Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 25, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC logging truck convoy en route to Vancouver, protests job losses

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 25, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Starting in Prince George this morning, a logging truck convoy will descend on Vancouver to protest forestry job losses. In related news: BC’s aid package has mayors, forest contractors and the Liberal opposition crying foul (to the Steelworkers’ dismay) given the associated loss of other rural funding. Meanwhile in the US: hardwood producers struggle with Trump’s trade war; log prices are up in the Northeast; and the latest on mortgage and lumber price trends.

In other news: Alberta researchers say leave more deadwood in the forest; the Pew foundation pans California’s forest plans; Oregon celebrates mild wildfire season; Brazil strikes defiant note on Amazon forest; climate activists rally for old-growth protection; and Tom Fletcher bemoans the fact-free climate crusade.

Finally, 13 BC early adopter communities to permit 12-storey mass timber buildings.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Moving Canada’s forestry sector from good to great

By Eric Miller, Rideau Potomac Strategy Group
The Winnipeg Free Press
September 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

If you surveyed 1,000 Canadians and asked them to provide an example of an innovative sector, most would not name forestry. Yet in an age of increased trade protectionism, worsening forest fires and concerns about environmental effect of materials from cement to plastic, Canada’s forest products industry is meeting these challenges head-on. Years of extensive collaboration with governments, Indigenous communities and research partners have made Canada’s forest-products sector a global leader in product and process innovation, environmental stewardship and international trade. Yet… how do we fully unlock the economic and environmental value of Canada’s forest products industry? Put another way, how can Canada’s forest products sector go from good to great? Let’s begin by reviewing our assets.

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Truck loggers to descend on Vancouver Wednesday

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you have to drive in downtown Vancouver tomorrow, you may want to avoid East Hastings Street between Boundary Road and the Vancouver Convention Centre – it’s going to get congested. Roughly 200 truck loggers plan to drive their rigs from the Interior of B.C. into Vancouver September 25, and meet up at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention is being held. Their mission is to show support for rural municipalities hit by sawmill closures and to confront provincial and federal politicians who might be there with demands for immediate reforms for B.C.’s forestry sector. …organizers hope to meet with politicians attending the UBCM conference to lobby for reforms. …the loggers say that stumpage rates in Alberta range from $4 to $8 per cubic metre, compared to about $55 per cubic metre in B.C. …“We are tired of hearing that point – that it will impact the SLA (Softwood Lumber Agreement),” Jerry Canuel, a retired chief forester said.

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‘We’re all getting hit hard’: B.C. truck convoy to protest forestry job losses

By Angie Mindus
BC Local News
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jorden Ilnicki and Tracy Ilnicki

A truck convoy down to Vancouver to protest forestry job losses is quickly gaining momentum in the Interior and northern B.C. On Wednesday, truckers will leave Prince George at 2 a.m., stop in Quesnel, Williams Lake, Merritt and Hope to pick up more truckers, then meet in Vancouver for a provincial demonstration at the Union of BC Municipalities annual convention. “It’s pretty disheartening that no one else is stepping up to help us. We’ve got nothing,” said Tracy Ilnicki, a longtime logging company owner in Williams Lake whose 25-year-old son, Jorden, is helping to organize the event. …Anywhere from 20 to 50 truckers in Williams Lake are expected to join the convoy, he said. Said his son, Jorden: “Logging trucks, pickups, anyone and everyone are welcome and needed. Please spread the word, our communities need this.”

Additional coverage:

Canadian Press in Prince George Citizen: Log truck convoy drives home message about dire state of B.C. forest industry

CBC News: Convoy of more than 100 logging trucks heading to Vancouver to protest forestry job losses

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One forest company expanding amidst industry uncertainty

By Bill Phillips
Prince George Daily News
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Brink and Doug Donaldson

With forest companies announcing temporary and permanent shut downs seemingly every week, there is one forest company that is expanding. The Brink Group – which operates Brink Forest Products in Prince George, Vanderhoof Special Wood Products, and Pleasant Valley Remanufacturing in Houston – has ambitious expansion plans over the next couple of years, according to founder and CEO John Brink. “In Prince George we are adding to our capacity,” he told reporters last week. “We adding another finger-jointing plant that will increase our production by about 40 per cent.” Work on that plant will start in late 2020, he said, and it will add at least 75 people to the company’s payroll. In Vanderhoof, he said, the company is in the process of doubling the capacity of it pellet plant there and increasing production on the remanufacturing plant and finger jointing plants, adding between 20 and 30 jobs.

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Steelworkers blast criticism of Rural Dividend Fund suspension

Prince George Daily News
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The revelation this week at Victoria has put the Rural Dividend program on hiatus has drawn the ire of some Interior mayors and the B.C. Liberals. That, in turn, has drawn the ire of the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017. …USW Local 1-2017 President Brian O’Rourke was shocked at the comments some Interior mayors and others are making regarding the diversion of funding to new forest worker support programs. “It’s just unbelievable,” said O’Rourke. “These same people have been slamming government for not taking action to assist forest workers and communities. What they’re saying now makes no sense. This funding diversion will be grouped with additional funding to help dozens of affected communities and thousands of workers and families in the forest sector. Right now there are thousands of workers from both the logging and manufacturing sectors who are not working. …These re-directed funds will benefit many more people than someone’s special project.”

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Letter to BC Minister of Forests, Donaldson

Letter By Dan Eaton, Resource Group, Peachland, BC
Tree Frog subscriber submission
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and all the other logging and trucking contractors in the province who are being severely impacted by the crisis in the forest industry. Last Tuesday’s announcement of sixty nine million dollars in funding will provide welcome relief for many affected mill workers in the province, but appears to offer no relief to the independent logging and trucking contractors and their employees, whose numbers are estimated to be two and a half times larger than the number of mill workers by the Interior Logging Association. …Relief for this segment of the industry is imperative. …there appears to be a level of political brinkmanship in play which is not constructive in reaching solutions to the issues. …While there has been a lot of talk about contractor sustainability over the last several years and how to obtain it, there has been little action to ensure such.

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Restore Rural Dividend Fund, Wilkinson tells NDP

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson called on Premier John Horgan Tuesday to restore a $25-million fund that many interior communities rely on for development in infrastructure needs. Minister of Forests, Doug Donaldson, announced earlier this month a $69 million support package for workers displaced in the forestry sector downturn.What he left out, Wilkinson said, is that the funding came partially from the suspension of the Rural Dividend Fund. The previous Liberal government established the fund to strengthen and diversify smaller communities. It has provided some $73 million to communities, First Nations and organizations over time. But, Wilkinson called Donaldson’s transition program “half-baked.” …United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 president Brian O’Rourke said he continues to support the provincial government’s initiative. “This funding diversion will be grouped with additional funding to help dozens of affected communities and thousands of workers and families in the forest sector,” he said in a statement.

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Rural B.C. mayors say loss of rural dividend fund is ‘devastating’

By Jennifer Saltman
The Vancouver Sun
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Some rural B.C. mayors are upset by the provincial government’s decision to divert money from the rural dividend fund to help communities hit by the forestry industry downturn, and say it will hurt their efforts at economic diversification. …Last week, the province announced $69 million in measures to help communities where mills have closed and production curtailed. …Karl Sterzer, mayor of the Village of Canal Flats, said the fund was “everything” when a Canfor sawmill… shut down in 2015. …Forest Minister Doug Donaldson said at a separate news conference that applications will be held until the next time the grants are issued, which could be in 2020. …BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson suggested the money to support the forestry sector should come from the provincial government’s contingency fund. …Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson agreed that it’s disappointing.

Additional coverage from:

CTV News: Amid forestry crisis, Horgan’s government accused of hurting rural communities

Kamloops This Week: Backlash as NDP’s forestry funding details emerge

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B.C. communities protest transfer of aid funds to those hit by sawmill closures

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government’s decision to transfer its $25 million annual “rural dividend fund” to an aid package for communities losing their sawmills has prompted a backlash. The fund was set up by the B.C. Liberal government to provide economic diversification to communities of 15,000 population or smaller, many of them dependent on a single industry. That changed Sept. 17 when Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced ministry funds have been reallocated for this year. B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson hosted rural community representatives at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Tuesday, where they took turns blasting the decision. Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said his community was counting on funds to help upgrade its water system. …Donaldson sent letters to applicants for the rural dividend fund…, advising them their grant applications are “suspended until further notice” to help those hardest hit by a wave of mill closures across the Interior.

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Lumber industry setbacks, NAFTA and the CUSMA

By Susan Kootnekoff
Kelowna Capital News
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For months now, we have been hearing about declines in B.C.’s forestry industry. Many workers in this industry are now without work. The Tolko mill, a stalwart in downtown Kelowna, now states, “we simply cannot operate in current conditions.” Various explanations have been offered for the forestry industry’s current situation. …B.C. lumber producers have been paying U.S. duties on shipments to the U.S. since April, 2017. They are now struggling amid softwood prices that have plunged 40 per cent since mid-2018. Has the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) significantly and adversely impacted the forestry industry? …Although CUSMA has been signed, it is not yet effective. To become effective in the U.S. it must be approved by both the U.S. House and Senate. Further U.S.-friendly changes may be requested.

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Hard Times: New England Hardwood Industry Struggles Amid Trump’s Trade War

By Wilder Fleming
Vermont Public Radio
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Trevor Allard stands in the sawmill’s observation deck at Allard Lumber. …The company manufactures high-grade hardwood boards from the forests of New England and upstate New York. It employs about 50 people, part of an industry that tends to be made up of small, family-run operations, but together employs tens of thousands of people in New England and nearly 700,000 across the country. And it’s an industry that’s been hit hard by President Trump’s trade war with China. But unlike some other agricultural sectors affected by escalating tariffs, the hardwood industry has received little to no compensation from the federal government. …The hardwood industry in the U.S. has been shrinking for decades. But in the wake of the Great Recession, China has been a bright spot. That is, until the trade war.

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What’s Driving Delivered Softwood and Hardwood Prices Higher in the US Northeast?

By Forest2Market
Paper Age
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Several factors have combined in the US Northeast over the last decade to negatively impact the region’s forest products industry. Most importantly, demand for one of the region’s pivotal products — printing and writing papers manufactured from hardwood and softwood pulp — continues to decline rapidly; production of printing and writing papers has declined by 6% annually since 2009. The secondary market for harvest residue and mill residual hog fuel — biomass chips used to generate electricity — has also been hard hit and is on life support throughout much of the region. However… demand is shifting between various types of paper products. As a result of this increase in demand, softwood and hardwood fiber prices are also increasing throughout the region. …Southern mills are primarily capitalizing on the growth of the boxboard segment, but mills in the Northeast are using softwood resources to support robust tissues and specialty papers segments.

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Hold the shovels on that Chinese pulp mill

By Max Brantley
The Arkansas Times
September 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The state of Arkansas yesterday issued an air permit for the proposed Shandong Sun Paper Mill near Arkadelphia, but don’t expect a groundbreaking soon. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who’s made Chinese investments a major thrust of his economic development agency, touted the permit at a media-only meeting yesterday. …The announced pulp mill, a garment plant in Forrest City… have not gotten off the ground. The problem isn’t only air permits. (Or the expensive water treatment plant that must be built for the Sun mill.) …Slow progress on Chinese projects in Arkansas, particularly the pulp mill, can be explained by the trade war Donald Trump is waging with China. In addition to making Chinese investors skittish about U.S. investments, the tariffs are a real detriment.

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Finance & Economics

US housing data mixed, softwood lumber prices strengthen further

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
September 24, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Last week was another of rising lumber prices, even as a glowing U.S. housing starts report came out and more Canadian sawmills announced closures and curtailments. This week’s benchmark lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr price was U.S. $382, up another +$6, or +2%, from one month ago when it was U.S. $346 mfbm. Narrowing the gap from the highs of summer 2018, compared to one year ago this price is down -$44, or -10%.

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Higher interest rates send weekly mortgage applications tanking 10%

By Diana Olick
CNBC Real Estate
September 25, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Higher in rates over the last two weeks send mortgage applications into a slide, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications to refinance a home loan, which are highly rate-sensitive, fell 15% for the week. Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 3% for the week but were a solid 9% higher than a year ago.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Project secures $5.1 million to develop energy-efficient building envelope tech

By Patrica Williams
The Daily Commercial News
September 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Having secured $5.1 million in federal and provincial funding, Carleton University’s Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research (CU-CABER) is forging ahead with studies in this sphere. The intent of the project, led by centre director Cynthia Cruickshank, is to develop new envelope technologies that make buildings more energy-efficient and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. …Carleton said the new infrastructure will enable researchers to study how heat, air and moisture move through materials and highly insulated wall systems and how these elements contribute to occupant health and comfort and building science risks including condensation, mould growth and rot. …Cruickshank said the project team received 14 letters of support… the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, the Canadian Renovators’ Council, the Canadian Wood Council.

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City of Quesnel celebrates grand opening of Forestry Innovation Centre

By Lindsay Chung
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
September 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Showcasing all that can be done with the wood products being produced in this area and offering space for visiting researchers to come up with ideas for the future of forestry, the City of Quesnel’s new Forestry Innovation Centre opened Sept. 18. In kicking off the grand opening reception, Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said this new centre was made possible by “a lot of guts and determination by a lot of people,” and he particularly thanked Erin Robinson, the City’s Forestry Initiatives Manager, and Taddea Kunkel, the Forestry Initiatives Co-ordinator and the City’s grant writer. The Forestry Innovation Centre, located on the second floor of City Hall, features offices and research space and many examples of different wood products from the local area, which are showcased in the furniture and on the walls of the centre. …The centre cost about $160,000, and Simpson says it mostly came out of the City’s building reserve.

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B.C. communities lead the way with mass timber technology

By The Office of the Premier
Government of British Columbia
September 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thirteen B.C. communities are leading the nation as they adopt innovative and safe mass timber technology for taller wood buildings that are faster to build, better for the environment and create new jobs and opportunities for forest communities in the province. “Building with B.C. wood is good for people, communities, our economy and our climate. It will create thousands of jobs, reduce carbon pollution and support forest-dependent communities,” said Premier John Horgan. “These 13 communities will help us get there faster.” …These communities represent 35% of all housing starts in 2018 in B.C. …Forest communities throughout B.C. will see economic benefits of increased production from B.C.’s mass timber manufacturers as they develop value-added timber products and revitalize this cornerstone industry. As part of the government’s Wood First Program, this initiative will benefit forest-dependent communities by helping diversify markets for B.C. wood, both at home and abroad.

Additional coverage in:

CTV News: Vancouver Island communities among first to adopt mass timber buildings

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‘Smart’ wood cutting costs for condo developer

By Frank O’Brian
Business in Vancouver
September 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Building new condominium projects out of new “smart” wood can save builders time and buyers money while protecting the environment, claims Adera’s VP of marketing and sales. Adera… has switched to building with cross-laminated timber in its projects, said Eric Andreasen.  The company is currently developing a six-storey, 72-unit condo building and plans a neighbouring stacked townhouse project in west Coquitlam. Building with CLT, he claimed, is less expensive than either concrete or standard stick-frame construction. According to a survey by Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing, the average pre-sale price of concrete highrise condos in Coquitlam ranges from $850 to $955 per square foot, while stick-frame low-rise condos are pre-selling to a maximum of $760 per square foot. Andreasen said the savings are because the “mass timber” CLT panels are premanufactured.

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Will this billion-dollar startup unlock the future of sustainable buildings?

By Patrick Sisson
Curbed NY
September 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The new factory that Katerra, a billion-dollar construction startup, officially opened last Friday in Spokane Valley, Washington, represents a tech company betting on a future of more automated, sustainable construction. That’s evident from the way a simple board of lumber enters the factory. …At Katerra’s new $150 million CLT… the raw material enters through a sorting machine that utilizes artificial intelligence to measure and evaluate every single piece of wood. An algorithm then matches up boards, based on where some may have knots or other irregularities, to turn them into walls or flooring panels, making sure that nothing is wasted and the resulting product is perfectly pressed. …This new 270,000-square-foot facility, which processes sustainable timber from Washington and surrounding states, all grown in sustainable forests harvested every 40 to 60 years.

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Forestry

Leaving more deadwood in forests enhances biodiversity: study

By Justin Dupuis
University of Alberta – Folio
September 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Increasing the amounts of deadwood in protected forests would help conserve biodiversity, according to a new University of Alberta review. Published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, it showed that increasing the amount of deadwood in boreal and temperate forests increased populations of insects and fungi that depend on it as habitat. …Though the review’s results did not surprise her, Macdonald said they should help inform forest conservation strategies, particularly for protected areas in Europe that used to be harvested for timber before being designated as reserves. …The authors argue that increasing the number of dead trees by girdling or controlled burning should be incorporated into conservation management strategies aimed at rehabilitating these endangered deadwood-associated species. …The study’s results are also of interest to Canada’s forest industry, which has taken measures to become more sustainable, said Macdonald.

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Efforts continue to protect the Argenta/Johnson’s Landing forested watershed

By Timothy Schafer
The Castlegar Source
September 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An initial courtroom defeat in the fight against logging in an Argenta/Johnson’s Landing watershed has instead moved the protest from the logging roads of north Kootenay Lake to the roads of the internet. The protest camp, Camp Caribou, set up this summer …was used to call attention to Cooper Creek Cedar’s plan to cut six forest blocks (up to 40,000 cubic metres) on the “Face” near the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. The message of the protest was clear: cutting the mountainside in the area poses severe risks and losses to local people, communities, ecosystems, wildlife, endangered caribou, homes and to the only road to the community, due to terrain instability that in the past resulted in a landslide that killed four people in 2012. …Clear-cutting forests is the practice of harvesting life, resources and the systems of life, said environmentalist Mona Southron, who supported the camp.

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BC Timber Sales celebrates National Forest Week

By Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
September 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is a supporter of National Forest Week. This year’s theme, Canada’s Forests: Diverse Outdoor Classrooms, highlights the endless learning opportunities that Canada’s forests provide. Getting outdoors to learn and explore benefits individual health and expands collective forest education, improving the well-being of all Canadians. …BCTS’s primary role is to manage the harvesting and reforestation of a significant portion of the timber in British Columbia’s provincial forest. Hands-on education is a vital part of BCTS’s goal to protect and sustain the province’s natural resources for future generations. BCTS staff continually seek opportunities to educate the public about the importance of B.C.’s forests. In celebration of National Forest Week, BCTS has several events planned. In Port Alberni, BCTS staff will tour Grade 5 students around the McLean Mill Historic Park. …In 100 Mile House, BCTS foresters will lead students from grades 4 to 7 through education stations in Centennial Park.

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Federal Plan for Sierra and Sequoia National Forests Falls Short

By John Gilroy
The Pew Charitable Trusts
September 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Sierra and Sequoia national forests in California encompass some 2.4 million acres and serve as the gateway to Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon national parks. This vast area in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range is home to rich and varied ecosystems that support thousands of wildlife and plant species, and stunningly scenic areas that draw visitors from around the world. Both forests contain extensive wild lands and rivers worthy of protection. For the first time in 20 years, the U.S. Forest Service is updating the forests’ land management plans, which will determine how much of these forests will be protected and how much will be open to development for the next 15 to 20 years. The agency’s draft plans, released June 18, fall short of what’s needed to safeguard the immense natural and recreational value of these forests. The Forest Service is accepting public comment on the draft until Sept. 26.

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Oregon has mild wildfire season

The Associated Press in the Longview Daily News
September 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, Oregon — After two wildfire-filled seasons, Oregonians got a break this summer. Oregon’s fire season was the mildest since 2004 and the least expensive since 2010, according to statistics from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. The Statesman Journal reports that statewide, wildfires burned just 67,795 acres this year compared to 883,405 acres a year ago. Cost also plummeted, dropping to $58 million this year compared to a record-high $530 million in 2018. One reason for the lack of wildfires was that Oregon’s forests never dried out to the level of the past two years, thanks to cooler temperatures and greater humidity, especially in the mountains. Even when wildfires ignited, “we never had a fire environment that was set up for explosive growth,” Skelly said.

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New restoration approach could save forest industry

September 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — …recent developments [in the 4-Forest Restoration Initiatives (4FRI)] point to potential improvements. This might really work out well for the struggling wood products industry in the White Mountains. The Four Forests Restoration Initiative is the most ambitious forest restoration effort in the country, with the goal of thinning tree densities on more than 2 million acres of ponderosa pine forests in Arizona… Environmentalist, local officials, loggers and foresters agreed that a combination of prescribed burns and small-wood logging operations restoring the forest and returning low-intensity wildfires to their natural role. In the process, 4FRI hopes to reduce catastrophic wildfires, protecting watershed and saving forested communities. …However, the effort has floundered in the past seven years for lack of infrastructure and a market for the wood slash that constitutes half of the material to be removed — the biomass.

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Ponderosas need their itty bitty friends

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
September 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Just because you’re 100 feet tall, 200 years old and weigh 10,000 pounds doesn’t mean you don’t need lots of little, itty, bitty friends. Turns out, pygmy nuthatches, mountain chickadees and yellow-rumped warblers provide a major boost for ponderosa pines by gobbling up bugs — especially aphid-herding ants, according to a study published in the journal Animal Ecology. The research out of the University of Colorado shows that the massive pines that cover millions of acres in Arizona create an unexpectedly complex ecosystem…. The study showed that some 300 different species of spiders and insects make their living on the complicated world of the tree, with its cones, deeply grooved bark and thousands of pounds of needles and branches. …The research shows that managing the forest to benefit species like nuthatches can dramatically affect the health of the forest as a whole — and of the trees on which everything else depends.

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Amazon rainforest belongs to Brazil, says Jair Bolsonaro

BBC News
September 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

President Jair Bolsonaro has insisted that the Brazilian areas of the Amazon rainforest are sovereign territory. Conservationists blame Mr Bolsonaro and his government for turning a blind eye to farmers and loggers clearing land in the Amazon, hastening deforestation. But in an address at the United Nations in New York, he struck a defiant note. He said it was a “fallacy” to describe the Amazon as the heritage of humanity and a “misconception” that its forests were the lungs of the world. …Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Mr Bolsonaro criticised what he described as sensational reporting in the international media. …Mr Bolsonaro was speaking the day after an impassioned speech from teenage Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg”…The Brazilian president defended his government’s treatment of indigenous people, saying many backed his policies.

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FSC Celebrates its 25th anniversary with an eye on the future

Forest Stewardship Council
September 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Cancun, Mexico—The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is celebrating 25 years of taking care of the world’s forests, having opened its first office in Oaxaca, Mexico in August 1994. As the birthplace of FSC, Mexico has a special place in its heart and history. In 1994, the FSC Secretariat opened its doors in Oaxaca with only three staff members. In 2003 it relocated its headquarters to Bonn, Germany. Today the organization has expanded to become a globally recognized body with a staff of 355 in 50 offices, across five continents. FSC commemorates this milestone in Cancún, Mexico today, where stakeholders, including FSC members, will be present for the occasion. “FSC has much to celebrate. We have grown to become the world’s most trusted solution for sustainable forest management.

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Meet the jungle gardener of Borneo, who is logging sustainably

By Kate Whiting
The World Economic Forum
September 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BORNEO, MALAYSIA — When Peter Lagan wants proof that it’s possible both to log the rainforest and conserve its biodiversity, he considers the orangutans in Sabah’s Deramakot Forest Reserve. …Dermakot… has been certified as a “well-managed forest” since September 1997. The certificate from the Forest Stewardship Council is due for renewal for a sixth time in October, making it the world’s longest-certified tropical rainforest. …To ensure their protection management practices, including felling trees, are done in a way that mimics natural processes, Lagan and his team take care not to take down the big trees used by animals living in the canopy layer to move between different parts of the forest. “It’s just managing your cutting limits, managing how you extract the logs, not damaging your future crop trees,” he explains. “

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

A fact-free climate strike spreads across the world

By Tom Fletcher
Kamloops This Week
September 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

If the current federal election has shown us anything, it is that we are in a post-literate, post-fact environment in which images and their propaganda power guide public opinion. …Protests are expected to continue this week, featuring children yelling into bullhorns and waving signs demanding that all fossil fuel use cease by the currently selected deadline of 11 years. …Wildfires generated almost three times the emissions as all recorded human activity. It will be a year before we see 2018 numbers, but they will be similar due to that wildfire season. What kids are told in school and elsewhere is that those fires were caused by warming. False. Severe fire seasons are the inevitable result of 60 years of wildfire suppression to preserve timber. There is science to show it and it’s not from computer models that have never been accurate once in 20 years.

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Climate activists hold rally for old-growth forests on Vancouver Island

By Adam Chan
CTV News Vancouver Island
September 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Environmental activists held a rally in front of the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy building Tuesday to protest the logging of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island. The protest is part of a week of global climate strike actions, which included a student walkout that blocked traffic in front of the B.C. Legislature on Friday.  The group Friends of Carmanah Walbran said it hopes to draw attention to the logging of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island. “It’s something that’s not talked about enough,” said protester Jessie Demers. “We know we’re on the brink of climate catastrophe and mass extinctions and we know that old growth forests sequester huge amounts of carbon.” The Friends of Carmanah Walbran are asking Minister George Heyman to intervene and work with the Ministry of Forests to create a moratorium on old-growth logging. …Approximately 70 to 100 attended Tuesday morning’s protest.

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Parents, teachers have role to play in youth climate movement, supporters say

By Roxanne Egan-Elliott
The Times-Colonist
September 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Parents and teachers have a role to play in the youth movement to demand government action on climate change, say organizers of Monday’s rally and teach-in. Organizers of the event, co-hosted by Parents 4 Climate and the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, wanted to show their support for young activists and help propel the movement forward. …The event took place on a professional development day for teachers. Lawes said they picked the day so educators could attend without missing school. …Today, friends of Carmanah-Walbran will be leading a picket line at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy building on Superior Street from 8 to 10 a.m. Organizers are calling for a moratorium on old-growth logging in B.C.

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Health & Safety

Avoiding Combustible Dust Mistakes

By Jean Lian
Occupational Health and Safety Canada
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

Combustible dust, which is a mixture of fine solid particles that are liable to catch fire or explode upon ignition when dispersed in the air, is a hazard common to many industries. …In 2018, there were 194 dust fires and explosions result ing in one fatality and 39 injuries in North America, compared to 145 dust fires and explosions resulting in six fatalities and 52 injuries in the previous year. …While conducting a dust-hazard analysis, implementing controls and documenting the effectiveness of the preventive measures taken is a good process to follow, “there are a lot of mistakes that occur,” says Reason, who spoke at Safety 2019 in New Orleans. …The most common mistake is not knowing the hazards of the dust present in a workplace. “Wood dust is not wood dust; corn is not corn,” says Reason, adding that there are differ­ences that affect their explosive properties.

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WorkSafeBC fines local business

The Prince George Citizen
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has levied a $5,000 fine against a Prince George business over improper handling of wood dust. According to a posting on the agency’s website, an inspection of Hyon Bedding Ltd. revealed “accumulations of wood dust on surfaces throughout the facility, including near ignition sources such as drive motors and electrical devices. “The firm failed to control and remove hazardous accumulations of combustible dust, a repeated and high-risk violation.” Hyon Bedding Ltd. sorts and bags sawmill wood shavings for secondary processing. The fine was issued on April 15.

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Province takes ‘first steps’ on Bamfield road improvements

By Cindy Harnett
The Times-Colonist
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province will not take immediate action to upgrade Bamfield Main, but Premier John Horgan has committed to “first steps” for incremental improvements, says the chief councillor of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. …The First Nation said Horgan told its representatives that the government began working on a engineering report for the road about a month ago. It said he has agreed to meet with the First Nation in November to review the study. …The 78-kilometre Bamfield Main includes 60 kilometres of road owned by Western Forest Products and 18 owned by Mosaic Forest Management, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and the Ministry of Transportation, Dennis said. Western Forest Products owns the stretch of road where the crash happened. The province provides annual funding, but the forestry companies are responsible for maintenance.

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