Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 26, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Softwood lumber prices continue dizzying reversals

The Tree Frog Forestry News
June 26, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Softwood lumber prices continue their dizzying reversals; while the strengthening Canadian dollar threatens to squeeze forest industry profits. In other Business news: Conifex’s decision to sell its Fort St. James mill was “extremely difficult” (CEO Ken Sheilds); Liberal’s don’t understand the “real issues” (Mayor Bob Simpson); “more shutdowns are coming” (CEO John Brink) and “we will get through this difficult transition” (CEO Susan Yurkovich).

In Forestry news: Canada’s first faculty of forestry is set to close; Nova Scotia announces shift to biomass heat; David Suzuki says “caribou and industry can coexist”; Patrick Moore says “trees are the answer”; and Bill Moomwa says Massachusetts forestry “isn’t sustainable for the climate”.

Finally, mass timber makes headlines in Montreal, Toronto; Colorado, Washington DC and Wales.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

North American softwood lumber prices continue dizzying reversals

By Kéta Kosman
Madison’s Lumber Reporter
June 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The sheer plummet, then flat-line, of North American construction framing softwood lumber prices for most of this year continued last week the massive reversal of the previous week. Wholesaler prices of benchmark dimension softwood lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr last week corrected up somewhat further. The ability of Eastern Spruce-Pine-Fir suppliers to raise their prices significantly confirms the upward price movement of lumber commodities in the past two weeks. Confusion reigns still, however Tuesday lumber futures on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange might provide some clarity, as it closed unchanged from Monday’s levels of just below US$400 on the July and September contracts. …Sales activity wasn’t as “crazy” as it was the previous week for purveyors of WSPF lumber in the US. However prices continued to advance and sawmills were definitely in the driver’s seat during negotiations.

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Strengthening Canadian dollar threatens to squeeze company profits

By Stefanie Marotta
The Globe and Mail
June 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada and the United States are on diverging economic paths, fuelling a rise in the value of the loonie that some expect will gather steam in the coming months. …The loonie is up 3.8 per cent against the greenback this year, a trend that threatens to hit margins at Canadian companies – particularly those in the forestry, financial services and manufacturing sectors. A interest-rate cut next month in the United States would likely drive the loonie higher. …Canada’s forestry industry… derives most of its earnings from the U.S. Half of the companies in the report get more than 50 per cent of their revenue from south of the border. Lumber producer Interfor Corp. generates 72.1 per cent of its revenue from the U.S. and paper and pulp maker Domtar Corp. comes in a close second at 67.3 per cent. …A stronger loonie also increases the cost of shipping products with a Canadian company. [a Globe & Mail subscription is required to access the full story]

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“We will get through this difficult transition”: COFI President on sawmill curtailments, closures

By Brendan Pawliw
My Bulkley Lakes Now
June 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

The Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, record-breaking wildfire seasons and challenging market conditions are still being blamed for the recent challenges in BC’s forestry sector. That’s according to Council of Forest Industries President Susan Yurkovich who spoke with Vista Radio following the announcement of curtailments. …However, she is pleased Hampton Lumber is planning to build a new facility in Fort Saint James following an agreement to purchase the sawmill from Conifex for 39-million dollars. “You know, that’s exactly what needs to happen. We have to go through this difficult transition as I mentioned earlier and what we need to do is have the right milling capacity or the right configuration of mills to be able to match with the available timber.” …Yurkovich is confident the industry can move through this difficult stage and wants to see the milling capacity match the fibre available.

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Caribou plan divides communities

By Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River North
Energetic City
June 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Davies

By the time former MLA Blair Lekstrom had been brought in to salvage a caribou recovery plan for the northeast section of the province, it was already too late. Nearly two years of closed-door meetings produced an agreement that by Lekstrom’s estimate, excluded 97 percent of residents who live and work in the region, including local governments, business, the outdoor recreation community and even certain First Nations. My colleagues and I consistently called on the government for transparency. To make matters worse, forests minister Doug Donaldson took a done-deal on the road and tried to pass off hastily organized information sessions as “public engagement.”  …Our local forest industry is already hurting enough. The last thing we need is another hammer blow to the job losses we have already suffered. And rest assured, the oil and gas and mining industries are closely monitoring what is unfolding as well.

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‘There likely will be more’: CEO of Prince George’s Brink Forest Products predicts more forestry downfall

By Jessica Fedigan
Prince George Matters
June 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Brink

It’s only getting worse. Numerous mills in B.C. have had to either curtail their production or entirely shut down their facilities. …While many hope the market will go into an upswing, Brink Forest Products Ltd. CEO John Brink, sees it differently but says there are multiple contributing factors. …”There is simply not enough fibre for the amount of capacity that we have right now and in a way, that all relate back to the time of the pine beetle academic through the interior of the province.” …”The other factor, in my opinion at least, is global warming,” he says. …The other part is the incremental part of the timber that may be available in the open market is so minimum that there’s so much competition for it which makes it not viable for some of the operations.

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B.C. Liberals still clueless on forest sector needs

By Bob Simpson, Mayor of Quesnel
The Province
June 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

Quesnel, and the rest of B.C., experienced more permanent mill closures and forest-sector job losses during the B.C. Liberal’s time in government than at any other time in the province’s history. …If Andrew Wilkinson’s [recent] letter reflects the Liberal’s forestry agenda, it proves two things: One, the Liberals still don’t understand what the real issues are and, two, they would rather play petty politics than support the deep policy shifts needed to tackle the underlying issues that created the crisis. It’s important to note that Quesnel, and the rest of B.C., experienced more permanent mill closures and forest-sector job losses during the B.C. Liberal’s time in government than at any other time in the province’s history, including those we are experiencing today. …Admittedly, Wilkinson wasn’t premier when the Liberals made a mess of the forest sector but the approach he demands that Premier John Horgan take to solve the current crisis is contradictory, hypocritical and stale. 

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Conifex to sell sawmill in Fort St. James, B.C., buyer plans to rebuild

CBC News
June 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Another sawmill company has announced that one of its B.C. operations is shutting down, adding another site to the swollen list of mill closures or slowdowns hitting the province. Conifex said it has agreed to sell its sawmill in Fort St. James to Hampton Lumber for around $39 million. …”The decision we have taken to sell the mill was extremely difficult; however, we are encouraged by Hampton’s plans for the site,” wrote Conifex CEO Ken Shields. …In May, Tolko announced it would be closing its mill and laying off 150 people in Quesnel. And another 90 … in Kelowna as the company shaves its workforce. …Canfor announced it was “significantly” curtailing operations … for two to six weeks. That news came days after the corporation announced it was permanently closing its sawmill in Vavenby in July, affecting more than 170 jobs. Those numbers do not account for contractors and workers in related industries who are also affected by cuts.

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‘Extremely difficult’: Conifex selling Fort St. James sawmill

By Jessica Fedigan
Kamloops Matters
June 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conifex Timber has entered into a purchase agreement with Hampton Lumber for the sale of their Fort St. James sawmill and the forest license associated with it, the company announced yesterday June 24. …Ken Shields, chair and CEO of Conifex, says the company knew changes would be inevitable with a struggling lumber industry. “We have known for some time that lumber industry rationalization is inevitable because too little sawlog supply is available to maintain the existing manufacturing base in the Interior region of B.C.,” he says. …With the Conifex sawmill closing, the company says it intends to build a new mill in Fort St. James.  Hampton Lumber CEO Steve Zika says they are hopeful they can succeed despite the current challenging conditions. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Winning ecological project a model for future cities, Plante says

By Marian Scott
Montreal Gazette
June 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A municipal works yard squeezed in-between the Bonaventure Expressway and the Lachine Canal will be transformed into an example of what an ecological city of the future would be like. On Tuesday, Mayor Valérie Plante announced the winner of a competition sponsored by Reinventing Cities, a global initiative to encourage sustainable real-estate developments on underused sites in 14 cities [around the world]. The winning design, Demain Montréal, backed by real-estate firm Ivanhoë Cambridge, builder Pomerleau and real-estate manager Cogir, proposes a carbon-positive wood-structure highrise complex with 250 mixed-income housing units and co-working spaces… It will include an indoor farm in the basement that will produce 423,200 kilograms of food annually, beehives on the roof, a “souk” (public market) for events featuring zero-waste grocery stores and restaurants, and an orchard. Skyscrapers constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) — large, prefabricated wood panels — have a significantly lower carbon footprint and are much lighter than concrete buildings.

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FPAC applauds Sidewalk Labs’ plan for Toronto timber neighbourhood

The Forest Products Association of Canada
June 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sidewalk Labs released its Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) for Toronto’s eastern waterfront yesterday. …Derek Nighbor, President and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada issued the following statement today in response to the MIDP. …“The Toronto Tomorrow proposal prominently features the use of wood from Canada’s sustainably managed forests as a cornerstone of its project – including a plan to build with mass timber, to use wood to build affordable and below market housing for Torontonians, and to invest $80 million in mass timber manufacturing. …”This project is a great way to address a number of community needs in Toronto, while providing a boost to our rural and northern forestry communities.”

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Sidewalk Labs unveils full Toronto waterfront master plan that’s a timber-topia

By Audrey Wachs
The Architect’s Newspaper
June 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — The smart city is the king of go-to solutions for the problems that bedevil urban areas. At the moment, the concept—tech innovates those problems away!—is trending hard in Toronto thanks to the work of Sidewalk Labs. …Unlike New York’s super-sleek Hudson Yards, a comparable “big development,” there will be a forest’s worth of wood buildings in this project. …Sidewalk Labs is turning to mass timber for 12 major buildings in the Quayside portion of the development. The showcase here is both structures by London’s Heatherwick Studios, the eminent go-to firm for megadevelopers, and an $80 million vertical timber supply chain for those buildings that will extend from forests to an Ontario factory to fashionable city blocks. Doctoroff said his company is working with the Toronto buildings department to amend rules that cap timber building heights at six stories in order to build up to 30 stories tall.

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Keynote Speaker Covers Sustainability, Energy, the Future at Summer Conferences

Window & Door
June 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Patrick Moore

A self-confessed “Greenpeace dropout” spoke about why he chose to leave the organization to find alternate routes toward protecting the environment during the 2019 Joint American Architectural Manufacturers Association and Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance Summer Conferences. Dr. Patrick Moore has been a leader in the international environmental field for longer than 45 years. …For his presentation, Moore discussed materials. The solution to evaluating a material’s impact, says Moore, is full life cycle analysis: measuring all impacts on air, water and land, as well as materials and energy use. “Trees are the answer to a whole bunch of questions,” says Moore, noting that “Trees are the Answer” is also the name of his book, and the foundation for his theology on the benefits of wood across multiple aspects of life. “Trees are an abundant source of renewable material.”

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Colorado university’s new campus center breaks ground

The Construction Specifier
June 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The University of Denver’s (DU’s) Burwell Center for Career Achievement in Colorado has broken ground. The 2137-m2 (23,000-sf) building… has been led by Lake|Flato with Shears Adkins Rockmore (SA+R) providing local architectural support. The project aims to be one of the first all-mass-timber buildings in the state and is also aspiring to be one of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Platinum structures in Colorado. The Burwell Center is anticipated to use 70 percent less energy than other similar buildings. “Coming out of our integrated design workshops, it was clear the DU community was committed to a sustainable and environmentally responsible project,” said Ryan Yaden, AIA, project architect for Lake|Flato. “This ethic led to the selection of mass timber for the building’s structural system, which will be exposed throughout.”

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New Research Facility Aims To Spur Innovations In Construction

By Jon Banister
Bisnow – Washington DC Real Estate News
June 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The construction industry faces a multitude of challenges, from the rising cost of materials to the labor shortage to the impact buildings have on the environment and the need to make buildings resilient to natural disasters. A new lab facility Hitt Contracting opened this month in Falls Church, Virginia, aims to help find solutions to these problems. …The 8,600 SF facility opened at 2757 Hartland Road in Falls Church. Hitt Contracting VP Katie Rothenberg said the facility aims to help the construction industry catch up to other sectors in innovation. …One of the seed projects… is testing a method for growing bricks using microorganisms, a more environmentally friendly way than the carbon-intensive process of firing the material. …President, Daniels Real Estate Hitt is also demonstrating… the first structure in Virginia to be built using cross-laminated timber, the team said.

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Tomsk State University is testing contactless fire resistance of building materials

By Tomsk State University
Phys.org
June 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Staff of the Tomsk State University Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics has proposed an original contactless method for testing the fire resistance of wooden structures and building materials. Various wood construction materials (oriented strand board, plywood, and chipboard) covered with flame retardants were taken for the experiments. The results will be used in the development of fire hazard test methods. The new methodology and related software were presented at an international seminar in Saint Petersburg. In the experiments, the scientists directed a constant stream of heat from the radiator to the sample and, at the same time, fixed the moment of ignition—the appearance of a flame on the surface. …The main goal of the experiments was to create a technique for working with an infrared camera to assess the fire hazard characteristics of various materials.

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Innovative wood manufacturer gets £5m boost

By Josh Morris
Insider Media
June 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A wood manufacturing business based in the Vale of Glamorgan [Wales] is set to ramp up production after receiving £5m of development capital. Lignia  Wood Company, which has its manufacturing site on Barry, plans to increase capacity after receiving the funding from institutional investors, which will also serve as working capital. The company, which has been established in Barry for three years, is now looking to commercialise its products in the UK, US and continental Europe.Lignia  uses FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified softwood harvested from legal and sustainably-managed forests and modified through a unique process which enhances its stability and durability. This creates products which have performance characteristics and aesthetic properties similar to those of popular hardwoods for use in a number of applications including yachts.

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Forestry

Can caribou and industry coexist?

By David Suzuki
Rabble Blogs
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The economy-versus-environment debate is wrong-headed in elevating a changeable human construct to the same level or above the natural systems on which our health and well-being depend. And in many cases, it would be more accurate to characterize it as “environment versus corporate interests.” Although those interests often align with economic benefits and jobs, sometimes they just mean bigger profits for company CEOs and shareholders at the expense of the common good. When “economy” is regarded as more than just profit-taking, it can be compatible with environmental protection. With caribou conservation, there can be room for both. …Room for Both, a new study by the David Suzuki Foundation, Alberta Wilderness Association and Ontario Nature, demonstrates that caribou conservation and industrial resource activity need not be mutually exclusive. It examines ways for caribou and industrial activity to coexist, and concludes that effective habitat restoration can create economic opportunities and help advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

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Regional District of Central Kootenay asks province for more powers to regulate private land logging

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) wants the province to give regional districts the power to make land use bylaws that would regulate private land logging. And it wants the province to require large private forest landholders to register their properties in the province’s Private Managed Forest Program. This would require of owners a degree of land use planning and stream protection that does not otherwise exist for private land logging. These two requests have been combined in a resolution to the annual conference of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) in September. UBCM delegates will vote on the resolution, and if it passes, the UBCM will lobby the provincial government for the changes. …The resolution… asks for legislation that would give regional governments new powers to regulate some aspects of private land logging.

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Wildwood Ecoforest: the heart of ecoforestry

By Gary Beltgens
Ladysmith Chronicle
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Wildwood Ecoforest is one of the hidden gems of the Ladysmith and Yellow Point area. In 1938 Merv Wilkinson bought the Wildwood Property in Yellow Point… After some study he was persuaded to manage the existing forest using a Scandinavian model of ecoforestry. Nearing the end of his life in the early 2000s he chose to put his land in the public domain to keep it from being developed. It was acquired by the Land Conservancy for the price of 1.1 million and The Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) was appointed to be the official forest manager in 2001. …To ensure the sustainability of the ecoforest the Institute is fundraising to buy back 6 acres of adjacent old growth that were sold years ago. This land borders the main property and is part of the watershed that feeds the protected forest and the lake. A fundraising drive is on now and can be accessed on the Wildwood website.

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Golden opportunity on our forests

Letter by Martha Lescher
BC Local News
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Arcese

…North Cowichan council has been swamped with public input about the management of the municipal forests. How fitting then that on April 17 council received a letter from Dr. Peter Arcese, UBC’s professor of forest renewal, regarding a proposed collaboration on “Developing Forest Management Plans to Achieve Shared Goals.” …They also invited the UBC Conservation Group to address the Forest Advisory Committee. On June 17, a delegation of three UBC professors presented “Forests to Sustain Economies & People” to the committee. …I am honored that our community and its forests have been recognized and offered support by the UBC Faculty of Forestry. We have no say over logging on private land which is occurring on Vancouver Island at the alarming rate of three sq. meters per second or 34 soccer fields a day. However, our local government is considering a new Forestry Management Plan.

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BC First Nations Forest Strategy Launched at First Annual BC First Nations Forestry Council Conference in Kelowna

By BC First Nations Forestry Council
Cision Newswire
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SYILX UNCEDED TERRITORIES and KELOWNA, BC – The BC First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC) held the first annual BC First Nations Forestry Council Forestry Conference this week at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna within the unceded territory of the Syilx Peoples. 103 First Nations participants attended the three-day event from June 19-21, 2019. Joining the First Nations participants were 25 industry participants, and several government of BC representatives. Over the three days, presenters representing individual First Nations communities, First Nations businesses, government, industry, and academic institutions all addressed the audience and engaged in discussions. …Charlene Higgins, CEO of the BC First Nations Forestry Council stated, “Time for talk is over. It’s time for change. The Strategy has been advanced over many years through direct feedback and support from First Nations. The Strategy is about raising the bar for all First Nations. To implement the Strategy the province must change the revenue sharing model with First Nations.

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Vancouver Island marmot babies take facility by surprise

By Jeff Bell
The Times-Colonist
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Staff members at the Marmot Recovery Foundation were surprised by the recent birth of two marmot babies at their Mount Washington facility. …Fifteen more marmots will be released during the summer in Strathcona Provincial Park and Nanaimo Lakes. …Taylor said Mount Washington offers unique surroundings for marmots, since the ski hills there function much like marmot meadows. …“The big difference to Mount Washington is all of these people that come year-round tend to scare away the animals that actually eat marmots, like cougars and wolves,” he said. “The result is that [marmots] have really, really high survival here. …Funding for the recovery of the Vancouver Island marmot comes from the provincial government, TimberWest, Island Timberlands, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and individual donors.

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Project Perseverance: Restoring the Commons in Cumberland, BC

By Meaghan Cursons, Cumberland Community Forest Society
Watershed Sentinel
June 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 150-year legacy of the E&N Railway Land Grant still echoes across southeastern Vancouver Island. This transfer of over 2 million acres of unceded Indigenous land to coal baron Robert Dunsmuir is the origin of many land use conflicts on Vancouver Island. But it is also the back story for one community’s journey to restore the commons. The Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) has been purchasing and protecting privately owned forests scheduled for logging near the Village of Cumberland since 2000. Guided by the belief that this forest is now worth more to the community as an intact forested watershed than as timber, the CCFS is supported by individuals, families, and businesses from across the Comox Valley and beyond. Purchased lands are protected in perpetuity for the conservation of biological diversity and watershed protection by a Section 219 conservation covenant (Land Act).

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Ecological Forestry Forum updates stakeholders on changes to forestry industry

By Alicia Draus
Global News
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s Department of Lands and Forestry held a forum for stakeholders on Ecological Forestry Tuesday at Dalhousie University’s Agricultural Campus in Truro. Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin and Deputy Minister Julie Towers were present to update stakeholders on current projects supporting the government’s response to the independent review of forest practices that was released by Bill Lahey last year. Rankin said their goal was to show people what they’ve been working on. “But also more importunately to get feedback from interested Nova Scotians on the things we are working on,” said Rankin. …The department will be compiling comments from the forum and including them in a summary report to be posted online in two weeks. Towers said they plan to have additional opportunities to consult and get feedback from stakeholders as they move forward with the various projects

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Uncertainty looms over Forestry’s identity ahead of final vote on closure today

By Michael Teoh
The Varsity – The U of Toronto Student Newspaper
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Governing Council will issue a final vote today on U of T’s proposal to disestablish the Faculty of Forestry and restructure it as a graduate unit under the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. The vote follows recommendations by the Planning and Budget Committee and the Academic Board. …If approved, Canada’s first forestry faculty will close on July 1, after 112 years of operation. The university administration and the deans of Daniels and Forestry all maintain that, despite the faculty’s probable disestablishment, Forestry programs and research would continue as usual under Daniels. However, the Forestry Graduate Students’ Association and Forestry faculty members and alumni have criticized the proposal for its perceived failure to ensure that Forestry would still retain its distinct identity, a concern they say was brought up during the university’s consultation periods.

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Retired Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry fire program manager awarded Ontario’s highest honour for public service

Thunder Bay News Watch
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

David Cleaveley

THUNDER BAY — David Cleaveley… has been awarded the 2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal of Distinction in Public Administration. It is the province’s highest honour for public service. Cleaveley retired at the end of last year from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry fire program. At the time, he was the Response and Operations Manager for the Northwest Region, overseeing fire management services and 800 staff located in 13 different work locations. …He was responsible for the planning and delivery of more than $100 million in capital investment to upgrade aging MNRF infrastructure. In an announcement about his award, Cleaveley is cited for leadership and innovation in managing Indigenous initiatives, including a 2004 fire protection agreement between the MNRF and Grassy Narrows First Nation. It was the first agreement of its kind in the province, and led to similar arrangements with other First Nations.

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Two arrested for trespassing at logging protest

By Patricia Maravelias
KRCR News
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Courtney Dressler and Stanton Wood

RIO DELL, Calif. — Two people were arrested on Monday and Tuesday for trespassing while protesting on logging company land, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO). On Monday deputies were called to Humboldt Redwood Company …for a report of one person being detained by the company’s private security. This is the second time in just over a week protestors have been reported at the location. HCSO found Courtney Dressler, 26 of Arcata on scene and learned she had been found trespassing on company property. …The following morning, deputies say they were again sent to the same location for a report of around 15 protestors blocking the company’s access to a gate on Monument Road. …Deputies arrived on scene and located the protestors. They say they also found Stanton Wood, 33, of Eureka locked to the excavator further into the property.

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Tongass forest supporters rally in favor of roadless rule

The Associated Press in the Seattle Times
June 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JUNEAU, Alaska — About 150 people turned out in Juneau for a rally opposing expanded development in the Tongass National Forest. The Juneau Empire reports the rally Saturday was in support of the 2001 National Roadless Rule. The U.S. Forest Service is developing a state-specific program for the Alaska that could open parts of the Tongass. The Roadless Rule was established in 2001 to protect roadless forests, which make up one-third of National Forest lands. State Rep. Sara Hannan of Juneau told the crowd the Tongass remains the crown jewel of the national forest system.

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Should we resurrect the American chestnut tree with genetic engineering?

By Julia Rosen
The Los Angeles Times
June 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…These days, it can be hard to find a single [chestnut] tree thanks to a devastating blight imported from Asia in the late 1800s. Soon, scientists at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry here could change that. They say they’ve found a way to resurrect the chestnut by giving it a gene from wheat that shields it from the blight’s poison. If the federal government gives its blessing, these genetically engineered trees could be ready to plant in a few short years. It would mark the first use of the technology for ecological restoration, and probably not the last. Across the country, forests face growing threats from invasive pests, diseases and climate change. …But genetic engineering raises a host of difficult questions. Like how much humans should intervene in nature in the name of conservation.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Nova Scotia stoking wood chip heating program for government buildings

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
June 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province is planning a large scale conversion of its rural buildings – from schools to hospitals – to heat them with wood. It will soon release tenders to convert six buildings to biomass heat – most likely in the form of wood chips – with plans to significantly expand the program next year. “It will be a design, build, maintain type system,” said Lands and Forestry minister Iain Rankin, of the tendering process. Rankin said the province has a list of 100 buildings that it will consider converting. …The event… steps being taken to implement an exhaustive study of how forests are managed in Nova Scotia, often dubbed the Lahey Report, after its author University of Kings College president William Lahey. Among the report’s 45 recommendations was that the province team up with municipal governments and regional development agencies to create small scale wood energy projects.

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Solution grows on trees

By John Keppler
The Times and Democrat
June 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Americans are tired of half measures on climate change. Seven in 10 Americans want utility companies to overhaul their operations and generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from renewables in the near future. That’s ambitious. …Fortunately, there’s an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels that utilities can use around the clock. Wood biomass, trees and the parts of trees that the timber industry can’t use, is plentiful and reliable. And it helps utilities dramatically reduce their carbon footprint on a lifecycle basis. Replacing fossil fuels with wood biomass should be part of our approach to preventing catastrophic climate change. …There’s no shortage of talk about solar and wind energy. And rightfully so. These sources help reduce emissions. But wood biomass also should play a role in the renewable energy revolution.

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Are We Cutting Down The Wrong Trees In Massachusetts?

By Craig LeMoult
WGBH
June 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

BOSTON — When it comes to the growing threat of climate change, the shrinking rainforests of South America get a lot of attention. …Bill Moomaw, an emeritus professor of international environmental policy at Tufts University a new paper in the journal “Frontiers in Forests and Global Change,” argues that here in the U.S., and specifically in New England, the practice of “sustainable forestry” is not sustainable for the climate. “You ask a forester when is a tree ready to be cut down, and he’ll say it’s when it’s between about 9 and 11 inches in diameter,” Moomaw said. “For a lot of our species, that’s somewhere around 75 years, which is why the median age of trees in the northeast is 75 years. …If the goal is removing more carbon from the atmosphere, Moomaw says that’s exactly the wrong time to cut down trees.

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Health & Safety

Man airlifted with serious injuries after getting stuck in conveyor at Stimson Mill

KHQ
June 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

A man was transported by Life Flight after what emergency crews called an accident involving him being stuck in a conveyor at the Stimson Mill in Priest River, Idaho, Tuesday afternoon. Bonner County EMS responded to the incident at Stimson Lumber Co. after initial reports from 911 dispatch indicated a man was trapped in a conveyor, though dispatchers soon advised he was no longer trapped. Units arriving first on scene found the man seriously injured, stabilized him and transported him to the Priest River airport. He was airlifted to definitive care at Kootenai Health, where his condition is unknown at this time. [END]

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