Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 28, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

US/Mexico trade deal removes dispute resolution clause that protected Canadian lumber exports in the past

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 28, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US and Mexico have reached a trade deal that removes Chapter 19, the NAFTA dispute-resolution clause that protected Canadian lumber exports in the past. In related news: US appeals the WTO glossy paper decision despite the original-proponent’s disinterest; newsprint tariffs are paying off for Norpac; and US homebuilders accuse lumber mills of running a cartel.

In Wood Product news: 11 US wood industry associations form a coalition to promote the wood industry as a career path; tall wood buildings could face higher insurance costs; a new book on concrete got Treehugger’s attention; and an apartment fire in Chicago renews calls for ICC code adoption on sprinklers. 

Finally, rain and cooler temperatures bring some wildfire relief in BC and Alberta, California debates thinning as a means to reduce fire risk; and a Canadian Industry CEO says forestry is a clean tech success story.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Forestry: A Success Story in Clean Tech

By Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada
Policy Magazine
August 28, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

The Canadian forestry sector has become a leader in clean energy and clean tech, both in industry and communities it serves. The industry has already met the 2016 Paris Agreement target of reducing GHG emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Derek Nighbor, head of the Canadian Forest Products Association, tells a Canadian success story:  For more than three decades, the Canadian forest products sector has been a leader  in the innovation, development, and utilization of clean technologies—and in doing so, has positioned itself at the forefront of energy change that benefits the environment and the economy. …The industry remains committed to doing its part to transform Canada into a bio-energy and bio-materials powerhouse and is proof that advancing clean technology works for the environment and the economy, creating opportunities for Canadians to be part of a workforce that is increasingly among the greenest in the nation.  

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Business & Politics

Canada scrambles as US, Mexico ink NAFTA pact

By Adrian Morrow and Robert Fife
The Globe and Mail
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The US and Mexico have reached a sweeping deal to overhaul the North American free-trade agreement and are pressing Canada to accept it by the end of this week or risk getting kicked out of the continental trade pact. …The wide-ranging agreement unveiled on Monday includes a “sunset clause” that would see NAFTA ended in 16 years unless all countries agree to keep it; new auto-industry rules designed to move auto-manufacturing jobs out of Mexico and into the United States; changes to intellectual-property rules and an increase to the amount of American goods Mexican consumers can buy online without paying duties. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters the renegotiated deal also removes Chapter 19, a key dispute-resolution clause that has protected Canadian softwood-lumber exports from punitive U.S. tariffs. Now, Canada must decide whether to accept a deal that it largely did not negotiate.

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LePage Appoints Pulp Mill Manager to St. Croix Commission

By Marina Villeneuve
Associated Press in U.S. News & World Report
August 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Paul LePage

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has appointed a St. Croix River mill manager to an international commission that protects the river’s corridor on the U.S.-Canadian border. LePage, a Republican, in August appointed Scott Beal, Woodland Pulp spokesman and environmental and security manager, to the St. Croix International Waterway Commission. Maine’s governor and New Brunswick’s premier can each appoint four commissioners to the commission, which restores and manages natural habitats on the St. Croix River corridor. “Hopefully having Beal on there will give us a better understanding of what is going on at the mill and what impact, if any, it might have on the water,” said the commission’s co-chairman, David Burns, a former Republican state lawmaker. …LePage spokeswoman Julie Rabinowitz said the governor’s appointment was to make sure the commission includes “strong economic development, transportation and waterway and environmental management skillsets.”

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Bad News for U.S. Papers, but Tariffs Are Paying Off for One Rock Capital

By William Mauldin
The Wall Street Journal
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

When the Trump administration applied tariffs on imports of newsprint earlier this month, it brushed aside opposition from the Canadian government, the U.S. newspaper industry, printing companies, and a long list of lawmakers, including Democrats and Republicans. The tariffs, though, have been cause for celebration at private-equity firm One Rock Capital Partners LLC. …the “bad actors” are Canadian paper mills that the Commerce Department says get access to wood fiber at below-market prices, giving them an advantage in making paper. U.S. lumber and paper firms have long blamed their Canadian competitors for gaining cheap access to trees cut on public land. …Some industry observers say a Trump administration, led by a president antagonistic to the media, is unlikely to be sympathetic to newspapers. …The tariffs represent a remarkable success by a relatively little-known private-equity firm at pulling the levers of power in Washington for advantage. (Full story available to WSJ subscribers only)

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Spill from aging Maine pulp mill worries St. Croix conservationists

By Joseph Tunney
CBC News
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A recent spill of two million litres of partially treated pulp-mill effluent into a tributary of the St. Croix River is raising concerns about the long-term health of the river dividing New Brunswick from the United States. One of the main lines of the Woodland Pulp mill in Baileyville, Maine, west of Calais, ruptured Aug. 10, sending wastewater into Wapsaconhagen Stream. A police officer on patrol smelled an odour and contacted the mill that day. According to Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection, mill staff responded immediately, stopping the discharge and beginning repairs. “It’s hard to say, one way or another, whether there was impact to the river,” said Brian Kavanah, a spokesperson for the department.

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U.S. appeals WTO glossy paper decision

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

GENEVA — A trade dispute over glossy paper will continue with an appeal to the World Trade Organization, even though the United States announced last month that it had ended countervailing duties on Canadian producers. The WTO announced Monday that the U.S. Commerce Department had filed an appeal of a WTO panel ruling on July 5. …U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said… the WTO panel report undermined U.S. legal grounds to combat “unfairly subsidized imports that disadvantage our workers and businesses.” …The WTO panel had largely ruled in favour of Canadian producers of supercalendared paper, such as Port Hawkesbury Paper. …The main U.S. producer of the glossy paper stock, Verso Corp., also told the U.S. commerce secretary in March that it was no longer interested in continuing with the duties following a settlement with some Canadian producers.

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American home builders accuse lumber mills of running a ‘cartel’ as softwood tariffs trigger inter-industry strife

By Tom Blackwell
The National Post
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

TORONTO — As the chief advocate for America’s home builders, Jerry Howard smells a rat. The tariffs his government imposed on Canadian softwood lumber imports in May 2017 were bad enough, he says. But the response to the duties by lumber producers on both sides of the border has been worse, reminiscent of how OPEC artificially pumped up the price of oil four decades ago, Howard charges. Instead of triggering more domestic lumber production, the duties led to a wave of unwarranted price-gouging, alleges the CEO of the National Association of Home Builders. “We believe the lumber producers were acting not much differently than the oil cartels did back in the 1970s,” Howard said from Washington, D.C. “There is just too much evidence that leads us to conclude that there was profiteering going on.” … “I am honestly perplexed at this latest odd NAHB claim,” said Zoltan van Heyningen, executive director of the U.S. Lumber Coalition. And he says the duties have, in fact, allowed American lumber companies to boost domestic production.

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Domtar creosote plant dispute goes to Environmental Appeals Board

By Josee St-Onge
CBC News
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Contaminants in soil at a former Domtar creosote plant in northeast Edmonton are properly contained, a company that owns the site argued Monday at an Environmental Appeals Board hearing. Cherokee Canada, Domtar Inc. and 1510837 Alberta Ltd. are fighting seven orders issued in 2016 by Alberta Environment and Parks for the clean-up of a site at 44th Street and 127th Avenue in Hermitage. The site was home to a wood treatment plant that operated from 1924 until 1987. The numbered company purchased the site from Domtar in 2010. Cherokee is developing the site for residential use. …Domtar will present its own arguments to the three-member panel on Tuesday.

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Kenora MP relates progress on trade and regional initiatives

By Reg Clayton
The Daily Miner & News
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bob Nault

Kenora MP Bob Nault related developments on several Liberal government initiatives. As chairman of the federal government’s Foreign Affairs committee, Nault commented on the current impasse regarding negotiations with the U.S. on the North American Free Trade Agreement. …“We will have to live with this until it plays out,” Nault said. “The losers in this are consumers; we look forward to resolving outstanding issues with the U.S. on trade.” He added that with the current strong prices and demand for Canadian softwood, producers are able to contend with the tariffs, at least for the short term. “Demand and prices for softwood are higher than ever,” he said. “Still, we need to modernize the NAFTA agreement.”

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Weyerhaeuser CEO Doyle Simons To Retire; Devin Stockfish Named Successor

RTT News
August 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser said that Doyle Simons has elected to retire, and its board of directors has appointed Devin Stockfish as president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2019. Stockfish, currently senior vice president of the company’s Timberlands business, will join the company’s board of directors on January 1, 2019. …”Devin has a proven ability to achieve results,” Rick Holley, chairman of Weyerhaeuser’s board of directors. In addition, the company’s board said that Adrian Blocker will succeed Stockfish as senior vice president of Timberlands. Blocker currently leads the company’s Wood Products business. Keith O’Rear will succeed Blocker as senior vice president of Wood Products. O’Rear currently leads the company’s Wood Products Sales and Marketing organization.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Concrete has issues. What can we do about it?

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Making cement puts out a lot of CO2. Making concrete needs a lot of sand. Both are big problems. Yes, concrete is wonderful stuff. It can last millennia if you build it like the Romans did. Much of our modern world is made of concrete. Vince Beiser has written a new book about it, The world in a Grain: The story of sand and how it transformed civilization. …We’ve started to think twice about how much oil we can burn, how many forests we can cut down, how many fish we can harvest from the sea. It’s time to start thinking about how much concrete we can afford. So what can we do? 1. Preserve what we’ve got. 2. Maintain it properly. 3. Use less of it. This is TreeHugger territory; wood, particularly with new technologies like Cross Laminated Timber and Dowel Laminated Timber. 4. Stop sprawl. 5. Recycle it.

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Could this new construction method hike insurance costs?

By Greg Meckbach
Canadian Underwriter
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

A client occupying a tall wood building could face higher insurance costs, a group of masonry producers claims, while one fire insurer confirms such a building deserves closer scrutiny from an underwriter. Your insurance premiums would be higher as an owner of a tall wood building, warned Paul Hargest, president of the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association, in an interview Friday. …Placing insurance for a tall wood building is “definitely something that deserves a second look” from an underwriter, Louis Gritzo, vice president and manager of research with Rhode Island-based insurer FM Global. But he added some CLT materials “perform very well” in fire resistance tests. …Lab tests indicate that CLT “can achieve significant fire resistance that is close to three hours in some cases,” the National Research Council announced earlier. But Hargest noted a fire set in a lab does not always mirror real life.

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Registration opens for Prairie Wood Design Awards

Construction Canada
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Prairie Wood Design Awards program by WoodWorks Alberta invites entries honouring excellence in wood architecture from Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Entries should consist of projects showing a wide range of wood product applications and demonstrating an understanding of the qualities of wood, such as strength, durability, beauty, and cost-effectiveness. All projects completed between January 1, 2013, and August 13, 2018, are eligible for entry (except previous winners). The deadline for submission is October 19, 2018.

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Growing trend of eco-friendly filmmaking receiving more attention at Vancouver International Film Festival

By Melissa Shaw
Vancouver is Awesome
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Vancouver International Film Festival’s Sustainable Production Forum (SPF) has grown since it began in 2016 and will run for two days at the festival this year. Zena Harris, creative director of SPF and founder of Green Spark Group says they work with productions to reduce fuel consumption, use eco-friendly materials on set and find reusable props instead of buying new ones. Harris says they help productions source wood locally or wood that has Forest Stewardship Council certification and reduce the amount of Lauan used for set walls. …Green Spark Group and Keep It Green Recycling runs the Sustainable Lockup, which receives donated set materials that other productions can reuse for free. …The X-Files season 10 and 11 both shot in Metro Vancouver implemented these sustainability practices. During the shoot The X-Files diverted about 68 % of its waste from landfill, avoided 19 metric tons of carbon emissions, and saved nearly $150,000 in the process.

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Canadian Cancer Society Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Centre to showcase BC wood technology

Urban YVR
August 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Cancer Society is planning an addition to their building at West 10th Avenue and Ash Street, showcasing new innovations in B.C. wood construction technology. The “Canadian Cancer Society Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Centre” will include new office space and 64 hotel rooms for cancer patients. It will utilize B.C. timber as a sun screening element, surrounding the entire facade of the new addition. There will be an inner courtyard with tropical plants, as well as 30 new bicycle parking spaces. The architect is SHAPE Architecture Inc. [END of story]

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Wood Industry Resource Collaborative gets to work on workforce growth

By Karl Forth
Woodworkding Network
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Eleven wood industry associations have announced the formation of a coalition aimed primarily at perpetuating the long-term growth of the industry by sustaining an engaged workforce. Since its formative two-day brainstorming meeting in November 2017, the group has chosen to organize under the name Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC). Pronounced “Work,” the name does a great job of maintaining the group’s mission and goals. The collaborative group is a consortium of trade associations, all related to the woodworking or the wood products manufacturing industry. The group’s purpose is to provide a collection of tools and strategies for the wood industry to attract and retain employees, while improving the perception of the industry. This group exists to connect industry associations with one another and support and strengthen the woodworking industry and their associations’ members by sharing information and resources.

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Chicago Apartment Fire Kills Eight, Adds to List of Tragic Apartment Fires

St.Louis Real Estate News
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CHICAGO– A fire in a three-story apartment building in Chicago has resulted in eight deaths. …The building did not have a fire sprinkler system. Firefighters were unable to find working smoke detectors in the building. …Chicago does not require fire sprinklers in existing apartments under 80 feet in height and when new apartments are constructed, fire sprinklers are not required until wood construction exceeds 30 feet in height. There have been three attempts to adopt the International Code Council (ICC) codes, which require all new apartments to have fire sprinklers and existing apartment buildings under 80 feet to have fire sprinklers when renovations occur in the building. Advocates have been educating and encouraging a change in the law for years, however, all attempts have been opposed by numerous building and real estate stakeholders. This fire joins other recent fires in underscoring the need for fire sprinklers.

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Massive Library Structure Yields New Wood Composite Technology

By Phillip Keane
Engineering.com
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood is often described as “nature’s composite.” It’s composed of long cellulose fibers that are aligned along the direction of stress—and those fibers are all bound together by a lignin (organic polymer) matrix. If you substituted the word “cellulose” with “carbon fiber,” and then exchanged the word “lignin” with “epoxy,” you would be describing a basic carbon fiber reinforced plastic composite! With that in mind, how is it even possible to improve upon wood? …Well, wood is great, but it’s pretty difficult to make curved geometries that maintain the natural strength of wood. That may be about to change, thanks to a company in Austria that has developed a wood-carbon fiber composite system. And the best part about this system is that it’s modular, so it can be assembled into large spanning structures. …Austrian architectural design firm Digital Architects relies on composite simulation to give its product evolution a kick-start.

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Russian ThermoHolz will build CLT-plant in Moglino

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
August 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Russian manufacturer of thermally modified wood ThermoHolz will build a plant for cross-laminated timber (CLT) in the special economic zone of the Pskov region on the border with Estonia. The project was presented for the first time on 9 August and a corresponding contract was signed between ThermoHolz and the representatives of the Special Economic Zone on 21 August. Construction of the plant, with 20 employees and a capacity of 8,000 m²/month, is scheduled to begin in September. The plant, which will cost around 520 million roubles, is scheduled to come on stream in the first quarter of 2020. In addition to a pure, three-layer wood panel, the production of a panel with a rigid polyurethane foam core is also planned.

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Forestry

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Photo Contest

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
August 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

6 Winners: 1 Winner in Each Category. Winners will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Submit your photos to SFI’s 2018 Photo Contest today! Photos must be taken on land certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Forest Management Standard or impacted by the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard are required for the following categories: SFI Forests, Green Jobs, Communities, Environmental Education, Conservation/Biodiversity and SFI Labelled Products. To qualify, all photos must be in accordance with the contest rules and must be submitted electronically by midnight (EDT) on October 23, 2018. 

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Mayor of Quesnel meets with B.C. government to advance ideas on forest management, fibre manufacturing

By Melanie Law
Quesnel Observer
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson is in the Lower Mainland this week, working to follow up on Quesnel’s Forestry Think Tank session, which tool place May 3-4 2018 at Quesnel’s North Cariboo Community Campus. The Think Tank saw around 70 forestry sector professionals, as well as the Honourable Doug Donaldson from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), descend on Quesnel to explore opportunities to use the city as an “incubator” to accelerate research and development in the domains of alternative forest management and innovative manufacturing and processing of forest fibre.  Simpson said that today, he will be visiting the University of British Columbia to tour FPInnovations’ lab. FPInnovations is a not-for-profit that researches and creates solutions for the Canadian forest sector. Simpson says he will discuss options for the reinvention of Quesnel’s forestry sector. Two of the panelists at the Forestry Think Tank session were from FPInnovations.

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Forest cleanup underway in Central Kootenay to help prevent future wildfire damage

By Laura Sciarpelletti
CBC News
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A rural district in British Columbia is cleaning up its forests by removing dead wood and other debris that could help wildfires spread. The Central Kootenay Regional District says it’s beginning forest-cleaning prescriptions to better protect communities and infrastructure from the threat of fires. “What it starts with is a community wildfire protection plan,” said Aimee Watson, local director of the district for the north end of Kootenay Lake. “We’ve done those for most of the areas in the regional district. And that plan identifies areas of interest … where we should be doing treatments,” she told Audrey McKinnon, guest host of CBC’s Radio West. Assisted by funding from the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the district is removing potential fuel for fires from more than 800 hectares (eight square kilometres) of forest across the district, focusing on land close to urban areas. 

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Air pollution and loss of productivity

By Jim Hilton, retired professional agrologist and forester
BC Local News
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim Hilton

…A radio program on the CBC discussed the impacts on worker productivity caused by air pollution. …Evidence suggests that improvements in air quality lead to improvements in worker productivity across a range of sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and the service sectors. …The use of more controlled burns is harder for me to accept during this smoky period and the thought of burning the many logging cull piles this winter is depressing. …One way around this is to move the processing facility closer to the forest fibre. A good example was the establishment of a number of mills in the Chilcotin in the 1990s. …As tax payers we should be prepared to invest in the hydro and transportation infrastructures which support the more remote industries. …A recent article about a $7 million program to improve the access north of Anahim Lake shows the government is listening.

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West Fraser Road south of Quesnel closed until at least 2020, says Ministry of Transportation

Melanie Law
The Williams Lake Tribune
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As wildfires continue to take a toll across the province, locals near Quesnel are still dealing with the aftermath of this spring’s flood waters. Several stretches of West Fraser Road, at and near the Narcosli Bridge washed out in April and May 2018, due to high water levels from the spring freshet. West Fraser Road, which travels south from Quesnel towards Williams Lake, has been closed since then, and the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure notified ?Esdilagh First Nation (Alexandria) that construction on West Fraser Road won’t begin until summer 2020. …In the meantime, residents of communities south of the washouts are on detour to and from Quesnel, forced to drive Garner Road, a winding forest service road, to reach the city where they work, attend school and shop.

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California wildfires will grow 77 percent as climate warms. Should forests be thinned?

By Dale Kasler
Sacramento Bee
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Now the state Legislature is considering a pair of bills that would ease restrictions on logging larger trees on private lands as a means of reducing fire risk. The bills also would give landowners more leeway to build temporary roads in their forests to facilitate logging operations. Environmental groups generally agree with forest thinning to reduce the presence of wildfire “fuels” but are lining up to oppose the bills, saying the logging of big trees actually would worsen fire hazards. “It weakens environmental laws to allow more logging of large, fire-resistant trees,” said Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project, an environmental advocacy group. “The larger the trees, the more fire resistant they are.” But Rich Gordon of the California Forestry Association, which represents the timber industry, said limiting loggers to small trees makes forest thinning uneconomical.

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With the right conditions, 1988 Yellowstone fires could happen again

By Brett French
The Missoulian
August 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If conditions were perfectly horrible, Yellowstone National Park could experience another fire season that rivaled the record-setting 1988 burn when about 1,200 square miles were charred, but it won’t be easy. One problem is that scars from the 1988 fires are acting as fire breaks, slowing down burns as the fuel type changes from mature lodgepole pine to newer growth, and sometimes even meadows. …there are exceptions. In August 2016 the Maple fire broke out in the western corner of the park. …The Maple fire burned through a portion of the North Fork fire scar from 1988. But the 2016 summer was so dry that large logs contained less than 10 percent moisture, John Cataldo, fire management officer for the park said, similar to kiln-dried lumber. Those logs helped carry the fire through the old burn and on to the mature forest, which was unusual, he added. Typically the scars have acted almost like fire breaks.

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Forest Fires

Humans responsible for more than 400 B.C. wildfires so far this season

By Amy Smart
CTV News
August 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Campfires, cigarettes, flares and car accidents are some of the ways humans have likely started more than 400 wildfires in British Columbia this season. As wildfires blaze across the province, the B.C. Wildfire Service says many of them have been avoidable. Despite efforts to spread the word about fire bans and other restrictions, fire information officer Ryan Turcot says many people still aren’t getting the message. “…every human-caused wildfire, is a wildfire that didn’t have to happen,” Turcot said.  “These human-caused wildfires …divert critical resources away from the natural caused wildfires that we can’t prevent.” On average, the Wildfire Service says 40 per cent of fires over the past 10 years, or 666 per year, have been caused by humans. “…it is important for the BC Wildfire Service to continue educating the public about wildfire prevention as it relates to all human activities that can result in unnecessary wildfires,” Turcot said.

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Evacuation alert lifted for Waterton Lakes National Park

By Sammy Hudes
The Edmonton Journal
August 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Parts of Alberta may have been blessed by rain and cooler temperatures over the weekend, but officials say the province isn’t yet out of the woods as far as wildfires go this season. There were 19 wildfires in Alberta as of Monday, including eight being held and another eight considered under control. …The evacuation alert for Waterton Lakes National Park was lifted Monday morning after about 20 millimetres of rain helped control a wildfire that reached Boundary Creek over the weekend. The wildfire, south of Waterton, grew to approximately 860 hectares and was classified as out of control.

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Rainfall, cooler temperatures bring some relief in wildfire-ravaged B.C.

The Canadian Press in the Penticton Western News
August 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service says rainfall and cooler temperatures mean a return to more seasonal weather conditions, reducing the risk of wildfires in the province’s northeast. …Despite the cool and damp weather on the weekend, most of the province, including Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, remains under air quality advisories due to wildfire smoke. The wildfire service says 2018 has officially become the second-worst wildfire season on record, with 9,450 square kilometres of land burned, behind 2017, when over 12,000 square kilometres were scorched. The third-worst year for wildfires in B.C. was 1958.

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Wildfire risk doesn’t douse housing demand

By University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Science Daily
August 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Out of sight, out of mind. That’s the conclusion of a new UNLV study which found that real estate prices for homes in wildfire-prone areas fall relative to homes in low-risk areas immediately following a blaze. But the effect is only temporary: Sale prices in risky areas rebound within one to two years. While that may sound like a blessing to homeowners and real estate agents alike, UNLV research economist Shawn McCoy says the phenomenon may also pose somewhat of a curse. That’s because homebuyers place such a significant premium on homes with the appealing views and beautifully isolating dense vegetation provided by mountainous high-fire risk areas that even media coverage of out-of-control blazes, mass evacuations, or deaths may not deter them. As a result, residential growth in forested areas across the United States — the Wildland-Urban Interface — significantly increased in recent years from an estimated 30.8 million housing units in 1990 to 43.4 million by 2010.

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Illegal drone grounds firefighting aircraft on 5,400-acre Terwilliger Fire

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
August 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

An illegal drone flying over the Terwilliger Fire on Sunday grounded firefighting aircraft and made it more difficult to battle the now 5,400 acre blaze. The drone was detected over the wildfire east of Eugene and around Cougar Reservoir during the afternoon, officials said. “Air operations immediately stopped working on fire suppression efforts after the ‘drone’ was discovered over the fire area,” fire teams said in a report Sunday. “(Drones) are unsafe and pose a significant risk to our firefighters. Helicopters had been providing support to firefighters on the ground by dropping water on spot fires along the fire perimeter.” …The fine for operating a drone in a temporary flight restriction area — such as a wildfire — is up to $27,500. The fire showed major growth on Friday and Saturday, adding more than 2,000 acres to its overall size. It has spread in multiple directions…

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PHOTOS: The 2018 wildfire season around the world

By Megan DeLaire
Yahoo News
August 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Canada, the U.S., Australia, England, Greece, Sweden — it’s been a tough year for wildfires around the world. Dry, windy conditions brought about by a global heatwave have created fertile ground for forest fires across the globe, and with deadly consequences. In just a few hours on few hours on July 23,  fire consumed the Greek coastal resort of Mati, outside Athens. Combined, wildfires in California and British Columbia have covered 12,051 square kilometres this year. That’s an area of land larger than Jamaica. Fires scorched parts of Britain including Hampshire, Dorset, Hertfordshire and North Wales amid a summer of record-breaking heat. On Earth, something is always burning, and fires can be beneficial for forests when their frequency and intensity are checked by nature.

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Red sunset in store as North American wildfire smoke spreads across Finland

Yle yhtiönä
August 28, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Smoke from forest fires raging in parts of North America is travelling north, producing spectacular sunsets in Nordic countries says Yle meteorologist Joonas Koskela. As a result, the sunset in northern Finland will be much redder than normal on Monday evening. …Yle meteorologist Seija Paasonen has been tracking the patterns of the North American forest fires for several weeks now. She says that the smoke has travelled as far as Europe owing to wind patterns in the upper atmosphere. “The forest fire smoke has travelled long distances owing to the lack of rain and the appropriate upper wind currents,” says Paasonen.

 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

For carbon storage, biodiversity can help—or hurt

By The University of Vermont
Phys.Org
August 27, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Carole Adair

Biodiversity plays a significant role in forest carbon storage, but surprisingly less than previously thought, new research suggests. By analyzing stores of carbon in temperate and boreal forests, researchers found that tree diversity does influence the amount of carbon stored in a given part of an ecosystem. But in a departure from previous research, researchers found biodiversity’s role was relatively small when compared to other forest traits and environmental factors—and even can decrease carbon storage in some cases. The research team, led by Carol Adair of the University of Vermont and David Hooper of Western Washington University, found that climate, site topography, time since fire, and characteristics of the tree species in each plot explained most of the variation in forest carbon storage across temperate and boreal forests in Québec, Canada. Alain Paquette of Université du Québec à Montréal and Bruce Hungate of Northern Arizona University co-authored the study.

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Our biomass policy subsidizes clear-cuts

By Jamie Sayen
New Hampshire Business Review
August 27, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Geoffrey Jones’ letter on NHBR.com calling for overriding Governor Sununu’s veto of Senate Bill 365 includes the statement, “one very important and irrefutable fact: The energy source with the smallest negative footprint AND the most societal benefits, when practiced intelligently and responsibly, is biomass!” He offers no supporting evidence. Note his qualifier: “when practiced intelligently and responsibly.” Up in Coos County, absentee landowners, using expensive heavy machinery, are liquidating hundreds of acres of young forests, largely to feed the inefficient 75-megawatt Burgess biomass plant in Berlin. …A satellite photo shows a clear-cut of several hundred acres conducted by Wagner Woodlands on behalf of Yale University Endowment. It is neither intelligent nor responsible forest policy when a vaunted university can legally liquidate previously overcut stands — and receive ratepayer subsidies!

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Health & Safety

Are Canada’s most dangerous jobs really worth the risk?

Finder
August 21, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

…Many Canadians risk their lives every day by earning a living, and it might not be the cliché jobs that you’d expect. While logging and forestry is the most dangerous industry in Canada, the communications and utilities, as well as government services industries, weren’t far behind. …We’ve crunched the numbers to calculate the Finder Job Score that takes into account the level of danger and average salary for each industry. …We then ranked each industry based on this score… Logging and forestry ranked last, with score of just 2.2. While these jobs can yield an average weekly wage of $1,109, the industry is the most dangerous of the jobs listed with a Danger Score of 504. This is due to 11 recorded fatalities in the year 2016… This is combined with 1,324 claims (2.75% of all logging and forestry workers), making it the most dangerous, and the least rewarding job, of all industries listed.

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