Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 25, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canfor to curtail operations, US housing sales up but starts down

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 25, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Lumber market woes and high fibre costs are leading to more curtailments at Canfor’s BC operations. In related news: US housing sales are up in March despite the unexpected drop in starts reported last week. Elsewhere: Resolute renews labour agreement for three US mills; and Nova Scotia has a new Minister on the Northern Pulp mill file.

In Forestry/Climate news: BC’s isolated First Nation communities need more wildfire support; balance is key to Ontario’s Endangered Species Act; Meares Island celebrates historic Clayoquot Sound blockade; Ontario cancels tree planting program; Nelson, BC wants to control private forest lands; and tropical tree losses persist at high levels.

Finally, Canada invests in net-zero buildings, while wood products are touted in the UK, Japan and Dubai.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canfor announces temporary shutdown of B.C. lumber mills

CBC News
April 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pulp and paper corporation Canfor says it will temporarily halt operations at its B.C. mills, citing low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre. …In an email, the company’s director of corporate communications, Michelle Ward, said the company regrets the impact the temporarily closures will have on employees, their families and the affected communities. The mayor of the District of Clearwater says the shutdown will be difficult for locals who work at the Vavenby sawmill, especially because the mill already closed for six weeks earlier this year. …Harry Nelson, associate professor at University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry, says falling demand from the U.S. is driving down the price of lumber. “It’s kind of been a double whammy,” Nelson said. “The price of their main product has dropped but the costs have gone up because harvest levels have been dropping for a whole host of reasons.”

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Canfor announces production cuts in B.C.

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
April 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Corp. said Wednesday it will be temporarily curtailing operations at all BC dimension mills effective this Monday due to low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre. The curtailment will reduce Canfor’s production output by approximately 100 million board feet, the company said. The curtailment will translate into a week of downtime for all of Canfor’s B.C. sawmills and an additional week for its Mackenzie operation. …It was the latest in a series of curtailments that Canfor began late last year. West Fraser and Conifex have also made similar moves. …Hakan Ekstrom of World Resources International said sawmills across North America saw their profit margins fall substantially during the second half of 2018 after reaching record highs over the second quarter. …”Sawmills saw their gross margins plunge to unprofitable levels and many companies decided to take market-related downtime in late 2018 and early 2019.”

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Ontario Protecting Local Jobs at Killaloe Sawmill

By Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Government of Ontario
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

KILLALOE – Today, John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, toured the Ben Hokum & Son Ltd sawmill to view firsthand how the province’s investment has helped create and protect local jobs and modernize operations. Ontario is investing $5.5 million over five years in the sawmill, helping the lumber producer protect over 100 jobs, create at least five new jobs and purchase new technologies to optimize its business. These investments are expected to result in a significant jump in domestic sales as well as exports. “Ben Hokum & Son Ltd is an Ontario success story and I am pleased to see how this business supports local employment and the economy,” said Minister Yakabuski. “When an independent sawmill is succeeding, so do the harvesters it buys from and the manufacturers it sells by-products to. This was not just an investment in Ben Hokum & Son Ltd, but an investment in this community and the forestry sector as a whole.”

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Thessalon mill workers face layoffs while First Nation and province negotiate land claim

By Erik White
CBC News
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The union leader for sawmill workers in Thessalon blames the provincial government for 20 of his members facing layoffs next month. But Scott Dunlop fears that some will blame … Thessalon First Nation, whose land claim has led to a moratorium on logging in area forests. “…I fear that the MNR is playing a bit of a dangerous game here sometimes,” says the president of United Steelworkers Local 9260… Dunlop would like to see an interim deal put in place, where Midway Lumber would still have access to trees in the area while the land claim negotiations are ongoing. …The community’s lead negotiator Paul Williams says there was a miscalculation when the reserve was surveyed, giving the first nation 95 square km instead of the 372 square km it was promised. A land claim was filed in 1997, but negotiations … only began in 2016. Williams says Thessalon First Nation requested that all cutting in the forest was halted until talks are concluded.

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Gordon Wilson to replace Margaret Miller as Nova Scotia environment minister

By Keith Doucette
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
April 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Gordon Wilson

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has tapped the Liberal caucus chair to join his cabinet in the key post of environment minister. McNeil announced Wednesday that Gordon Wilson would replace Margaret Miller, who said that she wouldn’t be running in the next provincial election. …Wilson… takes over the Environment Department a day after Miller issued a formal request calling for more study of the Northern Pulp mill’s proposed effluent treatment plant. The contentious file is one of the biggest issues facing McNeil’s government. The former forest technician was asked by reporters whether he considers himself an environmentalist. …“I’m a forest technician by trade, but certainly my life has been one where I’ve grown up not only on the water but in the woods.”

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Resolute Announces Four-Year Renewal of U.S. Labor Agreements

By Resolute Forest Products
Cision Newswire
April 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced a four-year renewal of the master collective agreement covering unionized employees of three U.S. pulp, paper and tissue mills. Unionized employees voted overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement at facilities in Calhoun (Tennessee), Augusta (Georgia) and Coosa Pines (Alabama).  “We are pleased to have reached agreement prior to contract expiration, indicative of our collaborative working relationship. As we look ahead, we have enhanced operational stability as, together, we focus on improving efficiency and the overall competitive position of these mills,” said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. “Our continued union/management partnership serves the best interests of our employees, customers, shareholders and a range of other stakeholders.”

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US Housing Sales Up in March

US Census Bureau
April 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential sales statistics for March 2019. …Sales of new single‐family houses in March 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.5 percent above the revised February rate of 662,000 and is 3.0 percent above the March 2018 estimate of 672,000. …The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2019 was $302,700. The average sales price was $376,000. …The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 344,000. This represents a supply of 6.0 months at the current sales rate.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Government of Canada Invests in Net-Zero Buildings

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
April 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

TORONTO – One of the greatest opportunities for Canada is the shift towards clean growth. Transforming how we use energy presents tremendous economic potential and will result in good, middle-class jobs for Canadians and a cleaner planet for future generations.  Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $375,000 for front-end engineering design (FEED) studies for net-zero energy communities in the Toronto area. These studies will be conducted for the Port Lands and the Etobicoke Civic Centre Precinct. Buildings and homes contribute approximately 17 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Net-Zero Energy buildings produce at least as much energy as they consume on an annual basis, and these studies look at applying a similar concept at the community level. Natural Resources Canada funded the project through its Energy Innovation Program (EIP)

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Vancouver developer proposes world’s tallest wood tower

By Aaron McArthur
Global News
April 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Vancouver developer is proposing a new 35 to 40 storey tower for the Broadway corridor, but the plan isn’t for a typical high rise. Bruce Langereis, president of Delta Land Corporation, is working with architect Peter Busby from Perkins + Will to design a mass timber building that could revolutionize the way developers build. The tower would be mostly mass timber, likely with a concrete core. The building will use a fraction of the carbon needed to build something similar in steel. … The building proposal for Pine and West 8th Avenue is barely off the drawing board, and will still have to go through a litany of city approvals, including height. According to Langereis, the wait is worth it, as the building is more than just about using wood: it is about trying to make a functional space … cuts down on the energy it uses.

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Destined for disruption

By Wendy Broffman
Multihousing Pro magazine
April 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Katerra, a four-year-old technology-driven, off-site construction company headquartered in Silicon Valley, is turning the typical 120- to 150-day construction time cycle for garden-style apartments on its head by delivering a 24-unit development in 90 days from ground breaking to handing the keys to the owners. …The design-build concept Katerra employs isn’t exactly new. Offsite and modular builders in the U.S. have come and gone during the ups and downs of the real estate industry. Today, the concept has the potential to disrupt an industry that has stagnated in the same design-bid-build mold for more than 50 years. …Lloyd Alter… editor of Treehugger Panelized systems already are in use in Europe and more countries are adopting modular construction methods to meet increasing demand for housing that is both eco-friendly and cost-effective.”

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Another Successful Dubai Wood Show

Southern Forest Products Association
April 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

For the 12th year, American Softwoods, a promotional campaign of the Southern Pine Council, APA-The Engineered Wood Association and the Softwood Export Council, exhibited at the Dubai Wood Show held April 12-14.  This show is the premier event for the wood industry in the Middle East and North African region. A 21-member AMSO delegation fielded inquiries… regarding the uses and benefits of US softwood lumber. …“Sales in 2017 amounted to $5 million and by the end of 2018, sales had increased to $11.04 million. January 2019 has seen a dramatic increase in sales from $168,000 in 2018 to $558,000 in 2019 and while it is dangerous to read too much into one month’s figures, the overall trend is encouraging.” stated Dacia Foster, Softwood Export Council.

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New ‘combustibles’ legislation: an informed policy for timber construction?

By Jeremy English
Building Products.com
April 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Jeremy English

UK — Following the government’s decision to restrict the use of combustible materials in the external walls of new buildings over 18m tall, Jeremy English, sales director at Södra Wood, considers the impact of the legislation and the immediate and longer-term implications to the construction sector. …Although timber played no part in the fire performance failings seen at Grenfell, this sweeping change has profound implications across the construction sector. Architects, builders and suppliers of timber and engineered timber products are now looking at what the future holds for mass timber builds – and, in particular, the specification and use of cross-laminated timber (CLT). …There is no question the restrictions are intended to enhance occupant safety. But they also have some far-reaching effects. CLT-engineered systems, for instance, maintain predictable structural integrity in a fire.

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Sagara Inc. Launches Sales in North America of Children’s Tableware Born from Japanese Bamboo — Conscious of Natural Environmental Safety and Resource Recycling

By Sagara Inc.
Cision Newswire
April 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TOKYO — Sagara Inc. of Tokyo opened a global website on April 22 after setting up a sales base in New York City in February 2019 in order to start marketing its environmentally conscious tableware for children, “Reale,” which is made from a new bioplastic raw material blended with native Japanese bamboo, for the first time across North America, including the United States and Canada. …It also aims to start sales within 2019 at major department stores as well as retail outlets, online shops and other places across North America dealing in baby and kid goods, interior products, gifts and other items. …Reale is an environmentally friendly, safe product made from natural Japanese bamboo, which needs to be harvested periodically for the purposes of protecting prolific bamboo forests from deteriorating and forestalling natural disasters. Its raw material excels in antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties unique to bamboo.

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Forestry

Integrated Approaches to Natural Resource Management Key to Canada’s Continued Prosperity

By Council of Canadian Academies
Cision Newswire
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – A new expert panel report from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) finds that conventional methods of natural resource management haven’t kept pace with the scale and complexity of 21st century problems. It concludes that we know enough to act on integrated approaches to engagement, planning, and decision-making that will protect the health and competitiveness of Canada’s resource industries. In Canada, natural resource management decisions have historically been made on a project-by-project or sector-by-sector basis. However, decision-makers are finding this approach inadequate in the face of intensifying environmental and social pressures, increasingly global competition, regulatory uncertainty, and evolving legal and social contexts ― including commitments to reconciliation. …Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Toward Integrated Natural Resource Management in Canada sets out a framework for understanding INRM and explores the processes that can support it.

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More wildfire supports needed for isolated Indigenous communities: report

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tsilhqot’in Nation is calling for improved wildfire training for Indigenous crews in a report that says the Chilcotin region saw delayed and unequal protection during the record-breaking 2017 wildfire season. …The report, titled The Fires Awakened Us, states that forests in the region are becoming increasingly combustible due to insect infestations and forestry practices. According to the report, the community had inadequate funding for emergency preparedness. Once responders arrived, there was conflict over jurisdiction causing “numerous stumbles, which left communities, land and resources vulnerable to the impending wildfires within the territories of the Tsilhqot’in.” …B.C.’s forests minister, Doug Donaldson, says the province is now working… to determine the financial and human resources that will be needed to bring the recommendations to fruition.

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New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

By Angie Mindus
The North Island Gazette
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Joe Alphonse

Leaders of a First Nation in B.C.’s Cariboo are pushing for meaningful partnerships and better emergency management in a new report on the 2017 wildfire season that devastated the region. The Tsilhqot’in National Government released its 120-page report… setting out what went wrong and what each of the six Tsilhqot’in communities went through during the disaster. …It lists 33 calls to action, including recognition of inherent Indigenous jurisdiction in emergency response and recovery, improved equipment and infrastructure, and enhanced processes and protocols. …Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse didn’t mince words when recalling the day the RCMP threatened to take people’s children away for refusing to follow an evacuation order. …Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said the report comes out of the Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement and is a strong starting point.

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Premier Horgan talks jobs and opportunity at Castlegar mill

BC Local News
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

B.C.’s premier toured a Castlegar sawmill Wednesday, saying he was optimistic about the future of the province’s forest industry. …“There are challenges, there are market challenges, but markets change all the time. …Horgan spent the day visiting two West Kootenay lumber companies. At the Kalesnikoff Lumber mill in Thrums he heard about plans to build a state-of-the-art facility for construction timber; at the Interfor mill in Castlegar he was told how a $100-million investment… meant new markets for B.C. forest products. It’s the adoption of new technology, he said, that will help secure jobs in the lumber industry in the future. Horgan acknowledged there were issues — from softwood lumber disputes with the U.S. to beetle-killed forest to low prices — that a government couldn’t address. “I can’t fix that,” he admitted. “But I can work with industry to make sure we soften that blow. 

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Northwest local governments team up to fill in future employment gaps

BC Local News
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Northwest B.C. local governments are teaming up to roll out a new workforce attraction and retention strategy to address future labour needs in the region. With a $175,000 Rural Dividend grant announced, the City of Terrace, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, City of Prince Rupert and the District of Kitimat can now move forward on developing a research-based strategy to increase skilled and unskilled labour forces to fill local employment needs. …According to a study commissioned by the Kitimat Valley Institute in 2017, Northwest employers would need to fill 1,000 positions annually until 2025 — meaning almost 17,000 jobs will need to be filled in the next eight years. …Employment in the Northwest region is largely dependent on forestry, mining, tourism, and transportation related to the operations of the Port of Prince Rupert. 

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Tla-o-qui-aht and Tofino celebrate 35th anniversary of the Meares Island Tribal Park Declaration

By Nora O’Malley
The Westerly News
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 35th anniversary of the Meares Island Tribal Park Declaration of 1984 was celebrated over the Easter long weekend. Chief Moses Martin, elected Chief of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, was also the elected chief 35 years ago. In April 1984, he declared Meares Island in Clayoquot Sound near Tofino a “Tribal Park” during a blockade to stop Canadian forestry company MacMillan Bloedel from logging the area’s ancient forests. …Michael Mullin, a longtime Tofino resident and the founder of the environmental advocacy group Friends of Clayoquot Sound… “It has become very clear that enlightened [Indigenous] stewardship, control of the land, is always the best hope for the future.” …Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s natural resources manager Saya Masso told the crowd… “We need to get value for trees standing,” Masso said. “Tourism as an economic industry is ‘in’.

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Tŝilhqot’in National Government releases wildfire calls to action with B.C., Canada

By Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

One year following the signing of the first-ever tripartite Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement (CEMA), the Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG), Indigenous Services Canada and the B.C. government are announcing the release of a comprehensive wildfire report by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, setting out findings and calls to action on emergency management practices. The report, The Fires Awakened Us (Nagwediẑk’an Gwaneŝ Gangu Chinidẑed Ganexwilagh), was completed as a key milestone under the CEMA… This report provides a thorough analysis of the 2017 wildfire season and highlights the jurisdictional, cultural and environmental issues experienced by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation during the 2017 wildfires, as well as 33 calls to action to address these pressing issues. “The wildfire report and the calls to action we are releasing to the public today feature the all too often misunderstood and missing voice of Indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government.

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Nelson to ask province for more control over adjacent private forest lands

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nelson city council wants the provincial government to apply Crown land logging rules to private forest lands adjacent to municipalities. And it wants the owners to report to municipalities annually on any commercial plans for the forest land. This would apply to two categories of private forest: those under the Private Managed Forest Land Act, in which there are some minimal requirements related to riparian zones and reforestation, and private land not covered by that legislation in which there are no rules. …This process will begin with a resolution city council will take to the annual meeting of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments in Castlegar this weekend. If the resolution passes it will be taken to the annual conference of the Union of BC Municipalities in September in Vancouver.

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Changes needed to compliance and enforcement program

BC Forest Practices Board
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – A new report on the compliance and enforcement (C&E) program in the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has been released. “Sufficient oversight of forestry and range activities is critical to support the environmental, social and economic values that B.C.’s forestry legislation is intended to protect,” said Kevin Kriese, Forest Practices Board chair. “We conclude that the public cannot be confident that government’s C&E framework is achieving the intended result of promoting licensee compliance with legislation. “Based on our own audit work, we believe that overall levels of compliance with forest and range legislation are fairly high. However, we found the C&E program does limited proactive monitoring of forest and range activities, or public reporting of compliance levels. Together, this makes it difficult to determine what the level of licensee compliance really is.”

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‘Slow start’ to 2019 Ontario wildfire season thanks to heavy winter snowfall

By Christina Jung
CBC News
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s been a “bit of a slow start” to the forest fire season this year, according to the ministry’s fire information officer, with only five fire incidents across the entire province since the official start of the season in April. “That’s quite a bit short of the 10 year average of 36 fires that we normally have counted by this point in the season,” Chris Marchand told CBC News.  He said part of the reason for this year’s slow start is due to the “way spring has unfolded” so far, with a slow melt to the heavy snowfall the north saw this past winter. However, despite the low number of fires, it’s hard to predict how the rest of the season will unfold, he said. “It’s very much at the whims of the weather,” Marchand added. “We sort of take things as they come.”

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P.E.I. forestry employees gain valuable experience fighting fires in other provinces

By Nancy Russell
CBC News
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

P.E.I. forestry employees are preparing for what they anticipate will be another busy summer fighting fires in other parts of Canada. “We’ve been sending a lot of firefighters away to help with other provinces and territories over the last 10 years,” said Mike Montigny, manager of field services for Forest, Fish and Wildlife on P.E.I. “We’ve seen that number increasing every year.” The fire protection team on P.E.I. is made up of forestry employees who have other jobs when they’re not fighting fires. An export is any time P.E.I. sends resources to a fire, whether it’s an individual or a crew. The wildland firefighting crew, as it’s called, specializes in fires in the open environment, in the grass, bush or forest.  P.E.I. took part in five exports in 2018 to High Level, Alta., Cochrane, Ont., Parry Sound, Ont., Merritt, B.C. and Castelgar, B.C.

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Potential changes to Endangered Species Act about balance: Phillips

By Matt Vis
The Thunder Bay News Watch
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rod Philips

THUNDER BAY – The Ford government’s plan to overhaul the Endangered Species Act is welcome news for regional municipal leaders who have previously expressed concern about its potential impact on the forestry industry. …Rod Phillips, the minister of environment, conservation and parks, emphasized the importance of achieving a balance to create an efficient framework. …“Forestry is just one of the examples of that where we believe we can strike a better balance that protects important species at risk and their habitats but also make sure that we can support the economic interests of local communities.” …A potential change to the Endangered Species Act is to allow developers, municipalities and industry with the option to pay a fee in place of other requirements that had been in place.

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Christmas tree growers get funding to improve trees, expand export markets

The Chronicle Herald
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Christmas tree growers in the province are getting $750,000 to help with research and development, the creation of quality standards, export market research and the development of a sustainability plan. The money is going to the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia over three years. Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell announced the funding Wednesday morning in New Ross. “Thanks to our popular Boston tree tradition, our Christmas trees are exported all around the world to places like Panama, the United States and the Caribbean,” Colwell said in a release. “I’m pleased our Christmas tree growers will be able to open even more export markets and become stronger competitors against artificial trees.” The funding will also give growers the chance to plant SMART trees on their lots.

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Ontario cancels program that aimed to plant 50 million trees

By Allison Jones
Canadian Press in CBC News
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario is cancelling a tree planting program, with those involved warning the move will lead to the loss of jobs and environmental benefits that forests provide. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry told Forests Ontario the day after the Progressive Conservative government delivered its budget this month that the 50 Million Tree Program was being eliminated. Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, said since 2008 more than 27 million trees have been planted across Ontario through the program, which saved landowners up to 90 per cent of the costs of large-scale tree planting. …The program’s annual budget was about $4.7 million, Keen said, and Forests Ontario was told it was being cancelled as a way to cut provincial costs. “Premier (Doug) Ford wants to reduce the deficit and this was … something they thought was expendable,” Keen said.

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Tampa’s new tree ordinance marks a compromise between builders, tree preservationists

By Philip Morgan
Tampa Bay Times
April 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…For decades, the two sides have clashed over the removal of grand and other protected trees that make up the city’s lush canopy. But after a year of intense negotiations, the Tampa Builders Association and neighborhood tree advocates came up with a compromise ordinance that Tampa City Council passed last week. …A basic provision of the ordinance, which takes effect June 1, gives developers flexibility in moving structures on small lots a bit beyond the standard zoning setbacks in order to save protected trees, especially grand trees, defined as having a trunk diameter of 32 inches at 4 ½ feet above the ground, and specimen trees, with a diameter of 24 inches. …Before, mitigation trees could only be planted in the right of way of the property in question. The new ordinance allows it to be planted anywhere within its district, including neighbors’ yards, if they want them.

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Sweden and Norway ‘concerned’ by unusual pre-season forest fires

By Christina Matamoros
Euronews
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The origins of the fires are most likely due to human activities such as barbecues or forest machinery, according to authorities. But the lack of rain and higher than usual temperatures are not helping. Last year, forest fires ravaged more than 25,000 hectares of land in Sweden after an exceptionally dry spring and the hottest month of July on record since two and a half centuries. But both the MSB and the Swedish Interior Minister Mikael Damberg said Sweden is “better prepared” than last year to face the forest fires. On their website, the government’s agency said they were working with private helicopter contractors that owned water-tanker jets to tackle the fires from the air and are ready to give better support to firefighters on the ground.

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Deforestation: Tropical tree losses persist at high levels

By Matt McGrath
BBC News
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Around 12 million hectares of forest in the world’s tropical regions were lost in 2018, equivalent to 30 football fields per minute. While this represents a decline on 2016 and 2017, it is still the fourth highest rate of loss since records began in 2001. Of particular concern is the continued destruction of what are termed primary forests. An area of these older, untouched trees the size of Belgium was lost in 2018. The Global Forest Watch report paints a complex picture of what’s going on in the heavily forested tropical regions of the world that range from the Amazon in South America, through West and Central Africa to Indonesia. …the trees in these regions are important to the world as stores of carbon dioxide and play a key role in regulating global climate change. Millions of hectares of these forests have been lost in recent decades, having been cleared by commercial or agricultural interests.

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Victorian Labor hit from all sides over cuts to logging

Australian Associated Press in The Australian
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Victoria will slash its timber harvest area by 5000ha but is promising the cuts will not affect contracts and is opening additional areas for new-growth native logging. “The new allocation order provides certainty for the timber industry this year, as we continue our work towards a long-term solution that balances job protection with conservation, and a boost in the use of plantation timber,” Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said. The announcement came ahead of VicForests’ timber release plan, which will identify areas available for harvest. “The release of the allocation order and timber release plan amendments are vital components to VicForests’ planning and operations processes,” VicForests chief executive Nathan Trushell said. …The move to replant sites has been labelled a “sham” by Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh. …The Greens also criticised the plan and want a shift to 100 per cent plantation timber in order to protect native forests.

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Health & Safety

Tree faller killed on the job

By Colin Dacre
Castanet
April 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Forest Safety Council says a tree faller was killed on the job in Kitimat earlier this month. The faller was fatally injured on April 18 when he was struck by a tree that was felled by another logging operation, marking the second harvesting fatality of 2019. The incident remains under investigation and details are still to be determined, said the safety council in a brief notice. Regulation requires all workers be clear of the area within two tree lengths of any tree that is to be felled, with an exception for falling supervisors at the base of the tree. Workers must contact fallers by radio to seek approval before entering into the area.

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Plains logger credits ALERT air ambulance for lifesaving rescue

By Kianna Gardner
The Daily Inter Lake
April 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

From the minute Kevin Riley was bludgeoned and knocked unconscious by a log … to the time he was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for life-saving surgery, was only about 56 minutes. By means other than helicopter, the transfer would have taken about 1 hour and 48 minutes… “Doctors said it was a matter of 10 minutes,” Riley said. “Just 10 minutes later and I would have died.” …Two Bear Air was first to arrive on the scene. A nurse rappelled from the helicopter [and Riley] was hoisted about 200 feet below the helicopter itself, and was transferred to the peak of the mountain where the A.L.E.R.T. air-ambulance helicopter was waiting… It took A.L.E.R.T. pilots eight minutes to get him to the hospital… In A.L.E.R.T.’s nearly 45 years of existence, the program’s air ambulances have gone out on more than 18,300 missions, responding to anything from bear attacks to logging incidents much like Riley’s.

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