Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 23, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US Celebrates National Forest Products Week and Timber Innovation Day

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 23, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

President Trump proclaimed this week as National Forest Products Week… and yesterday as Timber Innovation Day—to recognize and highlight new and innovative uses for wood. In related news: green advocates emphasize embodied carbon, such as this example of mass timber in the Toronto Conservation Authority’s new home.

In Business news: softwood lumber prices moderate down, while the US housing continues to prop-up the US economy. Meanwhile, CN Rail cuts its profit forecast; Georgia Pacific idles two South Carolina mills; and the BC gov’t’s Interior Renewal feedback process ends, as worker transition monies are set to flow, and log home builders celebrate good news for a change.

Finally, the Arctic tundra is becoming a source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

US – Commerce seeks information on softwood lumber subsidy programs

The International Trade Compliance Update
October 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

On October 17, 2019, the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce published in the Federal Register a document seeking public comment on any subsidies, including stumpage subsidies, provided by certain countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States during the period January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019. Section 805 of Title VIII of the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Softwood Lumber Act of 2008), mandates that the Secretary of Commerce submits to the appropriate Congressional committees a report every 180 days on any subsidy provided by countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States, including stumpage subsidies. …Comments must be submitted within 30 days after publication of the notice.

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US Department of Agriculture Announces Appointments to the Softwood Lumber Board

US Department of Agriculture
October 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of four members to serve on the Softwood Lumber Board. Members newly appointed to serve three-year terms are:

T. Furman Brodie, Effingham, S.C. (U.S. South)
Jim D. Neiman, Hulett, Wyo. (U.S. West)
Timothy Biewer, St. Clair, Mich. (Northeast & Lake)
Ray Ferris, Vancouver, British Columbia (Canadian West)
The 2020 board will have 16 members, including 11 domestic manufacturers and five importers. Members can serve up to two consecutive three-year terms.

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BC Log Home Builders, Dignitaries Gather in Enderby for Log Home Send-off

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
October 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Sperlich, President of Canadian Pride Log & Timber Products is hosting a gathering of fellow builders and provincial and municipal dignitaries, to bear witness to the value of BC’s Log & Timber-Frame Industry. Revolving around the recent completion and pending container-loading of a custom BC log and timber-frame home bound for Germany, the event will celebrate the sector’s success and contribution to the BC economy, as well as provide for discussion on current and future challenges. …According to Sperlich, “our sector can help offset the impact of mill closures as the primary industry transitions down to a milling capacity more in balance with BC’s long-term supply. This is because log and timber framed homes are job-intensive, generating approximately 3% of all Interior wood processing jobs with about .002% of the annual allowable cut.”

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Forestry renewal bid engagement ends

By Blair McBride
Houston Today
October 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad

The provincial government’s Interior forest sector renewal engagement period has ended and a report with its findings will be released later in the year. The initiative was announced in the spring and from July 18 until Oct. 11 the government gathered feedback from forestry companies, First Nations and others on how forestry should be conducted in the future. Input was received online and through several in-person sessions held in communities across the Interior. The session in Burns Lake was held on July 25. Reactions from attendees were mixed. “A What We Heard report on feedback received… is expected towards the end of 2019,” as Dawn Makarowski, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Forests. …“Further policy direction based on the feedback is anticipated to start in spring 2020,” Makarowski added.

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Transition Team in place

By Cheryl Jahn
CKPG Today
October 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Terry Tate

Northern BC – Two familiar faces will be heading up the Province’s transition team, which has been created to help displaced forestry workers transition either into retirement or another field. In mid-September, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson was in Prince George to announce $69 million in funding to help displaced forestry workers enter early retirement, find temporary employment in the short-term or get training to move into a new field altogether. Heading up that transition tea is former President of the Steelworkers Union Frank Everitt, who will be joined by Terry Tate who has done this kind of transition work before. “Back in ’09, 13, we ran a similar program. The government did,” explains Tate, Program Coordinator. “It was transition into retirement, there were training dollars. All those things were in place. So, you sort of learned what worked back then and what some of the pitfalls were.”

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Pulp must come from somewhere. Will closing Northern Pulp make a difference?

Letter by Tom Maher (retired pharmacist), Dartmouth
The Chronicle Herald
October 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products Inc. is investing over $50 million in its Saint-Félicien pulp mill as a strategic investment to boost production to over 370,000 metric tonnes of kraft pulp. This is one of many Quebec mills discharging their effluent either directly or indirectly into the St. Lawrence River. Resolute is also investing over $14 million in Thunder Bay to improve pulp capacity. …The pulp and paper industry is one of Quebec’s largest employers, keeping well-paid jobs in Quebec’s rural areas. …Over 100 towns and cities along the St. Lawrence discharge raw sewage into the river. Over 100 industries also discharge waste there. …By contemplating closing one mill in Nova Scotia, are we really decreasing Gulf pollution, or just moving the jobs, economic value and effluent upstream? …I wonder if Resolute’s strategic plan is to capture Northern Pulp’s business, and if Quebec’s goal is to capture Nova Scotia jobs and economic value?

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CN Rail cuts profit forecast for 2019 amid ‘softer’ economy and lower net income

By Christopher Reynolds
Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
October 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Canada’s largest railroad operator cut its profit outlook for 2019 on Tuesday, saying a weaker economy has eroded rail demand. Canadian National Railway Co. lowered its expectations for adjusted earnings per share to the high single digits, down from predictions of low double-digit growth. “While economic weakness and geopolitical issues are creating headwinds, unemployment levels are still at record lows and consumer spending so far remains resilient,” said chief financial officer Ghislain Houle. …High log prices and dwindling timber supply have prompted announced shutdowns or curtailments in more than two dozen mills in British Columbia, chopping CN Rail’s forest product shipments — revenues fell 11 per cent — amid a crisis in the province’s industry. “That is a structural change in the B.C. forest products industry. That business is not coming back,” senior vice-president Keith Reardon said on a conference call.

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Georgia-Pacific to idle two facilities in South Carolina

By Jozsef Papp
The Augusta Chronicle
October 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific announced Tuesday it will idle operations at two South Carolina mills, affecting more than 200 employees. …McCormick lumber and Allendale oriented strand board mills will go idle due to overall market conditions. Production will continue for up to 60 days as the company prepares the facilities to be idled. “Although new-home construction demand has returned somewhat since the recession in 2007/2008, it has not returned to pre-recession levels,” said Satrick Anthony, Georgia-Pacific vice president of building products operations. “[Our employees] have done everything they can to make the sites profitable – but unfortunately, it has not been enough to overcome the current market conditions.” The McCormick lumber mill employs 98 full-time employees, while the Allendale OSB facility employs 142. All affected employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits. Both facilities will be idled, but maintained in a ready state to begin production should the long-range forecast for market conditions change, the release states.

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Danzer to improve water discharge at Bradford location

By Karl D. Forth
Woodworking Network
October 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BRADFORD, Pa. — Danzer Lumber North America has reached an agreement with the local Department of Environmental Protection. The hardwood specialist has implemented engineering measures to optimize and pave the way for the long-term refurbishment of its log yard in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Water discharge issues were identified at the site in summer 2018. In mid-2018 the Pennsylvania Department for Environmental Protection identified water discharge issues at the log yard at the Danzer facility in Bradford. Danzer Lumber North America responded immediately, working with environmental protection officers and local and international experts to identify the underlying cause.

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Finance & Economics

Softwood lumber prices moderate downward over one month ago

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Lesprom Network
October 22, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Last week Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr rose +$2 to close at U.S. $370 mfbm. Last week’s price is -$12 less than it was one month ago. However, compared to one year ago, this price is up +$14, or almost +4%, when it was U.S. $356 mfbm.

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Will the housing market continue to prop up the US economy?

By Paul La Monica
CNN Business
October 22, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

Despite a recent drop in retail sales, softer business spending and a slowdown in job growth, the housing market keeps humming along. …The NAHB reported last week that builder sentiment in October reached its highest level since February 2018. What’s more, the increase in sentiment so far this year is the biggest 10-month change in more than six years.

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Eucalyptus pulplog prices in Brazil continue to fall

The American Journal of Transportation
October 23, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

Eucalyptus pulplog prices in Brazil have fallen over the past year and in the 2Q/19 reached their lowest levels in three years. Pulpmills in Brazil had some of the lowest wood fiber costs in the world in the 2Q/19. Over the past three years Eucalyptus pulplog prices have fallen while the global Hardwood Fiber Price Index has trended upward to reach its highest level in four years.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Opeongo Pavilion, Mont-Orford National Park

Canadian Architect
October 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Occupying 230-square-metres of Parc du Mont-Orford’s scenic landscape — amid lakes, mountains, and forests — is the newly opened Opeongo Pavilion. The name, Opeongo, derives from the Anishnaabe word opeauwingauk (sandy narrows); it refers to Canada’s Indigenous people and their deep love for nature. …In keeping with SÉPAQ’s (Société des établissements de plein air du Québec) wishes, wood was used everywhere, and this helped the pavilion fit into the natural environment. …In Parc du Mont Orford, Carrier’s team opted for natural wood, as a structural element and as cladding for both the interior and exterior. Structural wood decking was chosen for its thinness and load-bearing capacity, while dark cedar cladding was mostly used as rainscreen, and to ventilate the seasonal buildings. …The Centre de services Opeongo won an award of excellence from Cecobois in 2019. 

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Mass timber at the core of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s new home

By Grant Cameron
The Daily Commercial News
October 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Construction will begin soon on an innovative, energy-efficient, four-storey administrative office constructed of mass timber that will be the new home of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The 8,100-square-metre structure at 5 Shoreham Dr., near York University, is being designed to meet several green standards and is intended to be one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in North America. The structure, designed by ZAS Architects and Bucholz McEvoy Architects, will be a fully-wood building, including exit stairs and an elevator shaft and cladding. …Jed Braithwaite… says the fact the structure is all wood, or glue-laminated timber, an engineered wood product bonded together with durable, moisture-resistant structural adhesive, posed some design challenges but they are being ironed out.

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National Forest Products Week Awareness Activities

The American Wood Council
October 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Congress designated the third week of October as National Forest Products Week to recognize the value of forest products and commit to conservation practices that help responsibly manage U.S. forests. This week celebrates the role and impact of forests and wood as an integral component to our nation’s society. As such, the American Wood Council is calling all developers, architects, builders, material industries and forestry associations to come together and celebrate the impact of forests and wood products on our communities. This year, AWC has worked with the U.S. Forest Service to declare Tuesday, October 22 “Timber Innovation Day.” We invite all… to participate in the following activities, share resources and spread the word using #ForestProductsWeek on social.

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US Department of Agriculture Forest Service celebrates Timber Innovation Day

EIN Newsdesk
October 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

President Trump has proclaimed this week, Oct. 20-26, 2019, as National Forest Products Week. …Today, Oct. 22, is Timber Innovation Day, a day to recognize and highlight new and innovative uses for wood, such as mass timber, in building construction. In celebration of Timber Innovation Day, USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen today announced the Forest Service will invest up to $8 million in grants for projects designed to expand wood products and wood energy markets that support sustainable forest management, particularly in areas of high wildfire risk. The grants are available through the agency’s Wood Innovations Program. …The deadline for submitting grant applications is Jan. 15, 2020. Information on how to apply is available on the Wood Innovations homepage.

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Green-Building Advocates Raise Alarm on Embodied Carbon

By Joann Gonchar, FAIA
Architectural Record
October 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, International

By now, architects are familiar with the often cited statistic: the building sector is responsible for nearly 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. They understand the role of energy efficiency in reducing fossil-fuel use and tackling climate change. But many are just waking up to the importance of the emissions associated with manufacturing materials and the construction process, or “embodied carbon.” According to the United Nations Environment Programme, it makes up 11 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. And, if construction continues at its current pace, in 30 years embodied and operating carbon emissions will be roughly equal. Experts call the problem urgent. “We are running out of time,” says Victoria Burrows, the director of the Advancing Net Zero project of the World Green Building Council. …Also in late September, the Seattle-based Carbon Leadership Forum announced the pending launch of the Embodied Carbon Construction Calculator, or EC3. 

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Urban Catalyst Submits Preliminary Plans for Madera @ Google Village Apartment Project

By Urban Catalyst
Yahoo Finance
October 23, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SAN JOSE, Calif.– Urban Catalyst, a multi-asset opportunity zone fund based in San Jose, has submitted preliminary plans to the City of San Jose for their multi-family apartment project—Madera @ Google Village. The project is a joint venture with the CEO of San Jose-based Aedis Architects, Thang Do, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA). It’s located in the heart of downtown San Jose adjacent to the planned Google Village and Diridon Station, the largest multi-modal transit hub on the West Coast. …the project will use cross-laminated timber… As CLT gains in popularity, it’s expected that demand will grow due to the beneficial features it offers, including design flexibility, less waste, fast installation, fire protection, and increased seismic and acoustic performance compared to a standard wood product. “We’re excited this property will be the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) housing project in Silicon Valley and one of the first in California,” said Do. 

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Softwood Lumber Board Interactive Mobile exhibit showcases possibilities of lumber products

Prism
October 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

As part of 2019’s National Forest Products Week (October 20—26), the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is launching the Think Wood Mobile Tour, a museum-quality traveling exhibit that showcases the environmental and economic benefits of wood products and their current and future use in both commercial, multifamily and residential construction. The traveling exhibit features a variety of interactive elements including building models – from single family home to tall wood, kiosks and LED screens that tell the wood story from forest to market. …“The Think Wood Mobile Tour provides a window into the possibilities of wood for developers, architects, engineers and other stakeholders across the country,” said Ryan Flom, Chief Marketing Officer at SLB. “Where most see just a tree, we see the future of the built environment.”

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Forestry

Investigation sheds light on Nahmint logging

By Mike Youds
Alberni Valley News
October 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While an internal investigation concluded there is government non-compliance with old-growth protection in the Nahmint Valley, B.C.’s forests ministry insists its timber management arm is following the rules. Despite the contradiction and an ongoing review, B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) plans to auction an additional 490,000 cubic metres of Nahmint trees next spring, overriding its own protective order and the area’s special status, according to the investigator. “The Nahmint Valley was never intended to be logged like they are,” said Bryce Casavant, a Port Alberni resident who conducted the investigation and later left the ministry to take a job unrelated to forestry (he now works for the salmon conservation group Wild First). “It was specifically closed as a special management zone,” he said. …Findings that pinpoint violations of old-growth protections were brought to light earlier this month after the Victoria-based group Ancient Forest Alliance released internal government documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests.

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Drones should be the future of forest fire-fighting: Concordia study

By Daniel Rowe
CTV News
October 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — A Concordia University research team is arguing that drones are the way of the future for monitoring and combating forest fires in Canada’s vast boreal forest. Professor Youmin Zhang and his team delivered a paper at the 3rd International Symposium on Autonomous Systems that outlined the ways unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs or, more commonly, drones – have been used to detect and monitor forest fires already, and the benefits they have over traditional monitoring methods such as watchtowers, satellites, human-piloted planes and walking patrols. Drones, Zhang argued, do not get bored, do not need to be as close as traditional temperature and smoke detectors, and do not cause as many false alarms as traditional methods.

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Co-op making a go of it in Middle River forest products

By Aaron Beswick
Cape Breton Post
October 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stacie Carroll

MIDDLE RIVER, N.S. — …“Oh, we were able to pay the sawyer and the kiln operator,” said Stacie Carroll. The sound of accomplishment in her voice stems from the thin margins of the Breton Forest Co-operative as it takes its terrifying first steps into the world of commerce. They’ve got no government funding. The co-operative’s only cash comes from $25,000 in patient loans from the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council and a mortgage they were able to take on the shuttered hardwood flooring factory in which they operate. Their first product is a 100-square-foot tiny home that has been framed with spruce cut and milled by one of co-operative’s members, kiln dried by another, wired by another and fitted with windows made by Polytech in Baddeck. …The dream being to take raw resources to a value-added product that creates opportunity at the local level. …It’s forestry-meets-the-ideals-of-economic-development-theory at the Breton Forest Co-op. [Access to full story may require a digital subscription to the Cape Breton post]

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Domtar holds itself to a new standard

By Domtar Corp.
Northern Ontarion Business
October 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…Pulp and paper maker Domtar announced Oct.22 of its commitment to pursue new Forest Stewardship Council certification standards for the two Crown forests that feeds its Dryden pulp mill. Domtar said it remains committed to the independent certification – through FSC – of the forests that supply the Dryden mill, namely the Wabigoon and Trout Lake Sustainable Forest Licences. FSC launched a new standard for responsible forest management in Canada in June. It incorporates caribou habitat protection, engagement with Indigenous people, worker rights (including gender equity), conservation and landscape management, such as buffer zones around waterways. Certificate holders have one year to make the transition starting in January 2020.

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For Many, Issue Of Logging In America’s Largest National Forest Cuts Deep

By Emily Kwong
National Public Radio
October 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Trump administration is seeking to lift federal protections on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, paving the way for possible timber harvests and road construction in the largest national forest in the U.S. Last week, the U.S. Forest Service, part of the Department of Agriculture, called for the Tongass to be fully exempted from the Roadless Rule, a 2001 policy passed in the waning days of the Clinton administration. The rule has long prohibited development on 9.2 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in the Tongass. The Forest Service’s proposal, if approved by the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, would eliminate that rule for the Tongass and convert 165,000 acres of old-growth and 20,000 acres of young-growth to suitable timber lands. Critics of the Roadless Rule say it hamstrings Alaska’s economy and hampers development for the 32 communities, including the state’s capital city of Juneau, that call the Tongass home.

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Red Flag Warnings in the forecast for California

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
October 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Elevated wildfire danger is in the forecast for portions of northern and southern California on Wednesday, Thursday, and in southern California, into Friday. Most of the Fire Weather Watch areas have been upgraded to Red Flag Warnings. The extreme fire danger in northern California will begin Thursday while the southern California areas will start on Friday. North or northeast winds at 15 to 20 mph gusting at 30 to 40 with relative humidities in the teens are predicted for the areas identified on the map in northern California. The areas in the south should receive 25 to 35 mph winds out of the north or northeast gusting at 50 to 60 with single digit humidity. This weekend could bring another period of dry and windy conditions.

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Logging underway for dead and dying trees hit by tussock moth

Idaho Press
October 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE — Trucks loaded with trees damaged by the Douglas-fir tussock moth infestation in the Packer John State Forest are making their way to area sawmills. The Idaho Department of Lands sold nearly 2,000 acres of dead and dying timber as part of two salvage sales. The tree harvest reduces fire risk, addresses safety concerns to the recreating public, and clears the way to plant trees that are less preferred by tussock moth. The salvage sales also generate money to help fund public schools in Idaho. …All merchantable damaged trees within the salvage sale areas will be harvested except for ponderosa pine and spruce trees, which are not commonly damaged by tussock moth. Those species make up a small percentage of trees within the harvest areas. Most of the logging for these sales will take place this fall until snowfall accumulation makes logging too difficult.

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Project Learning Tree® Launches Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers Curriculum to Engage Youth in Exploring Green Careers

By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Globe Newswire
October 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON — Project Learning Tree (PLT), the award-winning environmental education initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), has developed new supplementary education materials to help youth discover careers in sustainable forestry and conservation. Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers includes four hands-on instructional activities to help youth research different forest-sector jobs, and practice managing and monitoring forest resources. Anyone can use this resource with learners aged 12–25 in settings ranging from community youth programs and school classrooms, to college and career prep, to field trips and forest tours. PLT’s Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers unit is available through a PLT in-person professional development workshop offered by our network of state coordinators or can be purchased from Shop.plt.org. An online course is also being developed.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Arctic tundra emits more carbon in winter than plants can absorb in summer: study

The Canadian Press in the Campbell River Mirror
October 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Research has found Arctic soil has warmed to the point where it releases more carbon in winter than northern plants can absorb during the summer. The finding means the extensive belt of tundra around the globe — a vast reserve of carbon that dwarfs what’s held in the atmosphere — is becoming a source of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change. “There’s a net loss,” said Dalhousie University’s Jocelyn Egan, one of 75 co-authors of a paper published in Nature Climate Change. “In a given year, more carbon is being lost than what is being taken in. It is happening already.” The research is the latest warning that northern natural systems that once reliably kept carbon out of the atmosphere are starting to release it.

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