Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 10, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Mission accomplished. Lumber curtailments achieve supply-demand balance

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 10, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Lumber curtailments achieve their intended consequence as Madison’s reports supply-demand balance. In related news: the impact of softwood duties on housing affordability are overstated (US Lumber Coalition); lack of funding for BC forest crisis is panned (MLA Davies). Meanwhile: global sawlog prices fall (WRI); cheap logs from Europe create log export crisis in New Zealand; and pallet production shifts from hardwood to softwood.

In Forestry news: a BC expert calls for thinning subsidies to reduce wildfire risk; spruce beetles add to BC’s risk despite slow start to the fire season; Ontario fires create air-quality problems for Quebec. Elsewhere: Alberta’s pine beetle fungi discovery; New Brunswick’s resistance to carbon pricing; and Europe’s toxic caterpillar plague

Companies making news include: Canfor, West Fraser, Port Hawkesbury Paper, Resolute, and Pleasant River Pine.

Finally, some first-hand advice on what to do if you run into a bear in the woods

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Softwood Lumber Prices Flatline as Supply Balances with Demand

Madison’s Lumber Reporter
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The closures and curtailments at North American softwood lumber manufacturers earlier this year, almost all at British Columbia sawmills, has achieved it’s intended consequence of improved supply-demand balance. Until that wood production went offline, order files at most sawmills were one week or less, which is incredibly short for the time of year. In recent weeks, producers have been able to extend those order files to a more healthy duration. Last week, most reported to have enough orders that future production is booked at almost two weeks ahead. …Demand, while still slack for the time of year, was strong enough to prevent suppliers from having to reduce prices. …As we head into the usual slower summer time for lumber manufacturing, it seems buyers and sellers have found a new price floor. Barring serious or unusual events, Madison’s expects these current price levels to remain until Labour Day. 

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Liberals capitalizing on NDP forest file absence

By Bill Phillips
Prince George Daily News
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In government, you have to do something. In politics, you have to look like you’re doing something. Right now the NDP aren’t accomplishing much of either when it comes to allaying concerns of Interior communities hit by temporary and permanent mill closures. In reality, there is little government can do when major employers close down other than help fast track Employment Insurance claims, set up job re-training programs, etc. Government can’t swoop in force a company to re-open or bail it out (unless, of course, you’re the federal government and we’re talking pipelines, but that’s another story). But governments can at least show that they are concerned. While I’m sure the NDP is concerned about job losses in the forest industry, it can do a better job of showing it. They should probably take a page out of the Liberal handbook.

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Metro Vancouver residents should care about small-town B.C.

By Merlin Blackwell, Mayor of Clearwater
Vancouver Sun
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Merlin Blackwell

A Metro Vancouver reporter asked me recently, “Why should I care about the mill closing in your small town?” The small towns are where the wealth of this province begins. Towns like mine — Clearwater — are …where the big truckloads of raw resource dollars come from. Sure, they may get refined into something cleaner and prettier in the big cities like Vancouver, but our places are the places where dirty hands carve wealth from the forests and the ground … into waiting trucks. A century or so ago, everyone in the big cities knew exactly why rural B.C. was important to the provincial economy. Everything flowed past them in boats and barges from the Interior. …We are the birthplace of the wealth of this province. …And you need to care because you need us, too. If we go dry, you also will go dry.

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Canfor Stock Poised to Double this Summer

By Christopher Liew
The Motley Fool Canada
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

An integrated forest products company may not be as popular as bank stocks, energy stocks, or tech stocks. However, Canfor could be one of the stock sensations of the season. The value of the stock has the potential to double this summer. …CFP has underperformed so far after two quarters and is down 33.45% year to date. It would take a miracle to achieve the 52-week high of $33.74, but the prospects of hitting the $20 mark are plausible. Earnings have been growing at a slower pace, although the net income in 2018 of $354.9 million is 1,336% better than the 2015 figures. …But overall, Canfor reported $606.6 million consolidated operating income, which was highest ever recorded in over 10 years. It’s a 9% jump, or a $51.2 million increase, from 2017.  …This time last year, the stock was flying high at $31.14, so my prediction of the $11 price tag possibly doubling this summer is a reasonable estimate.

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No cash for B.C.’s forestry sector, but millions for Vancouver symphony

By Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River North
The Alaska Highway News
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

By his own admission, Premier John Horgan confessed the mess created by his botched caribou recovery plan was “my bad.” I give him credit for admitting to his own mistake, but one would hope our premier has learned from this huge misstep, let alone repeat another. …On Friday, it was revealed that B.C. posted a total of 3,700 job losses. …this includes the announcement of 190 people who will lose their pay cheque when Louisiana Pacific shuts down its Peace Valley OSB in Fort St. John. …NDP finance minister Carole James already signaled that there would be no new provincial funding to assist a forest industry in crisis. …On Sunday, Horgan announced he will blow a million dollars to purchase free tickets to the symphony for families located throughout the Lower Mainland, a region filled with NDP-held ridings.

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Former mill site slated for gas pipeline materials yard

By Rod Link
Houston Today
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Houston and area residents will soon see more evidence of the ramp up of activity tied to the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline south of the community. The company is leasing the former West Fraser sawmill site as a pipe storage location as it accelerates preparations leading to next year’s start of actual construction. West Fraser closed its Houston Forest Products operation in 2014 and removed the majority of its infrastructure there. The closure involved a controversial forest licence swap with Canfor in which that company closed its Quesnel mill. …West Fraser subsequently sold its Houston site to local company West Point Rail and Timber Company Ltd. and it is this company which is leasing the site.

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No production time lost at Port Hawkesbury Paper despite fire

By Nancy King
The Cape Breton Post
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

POINT TUPPER, N.S. — Port Hawkesbury Paper did not lose any production time despite a fire in one of its massive wood silos last month, a company official says. Andrew Fedora, sustainability and outreach leader with Port Hawkesbury Paper, said Tuesday the cause of the fire was wood pellets in the silo overheating. …Port Hawkesbury Paper is completing a full investigation of the fire and will act on any measures identified to ensure it doesn’t happen again, Fedora said. …The silo itself did not sustain any damage as a result of the fire, he said. …The fire sent two mill employees and two volunteer firefighters to hospital for carbon monoxide exposure. They were all subsequently treated and released. …The Department of Labour and Advanced Education is investigating the incident and Fedora said the company is co-operating with that probe.

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Lumber duties not the cause of housing unaffordability

By Zoltan Van Heyningen, US Lumber Coalition
The Hill
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Zoltan van Heyningen

Despite what you might read, softwood lumber pricing is not a driving factor of American homeownership and housing affordability. Sadly, some groups are misstating critical facts about trade law and the actual impact of softwood lumber on home pricing. Lumber makes up less than 2 percent of the cost of a new home… amounting to a total cost of $5,744 in an average-priced home. The real sources of housing unaffordability come from construction worker shortages, higher permitting costs, lack of buildable lots and other factors. …I wish more people could see how these duties have worked for communities across the country. …It’s disheartening to see that some American industries would prefer to align themselves with Canadian interests in order to benefit from the subsidies. …The Canadian government and Canadian industry have not shown any serious interest in negotiating a new trade agreement.

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Coming into Focus: Hardwood Use for Pallets Trending Down

The Pallet Enterprise
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Given higher pricing and lower availability, research shows decrease in the amount of hardwood used in U.S. pallet production. Consumption of hardwood lumber for pallets has been trending down in recent years… it peaked in 2014 and has declined steadily since then. It’s no secret that hardwood prices have risen in recent years, and many pallet companies have been moving customers to softwood lumber. …Pallets are still a substantial consumer of hardwood lumber, according to figures for 2017. In fact, the pallet industry is the leading consumer of hardwood lumber, at 35%. Making up the top three are exports (22%) and railway ties (12%). Each other industry segment (in declining order: flooring, cabinets, millwork, furniture, and board road and mat timbers) consumed less than 10%. A copy of the presentation is available here.

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Resolute Tissue Honored for Superior Sales Growth and Performance

The Resolute Blog
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Frank Dillenburg & Dick McGann

Resolute Tissue took home one of the top honors at the Alliance 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah for its sales growth and performance. Resolute Tissue won the Navigator Recognition Award from Strategic Market Alliance (SMA) – a leader in the tissue sector – for delivering one of the largest increases in sales growth within the SMA Member Distributors network during 2018. The SMA is comprised of North America’s leading janitorial, sanitation and foodservice distributors who serve the United States and Canada from more than 190 distribution centers. The Navigator Recognition Awards annually recognize performance by the SMA’s top members and suppliers.  

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Maine Lumber Producer Continues Making Upgrades To Sawmills That Cut Spruce and Eastern White Pine

By Diane Calabrese
TimberLine Magazine
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

HANCOCK, Maine – Pleasant River Lumber has continued to upgrade a sawmill it acquired a few years ago. This year the company has added two Nyle package kilns to increase drying capacity. Pleasant River Lumber operates four mills in Maine — two that produce dimension spruce lumber and two (including the Hancock mill) that manufacture dimension Eastern white pine lumber. Pleasant River Lumber purchased the Hancock mill at auction in 2011. It had been operating since the 1940s and made lumber for boxes and ammunition crates and other wood products until it was closed in 2010. The new owners immediately began to modernize the mill, which also had dry kilns and a planer mill.

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The Global Sawlog Price Index fell 1.8% in the 1Q/19 to its lowest level in two years

By Hakan Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Seattle, USA—The global flow of softwood logs from countries with a surplus of wood raw-material to regions with tight, or costly log supply and higher consumption of forest products continued to expand for the third consecutive year. In 2018, WRI estimates show that the total trade of softwood logs in 2018 reached a new record high of 93 million m3. This was up from just 61 million m3 immediately following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2007/08, a remarkable 52% increase in trade in just ten years. Over the past decade, imports by Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Nordic countries have increased the most, while imports to Central Europe have grown more modestly. Log imports to China (the world’s largest log importer) actually fell eight percent in the 1Q/19 from the previous quarter, the biggest quarter-over-quarter decline in four years, reports the WRQ. 

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Logging crisis a warning about putting all our eggs in China’s basket

By Andrew Dickens
NewsTalkZB.co.nz
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — …Forestry contributes $5.2 billion a year to our economy. …But the tree trade has toppled. New Zealand logs are piling up on Chinese wharves as cheap, sawn timber makes its way by train into the People’s Republic from Russia and Scandinavia. Five million tonnes of logs, mostly from New Zealand are sitting on wharves in China unsold. …NZ Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir says it’s time to put the forestry business on hold for about 6 months and wait and see. …The timber that’s undercutting us is coming from Europe on trains that take 15 days to get there rather than 45 on a boat. The trains are part of China’s belt and road initiative. …The second thing was that our logs are being undercut by sawn timber out of Europe. And finally the price of logs.  It used to be $140 a tonne now it’s fallen to $110 a tonne.  

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New Zealand log export trade could take 6 months to recover after price slump

By Jamie Gray
The New Zealand Herald
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s log export trade to China could take four to six months to recover and it’s unlikely prices will revisit recent highs any time soon, rural economists said. Logs are piling up on Chinese wharves as a wave of cheap timber makes its way by train into China from Eastern Europe, toppling prices along the way. At the same time, economic growth in China is cooling and the renminbi is weakening. “A” grade log prices have gone from US$138/140 a tonne early in the year to US$110 a tonne, and could sink as low as US$100 to US$105/tonne. [To access the full story a NZ Herald subscription is required]

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Forestry

The beauty (and hazards!) of walking in the woods – Beware of the bears

FPInnovations Blog
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

With nearly 350 million hectare of forest, Canada offers almost limitless access to wilderness. Whether it is for professional purposes or for recreational activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, or bird watching, there are many reasons for enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors. However, we must always keep in mind that the forest is also home to many wild animals. Recently, a forest worker (family member of an FPInnovations employee) was attacked by a bear during a working day in the forest. Even though he followed all of recommended ways to respond in such a situation, he was grabbed by the animal and suffered minor injuries as a result of the incident. What should you do if you run into a bear… Bears generally prefer avoiding people; however, these animals are extremely sensitive to and can be stressed by human activity, and can sometimes exhibit predatory behavior. Here are some tips to enjoy the forest in the safest way possible.

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Scientists did not euthanize 24 endangered caribou in Northern B.C., as B.C. MLA claimed

By Betsy Trumpener
CBC News
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad

B.C.’s opposition critic for caribou recovery has clarified a false social media post, days after he stated scientists euthanized 24 endangered mountain caribou in Northern B.C. “If there’s errors and stuff made, I certainly don’t want to be part of what would be considered fake news,” Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad told CBC News in an interview. “At the same time, when information  like that comes forward, it’s a piece of information that’s worth sharing.” Rustad, a former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister, said he was alerted to the euthanization story by a logging contractor in northeastern B.C., whose land was used in the caribou study. The MLA said the contractor is facing the loss of work and staff layoffs due to caribou protection efforts. …The euthanasia story “was very shocking to hear,” Rustad told CBC News in an interview. “That’s why I posted it.” Rustad said he didn’t try to verify the information.

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Can government incentives to private companies help solve B.C.’s wildfire crisis?

By Jesse Johnston
CBC News
July 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robert Gray

Fire ecologist Robert Gray makes the same argument every year — wildfires are at a crisis level and removing their fuel by thinning British Columbia’s forests is the best way to mitigate them. Gray also gets frustrated annually at what he believes is a lack of investment in wildfire prevention in B.C…. That’s why Gray is taking an entirely different approach this time, knowing full well that it won’t be popular with many people in the construction industry and free market capitalists. The idea, in a nutshell, is for the provincial government to provide financial incentives for private companies to remove the biomass that jeopardizes B.C.’s forests. “We understand the fire science pretty well, but maybe this is an economics issue,” he said. “Maybe we’re approaching it the wrong way.” Gray says a government subsidy would make it profitable for forestry companies to harvest wood that either goes untouched or ends up in slash piles.

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Save Our Forest Team-Comox Valley holding public meeting to discuss forestry government

Comox Valley Record
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Save Our Forests Team – Comox Valley (SOFT-CV) is holding a public meeting to talk about and complete the B.C. government consultation survey on the legislation that governs how public lands and forests are managed in B.C. The government wishes to strengthen its ability to sustainably manage these lands and is asking for public input. Join SOFT-CV on July 11, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Courtenay Public Library, 6th & Duncan, Courtenay. Jens Wieting from Sierra Club BC will be joining the meeting remotely. The public can join in person, or remotely by going to https://zoom.us/j/191680581 Bring a laptop/tablet and earbuds if you would like to do the survey online at this event. We will provide some paper copies for people with no devices. Space is limited. RSVP to emzand47@gmail.com
 

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Conditions ‘very dry’ across Vancouver Island despite rainfall

By David Gordon Koch
BC Local News
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conditions remain very dry across Vancouver Island, despite recent rainfall. That could mean record-breaking low runoff on the Campbell River. Precipitation has been “very low” in the Campbell River watershed since February, said BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson. And the current water supply forecast for the February to September period shows an expected runoff volume of 64 per cent the normal. “If this forecast happens it would be the lowest for February to September total runoff in about 60 years of record,” Watson said. …An online Drought Levels Map maintained by the B.C. government indicates that all of Vancouver Island is currently considered “very dry” as of July 4. …But it would take one of the rainiest months of July on record for overall drought conditions to change, said Ashlee Jollymore, a hydrologist with the provincial River Forecast Centre

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B.C.’s 2019 forest fire season off to a slow, wet start

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After two consecutive record forest fire seasons, B.C. emergency officials are seeing a slow start to the 2019 B.C. wildfire season, with wet conditions in the south and high fire risk only in the remote northwest. Former B.C. cabinet minister George Abbott’s review of the 2017 fire season was called “Addressing the New Normal” of smoke-filled skies. The report was released last year as a second summer of evacuation alerts and scorched timber gathered steam. This summer has started with the old normal, weather unpredictability. After a second straight cold winter with lower than average snowpacks, a dry spring has given way to heavy rain across the more populous parts of B.C. …Fires and salvage logging have reduced much of the timber killed in B.C.’s latest mountain pine beetle epidemic, with timber harvest reduced from artificially high levels of recent years.

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Mountain pine beetle fungi chemicals could up the battle against the bug: University of Alberta researchers

Edmonton Journal
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mountain pine beetle could be its own worst enemy. The discovery of new chemicals carried by fungi in the bug could be used to build better traps to battle the bugs, say University of Alberta researchers. Grosmannia fungi emit chemical odours that have proven attractive to other types of bark beetles and the hope is that those chemicals can also be used against the mountain pine beetle, shows a study led by post-doctoral fellow Jonathan Cale. The discovery “opens up a whole range of possible attractants that could be used to improve baits being used to manage the beetle,” explains Cale. …“The existing chemical baits used in traps do function, but if these can be improved, it could make a significant difference in our ability to manage the beetle.”

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Communities working to ‘help those in need’ during forest fire season

CBC News
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As crews battle forest fires across northern Ontario, several communities are stepping up to help those who have to leave their homes. According to the province, there are 20 active fires in Ontario, posing a risk to about 14 communities. Two communities in northwestern Ontario, Keewaywin and Pikangikum First Nations, have declared a state of emergency due to smoke. …The province says it is “actively working on a contingency plan in the event a large-scale evacuation becomes necessary.” That includes asking host communities to take in more people or asking other towns or cities to step in and help. In Kapuskasing, the community has increased how many people it can house from 300 up to 450.

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Roberts delivers wildfire message to president

By Vickie Aldous
Mail Tribune
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With President Donald Trump looking on, Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts called on federal agencies to fully suppress wildfires during fire season. Roberts was introduced by the president, then made a short statement Monday in Washington, D.C., during a press conference on environmental issues. Roberts said about half of the land in Jackson County is managed by the federal government. “Previous administrations have allowed these lands to be mismanaged and thus are burdened with heavy fuels,” she said. “Wildland fire policies allowing management objectives to be attained through prescribed burning during fire season is flawed.” Jackson County commissioners are pushing for a change to federal policy that allows fires to burn under certain conditions.

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Letter from Ed: We Are All Tree Huggers

By Edward C. Brindley, Jr., Publisher
Pallet Enterprise
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

It is so easy to demonize the other side as anti-this or pro-that. Even in topics that should bring us together, such as education or caring for the planet, there is little common ground. … It is so easy to demonize the other side as anti-this or pro-that. I recently thought about this while watching an online video interview with Dr. Patrick Moore, an early leader in Greenpeace who left the environmental organization after claiming the organization strayed from its original aims and followed non-fact-based campaigns. Dr. Moore has appeared in past interviews in Pallet Enterprise and was for a number of years a major speaker at forest product industry meetings. He became an advocate for using wood products as part of a sound environmental policy, and he eventually went on to write a book titled, Trees Are the Answer. …It’s up to you to communicate that loggers, sawmills, pallet operations and wood industries are tree huggers too.

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Ikea parent firm buys 17,000 acres of forestland north of Charleston for $58.5M

By Warren Wise
The Post and Courier
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The parent company of Swedish-rooted and Dutch-based retailer Ikea now owns a sizable chunk of South Carolina forestland. An affiliate of Ingka Group recently bought about 17,000 acres in Georgetown, Williamsburg and Clarendon counties on the northern edge of the Charleston region. Deeds filed with each of the counties show IRI Forest Investments LLC paid $58.5 million, or about $3,441 an  acre, for the properties. The seller was Sustainable Growth LLC, which is affiliated with Atlanta-based Forest Investment Associates LP. The land will be used to grow and harvest trees, and it adds to the company’s forestry holdings in the U.S. Ingka also owns 25,000 acres in Alabama and another 22,000 in Texas. …Ingka said its forestry practices mandate more trees are planted than harvested as part of its commitment to maintaining a positive impact on people and the planet.

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Toxic processionary caterpillar plague spreads across Europe

BBC News
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Germany and the Netherlands are battling many infestations of oak processionary caterpillars, whose tiny toxic hairs can trigger allergic reactions and skin irritation. The mild winter and warm spring this year boosted caterpillar numbers. …Germany’s western Ruhr region is densely populated and among the worst affected by the caterpillars. The caterpillars – measuring 2-3cm – can wreak havoc in oak trees, as they feast on the young leaves. …Special teams there and elsewhere have donned protective gear and used firefighters’ lifts to reach the treetops, where they have attacked OPM nests with blowtorches or big vacuum cleaners. …The tiny hairs are carried in the wind and contain a toxin, which can cause rashes, eye irritation, coughing or even an allergic reaction. The caterpillar nests are too dangerous to touch.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

New Brunswick has been unwilling to impose carbon pricing costs on consumers or on key industries

The Matto Mildenberger
Policy Options
July 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

…New Brunswick is small. …And a provincially owned power plant in Belledune and J.D. Irving and Irving Oil — are responsible for 23 percent of all provincial emissions. This makes New Brunswick a hard place to implement carbon pricing. The few large carbon polluters enjoy structural power within the economy and the political system. …Unfortunately, rather than offering lessons about provincial policy action, the New Brunswick experience better illustrates the power of national political coalitions to impose costs on subnational actors who would otherwise avoid costly reforms. …The current government wants to replace the federal framework with weaker provincial measures, including an alternative framework for large emitters that would exempt them from the federal output-based pricing system. …In New Brunswick, governments have not been willing to impose costs on the energy and forestry industries critical to the provincial economy, or on consumers.

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We should welcome Enviva pellet plant into our community. Here’s why.

By James L. Cummins, executive director of Wildlife Mississippi
The Clarion Ledger
July 10, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Enviva, a renewable energy company has been in the news lately, as they prepare to build a manufacturing facility in Lucedale. We should support their arrival in another community in our state. …Our nonprofit organization, Wildlife Mississippi, measures success by the number of acres of habitat we protect, restore or enhance and by the number of miles of streams we improve. To date, we have protected, restored or enhanced over 500,000 acres of wildlife habitat. Wildlife Mississippi’s Northeast Office is located approximately 500 yards from Enviva’s Amory Mill.  In Amory, Enviva has also proven to be a good neighbor.  I believe they will also be a good neighbor in South Mississippi. We know that when something has value, people will protect it.  When southern forests have value as trees… they will be protected, restored, and enhanced.  When they don’t, there is a much greater chance they will be turned into other uses, such as subdivisions…

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Board approves air pollution permit for Enviva wood pellet plant

By Jeff Amy
Associated Press
July 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi environmental regulators have approved an air pollution permit for what could be the largest wood pellet plant in the world, despite objections from environmental groups that the plant would emit too much pollution and have other harmful effects. The state Environmental Quality Permit Board voted unanimously to issue a permit Tuesday for Enviva Partners LP’s $140 million plant in Lucedale. …The two plants are supposed to have 120 direct employees, with as many as 300 loggers and truckers also finding work supplying Enviva. …“Air quality modeling shows that even with the revised permit, air pollution from the plant will be in violation of federal ambient air quality standards,” opponents said their statement. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality staff, though, wrote that the air modeling by the nonprofit didn’t follow Mississippi’s rules and thus “is inconclusive regarding Enviva’s impact.” The department said Enviva’s own air modeling also didn’t follow rules and was also inconclusive.

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Health & Safety

Air Quality Warning Issued For Montreal As Smoke From Ontario Wildfires Looms Over Quebec

By Teddy Elliot
MTL Blog
July 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Environment Canada has just issued an air quality warning for the city of Montreal and the surrounding area. Most of Southern Quebec around the city is under smog warning. Currently, the air quality index in some parts of Montreal is well over 60, which can be detrimental to people who are sensitive to air pollutants.  According to The Weather Network, “high levels of pollutants” are expected until Wednesday morning. It’s recommended that people with asthma, respiratory problems, or heart disease avoid strenuous outdoor activity. The smog warning is predominantly affecting the North Shore of Montreal but Downtown is still under the warning despite showing a higher level of air quality. …Smoke plumes from forest fires in Northern Ontario are being carried along by the air current and are dispersing their pollutants over parts of Southern Quebec.

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