Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 25, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Union action and further curtailments at Western Forest Products

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 25, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Western Forest Products’ Ladysmith sawmill will be temporarily curtailed due to a lack of logs, as the parties speak to who’s responsible for the employee benefit premiums. In other Business news: US new home sales rise; woody biomass consumption trends are down; global sawlog prices fall; and financial updates for Canfor and Universal Forest Products

In Wood Product news: Canada invests to grow wood markets; turning chopsticks into engineered wood in BC; wood buildings help fight climate change in the UK; inside the fight to rebuild Notre Dame; and recyclable houses from Portuguese cork.

Finally, Europe’s forests are reported to be booming; in need of protection; and prone to wildfires.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Woody biomass consumption on downward trend in US

By Madison’s Pellet Report
Canadian Biomass
July 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The latest short-term energy outlook from the US Energy Information Administration predicts energy provided by non-hydropower renewable sources in the U.S. will continue to increase in the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. Non-hydropower renewables, including biomass, provided 10 per cent of electricity generation in the U.S. in 2018, with that proportion expected to rise to 11 per cent in 2019 and 13 per cent in 2020. While the vast majority of pellets produced in the U.S. are exported to energy markets in the United Kingdom and other European countries, in 2018 wood biomass was used to generate 113,000 MWh of electricity per day in the U.S. Electricity production from wood biomass is expected to be flat this year at 113,000 MWh per day before increasing in 2020 to 115,000 MWh per day. Wood biomass consumption appears to be in a downward trend.

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MP McLeod says federal government has been silent over B.C. forestry crisis

By Ashley Legassic
CFJC News
July 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod says it has been radio silence from the federal government on the forestry crisis hammering B.C. Interior mill towns. McLeod along with B.C. MPs Bob Zimmer, Todd Doherty, Dan Albas and Shannon Stubbs addressed a letter to the federal ministers of Natural Resources and Innovation, Science and Economic Development, respectively, Amarjeet Sohi and Navdeep Bains. “The job losses are staggering,” the letter reads. …McLeod says the Trudeau government has stepped in to help other industries, but has not lifted a finger for forestry. …“The Interior of British Columbia, between direct and indirect wrongs, is impacted by the thousands, and there’s things the federal government could and should be doing.” 

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BC Conservatives asks NDP and Liberals to work together to resolve Province’s forestry downturn

By Scott Brooks
Energetic City
July 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – British Columbia Conservative Leader Trevor Bolin, on behalf of the B.C. Conservative Party, has written a letter to Premier John Horgan regarding the Province’s forest industry. Currently, communities across B.C. are witnessing the devastating effects of the downturn in the forest industry, which in turn has led to unemployment and the loss of community tax bases. Within the letter, Bolin is requesting for both the NDPs and Liberals to stop the “blame game” and start to sit down and work together to get this issue resolved in the interest of British Columbians. …Bolin is asking for the Government to form a committee that will allow community leaders and industry members to talk about the future of forestry within B.C. and that they need to secure a “Made in B.C.” approach to ensure a sustainable future.

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Liberal MLAs host forestry roundtable in Cranbrook

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

Three B.C. Liberal MLA’s met with local stakeholders in the forestry industry in Cranbrook to discuss issues such as mill closures and curtailments that are affecting resource-based economies across the province. John Rustad, the Opposition critic for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, was joined by regional counterparts in Tom Shypitka, MLA for Kootenay East and Doug Clovechok, MLA for neighbouring Columbia River-Revelstoke. “We’re seeing some certain developments here over the last little while that are challenging our industry — that’s putting it lightly. In some communities up north, we’re seeing major layoffs, we’ve seen locally curtailments at the Elko mill, the Galloway mill is basically on skeleton crew,” said Shypitka. …Rustad also blasted Premier John Horgan for not meeting with communities that are struggling with forestry challenges…

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Fort St. James in financial crisis, mayor says

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

The community of Fort St. James is in a financial crisis, its mayor told a meeting on July 18. The announcement by mayor Bev Playfair follows the sale of the Conifex sawmill to Hampton Lumber, a move that Playfair said will leave hundreds of people unemployed. …The community is working on a plan with all the relevant stakeholders, including industry and government to retain people and prepare them for possible economic difficulties to come. …Playfair is focusing on the present because even though she said she would love for Hampton to set up in Fort St. James, it will be at least another two years until the company builds the new facility, which “would never employ all of these workers. Maybe 150 of them.” “This has an immediate impact on the whole community. The very next day, the local businesses – people stop spending money.”

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Government of Canada supports new business opportunities in northern Saskatchewan’s forestry sector

By Western Economic Diversification Canada
Government of Canada
July 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

AIR RONGE, SK – The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the creation of new community-led business opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and northerners. Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $975,000 in Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) funding to Keewatin Community Development Association (KCDA) to scale-up and increase the production of the non-timber forest sector in northern Saskatchewan. Non-timber forest products include plants, fungi and plant products harvested from the boreal forest for food, teas or nutritional supplements. This funding will help KCDA create 50 new jobs in production and sales as well as help them purchase equipment, and develop marketing plans and materials.

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Employee Benefits are being paid, says Western Forest Products

By Kyle Christensen
My Coast Now
July 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The labour dispute between the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 and Western Forest Products continues, but the employer wants to but some rumours to rest. USW Local 1-1937 President Brian Butler has said that Western is attacking member pensions, reducing vacation time, and job security. Vice President of Corporate Affairs with Western Susan Dolinski said the company is still paying premiums for hourly employees but has rejected a proposal from the USW. …“Western continues to pay premiums for hourly employees, the cost of approximately $15,000 dollars a day and during the course of normal operations, when employees aren’t striking, Western pays,” said Dolinski. “During a strike, the labour relations code requires that these premiums are the responsibility of the union. That’s not happening currently and I think that’s why there are some rumours that benefits aren’t being covered and that is incorrect.”

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Malaysian Timber Council: Timber players shifting focus to export markets

By Amir Imran Husain Safri
The Sun Daily
July 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

MARAN: Malaysian timber players are shifting their focus towards export markets in view of the encouraging overseas demand. The move is supported by the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC), a government agency tasked with promoting and marketing timber products overseas. According to statistics compiled by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board, the total export value for Malaysian wood products and furniture in 2018 stood at RM22.3 billion. MTC disclosed that sales worth RM34.66 million were generated during the International Furniture Expo in China last September, while the India Wood 2019 International Trade Fair last February generated RM1.27 billion in sales. Among the domestic timber producers, Maran Road Sawmill Sdn Bhd has managed to penetrate the European market.

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Finance & Economics

US new home sales rise; prior three months revised down

By Reuters
CNBC News
July 24, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rebounded sharply in June, but sales for the prior three months were revised down, indicating that the housing market continued to tread water despite lower mortgage rates and a strong labor market. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales rebounded 7.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units last month. Sales increased 4.5% from a year ago. The median new house price was unchanged at $310,400 in June from a year ago.

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Canfor: Looking For An Entry Point

By Shahid Manzoor
Seeking Alpha
July 25, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Canadian forestry stocks have been under selling pressure for the past one year due to a combination of weather patterns, bug infestations and changes in regulation. Stock prices got some support after announcement of permanent capacity reductions by a leading player, Canfor; however, the sector may still be a falling knife from a value perspective. We are eyeing Canfor for an attractive entry point as it has under-performed its peers, West Fraser and Interfor.

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Western Forest Products Inc. Announces Temporary Curtailment

By Western Forest Products
Global Newswire
July 24, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Western Forest Products announced a temporary curtailment at its Ladysmith sawmill in part due to action taken by the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 which has impeded log supply to the mill. Operations will be curtailed once log supply is depleted, which is expected to occur on or before August 1, 2019. …The temporary curtailment impacts 67 unionized employees at the Ladysmith sawmill who are represented by the Public and Private Workers of Canada.

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Universal Forest Products reports record net earnings

By Universal Forest Products
Global Newswire
July 24, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: US East, United States

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Universal Forest Products announced net sales of $1.24 billion and net earnings attributable to controlling interests of $54.5 million, for the quarter ended June 29, 2019. Net earnings were the highest recorded at any time in the company’s history. …The company’s mix of value-added sales relative to commodity sales improved… and new product sales grew.

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The Global Sawlog Price Index Fell 1.8% in the 1Q/19 to its Lowest Level in two Years.

By Wood Resources International (Hakan Ekstrom)
Yahoo Finance
July 24, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

Worldwide trade of softwood logs has gone up 52% in the past decade reaching an all-time-high in 2018. The increase in trade has to a large degree been driven by higher demand for forest products in China. Despite an increase in log demand throughout the world, the GSPI Price Index, as reported by the Wood Resource Quarterly, has fallen the past year to just below its ten-year average. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Turning garbage into jobs

By Neslon Bennett
Business in Vancouver
July 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Felix Bock…Here are a few examples of new businesses in Canada that have found novel ways of turning waste into valuable products and creating jobs. Prior to 2016, roughly 217 million chopsticks and other wooden utensils ended up in Lower Mainland landfills or at organic waste recyclers each year. But ChopValue now takes some of the estimated 18 million discarded chopsticks – 350,000 to 400,000 per week – and turns them into engineered wood products. “We are such a tangible example within the circular economy movement,” said founder and CEO Felix Böck, who has a PhD in wood engineering. “What others see as neglected waste we turn into a viable concept.” Starting with one shop in Vancouver in 2016, ChopValue now has four, including one that will soon open in Los Angeles. ChopValue now employs 28 people. ChopValue collects the chopsticks from restaurants, malls and Vancouver International Airport and turns them into tabletops, engineered wall panels, wall decor and other assorted knick-knacks.

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Canada Investing to Grow Markets for B.C. Wood Products

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
July 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – The Government of Canada is investing in Canada’s resources to boost economic competitiveness while protecting our environment. By promoting innovative wood products from sustainably managed forests, Canada is supporting our forestry sector by expanding market access and creating jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians.  Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced a multi-year investment totalling over $24 million in six wood product associations based in British Columbia to help strengthen international demand for Canadian wood products. The federal government’s partnership with industry and the Province of British Columbia in promoting this work is critical to its long-term success.

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Why is Ontario building a CLT factory so far from the forests?

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
July 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

St. Thomas is in South-western Ontario. It is so southern that 150 years ago if you were taking a train to Chicago you would go through it because it was shorter to go over the top of Lake Erie than to go under it. …the nearest working forest is a couple of hundred kilometres away. So, logically, this is where the Province of Ontario is investing C$ 5 million in a factory making Cross-Laminated Timber. …The Minister of the Environment, Jeff Yurek, who totally coincidentally is also the Member of Parliament for the riding that includes St. Thomas, says “This investment will reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The Minister did not tell us how much CO2 would be emitted shipping all the lumber from Northern Ontario to Southwestern Ontario and then back east to the Greater Toronto Area where it will all be used.

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Here’s why most of Tampa Bay’s new apartments are wood frame with smaller units (and higher rents)

By Susan Taylor Martin
Tampa Bay Times
July 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

As you drive around the Tampa Bay area, you’ve probably noticed the many new apartment buildings going up.  …And if you see them in an unfinished state, you’ll notice that all are made of what — at least to the untrained eye — appears to be flimsy wood. “In Central Florida, almost 100 percent of apartments are frame construction,” said John H. Marling, a developer… “…if you treat it properly and handle it properly it can stand for 100 years.” State fire codes and changing demographics have combined to create a landscape of attractive, if blocky-looking, …apartment communities largely made of wood and capped at four stories. …”Wood in this market is still the most efficient way to develop rental product,” says Steve McConihay… “In the type of product we’re doing, wood represents about 15 percent of total construction costs. If you go with a concrete building, it will be about 25 to 30 percent of costs.”

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Could wooden buildings be a solution to climate change?

By Tim Smedley
BBC News
July 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

I’m standing in a seemingly ordinary construction site of an unremarkable office block in east London. The seven-storey building is about two-thirds complete. But… there’s an awful lot of wood. Building sites typically feature wood as the mould to pour the concrete into. But here, the wood is the concrete. …Some architects such as [Andrew] Waugh are therefore arguing for – and pressing ahead with – a return to wood as our primary building material. …Between 15% and 28% of new homes built in the UK annually use timber frame construction, capturing over one million tonnes of CO2 a year as a result. Increasing the use of timber in construction could triple that amount. …The market seems to agree. Less than five years after its arrival on US shores, there are now CLT projects underway in almost every mainland US state.

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Inside the Fight Over How Notre Dame Should Rise From the Ashes

By Vivienne Walt
Time Magazine
July 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The cause of the blaze is still unknown, yet what it exposed is clear — the fragility of our most cherished building. …The weekly protests have abated… But the place of worship that 14 million tourists a year once visited remains a shuttered wreck on Paris’ Île de la Cité, and now the old divisions are beginning to gather around what comes next for the beloved building. …Where the oak roof frame known as the “forest” once was, there is now a giant cavity open to the sky. …To prevent a disaster, in early July a giant crane began hoisting 7-ton wooden frames cut to the exact specifications of the flying buttresses, to be wedged inside each arc, in order to weigh them down and stop the building from shifting. …Despite Philippe’s announcement three months ago, the government has yet to set up a structure to receive designs.

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An Interview with American Softwoods Consultant Charles Trevor (in Spanish)

By Southern Forest Products Association
Interempresas.net
July 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Charles Trevor (center)

American Softwoods Consultant, Charles Trevor, was interviewed by AEIM (Spanish Association of Wood Trade and Industry). …Spain is now the third largest market for U.S. softwood exports, behind Italy and the United Kingdom.  In the interview, Charles discussed sales of American Softwoods to the European Union of $26.8 million in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 has seen $5.8 million (2018 = $5.9 million).  He also reported “Europe has the potential to grow in importance for us, particularly for sales of pressure treated wood for use in outdoor/garden applications. …He further stated, “We are optimistic that with our continuing promotional relationship, our sales will continue to increase as they have done for the past three or four years.” 

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Home is where the cork is: UK designers present recyclable house

By George Sargent
Reuters
July 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

ETON, England  – …this small house resembles any other regular abodes except for one key element – it is made almost entirely of cork. Built by architects in the British town of Eton, Cork House, which sits in a private garden, was part-assembled by hand and can be recycled at the end of its life.  Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees which grow around the Mediterranean. Using leftover material from a Portuguese manufacturer who harvests it from trees every nine years, the team built the house using blocks of prefabricated cork, engineered timber and steel foundations. …Tiny cork houses have been built before. For this project, granules of cork were compressed and heated to create building blocks. These were cut using 3D milling so the blocks interlocked, removing the need for glue or cement.

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Forestry

Pacheedaht First Nation and Andersen Timber get good audit

BC Forest Practices Board
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forestry activities on tree farm licence (TFL) 61 in the South Island Natural Resource District has found compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, according to a new report. “Our audit found that Pacheedaht Andersen Timber Holdings LP (PATH) did a good job meeting all of its legal requirements, including maintaining visual quality and protecting the Kludahk Trail and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail,” said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board. TFL 61 is managed by PATH, which is a partnership between Pacheedaht First Nation and Andersen Timber. The audit area is located on southwestern Vancouver Island, north of Highway 14 between Port Renfrew and Jordan River. The Kludahk Trail and Juan de Fuca Marine Trail are in and adjacent to the TFL and the area receives high recreation use given its location near Greater Victoria and surrounding communities.

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We can’t have our cake and eat it too

Letter by Frank Ritcey
BC Local News
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

My father, Ralph Ritcey, has asked me to respond to the editorial you recently ran in your paper concerning the issue surrounding the decline of caribou in our province. Some of the original research into the needs of the caribou was carried out in Wells Gray Provincial Park during his time there and father has been a proponent for the caribou ever since. The focus on predators as the critical part of the decline in caribou numbers ignores the fact that with, or without, predators – caribou still need to eat to survive. The bottom line is that caribou need the arboreal lichens found in old-growth stands of timber. …The science is clear on the subject – if you want to have sustainable numbers of caribou you have to give up some of the economic benefits that are associated with our logging industry.

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More B.C. firefighters active outside than inside province

By Bob Keating
CBC News
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Compared to the last two years, B.C. is seeing an extremely slow start to the forest fire fighting season this year. The B.C. Wildfire Service says there are around 34 fires burning in B.C., less than a third of the fires that were active at this time in 2018. Fire has consumed about 12,000 hectares, a fraction of the 56,000 hectares burned this time last year. “Our fires have not been of consequence recently,” said fire information officer Erika Berg.  “We saw some evacuation orders and alerts earlier in the spring but at this point in time we’ve been able to keep those fires down to small sizes.” Berg says there are over 300 active B.C. firefighters in Alberta, Ontario, the Yukon and Alaska, more than are actively fighting fires here in BC. 

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More than 1,600 use ‘personal nature interpreter’ app in to identify 4,200 species in B.C. parks

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

…The iNaturalist app is being promoted through the BC Parks iNaturalist project. Through the project, team members have input the boundaries of every provincial park and protected area in B.C. so that visitors of all backgrounds can use their phone or camera to photograph and help identify plants and animals, categorized by location. “For those of us who love parks, but don’t have a scientific background, the iNaturalist app is great because the powerful AI technology can help identify the species you’ve photographed,” said Colleen Dunbar of the BC Parks Foundation. …“iNaturalist serves as your very own personal nature interpreter – you take a photo on your phone, have the app scan the photo with its powerful artificial intelligence, and it will suggest a species ID for you,” added UVic’s Brian Starzomski, project co-lead.

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Cranbrook company offers advanced forestry training program

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

A cutting-edge high skills training program for prospective forestry workers is set to start in three B.C. communities this summer, including Cranbrook. Stillwater Consulting, a Cranbrook company that developed the program over the past few years, is offering it to more than 100 prospective students in Kamloops, Nanaimo and Cranbrook, with the help of $3.3 million in provincial government funding from the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The aim, says Stillwater President Jody McInnes, is to help students finds their niche and their passion and help them get there, and to help supply the forestry industry with the skilled workers it desperately needs. “What students find out is that there is so much more to forestry … beyond the cutting down trees or driving a logging truck,” McInnes told the Townsman.

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Community Goshawk Project Gets Funding Boost

Habitat Conservation Trust
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On-going efforts to help the threatened Northern Goshawk population on the Sunshine Coast just got a lift— through a $14,700 grant to locate occupied breeding areas of this unique member of the raptor family. Northern goshawks are found in mature forests with a heavy canopy and minimal undergrowth. …The loss and fragmentation of habitats used by Northern Goshawks for nesting and hunting threatens the future of these birds in coastal BC. The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project will use the grant to conduct field surveys to search for goshawk breeding areas, and to carry out community engagement to improve awareness and participation in raptor stewardship programs, through such activities as construction and installation of nest boxes for threatened Western Screech-owls. The grant comes from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and Forest Enhancement Society of BC .

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Green Ride rolling into North Bay

North Bay Nugget
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A man criss-crossing the country on a wooden bicycle to encourage more youth to enter the forestry and conservation sectors will make a stop in North Bay next week. Zac Wagman, Green Jobs manager for Project Learning Tree, will arrive in North Bay Monday as part of his four-month long cross-Canada cycling tour called Green Ride. Wagman is expected to visit more than 100 communities across nine provinces and will meet students working at the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority this year through the Green Jobs initiative, a program funded through the federal government’s Green Jobs in Green Spaces Youth Employment Strategy. “It has been an amazing journey so far, biking across Canada, meeting youth working in Green Jobs,” Wagman said in a statement provided by the conservation authority. “These are great jobs that can lead to fantastic careers in the forestry and conservation sectors.”

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After the fire—wood waste put to work

The US Department of Agriculture
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Biochar, or wood waste, is a porous carbon substance that results from burning wood in the absence of oxygen. …This fire remnant provides a valuable addition to soil for agriculture and gardening purposes as well as contributing to overall forest health. When added to soil, biochar increases soil carbon and can restore the soil’s pH balance. …Biochar can be easily made in well-constructed slash piles and be used on-site to restore soil organic matter. In places where this method is used, biochar has extended vegetation growth by nearly a month, resulting in reduced fire risk. …Despite its usefulness, biochar is difficult to produce in large quantities for agricultural, forestry or commercial use. …Applying biochar can even reduce invasive species growth and help native species expand their range.

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Beetle activity decimating pine trees at Crater Lake National Park

KTVL
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CRATER LAKE, Ore. — Two backcountry campsites and a portion of a popular campground remain closed at Crater Lake National Park. “We’ve had several years of Mountain Pine Beetle attack on our Lodgepole Pine and this is our second hazard tree removal,” said Jen Hooke, Botanist at Crater Lake National Park …”The park has experienced over a decade of sustained Mountain Pine Beetle outbreaks,” Hooke said. “We are on the downside of it now, it really peaked toward the 2009-2012 era.” The Lodgepole Pines have been hit hard but the White Bark Pine communities have sustained ample devastation by beetles as an after-effect from prior. “Those are our oldest trees, our slowest growing trees,” Hooke said. “They’re already declining due to a non-native fungal pathogen that causes the disease ‘white pine blister rust’ so they’re already in peril and now the Mountain Pine Beetle has been decimating those trees.”

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Oregon’s wildfire season is off to a slow start, but crews sit ready and waiting

By Kale Williams
The Oregonian
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fire season officially began statewide in Oregon July 2, but you might not know it from looking at wildfire maps of the Pacific Northwest. As of Wednesday, there were just two large wildfires burning in the region — a roughly 250-acre blaze sparked by a wind turbine that caught fire in Southern Washington and a 325-acre blaze caused by lightning in Oregon’s southeast corner. While every wildfire is potentially serious, residents of the Pacific Northwest, so far at least, have been spared the massive evacuations, toxic air laden with particulate matter and constant anxiety brought on by extreme fire seasons of recent years. …Because fire season has becomes less predictable and more complex — driven by climate change and increasing human development in areas prone to burn — staying ready for an inferno has become a year-round occupation.

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Wake Up! Our Forests and Water Need Our Care and Protection

Nancy Webster, North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection
The Tillamook Headlight Herald
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nancy Webster

In the 1950’s, I grew up on the South Oregon Coast where my father worked for Weyerhaeuser as a lumber grader. …Recently, I have been hearing from people deeply worried about the current intensive clearcutting on public and private land  and the associated pesticide spraying. …Local loggers have told me that current logging rates by major timber companies, such as Weyerhaeuser, Stimson, and GreenWood, are not sustainable. …You may hear that current forest management regulations are effective and that we do not need to fix what is not broken, but what has happened at Jetty Creek and other neighboring watersheds shows that this is not so. Yes, of course, there will still be logging, but let’s work together… so that the health of drinking water and the environmental as a whole are put first.

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Why is Portugal so prone to wildfires?

By Daniel Silva
Phys.org
July 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Poor forest management and firefighting techniques make Portugal especially vulnerable to wildfires as climate change makes hotter, longer summers more likely, experts warned as the latest blazes struck this week. The exodus of people from the countryside to cities compounds the problem, they added. About 850 firefighters were working Wednesday to extinguish the embers of three major blazes which ripped through the heavily forested Castelo Branco region, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Lisbon, since Saturday. The flames scorched large areas and left a trail of blackened destruction. …Once they have a fire under control Portuguese firefighters need to do a better job of keeping it contained by, for example, using chemical fire retardants as in other countries, Domingos Xavier Viegas, an expert on forest fires in Portugal at the University of Coimbra, told AFP. “Often a fire is controlled at night and then it rekindles in the morning,” he said.

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EU moves to tackle deforestation caused by chocolate and other products

By
The Guardian
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The EU has taken a “pivotal step” towards addressing the deforestation caused by its consumption of soy, chocolate, meat and other products, environmental campaigners have said. The EU said this week it had set out a new plan to protect and restore the world’s forests, which involves working with governments to promote better use of land and resources, managing supply chains, and carrying out research. …The EU accounts for as much as 36% of all global imports of crop and livestock products associated with deforestation, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. …About 80% of forest loss worldwide happens because trees are cut down to make way for agriculture or pasture. Deforestation in Ghana increased by 60% last year, mostly driven by cocoa production. Europe is home to the world’s biggest chocolate consumers, led by Britain, Switzerland and Germany, where people eat more than 8kg of chocolate a year on average.

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Europe’s forests are booming. Here’s why.

By Johnny Wood
The World Economic Forum
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Around the world, forests are shrinking due to deforestation, urban development and climate change, but in Europe that trend has been reversed. Large areas of the continent have seen a forest boom that means today more than two-fifths of Europe is tree-covered. Between 1990 and 2015, the area covered by forests and woodlands increased by 90,000 square kilometres – an area roughly the size of Portugal. …Although the re-wilding process has slowed, the area of land covered by trees continues to expand. France is fourth most forested country in Europe, after Sweden, Finland and Spain. Sweden has strong protections against deforestation and trees cover around 70% of the surface area. Many of Europe’s forests are managed to produce wood to make paper… As trees in those forests are felled, more are planted.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

“Forests are the green lungs of our planet”

The Brussels Times
July 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The European Commission adopted yesterday a Communication setting out a new framework of actions to protect and restore the world’s forests. The situation is more critical than previously thought and urgent actions are needed. “Forests are the green lungs of our planet, and we must care for them in the same way we care for our own lungs,” said First Vice-President Frans Timmermans (23 July). “We will not meet our climate targets without protecting the world’s forests.” He was joined in his concerns for the future of the world’s forests by other commissioners. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said that “The world’s forest cover continues to decrease at an alarming rate”. But forests also represent a promising green economic sector, with the potential to create between 10 and 16 million decent jobs worldwide, he added.

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India plants 66 million trees in 12 hours as part of record-breaking environmental campaign

By Chris Baynes
The Independent
July 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Volunteers in India planted more than 66 million trees in just 12 hours in a record-breaking environmental drive. About 1.5 million people were involved in the huge plantation campaign, in which saplings were placed along the Narmada river in the state of Madhya Pradesh throughout Sunday. India committed under the Paris Agreement to increasing its forests by five million hectares before 2030 to combat climate change. Last year volunteers in Uttar Pradesh state set a world record by planting more than 50 million trees in one day.  Observers from Guinness World Records also monitored Sunday’s plantation and are expected to confirm in the coming weeks that the effort set a new high. 

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Ethiopia plants 2.6 billion tree seedlings as part of national project

July 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday disclosed that the country has already planted 2.6 billion trees slated to meet the 4 billion trees planting national project.The national 4 billion trees planting project officially launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on May 26, 2019 is set to mobilize national reforestation program of planting 40 tree seedlings per head. Furthermore, he announced the planting of 200 million saplings in a single day by 29, July 2019, expecting to break a world record so far held by India. …The national initiative is critical for Ethiopia, which the country had lost billions of trees and forest resources over years. Most of the seedlings planted are from indigenous tree species, it was
learned.

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Forest Fires

Manitoba First Nation faces evacuation as forest fire threatens

By Ian Froese
CBC News
July 24, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A First Nation in northern Manitoba is being evacuated after a forest fire threatened the community on Wednesday.  The Canadian Red Cross said it will relocate upwards of 150 residents of Marcel Colomb First Nation, which is 800 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, to Thompson Wednesday evening. Government officials have not confirmed details about the forest fire, but Lynn Lake fire chief James Lindsay said the blaze destroyed at least one building. Lindsay said a building at Lynn Lake Kiddie Camp, on the east shore of Burge Lake Provincial Park, was consumed by one of several wildfires ignited in the afternoon.

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