Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 2, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Steelworkers commence strike action at Western Forest Products

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 2, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

In company news: Western Forest Products faces strike action by the Steelworkers Local 1-1937; West Fraser is temporarily curtailing Northern Alberta Plywood; and Interfor gets the Village of Chase’s support for the purchase of Canfor’s tenure. Meanwhile: Madison’s reports a calmer tone for lumber trading; and Chinese imports of US wood products are down due to the US-China trade war.

In Forestry news: BC’s caribou rescue plan lacks a socio-economic analysis (Vaughn Palmer); First Nations push for greater share of forest tenures (Ian Bickis), BC’s forest crisis could have been planned for (Bob Simpson); glyphosate concerns are raised in Northern Ontario and BC’s Kootenay region; and the potential of wood products to mitigate carbon emissions globally.

Finally, the Canadian gov’t gives Canada Wood a boost; while Australia and the UK promote wood’s potential.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Frenzied pace of trading in lumber gave way to a calmer tone

Random Lenghts Publications
June 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The frenzied pace of trading in many framing lumber species in recent weeks gave way to a calmer tone, although last week’s surge followed through in Southern Pine. Trading in many species shifted to the secondary level, where wholesalers and distributors were focused on selling from inventories built up in the recent rally. …Structural panel prices gained ground amid mixed trends in overall trading. OSB sales slowed from last week’s rapid pace, but prices in northern regions posted increases for the second consecutive week. In Southern Pine plywood, a perception of bottoming prices combined with emerging needs fueled steady trading and kept prices on mostly firm footing. After months of dull trading, sloppy prices, and little confidence in the western Fir plywood market, traders sensed a better tone. Canadian plywood trading picked up later in the week.

Read More

Village of Chase – Interfor presents to Council

By Village of Chase
Chase Sunflower
June 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Interfor representatives Brad Bennett and Stuart Card from the Adams Lake Division Lumber Mill addressed Council and explained the new process that the Provincial government has implemented for the transfer of timber rights from one forestry company to another in BC. Mr. Bennett explained that Interfor has offered to purchase timber rights from Canfor, and the decision will be made by the Provincial government whether the purchase can proceed. Mr. Card explained that with additional timber rights, the Adams Lake Mill can ensure that existing shifts can continue to operate, and there may be an opportunity for some additional infrastructure to be built at the mill to accommodate more product output. Mayor Crowe made a motion, which was passed by Council, to send a letter to the Minister of Forests in support of Interfor’s bid to purchase the timber rights from Canfor associated with the mill in Vavenby which will be closing.

Read More

Northern Alberta Plywood and Lumber Production Temporarily Suspended to Address Low Log Inventory

West Fraser
June 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, B.C. – Today, West Fraser announced a temporary, two-week suspension of production at its Alberta Plywood operations and High Prairie sawmill to address low log inventories for the facilities. Log inventories in support of these mills have been adversely impacted by wildfire-related logging curtailments compounded by recent wet weather. The decision to implement this temporary reduction provides time to build log inventories to more appropriate levels. Plywood production is anticipated to be reduced by approximately 13 million square feet, while the impact on Alberta lumber production is anticipated to be minor.

Read More

South Cariboo mill contractors working through a difficult time

By Millar Hill
100 Mile House Free Press
June 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recent mill closures in the South Cariboo are hitting contractors and smaller businesses alike hard – leaving them in a state of uncertainty for their future. Debra Maclean and her husband Rod Dillman, who co-own Rod Dillman Contracting are apart of those being affected by the indefinite curtailment of Norbord’s 100 Mile House mill location. “We have been working for them for years,” said Maclean. “We were bidding on timber sales performing stump-to-dump logging and Norbord had been issuing some of our contract work.” The couple started their business in the South Cariboo 14 years ago with one machine and have built it up ever since. Up until now, their company had consisted of 25 full-time employees and about five sub-contractors.

Read More

Western Announces Strike Action by United Steelworkers

Western Forest Products Inc.
Global Newswire
July 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Western Forest Products announced  that the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, the union representing approximately 1,500 of the Company’s hourly employees and 1,500 employees working for the Company’s timberland operators and contractors in BC, has commenced a strike. The strike affects all of the Company’s USW certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in British Columbia. Western has been in negotiations with the USW since April 2019 for a new collective agreement to replace the Company’s prior agreement which expired in mid-June. …“It is extremely disappointing that the USW has chosen to take strike action”, said Don Demens, President & Chief Executive Officer of Western. …We remain hopeful that they will agree to meet with a mediator so as to minimize the disruption on our employees, communities and customers”.

Read More

Forest sector “crisis” could have been planned for

By Bob Simpson, Mayor of Quesnel
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
June 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

When it became evident in 2002 that the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic was going to devastate the interior lodgepole pine forests on a scale never seen before, the BC Liberal government of the day chose to turn a blind eye to this data and glossed over the long-term implications of this unprecedented, climate change induced event. When the Liberal’s 2003 changes to forestry regulations and deep budget cuts to the forest ministry resulted in massive waste piles being left in the bush, they refused to deal with this issue in any meaningful way. …We had the luxury of time to manage our way through this transition period. We could have developed a comprehensive forest health strategy that took climate change into account.  …To date, the current provincial government has been much more open to engaging us and providing us with the resources we need than we experienced with the previous one and that bodes well for Quesnel.

Read More

A “Low-Tech” Lumber Mill Survives Automation Trend

By Jason Kaplan
Oregon Business
July 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A few miles east of Newport lies the timber town of Toledo, Oregon… nestled in the western slopes of the coastal mountains and has a skyline dominated by the chimneys of the Georgia Pacific paper mill.  Directly across the river is a lumber mill called Western Cascade Industries. It’s a small mill compared to others in the state.  It’s also an independent, family-owned business owned by Ted Stock. …Western Cascades Industries was founded by Ross Stock’s grandfather and little has changed since the Toledo mill was purchased in 1998. Ross Stock says some equipment they use dates back to the 1950’s. They are a “low-tech operation,” he says, and as such they use more labor-intensive practices to extract value out of salvage timber that would be irregular for more modern and automated plants.

Read More

China’s Imports of US Forest Products Fell by 430 Million Dollars in the First Four Months of 2019

By Wood Resources International LLC
Cision Newswire
July 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The trade war between the US and China has not only resulted in higher costs for US consumers on home appliances, electronics, apparel, footwear, and industrial machinery, but has also impacted US exporters of forest products to China. China’s economy slowed during 2018 and early 2019, causing the total value of imported wood pulp, lumber and logs to decline by just over 10% from the first four months of 2018 to the same period in 2019, reports the WRQ. Simultaneously, forest product imports from the US fell by almost 42% in value. From January to April, 2019, China imported logs, softwood lumber, and pulp from the US collectively valued at 600 million dollars. …With forest product imports from the US deteriorating and American wood product exporters losing market shares in the Chinese market, imports from other countries, including Canada and Russia, have fallen less or even expanded the past year.

Read More

New Zealand log exports to China jump 23.7% in January-May

Lesprom
June 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand increased 23.7% y-o-y log exports to China to 7.4 million m3 in first five months 2019, while average price dropped 7.6% to $95 per m3, according to Stats NZ. Share of China in New Zealand’s log exports surged 5.35 pp to 80.6%. Log exports from New Zealand to Korea expanded 4.52% to 782.4 thousand m3, average price fell 18.7% to $95 per m3 and export value declined 15.1% to $74.6 million. Log exports to India soared 33.2% to 481.8 thousand m3 with export value jumped 15.3% to $57.2 million.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Federal Government Helps Grow International Markets for Canadian Wood Products Français

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
July 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Jati Sidhu

MISSION, BC — Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced over $8.5 million to help strengthen Canadian wood product exports. The investment will support the Canada Wood Group — which brings together industry associations — in diversifying and expanding Canadian forest product exports to traditional and emerging offshore markets. Support will enable market research; assist in the transfer of technology; advance codes and standards that will increase the use of wood in construction; and deliver training in wood design and construction in China, Japan, South Korea, India and Europe. …Government of Canada funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities program.

Read More

Global Buyers Mission

BC Wood Specialties Group
July 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 16th Annual Global Buyers Mission will be held September 11  to 13, 2019 and we are expected to welcome over 800 delegates from all over the world to Whistler, BC Canada again this year. 

Read More

Could Hemp Be The Next Big Thing In Sustainable Cotton, Fuel, Wood And Plastic?

By Natalie Parletta
Forbes
June 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Since nations like the U.S. and Australia have lifted their bans on growing hemp, a revolution is brewing. Innovators are taking up the gauntlet to cultivate this versatile plant for a medley of biodegradable materials including plastic polymers, building products, fabrics, wood, biofuel, paper and even car components. It’s not new. The fiber from industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) – from the same species as its cousin marijuana but without the mind-altering THC – has been used for thousands of years to make paper, rope, cloth and fuel. Although still used in China and Europe, hemp went out of fashion, by and large, as it was outlawed and replaced by plastic, cotton, fossil fuels and other profitable products. But as their damage to the Earth has reached crisis proportions, the race is on to produce sustainable alternatives. …Hemp crops even give back by returning nutrients to the soil and sequestering carbon dioxide.

Read More

Woodworkers transform salvaged logs into high-end furniture

By Thomas Heath
The Washington Post
June 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

John Ferrara &Paul Timmins,

I was ankle-deep in mud in a woodsy corner of Baltimore County, watching two furniture makers use a $100,000 saw to cut a three-ton log lengthwise into wood slabs worth $1,000 apiece. “It’s Christmas,” said Paul Timmins, exhaling with joy as he splashed water on a 10-foot-long, three-inch-thick slab to remove the sawdust. “This is the spalting,” Timmins said, running his fingers over winding black lines that etched the wood, lines that can be rivers of gold to this small business. “It’s caused by fungus fighting each other for years. The patterns create unique images that make or break a quality piece of furniture.” …Over the next two years, the slabs will be transported, dried, planed, trimmed, cut, sanded, whatever — until the wood turns into “the most expensive piece of flat furniture you will get in your house,” said John Ferrara, Timmins’s partner.

Read More

Wooden skyscrapers: Sustainable homes of the future?

By Cambridge University
You Tube
June 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Researchers from Cambridge University’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation based at the Department of Architecture are working with PLP Architecture and engineers Smith and Wallwork on the future development of timber skyscrapers. Various teams around the world are hoping to produce the tallest wooden skyscraper, the research team from Cambridge have completed holistic work on three proposals for timber skyscrapers in London, Chicago, and the Hague. All three will be on show to the public at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition 2019, freely open from July 1–7. The team’s exhibit—Timber Towers of Tomorrow—is the culmination of a five year research project.

Read More

Fresh new campaign launched to reframe Wood as The Ultimate Renewable

Forest and Wood Products Australia
June 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) has today, Sunday 30 June, launched an advertising campaign to share the environmental advantages of forestry and wood products, as consumers increasingly look for alternatives to unsustainable materials. The advertisements offer a fresh new narrative around forestry that most of the public are unaware of – that wood is a continually renewable resource and that trees in Australia’scommercial forests are replanted. The unique ability to store carbon is another factor that means wood and any products made from it are an environmentally friendly option across the entire supply chain. Award-winning architect and host of Grand Designs Australia, Peter Maddison, is the face of the $1.8m campaign that will cover all major and regional Australian cities across multiple channels, directing audiences to Planet Ark’s Make It Wood website.

Read More

Forestry

North Cowichan council suggests local control of forestry

By Robert Barron
Chemainus Valley Courier
June 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan wants the province to explore the feasibility of adopting a new model of regionally based forest management in B.C. At its meeting on June 19, council decided to send a letter to the Union of B.C. Municipalities asking for its consideration of taking up the issue with the province at its next meeting. Council will also ask in the letter for UBCM delegates to consider asking the province for the creation of a Forest Charter that includes an overall vision, sustainability principles, and standards and goals for the province’s forests; and have a Forester General appointed by the province to serve as a new independent officer who would work with the regions on local land-planning processes.

Read More

Community Forest Meeting postponed again

By Andru McCracken
Rocky Mountain Goat
June 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The McBride Community Forest Corporation postponed their Annual General Meeting twice; the event is still planned, but the date has not been set yet. Chief Administrative Officer Sheila McCutcheon said the Annual General Meeting is a priority, but they are holding it in the summer for the first time and it is busier than expected. “It is just a really busy time for them; it is something to be determined yet,” said McCutcheon. “It’s better that they are ready to prepare to the shareholder and to the community.” Len McCarty, owner operator of Midget Mills just beyond the Village limits is one of the people waiting for the meeting. He is livid that the community forest rescheduled twice and now postponed it.

Read More

Wildsight blames province for damaged forests over the past 20 years

By Laryn Gilmour
Kelowna Capital News
June 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Although fires and beetles were a major factor in damaged forests, Wildsight says a lack of management played the leading role. Wildsight is an organization dedicated to protecting lands and forests and says fires and pine beetles aren’t to blame for years of forest decay but it’s poor forest management by the B.C. government over the last 20 years. Wildsight’sConservation Director John Bergenske says a prime issue is that the last B.C. government eliminated appurtenance, which required companies to operate mills and provide regional employment in order to harvest the province’s timber.“The previous provincial government also changed forestry legislation so that the Ministry of Forests no longer has to approve a company’s cutting plans, effectively turning oversight of BC’s forests over to industry, without a watchdog looking out for community interests or our environment,” said Bergenske.

Read More

Province to set aside 864 hectares adjacent to the Cerise Creek Conservancy Proposal a result of Lil’wat Nation advocacy

By Joel Barde
The Pique News Magazine
June 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

THE PROVINCIAL government is in the process of setting aside a large land preserve adjacent to the recently established Nlhaxten/Cerise Creek Conservancy thanks to advocacy from the Lil’wat Nation. The area—which totals 864 hectares and is located in the shared territory of the Lil’wat and St’at’imc Nations—is used to gather plants for food and medicine, according to Harriet VanWart, director of lands and resources for the Lil’wat Nation. Locally, it’s referred to as “Morgan’s Garden,” in honour of a Lil’wat Nation man who was known for his impressive knowledge of plant life. “It’s a place he would go … He knew of so many different varieties of plants and what you could do with them,” said VanMart. The push to protect the area—which will be referred to by its traditional Ucwalmícwts name, Pipi7iyekw—was made after community consultation about the Nlhaxten/Cerise Creek Conservancy.

Read More

First Nations push for greater share of forestry tenures as policies evolve

By Ian Bickis
The Canadian Press in the Chronicle Journal
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The foundations of Canada’s forestry sector are changing as First Nations, strengthened by legal victories and legislation, look for more control of the woods. A greater share of forestry rights could help open the way to greater economic independence, and is backed by a growing body of case law that affirms treaty rights, land title and duties to consult, said Peggy Smith, a forestry expert at Lakehead University. …Susan Yurkovich, CEO of COFI… “Certainly capital is mobile and it doesn’t like uncertainty, and we need to make sure that the mills that have the ability to compete in the global context have the fibre to be able to do so.” …There is potential for other business models of stewardship, said Harry Nelson, an associate professor of forestry at the University of B.C. …He said key to First Nation growth is more industry competition, less concentration of ownership, and more capital.

Read More

Trying to save caribou in political wilderness tougher than it sounds

By Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
June 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Blair Lekstrom

VICTORIA — When Blair Lekstrom reported on the caribou rescue plan for northeastern B.C., he flagged several big holes that have yet to be filled. The rescue plan was prompted by Ottawa under the federal Species at Risk Act, threatening intervention if B.C. didn’t move to rescue endangered caribou. But the act puts no obligation on government to conduct “a full socio-economic impact analysis of what the designation may mean to the impacted communities, industry and user groups of the impacted region. …He urged… such an analysis. But neither endorsed the recommendation, raising a question of whether they want folks in the northeast to know the full implications. Just last year the Quebec government balked at rescuing an endangered herd of caribou. …Quebec concluded the necessary investment was “too large” when weighed against the chances of success.” The announcement brought protests from environmentalists, but no threat of federal intervention as happened here in B.C.

Read More

Regional District of Central Kootenay wants province to ban herbicide glyphosate

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star
June 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) wants the provincial government to ban a controversial herbicide until it has done a thorough scientific and legal study of its safety. “Regional districts do not have the ability to actually ban glyphosate,” RDCK board chair Aimee Watson told the Star. The RDCK board has voted to take a resolution to the annual conference of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) in September. …Watson said glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the weed-killer Roundup, presents both a human health risk and a wildfire risk. In B.C., the forest ministry uses glyphosate is used to kill deciduous trees like aspen and birch because they compete with marketable coniferous trees like pine and fir. The catch is that deciduous trees are relatively fire resistant and thereby provide a natural defence against wildfire.

Read More

Elphinstone Logging Focus to turn cutblock into classroom

Coast Reporter
June 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) is launching the Living Forest Institute (LFI), which it says “will connect the people of the Sunshine Coast to their forest home.” In a release announcing the initiative, ELF said, “We see Mt. Elphinstone as a treasure trove of flora and fauna, but also a living inspiration for art and community and one we seek to protect for future generations. The forest in immediate need of protecting is the Clack Creek Galley Forest.” That area is also BC Timber Sales cutblock A93884, which was auctioned to a Squamish-based logging company earlier this year, and ELF has gone to court to try to stop the cutblock being harvested. ELF said its Living Forest Institute will offer art and nature education including workshops, walks, concerts and art lessons – all in the Clack Creek Gallery Forest.

Read More

Science of summer: learning how new trees may help an old forest

By Tom Spears
The Ottawa Citizen
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — Future forests could still look like today’s forests as the climate warms, but they may need a new set of genes. Genetically, a pine tree in Ottawa is different from one in Pennsylvania. Each has adapted over time to its local climate. And as the Ottawa Valley warms — especially as summers become hotter and drier — those southern pines may be the kind we need. Then again, we might need to plant different tree species entirely. A third possibility: we can stay mainly with the trees we have now. With all of these possible futures in the cards, Canada’s foresters are starting a long-term experiment at the Petawawa Research Forest, testing various methods of adapting to climate change before it’s too late. They are holding a workshop in Pembroke in mid-July. 

Read More

Governments say glyphosate is safe, but some say ‘poison’ is being sprayed on northern forests

By Erik White
CBC News
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Gerry Vautour

For Gerry Vautour it started with complaints from his customers. “I had bear hunters up here at the time and these helicopters flew over top of them and were spraying on them,” remembers the owner of East Bull Lake Wilderness Resort north of Massey. “I felt it was my responsibility to find out exactly what it was they were spraying and they said ‘Oh, it’s just Roundup. There’s no problem with Roundup.” In the decade since Vautour has learned that many people have a problem with Roundup and its active herbicide glyphosate. The makers of Roundup have been sued successfully by Americans who claim it gave them cancer and several U.S. states have banned the herbicide. Nova Scotia and Quebec have also stopped spraying it from helicopters on clear cuts so newly planted trees can grow….But the Ontario and federal governments continue to maintain it is safe.

Read More

A new voice with the same old timber industry agenda

Letter by Dylan Plummer
The Register-Guard
June 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Amanda Astor’s June 25 Op-Ed, “Managing our forests is the answer,” checks off all the timber industry propaganda boxes — more than I can address here — and even goes one further. Does it say that lumber and young tree plantations are the best ways to sequester carbon? Yup. In fact, lumber only stores about 15% of the carbon in a logged stand, and mature forests store far more than young tree plantations. Does it charge that environmentalists and regulations destroy logging jobs? Sure, but that doesn’t  change how automation, overlogging and log exports did most of the job-killing. Does it pretend that established, old growth forests can be leveled and replaced with monoculture Douglas firs without harm to soil, rivers, wildlife and fish? Or that logging roads that introduce human sources of ignition into the deep woods are good firefighting policy? Sure does.

Read More

Plan sets vision for Western Australian forestry industry

Mirage News
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A strategic framework sets a path forward for the Western Australian forestry industry. The plan focuses on healthy forests, community benefits and job creation. Wood Encouragement Policy has been developed and is a key action item of the plan. Forestry Minister Dave Kelly today launched a plan setting out the strategic direction for the future of the Western Australian forestry industry to support healthy forests and support WA jobs. The Djarlma Plan for the Western Australian Forestry Industry was developed under the guidance of an independent panel, and with extensive industry and community consultation. The plan was inspired by the Noongar concept of Djarlma that reflects the interconnected relationship of people, forests and woodlands, and aims to build new job opportunities in the WA forestry industry.

Read More

Scientists alarmed by bark beetle boom

By Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Phys.org
July 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Bark beetles are currently responsible for killing an unprecedented number of trees in forests across Europe and North America. Why the beetle populations first explode to decline naturally after a few years is largely unknown. Researchers are therefore urging to step up research into the dynamics of bark beetle populations. They believe that more needs to be done also in view of climate change. …The problem is not limited to Germany. A comparable situation is encountered in many forests across Central Europe and North America. The consequences of this major infestation are massive: In 2018, the beetles were responsible for ruining around 40 million cubic metres of wood just in Central Europe. Mass outbreaks of bark beetles usually last a couple of months to years and are followed by sudden declines in the beetle populations. Little is known about this natural phenomenon. 

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood products mitigate less than 1% of global carbon emissions

By Eric Hamilton, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phys.org
July 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The world’s wood products—all the paper, lumber, furniture and more—offset just 1 percent of annual global carbon emissions by locking away carbon in woody forms, according to new research. An analysis across 180 countries found that global wood products offset 335 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2015, 71 million tons of which were unaccounted for under current United Nations standards. Wood product carbon sequestration could rise more than 100 million tons by 2030, depending on the level of global economic growth. The results provide countries with the first consistent look at how their timber industries could offset their carbon emissions as nations search for ways to keep climate change manageable by severely curbing emissions. Yet the new research also highlights how wood products account for just a small fraction of the needed offsets for all but a select few timber-heavy countries.

Read More

Health & Safety

Man Attacked by Black Bear Kills It With an Axe

By Malcolm Johnson
The Outside Online
June 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

If it wasn’t for his dad’s hatchet, Alex Woods might not be alive.  On June 26, Woods, a forest pathologist who works for the provincial government of British Columbia, was attacked by an adult black bear while walking alone in the bush not far from the small Gitxsan village of Gitanyow. He survived the encounter, and the bear didn’t. Yesterday afternoon, he told me the story over a few much-needed beers on the patio of his home near Smithers. A lean 54-year-old with a close-cropped silver beard, Woods has been working in the backcountry for decades. He’s a whitewater paddler, hunter, and outdoorsman. Thoughtful and soft-spoken, he was still rattled as he ran through the details. …Woods will be back in the bush again soon, but the battle with the bear is making him think harder about being out alone.

Read More

Logging death in Webster County was 2nd this year

By Kate Mishkin
Charleston Gazette-Mail
June 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

A 24-year-old logger was killed on the job Thursday morning, according to a news release from Webster County emergency services. The logger was cutting timber about 9 a.m. Thursday morning, according to the release. He was working for Donald & Sons Logging Corporation, which was contracted by Weyerhaeuser, a Seattle-based timberlands and wood products company. He was working in Doddridge County about 12 miles from Gauley River Road, the release said. Doddridge County officials wouldn’t answer questions about the man’s identity. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death, a spokeswoman said. This was the second logging death this year in West Virginia, she said — the first happened in Braxton County. The logger was working for Pawpay Logging, Inc.

Read More

Forest Fires

Crews respond to several lightning-caused wildfires in Northwest

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
BC Government
July 1, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to several wildfires following successive lightning strikes across the Northwest Fire Centre. At this time, all fires are less than one hectare. The smoke visible in some areas of the Northwest Fire Centre is a result of large wildfires burning in Alaska and Yukon Territory. Smoke from these fires is particularly heavy in the Cassiar Fire Zone, which includes Iskut, Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake and Atlin. Lightning caused 10 new fires within the Northwest Fire Centre since Thursday morning. The majority are now out or under control, meaning they have received sufficient suppression to ensure they will not spread. …On Sunday, June 30, the Northwest Fire Centre experienced nearly 23,000 lightning strikes, the majority of which occurred in the Cassiar Fire Zone, where conditions are very dry. 

Read More