Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 6, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US on short end of trade disputes with Canada, China

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

Despite NAFTA’s favourable ruling on Canadian lumber—requiring the US to rethink its injury assessment on softwood imports—this is just the first step in a long process. In related news: Trump’s trade war with China has reduced US hardwood exports to China and stalled Alaskan timber sales with Chinese companies.

In Forestry/Climate news: Canada and BC agree to coordinate their environmental impact assessments; how the Amazon fires have changed over time; Canada’s boreal may be the Amazon eco-warriors’ next target; and the UK’s plan for climate change involves planting and managing trees.

Finally, don’t miss out on early bird savings for the SFI’s 2019  annual conference

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

NAFTA Chapter 19 Panel remands ITC determination against imports of Canadian Softwood Lumber

By Greg Tereposky and Daniel Hohnstein, LLP
Lexology
September 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

On 4 September 2019, a NAFTA binational panel established under Chapter 19 of the NAFTA issued a decisionremanding the injury decision of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in the Softwood Lumber from Canada anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation. This is the ninth binational panel decision in the long-running Softwood Lumber dispute. …The binational panel process is unique to North America. …Rather than assessing compliance with the international rights and obligations under the NAFTA, a binational panel assesses whether determinations are “in accordance with the anti-dumping or countervailing duty law of the importing Party” — in this instance the law of the United States. …The panel remanded back to the ITC for its reconsideration the following 12 elements of its determination and directed the ITC. …Thus, it is possible that there will be multiple remands in this proceeding and, if so, this is just the first step in the process.

Read More

Canadian lumber industry celebrates NAFTA panel ruling

By Levon Sevunts
Radio Canada International
September 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada’s lumber industry is celebrating an apparent win in the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S. after a binational NAFTA panel ruled there were insufficient grounds for the U.S. International Trade Commission to determine that Canadian softwood lumber products had “injured” the U.S. softwood industry. Susan Yurkovich, President of the British Columbia Lumber Trade Council, said… “the NAFTA Panel rightly questioned how the USITC could reach an affirmative determination of injury when the U.S. industry was enjoying the most profitable period in its history”. The binational panel, which was created under NAFTA’s Chapter 19, has given the USITC 90 days to issue a new determination. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland also welcomed the unanimous decision and said it supports what Canada has been saying all along. Canada is challenging the U.S. Commerce Department’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty determinations before separate NAFTA panels.

Read More

NAFTA panel says U.S. can’t show harm from Canadian softwood industry

The Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
September 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA — A joint NAFTA panel has given the United States three months to rethink its tariffs on imported Canadian softwood lumber but the saga for Canada’s troubled softwood companies is far from over. The five panel members — including three Canadians and two Americans — said in a ruling Wednesday they couldn’t agree with the U.S. International Trade Commission that there was evidence Canadian imports were causing injury to the U.S. industry. It gave the commission 90 days to reconsider the evidence it used to draw that conclusion. …Among the panel’s findings is that the U.S. softwood industry was in the midst of its most profitable period ever, which made it hard to accept the conclusion that Canadian wood was harming it. …Canada has multiple challenges under NAFTA and the World Trade Organization over the duties and the injury claim. Thursday’s ruling deals with the latter, and if eventually the commission changes its mind, the duties would then have to be withdrawn.

Read More

Canada-U.S. softwood case sent back to International Trade Commission to review flaws in 2017 ruling

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
September 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A binational panel has sent the Canada-U.S. softwood case back to the U.S. International Trade Commission for further review, citing flaws in the ITC’s 2017 ruling that Canadian lumber shipments are injuring the U.S. forestry sector. But the panel ruled this week that it rejects Canada’s argument that specialty wood products such as Western red cedar should be excluded from U.S. duties imposed in 2017 on Canadian lumber sold south of the border. …Canada has been battling the influential U.S. industry group named COALITION, which stands for Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations Or Negotiations. …Don Demens, Western Forest Products CEO, …expressed disappointment over Western red cedar still being subject to U.S. duties….Western Forest Products maintains that Western red cedar is a premium product that is sold primarily as high-end wood for exterior decoration and not as structural lumber used for home construction. [Access to this article requires a subscription to the Globe and Mail]

Read More

Another Devastating Sawmill Closure Reinforces Urgent Need for Changes to B.C. Forestry Policy

By the United Steelworks
Cision Newswire
September 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MAPLE RIDGE, BC – …In the last 18 years, B.C. has lost hundreds of sawmills and tens of thousands of jobs, while raw log exports remain at record high levels. In the first term of the then-B.C. Liberal government, sweeping changes were made to decades of B.C. forest policy and any notion of a social contract that tied logs to communities was decimated. …This radical change was a departure from long-standing provincial policy, which existed through governments of different political stripes. …With the closure of Hammond Cedar, Interfor operates only one coastal sawmill, continues to export raw logs and owns 13 mills in the United States. …British Columbia still has a forest industry, but it will continue on the current trajectory unless forest policy again reflects B.C. forests as a public resource to be utilized in a way that maximizes domestic jobs and local benefits. 

Read More

With Boat Harbour closure looming, union awaits notice on impact for employees

By Brendan Ahern
The Chronicle Herald
September 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PICTOU, N.S. — The union that represents Northern Pulp workers says it expects to receive notice by early January about how jobs will be impacted by a potential closure. The mill is legislated to stop operations at the Boat Harbour treatment facility at the end of January 2020. “The collective agreement requires the employer to give notice of a closure at the end of December if they’re going to close,” said Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor national president Jerry Dias. “…we are expecting that they are going to give us that notice just because there’s no guarantee that they’re not going to have to shut down at some time in December or early January.” At a press conference Dias pointed to the results of a Unifor funded study that indicated 2,700 potential job losses in the Nova Scotia forestry sector if the mill were to close. Northern Pulp cannot operate without an effluent treatment facility.

Read More

Trump’s trade war with China lands blow at Central New York lumber mill

By Mark Weiner
syracuse.com
September 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The last time Dickie Scutt thought his job at a Cortland lumber mill might be on the line — during the Great Recession a decade ago – China saved the day. A growing Chinese middle class developed a taste for American hardwoods, a status symbol for those who could afford American red oak floors, kitchen cabinets or furniture. Gutchess Lumber… now sells about 50 percent of its lumber to customers in China. …The mill has become a victim of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. …The privately-held company’s revenue is down 20 to 25%. …The cutbacks at Gutchess Lumber have rippled through the eight locations where the company owns sawmills, lumber and log yards in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania. …American hardwood sales to China plummeted by $615 million, a drop of 39 percent… according to the American Hardwood Export Council.

Read More

US-China trade dispute stalls timber sale negotiations in Haines

By Claire Stremple
KTOO Public Media
September 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

ALASKA — Negotiations between the University of Alaska and a Chinese buyer ground to a halt last month as a result of an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. The sale is on hold until there is a change in tariffs. Morgan Howard from the University of Alaska Land Management office said the potential buyer is still interested in a timber contract. But not right now. …The current tariff on spruce logs exported to China is 25%. Howard said they are still looking at infrastructure, permitting and potential markets for the spruce and hemlock. …Conservation groups want to keep the forests standing. So the clash between the President Donald Trump’s administration and China is working in their favor. “It’s amusing to say the least,” said Jessica Plachta, the director of Lynn Canal Conservation.

Read More

Finance & Economics

USDA: US exports 450,000 tons of wood pellets in July

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
September 5, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

The U.S. exported 451,299.1 tons of wood pellets in July, according to data published by the USDA. Exports were down when compared to the 694,515.3 tons exported in June and the 476,634.8 tons exported in July 2018. The U.S. exported wood pellets to approximately 18 countries. …The value of wood pellet exports reached $58.54 million in July, down from $88.139 million in June and $66.03 million in July 2018.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Catalyst rising: Cross-laminated timber structure takes shape in U-District

By Nicholas Deshais
The Spokesman Review
September 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

First came the bridge, then came the big wooden building. Work on the Catalyst campus at the south landing of the University District Gateway Bridge has moved quickly, and the two buildings under construction are on pace to be complete early next year. …Construction on the $50 million, five-story, 164,000-square-foot Catalyst Building became a sight to behold at the end of July, when panels of cross-laminated timbers arrived. …“How it looks is pretty spectacular,” said Pat Roberts, McKinstry’s director of mechanical construction for the Inland Northwest. …Beside it being the first net-zero building in the Inland Northwest, it’s the first CLT building in the state. “Spokane is stepping up and going first,” Boeckman said.

Read More

“Mass timber” projects at universities receive federal grants

The Magnolia Reporter
September 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Four universities in Arkansas and Texas are among 10 nationally that have been awarded $100,000 each from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Mass Timber University Grant Program. The partnership with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities supports the construction of mass timber buildings on college campuses across the country and brings $136 million in university matching funds. This grant program showcases the architectural and commercial viability of mass timber in building construction. Receiving grants in Arkansas and Texas are the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design; Rice University in Houston for its Mass Timber Project proposal in residential housing; San Jacinto College, Central Campus Classroom Building; and Stephen F. Austin State University, New Dining Hall, Residence Hall, Welcome Center and Fine Arts Addition & Renovation.

Read More

Forestry

The Amazon’s forest fires are a global peril – but so are Canada’s

By Arno Kopecky
The Globe and Mail
September 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

…if the international community is going to start enlisting eco-warriors to save the planet’s trees in the name of fighting climate change, Canada had better get ready to be invaded too. That’s because our borders happen to contain the second-largest intact forest on Earth after the Amazon. It’s called the boreal and it’s been emitting more carbon than it absorbs since 2002. This is partly due to a logging industry that mows down more than 400,000 hectares of it each year, mostly to supply the United States with Kleenex and toilet paper. These clear-cuts release 12 per cent of the annual emissions Canada has agreed to cut by 2030 under the Paris Agreement. They also put us in third place for intact forest loss, accounting for 15 per cent of the global total, behind only Russia and Brazil – in fact, on a per capita basis, we lead them by a large margin.

Read More

Vancouver Island team joins Amazon forest-fire battle

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Port Alberni-based Coulson Aviation has been drawn into the forest-fire fight in the Amazon. The firefighting division of the Coulson Group of companies has been asked by the Bolivian government to help in fighting and suppressing fires in its part of the Amazon rainforest. Foster Coulson, who is in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, working with that country’s Defence Ministry, said the company now has three helicopters … and a crew of 16 in Bolivia to offer aerial support to firefighters on the ground. …The Amazon’s fires are burning well into Bolivia. Some reports suggest 1.5 million hectares in that country have been affected so far. Coulson, who said they are contracted for at least 15 days in Bolivia, would only say it was “priceless” when asked what the contract was worth. …“We have evolved into a global company where customers rely on our aircraft and services 12 months out of the year, 24 hours per day,” he said.

Read More

Beefing up wildfire security

By Lorene Keitch
Columbia Valley Pioneer
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…the B.C. government and the BC Cattlemen’s Association are recognizing another benefit to cattle grazing: wildfire risk reduction. The government put $500,000 into the Cattlemen’s coffers this last May, for partnerships and investigations into initiatives that will use grazing livestock to manage fine fuels. “Using cattle and livestock grazing minimizes the growth of annual and perennial grasses, which helps to reduce wildfire risks,” Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said in a press release. “It’s one example of what we’re doing to reduce the threat of wildfires, while supporting the ranching sector and maintaining wildlife habitat in our province.” …This is a unique partnership between the provincial government and the Cattlemen’s association; Mr. Boon said it is the first partnership of its kind in Canada.

Read More

Trees from Summerland nursery planted around the province

By John Arendt
Pentiction Western News
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Summerland nursery has been supplying trees for forestry replant projects throughout the province and beyond. Ron Boerboom, president of Mountain View Growers, Inc., said the nursery is producing around 25 million seedlings this year on its 20-hectare operation. This year, most of the seedlings will be planted in British Columbia, although some will also be sent to Alberta. When Boerboom travels within the province, he sees areas where seedlings from Mountain View Growers are now becoming established trees. …Mountain View Growers was started by Boerboom’s father in 1961. The family had immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1952. They started an orchard and greenhouse operation in the early 1960s.

Read More

Cumberland wants to hear views on trees

By Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley Record
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Village of Cumberland is conducting an online survey of the community about its Urban Forest Management Plan as part of the process of developing the plan this fall. …“The biggest issue is what people want to do on their property,” says Mayor Leslie Baird. People do not necessarily want the Village to have control over what trees they can have on their property. “I agree in some respects, but we also can’t cut all the trees down,” she adds. “The trees are very important to the environment.” …The idea for the urban forest plan is not a new one, says Baird. …the Village has now hired a consultant to guide the process toward completion. 

Read More

Canada, B.C. strengthen co-operation on impact assessments

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and George Heyman, British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, have signed a bilateral agreement to co-operate on project reviews under Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act and British Columbia’s new Environmental Assessment Act. The governments of Canada and British Columbia are working together to protect the environment and strengthen the economy. The Canada-British Columbia Impact Assessment Cooperation Agreement sets out how the two jurisdictions will work together on impact assessments that require approvals from both levels of government, using substituted and co-ordinated assessments and joint review panels. This will ensure a more predictable and timely process, increased efficiency and certainty, and result in quality assessments that draw on the best available expertise.

Read More

Thousands of B.C.’s endangered whitebark pine logged on private land

By Ben Parfit
The Narwhal
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thousands of some of Canada’s most endangered trees are falling in logging operations in British Columbia on privately owned land due to lax regulations, The Narwhal has learned.  According to a provincial government database, CanWel Timber Ltd. has logged more than 5,000 cubic metres of whitebark pine trees since 2016. The company’s operations include logging on 55,000 hectares of privately owned forest in the ecologically rich Elk Valley in southeastern British Columbia. CanWel took over Jemi Fibre Corp. in 2016. The logging has occurred despite the federal government formally listing whitebark pine trees as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act in 2012. According to the same database, only one company has logged more of the critically endangered trees since they were listed. That company, as detailed in a previous investigation by The Narwhal, is Canfor — B.C.’s largest forest company. The vast majority of Canfor’s logging occurs on public lands.

Read More

British Columbia Forest Practices Board Replaces Legacy Backup Solution and Optimizes Cloud Data Management with Veeam

By Veeam
Yahoo Finance
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Veeam® Software, the leader in Backup solutions that deliver Cloud Data Management™, today announced that British Columbia’s Forest Practices Board, an independent, public watchdog for sound forest and range practices, has chosen Veeam Availability SuiteTM to replace its current legacy backup system. The Forest Practices Board opted to upgrade its unreliable and outdated system and implement Veeam with NetApp ONTAP along with tape-based backups in Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier to transform its business continuity and disaster recovery strategy. …“We can’t risk losing field data,” said Tim Slater, Manager of Corporate Services and Information Systems at Forest Practices Board. “Lost data means staff and contractors making a second trip to the field, requiring them to rent a helicopter again. The cost could double to tens of thousands of dollars. Our organization is government-funded, so we are very aware of every cost.”

Read More

Logging not major factor in Peachland water issues

BC Forest Practices Board
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An investigation of the impacts of forestry activities on drinking water from the Peachland and Trepanier community watersheds has found that forest licensees did a good job of minimizing the impacts of logging on water and that natural processes played a much larger role in the boil water advisories that Peachland has experienced in recent years. “There was high snow accumulation and significant rainfall events during the spring snowmelt of 2017 and 2018 that led to increases in the amount of sediment in the water,” said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board. “The investigation also confirmed that a landslide that led to a boil water advisory was the result of natural stream dynamics and saturated soils and was not caused by forestry activity.” In addition to natural processes, the investigation found other developments and activities that may be contributing sediment to streams and potentially affecting water quality. 

Additional news coverage of this story in Castanet here

Read More

Council, minister clash over planned forestry road in Port Blandford

By Garrett Barry
CBC News
September 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Chad Holloway

A provincial government plan to truck logs out a Nalcor-built dirt road has Port Blandford’s town council threatening legal action — and has a government minister urging them to bring forward evidence. Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has endorsed a commercial wood harvesting plan that would use a Nalcor access road to bring timber from two sites onto the Trans Canada-Highway. Chad Holloway, the mayor of Port Blandford, said the plan creates a dangerous, high-traffic intersection within his town boundaries; Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne says it’s the exact same traffic that rolled without a hitch when Nalcor used the road to build the Labrador-Island Link.

Read More

Ontario provides $2.4 million in funding for training in forestry sector

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
Government of Ontario
September 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — Ontario’s Government is helping people across Northwestern Ontario prepare for successful careers in the forestry sector by partnering with employers and investing in publicy-funded access to skills training. Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced over $2.4 million in provincial funding for two innovative skills training projects. These training projects help get people working by providing them with the technical and job-ready skills they need. The training projects also help employers by providing sector-focused employment services, including job matching and placement, and post-employment retention services. …Confederation College is receiving $1,193,467 in funding to help 144 workers and people looking for jobs gain the skills and work experience needed by employers in Thunder Bay. 

Read More

Timberland Commits to Plant 50 Million Trees Over Next Five Years

Timberland
Business Wire in the Ottawa Citizen
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

STRATHAM, N.H. — Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland announced a new commitment to plant 50 million trees around the world by 2025 as part of its pursuit of a greener future. …Over the next five years, Timberland will support multiple re-forestation initiatives around the world in support of a greener future. To help realize its 50 million tree commitment, Timberland will partner with a range of organizations that support the environment through large-scale regreening and tree planting efforts. These organizations include the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, GreenNetwork, TREE AID, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Connect4Climate – World Bank Group, Justdiggit, Las Lagunas Ecological Park, Trees for the Future, American Forests and Treedom.

Read More

Ancient farmers burned the Amazon, but today’s fires are very different

By Kate Evans
National Geographic
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Across the burning Amazon, smoke is rising and fine particles of charcoal are falling softly to the ground. …According to NASA, this year’s fires are more intense than in previous years, too. But Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research has only been keeping fire records since 1998, and two decades isn’t long in the life of a forest where trees live for centuries and humans have been setting fires for millennia. Paleoecology—the study of ancient environments—offers unique insights into how the first Amazonian peoples manipulated fire in the landscape, the effects of those fires on the forest’s ecology over time, and lessons that might help to prevent modern fires. Layers of charcoal buried below the rainforest’s surface reveal that for thousands of years, the Amazon’s ancient inhabitants used fire to clear the forest floor for agriculture—and that it had a lasting effect, making those areas more fire prone today.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

How you can be part of the global tree-planting effort

CBC News
September 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

A study published last month in the journal Science said the best way to fight climate change is to plant at least a trillion trees worldwide. …If you’ve been wanting to help in this worldwide effort, but aren’t sure where to start, here are some pointers. …There are groups and organizations that will do that crucial legwork for you. Trees Winnipeg, for example, has a program that will match homeowners with the best tree for their yard, and even supply everything they’ll need to get it off to a healthy start. There’s also the non-profit organization LEAF, which works in and around Toronto. …Can I make a donation so someone else can plant trees? Absolutely. Tree Canada can help you do that. It’s a registered charity that has been boosting the country’s urban forests for more than 25 years. 

Read More

Climate change and forestry: the time for action is now

By the Forestry Commission
Government of the United Kingdom
September 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

There is now a convincing body of evidence that we are facing a climate emergency. Planting and managing trees, forests and woodlands so that they are fit for the future must be part of our nation’s response. Growing trees removes carbon dioxide from the air, and stores the carbon in wood products throughout their life. …They are a renewable source of energy today, and a sustainable raw material for the future bio-economy. But trees can only help reduce the negative impacts of a changing climate if they are resilient to those challenges themselves. As one of many signatories of the Climate Change Accord, we know that we must take urgent action. …The Forestry Commission has a key role to play, and we will continue to work closely with our Climate Change Action Plan partners and all parts of the tree, woods and forestry sector to protect our woodlands for future generations.

Read More

Health & Safety

Workplace accidents trending downwards in Nova Scotia

The Chronicle Herald
September 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fewer people are being hurt on the job in the residential construction industry, leading to lower workers’ compensation premiums. The industry rate in residential construction is set to decline by nine per cent in 2020, WCB Nova Scotia announced this week, as part of its release of 2020 employer rates for workplace injury insurance. Over the years, the construction community in Nova Scotia has made progress through education and training, thanks to safety association initiatives, access to resources and awareness campaigns, the board said in a news release. …“This is a step in the right direction for our members,” said Karen Slaunwhite, executive officer of Canadian Home Builders’ Association — Nova Scotia. …Other industries that have improved their safety and return-to-work records include logging and forestry.

Read More

Resolute Employees Contribute to Important Research on Night Shift Worker Fatigue

By Resolute Forest Products
The Market Screener
September 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Back in the early 2000s, the management team at Resolute’s La Doré (Quebec) sawmill noticed that the workers responsible for sorting lumber during the night shift were susceptible to making errors when they became drowsy. …Daniel Roy, Sylvain Bélanger and Dany Lamontagne became concerned about the workers’ safety and well-being. …Susanne Julien, a representative of the local health agency put them in touch with a research team from Laval University led by Dr. Marc Hébert, whose work focused on sleep disorders. Night-shift employees were invited to test a new device designed to adjust their biological clocks to the inversion of day and night. The lens of the device cut off blue light rays that are associated with daylight, thereby tricking the workers’ biological clocks into thinking it was nighttime and sending a signal to their brains that it was time to sleep.

Read More

Report: Conveying biomass – A guide to belt selection

Dry Cargo International
September 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International
Conveyor belts carrying biomass have to face the perfect storm; they operate in highly explosive, combustible environ­ments. They need to be completely anti-static and self-extinguish as quickly as possible if ignited. They convey materials that contain potentially damaging materials in terms of oils and resins. They are under constant attack by the elements including ozone pollution and ultra violet. They have to be safe, reliable and provide an operational life that is as long as possible in order to be economic. Belts that can cope with this multitude of demands are, of course, available. However, operators need to be absolutely sure of their provenance and need to be as sure as humanly possible that what the manufacture is promising is actually delivered. When it comes to carrying biomass, belts that are not of the highest standard are a very dangerous and expensive liability. 

Read More

Forest Fires

Fire near Yellowstone’s East Entrance grows to 16 square miles

By Brett French
The Billings Gazette
September 5, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

As firefighters rushed to protect structures, the Fishhawk fire grew to about 16 square miles by Thursday morning — larger than the nearby community of Cody, Wyoming. A type 2 management team has been called in to oversee the firefighting effort, including the placement of personnel and equipment to protect the Kitty Creek cabins and the Buffalo Bill Boy Scout Camp’s 15 structures, valued at about $1 million. …”The reality is the geography is helping a lot to contain things,” Bodoh said. …Aircraft are dropping water to keep the fire from spreading north to the structures, Bodoh said, which are about four miles away from the blaze.

Read More