Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 26, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Weyerhaeuser, West Fraser report Q1 losses, Interfor ups downtime

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 26, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Weyerhaeuser and West Fraser report first quarter 2019 losses as earnings plunge, while Interfor announces downtime plans at each of its three BC interior mills. In other Business news: Ontario consults the forest sector on electricity prices; and however diminished, forestry remains an economic bedrock in Thunder Bay.

In Wood Product news: the role and future of concrete (Engineering.com); a flame-retardant for wood, made from wood (Finland); a first look at the renderings of the proposed up-to-40-storey timber tower (Vancouver); and two years after his death, architect Bing Thom’s last project opens at Simon Fraser University. Other stories of note: a summit on Canada’s biodiversity crisis; Ontario’s axed tree planting program; and police raids on illegal logging in Brazil.

Finally, good news—our readership is growing exponentially. Bad news—our server isn’t happy about the surge of readers when we publish! Apologies if you’re experiencing some delays but your patience is appreciated while we upgrade.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

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Froggy Foibles

This whimsical forest in B.C. was transformed into an enchanted kingdom

By Elana Shepert
Vancouver is Awesome
April 25, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… The Enchanted Forest is located in Revelstoke offers over 350 jolly folk art figurines that will transport guests into a magical kingdom. Figures include everything from Goldilocks and the Three Bears to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Three Little Pigs to Winnie-the-Pooh, and many more – even Captain Hook is found among the forest friends. There’s also a giant cedar stump house, castle, dungeons and a fierce dragon. What’s more, the forest is home to the tallest tree house in B.C., soaring 50 feet into the emerald canopy. Opened to the public in 1960’, the whimsical creatures are made by artists Doris Needham, Adel Clark and Charles Henzler.

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Business & Politics

Weyerhaeuser reports Q1 net loss $289 million, net sales $1.6 billion

Lesprom Network
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Weyerhaeuser Company reported a first quarter net loss of $289 million on net sales of $1.6 billion. This compares with net earnings of $269 million on net sales of $1.9 billion for the same period last year. …Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was $365 million compared with $544 million for the first quarter of last year and $346 million for the fourth quarter of 2018. …First quarter earnings and Adjusted EBITDA from Wood products segment increased significantly compared with the fourth quarter due to substantially lower log and fiber costs, seasonally higher operating rates and improved manufacturing costs across all product lines. …Weyerhaeuser anticipates higher second quarter earnings and Adjusted EBITDA from Wood products segment compared with the first quarter.

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West Fraser Announces 2019 First Quarter Results

West Fraser Timber
Cision Newswire
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Our lumber segment generated operating earnings of $2 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $84 million. The current quarter’s results were negatively impacted by lower SPF and SYP production and a decline in SPF market demand compared to the previous quarter. …Our panels segment generated operating earnings in the quarter of $11 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $15 million. Improved plywood pricing was the major contributor to the improved results. Our pulp & paper segment generated operating earnings of $1 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $11 million. …Several of the fundamental factors for U.S. housing demand… have been showing positive signs early in 2019… [but] not translated into an increase in demand for lumber which we believe has been negatively impacted by persistently wet weather. …Fibre costs in BC remain challenging… we are expecting a moderation of fibre costs in the U.S. South. The B.C. government has launched a number of policy measures that will affect the B.C. forest sector. 

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West Fraser misses first quarter analyst expectations as earnings plunge

The Canadian Press in the National Post
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER — West Fraser Timber says earnings dropped significantly in the last quarter as the company felt the impact of lower production and demand. The company says it lost $5 million or seven cents per share in the quarter ending March 31, compared with earnings of $197 million or $2.53 per share for the same period last year. Adjusted earnings were $22 million or 32 cents per share for the quarter, compared with $229 million or $2.96 a share for the first quarter last year. Analysts had expected adjusted earnings $36.3 million or 56 cents per share according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. The company says earnings were hit by lower demand in the key spruce-pine-fir sector as U.S. housing starts lagged because of wet weather across major construction markets. B.C. producers including West Fraser have announced several rounds of production curtailments as they grapple with limited wood fibre supply in the province and depressed demand. [END]

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Interfor to Take Downtime in BC Interior

By Interfor Corporation
Global Newswire
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — announced plans to temporarily reduce production across its operating platform in the BC Interior during the month of May 2019 due to a combination of weak lumber prices and continuing high log costs.  The curtailment is expected to reduce production in the region by approximately 20 million board feet for the month of May and will be taken by way of reduced operating days at each of the three BC Interior mills. Interfor has three sawmills in the BC Interior, with total annual capacity of approximately 750 million board feet. …Interfor is a lumber company with operations in Canada and the United States.  The Company has annual production capacity of approximately 3.1 billion board feet.

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Minister Rickford Consulting with Forestry Stakeholders on Industrial Electricity Prices

The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Government of Ontario
April 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Greg Rickford

DRYDEN — Ontario’s government is working for the people by holding consultations to hear from businesses firsthand on industrial electricity pricing and programs. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines met with forestry sector stakeholders in Dryden today. This session is one of several in-person consultations to be held with key industry stakeholders across the province. “We want to hear firsthand from the forestry sector on how we can improve our electricity system to make businesses more competitive,” said Rickford. “We need to ensure our job-creating industries can thrive in Ontario with fair electricity prices.” …Consultation questions are available online, with electronic submissions accepted until May 31, 2019.

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Healthcare, education jobs transforming Thunder Bay’s economy

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

In the early 2000s, much of Thunder Bay’s economy leaned on the pillar of the forestry industry. For Doug Murray, the former general manager of the Resolute Forest Products mill, he remembers 2003 as being the city’s best employment years. …The upheaval in the forestry sector that resulted in mill closures and layoffs has taken Thunder Bay more than a decade for the city’s once-staggering economy to recover. Murray, now the CEO of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, said the city is in a healthier place. …While forestry is less of a dominating presence, Murray said there exists value-added opportunities. A pilot plant at Resolute is developing the next-generation of bio-products for the chemical industry derived from wood fibre. However diminished, Murray said forestry remains among the economic bedrock. Resolute’s Thunder Bay sawmill is the largest in Canada, east of the Rocky Mountains.

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Northern Peninsula forest industry’s potential revival hits roadblocks with campaign underway

By Terry Robertsen
CBC News
April 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Garcien Plowman

NFLD & LABRADOR — The latest attempt to revive the forest industry on the Northern Peninsula may have suffered a setback — with political overtones — due to investment issues, personnel changes and a southward shift in the attentions of the parent company behind the project. Sources say the company behind the venture, Timberlands International, is struggling to entice international investors to pump money into the project, and that the “tone and tenor” of reaction to the proposal in the region may be a factor. There’s also word that plans to establish a pellet plant at Hawkes Bay, a town of just over 300 on the western side of the peninsula, are now in limbo. …The developments are worrying for Hawkes Bay Mayor Garcien Plowman, who’s been very supportive of a proposal to bring a new industry to the community.

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Dragon Woodland reopens Helena-West Helena sawmill

KATV
April 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Dragon Woodland Sawmill held a grand opening on Thursday at its 120-acre sawmill in Helena-West Helena that was purchased in April of 2018. “Our company has a reputation for being professional, reliable and efficient,” said Operating Manager Shane Martin, “and when looking to expand, we found that Helena-West Helena was rich with abundant resources, both natural and human, that would continue to build on that legacy.” According to a press release, Dragon Woodland purchased the former “Chicago” mill and has since invested $10 million in rebuilding the facility and purchasing new equipment. At peak production, the former mill employed more than 1,500 workers during World War II to build crates to ship munitions overseas. Dragon Woodland Sawmill Corporation has expanded the facility and updated equipment, creating approximately 75 new jobs in the Arkansas Delta.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Simon Fraser University Surrey Campus building was architect Bing Thom’s last project

By Denise Ryan
Vancouver Sun
April 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The new $126-million building expresses Bing Thom’s legacy of warmth and form tied to both the natural environment and the building’s function. The signature of late architect Bing Thom is all over Simon Fraser University’s new high-tech Surrey Campus building. From the sweeping height of the airy atrium and natural-wood finishing, to the ficus trees that lift toward the skylights and the playful exterior that emulates a circuit board, the new $126-million building expresses Thom’s legacy of warmth and form tied to both the natural environment and the building’s function. …Because Thom died before the building was constructed, Lisa Potopsingh of Revery Architects (Bing Thom Architect’s successor firm) was the lead architect charged with executing the design. The five-storey, 20,500 square metre building will open to students this fall and house the university’s new Sustainable Energy Engineering program.

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Up to 40 floors: World’s tallest wood tower proposed for Vancouver (RENDERINGS)

By Kenneth Chan
The Daily Hive
April 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

If this mass timber tower is built as originally envisioned, the tallest of its kind in the world, it could set an extraordinary precedent and benchmark for not only green building construction but also the future of development along Vancouver’s Central Broadway corridor. In an interview with Daily Hive, Bruce Langereis, the president of Delta Land Development, unravelled his company’s proposal to transform a lot on West 8th Ave. …“I went to Busby’s team and said ‘I have two limitations for you: it has to be financially feasible and practical and acceptable to the consumer. But I want you to be way ‘out’ there, I don’t want you to be guided by LEED, which is now more of a follower than a leader,’” said Langereis, who emphasized the urgent need to act on climate change. …He believes his tower’s model could later be replicated to become the new norm for tall building construction, potentially putting a dent to the 39% share in carbon dioxide emissions contributed by the fossil fuels used to build and operate buildings.

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Forest and sea residues strengthen the stomach

By Lulea University of Technology
Phys.org
April 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

With the help of forest residues such as sawdust, branches and tops (GROT), and cellulose from sea squirts, researchers in Biochemical Process Engineering at Luleå University of Technology want to make our stomach to feel better. The researchers are the first to develop prebiotics from non-edible forest and sea resources, into a type of fiber that helps beneficial bacteria in the large intestine to thrive and multiply. …It is through forest residues and by utilising the cellulosic outerlayer of sea squirt, the tunic, that the researchers … will produce useful dietary fiber and celloligosaccharides (COS) with prebiotic properties that promote health for the gastrointestinal flora. …The forest residues, from Sveaskog, arrive as sawdust in bags to the lab, where it is ground to fine powder. …The goal for their marine and forest-produced prebiotics is to establish commercial production of prebiotics for the food and feed industry—for the benefit of animals and humans.

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Flame-retardant coating for wood is made from … wood

By Ben Coxworth
New Atlas
April 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood is an established and versatile construction material, used to build everything from high-rises and airports to apartment buildings. It also, however, is not immune to catching fire. A new coating could help keep that from happening, and it’s actually made from wood. Developed by scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the solution incorporates nanocellulose – this material in turn consists of microscopic cellulose fibers obtained from wood pulp. Manufactured utilizing a patented technology known as HefCel (High-Consistency Enzymatic Fibrillation of Cellulose) the gel-like nanocellulose reportedly has 10 times the solids content of similar materials. As a result, when applied to wood – which nanocellulose naturally adheres to – it’s very good at forming an airtight barrier that keeps oxygen from reaching that wood’s surface. This means that the wood is significantly less likely to combust when exposed to a flame.

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Much Ado About Concrete

By Michael Molitch-Hou
Engineering.com
April 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Concrete is the second most used material on the planet after water. If you convert the social and environmental costs of the material into externalities, as is the ubiquitous practice in business, the stuff becomes relatively cheap. If concrete were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide behind the U.S. and China. …This article breaks down the role of concrete in global infrastructure and what the future of the material might look like. …Replacing concrete would be a difficult task. …One potential alternative may be cross-laminated timber… as strong as concrete but without the same environmental drawbacks. …The Guardian has published opinion pieces on how to incentivize business to address its concrete usage through a concrete tax and how individualscan influence the materials used in their built environment using such tactics as divestment.

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Forestry

Canada hosts Nature Summit to boost global action on biodiversity crisis

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

MONTRÉAL – Nature is our most precious resource—yet it is increasingly under threat from climate change, industrial activity, and habitat loss. Since 1970, the world has lost approximately 60 percent of the populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.  The Government of Canada is working to double the amount of nature protected across Canada’s lands and oceans and has launched the $1.3 billion Nature Legacy—the single-largest investment to protect nature in Canadian history. Canada’s leadership is essential to reverse the drastic loss of animals, plants, and habitat worldwide because it is home to the second-largest remaining wilderness area, one-fifth of the world’s fresh water, and the world’s longest coastline, This global biodiversity crisis requires a coordinated and sustained global response. That’s why—today, in Montréal—Canada welcomed global leaders from government, Indigenous organizations, business, foundations, and non-governmental organizations for an inaugural Nature Champions Summit.

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Elphinstone Logging Focus seeks judicial review of Clack

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) is asking for a BC Supreme Court review of the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) decision to go forward with the sale of a cutblock, A93884, in the Clack Creek Forest. ELF said it filed a petition this week, with a West Coast Environment Law grant to cover legal fees. In an April 23 news release, ELF said it also filed supporting documents that include the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s Roberts Creek Official Community Plan, which supports expanding Elphinstone Provincial Park, as well as studies that recommend setting the area aside to protect rare plant communities. “There is ample information available to BC Timber Sales regarding the value of this forest and the availability of other timber outside the proposed park expansion area,” said Matthew Nefstead, the Victoria-based environmental lawyer retained by ELF.

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North Cowichan to move forward with public engagement on forests

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan intends to move forward with its plans for meaningful public engagement on the future of its 5,000-acre municipal forest reserve. But while council committed to a “deep and broad” public engagement on the issue to determine the “highest and best use” of the forest reserve…, it left out sections of a motion that was tabled by Coun. Christopher Justice. Some of those sections called for emphasizing ecological stewardship and the promotion of biodiversity in the reserve. Mayor Al Siebring explained that if the municipality decided to focus on biodiversity and the environment in the forest reserve, it would prejudge the outcome of the upcoming public consultations on the future of the reserve. …council asked staff to organize a presentation from Dr. Stephen Sheppard, a professor of forest resources management at UBC, on his work with other communities in developing sustainable forest management plans.

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It’s time people take responsibility for the future

By Bruce MacLeod
The Williams Lake Tribune
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Donna Barnett

I read MLA Donna Barnett’s remarks regarding how Premier Horgan disappointed the forest industry in the April 10 edition of the Tribune. I’m not sure what Ms. Barnett expected: she stated herself that the forest section of our economy is facing “serious and devastating consequences.” Production costs rising, lumber prices falling, jobs are being lost due to lack of supply due to wildfires and beetle epidemic. All this is putting more pressure on a dwindling resource. …I believe it is time the industry came to grips with reality. …I believe it is time we as a people took responsibility for our own future and come up with some different options for providing employment for our own area.

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Wildfire risk reduction grants benefit northern Island

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As part of its ongoing commitment to reduce wildfire threats, the B.C. government is providing over $265,000 in Community Resiliency Investment grants to support projects on northern Vancouver Island. “The Community Resiliency Investment funding will help Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities increase their resiliency to wildfire threats,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The program is designed to support projects at the local level to help keep British Columbians safe.” This funding is part of over $6 million in Community Resiliency Investment grants that have been provided so far to 85 municipalities, regional districts and First Nations throughout the province, following the program’s first application intake. …The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers the Community Resiliency Investment program and processes grant applications. The deadline for the next application intake is Oct. 18, 2019.

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Project Location Map shows FESBC-funded Projects in Your Area

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C.: A new project location map launched last week by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) provides a unique opportunity to view projects throughout the province based on location as well as on the society’s five purposes for project funding: forest carbon, stand rehabilitation, fibre recovery, wildlife habitat enhancement, and wildfire risk reduction. A goal of the project is to highlight project proponents so community members can see what work is being accomplished … Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC said, “we know when community members see smoke from a prescribed burn or large wood harvesting machines in their area, they may not know the scope of a local project or the outcomes the project is seeking to accomplish. The more transparent and proactive we are in our communications to share and inform people, the better understanding they have of the good work being done and the benefits realized.”

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There’s going to be less ‘forest’ in the Forest City area, thanks to provincial cuts Social Sharing

By Colin Butler
CBC News
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

John Enright

London likes to brand itself as the Forest City, but if you ask John Enright, there isn’t as much forest as we’d like within the city, or the area around it. “We should be closer to probably 25 per cent forest cover,” he said. “We probably have about 12 per cent forest cover”. …Enright is a forester with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority… but now that the provincial government has axed the $4.7 million 50 Million Tree Program, his job just got a whole lot more challenging. Tree planting no longer cheap. Enright said now that the provincial program is gone, it will reduce the number of trees he and his team plant each year by anywhere from a quarter to one half. …The Progressive Conservative government argues the move would save the province $4.7 million a year as it looks to pare down Ontario’s $343 billion debt.  

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Working together to better prepare California for the threat of wildfires

By Dianne Feinstein, US Senator
The San Bernardino County Sun
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Governor Newsom last month declared a wildfire state of emergency in California. …At the same time, the United States Senate is considering a disaster relief package that will send federal dollars to states that have suffered from hurricanes, wildfires, flooding and other natural disasters. California will claim a big chunk of this money following the most disastrous and deadly wildfire season ever. And the underlying cause is climate change. ….We must rethink our approach to fighting these blazes now – lives depend on it. …This doesn’t mean clearcutting our forests. Or that we should abandon landmark environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act. But it does mean we need to move more aggressively to rid our forests of dead trees and thick undergrowth before they fuel the next deadly wildfire.

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Video project aims to make forestry fun

By Bill Cook
Daily Press
April 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ESCANABA — Curiously, until now, there were no “fun” forestry videos on YouTube. While many other good forestry videos can be found, “BeLeaf It or Not!” targets elementary school classrooms, with a “Bill Nye the Science Guy” approach, about a wide range of forest and forestry topics. MSU Extension and the forestry community in Michigan and Wisconsin is currently in the process of making a set of 30-35 YouTube videos. In spring 2019, a YouTube channel was created that features the first five episodes. The main idea is to produce professionally-done video shorts, each 5-7 minutes, to be placed on a YouTube channel, and then supported by an informative website. Episodes would each address a particular topic about forests and forestry, especially topics related to management, logging, and industry. Many of the video themes will complement curriculum elements in school grades four through seven. 

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Sustainable Forestry and African-American Land Retention Program Set To Grow

US Endowment for Forestry and Communities
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) announced that it would soon begin a long-planned transition of its highly-successful Sustainable Forestry and African-American Land Retention program to the American Forest Foundation. Launched in 2012 as a partnership between the Endowment, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and USDA Forest Service, SFLR has yielded significant results in helping to stem land loss, increase forest health, and build financial assets in the African-American landowner community across the southeastern U.S.  The program’s successful work across seven – soon to be eight – states was founded on the great work of African-American-led community-based organizations with strong connections to minority families and institutions. These organizations built relationships of trust, assisted and educated landowners about opportunities, brokered forestry services, and monitored landowner progress toward sustainable forest management. Their work has helped minority forest owners not only retain their land but also become advocates for working forests to their neighbors.

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Brazil police launch raids over illegal Amazon logging

The Associated Free Press in MSN Latin America
April 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Police launched raids across Brazil on Thursday targeting environmental protection officials and companies allegedly involved in illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest. The raids coincided with a huge protest in the capital Brasilia by indigenous people demanding better protection of their lands from miners, loggers and farmers, as well as new reports sounding the alarm over rampant destruction of the Amazon. Federal police officers armed with 29 arrest warrants and more than 100 search and seizure orders carried out the operation in eight states and the Brasilia federal district. They targeted those involved in the “illegal extraction, exploitation and trade of wood” as well as corrupt officials inside environmental protection agencies and timber companies, police said in a statement. Some 50 million reais ($12 million) belonging to companies under investigation was also frozen.

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International Paper continues commitment to forest stewardship through collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation

By International Paper
April 26, 2019
Category: Forestry

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — International Paper, one of the world’s leading producers of renewable, fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper, is continuing work on its commitment to sustain forests through two new collaborations with the Arbor Day Foundation: the Time for Trees initiative and Community Tree Recovery. As one of 17 founding members of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Evergreen Alliance, International Paper is championing the Time for Trees initiative, a commitment to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities worldwide by 2022. The initiative leverages trees as a simple, natural climate solution, improves community resilience and helps preserve clean air and water, healthy food and a livable climate.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change panel hosted at North Island Secondary School

North Island Gazette
April 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Adrian Van Gorkom, Rachel Blaney, Megan Hanacek, and Jackie Hildering

…North Island Secondary School (NISS) hosted a panel discussion and Q&A regarding the impact of climate change in our region. Joining MP Rachel Blaney were NISS student Adrian Van Gorkom, local biologist and forester Megan Hanacek, and “The Marine Detective”, Jackie Hildering. …Megan Hanacek spoke from her experience in forestry about the significant role the North Island plays in the province. She said that today’s harvesting practices incorporate climate change science in the decision process and that an overwhelming majority of experts in the field agree on the effect it has in forest management, as well as a need to adapt sooner than later. Discussing climate change’s effect on BC’s forests, she stated that since the early 90s, over a third of the province’s forests have been killed off by the mountain pine beetle’s spread, resulting in worsening forest fires and billions of dollars lost.

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