Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 13, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

China arrests a second Canadian; drama sparks concern over Canada’s exports

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

The Huawei drama is heightening concern over Canada’s exports while China just arrested a second Canadian. According to one expert, despite the risk, Canadian officials need to stay put to maintain their private-sector links. In other Business news: Madison’s says lumber price volatility is settling down to norm; US construction material prices fell 2% in November; the Transportation Safety Board released its report on Western Forest Product’s rail crash; and the United Steelworkers target Canfor’s Vavenby mill.

In other headlines: more on the US Farm Bill, forestry in the aftermath of California’s wildfires; and the UK’s ban on CLT. Elsewhere: ENGO’s target old-growth logging in BC; and local forest happenings in Fredricton, Halifax, HelenaSquamish and Calling lake, Alberta. 

Finally, a heads up on the upcoming Montreal Wood Convention and Savannah Biomass Conference.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Recent Softwood Lumber Price Volatility Settles Down to Norm

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Cision Newswire
December 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER – Trading of US and Canadian softwood lumber last week continued it’s usual annual slide to seasonal holiday sawmill closures and curtailments. Friday’s print in Madison’s Lumber Reporter was again US$354 mfbm on benchmark Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr. The price of that construction framing dimension lumber commodity stayed level with the previous week, as did many other standard North American homebuilding wood materials. Demand for 2×6 sizes in all species and regions was very hot, even as prices also remained flat from the previous week. A big run on 2×6 at the end of the year is unusual, as this is usually a slower time for lumber manufacturing and for US home building. Such a jump in 2×6 sales is notable because that size is used more often for 2-to-4 structure building (meaning condominiums) as opposed to single-family home building, which uses predominantly 2×4 sizes.

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Huawei Drama Sparks Concern Canada’s Exports Could Become Target

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg Economics
December 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Brewing tensions between Canada and China following the arrest of a Huawei Technologies Co. executive have some exporters worried they could be caught in the crosshairs if the Asian nation decides to retaliate. China is one of Canada’s biggest buyers of agricultural products from oilseeds to softwood lumber. …Escalating tensions have stoked concern that some companies could see their markets upended after the Chinese threatened “severe consequences”. …China is the second-biggest buyer of softwood lumber products and companies have increasingly looked to the Asian market as a destination for shipments amid Canada’s ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. Earlier this week, British Columbia’s forestry ministry suspended the China leg of its Asian forestry trade mission… But three executives from Vancouver-based Canfor Corp., including Chief Executive Officer Don Kayne, have decided to continue with the China portion of the trade mission.

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China Arrests a 2nd Canadian, Escalating Diplomatic Feud

By Steve Lee Myers and Dan Bilefsky
The New York Times
December 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BEIJING — China intensified its punitive campaign against Canada over the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive by arresting a second Canadian working here and announcing on Thursday that both men faced charges of undermining China’s national security. China’s foreign ministry confirmed the second arrest, a day after suggesting that the first involved a comparatively mild administrative matter involving the registration of a nongovernmental organization. Accusing the two men of national security crimes — as yet unspecified — signaled a serious escalation of the diplomatic crisis. …Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, disclosed the second case, and during a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday she urged China to let the legal process unfold. She also warned the administration of President Trump, too, not to further politicize what started as a legal matter involving accusations that Huawei had committed bank fraud.

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Natural Resources Canada is seeking a Forest Fire Research Scientist

Natural Resources Canada
December 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria (British Columbia) is seeking a Forest Fire Research Scientist. Wildland urban interface fires are an important fire and emergency management challenge and a threat to public safety. Research is needed to better define wildland-urban interface fire risk, model fire behavior in the interface between wildlands and communities, understand community and structure susceptibility, and develop and test the effectiveness of mitigation techniques to enhance the resilience of Canadian communities and fire management systems to wildland fire. The successful candidate will develop a research program on wildland-urban interface fire, covering topics in fire behaviour prediction, fire management operations, or fire risk assessment and mitigation, depending on their expertise. A combination of field, laboratory, and simulation approaches are expected. The closing date: 23 January 2019. Applicants must be persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad. 

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B.C. trade officials ponder next move as China turns up heat over Huawei arrest

By Chuck Chiang
Business in Vancouver
December 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In light of B.C. officials cancelling a planned forestry trade mission to China, some observers are now calling for private sector firms to keep executives in the Chinese market – despite increasingly hostile conditions after the Vancouver arrest of Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou. Some reports have said Ottawa may be considering a change to existing travel advisories to China, but in a conference call with reporters, Canadian foreign affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the current advisory remains valid. …BC Forestry and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson cancelled the last leg of an official trade mission to China… because “a government minister joining the group of business people would add a different dynamic” to the meetings in China. Hugh Stephens said despite the perceived potential safety risks for Canadian business officials and visitors in China, those officials need to stay put to maintain private-sector links to the Chinese market – especially at a time where government relations are strained. 

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United Steelworkers strike hits Vavenby

By Jaime Polmateer
The Clearwater Times
December 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-417 participated in rolling strikes at Canfor’s Vavenby site last week, shutting down operations for 24 hours in an attempt to get a fair collective agreement. Marty Gibbons, president of USW Local 1-417, said wages for workers aren’t keeping up with inflation and they want Canfor to share some of its profits. …He said the union hopes the employer gets the message, loud and clear, because employees will do whatever it takes to get what it sees as a fair contract. …Jeff Roos, president of the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association, said in an emailed statement that he thinks it’s unfortunate the USW didn’t see the value of continuing discussions. …Gibbons replied, saying USW is also prepared to return of the bargain table, but… “We’re not interested in returning to the bargaining table to have the employers last proposal regurgitated.”

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Construction materials prices buck yearlong trend, fall 1.8 percent in November

By Nate Beck
The Daily Reporter
December 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Anirban Basu

Construction materials prices fell in November after marching upward for much of 2018, signaling a reprieve in rapid price increases in the months to come, according to an analysis by a trade group. Though the price of commonly used construction goods fell 1.8 percent between October and November, materials are still 5.3 percent more costly than they were in November 2017. …The decrease follows months of fast-rising prices due to ongoing trade disputes and a high demand for goods such as steel and softwood lumber. In November, prices fell in five of 11 categories of construction goods. …Anirban Basu, ABC’s chief economist, said a weaker global economy in recent months has driven down demand for key construction inputs, pausing a rapid price expansion. …Softwood lumber prices, which increased sharply earlier this year, are now down nearly 11 percent compared to last year and fell 3 percent in November.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Exciting speakers, seminars and more at the 2019 Montreal Wood Convention

By Ellen Cools
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
December 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada
Sven Gustavsson, a softwood manager at the Quebec Wood Export Bureau. …This year’s convention will take place from March 19-21 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, and will feature a number of seminars, the trade show and, of course, plenty of time for networking. …“Two leading U.S. buyers – Universal Forest Products and LBM Advantage – will be on the panel with Yves Laflamme from Resolute Forest Products and Ken Shields of Conifex, moderated by Bruce St. John, the president of the Canada Wood Group.” Other seminars will touch on the U.S. housing outlook, how the industry promotes wood and wood construction, the evolution of wood construction, the industry-wide labour shortage, and more. For more info click here.

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Newly built homes burn much faster than older homes

By Kristin Byrne
WTMJ-TV
December 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

How much time does your family have to escape a fire? The I-Team found out the clock is not on your side if you live in a newly constructed home. The building material in modern homes burns a lot faster. “On average, with new construction, they are failing about 35 to 60 percent faster than conventional stick lumber that was used in the past,” said Lt. Michael Ball of the Milwaukee Fire Department. Ball showed us beams for floor joists used in new homes are often particle board or other less expensive material. In new homes, the plates holding together roof trusses can’t hold up in a fire, Ball said. “When those plates are subjected to any type of heat or fire, they fail very quickly,” Ball said. “We have much less time.” Instead, older homes are built with brick, concrete and natural wood.

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UK government CLT ban over 18m might open doors for alternative glulam systems

Timber Trades Journal
December 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Glulam post and beam construction may be a way for the timber construction sector to still have an option above six storeys following the government’s proposed ban on cross-laminated timber (CLT) above 18m. The UK Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) believes that the government’s decision… does not have to be of detriment to the structural timber market. “The vast majority of CLT projects delivered in the UK to date are six-storeys and under – which will not be impacted upon by these restrictions,” TRADA said. “Important markets currently utilising the material, such as schools, will therefore remain unaffected.” TRADA said it did mean a necessity for creativity in order to continue making the best use of timber as a structural material. “We must, as an industry, determine methods by which we can build above six-storeys using structural timber… Glulam post and beam is already one potential solution to this challenge.”

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Forestry

A Photographer’s Quest to Document the Last of the Rainforest Caribou

By Jennifer Billock
Smithsonian
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Four years ago, David Moskowitz trekked into the world’s last inland temperate rainforest, stretching a short range from northeastern Washington and northern Idaho to southeast British Columbia in Canada. He hoped to get a glimpse and photograph the elusive mountain caribou, an animal known to live in this unique ecosystem. What he found was catastrophe. Moskowitz discovered that both the mountain caribou and their home are deeply endangered, and are becoming more so every day. Very few herds still exist and are limited to the Selkirk Mountains region, but the most endangered, the Selkirk herd, may already be extinct. …After some digging, Moskowitz discovered the caribou’s plight is mainly driven by our hunger for paper pulp. The temperate rainforest in which they live—is being torn down, tree by tree, to become paper. The effects of this on the forest and the caribou are dire.

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Getting ahead of fire season

By Chelsea Powrie
Castanet Kelowna
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Following two record-breaking wildfire seasons in the Okanagan Valley, the Penticton Indian Band and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen have teamed up on a project to reduce fire risk in the area below the Carmi Forest Service Road.  Crews are currently chopping down potential fuel for fires and laying them on the forest floor in the area, called “thinning out the understory.” “So we’re taking out all stems that are less than 12.5 centimetres in diameter,” said John Davies, Davies Wildfire Management. “They’re being [cut into logs] and [de-limbed] so that they’re flat, so they will be easier to burn in the spring.” The 150-acre project is just the latest in a string of Okanagan Valley projects that are aiming to reduce potential wildfire fuel, as well as honour local traditions of the Okanagan Nation.

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Wildfire mitigation work helps restore sheep habitat in South Okanagan

By Jordyn Thomson
Pentiction Western News
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Davies

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the Penticton Indian Band are collaborating with the Wild Sheep Society of B.C. to reduce fire behaviour potential in the area while preserving the sheep habitat. …“This project was born working with PIB in this area, looking to do some wildfire mitigation work and sheep habitat restoration,” said John Davies, of Davies Wildfire Management, one of the project leads during a presentation of the site on Dec. 11. “The idea was … coming up with a prescription that would reduce the wildfire behaviour potential within this stand and promote sheep winter range, which is critical in this area.” …Davies explained funding needed to develop the prescriptions was provided by the Forestry Enhancement Society of B.C. Additional funding is also being provided by the Wild Sheep Society of B.C. and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Ecosystem Restoration Program.

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B.C. coastal forests and forest industry are at a tipping point

Torrance Coste, Wilderness Committee; Gary Fiege, Public and Private Workers of Canada; Ben Parfitt, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Joie Warnock, Unifor.
Vancouver Sun
December 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thanks to the ongoing cutting of old-growth forests, export of huge numbers of raw logs, and the failure of governments of all political stripes to act, we are running out of time to turn things around. [To] conserve more of our rapidly diminishing older forests we must invest in new mills to reverse decades of job losses. And …utilize wood from smaller logs from second-growth forests. …one company [is] leading by example. Langley’s San Group announced it will invest in three mills that will eventually employ up to 135 people. This marks the first time in well over a decade that any company has made a significant investment in a new coastal mill. …WFP is the largest forest company on B.C.’s coast. …Yet it is the third-largest exporter of raw logs …and has made no moves to invest in new mills. …Roughly two trees are logged for every one run through its mills.

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Squamish Nation and District choose governance of community forest

By Steven Chua
The Squamish Chief
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Authorities are hoping for increased logging, research and education opportunities as the prospect of a community forest draws nearer. The governing body for a new community forest partnership between the District of Squamish and the Squamish Nation has been selected.  Mayor Karen Elliott and counsellors Armand Hurford and Jenna Stoner will represent the District of Squamish on the Squamish Community Forest Corporation’s board of directors. That corporation will be responsible for overseeing the forest. Three representatives are expected from the Squamish Nation, but information on who was picked wasn’t available at press time. The Nation was contacted, but didn’t reply before deadline. It’s a big advance for the project, which has been discussed for years. Previously, the province allowed some Crown forest land next the District to be managed by the District and the Nation.

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Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and conservation officers collaborate on enforcement

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) took part in an official signing ceremony to promote the sustainability of wildlife through a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU aims to foster an understanding of Xeni Gwet’in First Nation’s customs, traditions, cultural and spiritual practices, as well as traditional knowledge. It also promotes communication and collaboration between the COS and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, allowing for joint enforcement with the Tsilhqot’in Title Land Rangers. This includes enforcing communal restrictions, which prohibit the harvesting of cow moose for Xeni Gwet’in membership in its traditional territories. “This memorandum of understanding is one more step in bolstering compliance, education and enforcement within our Aboriginal Title Lands and entire caretaker area of Xeni Gwet’in. 

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Al-Pac and Alberta forest management agreement up for discussion at community meeting

By Allendria Brunjes
The Athabasca Advocate
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Shandro

An MD of Opportunity community meeting in Calling Lake took a half-hour long turn to Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries and forestry around the region, as residents took the conversation to herbicides and clear-cut trees About 50 people gathered in Calling Lake Dec. 4 to discuss operations, housing, forestry and economic sustainability at the public meeting. During the meeting, MD chief administrative officer William Kostiw said the MD would be working with the forestry department and making a better effort to work with them on industry and related jobs in the area. “All the timber leaves the municipality — we don’t get a nickel for any of the lumber,” he said. …Provincial silviculture specialist Andrew Shandro brought up herbicide use in the province. 

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In the fight against an invasive beetle, keep an eye out for woodpeckers

By Kaitlyn Swan
CBC News
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jon Sweeney, NRCan

Researchers are in Halifax this week to discuss how they can slow down the infestation of an invasive beetle that has recently damaged trees in Bedford. The emerald ash borer has killed three ash trees since it was first spotted in DeWolfe Park, but the damage the beetle can cause has research scientist Jon Sweeney asking the public for help. “We would like the citizens of Halifax to keep an eye out for signs of woodpecker activity,” said Sweeney, with Natural Resources Canada. Woodpeckers are a natural “mortality agent” — they eat the larvae of the beetle — and can be an indicator of an infestation. “If you see bark flakes on the ground, that’s a sign of woodpeckers in that tree, and if it’s an ash tree, there’s likely emerald ash borer there.”

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The giant on the hill: a look at Fredericton’s big tree

By Shane Fowler
CBC News
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Gaze across the St. John River from Fredericton’s south side and your eyes might lock on a towering tree cresting the horizon. “What is the deal with that massive tree?”  …The tree is a massive white pine and can be easily seen from the Princess Margaret Bridge, sections of the University of New Brunswick campus and the Dr. Everett Chalmers hospital. …Alders and spruce trees are growing up in the area, but all are dwarfed by this single pine, which a forester says is likely between 100 and 200 years old. …When the surrounding forest was cut down years ago, it’s likely the giant white pine was left standing to usher in a new forest. “Often we leave those trees there to pass on seed to the next generation,” said Jasen Golding, a professor of forestry at the University of New Brunswick.

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Farm Bill Contains Familiar Fight Over Wildfire Management

By Jeff Mapes
Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Congress passed a new Farm Bill on Wednesday that also contains several provisions aimed at reducing the severity of Western wildfires. And that left the Oregon delegation divided along familiar battle lines. Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican who represents fire-prone eastern Oregon, criticized Democrats in the Senate for blocking provisions that would have eased environmental rules on logging. …Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, said he successfully pushed to increase the amount of money for forest thinning projects overseen by collaborative groups from $40 million to $80 million. …He argued that the Republican proposals would have taken logging on federal lands “back to authorizing clear-cuts on a massive scale with basically no environmental review.” …Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said in a statement that the Farm Bill contains “proven wildfire approaches.”

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National Forest Foundation establishes fund to help California forests recover from wildfire

By the National Forest Foundation
Cision Newswire
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont — The National Forest Foundation announced today the establishment of the California Wildfire Reforestation Fund, a fund created to generate support for critical tree-planting efforts to restore California National Forests following years of severe wildfire. …Since 2013, wildfires have burned more than 5 million acres in California alone. As conditions have become hotter and drier, California has shattered numerous wildfire records. …Fires in recent years have become so severe and burned such vast swaths of land; many forests are not expected to regenerate for decades, if at all. Without proactive restoration, we risk losing the important values that forests provide – like clean water, carbon storage, and wildlife habitat. Reforestation helps jumpstart these forests’ recovery and will provide a seed source for our future forests.

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U.S. Agency for International Development Awards Tetra Tech $23 Million Contract for Sustainable Forest Management

By Tetra Tech
Business Wire
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PASADENA, Calif.–Tetra Tech, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the Company a $23 million single-award contract to strengthen forest management in Peru and promote private sector engagement in the country’s forest sector. More than half of the landscape in Peru is covered by Amazon forests that are home to some of the world’s most important biodiversity. These forests are threatened by illegal logging practices, which contributes to forest degradation and loss of revenue to the Peruvian treasury. Under the five-year USAID PRO-BOSQUES contract, Tetra Tech will provide technical services to develop and implement monitoring tools, such as an electronic timber tracking system that documents and monitors timber movement throughout the value chain.

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‘Rethinking The Past’ In The Aftermath Of California’s Deadly Wildfires

By Kirk Siegler
Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

From the air, the scale of the devastation in and around Paradise, Calif., is, simply put, alarming. …Dan Tomascheski… vice president of resources for Sierra Pacific Industries, one of northern California’s biggest timber companies. 10,000 acres of the company’s private land was scorched by the Camp Fire, the largest and deadliest wildfire in California history. …In the immediate term, his company will try to salvage as many of the burned trees that they can before they’re taken over by bugs or rot. The longer term strategy is more complicated and, in the past, has been politically fraught. But now, many… see this fire as a possible turning point in the long running debate over how western forests should be managed. …Even as Paradise and the communities around it are still reeling in crisis, foresters are already eyeing the critical forest health and restoration work ahead.

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North America’s most destructive bug is headed for Helena

By Tom Harpole, retired arborist
Helena Independent Record
December 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Emerald Ash Borer, the most destructive, exotic bug ever to invade North America, is …coming here. The invasive Asian bug selects only green ash trees and, unchecked, will kill more than 8,000 green ashes along Helena’s boulevards within 15 years of arriving at our gates. The arrival of the EAB is inevitable, but mitigation is possible. Educating ourselves is critical. …Roughly 90 percent of Helena’s boulevard trees are green ashes. …Folks reading this might deny it as a back-burner deal, but it really is the most destructive pest ever to invade our continent and it’s knocking on our door. …Preparation and mitigation are possible. Smart timing is essential and depends on identifying the bug’s arrival. As soon as the bug shows up within 15 miles, there are …measures that must be taken, depending on tree size and micro-climate.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate consequences of Hemlock’s decline

By Zoe Merrell
Daily Hampshire Gazette
December 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

At a field station in rural Whately, Massachusetts, a sparse stand of birch trees provides a window into the future of American forests. The stand has been called an “accidental experiment.” Thirty years ago, the director of the field station, Karl Davies, decided to log a portion of the original hemlock forest. What he couldn’t have known was that hemlock trees would soon become threatened by invasive pests. The logged plot is now invaluable to scientists trying to understand the implications of the decline of such an essential tree species. Recent findings suggest that the loss of hemlocks may have dramatic effects on climate. Danielle Ignace and Jesse Bellemare, professors of plant science at Smith College, are studying the birch-dominated plots and neighboring hemlock-dominated plots at the college’s Ada & Archibald Macleish Field Station. The differences tell a startling story about future forest ecology on a national scale.

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Department of Energy awards $1M to UMass Lowell-led team to develop renewable fuel additives from wood byproducts; Co-Optima project

Green Car Congress
December 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to a team of researchers led by a UMass Lowell mechanical engineering professor that is working to develop renewable fuel additives from sawdust and other wood byproducts. The project is part of the Department of Energy’s Co-Optima initiative to develop fuel and engine innovations that work together to maximize vehicle performance and fuel economy. “The additives, which are derived from sustainable raw materials, will help offset the use of traditional fossil fuels in internal combustion engines in cars and trucks as well as in steam turbines for power generation. Our lab’s goal is to increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions and identify other potential sustainable fuels and chemicals of the future,” said Hunter Mack, team leader. …Forest industry operations “have a lot of leftover biomass … we’re converting it into something useful and even profitable,” Mack said.

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Preliminary agenda announced for 2019 Int’l Biomass Conference

Biodiesel Magazine
December 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Biomass Magazine announced Dec. 12 the agenda for the 12th annual International Biomass Conference & Expo, taking place March 18-20 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia. The three-day agenda will be divided into four tracks covering pellets and densified biomass; biomass power and thermal; biogas and waste-to-energy; and advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals, as well as a preconference event titled, “The Biomass Preparation, Handling and Storage Workshop.” The preconference event is a full-day session taking place March 18 prior to the evening opening reception in the expo hall and will detail the latest advancements in material handling. More information can be found here.

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Health & Safety

Safety board issues letters over rail crash that killed three Vancouver Island workers

The Canadian Press in the Province
December 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

RICHMOND, B.C. — The Transportation Safety Board has issued rail-safety advisories involving a crash in April of last year. A WorksafeBC report issued in October said decaying railway ties and the failure of a safety mechanism allowed rail cars at a Western Forest Products reload centre to run uncontrolled and hit two work equipment vehicles with the five men aboard. The board’s report issued Wednesday adds to the conclusion, saying the 11 cars loaded with logs rolled away after a locking device between the cars inadvertently released. The report also says a safety device meant to derail the runaway cars failed to work because the rail ties were deteriorating and the device hadn’t been adequately secured. …It says another advisory letter went to B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation saying it may want to review how the derail devices are installed, maintained and inspected on properties operated by Western Forest Products.

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Unsuccessful coupling between rail cars and failure of a derail protection device led to April 2017 uncontrolled movement, collision and fatal derailment near Woss, BC

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
December 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, BC – Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its investigation report into a fatal derailment that involved an uncontrolled movement of rail cars and a subsequent collision with engineering working equipment in April 2017 near Woss, British Columbia. Although the occurrence railway company was under provincial jurisdiction, the TSB conducted the investigation at the request of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. On the morning of 20 April 2017, a cut of 11 cars loaded with logs rolled uncontrolled out of the Woss Reload Centre, operated by Western Forest Products, near Woss, British Columbia.

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