggles with a dearth of properties available for sale. The bigger-than-expected decrease in housing starts and surprise drop in permits reported by the Commerce Department on Wednesday suggested homebuilding could be plateauing against the backdrop of more expensive lumber, and land and labor shortages. “We’re seeing pressure on both sides of the market, from increasingly expensive inputs on the supply side to prices that are charging ahead of wage growth on the demand side, and the result is that neither builders nor buyers can keep up,” said John Pataky, executive vice president at TIAA Bank in Jacksonville, Florida. ……[Builders say] duties on imports of Canadian lumber … have boosted the price of a new single-family home, further reducing affordability for many first-time buyers.

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Lumber company to build new facility, bring jobs to Alabama

Associated Press in the Olympian
July 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A lumber company is investing $110 million in a new facility in Alabama’s Pike County, bringing more than 100 new jobs. WSFA-TV reports Rex Lumber Co. announced Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony that the new facility will be located 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of Troy in the Harmony Community. It expects to employ around 110 people. Officials say the Southern Yellow Pine sawmill is expected to be operation by June 2019. Currently, Rex Lumber Co. operates sawmills in Graceville and Bristol, Florida. They also have a site in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

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Collins, King, Poliquin call for rollback of newsprint tariffs

By Kate Cough
The Ellsworth American
July 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ELLSWORTH — U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) were among lawmakers who testified before the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Tuesday in opposition to tariffs imposed by the Commerce Department that have caused the price of newsprint to rise over 20 percent in recent months. “The tariffs will hurt the U.S. paper industry because they will cause permanent harm to newspapers, printers and book publishers, shrinking the U.S. paper industry’s customer base,” Collins told the ITC, a federal agency that advises the government on trade policy. The duties, which were imposed on Canadian newsprint at the beginning of the year, will eventually lead to “less production of newsprint by U.S. manufacturers as customers cut their consumption once and for all,” said Collins, and “are harming the very U.S. industry they are intended to protect.”

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Natural Resources Wales seems ‘out of control’, says Assembly Member

BBC News
July 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Wales’ leading environmental quango appears to be “out of control”, according to a Labour assembly member. Lee Waters was responding after Natural Resources Wales faced a damning report over a decision to sell timber to three companies without asking other firms. The sales came after NRW was criticised for doing the same thing in an earlier long-term timber deal. Auditor General Huw Vaughan Thomas said some contracts to buy publicly-owned wood were not entered into lawfully. Speaking in the Senedd, Llanelli AM Mr Waters said the situation was “outrageous”. “What is going on in NRW to have their accounts qualified for the third year in a running – it’s unprecedented and frankly outrageous,” he said. “I am struggling to think of an explanation as to why this might be? “Might it be corruption or incompetence? But it does appear that the forestry section of NRW is out of control.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Swedish floating house uses Kebony wood for all timber

By Karl D. Forth
Woodworking Network
July 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

MARINSTADEN, Sweden – Swedish floating home developer AquaVilla has completed its largest project to date, Sjövilla 210, a modern floating house that embodies Scandinavia’s ambitious design culture, constructed with materials chosen to function to the highest standard in marine conditions. …The use of Kebony for every piece of timber used on the project, including the external walls, decking and roof terrace, in the company’s largest villa to date, underlines the commitment to new environmental technology. …The brainchild of Richard Bergstrom, AquaVilla is now Sweden’s leading developer of buildings on water… Its concept encompasses an infrastructure with proprietary technology that ensures every floating home remains permanently anchored. Developed in Norway, Kebony is an environmentally friendly patented technology that modifies sustainably sourced softwoods. By polymerizing the wood’s cell walls, the wood gains greatly improved durability and dimensional stability, giving it characteristics similar to those of the hardest tropical hardwood. 

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Forestry

Government of Canada connects over 3,700 students to green jobs

By Employment and Social Development Canada
Cision Newswire
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

THUNDER BAY, ON – Building a strong middle class means giving Canada’s youth the tools they need to find and keep good jobs, including in the green jobs sector, with employers that help reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution and protect and restore ecosystems. Today at the Thunder Bay Centennial Botanical Conservatory, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, highlighted funding of over $26 million through the Green Jobs in Green Spaces program, helping create 3,725 green student job opportunities across Canada. Kathy Abusow, CEO, Project Learning Tree Canada said, “Project Learning Tree Canada’s mission focuses on educating youth and inspiring them to become forest and conservation leaders. Thanks to ESDC’s contribution … SFI has been able to facilitate the placement of a diverse group of more than 450 youth in green jobs…”

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Private landowners the real ‘sticking point’ in next round of wildfire mitigation work: Nelson Regional District of Central Kootenay rep.

By Timothy Schafer
The Nelson Daily
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The toughest part of implementing a wildfire mitigation service for the rural parts of the regional district — including the lands around Nelson — will be dealing with the private landowners, says the city’s Regional District of Central Kootenay board representative. Mayor Deb Kozak said the regional district is looking to create a service establishment bylaw for a wildfire mitigation service — expected to be adopted in November — but they currently don’t have the ability to coerce private landowners to engage in wildfire mitigation. Most communities have already done what they can to protect against fires within their municipal borders, but are powerless to act on the other side of their borders, she noted. “The difficult thing for us is much of the land is privately owned around here,” said Kozak, “so there is no onus on private land owners to do any of that (wildfire mitigation) work.”

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Milne says Community Forest consultation is all about values

By Sean Eckford
The Coast Reporter
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Milne

The Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) annual general meeting is set for Monday, July 23, as the District of Sechelt continues its consultation on the future direction of the district-owned operation. The AGM will see the appointment of some new board members after the resignations of three members, including the chair and vice chair, at the end of May. The Community Forest was one of the issues addressed in a Coast Reporter Radio interview with Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne about his decision to seek re-election.  Milne said the consultation, which will continue with an information booth at the Farmers’ Market July 21 and Aug. 18 and an online survey that will launch by the end of the month, is focused on “trying to ensure the right community values are shown in the operation of the Community Forest.

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Hundreds of international scientists call for urgent action to protect B.C’s rainforests

By Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor
The Peak, SFU’s Independent Student Newspaper
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On June 28, 223 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to stop the incessant logging of temperate rainforests in the province. The scientists addressed their concerns in a letter titled “International Scientists’ Call for Action to Protect Endangered Temperate Rainforests of British Columbia, Canada.” … BC forest ecologist and SFU adjunct professor … Andy MacKinnon remarked on conservation solutions in Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest stating that “the province should take similar action to safeguard what remains of these globally outstanding ancient forests in other parts of the province.” …Julie Nielsen, forest ecologist and PhD candidate at SFU “This Call for Action is a catalyst for the Province — a ‘wake-up call’ to show BC that industrial logging continuing as ‘business-as-usual’, is a grave concern of not just ENGOs and the citizens of BC who support the protection of endangered ecosystems, but of several international scientists and experts,” wrote Nielsen.

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5th case of Dutch elm disease found in Regina

CBC News
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The city of Regina has confirmed a fifth case of Dutch elm disease in city trees earlier this week. The blight, which is spread by the elm bark beetle, slow kills trees and can be spotted by the telltale sign of yellowing or withered foliage. If the tree is on city property, a city crew will immediately cut down the tree. Elm trees make up around 45 per cent of Regina’s tree population, the city says on its website. It adds that between 1981 and 2017, there have been 103 trees lost to the disease. Beetles are managed and tracked through pheromone traps set up in and around the city.

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Opinion: Drought putting Edmonton’s trees at risk unless watering improved

By Victor Lieffers and Ted Hogg
Edmonton Journal
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We should all be worried about Edmonton’s trees. A large urban tree is worth thousands of dollars, based upon the city’s valuation… Over the last decades, there has been a gradual decline in the vigour and health of the average tree in Edmonton. …Many trees are in a severely weakened state and are on the edge of death. There are several species of insects damaging the leaves of our trees, but the main culprit … is a long-term lack of water. Big trees are damaged by prolonged water stress. The cells of roots, stems and branches are damaged by periods of dry soil. In essence, air bubbles formed in the water conduction systems of the tree block these cells and prevent the recovery of the damaged tissues even after rainfall. Once weakened, it takes years for a tree to fully recover from a severe drought, even if well-watered.

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Montreal shows the rest of Canada how to save urban trees

By Michael Rosen, president, Tree Canada
Montreal Gazette
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

While much of our national identity is tied to our natural environment, Canadians haven’t always taken the proper steps to preserve, protect and promote the urban forests that breathe so much life into our communities. Due to poor city planning, climate change and invasive insects like the emerald ash borer, urban tree cover has been in precipitous decline throughout most of Canada over the past two decades. …To help the city increase its urban tree cover to 25 per cent — a goal laid out years ago in Plan d’action canopé — Canadian National Railway is leading a movement within the Montreal business community, working closely with other large corporations and 40 community partners (known as the Alliance forêt urbaine) to plant 50,000 new trees and other plants in Montreal by 2022.

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Five years after a massive fire near Yosemite, political ‘miracle’ erodes as Trump demands more logging

By Louis Sahagun
Los Angeles Times
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Rim fire in 2013 brought devastation to a vast swath of Sierra Nevada forests west of Yosemite National Park. But the third largest wildfire in state history also seemed to have worked a political miracle, at least for a while.In the aftermath of the blaze, environmental organizations, timber interests, state officials and the U.S. Forest Service buried decades of discord to forge an ambitious restoration and reforestation plan. Its centerpiece is a federally funded community and watershed resilience program touted as a model for helping small town economies and wildlife habitats bounce back after wildfires throughout the western United States. But now, five years after the fire, there is growing concern that the grand partnership is crumbling due to delays, frustration and a tug-of-war between preservationists and logging advocates backed by the Trump administration.

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Forest Fires

Fire in backcountry near Keremeos reaches 400 hectares in size

By Tara Bowie
Vernon Morning Star
July 19, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two significant fires are burning in high elevation backcountry in the Lower Similkameen. The B.C. Wildfire interactive map shows a 400 hectare fire is currently burning on the North side of Scully Mountain. The fire was first detected July 17 after a lightning storm came through. B.C. Wildfire first dubbed the fire Snowy Protected Area. The fire started as a small spot fire. It was unknown at the time of this posting if B.C. Wildfire had any crews actioning the fire. As of late Wednesday, July 17, the B.C. Wildfire Service was reporting that at least 34 fires were started due to lightning strikes in the Kamloops Fire Centre since the evening hours of Tuesday. Many of those fires are located in the South Okanagan and Similkameen including a large fire near Peachland that has caused evacuations of homes.

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Mount Eneas wildfire continues to burn at 200 hectares

By Cali Berry
Vernon Morning Star
July 19, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Mount Eneas wildfire, also known as the Brent Road wildfire, has caused evacuation orders for properties in the surrounding area. Located about four kilometres south of Peachland, the wildfire is estimated to be 200 hectares in size as of July 19. Evacuation orders have been issued for properties in the Brent Road area, including all campsites at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park. According to the latest from DriveBC, Highway 97 is open to single-lane alternating traffic with an RCMP escort. Alternate routes are available via Hwy 97C, Hwy 5A and Hwy 3.

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Wildfire evacuation alert issued for rural area near Vanderhoof, B.C.

CBC News
July 18, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has issued an evacuation alert for a rural area outside Vanderhoof, B.C. Homes in Electoral Areas D and F, east of the Dog Creek Forest Service Road on the map below are asked to gather essential items like medication and keepsakes and make a plan to leave if required. The Dog Creek Trail wildfire is about 60 hectares in size, burning 25 kilometres northwest of Vanderhoof and visible from communities in the area, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. It is one of at least 12 new wildfires started in the Prince George Fire Centre since yesterday. The evacuation alert covers the area east of Dog Creek Forest Service Road to Geernaert Road, and south of Barlow Forest Service Road to the Nechako River, Westwood Road and Braeside Road.

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Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 18, 2018

Montana Public Radio
July 18, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Wildfire season has arrived as fire danger ratings are increasing in national forests and wildlands throughout Montana. The Kootenai National Forest moved to “very high” Wednesday, and the Bitterroot National Forest switched to “high” fire danger this morning following the discovery of two lightning-caused fires Tuesday. The Flathead National Forest and surrounding area has also moved their fire danger to “high” this week. One of two lightning-caused fires discovered in the Bitterroot National Forest Tuesday is growing rapidly. The Reynolds Lake fire is zero percent contained says Forest Spokesman Tod McKay. “We had contained the fire, or at least kept it from growing much larger yesterday. This morning it was estimated at about 11 acres. Unfortunately this afternoon the winds that were predicted have picked up over that fire and it’s grown substantially this afternoon.”

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160 wildfires are burning in Southern Oregon, bringing evacuations and concern over growth

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
July 18, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The growth of multiple wildfires in Southern Oregon led to evacuation orders in three areas Wednesday night.  The Grants Pass, Applegate Valley and Wimer areas were each threatened by a wildfire dangerous enough to prompt officials to prepare or require locals to leave their homes.  There are more than 100 wildfires burning across Southern Oregon, most of them sparked by a lightning storm last Sunday. Triple digit heat and gusty winds have exacerbated the problem in a number of areas, spreading fire teams thin as they fight blazes from near Crater Lake to the Southern Oregon Coast.  The impact could be seen Wednesday night, as Medford’s air quality dropped to “unhealthy” while Ashland and Cave Junction saw “moderate” air quality. 

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Sweden struggling to contain dozens of drought-fueled wildfires

By Rory Smith, Judith Vonberg & Brandon Miller
CNN
July 18, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Sweden is battling dozens of severe, drought-fueled forest fires raging across the country, despite the loan of firefighting planes and helicopters from its European neighbors. Thomas Aronsson, chief of operations for SITS, a specialist firefighting service based in Sweden, said Wednesday that fire service agencies were fighting around 80 fires across the country and lacked the necessary equipment.” We need tankers, we need helicopters — we don’t have enough supplies,” he told CNN. “There are 80 fires right now in Sweden, and there is no helicopter company or pilot in all of Sweden that’s not involved in fighting these fires.” “A lot of firefighters who currently have vacation have volunteered to come out and fight these fires,” Aronsson said. “It’s a little too early to say how it’s going to go. With such high temperatures, these are tough conditions to be fighting a fire.”

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Wildfires rage in Arctic Circle as Sweden calls for help

By Jonathan Watts
The Guardian
July 18, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

At least 11 wildfires are raging inside the Arctic Circle as the hot, dry summer turns an abnormally wide area of Europe into a tinderbox. The worst affected country, Sweden, has called for emergency assistance from its partners in the European Union to help fight the blazes, which have broken out across a wide range of its territory and prompted the evacuations of four communities. Tens of thousands of people have been warned to remain inside and close windows and vents to avoid smoke inhalation. Rail services have been disrupted. The Copernicus Earth observation programme, which gives daily updates of fires in Europe, shows more than 60 fires burning across Sweden, with sites also ablaze in Norway, Finland and Russia, including in the Arctic Circle. Norway has sent six fire-fighting helicopters in response to its neighbour’s request for assistance.

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