Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 1, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Nova Scotia pulp mill decision puts thousands of jobs at risk

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 1, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Nova Scotia government says it needs more details on Northern Pulp’s effluent plan, but time is running out and thousands of jobs are at risk. In other Business news: Chinese log imports reached another high in 2018; and the NAHB will provide testimony on lumber suitability to a NAFTA dispute panel.

In Forestry News: BC’s Forest Minister offers a ‘stay of execution‘ in Elphinstone forest; BC First Nations reach logging deal on Saturna Island; Oregon’s proposed legislation gets pushback from industry; Hurricane Michael has changed Florida’s forests; China’s mountain fire proves deadly for firefighters; BC reports seven forest fires; and a 10,000 acre blaze runs amok in South Jersey.

Finally, the World Resources Institute embraces mass timber, and bike builders display their ‘bike porn‘.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Pinnacle Renewable Energy Resumes Production at Entwistle Facility and Announces New Off-Take Contract in Japan

By Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.
Cision Newswire
March 31, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Pinnacle Renewable Energy announced that it has resumed production of wood pellets at its facility in Entwistle, Alberta using dry fibre on Friday, March 29, 2019. Pinnacle continues to work with Alberta Labour Occupational Health & Safety, fire authorities, insurance adjusters, equipment suppliers, and third-party experts as part of the ongoing investigation of the February 11, 2019 fire in the dryer area of the Entwistle Facility. Pinnacle is working with its insurance provider to assess the amount of recoveries that it is entitled to as a result of the fire event. The Company expects to provide a further update on the Entwistle Facility during the second quarter. Pinnacle also announced today that it has entered into a new long-term, take-or-pay contract with Sumitomo Corporation, a large, diversified trading company in Japan.

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Hard work by provincial government paying off as Paper Excellence mill sale finalized

By Doug Routley, MLA Nanaimo-North Cowichan
Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 31, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Routley

Last week’s announcement that Paper Excellence’s acquisition of Catalyst has been finalized is a major win for our region — particularly the community of Crofton, as the deal secures the livelihood of nearly 600 families. The Crofton mill is an important employer on the mid-Island and has been a central part of Crofton’s community for the past 60 years. This deal is a major vote of confidence in our coastal forestry sector. This is in stark contrast to a year ago, when punitive U.S. trade duties threatened Catalyst’s operations and worker pensions. Protecting forestry jobs and pensions has always been a priority of our government.

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Western Forest Products Inc. Completes Sale of Ownership Interest in Port Alberni Forest Operation to Huumiis Ventures Limited Partnership

By Western Forest Products
Globe Newswire
March 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

ANACLA, BC — Huumiis Ventures Limited Partnership, a limited partnership beneficially owned by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, and Western Forest Products announced today the completion of HVLP’s acquisition from Western of a 7% interest in the newly formed TFL 44 Limited Partnership. “The transaction is a positive step for Western, for Huu-ay-aht and for the Alberni Valley,” said Don Demens, Western’s President and CEO. “This new partnership will directly increase First Nations participation in the forestry sector, while creating greater stability for our business, our customers, and our employees.” …“The finalization of this transaction is a positive step forward toward reconciliation,” said Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr.

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Province says it needs more details to make decision on Northern Pulp effluent plan

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
March 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Brian Baarda

The Nova Scotia government says it doesn’t have enough information about the potential environmental impact of a new effluent treatment facility for the Northern Pulp mill to allow the project to proceed at this time. …The province will give the company terms of reference for a focus report by April 24, and the company will have up to a year to respond. The decision means the company cannot yet begin work on the project, which is intended to replace the Boat Harbour treatment facility. …Brian Baarda, CEO of Paper Excellence Canada is disappointed. At the very least, the mill thought it had met the province’s requirements to get approval with conditions to do more fisheries studies, he said. …He said the company will comply with everything the government wants, but time is necessary. …Baarda said the mill would shut down without an extension. 

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Dark day for Nova Scotia forestry workers

By Unifor
Cision Newswire
March 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX – Unifor is extremely disappointed with the outcome of the government of Nova Scotia’s decision today concerning the future of Northern Pulp that puts thousands of jobs at risk. “We expect the company to meet and even exceed environmental laws and regulations and to conduct whatever studies are required, but today’s decision – given the timelines around getting the effluent treatment plant completed – will inevitably result in the loss of thousands of jobs associated with the operation of the mill, including 240 Unifor members,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. …Today, the company has said without time to complete the studies and construct the new effluent facility, it will cease operations in Nova Scotia. “This will be devastating for our members and their families, but also for so many other Nova Scotia families who depend on the forest sector for employment and this doesn’t need to be the outcome,” said Payne.

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Fire at N.C. Hunt Lumber in Jefferson Deemed Accidental

By Alexander Violo
The Lincoln County News
March 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Fire destroyed a sawmill at N.C. Hunt Lumber in Jefferson and spread to multiple accessory buildings and about an acre of the complex early Saturday, March 30. There were no injuries, according to Jefferson Fire Chief Walter Morris. Emergency medical services checked out an Alna firefighter for an unknown medical condition, but he was not taken to a hospital. Investigators from the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office deemed the fire accidental, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. N.C. Hunt employees had repaired machinery inside the sawmill with torches Friday afternoon “and apparently a spark from those repairs started the fire hours later,” McCausland said in an email Sunday. A neighbor reported the fire at 200 South Clary Road. The Lincoln County Communications Center dispatched the Jefferson Fire Department at 11:58 p.m. Friday.

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Log imports to China reached another record high in 2018, with New Zealand supplying 44% of the volume

By Hakan Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
March 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

China had another record year of softwood log imports in 2018, when over 40 million m3 of logs landed at Chinese ports. This was the third consecutive year of yearover- year- increases, with 2018 volumes being up 37% from 2015. Although import volumes fell slightly from the 3Q/18 to the 4Q/18, the December numbers were the second highest monthly imports on record. Over the past five years, import volumes have declined from the key supplying regions of Russia and Canada, while they have increased from New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand continues to expand its market share, supplying 44% of the total import volume in the 4Q/18, up from 30% just three years earlier, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The biggest decline in market share has been that of Russia, which has fallen from 36% to 18% in the past three years. 

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Statement from NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde on NAFTA Panel Ruling

By NAHB
National Association of Home Builders
March 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

Greg Ugalde

Washington, DC — Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders… issued the following statement after the NAFTA Binational Panel agreed to allow NAHB to file an amicus brief regarding the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber trade dispute: “The fact that the NAFTA Binational Panel agreed to allow NAHB to file an amicus… represents a positive development for American consumers and housing affordability. …“The panel affirmed that ‘NAHB is uniquely situated’ to discuss ‘the issue of substitutability’ when it comes to different types of lumber used in the home construction process. We welcome the opportunity to provide this unique home building perspective to this issue. It is our hope it will serve as an impetus for the U.S. and Canada to hammer out a long-term solution to this problem.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Victoria developer reaches for sky with mass timber tower

By Megan Thomas
CBC News
March 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A condo project in Victoria could become one of the largest residential buildings in B.C. made from wood. The proposed development on Speed Avenue, a few blocks outside the downtown core, will have a 12-storey tower with 179 units. Other than the underground parking garage, it will be constructed using entirely mass timber products. The proposal also calls for a six-storey building next to the tower that will use traditional wood frame construction. It will be earmarked for affordable housing. The developer said it chose to build with wood because it’s lighter and there were soil issues on the property “linked to the weight of the building.” “That naturally led us to a mass timber building which is considerably lighter than a concrete building,” said Luke Mari, with Aryze Developments.

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In celebration of wood

By Michael Geller, Architect
Vancouver Sun
March 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

…In early March, more than 400 architects, engineers, designers, builders, owners and government officials gathered in the Vancouver Convention Centre, an appropriate venue considering the walls are covered in B.C. wood. There were 103 nominations in 14 categories, showcasing wood’s strength, beauty, versatility, environmental and cost benefits. Submissions came from throughout B.C., as well as the U.S. and Asia, with international projects in China, Korea and Tajikistan. Since 2005 when the program began, there have been some remarkable changes in wood construction in British Columbia. In those days, the maximum permitted height for a wood-frame building was four storeys. Today, six-storey woodframe buildings are becoming the norm, and during the awards program, it was suggested that one day 12 storeys might be the norm. I thought this might be wishful thinking, but a week later the B.C. government announced changes to the building code to allow the construction of wood buildings up to 12 storeys.

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Alberta Party pledges to grow forestry industry with timber towers, research institute

By Dustin Cook
Edmonton Journal
March 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stephen Mandel

An Alberta Party government would increase building opportunities in the “forgotten” forestry industry and set out to bring a $1-billion boost annually to the economy. If elected, the party would amend the province’s building code to allow for taller timber buildings as well as create a research institute, leader Stephen Mandel announced Friday morning. “I believe in the past, Alberta’s not done near enough to look at how we can differentiate ourselves,” Mandel said in front of a wooden home under construction in the northeast neighbourhood of Schonsee. “The opportunity to build taller buildings out of lumber will … decrease the costs of operation as well as lower greenhouse gases.” The current height restriction for wood-framed buildings is six storeys under the Alberta Building Code and Mandel said the province is falling behind other jurisdictions. A timber tower in B.C. constructed in 2017 stands 18 storeys tall.

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Woodrise 2019

FPInnovations
April 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Registration for the not-to-be-missed event of the fall, Woodrise 2019, has officially started! Co-organized by FPInnovations and the FCBA (France), 1000 attendees are expected at the Woodrise 2019 international conference on mid-rise and high-rise wood-building construction taking place at the Quebec City Convention Center from September 30 to October 4, 2019. The event, with the theme, “Building Our Cities for Future Generations,” is designed to be a unique international forum that will bring together all the major stakeholders who have joined forces to make wood THE essential material for the development of tomorrow’s sustainable cities. Woodrise aims to position North America as a key player and a technological showcase for wood construction materials and building systems while stimulating synergy between participants from different countries. The conference will also bring together stakeholders involved in the construction industry, through conferences and presentations, inter-company exchanges, plenary sessions, technical workshops, and other activities of interest.

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TallWood Design expands mass timber capability

By Karl D. Forth
Woodworking Network
April 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Oregon State University and the TallWood Design Institute needed new equipment to support creativity in their new A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, they turned to Biesse Uniteam and its Uniteam UT (North Carolina) work center. When the new lab opens on May 14, the UT machine will be used for student education, industry training, technical demonstrations, and applied research. A partnership between Oregon State University’s Colleges of Forestry and Engineering and University of Oregon’s College of Design, TDI is a research collaborative focused on the advancement of structural wood products and mass timber design. “There are several large-scale CNC machines on the market that allow manufacturers to work with mass timber products such as cross-laminated timber (X-Lam) and glue-laminated beams (Glu-Lam),” said Iain Macdonald, Director of TDI. 

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‘Bike porn’: World’s top builders turn salvaged lumber and sleek steel tubes into bicycles

By Benjamin Spillman
Reno Gazette Journal
March 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

For Caleb Campbell, the beauty of riding a wooden bicycle is, well, the beauty. Campbell and his dad, Scott Campbell, handcraft frames from Oregon white oak they salvage from the forest floor.  To transform leftover lumber into bikes capable of ripping down trails and gravel roads, it takes hundreds of hours of work. The result is a frame that, thanks to the carbon-lined interior, performs like a modern mountain bike but looks like an exquisite wood carving. “There are white oak trees growing everywhere, every time someone builds a house, they have to cut one down,” Campbell said. “If it didn’t go to us, it would go to a burn pile.” The bikes might look like something worthy of an art exhibit, but the Campbells would rather have them hanging in garages. They’re hoping their business, Celilo Cycles, named for the Columbia River’s once-mighty Celilo Falls, can expand beyond friends and family and become an established provider of sustainably produced bikes. 

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Alabama testing materials to create buildings that better withstand earthquakes

By Ed Enoch
The Star
March 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Researchers at the University of Alabama are testing whether tall, wood-framed buildings built with a hybrid technique that combines conventional construction materials and a newer material called cross-laminated timbers can better withstand earthquakes. “We are trying to figure out this type of building. And how to change the building codes,” said Thang Dao, an assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. The team members, whose work is funded through a 2015 National Science Foundation grant, simulated earthquakes of varying strengths as they tested a two-story hybrid structure constructed in UA’s Large Scale Structures Lab on Friday. ..The assumption is by combining the systems, which each have beneficial features, it will create a more resilient buildings in seismic zones in the United States.

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Innovation Summit features “wood products of the future”

Magnolia Reporter
March 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University will host its inaugural Innovation Summit on April 8. The summit, which focuses this year on “Sustainable Forestry and Wood Products for the Future,” will feature … keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman. …With 19 million acres of timber in the state of Arkansas, the 2019 Innovation Summit is intended to gather industry leaders, entrepreneurs, students and others to consider both the environmental and industrial benefits of developing sustainable forestry methods and new, strategic uses for wood products in Arkansas. The summit will focus especially on consumer products, bio-chemical products and building products. The idea for the gathering was sparked by the insight that while Arkansas has an abundance of timber, much of the innovation for wood products is occurring in other states.

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The City-Forest Nexus

By Scott Francisco
City4Forests, World Resources Institute
April 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Walking the streets of most global cities today, things seem to be going pretty well. Between the lights, buildings, people, trees… it can be difficult to see things like climate change, soil degradation, or the loss of a species that shared our planet for as long as we have. …One way cities can manifest solutions to some of these pressing environ- mental challenges is to reinvent their relationship to the world’s forests. …Sustainably harvesting wood in order to protect forests opens a link to one of the most advanced concepts in urban design and architecture called “wood urbanism”: literally building our cities with wood. …Buildings are big. They deal with a huge volume of carbon, either as emitters or as sequesterers, and the wood used to make them is mostly sourced from northern coniferous forests in Canada,Europe and the United States.

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Forestry

Two draft agreements on B.C. Caribou protection ‘historic,’ says minister

By Max Winkelman
Williams Lake Tribune
March 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Public meetings will begin in April on two new draft agreements that focus on protecting B.C.’s southern mountain caribou. The first agreement, between the B.C. and federal government and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations, proposes an interim moratorium area and a caribou recovery review area in northeastern B.C. to help the dwindling Pine, Narraway and Quintette herds. No existing mining operations will be affected, but forestry and others would be. The draft agreements are meant to minimize the risk of an emergency order that would unilaterally close off caribou habitats and could result in billions of dollars in economic loss, according to the ministry. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson also announced a section 11 agreement under the Species at Risk Act for broad recovery in a larger portion of the province and access to federal funding.

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Public asked to report wildfire-related erosion concerns

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
March 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is asking for the public’s assistance in reporting any erosion concerns or potential flooding risks associated with recent wildfires within the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. The assistance is requested so the appropriate authorities can be notified and problem areas addressed. Wildfire activity can increase the risk of natural landslides and flooding. Areas burned during the 2018 wildfire season may face a higher risk of soil erosion, which could result in more sedimentation in waterways and in drainage infrastructure, such as culverts or ditches. Post-wildfire rehabilitation planning and implementation activities were partially completed in priority areas prior to the arrival of snow and freezing conditions in November 2018.

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Seven small wildfires burning in B.C. as warm weather brings dry conditions

By Ashley Wadhwani
BC Local News
March 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is urging caution when doing any outdoor burning, as the recent stint of warm weather has caused dry conditions. On Friday afternoon, a small wildfire was spotted just outside Cranbrook’s city limits. Fire crews were able to quickly respond to the blaze, estimated to be roughly seven hectares in size. A second wildfire, burning 250 hectares large, sparked Saturday afternoon just outside of Kamloops in Chase. Since the start of the year, there have been 17 wildfires reported across the province. Seven are currently classified as being held or under control. The first was reported on Jackass Mountain, between Boston Bar and Lytton, on Feb. 26, and has since been put out by fire crews. The largest was an estimated 30 hectares found burning near Morris Valley Road in the Fraser Valley on March 5.

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City of Winnipeg looks for help managing Dutch elm, emerald ash borer

By Laura Glowacki
CBC News
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Winnipeg wants outside help developing a 20-year vision for managing the city’s urban forest and controlling pests like Dutch elm disease and emerald ash borer. The city is looking for consultants to develop the strategy with input from the public, says a request for proposals issued Wednesday. “It is expected that the [emerald ash borer] program will rapidly grow in scope and urgency in the future,” the city says. The “comprehensive urban forest strategy” would include guidance on managing pests as well as tree pruning, planting and maintenance. The consultants will have to take into account public opinion and feedback to develop the strategy. …Tree Canada, a charity that promotes urban forests, praised Winnipeg for creating the plan. …The city has been fighting the fungi since it was discovered in south Winnipeg in 1975. As elm trees died, the city planted ash trees in their place.

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Minister offers ‘stay of execution’ for Reed Road Forest

By Sophie Woodrooffe
Coast Reporter
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Reed Road Forest in Elphinstone won’t be logged until a plan is in place for managing the area. “They are not going to do anything until there’s more conversation,” Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) chair Lori Pratt told Coast Reporter after she received a letter from Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson on March 29. The letter states that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) will “hold off” on advertising the sale of Forest licence A91376, also known as DL1313, until “a balanced management approach has been developed for the area.”  …Donaldson acknowledged community interests in keeping the forest intact. … Donna McMahon, director for Elphinstone, called Donaldson’s letter “a stay of execution.” An additional factor weighing on the decision whether to permanently remove the cut block from the auction list is the provincial government’s ongoing work with the shíshálh Nation to devise a “modernized land use plan” (MLUP).

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Tsawout and Tseycum First Nations reach deal to remove timber cut on Saturna

By Jeff Bell
Victoria Times Colonist
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Update: The Tsawout and Tseycum First Nations will be able to remove timber cut on reserve land on Saturna Island after a Friday court agreement.About 80 per cent of the land has been logged under a timber permit but three Tsawout band members had been occupying the area in protest. The presence of the protesters kept the logging company away because of safety issues. The agreement between the Tsawout First Nation and the three members means no injunction will be sought, and operations on the remaining 20 per cent of the land will be suspended pending more discussion. “We are pleased that we will be able to get our timber to market and limit our financial losses,” Tsawout Chief Harvey Underwood said. Tsawout Coun. Mavis Underwood said taking band members to court was not done lightly.

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Moving forward with Indigenous forestry partnerships

By Kathy Abusow, president/CEO, SFI Inc.
The Prince George Citizen
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kathy Abusow

As forest industry leaders meet in Vancouver this coming week for the annual conference of the Council of Forest Industries, we have a great deal to be proud of. B.C.’s forest sector has accomplished much over the past decades, from pioneering world-leading sustainable forestry practices to building innovative partnerships with Indigenous communities. Our sector respects the rights of Indigenous peoples, including self-determination. We understand the diversity of each community’s interests, and their unique relationships with their traditional territories. Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) certificate holders are leaders in building respectful relationships with Indigenous communities, co-developing local solutions that address communities’ current needs and providing tools to pursue and achieve their own aspirations in future. …We’re convinced Indigenous communities will continue to play a leading role in B.C.’s sustainable forestry sector. It’s why we’re making direct investments in diverse areas such as conservation, education and community engagement. 

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Government commits to revitalization of Coast forest industry

by Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
Williams Lake Tribune
March 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I think it is worthwhile to review a recent government initiative on improving B.C.s coastal forest economy to see how it may apply to the interior of the province. The Interior review is to start in April and be available this fall. While it won’t have all the same issues as the coast it will no doubt cover similar topics. On Jan. 17, 2019 a news release by the provincial government was published around the same time as the premier was attending the Truck Loggers Association AGM.  …Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development also provided some comments. “We need to shift our approach away from the status quo and create markets for waste fibre that, until now, has been left in harvest areas,” Donaldson said. “We will continue to work with all forest-sector participants so together we can enjoy the benefits from a stronger coastal forest sector.”

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Stopping glyphosate spraying in a province captured by industry

By Susan O’Donnell
NB Media Co-op
March 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

How can residents stop glyphosate spraying on public and private forest land, in a province captured by industry? The province has permitted four multinational companies to control the public (Crown) forest in New Brunswick, with J.D. Irving Ltd. (JDI) being the largest licensee. Journalist Bruce Livesey wrote that New Brunswick is: “a ‘company province’ dominated by one very rich and powerful family.” Current forest management practices, focused on large-scale extraction of softwoods that benefits corporate owners and shareholders, dictate that spraying poison is required to kill off other plant species to make tree plantations more profitable. …These concerns were raised by many participants at the public meeting: “Glyphosate, Forestry and our Future” in a packed room at the Tobique-Plex in Plaster Rock on March 30.

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America’s 2019 harvest is already in trouble

By Laura Lopez-Hoffman, Aaron Lien and Abigail Swann
The Hill
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

As farmers plant their 2019 crops, hopeful for an abundant harvest, they are unknowingly battling history. Past wildfires and other tree loss in California will likely interfere with U.S. food crops, based on emerging results of our own and colleagues’ research. An estimated 147 million trees in California forests died between 2010 and 2018, an unprecedented loss. Deforestation could cause millions of dollars in lost agricultural production throughout the U.S. But policy and practice still fail to recognize the interdependence of our wild and cultivated lands. We humans tend to think of ourselves as affected by proximate things that we can see, hear or touch.  But scientists have for some time been aware of “teleconnections” that trace our interdependence with distant places. …Ecosystems, such as forests, also drive teleconnections. …Forest losses in the Pacific Southwest, which encompasses most of California, could have a serious impact on American food production in the Midwest and South

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Logging and Legislature: Bills could have major impact on operations in Oregon

By Alex Paul
The Bend Bulletin
March 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, OREGON — State Rep. Andrea Salinas, D-Lake Oswego, says her goal in co-sponsoring House Bill 2656 was to “start a conversation” among timber and logging companies about their role in protecting watersheds and ultimately climate change. She succeeded. The bill would require companies to get permission from the Department of Forestry before implementing logging operations “on forestland that is a drinking water source.” The bill… also would curtail aerial applications of pesticides and herbicides on those lands, as well as new logging road construction. At a recent hearing on the bill, more than 100 representatives of timber and logging companies joined the conversation, testifying that the bill has the potential to increase wildfires and could cause serious economic harm. …As of Friday, the bill remains before the House Committee on Energy and Environment. 

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Commissioner Franz, Senate Democrats Release Historic Wildfire and Forest Health Funding Bill

Washington State Department of Natural Resources
April 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Today, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and Senate Democrats presented legislation to reduce Washington’s wildfire risk and create healthier forests. This groundbreaking proposal establishes a dedicated revenue source and raises $62.5 million annually to fund wildfire suppression and prevention. “Never before have our wildland firefighters had to ask for so much, but never before have we faced a wildfire crisis of this magnitude,” said Commissioner Franz. “In the face of this crisis, we need bold, forward-thinking investments to keep our forests healthy, our air clean, and our communities safe from fire.” …Dedicated funding comes from increasing the tax on insurance premiums for property and casualty insurance from 2 percent to 2.52 percent. This 0.52 percent increase is approximately $5 per $1,000 of property and casualty insurance premiums. This will generate $62.5 million annually for wildfire suppression and prevention.
 

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Conservation groups accuse Forest Service of evading roadless rule

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
March 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service has increasingly put roads into inventoried roadless areas in Montana and Idaho, according to conservation groups who argue the practice threatens wildlife and rare habitat.A review of Forest Service records by Idaho-based Friends of the Clearwater found the agency had logged about 18,000 acres of national roadless areas in Idaho and 32,000 acres in Montana in the past decade, despite federal laws designed to protect inventoried roadless forests from development.Last week, the Helena Hunters and Anglers sued the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest over plans to cut trees in the roadless Jerico Mountain and Lazyman Gulch areas of the Tenmile-South Helena project.“The reasoning behind the whole idea of protecting roadless areas has been lost,” said Friends of the Clearwater Director Gary MacFarlane, who co-authored the report with Katie Bilodeau. “By definition, I can’t see how a roadless area can be improved by roading.”

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Foresters plan state meeting in Port Angeles

Peninsula Daily News
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — John McNulty, Society of American Foresters national president, will be the featured speaker at the state chapter of the organization’s annual meeting. The 2019 meeting of the Washington State Society of American Foresters will be April 3 through April 5 at the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St. The theme of the meeting is “Forest/Watershed Restoration: Policies, Principles and Practices.” The meetings are open to the public but registration is required. Restoration efforts on the Olympic Peninsula will be highlighted, covering topics from the Elwha River dam removal to projects removing fish barrier culverts.  A field trip April 5 will go to habitat restoration sites in the Sol Duc watershed, Pysht River, Murdock Creek and the lower Elwha dam location.

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Oregon’s Bighorn Logging commits to innovation

By Ellen Cools
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For Harve Dethlefs, president and founder of Banks, Ore.-based Bighorn Logging Corp., logging has been part of his life since he was a child. Growing up riding in a cab with his father, who was a logger like his father before him, logging seemed like the obvious career choice for Dethlefs. …Bighorn Logging began as a contract cutting business with two employees, transitioning to clearcutting after a year and a half of operating. The company has been expanding ever since, and now employs 80 people, who work eight to twelve hours a day at least five days a week, year-round. …Over the years, Dethlefs has seen the industry go through several ups and downs, and knows just how important it is to have the right machines.

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Michael changed forests, full impact unknown

By Katie Landeck
The News Herald
March 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

PANAMA CITY — There isn’t a lot of shade left in the forest. Hundreds of thousands of trees snapped like matchsticks during Hurricane Michael, recreating the very fabric of the woodland environment. Streams and small rivers were disrupted by the hundreds of small dams the downed timber created on their banks. The roots that held the ground together have been upended, leaving the area vulnerable to erosion. The habitat has changed for woodland wildlife. New hazards, like fire and invasive species, loom ahead. More than 3 million acres were severely damaged by the storm and about half of the damage was catastrophic, meaning 95 percent of the trees were lost, according to the Florida Forestry Service. With large tracts of managed land in the region, the storm is expected to cost the timber industry more than $1.3 billion. …How exactly this will impact the environment and industry of the woods is still unknown.

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South Jersey forest fire now covering 10,000 acres, officials say

By Chris Palmer
The Inquirer (Philadelphia)
March 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A forest fire burning in South Jersey’s Pinelands had encompassed about 10,000 acres by Sunday afternoon and firefighters were working to contain the blaze as cooler weather and rain moved into the region, according to state officials. The Spring Hill fire, as it was being called, was first reported around 1:45 p.m. Saturday, said Lawrence Hajna, spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Hajna said the blaze, which was in parts of Woodland and Washington Townships in Burlington County, had forced the closure of Route 72 between Routes 539 and 532. Officials had not ordered any evacuations, Hajna said, and no injuries had been reported. Hajna said that about 50 firefighters from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service were in the area to combat the blaze, and that about 75 percent of it was considered contained Sunday afternoon. Local fire departments were also on hand to assist, he said.

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China says 30 killed fighting mountain forest fire

The Associated Press in Bloomberg
April 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BEIJING — A fire high in the mountains of western China’s Sichuan province has killed 30 firefighters and others, the government said Monday. The deaths occurred after a change of wind Sunday as the firefighters were battling the blaze in a rugged area at an altitude of 3,800 meters, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management and the military. Among the dead were 27 firefighters and three local residents recruited to help fight the blaze, the ministry said. Nearly 700 people were battling the fire in Sichuan’s Muli county that erupted on Saturday, but contact was lost Sunday with the 30. …China has been battling forest fires in recent weeks in various parts of the vast country, including on the outskirts of Beijing, fed by dry weather and high winds across many northern areas.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Visitors flock to Yukon village to see bioenergy system in action

By Alexandra Byers
CBC News
March 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Yukon village of Teslin has become a world-leading model in biomass heating, with more than 900 people from around the globe having visited to learn about the facilities. Once a month, and even up to once a week in the summer, the Teslin Tlingit Council leads tours of its system, where biomass boilers heat ten of the community’s major buildings. It went into operation almost a year ago, and has been attracting visitors like Fred Behrens ever since. “We just received funding to install the same biomass heating system for our recreation centre,” said Behrens, the senior administrative officer for the Hamlet of Aklavik, N.W.T. “We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to see a system that’s operational.”

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