Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 10, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canada’s Forest Sector Honours its Best and Brightest

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 10, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Forest Products Association of Canada held its annual Awards of Excellence ceremony in Vancouver yesterday, while—a stone’s throw away—Russ Taylor’s Global Softwood Conference pointed to better days (and markets) ahead. In other Business news: trade woes cloud BC’s economic outlook; Nova Scotia truckers call for Northern Pulp extension; Steelworkers say WorkSafeBC fines are inadequate; pulp prices are up in Q1, and the 131-year-old Luke paper mill in Maryland is closing. 

In Forestry/Climate news: soaring temperatures and a lack of rain adds to BC’s wildfire risk; floods beget a state of emergency in Ontario’s North Bay area; Oregon needs more wildfire prevention tools; Russian wildfires force evacuations; Scotland’s forests face a deadly tree disease; and fighting climate change with…er… Bamboo.

Finally, as noted in today’s ad, the Frogs are on a ‘work-cation’ next week so don’t be surprised if your Tree Frog News is simpled-down a bit and Peppered with Paris Pics 😉

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Canada’s forest sector awards of excellence

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 9, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Vancouver, BC – The Forest Products Association of Canada held its annual Awards of Excellence luncheon in Vancouver yesterday. Kicked off by FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor and moderated by renowned meteorologist Mark Madryga of Global News, the event honoured the achievements of 16 individuals and community partners who have made special contributions to strengthen Canada’s forest products sector and our forestry communities. “We launched the Awards of Excellence program to honour some of our best and brightest, and to celebrate some special people doing incredible work in our industry,” said Nighbor. “The event is also a chance for us to thank some people who might not work in our sector, but have been champions alongside us in supporting sustainable forest management and the economic benefits that Canadian forestry brings to our communities and the country,” Nighbor added. 

Live links to individual press releases with picture of award reception are below:

Forest Community Champion Awards

FPAC Partnership Awards

Indigenous Business Leadership Award

Skills Award for Indigenous Youth

FPAC Innovation Award

FPAC Lifetime Achievement Awards

FPAC Outstanding Member Award

FPAC Women in Forestry Award of Excellence:

FPAC Rising Star Award:

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Business & Politics

Global Softwood Log and Lumber Conference Points to Better Days Ahead

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
May 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Vancouver, BC – Despite challenging economic times, the 9th annual Global Softwood Log and Lumber conference—held by FEA / Wood Markets—was a jam-packed affair, as two dozen world experts from a dozen countries updated the delegates on market trends and expectations. Hosted by FEA-Canada Managing Director Russ Taylor and moderated by FEA Partner Francois Robichaud, the North American market review was kicked off by Dr. Clark Binkley, Managing Director, International Forestry Investment Advisors. Speaking on what we’ve learned from 40 years of forecasting, Binkley noted that, “demand factors such as population and GDP are key, but the outcomes vary significantly across products and regions, and market disruptions such as the Internet can effect supply and demand significantly and for a long time”. Looking to the future, Binkley believes that timber will “remain abundant globally, plantation forests will be increasingly important due to lower costs, and real timber prices are likely to continue their downward trend globally”. Next up was FEA VP Rocky Goodnow with an update on North American timber trends. [Full story in Read More link]

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Hitachi Names Brandt New Dealer for Forestry Products

By Brandt Tractor Ltd.
Cision Newswire
May 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

REGINA – The Brandt Group of Companies has made a major product-line announcement; they have been named a Hitachi forestry products dealer effective May 9, 2019.  Hitachi’s purpose-built forestry products will be a strong complement to Brandt’s full-line John Deere offering and is a natural fit, as both product lines are designed and manufactured through a joint venture – Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products (DHSP) – in Langley, BC. “This is an exciting day for Brandt and a big win for Hitachi equipment owners.” says Brandt President and CEO, Shaun Semple. “Hitachi’s strong forestry lineup is highly-compatible with our existing John Deere offering, so loggers currently operating Hitachi equipment will be able to come directly to Brandt for unparalleled customer support from Day One!”

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Housing, labour and trade woes cloud B.C.’s outlook

By Lori Mathison
The Western Investor
May 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After three years of rapid growth, B.C.’s economy moderated in 2018, with an estimated provincial GDP growth rate of 2.3 per cent, down a full percentage point from 2017. Several factors contributed to this slower growth: decreased housing activity, increased labour recruitment challenge and continued trade uncertainty. …The overall value of B.C.’s exports increased by 7.3 per cent to $46.4 billion in 2018. This was the third consecutive year in which B.C.’s export value has grown. Pulp and paper exports accounted for the largest share of this gain, as global demand for pulp products increased. On the downside, softwood lumber exporters took a hit from the ongoing dispute with the U.S., with this sector seeing a $187 million decline in export value. Looking at 2019… Forest products exports will continue to be weak, and log shortages, which began to materialize in late 2018, will further affect export potential. 

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‘It puts food on my table’: Truckers call for Northern Pulp extension

CBC News
May 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

About 70 truckers parked their rigs in protest along the Trans-Canada Highway near Truro, N.S., on Thursday and called for the province to extend its deadline for closing Northern Pulp’s waste effluent treatment plant. The Boat Harbour treatment facility must close by January 2020 and Northern Pulp has asked multiple times for an extension, saying the mill would be forced to shut down without one. The lagoons contain nearly 50 years worth of toxic waste, and it has been called one of the worst cases of environmental racism in Canada. Premier Stephen McNeil has said an extension would not be considered without full support from the community and members of the Pictou Landing First Nation say they do not support an extension. Truckers say the closure will hurt the economy. “It puts food on my table and supports my kids and my family,” said Matthew MacGillivray, a contractor of Northern Pulp who was at the protest.

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Regulators pressed Western Maryland paper mill to cut pollution but preserve jobs. Now, both will vanish.

By Scott Dance
The Baltimore Sun
May 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Maryland environmental regulators were in talks with a Western Maryland paper mill about how to significantly reduce the facility’s output of a harmful pollutant when its owner shocked state officials last week by announcing plans to shutter the 131-year-old factory. With data showing the Luke mill has at times exceeded the latest federal standard for sulfur dioxide emissions over the past two years. …As recently as 2014, the mill was the state’s largest source of the toxic gas and lung irritant, produced by burning coal, oil and black liquor. But Verso officials say the costs of that technology were too much to bear on top of steady declines in demand for the coated paper products. …But environmentalists aren’t celebrating the loss of 675 mill jobs in a part of Maryland that already has limited economic opportunities.

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Maine Wood Products Facility Settles EPA Toxic Chemical Right-to-Know Allegations

The US Environmental Protection Agency
May 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

HOULTON, Maine – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) New England regional office has reached a settlement with a Maine wood products facility that will result in regular reporting about the facility’s use of toxic chemicals. Under the settlement, Louisiana-Pacific Corp. of Nashville, Tennessee, which operates a facility in New Limerick, Maine, has agreed to pay $49,724 to settle EPA allegations that the company failed to comply with federal right-to-know laws in 2015, 2016 and 2017 when they did not file necessary reports regarding a zinc compound used at the plant. The reports, Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) forms, are required.

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Scheer signals he won’t reopen overhauled NAFTA deal

By Jos Wingrove
BNN Bloomberg
May 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, Canada

Andrew Scheer

The Conservative leading in polls ahead of Canada’s fall election won’t reopen the country’s recent trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico, a spokesman says. Andrew Scheer… has been a regular critic of the trade deal. The U.S., Canada and Mexico signed the pact in November, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. It still needs to be ratified. …His speech was silent on whether Scheer supports either ratifying the deal as is or seeking changes, as some American lawmakers are attempting amid push-back from U.S. business. However, a spokesman said the Canadian opposition leader wouldn’t reopen the deal if elected. Scheer “will not seek to reopen NAFTA negotiations, but rather will work to mitigate the damage caused by Justin Trudeau’s capitulation by working to get a deal on softwood lumber and to remove steel and aluminum tariffs,” Daniel Schow, a spokesman for Scheer.

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Ladysmith sawmill curtails work for a minimum of two weeks

By Cole Schisler
The Cowichan Valley Citizen
May 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

Approximately 80 workers at one of Ladysmith’s two waterfront sawmills will remain idle until at least after the Victoria Day long weekend. Work was curtailed at Western Forest Products Ladysmith Sawmill on Monday, May 6 in a shutdown expected to last two weeks. Babita Khunkhun, senior director of communications for WFP said the curtailment was due to a lack of logs that fit the Ladysmith mill. Khunkhun said the shortage was driven in part by increased competition for small logs from pulp companies. …While Khunkhun said the curtailment is due to a shortage of logs, Public and Private Workers of Canada Local 8 representative and Ladysmith plant chair Adrian Soldera said the union was told the curtailment was due to increased logging costs and stumpage fees from the government.

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Pulpwood prices in North America on the rise in 1Q/19

Global Wood Markets
May 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

Prices for pulplogs and wood chips moved up slightly in the US in the 1Q/19 while they were unchanged or slightly lower in Canada, as compared to the 4Q/18. For several regions in North America, the year began with higher fiber prices due to harvesting slowdowns after some inclement weather. In the US South Central and Southeast regions, there was particular demand for hardwood fiber, which resulted in an uptick in prices. These were also the regions that saw the highest quarter-to-quarter (q-o-q) increases on the continent in the 1Q/19.

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Forestry

Just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week: Project Learning Tree announces 2019 Leadership in Education Award Winners

By the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Ed Lewis

Kirsten Brazier

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10, 2019, with National Teacher Day on May 7. Every year, Project Learning Tree recognizes the educators who have made the most significant contributions to PLT with the Leadership in Education award. …PLT is central to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s commitment to education programs that expand the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to sustain forests and the environment.  This year’s PLT Leadership in Education award recipients are… Ed Lewis, Natural Resource Professional in Alabama. Ed Lewis is a procurement forester for Westrock, one of the world’s largest paper and packaging companies. … Kirsten Brazier, Classroom Teacher in Florida. Kirsten Brazier is a first-grade teacher at Crawfordville Elementary School, a Title 1 school where more than 40% of the students are economically disadvantaged.

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A ‘strong initial attack’ program is critical to protecting Metro Vancouver’s watershed from forest fires

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
May 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Unbeknownst to most of the region’s residents, Metro Vancouver trains staff in its watershed areas and regional parks to fight fires so they’re ready to spring into action when a fire breaks out. “I’m sure folks don’t really realize the extent to which we do have a level of preparedness,” said Tom McComb, the supervisor of park operations for Metro Vancouver Parks. The watershed fire protection program covers the 60,000 hectares of steep, mostly heavily forested land that surrounds the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam reservoirs. Combined, the watersheds are 150 times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. “The watersheds themselves are wild and rugged. They’re big land bases — really, really big,” said Kevin Brown, superintendent of watershed protection. It may seem counterintuitive to be protecting water from fire, but Brown said preventing or limiting damage to the surrounding forest keeps the water supply clean.

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Temperatures — and risk of early-season wildfires — to spike in B.C. this weekend

By Yvette Brend
CBC News
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With temperatures set to top 30 C in many spots across the province this weekend, wildfire prevention workers are on edge as they eye the tinder-dry forest floor. Three open-burn bans are already in place in the Northwest, Prince George and Cariboo regions, where both fire-danger ratings and fears are high due to dry conditions. “It has been a couple of doozy seasons but we are taking all the right measures,” said B.C. Wildfire Service spokesperson Molly Blower. So far there are no early campfire bans, nor plans to implement them. But Blower said a Category 2 fire ban has been put in place because there have already been 35 human-caused fires in the Prince George area. …Environment Canada is warning that temperatures across B.C. are forecast to be 6-12 C higher than normal this weekend, climbing upwards of 30 C in parts of the Southern Interior including Kamloops, Kelowna and the Boundary region.

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Rain desperately needed in June to slow down B.C. fire season momentum

By Mean Agahi
CTV News
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After an unusually dry March in the Okanagan, April did not fair much wetter. “March was one of the driest on record and it remained quite dry in April as well,” said Bobby Sekhon with Environment Canada . The first indications are that, for the third straight summer, the province’s wildfire season could cause record-breaking damage. BC Wildfire Service’s Kevin Skrepnek said there is still time for Mother Nature to turn things around in the next six weeks. “The June rains – basically from May long weekend until Canada Day long weekend – can really set the stage for how the fire season is going to play out,” he said. The province is increasing its budget by nearly $40 million to allow for a more comprehensive prescribed burning program and new technology to help with early detection of fires.

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Festival of Forestry launches applications for North Island Summer Teacher Tour

Festival of Forestry
May 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Festival of Forestry tours take teachers to rural and resource-based communities throughout BC. Our three-day tours provide teachers of all levels and subject areas with curriculum-focused, hands-on teaching ideas.  The 2019 summer tour will take teachers to the Northern end of Vancouver Island. Tour hosts are Fred Robertson, a retired school teacher and librarian from Port Hardy and Michel Vallee, a forester and instructor in the Forest Technology program at Vancouver Island University. Centred in Port Hardy, the tour will explore the North Island’s vibrant forest sector, including the North Island Community Forest, a Western Forest Products active logging area (conditions permitting), the Burgess Family Woodlot, and the Beaver Cove dryland sort. A visit to Telegraph Cove will include a stop to view and contrast monumental vs. old growth trees. Please encourage your local teachers to apply!

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Residents voice concerns on caribou recovery plan

BC Local News
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CLEARWATER, BC — Residents were able to voice concerns and receive answers to questions they had regarding two draft caribou recovery agreements when government officials stopped in Clearwater for an engagement session. “We’ve heard through a number of the sessions, a strongly expressed idea that the province and Canada should be working very closely on species-at-risk recovery and wildlife conservation more generally, and I think what you’ll see… is that is indeed what’s happening with this project and this challenge in front of us,” said Blair Hammond, director with the Canadian Wildlife Service, part of Environment and Climate Change Canada. …Cameron Loring, who retired after 30 years in the forest industry, said he’s seen years of mediocre policies… that haven’t helped caribou even though they were implemented under the guise of caribou management.

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Plan to log near Juan de Fuca park on hold again for consultation with nearby lodge

By Lindsay Kines
The Times-Colonist
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A controversial plan to log old-growth forests near Juan de Fuca Provincial Park has been postponed for a second time. The Ministry of Forests confirmed Wednesday that B.C. Timber Sales has pulled its advertisements for the auction of 109 hectares of forest in seven cutblocks — including two that come within 50 metres of the park. …Forests Minister Doug Donaldson initially said the auction deadline was being pushed back two weeks to May 10 to give officials time to investigate concerns raised by environmental groups. This time, the ministry said B.C. Timber Sales “is no longer advertising the timber sale in order to engage with a local stakeholder who was inadvertently missed during the initial referral process.”

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Millions of new trees will renew Cariboo wildfire areas

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
The Government of BC
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tree replanting in areas burned by the 2017 wildfires is underway in the Cariboo region, which will help re-establish wildlife habitat, increase the future timber supply and capture greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Between now and the end of June 2019, about 22 million trees will be planted in burned areas in the Cariboo by contractors working for the Ministry of Forests. Over 259 million trees will be planted throughout British Columbia this year. Reforestation activities in the Cariboo this year are concentrated in areas where the three largest wildfires occurred in 2017. …Replanting areas affected by the 2017 wildfires is expected to take about a decade to complete, due to the large amount of land affected and a limited capacity to grow and plant additional tree seedlings. 

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Forest audit near Port Renfrew has no power to halt violations

By Tim Collins
The Sooke News Mirror
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Forest Practices Board will begin an examination of Pacheedaht Anderson Timber Holdings near Port Renfrew, but Chris Mosher, the director of audits for the board, cautioned there should be no expectation any violations will result in legal action. The audit on tree farm license 61 takes place next week, but does not come as a reaction to any specific concerns. “The audits are picked randomly and are not based on past practices or on complaints. …On the completion of the audit, the board issues a report that will be available to the public, but will have little authority to do anything beyond filing the report to address any violations that may be found. “In a way, we’re a watchdog with no teeth.” …Mosher said the lack of any demonstrable authority does not mean that the board’s audits are not worthwhile.

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State of emergency declared in Temiskaming Shores, special flood warning for Lake Temagami

By PJ Wilson
North Bay Nugget
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The municipalities of Callander and Bonfield are keeping a close eye on water levels in their communities as heavy rain and rising lake levels wreak havoc in Mattawa and West Nipissing. Temiskaming Shores has declared a state of emergency due to rising water levels and ice building up on shore. …Ontario Provincial Police are urging the public to remain away from the area and any closed roads. Some people have passed the barricades and attempting to take pictures of the water and ice buildup. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in the North Bay district has issued a special flood warning for the Lake Temagami area. The warning is in effect until May 15. …In Temagami, the MNRF is warning that “significant rainfall” is in the forecast in the 30 to 50 mm range. Water levels in the lake are expected to rise by 20 cm over the next five days “due to increased pressures on the watershed.”

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Gov. Bullock signs repeal of timber conservation license

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
May 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The law a local group used to block a logging project southeast of Bozeman is no more. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, on Thursday signed into law House Bill 441, which repeals a law that offered groups opposed to a timber sale on state land a chance to outbid timber companies to block logging for a certain time. His signature comes two months after Save Our Gallatin Front outbid a timber company to block logging on 443 acres of state trust land south of town for 25 years. The new law doesn’t affect that deferral. The bill was backed by the timber industry and passed by wide margins in the House and Senate. Bullock signed it despite the fact that Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation director John Tubbs lobbied against it at committee hearings in both the state House and Senate.

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Opinion: Oregon needs to step up and invest in more wildfire prevention tools

The Oregonian
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In summer 2017, Portland watched the beloved Columbia River Gorge go up in flames. Last summer, Southern Oregon suffered through six weeks of choking smoke. In November, we all watched from a distance as Paradise, California, a town much like others in Oregon, burned to the ground. It is clear that smoke and fire threaten the health, economy, and future of communities across the state. The gravity of our situation is reflected in the numbers. Oregon wildfires cost a whopping $514 million in 2018 and that half billion is not the end of our troubles. Fire seasons will grow longer each year. Wildfires will become more ferocious and less predictable — made worse by climate change. The impacts of fire and smoke on our lives will be more severe. Costs will increase. The National Interagency Fire Center has already predicted a heavy wildfire season for areas along the west coast.

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The battle to save Scotland’s forests from disease

BBC News
May 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

John Dougan

“When I first saw the impact this disease was having, it really almost reduced me to tears.” The words of Scottish Forestry’s John Dougan as he describes the battle to defeat the deadly tree disease Phytophthora Ramorum. It has spread throughout Scotland in recent years, leaving thousands of dead and damaged trees in its wake. If the ongoing fight is lost, it is feared it could be catastrophic for the forestry industry and also hit tourism. As the busy summer holidays period approaches, members of the public are being urged to take some simple precautions which could help, such as cleaning their boots before leaving. Phytophthora Ramorum was first found in larch trees in the region in 2010. …He said of the felling approach: “What we’re trying to do by clear-felling is removing infected trees, and reducing the risk of them then allowing the disease to reproduce itself and move onto other sites.

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Forest fires blaze in eastern Russia, forcing evacuations

The Associated Press in the Montreal Gazette
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MOSCOW — Wildfires are blazing on about 58,000 hectares throughout the eastern reaches of Russia, threatening small villages and forcing the evacuation of children and senior citizens from at least one village. Avialesookhrana, the Russian government agency for aerial protection of forests, said Thursday that the hardest-hit area was the Irkutsk region, where about 16,900 hectares of forests were burning. Some of the fires were coming close to the village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe along Lake Baikal, from which 28 people were evacuated. No casualties have been reported. Forest fires are a major annual problem for Russia as the world’s weather warms. Last year, Russian officials recorded some 10,000 fires encompassing 3.2 million hectares. [END]

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Climate change is giving old trees a growth spurt

Science Daily
May 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Larch trees in the permafrost forests of northeastern China — the northernmost tree species on Earth — are growing faster as a result of climate change, according to new research. A new study of growth rings from Dahurian larch in China’s northern forests finds the hardy trees grew more from 2005 to 2014 than in the preceding 40 years. The findings also show the oldest trees have had the biggest growth spurts: Trees older than 400 years grew more rapidly in those 10 years than in the past 300 years, according to the new study. …The increased growth is good for the trees in the short-term but may be disastrous for the forests in the long-term, according to the authors. As the climate continues to warm, the permafrost underneath the trees may eventually degrade and no longer be able to support the slow-growing trees.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Fighting climate change with bamboo

By Liyana Hasnan
The Asian Post
May 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation suggests that bamboo can play a significant role in helping countries meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals or SDGs and help combat the effects of climate change. …The preference for bamboo is perhaps due to its availability and inherent strength. Bamboo comes from the botanical family of grasses that is resistant to tensile stress. …However, bamboo does have a few weaknesses including vulnerability to attacks by fungus, swelling and shrinking behaviour, all of which can be overcome with coating and treatments. …Unfortunately, in some countries like Malaysia, its usage in urban areas still proves to be a challenge as local building codes and standards do not recognise bamboo as a proper building material, especially with regards to fire safety.  

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Health & Safety

Fine for death of three Western Forest Products’ workers criticized as inadequate

By Larry Pynn
The Narwhal
May 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has fined a forest company $29,049 for the deaths of three workers in a “high-risk” railway accident on northern Vancouver Island. …This isn’t the only case in which a relatively small fine was levied against a company for a worker’s death. …These two cases involving work-place deaths contrast sharply with the $514,991 fine levied against the Township of Langley. …Craig Fitzsimmons, WorkSafeBC, said that the amount of a penalty is based on the nature of the violation, an employer’s history of violations and the size of the employer’s payroll. …The primary purpose of an administrative penalty is to motivate the employer receiving the penalty — and other employers — to comply with occupational health and safety rules, and to keep their workplaces safe, Fitzsimmons added. …Steve Hunt, a western Canada director with the United Steelworkers, representing forest workers, said the fines are insufficient.

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