Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 10, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC’s communities wonder whose sawmill will fold next?

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

As the amount of trees available for logging plummets, BC’s communities wonder whose sawmill will fold next? In related news: Steelworkers advice for the newly unemployed; Canada’s Whac-a-Mole trade strategy is in crisis; and Vietnam cracks down on relabeled Chinese timber products destined for the USA.

In Forestry news: Tom Fletcher on the Sierra Club’s orchestrated fundraising protest; Ben Parfitt on BC’s lack of protection for whitebark pine; Nova Scotia ENGO’s search for endangered birds to halt loggers; and New Brunswick’s decision to reduce herbicide spraying. Elsewhere: how the forest fire season is changing across Canada; researchers link Alberta wildfires to climate change; and why North America’s older forests are less vulnerable to increases in temperature and precipitation.

Finally, wood carvers turn invasive species into cutlery, eagles and more.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada’s Whac-a-Mole trade strategy is a losing game

By Carlo Dade, University of Ottawa
The Globe and Mail
June 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Carlo Dade

The global rules-based trade system upon which Canada has relied to manage risk and encourage its exporters to go abroad is in profound crisis. …Government and industry have been focused on tamping down the trade crisis of the moment. But the country can only play Whac-a-Mole for so long. …The simple solution being proposed for all this – diversification – is not a satisfactory response, if it means simply moving trade from one country that is a serious risk to another country that is even riskier. …When our current trade spat with China ends, Canadian canola producers will rush back to China and when conditions improve in India lentil producers will rush back in. Canadian softwood producers have charged in every time there is a break in U.S. softwood tariffs – only to wind up worse off when political winds in the U.S. change. …We need new thinking about how to truly help those harmed by global trade. [to access full story a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Hundreds of British Columbians lost their jobs in recent sawmill closures: Now what?

By Courtney Dickson
CBC News
June 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 400 mill workers in B.C. are trying to figure out what comes next. …Terry Tate has worked in the forestry industry for 48 years and now works for the United Steelworkers, helping employees make the transition after layoffs. His biggest piece of advice for those feeling uncertain? Don’t panic. …When a mill closure is announced, a transition team is formed, made up of representatives from the relevant government ministries, Service Canada, WorkBC and other key players. They work quickly to come up with an action plan to identify the needs of the people in the mill so they can move them as smoothly as possible into whatever might come next. “The biggest concern is obviously, you know, ‘What do I do next?'” Tate said. “For some people that have never been unemployed this is a very, very stressful time.” 

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Mackenzie Pulp Mill fined

The Prince George Citizen
June 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mackenzie Pulp Mill Corporation was slapped with $81,100 worth of fines for violating environmental regulations, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said. The fines were issued during the latter half of 2018 for failing to maintain a recovery boiler and failing to comply with permit limits for bivalent sulphur compounds and particulate matter. (End of Story)

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Mattawa ecology centre honours former Tembec boss

Northern Ontario Business
June 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A main building at the Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC) is being named on its 20th anniversary to honour forest industry stalwart Frank Dottori. Located within Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, west of the Town of Mattawa, the Canadian Ecology Centre is a non-profit organization providing environmental education programming. Known as one of the founders of Tembec Inc. (now Rayonier Advanced Materials), a leading forest products producer, Dottori has been a driving force behind sustainable forestry in Canada. Within its evolution, he was an early supporter of the centre and its environmental education programs. “It is because of Frank Dottori that the CEC is here today, and we are pleased to have his name affixed to one of our main buildings,” said Bill Steer, the centre’s general manager and originator of the concept, in a news release.

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John Allen to retire after a career protecting the forests

By Michael Kohn
The Bend Bulletin
June 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

For 40 years, John Allen dedicated his life to protecting the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Now he plans to spend his time skiing, hiking and fishing in the same places he worked to safeguard. Allen, the forest supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest since 2007, announced his retirement Friday, according to a press statement. His final day on the job will be June 21. Holly Jewkes, the deputy forest supervisor for the Willamette National Forest, will replace Allen, according to Jean Nelson-Dean, public affairs officer for the Deschutes National Forest. Allen, 62, worked for the Deschutes National Forest during a time of economic changes and rapid population growth in Central Oregon.

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For B.C.’s forestry-dependent communities, the storm has arrived

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
June 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, US West

…Across British Columbia’s Interior, forestry-dependent communities are waiting to see whose mill will be next. Analysts predict – and nobody is arguing – that between seven and 12 sawmills are going to fold as the amount of trees available for logging plummets in the wake of the pine-beetle infestation, massive forest fires and other climate calamities. Change is coming. The question is how these communities will adapt. Merlin Blackwell is mayor of the District of Clearwater, whose community includes Vavenby. …When the province sends its economic transition team – which it will – Mr. Blackwell is ready with a list. …Bob Simpson was once dubbed “Chicken Little” in B.C.’s Legislature for warning, back in 2004, that this was coming. …But there is still more pressure to come. This month, B.C. Premier John Horgan will have to decide whether he will implement a draft plan to save the southern mountain caribou. [to access full story a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Vietnam to crackdown on Chinese goods relabeled to beat U.S. tariffs

By James Pearson, Mai Nguyen and Simon Cameron-Moore
Reuters in the Chronicle Herald
June 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HANOI — Vietnam has said it will crack down on goods of Chinese origin illegally relabeled “Made in Vietnam” by exporters seeking to avoid U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports. Vietnamese customs have found scores of such cases. …”The faking of origin and the illegal transshipment of goods happens most often in the sectors of textiles, seafood, agricultural products… and timber products.” …In one such example, which the statement said was uncovered by U.S. customs, a Vietnam-based manufacturer of timber products was found to have been importing Chinese timber which it then relabeled and exported to the United States. …Vietnam has emerged as one of the largest beneficiaries of the trade war between Beijing and Washington as some businesses are shifting their supply chains away from China in order to avoid tariffs.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Mountain Equipment Co-op’s new Vancouver flagship store set to open this fall

By Kenneth Chan
The Daily Hive
June 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Construction on Mountain Equipment Co-op’s (MEC) new Vancouver flagship store in the Olympic Village district is nearing an end, ahead of the planned Fall 2019 opening. …The new purpose-designed retail building for MEC spans 60,000 sq. ft. over three levels. This project was first announced in 2015, and construction began in Fall 2017. …Designed by Proscenium Architecture & Interiors (PAI), the new store — a wood building using cross-laminated timber panels — is aiming for a LEED Gold green building standard. PAI is also behind the design of MEC’s office headquarters in the False Creek Flats, and three newer store locations in North Vancouver, Kelowna, and Edmonton.

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Federal Government Helps Grow International Markets for Canadian Wood Products

Cision Newswire
June 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

MISSION, BC – As the world shifts to a low-carbon future, getting clean Canadian goods to international markets is of vital importance. By promoting innovative forest products from our sustainably managed forests, we are expanding market access and creating jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians. Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced over $8.5 million to help strengthen Canadian wood product exports.  he investment will support the Canada Wood Group — which brings together industry associations — in diversifying and expanding Canadian forest product exports to traditional and emerging offshore markets. Support will enable market research; assist in the transfer of technology; advance codes and standards that will increase the use of wood in construction; and deliver training in wood design and construction in China, Japan, South Korea, India and Europe

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B.C. sculptor depicts epic eagle battle in latest piece that took 2,500 hours

BC Local News
June 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two bald eagles battle in the sky. Their long wings clash like great swords while their quick beaks pick and tear at one another. They whirl and dance, press together and swoop apart. Clasped in one of the raptor’s talons is each one’s desire: a living venomous diamondback rattlesnake. …Comox sculptor Wes Seeley has had about 2,500 hours to consider their struggle. The life-sized wooden sculpture, which is really two eagle sculptures connected at the wings, took him a year to build. From his working days on a boom boat, Seeley would observe the graceful movements of soaring bald eagles. He would listen to their guttural and shrill calls, and witness their ferocity and dominance of the sky. Now in his retirement he brings those memories to life again. The representations are made from the trees on which eagles waited to spy their next prey.

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Parksville carver turns invasive species into cutlery and more

Nanaimo News Bulletin
June 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Francois Lavigne

It may come as a surprise that Vancouver Island is home to its own ‘ivory’ trade. Fortunately, it’s cruelty-free and doesn’t come from elephants or rhinos. However, the material is still highly contentious in these parts. For the past two-and-a-half years, Francois Lavigne has been hard at work etching out a niche for himself. He’s a wood carver whose primary material these days comes from the trunk of the notorious invasive plant, Scotch broom. He calls his product ‘Island Ivory.’ …The finished product is smooth and glossy, a far cry from the scraggly roadside growth that’s brought the ire of many environmentalists since its introduction from Europe in 1850. Lavigne says he started to carve the wood because it was cheap and plentiful. …He mainly makes spoons and knife-like spreaders, but also dabbles in other small items like hairpins and barrettes.

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Barking flats fire: Residents had safety concerns before blaze

BBC News
June 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Residents at a block of flats engulfed by flames said concerns were raised with builders and the council about potential fire hazards. Twenty flats with wooden balconies were destroyed and another 10 damaged in the fire in east London, Barking on Sunday. Resident Rachel Mendez said: “The fire spread so so quickly. I can’t even explain. It was just an inferno.” …The residents’ association treasurer, Venilia Batista Amorim, said questions were raised over the timber frames and wood cladding of the block following the fire at Grenfell Tower. She said residents were reassured by Bellway Homes the materials complied with fire regulations. “We were told that in the event of a fire, the materials – supposedly fire resistant – would give residents at least 30 minutes to evacuate. “As we have seen, the block was engulfed in flames in about two minutes.”

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NZI architectes uses wood and straw to fabricate social housing in france

Design Bloom
June 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Given a brief to design 13 individual social houses for a site in nogent-le-rotrou, france, NZI architectes took the opportunity to explore innovative and ecological construction techniques. with this in mind, the resulting project uses wood and straw – providing the possibility to completely prefabricate large areas of walls in the factory. utilizing these methods and materials allowed for reduction in costs and time spent on-site, all the while limiting the use of unsustainable resources. …The houses are formed in a typical pitched roof profile, evoking the symbolic image of ‘home’. sloped to varying gradients, a dynamic rhythm is created by the diversity in style. clad in timber, the potential monotony of the 13 houses is also broken up thanks to the variation in finishes. from natural, charred to white-stained wood, the combination makes for an interesting visual display and helps to form a relationship between the urban and natural environment.

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Forestry

B.C. allows logging, mining companies to cut down thousands of endangered trees

By Ben Parfitt
The Narwhal
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tens of thousands of some of Canada’s most imperiled trees are being logged in BC despite the federal government listing them as endangered seven years ago. The companies doing the logging include a major forest company and an international mining giant. None have been ordered to curb their logging activities or faced penalties for doing so. An investigation by The Narwhal shows that since 2012, the year the federal governmentformally designated whitebark pine as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, more than 19,000 cubic metres of the trees have been logged in B.C. …The amount of whitebark pine logged is tiny compared to B.C.’s total log harvest. But given the dire threats the tree faces, any logging has “extreme” consequences, the federal government says. …Dawn Makarowski, a public affairs officer with B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, said that the ministry is “currently working on an implementation plan” for whitebark pine.

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Urban environmental ‘emergency’ routine wears thin

By Tom Fletcher
Kelowna Capital News
June 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan & Interfor employees

“Everybody wants to save the Earth. Nobody wants to help Mum do the dishes.”  …That statement rings truer today than it did 25 years ago, as urban feel-good gestures and emotion-driven protests replace old-fashioned facts and hard work to pick up litter, plant trees or take plastic packaging back to the store that sold the items. It has been another tough week for the B.C. forest industry, as it deals with the long-expected decline in Interior log supply after widespread mountain pine beetle impact, continued punitive tariffs orchestrated by U.S. competitors, and the NDP government’s steeply increased stumpage on coastal B.C. logs.  …So what was all over our urban media? Another tired, orchestrated fundraising protest staged by Sierra Club B.C. at 17 strategically chosen MLA offices around the province.  …I’ve written before about the vast protected areas in B.C., and the tactics of professional protesters to set up at the edge of each one and declare it’s not enough. 

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Whistler’s BioBlitz talks old-growth logging

By Clare Ogilvie
Whistler Pique Magazine
June 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andy McKinnon

Whistler’s 13th annual BioBlitz got under way this weekend with a presentation aimed at drawing attention to the plight of old-growth forests in B.C. “It is not what should ever be characterized as sustainable resource management,” said Andy MacKinnon of logging old-growth forests. MacKinnon, a retired professional forester, professional botanist and councillor for the District of Metchosin on Vancouver Island told a packed conference room on June 7, “I have been banging my head against the wall through two successive governments in a decade (on this issue), and the current NDP government is logging at least as much and maybe a little bit more old-growth than the previous Liberal government. “There are times when I think that the most important purpose that big trees and old trees serve is to inspire people to wonder, and to inspire people to want to conserve.”

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Naturalists comb Nova Scotia woods for birds in bid to halt loggers

By Michael Tutton
CBC News
June 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Naturalists are listening for and spotting migratory songbirds … in an effort to halt logging of a Nova Scotia forest containing old hardwoods. …WestFor Management Inc. [said] cutting would resume as early as Monday… Scott Leslie, natural history author, said he spotted or heard over a dozen species in the area that faces harvesting… Gregory Heming, a municipal councillor, said other biologists and naturalists are headed into the woods over the weekend with the goal of showing that the logging will disturb habitat for nesting migratory birds. …The province’s Forestry Department says the approval for the logging has taken the bird habitat concerns into account, and that a partial cut is a good example of selective forestry. However, wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft, a former provincial government employee, said he called the RCMP and Environment Canada on Friday to ask them to enforce provisions of the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

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Province announces reduction of herbicide spraying in New Brunswick

By Shane Fowler
CBC News
June 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick — The province announced Friday it will be reducing the use of herbicidal spray this year. Two government departments announced the controversial spraying of glyphosate would be reduced in their respective areas. Critics are saying it’s a step in the right direction, but they are still calling for an outright ban on spraying. Licences to spray glyphosate are approved by the provincial government each year for widespread use by the forestry industry as well as NB Power to stem plant growth or encourage selective growth for certain tree species. Glyphosate has been classified as a “probable carcinogenic” by the World Health Organizationand the state of California as well as being banned in several areas across the globe, including Crown land in Quebec. 

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State to begin treatments to disrupt gypsy moth mating

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State officials plan to begin aerial treatments aimed at disrupting gypsy moth mating on more than 61,000 acres (95 square miles) in 12 Ohio counties across the state. The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs and can permanently damage or kill them. The Ohio Department of Agriculture release says the organic product used in the treatments set to begin June 12 slows the spread of the moths by confusing the males as they search for a female mate. It doesn’t kill the moths.

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New law requires wildfire prevention corridors

By Bridget Mire
NBC News
June 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State Rep. Joel Kretz

OLYMPIA — During the 2015 Okanogan Complex Fire, state Rep. Joel Kretz saw where a fire line was put in Aeneas Valley. “There was a cooperative effort done down there between the feds, the state and private landowners where they had — I don’t know how many miles long it was — a corridor,” said Kretz, R-Wauconda. “They’d gone in and actually managed, thinned the timber out, taken a lot of the ladder fuel out. …That’s why he sponsored House Bill 1784, which Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed and will go into effect July 28. The state Legislature unanimously passed the bill. The new law will require the state Department of Natural Resources to create wildfire prevention corridors every year. Land managers will have to decide where best to put corridors, Kretz said.

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SOOKE HISTORY: Jordan River forestry a contrast in decades

By Elida Peers
The Sooke News Mirror
June 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, US West

I was invited to accompany a group of private forest land holders last week on an excursion… the historic log sort area at Jordan River. We had a great field trip, with me enjoying expounding on our district’s early forest history, explaining that the hotel site was in view of the very beginnings of the industrial forest history of B.C. – the steam-powered sawmill of the John Muir family. When the bus tour reached Jordan River, we met Loren Perraton, of Canadian Overseas Log and Lumber. …It brought me back to the early days of B.C.’s forest industry, when in 1909 seven miles of logging railway carried the forest harvest down to tidewater at the river mouth. The logs were boomed and then towed by tugboat east towards Victoria’s sawmilling markets.

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Fire season is here: Where’s the action?

By the Editorial Board
Mail Tribune
June 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We told you we would hold elected officials accountable for what they do or don’t do to address fire… Here’s an update: President Trump’s Agriculture secretary has proposed closing Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs) operated by the Forest Service that train at-risk young people in forestry and firefighting skills and provide extra help on the fire lines. …Rep. Greg Walden, who as the only Republican member of the Oregon delegation … was silent on the Job Corps move. …Equally futile is Sen. Jeff Merkley’s bill to spend $1 billion to fund collaborative fuel-reduction projects and award grants to counties for fuel-reduction work. …State Rep. Pam Marsh gets top marks for her efforts to include $6.8 million in the state budget …to help the Oregon Department of Forestry get the jump on fires, implement smoke shelters in communities… and put more resources on fire lines to keep fires from growing.

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Tester re-launches Blackfoot-Clearwater bill

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
June 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jon Tester

BONNER — Citing a decade of groundwork, Sen. Jon Tester has reintroduced his Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act in another attempt to protect wilderness and recreation features around the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.More than 100 supporters filled the KettleHouse Brewery taproom here on Friday to cheer the announcement. Among the first to speak was Pyramid Mountain Lumber Chief Operating Officer Loren Rose, who recalled how timber workers teamed up with wilderness advocates to create an award-winning forestry project based on Tester’s unsuccessful Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. He compared that to a three-legged stool, supported by logging work, recreation opportunities and wilderness protection.  …Tester’s bill would add 80,000 acres of federal wilderness on the mountain faces of the Clearwater and Blackfoot river valleys. It would also create designated mountain bike and snowmobile recreation areas north of Ovando totaling about 5,800 acres.

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The story behind Maine’s Timber Tina and her lumberjack show

By Rosemary Lausier
The Bangor Daily News
June 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Every summer as my family and I drove back and forth from Acadia National Park. …But there was always one place that I was desperate to visit: Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Trenton. Born and raised in Maine, I knew of the rich logging history of our state and how Maine was the birthplace of the lumberjack legend, Paul Bunyon (sorry Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin). But what exactly was a Lumberjack Show? A few years ago, I finally went and it was nothing like I had expected. A group of Lumber “Jacks” and “Jills”, led by Timber Tina Scheer, then famous to me as the woman from “Survivor: Panama,” demonstrated a number of lumberjack sports from log rolling and log climbing, to ax throwing and crosscut sawing.

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Auburn University forestry professor comments on potential shortage of loggers in US

By Tom Gallagher, University of Auburn
Alabama News Center
June 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Tom Gallagher

What is the national outlook for filling logging jobs? …The national outlook is not positive at this time. The younger generation is not interested in working in the woods, partly because of not being aware and partly because it is a tough environment. Several programs are being implemented to address the first reason. …We are just observing many loggers and equipment operators at the end of their careers, and the industry is concerned with who will step up and take over harvesting. Has the timber industry faced this type of shortage in the past? …Not in modern times because mechanization has been very beneficial to our industry. How would a shortage of loggers affect timber production? …A shortage of loggers will make prices rise, just like any commodity with a supply-and-demand situation.

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Nearly Half of Companies With Deforestation Risk Aren’t Addressing It

By Steve Zwick
Ecosystem Marketplace
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Deforestation and illegal agriculture still account for roughly 20 percent of all greenhouse gasses. …New research by the Forest Trends Supply Change initiative, however, shows that 44 percent of the 865 companies most associated with deforestation risk haven’t made any public commitments to reduce that risk. Specifically, according to analysis summarized in “Targeting Zero Deforestation,” just 484 of the 865 companies that Supply Change identifies with the most forest-risk exposure have committed to sourcing commodities sustainably. …Authors speculate that the low number of commitments related directly to deforestation may reflect a lack of consensus on what, exactly, constitutes a forest – a surprisingly contentious issue reflecting wide variance in tree height, density, and past human contact.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Earlier, later and less predictable: How the forest fire season is changing — and why

By Bartley Kives
CBC News
June 10, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Across much of Canada — and particularly in the west … climate change has pushed the start of fire season up to the edge of winter, extended it into the fall and made the entire season less predictable. “It seems to be starting earlier, almost every year, and quite often it’s before the provinces actually have their staffing up for their wildfire initial attack teams,” said Bruce Morrison, chief of the volunteer Southeast Whiteshell Fire Department. …Manitoba is by no means alone, as Alberta and B.C. can painfully attest in recent years. Alberta has moved the start of its wildfire season up to March 1 to get in front of increasingly frequent late-winter fires. Climatologists and forest experts are all but certain of the cause of the longer, less predictable and more extreme fire season: Canada is getting warmer.

 

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Alberta wildfires linked to climate change, scientist says

By Colette Derworiz
CBC News
June 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

As another extreme fire season starts with more people on the run, scientists say they’re already seeing signs that climate change is playing a role again. Recent fires have been connected to climate change in two separate research papers published earlier this year by scientists with Environment and Climate Change Canada. In May 2016, a wildfire near Fort McMurray forced more than 80,000 people to flee the northern Alberta city, destroyed 2,400 buildings and burned nearly 6,000 square kilometres of forest. A year later, the fire season in British Columbia broke records as 2,117 blazes consumed more than 12,000 square kilometres of bush. “We are seeing climate change in action,” said University of Alberta wildland fire Prof. Mike Flannigan. “The Fort McMurray fire was 1 1/2 to six times more likely because of climate change. The 2017 record-breaking B.C. fire season was seven to 11 times more likely because of climate change.”

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Undergrad gets her hands dirty learning about redwoods

By Jennifer McNulty
UC Santa Cruz
June 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Lilianne de la Espriella

For Lilianne de la Espriella, doing independent, hands-on research as an undergraduate meant literally getting her hands dirty. De la Espriella gathered and analyzed soil samples from redwood forests as part of her investigation of the ecological significance of coastal redwoods, the iconic trees that grow only from Big Sur to southern Oregon. “People love redwoods—we call them charismatic megaflora. They’re like the polar bears of plants,” she said. “They give you a sense of awe.” …”I wanted to emphasize the importance of natural spaces,” said de la Espriella. “Setting aside wild spaces and respecting nature is so important, but it’s hard to make a case for conservation. How do you communicate the importance of wild spaces in a contemporary way? Climate change is exacerbated by deforestation.”

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Older forests resist change—climate change, that is

By the University of Vermont
Phys.org
June 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests—particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity—new University of Vermont research finds. The study, to be published in Global Change Biology‘s June 12 edition, analyzed how climate change is expected to impact forests across the eastern United States and Canada. It found that increased forest age reduces the climate sensitivity of forest carbon, timber, and biodiversity to projected increases in temperature and precipitation. In other words, increased age helps to safeguard forests from climate change. “This study shows that older forests in the Upper Midwest to New England are uniquely resilient to climate,” says Dominik Thom, lead author and postdoctoral researcher in UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Gund Institute for Environment. 

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Health & Safety

Thompson presents flag to Domtar for being two years incident free

By Elaine Haskins
Courier Express
June 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

US Rep. Glenn Thomson (right) with Shane Frantz and Bob Tami

Earlier this year, Domtar Paper Co. in DuBois reached a milestone when it reached two years incident free. On Friday, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson visited the plant and presented a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to commemorate the achievement. Accepting for Domtar were two crew members on behalf of the facility’s 84 employees. …“I’m very proud of the employees of Domtar DuBois for their efforts and surpassing two years without a recordable incident and we’re honored to have received this flag from the Congressman,” said Plant Manager Kip Jones. “Safety is the most important thing we do here. It really is. It’s a culture.”

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Defendants get negative ruling from Superior Court in asbestos lawsuit

By Charmaine Little
The Pennsylvania Record
June 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

HARRISBURG – The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has overturned summary judgment for two companies sued over alleged asbestos exposure that possibly led to a man’s death. …Stabile determined if the evidence presented proved that the fire doors Franklin Lamson worked with that contained asbestos were manufactured by IP and Weyerhaeuser. …Stabile pointed out that since Franklin Lamson was diagnosed with mesothelioma, all his estate had to do was prove that IP and Weyerhaeuser manufactured even some of the doors. The court also disagreed with the appellees that even if their fire doors had asbestos, they didn’t emit asbestos-filled dust. …Franklin Lamson previously testified that he often drilled into the fire doors, which could generate dust that included asbestos. The judge said all of this was enough for Franklin Lamson to survive summary judgment.

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Forest Fires

Gogama under evacuation alert, with forest fire 4 km away

CBC News
June 10, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire remains out of control four kilometres from the community of Gogama, which is getting ready to evacuate if things get worse. Hot temperatures, low humidity and moderate winds stoked the fire on the west side of Highway 144 up to 6,000 hectares in size over the weekend. Several highways in the area, including 144, have been closed at times over the past few days due to smoke. Gogama, a community of about 300 permanent residents that swells in population during the summer months, is under a voluntary evacuation.

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Pikangikum evacuees asked for patience

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
June 10, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario — Evacuees from Pikangikum may be allowed to return home soon, as rain over the weekend has helped firefighters in the area. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says 24 crews are now battling Red Lake fire number 14. Firefighters are starting to remove sprinklers that have been protecting assets in the First Nation. The fire is now being held at 3835 hectares. Crews continue to identify and extinguish hot spots and have begun to remove values protection — such as sprinklers — from buildings and infrastructure. With the rain, the forest fire hazard is currently low to moderate in the Red Lake, Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout sectors. 

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Wildfire burning in Arizona national forest now more than 7,000 acres

By Max Walker
News Channel 5
June 8, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — More than 200 firefighters are working to contain the Mountain Fire in Arizona, which ignited on Tonto National Forest land northeast of the Valley Friday and quickly covered thousands of acres. According to the forest service, the fire has grown to an estimated 7,225 acres. Officials said the fire was zero percent contained as of 6 a.m. Saturday, but said no structures were threatened. According to a tweet issued by Tonto National Forest, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is now assisting with mandatory evacuations of Bartlett Lake users and campers, all of whom had the option to voluntarily evacuate on Friday when the fire ignited.

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Tehran sets record high for wildfires within 2 months

Tehran Times
June 9, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

TEHRAN – The highest number of wildfires occurred in the capital during the past two months, as some 15 wildfires were reported in southern part of the city, Jamshid Mohabbat Khani, head of the Department of Environment’s protection unit has stated. In the aforesaid period, some 218 hectares of the areas under the DOE’s protection have been swept by wildfires, he added. He went on to say that so far 56 cases of wildfires broke out in 12 provinces of Khuzestan, Qazvin, Fars, Kermanshah, Mazandaran, Hormozgan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, East Azarbaijan, Isfahan, Bushehr, Tehran and South Khorasan. Mohabbat Khani also highlighted that 15 cases of wildfires caused 70 hectares of the lands in Tehran to turn into ashes since past two months, which led the capital to come in first among the provinces affected by wildfire.

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