Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 24, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

The UN’s embrace of forest products sparks debate at Climate Week

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 24, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The UN’s embrace of forest products sparked debate at Climate Week in New York. In related news: UN plans vast urban forests to improve air quality; carbon removal needed to fight climate pollution; and a blood-red haze engulfs Indonesia.

In Business news: BC’s worker-support funding called sneaky, robbing Peter to pay Paul.  As jobs evaporate and more worries arise in BC communities, including Terrace, Merritt, Quesnel, a 200 logging truck protest is planned for Vancouver and COFI answers questions on its 60-point plan. Other topics making headlines include: trends in global trade of forest products; an industry wetland partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada; SFI’s Green Ride for Jobs; and the plight of BC’s iconic Mountain Caribou.

Finally; Dovetail’s latest LCA assessment on home cladding products a win for wood.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

‘We’re all getting hit hard’: Cariboo loggers set to join truck Rally to Vancouver protest

By Angie Mindus
The Williams Lake Tribune
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Facebook post calling on local logging companies to join a Rally to Vancouver truck protest is quickly gaining momentum in the Cariboo. Started in the Cariboo by Jorden Ilnicki of Jordco Enterprises in Williams Lake, the protest will see truckers from throughout the north head in a convey to Merritt and then Vancouver to bring attention to the dire state of the industry, stopping at many resource-based communities along the route. …From Merritt, the truck rally will begin its convoy to the Lower Mainland and into the City of Vancouver with a police escort. …Tracy said anywhere from 20 to 50 truckers are expected to come out of Williams Lake to join the provincial convey, where there could be hundreds more.

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MLA to host forestry industry meeting

By Rod Link
The Terrace Standard
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ellis Ross

Ellis Ross would be the first to admit he doesn’t know a lot about the forestry industry. “Forestry is an incredibly complicated topic. There’s no easy fix. There are so many different issues. It’s always been a bit of a mystery to me,” says the BC Liberal MLA for Skeena. So he’s hosting a meeting Oct. 3 and is inviting anybody and everybody with ideas that would stimulate economic development and employment. …“What I’m looking for is a non-partisan discussion. I want to get good qualified people in the room,” said Ross of his plan. …The MLA also thinks the wide variety of companies in the provincial forestry industry may have to forego the idea of making as much profit as possible in favour of putting people to work.

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‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’: B.C. government funds $69M forestry support program by cancelling rural grants

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is redirecting money earmarked to help rural communities across the province into a new forest worker support program in the province’s Interior, and the news has left some small-town leaders wondering if the decision is more about optics than actually supporting B.C.’s resource communities. “They’re robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, whose city had applied for a $500,000 rural dividend grant to build a water treatment plant. “They screwed up.” The B.C. Rural Dividend is a $25 million provincial fund aimed at helping communities of 25,000 people or less “strengthen and diversify their local economies.” …But this year’s applicants have been told they won’t be getting any money, as the province spends $69 million on newly-announced forest worker support programs in the B.C. Interior.

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Tegart talks local forestry

Merritt Herald
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jackie Tegart

…forestry is the primary employer [for many in BC], so the recent downturn in the industry has been a troubling trend. “Crisis” is the word Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart uses to describe the situation. “I think that, certainly in Fraser-Nicola, when we look at mountain pine beetle and the impact of the 2017 and 2018 fires, we knew annual allowable cuts would be going down,” she said. “But we didn’t think it would be quite as devastating as it has been.” Tegart pointed to the province being the highest-cost producer in North America as having a lot to do with the current state of the industry. And, while she acknowledged the plans recently announced by the provincial government — [$69-million fund] — she said that action should have been taken sooner. Tegart said she had urged the provincial government to contact the federal government about solutions to the forestry problem before the arrival of the federal election campaign.

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Support package for forest workers comes at a price — B.C. Rural Dividend fund

By Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

VICTORIA — When cabinet minister Doug Donaldson announced a $69-million support package for displaced forest workers, he didn’t mention it would be paid for in part by suspending $25 million in grants to develop the rural economy. Donaldson… confined the bad news to a letter sent out to hundreds of applicants for grants under the B.C. Rural Dividend. The dividend was established under the previous B.C. Liberal government to “strengthen and diversify” the local economy in communities of 25,000 people or less. …Instead of disappointing all those applicants, why didn’t the New Democrats take the $25 million out of contingency funds? …“This is a cross-government approach to a new initiative,” Donaldson explained. “We want to be careful managers of public funds.” A defensible move if done upfront. …That suggests they aren’t so much careful managers as sneaky ones.

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Quesnel Eyes Next Steps Following Forestry Think Tank Two

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
September 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says this week’s Forestry Think Tank was once again very successful. He says they focused on what the human resource challenges would be in realizing a whole new approach to the forest industry. Simpson says they looked at a variety of alternate products… “If we’re going to get into bio processing for example, making bio fuels, bio plastics, or bio composites, if we’re going to do something different on the land base in terms of how we plan and harvest on the land base, then a big question begged is how do you fill the human resource skills for that ?” Simpson says they had more 60 people taking part representing post-secondary institutions, research institutions, the Ministry of Forests from around the province and Victoria, as well as First Nations.

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As jobs evaporate, some B.C. resource towns look to tourism. But the transition is no vacation

By Jeremy Nuttall
The Toronto Star
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Recently layoffs at local mills in Quesnel, central British Columbia and the closure of another have darkened the day in the small city and its surrounding area of about 23,000 people. …Worse yet, the question of what comes next for workers in resource towns when layoffs hit is flumoxing desperate locals. In some places tourism is the answer, but it’s an unlikely scenario in some of B.C.’s more remote places. Experts caution it’s easy to tout tech as an economic replacement but harder to actually employ former mill workers and lumberjacks in an industry requiring specialized education at post secondary schools in cities far away from sawdust and green chains. …Despite a history of boom and bust resource economies across the province, a workable solution to the problem of how to employ people when the resource sector goes down has largely eluded provincial leaders.

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Worker aid package details are elusive

By Rod Link
The Vanderhoof Omineca Express
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Details remain vague as to how the $69 million aid package for workers affected by sawmill closures and operations reductions announced by the provincial government last week will apply to workers at the Canfor sawmill in Houston and Vanderhoof. …$40 million of the package is to provide a bridge to retirement for older workers, $15 million for short term projects such as getting rid of trees which pose as fire hazards near communities and $12 million for skills retraining. There’s a further $2 million for an office to track workers as they take on other employment and money for communities to help cope with the effects of losing major employers. The retirement bridge portion is to be cost-shared between the province and forest companies. …Dawn Makarowski from the forests ministry… “The details of how the programs will be implemented will be available in the coming weeks.

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Editorial: More worries over work in B.C.’s woods

By Editorial Board
Business in Vancouver
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For the value it adds to B.C.’s economy and the share it shoulders of the province’s vital export inventory, forestry gets precious little love from the provincial government. Last week’s announced $69 million initiative to support workers in the beleaguered forest industry is therefore encouraging. It is also long overdue. The BC NDP’s…Finance Minister Carole James also applauded her government’s job of “strong budget management that is delivering services people count on, making life more affordable for people and building a sustainable economy.” These are laudable talking points. But it might be time to consider doing more to put key economic building blocks first. Forestry, for instance. Though it gets little recognition from urban sophisticates and the clean-tech set, forestry remains fundamental to B.C.’s economic vitality. It still directly employs approximately 50,000 British Columbians and generates roughly one-third of B.C. export revenue. But it is hurting. …Putting forestry first for a change would also help put a lot of people first in this province.

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BC Council of Forest Industries CEO answers key questions on 60 point plan

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
September 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

…MyPGNow.com spoke with COFI President and CEO Susan Yurkovich on several points from their platform. 1) Implement a “no-net-loss policy” to provide certainty in the long term. Undertake a review every 5 years. How would this be achieved?… 2) Accelerate the replanting of Not Sufficiently Restocked (NSR) areas to return them to productive forests. Set a goal of achieving 100% completion within 5 years. Targeting a 24-month timeline to salvage timber following wildfires… 3) Increase revenue sharing to direct 40% of stumpage revenue to support local communities and First Nations. This revenue will create a means for First Nations to increase direct participation in the industry and will support community initiatives. How could this benefit the north?… 4) Establish a permanent Chair in Green Building at UBC and/or UNBC. How would this benefit Prince George, which already has the Wood Innovation and Design Centre?

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200 logging trucks expected to drive through Vancouver Wednesday to protest forestry job losses

By Emily Lazatin
Global News
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

About 200 logging trucks will make their way through downtown Vancouver Wednesday morning to protest dozens of mill closures or curtailments and hundreds of jobs lost across B.C. Truckers will be sending their message to those attending the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention at the Vancouver Convention Centre this week. “We’ll have people as far north as Burns Lake and beyond…Quesnel, 100 Mile, Prince George, out of North Thompson, out of he Kooteneys, Kelowna, Vernon, from all over,” co-organizer Howard McKimmon said. …Retired forestry worker Jerry Canuel said one big issue is the stumpage rate in place throughout B.C.“Those rates do not reflect true market values right now and they are rates that are really at a level that are so high that it will prohibit harvesting operations from starting up again, so our message is that program has to be looked at, something has to be done with that program,” he said.

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Stumped – Searching for trends in the global trade of forest products

By George Lauriat
American Journal of Transportation
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

There is nothing easy about searching out supply and demand trends in the global trade of forest products. With the U.S.-China tariff war, the global economic slowing, climate change and environmental challenges, looking for market trends can be like trying to read the tea leaves spinning in a stirred cup. Stumped. Where do you begin? Over the past two years the tariff war between the United States and China certainly has been a major factor stirring up difficulties in the global trade of forest products. …There are other factors influencing global supply and demand for forest products. Pricing and product availability matched against the demand economics and the regulatory guidelines push and shove forest products from market to market. …Nonetheless, China’s imports of forest products – just as steelmaking commodities – shape the global market. …When the tariff war between the U.S. and China broke out in 2018, it set off a tit for tat tariffs battle

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Business needs to tell its side of the story

By Don Brunell
The Courier-Herald
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Many years ago, a reporter asked George Weyerhaeuser, then CEO of Weyerhaeuser Co., why his company spent so much time and money informing its workers, public officials and people about its business of growing trees and converting those trees into lumber and paper products. His answer was simple. “People need to know what we do and why what we do is important to them.” …Weyerhaeuser and the forest industry went a step further. They took public concerns to heart and changed the way they managed their lands. Some of those modifications were costly and put lands off limits to logging.  …Just as the forest industry invests in public information programs, so have our railroads. …Just as the forest industry is a major employer and economic driver in Washington, so are BNSF and Union Pacific—the nation’s two largest railroads.

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Katerra Opens State-of-the-Art Mass Timber Factory in Spokane Valley, WA

Katerra
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

MENLO PARK, California — Katerra, a technology company redefining the construction industry, announced the grand opening of North America’s highest volume cross-laminated timber factory. Located in Spokane Valley, Wash., the 270,000-square-foot-facility will significantly increase supplies of CLT, a fully renewable structural building material that… can be used in place of steel and concrete in buildings up to 18 stories. …“CLT perfectly embodies Katerra’s guiding principles for product development…” said Michael Marks, CEO and co-founder of Katerra. …Katerra’s new CLT factory occupies 29 acres with easy access to rail lines and interstate highways. At full operation, the factory will employ 105 people.

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Katerra says its new cross-laminated timber plant is the largest in the country

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Engineered wood and building development giant Katerra’s new cross-laminated timber and glulam plant is now open in Washington. Katerra says the 270,000 square foot facility is the largest of its kind in North America. Citing “off the charts” demand for its CLT, the $150 million manufacturing plant will produce up to 13 million board feet of timber per year. …Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Maria Cantwell both praised the plant and the 100 jobs created. Cantwell helped push 2018’s Farm Bill into effect, which funded CLT research and development. …Katerra’s near-term manufacturing expansion plans for the U.S. includes three more building components factories to serve the South and East Coast markets, as well as another mass timber production facility to be located in the Southeast. The company is worth around $3 billion.

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Air permit paves way for $1.8B pulp mill in Arkansas

By Stephen Steed
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Sun Bio received an air permit Monday from the state, allowing the company to begin construction of a $1.8 billion pulp mill first announced for Clark County more than three years ago. Some 350 people will be employed at the mill when it opens — up from the 250 employees projected in April 2016. Investment in the project also increased from $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion when Shandong Sun Paper Industry changed the project’s mission in early 2018. That change forced the China-based company to restart the application process for the necessary air and water permits from what is now the Department of Energy and Environment and its Division of Environmental Quality. The mill is expected to provide another 1,000 jobs in the logging industry and more than 2,000 jobs during construction, officials have said.

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SFPA Mourns the Passing of William Almond

The Southern Forest Products Association
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

William Almond

William Almond, Almond Brothers Lumber, passed away Sunday, September 22, at the age of 67. William joined Southern Forest Products Association in 2010 and served on SFPA’s Board of Directors from 2010-2018. He was a true southern gentleman with a deep passion for the Southern Pine Lumber Industry. William served on SFPA’s Executive Committee from 2013 through 2018 in various positions including Treasurer, Vice-Chair of Board, Chair of Board, and two terms as Immediate Past Chair. The profound level of commitment William gave to SFPA and the Southern Pine Lumber Industry enhanced our organization and industry in countless ways. [The link to William’s full obituary is the Read More]

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World Bank forest-rescue program ‘kickstarted’ by Germany

Deutsche Welle
September 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A World Bank forest rescue program has been given a multi-million “kickstart” by Germany. Norway has done a deal with Gabon that it sustains its tropical forests to absorb carbon dioxide and help avert climate warming. German Development Minister Gerd Müller signed a €200 million ($210 million) pledge from Germany in New York on Monday to launch ProGreen, a World Bank program to stem deforestation amid climate change. Signing for the World Bank, its president David Malpass said ProGreen built on existing initiatives and focused on improving forest policies nation-by-nation by bringing together “rarely coordinated” sectors. The World Bank said Earth’s remaining forests were under “increasing pressure” while providing habitat for 78% of the world’s poor, with one-third of total land areas already degraded “at an estimated annual cost of US$300 billion.” Müller said 11% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) could be traced to deforestation.

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Finance & Economics

What Makes Trex a Better Wood Stock Than Universal Forest?

By Zacks Equity Research
Yahoo Finance
September 23, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

The Zacks Building Products – has witnessed signs of recovery as the U.S. housing market rebounded this year, thanks to lower mortgage rates and a solid labor market. …Universal Forest and Trex are the most recognized among the industry bellwethers. …In the past three-month period, Trex and Universal Forest have gained 29.4% and 10.3%, respectively, compared with the industry’s 8% growth. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Environmental Assessment of House Cladding Products

By Jim Bowyer et al
Dovetails Partners Inc.
September 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

A number of house cladding options are available to North American consumers. While environmental impacts of various options are seldom taken into account in product selection, information regarding specific impact measures through the life cycles of products is now readily available. This information reveals differences in impacts linked to various types of cladding options. Over an assumed building life of 60 years or less environmental performance of vinyl and wood-based products is generally better than that of available alternatives. However, should a longer building life be assumed, the relative ranking of brick and mortar cladding would improve with each decade of additional assumed life, up to 200 years. 

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Forestry

9,000 km Cross-Country Green Ride for Green Jobs Bike Tour Crosses the Finish Line in St. John’s

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
September 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

St. John’s, Newfoundland — After biking over 9,000 kms across Canada, Zac Wagman, Green Jobs Manager for Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) – an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) – completed the Green Ride for Green Jobs today at the Terry Fox Mile 0 Monument in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Wagman’s journey began in Victoria, B.C., on May 13, and took him through over 100 communities across nine provinces where he met with over 230 Green Jobs youth and over 50 employers. The youth Wagman met on his ride were just some of the 2,000 students that PLT Canada helped to place in green jobs since 2018 with support from over 150 employers across Canada and funding provided by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. Wagman’s arrival coincided with National Forest Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the natural heritage and benefits of one of Canada’s greatest renewable resources. 

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Forest Management Wetland Stewardship Initiative extends partnership to 2022

Ducks Unlimited Canada
September 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

EDMONTON, Alberta — Members of the Forest Management Wetland Stewardship Initiative announce that… the partnership will continue for a second three-year term. FMWSI is a partnership between Alberta-Pacific, Canfor, FPAC, Millar Western, Tolko, West Fraser and Weyerhaeuser, and Ducks Unlimited Canada. The goals of the partnership are to share knowledge and resources to advance sustainable forest management and wetland stewardship in the working forests of Canada’s boreal region. In its first term, the partnership determined there was a need to address how to maintain healthy wetlands when working in the Boreal region. In response, three guidebooks were developed to assist with the identification and management of boreal wetlands. …“This collaborative initiative is an example of how landscape-scale forest management planning can work to enhance and conserve wetlands and biodiversity,” …said Kate Lindsay, VP FPAC.

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Northern B.C. mayor wants province to act now to squash spruce beetle infestation

CBC News
September 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brad Layton

Beetles are once again wreaking havoc on British Columbia’s forests and the mayor of Telkwa, B.C. says the province must do more to stop the infestation now to protect both the trees and the timber industry. Brad Layton, the mayor of Telkwa, B.C., located 350 kilometres west of Prince George, is worried about the spruce beetle. …According to the province, there are more than 341,000 hectares of forest infested with spruce beetles in the north central Interior of B.C., and Layton says the government could do more to handle the problem now before it balloons beyond control. …Layton said spruce beetles are easily foiled by”trap trees,” which are trees intentionally cut down to lure beetles away from those meant to be harvested. 

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Iconic mountain caribou deserve more attention

By Tim Burkhart, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
The Province
September 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Here in British Columbia, we are blessed with North America’s largest amount of unique species of animals, plants, and insects — but also the highest number of species at risk of extinction. Unfortunately, the B.C. government appears committed to managing that extinction, rather than confronting and reversing it, at least for the iconic mountain caribou. Fewer than 1,300 southern mountain caribou remain, and some herds, including the Burnt Pine and South Selkirks, are now locally extinct. On Sept. 18, Doug Donaldson, the B.C. Minister of Forests, was quoted as saying, “We have enough (caribou) habitat protection measures in place.” The ministry’s own recovery program documents disagree. …Real leadership would seize upon the opportunity to both address the real issues and to stand up to the massive extinction event threatening B.C.’s iconic wildlife. What is stopping Minister Donaldson?

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Environmentalists take Nova Scotia to court over endangered species

By Blair Rhodes
CBC News
September 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Environmental groups are asking a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge to order the provincial Lands and Forestry Department to do more to protect endangered species. The groups argue that the government is in violation of its own legislation covering species at risk because it has failed to come up with concrete plans to protect species and help them recover. …Those included the Canada warbler and the eastern wood peewee, both songbirds, the black ash and ram’s head lady’s slipper, both plants, the wood turtle and the iconic mainland moose. All have been identified by the government as species at risk. But lawyers for the groups argued Monday that the government has failed to adhere to its own requirements.

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Alleged threats made to timber harvesters as tensions rise in Port Blandford

CBC News
September 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NFLD. & LABRADOR — Amid rising tensions and a government-issued warning of possible threats against local timber harvesters, the mayor of Port Blandford is arguing for both peace in his central Newfoundland community and an end to logging operations in its surrounding valley. While Chad Holloway said the spectre of commercial harvesting in the Southwest River Valley has been contentious for the last few years, a notice issued Thursday by the Department of Land and Fish Resources of “alleged threats to the physical safety of domestic and commercial harvesters” has escalated the need to find common ground. …The notice asked for both domestic and commercial harvesters to curtail their work until more is known about the threats. CBC requests for more information were unanswered. 

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Judge grants preliminary injunction to stop timber sales in Tongass

By Lex Treinen
KTUU
September 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE –A federal judge halted the US Forest Service’s plan to sell 1,156 acres of old-growth forest on Prince of Wales Island in the Tongass National Forest that was scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The injunction stops Tuesday’s sale, but also puts on hold additional plans contained within the Forest Service’s plan to log 23,269 acres of old-growth forest, as well as proposed construction of a 164-mile road and 19,366 acres of young growth trees over the next 15 years. Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court for Alaska, issued the opinion just days before effects of the project could have been seen. …The decision found that the plaintiffs in the case, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and other environmental groups, use the area for subsistence and recreation activities, and that the timber harvest and road construction in the area would cause “irreparable harm,” something that the Forest Service didn’t deny.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Cutting climate pollution isn’t enough — we also need carbon removal

By Fred Krupp and Ernest Moniz
The Hill
September 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

It has been almost four years since the Paris climate agreement was signed. But as leaders gather in New York this week for the United Nations Climate Change Summit, the world remains far off track. To meet that target, the world must achieve a 100 percent clean economy — one that produces net zero emissions, or no more climate pollution than can be removed from the atmosphere — soon after mid-century, with the United States and other advanced economies reaching that milestone no later than 2050. It’s a daunting but doable task. …The good news is that there are a surprisingly large number of promising pathways for carbon dioxide removal. Nature-based approaches include reforestation and forest management as well as agricultural practices that increase carbon stored in soils. Some of the attendant challenges include competition for land and permanence of the carbon sequestration.

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As Climate Week Kicks Off, UN Report Recommendation on Forest Products Sparks Debate

By Shawn McCoy
Inside Sources
September 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As environmental groups, activists, government officials, and corporate leaders gather in New York for Climate Week, a little-noticed recommendation from a recent United Nations report on climate change is getting increased attention – and sparking debate. …[It is] the report’s embrace of forest products. “In the long term,” the IPCC explains, “a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fiber, or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.” …“A healthy market for wood products provides a strong incentive for landowners to maintain their forests and keep regrowing trees,” said Taylor Fitts, Vice President of Communications at the US Industrial Pellet Association, a trade association that promotes sustainable wood energy. “Without this incentive, we’ll actually lose forests as private landowners convert them to other uses that offer greater financial returns, including bulldozing them for development.”

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U.N. plans vast urban forests to fight climate change

By Thin Lei Win
Reuters in Vancouver Sun
September 23, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

ROME – The United Nations unveiled plans to plant urban forests over an area four times the size of Hong Kong, seeking to make Africa and Asia’s rapidly growing cities greener. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the pace of urbanization on both continents was contributing to climate change and planting trees could improve air quality, cut the risk of floods and heatwaves and halt land degradation. It will discuss plans to create up to half a million hectares of new urban forests – more than four times the size of Hong Kong – by 2030 in New York this week. … The FAO is working with Stefano Boeri Architetti, the firm that designed a “vertical forest” in the Italian city of Milan by incorporating trees equivalent to two hectares of forests in two residential towers.

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Health & Safety

Blood-red haze engulfs Indonesian province as forest fires and smog worsen

By Eric Cheung
CNN
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

The skies over the Indonesian province of Jambi have been turned blood red, as the toxic haze from widespread rainforest fires continues to affect residents across the country. …More than 328,000 hectares of ecologically-rich land have been burned across Indonesia in recent weeks. The raging fires have forced hundreds of residents to evacuate and led to the deployment of more than 9,000 personnel to battle the flames. …The ominous-looking red skies were caused by a phenomenon called Mie scattering, which occurs when sunlight is scattered by tiny pollution particles in the air. …The scattering happens when the diameter of the particles is similar to the wavelength of visible sunlight, the agency said. …Some residents have been forced to evacuate to other cities because of the hazardous air quality.

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