Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 6, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC Caribou rescue plan and its rescuer are under fire

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 6, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s caribou rescue plan may need rescuing from NDP’s intransigence (says columnist Vaughn Palmer), while Blair Lekstrom’s ‘lets all hold hands and dance‘ plan is called too simplistic by others. In Wood Product news: praise for Toronto’s Sidewalk Labs; Natural Resources Canada invests in wood innovation; the benefits of embodied carbon; and filtering salt from seawater with… a slice of wood.

In Health & Safety news: a Quebec firefighter dies fighting wildfire; a French waterbomber pilot succumbs in plane crash; dust is blamed for an Oregon sawmill fire; evacuation alerts in the BC Okanagan; and Russia’s battle with Siberian wildfires.

Companies in the news include: Canfor (curtailments at Vavenby and Houston); Roseburg (layoffs), Powell River Paper (curtailment), Domtar (fire), Port Hawkesbury (subsidy), and Boise Cascade (Q2 earnings).

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Caribou rescue plan could need rescuing here after secret negotiations

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
August 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Blair Lekstrom

VICTORIA — When Premier John Horgan appointed Blair Lekstrom as his envoy on the troubled caribou rescue plan, he reaped the immediate publicity reward of a leader who admitted a problem and tried to fix it. But months later, it looks like Horgan never intended to listen to Lekstrom’s advice… Rather, the New Democrats regard the plan — a partnership agreement negotiated in secret with two First Nations — as pretty much a done deal. …Perhaps when Lekstrom meets next week with the premier’s newest envoy, Brownsey, they can work out a face-saving way to mitigate the impact of an agreement that now looks to be written in stone. …A stepped-up wolf kill could provide assurances that protecting caribou entails more than turning the regional forest into a giant petting zoo. But as things stand today, I would not be surprised to see Lekstrom walk away from it all, leaving Horgan’s caribou rescue plan in need of rescuing once again.

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Caribou misfire

By Dr. Brian L. Horejsi
The Dawson Creek Mirror
August 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Lekstrom report on caribou recovery public “engagement” has been filed with Premier Horgan and Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson. For caribou, the news is not good. Blair Lekstrom, a long time northeast B.C. Liberal politician, is eminently unqualified to pass judgment on the urgency of enacting an aggressive long term caribou recovery plan; he lived up to expectations and punted a permanent plan down the road two years. The (more) sad aspect of this? Premier Horgan fell for it! What Lekstrom does know is local people politics. But he still doesn’t grasp the significance of giving all citizens the legal right to be heard in a legally constituted process, whereby citizens take some ownership of that process and subsequently become more accepting of the decision. It is here the NDP and Ministry of Forests Land and Natural Resources seriously, and consistently, misfire.

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Province hears forestry concerns in Houston

Houston Today
August 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes, said he was glad to see provincial staff in Houston engaging in discussions about the forest products industry last week, he said he was disappointed by some aspects of the engagement. Provincial representatives held an invite-only meeting in Houston on July 29 as part of a series of engagement sessions in the Interior to gather feedback on a new approach to the forest sector. A total of 12 people — including Houston Mayor Shane Brienen, local forestry consultants and representatives from industry and the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations — attended the meeting.

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Small town Vavenby struggles to survive closure of major employer

By Nick Eagland
Vancouver Sun
August 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VAVENBY — On the afternoon of June 3, 2019, foremen walked through the Canfor Corp. sawmill telling the morning shift to shut it all down. …Workers were to meet outside the main office building at once. Production had been interrupted before. In January, Canfor had announced a six-week curtailment due to dwindling log supply, costs and market conditions. But the sudden order to turn off all the machines — an exceedingly rare demand — left knots in many workers’ stomachs. …Canfor had reached an agreement to sell the forest tenure — its cutting rights for publicly owned timber — linked to the Vavenby mill to Interfor for $60 million. The mill would again be shutting down, this time forever. …Harry Nelson … at the Faculty of Forestry at the University of B.C., is certain the province’s forestry industry will endure. …the trees always grow back, he said.

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Kamloops Fire and Rescue assists Domtar fire crews fighting a smouldering fire Thursday night

By Doug Collins
CFJC Today
August 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops Fire and Rescue crews assisted crews from Domtar to fight a smoldering fire just west of the Mission Flats landfill last night (Thursday). KFR Captain Wade Lindoff says they were called out about 6:30 PM Thursday to assist after a fire broke out in an area used by Domtar to dump some of the byproducts from their operation. They cover the material with bark mulch to keep dust down. Lindoff says the fire was about 150 feet by 50 feet and was extinguished fairly quickly. He says Domtar crews monitored the area overnight to ensure it didn’t flare up. (End of Story)

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Powell River paper mill extends curtailment period

By Paul Galinski
Powell River Peak
August 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Powell River has announced an extension to the current curtailment of its paper operations. The company had originally announced a curtailment from Saturday, July 20, through to Tuesday, August 6. In a bulletin dated Friday, August 2, Krista Cuddy, general manager for the Powell River operation, said she regrets to announce the curtailment of paper machines 10 and 11 will be extended to Monday, August 12. “The extension is a result of continued weakness in the market,” stated Cuddy in her bulletin. The steam plant will remain running to support power generation, she added. The bulletin further states that in conjunction with the company’s sales force, Catalyst will continue to pursue opportunities to grow in more sustainable product lines. “We are actively studying strategic alternatives for our paper machines,” stated Cuddy.

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Penobsquis sawmill blaze a “terrifying scene,” owner says

CBC News
August 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

When Javed Mian arrived to his Penobsquis, N.B., sawmill Saturday evening, he saw a horrible blaze that he couldn’t believe. “It’s just a terrifying scene, the inferno, the intensity of fire, just devastating,” he said. Mian owns Ayat Timbers International. At around 5 p.m., his neighbour called him to tell him the mill was on fire. Mian said about two hours prior he had gone to check the moisture levels of about 35,000 board feet of wood drying in the kiln. He said everything seemed fine. Penobsquis, Petitcodiac and Sussex fire crews were already on the scene when Mian arrived. The fire burned for almost five hours before it was put out.

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Stella-Jones CEO looks back as he moves forward

By Sean Silcoff
The Globe and Mail
August 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

During his 18-year tenure at the helm of Montreal’s Stella-Jones Inc., Brian McManus… turned the Montreal company into a North American leader in such products as railway ties and utility poles. …Mr. McManus will depart in October. The Globe and Mail spoke with him about his impending departure. Q: Why did you decide it was time to leave? A: There’s no real driving reason… I just came to the conclusion if I ever wanted another chapter [in life] now was good, and we have an extremely strong team in place… Q: The market seemed surprised by your departure and the stock sold off. Why didn’t you telegraph your decision earlier? A: I think the market may be a bit jittery and not necessarily for any good reason… Q: Will you stay on the board? A: No, I don’t think it’s fair for either Eric or the next CEO. [to access the full story a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Taxpayers foot almost $8m in forest management fees to Port Hawkesbury Paper

By Aaron Bewick
The Chronicle Herald
August 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotians paid Port Hawkesbury Paper $7,948,767.59 to manage 520,000 hectares of Crown land in 2018. We were paid back $1.7 million in stumpage fees. The Chronicle Herald found the numbers in public accounts documents released by the province that detail payments to corporations and individuals by government. They show that over the past five years, the province has paid Port Hawkesbury Paper about $40 million. In previous years, such as 2017, stumpage returns were higher ($3.1 million) but in all of the years, the province paid out significantly more than it was paid back. A breakdown provided by the Department of Lands and Forestry for 2018 states that $3,933,194.53 was paid to the mill for doing silviculture on Crown land and $285,244.87 was paid for similar work on non-industrial private land. Then another $3,730,328.19 was paid to the mill under the label PHP FULA, which stands for the Forest Utilization and Licensing Agreement.

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Decision Due From U.S. Trade Officials on Chinese Cabinet Imports Petition

The Kitchen & Bath Design News
August 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

WASHINGTON, DC — US trade officials are expected to proceed to the next stage of deliberations into charges that Chinese trade practices in cabinet manufacturing and exporting are undermining the businesses of U.S. cabinet suppliers. A decision by the U.S. Commerce Dept. was scheduled by Aug. 5… on whether to move ahead an unfair-trade petition filed in March by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, a coalition seeking the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Chinese-made wooden cabinets and vanities. …The US International Trade Commission has already determined that there is “a reasonable indication” that the U.S. cabinet industry “is materially injured”. …The unfair-trade case, mirroring similar cases in other kitchen/bath product sectors… has led to sharp divisions between industry alliances who have lined up on opposite sides.

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Roseburg Forest Products Announces Layoffs In Douglas County

By Meerah Powell
Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Roseburg Forest Products announced Friday that it is laying off approximately 90 employees at its Douglas County, Oregon, plywood plant in Dillard, Oregon. In a news release, the company said the layoffs are due to “unfavorable conditions in the North American plywood market.” Roseburg owns and manages more than 600,000 acres of timberland in Oregon, North Carolina and Virginia. “After waiting for months for markets to improve, we have reached the point where a layoff is necessary to better match supply with weakened demand,” Senior Vice President of Operations Jake Elston said in the news release. “This is an unfortunate but necessary step toward preserving the long-term viability of our plywood business.” The company offered about 50 employees jobs at its other Oregon-based wood product plants. 

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Finance & Economics

Labor Shortages Still Hurting Affordability

By Paul Emrath
The NAHB Eye on Housing
August 5, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Labor and subcontractor shortages remained widespread in July of 2019 and are continuing to impact the industry in a number of ways—including putting additional upward pressure on new home prices— according to the NAHB/Well Fargo Housing Market Index… from a low of 47 percent for building maintenance managers to a high of 83 percent for framing crews. …This shortage seems especially severe relative to housing starts.

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Boise Cascade Reports Mixed Q2 Earnings

Boise Cascade
August 5, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, US West

Boise Cascade reported quarterly sales of $1.23 billion and net income of $27.7 million for the second quarter compared with net income of $41.8 million on sales of $1.4 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018. This is a 12.6% decrease over sales of $1.41 billion the same period last year.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Next Generation of Designers and Builders Learning Innovative Wood Construction

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
August 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Investing in Canada’s forest sector is an investment in the future. That is why Canada supports wood innovation, including educating the next generation of Canadian engineers and architects on the benefits of designing and building with wood. The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $2.5-million investment in the Canadian Wood Council’s Advanced Wood Education Roadmap to promote the benefits and opportunities associated with using wood in non-residential construction.  This project will design and implement new Canadian post-secondary learning curricula, resources and tools, as well as work placements, which will teach students the benefits of wood, wood-hybrid and non-traditional construction. Funding for the project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Construction through Wood program… The program aims to position Canada as a world leader in tall wood construction technologies and the low-carbon economy.

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Sidewalk Labs is building a smart city entirely of mass timber. What could go wrong?

By Kira Barrett
Smart Cities Dive
August 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A building made primarily of wood conjures public fear of fire, but for a growing number of developers, it evokes opportunity. From constructing towering wooden condominiums, to timber college dormitories, to an entire neighborhood built from trees, experts in “mass timber” are creating buildings of the future.  Sidewalk Labs’ master plan for a futuristic smart city on the waterfront in Toronto includes an entire neighborhood made of wood, called Quayside, with 10 mixed-use building up to 35 stories.  The plan is audacious, considering that in the U.S., there are only 221 mass timber buildings in the works or fully built, according to the American Wood Council​’s Kenneth Bland.  In most U.S. cities, mass timber buildings, and specifically tall mass timber buildings, are a rarity, if they exist at all. …WoodWorks tracks CLT projects in design, construction and fully built. While not every building in design reaches completion, the numbers at every phase are growing.

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How old houses were built to minimize heat in the summer

By Tim Carter
The Washington Post
August 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

You may be one of the tens of millions of people who suffered in the blistering heat wave that gripped the eastern United States. …You may wonder what’s in play when the sun’s powerful infrared rays strike your home’s roof and windows. That heat is transferred to the wood framing that supports your roof. Years ago, I recorded temperatures in my house attic of 140 degrees F. The entire roof radiates heat, much like a campfire that’s reduced to glowing embers. …This heat is transferred to the inside of your home, and the ceiling below your attic starts to get very hot. …Builders years ago built homes with large overhangs so the sun would not enter windows during the hottest part of the day. You don’t see generous overhangs in new homes all too often.

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American Wood Council: New Source Review Proposed Rule a Win-Win

By the American Wood Council
ThomasNet News
August 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – American Wood Council (AWC) President & CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule for New Source Review (NSR) project emission accounting. “EPA’s proposed rule makes common sense adjustments to NSR emissions accounting that is a win for both business and the environment. Under this rule, both emissions reductions and additions will be considered at the same time in the permitting process. We are pleased EPA is codifying these changes so states and the regulated community can rely on them. “… This improvement, and other reforms that we hope EPA undertakes, will allow NSR to focus on truly significant projects by reducing regulatory hurdles.”

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Wildfire Protection Paint Protects Nothing, LA Says in Suit

By Martin Macias Jr
Courthouse News Service
August 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a lawsuit Monday claiming a California company deceived residents in fire-prone areas by touting an exterior paint product it said could prevent homes from catching fire or burning down during a wildfire. …Sunseeker Enterprises – a Marina Del Ray, California-based company doing business as Sun FireDefense – claimed that its SPF 3000 Clear Spray product would protect residents’ homes from the ever-increasing threat of wildfire damage. But Feuer says in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that after testing the product – which costs $3.50 per square foot – his office found the coating is not an effective fire protection. “This testing indicates that SPF 3000 does not protect as advertised, if it even protects at all,” the complaint says, noting the product also contains volatile and corrosive chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

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Understanding embodied carbon, a key solution in sustainable architecture

By Rhea John
The Daily – University of Washington
August 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Kate Simonen

Climate change is a pressing existential crisis at the forefront of current issues, and buildings generate nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  When it comes to limiting carbon emissions, there are many changes to be made in our purchases, consumption habits, transportation, and even our built environment.  By being mindful of carbon costs in architecture, this impact can be reduced. Often, the carbon cost we think of for buildings is the operational costs — the energy it takes to keep the lights on and the heat running. However, professor of architecture Kate Simonen’s work exposes the cost we don’t always think about. That is, the carbon cost of producing the materials for the building. …The emissions attributed to producing materials can come from a range of activities such as mining, transportation, and running factories. 

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A super-thin slice of wood can be used to turn saltwater drinkable

By Leah Crane
The New Scientist
August 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Filtering the salt from seawater can take a lot of energy or specialised engineering. A thin membrane made of porous wood may be able to fix that. In membrane distillation, salty water is pumped through a film, usually made of some sort of polymer with very narrow pores that filter out the salt and allow only water molecules through. Jason Ren at Princeton University in New Jersey and his colleagues developed a new kind of membrane made of natural wood instead of plastic. …“This [new membrane] is more energy efficient and it doesn’t use fossil-fuel based materials like many other membranes for water filtration,” said Ren. The membrane is made of a thin piece of American basswood, which undergoes a chemical treatment … to make its surface slippery to water molecules. One side of the membrane is heated so that when water flows over that side it is vapourised.

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Explore 20 Amazing Temporary Installations at Hello Wood 2019

By Adam Barnes
Arch Daily
August 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Hello Wood Summer School and Festival has expanded over the years to build up a lot of recognition internationally within the architecture community, with previous years having more than 1000 participants from across 70 countries and over 50 universities take part in Hello Wood’s educational event. …the tenth anniversary of the festival was about criticism of the stereotypical role of the architect – one that is constrained by expectations and deadlines – while searching for the true superpower of those that want to make a change with a free spirit. Twenty workshops led by a truly global group of professionals helped to celebrate the decennial with their unique takes on the transformation of the architect. As a result of a series of rites and ceremonies that included the building of 20 installations, the week aimed at setting participants free to follow their dreams.

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German minister: ‘We need to build more wooden houses’

Deutsche Welle
August 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Julia Klöckner

Germany’s agriculture minister says wooden houses could help stem climate change by absorbing carbon emissions. Trees have become a hot political issue in Germany amid concerns about the health of the country’s forests. In an interview published in the Rheinische Post on Monday, Germany’s agriculture minister said increasing the number of wooden houses would help the country meet its emissions goals. Julia Klöckner, a member of Germany’s so-called climate cabinet, said recent developments in construction meant that fire codes that have prevented the building of such homes are no longer justified. “Increased wood — in building homes, for example — absorbs CO2,” Klöckner told the newspaper. …Klöckner’s call for more wooden houses comes amid concerns about the precarious state of Germany’s forests. More than a million trees have died since 2018 due to increasing temperatures, droughts and bark beetles.

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Forestry

SFI Unveils 2019 Progress Report: Forests of Opportunity

By Kathy Abusow, President and CEO, SFI Inc
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
August 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

SFI believes there are many opportunities to advance sustainability through the values, goods, and services provided by sustainably managed forests. Forests provide an important opportunity to bring communities together to promote trust, advance conservation priorities and create new economic opportunities. Forests sustain rural, Indigenous and urban communities. Forests provide a window on the world for youth and educators to learn about the natural environment through the Project Learning Tree network. Forests also provide an opportunity to catalyze landscape-scale climate solutions because they sequester carbon and store carbon in the building products made from trees. Forests provide an opportunity to maintain and recover biodiversity and sustain a variety of conservation values including clean water. But to seize these opportunities, forests must be sustainably managed and forest products must be responsibly sourced.  For all these reasons and more, the theme of this year’s report is: Forests of Opportunity.

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University of Victoria PhD graduate’s work emphasizes importance of forested wildlife corridors

By Devon Bidal
Victoria News
August 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Frances Stewart

A new study by a recent University of Victoria PhD graduate calls for the expansion of protected forested areas in Canada for the sake of wildlife. Frances Stewart’s work with fishers — a weasel-like creature — in central Alberta shows that wildlife corridors are necessary for protected areas to successfully maintain animal populations and support the movements of species through landscapes. Canada’s commitment to meet international targets and protect 17 per cent of natural environment in the country by 2020 cannot ignore the fact that animals have trouble travelling between protected forests through urban areas, said Stewart who is originally from Ontario. The disconnected zones of safety for animals may not improve the lives of wildlife as desired.

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Friendly giants: New big trees protected in B.C.

By Laura Keil
Rocky Mountain Goat
August 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An old-growth Douglas Fir tree in the Robson Valley will be protected from logging and more trees could get the same protection once new laws come into effect later this year. Last week, the Province announced that 54 trees on the BC Big Tree Registry will be protected, with a protective buffer zone of 1ha around the trees. One of those trees is in the Robson Valley. The interior Douglas Fir is located roughly 2km north of LaSalle Lakes, 50km northwest of McBride along the Lower Goat Trail. For big tree seekers, the GPS coordinates are Longitude: -120.685622 Latitude: 53.533517. To be considered for protection in this program, the trees need to be alive, not already protected, on provincial Crown land (excluding private property or federal land), have verified geographical co-ordinates for accurate location and meeting diameter requirements by species type.

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‘Plant destroyer’ a pesky pest

By Monique Keiran
Victoria Times Colonist
August 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Phytophthora, Plant Destroyer — you might think it was a comic-book villain, rampaging across the big screen, chased by the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. in shiny leotards.  …The micro-organism has many faces — at least 150 species, and many strains within each species. Each attacks different host plants.  …Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors found this species — P. ramorum — on plants at Saanichton’s Island View Nursery in July. …“When Phytophthora ramorum was found on nursery stock in B.C. that first time, we worked closely with the CFIA, Agriculture Canada, the B.C. Landscape Nursery Association and others to develop protocols based on evidence and good, solid science to deal with it,” says Canadian Forest Service scientist Eric Allen, whose team works with plant-protection agencies in Canada and around the world to determine best practices to limit the spread of invasive forest pests.

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Project Learning Tree Canada hosts round table discussion at Silver Bean

PTBO Today
August 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Put your best foot forward. Project Learning Tree Canada is inspiring youth to explore careers in the great outdoors and held an open round-table discussion at the Silver Bean Cafe on Friday which included MP Maryam Monsef. VP of Community Engagement with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Jess Kaknevicius, says the initiative is no-longer just a seasonal occupation. The goal is to fill over 1,600 jobs for people between the ages of 15-30 in green jobs across the country. [This is an audio report – click read more to listen to the full story]

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Annapolis Co. clearcut could threaten endangered bat, says naturalist

By Moira Donovan and Robyn Simon
CBC News
August 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Nova Scotia naturalist says the proposed clear cutting of a forest in Annapolis County could jeopardize the survival of an endangered species of bat. In June, Scott Leslie discovered the presence of the little brown bat in a stretch of Crown forest between Dalhousie and Corbett lakes using his “bat-detection meter,” which records bats’ high-frequency squeaks and translates them to a register that humans can hear. Scott fears the forest could be clear cut as early as the fall — despite the presence of the endangered mammal. “It’s disappointing, because it could be one of the first species to go extinct [in Nova Scotia] since the caribou went extinct over a hundred years ago,” he told CBC’s Information Morning. The little brown bat population in Nova Scotia has been decimated by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that attacks hibernating colonies. 

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Fire risks rise in previously too-wet-to-burn US Northwest

By Tom James
The Longview Daily News
August 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Nestled in the foothills of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, the bustling Seattle suburb of Issaquah seems an unlikely candidate for anxiety over wildfires. The region, famous for its rainfall, has long escaped major burns even as global warming has driven an increase in the size and number of wildfires elsewhere in the American West. But according to experts, previously too-wet-to-burn parts of the Pacific Northwest face an increasing risk of significant wildfires due to changes in its climate driven by the same phenomenon: Global warming is bringing higher temperatures, lower humidity and longer stretches of drought. And the region is uniquely exposed to the threat, with property owners who are often less prepared for fire than those in drier places and more homes tucked along forests than any other western state.

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Forest Service implementing project near Helena aimed at wildfire protection

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
August 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Craig Klockler

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest has begun a major forestry project near Helena as it waits for courts to rule on two lawsuits challenging the project.Late last year, the Forest Service approved the Ten Mile-South Helena Project. Work includes logging, thinning and prescribed burning as well as some trail work and stream restoration on 17,500 acres within a 60,000-acre project area southwest of Helena. The Ten Mile drainage supplies one of two sources of water for the city.Earlier this year sportsmen groups filed a federal lawsuit over proposed logging in two inventoried roadless areas, contesting the use of heavy machinery. Helena Hunters and Anglers and the Montana Wildlife Federation contend that the project will negatively impact wildlife by removing hiding cover and reduce the potential wilderness character of the roadless areas. The groups do not contest work outside of the roadless areas.

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Forest Alliance protests Wendell logging project

By Zack DeLuca
Athol Daily News
August 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WENDELL — After continued efforts, and saying they’re willing to risk arrest, members of the Wendell State Forest Alliance stood by the opposed logging site for their first day of protest Monday. Residents involved with the Wendell State Forest Alliance — a group affiliated with the nonprofit conservation group RESTORE: The North Woods — said Monday they’ll be on the site along Brook Road in Wendell State Forest to protest until they stop the logging project or the project is completed. The alliance is protesting the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s selective logging of a roughly 80-acre old oak stand. …“This is what we would consider industrial-scale logging — this isn’t real logging or forestry,” said Glen Ayers, a Greenfield resident and member of the Wendell State Forest Alliance. Members of the alliance said they want to get to a point where the 13 percent of forested land in the state remains completely protected. 

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Logging: Getting the wood out

By Bill Cook
Escanaba Daily Press
August 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ESCANABA — Loggers and logging are essential to the success of our society and forest environments. Yet, like many occupations, most people are unaware of the scope of the job and the people who do the work. Modern logging requires an amazing mix of skills and involves a high degree of financial risk. …Logging requires a wide range of other skills, too. Already mentioned are working with people, computers, and heavy equipment. Knowing how to repair and maintain equipment is also critical; skills such as diesel mechanics and hydraulics. A logger needs good business acumen, accounting ability, and must keep up with the latest rules and regulations. Training and dedication is life-long. …The average age of a logger runs in the mid-50s and is growing older. Finding younger people who enjoy this kind of independent, but hardworking, profession is difficult. But hey, if it’s your thing, then it’s the best job in the world. Life can be good outside the cubicle.

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Plea for peace as end to Tasmanian forest logging moratorium draws closer

By Ellen Coulter
ABC News, Australia
August 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Andrew Lohrey

Andrew Lohrey has spent a lot of time in the forest. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was Tasmania’s forestry minister for the Labor government and also served as minister for national parks. His family has been in the St Marys area, in Tasmania’s north-east, since the 1850s — a region he described as “beautiful” and “ecologically diverse”. But north of St Marys, some of the forest that Mr Lohrey loves is part of thousands of hectares the Liberal State Government calls a “wood bank” — with a moratorium on logging the area ending in April 2020. “This is old-growth forest and old-growth forest should be protected,” Mr Lohrey said. The Liberals came to power in Tasmania in 2014 on a platform of tearing up the so-called forest peace deal and creating a renaissance within the forestry industry.

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Health & Safety

Logging company fined for 2018 death of machine operator

Northern Ontario Business
August 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Kapuskasing and Manitouwadge-based logging company will pay $100,000 in total fines stemming from a 2018 accident where the operator of a tree delimbing machine was killed. D & G Logging entered a guilty plea in a Thunder Bay provincial offences court, July 29, and was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Zelda N. Kitchekeesik. The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. According to an Aug. 2 Ministry of Labour release, on Jan.18, 2018, a worker employed by D & G Logging was operating a Quadco delimber machine (used to remove branches from trees) in the Big Pic Forest, north of Wawa, near Long Pond Road. 

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Firefighter, 32, dies on the job during Quebec forest fire

The Canadian Press in the Toronto Star
August 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL—Quebec’s forest fire protection service has identified a 32-year-old who died Sunday while battling a blaze in the province’s Outaouais region. The fire protection service says Isaiah Nottaway lost consciousness while working to contain a fire in Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, about 50 kilometres north of Ottawa. Resuscitation attempts were made until paramedics arrived, but Nottaway was pronounced dead after being transported to hospital. The service said in a statement that it is unclear what caused his medical crisis. Nottaway was a firefighter with the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi, which was offering auxiliary support to a crew with the provincial forest fire protection service.

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Dust Eyed as Cause of Explosion, Fire at Oregon Sawmill

Powder & Bulk Solids
August 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Officials said wood dust may have fueled an explosion and a two-alarm fire Friday afternoon at the Timber Products sawmill in White City, OR, a number of local news organizations reported. …Upon arrival, firefighters discovered flames inside of a wood chip hopper, Jackson County Fire District 3 said. Crews were able to contain the fire to the bin. “A lot of the fine dust is sanding dust from the plywood that they make in this facility,” Jackson County Fire District 3 Deputy Chief Mike Hussey told NBC. “So, it’s a really fine component and it doesn’t take a whole lot to get it ignited.” …In 2008… Timber Products received a warning letter from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for combustible dust hazards. 

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French waterbomber crashes during forest fire, one pilot dead

By Clement Charpentreau
Aerotime News Hub
August 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A Grumman S2F Tracker of the French Civil Security crashed near Générac, France, during an intervention on forest fires. The pilot was killed. The plane was fighting criminal forest fires in the region of Générac, Southern France. According to witnesses, the Tracker was in a climbing phase when it entered a thick smoke, of which it came out at a very low altitude and leaning to the left. The BEA–É, the office responsible for investigating aviation accidents and incidents of state aircraft, has opened an investigation into the cause of the accident. “The initial hypothesis is that the pilot lost his bearings,” a source close to the investigation told AFP, adding “the pilot, who was in a descending phase, entered a very thick column of smoke and hit the treetops”. The firefighter on board was a former French air force Mirage 2000N fighter pilot with 28 years of experience. 

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Forest Fires

New wildfire between Oliver and Okanagan Falls, B.C., prompts evacuation alert

By Cathy Kearney
CBC News
August 5, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews have been dispatched to a new wildfire located halfway between Oliver, B.C., and Okanagan Falls. The B.C. Wildfire Service says about 100 personnel, eight helicopters and two water tenders have been assigned to the Eagle Bluff fire. As of Monday afternoon, the fire had grown to 225 hectares. The new wildfire sparked an evacuation alert for the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen for electoral area C, and for the Osoyoos Indian Band. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said several properties are impacted by the alert and additional properties may be affected. “We do have a structure protection specialist on scene and he is assessing residents in the alert area,” said Taylor MacDonald, a fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

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Siberia wildfires: Russians battle to contain the blazes

By Steve Rosenberg
BBC News
August 4, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

…Forest fires in Siberia are common. But this summer unusually hot weather, dry thunderstorms and strong winds have combined to spark an emergency – in Siberia wildfires have engulfed an area the size of Belgium. Reaching the blazes can be difficult. Most of the fires are in remote areas. In recent days, army planes and helicopters from the Russian emergency service have been dropping water on the flames. But often it’s up to local communities to do what they can to contain the threat. In Podymakhino I meet Gennady Esin. He runs a small farm and timber business, but by necessity he’s a firefighter, too, now. Gennady and his team agree to take me into the taiga to show me the situation there. We set off on a military-style off-road truck, bumping along a dirt track. Soon we’re deep in the forest, surrounded by silver birch, cedar and pine trees.

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