Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 13, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Looking forward to being back on the job Monday. We’ll make sure to include any substantive stories from this week.

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 13, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Reducing tariffs not enough

By the Editorial Board
The Daily Gazette
August 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Say you get pulled over for speeding. The officer comes over to your car and reminds you that the fine for speeding is, say, $150. Then, as he’s writing the ticket, a miracle happens and he realizes he pulled over the wrong car. So he says you won’t have to pay the full fine. Just $75. Are you going to be happy paying even a percentage of a penalty when there was no reason for you to be penalized in the first place? Sure, being on the hook for half the the fine is better than the entire thing. But it’s still a penalty you didn’t deserve. So the print industry — which includes newspapers, magazines, book publishers and other users of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada — shouldn’t be happy with or settle for paying reduced tariffs on the Canadian paper they use. 

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California Wildfire Victims Face Higher Rebuilding Costs Because of President Trump’s Tariffs

By Geof Mulvihill & Jonathan J. Cooper
Associated Press in Time Magazine
August 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Add this to the challenges facing California wildfire victims: Tariffs. The import tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump are adding thousands of dollars to the cost of building homes. That especially squeezes homeowners who seek to rebuild quickly after losing their houses to natural disasters, such as the wildfires scorching parts of California. The Trump administration’s tariffs have raised the cost of imported lumber, drywall, nails and other key construction materials. One building association official said the tariffs could raise the price of a typical new home in California by up to $20,000, and it could be more for individual homes being custom-built on short order. That could be enough to keep some people with inadequate homeowners insurance from rebuilding or force them to consider a smaller house.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Problems at Peavy: Faulty timber panels raise stakes for promising new Oregon market

By Jeff Manning
The Oregonian
August 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS — When Oregon State University leaders decided in 2014 it was time to replace the aging home of its forestry school, they wanted more than a new building. They wanted a statement. The new Peavy Hall would symbolize the rebirth of the state’s timber industry by showcasing its signature innovation: cross-laminated timber. With its ambitious use of wood that’s been fortified to rival steel, Peavy Hall would underscore Oregon’s place at the forefront of a revitalized forest products market. But the general contractor saw significant risks in using an untested CLT manufacturer, like the one hired to supply the Corvallis project, and wanted financial cover, documents obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive show. School officials, instead, moved forward with a new builder in December 2016. …Peavy Hall made a statement all right: about the risks of new technologies and getting caught up in the enthusiasm of the next big thing.

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Cross-laminated timber remains hot with developers despite hiccups

By Jeff Manning
The Oregonian
August 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Developers and designers are starting to embrace cross-laminated timber, which is showing up in new buildings throughout the Portland area. First Tech Federal Credit Union began moving into its new corporate office in Hillsboro last month. At five stories and 156,000 square feet, it’s the nation’s largest structure built with the new technology. But perhaps not for long. Across the river, the Vancouver School District plans to incorporate the massive wood panels into its Marshall Elementary and McLoughlin Middle School rebuilds. At a combined 175,000 square feet, the schools would surpass First Tech as the largest CLT installation in the country. “It’s a nice, natural, very Northwest look,” said Todd Horenstein, district assistant superintendent for capital planning. Plus, it was slightly less expensive than steel, he said.

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Collins and Turner’s Barangaroo House is surrounded by curving timber-clad balconies

By Alyn Griffiths
Dezeen
August 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Tiered balconies clad in charred timber dowels enclose restaurants designed “in the round” to provide views across Sydney’s redeveloped Barangaroo South precinct. The Barangoo House building is situated at the southern entry point to the large urban regeneration project… designed by the London-based firm. Australian architecture studio Collins and Turner designed the Barangaroo House project in response to a competition organised by developer Lendlease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority. …The balconies are clad in a curving facade system comprising concentric timber dowels, which were individually steam bent and laminated into a series of predetermined curves before being fixed to aluminium brackets to ensure even spacing across the structure. The dowels, which utilise a robust engineered hardwood called Accoya, were charred using the traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique. This creates a dark finish that enhances the wood’s weatherproof properties so it requires little maintenance.

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Forestry

Island Voices: NDP is destroying key forests

By Torrance Coste, the Wilderness Committee
Victoria Times Colonist
August 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the Schmidt Creek watershed on northeastern Vancouver Island… huge swaths of old-growth rainforest are slated for imminent clear-cutting. Farther south, in the Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni, the ninth-largest Douglas-fir tree in the country has just been cut down. … Which profit-driven logging corporation is behind all of this? None of them. This is the work of the government of British Columbia. More specifically, it’s the work of B.C. Timber Sales, a government agency within the Ministry of Forests… BCTS controls about 20 per cent of the cut on Crown lands… In theory, public control over a sector as important as forestry is a great thing. …Unfortunately, this isn’t playing out on the ground, and the minister in charge of forests, Doug Donaldson, is plundering important forests with as much disregard as any corporate CEO.

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B.C. government has yet to learn lesson from anti-logging protest at Clayoquot Sound, environmentalists say

By Wanyee Li
The Toronto Star
August 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—Valerie Langer remembers waking up at 4 a.m. at the protest camp. She and the other organizers drilled their fellow protesters about the strict code of non-violence at the logging-road blockade in Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Sound. By the end of the day — Aug. 9, 1993 — a total of 300 environmentalists would be arrested.The protest became the largest demonstration of civil disobedience in Canadian history, acting as a template for environmental movements across the world.But the B.C. government did not learn its lesson from that saga 25 years ago, say environmentalists. Vancouver Island’s old growth rainforest is currently being logged at a rate of three square metres every second, according to the Sierra Club.And yet, the Clayoquot area has remained “an oasis in a sea of clear cuts,” said Langer in an interview Thursday.

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Ancient Forest Alliance plans visit to investigate tree in Powell River backcountry

By David Brindle
Powell River Peak
August 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A giant Douglas fir in the Elred Valley has caught the interest of Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) executive director Ken Wu. The tree is a one-hour and 45-minute drive northeast of Powell River and located at the base of the West Main Wall, the Eldred’s largest rock feature at 85 metres tall, according to local rock climber Evan Guilbault. Guilbault and climbing partner Zoe Manson said they have measured the circumference of the tree at approximately 7.9 metres. “Essentially, all of the forest beneath the main wall has been logged other than this little strip that runs along the base,” said Manson. “We thought this tree in particular was massive so we took out our cordelette, which is six metres long, and we wrapped it around almost twice.” A cordelette is a rope used in making rock climbing anchors. “It’s a big tree,” said Guilbault.

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Residents seek clearer information from province on herbicide spraying

By Mairin Prentiss
CBC News
August 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

While the province says herbicide approvals for the forestry industry are posted online in the interest of public transparency, some residents say there isn’t enough available information. In legal approval documents posted on the Department of Environment website, information about the herbicides companies are permitted to use has decreased in the past two years. The reason for herbicide use, the size of individual application areas and whether it will be applied on the ground or through the air is no longer in the public documents. They were in 2016. Last week, the department signed off on six requests from three companies — J.D. Irving Ltd., Andrew MacMullin Forestry and Century Forestry — to spray herbicides covering more than 1,300 hectares across Nova Scotia. In an Aug. 3 press release, the department said more information could be found in the approval documents.

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Zinke takes forestry fight to fire-ravaged California

By Miranda Green
The Hill
August 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Ryan Zinke

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is seizing on California’s wildfires to promote a policy long-supported by Republicans — that fires could be stopped if forests were logged. The former Montana congressman is poised to push the benefits of what’s known as forest management. …Galvanized by President Trump’s recent tweets on the issue and a looming farm bill vote in the House that carries a number of amendments that could open up logging, the new push is also a golden political opportunity, one that environmentalists are calling foul on. …Environmentalists say the House-passed provisions would significantly weaken protections for forest habitat, and that arguments in favor of logging to prevent forest fires are not wholly based in science, in addition to being economically driven by industry voices. …However, Glen MacDonald, a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, says that the argued benefits of logging are complicated and don’t always fall along party lines.

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Industrial forestry contributes to the West’s wildfire crisis

By Craig Patterson
The Register-Guard
August 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Imagine words so prophetic yet so misunderstood that agencies and science get sabotaged by ignorance and greed. The U.S, Forest Service refuses to admit that past management has had significant ongoing consequences and that we can’t solve a problem using the same thinking that created it. Case in point: the wildfires currently raging throughout the West. The Forest Service says we are experiencing these cataclysmic wildfires due to fire suppression and climate change, and that thinning the forests will reduce the danger. Now witness California, Oregon and worldwide, as wildfire records are broken yearly. Forty years ago, I remember the old bulls saying, “We don’t put out fires in the woods. Either the rains come or they run into an old growth forest and fall to the ground as a surface fire and go out.” Now, with 95 percent of the old growth gone, only the rains really help extinguish fires of any size and consequence.

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Two Views: Deciphering the best forest-management practices

Statesman Journal
August 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There are nearly as many theories about the best forest-management practices in Oregon as there are trees. Despite claims to the contrary, a number of conservation practices are embraced by the timber industry because without them, soil and water resources would be lost, and there would be no way to maintain healthy, sustainable and productive forests for harvest. But that’s about where the similarities end. In a nutshell, the timber industry wants to harvest and environmental groups don’t.  With fires raging in the West for a second consecutive summer, we asked both sides of the issue to weigh in. We invited logging-centric experts from organizations such as the Oregon Forest Resources Council and environmental groups such as Oregon Wild, to share their thoughts.

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Don’t blame spotted owl for rural Oregonians’ distress

By Roy Keene, restoration forestry consultant
The Register-Guard
August 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Roy Keene

University of Oregon professor Steven Beda’s Aug. 5 Commentary essay, “Rural Americans unprotected by the Endangered Species Act,” tells only half the story and doesn’t get that half right. Beda speaks of environmentalists and loggers being “on the same side,” saying that timber workers “eagerly backed the Wilderness Act.” As someone who was ostracized as a pro-wilderness timber cruiser in Roseburg during the last big wilderness struggle, I can say from experience this is a myth. The timber industry polarized the wilderness conflict, demonizing environmentalists, and claiming wilderness withdrawals would shut down logging. Ironically, the five years that followed the passing of the million-acre 1984 Oregon Wilderness Act saw the biggest timber harvests since the early 1970s. The Bureau of Land Management alone cut an average of over a billion board feet a year, twice the 1937 O&C Act’s mandated sustained-yield rate of 500 million feet.

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Forest Service finishes study of C.C. Craigin thinning plan

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
August 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service has completed an innovative, fast-tracked environmental study to clear the way for the massive thinning of the 64,000-acre watershed of the C.C. Cragin Reservoir — the key to Rim Country’s water future. …The Forest Service doesn’t have the money to actually do the thinning itself — and has no contractor lined up to undertake the project for the sake of the wood the company can harvest. “Right now, we don’t have the money — and we don’t have a timeline for actually starting the thinning,” said George Jozens, deputy public affairs director for the Coconino National Forest. Nonetheless, the completion of the environmental study on the slopes that drain into the C.C. Cragin Reservoir represents a dramatic shift in the way the Forest Service operates when it comes to restoring forest health and protecting vital assets like reservoirs.

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‘Forestry is the biggest threat to rural life here’

By Ken Whelan
Irish Independent
August 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Shane McHugh

 … Shane is very matter of fact about all things agricultural, not least the inundation of the Leitrim countryside with forestry, especially of the unhelpful kind – i.e. Sitka spruce. “The biggest threat, not only to agriculture but also to rural life in Co Leitrim at the moment, is forestry and Sitka spruce. There will be just a blanket of green where once there was sunlight unless Minister [Michael] Creed and his colleague Andrew Doyle don’t do something soon to incentivise alternatives to Sitka spruce. “Native broadleaves would be an option, as would more attractive tax breaks or incentives for the landowners if they were to lease the land to active farmers,” adds Shane.

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Let’s rethink forestry

By Martin Williams, barrister, resource management law
New Zealand Herald
August 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Martin Williams

The June floods that swept a “tsunami” of slash into Tolaga Bay have forced a reset of our views on commercial forestry practices. Once seen as the solution to management of steep erodible land cleared of native forests by previous generations for farming, this event appeared to raise more questions for forestry than there are known available solutions, or tree species we can sensibly plant, to address them. …The forestry industry will quickly lose its social licence, and the overall benefits of forestry in minimising erosion over the full production cycle will soon be forgotten. Previous commentators to this paper have rightly pointed to what can be achieved through forestry in terms of improved climate change resilience and mitigation, as well as biodiversity.

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Forest Fires

Lightning sets hundreds of new forest fires in B.C. over the weekend

By Melanie Green
The Star Vancouver
August 13, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—Lightning strikes caused 145 new wildfires to ignite across the province on Saturday, according to the BC Wildfire Service, with an additional 17 fire starts by early Sunday afternoon. That brings the number of active blazes up to 595 in the province, said Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer. “There were mostly small spot-sized fires,” he explained. “Given how widespread the fires are, all six of our fire centres are fully engaged.” There are 40 fires of note, including the 13,000-hectare Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos and the 180-hectare Nanaimo Lakes fire 13 kilometres south of Nanaimo. One man was killed fighting the blaze earlier this week. The southern third of the province saw the “vast majority” of new wildfire starts.

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Quesnel residents on edge, some evacuated by helicopter as Cariboo wildfires rage on

Canadian Press in The Province
August 12, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Helicopter evacuations were needed for at least four families on Saturday when the wildfire cut off access to a forestry service road. … more evacuation orders and alerts are in effect for an area of north-central B.C. nearly surrounded by forest fires. …However, Bill Miller said if the fires continue to burn eastward, it will begin to affect residents in Fort St. James, and they need to be prepared to leave immediately if the alert is upgraded… “The alert has expanded significantly to cover the community of Fort St. James and some other First Nations communities” said Miller. The wildfire burning near Shovel Lake that prompted the evacuation orders has grown to roughly 300 square kilometres and is one of the largest wildfires in the province …though the southern portion of the province did receive some rain over the weekend. The northern part of the province was not so lucky.

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Wildfires in northwestern B.C. prompt helicopter rescues, evacuation orders

Canadian Press in Prince George Citizen
August 11, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

QUESNEL, B.C. — Residents in and around the western edge of Quesnel, B.C., were prepared to leave at a moment’s notice as wildfires raged on nearby and flames from blazes northwest forced almost 90 people from their homes. Emily Epp of the Cariboo Regional District said helicopter evacuations were needed for at least four families on Saturday when the wildfire cut off access to a forestry service road. …later, a new evacuation alert was added for nearly 2,000 more residents in an area southeast of the existing order, about an hour’s drive west of Quesnel. Sylvain Gauthier, Quesnel’s fire chief, said 2,700 residents in western Quesnel are already under an alert as they prepare for a possible city-wide evacuation. …Epp said the majority of the wildfires in the area were caused by the massive, two-day lightning storm, which ignited fires west of Quesnel to as far as 300 kilometres west in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park near the coast.

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Fighting Snowy Mountain wildfire becomes international effort

Pentiction Western News
August 12, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Snowy Mountain wildfire remains at an estimated 13,359 hectares as crews continue to work towards controlling the blaze. Fire information officer Noelle Kekula said along with lightning and winds, the storms Saturday also brought some rain. “I don’t know how much we got, but I do know we got a little bit, but not enough to give us what we were hoping for, that significant amount of rain we always pray for,” said Kekula. The winds were gusting high enough that the helicopter crew got grounded but the containment measures seemed to be working. “It still stayed within our objective areas,” said Kekula, noting that because of the steep rocky terrain, crews are using a variety of methods, including handguards and wet lines. 

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More than 1,000 forest fires in Ontario this year; 116 still active

CTV News
August 12, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

New forest fires continue to be discovered in Ontario, even as some of the biggest and most threatening fires in the province slowly edge toward being extinguished. The province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said Saturday night that four new fires had been found that day in the province’s northwest. All of the fires were one hectare in size or smaller. Two of the four were considered to be out of control. Saturday’s new fires bring the total Ontario has seen this year to 1,028 – an 87 per cent increase over the usual number of fires in the province by mid-August, and more than double the tally recorded at this time last year. …There were 41 active forest fires in northeastern Ontario as of Sunday morning, five of which were considered to be out of control, while 75 fires – including three which were out of control – were burning in the province’s northwest.

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Cooler weather boosts crews fighting Southern California fire

Associated Press in the Los Vegas Review-Journal
August 12, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — Aided by slightly cooler temperatures, firefighters made steady progress Sunday in battling a wildfire that destroyed 16 structures as it raged through Southern California’s Cleveland National Forest. The Holy Fire was 41 percent contained Sunday afternoon after burning across 35.5 square miles of dry timber and brush, said Lynne Tolmachoff of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “The weather out here in California seems to be cooling down today and over the next couple days, and that should hopefully help firefighters get even more containment,” Tolmachoff said. “They should make better progress over the next couple of days.” They’ll need to, with temperatures, expected to again reach 100 degrees or more by the end of the week.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada in 2030: Playing with fire

By Isabella O’Malley
The Weather Network
August 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

West coast fires have dominated weather news lately… What will wildfires in western Canada be like in 2030 if we don’t effectively fight climate change? Wildfires are a critical function of healthy ecosystems and natural life cycles. …However, human life and property are significantly at risk from wildfires and in recent years fire activity in western Canada has cost billions and displaced thousands. Since climate change is making temperatures hotter, does that mean that the heat is making fires worse? Climate change affects wildfires in number of complex ways and scientific studies show that extreme heatwave patterns, declining forest resilience to warmer temperatures, and increased lightning are all aspects of climate change that are making wildfires more severe and burn for longer. By 2030 communities in western Canada will become increasingly strained by dramatically changing wildfire seasons, and national commitments for preventing climate change are falling behind schedule.

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Lakehead researcher investigates climate change impact on forests

Northern Ontario Business
August 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The federal government is granting more than $440,000 to a Lakehead University researcher to study the impact of climate change on the boreal forest. Han Chen, a professor in natural resources management at the Thunder Bay school, will spend the next three years working with researchers from Lakehead, the University of Alberta and the University of Winnipeg to examine how climate change has affected western-central boreal forests in Canada over the last 60 years. The research funding comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The team will train PhD students who will help explore strategies to mitigate climate change stresses and assess the consequences of climate change on future wood supply. …The research project will devise mitigation strategies for coping with these concerns.

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Nature Conservancy sees an opportunity to fight climate change – using Maine’s woodlands

By Kevin Miller
Press Herald
August 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Deep in the commercial forests of northern Maine, trees are often valued for their lumber potential or for the ecological benefits they provide. But now a small and growing number of businesses from as far away as California may be investing in Maine’s woods as a way to address climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide – and larger trees means more of the greenhouse gas is locked away. In an effort to head off global warming, California and two Canadian provinces are requiring some companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or purchase carbon “offsets” in order to comply with government limits. The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit forest landowner, hopes to connect those companies with the vast Maine woods in a way that could benefit both.

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Climate change: Extreme fire risk may double

By Jamie Morton
New Zealand Herald
August 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A warming New Zealand could help its pine forests grow – but not without extreme fire risk almost doubling by the end of the century. Scion researchers have modelled what climate change will mean for the country’s plantation forests, taking into account everything from growth gains to risk from pests, disease and wind. The modelling suggested changing climatic conditions – notably higher temperatures and changes in rainfall – would bring little gains in productivity for our main commercial forest species, radiata pine. But when the photosynthetic effects from increasing carbon dioxide were factored in, the researchers estimated productivity gains of around 10 per cent by 2040, and double that by 2090. …Under projected scenarios, which assumed several degrees of average temperature increase and stronger, more frequent westerly winds, firefighters could face not just more and larger fires, but those with extreme characteristics that can threaten crews.

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