Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 29, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Scientists debate the carbon potential of planting trees

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 29, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Scientists debate the carbon potential of planting trees in Science Magazine (wonkish but interesting). In related news: Ikea invests to become climate positive; and cue the loggers—Arizona has too many trees.

Re: BC’s forest crisis: Minister Donaldson says aid is on the way; a ministerial aid calls the rural dividend program a slush fund; Western Forest Products clears the air on efforts to end the strike; and calls for federal action by the TLA and an MLA. In Wood Product news: BC’s building code change will increase wood use; and the rise of mid-rise wood construction in the US.

Finally, the LA Times says stop building homes in high fire-risk areas.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Who’s voting for forestry?

By David Elstone
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

Following the recent federal election, I’m disheartened that none of the parties mentioned the forest industry… I suspect I’m not alone in noticing that our industry seems to have been given the cold shoulder in this election. Given that a large portion of western Canada’s traditional economic development is from natural resources, is it any wonder there is a growing sense of alienation? The lack of dialogue was all the more surprising in B.C., where conditions have become increasingly dismal for the forest sector. …Every day I receive calls from contractors venting their anger. People are scared. The province’s primary industry is melting down and, aside from some funds for re-training and transition, there is little empathy for the pain and suffering of those who are so dramatically affected. …We need voices in Ottawa that … are not afraid to … to ensure we continue to have a forest sector that is resilient and strong…

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B.C. rural dividend program ‘just a slush fund,’ says NDP aide

By Jeremy Hainsworth
Burnaby Now
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Walt Cobb

B.C. interior politicians are outraged that Tim Renneberg, a ministerial aide to Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson, has called the Rural Dividend Fund “just a slush fund for MLAs to do cheque presentations.” …“It is an insult to all the many projects that the fund had provided over its term and belittled all and every project and rural community that received the funding,” Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said of the comments made in an email by Renneberg. …“It’s not a slush fund,” said Regional District of Kootenay Boundary director Grace McGregor. “I think communities would find that a very difficult message.” …Renneberg called it a “slush fund” in a January 2018 email to various ministries and Premier John Horgan’s office.

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The forestry industry is in the fight of its life, and it is not winning the battle.

Letter by MLA Jackie Tegart, Fraser-Nicola Ashcroft, B.C.
BC Local News
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jackie Tegart

I am writing to inform you about the devastating effects of insufficient government action on a major issue in my riding, and across B.C. 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. …Handouts are not what is needed to fix the forestry industry. A healthy forestry industry with sustainable economic growth and employment, made possible by direct government action, is what is needed. 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. Currently, five major licensees are controlling the forestry industry. There are at least 12 smaller local mills which also need fibre, including Aspen Planers, which has mills in Merritt, Savona, and Lillooet. This can be changed. …I urge the NDP government to take immediate action to save the forestry industry… [This letter is the 3rd one down in the list]

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Western Forest Products clears the air regarding ‘concessions’

By Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer, Western Forest Products
North Island Gazette
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…I would like to provide further information [about] the efforts that Western is making to bring an end to the strike. …Not a day goes by where I don’t think about the impact the USW strike is having on our employees, their families, and communities who are feeling it the most. That is why we have been working in earnest to get people back to work. The article cites ‘concessions’ that the company put on the bargaining table. This is not accurate. Western’s most recent proposal maintains the terms of the previous collective agreement and offers more in wages than other recent forest-industry agreements. …Western had asked the USW to take our offer to the membership for vote. We also proposed that employees return to work during the voting process. We proposed binding arbitration. All of these proposals were made with the singular goal of ending the strike. All of these proposals were rejected by the USW.

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Cannings made official NDP Critic for Natural Resources

By Chelsea Powrie
Castanet
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richard Cannings

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings has been named the official NDP Critic for Natural Resources in the party’s shadow cabinet.  “It’s a privilege to continue serving in our caucus and I’m very pleased that Jagmeet has trusted me to take on these two important roles,” said Cannings. “In terms of priorities, we want to make sure that people are set up for success in a low-carbon future. That means we need to ensure that workers aren’t left behind during necessary transitions and proper investments in re-training and job creation in clean energy sectors are being made.” He was also named Deputy Critic for Transport. …In a news release, Cannings outlines priorities like innovative solutions for energy efficiency in buildings, homes and public transit.  Forestry will also be a top priority in the National Resources arena during a difficult time in the industry. 

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B.C. forest industry aid on the way, Doug Donaldson says

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in the Northern View
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Community job coordination offices are opening to help B.C. Interior forest workers laid off in the industry downturn, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says. Donaldson spoke after a raucous last day of the B.C. legislature session where he was again pressed for action on logging and sawmill shutdowns across the province. …The assistance office in 100 Mile House has opened, and others are preparing to open in Clearwater, Fort St. James, Mackenzie and Fort St. John, he said. For workers who are looking for retirement rather than retraining, there have been more than 500 applications so far to a retirement bridging program. …Donaldson noted that stumpage was reduced Oct. 1 by 12 per cent for Interior forests and 24 per cent for Coastal logs, to reflect a sharp decline in lumber prices this year. Additional reductions would only raise more protests from U.S. “lumber barons”.

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Poised for Growth, Structurlam Announces Organizational Transformation

By Hardy Wentzel
Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation
November 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

We are excited to announce an update to our organizational leadership with the addition of three new executive team members – each of which will bolster the company’s ability to maintain its leadership position through the increase in demand for mass timber across North America, while keeping Structurlam poised for growth. …We are pleased to announce that Paul Sehn has been appointed to the role of Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. …Michael Darby has been appointed to the role of Chief Financial Officer, and will oversee all fiduciary, finance, and administrative functions. …Finally, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Johnston to the role of Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Operations. Greg has deep experience in both lumber and OSB manufacturing, and substantial skills in developing safety improvement plans and quality management systems. …we are extremely excited about what the future holds.

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Provincial government tosses forest industry a lifeline

By Gerry Leibel
The Terrace Standard
November 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has thrown the struggling B.C. forestry industry a lifeline – changing legislation that limits the height of wood buildings. The announcement, made on Thursday by housing minister Selina Robinson, comes in the midst of ongoing, devastating news for forestry industry workers. …Robinson said a significant change to the building code would enable local governments to allow contractors to build 12-storey tall wood buildings, potentially increasing sales of forestry products in B.C. as exports continue dropping. The move has been welcomed by Kitimat mayor Phil Germuth, one of 21 northern B.C. mayors who signed a letter in August addressed to the federal government in regard to the crisis in the province’s forestry industry. …“The changes will hopefully help support our struggling forest sector by providing greater opportunity to use B.C. forest products in B.C. buildings,” said Germuth.

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Government Improves Forest Industry Support Program

By Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Government of Ontario
November 29, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

POWASSAN — The Ontario government is helping the forest sector grow and supporting communities across the province by redesigning a key forestry support program to make it more streamlined, transparent and user-friendly. John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry… announced the new Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program (formerly the Forestry Growth Fund), which will provide up to $10 million per year in funding over five years. “We have a plan to create the right conditions to help the forestry industry innovate and create jobs and prosperity for communities across the province,” said Minister Yakabuski. “…we’re making it easier for more forestry businesses to apply and get access to funding.” …The province will soon launch a draft forest sector strategy that will aim to help industry innovate, attract new investment, and protect and create jobs, securing a future for the communities and families who depend on the industry.

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Resolute among top 100 leading R&D spenders in Canada

The Resolute Blog
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute has been ranked one of Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders in 2018, marking the eighth year in a row we’ve made this prestigious list. The Top 100 ranking was announced on November 12 by Research Infosource Inc., which annually profiles organizations committed to enhancing Canada’s global competitiveness in the knowledge economy. What Resolute innovations are contributing to this new economy? We are hosting and investing in a bio-refinery pilot plant at our Thunder Bay (Ontario) pulp and paper mill to provide new pathways to the large-scale production of green bio-chemicals derived from wood. In collaboration with our partner, FPInnovations, the project will help to develop eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives to petroleum-based products for use in the construction, automotive, mining, oil and other sectors.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

California will never control raging wildfires if it doesn’t stop building in high-risk areas

By the Editorial Board
The Los Angeles Times
November 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

After three years of devastating and deadly wildfires, perhaps we should no longer be surprised by them. …A terrifying pattern has been revealed. California’s wildfires are now regularly destroying subdivisions and established neighborhoods that once seemed at low risk from wildfires. There’s ample scientific data and research to explain why. …Despite that, we’re still building homes — more and more of them — in fire-prone areas. …Here are a few suggestions culled from experts that, if enacted soon, could deliver lasting security. …The first and most obvious step is to retrofit homes in high-risk areas to make them more resistant to fire. …Still, all the fire-resistant materials and hardening in the world can’t guarantee safety. State officials have to recognize that there are some homes and neighborhoods that shouldn’t be rebuilt. …Don’t build in high fire-risk areas. But if development must be approved, build exceptionally safe communities.

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Putting Wood on a Pedestal: The Rise of Mid-Rise Podium Design

By Lilly Cao
Arch Daily.com
November 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Podium construction – alternately known as platform or pedestal construction – is a building typology characterized by a horizontal division between a lower ‘podium’ and an upper tower. The podium, which is typically made of concrete or steel, is crowned by multiple light wood-frame stories. Often, the lighter upper structure contains four to five stories of residential units, while the podium houses retail, commercial, or office spaces and above- or below-grade parking. …Podium design has been gaining popularity in North America for a variety of reasons. Land costs continue to increase alongside steel and concrete costs, encouraging the increased use of higher density wood design. Labor costs are also lower for wood construction, while mitigating the use of steel and concrete decreases carbon emissions. These factors, combined with construction speed and design flexibility, indicate that podium construction is likely to continue to rise.

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Greening the Wood Industry: Sustainability from Production to Consumption

Thais Linhares-Juvenal, UN Forestry Officer
The International Institute for Sustainable Development
November 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

How sustainable is the furniture in our homes, the paper we use, the wood we burn, or the timber that goes into building structures? These questions are being asked, more than ever, amid growing alarm over deforestation and the impact of climate change. …The 23-25 November meeting was part of the Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World Initiative, which was formed in 2018 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and various partners to reconcile the international demand for wood with social, economic and environmental needs. Meeting participants explored ways in which wood value chains, from harvest to consumption,  can be improved to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and how South-South Cooperation between countries could advance the process.

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Forestry

How many trees do we need?

By Evan Saugstad, former mayor of Chetwynd
Alaska Highway News
November 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Evan Saugstad

Our federal election is over, and we now get to see what promises move forward to become our new reality. Among the hundreds of promises that were made, one that got my attention was adding more trees …for the sake of storing carbon. The Greens proposed to add 10 billion new trees and only god knows how many billions more they would have saved by shuttering many of our industries that currently use our forests. The Liberals promised two billion more new trees and I would guess we are about to find out how many billion more trees they will save as they continue down their path of banning the industrial use of our forests by creating more parks and protected areas. …I do wonder where we might find the space for these new trees… my poor analytical brain could not comprehend how another two or three billion new trees will solve Canada’s contribution to climate change…

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Coulson inks deal with U.S. Air Force for firefighting delivery system

By Jill Hayward
BC Local News
November 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Port Alberni-based Coulson Aviation has signed a deal with the United States Air Force to install its Retardant Aerial Delivery System on the seven C-130H aircraft operated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Coulson is partnering with Lockheed Martin, which will do the installations at its facility in Greenville, South Carolina. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Coulson Aviation, a world leader in aerial firefighting technology, first developed and installed the systems in 2011 to equip its own C-130H/Q for aerial fire suppression. “We are honoured to have been selected by the United States Air Force. This contract is a testament to the commitment at Coulson Aviation of excellence in aerial firefighting,” president Wayne Coulson of Coulson said in a statement.

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Battling The Beetle

By Don McCracken
High River Online
November 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Calgary Forest Area’s Mountain Pine Beetle survey and control program for 2019-20 begins Thursday, November 28 and goes until Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Crews will be working in the Kananaskis area around Barrier Lake and in Bow Valley Provincial Park as well as sites in the Crowsnest Pass, Exshaw Valley and around Canmore. They’ll use chainsaws to cut, pile and burn infested trees on-site in order to kill the beetles. They’re trying to lessen the negative effects to park goers and also minimize the number of trees the bugs kill in Southern Alberta. Alberta Parks says if the beetles are allowed to multiply unchecked, they are prone to population explosions. In recent years, the pine beetle has experienced favourable weather and habitat helping them flourish.

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Way too many trees: Cue the loggers?

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
November 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ARIZONA — Lots of wood. Like really — lots and lots and lots and lots of wood. But can anyone make money on cutting it? That’s the fatal question lurking at the heart of the latest installment of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). …Tree thickets have grown across a vast area, thanks to a century of cattle grazing, big-tree logging and fire suppression. The Forest Service hopes it can lure large scale contractors to remove most of those trees, dangling a… 20-year contract and a streamlined environmental assessment. …But here lurks the great irony of 4FRI. First, we tried to save the forest for the loggers. But we bungled it. So now we may lose the forest. Unless the loggers can save it. But that means the project must pencil out. Which they won’t if we kill the market for biomass. And so the bungle continues.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Ikea to invest $220 million to make it a ‘climate positive business’

By Anmar Frangoul
CNBC News
November 28, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Inter Ikea Group has said it will invest 200 million euros to accelerate its transition into what it describes as a “climate positive business.” In an announcement the Group said the money would focus on two areas: investing in schemes “aimed at removing and storing carbon through reforestation and responsible forest management”; and using renewable energy in its supply chain. …There is work to be done if Ikea is to achieve its goals. In its sustainability report for the 2018 fiscal year, Ikea said its climate footprint was estimated to be 26.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. …It listed three key challenges for its aim to be climate positive: cutting its raw material footprint; lowering emissions from customers traveling to its stores; and moving to renewable heating and fuels.

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Comment on “The global tree restoration potential”

Andrew Skidmore, Tiejun Wang, Kees de Bie and Petter Pilesjö
Science Magazine
November 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Bastin et al. modeled the global potential tree coverage and found that there is room for an extra 0.9 billion ha of canopy cover, which could store 205 gigatonnes (GtC) of carbon in areas naturally supporting woodlands and forests. The IPCC modeling of the upper limit from pathways that could limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050 is 1 billion ha. We note that Bastin et al. do not consider forest rotations or biomass accumulation over time. Assuming that the IPCC model represents 30 years of C sequestration after tree restoration, we estimate… of 205 GtC by Bastin would actually require 2.88 billion ha, and not 0.9 billion ha, to have an even chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. …The global land area actually required to sequester human-emitted CO2 is at least a factor of 3 higher, representing an unrealistically large area.

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Response to Comment on “The global tree restoration potential”

By Jean-Francois Bastin1, Yelena Finegold, Claude Garcia, Danilo Mollicone, et al
Science Magazine
November 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Skidmore et al. calculated the yearly carbon storage associated to restoration from numbers provided in the IPCC special report Global Warming of 1.5°C and projected them for 30 years. …Based on their analysis, they claim that we overestimated the amount of carbon that can be captured in restored trees by a factor of 3. Although we understand their concerns, we highlight several misunderstandings in their interpretation of the analysis that invalidate their comment. …Our study quantified the global tree restoration potential and its associated carbon storage potential under existing climate conditions. Skidmore et al. dispute our findings, using as reference a yearly estimation of carbon storage that could be reached by 2050. We provide a detailed answer highlighting misunderstandings in their interpretation, notably that we did not consider any time limit for the restoration process.

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Real or fake: Choosing the best Christmas tree for the planet

BC Local News
November 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The debate over whether to cut down a live Christmas tree or buy an artificial one is just as much an annual tradition as the holiday, but the Sierra Club says there’s another option. A potted Christmas tree is the most environmentally friendly option says Tim Pearson. The tree can sit in your garden for the rest of the year and be brought inside to be decorated in December, he says. According to researchers from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Forest Carbon Management Project say the carbon footprint of artificial trees boil down to how many times the fake tree will actually be reused. Pearson says an artificial tree has to be reused for 20 years to have roughly the same impact of a live cut tree, adding that on average artificial trees are replaced every six years.

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Forest Fires

Fire in NSW Tallaganda forest downgraded to watch and act as Braidwood residents told to action fire plan

By Jake Evans and Niki Burnside
ABC News Australia
November 29, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the North Black Range fire after it jumped the Shoalhaven River west of Braidwood. The fire burning in the Tallaganda National Park, east of Canberra, was downgraded from emergency level to watch and act as a southerly change saw conditions ease late Friday night. The blaze is 12,000 hectares in size and just 1 kilometre from the town of Braidwood. Following the downgrade, the News South Wales Rural Fire Service has advised Braidwood residents to action their fire plan. “If your plan is to leave, leave now if the path is clear,” NSW RFS said on Twitter. There have been no reports of properties lost on Friday evening.  Rural Fire Service district officer Darren Marks said several spot fires that broke from the Tallaganda National Park have now joined up. 

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