Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 10, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US gets the better of Canada in lumber ruling at WTO

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 10, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The World Trade Organization delivered a mixed ruling in the US-Canada lumber dispute, finding the US did not follow the rules in calculating the anti-dumping duties but more significantly, they can use the long-outlawed ‘zeroing policy‘, which overstates the calculation. In response, the US Lumber Coalition cheered the ruling, while the Canadian industry is disappointed but plans to continue as more rulings lie ahead. 

In other news: Vaughn Palmer opines on BC’s caribou protection plan; ENGO’s on BC’s wolf kills and caribou zoos; the NY Times on protecting Poland’s primeval forest; and Treehugger on mass timber’s sustainability.

Finally, can Big Oil’s reputation be saved by planting trees?

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Long-outlawed U.S. trade policy wins WTO approval in Canada’s lumber dispute

CBC News
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Susan Yurkovich

A World Trade Organization ruling approved a long-outlawed U.S. trade policy on Tuesday. …On Parliament Hill Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that while she was pleased to see that the WTO found the US did not follow the rules in calculating the anti-dumping margins, she was concerned by the ruling on zeroing. …The panel’s decision to side with this American argument this time was “really disappointing,” Susan Yurkovich, the chief executive of B.C.’s Council of Forest Industries, told CBC News. …”Because this decision represents a departure from past rulings, the industry would support a federal government decision to test it with an appeal. …Yurkovich described the decision overall as “mixed,” pointing out the panel did side with Canada in faulting the way the U.S. calculated its anti-dumping duties. …Canada has also launched a complaint under the provisions of Chapter 19 of NAFTA. The first hearing… is scheduled for May 7. 

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WTO permits U.S. to use long-outlawed policy to calculate anti-dumping tariffs on softwood lumber

By Tom Miles
The Globe and Mail
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Robert Lighthizer

A World Trade Organization ruling approved a long-outlawed U.S. trade policy on Tuesday, when a panel of adjudicators said Washington’s use of “zeroing” to calculate anti-dumping tariffs was permissible in the case of Canadian softwood lumber. …The United States has suffered a string of defeats at the WTO over zeroing, a calculation method that was ruled to have unfairly increased the level of U.S. anti-dumping duties. The repeated losses helped to fuel U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign to reform the WTO, where the United States is blocking appointments at the WTO’s Appellate Body, effectively the supreme court of world trade. …U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer… said the WTO rules did not prohibit zeroing, and the United States would never have signed up to WTO rules that did prohibit the practice.

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Montana lumber industry cheers WTO softwood ruling

By Patrick Reilly
The Missoulian
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chuck Roady

The U.S. timber industry is celebrating a recent WTO decision in a long-running trade dispute. …The decision could be appealed, and it’s just one of three softwood-related cases that the two countries have pending before international panels. But Chuck Roady, vice president and general manager of F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co., called Tuesday’s news “excellent.” …To determine exactly how underpriced Canada’s “dumped” softwood was, the U.S. compared sales prices in the U.S., Canada and other foreign markets. Not all comparisons showed underselling; some showed a U.S. price higher than the Canadian price. Commerce assigning them a value of zero, rather than the negative value of the price difference, when it calculated the dumping margins. Canada took issue with this practice, but the World Trade Organization deemed it above-board in this situation.

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WTO Panel Affirms U.S. Antidumping Duty Measures to Softwood Lumber Products from Canada

By Zoltan van Heyningen
The US Lumber Coalition
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Jason Brochu

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Lumber Coalition applauds today’s decision by a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel affirming the United States’ anti-dumping measures that apply the Differential Pricing Methodology to softwood lumber products from Canada. In its decision the WTO panel rejected a prior WTO appellate body’s finding on this issue, which imposed obligations on the United States that had never been agreed to by the United States in the negotiations establishing theWTO. Today’s decision by the WTO panel is not only vitally important to the domestic lumber industry, it is an essential affirmation of U.S. sovereignty and its rights to fully and properly enforce trade laws as enacted by Congress. “The U.S. industry strongly supports the Administration’s full enforcement of the U.S. trade laws against subsidized and dumped Canadian imports,” said Jason Brochu, U.S. Lumber Coalition Co-Chair and Co-President of Pleasant River Lumber Company in Maine.

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WRI’s global wood fiber prices indices reached four-year highs

By Haken Ekstron
Wood Resources International LLC
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Seattle, USA—Global wood fiber prices have trended upward for much of the period 2014 to 2018, with wood costs going up the most for pulpmills in Western North America, Europe, Indonesia and China. Only pulpmills in Brazil and Eastern Canada have seen their wood costs go. Wood fiber costs ranged between 45% and 70% of the cash costs for the production of pulp around the world in the 4Q/18. The costs for wood chips and pulplogs were generally higher worldwide in 2018 than in 2017 with both the Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) and the Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) reaching their highest levels in four years. From the 4Q/16 to the 4Q/18, the SFPI and the HFPI increased by 6.4% and 4.6%, respectively. Over the past two years, softwood fiber prices were up over 20% in the US Northwest, Western Canada, the Nordic countries and Germany, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). 

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WTO Delivers Mixed Ruling in U.S.-Canada Lumber Dispute

By Bryce Baschuk
Bloomberg
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The World Trade Organization on Tuesday said the U.S. violated international trade rules in the way it calculated tariffs on Canadian imports of softwood lumber in a key dispute ruling published on the WTO website. The decision also provided a boost to the U.S.’s use of a controversial methodology used when calculating anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber. In the past, the WTO has struck down American use of the process, called zeroing, which typically results in higher duty margins. That part of the ruling is a victory for the U.S. …Freeland applauded part of the ruling but said Canada was considering an appeal based on the decision’s views on zeroing. …If the WTO ruling stands on appeal, the U.S. will be required to roll back some of its restrictions on Canadian lumber imports, which may undercut sales from American producers such as Weyerhaeuser Co. and Georgia-Pacific LLC.

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Stronger measures needed for B.C.’s forestry industry

By Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River North
The Alaska Highway News
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Davies

That may come as a surprise to some, but if you currently work in forestry in our region, you know all about the challenges facing today’s industry. Across the province, fibre costs are increasing while lumber prices continue to fall. Jobs are being lost because of a lack of supply. Wildfires and beetle epidemics are putting even more pressure on a dwindling resource. On top of all that, government officials confirmed that planned caribou recovery efforts will directly impact the forest industry, especially in the Peace River region. …The premier’s only solution is to pull lumber companies together with First Nations, mayors, and unions. The provincial government would then step out of the way and let the industry work things out with local stakeholders. Exiting the field is not what I call leadership.

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Fortress secures additional Federal Government support for planned bioproducts demonstration project

Fortress Global Enterprises Inc.
April 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. is pleased to announce that, further to its news release of July 11, 2018, its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fortress Xylitol Inc., has now entered into a definitive contribution agreement with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) whereby SDTC has committed $10.4 million in contribution funding to support the planned construction and operation of a xylitol and complementary bioproducts demonstration plant at Fortress’ dissolving pulp mill in Thurso, Québec. This funding from SDTC is in addition to the $10 million grant from Natural Resources Canada previously announced and the anticipated provincial investment and loan of up to $7 million… The Demonstration Plant Project is intended to demonstrate technology for the co-production of value-added and sustainable bioproducts…The process is expected to validate performance and produce pre-commercial quantities of food-grade xylitol and complementary bioproducts for testing and use by customers.

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New leadership at White River, Hornepayne sawmills

Northern Ontario Business
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

WRC Timber (WRC) has put new leadership in place to manage its sawmill and harvesting operations in White River and Hornepayne. Sean Lauzon is the new mill manager at White River Forest Products, a random length sawmill located … between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. …The operation had been without a mill manager for six months. “Sean is a seasoned forestry professional and experienced industrial manager,” said WRC president Tony Wyszkowski in an April 8 news release. …WRC Timber is a privately-owned company, founded and chaired by Frank Dottori, with a majority stake in the two operations and a co-generation plant in Hornepayne. …Up the road in Hornepayne, Rick Merling was promoted to site general manager and chief engineer of Hornepayne Lumber LP on Jan. 15. He joined the company as assistant general manager last October.

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U.S. concludes environmental spat with Peru using trade treaty

Reuters
April 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government, fearing Peru had recently acted to weaken its ability to stop illegal logging, has used a 2009 trade treaty’s environmental provisions to stop Lima from eliminating its forestry regulator, the US Trade Representative said. In January, the US requested consultations… to oppose Peru’s decision to place its logging regulator OSINFOR under the environmental ministry. …Americans feared the Peruvian move could have undermined OSINFOR’s independence and hindered its ability to effectively enforce Peru’s forestry laws, USTR said. Following technical consultations… Peru reversed course, annulling the December decision on April 9. “This shows that strong enforcement works,” USTR chief Robert Lighthizer said in a statement. Environmentalists have long criticized Peru for not doing enough to keep wood from being harvested illegally from its forests for export. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Is mass timber construction really renewable and sustainable?

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
April 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

A new study says it is, and we speak to one of the authors. There are a number of questions that come up every time we talk about mass timber construction, which I was hoping might be addressed in the new guide to North American Mass Timber- State of the Industry 2019. The guide is produced by the Forest Business Network and acknowledges support from almost every big name in the mass timber industry, so we cannot call it an unbiased source …But when you read all the pros and the cons, and even if wood and the industry are not quite perfect, there is simply no comparison in the upfront carbon emissions of the manufacture of mass timber compared to other materials; and…it is storing carbon, about a ton of carbon for every cubic meter of wood. Dave Atkins says wood is renewable, biodegradable and sustainable. It is hard to argue with that.

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Wood investment turns into gold for Vancouver developer

By Peter Mitham
Business in Vancouver
April 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Recent changes to the B.C. Building Code are set to make 12-storey wood towers a mainstream option, paralleling the approval later this month of 18-storey wood towers in Washington state and changes to Canada’s national building code that take effect next year. Riding the wave forward is Penticton’s Structurlam Products Ltd., part of the Adera Group of Cos. Adera originally invested in Structurlam in 2008, and today the timber manufacturer is booked solid with orders from Adera and other builders. “We asked, ‘How can we build wood better?’ and we started turning to engineered structural woods as a solution,” said Eric Andreasen, vice-president of marketing and sales for Adera Development Corp. Andreasen said Adera builds exclusively with wood and is calling its mass timbers “SmartWood,” a nod to both the sustainability and construction benefits of the material.

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Is wood the future of campus construction?

By Hallie Busta
Education Dive
April 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

College buildings are test labs for a new kind of wood technology, but for all its support the latest trend isn’t without its challenges. The University of Idaho’s proposed 4,200-seat … arena will consist primarily of wood, using innovative construction technology that is gradually finding its way into new campus buildings across the U.S. The trend has been driven by an aggressive effort from the wood-products industry to generate demand for the emerging market segment. And it is feeding colleges’ desire to show off commitments to sustainability, local industry and innovation. It gained some momentum last month with news of up to $1 million in grant money to help colleges add mass timber buildings to their campuses. …Supporters hail mass timber’s potential: the ability to speed up construction timelines in an industry plagued by inefficiencies; less environmental wear and tear; an attractive visual aesthetic; and the economic contribution of skilled jobs in an emerging industry.

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Maine tech group awards $1.5 million for forest products innovation

By Lori Valigra
Bangor Daily News
April 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Two emerging technology companies focusing on forest resources will each receive $750,000 to further develop their products. The Maine Technology Institute approved the awards for the Emerging Technology Challenge for Maine’s Forest Resources, which aims to attract emerging technology companies to the forest resource sector and support those that are already developing new products. MTI said the forest industry contributes about $8.5 billion annually to the state’s economy, with the potential to grow to $12 billion by 2025. GO Lab Inc., a building products manufacturer in Belfast, won one of the awards for its insulation. Made from wood fiber, it is renewable, recyclable, nontoxic and performs as well or better than other available insulations, according to MTI. GO Lab’s production facility at the former UPM paper mill in Madison is expected to consume 180,000 tons of softwood chips annually, create 100 jobs and generate approximately $70 million in annual revenue.

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Forestry

Stand.earth acquires Borealis Centre for Environment and Trade Research, forms Stand Research Group

By Stand.earth
Cision Newswire
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

SAN FRANCISCO — International environmental organization Stand.earth today announces its acquisition of British Columbia-based Borealis Centre for Environment and Trade Research, and the formation of its new research arm, Stand Research Group. The acquisition supports Stand.earth’s mission to hold corporations and governments accountable and transform bad practices that harm people and the environment. …Over the past 15 years, research performed by Borealis has resulted in 100 corporate commitments and contributed toward the protection of more than 20 million acres of wild spaces. Borealis has performed 383 research projects with more than 90 clients, including Amazon Watch, Canopy, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation, NRDC, Oceana, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and WWF. Although much of that research remains confidential, some reports are publicly available.

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Wildlife conflict: B.C. communities overrun by urban deer herds

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Small herds of deer roam freely at the Figueiras Mobile Home Park for seniors in Penticton, feeding on trees and gardens, and leaving bucketloads of droppings in their wake. “We were filling two-and-half gallon pails with droppings after the snow melted,” said park resident Robert Cartwright. …Communities in the Okanagan and the Kootenays are struggling with rising urban deer populations, and some have turned to culls and relocation in hopes of controlling their numbers. …About 50 to 60 deer are collected by the city as road kill each year, according to a staff report to council. A handful of communities — Cranbrook, Invermere, Grand Forks and Kimberly — have taken a more aggressive approach to deer management using a mix of culls, relocation and feeding restrictions. …Motorists strike about 5,500 wild animals a year in B.C. and about 80 per cent of those are deer, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

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Wolf kills and caribou zoos: here’s what’s wrong with BC’s new recovery plan

By Sadie Parr
National Observer
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…There is no hope for caribou …that need lichen-bearing old-growth forests in this caribou planning unit or beyond if our current actions don’t change. And there’s no reason to believe that change is coming. Having failed to protect caribou habitat over consecutive decades in British Columbia, the province and federal governments released a draft Bilateral Conservation Agreement for Southern Mountain Caribou in British Columbia …nowhere in the plan is there any mention of an end to the killing programs underway. Instead, the draft commits to “continue to conduct wolf control via ground and air-based methods” …To even hope for, let alone ensure, that caribou can survive and recover, critical habitat protection and restoration of old logging roads are necessary. Neither have happened. One “Action Planned” in the draft is to continue to seek funding to contribute to habitat restoration projects, yet with ongoing logging in caribou habitat this step is somewhat ridiculous. 

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Groups claim B.C. government agency targeting old growth trees on Vancouver Island

By Troy Landreville
My Coast Now
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – A pair of environmental groups are claiming that old growth trees on Vancouver Island could be on the chopping block. According to a release, environmental organizations Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) and Sierra Club BC say they have discovered that the provincial government agency is proposing cutblocks across the last intact old-growth rainforest areas on the island. …“The province shouldn’t risk eliminating rare species and plant communities across these blocks,” said Sunshine Coast resident Ross Muirhead, a forest campaigner with ELF. …“Based on the current rate, we will only have a few more years of logging, of these big trees – and industry is not prepared for transition, because there is no plan on how to reduce the rate of old growth logging in a way that will allow to be prepared for 100 percent second growth forests.”

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BC Timber Sales: Province moves ahead with Clack Creek licence auction

By Sophie Woodroofe
Coast Reporter
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

The province plans to auction an area known as Clack Creek Forest but BC Timber Sales is keeping logging to half the allowed rate, according to Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. Clack Creek Licence A93884 “will be advertised in the coming weeks,” Donaldson said in a March 29 letter to the Sunshine Coast Regional District. “BCTS is voluntarily managing harvest levels at 50 per cent of the allowed rate of harvest for the Mount Elphinstone area, which will further improve the amount of old and mature forest in the area.” The letter is a response to ongoing efforts… to limit logging on Mount Elphinstone. …Donaldson said there are no plans to log the areas surrounding those parcels for the next three to four years, “which will enable further unimpeded assessments and discussion.”

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Caribou protection plan generates protests among northern residents

By Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — The NDP government’s rush-job consultations on a caribou protection plan have generated protests among northeast residents fearing for jobs and feeling left out of the process. Provincial officials spent almost a year consulting on the plan with the federal government and local First Nations, all the while excluding other local governments and residents from knowing what was in the works. …Several of those sessions took place in the Peace River country last week, and by all accounts, they mainly served to raise the level of alienation and alarm. …Another flashpoint involved the looming loss of forestry jobs in the region. …In response, the province admits significant impacts are unavoidable. …Donaldson… defends the plans as a necessary provincial response to Ottawa declaring an “imminent threat status” under the Federal Species at Risk Act. …BC is confronted with the threat of unilateral action from their own provincial government, as more than a few residents of the northeast have noted.

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Hot spots identified in wildfire protection plan

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A campaign to thin out the most fire-prone timber is part of a wide-ranging plan to protect the city from wildfires. In the process of developing the strategy … nearly 580 acres of Crown land in and around the city were identified as high-priority sites… The concentrations of coniferous, dead and dying trees and the steepness of the slope were the criteria for choosing the locations, Mike Coulthard of Diamond Head Consulting Ltd. told council. … “The idea,” Coulthard said, “is to break up the canopy and create breaks between the crowns of the trees so that if a fire does take place it’s not able to get into the top of the trees and roll through the forest.” So-called crown fires, that spit out embers ahead of the main blaze, were type seen in Fort McMurray and the Okanagan, he said. “Those are the real damaging fires that are hard to suppress,” Coulthard said.

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Category 3 fires to be prohibited in Cariboo Fire Centre

BC Wildfire Service, Cariboo Fire Centre
Government of British Columbia
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective at noon on Monday, April 15, 2019, Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. …Anyone conducting a Category 3 fire anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction must extinguish any such fire by noon on April 15, 2019. This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 27, 2019, or until the public is otherwise notified. This prohibition does not ban campfires that are half-metre high by a high-metre wide or smaller, and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. …The Category 3 open burning prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.

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Should whitebark pine seedlings be planted in wilderness areas?

By Laura Lundquist
The Missoula Current
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…That question was at the root of Monday night’s panel discussion on whether to restore whitebark pine in Montana’s wilderness areas. The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation and the University of Montana Wilderness Institute sponsored the event at Imagine Nation Brewing Company. Some foundation members want the U.S. Forest Service to plant whitebark pine seedlings in wilderness areas to replace thousands of trees that have been lost, at least in part, to climate change. …But wilderness, as protected by the 1964 Wilderness Act, was not created to lock ecosystems in time, said Wilderness Watch executive director George Nickus. That’s what national parks try to do. Wilderness areas are set aside to allow nature to act without the dominating hand of man.

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Pressure mounts for second large-scale 4FRI thinning contract

By Wendy Howell
Willams News
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The pressure is on the U.S. Forest Service to open up a second large-scale forest thinning contract in its efforts to restore the dense forests of northern Arizona through its Four-Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). Although the request for proposals was slated for December 2017, forest officials announced they needed more time and have spent the past year gathering information from stakeholders and evaluating their hits and misses with the original large-scale contract issued to Good Earth Forest Products, LLC. Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally recently urged the Forest Service to open up the Phase 2 request for proposals (RFP) for 4FRI. “We do appreciate the support we are getting from the delegations,” said Jeremy Kruger, chief executive for 4FRI. “We have been meeting with them. They want to see us ramp it up and we want to ramp it up.”

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Can a Massive Wave of Tree-Planting Turn Around Big Oil’s Reputation?

By Leon Kaye
Triple Pundit
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The restoration of the world’s forests has long been touted as a key tactic for fighting climate change, and many companies have heralded tree-planting efforts as part of their sustainability agendas. Whether reforestation is truly effective, however, is open to debate. …In a press release issued yesterday, Royal Dutch Shell announced it will spend $300 million over the next three years in ecosystems restoration. The plan includes remediation efforts in wetlands, nature conservation and, of course, reforestation. …On one hand, Shell has earned its plaudits for being one of the first global energy companies to acknowledge climate change risks. …But critics of the global fossil fuel industry will groan at this announcement. …Other environmental leaders were more sanguine.

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Life and Death in an Ancient Polish Forest

By Marc Santora
The New York Times
April 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BIALOWIEZA, Poland — The forest floor is a graveyard, strewn with fallen spruce and oak trees. But beneath the broken limbs and rotting leaves, thousands of species of insects are feeding in Bialowieza Forest. …“There is more life in a dead spruce than a living one,” said Prof. Rafal Kowalczyk, the head of the Mammal Research Institute at the Polish Academy of Sciences, on a recent tour of the forest — one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests and part of an ecosystem largely untouched since the last glaciers receded from the Continent more than 10,000 years ago. …It has been more than a year since the European Court of Justice ordered an end to logging in the forest, finding that it posed a clear threat to the United Nations World Heritage site. The scars, though, are still visible.

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Caribou habitat pacts endanger jobs, critics say

By Blair McBride
The Burns Lake Lakes District News
April 10, 2019
Category: Forestry

Draft agreements reached in March on protecting vulnerable caribou herds are good news for British Columbians concerned about wildlife conservation, but others worry about the implications for forestry and snowmobiling in the Burns Lake and Houston areas. …The provincial government has acknowledged fears that curtailing development to protect caribou habitat might affect natural resource economies. …Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development (FLNRORD) said on March 21, “We recognize that measures to recover caribou will have some impacts on economic activities in and around caribou habitat. …Steve Zika, chief executive officer of Hampton Lumber, which owns Babine Forest Products… “Undoubtedly any new land set aside for caribou will lower the provincial AAC,” he said.

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Health & Safety

Fire damages pellet plant

By Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen
April 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire at Pacific Bioenergy on the weekend did significant damage to some areas of the wood-pellet facility. “We are continuing to investigate the incident and assess the efforts to effect and complete repairs,” Pacific Bioenergy (PacBio) president John Stirling told The Citizen. “No workers were injured. All workers continue to work their regular shifts at the plant.” The incident was detected by employees at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. They carried out the company’s emergency response training, and were soon joined by the city’s fire department. …Stirling described the fire’s initial location as “at the top of a bucket elevator which transports wood pellets” and concurred that it was a strong wind that spread the flames to the nearby electrical room. …PacBio staff continue to monitor the facility for undetected hotspots, and are checking over the factory’s equipment looking for answers to the cause.

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Truck drivers test proposed roundabout design on Kalispell’s Highway 2

By Mackenzie Dougherty
NBC Montana
April 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Road officials will put in a roundabout on a dangerous stretch of highway in northwest Montana, but they want input on how to do it best for large trucks. Truck drivers experienced firsthand the potential changes for the intersection of Dern Road and Springcreek Road along Highway 2 in Kalispell on Tuesday. Montana Department of Transportation hosted a demonstration of the proposed roundabout to identify and correct any design issues. …Logging truck driver Justin Davis travels Highway 2 twice a day. He did not like the idea of a roundabout, but after driving it he said it will be good for the intersection. “It seemed like it was designed well,” said Davis. “It’s pretty wide. I’ve got a pretty long truck, and I didn’t have any problem getting on the curbs or anything.”

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