Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 19, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US housing starts drop in July notwithstanding strong builder confidence

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 19, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

US housing starts dropped for the third straight month in July notwithstanding good builder confidence. In related news: BC seeks federal support for workers impacted by sector downturn; Tolko’s last shift in Quesnel, BC; Arkansas to assist Conifex’s former employees; and New Brunswick truckers could shut down if Northern Pulp closes.

Elsewhere: columnist Tom Fletcher gives Minister Donaldson the benefit of his doubt; there’s new hope for Port Alberni BC, and access to wood rights are still on the table despite Resolute’s restrictive sale of Fort Francis mill

In Forestry news: updates on the spruce budworm in Newfoundland; Elk migration in Montana; and the pine beetle in Alberta. Finally, how to save the boreal caribou; BC’s giant trees; and America’s National Forests

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
August 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last week’s column blasted the B.C. government and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson in particular for increasing log export limits in northwestern B.C., after years of NDP promises that they were going to crack down on exporting jobs along with logs. …it’s not that simple. It turns out B.C.’s total Crown land log exports are down so far in 2019, compared to 2018. And they were down 30 per cent in 2018 compared to the previous year. The latest export exemptions for the Northwest region do appear to increase the limits, but the formula has changed and it’s likely too soon to see the true effects. B.C. Liberal forests critic John Rustad says he’s heard from Skeena Sawmills that exporting premium logs is a threat to their fragile business, but he’s also heard from log exporters that the new rules are killing them. …In the meantime, I should have given Donaldson the benefit of the doubt. 

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B.C.’s struggling forestry industry needs federal support: Minister Donaldson

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
BC Local News
August 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

During the annual Canadian Forest Ministers Conference in Saskatchewan, this week, B.C.’s forestry minister voiced the urgent need for federal government support for workers and communities impacted by the downturn in the forest sector. Calling on the federal government, Doug Donaldson proposed the province’s deputy ministers and Canada’s deputy ministers develop an action plan that sets out the details for further federal funding. …After meeting in communities most-impacted by the downturn, Donaldson said his ministry came up with a number of interventions to cover the ‘varied circumstances’ found in those communities. …MLA Donna Barnett in her weekly column titled Where is the forest minister? in the Wednesday, Aug. 14 edition of the Tribune, criticized Premier John Horgan’s recent appointment of Lower Mainland MLA Ravi Kahlon as Donaldson’s parliamentary secretary. …Responding, Donaldson described Barnett’s comment as ‘unfair, unfortunate, a ‘personal attack and unhelpful.’

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Tears, handshakes and uncertainty as B.C. mill workers walk off the job for the last time

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
August 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After finishing her final shift at the Tolko sawmill in Quesnel, B.C., this week, Jenn Johnson went out for dinner with her now-former colleagues. With the sawmill permanently closed, Johnson and roughly150 other people in Quesnel are out of work, part of an estimated 3,900 workers across the province affected by a summer of closures and curtailments in B.C.’s forest industry. Tolko, along with other forestry companies, blames the shutdowns on a combination of poor market conditions and log shortages due to the mountain pine beetle and wildfires. All of which leaves people like Johnson wondering what comes next. “I feel like I should be going to work tonight,” Johnson told CBC Thursday — her first day without a job. Johnson said her final shift was “surreal,” full of handshakes, words of support and a few tears. 

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British Columbia Chronicles: New Hope for B.C.’s most historic sawmill town

Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tim Pley, Sharie Minions, Kamal Sanghera, Suki Sanghera

This spring, it was announced that “Construction is starting on $70-million sawmill and manufacturing facility for high value products that will add mill jobs in Port Alberni for the first time in years.” The CBC report referred to the San Group building a $70-million sawmill and manufacturing facility for high value products. It was good news for a city that saw the shuttering of another mill, the Western Forest Products-owned Somass Sawmill, in 2017. The Somass mill once employed more than 1,000 people. There was a time when no could have contemplated a Port Alberni without a sawmill; this was, after all, where British Columbia’s forestry industry began, 160 years ago, thanks to the enterprise of one of our most colourful pioneers of all time, Capt. Edward Stamp.

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Wood rights on the agenda

By Mike Aiken
Dryden Now
August 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford says he’ll be meeting with Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski next week, and they’ll be talking about wood rights for the Crossroute Forest, as part of plans to redevelop the old mill property in Fort Frances. “Our goal is to ensure that the mill site can once again benefit the hardworking people of the region,” Rickford said. Rickford said he met recently with Resolute Forest Products, where he expressed his “frustrations,” along with the “serious concerns” shared by the people of Fort Frances and Rainy River District, with regards to the terms of the sale of the mill site. “While the decision regarding the sale of the facility is a private matter between Resolute and Riversedge, I was encouraged by our conversation and their willingness to collaborate,” Rickford added.

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Maple Leaf Motoring: Carriers could shut down if pulp mill closes

By Nate Tabak
Freight Waves
August 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northern Pulp could cease operations in 2020 if its owner, Paper Excellence Group, cannot secure the provincial government’s approval on a new site to handle its liquid waste. The plant receives 120 trucks of wood chips and sends 50 trucks of finished pulp per day, according to a report commissioned by the union Unifor. “It’s going to hurt,” said Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association. “It could lead to closures unless these carriers are able to diversify. But they are hauling very specific products with very specific fleets.” The Unifor report, released in August, estimates that plant spends more than C$50 million per year connected to the inbound and outbound transportation. …It also would affect the port of Halifax, which receives those 50 daily trucks of finished pulp. 

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Fort Frances mayor ‘disappointed’ with sale of pulp and paper mill

The Kenora Daily Miner
August 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES – The pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances has hit a snag in its bid to reopen. …Resolute Forest Products announced the sale of the mill to a numbered company associated with Riversedge Developments for one dollar. According to the Town of Fort Frances, the town and Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford, “were led to believe that a transition to a new operator was possible.” This was not the case. …The restrictions on the property prohibit the sale to “any entity that would manufacture various types of pulp or paper products”. “…After years of representing that it was seeking a buyer for the Fort Frances mill, we are very disappointed that Resolute would now use the sale of this mill to try to debilitate this asset and hurt a community that has given so much to its bottom line,” Fort Frances Mayor June Caul said.

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Wood rights on the agenda

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
August 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford says he’ll be meeting with Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski next week, and they’ll be talking about wood rights for the Crossroute Forest, as part of plans to redevelop the old mill property in Fort Frances. “Our goal is to ensure that the mill site can once again benefit the hardworking people of the region,” Rickford said in a prepared statement. Rickford said he met recently with Resolute Forest Products, where he expressed his “frustrations,” along with the “serious concerns” shared by the people of Fort Frances and Rainy River District, with regards to the terms of the sale of the mill site. “While the decision regarding the sale of the facility is a private matter between Resolute and Riversedge, I was encouraged by our conversation and their willingness to collaborate,” Rickford added.

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Roseburg Forest Products Receives $1.3 Million in Incentives from Entergy

The El Dorado News-Times
August 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Roseburg Forest Products was recently presented with incentive checks totaling $1,366,392.00 by the Entergy Arkansas Entergy Solutions Program. The program provides technical and financial support to help Entergy Arkansas customers identify and implement projects that reduce energy usage. Roseburg Forest Products Roseburg is a wood products company headquartered in Springfield, Oregon, USA. …The Roseburg MFD El Dorado Arkansas plant partnered with Entergy Arkansas to have their interior and exterior lighting, lighting controls and variable speed drive fans upgraded, and enrolled in the Large Commercial and Industrial Solutions Program offered by Entergy Arkansas. The energy efficient improvements are saving 9,127,704 kWh annually… “When Roseburg purchased the El Dorado MDF plant earlier this year, the existing relationship with Entergy – and the outstanding energy solutions they offer – was an added bonus,” Roseburg El Dorado MDF Plant Manager Randy Reutzel said.

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State workforce services to assist Conifex employees

By Caleb Slinkard
The El Dorado News-Times
August 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EL DORADO, ARKANSAS — Conifex Timber announced it would close its El Dorado sawmill over the next six months, resulting in 92 layoffs. …Caletha Stewart, an administrative specialist with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, said the company had been in contact with the state, and that the department plans to hold a meeting at the facility to provide services to the workers who need assistance. “It depends on the service they want,” she said. …Conifex’s most recent earnings report revealed a 31% decline in earnings compared to the same quarter in 2018. Pine stumpage prices have suffered since the most recent recession and have been slowly recovering over that time, according to Dr. Kyle Cunningham, at the University of Arkansas. An abundance of available timber to harvest in the state, combined with only slowly improving demand, has impacted those prices, he said.

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Finance & Economics

US Builder Confidence is Good, But it Could be Better

By Jann Swanson
Mortgage Daily News
August 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index moved one point higher this month. However, at 66, NAHB’s measure of builder confidence in the new home market stayed within the 64 to 66 range where it has been now for four months. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, indices in the South, West, and Midwest each increased one point to 69, 73 and 57 respectively. The Northeast fell three points to 57.

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U.S. housing starts drop for third straight month

Reuters in The Financial Post
August 16, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

US homebuilding fell for a third straight month in July amid a steep decline in the construction of multi-family housing units, but a jump in permits to a seven-month high offered hope for the struggling housing market. Housing starts dropped 4.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.191 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Does mass timber help or hinder carbon reduction?

Letter by Rod Retzlaff
Nelson Star
August 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

I recently listened to an interview on the CBC where Michael Green, the man who coined the phrase “mass timber” was promoting his product by claiming that using wood to build big buildings would help save the planet by replacing concrete and steel, which contribute to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. According to Mr. Green big wooden buildings could store that carbon pent up in the wood, for years to come, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. But what about the waste wood generated in the form of slabs, sawdust, branches etc., much of which is burnt on the clearcut? Wouldn’t that be a carbon contributor? …Clearly, trying to sell mass timber as an environmental silver bullet is pure nonsense. Corporate think, like canning our natural gas to send it to China to save the planet.

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Is Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) the Concrete of the Future?

By José Tomás Franco
Arch Daily
August 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Concrete, an essential building material, has for decades offered us the possibility of shaping our cities quickly and effectively, allowing them to rapidly expand into urban peripheries and reach heights previously unimagined by mankind. Today, new timber technologies are beginning to deliver similar opportunities – and even superior ones – through materials like Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). To better understand the properties and benefits of CLT, we talked with Jorge Calderón, Industrial Designer and CRULAMM Manager. He discusses some of the promising opportunities that CLT could provide architecture in the future. What is the difference between laminated timber and CLT? …What is the environmental impact of CLT? …How does CLT behave against fire?

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Forestry

Wildfires in Canada are burning down forests of mushrooms

By Olivia Box, University of Vermont
Massive Science Inc.
August 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

…While the aboveground effects of wildfires have been devastating, new research suggests that damage is also occurring beneath the smoke and flames, impacting the diversity of fungal communities below-ground. A team of scientists from the Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada surveyed the boreal forest in Canada’s Northwest Territory area after the 2014 fire, which burned 2.85 million hectares. …They found that fungal communities, including mushrooms and mycorrhiza, in burned areas were less diverse than communities in unaffected areas. This could impact future plant growth and hamper the process of forest regeneration. …extreme repeated heat and fires can wear down an ecosystem’s ability to recover from disturbances, even that of fire-adapted boreal forests. Recent studies have shown that mycorrhizas can wither post-fire and can take up to 15 years to recover, creating lasting effects even in a fire-adapted system.

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Industry, government and environmentalists must co-operate to save boreal caribou from further decline

By Terry Abel, executive vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Vancouver Sun
August 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…But caribou populations are at risk. Their numbers are depleting. It is up to all of us — industries, governments and environmental groups — to save the boreal caribou from declining further. This isn’t an issue of economy versus environment, it is about everyone working together for the common good. One of the Canadian oil and natural gas industry’s priorities is to help find solutions to protect and recover the Boreal caribou. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers was heartened by the publication of, Room for Both, a report co-authored by the David Suzuki Foundation, Alberta Wilderness Association and Ontario Nature. CAPP agrees there is room for both: a sustainable economic future for Canadians and the preservation of a healthy caribou population. …There is a path forward. We can help save the boreal and Southern Mountain caribou and ensure a strong economic future for all Canadians with sustainable oil and natural gas development.

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Why Vancouver Island’s giant trees have never been more valuable and more in danger

By Jeremy Nuttall
The Star Vancouver
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WALBRAN VALLEY, B. C.—not far from where Vancouver Island’s southwest coast fades into the Pacific Ocean, the scent of cedar hangs in the air among great stacks of logs lining a slope like a giant staircase. …Among the logs are gigantic specimens of red cedar, Douglas fir and western hemlock, some up to 40 metres long and more than 200 years old. To the forestry industry, these are the sights and smells of employment and prosperity — the storied economic engine of Vancouver Island. To environmentalists, it’s the slaughter of nature, where ancient and unique old-growth forests are being destroyed by human greed. …On July 17, the B.C. government announced it would protect 54 old-growth trees listed on the UBC’s big tree registry, including a one-hectare buffer zone around each tree. …Wieting says it’s a “good step in the right direction, but a very small step.”

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Forest industry seeking solutions for ‘broken system’

By Dylana Milobar
CFJC Today Kamloops
August 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — After curtailments, indefinite closures, and short-notice downtime announcements for many mills in British Columbia this year, workers in the forest industry are looking for answers. Local 1-417 USW President Marty Gibbons says earlier this week, a stakeholders’ meeting was held in Kamloops to discuss the future of the Forest Act in BC. “What a lot of the stakeholders were talking about is how we need to build a system that doesn’t leave waste sitting in our forests,” He stresses, “(A system) that efficiently uses these resources that we’re actually supposed to be bringing out. The present system actually penalizes employers that bring out any sort of recovery or lower end wood based on their allowable cut. The system is broken.” Gibbons says given the recent mill closures throughout BC, the amount of residual material going to pulp mills like Domtar in Kamloops has been greatly reduced.

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Seismic lines helped butterflies survive Fort McMurray wildfire, study shows

By Bev Betkowski, University of Alberta
Phys.org
August 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

During the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2016 … seismic lines, used to locate underground oil reserves, provided refuge from the blaze, said University of Alberta researcher Federico Riva, who outlined his recent findings after studying the area a year later. Because the cleared corridors provided little fuel for the fire, they stayed almost intact, allowing plants and butterflies to survive “even when the surrounding forest was almost completely burned,” said Riva. …Not all species found in seismic lines are typical of mature forests, opening up the question of what long-term effect that could have. Some species that need burned forest, like fireweed, don’t benefit from the refuge effect, Riva noted… “Future studies should assess how refuge effects seen in plants and butterflies facilitate other organisms, such as herbivores, within severely burned landscapes, as well as the implications on forest recovery of this widespread pattern of unburned remnants,” he said.

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Lodgepole pines fire off a chemical alert to other trees when mountain pine beetles attack, researchers find

By Hamdi Issawi
The Star Edmonton
August 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON—While mountain pine beetles continue to wreak havoc on Alberta forests, research shows that some pines are getting a little help by leaning on their family trees. According to Natural Resources Canada, the ongoing pine beetle outbreak, which began in British Columbia in the 1990s, migrated up and out of that province and into north-central Alberta as of 2017. …But a new study by University of Alberta researchers found that when lodgepole pines are crawling with the invasive insects, the bugs trigger the release of a chemical in those trees that warns their relatives to boost their defences. …“In this case, these monoterpenes are primarily released from the foliage — from the needles — and they travel by wind and are distributed to almost every individual around it,” said Nadir Erbilgin, a professor at the university of Alberta. “But only a few individuals can decipher what the message is.”

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FOREST INK: Forest tenure changes are occurring throughout the world

Jim Hilton, retired professional agrologist and forester
BC Local News
August 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The link “engage.gov.bc.ca ” provides access to the 19-page Interior Forest Sector Renewal Policy and Program Engagement Discussion Paper. The online public engagement period runs from July 18, 2019 to Oct. 11, 2019 at 4 p.m. Sections one and seven deal with forest tenures and reconciliation with First Nations in B.C. Since the forest industry is very global in nature it may be useful to see what is happening in other countries. I think the following 32-page report published in 2002 is a good start. The paper “Who Owns the World’s Forests? Forest Tenure and public Forests in Transition” is written by Andy White and Alejandra Martin. As the authors point out the statistics in the report should be used with caution since they are derived from only 24 of the many dozens of countries with forests and do not reflect the amount of forest land actively claimed by Indigenous and other local communities.

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We need to involve communities in preserving their forests

Letter by Robert Hart, Kalum Land Use Plan Chair
BC Local News
August 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Much-needed new policies to shape the renewal of the interior forest industry are now being discussed – unfortunately, these discussions, going on in many communities, involve just the forest companies and First Nations. While both parties will ably represent their own goals and interests, there is no opportunity for others to do so other than through a government website – that’s unfortunate because we have a common problem. Our scientists have said with increasing clarity that we only have a decade to radically rearrange the way we interact with our planet or its adjustment to the effects of our industrial activity will be exponentially brutal. So we have to move uncomfortably quickly to managing our forests according to the dictates of the planet’s ecosystem, not our economy. Happily, for us, there has been a growing body of science on ecosystem-based management. We know how to do this.

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What bugs the bugs? Newfoundland research to fend off spruce budworm

By Bernice Hillier
CBC News
August 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Eric Moise

Researchers with the Canadian Forest Service in Newfoundland are trying to learn more about an old forest pest, the spruce budworm, in hopes of keeping it from getting out of control again. The spruce budworm devastated the island’s forests in the 1970s and 1980s, but there is currently no outbreak. Scientists are hoping it will stay that way and, to help keep budworm populations low, the researchers are studying to find out more about the moth’s natural enemies. Eric Moise, research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada, said parasitoid wasps and flies are believed to be among the budworm’s predators.  “If you’ve ever seen the movie Alien, it’s sort of a similar scenario where they’ll impregnate the spruce budworm with their eggs and, after a certain amount of time, those will hatch and out pops your wasp or your fly,” said Moise.

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Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests

By Steven Krichbaum
Counter Punch
August 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

To facilitate the fabrication of stumps, roads, and erosion in America’s National Forests, now the Trump administration has proposed to alter the USDA Forest Service’s implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA]. The 1969 NEPA was specifically designed to: 1) require the Forest Service to use science to take a full and fair hard look at the potential environmental impacts of projects such as timber sales, 2) disclose to the public this scientific information and the reasoning underlying their decisions, and 3) provide a legal mechanism for Americans to be involved in the decision-making process. This power-grab by the Trump administration would trash all three of the NEPA’s fundamental goals. …It makes sense on our National Forests to allow existing forests to achieve their biological potential and develop into their natural old growth state. Such pro-forestation is the best way to combat climate chaos and achieve multiple goals.

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Elk migration in Elkhorn Mountains affected by areas impacted by pine beetles

By John Riley
KRTV Great Falls News
August 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Elk in the Elkhorn Mountains are using less pine beetle-impacted forest areas, but it’s only one factor determining their habitat, according to a recently finalized study. The study was conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) in partnership with the Helena – Lewis and Clark National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana Department of Military Affairs, Cinnabar Foundation, Montana State University, and the Elkhorns Working Group. The study looked specifically at the impacts of mountain pine beetle on the way elk use their habitat in the Elkhorn Mountains. FWP officials radio-collared 60 elk and followed their movements over the course of four years. That data was then compared to another 1980’s study conducted in the area on elk migration patterns.

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Experts reveal what it takes to save the forest

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
August 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmentalists, politicians, bureaucrats and foresters alike maintain that a properly reinvented timber industry can save us before we all burn down.Well, maybe.But it’s complicated. Just ask Allen Reidhead — whose family has operated sawmills in Arizona for six generations, one of the key speakers at a recent forest health conference in Payson.“It’s not just you — or me — that’s going to make the difference, but the community coming together so we can protect ourselves and protect towns like Payson or Show Low. We’re just one match, one lightning strike away from being lost. What do the powers-that-be really want? Do you want to save that watershed? But what are you willing to do?”And maybe also talk to Brad Worsley, trying to save the only biomass-burning power plant in Arizona — which holds the economic key to forest thinning efforts across a vast swath of unhealthy, overcrowded, wildfire-prone land in northern Arizona.

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Logging our forests is a misguided solution to protect communities from wildfire

By George Wuerthner
Statesman Journal
August 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

George Wuerthner

Recently it was announced by Sen. Steven Daines, R-Montana, that he plans to introduce a bipartisan bill with Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-California, to protect communities from wildfire. The senators are concerned that wildfire season is getting worse and large fires are a threat to communities. On both counts, the senators are correct. However, at least part of their proposed solution, which includes more logging of our forests is misguided. The factors increasing fires are due to climate change. The scientific evidence suggests this is a result of burning fossil fuels. In other words, wildfires are a symptom of a more significant issue of human-induced climate warming, so ultimately, we must address the cause, not the symptom. But logging our forests is also not a solution. Climate/weather, not fuels drive nearly all large fires.

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Murkowski supports a ‘complete exemption’ for Tongass from Roadless Rule

By Jacob Resneck
KTOO Public Media
August 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Lisa Murkowski

A decision by President Donald Trump’s administration over exempting the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule is expected soon. That’s according to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who said Tuesday that rolling back restrictions to roadbuilding is crucial for Southeast Alaska’s economy. “I, very early on, went to the Trump administration and said as we look to the state of Alaska and the application of the Roadless Rule, we have to be able to have a plan that is specific to us,” she said Tuesday. The head of the U.S. Forest Service was directed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last summer to initiate an Alaska-specific rule for the Tongass. A 90-day comment period last fall received over 144,000 comments, and the majority expressed opposition to rolling back protections.

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Sharks, elephants and precious wood in balance at wildlife talks

By Stephanie Nebehay
Reuters
August 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

GENEVA — The fate of mako sharks, African elephants and their ivory, and precious wood used to make musical instruments are on the agenda of member states attending negotiations of the U.N. wildlife watchdog. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) regulates the buying and selling of species at risk of extinction around the world, either by imposing outright bans or by requiring permits so that rare animals and plants are not over-harvested. The 183 states… meet in Geneva from Aug 17-28 to consider 56 proposals to expand a legally binding treaty which already covers 36,000 species. …The EU and Canada are proposing that musical instruments made of rosewood be exempted from existing CITES controls on precious woods requiring trade permits.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Amid climate crisis, we must change the way we look at land

By David Suzuki
The Times-Colonist
August 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Land and agriculture are critical components in the climate crisis. According to a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, land use — including agriculture and forestry — accounts for 23 per cent of human greenhouse gas emissions, while “natural land processes absorb carbon dioxide equivalent to almost a third of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry.” Simply put, the way we manage forests and grow, process and distribute food is contributing to climate disruption, but protecting and restoring natural landscapes will help absorb excess CO2. …Planting trees, protecting green spaces, eating less meat and reforming agricultural practices won’t save us from climate chaos on their own. But, along with reducing waste, increasing energy efficiency and conservation and shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy, they’re all part of the solution.

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Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

The Morning Star
August 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Vernon-based company will see some unscheduled visitors outside its head office Monday. Earth Strike Vernon, a climate advocacy group in Vernon who have staged a handful of peaceful demonstrations over the past year, will protest outside the Tolko head office. The move, said group co-founder Kieran Grandbois, is to protest what he said is Tolko’s plan to log an area close to Vernon’s water supply. “A scientific report from the Regional District of the North Okanagan concluded that the results could be “catastrophic” for the drinking water,” said Grandbois. …Grandbois said that while clear-cutting is an economical process that involves cutting all trees in a certain, it’s not without “devastating environmental impacts”.

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Study finds invasive insects are a big contributor to climate change

By Dan Kraker
MPR News
August 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Invasive insects like the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer — which are steadily marching across Minnesota and the rest of the country, feasting on trees and ultimately killing them — are also contributing to climate change, according to a study released last week.  Trees hold a tremendous amount of sequestered carbon in their wood, leaves and roots. When they die, much of that stored carbon is released into the atmosphere, which in turn helps trap heat in the atmosphere. In the study, researchers for the first time quantified just how much carbon is released into the atmosphere when all those trees succumb to non-native insects. The researchers from Purdue University and the U.S. Forest Service found the dead trees release 5.5 teragrams of carbon annually into the atmosphere. That’s comparable to carbon emissions from 4.4 million cars, or nearly one-fifth of all wildfires in the U.S. annually. 

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Health & Safety

Port Angeles man badly hurt while logging

Peninsula Daily News
August 18, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

FORKS — A Port Angeles man was in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center on Saturday after a log rolled onto him while he was logging in the Forks area on Friday. Terry Tyler, 29, suffered a broken pelvis and ankle and possibly has internal injuries, according to his sister-in-law, Ashley Gourley, on a fundraising Facebook page. She posted on Saturday that he would have surgery on Monday. …The wooded area is located north of Highway 101 and can be accessed from a logging road located near milepost 198. Law enforcement arrived a short time after the initial 911 call and learned that 29-year-old Terry Tyler from Port Angeles was working for The Dahlgren logging Company when he was seriously injured by a log that had rolled onto him. 

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