Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: December 2018

Today’s Takeaway

BC suspends China leg of forestry trade mission to Asia, companies carry on

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

BC suspended the China leg of its Asian trade mission due to Chinese fury over the Huawei arrest, but Canadian companies carried on [carefully]. In related news: the BC trade delegation was in earthquake-prone South Korea promoting the benefits of wood construction; Japan plans to process trees felled by their recent earthquake; and builders tout mid-rise wood construction in London, Ontario.

In Forestry news: saving BC’s caribou won’t come without sacrifice (UBC prof); more logging is not the solution to Oregon wildfires (ENGO); and don’t believe those touting a single solution to Oregon’s wildfires (Industry CEO). Elsewhere, BC’s carbon neutral program to receive UN award; Nova Scotia breeds the perfect Christmas tree; and Milan is increasing its tree cover by 30%.

Finally, pining for some profile? Send us your forest-friendly family TREEdition (with a photo if possible) and we’ll make your wish come true.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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TREEditions, tree footprints, tree density and tree flocking. Must be Friday.

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 7, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Prefering incentives over strong-arming, BC’s business community signs onto the government’s climate plan. In other Business news: Madison’s says lumber prices are “waffling“; Northern Pulp is taking legal action and forest farmer Chuck Leavell talks policy and the Rolling Stones.

In Forestry news: BC’s wolf kill is protested while the government talks moose protection in the Cariboo; fishers are reintroduced in Washington state; and SFI sums up their successful conference in Colorado.

Finally, tree footprints, tree density and tree flocking, and our first reader-submitted, family-friendly TREEdition (thanks Brian Barber). Must be the weekend for Christmas tree shopping. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Starting new TREEditions on Vancouver Island

By Brian Barber, RPF, Select Seed Co. Ltd
Letter to Tree Frog Editors
December 7, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Barber

My wife and I started a new holiday tradition last year. On the first weekend in December, we drive up Island (from Victoria) to get a couple of Nordmann fir Xmas trees from Don Pigott, Hon. Member (ABCFP), Yellow Point Propagation, or his neighbour, Yellow Point Cranberries.  We take in a hike and visit with colleagues on the way up, and enjoy Ladysmith’s Xmas lights on the way back. Recommend going on a Saturday when Ladysmith’s Old Town Bakery, famous for its cinnamon buns, is open and finishing the day with a  Christmas Express train ride at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan.

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Unique Nova Scotia lab searching for the perfect Christmas tree

By Aly Thomson
CTV News
December 9, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia professor is striving to create the ideal Christmas tree, inside the only research lab of its kind in the world. Dalhousie University’s Raj Lada is the director of the Christmas Tree Research Centre in Truro, N.S., a unique lab dedicated to improving balsam fir Christmas trees. …and a plant, tree and ecophysiology professor in the school’s Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences Department. …Lada said solving industry-wide challenges, such as needle retention, is critical to the survival of the multimillion-dollar Christmas tree industry in Atlantic Canada, as it competes with other markets and artificial trees. …Among his latest research projects is the SMART tree, which Lada believes will revolutionize the Christmas tree industry. Lada and his team started by screening balsam firs for ideal traits, including fullness and the ability to retain needles. Genetic markers for those traits were identified.

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Business & Politics

Canadian companies push forward with trade trip amid Chinese fury over Huawei arrest

By Nathan Vanderlippe
The Globe and Mail
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The chief executive of one of Canada’s largest forestry companies is among a BC delegation that still expects to land in Beijing on Tuesday, amid Chinese threats of “severe consequences” over the Vancouver arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. On Sunday, the B.C. government said it had “suspended the China leg of its Asian forestry trade,” which had been led by Doug Donaldson, the provincial minister. But while Mr. Donaldson made plans to return home from Tokyo, most of the delegation’s business component intends to continue to China. …Canfor CEO Don Kayne said “We’re going to do exactly what we were going to do anyway, just minus a minister.” …China’s foreign ministry on Monday declined to repeat its threats of a strong response to Canada if Ms. Meng is not immediately released. …In Beijing on Monday, uniformed police patrolled the sidewalks around the Canadian embassy adding to an atmosphere of tension. [A Globe and Mail subscription is required to open the full story]

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B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

By Katya Slepian
BC Local News
December 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province is delaying the Chinese portion of its Forestry Asia Trade Mission after a top executive of the country’s Chinese tech giant Huawei was detained in Vancouver. In a statement, Jobs, Trade and Technology Minister Bruce Ralston said the province would be suspending the China leg of its mission due to an “international judicial process underway relating to a senior official at Huawei Technologies Co.” Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. officials while transferring flights in Vancouver on Dec. 1. She is reportedly suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran. In his statement, Ralston said that B.C. “values its strong trade relationship with China, one based on mutual respect and close economic and cultural ties that have been established over many decades.” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng called Meng’s detention a “severe violation” of her “legitimate rights and interests.”

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Canfor shutting down BC operations Christmas week

By Kyle Balzer
My Prince George Now
December 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor sawmill workers are getting the week of Christmas off. This follows a curtailment last month, in which the operations reduction applies to all BC-based mills as a result of current market conditions. “We have announced extended downtime at all of our BC sawmills beginning December 24th,” says Canfor spokesperson Michelle Ward in a statement. “We expect production to return to regular schedule beginning in Q1 of 2019; however, there will be no layoffs.” This is believed to be the first time that the company has decided to halt work during Christmas, but Canfor could not confirm the information. Canfor also says the cut in lumber production is due to the recent wildfire season in the Bulkley-Nechako region, log supply constraints, and log costs.

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Minister’s statement on rescheduling China leg of forestry trade mission

By Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
Government of British Columbia
December 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, has issued the following statement on rescheduling the upcoming China meetings of B.C.’s current Forestry Asia Trade Mission: “The Province of British Columbia has suspended the China leg of its Asian forestry trade mission due to the international judicial process underway relating to a senior official at Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. “British Columbia values its strong trade relationship with China, one based on mutual respect and close economic and cultural ties that have been established over many decades. Our forest products industry remains committed to our relationship with our valued Chinese customers.

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BC trade trip to Asia to boost lumber markets

By Derrick Penner
Victoria Times Colonist
December 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. forest minister’s trade mission to Asia has become something of an annual tradition that, this year, has an air to it of battling back against tough markets that have crimped the province’s exports of forest products. In past years, the event heralded B.C.’s breakthrough into the Chinese market, which rapidly took over as the province’s No. 2 export market after the U.S. for lumber. This year, however, as Forest Minister Doug Donaldson leads about 40 company executives, civil servants and Indigenous leaders on a 10-day sales trip to Korea, Japan and China, B.C. is in the fourth year of a slide in lumber sales to China. That is a concern, Donaldson said, but the province recognizes that economic conditions have been tough in some of the places they are visiting, particularly in China, which is why their efforts will remain on selling higher-value products. 

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Resolute joins federal gender equity initiative for forestry

Pulp & Paper Canada
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products has joined the group developing an action plan for Canadian Institute of Forestry’s gender equity initiative for the forestry sector. Isabel Pouliot, Resolute’s vice-president of compensation, is part of a panel of experts …developing a plan to engage, attract, retain and advance women in Canada’s forest products sector. The Canadian government has committed a $467,000 investment in the project, called “Gender Equality in Forestry National Action Plan.” The goal of the project is to remove barriers that prevent or discourage women from pursuing middle-class jobs and careers in the forestry industry. …Resolute says that it is committed to ensuring a diverse workforce and plans to increase the number of women and members of minority groups across its enterprise.

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Appeal Court backs Irving in dispute with wood marketing board

By Connell Smith
CBC News
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick’s Court of Appeal has upheld a decision by the province’s Forest Products Commission in a case that puts the future of the woodlot marketing board system in doubt. The decision involves the Southern New Brunswick Forest Products Marketing Board and J.D. Irving… But the outcome affects all of the province’s seven boards, their 41,000 members and other companies that purchase timber from private woodlots. The court ruling fully backs a December 2017 decision by the commission that struck down an attempt by the Sussex-based SNB marketing board to reassert its authority over wood sales in its territory by issuing an order saying all wood had to be sold to the board and bought from the board. …The case involves a dispute dating back nine years.

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Chuck Leavell talks policy, the Rolling Stones and why the Correspondents’ Jam might not happen

By Helena Andrews-Dyer
The Washington Post
December 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

It’s been a busy few days for Chuck Leavell — or make that a busy few decades. The longtime touring keyboardist for the Rolling Stones and dedicated environmentalist is not only prepping for a new tour (and album and TV show), but is also trying to convince official Washington that the trees need their help. We caught up with Leavell, 66, after a packed D.C. trip — meeting with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Jim Hubbard — to talk about balancing rock and roll with climate change recommendations. …Then [Tuesday] was the bigger day where we had meetings with Secretary Perdue and some of the upper echelon from the U.S. Forest Service. We talked about Hurricane Michael damage, recovery efforts and the price of lumber.

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Residential construction prices bounce up and down in 2018

By Jim Parker
The Post and Courier
December 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Fluctuating costs for home materials including lumber and gypsum have prevented residential construction from gaining traction this year, according to a number of progress reports from building groups. The whipsawing financial movements are particularly dramatic in terms of softwood lumber prices, which climbed close to 20 percent to its all-time peak in June, then sank a cumulative 21.2 percent. …The home builders group cites a similar back-and-forth pattern for Oriented Strand Board — an engineered alternative to plywood. Through July, prices surged 38.1 percent this year. It’s fallen 16.6 percent since then. Still, the OSB cost stands 15.2 percent higher than it was at the beginning of 2018, according to the home builders association. …At the same time, prices for goods that are used in the residential construction industry …are up 7.5 percent for the past 12 months. …Observers cite economic policies as indirectly impacting the rates.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

South Korean architects to use B.C. wood products for earthquake resistant buildings

By Hanna Peterson
Kamloops Matters
December 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Earthquake-prone South Korea is turning to British Columbia wood products to help construct seismically safer buildings. Representatives from British Columbia’s forest sector are currently on the Forestry Asia Trade Mission across South Korea and Japan. China was planned as well, but that trip has been dropped. On Dec. 7 they stopped in South Korea, which is B.C.’s fifth largest market for wood products, to sign a partnership with South Korean architects. Canada Wood Korea and the Korean Institute of Architects signed a technical co-operation agreement to help raise the skill and knowledge level of architects and designers in Korea so they are better able to work with wood. …On Dec. 8 about 150 Korean wood construction and building experts also attended the seismic design symposium organized by Canada Wood Korea, where they toured the Gapyeong Canada Village Project.

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MOU with Korean architects will increase wood use

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
December 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Senior forest sector representatives on the Forestry Asia Trade Mission took part in events that demonstrated British Columbia’s commitment to increasing wood construction in South Korea. On Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, they witnessed the signing of a technical co-operation agreement between Canada Wood Korea and the Korean Institute of Architects, and attended a seismic design symposium. On Saturday (Dec. 8), they toured the Gapyeong Canada Village Project, which showcases wood products from B.C. and elsewhere in Canada. “South Koreans’ interest in wood construction is growing because they recognize that wood construction fares better than other materials in the event of earthquakes,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “By promoting the benefits of wood and sharing technical expertise, we can open up new opportunities in Korea for our province’s high-quality wood products. This, in turn, supports forestry jobs in B.C.”

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Wood Design Awards in BC: Final submission deadline TODAY

Wood WORKS! BC
December 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

FINAL deadline is today for the call for NominationsWood Design Awards in BC. Do you know of any exceptional wood structures completed in the last 3 years? Nominate a deserving architect, engineer or building owner for an innovative and inspiring wood project today! There is no fee required to nominate a project.  Nominations are accepted in up to two categories and self-nominations are encouraged.  Projects must have been completed in the past 3 years i.e. since December, 2015 and may not be resubmitted to win a second time in the same category. 

  

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Bang On: Wood an alternative to concrete in mid-rise construction

By Sue Wastell, president, London Home Builders’ Association
The London Free Press
December 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Among the four- to six-storey mid-rise buildings under construction in London and area, you can see two different types of construction being used.  The traditional, most widely used construction material is concrete. According to the Ready Mixed Concrete Association, concrete has many benefits. …Another option for mid-rise construction is wood construction. Most people think of two-by-four framing, panels or flooring on single family homes when they think of wood construction, but with recent advances in wood science and building technology, there is now stronger, more robust and sophisticated product options for wood construction which allows for more choice for builders and architects. According to Canadian Wood Products Ltd., there are many benefits of wood construction. …Researchers are continuously working on new innovations for both wood and concrete construction.

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Japan pushes eco-friendly reconstruction

The Guam Daily Post
December 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SAPPORO, Japan – Three months have passed since a strong earthquake hit Hokkaido in early September. In disaster-affected areas, an increasing number of people are using large numbers of trees felled by landslides. The central government, Hokkaido government, local forestry cooperatives and paper-manufacturing companies plan to cooperate with each other to use fallen trees, such as by making the shift to renewable energies by turning them into fuel for stove heaters and biomass power generation, as well as making paper and lumber from them. Through such efforts, they aim to achieve eco-friendly reconstruction from the earthquake. …Of the fallen trees, those in good condition will be processed into paper and lumber. Others that cannot be used as they are will be processed into wood pellets or turned into wood chips for use as fuel in biomass power generation.

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Vietnam expected to become second largest furniture exporter

Vietnam.net
December 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood industry players in Vietnam are expected to make leaps and bounds to help make Vietnam become the world’s second largest interior furniture exporter, after China, within the next 7-8 years, given that the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), are to come into effect next year. …Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said the ongoing trade war between the United States and China has had significant impacts. But if the two agreements are translated into reality next year …furniture products labeled “Made in Viet Nam” would enter EU markets, as well as new markets, such as Canada and Mexico, and local furniture companies might receive more orders.

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Wood-based products: is wood the material of the future?

The Scitech Europa
December 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Frédéric Pichelin

In an interview with SciTech Europa, the department’s Professor Frédéric Pichelin [Bern University of Applied Sciences] discusses both the applications of wood-based products and many of the challenges that technologies are facing, and describes some of the work that is taking place which, hopefully, will enable wood to compete with other materials such as concrete and steel. …With new technologies emerging to help enhance many of the material’s properties – including fire resistance and strength – these potential application areas are expanding. …We will be exploring solutions to the pre-fabrication challenges, of course, while we will also be investigating the full use of wood biomass not only in the construction sector, which is important, but in all sectors. We hope that wood will come to replace some petroleum-based plastics for insulating foam used in composites in the aerospace industry, for example. 

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Forestry

Canada Invests in Indigenous Participation in the Forestry Sector in Yukon

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
December 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

WHITEHORSE – Canada’s forest sector continues to be an important generator of jobs in communities across the country, including rural, remote and Indigenous communities. This is why the Government of Canada is working with Indigenous peoples to ensure that they participate in — and benefit from — natural resource projects. The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’sMinister of Natural Resource today announced a $645,000 investment in two Indigenous forestry projects in Yukon that will create jobs and boost the local economy.  The first investment of $595,000 helped the Teslin Tlingit Council purchase biomass wood chip boilers for the community. The project is part of a larger initiative, supported by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), which reduces reliance on expensive non-renewable heating fuels and helps create jobs by installing direct heating systems.

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Is water killing the White Spruce Forest?

By Kevin Ma
St. Albert Gazette
December 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Axel Anderson

A University of Alberta team is working this winter to find out what’s killing the White Spruce Forest. U of A forestry student Riccardo Baldini and his supervisor, Prof. Axel Anderson, are studying the Grey Nuns White Spruce Park this winter to see if land-use changes are killing off the park’s white spruce trees. The White Spruce Forest is the oldest tree stand in St. Albert and dates back to at least 1860. Researchers with the Grey Nuns White Spruce Park advisory group have for several years now planted thousands of trees in the forest in an attempt to rejuvenate it. The forest has seen an unusual number of trees topple over due to the wind in recent years, said advisory group member and retired forestry professor Peter Murphy. He suspects land-use changes, particularly the construction of a natural gas pipeline through the forest around 1969, may be to blame.

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Shuswap tree-growers support provincial reforestation

By Shuswap Passion/Jim Cooperman
BC Local News
December 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While the two facilities in the Shuswap that produce seeds and the three that produce tree seedlings for re-stocking forest lands only represent a small percentage of the local economy, they do play a major role in supporting the provincial forest industry. Government regulations stipulate that… cutblocks and …forest land burned in wildfires must be planted with … tree stock that is best suited to the site, thus there is an ever-increasing demand for seeds and seedlings. The forest service created the Skimikin tree nursery in 1973, and … Maarten Albricht was appointed to set up a seed orchard at the site. …With the area of forest lost to wildfires increasing and the push to plant more trees to combat climate change, there is a shortage of greenhouses in the province. The Shuswap’s newest operation, Mt. Ida Nursery, will help fill the growing gap … at its facility near the Salmon Arm airport.

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Winter logging planned near Revelstoke due to fir beetle

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

Logging planned in Mt. McPherson area this winter due to Douglas fir beetle. Woodlot 1834 is planning to harvest a cutblock in the vicinity of the Flowdown trail. Woodlots are small scale forest tenures. This woodlot has been operated by two Revelstoke families in the Mt. McPherson area for for almost 20 years. The current situation is of concern for the following reasons: Public safety – heavy Fir beetle infestation is present in the upper portion of the block. There are many green, red, and grey attack trees in close proximity to the trail. The dead Douglas fir snags pose a hazard to trail users. Forest heath – the Douglas fir beetle infestation is expected to continue to spread if the area is not harvested.

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Saving B.C.’s caribou won’t come without sacrifice, says conservation expert

By Clare Hennig
CBC News
December 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is working on a protection plan for caribou herds in the north of the province, turning the conversation to the decision-making process behind these kind of protective measures. Tara Martin, a professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, says saving caribou won’t come without sacrifice from the industries involved, such as forestry and tourism. “The question now is if we want to maintain southern mountain caribou in the province, we’re all going to have to take some responsibility and that means we’re all going to have to give something up,” she said. The alternative is to decide to continue on the same path at the expense of the threatened species. “[In that case] then we should be upfront and basically acknowledge that we’re not going to save caribou in the province,” she told Carolina de Ryk, the host of CBC’s Daybreak North.

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Town council receives Mountain Pine Beetle update

Red Deer News Now
December 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rocky Forest Area Manager Kevin Gagne and Forest Health Officer Pam Melnick updated Rocky Mountain House town council this week on the province’s work on controlling the spread of mountain pine beetle. Currently, there are 400,000 hectares affected by mountain pine beetle in Alberta. The province is aiming to slow the spread north and south along the foothills, and eastward, from the Edson area, with single-tree control. In the Rocky Forest Area, about 700 trees infested with mountain pine beetle were cut and burned last year, up from 37 trees in 2017. For the first time, baited trees caught flights of beetles along Hwy. 11 west of Rocky Mountain House. Mountain pine beetle has also been confirmed on a private property near Cow Lake, and two properties north of Leslieville.

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Revelstoke-area petition to end wolf cull submitted to province

By Liam Harrap
Revelstoke Review
December 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conservation group Wolf Awareness submitted a petition last month to the B.C. government to end wolf culling. “Wolves didn’t put caribou in this terrible situation. We did,” says Sadie Parr, executive director of Wolf Awareness. The petition has over 3,000 signatures from across the province. The aerial wolf management program was introduced in 2015 and was scheduled for five years. So far, 527 wolves have been killed province-wide. The program included the Revelstoke area in 2017. …“I am extremely concerned that my tax dollars are funding an inhumane wildlife program that is being done under the guise of conservation,” says Parr. …According to Wildsafe B.C. there are approximately 8,500 wolves in B.C and the B.C. government says that number is increasing. …The B.C. government also states that the forestry sector has a significant impact on caribou habitat. Parr says conserving habitat is more important for caribou. Much more so than killing other wildlife.

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Planning for future Haida Gwaii wildfires catches on

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
December 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Masset and Port Clements will join Sandspit, Skidegate, Queen Charlotte in seeking funds for a community wildfire plan. On the heels of another record-setting wildfire season in mainland B.C., Doug Donaldson, B.C.’s forests minster, recently announced a $50-million, three-year program to help local governments and First Nations reduce their wildfire risk. As a first step, elected leaders on Haida Gwaii are looking at a provincial grant of up to $25,000 that can be used to hire professional wildfire protection consultants. If every islands community signs on, it may be less costly to do.

 

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From the Hill: California Wildfires Rage, Raise Land Management Concerns

By Chaille Brindley
TimberLine
December 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…Forestry researcher and scientists from the University of Washington, Jerry Franklin and James Agee, once called for a comprehensive policy considering all aspects of wildland management, not just fuels and fire suppression. Even more research needs to be done to understand the appropriate restoration policies after a fire. Franklin and Agee also pointed out that forest restoration projects may require logging some mid-sized trees to help pay for cost associated with reducing fuel load and clearing out smaller trees and brush. This line of thinking is strongly opposed by green groups, which view logging with suspicion. …A huge dilemma is how to pay for a problem that has taken decades to develop. One innovative idea is forest restoration projects that are funded by a Forest Resilience Bond (FRB). 

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Don’t believe anyone citing a single cause or solution for Oregon’s wildfire problem

By Steve Zika, CEO, Hampton Lumber
Statesman Journal
December 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Steve Zika

When it comes to Oregon’s wildfire problem, don’t believe anyone who points to a single cause — or a single solution. How we manage federal forests is subject to ongoing and heated debate. Unfortunately, that debate has largely paralyzed our management agencies at a time when they are faced with the growing threat of wildfire. Forests and humans co-exist. We need forest products and the jobs and revenue they generate for local economies and public services. People contribute to factors that affect forest health, from the introduction of invasive species to climate change. We start fires accidentally and extinguish some naturally occurring ones to protect human safety and property. We are inextricably linked. Non-management is not a viable option. Unfortunately, it’s too often the result.

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Vast forests of dead or stressed trees prompt new federal approach to restoration out West

By Jennifer Oldham
The Washington Post
December 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hikers climbing above tree line in Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest nowadays encounter a startling landscape: the gray skeletons of millions of dead lodgepole pine. It is on these slopes of the Rocky Mountains that the U.S. Forest Service would pioneer a novel approach to rid forests of the detritus from “epidemic levels” of beetle infestations that wiped out 38,000 square miles of trees — an area larger than the state of Maine. What’s left fuels historic wildfires, prevents wildlife and cattle from finding forage, threatens to topple onto campsites and slows regeneration of trees needed to sustain the beleaguered timber industry. The plan would allow construction of up to 600 miles of temporary roads to log, thin and set prescribed burns across 850,000 rugged acres from the Colorado-Wyoming border north across the Snowy and Sierra Madre ranges.

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More logging and clear-cutting is not a solution to wildland fires

By Jason Gonzales, Oregon Wild
Statesman Journal
December 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jason Gonzales

Tobacco is good for the lungs, coal is good for the air, and clear-cutting is good for streams, fish, and forest fires. Wait, what? Clear-cutting corporations are doubling down on their Big Tobacco-style anti-science crusade on the related topics of fire and climate change, and like Big Tobacco, they have people on the payroll claiming the damage they cause in our communities is actually good for us. I live and work in rural Oregon forestlands, where I cut down trees and use wood in and around my home. I understand the fear of forest fires as well as anyone, but the rhetoric from these corporations is simply out of control. More clear-cut logging is their answer to everything. …Instead, we must learn to live with fire, and work to protect and restore the forest ecosystems that can help us combat the climate change making fires worse.

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CA wildfires: Most sweeping forestry changes out of key bill, sources say

By Tai Kopan
The San Francisco Chronicle
December 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — A typically noncontroversial part of Congress’ must-pass farm bill has become a flash point in the aftermath of California wildfires that President Trump blamed on neglected forests, prompting House and Senate leadership to intervene in negotiations over how to regulate federally owned woodlands. Still, sources say it’s not clear whether the bill will result in many new tools to combat increasingly devastating fires. And lawmakers have largely resisted a push to include the most contested provisions sought by House Republicans and the Trump administration. …Congressional negotiators working to reconcile starkly different House and Senate versions of the bill say they have reached a deal in principle on legislation that will be sent back to both chambers for a vote.

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In Response: Thank modern timber harvesting for creating wildlife habitat

By Wayne Brandt, executive vice president, Minnesota Forest Industries
Duluth News Tribune
December 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Wayne Brandt

Mike Ribich’s column last Sunday (Hunter’s View: “Modern timber harvesting is erasing wildlife habitat,” Dec. 2) used statements about wildlife habitat and forest diversity like “my theory,” “seemingly,” and “there seems to be no evidence.”Unfortunately, it never used “solid data.” There’s actually plenty of evidence to refute claims that were both inaccurate and detrimental to an important part of Minnesota’s heritage.Minnesota’s forests have never been more plentiful. The state has 20 million more large trees (of 19 inches or more in diameter) than it had 60 years ago. Less than 1 percent of Minnesota’s forestland is harvested each year, and more than three times as much wood is grown each year to replace it. This information is from the U.S. Forest Service. …We in the forest-products industries don’t operate in a vacuum. We closely follow guidelines set by experts charged with protecting the environment. 

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Native forest logging support low in regional Australia, leaked report shows

By Emma Field
ABC News, Australia
December 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A secret study has found more than two thirds of people surveyed in regional Australia disapprove of native forest logging. The leaked Forest Wood and Products Australia (FWPA)-commissioned study found 65 per cent of the rural-based respondents said native forest logging was unacceptable. The study used data from the 2016 Regional Wellbeing survey of 13,302 people, with showed more than 11,500 rural and regional Australians responded to questions about “acceptability of forestry-related activities”. It showed the majority of those people thought native logging was similar to unsustainable mining operations. The study — Community Perceptions of Australia’s Forest, Wood and Paper Industries: Implications for Social License to Operate — was dated August 2018. Just 17 per cent those in the bush supported logging in native forests.

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Australian Company Develops New Bushfire Protective Cladding

Design Build Source
December 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Californian bushfire tragedy reminds Australians that our own fire season is imminent, with bushfires raging out of control in Queensland and other areas – no one wants to lose their home over the summer, but it can be hard sometimes to know what you can do to protect it! The good news for homeowners, builders, architects and designers is that an Australian company has introduced a new fire-proof building product that will revolutionise the fire-proofing of Australian homes in all areas, and, without breaking the bank! …This amazing new product made from a special IP and magnesium sulphate composite called (MgSO4) is about to change how houses are externally clad and built, to withstand major Firestorms.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Province’s CleanBC climate plan to take global stage

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
December 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

George Heyman

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, will introduce British Columbia’s CleanBC plan to global climate change leaders, as part of discussions at the United Nations COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland. “Our message for the international audience at COP24 is that sub-national governments like B.C. can be difference-makers in the fight against climate change,” Heyman said. “We’re there to listen to ideas and to share how our plan puts our province on the path to a cleaner, better future – with a low-carbon economy that creates opportunities for all.” …Heyman will also receive the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Momentum for Change award, on behalf of British Columbia, for its Carbon Neutral Government Program, now in its 10th year of operation.

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The future of maple syrup is uncertain

By Katherine Martinko
Treehugger
December 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sugar maples rely on consistent snow cover to thrive, and climate change is threatening that. …As climate change reduces the amount of snow in the northeastern forests of North America, where sugar maples grow, it will negatively affect the trees’ ability to grow and produce sap, making maple syrup a treat from the past. This alarming discovery was revealed in a study last week, published in Global Change Biology. The researchers explain how lack of adequate snowpack causes sugar maples to grow 40 percent slower than usual, and when the snowpack returns, they are unable to recover. One biochemist has described the study as a “big deal” and NPR writes, “This spells trouble for the trees — and for humans — as the trees not only give us syrup, but also eat up a chunk of carbon pollution.”

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How Do You Measure How Much Carbon Is In A Tree?

By Patrick Skahill
New England Public Radio
December 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The latest national climate assessment says forests play a key role in keeping our air clean. According to the report, America’s forests stored the equivalent of 11 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions over a 25 year period. …But how scientists determine the amount of carbon stored in a tree is a question open for debate. When Bob Marra [uses] a hammer — his magic sonic hammer. …Marra’s recording sound waves. Measuring how fast sound travels from the nail he hits, to all the other nails around the tree. It’s called “sonic tomography.” Think of it like a CAT scan for trees. A way to peer inside a trunk without drilling to see if a tree is rotting — or solid wood. “The denser the wood, the faster the sound waves,” Marra said. Dense wood is really good at storing carbon. …He found dozens were rotting inside, even ones that on the outside, looked good.

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Plant a tree: Milan’s ambitious plans to be cleaner, greener

By Colleen Barry
The Associated Press
December 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

MILAN — If Italy’s fashion capital has a predominant color, it is gray — not only because of the blocks of neoclassical stone buildings for which the city is celebrated, but also due to its often-gray sky, which traps pollution. But Milan now wants to shift its color palette toward green. The city has ambitious plans to plant 3 million new trees by 2030 — a move that experts say could offer relief from the city’s muggy, sometimes tropical weather. …Milan officials estimate the program to boost the number of trees by 30 percent in the broader metropolitan area will absorb an additional 5 million tons of carbon dioxide a year — four-fifths of the total produced by Milan — and reduce harmful PM10 small particulates by 3,000 tons over a decade. Significantly, it would also reduce temperatures in the city by 2 degrees Celsius, they say.

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