Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 4, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Global trade in lumber up, value of Canadian exports to US down

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 4, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Global trade in lumber increased marginally in 2019; while the value of Canadian lumber exports to the US declined significantly—according to Haken Ekstrom. In other Business news: Interfor seeks First Nations engagement on Canfor’s tenure; the BC Liberals want forest relief not partisan antics; the US Commerce Dep’t says low property taxes in New Brunswick are not a subsidy; and Nova Scotia’s Premier is hopeful about Northern Pulp’s fate.

In Forestry news: the Forest Practices Board says BC needs a new planning process; Alberta’s pine beetle mortality is as high as 98 percent; and the USDA says old-growth forests are more resistant to wildfire than young forests.

Finally, happy Independence Day to our US readers who are celebrating their separation from British rule in 1776.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Japan decreases lumber imports from Canada by 23.4% between January and May

Lesprom Network
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada
Lumber imports to Japan from Canada dropped 23.4% y-o-y to 586.1 thousand m3 in first five months of 2019, import value declined 23.8% to $238.8 million, according to Customs and Tariff Bureau of Japan. Total lumber imports to Japan slid 7.27% to 2.4 million m3 with import value was down 8.42% to $907.3 million. Finland lumber exports to Japan decreased 6.26% to 388.7 thousand m3, average price dropped 6.78% to $297 per m3. Lumber exports from Sweden contracted 7.46% to 311.6 thousand and average price dipped 5.19% to$307 per m3. In January-May, lumber imports to Japan from Russia gained 0.77% to 381.3 thousand m3 with import value was up 3.5% to $138.9 million. Average price for lumber imported from Russia surged 2.73% to $364 per m3. [END]

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In January-May value of Canadian lumber exports to US drops 22.8%

Lesprom Network
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

From January through May, lumber exports from Canada to US dipped only 0.58% y-o-y to 13.2 million m3, while export value declined 22.8% to $1.9 billion, according to USDA data. Average price for lumber exported from Canada to U.S. was down 22.4% to $143 per m3. Total lumber imports to U.S. slid 0.19% to 14.8 million m3 with import value decreased 18.0% to $2.5 billion. Average price for lumber imported to U.S. contracted 17.9% to $169 per m3. U.S. lumber imports from Germany jumped 20.0% to 469.9 thousand m3, average price declined 20.0% to $257 per m3. Lumper imported to U.S. from Brazil dipped 3.0% in volume to 260.8 thousand m3 and expanded 14.6% in value to $104.2 million. [END]

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Laid-off forestry workers need help, not partisan antics

By John Rustad, BC MLA
The Province
July 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad

In response to former NDP MLA and Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson’s partisan op-ed on the B.C. Liberal’s recovery plan… I would like to provide a more rounded perspective on the crisis in BC. Job losses are mounting daily and, frankly, I am quite shocked that a mayor sitting at the epicentre of this crisis would take the opportunity turn this into a political football. People turn to elected officials for help and assistance in times of emergency. A person who just lost their job doesn’t need to hear the mayor pin the blame for some twisted political gain. …We have a plan that would provide immediate relief to the forest industry and hopefully stave off any more job losses. This includes employing displaced workers to help handle wildfires this summer. We also want the Horgan government to halt its plan to increase stumpage fees.

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Interfor says it’s open to working with Simpcw

By Michael Potestio
Kamloops This Week
July 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ric Slaco

Interfor says it wants to explore various forest stewardship and partnership opportunities with the Simpcw First Nation, which is opposing its proposed $60-million purchase of Canfor’s timber rights.  Ric Slaco, Interfor’s VP and chief forester… the company recognizes the band has interests and has… a desire to  engage in talks… possibilities such as joint decision-making and economic opportunities for the Simpcw’s forestry development business. …[Chief] Loring said Canfor’s timber rights are in the heart of the First Nation’s territory and Simpcw has consistently expressed its focus on acquiring tenure to grow its forestry operations. …According to Slaco, Interfor was not able to discuss the plan for the tenure acquisition with third parties ahead of the announcement because of a confidentiality agreement. …Interfor expects a decision on the acquisition to be made by government sometime in August, Slaco said.

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Forest sector avoids extra duties after U.S. probe into property taxes on private timberland

By Robert Jones
CBC News
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick forest companies will not be hit with extra duties from the US because of low property taxes charged on privately owned timberland in the province. …The US Department of Commerce ruled New Brunswick assesses forest properties for taxes too low at $100 per hectare but not low enough to trigger extra duties on forest products.  Mike Legere of Forest NB, an association of provincial forest companies, welcomed the news. …”The decision is consistent with what you see in much of the U.S. state jurisdictions.” …A collection of US lumber companies have been arguing the tax treatment is a clear government benefit to private owners of timberland and wanted duties assessed on forest products entering the US from New Brunswick because of it. …The case being considered in Washington was narrowly focused on North American Forest Products of Saint-Quentin.  

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As Boat Harbour closure looms, premier hopeful about Northern Pulp’s fate

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stephen McNeil

Premier Stephen McNeil says he has “a responsibility to look at all possibilities” if the company that operates the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County, N.S., can present an environmentally-sustainable plan for a new treatment facility. …”If [Northern Pulp] can provide something that makes sense, that they can present to the community, that they can present to government that gets a permit, then I believe I have a responsibility to look at all possibilities as the premier.” McNeil noted that while mill officials continue to go through the provincial process, there is also a federal environmental assessment. …The current estimates from the provincial government put the start of the cleanup project at sometime in 2021. …Kathy Cloutier, spokesperson for Paper Excellence Canada, said… goal is to complete the necessary work as soon as possible.

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How Congress can make housing affordable again

By Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders
The Hill
July 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The growing housing affordability crisis …could have grave repercussions for the economy unless policymakers take immediate action. So it is particularly heartening that President Trump is making housing a top priority by issuing an executive order that focuses on the need to resolve regulatory challenges… …contributing factors include: a shortage of construction workers; rising costs of building materials aggravated by tariffs on Canadian lumber and steel and aluminum imports from China… A critical but often overlooked factor that is hurting housing affordability is the ongoing trade war on lumber, steel, aluminum and other imported materials and equipment that is needlessly driving up housing costs. The administration needs to negotiate a new Softwood Lumber Agreementwith Canada and to resolve the trade dispute with China to bring down the artificial increase in building material prices that are putting upward pressure on home prices and rental units.

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Pyramid Mountain Lumber to add new technology, employees

By Martin Kidston
The Missoula Current
July 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Loren Rose

When Loren Rose signed on with Pyramid Mountain Lumber 33 years ago, Montana was embroiled in a timber war and the big players were Plum Creek and Champion International. Jump forward three decades and Plum Creek has parceled out its properties, Champion is gone, and technology is set to do what human hands have done for decades. Pyramid Mountain on Tuesday won approval from the Missoula County commissioners to apply for a state grant to hire six new employees as it prepares to install a pricey lumber grader at its Seeley Lake mill. The grader, valued at around $3 million, can size up a board in seconds to make the most precise and valuable cut. The job was historically done with the human eye, the boards marked with crayon. …If the state grant is approved, Pyramid will expand its workforce to 136 people, making it the largest single employer in Seeley Lake.

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Pentarch CEO Paul Heubner confirms jobs may go in the North-West after company loses contract with Forico

By Sandy Powell
The Advocate
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

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Western Australia forestry plans for jobs, industries and the environment

The Manufacturers’ Monthly
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A new plan for the Western Australian forestry industry aims to support the manufacture of timber products. In a statement from the Minister for Water, Fisheries, Forestry, Innovation and ICT and Science, Dave Kelly, harvested wood fibres are named as an opportunity to create products including engineered timbers and bioplastics. Utilising sustainably farmed wood for construction and fit outs in the building industry in Western Australia is another key plank of the plan. …The plan aims to balance the ongoing health of Western Australia’s forests with their potential to create jobs through the forestry industry. The plan builds upon the enthusiasm for timber in the construction sector. Engineered wood products are now able to replace more costly steel in building projects. 

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Global Trade of Lumber Increased in the 1Q/19, Russian Lumber Exports are on the Rise and US Lumber Prices Were Substantially Lower than in Early 2019

By Hakan Ekstrom, Wood Resources International LLC
Yahoo Finance
July 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HELSINKI — Global trade of softwood lumber reached 120 million m3 in 2018, the second highest level on record. The uptick in demand for lumber continued in early 2019, with most of the major lumber-exporting countries increasing their shipments as compared to early 2018. Global trade of softwood lumber reached 120 million m3 in 2018, the second highest level on record. The uptick in demand for lumber continued in early 2019, with most of the major lumber-exporting countries increasing their shipments as compared to early 2018. Out of the top-ten exporting countries, the largest year-over-year increases (in %) were in Ukraine, Russia, the US, Chile and Germany. Lumber exports from Ukraine have taken off dramatically after the country banned practically all exports of softwood logs in 2017.  The free fall of lumber prices in the US came to a halt in early 2019, when prices were close to a four-year low. During the spring prices rose modest in both the US South and the US West. 

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Boreal Bioref granted environmental permit the biorefinery

Lesprom Network
July 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International
The Regional Administrative Agency of Northern Finland (PsAVI) has made a decision on Boreal Bioref Ltd environmental and water management permit. The terms of environmental permit regarding emissions to waterways and air are very strict. However, on preliminary examination, it can be stated that the conditions imposed do not prevent the construction of the biorefinery. Meanwhile, the company applied for an exceptional permit to start the construction work. PsAVI made an affirmative decision in accordance with the application. Boreal Bioref Ltd. builds a biorefinery in Kemijärvi with a production capacity of 500,000 tons of versatile bio-products. The mill produces long-fibre bleached and unbleached pulp, dissolved pulp, microcrystalline cellulose.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Showcase wood pavilion built at UBC’s Martha Piper Plaza Fountain

By Kenneth Chan
Daily Hive
July 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A newly-installed centrepiece for the heart of University of British Columbia’s campus is both functional and a sustainable architecture showcase piece. Led by associate professor Joseph Dahmen, graduate students at the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture designed and constructed C-Shore – a sustainable timber pavilion that provides … an area of respite and relaxation. The covered wooden pavilion, complete with bench seating, is built into a green space on University Boulevard… This structure is built out of western red cedar trees felled before the construction of developments at the edge of the campus, with logs diverted to a local sawmill and used to construct the pavilion. …the pavilion uses a system of horizontal timber shoring to create the structure and enclosure, which has porous interior spaces that are “enlivened by the dynamic interplay of shadow and light, creating a simultaneous sense of enclosure and openness.”

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Forward to a greener, denser city

By Megan Devlin
The Globe and Mail
July 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Parkland linking the lake to Toronto’s downtown skyscrapers; a skyline more densely packed all the way to North York and timber buildings anchoring glass towers. That’s how some of the city’s leading developers, planners and architects envision Toronto in twenty years. They came together last week at Toronto of the Future, an exhibit in Metro Hall featuring renderings and models of the new development projects. They want green spaces, walkability and eco-friendly buildings to be the way forward. …In the next twenty years, city projections show 200,000 more people are expected to move into the downtown core. …But the biggest change could come from implementing Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside project. The area will likely be the site of new buildings following a burgeoning trend toward more environmentally-friendly architecture. Planned for George Brown’s waterfront campus is a striking mass timber building. [to access the full story a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Forestry

Cariboo Mayors Involved In High Level Forestry Meeting In Prince George

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
July 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

The Cariboo Mayors were joined by the provincial government and the Council of Forest Industries last Thursday. Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says they talked about where the province was going with its interior renewal strategy. “How we get together in each of the timber supply areas… industry, First Nations, local government, workers…and start planning on a localized basis what some of our options and opportunities are to get us through this challenging transition period.” Simpson says they also talked about what can’t be done to help out the forest industry, namely reducing stumpage or the carbon tax. “Both the Council of Forest Industries and the government stated categorically that is not possible, and they will not be reducing any of the costs associated with the industry, because it would trigger a softwood lumber dispute and they would lose some upcoming appeals.”

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We should look at the municipal forest as a series of woodlots

Letter by Bryan Wallis, RPF retired
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We should look at the municipal forest as a series of woodlots. I offer some views in the ongoing interest of those who will have further opportunity to provide input into our municipal forest management through consultation on our management practices. I have read the entire agenda and minutes of our TAC committee. I see there is significant momentum toward some agendas that in my view are unworkable. This would be “landscape level planning” and a carbon offset project, especially a 30 year commitment. …Let me be clear, the examples used by the UBC “team” (which has been consulting with our community), are from the Kootenays and are for extensive large forest areas far in excess of North Cowichan’s small, fragmented forests. They do not apply in the form proposed. …Our areas are far too small to accommodate everything for everyone, or I will loosely say, “save the world”. 

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BC SPCA photo contest captures the beauty of local wildlife

The Castlegar Source
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC SPCA invites the public to participate in its 11th annual Wildlife-In-Focus photography contest. Amateur photographers 14 years and older can submit their awe-inspiring images of hummingbirds, bears, bees, seals and other amazing creatures until Aug. 31. “Wildlife-In-Focus is a celebration of the incredible diversity of wild animals that live in B.C.,” says BC SPCA specialist, research communications Erin Ryan. “Every year we receive amazing entries featuring graceful deer, red foxes playing in the forest and bears catching salmon on the river with mountains in the background.” …The top 52 photos will be featured on a deck of playing cards, which makes a really unique gift and has always been extremely popular. …Every deck of cards sold and all photo entry donations support the BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC), which cares for more than 2,800 orphaned and injured wildlife every year

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Mountain pine beetle mortality numbers high but we must not become complacent says forestry official

By Edward Moore
The Edson Leader
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

ALBERTA — Following a bitterly cold February, mountain pine beetle mortality could be as high as 98 per cent, but according to an Alberta Agriculture and Forestry official we aren’t out of the woods yet. “It’s a bit of a sigh of relief,” said Mike Underschultz. …A lot more beetle mortality resulted from this year’s cold spell. In order to make a real dent in the beetle population, it has to stay cold, around -30 Celsius for a period of two weeks at a time, which it did this year. In order to arrive at the mortality rate, forestry officials utilized aerial reconnaissance and bark samples. …Meanwhile, he said, Jasper National Parks officials are continuing Fire Smart efforts (thinning trees, etc.) to help avoid further spread of the beetle to other areas, and mostly to protect the park and the Town of Jasper from wildfire.

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B.C. needs new planning process for forestry

BC Forest Practices Board
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – In a new report, the Forest Practices Board recommends that government adopt a tactical forest planning process to direct forestry operations on Crown land. “For more than 20 years, the board has called for improved planning and objectives at the landscape and watershed scales,” said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board. “Recent board work has confirmed that forest stewardship plans, despite considerable energy and effort to develop and approve, do not address the need for planning for multiple forest values across the landscape.” The board recommends a planning process that takes broad objectives from land-use plans and translates them into a plan for achieving the desired future forest on a specific area of land. “The need for landscape-level planning is more critical now than at any time in the past, as forest resources are increasingly affected by the cumulative effects of multiple developments and natural disturbances due to climate change,” said Kriese.

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Board to audit Tolko operations near Merritt

BC Forest Practices Board
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the forestry activities of Tolko Industries Ltd. in the Cascades Natural Resource District during the week of July 8, 2019. Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning carried out by Tolko between June 1, 2018, and July 12, 2019, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The audit area is located in the Merritt timber supply area, near the communities of Merritt and Princeton. The area has a diverse landscape that provides habitat to a variety of wildlife.

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Nova Scotia Government: Bridging the Divide in Forestry, Op-ed

By Iian Rankin, Minister of Lands and Forestry
Indigenous Lands & Resources Today
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Iian Rankin

Forestry has been part of the foundation of our economy for many decades and has experienced significant changes over time. It is time for this industry to change once again. A cultural shift is underway that will transform how we value and manage our forests. It’s a move that fully embraces the true meaning of ecological forestry. This industry needs to bridge the divide between a sustainable path forward and achieving better environmental standards. At times, I hear misunderstanding from all sides in this sector. However, I am optimistic we can reach a place where everyone involved sees the importance of increasing our efforts to conserve biodiversity and wildlife. We will get there by being thoughtful, respectful and most importantly by working together. I believe we will find a practical plan that will deliver better ecological outcomes in the forest.

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Fired college instructor’s views on glyphosate at root of dismissal, says former colleague

CBC News
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rod Cumberland

Rod Cumberland, a well-known wildlife biologist, has been fired from his teaching post at the Maritime College of Forest Technology in Fredericton. A letter from the college outlined multiple reasons for his dismissal on June 20, but a former employee believes Cumberland’s outspokenness against glyphosate, a controversial herbicide used by the New Brunswick forest industry, was a factor. …The deer biologist and competitive lumberjack has spent 29 years working for the provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Fredericton-based ranger school. After leaving government, he began publicly discussing the effects of the herbicide glyphosate on New Brunswick’s forests and, in particular, the deer population.

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Old-growth forest may provide valuable biodiversity refuge in areas at risk of severe fire

By USDA Forest Service
Phys.org
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

New findings show that old-growth forests, a critical nesting habitat for threatened northern spotted owls, are less likely to experience high-severity fire than young-growth forests during wildfires. This suggests that old-growth forest could be leveraged to provide valuable fire refuges that support forest biodiversity and buffer the extreme effects of climate change on fire regimes in the Pacific Northwest. A recent study published in the journal Ecosphereexamined the impact of the Douglas Complex and Big Windy fires that burned in the Klamath-Siskiyou region of Oregon during July 2013, a drought year. The fires burned through a long-term study area for northern spotted owls. Using information on forest vegetation before and after the fires, along with known spotted owl nesting areas, researchers had an unprecedented chance to compare the impact of wildfire on critical old-growth nesting habitat.

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Bureau Of Land Management Ordered To Halt Timber Sale Near Grants Pass

By Roman Battaglia
Jefferson Public Radio
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management was ordered to halt an old-growth timber sale near Grants Pass. The federal agency was planning to sell old growth timber in the Lower Graves area, but environmental groups filed a lawsuit in 2017 challenging the sale. They claim the BLM didn’t consider other options. One alternative, proposed by the groups themselves, focused on thinning to reduce fire hazard. The BLM has worked with them in the past to restore forest health such as in the Butte Falls area. George Sexton is with the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, one of the plaintiffs. He says the BLM needs to shift their focus from old growth logging. “There’s a lot of people who are trying to come together to reduce fire hazard,” he says. “And in particular, to keep homes and communities safe. And the BLM needs to be a part of that effort.”

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Timber sale taps into anxiety over logging on the coast

By Katie Frankowicz
The Daily Astorian
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It could be several years before trees are cut on state land off U.S. Highway 101 between Arcadia Beach and Hug Point, but a proposed timber sale has already tapped into broader concerns about water quality, habitat conservation and tourism on the coast. The Norriston Heights timber sale would result in a modified clearcut of more than 70 acres on the east side of the highway. The state expects to net just under $1 million — $938,550 — for the sale. Two-thirds of the revenue will go to rural fire protection in Cannon Beach, public transit through Seaside and the Seaside School District, according to Jason Cox, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry. But residents and property owners below the proposed cut worry a timber harvest could impact the quality and quantity of their drinking water. 

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Brazil: huge rise in Amazon destruction under Bolsonaro, figures show

By Reuters in Brasília
The Guardian
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Deforestation in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon rainforest rose more than 88% in June compared with the same month a year ago, the second consecutive month of rising forest destruction under the rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro. According to data from Brazil’s space agency, deforestation in the world’s largest tropical rainforest totaled 920 sq km (355 sq miles). The data showing the 88.4% deforestation increase is preliminary, but indicates the official annual figure, based on more detailed imaging and measured for the 12 months to the end of July, is well on track to surpass last year’s figure. In the first 11 months, deforestation has already reached 4,565 sq km (1,762 sq miles), a 15% increase over the same period in the previous year.

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U.S. guitar firm tunes business to protect Cameroon ebony

By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
Reuters
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

YAOUNDE – Companies that use wood grown in Cameroon – from makers of guitars to electricity poles – are helping revitalise endangered tree species to better sustain their businesses and bolster the fight against climate change. The firms have teamed up with the government and villagers in public-private partnerships to restore forests because it makes sense for both their profits and the planet, they said. Barbara Wight, chief financial officer for Yaounde-based Crelicam, an internationally owned supplier of Cameroonian ebony for musical instruments, said forests were crucial for the future of all who depend on their wood and other natural assets. “Working with the government and the local communities to protect these resources is important,” she said in an interview in Yaounde.

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Health & Safety

Worker Exposures to Wood Dust Results in Second OSHA Citation for Pallet Manufacturer

WebWire
July 3, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

Minneapolis, MN – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that a pallet manufacturer in Wisconsin has once again been cited for not protecting workers from exposure to wood dust. The citation resulted from a follow-up inspection and the company now faces penalties of over $188,000 for repeated, serious, and other-than-serious safety and health violations. The company was first cited by OSHA in 2016 for these hazards. Additional citations were issued after the follow-up inspection for failing to evaluate respiratory hazards, medically evaluate and fit test employees using respirators, and several other issues.

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Forest Fires

Keewaywin fire prompts evacuation

By Ryan Forbes
Dryden Now
July 4, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Municipality of Sioux Lookout has declared a State of Emergency to assist with Keewaywin First Nation’s evacuation efforts, as the northern, isolated community is threatened by a growing forest fire. Keewaywin, with a population of roughly 350, is located just north of Pikangikum First Nation. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry say that Red Lake Fire 23 is located 16 kilometres southwest of Keewaywin, and is currently at 54,643 hectares. …Sioux Lookout officials say the State of Emergency declaration is to ensure that the community is well-equipped to handle evacuation efforts, and any costs are handled by the provincial and federal governments.

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