Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 5, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Value-added wood products, tall timber towers, carbon footprints and more

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 5, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Value-added wood product companies are heading to Whistler this week to attend Canada’s largest international buyers show – BC Wood’s Global Buyers Mission. In other Wood news: Norway has built the world’s tallest timber building; Portland’s Carbon12 timber tower is the future of high-rise, carbon footprints are gaining note with pallet manufacturers, and wealthy countries are outsourcing their carbon pollution.

In Forestry / Fire commentaries: a U of New Brunswick prof on higher yields from plantation forests; the Washington Forest Protection Association on how forestry reduces wildfire damage; a Northwest botanist on restoration forestry for wildlife resilience; U of Washington researchers on why thinning forests may not prevent fires west of the Cascades; and the Sierra Club on how Trump is using wildfires to plunder forests. 

Finally, how Chinese imports and Chinese retaliatory tariffs are impacting wood manufacturing jobs in the US.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Global Buyers Mission is Canada’s Premier Value-added Wood Marketing Event

Kelly McCloskey
Wood N Frog Communications Ltd.
September 4, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kelly McCloskey

Value-added wood product companies interested in growing their sales are heading to Whistler this week to attend Canada’s premier marketing event—the Global Buyers Mission. This distinction is per the GBM’s 2017 Net Promoter Score, (a customer loyalty tool used by more than two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies), and four wood product companies who shared their specific GBM experiences. The latter includes two first time Ontario participants producing live edge hardwood slabs and plank accent walls, as well as two seasoned GBM participants; a large producer of cedar products and a small producer of textured millwork. The Net Promoters Score (NPS) metric is based on the question: on a scale of 0 to 10, would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague? …the participating GBM buyers and sellers scored the event at +55, more than double the industry average for manufacturing trade shows. …Not attending the 2018 GBM? The Tree Frog News will provide daily updates starting Thursday.

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BC Wood to host Canada’s largest international buyers show

BC Wood
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
September 4, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West
More than 400 buyers and specifiers of value-added wood products will be hosted by BC Wood at its 15th annual Global Buyers Mission (GBM) Sept. 6-8 in Whistler, B.C. The GBM is Canada’s largest and most important show for sellers and buyers of value-added wood products. The pre-qualified buyers — hailing from 20 plus countries worldwide — will join 300 BC and Canadian manufacturers exhibiting at the event. Last year the GBM generated about $48 million in new direct sales, but according to BC Wood CEO Brian Hawrysh, “the larger benefit lies in the quality leads and relationships fostered for long-term growth, which according to a recently completed Natural Resources Canada survey, is already occurring”. Although the NRCan data is still preliminary, Hawrysh notes that “between 2012 and 2016, BC’s value-added wood sales have increased 8 per cent, the number of value-added firms has increased 18% and employment in the sector is up by 9 per cent.”

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Business & Politics

How the U.S. economy turned six good jobs into bad ones

By Andrew Van Dam and Heather Long
The Washington Post
September 4, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Changes in the labor market have upended myriad jobs that used to pay well, dragging down wages and leaving millions of American workers feeling misled and frustrated. …The careers used to provide less educated workers an avenue to the middle class, but not anymore. …The rise and fall of sawyers and other wood-product factory workers tracks closely to the U.S. housing bubble and subsequent mortgage crisis. Lumber mills bled jobs and slashed paychecks as the housing market collapsed. Wages are now beginning to recover, but there are far fewer woodworkers around to earn them. U.S. lumber-related industries have been hammered by the cheap Chinese imports that flooded into the United States from 1990 to 2007. Wood products and furniture were at the epicenter of the shock, suffering more than almost any other industries.

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China Proposes Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Hardwood Exports

By Chaille Brindley
The Pallet Enterprise
September 4, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

China proposes tariffs on U.S. hardwood exports, could have major impact on U.S. hardwood sector. The trade wars between the United States and other major trading partners has hit the forest products sector with a thud as China announced its most recent tariff targets. On August 3rd, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce released a proposal for tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on various goods including hardwood lumber and logs. The duties would equally cover both low-grade and grade hardwood logs and lumber. However, the impact would be far greater on the grade side since the vast majority of U.S. hardwood exports to China is grade material. …The hardwood sector is lobbying Congress to try to get some help. …The Hardwood Federation, The National Hardwood Lumber Association and other industry trade associations are encouraging hardwood companies and their employees to communicate to Congress.

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Timber investment boosts confidence in South Australia forestry industry

The Lead South Australia
September 5, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A $100m investment by Timberlink into its sawmills will increase regional manufacturing jobs and strengthen Australia’s timber supply. The company’s program to upgrade its Tarpeena and Bell Bay sawmill facilities will increase the processing capacity of Timberlink by 15 per cent, highlighting the continued recovery of the Australian forestry sector. The main focus of the investment is in Tarpeena, in the southeast of South Australia, where a state-of-the-art saw line, stacker and edger will be installed, alongside additional contraflow and batch kilns to dry timber. Major infrastructure changes, such as road networks and storage facilities, will be undertaken in both South Australia and Tasmania, while new planer mill equipment and a contraflow kiln will be installed at Bell Bay, Tasmania.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Digital Campaign to Promote FSC in Construction

Forest Stewardship Council
September 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

To better serve those interested in using responsibly-sourced wood products in construction, we have built a new FSC North American website and will soon deploy a paid media campaign to attract architects, property developers, contractors and interior designers to it. The purpose of the campaign is to increase sourcing of FSC-certified building materials by residential and commercial builders by: 1) Explaining what FSC is and why it should matter; and 2) Connecting specifiers and other purchasing decision makers with certified suppliers of FSC building materials. The site includes information about the benefits of FSC, how to specify FSC-certified wood, how FSC standards compare to conventional forest management, and how to find FSC-certified products and suppliers.

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CO2 doesn’t know borders, but we are shipping embodied carbon all over the world

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
September 4, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Brad Plumer looks at the issue of “outsourced pollution.” We go on a lot about embodied carbon; it is the main reason we love wood construction so much. …It is often controversial, but now the New York Times is on it. …The title for Brad Plumer’s story is You’ve Heard of Outsourced Jobs, but Outsourced Pollution? It’s Real, and Tough to Tally Up. Plumer points out that the US and Europe have reduced their carbon footprint from manufacturing. But those efforts look a lot less impressive once you take trade into account. Many wealthy countries have effectively “outsourced” a big chunk of their carbon pollution overseas, by importing more steel, cement and other goods from factories in China… rather than producing it domestically. …“Buy Clean” proposals in various states promote the use of lower carbon sources … “In California, the cement industry fought hard to be exempted from the rule.”

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Ontario Wood WORKS! Awards Last Call for Nominations

Canadian Wood Council
September 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

DEADLINE: Friday, September 7, 2018. There are only a couple days left to submit (or complete!) online project nominations for the 2018 Ontario Wood WORKS! Wood Design Awards. This high-profile, annual event celebrates wood design excellence in the province of Ontario and provides an opportunity for architects, engineers, designers, builders, and project owners to showcase their projects. Nominating is easy and free! Submit your nomination(s) online.

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Markets in Transition: The Reality of Carbon Footprints and Pallets

By Rick LeBlanc
The Pallet Enterprise
September 4, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Pallet user guru, Rick Leblanc, delves into the science of carbon footprints as it relates to pallet decisions. …When it comes to pallet procurement strategies, carbon and sustainability benefits have taken a back seat to pallet price for most buyers, according to the most recent survey conducted by Modern Material Handling magazine. However, when you read press releases about major pallet initiatives, carbon and environmental claims are among the most common reasons cited for new pallet programs. Fortunately, efforts to cut pallet-related costs often prove to be beneficial regarding sustainability initiatives aimed at reducing transport, material or energy costs. Additionally, wood products offer significant benefit in sequestering carbon, and in helping the ongoing harvest of timber from sustainable forests. The result of this process is higher carbon capture, which is another important environmental benefit.

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Inside First Tech’s new CLT office building

By Sam Tenney
DJC Oregon
September 4, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

HILLSBORO OREGON — First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new corporate office building in Hillsboro is the country’s largest cross-laminated timber structure. Around 650 employees will occupy the building, which was designed by Hacker Architects and constructed by Swinerton Builders. The five-story structure features floor-to-ceiling windows that open the space up to the natural surroundings, which include a wetlands area and a park with walking trails.

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Mass Timber Tower Carbon12 Rises Over Code and Financing Hurdles

By Brian Libby
Architect Magazine
September 4, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

For Portland, Ore., developer and architect Ben Kaiser, the future of architecture and high-rise construction lies in wood. …Kaiser’s big idea centers on mass timber framing and, in particular, cross-laminated timber. CLT makes up the framing component for Carbon12, a 10-story condominium tower completed in January and designed and developed by Kaiser’s firms Path Architecture and Kaiser Group, respectively. “It’s is such a dramatic improvement on the carbon footprint created by steel and concrete,” he says of the engineered wood product. …Each state and authorities having jurisdiction possess different regulations and codes, and not all lenders will see mass timber high-rises as the future. But Kaiser believes there’s no going back. “ …“Had I used concrete or steel, no one would have visited. People understand that [tall timber] has the potential to significantly impact climate change. It feels exciting.”

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Norway builds world’s tallest timber tower, and it’s both environmentally friendly and fire resistant

The Straight Times
September 5, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

OSLO – Norway has completed the frame of the world’s tallest timber building, which is being lauded for being environmentally friendly and fire resistant. The Mjos Tower, which is situated near and named after a lake located about 100km north of Oslo, saw its last beam hoisted by a crane this week. At 85.4 m, it has 18 floors. Promoters say that using wood, a renewable material, makes it possible to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to concrete, which is the primary material of residential buildings in cities. …Constructors say the building is fire resistant as it uses glue laminated timber that will only burn when continuously exposed to flames. When it opens in March 2019, the tower will surpass its 49m counterpart Treet (tree in Norwegian), which previously held the record.

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Machinery fair moves to Shanghai

The Timber Trade Journal
September 4, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Shanghai is hosting the first edition of the Shanghai International Furniture Machinery & Woodworking Machinery Fair, a new event resulting from a collaboration between CIFF and the WMF-International Woodworking Machinery Fair. The new event enjoys the sponsorship of Eumabois, the European federation of furniture and woodworking technology and machinery manufacturers. The first edition of the new event dedicated to woodworking technologies will feature more than 550 exhibitors and in excess of 1,100 machines over a floor space of 53,000m2. And the fourth edition of the furniture fair of CIFF Shanghai will feature 2,000 exhibitors over 440,000m2. It is expected to attract more than 90,000 visitors.

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Forestry

Tahltan seek hunting ban in area ravaged by wildfire

BC Local News
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tahltan Central Government is calling on the province to impose an immediate ban on hunting throughout their territory due to wildfire activity. In a press release the nation outlined their concern for the safety of both resident and non-resident hunters, asking all to refrain from hunting throughout Tahltan Territory until the state of emergency has been lifted and the damage to the region’s wildlife can be properly assessed. “Animals have been forced to rapidly flee and are demonstrating abnormal behaviours. Several bears and ungulates have been seen with burned fur. Roadkill on our highways has increased significantly as the wildlife escape the smoke and their burning habitats,” Tahltan President Chad Norman Day said. …The Tahltan territory encompass BC’s Wildlife Management Units 6-19 to 26 and 7-52. According to the press release many Tahltan families and hunters are refraining from hunting and are encouraging others to do the same.

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‘Totally plausible’: Forestry profs say faster growing trees likely on Crown plantations

By Connell Smith
CBC News
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tom Beckley

Forestry professors from the University of New Brunswick and the University of Maine say they are not surprised to hear New Brunswick government forecasters are projecting much larger yields of wood from replanted areas on Crown land than was thought possible five years ago. Those projections were used to justify a decision last month to place 150,000 hectares of Crown land under conservation protection just four years after that protection was removed from a similar amount of land by then premier David Alward.  …Tom Beckley, a professor in the faculty of forestry and environmental management at UNB, says he has heard claims about higher yield forecasts from both provincial government and J.D. Irving staff. …But conversations with other academics in the forestry field reveal there have been profound increases in yield expectations from replanted areas, known as plantations. …But Rick Doucett, New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners president, has his doubts.

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Using Wildfires as an Excuse to Plunder Forests

By Chad T. Hanson, fire ecologist and Michael Brune, executive director Sierra Club
New York Times
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

President Trump recently blamed environmental protections for the loss of homes and lives in wildfires in California, and followed up that groundless suggestion by strongly implying that increased logging could protect rural towns from these conflagrations. Not to be outdone, his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, complained that “environmental terrorist groups” were, in part, responsible, through legal efforts that had blocked logging of live and dead trees. This false narrative is part of the Trump administration’s effort to promote the inclusion of extreme logging measures in the farm bill that House and Senate leaders are now negotiating. … These provisions, included in the House version of the bill, could exempt an unlimited number of commercial logging projects up to 6,000 acres eachin our national forests from environmental analysis and meaningful public comment. This would include logging of old-growth forests and clearcutting of ecologically important post-fire habitat

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30 years later: Yellowstone’s 1988 fires revealed resilience of forests

By Monica G. Turner
TreeSource
September 3, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Yellowstone fires – massive blazes that affected about 1.2 million acres in and around Yellowstone National Park. Their size and severity surprised scientists, managers and the public and received heavy media coverage. Many news reports proclaimed that Yellowstone was destroyed, but nothing was further from the truth. I was there during the fires and returned that fall to view the aftermath. Burned forests extended for miles, with blackened tree trunks creating a stark and seemingly desolate landscape. But peering down from a helicopter, we were surprised to see that the fires had actually produced a mosaic of burned and unburned patches of forest. I have studied the recovery of Yellowstone’s forests since 1989, watching landscapes of charred trees transition into lush young forests.

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Forest Service offering grants for groups to help rebuild wildfire-stricken forests

By Stephanie Butzer
The Denver Channel
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Groups that want to help rebuild Colorado forests after this summer’s wildfires can now apply for a state grant. Throughout the month of September, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) will accept grant proposals to groups that want to restore forested areas, improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk on non-federal lands in the state, the CSFS announced Tuesday. Colorado HOAs, community groups, local governments, utilities and nonprofit organizations are welcome to submit applications to the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program. The summer of wildfires served as a reminder that many forested areas in Colorado are unhealthy and fire-prone, according to CSFS. Those who want to take action to help, but don’t have the means, can get funding through these grants.

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Proposal in Farm Bill could boost funding for 4FRI

By Karen Warnick
The White Mountain Independent
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — The U.S. House and the Senate recently passed versions of the Farm Bill which includes an extension and expansion of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP). They are currently working on reconciling the two bills. The CFLRP is the U.S. Forest Service’s signature program to speed up restoration of the forests and protect the lives and well-being of communities within the forests. A letter of support from the nationwide coalition of the CFLRP participants was sent out in support of funding and stakeholders of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative have signed the letter. “If this passes, it would mean an increase of funding from $40 million to $80 million for 23 restoration projects across the country,” said Diane Vosick who is a member of 4FRI. The 4FRI project is one of those 23 programs. “It would also open up new landscape projects.”

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Invest in restoration forestry for wildfire resilience

By Jason Clark
The Mail Tribune
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Western states need to implement restoration forestry practices on a large scale and fast. Restoration forestry backed by adequate public investment will pay back dividends in a four-pronged benefit package: 1) increased wildfire resilience, 2) habitat values and other ecosystem services, 3) economic invigoration, and 4) long-term carbon storage. The primary obstacles to a future of healthy, fire-resilient forests are political will and adequate investment. The forests that covered our region historically were far more resilient to fire than forests today because they were mostly composed of large trees with thick bark and elevated canopies capable of allowing a fire to pass underneath without reaching the crown. …While stand-replacing fires have always occurred, our forests are increasingly vulnerable to them, and that’s a problem for air pollution, habitat loss and increased risk of future fires in the dense young stands that follow.

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Thinning forests may not prevent fires west of Cascades, study shows

By Hal Bernton
The Seattle Times
September 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On a remote ridge, the hemlock, silver and noble firs stood for several centuries, nurtured by deep winter snow and drenching rains. …The fire ecology of such forests, and how it may evolve amid climate change, is of increasing importance as wild-land smoke emerges as a regional concern. The polluted air that hung this summer over a vast stretch of the West Coast — from San Francisco to Vancouver, B.C. — has generated a fresh wave of support for more logging and cool-season burns to thin the forests and reduce the potential fuel. These tactics are standard practice east of the Cascades. But in a peer-reviewed paper published this year, a research team of University of Washington… caution that such tactics won’t do much to tame or head off west-side fires… as climate change spurred by the combustion of fossil fuels reduces winter snowpack and increases summer temperatures.

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Fire-damaged timber is still salvageable

By Kevin Hecteman, California Farm Bureau Federation
Ag Alert
September 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ken Fleming

For a month, the Donnell Fire has been chewing its way through the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County. Amid a stand of blackened trees along Clarks Fork Road near Pinecrest, Ken Fleming saw signs of hope. “This timber is salvageable if we get it within two years,” he said. “And for the most part, it will be good timber. It’s still viable for lumber.” Fleming, a region forester for Sierra Pacific in Sonora and president of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau. …The summer of 2018 has not exactly been normal. Wildfires from Shasta to Mariposa counties have laid waste to hundreds of thousands of acres of forest, and some in the timber business are calling for a different approach to forest management and fire prevention.

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Science-based approach to forestry reduces damage of wildfires

The Washington Forest Protection Association
The Seattle Times
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Each year, from late summer into early fall, wildfires leave their mark across much of the Northwest. Heat, drought and unhealthy forest conditions add to the risk of the natural cycle of burning becoming catastrophic blazes. Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service announced a new strategy for managing catastrophic wildfires by improving forest health. …“The challenges before us require a new approach,” Interim USFS Chief Vicki Christiansen says. “This year Congress has given us new opportunities to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with state leaders mitigate to identify land management priorities that include mitigating wildfire risks. We will use all the tools available to us to reduce hazardous fuels, including mechanical treatments, prescribed fire, and unplanned fire in the right place at the right time, to mitigate them.”

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Local farmers win regional Tree Farmers of Year

By Jacqueline Bostick
Holmes County Times Advertiser
September 4, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Goulds

VERNON – The scenic views, the stories of the stage coach and 1830′s public ferry on its Lassiter Lake and the conservation of an endangered pine are some reasons that the property was chosen from among 73,000 tree farms to represent the southeastern region at a national forestry competition. Owners Jon and Carol Gould have been awarded the Southern Regional Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year Award from the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). The Goulds tracts are one of four competing for the National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award, to be announced next month. The Goulds maintain special measures to ensure water, wildlife and tree farm sustain their integrity and follow regulations. In doing so, the couple has found a vast space to share the recreational and educational opportunities, and history with groups local and abroad.

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Ministry for Primary Industries joins forces with forest industry on biosecurity

By The Ministry for Primary Industries
Scoop Independent News
September 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Ministry for Primary Industries and the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA) are joining forces under the GIA (Government Industry Agreement) to improve forest biosecurity preparedness. The first jointly-funded initiative under this partnership will be a forest biosecurity surveillance programme designed to detect unwanted forest pests and pathogens in high-risk places. FOA and MPI recently signed the Commercial Plantation Forestry Sector Operational Agreement for Readiness under the GIA. This agreement establishes a new way of working in partnership between the two organisations and will see a doubling of efforts to improve forest biosecurity readiness, says Andrew Spelman, MPI’s Acting Director, Biosecurity Readiness.

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Forest Fires

Worst may be over for ‘BC’s worst fire season’

By Parker Crook
Vernon Morning Star
September 4, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

While 12 wildfires continue to burn in the Monashee Complex — which ranges from south of Highway 6 to Three Valley Gap — officials say the worst may be over. Now ranked the worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history with nearly 1.3 million hectares of forest burned as of Aug. 29, cooling temperatures and the declining risk of dry lightning have lead to reduced fire activity. The Monashee Complex began with 27 wildfires blazing. Of the 12 that continue to burn, the Mabel Creek fire located approximately 47 kilometres east of Salmon Arm remains the largest at 1,370 hectares. …Despite cooling temperatures and reduced fire activity across the province, Environment Canada said people should remain wary of smoke. Special air quality statements were released for the North Okanagan Monday, Sept. 3. Smoke is expected to return heavily Wednesday, Sept. 5 with northern winds blowing smoke from the fires in Washington State.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Sununu poised for veto override fight

By Rick Green
The Laconia Daily Sun
September 4, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Chris Sununu

LACONIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Gov. Chris Sununu, facing a coordinated effort to overturn his vetoes of two energy-related bills, says both pieces of legislation would drive up power costs at a time when the state needs to reduce electrical rates to attract new business. One of those measures, Senate Bill 365, would require utilities to pay above-market rates to the state’s six biomass, or wood-burning, power plants. Backers of the veto override say jobs are at stake. …Sununu said the plants are generally foreign owned, they are aging and some have deferred maintenance issues and are losing money. Even if the bill were to pass, there is no guarantee they could stay open.

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Backing Sununu, Enviro. Groups Say Biomass Pollutes And Costs Too Much

By Annie Ropeik
New Hampshire Public Radio
September 4, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Two environmental groups are siding with Gov. Chris Sununu in the fight over subsidies for the biomass industry. In June, Sununu vetoed two energy bills – one that would tell utilities to buy more wood-fired power from biomass plants at a discounted rate, and one expanding net metering in New Hampshire. The vetoes drew criticism from the timber industry and some clean energy advocates, which want lawmakers to push the bills through. But the Toxics Action Center and the Energy Justice Network are taking a different stance. …The two nonprofits put out a new report Tuesday saying the biomass and waste-burning power plants that would benefit from the bill are among the state’s worst air polluters.

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