Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 24, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Forest industry crisis needs action by BC government

The Tree Frog Forestry News
June 24, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s Forest industry crisis needs gov’t action, according to the Vancouver Sun. In related news: premier Horgan is set straight on botched caribou plan; BC’s Northwest economy is on the rise despite forestry cuts; Gorman Bros feeling the lumber slowdown; strike action looms at Western Forest Products; its a rollercoaster ride for Canada’s sawmills; and lumber exports are up in US and Russia.

In Forestry/Climate news: BC’s drought condition raises concerns about root stability and the health of urban parks; more fires means more smoke in Alberta; warmer weather increases spruce beetle outbreaks in western US; and the slow growing ponderosa is less vulnerable to climate change than faster growing trees.

Finally, BC’s secret biochar plant; and the UK’s switch to clean energy.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Wood studs under pricing pressure

by Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
June 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

North America’s sawmills have been riding a rollercoaster market for their product over the past year. The market price for Eastern Canadian spruce two-by-fours reached an all time high last June of nearly $850 per thousand board feet. According to NRCan’s weekly price reports, that same lumber was selling for $450 per thousand board feed during the first week of this month. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my career and I’ve been around a long time,” said Russ Taylor, president of Vancouver-based consultancy, Wood Markets. “The price went way to high, then too low and its just now starting to pick up again to where mills can start to cover their costs.” …The medium- to long-term forecast is generally strong for lumber prices, though it is at least partly based upon Western Canadian misfortune. …Taylor expects another 10 mills to shut in BC over the coming decade. …But there remain significant unknowns.

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Okanagan region feeling lumber slowdown

By Kelly Hayes
Global News
June 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nick Arkle

It’s no secret that the lumber industry in B.C. has been struggling this year. To date, five mills have been closed and dozens of others are having to stretch their downtime. Okanagan logging contractors are also feeling the pinch. Dan Eaton is a private logging contractor working above Summerland who has watched his workforce dwindle because of the shrinking industry. “This time last year we had 120 employees but due to various factors currently we only have 74,” Eaton said. Eaton says the major problem with the post-pine-beetle era is a lack of inventory — they’re running out of trees to cut down. …Gorman Brothers Lumber in West Kelowna is also feeling the pinch. It’s had to adjust its workforce and adapt to the slowdown…. “I think with low lumber prices, that has just exacerbated it. We thought it would spread out over the few years, all of sudden it’s happening in one year,” mill manager Nick Arkle said.

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District holding information meetings regarding fallout from mill closure

BC Local News
June 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The District of Clearwater (DOC) is working with various levels of government as well as different organizations to find ways to ease the fallout from the closure of Canfor’s Vavenby mill. Canfor sent a letter to its Vavenby employees on June 3, announcing the decision that will inevitably result in the loss of more than 170 jobs. Because the closure of the mill will cause a ripple effect that’ll touch nearly all businesses in the area, business owners within the DOC and Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s (TNRD) Area A have been invited to attend an information session at the Dutch Lake Community Centre on June 27 to share information on the situation.

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Despite forestry cuts, report says Northwest economy on the rise

By Sawyer Bogdan
My Bulkley Lakes Now
June 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The latest report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) says the economy in the Northwest region of the province is growing. Despite job loss in the lumber sector, over 600 jobs were added in the Northwest. CPABC attributes the new jobs to food services, public administration, and other service industries which offset the loss from other sectors. With new projects slated to come to the province the northern economy is looking bright. “The $40-billion LNG Canada project has begun work for development. As activity ramps up for this project, we can expect a boost to our economy,” said Jeanne MacNeil, CPA, CA, partner with Edmison Mehr in Smithers. Since December 2018 an additional 1,000 jobs were added in the construction industry that the report links to the LNG Canada project.

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Kootenay tech sector is on the rise and everyone is noticing

By Raghwa Gopal
The Nelson Star
June 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over the last 18 months, the Kootenay tech sector has been on the rise. …Moving forward, the region’s strong natural resource sector provides a big opportunity for tech companies to move their innovation into industry. Mining and forestry companies make up some of the largest employers in the area and represent some of the most willing tech adopters in the entire province. Teck Resources is already using virtual and augmented reality solutions to make their operations safer and more efficient, while Kalesnikoff recently invested $35 million into a new tech-oriented mass timber facility in South Slocan. …As the president and CEO of Innovate BC — the crown agency that connects B.C. innovators to funding, resources, and support — I’ve experienced firsthand the wave of tech and innovation that’s sweeping across the Kootenays.

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It’s time for Horgan to demote his forest minister

By Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
June 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Blair Lekstrom

VICTORIA — While special adviser Blair Lekstrom was exposing the John Horgan government’s botched handling of the caribou rescue plan, he also gave praise where praise was due. “I give full credit to Premier Horgan for recognizing the need to take a step back and try and find a path that would see greater involvement from the region.” …John Horgan paid Lekstrom back in kind. “…“I knew he would give me the unvarnished truth as he saw it.” Unvarnished is right. The Lekstrom report details a cascade of failings in the handling of the contentious caribou rescue plan for the northeast. …Donaldson, who represents a riding in the northwest, insisted that he, too, had a grasp of the situation. …It was a little late for the minister to try to assert himself. In an area where he should have been on top of the situation, the premier learned the full extent of the problem from a couple of B.C. Liberals.

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Forest industry crisis needs action by government

By the Editorial Board
The Vancouver Sun
June 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

While gone are the days when the forest sector was B.C.’s top industry, employing directly or indirectly 30 per cent of full-time employees in the province in the 1970s, it still “generates significant economic activity and employment in every region of the province — with 140,000 jobs employing British Columbians in urban and rural communities alike,” according to a B.C. Council of Forest Industries report in April. …Which is why it is upsetting and frustrating to see B.C. politicians preferring to score political points… rather that working co-operatively to find solutions. …But one senses a lack of action and urgency by the Horgan government in addressing what all seem to agree is a crisis. With the economic well-being of so many Interior towns at stake… the NDP should bring together the other parties and industry experts to identify the problems facing the B.C. forest sector and come up with real solutions that everyone can generally agree with.

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Strike Action Looming in the Cowichan Valley

By Kyle Christensen
My Cowichan Valley Now
June 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 Union President, Western Forest Products is attacking the pensions of union members, along with reducing vacation time, and job security. Amid mill shutdowns and the cutting of the graveyard shift at the Chemainus mill, Western is saying that operational curtailments are a result of poor market conditions and high log costs. Union President Brian Butler said those claims are completely untrue and it’s not a coincidence that these mill shutdowns are happening during a strike vote. “We think the timing of the shutdowns was related to us going out and taking a strike vote because they do what they do every time, which is to try to influence workers and make them feel that somehow markets aren’t good and they need to temper their demands, when nothing could be further from the truth,” said Butler.

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2 firefighters, 2 mill workers recovering after blaze at paper mill

CBC News
June 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Four people are recovering after being injured in a stubborn fire at Port Hawkesbury Paper in Point Tupper, N.S. Two firefighters had to be rushed to hospital after working to put out a blaze that broke out in a wood chip silo Thursday night. “They were taken to Antigonish and then they were transferred to Halifax. The indication was that there was exposure to CO2 [carbon dioxide],” said Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm Beaton. One of those firefighters has already been released from hospital, while the other is expected to be released later on Friday. The other two people injured in the fire work at the mill, according to a news release from Port Hawkesbury Paper. Both of those workers are now out of hospital. Neither the company, nor Unifor, the union that represents the workers, would say how the two employees were hurt.

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Vancouver investor seeks to reopen West Linn paper mill

By Mike Rogoway
The Oregonian
June 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Efforts are under way to reopen the 130-year-old West Linn Paper mill, nearly two years after it abruptly closed and cast out 250 millworkers. The surprising revival effort is being led by eclectic Clark County investor Ken Peterson, whose portfolio includes a pulp mill in Dayton, a Texas housing development, an augmented reality startup in Vancouver and telecom companies around the world.  “Their intention is to restart it,” said Dave Robertson, vice president for public policy at Portland General Electric, which owns the land and buildings on the site. While Robertson said PGE is continuing to work with West Linn on long-range redevelopment plans for the property overlooking the Willamette River, he said the utility has a five-year deal to lease the site to a newly formed company associated with Columbia Ventures Corp., Peterson’s investment firm. Options could extend the lease for a decade beyond that.

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The uptick in demand for lumber continued in early 2019

Lesprom
June 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The uptick in demand for lumber continued in early 2019, with most of the major lumber-exporting countries increasing their shipments as compared to early 2018, reported Wood Resources International in its Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Out of the top-ten exporting countries, the largest year-over-year increases (in %) were in Ukraine, Russia, the US, Chile and Germany. Lumber exports from Ukraine have taken off dramatically after the country banned practically all exports of softwood logs in 2017.  The free fall of lumber prices in the US came to a halt in early 2019, when prices were close to a four-year low. During the spring prices rose modest in both the US South and the US West. …For the first time in five years, Swedish exports of softwood lumber fell year-over-year in 2018. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Walmart soon to get some new digs in Bentonville

By the Editorial Board
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette
May 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Northwest Arkansas seems a growing place, so something’s going right. …You know who else really likes northwest Arkansas? The nation’s largest private employer. …Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said Walmart wanted a campus designed in new ways…one of the main sources for Walmart’s new buildings was going to be cross-laminated timber made from pine in southern Arkansas. …When Gov. Hutchinson took the microphone, he said he was excited. …All that wood has to be cut, treated and transported to the northwest part of the state, which means new jobs created for a region that could desperately use them. And this will be the largest cross-laminated timber project ever constructed in the U.S., according to Mr. Bartlett. This means Walmart’s campus will be a model going forward for other companies.

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John Makepeace Talks Trees, Wood Science, and the Future of Furniture

By Michael Cooper
Core 77
June 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Forging his career as a furniture designer over the past 60 years, John Makepeace has been fascinated with exploring structure and the science of material, much like an architect. He’s also collaborated on the construction innovative buildings. He’s been an entrepreneur, developing his business, designing production furniture before moving into one-of-a-kind commissioned work for clients around the world. He’s raised significant investment over the years and taken big risks—perhaps most notably in launching and running an innovative furniture making school in the mid 70s called Parnham. Plus, he’s almost as quiet as a church mouse. But when we sit down in his kitchen over a cup of tea to talk, although softly spoken, John remains much like his work: Deliberate, precise and often surprising.

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Forestry

As Canada’s habitats disappear, conservation needs to start on our doorstep

By Ivan Semeniuk
Globe and Mail
June 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Until this year, Kaitlin Kennedy had little cause to think about the South Cameron woodlot. Located in Windsor, Ont., the woodlot consists of 0.6 square kilometres of mature trees and undergrowth where water pools in springtime and where threatened species such as Butler’s garter snake and willowleaf aster can sometimes be spotted. Surrounded on all sides by suburban homes and city streets, it is a tiny remnant of the lush hardwood forests that blanketed the region centuries ago. In March, Windsor’s mayor, Drew Dilkens, announced that the Ontario government had lifted a “significant wetland” designation from part of the woodlot, effectively freeing it up for development into high-end residential properties. In a Facebook post, Mr. Dilkens thanked Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whom he had personally lobbied for the change.

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Local water activist arrested for contempt near Balfour

The Nelson Daily
June 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A woman awaits her day in court after being arrested Friday by RCMP after disobeying a court order at a logging operation near Balfour. Local water activist Jessica Odgen was taken into custody by RCMP officers for contempt of court charges. Ogden, who remains in police custody, will appear in Nelson Court Monday. Ogden is part of a protest camp set up at the entrance to the Balfour Transfer Station, at the base of the Balfour Face Forest Service Road. The camp, within walking distance of Balfour Ferry Terminal, was erected by the protest group to protect the watershed from logging and raise awareness regarding current forestry practices in BC.

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‘It’s an emergency:’ Vancouver park official alarmed by urban forest drought

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
June 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Vancouver Park Board commissioner wants to accelerate plans to protect Vancouver’s urban forest from drought. Dave Demers, a landscaper who was elected in October as a Green Party representative, wants the city to do more to make sure that the varieties of trees it plants in parks and along streets can handle hotter, dryer and longer summers in the city. ‘I think the situation is changing very fast and it’s an emergency, we have to really speed up and double down on what we are already doing and not let go,” he said. “The canopy, it’s important, it’s what makes the city livable and we cannot let that go.” …The city had a 22 per cent canopy cover in 1995, but a combination of development, pests and even property owners bent on improving their views by cutting down mature trees caused that figure to decline to around 18 per cent.

 

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Two opportunities for input on forest management

Letter by Lisa Bramson
Nelson Star
June 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We finally get a chance to weigh in on logging practices on private land. The public is invited to give input until July 9 on a program that helps to ensure the sustainable management of private forests in B.C. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operation and Rural Development is reviewing the Private Managed Forest Land Program established in 2003. The program right now is voluntary, and as recent activity at Cottonwood Lake shows, a property owner can opt out. If you think these guidelines should be mandatory, please give your feedback. A second invitation is for British Columbians to provide input into improving the Forest and Range Practices Act. Feedback forms and more information are available online.

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Beware of falling trees: Drought affects root stability, say Vancouver Island forest experts

By Adam van der Zwan
CBC News
June 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

You may be questioning your safety in the wilderness after a teenager was killed Wednesday by a toppling tree near Sooke, B.C., while on a hike with his classmates. Local tree experts say unusual island drought and blustery weather should remind us to be aware of our surroundings while outdoors, as long periods of dry soil will kill the fine mesh of roots that keep the trees from falling.  “The last couple summers have been unusually dry,” said Barbara Hawkins, a tree physiologist at the University of Victoria, echoing widespread concern over increasingly parched conditions on Vancouver Island. Earlier this month, the B.C. government moved the drought rating for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to Level 3, which calls for voluntary water conservation measures. Hawkins said drought would first attack the stability of trees that are already stressed, like grand firs that may be dealing with root rot.

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Clearcutting B.C.’s last old-growth is leaving all of us poorer, forever

By Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC
Campbell River Mirror
June 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Earlier this month, hundreds of British Columbians visited MLA offices across the province demanding protection of endangered old-growth forests and improved forest management, during a day of action organized by Sierra Club BC. In response, David Elstone, the executive director of the Truck Loggers Association, accused our organization of not acknowledging the economic importance of old-growth logging and claimed that clearcutting what little remains is sustainable (B.C. has most sustainably-managed forests in the world, June 6). He was joined by columnist Tom Fletcher repeating outdated claims about the climate benefit of replacing old-growth forests with young trees. Fletcher ignores modern science showing that clearcutting ancient trees results in the rapid loss of huge amounts of carbon accumulated over hundreds of years (Urban environmental “emergency” routine wearing thin, June 9).

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Forest Manifesto – Ecology group seeks community input, protection of wildlife, ecosystems, and biodiversity

By Lawrence Powell
Amherst News
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

WEST DALHOUSIE, N.S. — It wasn’t just about the old forest at Corbett Lake, said Sue Skipton, one of the people who helped convince Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin to halt the harvest of a section of Crown forest south of Bridgetown. It was about forests everywhere. Now she’s helped put together a Forest Manifesto that would give communities more say in what happens in their woods, places more ecological value on old forests, makes wildlife harm reduction a priority, demands proper watershed buffers to reduce flooding, erosion, and nutrient loss, and demands an immediate and dramatic reduction in clear cutting. …the manifesto applies to the entire province. “…we’re working for the betterment of all forests in Nova Scotia,” Skipton said. “People need to band together, as we did, and keep the ball rolling for the proper management of our forests and all that live within.”

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How environmental analysis inadvertently drains the Forest Service budget

By Nick Smith, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities
The Hill
June 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

During a visit to her native Washington State, U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen told an audience her agency was failing to meet the challenges of unhealthy forests and catastrophic wildfires. …The Forest Service took an important step forward by releasing proposed changes to modernize how the agency complies with the National Environmental Policy Act. …Opponents of forest management are predictably attacking this effort in partisan terms, though the Forest Service’s approach may bring the agency in closer compliance with existing regulations issued by the Obama administration’s Council on Environmental Quality. …The proposed rules, as written, likely do not go far enough to address this forest health crisis.  But it shows the agency is responsive and are working to satisfy congressional and public support for better forest management.

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Trump’s proposed new forest rules would be a reality-show horror

By David Super
The Hill
June 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

We live in an age of excess. …We have become increasingly jaded about cumulative effects. That is the spirit underlying the Forest Service’s proposed rules that would radically reduce environmental scrutiny and community oversight of industrial projects in our nation’s forests. The proposed rules would change the Service’s implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is essentially a “look before you leap” statute. The Act does not prohibit any actions outright: It merely requires the government to gather the best information available about a potentially hazardous action before deciding whether to go ahead with it. Because officials in distant cities often fail to understand how actions will affect local communities, they require soliciting public input as part of the review. And because serious risks may not be immediately obvious to the untrained observer, reviews must consider available scientific knowledge.

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The mighty pine: Cell structure linked to longevity of slow-growing ponderosas

The Daily Inter Lake
June 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – Slow-growing ponderosa pines may have a better chance of surviving longer than fast-growing ones, especially as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of drought, according to new research from the University of Montana. Researchers found that ponderosa longevity might hinge on the shape of microscopic valve-like structures between the cells that transport water through the tree. The study, led by UM alumna Beth Roskilly and Professor Anna Sala, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week. …“Ponderosa pines, like people, cannot have it all,” said Roskilly, the paper’s lead author. …Our study suggests that trees with fast growth become large quickly, which can be beneficial for young trees competing for resources, but they are more vulnerable to drought and can die at earlier ages. On the other hand, trees that grow slowly are more drought-resistant, which enhances longevity.”

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Presence Confirms Controversial Logging is Taking Place in High Conservation Value Forest

By Lost Coast League
Yahoo News
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PETROLIA, Calif. — The hotly contested logging on Rainbow Ridge in Humboldt County, California … just got hotter when the closely guarded tree sitter on a tall Douglas-fir tree on Rainbow Ridge was visited this morning by a rare species of rodent, the Sonoma Tree Vole (Arborimus pomo). …In 2011, Humboldt Redwood Company wildlife biologist Sal Chinnichi found that Sonoma Tree Voles were likely to be found in abundance on Rainbow Ridge, an indication that the company was aware of the High Conservation Values before submitting the harvest plans. …Tom Wheeler, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) in Arcata said,  “the presence of tree voles is strong evidence that this area is a High Conservation Value Forest and requires protection under HRC’s own standards.”

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Spruce Beetles Are Getting Affected Due to Climate Change

By Alice Duncan
The Market News Reporter
June 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If the climate warms as predicted, spruce beetle outbreaks within the Rocky Mountains may turn out to be extra frequent, a brand new multi-year research led by Colorado State University finds. Whereas insect disturbances naturally cycle via forests, the present spruce beetle epidemic affecting Colorado Engelmann spruce forests has been one of many largest on file. According to the Colorado State Forest Service since 1996, over 40 % of the state’s excessive-elevation forests… have already been affected by this newest cycle. …The research, later revealed in Environmental Entomology, supplies new clues about spruce beetle conduct. …Their outcomes point out barely hotter circumstances might contribute to longer flight durations and other eruptive beetle populations, resulting from more prominent people of fertile females. This mix might equate to additional intense insect stress on spruce forests.

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Planned burns can reduce wildfire risks, but expanding use of ‘good fire’ isn’t easy

By Courtney Schultz, Cassandra Moseley and Heidi Huber-Stearns
Pique News Magazine
June 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As spring settles in across the United States, western states are already preparing for summer and wildfire season. And although it may seem counter-intuitive, some of the most urgent conversations are about getting more fire onto the landscape. …Prescribed burns can decrease the potential for some of the large, severe fires that have affected western states in recent years. As scholars of U.S. forest policy, collaborative environmental management and social-ecological systems, we see them as a management tool that deserves much wider attention. …Today, many forested landscapes in western states have a “fire debt.” Humans have prevented normal levels of fire from occurring, and the bill has come due. Increasingly severe weather conditions and longer fire seasons due to climate change are making fire management problems more pressing today than they were just a few decades ago. And the problem will only get worse.

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Southeast Alaskans rally to protect Tongass National Forest from logging

By Shayne Nuesca
KTVA Alaska
June 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Several Southeast Alaskan groups gathered for a rally at the state Capitol to voice their support to retain environmental protection and conservation policies for the Tongass National Forest.The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council says people are urging U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to select a no-action on an Alaska-specific roadless rule.The 2001 National Roadless Rule prohibits road construction and timber harvesting on 9.2 million acres of the Tongass. According to a press release from SEACC, the state is looking to set its own provisions which would eliminate ecological and cultural protections provided by the national rule. Should the state set its own rules, SEACC says protected areas of the Tongass — about half of the forest — would open for old-growth logging.

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Voracious beetle kills swathes of Greek forest

Daily Times
June 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Greek authorities are felling large parts of a forest because of a seemingly unstoppable beetle munching its way through trees. Experts say the shiny black beetle, the Tomicus Piniperda, is having a devastating effect on trees in the Seih Sou forest in the hills overlooking Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. “The problem is unfortunately very big at the moment because the insect is moving in almost uncontrollably,” said Professor Theocharis Zagas of the School of Forestry and Environment at Aristotle University. “We have to take the appropriate measures, with precision logging, to stop its momentum,” he told Reuters. …The impact of the beetle is evident. Large swathes of the pine forest have turned brown, with experts assessing that up to one tenth, or 100,000 trees, have been affected.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

McBride’s secret refinery, biochar plant

By Andru McCracken
The Rocky Mountain Goat
June 23, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Phil Marsh

Farmer, veteran, and inventor Phillip Marsh has developed a technology that can help battle climate change and create useful products from organic waste, and he has done it on his family farm on Mountainview Road in McBride. …“Farmers control a lot of energy in the form of biomass; it’s just not usable to them. I built this process so that I can extract energy locally,” said Marsh, “We can make our own refinery in McBride so you don’t have to go to the tar sands and pick the energy up.” …Besides developing a new fuel source, creating an array of chemical products, and harnessing heat energy stored in biomass, the technology helps pull carbon from the atmosphere. …But Marsh said BC Biocarbon can do it cheaper and better and create an array of useful products at the same time.

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The carbon market: S.C. landowners have potential to profit from selling credits

By Steven Bradley, Clemson University
The Longview Daily News
June 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

CLEMSON — Ask Michael Dawson about entering the carbon market and whether he would go back and do it again, and his answer is simple: “In a skinny minute.” The process itself, however, is more complex. South Carolina’s Francis Beidler Forest — the world’s largest virgin cypress-tupelo swamp forest — sold roughly 450,000 carbon credits for no less than $8 per credit in California’s carbon market in 2014. …“That’s the first indicator of the fact that South Carolina is a good place for the carbon market,” Clay said. “Forestry and timber production are extremely important to South Carolina. But at the same time, only 20 percent of the forest landowners are commercially harvesting tracts for production. So that leaves 80 percent of the 88 percent of private forested lands that are potentially not used for large-scale timber production.”
 

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Clean Energy Becomes Dominant Power Source in U.K.

By Jeremy Hodges
Bloomberg Markets
June 20, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The U.K. will generate more energy from low-carbon sources than from fossil fuels this year for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear plants provided 48% of the nation’s electricity in the first five months of 2019. …How the U.K. weans itself off natural gas eventually will need to be the next, and most difficult step in the country’s ambition to become carbon neutral by mid-century. The least polluting fossil fuel regularly makes up more than 50% of the power mix when winds are low and the sun isn’t shining. …“The U.K. is decarbonizing its energy system more rapidly than anywhere else in the world but to reach our zero carbon targets we need negative emissions,” said Will Gardiner, chief executive officer of utility Drax Group Plc. “Biomass with carbon capture and storage has the potential to deliver negative emissions.”

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Health & Safety

Up to 12 times more smoke due to climate change, warns prof

By Kevin Ma
The St. Albert Today
June 23, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike Flannigan

Alberta can expect to see twice as much forest fire and up to 12 times more forest fire smoke a year by 2100 because of global heating, says a University of Alberta wildfire expert. …St. Albert doesn’t usually see wildfires near its borders, but it does get the smoke from them, said Alberta Capital Airshed president Brent Korobanik. …“Wildfires can happen hundreds of kilometres away and have direct impacts on the air we breathe,” Korobanik said, as well as our health. …U of A wildland fire professor Mike Flannigan showed forum-goers stats and charts on how Alberta was seeing more forest fires now than it did several decades ago. …Flannigan said his research suggests Alberta would likely see the amount of land it loses to forest fires each year double by 2100 due to current climate trends. Those fires will burn wider and deeper into the forest floor, which means more smoke – six to 12 times more, he predicted.

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Port Alberni contractor earns safety award

Alberni Valley News
June 22, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chad Campbell, Karlie Ward, Bill Chadwick & Jeff Zweig,

Mosaic Forest Management honoured 10 Vancouver Island contractors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in safety and environmental initiatives this past year. One of those contractors is from Port Alberni. Ryder Contracting Ltd./Camson Contracting Ltd., a team of road construction crews based in Port Alberni, was awarded with an Excellent Safety Culture Award on Wednesday, June 19. Mosaic Forest Management, which includes employees and contractors for both TimberWest and Island Timberlands, achieved a safety performance with the lowest average medical incident rate in five years back in 2018. The downward trend has continued in 2019. …“Safety is our highest priority at Mosaic – nothing supersedes it,” said Jeff Zweig, president and CEO of Mosaic. 

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Inquest begins into death of teen at wood pellet plant

CBC News
June 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wanny Pelletier and Stéphanie Labonté Côté

An inquest has begun in Edmundston into the death of a young worker at a wood processing facility in Saint-Quentin. Wanny Pelletier, 17, died on Dec. 26, 2016, of injuries he suffered four days earlier on the job at Groupe Savoie. The high school student had been cleaning the wood pellet plant when his leg was caught in the conveyor, according to a WorkSafeNB investigation. He was stuck under the conveyor alone for two hours. Groupe Savoie, a producer of hardwood products and Saint-Quentin’s largest employer, pleaded guilty in November 2018, to failing to provide necessary supervision. The company was later fined $125,000 for the infraction. The teen’s mother, Stéphanie Labonté Côté, launched a lawsuit against the company in December 2017.  This inquest is not meant to determine responsibility.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

By Steve Kidd
The Campbell River Mirror
June 23, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

WEST VANCOUVER — It’s a little slow going on the Sea to Sky Highway today after a wildfire broke out around 11 a.m. this morning. The Strip Creek fire broke out around 11 a.m. between Lions Bay and Horseshoe Bay and is burning up a hillside next to the highway. According to BC Wildfire, the fire is burning in very steep terrain and crews are responding with aircraft support as well as support from other agencies. Donna McPherson, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre said there are currently 29 firefighters working on the blaze, along with five helicopters and an air tanker group with four water skimmers and two planes dumping retardant.

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Gogama fire still at 4,645 hectares, still not under control

Timmins Today
June 23, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There was one new fire in the Northeast Region by late afternoon today. At the time of this update, there are three wildland fires in the region. Sudbury 7 is being observed to allow for fire’s natural ecological benefit on Clark Island, a small island on the south side of French River Provincial Park. It measures 0.1 of a hectare. Cochrane 8 is under control at 3.5 hectares. It is located northwest of Fort Severn in the Far North. Timmins 2 covers 4,645 hectares. It is “not under control”. 

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Evacuations expand to 700 homes in Arizona wildfire

Albuquerque Journal
June 21, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SUPERIOR, Ariz. — A wildfire burning through rugged country east of Phoenix prompted evacuation orders for more than 700 homes by Friday evening, with no reports of structures burning. The human-caused fire in Tonto National Forest near Roosevelt Lake grew beyond 100 square miles (260 square kilometers). Officials said it was 42% contained and burning unchecked to the north and east. A command team said crews are protecting structures in the Top of the World community and the Roosevelt area. Gila County authorities ordered about 700 homes evacuated, including residents of the Roosevelt Lake area and terrain stretching south for a dozen miles, county spokesman Josh Beck said on Friday evening. He said there were no reports of structures burning as fire crews lit back-burns to contain the blaze. Fire information officer Christa Sandler said evacuations were taken as a precautionary measure amid increased winds and low humidity. Winds threatened to drive the fire toward Roosevelt.

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Woodbury Fire explodes to almost 80,000 acres overnight, forest officials said Saturday

By Claire Rafford
AZ Central
June 22, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Woodbury Fire burning in the Superstition Wilderness increased by almost 14,000 acres overnight, Tonto National Forest officials reported early Saturday morning. The fire increased from 66,000 acres to 79,944 acres overnight and remains 34% contained, forest officials reported via Inciweb. …Officials managing the fire are currently planning to use the Pinto Creek drainage to prevent the fire from spreading east and reaching Wheatfield — of which the fire is currently 7 miles west. Officials closed the Superstition Wilderness and campgrounds along State Highway 188 east of the Roosevelt dam, according to a Saturday report. Residents of the Roosevelt and Roosevelt Lake area were told Thursday to evacuate by the Gila county Sheriff’s Office, an order that affected about 250 residences. 

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German forest fires leap from 400 to 1,700 in a year

Deutsche Welle
June 22, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

There were 1,708 forest fires in Germany in 2018 — more than four times as many as the previous year, the Rheinische Post newspaper reported Saturday. It was the highest number of blazes recorded in the country since 2003. The fires last year burned through more than 2,300 hectares of forest, compared to the 400 hectares destroyed in 2017. The figures are based on a government response to a request from the Free Democrats (FDP). Firefighters were deployed far more often in Germany’s east than in the west, according to the report. The most blazes — 512 in total — were recorded in the state of Brandenburg. Huge wildfires broke out there in August amid a prolonged drought and an unusually hot summer. “The number of forest fires is increasing,” the FDP’s Karlheinz Busen told the Post. “Germany is poorly prepared to fight the coming challenges posed by wildfires.” 

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