Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 9, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Transportation watchdog confirms ‘discriminatory’ rail practice

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 9, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

A preliminary report from Canada’s transportation watchdog appears to confirm shippers’ complaints about discriminatory treatment for commodity lumber. In other Business news: Quebec truckers face growing challenges; Northern Pulp’s uncertainty ripples down to its contractors; Random Lengths says improved weather will trigger higher prices; and AF&PA’s Donna Harman opines on the evolution of the US industry. 

In Forestry/Climate news: California’s wildfires spark preemptive state of emergency; ENGOs call for carbon capture with forests; natural forests are better than plantations at fighting climate change; and northern forests CO2-uptake is on the rise.

Finally, from the COFI conference, Yurkovich’s highlights, Jeffrey’s timber accolade, Harder’s notable quotes, and our photo gallery of the folks in the room.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Scribbles from the 2019 COFI Convention

By Paul Harder
Harder Blog
April 8, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Harder

41 speaker quotes from the 2019 COFI Convention:

1. Convention buzzwords: innovation, inclusion, sharing, partnerships, relationship, certainty, predictability, capacity (ability), conservation, caribou
2. “A new model of forest management.” – Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development
3. “China-U.S. negotiations are only a small subset of the larger tensions.” – Robert Johnston, Managing Director, Global Energy & Natural Resources, Eurasia Group
4. “India and Southeast Asia will become more important for Canada’s forest sector than China.” – Robert Johnston

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COFI 2019 Convention Tree Frog Photo Gallery

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 9, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Please enjoy our gallery of images captured at the COFI 2019 convention. It’s our pleasure to bring friends and colleagues together—and capture smiling faces, conversations and presentations at industry events. This is a small (237!) sampling of the many pictures Sandy took over three days of the convention. Once we’ve deleted the closed eyes and other obvious bloopers, it’s hard to delete images, every one captures different nuances of the speakers’ personalities! Over the next week, we will endeavour to email pictures to those we photographed – however, please contact us if there’s an image you would like. 

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COFI 2019 Convention Wrap-up

By Susan Yurkovich
Council of Forest Industries
April 5, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

I’d like to wrap up the 2019 COFI Convention by summarizing what we’ve heard over the last couple of days. …I hope you will agree that we’ve been given a lot of food for thought and I hope that will you will leave here like me, optimistic. There’s no question that we have challenges, but working collectively and doing the right thing—we can continue to be a proud foundational industry, that’s going to benefit generations for decades to come. In closing, I want to again express my thanks to our exhibitors for being here this week. Thanks also to our convention presenting sponsor, Finning Canada, and today’s platinum sponsor Farris, and to all the sponsors of this year’s convention. And finally thank you, our delegates, for your participation. That concludes this year’s convention. I invite you all to join us again at next year’s convention, when we return to the Prince George Civic Centre, April 1-3, 2020.

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Premier John Horgan Supports a Strong and Sustainable Future for BC’s Forest Industry

Canadian Wood Council
April 5, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rick Jeffery

The Canadian Wood Council applauds Premier John Horgan’sannouncement… to choose wood construction wherever possible for public sector buildings. Two landmark projects mentioned as examples where wood will be showcased prominently are the new Royal BC Museum in Victoria and the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. “Premier Horgan’s announcement in support of increased wood opportunities in BC is welcome news for an industry that supports jobs, market development, and CleanBC’s plan to reduce climate pollution for the province,” explained Rick Jeffery, Interim President of the Canadian Wood Council. …“This is the beginning of the change our forest industry needs,” Premier Horgan said. “We have committed $20 billion in public infrastructure over the next three years. I have directed that all these projects consider the use of engineered wood as a primary building material, whenever and wherever possible.”

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Business & Politics

Report from transportation watchdog probes commodity discrimination by rail

Milbank Monitor
April 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A preliminary report from the Canadian Transportation Agency appears to confirm shippers‘ complaints about a relatively high number of restrictions on commodities they tried to move by rail through the Vancouver area. Industry groups have accused Canada‘s two largest rail companies of “discriminatory treatment” against some commodities, the report notes, highlighting the use of embargoes that temporarily stop traffic at specific loading points or interchanges. …the report is part of a CTA investigation … following complaints from shipping associations about rail service in B.C.‘s Lower Mainland over the past three months. …In a statement last week, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. chief executive Keith Creel called the investigation‘s abrupt launch “irresponsible.” …Derek Nighbor, head of the Forest Products Association of Canada, warned the railways this week against playing “commodity whack-a-mole.” He said the embargoes cost the pulp and paper industry $500 million in contract penalties, shipping charges, rebooked routes and storage costs. 

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Random Lengths Lumber and Panel Market Report

Random Lenghts Publications
April 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

While softness prevailed in prices, trading in framing lumber picked up modestly amid drier and warmer weather in some market. Increased demand was mostly reported among distributors, wholesalers, and other buyers, while orders were slower to reach back to the mills. …Structural panel prices faded as conservative purchasing lagged mill offerings. OSB prices cracked in most producing zones across North America, as a number of mills accepted counters to alleviate buildups and push order files out one to two weeks. …Traders are in near-unanimous agreement that market activity across species and regions will strengthen, as adverse weather loosens its grip on the continent. Many also believe, however, that increased consumption will be limited by a dearth of available labor. 

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Four mills reject deal; bargaining continues

By the United Steelworkers
The Prince George Daily News
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers at four interior sawmills have rejected a tentative collective agreement with CONIFER. USW Local 1-2017 recently concluded the ratification votes for 13 operations covered by the CONIFER memorandum of agreement reached February 13 in Prince George.  The local union met with the membership at Tolko Lakeview on March 20 and 23 regarding the memorandum that was rejected at that operation. Since then the union has scheduled a meeting with the employer and will resume bargaining April 10 in Williams Lake. The three Canfor independent mills; Chetwynd, Polar and Plateau, have also completed their ratification vote. Chetwynd accepted the agreement and the other two operations rejected the proposed deal.

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Uncertainty over Northern Pulp’s future hurting forestry industry

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
April 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Peter Spicer

Above a Crossroads, Cumberland Co., garage where two mechanics worked on a big diesel machine Friday, Dwayne MacGillivary sat at a worn desk pondering what to say to his operators. …“I’ve got people coming and telling me they’ve got a job offer and should they take the opportunity,” said MacGillivary. “What am I supposed to tell them?” …All he knows is what he and the rest of the province heard from Paper Excellence Canada chief executive officer Brian Baarda last week. “If the government does not give us enough time to complete the new facility, we will have no choice but to permanently cease operations in Nova Scotia,” said Baarda of the projected year-long gap between the deadline for Boat Harbour’s closure and the anticipated earliest possible completion of its proposed replacement. …So far the government has held the line on not granting an extension. [A digital subscription for the Chronicle Herald is required to read the full story]

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Mercury decision on hold

By Mike Aiken
KenoraOnline
April 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Judges at the Supreme Court of Canada are still deciding. They heard arguments at the end of March about who will be responsible for clean-up costs at the Dryden mill, but there’s no date for the release of the court’s decision. The province has been challenging the validity of an agreement with forestry companies reached in 1985, which was later transferred to a new buyer for the property. The deal meant Queen’s Park would take on the environmental liability, in return for a new company buying the mill and providing upgrades. However, the province is challenging the deal. Hearings on March 28 looked at whether the Court of Appeal erred, when it failed to find the terms of the 1985 Indemnity meant that Resolute FP Canada Inc. is entitled to benefit from the 1985 Indemnity, as the corporate successor of Great Lakes Forest Products Limited.

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Home Local News Other News Features Alerts/Closures Business Cards & Public Services Contact Us New leadership for Northern Lumber Mills

Wawa-news
April 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

WRC Timber Inc. (WRC) is pleased to announce new leadership at its sites in White River and Hornepayne as well as for its woodlands group. White River Forest Products (WRFP) is now led by Mill Manager, Sean Lauzon. Sean took the helm on January 21st, after WRFP had been without a mill manager for six months. “Sean is a seasoned forestry professional and experienced industrial manager,” said Tony Wyszkowski, WRC’s President. “He has the drive and passion to unify the team and lead it towards efficiencies now crucial with current lumber prices.” In Hornepayne, Rick Merling took over as Site General Manager and Chief Engineer, on January 15, 2019, having joined the organization as Assistant General Manager on October 15, 2018. 

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Forestry sector’s truckers face growing challenges

By Eric Berard
Today’s Trucking
April 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL, Que. – Canada’s forestry sector is worth an estimated $20 billion a year, but those who haul logs from the forest to sawmill are experiencing the weight of factors from wildfires to lumber tariffs. Wildfires make lumber buyers nervous about supply disruptions, CIBC World Markets analyst Hamir Patel said last August. …As logging revenues drop, investments into bush roads tend to drop with them. And it’s a situation that log haulers experience first hand. The rougher roads inevitably take their toll on equipment, says Mario Beaulieu of the Association Nationale des Camionneurs Artisans, which represents 800 independent log haulers in Quebec. The same logic applies across the country. “You can definitely tell when the market is down,” says Jeremy Kuharchuk, director partner of Blue Valley Trucking, from Vanderhoof, B.C.

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The U.S. Forest Products Industry: Dynamic History, Bright Future

By Donna Harman, president and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association
TimberLine Magazine
April 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Donna Harman

When I joined the U.S. forest products industry nearly 30 years ago, business structures were different than they are today. However, the foundational principles of the industry have and will continue to stand the test of time. For starters, many paper and wood products companies owned their own forestland in the 1980s. Owning their own wood fiber gave companies oversight and control of their fiber sourcing, but changes in tax laws and pressure from Wall Street caused a big shift in the industry’s ownership structure and supply chain. Today, U.S. paper and wood products manufacturing companies typically do not grow trees; they buy them. Privately-owned forests—many of them held by family tree farmers—now supply 90 percent of the wood used by the U.S. forest products industry. Two to three percent of the wood used by the industry comes from Federal lands; six percent comes from state and municipal lands; and one percent comes from Native lands.

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NZ timber exporter Sequal signs big Saudi deal: 1500/year container potential

By Anne Gibson
The New Zealand Herald
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A Kawerau saw miller has signed a deal with a Saudi Arabian customer to more than double its exports to the Middle East country and potentially ship around 1500 containers of processed wood products annually, its chief says. David Turner, executive director of Tauranga-headquartered Sequal Lumber, said the “significant” deal could result in that business vastly increasing its exports to the Middle East country and the world’s largest oil exporter. But he emphasised arrangements were at a very early stage and he could not name the customer due to commercial sensitivities. “We have exported into Saudi Arabia for some time and been working the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise who have introduced us to a lot more customers around the globe and in particular in Saudi Arabia,” Turner said today. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Award-winning libraries rewrite the book on good design

By Adam Williams
New Atlas
April 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

A library with a train track running through it and another with an angular design that maximizes natural light inside are highlights of this year’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Library Association (ALA) Library Building Awards. Whether you’re an avid bookworm or not, it’s a great opportunity to check out some high-profile projects by the likes of SOM, Snøhetta and Perkins + Will. …there are a total of six winners of the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. …all six winners are located in North America this year: four in the US and two in Canada. The most impressive is Calgary Central Library, by Snøhetta and Dialog. Fronted by an energy-efficient triple-glazed facade with a hexagonal pattern of fritted glass and aluminum panels, the building is accessed by passing through a large wood archway inspired by the Chinook cloud formation.

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As Mass Timber Takes Off, How Green Is This New Building Material?

By Jim Robbins
Yale Environment 360
April 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The eight-story Carbon 12 building in Portland, Oregon is the tallest commercial structure in the United States to be built from something called mass timber. If the many fervent boosters of this new construction material are right, however, it is only one of the first mass timber buildings among many, the beginning of a construction revolution. “The design community in Portland is enthralled with the material,” said Emily Dawson, an architect at Kaiser + Path, the locally-based firm that designed Carbon 12. But there are big questions being asked about just how sustainable the new building material is –especially about how forests that produce mass timber are managed, and how much CO2 would be emitted in the logging, manufacture, and transport of the wood products used in the construction. So far, critics say, there aren’t good answers to these questions.

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‘Lightweight construction’ materials may have contributed to why deadly Chesapeake Beach fire spread so quickly

By Ines de La Cuetara
WUSA 9
April 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CHESAPEAKE BEACH, Md. — It is still unclear what caused the deadly blaze in Chesapeake Beach, but officials tell WUSA9 “lightweight construction” found in the wreckage could be part of the reason the fire spread so quickly.  “Lightweight construction has been a huge concern of our service for several years,” said Prince George’s County Deputy Fire Chief Alan Doubleday. Lightweight construction is typically used to build newer homes, mainly because it is cheaper than the solid wood that was previously used. But the materials used in lightweight construction also burn more rapidly.  The homes – an affordable housing community – that caught fire on Wednesday were built in 1998, according to the property website. Doubleday went on to explain most of the uncontrollable fires his department sees are of structures that were built with lightweight construction. “Imminent collapse comes at a much faster pace than it ever did in the past,” he said. 

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Hempcrete, The Sustainable Building Material That Won This Mudgee House an Award

By Sara Pull
Eco Warrior Princess
April 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Hemp is known for its use in the fashion and wellness industries, with brands like KITX and BEAR respectively utilising the benefits of hemp in their clothing and products, now this plant fibre is making its mark as a sustainable building fabric.   At last years BDA National Design Awards, a house in Mudgee, NSW coined the ‘Mudgee Hempcrete House’ won the Paul Dass Memorial Prize, a prestigious award given to a designer for outstanding achievement in building design, and the award for Best Residential Building. Within this house as the name suggest is Hempcrete. Hempcrete is a lightweight bio-composite made of the inner woody core of the hemp plant, weighing about an eighth of the weight of concrete. The material is used as an insulator rather than for a structural element. The core of the plant is mixed with a lime-based binder to allow it to be formed into slabs. 

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Forestry

‘Wonderfully combustible surface’: City foresters, fire crews assess risk of river valley wildfires

By Paige Parsons
The Edmonton Journal
April 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The city is upgrading its approach to assessing fire risk in the expansive river valley. The 2,000 continuous hectares of river valley land that allow Edmonton to claim the title of world’s largest urban park. But having swaths of forest in the middle of the city also raises questions about the risk of forest fire. …Beval said the city’s urban foresters are in the early stages of creating a “desktop analysis” to help them better understand fire risk across the city’s forested and natural grassy areas. A total picture of the state of the city’s vegetation will be built by using LIDAR. …She said the city is doing some research and a literature review on the possibility of using controlled burns as a means of clearing out risky areas. 

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Vancouver Island’s fog zone fades into the horizon

By Tyson Whitney
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
April 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver Island’s “fog zone” is no more. “When putting on open fire prohibitions, the Coastal Fire Centre has commonly excluded a two-kilometre strip of land along the extreme outer coast of Vancouver Island from Port Renfrew to Port Hardy,” said Alan Berry, senior wildfire officer, via press release. “This area has become known as the ‘fog zone’ and persons recreating within this zone were allowed to have campfires and local residents could conduct Category 2 open burns. This decision to exclude this area was made because of the lower risk of a wildfire spreading due to the presence of fog and a general lack of community bylaws and campfire procedures in provincial and federal parks in the fog zone.” Following the 2018 forest fire season, a review of the effectiveness of this procedure was conducted with federal and provincial park staff and local governments in the area including other partners such as First Nations.

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UBC offers to help with forestry planning in North Cowichan

By Sharon Vanhouwe
My Cowichan Valley Now
April 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Arcese

The Professor and Forest Renewal BC Chair in Conservation at UBC’s Faculty of Forestry is offering to help make a made-in-Cowichan plan for the North Cowichan forest reserve. Peter Arcese was in the Valley back in early March to attend the public event, along with 700 local residents at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre to hear about the municipal forest and has penned a letter to Mayor Al Siebring. He’s inviting the Municipality to engage with the Coastal Douglas Fir Partnership and the UBC Faculty of Forestry to work together to identify “made in Cowichan” approaches when it comes to the use of our forest resources to generate revenue, but also to enhance amenity, fisheries, wildlife, and recreational values to residents and visitors. Arcese says the UBC Faculty has engaged in similar activities around BC and the world and the biographies of their members show experience in all of those areas as well as in mill-revitalization and the potential to “off-set” the opportunity costs of traditional forest harvest systems.

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Celebrate Forestry Proud Day in Campbell River

Forestry Friendly Communities
March 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry Proud Day is coming to Campbell River on Monday, April 29! Forestry Proud day is annual celebration of forestry on Vancouver Island and the South Coast of British Columbia. It was started in 2018 as a way to gather a group together to celebrate pride in forestry. Each year, the event visits a different forestry community and pays homage to the dedicated folks in the sector who work hard to support their families and their communities.

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Cowichan #TrashTag clean-ups bring awareness to illegal dumping

Mosaic Forest Management
April 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Cowichan Valley Regional District and Mosaic Forest Management are partnering to support illegal dumping clean-up efforts throughout the month of April. All around the world, groups of residents are taking up the #TrashTag challenge in their communities, cleaning up dump sites and litter while raising awareness about the issue through social media. Over the coming weeks, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and Mosaic are encouraging residents to organize and/or participate in a clean-up event around the region. …“Many of us have come across cases of inexcusable illegal dumping in our communities, and this is an opportunity to help ensure they are rectified and not repeated,” said Domenico Iannidinardo, VP Forests and Sustainability and Chief Forester for Mosaic Forest Management. “We look forward to playing a part of creating more opportunities for people to get outside, beautify their neighbourhoods, and ultimately eliminate this issue in our region.”

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California Wildfires Spark Preemptive State of Emergency

By Kateri Wozny
US News
April 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

LOS ANGELES — As the 2019 California wildfire season approaches, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a 12-month State of Emergency in late March to ramp up forest management projects that will help protect 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities. The proclamation is part of Newsom’s $550 million budget for wildfire relief and efforts. “The increasing wildfire risks we face as a state mean we simply can’t wait until a fire starts in order to start deploying emergency resources,” Newsom said in a statement. “California needs sustained focus and immediate action in order to better protect our communities.” The governor’s decision also resulted from an executive order …to compile a Community Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Report, which identified 35 fuel reduction projects to help reduce the public safety risk from a wildfire.

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Private timber companies collaborate to save salmon Government, tribal and non-federal timber owners celebrate historic 1999 passage of Forest & Fish Law

The Daily Chronicle
April 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This week Washington state celebrates the historic, impactful, science-based 20th anniversary of the Forest & Fish Law, a collaboration of federal, state, tribal, county governments and private forest landowners that led to the protection of 60,000 miles of streams running through 9.3 million acres of forestland. The annual gathering of the Salmon Recovery Conference will bring together about 800 attendees, 200 presenters and more than 50 exhibitors (including the Washington Forest Protection Association). They will share information about past success and future endeavors in improving salmon recovery in Washington state at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center April 8-9. In the late 1990s five partners of the Forest & Fish Law worked together for 18 months to form best forest practices rules to protect clean water.

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Walden: ‘Enough is enough’

By Kaylee Tornay
Mail Tribune
April 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Greg Walden

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s tone in a speech on wildfires and clean air to the Chamber of Jackson County/ Medford on Monday afternoon was far from dampened by the steady rain. The congressman repeatedly pointed to forest management measures that he believes hold the keys to conquering smoky summer skies in Southern Oregon. “Enough is enough,” he said. Walden’s speech was initially peppered with a grim recitation of statistics showing the toll that wildfire smoke has taken across the state, especially in Southern Oregon. That included data from a Travel Oregon report which estimates that Jackson County represented $3 million of a $51.5 million statewide loss from the tourism industry in 2017 due to wildfire smoke. …In Monday’s speech, he framed his recommendations for more active forest management in the context of its link to climate change and reduced carbon emissions.

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Group writes check to stop Bozeman logging project

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A check has been delivered.After a quick fundraising effort Save Our Gallatin Front had more cash than they needed to pay for a 25-year logging deferral south of Bozeman. So instead of following a three-year payment plan, the group delivered a check for more than $400,000 to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation on Friday, and now they’re waiting for the final signatures on the conservation license contract.Once that’s finished the group will officially hold the first conservation license ever used to block an entire logging project in Montana, in this case one that was set for 443 acres of state land west of Mount Ellis. “This is a pretty big accomplishment,” said Tim Tousignant, director of Save Our Gallatin Front. “It isn’t very often you have an opportunity to preserve an area like this.”

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The Race to Save the Most Endangered Conifer in America

By Brian Kahn
Gizmodo
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TORREYA STATE PARK, FLORIDA—Religious scholars have long debated where Noah constructed his floating zoo made of “gopher wood” (Genesis 6:14) and what tree the ark’s gopher wood even came from. Some residents in the Florida Panhandle have an unlikely answer. The place in question is, well, there, and the tree in question is torreya taxifolia. Known [in the Florida Panhandle] as gopher wood, torreya taxifolia (or, as stinking cedar for the astringent smell it releases when needles are rolled between the fingers), local legend has it that the tree was used to build the ark that Noah rode out 40 days of floods on, with the menagerie landing, eventually, on Mount Ararat in Turkey. …the tree faces a new era of ecological violence. …Globalization delivered a fungus the tree had no defense against… Then last October, Hurricane Michael plowed through Panama City and into the Panhandle. 

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Intensive forestry creates ‘too many environmental risks’ – lawyer

By Kate Gudsell,
Radio New Zealand
April 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry came into force in May last year but are about to be reviewed by the government. The Environmental Defence Society and Forest and Bird decided to conduct joint analysis because of increasing public concern about the impacts of commercial forestry in light of events like Tologa Bay last year.  An estimated one million tonnes of logs and debris was left strewn on properties and roads on the East Coast during two bouts of heavy rainfall in June last year. Farmers put the cost of the damage in the millions of dollars. The two environmental groups said forestry was high risk in terms of worker safety and environmental impact, and the regulatory approach was too soft. Environmental lawyer Sally Gepp described regulation as a “light-touch which was inappropriate for such a high-risk sector”.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Environmentalists call for Carbon Capture and Storage – with forests

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
April 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

We go on about wood here on TreeHugger, but often fail to see the forest for the trees. In fact, those forests could save us, by sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere faster than we are making it. Instead, we are chopping them down and, in many parts of the world, failing to replant them. Every thing we say about the wonders of wood construction are meaningless if we don’t replace every tree we turn into CLT and NLT and DLT and every other form of wood we invent. Writing in the Guardian, a long list of environmental luminaries have written an important letter calling for protecting and restoring ecosystems. …The writers note that this can’t be a substitute for decarbonization of industrial economies, but note that “natural climate solutions could help us hold the heating of the planet below.”

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Natural forests best bet for fighting climate change, analysis finds

By Malavika Vyawahare
Mongabay.com
April 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Natural forests are 40 times more effective than plantations for storing carbon, making them the best option for slowing the global average temperature rise, a group of scientists says. Forests help mitigate climate change by sucking out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, locking it away in their trunks and soil. But regreening efforts in many countries rely on the expansion of plantations, where commercially important crops are grown, rather than forest restoration. This might undercut the gains from forest restoration efforts. “We understand the economic importance of plantations for many countries,” said Charlotte Wheeler, a forest researcher at the University of Edinburgh and co-author of a recent commentary in Nature. “However, natural forests are the only option that can realistically help mitigate climate change.”

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Sustainability requirements in Japan could increase pellet demand

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
April 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Japanese government is reportedly considering enacting a policy that would require palm kernel shells (PKS) to be meet sustainability criteria. A new FutureMetrics whitepaper considers the implications of such a policy and predicts it could increase demand for wood pellets. According to the whitepaper, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering sustainability requirements for PKS. …“The exact regulation wording is as yet not known. Furthermore, FutureMetrics is not sure if these rules will be applied to already signed contracts for PKS or not. However, it appears very probable that Japan is moving toward a more rigorous set of requirements on biomass fuel procurement.” The whitepaper explains Japan is currently the world’s primary buyer of PKS.

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Long-term data on atmospheric carbon dioxide reveals an increase in carbon uptake by Northern Hemisphere vegetation

Phys.org
April 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Based on long-term data on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, an international group of scientists coordinated by the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences have discovered that vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere is absorbing increasing amounts of the CO2 produced by human activities, thereby partially offsetting the effects of global warming. The research was published in Nature on 3 April 2019. …The exact magnitude and trend of the terrestrial carbon sink in the Northern Hemisphere remain uncertain. …The difference between CO2 records in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres shows that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere remains higher on average in the north. This is due to CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, which are mainly produced by industrialized regions located in the Northern Hemisphere.

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Health & Safety

West Fraser Mills in Quesnel fined $637,000 for workplace injury

By Ashley Legassic
CFJC News
April 8, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

QUESNEL, B.C. — A lumber mill in the Cariboo region has been fined after a worker sustained serious injuries at the plant. The incident happened at West Fraser Mills in Quesnel. WorkSafeBC said in its penalty decision that a worker from a subcontractor’s firm was vacuuming ash from a hatch midway up a multi-cone hopper when compacted hot ash broke free. The ash rushed out of the hatch and onto the worker, causing serious injuries. “WorkSafeBC’s investigation determined …not conducted an adequate assessment of the risks associated with accumulated hot ash”. “Safe work procedures had not been communicated to the subcontractor firm, and the subcontractor’s workers had not been trained in the work task.” WorkSafeBC imposed a $637,415 fine.

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