Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: January 2019

Today’s Takeaway

As climate gap widens, Canada looks for carbon credits in California and its own forests

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 31, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

As its climate gap widens, Canada looks to purchase California carbon credits and claim the carbon in its forests—despite evidence that Canada’s forests are carbon emitters. In related news: National Geographic speaks to renewable energy trade-offs, WRI/Yale University on why cities need to grow up, not out; and ENGO groups oppose biomass power plant conversions in the UK.

In other news: winners and losers in the US lumber trade war; how the CLT industry is responding to the UK combustibles ban; the potential of timber in New Zealand’s core-wall systems; and Japan’s shift to small-scale forestry. Also, more on Canada’s rail car investigation; BC’s Steelworkers negotiations; Northern Pulp’s effluent facility; and BC’s caribou recovery efforts.

Finally, a soliloquy of sorts on the role of paper bags in a 1945 murder.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Gov’t of Canada invests in forestry jobs and strategies for managing wildfires

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 30, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

In separate releases, the Gov’t of Canada announced monies for LP’s Dawson Creek mill upgrade, and for climate change adaptation projects, such as examining cost-effective strategies for managing wildfires. In other Business news: 2019 looks good for CN Rail despite forest product woes; Canfor temporarily curtails production at three BC mills; and BC Forest Minister Donaldson defends move to restrict log exports.

In Forestry/Climate news: the US shutdown has delayed wildfire preparations; California is streamlining its review process for wildfire-related forest treatments; Montana’s forests are now CO2 emitters; the UK has a unique forest carbon opportunity; and what Fortune 500 investors need to know about climate risk and resiliency.

Finally, Milwaukee endorses 21-storey timber building, and a new virtual reality experience can transform you into a tree.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

How do you ship a 300 million-year-old tree stump? Very carefully

By Moira Donovan
CBC News
January 29, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

In the technical shop at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, a stone column is being prepared for shipping. But this is no ordinary column. It’s a fossilized tree stump. The stump is from a tree from 300 million years ago. It was part of a tropical forest south of the equator at the heart of the supercontinent Pangea. …Over millions of years, the tree moved thousands of kilometres, as Nova Scotia drifted northward. The fossil was discovered in the cliffs at Joggins. Now, it’s about to be moved again, to join other fossils from across Canada in a new “Dawn of Life” gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum. …For more than a hundred years, these Lepidodendron trees have been helping people understand the Carboniferous period. Now, Fedak said this fossil will spread that knowledge to more than a million visitors to the ROM a year.

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We do know about paper bags

By Annelore Harrell, Bluffton
Bluffton Today
January 30, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Annelore Harrell

As anyone who has been raised in the Lowcountry will tell you, we do know about paper bags. We make ’em. There’s a reason we grow so many pine trees. If students in Hawaii worked at the Dole Pineapple Factory in the summertime, then Savannah teens headed to the bag plant for jobs as soon as school let out in the spring. The pay was good, but the work hard. …we recognized the bag plant from afar. It stunk. Depending on which way the wind was blowing, you got a snoot full. For years, the chimneys spewed out stinky smoke. The “smell of money,” we said. …On Sunday, Oct. 7, 1945, Union Camp paper bags became part of a murder when Jesse R. McKethan, who worked at the plant, strangled George Luther Aids, chopped up his body and used paper bags he had brought home to carry the pieces, which he proceeded to distribute around his neighborhood in vacant lots…

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Business & Politics

The lumber trade war’s winners and losers

By Andrea Riquier
MarketWatch
January 31, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

It’s not a literal wall, but actions taken by the Trump administration are blocking off the flow of imported lumber from Mexico to the U.S., raising prices for home builders and, some industry groups argue, holding back more robust activity in the housing market. The Commerce Department imposed duties of about 21% on softwood lumber imports from Canada in 2018. That’s remaking the global supply chains for lumber, making it cheaper in many cases for American buyers to import from overseas “than it would be to simply buy lumber shipped over the Canadian border,” the National Association of Home Builders told MarketWatch. (It’s also nudging up the share of consumption that goes to domestic producers, but not by much – from 67% in 2016 to 69% in 2018.) Canada’s share of total softwood imports has indeed slipped – to 82.6% in 2018 from 90.6% in 2016. 

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Grain companies tell transport agency hearing they lost $7.8-million in late 2018 rail delays

By Eric Atkins
The Globe and Mail
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Railway delays at the port of Vancouver cost grain companies $7.8-million in late 2018, a regulator’s hearing … heard. …The regulator is investigating rail service delays in and out of the West Coast port… Representatives of the agricultural commodities and forest products industries said companies face delays reaching markets and new costs hiring trucks and renting warehouses to store unshipped goods as a result… Joel Neuheimer, vice-president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said the congestion is standing in the way of the country’s attempts to expand trade with overseas markets. “One of the government’s priorities is to diversify trade,” he said. “Unless we fix whatever is wrong with the Vancouver portion of the supply chain, we will not get there.” …CN’s chief executive officer, Mr. Ruest … said the company’s plan to hire crews, expand its track network and buy more locomotives would help it deal with rising freight volumes. [Access to the full story requires a digital subscription to the Globe and Mail]

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Northern Development Initiative Trust State of the North report gives fiscal picture of Northern B.C.

By Barbara Roden
The Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) has released its second annual “State of the North” report, which offers insight into the current fiscal state of Northern B.C. and what is trending for the future throughout the region. The report includes traditional economic indicator information, overviews of core economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, forestry, tourism, transportation, mining, and oil and gas, and contains regional profiles for the Northwest, Northeast, North Central, and Cariboo-Chilcotin/Lillooet (CCL) areas. …while the outlook in energy and the oil and gas sector is positive, forestry is more challenging. A combination of factors including forest fires, which burned approximately 1.2 million hectares of land in 2017, significant fires in the summer of 2018, the historic mountain pine beetle epidemic, and export tariffs to the U.S, have placed challenges on the forestry industry. A reduced supply in the future could mean mill closures, job loss, and negative economic impacts.

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United Steelworkers reaches impasse with Canfor operations, back to the table with Conifer

By Brendan Pawliw
My Bulkley Lakes Now
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a day negotiations, the United Steelworkers Union has announced they are at an impasse with a trio of Canfor Mills in Prince George and Chetwynd. The impasse was reached between the PG-based Polar and Plateau Sawmills last week with no new talks planned at the moment. Local 1-2017 Union President Brian O’Rourke stated they finally made some headway with Conifer. “During those negotiations, they also had the spokesperson for Conifer also sitting in at those three independent operations at which time, we were invited back to the table with Conifer and will be back to the table on the afternoon of February 11th.” …Contract talks with Interior Forest Labour Relations Association in mid-January saw some progress made but not quite enough to get a deal done.

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Diplomatic tensions over Huawei threaten expanding B.C. trade with China

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
January 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Meng Wenzhou

B.C. gets the biggest bang out of Canada’s trade with China of any province and has the most to lose as long as diplomatic tensions between the two countries remain high, according to a scholar at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Tensions were sparked by the arrest on Dec. 1 of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou following an extradition request from the United States. In response, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor and is holding them without charges. Now, with China taking further retaliatory steps and Canadians approaching China more cautiously, doing new business becomes more difficult, said Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, a distinguished fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation. …The lion’s share of B.C.’s exports to China are in forest products — lumber and wood pulp for paper, which accounted for $3.8 billion in 2017 — and growing that trade became the first question mark in the Meng affair.

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Rich Coleman Fighting Order to Testify in TimberWest Trial

By Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rich Coleman

A lawyer employed by the British Columbia government is fighting to keep former cabinet minister Rich Coleman from having to testify in a court case underway in Nanaimo. In a … letter on government letterhead, lawyer Darcie Suntjens argued that a sitting MLA can’t be compelled to appear in court while the legislature is in session. Suntjens cites parliamentary privilege, a form of legal protection intended to allow elected officials to fulfil their duties. The legislature… isn’t scheduled to resume sitting until Feb. 12. Coleman, a Liberal MLA, sits in opposition. But Suntjens said …that while the legislature is adjourned, it is still technically in session and therefore Coleman can’t be compelled to testify, even if he is available. A source familiar with the case said the government is making its argument to shield Coleman based on a technicality and that it would be in the public interest to hear what the former minister has to say.

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Government of Canada Supports Innovation and Jobs in British Columbia’s Forest Industry

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

DAWSON CREEK – Innovation in the forest industry has the power to advance the development of Canada’s renewable resource economy and create good jobs while combating climate change. Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced an investment of $4.5-million towards the $161-million project for Louisiana-Pacific’s Dawson Creek sawmill, which will boost the aging facility’s economic competitiveness and support local forest sector jobs. The funding, which is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, will support everything from engineering and design work to procurement, construction and start-up of Louisiana-Pacific’s mill conversion. Upon completion, the upgraded facility will: produce 300 million square feet of SmartSide® Lap Siding, an engineered wood siding product that can be used for a range of exterior building applications; create a new revenue stream from underutilized biomass; and sustain 69 direct and 200 indirect jobs.

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Will Northern Peninsula profit from area sawlogs?

By Stephen Roberts
The Western Star
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

RODDICKTON, N.L. — Even though the government cannot afford to loan the company any more money, Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne says the department has done what it can to help the Holson sawmill get back up and running in Roddickton-Bide Arm. But the mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm believes the permits Byrne’s department issued to Timberlands (a subsidiary of Active Energy Group – AEG), did little to ensure the Great Northern Peninsula will profit from its own forestry resource. Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald is concerned the province has written away sawlogs to be used to produce wood pellets. And that logs may end up leaving the Great Northern Peninsula. Sawlogs for pellets? According to Byrne, about 50 per cent of a stand of timber, typically, can be used for sawlogs, although the percentage varies and can go higher and lower in different parts of the forest.

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Pictou Landing First Nation to mark 1-year countdown to Boat Harbour closure

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Pictou Landing First Nation isn’t interested in extending the deadline to close the Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility used by the Northern Pulp mill in Nova Scotia. The community in Pictou County will mark the start of the one-year countdown to the facility’s legislated closure Thursday with an event that will include people signing declarations of support for the Boat Harbour Act’s timeline. Around the same time, Northern Pulp is expected to submit its application to the province for an environmental assessment of a new treatment site to replace Boat Harbour. However, the company has acknowledged its plan to pipe treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait cannot be completed before the Jan. 31, 2020 deadline outlined in the act the Liberal government passed four years ago.

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NDP’s forestry-crisis response misrepresented

By Dan O’Connor
The Chronicle Herald
January 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Re: “Preparing for a forest crisis.” I’m sorry to say that the Jan. 26 column by my friend Ralph Surette carried some serious errors of fact. The column double-counted the cost of buying the Bowater lands. There was no “bailout” of Bowater Mersey. There was no massive provincial subsidy of Port Hawkesbury Paper. I suspect that my friend picked up those errors from the usual cyber-exaggerations that compound errors through zeal. Yet these are matters of fact. …The province bought Bowater Mersey (including its forest lands) for $1. The Bowater assets were worth $14 million more than liabilities. …The major asset was the land — though Nova Scotia also got an ocean wharf and valuable industrial equipment. Every detail was duly recorded in audited financial statements. …In summary, the NDP government spent far less than the column stated and much of the spending was not as described.

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A work in progress: Boise Cascade Mill site is coming along — but slowly

By Mai Hoang
The Yakima Herald
January 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

If the process to redevelop more than 200 acres at the former Boise Cascade Mill along Interstate 82 feels like it’s going at a snail’s pace, there’s a good reason. …Before the redevelopment can start, the site needs to be cleaned up. The property has been contaminated from more than a century of operation as a lumber mill and log yard. A municipal landfill on the property is another source of contamination. Two cleanup efforts are underway. …The city is also working on acquiring the necessary property for the extension. Mill site owners said they still plan on donating property, but an updated assessment is needed so the city can find out the value of the donation, Moore said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Samsung is copying Apple again–in a good way

By Jesus Diaz
Fast Company
January 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

The war against design’s longtime favorite material is heating up. Consumer demand for plastic alternatives is growing. More corporations are choosing to cut plastic from their packaging, with even giants like Nestlé making an effort. Now one of the world’s largest industrial conglomerates joining them: Samsung. This week, the company announced that in the first half of this year it’s getting rid of plastic packaging. …“Samsung will also alter the phone charger design, swapping the glossy exterior with a matte finish and eliminating plastic protection films, reducing the use of plastics.” Within the next two years, it added, paper boxes and manuals will come from sources certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

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Corn Refiners Association announces Plant Based Products Council

The Fence Post
January 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A group of businesses and environmental leaders today jointly launched the Plant Based Products Council at the California Air Resources Board’s California Bioresource Economy Summit… the Corn Refiners Association announced. The following companies are founding members of the Plant Based Products Council: Georgia-Pacific; Archer Daniels Midland; Cargill, Tate & Lyle; Ingredion; WestRock-Multi Packaging Solutions; Stone Straw; Loliware; Visolis Biotechnology; Newtrient; Future iQ; Emerald Brands; Hemp Road Trip; Hemp Industries Association; and Tree Free Hemp, CRA said. …the council said, “…ever-growing global demand for consumer goods and convenient packaging poses a serious threat to our environment, the …Council promotes the adoption and use of products derived from renewable biomass. …University of California Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Glenda Humiston…said, “My hope is that this new council will greatly aid UC ANR’s efforts to pursue forest health and improve farm profitability by finding new, more valuable products made from biomass.”

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How is the CLT industry responding to the combustibles ban?

By Joey Gardiner
Building.co.uk
January 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Proponents of cross-laminated timber were up in arms when the government announced its plans to ban combustible materials from the external walls of high-rise buildings. …Four months on, though, and the nascent CLT industry is in fight-back mode, determined to make the point that reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. But it is up against a degree of understandable post-Grenfell client nervousness about using what is undeniably a combustible material, and lobbying from other parts of the industry determined to highlight concerns. …According to Nic Crawley… only a “pretty small proportion” would have been affected by the government’s combustibles ban. …Potentially more serious than that, however, are developers’ perceptions of how insurers and real-world home-buyers view the product.

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Exploring the potential of tall timber buildings

Voxy New Zealand
January 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

New research shows timber core-wall systems can be used in mid- to high-rise timber buildings to form lift shafts or staircases, making it easier, more flexible and cheaper to build more eco-friendly buildings. University of Canterbury engineering doctoral candidate Justin Brown is guiding future timber core-wall design with his research, paving the way for eco-friendly, mid- to high-rise buildings. …”We’re seeing a lot of hybrid concrete-timber and steel-timber buildings that still rely on concrete or steel cores to resist seismic forces. I’m exploring whether that part of the building could be replaced with a timber solution and to what height this is practicable and economical.” …Currently, there are no design tools and minimal research available to help engineers design timber cores. Brown is conducting a large-scale test of cross-laminated timber (CLT) core-walls.

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Forestry

Cities need to grow up, not out, if only to avoid trampling on forest and farmland: study

By Carey Biron
Global TV News
January 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Urban areas are expected to grow by 80 percent by the end of the next decade, and unless they grow up rather than out, they could be in trouble, according to a new report from the World Resources Institute and Yale University. But poor land records, rampant speculation and weak or corrupt implementation of regulations means that cities are using land inefficiently… co-author Anjali Mahendra. …When cities grow at the behest of developers rather than guided by policy, she said, the result is development at the periphery. That eats into agricultural or forest lands, and expands into areas that are far from jobs and largely unconnected to municipal services like water and public transit. For the study, the researchers used a first-ever technique to combine satellite images tracking how 499 of the largest cities in the developing world have expanded outward.

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The forests we have left are critical to the environment

Letter by Walter Crombie
The Campbell River Mirror
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fifty years ago, we selectively logged the larger trees and took care not to damage smaller trees. …Fifty years later, the B.C. Forest Service is controlled by the big timber companies. Fifty years later there are 60 per cent fewer loggers and sawmill workers employed in B.C. …The forests we have left are critical to the environment. …The B.C. Forest Service and the Minister of Forests in B.C. have proven thousands of times over that they are not capable of managing the forests of B.C. to the benefit of the environment – the benefit of the economy or utilizing damaged and downed timber due to fires or wind etc. …The Ministry of Forests in Victoria should be disbanded. Professional forest engineers should be hired with no input from government or lumber companies.

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East Kootenay groups to call meeting amid logging “crisis”

By Kimerley Vlasic
The Nelson Star
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fernie community groups are expected to call a crisis meeting later this week amid growing concern about logging in the Elk Valley. Forestry company CanWel owns approximately 55,000ha of land in the Elk Valley and has been logging in the area for some time. However, groups such as Wildsight and the Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA) are becoming increasingly concerned about CanWel’s encroachment on wildlife habitat and trails. FTA Board Chair Krista Turcasso and Wildsight Elk Valley Conservation Coordinator Randal Macnair attended Monday’s regular meeting of council, where they called on the City and community to act. …CanWel is a Vancouver-based company and one of Canada’s largest national distributors in the building materials and related products sector.

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Where’s the consultation on caribou?

By Dan Davies is the MLA for Peace River North
Alaska Highway News
January 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Davies

The B.C. Natural Resources Forum …was a great success but I’m surprised the provincial government did not use this …opportunity to launch meaningful public consultations on caribou recovery efforts. The range of caribou extends from the Peace Region right down to the Kootenays, and that’s why the forum would have been the perfect venue. …This is not to say that some closed-door meetings did take place with government officials. Both the Peace River Regional District and representatives from the Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery met with forests minister Doug Donaldson and environment minister George Heyman. …I appreciated meeting with the Concerned Citizens for Caribou in Prince George and thank them for their work on this important issue. I remain optimistic that the provincial government will open up the discussion to the public, yet every time a meeting has been scheduled, it’s been suddenly cancelled at the last minute.

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Two public complaints investigated on Haida Gwaii

BC Forest Practices Board
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board has released the results of two separate investigations into public complaints about forest practices, one near Port Clements on Graham Island and another near Skidegate Lake on Moresby Island. Both investigations found that the licensees’ forest practices met the legal requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Haida Gwaii Land Use Objectives Order. “These two complaints both involved the implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) on Haida Gwaii, and we are pleased to find that the objectives have been implemented through sound forest practices on the ground,” said Kevin Kriese, board chair. “The board recognizes that EBM is intended to achieve both ecological integrity and human well-being, and that monitoring and adaptive management are needed.” A complaint about logging near Port Clements involved the activities of BC Timber Sales (BCTS). …The second complaint was in the Skidegate landscape unit and involved activities of several forest companies.

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New emerald ash borer research could shed light on how pest holds up to Thunder Bay’s winters

By Matt Prokopchuk
CBC News
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Chris MacQuarrie

New research being conducted by a Canadian federal agency aims to shed light on how an invasive species discovered in Thunder Bay in 2016 will stand up to harsh winters… The emerald ash borer was first spotted in the city about two and a half years ago. The destructive pest kills ash trees… threatening widespread damage to urban canopies. Combating the beetle is a costly endeavour but scientists with Natural Resources Canada are investigating whether temperatures below –30 C can kill the insect or slow down its spread. That type of information could be useful in predicting how the emerald ash borer will behave come spring. Some ash borers “go through the winter as a larva, which means that in the spring, they’re going to wake up and keep feeding underneath the bark of the trees,” said Chris MacQuarrie, a research scientist with Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian forest service. …But …MacQuarrie doesn’t believe winter will wipe out the insect.

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The Way Forward on Forestry

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
January 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

On January 28, 2019, the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, joined by members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Forest Industry Association (NLFIA), Ministers of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs; Indigenous governments and organizations; forest sector stakeholders; community, academic, and business leaders; and students, launched the Forestry Sector Work Plan, which includes 32 actions to diversify the forest industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, support economic growth, and foster private sector job creation. The announcement was made at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook. The Provincial Government and its partners share The Way Forward commitment to increase timber allocations and harvest levels by 20 per cent by 2020. …As part of The Way Forward vision, the Provincial Government is directly engaging the forestry, aquaculture, agriculture, and technology sectors to address industry needs in ways that result in new employment and economic activity throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Native American Tribes Gaining Recognition For Timber And Forestry Practices

By Brian Bull
KLCC FM Public Radio
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Helena Linnell and Darin Jarnaghan

When Native Americans ceded their lands during the treaty era, much of it was forest. Today, many tribes – including those in Oregon – are not only working to regain some of those forests, they’re getting national recognition for their sustainable management practices. Just over a year ago, President Trump signed the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act.  It restored roughly 18,000 acres of federal land to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians, and 15,000 acres to the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. The act gave both tribes a land base for the first time since their tribal status was restored in the 1980s. It gave the Coquille Tribe something, too.  Darin Jarnaghan, a Hupa Indian who serves as the Coquille’s Director of Natural Resources, explains as we drive towards the tribal forest west of Roseburg.

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New Oregon council to examine wildfire-fighting strategies

By Andrew Selsky
Associated Press in East Oregonian
January 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Matt Donegan

SALEM — Oregon will evaluate the effectiveness of its system to combat the blazes as fire seasons grow longer and more severe. Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday she’s issued an executive order establishing the Oregon Wildfire Response Council. It is tasked with evaluating Oregon’s current response system to large fires and making recommendations in September on the future of Oregon’s wildfire response infrastructure.  “Oregon’s firefighting approach leads the nation in effectiveness,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “However, wildfire dynamics are changing and it is never too soon to evaluate the approach to wildfire education, prevention, suppression, attack, and community recovery.” …Brown appointed Matt Donegan as chairman of the new wildfire response council. …Donegan studied forestry and worked early in his career as a forester and investment analyst at Georgia-Pacific Corporation…

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Gov. Kate Brown Announces New Council To Assess Oregon Wildfire Response

By Jes Burns and Liam Moriarty
Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order Wednesday creating a new council that will examine the efficacy of the state’s response to wildfire. The Oregon Wildfire Response Council is charged with reporting their findings no later than Sept. 30. “We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can, that we are employing the best practices in the entire country, and that we are building support among all Oregonians for the sustainable funding needed to change this pattern,” Brown said. …According to the governor’s office, the panel will look at “wildfire education, prevention, suppression, attack, and community recovery.” …The governor named Matt Donegan at chair of the council. Donegan has a background in forestry and timber investment management. 

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Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation requests funding to increase logging on national forests

By Laura Lundquist
Missula Current
January 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sonya Germann

As the state plans to increase logging on national forests, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation wants more money to prepare and manage timber sales. On Monday, a legislative appropriations committee heard some of the reasons why the DNRC is requesting about $7 million per year more than it did in the 2017 session. The main reason, said executive director John Tubbs, is to hire more employees, partly to make up for attrition and partly to prepare to start logging national forests under a Farm Bill program. …In particular, Tubbs wants enough money for state forester Sonya Germann to hire 6.5 people to help expedite timber sales and contracting on national forests as authorized under the Good Neighbor Authority program created by the 2014 Farm Bill. Germann also needs extra money for the program’s operating expenses.

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Woodland Revival: Rehabilitating Japan’s Forests with Small-Scale Harvesting

By Satō Noriko
Nippon.com
January 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forests account for some 70% of Japan’s land area. Intimately tied with the nation’s development, woodlands since ancient times have provided residents with timber for building, raw materials for crafting tools and everyday utensils, and fuel for cooking and heating. …However, dependence has frequently resulted in overexploitation, and governments throughout Japanese history have struggled to balance demand for timber with the need to conserve forest resources. …Although the situation is dire, two trends have emerged in recent years that give many in the forestry industry hope for the future. First, large-scale lumber mills and Japan’s burgeoning number of biomass power plants have boosted demand for domestic timber. …The second promising trend… for leaving city life behind and taking jobs in a physically demanding profession like forestry.

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Monarch population up 144 pct at Mexico wintering grounds

Associated Press in the Vancouver Sun
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MEXICO CITY — The population of monarch butterflies wintering in central Mexico is up 144 per cent over last year, experts said Wednesday. The data presented by Andrew Rhodes, Mexico’s national commissioner for protected natural areas, was cheered, but scientists quickly warned that it does not mean the butterflies that migrate from Canada and the United States are out of danger. This winter, researchers found the butterflies occupying 14.95 acres (6.05 hectares) of pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan and Mexico states. That’s an increase from 6.12 acres (2.48 hectares) a year ago. …Norris saw little connection between this year’s increase and the concerted conservation efforts along the butterflies’ migration route, especially in Mexico where the government, with the help of local communities, has nearly eliminated illegal logging inside the butterflies’ protected area west of Mexico City. “It was a Goldilocks year this year,” he said. “Not too hot, not too cold, it was perfect.”

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New doctoral programme will reinvigorate forest research

University of Birmingham
January 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research(BIFoR) will introduce its new cohort of forest PhD researchers at its annual meeting 30 January. The researchers are set to reinvigorate forest research in the UK through BIFoR’s doctoral training programme, Forest Edge. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the £1 million programme will enable researchers to tackle topics as wide-ranging as how forests can balance the brain, and to how best to conserve mangroves. Professor Nicola Spence, Director of BIFoR and UK Chief Plant Health Officer said: “The risk to our trees from pests and diseases is real and increasing, for example from potential threats like Xylella fastidiosa and Emerald Ash Borer. Meeting the many challenges posed by pests and diseases requires a variety of experts, working together on the scientific and socio-economic aspects of each threat.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada’s climate gap widens yet again

By Barry Saxifrage
The National Observer
January 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The gap between Canada’s proposed climate efforts and its 2030 Paris Agreement target has grown even wider in the last year. …The numbers come from… “Canada’s Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant Emissions Projections 2018.” …And now, the government’s newest projections show the gap has widened even further. They now project a gap of 78 MtCO2. …The government is hoping to reduce that number by 37 MtCO2 in “emissions credits” which would be bought from California and claimed from carbon in Canada’s forests. …The second hope for credits lies in a new carbon accounting computer model that Canada is putting together for its forests. …There are several reasons these credits are speculative at this point: Not authorized yet… Complicated computer models… Speculative assumptions… Canada’s managed forests are actually emitting carbon. …The primary reason for this switch to carbon emitting is the increasing scale of wildfires and insect outbreaks.

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Province ignoring wildfires in carbon calculation, Sierra Club BC says

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
January 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfires that ripped through B.C. forests during the last two summers have done the province no favours when it comes to carbon emissions, according to an environmental advocacy group. In a report released Monday, Sierra Club B.C. says that both the 2017 and 2018 wildfires took out more than 1.2 million hectares, eight times more than the 10-year average. In the process, the 2017 fires emitted an estimated 190 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and produced a similar amount in 2018. According to the latest data, released by the B.C. government in December, B.C.’s total emissions in 2016 were about 62 million tonnes. And Sierra Club B.C. says that’s on the low side, claiming the government failed to take into account emissions from “destructive logging and slash burning” that amounted to nearly 50 million tonnes in the last three years. The practices have turned B.C. forest from a carbon sink to a carbon emitter…

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Renewable energy, explained

By Christina Nunez
National Geographic
January 31, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

In any discussion about climate change, renewable energy usually tops the list of changes the world can implement to stave off the worst effects of rising temperatures. That’s because renewable energy sources such as solar and wind don’t emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. …Of course, renewables—like any source of energy—have their own trade-offs and associated debates. …Biomass energy includes biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, wood and wood waste, biogas from landfills, and municipal solid waste. Like solar power, biomass is a flexible energy source, able to fuel vehicles, heat buildings, and produce electricity. But biomass can raise thorny issues. …Similarly, debates have erupted over whether it’s a good idea to ship wood pellets from U.S. forests over to Europe so that it can be burned for electricity. 

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What PG&E And 2018’s Fires Can Teach Investors And Business Owners About Climate Risk And Resiliency

By Rob Day
Forbes Magazine
January 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

…Without a doubt, both of these disasters were exacerbated by climate change. But what’s really scary about PG&E and Hurricane Florence is that they are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential economic damage to our energy and water supplies. Each of these events should be a clarion call to investors in Fortune 500 companies that they need to be considering the resiliency of their investments in the face of climate change risk. …The fact is, our large-scale industries have not invested in their infrastructure in a way that’s going to keep pace with climate change. …So how do we get the improvements we need to ensure that our economy is more insulated from shocks like forest fires and floods as climate change worsens. Part of the answer may lie in addressing these issues on a smaller scale.

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US and UK environmental groups call for closure of Offaly power stations

By Justin Kelly
The Offaly Express
January 31, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A number of environmental groups from the US and UK have mounted opposition to an ESB succession plan to burn biomass at Offaly power stations beyond 2020 and called for the closure of such plants. Environmental activist groups like the Dogwood Alliance from the US and Biofuelwatch in the UK object to a planning application aimed at introducing biomass burning at West Offaly Power Station along similar lines to conversions made at Edenderry Power Station. The groups object on the grounds that burning peat in power stations for another seven years and then converting to “yet another high-carbon-emitting form of energy is incompatible with Ireland’s Paris Climate Agreement commitments, and puts an undue burden on forests that serve as carbon sinks and habitat for precious biodiversity.”

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Forestry must seize climate change opportunity

Timberbiz
January 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Lord Deben

The UK Government will not meet its climate change targets without a significant increase in tree planting and far greater use of timber in construction. That was the clear message from Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), when he addressed the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF).  He told the APPGF this was a time of enormous opportunity for forestry and wood, especially as more land traditionally used for agriculture would become unprofitable under likely post-Brexit changes to farm subsidies – but he warned the industry there was hard work ahead to seize the opportunities. “There is a context where forestry is in a very strong position but the coda is this; ministers want to have industries which are united in what they ask for. This is a crucial part of what the forestry industry has got to do and includes reaching out to the agricultural community.

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Health & Safety

Logging truck driver fined for wedging rig under Kamloops overpass

By Karen Edwards
InfoTel News
January 30, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — The driver of a logging truck who got stuck under a Canadian Pacific railway overpass in downtown Kamloops earlier this week has been issued a fine according to the Ministry of Transportation. In an emailed statement, ministry officials say the driver was issued a violation ticket for driving without reasonable consideration since the route was closed to commercial vehicles. …”It is important for commercial vehicle drivers to follow pre-approved trip routes and obey any route closures,” the statement says. …”We will be looking at repairing and potentially getting those pipes tucked up a bit higher,” he says. “There is signage up throughout the corridor indicating this is not a truck route… at the end of the day, that particular vehicle should not have been on that corridor.” 

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