Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada

Business & Politics

Tariff Feud Rattles Close Knit Communities On Both Sides Of Maine – Canadian Border

By Murray Carpenter
Main Public Broadcasting Network
July 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The feud over tariffs between President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rattled many towns along the border, but few are connected as tightly as Madawaska, Maine, and Edmundston, New Brunswick. This is where these linked mills make pulp and paper along the St. John River. With a trade war looming, people on both sides of that river are mystified by the deteriorating international ties. Standing here on the bank of the St. John River in Edmundston, New Brunswick, it’s easy to see the compact and the intertwined international relationship. …”The mill supports our local economy. It’s our largest employer, probably, on both sides of the border,” says Gary Picard, the town manager of Madawaska, Maine. …With the border feud escalating, many residents of these tight-knit communities have been taken aback.

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Who Are The Major Shareholders Of Canfor Corporation?

By Frank Brewer
Simply Wall St
July 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

I will be analyzing Canfor Corporation’s recent ownership structure… the impact [of ownership] has been observed in both the long-and short-term performance of shares. The effect of an active institutional investor with a similar ownership as a passive pension-fund can be vastly different on a company’s corporate governance and accountability to shareholders. While this may be more interesting for long-term investors, short-term investors can also benefit by paying attention to when these institutions trade in order to take advantage of the heightened volatility. …With an institutional ownership of 24.29%, CFP can face volatile stock price movements if institutions execute block trades on the open market, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade. …A big stake of 25.72% in CFP is held by the general public. …Another group of owners that a potential investor in CFP should consider are private companies, with a stake of 0.0078%. 

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Tariffs on Canadian lumber hitting home-builders hard

By Solina Lewis
WROC Rochester First
July 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – President Trump’s 20% tariffs imposed on Canadian lumber back in January are hitting close to home. For home-owners and home-buyers, the tariffs mean much more in material costs. Pat Clancy at Morse Lumber says lumber prices are actually off the charts, the graph showing historical prices in their office just didn’t have enough vertical room for where prices have landed. …Contractors like Joe Sortino are feeling it too. He says the lumber used to build the house he’s currently working on would have cost $32,000 last year, but because of those tariffs it’s now $40,000. …Partly in jest, Sortino added he didn’t know if he’d be in business in five years if prices stay this way. It’s not just lumber.

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Outlook for Wood Products Industry: Ample Room for Growth

Zacks Equity Research
July 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Higher lumber prices and robust demand from the U.S. homebuilding market have been driving the industry of late. A major factor pushing up lumber prices recently is the imposition of U.S. import duties on Canadian lumber. …Despite the increase in prices, demand remains unaffected, given the increased level of construction activity in United States. Notably, wood and wood products are a major input in construction activity. Construction spending in the United States has increased lately supported by a steady increase in outlays on private as well as public construction projects. Though myriad problems have been denting the homebuilding industry of late, the larger picture is convincingly strong. …The industry also stands to benefit from increased government spending, particularly on infrastructure projects.

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US lumber producers see huge opportunity, rush to expand

By Diana Olick
CNBC News
July 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

In the woods of central Maine, trees are gaining value by the minute, and lumber producers aren’t waiting a second. They are scrambling to expand production, build new facilities and hire more workers. Lumber prices soared over sixty percent since early 2017, thanks to a perfect storm that hit Canadian supply. …It all adds up to opportunity in the eyes of Jason Brochu, co-president of Pleasant River Lumber, which operates two mills in Maine, employing 300 workers. “I think with the duties that are in place, that’s given us a level of confidence that we didn’t have before,” said Brochu. The plan, he said, is to invest $20 million in the company over the next two years, increase production by 50 percent and add up to 40 new jobs.

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Congress steps up efforts to reverse newsprint tariffs

By Maria Curi
Politico.com
July 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are increasingly working on finding relief for the newspaper industry, which has been hit hard by tariffs imposed on Canadian groundwood paper imports by the Trump administration. This morning, 16 congressional lawmakers will testify against the levies during the final phase hearing before the International Trade Commission. For months, the newspaper industry has felt the harsh effects of recently enacted tariffs, which it says has resulted in an increase in newsprint costs of about 30 percent. …In the meantime, however, the cost cuts and downsizing at newspapers have continued. The Madison Press, which serves readers in Ohio, announced last week it would stop publishing a paper edition.

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US challenges China, EU and others at WTO over steel tariffs

The Associated Press in the Vancouver Sun
July 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday brought cases against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey at the World Trade Organization for retaliating against American tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. …If the WTO agrees that the retaliatory duties violate its rules, it would assess the damage and calculate the tariffs that the United States would be entitled to impose in response — retaliation for the retaliation. But WTO proceedings can drag on for years. …The WTO gives countries broad leeway to determine national security interests. But there was long an unwritten agreement that WTO member countries would use the national-security justification only very sparingly to avoid abuses.

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No quick fix for trade diversification as relations with U.S. become less stable

By Ian Bickis
The Canadian Press in the Chronicle Journal
July 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY – From Chinese bank notes to Israeli high-tech, Chad Wasilenkoff has tried to break into markets around the world to diversify the Vancouver-based business he founded. Paper products maker Fortress Global Enterprises is primarily focused on selling dissolved wood pulp from its Quebec mill and company chairman Wasilenkoff is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to stay competitive in an increasingly globalized economy. More Canadian companies are looking to follow the route. …An Export Development Canada survey of 1,000 exporters… suggested 64 per cent plan to export to new countries, up from the below 50 per cent the proportion has generally hovered at for the past five years. …Companies like Fortress that do venture out meet a wide variety of challenges, including running up against tariffs, stiff competition and failed ventures.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Industrial building in Prince George, B.C., holds record for most airtight

By Terri Theodore
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
July 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Wood Innovation Research Lab in Prince George, B.C. [is an] engineering feat that has earned it the recognition as the most airtight industrial building on the continent. The University of Northern British Columbia building has received Passive House certification, making it the first of its type in North America to meet the internationally recognized standards for energy efficiency. Guido Wimmers, chairman of the Integrated Wood Design Program at UNBC, said the building is very efficient and cuts heating and cooling bills by up to 90 per cent in a central B.C. climate where temperatures range from -30 C in winter to 30 C in summer. “To get to Passive House standards in this climate, with this geometry, that was a big challenge and hasn’t been done, to the best of my knowledge. There are three or four industrial buildings worldwide,” he said.

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Forestry

Government of Canada connects over 3,700 students to green jobs

By Employment and Social Development Canada
Cision Newswire
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

THUNDER BAY, ON – Building a strong middle class means giving Canada’s youth the tools they need to find and keep good jobs, including in the green jobs sector, with employers that help reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution and protect and restore ecosystems. Today at the Thunder Bay Centennial Botanical Conservatory, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, highlighted funding of over $26 million through the Green Jobs in Green Spaces program, helping create 3,725 green student job opportunities across Canada. Kathy Abusow, CEO, Project Learning Tree Canada said, “Project Learning Tree Canada’s mission focuses on educating youth and inspiring them to become forest and conservation leaders. Thanks to ESDC’s contribution … SFI has been able to facilitate the placement of a diverse group of more than 450 youth in green jobs…”

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Oregon State University’s College of Forestry Dean Maness leaves legacy of leadership

Oregon State University News
July 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Thomas Maness

Corvallis, Oregon – Thomas Maness, the Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Deal of the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, passed away Thursday, July 12, in Corvallis. He was 63. Maness had served as the college’s dean and director of the Oregon Forest Research Laboratory since 2012. He arrived at Oregon State in 2009 to serve as head of the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management. …”Thomas will be greatly missed,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “Under his leadership, last year the College of the Forestry was declared the second best college of forestry in the world. …In 1994, Maness founded the Canadian National Centre of Excellence in Advanced Wood Processing at the University of British Columbia and led the design and implementation of an award-winning undergraduate manufacturing technology program.

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Junior Forest Rangers scheduled to do a variety of projects throughout the summer

By Joanne McQuarrie
Peace River Record Gazette
July 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stewardship, leadership, partnership and traditional ecological knowledge: those are the curriculum elements of the Junior Forest Rangers (JFR) program. A ten-member group is working on a variety of projects in the Peace River forest area. They returned recently from training in Hinton. Since 1965, JFR has offered young people from across the provinces the opportunity to get started in a career related to natural resource management and forestry. All JFR crews live on wildfire bases or in JFR camps for the duration of the seven-week program. Crew members and leaders stay with their crew 24 hours a day, seven days a week and complete a wide variety of work and educational projects based on natural resources.

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Deadfalls in Salmon Arm pose risk for wildfires

Salmon Arm Observer
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Little Mountain Park … in Salmon Arm, like neighbouring Crown land, is littered with deadfalls and a thick duff or forest debris layer. …“I am very concerned about the incredible amount of dead wood lying on the ground everywhere. Should a wildfire ever take hold in the park, I think it would be very difficult to control,” says Michel Landry. A retired helicopter pilot, Landry has fought wildfires across Canada and in Australia… And he points out that while the Rapattack Base is located near the Salmon Arm Airport, personnel are not always there. “A thorough fuel management (program) might be in order and a fuel removal plan should be looked at,” he says. Fire Chief Brad Shirley agrees but says the previous government’s Strategic Wildfire Protection Initiative to provide support to communities for fuel management projects omitted funding for municipal lands. But changes may be on the horizon.

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Trans Canada Trail section closed north of Ladysmith due to ‘high risk of fire’

The Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle
July 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Nanaimo is closing a section of the Trans Canada Trail in the south of Nanaimo due to “high risk of fire,” effective immediately. The 21-kilometre section of trail, which encompasses the trailhead at Timberlands Road by Haslam Creek Suspension Bridge, to the trailhead at Harewood Mines Road at the boundary between the RDN and City of Nanaimo. A majority of the trail is on private forest land and “landowner Island Timberlands has advised that all company property in the mid-Island is being closed to recreational users due to increasing fire hazard,” the press release said.

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Private landowners the real ‘sticking point’ in next round of wildfire mitigation work: Nelson Regional District of Central Kootenay rep.

By Timothy Schafer
The Nelson Daily
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The toughest part of implementing a wildfire mitigation service for the rural parts of the regional district — including the lands around Nelson — will be dealing with the private landowners, says the city’s Regional District of Central Kootenay board representative. Mayor Deb Kozak said the regional district is looking to create a service establishment bylaw for a wildfire mitigation service — expected to be adopted in November — but they currently don’t have the ability to coerce private landowners to engage in wildfire mitigation. Most communities have already done what they can to protect against fires within their municipal borders, but are powerless to act on the other side of their borders, she noted. “The difficult thing for us is much of the land is privately owned around here,” said Kozak, “so there is no onus on private land owners to do any of that (wildfire mitigation) work.”

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Milne says Community Forest consultation is all about values

By Sean Eckford
The Coast Reporter
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Milne

The Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) annual general meeting is set for Monday, July 23, as the District of Sechelt continues its consultation on the future direction of the district-owned operation. The AGM will see the appointment of some new board members after the resignations of three members, including the chair and vice chair, at the end of May. The Community Forest was one of the issues addressed in a Coast Reporter Radio interview with Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne about his decision to seek re-election.  Milne said the consultation, which will continue with an information booth at the Farmers’ Market July 21 and Aug. 18 and an online survey that will launch by the end of the month, is focused on “trying to ensure the right community values are shown in the operation of the Community Forest.

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Hundreds of international scientists call for urgent action to protect B.C’s rainforests

By Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor
The Peak, SFU’s Independent Student Newspaper
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On June 28, 223 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to stop the incessant logging of temperate rainforests in the province. The scientists addressed their concerns in a letter titled “International Scientists’ Call for Action to Protect Endangered Temperate Rainforests of British Columbia, Canada.” … BC forest ecologist and SFU adjunct professor … Andy MacKinnon remarked on conservation solutions in Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest stating that “the province should take similar action to safeguard what remains of these globally outstanding ancient forests in other parts of the province.” …Julie Nielsen, forest ecologist and PhD candidate at SFU “This Call for Action is a catalyst for the Province — a ‘wake-up call’ to show BC that industrial logging continuing as ‘business-as-usual’, is a grave concern of not just ENGOs and the citizens of BC who support the protection of endangered ecosystems, but of several international scientists and experts,” wrote Nielsen.

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5th case of Dutch elm disease found in Regina

CBC News
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The city of Regina has confirmed a fifth case of Dutch elm disease in city trees earlier this week. The blight, which is spread by the elm bark beetle, slow kills trees and can be spotted by the telltale sign of yellowing or withered foliage. If the tree is on city property, a city crew will immediately cut down the tree. Elm trees make up around 45 per cent of Regina’s tree population, the city says on its website. It adds that between 1981 and 2017, there have been 103 trees lost to the disease. Beetles are managed and tracked through pheromone traps set up in and around the city.

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Opinion: Drought putting Edmonton’s trees at risk unless watering improved

By Victor Lieffers and Ted Hogg
Edmonton Journal
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We should all be worried about Edmonton’s trees. A large urban tree is worth thousands of dollars, based upon the city’s valuation… Over the last decades, there has been a gradual decline in the vigour and health of the average tree in Edmonton. …Many trees are in a severely weakened state and are on the edge of death. There are several species of insects damaging the leaves of our trees, but the main culprit … is a long-term lack of water. Big trees are damaged by prolonged water stress. The cells of roots, stems and branches are damaged by periods of dry soil. In essence, air bubbles formed in the water conduction systems of the tree block these cells and prevent the recovery of the damaged tissues even after rainfall. Once weakened, it takes years for a tree to fully recover from a severe drought, even if well-watered.

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Audit of woodlots in Burns Lake area finds numerous issues

BC Forest Practices Board
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forestry activities on seven woodlots, in the Nadina Natural Resource District, has found all seven had some type of non-compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and/or the Wildfire Act, according to the audit reports. “The auditors found that woodlot licensees did not meet obligations related to reforesting previously logged sites on three woodlots, and did not meet requirements for reporting their activities to government on four woodlots,” said Bruce Larson, vice-chair, Forest Practices Board. On three woodlots, the licensees did not meet requirements for preparing fire-hazard assessments, although they did abate fire hazards by piling and burning logging debris. One woodlot licensee neither assessed nor abated fire hazards, and failed to meet the requirements of the Wildfire Act. …The board audited a total of 11 woodlots in the district. Reports on the results for the other four woodlots can be found on the board’s website.

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Campfire ban comes into effect Wednesday for most of Vancouver Island

By Carla Wilson
Victoria Times Colonist
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. has banned campfires for the rest of the summer on most of Vancouver Island and on the Gulf Islands because of forecasts of high temperatures and little rain. Also banned are tiki torches, open fires burning wood debris in outdoor stoves, fireworks, burning barrels, exploding targets used for rifle target practice, and sky lanterns made out of paper. …It covers B.C.’s Coastal Fire Centre, which stretches over western B.C. and includes Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, the area up to Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park. Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island’s fog zone are exempted from the ban. …Since the beginning of April, 69 per cent of wildfires in the coastal area have been caused by people, according to B.C.’s Ministry of Forests. Regulations banning fires cover public and private land, unless local governments have other rules.

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Application deadline for the rural dividend is July 31

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

First Nations, local governments and not-for-profit organizations are reminded to get their applications for the fifth intake of the BC Rural Dividend program submitted before the July 31, 2018, deadline. Single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20% of the total project cost. Partnerships, involving an eligible applicant and at least one eligible partner, can apply for up to $500,000 and must contribute 40% of the total project cost. A project development funding stream will provide up to $10,000 to help communities build business cases and feasibility assessments that are needed to develop strong projects and support the development of future project applications. This is the only application window for 2018-19.

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As the ‘red forest’ encroaches, Jasper steps up measures to protect itself from wildfire

CBC News
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Already this month, Jasper has seen 10 times as much rain as it did in all of July 2017. Yet fears about wildfires are growing in the mountain town, fuelled by the rusty, red colour of the surrounding forests — a visible reminder of the spreading pine beetle infestation and the area’s increasing vulnerability to a blaze. Jasper’s residents, remembering the 2016 Fort McMurray fire and last summer’s smoky haze through the Rocky Mountains from wildfires in B.C., are voicing concerns about the community’s preparedness for a major fire. “We have numerous pine beetle-attacked trees upwind of the community, which is raising concerns not just for residents, but visitors and other folks, as well,” said Greg Van Tighem, fire chief for the Municipality of Jasper. …[He] says his message to residents is they must be personally prepared for the worst — namely an evacuation.

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‘Jumping tree lice’ threaten more than 14,000 Winnipeg ash trees

By Aidan Geary
CBC News
July 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Beleaguered Winnipeg trees are under a fresh attack from a new foe this season: the cottony ash psyllid, also known as jumping tree lice. The tiny, yellow-and-black bugs were first spotted in city trees last year, but their impact was considered low at the time, said city forester Martha Barwinsky. That changed this year thanks to a dry season, she said, although city tree experts are still determining the extent of the infestation. “This spring, of course, a lot of the black ash trees were very late to leaf out, much like last year. But as they started to leaf out, the impact was even greater,” she said. “We’re finding, actually, much more advanced stages of the cottony ash psyllid this year.”

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Mountain pine beetle turns Jasper forests red, raises fire concerns among residents

By Alexandra Zabjek
CBC News
July 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The patchwork of green forests in and around Jasper National Park is increasingly interrupted with splashes of red. It’s a sign of destruction caused by the mountain pine beetle and it’s more apparent than ever before in Alberta’s westernmost forests — altering the landscape that greets visitors to the iconic national park and prompting debate about how to manage the effects of tinder-dry, dead wood near the town site. …The Alberta government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to stop the spread of the pest. The decade-long efforts have slowed the beetle’s movement toward the carefully managed forests that supply wood for lumber and other purposes located to the east of Jasper. …But in the meantime, some Jasper residents are increasingly worried about not just the esthetics of red, rusty forests, but also the fire hazards.

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One log at a time

By Alex Brockman
CBC News
July 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

How do you solve a housing crisis in a remote Northern community? In Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., the answer is simple: you get to work. …Fort Good Hope is surrounded by massive spruce trees — but lumber is a precious commodity. Before the portable sawmill arrived this spring, it was nearly impossible to turn logs into boards suitable for construction projects, contributing to the community’s ongoing housing crisis. Now, people in Fort Good Hope are developing the skills they need to work their way out of that crisis, using their own people and resources to do it. …Inadequate housing in Fort Good Hope has been an issue for years, long topping the list of problems for community leaders to solve. Many homes are overcrowded and in desperate need of repairs.

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Board to audit Western Forest Products Inc.

BC Forest Practices Board
July 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of Western Forest Products Inc. on tree farm licence 39, in the Campbell River Natural Resource District, during the week of July 23, 2018. Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning, carried out between July 1, 2017, and July 27, 2018, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. Tree farm licence 39 is made up of four geographical areas called blocks. This audit will examine activities in blocks 2 and 5. Block 2 is located northwest of Campbell River, near the community of Sayward, and Block 5 is located about 65 kilometres north of Campbell River, on the mainland coast.

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Montreal shows the rest of Canada how to save urban trees

By Michael Rosen, president, Tree Canada
Montreal Gazette
July 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

While much of our national identity is tied to our natural environment, Canadians haven’t always taken the proper steps to preserve, protect and promote the urban forests that breathe so much life into our communities. Due to poor city planning, climate change and invasive insects like the emerald ash borer, urban tree cover has been in precipitous decline throughout most of Canada over the past two decades. …To help the city increase its urban tree cover to 25 per cent — a goal laid out years ago in Plan d’action canopé — Canadian National Railway is leading a movement within the Montreal business community, working closely with other large corporations and 40 community partners (known as the Alliance forêt urbaine) to plant 50,000 new trees and other plants in Montreal by 2022.

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Mayor of Saguenay village vows to stop logging along Péribonka River

By Claire Loewen
CBC News
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The mayor of a village in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region is vowing to chain herself to a tree before she’ll give in to a Forestry Ministry proposal to log a forest alongside a river that townspeople hope to turn into a major tourist destination. …according to Mayor Lise Garon, [Lamarche is] in need of a new industry to keep the town afloat.  “The tourism industry is our only option,” Garon told CBC News. …But in April, Garon learned of a Forestry Ministry report proposing trees be cut along a 14-kilometre stretch of the river’s edge. …Forestry Ministry spokesperson Catherine Thibeault said ministry representatives have met with their counterparts in Municipal Affairs, Lamarche’s town council and local development groups… “We respect forest capacity,” she said, which means logging will only be approved to the extent that it won’t compromise the forest’s ability to keep rejuvenating.

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Protecting tropical forest carbon stocks may not prevent large-scale species loss

By Kingsley Brown, Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Assoc.
The Chronicle Herald
July 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nearly five months late handing in his assignment to review Nova Scotia’s much-maligned forest practices, University of King’s College president William Lahey is under no pressure to produce it, just to get it right… His panel’s report is expected to be somewhat radical, a continuum of radical advances toward modern environmentalism introduced by private landowners and implemented as “the only solution” by the province eight years ago — bottom-up, low cost, managed by forest owners, no public blowback. …Registered professional foresters may be required for all Crown management plans. Wildlife and ecology requirements may go directly to Department of Environment, now run, by some accounts, by an “Iron Minister” on environment. FSC will likely be required on all Crown lands. There may be some type of independent audit to determine if clearcutting is applied correctly.

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Forest Fires

Northwest firefighters deployed to eastern Canada

BC Local News
July 19, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

A total of 23 firefighters from the Northwest Fire Centre were deployed to Ontario and Quebec last week to help with firefighting efforts in those provinces. Parts of eastern Canada have been dealing with an unusually brutal wildfire season this summer. The northeastern Ontario community of Temagami has been put on evacuation alert, while other residents around the region have been already been forced out of their homes after lighting-caused fires blew up faster than expected. Another 60 or so active fires were burning across Quebec last week. One initial attack crew – made up of three firefighters – was deployed on July 9 to Ontario while a unit crew – made up of 20 firefighters – was deployed on July 11 to Quebec.

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Crews battling rash of forest fires in northern Ontario, B.C.

CTV News
July 16, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

An intense heat wave, windy conditions and a number of lightning-filled thunderstorms have led to the outbreak of forest fires in northern Ontario and parts of British Columbia, with officials warning that there could be more to come. There are more than 90 active forest fires burning in northern Ontario, according to an interactive map from the province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Of them, 23 are under control, 18 are not under control, six are contained and the rest are being observed. Twenty-four new forest fires were started this weekend alone. …Meanwhile in British Columbia, where communities are still trying to rebuild a year after the province’s worst-ever wildfire season, 14 new wildfires were ignited across the province last week.

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B.C. Wildfires: Evacuations ordered as wildfires burn in southern B.C. Interior

By Patrick Johnston
Vancouver Sun
July 19, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Grant Topham

Evacuation orders and alerts have been issued in parts of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley after a cluster of wildfires broke out following a fierce lightning storm that swept across the southern Interior. B.C. Wildfire Service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek said Thursday that a blaze burning four kilometres south of Peachland on the west side of Okanagan Lake was one of the most serious, but it was not the only active fire. “We’ve got a cluster of fires that is of concern right now in the south Okanagan corridor from Kelowna south,” he said in an interview. Multiple fires are burning in or near West Kelowna, Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, Summerland, Naramata and Okanagan Falls.

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Fire in backcountry near Keremeos reaches 400 hectares in size

By Tara Bowie
Vernon Morning Star
July 19, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two significant fires are burning in high elevation backcountry in the Lower Similkameen. The B.C. Wildfire interactive map shows a 400 hectare fire is currently burning on the North side of Scully Mountain. The fire was first detected July 17 after a lightning storm came through. B.C. Wildfire first dubbed the fire Snowy Protected Area. The fire started as a small spot fire. It was unknown at the time of this posting if B.C. Wildfire had any crews actioning the fire. As of late Wednesday, July 17, the B.C. Wildfire Service was reporting that at least 34 fires were started due to lightning strikes in the Kamloops Fire Centre since the evening hours of Tuesday. Many of those fires are located in the South Okanagan and Similkameen including a large fire near Peachland that has caused evacuations of homes.

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Mount Eneas wildfire continues to burn at 200 hectares

By Cali Berry
Vernon Morning Star
July 19, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Mount Eneas wildfire, also known as the Brent Road wildfire, has caused evacuation orders for properties in the surrounding area. Located about four kilometres south of Peachland, the wildfire is estimated to be 200 hectares in size as of July 19. Evacuation orders have been issued for properties in the Brent Road area, including all campsites at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park. According to the latest from DriveBC, Highway 97 is open to single-lane alternating traffic with an RCMP escort. Alternate routes are available via Hwy 97C, Hwy 5A and Hwy 3.

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Wildfire evacuation alert issued for rural area near Vanderhoof, B.C.

CBC News
July 18, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has issued an evacuation alert for a rural area outside Vanderhoof, B.C. Homes in Electoral Areas D and F, east of the Dog Creek Forest Service Road on the map below are asked to gather essential items like medication and keepsakes and make a plan to leave if required. The Dog Creek Trail wildfire is about 60 hectares in size, burning 25 kilometres northwest of Vanderhoof and visible from communities in the area, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. It is one of at least 12 new wildfires started in the Prince George Fire Centre since yesterday. The evacuation alert covers the area east of Dog Creek Forest Service Road to Geernaert Road, and south of Barlow Forest Service Road to the Nechako River, Westwood Road and Braeside Road.

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Lightning starts multiple wildfires in Okanagan, Similkameen

By Marshall Jones
InfoTel News
July 17, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews around the Okanagan and Similkameen are responding to dozens of fires and wildfires caused by a lightning strikes earlier this evening. B.C. Wildfire Service reports ground crews, helicopters and air tankers are responding to 13 new wildfires in the North, Central and South Okanagan and Simikameen this evening, July 17, assisted in some spots by municipal fire crews.  At this time there are no known threats to structures, Wildfire says. New fires have been reported in McCulloch Mountain area south of Joe Rich and in the Keremeos/Ashnola area. We can confirm fires burning near Glenrosa and Smith Creek in West Kelowna and others near Naramata and Summerland. Others are reporting fires near Big White and another near Keremeos.

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Fire danger ratings climbing into extreme

East Kootenay News Weekly e-KNOW
July 16, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A couple of locations in the East Kootenayare now being rated as having ‘extreme’ danger ratings for wildfire, as temperatures continue to range well into the 30s C. RDEK Fire Services-South Country alerted the public via Facebook earlier this afternoon that its coverage area is now rated extreme. “OK folks… we’re at the uppermost end of our scale!” The department stated. The BC Wildfire Service operates about 260 weather stations, including 48 in the Southeast Fire Centre, which send reports on an hourly basis. These hourly weather observations, supplemented by data from other agency stations, support fire weather forecasting and the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS). “The computer-based CFFDRS is the primary fire management decision aid in Canada. With it, fire managers can assess the potential for ignition, spread and burning intensity. This information is used for making fire prevention, preparedness and suppression decisions, as well as other general fire management decisions.

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Forest fire hazard in northwestern Ontario reaches high to extreme

CBC News
July 19, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the summer season continues in northwestern Ontario, officials from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are blaming lightning for the dozens of new fires reported in this region. “High temperatures and steady winds are raising the fire hazard across the region,” Fire Information Officer with the ministry, Chris Marchand told CBC News. “Currently the hazard is high across most of the region with pockets of extreme hazard in the Red Lake district.” He said there are currently 82 active fires across the region in various stages of control, with 68 of them either under observation, being held or under control. The hot weather has not made the situation any better, he said, with two fires of note in Red Lake and Kenora. 

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Health & Safety

Smoke brings air quality advisory

By Ryan Forbes
KenoraOnline
July 19, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Environment Canada has issued an air quality advisory for many northern communities in the Kenora district. Residents in the affected areas are warned of high levels of air pollution from nearby forest fires. …Environment Canada says that the smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility… They add that individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. …“We want people, especially with existing cardiovascular or lung disease, to take it easy. Stay indoors if possible,” says Environment Canada Meteorologist Gerald Cheng. …Environment Canada adds that in general, wearing a mask is not the best way to protect your health during a smoke event. In fact, masks may lead to a false sense of security, which may encourage increased physical activity and time spent outdoors, meaning increased exposure to smoke. 

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