Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 27, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Brazil rejects G-7 donation to fight fires

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 27, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Headlining the forest fire news, the Amazon continues to burn and G7 leaders have offered significant financial assistance but Brazil’s president rejected their offer. However, an atmospheric scientist says Amazon fires won’t deplete the planet’s oxygen, points to oceans as the lungs of the earth. Will these fires change how regulators view the business of carbon offsets?

Closer to home, Arizona sees “Chip and Ship” as a way to protect from forest fires and Oregon learns to live with fire to improve forest health. 

Interfor CEO Duncan Davies says these are challenging times, and if it were up to him, he’d work forever.  

Finally, how did you celebrate National Toilet Paper Day? NRDC asks you to ‘wipe-right’!

Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

‘I’d work forever, but that’s not fair’: Interfor announces leadership change amid headwinds

By Gabriel Friedman
National Post
August 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duncan Davies

Duncan Davies, who transformed Interfor Corp. from a small timber outfit on British Columbia’s coast into an $800-million forestry giant over the past two decades, announced on Monday he will step down. Interfor’s board has appointed Ian Fillinger, currently chief operating officer, to assume the role of president and chief executive officer early next year. The leadership change comes as the forestry industry suffers through a series of headwinds, including an ongoing trade dispute with the United States, and the devastation of British Columbia’s forests by the mountain pine beetle. The situation has left many companies, including Interfor, with a share price trading at multi-year lows. “If it were strictly up to me I’d work forever, but that’s not fair,” said Davies, 68, adding, “I don’t run away from challenges, and this is a challenging time.”

Read More

B.C. won’t slash stumpage fees to help struggling forestry sector

By Megan Turcato
Global News
August 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the downturn in the forestry sector impacts hundreds of B.C. workers, the province’s political parties are at odds over how to fix the problem. One Okanagan Liberal MLA called on the government this week to reduce stumpage fees, the money it charges industry to log on public land. However, the government said it’s not interested in “wholesale” changes to the stumpage system, which it said could make it more expensive for Canadian producers to sell to the U.S. in the long run. B.C. has seen a string of mills close or take downtime this year and it’s not just mill workers who are losing their jobs. Todd Chamberlain, the general manager of the Interior Logging Association, said hundreds of harvesters, log haulers and road contractors are also out of work.

Read More

Rickford talks resource revenue sharing

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
August 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A resource revenue sharing agreement with Treaty 3 is set to go into effect this fall. By the spring provincial budget, Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford is expected to provide more detail on his plans for resource revenue sharing with municipalities, as well. “The infrastructure that’s in our towns and cities to support resource operations takes a big hit,” he said, during a recent interview. “You see the road out to Kenora Forest Products and some of the access roads downtown, with huge logging trucks moving across it,” the minister continued. “So, our model’s going to include support and help for those municipalities that feel that pressure and make sure that money, some of that money, stays here where it belongs instead of in Toronto,” Rickford added.

Read More

Amazon fires: G7 to release funds for fire-fighting planes

BBC News
August 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

French President Emmanuel Macron said G7 countries would release $22m (£18m). However, President Jair Bolsonaro said Mr Macron’s plan of an “alliance” to “save” the Amazon treated Brazil “as if we were a colony or no man’s land”. …The funding pledge was announced as the leaders of the G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – continue to meet in Biarritz, France. Mr Macron said the funds would be made available “immediately” – primarily to pay for more fire-fighting planes – and that France would also “offer concrete support with military in the region within the next few hours”. However, Mr Bolsonaro – who has been engaged in a public row with Mr Macron in recent weeks – accused the French leader of launching “unreasonable and gratuitous attacks against the Amazon region”, and “hiding his intentions behind the idea of an ‘alliance’ of G7 countries”.

Read More

Brazil rejects G-7 Amazon aid citing its lack of involvement in decision to grant it

By Marina Lopes and Terrence McCloy
The Washington Post
August 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil will reject a donation of $22.2 million to help fight the fires that have swept across the Amazon because it was not involved in the decision-making process, the country’s ambassador to France said Tuesday. …The decision escalates an international spat between Brazil’s right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro and the European countries led by French President Emmanuel Macron, who have pledged to fight the Amazon fires but condemned Bolsonaro’s lack of commitment to the environment. On Monday, Bolsonaro — a climate change skeptic — questioned the aid’s “colonial mentality.” “We cannot accept that a President, Macron… disguises his intentions… to ‘save’ the Amazon, as if it were a colony or no man’s land.” Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo urged European countries to channel aid through the United Nations Climate Convention instead of creating new initiatives. 

Read More

Finance & Economics

Canfor Special Committee Provides Process Update

Canfor Corporation
August 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC — Canfor Corporation announces that the Special Committee of Canfor’s board of directors has retained Greenhill & Co., Canada, Ltd. as financial advisor to the Special Committee. Greenhill’s mandate will include the preparation of a formal independent valuation of the common shares of Canfor in accordance with Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions. 

Read More

U.S. Mortgage Rates Decline to 3-Year Low in August

The World Property Journal
August 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate in the U.S. averaged 3.55 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2016. Compared to this time last year, 30-year fixed rates were down by 96 basis points. More significantly, 30-year fixed rates are down by 139 basis points since last November’s most recent peak of 4.94%.

Read More

Wall Street sees elevated recession risk, market woes after US and China stoke trade fears

By them Franck
CNBC Markets
August 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

Some Wall Street strategists are warning clients about elevated recession risks and market dangers after the U.S. and China escalated their trade war last week. Morgan Stanley says that the global economy would fall into recession if the U.S. raises tariffs on all imports from China to 25% and Beijing follows suit.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

The battle between wood and concrete construction

By Derek Lobo, founder and CEO of SVN Rock Advisors
Real Estate News Exchange
August 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

New construction techniques promise changes to the development industry, but materials interests should not be afraid. When it comes to building mid-rise, multi-family residential buildings, there’s a new kid in town. Wood-frame construction is already shaking up the development industry, prompting people behind the traditional ways of doing things to warn against embracing the new construction technique just yet. Is wood the new super-material that will take the purpose-built rental apartment industry into the future? Or are we unwise to throw out the old ways with the bathwater? …Around the year 2000, new construction techniques and new lumber products started to make wood a useful construction material in larger buildings. …The concrete and steel industries, fearing the loss of market share, have fired back, questioning the wisdom of changing the building codes, and questioning the safety and environmental sensitivity of wood as a construction material for mid-rise buildings.

Read More

Pledge to “Wipe Right” on National Toilet Paper Day

Natural Resource Defense Council
August 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is urging American consumers to mark National Toilet Paper Day by pledging to use recycled toilet paper—or “wipe right”—to save more than one million trees from the tree-to-toilet pipeline. “The tragic Amazon fires burning right now show how fragile the world’s forests really are,” said Shelley Vinyard, Boreal Corporate Campaign Manager at NRDC. “If every American switched one roll of toilet paper made from trees to a roll made from 100% recycled materials, we could save over 1 million trees, which are critical to meeting the world’s goals for avoiding catastrophic climate change. It would also show companies it’s time for them to stop flushing our trees down the toilet.”

Read More

Forestry

The many benefits of community forests Salmon Arm Observer

By Jim Cooperman, president of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society
Salmon Arm Observer
August 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The community forest program began in British Columbia in 1998, when the government amended the Forest Act to allow for long-term community forest tenures. Beginning with a few pilot tenures, the program expanded in 2004 to allow for long-term agreements and again in 2009, so that communities could obtain 25-year, renewable licenses. Currently, there are 58 community forests and five more with invitations to apply. …These are uncertain times for forestry in the province, with 34 partial or complete mill closures, declining lumber prices and far fewer trees to log due to beetles, fires and decades of overcutting. Community forests are one way to lessen the impacts and, as Mayor Acton explained, to provide greater local benefits for local resources. Talks are underway to initiate more community forests in the Shuswap, near Enderby and in the North Shuswap. Hopefully, these discussions will bear fruit and more communities will benefit from our local forests.

Read More

Japanese legislators hear from Washington foresters

By TJ Martinell
The Lens
August 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, International

Looking to improve their country’s struggling forestry industry, congressmen from Hyogo Prefectural Assembly’s Forestry Development Committee in Japan have turned to Washington foresters such as Ken Miller, who along with his wife Bonnie represent the 216,000 small forestland owners in the state. …Almost two-thirds of Japan is forestland. Yet according to Japan’s English news site Nippon, the country’s forestry industry has suffered a decline for almost 40 years, following a post-World War II boom. …However, Miller told the Japanese delegation that public attitude toward foresters can decide not just the industry’s place among competing legislature funding priorities, but can also result in public policy decisions  that he believes doesn’t always reflect scientific data. …In the end, he says the best way to help the industry is to encourage further use of wood products. “If a higher percentage of the world builds with wood, it improves the value of forestland.”

Read More

‘Chip and Ship’ Project Aims to Speed up Forest Restoration in Northern Arizona

By Ryan Heinsius
KNAU Arizona Public Radio
August 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Large-scale forest restoration in northern Arizona is behind schedule. One of the major hurdles is that there are very few places for low-value logs and slash to go once it’s cut. It’s known as the “biomass bottleneck,” but a new pilot program spearheaded by Northern Arizona University’s Ecological Restoration Institute aims to tap wood markets on the other side of the globe, and hopefully reduce the chances catastrophic wildfire back home. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports. …4FRI managers eventually want to treat 50,000 acres a year, which would produce a million-and-a-half tons of biomass annually. The chip-and-ship program could export a third of that by sending hundreds of shipping containers to Asia for at least the next decade. The idea has strong bipartisan political support. …Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said, “we will continue to have those dangerous wildfires until we finish this work of healthy prevention”.

Read More

Forest Service keeps wildfires burning in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains for forest health

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
August 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For decades, the U.S. Forest Service has talked about the need to allow wildfires to burn more naturally to improve forest health across the West. But in an age of megafires that threaten cities and pollute the air with unhealthy smoke, it has been difficult for the agency to actually allow wildfires to burn.  That’s especially true in Western Oregon, where the forests are filled with economically important timber and the wilderness areas are filled with hikers fueling an outdoor recreation economy.  But in northeast Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains, they’ve found it easier to live with active wildfires. This summer fire managers are allowing the 3,400-acre Granite Gulch Fire to burn deep in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in an effort to improve forest health, a practice officials say they attempt at least once each summer. 

Read More

After the fire: How management impacts forest

By Craig Reed
Capital Press
August 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Different management styles for the forest, pre- and post-catastrophic wildfires, were the key talking points during the Aug. 22 “Return to the Burn” tour of the Bland Mountain and Stouts Creek fire areas. About 50 people participated in the tour that was organized by Communities for Healthy Forests, a nonprofit group whose goal is to provide education about restoring and rehabilitating forests. … They agreed that measures can be taken to lessen the chance of a spark turning into a wildfire. But they acknowledged that public and private land managers have different restrictions and policies that govern how they are able to manage forestlands. They also agreed that fires, no matter what size, need to be put out as soon as possible. It was emphasized that 93% of wildfires in the Douglas District of Southwestern Oregon are limited to less than 10 acres.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

If Carbon Offsets Require Forests to Stay Standing, What Happens When the Amazon Is on Fire?

By Lisa Song
ProPublica
August 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Next month, California regulators will decide whether to support a plan for tropical forest carbon offsets, a controversial measure that could allow companies like Chevron, which is headquartered there, to write off some of their greenhouse gas emissions by paying people in countries like Brazil to preserve trees. The Amazon rainforest has long been viewed as a natural testing ground for this proposed Tropical Forest Standard, which, if approved, would likely expand to countries throughout the world. …But the devastating blaze encapsulates a key weakness of offsets that scientists have been warning about for the past decade: that they are too vulnerable to political whims and disasters like wildfires. As a recent ProPublica investigationnoted, if you give corporations a pass to pollute by saying their emissions are being canceled out somewhere else, you need a way to guarantee that continues to be the case.

Read More

Forest Fires

Crews battle Jordan Bay forest fire in challenging conditions

CBC News
August 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Crews battled an estimated 15-hectare forest fire in Jordan Bay, N.S., under challenging conditions on Monday. “The fire started in what looks like a … kind of a dried bog,” said Scott Tingley, the acting manager of forest protection for the Department of Lands and Forestry.  “The fire’s burning very deep and it’s challenging terrain for the crews to walk over,” he said. “It’s kind of slow going on the ground for crews.”  Two department helicopters are dropping water and bringing in equipment, he said. Twelve members from the department are stationed in the area along with two firefighters from the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department. 

Read More

A total of 17 forest fires are burning across the northeast

Sudbury.com
August 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A total of 17 fires are burning across the northeast, according to Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services. There were five new wildland fires still active by late afternoon on August 25, and six fires are not under control at the time of this update.  The remaining 11 fires are either being held or under control. Pembroke 5 is currently 0.2 of a hectare. The fire is located northeast of Bissett Creek Provincial Park. Wawa 12 is listed at 0.1 of a hectare and is located north of Nimoosh Provincial Park.  North Bay 24 is under control at 0.1 of a hectare. This fire is located south of Lake Temagami.  Algonquin Park 21 is listed at 0.3 of a hectare and is located southwest of Dickson Lake. 

Read More

Amazon fires are destructive, but they aren’t depleting Earth’s oxygen supply

By Scott Denning, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
The Conversation US
August 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Fires in the Amazon rainforest have captured attention worldwide in recent days. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in 2019, pledged in his campaign to reduce environmental protection and increase agricultural development in the Amazon, and he appears to have followed through on that promise. The resurgence of forest clearing in the Amazon, which had decreased more than 80% following a peak in 2004, is alarming for many reasons. …The oft-repeated claim that the Amazon rainforest produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen is based on a misunderstanding. In fact nearly all of Earth’s breathable oxygen originated in the oceans, and there is enough of it to last for millions of years. …In sum, Brazil’s reversal on protecting the Amazon does not meaningfully threaten atmospheric oxygen. Even a huge increase in forest fires would produce changes in oxygen that are difficult to measure. 

Read More