Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 13, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

First Nations Group says Canfor timber transfer a “non starter, unless…”

The Tree Frog Forestry News
June 13, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

A BC First Nations group says the proposed Canfor/Interfor timber transfer is a “non-starter, unless and until the Simpcw have a meaningful role in forest management”. Other lumber views include: the aim of the layoffs (Tom Fletcher); no quick fix (Gordon Hoekstra); Bill 22’s driver (Keith Baldrey); the need for re-training (Derrick Penner); and the trickle-down community impact (Dylana Milobar).

In other news: Trump and Trudeau to talk NAFTA-2 and softwood next week; the pros, cons and critic’s of Trump’s proposed forest management changes; a forester’s view on BC’s salad die-off; loggers protest Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill; and REDD+’s role in tropical forests.

Finally, Alberta researchers transform pulp waste into oil-patch odour eater.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Trump to Host Canada’s Trudeau Next Week to Discuss Trade Deal and Huawei

By Josh Wingrove & Justin Sink
Time Magazine
June 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Donald Trump is set to host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next week as the American president’s tariff threats continue to cloud the outlook for the countries’ trade deal with Mexico. …Trade and China will dominate the agenda, the official said. The two leaders will discuss ratification of the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as USMCA, which still faces varying hurdles. They’ll also talk about an ongoing fight over U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber — a decades-old dispute between the countries — and on Trump’s potential tariffs on uranium, of which Canada is a major producer. The two are also set to discuss Trump’s feud with China.

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Canada’s Forest Sector Pays Tribute to a Global Forest Industry Champion

Forest Products Association of Canada
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Sylvain Lhôte

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) President and CEO Derek Nighbor issued the following statement today in tribute to Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of FPAC’s European counterpart, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). Lhôte passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week.  His celebration of life will be held in Brussels tomorrow. “Our global forest products community is a closely-knit one and we are in absolute shock at the loss of Sylvain.  He was a gentleman in the prime of his career, a joy to work with, so proud of his family, and was a strong voice for Europe’s forest products industry.  Sylvain was a leader among our global group of national forest products association executives. …Our team at FPAC is saddened by this loss and we extend our love and deepest condolences to Sylvain’s wife Florence, his children Romain and Julie, his extended family, and the entire CEPI team”.

Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI, Has Passed Away – Additional coverage in PaperAge

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Trouble in timberland: How pine beetles and fires are gutting B.C.’s forestry sector

By Gabriel Friedman
The Vancouver Sun
June 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Deep in the tree-studded interior of British Columbia, the tiny town of Clearwater is facing a problem that’s sweeping across the province: Surrounded by nothing but trees, somehow, there isn’t enough timber to support a local sawmill. …As communities like Clearwater search for a way forward amid a shrinking forestry sector, some see an opportunity to change the type of products that are manufactured from local woods. Rather than mass produce lumber or any other product for export, he wants the town’s residents to gain access to the provincial land that Canfor had used to harvest timber for the mill, so they can build businesses that create new products. …His idea gained some currency in May, after B.C. legislators passed Bill 22, which creates a new obligation for companies to demonstrate a “public interest” before they can sell or transfer their licenses.

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A town of doers, not a town of doubters

By Mayor Merlin Blackwell, District of Clearwater
BC Local News
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Merlin Blackwell

Clearwater is a very resilient town, we are a town of doers, not a town of doubters. This week’s announcement of the closure of the Canfor mill at Vavenby is a very big blow, but we’ve been through this before, and we’re still here because we pick ourselves up, come up with a new plan and we move forward. This time will be no different. I have full confidence in the resilience of our people. We will make a new plan, and we will move forward once again. This past week has been a whirlwind of phone calls, of concern and condolences from our friends far and wide and from our neighbours close by. Our partners on the TNRD board, our MLA and MP, our former Mayor, Council and MLA, as well our Business, Social, and Government leaders… all have offered their assistance.

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100 Mile House bracing for effects of Norbord mill closure

By Dylana Milobar
CFJC Today
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

100 MILE HOUSE — After recovering from the devastation left behind by the 2017 wildfire season, a sense of unease has replaced that brief period of relief for 100 Mile House residents. 160 jobs will be impacted by Tuesday’s announcement of an indefinite curtailment at the Norbord Mill, and come August, many people working in related fields will feel the effect of the mill closure. All throughout the Cariboo, the lumber industry has been a major driver of the area’s economy, and employed thousands. The curtailment means 100 Mile House joins the growing list of B.C communities facing mill shut downs. …The impact of the mill shutting its doors indefinitely will trickle down to the rest of the community of 1,900. …While there has been no confirmation of a permanent closure, workers in the area hope something can be done in the meantime to see the mill re-open.

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Residents frustrated with Pinnacle wood pellet plant noise

By Trevor Hewitt
The Interior News
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

At least a few Smithereens are chipped off at noise from the Pinnacle wood pellet plant. At their May 28 meeting council heard a letter written by Kay Lindberg, who lives adjacent to the plant. Among her concerns were a devaluation of her property value. …According to director of development services Mark Allen, the land that the plant is on was already zoned for heavy industrial use — things like blasting, hammer mill operations and event concrete crushing. …Bachrach said that he has been impressed with the management at the plant’s receptiveness to community concerns and hopes this bodes well for finding a positive solution for all parties.

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Major projects offer upside, for some, to downside of dislocation in B.C. forestry

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

It seems contradictory, at the same time a major sawmill closure looms over the Interior B.C. town of Quesnel, costing 150 well-paying jobs, contractors report having difficulty taking on projects because they can’t find workers, according to Mayor Bob Simpson. …“The reality is we need to look at (that) workforce and re-tool them for where the jobs are,” he said. Then, on a provincial basis, there is the expected ramp-up for the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas mega-project. …For some of those workers losing jobs in forestry, however, there are no guarantees. “Undoubtedly there is an opportunity for those who have what we call the skills or transferable skills,” said Chris Atchison, president of the B.C. Construction Association. …However, if a construction company is looking for ticketed welders, there isn’t a direct path for a forestry worker.

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Simpcw question why Canfor’s $60 million sale of timber to Interfor

By Jill Hayward
The Clearwater Times
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shelley Loring

The Chief and Council of Simpcw First Nation advise they are speaking out after Interfor recently announced its intention to acquire $60 million in forestry assets from Canfor. “It’s a non-starter”, said Chief Shelly Loring. “Unless and until Simpcw has a meaningful role in management of our forests, this transaction will not go forward”. …Simpcw is not only looking out for our own interests but the local interests up and down our valley.” …Simpcw goes on to say, “Bill 22 is a clear opportunity for the Province to ensure not only that the public interest is protected from the monopolization of the forest resource, but that economic reconciliation with Indigenous communities is front and centre as a matter of public policy. Simpcw has advised Minister Donaldson of its expectation to sit down with the Province to design a process of how this proposed transaction will be evaluated.

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New laws loom as B.C. forestry industry falls into crisis

By Keith Baldrey
North Shore News
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. forest industry is sliding into a crisis and a new law on the books has many observers worried it could make things worse, while others are hoping it has the exact opposite effect. In recent weeks, some saw mills have permanently closed while others have curtailed operations. The list of these disruptions is already a lengthy one and it will continue to grow. …Also creating uncertainty is Bill 22, which amended the province’s Forests Act. The key change gives the government the power to stop forest companies from selling their logging rights to each other following a mill closure. …One clue to what the NDP has in mind is its commitment to respecting First Nations’ interests in whatever happens on land use decisions and changes to forestry operations. …The whole process is now being revisited but it is hard to see an outcome that does not have the support of local First Nations.

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B.C. lumber layoffs aim to stop falling wood products prices

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The latest reductions in B.C. sawmill output may be enough to stop the slide of lumber prices after they hit record highs last year. Canfor’s province-wide sawmill shutdowns were announced this week as North American prices for spruce-pine-fir two-by-fours and two-by-sixes slipped below $300 per 1,000 board feet, according to the latest figures from Madison’s Lumber Reporter. A year ago the two-by-four price was above $650, and the downward trend has continued since the beginning of 2019. Canfor’s curtailments take effect next week, with a target of reducing B.C. lumber production by 200 million board feet. …Tolko Industries announced in May it will permanently shut down its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel, and Canfor followed suit last week with the pending closure of its Vavenby sawmill near Clearwater. …Interfor is reducing operating days at three B.C. Interior mills, at Castlegar, Grand Forks and Adams Lake. 

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No quick fix for B.C. sawmill closures linked to drop in timber supply

By Gordon Hoekstra
The Vancouver Sun
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are no immediate solutions to prevent more sawmills closures in the B.C. Interior as the amount of timber available for logging has been significantly reduced by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. Both the B.C. government and industry agreed on that point. …“I think we are dealing with the reality of the timber supply coming home to roost. It’s not something that wasn’t known,” B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said. …Donaldson said the focus needs to be on maximizing the value of timber, not the volume, and finding a way to give smaller wood-manufacturing facilities access to wood fibre. The BC Council of Forest Industries president, Susan Yurkovich, said… what is needed is for industry, government, First Nations, communities and workers to work collectively through the transition period. “But going forward, when rebalancing milling capacity with a sustainable timber supply – we have to ensure conditions that allow us to be competitive globally,” she said.

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Ontario Supporting Forestry Sector in Algoma and Manitoulin Regions

Northern Ontario Business
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s government is working for the people by supporting the forestry industry in the Algoma Region and Manitoulin Island, creating 138 full-time jobs. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, announced an investment of over $2.6 million. “The forestry industry is vital to the north’s economy,” said Minister Rickford. “With these investments, we are making our forestry sector more sustainable and creating jobs for northern communities – sending a strong signal to the world that Northern Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.” Projects include: $2 million for Hornepayne Lumber to reopen the community’s idle sawmill; $255,349 for Kenogami Lake Lumber in Hallébourg to purchase forestry hauling equipment to expand its operations; $175,259 for True North Timber in Chapleau to purchase equipment; $166,820 for TGT Trucking in Manitouwadge to purchase forestry hauling equipment, enhance maintenance and operations information system; $41,058 for EACOM Timber in Nairn Centre to introduce a new trim block recovery system. 

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Trump Administration Moves to Gut Forestry Safeguards

Natural Resource Defense Council
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Forest Service is proposing revisions to National Environmental Policy Act regulations that would undercut key protections for forests. The following is a statement from Kabir Green, federal affairs director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): “Once again, the Trump administration is abandoning protections for our treasured natural resources, as it moves to end safeguards ensuring that the public has a say before our forests are logged. “Providing a rubber stamp to the logging industry is no way to manage our national forests.” [END]

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Trump Administration Seeking To Overhaul Forest Management Rules

By Kirk Siegler
NPR – National Public Radio
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

Federal land managers on Wednesday proposed sweeping rule changes to a landmark environmental law that would allow them to fast-track certain forest management projects, including logging and prescribed burning. The U.S. Forest Service, under Chief Vicki Christiansen, is proposing revisions to its National Environmental Policy Act regulations that could limit environmental review and public input on projects ranging from forest health and wildfire mitigation to infrastructure upgrades to commercial logging on federal land. “We do more analysis than we need, we take more time than we need and we slow down important work to protect communities,” Christiansen told NPR. The proposed rule changes include an expansion of “categorical exclusions.” These are often billed as tools that give land managers the discretion to bypass full-blown environmental studies in places where they can demonstrate there would be no severe impacts or degradation to the land.

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Thanks for reintroducing Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act

By Loren Rose, Ben Horan, Mack Long and Connie Long
Helena Independent Record
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

On June 7, Sen. Jon Tester reintroduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. As members of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, we sincerely thank our senior senator for his leadership, and for continuing to champion this bipartisan bill that 73% of Montanans support. The reason for the bill’s popularity is simple: It offers something for just about every Montanan. …It keeps logs on trucks, maintains forest health and supports timber jobs in Seeley Lake. …We ask our congressional delegation to come together around the BCSA in the same spirit that brought them together around this public lands package. We request that Sen. Daines support the bill by co-sponsoring the legislation. We request that Congressman Gianforte support the bill by introducing BCSA companion legislation in the House of Representatives, as he did for the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.

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Soft market forces heavyweight sawmill shutdowns

Hardware + Building Supply Dealer
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Softening lumber demand has pushed some of British Columbia’s largest lumber producers to reduce production at more than a dozen sawmills. Last week Western Forest Products announced that it was temporarily curtailing operations at three British Columbia mills to align production volumes with current customer demand. …This week Canfor followed Western’s announced by saying that was curtailing operations at all British Columbia sawmills, except its WynnWood facility. …West Fraser, another of the lumber producing heavyweights in British Columbia, is curtailing all mill activities for one week in June at five British Columbia sawmills… Interfor also announced last month that it was reducing production across its operating platform in the British Columbia Interior in June.

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Dept of Natural Resources agreement with Weyerhaeuser aimed at stream improvements

By Chris Lawrence
Metro News West Virginia
June 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

RICHWOOD, W.Va. — A long standing agreement between the Division of Natural Resources and a well known timber company will extend well into the future. The agency recently inked a new MoU with Weyerhaeuser to conduct habitat restoration and stream water treatment on trout streams on the company’s property in West Virginia. “The South Fork of Cherry property is a big tract of land and it actually makes Weyerhaeuser the largest private land owner of native brook trout streams in the state,” said David Thorn who oversees the DNR’s trout program. …“We put in probably a quarter million dollars over 20 years putting in both lime and making dump places on the stream,” said Steve Yeager with Weyerhaeuser. Yeager said his company works to be “SFI Certified” which requires constant inspections and monitoring of restoration work and reclamation activity.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Researchers transform pulp waste into oil patch odour eater

By Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Tech Life Today
June 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Ziploc bag in Dr. Jean Cai’s tidy lab at NAIT is filled with what look like peppercorns. But these small, round pellets hold great promise as a new, low-cost and environmentally safe way to remove noxious hydrogen sulphide at natural gas wellheads, water treatment plants and pulp mills. Made from fly ash – a waste product from pulp and paper mills –  the pellets are proving to be extremely effective at absorbing and filtering hydrogen sulphide, the rotten-egg-smelling gas produced in many industrial processes that, in high concentrations, is poisonous, corrosive and flammable. …The added bonus? The fly ash is not only free, it’s a voluminous waste product pulp mills must pay to haul, landfill, monitor and water to keep moist so it doesn’t catch fire. …In Alberta, about 90,000 tonnes of fly ash ends up in a landfill every year.

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Forestry

Protecting small mammals after logging near Golden

BC Local News
June 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A team of biologists are keeping an eye on small mammals in cut blocks around Golden and four other sites in the province. What they’re looking for is the impact of logging on small mammal habitats. They have seen the how disruption affects species like the short and long tailed red-backed voles, deer mice, fishers, martens, weasels, and more. For instance, the voles have been known to leave an area after it has been logged for more than a decade before returning. Tom Sullivan is a small mammal biologist with UBC who has been working with silviculture forester Scott King at Louisiana-Pacific Corp. on a site just east of Golden. He and his team have preserved slash piles (woody debris left over and stacked after logging), and have set live traps to see if these piles are used as a habitat by small creatures.

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Wildfire battles to cost the province an additional $273 million

By Clare Clancy
Edmonton Journal
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jason Kenney

The wildfires that forced more than 10,000 Albertans from their northern homes this spring will cost the province an extra $273 million this year, according to new funding estimates tabled in the legislature Wednesday. Supplementary and interim supply bills for 2019-20, the province’s first formal book-keeping exercise under the UCP, outlined how the government will bridge a funding gap until a fall budget is tabled. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs requested $80 million for disaster recovery and municipal wildfire assistance programs, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry asked for $193 million for wildfire management. …“There’s a base set funding amount,” said Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen, adding that more funding is determined on a case-by-case basis. The base funding in 2018-19 for example was $99 million, but total costs can range by hundreds of millions every year.

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Expert says forests killed by insects or fire need to be protected

By Hina Alam
Canadian Press in the National Post
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hilary Cooke

VANCOUVER — Forests that are burned or killed by insects shouldn’t be cleaned of debris and instead need protection, a report from a conservation group says. Hilary Cooke, a scientist with Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and co-author of the report, said the motivation for the report is the increasing interest in using biomass, or dead trees, to produce cheap energy in Yukon. While their research focused on Yukon’s forests, it gathered lessons from similar woodlands across the country, she said. Cooke cautioned that cleaning out such forests should be done carefully. “There’s this perception that when a fire goes through a boreal forest we lose the trees or when the insects eat the trees that it’s a loss somehow, it’s a waste,” she said. “But in fact boreal forests are naturally evolved with this cycle of wildfire.”

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Access agreements with Mosaic could solve forested land conflicts

The Alberni Valley News
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This April, I went to check out the falls on Stokes Creek again. …All of these areas are either accessed across private forest land or on forest land. …The presence and enormous popularity of these trails is causing headaches for Mosaic Forest Management, the company that has taken over management of both Island Timberlands and TimberWest. …I contacted Karen Brandt, of Mosaic Forest Management. …She says that their prime concern is for the safety of the public. …An important part of this is to try to achieve access agreements with the various interest groups in the area. They already have a good number of agreements with groups on the east side of the Island, but none in the Alberni Valley… But perhaps it is time to work with Mosaic in the interests of reducing the company’s liabilities, encouraging tourists, and cleaning up a messy situation.

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Salal die-off on Vancouver Island a sign of climate stress, says forester

By Mike Youds
The Alberni Valley News
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Salal dieback seen across the Island this spring is caused by multiple factors, including a coastal forest ecosystem stressed by climate change, says the chief forester of Mosaic. Domenico Iannidinardo… said the phenomenon is an indicator of forest health in general. “It’s all the way up the Island as far north as Port Hardy on the east side,” Iannidinardo said.” …Salal dieback means more fuel on the forest floor as the province heads into its third consecutive wildfire season, having already weathered a prolonged drought. …Iannidinardo said the salal dieback is instructive.“From a forest health perspective, when we see something like this, it’s a reminder that we have to prepare in forest planning for more and drier periods. Planting has to take into account longer drought stretches … perhaps plant a little more Douglas fir and a little less cedar.”

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PFLA Welcomes Record Numbers to Sooke, B.C. for 24th Annual Conference

By Sue Handel
Private Forest Landowners Association
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO BC – The Private Forest Landowners Association (PFLA) last week welcomed a record-number of delegates to its 24th annual Conference and Field Tour in Sooke, B.C. Held every year in host towns throughout the province, the conference this year opened with a blessing from Chief Gordon Planes and Elder Shirley Alphonse of the T’Sou-ke Nation. Keynote speakers included the Honourable Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and Sooke Mayor Maja Tait. “We were thrilled to host our conference this year in the forestry-rich community of Sooke, B.C.” said PFLA CEO, Megan Hanacek. “Our annual conference is a chance for private managed forest land owners to connect and learn from lead professionals about innovations in sustainable forest management.”

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Annapolis County residents camp out in woods hoping to save old forest south of Bridgetown

By Lawrence Powell
Cape Breton Post
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

WEST DALHOUSIE, N.S. — While harvest of an old Crown forest south of Bridgetown hasn’t started, Annapolis County residents who want the biodiverse woods saved from the axe will keep pressure on government. They were back in the woods late June 11 and stayed the night after Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin reaffirmed that afternoon that WestFor Management Inc. will start cutting. Nina Newington, with Extinction Rebellion Forest Protectors, lead a protest early on June 9, the day harvesting …could have started according to a WestFor sign. They blocked off the end of a logging road… If WestFor had showed up with logging equipment they would have tried to, through non-violent direct action, stop them cutting. If WestFor didn’t arrive, she wanted to have people on hand to send them the message that people are concerned about that forest.

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Logging unspoiled Acadian forest a menace to wildlife

By June Trenholm, Green Party of Nova Scotia
The Chronicle Herald
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As co-president of the Green Party of Nova Scotia, I’ve been looking into the controversy that surrounds preserving Acadian forests at the request of leader Thomas Trappenberg. This land is home to moose and rare flying squirrel. The creatures that live in Acadian old-growth forests sustain the forest and the forest sustains them. There is a way to work with Acadian forests, but sectioning them off with large logging access roads is not it. Once upon a time, Nova Scotia was covered with old-growth forests. If we still had 50 per cent of our Acadian forest, we could be talking of sustainable harvesting. But we have less than a fraction of one per cent of Acadian forest left. It’s time for Nova Scotia to decide where its economic future lies.

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‘Considerable’ study this summer to determine if mercury leaching upstream from Grassy Narrows, Ontario says

By Matt Prokopchuk
CBC News
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Officials with Ontario’s environment ministry say field studies are continuing along the English-Wabigoon river system and at the pulp mill in Dryden to determine if the industrial property is an ongoing source of mercury leaching into the water upstream from two northern Ontario First Nations poisoned by the toxic element. A confidential report done by True Grit Consulting in 2016 stated that the Ontario government was informed about visible mercury on the mill property as early as 1990; the province subsequently confirmed in 2018 that elevated levels of the chemical remained in the soil and ground water at the site. What’s not yet certain — and what studies now underway are tasked with finding out — is whether that mercury is migrating into the water or if there are other potential sources.

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Timber advocates exploiting public with fear

By George Wuerthner
The Herald and News
June 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There is a rash of misunderstanding about forest ecosystems. Many agencies and timber companies are advocating logging/thinning to “restore” forest health. However, I know of no forest that evolved with chain saws. These timber advocates are exploiting the public’s natural fear of wildfire. Logging/thinning only degrades forest ecosystems in multiple ways. Logging sanitizes the forest by reducing dead snags and the creation of down logs which are critical to healthy functioning forest ecosystem. A healthy forest ecosystem functions and persist because of episodic death from beetles, drought, fire, and other sources of mortality. These natural processes leave behind “biological legacy” of dead wood. These biological legacies are critical to the resilience and future growth of the forest ecosystem. 

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Forest Services axes decision to use chain saws in wilderness, for now

By Mary Shinn
The Durango Herald
June 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service rescinded its decision to allow chain saws in two Southwest Colorado wilderness areas, at least temporarily, because of heavy snowpack that will keep trail crews out of areas in need of trail maintenance. The Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Regional forester, Brian Ferebee, approved the use of chain saws in May to remove bark beetle-killed trees obstructing trails in the Weminuche and South San Juan wilderness areas. The Forest Service planned to use chain saws because beetle-killed trees are falling so quickly across the forest it can’t keep trails clear using crosscut saws, Forest Service staff previously told The Durango Herald. Conservation groups challenged the use of chain saws and filed a lawsuit to block their use. The groups argued using chain saws would violate federal law that prohibits the use of motorized equipment in wilderness areas except in emergency situations.

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Supporting a vibrant forestry workforce

By New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
June 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Over 160 workers have been referred to forestry employers as part of a push to support the 2019 planting season, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. With an estimated 80 million trees to be planted this season, Ministers asked Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) and the Ministry for Social Development to ensure they were working together with industry to help meet the labour needs for the 2019 planting season. The campaign includes promoting the silviculture industry to job seekers and promoting MSD services for employers to fill vacancies. Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says, this Government is committed to upskilling and training people on benefit for industries where there are labour shortages.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Activists climb onto Vancouver Convention Centre in climate protest

CTV News Vancouver
June 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greenpeace activists have draped a banner onto the Vancouver Convention Centre as part of a protest against corporations’ role in driving climate change. The demonstration was timed to coincide with the Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit… Two climbers made their way over an entrance to hang a banner reading “Forest Destroyers Forum.” “Greenpeace is here today to call out the companies that are breaking their promises to end deforestation,” campaigner Daniel Brindis said. …Back in 2010, the Consumer Goods Forum pledged to reach net zero deforestation by the year 2020… “Whilst the causes of deforestation are complex, it is generally acknowledged that the biggest drivers are the cultivation of soya and palm oil, logging for the production of paper and board and the rearing of cattle,” the CGF said in its pledge. …But Greenpeace International has expressed concerns that not enough is being done.

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The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it

By Laura Reiley
The Washington Post
June 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Last month, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpassed 415 parts per million, the highest in human history. …But another idea is also starting to gain traction — sucking all that carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it underground. It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it. …That’s why consumers and companies often “offset” their carbon emissions by planting carbon-sucking trees elsewhere in the world. But an upstart company, Boston-based Indigo AG, now wants to transform farming practices so that agriculture becomes quite the opposite of what it is today — a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. By promoting techniques that increase the potential of agricultural land to suck in carbon.

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Cap-and-trade bill heads to Oregon House; log truckers protest with airhorns

By Aubrey Wieber
The Albany Democrat-Herald
June 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature appear to have the support to move forward on a massive environmental plan to price carbon after a week of turmoil and uncertainty. House Bill 2020, which would implement a cap-and-trade program, passed out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means on Wednesday. It now goes to the House floor for a vote scheduled for Monday. …Business trade groups have long opposed the bill. …Wednesday was no different, as log truckers rallied in front of the Capitol in the morning before filling the hearing room and overflow room, dressed in their well-worn pants, boots and suspenders. They apparently didn’t feel heard in the brief, 20-minute hearing, so they took to their trucks. 

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Is REDD ready for its closeup? Reports vary

Mongabay.com
June 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As the world’s governments look to curb global warming, protecting what’s left of Earth’s tropical forests is crucial. That means REDD+ could have a huge role to play — but debate is currently raging as to whether or not REDD-based projects can actually deliver the level of emissions reductions necessary to avert runaway global climate change. …Many REDD+ projects are built around the idea of carbon offsetting. In a recent investigative article, ProPublica’s Lisa Song writes that, despite their enormous appeal, carbon offsetting programs don’t always lead to the emissions reductions they’re meant to produce. …In “case after case,” Song writes, she found “carbon credits hadn’t offset the amount of pollution they were supposed to, or they had brought gains that were quickly reversed or that couldn’t be accurately measured to begin with.”

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