Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 13, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Tolko closes Kelowna BC mill for ‘indeterminate period’

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

After a six-week curtailment, Tolko is closing its Kelowna lumber mill indefinitely due to market conditions, affecting 127 jobs. In related news: Teal Jones’ logging closure has its mill employees nervous; the value-added wood industry is BC’s fastest growing forestry business; and wood prices follow the futures market (which for now is good news).

Companies in the news include: GP and Irving (new investments), Northern Pulp Mill (CBC documentary); Mosaic (seed orchard celebration); and Stella-Jones (new CEO). Elsewhere: perspectives on the Spotted Owl’s impact; carbon neutral logging; and the loss of tropical rainforests.

Finally, it’s the first Friday the 13th in 13 years to coincide with a Full Moon. Scary!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Value-added Wood Products is BC’s Fastest Growing Forest Products Sector

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson, BC’s Minister of Forests… opened the 16th annual Global Buyers Mission (GBM) in Whistler, BC to a standing room crowd of more than 700 delegates. …Prior to introducing the Minister, [BC Wood Chairman] Greg Stewart thanked the government and industry sponsors…and noted the good works of the association in helping grow the value added sector. “BC Wood is the voice of value-added wood sector and given that it’s the fastest growing sector in the forest products industry—it’s a great time to be that voice”. Mr. Donaldson in turn, welcomed the 400 international buyers from 20 countries emphasizing the importance of the event, their attendance and the millions in business being done. Anticipating potential concern over BC’s continuity of supply—due to the current market situation, US tariffs, tight fibre supply, etc.—Donaldson emphasized his government’s efforts to support supply, diversify markets and encourage more value-added wood manufacturing (and thus jobs) from each log harvested.

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Take a photo tour of the Global Buyers Mission with us!

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

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Business & Politics

Stellex Capital Management Enters Into Agreement to Sell Morbark, LLC to Alamo Group Inc.

Stellex Capital Management LP
Business Wire
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK & LONDON–Stellex Capital Management …announced today it has entered into an agreement to sell Morbark, LLC, a leading manufacturer of high-performance equipment and aftermarket parts for forestry, tree maintenance, biomass, land management and recycling markets, to Alamo Group Inc. for $352 million…. Founded in 1957 and based in Winn, Michigan with subsidiary operations in Wooster, Ohio and Roxton Falls, Québec, Morbark has been innovating and manufacturing durable, high-performance equipment for more than six decades. DLA Piper served as legal counsel to Stellex and Morbark with respect to the transaction.

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Cold reality withers budget projections

By Kirk LaPointe
The Prince George Citizen
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ah, the rose. A beautiful presence. A short-lived bloom. But once done, just the thorns to see. The message of our province’s finance minister Tuesday as she delivered a quarterly economic update was analogous to that passing of the vitality that comes when a fresh flower no longer holds true and firm. A turning point in her government’s life has arrived. The buoyant economic climate inherited by the NDP is now a much more sombre heirloom it must own and cultivate. …The global downturn in forestry is starting to hit the books. …The toughest results are yet to come from a forestry sector whose suffering has taken months to affect government revenues, from a housing sector that is into the throes of so much new taxation that it not yielding the venerable property transfer tax revenue governments count upon…

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WoodTALKS on the Energy Step Code, Mass Timber and Prefabrication

By Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Day two of WoodTALKS… focused on the future of energy codes, mass timber compliance and prefabrication. Presenting was Graham Finch with RDH Building Science. …Using BC’s Energy Step Code as a guide—a regulation to incentivize or require energy efficiency of net zero energy in new building performance by 2032—Finch outlined the requirements and potential building solutions for each step. This includes requirement for air tightness, performance measurement and testing. Although wood and mass timber are well positioned to meet the 2032 energy requirements, Finch noted that manufacture through prefabrication will be increasingly important. 

To view a summary of day one of WoodTalks on the benefits of wood and mass timber click here.

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Tax-deliquent Neucel pulp mill means Port Alice arena won’t open this year

By Tyson Whitney
BC Local News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the second year in a row, the Doug Bondue Arena won’t be opening. Port Alice Mayor Kevin Cameron stated that due to the Neucel Specialty Cellulose pulp mill not paying its taxes, the village doesn’t have enough capital to open the rink for the 2019-2020 hockey season. “We reduced expenditures by quite a bit this year due to Neucel not paying its taxes, and I don’t think it’s right to burden the community with that kind of extra tax dollars,” said Cameron, when asked to comment on the closure. Port Alice’s Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Danyk noted it would cost “Approximately $200,000” to open the rink for a regular season of hockey and curling, and they would need “a minimum of two” staff to operate the arena.

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Trouble at mill: Serious accident at legal grow-op site raises local concerns

By Bob Keating
CBC News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents of a remote B.C. valley want to know how licences to grow marijuana were issued at a troubled mill site. The mothballed Meadow Creek Cedar sawmill, located 100 kilometres north of Nelson, was raided by police at the end of August after a serious industrial accident. The mill is owned by Daljit (Dale) Singh Kooner from Surrey, a controversial businessman who bought it off a Japanese company in 2005. The former mill sat idle for years following several investigations including a 2014 fire. Kooner was accused of not paying workers for overtime and statutory holidays in 2011, and ordered to pay out $50,000 dollars in back wages. The Forest Practices Board initiated several investigations, and in 2012, the Ministry of Forests fined Meadow Creek Cedar $42,000 dollars for not adequately replanting trees. …RCMP say they found around 11,000 marijuana plants growing in buildings around the mill, including the former dry kiln. 

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Tolko closing Kelowna lumber mill for ‘indeterminate period’

Scott Brown
Vancouver Sun
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Workers at Tolko Industries’ Kelowna sawmill who were expecting to go back to work on Monday after a six-week shutdown learned Thursday that the facility will stay closed indefinitely. Persistently low lumber prices and high log costs make operations uneconomic, said a Tolko vice-president, Troy Connolly. The mill had already reduced operations to a single shift in May at the cost of 90 jobs and the remaining 127 employees were reaching the end of a six-week curtailment and received additional layoff notices today. … The mill, which was acquired by Tolko in 2004 as part of the purchase of Riverside Forest Products, has operated in Kelowna since 1932. Over the summer, Tolko also permanently closed its Quest sawmill in Quesnel with the loss of 150 jobs and with Thursday’s decision, the Kelowna mill becomes the ninth B.C. sawmill to be indefinitely or permanently shuttered.

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127 workers out of job after Kelowna Tolko mill shuts down ‘indeterminately’

By Michael Rodriguez
BC Local News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tough times in the forestry industry have caused a local mill to shut down for an indeterminate amount of time. Tolko Industry’s Kelowna, on the tail end of a temporary shutdown, announced Thursday that it would not be reopening its doors, as planned on Sept. 15. “This decision was not easy for us to make,” said Troy Connolly, vice president of Solid Wood. “We are very disappointed to be in a position where we have to curtail the mill, particularly given the reasons for this extension are beyond our control. However, with lumber market prices at sustained low levels and high log costs in B.C., the mill cannot be cost-competitive.” The 127 workers at the mill were meant to go back to work on Monday but will now be out of work indefinitely. “On days like these, our hearts are heavy as we think of our colleagues and friends at Kelowna,” he said.

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Tolko Industries to cut back mill operations in Kelowna, B.C., affecting 127 jobs

By Jonathan Hayward
Canadian Press in the Globe and Mail
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries is cutting back its operations at a lumber mill in Kelowna, affecting 127 jobs as the company becomes the latest in the industry to announce a shutdown in British Columbia. Tolko Industries says high log costs and poor North American market conditions are behind the curtailment of its Kelowna operation for an indeterminate period of time. Troy Connolly, a vice-president with the company, says in a news release the reasons behind the decision are beyond its control. There are 127 workers at the mill. The Teal-Jones Group announced on Tuesday it was shutting its coastal operations in the province, putting 800 out of work. Shutdowns or curtailments have been announced in more than two dozen mills in the province due to low lumber prices, declining supplies and high operating costs.

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‘People are nervous here,’ says Surrey mill employee amid logging closures

By Lauren Collins
Cloverdale Reporter
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Fulk

Bill Fulk is one of hundreds of workers at Surrey-based Teal-Jones Group whose jobs are at risk, following logging closures. Teal-Jones Group reduced its logging on the B.C. coast in May and has now shut down the remainder, including harvest operations in the Fraser Valley and at Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island. Roughly 500 employees’ jobs are at risk in the coming months. “We’re not shutting down the mills right now, but the problem is we have a wood supply for so long, and it’s supposedly eight weeks. Without us logging our own TFL (tree farm licences), we don’t have the log supply to continue to keep us going,” said Fulk, who has worked for the company since 1983. But Fulk estimates it will be less than eight weeks. “People are nervous here. People are worried,” he said. “A lot of people here are like me and they’ve been here for years and years, and they don’t know any other job, They just know the wood industry and the wood industry, it built B.C.”

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With a new CEO at the helm, investors should consider this beaten-down TSX growth stock

By David Berman
The Globe and Mail
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Brian McManus, former CEO of Stella-Jones

Stella-Jones Inc. appointed Eric Vachon as its new chief executive on Thursday, removing some uncertainty that had been weighing on the stock over the past two months when the previous CEO announced he was stepping down. The best part of this leadership transition for investors: After a recent sell-off, the stock looks cheap. The Montreal-based company makes pressure-treated wood products largely used for railway ties and utility poles. …Stella-Jones is a growth stock that has been turning heads for years. It has been a steady acquirer, completing 19 takeovers in Canada and the United States since 2003, driving up annual sales fivefold since 2009. …Now, with Mr. Vachon – currently the chief financial officer at Stella-Jones after serving a number of roles at the company since his arrival in 2007 – set to replace Mr. McManus on Oct. 11, how should investors approach the stock? …But the long-term argument in favour of Stella-Jones rests on its fundamentals, which look solid.

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Terrace Bay mill bets heavily on the pulp market

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TERRACE BAY, Ont. — The operator of the pulp mill at Terrace Bay has quietly set aside its plan to convert the facility to produce dissolving grade pulp for manufacturing rayon. AV Terrace Bay’s parent company, India-based Aditya Birla Group, is betting that – at least for now – continuing to make northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp is more likely to ensure the mill’s long-term stability. When it acquired the mill in 2012, Aditya Birla planned to spend $250 million over two years on a conversion from production of NBSK. But in a statement issued this week, the company said “given the current market conditions of dissolving grade pulp, there is no immediate plan to convert the mill.”  Nonetheless,  AV Terrace Bay is still spending significant sums on upgrades.

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$22 Million Investment Puts 1,000 Contracted Workers on the Job at Irving Pulp & Paper and Irving Tissue Mills in Saint John

J.D. Irving, Limited
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick — Over 1,000 contractors from 45 companies from St. Stephen to Bathurst are on the job for 24/7 until September 17 as part of a $22 million investment on the west side of Saint John at Irving Tissue and Irving Pulp & Paper.  The pulp mill has been part of the Saint John community since 1893. Today, it is one of the longest running mills in Canada due largely to ongoing environmental improvements and equipment modernization. Anchoring these mills and the sawmills that provide the hardwood and softwood chips is a diverse, and sustainable wood resource where more wood is grown than is harvested every year. Today, the Saint John pulp mill is at the heart of a forest products value chain that sustains thousands of jobs across New Brunswick communities. 

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Comments on the CBC aired Documentary titled “The Mill “

By Don Wilson, Member of the Healthy Forest Coalition
The News
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The CBC documentary titled “The Mill” is borrowed from Joan Baxter’s 2017 book of the same name. The big difference, however, is Baxter’s book has many pages of facts and figures while the doc has so few it is misleading.  Notably missing was how many millions of dollars were given, and more loaned, to Northern Pulp Mill over the most recent years. $6 million plus last year alone to cover the cost of preparing an environmental document – one that came up short on facts even though they had five years to research.  Also missing was the cost of somewhat cleaning up the years of pollution left at the Boat Harbour site. The federal government has allotted $100 million to that and the rest will come from all the province’s taxpayers no matter where they live and work .   In years past the many aeration pumps and installation of them was covered by provincial money. 

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Weston Forest Ranks No. 351 on the 2019 Growth 500

Weston Forest
September 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mississauga, ON — Canadian Business and Maclean’s today ranked Weston Forest No. 351 on the annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca. Weston Forest made the 2019 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 199%. …“We are so proud of our highly motivated team that, for five consecutive years, has kept us on the list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies,” says Steve Rhone, President of Weston Forest. “This is an extraordinary result from an extraordinary group of people.”

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GP announces plans to upgrade, invest $70 million in Gurdon plywood, lumber mill

By Wesley Brown
Talk Business & Politics
September 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

hree months after shuttering south Arkansas plants in Crossett and Hope, paper goods giant Georgia-Pacific (GP) will invest up to $70 million to upgrade its plywood and lumber operations in Gurdon to help sustain the more than 700 local jobs at the company’s facilities in Clark County. “We are making state-of-the-art improvements that will transform our Gurdon facilities, greatly improving the utilization of raw materials and overall operating efficiencies, making jobs more meaningful, and turning us into an even stronger competitor,” said Mike White, the company’s western regional operations manager. Company officials said the list of capital improvements will be significant, highlighted by the installation of an advanced packaging system; new panel assembly stations with state-of-the-art scanners; an upgraded power plant; and software and security enhancements. Work on the projects began earlier this summer and will be completed in 2020.

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Việt Nam to gain $11b from wood and forest product exports this year

The Việt Nam News
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is likely to reach its export turnover target of US$11 billion from wood and forestry products this year as the main season for business is in the last six months of the year, according to an official of the Việt Nam Timber and Forest Product Association. …Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hà Công Tuấn also said to meet this goal, the Government has committed to creating favourable conditions for businesses. …Việt Nam is expected to export timber and wood products to the EU valued at over $700 million this year, higher than the $680 million achieved in 2018.

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Finance & Economics

Lumber Sits And Waits – WOOD Follows The Price Of The Futures

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
September 12, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

So far in 2019, the price of nearby lumber futures has traded in a range from $286.10 to $453.90 per 1,000 board feet. At $374.50 on September 12 on the nearby November contract, the price of the wood futures was a bit above the midpoint for this year which stands at $370. …On the longer-term chart, lumber looks like it could work its way higher. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Winnipeg Wood Solutions Conference 2019

Canadian Wood Council
September 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Discover the many reasons developers, architects, engineers and municipalities are choosing wood for their iconic structures. Earn up to 6 professional development hours at our one-day educational event featuring information on international and local wood projects and products! Visit our website for updates on the full event program www.wood-works.ca/alberta/wsf/ You can register now for the day (you do not need to pre-register for the individual sessions).

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Fire destroys timber framed block of flats

Building Products
September 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A major fire has reduced a four-storey timber-framed block of flats to ashes. The fire ripped through the flats at Sherbrooke Way, Worcester Park in South-West London during the early hours of Monday, September 9. At the height of the blaze some 127 firefighters were on the scene. At this stage there are no reported casualties. The inferno follows a number of major timber fires at completed residential developments this year including the Beechmere retirement development in Crewe in August and Barking Riverside in London in June. “This latest fire underlines the unsuitability and potential danger of using timber frame construction. Developers and housing associations should reconsider its use, said Stephen Elliott, chairman of the British Association of Reinforcement. “As proven by the spate of recent major fires, lightweight timber structures can be a fire risk. They simply do not offer the inherent fire resistance of concrete structures.”

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Forestry

Mr. Horgan, rein in BCTS

Letter by Norm and Loni Funnell, Roberts Creek
Sunshine Coast Reporter
September 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This letter was sent to B.C. Premier John Horgan. BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is out of control. There have been concerns about BCTS for years and we had hoped that with the NDP forming government, more oversight and control would be put on BCTS. Clearly this has not occurred. We are disappointed and disgusted with your “business as usual” approach to BCTS. Given the climate emergency we are in, now is not the time to be clear-cutting old growth forests as fast as possible. …We are demanding that your government put an immediate moratorium on all old growth logging on public lands controlled by BCTS and that you completely overhaul BCTS. You must change the mindset of the organization so that conservation of our old growth heritage is uppermost in the organization’s mandate.

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Mosaic Forest Management’s Mount Newton Seed Orchard Celebrates 40 Years

Mosaic Forest Management
September 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saanichton, B.C.  –  Today, local leaders and invited guests joined management and staff of Mosaic Forest Management in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Mount Newton Seed Orchard and its incredible contribution to sustainable forestry on B.C.’s Coast. The 100 acre orchard was established in 1979 by two historic leaders of the BC forest industry –  BC Forest Products and Crown Zellerbach. Owned today by TimberWest and managed by Mosaic Forest Management, the orchard has produced enough seed to grow more than 250 million trees in its four decades of operation. …“With the affiliation of management activities for TimberWest and Island Timberlands under Mosaic Forest Management, we are focused on increasing our production to meet the needs of both companies,” said Bevin Wigmore, Mosaic’s Tree Improvement Manager. “While we celebrate our 40 year history, we look ahead with excitement to the future of our orchard and its growing impact on sustaining healthy forests on B.C.’s coast.”   

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Central Saanich’s Mount Newton Seed Orchard grows into big Four-oh

By Wolf Depner
Sooke News Mirror
September 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A piece of land in Central Saanich is in many ways one of the embryonic chambers of the provincial forest industry. The Mount Newton Seed Orchard celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday with a family reunion as current and past employees joined forestry insiders to mark the facility’s round birthday with a tour and a lunch. BC Forest Products and Crown Zellerbach established the 100-acre orchard in 1979 to create seeds for a range of trees. It has since produced enough seed to grow more than 250 million trees in its four decades of operation. “This is a proud milestone for our company and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the many people in our organization and within the Province’s Tree Improvement Program,” Jeff Zweig, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mosaic Forest Management which operates the facility on behalf of owner Timber West.

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TEK Elders, First Nations to take feds to court over forest spraying

By Tom Sasvari
Manitoulin Expositor
September 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAGAMOK – About 21 First Nations along the North Shore of Lake Huron (including those on Manitoulin Island) are set to take the federal government to court over aerial spraying on their lands, actions that they say negatively affect the environment and human health. The Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Elders of Robinson Huron Treaty say that spraying is part of a bigger issue, in that First Nations are not consulted about activities taking place on their land. The elders say that violates the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. “They are violating the treaties with spraying,” Ray Owl, spokesperson for the TEK Elders of Robinson-Huron Treaty territory told the Recorder. “We’ve been at this for five years, raising our concerns and have run out of avenues to be gentlemen on this issue. What we know is that what is going on is a treaty violation.” 

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More support needed for tree planting in Ontario

By Hilary Thomson
The North Grenville Times
September 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canopy Growth announced a $100,000 donation to Forests Ontario last month to aid in the organization’s tree planting initiatives. However, Ed Patchell, CEO of the FFC, says it is not enough. The $100,000 donation will only help plant about 50,000 trees in Ontario, a small fraction of the Ontario government’s former goal of 3 million a year. According to Forests Ontario, experts have determined that a minimum 30% tree cover is needed to maintain a healthy and sustainable ecosystem. In some places in Ontario, the forest cover is as low as five per cent, which compromises the health of our ecosystems and their inhabitants.

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Our oldest, largest trees need heritage protections with some teeth

By Mark Cullen
The Toronto Star
September 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There is a single best answer to the question: “What can we do about climate change?” And that is: plant trees. A new study was published in Science magazine this past July that revealed new data suggesting that if there was “one solution” to climate change, it would be to plant one trillion trees. The geographic area for a trillion trees covers an area roughly the size of continental U.S. and Russia, combined. This “one-solution” idea, obviously, only underscores the importance of trees among a long list of necessary measures. …So why aren’t we doing more to protect heritage trees? The good news: There is a heritage tree program in Ontario, managed by Forests Ontario in partnership with the Urban Forests Council.

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Think the spotted owl is to blame for job losses? Think again.

By Eric Loomis
The Washington Post
September 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Trump administration recently weakened the Endangered Species Act by allowing policymakers to consider the economic impact of protecting these plants and animals. Industries will have more power to maneuver, even if it means imperiling fragile species. While corporations stand to benefit most from the eased regulations, the administration has touted the positive effects for workers. Many timber workers and lumber interests in the rural Pacific Northwest, still angry over the closing of old-growth logging due to northern spotted owl protection in the early 1990s, cheered the announcement, reflecting a media-fueled perception that environmentalists and workers are natural enemies in the battle to protect our fragile planet. The only problem? This simplistic narrative erases the history of working-class support of environmentalism while covering up the more complicated story of the timber industry’s decline due to the policies of a shortsighted, rapacious industry — not environmental regulation.

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Farm trespass laws pass making it illegal to use websites, social media to incite others

By Kath Sullivan
ABC News, Australia
September 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

People who use a carriage service such as websites and social media to incite others to break into farms could be sent to jail under new laws passed through Federal Parliament. …Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said farmers should feel safe at home and at work. The laws were opposed by the Greens but following amendments had the support of Labor. The Law Council of Australia… welcomed the amendments. The forestry industry also welcomed amendments which will see the new laws apply to timber and pulp mills under the definition of primary production businesses. The Australian Forestry Products Association’s Ross Hampton said the new laws sent a strong message to timber workers “that they should be allowed to go about their lawful business without fear of having their livelihoods compromised by illegal protests”.

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Cultural values important to forest stakeholders

By Bio-Protection Research Centre
Scoop Independent News
September 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Māori and non- Māori value different aspects of plantation forestry, which owners should bear in mind if they want to maximise their social licence to operate, a new study shows. In a paper published in in the international journal PLoS ONE, titled “Stakeholder valuation of soil ecosystem services from New Zealand’s planted forests”, the authors say understanding these values should also help in developing an assessment and monitoring tool for soil health in New Zealand’s planted forests. Scientists from the Bio-Protection Research Centre and Scion surveyed 145 forest stakeholders from seven groups to find out what forest soil ecosystem services they valued most. The seven groups were: forest owners, forest managers, land owners, land managers, wood processors, recreational forest users, and others with a vested interest in forest soils. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Logging as Carbon-Neutral? Not so Much, Says Study on North Carolina’s Industry

By Mark Shenk
Karma Sustainable Business News
September 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

…A recent study from North Carolina won’t do anything to improve [perceptions of the timber industry], and in fact takes aim at old preconceptions. Logging isn’t carbon neutral, as many have claimed, and in fact is the state’s No. 3 source of carbon emissions, according to the study by a team of environmental groups. The groups, the Center for Sustainable Economy and Dogwood Alliance, say that in North Carolina’s annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the state doesn’t recognize logging’s carbon impact, due to misconceptions that the industry is more or less clean because it replaces trees it cuts down. “The climate impact of this activity is often ignored because of flawed greenhouse gas accounting,” the “Climate Impacts of Industrial Forest Practices in North Carolina” said. It also showed that industrial logging has sapped carbon sequestration — the natural removal and storage of CO2 gases —  of the state’s forests.

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World losing area of forest the size of the UK each year, report finds

By Fiona Harvey
The Guardian
September 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

An area of forest the size of the UK is being lost every year around the world, the vast majority of it tropical rainforest, with dire effects on the climate emergency and wildlife. The rate of loss has reached 26m hectares (64m acres) a year, a report has found, having grown rapidly in the past five years despite pledges made by governments in 2014 to reverse deforestation and restore trees. Charlotte Streck, a co-founder and the director of Climate Focus, the thinktank behind the report, said: “We need to keep our trees and we need to restore our forests. Deforestation has accelerated, despite the pledges that have been made.” The New York declaration on forests was signed at the UN in 2014, requiring countries to halve deforestation by 2020 and restore 150m hectares of deforested or degraded forest land.

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Forest Fires

California’s biggest wildfire of 2019 approaches 50,000 acres as dry conditions return

By Michael McGough
The Sacramento Bee
September 12, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Walker Fire burning in Plumas National Forest saw “increased fire behavior” overnight after mild conditions Wednesday, pushing the wildfire to nearly 50,000 acres Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Growth has still slowed significantly compared with last week, and containment of the blaze is steadily increasing as a total of nearly 2,000 fire personnel are assigned to the fire. After sparking last Sept. 4, the Walker Fire is now reported at 49,272 acres and is 28 percent contained, the Forest Service said in a Thursday morning update. Mandatory evacuation orders are still in effect for the Murdock Crossing and Stony Ridge areas, but warnings have been reduced to evacuation advisories in all other affected areas by the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office. Some roadways remain closed, but Highway 395 is fully open to traffic.

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