Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 9, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC’s 2019 fire season a fraction of 2018—so far!

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 9, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

To date the forest area consumed by wildfires in BC is just one percent of 2018’s total. In related news: evacuations in Ontario prove challenging; Saskatchewan and Quebec firefighters head to Manitoba; and Alaska’s Hess Creek fire is currently the US’s biggest.

In Forestry/Climate news: Trump touts forest management in speech on environmentalism; Massachusetts bill suggests not-logging to reduce CO2; Arizona wants to promote biomass from forest thinnings; fewer trees many mean fewer fires in Alberta; and Robert Bateman says BC’s caribou moratorium is not long enough. 

In Business news: China’s recyclables ban plays havoc on Maine’s recycling programs; and US and New Zealand log exports to China fall. Also: Tolko and Pinnacle’s new plant, Port Melon’s stink and Northern Pulp’s effluent.

Finally, who plants trees at 93—the Queen of England of course.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Queen insists she is ‘still perfectly capable’ of planting a tree at 93

By Robert Jobson
London Evening Standard
July 9, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

The Queen was not letting the small matter of her advancing age stand in the way of that most quintessential royal job: tree planting. Rejecting an offer of help on Tuesday to plant a hornbeam sapling, the 93-year-old declared: “No, no, I’m still perfectly capable of planting a tree.” With that she seized the spade and started energetically shovelling in the soil to commemorate 100 years of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany just outside Cambridge. The NIAB chairman Jim Godfrey had been primed to plant the tree for her, and for Her Majesty to “supervise”. …Tina Barsby, chief executive of NIAB said: “It was very impressive to see her planting the tree. She wasn’t scheduled to plant the tree, it was just to supervise the planting. But she handed her handbag to her someone and seized the spade. She obviously wanted to do it!”

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Business & Politics

Diversifying for the future: Tolko and Pinnacle Renewable Energy partner on another state-of-the-art pellet project

By Tolko Industries
The South Peace News
July 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new era is about to launch at Tolko’s High Level Lumber division as Tolko and Pinnacle Renewable Energy once again partner to deliver a state-of-the-art pellet plant that will reduce our carbon footprint and bring economic, employment, and other spinoff benefits to the community. Construction on the project, which will be known as Northern Pellet Limited Partnership, will begin this month and will be completed in the second half of 2020. Tolko CEO Brad Thorlakson says the partnership is another example of how the company is diversifying its business for the future. …“When commissioned, the Partnership will reduce our carbon footprint,” says Thorlakson. “It will also secure and increase full-time permanent employment opportunities in the area, and allow us to use our bark, shavings, and sawdust to produce pellets for growing markets.”

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Odours likely due to Port Melon mill boiler shutdown

By Troy Landreville
My Coast Now
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT MELLON, B.C. – There may be an odour emanating from the Port Mellon pulp and paper plant over the next two weeks. But there is nothing to fear. Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Corporation is doing the annual maintenance of its wood waste boiler from Saturday, July 6th to July 20th. Over the 15 day period, the plant’s wood waste boiler will be shut down for maintenance. The corporation notes that during the boiler shutdown, the low concentration on odours from its gases, which are normally incinerated, will be vented. “While HSPP does not expect local air quality to exceed provincial odour limits, we have implemented additional procedures to monitor and react to continuous air quality measurements made at HSPP ambient air monitoring station in Langdale,” the corporation said in a notice.

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Mayors seek solutions as curtailments impact provincial economy

By Ethan Ready
My Prince George Now
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A few weeks ago, Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall reached out to mayors across Northern B.C. following the announcement of multiple curtailments impacting the forestry sector….The sudden changes in operations within the forest industry, as well as talk of potential closures, led Hall to wrangle together mayors, members of the Council of Forest Industries (COFI), as well as the Ministry of Forest, in order to talk about short-term and long-term plans in relation to the health of the industry, and the economic impact moving forward. …Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson talked about what can’t be done to help out the forest industry, namely reducing stumpage or the carbon tax. “Both COFI and the government stated categorically that is not possible…because it would trigger a softwood lumber dispute,” said Simpson. Simpson said they received a commitment from the Deputy Forests Minister that the transition teams … will receive additional resources. …they also agreed that additional assistance was needed from the Federal Government. 

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Mill closures: Doing what it takes to stay in the Cariboo

By Millar Hill
The 100 Mile Free Press
July 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Millar Hill

The South Cariboo is facing a time of uncertainty, mill workers and contractors are still trying to stay strong. When Grayson Klassen, a process controls coordinator, who has been working at Norbord’s 100 Mile location through Gordon Ross Contracting, first heard the news, he said it didn’t come as a shock. …Klassen doesn’t plan on leaving the Cariboo. In order to keep living here, he said he is willing to travel for work. “I am lucky because I can do my job anywhere but I want to stay here. I like it here,” said Klassen. “Everyone is in a different situation and the closures are affecting everyone in their own way. …You know this town if you don’t work for the big three – us (Norbord), West Fraser or the government it can be tough.”

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Unifor members encouraged by progress made by Northern Pulp

Unifor Canada
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX – Unifor is pleased to see that Northern Pulp is making significant progress on the additional information required by the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment in order to achieve approval to build an effluent plant at the Nova Scotia pulp mill. “We are encouraged by the progress, but to be clear this is an extremely challenging, anxious and frustrating time for our members who are worried about their jobs and their community,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. Payne and Unifor leaders from Local 440 received an update from top-ranking company officials on Wednesday, followed by an all-member town hall at the mill on Thursday about the status of the company’s response to the Department of Environment’s Focus Report, a report responding to the company’s Environmental Assessment application.

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US decreases 34.8% of log exports in January-May 2019

Lesprom Network
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States
U.S. log exports fell 34.8% y-o-y to 3.4 million m3 in first five months of 2019 with export value declined 28.8% to $798.0 million, according to USDA data. Average price for logs exported from U.S. surged 9.22% to $232 per m3. From January through May, log exports from U.S. to China decreased 36.2% to 1.7 million m3, export value contracted 40.3% to $368.0 million. Log exports to Canada fell 52.7% to 633.1 thousand m3 while average price soared 118.7% to $228 per m3. U.S. log exports to Vietnam jumped 39.8% to 110.1 thousand m3 with export value expanded 46.9% to $40.2 million. [END]

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Wood pellet exports up in May

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
July 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service released updated export data July 3, reporting wood pellet exports reached 553,882.9 tons in May, up from 415,836.2 tons during the same month of the previous year and up from 424,680.5 tons in April. The U.S. exported wood pellets to more than a dozen countries in May. The U.K. was the top destination for U.S. wood pellets, with exports reaching 498,512.3 tons, followed by Belgium-Luxembourg with 47,247.8 tons and the Netherlands with 4,094.5 tons. According to the USDA, the value of U.S. wood pellets exports reached $86.25 million in May, up from $54.14 million in May 2018 and $60.27 million in April. Pellet exports reached 2.48 million tons at a value of $345.355 million during the first five months of 2019, compared to exports of 2.16 million at a value of $297.51 million during the same period of last year. [END]

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Timber REITs: Can’t Ignore This Growth Sector

By Hoya Capital Real Estate
Seeking Alpha
July 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

In our REIT Rankings series, we introduce and update readers to each of the commercial and residential real estate sectors. The newest addition to our coverage universe, Timber REITs are typically considered a “specialty” real estate sector and comprise roughly 2-3% of the broad REIT ETFs (VNQ and IYR). We view Timber REITs as the link connecting the commercial REIT sector with the residential construction sector. Residential construction is responsible for roughly half of wood product consumption in the US. In the Hoya Capital Timber REIT Index, we track the four timber REITs, which account for roughly $30 billion in market value. …Timber REITs own nearly 20 millions acres of US timberlands, more land than the smallest five states in the US combined. Primarily concentrated in the Pacific Northwest and the Southern US, there are roughly 200 million acres of commercially-forested timberlands. 

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Southern Yellow Pine Log Exports: An Historical Analysis

By Daniel Stuber
Forest2Market Blog
July 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

In our mid-year assessment of conifer exports, we demonstrated that while southern yellow pine (SYP) log exports are on a recent slide, they are gaining market share over Western Hemlock exports from the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Since the trade tensions with China continue to be a fluid situation, we wanted to present a profile of SYP historical exports and recent developments using the US Census Bureau’s trade data. …Beginning in January 2013, export prices for SYP dropped significantly and volume ratcheted upward. Export prices continued to decline over the next three years and while export volume was volatile over the 2013 to mid-2016 period …It appears the SYP export market is becoming more efficient and market advantageous as it develops. We predict that when the trade war begins to subside and China’s economy stabilizes, SYP exports will increase. What will be of interest is whether the gap will change between these two HS classes, and by how much.

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Hundreds of job losses expected as value of log exports to China drop

By Laura Tupou
The Newshub
July 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — Hundreds of people in the regions could be out of a job and out of pocket after a fall in the value of log exports to China. Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest export earner, and more than half of the logs that leave our shores go to China – where we’re the largest supplier. That means any dip in price there, is felt hard here in Aotearoa. …An oversupply of logs to China has pushed prices down, dropping nearly 20 percent over the past month. Larger companies are likely to weather this storm, but it’s a different story for the smaller players. …”We’re going to see reduced hours, certainly possibly down by 50 percent in a number of cases,” said David Rhodes, chief executive of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Market shifts prompt bill to shore up Maine recycling programs

By Peter McGuire
The Press Herald
July 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

State policymakers alarmed by the growing number of Maine communities restricting or abandoning costly recycling programs will draft legislation requiring private companies to shoulder the cost of disposing of common household packaging. The proposed measure is partially a response to the collapse of global markets for recyclables such as paper and plastic. Communities accustomed to getting paid to export low-value material to China were caught off guardlast year when the national government effectively banned imports of recyclables. …To help the state, lawmakers… draft a bill that would force packing material producers to pay at least 80 percent of disposal costs for materials that are not easily recyclable. …Terry Webber of the packaging wing for the American Forest and Paper Association, said his group won’t support a packaging stewardship program. …Paper products already have a recycling rate of about 68 percent and almost all cardboard is recycled, Webber said.

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Over 440 companies across the world remove misleading “go green – go paperless” messaging

Two Sides
July 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CHICAGO, IL – Environmental claims such as “go green – go paperless” and “save trees” are regularly used by banks, telecoms, utilities, insurance companies and many other service providers, as they encourage their customers to switch from paper to lower cost electronic bills and statements.  However, a Two Sides global anti-greenwash campaign operating since 2010 has found that the majority of these claims are unsubstantiated and misleading. To date, Two Sides has successfully engaged with 441 companies worldwide to remove or change such claims about print and paper.  Sectors showing the highest occurrence of greenwashing include telecom providers, banks and financial institutions, utility providers and governmental organizations. In North America, 120 companies, including many of the Fortune 500, have changed or removed their environmental claims following discussions with Two Sides.

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Researchers Invented a New Eco-Friendly Way to Build with Wood

Nature World News
July 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In recent years, scientists have created shape-shifting materials that twist and bend when exposed to certain stimuli, such as moisture or heat. …Now, scientists from the Institute for Computational Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart have figured out a way to bring these same properties to … wood. …The team of researchers working on the project have created a 46-foot tall twisted tower made of wood to demonstrate their technique. The tower is comprised of 12 wooden components, which were made by laminating two pieces of wood using different levels of moisture. The laminated pieces of wood were then dried out, which caused the material to curve naturally without the need for braces or molds. The technique could be used to create bar furniture, living room tables and virtually any other piece of wooden furniture. While challenges lie ahead, the new technique could lead to more environmentally-friendly, economical buildings in the future.

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Forestry

Training program helps people gain experience, secure forestry jobs

By the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Government of British Columbia
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 100 people will get training and work experience in the forest sector, giving them opportunities for job success and improved lives, through $3.3 million in provincial government funding. “One key way to reduce poverty is to open doors for people to new jobs and careers,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This program, through training and work experience, will prepare people for a wide variety of forestry jobs, putting them on the path to better opportunities.” On behalf of government, Stillwater Consulting is delivering the Advanced Forestry Training program in three communities: Cranbrook, Kamloops and Nanaimo. Students will earn 11 different industry certifications, including silviculture surveyor certification, occupational first aid – level 3 and basic chainsaw operator. The program includes a three-week job placement with local forestry employers.

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North Cowichan to hire facilitator to help create new managment plan for municipal forests

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan is looking to hire an engagement facilitator to assist the municipality in creating a long-anticipated management plan for its 5,000-hectare municipal forest reserve. …Many in the community had been demanding for some time to have more say in management plans for the forest reserve. Icel Dobell, from the Where do we Stand group, said that because of the divisive nature of the forest debate in North Cowichan, the development of a new forest management plan should be handled by professional non-partisan engagement specialists. …At the meeting held on July 3, council also agreed in-principle to a proposal from the University of B.C., the Coastal Douglas Fir Partnership and 3GreenTreeConsulting to assist in developing the forest management plan….Dobell said the Where do we Stand group is intrigued by UBC’S presentation on how the municipality can make as much money not logging through carbon sales as they would logging for timber.

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Fewer trees in Alberta Rockies could mean more manageable wildfires, researcher says

By Kashmala Fida
The Toronto Star
July 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — Forest fires in Alberta’s southern Rockies would be much more manageable if the landscape looked like it used to more than a century ago, research suggests. As part of his 2016 PhD dissertation at the University of Alberta, Chris Stockdale, now a research and extension scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, looked at how forest fires have burned through southern Alberta Rockies from Bow Valley all the way to the border with the United States. …“What we found was that by changing the vegetation composition of the landscape, that the risk of high intensity wildfires was cut in half,” he said. …He said the main reason for this increase in forestation was European settlement in the region. …This increase in coniferous trees has resulted in fires burning wildly out of control, even encroaching on cities and towns.

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Action Alert: Act Now to Change Logging in BC

By Dan Spring, Kootenay-based watershed stewardship group Stream Cleaners
Watershed Sentinel
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Until July 15th you have the opportunity to change the way logging is done in BC – to protect watersheds, tourism, biodiversity, old-growth forests and ultimately the safety and livelihood of all British Columbians. The Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) is up for review and the government is looking for public input on this important legislation which governs logging in BC. Why your input is important—The passing of the FRPA into law in 2004 was widely seen by environmental groups as a disappointing step backward in forestry management from the FRPA’s predecessor, the Forest Practices Code. Though the mainstream media largely ignored the rollback of forestry protections, environmental groups braced for a logging industry with renewed power. A report by West Coast Environmental Law outlined how the FRPA reduced or eliminated industry accountability and gave industry a mandate to set their own environmental standards. 

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B.C. wildfire damage so far in 2019 just one per cent of 2018’s total

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The area consumed by wildfires in the province so far this season is less than one per cent of the area burned in each of the past two summers, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. Since April 1, 466 fires have been recorded in B.C. but just 11,568 hectares burned, more than half of that in the Prince George fire region. That’s down from 2,117 fires and 1,354,284 hectares burned last year, the worst on record. Last year at this time fires had destroyed more than four times as much forest, according to wildfire service spokeswoman Kyla Fraser. …After the disastrous fire seasons in 2017 and 2018, the provincial government increased its firefighting budget by 58 per cent to $101 million a year. A $60-million Community Resiliency Investment Program was launched last September to provide local governments and First Nations with resources for fire mitigation. To date, 85 projects have been funded, according to the ministry of forests.

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Have your say on forest management legislation

By Mike Youds
Alberni Valley News
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Only a couple of weeks remain for the public to provide comment on key forest management legislation in the province. The online surveys form part of dual reviews launched this spring of the Private Managed Forest Land Act and the Forests and Range Practices Act that governs logging on Crown land. Both are part of the province’s Coast Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative. …“We want to hear from the public about whether there is room for improvement in the management of private forests and also weather the private managed forest land program is a benefit to private forest owners and the communities they live in,” said Doug Donaldson, minister of forests. …The public has until July 22 to respond to an online questionnaire.

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Applaud council for work towards forestry strategy

Letter by Martha Lescher
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I attended the Municipality of North Cowichan’s special council meeting on Wednesday, July 3 because the Forestry Advisory Committee recommendations about blow down harvesting, living tree harvesting, and UBC collaboration were on the agenda. Mayor Siebring facilitated public input, council dialogue, probing questions, decision making, and public question period giving everyone the opportunity to be heard and understood. Council supported the collaboration with UBC, 3Green Consulting, and the Coastal Douglas Fir Partnership to develop a sustainable forestry management plan for implementation on Jan. 1, 2022. …I hope North Cowichan will find effective ways to educate themselves and the public about advances in forestry thoughts and practices so we can make wise and far-reaching decisions and keep our fears in check.

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Condemning caribou to extinction in B.C.

By Michael Bloomfield and Robert Bateman
Ladysmith Chronicle
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than one year ago the federal government, as required under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), ordered B.C. to protect the critical habitat of southern mountain caribou. Now that B.C. has failed, Canada must impose an emergency order for caribou to survive and the SARA process to retain any credibility. This story began in the 1970s when biologist Michael Bloomfield and others documented that widespread destruction of habitat by logging and other resource development threatened caribou survival. These majestic animals have roamed our forests and mountains for millennia and depend on large tracts of mature forest. Since then successive B.C. governments have allowed our forests to be over-harvested so that the future of both caribou and workers are threatened. …No one demands a future without resource extraction; but it must be combined with more conscientious management of our forests, water and wildlife for generations to come. 

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Kalesnikoff to collaborate with Regional District of Central Kootenay, city, on logging near Nelson

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A West Kootenay logging company is collaborating with local governments in an unusual effort that attempts to combine logging and wildfire protection. When Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd. logs 150 hectares in the Selous Creek drainage near Nelson starting this fall, they’ll log more selectively than they otherwise would have. They will leave certain species they would otherwise have cut. The result will not look like a clearcut and it will be more fire resistant. …The company has collaborated on the logging plan with the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the City of Nelson and the B.C. Wildfire Service. …The goal of their joint plan is to provide fire protection as well as a viable timber harvest. …“Normally our mill would like to take Douglas fir, but Douglas fir is fire resistant and drought resistant and designed for shade and it is climate change resilient.

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Local business owner predicts major impact following mill closures

By Raven Nyman
100 Mile Free Press
July 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pierre Dion has been doing business in the South Cariboo for decades and thinks the recent mill closures and curtailments are the next closest thing to a disaster for the area. Dion is the store manager of Exeter Forest and Marine Sales Ltd in 100 Mile House but previously owned the business himself for 35 years before selling this January. “I think it’s going to be really tough on business and really tough on the community,” he said of the recent closures and curtailments. “We’re definitely going to see a major impact, there are numerous concerns.” Dion is quite familiar with the forest industry and feels that the number of locals affected by the recent closures and curtailments is much higher than the actual number of employees laid off.

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National Forest Foundation launches “National Forest Week,” Invites All Americans to Celebrate Their National Forests and Grasslands

By National Forest Foundation
Globe Newswire
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Washington, D.C. — Seven in ten Americans live within a two-hour drive of a National Forest. And yet, most Americans are not aware of this incredible resource.  That’s why today, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) is announcing this week as the first annual “National Forest Week,” with the goal of spreading awareness about this uniquely American resource. The NFF is hosting celebration events all week across the country.  …There has never been more at stake for the National Forests and public lands than there is today.  Across the country, wildfires, declining ecosystem health and dwindling budgets threaten our National Forests. To address these critical issues, the National Forest Foundation invests millions of dollars annually on tangible projects that improve these critical public lands. To engage every American in this work, the NFF kicks off this celebration to raise awareness of the forests’ incredible values to the American public.

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53 schools win the Green Ribbon for 2019

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Great things are happening for the environment at schools across the U.S. Thirty-five schools, 14 school districts, and four postsecondary institutions have been honored as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) for 2019. This Green Ribbon program was developed by the U.S. Department of Education to recognize schools for innovative sustainability efforts and inspire other schools to follow their lead. …This year, five of the schools and one of the school districts selected are Project Learning Tree program participants. PLT is an award-winning environmental education program and an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. PLT is made freely available to teachers working with youth from preschool through grade 12. …To learn more about sustainability trends, environmental education, and Project Learning Tree, visit sfiprogram.org.

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Mexico extends $100 million reforesting program to Honduras

Associated Press in the Longview Daily News
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MEXICO CITY  — Mexico said Monday it will extend a reforestation program to Honduras, and increase funding to $100 million to create jobs in Central America and stem migration from the region. Mexico had already announced a $30 million tree-planting program for El Salvador and that money is presumably part of the $100 million total effort. Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said Honduras’ president is expected to finalize details in a visit to Mexico this month. Ebrard said creating jobs will do more to stop the flow of migrants than border enforcement measures. It is unclear whether Guatemala will also join Mexico’s reforestation program. A similar plan to plant fruit and lumber trees is already being implemented in southern Mexico; it is one of the pet projects of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Why planting one trillion trees won’t solve climate change

By Ryan Flanagan
CTV News
July 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

A new report claims the most effective way to fight climate change would be a global effort to plant one trillion trees, but one Canadian expert says that would only be one piece of a much larger puzzle. The report found that there is enough room on Earth to add trees to nearly one billion hectares of land – an area nearly the size of the United States… creating storage for more than 200 gigatonnes of carbon once they have matured. …“Such a change has the potential to cut the atmospheric carbon pool by about 25 per cent,” the report reads. …It may be the best solution yet, but it isn’t a complete solution, according to a Carleton University professor. …“If we don’t stop emitting greenhouse gases through the combustion of fossil fuels, we can’t really escape climate change.”

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Trump avoids climate change in speech on environmentalism

By Arden Farhi and Kathryn Watson
CBS News
July 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

President Trump

President Trump touted his administration’s environmental stewardship in a speech in the East Room Monday. It’s a topic the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates bring up almost daily, but not one Mr. Trump often addresses. But a White House fact sheet obtained by CBS News ahead of the speech did not mention climate change, nor did the president. In his speech, the president claimed his administration is working diligently to improve the environment, insisting the environment and economy go hand-in-hand. The environment can’t be strong without a strong economy, Mr. Trump said. The president did tout the importance of forest management to prevent fires in California, and blasted the “Green New Deal.” …Mr. Trump… withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and rolling back regulations like the Clean Power Plan. The president has also expressed skepticism about government research that shows a warming planet.

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Protecting carbon by protecting forests

By George Wuerthner
The Missoulian
July 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

George Wuerthner

Currently, there is a bill in the Massachusetts legislature that would ban logging on all of the state lands. The premise of the legislation is that logging contributes significantly to CO2 emissions. The legislation sponsors argue that the best use of Massachusetts state-owned property is to maintain intact forests for carbon storage. …Many people are beginning to understand that our forests’ greatest value is for carbon storehouse, not wood products. …A recent study in Oregon found that logging was the most significant contributor to that state’s carbon emissions …Logging advocates suggest that turning trees into wood products “sequesters” carbon for decades and centuries. However, the bulk of all wood products are used for temporary and short-lived items …Even the argument that thinning or logging will reduce wildfires and keep more carbon in the forest is flawed. …The best use of our national forests … is for carbon storage.

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Biomass back on agenda for corporation commission

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
July 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ARIZONA — After a pause to shuffle commissioners, the Arizona Corporation Commission will again ponder whether to try to create a market for biomass, to boost faltering forest thinning efforts in the state. Specifically, …whether to let Arizona Public Service boost its rates by a couple dollars a month for the average homeowner in order to convert a coal-burning unit of the Cholla Power Plant in St. Johns to biomass. The board has already voted support in principal for requiring power companies to generate 60-90 megawatts (MW) of electricity annually from forest thinning. …Such a mandate could salvage stalled forest thinning efforts. This would reduce the risk of devastating megafires and protect the watersheds that sustain both rural areas and the Valley. However, it would also effectively force electricity customers to subsidize forest thinning operations.

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Finland’s forestry myth undermines its radical climate ambition

By Kaisa Raitio
The Climate Home News
July 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The first major event of Finland’s EU Presidency takes place in Helsinki on Tuesday, when politicians, business leaders and researchers from across the continent gather to discuss the future of the bioeconomy in the EU. For Finland, the European Bioeconomy Scene 2019 Conference, is a chance to show other nations the way forward: how natural resources – in Finland’s case, the boreal forests that cover two-thirds of the country – can help other member states wean themselves away from fossil fuels, and supposedly into the promised land of a low carbon economy. …Finland’s bioeconomy strategy – as the best available science shows – neither mitigates climate breakdown nor tackles the biodiversity crisis. It also fails to safeguard the rights of the country’s indigenous Sámi people. …Yet successive Finnish governments have promoted a bioeconomy which relies on relentlessly increasing harvests of the country’s forests, while ignoring the evidence of its effects.

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Health & Safety

Vancouver Island Forest Contractors Recognized for Outstanding Safety and Environmental Leadership

Mosaic Forest Management
June 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO – Mosaic Forest Management is honouring 10 Vancouver Island contractors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in safety and environmental initiatives this past year. From Duncan to Port McNeil, Campbell River to Sooke, the award winners took proactive steps to reduce their safety risks and achieve excellence in environmental performance. In 2018, Mosaic, including employees and contractors for both TimberWest and Island Timberlands, achieved a safety performance with the lowest average medical incident rate (MIR) in five years – an MIR rate of 2.9 per 200,000 hours worked. …Recent contractor safety initiatives include adding vehicle proximity alarms, a man overboard system for boats, deploying collision avoidance technology across log handling facilities, piloting driver fatigue detection sensors in log trucks, and piloting rollover risk detection sensors in log truck trailers. In addition, steep slope harvesting machinery has helped reduce risk by lowering the amount of harvesting with a chainsaw. 

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Fatality confirmed at Gilchrist sawmill

By Holly Dillemuth
The Herald and News
July 8, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

A worker at Interfor Corp.’s Gilchrist sawmill, in northern Klamath County, died following injuries sustained after a fall while he was on the job, according to Andrew Horahan, vice president of western operations at Interfor. Darren “Boone” Harrison, 52, served at the sawmill for a little over nine years, and was providing maintenance on equipment at the mill as an oiler, according to Horahan. Harrison leaves behind a wife and two children. …“We curtailed our operations that evening, due to the severity of the incident,” Horahan told the Herald and News in a phone interview. …Crews spent Monday refocusing on safety to ensure a similar incident doesn’t occur in the future. Full operations were in place as of Tuesday, Horahan added. …Horahan said grief counselors have been provided onsite for employees in the aftermath of the incident.

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Forest Fires

Crews from Saskatchewan, Quebec help in Manitoba wildfire fight

By Shane Gibson
Global News
July 8, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

Firefighters continue to battle a wildfire that forced the evacuation of residents from two northern Manitoba communities over the weekend. Residents from Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nation began arriving in Winnipeg Sunday after a nearby wildfire brought heavy smoke into the communities. So far only “Priority 1” residents, which include the elderly, babies and those with chronic respiratory problems, have had to leave the communities. Officials from the Canadian Red Cross said 122 residents from Little Grand Rapids had come to Winnipeg by Monday afternoon, and as many as 60 were expected to arrive from Pauingassi by the end of the day. Dave Schafer, director of the Manitoba Wildfire Program, says the fire, burning roughly 17 kilometres west of Little Grand Rapids, is the most troublesome one currently burning in the province.

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The Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General’s statement on Northern Ontario Fires

By the Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General
Wawa News
July 8, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sylvia Jones

This year is proving to be a challenging one for forest fires in Northern Ontario. There are currently numerous active fires in the northern part of our province and several of them are threatening First Nation communities. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is leading fire fighting efforts and Ontario’s emergency management personnel are working closely with the Ontario Provincial Police, community leaders, provincial ministries, the federal government and other agencies to ensure the health and safety of those affected. …Yesterday, I began reaching out to mayors across the province to ask that their communities host evacuees. We are working with municipalities to find sufficient space to safely house those in need over the coming days and weeks. I want to thank all of those engaged in responding to the fires and in ensuring the health and wellbeing of those in affected communities. 

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Alaska’s Hess Creek Fire is currently the nation’s biggest wildfire in 2019

By Kayla Heffner
KTVA Alaska
July 8, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Hess Creek Fire is now the largest fire burning in the country. The fire was mapped at 145,321 acres Sunday night, according to the Alaska wildfire information website. The blaze is continuing to advance toward the community of Livengood, where an inversion has trapped smoke in the area and surrounding valleys after the fire’s massive growth from 115,000 acres on July 7. Firefighters have been focusing efforts on conducting burnout operations for a second day, slowing the progression of the fire toward Livengood. The size and rapid spread of the fire, mixed with hot, dry weather conditions, has made it hard for fire personnel to manage full suppression for the blaze. Instead, firefighters are working to maintain public safety and protect resources, the update from AK Fire Info stated.

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