Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: November 2018

Today’s Takeaway

As beetles slow Western wood production, the pendulum swings East

Tree Frog Forestry News
November 14, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Timber supply shortages driven by the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in British Columbia have triggered West Fraser Timber to cut production at two BC mills; a study by ForestEdge and Wood Resources International predicts that Eastern Canadian wood production will support Canadian lumber exports to the US in the next decade; and Unifor’s Stephen Boon says the Canadian government needs to press Trump to remove lumber tariffs.

As California copes with the most recent wildfires, the BBC debunks five common wildfire myths; Tree Canada assists in replanting Ontario trees destroyed by recent tornadoes; and Georgia governor Nathan Deal has proposed tax credits to encourage landowners to replant post-hurricane.

And, a new green building code has been released in the US. 

Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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As the death toll rises and California scrambles to contain wildfires, the blame game intensifies

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

As the death toll rises and California scrambles to contain wildfires at both ends of the state—with some help from Oregon and Montana—the blame game intensifies. Key headlines include:

  • Wind, drought worsen fires, not bad management
  • California fires: what is happening and is climate change to blame?
  • Don’t debate forestry management in the middle of disastrous wildfires
  • Megafires more frequent because of climate change and forest management
  • California fire destroys Neil Young’s home

In other news: BC’s never-ending struggle over ancient trees; Ontario’s beech trees face slow demise; the EU calls for tough action on deforestation; and Pat Bell’s view of Proportional Representation.

Finally, its going to be a green Christmas after all, as Millennials opt for pine over plastic.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Trump says forest mismanagement responsible for deadly California fires

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 12, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

President Trump is blaming forest mismanagement for deadly Northern California fires—29 fatalities to date—threatening to pull federal funding. California Gov. Brown calls that “inane and uninformed.” In related news: one OSU professor says there are hundreds of Oregon towns facing similar risks; while another says planting after fire isn’t always necessary. 

In Business news: October saw double digit price drops for softwood lumber and OSB; Interfor shares fall nine percent; Conifex curtails its Fort St. James mill; Canfor acquires another South Carolina sawmill; and Kalesnikoff finally receives the go-ahead for a new office building.

Lastly; BC moves to preserve moose feed by cutting herbicides; and despite climate change, there are still too many polar bears in parts of Nunavut.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada will continue to be a major supplier of softwood lumber to the US in the next decade

By Haken Ekstrom
Wood Resources International
November 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada will continue to be a major supplier of softwood lumber to the US in the next decade, with the export volume from the Eastern provinces being forecasted to increase substantially, according to a study by ForestEdge and WRI. The softwood sawmilling sector in Eastern Canada will play an increasingly important role as a key supplier to the growing US lumber market in the future, according to a new study. The increasing lumber consumption in the US will also likely result in increased investments in production capacity in the US, changes in Canadian lumber trade flows, a rise in overseas supply, and upward pressure on sawlog prices.

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Canfor Corp. Signs Agreement to Acquire Elliott Sawmilling Co.

By Paul Ploumis
Scrap Monster
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

SEATTLE — Canfor Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Estill, South Carolina-based Elliott Sawmilling Co., for a price of $110 million. The transaction is subject to completion of certain transaction documents and other customary closing conditions. The company press release noted that the purchase deal is expected to close during the first half of 2019. Upon closing, Canfor aims to acquire 49% on closing, whereas the remaining 51% will be acquired during the second phase, after a year. …Elliot’s high tech southern yellow pine mill, which consists of both large and small log lines, has a capacity to saw 200 million board feet per year. The company offers nearly 180 well-paid jobs in the region. 

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West Fraser Announces Production Reduction in British Columbia

By West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Cision Newswire
November 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Today West Fraser announced it will permanently curtail approximately 300 million board feet of combined lumber production at its Fraser Lake and Quesnel Sawmills.  The curtailment will be realized through the elimination of the third shift at each sawmill. The reduction in lumber production is expected to impact approximately 60 employees at Fraser Lake and 75 employees at Quesnel Sawmill over the first and second quarter of 2019.  The Company expects to mitigate the impact on affected employees by offering them work opportunities at other West Fraser operations. British Columbia faces a well‑documented timber supply shortage owing to the devastating Mountain Pine Beetle infestation.  In anticipation of this decline, West Fraser has invested in excess of $500 million in its B.C. assets to improve the safety and competitiveness of its mills to attain maximum value from the available timber resource.  Today’s decision better aligns West Fraser’s production with current timber supply.

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Miller Western visits Woodlands Council

By Taryn Brandell
The Whitecourt Star
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woodlands County Council received an update from a representative of Miller Western Forest Products regarding haul routes and road maintenance. Lyle Battenfelder, director of finance at Miller Western and Brian Colbourne, operations Supt. at Miller Western, provided council with updates regarding new ownership under Atlas and a project regarding a new crane. …Woodlands County council members expressed concerns they have received from local residents regarding unsafe driving by the company’s log trucks. …Colbourne said that in the last few years, Miller Western has issued GPS units in their log trucks. “It gives us a better ability to track the offenders when we get calls,” he explained.

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Babine mill workers suspend strike

BC Local News
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers at the Babine Forest Products Mill in Burns Lake have suspended their strike as their union the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 prepares to enter mediation with management. “We have stopped our overtime and rotating strikes while we’re in mediation with the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association,” Brian O’Rourke, President of Local 1-2017 told Lakes District News on Nov. 5. The mediation is scheduled to happen Nov. 14-16 in Kelowna. …Local 1-2017 Vice-President Paul French pointed out that “the union’s 72-hour strike notice is still in effect. We’re in a legal position to call a strike if need be. We’re trying to avoid a strike [but we’re] also showing the seriousness of the situation. We’re not giving away things for free.” “Ideally we would like to have a fair collective agreement that our membership can accept without any concessions on the table,” O’Rourke said.

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Feds Urged To Reach New Softwood Deal

89.5 the Lake
November 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stephen Boon

Even though Canada and the United States have reached a new trade deal, 20% softwood lumber tariffs remain in place. Unifor Local National representative Stephen Boon is urging the Canadian government to continue pressing the Trump administration to remove the tariffs. Boon says “we definitely need to get that corrected and I know that’s being processed under Chapter 19 of the new NAFTA deal that has a dispute mechanism where it’s clearly not legal under the rules.” Fortunately, Boon says right now actual mills are still doing fine despite the duties. He says lumber prices are at historic levels, housing starts are at record highs and the Canadian dollar remains in the high 70 cent range.

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500 forestry workers to vote on new collective agreement

Thunder Bay News Watch
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

DRYDEN, ON — The ratification process begins this week for a proposed collective agreement for members of Unifor who work in Domtar’s pulp mill at Dryden and in the woodlands operations. The tentative agreement with the company affects 500 employees and three Unifor locals. Union national representative Stephen Boon says details will be released after voting is complete next week, but adds that the contract does “achieve Unifor’s Eastern Canada Pulp and Paper Pattern.” The pattern was established in May with a new four-year collective agreement between Unifor and Resolute Forest Products. …Final voting on the agreement will take place on Nov. 20. The union’s last contract with Domtar expired on August 31, 2018.

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AF&PA presents six sustainability awards

By Megan Smalley
Recycling Today
November 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The American Forest & Paper Association presented its 2018 Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Sustainability Awards at its annual meeting on Nov. 9 in Dallas. …AF&PA’s annual awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories as a way to recognize exemplary sustainability programs in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry, the association reports.

  • Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction – Clearwater Paper: Lewiston Pulp Optimization Project
  • Paper Recovery for Recycling – WestRock Co: Advancing Foodservice Packaging Recycling
  • Safety (Large) – Resolute Forest Products: Proactive Approach to Workplace Safety
  • Safety (Small) – American Eagle Paper Mills: Shifting to a Culture of Safety
  • Water – Domtar: Hawesville Water Conservation Project
  • Innovation in Sustainability – WestRock Company: TechniFlute

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Deal proposes hurricane recovery money, tax break for tree replanting

By James Salzer
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Gov. Nathan Deal proposed $200 million worth of income tax credits Tuesday for landowners in southwest Georgia as incentive for them to replant trees destroyed last month by Hurricane Michael. The tax break was part of Deal’s package introduced as state lawmakers convened a special session designed to help fund the cleanup and rebuilding of southwest Georgia after the storm. “We have some important work to do today and this week,” House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, told his chamber as it opened for business. The tax break would aid both timber and pecan farmers who saw their trees destroyed by the storm. State officials said losses from the storm in the agriculture industry alone could reach nearly $3 billion.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

ICC releases collaborative 2018 green building code

By Kim Slowey
Construction Drive
November 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The International Code Council has released the 2018 edition of the International Green Building Code (IgCC), developed in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Illuminating Engineering Society. …According to the most recent available data from the ICC, 14 states plus Washington, D.C., have at least one jurisdiction that has incorporated previous versions of the IcGG. …Last month, the leadership moved forward 14 proposed code changes that would allow wood high-rises to be built as high as 18 stories and that would put three new types of construction on the books. …The full membership is currently voting on the change… How many of the jurisdictions that now use the IBC as a model for their own regulations will adopt the tall wood codes is another matter since some view tall wood construction as a potential fire hazard. 

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335 Leading Corporations Remove Misleading ‘Go Green’ Claims

Two Sides
November 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, International

LONDON, UK  – At the annual meeting of Two Sides’ Country Managers in London on November 5, 2018, representatives from Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North America, South America and South Africa determined to continue efforts to stop organizations from making misleading, anti-print and paper claims in their customer communications. Since its inception, Two Sides’ anti-greenwash campaign has investigated 921 organizations worldwide. Of these, over two-thirds were found to be using unsubstantiated claims regarding paper’s impact on the environment, usually in breach of local advertising regulations. After being challenged by Two Sides, a total of 335 organizations have now removed or changed their messaging.

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Tokyo Olympics 2020 organisers deny accusations of illegally sourced wood usage

By Walter Sim
The Straight Times
November 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TOKYO – The organisers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have vehemently denied an accusation by an environmental group that several of the new Games venues are being built by wood that has been purportedly obtained through illegal logging. The US-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN) said on Monday that the use of wood from Malaysia and Indonesia to build new Games venues “flies in the face” of Tokyo’s commitment to realise the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. … This is due to the “illegal logging, human rights abuses, and high deforestation rates that have been widely documented in both the Malaysian and Indonesian forestry sectors and given what is known of Tokyo 2020’s plywood suppliers”. But Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya told The Straits Times: “It is a matter of fact that all timber currently used in construction for the Tokyo 2020 Games has complied with its sustainable sourcing code for timber.”

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Forestry

Government of Canada supports Indigenous leadership in conservation

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

VICTORIA, BC – Indigenous communities have long been stewards of the environment, and the Government of Canada shares their commitment to conserving and protecting Canada’s nature, our diverse ecosystems, and species at risk. Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that 28 Indigenous projects have been selected for early funding totalling just under $5.7 million as part of the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program. The Pilot Program recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights and responsibilities to the land, waters, and ice of their traditional territories and provides support for environmental conservation. The federal government is supporting First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities in their stewardship work to protect sensitive areas and species, monitor ecological health, and maintain Indigenous cultural sites. This funding will support new and existing Indigenous guardians programs across Canada.

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Canada Promotes Indigenous Participation in Quebec’s Forest Sector

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

WASWANIPI, QC – Canada’s forest sector continues to be an important generator of good jobs in communities across the country, including rural, remote and Indigenous communities. The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous peoples to ensure that they participate in — and benefit from — natural resource projects. Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $330,000 investment for two forestry projects in Waswanipi, Quebec, that will create jobs and boost the local economy. The first investment of $300,000 is for the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi to support business planning and equipment reconditioning for the Nabakatuk Forest Products facility. This funding will enable the reopening of the facility so that it can provide mill-finished lumber for retail markets. Support for this community-industry partnership is a promising model, which will foster stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples and competitiveness in Canada’s forest economy.

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Williams Lake Community Forest profits go back to the community

Williams Lake Tribune
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Williams Lake Community Forest is launching a new Community Granting Program with the goal of distributing funds in 2019. This will be an annual program aimed at providing support for community enhancement projects for areas surrounding the community forest. Last Friday at a regular meeting with management and most of the nine-member Select Standing Committee (SSC), final arrangements were discussed related to the disbursement of funds from the profits generated by the Williams Lake Community Forest (WLCF). As set out in the regulations and bylaws of the WLCF, at the end of every five-year cut control period, five per cent of the net profits will be deposited in a special account for disbursement back to the community through a Community Granting Fund.

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Quesnel awarded $367,000 to further new opportunities for forest management

By Melanie Law
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Quesnel has received a $367,000 Rural Dividend grant from the Province to support its forest management plans, and help it build upon the manufacturing sector in the region, according to a Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development news release. The funds will be used to implement recommendations from the Quesnel Future of Forestry Think Tank, which was held in Quesnel in May 2018, and to investigate new opportunities for forest management and forest products manufacturing. Since the spring Think Tank session, Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson, as well as City Council members, have been pushing the agenda provincially and federally, including at September’s Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Whistler, B.C., and during a trip to Victoria and Ottawa.

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Money trees The struggle over what’s ancient, giant, valuable and dwindling in B.C.’s coastal forests

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the past seven years, environmentalists in B.C. have been looking for… big, ancient trees that erupt out of the ground and make people standing beside them look miniscule and insignificant. …In May, an hour’s drive southwest from the Vancouver Island logging town of Port Alberni, a group found one — a giant Douglas fir measuring 66 metres tall and three metres in diameter at chest height. …But two weeks later, the giant fir was cut down by loggers who say it was rotten in its core and worth more being turned into products like wooden beams than living out its life in the forest. …The tree is — or was — a symbol of the latest iteration of B.C’s War in the Woods where, on one side, environmentalists want all old-growth trees off limits to cutting because of the role they play in preserving biodiversity and keeping climate change from advancing.

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Tree Canada looks for support to replace trees destroyed by tornadoes

By Bruce Deachman
Ottawa Citizen
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tree Canada, a national not-for-profit tree-planting charity, is hoping to replace as many trees as possible in the Ottawa-Gatineau area following the devastation caused by the half dozen tornadoes that touched down in the area almost eight weeks ago. The organization’s #OperationReLeaf program is working in conjunction with the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau to provide funding for homeowners, landowners and institutions to replace destroyed trees. To reach that goal, Tree Canada is encouraging individuals and businesses to make donations. An estimated 1,500 trees in Ottawa were destroyed in the Sept. 21 tornadoes, while a spokesperson for Tree Canada says the group hopes to plant about 500 trees, approximately one for each affected property.

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Ontario’s beech trees are facing a slow demise. Here’s why

CBC News
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s beech trees are slowly being consumed by a disease that’s been on a steady march through the province for decades, experts say. Beech bark disease comes as a two-part attack. First, a small insect burrows into the tree. Then a fungus takes over, slowly rotting the tree and causing it to die. ​”After the insect has moved through, then the fungus will follow and cause the cankers on the tree,” said Sylvia Greifenhagen, a research forester with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “When you get enough of these killing cankers in the bark, the tree will die.” The disease has been relatively slow moving, arriving in Canada in the 1890s and gradually spreading through the Maritimes, Quebec and now Ontario. Greifenhagen said the ministry has research plots across the province to track the disease’s movement. In some cases, it’s already taken a considerable number of trees.

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Five myths about wildfires

By Diego Arguedas Ortiz
BBC Future
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Are wildfires a natural, if tragic, event – or are they getting worse with climate change? Would logging help decrease them? And can they be kept under control with forward planning? BBC Future debunks five common myths.

Myth #1: Regularly logging forests prevents forest fires… Myth #2: There is nothing you can do to protect your property… Myth #3: Wildfires are an inevitable fact of nature… Myth #4: All wildfires are bad and must be quenched immediately… Myth #5: It is possible to eradicate (or control) all wildfires.

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Millennials are giving American tree growers a green Christmas

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

It’s going to be a green Christmas for U.S. tree growers thanks to millennials who are opting for pines over plastic. Prices for the iconic holiday trees have surged 17 per cent in the past two years, driven by younger consumers who are increasingly seeking locally grown, natural trees, according to a new report from the National Christmas Tree Association and Square Inc. Demand for Christmas trees had previously waned as baby boomers sought artificial trees as their kids moved out of the house, according to the report. Average prices for the natural trees rose to $73 (U.S.) in 2017 from $64 in 2015, and costs are expected to hold steady in 2018, the report said.

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Megafires More Frequent Because Of Climate Change And Forest Management

By Christopher Joyce & Ashley Westerman
Georgia Public Broadcasting
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue through the early part of this week in California as the state battles several wildfires. The Camp Fire in Northern California … is the state’s most destructive fire ever… In Southern California, officials say the Woolsey Fire, which also started Thursday, has killed at least two people and burned more than 91,000 acres. Over the weekend President Trump twice tweeted that the fires were the result of poor forest management, threatening to withhold federal aid if the problem wasn’t remedied. California Gov. Jerry Brown, who has asked the White House for a “major disaster declaration,” hit back at the president on Sunday during a news conference. He said forest management is only one element of preventing forest fires. …Scientists who study fire agree and say both a changing climate as well as how people have managed forests has created a new environment for big fires to thrive.

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Scientists: Wind, drought worsen fires, not bad management

By Seth Borenstein
Phys.org
November 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Both nature and humans share blame for California’s devastating wildfires, but forest management did not play a major role, despite President Donald Trump’s claims, fire scientists say. Nature provides the dangerous winds that have whipped the fires, and human-caused climate change over the long haul is killing and drying the shrubs and trees that provide the fuel, experts say. “Natural factors and human-caused global warming effects fatally collude” in these fires, said wildfire expert Kristen Thornicke of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Multiple reasons explain the fires’ severity, but “forest management wasn’t one of them,” University of Utah fire scientist Philip Dennison said. Trump tweeted on Saturday: “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests.”

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California fires: what is happening and is climate change to blame?

By Oliver Milman
The Guardian
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Both ends of California are aflame, with a trio of disastrous wildfires resulting in at least 31 deaths and thousands of lost homes and businesses. In the northern reaches of the state, a conflagration called the Camp fire is now the most destructive and joint most deadly in California’s history. …Further south, the Woolsey fire has menaced the Los Angeles area, burning 83,000 acres. …Large wildfires require a cocktail of conditions, such as favourable wind speed and direction, fuel, terrain and, of course, ignition, which can be as simple as a trailer throwing up sparks by scraping on a road. Broadly speaking, however, climate change is making conditions more favourable for wildfires in the American west. Of the 20 largest wildfires in California’s recorded history, 15 have occurred since 2000, at a time when forests have become drier and warmer.

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California’s recent blazes aren’t the result of overgrown forests, as Trump suggests

By Joshua Emerson Smith
San Diego Union Tribune
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s recent spate of devastating conflagrations have little, if anything, to do with overgrown forests — and everything to do with climate change, drought and harsh weather conditions, according to forestry experts.  That was largely lost in the political jabs this weekend after President Trump attacked California…Democrats and firefighting officials quickly went on the offensive, blasting Trump’s comments as insensitive amid the devastation. . …However, largely missing from the debate was the fact that the most destructive fires in the state did not start in densely wooded areas. … Such fires result from bone-dry conditions and high winds, said Helge Eng, deputy director of resource management Cal Fire. “We’re still recovering from a five-year drought, and with not a lot of precipitation this year, so with high winds, you get these catastrophic fires,” he said.

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Neil Young blasts Trump as ‘unfit’ after California fire destroys Canadian’s home

By Josh Elliott
Global News
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Canadian singer Neil Young attacked U.S. President Donald Trump as an “unfit leader” and climate-change denier on Sunday, after California’s raging wildfires wiped out the rocker’s home in Malibu. Young accused Trump of ignoring climate change and playing politics with the wildfires in California, where 31 people have been killed, 150,000 have been displaced and more than 1,040 square kilometres have been scorched by massive wildfires. “It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader,” Young wrote in a blog poston his website Sunday. “California is vulnerable — not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think,” Young wrote. The rocker accused Trump of denying climate change and ignoring scientific evidence in favour of “his own, convenient opinion.” Young appeared to be responding to a series of tweets Trump issued over the weekend, in which the president blamed “forest management” for the deadly blazes.

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Don’t debate forestry management in the middle of disastrous wildfires

By Michael Brown, former FEMA Director
The Hill
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…CAL FIRE, the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, is coordinating California’s firefighting efforts in-and-around Los Angeles and other areas. …But CAL Fire is also responsible for the management of California forests. …This includes reviewing 500 to 1,400 plans to harvest timber on private lands and 6,500 site inspections — plans submitted by private landowners and logging companies who want to harvest the trees. “Controlled burns” to manage vegetation involve foresters, firefighters, landowners, and the local communities. …The failure to properly manage forests is a serious issue. …Debating what is proper forestry management is an appropriate debate. …We have a responsibility to enter into those debates before and after first responders are putting their lives at risk. …Until then the focus should be on stopping the spread of these fires, saving lives and protecting property.  

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Death toll rises in California wildfire, matching deadliest in state history; 228 still missing

By Gillian Flaccus and Andrew Selsky
The Missoulian
November 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PARADISE, Calif. — As relatives desperately searched shelters for missing loved ones on Sunday, crews searching the smoking ruins of Paradise and outlying areas found six more bodies, raising the death toll to 29, matching the deadliest wildfire in California history. …Gov. Jerry Brown said California is requesting aid from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has blamed “poor” forest management for the fires. Brown told a press briefing that federal and state governments must do more forest management but said that’s not the source of the problem. “Managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change,” Brown said. “And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we’re now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years.”

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Planes from Missoula-based Neptune Aviation on hand to fight California fires

By Rob Chaney
The Helene Independent Record
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As Montana’s firefighting ground troops head south to help with California’s home-wrecking forest fires, its homegrown air force is already on scene. “We started sending aircraft down there Thursday morning last week,” Neptune Aviation Chief Executive Officer Ron Hooper said on Monday. “We have three on the Paradise fire and three on the fire near Malibu. It was really strange scraping ice off the aircraft last week.” Neptune’s Bae-146 retardant bombers had just finished a busy regular fire season and were back at their Missoula base when the Camp fire and Woolsey fire roared to national prominence. …“The governor in California was quoted saying it’s no longer fire season, but fire year,” Hooper said. “They’ve had a drought for so long, and they’ve got 50- to 60-mph winds on both fires.”

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Oregon strike teams battle deadly Camp Fire wildfire in northern California

By Virginia Barreda
The Statesman Journal
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Forestry deployed two strike teams Sunday to help battle wildfires in California that have claimed more than 30 lives. While on route, the Oregon teams received orders to help suppress the 111,000-acre Camp Fire near Chico in northern California.  California officials originally requested the Oregonians come to the southern portion of the state. …At the time of arrival, the Camp Fire was reported at 25 percent containment, according Oregon forestry officials. …An estimated 29 people have died in the Camp Fire. An additional 230 are missing, according to California fire officials. About 6,453 residences have been destroyed and an additional 15,000 structures threatened.

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Hurricane Michael Caused $1.5 Billion in Agriculture Losses, Mostly in Forestry, Timber

Florida Daily
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Florida suffered almost $1.5 billion in agriculture losses due to Hurricane Michael hitting the Panhandle last month, a new report from the state government finds. On Friday, outgoing state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced that the timber industry suffered the overwhelming majority of agriculture losses from the hurricane as that sector lost $1.3 billion while other agriculture industries suffered almost $200 million.  According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ preliminary report, the losses are as follows:

  • Total Florida agriculture: $1,481,843,193
  • Forestry: $1,289,023,465

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Tree seedlings worth $160,000 ‘mulched’ after forestry land found to be choked with scrub

By David Fisher
The New Zealand Herald
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The amount of taxpayer money “mulched” in an abortive pine planting project can now be revealed – a staggering $160,000 worth of seedlings were destroyed. The figure reveals the cost of pine seedlings ordered for the One Billion Trees scheme this year but not used. The NZ Herald revealed the Government’s joint venture plan with the Ngati Hine Forestry Trust hit a glitch after ordering pine seedlings to plant 1100 hectares this year. When the land was found to be choked with scrub, the number of hectares plunged and just 191,000 pine seedlings were planted out of the 1.2 million ordered. Forestry minister Shane Jones’ office confirmed the cost to taxpayers. “Of the seedlings left, half were distributed to other joint ventures and half were mulched,” a spokeswoman said. “The estimated cost of the unused seedlings is about $160,000.” For that money, the government could have funded 40 cataract operations or eight full hip replacement surgeries.

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Bush turns its back on support for logging native forests

By Peter Hannam
Sydney Morning Herald
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Harvesting of native forests is opposed by Australians, including in rural and regional communities, with support on a par with extractive industries such as coal seam gas, according to a report commissioned by a timber industry group. The study, compiled by three University of Canberra academics for Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), surveyed perceptions of the forest, wood and paper sector, according to a draft copy leaked to the Herald.  “[T]he findings suggest that native forest logging is equated by many Australians with depletion or ‘mining’ of resources, as it is clustered with coal-seam gas extraction and open-cut mining in terms of acceptability,” authors led by Dr Jacki Shirmer said, summarising that there is a “very low” social licence for such logging. The research was based on data collected in 2016 for a Regional Wellbeing Survey, including more than 11,500 rural and regional respondents.

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EU states call for tough action on deforestation to meet 2020 UN goal

By Arthur Neslen
The Guardian
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The UK, France and Germany have called on the European commission to launch tough new action to halt deforestation by the end of the year. A long-delayed EU action plan should be brought forward “as soon as possible”, says a letter to the commission sent by the Amsterdam Declarationgroup of countries, which also includes Italy, the Netherlands and Norway. …Actions should be taken to align “economic opportunities” with “responsible management of global supply chains”, says the letter signed by Denmark’s environment minister, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen. Up to 80% of global forest loss is driven by agribusiness, even though research shows that better forest stewardship and natural climate solutions could provide more than a third of the climate mitigation needed by 2030.

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It’s not trails that disturb forest birds, but the people on them

By Frontiers
EurekAlert
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The first study to disentangle the effect of forest trails from the presence of humans shows the number of birds, as well as bird species, is lower when trails are used on a more regular basis. This is also the case when trails have been used for many years, suggesting that forest birds do not get used to this recreational activity. Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the finding suggests the physical presence of trails has less of an impact on forest birds than how frequently these recreational paths are used by people. To minimize the impact on these forest creatures, people should avoid roaming from designated pathways. “We show that forest birds are quite distinctly affected by people and that this avoidance behavior did not disappear even after years of use by humans. This suggests not all birds habituate to humans and that a long-lasting effect remains,” says Dr Yves Bötsch.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change will heat up cities and rural areas differently

By Emily Chung
CBC News
November 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Climate change isn’t the only thing that will be heating up cities in the future — urbanization hikes temperatures too. A new study led by a University of Guelph researcher looks at… whether it’s possible to design urban areas to mitigate the heating from both effects. For example, roofs could be built with reflective materials that bounce solar energy back into space. …And cities could plant more trees along streets to reduce the amount of heat stored by roads. They found that if those measures were applied consistently across entire cities while cutting greenhouse gas emissions to reduce climate change, daytime temperatures could be kept in check. …The only things that made a small difference to nighttime temperatures were green roofs, and switching from building materials like concrete, brick and asphalt to materials that don’t absorb heat well, such as wood.

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Scientists Highlight Forests’ Critical Role in Climate Mitigation

By Catherine Benson Wahlen
The International Institute for Sustainable Development
November 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Climate and Land Use Alliance released a statement from 40 scientists that argues that the preservation, restoration and sustainable management of forests is critical for limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. In response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15), the scientists highlight five reasons. …First, the scientists emphasize that the world’s forests “contain more carbon than exploitable oil, gas and coal deposits” and that “avoiding forest carbon emissions is just as urgent as halting fossil fuel use.” Second, the scientists highlight the role of forests in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. …Third, the scientists explain that achieving the world’s 1.5°C goal will require “massive” forest restoration to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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