Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 27, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

No shortage of opinions on BC’s forestry woes

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 27, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

No shortage of opinions on BC’s forestry woes in today’s news:

Meanwhile: Catalyst lays-off 70 at Crofton mill; another option for Northern Pulp and Boat Harbour; Pinnacle Pellet scrambles to secure fibre amid closures; LignaTerra announces CLT mill for Maine; Jimmy Pattison hordes cash as global trade tensions mount, and slower US economic growth will persist.

Finally, lots on the Climate Strikes, including how forests, and wood products can help; some firm push back on Tom Fletcher’s earlier column; and… sustainable coal?

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Billionaire Pattison hoards cash as global trade tensions mount

By Natalie Obiko Pearson
BNN Bloomberg
September 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jimmy Pattison

Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison says his businesses are stockpiling cash in preparation for a possible downturn as rising U.S.-China tensions spur global uncertainty. “We are certainly watching our dollars maybe a little bit tighter than we were before,” Pattison said. The 90-year-old titan says his group began increasing its cash piles about six months ago. …The risk is particularly acute for lumber producer Canfor Corp., the biggest public holding in the Pattison Group’s $10.6 billion portfolio. Canfor’s two biggest markets in recent years have been the U.S. followed by China. …In such unpredictable times, Pattison’s tilt appears to be toward the U.S. “We just are concentrating on where we think the stability of what we have can continue,” he said. “In our case, we’re interested in investing more in the U.S.”

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BC NDP harming jobs, lives with top-down policies: Wilkinson

By Jeremy Hainsworth
Sunshine Coast Reporter
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Wilkinson

B.C.’s NDP government has a master plan that residents are expected to accept without their concerns being heard, opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson charged Sept. 26. “That is wrong,” he said. The message he said he’s hearing about government, the Liberal leader said, is, “Don’t talk down to me.” Wilkinson cited as an example the arrival of hundreds of truckers at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities Vancouver conference Sept. 25 to demand that the concerns of the beleaguered forest community be heard in Victoria. “That’s not how democracy works,” he said. He said the forestry industry has been damaged by increased stumpage rates, making the sector unable to compete with lower costs in Alberta or other areas.

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Pellet plant coping with Canfor production reduction

BC Local News
September 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Houston Pellet Plant has so far been able to find enough material to fill the gap caused by the Canfor mill’s temporary closures which began late last year, a challenge that will continue as the mill is now shifting to a four-day week schedule. …“We are chipping low grade logs that cannot be used as sawlogs, cant logs or pulp logs,” says Jason Fisher of Pinnacle Pellet. He said the need to find sources other than sawmill waste is company-wide as mills across BC. …“It is important to note that Houston Pellet is a partnership between Pinnacle Renewable Energy and Canfor and Canfor has been working with us to mitigate the impact of their schedule changes.” …Pinnacle Renewable Energy is the third largest company of its kind in world and now has eight pellet-producing plants in western Canada. …It has one plant in Alabama.

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Striking loggers receive support at Campbell River rally

By Marissa Tiel
The Cowichan Valley Citizen
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Striking loggers received words of encouragement from union and government leadership at a rally in Campbell River today. Hundreds of United Steelworkers (USW) union members and their supporters gathered in the lot below Western Forest Products’ (WFP) second-storey office in the Discovery Harbour Centre. …The crowd heard from USW Local 1-1937 President Brian Butler, who said the union wasn’t willing to agree to the 24 concessions brought to the bargaining table. “Somewhere they calculated that our members are weak.” …The crowd then heard from USW Local 2009 President Al Bieksa, who was visiting from the Lower Mainland. …Jeff Bromley, the USW Wood Council Chair then addressed concerns over health benefits. …Another rally is planned for WFP’s Nanaimo office, but a date and time were not announced.

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More than 70 handed lay-off notices at Crofton mill

By Robert Barron
The Chemainus Valley Courier
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 70 workers at the Catalyst Crofton pulp and paper mill have been laid off. Travis Gregson, president of Unifor Local 1132 which represents about 85 of the approximately 570 employees at the mill, said the mill’s newsprint and package grading machines were shut down on Wednesday. …Gregson said the work curtailment is expected to last about two weeks, but management set no hard date for when the machines will start up again. …He said the work curtailment is related to the ongoing decline in demand in newsprint around the world, the growing trade war with China, where many of the mill’s products are sold, and the current high cost and lower grade of wood chips. The mill usually receives its wood chips, used to produce pulp and paper products, from Western Forest Products, but the workers at WFP have been on strike since July 1.

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How to keep Canada’s forestry sector growing

By Eric Miller, President, Rideau Potomac Strategy Group and author of Branching Out: How Canada’s Forestry Products Sector is Reshaping its Future.
The Province
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Eric Miller

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 impact of materials from cement to plastic, Canada’s forest products industry is meeting these challenges head on. Private public partnerships through investments in organizations like FPInnovations, Canada Wood, and the Canadian Wood Council have been key in advancing the Canadian opportunity domestically as well as globally. Yet as science transforms the materials of daily life and new markets enter the global middle class, the question before us is how do we fully unlock the economic and environmental value of Canada’s forest products industry. …Canada’s working forests provide solutions to fight climate change while bringing good-paying jobs to families …The future will be made of wood. Let’s all commit ourselves to making sure it’s Canadian.

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Study pushes B.C. forest sector toward new path

By Chuck Chiang
Business in Vancouver
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

Despite a tumultuous 2019 that saw the B.C. forestry sector become one of the province’s most embattled industries, there is a possible light at the end of the tunnel. …That is among the messages delivered by COFI in a report called Smart Future: A Path Forward for B.C.’s Forest Products Industry. The report comes as a wave of shutdowns and operational reductions… has hit the sector since May, causing more than 1,000 people to lose their jobs. …“We are in a transition,” said COFI president and CEO Susan Yurkovich. “Mills have been curtailing operations … so we are going through this difficult period. But… it’s really important to work to support workers and communities as we transition… we also need to set ourselves up for the future.”  …One of the overarching themes of the report is the B.C. forestry sector’s need to move up the value chain in its products.

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Forestry workers being used as pawns

By Al Bieksa, USW Local 2009
Prince George Daily News
September 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Al Bieksa

Every good chess player knows about sacrificing their pawns. …The king in this analogy is the NDP government, the opponent is the forestry industry, and the pawns, unfortunately, are the forestry workers of B.C., their families, their communities. …It was the previous government that opened the doors to raw log exports with hardly a whimper from the forestry industry at that time. …Yes, raw log exports have created a significant problem for the survival of mills in BC. …The industry rebellion started with the provincial government’s announcement that it will be making a series of legislative, regulatory and policy changes over the next two years. …The NDP followed up with more rules that further riled the industry. …But now the forestry industry was enraged. Their response was simple. Close mills. Threaten the dismantling of the B.C. forestry industry. Use the naivety of B.C. citizens to rebel against the government and its policy.

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B.C. Liberal leader says forest workers ‘expendable’ under NDP

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Wilkinson

Local politicians gave B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson their loudest applause for his call to do more for the province’s struggling forest industry. Speaking to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Thursday, Wilkinson described the plight of logging truck drivers who drove from all over the B.C. Interior to circle the Vancouver convention centre demanding action from the provincial government. …Communities that have lost sawmill employment, such as Vavenby and Vanderhoof, have effectively been told “you’re expendable,” Wilkinson said, adding that Donaldson recently said in a radio interview that people who are losing their jobs at Hammond Cedar in Maple Ridge can get a job on the Pattullo Bridge replacement project. Asked about that risk, Wilkinson told Black Press that government is about “best practices,” and Alberta has out-competed B.C. with similar conditions. “They’re dealing with the same government in the U.S.A.,” he said.

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Another option to consider with regards to Northern Pulp and Boat Harbour

By Kingsley Brown – president of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association
The Western Star
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northern Pulp cannot close by the Jan. 31 deadline because of the charade imposed on Nova Scotia by the Boat Harbour Act. Arbitrary closure of the forest industry should not be left to errant politicians while more reasonable and democratic options exist. Although well-intentioned, to make an enormous injustice to First Nations go away, the Province and Pictou Landing First Nation, without consultation with the industry or mill owner, trapped themselves with a deadline that couldn’t possibly be met. …Our association, representing woodlot owners in the eastern half of the province of largest woods activity… has been an active participant in industry’s efforts to keep the mill open. No further abuse of First Nations is first place in its strategy. …To bring integrity to an unseemly mess, our Association, Cape Breton Privatelands Partnership, North Inverness and Baddeck Valley Woods Cooperatives and mainland interests have been working on an innovative option to serve the public interest.

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Ontario Investing in Eastern Ontario Forestry Jobs

By Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
The Government of Ontario
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

John Yakabuski

EGANVILLE, ONTARIO — John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, visited Lavern Heideman & Sons as part of National Forest Week to see how the province’s investment is helping create more local jobs and increase overall production. Ontario is investing $4 million over five years, contributing to improved productivity in the company’s forestry infrastructure and secondary manufacturing operations. This investment is helping protect 90 local jobs, create 18 new local jobs and streamline operations. It will also enable the company to significantly increase production levels and produce higher-value products. …In September 2018, the Ontario government announced its plan to develop a provincial forest sector strategy to unleash the potential of the sector. …Ontario’s forest industry… generating more than $16.6 billion in revenues and supporting 155,000 direct and indirect jobs in communities across the province.

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Cascades Receives Bronze Parity Certification From Women in Governance

By Cascades Inc.
Cision Newswire
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

KINGSEY FALLS, QC – Cascades, a leader in eco-friendly recycling, packaging and hygiene solutions, was awarded the bronze Parity Certification by the Women in Governance organization. This certification recognizes Cascades’ policies and programs aimed at encouraging women’s professional growth and leadership. …”Cascades is committed to increasing the number of women working at the company and having a greater gender balance,” said Cascades President and Chief Executive Officer, Mario Plourde. We see this is a business issue as well as a matter of respect and equity, as it has been shown that having a better balance helps increase corporate profitability,” he added.

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Munis to retire from Idaho Forest Products Commission

By Brad Carlson
The Capital Press
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Betty Munis

Betty Munis, founding director of the Idaho Forest Products Commission, plans to retire Nov. 15 after more than 27 years on the job. She is succeeded by Jennifer Okerlund, who started Sept. 23 after 16 years working as communications manager for the state Department of Parks and Recreation. “Betty has done a tremendous job for the forest sector, helping opinion leaders and the general public understand what we do,” Commission Chairman Jack Buell said. …Munis said the commission — which focuses on information and education and has grown since the Legislature created it in 1992 — is in excellent shape.

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Here’s where redevelopment stands at 6 Maine paper mills that have closed since 2008

By Matthew Stone
Bangor Daily News
September 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Wednesday’s news that a cross-laminated timber manufacturer plans to open shop on the site of the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill means the site of another defunct Maine paper mill is in line for some redevelopment. Here’s a look at where redevelopment stands at other mill sites where papermaking operations have stopped since 2008. Paper mills in Madawaska, Baileyville, Skowhegan, Rumford, Jay and Westbrook have continued to operate through that time.

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Company plans $31M factory at Lincoln paper mill site, will employ 100 people

By Charles Eichacker
The Bangor Daily News
September 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Nick Holgorsen and Ralf Meier

A North Carolina company that makes a composite wood material used in construction plans to invest $31 million into opening a new factory in Lincoln that will employ about 100 people. LignaTerra Global LLC will build its new 300,000-square-foot plant on a section of open land that was formerly part of the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill site, but that the town bought early last year. The company initially planned to open its plant at the former paper mill site in Millinocket but withdrew those plans late last year as a local economic development group struggled to resolve an old federal tax lien on the property. …Nick Holgorsen, LignaTerra’s managing director and co-founding partner said Lincoln’s proximity to forests and big Northeastern markets with a demand for building materials, the region’s workforce and the helpfulness of town officials all played a role in the company’s decision to open a plant there.

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Finance & Economics

Second-quarter U.S. GDP left at 2%, slower economic growth seen persisting

By Jeff Bartash
MarketWatch
September 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

The U.S. economy grew more slowly in the second quarter, updated figures confirm, and this slow growth is expected to persist through the end of the year largely because of the festering trade fight with China. GDP, the official score card for the economy, grew at a 2% annual pace from April to June, the government said Thursday. That was unchanged from the previous estimate.

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No Housing Market Bubble

By Calafia Beach Pundit
Seeking Alpha
September 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Home prices appear to be consolidating after almost four years of gains. There are few, if any, signs of a housing bubble waiting to pop, or a mismatch between housing supply and demand. Housing construction is proceeding at a fairly modest pace, from an historical perspective, and new home sales are increasing.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

11-storey mass timber social housing building proposed for Kingsway in Vancouver

By Kenneth Chan
The Daily Hive
September 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The northeast corner of the intersection of Kingsway and Windsor Street in Vancouver’s Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood is slated to become a social housing project. …With funding assistance from both the federal government’s National Housing Strategy and the municipal government, there will be 88 social housing units, with a unit mix of 42 studios, 15 one-bedroom units, 27 two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units. …The design will utilize mass timber and off-site prefabrication construction techniques to support new emerging wood technologies and expedite the construction process. This potentially includes utilizing cross-laminated timber (CLT) instead of concrete slabs. A number of green building design elements will help the project achieve a Passive House certification.

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WoodWorks Extends Deadline for Its 2020 US Wood Design Awards

WoodWorks – Wood Products Council
September 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — WoodWorks, which provides education and free project support related to the design of commercial and multi-family wood buildings, has extended the deadline for its 2020 US Wood Design Awards. The awards recognize excellence in wood design, engineering, and construction, as well as innovative projects that showcase attributes of wood such as strength, beauty, versatility, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability. The extended deadline for nominations is Oct. 14, 2019.

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A sustainable market for coal, replacing wood?

Inside Composites
September 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded US$ 1.5 million to an Ohio University professor to develop engineered composite decking boards from coal. Industry partners are providing an additional US$ 500,000 in funding. Jason Trembly, Russ Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE)… aims to utilise coal in the manufacture of construction composite building materials in collaboration… …Manufacturing the coal-based composites requires less energy – and results in lower manufacturing costs and emissions – than manufacturing commercial wood plastic composites. Also more affordable to consumers, the materials provide a new, sustainable way of using coal. …Consol’s VP Dan Connell believes the initiative has the potential to open up an alternative, sustainable market for US coal. …Studies show the global plastic composite market… is expected to reach US$ 8.76 billion by 2023. 

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Wooden skyscrapers hold the key to green cities, says top Japan architect

Gulf Daily News Online
September 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Recent studies have shown the environmental benefits of timber residential developments and in future wooden skyscrapers could hold the key to more environmentally-friendly cities, said senior officials of top Japanese architect group Nikken Sekkei. They were addressing a key gathering on the opening day of Cityscape Global real estate expo in Dubai. One of the world’s largest architectural and engineering design firms, Nikken Sekkei employs over 2,770 professional staff in six group companies offering comprehensive design, engineering, management, consulting and R&D services. …Dr Fadi Jabri, Nikken’s Executive Officer…said: “There are far reaching benefits beyond reduced carbon emissions. In Japan for example, where W350 will be built, by engaging the use of wood for high-rise urban buildings and increasing demand for timber, there is an excellent opportunity to revitalise the country’s forestry industry and make it more sustainable.”

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Forestry

COFI Awards 13 Scholarships to Students Pursuing Forestry Careers

BC Council of Forest Industries
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, B.C. – The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of COFI’s Forestry Scholarships during the celebration of National Forest Week, September 22 to 28, 2019. “We’re proud to support the education of these talented students from around the province as they embark on their future careers in the B.C. forest sector,” said Susan Yurkovich, President & CEO of COFI. “Despite our current challenges, we continue to see a bright future for this important industry – a future where British Columbia can be a model for the world in product innovation, technological advances, and environmental care, supporting skilled jobs in communities throughout B.C.” …“British Columbia’s forestry sector is changing and I’m certain each of these students will be a big part of shaping what will be a bright future of forestry in B.C.,” said Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson.

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Fuel mitigation projects moving ahead despite mill curtailments, says ministry

By Max Winkelman
The 100 Mile Free Press
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fuel mitigation projects in the 100 Mile House Forest District are going ahead despite recent mill closures, says district manager Patrick Byrne. …On Sept. 17, the provincial government announced that it would be making $15 million available to establish a new short-term forest employment program, focused on fire prevention and community resiliency project. “[Those funds] are gonna be targetted to shovel-ready projects that the regional offices have ready to go. The purpose of that is to create short term opportunities for contractors, opportunities for local workers to get some access to employment and do the important work that needs to be done in the communities,” said Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Forest.

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Sechelt Briefs: Community Forest

Sunshine Coast Reporter
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sunshine Coast Community Forest didn’t harvest much timber in the second quarter of 2019, but a report presented to Sechelt council Sept. 18 said it hopes to start harvesting its next cutblocks before the year is out. The logging is on hold pending approval of a five-year Forest Stewardship Plan, which the Community Forest board said has been delayed as a result of the new Joint Decision Making Protocol between the shíshálh Nation and the province. The Community Forest’s second quarter update said it sold nine cubic metres of the 114 cubic metres it harvested “as a result of a boundary issue on our tenure” for revenue of $1,043 in the quarter. Overall the Community Forest’s operating arm, Sechelt Community Projects Inc., posted a six-month net loss for the beginning of 2019 of $199,813 after taking into account investment and other income of $32,597 and $15,250 in court-ordered legal costs recovered from the local group Elphinstone Logging Focus. [Scroll down to the second story on this link]

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Industry asked to remain cautious about open burning

By BC Wildfire Service
Government of British Columbia
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service reminds its industry partners to use caution when carrying out industrial and high-risk activities, since the Southeast Fire Centre is experiencing a heightened number of Category 3 incidents. Since April 1, 2019, the Southeast Fire Centre has responded to 158 wildfires, about 32% of which have been human caused. The fire danger rating in the Southeast Fire Centre is predominantly “low.” However, anyone conducting an open burn must stay vigilant and burn responsibly while following all burn regulations. Anyone planning to conduct an open burn in the Southeast Fire Centre must check the local venting index before starting to burn. The Venting Index must be “good” on the day the fire is lit and “good” or “fair” on the following day. 

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Local forests threatened more than ever amid political procrastination: Ontario Woodlot Association of SDG

Nation Valley News
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG) — Will the feller-bunchers and chainsaws fall silent only when every last local forest is slashed and burned off the map? The President of the SDG Chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association (OWA), Elaine Kennedy, says, “Local politicians need to engage with the public to discuss the future of our forests.” With the provincial government downloading responsibility for forests onto local governments, Kennedy urges “a frank, respectful discussion about how important trees are, and what can we do about protecting them in a way that does not hurt the economic situation for the farmers.” Each municipality should form a group, “representing all people” to conduct those discussions, she says. …While municipalities had until March 1st of this year to file a notice with the province detailing how they are handling tree conservation, that deadline did not require them to commit to passing any sort of tree-cutting bylaw. 

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America’s forests can help fight climate change

By Tom Martin, American Forest Foundation
The Hill
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Tom Martin

It’s been encouraging during Climate Week to hear the global conversation around climate focused on solutions. …I hope it has elevated the urgency for Congress to develop complementary legislation that will take our country’s emissions to where we want to be. …Policymakers should look to America’s forests as one of the most essential pieces of a climate solution that can be tapped into immediately in a cost-effective way. …However, this carbon benefit is not always guaranteed. Ongoing drought, catastrophic wildfires, devastating storms and hurricanes, insect epidemics and more are putting pressure on this forest sink, and could potentially harm its ability to continue, let alone, increase, its carbon intake. …With a narrow window to address the climate crisis, family-owned forests offer a cost-effective solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that goes hand in hand with continued economic growth for rural America.

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‘Without Wood There Would Be Hardly Any Music’: Chuck Leavell Talks Forest Preservation

By Susan Bence
WUWM 89.7
September 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Chuck Leavell plays keyboards with the Rolling Stones. But he’s also a passionate environmentalist and forester. “There was a personal connection for me. Where does that wonderful thing that’s given me so much joy and a great career come from? Of course, it comes from the resource of wood, as do many, many other musical instruments. Without wood there would be hardly any music, we’d just be singing acapella,” Leavell explains. He’s a longtime tree farmer and the co-founder of The Mother Nature Network. Leavell recently launched a show called America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell to draw more attention to their importance. Leavell was in Wisconsin last week, filming footage for an upcoming segment for America’s Forests. …The segment featuring Wisconsin, which includes Milwaukee’s urban forestry program as well as a stop to see Lynden Sculpture Garden’s magnificent trees, will air sometime in January.

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‘Alarming’ extinction threat to Europe’s trees

By Helen Briggs
BBC News
September 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The conker tree has been put on the official extinction list. Ravaged by moths and disease, the horse chestnut is now classified as vulnerable to extinction. The tree is among more than 400 native European tree species assessed for their risk of extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). About half face disappearing from the natural landscape. …Experts are now turning their attention to plants, with an assessment of all 454 tree species native to the continent. The report found… 42% are threatened with extinction (assessed as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered). Among endemic trees – those that don’t exist anywhere else on Earth – 58% are threatened. Species highlighted include the horse chestnut, which is declining across Europe, and most of almost 200 trees in the family that includes the rowan and mountain ash.

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Putting forestry workers at the centre of climate policy

By Edward Miller – unionist and human rights advocate
The Daily Blog New Zealand
September 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As students across the world strike for climate action, NZ is putting most of its climate change mitigation eggs in the forestry basket. However, the industry and its workers are hurting on the back of falling demand from China. Can more active Government procurement policy be used to help sustain the industry? A 20% drop in demand for NZ logs caused log prices to collapse between June and July, plummeting by around $36 per cubic metre to around $165 per m3, on the back of slowing demand from China. Two months on, those prices are proving slow to rise. New rail links between China and Europe have reduced transit time from a 45-day turnaround to a 12-day one, threatening to reduce long-term demand for NZ softwood. Forest owners are putting some harvesting on hold, and the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) has said that many contractors are either letting staff go or putting them on reduced hours. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The climate strike is far from fact-challenged

By Jenna Cocullo
BC Local News
September 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate action is not some new fad that will come to pass or a way for millennials to now spend their time. Climate change is real. Teachers and school boards who support their students on the Friday for Futures walkouts are doing the right thing. …Look at Greta Thunberg, she was only 15 when she began her campaign to save the planet and this week, at the age of 16, she has the ears of the most powerful people in the world. …Canada is not one of the world’s leading absorbers of CO2. When trees die, get cut down or burn they release CO2 into the air. Canada is not a carbon negative country, we produce more than we absorb and given our wildfire season we are emitting a lot of carbon into the air. …Globally, forest areas are not growing. 

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Separating Fletcher’s facts from fiction

By Matthew Beedle
BC Local News
September 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tom Fletcher – in a condescending attempt at being the adult in the room – has contributed to the spread of misinformation on climate change. ….I’m grateful to Tom for providing a piece that makes for a perfect assignment in my college classroom on how to find reputable sources and determine fact from fiction. …Fletcher introduces a false dichotomy in insisting that wildfires are “the inevitable result of 60 years of wildfire suppression to preserve timber,” when it is both fire suppression and warming that play a role. …He then puts in a not-so-subtle dig against modeling. …Fletcher writes that “globally, forest area is growing”. This is indeed true! Tom, however, says that this reforestation is due “largely to agricultural technology”. The peer-reviewed study finds that the abandonment of large farms is an “other” area of new tree growth… montane systems have gained tree cover and many arid and semi-arid ecosystems have lost vegetation cover.

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On climate change, humanity is not ‘evil’

By Bjorn Lomborg – president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center
Globe and Mail
September 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Bjorn Lomborg

Speaking at the United Nations, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said that if humanity really understands the science of climate change and still fails to act, we’re “evil.” This is because climate change means “people are dying.” Helpfully, she also told us what we must do to act correctly: …we must shut down everything running on fossil fuels by 2028. While this claim is not uncommon, it is fundamentally misguided. Yes, global warming is real and human-caused, but her vision of climate change as the end of the world is unsupported. …We don’t emit CO2 with malign intent. Indeed, it is a byproduct of giving humanity access to unprecedented amounts of energy. …Plentiful energy made better lives possible… Life expectancy doubled. …and has lifted more than a billion people out of poverty in just the past 25 years. That is not evil – it is quite the opposite.

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