Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: May 2019

Today’s Takeaway

West faces another record-breaking fire season, status quo in the East

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 17, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Weekend precautions are out as Western Canada is facing another potential record-breaking fire year, while status quo is forecast for the Atlantic provinces. In other Forestry news: the Mayor of Chetwynd speaks out on caribou coverage; industry pushes back on Maine’s proposal to prohibit aerial spraying of herbicides; the world’s first global map of tree symbioses; and how to make money off rainforests without cutting them down. 

In Business news: the first round of China tariffs already stifled US wood exports; West Fraser announces two-week curtailments in BC; a wood pellet processing plant is being considered at Neucel mill in Port Alice, BC; and the Black Press board isn’t impressed with Trudeau’s offer of lumber to rebuild Notre Dame. 

Finally, the Frogs will be celebrating Queen Victoria’s B-day in London, back in Canada on Tuesday after the long weekend.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Here comes the smoke: Health officials tell BC to prepare

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

Here comes the smoke: Health officials tell BC to prepare for new ‘5th season’. In related news: Fires have become a fact of life in Alberta, Federal fire officials update forecast for this year’s wildfire season; and wildfire prompts evacuation alerts near Osoyoos, BC.

In other news: optimism and criticism amid BC’s timber review; the pros and cons of logging in Alaska’s national forests; and UBC energy centre wins green building award.

Finally, case solved: it wasn’t Trudeau’s wood-pledge to France the Tree Frog Editors reported seeing yesterday at Notre Dame Cathedral, but rather, the construction of a huge wooden framework to secure the stone structure.

Kelly McCloskey, a Tree Frog in Paris

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Special Feature

The Fire of Notre-Dame de Paris

By Caroline Harrap
France Today
May 16, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

…One of the nation’s most beloved landmarks, this masterpiece of medieval architecture dates back more than 850 years. …Since that time, the building has been the scene of… the crowning of King Henry VI of England in 1431, Napoleon’s coronation took place there in 1804. …Today, the cathedral is the most visited monument in France, even ahead of the Eiffel Tower, attracting some 12 million people a year. …Though the cathedral is still standing… it has been estimated that it will take at least four months to fully secure the site. …As well as creating a temporary roof, a huge wooden framework will be erected in order to support the main structure, while most of the stained-glass windows will need to be removed and put into storage.

Several leading restoration experts have expressed their desire to see the cathedral recreated as it was previously and the integrity of the building preserved. They have also pointed out that this would be the quickest and easiest way to restore the cathedral – an important consideration if it is to be rebuilt… in time for the 2024 Olympics. …Others have suggested that perhaps a compromise could be reached – where the integrity of the existing structure is respected but new materials are incorporated. For example, the roof could be constructed with steel, concrete or laminated beams – removing the difficulty and expense of finding enough large oak trees. “If laminated wood was used, it could also have the added benefit of making the building more eco-friendly,” adds Michael Heurtevant.

There’s a new sense of optimism that whatever form the renovation takes, France’s beloved cathedral will be back. There was perhaps no better symbol of this than the moment when the statue that once topped the fallen spire, a copper sculpture of a cockerel, was recovered from the rubble “battered but apparently restorable”. A phoenix from the ashes indeed.

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Business & Politics

TFL 44 Limited Partnership Holds First Board of Directors Meeting Advancing Vision of Stronger Forest Sector in Alberni Valley

By Western Forest Products Inc.
Globe News Wire
May 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

PORT ALBERNI, British Columbia — The newly formed TFL 44 Limited Partnership, a partnership between Huu-ay-aht First Nations (“Huu-ay-aht”) and Western Forest Products Inc., held their first Board of Directors (the “Board”) meeting today. Aligned with their goal of providing more long-term sustainability for the forest sector and the region, the Board took a number of positive steps forward to execute on several key terms of their partnership agreement. The Board approved moving forward with a manufacturing study to evaluate the fibre supply in the Alberni Valley, including TFL 44 Limited Partnership and Huu-ay-aht lands and crown tenures. This was a key component of the TFL 44 transaction, which closed in March of this year, whereby the Huu-ay-aht acquired a 7% interest in TFL 44. The study will include a market assessment for potential wood products from the fibre produced in the Alberni Valley.

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Selkin Logging Receives Indigenous Business Leadership Award

By Amy Rose
Canfor Blog
May 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

We are proud to congratulate… Selkin Logging Limited – for winning the 2019 Indigenous Forestry Product Business Leadership Award. The award, presented by the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, recognizes and celebrates selected Aboriginal entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business. Selkin Logging Limited was first established in 1990 by Robert and Gladys Michell. …Hiring employees from an Indigenous background has been at the forefront at Selkin – 90% of their current employees are Indigenous. Selkin Logging was chosen for this award because of their efforts in aiding Indigenous employment and development, being an Indigenous entrepreneur in the forest products industry and supporting business leadership and safety performance in the delivery of their products and services.

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Trudeau playing hero on the world stage. Again.

By The Blackpress Editorial Board
BC Local News
May 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Trudeau’s largesse abroad with Canadian’s resources is beyond offensive. …We are taxed mercilessly, and the stress is showing. Yet, this prime minister just announced he’ll be handing Canadian steel and wood to France to help rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. If this were a one-off, it could be construed as a noble act. But it is nowhere near a one-off. It’s the latest example of Trudeau’s proclivity toward throwing abroad that which belongs to Canadians. …Consider the context in which this gift of lumber and steel is being given. France is by no means poor, nor is the Roman Catholic Church. Within a day and a half of the Notre Dame fire, $1 billion USD had already been raised in donations to reconstruct the cathedral. This cause has help enough…

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Pacific Truss celebrates 60 years in Cowichan

By Warren Goulding
BC Local News
May 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Grant McKinnon

After 60 years in business the venerable Cobble Hill business, Pacific Homes & Pacific Truss, has selected its focus. “We’ve found our niche on the manufacturing side as opposed to the retail side,” explains Grant McKinnon, one of three sons of Ken McKinnon who formed the company in 1959. …“There is more and more demand for prefabricated homes,” says McKinnon, quickly adding the market for trusses has grown rapidly and Pacific Truss is now serving an international market from its plant in Cobble Hill and another in Creston, B.C. …Grant and a dedicated management team to operate the company that now has more than 100 employees and has hit the $25 million mark in sales. Revenues have doubled in the last 10 years, McKinnon says.

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Galloway Lumber sold to new owners

By Paul Rodgers
Kimberley Bulletin
May 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Galloway Lumber, a business owned and operated by the Nelson family for the last 75 years, has been sold to new owner Brian Fehr. Fehr took ownership on April 1, 2019 and at the time the plant had 25 of a total 22 employees working and plans in place to retool the mill into a fabricating shop, sawmill timber mill and a cross laminated timber plant within the next couple of years. Cross-laminated timber is a wood panel product made from gluing layers of solid-sawn lumber together. …All but a few employees were initially laid off, with plans to call back more over a period of several months, with an increase to 80 employees possible over the next couple of years.

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Getting to yes with First Nations

By Dallas Smith, president, Nanwakolas Council
The Prince George Citizen
May 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dallas Smith

There’s a prevailing perception among business leaders and investors and even within some First Nations communities that you can’t get a resource development project built in B.C.  Of course, that’s not necessarily the case. There are numerous examples of successful resource projects proceeding in B.C. with active participation from Indigenous communities. The Huu-ay-aht First Nations, for instance, recently signed an agreement with Western Forest Products to acquire a seven per cent stake in its Port Alberni forest operation.  …Leading up to the upcoming Indigenous Resource Opportunities Conference in Nanaimo this month, many business leaders are telling me they’re concerned that the impending passage of federal Bill C-262 implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) will embolden activists further to challenge resource projects.

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West Fraser Announces Temporary Production Curtailments in British Columbia

Cision Newswire
May 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Today, West Fraser announced temporary production curtailments for a duration of approximately two weeks at two British Columbia sawmills: Chasm and 100 Mile House. The decision to implement this temporary reduction is due to the continued challenges of weak pricing in global lumber markets, high log costs and constrained timber supplies. SPF lumber production is anticipated to be reduced by approximately 40 million board feet, in addition to previously announced permanent and temporary curtailments. West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.

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Forestry Renewal plan misses point, critics say

BC Local News
May 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Just over a month after the British Columbia government announced it would push an initiative to renew the Interior forestry industry, some say the province is a bit late to the game. The initiative seeks to maximize the potential of existing amounts of timber amid the challenges of mountain pine beetle reducing the supply, the impact of wildfires and lower lumber prices. But the Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) has been working on plans to tackle these problems for two years, as Frank Varga, General Manager of the BLCF told Lakes District News. …Removing the dead pine from those areas could reduce fire hazards and boost harvesting activity, in so doing satisfying two of the aims of the B.C. renewal initiative. …John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes said he thinks the government’s renewal initiative has merit but its approach is flawed.

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The first round of China tariffs already stifled U.S. exports

By Ted Mellnik , Leslie Shapiro and Kate Rabinowitz
Washington Post
May 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

President Trump’s trade war with China escalated this week, as China announced tariff increases on over $60 billion worth of goods in retaliation for new U.S. tariffs. …Wood exports to China dropped by $700 million, or 42 percent. Industries affected included firms that buy logs of hardwoods like walnut, maple and cherry and turn them into boards for furniture and flooring. Before the tariffs, about 1 in 4 of these boards went to China, said Michael Snow, executive director of the American Hardwood Export Council. Snow said his industry is looking for alternative markets. “But at the end of the day, there really are no other markets out there that can absorb anywhere near the volume that China was taking in,” Snow said. He added, “If this continues for several months, I think there’s no question that we’ll see mill closures and layoffs in the industry.”

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The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations elects Sylvain Lhôte as its new president

WoodBizForum
May 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Jane Molony and Sylvain Lhôte

The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) has announced Sylvain Lhôte as its new president. According to the announcement, Mr. Lhôte, director general of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), was elected at the ICFPA’s recent annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada, which was attended by representatives from 12 ICFPA member country associations. Sylvain Lhôte has 25 years of government and public affairs expertise working with leading material technology and manufacturing industries on climate and energy policies, sustainability and industrial affairs, as well as competition and international trade issues. He will serve as ICFPA president for the next two years in conjunction with his role at the European industry association.

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Wood pellet processing plant considered at Neucel mill in Port Alice

By Troy Landreville
My Campbell River Now
May 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

PORT ALICE, B.C. – The Neucel Specialty Cellulose mill in Port Alice could be the future home of a wood pellet processing plant. According to a report from the North Island Eagle newspaper, Arterran Renewables is looking at the feasibility of opening a production plant at the mill. Arterran’s director of business development David Tiessen told the Eagle that Japan is studying the potential for a massive increase in wood pellet production, especially in B.C. Tiessen also told the Eagle that the demand for more production would present a massive opportunity for B.C. and Canada. Port Alice Mayor Kevin Cameron is excited about the prospect of the plant coming to the village. “According to the company’s website, Arterran’s Advanced Fuel (AAF) is made from biomass, the world’s only renewable carbon.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute Releases Update to the Impact Estimator for Buildings

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute
Cision Newswire
May 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

The Athena Institute announces version 5.4 of its acclaimed whole-building life cycle assessment software tool. …The Athena tool delivers reliable results with its best-in-class methods and the highest quality background data available, with true regionalization for North America and true cradle-to-grave assessments. As always, the software quickly models any building type at any design stage. It makes side-by-side comparisons easy. Thousands of users find it indispensable for helping them reduce the environmental impact of buildings, earn the LCA credit in LEED®, or report embodied carbon. And it’s free. What’s in the latest release: Assembly algorithms for CLT walls, floors, and roofs… Updated Canadian wood product profiles.

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UBC’s new campus energy centre wins green building award (PHOTOS)

By Kenneth Chan
Daily Hive
May 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The University of British Columbia’s recently completed Campus Energy Centre (CES) has won national recognition for its leading-edge sustainable design. CES has won the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2019 Green Building Award, and it is the only building in BC to be recognized in this year’s Awards of Excellence. …the CES was completed in 2016 at a cost of $24 million to provide a critical function to the campus: the supply of hot water to 130 campus buildings through 14 km of underground pipe. …And all of this is contained inside a building predominantly made out of timber, which is rare for an industrial-sized utility building of such importance. The building is constructed with cross-laminated timber — a low-carbon, renewable alternative to steel construction, and a design that enables natural ventilation and cooling.

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Online shipping boom creates massive ‘cardboard footprint’ from boxes

By Jason Knowles and Ann Pistone
ABC TV Chicago
May 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CHICAGO — Fast deliveries are just a click away, all in a cardboard box. The I-Team and the Chicago Sun-Times discovered an extensive trail of excess waste that exposes your “Cardboard Footprint.” …The U.S. Department of Commerce says e-commerce sales for 2018 were more than $513 billion, an increase of more than 14 percent in a single year. …Amazon revealed that in 2017 it shipped more than 5 billion items worldwide, to Prime customers alone. The I-Team and Chicago Sun-Times wanted to know how all those cardboard boxes are stacking up. “It could add up to some significant impact. And the concern there is, if there is less cardboard available we need to go back to the raw material, which is trees. …”On average a corrugated box contains 49 percent recycled content, so when you recycle it you’re giving that box back to our industry,” said Racheal Kenyan.

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Lumber industry and local college team up for upcoming 10-week mill training program

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
May 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States
SUMMERSVILLE, W. Va. A West Virginia community college is dedicating a day-long event to recruiting studens for its upcoming 10-week lumber and mill training program. New River Community and Technical College in Summersville, West Virginia says the training program will allow students to gain skills through the college to prepare them for a paid internship in the lumber industry, and was developed by working with lumber mills and identifying training needs for current and potential employees. “Our lumber and mill training was developed in response to the need for skilled employees in the local lumber industry,” Dean of Workforce, Technical, and Community Education Dr. Jerry Wallace explained. “Through this training, we can help current employees already working in the field along with those interested in working in the wood industry.”

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Multiplex project becomes Australia’s largest Passive House

The Construction Index
May 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australia’s largest Passive House building is located on Monash University’s Peninsula campus in Frankston, Melbourne. The Passive House – Passivhaus – standard is designed to ensure that buildings energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time. The new student accommodation complex comprises 150 single occupancy units set over six levels and was completed by Multiplex in March. …The project was designed by architect Jackson Clements Burrows. “We have set a new industry standard for environmentally sustainable construction, and we look forward to working towards the prestigious Passive House standard on future projects.” …The project was Multiplex’s first foray into cross-laminated timber construction (CLT). The use of CLT has the capacity to halve the embodied carbon in the building relative to a concrete structure.

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Forestry

Mapping out forest projects in B.C.

By Sean Brady
Kamloops This Week
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An agency established to provide funding for projects that enhance the province’s forests has mapped out all of the ways it has distributed government money. The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. funds projects that reduce or avoid carbon emissions, fertilize trees or plant trees in areas that otherwise wouldn’t be reforested. A recent undertaking by the society is a map locating many of the projects funded, available online at fesbc.ca. A local example of FESBC funding being put to use is a project created to avoid carbon emissions at the Domtar pulp mill. Arrow Transportation received funding to retrieve and deliver woodfibre, that otherwise would have been burned, to the Kamloops facility, FESBC executive director Steve Kozuki said. Another nearby is in Logan Lake, where the Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation is using funds to reduce wildfire risk in the community to rehabilitating an area of dead trees.

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British Columbians urged to take wildfire precautions while traveling during long weekend

By Aria Nashimi
The Georgia Straight
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As British Columbia is bracing for another intense wildfire season, the provincial government is urging people to prepare for more wildfires in the province and be cautious of wildfires over the Victoria Day long weekend. …B.C.’s Forest Minister Doug Donaldson is asking people who are staying home during the long weekend to “FireSmart” their properties to reduce wildfire risks. …Much of the province has experienced above-average temperatures in recent weeks, which has increased fire danger in many areas, according to a news release by B.C.’s Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operation and Rural Development. As of today, there are at least 10 active wildfires burning across B.C., according to B.C. Wildfire Service. Since April 1, 2019, the B.C. Wildfire Service has responded to 176 fires in the province.

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Experts forecast wildfire danger increasing in parts of Western Canada

By Colette Derworiz
Canadian Press in Global News
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year’s fire season forecast is normal across the country for the month of May, but the hazard is expected to increase for much of Western Canada this summer. Natural Resources Canada’s Northern Forestry Centre in Edmonton, one of five research centres with the Canadian Forest Service, provided the update on Wednesday. “For the month of May, we are showing normal or below-normal levels of expected fire severity through the entire country,” said Richard Carr, a wildland fire research analyst. “However, through the summer beginning in June and extending through August, we’re seeing the western-most regions — British Columbia, Yukon, western Alberta — that have increased risk of fire severity and therefore the possibility of more fires.”

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Adding clarity to national coverage of caribou recovery

By Evan Saugstad, former mayor, Chetwynd
Alaska Highway News
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Evan Saugstad

As a former resident and mayor of Chetwynd, and someone who has worked with West Moberly First Nation on developing community-to-community agreements, obtaining a joint community forest tenure, and one who has sat across the table in consultations for both the forestry and energy industry for more than 20 years, I would like to add a bit more clarity around Maclean’s latest article, dated April 29, and titled ‘Caribou, wolves and the battle tearing apart northeastern B.C.’ B.C.’s caribou herds have declined and continue to do so, but not necessarily for the reasons pointed out — industry and climate change. B.C.’s largest caribou herds live further north in areas with no industry, no habitat destruction, and, by and large, in protected and park areas. They too suffer the same types of declines. …Although there are many explanations and theories, each herd has a differing reason as to why they are in decline. 

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Fires a fact of life in Alberta, even with average fire season predicted

CBC News
May 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta is expected to see an average risk for wildfires for much of this summer, but scientists warn that “normal conditions” could still result in significant fire activity in the province. “Average in a fire-prone landscape means there will still be fires,” Michael Norton, director general of the Northern Forestry Centre, said on Wednesday. “Exactly how many, exactly where, exactly when — we’re not able to predict that level of specificity.” …The long-range forecast suggests the fire hazard could rise to “above average” in southern Alberta by September, and in the Rockies as early as July. Meanwhile, much of neighbouring B.C. will be at an increased risk of fires through the summer season. …The public still needs more awareness about how to reduce the risk of human-caused fires… with programs such as Fire Smart offering many tips.

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Falkland Forest Rehabilitation Project: 129,000 Trees Planted Spring 2019

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
May 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

FALKLAND, BC: a large area 8 kilometers east of the community of Falkland on Highway 97C, previously burned by a wildfire 14 years ago, was the focus of a local Natural Resource District staff and Tolko Industries Ltd. project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) for forest rehabilitation and to improve the area for Mule deer winter range. “The Cedar Hills fire of 2005 in the Okanagan Shuswap Forest District burned approximately 1,200 hectares of forest land,” said Dave Conly, Operations Manager for FESBC. “Of the land affected by the fire, 830 hectares was salvage logged and reforested by Tolko Industries Ltd., BC Timber Sales, and local woodlot holders. There remained a significant area of land untreated, and until now, was severely degraded due to the intensity of the fire.” Difficult growing conditions, including drought, existed for some of the remaining area and previous attempts to reforest for timber productivity had been largely unsuccessful. 

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Record year for Community Forest revenue

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
May 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

2018 was a record year for revenue, according to the year-end financial report presented at the Sunshine Coast Community Forest’s (SCCF) May 13 annual general meeting. The SCCF brought in $3,647,458 for a profit of just over $1.2 million. As a result the SCCF board voted an extraordinary dividend of $600,000 to the sole shareholder, the District of Sechelt, as well as a regular dividend of $25,890. Sechelt councillors Brenda Rowe and Matt McLean were on hand to receive the dividend cheques on behalf of the district. “The extraordinary dividend is the second highest ever and reflects our plan to declare an extraordinary dividend next year even if our profits are lower,” SCCF board president Geoff Craig said in his written summary of the year’s activities. He also said the final tally for legal fees associated with fighting a court challenge against logging in the East Wilson Creek area amounted to more than $85,000.

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Federal fire officials update forecast for this year’s wildfire season

By Colette Derworiz
Canadian Press in National Post
May 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — This year’s fire season forecast is normal across the country for the month of May, but the hazard is expected to increase for much of Western Canada this summer. Natural Resources Canada’s Northern Forestry Centre in Edmonton, one of five research centres with the Canadian Forest Service, provided the update on Wednesday. “For the month of May, we are showing normal or below-normal levels of expected fire severity through the entire country,” said Richard Carr, a wildland fire research analyst. “However, through the summer beginning in June and extending through August, we’re seeing the western-most regions — British Columbia, Yukon, western Alberta — that have increased risk of fire severity and therefore the possibility of more fires.”

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How Longleaf Pines Helped Build the U.S.

By Mathew Wills
JSTOR Daily
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

If you’ve ever been to Brooklyn Bridge Park, you may have seen the sturdy, wooden-beamed benches facing the harbor. …Its timber comes from the longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, some of which was cut in the decades before 1900. …Geographers… track the demise of the longleaf ecosystem. When Europeans arrived in the southeast, the pines covered the coast plain from what is now the Virginia/North Carolina border into Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Estimates of the total size of this pine savannah range from 60 to 147 million acres. There are far fewer of the trees now, and only a tiny proportion of the remnant is old growth. …Europeans first took the trees for ship masts and naval stores like pitch, tar, and turpentine.

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Attorney: Tongass old-growth logging “plain violation” of environmental law

By Grant Robinson
KTUU
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The U.S. Forest Service now faces a lawsuit from eight environmental non-profits claiming the agency failed to follow federal regulations in creating its environmental impact statement for a project that includes old-growth logging on Prince of Wales Island. In March, Tongass National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart signed a record of decision on the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis project. …The suit claims the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act, Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act and the National Forest Management Act. …Tom Waldo, staff attorney with Earthjustice said, “this is a brazen attempt by the forest service to rewrite the rules for timber sales.”

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Stiff opposition from Maine timber to ban on aerial spray

By Patrick Whittle
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Members of the Maine timber industry are pushing back at a proposal to prohibit aerial spraying of herbicides in the state’s forests. Herbicides are substances that destroy unwanted vegetation. They are used widely in agriculture, forestry and other industries. A bill proposed by Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson stated that it would ban the use of “aerial herbicide spraying for the purpose of deforestation.” Jackson’s proposal was scheduled Thursday to come before a legislative committee on agriculture, conservation and forestry. Several members of the timber industry have said the bill’s definition is far too broad, and enacting the proposal would take a valuable tool away from companies that harvest trees from Maine’s vast forests.

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Don’t revive logging in national forests

By Adam Kolton, executive director, Alaska Wilderness League
The Hill
May 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nearly two and a half years ago, the U.S. Forest Service finalized an updated management plan for America’s largest national forest, the Tongass in Southeast Alaska. This plan recognized the importance of conservation in the Tongass by identifying high-value salmon watersheds, inventoried roadless areas and other conservation lands where logging should not occur. …Between then and now, however, Alaska state officials and the Alaska congressional delegation have attempted to force on local communities and the region’s economies something they don’t want or need: a revival of large-scale clear-cutting and an attempt to resurrect an industry that supports less than 1 percent of the region’s economy. …If Congress is willing to look long term, keeping the roadless rule in place will help maintain the health of our forests and the communities and wildlife that depend on them.

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Strong support for responsible resource development in Southeast Alaska

By Jim Clark, formerly chief of staff to former Gov. Frank Murkowski
Juneau Empire
May 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jim Clark

The theme of Southeast Alaska Conservation Council Executive Director Meredith Trainor’s recent My Turn is “there is no clamor for expanded logging and logging roads in Southeast; there are just a few outsized voices with access and influence, chasing after an outdated dream.” There are two recent events by which the accuracy of that claim can be measured. First, in 2014, SEACC and other environmental groups sued to enjoin the Big Thorne timber sale, which was intended to maintain the last remaining medium-sized sawmill on Prince of Wales Island. …Second, over the last few weeks, Alaska’s congressional delegation and Gov. Mike Dunleavy met or spoke with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to request that the Department of Agriculture reinstate its 2003 total exemption of the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule. 

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Busy as usual forest fire season predicted in Atlantic Canada

By Andrea Gunn
The Chronicle Herald
May 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, Canada

OTTAWA – While Western Canadians are facing another potential record-breaking year for forest fires, it’s looking like things will remain status quo for the Atlantic provinces. Federal fire officials provided a forecast for the forest fire season this week, and thankfully for Atlantic Canada, average conditions are predicted to prevail for the duration of the summer. …Simpson said fires need hot and dry conditions to form, and but Atlantic Canada’s wetter climate offers some protection against the destructive blazes that have shown up in other parts of the country and across North America. …“This will would be five years in a row, six years in a row of really significant fire which is really unusual … for B.C. they’ve had two record breaking years in a row which is crazy, and the forecast looks like there might be a third,” Simpson said. [Full story access requires subscription to the Chronicle Herald]

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A global map to understand changing forests

By Brian Wallheimer
Phys.org
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

An international collaboration of hundreds of scientists—led in part by the Forest Advanced Computing and Artificial Intelligence (FACAI) Laboratory in Purdue’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources—has developed the world’s first global map of tree symbioses. The map is key to understanding how forests are changing and the role climate plays in these shifts. …Purdue’s FACAI lab employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to study global, regional and local forest resource management and biodiversity conservation. For this research, FACAI compiled species abundance data from 55 million tree records in 1.2 million forest sample plots spanning 110 countries. The organization of the data was integral to developing the global map. “The map and underlying global forest inventory database will serve as the foundation for research on the environmental impacts of forest changes, biological conservation and forest management,” Liang said.

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At 2,624 years, a bald cypress is oldest known living tree in eastern North America

Mongabay.com
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Ancient bald cypress trees tower along the Black River in the state of North Carolina in the United States. Many of these living trees are over a thousand years old, researchers had estimated in the late 1980s. But there are much older trees still growing tall. One bald cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) in the Black River swampland is at least 2,624 years old as of 2018, a new study has found. This estimate, researchers say, makes it the oldest known living tree in eastern North America and the oldest known wetland tree species in the world. Another tree is at least 2,088 years old. “We studied bald cypress … throughout its native range in Latin America and the U.S. This is the best stand we ever found,” David Stahle, a distinguished professor of geosciences at the University of Arkansas, said in a video statement.

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Eggesford Forest commemorated 100 years after planting

BBC News
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The first woodland to be planted by Forestry England is being commemorated after 100 years. Eggesford Forest in Devon was planted on 8 December 1919, shortly after the passing of the Forestry Act. A Luckham oak is being planted by the chairman of Forestry England, Sir Harry Studholme, before a new centenary avenue is planted in December. …The Forestry Commission was founded in September 1919 with the aim of restoring the nation’s woods and forests after World War One. It is now England’s largest land manager, maintaining more than 1,500 forests. In 1956 the Queen unveiled a stone in Eggesford Forest to mark the commission’s milestone of planting 1,000,000 acres of woodland.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The heat is on: Vermont schools show a way to bolster Maine’s timber industry

By David Singer
WGME.com
May 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND — The costs to harvest lumber have been increasing, but wages for loggers and truckers have not been rising to keep up, according to a March study from the University of Southern Maine. It says stiff competition from similar-skilled jobs are pulling away labor forces from the forest products industry, but newly successful logging education programs and tax relief in Maine, coupled with demand for new forest products, and lessons from wood consumption culture in Vermont, could help a resurgent rise in pay for the industry. …Duran and supporters have over the past five years planted several efforts in the legislature. …The dire forecast in 2015 pushed Duran to lobby the legislature to help fund a new education program with Maine’s community colleges: The Mechanized Logging Program.

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Rooting for a sustainable future: how forest resources can help tackle climate change and air pollution

UN Environment
May 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Forests are among the most valuable treasures on earth: they supply energy from timber, help with water regulation, soil protection and biodiversity conservation. Yet in traditional forest management, trees are still primarily viewed as a source of wood. All other products derived from wooded lands… are considered of secondary importance. Non-timber forest resources, however, have far-reaching benefits for millions of households, both in terms of subsistence and income. …Over 90 per cent of the annual yields of wild and cultivated herbs are sold as raw material to Germany, Italy, France and the United States, making Bulgaria one of the world’s leading suppliers in this sector. …In addition, forests act as carbon sinks and can remove pollutants from the atmosphere. …Every year, they absorb one third of the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels worldwide.

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How to Make Money Off Rainforests Without Cutting Them Down

By Lucas Foglia
Bloomberg
May 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

How do you save a rainforest? Create a national park, hardcore conservationists would say. That isn’t practical, though, if you’re a nation with 45 million acres of rainforest—an area about the size of Washington state—and a per capita income of just over $8,000 a year. “A tree left standing is not valuable to a family who can’t feed their children three square meals a day,” says Pradeepa Bholanath, head of planning and development for the Guyana Forestry Commission. With the help of international donors, Guyana, a country of fewer than 750,000 people, is pioneering an approach to protecting the trees that cover more than four-fifths of its surface. To make the rainforest last, it’s using it up slowly. Norway signed a deal with Guyana in 2009 offering it as much as $250 million to curb deforestation, and with it, climate change.

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Health & Safety

Here comes the smoke: Health officials tell B.C. to prepare for new ‘5th season’

By Simon Little
Global News
May 15, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sarah Henderson

Move over autumnal equinox, there’s a new season in town. …the BC Centre for Disease Control is advising British Columbians to be ready to protect themselves from the potential harmful effects of worsening air quality as wildfires begin to flare up once again. The agency has created a new hub with health information for residents, with fact sheets on health concerns, air cleaners and tips on how to prepare for the anticipated smoke. “​In addition to spring, summer, fall and winter, B.C. has added a fifth season to its calendar — wildfire season,” states the site. “And with the month of May now in full swing, fires are already burning in parts of the province.” …Sarah Henderson, a senior environmental health scientist at the BCCDC, says with annual smokey summers becoming a reality, British Columbians will need to be prepared to protect their health.

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