Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 7, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Political Amnesia, Trade Wars and a Call for Climate Action

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 7, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC’s forest crisis is expected to dominate the fall legislative session amidst claims of tunnel vision on funding and political amnesia over blame. In related news: the ripple-down effect of Western Forest Product’s strike; finding solutions for Northern BC; and the San Group’s growth begets Entrepreneur of the Year.

In other news: a call for Climate action by Canadian forest industry execs; the Green party looks to plant trees; FPAC counters misleading plastics commentary; and the China-US trade war strains both economies, hits the Australian wood chip industry, and causes hardwood layoffs.

Finally, a BC First Nation to devise caribou plan while the US protects an already extinct herd. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Forest industry refutes plastics industry commentary

Letter by Derek Nighbor, Forest Products Association of Canada
Solid Waste Magazine
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Ms. Carol Hochu, President and CEO, Canadian Plastics Industry Association. Thank you for taking the time to…discuss the Canadian Plastics Industry Association’s media release entitled Nova Scotia Plastic Bag Ban Comes at a Huge Environmental Cost: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Set to Skyrocket by 7 Million Pounds. As I said to you on Monday, we were very disappointed in not only the tone of the release, but the fact that it contained so much misinformation. It completely misrepresented the work being done by Nova Scotia’s and Canada’s forest products sectors and our commitment to environmental stewardship. It was also very unfair to the men and women in Nova Scotia and across Canada who support their families by working in our forests and at our mills. Before I more formally correct the record, let me be clear that FPAC respects the pressure that all sectors are under… While FPAC …does not support demonizing other sectors to get ahead, we will defend ourselves when we face comments like those we read in CPIA’s release last week.

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Climate change is a call to action for Canada’s forestry industry

By Derek Nighbor, Susan Yurkovich and Denis Lebel
Globe and Mail
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

Susan Yurkovich

Denis Lebel

Climate change and the environment are now among the top issues for Canadians during a federal election campaign. The Angus Reid Institute recently reported that nearly 70 per cent of Canadians say climate change should be a top priority for the next federal government. Shortly before the election period began, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) met in Saskatchewan, and launched A Shared Vision for Canada’s Forests: Toward 2030 – a forestry road map that should be mandatory reading for decision makers across the country. The CCFM report promotes the important role that forests, forestry workers and forest products play in our shared fight against climate change. It also reminds us of the work we must do together to reduce the risk of wildfires to families living in communities surrounded by forests.

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Political Amnesia, and the Long, Slow Fall of Timber in BC

By Will McMartin
The Type
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…BC’s Legislative Assembly resumes sitting today and it’s near certain that the opposition BC Liberals will make recent sawmill closures and forest-related job losses a major topic of debate. …Incredibly — in what may be the most blatant example of political amnesia ever seen in our province — the BC Liberals also challenged Horgan to boost spending on social services for “workers and their communities.” Monies also should be sent to displaced forestry workers to pay for their participation in forest-fuel mitigation projects. Is it possible the BC Liberals have entirely forgotten their 16-year tenure in government? …Donaldson may expect to come under a withering fire… and he ought to be forgiven if every once in a while he looks across the aisle at Rich Coleman and recalls that for a very long time the forests minister’s job hasn’t been very much fun. Not at all.

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First Nations, forestry and cabinet resignation big topics for B.C. legislature return

By Rob Shaw
The Vancouver Sun
October 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — First Nations rights, climate change targets, the forestry crisis, insurance rates and health concerns over teen vaping are expected to dominate the fall session of B.C.’s legislature, which begins Monday. …Also among the major items up for debate during the session will be sawmill closures and more than 3,000 job losses or curtailments in the forestry sector. “Our forest industry is in a deep crisis and the NDP seem to have a complete disinterest in it,” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson. “We’re going to be raising that in a big way. This is a government that has written off a third of the province.” Forests Minister Doug Donaldson has been on the defensive after it was revealed a $69 million forestry aid package required the elimination of a $25 million rural dividend fund that helped small communities. …The legislative session runs for six non-consecutive weeks, until late November.

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Vaughn Palmer: Tunnel vision over traffic congestion, forestry relief with old money

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — When Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced a $69 million support package for displaced forest workers last month, he made it sound as if it were all new money. “Government outlines New Forest worker support program” was the headline… Neither Donaldson nor his press release mentioned that $25 million of the $69 million was diverted from the B.C. Rural Dividend… Now it turns out that the remainder of the support package, all $44 million of it, was also reallocated from previously approved funding for existing programs. Not a penny of it was new money. “All of the funding is from existing funding envelopes,” the forests ministry confirmed Friday, in response to questions from The Vancouver Sun. …I doubt the New Democrats would have received as much credit for coming to the rescue of forest workers if Donaldson had disclosed they were simply taking money from one pocket and putting it in the other.

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Forestry forum tries to find solutions to a struggling industry

By Lee Wilson
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Roger Kerry

There was a not a seat left at the “Rethinking Forestry Forum” held in Terrace, British Columbia in hopes of finding long-term solutions to the economic downtown that has rocked the industry. …Eighty-five per cent of First Nations in the province have signed forest consultation and revenue sharing agreements, and the downturn is also affecting these nations. Roger Keery, president of Skeena Sawmills, was pleased to see industry focus their energy to find solutions to improve forestry. “There is an enormous amount of experience of people in the forest industry,” said Keery. “It’s common to have people who have worked in this for 30 plus years who have tried a lot of things and seen these problems and wrestled with them.” …The forum was arranged by Skeena MLA Ellis Ross after residents shared job concerns with mill closures happening around the rest of the province.

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Forest industry facing tough time

By Don Bodger
The Chemainus Valley Courier
October 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

These are indeed tough times for the forest industry and the Chemainus Valley is caught right in the middle of it. As the United Steelworkers union strike at Western Forest Products mills drags past the three-month mark, including at the Chemainus sawmill, the prognosis isn’t good for the industry or the workers. …The WFP situation is starting to have a ripple-down effect with other businesses in the community and industries that rely on the money spent by those residents who now aren’t receiving a regular paycheque. …The forest industry has long been the lifeblood of so many small towns, in particular, including this one. Some towns are already seeing people leaving to find work elsewhere. …The industry is in vast need of a resurgence, with provincial and federal assistance.

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Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019: Natural Resources + Energy

BC Business
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kamal Sanghera & Suki Sanghera

B.C.’s forestry industry is fighting for survival. Keystone sawmills are closing in communities like Fort St. James, Quesnel and Vavenby this year, while dozens more across the province are reducing shifts. But in Port Alberni, Langley-based San Group is racing to expand operations so it can keep growing its exports worldwide. The family-run company, founded in 1979 and led by brothers Kamal and Suki Sanghera, bought a sawmill just outside the city from Coulson Forest Products in 2017. The facility processes high-value logs like Western red cedar. San started construction of a new $70-million mill on the same site this spring, building it to process smaller, lower-grade timber. Next, it plans to build a remanufacturing plant near the city’s waterfront, where it will turn different grades of wood into finished engineered building products, like banisters, siding and flooring.

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Trump faces crucial decision on China as both economies strain

By David Lynch
The Washington Post
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Nathan Jeppson, the chief executive of Northwest Hardwoods… shuttered a pair of saw mills in Virginia and Washington and laid off 130 workers, all because of fallout from President Trump’s trade war with China. The company’s sales to China cratered after Beijing last year imposed tariffs on American red oak and other hardwoods in retaliation for the president’s import taxes on Chinese products. As lumber that would have gone into Chinese furniture or homes stayed in the U.S., the resulting glut drove domestic prices into a double-digit decline. …In Washington this week, U.S. and Chinese negotiators are scheduled to resume stalled trade talks as each economy shows significant signs of strain. …Fresh data last week, however, showed that American factories are operating at their lowest rate in 10 years, matching Chinese plants, which posted their own worst-in-a-decade results in July.

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Technology, Personnel at Root of Success

By Bret Anne Servin
The Daily Inter Lake
October 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

FLATHEAD VALLEY, MONTANA — technology becomes ever more complicated, making wood products may seem like a low-tech process from the simpler days of manufacturing. But Weyerhaeuser’s Flathead Valley mills have brought these traditional products into the 21st century. …The national timber company concentrates its Montana operations in the Flathead Valley, with three mills. …The Seattle-based company was founded in 1900 and has grown into the largest private landowner in the country. …While the plants themselves have had a long tenure here, their inner workings have changed dramatically in recent years. …Across the three mills, they strive to reuse every part of the logs, Wilson explained. Bark from shaved logs fuels the boiler, chips and sawdust are repurposed at the MDF plant and exposed log cores are sold to a local landscaper.

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Report: Feds lose millions in Tongass timber sales

By Jacob Resneck
KCAW
October 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A new report says logging in the Tongass National Forest is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies. And it warns that a rollback of the federal Roadless Rule would accelerate this trend. Alaska’s U.S. senators have been pushing for a roll back of the federal rule to open more parts of the Tongass to logging, arguing it would help the region’s economy. But Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget watchdog in Washington D.C., released “Cutting Our Losses: 20 Years of Money-Losing Timber Sales in the Tongass,” a five-page report that calculates the U.S. Forest Service has lost nearly $600 million over two decades through roadbuilding and timber sales. That’s an average net loss of about $30 million a year — over the past 20 years.

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New wood pellet plant will create 85 jobs in Sumter County

WTOK-TV
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey joined executives with Enviva and local leaders today to announce that the company expects to invest approximately $175 million to construct a wood pellet production plant in Sumter County that would provide an economic boost to West Alabama. “I’m so proud to have this expansion in rural Alabama,” said Governor Ivey. “It ignites rural small towns and being from The Black Belt myself I am proud of that.” Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler said the proposed facility, to be located at the Port of Epes Industrial Park, is expected to create a minimum of 85 full-time jobs and generate an estimated 180 additional jobs in logging, transportation and local services in the region. “This is a county that has a tremendous labor force,” said Keppler. “It’s got very robust wood fiber resources, tremendous forestry as well as a fantastic logistical footprint.”

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China trade war triggers closings, layoffs at US hardwood lumber mills

By Diana Olick
CNBC Politics
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

It is hard times for the U.S. hardwood lumber industry. The trade war with China has caused a steep drop in U.S. exports of the product, and now the industry is cutting jobs. China used to account for about half of all U.S. hardwood lumber exports, about $2 billion annually. The Trump administration’s 25% tariff cut through that demand. In the 12 months since tariffs on U.S. hardwood were announced in July of last year, lumber exports to China were down $615 million, according to the American Hardwood Export Council. “The American hardwood industry is facing a watershed moment in China,” wrote Tripp Pryor. …“The real long-term danger here is that we are losing market share that will not easily be won back.” …“Instead of buying from the U.S., …they’re buying from places like Russia and Central Africa and Southeast Asia.

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US-China trade war hits Australian woodchip industry as shipments cancelled

By Daniel Mercer and Mark Bennett
ABC News, Australia
October 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Australia’s $1.4-billion plantation woodchip industry has been dragged into the US-China trade war, with a number of shipments to the Asian economic powerhouse cancelled in the fallout from the dispute. Amid fading hopes of a speedy breakthrough in the trade war, timber exporters have been hit by falling demand for woodchips from Chinese paper mills, which have become the industry’s biggest customers. Since July, at least three ships that were supposed to take Australian woodchips to China have been cancelled or deferred, and there are fears further consignments could be affected. …”There’s a short-term impact affected by sales into China that’s affecting supply of wood fibre and that’s impacting all exporters around Australia,” Mr Telfer said. “China is obviously affected by the ongoing discussions, that’s affected packaging.

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Foreign forestry companies NZ’s biggest landowners

By Kate Newton & Guyon Espiner
Scoop Independent News
October 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The four largest private landowners in New Zealand are all foreign-owned forestry companies, an RNZ investigation has found.  Despite a clampdown on some overseas investment, including a ban on residential sales to offshore buyers, the Labour-led government has actively encouraged further foreign purchases of land for forestry through a stream-lined ‘special forestry test’. Since the government was formed, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved more than $2.3 billion of forestry-related land sales – about 31,000 hectares of it previously in New Zealand hands.  Of that, about half has been sold via a streamlined ‘special forestry test’ introduced by the government last October. Overall, nearly $5b of sensitive land has changed hands through the OIO since the government was formed.

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Finance & Economics

WRI’s Global and European Sawlog Price Indices Have Both Fallen Over the Past Two Years

By Wood Resources International LLC
Yahoo Finance
October 4, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

Wood raw-material costs for many lumber producers in Europe and North America have fallen over the past year both because of increased timber harvests and reduced log demand, particularly in North America and Asia. Some of the biggest price changes in the 1H/19 have been seen in the Western US, Central Europe and New Zealand.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

What’s the difference between all these laminated timbers?

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
October 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

We are in the middle of a construction revolution, and after attending Woodrise in Quebec City, it appears that the industry really is reaching critical mass timber. Even the New York Times is on it, recently publishing Let’s Fill Our Cities With Taller, Wooden Buildings.  This opportunity arises from cross-laminated timber, or CLT. First introduced in the 1990s, it enables architects and engineers to design tall, fire-safe and beautiful wood buildings. Recent examples in the United States include the seven-story T3 building in Minneapolis, the eight-story Carbon12 building in Portland, Ore., and a six-story dormitory under construction at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Except there is no Cross-Laminated Timber in the T3 Building in Minneapolis; it’s built out of Glulam and Nail-Laminated Timber. So perhaps it’s time to explain what these different forms of mass timber are and how they are used.

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Stick-built apartments are a rising risk in the Triangle

By Brian Powell, attorney living in Durham
News Observer
October 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

We all know the old folktale about the three little pigs – two built their houses out of quick and cheap materials like sticks and straw so that they could spend more time goofing off. …why are municipal leaders in the Triangle working with developers to cover our cities with dangerous, hastily constructed condos and apartment homes made out of sticks? We recently reported that yet another mixed-use wood-frame apartment complex is slated to go up next to Durham Central Park soon, but it is past time for leaders to begin limiting the hazardous trend of wood constructed complexes taking over the city. …Here’s the problem: the projects…are all made out of cheap wood – “stick” construction is the industry’s term. [it] saves wealthy developers more money but renders buildings extremely vulnerable to fire (particularly during construction). …Other communities have pushed back against this trend. …In the end, doing nothing is an unaffordable risk.

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Is this the in-flight meal tray of the future?

By Samantha Sugerman
News Center Maine
October 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

…on a long-haul economy flight, and you might be offered a drink, in a plastic cup, which you’ll stir with a plastic stick….You might enjoy a meal which you’ll eat with plastic cutlery, also wrapped in plastic. The list goes on and on. Put together, that contributes to the 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste from passenger flights each year. A new exhibition at London’s Design Museum aims to rethink the waste we generate when we travel. Design firm PriestmanGoode has worked up an environmentally-friendly version of the traditional economy meal tray. The base is made out of coffee grains, it uses a waffle cone for the desert dish, and algae skins contain milk and vinaigrette. The salad pot is made from a pressed banana leaf and the “spork” (a spoon and fork combined) is made from coconut wood, a cheap and easily-available material.

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Forestry

FOREST INK: Forest sector opportunities with Indigenous nations

By Jim Hilton, retired forester
BC Local News
October 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

First, a reminder of the Oct. 11 deadline for public input into the online engagement process for the Interior Forest Sector Renewal Policy and Program Engagement Discussion Paper. The last section of the discussion paper describes the government’s intention of seeking opportunities to meet Indigenous interests for greater participation in tenure holdings and forest products manufacturing. Many First Nations communities have the largest populations in the more remote areas of this province. Forest resources often are the only opportunity to provide a steady source of employment for both the First Nations and local non-First Nations populations. The number of Indigenous Nations’ timber volume as a percentage of total Interior licence volume (not including Community Forest Agreements and First Nation Woodland Licences) has increased from seven per cent in 2004 to 12 per cent in 2018 but there are still many rural communities that have no revenue from forest resources.

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U.S. protects already extinct caribou herd

By Liam Harrap
The Revelstoke Review
October 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently finalized protection of Southern Mountain caribou as endangered. However, none remain in the lower 48 states. The three remaining caribou, known as the Gray Ghosts, were removed earlier this year to a maternity pen north of Revelstoke, making them locally extinct in the U.S. …The ruling on Oct. 1 protects the entire population as endangered. The decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service followed a lawsuit challenging the previous critical habitat designation for the species. …According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development wolves are the leading cause of caribou mortality, with about 40 per cent of investigated adult caribou deaths relating to wolves. …Bart George, a wildlife biologist for the Kalispel Tribe, who worked extensively with the Gray Ghosts, said the relocated caribou are “doing well”.

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Theme for the 2019 Federation of B.C. Woodlot Association AGM & Conference

FESBC and Federation of BC Woodlot Associations
October 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SMITHERS, B.C.: The Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Association is set to hold their 2019 AGM and Conference in Smithers October 6 – 7, hosted by the Nadina, Kispiox and Bulkley Woodlot Associations. The theme isBeyond Sawlogs: Woodlot Challenges and Opportunities. …“The FBCWA has a vision where woodlot holders/owners will participate in a healthy and diverse forest industry with woodlot licences and private forest lands making significant contributions to local communities and providing a sustainable supply of forest products,” said Brian McNaughton, FBCWA General Manager. …Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC …has funded six wildfire risk reduction projects with woodlot holders/owners across the province, including the FBCWA, with a combined total value of $872,818. …The conference and tour are only open to delegates who have pre-registered.

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Research project at Quesnel airport lands looks at wildfire fuel loads and fuel management

by Lindsay Chung
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
October 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A research project taking place near the Quesnel Regional Airport will help the City of Quesnel understand potential fire behaviour and forest fire fuel loading effects. The City’s Forestry Initiatives Program, in collaboration with FPInnovations, is carrying out a research project on the airport fuel management unit, which has been identified in the 2017 Quesnel and Surrounding Area Community Wildfire Protection Plan. …Working with the FPInnovations Forest Operations group, the City is utilizing funding from Forest Enhancement Society of BC to enable this project, which will ultimately contribute to the understanding of fuel loading effects and potential fire behaviour, as well as the maintenance of fuel management units over time using prescribed fire.

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Move over Lorax, this group of Albertans may love trees even more Social Sharing

By Adrienne Lamb and Rick Bremness
CBC News
October 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a room 130 kilometres northeast of Edmonton sit bins of cones, thousands and thousands of cones, enough to produce 26 million tamarack, black spruce and white spruce trees. “We are a part of the solution for the sustainability of forests and that’s really important to me,” Lee Charleson, manager of the Alberta Tree Improvement and Seed Centre in Smoky Lake, Alta. Charleson is clear about what she thinks of trees, “[I] love them, they’re my favourite subject.” Her staff tend to 640 acres of trees along with greenhouses, a concrete seed bunker and testing labs in the 40-year-old facility at the fore of reforestation in the province.  “What we’re actually looking for is their ability to grow well in height and diameter, in other words tree volume,” Charleson said. The goal is to improve harvestable trees for timber and pulp production, while increasing resistance to insects, disease and climate change.

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I object to the sale of tenure

Letter by Glen Small
The Clearwater Times
October 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Glen Small

I definitely object to allowing Canfor to sell off our forests to be manufactured elsewhere. The main reason that we are logging in this valley was to create employment and to stabilize communities. …Canfor bought the right to harvest timber from Slocan Forest Products. Canfor only bought the right to harvest, they did not buy the trees. If Canfor closes down their mill at Vavenby then they lose the right to the timber. …I really hope to see Canfor scale down and re-fit their mill to suit the volume of timber that can be harvested here on a sustained basis. Even though there would be fewer employees and contractors working, it would be the best thing for the stability of the valley and the communities affected.

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First Nation in B.C. to devise own caribou herd-management plan, blames province for not doing enough

By Wendy Stueck
The Globe and Mail
October 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. First Nation says it will come up with its own plan to manage dwindling caribou herds in the Chilcotin region, saying the provincial government is not doing enough to protect the animals. “We’re on the brink of extinction for caribou in the Chilcotin and we can’t just sit by and think the Province of B.C. is going to save our caribou – they’ve managed [them] almost to extinction,” Joe Alphonse, tribal chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG), said in an interview on Oct. 4. Mr. Alphonse said the TNG’s “herd management plan,” announced on Oct. 2, will involve asking snowmobilers and logging contractors to stay out of certain areas in the Chilcotin region, an area west of Williams Lake in the B.C. Interior.

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Lumber Project Requires More Study

By Kianna Gardner
The Daily Inter Lake
October 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal court judge ruled Thursday that an additional Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is needed for the Pilgrim Creek Timber Sale Project in the Kootenai National Forest after research showed faulty road berms weren’t blocking motorized vehicles from entering grizzly bear habitat in the Cabinet-Yaak. A request for summary judgement from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies was granted by U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy. The Alliance filed the lawsuit against the Kootenai National Forest Service in April of 2018. According to the court order, “while the agency [Forest Service] considered bear disturbance and displacement, the actual effects analyzed were limited by its assumption that public use would be effectively restricted. As argued by Alliance, that assumption has shown false, making the ineffectiveness of the road closures a ‘significant new circumstance or information relevant to environmental concerns’ that was not previously considered.”

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Trump Denies Protection to Ancient Alaskan Cedar Trees Threatened by Climate Crisis, Logging

By Shaye Wolf and Larry Edwards
Center for Biological Diversity
October 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied endangered species protection today to the Alaska yellow cedar, which is threatened by the climate crisis and expanded logging in the Tongass National Forest. The Trump administration’s decision responds to a 2014 listing petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, The Boat Company and Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community. “Alaska’s ancient yellow cedars are suffering a double whammy from the climate crisis and logging in the Tongass National Forest,” said Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center. “Instead of protecting these majestic trees, Trump’s fueling both threats with his reckless climate denial and pandering to corporate logging interests.” …If urgent action is not taken to reign in carbon pollution, by 2070 yellow cedars may no longer be able to survive in half the areas that are currently climatically suitable, with 75 percent of yellow cedar forests in Alaska experiencing unsuitable conditions.

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Ballot initiative to tighten Oregon forestry laws gets rejected. Advocates blame timber money.

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
October 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For years, coastal residents and environmental groups have pushed state forestry officials and the Legislature for tighter restrictions on clearcutting and aerial weed killer spraying in Oregon’s forests.  And for years, little has changed in Oregon, where the timber industry gives more money to state lawmakers than anywhere else in the nation. Oregon trails neighboring West Coast states on a long list of environmental protections. Now advocates are turning to another avenue — the ballot box. And there, too, they’ve been stymied. This time it’s by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, led by two former Republican lawmakers whose campaigns drew significant financial backing from timber companies. …But the Secretary of State’s elections division last week rejected the initiatives proposed by environmental advocates, including the group Oregon Wild, saying they related to more than one subject. 

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Yellow cedar trees denied for US threatened species listing

By Dan Joling
Asoociated Press in the Billings Gazetee
October 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A federal agency has rejected an iconic Alaska tree for listing as a threatened species due to climate warming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday that yellow cedars do not warrant additional protections the area affected by climate change represents less than 6 percent of the tree’s range. A spokeswoman for the Center for Biological Diversity calls the yellow cedar decision reckless. Shaye Wolf says yellow cedars face harm from climate change and logging. Yellow cedar trees can live more than 1,000 years. Alaska Native people have used wood and bark for canoe paddles, totem poles, baskets and backing in blankets. Yellow cedar’s shallow roots rely on snow for protection and warming has made them vulnerable to freezing.

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The Detail: Forestry companies buying vast amounts New Zealand

By Sharon Brettkelly
New Zealand Stuff
October 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A foreign-owned forestry company has bought up more than 77,000 hectares of forests in just four years to become the third largest landowner in New Zealand. Australia-based New Forests Asset Management runs several investment funds here through several subsidiaries. RNZ journalist Kate Newton has been investigating who owns New Zealand for several months. She says the speed at which New Forests amassed the land is astonishing. “They have gone from owning nothing in 2015, as far as we can tell, to now owning 77 and a half thousand hectares. they had an Overseas Investment Office approval just go through last month to buy another piece of land,” Newton says. New Forests calls itself a “sustainable real assets investment manager offering leading-edge strategies in forestry, land management, and conservation”. It has more than $5 billion Australian in assets under management globally with investments in Australia, New Zealand, US and Southeast Asia.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

May: Green party would plant 10 billion trees to fight climate change

By Dirk Meissner
Canadian Press in the National Post
October 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Elizabeth May

SAANICH, B.C. — Elizabeth May says the Green party will plant 10 billion trees over the next 30 years if elected to reduce carbon and recover vast areas of land devastated by wildfires across Canada. The Green leader said Friday the climate emergency calls for Canada to embark on a massive tree-planting initiative in fire-ravaged areas because trees rebuild ecosystems, cool urban environments and store large amounts of carbon. May announced her plan while standing in a small meadow in a Victoria-area park surrounded by trees, but metres away from a major traffic artery. “Replanting forests is critical,” she said. Restoring forest ecosystems is critical. Protecting old-growth-forests is critical. They hold immense amounts of carbon as a sink.” …May did not have immediate budget estimates for the Green forests initiative but said money proposed for the Trans Mountain pipeline project and other current federal funds would help pay for the campaign pledge.

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