Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 15, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

China log imports up 9%, lumber imports down by 1%: FEA Wood Markets

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 15, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

China’s demand for logs and lumber grew in 2018, but most of the gains were earlier in the year, according to FEA Wood Markets. In other Business news: more on Canadian lumber profitability amid declining US shipments; BC Hydro will continue to purchase power from independent power producers despite reduced demand; a new study on the US hardwood industry’s contribution to the economy; and the world’s largest pulp mill opens in Sweden.

In other news: Prince George’s winter is not cold enough to kill the beetle; and Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce speaks out on Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. In wildfire news: California looks to insure against losses; a new weather tool helps predict fire risk; studies abound on the effect of logging and land use planning as a solution; and a new additive provides fire protection for wood.

Finally, a gallery of BC forester photos and congratulations to Donna Harman, AF&PA’s CEO, on her pending retirement.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

ABCFP 2019 Conference and AGM Picture Gallery

Tree Frog News Editorial
February 15, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tree Frog News team attended the 71st AGM & Conference of the Association of BC Forest Professionals last week in Kamloops. You’ve seen some of our updates and images. Today we release our full photo gallery. Warning – it’s a big one! Many of the attendees have emailed us asking for images, you can now download what you need from the gallery in the link. Next week we’ll have our final panel and speaker reports, so stay tuned.

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Froggy Foibles

The best toilet paper to buy in 2019

By Tracy Saelinger
Today
February 14, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Toilet paper. Everyone uses it, yet most of us automatically buy the same toilet paper, without giving it much thought. …We turned to germ expert, Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., a professor and program director at the University of Arizona… and [asked] what you should be thinking about when you buy — and use — toilet paper. …It’s all about the barrier. “Theoretically, the more barrier you have between your hands and the contamination you’re wiping will have an impact on reducing the chance of germs getting on your hands,” Reynolds told TODAY. “So, in that sense, two-ply is better. But, you could also use one-ply — you’d just have to use more.” …Most toilet paper nowadays is designed to biodegrade, Reynolds noted, though some companies may use more sustainable manufacturing processes than others.

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Business & Politics

Western Forest sees big profit; Canadian lumber competitors do not

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
February 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Canadian lumber giant Western Forest seems to be one of British Columbia’s only lumber firms seeing growth. The company saw a record $1.2 billion in revenue last year, up 6 percent from $1.14 billion in 2017. …Softwood lumber import tariffs of around 21 percent were levied onto Canada last year. The National Association of Home Builders told MarketWatch that those tariffs are restructuring the entire lumber global supply chain – incentivizing U.S. buyers to import from overseas rather than ship lumber across the Canadian border. Canada’s imports to the U.S. have certainly slipped. BC – Canada’s largest lumber-producing province – exported just over 514 million board feet of lumber to the U.S. in October 2018, down from 645 million board feet from the same time 2017. …Other Canadian lumber firms, like Resolute Forest Products, have seen ups and downs. …Canfor’s $120 million state-of-the-art softwood lumber mill is set to open early this year in Georgia.

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B.C. Hydro rates to rise another 8.1 per cent in next five years

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
February 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Michelle Mungall

B.C. Hydro’s electricity rates are expected to increase 1.8 per cent on April 1 and another 0.7 per cent in 2020, part of a five-year program that will see rates rise by 8.1 per cent in the next five years. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announced the new rate plan Thursday. …The plan includes suspending B.C. Hydro’s “standing offer program” for independent power producers and renegotiating existing power contracts, which the NDP government paused when it formed government in August, 2017. Some projects in the works have Indigenous partners in remote communities, and a consultation will be held to measure impacts. B.C. Hydro currently has power purchase agreements with 19 wood waste generators, burning waste fibre from sawmills and pulp mills to generate steam and electricity. Those are to be kept going to help the mills manage their wood waste, while technology to convert wood fibre to biofuels is explored, Mungall said.

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Nova Scotia’s enviro minister in conflict of interest on pulp mill assessment: Ecojustice

By Holly Lake
iPolitics
February 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lawyers for Friends of the Northumberland Strait say Nova Scotia’s environment minister has a conflict of interest and have asked her to step away from an environmental assessment of Northern Pulp’s plan take effluent from a pulp mill and dump it in the middle of the Strait. Ecojustice sent Environment Minister Margaret Miller a letter this week asking her to recuse herself and delegate her authority to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency given “the significant and financial interest” the province has in ensuring the assessment is concluded as quickly as possible. “Essentially, the main issue we have is that the province is much too close to this project,” said Ecojustice lawyer James Gunvaldsen Klaassen. …He said there are also contractual agreements between the province and Northern Pulp that have been around a long time — and are ongoing — and involve people from multiple provincial governments, of all political stripes. 

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AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman Announces Retirement

By the American Forest & Paper Association
Accesswire Press Release
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Donna Harman

WASHINGTON, DC — Donna Harman, the longest-serving President and CEO in the 25-year history of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), announced her retirement today. She has represented the interests of the forest products industry for the past 29 years and AF&PA member companies for 18 years, including the last 12 years as President and CEO. Spencer Stuart has been retained to lead a search for her successor, and her retirement will become effective later in 2019 once the search and transition are successfully completed. …”It has been an honor to help one of the nation’s most important manufacturing industries navigate changing political and public policy dynamics throughout my career at AF&PA and in Washington, D.C. I am grateful for the opportunity to promote the interests of paper and wood products manufacturers and the 950,000 workers who make products that improve our daily lives,” said Harman. 

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New Study Quantifies The Hardwood Industry’s Contribution To The U.S. Economy

The Decorative Hardwood’s Association
February 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

A new study shows that the U.S. hardwood forest products industry employs over 1.8 million people and contributes $348 billion to the U.S. economy according to a just released comprehensive new economic impact study conducted by Agribusiness Consulting. …The new study provides jobs and economic impact data for hardwood producers and manufacturers, including hardwood plywood and veneer mills, sawmills, flooring companies, kitchen cabinet manufacturers and other sectors that directly support more than 685,000 jobs in 25,000 facilities generating $35 million in annual income. Related industries, including transportation, retail, forest ownership and logging support more than 1.1 million jobs and add $212 billion to the economy. For every $1 million in output of hardwood products, 5.3 jobs are created. …“We are an economic driver in small towns and rural America,” said Kip Howlett, President of the Decorative Hardwoods Association. 

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A Royal Touch at the Grand Opening of the World’s Largest Pulp Mill

By SCA
Cision Newswire
February 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf

STOCKHOLM — February 14, His Majesty the King Carl XVI Gustaf inaugurated SCA’s pulp mill Östrand in Timrå. The expansion of the mill is one of Sweden’s largest industrial investments ever. More than 300 guests came to take part in the grand opening of the Östrand pulp mill. The guests were an international gathering of customers, suppliers to the project, the Swedish government, SCA’s shareholders and many others. “When it comes to forests and forest products, Sweden is a world leader”, said Minister of Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan during the inauguration ceremony. “The forest creates export income and leading technology for Sweden and jobs in Sundsvall, Timrå and the rest of rural Sweden. The renewable forest resource plays an important role as we build a sustainable society.” …SCA has invested eight billion SEK in expanding the mill and to double it’s capacity to 900 000 tonnes of bleached softwood kraft pulp, making Östrand the largest mill of its kind in the world.

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China’s demand for logs and lumber grew in 2018 vs. 2017, but most of the gains were recorded earlier in year, before a slowdown and price uncertainty emerged.

By Russ Taylor
FEA Canada – WOOD MARKETS
February 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In preparation for the February issue of the FEA-Canada (WOOD MARKETS) monthly China Bulletin, we have released an advanced summary of China’s 2018 annual imports of logs and lumber. This is a regular feature in each monthly issue and is in addition to China export data, log and lumber prices, and industry/market analysis. China’s demand for logs and lumber grew in 2018 as compared to 2017, but most of the gains were recorded in the first half to two-thirds of the year, before a slowdown occurred.  Aside from weaker demand, the start of the US-China trade war in the second half of 2018 created price uncertainty and this kept buyers on the sidelines as they waited out the dispute (and many still are).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Celebrating exceptional architecture across the Prairies

Wood WORKS! Alberta
February 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Edmonton – Wood WORKS! Alberta recognized a prestigious group of leading architects, engineers and project teams at tonight’s 11th annual Prairie Wood Design Awards gala. The Prairie Wood Design Awards program recognizes projects and organizations that advance the use of wood in construction through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation. Award recipients were presented with a customized wooden trophy acknowledging their ability to push the boundaries of wood in construction. An esteemed jury thoughtfully selected the winning projects from nearly forty entries. …“The winning projects from our awards program demonstrate Alberta’s commitment to exploring increased options for wood in construction,” says Rory Koska, Program Director of Wood WORKS! Alberta. “Wood products used in these winning projects are locally sourced, architecturally appealing and sophisticated.  Wood is omnipresent in the buildings where we work, play and live – helping us to embrace a sustainable ethic while paying homage to exceptional design.”

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Sidewalk wants cut of property taxes and development fees for Quayside project

Canadian Press in The Telegram
February 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — The Alphabet Inc.-backed entity behind plans to build a high tech community in Toronto is proposing it receive a cut of developer fees and incremental property taxes associated with the project. Sidewalk Labs has released documents showing that in return for developing the Quayside community, it intends to push for access to money the city would typically collect. In a bid to get transit built years ahead of schedule, the documents also show that Sidewalk would help finance light rail transit in the area, but allow a public agency to operate it. Sidewalk also hopes to move Google’s Canadian headquarters to the nearby Villiers Island and says it will build an Ontario factory to supply tall timber for the community’s construction, potentially creating 4,000 new manufacturing, sawmill, logging and transportation jobs.

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After 90 years, a better way to measure the composition of paper

By the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Phys.org
February 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in collaboration with the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), have developed a novel, nondestructive method to rapidly measure the wood and non-wood fiber components in paper. Identifying and measuring the ratio of plant fibers used to manufacture paper has wide application in criminal forensics, conserving art, authenticating historical documents, assessing the content of recycled paper and ensuring that passports and other U.S. government documents are printed on the requisite security paper. …The technique, known as dielectric spectroscopy, identifies the composition of materials by examining how particular molecules respond to a rapidly changing electric field. In adapting the technique to paper, the researchers focused on the behavior of water molecules, which are added during the manufacturing process and are also a key component of the plant fibers used to make paper.

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New Territory for Timber

By Michael Dumiak
Engineering News-Record
February 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Between the Middle Santiam Wilderness and Salem, Ore., there is a family-owned lumber company, Freres Lumber, doing its best to bring new wrinkles to old-school techniques: it recently invested $35 million for a new facility to produce mass plywood panels and employs what it says is one of the 10 largest computer-numerical-controlled routing and milling machines in the world. …Freres Lumber executive Rob Freres figures a federal code change late last year could open 85% of new commercial and large-scale projects to using mass plywood panels as a primary construction material. The investment, and the firm’s efforts in develop lighter-weight mass plywood panels for use in prefab or just-in-time delivery roles on project sites, reflect renewed interest in using wood as a primary building material in new ways: from mixed-use towers in Bergen, Norway, to office blocks in Vienna.

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Gensler designs Texas’ first full mass timber building

By David Malone
Building Design + Construction
February 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Once completed in July, Texas will have its first full mass timber building in the First United Bank building. In addition to being the first full mass timber building in the state, the 8,500 sf building will also be the first retail mass timber structure in the state and the first mass timber structure in the country to use Southern Yellow Pine CLT panels. Gensler, the project’s architect, decided to use Southern Yellow Pine over the typical Douglas Fir because it is a native species prevalent to Texas and surrounding southern states, which opens the possibilities for using true local natural resources for future projects. The mass timber elements used in the First United Bank in Fredericksburg were completed 60% faster than traditional construction. …The project is designed as a net zero structure, producing as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis.

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A certification for bamboo

By M.A. Siraj
The Hindu
February 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Certification of bamboo products under FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification scheme emerged as the highlight of the discussion that took place at the two-day International Conference on Bamboo Composites in Bengaluru earlier this week. Several speakers spoke of the need for setting up a mechanism for the same, if India were to emerge as a competitor to China in the world market. …The need for FSC certification for bamboo products is felt nowhere more urgently than in the eight North-eastern states which together produce two-thirds of India’s bamboo but have not witnessed progress of the material in the value chain. Maharaj K. Muthoo, a former Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer who now heads the Roman Forum, Italy, said though certification was initiated by certifying bamboo baskets and some items of bamboo furniture 15 years ago, the pace had slackened and no headway has been made during the first National Bamboo Mission.

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New additive provides fire protection for wood

By Rainer Klose
EMPA Materials Science and Technology
February 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Together with BRUAG Fire Protection AG, Empa specialists have developed a new flame retardant for wood and wood-based materials. The colourless additive, which can be easily mixed with coatings and cellulose materials, opens up new applications for wood processing companies. Fire protection requirements are increasing worldwide – especially in public buildings and vehicle construction. This development means that more and more otherwise suitable materials such as wood can no longer be used in many buildings or means of transport and must be substituted by other products.  …The new flame retardant called AFA (Anti-Flame-Additive) meets these requirements: It is colorless and can be mixed with water-based paints or UV protective coatings and can be used not only as a coating but also as an additive in wood-based panels. 

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Pedestrian bridges of wooden composite will be built in Russia and Finland

By Peter The Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University
EurekAlert!
February 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) in a consortium with a strategic partner LUT University (Finland) and the industrial partner Scientific and Technological Centre of Applied Nanotechnologies will build infrastructure elements from a hybrid wood-based material. The project “Lightweight hybrid wooden composite materials for sustainable construction technology” (SUSTECH) was awarded in the second call of South-East Finland – Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014-2020. In the framework of the project, researchers plan to create a hybrid wooden composite with advanced properties.

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Forestry

Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. releases Accomplishments Report

By Steve Kozuki
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) is helping British Columbians improve forests by allocating funding from the governments from B.C. and Canada to on-the-ground projects that improve habitat for wildlife, increase the utilization of wood to make green energy, increase wildfire protection for communities, and plant trees in areas that otherwise would not be reforested. The FESBC Accomplishments Report showcases the collaborative work of FESBC by proponents in almost every corner of the province. “We as British Columbians are deeply inspired by forest enhancement because we see value in protecting communities from wildfire risk, reducing greenhouse gases, and improving wildlife habitat,” said Steve Kozuki, FESBC Executive Director. “This work is more important than ever given that the forces of climate change, insect epidemics, and catastrophic wildfire events are impacting B.C.’s forests. The Accomplishments Report shows the vast amount of work being done throughout the province, work that’s important to our citizens, our forests and to our economy.”

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Outland Youth Employment Program to offer youth skills training

By Frank Peebles
The Prince George Citizen
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Derek Orr

A fledgling youth development program will fly again this summer. The Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) ran its first summer of skills training and personal growth initiatives in 2018. The program called together more than 20 Indigenous youth from more than 16 First Nations from around the region. They received six weeks of training in the natural resource professions. It was the western launch of a parent program already well underway in Ontario. On Thursday, LNG Canada announced that it was signing on to be a major sponsor ensuring three more years of OYEP West… Prince George became home base to the OYEP camp due to the vision of Derek Orr, business development manager at Carrier Lumber and a former elected chief of the McLeod Lake First Nation. He knew firsthand that local companies were in need of skilled and motivated employees, and that Aboriginal youth were in need of outreach to draw them into …the industrial sector.

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Letter from the Government regarding Caribou Meetings

By Tracy Teves
Energetic City
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Peace River Regional District just received a written letter back from the Government regarding Southern Mountain Caribou Protection. …The letter from Minister was shared to the FB Page by the Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery (CCCR). Group member Kathleen Connolly – Executive Director Dawson Creek & District Chamber of Commerce said “they felt the letter was patronizing”. …The letter then shares the provincial and federal governments are creating an agreement that will align with the Provincial Caribou recovery plan which will be shared for comment prior to finalization in the spring. …Connolly says, “It’s the same thing, they make promises and then they don’t deliver. 

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Winter not cold enough to kill bark beetles

By Frank Peebles
The Prince George Citizen
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE, BC — The cold winter weather of the past while will potentially slow down northern B.C.’s tree beetle epidemics, but no death blow was dealt. “Most bark beetles, including the mountain pine and fir beetles, will freeze to death between minus-33 and minus-35 degrees Celsius,” said Dawn Makarowski on behalf of the Ministry of Forests. …The temperatures dipped to lows rarely seen in local February history, the past two weeks, but they still were inadequate to cause mass killing of the pests. …None of the cold snap is expected to affect the other killer bug afflicting local forests. The spruce beetle was not affected by the chill, said Makarowski, “because they tend to hibernate under the snow.” …However there is other good news on the spruce beetle front. …”The 2018 survey indicated that the severity of spruce beetle attacks in the Omineca has decreased.”

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B.C.’s northernmost municipality hopes community ownership of forest can bring a community revival

By Justin McElroy
CBC News
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There was a time when Fort Nelson was the chopstick capital of the world. The northernmost municipality in B.C. was once home to companies that made eight million chopsticks daily, produced untold strand boards for housing and sawmills that chopped up the huge swaths of aspen and spruce forests that dominate the region. Those days ended a decade ago. …Now, its waiting for final approval from the provincial government for what it hopes could start a turnaround — a community forest, with licences and allowable cuts managed directly by the local government and the Fort Nelson First Nations. …For new Mayor Gary Foster, the possible return of the forest industry would bring his time in the community full circle, 40 years after he moved to town and immediately began work with Tackama Forest Products. …If approval is granted, Foster says they will still need to find companies that will harvest the trees… and agree to manufacture the wood locally.

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Friends push for regional park

By David Brindle
Powell River Peak
February 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Friends of Stillwater Bluffs Association (FOSBA) plans to keep the pressure on qathet Regional District in its efforts to protect Stillwater Bluffs from logging and subdivision by Island Timberlands (IT), and have the property designated a regional park. … “Stillwater Bluffs was one of the priorities identified back in the plan but there were others as well,” said qathet regional board chair Patrick Prabazon. “The biggest problem with Stillwater Bluffs is it’s all owned by Island Timberlands. It’s up to them to decide what they want to do with the property. …Island Timberlands owns the 48-hectare parcel of land that includes Stillwater Bluffs, as well as adjacent industrial lands around Stillwater Bay, including Olympic Forest Products log sort. For the past 12 years, IT has had a proposal in the works to subdivide the industrial lands. 

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BC Timber Sales in Dawson Creek Passes Audit

BC Forest Practices Board
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Forestry activities carried out by BC Timber Sales (BCTS) and timber sale licence holders met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, with a few exceptions, according to a report released today. The audit examined BCTS program activities carried out between June 2016 and June 2018, in the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area (TSA) portion of BCTS’s Peace-Liard Business Area. …“BCTS and timber sale licence holders are doing a good job of managing most forestry activities in this area,” said board chair Kevin Kriese. “However, the audit did find sites where activities need to be improved in the future – by both BCTS and two timber sale licence holders. BCTS has already taken steps to address the deficiencies related to bridges and the Board expects that improvements will be made by BCTS and timber sale licence holders to address the other findings.”

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Endangered Species Act – A Letter to the Government of Ontario

By Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
Indigenous Lands & Resources Today
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 10th Year Review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. …The most important action the government must take is a permanent recognition of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) as an equivalent process to the Endangered Species Act (ESA); either through a perpetual Section 55 Regulation or legislative change to the ESA. The CFSA already provides landscape, stand, and site-level direction for managing, conserving, and protecting species at risk.  Having two acts attempting to accomplish the same outcome represents the single greatest piece of red tape and duplication to this sector. Once this essential first step has been accomplished, we must also ensure… Consideration of climate change on habitat in all species at risk policy… Cumulative impact of all species at risk policy on a healthy economy… Socio-economic impact analysis.

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Newfoundland caribou population decline not alarming, provincial biologist

By Adam Randell
The Western Star
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Newfoundland’s caribou population is only a third of what it used to be, but it’s not something that should be sounding alarm bells, says Wayne Barney, senior biologist with the Department of Natural Resources wildlife division. The population peaked in the mid-’90s at approximately 95,000, and current estimates set it at just under 30,000 animals. “The cycle for caribou is quite long and it generally doesn’t show signs of recovery in an annual perspective that we see from year-to-year,” Barney said, noting it took decades for the herd to reach its peak. But the population is still lower than it used to be and calf recruitment is playing the biggest factor in the overall picture. The department will be conducting its annual survey later this month… If there’s any concern about a population’s status, the annual harvest will be adjusted accordingly.

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Firefighters get new tool for predicting wildfire danger

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Hot-Dry-Windy Index (HDW) is a new weather prediction tool that predicts weather conditions which can affect the spread of wildfires. It is described as being very simple and only considers the atmospheric factors of heat, moisture, and wind. To be more precise, it is a multiplication of the maximum wind speed and maximum vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in the lowest 50 or so millibars in the atmosphere. On a website… you can display the HDW for any area in the contiguous United States. Then the displayed chart shows the index for the preceding 10 days and the forecast for the next 7 days. For the current and following days you will see results of the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS), which is a weather forecast model made up of 21 separate forecasts, one control (in red) and twenty perturbations. 

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Researchers: Trump’s plan to increase logging unlikely to drastically reduce wildfires

By David Erickson
The Missoulian
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Dec. 21 that instructs land managers to treat 8.45 million acres of land and cut 4.4 million board feet of timber, which is about 80 percent more than was cut on U.S. Forest Service lands in 2017. Part of the reasoning given in the executive order is that “post-fire assessments show that reducing vegetation through hazardous fuels management and strategic forest health treatments is effective in reducing wildfire severity and loss.” But a study conducted by researchers at the University of Montana found that since 1999, only 6.8 percent of fuel-reduction treatment areas in the United States were subsequently hit by wildfires. …So that raises more broad general questions over the efficacy of fuel treatments to change regional fire patterns.”

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Longleaf Ecosystem Occurrence Database – Field Data Collection: Request For Proposals

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The U.S Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) requests proposals from qualified entities for oversight and coordination to ensure successful field data collection for development of the longleaf Ecosystem Occurrence Database (LEO). LEO is being designed by the Florida Natural areas inventory (FNAI) to support America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI). FNAI’s work is funded by USDA’S Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with active support from ALRI partners. Development of a comprehensive map of longleaf pine ecosystem occurrence and condition is a key objective of the Range-wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine. LEO is a central repository for longleaf pine ecosystem locations and their condition that can be used to track longleaf pine status over time and throughout its range. The successful applicant will use FNAI data collection protocols and work closely with and communicate frequently with FNAI on all aspects of this field data collection project.

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Land Use Planning More Effective Than Logging to Reduce Wildfire Risk

By Kelly Pohl
Daily Yonder
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Timber management on federal lands can be justified for valid reasons — protecting watersheds, conserving wildlife habitat, promoting overall forest health —  but it rarely helps communities confront looming wildfire disasters. The best solutions: better land use planning and improved building designs. The President issued an executive order last month that instructs federal land managers to treat 8.45 million acres of land and cut 4.4 billion board feet of timber. But land use planning, not logging on federal lands, is a more effective tool to confront future wildfire disasters. …In some ecosystems, fuel treatments can slow fire spread and reduce fire severity. But the geography of where timber harvests are placed—often determined by road access, marketability of timber, and local conditions—is likely to misalign with the spatial patterns of wildfire—determined not just by fuels, but also by ignition sources, topography, and weather. 

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Groups to sue U.S. agency over loss of caribou herd

The Associated Press in the Province
February 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. — Environmental groups said Wednesday they plan to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to prevent the recent loss of the last herd of mountain caribou in the Lower 48 states. The handful of remaining animals were relocated into Canada last November, ending decades of efforts to save the southern Selkirk Mountains herd, which were located in a remote part of northern Idaho and Washington state. The lawsuit would seek to blame the Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to designate protected habitat for the animals. …The environmental groups want to establish protected caribou habitat as part of an effort to return the animals in the United States. “With the right protections in place we can bring them back,” said Jason Rylander, an attorney for Defenders of Wildlife.

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California Considers Insurance to Help With Wildfire Costs

Associated Press in the New York Times
February 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California should get insurance to help cover taxpayers’ costs in bad wildfire seasons, a solution that could help stem losses as climate change contributes to more destructive blazes, two state officials said Thursday. The most populous state should follow the lead of Oregon, the World Bank and the Federal Emergency Management Agency after outspending its emergency fund in seven of the last 10 years, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Treasurer Fiona Ma said. California spent nearly $950 million two years ago, about $450 million more than was budgeted and by far the highest annual amount. It spent about $677 million last year, as wildfires again swept through cities, suburbs and more rural areas. California has experienced 11 of the top 20 most destructive fires in its history since 2007.

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Indonesian firms owe US$1.3 billion in forest damage fines: Greenpeace

Channel News Asia
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA: Indonesian firms owe at least US$1.3 billion in unpaid fines for environmental damage caused by widespread forest clearing and deadly fires linked to tens of thousands of premature deaths, a Greenpeace study said. Citing government data, the environmental group said it examined 11 civil court cases between 2012 and 2018 where palm oil and pulp-and-paper companies were ordered to pay fines to Jakarta. …The cases were mostly linked to damage from fires that tore through Indonesia in 2015, causing as much as US$16 billion in damages to forestry and agriculture, as well as to tourism and other industry, it added, citing World Bank figures. …Most of the US$1.3 billion in penalties was attributed to the single case of a firm found to have been engaged in illegal logging that saw vast tracts of forest destroyed.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

New technology will make carbon tax obsolete

By Ian Madsen, Frontier Centre for Public Policy
Troy Media
February 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The Canadian political scene has been riven and toxified by Ottawa’s plans to impose a tax on greenhouse gas emissions on all provinces lacking such a levy. The ostensible goal is to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and thus emit less carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4, the main component of natural gas and decaying organic matter). …Yet, even if you subscribe to the global warming theory, this punitive impost [taxing emissions] may be unnecessary. …Xyleco… has developed a multi-patented process that converts cellulose (the material that composes all plant life) into sugars, plastic feedstock and, perhaps most importantly, fuel for motor vehicles, ships and aircraft. …Also, new wood building materials and techniques appear to be much more efficient and less costly than concrete and steel construction, giving good value for money for many office, retail and even residential high-rises.

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Steady temperature increases are ‘significant impact to human health’

By Miriam King
Bradford Today
February 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forests Ontario’s annual Forestry Conference did not ignore the elephant in the room: climate change. The impact of drought on seedling survival, an increase in wildfires, the spread of invasive insects and tree diseases were topics of discussion, along with the potential for tree-planting to mitigate some impacts of climate change. …Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), called on governments to play a bigger role in “vulnerability assessment” and risk mitigation, to preserve Canada’s forests. …Across Canada, commercial harvesting removes only 0.5 per cent of the 347,069,000 hectares of forest every year – while fire destroys 0.4 per cent, and insect damage, five per cent. Not only is there a need to address the impacts of climate change, drought and invasive species, there is a need for innovation, improved infrastructure, and better transportation networks, he said.

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AF&PA Thanks Congress for Advancing Regulatory Policy on Carbon Neutrality of Forest-Based Biomass

American Forest & Paper Association
February 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman thanked Congress for reaffirming that federal regulatory policy should reflect the carbon neutrality of forest-based renewable biomass. Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations legislation, which passed the House and Senate, contains legislative language to that effect. “We thank our bipartisan Congressional champions for advancing a measure that recognizes long-standing scientific principles and appropriately reflects the paper and wood products industry’s use of carbon neutral biomass for energy production. We are one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the nation and deserve clear public policy that supports our ability to grow the economy, create American manufacturing jobs and stay in step with global competition. We look forward to working with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the United States Department of Agriculture to fully implement this Congressional directive.”

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Legislators to hear from the public on cap and trade proposal

By Aubrey Wieber
The Salem Reporter
February 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Oregon’s proposed cap and trade system will change the state’s economy, providing lucrative opportunities to some industries and potentially putting others out of business. …California passed similar legislation 10 years ago. Oregon has been working on it for a while, with legislation in 2018 and 2017 stalling out. This year it is expected to pass. …Polluters in certain industries emitting at least 25,000 metric tons per year would be newly regulated. That would include industrial manufacturers, oil companies, the forest products industry and utilities. …Chris Edwards, a former state senator… was arguing for more special protection for the industry. He said replanting trees in logged areas provides more trees to pull carbon from the air, lowering greenhouse gasses. …Edwards said he was surprised to find out the timber industry wasn’t exempt from the bill, and wanted to be involved in amending it.

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