Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 10, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

US / Canada lumber supply still tight. Prices to move higher in the short-term

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 10, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

FEA / Wood Markets’ Russ Taylor foresees lumber prices moving higher in the short-term as the supply chain remains fragile. In other news: Canada is optimistic a NAFTA deal can be struck; Domtar Espanola inks a deal with its union; Oregon’s lifeline to Rough & Ready sawmill is under legal pressure; and despite fires BC’s budget surplus keeps on growing.

After some rain-induced relief, twenty-one new forest fires are reported in Ontario; the Waterton National Park fire is growing again; and Interstate 5 remains closed near the California-Oregon border. Elsewhere: a park for BC’s Big Lonely Doug?; two new parks for New Brunswick; prescribed burning is coming to Mt. Revelstoke; the human toll behind Oregon’s wildfire suppression; and Tom Martin on why the US Farm Bill is vital to family forest owners.

Finally; a wrap on BC Wood’s WoodTALKS and GBM showcase in Whistler, and something worth cheering about: Carlsberg plans to use wooden beer bottles.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Global Buyers Mission attracts 400 buyers from 20 countries

By Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 10, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Hawrysh

BC Wood CEO Brian Hawrysh kicked off the 15th annual Global Buyers Mission by welcoming 400 buyer and specifier delegates… while Chairman Greg Stewart thanked outgoing Chair Rob Mitchell for his leadership over the past two years. …The first guest speaker was the BC Minister of State for Trade, the Honourable George Chow. …A Chinese-born Canadian, Chow talked first-hand about the challenges and successes of opening up Asian markets to BC producers, referencing his recent Asian trade mission there with Premier Horgan. …The second guest speaker was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Pamela Goldsmith-Jones. Ms. Goldsmith-Jones spoke passionately about the importance of the forest and wood product industries to the identity and economic prosperity of Canada. …Finally, Goldsmith-Jones spoke of Canada’s cadre of in-market commissioners whose job it is to assist export trade; and then she officially declared the trade show floor open for business.

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WoodTALKS for modernization of US Army Corps and high end Whistler residences

By Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 9, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West
 

Kadenwood Estates, Whistler

US Army Corps, Seattle

WoodTALKS—BC Wood’s wood design and construction education event held in conjunction with the GBM in Whistler—wrapped up on the weekend with a tour of Kadenwood Estates, a private enclave of mountain home sites in Whistler, BC. The day prior, the audience was treated with a presentation by architect Allyn Stellmacher on the modernization of US Federal Center South Building in Seattle, headquarters of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Stellmacher explained how they recovered and used reclaimed timber from an adjacent warehouse to create one of the most energy efficient office buildings in the United States. Other presenters included Bo Helliwell of Blue Sky Architecture, renowned for his distinctive West Coast timber architecture. …Peter Moonen of Wood WORKS! BC’s on wood construction and durability. …architect Oliver Lang’s provided a look into the future as it relates to society’s housing challenge. …Shelley Craig of Urban Arts Architecture spoke of her firm’s 100 Mile Building journey in the Radium Hot Springs. …And architect John Hemsworth and engineer Robert Malczyk told a toughing story about Rebuilding the Heart of a Small Community, one hockey arena at a time. 

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Froggy Foibles

Cheers! It’s the wooden beer bottle

By Jon Coates
The Express
September 9, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

BEER giant Carlsberg will next year launch a “greener” alternative to glass bottles made from wood fibres.  The Danish brewer has developed a prototype “green fibre” bottle as a biodegradeable alternative. Glass bottles have to be recycled in the UK or washed for re-use up to 25 times in other markets. But as the process uses energy and water, a viable alternative is set to become hugely significant. Carlsberg is also ditching plastic ring multi-can holders which trap animals and clog up the oceans. …Spokeswoman Myriam Shingleton said: “We are thinking of a completely new packaging for bottles, which is a green fibre bottle that will be made from a controlled wood source, so a bio-base.”

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Business & Politics

US / Canada lumber supply still tight. Can prices rebound and go higher?

By Russ Taylor
FEA Canada (WOOD MARKETS)
September 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Russ Taylor

The headline reads “Lumber Prices Crash by One-Third”; indeed, W-SPF prices did move from a record high of US$665/Mbf in early June to US$442/Mbf during the week of August 10. However, lumber prices look to be heading higher and are still sitting at levels that have hardly ever been reached before (with the exception of earlier this year). The key fundamentals still point to a very tight lumber supply in North America, with our analysis indicating that total North American demand (to the end of 2019 at least) can be met only through rising volumes of offshore imports, i.e., requiring high prices. This is despite the 4–5 billion bf of new capacity additions planned for the U.S. South in the next two to three years. …the North American lumber supply chain remains fragile, and any disruptions will only cause more price volatility. Therefore, we foresee prices moving higher in the short-term.

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Canada’s Freeland sees ‘very good progress’ in NAFTA trade talks

By David Ljunggren
Reuters
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

WASHINGTON – Canada’s top trade negotiator said on Friday she and her U.S. counterpart were making “very good progress” in talks to save the North American Free Trade Agreement amid increasing Canadian optimism that a deal could be reached, even if a conclusion did not appear imminent.  Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland repeated her upbeat assessment of the negotiations, again terming them constructive, as she spoke to reporters after a meeting in Washington with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “We are certainly making very good progress at understanding each other, understanding what each side needs,” Freeland said. But the talks on Friday were not headed toward an immediate conclusion. Freeland was due to fly out of Washington on Friday evening, a senior Canadian official said, adding that further minister-level discussions would not likely be held until sometime next week.

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Canada optimistic NAFTA deal can be struck, but not until end of month, source says

By David Ljunggren
National Post
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Canada is increasingly optimistic it can reach a deal with the United States to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement, although it may take until the end of September, a source with direct knowledge of the talks said on Friday. U.S. and Canadian officials resumed their negotiations this week to modernize the 1994 pact, which governs US$1.2 trillion a year in trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs. President Donald Trump has struck a trade deal with Mexico and threatened to push ahead without Canada, a move that would kill NAFTA. …Negotiators have blown through several deadlines since the talks started in August 2017. As the process grinds on, some in Washington insist Trump cannot pull out of NAFTA without the approval of Congress.

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Despite fires, floods and issues, update on B.C. finances encouraging

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Two weeks ago Finance Minister Carole James closed the books on the financial year the new NDP government shared with the departing B.C. Liberals. Worst wildfire season in B.C. history. Bridge tolls abolished. Head start on phasing out medical service premiums, paying down mess Liberals left behind at B.C. Hydro and ICBC. Still, budget in surplus, debt down by $1 billion. Friday, James delivered an update on the current financial year — the first with the New Democrats fully in charge — and the results were again mostly positive. The revised fiscal projections for the year included a $600-million payout for wildfires and flooding, a $250-million hit on the property transfer tax from the downturn in the real estate market, and the province having to shell out almost $400 million more than expected in tax credits for film production in B.C.

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Pinnacle to buy 70% stake in Alabama wood pellet plant

Renewables Now
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian industrial wood pellet manufacturer Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc announced on Thursday it has agreed to buy a 70% stake in a production facility in the US state of Alabama. British Columbia-based Pinnacle will buy the majority stake from diversified land resources firm The Westervelt Company, which will retain a 30% interest in this industrial wood pellet production facility, located in Aliceville. The buyer did not say how much it will pay for the controlling interest, but noted it will fund the purchase through a draw on its credit line and cash on hand. The agreed acquisition is expected to help set up a platform for Pinnacle’s future growth in the US Southeast, according to CEO Robert McCurdy.

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City will pay $3 million for Tembec land: Mayor

By Trevor Crawley
Cranbrook Townsman
September 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Cranbrook will pay $3 million for a 100-acre land acquisition from Tembec that was previously announced last week, according to Mayor Lee Pratt. Under the sale agreement, the payments will be made in three annual $1 million instalments starting in August 2019 and ending in 2021 with no interest charged, Pratt continued. “During this time, we are going to be leasing properties and we’ve suggested to Tembec that we will share some of that lease revenue with them and those dollars will come off the final payment,” said Pratt, during an interview at City Hall. “So there’s a chance it could be paid off before 2021.”

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Canfor makes the same amount of lumber as last year

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian Canfor made nearly the same amount of lumber as it had last year in the second quarter with total output of 1.315 bn bdft. This came after a drop of nearly 5% in lumber production during the first three months of 2018. SPF production slipped to 947.7m bdft, while SYP production increased 2.3% to 367.2m bdft. Canfor’s Lumber division experienced a 2.2% upturn in the amount of lumber sold to 1.351bn bdft, coupled with much higher sales prices. Both of these factors paved the way for a growth of almost 21% in the division’s revenues to CAD1.063bn. Excluding the payment of CAD51.7m in punitive duties, operating income almost doubled to CAD203.4m. Higher roundwood procurement costs in western Canada contrasted with virtually unchanged roundwood prices in the south of the US during the reporting period.

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B.C. budget surplus expected to keep growing, Carole James says

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carole James

Increased tax revenues and steady economic growth have tripled the size of B.C.’s budget forecast for 2018-19, as changes made by the NDP government begin to show their effects on the province’s books. Finance Minister Carole James released the first quarter financial results for the province Friday, projecting a surplus that has jumped to $669 million for the fiscal year ending next March. …Projected expenses are also up more than $1 billion, led by forest fire costs now estimated to be $477 for the current year. Emergency efforts for flooding also rose $162 million compared to the forecasts in the February budget. …Another worry is trade, with the U.S. government threatening to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement and uncertainty continuing over lumber and other exports to the U.S.

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Domtar inks new tentative deal with unions

By Rosalind Russell
My Eespanola Now
September 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Domtar union workers in Espanola will meet to decide on ratifying a new deal. Unifor 74 President, Joanne Lamothe, says a tentative deal was reached between the Union and Domtar Espanola last Thursday. She adds the 90 members of Local 16, the paper machine workers, will also be voting on the deal. Her 300 union members will review the agreement during information sessions this week on Tuesday and Wednesday evening at the Espanola Knights of Columbus Hall at 7:00pm. Local 74 will also host its’ own information sessions and ratification vote. Lamothe says the Unifor 74 ratification vote will then take place next week, September 17th and 18th. No details of the agreement are being released, but Lamothe says more information will be provided following the vote. [End of story]

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Government Supports Economic Growth for Indigenous Communities Through Softwood Lumber Action Plan

Natural Resources Canada
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi

HALIFAX – As Canada leads the way in sustainable growth, our government is supporting Indigenous-led economic growth in Canada’s forest sector.  Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced $873,600 for the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources to apply traditional knowledge to the economic development of Nova Scotia’s forests. As part of Canada’s Softwood Lumber Action Plan, this funding will support Mi’kmaq participation in the transformation of Nova Scotia’s forests by promoting a holistic Mi’kmaw approach to forestry known as Netukulimk, ensuring forest development consistent with Indigenous values, and creating jobs in Indigenous communities.

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EACOM celebrates 45 years of forestry operations in Val-d’Or with the community

EACOM Timber Corporation
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Val-d’Or – From its 1972 ground-breaking to the 2005 forestry crisis, the Val-d’Or sawmill has withstood the tests of time. Forty-five years later, EACOM Timber Corporation is celebrating the sawmill’s major role in the region’s economic and social development as well as the exceptional contribution of its mill, forest and office employees to this success. To mark this anniversary, EACOM is giving 45 mature trees to the city of Val-d’Or to green its public spaces and has invited children to create art about “Our Forest” to decorate the boards of the Parc Blouin skating rink. A big community celebration will be held at the sawmill on Saturday to give young and old alike the chance to discover a modern and flourishing industry. “We see these celebrations as an opportunity to give back to our community, which is so closely linked to our history and success,” explains Kevin Edgson, EACOM President and CEO. 

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Projecting Lumber Demand in the U.S. and Abroad

By Sarah Farmer
US Department of Agriculture
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

“Lumber and economic growth are tightly connected,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Jeffrey Prestemon. “At a certain rate of GDP growth, you get a certain path of lumber consumption.” Prestemon recently led a study that projects softwood lumber demand under different economic growth scenarios represented by real gross domestic product. Housing demand is a key factor. A third of all U.S. lumber is used to build new homes or apartment buildings. Prestemon’s model uses three variables to predict the number of housing starts: the rate of economic growth, the number of houses built in the past, and mortgage delinquency rates. Mortgage delinquencies spike during recessions but otherwise occur at fairly stable rates. According to the study, those three variables can predict 90 percent of the quarter-to-quarter variation in the national total number of housing starts. The scientists tested several future economic growth scenarios represented by real GDP through the year 2070.

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Oregon sawmill deal cost taxpayers millions. Was it a crime?

By Gordon R. Friedman
The Oregonian
September 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Last month, the state forcefully reasserted that a corporate arm of Portland-based Ecotrust unlawfully inflated project costs and omitted material facts to get millions in tax credits it didn’t qualify for. A question now, some legal experts say: Will the state investigate that as a potential crime? Officials at state economic development agency Business Oregon used unusually strong language in a memo to Ecotrust managers, characterizing the tax credit deal as built on untrue and incomplete information. The deal, approved in 2014, was intended to throw a lifeline to the Rough & Ready sawmill in Southern Oregon. The detailed document outlined each element of what the agency says was wrongdoing by Ecotrust in putting together the deal. Yet it has extended the firm an opportunity for a do-over.

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Funding boost for Tairāwhiti sawmill

By New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
September 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Shane Jones

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest $500,000 in the Far East Saw Mill in Tairāwhiti to increase wood processing capacity and get local people into jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The total cost to recommission the Mill is just over $3.6 million, with the rest of the funding coming from the Eastland Community Trust and the Far East Saw Mill Limited. “Currently only four per cent of raw logs are milled in Tairāwhiti, but there’s potential for that to increase by up to 25 per cent, which will add an estimated $120 million annually to the region,” Shane Jones said. “Forestry is a significant economic driver in Tairāwhiti and we want to make sure the region is able to take full advantage of the opportunities the sector provides. Today’s announcement will help ensure that any future increases can be managed locally.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Sidewalk envisions a neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront that’s built from wood

By Donovan Vincent
Toronto Star
September 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wood is good. That might be a fitting motto for Sidewalk Toronto, the proposed  “smart city” project slated for the eastern waterfront.  Google sister company Sidewalk Labs, the team behind the primarily residential project, is planning to erect buildings that have structures made of timber. “Mass timber” — the term describes buildings in which the load-bearing structure is made of wood or wood-based products — has been used in western Canada, including for the Brock Commons-Tallwood House, an 18-storey student residence at the University of British Columbia, which opened last year and is among the tallest wood buildings in the world. In the next year or so, the University of Toronto is set to start construction of a 14-storey building made of wood and concrete on Bloor St. W.

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The Oregon Town Where Money Grows On Trees And Wood Is As Good As Cash

By Bryan M. Vance
Oregon Public Broadcasting
September 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

…Myrtlewood money’s story began in the early months of 1933. …The nation was in the midst of the Great Depression. Banks were foreclosing on farms and homes. Businesses were closing. Unemployment was estimated as high as 25 percent nationwide. And North Bend, a small timber and shipbuilding city on the Coos Bay, was not immune to the nation’s woes. In early January of that year, the town’s only bank announced a 30-day closure. It was intended as a measure to shore up the institution’s assets. But in the following weeks, no word came about when the bank would reopen. …On March 10, 1933 — 59 days after the First National Bank closed its doors— the city announced a plan: North Bend would issue its own currency.  …North Bend settled on wood. But not just any wood. A rare type of beautiful hardwood grown locally made this small coastal city’s money a cut above the rest.

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‘Tremendous’ growth potential for mass timber construction

By Ankit Sanghvi
Colorado Real Estate Journal
September 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Mass timber construction is already an established and proven form of construction in Canada and Europe, and is gaining popularity across the United States. Mass timber projects have been on the rise in Colorado despite the height restrictions currently imposed by the 2015 IBC, and with the ongoing innovation and research surrounding the fire-resistiveness of mass timber that seeks to remove those height restrictions, there is tremendous growth potential in the mass timber market. We have built multiple mass timber projects across North America, including the Wood Innovation and Design Center, an eight-story office building that was the tallest mass timber structure in the world at project completion and showcases the potential for building mid- and high-rise structures using engineered mass timber products. We built Colorado’s very first mass timber project utilizing cross-laminated timber panels, The Pavilion at Laurel Village on the Colorado State University campus, in 2014.

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Anders Berensson Architects proposes “wooden skyscraper city” for Stockholm

Dezeen
September 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Anders Berensson Architects has unveiled plans for a conceptual housing development on Stockholm’s waterfront containing 31 cross-laminated timber towers. The Stockholm Centre Party commissioned the Stockholm-based studio to masterplan a sustainable district for the city in Sweden. Anders Berensson Architects has previously created proposals for a wooden skyscraper covered in numbers, and a high-density housing district connected by aerial walkways, for the political party. Designed to be environmentally friendly, Anders Berensson Architects described the proposed new district as a “wooden skyscraper city” bringing 5,000 new homes to the central docklands area of Masthamnen. “Wood is the building material that releases the least carbon dioxide in today’s construction industry and is therefore the obvious choice to build a new Swedish city area in,” the architect explained in its statement.

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Forestry

Big Lonely Doug should become Canada’s next provincial park

By Harley Rustad – author of Big Lonely Doug
The Globe and Mail
September 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Our provincial and national parks are beacons for the outdoorsy and active, or those who simply seek a quiet respite from city or town. …Why can’t a park be more than that? Why can’t one represent the past, present and future of a particular landscape  …What if the most compelling place to experience British Columbia’s forests wasn’t simply an intact grove of towering trees? The province’s next flagship protected area could instead provide it all – with a single, 20-storey tall tree at its heart. …To create a provincial park with Big Lonely Doug at its epicentre, would signal a shift in how we view our protected spaces and how collaborative their creation could be. It would be built not out of the ashes of conflict between left and right, environmentalist and logger, but out of collective efforts to reveal a state of the union of British Columbia’s natural present.

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We need a designated industrial zone

Letter by Melodie Hull
East Kootenay News Weekly e-know
September 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We absolutely need a designated industrial zone in the City of Cranbrook. … And usage zones seem to change. It seems a rather scattered process to me. That should stop. For example, an area in Slaterville was just taken out of industrial and zoned residential. … Residential development in this particular area needs to stop. …The city recently purchased the old Tembec property. The vision is to encourage industry to move in. Great idea! We certainly need industry and a place for them to locate! One way to entice them is to show we have available land in a designated industrial zone. No need for them to hassle over re-zoning. Please keep it zoned industrial. We need industry! Industry pays taxes. We need that. Industry brings employment. We need employment! …And industries can also be good corporate citizens when strategic, collaborative planning and oversight are implemented by the city.

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Parks Canada planning prescribed burn in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

BC Local News
September 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If a specific set of conditions are met after Sept. 17, Parks Canada fire management specialists will conduct a prescribed burn at the Parkway Bend in Mt. Revelstoke National Park. Over the last two years, Parks Canada and BC Wildfire Service crews have been completing site preparations for the prescribed burn, located approximately 17 km up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. This work takes place only in early spring or fall to ensure that the park’s breeding bird populations are not affected. “The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure, and neighbouring lands is always our number one priority,” said a news release from Parks Canada. …The primary goal of the prescribed fire in national park is to create a landscape level fuel break limiting the potential spread of wildfire on the front face of Mt. Revelstoke.

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How 100 Mile House is taking advantage of $99 million funding for forest projects

BC Local News
September 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Multiple forest treatment projects are underway in 100 Mile House and the surrounding area to protect communities from future wildfires. The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) received $134 million from the province in April to disperse to areas impacted by the 2017 wildfires, $99 million was designated for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Zanzibar Holdings, Ltd. has three current projects funded by the FESBC and the Forest Carbon Initiative: removing cones from Douglas Firs to increase seed inventory, surveying areas for replanting and increasing fuel breaks around communities. “I was out on the fires, a bunch of us were out on the fires doing line locating and guard construction, so it’s great to go back and then be part of the reforestation as well,” said Bill Layton, one of the registered professional foresters working on the projects.

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How a BC idea could help save a ‘storybook’ jungle in Indonesia

By Bethany Lindsay
CBC News
September 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are more than 12,000 kilometres between the Great Bear Rainforest and the jungles of the Leuser ecosystem in northern Sumatra… Even in winter, the temperature rarely drops below 25 C in the Leuser, a tropical rainforest that sits just north of the equator in Indonesia’s Aceh province. It’s a stark contrast to the snow-capped mountains of the Great Bear. And yet a group of Indonesian lawmakers and environmentalists are looking to the B.C. forest as a model for how to protect the Leuser — the last place on Earth where tigers, elephants, rhinoceros and orangutans live side by side. “…we are faced with the question: Which one is more important — environmental protection or economic development? Which one is more important — for people to be able to feed themselves or to protect elephant habitat?” said Farwiza Farhan, leader of the environmental group Forest, Nature & Environment Aceh.

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Pacheedaht and Cowichan Lake to benefit from unique community forest agreement

By the Office of the Premier
Government of British Columbia
September 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

People in the Cowichan Lake communities and Pacheedaht First Nation will benefit from a unique community forest agreement for the Qala:yit [Kwah-LIE-it] Community Forest, reached in partnership with the provincial government. “This is the latest stride that our nation has taken towards creating our own economic destiny, including a new sawmill and a new potable community water system that is capable of serving the entire Port Renfrew area,” said Chief Jeff Jones, Pacheedaht First Nation. “In partnership with the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative, BC Timber Sales and the Province, we are achieving our goal of greater resource management in our traditional territory.” The agreement with BC Timber Sales is the first of its kind. One of the unique conditions of this community forest is that part of the land base includes BC Timber Sales’ operating area and, as a result, 7,296 cubic metres will be sold by BC Timber Sales. 

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Lahey forestry report: The good, the bad & the missing

By Raymond Plourde – Halifax Ecology Action Centre
The Chronicle Herald
September 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In a one hour briefing to stakeholders, Lahey gave the highlights of his report. The thrust was to confirm that, yes, there is and has been far too much clearcutting in Nova Scotia and the health of forest ecosystems and wildlife is declining as a result. No big surprise there. … “Ecological forestry” is proposed as the solution and is described in a lot of technical detail. Measures to reduce clearcutting and restore the Acadian forest through uneven-aged management on Crown land are recommended…At first blush, based on the overview presentation and handouts, I was underwhelmed and disappointed. …Having read the main report and research addendums, I can say …that it is much better than the slideshow overview suggested. It is far from perfect, but I now see the glass is at least half full and that this latest forestry report, if implemented (and that’s a big if), could actually be a good basis for real progress.

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TEK Elders ask Eacom to respect Anishinabek jurisdiction on aerial spraying

By Dorothee Schreiber
Anishinabek News
September 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ray Owl

GARDEN RIVER FIRST NATION—On August 24, the TEK Elders Group met with two representatives of Eacom Timber Corporation in Garden River First Nation. Christine Leduc, director of public affairs, and Jennifer Tallman, chief forester for Eacom in Ontario, were invited to the gathering to give an overview of the company’s operations in the Robinson-Huron Treaty Territory and to listen to the Elders’ concerns over the use of forest herbicides. The TEK Elders Group is composed of Robinson-Huron Treaty Elders working to end the aerial spraying of glyphosate in north shore Lake Huron forests. …“We have a very different perspective of how we manage the land,” stated Josh Eshkakogan, a citizen and Elder of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. “We try to create a very diverse land and we can’t use poison to create a certain species for a user group.”

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New Brunswick Liberals promise two new provincial parks, more protected land

Canadian Press in the Globe and Mail
September 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant says if his government is re-elected it would create two new provincial parks and increase New Brunswick’s protected areas, one of many promises made ahead of the Sept. 24 election. In a release, Gallant said creating two new parks – bringing New Brunswick’s number of provincial parks up to 26 – would “help protect our environment, enhance the tourism industry in our province, and provide more recreational opportunities for our families.” He did not say where he wants to see the new parks, but said the process to select them would involve consultations with First Nations communities, local governments and local service districts. The government would also increase the amount of Crown lands designated as protected natural areas from eight per cent to 10 per cent by 2020, Gallant said.

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Opinion: The time is now for a new Farm Bill for our Forests

By Tom Martin – president and CEO, American Forest Foundation
Agri Pulse
September 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tom Martin

The potential for a final Farm Bill in Congress is real, and could not be more necessary for our forests. These woodlands after all are vital to all Americans, providing core habitat needed for thousands of wildlife species, clean air and supporting local economies and more than 2.4 million rural jobs. And particularly important in recent times – they help filter and provide clean water that flows to the faucets of citizens, and provides farmers and ranchers a vital resource for agriculture and livestock. Our forest challenges, however, continue to intensify – landowners are facing drought conditions across the country. Another horrific wildfire season has dominated our western landscape from Oregon to New Mexico this summer. And the spread of insects and disease is running rampant across the U.S. Too many believe that our forest challenges are solely a federal problem. Public lands represent a mere 28 percent of our forests. 

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Some of Washington’s biggest trees are dying and scientists don’t know why

By Craig Sailor
The Longview Daily News
September 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Something is killing bigleaf maples — Washington’s biggest broadleaf tree — and scientists can’t stop it. They don’t even know what’s causing it. “We’ve looked for everything we can possibly think of and what people smarter than us can think of,” said Amy Ramsey, a forest pathologist with the state Department of Natural Resources. From British Columbia to California, stands of bigleaf maples are dying, leaving bald patches in the forest canopy or even denuded hillsides. Reports of dying and dead maples first reached the DNR in 2010, Ramsey said. Foresters noticed the trees were producing small, scorched-looking leaves or none at all. Sometimes, the crown — the upper most branches of the tree — would die. The reports, from forest professionals, were scattered at first. Then the public began to call.

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Forest Fires

Helicopters hold border fire

The Canadian Press in Castanet
September 9, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews battling a wildfire near the U.S. border in Alberta are hoping an avalanche path will prevent the flames from spreading further into a national park that was badly burned last year. Dry and windy conditions Friday afternoon pushed the Boundary Wildfire north across the border for the first time into Waterton Lakes National Park in southwestern Alberta. Parks Canada says in a news release the area received a small amount of rain overnight, but it was so small that it couldn’t be measured, and Saturday’s forecast called for strong winds and sun. John Stoesser, a spokesman for Parks Canada, says the flames have reached a stretch of mountainside that has been swept mostly bare of trees by winter avalanches.

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Kenow Fire damage helps crews fighting Boundary blaze in Waterton

Zach Laing
Edmonton Sun
September 8, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Days after a fire burning south of the town of Waterton started growing again and spread into Canada, fire crews are thanking a previous fire for creating a fire break. A dry, windy Friday afternoon saw the Boundary Valley fire — burning roughly seven kilometres south of Waterton — grow from 703 hectares to 1,092 hectares. At last report, only 12 per cent of the fire is under control. “The 2017 Kenow Fire burned much of the area to the north and west of this new area of fire,” said the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team in a release. “Reduced fuels in this recently burned area should help act as a fire break.” The Kenow wildfire, which started in B.C. before it jumped the border into Alberta, triggered an evacuation of Waterton Lakes National Park on Sept. 7, 2017.

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Twenty-one new forest fires reported in Ontario, ministry says most caused by lightning

Canadian Press in The Toronto Star
September 8, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says there are 20 new forest fires in the northwestern part of the province. A spokesman for the ministry says the new fires were reported on Friday night and that they were caused by lightning.  Jonathan Scott says there are 57 active fires in the northwest and 11 active fires in the northeast. He says there hasn’t been much activity in the northeastern region as one new fire was reported on Friday. Scott says all of the fires in the northeast are under control or are still being observed. The ministry says there have been 1,277 forest fires so far this year, compared to 706 last year. [End of story]

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Behind Wildfire Suppression, A Human Toll

Oregon Pubic Broadcasting
September 9, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service says too many wildland firefighters are exposed to hazards on the fire line and that it must change its ways. …Fighting wildfire is inherently risky, but it has become riskier than its needs to be. Federal and state agencies have come to realize fires should not be fought at all costs and, in fact, many should not be fought at all. Excluding natural fire led to forests burning in bigger, more destructive ways. Each year, hazardous fuels accumulate faster than we can reduce them through selective logging and burning. The U.S. Forest Service and other wildland fire agencies continue aggressive suppression on nearly all fires, with few considerations of the long-term risk. That needlessly endangers firefighter lives on the front lines of massive blazes where there’s little hope of suppression — and on small fires in the backcountry that could be left to burn with little risk to anything of value.

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Wildfire threat keeps California highway closed Sunday

Associated Press in San Luis Obispo
September 9, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A highway running the length of California remained closed for a fifth day Sunday near the Oregon border as a wildfire smothered rural forestlands in smoke and flame. Officials were trying to determine whether it was safe to reopen a 45-mile (72-kilometer) section of Interstate 5 north of Redding. The fire has destroyed thousands of trees — some 70 feet (20 meters) tall — that could fall onto the highway that runs from Mexico to Canada and serves as a main artery for commerce. Trucks and other traffic were using a smaller road that has added 100 miles (160 kilometers) or more and up to eight hours to the journey. The stretch of highway closed Wednesday as flames flanked the roadway and left the roadway littered with burnt and abandoned trucks.

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