Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada

Special Feature

Canadian Forest Service research in Yukon tracks climate influences on forest recovery from forest spruce beetle outbreaks

By Lara Van Akker and Elizabeth Campbell, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada
February 14, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Yukon is home to extensive boreal forest that covers an area of approximately 28.1 million hectares (ha) and plays an integral role in the regulation of climate locally, regionally and internationally. Yukon’s forests contribute to the territory’s economy by providing wood and other forest products, local employment, regional development, tourism and recreational opportunities in addition to being valued as a vital cultural, social, historical and educational resource. …Boreal ecosystems are especially vulnerable to climate change. Melting permafrost, increased severity of insect outbreaks and drought are driving major forest changes …Potential exists for rapid ecosystem transitions, with parts of the boreal forest nearing ecological “tipping points” by the end of the century. Scientists are already beginning to see evidence of climate associated declines of spruce, pine and aspen in some parts of the boreal forest. 

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Froggy Foibles

Products pitched at Dragons’ Den auditions in Nanaimo

By Chris Bush
Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle
February 15, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Saunders

…Brian Saunders, of Ladysmith, a former full-time forester who now works as a forestry consultant, was ready to pitch Tablet Gear, essentially a vest that multiple pouches and other accessories and equipment can be easily attached to, but its main feature is a chest-mounted, zippered pouch designed to allow the wearer to easily work with, store and carry a tablet. “Foresters, geologists, biologists, engineers, municipal government, anyone who has to walk more than 20 minutes and carry a tablet or a computer is one of our customers,” Saunders said.

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Business & Politics

As NAFTA talks falter it’s time for Canada to reveal Plan B

By Thomas Walker
The Toronto Star
February 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The federal government says it has a Plan B in case the North American Free Trade Agreement talks fail. Now is the time to reveal it. The talks themselves are mired in confusion. …Those thinking of investing in Canada want to know what kind of access they would have to the giant U.S. market should NAFTA talks fail. …All of which is to say that it’s time for Canada’s Plan B to be unveiled. Up to now, the government has refused to say. But there are some things it can build on. First, almost half of Canada’s exports to the U.S. are outside of NAFTA entirely. …Second, the WTO… performs some of the same functions as the North American trade pact. …Third, there are other markets for Canadian goods and services. 

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Freeland and Lighthizer’s secret Valentine’s Day meeting in Washington

By Tonda Maccharles and Allan Woods
The Toronto Star
February 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA—Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met unexpectedly with Donald Trump’s trade czar out of the public eye Wednesday, a meeting her office described as “cordial and constructive.” Freeland met with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at his office at the end of the afternoon on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. – a meeting his office confirmed but refused to discuss in any detail. The last time Freeland met with Lighthizer there was no love lost. …The secret meeting on Valentine’s Day in Washington, D.C. comes in a week when official comments on both sides of the border offered strikingly different views of… the North American free trade deal.

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Renegotiation, not cancellation: Trump team drops hints NAFTA end not imminent

By Alexander Panetta
The Canadian Press in CBC News
February 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Steven Mnuchin

Members of the Trump administration have dropped several hints in recent days that withdrawing from NAFTA is not in their current plans — and latest such example came Thursday. A congressional gathering heard Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin express some optimism about getting a deal. He based that on what he said were weekly meetings with U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer. “I’m cautiously hopeful that … (he) will be renegotiating this deal,” Mnuchin told the House of Representatives’ budget committee. “It is a major priority of ours to renegotiate the deal.”

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Tariffs on Canadian Lumber Are Hurting American Homebuyers

By Patrick Tyrrell
The Heritage Foundation
February 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The import of softwood lumber from Canada, such as pine, spruce, and fir, into the United States is an issue of contention dating back to the 1980s. …The ongoing dispute between the two countries is providing additional stress to already-tense NAFTA negotiations, and is hurting American homebuyers. Prior to the December decision to impose the tariffs, anticipation of the ruling had already had an impact on the U.S. housing market—the largest consumer of Canadian softwood lumber. Since the plan was announced, the average cost of building a home in the United States has increased by an estimated 7 percent, with the actual price per house rising by $1,360. …Only time will tell if policymakers allow for such a welcome turn of events to occur.

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Feds names five ‘superclusters’ that will share $950M in government cash

By Andy Blatchford
Canadian Press The National Post
February 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Navdeep Bains

The federal government named the five winning bids Thursday of its high-tech “superclusters” sweepstakes that will divvy up $950 million of public funding in hope of stoking economic growth and job creation in return. The Liberal’s big bet on government-designated superclusters was designed to encourage academia, not-for-profit organizations and companies of all sizes to work together on strategies to boost high-growth sectors. …“What is a supercluster? It is a made-in-Canada Silicon Valley that will create tens of thousands of jobs — that’s what a supercluster is,” Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said Thursday as he unveiled the winners in Ottawa.  …“Superclusters — it’s a job magnet.”

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Trump’s trade chief says NAFTA deal ‘very much in reach’ as Canada’s top negotiator says progress limited

By Daniel Dale
The Toronto Star
February 13, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Robert Lighthizer

WASHINGTON—In a significant departure from his previous public comments, Donald Trump’s trade chief expressed confidence Tuesday that the U.S. can reach a North American Free Trade Agreement deal with Canada and Mexico. “I think we’re making progress on NAFTA. There was a lot of anxiety at one point as to whether or not we’d be in a position where we’d have to withdraw in order to get a good agreement,” Robert Lighthizer. …It wasn’t all upbeat: Lighthizer’s remarks came after Trump criticized Canada for the second consecutive day. But his comments were the latest to suggest the Trump administration has generally brightened on the prospects of modernizing, rather than terminating, a deal the president has described as the worst in world history. …Canada’s chief NAFTA negotiator, Steve Verheul, offered a more pessimistic assessment.

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B.C. government trying to re-connect resources to communities

By Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
February 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vaughn Palmer

VICTORIA — Over a few brief sentences in the throne speech this week, the NDP government signalled it will begin restoring the requirement that timber harvested from public lands be processed in nearby mills. …“By encouraging the development of new products and processes, your government will work with industry, First Nations, workers and communities to make forestry even stronger, and maximize the value B.C. gets out of each log.” Did that last bit… mean that the New Democrats would be moving to restrict raw log exports? “That’s certainly my intention,” Horgan told reporters. …In a followup conversation with the premier Wednesday, I suggested he was proposing to bring back “appurtenancy,” a requirement in the Forest Act that tied specific timber harvesting rights (tree farms and other tenures) to specific mills in communities within reasonable distance of  the trees. Horgan confirmed he was indeed proposing to bring back “appurtenancy.”

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A bleak picture of the forest industry in northern B.C.

Houston Today
February 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Rustad has recently spoken about the challenges that the forest products industry is currently facing in northern B.C. The MLA for Nechako Lakes painted a bleak picture of the industry, mentioning challenges associated with the softwood lumber agreement, annual allowable cut reductions, spruce beetle and duties imposed by the U.S. “There’s no real opportunity in my mind to see a softwood lumber deal any time soon,” he said during a recent event. “It looks to me that it’s going to be between three to five years before we get to another softwood lumber deal.” …“Quite frankly, with lumber prices as high as they are, if we can get tariffs down to 15 per cent, with free access to the United States, I think that’s good enough,” he said. 

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West Fraser Announces 2017 Annual and Fourth Quarter Results

By West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Cision Newswire
February 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Our lumber segment generated operating earnings of $232 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $258 million.  This quarter’s results were favorably impacted by higher product pricing, higher SYP production and shipments, offset by slightly lower SPF production and shipments.  Countervailing and antidumping duties, which were adjusted to reflect the final CVD rates and the estimated ADD rate, resulted in a recovery of $17 million for the current quarter. …Our panels segment generated operating earnings in the quarter of $20 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $24 million. …Our pulp & paper segment generated operating earnings of $48 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $60 million. The major factors contributing to the increase in operating earnings were higher Canadian dollar pulp prices and an increase in BCTMP shipments offset by lower NBSK shipments.

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Canfor’s 2017 Sustainability Report Receives Award for Second Year

By Don Kayne
Canfor Up Close
February 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Adams accepts award

Sustainability: it’s part of everything we do. From planning woodland operations to delivering products to customers around the world, we make sustainability a focus and a priority at Canfor. This is why it gives me great pride to share that Canfor has once again been selected by the Finance Sustainability Initiative (FSI) for the Best Sustainability Report in the Renewable Resources and Alternative Energy category. We are honoured to receive this award for a second year in a row, signifying our commitment to sustainability in all areas of our work and operations. This award proves that we are living up to our core value of being responsible steward of the environment, and that our significant contributions to the reporting aspect of business are leading the way towards a more sustainable world.

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Eastern pulp and paper bargaining target will be Resolute

By Unifor
Cision Newswire
February 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Over 120 Unifor delegates kicked off bargaining preparation for the pattern agreement in the pulp and paper industry in Eastern Canada by selecting Resolute Forestry Products as the target company. “I’m eager to get forestry workers what they deserve: a fair collective agreement that reflects their contributions to the industry,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The forestry industry in Canada is well-positioned for a pattern agreement that reflects workers’ priorities.” Unifor delegates met over the past few days to prepare the list of priorities and select the target company. “One of our top priorities is renewing the forestry workforce in the coming years,” explained Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director.  …”We are not going to let anyone impose anything on us based on temporary factors,” said Dias, speaking of the controversial U.S. duties on forestry products levied in 2017.

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Assessment of Northern Pulp mill’s effluent plan proper according to rules: deputy

By Keith Doucette
Canadian Press in CTV News
February 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — A leadership candidate for Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservatives says he believes the provincial Environment Department made a judgment call that has failed to instill public confidence in its environmental assessment process for a proposed effluent treatment plan for the Northern Pulp mill. Tim Houston made the comment while questioning deputy environment minister Frances Martin, who appeared Wednesday before the legislature’s public accounts committee. Houston, whose Pictou East riding neighbours the pulp mill, equated the decision to go with a Class 1 assessment with a similar decision for the Alton Gas natural gas storage project near Stewiake, which has been through the courts and has been subject to protests from environmentalists and local Mi’kmaq bands.

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Process ongoing for new Mattawa sawmill

By Lindsay Kelly
Northern Ontario Business
February 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Donna Maitland can understand why people are impatient to see some development happening at the site of a proposed sawmill in Mattawa. But in this case, she said, no news is good news. “Things are moving really well,” said Maitland, who heads up the Mattawa-Bonfield Economic Development Corp. “They have their application into the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the facility licence, and the facility licence then gives them permission to operate a mill.” The facility in question is a proposed $145-million sawmill operation slated for a vacant parcel of land located in Bonfield Township along Highway 17. …Medwid’s plan calls for a multi-dimensional sawmill operation, which would include drying kilns, a planer mill, a moulder mill, and CNC facilities.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Construction Corner: ‘Superdense’ wood could revolutionize materials

By Korky Koroluk
Journal Of Commerce
February 16, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

…What’s most amazing to me, is that after thousands of years of history, we are still looking for — and finding — new ways to use wood. In recent years we’ve heard a lot about cross-laminated timber, CLT, and its growing use in highrise construction. Now comes word of something called superdense wood that could be used to build everything from bridges to cars. …Huajian Gao, a professor at Brown University… says the paper “provides a highly promising route to the design of lightweight, high-performance structural materials, with tremendous potential for a broad range of applications were high-strength and toughness…are desired.” But none of this means you can expect this superdense wood to be commercially available anytime soon. 

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Machine vision optimizes wood processing

By John Lewis, editor in chief
Vision Systems Design
February 14, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

3D imaging, line-scan cameras and sensors are combined to optimize lumber quality. Manufacturers of forest products such as lumber rely on machine vision systems to help optimize the cutting process, while maximizing profits. Characteristics such as knots, bark, voids, splits, checks, decay, resin, discolorations and grain formations impact the strength, durability, manageability and appearance of the wood material. Consequently, the lumber’s usability and final value ultimately depend upon these characteristics. By accurately identifying the surface features, geometry and internal flaws that have the greatest impact on the value of lumber produced, and then guiding the production process based on current market pricing, machine vision systems can help producers maximize the value of the lumber they produce.

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USDA Sets Referendum Dates for Softwood Lumber Research and Promotion Program

US Department of Agriculture
February 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that, as required by statute, it will conduct a referendum for eligible U.S. manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber to vote on whether to continue the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order. The referendum will be held from April 17 through May 14, 2018. The research and promotion program will continue if it is favored by a majority of domestic manufacturers and importers voting in the referendum, who also represent a majority of the volume of softwood lumber represented in the referendum. For more information about the board, visit the AMS or the Softwood Lumber Board websites.

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Forestry

Canadian Forest Service research in Yukon tracks climate influences on forest recovery from forest spruce beetle outbreaks

By Lara Van Akker and Elizabeth Campbell, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada
February 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Yukon is home to extensive boreal forest that covers an area of approximately 28.1 million hectares (ha) and plays an integral role in the regulation of climate locally, regionally and internationally. Yukon’s forests contribute to the territory’s economy by providing wood and other forest products, local employment, regional development, tourism and recreational opportunities in addition to being valued as a vital cultural, social, historical and educational resource. …Boreal ecosystems are especially vulnerable to climate change. Melting permafrost, increased severity of insect outbreaks and drought are driving major forest changes …Potential exists for rapid ecosystem transitions, with parts of the boreal forest nearing ecological “tipping points” by the end of the century. Scientists are already beginning to see evidence of climate associated declines of spruce, pine and aspen in some parts of the boreal forest. 

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Hybrid mountain pine beetle poised to take out more Jasper National Park forest

By Nicole Bergot
The Edmonton Journal
February 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A hybrid mountain pine beetle is poised to wreak more havoc in the forests of Jasper National Park, warn University of Alberta researchers. Researchers Jasmine Janes and Stephen Trevoy uncovered the hybrid population as they traced the origin of the beetles in the park. “What we discovered is an eye of the storm where we see a sort of mixture of two genetic populations coming together in Jasper National Park,” Janes said in a news release. “The Jasper beetles have a different genetic signature from the ones in the Grande Prairie outbreak from 2009 and also different than the ones in the outbreak in British Columbia in 2005. …The mixture of an already adaptive species means increased genetic diversity, which may provide even more opportunity for the insects to adapt to and survive in different environmental conditions, said Janes.

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Logging planned for Cottonwood Lake and Apex areas

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star
February 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The private land to be logged is owned by Nelson Land Corporation headed by Mike Jenks.  The president of a local ski organization is worried about proposed private land logging at the Apex ski area. “They are going to clearcut the mountain, and this is not something the ski club wants at all,” said Louise Poole, president of the Nelson Nordic Ski Club. She said the club is concerned that the logging will create an avalanche hazard. “Besides being a beautiful piece of land it is very steep, and our concern is for our trails and the rail trail.” The area to be logged is a swath of privately owned forest beside Highway 6 from Cottonwood Lake past the Apex ski area and partway up Whitewater Road. 

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Local forestry industry concerned about caribou range plan

By Erica Fisher
My Grande Prairie Now
February 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The roughly $200 million a year Weyerhaeuser contributes to the Grande Prairie community could be in jeopardy. The company says it’s not confident it will be able to re-invest in the area based on what’s been asked of them to help recover woodland caribou population. Manager of forest stewardship for Weyerhaeuser Timberlands in Canada Wendy Crosina says their concern lies in the federal requirement to reduce how much of their range is considered disturbed to less than 35 per cent. Right now it’s around 80 per cent. …“That means we may lose the opportunity to harvest in roughly 35 per cent of our range.” …Weyerhaeuser has been working with several partners to come up with a plan it believes will keep their timber supply, maintain caribou population, and satisfy the federal government. 

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Open house on Douglas fir beetles in Prince George area

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of BC
February 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – A community information meeting and open house about increased Douglas fir bark beetle populations in the Prince George area will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone is welcome… The Douglas fir bark beetle is native to B.C., but some areas of the province are experiencing higher than normal populations of these forest pests, including the area around Prince George. The beetles can infest and kill Douglas fir trees wherever they grow in British Columbia, especially in the Interior. Staff from the ministry, City of Prince George and Industrial Forestry Service Ltd. will host the information meeting, and answer questions about Douglas fir beetles and their elevated populations in some areas.

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Foresters benefit from practical technology

forestTECHX
February 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – Practical foresters with ‘boots on the ground’ experience will feature an international forest technology conference coming in March. They’ll demonstrate how strong provider-user partnerships can speed implementation and adoption of timesaving forest management technologies. One international keynote speaker, David Herries from Interpine, leads a company well versed in creating partnerships to improve measurement for forest management clients. Herries says, “We work with our forest management client shaping the forestry of today with the technology of tomorrow. Our research and practical innovation set us apart from other providers.”

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Heli-logging expanding to manage Douglas fir beetles

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
February 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WILLIAMS LAKE – The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is currently conducting helicopter-logging operations in the Williams Lake area to minimize the spread of Douglas fir beetles on Crown land. This heli-logging program has recently been expanded to the Chimney Valley in the area west of Dog Creek Road along Chimney Creek (south of Williams Lake). Helicopter flights in this added area are expected to begin on Feb. 14 or Feb. 15, 2018. Douglas fir beetle populations are higher than normal in parts of the Cariboo. The insects normally attack small groups of trees, and a significant infestation will weaken and eventually kill a tree over the period of about a year.

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B.C. logging truck driver saves moose calf from snowbank

By Melanie Law
Comox Valley Record
February 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Vanderhoof man saved a moose calf last week, after it got stuck in a snowbank. Wayne Rowley, who hauls logs for logging company Dalchako Timber, was driving the Kluskus Forest Service Road west of Vanderhoof heading to work when something in the snowbank made him do a double take. “I came around the corner and it just caught my eye, ‘What is that sticking out of the snowbank?’ Curious me, I had to back up and have a look. “It was a little moose upside down, stuck. I could just see his feet sticking up in the air.” Rowley initially thought the calf was dead, but he walked down into the snow to check. “I couldn’t just leave him. I went a little closer and he looked up at me. ‘Oh, you’re still alive!’”

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New harvester technologies boost log value recovery

forestTECHX
February 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – In early March, a new international forest technology conference is set to bring the latest harvest planning technologies from around the globe to British Columbia foresters and harvesting operations managers. “With mechanized harvesting, new technologies in harvesters have been proven to lift log grades and outturn consistently. Internationally, Australian loggers have ben among most quickest early adopters of these automated measuring and monitoring software systems,” says conference organizer, Anthony Robinson, associate publisher of Logging & Sawmilling Journal (LSJ). He says that the forest companies in their focus group asked to see what the early adopters in the log value optimization field have done to make them work. …“In partnership with application specialists from Interpine, we are bringing the best people from Australia and New Zealand for the ForestTECHX delegates next month,” added Robinson.

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Ontario First Nation and province to remove caribou from wolf-infested island

By Liam Casey
The Telegram
February 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Members of an Ontario First Nation say they plan to continue the relocation of an endangered herd of caribou off a remote island where they’re being slaughtered by wolves. The Michipicoten First Nation is working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to move up to nine caribou from Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior to Caribou Island, near the U.S. border, by helicopter as soon as the weather permits. The latest effort comes after the province relocated nine caribou in mid-January to a different location —  the Slate Islands. The caribou population on Michipicoten Island had been decimated by wolves that made their way there several years ago using an ice bridge. The ministry feared the entire herd would be wiped out if they didn’t intervene with the move to the nearby Slate Islands.

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Moose-ion accomplished: Gros Morne reports forest growing back after 7-year cull

By Geoff Bartlett
CBC News
February 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Gros Morne National Park says a seven-year effort to control the area’s moose population seems to have been a success. Hunting within national park boundaries is usually prohibited. But in 2011, Parks Canada began allowing a small hunt in Gros Morne. About 200 moose were killed that year, and about 600 in each subsequent year. It was an attempt to cut down the population, after studies showed that the roughly 5,000 moose in the park had eaten so much regenerating forest that up to 65 square kilometres had been converted to grasslands. Now, those overseeing the project say they’ve reduced the population to their target of about 2,000 moose, which equals roughly two moose for every square kilometre of forest and scrub in the park.

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Why is Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association backing Resolute’s fight?

Letter by James Brown
The Timmins Press
February 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS – Re: “Fighting mad” photo of Coun. Mike Doody (The Daily Press, Feb. 9, 2018). That’s how I felt when I discovered you appeared before Queen’s Park Standing Committee on Justice Policy on Bill 52 Protection of Public Participation to oppose free speech and endorse Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). Remember the Northern 9 when it was SLAPP suited for a half-million dollars by the MIC’s Health Care Group? We stood up for health care and free speech then. You stood up for Resolute Forest Products, the most destructive force ever to hit the forestry industry in Northeastern Ontario in their pursuit to silence ENGO’s.

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Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry relocating more Lake Superior caribou

Thunder Bay News Watch
February 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

One month after successfully relocating nine caribou from Lake Superior’s Michipicoten Island to the Slate Islands to the north, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is moving more animals to a new home. This time, the helicopter journey is southward. MNRF biologists hope to complete the transfer this week of at least six animals to the more remote Caribou Island, where there are currently no caribou. …Biologists hope that transferring the animals to other islands will help ensure the survival of the Lake Superior caribou herd. Michipicoten Island is owned by a U.S.-based charity, the Elizabeth Elliot Foundation.  The MNRF says the caribou relocation is being done in collaboration with the Michipicoten First Nation.

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OPINION: DNR’s ‘science-based’ forestry mantra is a smokescreen

By Helga Guderley – Healthy Forest Coalition
The Chronicle Herald
February 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forestry practices continue to be a sensitive topic for Nova Scotians with the public demanding a stop to the use of forest biomass for power generation and reductions in clearcutting.  Given these concerns, Prof.  Bill Lahey of King’s College is carrying out an independent review of forestry practices.  The report is expected early in 2018. In the following, I consider two important roles that forests play in areas outside of the review’s narrow terms of reference: mitigating climate change and favouring tourism.  Furthermore, government claims that current forestry practices are science-based are missing a crucial point.  Different assumptions and values underlie pure and applied science.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BC ill prepared to cope with climate change: auditor general

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
February 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carol Bellringer

B.C. will not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets and is not adequately prepared to mitigate the impact of fire, flooding and drought precipitated by climate change, says B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer. In an audit of B.C. climate change policies and the province’s ability to address both risk and adaptation, Bellinger confirmed what the B.C. government already has admitted: it is not on track to meet its interim 2020 targets of reducing greenhouse gases by 33% below 2007 levels by 2020. But it’s also unlikely to meet its longer-range targets either, Bellringer concludes, with its current climate change policies, and says carbon taxes alone are insufficient tools for reducing GHGs. …Bellringer said that the province needs to do a better job of reducing “fuel” (i.e. dead wood) in B.C. forests in areas most at risk for fires.

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Climate adaptation needed, B.C. auditor general says

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
February 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s adaptation plans to deal with climate change haven’t been updated since 2010, and support for local government efforts to prepare for wildfire and flooding need more attention, B.C.’s auditor general says. Auditor General Carol Bellringer’s report, released Thursday, agrees with previous government estimates that B.C. will not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. It also questions whether the more ambitious 2050 target to reduce emissions can be met.  Bellringer emphasizes the need for adaptation to a world-wide change that B.C. has only a small role, with only nine per cent of Canada’s human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Last year’s B.C. wildfire season burned the largest area on record, and new research highlighted the decades of forest fire suppression that eliminated frequent small fires that removed wood debris from the forest floor.

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A second life for old treated wood

By Gisele Bolduc
National Science and Engineering Research Council
February 14, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Every year, several thousand tons of treated wood waste is buried, incinerated, or mixed with untreated wood waste. The management of this waste is problematic because treated wood contains preservatives such as arsenic, chromium, and copper to slow its deterioration. To remedy this, INRS researchers have found a simple, effective, and environmentally friendly solution. They have developed a process that successfully removed more than 90% of the contaminants present in treated wood waste in experiments conducted on a small scale in the laboratory. …Once decontaminated, the wood waste can be reused as a raw material for the manufacture of value-added products such as particleboard or heating pellets. In addition, recovered metals could potentially be used to manufacture by-products, such as chromium oxide and copper sulphate.

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Health & Safety

Canadian take on forestry safety

TImberbiz.com.au
February 15, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, International

On 18 October, 2017, a logger was killed in a tragic incident near Mackenzie in northern British Columbia, Canada. The operator was using a feller buncher to cut timber on a slope when the machine tipped over backwards, cutting off his escape route when the machine caught fire. The logger’s death was devastating for his family, his community and his co-workers. While the cause of the incident is still under investigation by WorkSafeBC, the question arises: What can we do now to try to prevent this from happening again? That was one of the key issues discussed when WorkSafeBC’s Forest Industry Advisory Group met in November 2017 to talk about concrete steps that employers can take to make remote mechanized logging safer. Here are some of the considerations discussed.

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Prince Rupert woman killed in logging truck collision

By Shannon Lough
The Northern View
February 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Empty logging truck west of Terrace struck moose before colliding with the eastbound SUV. A Prince Rupert woman has died as a result of a serious Hwy 16 collision last night, Feb. 14. Terrace RCMP have confirmed the woman was a civilian employee with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. According to police at approximately 7 p.m. near the 100-km mark of Hwy 16, an eastbound empty logging truck struck a moose before losing control and colliding with the government SUV travelling in the opposite direction. The victim, a passenger in the vehicle, died at the scene. …The driver of the SUV was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the logging truck was also taken to hospital with minor injuries. The highway was shut down in both directions until 4 a.m. this morning. RCMP are continuing their investigation.

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Snowpack level increases Okanagan Lake dam discharge

By Barry Gerding
BC Local News
February 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The higher than average snowpack buildup across the valley so far this winter would normally be a leading indicator for controlling the level of Okanagan Lake. But after the extreme changes in last year’s winter and spring weather conditions, Shaun Reimer says extreme weather patterns is raising unknowns about managing the lake level. As the section head for public safety and protection at the regional office for the provincial Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Reimer is in charge of releasing water from Okanagan Lake at the Penticton dam. “The shadow hanging over us right now is not from what happened last year, but rather climate change and the lack of understanding about where that is going to lead in causing extreme weather pattern changes,” said Reimer.

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Alberta’s creative sentencing options explore ‘restorative justice’

By Jean Sorensen
Journal of Commerce
February 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta has updated its Occupational Health and Safety Act to push forward more innovative creative sentencing options to the courts when dealing with injury or fatal incidents. Many of those options suggest funding safety courses through various associations. Ryan Davis, manager of course development for the Alberta Construction Safety Association, says when trying to find positive outcomes from a tragic incident, creative sentencing can often lead to funding for safety courses, which in turn can impact the industry. Davis said one of the advantages of working with stakeholders such as Safety in Schools is the ability to ensure safety messages land before the correct audience. …Paul Cashman, a spokesperson for the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association… sees the benefit in using this option.

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Fire destroys five townhouses at Friday Harbour

CTV News
February 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Investigators are trying to figure out the cause of a fire that ripped through several townhouses that were under construction in Innisfil. Large flames tore through five units at Friday Harbour on Tuesday night. Officials say the fire had been burning for some time before Innisfil firefighters arrived on scene. “It was a very difficult fire. The five townhomes were under construction with varying level of completion. Some units didn’t even have drywall all the way up, so once the fire got into the wood it spread very fast,” says fire chief Jon Pegg. The chief says crews went inside, but the stairway had burned down and the flames moved to the roof. The homes don’t have all of their fire safety features built in yet, such as firewalls between units.

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