Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 24, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Concrete Industry disparages CLT as code review blazes path for timber in NY City

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 24, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Canadian Concrete and Masonry industry is disparaging CLT, saying fire chiefs and insurance companies are pushing back. In related news: a code review could allow for high-density wood projects in New York City; and renowned CLT Architect Andrew Waugh is teaching UK kids about mass timber. 

In Forestry/Fire commentary: Trudeau speaks to the importance of resource coordination in Prince George, BC wildfire experts want more controlled burns; and California’s Governor moves to increase forest thinning. Elsewhere, a change in the weather may help BC; and fire updates are in from Waterton Lakes National Park; Telegraph Creek; and Campbell River.

Finally, InsideClimate News says wildfires are affecting climate change (and vice versa) and the TLA endorses Dan Miller to lead BC’s contractor sustainability review.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

CN recognizes 40 customers and supply chain partners for sustainability leadership

Canadian National Railway Company
August 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

CN today recognized 40 of its customers and supply chain partners for their sustainability practices. The CN EcoConnexions Partnership Program celebrates companies that pledge to work to reduce their carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and drive sustainable business practices throughout the supply chain. “CN is proud to recognize these companies and supply chain partners and we congratulate each of them on their sustainability efforts,” said Mark Lerner, vice president of marketing and business development at CN. “On behalf of our EcoConnexions partners and in collaboration with Tree Canada, we are planting 100,000 trees in 2018 in Canada and the United States honouring these sustainability leaders for the work they do in their individual businesses and across their supply chains.” Some of the 40 partners recognized in CN’s EcoConnexions program include: Canfor, Domtar, Kruger, Resolute, West Fraser and Weyerhaeuser.

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Conifex Puts Brett Bray in Charge of U.S. Plants

By Lance Turner
Arkansas Business
August 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Brett Bray

Conifex Timber appointed Brett Bray as vice president of U.S. operations, overseeing Conifex’s sawmill in El Dorado and its recently acquired plants in Glenwood (Pike and Montgomery counties) and Cross City, Florida. “For more than 30 years now, Brett has been an accomplished leader in the U.S. timber industry,” Ken Shields, Conifex’s chairman and CEO, said in a news release. …An Arkansas native, Bray previously worked as general manager of the Glenwood plant, where he led the effort to upgrade and re-open the operation, formerly known as Caddo River Forest Products.

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The BC Forest Practices Board introduces their new chair

BC Forest Practices Board
August 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kevin Kriese has worked in natural resource management in British Columbia for over 30 years. He briefly worked for the forest industry and as a consultant, but the majority of his career has been with the provincial government, where he spent eight years as an Assistant Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Prior to that Kevin worked for the Integrated Land Management Bureau and the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management. He has a long history of working on resource management issues in the north, with experience in land and resource planning, aboriginal relations and engagement and forest management. Kevin has a B.Sc in Forestry from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Natural Resource Management from Simon Fraser University. He lives in Smithers, BC.

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Former premier to facilitate talks between loggers, forestry companies

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
August 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Former B.C. premier Dan Miller has been appointed facilitator to help resolve a long-standing disagreement between the forest companies that own cutting rights and the loggers who actually do the cutting. The former NDP premier has been brought in to help implement the recommendations of a review that was conducted by the NDP government to settle disputes between forestry companies who own the tenures and the logging contractors… About 90% of the logging done in B.C. is done by independent contractors. For years, they have complained that forestry companies, which are making record profits, have not been paying them enough. …Logging contractors say the rates that forestry companies pay don’t account for the massive capital investments these independent logging companies have to make. …“It’s not just that you’re hiring somebody – you’re hiring multi million dollars worth of equipment,” said David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association.

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Trudeau pledges to close gaps between municipalities, First Nations

By Laura Kane
Vancouver Sun
August 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to close gaps between First Nations and municipalities on fighting wildfires on Thursday after meeting with local leaders facing treacherous flames in British Columbia. Trudeau acknowledged the divide in resources for municipalities, which work with the province on forest fires, and First Nations reserves, which fall under federal responsibility. “Municipalities get resources from provinces, but when the neighbouring Indigenous community turns to the province: ’Well, we need resources.’ ’Well, you are a federal responsibility,’ ” he said. “We have to clear up those lines of flowing resources and ensuring people get what they need, regardless of whether they are in an Indigenous community or a non-Indigenous community.” …He met with fire protection officer Tom Reinboldt, Mayor Lyn Hall, and local legislature member John Rustad, among others, … before shaking hands with crew members gathered outside…

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Dan Miller to facilitate review of resulting recommendations from Contractor Sustainability Review

Truck Loggers Association
August 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver – Following the May 17, 2018 announcement of the resulting 13 recommendations from the Contractor Sustainability Review, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development announced today Dan Miller, former Minister of Forests and Premier of BC as the review’s independent facilitator. Miller will bring independent timber harvesters and forest licensees together to review the recommendations, identify consensus and differing opinions. The long-awaited review, which was undertaken in 2017 to improve competitiveness between logging contractors and forest licensees, has not been made public. “We’re pleased the government is delivering on their commitment to timber harvesting contractors,” says David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “It’s imperative implementing the recommendations remain a high priority, so it’s reassuring Miller’s report is due by October 2018.” “We’re pleased with the government’s choice of selecting Miller,” said Mike Richardson, TLA President.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Making the cut: is cross-laminated timber safe?

Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association
August 23, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

TORONTO – Last March, part of a floor under construction at Oregon State University collapsed after it became ‘de-laminated’ (unglued) at one end. It was a 4- by 20-foot panel of cross-laminated timber, or CLT. …The fact that CLT is glued together raises concerns regarding water. Fire may have a more devastating impact on property, but it’s water that causes the most building damage overall. It’s therefore conceivable that a material made with layers of glue could, over years and decades, become unglued.  …It’s a fact that wood is limited in its ability to resist fire. Now, however, some scientists are also casting doubt on its eco-friendliness. A recent study — conducted, in fact, by Oregon State University — points to the clear-cutting of forests by the lumber industry as a major cause of carbon pollution….CLT has attracted significant negative attention from a health standpoint following controversy that erupted in 2016 over laminate wood products from China.

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Code review blazes path for timber

By Kyle Campbell
Real Estate Weekly
August 23, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Wood is on the rise in cities around the world as the global construction industry embraces mass timber construction. In Tokyo, a 70-story, wood-hybrid tower is in the works. In Sydney, Australia, a six-story complex was wrapped up last year. There’s also the seven-story office building in Minneapolis, the 18-story dormitory in Vancouver or the 11-story proposal in Newark. Although fire-shy policies have kept tall timber at bay in the Big Apple, an ongoing review of the city’s building code could allow more high-density wood projects as soon as 2020. …“Often, concrete and cross-laminated timber are combined… So even if it does become more mainstream down the line, we don’t see it eating up the concrete share of the market,” said Donal O’Sullivan, president of Navillus. “While mass timber has surprisingly good fire properties … the longstanding resistance to wood remains a significant obstacle to its more widespread use in the city, especially for larger buildings.”

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SPAR Austria trials reusable paper bags for fruit and vegetables

Retail Insight Network
August 23, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Supermarket chain SPAR Austria is trialling reusable paper bags for fruit and vegetables packaging across Interspar Hypermarkets in Salzburg and Styria. The company has taken this decision in a move to reduce plastic waste from fruit and vegetable packaging. Available as a four-pack for €1.49, each of the reusable bags has the capacity to hold eight pieces of fruit or vegetables. The bags are environmentally friendly and washable. Interspar Austria managing director Markus Kaser said: “Ideally, our customers carry a reusable net with them for their fruit and vegetables, but we also need to offer another solution. For this reason, we are testing the use of free paper bags.” The new transparent parchment paper bags are made using forest stewardship council (FSC) certified paper and can be disposed of organically.

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Children’s architecture workshop at the V&A during London Design Festival

London Post
August 23, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

As part of the Exhibition Road Day of Design, Waugh Thistleton Architects will run a workshop outside the V&A’s Sackler Courtyard on Sunday 23 September 2018 during the London Design Festival to give young, aspiring architects a chance to recreate the LDF Landmark Project, ‘MultiPly’, on a smaller scale. ‘MultiPly’ is the result of a collaboration between Waugh Thistleton Architects, American Hardwood Export Council and ARUP. The maze-like, three-dimensional structure will be built out of a flexible system, made of 17 modules of American tulipwood cross-laminated timber, that overlap and intertwine, with digitally fabricated joints. Like a piece of flat-packed furniture, it will arrive as a kit of parts and will be simply and quietly assembled in under a week. Because it is built out of modules, the pavilion will be taken apart and reassembled in a new home after the London Design Festival.

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Forestry

Fighting fire in the Pyrocene

By Sean Eckford
The Coast Reporter
August 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I had a chance to moderate an event… with Ed Struzik and Aaron Williams. Struzik’s latest book is Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future. Williams has written a memoir of his time with the BC Wildfire Service called Chasing Smoke. These guys know fire, and what they had to say was unsettling. The audience reaction suggested a lot of us still haven’t adjusted to the realities of life in the Pyrocene – the age of fire. As someone who lives in the interface, I’ve become used to thinking of wildfire as a major threat. I haven’t thought much about it as a potential ally, but Struzik and Williams have. Williams said controlled burning as a tactic to fight fires is finally becoming more accepted. …Struzik looked at controlled burns from the strategic perspective – as a way to promote forest health and fire resistance.

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Salmo area mulls rules for private land logging

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star in BC Local News
August 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A land use plan for rural Salmo has been adopted by the Regional District of Central Kootenay board, without a controversial section that has been deferred to a later date. Section 18 of the Area G land use bylaw is an attempt to regulate private land logging, but needs more work, says the area’s representative, Hans Cunningham. “The basic idea of having some control over private land logging is good,” Cunningham told the Star, “but we pulled it from the bylaw and will deal with it separately, and have a public hearing to include it in the bylaw.” …Former Nelson mayor John Dooley, who works for the Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association… told the Star the organization went to a public hearing on the bylaw in Salmo and raised concerns about some details of the private logging section and the fact it appeared at the last minute in the process.

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Secrets of plant development unlocked

By University of British Columbia
Science Daily
August 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

University of British Columbia researchers have discovered an internal messaging system that plants use to manage the growth and division of their cells. These growth-management processes are critical for all organisms, because without them, cells can proliferate out of control — as they do in cancers and bacterial infections. Plants use this messaging system to survive under harsh conditions or to compete successfully when conditions are favourable. It tells them when to grow, when to stagnate, when to flower, and when to store resources — all based on the prevailing conditions. Understanding how it all works could enable innovations in agriculture, forestry and conservation as climate change takes hold. UBC botany professor Geoffrey Wasteneys and his colleagues discovered that the system is driven by a protein called CLASP. The protein… plays an essential role in cell growth and division by coordinating the assembly of filaments within cells. 

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B.C. takes action to recover Rocky Mountain elk

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
August 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province is taking action to support the recovery of Rocky Mountain elk after a recent survey found the population has significantly declined. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development conducted an aerial survey from Jan. 15 to Feb. 5, 2018, to inventory elk in the Rocky Mountain Trench. The survey revealed the current trench population has declined 32% below target levels established by the objectives in the previous Regional Elk Management Plan. In response, the ministry has taken a number of actions… While causes of this population decline are not well understood, there are likely multiple contributing factors. These include predation and severe winter conditions that researchers expect are contributing to poor calf survival over the past five years.

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Everything wrong with Nova Scotia’s forestry review

By Jacob Boon
The Coast Halifax
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Raymond Plourde is trying to be optimistic about the province’s new forestry review, but it’s a struggle. At best, says the Ecology Action Centre’s wilderness coordinator, the report is a mixed bag. The overarching idea to prioritize forest protection is laudable. But there are still some glaring omissions and dangerous proposals in the long-awaited document. …The triad model Lahey proposes is “straight out of the industry’s mouth,” says the wilderness coordinator. It allows forestry companies to ramp up clearcutting on private lands, continue clearcutting on Crown lands and doesn’t offset any of those losses with new protected areas. …But it remains to be seen if any of Lahey’s recommendations will be implemented.

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Nova Scotia Forestry report falls short

By John Himmelman, Letter to the Editor
The Chronicle Herald
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sadly, Bill Lahey’s independent report on forestry indicates that Nova Scotia will be doing little or nothing to improve the condition of our forests. While his preamble alludes to ecological forestry, protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, and the Mi’kmaq concept of “listening to the forests,” his recommendations are not likely to improve forest practices. …Ultimately, the Lahey report is weaker than the multi-authored Natural Resources Strategy that was approved by government in 2011, but brushed aside by the McNeil government in 2016. Lahey’s review, while stimulating some discussion, will likely succeed in keeping real actions to improve our forests on the backburner.

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No timeline from Nova Scotia government for decision on forestry review

By Jeremy Keefe
Global News
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Iian Rankin

Two days after receiving a long-awaited independent review of the province’s forest practices, the Nova Scotia government isn’t ready to say whether they’ll accept the recommendations and are hesitant to give a timeline on when that decision will be made. The report, penned by University of King’s College president Bill Lahey, outlines 45 recommendations for sweeping change to how the forestry industry operates in Nova Scotia. Among them is a massive reduction in clear-cutting… But Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin isn’t ready to say where they stand in regards to the 70-page document, other than saying he agrees with Lahey that the ecological makeup of the forest should be the first consideration. …Despite keeping his cards close to his chest, Rankin indicated the department is ready to transition to newer methods going forward.

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California fires: Governor proposes easing logging rules to thin forests

By Paul Rogers
The Mercury News
August 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing broad new changes to California’s logging rules that would allow landowners to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state. The proposal — which has the support of the timber industry but is being opposed by more than a dozen environmental groups — would represent one of the most significant changes to the state’s timber harvesting rules in the past 45 years. The legislative session ends for the year next Friday. On Thursday, the details were still being negotiated by legislative leaders and the governor’s office behind the scenes and had not yet been formally introduced in a bill or put up for a vote. “They are trying to get to some kind of a deal,” said Rich Gordon, the president of the California Forestry Association. “They are looking at what can get done politically.”

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California Protects Rare Marten, Oregon Still Considering Options

By Des Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California decided to protect the rare Humboldt marten Thursday under the state Endangered Species Act.  The mink-like animal only exists in four isolated populations near the coastline running along Southern Oregon and Northern California. The California Fish and Game Commission voted Thursday to list the rare Humboldt marten as endangered. …It’s estimated that, altogether, fewer than 500 martens remain in Northern California and Southern Oregon. …Listing the Humboldt marten will require landowners to go through additional regulatory measures if they plan activities that would impact the species. …Trapping and logging historically led to habitat fragmentation and population declines. The Humboldt marten was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in the mid-1990s. Now the species faces other challenges as well.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire prompts evacuation alert for all areas of Waterton Lakes National Park

The Star Calgary
August 24, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY — Parks Canada has issued an evacuation alert for Waterton Lakes National Park due to an “out of control” wildfire. According to the alert, residents and visitors aren’t required to leave the southern Alberta park yet — but should be prepared to “evacuate [their] premises or property should it be found necessary.” …Waterton is located just across the American border from Montana’s Glacier National Park. World-renowned for its scenery and outdoor activities, it was devastated by fire just last year, when a forest fire torched an estimated 38 per cent of the park. …According to the alert, a wildfire that started south of Waterton in the Boundary Creek valley is currently burning out of control.

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Stop tying firefighters’ hands and let them get the job done

Letter by Karle H. Granlund
Campbell River Mirror
August 23, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is becoming obvious that there is something seriously wrong at the Ministry of Forests with regards to the current fire situation. A large part of the problem apparently lies in mismanagement causing delay. Tale after tale of unacceptable delay, “watching the fire” burn until it gets too big to fight. Firefighters not showing up to fight fire until the middle of the day (the worst and most difficult time) because they are stuck in hours of useless and redundant safety meetings… We would be a lot better off if the ministry of forests was yanked, and we let the loggers put the fires out as they used to do with great skill, and local knowledge of winds and effective forest fire fighting techniques. …Instead of tying firefighters’ hands behind their backs, the ministry needs to get out of the way and let them get the job done. 

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B.C. wildfires Thursday: Wildfires near Telegraph Creek merge, now B.C.’s largest

By Simon Little
Global News
August 23, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire burning near Telegraph Creek in B.C.’s northwest has merged together with three smaller fires to form a single, massive 118,000-hectare blaze. The Alkali Lake wildfire is now B.C.’s largest, followed by the Shovel Lake wildfire which was 87,000 hectares in size on Thursday. While the fire has grown significantly, fire information officer Heather Rice said it still doesn’t hold a candle to some of last year’s behemoth wildfires.  “We had fires in the Cariboo that were almost four times larger than that, sadly,” she said. Crews were working on Thursday to try and slow the fire’s creeping southerly progress towards the community of Glenora, with support from helicopters.

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Change in the weather expected for fire-ridden B.C. this weekend

CBC News
August 23, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Wildfire Service said the forest fire situation across the province remained dire Thursday, though a change in the weather is expected this weekend and into next week. Most areas around B.C. have at least a little rain in the forecast for the next few days… Fire information officer Ryan Turcot said the province needs heavy rain for a long time to make a dent in the fire situation …The central-northern corridor between Smithers and Prince George is still the biggest area of concern for the wildfire service given the size and intensity of fires burning there. … Nearly 5,000 people are under evacuation orders with more than 22,000 on evacuation alert across the province. Around 13,000 livestock are under those orders and alerts as well. Dense smoke from the fires continued to prompt air quality alerts across most of B.C., though Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley had begun to clear …Thursday morning.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

How Wildfires Can Affect Climate Change (and Vice Versa)

By Bob Berwyn
InsideClimate News
August 23, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

The extreme wildfires sweeping across parts of North America, Europe and Siberia this year are not only wreaking local damage and sending choking smoke downwind. They are also affecting the climate itself in important ways that will long outlast their flames. Wildfires emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that will continue to warm the planet well into the future. They damage forests that would otherwise remove CO2 from the air. And they inject soot and other aerosols into the atmosphere, with complex effects on warming and cooling. To be sure, the leading cause of global warming remains overwhelmingly the burning of fossil fuels. That warming lengthens the fire season, drying and heating the forests. In turn, blazes like those scorching areas across the Northern Hemisphere this summer have a feedback effect—a vicious cycle when the results of warming produce yet more warming.

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New EPA rollbacks could encourage states to choose biomass for longer-lasting coal, prof says

By Kayla Wyles
Perdue University
August 23, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

David Johnson

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University climate adaptation expert can speak on the consequences of a new Environmental Protection Agency regulation that gives states more leeway to improve the efficiency of coal plants and set their own greenhouse gas emission limits. “New policies extending the life of coal might encourage states to fire biomass with coal,” says David Johnson, assistant professor of industrial engineering and political science. “You can get anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of your energy content at a coal plant through co-firing biomass without having to make really extensive changes to your equipment or to your boiler systems.”…Biomass – such as corn stover, switch grass, or energy crops like poplar or willow – could be used to reduce carbon emissions at coal plants, Johnson says.

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With New Hampshire biomass supports on hold, what about the waste wood?

By Elizabeth Penney
Energy News Network
August 23, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

While forestry industry advocates push to overturn New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of a bill to provide price supports for biomass plants, some experts say more widespread use of pellet stoves could help find new uses for low-grade wood products. Sununu vetoed SB365 in June, citing concerns about high electric costs in the state, where residential rates are 50% higher than the national average. …Jasen Stock, executive director of the NH Timberland Owners Association, called the veto “misguided and misinformed.” Stock regards biomass operations as a critical component of forest management, providing a market for low-grade wood amid a decline of pulp and paper making in the region. While Stock and other advocates, including the NH Sustainable Energy Association, also raise concerns about replacing electricity generation from the plants, a key reason for the bill was maintaining balance in the state’s wood industry.

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Health & Safety

Truck driver revived by Tolko employees returns to work

By Kathy Gallant
Meadow Lake Now
August 23, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

George Nonay said he’s forever grateful to be ‘on the right side of the grass’ thanks to fast-acting responders at Meadow Lake Tolko OSB division site. In May, he was delivering a load to the mill, and when he got out of his truck, he collapsed. Four employees began CPR and used an automated external defibrillator on him until ambulance crews arrived from Meadow Lake, nearly 30 kilometres away. He has spent the summer months recovering, and as a commercial driver, he had to wait a customary 90-day period before he was insurable to drive again. He returned to work in mid-August and said he’s beyond thankful for the mill’s emergency staff and their knowledge, adding he doesn’t remember any of the May 2 incident.

 

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