Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 24, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Frank Dottori fronts Ontario’s first CLT plant

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 24, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tembec founder Frank Dottori is fronting Ontario’s first CLT plant—with a little help from the provincial government and the Carpenter’s Council . In related news: Ottawa is helping Domtar upgrade its Espanola mill; Barriere’s mayor speaks out on the Canfor/Interfor tenure sale; BC’s mill closures put the economy at risk; UPM plans to build a eucalyptus pulp mill in Uruguay; and despite falling prices, New Zealand’s log exports continue to rise.

In Forestry/Climate news: the secret food habits of BC’s caribou; Nova Scotia’s forest minister encouraged to “walk the walk“; California needs more firefighters as peak fire season nears; and planting trees can help fight climate change—if we do it right.

Finally; a hi-tech shirt that could reduce forestry fatalities.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Catalyst Crofton apologizes for “lapses” in communication with Town of Lake Cowichan

By Lexi Bainas
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After the amount of heat and light generated at town council meetings … Catalyst Crofton has replied to comments about what they are doing at the Lake Cowichan weir right now. Brian Houle, Environment Manager, Catalyst Crofton, said Friday, July 19, “Paper Excellence is fully committed to the protection of Lake Cowichan, the Cowichan River, and the Town of Lake Cowichan’s potable water supply and their water system if, due to the drought, we are forced to have to implement pumping of lake water over the weir.” The major problem has been that the work began without a word officially to the Town of Lake Cowichan or council, leaving them out of the loop. “We are sorry that there have been lapses in our communications with the town regarding plans over changes to the potable water system….We dropped the ball in not talking to the town’s staff and administration in an prompt manner…Houle said.

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Stumpage fees rise, with varied effects on industry

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
July 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rates paid by companies to log Crown land increased July 1, with varied effects. Referred to as stumpage rates, the fees are adjusted at the start of the fiscal quarter (Jan. 1, April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1) by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Various market variables and other calculations go into the adjustments. They also vary depending on the licensee. “The largest impact on increased stumpage for July 1 was the bids on BC Timber Sales from the previous year,” as Steve Zika, CEO of Hampton Lumber, told Lakes District News. The rate rise will cause log costs to increase for the next four months, he said. …The good news is that the stumpage rate hike isn’t expected to affect on Hampton’s operations in British Columbia. “Recent increases in lumber prices will help offset these higher log prices so we have not changed our operating plans at Babine or Decker Lake at this time,” Zika explained.

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B.C.’s forestry industry is shrinking, leaving economy at risk

By Karen Graham
Digital Journal
July 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. lumber industry has its plate full — grappling with tough market conditions, a diminished domestic timber supply, U.S. softwood import tariffs and what many perceive as a lack of support from the provincial government. The economic downturn in B.C.’s forestry industry has not just affected mill workers who have either been laid off or had their shifts cut, but also the forestry contractors, like those who drive logging trucks and independent timber harvesters who depend on the mills to make money.  In just the past few weeks, there have been four sawmills closed, and several have eliminated, or plan to eliminate, shifts at mills that are still operating. The forestry sector is mired in a variety of problems that have impacted on the economic growth and future reliability of the lumber industry to sustain itself.

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Closures predicted

Letter by Ray Travers RFP (Ret), Victoria
The Prince George Citizen
July 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2019 multiple sawmill closures in B.C.’s Interior did not come out of the blue. Similar sawmill closures previously occurred on the coast, where 70 per cent of what existed in 1987 is now gone. Many in B.C.’s resource sector, like myself, saw this coming for decades. Early symptoms were negative cumulative effects of large-scale clearcut logging on non-timber resource values. To respond, the province has three forest policy options: Status quo, with diminishing returns and hoping short-term outside market forces for commodity forest products will improve; Economic diversification out of forestry – former BC logging and mill towns on Vancouver Island are already doing this (old growth is an asset); Adaptation and diversification within forestry – first by managing for an ecologically sustainable forest, that is complex, resilient and self-renewing. This forest has the diversity, productivity, quality and value, within limits, to sustain us – economically, socially, and culturally.

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Barriere mayor says forest tenure sale from Canfor to Interfor could have local impact

By Colton Davies
RADIO NL 610
July 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ward Stamer

The mayor of Barriere says the proposed Canfor forest tenure sale to Interfor could have ramifications for his community. Ward Stamer says there are about 150 forest employees in Barriere, and in particular the local cedar mill needs all the stick it can get to avoid curtailments. “We’re concerned that not only does that wood wind up staying in the valley but being utilized in the valley,” he said. …Stamer says more than $20 million has been invested into the Gilbert Smith Cedar Mill over the last five years to make the mill more productive. …He also wants to see concerns from the Simpcw First Nation be addressed if the $60 million dollar forest tenure sale were to be approved by the province.

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St. Thomas to be hub of Ontario’s mass timber revolution

Northern Ontario Business
July 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Frank Dottori

Tembec founder Frank Dottori is fronting the establishment of Ontario’s first cross-laminated timber plant in southwestern Ontario. St. Thomas will be the site for a $32-million fully-automated manufacturing plant that will create more than 60 jobs. The plant will be operated by Element5, a Toronto and Montreal-based design, engineering and fabrication group specializing in mass timber construction. …The potential sites they were considering were to be close to customers and the major homebuilding and construction markets of southern Ontario. …“This one would probably be the biggest industrial fabricator of CLT in North America,” said Dottori last winter in an interview with Northern Ontario Business. The aim was to have the CLT plant in operation by August 2020. Element5 has operated a CLT factory in Ripon, Que. since 2017. 

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Ontario Investing Almost $5 Million in Mass Timber Innovation

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
The Government of Ontario
July 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

ST. THOMAS – The Ontario government is opening the forest industry to jobs and promoting the use of sustainable renewable resources by investing in the province’s first cross laminated timber plant. John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced an investment of almost $5 million in Element5’s new facility, which will create over 60 jobs in St. Thomas. The $32 million manufacturing facility will… be one of North America’s first fully automated cross laminated timber plants. …”This is a significant investment in the Ontario forestry industry, job creation, housing, innovation and technology, and the environment in the form of green building practices,” said Frank Dottori, Industry Leadership at Element5. The investment is being made through Ontario’s Forestry Growth Fund, which provides funding for forestry sector projects that improve productivity and innovation.

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Ottawa to spend $28.8 million to upgrade Domtar’s mill in Espanola

The Sudbury Star
July 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The federal government will spend $28.8 million to help Domtar Inc. upgrade its pulp and specialty paper mill in Espanola, west of Sudbury. Ottawa said the improvements to the Espanola Mill may reduce the need for single-use plastics, cut pollution and preserve jobs in the town. In a release, the federal government said the funding is part of Domtar’s $57.5-million project to implement new equipment and processes in Espanola. …Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre made the announcement on behalf of Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. …The innovations aim to increase Domtar’s competitiveness in the global market, reduce waste from production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Finnish forestry giant to build pulp mill in Uruguay

By Shi Yinglun
Xinhuanet
July 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HELSINKI — Finnish forestry company UPM announced on Tuesday to invest 2.7 billion U.S. dollars to construct a pulp mill near Paso de los Toros, central Uruguay. The initial annual production capacity of the greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill will be 2.1 million tons. In addition, UPM will invest 350 million U.S. dollars in port operations in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, and local facilities in Paso de los Toros. The new factory is scheduled to operate in the second half of 2022. The investment will increase the company’s current pulp capacity by more than 50 percent, resulting in a step change in the scale of UPM’s pulp business as well as in its future earnings, said the company.
 

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More log exports despite falling prices

By StatsNZ
Government of New Zealand
July 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand exported more logs and wood in June 2019, despite falling log prices overseas, Stats NZ said today. In June 2019, the value of all goods exports rose $136 million (2.8 percent) from June 2018 to reach $5.0 billion. Exports of logs and wood led the rise in exports, up $65 million (16 percent) from June 2018 to $472 million in June 2019. These commodities are the third-largest goods export group, behind milk powder, butter, and cheese ($1.1 billion) and meat and edible offal ($678 million). The rise in logs and wood was led by untreated logs, up $55 million (20 percent) on a year earlier. The quantity rose 26 percent and unit values fell 4.6 percent.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Resilient and beautiful — wood is winning hearts

By David Wylie
The Journal of Commerce
July 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

ABBOTTSFORD, BC — Wood was a natural choice for the construction of StructureCraft’s facility in Abbotsford, B.C., which was built from a simple kit of parts composed of glue-laminated timber columns and beams, tall wood walls, and wood roof panels. “It gives you a warmth you just can’t get with steel and concrete,” said Gerald Epp, president of StructureCraft and former partner of structural engineering firm, Fast + Epp. …The company’s facility was erected in just five days. In the past, industrial types of buildings have been built with tilt-up concrete walls and steel roofs; however, StructureCraft designed theirs with wood, which cost around the same as a tilt-up building, only with increased energy efficiency and more appealing aesthetics. …British Columbia’s cutting‐edge wood architecture and design are featured in the newly released book, Naturally Wood. …Download your copy at naturallywood.com/nwbc.

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Northern Ontario will benefit from Sidewalk Lab’s Toronto plan

By Danny Whalen
Toronto Sun
July 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) represents 110 municipalities of all sizes in northeastern Ontario, many of which have a strong forestry interest. Since the release of Sidewalk Labs’ proposal, Torontonians have been engaged in discussions of its merits. But it’s important to remember that this project has the potential to impact not only Toronto, but also the communities in northern Ontario that make up the backbone of the province’s $15-billion forestry sector. Sidewalk Labs’ proposal includes a major investment in Ontario’s timber industry. The plan proposes to build a new neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront almost entirely out of tall timber and includes the construction of a new factory to process tall timber building parts. Tall timber is a safe, efficient and sustainable form of engineered wood. It is already growing in popularity both within Canada — in British Columbia especially — and overseas, in countries like China.

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The time is now to seize the mass timber opportunity

By Mike Yorke, President, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario
Daily Commercial News
July 23, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Over the past few years, Canada has seen a rise in the use of timber as a construction material for large-scale building projects. Just a decade ago, many viewed timber as a poor alternative to more traditional materials like concrete and steel. Wood, they claimed, was not structurally reliable or fire-resistant enough. There was also, understandably, an unwillingness to let go of the status quo. As President of the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (CDCO), I have watched with excitement as those arguments have been proven wrong and attitudes have begun to change. This shift has largely taken place thanks to a better understanding of mass timber and its new applications. …When I learned that Sidewalk Labs intended to make extensive use of tall timber in their Quayside development proposal, I was especially thrilled that our city, province and country had an opportunity to be part of this evolution in construction.

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Mass timber building under construction at Michigan State University

By Ronnie Das
WLNS
July 23, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Michigan State University’s future STEM Teaching and Learning Facility will be the first of its kind in Michigan. The $100 million facility is being constructed using wood, rather than concrete and steel, for its structure. The mass timber framing style uses large solid or engineered wood and is being constructed using glue-laminated wooden columns. The building will also use a product called cross-laminated timber for the floors and ceilings. The product has been used in Europe for more than 20 years and more recently in Canada and the West Coast of the U.S. Two new mass timber wings will provide 117,000 square feet of teaching labs. The renovation will include a student science studio space and a commons area with cafe. The new building is being constructed around the former Shaw Lane Power Plant, near Spartan Stadium. [END]

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Canadian Wood hosts educational seminars in five cities

Wood News
July 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A series of educational seminars were conducted by FII India under the logo ‘Canadian Wood’ to educate potential customers of wood species from British Columbia (B.C.) about the benefits of working with wood. Conducted from 2 April to 6 June 2019 in Chennai, Kozhikode, Pune, Hyderabad and Nashik, the seminars drew more than 250 by-invite-only attendees. This comprised of architects, interior designers, solid wood manufacturers, real estate developers, builders and timber merchants. Mr Peter Bradfield, Technical Advisor, Canadian Wood, took the participants through B.C. wood species’ usage, versatility, aesthetics and environment-friendly credentials. The 2-hour programme helped users understand the wood’s applications in interior, outdoors and structural.

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Forestry

Secret food habits of caribou suggest habitat improvements

By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Woodland caribou are considered threatened throughout much of Canada’s vast boreal forest. SFI Conservation Grants grantee, the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) followed a small herd of caribou over nine years to determine what role – if any – nutrition plays in maintaining caribou populations. Data was collected from Fairbanks, Alaska to Fort St-John, British Columbia, to Dryden, Ontario. Some interesting results have recently come in. A key finding was that caribou eat as little as 25% of the forage available to them. They have very distinct preferences for what they will consume and what they will avoid. In other words, they are picky eaters. Unlike previously thought, lichen is not necessarily a caribou’s preferred food. Surprisingly, expectant caribou moms tend to hold off for leafy green vegetation with more nutritional value.

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CNC Research Forest Society launches legacy fund

The Prince George Citizen
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The College of New Caledonia Research Forest Society has launched a legacy fund supporting projects in communities the college serves. The society is welcoming applications for projects with a focus on environmental improvement, renewable natural resource education and outreach programs, outdoor recreation improvement, or social-environmental commitment to the local communities. The successful project will receive up to $30,000 per year for three years. The research forest was founded in 2009 to provide a new revenue source to sustain and revitalize the college’s natural resource and forestry education and provide for new research and learning opportunities for CNC and its students. …The CNCRFS legacy fund is open to individuals, businesses, community groups, First Nations communities, government agency, as well as secondary and post-secondary schools.

Additional coverage in Prince George Matters

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Dungate Community Forest plan to increase annual allowable cut

BC Local News
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Dungate Community Forest has hired a consultant as it continues to advance a plan to increase its annual allowable cut by 10 per cent. That’s the maximum allowed by current community forest regulations managed by the provincial government and would increase the forest’s cut from the current 29,000 cubic metres to just under 32,000 cubic metres. Community forests in B.C. operate on tenures set by the provincial government and the consultant is now looking at areas close to Houston itself, Dungate chair Steve Wright said. “Of course, however, that would have to come from someone else,” he added of the prospect of increasing the land base on which the community forest logs. “There’s no extra wood out there. If someone gets more, then someone will get less.”

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Anti-bat backlash feared in wake of fatal rabies case

By Lindsay Kines
Victoria Times Colonist
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conservationists are concerned about a potential backlash against bats following a rare case in which a 21-year-old Parksville man died from rabies after a bat encounter. Mandy Kellner, co-ordinator of the B.C. Community Bat Program, said bats already face a number of threats to their survival, so it’s crucial to have public support for conservation efforts. Experts, however, fear some people will want to get rid of bat colonies on their properties, despite the low risk of contracting rabies. The death of Nick Major on July 13 was only the second reported fatal case of human rabies in B.C. since the 1920s … less than one per cent of the province’s bats test positive for rabies. “We feel like we spend a lot of time trying to educate people about all the positive things about bats and their importance in ecosystems and to agriculture and forestry.”

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Powell River council makes suggestions regarding private managed forest land

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

City of Powell River has responded to a call from the provincial government to make recommendations about private managed forest land. …Brewer said staff was directed to bring back a report with some suggested feedback for council’s consideration. He said the committee might recall one of its motions at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in 2018. …One would be that amendments to the Private Forest Managed Land Act are required to give local government more authority over the use of private managed forest land within municipal boundaries because there is very little, currently. …The city could also provide feedback that amendments are required with respect to the exit fee adjustment factor. …the third recommendation could be that amendments are made to require consultation and sharing of plans, or management intent, and long-term intentions around disposition or selling the lands.

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Letter misrepresents blowdown harvesting in forest reserve

Letter by Al Siebring Mayor, North Cowichan
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Blowdown salvage not as advertised”. As I read Ms. Dobell’s letter in Wednesday’s paper, the old adage about “a lie getting half way around the world before the truth gets its pants on” came to mind. The letter claimed that “hundreds of live trees have just been logged on Stoney Hill,” and that “the salvage is not …the removal of ‘damaged timber only’ — not even close.” I was alarmed enough at the allegations in this letter that I went and did a tour of Stoney Hill to see things for myself. The salvage work is wrapping up this week, and I came upon a spot that had been completely finished. It’s a patch about half a hectare in size; the municipal forester estimates we took about 50 to 75 trees out of this area. As you can see from the picture, there’s a substantial number of standing trees left behind.

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MLA wants to hold meeting to discuss foresty issues

By Rod Link
Houston Today
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The forest industry in Houston, already challenged in the past year with curtailments of Canfor’s large sawmill, will remain front and centre with next year’s planned reduction of the annual allowable cut for the Morice Timber Supply Area. Currently at 1.9 million cubic metres a year, set in 2015, the AAC is set to drop to 1.6 million cubic metres as of mid-March 2020, a 16 per cent reduction. It’s one of the subjects Nechako Lakes BC Liberal MLA John Rustad will have on the agenda at a public meeting he wants to have here. …For the most part, the planned Morice TSA reduction reflects the drop in the commercial value of pine beetle stands killed by the mountain pine beetle. …“So Houston has already faced that, a mill closure,” said Rustad. “But this time, with the reduction, where you are going to see the impact is in logging, with the contractors.”

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Eye on B.C.s Forests – Issue #21 Summer 2019

BC Forest Practices Board
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

These are turbulent times in forest management in BC. Internal factors, such as declining timber supply, and external factors, such as the softwood lumber agreement and commodity prices, are creating stresses for both the forest sector and communities that have not been seen since the 2009 recession. At the time of this newsletter, we are sensitive to the impact that mill closures are having on some communities. While this transition has been predicted for more than a decade, it remains difficult for all those affected. With all of these changes going on, the Board is taking a hard look at the work we do and where we go into the future. We have been listening to feedback on our performance and evaluating where we can work differently to have greater impact and value. We received a great response to our strategic priorities survey, where we asked you for feedback on our work. 

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For our forests to survive, minister Rankin must begin to practice what he preaches

By Community Forests Shelburne County
The Nova Scotia Advocate
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In a recent op-ed piece Lands and Forestry minister Iain Rankin admitted that “Today, we still use clearcutting as the default approach far too often”. …the minister is absolutely correct.  …So let’s take him at his word and offer this feedback.  “Minister, …in all honesty we must tell you that we need to see more. While it is encouraging to see you “talk the talk” it is far more important that you begin to “walk the walk”.  We want to believe what you say, but we need to see more than just words, since the biggest threat to Nova Scotia’s crown land forests stems from your continued unabated licensing of their wholesale destruction by clearcutting. You and you alone can stop this.  But your words are constantly contradicted by your actions… Your continued doubletalk only serves to further the destruction of our forests. By matching your words with action, you can save the public forests.”

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Green jobs initiative makes stop in Timmins

By Jordan Horrobin
The Timmins Daily Press
July 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Growing up, Zac Wagman didn’t know forestry was an industry. He’d never even considered the idea of working outside. But this summer, the great Canadian landscape has become his office as he and his brother, Nick, bike across the country to spread awareness to youth about green job opportunities. Zac wants them to see career paths he didn’t know existed. “I just want to change that for some of these young kids growing up,” he said. “Just to let them know that these jobs are an option.” Wagman, a manager for Project Learning Tree (PLT) Canada’s Green Ride for Green Jobs campaign, made a stop at the Timmins Family YMCA on Monday to speak about green job opportunities with roughly 30 kids ages eight to 10 years old. …He wants youth in Timmins to know about those green job opportunities so that forestry, conservation and park sectors can thrive.

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Science behind Western Washington wildfires and how climate change may play a role

By Glenn Farley
King 5 News
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GREENWATER, Wash. — As the National Interagency Fire Center continues to warn that Western Washington is at above normal risk for wildfire, scientists are already at work trying to learn more about the impact of climate change on big fires in westside forests that are different from most of the western United States. From the crest of the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Coast, there have been 299 fires reported for Western Washington so far in 2019. Wildfire season officially starts on April 15, but the west side of the state already had 51 fires by then.  Most of those fires were relatively small, the largest at 100 acres, but the warmest and driest part of the season is still to come. Western Washington can and has seen monstrous, intense and fast-moving wildfires — one which stood as the state record for more than a century. 

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Plan to slow Western wildfires would clear strips of land

By Brady McCombs
Associated Press in Peninsula Daily News
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — The Trump administration is proposing an ambitious plan to slow Western wildfires by bulldozing, mowing or re-vegetating large swaths of land along 11,000 miles of terrain in the West. The plan that was announced this summer and presented at public open houses, including one in Salt Lake City this week, would create strips of land known “fuel breaks” on about 1,000 square miles of land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in an area known as the Great Basin in parts of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah. The estimated cost would be about $55 million to $192 million, a wide range that illustrates the variance in costs for the different types of fuel breaks. Some would completely clear lands, others would mow down vegetation and a third method would replant the area with more fire-resistant vegetation.

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Peak fire season is near and the federal government is short hundreds of firefighters

By Anna Phillips
The Los Angeles Times
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON —  Heading into the hottest and driest months of the wildfire season, the Department of the Interior is short hundreds of firefighters, a result of recruitment problems and the longest federal government shutdown in history. Based on interviews and internal agency memos obtained through a public records request, The Times found that the agency had at least 241 fewer seasonal firefighters available than expected. Nearly 60% of California’s 33 million acres of forest is owned and managed by two federal agencies, the Interior Department and the Forest Service. …This year’s shortfall appears to stem, in part, from the Interior Department’s struggle to hire seasonal firefighters across its bureaus in the aftermath of the shutdown . These employees …are typically hired in January and trained over the spring. 

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Roadless rule rollback would threaten Utah’s at-risk plants and animals

By Liz Weber
High Country News
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Rumors of wolverines in Utah have swirled for decades, fed by occasional sightings in the state’s most remote reaches, like the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. But the habitat of this reclusive animal, along with that of at least 100 other species — including dozens of native plants and amphibians — is threatened by the state’s quest to weaken federal protections for some of Utah’s most remote and undeveloped areas, according to a recent study from the Defenders of Wildlife. In March, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert petitioned the U.S. Forest Service for a state exemption from the almost two-decade old roadless rule rule, which would weaken restrictions on logging and road building for more than four million acres of formerly protected Utah national forest land. The report’s results support a common conservation argument: Protected roadless areas disproportionately support high levels of biodiversity, including many at-risk species.

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Wisconsin panel OKs preserving 14,000 acres of forest land

By Scott Bauer
Idaho Statesman
July 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

More than 14,000 acres of forest land in northern Wisconsin would be preserved for public access and protected from development under a $4.3 million purchase approved Tuesday by the Legislature’s budget committee. But the committee lowered the amount of money available for the purchase by $500,000 from what the Natural Resources Board approved, a move that one of the chief proponents of the deal said could jeopardize the sale. The purchase of the conservation easement in northern Wisconsin’s Iron County would be one of the largest land transactions of its kind in the 30-year history of the state’s stewardship program. It has won praise from conservation groups, which support protecting the land from development while making it publicly accessible.

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Scotland’s forestry sector looks to the future

By Amanda Bryan
The Press and Journal
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

When we think about the country’s growth sectors, we automatically think about food and drink, technology and engineering, financial services, life sciences, and the creative industries. But spare a thought for the forestry and timber processing sector, which can only be described as a hidden gem of the country’s economic landscape. In 2015, a report commissioned by the then Forestry Commission Scotland estimated the sector employed around 25,000 people in Scotland and its contribution to the Scottish economy was worth around £1 billion GVA. This is projected to grow to £2 billion GVA by 2030 through a combination of timber production/processing, recreation and tourism. Alongside this, new woodland is being planted all the time as part of the Scottish Government’s response to reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – and achieving its Net Zero 2050 target – and providing sustainable building materials to meet the country’s growing housing needs.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Yes, Planting Trees Can Fight Climate Change — If We Do It Right

By Crawford Kilian
The Tyee
July 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

…A recent scientific report suggests that we could go a long way to stabilizing the climate by a simple measure: plant a trillion trees on a billion hectares — an area the size of the U.S. — and let them absorb up to 205 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide as they grow. …It’s an attractive idea, especially to hewers of wood and drawers of water like Canadians. …But it’s too little and probably too late, according to Mark Maslin and Simon Lewis. Writing in the Conversation, they agree that massive reforestation doesn’t have to mean giving up farmland, and might even improve production by stabilizing the soil and rainfall. …Just shoving saplings in the ground won’t be enough. They would have to be protected against animals and insects. We’d have to choose the right species, resilient enough to flourish even as the climate worsens. The trees would also need to support whole ecosystems…

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Health & Safety

Hi-tech shirt could be a life saver for forestry workers

By Esther Taunton
Stuff.co.nz
July 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A shirt with built-in sensors could help reduce fatalities in one of New Zealand’s most dangerous industries. Researchers at the University of Waikato are developing a hi-tech way to keep forestry workers safe on the job, with a ‘smart shirt’ the leading contender. Using sensors on the front of the shirt to monitor heart-rate variability and others on the back to measure perspiration, the garment could detect when workers showed signs of fatigue or dehydration. …Exton said he took on the challenge of making a prototype shirt because he liked the combination of software and hardware required for the project. …”How do we come up with an alarm that signals ‘you’re tired, you’re dehydrated’ from the combination of streaming data?

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Forest Fires

Arizona city watches, worries as mountain area burns

By Felicia Fonesca
The Associated Press in the Times and Democrat
July 23, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Anxious residents packed up prized possessions Tuesday as hundreds of firefighters worked to keep a wildfire in a forested Arizona city away from homes and hoped the weather might bring some relief. About two dozen homes have been evacuated in Flagstaff, a popular mountain getaway in the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the U.S. Residents of another 5,000 homes have been told to be prepared to flee the fire in Coconino National Forest. …Another wildfire was burning near a nuclear energy research site in Idaho, prompting the evacuation of non-essential employees mainly because of wind changes and smoke. …In Arizona, firefighters were expecting much-needed rain along with erratic winds at times that could shift the direction of the fire.

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