Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 18, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Notre Dame wake-up call: fire risk mitigation in heritage buildings

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 18, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Notre Dame fire is a “wake-up call” for the guardians of heritage buildings throughout the world; while drone footage shows the devastation up close; and a recent 3D laser scan may facilitate the rebuild. In related news: U of Toronto’s timber tower plan is updated.

In Forestry/Climate news: Vancouver Island old-growth films premier in Toronto; the ‘racist tone’ in the caribou talks; the future of bats on Bat Appreciation Day; and Canada’s forests absorb more than six times what the country emits in CO2. Elsewhere: Paper Excellence curtails its Powell River mill for two weeks; and Ethan Allen lays off 300 at furniture plant in North Carolina.

Finally, FPAC’s gender diversity panel comes with passion and good advice!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

FPAC Champions Women and Gender Diversity in the Workplace

By Kelly McCloskey and Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 17, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gender equality and diversity for women in Canada’s forest sector was the theme of a breakfast panel at the Vancouver Club yesterday. Set in the subtle glitz of the ballroom, guests filled their plates, joining colleagues and friends for a unique event sponsored by the Forest Products Association of Canada’s (FPAC). The panel presentation—part of FPAC’s recently launched #TakeYourPlace Campaign—was part of a Canada-wide effort by the federal government and the Canadian Institute of Forestry to promote opportunities for women in Forestry. Moderated by Michelle Ward, Director of Corporate Communications at Canfor, the panel included MP Dr. Hedy Fry, Vancouver City Councillor Lisa Dominato, and Sustainable Forestry Initiative President and CEO Kathy Abusow. These accomplished professionals spoke of their experiences as a woman in the workplace, and—given what they know now—shared what they would recommend if they could give some advice to their “younger-selves”. 

Click the Read More below for a full story of the presentations…

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Business & Politics

Volatility Woes Dampen Wood Industry’s Near-Term Prospects

By Shrabana Mukherjee
Nasdaq
April 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Zacks Building Products-Wood industry includes manufacturers of lumber and other wood products that are used in home construction, repair and remodeling, and development of outdoor structures. …Lumber prices have declined sharply in recent months after rising steadily for years. A major factor that has contributed to the increase in lumber prices in the past year is the imposition of U.S. import duties on Canadian lumber. However, the recent decline in lumber prices can be primarily attributed to a sharp increase in supply. …Housing starts, a big source of demand for forestry products, have been less bullish in recent times. …Nonetheless, the operating backdrop is improving for the U.S. homebuilding space and hence for the wood industry, courtesy of declining mortgage rates and moderating home prices. Mortgage rates have been on a decline thanks to a dovish Fed.

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The economic state of Castlegar & District

By Kristen Lawson
The Castlegar News
April 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Castlegar’s first economic forum featured four panelists from various local industries. …The Speakers included… Ken Kalesnikoff with Kalesnikoff Lumber. [Quotes] on nurturing business: “Entrepreneurs need guidance. If the support is there … they will stay here and so will the jobs.” On Technology:  “We have continuously invested in tech to stay competitive and flexible. We have high-tech equipment, higher skilled positions that are well paid.” On global thinking: “In Japan and Europe they have houses built in factories, computerized to the nth degree. They’re very well built. Housing could be more affordable if [houses here] were done that way.” On population: “We’ve got to be engaging the youth — get through to them on how technical and rewarding our industry is — get them into these jobs.”

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Cheslatta sign restitution agreements with provincial government

By Mark Neilsen
Prince George Citizen
April 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Cheslatta Carrier Nation has reached agreements with the provincial government to provide restitution and redress for impacts from the creation of the Nechako Reservoir, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation said Wednesday. At a private ceremony in Victoria on March 28, Chief Corrina Leween and Councillors Ted Jack and Hazel Burt of Cheslatta Nation, along with Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, signed a settlement agreement and an interim reconciliation agreement. …It provides payments to Cheslatta over a 10-year period and a commitment from B.C. to future land transfers and tenures as proposed by the Cheslatta. A period of engagement with neighbouring First Nations and stakeholders will proceed before final land parcels can be determined. …It also includes a commitment to support Cheslatta’s cultural rejuvenation and language revitalization and to specific forestry opportunities where feasible, such as licences for harvesting wood within the Nechako Reservoir.

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Paper machines facing two-week curtailment at Powell River mill

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
April 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paper Excellence Canada has announced a shutdown of its two paper machines in Powell River for a two-week period. Graham Kissack, vice president with Paper Excellence, said paper machines 10 and 11 will be curtailed from April 19 to May 2. Catalyst will continue to operate the boiler and energy island and will continue to supply power to the electricity grid in BC during the curtailment. “The curtailment itself is a result of weak orders due to the very soft North American paper markets for printing and writing papers, but also due to the ongoing, very, very tight BC raw fibre market,” said Kissack. “We get wood chips from the central or southern Interior, or the Okanagan. That supply is tight for us.” Kissack said it’s expected that the paper machines will be back up on May 2.

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Keep standing in the Boat Harbour breach

By Helga Guderley, Nova Scotia Nature Trust
The Chronicle Herald
April 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Hold firm, Premier Stephen McNeil and Environment Minister Margaret Miller. You are following the right path. Northern Pulp has had five years to come up with a plan to stop using Boat Harbour to dispose of its effluent. Various effluent treatment options were available. Paper Excellence, the parent company, operates similar pulp mills that use a closed-loop system. … I’d like to think that during the last four years, Northern Pulp was working hard developing the best effluent-treatment and disposal plans. However, when the proposal was finally submitted to Nova Scotia’s Environment Department, much crucial information was lacking. …Here’s the rub: Having waited to the last minute, it is impossible for the mill to comply and build an effluent system on schedule. So the mill is pushing for an extension of its use of Boat Harbour, threatening to pull out of Nova Scotia without it.

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Senate approves House timber bill

TJ Matinell
The Lens
April 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Washington Senate on April 16 voted 47-1 in favor of a bill intended to boost the timber industry in rural counties with higher unemployment rates compared to urban counties in the central Puget Sound region. ESHB 1324 sponsored by Deputy Majority Whip Mike Chapman extends a reduced business and occupation tax rate for certain timber activities set to expire in 2024 until 2036. It also adds cross-laminated timber or “mass timber” to products that receive a preferential B&O tax rate. The bill previously was unanimously approved by House lawmakers on Mar. 7. …If signed into law, the bill would represent another important step in an effort to bring CLT into mainstream use. …Last year, the legislature directed the Washington State Building Code Council to incorporate CLT, a task that was completed in November. The next month, the International Code Council (ICC) made similar revisions.

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Over 300 workers will lose their jobs at Ethan Allen in Old Fort

The McDowell News
April 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NORTH CAROLINA — Ethan Allen Interiors announced Wednesday that as of mid-June the plant in Old Fort will no longer make furniture and will become a distribution center. This announcement will affect approximately 325 employees. Ethan Allen announced plans “to further improve its vertical integration operations” by changing operations at the 550,000-square-foot Old Fort plant. It will be converted into a “state-of-the-art distribution center to support the company’s national distribution structure and growing U.S. government GSA contract business.” The lumber processing facility will be maintained. …“When fully converted, there will be approximately 50 associates in the distribution and lumber processing operations in Old Fort”.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Revised Plans Submitted for U of T’s Academic Wood Tower

By Jack Landau
Urban Toronto
April 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Just over a year ago, the University of Toronto announced plans to build a new timber-framed tower above the north end of the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, designed by Patkau Architects of Vancouver and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) of Toronto. …This week, plans for the new wood tower were resubmitted to the City. The second submission addresses comments received from City staff following the 2018 submission with a number of minor revisions to the building’s internal components, as well as more prominent changes to the project’s crystalline massing and exterior envelope. …The glazed exterior framing wood structural elements seen in the initial submission has been partially replaced by a Concrete Skin Panel Wall exterior in a timber or sandstone-colour finish along the south, east, and west facades.

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Rebuilding History: How 21st-Century Tech Can Save Medieval Notre Dame

By Tim Newcomb
Popular Mechanics
April 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Before Monday’s devastating fire, Notre Dame wasn’t in the best of shape. … Now, Notre Dame will need much more in order to return to its former glory, but it will take more than money. Renovation crews will need vast of amounts of information—modern and historical—to accurately recreate the cathedral’s iconic Gothic architecture. And at least in this one instance, Notre Dame finally catches a break. …Vassar College Art History professor Andrew Tallon tirelessly 3D laser scanned the entire Notre Dame cathedral and other Gothic treasures throughout France. Although Tallon passed away from brain cancer in 2018, his work wasn’t lost. Ochsendorf, who worked with Tallon on the project, says “such a 3D model can provide crucial information about the geometry and materials.” …A bit of 21st-century laser scanning may just save the medieval heart of France.

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Drone footage shows devastation at Notre Dame cathedral

By Amanda Woods
The New York Post
April 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

New drone footage captures a bird’s-eye view of the magnitude of the devastation caused by a fire inside Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral. While most of the 850-year-old structure is still intact after Monday’s blaze, a gaping hole is visible on the roof — and the 305-foot-tall wood-and-lead spire that once accentuated the building’s grandeur is noticeably absent, the video, obtained by The Guardian, shows. Debris and soot can be seen at the top of the structure.

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Notre Dame wake-up call: The dos and don’ts of protecting heritage buildings

By Adam Bannister
IFSEC Global
April 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Notre Dame blaze has been described as a “wake-up call” for the guardians of the Palace of Westminster, with restoration works on the crumbling structure not due to start until the mid-2020s. MPs and peers voted last year to vacate the venerable building while a multibillion-pound programme is carried out. But the fire that ripped through the 850-year-old Parisian cathedral on Monday, devastating the roof and causing the spire to collapse, will surely have spooked those responsible for protecting historic buildings the world over. Fires in heritage buildings are at once enormously costly in cultural and financial terms and uniquely vulnerable to myriad fire risks. Often built hundreds of years ago, any fire engineering they might have is unavoidably bolted on rather than built in from the outset. This article collates advice on this fiendishly complex issue from the Fire Protection Association et al.

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From old duvets to corn stalks, a look at bio-based insulations

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
April 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Blaine Brownell of Architect finds finds some new and interesting all-natural insulating ideas. …He notes, as we have, that insulation “is drawing scrutiny and disagreement within sustainable design circles.” …He notes the toxicity of the ingredients going into foams, and doesn’t even mention the dangers from flame retardants that leach out or the products of combustion when they burn. But he does conclude that “we should seek the highest environmental performance in both embodied and operating phases (or more holistically, all phases) of the material life cycle.” There are insulations that are not made from fossil fuels, but still take a lot of energy to make, like rock wool and fiberglass. That’s one reason Brownell pitches the benefits of cellulose. …It certainly makes a lot more sense to recycle newspaper than it does to convert fossil fuels into foam. 

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Forestry

‘Our forests are doing well’; Ministry of Environment reports positive forest health in 10-year report

CTV News Saskatchewan
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Ministry of Environment released the State of the Environment report for 2019 on Wednesday with a focus on the province’s forests. The report assesses 24 indicators of forest health, most of which are new or revised from the last report in 2009. Assistant Deputy Minister for Resource Management and Compliance Division for the Ministry of Environment, Kevin Murphy, explained the report at the AGM for the Association of Saskatchewan Forestry Professionals (ASFP). Murphy gave an overall positive response, saying it’s important for the government and the public to continue supporting the forestry industry. “Our forests are doing well, they are being managed sustainably, and the forestry industry is an integral part of that.” Murphy told CTV News.

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Squamish Nation and District sign community forest agreement

The Squamish Chief
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wilson Williams and Karen Elliott

A new community forest is on the verge of becoming a reality after the Squamish Nation and the District of Squamish signed an agreement. The agreement formalizes a governance structure for 10,000 hectares of forest land. The District says having a Squamish community forest offers benefits such as long-term economic development and local employment; local level decision-making and planning over timber harvesting in key areas such as cultural and spiritual sites, watersheds, viewscapes and recreational areas; education and research opportunities including increased community awareness of forest management. As per the agreement, the Squamish Community Forest Corporation will be responsible for overseeing the forest operations. On the company’s board of directors, the Nation will be represented by hereditary Chief Ian Campbell, Wilson Williams and Richard Baker. The District will be represented by Mayor Karen Elliott and councillors Armand Hurford and Jenna Stoner.

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Technical analysis of changing land base in Quesnel Timber Supply area begins

By Lindsay Chung
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
April 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Scientists, foresters, First Nations representatives and others involved in forestry in our region gathered in Quesnel last week to analyze a land base that has been hard hit by mountain pine beetle and wildfire in the last few years. …“It’s the next step in the evolution of the Quesnel Forestry Think Tank process we’ve been going through,” explained Josh Pressey, district manager for the Ministry of Forests. …Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says… it has two streams. One of those streams is looking at the future of forest management and how do we rehabilitate the landscape… impacted by mountain pine beetle and wildfires. …The other stream of the Future of Forestry Think Tank process is the manufacturing stream, looking at how to evolve the manufacturing sector as the land is changing because you will be getting different materials off that land.

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Castlegar gets $30,000 grant for wildfire prevention

By City of Castlegar
The Castlegar Source
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Castlegar has received a grant that will help reduce the risk and impact of wildfires.A $30,000 grant received from the Ministry of Forestry, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will update the City of Castlegar Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The plan update will be complete within one year. “This might be the most important plan we have that few residents know much about,” says Mayor Bruno Tassone. “Given our location, investment in fire prevention planning is an investment in the foundation of our future prosperity and quality of life.” A Community Wildfire Protection Plan helps the city better understand how wildfire might threaten the community, and outlines steps the community takes over a period of time to reduce risk of damage to property and buildings in the event of a wildfire. The city’s current plan was developed in 2007.

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Island’s old-growth forest films premiere at Toronto festival

By Kevin Laird
Victoria News
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kelly Richardson

Two much-awaited Imax films on Vancouver Island’s old-growth forests premiére at the Images Festival in Toronto on Thursday (April 18). The films are part of a series of work entitled Outer Worlds, a series of five Imax commissions from leading Canadian media artists, each of whom have created films in a cinematic genre typical of Imax films: larger-than-life landscapes. Two of the films will feature the endangered old-growth forests of Vancouver Island near Port Renfrew. Embers and the Giants, by artist Kelly Richardson, a professor of visual arts at the University of Victoria, presents an endangered old-growth forest during last light, articulated by thousands of floating embers of light. …Forest, by Leila Sujir, of Concordia University, is another feature of the project. Her subject will be the Central Walbran Valley, an area on Vancouver Island that is scheduled for clear-cut logging. 

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700 ash trees will fall as jumping tree lice spread through Winnipeg

By Lara Schroeder
CBC News
April 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Martha Barwinsky

WINNIPEG — Hundreds of ash trees are being removed from Winnipeg neighbourhoods as the city’s forest canopy is hit by another invasive species. The cottony ash psyllid — also known as jumping tree lice — has been added to a list of threats to Winnipeg trees, which also includes the emerald ash borer and Dutch elm disease. “About 700 black ash trees are going to be removed,” city forester Martha Barwinsky said Wednesday. “These are black ash trees that we identified last year that were either dead or almost dead because of the cottony ash psyllid infestation.” …However, Winnipeg’s winters haven’t slowed the invasive species down yet, she said. …”Our ash trees have no resistance or no tolerance to these pests,” she said.

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Seek local experts for wildfire protection

Letter by Chad Johnson
The Prince George Citizen
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire protection plan for Prince George is a very good idea for our area but we have forest companies that plant, harvest, and produce products from our forests. They all have their own forestry departments. We have forestry engineering companies. We have a college that has forestry programs. We have a university that has forestry programs that are second to nobody. So why do we hire a Vancouver company – Diamond Head Consulting (DHC) – to come up here and tell us what trees to cut? …Why could we not give UNBC a grant to come up with a plan and be the lead in what clearing is to be done, keeping our tax money here in P.G.? While on the subject of clearing trees, we should be looking at our smaller city playground parks. They should be checked and thinned out for fire hazards.

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Mountain pine beetle isn’t in Saskatchewan yet, but could be on its way: report

CBC News
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A newly released report from Saskatchewan’s Environment, Public Health and Safety department warns of the possible spread of the devastating mountain pine beetle into northwestern Saskatchewan. …The province’s latest State of the Environment report warns that recent policy changes in Alberta may contribute to the eastward spread of the beetle. “Alberta announced in 2018-19 that protecting key watersheds along the eastern stages of the Rockies and protecting endangered species would take priority over slowing the eastern spread of [the mountain pine beetle],” the report says. “This could allow spot infestations along the eastern edge of Alberta to establish and spread. …”That would mean mountain pine beetle could easily spread into east-central Alberta and Saskatchewan’s northwest boreal forest.” …The government of Saskatchewan is now looking to survey and prevent any infestations in the province’s boreal forest ecosystems.

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Public asked to help monitor white-nose syndrome in bats

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Bat Appreciation Day, April 17, 2019, the Province, in collaboration with the BC Community Bat Program, is asking British Columbians to help preserve the diversity of bat species and be on the lookout for white-nose syndrome (WNS) – a disease that could be catastrophic to bat populations. WNS is a deadly fungus that grows on the noses, wings and bodies of bats, causing them to repeatedly rouse from hibernation and often starve to death by spring. The disease has killed millions of bats in both the eastern United States and Canada, but has yet to be detected in British Columbia. In 2016, the disease was found in Washington state, prompting officials in B.C. to be prepared. To help prevent WNS from taking hold in B.C., the Province is making investments in bat conservation projects.

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Chiefs want to address racist tone, misinformation about caribou plan

Alaska Highway News
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Treaty 8 First Nations involved in caribou recovery efforts in the South Peace hope an extension on public consultations and the appointment of a community liaison will stem the spread of misinformation and some of the racist tone surrounding their negotiations with the provincial and federal governments. West Moberly Chief Roland Willson and Saulteau Chief Ken Cameron met with Premier John Horgan and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. …the chiefs said Lekstrom will be instrumental in dispelling myths about the agreement. …The two took aim in particular at local MP Bob Zimmer for spreading misinformation about potential closures. …Reductions to annual allowable cuts to forestry companies will amount to 300,000 cubic metres… reductions [that are] are limited and manageable between the companies operating in the area, the chiefs said.

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Former northern Ontario tree nursery now grows pot for the province

By Eric White
CBC News
April 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are a lot of doors at the 48 North cannabis plant. …About 35 people work at this plant run under the name Delshen Therapeutics, but owned by parent company 48 North Cannabis. …Over 100 people used to work here when it was a government tree nursery, growing saplings for Ontario’s forest industry. Peter Petrie was one of them and then he ran the nursery privately for a few years, before selling the property to the cannabis company. He now works for them as general manager. He hopes that in the long-run cannabis could be a very important sector for the north and help diversify the economy of towns like Kirkland Lake, that are still dependent on one industry. 

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Ontario’s forest firefighting budget will increase as necessary, minister says

CBC News
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Progressive Conservative MPP for the Kenora area says the province will continue to free up the necessary money to fight wildfires as the Ford government has come under fire from some federal Liberals over the emergency forest firefighting budget. The 2019 provincial budget sets funding for forest firefighting at $69.8 million for 2019-2020, while the document shows that Ontario spent $212 million for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.  That led to some, including Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu and Toronto-area MP Adam Vaughan, pointing to that change as an example of painful cuts by the Ford government. Not so, said Greg Rickford, the province’s minister of northern development and mines, energy as well as Indigenous affairs, adding that the nearly $70 million represents a starting point that will be increased if necessary, as it always has.

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Common Ground: How an environmentalist and a logger came together to save Arizona’s forests

CBS News
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Arizona’s Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, is by far the largest effort of its kind in the nation. But it took decades for the various interest groups to come together in support of the project which had early support from late Sen. John McCain and Flake. It all began with a devastating wildfire, and an odd-couple pairing. For nearly 20 years, environmentalist and Grand Canyon Trust director Ethan Aumack has worked to restore Arizona’s massive Ponderosa Pine forest…  “I would represent those who didn’t have a voice – whether that be Mexican spotted owl or other wildlife species,” he said. “I’m a registered independent but I’m about as left-leaning as they come on many issues.” David Tenney, on the other hand, says he grew up in a “very conservative household.” Tenney’s family has owned sawmills for more than a century and then came the “Timber Wars” of the 1990s.

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The Wildfire Solution That Could Also Help Our Affordable Housing Crisis

By Nathalie Graham
The Stranger
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hilary Franz, the current commissioner of the Washington Department of Natural Resources, watched the Carlton Complex Fire, a 2014 firestorm that cost Washington around $98 million in damages. …And then, she said, it stopped. It reached a boundary between an untreated forest and a treated forest. “It’s a clean line,” Franz told The Stranger. “The trees are healthier and stronger so they can withstand the fires and it doesn’t have the fuel of those crazy fires.” …To treat a forest, the DNR must remove diseased and small trees. …They also need to find a way to sell them. …There needs to be an investment to treat those areas. Except, the DNR has found a solution: cross-laminated timber, or CLT.

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Maine imposes quarantine to combat beetle killing ash trees

The Associated Press
April 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Officials in Maine have announced a formal quarantine to slow the spread of a beetle that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees since its discovery in North America. The emerald ash borer was first found stateside in Michigan in 2002 and has spread to dozens of states and four Canadian provinces. Loggers are cutting down large numbers of ash trees to try to stay ahead of the pest. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said Wednesday that the quarantine includes all of York County and the northeastern corner of Aroostook County. The quarantine rules prohibit the movement of ash trees grown in nurseries from the quarantine area and regulate the movement of products such as untreated ash lumber. [END]

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Why Solar: Forests – natural carbon sinks

By Lorne Oja
The Red Deer Advocate
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greenhouse gas emissions, GHGs, produced by Canada annually are approximately 738.3825 MtCO2e. …This amounts to about 1.63% of the world’s total of 45 261.3 (MtCO2e). The Australian National University determined… boreal forests, like those in Canada, store carbon at an estimated 100 tC/ha. Our nation has 24% of the world’s boreal forest, and 9% of the world’s total, according to Natural Resources Canada. The area encompassed is some 4,916,438 square km or at 9.74 ha/person making for the most forest per citizen of any nation. …These numbers augur well for slowing the rise of carbon in the atmosphere. …Yet, given our small population and enormous land mass, we definitely sequester more carbon than we produce. We generate 738.38 MtCO2e, yet our forests sequester an estimated 4 916 MtCO2e. Canadian forests are absorbing more than six times what this country emits.

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Mayor, Pinnacle Pellet COO respond to Clear Air Now concerns

By Karissa Gall
The Interior News
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Smithers Town Council brought new air quality concerns to light at their regular meeting on April 9. In his mayor’s report, Taylor Bachrach told council he met with members of the group Clean Air Now on April 3 regarding air quality concerns related to operation of the Pinnacle wood pellet plant. Bachrach reported the group said they “were seeing a bit more blue haze coming out of the stacks.” He said he has communicated with Pinnacle and that the B.C. Ministry of Environment is also aware of the concerns. Coun. Frank Wray …comment on a related Facebook post by Clean Air Now’s Bulkley Valley contingent. “One was a picture on a clear day and there was a haze of smoke overhead, but it was clearly not from the plant, although it was actually given as visual evidence that it was,” Wray said, adding he assumed the haze was caused by smoke from residential wood stoves.

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Future of Northern Peninsula pellet operation still in question

By Stephen Roberts
The Western Star
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dwight Ball

HAWKE’S BAY, NEWFOUNDLAND — The Great Northern Peninsula is waiting for an update on a proposed wood pellet plant for Hawke’s Bay. …In November 2018, Timberlands International, a subsidiary of Active Energy Group (AEG), was awarded two forestry permits for five years for districts 17 and 18. This included a total annual allowable cut of 100,000 cubic metres across both forestry areas, totalling 500,000 cubic metres over five years. The company would then use the small diameter wood to produce wood pellets while partnering with a sawmill that would cut the large-diameter wood for lumber. …However, no partner has been found to cut the lumber and there has been no update on the construction of the pellet plant since the deal was announced. Premier Dwight Ball… the province is still trying to secure a partner.

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Concerns raised over ESB biomass plans at oral hearing

Green News
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Three national environmental groups have raised concerns over plans for ESB’s peat plants at a hearing into the semi-state’s plans to co-fire biomass with peat at one of the Midlands stations. Appearing at an An Bord Pleanala oral hearing in Tullamore yesterday, Friends of the Irish Environment (FiE) said that the Board should refuse permission for the ESB’s application for permission to operate a peat and biomass plant at its West Offaly facility in Shannonbridge. The utility is seeking permission from 1 January 2021, the day after its current permission for the peat-fired plant expires. …FiE argues, however, that the Board should not allow the ESB to operate a peat and biomass plant as many forms of biomass are environmentally damaging. In the case of woody biomass, more emissions can be produced than the burning of coal, the group said. Woody biomass is currently classified as carbon neutral by the EU.

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Protesters gather outside Drax AGM

By Greg Jones
Utility Week
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A protest, led by the Biofuelwatch group, has been held today (17 April) outside Drax’s annual general meeting (AGM) in London. The campaigners gathered to protest at the company, whose power station they claim is the UK’s single biggest emitter of C02, for the “disastrous impacts of its biomass, coal and gas burning on climate, forests and communities”. In March, biomass generation plants such as Drax’s were under threat from a lawsuit filed with the European general court, seeking to change forest wood’s designation as a renewable fuel. The group assembled with percussion instruments, banners, placards, and pictures of the animals whose habitats are supposedly threatened by the biomass industry.

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Health & Safety

Manitoulin mother tells her story about the need for workplace safety

CBC News
April 17, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Employees with EACOM Timber Corporation in Nairn Centre spent some time learning about the importance of workplace health and safety on Tuesday. They heard from a mother whose son was killed on the job. Joanne Wade is from Sheguiandah on Manitoulin Island. Her son, Brent, was 22 years old when he was killed in 1999 in Acton, Ontario. …She’s made it her mission to tell his story. She has been doing this since 2003 as a volunteer with Threads of Life. …EACOM Timber is in a partnership with Threads of Life to spread the word about workplace safety. In her presentation… Wade stressed… how devastating the impact of a workplace death, injury, or occupational disease can be. …She concluded by reminding employees to do everything they can to work safe and come home safe.

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