Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 28, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Innovative wood-based biochemical products green-lighted by Resolute

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 28, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Innovative wood-based biochemical products will be produced at Resolute’s Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill, thanks in part to FPInnovations and Natural Resources Canada. In other Business news: US log exports to China and Canada post heavy decline.

In Forestry news: Canada’s longterm weather forecast is bad news for wildfires; BC seeks feedback on its Forest and Range Practices Act; a study say Caribou recovery will hurt BC’s Peace River economy; the BC Forest Practices Board is reviewing the impact of old-growth logging on bear dens; BC Timber Sales says the Elphinstone petition ‘lacks merit‘; forest-rich Finland will need to import biomass as it phases out coal; and Amazon deforestation is up 20% in past year.

Finally, Forest Talk Radio comes to North Bay, Ontario and BC tree planters get sex assault prevention training.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canfor Pulp’s former president sues over firing

By Mike Caswell
Stockwatch
May 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Pulp Products Inc. is facing a wrongful dismissal lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia from its former president, Brett Robinson. He claims that Canfor fired him after 29 years at the company, and that it did so with no notice and no reason. He is seeking damages for breach of contract. The allegations are contained in a notice of claim that Mr. Robinson, 51, filed at the Vancouver courthouse on May 21, 2019. The sole defendant is Canfor Pulp Ltd., a subsidiary of Canfor Pulp Products. The suit identifies Canfor as one of the largest pulp and paper producers in the world, and as Mr. Robinson’s employer since May 23, 1989. [Full story required a subscription to Stockwatch]

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Boylston woodlot owner loses land; province won’t reveal plans for the property

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
May 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

John Hall

John Hall thought he owned 120 hectares of woodland in Boylston. He and his family have cut wood off the land since his Loyalist ancestor Alveras Atwater was granted a neighbouring property in the late 1700s. But last June a surveyor from what was then called the Department of Natural Resources showed up at his door and said the province owns one-third — or about 40 hectares — of the land. “I told him it was mine, I have a deed, but he said they own it and he was surveying it anyway,” Hall said in a recent interview. What Stephen McNeil’s government now dubs the Department of Lands and Forestry wants with Hall’s 40 hectares isn’t clear because it won’t say. “As this is a case of claim being made against the province, the department can offer only a general comment on land claims,” said Lisa Jarret, who speaks for the department.

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Dark liquid in New Brunswick’s Restigouche River sparks worry for water safety

By Alison Jenkins
Cape Breton Post
May 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

ATHOLVILLE, N.B. — Some residents in Campbellton, N.B. were alarmed by the appearance of a dark liquid in the Restigouche River earlier this month. But the Department of Environment and Local Government says samples taken were within parameters. Local man Shawn Metallic snapped the photo that got the discussion started. His snapshots showed a molasses-coloured streak running along the waterfront park in Campbellton. Many speculated the streak originated from the Av Cell Inc. pulp mill, located upstream in Atholville. On Friday, May 24, the N.B. Department of Environment and Local Government confirmed the liquid did come from the Atholville facility. “I strongly believe they should not be allowed to dump anything in our waters. There has to be another method, like holding ponds,” Metallic said. It’s not the first time residents have voiced concern about mill effluent. [Story available for Cape Breton Post subscribers only]

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Canada Invests in Clean Innovation in the Forest Sector

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
May 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO — …Don Rusnak, MP for Thunder Bay–Rainy River, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’sMinister of Natural Resources, announced $2 million for FPInnovations at the official opening of its world-class, thermo–mechanical-pulp biorefinery (TMP-Bio) plant in Thunder Bay. This investment builds on the $5.8 millionpreviously provided by Canada for the pilot facility to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of green biochemicals derived from sustainably sourced Canadian wood. …The global shift toward a cleaner, greener economy is the opportunity of a lifetime. From May 27 to 29, 2019, Canada will welcome over 25 countries to this year’s Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation Ministerial to discuss a future that is cleaner, brighter and more prosperous for generations to come. 

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FPInnovations and Resolute Inaugurate Thermomechanical Pulp Bio-Refinery in Thunder Bay

By FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products
Cision Newswire
May 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO — FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products announced the commissioning of a new TMP-Bio plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario. With the capacity to treat 100 metric tons of biomass annually, the bio-refinery pilot plant produces lignin and sugars for use in the development of innovative bio-products, such as wood adhesives, animal feed and composites. The organizations joined forces in early 2018 to build the plant at Resolute’s Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill, focusing on developing new ways to efficiently manufacture and market innovative wood-based biochemical products. …TMP-Bio is a patented technology developed by FPInnovations for the commercial production of large quantities of bio-sourced chemicals, such as high-quality cellulosic sugars and H-lignin, and is a step towards opening up new markets for the forest products sector within the biochemical products supply chain.

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Trade War Leaves China Importers Struggling

Associated Free Press in Newsweek Pakistan
May 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

Xu Xuebing began importing U.S. wood products into Shanghai two years ago, anticipating sizable profits reselling to Chinese furniture manufacturers. Then the China-U.S. trade war started. Since Beijing began to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods last year, Xu has halted imports, his profits have plummeted, and he may soon need to raise his prices just to survive—which could kill off sales for good. Xu … doesn’t mince words over who’s to blame. “Trump is so bossy and irrational, it forces us to fight back,” he said. “Even though [China’s tariffs] do harm to our economy, we strongly support Uncle Xi and China’s tough stance in the trade negotiations,” he added, using the government-encouraged term of endearment for President Xi Jinping. …But the impact on small- to medium-sized Chinese businesses caught in the crossfire typically gets little attention, partly because China’s Communist government suppresses bad news.

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US Log Exports Dropped By One-Third in Q1 2019

By Paul Ploumis
Scrap Monster
May 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

SEATTLE: The latest trade statistics published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hints at notable decline in log export volume and value of exports during the first three-month period of the current year. The log exports from the country totaled 2.1 million cubic metres during this period, significantly lower by 33.2% when compared with the previous year. The total value of log exports too recorded sharp decline by 28.4% to $469.8 million during the initial quarter of 2019. According to USDA data, the U.S. log exports to Canada totaled 469,300 cubic metres, significantly lower by nearly 49% when matched with the corresponding quarter in 2018. Meantime, the log supplies to Canada averaged at $224 per cubic metre, surging higher by almost 127% year-on-year. As a result, the value of log exports edged higher by 16.2% over the previous year to total $105 million. Canada accounted for 22.7% of all log exports by the U.S. during Q1 2019.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Melbourne to get its first premium timber office tower

By Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review
May 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

GPT is seeking to bring city fringe chic to Melbourne’s retail heartland with the 19,400-square-metre timber office tower it plans to build on top of the Melbourne Central mall at 300 Lonsdale Street. …“Frame will feature abundant natural light and a warehouse-style environment, with the design of the building aimed to improve the sense of well-being of its occupants,” GPT’s head of office and logistics Matthew Faddy said. …”Clearly part of the marketing pitch is that it’s a CLT building,” Mr Johnston said at the time. “Certain tenants will like that sort of space and be prepared to pay a bit more.” .

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Forestry

Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Project Learning Tree News

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
May 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

The Green Ride for Green Jobs is on the Road: The Project Learning Tree Canada team is excited that the Green Ride for Green Jobs awareness campaign is rolling through its second week. This cross-country bike tour is encouraging youth to work in green jobs and help fill critical roles in forests and parks. Zac Wagman, PLT Canada’s Green Jobs Manager, is cycling from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland. Project Learning Tree: Over 100 participants from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Japan attended the 2019 PLT International Coordinators’ Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. The overall theme for the conference was PLT in a Changing World. And, Project Learning Tree recognized the educators who have made significant contributions to PLT with the Leadership in Education award. The awards were given to teachers who have taken very different paths to engage the next generation. Read the SFI News in Brief for more.

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Harvesting of blown-down wood in North Cowichan forest reserve begins

The Lake Cowichan Gazette
May 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The salvage of approximately 4,200 cubic metres of blown-down trees on Maple Mountain will begin this week. As well, a request-for-proposals to salvage approximately 1,800 cubic metres of blown-down trees on Stoney Hill and 1,000 cubic metres on Mount Tzouhalem is currently open for bids. …In March, North Cowichan’s council decided to proceed with just completing existing 2018 logging contracts within the 5,000-hectare municipal forest reserve in 2019, and to harvest trees that blew down or were heavily damaged in the 2018 windstorm in December. Council wanted time to consult with the public and determine the best use of the forest reserve before making plans for the future.

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Why investigating wildfires can be a ‘tough row to hoe’

By Mark Gollom
CBC News
May 28, 2019
Category: Forestry, Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As soon as the first reports came in about the northern Alberta wildfires, investigators were already collecting data as part of their hunt to determine the causes. They wanted to know, among other things, about the weather and any human activity in the area before the fire broke out.  …Before setting foot on either scene, wildfire investigators checked if there were any lightning strikes in the area in the past three weeks to a month. Wind speed, temperature, humidity and other weather data will help investigators understand the fire’s behaviour and provide some clues to the possible cause. …There are nine general fire causes which include campfires, lightning and problems with equipment — which can be broken down into smaller groups of causes, such as railways or hydro lines. Knowing that “helps us define what we’re finding out there, so that we’re working ourselves back to the origin,” Douglas said.

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BC Forest Practices Board to audit BC Timber Sales operations near Clearwater

BC Forest Practices Board
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) program and timber sale licence holders in the Clearwater Field Unit portion of the BCTS Kamloops Business Area during the week of June 3, 2019. Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, bridges, silviculture, fire protection activities and associated planning carried out from June 1, 2017, to June 7, 2019, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The audit area is in eastern British Columbia in the North Thompson River watershed, between Little Fort and Valemount. The area contains important caribou habitat and scenic areas, which require specific forest management considerations.

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Old-growth logging leaves black bears without dens: biologist

By Sarah Cox
The Narwhal
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildlife biologist Helen Davis has been fond of bears for as long as she can remember. …These days she hammers plywood roofs onto hollow stumps and builds plastic dens for black bears on Vancouver Island, where extensive clear-cutting of old-growth forests and the absence of rules to protect dens has left females with a severe housing shortage when it comes time to birth and nurture their cubs. …But there are no such protections for black bears — denning trees can be logged even when cubs inside are tiny….In April, Davis filed a complaint with B.C.’s Forest Practices Board, hoping the board would launch a special investigation. …The board rejected Davis’ request for a special investigation but agreed to look into her complaint. Forest Practices Board spokesperson Darlene Oman told The Narwhal the board’s investigation is still on-going and it has not yet issued a report.

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B.C. tree planters get training in sex assault prevention at remote camps

By Betsy Trumpener
CBC News
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hundreds of B.C. tree planters are being trained to stop harassment and prevent sex assaults in their remote work camps. Workshops — often inside makeshift tents with dirt floors — have been held at tree planting camps from Smithers through Clinton at the request of reforestation companies. “We’ve been running around like crazy, going to these very remote camps,” said Airika Owen, who is heading up the workshops run by a Smithers-based women’s group, Northern Society for Domestic Peace. …The conversations encompass consent and harassment, supporting victims and how bystanders can interrupt potential sexual assaults. …The tree planters’ “Camp Security” course …was adapted from a “Campus Security” workshop developed for rural students heading off to university. …”We’ve got the same demographics as the campuses,” agreed John Betts, with the Western Forestry Contractors Association… “We were coasting on the assumption that we’re pretty progressive. We’ve got up to 40 per cent of our crews made up of women. 

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Beetle destroying ash trees discovered in new neighbourhood, infestation numbers growing

By Beth Macdonell
CTV News
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The number of ash trees infested with emerald ash borer in Winnipeg is growing and the beetle which burrows under bark has been found kilometers from where it was initially discovered. Fifteen infested trees in the city have been confirmed. Thirteen of them were identified in the Archwoord area in 2018. Another two have since been discovered on Marion Street. The beetle is also on the move. The City of Winnipeg said in summer 2018 an adult beetle was found as part of its monitoring program in Windsor Park, five kilometres from the Archwood where the infestation was first detected. …The city said to slow the spread of the beetle it has injected about 1100 ash trees with insecticides to help give them temporary protection.

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BC Timber Sales claims Elphinstone Logging Focus petition ‘lacks merit’

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Timber Sales (BCTS) response to Elphinstone Logging Focus’s (ELF) court challenge of the auction of cutting rights on block A93884 in the Clack Creek area says the agency was acting within its authority and ELF’s petition for a judicial review “lacks merit.” In the petition filed with BC Supreme Court in Victoria on April 23, ELF argued that plans to harvest timber from the block should not move forward until the government acts on recommendations from a 2018 Forest Practices Board report on at-risk plant species, and the province and shíshálh Nation complete a new land use plan. BCTS went ahead with the auction and earlier this month it awarded the Squamish-based company Black Mount Logging the rights to remove roughly 29,500 cubic metres of timber. The company is not expected to start the work before September.

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Wildfire training scheduled on Whistler Blackcomb

By BC Fire Service
Government of British Columbia
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service will conduct a wildfire training exercise with Whistler Blackcomb resort staff and members of the Whistler Fire Rescue Service on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, near the top of the Fitzsimmons Express chairlift. This exercise will include small controlled burns that will start at about 10 a.m. and continue until early afternoon. BC Wildfire Service firefighters will monitor these fires at all times and ensure they are fully extinguished. Smoke will be visible in the Whistler area, but the resort will remain open to visitors. The Whistler Blackcomb resort is one of the largest employers and stakeholders in the area and operates under a commercial recreation agreement, which includes an obligation to assist with wildfire response. The small controlled burns will provide real-time training for responding to a wildfire.

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Public feedback invited into management of forests and range

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is inviting British Columbians to provide input into improving the Forest and Range Practices Act. “Making changes to the act is essential to strengthen government’s oversight of the forest sector and improve public trust in how our forests and rangelands are managed,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We want to improve the legislation to ensure it will continue to sustainably manage our forests and rangelands in the face of climate change.” A discussion paper, Forest and Range Practices Act Improvement Initiative: Renewal and Resilience, and feedback form are available online. Feedback can be provided until July 15, 2019. …Guiding principles for proposed changes include putting the resiliency of the land first, public trust, reconciliation with First Nations and scientific knowledge, as well as flexibility and adaptation.

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Caribou recovery deal could cut millions from South Peace economy and incomes, study finds

Alaska Highway News
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Implementing caribou recovery measures in the South Peace could cut tens of millions of dollars from the local economy as well as government and worker pocketbooks, a new study has concluded. The Peace River Regional District hired Stantec Consulting last year to study the socio-economic impacts of two agreements drafted to protect endangered herds around Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge. It’s separate from a similar study started by the federal and provincial governments in April. …The study predicts a dramatic drop in economic activity under the moratoriums, with estimates the annual allowable cut in the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area and Tree Farm Licence 48 could be reduced from 2.7 million cubic metres to 1.9 million — or a 29% drop.

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Sudbury-area tick tests positive for Lyme disease

CBC News
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Public Health Sudbury & Districts says a blacklegged tick in the area has tested positive for the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. The health unit says it is the first positive tick reported with the bacteria in the area this year. Burgess Hawkins with Public Health Sudbury & Districts says last year, no ticks in the area tested positive for Lyme disease. In 2017, there was one tick that tested positive, similar to 2016. Hawkins says many ticks with the bacteria may not be originally from this area. “They’re coming in things like migratory birds and then falling off,” he said. “They’re coming from the south, moving up.” In Ontario, blacklegged ticks carry the disease. The ticks are found on tall grass and are no larger than a pinhead. The health unit says in order for an infection to occur, a tick carrying the bacteria must attach itself to someone for more than 24 hours.

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Forest Talk Radio launches in North Bay

CBC News, Sudbury
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Many escape into the woods to find solitude but now there’s a way in the North Bay area to hear what trees are thinking along a trail. Forest Talk Radio is new feature at the Laurier Woods Conservation Area in North Bay. It was created by David Merleau, an independent media artist. Merleau says he first got the idea after watching a Ted Talk, which focused on how plants communicate. …He says he decided to focus on the Laurier Woods Conservation Area. …To listen in, users can download the Forest Talk Radio app onto their smartphones. “All you do is walk around and you find these hidden entries that are strewn throughout the trail,” he said. …From there, people get to hear what the trees are saying — or Merleau’s interpretation of what they are saying.

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Idaho, timber companies, ink access deal

The Missoulian
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A deal between timber companies and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game opens up almost a million acres of wild country in the northern part of the state, including areas bordering Montana. PotlatchDeltic Corp. agreed to leases with the state to preserve public access for hunting, fishing and trapping on 567,002 acres of private land in Benewah, Clearwater, Idaho, Latah and Shoshone counties, which extend from the Panhandle to Montana’s southwestern border with Idaho.In a separate deal expected to close in early June, a consortium of Stimson Lumber Co., Hancock Forest Management and Molpus Woodlands Group provides public access to more than 300,000 acres in Bonner, Boundary, Benewah, Shoshone and Kootenai counties.

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A forest ‘glow’ reveals awakening from hibernation

By University of Utah
Phys.org
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Winters in the northern hemisphere are brutal. …Forests also endure winter by conserving energy; they shut down photosynthesis. …The total production of chemical energy resulting from photosynthesis is called Gross Primary Production (GPP). GPP in evergreen forests tells scientists how much CO2 these vast and remote systems are breathing in. Because photosynthesis pulls CO2 out of the atmosphere, understanding forestactivity is crucial for tracking global carbon levels. …Photosynthesis occurs when the sun’s energy excites chlorophyll into a higher energy state. When the chlorophyll returns to its normal state it emits a photon, producing light too low for the naked eye. The resulting “glow” is the SIF. …A collaborative team of researchers used a scanning spectrometer on a tower to measure fluorescent “glow” throughout the season in a Colorado evergreen forest. …One of the ways plants protect themselves during the harsh winters is by deploying photoprotective pigments that act as “sunscreen.” 

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Logging forests isn’t going to solve fire problems

Letter by Orville Bach
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Michael Wright’s article about short-term interval fires in Yellowstone should be a game-changer for anyone who still doubts that we are witnessing dramatic changes in our climate.For one thing, the 2016 Maple Fire that burned a young 28 year-old lodge pole forest should offer proof that simply going out and logging trees does not prevent forest fires as two members of our congressional delegation, Steve Daines and Greg Giantforte, would have us believe. I wonder how many timber companies would bid on logging a 28 year-old forest? Some of the oldest and best climate data are right here in our backyard in Yellowstone National Park. …It should be required reading/viewing for politicians like Daines and Giantforte, who seem to think that all we have to do is log the forests to solve our problem with forest fires. Incidentally, northern Canada is already on fire (Google “fires in northern Canada”.)

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Amazon deforestation up 20% in past year, environmental watchdog says

Associated Press in CBC News
May 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Imazon, a non-governmental group that has monitored the Amazon rainforest for two decades said Monday that the pace of deforestation increased 20 per cent in the last nine months. Imazon said satellite imagery showed the region lost 2,169 square kilometres of forest from August through April, up from 1,807 square kilometres lost over the same period the previous year. The group’s monitoring year begins with August, to match Brazil’s dry season, when logging rates are usually at their highest. Analysts blame uncontrolled logging and land invasion for much of the loss, some of which occurred in protected areas and Indigenous reserves. …Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said earlier this month that he wanted to overhaul the Amazon Fund, an initiative created to contain deforestation in an area of nearly 7 million square kilometres. He was scheduled to meet Monday with representatives of the German and Norwegian governments, two of the fund’s main contributors.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

After coal, forest-rich Finland will need to import biomass to keep warm

By Lefteris Karagiannopoulos
Reuters
May 28, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

OSLO — Finland faces having to import biomass because, despite being Europe’s most densely forested country, it will be unable to meet an expected 70% rise in demand for the fuel after it phases out coal. Finland approved in February banning the use of coal in energy production by May 2029, which means utilities will have to find alternatives to keep Finns warm as coal currently accounts for around 20% of the energy used for household heating. As there are limited plans to use more gas to produce heat in Finland, and other sources such as solar and geothermal energy are not yet commercially viable, using more biomass is seen as the most economic way of meeting the country’s future energy needs. …Estimates shown to Reuters by Poyry consultancy… calculate that Finland will need 64 terawatt hours (TWh) worth of biomass in 2030 just for energy production, up from 38 TWh currently.

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Forest Fires

Warmer summer expected in the West spells bad news for forest fires

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
May 27, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

With the wildfire season already under way in BC and Alberta, Environment Canada is predicting a long, hot summer to come. The wildfire threat has already forced evacuations in northwestern Alberta and central BC, and the preliminary outlook for this summer points to worsening conditions, said David Phillips, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s senior climatologist. …“It’s ominous with regard to the forest-fire season.” …BC, most of the Prairies, all of the North, Atlantic Canada and a large part of Quebec can expect June, July and August to be warmer than normal, on average. …However, the Weather Network’s chief meteorologist Chris Scott predicts the wet weather that Ontario and Quebec have experienced in May will continue. …Mr. Scott said the Atlantic provinces can expect “generally near-normal temperatures,” while Northern Canada can “expect an above-normal fire season as you head west of Yellowknife, especially, and then into the Yukon.”

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Why investigating wildfires can be a ‘tough row to hoe’

By Mark Gollom
CBC News
May 28, 2019
Category: Forestry, Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As soon as the first reports came in about the northern Alberta wildfires, investigators were already collecting data as part of their hunt to determine the causes. They wanted to know, among other things, about the weather and any human activity in the area before the fire broke out.  …Before setting foot on either scene, wildfire investigators checked if there were any lightning strikes in the area in the past three weeks to a month. Wind speed, temperature, humidity and other weather data will help investigators understand the fire’s behaviour and provide some clues to the possible cause. …There are nine general fire causes which include campfires, lightning and problems with equipment — which can be broken down into smaller groups of causes, such as railways or hydro lines. Knowing that “helps us define what we’re finding out there, so that we’re working ourselves back to the origin,” Douglas said.

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Wildfire near Haines Junction, Yukon, grows to 137 hectares

CBC News
May 27, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire burning near Haines Junction, Yukon, grew to 137 hectares Monday morning. The fire, burning out of control approximately nine kilometres north of the village, is being driven by winds blowing north out of the Alsek Valley, said Mike Fancie, a spokesperson for Yukon Wildland Fire Management. “So long as that wind holds in that direction, which we’re confident that it will right now, the danger to the community is quite low,” he said. “If the wind changes, that will be a different story.” Fancie said the fire does not threaten people or property. He said helicopters are dropping water on the edge of the fire nearest to Haines Junction while heavy equipment and 20 firefighters battle the blaze on the ground.

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Washington faces an especially bad wildfire season

By Kimberly Cauvel and Kera Wanielista
The Herald Net
May 28, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

MOUNT VERNON — Wildfire responders in Western Washington are preparing for a particularly bad wildfire season. With less precipitation than normal so far in 2019 and snowpack in the North Cascades depleting rapidly, conditions are already abnormally dry and much of the western side of the state has been declared in or at risk of drought. “It’s going to be a dry summer and any outdoor burns are going to be risky,” Skagit County Deputy Fire Marshal Mark Anderson said. “We saw that in March.” …The state Department of Natural Resources — the state’s leading wildfire response force — fought 54 fires statewide in March, according to a news release. All but one was in Western Washington.

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