Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 13, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Plywood sales jump as Hurricane Florence starts its move into the Carolinas

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Plywood sales jump as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence start lashing the Carolinas. In other Business news: the US-China trade war is on hold as wood importers look for alternative sources; US lumber and plywood prices fell in July; and the Society of American Foresters has a new CEO

In Wood Product news: the tall wood code debate heats up in the US; plans for Toronto’s tall wood tower are revealed; and five BC municipalities win wood design awards for their community projects.

In Forestry and Climate news: the San Francisco climate summit focuses on the boreal forest; the EU’s renewable energy directive may cause deforestation; London’s Royal Botanic Gardens seeks respect for the world’s fungi; fire emergency preparedness is touted in BC; and the US Forest Service has a new tool for fire weather prediction

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

FPAC is looking for a VP, Communications

Forest Products Association of Canada
September 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

FPAC is looking for a results-focused and innovative leader who will also work as a member of our dynamic team. The successful candidate will be responsible for the development and execution of our strategic communications plans and support integration of those plans with our advocacy work. As a member of FPAC’s Senior Leadership Team the VP, Communications will be responsible for FPAC’s internal and external communications programs and activities, will be actively engaged in our government relations planning, collaborate directly with our team of partners and members, and will further strengthen FPAC’s position as the leading and most thoughtful national voice for Canada’s forest products sector, its workers, and our forestry communities across Canada.

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Lumber, Plywood Prices Fell in July, Millwork Didn’t

ProSales Magazine
September 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Wholesale prices for softwood lumber dropped 9.6% in August from the month before and plywood costs shrank 3.4%, but the cost of millwork remained unchanged, the Labor Department reported today in its latest Producer Price Index report. …July’s declines were common among all goods used to create finished products. The overall Producer Price Index declined by 0.1%, the first such drop since February 2017. But MarketWatch noted the decline was tied to lower margins for services such as retail and transportation, a volatile category of limited use in predicting the pattern of inflation. Even with July’s decline, the wholesale cost of wood products is up markedly compared with the 2.8% increase for all wholesale goods since August 2017. Softwood lumber prices were 5.0% higher, millwork cost 5.8% more, and plywood was a whopping 16.2% more expensive.

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Society of American Foresters Hires First African American CEO

Society of American Foresters
Cision Newswire
September 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Terry Baker

WASHINGTON — The Society of American Foresters (SAF) hires longtime SAF member and forestry advocate Terry Baker to be the first African American to lead the 118-year-old organization. Baker most recently served as the Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland in Fort Collins, Colorado. …During his 17 years with the US Forest Service, Baker worked to build extensive relationships with industry, state forestry departments, conservation groups, recreation interests, and others to achieve land management goals. He plans to broaden SAF’s reach and influence by working with key organizations and stakeholders to form partnerships and strategic alliances to advance the profession and SAF’s members.

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Next step in China – US Trade War on hold for how long?

IHB The Timber Network
September 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Steve Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin invited his counterparts in Beijing to start another round of talks. In effect, the next round in tariffs has for now been put on hold. The invitation follows mounting pressure on the US administration from companies affected by the proposed tariffs. …Agricultural organisations have been notably vocal, under a new umbrella, Farmers for Free Trade, lobbying the Administration and local lawmakers. …Its not clear if the Chinese will accept the invitation. …Results of a poll conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce… revealed that 30% of the firms consulted were moving their supply chains outside of China. …This is in line with reports from numerous companies importing wood products in the US studying relocation of their China production to other regions, most notably SE Asia and South America.

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Hurricane Florence’s outer rain bands move over North Carolina’s Outer Banks

CBS News
September 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The outer bands of wind and rain from a weakened but still deadly Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina on Thursday as the monster storm moved in for an extended stay along the Southeastern coast, promising to drench the homes of as many as 10 million people with immense amounts of rain.  Florence’s top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 mph to 110 mph early Thursday, reducing Florence from a Category 4 to a Category 2 hurricane.  But forecasters warned that the widening storm — and its likelihood of lingering around the coast day after day after day — will bring surging ocean water and torrential rain. National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said there is nothing “minor” about this hurricane. …The result: catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farm fields and industrial sites.

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Minnesota’s biggest logging equipment show is returning to Itasca County

The Herald Review
September 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The 65th Annual North Star Expo opens Friday, Sept. 14 at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids. The Expo features more than 100 exhibitors, including more than $15 million in the latest logging, trucking, and sawmill equipment and technology. Loggers, vendors, and timber industry representatives from Minnesota and around the Upper Midwest will attend, as well as lawmakers, policy makers, and other stakeholders from around the state, making the Expo “the Great Minnesota Logging Get-together.” …The forest products industry impacts Minnesota’s economy to the tune of $9.1 billion each year. …The Minnesota Timber Producers Association is the state’s largest trade organization that represents loggers, truckers, sawmills, and allied businesses. 

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Minister to visit China and Japan

New Zealand Government
Scoop.co.nz
September 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Shane Jones

Forestry Minister Shane Jones will visit China and Japan to further strengthen New Zealand’s relationship with two key primary sector export markets. The aim of his visit is to promote investment in New Zealand’s forest industry, support trade development opportunities – including for New Zealand exporters of manufactured wood products – and establish relationships with counterparts and industry stakeholders in both countries. …“In the year to March, nearly half of New Zealand’s total forestry exports went to the China market, while Japan is New Zealand’s fourth largest investor and a major investor in New Zealand’s forestry industry,” Shane Jones said. The Minister will attend the 8th Global Wood Trade Conference in Chongqing.

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Plywood sales jump at Home Depot and Lowe’s as hurricane nears

By Robert Dalhelm
Woodworking Network
September 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics

WILMINGTON, N.C. – As Hurricane Florence looms, consumers along the East Coast are flocking to their local home improvement and hardware stores. A Home Depot spokesperson told Fox Business that the company’s East Coast stores are selling greater amounts of plywood, generators, flashlights, bottled water, and other similar items. Local residents are being advised to block up windows with plywood. …Home Depot and Lowe’s shares each rose nearly 2 percent in trading Monday, while roofing supplier Beacon rose 7.3 percent. Regional construction company Fluor and engineered wood/OSB manufacturer Louisiana-Pacific both saw shares rise 1 percent. The Category 3 hurricane… has forced the evacuation of more than one million people in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. …Local lumber suppliers, like NC Lumber and Supply, gave away free plywood and OSB beginning Tuesday morning. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

BC local governments recognized for leadership in wood design and building at 2018 Union of BC Municipalities Convention

By Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC
Cision Newswire
September 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

WHISTLER – Leadership in structural and architectural wood use by local governments was recognized today at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Whistler. Five local governments were presented with 2018 Community Recognition Awards for use of wood in their community projects by Wood WORKS! BC. The province-wide awards are presented annually to communities that have been exemplary advocates for wood. …”We congratulate these five local governments for their leadership and vision by choosing wood for their new community structures,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, Executive Director of Wood WORKS! BC. …”Wood will continue to play a more significant role in local government projects as communities work toward goals such as net zero carbon and net zero energy buildings, lower building costs, increased urban density, liveability and affordability.”

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Plans Submitted for U of Toronto Academic Wood Tower

By Jack Landau
Urban Toronto
September 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Big news broke in May, when it was announced that the University of Toronto was planning a new timber-frame tower to be constructed above the north end of the recently constructed Goldring Centre for High-Performance Sport on Devonshire Place. The 14-storey tower’s announcement has now been followed by the submission of a zoning amendment application to the City, and the supporting documentation includes plenty of new details. An exception to the Ontario Building Code will also be required for a timber building this tall, similar to what is being sought for George Brown College’s ‘The Arbour’ on the city’s waterfront. The Academic Wood Tower is designed by Patkau Architects of Vancouver and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) of Toronto… the tower is proposed to be constructed wth advanced mass timber components.

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Debate Heats up Over Wood High Rises

By Emily Pollock
Engineering.com
September 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The International Code Council (ICC) will vote this fall on whether it will support a code change allowing the construction of wooden buildings that are 9-20 stories tall, but controversy still swirls around the movement. …In 2015, the ICC established the Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings (TWB) to study the science and safety of tall mass timber buildings. Since then, the ICC has been developing proposed revisions for the 2021 International Building Code (IBC). …Perhaps not surprising, one of the strongest opponents of the proposal has been the Portland Cement Association, America’s policy and research institution representing cement manufacturers. …To address these public concerns, as well as those within its own ranks, the TWB released a document this past August that included 16 frequently asked questions about its new codes, along with answers to all of them.

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A new house in Atlanta raises the potential for roof-oriented design

By Sydney Franklin
The Architect’s Newspaper
September 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A new exhibit at the Yale School of Architecture, Adjacencies uses a multi-media approach to tell the story of various strange and tactile projects from 14 emerging firms around the country, and the show highlights a one-of-a-kind, ground-up residential project that’s set to open in Atlanta later this fall. Haus Gables, designed by Jennifer Bonner of MALL, is a single-family home under construction along the Atlanta Beltline and a playful and surprising reinvestigation of the architectural zeitgeist using an exaggerated roof plan. …Not only is the design itself unusual, but so are the materials specified for the project. Most notably, it features a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, the second of its kind in the United States.

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Chinese viscose producers unveil sustainability roadmap

Home Textiles Today
September 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Shanghai – The Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose (CV), which is made up of more than a dozen global viscose producers and trade associations in China, now has a three-year roadmap outlining basic and advanced requirements for meeting prescribed technical standards for the industry. The group… outlined a series of requirements that must be met at the earliest by June 2019, with additional requirements expected to be in place between July 2019 and the end of 2022.  Basic requirements with a deadline of June 2019 include: Sourcing with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified pulp; Passing the FSC or PEFC chain-of-custody audit for a manufacturing facility… When CV formed in March, it was noted that while the market for viscose is growing, so are the concerns about the environmental impact of the general manufacturing process. 

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Flipkart to launch Pure Wood brand

By Tabeenah Anjum
Deccan Herald
September 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

With furniture market growing at a faster pace, Flipkart is all set to launch Pure Wood, a new range of Solid Wood furniture under the in-house Home & Furniture brand, Perfect Homes, launched a year ago. This is a range defined by fine craftsmanship, rooted in history while being defined by modern day spaces. Influenced by the art and architecture of Rajasthan the five categories of Pure Wood are named as Mehrangarh, Taragarh, Amber, Jaisalmer and Jaigarh. …the manufacturing of the products is done in Jaipur and Jodhpur. “We are aspiring to become number one in the country. This whole new range is to cater for those who believe in touch and feel of pure wood. …With the launch of Purewood, a range of exceptionally crafted solid wood furniture by Perfect Homes, Flipkart is trying to make an aspirational and timeless product range available to consumers at an affordable price.

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Forestry

Cheslatta Carrier Nation proposes mill to process burned wood south of Burns Lake

Cougars Central in BC Local News
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cheslatta Carrier Nation (CCN) is trying to make the best of a bad situation. With hundreds of thousands of hectares of burned forests on the Southside, CCN is currently in talks with the provincial government to build a mill that would process all this burned wood. The proposed mill would be strategically placed in the middle of the fires burning on the Southside, according to Mike Robertson, CCN’s senior policy advisor. “We are fully engaged in exploring the opportunity to process the burned trees and be fully involved in the short and long-term recovery process,” he told Lakes District News. “We are confident that by working together, the Southside community will be successful in healing our land, our community and sustaining the economy.”

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Smithers seeks tougher burn regulations

By Rod Link
The Interior News
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Town of Smithers is continuing to press its case for stricter slash burning regulations in meetings this week with provincial cabinet ministers at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Whistler. In doing so it’s hoping for a double win — protecting local air quality by reducing burning and providing a supply source for the Pinnacle Pellet plant now under construction here, says Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach. …“We think there could be alternatives for the waste left over from logging other than burning — something that could add value to the resource,” said Bachrach. …He noted there were 30,000 piles of slash burned in the region last year, creating smoke that affected the air quality in Smithers and area.

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Forest Service science improving fire weather prediction

By USDA Forest Service
Phys.Org
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The weather plays a significant role in how a wildfire grows, how fast it spreads, and how dangerous it can become for firefighters, but few tools exist to help fire managers anticipate days when weather conditions will have the greatest potential to make wildfire erratic or especially dangerous. Hot-Dry-Windy Index (HDW), a new USDA Forest Service weather prediction tool is based on the key atmospheric variables that affect wildland fire: temperature, moisture, and wind. “Predicting fire conditions is important and extremely difficult,” said Joseph Charney, a research meteorologist with the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in Lansing, Mich., and a member of the research team behind HDW. “By focusing on just temperature, moisture and wind, we created a tool that works with the same weather models that are used every day in fire weather forecasts, and thus can be applied anywhere in the world, regardless of fuel conditions or topography.”

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Forest Service holds meetings for Central Tongass project

By Joe Viechnicki
KFSK
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Plans are coming into focus for timber harvest, cabin construction, stream restoration and road building on the Tongass National Forest around Petersburg, Wrangell and Kake for the next 15 years. The U.S. Forest Service is taking comment for two more weeks on proposed work that could happen on national forest land in the area. First things first, the name has changed. What used to be known as the Central Tongass Landscape Level Analysis has been shortened down to the Central Tongass Project. …Planners are looking at work that could happen on most of the 3.7 million acres on the Petersburg and Wrangell ranger districts. For the Central Tongass project and a similar one on Prince of Wales Island, the Forest Service is taking a different approach to environmental analysis required under federal law.

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Wildlife groups sue to block major timber sale on Mount Hood

By Steve Law
Portland Tribune
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmental advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit Monday, Sept. 10, to challenge the proposed Crystal Clear Restoration timber sale in the Mount Hood National Forest. The proposed timber sale, the most extensive on Mt. Hood in more than a decade, would include 7,498 acres of commercial logging on the eastern shoulder of the forest near White River, including 3,494 acres of mature and old-growth forest. Groups including Bark, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, and WildEarth Guardians contend the 11,000-plus acre sale threatens endangered species habitat and increases fire hazards. The lawsuit, filed in the Federal Court for the District of Oregon, notes that 36 miles of roads would be built, and old-growth trees that are resilient to fires would be cut.

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Who bought Tiller Oregon?

By Janet Eastman
The Mail Tribune
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s not easy to acquire, then sell, an entire town. But… new owners took title to Tiller, from the riverfront houses and dusty downtown with a closed school and store, to forested hilltops with water and timber rights. …The new owners hope to create a tree-laden river resort open to the public in the verdant, remote and mostly unoccupied setting on the South Umpqua River, about 225 miles south of Portland. The buyers say they have no interest in logging. …Longtime residents have seen jobs move from trapping, mining, logging and a ranching economy to nothing. …When the timber industry collapsed in the early 1990s, the mills closed, much of Tiller’s population moved away.

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Women Of The Woodlands

By Ari Blatt
The Corvallis Advocate
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Some 13 years ago, a scene not unheard of in rural Oregon forests played out on the tailgate of a pick-up truck. …The women were attendees of an Oregon Small Woodlands Association meeting, and were discovering together the need for a women-only forestry group to form—and now they are helping folks from all around to hang on to their forests and grow like the trees therein. Since that evening in 2005, Oregon has become a well-known state for its establishment of a Women Owning Woodlands Network, called WOWNet. …Funding by the Oregon Forest Resource Institute allows this programming to come free of charge to participants, eliminating one potential barrier to women in the field.  

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Cedartown​ Tractor Supply partners with Arbor Day Foundation to help hurricane reforestation efforts

Northwest Georgia News
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Tractor Supply Company in Cedartown​ is participating in a company-wide hurricane recovery initiative that will benefit the Arbor Day Foundation’s hurricane reforestation efforts. For every Husqvarna chainsaw purchase made in Tractor Supply stores or on its website, five trees will be planted within a forest of need in areas that were severely affected by last year’s hurricanes, including Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Tractor Supply has committed to donating up to 50,000 trees. …The Arbor Day Foundation has committed to supplying five million trees to the reforestation efforts in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. The Foundation will work with local forestry experts who can assess the best time to replant trees and help distribute them to affected homeowners. Long-term reforestation benefits for the impacted communities include improved air quality, support of local wildlife habitats, better flood control, and cleaner water, among others.

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Royal Botanic Garden seeks respect for world’s fungus

The Associated Press in the New York Times
September 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LONDON — The scientists at the renowned Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are trying to correct an injustice: They don’t believe fungus gets the respect it deserves. That’s one reason behind the release Wednesday of their “State of the World’s Fungi” report, touted as the first ever global look at the way fungi help provide food, medicine, plant nutrition, lifesaving drugs — and can also spread death and destruction at an alarming pace. The focus on fungi is designed to call attention to potentially vital new uses now being studied — including possible deployment of a fungus that “eats” plastic and degrades it quickly, and one that may clean up radioactive waste — and to warn that climate change is threatening fungi habitat in various parts of the Earth. “We have only just started to scratch the surface of knowledge of this incredible and diverse group of organisms,” she said.

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Forest Fires

Trail, B.C. wildfire sparks up in the forest between a hospital and a high school

By Jesse Ferreras
Global News
September 11, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. wildfire crews were “aggressively” tackling a two-hectare wildfire that sparked up and came within several hundred metres of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail on Tuesday. The McQuarrie Creek fire, which was believed to have been triggered by lightning, was fought using ground crews, helicopters and four air tankers. Crews made good progress by nighttime, said the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. The blaze was considered a “slope-driven fire” and it wasn’t believed to be threatening any structures, according to the BC Wildfire Service. It was burning between the hospital and JL Crowe Secondary School, though it was also moving away from town.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and Climate Change in Canada’s Boreal Forest

By Cheryl Chetkiewicz
National Geographic
September 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

At 5.6 million square kilometres, Canada’s boreal region is one of the largest forests in the world and one of the Earth’s most important forest carbon storehouses, making it critical to the global effort to address climate change. The boreal forest contains almost twice as much carbon per unit area as tropical forests. In addition to the carbon stored in surface vegetation, carbon has accumulated and been conserved over millennia in the soils, wetlands, peatlands, and permafrost – all of which are integral parts of the boreal forest. Taken together, the boreal forest and associated soils and wetlands store an estimated 208 billion tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of 26 years of global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. …If these areas are disturbed through industrial development such as forestry, mining, hydroelectric development and road building, carbon is released from this massive carbon storehouse, accelerating climate change.

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Timber And Renewables Unite In Energy Veto Fight, Despite Environmental Concerns

By Annie Ropeik
New Hampshire Public Radio
September 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

State legislators vote Thursday on whether to override two controversial vetoes of bills about energy. One would subsidize biomass power plants. The other would expand net metering in New Hampshire. Governor Chris Sununu says both bills would cost residents and businesses too much. But supporters from the state’s established timber industry and its newer renewable energy sector disagree. …Monadnock Paper is one of three mills left in New Hampshire. …This isn’t the only use for the timber that covers New Hampshire and supports its $2.4-billion forest products industry. Low-grade wood chips can also fuel biomass power plants. Now, those plants and their whole industry – factories like Monadnock Paper – say their futures hinge on legislators overturning a veto Gov. Chris Sununu handed down in June.

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EU climate law could cause ‘catastrophic’ deforestation

By Arthur Neslen
The Guardian
September 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Senior climate scientists say that the world’s carbon sinks could be facing a grave threat from a wholly unexpected source: the EU’s renewable energy directive. The climate law could suck in as much imported wood as Europe harvests each year because it will count energy created from the burning of whole trees as “carbon neutral”, according to several academics including a former vice-chair of the UN IPCC. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, who is now a climate sciences professor at Université Catholique de Louvain, said the risk of the directive encouraging tree clearances and the destruction of global carbon sinks was now “extremely high”.  “This amounts to sawing off the branch on which humanity sits,” he told the Guardian. Indonesia and Brazil were among 27 countries which pledged “to increase the use of wood … to generate energy as part of efforts to counter climate change” at the Bonn climate summit last year.

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Health & Safety

Emergency preparedness under ‘continuous improvement’ MLA says

By Frank Peebles
The Prince George Citizen
September 11, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jennifer Rice

One of the elected officials in the eye of the firestorm, as the forests have burned in B.C., is Jennifer Rice. The two-term MLA for North Coast is also the parliamentary secretary for Emergency Preparedness. She was in Prince George when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with fire officials and toured some of the burning forests of the region. She has been involved in the overall firefighting effort throughout the fire season, and is already looking towards the winter months when she expects to be involved in both the analysis of what just happened and the actions taken to reduce future forest fire problems. “It is continuous improvement,” said Rice, describing how the provincial emergency system responds to the systemic incidents on our landscape – fires, floods, earthquakes, storms, etc. 

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