Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 26, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Slow start to BC’s wildfire season could prove illusionary

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 26, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

This time last year BC had lost four times as much forest to fire but in 2018 it didn’t pick up until the end of July. In other Forestry/Climate news, despite alarmist content, a BC climate risk report flies under the radar; Peachland’s mayor asks for a pause on watershed logging; Oregon State University admits mistake in cutting 420 year old D-fir; and SFI’s Cathy Abusow gets Michigan forestry award.

In Business news: three companies vie for Ontario’s Fort Francis mill site; Maine’s Old Town pulp mill is set to reopen; Weyerhaeuser, Canfor Corp and Canfor Pulp report Q2 earnings; and US mortgage rates hover near three-year lows.

Finally, US wood forensic capacity is found wanting for assessing retail forest products fraud.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Forest sector delegates gather to witness The Embalming of the Snark

Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club 48
July 26, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Join us in the beautiful village of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada, ​for the 127th HHI Convention. The west coast of Canada is renowned for its verdant rain forests—a bucket-list must see for anyone in the wood products/forest sector. We encourage you to stay a while, either before, or after the convention, and explore this unique part of the world. …Rameses Jim Spiers will be on hand at the Conference to present ‘Hoo Hoo 101 – The history and traditions of Hoo Hoo’. And, Club 48 President, Stirling Angus will host group activities that include a tour of a log sort yard in Squamish and dinner under the stars at the North Arm Farm in Pemberton. On behalf of our President, Stirling Angus, we once again invite you to Whistler, where Hoo-Hoo International will bear witness to the Embalming of the Snark, and Club 48 will usher in Matthew Burke as our new president! 
 

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Business & Politics

Researchers project growing market for forestry trailers

Truck News
July 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

TORONTO, Ont. – The market for forestry trailers continues to grow like trees, and is expected to be valued at US $162 million by the end of the year – up from $140 million in 2014. The latest projections from Persistence Market Research suggest the market will enjoy a compounded annual growth rate of 4% over the next decade, reaching a global value of US $233 million by the end of 2029. “North America’s market for forestry trailers will also progress over the course of time, with the support of some global players actively operating in the U.S. and Canada,” the analysts say in a related release. “This scenario will accelerate the development of [the] forestry trailers market in North America.” The researchers say the timber market is worth 1% of global GDP, and project timber production to grow fourfold by 2050.

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Job fair planned for Peace Valley OSB mill workers

By Matt Preprost
The Alaska Highway News
July 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A job fair will be held next week for workers impacted by the pending shut down at the Peace Valley OSB mill. The fair will be hosted at the mill Tuesday, July 30, and comes as a response from multi-agency team put in place after Louisiana Pacific announced its indefinite curtailment in June.  The curtailment, effective Aug. 9, affects 192 workers, though some will stay on at the mill for care and maintenance, McMenamin said. The job fair is open to workers and contractors affected by the closure. Contractors involved in building the Site C dam will have a big presence at the fair, including BC Hydro, Peace River Hydro Partners, AFDE Partnership, Saulteau Security, and ATCO. Other confirmed employers include… CN Rail… Canfor Fort St. John and Taylor, and West Fraser Chetwynd.

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Green Party, People’s Alliance call for inquiry into firing of 2 forestry instructors

CBC News
July 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rod Cumberland

New Brunswick Green Party Leader David Coon and People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin are repeating calls for an independent inquiry into the Maritime College of Forestry Technology after it cut ties with two of its longest-serving instructors. In the beginning of July, wildlife biologist Rod Cumberland was fired for conduct the college said was damaging to its reputation. However, Cumberland and former colleague Gerry Redmond believed Cumberland’s expression of his professional views on glyphosate was at the root of his dismissal. …Coon called on Trevor Holder, the minister of post-secondary education, training and labour, to hire an independent investigator to interview staff and board members at the college and file a public government report.

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Three companies interested in buying mill here

Fort Frances Times
July 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Riversedge Developments has purchased the Fort Frances mill, but the town is currently seeking a viable buyer with intentions of operating it. There are three companies interested in purchasing the mill from Riversedge, including Rainy River Packaging which was formerly known as Repap Resources. Mayor June Caul said, to her knowledge, there’s nothing barring a company from restarting the mill and noted that Riversedge CEO Justus Veldman said it would be a great relief to him if the mill is resold as it would mitigate the work involved in tearing it down. “…I haven’t heard anybody say that it can’t be restarted,” Mayor Caul remarked. …“Minister Rickford has very adamantly told us that he will make sure that the wood that is suppose to be in Fort Frances comes back to Fort Frances if we have a buyer for the restart,” noted the mayor.

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After hiring 130 workers, reopening Old Town mill expects to produce pulp by August

By Charles Eichacker
The Bangor Daily News
July 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The new owner of the Old Town pulp mill has hired 130 workers and expects the reopened facility will begin producing pulp by the end of July, a major turnaround for a plant that shed nearly 200 jobs when it closed in 2015. More than 1,000 people applied for the open positions at the Old Town mill, which was bought in October by ND Paper, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Nine Dragons Paper Ltd. Since then, the company has been restarting systems at the plant, which it says will eventually produce 275,000 air-dried metric tons of unbleached pulp. That type of pulp is generally used for making paper. …ND paper plans to hold a grand reopening ceremony for the Old Town mill Aug. 13.

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Madison mill re-opening could boost Maine logging industry

WGME
July 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Joshua Henry

PORTLAND — Maine’s logging and construction industries are expecting a boost once a company re-opens the closed mill in Madison. CEO Joshua Henry and Belfast-based GO Lab are planning to open the first mass production facility to make wood fiber insulation in the United States. Henry says the company plans to close on the mill in August “There’s an insulating wood technology of wood fiber composites that’s been around in Europe for 20 years. It’s an 800 million EU a year product in Europe. It hasn’t reached North America yet,” Henry said. Go Lab expects to employ more than 100 people in Madison and their plan to bring the first American wood fiber insulation factory to Maine has attracted a lot of investment. The research company has brought in federal, state and non-profit funding of nearly $7 million.

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Finance & Economics

Knee-Jerk Construction Fears Create Another Buy Opportunity For Lumber

Seeking Alpha
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Lumber prices currently remain at their post 2018 crash lows with random length futures currently trading at $350 down from $630 last May. While prices were too high then, they are far too low now, particularly when a major drop in housing development had yet to materialize and inflation expectations may be on the rise.

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Canfor Pulp’s operating income up slightly in Q2

By Canfor Pulp Products
Cision Newswire
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Canfor Pulp reported Q2 operating income of $18 million, up $0.3 million from Q1 but down $67 million from the same period in 2018. Net income after adjustments was $10.6 million or $0.16 per share.

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Canfor Corporation reports operating loss

By Canfor Pulp Products
Cision Newswire
July 25, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Canfor Corporation reported an operation loss of $50 million in Q2, an improvement from their Q2 losses by $20 million. Their adjusted operating loss after duties et al was $5 million with net shareholder.

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Weyerhaeuser Second-Quarter Profits Beat Expectations

By Weyerhaeuser Company
Cision Newswire
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Weyerhaeuser reported Q2 earnings that topped expectations, as low lumber manufacturing costs helped offset market and weather-related challenges. Income of $128 million was down from $317 million a year earlier, while sales fell 18% to $1.69 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Near Three-Year Lows

Freddie Mac
July 25, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing that mortgage rates dropped across the board after rising slightly last week. …Mortgage rates continued to hover near three-year lows and purchase application demand has responded, rising steadily over the last two months.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Would taller mass-timber buildings work in Coquitlam?

By Gary McKenna
TriCity News
July 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new building form that could bridge the gap between the six-storey apartment and the 25-storey highrise could be popping up in the Coquitlam skyline a little sooner than expected. The city is looking into becoming an early adopter of building code changes that would clear the way to allowing mass-timber construction of buildings up to 12 storeys, exceeding the current six-storey height limit for wood-frame structures. “We are quite keen on it,” said Jim McIntyre, Coquitlam’s general manager of planning and development, during a council-in-committee meeting last month. “It is leading-edge technology and as a building process it is quite unique.” Mass timber buildings, in which the primary load-bearing structures are made of solid or engineered wood, is seen by the provincial government as a way of giving the B.C. lumber industry a needed shot in the arm.

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Canada Invests in University Research

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
July 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA, ON – Energy efficiency in our homes and buildings reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases comfort and saves money. …The Honourable Catherine McKenna… on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced investments totalling more than $3.5 million for Carleton University for two energy-efficient building research projects. The first project, with an investment of $3 million, will research ways to improve insulation and combat heat loss in buildings. …The second project, with an investment of more than $510,000, will develop cutting-edge software to help building managers monitor energy use and find good opportunities to reduce consumption, thereby reducing emissions and saving them money.

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Fraud and misrepresentation in retail forest products exceeds U.S. forensic wood science capacity

By Alex C. Wiedenhoeft , John Simeone, Amy Smith, Meaghan Parker-Forney, Richard Soares, and Akiva Fishman
The Public Library of Science (PLOS)
July 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Fraud and misrepresentation in forest products supply chains is often associated with illegal logging, but the extent of fraud in the U.S. forest products market, and the availability of forensic expertise to detect it, is unknown. We used forensic wood anatomy to test 183 specimens from 73 consumer products acquired from major U.S. retailers, surveyed U.S. experts regarding their forensic wood anatomy capacity, and conducted a proficiency-testing program of those experts. 62% of tested products (45 of 73) had one or more type of fraudulent or misrepresented claim. Survey respondents reported a total capacity of 830 wood specimens per year, and participants’ identification accuracy ranged from 6% to 92%. Given the extent of fraud and misrepresentation, U.S. wood forensic wood anatomy capacity does not scale with the need for such expertise. We call for increased training in forensic wood anatomy and its broader application in forest products supply chains to eliminate fraud and combat illegal logging.

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Forestry

N. Cowichan stopping all wood harvesting in forest reserve due to hot, dry conditions

By Sarah Simpson
Lake Cowichan Gazette
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Given the current hot and dry conditions, North Cowichan is shutting down all wood harvesting activities in its municipal forest reserve at the end of the day today (Friday, July 26). A statement from the municipality said North Cowichan has been monitoring the fire hazard ratings and weather conditions diligently during the blowdown salvage activities in the forest reserve and made the decision to stop operations on July 25. The halt in operations will continue until the fall, with the exception of some trucking of roadside wood next week.

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Pause in logging sought

By Jon Manchester
Castanet
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

The District of Peachland has asked B.C.’s minister of forests for a “pause” in logging operations. … “The community is very concerned that our watersheds are being negatively impacted, and would like to see forestry activities pause, until such time as a comprehensive watershed assessment has been conducted,” Mayor Cindy Fortin wrote in the letter to Minister Doug Donaldson. The letter states: “Our elected officials and the healthy watersheds committee do not support any additional approvals for logging cutblocks in Peachland’s watersheds” and requests “a time out on further cutblock permitting.” …”There was a time we needed them up there because of the pine beetle kill,” said Fortin. “I understand why they were up there, taking out big swaths… but now you just gasp at how much clear cutting has taken place.”

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Same forest: different planets

Letter by Icel Dobel
Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Icel Dobel

…As exemplified in articles by the mayor and me…, there are two points of view, … — that of the industrial professional foresters (RPFs), managing tree plantations for now, in contrast with RPFs who prioritize ecological values: complex forests forever. …I have the greatest respect for the mayor and yet our understanding of forest issues could not be more different. …when the mayor describes the salvage on Stoney Hill as “highly selective harvesting,” he quotes his experts. …I quote Local logging supervisor and cable logger, Gino Gaiga, who recently entered the debate, saying, “The harvesting on Stoney Hill is clear cutting. The few blowdown trees could have been extracted using a low impact machine that reaches out with a long line, with few live trees removed, and without skid trails.” …For forestry, like ecology, like everything, depends on the beholder. Let the public debate begin now.

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Logging is not fuel management

Letter by Al Beaver
The Coast Reporter
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Blackwell

I too attended the Community Forest/Elder College Wildfire Information Session but came away with a very different perspective. … Mr. Blackwell presented managing the understorey fuels to improve the forest fuel structure and hazard, not logging it. Mr. Bradley presented a selective harvesting option in appropriate areas to manage forest fuel structure and promote a regrowth of a less hazardous deciduous forest. …Mr. Blackwell correctly stated that if individual property owners in wildland urban interface areas don’t manage the vulnerability of their homes and manage the adjacent fuels as recommended by FireSmart Canada, then logging/fuel management on public lands is “not worth a hill of beans.” …Modern fire suppression technology is hopeless against the extremes of nature. 

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Slow start to B.C. wildfire season saves province money

By Laryn Gilmour
The Terrace Standard
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This time last year, there was nearly three times the number of fires burning in B.C. According to the B.C. …“In 2018, this time to date we had responded to 816 wildfires and date this year we have had 555,” said B.C. Wildfire information officer Erika Berg. This wildfire season has burned 12,300 hectares of forest, which is less than a quarter of the 56,400 hectares damaged this time last year, says Berg. She said last year’s wildfire season didn’t pick up speed until the end of July, therefore, it’s too early to tell what conditions will be like in August….With fewer wildfires this season, Berg explained the province has saved on its wildfire budgets.“We have seen a quieter July, which has affected costs, we have spent $76.6-million to date, that is a 35 per cent decrease from last year,” said Berg.

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Ten years ago this week, West Kelowna was surrounded by wildfire

By Rob Munro
InfoTel News
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WEST KELOWNA – Fire seasons come and go, but ten years ago but nearly every resident of West Kelowna remembers where they were 10 years ago this week. …Shifting winds whipped the Glenrosa wildfire back and forth as it destroyed two Gorman family homes and threatened their mill a decade ago. …Fortunately, maintenance crews were working that day and willing to stay behind to try to protect the mill. Homes of two Gorman family members didn’t fare as well, although the nearby home of current CEO Nick Arkle, a mere 300 metres away, was spared. …“Those that were there [at the mill] with fire hoses and the fire department as well, were able to protect the mill,” Arkle said. Fire bombing of fire retardant saved the log yards but some lumber decks were burned.

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‘We’re not against forestry’: Peachland mayor asks for pause on logging in watershed

By Ben Parfitt
The Narwhal
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Taryn Skalbania

Following intense pressure from local residents to do something about their community’s deteriorating drinking water, the mayor of the Okanagan community of Peachland has called on the provincial government for a “time out” on further logging of local watershed lands. The request by Mayor Cindy Fortin was made in writing to Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests one month ago, and flagged the community’s ongoing concerns with logging impacts on drinking water quality. …Many community residents believe that accelerated logging of the forests in the community’s watersheds caused their drinking water to become unsafe. …Until recently, Fortin was reluctant to speak out forcefully on the issue… But recent presentations to council appear to have swayed her thinking. …While Taryn Skalbania said the mayor’s letter falls short of what is needed, it is an important first step and may serve to motivate others in smaller rural communities…

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Trees need more than a hectare ‘grove’ to thrive

Letter by Sheila Weaver, Gibsons
Sunshine Coast Reporter
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Big trees get provincial protection”. The following was addressed to Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, and copied to Coast Reporter. Dear Minister: If this were April 1st, I might dismiss your proposition, that one hectare of surrounding forest can protect an individual mature yellow cedar… I find it astounding that you could believe this to be true. Our forest trees have evolved as members of community. …How long can they continue to thrive when all around them may be destroyed save a one-hectare “grove,” exposing them to wind, storm, and reduced water because in a clear-cut there is nothing to absorb and retain it? …What’s more, promising to protect a mere 54 trees in all of British Columbia is blatant tokenism, seemingly intended to persuade us that you are genuinely protecting our fast-dwindling fragments of old growth forest. 

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Now is your chance to have your voice heard regarding forest protection

Joel Theriault, Environmental Lawyer and Bush Pilot, Foleyet, Ont.
Timmins Today
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Attention fellow fishermen, hunters, and nature lovers; now is the time to speak up and protect Northern Ontario’s public forests! Multinational corporations EACOM and RYAM are proposing another decade of spraying non-essential toxic chemical herbicides in the Timmins, Sudbury, and Kapuskasing regions because it’s cheaper than alternatives required for the past two decades in Quebec. Without your comments, the Ontario government will cave into the demands of these huge multinational corporations. Comments are especially needed from First Nation members and band councils with constitutionally protected right’s to fish and hunt, because of the governments responsibility to “minimally infringe” upon those rights. Minimal Infringement requires the use of known alternatives (to cancer causing chemicals) in the forestry renewal process, as required in Quebec since 2001. However, if no one “demands”, the government tends to ignore it’s obligations. 

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A green ride to promote green jobs

CBC News
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A cyclist says there is an incredible amount of opportunity for young people to find jobs in the forest and conservation sector and to get the message out, he’s cycling across Canada on wooden bicycles. Zac Wagman says growing up, no one talked about green jobs or careers as the buzz at that time was on the digital and technology sectors.  “I actually grew …spending way too much time indoors,” he said. “It was only after getting exposed to an outdoor summer job that I realized how awesome the outdoors is.” Wagman works with an organization called Project Learning Tree Canada. Its goal is to get youth to consider a short-term job working in the great outdoors, including a financial incentive for companies to hire them. “The idea is to get young people a foot in the door and then let them decide if they want to continue down that path,” he said.

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Michigan Forest Products Council Honors President And CEO Of The Sustainable Forestry Initiative

By the Michigan Forest Products Council
Cision Newswire
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Michigan Forest Products Council announced today that SFI Inc. President and CEO, Kathy Abusow, received the annual Tuebor Award from MFPC board of directors at their annual board meeting in Traverse City. “Kathy has been and continues to be a leader for Michigan and for North America,” said MFPC Chairman, Todd Johnson. “Since her start with the SFI in 2007, she has an accomplished record as a sustainability leader, particularly her successful effort to double the number of acres certified to SFI’s standards.” …The annual Tuebor Award recognizes significant accomplishments in business and natural resource policy and recognition focuses on leadership in support of well-managed forests that are vital to Michigan’s quality of life, environment and economy.

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‘Majestic’ Douglas fir stood for 420 years. Then Oregon State University foresters cut it down.

By Ron Davis
Oregon Live
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When the first English colony was established at Jamestown in 1607, the Douglas fir seedling was about eight years old, growing on a hillside 20 minutes northwest of what is now Corvallis. …There it stood for generations — until May, when the chainsaws came. …The decision netted $425,000 for the university’s College of Forestry. School officials say the revenue will fund teaching, research and outreach, but it happened at a time when the university’s forestry school has accelerated other timber cuts and dipped into its reserves to fund $19 million in cost overruns on a major construction project. The forestry school’s interim dean, Anthony Davis, has since acknowledged his mistake in approving the 16-acre cut known as the No Vacancy harvest. He has temporarily halted all logging of trees older than 160 years on the university’s 15,000 acres of research forests.

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Avey OKs Castle Mountains’ restoration plan

Karl Puckett
Great Falls Tribune
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bill Avey, supervisor of Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, said Thursday he’s given the preliminary OK to a plan to restore more than 22,123 acres of overgrown and insect-infested forest in the Castle Mountains east of White Sulphur Springs with a combination of logging, fire and other methods. Decades of fire suppression, coupled with mountain pine beetle and spruce budworm epidemics, have increased tree density, fuel loads, conifer encroachment on meadows and forest homogeneity, the forest service said. Both factors also have increased wildfire potential throughout the entire mountain range. A landscape analysis was conducted to evaluate what management activities would help restore the ecosystem to a healthy and more resilient forest, and reduce wildfire hazards, the forest service said.

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The Stump That Didn’t Die

By Ed Yong
The Atlantic
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

At some point, a kauri tree fell in a New Zealand forest, and no one noticed. …“It doesn’t look spectacular at all,” says Sebastian Leuzinger of  the Auckland University of Technology. …But when Leuzinger saw the stump, on a walk with fellow botanist Martin Bader, his head turned. He saw that even though it had no leaves, stems, or greenery of any kind, it did still contain living tissue—and when he knocked on the stump, it sounded different from deadwood. …Leuzinger and Bader eventually showed that the stump is connected to one or more of the kauri trees around it, probably via its roots. They are hydraulically coupled. …It will never green again, never make cones or seeds or pollen, never unfall, never reclaim its towering verticality. But at least for now, it’s not going to die, either.

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In France, ancient forests are resurging — growing bigger every year

By Mike Colagrossi
Big Think
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Deforestation plagues vast swathes of the world. … Yet, in Europe this trend seems to have reversed. Look no further than Provence, France, where resurged greenery cuts through mountain passes and sprouts up to form one of France’s newest natural parks — the Baronnies Provençales. Set up only four years ago, and spreading more than 1,800 square kilometers, this [forest] is a testament to France’s dedication to regrowing their ancient forests. While the forests of the world are on the decline, those in France are quietly rising. Current estimates show that forests cover 31 percent of France. The country is ranked fourth, in terms of largest forests, within the European Union. …Due to a concentrated reforestation effort and decline in farming, the past 30 years has seen France’s forested areas increase by 7 percent. …France’s success can be contributed to a collective effort of private individuals and public forestry initiatives working together. 

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Reducing emissions with logging

By Karen Mo, WWF
CIFOR Forest News
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Karen Mo

Wood is one of the oldest materials utilized by humans. …Today, forest products remain one of the backbones of our modern life, and it is safe to say that the present and future generations will continue to depend on them. But unlike our ancestors, we’re facing a major dilemma – climate change. Nowhere is this dilemma more acute than in tropical forest regions. …Tropical forests have countless tree species, but only a few can be sold commercially. Hence, logging in the tropics is typically focused on those few marketable species, in a process called selective logging. …Fortunately, there is a solution. A series of new research finds that emissions from selective logging in tropics can be halved by applying the “Reduced Impact Logging for carbon emission reduction” method.

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Terahertz imaging technique reveals subsurface insect damage in wood

By The Optical Society
Science Daily
July 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Insect infestation is becoming an increasingly costly problem to the forestry industry… A new terahertz imaging technique could help slow the spread of these infestations by detecting insect damage inside wood before it becomes visible on the outside. “Our approach could be used to detect early-stage insect infestation on the trunks of trees, in imported wood or on wood products in an early infestation stage,” said research team member Kirsti Krügener, from HAWK University of Applied Science and Arts in Germany. “This could help keep out damaging insects from other countries and stop infestation before it spreads throughout a forest.” In the Optical Society journal Applied Optics, the researchers report how they used terahertz time-of-flight tomography to noninvasively identify wood samples with otherwise invisible damage from the typographer beetle, which infects spruce and other coniferous trees in Europe. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate risk report flies under the radar despite alarming contents

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
July 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — At first glance the report posted quietly on the provincial government website this week resembled a typical midsummer offering. Pretty pictures on the cover. The word “preliminary” in the title. Not even the courtesy of a media release to flag its arrival. All seemingly calculated to be overlooked in the July political doldrums. Only after wading into the executive summary of “a preliminary strategic climate risk assessment” did one realize it was one of the more alarming documents commissioned by this or any other B.C. government. (To see the full report, click HERE.) More than 400 pages, the report evaluates the risks to B.C. over the next 30 years of 15 specific climate-change-driven events, each weighed on a sliding scale of consequences from “low” to “catastrophic.” …Severe wildfires and seasonal water shortages were given the two highest rankings. 

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Armstrong plant stops bagging heater pellets, Shuswap retailers search for alternatives

By Jim Elliot
Pentiction Western News
July 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shuswap residents who rely on pellet stoves may have to change what they heat their homes with this winter. Pinnacle Renewable Energy, which has a location Armstrong, will no longer be selling the heating pellets in 40-lb. bags. Tara Sadler, a territory sales manager with Pinnacle, said bagging is being discontinued indefinitely due to a mechanical breakdown and safety concerns with bagging machinery. She said pellets will still be for sale in one metric tonne totes. Sadler said the totes use less plastic than the bagged product, and that the totes themselves are recyclable and can be repurposed for other uses. She said outdoor storage is not recommended for the totes of heater pellets.

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CLIMATE CHANGE: Reforestation in B.C. adapting for warmer temperatures

By Jocelyn Doll
Revelstoke Review
July 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greg O’Neill

…But how will climate change impact Revelstoke? We will see changes in the forest. Right now foresters are changing the way they replant cut blocks. Instead of planting seedlings that are chosen based on geographic location, they are now able to plant trees that came from seeds harvested in a slightly warmer climate. “In Revelstoke that probably means going downhill,” said Greg O’Neill, climate change adaptation scientist at the Kalamalka Forestry Centre. “So if you are harvesting at 1,200 metres the seed would come from 900 metres.” Introduced in 2018, with an amendment to the provincial reforestation regulations, the changes boil down to a small tweak in the computer system through which foresters order their saplings: instead of choosing geographical matches, they can order climatic matches. “By doing this we hope to set trees up for the best possible chance of success in an uncertain climate future,” O’Neill said. 

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How the Biomass Industry Sent “Sustainability” Up in Smoke

By Sasha Stashwick
Natural Resources Defense Council
July 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Countries around the world are seeking alternatives to fossil fuels. …But one technology gets grouped with other renewables but doesn’t belong: biomass. …It’s particularly harmful to the environment when biomass from forests—aka trees—is burned for electricity. Harvesting wood for energy production worsens climate change immediately, and the harms it causes can persist for many decades or even centuries. It also endangers the very ecosystems we rely on to help stabilize global temperature rise and make communities more resilient to climate change. Biomass proponents argue that so long as trees are sourced “sustainably,” policymakers can ignore these impacts. The reality is that their sustainability claims simply greenwash climate pollution and forest destruction. …if policymakers are looking to “sustainability” claims to provide assurances about the carbon benefits of forest biomass, they are barking up the wrong tree. 

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