Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: July 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC seeks public input as Canfor announces additional capacity reductions

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 19, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC invites public feedback on how to revive the interior forest sector amid job losses and new curtailments at Canfor. In related news: Vaughn Palmer is surprised at the finance minister’s lack of concern for the sector; a BC town declares a financial crisis; and Dawson Creek’s MLA says more needs to be done. Also, 2nd quarter results for: West Fraser and Södra; expansion plans by Stora Enso; and post-fire thoughts at Muskoka Timber Mill in Ontario.

In Forestry news: ENGOs say BC’s iconic tree protection is ‘mostly symbolic’; ENGOs are not the ‘real problem’ in Montana; and a new study says deforestation in war torn counties is worse ‘post-conflict’.

Finally, tiny molecules that add life to pulp and paper products.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Home builders and lumber stocks get reality check

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 18, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

US home builder stocks follow lumber producers down as sagging housing news takes its toll. In related news: US lumber is up while Canadian production is down; Fort St. James declares financial crisis due to mill closures; Canfor looks to repurpose its shuttered Vavenby sawmill; and a labour ruling has some Western Forest Products contractors heading back to work. 

In Forestry/Climate news: BC takes action on threatened old-growth, protects 54 groves with iconic trees—including the Big Lonely Doug; Canada invests in First Nations conservation and in forest-based solutions to plastic waste; researchers take stock of Canada’s urban forests; and BC builds the case for more mass timber construction.

Finally, gaps in wildfire science leave Canadian researchers fighting blind.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Forestry families fear the future

By Mike Bernier MLA
The Dawson Creek Mirror
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Mike Bernier

For the past few weeks I’ve been travelling around the Peace talking to forest families and folks from forest communities about how things are going. What I’ve heard is concerning. Families—those with someone working in the forest sector, and those with someone working in the businesses and services supporting the sector—are worried about their futures. They have already seen temporary shutdowns triggered by a wide variety of factors. Now they are troubled, wondering if what is a temporary shut down today could turn into permanent closures without a concentrated effort to bolster the sector. …More needs to be done to help our local forest sector remain strong. It’s essential for families. And it is critical for our communities. 

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Rising softwood lumber production for U.S. sawmills, while Canadian output drops sharply

Global Wood Markets Info
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Softwood lumber production by U.S. sawmills in the first four months of 2019 was 11.718 billion board ft. (bbf), an increase of 0.9% from 11.616 bbf a year earlier, while Canadian sawmills produced 8.588 bbf of softwood lumber in the first four months, down 8.8% from 9.421 bbf a year earlier. Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 4.797 bbf of the four-month total, down 1.8% from 4.883 bbf a year earlier, while production at southern U.S. sawmills increased, by 3.0% to 6.370 bbf from 6.186 bbf last year. …Canadian sawmills produced 8.588 bbf of softwood lumber in the first four months, down 8.8% from 9.421 bbf a year earlier. Much of the decline was in British Columbia, where output plunged 16.2% to 3.587 bbf from 4.279 at the same time last year. Production by sawmills East of the Rockies also fell, by 2.7% to 5.001 bbf from 5.142 bbf.

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Job losses in B.C. forest industry prompt call for feedback from the Province

By Marcella Bernardo
News 1130
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WILLIAMS LAKE — A call has gone out for help stemming job losses in the wake of several B.C. mills closing or temporarily suspending operations. Supply shortages and unstable market conditions have been blamed for falling timber prices. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is seeking public input to rebuild the industry in the Interior–the region suffering most from back-to-back wildfire seasons and the mountain pine beetle infestation. …Mayor Bev Playfair says the $39-million sale to Hampton Lumber means operations won’t start up again any time soon. Hampton executives say the long-term outlook is “promising” to build a new mill in the area, even though current economic conditions are “extremely challenging.” Playfair says the crisis declaration won’t be lifted before August 15th. …Public engagement sessions are also being held in various communities starting with Williams Lake on July 18.

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James boasts of $1.5B surplus but downplays tax hikes, forestry issues

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Finance Minister Carole James …confirmed the New Democrats had ended the 2018-19 financial year with impressive results: a $1.5 billion operating surplus, the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in a decade …But I was struck by how little concern James expressed for … the troubled forest sector. The public accounts showed a $300 million plus surge in forest revenues in the year gone by, because markets were good and prices better. But lumber sales — and taxable worker paycheques and  corporate profits — have been on the slide since the beginning of the calendar year, with results that must already be showing up in the revenue returns to the Ministry of Finance. James said the government is alert to the risks in the forest sector. But at another point she also boasted the B.C. economy is “at practically full employment,” which would not be the perception in the more-than-30 forest-dependent communities where mills are on reduced operations or closed altogether.

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B.C. town declares financial crisis after sawmill closes, latest in string of shutdowns and layoffs

Canadian Press in Financial Post
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JAMES, B.C. — The small community of Fort St. James, B.C., has declared a state of local financial crisis in the wake of the closure and recent sale of its largest sawmill. Mayor Bev Playfair signed the declaration this week, less than a month after Conifex Timber Inc. announced a $39 million deal to sell its sawmill to Oregon-based Hampton Lumber. The sawmill is a major employer in the north-central B.C. town of about 1,600 and remains closed prompting the declaration which will remain in effect until Aug. 15, unless cancelled by the mayor. …When the Conifex sale was announced in June, company chairman Ken Shields called the decision “difficult,” but said it was almost inevitable because too little saw log supply is available to maintain the existing manufacturing base in the Interior region of B.C. Hampton Lumber CEO Steve Zika pledged to build a new mill in Fort St. James but didn’t offer a timeline…

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B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Closed-door meetings with forests ministry staff and community and first nations leaders began Thursday in Williams Lake, as the B.C. government’s ambitious plan to remake the struggling Interior forest industry picks up speed. The B.C. industry has been rocked by sawmill closures as it copes with reduced timber supply after extensive beetle damage and a slump in lumber prices. The NDP government has also moved to regulate Crown forest licence transfers, redistribute logging rights and impose restrictions on log exports. …Now ministry staff are conducting their own private meetings …“Part of this government’s approach is to see more involvement of first nations in forestry,” Donaldson said in an interview with Black Press. “Almost every day when we’re sitting in the legislature I have first nations come into my office to express interest in more volume and getting involved in forestry.” That timber volume largely would have to come from existing forest licences. 

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Canfor Announces Additional Capacity Reductions in BC

By Canfor Corporation
Cision Newswire
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER– Today Canfor Corporation announced further capacity reductions at two of its British Columbia sawmills with an indefinite curtailment at its Mackenzie sawmill and the permanent elimination of one shift at its Isle Pierre sawmill. The indefinite curtailment at Mackenzie, which is effective immediately, is due to the high cost of fibre, continued poor lumber markets and challenging operating conditions that have combined to make the mill uneconomic under these conditions. The Isle Pierre sawmill will be permanently reduced from two shifts to one shift effective September 20, 2019. The capacity reduction, which is due to insufficient timber supply as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic and associated decline in the annual allowable cut, will enable the mill to better align its production capacity with the sustainable fibre supply in the region. 

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Public feedback invited on new approach to Interior forest sector

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government is accepting public input in shaping an Interior forest sector that will innovate, create jobs and support communities for generations to come. “The previous government failed to help the forest sector when it had a chance, eroding the public’s trust in B.C.’s forest sector operations and diminishing its competitive advantage,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests… “We are taking action and making different choices by asking for local input and insight into how we want to shape a prosperous, competitive and culturally sensitive Interior future forest sector.” …The Province is supporting impacted communities and workers through community transition and response teams that liaise with local governments, the federal government, industry, labour, employment support programs and organizations, as well as post-secondary institutions.  …the goal is to sustainably increase added value from B.C. forest products, such as mass timber and advanced bioproducts, while strengthening communities, maximizing employment and advancing reconciliation with First Nations.

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Fort St. James declares financial crisis following sawmill closure

By Estefania Duran
CBC News
July 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A northern B.C. community has declared a state of local financial crisis after the district’s sawmill was sold last month. The declaration for the District of Fort St. James was ordered by the mayor Tuesday night and will remain in force for 30 days unless ordered otherwise.  The sawmill closed after Conifex decided to sell the facility to Hampton Lumber, a decision that Mayor Bev Playfair says left 226 people unemployed. … Playfair says the closure affects more than just the workers, noting there is a “trickle down” effect felt by the rest of the community. She’s hopeful the declaration will result in the creation of job opportunity programs by the federal and provincial governments to prevent workers from leaving. Although a declaration of financial crisis is a first for the district, Playfair says the community is not new to mill closures, with this being the third time the facility has closed. 

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BC Human Rights Tribunal awards damages to former forestry worker

By Marcella Bernardo
News 1130
July 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – A forestry worker who was denied a job with the B.C. government four years ago has won a discrimination case at the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Bryan Fraser has been awarded $25,000 after he says he was discriminated against because of his political beliefs about logging on Haida Gwaii. In 2015, Fraser received an offer of employment after spending time out of the province. However, the employment offer was rescinded after the Ministry of Forests learned he had previously harvested trees that were considered culturally important. Fraser had worked on Haida Gwaii in the 1990s and 2000s. The Ministry argued Fraser had failed to report he was under investigation by the Forest Practices Board. In awarding compensation, tribunal member Catherine McCreary says Fraser should not be re-instated, but he should be compensated for a loss of dignity by the hiring process.

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Muskoka Timber Mills fire, 3rd incident of day in Bracebridge, rages all night

By Nicole Martin
CBC News
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MUSKOKA, ONTARIO — Firefighters are still at the scene of a massive fire at the Muskoka Timber Mills that had been raging all night. The Bracebridge Fire Department said the fire has been knocked down but is still smouldering and that crews could be dealing with hotspots for quite some time. The blaze at the lumber yard, located at 2152 Manitoba Street, just north of downtown Bracebridge, is one of three separate fires that sparked Wednesday. Around noon, firefighters were called to a fire in a workshop on Fraserburg Road. …Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith described the scene in a tweet as “chaotic,” with all the pump trucks on scene shuttling water from a nearby hydrant. There is no word yet on a cause or extent of the damage.

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Owner of Muskoka Timber Mills thinking of employees right now

By Doug Crosse
My Muskoka Now
July 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

BRACEBRIDGE, ON – The owner of Muskoka Timber Mills is thankful to local firefighters for their efforts. Ric Signor spoke to the MyMuskokaNow.com newsroom following the massive blaze that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. He has owned the business since 1992 and he says he is not sure what the future holds. “The fire department has been excellent, the first responders have been excellent,” said Signor. “We’re just looking at all options and trying to plan what the future is going to look like.” He is concerned for his 55 employees and wants people to remember the fire happened to them as well. “I just feel for my staff, and we are going to do everything we can to make it as painless for them as I possibly can,” offered Signor. He says he has no idea what caused the blaze and will await the findings of the Ontario Fire Marshall. The biggest issue for a business like Muskoka Timber Mills is the long lead time to fulfill orders.

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Stora Enso Evaluates Expansion in Wood Products

By Stora Enso
Cision Newswire
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HELSINKI — Stora Enso has initiated feasibility studies for a possible cross laminated timber unit in connection with its Ždírec mill in the Czech Republic and a new construction beam unit to be located at the Ybbs mill in Austria. Stora Enso also plans to consolidate production to increase focus on efficiency and to streamline the asset base. …The proposed expansion in Ždírec would add a total annual capacity of approximately 120 000 m3of CLT. It would be Stora Enso’s fourth CLT unit, following the inauguration of the Gruvön CLT unit in Sweden earlier this year. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

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M’sia’s furniture exports to US jump amid trade war

By Sulhi Khalid
The Malaysian Reserve
July 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THE country’s furniture exports to the US jumped 20.8% to RM1.55 billion in the first five months of 2019, as American buyers shifting their orders to South-East Asian countries due to the ongoing US-China trade war. Malaysia External Trade Development Corp CEO said furniture exports saw an increase of 9.6% to RM4.14 billion, compared to the corresponding period last year. The main exports of Malaysian furniture include wooden bedroom furniture, chairs with wooden frames, office furniture and kitchen furniture. He also urged the industry players to explore the possibilities of transitioning from original equipment manufacturing, to original design manufacturing or original brand manufacturing, as the country has a strong pool of furniture exporters with a niche in manufacturing. …“The furniture industry has also been recognised as one of the main industries capable to drive the transformation of the manufacturing industry into one that champions Industrial 4.0,” he added.

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Finance & Economics

West Fraser Announces Second Quarter Results

West Fraser Timber Company
July 18, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Softer commodity pricing in all segments reduces operating earnings relative to comparative periods (second quarter earnings per share down 28%). Permanent curtailments are expected to reduce annual production capacity by 614 MMfbm.

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Södra posts a strong result in a declining market

Sodra
July 18, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

Södra’s operating profit for the first half-year totalled SEK 2,009 million, compared with SEK 2,257 million in the year-earlier period. Return on capital employed was 19 per cent, which surpassed Södra’s target of 10 per cent.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadians Developing Innovative Solutions to Plastic Waste

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
July 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Reducing plastic pollution is an international imperative that is important to Canadians and people around the world. As part of its climate change commitments, the Government of Canada is collaborating with small businesses to reduce pollution and help create a greener, more sustainable environment for everyone. The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $300,000 investment in the first phase of a Bioplastics Challenge aimed at helping small businesses reduce pollution by turning forest-based residue into sustainable domestic plastic material. The investment will be split equally between …(1) Bosk Bioproducts Inc., based in Quebec City, is developing a highly compostable and cost-effective bioplastic made from paper mill sludge and wood fibre residue that is compatible with plastic manufacturers’ existing equipment, and (2) GCUP — Technology Corp., based in Vancouver, is developing a completely plant-based and compostable single-use coffee pod from bioplastic and wood fibre.

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Tiny Molecules Add New Life to Pulp and Paper Products

By Genome BC
Cision Newswire
July 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – …With the decline in demand of newsprint and other traditional paper products, and the need to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for challenges in other industries, there is huge potential for the forestry industry to boost uses for by-products. Two novel projects, funded by Genome BC and BC Pulp & Paper Bio-Alliance, will make advances to just these problems. Led by UBC’s Dr. Sue Baldwin, one project will use the concept of a ‘circular economy’ to take pulp and paper mill residues, currently landfill, and use it to sequester nutrients from water at mine sites. …A second project, led by UBC’s Dr. Lindsay Eltis, will develop biological methods that can be used to transform ‘black liquor’… into usable consumer goods such as adhesives, foams, and other applications.

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World’s First Fully Automated Cedar Shingle Factory Coming to Clair, New Brunswick

By Natural Resources Canada
Government of Canada
July 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

CLAIR, NEW BRUNSWICK – Investments in wood innovation have the potential to grow the economy, tackle climate change and create jobs in rural and remote communities.  René Arseneault, MP for Madawaska–Restigouche, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, announced a $2.4-million investment to help build the world’s first fully automated cedar shingle facility. The funding will enable shingle manufacturer Waska to employ the novel use of lasers, sensors and advanced algorithms, which are a set of computer-generated instructions typically used to perform problem-solving operations in production. …Provided through NRCan’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, this investment will sustain over 90 jobs. …Waska is a division of Clair Industrial Development Corporation Ltd., has been in operation for 50 years.

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Katerra CLT passes testing for first project use, first panels to ship soon

Lesprom
July 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West
In early July, Katerra CLT products successfully completed product testing for first project use, conducted by its 3rd party agency PFS-TECO, Kattera announced. Company will produce both 5-layer and 3-layer panels, used primarily for floors. Next on track is the testing and certification of 7-layer and 9-layer panels, including CLT shear wall panels to be used for lateral stability, providing even faster and less costly construction. Master panels will come out of its press with a format size of 12ft wide x 60ft long – representing the largest CLT press in the world. The master panels are then fed for finish fabrication into three state-of-the-art 5-axis gantry CNC machines, creating the greatest possible production flexibility. …The first project to receive CLT panels from the factory is the Catalyst Building, located in Spokane, Washington’s booming University District. 

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Catalyst for Change

By Glacier Media
Kamloops Matters
July 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

On the surface, two neighboring buildings in the University District of Spokane, Wash., will look deceptively ordinary to the casual observer when they open in 2020. But Catalyst and Hub represent state-of-the-art strategies for energy operations and construction materials. A joint venture of McKinstry Co. and Avista Corp., the project consists of two buildings. …Among Catalyst’s innovations will be the use of cross-laminated timber, a strong  lightweight alternative to conventional poured concrete and steel framing. …CLT will also be used in the exterior envelope of the building to create Passive House conditions, reducing internal and external heat loads to as close to zero as possible. …A development partner, Katerra, will harvest the timber from local farms and manufacture the panels in its Spokane Valley plant.

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Experts demand urgent removal of cladding from tower blocks

By Robert Booth
The Guardian
July 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

More than 100 more tower blocks must be urgently stripped of combustible cladding panels in a significant widening of the fire safety crisis since the Grenfell Tower disaster. High-pressure laminate (HPL) panels, often made from compressed wood and paper and used to produce colourful patterns on new buildings, should be removed “as soon as possible” from housing taller than 18 metres, the government’s expert panel on fire safety demanded on Thursday. The order could affect thousands of tenants and leaseholders who previously believed their homes were safe. Industry experts believe at least 100 residential tower blocks will be affected. Delays to safety reforms ‘risk a repeat of Grenfell disaster’

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Forestry

It’s All In The Genes

By Leah Coppella
Carleton Newsroom
July 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Catherine Cullingham

…What is it about a pine tree that could make it a good defender against the devastating mountain pine beetle? Prof. Catherine Cullingham would argue that it’s in the genes. Cullingham was at the University of Alberta, researching pine-tree genetics, before joining Carleton University’s Department of Biology. …This year at Carleton, Cullingham is hoping to build on her research about the mountain pine beetle… The beetle is now slowly making its way toward central Canada, and Cullingham says that in Ontario additional plant species are likely susceptible to it. Which is where her current research comes into play. “The idea is to try to identify what genes are involved in defense and whether there are certain variations in those genes that make some species better defenders,” she says. “It might not even be in the genes. It might be how the genes are turned on and off, how they’re regulated.”

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Gaps in wildfire science leave Canadian researchers fighting blind against growing risks

By Jeff Lewis
The Globe and Mail
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

…Some of the tens of millions of dollars Alberta spent on wildfire prevention in 2016 helped fund efforts to thin trees around the city, plant less-combustible hardwoods and clear brush from homes, according to a postincident report. Such precautions are in use across Canada, yet they are based primarily on technical guidelines developed in the United States; few have been validated by scientists to gauge how effective they are in northern, boreal forests. “What that means is that people really don’t know, because it hasn’t been done,” said Brian Stocks, a wildfire-science specialist and one of several investigators hired to assess the Fort McMurray blaze for the Alberta government. That knowledge gap is just one of a growing number of blind spots that scientists say jeopardize millions of people and billions of dollars of infrastructure as more intense and frequent wildfires chew through larger tracts of Canada’s forests each year.

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Sunshine Coast Regional District endorses floating logging work camp

By Sophie Woodrooffe
Sunshine Coast Reporter
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A provincial referral for a floating work camp and log handling facility in Area A was endorsed by directors, subject to a number of conditions. Tsain-Ko Forestry and Capacity Forest Management have applied to the province for a licence of occupation on the ocean for two to five years in Killam Bay in Jervis Inlet, about five kilometres north of Egmont. The facilities would form part of a nearby heli-logging operation. According to the staff report, “the area is frequently used by shíshálh Nation members and the public for oyster harvesting, fishing and recreation purposes.” In addition to the conditions, which include environmental and recreational protections and noting potential navigational concerns, Area A director Leonard Lee requested a bond with the province to guarantee restoration of the tenure area after the log booming sites are closed.

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New Old Growth Protections More Symbolic than Symbiotic, Environmentalists Say

By Brandon Wei, graduate student, UBC School of Journalism
The Tyee
July 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Environmentalists say the provincial government’s commitment to protect 54 more old-growth trees is a good first step, but its effect will likely be more symbolic than ecological. B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said at a press conference Wednesday that the designated trees would protected by placing a one-hectare buffer zone around each of them. …“This is good, but it’s not nearly enough, and it’s not happening anywhere close to the pace we need change for endangered old-growth forests,” said Jens Wieting with the Sierra Club BC. “We are in the midst of extinction and climate crisis, and this step is more symbolic than anything else.” …Wieting and MacKinnon are doubtful that protecting 54 trees, even with a one-hectare buffer zone, will have significant effect on their ecosystems. …MacKinnon compares the total area protected to a little more than 13 per cent of Stanley Park, which comprises around 400 hectares.

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Courtenay Council adopts Urban Forest Strategy

Comox Valley Record
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the first time in Courtenay’s history, an urban forest strategy is in place to guide tree management across the City for years to come. Adopted at the July 15 council meeting, the strategy is a planning tool that identifies opportunities and challenges for trees and forest stands on public and private land. Including voices and photos from the community, and illustrative statistics about Courtenay’s trees and forests, the document has been written in an engaging format for a wide range of audiences. A canopy cover target of 34-40 per cent by 2050 has been enshrined in the adopted plan. This represents a vision of more urban trees and forests than the current canopy cover of 33 per cent. Tree canopy cover is a common metric used to describe the extent of a community’s urban forest measuring tree leaves, branches and stems that cover the ground when viewed from above. 

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Fuel Management is a priority for 100 Mile Community Forest

By Raven Nyman
The 100 Mile Free Press
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 100 Mile House Community Forest continues to make progress on fuel management projects along Horse Lake Road and Highway 24, with two permit areas nearing completion and several others making good progress over the past month, according to a news release from the district of 100 Mile House on July 9. …“Since its inception, the Community Forest has sent timber to the local mills, supporting local employment,” reads the release. “This will not change. That said, the closure of the Norbord mill will have a direct impact on the Community Forest’s operations as much of the smaller material being harvested was slated to go to Norbord’s OSB program.” Doddridge advised that the Community Forest pulpwood “is now going either to Quesnel Pulp or to River City in Kamloops” in an email to the Free Press on July 17.

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Toad migration could close parts of Whistler park, officials say

CBC News
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Resort Municipality of Whistler is warning residents and visitors about possible upcoming closures around Lost Lake Park as thousands of Western toadlets migrate from the lake to the nearby forest. The resort municipality said in a statement that once migration begins, the Lost Lake access road and parking lot will be closed to all vehicle traffic. Lost Lake Beach, grassy areas, and the nearby trail will only be open to foot traffic, but could also close if there is a large number of migrating toads. During peak times, about 1,800 toads cross the beach trail every hour. Lost Lake Park acts as the breeding ground for Whistler’s largest population of Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas), a sensitive species that is native to British Columbia. The amphibian can be sensitive to changes in its environment because of its porous skin.

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New Wildfire Preparedness Guide published

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The British Columbia government has released the new Wildfire Preparedness Guide. The 20-page guide is the first of its kind and as its title suggests is dedicated completely to wildfire preparedness. “The probability of damaging wildfires has increased in recent years, due in part to the effects of climate change. If you live in a risk area, it’s imperative that you take time to get ready,” the guide said in its introductory comments. It features information from before, during and after wildfires, representing “the complete disaster cycle, from mitigation and preparedness to wildfire response and recovery,” said Tara Gostelow, spokesperson with Emergency Management BC. …Gostelow said the guide include pertinent themes identified by the public over the past two wildfire seasons. They include health-focussed advice on managing wildfire smoke exposure, how to manage anxiety related to wildfires and evacuations and information on insuring property and understanding the policy entitlements.

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Fort Nelson gets a bump to annual allowable cut

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The annual allowable cut for the Fort Nelson timber supply region will be increased by 1 million cubic metres. It may be the only region of the province to actually see its AAC increase. The AAC for interior region timber supply areas is on the decline, due to the mountain pine beetle epidemic, and the coastal region is under unrelenting pressure to protect old growth forests from logging through parks and protected areas. The Fort Nelson region was largely untouched by the Mountain pine beetle infestation, and does not have the same conservation concerns over caribou that could take 300,000 cubic metres out of the AAC for the Peace region. Mills that once operated there have been idle for years, which has resulted in an undercut. …The regional government has been lobbying for an increase in the AAC to lure new sawmills to the area.

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A chance to save B.C.’s last ancient forests

By Gary Fiege, Public and Private Workers of Canada and Jens Wieting, Sierra Club of B.C.
Victoria Times Colonist
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s old-growth forests, the values they hold for Indigenous peoples, and forestry-dependent communities are in crisis. Raw log exports remain at record high levels and mills are closing. The climate crisis, insect outbreaks and massive forest fires are here to stay. But we’re still clearcutting the most endangered, resilient and carbon-rich forests at an alarming rate. Even more irresponsible, B.C. is exporting about three million cubic metres of old-growth per year as raw logs, accepting massive environmental losses for minimal economic benefits. After decades of business as usual, time is running out for the B.C. government and industry to begin the transition to truly sustainable forestry. On the current path, we will not leave healthy forests or healthy communities for our children. The amendment process for B.C.’s forestry law, currently underway, is a chance to change course. 

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Environmentalists and Wilderness are Not the Timber Industry’s Big Problem

By Mike Garrity
Counter Punch
July 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MONTANA — For decades the timber industry and its political allies have claimed that efforts to maintain Montana’s functioning forest ecosystems and native wildlife have “shut down” logging.  But two recent articles reveal that the basic economic principles of over-supply and over-production in the timber industry are the real problems, not environmentalists, the Endangered Species Act, or being “locked out” of national forests by wilderness designations. …As Julia Altemus, logging lobbyist and director of the Montana Wood Products Association, told the Missoulian’s Rob Chaney: “There’s been a lot of over-production across the board.  We have too much wood in the system and people weren’t building.” …In fact the “supply” of national forest trees is more than just good. …For some reason, these timber industry realities don’t seem to matter to Montana’s congressional delegation. 

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Stillwater Project an Important Milestone

The Daily Inter Lake
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State and federal wildlife officials, along with representatives from Weyerhaeuser and The Trust for Public Land gathered near Olney last week to celebrate a conservation milestone for our corner of the state. It was the culmination of a yearslong collaborative effort that has expanded the Stillwater State Forest by 13,398 acres. In a nutshell, Weyerhaeuser agreed to sell the property, and the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Fish, Wildlife and Parks and The Trust for Public land worked together to purchase the land. DNRC will administer the state trust lands to bring in revenue that benefits schools. The conservation easement ensures the forestland will provide sustainable timber management, along with permanent public access for recreation and will conserve fish and wildlife habitat. The deal is a solid win-win for everyone in Northwest Montana who treasures our open space and the outdoors.

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New state-owned timber resource to be harvested by Indigenous company

Mirage News
July 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Cape York Timber, an Indigenous-owned business that processes timber at its Cooktown sawmill, has been granted a 10-year sales permit to harvest state-owned native forest log timber which will have local employment benefits. The issuing of the sales permit follows completion of a competitive sale process undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, with assistance from the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the 10-year permit would provide jobs and certainty in the region. “This new sale to harvest 5000 cubic metres of timber annually from state leasehold land until the end of 2028 will provide employment and training opportunities for local Indigenous communities through harvesting, transport, processing and other associated enterprises,” Ms Lui said.

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The cost of peace in post-conflict countries: forest cover

By Dilukshi Handunnetti
The Napali Times
July 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The advent of peace in four countries that experienced wars hasn’t been kind to the environment, with a new study showing greater rates of deforestation during peacetime than during conflict. The paper, published in the journal Land Use Policy, shows how Nepal, Sri Lanka, Peru and Ivory Coast experienced ‘alarming forest loss’ in the years immediately after the end of their wars. …The nature and duration of the conflict in each country differed. …What the four countries do share, however, is loss of forest cover. The average rate of deforestation in the five years after the end of the respective conflicts was 68% higher than in the last five years of the conflicts, according to the study. The data, based on analysis of Landsat satellite imagery, gave the global average rate of increase in deforestation as 7.2%.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire burns nearly 7,000 acres near Prescott National Forest

By Nicole Chavez and Pierre Meihan
KOAM News Now
July 19, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PRESCOTT, Ariz. – A wildfire burning in central Arizona is forcing evacuations in a remote area near Prescott National Forest in Arizona, the US Forest Service said. The Cellar Fire has burned nearly 7,000 acres in an area located about 16 miles south of Prescott, and it was 0% contained as of Thursday, fire officials said. Firefighters have been trying to contain the fire since a lightning strike ignited it on Sunday, the forest service said. A mandatory evacuation was issued Thursday for residents in Pine Flat, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office said. Several communities in Yavapai County were getting ready for possible evacuations.

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Cellar Fire near Prescott grows to nearly 6,500 acres after warm weather, lower humidity

By Molly Hudson
AZ Central News
July 18, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Cellar Fire, burning about 16 miles south of Prescott, had burned about 6,450 acres as of Wednesday evening, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman said Wednesday morning. That figure was revised from the estimated 7,000 acres earlier in the day. The Cellar Fire was ignited by a lightning strike around 5 p.m. Sunday, growing quickly after Tuesday’s warm weather and lower humidity, said Gabrielle Kenton, a Cellar Fire public information officer.  As of Wednesday morning, the fire was 0% contained, and Kenton said the fire could grow faster if wind conditions in the area pick up. The fire was not posing a threat to any human structures or power lines, Kenton said. As a precaution a Code Red was issued for the community. …Quite a bit of smoke and haze will be visible in the area of Prescott Valley for the next couple of days, Kenton said. 

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