Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Special Feature

Innovative forest inventories – how is the landscape shifting? Q&A with Forsite Consultants

Tree Frog News and Forsite Consultants
January 15, 2020
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sandy McKellar at Tree Frog News recently interviewed the team at Forsite Consultants to learn more about innovative inventories and how they are used in forest management. Forsite Consultants Ltd is a leading-edge forest management company with offices in BC and across Canada. Together their team brings unique approaches to forest inventory to provide added-value to their natural resource clients. The Forsite interview panel included Cam Brown, strategic planning forester and manager of the Resource Management and Technology group; Mike Parlow, Inventories Team Lead; and Carleigh Drew, marketing specialist. McKellar’s interview explores how Forsite uses LiDAR to create innovative operational forest inventories and how digital twinning of timber on the strategic land base can bring data to life.

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Developing Forest Biomass Removal Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Natural Resources Canada
January 14, 2020
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian Forest Service (CFS) researchers are undertaking research to determine how much biomass, by species of tree and by ecosystem type, can safely be removed from forests while still maintaining healthy ecological functions. The information gained from studies now underway will help forest managers better understand the limits to biomass harvesting. It will also help managers determine the best approaches to harvesting biomass in a sustainable way. In Canada, logging residue (or slash) is typically piled and burned to increase plantable area or reduce insect, disease and wildfire risk, or left on-site to decompose. Slash has been used for generating bioenergy in some European countries for decades, and some of these countries have been assessing how much to take, how much to leave and the best way to convert slash to energy. In Sweden, 25% of energy production in 2016 was from biomass, of which slash (harvest residues) was the largest single component. [Access the French version here]

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Froggy Foibles

Tree Frog News completes move to bigger server

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 10, 2020
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Your Tree Frog Editors had big happy smiles on their faces yesterday as we announced that our site transition to a bigger server was finally completed. An increasing number of readers and a massive archive of forest stories (60,000+) needed a bigger home. We are grateful for your support and patience while we made the move (we had hoped to have it completed over the holiday break). Next up – we plan to reconfigure our site to better serve YOU! Stay tuned for updates. We’ll be reaching out to readers for input, meanwhile, if you have suggestions please don’t hesitate to connect with us. 

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Business & Politics

Premier Horgan Announces $5M in Funding for Forestry Contractors

By Jennifer Kramer, TLA Director of Communications
BC Truck Loggers Association
January 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver – Today, Premier Horgan announced at the TLA’s 77th Annual Convention + Trade Show, a $5 million commitment in funding to support timber harvesting contractors on the Coast who are affected by the United Steel Workers (USW)/Western Forest Products (WFP) strike. The announcement followed a December meeting between forest industry/TLA representatives and Ministers Donaldson and Bains who appealed to government for action regarding the challenges they are facing …due to the longest coastal forestry strike in history. In response, government announced the creation of the Coastal Logging Equipment Support Trust, which will help bridge loans until contractors return to work. …David Elstone, Executive Director, Truck Loggers Association said, “After seven months of striking and not earning any revenues, contractors will welcome the temporary relief from possibly losing their livelihoods, although it’s hard to say how much of an impact it’ll make or how much it will actually help.”

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B.C. inaction on forestry dispute riles Island mayor

By Cindy Harnett
The Times Colonist
January 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gaby Wickstrom

Port McNeill’s mayor says the B.C. government’s refusal to resolve a protracted forestry sector labour dispute is “intensely frustrating.” “The government has the power to assist them in reaching an agreement but refuses to offer anything more than ‘talking to both sides,’ ” said Mayor Gaby Wickstrom. …Premier John Horgan addressed the Truck Loggers Association convention in Vancouver on Thursday, and touched on “the elephant in the room.” …Horgan said he has strongly encouraged both sides in the dispute to “get on with it.” …Wickstrom said if the strike lasts much longer, some families won’t be able to recover from maxed-out credit cards that are helping them make ends meet. “Repeating ‘the best agreement is reached at the bargaining table,’ is not enough,” said Wickstrom. “Yes, if the process is working, but after seven months the USW/WFP bargaining process is broken.

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Horgan takes a pass on the Cariboo

By Donna Barnett, MLA Cariboo-Chilcotin
BC Local News
January 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Premier John Horgan is set to take his very first official tour of northern British Columbia starting this Thursday. …Williams Lake and 100 Mile House are not on the list of designated stops. This is too bad because this week would have been Horgan’s real first opportunity to see how bad the forest industry really is in this province. …Horgan stood by and did nothing for the better part of the year while our forest industry collapsed. When the NDP finally got around to putting together some kind of package to assist displaced forestry workers, it was later discovered that Horgan cancelled the $25 million Rural Dividend Fund in order to come up with the money. …I would love to show the Premier just how important the forest industry is to British Columbia, not just in rural B.C. but the whole province. Unfortunately, Horgan and his political handlers do not consider this a priority.

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Premier Horgan offers $5 million to help truck loggers suffering seven-month strike

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
January 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan promised to help B.C.’s coastal-logging sector suffering through a now-unprecedented seven month strike and on Thursday offered a $5-million gesture to assist contractors at-risk of losing equipment to the banks… which should start being available to contractors before month’s end. …United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 went on strike July 1 against major forestry firm Western Forest Products. …Nelson said, and the money will help contractors struggling with equipment payments and the costs of restarting operations once the dispute ends. …Horgan told the crowd that parties to the dispute have “the best mediator in Canada” working with them. …Labour Minister Harry Bains… said he’s confident they’re “moving in the right direction.” …David Elstone, the association’s executive director, said the premier’s speech alone, acknowledging the crisis that the industry is in, was a positive step. However, the next big thing government also needs to deal with is protecting a working forest to sustain the industry. 

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Province opens forestry job office in Fort St. John

By Matt Preprost
The Alaska Highway News
January 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has opened an office in Fort St. John to help workers impacted by the forestry crisis find new jobs. The office will give workers access to supports for job placement co-ordination and new skills training, the Ministry of Labour said Wednesday “Each office employs a co-ordination officer who is a displaced forestry worker,” the ministry said in an information bulletin. “These co-ordinators understand what clients are experiencing and are trained to assist others in finding new jobs or training opportunities.”  Nearly 200 mill workers lost their jobs, as did hundreds more contractors, when Louisiana Pacific shut down operations indefinitely at its Peace Valley OSB mill last June. …Job offices have also opened in Mackenzie, 100 Mile House, Fort St. James, and Clearwater.

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“It’s imperative”: BC Rural Dividend program should be reinstated to help small communities, says Liberal MP

By Raven Nyman
BC Local News
January 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Milobar

With the new year charging onward, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Peter Milobar wants to see more tangible support for workers affected by the province’s forestry crisis. He’d also like to know whether or not the BC Rural Dividend program will be reinstated to help small communities. Since the government’s suspension of the program in 2019 and subsequent reallocation of its funds to support BC forestry workers, some small municipalities have expressed concerns about the decision and its potential effect on local economies. “People expected there would have been more of a rollout after the announcement,” said Milobar, referencing government support promised to forestry workers. Previously, the BC Rural Dividend program provided up to $25 million a year to help diversify the economies of communities with a population of 25,000 or less. …Despite the challenges ahead, Milobar is hopeful that short-term opportunities like the Trans Mountain Pipeline will help forestry workers affected by recent mill closures and curtailments.

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Campbell River City Council to send urgent call for renewed forestry talks at Truck Loggers convention

By Mik Davies
The Campbell River Mirror
January 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Campbell River city council will be taking an urgent message to the annual Truck Loggers Association convention when three council representatives attend the event this week. “We’ll be speaking out at every opportunity about the devastating effects on Campbell River of the prolonged labour dispute between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers, and the urgent need to resume talks,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “Thousands of people in Vancouver Island communities are severely affected by this strike,” Adams says. “The need to continue to negotiate will be first and foremost on our mind when we meet with forestry representatives at the convention. …Mayor Adams and Councillors Charlie Cornfield and Kermit Dahl will represent Campbell River at the Truck Loggers Association convention.

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Kamloops council agrees to more friendly tax structure for Domtar, other heavy industries

By James Peters
CFJC Today
January 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops council has made changes to a pair of bylaws that impact the taxes and fees it receives. …The first change will see the Class 4 heavy industry tax rate be set at the average of BC cities, not including those with ports. This comes in response to years of grappling with a heavy industry tax rate that is significantly higher than average for BC municipalities. This has been a sticking point particularly for the Domtar pulp mill. …Domtar’s stated goal regarding this industrial tax rate — they’re looking for a stable rate to hopefully encourage future development and the longevity of the mill.” The other two heavy industry properties in Kamloops belong to Tolko and Lafarge, and both pay a fraction of what Domtar does in property taxes.

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Labour Dispute Approaching Seven Month Mark

By Kyle Christensen
My Cowichan Valley Now
January 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The United Steelworkers opted to take strike action last summer and the USW and Western Forest Products are still at odds over concessions. Very little progress has been made between the two sides and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 President Brian Butler said Western picked the wrong fight with the wrong union at the wrong time. …“We had a strike in 1986 for four and a half months and we’ve been on strike for six months now,” said Butler. “Our membership stands united and we will not agree to anything that is a concession.” …Despite what Butler calls an unwillingness of Western to return to the bargaining table, Western said it’s “fully committed to doing everything it can to reach a mutually beneficial settlement.”

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OPINION: Cool down and then settle your differences

By Bill McQuarrie, former publisher, semi-retired in Port McNeill
North Island Gazette
January 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It has been nearly seven months and as both a journalist and local resident, I’ve witnessed the impact of the forestry strike and seen the toll it is taking on the people of the North Island. During that time, I’ve been amazed by the spontaneous formation of volunteer support groups who have done everything possible to make sure no one goes hungry. I’ve seen caring people, often suffering from the effects of the strike themselves, cry in frustration and worry as they worked day and night to make Christmas happen for families who were also struggling. And I’ve seen tears of embarrassment as mothers struggle with the idea of accepting what they see as welfare. …However, the shopkeepers, the small businesses or the minimum wage employee who has lost their job have been silent, unrepresented and for the most part, forgotten. They are collateral damage in a war they didn’t start.

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United Steelworkers update Powell River members on collective bargaining

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
January 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 members remain committed to have the union continue its battle with Western Forest Products. …“The message our bargaining committee received from the membership was loud and clear,” stated Brian Butler, USW Local 1-1937 president. “After six months of strike, members want their union to continue fighting to ensure that they have safe shifts, secure jobs and dignity on the job.” …Butler stated the USW bargaining committee met with mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers on January 9 to review a significant compromise the union was willing to make on its alternate shift proposal. …“After speaking on the phone with WFP, the mediators returned to advise the union that WFP would not comment on the merits of the union’s revised alternate shift proposal and… will not return to the bargaining table unless USW agrees with WFP’s concessionary proposal on contracting out.

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Horgan’s meeting with PM touches on opioids, pipeline

By Cindy Harnett
The Times Colonist
January 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau… talked about opioids at a video-conference meeting on Monday, Horgan said. …Horgan and Trudeau also discussed Vancouver transit projects, softwood lumber… and other challenges facing the forestry sector in British Columbia. A dispute between Western Forest Products Inc. and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 started on July 1, making it the longest labour dispute in forest-industry history in B.C. “I’m not happy about that,” said Horgan. He had said before Christmas that he expected the strike to end soon. Mediator Vince Ready is on hand, “but the best deal will be the one that’s made at a negotiating table,” said Horgan. “I think British Columbians and particularly Vancouver Islanders, their patience is running quite thin on this and I think both sides understand and recognize that and I’m hopeful Vince can do his magic in a short period of time.”

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Union blasts local government for getting involved in strike, Port McNeill mayor fires back

By Tyson Whitney
Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News
January 11, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Now entering seven months, the WFP/United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (USW) strike has taken another turn after the USW issued a press release taking local government to task for trying to meddle in the strike.  “Some coastal Mayors and Councils are assisting either wittingly or unwittingly a select number of logging contractors, who continue to beat drum for WFP in an effort to undermine workers’ rights,” stated the release. “These elected individuals need to realize the serious and negative impact that WFP’s Union busting contracting out concession, draconian Drug and Alcohol Policy and unsafe Alternate Shifts, have on the safety, security and dignity of workers and their families.” The USW then acknowledged the stance that “community leaders like the Mayor and Council in Port Alberni have taken, which acknowledges the rights of workers to bargain their Collective Agreement, without interference.”

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Value-added wood sector riding the building boom

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
January 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The sheer volume of construction and pace of building on Vancouver Island and beyond may allow some of the value-added wood manufacturing sector to survive what is now the longest strike in coastal forest history.  Some of the Island’s secondary manufacturing firms have in fact been growing, despite a dwindling fibre supply on the coast due to a strike that has effectively shut down the coastal forest industry.  Now into its seventh month, the United Steelworkers strike at Western Forest Products has sidelined 3,000 workers and several manufacturing facilities.  Added to that toll were another 2,000 workers idled in late November when Mosaic Forest Management decided to take its winter shutdown early and curtailed harvesting operations.  

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Training for forestry workers

By Kirk Penton
Okanagan Edge
January 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko’s Kelowna saw mill officially closed on Wednesday, but its former workers have been job seeking for months. …there is an opportunity coming to Kelowna and other cities throughout the province, like Vernon and Prince George, from the Canadian Vocational Training Centre. The organization has received a grant from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to not only train former forestry workers but to provide transportation and lodging as well. “Workers can come from anywhere in the province and pick a location that they prefer,” Kelowna campus director Frances McLachlan said Friday. “What happens is their transportation is provided, as well as providing room and board. …The training will begin on Feb. 3 at Kanata Kelowna Hotel and Conference Centre, and the average length of training will be 12 weeks. McLachlan and her team will sit down with each client and do a full assessment to determine what career will suit them best.

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Unemployment rose in B.C. in 2019, but rate remained lowest in Canada

By Ian Holliday
CTV News
January 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Ralston

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s unemployment rate remained the lowest in the country in December, but it recorded its first year-over-year increase for the last month of a year since 2015. The provincial unemployment rate stood at 4.9 per cent as 2019 drew to a close, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Friday. That’s unchanged from what it was in November, but up six-tenths of a percentage point since December 2018, when 4.3 per cent of B.C.’s labour force was considered unemployed. …These employment figures come after a year in which the provincial government faced significant criticism from forestry workers, who have been hit hard by lumber mill shutdowns amid “a major crisis” in their industry.

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IT’S NOT TOO LATE! Register now for the TLA Convention + Trade Show!

Truck Loggers Association
January 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There’s still time left to register. Early bird pricing has been extended. We still have tickets available for: 1- and 3-day session passes, Keynote lunch – mental health in the workplace, Leaders’ luncheon with Premier Horgan, A meeting with Minister Donaldson, and Suppliers’ Night Dinner + Live and Silent Auctions. As an industry reacting to significant changes in forestry policies, shifting markets, and structural changes to our forests, this year’s convention will provide a vision into the future. “Vision 20/20” offers contractors, forest managers, community leaders and regulators a range of perspectives and an outlook for timber harvesting in BC.
Don’t miss out what’s sure to be another great convention. 

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More than $11,000 raised in Cowichan Valley for striking steelworkers

By Robert Brown
Cowichan Valley Citizen
January 9, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Businesses and individuals in the Cowichan Valley raised $11,100 in the last few weeks to help local members of the United Steelworkers, who have been on strike since July 1, and their families have a festive Christmas season. Doug Irving, a realtor with ReMax of Duncan who was once a Steelworker himself, led the fundraising campaign and handed over the amount raised in gift cards from Thrifty’s to the United Steelworkers’ Jodie Morgan on Dec. 20 to be handed out to the striking workers. There are 520 Steelworkers in the union’s southern local impacted by the long strike at Western Forest Products’ operations.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Dragon Skin wood installation provides outdoor shelter on campus

By Emily Kwong
The Ubyssey
January 14, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new canopy-shaped wood installation has arrived on UBC campus as an outdoor rain shelter. Named Dragon Skin in reference to its scale-like shingles, the installation is the third iteration of a collaborative project between UBC’s SEEDS Sustainability Program, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP). UBC Associate Professor Dr. AnnaLisa Meyboom led a group comprised of student and industry participants. The design for the structure was created beforehand and participants were guided through the process of construction, which involved robotic fabrication. …Wood has been used …it  is a sustainable material. With the capabilities of new technology, architects can also experiment with new ways of using wood. In this installation, robotics was used to create a double curved surface, which deviates from the straight and flat forms that wood is generally known for.

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Tall Timber Solutions – bringing tall timber to new heights

Wood WORKS! BC – Canadian Wood Council
January 13, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Join us at Steamworks for a casual evening of tasting and testing as we delve into our favorite things: Timber Engineering, Socializing and Eating! The recent code changes in Canada and the United States include provisions for building Tall Wood buildings. This change leads to the opportunities to build taller but also comes with new considerations for connection design including requirements for inter-story drift performances and fire rating. Pre-engineered beam hangers offer an off-the-shelf solution, simplifying the design challenges that designers are facing for the most common framing systems used in tall wood buildings in North America. This presentation will go over key points designers must pay attention to when designing with pre-engineered beam hangers in tall wood buildings.

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Forestry

Conservation of Black Bear Dens on Vancouver Island

BC Forest Practices Board
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A professional biologist with black bear expertise submitted a complaint on April 8, 2019, asserting that black bear dens in large diameter, old trees are being lost to harvesting of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island. The complainant’s concern is based on research that found black bears on Vancouver Island den almost exclusively in large old trees and structures derived from them, including stumps, logs, or root wads, unlike interior mainland black bears.i These old growth features that provide denning habitat are important to the Vancouver Island black bear population because cubs are born in them during winter hibernation. Since most second growth forests are harvested before trees can attain the necessary size for denning, the complainant is concerned that the declining availability of large trees will eventually affect population numbers.

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Applications open for BC Parks Student Ranger Program

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Young adults keen to work outdoors this summer and to acquire a diverse range of job skills can now apply for the BC Parks Student Ranger Program. Now in its third season, the Student Ranger Program provides 48 young adults with training and employment opportunities in B.C.’s parks and protected areas. Indigenous students are encouraged to apply as the program has a 30% Indigenous hiring target. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Student Ranger Program offers hands-on work experience through a variety of projects related to conservation, recreation, community outreach and Indigenous relations. Twelve crews made up of four student rangers will be located throughout the province, focusing on initiatives such as ecosystem restoration, invasive species control and outdoor education, as well as trail building and maintenance.

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Efforts needed to save B.C.’s forests

Letter by Taryn Skalbania, Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance
BC Local News
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Taryn Skalbania

In 1945 when the Sloan Report by the Chief Justice of B.C. laid the policy foundation for the Forest Act including granting industry full access to our forests through tenure to ensure the taxpayers of BC a “perpetual supply of raw material for forest industries, with consequent stability of industrial communities and assurance of permanent payrolls,” it is doubtful he had today’s depleted industry scenario in mind. …While radical to some, to save the remnants of the forestry industry we must first save the forest, to save reduced jobs in forestry we have to save trees, too keep some mills afloat we will have to shutter others. Our forests have been permanently, radically altered, now our forest industry must follow. …B.C. must dramatically change how forestry is managed and governed if it hopes to reverse today’s troubling trends.

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Biologist wants to save Slocan Valley tree that’s likely bear den

By Bill Metcalfe
BC Local News
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Slocan Valley bear biologist wants a logging company to spare a tree that he says shows all the signs of being a bear den. He wants them to leave a strip in their cutblock and move the planned location of a road. But Wayne McCrory says the company, Yucwmenlúcwu, owned by the Splatsin First Nation located near Enderby, has refused to move the road. The cutblock is located in the Valhalla Range just north of Valhalla Park and Slocan Lake. …He said the company told him they would try to save the den tree but might have to “stub” it to make it safe by WorkSafe BC rules. Then they would cap it so a bear might be able to use it later. …“This is symbolic of what is wrong with our resource management policies today when you don’t protect high biodiversity areas like this,” he said.

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As the Birds Vanish

By Andrew Nikiforuk
The Tyee
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

News of the scale of the ongoing bird holocaust arrived as part of a daily flood of information last fall in a study published by Science magazine. Both Canadian and U.S. researchers, using a combination of bird survey counts and radar data on biomass readings in the sky, found North America had lost about three billion birds in the last 50 years. …In 1970, 10 billion birds, the most studied of all the planet’s wildlife, filled the continent with song and flight. Now, only seven billion remain. …The reasons were all predicted. We destroyed their homes by ploughing grasslands, developing coastal wetlands or felling forests. Or we simply poisoned them. …More than half of the continent’s grassland birds have disappeared, 717 million in total. The forests, including the great boreal, have lost more than one billion birds.

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Estuary in Great Bear Rainforest bought from settlers’ family to maintain wildlife habitat and local use

By Susan Lazaruk
Vancouver Sun
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. has a new conservation area near Bella Coola in the Great Bear Rainforest after a descendant of the settlers who had owned the land for decades sold it to a land trust. The area is near the mouth of the Bella Coola River and close to the town on B.C.’s Central Coast. The estuary covers 70 hectares, about 20 per cent of the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. It has been renamed the tidal flats conservation area, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) was scheduled to announce Tuesday. The trust will protect the area’s intertidal marshes, mudflats and tidal channels, and continue to provide a home for animals and birds as diverse as grizzly bears, salmon and the threatened marbled murrelet. It was necessary to conserve the estuary to prevent private development or forest clearing, said the NCC. The country’s largest private land trust will spend $1.6 million on the project…

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Another 69 Canadians headed to help fight bushland fires in Australia

Canadian Press in The Kelowna Daily Courier
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA – Another 69 Canadians are heading to Australia this week to help fight the country’s worst bush fires in recent memory. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the deployment comes after Australia asked for more help. More than 200 bush fires continue to rage across Australia, with the two most populated states of New South Wales and Victoria bearing the brunt of the damage. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre says 27 incident management staff will leave for Melbourne Thursday, followed by two more incident managers and 40 firefighters on the weekend. This is the sixth wave of Canadians helping out in Australia, bringing the total number to more than 160 people. …Champagne said last week Canada would consider any assistance Australia needs but its government had only asked for additional people so far. 

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Logging crews prevented from working in Clack Creek cutblock

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
January 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) says it has turned back logging crews heading to work in the area known as the Clack Creek Forest.  ELF has been trying to stop the harvest of cutblock A93884, but a BC Supreme Court judge rejected the group’s petition, filed last April with support from West Coast Environmental Law, against the sale of the cutting rights.  BC Timber Sales (BCTS) awarded the cutblock to a Squamish-based company, Black Mount Logging, giving it the right to remove roughly 29,500 cubic metres of timber.  Since the loss of the court challenge, ELF has been calling on Forest Minister Doug Donaldson to offer the company a different area to log. The group also staged “Living Forest Institute” classes in the cutblock and placed more than 1,000 felt hearts on trees in the cutblock

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Provincial forest-fertilization program in Pemberton area

By Joel Barde
The Pique News Magazine
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. carried out a forest fertilization program last fall in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, including around the Pemberton area. Helicopters distributed a substance over forested areas in early November as part of Forests for Tomorrow, a provincial initiative that aims to increase the yield of forests as well increase the rate of carbon sequestration of B.C. forests.  …A total of 385 hectares of forest were treated with fertilizer in the Pemberton area. Of that, about 30 hectares was treated in the Owl Ridge area, according to the province. The McKenzie area and a woodlot northwest of Pemberton were also treated. Wong said that workers primarily targeted Douglas fir and Western red cedar that were between 15 and 80 years old.

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A pause before we obliterate our forest industry

Letter by Lulu Schmidt
Cowichan Valley Citizen
January 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Endless political talk for what feels like an eternity for local forestry families has led nowhere. As the light shines on the B.C. forest industry and the strike continues into the seventh month another more personal conversation is building. We have all heard: the forestry industry is bad for our environment. In fact, this opinion, for some environmentalists, is more like a religious belief. But is this true and can a fixed opinion be swayed? Perhaps, an unbiased Netflix documentary showcasing all the positive contributions of this vital profession set to folk music could change ones mind, such as the documentaries created by environmentalists. But will this ever happen? I, for one, do not think so. This physically gruelling profession has little or no support or value in the mind of the average citizen. Shrouded in darkness and wrapped tightly in a hi-vis cloak of masculinity people struggle to know this profession. Therefore forestry workers have only themselves to lean on and promote their industry, which becomes a lonely slog.

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Thirteen grizzlies illegally killed in the past two years despite B.C.’s ban on hunting the bears

By Susan Lazaruk
The Vancouver Sun
January 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the two years since the province banned grizzly bear hunting, at least 13 bears have been illegally killed, Postmedia News has learned. “Since the grizzly bear hunt was closed, there have been 13 reports of illegally killed grizzly bears,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests. …B.C. banned the hunt in December 2017, with Minister Doug Donaldson saying British Columbians told the province that “the grizzly hunt is not in line with their values.” The ban was first proposed against trophy hunting of grizzlies and any hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest but it was extended to include hunting the bears for sustenance anywhere in the province after consulting with First Nations, stakeholder groups and the public. B.C.’s hunting guides launched a lawsuit against the province… the class action is scheduled for court in March.

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Canadian Light Source launches nationwide educational science project

Yorkton This Week
January 11, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Colin Laroque

The Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan has launched a unique initiative that creates opportunities for school students across the country to be directly involved in a national research project: children across Canada can participate in a free, nation-wide science project to learn the secrets trees can tell about their communities. The Trans-Canadian Research and Environmental Education (TREE) program involves the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and the Mistik Askiwin Dendrochronology Laboratory (MAD Lab), both located at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), in a study of how the environment affects trembling aspen trees. By combining CLS techniques for chemical analysis and MAD Lab expertise in the science of tree rings, TREE aims to paint a detailed picture of how trembling aspen are doing in communities throughout Canada. …The TREE program connects with Grade 6-12 curriculums in subject areas including science, math, social studies, languages and Indigenous perspectives. 

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Bad fire seasons can come in bunches, but so can quiet ones

By Randy Shore
The Vancouver Sun
January 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. has rarely seen a decade of wildfire damage like the one we have just lived through. …“Each year is a single case, but overall we’ve got to expect that our fire risk is increasing,” said David Scott, research chair in watershed management at UBC Okanagan. “We should expect larger areas to burn and that’s the big picture.” The smaller picture is a bit more complex. Although the general trend is toward hotter, dryer forests, clusters of bad fire seasons have historically been interrupted by cool, quiet periods that sometimes last four or five years at a time. …But in the near term, it’s possible B.C. could see a series of cooler summers and quieter fire seasons due to the potent influence of the El Niño-La Niña effect and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation›.

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Not all measures to protect Alberta caribou welcome by local communities

By Andréane Williams
CBC News
January 11, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…In the region of Grande Cache, there are about 500 caribou left, according to the government of Alberta. The provincial government has put measures in place … to try to curb their decline, but not all of them are welcomed by local communities. …the caribou patrol is an initiative created the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation and partly funded by the government of Alberta. During caribou migration, the patrol drives along Highway 40 almost every day, trying to stop the remaining animals from getting hit by vehicles. …Since the patrol began in 2012, only five caribou have been killed on the highway. …To protect the caribou, the provincial government created an intensive wolf culling program. Since 2005, the government has killed about 1,500 wolves, using aerial gunners in helicopters, as well as strychnine poison. …Trapper, Darcy Handy …said that the government’s strategy has devastating consequences … animals are dying as they eat the poison left out for the wolves

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Logging by Splatsin Nation has nature society concerned

By Darren Handschuh
Castanet Kelowna
January 9, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Concerns are being raised about a logging operation in the Slocan Valley that’s being done by a local First Nation. The Splatsin First Nation in Enderby is planning to log a section of old-growth forest, and that has Wayne McCrory and the Valhalla Wilderness Society concerned. The work will be done by Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land), a cultural and natural resource management company that provides a complete range of environmental, archaeology and forestry services. Yucwmenlúcwu is operated by the Splatsin nation. McCrory, a professional biologist, claims the area Splatsin is planning to log has been identified …as having high biodiversity values, including a black bear den in a 300-400-year-old cedar tree. …the Splatsin Nation issued a statement:”The Yucwmenlúcwu forestry team has been working closely with environmental specialists to review reported potential bear habitat concerns …[and] has sought a third party professional RPBio review [to] ensure that…potential habitat features are adequately addressed.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Developing Forest Biomass Removal Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Natural Resources Canada
January 14, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian Forest Service (CFS) researchers are undertaking research to determine how much biomass, by species of tree and by ecosystem type, can safely be removed from forests while still maintaining healthy ecological functions. The information gained from studies now underway will help forest managers better understand the limits to biomass harvesting. It will also help managers determine the best approaches to harvesting biomass in a sustainable way. In Canada, logging residue (or slash) is typically piled and burned to increase plantable area or reduce insect, disease and wildfire risk, or left on-site to decompose. Slash has been used for generating bioenergy in some European countries for decades, and some of these countries have been assessing how much to take, how much to leave and the best way to convert slash to energy. In Sweden, 25% of energy production in 2016 was from biomass, of which slash (harvest residues) was the largest single component. [Access the French version here]

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Health & Safety

Funding available for Off-road Vehicle trail maintenance, safety programs

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
January 14, 2020
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Outdoor groups interested in funding opportunities to improve off-road riding conditions and safety can once again apply to the Off-road Vehicle (ORV) Trail Fund. The funding is intended to improve the sustainability and quality of outdoor motorized vehicle opportunities for B.C. residents and visitors. The total available funding in 2020 is $200,000, with 25% of the money set aside for safety promotion and 75% marked for construction and maintenance. Requests for funding from $1,000 to $20,000 will be considered. …This is the third year for the funding program. Future planned yearly disbursements will be between $100,000 and $250,000 per year, depending on the growth of the fund.

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