Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 16, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Notre Dame Cathedral’s iconic timber roof has been lost

Tree Frog Forestry News
April 16, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Notre Dame’s 850 year-old timber roof—crafted from 350 year-old oaks—has been lost in a construction fire; with the cathedral’s age, design and lack of sprinklers contributing to firefighter’s challenge. In related news, New Zealand research highlights wood’s earthquake and fire performance going back to 1848.

In other news: US and Canadian perspectives and actions on the WTO’s softwood ruling and an explainer that calls it ‘gibberish math’; CN challenges breach determination; an Oregon bill would ‘shut down the timber industry‘; the BC gov’t taps ex-Liberal minister Blair Lekstrom to ‘rescue the caribou rescue’ plan, ‘dial down the acrimony‘, and extend consultations a month; and a report card on cumulative effects in BC’s Howe Sound.

Finally, it’s time again to celebrate soil health by soiling your undies.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

The entire wooden interior of Notre Dame Cathedral has been lost

By Ryan Prior
CNN
April 15, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

A “forest” of wooden latticework inside Notre Dame Cathedral fueled the fire that consumed the iconic church. The medieval roof structure “has been lost,” according to Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, the rector of the cathedral. The cathedral’s wooden frame, which primarily consisted of oak, contains beams that date as far back as the first frame built for the cathedral. That frame featured trees cut down between 1160 and 1170, forming one of the oldest parts of the structure. Most of the current frame dates from the year 1220, according to the church’s website. The modern frame is the second frame, and reflects adjustments made early in the cathedral’s construction process. The prevailing Gothic style called for high vaulted ceilings. To accommodate this, the cathedral’s plans required tall, sturdy oaks from a nearby forest. To kick off the project, workers cleared 21 hectares of oak. Each beam of the intricate wooden cross-work was drawn from a different tree: estimated at 13,000 trees in total. To reach the heights the carpenters needed to build the structure, those trees would likely have been 300 or 400 years old, meaning they would have sprouted out of the ground in the eighth or ninth centuries

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Notre Dame’s age, design fueled fire and foiled firefighters

By Michael R. Sisak
Associated Press in ABC News
April 15, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

NEW YORK — Is there anything firefighters could have done to control the blaze that tore through Paris’ historic Notre Dame Cathedral sooner? Experts say the combination of a structure that’s more than 850 years old, built with heavy timber construction and soaring open spaces, and lacking sophisticated fire-protection systems led to the quick rise of flames Monday, which jeopardized the entire cathedral before firefighters brought the blaze under control. …With a building like that, it’s nearly impossible for firefighters to attack a fire from within. Instead, they have to be more defensive “and try to control the fire from the exterior,” said Bryant, a former fire chief in Oklahoma and past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “When a fire gets that well-involved it’s very difficult to put enough water on it to cool it to bring it under control,” Bryant said. …Other landmark houses of worship have taken steps in recent years to reduce the risk of a fire.

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Business & Politics

WTO’s softwood lumber ruling drags Canada into fire of longstanding ‘zeroing’ dispute

By Naomi Powell
The National Post
April 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Tom Prusa

A new WTO ruling on softwood lumber has dragged Canada into the heart of a long-running dispute over a controversial American trade practice — a standoff experts say is unlikely to end soon. …But as the U.S. continues to block the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s appellate body or top court — an action that could leave it powerless by December — Canada’s challenge is almost certain to languish, said Tom Prusa, an economics professor and expert in trade policy at Rutger’s University. “This finding does not mean Canada will ultimately lose when the case gets to appeal,” he said. …“It’s complete gibberish mathematics,” said Prusa. “It’s a trick that works for the U.S. by throwing out adverse facts and now Canada is trapped in it.”

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Canada joins new German-France ‘alliance’ that doesn’t include U.S.

By Mike Blanchfield
CTV News
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Chrystia Freeland

OTTAWA — Canada has formally joined a German-French coalition aimed at saving the international world order from destruction by various world dictators and autocrats — and U.S. President Donald Trump. The initiative is part of ongoing government efforts to shore up international co-operation at a time of waning American leadership and Trump’s outspoken disdain of institutions created after the Second World War, including the G7, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. …Japan also joined the new alliance. …On Monday, Freeland’s office responded to the WTO’s most recent decision in its ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. Last week. …”We welcome the recent WTO panel ruling that the United States did not follow the rules in calculating its anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber. …”Canada will be appealing the WTO panel’s separate findings on the U.S. practice of zeroing. …The WTO has ruled more than 20 times that zeroing… is inconsistent with WTO rules.”

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CN Rail to challenge CTA determination that it breached service obligations

Canadian Press in BC Local News
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Transportation Agency has determined Canadian National breached its level of service obligations in the Vancouver area late last year, while Canadian Pacific and three other railways did not. The federal transportation regulator says the country’s largest railway breached its obligations by announcing its intention to impose embargoes on wood pulp shipments last September, several months before rail congestion and other challenges emerged in the Vancouver area. …The Montreal-based railway says it disagrees with the CTA’s conclusions based on evidence submitted at a hearing in January and intends to challenge the determination before the Federal Court of Appeal.

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The Governments of Canada and Quebec Support Forest Innovation and Job Retention in Mont-Laurier

By Natural Resources Canada
Government of Canada
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mont-Laurier  Investments in the forestry sector spur innovation, economic growth and job creation for our citizens. That is why the governments of Canada and Quebec are providing financial assistance totalling $8.4 million to Uniboard Canada Inc. The company, which has five plants in Quebec, operates the province’s only medium- and high-density fibreboard plant, located in Mont-Laurier. The investment project, valued at more than $17 million, will enable the Mont-Laurier facilities to develop a system that will recover heat, currently dissipated into the atmosphere, and redirect it to the fibre drying system. This new process will significantly reduce the company’s CO2 emissions and increase the plant’s production capacity, thereby improving competitiveness with foreign manufacturers. About 100 jobs will also be saved as a result of the project.

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Caterpillar Signs Agreement to Sell Its Purpose-Built Forestry Business

Caterpillar Inc.
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

LaGrange, Ga. – Caterpillar Inc. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Weiler Forestry, Inc. to sell Caterpillar’s purpose-built forestry business. The closing is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2019. This agreement follows the preliminary agreement between the two companies, which was previously announced on August 29, 2018.  “We remain committed to supporting our forestry customers and the forestry industry,” said Ramin Younessi, Caterpillar Construction Industries Group President. “Caterpillar and our dealers have an established relationship with Weiler that spans many years. The process of developing this binding agreement has further enhanced our confidence in Weiler’s ability to deliver purpose-built forestry machines, while Caterpillar continues to offer forestry excavators and other core equipment, allowing the dealers to provide a complete product portfolio and the optimal solution for forestry customers.”

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Opportunity knocks for women in LBM (Lumber/building Material)

By Katy Tomasulo
Lumber Building Materials Journal
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

An LBM industry more inclusive of women offers advantages to employee and dealer alike. We asked several industry veterans to weigh in with advice for those considering a career—as well as those companies that stand to benefit. …Other women, veterans and rookies alike, paint similar pictures. Yes, the LBM industry has been slow to increase its ranks of women. Yes, pockets of the industry may have been, and may still be, less than welcoming to women. And, yes, more work needs to be done. But the descriptions and clear passion that unfold when you ask these women about their experiences are largely encouraging—enough to make you wonder why more aren’t lining up to fill the multitude of vacancies and why more dealers aren’t making a bigger effort to get them on board. Now more than ever, LBM has much to offer women…

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Forest-Products Industry Sees Victory in Softwood Lumber Decision

By Molly Priddy
Flathead Beacon
April 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The U.S. timber industry scored a win on April 9 in the decades-long battle with Canada over softwood lumber, after the World Trade Organization ruled in its favor. …“It’s a victory for the United States and the forest products industry,” said Chuck Roady, general manager of F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber, as well as the president of the Montana Wood Products Association. “It was great to see an excellent decision on our part, because the U.S. rarely prevails in the WTO.” …In its mixed ruling on April 9, the WTO determined that the U.S. use of “zeroing” to calculate the anti-dumping duties is not prohibited. In the past, the organization had ruled against the methodology. The ruling also determined that the U.S. had violated international trade rules when it calculated the tariffs on softwood lumber imports, which Canada applauded. …Montana’s congressional delegation said the ruling is a win for the United States, as well as Montana.

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House Bill 2656 would ‘shut down the timber industry’

By Gerry Obrien, Editor
The Herald and News
April 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

OREGON — A bill proposed in the Oregon State Legislature aiming to ban clearcutting in forestland watershed is bad news for Oregonians. The bill, House Bill 2656, would ban clearcutting, roadbuilding, and the application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers in forestland watersheds that supply public drinking water systems. There’s no doubt that protecting the state’s drinking water is a worthy endeavor, but as introduced, the bill would cripple logging operations across the state that already abide by strict regulations. Hampton Lumber, a Portland-based company, told the Capital Press that half of its 89,000 forested acres are in watersheds affected by the bill, and a spokesman for Roseburg Forest Products said the bill intends to “effectively shut down the timber industry.” …Even the bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Andrea Salinas, D-Lake Oswego, said her bill may seem “drastic” and hoped the bill would “start a conversation.”
 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood is good shows research on 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake

Voxy New Zealand
April 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — New research has found that only three per cent of deaths in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake occurred in people’s homes, almost all of which were at that time constructed from wood. The researchers found it was the collapse of just 15 buildings which caused more than half (58 per cent) of all deaths in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which remains New Zealand’s deadliest earthquake. Many of the buildings which collapsed were multi-storey constructions made of unreinforced masonry. …The study’s senior author, Professor Nick Wilson from the University of Otago, Wellington… says the value of wooden buildings has repeatedly been shown in earthquakes in New Zealand, going back as far as the 1848 Marlborough earthquake. However, the lessons of this and further earthquakes were not put into building regulations and New Zealanders continued building in insufficiently reinforced brick, including in multi-storey buildings.

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Forestry

Forest sustainability by the acre: 300M+ certified to SFI

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

More than 300 million acres of forests across the U.S. and Canada are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. In addition, tens of millions more are positively influenced by the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. You have a choice when you shop, and the choice you make sends a message to manufacturers about the importance of sustainability to you as a customer. When you choose products with the SFI label, you’re giving a vote of confidence to the: $1.6 billion SFI has invested in forest research since 1995; Multi-year commitments to increase certification throughout the forest supply chain from companies including Hearst, Macmillan, Meredith, Pearson, National Geographic and Boy Scouts of America; Training of more than 192,000 forest harvest professionals since 1995; Use of the SFI Standard by 40 indigenous communities throughout North America; Recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED compliance; Availability of 96% of SFI-certified forests to the public for outdoor recreation.

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When was the last time you soiled your undies?

Soil Conservation Council of Canada
Cision Newswire
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

BEAUSEJOUR, MB – Yes, you read that right. The Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) is at it again with its annual Soil Your Undies challenge to kick off National Soil Conservation Week April 21-27, but this year, we’re taking it up a notch and we need your help.  “National Soil Conservation Week is the best way to create awareness around soil health and conservation in Canada,” says SCCC chair and Saskatchewan farmer, Tim Nerbas. “It may not cross your mind often, but soil is a big deal. Soil is where we make our living. It sustains our communities. It grows our food. It even cleans our air and water and supports biodiversity.” Soil definitely packs a punch, and this year during National Soil Conservation Week, the SCCC wants you to jump into the ring for soil conservation.

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Nelson researcher examines effects of forest cutting on water flow

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star
April 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kim Green

After a forest stand has been logged or burned, how long does it take to hydrologically recover? In other words, when will snow accumulation and snow melt get back to the normal condition that would be found in a mature stand of timber? Hydrology researcher Kim Green is attempting to answer that question in a forest near Blewett, assisted by Selkirk College students and specialized equipment. “Forests intercept snow and as soon as you get rid of those forests, the dynamics, the energy, all changes, and you end up with more water coming into the system,” she says. …Green’s is one of several projects funded by a grant to Selkirk College from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council. The grant was contingent on additional financial support from the forest industry. Kalesnikoff Lumber, Interfor, Atco, Nakusp and Area Community Forest, Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative, and the B.C forests ministry are also supporting the research.

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Provincial government publishes first Howe Sound report card

By Jennifer Thuncher
The Coast Reporter
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Think of it as a home inspection for the Howe Sound region. The provincial government recently released cumulative effects assessments for our area as part of the Howe Sound Cumulative Effects Project. …The initial baseline assessments look at the condition of Roosevelt elk populations, marbled murrelet, grizzly bears, forest visual quality, and aquatic ecosystems. The bottom line of the cumulative effects assessments is humans have impacted the environment. In particular, historic forest practices, industrial development, roads, and other development have made a difference to conditions. “The main cumulative impacts are increases in road density and reductions of low elevation mature-to-old forests,” reads a summary of the assessments. “The results also identified some positive trends such as the re-establishment of elk populations, improved forest visual quality and improving wildlife habitat through increasing mature-to-old forest recruitment.”

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B.C. government adds month to caribou conservation consultations after community concerns

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — The BC government has added a month to its consultations on caribou conservation because of community concerns over logging, backcountry access and talks with First Nations. “This is clearly an issue that has … inflamed passions,” said Premier John Horgan… Loggers are also concerned about access to trees. Horgan acknowledged that the main harvest of trees killed by mountain pine beetle infestation is over. “There is dwindling fibre supply,” he said. …Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead welcomed … Lekstrom’s appointment, but said local concerns remain. “It’s not clear what the impact will be on the forestry sector.” Bumstead said local people felt shouldered aside by constitutional requirements to consult First Nations, which may have contributed to racist-tinged remarks about the issue on social media. “I’m concerned about the split that’s occurring now because of the animosity toward the First Nations neighbours,” the mayor said.

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Horgan taps Liberal ex-minister to rescue caribou rescue plan

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Blair Lekstrom

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan …Monday, admitted the NDP government had botched consultations on a caribou rescue plan. …The premier then announced consultations on the controversial plan would be doubled from one month to two. He also appointed …Blair Lekstrom to oversee the process and report by the end of May. Lekstrom is a former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister with a reputation for independence. …Though Hogan took personal blame (“my bad”) for shortchanging the community on consultations, his decision to step in constituted a backhand criticism of Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. …B.C. probably has more room to manoeuvre on the forestry changes than Horgan allows. I also have think that Lekstrom, having been brought in to rescue the situation, has some leverage. It would not be like him to take part in a sham consultation. If he recommends constructive changes to the plan, the New Democrats would surely have to listen.

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Horgan appoints former northern MLA to cool tensions on B.C. caribou protection

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan has extended the local consultation over sweeping new caribou habitat restrictions in the B.C. interior, in an effort to “dial down the acrimony” that has resulted from local residents being shut out of talks. Horgan has appointed former Dawson Creek mayor and Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom to guide discussions, extending the deadline for a new habitat protection deal through May. …Horgan acknowledged that the B.C. government didn’t allow enough public participation as it dealt with federal demands and a constitutional obligation to include local Indigenous groups. But he said the bottom line is that Ottawa has been demanding action since 2003 and will impose a solution if B.C. doesn’t increase its protection even more. …Forest industry officials have spoken at public meetings about an estimated loss of up to 500 jobs in the Chetwynd-Tumbler Ridge region as logging is further restricted.

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Premier appoints Blair Lekstrom as community liaison, extends caribou engagement

By the Office of the Premier
Government of British Columbia
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Blair Lekstrom

Premier John Horgan has announced that the Province has appointed Blair Lekstrom as community liaison tasked with engaging residents of the Peace region on draft partnership agreements on caribou recovery. Premier Horgan has also extended the engagement period to May 31, 2019, in order to give Lekstrom time to work with local leaders. “People want to see the continued strength of our resource communities. As we meet a federal obligation to recover caribou, our government has been working to support workers and industry. Today’s announcements are part of that work,” said Premier Horgan. “Blair Lekstrom has earned the trust and respect of residents in the Northeast. I can think of no one better to consult directly with, and fairly represent, the interests of people here.” …Lekstrom is a former three-term MLA, former cabinet minister, long-time municipal mayor and current councillor in Dawson Creek.

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County launches largest tree-planting program in decades

Collingwood Today
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The County of Simcoe continues to invest in our forests through its largest tree planting effort in decades. Starting on April 15, the county’s Forestry Department will contribute to Simcoe County’s #greenandgrowing forests through the planting of over 150,000 seedlings within the Museum Tract in Midhurst. The replanting operation is the latest phase of the Museum Tract Forest and Habitat Restoration Project and will be conducted over a 10-day period, as conditions permit. “Our Forestry program is among the most recognized in Canada, and contributes immensely to the lifestyle and quality-of-life of Simcoe County residents,” said Warden George Cornell. …On April 15, the County of Simcoe Forestry Department will start to restore the Museum Tract as a healthy ecosystem and important wildlife habitat – planting seven native species of trees, including Jack Pine, which will account for over two-thirds of all the new trees to be planted on the tract.

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New Direction for First Nation Logging Company

By Maygwayyawk Forestry Services
Wawa News
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

We are pleased to announce that Steven Young was hired as the General Manager of Maygwayyawk Forestry Services (MFS). Steven is a registered professional forester who comes to us with a wealth of management knowledge and business acumen, to provide new direction for MFS. …“MFS has faced some challenging situations in its short history but the future looks very promising and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Young. …“Our community has long held aspirations for engaging in the forest industry which until the creation of White River Forest Products and MFS were met only with closed doors,” said Craig Cherneski, Director from Pic Mobert First Nation.  “While the path forward in MFS is not without challenges, we are confident in Mr. Young’s abilities to lead the venture forward to yield meaningful benefits for our community.” 

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New GM for First Nation logging company

Northern Ontario Business
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A struggling northwestern Ontario Indigenous-owned logger has a new boss at the helm. Steven Young is the new general manager of Maygwayyawk Forestry Services LP(MFS), a subsidiary company of White Lake Limited Partnership, the business development arm of Pic Mobert First Nation. In an April 15 news release from White Lake, Young is introduced as a professional forester possessing all the right tools in forestry management and business acumen to take the company in a new direction. His background is with the Ministry of Natural Resources and, most recently, with Domtar in Dryden, where he oversaw all the forest management planning, annual work schedule preparation, and handled administration for the Wabigoon Sustainable Forest Licence.

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Why Green Pledges Will Not Create the Natural Forests We Need

By Fred Pearce
Yale Environment 360
April 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Experts agree: Reforesting our planet is one of the great ecological challenges of the 21st century. It is essential to meeting climate targets, the only route to heading off the extinction crisis, and almost certainly the best way of maintaining the planet’s rainfall. …The good news is that, even as deforestation continues in many countries, reforestation is under way in many others. From India to Ethiopia, and China to Costa Rica, there are more trees today than there were 30 years ago. …But what kind of forests are they? A damning assessment published in the journal Naturebrought is bad news. Forest researchers… discovered that 45 percent of promised new forests will be monoculture plantations of fast-growing trees like acacia and eucalyptus, usually destined for harvesting in double-quick time to make pulp for paper.

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State Foresters concerned about Administration’s desire to reduce funding for state and private forestry programs

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
April 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The nation’s 59 state and territorial foresters were disconcerted this week by a presidential budget request for FY20 that asks for significant funding cuts to state and private forestry programs, which support much-needed management on nearly two-thirds of the nation’s forests. “When President Trump’s executive order to promote forest management nationwide was released in December, we were eager to work alongside the men and women of the USDA Forest Service to address the nation’s most pressing forest threats,” said Lisa Allen, NASF president and Missouri state forester. “But the president’s budget would eliminate or cut all but one Forest Service State and Private Forestry program and reduce investments in state and family forests to just 2.5 percent of the overall Forest Service budget.”

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Challenge the new normal and dedicate funding to innovative ways to reduce wildfires

By Hilary Franz, Christine Rolfes and Kevin Van De Wege
The Seattle Times
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Are big wildfire seasons and the acrid smoke that chokes our communities the new normal? …The answer: Without action, it will be. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. A new plan in the state Legislature will create a dedicated funding source for fighting wildfires and forest health — Senate Bill 5996. The innovative plan creates the Wildfire Prevention and Suppression Account, which will dedicate $62.5 million a year to tackle our wildfire crisis. It will fund immediate suppression needs, allowing the Department of Natural Resources to build a 21st century wildfire fighting force. …New helicopters, more firefighters and improved training will ensure our wildland firefighters have the tools they need. …The account… will restore the health of 1.25 million acres of diseased and dying forests across Central and Eastern Washington.

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The struggle to save Colorado’s forests in a changing world

By Liz Forster
Out There Colorado
April 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When Mike Battaglia walked into the woods of the Pike National Forest on a sunny, late winter day, he pointed to the mature ponderosa pines — their needles assembled into bulbous groups, their burnt-orange bark furrowed into scaly plates and the buds of their egg-shaped cones. …“Ponderosa pines are tough,” said the Fort Collins-based U.S. Forest Service research forester. “They can handle fire and drought.” But then, he noted the saplings tall enough to prove that wildfire — natural or prescribed — has not run through the hill just south of the town of Buffalo Creek. A spot like this should burn every 20 to 40 years, Battaglia said, and it hasn’t. If a wildfire sparks here, fast-moving flames could explode out of the abundance of dry fuels. That, in turn, could hurt soil retention, watershed health, wildlife habitat and even carbon emissions.

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