Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: October 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Federal Conservatives release plan for BC’s forest sector

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 15, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

As part of an election campaign, the federal Conservatives released a plan to support BC’s ailing forest sector. In related news: lacklustre 3rd quarter results expected this week; Minister Donaldson takes issue with Liberal call for action; and the Wilderness Committee’s perspective on forestry downturn. Elsewhere: JD Irving closes New Brunswick Baker Brook sawmill; and the Wood Component Manufacturer’s Association elects a new board.

In Forestry news: despite Trump pledge, Oregon logging not increasing; BC scrambles to recruit tree planters; Alaska hit by the hemlock sawfly; and LA wildfire out of control after change in the weather.

Finally, building industry materials become runway fashion – all for charity.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Lumber and Lace Fashion Show

By Kelly Humphrey
Pine and Lakes Echo Journal
October 12, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The Lumber and Lace event presents designs both inspired by and using materials from the building industry. Organizers described the event as an “abstract fashion show dedicated to the local building industry, showcasing the creativity and resourcefulness of our industry professionals while raising funds and awareness for local causes.” All money raised at the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association event goes to the Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity and Tools for Schools program. The event included voting by surprise guest judges. More than 30 member businesses participated in the first Lumber and Lace with nearly 200 people attending. The public event is open to all designers, MMBA members, non-members and nonprofits.

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Business & Politics

Stable softwood lumber production in U.S.; Canadian output drops sharply

Global Wood Markets Info
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. sawmills produced 20.687 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first seven months of 2019, edging down 0.1% from 20.705 bbf a year earlier. Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 8.416 bbf of the seven-month total, down 1.7% from 8.561 bbf in the same period of 2018, while sawmills in the southern U.S. contributed 11.298 bbf, up 1.2% from 11.169 bbf in the previous year. …In Canada, softwood lumber production in the first seven months was 14.720 bbf, a 10.1% year-over-year decline from 16.371 bbf. Of that total, sawmills in British Columbia contributed 6.104 bbf, an 18.9% decline from 7.523 bbf in the first seven months of last year. …In July alone, Canada’s softwood production was 1.871 bbf, down 14.2% from last year’s 2.180 bbf, and down 7.4% from 2.020 bbf in June 2019. …U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 83% in the first seven months, down from the average in the same period last year of 86%, while the percentage in Canada dropped to 80% from 89%.

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Bright spot for forestry jobs – A South Okanagan mill is growing as others close, struggle

By Chelsea Powrie
Castanet News
October 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A hard year of lumber mills closing and curtailing operations all around B.C.’s Interior has left hundreds without work, but the South Okanagan’s Structurlam is growing and hiring.  “We are welcoming those people when they do show up,” CEO Hardy Wentzel said of out-of-work millworkers.” …Wentzel says the call for manufactured wood products has skyrocketed in recent years, which is a switch from traditional lumber needs. “The supply and demand balance is more tilted toward us,” he said.  In March, premier John Horgan announced changes to the B.C. building code to allow mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys in height at the Structurlam facility in Okanagan Falls. Wentzel said that announcement has not yet translated into a spike in orders for their product, but he anticipates it soon will. 

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Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd. donate 669 year old cedar for Skeetchestn carving

By Jill Hayward
BC Local News
October 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Skeetchestn Indian Band, in cooperation with the Canadian Ministry for Women and Gender Equality have officially launched a significant sculpture project led by artist Vaughn Warren of Kamloops, BC …Gilbert Smith Forest Products of Barriere graciously donated a massive red cedar log for the sculpture. …GSFP President Greg Smith stated the wood is from the Adams River area near Tum Tum Lake and is a Western Red Cedar. Asked what he thought the value of the giant log would be, he replied “priceless”. …Nicole Huber and Aidan Coyles, took time after the presentation to count the rings on the log. The rings totaled an amazing 669 years!

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“Being in limbo is very tough”: Tolko mill workers describe impact of indefinite shutdown

By Klaudia Van Emmerik
Global News
October 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dallas Rippel has worked at Tolko’s mill in Kelowna for more than 20 years. His friend and co-worker, Randy Doering, has worked there even longer. …The two are among dozens of workers now off the job due to the mill’s indefinite closure that was announced in mid-September. “Being in limbo is very tough to move on,” Rippel said. That’s because the closure is, at this point, indefinite — not permanent. “Finding another job and knowing we have to go back with 72-hour notice will be a tough one, especially trying to get on somewhere else then having to be called back if we do start up again,” Rippel said. “We want answers, we want to know what’s going to happen.” …“This is a catastrophe for our province,” Doering said.

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New book spotlights the Sikh pioneer who created B.C.’s largest independent lumber company

CBC News
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Asa Johal, a Sikh immigrant and former labourer, overcame many obstacles to find success in the B.C. forest industry, according to a new book.  Asa Johal and Terminal Forest Products, by Jinder Oujla-Chalmers, tells the story of the young man from the time he was brought to British Columbia from India as a toddler with his mother in 1924.  Johal, along with his parents and seven brothers and sisters, saw the hardships his father faced as one of the country’s early South Asian immigrants, Oujla-Chalmers told host Gloria Macarenko on CBC’s On The Coast. …Johal had to reckon with the predominately white-owned and white-run forestry giants of British Columbia, and logistical challenges like getting access to logs.  Oujla-Chalmers says it was a combination of entrepreneurial ability and timing that led Johal to finally creating the largest privately-owned and operated lumber manufacturing facility on Canada’s West Coast.

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North Island-Powell River, where people learn to live without

By Jack Knox
The Times-Colonist
October 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West
 

Sharon Batch

…Frankly, this has been a rough year at the top end of the Island. Dotting the highway north of Campbell River are the makeshift shelters where Western Forest Products workers huddle around picket-line campfires — 3,000 of them have been on strike since Canada Day. Forty years ago, a forestry strike would have paralyzed the Island, been front-page news every day. That was the era when a union leader like the thundering Jack Munro was as well known as any premier, and when forestry was so dominant that premiers felt obliged to wade into industry affairs.  …Even in Sayward, a forestry strike isn’t as crippling as it once would have been. The nature of the place has changed. …Port Alice has been reeling since the Neucel cellulose mill, which employed 400, went dormant in February 2015. Woss was already suffering when its logging railway was decommissioned.

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Forestry’s future focus of Conservation North meeting

By Dawn Hemingway, Stand for the North Committee
Prince George Daily News
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Michelle Connolly

Enough is Enough was the banner headline advertising a meeting on the future of forestry, forest renewal and community well-being, organized by Conservation North, in Prince George on October 10. … The first speaker of the evening was Stand Up for the North spokesperson, Peter Ewart, who highlighted the fact that we have “a talented and skilled workforce … as well as supportive communities and institutes of higher learning.” …James Steidle, known for his leadership role in Stop the Spray BC (organizing to bring attention to and stop indiscriminate glyphosate spraying on forests in the B.C. interior), spoke next. …The final speaker was Michelle Connolly from Conservation North who began by drawing attention to current efforts by big forest companies to gain access to public lands, including logging provincial parks as part of increasing their fibre supply. …Many participants also took advantage of the computers provided to send messages through to the government consultation process.

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The need for community control of our forests

By Peter Ewart
The Prince George Daily News
October 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Ewart

As is well known, the state of the forest industry and the forests themselves in BC has deteriorated in the last 20 years, a culmination of longstanding bad policies and practices.  Big corporations have shut down dozens of mills devastating workers and communities across the province. …The forests are unhealthy, plagued by insect infestations, decimation of old growth trees, poor planting practices, environmental deregulation, and so on. …However, despite these serious problems, forestry in B.C. still has great potential. …The modern world needs renewable B.C. wood, not only for lumber, but also for the thousands of potential by-products and uses. …But control over the forests must shift from the near powerless state of communities today to one in which communities play the major role in decisions. …To accomplish these objectives, we need a new direction for forestry and new forms and mechanisms of democratic community governance. 

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Federal Conservatives release plan that would support BC’s Forestry Sector

By Scott Brooks
Energetic City
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – As part of an election campaign, Bob Zimmer, Conservative incumbent for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, announced on Friday a plan that would see Federal support for British Columbia’s ailing forestry sector. According to Zimmer, if a Conservative government is formed following the Federal Election, a plan will be implemented that would see Federal support go towards helping out the workers affected by mill shutdowns and curtailments, among other issues. Some of the ways the Conservatives plan to support forestry include striking a natural resources competitiveness task force, increase funding to control pest species, and resolve the softwood lumber dispute with the United States.

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B.C. forestry companies set to report poor third-quarter results amid industry slump

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC forestry companies are set to report lacklustre third-quarter financial results as tough market conditions send ripples through boardrooms and mill towns. …“We expect sentiment to remain challenging for the group through year-end,” CIBC World Markets Hamir Patel said. “The much-anticipated turn in the market failed to emerge in September.” West Fraser Timber and Canfor will release their third-quarter results next week. …Western Forest Products and Interfor will announce their quarterly results in early November. …Don Kayne, Canfor’s CEO, said part of the solution to weathering the tough times will be continuing to diversify geographically away from the US. Russ Taylor, managing director at Forest Economic Advisors, said BC has been much slower to adjust to lower lumber prices when compared with Alberta. “In conjunction with punitive US import taxes, the net result… is nothing short of a catastrophe for beleaguered BC Interior mills”. [a G&M subscription is required to access the full story]

 

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North Cowichan councillor’s proposal for regional control of forests gets nod at UBCM

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
October 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rob Douglas

A resolution from a North Cowichan councillor for the province to decentralize the management of B.C.’s forests was passed overwhelmingly at last week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver. Rob Douglas said he and other supporters of the resolution that would see the province’s forest industry managed at the regional level spent a considerable amount of time discussing the issue with the other delegates from municipalities and regional districts across B.C. over the five days of the conference before a vote was taken on the last day. “There was definitely a lot of interest in the idea,” Douglas said.  “The concept resonated right across the political spectrum and the urban-rural divide. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a process. “

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Huron Central Railway – contingency plans – trucker shortage

By Rosalind Russell
My Espanola Now
October 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Two local area companies that rely heavily on rail have contingency plans in place if the Huron Central Railway is shut down next year. Both Domtar in Espanola and EACOM in Nairn Centre rely on the spur for moving raw materials and finished products and both hope the parent company can find a long-term solution to rehabilitating the line with the help of governments. EACOM’s Director of Public Affairs, Christine Leduc says they will have to use trucks as an alternative, but there is a major problem with that since there is a shortage of truckers, not only in Canada but across North America. Meanwhile, Bonnie Skene of Domtar says… they are making every effort to ensure customers are not affected.

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Regulator sets dates for Port Hawkesbury Paper power rate hearing, gives interim approval to proposal

By Nancy King
The Cape Breton Post
October 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SYDNEY, Nova Scotia — The provincial regulator has approved on an interim basis a proposed new power rate for Port Hawkesbury Paper and set dates for a hearing where a final determination on the tariff will be made. Port Hawkesbury Paper and Nova Scotia Power Inc. have filed an application with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for a new electricity rate for the mill, the utility’s largest single customer. …Because the current load retention rate paid by the papermaker is due to expire at the end of the year, the mill and utility asked the board to grant the new rate on an interim basis beginning Jan. 1. The board has granted that, pending a final decision being made. Under the proposed rate, NSPI would have more authority to scale back or ramp up the mill’s power usage.

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Trump and China reach verbal agreement; Oct. 15 tariffs off the table

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
October 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

WASHINGTON – Late last week, President Trump said a “phase one” trade agreement has been reached with China. That means the scheduled October 15 tariff hikes – which would have seen them raised from 25 to 30 percent – will no longer occur. In return, Trump said China says has agreed to buy up to $50 billion in U.S. agricultural goods. …U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said both parties have a “fundamental agreement on key issues.” Anonymous sources told Bloomberg however, that the $50 billion worth of agriculture products is unlikely to be met. Both sides are working on a deal for next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile. If a deal still can’t be reached, the planned December 15 tariff hike will happen. …U.S. exports of hardwood lumber to China have fallen 40 percent so far this year.

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The Cost of Building the American Dream

By Mike Albanese
The M Report
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that prices paid for materials used in residential construction fell 0.3% in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index (PPI).  Prices have fallen by an average of 0.1% per month over the last year, and the price of materials used to build homes has increased 1.7% in 2019—the slowest year-to-date growth through September since 2015. …The slowing of price growth for building materials could be seen as positive news, as a report by the NAHB earlier this year that increasing regulatory costs, the shortage of construction workers, tariffs on $10 billion worth of building materials, and concerns over housing finance have impacted housing affordability.

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Wood Component Manufacturer’s Association elects new board

By Karen Koenig
The Woodworking Network
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NEW ORLEANS – Members of the Wood Component Manufacturers Association’s Board of Directors were recently elected at the group’s annual Fall Meeting & Plant Tour event, held Sept. 22-25 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The WCMA Executive Committee includes: Leon Osborne, Osborne Wood Products, president; Frank Fitts, Fitts Industries Inc., vice president; Mark Elliott, Elliott Woodworking, treasurer; and Steve Mashl, Valley Custom Door, immediate past president. Directors are: Mark Paisley, Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers, Tim Becker, A Cut Above Wood Components/5-Acre Mill, Todd Breitenfeldt, Kretz Lumber Co., Manoo Mahmoodi, Art for Everyday, and Phil Menzner, Menzner Lumber & Supply Co. Kirk Spillman, Eagle Machinery & Supply, is the ex-officio Technology Partner on the board. 

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White House moves to undo ban on logging in Alaska forest

By Tim Ryan
The Missoula Current
October 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – Aiming to open up the country’s largest national forest to logging operations, the Trump administration on Tuesday announced plans to roll back federal protections on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. …That proposal would designate some 185,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest as suitable for timber production and remove 9.2 million acres in total from the roadless rule’s protections. …Opponents of the rule as it currently exists say it locks off too much valuable land from development, limiting economic growth across a vast swath of the southeastern portion of the state. But environmental groups say the Tongass is a critical natural habitat and bulwark against climate change that must be protected from logging and other forms of development. …The proposal now faces a 60-day public comment period, after which time the administration will revise and publish a final version of the rule, an action.

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Trump administration proposes expanding logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

By Juliet Eilperin
The Washington Post
October 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Trump administration Tuesday proposed allowing logging on more than half of Alaska’s 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in North America. President Trump instructed federal officials to reverse long-standing limits on tree cutting at the request of Alaska’s top elected officials, on the grounds that it will boost the local economy. But critics say that protections under the “roadless rule,” finalized just before President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, are critical to protecting the region’s lucrative salmon fishery and tourism operations. …The Forest Service had initially planned to make more-modest changes to nearly 9.5 million acres where roads are prohibited. Under the administration’s “preferred alternative,” that entire area would be open for development. Congress has designated another 5.7 million acres of the forest as wilderness, which must remain off limits to such activities under any circumstances.

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Leadership award honors AWP co-founder

The Preston County News & Journal
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Patricia Crites

KINGWOOD — The National Hardwood Lumber Association is now recognizing women in leadership within the industry and gave its first-ever “Women in Leadership” award to a West Virginia businesswoman.Patricia Crites, co-founder of Allegheny Wood Products Inc., received the posthumous honor at the NHLA’s recent national conference in New Orleans. Nearly 50 years ago, Patricia. Crites and her husband, John, co-founded Allegheny Wood Products Inc., which has grown to be one of the largest hardwood lumber companies in the world with exports entailing 30 countries worldwide. …Like many women senior executives, Crites set a standard for Allegheny Wood’s family business culture and women in the hardwood lumber industry that still exists today.

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Finance & Economics

Benchmark softwood lumber price loses ground, specialty item prices tank

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Lesprom Network
October 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

The price of benchmark construction framing dimension softwood lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr dropped another -$8 last week as customer reluctance to buy won over supplier stubbornness to keep prices higher. …Last week’s price is also -$8 less than it was one month ago. For their part, many specialty items like Douglas fir green, studs in Eastern Canada, and plywood dropped significantly

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood pulp, steel cables: Scientists study how to make ice roads last longer

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in The Coast Reporter
October 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The road should have been frozen solid, but it was anything but. When drivers tried to travel the Mackenzie Valley winter road in the Northwest Territories last March, it was an unpassable highway of muck well before its usual closure date. Four communities were left without vehicle access. That’s what Paul Barrette — using everything from steel cables to wood pulp — is working to prevent. “It’s the only time of the year, those two or three months, when northern communities can resupply their needs in fuel, construction material and other bulk goods,” said Barrette, who leads a National Research Council team that is developing ways to keep winter and ice roads passable in a warming climate. “What we’re looking at is to ensure those roads remain operational throughout these warm winters.”

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Tall buildings made with wood help loggers and the climate

By David Brooks
Granite Geek
October 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Tackling the biggest problems of the world today and in the future could benefit from technologies of the past. “This is back to the future,” is how Joe Short, vice president of Northern Forest Center, put it at the start of a conference Friday discussing mass timber, which uses wood to replace steel and concrete in buildings as tall as a dozen stories. …Mass timber is of great interest to the logging industry because it uses a large variety of trees… creating a market that would benefit loggers and forest owners in New Hampshire. …Friday’s two-hour conference at the UNH law school in Concord was held by the Northern Forest Center, UNH Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Division of Forests & Lands. …So far, however, New Hampshire has seen no activity.

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Forestry

3 Cowichan salmon projects get $7,400 grants

Cowichan Valley Citizen
October 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pacific Salmon Foundation announced it contributed more than $7,400 for three wild salmon restoration projects in Duncan last summer. The funds came from the Foundation’s Community Salmon Program and were underwritten by Mosaic Forest Management, the timberland manager for TimberWest and Island Timberlands. “The volunteers and First Nations groups we support in Duncan have worked tirelessly to restore and protect the Cowichan and Koksilah — two important salmon rivers,” said Michael Meneer, president and CEO of the Foundation. …“Community-based groups, like the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre are undertaking highly effective salmon conservation and habitat rehabilitation work. Together with the Pacific Salmon Foundation, we’re proud to support these groups to improve the health and vitality of our rivers and forests,” said Jeff Zweig, president and CEO of Mosaic Forest Management, which has contributed more than $1 million over the past two decades for salmon habitat conservation projects on Vancouver Island.

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Replanting badly battered forest landscapes in B.C.

By Jim Hilton
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An article in the recent Logging and Sawmilling Journal describes how the silviculture services sector is gearing up for replanting areas impacted by beetles and wildfires. Author Jim Stirling summarizes the B.C. Ministry of Forests estimate of how the province has been impacted by the disturbances. One of the challenges brought on by a warming climate is planting the best-suited tree seedlings to begin the repair the loss of trees. A precise determination is difficult because there hasn’t been the time or money allocated to get onto the land to precisely assess the damage. …Concerns were also being expressed about the declining numbers of available tree planters. Like every other forest industry workers sector, recruiting and retaining tree planters is an expanding problem. …Closer to home, the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre is also doing some testing in Alberta. 

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DEMO International® 2020 Heads to the Nation’s Capital!

DEMO International
October 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Woodlands Forum is proud to officially announce that its flagship event, DEMO International®, will be held outside the Ottawa/Gatineau area, Canada, on September 24-26, 2020. SBC Cedar with sawmills in Quebec and New Brunswick will host the event on a property in Venosta, Quebec, located within a forty-five minute drive north along the Gatineau River. This world class event, occurring only every four years, will mark the 14th edition of DEMO International. During the course of its 50 year history, DEMO International has evolved into one of North America’s largest and unique ‘live, in-woods’ forestry equipment shows. 

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Conservationists seek protection of California Joshua trees

Associated Press in News 3 Los Vegas
October 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — A conservation organization has petitioned for protection of the western Joshua tree under the California Endangered Species Act due to the effects of climate change and habitat destruction. The Center for Biological Diversity filed the petition with the state Fish and Game Commission on Tuesday. The request comes amid rising concern about the future of the distinctive trees with spikey leaves that have come to symbolize the Mojave Desert and draw throngs to Joshua Tree National park. The petition asks that the western Joshua tree be given “threatened” status under the act, meaning it is likely to become an endangered species in the foreseeable future in the absence of the special protection and management efforts. END

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Despite Trump campaign pledge, Oregon logging not increasing

By Michael Kohn
Bend Bulletin
October 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Donald Trump … promised supporters that if elected president, he’d boost Oregon’s timber industry… What became of Trump’s promise? Was it just Trump being Trump or did he have serious plans to overturn decades-old environmental protections and boost commercial logging in this state’s national forests? A look back shows little has changed since Trump took office. The matter of increased logging in Oregon’s national forests hasn’t surfaced as a serious issue for the White House. The timber harvested from national forests in Oregon is still associated with thinning projects conducted for fuels reduction and wildfire management, as it was under President Barack Obama. …“It is not the case that the Trump administration can simply direct land management agencies to offer more timber for sale and the agencies can snap their fingers and sell more timber,” said James Johnston, at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.

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Liberty Burn salvage timber sale ecologically destructive

By George Wuerthner
The Missoulian
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

George Wuerthner

The Lolo National Forest is proposing to “salvage” log a portion of the 28,000-acre Liberty Burn near Seeley Lake. The Forest Service (FS) approved the logging using a categorical exclusion (CE) process. CEs were initially designed to permit the FS to do minor actions like replace an outhouse in a campground or replace signs or other activities that had a minimal environmental impact. Today the FS is increasingly using CE to circumvent and limit public participation, and ecological review.  The Blackfoot Challenge and Southwestern Crown Collaborative timber advocacy groups, and membership organizations like the Montana Timber Association and Pyramid Lumber. also support the Liberty salvage project and use of CE.  There is almost universal agreement among ecologists that logging burned trees is ecologically destructive to forest ecosystems.

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Lawsuit filed over Secretary of State’s unprecedented rejection of Oregon forest ballot measures

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Backers of spurned ballot measures to tighten Oregon’s forestry laws sued Monday, saying Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno broke with legal precedent and based her rejection on bad advice from political appointees. The lawsuit, filed in Marion County Circuit Court, asks a judge to overturn the rejection and award attorneys’ fees.  The ballot measures — Initiative Petitions 35, 36 and 37 — are each substantially the same. They call for tightening the state’s aerial herbicide spraying laws, which today offer some of the West Coast’s weakest protections for people and fish. They call for more logging restrictions in steep, landslide-prone areas. They would prohibit conflicts of interest for state forestry board appointees, who today can set policies that benefit their own companies. They have been proposed by environmental advocates, including the group Oregon Wild.

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A tiny insect is causing major tree damage in Southeast Alaska. Scientists hope it’s a blip.

By Elizabeth Jenkins
Alaska Public Media News
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The hemlock sawfly is native to Southeast Alaska. But for the past few years, the tiny insect has been causing some big problems. Bug scientists think drought conditions played a major role in a recent outbreak. And it’s alarmed some residents who’ve noticed more brown trees in their rainforest backyards. Elizabeth Graham is an entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service. …Graham does this for the public, too: identifying weird insects or insect behavior. And in the summer of 2018, her office received something much more descriptive than a text message: a bag of frass. That’s hemlock sawfly poop. A sandy, green-looking concoction. …Normally, with average rainfall, a type of fungus covers the trees and the sawflies eat the fungus. It can bloom inside them — killing some of the sawflies. “Because of [the recent drought], those sawflies that should have been killed weren’t,” Graham said. “And we just ended up with a huge population.”

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Bitterroot Forest’s largest project in recent memory takes major step forward

By Perry Backus
Ravalli Republic
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bitterroot National Forest’s largest timber harvest, forest thinning and prescribed fire project in recent memory took a step forward Friday when it was published in the Federal Register.That move establishes a 30-day time frame before Gold Butterfly Project becomes final with the signature of Bitterroot Forest supervisor Matt Anderson.Located east of Corvallis in the Sapphire Mountains, the proposed project area spans a 10-mile reach between St. Clair Creek on its southern border to Burnt Fork Creek to the north. The project area included 55,147 acres. Of that, the proposal calls for commercial timber harvest on 5,621 acres that would provide an estimated 34 million board-feet to timber. Another 1,766 acres are slated for non-commercial treatment that would include thinning and prescribed fire.The plan calls for splitting the area selected for commercial harvest into three segments. The timber harvest could take up to eight years to complete.

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Groups ask U.S. Forest Service to wait on logging project near Petersburg, Wrangell

By Joe Viechnicki
KFSK
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmental groups are asking the U.S. Forest Service to shelve a Tongass National Forest timber sale it’s working on, while a legal challenge to a similar project plays out in court. A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against a massive project on Prince of Wales Island last month. The Forest Service is taking a similar approach to its environmental review of the Central Tongass project. It’s a bundle that includes logging, road building and other work near Petersburg and Wrangell.  “Given that similarity, in order to avoid risking, squandering significant agency resources and time on a project that would be challenged in court that they ought to just wait until the lawsuit challenging the Prince of Wales is completed,” said Southeast Alaska Conservation Council attorney Buck Lindekugel.

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California’s clear-cutting project in the Rim fire area is setting up the region for another tragedy

By Chad Hanson, forest ecologist, John Muir Project & James Hansen, directer, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia University.
Los Angeles Times
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

During hot, dry and windy conditions last November, the Camp fire devastated the towns of Paradise and Concow in the northern Sierra Nevada, ultimately claiming at least 85 lives and destroying thousands of homes. The tragedy was a wake-up call regarding the increasing risks to vulnerable communities stemming from the human-caused climate crisis.  But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity. In addition to high regional temperatures and aridity, the Camp fire was fueled by persistent forest mismanagement. After the Butte Complex fire of 2008 that burned the forest just east of Paradise, there were years of extensive post-fire clear-cutting and artificial planting of dense tree farms on private and public lands. The Camp fire burned rapidly and intensely through these heavily post-fire logged areas as it spread toward Paradise, consistent with the findings of scientific research establishing that such post-fire management tends to increase future fire intensity. 

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University of Canterbury professor wins award for carbon forestry research

By University of Canterbury
Scoop Independent News
October 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The University of Canterbury’s Head of the School of Forestry, Professor Bruce Manley, has won a Forestry Science Award for his dedication to, and leadership within, forestry research, and his innovative work on carbon forestry. Professor Manley has led research groups responsible for the initial research on carbon capture by planted forests and analysis of commercial forest resource quality. Instrumental in the wider adoption of estate-modelling techniques for forest planning, he regularly advises government on policy related to his research interests. Forestry Minister Shane Jones presented the award to Professor Manley at Parliament at an event marking the State Forest Service’s centenary. …A career highlight has been research on the lifecycle of harvested wood products, Professor Manley says.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

ELECTION 2019: Climates strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

By Katya Slepian
Black Press Media
October 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

If elected, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are promising a series of legally binding environmental regulations to bring in net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. …Looking far into the future, the party says it will put any money generated by the sale or construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion towards a transition to clean energy. …Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives have pledged to scrap the carbon tax, and instead bring in standards for major emitters. Companies will be required to invest “a set amount” for every excess tonne of greenhouse gas they emit, to go toward research for emissions reduction in their industry. …Jagmeet Singh’s NDP is vowing to reduce emissions by 450,000 megatonnes by 2030 and continue carbon pricing. …Elizabeth May’s Greens… vow to cut carbon emissions to 60 per cent by 2030 and hit net-zero by 2050, continue carbon pricing, and cancel the Trans Mountain expansion.

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The sea of pines that is going to be needed to balance the NZ carbon budget

By John McCrone
Scoop Independent News
October 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

With a frown, Canterbury University forestry professor Dr Euan Mason clicks away, looking for the graph he presented at the August conference of the Institute of Forestry. Sure, the Government is promising its One Billion Trees programme is going to be all about “the right tree in the right place”. But is anyone really looking at how much new carbon forest New Zealand is going to need to meet its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Zero Carbon commitments, Mason asks? Forget the talk about pretty native bush projects – all tui and tōtara. That will be the fringe stuff, he says. Bush is too expensive to plant and too slow-growing. It can’t fulfil the looming 2030 and 2050 carbon targets.

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Health & Safety

Death of worker at Fredericton sawmill under investigation by WorkSafeNB CBC.ca

By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon
CBC News
October 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Troy Lewis Bourque

WorkSafeNB is investigating the death of a worker at a sawmill in Fredericton on Thursday. Police were called to Devon Lumber on the city’s north side around 2:30 p.m., said Fredericton Police Force spokesperson Alycia Bartlett. “Several” officers responded, and the last officer cleared the scene at 200 Gibson St., just before 6 p.m., she said. An obituary posted online Friday identifies the worker as being Troy Lewis Bourque, 50, a married father. “Troy was always willing and able to lend a helping hand anywhere he could,” it states. …WorkSafeNB spokesperson Laragh Dooley declined to disclose any details about the nature of the incident. “The investigation will help us determine how the fatality may have been prevented and whether there were any violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or its regulations,” she said in an emailed statement.

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Forest Fires

Deadly Los Angeles wildfire burns with subdued fury after change in weather

By Steve Gorman
Reuters
October 13, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES – Firefighters have tightened their grip on a deadly Los Angeles wildfire burning with subdued fury on Sunday after extremely dry desert winds that had stoked the flames gave way to moister, gentler breezes blowing in from the Pacific. The so-called Saddleridge fire, which erupted Thursday night and raced across the northern edge of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, had scorched nearly 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) by Sunday but was mostly confined to foothills and canyons away from populated areas, fire officials said. As of Sunday morning, firefighters had managed to carve containment lines around 41% of the fire’s perimeter, more than double the containment level reported a day earlier as authorities lifted all remaining evacuation notices. At the height of the blaze on Friday, authorities had ordered the evacuation of some 23,000 homes, comprising about 100,000 people, as flames invaded several communities in northern Los Angeles.

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