Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 22, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Wood fibre costs trend up for pulp, lumber prices appear to have found a floor

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 22, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Happy US Thanksgiving!

North American wood fiber costs have trended upward for the pulp industry; while US lumber prices appear to have “found a floor” and are forecast to rise in January. In other Business news: US log exports are on hold due to the trade war with China; a BC forestry trade delegation seeks to expand markets in Asia; and a Mississippi sawmill plans to increase production by 50%.

In other news: satellite imagery is being used to estimate the availability of logging residue in Canada; three species of bears are sharing the same piece of land in northern Manitoba; mobile biomass plants are producing biofuel in Europe; NRCan is encouraging the use of wood in engineered wood bridges, and wood design is celebrated via awards by Wood WORKS! (Ontario) and TRADA (UK). 

Finally, early registration is now open for three important conferences: COFI 2019; ABCFP 2019; and HarvestTECHX

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Why you shouldn’t buy your Christmas tree this weekend

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 21, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and this long weekend is one that millions of Americans use to select and purchase their Christmas trees. But… according to the National Christmas Tree Association, 27.4 million real Christmas trees were purchased in 2017 at an average cost of $75, along with 21.1 million new fake trees at an average cost of $107. According to a recent survey… the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is actually one of the most expensive times of the season to purchase a tree, with Black Friday itself being the most expensive day, an average, to bring one home.

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Business & Politics

Overview of current North American lumber market

By Keta Kosman, Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
November 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States
The question at hand: Why there is apparently no price difference between Canadian sales to domestic markets and sales to U.S. export markets? The short answer is: because the Canadian market is too small. These customers do not buy in large enough volumes to be able to influence the direction of prices. …In a “normal” lumber market… the established wisdom has estimated the first 5% – 10% of any softwood lumber duty could be passed on to the customer in the form of higher prices. Any duty rates higher than that had to be paid by the operator. So far since this round of U.S. softwood lumber duties… producers have been able to pass on the entire duty rate to their customers. …This is because demand from the U.S. for real building projects that were currently ongoing was unrelenting, and quite beyond anyone’s expectations.

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Wood fiber costs for the pulp industry have trended upward in most regions of North America throughout 2017 and 2018

By Hakan Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
November 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Wood fiber costs for the pulp industry have trended upward in most regions of North America throughout 2017 and 2018, with the biggest increases occurred in British Columbia and US Northwest, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. Pulpmills in five of the nine major pulp-producing regions of North America have seen their wood fiber costs go up over the past year, reports the NAWFR. In the 3Q/18, average market prices for wood chips and pulplogs were highest in Interior BC and US Northwest, while pulpmills in the US South, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces had the lowest wood costs. Wood fiber costs for pulpmills in North America remained generally unchanged from the 2Q/18 to the 3Q/18 but were higher than in the 3Q/17… The biggest increases yearover-year came in British Columbia and the western US where prices for wood chips … increased by 25% and 23%, respectively.

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South Country forestry workers plan strike action

By Kimberley Vlasic
BC Local News
November 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

South Country forestry workers are expected to strike for the first time in 32 years after collective bargaining talks between the United Steelworkers (USW) and Interior Forest Labour Relations Association hit a logjam. Approximately 875 Kootenay workers could walk off the job as a result of the impasse, affecting forestry operations across the region, including the Canfor Elko Sawmill, Galloway Sawmill and Stella Jones Pole Plant in Galloway. Negotiations between the USW and Interior Forest Labour Relations Association have been underway since the collective agreement covering forestry workers in the Northern and Southern Interior expired on June 30. The union’s bargaining committee hired provincial mediator Dave Schaub late Friday night after talks between the two parties broke down.

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Western Forest Products acquires Washington mill to expand market

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
November 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Less than a year after its first U.S. acquisition, Western Forest Products has acquired a lumber mill in Vancouver, Washington. Western has agreed to purchase the assets of Columbia Vista for $30.5 million US, which gives the Island-based company another facility that will manufacture products for the Japanese and U.S. markets. …Western senior director of communications Babita Khunkhun said a second investment in the U.S. doesn’t mean a change in the company’s focus. “Western is committed to growing our business. Like a lot of B.C. forest companies whose fibre basket is constrained, we have made a decision to buy assets where and Khunkhun said the company still intends to invest in B.C. with as much as $90 million expected to have been invested in 2018. …She said all logs for the Columbia Vista operation would be sourced in the U.S.

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News of new sawmill for Port Alberni ‘not good news’

Letter by Rosalind Chapman, Port Alberni
Alberni Valley News
November 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The recent announcement by the San Group that it is planning to build a sawmill on the property across from the Barclay Hotel is not welcome news. The historic exploitation of our waterfront lands by industry must not continue. It is unfortunately typical of Port Alberni, that the long-term and sustainable development of our shoreline/waterfront is sacrificed for a few jobs. …Mills belong in industrial areas designated by council, ensuring that industrial truck traffic is diverted from the centre of town and away from residential and shopping areas. Livability must take priority when approving such projects. Fifty industrial jobs is a drop in the bucket compared to what could be developed on that parcel of land.

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COFI 2019 Registration Now Open!

Council of Forest Industries
November 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

From April 3-5, 2019, the BC Council of Forest Industries will hold its annual convention, the largest gathering of the forest sector in Western Canada. Each year this event attracts industry CEOs and executives from continental North America and overseas companies, senior representatives from customers, suppliers, financial institutions, law firms, as well as local, provincial, federal government and First Nations leaders. This year the COFI Convention will take place in Vancouver, at one of the city’s most beautiful locations – JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Hotel and Conference Centre.

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Strike to continue at Babine mill in Burns Lake

By Blair McBride
Burns Lake District News
November 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Strike action at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake will resume after negotiations between the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-2017 and the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association broke down. “After making some very significant moves to break the logjam between the two parties, the industry still insisted on keeping concessions on the table and dictating conditions on bargaining,” said Bob Matters, USW Staff and lead negotiator, according to a news release posted Nov. 19 on the Local 1-2017 website. The overtime ban and rotating strikes would continue, after the union suspended them in the lead up to the mediation, which took place Nov. 14-16 in Kelowna.

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B.C.’s largest-ever forestry delegation to visit China, Japan, South Korea in December

By Chuck Chiang
The Prince George Citizen
November 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

One year after leading B.C.’s largest-ever forestry-sector delegation to Asia, B.C. Forests/Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson is taking an even larger group to three key Asian countries this winter in a push to expand exports beyond the suddenly slowing American market. Donaldson will visit South Korea, Japan and China Dec. 5 -15 with a group of officials from more than 40 companies, research institutions, unions and trade associations. The number of entities represented by the delegation in last year’s trade mission was around 30. The key difference, Donaldson says, is that this year’s edition will include a large First Nations component. He noted that he realized during last year’s trade visit that it behooves the province to put First Nations communities in direct contact with potential customers in East Asia, since most of these communities’ lumber businesses lack the scale to reach Asia by themselves.

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West Fraser curtailment to affect 60 jobs at Fraser Lake sawmill

By Blair McBride
Houston Today
November 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry company West Fraser plans to reduce operations, affecting 60 employees at its Fraser Lake sawmill and 75 employees at its Quesnel site, in early 2019. …The curtailment announcement follows what the company said are timber supply shortages as a result of mountain pine beetle infestations across the province. West Fraser added that it has invested more than $500 million in its British Columbia assets to enhance the competitiveness of its mills to achieve the most value from the available timber. The changes at Fraser Lake will make it the second mill in the region after Houston to face production curtailments. Canfor announced earlier in the month that it will curtail its B.C. operations, which affects operating hours at its Houston sawmill.

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Log exports on hold due to trade war

By Edward Stratton
The Daily Astorian
November 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Longshoremen are loading the bulk carrier Tunsin at the Port of Astoria’s Pier 1 with at least 5.5 million board feet of timber from Astoria Forest Products leaving Friday for China. The Tunsin, the last ship scheduled for this year, could be the last log export indefinitely for the Port until the deepening trade war between the U.S. and China is resolved. Chad Niedermeyer, the yard manager for Astoria Forest Products, said log ship contracts for next year have been put on hold because of impending tariffs. …“What it’s really going to come down to is whether the 25 percent tariffs come into effect,” Niedermeyer said of returning to normal.

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Mississippi sawmill announces $40M expansion, 45 jobs

The Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
November 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NEWTON, MISS. A Mississippi sawmill will invest $40 million to increase production by 50 percent, with plans to hire 45 more workers. Michigan-based Biewer Lumber announced the expansion Tuesday at its Newton sawmill, a little more than a year after the company opened the facility. The expansion is projected to be complete by late 2019, bringing the total number of employees to 170. …The sawmill’s capacity will expand from 200 million to more than 300 million board-feet per year. That additional production will create spinoff activity among loggers and truckers, with wood demand rising by 400,000 tons per year. Mid-Mississippi Development District Executive Director Newt Ishee says local officials are granting an agreement that will cut property taxes by two-thirds for 10 years.

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Wood, the wonder material

By Clive Pinnington, European Panel Federation
The Timber Trade Journal
November 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Panel production in Europe grew at 3% in 2017 (up from 1.9% in 2016) giving an average annual growth of 2.3% over the last five years (compared to 1.8% average GDP increase over the same period). This faster progress than GDP shows increasing demand for these ubiquitous products, increasingly seen in furniture, construction and other applications. …That said, we can never be complacent. The biggest challenge to our industry today is ready and reasonable access to woody biomass. Wood-based panels achieved a great step towards this by working with a coalition of downstream users and NGOs to ensure that the recent Renewable Energy Directive Recast included text requiring respect for the waste hierarchy and avoiding undue market distortions on raw material markets.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canada Advances Economic Growth in Forest Sector With Call for Expressions of Interest for Engineered Wood Bridges

By Natural Resources Canada
Government of Canada
November 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Our government supports the use of forest products to boost economic competitiveness, create good jobs and build healthier communities, while protecting our environment. This includes investments in advanced wood construction that will help position Canada as a leader in low-carbon construction for generations to come. The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a call for Expressions of Interest for engineered wood bridges that will boost Canada’s innovative and sustainable forest industry and create good, middle-class jobs. Successful project proposals will design and build innovative wood bridges with spans of 20 metres or more for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Our government invested $39.8 million over four years in Budget 2017 for the implementation of a new national program, Green Construction Through Wood(GCWood), designed to encourage the use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, such as tall buildings, low-rise non-residential buildings and bridges.

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Ontario wood awards celebrate a ‘renaissance’

By Patricia Williams
The Daily Commercial News
November 21, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario Wood WORKS! has once again celebrated excellence in wood design in the province with the presentation of its 18th annual awards. The program honours people and organizations that, through design excellence, advocacy and innovation, are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction. …The organization presented 13 awards at a gala Nov. 20 in Vaughan, Ont. Eleven awards went to specific wood projects. Two were given to professionals for contributions to the building industry that advance the case for wood design and construction.

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No more wood

Letter by Jeff Weiss, Montague
The Siskiyou Daily News
November 21, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

While thinning the forest to reduce fuels is a logical solution to reducing fire danger, I would like to point out that wood frame construction creates fuel loads that can be disproportionate to the surrounding forest. Using simple conversion factors, I have determined each eight foot Douglas fir stud is equivalent to the energy in 1.3 gallons of propane. It is no wonder that when we look at a scene devastated by fire, we see the masonry and metal and nothing else. I am cautioning everyone that rebuilding with wood will create the same problem we had in the first place. I am urging that the building codes be changed to require construction with masonry and metal, especially on the exterior of structures in fire-prone areas. It is time to stop creating fire hazards by building all-wood structures that are more flammable than the surrounding forest.

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2018 Wood Awards winners demonstrate the possibilities of timber

By The Timber Research And Development Association
November 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

From a playful pavilion reminiscent of follies found in 18th century landscapes to one of the largest timber structures in the UK – this year’s Wood Awards had it all. The winners captivated judges with their incredible workmanship and diverse but inspiring designs. They were announced on 20 November at a ceremony held at Carpenters’ Hall in London…TRADA is a proud sponsor of the Wood Awards, whose role in recognising, encouraging and promoting outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood aligns seamlessly with TRADA’s aspirations as an association. TRADA’s Rupert Scott, “Congratulations… As always, the contrasting mix of buildings and furniture doesn’t disappoint in showcasing the boundless possibilities of wood – from modest transformations to vast structures you can’t miss. We were absolutely thrilled by the amount of entries the Wood Awards received this year and hope the industry will continue to strive to make better, more beautiful buildings.’

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Forestry

NRCan maps logging residue availability across Canada

By David Paré, Natural Resources Canada
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
November 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A methodology was recently developed that uses satellite imagery to estimate availability of logging residue across Canada, and includes evaluation of imagery estimates with field data from a large number of plots. Most current methods derive feedstock availability from recent cut blocks but the new method estimates availability from uncut mature forest (assuming that the average harvest rate, by area, for forest management units over the past 30 years will be maintained). This new method should therefore be more accurate because it is based on as-yet unharvested stands mapped at a fine-scale (250-m) spatial resolution using satellite imagery. …Compared with other spatial models, the method tended to underestimate values in regions where partial cutting is frequent, or where biomass density is very high (such as parts of B.C.).

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B.C. Loggers Aren’t Immune To The March Of The Robots

By Lauren Boothby
Huffington Post
November 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chris Wiggins

…Automation has changed what it means to be a logger. “I have kind of gone through the ages of logging in my career. Just going from old-school horse logging … then advancing into line skidders,” says Chris Wiggins, a fourth-generation forestry worker. “Now I’m on a grapple skidder doing full-blown clearcuts, moving way more wood than I would have ever imagined…” …Replaced By A Robot, a website that analyzes how likely a job will be replaced by automation, predicts skidder drivers will eventually be displaced by machines. …Though major changes to the forestry industry have already happened, the industry is on the edge of “serious automation,” says John Innes, at the University of British Columbia. …The future of forestry won’t always mean fewer workers, but might mean jobs with different skill sets, like for in-demand professional foresters and forest technologists who work in planning and managing forest conservation and harvesting.

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Elphinstone: Concerns raised over proposed DL 1313 auction

By Sophie Woodrooffe
Sunshine Coast Reporter
November 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Critics of proposed logging at District Lot 1313 in Area E are seeking support from the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) and other levels of government to prevent BC Timber Sales from following through on the scheduling of the block for auction in January. Ross Muirhead of Elphinstone Logging Focus and Gayle Neilson of the Elphinstone Community Association were both scheduled to appear as delegations at the Nov. 22 SCRD board meeting. In his submitted letter, Muirhead said the forest “has natural values far in excess of any possible commercial value if logged,” including potential for wildlife viewing, recreational and educational opportunities. Additionally, he said it provides “important hydrological benefit to the area E residents downstream who depend on well water and has been identified as a watershed reserve.” The area is also designated as a park in the Elphinstone Official Community Plan.

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‘Something has changed:’ Three bear species found in same northern Manitoba spot

The Canadian Press in the Prince George Citizen
November 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan scientist is telling a three bears story that has a very different ending than the familiar fairy tale. Doug Clark of the University of Saskatchewan says he’s got the first recorded proof of grizzly, black and polar bears all using the same land. “Scientifically, it has never been documented anywhere,” said Clark, whose paper was published in the journal Arctic Science. Clark and his colleagues have been operating research camps… since 2011 to study bear-human interactions. But something unusual turned up on their motion-activated cameras. Between 2011 and 2017, the team documented 401 visits from all three of Canada’s bear species. Most of those visits — 366 — were from polar bears. But 25 were from black bears and 10 were from grizzlies. …In Wapusk, it seems grizzlies are the new bear on the block.

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2019 ABCFP Forestry Conference Early Bird Pricing

The Association of BC Forest Professionals
November 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Come join us at the 2019 ABCFP Forestry Conference in Kamloops. With registration rates remaining at 2018 levels, plus a new special three-day rate for retired members, our conference offers tremendous value. On behalf of the Association of BC Forest Professionals and the Forestry Conference Host Committee, all Inductees and their sponsors are invited to join us at the Inductees’ Reception, Thursday, February 7 — a new event we’ve added for 2019 Kamloops — to celebrate your induction in to the ABCFP. Meet fellow Inductees, snap and share photos at our photo booth, and celebrate all your hard work. You did it! Let us buy you a drink. We’re so proud to have all of you join the ABCFP and we’re looking forward to seeing the forest professionals you will become. Welcome aboard. Invitations to Inductees and sponsors attending the conference will be emailed in January.

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Registration opens for HarvestTECHX – Improving Safety & Productivity in Logging

HarvestTECHX
November 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We are excited to launch the opening of delegate registrations for our latest logging technology conference coming to Vancouver in March 2019. Our one-day conference is packed with people from across the globe bringing you practical updates on the latest technologies set to make an impact on the British Columbia and Pacific Northwest forest industries. The advent of communications and software technologies are set to bring game-changing developments to our logging and forestry harvesting companies and logging contractors around the world, but especially in the most challenging areas of steep and remote forest terrain. Our HarvestTECHX conference, previously known as the Steep Slope Logging Conference series that ran in 2016 and 2017 is going to be very popular with owners and managers of both logging companies and forest licences and timber companies. The event sold out in 2016, so be sure to register as soon as possible.

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Three months after forestry report, nothing but silence and worrisome signals

By Dale Smith
The Chronicle Herald
November 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…A prime candidate for much-needed public engagement is the ongoing independent review of forest practices. …Conducted by Prof. Bill Lahey… the review produced 163 conclusions and 45 recommendations. The report was released publicly and submitted to government on Aug. 21. …At the time of this writing, three months following receipt of the report, government has yet to respond. Meanwhile, it is apparent that industry lobbyists have been busy behind the scenes. When a senior forestry official reportedly advised industry licencees operating on Crown land to conduct forestry planning in keeping with “the spirit of the (Lahey) review,” there was immediate pushback from both the minister of Lands and Forestry and the premier. The messaging was that the Lahey report contains recommendations only, and that the forestry official’s guidelines did not represent government policy. This is not a good signal.

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Fisheries and Land Resource Minister denies timber permits have been issued

The Western Star
November 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador — Gerry Byrne, the Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, is denying that timber permits have been issued for Active Energy Group on the Northern Peninsula. …“We have informed the company that pending the resolution of certain other matters, that we’re in a position now to look at finalizing arrangements,” he said. “But those arrangements are not yet finalized, and no commercial permits have been issued to date. It would be by my hand that those permits are issued, and my hand has not signed such deals.” Byrne expressed concern that as a publicly traded company, the false information reported could put the company in conflict with their securities regulator.

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The ‘very serious threat’ that’s coming for Nova Scotia’s plants

CBC News
November 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Some of Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable species are waging war with dangerous opponents that are hard to see. There are 426 rare species of plants in this province, 181 of which are listed as “critically imperilled.” …While shoreline development, farming and forestry pose serious threats, it’s the arrival of new and dangerous insects and pathogens that worry scientist Sean Blaney. …The emerald ash borer showed up in Bedford in September. It’s been blamed for killing millions of trees in Canada and the U.S. Another overlooked thing that grows in the forest are lichen. …Frances Anderson, a lichenologist, said lichen are vitally important to the health of Nova Scotia’s ecosystems. …”So forest harvesting, of course, can take away the tree that they’re on and it can also change tremendously the amount of moisture in the habitat that they’re growing in,” she said. 

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Fixing state’s fire problem: Costly, complex, next to impossible

By Kurtis Alexander
San Francisco Chronicle
November 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PARADISE, Butte County — Residents have long known that their community was a tinderbox waiting to blow. A decade-old grand jury report warned of “vast amounts of fire fuel on steep terrain.” State fire maps assigned the highest level of hazard to the area. And countless stands of dry, dense and sometimes dying trees were a constant reminder of all that could burn. …Bill Stewart, a forestry specialist…, said that technology has helped fire scientists pinpoint areas where wind, heat, vegetation and other factors conspire to pose the greatest threats. It’s just that the risk maps aren’t being used to guide development. …Stewart said that if local governments don’t limit growth, insurance companies eventually will — by refusing to cover high-risk homes. …[Despite preparedness] experts say that many of the recent blazes…have been so hot and fast-moving that devastation is inevitable, especially as the climate continues to change.

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Tropical tree mortality—new study reveals why trees die

Isabelle Dubach, University of New South Wales
Phys.org
November 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A study by scientists at UNSW Sydney, Macquarie University, data61 and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has shown why some tropical tree species die and others survive, revealing new insights into the processes governing tree death in tropical forests. The findings will be crucial to predicting how the biodiversity of forests will change in the future – the researchers’ approach could be used to improve any type of forest management, as well as help highlight the effects of climate change on forests. …”We found that slow growth was the major contributor to tree death for all species. Plants compete strongly with each other for light – the plants that end up behind in this race have slowing growth and die,” says study author Dr. Daniel Falster at UNSW Science.

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Australia’s endangered forests are being ‘stolen’ and sold in hardware and office stores

By Michael Slezak and Penny Timms
ABC News Australia
November 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Thousands of hectares of state forest appear to have been logged or earmarked for logging illegally, an ABC investigation has found, amounting to what some say is the mass “theft” by a government-owned for-profit logging company. Trees making up some of Victoria’s most endangered ecosystems are being felled and turned into building products, paper or wood chips by VicForests, which are then sold in retailers such as Bunnings and Officeworks. The apparently illegal logging is also threatening the habitats of some of the country’s most vulnerable species, including the Leadbeater’s possum, Victoria’s animal emblem. In its simplest terms, the trees appear to have been taken illegally by VicForests — since they are not inside the areas it has been granted permission to log.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Dalhousie Agriculture Campus opens revamped Biomass Energy Plant in Bible Hill

By Fram Dinshaw
The Chronicle Herald
November 21, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dalhousie Agriculture Campus is taking its place on the cutting edge of clean energy technology with its fully-retooled Biomass Energy Plant. The restored plant burns mostly sawmill residue using hot gas to warm up thermal oil, feeding heat energy into the plant’s new organic Rankine cycle system that drives the turbine. Dalhousie is the first university in North America to use the technology in burning wood fuel. “We have been approached by other universities across North America because they’re interested in the technology itself and how we have implemented it on our campus,” said Dr. David Gray, Dean of Dalhousie Agricultural Campus. “Our aspiration and our goal is to be a carbon-neutral campus. We have not set a target on that, but we’re certainly hoping within the next 10 years we’ll be carbon neutral.”

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Mobile plant produces fuel from waste wood

By Amanda Doyle
The Chemical Engineer
November 21, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

European Union — Twelve research groups from seven countries have developed a sustainable method for producing biofuel from wood waste. The process takes place in a mobile unit which has the potential to decentralise fuel production. Wood waste and tree bark are ideal raw materials as they don’t need to be specially cultivated and don’t compete with food production. …The aim of the EU-funded project BIOGO was to develop a biomass-to-liquid plant capable of producing sustainable synthetic fuel. The plant is transportable and has a modular infrastructure that contains catalytic reactors for each process step. …The fuel can be generated wherever there is sufficient wood waste, so unlike petroleum, it doesn’t need to be transported from refineries to filling stations.

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Health & Safety

Dangers of logging, forestry not worth the risk: Report

Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine
November 22, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

An inaugural report by personal finance comparison website Finder Canada has ranked 18 industries in terms of their risk and reward to find the most dangerous jobs and whether or not their salaries are worth the risk. Logging and forestry was found to be the most dangerous industry across Canada, with 11 fatalities and 1,324 claims, and only 48,100 people in the industry (2.8 per cent of employees injured or killed). Not only was it found to be the most dangerous industry, but it was also the least rewarding in terms of risk and reward, with an average weekly salary of $1,109, yielding a Finder job score of just 2.2. … “…this study puts into context the value of that risk and whether or not people are adequately compensated for the risk their job demands,” said Michelle Hutchison, money expert at Finder.com.

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Wildfire smoke is becoming a nationwide health threat

By Richard Peltier
The Conversation US
November 22, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

The impacts of recent forest fires in California reach well beyond the burned areas. Smoke from the Camp Fire created hazardous air quality conditions in San Francisco, more than 170 miles to the southwest – but it didn’t stop there. Cross-country winds carried it across the United States, creating hazy conditions in locations as far east as Philadelphia. …Forest fires do not discriminate about what they burn. Along with woody materials from forests and homes, they consume homes’ contents, which may contain plastics, petroleum products, chemicals and metals. This produces thick plumes of smoke that contains very large quantities of particles and gases. Many of these airborne chemicals are known to be quite toxic to humans. …Research has shown that many health effects from air pollution occur well after exposure has occurred. …This means that people may not feel the impacts of smoke inhalation until well after the smoke clears.

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