Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 17, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Resolute sells Fort Frances mill. New owner mum on its future.

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 17, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The sale of Resolute’s mothballed Fort Frances mill is viewed as suspect as new owner stays mum on its future. In other Business news: the lumber futures market declines as rumours circulate of more down-time; sawmill closures hurt BC communities; Canfor receives positive certification report; and North Carolina weighs expansion of Enviva wood pellet mill.

In Forestry/Climate news: Fort Nelson BC mayor is ecstatic over community forest award and an increase in the region’s AAC; Rainforest Alliance/FSC launch small landowners program; David Suzuki on why climate protection is not a partisan issue and a new study says climate change is exacerbating California’s wildfires.

Finally, updates on SFPA’s Wood Expo, BC’s net zero energy-ready competition; the battle to save Notre-Dame.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Lumber Declines Despite A Dovish Fed

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
July 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…The lumber futures market has done an excellent job of predicting price action in the commodities market. …The price of lumber traded to its high in May 2018, before many other raw material prices fell on the back of the ongoing trade dispute with China. Therefore, the lumber has been a leading indicator, at times. …The weekly chart highlights that lumber futures have been steadily declining since mid-June, even as other commodities have displayed price strength. The news that the Fed plans to cut the Fed Funds rate by the end of 2019 has not supported the price of lumber, which is a critical component when it comes to construction. While a falling interest rate environment should favor the price of wood, the price has declined in what has been a “buy the rumor and sell the fact” reaction to the prospects for lower US interest rates.

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Muted demand keeps softwood lumber prices low as futures tank

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Until Tuesday all eyes were on trading of softwood lumber futures on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange. The July contract closed Monday unchanged at $360. By Tuesday morning the September contract was down $12 and trading at $336, with little optimism of the recent price drops reversing direction. For it’s part, cash price for benchmark construction framing dimension softwood lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2×4 was down $10 on the previous week, at U.S. $392 mfbm. At producers, sawmill order files were barely longer than a week, although most manufacturers were quoting a two-week order file. …Among players in the west there were rumours circulating of still more curtailments and down-time. …The U.S. housing market looks tepid at best, but not because people are not looking to buy property.

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Sawmill closures hurt B.C. communities

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

Jim Girvan

The current wave of sawmill closures and curtailments rippling through B.C. had been expected for at least a decade. But few expected that wave to hit so fast and furious. In recent weeks, B.C. forestry companies have announced the closure of four sawmills, and several have eliminated, or plan to eliminate, shifts at mills that are still operating. …Jim Girvan, a forestry consultant who estimated in 2010 that 16 Interior lumber, veneer and plywood mills would shut down in B.C. by 2019 – which is exactly how many did – more recently predicted in May that another 13 mills will have to go. Since his May prediction, four mill closures have been announced, which mean nine will follow before long if his projections are correct. And because B.C.’s forestry sector is so highly integrated, the next wave of plant closures could be pulp mills and other processors that use wood waste from nearby sawmills.

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Liberals MLAs worried over inaction on forestry

By Frank Peebles
The Prince George Citizen
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The forest industry is reeling from a flurry of economic blows, some global and some local. The strongest sign of a sector in trouble is the number of mill closures, production curtailments and unscheduled or protracted shutdowns …at a large number of sawmills… The rural caucus of the opposition BC Liberal Party met in Prince George this week to make public their greatest concern: lack of action from the sitting NDP/Green coalition government. The Citizen asked the Ministry of Forests Lands & Resource Operations for details on the government’s plan of action and received no explanation. …”Given the forestry sector in B.C. is now in the middle of what can only be described as a crisis, the Official Opposition is calling on you (the sitting government) to take the following actions to address this situation,” said a letter signed by opposition leader.

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Resolute sells mothballed Fort Frances mill to Riversedge

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The news that Riversedge Developments now owns the shuttered Fort Frances pulp and paper mill doesn’t inspire much confidence from the town’s mayor. June Caul said the CEO of the brownfield redevelopment company paid an unexpected visit to town hall, July 10, to advise… that the deal with Resolute Forest Products has been finalized. Despite the encounter, …Veldman gave them no indication of his future plans for the site. A promised public announcement… never came to be, leaving it to Resolute to break the news. Caul… openly questions whether the developer is working in “good faith” with the town, or if Veldman remains under a gag order from Resolute from fully disclosing his plans to possibly scrap the entire site. …Veldman and Riversedge are no strangers to Northerners due their acquisitions and subsequent demolitions of paper plants in Sault Ste. Marie, Iroquois Falls and Red Rock.

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Statement confirms sale of Fort Frances mill

The International Falls Journal
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The paper mill in Fort Frances has been sold by Resolute Forest Products according to a statement issued Monday. …The Town of Fort Frances wishes to confirm for all of its citizens, stakeholders, and regional partners that the properties comprising the pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances have been sold by Resolute Forest Products. These properties have been transferred to a new owner, which we understand to be a subsidiary of Riversedge Developments that is held in partnership with a local entity. …The town’s goal has been — and continues to be — returning this key economic asset to productive use that preserves its operating capacity and makes use of our region’s publicly-owned forest resources. …Judson said while Monday is a milestone, there are still details to be learned.

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A mixed bag on residential construction costs

By Chris Wille
The Herald Tribune
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

FLORIDA — Potential homebuyers and others may wonder about the breakdown of the costs that influence the sales price of a typical new single-family home. Those costs keep shifting depending on market forces, labor availability, tariffs, import restrictions, and government fees and regulations, among other variables. “Our costs went way up at the beginning of 2019,” said Pat Neal, the founder and chairman of Neal Communities. The company has built more than 14,000 homes in communities from Tampa to Naples. Per-home costs for windows jumped $2,500, and $1,000 for steel, which Neal blamed on tariffs. Lumber prices soared by $4,000 per home because of import restrictions. …That market softness shows up in the number of single-family home building permits issued in the Sarasota-Manatee metro area from January to mid-April this year, compared to the same time frame in 2018.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Commercial Real Estate: Net Zero Energy-Ready building competition winners announced

By Evan Duggan
The Vancouver Sun
July 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A mass-timber office project in Vancouver and a four-storey timber-frame rental apartment in West Kelowna are among the 11 winners of the province’s pilot Net Zero Energy-Ready Competition (NZERC). The 11 ongoing development projects were selected by a jury of government, utility and industry leaders with knowledge of high-performance buildings. The winners will receive up to $390,000 each to put toward completing their buildings. …Highstreet Ventures won a construction incentive for one of its four-storey wood-frame rental apartment buildings at their Carrington View complex. …The jury also selected a 10-storey mass-timber office project at 2150 Keith Dr. in east Vancouver. The Bentall Kennedy building, designed by Dialog architects, will have offices, meeting areas and a research and innovation department. The building will have a highly efficient mechanical system, passive design elements, a high-performance building envelope and will incorporate renewable materials, including B.C. timber.

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Southern Forest Products Association Expo Attracts Sawmillers

By Jacqlyn Kirkland
Timber Processing
July 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

More than 180 exhibitors attended the Forest Products Machinery and Equipment Exposition produced by Southern Forest Products Assn. at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from June 24 to 26. The event, which is held every other year, caters to the softwood and hardwood primary lumber manufacturing industry. Hood Industries brought 14 people from its sawmills operations. “The show is always most valuable to me for maintaining and establishing contacts with the vendors,” comments Ben Crim, VP Engineering & Environmental Management at Hood Industries. “In my career I’ve found it very handy to work from the top down when you have vendor problems. Good to know whom to call to make things happen!” Crim pointed to several pieces of equipment that caught his attention, such as the new overhead canter/profiler from RPM, the new Taylor log handler, the Piche lumber handling equipment, the Gilbert planer, Samuel dunnage handling robot and Signode marking system.

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A Paris firefighter shared her harrowing account of what it was like inside Notre Dame as they battled the devastating inferno

By Sinéad Baker
The New York Times in Insider.com
July 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A Paris firefighter spoke about the desperate battle against blaze roaring through the centuries-old cathedral, from feeling “powerless” to realizing what strategy the firefighters should take to stop the iconic building from collapsing. Master Corporal Myriam Chudzinski, told The New York Times that she and other fighters were in the cathedral when its famous, 750-ton spire collapsed. …Her team travelled to the cathedral’s attic, where the fire was ravaging the ancient wooden construction, and were forced to come back down as the fire raged and wood began to fall to the cathedral’s floor. But the team had noticed something about the fire’s direction that gave them a new strategy, and ultimately saved the cathedral from collapse. This new plan required the firefighters to let the roof burn and focus their efforts on saving the northern tower, which they felt would take down the rest of the cathedral if it fell. 

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Forestry

Caribou debate in Revelstoke makes international headlines

By Liam Harrap
Revelstoke Times Review
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The caribou debate has crossed an ocean. The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, recently posted an article exploring the thread between caribou and Revelstoke’s economy. “At stake: three herds of caribou. Or, potentially, the entire town,” notes the article. The three herds of concern are the Columbia North, Columbia South, and Frisby-Boulder-Queest. To sum up, the article asks Revelstoke residents how much they are expected and willing to sacrifice to save an endangered species. According to provincial figures, southern mountain herds have declined from 2,500 in the mid-1990s to 1,200 today.

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District receives $1 million to reduce wildfire danger

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

Removing material along the Buck Flats Road to reduce the chances of a wildfire threat against the community is going to take place thanks to a $1 million grant received by the District of Houston. The project is to be managed by Protech Forest Services and it will also provide consulting services over the course of the project. “The current timeline projects a completion date in 2020, although this is subject to several conditions being met,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck. …The project money came from a financial boost provided by the province to the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. and Houston’s application was one of 40 wildfire risk reduction projects to divide $19 million. Thirty-six of the 40 approved projects are for fuel management projects that will directly reduce wildfire risk within two kilometres of a community.

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Fort Nelson mayor ‘dancing on the ceiling’ after getting province’s largest community forest

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gary Foster

The mayor of Fort Nelson said he’s “dancing on the ceiling” following a pair of forestry announcements made Tuesday. First, the province’s deputy chief forester revealed the region’s annual allowable cut is being increased. …Then came news the province is converting 191,000 hectares of Crown land into B.C.’s largest community forest to be jointly managed by the Fort Nelson First Nation and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. …The deal comes after years of lobbying from local government leaders for more control over regional forests. …”The rest of the province has been challenged with a loss of fibre for the forest industry,” he said. “We have an abundance of fibre and we’re expecting that we’ll attract a lot of industry to our area and with it.”

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Canadian Forest Products 2018/2019 Initial SFI Certification Audit

By KPMG Performance Registrar Inc.
Canfor.com
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Between October 16, 2018 and March 1, 2019 an audit team from KPMG Performance Registrar carried out a SFI certification audit of Canadian Forest Products’ B.C. and Alberta woodlands operations and fibre procurement activities, assessing them against the 2015-2019 Sustainable Forestry Initiative®  Forest Management and Fibre Sourcing standards. …The audit found that Canfor’s sustainable forest management system and fibre sourcing program: were in full conformance with the requirements of the SFI 2015-2019 forest management and fibre sourcing standards included within the scope of the audit, except where noted otherwise in this report; have been effectively implemented, and; are sufficient to systematically meet the commitments included within the organization’s environmental and SFM policies. …As a result, a decision has been reached by the lead auditor to recommend that Canfor be certified to the SFI 2015-2019 forest management and fibre sourcing standards.

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Fort Nelson community forest approved, annual cut increased

By Matt Preprost
Alaska Highway News
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has announced its approval of the Fort Nelson community forest, and has added nearly one million cubic metres of timber to the region’s annual cut. The community forest, which will be managed jointly between the Northern Rockies municipality and the Fort Nelson First Nation, allows for annual cut of 217,650 cubic metres per year. It is B.C.’s largest community forest, and long considered a key part of rebooting the region’s forestry sector, according to the ministry of forests. …It’s estimated community forests create one full-time job for every 3,000 cubic metres of wood harvested, with average total sales of $2.3 million in communities with 3,000 people or less.  Also on Tuesday, the province announced that the annual cut for the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area has been increased to 2.58 million cubic metres. That’s a 59% increase from the 1.62 million cubic metres that sat unchanged since 2006.

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Board to audit forest licence in Houston area

BC Forest Practices Board
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of Northern Engineered Wood Products on non-renewable forest licence A85566 in the Nadina Natural Resource District during the week of July 23, 2019. Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning, carried out by Northern Engineered Wood Products between July 1, 2017, and July 25, 2019, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The forest licence is located in the Morice Timber Supply Area, which includes the communities of Houston, Topley and Granisle. The area provides a wide range of natural resource benefits, such as forest products, minerals, grazing, recreation and tourism amenities, as well as fish and wildlife habitat.

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Fort Nelson poised for benefits from B.C.’s largest community forest

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of BC
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents and area communities that have long fought to revive Fort Nelson’s forest sector are starting to realize the benefit of their efforts with the approval of the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement, in partnership with the British Columbia government. …The agreement has an allowable annual cut of 217,650 cubic metres per year from 191,571 hectares of Crown land, including a BC Timber Sales volume reservation of 32,650 cubic metres annually. …The applicants submitted a management plan for approval that includes stand-level retention targets of 8.9% for wildlife tree retention areas, ungulate winter ranges and consideration of possible future impacts to the timber-harvesting land base for boreal caribou management. Old growth retention targets will be a minimum of 37% in the Northern Boreal Mountains and 17% in the Boreal Plains.

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New cut level set for Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
The Government of BC
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective July 16, 2019, the new allowable annual cut (AAC) for the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area is 2,582,350 cubic metres, announced Shane Berg, deputy chief forester. The new AAC is a 59% increase from the previous allowable annual cut of 1,625,000 cubic metres set in 2006 and includes partitions to encourage an expansion of forestry opportunities in the northwest portion of the TSA and promote a return to harvesting the deciduous timber profile. “The Fort Nelson TSA contains a vast area of mature deciduous stands,” said Berg. “I am confident that my decision will encourage forestry opportunities for First Nations and other operators, while maintaining responsible management of biodiversity objectives.” …Wildlife in the TSA, including boreal caribou, northern caribou and Stone’s sheep, are protected by ungulate winter ranges and wildlife habitat areas. 

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Stakeholders to discuss opportunities, challenges of resource supply chain

Northern Ontario Business
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario — Industry stakeholders will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the resource and manufacturing supply chain during a July 26 panel discussion hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “Resources are key to Canada’s prosperity today and tomorrow. As part of the resource and manufacturing supply chain… their impact is felt in every community across Canada,” said chamber president Don Mitchell. “The connection between the resource-energy-manufacturing supply chain is a significant economic driver and job creator of the future.” The event will include Sault Ste. Marie investment updates from Tenaris Algoma Tubes and Noront Resources as well as a panel discussion with national industry association leaders who will discuss Canada’s resource sectors in the context of national and global contributions.

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A trillion trees – Medway forest co-op manager not scared by the ‘afforestation’ numbers in report

By Lawrence Powell
Amherst News
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MAITLAND BRIDGE, N.S. — …when the journal ‘Science’ came out with a report about how many trees could be planted around the globe to bring down carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 25 per cent, the numbers didn’t scare Mary Jane Rodger. …The report from ‘Science’ shows where those trees can be planted and how many are needed. “The report is positive, creating future forests is a step in the right direction, but can’t be our only solution in the fight against climate change,” said Rodger, general manager of the Medway Community Forest Co-op where they’ve already planted almost 100,000 trees in areas on Highway 8 in Annapolis County. …Rodger said … ordinary people can get involved. “Get their hands on a few trees and plant in their own backyard,” she said. “If every homeowner in Canada did this, we’d already make a huge impact.”

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Announcing the Smallholder Access Program, an Innovative Approach to Responsible Forest Certification

The Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance
WebWire
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and a consortium of… forestry corporations announce the launch of the Smallholder Access Program. …The program is a two-year FSC pilot project designed to increase access to forest certification for woodland owners under 250 acres. The SAP will be available to landowners across Southern and Central Appalachia, encompassing parts of Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. In its pilot phase, the SAP will be limited to a total enrollment of 7,400 acres. …Pending the success of the Smallholder Access Program, the principles behind the approach may be applied in other locations in the US and around the globe, with the intention of making FSC certification more available and relevant to smallholders in other regions.

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Second summer sawfly outbreak browns hemlock trees around Southeast Alaska

By Joe Viechnicki
KFSK Community Radio Alaska
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service in Southeast Alaska is recording more wide-spread tree damage from a bug called a hemlock sawfly on the Tongass National Forest. For the second summer, these native, defoliating insects are leaving behind reddish brown tree tops, this year stretching from Prince of Wales Island to Juneau. From afar, the most visible damage to hemlock trees is the brown needles, especially toward the top. But up close, there’s another widespread sign that sawflies are eating and digesting hemlock needles. …[The poop, called frass] looks like light brown dirt and in places it’s covering everything in the forest. …Some of the hemlock trees under attack are also being eaten by another insect, the western black-headed budworm. When both are eating needles, that can kill a tree. Surveying has turned up some budworm, but not a lot. Most of the damage this year can be blamed on the sawfly.

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Study: Climate Change a Leading Driver of California’s Wildfires

By Kevin Stark
KQED Science
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California is heating up. That heat is driving an increase in the land burned by California wildfires every year as the arid weather dries out forests along the North Coast and Sierra Nevada, according to new research. …Summer forest fires are pushing up the annual burn rates across the state, according to Park Williams, the study’s lead author. “We’ve seen a five-fold increase in areas of California that burn in any given year,” said Williams. “But just in the summer forest fire areas, we have seen an eight-fold increase.” …Disentangling all the wildfire drivers is complicated, but Williams calls climate change “decisive.” …Jon E. Keeley, a fire scientist with the US Geological Survey, said he agrees that rising temperatures are drying out forests… But he disagrees with… the role that climate change plays in coastal and Southern California. 

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Eastern Hemlock trees are all but gone. This farmer/professor is doing something about it—with his students

By Tessa Venell
Brandeis Now
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Brian Donohue

As the climate warms, New England forest species face increasing threats of changing temperature, precipitation and invasive threats. Associate professor of American environmental studies Brian Donahue and his students are working to keep Massachusetts forests from losing some species that forests farther south have already lost. Donahue and the undergraduates who are participating in his research are mapping hemlocks in the forests in Concord, Lincoln, and Weston to help local conservation commissions decide how to manage these threatened trees. Hemlocks in Massachusetts are under threat because of a sap-sucking insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid, which has already devastated hemlocks from North Carolina to Connecticut.

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NSW remaps old-growth forests to open up reserves to logging

By Lisa Cox
The Guardian
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New South Wales government is considering reclassifying old-growth forest to open up some protected reserves in the state’s north-east to the timber industry. The Natural Resources Commission of NSW has been asked to remap and rezone old-growth forest in state forest informal reserves that were previously off limits to logging. Environment groups are concerned the move is an attempt to unpick forest protections that have been in place for decades. An NRC pilot study has already examined 13 sites in the north-east. In findings published last year, the NRC said it had identified “significant errors” in old-growth forests maps. It drew up new maps that reduced the extent of protected old-growth in those areas by 78%. It is now embarking on a larger remapping exercise that would aim to rezone 14,600 hectares of old-growth. A draft assessment will be published for public comment next month.

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Native bears and wolves to live side by side in Britain for the first time in 1,000 years

By Emma Smith
The Independent
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Native bears and wolves will live side by side for the first time in more than 1,000 years in a patch of ancient British woodland. European brown bears, which are thought to have disappeared in the Middle Ages, will roam beside grey wolves, the last of which were hunted to extinction in the 17th century, in a wood near Bristol. The project, called Bear Wood, will give visitors the chance to see how these animals would have coexisted in the woodland that used to cover much of Britain. Today only 13 per cent of the UK’s total land area is covered in woodland and only 2 per cent is covered by ancient woodland, which has existed continuously since 1600 or before. Across the EU, an average of 35 per cent of land is covered in woodland. Two Eurasian lynx and two wolverines will also live beside the bears and wolves in Bear Wood.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada’s domestic climate refugees

By Linda Solomon Wood
The National Observer
July 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canada is at risk of creating a new class of climate refugees. People are fleeing their homes here in Canada. A transformation is needed before this becomes a trend. …The environment is emerging as the key issue as the 2019 federal election nears. According to a public opinion poll taken by the Forum Poll, the environment is tied with the economy as the most important issue. …Bruce Blackwell of B.A. Blackwell and Associates, is a forestry and environmental management services company in North Vancouver. …“This is a 40- to 60-year problem, and it’s not going away,” Blackwell told Wilson. “The fires we are seeing are so big the government doesn’t fight them. Instead, it focuses on getting people out of the way.” But we still have a long way to go as a country in taking the threat of our warming climate seriously.

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Climate protection is not a partisan issue

By David Suzuki
The Georgia Straight
July 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Media and politicians often regard environmentalists as a special-interest group with political priorities served by “green” parties. …It’s absurd to think an issue like climate change belongs to one party. It should be the highest priority for every politician and candidate and should receive daily media attention. …In Canada, where temperatures are rising at twice the global average rate, we’re already experiencing impacts: …forest infestations of pests like the mountain pine beetle, vanishing glaciers that feed watersheds, …huge fires, massive floods. …Global warming affects almost everything in our lives and the biosphere. It’s not a special interest touted by enviros or the Green Party. It’s a crisis for all humanity. …Once the challenge is seized, opportunities will open up as we transform society’s energy foundation. …It’s time to dream big.

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Nearly half of companies with deforestation risk aren’t addressing it

By Steve Zwick
GreenBiz.com
July 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Deforestation and illegal agriculture still account for roughly 20 percent of all greenhouse gasses, leaving major producers of soy, beef and other commodities exposed to regulatory and reputational risk as the Paris Agreement comes into force. Many companies have spent the last decade restructuring their supply chains — some to do the right thing, and others to reduce their exposure to climate transition risk. New research by the Forest Trends Supply Change initiative, however, shows that 44 percent of the 865 companies most associated with deforestation risk haven’t made any public commitments to reduce that risk. Specifically, according to analysis summarized in “Targeting Zero Deforestation,” just 484 of the 865 companies that Supply Change identifies with the most forest-risk exposure have committed to sourcing commodities sustainably.

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Corporation Commission torches forest thinning efforts

By Peter Aleshire
The White Mountain Independent
July 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission torched forest restoration efforts last week by voting 3-2 to ditch a proposed rule requiring utilities to produce 60-90 megawatts of electricity from biomass. Specifically, the divided commission voted to not move forward on a plan to convert one unit of the soon-to-close Cholla power plant to burning up to 60 MW of wood scraps, presumably from some 50,000 acres worth of forest restoration projects. Officials throughout Northern Arizona have been lobbying the corporation commission for a year to create a market for the millions of tons of wood scraps. …Commissioner Justin Olson led the charge against biomass, arguing electricity users shouldn’t have to subsidize forest restoration efforts through higher monthly bills.

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‘Godsend’ or threat to forests? NC weighs expansion of wood pellet mill

By Richard Stradling
The News & Observer
July 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A public hearing on an air pollution permit for a wood pellet plant in Sampson County on Monday night became a wide-ranging forum on the environmental effects of the industry and the reputation of the plant’s owner, Enviva, in North Carolina. The company and its supporters say the wood pellets it creates to burn in power plants in Europe are a renewable resource and a way to help combat climate change. They also say the trees Enviva buys for its three mills in North Carolina have helped make it possible for owners to keep their land in forests, rather than convert it to some other use. “For timber growers, Enviva’s been a godsend,” said Ashley Faircloth, a forestry consultant from Jacksonville. But opponents contend that when you factor in the loss of the trees and the energy used in production and shipping, wood pellets are actually worse for the environment than the coal they replace.

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Health & Safety

Bat flew into hand of B.C. man who died of rabies infection

By Cheryl Chan
Vancouver Sun
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nick Major

Nick Major was not doing anything out of the ordinary [when] he had a brief but fatal encounter with a bat infected with rabies. …Major, 21, had been driving and pulled over on the side of the road on Vancouver Island when a bat flew into him. Health authorities confirmed the patient was outdoors and in broad daylight when the nocturnal creature “struck” his hand then flew away. …Major had no visible puncture wound or scratch marks — something that’s not unusual because bat scratches can be microscopic… He developed symptoms of rabies six weeks after exposure. …He died Saturday, the first confirmed death from rabies contracted in B.C. since 2003… Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system. …Once symptoms appear, it is usually too late for effective treatment. …It is also unusual for bats to be flying during the day and could be a sign it is infected with rabies. Anyone who spots bats in daytime should take extra precautions.

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Quick lane change causes log truck to roll over; 4 vehicles hit by logs, troopers say

By Rolf Boone
The Olympian
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

A tractor-trailer hauling logs rolled over Monday and scattered logs across northbound Interstate 5 in Lewis County, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers say four vehicles were hit by logs. Two people were injured: the 49-year-old McCleary man driving the log truck, and a 33-year-old Tacoma woman in a separate vehicle. Both were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital. …the tractor-trailer was headed south on I-5 near Centralia when it failed to slow for traffic and made a quick lane change. The truck rolled over as a result and scattered its load over the freeway median into the northbound lanes.

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Citronelle police investigating fatal crash on Highway 45

By Mark Kent
The Call News
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

CITRONELLE, ALABAMA — A head-on collision shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday took the lives of a log truck driver and a man driving a Ford Fusion, Citronelle Mayor Jason Stringer said. …The logs of the log truck came loose, with some going through the cab and others taking down utility poles and power lines, also rupturing a gas line in the area, witnesses said. …The wreck left heavy amounts of debris on the highway, and the two vehicles ended up off the east edge of the highway, coming to rest about 500 feet apart. By noon, there was still some smoke rising from the area around where the log truck came to rest. …“The log truck was on fire, and it blew a gas main,” Burgin said. “Power lines were down, and there were logs all over the place.”

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