Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 30, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canada invests in Toronto’s Tall Wood future

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 30, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tall Wood is on the Up-and-Up in Toronto as evidenced by Canada’s investment in a planned 10-storey timber building. In related news: Northern Ontario needs a wood pipeline strategy; Australian-made CLT is put to the test; and US fire testing goes high-tech with 360-degree video.

In Business news: lumber shippers are feeling the pain of a possible lockout at Vancouver’s port; the US-China trade war cut Astoria’s log exports; Tolko’s Louisiana mill is now open for business; and a timber Ponzi scheme snags United Parcel Service workers in Mississippi. In Forestry/Climate news: Alberta declares disaster, public emergency due to wildfires; the Boreal forest experiences two district wildfire seasons; and a California study says thinning and prescribed fire reduced tree loss across the Sierra Nevada.

Finally, Bigfoot replaces Smokey Bear, and why banning paper receipts is nonsense legislation

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Bigfoot leads state’s effort to prevent wildfires, asks Oregonians to ‘believe’

By Douglas Perry
Oregon Live
May 29, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

Everybody knows Smokey Bear and his famous saying, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” The Oregon state fire marshal has decided his office can do even better. …Oregon Fire Marshal Jim Walker has recruited an even bigger celebrity – who happens to be a local resident – for his own fire-safety-awareness campaign: Bigfoot. …“Wildfires can easily be ignited by backyard burning; an unattended campfire; a hot car on tall, dry grass; or from dragging tow chains — and they spread fast,” Walker said in a statement. “We hope our Bigfoot campaign will draw attention and create a bigger ‘footprint’ of wildfire prevention efforts around the state.”Get it? A bigger footprint. 

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Business & Politics

Ratification of USMCA to dominate agenda as Trudeau, Pence meet in Ottawa

The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
May 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Justin Trudeau & Mike Pence

The ratification of the new North American trade agreement will dominate a packed agenda when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence meet today in Ottawa. …Trade will dominate their initial discussion, and while their focus will be on the pending ratification of the new continental trade pact, other remaining irritants will also be on the agenda, said a senior government official speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the talks. The ongoing softwood lumber dispute and future U.S. plans for tariffs on uranium imports, which would have a big impact if they applied to Canada, will also be raised, the official said. Pence and Trudeau will also discuss some larger, shared international concerns, including Canada’s ongoing tension with China, which has detained two Canadians on unspecified national security violations, said the official.

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Businesses are already feeling the pain of a possible lockout at Canada’s biggest port

By Jen St. Denis
The Star Vancouver
May 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—Somewhere at the Deltaport terminal, three containers full of lumber are sitting on the dock, waiting to be shipped to Pakistan. The abandoned containers were left behind when the vessel they were supposed to be loaded on suddenly pulled away from its berth earlier this week, taking only seven of a 10-container order from SPF Precut Lumber in Coquitlam. It’s an example of how a possible lockout, which could take effect at all B.C. ports on Thursday, is already affecting businesses that rely on the Port of Vancouver. Port labour is required for vessels to leave the terminal, said Mo Amir, office and sales manager for SPF Precut Lumber. …When the International Longshore and Warehouse Union issued a strike notice on May 10, SPF Precut expected… it could still ship through Centerm in downtown Vancouver or Fraser Surrey Docks.

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Sawmill a working tradition for Timmins family

By Maija Hoggett
Timmins Today
May 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Marc and Rene Picard

Since the 1950s, a member of the Picard family has been making a living at the Timmins sawmill. In 1976, Rene Picard was in his early 20s and needed a job. He wasn’t a ‘school person,’ and he had family working at the sawmill. He was hired; his job was piling lumber. From there, he did almost every production job possible until retiring a couple years ago after four decades at the mill on the banks of the Mattagami River. …The EACOM Timmins sawmill is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. That family atmosphere and opportunity for people working hard has been key to the site’s success. …“This place works because of the employees and the employees always had work, we’ve never shut down because it wasn’t a profitable mill,” said Fleury. To celebrate the mill’s centennial, a community celebration is being held this Friday, May 31

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Trade war chops off log revenue at Port of Astoria

By Edward Stratton
The Astorian
May 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The trade war between the U.S. and China could chop about one-third of the Port of Astoria’s projected pier revenue in the coming fiscal year. The Port… estimates Astoria Forest Products will send out 6.5 log ships over the coming year. Chad Niedermeyer… said the company would usually expect to send out between eight and 10. Port staff projected $1.3 million in pier revenue, down more than 28 percent from this year. …The majority of the loss in pier revenue comes from the lack of regular log ships. …With the decrease in ships, Astoria Forest Products has cut its workforce by 40 percent, Niedermeyer said. Chris Connaway, the president of the local longshore union, has reported members having to go far afield to find work.

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Nearly $1 million to be invested into timber jobs in Henry County

By Nathaniel Rodriguez
WDHN Dothan First News
May 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ABBEVILLE, Ala. — The Henry County economy will soon see a boost in job opportunities, thanks to a grant from Gov. Kay Ivey. The Community Development Block Grant will now invest $850,000 dollars into a timber business in Abbeville, providing at least 105 jobs to residents in the area. The money, which was given to the Henry County Commission, will “provide transportation construction assistance to ship lumber, timbers and posts produced at the new Abbeville Fiber plant.” The soon-to-be opened plant, a division of Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc., is set to produce 200,000 feet of finished wood per day. To supply this demand for finished wood, the sawmill will buy around $14-15 million of timber per year. This, in turn, will improve the market for timber suppliers from a 50-mile radius.

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LaSalle Parish is home to the state’s first lumber mill in over 2 decades

By Allison Bruhl
My Arklamiss.com
May 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

URANIA, Louisiana — Urania is now home to Louisiana’s first lumber mill in over two decades. Governor John Bel Edwards and LaSalle lumber company leaders celebrated the grand opening of the new facility sitting on 125 acres of land on Wednesday. …The sawmill project is a partnership between American-based Hunt Forest Products and Canadian lumber giant Tolko. “By working together these two family-owned companies are creating 115 jobs in the mill and other job and associated facilities and 300 indirect jobs,” Douglas George, Acting Consul General of Canada in Dallas, United States said. …Sourcing 850,000 tons of wood per year, Governor Edwards says it’s a power move to diversify the workforce and economy.

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UPS sued for workers’ role in $100M timber Ponzi scheme

The Associated Press in ABC News
May 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics, Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A UPS store in Madison, Mississippi, is being sued for its workers’ role in a Ponzi scheme that cost investors about $100 million. The Clarion Ledger reports New Orleans attorney Alysson Mills filed the lawsuit last week. The lawsuit says the store’s employees were complicit in a timber scheme in which about 300 investors were promised high interest rates. In reality, new money was used to pay old investors. The lawsuit says workers notarized fake timber deeds and attested that grantors-landowners appeared before them, even though “no grant-landowner ever personally appeared.” Scheme leader Arthur Lamar Adams is serving a 17-year sentence for wire fraud. …The newspaper says the store said it had no comment.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Northern Ontario needs a wood pipeline

By David Robinson, Laurentian University
Northern Ontario Business
May 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

David Robinson

Over the next 25 years, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will add population equal to the size of Toronto’s today. …That makes the GTA the most important emerging market in the world for Northern Ontario. It makes our strategy for the wood industry the key to Northern economic development. We have to build a wood pipeline from the vast resources of the North to the huge new market in the south. …Demand in this emerging market will not be for just any construction material; the massive construction project should be based on wood, and not steel and concrete. …The pipeline we need will not be made of Sault Ste. Marie steel. It will be a pipeline of brains and technology. It will be a pipeline of architects and developers, engineers and construction workers, sawmill and building inspectors who understand heavy wood construction.

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Canada Invests in Construction of Modern Tall Wood Building in Toronto

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
May 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – Investing in the long-term use of wood in Canada’s construction industry will increase the demand for Canadian wood products, create good, middle-class jobs for Canadians and help the Government of Canada achieve its climate change goals.  Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’sMinister of Natural Resources, today announced a $4.1-million investment to build a 10-storey tall wood building in Toronto. Construction of The Arbour, a $134-million project at George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus, will use an estimated 3,000 cubic metres of wood and will be a new, net-zero carbon emissions academic wood structure. Both during its construction and once complete, The Arbour will serve as a living laboratory where students and researchers will learn to design, construct, operate and monitor climate-friendly buildings. It will also house a new childcare facility to serve the growing community.

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Tall Wood is on the Up-and-Up in Toronto

By Natali Tarini
The Canadian Wood Council
May 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Arbour, a 10-storey building planned for George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus, is one of the winning recipients of the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program. Launched by Natural Resources Canada, the GCWood Program encourages the broader awareness and domestic capacity for wood in Canadian construction. The Arbour, which will use mass timber products, will demonstrate wood’s ability to complement other building materials in innovative applications such as tall construction. “Today’s GCWood Program announcement is about diversifying options for builders and architects in Canada, and providing them with the science, research and funding to support the advancement of wood in tall construction,” explained Rick Jeffery, Interim President at the Canadian Wood Council. “It’s important to note that tall buildings are hybrid buildings. With a gap existing between wood’s capabilities and its perceived capabilities in construction, programs such as GCWood assure that wood is included in the discussions pertaining to building material choices.”

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In the Eye of the Fire

By NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
Imperial Valley News
May 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Gaithersburg, Maryland – “In experimental fire research, some of the most compelling data you can get is the visual data from video and photography,” says Matt Hoehler, a research structural engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). …With a prototype camera system… he has succeeded not just in getting close to a fire, but inside it. So far, the system has captured mesmerizing 360-degree video from a burning room… a kitchen fire and, most recently, a forest fire. The footage allows a viewer to immerse themselves in the scene and shift their gaze in any direction to look at different aspects of the fire. At the NFRL, scientists and engineers develop ways to measure fire and its effects to help designers, engineers and emergency responders find the best ways to protect people, buildings and other infrastructure. 

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UPS sued for workers’ role in $100M timber Ponzi scheme

The Associated Press in ABC News
May 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics, Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A UPS store in Madison, Mississippi, is being sued for its workers’ role in a Ponzi scheme that cost investors about $100 million. The Clarion Ledger reports New Orleans attorney Alysson Mills filed the lawsuit last week. The lawsuit says the store’s employees were complicit in a timber scheme in which about 300 investors were promised high interest rates. In reality, new money was used to pay old investors. The lawsuit says workers notarized fake timber deeds and attested that grantors-landowners appeared before them, even though “no grant-landowner ever personally appeared.” Scheme leader Arthur Lamar Adams is serving a 17-year sentence for wire fraud. …The newspaper says the store said it had no comment.

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“Self-shaping” Urbach Tower twists itself into a unique, curvaceous shape

By Lucy Wong
Inhabitat
May 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood warping typically creates unwanted and undesirable effects, yet the creators behind a unique new landmark in Urbach, Germany have found a way to harness the naturally occurring deformity into an unexpected architectural possibility. The University of Stuttgart completed a nearly 47-foot-tall timber structure that gets its curvaceous form from the “self-shaping process” of its curved wood components. Constructed from spruce wood cross-laminated panels, the Urbach Tower is the first wood structure made from self-shaped components and offers a more sustainable alternative to energy-intensive, mechanically formed structures. …The landmark building’s prefabricated, self-shaping components are made from spruce wood CLT sourced regionally from Switzerland and CNC cut into 12 flat panels that deform autonomously into predicted curved shapes when dried. Computational models were developed to design, predict and optimize the material arrangement that would achieve the desired look through moisture-induced swelling and shrinking.

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How cross-laminated timber could change how Australian homes are built

By Jim Malo
Domain.com.au
May 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The way Australian homes are built could be changed forever, with new research into a type of engineered timber showing it could cement its place as an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete. Australian cross-laminated timber can replace concrete in many situations, including being used as a foundation for a house. Studies have already been conducted on European CLT, which is being used in towers and building extensions in Australia now. …Aurecon and Lendlease have used engineered timber in some builds already, and Aurecon director Kourosh Kayvani said he saw a bright future for CLT. …“The other element is the biophilic nature. People have better feelings in a building with exposed timber.” …Mr Kayvani said the main limit for its uptake in Australia was a lack of local production.

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Australian-made mass timber put to the test

Industry Update (Australia)
May 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Paul Kremer & Mahmud Ashraf

Engineering researchers at Deakin University have begun testing Australian-made cross-laminated timber, to ascertain the full potential of this innovative and environmentally friendly construction material. …Unlike in Europe, Australian CLT is made using different grades of timber lamellas. Because of the different timber species used… research is required to verify the relative performance of Australian-made CLT. …As part of a recently formed collaboration, XLam Australia supplied Deakin with 3.6t of CLT panels. …The researchers, led by Associate Professor Mahmud Ashraf from Deakin’s School of Engineering, will test and analyse the strength limits of CLT. Dr Paul Kremer, XLam’s Head of Marketing, Strategy and Sustainability, says the research at Deakin will help the industry continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.

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Forestry

Caribou Regional District to beef up crisis communications with new plan

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
May 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Deborah Wytrykush & Kristine Wilker

The Cariboo Regional District now has a formal communication plan in place for all crises, emergencies or disasters. “One of the recommendations from the Cariboo Chilcotin 2017 Wildfires Report, and a subsequent business plan goal for the communications department, was to create a crisis communication plan for the CRD,” said Emily Epp, manager of communications. …Deborah Wytrykush, regional entomologist, and Kristine Wilker, stewardship officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, gave the board a presentation on the various bark beetles in this region. …Wilker said the wildfires have changed the landscape and it will be a long time before the forests recuperate. …The two women also provided an update on local responses to the bark beetle infestations throughout the region.

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UBC Okanagan aspires to be world class

By Ron Seymour
The Kelowna Daily Courier
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Deborah Buszard

Directors of UBC Okanagan have exceedingly high hopes for the institution as they peer into the future. Within a few decades, West Kelowna council heard Tuesday, the university could be among the best in the world…. Deborah Buszard, UBCO principal, told West Kelowna council. …Buszard noted her own background at long-established universities such as Dalhousie and McGill. …Coun. Doug Findlater encouraged UBCO to do more collaborative projects with major West Kelowna businesses, such as Gorman Bros. Lumber and Bylands Nursery, which he said exported their respective products over a wide area. “We’ve got some very unique businesses here that have a long reach,” Findlater said.

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Douglas-fir beetle infestation is a provincial crisis: B.C. expert

By Tyler Harper
The Maple Ridge-Pitt meadows News
May 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The infestation of Douglas-fir bark beetles that took over 90 hectares of forest just outside Nelson is a sign of what one local expert calls an impending provincial catastrophe. Gerald Cordeiro, with Kalesnikoff Lumber, first alerted Nelson city council to the infestation in October 2017. On Monday he returned to say the infestation had been mostly been removed, but the entire region is vulnerable. …“It’s not on the scale of the mountain pine beetle, but fir forests are generally not on the scale of pine forests in B.C. Cordeiro said a cutting permit was granted by the forest ministry to remove infested trees. Trap trees, which are fallen healthy trees, were also used to attract beetles. …Douglas-fir bark beetles kill trees within one to two years, after which the infested wood cannot be salvaged.

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Fighting last summer’s wildfires cost $212M, but province saying little else

By Erik White
CBC News
May 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Jeff Yurek told the provincial legislature in the midst of last summer’s busy fire season that resources were in “good supply” and that crews “received the support they require.” He didn’t mention how much that would cost taxpayers. The next day, he announced an investment of an extra $100 million in forest fire fighting. In the past, Ontario governments didn’t make funding announcements when forest fire crews needed more than the base budget of $70 million. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry refused to answer CBC’s questions about how that emergency funding is allotted. But the ministry is saying that forest firefighting was $142 million over budget in 2018, for a total of $212 million. That’s about twice as much as each of the last five years.

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IKEA Canada recognized for environmental leadership by Tree Canada

By IKEA Canada
Cision Newswire
May 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

BURLINGTON, ON – This spring, IKEA Canada co-workers will join Tree Canada in 19 different communities across the country to plant trees and shrubs as part of the retailer’s ongoing commitment to people and planet. To mark over 23 years of partnership, Tree Canada will honour IKEA Canada with its Ultimate Award at the tree planting event held today in Burlington, ON at LaSalle Park. Since the partnership began in 1996, IKEA Canada co-workers have planted more than 55,000 trees, including 18,700 seedlings, and the company has contributed over $1 million toward greening local communities. “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Tree Canada, an organization which supports us in creating a positive impact on the planet,” said Melissa Mirowski, Sustainability Lead, IKEA Canada. “Our co-workers are our best sustainability ambassadors and look forward to coming together with Tree Canada every year to green our local communities.”

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Northwest First Nations protest provincial caribou strategy

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
May 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province’s rollout of a woodland caribou recovery strategy in northwestern Ontario threatens the gains made by First Nations in natural resource development, said the chief of the Red Rock Indian Band. Matthew Dupuis and a group of protesters were taking to the road to delay traffic and hand out information pamphlets on the Trans-Canada Highway at the Nipigon Bridge on May 29. They take issue with Ontario’s Woodland Caribou Conservation Plan to create corridors for woodland caribou that they say is potentially devastating to communities and industry along the north shore of Lake Superior. Despite the change in provincial government, Dupuis said Queen’s Park continues to push the caribou recovery strategy, particularly at the forest management planning level, in an effort to change the “landscape of this area and how it’s managed.” The Red Rock Indian Band is leading the fight against the caribou strategy.

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Thinning Forests, Prescribed Fire Before Drought Reduced Tree Loss

By Kat Kerlin
University of California Davis
May 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis. The study, published in the journal Ecological Applications, found that thinning and prescribed fire treatments reduced the number of trees that died during the bark beetle epidemic and drought that killed more than 129 million trees across the Sierra Nevada between 2012-2016. …The study also indicated that current rates of treatment are not sufficient to reduce the impacts of hotter droughts and large-scale bark beetle outbreaks. Expanding the use of managed fire under moderate fire-weather conditions, along with strategic thinning and prescribed burn treatments, may increase resilience across the forest, the researchers said.

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Here’s what you need to know about sudden oak death and what to do if your tree has it

By Sarah Bowman
IndyStar
May 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A dangerous disease that can kill oak trees has been detected in plants that have been sent to 10 states across the U.S., including Indiana. More than 70 Walmarts and 18 Rural Kings received rhododendrons infected with sudden oak death in the last several weeks.  The fungal pathogen has killed large tracts of oaks along the West Coast, and both federal and state officials are now working to contain it from spreading in Indiana and other affected states.  Here is what you need to know about sudden oak death and what to do if you believe your tree might be infected. Sudden oak death is a forest disease affecting oak trees that is caused by a fungal pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum. It is most common along the West Coast, as it enjoys damp, cool and windy conditions. This disease is different than oak wilt, which can be found in the Midwest. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change is a big factor in Alberta’s wildfires – but not in the way you might think

By Glenn McGillivray, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.
The Globe and Mail
May 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Glenn McGillivray

A large wildfire in Alberta in May? This must be the work of climate change, right? …Much of Western Canada actually experiences two distinct wildfire seasons. There’s the late summer/early fall season that most people are familiar with. But areas close to or in the boreal forest, like northern Alberta, are currently in the midst of the lesser-known wildfire season, the period after the snow stops but before the forest greens up and sequesters the moisture that makes intense fires less likely. …Climate change is a force multiplier: It doesn’t directly produce severe weather, but it does nurture and amplify it. It takes something that likely would have happened anyway and makes it worse. …making severe-loss events more likely to happen. …Fire has been a critical part of our ecosystem since long before we came around. [Fire doesn’t] seek out our communities – it’s that humans have put communities in its way.

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Canada Leads the World in Accelerating a Clean Energy Future

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
May 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Amarjeet Sohi

VANCOUVER — A global energy transition is fundamentally changing the way we produce and consume energy. In a world increasingly seeking clean, affordable and reliable energy sources, Canada is positioned to become a supplier of choice. …Driven by the need to address climate change and other environmental concerns, as well as by rapidly changing markets and technologies, Canada committed to being a clean energy leader by taking concrete steps to develop policies and make investments that will lead to:

  • Smarter energy use for our homes, buildings, transportation and industry
  • Clean energy powering our communities and businesses;
  • Use of more renewable fuels, including biomass and renewable natural gas
  • Greater market access for our energy products, technologies and services

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Roadless areas are nature’s climate solutions

By Dominick DellaSala, William Ripple & Franz Baumann
The San Francisco Examiner
May 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Scientists are now saying that pristine areas, like roadless areas and unlogged forests, can buy us time as we transition to a carbon-free economy but only if protected from relentless development. Unfortunately, the fate of millions of acres of roadless areas in Alaska and Utah is now at risk from the Trump administration’s efforts to upend one of the nation’s landmark conservation achievements – the Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2000. …Anyone in the Bay Area who cares about wild spaces ought to be alarmed by the pending extinction crisis and the administration’s efforts to usher in clearcut logging and road building in Alaska’s coastal temperate rainforests and Utah’s roadless forests. Here’s why. Muir Woods National Monument… these ancient forests function as a regionwide carbon warehouse, quietly absorbing and storing more carbon per acre than just about any forest on Earth.

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AB161 is much worse than just another piece of nonsense legislation

By Susan Shelley
The Orange County Register
May 28, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…First it was plastic grocery bags. Then plastic straws. And now, California is looking at banning paper receipts. Assembly Bill 161 would make it illegal for stores to print a paper receipt unless a customer specifically asks for one, or unless state or federal law requires it… The bill has already passed the Assembly and is working its way through the state Senate. According to the American Forest and Paper Association, the U.S. economy creates 181,000 tons of paper receipts annually. …The cost of the bill, if enacted into law, would be very high. Retailers of all types would have to buy equipment in order to convert to electronic receipt technology. …Green America, the group that wrote the “Skip the Slip” claimed that an estimated 10 million trees were cut down every year to provide the paper used in receipts in the U.S. …AB 161 would shield retailers from consumer privacy laws, but the privacy concerns raised by asking consumers to give up that data have not been addressed.

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Forest Fires

Northern Alberta wildfires prompt Kenney government to declare disaster, public emergency

By Phil Heidenreich
Global News
May 30, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As wildfires continue to rage in northern Alberta, and prompting more evacuation orders on Wednesday, the provincial government has officially declared the situation both a public emergency and a disaster. The public emergency order was declared by Alberta’s agriculture and forestry minister while the disaster order was declared by the municipal affairs minister. The orders, declared under Section 7 of the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act, were prompted by what the government called the “extraordinary losses, damages and costs, including prevention, presuppression, suppression, reclamation and reforestation costs, resulting from wildfires” this year. The government also cited the emergency response costs. …According to Alberta Wildfire, there were 25 active wildfires across the province as of 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Of those, six had been sparked in the last 24 hours and seven were considered to be out of control.

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Prescribed burns among measures West Kelowna to use to cut fire risk

By Ron Seymour
The Kelowna Daily Courier
May 29, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fires that are deliberately set and controlled could save West Kelowna from a devastating conflagration in the future, members of city council say. So-called prescribed burns… will be lit to better fire-proof the community even though councillors know the practice could be controversial. Some people may not like the smoke produced by deliberately set fires and they may worry about the potential of deliberately set blazes to get out of control, Coun. Doug Findlater said. …Fire Chief Jason Brolund outlined the ways in which the department will attempt to reduce the wildfire risk in West Kelowna, working on both public land and — for the first time — on select private properties….Twenty grants of $500 each will also be available.

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Pikangikum First Nation calls for more evacuation help as fire nears

CBC News
May 30, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the forest fire continues to grow in Pikangikum First Nation, officials at the City of Thunder Bay are preparing to host approximately 300 people from the northwestern Ontario First Nation community over the next 48 hours. Officials in the fly-in community, which is located approximately 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay, called for more planes Thursday morning to help people get out of the community as a forest fire makes its way closer. According to a written release from the city, Thunder Bay will also serve as a transportation hub to assist with travel to other host communities across the province. “Thunder Bay’s Emergency Operations Control Group is very experienced in dealing with these types of emergencies,” Mayor Bill Mauro stated in Thursday’s release.

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After Paradise, Living With Fire Means Redefining Resilience

By Eric Westervelt
Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 29, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Dan Efseaff

Dan Efseaff, the parks and recreation director for the devastated town of Paradise, Calif., looks out over Little Feather River Canyon in Butte County. The Camp Fire raced up this canyon like a blowtorch in a paper funnel on its way to Paradise… Efseaff is floating an idea [of] paying people not to rebuild in this slice of canyon: “The whole community needs some defensible space,” he says. …“There are areas you just don’t build in,” he says. …He is up against the two-centuries-old American ethos to build, build, build, no matter the costs or the wisdom. …Politicians vow to rebuild. …But wildfire and recovery experts warn that this immediate impulse to re-create what was there before the disaster is misguided, expensive and dangerous. There need to be more areas where building is limited, they argue, especially with the extraordinary buildup of forest fuels and a warming climate.

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