Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 27, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

BC Wildfire season 2nd-worst on record; smoke drifts as far east as Ireland

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

BC’s wildfire season is now the second-worst in history behind only last year, and the smoke plumes are reaching Ireland. Related headlines include:

  • As wildfires rage, is it time to rethink how we manage forests? (BC, Ontario)
  • Mayors want more funding for wildfire mitigation (BC)
  • Failure to reform forest inventories simply invites more trouble (BC)
  • Better forestry needed to avoid an age of bad air (East Oregon)
  • More aggressive approach means more prescribed fires and thus smoke (Montana) 
  • More prudent vegetation management proposed with climate-change cash (California)
  • Wildfire sets off World War II ammunition buried in forest (Germany)

In other news: NAFTA breakthrough imminent; lumber prices still higher than normal; Nova Scotia tenure changes on hold; and court confirms Taan Forests’ right to hire local logging contractors.

Finally, Terra Nova National Park wants to protect stunted trees from hungry moose, and the Festival of Forestry tour kicks-off today (which is why the news is out so early).

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

Read More

Business & Politics

‘Into the final hours’: NAFTA breakthrough appears imminent after year of fractious talks

By Eric Martin, Jennifer Jacobs and Josh Wingrove
The National Post
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Ildefonso Guajardo

The U.S. and Mexico are close to resolving their NAFTA differences and may wrap up as soon as Monday, creating an opening for Canada to rejoin talks between countries that trade more than a trillion dollars annually. …Significant breakthroughs between Mexico and the U.S. came during the past several days on automobiles and energy, according to three people familiar with the process who asked not to be named discussing private talks. …Guajardo predicted that the U.S. and Mexico would need at least a week of work to resolve issues with Canada whenever the nation is invited to rejoins talks. … the nations will agree on a softened version of a so-called “sunset clause,” an automatic expiration after five years — a key U.S. demand. …He’s proposed regular NAFTA evaluations without the threat of any sudden death to the agreement.

Read More

John Horgan’s latest reality check on wildfire threat

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in the Vernon Morning Star
August 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s striking what a shift from opposition to government can do for a politician’s understanding of the world. Premier John Horgan demonstrated this again during his obligatory television tour with federal politicians in fire-ravaged northern B.C. last week. …Since everything has to fit into 10-second sound bites these days, we got the usual nonsense about how the arbitrary B.C. budget line item for wildfire control is far below the amount actually spent in dry summers like this year and last year. …Then there was the ritual invocation of the “new normal,” this year’s buzzword for increasing fires and smoke. Forest researchers have objected to this latest bit of political shorthand, since it incorrectly implies that nothing can be done and next year will be the same.

Read More

TimberWest expands summer student program

By Chris Bush
Nanaimo News Bulletin
August 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Marino Somerville

For the forest industry on Vancouver Island to bank on the future it needs to draw new talent into its ranks and embrace new technologies. TimberWest, with about 100 employees, is a relatively small company, but has the big task of managing more than 325,000 hectares of private forest land on Vancouver Island. It also owns renewable harvest rights to 700,000 cubic metres of timber per year. To achieve forest management goals, the company relies on technologies and a wide range of specialties and its ability to draw new young talent to apply them. This year TimberWest brought eight students into its summer internship program who received hands-on experience working in TimberWest’s Nanaimo and Campbell River operations.

Read More

Lumber prices still higher than normal

By Liam Harrap
The Edson Leader
August 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chris McIver

While the price of lumber is no longer sky-high, industry says it’s still a great time for wood. At least, for now. …Last summer, B.C. experienced its worst fire season. …Because of the fires, ten sawmills in the province were forced to halt operations for an extended period of time, which significantly reduced Canada’s lumber inventories. …“There was too much demand and the train system is overtaxed,” says Chris McIver, vice president of sale and marketing at West Fraser.  …All of these factors contributed to an all-time high price in May of $639 USD/1000 board feet. … Since May, the price of lumber has plummeted to 473 USD/1000 board feet, as of August 21. McIver says the reason for the “hard fall” is because timber inventories are well-stocked and demand has decreased. …Regardless, McIver says the mid to longer term fundamentals look “very good”.

Read More

Court quashes United Steel appeal of Taan Forest decision

The Haida Gwaii Observer
August 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

United Steel has lost an appeal of a labour ruling that confirmed Taan Forest’s right to hire small, local companies on Tree Farm Licence 60. The union had argued that according to the collective agreement Taan inherited when it bought TFL 60, it could only use one or two large contractors. So-called “stump-to-dump” contractors have enough workers and machines to handle every phase of logging, from falling to hauling. …Last January, a labour arbitrator struck out the “stump-to-dump” rule, finding first that it was nullified by a change in the TFL’s ownership in 2002, and second that the union failed to uphold the rule while Edwards & Associates worked the TFL from 2011 to 2014. Separately, the arbitrator also found that in Taan’s case, the rule violates B.C.’s human rights code because while intended to protect union jobs, it also has the effect of discriminating against the small-scale forestry businesses owned by members of the Haida Nation.

Read More

Domtar mill gives boost to area vocational training

Texarkana Gazette
August 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Domtar in Ashdown recently donated $20,000 to the University of Arkansas Cossatot’s newest project—the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute. Domtar General Manager Bob Grygotis said the investment will benefit Southwest Arkansas, especially students at Ashdown High School, by supporting vocational training in industrial technology. “Programs such as this are critically important to help prepare students for the future and filling the numerous manufacturing jobs that will be available in this region,” Grygotis said.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Oregon Develops Pioneering Standards for Wood High-Rises

By Emily Pollock
Engineering.com
August 24, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Earlier this week, the Oregon Building Codes Division announced a statement of alternate method (SAM) that makes Oregon the first state to allow for construction of wooden high-rises without special consideration. …In 2015, the International Code Council’s (ICC) Board of Directors created an ad hoc committee to explore the possible benefits of tall wood buildings. The SAM is based on two years of the committee’s work… Under the SAM, there are three new types of wooden building under the pre-existing category of “Type IV heavy timber construction.” …It seems the Oregon Codes Division was convinced by the material’s property and the committee’s suggestions. In their April meeting with the Codes Division, the committee made 14 suggestions about CLT standards and best-practices, all of which were accepted.

Read More

Massachusetts Institute of Technology champions large-scale timber architecture with Longhouse proposal

By Rima Sabina Aouf
Dezeen
August 24, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Wood is the key to a more sustainable building industry, says architect John Klein, who has led Massachusetts Institute of Technology students in designing a large community centre from mass timber. The Longhouse is a 40-foot-high structure to be made from laminated veneer lumber (LVL), one of a new class of engineered wood products that are able to withstand high levels of stress. The material would allow the Longhouse to contain a large enclosed space – 140 feet (43 metres) long and 50 feet (15 metres) wide – that is uninterrupted by any internal structural supports. Klein, a research scientist in MIT’s architecture department, said that mass timber like LVT offered a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel, and had become economically viable as well.

Read More

New Ilam campus building uses innovative NZ timber tech

Voxy.co.nz
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Innovative, tall timber framing has risen on the University of Canterbury’s Ilam campus, as a new building, honouring alumna ‘Queen of the Cosmos’ Beatrice Tinsley, advances multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand. Construction of the Science precinct’s impressive new four-storey, timber-framed Beatrice Tinsley building contrasts with the steel framing typically seen in buildings of similar height and size. The patented, tall timber-framing technology was developed at UC by Civil and Natural Engineering professors Alessandro Palermo and Stefano Pampanin with support from Emeritus Professor of Timber Design Andy Buchanan. The structure uses timber-framing technology called Pres-Lam and is a post-tensioned seismic damage resistant system that pushes the boundaries of multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand using laminated veneer lumber, which has incredible strength.

Read More

New Zealand Institute of Building Charitable Trust announces 2018 Scholarship Award winners

Voxy.co.nz
August 25, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The winners of the New Zealand Institute of Building Charitable Trust’s (NZIOB Charitable Trust) 2018 Scholarship Awards were announced last night in Auckland. The two winners, who each received a $10,000 cash prize, are Emma Fell and Mikayla Heesterman. Emma and Mikayla are Master of Architecture (Professional) students from the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington. …Emma Fell is researching the design and development of a prefabricated building envelope system for mass timber construction using cross-laminated timber (CLT). The system uses specially designed proprietary joints specific to different types of cladding. …The resultant research has the capability to revolutionise prefabrication in New Zealand. …Mikayla Heesterman has been inspired by traditional Japanese timber architecture, which used intricately carved timber-only connections. Such connections are structurally successful and aesthetically beautiful, but as Mikayla notes in her application, their complexity makes them time-consuming and difficult to make.

Read More

Forestry

‘Treed in perpetuity’: one local property owner advocates a different way to log

By Melanie Law
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
August 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chris Elden

The smell of fresh-cut balsam fir is a tough one to beat. Standing among recently harvested trees on a property near Ten Mile Lake, the air is thick with the aroma, along with the many mosquitos a piece of machinery has disturbed from their resting places. Chris Elden, a local forester by trade, is logging around 50 of his 140 acre lot in the hills behind Parkland Elementary School. But aside from the noise of the machinery, from the road you’d never know there was a logging operation going on in this dense patch of forest. That’s because Elden has employed a contractor who is relatively new to Quesnel and is using a unique system to thin out the forest without creating a great clear-cut scar in the countryside.

Read More

B.C.’s wildfire season now 2nd-worst on record — behind only last year

CBC News
August 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year’s wildfire season is now the second-worst in B.C. history when it comes to the amount of land that’s burned. More than 945,000 hectares have been scorched by fires since April 1. Last year, the record was set when more than 1.2 million hectares of land were destroyed by wildfire. The new total means B.C. has gone back to back with its most destructive summers of fire. As of Friday, more than 550 fires were burning across the province. Sixty are considered fires of note, meaning they threaten people or property or are highly visible. Most of the notable fires are in the province’s southeast, northwest and Interior regions. Nearly 5,000 people had been forced from their homes due to wildfire as of Thursday afternoon. Another 22,000 were under evacuation alerts.

Read More

Minister’s forest panel should embrace these reforms

By Anthony Britneff
Vancouver Sun
August 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the second year running, British Columbians are getting a taste of what the “new normal” means — air so choked with the smoke of burning forest fires that it drives us to stay indoors. But what many of us may fail to appreciate is what the new normal means for our forests and the management challenges lying ahead. How have ferocious fires, increased insect attacks, anomalous disease outbreaks and all the heightened logging activities in response to such events diminished our forests? How do we responsibly manage our forests moving forward, keeping in mind that we need them for clean water, grizzly bears and spawning salmon alike, and as a source of timber? Months before this summer’s conflagration, B.C.’s forests minister, Doug Donaldson, announced that the province’s “forest-inventory” program would be reviewed by a panel of outside professionals, a process that now nears completion.

Read More

As wildfires rage, is it time to rethink how we manage forests?

By Jane Gerster
Global News
August 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Four forest fires burning in northwestern British Columbia merged this week, forming an enormous, 118,000-hectare blaze. In Ontario, officials only recently declared the massive “Parry Sound 33” forest fire under control after a month of burning. …The fires have put climate change at the fore of public discussion in Canada, while forest management has taken a backseat. And yet, explains Verena Griess, a professor in forest management at UBC, if we did more to manage our forests, we could help reduce the risk of a fire. “Forests in B.C. are not really managed,” says Griess, comparing the western province with her past experience as a forester in Europe. …Griess doesn’t want to call it mismanagement, but she does think we need to rethink the process. …Thanks to forest fires and the devastation wrought by the mountain pine beetle, Griess thinks those conversations are actually starting to happen.

Read More

Fire good for mountain goats

By Chelsea Powrie
Castanet
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The iconic South Okanagan mountain goats have been dwindling in numbers for decades, but according to conservation workers, wildfires in the area are actually good news for those populations.  Jesse Zeman, director of the BCWF Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program, said some of the fires currently in the south are covering areas that could help existing populations, or be rejuvenated into ideal goat territory. “Those are spots where historically, back in the 80s, they would have found goats in the area and where we no longer see them,” he said.  Zeman drew x-marks on a goat map from that time, indicating which populations are no longer around today. He said the decline has a lot to do with man-made disturbances in the natural fire cycle.

Read More

Wildfire mitigation on municipalities’ minds

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Local governments want to see their federal and provincial counterparts provide more funding and resources to fight fires, and change rules that make mitigation more difficult. …local governments in the Interior are appealing to the federal and provincial governments for help to protect their cities from future fires. The appeals come in the form of resolutions that will be presented at this fall’s Union of B.C. Municipalities conference. The Thompson-Nicola Regional District wants to see the province provide funding to rural and First Nations fire brigades and departments for emergency training, equipment and response capacity with respect to rural-urban wildfires. Regional district chair John Ranta said a number of small fire brigades that have lost their funding in recent years due to provincial policy changes and liability concerns are at risk of shutting down. 

Read More

Salmo area mulls rules for private land logging

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
August 24, 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… will deal with it separately, and have a public hearing to include it in the bylaw.”…John Dooley, who works for the Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association, told the Star the organization raised concerns about some details of the private logging section and the fact it appeared at the last minute in the process. “The real issue for most people,” Dooley said, “was that there was very little consultation with the industry. In fact there was none. 

Read More

BC’s Festival of Forestry teachers tour kicks-off in the Okanagan today

Festival of Forestry
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Festival of Forestry tours take teachers to rural and resource-based communities throughout BC. Our three-day tours provide teachers of all levels and subject areas with curriculum-focused, hands-on teaching ideas. Teachers meet with various resource experts and professionals along the way, including biologists, foresters, government officials, First Nations representatives and others. The 2018 summer teachers’ tour will take us to the Okanagan and the beautiful Silver Lake Forest Education Centre — outside of Kelowna, a major forestry and lumber centre. The Okanagan has a long history of forestry and lumber mills, two major mills operate today in the metro Kelowna area; one right downtown on the lakeside. With host Russ Paton (Silver Lake program director) we will start our tour in the West Bank First Nation Community Forest examining logging practices to enhance wildlife, from small mammals to the largest ungulates – the mighty elk – and speak about First Nation concerns and values.

Read More

Terra Nova boxes out moose to save the trees

By Garrett Barry
CBC News
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Terra Nova National Park is hoping hundreds of metres of fencing will protect stunted trees from hungry moose. The park has constructed an eight-hectare moose exclosure, and has planted thousands of balsam fir seedlings inside, in an attempt to regenerate a forest in an open meadow that’s been hit hard by big moose appetites. “Year after year, they browse these same areas so trees tend to never ever get to the heights that they need to,” explained Janet Feltham, an ecologist at Terra Nova National Park. …The moose population in Terra Nova National Park has fallen, from 600 in the 1990s to 140 today, said Feltham. That means it’s the right time to start this project, she said. Once the trees have reached maturity, the fencing around them will be removed. If the moose population is maintained at lower levels, seeds that fall from the once-protected trees will have a better chance of growing.

Read More

Nova Scotia long-term Crown timber harvest leases still on hold

By Paul Withers
CBC News
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stephen McNeil

Nova Scotia will maintain a moratorium on long-term leases for timber harvesting on Crown lands until it “digests” a new forest practices review. The report from University of King’s College president Bill Lahey calls for a drastic reduction in harvesting on Crown land and a shift to more cutting on private woodlots. The recommendation poses tough questions for the Liberal government. It ordered the review in part after persistent complaints that increased harvesting on Crown land in western Nova Scotia drove down demand for wood from private woodlots. On Thursday, Premier Stephen McNeil and Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin sidestepped any commitment to reduce harvesting on lands owned by the province.  Rankin said the freeze on long-term leases to harvest on Crown land will stay for now.

Read More

COUNTERPOINT: Forestry report falls short

Letter by John Himmelman, Boutiliers Point
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.

Read More

Brett Kavanaugh’s Record Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Endangered Species

By Emily Gertz
The Huffington Post
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

If Judge Brett Kavanaugh becomes Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, activists who regularly use the courts to protect wildlife will need to rethink their legal strategies. …An analysis of Kavanaugh’s 12-year record on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit finds that he has consistently ruled against measures to protect species. …In Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the world’s largest timber company is challenging a federal decision to designate 1,544 acres of land in Louisiana as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog, of which only 100 or so are left in the wild. Recently-retired Justice Anthony Kennedy was a centrist whose swing vote sometimes landed environmental cases like Weyerhaeuser in favor of protection. …Weyerhaeuser argues that the Fish and Wildlife Service is overreaching and designating the land as essential critical habitat would cost the company up to $34 million in lost development value. 

Read More

Farm Bill contains provisions that promote forest management

By Dan Keppen, executive director of the Family Farm Alliance
Herald and News
August 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dan Keppen

Urban media outlets in recent weeks have ramped up their insistent cries that the recent spate of wildfires is proof positive of global climate change. Meanwhile, many of us living in smoke-filled Western valleys know that real, on-the-ground actions can be taken to address the more relevant causes behind this summer’s inferno. …Whether you believe that man-caused climate change is real or not, it seems to me that less attention should be spent arguing this point and more focus should be placed instead on finding immediate solutions to the natural resources challenges we are facing. …If you’re tired, frustrated and feeling helpless about the smoke and fire we see now on an annual basis, now is the time to take some action. You can help by calling your Congressional representatives and express your support for the House farm bill forestry title.

Read More

A bipartisan duo of California lawmakers wants to spend climate-change cash on thinning out fire-prone trees and brush

By John Myers
Los Angeles Times
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two members of the California Legislature who represent fire-ravaged regions, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, have crafted a wide-ranging plan to spend as much as $300 million a year in climate-change cash on ways to speed up the removal of trees and brush that fuel the state’s blazes. The proposal may be the most detailed produced so far by wide-ranging discussions in Sacramento on a statewide wildfire prevention strategy. The lawmakers, whose work has been overshadowed by high-profile efforts to lessen fire liabilities for electric utility companies, hope to refocus the conversation on local prevention efforts. “It’s about prudent vegetation management to get in and remove the fuel load that’s there,” said Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), one of the plan’s authors. “There’s a concern that we’re going to advocate for huge logging out there. That’s not who I am.”

Read More

Campaign For A New Oregon Wilderness Bedevils Conservationists

By Joseph Winters
Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Last month, DeFazio, who represents Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, sponsored a bill that would designate Devil’s Staircase as an official Wilderness Area. The land is currently owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service… It is awaiting action in the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands. This isn’t the first time DeFazio has tried to protect this wild place. The first proposal came from DeFazio in 2009 … In 2011, DeFazio proposed a nearly identical bill. It never moved forward. Come 2013, the same thing happened. Then in 2015, Wyden and fellow Sen. Jeff Merkley… introduced the Wyden-Merkley Oregon Wildlands Act. … That proposal failed, as well. …Even if the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness Act of 2018 makes it out of the Subcommittee on Federal Lands, DeFazio doesn’t have high hopes for its fate in the House Natural Resources Committee. Under Bishop’s chairmanship, the bill is likely to be tabled once again. But DeFazio intends to persevere.

Read More

More aggressive firefighting approach means more fire, smoke

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
August 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service’s “shared stewardship” approach to wildland firefighting will take more resources than the agency currently has, architects of the new strategy say. And the challenge of cleaning up 35 million acres of hazardous forest fuel with little or no commercial value could require Americans to get used to much more fire and smoke. Acting Deputy Chief of National Forest Systems Chris French said even ending the “fire-borrowing” problem that saw half the agency’s annual budget going to fire suppression instead of forest management wouldn’t solve the fire-deficit problem. “Does it solve the funding needs for the scale of the problem we have to address?” French asked in a Thursday interview with the Missoulian. “That’s going to take a lot more capacity beyond the fire-funding fix.”

Read More

2017 Arkansas forest inventory and analysis report released

The Times Record
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ARKANSAS — According to the 2017 Forest Inventory and Analysis report, Arkansas’ forests continue to thrive with forested acreage remaining steady at 19 million acres, 56 percent of the state’s total land area. …Arkansas forest highlights included in the annual Forest Inventory and Analysis report include: Arkansas is home to about 11.9 billion trees; 69 percent of Arkansas forestland is owned by private, non-industrial landowners; Since 1978, Arkansas forestland has increased by more than 1 million acres; In terms of forest composition, the two largest forest types are a hardwood mixture of oak and hickory species (41 percent); and pine species (31 percent); Pine accounts for 42 percent of the state’s total tree volume; Hardwood accounts for 58 percent of the state’s total tree volume; The growth rate for hardwood and pine trees continues to be greater than the removal rate.

Read More

Glenville State College celebrates 50 years of its forestry program

By Brittany Murray
WAJR
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GLENVILLE, W.Va. — For half a century, Glenville State College has provided students of the institution’s renowned Forest Technology program with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed far beyond GSC’s campus. “That’s what we pride ourself on,” said GSC Academic Laboratory Instructional Assistant Tom Snyder. “That’s been our reputation that when a Glenville graduate is out there, they are very qualified to step in with just minimal training to about any situation.” The program’s 50th anniversary was celebrated this past weekend, with all 700 graduates invited back to campus for a reunion in the College’s Waco Center. The celebration began with a social reception followed by a forest technology presentation by Dr. Darrell Dean, a former surveying professor at Glenville State, followed by a panel discussion, lunch and various other activities.

Read More

Victorian Government stalls decision on new timber plantation for Latrobe Valley

By Stephanie Anderson
ABC News Australia
August 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Not a single tree has been planted more than a year after the Victorian Government pledged $110 million to establish timber plantations in the Latrobe Valley. The announcement in the 2017 budget followed anxiety within the timber industry over reduced wood supply from the state-owned logging company VicForests and job losses in the region. But industry figures said there has been no progress and their questions to the Government have gone unanswered. The local MP for Morwell, Russell Northe, said the lack of detail was extraordinary. “I think everybody associated with the timber industry is just shrugging their shoulders and shaking their head and thinking what’s going on,” he said. “The timber industry is one of the biggest industries in the Latrobe Valley and the Gippsland region. And it needs to be sustainable.

Read More

Forest Fires

3 fires near Castlegar grow to over 1,000 hectares each

By Betsy Kline
BC Local News
August 25, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Three fires burning near Castlegar have each grown to more than 1000 hectares in size. The Syringa Creek Fire burning near Castlegar has now grown to over 1400 hectares. The fire has been getting closer to Syringa Provincial Park and its location is now listed as one kilometre north of the park. …The Deer Creek Fire burning 3 km east of Arrow Lake and approximately 8 km northwest of Deer Park up the lake from the Syringa fire has grown to more than 1000 hectares, but is now listed as 50 per cent contained. …The fire burning in the Bulldog Mountain area, south of Renata is now 1,145 hectares. An Evacuation Order remains in effect for addresses located south of Renata to Shield Point area on Lower Arrow Lake.

Read More

Some stay home in BC to protect homes, property

By Hina Alam
Canadian Press in CTV News
August 25, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rise Johansen is among many British Columbians who have decided against obeying an evacuation order because of a wildfire, choosing instead to remain behind in Takysie Lake. …They run a store, resort, gas station and restaurant, and have had a steady stream of people coming to them for everything from a cup of coffee to gas for their vehicles. …Rodney Holland, chief administrative officer at nearby Fraser Lake, said evacuation orders are based on personal safety, although adults have the option of defying the orders. …Johansen was also critical of the response to the fires by government agencies. “The boots on the ground are all awesome.” she said. “But the system of how this is being taken care of is immensely flawed. And that’s why so many people have… defied the evacuation order — because we don’t have enough faith in the people making the decisions.”

Read More

B.C.’s wildfire smoke isn’t just floating across Canada — it’s reaching Ireland

By Jesse Ferreras
Global News
August 25, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The smoke coming from British Columbia’s forests amid a furious wildfire season isn’t just reaching into Alberta. Plumes of smoke from the fires are believed to be travelling as far east as Ontario, the Maritimes and beyond — even across the Atlantic Ocean to Ireland. That’s according to David Lyder, an air emissions engineer with the Alberta government and one of the minds behind FireSmoke.ca, a website whose animated map shows the probable trajectory of wildfire smoke within North America.  …And it isn’t just B.C. that sends smoke so far. “We get smoke from Siberia,” Lyder said.  The map forms one component of the BlueSky Western Canada Wildfire Smoke Forecasting System, a project that first developed in 2007 out of concern about the need for smoke projections to help inform weather forecasters, health authorities and other parties.

Read More

Man arrested in deadly Klamathon fire

Mail Tribune
August 23, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

John Colin Eagle Skoda

YREKA, Calif. — Northern California authorities have arrested a man they say started the deadly Klamathon wildfire last month. Law enforcement officers arrested 32-year-old John Colin Eagle Skoda Thursday after investigators concluded that a debris fire he started on a friend’s property southeast of Hornbrook sparked the blaze, which burned through 60 square miles. The Klamathon fire killed one Hornbrook resident, 72-year-old John Karl Bermel, and injured three firefighters. It destroyed 35 houses, 48 structures and damaged another 12 structures… Suzi Brady, spokeswoman for Cal Fire’s Siskiyou unit, said Skoda quickly lost control of the unpermitted debris fire. Siskiyou County District Attorney J. Kirk Andrus told the San Francisco Chronicle that Skoda called 911 after the fire got away from him. …Skoda, of San Francisco, was booked on five felony counts of recklessly causing a fire and involuntary manslaughter, plus two fire-related misdemeanors, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Read More

A World On Fire

NASA
August 23, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

The world is on fire. Or so it appears in this image from NASA’s Worldview. The red points overlaid on the image designate those areas that by using thermal bands detect actively burning fires. Africa seems to have the most concentrated fires. This could be due to the fact that these are most likely agricultural fires. The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. …Elsewhere the fires, such as in North America are wildfires for the most part. …However, in Brazil the fires are both wildfires and man-made fires set to clear crop fields of detritus from the last growing season.

Read More

Germany Wildfire Sets Off World War II Ammunition Buried in Forest

Associated Press in The Weather Channel
August 25, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

German firefighters battling a large inferno in a forest southwest of Berlin faced an added challenge in recent days: buried, exploding World War II ammunition that was being set off by the wildfire. The fire sent thick smoke toward Berlin and forced several nearby villages to evacuate. As crews began to get better control of the fire, one such village, Frohnsdorf, was removed from the evacuation orders, but authorities were still concerned about two other evacuated villages, Klausdorf and Tiefenbrunnen. The blaze grew to the size of about 500 soccer fields and detonated ammunition several times, keeping firefighters from entering some areas of the forest, local lawmaker Christian Stein said.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Nicaragua’s Actions Cast a Shadow over Its Leadership of Major Climate Group

By Daniel Ackerman
Scientific American
August 27, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Paul Oquist

…Nicaragua’s government also stands accused of widespread environmental abuses—such as overlooking the illicit clearing of rainforests. Critics are now questioning why one of the country’s top government ministers, Paul Oquist, holds a prominent leadership position on the Green Climate Fund (GCF), an international group that sponsors projects to reduce climate change damage in developing countries. Oquist is currently setting agenda priorities for the fund’s governing board meeting in October, when the group plans to sponsor a new round of projects. Nicaragua was among the final signatories to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate-control measures. The nation’s leaders had initially slammed the deal as insufficient to protect developing countries from climate change effects. During negotiations, Oquist—Nicaragua’s senior minister for national policy and the country’s climate envoy—called the deal “a path to failure” that would lead to “death and destruction.” But his position flipped after the U.S. pulled out of the pact.

Read More

Health & Safety

Better forestry needed to avoid an age of bad air

Editorial Board
The East Oregonian
August 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Americans have looked down our noses at the Chinese, whose dirty air we’ve seen on television. …How disheartening it is to find ourselves dealing with such ugly air here in the Pacific Northwest this August. Forest-fire smoke surrounds us. As the National Weather Service maps have clearly shown… smoke from fires in British Columbia and elsewhere in the Northwest collects and sticks. As a result of fires, air-quality monitoring systems in the two states have classified conditions as unhealthy across many thousands of square miles of the Pacific Northwest. …So when it comes to avoiding dangerously destructive forest fires and the harms they create, what might smarter management look like? Many solutions are likely to entail seeking and following the advice of professional forest managers, rather than either acquiescing to decisions forced by environmental lawsuits on the one hand, or back-room industry manipulations on the other.

Read More

Safest in the Industry

By Molly Priddy
The Flathead Beacon
August 24, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

COLUMBIA FALLS — There was plenty for SmartLam president and general manager Casey Malmquist to be proud of as he stood in front of his employees at the mill in the middle of the afternoon. They’d taken a break from their shift duties creating cross-laminated timber to be recognized — by their boss, and also by the American Plywood Association — for having built the safest work environment of all companies in the industry with three or fewer member mills. The Safest Company 2017 Award means SmartLam has the best track record for safety out of the roughly 90 eligible mills in the category, according to APA Director of Quality Services Division Steve Zylkowski. …The APA and other industry leaders created safety programs and awards to highlight the companies doing right by their workers.

Read More