Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 12, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canada morns the loss of woodlot champion and others in Ethiopian crash

March 12, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Canadian forest sector is morning the loss of forestry champion Peter deMarch, a life-long forest advocate and chair of the Canadian network of provincial woodlot owners and chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance. Also among the 139 people that perished in the Ethiopian plane crash was Micah John Messent, a budding environmental leader. Our sincere condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of everyone who perished in the crash.

In other news: Port Alice BC braces for a future without Neucel pulp mill; a fire halts work at Catalyst Paper in Port Alberni, BC; pressure builds on Resolute in Fort Frances, Ontario; the Edmonton Journal on the Domtar mess; and Canfor faces a fine for an injured Vavenby, BC worker.

Finally, a beetle that benefits forests and a new study says wolves must die to save Canada’s caribou.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in Ethiopia — Death of Canadian Peter deMarsh

The Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Peter DeMarsh

Longueuil, March 11th, 2019. – Members of the Canadian Federation of Woodlots Owners were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Peter deMarsh, from New Brunswick, in the tragic plane crash in Ethiopia. Peter deMarsh was the Chair of this Canadian network of provincial associations of forest owners and Chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance. For decades, Peter deMarsh was known to public authorities as the embodiment of the private woodlot owner striving to contribute to the vitality and dynamism of his rural community through sustainable timber and agricultural production. His representation for the rights of over 455,000 woodlot owners across Canada will be sorely missed. Strongly believing that the tens of millions of woodlot owners around the world all share a similar reality and experiences, deMarsh worked all his life to convince them to act collectively in organizations to promote their interests and share learnings.

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Forest sector pays tribute to victim of Ethiopian plane crash

Forest Products Association of Canada
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Peter deMarsh

Forest Products Association of Canada President and CEO Derek Nighbor issued the following statement today upon learning that Peter deMarsh, a life-long advocate of the Canadian forest sector and woodlot owners, was among those who perished in Sunday’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane: “The forestry community lost an incredible man this weekend.  Peter dedicated so much of his life to our sector and was travelling to Africa to do what he loved to do – talking about the environmental benefits of forestry and advancing opportunities for woodlot owners and forestry families around the world.  He was a true champion of forestry on the global stage.  We are saddened by this tragedy and extend our love and thoughts to Peter’s family and friends, and all families of the victims of this terrible tragedy.” Peter lived in Taymouth, New Brunswick and was a long-serving President of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners.  

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Friends mourn Vancouver Island man and others with B.C. ties killed in plane crash

By Matt Robinson & Stephanie Ip
Vancouver Sun
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Micah Messent

Inspirational, engaged and generous. That is how many of those touched by the life of Micah John Messent are remembering the young Indigenous man who was raised in B.C.’s Comox Valley and became a budding environmental leader. Messent was among 18 Canadians and 139 other people killed when Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, on Sunday. He was one of several people on board with ties to this province. …Messent was a member of the Red River Métis Nation in Manitoba and he was the youngest of five siblings, according to a statement by the First Nations Leadership Council. He was an Indigenous relations analyst for B.C. Parks and had graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Vancouver Island University’s Indigenous studies program. He planned to return to school to pursue a law degree, according to the council.

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Canfor Launches MentorMe Program on International Women’s Day

By Katy Player, Canfor Vice-President People & Communications
Canfor Blog
March 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

womentorship

At Canfor we’re committed to creating a more balanced workforce with an ultimate goal that our workforce diversity is reflective of the communities we operate in. We know that not only are women qualified and talented, but they also strengthen team dynamics and bring new ideas and experience to the workplace. This year, on International Women’s Day, we’re proud to announce Canfor’s women’s mentorship program. Created by women for women, this program helps mentors grow and expand their leadership experience while giving mentees the ability to build their networks and career skills while learning from successful women in the industry. Our Canfor family is stronger because of the women we work with, and we are proud to support them.

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‘We’re going to get through this’: Port Alice braces for future that may not include mill

By Megan Thomas
CBC News
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Don Vye

The union office for workers at the Port Alice pulp mill is located in an otherwise empty strip mall on the town’s main street. Inside, Unifor local 514 president Don Vye has been trying to keep his members working for the better part of his own 30-year career at the mill, which produces specialty cellulose. “Specially cellulose is used for everything from textiles to plastics, pharmaceuticals, right up to the high grades, which is nitro cellulose, which is used for gunpowder and explosives,” he said. Back when it was built in 1917, Port Alice was an ideal location for a pulp mill.  “The fibre is right in the local woodlands around this area,” Vye said. In the decades that followed, the mill provided employment for as many as 500 people. It was not always easy, and some owners went bankrupt. But the mill continued to drive the town’s economy.

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Fire halts work at Catalyst Paper in Port Alberni

By Susie Quinn
Campbell River Mirror
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews from Catalyst Paper and the Port Alberni Fire Department spent Monday morning (March 11) extinguishing a fire that started in the dryer at No. 4 paper machine. Crews were called to the mill after 8 a.m. and finally left the scene at approximately 12:30 p.m. No one was injured in the fire, according to a mill employee. A cause for the fire has not been released. Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corporation will be taking over ownership of Catalyst Paper sometime later this month. In February the Canadian Competition Bureau cleared the British Columbia-based company to complete its purchase, which involves the purchase of all of the shares of Catalyst.

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Editorial: How did Domtar mess happen?

By the Editorial Board
Edmonton Journal
March 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With new confirmation that soil around a former wood-treatment plant in northeast Edmonton contains hazards to health, it’s fitting that the first priority of authorities is to investigate that risk. To that end, the province will work with federal officials on an epidemiological study around the site to explain the higher-than-expected levels of three types of cancer. But while the well-being of residents is the most pressing consideration, there are plenty of other questions arising from this toxic mess that demand answers in due course. Top among them: how was a suburban neighbourhood ever approved for development and built near land polluted with industrial chemicals? Who’s to blame and what can be done for residents who bought homes there in good faith? If this was allowed to happen once, what’s to keep it from happening again elsewhere in the province wherever the remnants of old manufacturing, petrochemical and mining facilities lie beneath the landscape? 

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Fort Frances – Petition Calls on Gov’t to Enforce Sustainable Forest Licence

NetNewsLedger
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES “The province can’t stand by while a private company takes a public resource from the communities it is meant to benefit,” stated Hampton. “Many in our community fear that Resolute’s goal is to keep other stakeholders and residents in the dark while silencing any potential buyer from engaging in discussions necessary to formulate a successful bid”. A grassroots community petition is calling on the provincial Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to enforce the terms of the Sustainable Forest License held by Resolute Forest Products for the Crossroute Forest. “In just a few short weeks, our petition has generated over 2,000 online and hand-written signatures from a community of 8,000 people,” stated Fort Frances resident Christine Hampton, who started the petition. “It just goes to show that area residents understand and care about this issue and that they expect the province to act in the community’s best interest.”

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East Coast forestry companies plead not guilty to slash damage

By Anusha Bradley
Radio New Zealand
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

While forestry companies plead not guilty to charges of causing flood-borne debris damage, East Coast residents are still cleaning up the mess eight months after an estimated 1 million tonnes of logs and debris were strewn on properties and roads. Heavy rain washed piles of logs and debris on to Tolaga Bay roads and farmland during two storms in June 2018. Farmers put the cost of the damage in the millions of dollars. It is the first time the companies have appeared in court since being charged by the Gisborne District Council with breaching their resource consent conditions. An estimated one million tonnes of logs and debris was left strewn on properties and roads during two bouts of heavy rainfall in June last year. Tolaga Bay was the worst hit and three companies that operate there – Hikurangi Forest Farms, Ernslaw One and PF Olsen – were among the ten charged.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

OSBlock is an interesting inside-out building system

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
March 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s like a cookie with the filling on the outside. While wandering among the hot tubs and Vita-Mixers at the National Home Show in Toronto, I came upon Philippe Paul and OSBlock, a really interesting structural system invented and manufactured in Quebec. Basically, it is a sandwich of two layers of expanded polystyrene foam with a filling of four layers of Oriented Strand board (OSB) 12″ high by 8′ long. Just stack them up and you have an instant R-32 wall. Want more insulation? Just stick it on the outside. Most importantly, there are no thermal bridges, one of the major sources of heat loss in buildings. It is sort of an inside-out Structural Insulated Panel, with the wood on the inside and the foam on the outside. … The elimination of thermal bridging might make it useful for Passivhaus construction.

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Forestry

‘It’s that black or white’: Wolves must die to save Canada’s caribou

By Bob Weber
The Canadian Press in the Calgary Herald
March 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — An extensive study of caribou herds across British Columbia and Alberta suggests a way to reverse a long and steady decline of the endangered species — kill more wolves and moose, and pen pregnant cows. “It’s go hard or go home,” said Rob Serrouya, a University of Alberta biologist and lead author of the study released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Unfortunately, it’s that black or white.” Another study released within days of Serrouya’s suggests another way. And wildlife advocates worry Serrouya’s findings could be misused, illustrating the complexity of what he calls the “toughest conservation challenge in North America.” Serrouya and his colleagues looked at 18 caribou herds ranging over more than 90,000 square kilometres. At the study’s start in 2004, 16 herds were declining.

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The people, not special interest groups should make decisions

Letter by Norm Dirom
Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: Logging and Western Stevedoring. I suggest we take a pause and really think about the consequences of the actions put forward by the special interest groups in the Cowichan Valley/Victoria including the City of Duncan and with several North Cowichan council members about: 1. Logging in North Cowichan Timberlands, 2. Western Stevedoring/Tidal Harmony Holding’s rezoning application to the CVRD. It might be a surprise to newcomers to the area that the timberlands in the Cowichan Valley and North Cowichan timberlands have been logged before — some two or three time. The stopping of logging in North Cowichan timberland should be made by the voters in North Cowichan and not by some special interest groups. It should not be made by special interest individuals that are not voters in North Cowichan that are B.C. public sector workers/retirees whose pension fund owns TimberWest and Island Timberland.

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Smoke from pile burns to be visible in Horse Lake area

BC Wildfire Service, Cariboo Fire Centre
Government of British Columbia
March 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service is planning to conduct a series of controlled open burns north of Horse Lake to reduce wildfire threats around the Imperial Ranchettes neighbourhood and in the 100 Mile House Community Forest. Trained fire crews will begin burning piles of woody debris at the end of Gary Road (identified as Gray Road in the previous release) on March 11, 2019. This work will continue periodically until about June 30, 2019. This pile burning will only proceed if weather conditions are favourable. …Burning these piles is part of an ongoing fuel management project under the direction of the BC Wildfire Service. The primary goal is to reduce wildfire risks through the prescribed thinning or spacing of trees and the removal of surface fuels that could burn in the event of a wildfire.

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Grand chief joins wood rights debate

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
March 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Treaty 3 Grand Chief Francis Kavanaugh … calls for the province to link resource benefits and rights to those living in the area. “All people in Treaty 3 territory should be concerned by the prospect of a single corporation being allowed to take steps to consolidate its control over a forest it does not own,” said the grand chief… “Our traditional law calls for the use of our resources to be authorized by the Anishinaabe people, which is a clear reflection of the principle of free, prior and informed consent. Our law also requires that our natural resources return economic support and benefit to those who live in our territory. The grand chief was reacting to the ongoing debate over the future of the Fort Frances mill and the wood rights for the Crossroute forest. …Municipal leaders have been lobbying … to get the province to link the mill with the wood rights.

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Arizona Game and Fish Department program delivers culturally significant wildlife items to Native American tribes

Payson Roundup
March 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Whether it’s the full hide of a fallen bear, an empty tortoise shell, antlers shed onto the forest floor or a found eagle feather, wildlife binds Arizona’s Native American tribes to the world around them. In recognition of that rich cultural history, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) formalized a repository program that allows wildlife managers and staff to collect, inventory and properly store items found in the field that can be donated to and used by the state’s tribes. “Wildlife plays a critical role in Native American culture and the Arizona Game and Fish Department is pleased to honor these multi-generational traditions by forming the Non-Bird Wildlife Repository,” said Jim deVos, AZGFD assistant director for wildlife management. “This program allows the department to honor our state’s Native American traditions and further the appreciation for Arizona’s wildlife.”

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Making history in the woods: After six decades with Starker Forests, Gary Blanchard is recording the company’s story

By Bennett Hall
Corvallis Gazette-Times
March 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gary Blanchard

Gary Blanchard could have retired a long time ago. But he’s still on the job at Starker Forests, providing a living link between the company’s past and its future.Blanchard went to work part-time for Starker as a 19-year-old in 1958. Three years later, after earning his degree in forest management at Oregon State University, he became the Philomath timber company’s first full-time employee — and he’s been working there ever since.Now 80, he still goes into the office pretty much every day, although he hasn’t been a full-time employee since 2007. “I really didn’t want to retire, and they didn’t want me to retire, so we came up with a half-time arrangement,” Blanchard said. Founded by OSU forestry professor T. J. Starker in 1936, Starker Forests now holds more than 87,000 acres of timberland in five Western Oregon counties, and Blanchard has lived through much of the company’s history.

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Community forest idea to be explored at public meeting in Forks

Peninsula Daily News
March 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FORKS — The Nature Conservancy is hosting a public meeting to explore the concept of creating a community forest on the West End of Jefferson and Clallam counties. …The Nature Conservancy “believes that a community forest model may be the best long-term solution to ensuring local values and economy,” said Frank Hanson, who is in charge of education and outreach at the ONRC. The public conversation will be facilitated by The Nature Conservancy staff members: Garett Dalan, Washington coast community relations manager; and Catlin Doughty, conservation coordinator at the ONRC. …The Nature Conservancy, which manages the Hoh River Trust lands, initiated several meetings of a community focus group to begin a conversation about a potential community forest on the West End. It now is opening up the discussions to the larger community, Hanson said.

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Fire study shows landscapes such as Bitterroot’s Sapphire Range too hot, dry to restore trees

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
March 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fire-scarred forests like the Sapphire Range of the Bitterroot Valley may become grasslands because the growing seasons have become too hot and dry, according to new research from the University of Montana. “The drier aspects aren’t coming back, especially on north-facing slopes,” said Kim Davis, a UM landscape ecologist and lead investigator on the study. “It’s not soil sterilization. Other vegetation like grasses are re-sprouting. It’s too warm. There’s not enough moisture for the trees.” Davis worked with landscape ecologist Solomon Dobrowski, fire paleoecologist Philip Higuera, biologist Anna Sala and geoscientist Marco Maneta at UM along with colleagues at the U.S. Forest Service and University of Colorado-Boulder to produce the study, which was released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. “What’s striking is if you asked scientists two decades ago how climate warming would play out, this is what they expected we’d see,” Higuera said. 

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Timber industry, state blast bill to expand logging deferral option

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
March 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Bozeman Democrat wants Montana to offer a logging deferral alongside every timber sale it puts out, an idea that drew a cavalcade of opponents during a legislative hearing on Monday.House Bill 627, sponsored by Rep. Jim Hamilton, would force the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to accept bids for timber conservation licenses on each logging project it proposes. It would also require DNRC to set separate minimum bids for logging and for a logging deferral, meaning the people who want each one would bid different amounts. The winning bid would be whichever is a greater percentage increase over the respective minimum bid. The bill would expand an option some Bozeman residents used to prevent logging on 443 acres of state land south of town for the next 25 years.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Woodlot owners lobby for federal supports

By Jordan Ross
The Carillon
March 11, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Fast

With federal and provincial elections on the horizon, an association representing 300 Manitoba woodlot owners is kindling support for a national tree-planting program that would see under-used private land harnessed to help curtail carbon emissions. “With climate change being such a huge issue, and with the knowledge that planting trees is the best way to sequester carbon, we’re asking the federal government to support a national tree planting program…on marginal land that’s really not that suitable for agriculture,” explained Bob Austman, a Beausejour-area resident and Manitoba board member of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners (CFWO). The program would be distinct from provincial efforts to reforest Crown land. Interested landowners would receive access to funding to offset the cost of preparing the land for white spruce seedlings, which Austman said thrive in a variety of soil conditions.

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Common beetle’s gut microbiome benefits forests, holds promise for bioenergy

By Laurel Kellner
Phys.org
March 11, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Insects are critical contributors to ecosystem functioning, and like most living organisms their co-evolution with microbes has been essential to support these functions. While many insects are infamous for wreaking havoc wherever they roam, many thousands of species go quietly about their business, providing important services essential to healthy ecosystems using the innovative biochemistry of their microbiomes. New research from the U.S. Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) shows how one such beneficial insect common to the Eastern U.S., the long-horned passalid beetle (Odontotaenius disjunctus), has a hardy digestive tract with microbes to thank for turning its woody diet into energy, food for its young, and nutrients for forest growth. These insights into how the beetle and its distinct microbiome have co-evolved provide a roadmap for the production of affordable, nature-derived fuels and bioproducts.

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Health & Safety

Canfor fined $130,000 after Vavenby worker seriously injured by planer

By James Peters
CFJC Today
March 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VAVENBY, B.C. — Worksafe B.C. has fined forestry giant Canfor nearly $130,000 after a worker at the company’s Vavenby sawmill operation was seriously injured in a planer accident. According to Worksafe’s latest list of penalties, the fine was imposed after the worker came into contact with a planer’s rotating top head, sustaining serious injuries. Worksafe’s investigation found that the employee was using a stick to unjam the planer, which had become jammed by a broken board. While the worker had locked out the planer, it had been switched to bypass mode a few days earlier, meaning that the planer head continue to spin even with the power turned off. …Worksafe says all three are considered “high-risk violations” and fined the forestry company $129,460.07.

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