Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 27, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Demand to end old-growth logging ‘outrageous’: David Elstone

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 27, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

“It’s outrageous to demand an end to old-growth logging without acknowledging the impact to people and communities”, says the TLA’s David Elstone. In related news: Eco-Business asks—which is better for the climate, tall and old trees or dense and young trees; the Tyee promotes the cataloguing of BC’s forest giants; and a National Geographic explainer on rainforests.

In Business news: Resolute’s Tennessee mill focuses on tissue and pulp; EACOM celebrates its centenary in Timmins Ontario; more fall-out from the US-China trade war; Trump kills a unique fire fighting program; and Russia plans to increase exports to North America.

Finally, to reduce wildfire risk, BC ups its budget and enlists the cattle industry; and Ontario sends help to Alberta as heavy smoke blankets the province.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

EACOM hosting event to celebrate mill’s 100th anniversary

By Ron Grech
Timmins Daily Press
May 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

EACOM Timber Corporation is inviting the public to an event to celebrate the 100th-anniversary of the Timmins’ oldest and longest-running sawmill. The event is being held at Bozzer Park on Friday, May 31. …Prior to the public event, there will be a tour of the mill held for some political delegates including John Yakabuski, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. EACOM president Kevin Edgson is also expected to be on hand. …EACOM mill is the former Rudolph McChesney Lumber Company sawmill. Subsequent owners have E.B. Eddy Forest Products and Domtar. EACOM Timber Corporation purchased the Timmins sawmill in June 2010 as part of an $80 million transaction that saw EACOM buying up sawmill operations in Ontario and Quebec.

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Prime Minister hears Nova Scotia praise on environmental spending, as protesters arrested

Canadian Press in CBC News
May 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stephen McNeil & Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received praise and drew protests Friday for his government’s environmental policies as he met with one of the country’s two remaining Liberal premiers. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil thanked Trudeau for providing “a good start” to the costs of cleaning up a lagoon near Pictou Landing First Nation contaminated by pulp mill waste accumulated over several decades. The gratitude came as the two prepared to hold talks at an Antigonish community centre and the day after Ottawa pledged to spend $100 million to help clean up one of Nova Scotia’s most polluted sites. The Boat Harbour lagoons near the Pictou Landing First Nation are contaminated with millions of litres of treated waste water from the nearby Northern Pulp kraft pulp mill.

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Amid trade war, Chinese company is buying shuttered U.S. paper mills

By Heather van Blokland
Cronkite News
May 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

PHOENIX – The U.S.-China trade war has crushed the packaging products industry over the past several months, and there’s no relief in sight. Last week, the Trump administration increased tariffs on several products, including packaging, to 25 percent. On Monday, China announced retaliatory 25 percent tariffs, starting June 1, that also hit paper products. For Phoenix and other cities in the West, which have been wholly dependent on the U.S.-China relationship to fully process recycled paper, the trade war is not really about trade. It’s about business and a hard lesson in how U.S. and Chinese business owners must work together to keep the industry alive. …Boland’s mill had been shut down for decades before it was bought and renovated by ND Paper, which has been quietly buying closed U.S. paper mills, starting with those previously owned by Catalyst, the Canadian paper company that still owns the shuttered paper mill in Snowflake, in east-central Arizona.

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CEO: Resolute Forest focus is ‘tissue and pulp’

By Larry Bowers
The Cleveland Banner
May 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Yves LaFlamme

Calhoun, Tennessee — Resolute Forest Products CEO Yves LaFlamme said the future of the Calhoun plant is “tissue and pulp.” Resolute Forest Products stockholders, the  CEO, and other company officials visited the company’s Calhoun operation alongside the Hiwassee River this week.  Laflamme held a very brief interview session. …Among the questions of concern was the company’s plan for newsprint in the future, since a significant cost increase and limited availability of the product, has hampered print publications in the Southeast Tennessee area. …Laflamme was very emphatic in declaring, “Newsprint is not the future of the Calhoun operation.” He was just as decisive in saying the company’s future in Calhoun, with a recent investment for new machinery and changes is “tissue and pulp.” …Resolute recently invested more than $400 million in the Calhoun mill.

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Calhoun, Tennessee, mill pins future on tissue products as it sees continued growth

By Mike Pare
Times Free Press
May 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Ramping up tissue production at Resolute Forest Products’ Calhoun, Tennessee, plant has taken longer than expected, but it’s still seen as key to the factory’s growth. “It’s the growth side of the business,” said company Chief Executive Officer Yves Laflamme on Friday. “There is big potential in Calhoun to grow tissue and pulp.” The plant employs about 560 people, and its workforce is stable, though the Montreal, Canada-based businesses continues to hire workers to replace those who leave or retire, he said following the company’s annual meeting in Cleveland.  In fact, the company is trying to keep around some employees about retirement age, Laflamme said. “One of the issues lately is finding employees. They don’t have the experience of those leaving for retirement,” he said about one of America’s biggest pulp mills.

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North America to see rise in Russian timber and pulp imports

By Eugene Gerden
Pulp and Paper Canada
May 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Denis Manturov

Leading Russian timber companies plan to significantly increase exports of their unprocessed timber and pulp to Canada and the U.S. during the next several years. …Due to the current economic crisis in Russia and devaluation of the national currency – the ruble – caused by Western sanctions, timber and pulp exports to the domestic Russian market in recent months have become no longer profitable for local producers. Many have re-directed their supplies to North America, and especially Canada, in recent years. …Suppliers are currently carried out directly, as well as through third-party countries, such as China, whose government imposed a ban on the felling of forest about 10 years ago due to ecology issues. The range of exports includes plywood along with lumber produced from Russian hardwood.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

It’s history for 81-year-old wooden power pole and thousands of others

By Carla Wilson
Victoria Times Colonist
May 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year is finally the end of the line for an 81-year-old wooden B.C. Hydro pole that has stood at Jordan River since William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s prime minister and “Duff” Pattullo was B.C.’s premier. It is one of B.C. Hydro’s oldest poles.  The Jordan River pole is among 8,400 wooden power poles — a typical number — being replaced in B.C. this year through its annual maintenance program. A total of 704 poles are being replaced in the capital region. B.C. Hydro has 900,000 wooden power poles provincewide. They are inspected regularly. The only wood the Crown corporation uses these days is sturdy Western red cedar. B.C. Hydro’s 50- and 100-foot-tall poles are tough but they can be damaged in a number of ways including fire, poor weather, rain, fungi, wood-boring insects and other creatures.

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Deakin University investigating CLT properties

Architecture and Design Australia
May 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Deakin University has begun an investigation into Australian-made Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) with the results expected to reveal the full potential of this environmentally-friendly construction material.  The research team, led by associate professor Mahmud Ashraf from Deakin’s School of Engineering, will test and analyse the strength limits of CLT… Because of the difference in timber species used in CLT production around the world, research is required to verify the relative performance of Australian-made CLT, the range of building applications available and how it can be better utilised to a range of structural applications.  “We want to improve our understanding of the load bearing capacity of this new type of CLT to ensure it is used in the broadest range of applications in the most efficient way,” says Ashraf.

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Forestry

Researchers are using artificial intelligence to help predict the next wildfire

By Jason Vermes
CBC News
May 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike Flannigan

Meteorologists can reasonably forecast hot weather and lightning storms, but exactly where lightning will strike — and whether it will spark a wildfire — is nearly impossible to predict. That’s why researchers are turning to machine learning in a bid to get ahead of catastrophic wildfires… “These machine learning approaches are even better than we are at seeing patterns that we might not see because they have much more processing power than the human brain,” said Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fires at the University of Alberta. …The software is a neural network … that incorporates historical weather conditions which led to wildfires with traditional meteorological data like precipitation, temperature, wind speeds and humidity. By also examining the pressure systems that determine wet and dry weather, the artificial intelligence system can predict areas which might face weather conditions that could spark a blaze. 

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Logging doesn’t threaten old-growth forests

By David Elstone, BC Truck Loggers Association
The Province
May 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

For decades — even more so over the past year — there have been many catastrophic headlines trumpeting the rhetoric from environmentalists who state that B.C.’s old-growth forests are endangered and warning that if we’re not careful we’ll soon run out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fifty-five per cent of remaining old-growth forests, 500,000 hectares, are protected on Vancouver Island alone and will never be harvested. …A moratorium on old-growth harvesting would deal a deadly blow to the Island’s forestry economy. …It would also eliminate much of the value-added wood product manufacturing that relies on access to high-quality timber that only comes from old-growth forests. …As the voice of timber harvesting contractors — who harvest the trees — we need to ensure governments at all levels understand the catastrophic economic consequences that would befall B.C.’s rural communities if pleas to ban old-growth logging were heeded. …Our working forest needs protection from the misguided efforts of a few environmentalists who don’t have the province’s best interests in mind. 

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On the Hunt for BC’s Biggest Life Forms

By Michelle Gamage
The Tyee
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The group has been compiling their findings in a central database that traces its roots to a tree registry initiated by famed outdoorsman Randy Stoltmann in the 1980s. …the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry digitized the records in 2010 with the BC Big Tree Registry. …Originally the registry was used to track the “champion trees,” or the 10 biggest specimens of each species, but the UBC faculty of forestry wanted to create a public database for all big trees. Today anyone can nominate a tree — so long as the species is native to B.C. — and a credited hunter will verify the measurements before adding the information to the database. Collecting data on these giants is important so scientists can understand the sizes that trees can reach before they disappear, said Sally Aitken, a professor and associate dean at the faculty of forestry who helps run the Big Tree Registry.

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Province boosts support for emergency preparedness, wildfire risk reduction

Office of the Premier
Government of British Columbia
May 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

To support community resiliency in the face of wildfires, floods and other emergencies, the Province is giving a $31 million boost to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for local governments and First Nations. This brings the total program funding to $69.5 million. “In the wake of consecutive record-breaking wildfire and flood seasons, the Province is providing more resources to help prepare communities and keep people safe in a disaster,” said Premier John Horgan. “With these investments, we are supporting communities and emergency responders to reduce wildfire risk and better mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies.” The Province is also investing an additional $19 million for 40 wildfire risk reduction projects in B.C. communities, delivered through the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. …“Wildfire risk mitigation work is critical to the health and well-being of our forests, our wildlife and our communities,” said Wayne Clogg, Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. board chair.

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Community Forest: debt free, able to invest

By Andru McCracken
Rocky Mountain Goat
May 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Valemount Community Forest held its AGM on April 24th and Manager Craig Pryor said 2018 was a very positive and busy year. The community forest has been divided into two limited partnerships, separating the forest activities from their role as owner of the Valemount Industrial Park. In 2018 the operation had a total revenue of $7.1 million, total expenses of $5.9 million and a net earning of $1.1 million. Pryor said that the VCF has almost a million dollars put away to tend the forest and plant trees in areas they have cut. “The VCF total equity is $7.6 million up from $6.6 million from 2017,” said Pryor. “We are financially healthy, debt free and able to invest capital where necessary.” The community forest has a total cut of 97,000 cubic metres of wood from this year onward thanks to a new wood lot and an uplift on one license.

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Calgary residents urged to help city efforts in saving elm trees from devastating insects

By Casey Richardson
Global News
May 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY — Concerns around protecting Calgary’s elm trees are at the forefront this spring as officials try to raise awareness about the invasion of the European elm scale — a bug that can devastate the tree species. …Usually hard to detect early, the little creatures will slowly bring down trees branch by branch. The insects are barely visible to the human eye and are about the size of the point of a pin. Although the effects of the bugs can also be seen on other trees, they’re most often found on elms. …While the city is working to get ahead of major devastation with early treatment and healthy amounts of water, officials are relying on citizens to report signs of infestation.

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B.C. enlists cattle to help fight wildfires in targeted grazing program

The Canadian Press in CBC News
May 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Livestock and cattle will soon help fight wildfires in British Columbia as the province looks to create a targeted grazing program. The B.C. government will give $500,000 to the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, according to a statement released Saturday by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The association will develop partnerships and investigate how to use the cattle to manage fine fuels. These include cured grass, fallen leaves, needles, small twigs and any other fuels that ignite readily and are rapidly consumed by fire. …It’s not a solution, but a powerful tool when combined with other methods, like prescribed burning and selective tree harvesting, the government said, noting wildfire prevention programs in southern Europe and parts of the U.S. already successfully use livestock in this manner.

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Ash holes cost Collingwood $9,000 a year in tree medicine

By Erika Engel
Barrie Today
May 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A yellow ‘X’ will mark Collingwood trees that won’t survive an invasion of Asian beetles. Collingwood has begun its seasonal tree management, and that means marking ash trees vulnerable to the emerald ash borer infestation currently devastating ash trees across North America since the beetle was discovered here in 2002. But a green dot may bring some hope to Collingwood residents particularly attached to a local ash tree. A green dot painted on the trunk means that tree will be getting a TreeAzin treatment, which is an annual injection of emerald ash borer killing serum that has been known to save an ash tree from its fatal destiny. In 2014, Collingwood undertook an assessment of trees on town property and identified 140 ash trees that could be saved. …According to Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service scientists estimate Canadian municipalities will spend about $2 billion over a 30-year period dealing with the effects of the emerald ash borer.

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Lumberjacks Test Their Mettle in Timbersports Championship

By Arash Arabasadi
Voice of America
May 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

North America, as the world knows it today, would likely look different without their efforts. Woodsmen logged forests, producing essential lumber and firewood, while also clearing farmland. They grew to be called lumberjacks, and at a recent competition in Sweden, a champion emerged a cut above the rest.

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Trump administration to pull out of rural Job Corps program, laying off 1,100 federal workers

By Lisa Rein, Washington Post
The Spokesman-Review
May 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Trump administration announced Friday that it will kill a Forest Service program that trains disadvantaged young people for wildland fire fighting and other jobs in rural communities, laying off 1,100 employees – believed to be the largest number of federal job cuts in a decade. …The soon-to-close centers – in Montana, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Virginia, Washington state, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oregon – include hundreds of jobs in some of President Donald Trump’s political strongholds. In Congress, members of both parties objected to the plan. The demise of the program, starting in September, will result in the largest layoffs of civil servants since the military’s base realignment and closures of 2010 and 2011, federal personnel expert said. Nine of the centers will close and another 16 will be taken over by private companies and possibly states. …Officials said many of the Forest Service operations are low-performing, with inefficiencies and high costs, and that a reboot was necessary.

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Message scent: Douglas fir beetles detoured from Ouray forest by pheromone packets

By Erin McIntryre
The Colorado Sun
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

These are not the trees you’re looking for. That’s the message sent by the scent wafting from Douglas fir trees on Ouray’s perimeter. The smell emanates from bubble packs stapled to the trees. The packs contain chemicals that mimic the pheromones pine beetles use to send messages to each other. …this pungent mixture, smelling of tires and syrup, fools the tiny insects into thinking these trees are already taken. Volunteers Shawn Kitchens and Aaron Silverman of Ouray and Robert Gaspari of Ridgway joined Colorado State Forest Service Forester Austin Shelby and Supervisory Forester Jodi Rist on May 7 to hang the pungent ornaments on the trees. Their goal is to apply 700 packets to Douglas firs in the area. The chemical, MCH, is an anti-aggregation pheromone developed to mimic the beetles’ pheromones. The MCH sends the same message the insects’ bodies do in nature, deterring other beetles from congregating at that tree.

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Boots on the Ground gives aspiring students career pathways in logging industry

By Mary Bullwinkel
The Times Standard
May 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California — A dozen Humboldt County high school students got a firsthand look at the logging and lumber industry last week, and learned about employment opportunities, with a special focus on current jobs available. “We do hire kids with no experience,” Green Diamond Resource Company logging manager Kevin Nichols said at an active logging site in the Crannell area. “We’ll start you at ground zero and train you. I know it looks intimidating, but no one expects you to know everything, (and) if you have the desire and ability, you can work anywhere out here.” The students were taking part in a program called Boots on the Ground, coordinated by the Redwood Region Logging Conference.

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A new way to lose money on state forest is no solution

By the Editorial Board
The Bend Bulletin
May 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The State Land Board has one mission. Made up of the governor, the secretary of state and state treasurer, the board is charged with managing the state’s lands to benefit the people of Oregon. The board was created after the federal government, in 1859, gave the state some 3.4 million acres “for the use of schools.” The Elliott State Forest in southwest Oregon contains about 91,000 acres of that land. It’s supposed to be contributing income to the state’s Common School Fund, but, in fact, the forest is actually costing the state money. It does so because logging on it has ground to a halt.  The land board has been trying to unload the land since 2013. …Now it’s trying to sell the land to Oregon State University to be used as a research forest. OSU likes the idea, but there’s a major, multimillion-dollar sticking point. 

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Where the forest has no name

By Paul Koberstein & Jessica Applegate
Mongabay.com
May 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco, you approach the world’s largest contiguous temperate rainforest. But don’t look for any markers or directions. There aren’t any. In fact, the rainforest, which stretches 2,500 miles from Northern California all the way to Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska – almost as far as the distance as from New York to Los Angeles – doesn’t even have an official name. “There’s no official name in the national names database,” says Bruce Fisher, president of the Oregon Geographic Names Board. But what should we call it? We asked James Meacham, a professor of geology at the University of Oregon and an author of the Oregon Atlas. …Only parts of this anonymous rainforest have any legal protection from logging and other development, including Redwood and Olympic National Parks in California and Washington, the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia and 5 million roadless acres in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

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How the state almost clearcut a scenic Oregon river

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
May 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Protections were coming to the Nehalem River. In late February, the state parks commission agreed the river that ambles through the heavily logged Coast Range should be designated as a scenic waterway. State water officials concurred. Environmental groups had been pushing the cause for years. Calling the Nehalem scenic would require landowners and loggers to consult with parks officials on ways to reduce visual impacts of future clearcuts or other projects along the river. All the designation needed was Gov. Kate Brown’s signature. The only time Brown designated scenic rivers, just four months lapsed between the formal recommendation and the governor’s order. Yet when the Nehalem landed on the governor’s desk earlier this year, advocates with the environmental group Oregon Wild said the governor’s staff told them it wouldn’t be signed until after the Legislature adjourned, delaying its implementation until 2020.

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Amazeum hosts ‘Forever Forest’ exhibit

By Heath Higgs
KNWA
May 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BENTONVILLE, Ark.  – A traveling exhibit that explores how we use the forest to live, work, and play opens today, Saturday, May 25, at the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville. Forever Forest provides an interactive environment for families to learn about sustainability, selective harvesting, transportation, and the many every-day products derived from trees. The exhibit opens to Amazeum members from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and to the public at noon. Forever Forest will remain at the Amazeum through September 2, 2019. The 2000-square foot exhibition is designed to teach children and adults how their every day lives are connected to forests. Forever Forest includes areas focused on forest life and sustainable harvesting, lumber transportation, and products made from wood.

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To cut or not to cut? A disagreement over forest service plans to harvest North Carolina trees

By Jack Igelman
News and Observer
May 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Forest Service plans to harvest the majority of trees at 16 sites in Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina beginning next year as part of its Southside Project. Conservation organizations argue that the trees at several of these sites represent exceptionally older and rarer growth than the Forest Service has recognized and are calling for the project to be withdrawn or revised after the Forest Service completes the revision of its land management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests in Western North Carolina, a draft of which is expected later this year. “Only one-half of 1 percent of the forest is old growth in the Southeast,” Buzz Williams of the Chattooga Conservancy told Carolina Public Press. “That is the reason within itself to leave it alone.”

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Rainforests, explained

By Christina Nunez
National Geographic UK
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Found on every continent except Antarctica, rainforests are ecosystems filled with mostly evergreen trees that typically receive high amounts of rainfall. …A rainforest is typically made up of four key layers: emergent, upper canopy, understory, and forest floor. …Deforestation is endangering rainforests worldwide, driven by logging, mining, agriculture, and ranching. About 17 percent of the Amazonian rainforest has been destroyed over the past 50 years. …Two countries accounted for 46 percent of the primary tropical rainforest loss in 2018: Brazil, which is home to more than half the Amazon, and Indonesia, where forests are cut down to make way for producing palm oil, which can be found in everything from shampoo to saltines. …In many cases, such as logged areas, the soil damage makes it difficult for rainforests to regenerate, and the biodiversity found in them is irreplaceable.

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African Tulip Tree poses threat to Australian native bees

By Liz Langdale
Macquarie Port News
May 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Tall and old or dense and young: Which kind of forest is better for the climate?

By Paul Koberstein & Jessica Applegate, Mongabay
Eco-Business
May 27, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

In 2007, Richard Branson, the British business magnate, offered a $25 million prize to anyone who can invent a device capable of removing significant volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Andy Kerr, a noted Oregon environmentalist, drew a picture of a tree and sent it in. …These benefits can be enormous, according to “Natural Climate Solutions,” a paper published in 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper asserts better management of forests, wetlands and farmland can provide 37 per cent of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed through 2030. …The industry’s solution is to log the trees, truck them to the mill, and store the carbon in 2-by-4s, plywood boards and toilet paper. …But… Can we get more climate mitigation from a forest if we don’t cut it down every 40 years? The science suggests we can. …But the science, as usual, is muddy.

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Health & Safety

Six killed after Mexican navy Mi-17 helicopter crashes fighting forest fire

The Defense Post
May 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Six people, including five members of the Mexican Navy, died when their Mi-17 helicopter crashed during operations to put out forest fires, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday. The crash approximately 89 km north of Jalpan de Serra in the remote, hilly Sierra Gorda area of the north-central state of Queretaro on Friday, May 24, the navy said in a release. The Russian-made Mil Mi-17 helicopter, which took off from Valle Verde in the neighboring state of San Luis Potosi, was carrying a helibucket with 2,500 litres (660 gallons) of water to fight a fire, the navy said earlier. Difficulties accessing the accident site meant authorities were not able to confirm the deaths until Saturday.

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Forest Fires

Petition calling for provincewide burning ban during B.C. wildfire season gains momentum

By Sean Boynton
Global News
May 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As British Columbia’s wildfire season heats up, a petition calling for a provincewide open burning ban is starting to gain ground. Cambria Volonte, who lives in Cariboo Region town of Bridge Lake, started the petition two weeks ago as more and more fires started sparking across the Interior. The petition gained 1,000 supporters in a little more than a week and now boasts nearly 1,700 signatures, which Volonte says speaks to how rational the idea is. “We don’t need to be having campfires in backcountry,” she said on Sunday. “There’s propane firepits, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the experience in a safer way. …While the number of human-caused wildfires so far this year is cause for concern, Fire information officer ErinCatherall clarified that only two of those 184 fires were sparked by campfires, and there are plenty of other ways humans can cause a blaze.

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High Level still safe: Heavy smoke blankets northern Alberta but fire hasn’t moved into town

By Dylan Short and Janet French
The Edmonton Journal
May 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Heavy smoke is expected to blanket northern Alberta as crews hope a fire guard cut around High Level continues to protect the town. Mandatory evacuation orders expanded to include the community of Paddle Prairie on Sunday, officially displacing 490 more people from their homes. Many residents had already voluntarily left the community 70 kilometres south of High Level. Sunday was a tense day for fire crews battling the Chuckegg Creek fire southwest of High Level as a shift in wind direction and change in weather conditions put a week’s worth of preparation to the test. The temperature in High Level peaked at 23 C on Sunday afternoon, according to Environment Canada. The agency’s forecast predicted a high of 26 C on Monday and 30 C on Tuesday. …The fire conditions will remain extreme until the area receives rain, Elliott warned.

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Forest fire fighters from Northwest deployed to assist in Alberta

CBC News
May 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forest fire fighters from Northwestern Ontario have been deployed to Alberta to help with that province’s escalated fire activity, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said. About 80 staff from the ministry’s Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services — they include forest fire fighters, support staff, and an incident management team — left from Dryden and Sudbury on Saturday, flying to Alberta, where they’ll help with what the ministry called the province’s “escalated fire situation.” The ministry said Ontario’s fire situation, meanwhile, has been “relatively quiet” sine the beginning of this year’s fire situation, and enough resources remain in the province to address any forest fires as they arise. …Overall, the Northwest Region is under a low fire hazard.

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Huge firefighting aircraft ready for U.S. wildfire season

Associated Press in the New York Times
May 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Global SuperTanker, the world’s largest firefighting aircraft, is ready for the upcoming wildfire season. The Arizona Republic reports that the Boeing 747-400 series passenger jet converted for firefighting recently underwent maintenance at Pinal Airpark outside Tucson. The retrofitted aircraft has been used to fight wildfires in California, Chile, Israel and elsewhere. The plane can dump up to 19,200 gallons (72,678 liters) of water or retardant in just six seconds and fly as low as 200 feet (61 meters) above the ground to do its work. It can be refilled in just 13 minutes. The SuperTanker proved indispensable in 2018 helping battle some of the most devastating wildfires in California history. …The SuperTanker was deployed in Israel in 2016 and in Chile in 2017. It currently has contracts in California, Oregon and Colorado. Costs can run as much as $250,000 a day

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