Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 21, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Oregon failed to maximize timber harvests on state forests: jury

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 21, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

A jury has ruled that Oregon failed to maximize timber harvests on state forests, depriving rural counties of millions in past and future revenue. In other Business news: Lowe’s is closing 35 Canadian stores; and the lack of trucking alternatives will exacerbate the CN Rail strike. Companies in the news include: the Northern Pulp dilemma; Western’s strike impact; and Canfor’s privatization vote.

In Forestry news: the McGill Review says BC’s forestry slump is bad for the environment; the Suzuki foundation’s interactive map shows industry impact on caribou habitat; illegal logging threatens Melbourne’s drinking water; and Australian timber workers aren’t ready to stop logging native forests.

Finally, UK wood awards top prize goes to house made with cork bricks.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Pressure mounts on Trudeau to end rail strike as effects spread

By Jacqueline Thorpe and Robert Tuttle
BNN Bloomberg
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Pressure is mounting on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action to end a railway strike that’s curtailing shipments of one the world’s biggest exporters of raw materials. More than 3,200 conductors and yard operators walked off the job at Canadian National Railway Co. on Tuesday …Capotex, the marketing arm for potash companies Nutrien Ltd. and Mosaic Co., said it relies heavily on CN Rail to move potash to its terminal in Vancouver. The Forest Products Association of Canada said its industry is responsible for 10% of the total tonnage transported through Canada’s railways. “While FPAC respects the collective bargaining process, and the right of workers to go on strike, we are concerned about the devastating economic impacts this dispute will have on our industry, which is already facing significant headwinds, not to mention the impacts on forestry families and communities.”

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Lowe’s says it will close 34 ‘underperforming’ stores across six provinces

Canadian Press in BC Local News
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Lowe’s Companies Inc. said Wednesday it will close 34 “underperforming” stores across six provinces as part of a restructuring of its Canadian business. The stores include 26 Ronas, six Lowe’s and two Reno-Depots spread across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. “Closing underperforming stores is a necessary step in our plan to ensure the long-term stability and growth of our Canadian business,” said Tony Cioffi, interim president of Lowe’s Canada in a statement. …Lowe’s bought Rona in 2016 in a deal valued at $3.2 billion. Ad Standards, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory body, said earlier this month that the company should stop using the phrases ”truly Canadian” and “proudly Canadian” on its store signs as they were misleading. The company said it “strongly disagrees” with the conclusion. …The Canadian division of Lowe’s has more than 600 corporate and independent affiliate stores under the Lowe’s, Rona, Reno-Depot, Ace and Dick’s Lumber brands.

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Canada’s Forest Products Industry Issues Media Statement on CN Strike

Forest Products Association of Canada
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) issued a statement today signalling the sector’s concern over disruptions to Canada’s rail transport system. “Canada’s forest products sector is responsible for 10% of the total tonnage transported through Canada’s railways, often in remote locations where alternative transportation is limited or unavailable, noted FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor.  “Further compounding the severity of a disruption is the ongoing truck driver shortage, which means additional costs, higher rates and an inability to ship products to customers,” he continued.  “While FPAC respects the collective bargaining process, and the right of workers to go on strike, we are concerned about the devastating economic impacts this dispute will have on our industry, which is already facing significant headwinds, not to mention the impacts on forestry families and communities”.

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CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

By Dan Healing
The Canadian Press in Canadian Business
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

CALGARY — A chronic shortage of truck drivers across Canada is compounding concerns about the impact of a strike at Canadian National Railway Co., says the Forest Products Association of Canada. …“We are concerned about the devastating economic impacts this dispute will have on our industry, which is already facing significant headwinds,” said CEO Derek Nighbor. “Further compounding the severity of a disruption is the ongoing truck driver shortage, which means additional costs, higher rates and an inability to ship products to customers.” The forest industry supplies about 10 per cent of the tonnage transported on Canada’s railway system, he said, adding his industry is already reeling from a downturn. …Joel Neuheimer, vice-president of transportation… said Canada’s forest industry has a “bad reputation” internationally for not being able to get products to market in timely fashion and the strike won’t help that situation.

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CP to acquire Central Maine & Quebec Railway from Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors

By Canadian Pacific
Cision Newswire
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

CALGARY and NEW YORK – Canadian Pacific and Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC announced they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby CP will acquire the Central Maine & Quebec Railway. CMQ owns 481 miles (774 kilometres) of rail lines primarily in Quebec and Maine. The end-to-end transaction will provide CP customers with seamless, safe and efficient access to ports at Searsport, Maine and to Saint John, New Brunswick, via Eastern Maine Railway Company (EMRY) and New Brunswick Southern Railway (NBSR), thereby preserving and enhancing competition.”This strategic acquisition gives CP a true coast-to-coast network across Canada and an increased presence in the eastern  U.S.,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “With additional port access, more dots on the map, and our proven precision scheduled railroading operating model we are confident this transaction will bring benefits to all stakeholders moving forward.”

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Why Canadian businesses are losing their edge

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite a host of positive economic indicators that suggest Canada is well-positioned to weather whatever economic downturn is coming, businessmen and women in Canada appear to be worried. …Canada has fallen far behind their counterparts in the U.S., and other OECD countries, when it comes to per worker investments, according to economists at the Business Council of BC annual summit. …Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, said, that for resource industries in particular, regulatory burdens are definitely a curb on investment in B.C. Yurkovich said forestry companies already made some significant investments in their mills and equipment in B.C. to make them more efficient. …Reducing red tape is one thing governments could do to give Canadian resource industries a bit more of a competitive edge. “We need to streamline our permitting and our regulatory processes, because that [can] help us get back to a more competitive position,” Yurkovich said.

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NDP must act to save forestry, rural communities

By Jackie Tegart, MLA
The Merritt Herald
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jackie Tegart

I am writing you today to inform about the devastating effects of insufficient government action on a major issue in my riding, and across BC. The forestry industry is in the fight of its life, and it is not winning the battle. Only strong government action can save it now. The loss of over 10,000 jobs in the forestry industry is devastating to workers and their families. …The NDP government has the opportunity to make these changes and provide secure tenure for local mills, and to lower stumpage fees to make logging affordable once again. …I don’t believe those discussions are taking place within government currently. There are indeed a range of tools available to the provincial government. I urge the NDP government to take immediate action.

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North Island families struggling as Western Forest Products strike enters 5th month

By Good Kurbis
CTV News
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT MCNEILL, BC – As the strike between unionized forestry workers and Western Forest Products nears the five-month mark, other businesses and communities are feeling more of an impact. Jessica McLaughlin, executive director of the Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce says several families are starting to get hit hard. …The chamber referenced how nine families decided to move away from Port McNeill. McLaughlin told CTV News, “there have been boats towed away, there have been cars towed away, it’s not people trying to fear monger, it’s a reality of what’s happening in our town right now”. A Campbell River counselling firm indicates it has also heard from more people being impacted from the strike. Kelsi Baine is the executive director of Upper Island Counselling and notes the effects are wide-reaching.

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Strike-impacted forestry workers thrown a lifeline

By Alex Rawnsley
Nanaimo News Now
November 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

ERRINGTON, BC — The impact of a nearly five-month long strike between Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 is being temporarily relieved for some local forestry workers. They’ve been called to clean an 80-acre plot of land in Errington using machinery and manpower which will also provide products for area mills. Allard Contractors was initially burning away the brush and debris. …Allard teamed up with Catalyst Paper, DBL Disposal Services, Marpole Trucking and Parksville Heavy Equipment to continue operations. …The process creates a product called hog fuel, sought after by mills to power boilers and other industrial machinery. The fuel is taken to the Catalyst Paper mill in Port Alberni to continue their operations. The mill is footing the sizable bill to obtain the fuel.

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Canfor Announces Filing of Management Information Circular for Proposed Arrangement with Great Pacific

Canfor Corporation
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC — Canfor Corporation has filed its management information circular and related voting materials for the special meeting of Canfor shareholders to be held in connection with the proposed plan of arrangement with 1227738 B.C. Ltd. (the “Purchaser”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Pacific Capital Corp., as previously announced on October 28, 2019. At the Special Meeting being held on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, Shareholders will be asked to consider and vote upon a resolution to approve the Arrangement. Under the terms of the Arrangement, the Purchaser will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Canfor not already held by Great Pacific or its affiliates, for cash consideration of CDN$16.00 per Canfor Share by way of a statutory plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act.

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Concerned groups urge N.S. to reject mill’s plan to pump effluent into strait

Canadian Press in CTV News
November 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PICTOU, N.S. — The Northern Pulp mill’s plan to pump treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait lacks information and minimizes the risk to fishing grounds in the vicinity, a coalition of groups said Tuesday as they urged the Nova Scotia government to reject the proposal. The Town of Pictou, Pictou Landing First Nation, fishermen from across the Maritimes and the environmental group Friends of the Northumberland Strait voiced their concerns during a news conference in Pictou, N.S. They were responding to a required focus report the mill submitted to the provincial Environment Department in early October that proposed pumping up to 85 million litres of treated effluent into the strait daily. Jill Graham-Scanlan of Friends of the Northumberland Strait said …the report… lacked critical information and didn’t meet the department’s terms of reference. …Northern Pulp said Tuesday it looks forward to a “positive outcome” to the Environment Department’s review of the company’s focus report.

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US Wood Millwork Demand to Rise 2.4% Yearly in Nominal Terms to 2023

By the Freedonia Group
Cision Newswire
November 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

CLEVELAND — Demand for wood millwork in the US is forecast to increase 2.4% annually in nominal terms through 2023, according to Wood Millwork: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Gains will be driven by rising building construction activity, the aesthetically pleasing properties of wood, and the perception of wood as an environmentally friendly material. However, further growth will be limited by negative characteristics of wood (e.g., susceptibility to cracking and decay). Furthermore, intensifying competition from plastics and other alternative materials offering similar aesthetics, including woodgrain patterning, will restrain additional gains. Wood moulding and trim sales are expected to remain the leading product segment. Demand will be supported by rising new housing construction activity and advances in office, commercial, and institutional building construction.

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Trump campaign says it already is putting resources into Oregon

By Tracy Loew
Statesman Journal
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

LYONS – President Donald Trump’s national reelection campaign visited Oregon, touring Freres Lumber Co. in Lyons before meeting with state legislators and natural resource industry representatives. Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, said the campaign already is spending money in Oregon and plans to focus on helping Republicans win the state. …Those in attendance thanked the Trump administration for implementing more industry-friendly regulations, especially those that have allowed increased timber harvests on federal forests. Freres Lumber president Rob Freres called on the representatives to ask President Trump to appoint a “czar” to oversee the management of national forests and O&C Lands, which are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, with the goal of increasing timber harvests. Several of the attendees were with the group Timber Unity, which organized trucker protests at the Oregon Capital to help kill a bill that would impose a sweeping cap-and-trade program in the state. 

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14 Oregon counties fighting state over timber production

By Andrew Selsky
The Associated Press in KCBY News
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

ALBANY, Oregon — Fourteen counties in Oregon claim in a lawsuit that the state deprived them of revenue for decades by limiting logging in state forests. …The dispute… focused on three words — “greatest permanent value” — and what that meant when the phrase was written into law 80 years ago. Lawyers for the counties say it meant maximizing revenue from logging. Attorneys for the state argue that it includes other factors such as recreation and habitat. The law stemmed from a time decades ago when private lumber companies descended on Oregon and clear-cut forests. …The counties didn’t have the resources to restore the land. So, during his 1939 inaugural address, Gov. Charles Sprague urged the Legislature to pass a bill allowing the state to designate the land as state forests, grow back the trees and manage the land “to secure the greatest permanent value” and share revenue with the counties.

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Oregon loses $1 billion timber lawsuit to rural counties

By Ted Sicklinger
The Oregonian
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The state of Oregon breached its contract with 13 rural counties and 151 local taxing districts by failing to maximize timber harvests on state forests and resulting payments to those counties during the last two decades, a jury in Linn County found on Wednesday after nearly a month-long trial. The jury found that the state owed those counties $1.1 billion in damages, including $674 million the counties contend they lost since 2001 because the state didn’t cut enough trees. The verdict also includes $392 million in future damages, which assumes the state will continue to manage the state forests in the same fashion, and fail to maximize timber revenues for the next 50 years. The verdict, delivered mere hours after deliberations began, is a blow to the state, its beleaguered Department of Forestry, and environmental and recreational groups around the state. …The state is likely to appeal the verdict, but the judgement will accrue interest at 9%, or $90 million a year.

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APA – The Engineered Wood Association Honors Mike Dawson as 2019 Bronson J. Lewis Award Recipient

APA – The Engineered Wood Association
November 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Mike Dawson has been named as the 2019 Bronson J. Lewis honoree. Now in its 14th year, the Bronson Lewis award recognizes individuals for their leadership and outstanding contribution to our industry. …Dawson, former senior vice president of sales, marketing and logistics for Norbord, spent his 30-plus-year career in the wood products industry, starting as a forest sales rep for Noranda Aluminum. Throughout his career, he has been a champion for the engineered wood industry. Dawson is known for his passion and dedication in promoting wood products …his contributions and service to the engineered wood products industry include terms on the APA Board of Trustees as chair of the Marketing Advisory Committee and an active committee member for many years, the American Wood Council Board of Directors for five years and also as an adviser to the WoodWorks Board of Directors.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

How to Join Wooden Elements: 6 Tips to Build Safe and Strong Structures

Arch Daily
November 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Wood is a very easy-to-work material, allowing professional and amateur builders to manufacture simple objects and structures without major problems. However, when thinking about larger-scale housing or buildings, it’s important to take certain precautions that ensure good quality and good construction behavior. To this end, it’s essential to evaluate every project and analyze which connection system best suits its structural and aesthetic needs. We spoke with the experts of Simpson Strong Tie, a leading company in structural connectors, anchors, and fastening systems, to learn more about these topics. Here are six important lessons and tips for building safer and more resistant wooden houses and buildings. 

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Why is architecture and building so different in Europe?

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
November 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, International

Mike Eliason, an American architect working in Germany, explains. …For years, the U.S. has been lagging on construction innovation and quality over countries like Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. …The North American market is about 15-20 years behind Germany and Austria on mass timber, though the last few years have seen a strong surge. This is in large part actually driven by Canada. Cross Laminated Timber, and Dowel Laminated Timber are now well known, but there are many other products available in the E.U. that are not. Prefabricated buildings and wall assemblies have also been normalized here for decades, especially in Sweden. This innovation extends to even retrofit programs, like Energiesprong, which started in the Netherlands as a whole-house retrofit system, paid through the savings in energy costs.

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Dunkin’ Foam Cups Will Leave Stores Soon

By Jay Polish
Bustle.com
November 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

After announcing that it would make this change back in 2018, Dunkin’ is finally doing away with its Styrofoam cups. …Dunkin’ is planning replace its foam cups in New England stores by Dec. 1. When Dunkin’ originally announced the change in February 2018, the company said that it plans to bring new paper cups across its franchise “with a targeted completion date of 2020.” The double-walled paper cups being brought in to replace the old cups are made with paperboard that’s been certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard, a sustainability organization working to unite forest-based conservation with community-based environmental plans. …Dunkin’ has also joined the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a project working towards… eliminating artificial dyes from its menu; and building more energy-efficient restaurants.

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University of Southern Maine Portland campus student center, residence project ‘transformative’

By Maureen Milliken
Maine Biz
November 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A new student center and student residence on the Portland campus of the University of Southern Maine will be “transformative” both in its construction and the school’s focus. Capstone Development Partners will be the builder on the largest building project in the University of Southern Maine’s history, and the two buildings will be constructed with passive house techniques, using cross-laminated timber, the university announced. …”This is truly a great day for Maine’s forest products industry,” said U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine. “I’ve long advocated for the use of cross-laminated timber. …”If we’re going to succeed in the fight against climate change, we must invest in more sustainable materials — like CLT — that work to limit carbon emissions and effectively reduce the amount of carbon in the air,” King said. 

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Think Wood Mobile Tour will stop at University of Arkansas at Monticello

Magnolia Reporter
November 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

MONTICELLO — The “Think Wood Mobile Tour” is stopping at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The stop coincides with the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources Open House on Monday. Displays on forestry projects and activities will be available, as well as tours of teaching and research laboratories. CFANR is the only accredited forestry degree offered in the state. The Think Wood Mobile Exhibit is a museum-quality display that showcases the environmental and economic benefits of different softwood lumber and engineered wood products and their many uses in both residential and commercial construction. The traveling exhibit features a variety of interactive elements, props, and models telling the wood story from the forest to the market. The tour is provided in partnership by the Softwood Lumber Board, U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the APA – Engineered Wood Association, and endorsed by the National Building Museum.

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Wood Awards top prize goes to house made from cork

The Timber Trades Journal
November 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

LONDON, ENGLAND — The Cork House in Berkshire has scooped the Gold Award in this year’s Wood Awards. The project team collected the award at the Wood Awards Ceremony at Carpenters Hall, London on November 19. The Cork House, designed by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, is built almost entirely from forest products. Expanded cork bricks form the walls, while cross-laminated timber forms the base. Portuguese cork oak, New Zealand pine, Estonian spruce, American/Canadian Western red cedar, Austrian spruce and American white oak were used in the building. …Stephen Corbett, chairman of the judges for the building awards section of the Wood Awards, described the winner as “pushing boundaries” by exploring the use of cork as a structural building form.

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Forestry

Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-op hands out $50K

By Lexi Bainas
Cowichan Valley Citizen
November 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tim McGonigle

It’s the culmination of many years of work but now the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative is handing out legacy grants to various community groups from the profits of its logging venture with the Pacheedaht First Nation. Decisions were made in October as to how this year’s fund of $50,000 would be divvied up, and Tim McGonigle, vice-chair of the Co-op, announced the names of the winners on Nov. 12. “The Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative, aside from the yearly donations that we do to the Community Services Christmas Hampers, the scholarships we hand out, and other contributions that we do yearly, this year would be the first time we’ve done legacy gifts from among the applications that came forward.

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Damage to caribou habitat caused by industry, Suzuki Foundation says

By Stephanie Wood
National Observer
November 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Boreal caribou have been declining for decades, but public awareness and government action doesn’t seem to change, according to Rachel Plotkin, a caribou expert with the David Suzuki Foundation. Now, the foundation has created an interactive map that visualizes the impact of human activity on caribou habitat. They spent three months building the map using data from the federal and provincial governments, as well as non-profits like the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Global Forest Watch Canada. There are 34,000 boreal caribou that continue to live across the country. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates their population has declined 30 per cent over the past two decades. The map, launched on Tuesday, shows a correlation of weaker populations and more degraded forests with higher levels of oil-and-gas activity around the northern border between British Columbia and Alberta. 

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Dozens attend community water forum at Kelowna library hosted by UBC Okanagan

By Jules Knox
Global News
November 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dozens of people attended a community forum hosted by UBC Okanagan at Kelowna’s library on Tuesday night. A panel of experts weighed in on the need for better forest management in order to combat flooding and wildfires. “A big point of this is to get people’s minds on this so they can talk to their local government or their local member of parliament,” UBC Okanagan assistant professor Mathieu Bourbonnais said. “Forestry is part of the solution. Industry is part of the solution. It’s governments, it’s industry, it’s communities, it’s First Nations working together…,” he added. The panel discussed how in an era of larger and more destructive wildfires and devastating flooding, it’s especially important to pay attention to how communities are affecting the environment around them.

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British Columbia’s Declining Forestry Industry is Bad News for the Environment

By Sara Parker
The McGill International Review
November 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For decades, British Columbia (B.C.) has prospered from a high demand for lumber. The province is home to an expansive temperate rainforest, the logging and harvesting of which enables the forestry industry to employ thousands of people with, until recently, a high degree of job security. However, the amount of merchantable logs in the province is declining due to a slew of natural disasters, and trade disputes with the United States over tariffs on softwood lumber have increased the cost of exporting lumber. These factors have resulted in a steady decline of the forestry industry that began in the late 1990s, but has experienced particularly sharp downturns in 2005 and 2018, affecting the livelihoods of thousands of British Columbians. The forestry industry also plays a significant role in the preservation of B.C.’s forests, and its decline therefore poses a severe risk not only for the province’s economy, but its environmental sustainability as well.

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Bad math at Lands & Forestry

By Jennifer Henderson
The Halifax Examiner
November 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In what can only be described as a peculiar series of events, the Department of Lands and Forestry is cancelling the third year of an interim lease signed with WestFor Management. …Back in 2017, the government declined to enter a new long-term lease with the WestFor companies until Professor Bill Lahey completed an investigation into clearcutting and the state of forestry. Instead, the government is issuing one-year “interim” licences to the companies. …Last week, communications officer Lisa Jarrett told me the allocations had not changed. But when I insisted their own numbers showed an increase. …Finally… Jon Porter, with Lands and Forestry… says the increases in allocation I discovered are being cancelled and the licence re-written because the Department’s figures were actually incorrect. Porter blames “an arithmetic error” by some unnamed person for increasing the total annual allocation.

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Petersburg assembly delays vote on roadless

By Joe Viechnicki
KFSK Community Radio Alaska
November 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Petersburg’s borough assembly Monday decided to wait on voting on a resolution on keeping roadless area protections for the Tongass National Forest. A proposed resolution supports the no-action alternative of the draft environmental impact statement, released by the U.S. Forest Service earlier this year. That option would keep prohibitions in place for logging and road-building on 9.2 million acres of the nearly 17 million-acre forest. Mayor Mark Jensen, attending by phone from Anchorage, wanted to wait until the assembly’s December 2 meeting before deciding the borough’s official stance. …The Forest Service’s preferred alternative would remove roadless protection from 9.2 million acres of the Tongass. The agency has held public meetings and subsistence hearings on the proposed exemption around the region. Public comment here and elsewhere has been overwhelmingly in support of keeping roadless protections in place.

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Concern for Melbourne’s drinking water after scientists allege illegal logging

By Michael Slezak
ABC News Australia
November 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Melbourne’s drinking water is being put at risk by “widespread” illegal logging near water catchment areas, Australian National University scientists say. In Victoria, regulations prohibit logging on steep slopes … to protect the integrity of critical water catchments used for drinking and agriculture. But the ANU’s Chris Taylor and David Lindenmayer have found 231 hectares of steep slopes in Victoria’s Central Highlands have been clear-felled… Michael McKinnell, who was a logging contractor working for VicForests for 27 years before he quit in 2017, said the over-logging of a finite resource was driving the alleged illegal logging. …The scientists’ findings have been submitted to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) auditors, who are assessing VicForests’ latest attempt to have their products labelled as responsibly sourced. …The report comes a year after the ABC revealed VicForests had been conducting widespread illegal logging in state forests they did not own — an activity a legal expert said was “tantamount to stealing”.

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Meet the Victorian timber workers who aren’t ready to leave the industry

By Richard Willingham
ABC News Australia
November 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Timber is in Denise Broxam’s blood. Her father owned and ran a mill in Warburton, east of Melbourne, and at 16 she left school to work there. She now runs the business in Gladysdale, a tiny town on the banks of the Little Yarra River. …Two weeks ago, Premier Daniel Andrews announced plans to end native logging in the state by 2030, with reductions in timber supply from state-owned forests to start from 2024. “It’s devastating for all our workers. I’m worried for our staff and I’m worried for our community,” Ms Broxam says. The Government is “stepping down” the industry because it says the sustainable supply of native timber is running out due to over-logging, bushfire damage and native species protection. …When bushfires strike, loggers in Victoria’s central highlands stop chopping and take their heavy machinery to the fire front. …But loggers say this valuable skill set will be lost once logging is banned.

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