Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: February 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US homebuilder sentiment rises as interest rates stay in check

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 20, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

US homebuilders are feeling better as February marks the second month where all three ‘sentiment’ index components showed gains. In other Business news: BC expects forestry revenue to fall in 2019; the US-China trade war reduces log exports from Oregon; and both the town council and union speak up for the Ontario’s Fort Francis mill.

In Wood Product news: zero carbon buildings offer GHG reductions, receive Gov’t of Canada support; the US Dep’t of Defense eyes CLT; I-Joists are under the gun in Idaho; and the latest renderings for Toronto’s Timber City. Elsewhere: IMAX releases its Great Bear Rainforest film; new research says glyphosate can persist in edible plants; and Indonesian children exposed to forest fire smoke while in the womb show stunted growth.

Finally, NASA says the Earth is greener than it was 20 years ago, while logging in Australia is measured by the cricket field.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Green Party leader say’s Nova Scotia should shutter Northern Pulp mill

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 19, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Green Party leader Elizabeth May says Nova Scotia should shutter the Northern Pulp mill. In other Business news: China’s slowing growth cuts into softwood demand; last week’s winter weather cast a pall over North American demand; Conifer reaches tentative deal with United Steelworkers; Domtar and Unifor reach agreement on retirement packages at Ear Falls; and the bidding process for Fort Frances mill gets nasty.

In Forestry news: FPAC’s Derek Nighbor on the changing face of the workforce; fire ecologist Robert Gray on how to make BC’s forest fires less damaging; and Dr. Tom Pugh (U of Birmingham) on why young forests—rather than tropical rainforests—are the world’s biggest terrestrial carbon sinks.

Finally, stories on: tall wood manufacturing in Washington and Australia; tall wood construction in BC and Texas, extraordinary prefab houses around the world. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

10 Best-Worst Wooden Car Mods

By Benjamin Hunting
Driving
February 20, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Genius or madness? Sometimes there’s a fine line between the two, and clearly these modifiers think they are on it. They’re not. They’re just crazy.  Sometimes, steel is just too expensive. Sometimes, plastic makes too much sense. Fortunately, the forests of the world are vast, power saws are cheap, and besides, didn’t you quit community college halfway through your first semester because you were tired of people judging you? Behold: the weird and wonderful world of wood car modifications. Here are 10 of the most egregious examples you’ll ever see dodging termites down the turnpike.

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Business & Politics

B.C. Budget 2019: Natural resources revenue expected to fall

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
February 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As expected, curbs placed on B.C.’s housing market has resulted in lower new housing starts and a loss of about $325 million from property transfer taxes. …But the government isn’t counting on that falling revenue to be made up from B.C.’s natural resource sector. Revenue from forestry was up in 2018, thanks to record high lumber prices. But those prices have since fallen and going forward the government is expecting declining revenue from forestry, as well as other natural resource sectors. Forestry revenue is expected to fall 16.8% in 2019-20, due largely to lower lumber prices. Timber harvest levels are expected to drop by 2 million cubic metres by 2021-22. The government expects revenue from forestry to drop from $1.4 billion in 2018-19 to $1.2 billion in 2019-20 and to $1 billion by 2021.

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Community tries to save Fort Frances mill from destruction

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, ON — Observers say they have never seen so many people at any meeting of Fort Frances town council. With the fate of the Resolute paper mill on the agenda, the viewing gallery was jammed Tuesday evening, requiring town officials to provide seating for spectators to watch the proceedings through a video feed to a separate room. The special meeting called by council gave stakeholders and community members an opportunity to express their concern about the growing prospect the idled mill will be demolished by a company with which Resolute has already reached what it calls a “backstop” agreement.  According to one councillor, Michael Behan, the loss of the mill would have “a 7.6 per cent tax impact” on Fort Frances. Speakers endorsed council’s effort to head that off by supporting a sale to an investment group that proposes to reopen the mill to produce specialty paper.

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Council to ‘stand up for citizens’

By Duane Hicks
International Falls Journal
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fort Frances council has a duty to defend the interests of its constituents and so has decided after all to consider a proposed resolution regarding the bidding process for the possible sale of the local mill. In an official statement issued by the Town of Fort Frances last week, it indicated council was set to consider the resolution at a special meeting Tuesday. “Our council has a duty to defend the interests of our constituents and their rights over local, publicly-owned resources,” the statement said. As reported earlier this week, a resolution for consideration by council was prepared in response to correspondence received by the town from Resolute Forest Products on Feb. 8. …Resolute informed the council that it had “signed a backstop agreement to transfer the Fort Frances mill property to a community redeveloper.”

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Unifor calls on Ford government to ‘step up’ for Fort Frances mill

By Gary Rinne
The Thunder Bay News Watch
February 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, ON — The union that represents forest industry workers across northwestern Ontario is accusing the province of failing to take a leadership role to prevent the demolition of the Resolute paper mill at Fort Frances. Stephen Boon, a national representative for Unifor, says the government of Premier Doug Ford needs to enforce the existing Sustainable Forest Licence for the idled mill, because unless a prospective buyer has a secure wood supply, “there will be no successful sale.” …Fibre from the Crossroute Forest currently feeds other Resolute operations in Atikokan, Ignace and Thunder Bay. Resolute “wants to maintain this practice for years to come,” Boon said in a statement. “This is despite the fact that there is abundant unused fibre related to over a dozen mill closures” in recent years within 450 kilometres of Fort Frances.

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Fort Frances holds special public meeting to rally for clarity around wood supply rights

CBC News
February 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Town council in Fort Frances, Ont., is holding a special public meeting Tuesday night to debate a resolution asserting the right of the town to use nearby forest resources to boost the local economy. At issue is the fate of the community’s mill… In December 2018, the town announced that a deal with Repap to reopen the facility was nearly complete. But since then, the council has learned of requests by Resolute that any company wanting to purchase the idled mill sign a non-disclosure agreement, effectively prohibiting potential buyers from talking to the town council and the provincial government about access to the nearby Crossroute Forest. …But a statement from the town said: “While Monday’s Council meeting was in progress, Resolute’s lawyers issued a letter to Council threatening legal action. Resolute alleged that the resolution contained ‘false, misleading and defamatory statements concerning Resolute.

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Homebuilder sentiment rises as interest rates stay in check

By Diana Olick and Lisa Rizzolo
CNBC
February 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The nation’s homebuilders are feeling better about the state of their industry as lower interest rates boost consumer confidence. Builder sentiment rose 4 points to 62 in February… The survey stood at 71 last February. Anything above 50 on the index is considered positive. Sentiment fell at the end of last year, largely because mortgage rates jumped in the fall, hurting affordability. Newly built homes come at a price premium to existing homes, so higher interest rates can have an outsize effect on the new construction market. Interest rates then fell sharply at the end of the year and have remained lower this year. …Of the index’s three components, buyer traffic moved up 4 points to 48. Current sales conditions rose 3 points to 67, and sales expectations over the next six months increased 5 points to 68. February marks the second month where all three of the indexes showed gains.

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Signs of trade war impact on Oregon

Oregon Natural Resources Report
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

An escalating trade war between the United States and China, along with tit-for-tat tariffs on imported goods, may curtail business in West Coast ports, reducing labor hours and creating a ripple effect throughout the Pacific Northwest economy. …Astoria Forest Products loaded a bulk carrier with 5.5 million board feet of timber headed for China, but The Daily Astorian reported that it may be the last such ship leaving the Port of Astoria after China imposed a 10 percent tariff on log imports. Uncertainty over increasing tariffs has put log ship contracts for next year on hold, according to Chad Niedermeyer, yard manager for Astoria Forest Products. China imposes 5 percent tariffs on Douglas fir and hemlock and 10 percent on spruce and grand fir, but those numbers are likely to increase to 25 percent as the trade war escalates.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Government of Canada announces support to accelerate transition to zero carbon buildings

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Climate change is one of the defining environmental challenges of our time. Increasing education, awareness, and climate action through independent third parties will support Canada’s efforts to protect the environment and transition to a cleaner economy. Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced funding to the Canada Green Building Council, through the Climate Action Fund. The Canada Green Building Council’s project will help raise climate change awareness among small and medium-sized businesses and increase knowledge of the design, adoption, and application of zero carbon buildings. This funding will benefit the Council’s 1,000 emerging green-building professional members, who include young professionals and students eager to make zero carbon buildings the norm. The Climate Action Fund provides up to $3 million to support projects delivered by students, youth, Indigenous Peoples and organizations, not-for-profit organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, and research and educational institutions.

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Canada Green Building Council study proves Zero Carbon Buildings eliminate greenhouse gas emissions while reducing operating costs and achieving positive returns

By Canada Green Building Council
Cision Newswire
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has issued a new report – the first of its kind in Canada – that proves Zero Carbon Buildings offer meaningful greenhouse gas reductions and positive financial returns. Entitled “Making The Case For Building To Zero Carbon,” the CaGBC report confirms that Zero Carbon Buildings are financially viable today, with a positive financial return over a 25-year life-cycle, inclusive of carbon pollution pricing, and requiring only a modest capital cost premium.  The economic case for Zero Carbon Buildings is reinforced over time with the rising cost of carbon, increased resiliency, and by avoiding costs such as future retrofits. Eliminating pollution from buildings is important if Canada is to meet its climate action goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The CaGBC report found that, by 2030, over four million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year can be avoided…

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House in ski country is built of CLT and is almost plastic-free

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
February 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

We love cross-laminated timber because building with wood stores carbon. But there is more to it than that – there is an elegance and simplicity to the way CLT panels go together. That’s one of the reasons to love this new house in Fernie, BC, built by Jake Christiansen. …I have sometimes questioned whether CLT is the most appropriate way to build with wood on houses and low-rise buildings; it uses a lot more lumber. But it uses a lot less of other stuff, particularly drywall. …But there is more than just biophilia going on here; there is also a serious attempt to get away from plastics. On the outside of the CLT the house is wrapped with Rockwool comfort board insulation, with the various cladding materials framed over that.

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Row breaks out over Sidewalk Lab’s Toronto smart neighbourhood plan

Global Construction Review
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A row has broken out over a plan to develop a next-generation smart neighbourhood in Toronto after the developer revealed plans to finance it with fees and taxes that would normally be collected by the city government. Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet and a sister company of Google, released an update on its plan to build a model neighbourhood of the future in Toronto last Thursday (14 February). The update sets out the objectives of the district and its business case, and includes new renderings of its mass-timber buildings from Norwegian architect Snøhetta and London-based Heatherwick Studio. …However, an internal report was also leaked last week that revealed Sidewalk Labs’ plan to lay claim to fees and taxes in exchange for funding Toronto’s waterfront transit, prompting critics of the project to question whether it should be allowed to continue.

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Snøhetta and Heatherwick Design a Timber City for Sidewalk Labs

By Eric Baldwin
Arch Daily
February 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sidewalk Labs has released new renderings from Snøhetta and Heatherwick Studio of the Quayside neighborhood development in Toronto. After announcing plans to create a model smart city, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. …The team has announced that they would build a tall-timber factory in Ontario to meet the demand for timber that the new project would require. The design aims to “unlock the potential” of the Eastern Waterfront through new jobs and housing, as well as stimulating economic growth. The project would include 12 timbertowers with 2,500 residential units total, 1,000 of which would be rented at below-market rates. Michael Green Architecture has developed a mass timber kit-of-parts, and Snøhetta and Heatherwick Studio have designed parts of the campus, innovation zone, and common areas.

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How To Thrive Amidst Trade War Woes According To Ethan Allen Interiors CEO

By Luke Kelly
Forbes Magazine
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, International

Farooq Kathwari

Farooq Kathwari, chairman and CEO of Connecticut-based Ethan Allen Interiors since 1987, has been successfully doing business in China for over four decades. Despite trade tensions between the U.S. and China, the American furniture maker is expanding in China. For almost two decades, Ethan Allen has exported its furniture to China rather than make it, and sell it, there. …About 10 percent of our wood products are made in Indonesia and growing. The rest we are making in Vermont, North Carolina and Honduras. We don’t make any wood products in China. We did make some with our partners, but because of the high costs we’ve moved manufacturing to Vietnam and Indonesia, which have become very important sources of furniture. Indonesia… they have great sources of wood and are great craftsmen. 

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Why your future bunkers might be made of wood

By Logan Nye
We Are the Mighty
February 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

… the Department of Defense is eyeing a return to stick-based construction in some places where it currently uses concrete and similar materials. Fire and blast tests have already gone well, and the Army is working with universities to test its performance against ballistic weapons. …But the Pentagon … allowed the Forest Products Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to test CLT structures against blasts. …The blast tests were done in 2016 and 2017 at Tyndall Air Force Base. This was before the hurricane wiped out many of the base’s structures (which were not CLT). …All-in-all, CLT is a promising material for the military, and it’s achieved a lot of acceptance in the civilian world. It’s much better for the environment than concrete, which releases CO2 both in production and construction, and steel, which is energy intensive to mine, smelt, forge, and ship.

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How fast can new houses burn? Much faster than they could decades ago

By Deni Hawkins
Idaho News
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Newer homes are burning faster than homes built several decades ago did. …The speed at which modern homes burn can be attributed to a number of things, including …the lumber that’s used to construct a home. National research shows that lumber used in older homes could collapse within 15 to 20 minutes, while construction materials used in new homes can fail within four to six minutes. …More traditional lumber has been largely phased out in favor of an engineered I-joist. In 2005, Boise Fire deputy chief Romeo Gervais said about half of new homes were being constructed using I-joists. Now, he said that number has jumped to nearly 100 percent. …Even though the risk of collapse may be expedited in newer homes, fire crews say that shouldn’t be your first concern if a house fire breaks out. “Long before your floor collapses you’re going to be overcome by the smoke and combustion,” Gervais said.

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Consumers’ use of toilet paper wiping out habitat, heating planet, report says

By Ellen Wulfhorst
Thomson Reuters Foundation
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Americans use more toilet paper than anyone else in the world, helping destroy the habitats of native people who live where it is sourced and contributing to global warming, a research study said on Wednesday. U.S. consumers use roughly three rolls of toilet paper a week, accounting for a fifth of the world’s tissue consumption, according to the report by environmental groups Stand.earth and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Single-use tissue products such as toilet paper used in the United States are made from wood pulp, mostly derived from logging in the old-growth northern, or boreal, forest in Canada, where logging companies clear cut more than a million acres (405,000 hectares) every year, the NRDC said. The forest plays a key role in combating global warming because it absorbs and stores carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that contributes to it, the group said.

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Western Hemisphere’s Tallest Timber Tower Okayed

By Jeramey Jannene
Urban Milwaukee
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A zoning change for the tallest wood building in the Western Hemisphere was given unanimous approval by the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee Wednesday morning. New Land Enterprises is planning to build Ascent, a 21-story tower with 201 apartments, on a long-vacant site… The tower would be largely built of a man-made lumber product that is designed to be environmentally friendly and more attractive than steel or concrete. “The goal of the glazing in large part is to expose that material,” said architect Jason Korb of the tower’s many windows. “I think the design is outstanding,” said committee member and area alderman Robert Bauman. …The engineered material offers substantial environmental benefits over steel or concrete. Because of its reduced weight, it also can reduce the size of a building’s foundation allowing faster construction. Construction speed is further enhanced with the use of prefabricated components.

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Woodworking Machines Market to Witness Exponential Growth by 2017- 2027

Honest Version
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Woodworking machines are largely adopted in countries, such as the U.S., China and Germany to deliver highly precise and quality products as per customer needs. These machines largely help manufacturers reduce wastage of wood and thereby, improve their profitability margin. Moreover, the increasing focus of customers to replace old furniture to rehabilitate their office and house is expected to drive growth of the global woodworking machines market. Additionally, the shifting focus of furniture manufactured using conventional tools to furniture manufactured using automatic machines is further projected to escalate the demand of woodworking machines in near future. Based on operating principle, mechanical woodworking machines are expected to dominate the market. However, electric machines are anticipated to witness significant growth in near future, owing to increasing preference of smart machines in countries, such as the U.S., Europe and India.

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WoodWorks Announces 2019 Partners

By WoodWorks
Cision Newswire
February 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

WASHINGTON — WoodWorks – Wood Products Council has announced its 2019 Funding Partners, whose participation in the program enables WoodWorks to achieve its mission. …Major funding partners include the Softwood Lumber Board, USDA Forest Service, and Forestry Innovation Investment. …National partners are individual companies that help fund the efforts of the program. 2019 partners include: Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, Canfor-Anthony, EACOM… The program also receives funding support from APA – The Engineered Wood Association and works closely with Think Wood, the American Wood Council, and the Canadian Wood Council. “The diversity of WoodWorks’ funding partners reflects our goal of helping people design and construct quality wood buildings using the most appropriate wood solutions for their particular project,” said Jennifer Cover, WoodWorks’ president and CEO.

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Forestry

Govt inks pact with Canadian university for research on environment issues

By Press Trust of India
India Business Standard
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

The Centre on Wednesday collaborated with Canada’s University of British Columbia (UBC) to work on various environmental issues including climate change, forest resource management and wildlife. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada for next 10 years to explore opportunities for collaborations in the field of forestry science, an official said. A ministry official said that the opportunities will be explored through organizations like Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education(ICFRE), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Forest Survey of India (FSI), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and Directorate of Forest Education, Uttarakhand, and UBC, Canada.

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More money in B.C. budget for wildfire response as natural disaster costs soar

By Shelby Thom
Global News
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2019 B.C. budget allocates more funding towards disaster response, but the leader of the B.C. Green Party says better policies need to follow suit in the face of climate change. Budget 2019 includes a wildfire response funding increase from $64 million to $101 million per year “in recognition of increased wildfire activity.” However, the province has spent more than that during every wildfire season since 2011. “It’s basically the bare minimum that the government is allocating for wildfire response but it’s not enough if fires were as strong as they were in the past,” said UBC Okanagan economics instructor Julien Picault. …Other wildfire-related items in the budget include $13 million over three years to restore forests damaged by disease and wildfire and the distribution of $60 million announced in 2018/19 for fuel management.

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Assessment must be done before blowdown salvage

Letter by Sabine Almstrom
Cowichan Valley Citizen
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The consultant should provide advice on how to proceed in the most environmentally sensitive manner. …The size of blowdown in the North Cowichan municipal forest reserve, estimated around 8,000 cubic metres, is huge and constitutes an enormous loss of valuable trees. Salvage of such a magnitude of trees should not be undertaken by the municipal forestry department without a prior environmental assessment by a qualified and independent ecological consultant. The consultant should also provide advice on how to proceed in the most environmentally sensitive and least harmful manner. The affected areas are just too large, with too many ecosystem-based complexities that need to be considered. We can’t let salvaging go ahead just as business-as-usual. To do so would be utterly irresponsible.

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The herbicide glyphosate persists in wild, edible plants: B.C. study

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lisa Wood

…forest plants …can retain glyphosate and related residues for at least a year, a new study has found. “The highest and most consistent levels of glyphosate and AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) were found in herbaceous perennial root tissues, but shoot tissues and fruit were also shown to contain glyphosate in select species,” according to the study published in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Herbicides containing glyphosate are used by forest companies to kill aspen and other broadleaf plants in areas that have been logged and replanted with trees of commercial value such as Douglas fir and pine, according to the Ministry of Forests. When herbicides are sprayed by plane, the spray can deliver non-lethal doses of glyphosate to nearby “non-target plants,” some of which may store the compound indefinitely or break it down very slowly, said author Lisa Wood, a forester and assistant professor at the University of Northern B.C.

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Great Bear Rainforest Hits a Screen Big Enough to Fit Its Grandeur

By Ian Gill
The Tyee
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The day before I caught the Victoria premiere screening of a new IMAX film on the Great Bear Rainforest, a rather barbed tweet caught my eye. …“The film’s promotions claiming that the region is ‘untouched’ and ‘undeveloped’ is entirely wrong,” said a post on Facebook. “The Great Bear Rainforest has been the homelands of Indigenous peoples for thousands of years.” …Then there’s that other grizzly in the room, which is that a brilliantly filmed and captivating cinematic marvel — and Great Bear Rainforest, Land of the Spirit Bear is all that and then some — is going to make mobs of people want to visit the Great Bear and in doing so, threaten the very thing that draws them there in the first place. …“At the end of the day, I hope what we’re protecting is the ability of communities to exist, and persist,” McAllister says.

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Shared blame for caribou extinction

By Dr. Brian Horejsi, wildlife and forest ecologist
The Kelowna Daily Courier
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Horejsi

…A deathly silence, an unfriendly silence not heard for 10,000 years, has descended over the valleys and meadows of the Selkirk Mountains in southern B.C. and northern Idaho. It is a loud and clear stillness penetrating through the canopies of big ancient trees…, a stillness felt, I suspect, by the gray jays, marten, and squirrels, known only to them and thousands of human who value life in its totality. It is the silence of extinction! As of now the caribou that occupied the Selkirk region of southern B.C. and northern Idaho for almost 10,000 years are extinct. Gone. For good. Forever! The timber industry, urged on and shielded by critically uninformed and sometimes unscrupulous ministers and deputy ministers responsible for forests in B.C. and Idaho engaged in the kind of blunt force politics that have grown to characterize natural resource management and non-conservation in the west.

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Community forest proposed

By Colin Dacre
Castanet
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Penticton council voted unanimously Tuesday to support in principle an application for a community forest outside the city spearheaded by local trails groups. Andrew Drouin of the South Okanagan Trail Alliance and Neda Joss, one of the most vocal opponents of planned logging in the Carmi trails area, was before council Tuesday seeking support for the application to the province. “Despite our opposition to what’s going on up there, 1,700 signatures on our petition… BC Timber Sales is still moving ahead with their logging plans,” Joss said, explaining a community forest agreement would give local residents the chance to determine the fate of their forests. A community forest puts the management of an area into the hands of a non-profit group made up of local stakeholders. There are close to 60 community forests in B.C., including one managed by the Westbank First Nation in the Central Okanagan, two outside Lumby and one in the Lower Similkameen.

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North Cowichan to pause all logging in forest reserve for 2019

By Robert Barron
Lake Cowichan Gazette
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan is anticipating a budget shortfall of around $150,000 in 2019 due to council’s decision on Feb. 15 not to allow new logging contracts in its forest reserve this year. At a special meeting, council considered options for forestry operations within the municipal forest reserve in 2019, and endorsed just the completion of existing 2018 forestry contracts and harvesting of blow downs from the windstorm in December. Mayor Al Siebring said council decided to minimize logging in the municipality’s 5,000-hectare municipal forest reserve until experts are tapped for their input and the public has been thoroughly consulted on what people want for the future of the public properties. …At its meeting last week, council also adopted a revised terms of reference for its forest advisory committee… [Their mandate] will include a full review of forest management practices and short and long-term recommendations.

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COFI Announces Winners of Third Annual Forestry Photo Contest

Council of Forest Industries
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, B.C. – The BC Council of Forest Industries today announced the winners of the 3rd Annual Photo Contest conducted in partnership with Canadian Forest Industries Magazine. “This year, we received outstanding submissions from photographers across British Columbia,” said Susan Yurkovich. “We were thrilled to see so many photographers share images of what forestry means for them and where forest products appear in their everyday lives.” …Of the 54 submissions received, ten terrific photos have been selected to appear in print, in the January-February edition of CFI Magazine, with the top photo featured on the cover of CFI Magazine. …All submitted photos can be viewed online at woodbusiness.ca.

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An Alliance of First Nations and Non-First Nations Leaders Encourage Ford Government to Take Decisive Action on Endangered Species Act Review

Ontario Forest Industries Association
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An Alliance of First Nations and non-First Nations leaders from across Northern and Rural Ontario were pleased to see Premier Ford and the Ontario Government are taking steps to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA). On January 18, 2019, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) posted a 45-day consultation period to the Environmental Registry on the 10th Year Review of the Endangered Species Act: Discussion Paper. Over the 45-day consultation period, The Alliance leaders will continue working with government to ensure that all Ministries will develop workable species at risk policy that keeps mills open and people working in every region of the province. This group of concerned northern and rural leaders felt it necessary to clarify the misinformation from full-time environmental lobbyists.

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Logging opponents push to block Montana timber sale

Associated Press in Billings Gazette
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOZEMAN — Attorneys for a group of logging opponents have pushed for an injunction against a timber sale southeast of Bozeman, arguing the state set unfair terms for the auction. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports attorneys for Save Our Gallatin Front urged a Gallatin County judge on Tuesday to block the Limestone West Timber Sale, a 443-acre (179-hectare) project the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation proposed for school trust lands.
 
 

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Corporate landowners recognized for stewardship

The Albany Herald
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp recognized three corporate forest landowners for their stewardship and land management practices benefiting wildlife across Georgia. Georgia Power, Weyerhaeuser and CatchMark Timber Trust were honored as 2018 partners in the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership. Administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, Forestry for Wildlife Partnership is a voluntary program that promotes sustainable forest and wildlife conservation in corporate forestry practices. …DNR Wildlife Resources Division Director Rusty Garrison explained that working with private landowners to benefit wildlife and natural habitats is critical because more than 90 percent of Georgia’s land is in private ownership.

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The Earth Is Greener Than It Was 20 Years Ago, According to NASA

By Carly Sitzer
GreenMatters
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…NASA recently released new satellite photos and confirmed that the world is becoming a greener, and leafier place — thanks largely in part to the efforts by India and China to plant new trees.  In the past two decades, NASA reports, the planet’s green leaf area has increased a total of 5 percent, which is equal to about two million square miles or the entire area of all of the Amazon rainforests.  As Chi Chen — the study’s lead author and graduate researcher at Boston University’s Department of Earth and Environment — noted, China and India being leaders in the additional vegetation is especially unexpected given they are the two countries with the two largest populations.

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Are five Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCGs) of native forest being logged in Victoria every day?

ABC News, Australia
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Environmentalists frequently talk about logging in terms of how many “football fields” or “soccer pitches” are felled. But in the lead up to last year’s Victorian state election, the Greens released a policy paper that measured logging in a slightly different way: MCGs [Melbourne Cricket Grounds]. “Five MCG’s worth of native forest are being logged in Victoria every day,” the paper claimed. …While the policy paper was unclear on just which measure of the MCG it used, the common practice of using a football field to measure logging activity provides a reasonable basis for assessing that the claim would be calculated against the size of its playing field — which is just over 2 hectares. Nearly 3,000 hectares of native forest was logged in Victoria in 2016-17, and forest harvesting crews generally work Monday to Saturday. This equates to around 4.7 worth of MCGs logged every working day.

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China unveils development plans for forestry industry

Xinhua
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BEIJING — China’s top forestry authority has made plans to boost the forestry industry and set development goals. The industry pledges to improve its gross output by 50 percent by 2025, according to a recent guideline by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA). The output of economic forest products will reach 250 million tonnes by 2025, with total imports and exports of forest products expected to hit 240 billion U.S. dollars. The NFGA said by 2035, the country will see further expansion of the industry with more improved structure and sufficient supply of high-quality forest resources. To achieve such targets, continued efforts will be made to increase the supply of wood and establish more demonstration bases for the industry.

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Sensors take the manual work out of forest monitoring

By Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade
SciDev.Net
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SÃO PAULO — A remote monitoring system rolled out in Brazil is taking over the exhausting and risky task of keeping an eye on commercial forests. The system allows researchers and technicians to track forest growth rates in real time, in order to estimate if they are developing properly and detect early infections or pest attacks on plantations. This type of monitoring currently requires 150 to 160 staff each year. It’s exhausting work, and accidents such as attacks by venomous animals are frequent. Using the new technology, called SmartForest, a single visit to set up the sensors is enough to collect data on forest growth on a daily basis. The technology was devised by Brazilian start-up Treevia.

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Forest fires as an opportunity for ecosystem recovery

By the University of Seville
EurekAlert
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Great forest fires are ever more frequent globally and their consequences more severe and destructive. Climate change and human activity are influencing the capacity of ecosystems and the life forms that inhabit them to recover from forest fires. However, the actions to recover the affected environment can be an opportunity to recover lost natural values. It is estimated that globally there are more than two million hectares of land in need of restoration. The fires that occurred in those places provided the people who manage them with an opportunity to change, via a suitable process of ecological restoration, the previous bad forestry practices. The actions to recover the environment after a forest fire must be directed towards favouring more resilient and less flammable natural vegetation, which is better adapted to the new climate conditions it will have to live in.

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Health & Safety

Forest Fires Stunt Growth, Cause Permanent Loss of Human Potential

Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
February 19, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

Forest fires are more harmful than previously imagined, causing stunted growth in children who were exposed to smoke while in the womb, according to new research from Duke University and the National University of Singapore. The authors found pre-natal exposure to haze from forest fires led to a statistically significant 1.3 inches decrease in expected height at age 17. “Because adult height is associated with income, this implies a loss of about 3 percent of average monthly wages for approximately one million Indonesian workers born during this period,” the authors write. “While previous research has drawn attention to the deaths caused by the forest fires, we show that survivors also suffer large and irreversible losses,” they wrote. “Human capital is lost along with natural capital because of haze exposure.”

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