Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 23, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canada invests in artificial intelligence and recycled hamburger paper

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 23, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Government of Canada announced support for Quebec based Group PG and Kruger for their innovative software and recycled paper investments [respectively]. In other Business news: the making of Skeena Bioenergy; a Florida legislator asks Trump to end his trade war with China; and Tree Canada has a new CEO.

In other news: Ontario’s Invasive Species Centre gets new funding; three BC Interior Universities collaborate on natural disaster research; Canada Games Pool replacement to feature a wood roof; BC’s clean energy sector surpasses forestry in GDP and job creation; the US Dept of Interior has backed off plans to shrink an Oregon monument; and wind remains on Alberta’s side in wildfire fight.

Finally, with the help of some wood chips, you can now compost your clan in Washington state.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Washington first state to allow composting of human bodies

By Gene Johnson
The Associated Press in the Peninsula Daily News
May 23, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee has signed legislation making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. The measure signed Tuesday allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks. Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree. …Supporters have said the method is an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation… and conventional burial… taking up land.

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Business & Politics

Appointment of Danielle St-Aubin as CEO of Tree Canada

Tree Canada
May 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Danielle St-Aubin

Ottawa, ON – The Board of Tree Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Danielle St-Aubin as its Chief Executive Officer, effective July 2, 2019. Ms. St-Aubin has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 15 years… In her most recent role as Vice-President of Communications and Marketing at Trans Canada Trail, she was responsible for raising the profile and increasing the reach of the organization. Before that, she served as Vice-President, Donor Relations at The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. She began her career as Publicist at United Way Ottawa before moving on to the Canadian Wildlife Federation, where she managed the rebrand and re-launch of the iconic Hinterland Who’s Who (HWW) program. …Michael Rosen will retire from Tree Canada as of March 31, 2020 …assisting with the smooth transition of leadership as well as supporting key development and other initiatives of importance to this growing and increasingly active organization.

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Saving A Sawmill

By Rob Kotrba
Biomass Magazine
May 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West
In April, Skeena Bioenergy began commissioning its brand new pellet plant in Terrace, BC. Construction on the pellet mill began just nine months prior in an existing, vacant building on a site adjacent to Skeena Sawmill Ltd.’s operations. Local pioneer Bill McRae originally built the neighboring lumber mill in 1960, after which it changed hands a number of times through the years. …Since acquiring the shuttered business, Roc Holdings restarted operations in 2013. …When Skeena Sawmill restarted, the local pulp mill was closed, so a critical issue for Cui and Roc Holdings became what to do with all the residuals. …”We looked at a number of alternatives and we concluded that a pellet mill would be the best choice”. …The… CAN$20 million pellet mill with a nameplate capacity of 75,000 metric tons per year. Construction began in July 2018.

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Groupe PG positions itself as a leader in the development of software solutions for the forest industry

By Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
Cision Newswire
May 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

RIMOUSKI, QC — PG Solutions corporatives et forestières Itée (Groupe PG) is a leader in the development of innovative software solutions that improve the productivity and profitability of forest industry companies. An invaluable reference in this cutting-edge sector, the company intends to pass another milestone in this niche market with the help of a $936,437 repayable contribution from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. The funding was announced today by Rémi Massé, Member of Parliament for Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia. …Specifically, the goal of this project is to develop cutting-edge technological infrastructure, including artificial intelligence, which will provide tools for the real-time management of the resource—from the forest to the factory, and even among the various factories.

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Government of Canada invests in innovative and environmentally friendly products and processes

By Innovation, Sciences and Economic Development Canada
Cision
May 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

BROMPTON, QC — …Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau… announced an investment of $13.8 million in Kruger Inc., for work in Brompton, Quebec, and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. The company transforms renewable wood resources into sustainable, high-quality products, such as newsprint and specialty paper for food and other packaging. This announcement will support Kruger’s investment of over $27.5 million to implement a state-of-the-art facility in Brompton to produce the first-of-its-kind, biodegradable, 100% recycled paper approved for direct food contact that restaurants could use—for example—to wrap hamburgers. …This project will help create and maintain 743 jobs, of which 30 are new jobs in Brompton, and it will create 176 new co-op positions in post-secondary institutions.

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Commissioner Nikki Fried to President Trump: Stop Timber Tariffs & Trade War

Southeast AgNet
May 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Nikki Fried

Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to stop Chinese tariffs on Florida timber crops and end his growing trade war with China. The letter, also sent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, cited the need to not worsen difficulties faced by Florida timber farmers. Florida exports to China of key timber commodities have declined 66 percent this year. Timber is Florida’s largest commodity, and is the largest agricultural sector and economic driver in the Florida Panhandle; timber suffered $1.3 billion of the $1.7 billion in damage the Panhandle region faced from Hurricane Michael last October. The letter reads in part: “China’s 25% tariff is drastically reducing log exports. This is devastating Florida timber businesses, as many growers rely heavily on exports.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New design concept for New Westminster’s replacement of Canada Games Pool

By Kenneth Chan
The Daily Hive
May 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of New Westminster is making progress on its plans to replace the aging Canada Games Pool and Centennial Community Centre with a new expanded aquatic and recreational centre. This new amalgamated “destination” facility will be constructed around the existing facilities to ensure the community has continued facility acess during the years-long, multi-phase construction period. Recently released early architectural design sketches – by HCMA Architecture + Design – show an expansive structure that heavily uses wood materials, including the roof, which incorporates skylights to allow natural light to pour in. …If the project receives further approvals from city council, construction could begin sometime in 2020. Early ballpark estimates peg the project’s construction cost at around $100 million.

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Kentucky city’s suspension of paper recycling ripples through region

By Katie Pyzyk
Waste Dive
May 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Lexington, Kentucky has temporarily suspended mixed paper recycling in its curbside program, which the city attributes to cost increases from recyclable material market changes. Local residents are now being asked to dispose of paper — but the move is affecting customers beyond city limits. LEX-MRF…handles approximately 36,000 tons of material annually. According to Plant Operations Manager Barry Prater, processing and marketing fees were historically offset by the sale of recovered commodities. That began to change about a year ago, “when the markets went flat.” Rebates were still being paid, but the MRF was no longer able to cover its processing fees. …Material buyers indicated more changes were coming as regional paper mills reached an oversupply of material. …Lexington is far from the first local government in the U.S.to cut mixed paper due to market conditions, but the move is new in a state that has been less affected than others. 

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Forestry

Historical AAC level vs. harvest gives hope

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Historical utilization of available timber shows that there is room for optimism despite the expected drop in the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC). The provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) is currently accepting public input as it determines the new Lakes Timber Supply Area (TSA) AAC. Its level is now at 1.6 million cubic metres. Many residents of the Burns Lake area are worried that a reduced AAC will affect forestry activities and cost jobs. However, the Lakes Timber Supply Area Timber Supply Analysis Discussion Paper shows…since 1999… the amount harvested was lower – at times well below – the AAC. The effect of a reduced AAC would have been greater if the forestry industry had been regularly using up all of its allotted timber. That forestry pattern is not uncommon, as Phil Burton, Professor of Ecosystem Science and Management University of Northern British Columbia told Lakes District News.

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Three Interior universities working to improve natural disaster management

By Shelby Thevenot
InfoTel News
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Three B.C. universities are researching how to address natural disasters in the age of climate change. Faculty and students at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna and University of Northern B.C. in Prince George are collaborating on three projects. …UNBC professor Stephen Déry… examine changes in climate and hydrology across key watersheds in the Fraser and Upper Columbia river basins. …UBCO professor Adam Wei is working with Déry and TRU’s Tom Pypker to examine the long-term effect disturbances like wildfires, mountain pine beetle infestation, timber harvesting and climate change impacts have on the hydrological systems of forests. …The results from Wei’s research is meant to… will help B.C. manage forest disturbances and reduce or minimize severe flood and landslide threats. A final project will examine how wildfires and climate change have increased the risk of landslides in B.C.

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Will Tradition work in the Transition?

Coastal Silviculture Committee
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The CSC is an ad hoc organization of forest professionals whose prime objective is to disseminate current technical forest management and silvicultural information to all forest practitioners and the public in coastal British Columbia. Join us June 18-19th in Pemberton, BC! Exploring challenges and new approaches in a rapidly changing coastal climate – The Coastal Transition Zone (CTZ) – CONTINUED! Two exciting days of field tours are in the works in the Pemberton area. We hope you’ll join us to learn more about silviculture management in a unique part of the coastal region. Speakers include Katherine Lawrence, RPF; Darius Bucher, RPF; Norm Caldicott, RPF Retired; and Lorraine McLaughlin, RPF.

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Invasive Species Centre gets whack of cash from Ontario government

The Soo Today
May 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ross Romano & Deborah Sparks

The Invasive Species Centre (ISC) is receiving $850,000 from the Ontario government for research and management of invasive species throughout the province. “We want to protect what matters most in this province, and one of those things that matters the absolute most is our environment and our natural resources, and they are under attack, many times, by invasive species,” Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano. …According to its annual fiscal report, ISC had more than $1.5 million in expenditures for the 2018 fiscal year. …The Invasive Species Centre, based out of Sault Ste. Marie, brings together government, academic, industry and Indigenous communities and organizations to conduct invasive species research, response planning, management and habitat restoration.

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Opinion: Why California’s costly tree-cutting wildfire strategy fails

By Douglas Bevington, forest director for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s California Program
The Mercury News
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s current approach to wildfires is pouring more and more money into subsidizing logging and fire suppression, often in remote areas. This strategy isn’t working. In recent years we have experienced skyrocketing state expenditures for this policy, paired with unprecedented loss of lives and homes. California is filled with forests and other ecosystems where wildfire is a natural and necessary occurrence. Many California communities are built next to these habitats. Rather than trying to alter wildfire behavior across millions of acres of fire-dependent ecosystems, wouldn’t it be more sensible to focus on keeping fire from coming into our homes where it doesn’t belong? This can readily be achieved by retrofitting homes to have fire-resistant features such as non-flammable roofs and vent screens that keep burning embers out, while trimming vegetation within a 100-foot radius. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has described this approach as “working from the home outward.”

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Cascade-Siskiyou stays intact, for now

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Interior Department appears to have backed off its proposal to shrink the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and seven other monuments tapped by the Trump administration for downsizing. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Wednesday in a Senate subcommittee hearing that he has no plans to change the remaining monuments that his predecessor, Ryan Zinke, recommended for downsizing in 2017 after a review of 27 national monuments. While Bernhardt said he wouldn’t take action without direction from Trump, the White House as recently as March said further actions on monuments remained under consideration. If the monuments are kept intact, it would mean the only downsizing occurred on 2 million acres in two national monuments in Utah, which came amid a fierce public blow-back.

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Utah, US Secretary of Agriculture ink pact to protect wild lands, push still on to change roadless rules

By Tim Vandenack
The Standard-Examiner
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gary Herbert & Sonny Perdue

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue… doesn’t buy into the idea that leaving forests alone is the best way to protect them. He came to Utah to ink an accord with Gov. Gary Herbert that calls for cooperative efforts in managing wild lands… he alluded to the “mythical idea” of “pristine forest just left untouched.” …the aim of a separate Utah request to Perdue’s office for change making it easier to build roads on U.S. Forest Service land — takes a concerted human effort. “Managed forests are healthy forests,” Perdue said. …Herbert used Wednesday’s ceremony to defend that request, which has come under fire from environmentalists and outdoor recreationists, worried it could lead to road development in pristine forest land. Allowing for more road development… gives Forest Service officials “extra tools in their toolbox to manage forests,” Herbert said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Clean energy one of Canada’s fastest-growing industries

The Canadian Press in the Times-Colonist
May 23, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Merran Smith

OTTAWA — Canada’s clean-energy sector is growing faster than the economy as a whole and is rivalling some of the more well known industries for jobs, a new report shows. Clean Energy Canada, a think-tank at Simon Fraser University in BC, is releasing a study to try to paint the first real picture of an industry… that is critically important to the future both in terms of climate change and the economy. …All told, the study concluded, nearly 300,000 Canadians were directly employed in clean energy in 2017, nearly 100,000. …There are 7.5 times as many people working in clean energy as in forestry and logging. …The study concluded clean energy accounted for about three per cent of Canada’s GDP in 2017…By comparison, oil and natural gas contribute about six per cent of Canada’s GDP; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting account together for about 2.1 per cent.

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The case for stabilizing forest carbon to mitigate climate change

By Steve Carr, University of New Mexico
Phy.org
May 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

There’s no doubt that climate change is affecting ecosystems as well as the lifestyles of plants and animals around the globe. As temperatures rise, so do the complexity of the issues. Scientists, both in the United States and around the world, are actively pursuing mitigation solutions while providing governments with the understanding of natural hazards to help stem the effects of climate change. At The University of New Mexico, Matthew Hurteau… has conducted research to determine how disturbances influence tree mortality risk and how that information can be used in carbon management policies to mitigate climate change. Hurteau and several colleagues argue in an opinion piece, “Managing for disturbance stabilizes forest carbon,” released today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), that policymakers would do well to use disturbance ecology in an effort to stabilize .

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California may let polluters offset carbon by preserving rain forests. Here are the pitfalls

By Lisa Song
The Los Angeles Times
May 23, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

California, a global leader on climate change, is poised to take the lead once again as it considers expanding its carbon offset program to allow polluting companies to compensate for their excess emissions by paying to preserve the Amazon rainforest. That sounds like a winning proposition: The carbon preserved in trees spared from deforestation would cancel out the corresponding amount of pollution from, say, refineries. But as I found on a recent trip to the Amazon, forestry offsets are more complicated than they seem. Proponents point to the urgent threat of deforestation and say that action is imperative, both for preserving ecosystems and for preventing the worst effects of climate change. …But critics fear that forest offsets will give polluters a guilt-free pass to keep emitting carbon without canceling out the same amount.

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Carbon sink trade brings hope to China’s struggling forestry industry after logging ban

By Shan Jie in Hulun Buir
The Global Times
May 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

CHINA — A northeastern town that used to rely on logging now sets new hope in developing carbon sink trade. …China initiated the carbon emissions trading system in 2011, of which transaction values hit over $860 million in 2018. …The national carbon sink trade market is expected to open in a few months, said an expert. …In 2014, the Inner Mongolia Key State-owned Forestry Administration of the Greater Khingan Mountains set a goal to build China’s largest carbon trade base, and its attached bureau Wuerqihan actively joined in as one of the six pilots provincial markets. …Since 2013, more than 100 forest carbon sink projects across China have been filed. A total of 508 million hectares of artificial forests have been built in five years, People’s Daily reported in January 2018.

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Health & Safety

B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

By Brittany Gervais
Kimberly Bulletin
May 22, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

…“Petr Koncek had the utmost respect for the forest. He just always made sure that the animals that were living there were protected the best that he could — every life was valuable.” The 46-year-old Terrace man was killed in a logging accident down the Douglas Channel near Eagle Bay on April 18 after being struck by a falling tree. According to WorkSafe BC, Petr was falling on the forest road right-of-way when he was struck by a tree felled by another faller. His wife, Fleure Koncek says it’s likely Petr didn’t see it coming. “Safety and quality were his two priorities at work, so its very frustrating that he was so safe and this happened to him,” she says. WorkSafe BC considers manual tree falling is one of the most dangerous professions in the province. Petr’s death was the second out of three harvesting fatalities recorded this year, according to BC Forest Safety Council.

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Forest Fires

Nova Scotia firefighters head west to battle Alberta wildfires

CBC News
May 23, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

About 20 firefighters expect to work exhausting 12-hour shifts for 14 days straight. With two weeks’ worth of gear stuffed into heavy yellow duffel bags, about 20 specially trained Nova Scotia firefighters left the province Thursday morning to help fight wildfires that have once again sprung up this spring in Alberta. …Dave Rockwood, a forest resource technician, is one of the Nova Scotians who boarded a plane to Alberta Thursday morning. He said planning begins early to help other provinces with potential wildfires. “As soon as the snow starts melting, you’re starting to think about wildfires. This time of the year is very dry,” he said. “You’re always monitoring the situation out west and in your local area and you always have your bag ready to go because it can be 24-hours’ notice and you’re on the plane.” This is not the first time Nova Scotia has sent fire crews to help out.

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Alberta wildfire season off to aggressive start with significantly more land burned than usual

By Carrie Tait
The Globe and Mail
May 22, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta has had roughly the same number of wildfires so far this year compared with its five-year average, but they have chewed through far more territory than usual as hot, dry weather increases the risk for much of the province. This year’s fires have spared Alberta the chaos and destruction of the Fort McMurray blaze in 2016, but one wildfire is nipping at a number of northern communities. That wildfire, known as the Chuckegg Creek fire, is about three kilometres out of High Level, whose residents were among about 5,000 people forced to flee over the weekend. …There have been 453 wildfires in Alberta in 2019, just below the five-year average of 459. However, this year’s fires have burned down about 134,730 hectares, about 24 per cent more than the five-year average of roughly 108,800 hectares… Alberta’s lightning fire season is just starting, which puts the province at risk of many more fires if it does not rain soon.

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Wind remains on firefighters’ side in bout with northern Alberta wildfire

The Canadian Press in the Red Deer Advocate
May 22, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — A government update says a lighter wind out of the northeast is allowing firefighters to make progress in reining in a wildfire that’s forced thousands of people from their homes in northern Alberta. Authorities say the Chuckegg Creek fire remains out of control and there’s still heavy smoke as it churns about three kilometres south of High Level, but favourable weather on Tuesday allowed crews to protect power poles west and south of the community. “Due to current conditions and resources the fire has not reached the town of High Level,” said the update Wednesday morning. “The main area of spread remains away from town.”

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We need to change our fire behaviour

By Cole Schisler
The Ladysmith Chronicle
May 22, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s pretty easy not to start a forest fire. Regardless, most wildfires in BC during April and May 2019 were suspected to be caused by humans. Climate change is certainly a factor in recent years, and it will continue to be. Unusually dry conditions have caught people off guard, and their fires grew out of control. These conditions are the new normal. Naturally occurring forest fires will of course continue, as they rightfully should, but in our changing climate, people who set fires need to be more careful. …If you go and visit BC Wildfire Service online and open the interactive map, you’ll see that an overwhelming majority of the fires are caused by humans. …One of the biggest things the government says it can do better is build relationships with communities to educate people on fire risks, and better fire behaviour.

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