Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 19, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Tolko moves to four-day work week at two BC mills

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

Tolko announces curtailments at its Soda Creek and Armstrong lumber mills in BC, moves to four-day work week. In related news: Liberals and NDP play the blame game over BC’s forestry crisis; workers wait for details on gov’t funding support; and Hampton secures Burns Lake Council support for timber licence purchase. Meanwhile, US hardwood producers seek gov’t subsidies to offset impact of US/China trade war

In other news: the US interest rate cut impacts US and Canadian economy; BC caribou protection areas are big enough (Minister Donaldson) or not so much (ENGO Wildsight); and mass timber continues its assent in Ontario, and Texas; while Australia tests bamboo as a timber-alternative.

Finally, Arrr… shiver me timbers— it’s talk like a pirate day.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Clearwater area to benefit from forestry worker support programs

By Jaime Polmateer
Clearwater Times
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ravi Kahlon

Ravi Kahlon, parliamentary secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, visited the District of Clearwater (DOC) recently to discuss new supports for Interior forestry workers affected by mill closures. At the Sept. 18 meeting, Kahlon talked with mayor and council about the cost-shared early-retirement bridging program for older forestry workers, and the short-term forest employment program that will focus on fire prevention projects. Other topics on the agenda included grants for retraining, and the new job placement co-ordination office, that will track the transition and employment of impacted forest workers on a one-on-one basis. …“Clearwater would be one that gets the $100,000 and the cities can come to us about what would be the best use of that money,” said Kahlon.

Read More

Retirement, retraining, relocation — weak strategy for forest industry

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan did not appear in person in Prince George this week when the New Democrats announced a support package for displaced forest workers. …Yes, the B.C. Liberals did not do enough to prepare… But the beetles also ravaged the forests during the NDP term of office in the 1990s. …Both major parties play the blame game all too well. But with the beetle-killed wood mostly gone, the challenge is what to do to give the industry a plausible future. …Retirement, retraining, relocation — those words don’t suggest a strategy for revitalizing the industry and making it a world leader. …As it happens, John Allan, the deputy forests minister who served during the Jobs and Timber Accord under the previous NDP government, is back in … in the ministry again. Premier Horgan recruited him to oversee their revitalization plan… The first thing [Allan] might have told them is that the trouble starts with politicians having unrealistic expectations.

Read More

Forestry workers waiting for more details after $69M BC Government funding announcement

By Dylana Milobar
CFJC Today
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Forestry workers are cautiously optimistic after the provincial government announced $69 million in funding to support forestry workers affected by permanent and indefinite mill closures. United Steelworkers Local 1-417 President Marty Gibbons says forestry workers are waiting with bated breath to hear more details around who this will actually benefit. “Last time… there was regulations on it, and it actually talked about who could apply, it was all forest workers, age, amount of money, and those details are still missing,” he says.  …Gibbons says in order to combat a decline in the forest industry, planning needs to go beyond worker assistance. “We’re a renewable resource. People are treating us like the forest industry has died. …We will be here long term, but right now the government needs to take a serious look at how the forest practices are going on, and the stumpage rates that we’re charging.”

Read More

Public concerned about forestry, Rustad says

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad

A range of topics and concerns related to forestry were discussed at the public gathering where Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad spoke.  …“Burns Lake is very engaged in the forestry discussion due to the pending annual allowable cut decision.” …Some topics that arose… concerns over visual quality objectives (VQO) and old growth management areas (OGMAs). …The problem of excessive fuels on forest floors and the fire risks they pose was brought up a few times during the meetings that the Chinook Community Forest held in the Burns Lake region since the winter. A common theme accompanying the fuels issue is the frustration that fuels can’t easily be removed from VQO and OGMAs, where logging is prohibited. …The Liberal MLA hopes that more such discussions are held amid the current precarious state of forestry in the province.

Read More

Tolko announces shift reduction at Soda Creek, Armstrong divisions

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko will be going to a four-day work week at its Soda Creek operation in Williams Lake and at its Armstrong stud lumber operations… a reduction of the company’s operating stud capacity by 20 per cent. …United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 VP Paul French said Tolko told the union the intention is a four-day work week, but that could even be reduced further. …“They’ve actually agreed to do job share which basically means EI pays for the lost day. The guys aren’t going to making what they normally make, but they aren’t totally out.” French said the situation is frustrating. “There are logs in the yard and I don’t quite get,” he said. “Lumber prices are down, but they aren’t totally in the tank.” …French said there are between 150 to 160 mill workers impacted by the latest curtailment and then the spin offs felt by loggers and truckers.

Read More

Claims of NDP Government not rebuilding Forest Industry ludicrous, says Parliamentary Secretary

By Scott Brooks
Energetic City Fort St. John
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ravi Kahlon

FORT ST. JOHN, BC – The Provincial Government announced that it would be investing $69 million to support forest workers impacted by mill closures and curtailments. Following the announcement, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Forests, Ravi Kahlon, is on tour… to provide more details. …Lately, the B.C. Liberals have been critical towards the NDP claiming that the Government has no interest in rebuilding the forest industry. Kahlon says the Liberal’s claim is ludicrous as they would have seen a report from 2015 that commissioned the closure of 13 mills. He says the Liberals could have informed workers of this plan in order for them to prepare. …The BC Council of Forest Industries had also released their own plan to help out the forest industry, and Kahlon feels that there are a lot of good points made.

Read More

Canfor investor vows to vote against Pattison proposal to take company private

The Canadian Press in the Coast Reporter
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — An investment management company that controls about 4.8 per cent of the shares of Canfor Corp. says it will vote against the proposal by a Jim Pattison Group company to take the lumber company private. Letko, Brosseau & Associates… the offer by Great Pacific Capital Corp. is “opportunistic and significantly undervalues the company.” The $16 per share bid to buy the 49 per cent of Canfor that Great Pacific doesn’t already own represented an 81.8 per cent premium to the prior closing price when made in August. But the investment manager says that premium was based on a share price that had fallen to a level not seen since 2010. …Shares in Canfor rose more than 70 per cent the day after the offer was made to close at $15.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. On Wednesday, they closed at $15.34.

Read More

Village to pen letter of support for Hampton

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Burns Lake village council agreed at its Sept. 10 meeting to write a letter of support for Hampton Lumber’s efforts to buy Conifex’ timber license and sawmill in Fort St. James. Richard Vossen, Canadian Resource Manager with Hampton, wrote in a letter to mayor Dolores Funk that the company is preparing a package for the Honourable Doug Donaldson… with an outline of the purchase plans. The manager asked that the letter mention Hampton’s relationship with the village and how it supports the community economically and socially. …In voicing his support for the letter bid, Councillor Charlie Rensby said the forestry company is “compared to many of the other lumber producers in the province pretty top notch to deal with when it comes to community partnerships, along with their additional support for First Nations in their mills.”

Read More

Tolko reducing operations at Armstrong and Soda Creek mills

By Eric Thompson
Kamloops Matters
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries announced another reduction in operations, cutting back its capacity at the Armstrong and Soda Creek stud lumber mills by 20 per cent. Last week, Tolko closed their mill in Kelowna indefinitely, the latest in a string of bad news to hit the BC forestry industry. “We know this is not good news,” says Tolko solid wood vice-president Troy Connolly in a press release. “However, we have a tremendously engaged and talented workforce, and we want them to continue as part of the Tolko family. Reducing capacity and changing our footprint is the best way to keep people employed and mills operating. It also gives us the flexibility to immediately react and adjust our schedule should conditions improve. It’s the best possible option right now in current conditions.” The announcement comes just one day after the provincial government announced a $69-million investment to help forestry workers affected by mill closures.

Read More

Tolko curtailing mill operations by 20 per cent at Soda Creek, Armstrong

By Scott Brown
The Vancouver Sun
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC forestry company Tolko Industries is curtailing operations at its Soda Creek and Armstrong stub lumber mills by 20 per cent due to high log costs and weak market conditions. The company says the mills will move to a four-day work week, but there will be no layoffs. The Soda Creek mill, which is in Williams Lake, employs 180 workers, while the Armstrong location is part of a larger three-mill operation that employs 400. “The continued and increasing pressures on log-delivery costs in BC have eroded our competitiveness. This, in addition to continued weak markets, means we must take immediate and responsible action to ensure our long-term stability in BC,” said Tolko vice-president Troy Connolly. “We are moving to a flexible operating footprint starting next week. …Our top priority is sustaining the business and the many jobs and economic spinoffs it provides to our communities.”

Read More

Smell of gas in Westfort results in brief evacuations

By Doug Diaczuk
Thunder Bay News Watch
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – An odd smell in the Westfort area resulted in the brief evacuation of several area schools and buildings, but there is no danger to the public say Thunder Bay Fire Rescue. On  Wednesday morning, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue received a series of calls for the smell of natural gas in the Westfort area. As a result, several schools in the area were evacuated …The cause of the smell was the release of gases following a computer malfunction in the boiler room in the craft mill at Resolute Forest Products, a spokesperson said.  Production in the craft mill was shut down for an hour while the problem was fixed. “They shut down the production of the gas and they had a wind change on them too, so it blew it right into town,” Hill said.

Read More

Timber industry pressing to be included in Trump trade war assistance for farmers

By Sean Higgins
The Washington Examiner
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The timber industry is pressing the Trump administration and Congress to be included in the China trade retaliation relief currently available to the agricultural industry. The administration has thus far excluded loggers from assistance, but 65 members of the industry are trying to change that with a lobbying blitz this week. “It’s very much a concern of ours,” said Dana Cole, executive director of the Hardwood Federation, a trade association representing 28 companies. “We’re not being purposefully written out, but there has not been any real effort to get us in. So we’re here asking for consideration.” The industry argues that it needs the government help because it has been hurt in the trade war as much as any other domestic industry. China was previously the largest purchaser of U.S. timber exports.

Read More

Upstate NY business owners tell Congress: Trump’s trade tariffs threaten jobs

By Mark Weiner
Syracuse.com
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON – A group of Upstate New York business owners told members of Congress that President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is taking an economic toll that could wipe out the region’s hardwood lumber industry. The president of Gutchess Lumber, a Cortland lumber mill, spent the day with Upstate hardwood companies explaining why their businesses and jobs are at stake. …With no end in sight to retaliatory tariffs that have hurt the industry, the group asked members of Congress to push the Trump administration to approve trade assistance payments. …In the case of Gutchess Lumber, which exports about 50 percent of its lumber to China, the tariffs have forced the company to cut production at its saw mill. …Among those who traveled to Washington, D.C. was Eric Degenfelder, of U-C Coatings, a Buffalo company that makes specialty coatings to protect lumber.

Read More

Finance & Economics

More Fed cuts expected to push Canadian interest rates lower

By Don Pittis
CBC News
September 18, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

A weakening global economy and continued trade fears — and emphatically, he said, not angry words from U.S. President Donald Trump — convinced U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell to cut interest rates on Wednesday for the second time this summer. And for Canadians waiting for lower rates, those same global forces are on their way, and will likely force Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz to follow suit. Despite the fact that the quarter point cut was widely expected, the move had an immediate effect on the Canadian dollar which fell promptly after Powell’s announcement. 

Read More

Sharp Uptick in Canada’s New Housing Starts

By CMHC
Point 2 Homes
September 18, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

New data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests an upward trend in housing starts. The seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of housing starts (SAAR) for all areas in Canada was 226,639 in August. This is up 1.9% from 222,467 units in July and exceeded experts’ prediction of 212,500. Compared to August 2018, new housing starts rose 12% as construction started on 17,611 new homes last month.

Read More

Why the Fed Lowered Interest Rates Again

By Karl Russell and Jeanna Smialek
The New York Times
September 18, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday lowered interest rates for the second time this year, as it tries to guard the United States economy against trade-related uncertainty and slowing global growth. The central bank cut borrowing rates in late July for the first time since the financial crisis. The moves are part of an effort to keep borrowing cheap, credit widely available and businesses and consumers confident.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

How University is driving innovation, economic prosperity across Ontario

The Mirage News
September 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Anne Koven

TORONTO, ONTARIO — It may be located far from Ontario’s northern forests, but the 14-storey, engineered wood-framed tower proposed for the University of Toronto’s St. George campus will help to propel mass timber construction in the province. …It’s just one example of how industries contributing to economic development across Ontario are benefiting from research and expertise at U of T. The project is expected to help “communities in northern Ontario find exciting new markets for their forest products,” said Anne Koven, director of Ontario’s Mass Timber Institute and adjunct professor in the forestry program at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. The Academic Wood Tower is one project that will be highlighted in Sudbury this week at a roundtable on “Northern Ontario’s Innovation Ecosystem.”

Read More

The Rise of Mass Timber Office Buildings in Texas

By Donald R. Powell, principal of Dallas-based architecture firm BOKA Powell
D Magazine
September 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Don Powell

…My lifelong desire has been to design buildings that connect to a higher calling. …About five years ago, I had a conversation with Drew Steffen about Hines’ T3 office building in Minneapolis. …That conversation piqued my interest in the timber part of the equation because it struck an emotional chord in me. Seeing photos of the pristine wood ceilings, columns, and beams inspired me to explore the use of mass timber as a viable structural system for office buildings, hotels, and multi-story housing. I then met with Gerald Epps, the owner of StructureCraft, to determine a pathway for constructing mass timber buildings in Texas. …Mass timber is not an inexpensive way to build an office building. But it is so unique and attractive to employee-minded corporations, that the response from the leasing market has been a resounding success. Attracting and retaining employees is the number one motivating factor in corporate America.

Read More

Stiles aims to support the entire prefabricated home market with new collaboration

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
September 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Woodworking machinery giant Stiles Machinery is teaming up with Hundegger, a German leader in machines and systems for timber log processing, in hopes of becoming a single-source solution for the entire North American mass timber and prefabricated housing industries. …the plan is to offer customers end-to-end solutions with integrated software from a single source, as the company sees huge potential in these industries. “With the continued growth and interest in mass timber and offsite home construction disrupting conventional building methods, Stiles and Hundegger are excited to be an integral part of providing solutions to manufacturers within these industries,” says Russ Suor, Executive Vice President of Stiles.  …One home – a 172-square-foot, $7,250 prefabricated tiny cabin –  went viral, reportedly selling out quickly after manufacturer Allwood placed it on Amazon. Allwood’s home ships free on Amazon, and the company claims it can be built in as little as eight hours.

Read More

The grass that we could soon be using to build our houses and apartments

By Jim Malo
Domain Australia
September 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Fast-growing and environmentally-friendly, bamboo may soon be used in Australian construction, as academics explore the properties of the giant grass.
A lack of research and Australian building standards have held back the sustainable material from being used Down Under despite already being widely utilised overseas, particularly in developing countries, experts say. University of Queensland PhD candidate Mateo Gutierrez was looking into the fire-resistance properties of bamboo, to help determine where the timber-alternative could be used. “We’re mostly focused on the fire performance – what happens if you have a load-bearing element when it’s subjected to a fire?” he said. “My research is to find out how it performs in a fire and how it affects the mechanical response.” Bamboo used in construction would be rarely used in its raw form – the untreated and full cylinders – but transformed into stronger and more versatile materials such as Cross Laminated Timber or Laminated Veneer Lumber, both similar methods of applying glue to wood (but in bamboo’s case, grass) fibres.

Read More

Coca-Cola to replace plastic shrink wrap across can multipacks sold in Great Britain

By Matt Mace
Edie.net
September 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will replace plastic shrink wrap across its four, six and eight-packs of cans for all its brands sold in the UK. …Over the next 18 months, the plastic packaging will be replaced with cardboard, which is already used for multipacks of 10 or more cans. According to CCEP, more than 30 million packs sold to consumers each year will no longer be wrapped in plastic. Instead, the multipacks will be packaged in 100% recyclable cardboard from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified sources. …While the shrink wrap currently used is recyclable, it is estimated that only 10% of UK local authorities collect the material. In comparison, 98% of cardboard is collected as part of household recycling. …The company was named as the world’s largest corporate plastic polluter last year, in a report from Greenpeace.

Read More

Forestry

Forestry celebrated at annual Logger Sports Show

By Dara Hill
The Merritt Herald
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Logger Sports Show put forestry into focus last weekend in Merritt. Featuring talented carvers, laughing loggers and truckers eager to show off their stuff, the fourth annual event kicked off National Forestry Week in Merritt and gave locals the chance to celebrate and learn about the industry. “It was a huge success, especially looking at participation and community involvement,” said organizer Jerry Canuel. …“Despite the really difficult times, you get people like Frank Etchart coming down from Nadina Logging, who have not worked all summer,” said Canuel. “But yet he’s out there and his guys are showing up and they’re volunteering their time and effort and trying to and make it right for everybody. More than 50 logging companies had their trucks on display.

Read More

Telkwa mayor wants Province to tackle spruce beetle outbreak

By Marisca Bakker
Terrace Standard
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“It’s an epidemic,” Mayor Brad Layton said …describing the spruce beetle outbreak. He wants more to be done to stop the infestation and said those in charge of it are doing a ‘piss-poor’ job. The total estimated spruce beetle attack in the Omineca Region is approximately 341,000 hectares, most of which is in the Prince George Natural Resource District. This is up from approximately 210,000 hectares of spruce beetle-infested forest detected in 2016. …The effect of spruce beetles differs from the pine beetle in that it is harder to identify trees that have been affected. It can take over a year for trees to display signs of stress after being attacked…. However, Layton said this beetle can be stopped easily. …“This is our future, it is our community’s future,” added Layton. “If we want to keep a timber industry, they need to start funding it appropriately.”

Read More

Declines in the southern caribou population will continue to happen if the Ministry doesn’t put the Kootenays on the map as a priority: Wildsight

BC Local News
September 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s Forests Minister Doug Donaldson recently announced that the province will be expanding additional protection areas in the Peace region, but not in the majority of B.C. that lies west of the Rocky Mountains. As Tom Fletcher reported, protection strategies have been expanded in recent years, including snowmobile restrictions and extensive forest protection zones. …Donaldson says that analysts are looking around at the herds needing protection outside of the peace region, and that enough protection is already in place. …Local environmental group Wildsight disagrees. Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight’s Conservation Coordinator, says that Caribou habitat protection is absolutely necessary in the B.C. Interior. …Petryshen says that it’s not just about protecting caribou, but other species of animals that depend on old growth forests, which is where caribou thrive. …“Caribou are one of the oldest mammals on the planet… Now, they are just barely hanging on in these remote areas and those areas need to be protected.”

Read More

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Additional caribou protection areas are needed in the Peace region, but not in the majority of B.C. that lies west of the Rocky Mountains, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says. Residents of the Kootenays and Cariboo regions packed public meetings this spring to demand details of a proposed caribou protection strategy. They were concerned about federal demands to expand industrial and recreational no-go zones in an effort to protect dwindling herds. …The province accepted Lekstrom’s recommendation to put a moratorium on “new high-impact forestry and mining activities” in the Peace region for two years, while consultation continues on restrictions that could shut down some forest operations. …The federal government was preparing an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act to impose new restrictions, citing climate change and habitat disturbance as key factors in the population decline. 

Read More

Cal Fire and The Nature Conservancy partner to improve forest management and reduce risk of megafires

Lake Country News
September 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and The Nature Conservancy announced a historic partnership to improve forest management and reduce the risk of high-severity wildfires through the expanded use of prescribed fire. The memorandum of understanding, or MOU, guiding this partnership includes prescribed fire training with experts and trainees from both organizations, forest management projects including thinning and prescribed fire in cooperation with a diversity of partners, and joint communications to improve the public’s understanding of prescribed fire. This partnership, in recognition of a worsening wildfire crisis and the need to involve new stakeholders, is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a state firefighting agency and an environmental nonprofit organization in California.

Read More

Forestry commission issues advisory. Drought conditions, high temperatures cause state to see wildfires

The Times-Journal
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Alabama Forestry Commission has issued a Fire Danger Advisory for all 67 Alabama counties effective immediately until rainfall is received. Current drought conditions and persistent high temperatures have combined to create a high probability of fuel ignition and an atmosphere favorable for wildfires. In the last 30 days, AFC wildland firefighters have battled 192 wildfires burning approximately 2,221 acres of land across the state. …Although the state is not under any type of burn restriction, the Commission urges everyone to delay outdoor burning until conditions improve if possible. While under the fire danger advisory, all necessary safety precautions should be exercised when doing any type burning.

Read More

Report says extreme weather making invasive insects worse

By CBS News
WHNT News 19
September 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…invasive insects are killing large swaths of our nation’s forests. According to a new report, extreme weather events linked to climate change – like droughts and flooding – are making the problem even worse. …The hemlock woolly adelgid is hard to see with the naked eye, but the tiny invasive species of insect is having a gigantic impact from Georgia to Maine and is threatening delicate eco-systems that rely on the hemlock tree. According to Forester Jason Denham, the hemlock woolly adelgid is present in about half of New York State. He says trees stressed by climate change are more likely to succumb and die from an infestation… A recent study from Purdue University shows invasive pests kill so many trees each year that it’s equal to 5 million car emissions. The study also estimates that if unchecked, invasive insects could eventually kill off 41% of trees in the continental U.S.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Sierra Pacific installs 30 acres of solar panels to power Red Bluff sites

By Julie Zeeb
The Red Bluff Daily News
September 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

RED BLUFF, CALIFORNIA — Sierra Pacific Industries is installing of 30 acres of solar panels at its Reading Road property just outside of Red Bluff. The installation of the 30,240 solar panels began Friday, said Millwork Division Manager Bill Carroll, who has been working on the project for about 18 months. The installation… should be completed by Dec. 1. The $12 million project is expected to provide about 30 years worth of savings to the company… said North Sierra Community Relations Manager Kristy Lanham. “This solar project will generate power for our windows division plant and office and the Red Bluff millworks plant and office, which is unique,” Lanham said. …The company is also being green through its biomass facilities, of which there are five in California, Lanham said.

Read More

Forest Fires

Bolivia Is Fighting Major Forest Fires Nearly As Large As In Brazil

By John Otis
National Public Radioi
September 18, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

…Bolivian firefighters, army troops and volunteers have been working nonstop for the past two months amid some of the worst fires in the country’s recent history. President Evo Morales, who is running for reelection next month, has suspended his campaign to deal with the expanding disaster. On Saturday, regional officials estimated nearly 6 million acres of forest and savanna have been torched since August. Eduardo Forno, who heads the Bolivian chapter of Conservation International, says that is almost equal to the area burned this year in the Amazon rainforest in neighboring Brazil, a country eight times larger. …Cecilia Requena says Morales’ government initially downplayed the extent of the fires and the response has been late, chaotic and ineffectual. …Now, a state sponsored TV campaign is portraying Morales as Bolivia’s firefighter in chief, with spots showing a determined-looking Morales spraying water on the flames.

Read More