Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 9, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Sustainable forestry and increasing wood use can help tackle climate change: UN and Canada

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 9, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The UN Economic Commission for Europe and Canada say wood products and sustainable forest management can help tackle climate change. Here are the headlines and related stories:

  • How much wood should a wood-cutter cut? (Business in Vancouver)
  • The potential for carbon storage and greening the economy (UNECE)
  • Canada’s new funding for climate change research (Gov’t of Canada)
  • Can this carbon capture technology save us from climate change? (CNN)
  • Long-lived wood products are significant carbon capturers (U of Eastern Finland)

In other news: Canadian housing starts moderate; Interfor posts strong results; Nova Scotia seeks to end blockade of Northern Pulp; and Irving is in the spotlight again. 

Finally, this Sunday, Canadians and Americans pay homage to the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to keep us safe, while thanking our aging and remaining veterans. One way to do this is by supporting Eric Brunt’s [noble] effort to capture their stories before its too late in “Last Ones Standing”. Watch the trailer here!  

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Last Ones Standing – Remembrance Day Tribute

By Eric Brunt
Eric Brunt Media
November 8, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

1.1 million Canadians served in the Second World War. Today there are less than 41,000 remaining, and that number is shrinking every day.  Soon there will be no WWII veterans left. Will we remember what these men and women sacrificed for the Canada we live in today? My name is Eric Brunt and I’m a 25 year old documentary filmmaker. My grandfather Clifford Brunt was in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII. When he passed away at the age of 95, I realized I had no record of his war time experiences. This made me wonder – what other veterans’ stories were out there, never recorded and on the verge of being lost. In May 2018, I left Victoria, BC, in a small van, with the goal of traveling across Canada to interview and film as many surviving WWII veterans as possible. As of November 2018, 200 veterans have shared their experiences on camera for me. These interviews will be used in my documentary titled “Last Ones Standing.”

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Business & Politics

Housing Activity Expected to Moderate from 2018 to 2020

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
November 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

In 2019 and 2020, Canada’s housing markets should see a moderation in both housing starts and sales. House prices, meanwhile, should reach levels more in line with economic fundamentals like income, employment and population growth. Those are some of the key takeaways from CMHC’s just-released 2018 Housing Market Outlook(HMO) for Canada. …Looking more specifically at 2019, we expect: total housing starts to range from 193,700 to 204,500. …Housing starts, 2018 – 2020 are forecast to slow gradually over the next 2 years, coming down from the 10-year peak recorded in 2017. Economic fundamentals, such as income, employement and household formation, will continue to support new residential construction. Their growth will, however, slow, and housing starts will therefore become more closely aligned with them by the end of 2020.

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Interfor Reports Q3’18 Results

Interfor Corportation
Global Newswire
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER, BC — Interfor Corporation recorded net earnings in Q3’18 of $28.1 million, or $0.40 per share, compared to $63.8 million, or $0.91 per share in Q2’18 and $16.8 million, or $0.24 per share in Q3’17. …Adjusted EBITDA was $69.4 million on sales of $570.5 million in Q3’18 versus $123.8 million on sales of $619.9 million in Q2’18. In comparison to the third quarter of 2017, Interfor posted improved results across most key metrics, including an $8.9 million or 15% improvement in Adjusted EBITDA, an $11.3 million or 67% increase in net earnings and a 29 million board foot rise in lumber production.

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Union pulls back on job action at Interior and northern mills

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing hundreds of mill workers in the Interior has pulled back job action in optimism that talks scheduled for next week will be fruitful. “There are three days of mediation talks scheduled in the south beginning on November 14,” Paul French, vide-president for United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017, told the Tribune. “Because the three players from the north are at the bargaining table in the south from the company side — Canfor, Tolko and West Fraser — we are going to pull back in good faith on any job action because we are not able to meet in the north until something is resolved in the south.”

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Nova Scotia premier asks fishermen to end blockade of Northern Pulp survey boats

By Michael Tutton
Canadian Press in Globe and Mail
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s premier says he’s hoping fishermen end a blockade of survey boats hired to examine a route for an undersea effluent pipeline, but he has no plans to extend the company’s deadline. Stephen McNeil said Thursday he’d advise fishermen to let the seismic research in the Northumberland Strait take place because it’s a lawful activity. …. Then the ongoing public consultation will have to take place as to what will be or wouldn’t be,” the premier said. However, he also said it’s up the Northern Pulp mill near Pictou, N.S., to decide whether to call in the RCMP to end the blockade. …A spokesperson for Paper Excellence Canada, the Richmond, B.C., company which owns the pulp mill, has said the survey data would be of interest to various parties, and that it will work with authorities to ensure the safety of all involved.

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Residents fear for wetlands, watercourses after reviewing Irving gypsum mine proposal

By Connell Smith
CBC News
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW BRUNSWICK — People in the Upham area are poring over environmental impact assessments documents on a gypsum mine proposal for the rural community. The proposal by Hammond River Holdings, a J.D. Irving Ltd. company, would see an open-pit gypsum mine set up on a 60-hectare property… about 100 metres from the Hammond River. According to the documents, the gypsum rock will be extracted by blasting and then crushed on site. Runoff water from the site would be directed to either a settling pond or a sump pit and then to two streams flowing to the river after suspended sediments have settled. …Construction would begin in the spring of next year with gypsum operations starting by late 2019. [Wallboard and construction plaster are the primary industrial uses of gypsum]

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Mishaps put spotlight on Irving family’s relationship with Saint John, N.B.

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
November 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The Irvings of New Brunswick are facing renewed scrutiny after a major industrial accident at the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John and three guilty pleas from Irving Pulp and Paper for polluting the Saint John River. The sudden spate of bad publicity has drawn into sharp focus the delicate relationship between the Irving group of companies and the 69,000 residents of Saint John. The Irvings are one of the city’s largest employers, and the family’s privately owned companies are thought to be worth about $8 billion. The city’s mayor, Don Darling, has said Saint John’s large industrial base comes with risks, and he has called for a broader discussion about the relationship between residents and industry. …Emma Seamone, spokeswoman for the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, said there isn’t enough scrutiny of the Irvings’ businesses because the family owns all of the English-language daily newspapers in the province.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Hurricane Michael Teaches New Home Building Lessons

By Jamie Gold
Forbes
November 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Hurricane Michael … survivors are still digging out from the massive storm that crashed into the Florida panhandle on October 10. The Federal Emergency Management Agency describes Michael as “one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall in [the] Continental U.S.” Aerial photos of the towns in Michael’s path show homes, businesses and entire neighborhoods blown apart, as if they’d been bombed. …“South Florida actually had a reasonable building code in place when Hurricane Andrew struck,” recalls Susan Millerick, director of public affairs of the Tampa-based Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. “What it did not have, and moved aggressively to correct, was a strong, consistent and funded code enforcement program,” she adds. …“We urge people to get the strongest roof they can get, tougher windows and doors, and to consider what’s in the walls with the same care as what they plan to put on the walls,” Millerick advises. 

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Wooden sponges can separate water and oil

By Christine Middleton
Physics Today
November 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Once fuel oils, industrial solvents, and other organic liquids enter a body of water, they are difficult to remove. The materials commonly used … are not always mechanically robust or environmentally friendly. Now Xiaoqing Wang and colleagues at the Research Institute of Wood Industry in Beijing have developed a relatively simple treatment process that turns balsa wood into a mechanically robust sponge that can selectively remove organics from water. Natural wood lacks the compressibility and absorbency usually associated with sponges. To give the balsa wood those properties, the researchers removed two of its primary cell-wall components, lignin and hemicellulose, by using aqueous chemical treatments. That changed the wood’s cell structure from a rigid honeycomb to a compressible, lamellar morphology. Even after 100 compressions, the sponge sprang back to its initial size, which indicated that it kept its mechanical robustness despite the removed material.

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Timber Trades Journal stages its first panels conference

Timber Trades Journal
November 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Timber Trade Federation’s inaugural UK Wood Panels Conference took place November 7. The conference, which the TTF hopes to build on next year, was intended to bring the federation’s National Panel Products Division more in line with its National Softwood Division and National Hardwood Division, which already have their own events. In addition, said TTF managing director Dave Hopkins, the panels sector is “the fastest growing and most innovative sector” within the timber industry. “We want to ensure we run and lead that agenda,” he said. …Architect Peter Wilson, director of Timber Design Initiatives, rounded off the conference by highlighting construction projects past and present where panel products had been the predominant material used. He said that many architects already wanted to work with timber and panel products and that the industry should engage more with the engineers and quantity surveyors, whose timber knowledge was lacking.

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Forestry

How much wood should a wood-cutter cut?

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paola Deda

Enhancing working forests and using more products from wood can play a critical role in climate change mitigation by sequestering carbon – provided those forests don’t go up in smoke or get chewed to death by bugs. Given how much of Canada’s landscape remains forested, it can have a positive contribution to climate change mitigation through sustainable forestry, which is one of the reasons why the UN Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) has convened their 76thsession in Vancouver this week. …The Vancouver initiative underscores the important role a sustainably managed forest industry can play in climate change mitigation, said COFFI secretary Paola Deda. …Conservationists argue that old mature forests should not be logged because they store such huge amounts of carbon. …“But the science clearly indicates that old forests are much weaker carbon sinks than young forests,” says Werner Kurz, Natural Resources Canada.

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UNECE and Canada champion forest products for a more sustainable future

UNECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Innovative and sustainably produced wood products, when coupled with sustainable forest management, can ‘build the future’ and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In a sector like construction, which globally accounts for 6% of total energy consumption and 11% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, alternative materials like wood can contribute substantially to moving towards sustainability. …This is the key message of the Vancouver Invitation on Forest Products for a Better Future, a bold and forward-looking statement of intent to harness the environmental, economic and social benefits of sustainable forest management. The Invitation was developed with Canada and with the support and input from UNECE countries. It garnered support by more than 200 government officials, representatives from the wood products and construction sectors and civil society actors from around 50 countries, who gathered in Vancouver, Canada, for the 76th Session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI)

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UNECE forest product market discussions highlight potential for carbon storage, greening the economy and growing demand from Asia

UNECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Spruce, pine and fir are the main families of coniferous trees fueling the global forest products sector. They provide the raw material for just under 60% of wood products in the world. Products derived from these species are used as construction materials for buildings, for paper and paper products as well as fuel for heat and power production. What is even more astonishing is that coniferous forests of the northern hemisphere taken as a whole are constantly increasing their carbon stock while providing one billion cubic metres of wood every single year. …Growing attention is being paid to the potentials of wooden forest products, as demonstrated in discussions during the seventy-sixth session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry, taking place this week in Vancouver, Canada under the title COFFI2018 ‘building the future with forests’. Delegates from across the world came together in Vancouver, British Columbia, to participate in the COFFI2018 meeting.

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Celebrating the 2017 conservation officer of the year

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Len Butler and George Hayman

Len Butler is the 26th recipient of the Outstanding Officer of the Year Award. Since 1992, the designation has been awarded annually to a conservation officer for going above and beyond the call of duty and exemplifying the values of the Conservation Officer Service: integrity, public service and protection of the environment. Len Butler started his career as a fish and wildlife officer in Alberta 38 years ago. …In 1991, Butler headed west to join the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. He now works out of Williams Lake as an inspector for the Thompson-Cariboo region, overseeing the operations of three zones. ..One of Butler’s proudest accomplishments is putting together the agency’s Defensive Tactics Program in 2007 for training new recruits and existing conservation officers. Focusing on arrest and control tactics for officer safety, the Defensive Tactics Program has become one of the best training programs in Canada …

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Catastrophic Wildfires – why did they happen and what can be done?

By Lisa Marak
Federation of BC Woodlot Associations
November 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woodlot licensees gathered in Williams Lake for the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (FBCWA) AGM to look at what happened in the Cariboo and around Williams Lake during the2017 wildfire season and examine ways in whichforest management can change and be improved,not just to prevent wildfires but also to have healthier, more resilient forests and ecosystems. Representatives from the Ministry of Forests,Lands and Natural Resource Operations &Rural Development (FLNORD), industry, local government and academia from around the province joined them as they discussed the challenges BC faces managing forests in the wake of the two worst wildfire seasons. The more than 100 delegates saw firsthand the impacts of the 2017 wildfires during their field trip to nearby Fox Mountain where salvage logging and post fire restoration work was underway as well as a fuel mitigation project on the Williams Lake Community Forest. 

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Fire, water top concerns at forest meeting

By Doug McMurdo
The Moab Times-Independent
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Andrew Orlemann

Fire and water are the two concerns most on the minds of residents offering input to the U.S. Forest Service as it updates its official plan for the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Protecting the watershed in terms of quality and quantity and addressing the potential for devastating wildfires are also two concerns that were not necessarily present in 1986, the last time the USFS published its plan for the Manti-La Sal. “We’re starting to address fire,” said forester and planning team leader Andrew Orlemann during an open house held Nov. 1 at the Grand Center. “The old plan doesn’t really discuss fire.” …Forester and Partnership Coordinator Megan Eno said the process comes down to one question: “What do we know about our forests?” Part of the assessment has foresters identifying species that are not yet threatened or endangered before they land on protected lists.

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Paradise Fire: California wildfire leaves town in ruins

BBC News
November 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A fierce wildfire racing across Northern California has destroyed parts of the Sierra foothills, including one town, officials say. The so-called Camp Fire, which started early on Thursday near Camp Creek, has been fuelled by strong winds and dry forest. Some residents in the town of Paradise, which was “devastated”, were trapped by the flames, state fire officials said. Thousands in the region have evacuated, including from schools and hospitals. There are unconfirmed reports of casualties, which an official said could take days to confirm. “[Paradise] is devastated, everything is destroyed. There’s nothing left standing,” said Scott Maclean, the state’s forestry and fire protection spokesman.

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‘Untouched’ not always best forestry plan

The Greenfield Recorder
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MASSACHUSETTS — One hundred and ten years ago, a major forest fire swept through Wendell State Forest. One hundred and ten years later… when the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation announced its plan to start timber harvesting… Charlie Baker asking the governor to spare this “stately, 80-acre old oak forest that is just beginning to reach an old-growth condition. …Last week, state officials delivered their response — “No” — along with the rationale behind it. According to DCR’s experts, “untouched by human interference” is not necessarily the best course for forest management nor the best response to climate change. …DCR Commissioner Leo Roy… contends that, over the long run, it’s better to have trees that are of different ages and reach peak carbon-sequestering ages at different times.

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The thermal rescue drone that finds woodland wanderers

By Video journalist: Chris Fox. Reporter: Matthew Wall
BBC News
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A rescue drone that can find people who are lost in the forest is being developed in Latvia. Researchers have equipped a drone with a thermal camera that can pick out the body heat of people among the trees. Artificial intelligence is used to spot humans and alert the drone operator. Superfast 5G mobile connectivity will help the drones communicate more effectively with operators on the ground. Watch the video for more on this story.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada

Government of Canada
November 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council have partnered to launch new funding for climate change research. This initiative supports the Targeted Federal Climate Change Science Plan and aims to strengthen collaborative efforts among federal policy-makers and scientists and the academic community in the context of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The $4.8M in funding will support the following research objectives: Heat: to help protect the health of Canadians through advancing innovation for energy efficient cooling technologies, such as the cooling potential of natural infrastructures; Forests: accelerate knowledge of ecosystem services in the context of climate change, such as the role of forests and trees as natural infrastructure in increasing climate resilience, mitigating climate change, human health and wellbeing, and promoting biodiversity in urban or rural landscapes; and Carbon cycle: to improve understanding of carbon dynamics in Canadian ecosystems, with a focus on how to quantify, protect, and enhance natural carbon sinks.

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Film explores impact of burning wood for energy

Addison County Independent
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

MIDDLEBURY — A screening of the film “Burned: Are Trees the New Coal?” will take place on Nov. 13… According to the website (burnedthemovie.com), “‘BURNED’ takes a hard look at the latest false solution to humanity’s vast energy appetite: woody biomass. The film tells the story of how woody biomass has become the alternative energy savior for the power generation industry and of the people and parties who are both promoting and fighting its adoption and use. Using interviews with experts, activists and citizens, along with verité-style footage shot across the U.S., E.U. and U.K., the film interweaves the science of climate change, the escalating energy policy disputes, the dynamics of forest ecology, the industry practices, and the actions of activists and citizens who are working to protect their own health, their communities, the forest, and the planet’s climate.

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Can this carbon capture technology save us from climate change?

By Mark Tutton
CNN London
November 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON — It’s a stark prognosis: To save the world from the worst effects of climate change… we need to start scrubbing carbon pollution from the atmosphere, too. …The problem is, the jury is still out on whether that’s even possible. …But one method that’s got a lot of attention from IPCC scientists is known as Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, or BECCS. Essentially, it means growing bioenergy crops and then burning them at power stations to create energy, while capturing the CO2 that’s emitted. …Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Growing, collecting, transporting and processing the crops will have a carbon footprint, but advocates believe that if the process is well managed, BECCS can be an important tool in removing atmospheric CO2. Along with tree planting, BECCS is the CO2 removal method most used by the IPCC in its scenarios for limiting global warming.

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Long-lived wood products are significant carbon capturers

By Pranjal Mehar
The Tech Explorist
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A new study by the University of Eastern Finland has suggested that the way we use wood mitigate climate change. …Up until this point, numerous examinations have concentrated on carbon put away in Forest, yet fewer investigations have concentrated on the job of wood items. …The examination followed the streams of wood in Lithuania and the Czech Republic beginning from the forest through the wood handling industry until the point when the end products, with an accentuation on carbon conventional and atmosphere moderation impacts. The outcomes demonstrate that traditional carbon bookkeeping strategies for reap wood items may prompt a huge underestimation of the carbon put away in wood items. The examination discovered that in a few nations, the yearly carbon spending plan in wood items is 40% higher when ascertained with a more definite technique.

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Amazon forests failing to keep up with climate change

By the University of Leeds
Phys.org
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A team of more than 100 scientists has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. Their analysis found the effects of climate change are altering the rainforest’s composition of tree species but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment. The team… used long-term records from more than a hundred plots as part of the Amazon Forest Inventory Network to track the lives of individual trees across the Amazon region. Their results found that since the 1980s, the effects of global environmental change—stronger droughts, increased temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—has slowly impacted specific tree species’ growth and mortality. 

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