Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada

Business & Politics

Active Energy Group surges after acquiring a controlling interest in Canadian forestry company

Proactive Investors UK
May 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

As part of the proposed agreement and subject to available funding, Active Energy will build an initial 25 tonnes per hour CoalSwitch plant at the PowerWood site to produce the company’s unique biomass fuel pellet.  Active Energy Group PLC is to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada Corp, a privately owned Canadian forestry company. PowerWood holds substantial forestry assets in Alberta, Canada, under forestry management agreements, and deciduous cutting rights issued by the Crown Province of Alberta. Active Energy Group (AEG) said in a statement that the proposed acquisition would secure feedstock and support the proposed roll-out of CoalSwitch in the province of Alberta. PowerWood has access to 300,000 tonnes of merchantable timber (not including biomass or residues from forestry operations) annually from a total forestry area of circa five million hectares in mature, established, natural forestry in Northern Alberta.

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We should be arguing about NAFTA

By Thomas Walkom
The Toronto Star
May 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Justin Trudeau

The impasse in the North American Free Trade Agreement talks is commonly viewed as a setback for Canada. It is not. The fact that no agreement may be reached until after the U.S. Congressional midterm elections in November gives Canadians — and Canadian political parties — a chance to hold the debate we have never had: Do we want to continue within the broad parameters of deal that firmly binds the economies of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico? Or do we want something fundamentally different? Up to now, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has successfully presented the NAFTA renegotiation as a non-partisan national emergency. …But the hiatus caused by the U.S. mid-terms gives Canadians a chance to debate the content of NAFTA. …Do we want to rely on a deal that has proven itself unable to resist unwarranted U.S. trade sanctions against aluminum, steel and softwood lumber?

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Madison’s Lumber Reporter Moving to SilvaStat360, Forest2Market’s Online Delivery Platform

By Forest2Market
Cision Newswire
May 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER, British Columbia & CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Today, Forest2Market and Madison’s announce a partnership formed to bring Madison’s Weekly Lumber Report, a North American lumber price reporting service, to SilvaStat360, Forest2Market’s online business intelligence platform. The partnership combines Madison’s lumber price data and market insights with Forest2Market’s SilvaStat360 cloud-based interactive delivery platform. Madison’s Lumber Reporter subscribers will have fingertip access to historic and current lumber price data that is updated weekly and available on a 24/7/365 basis. “This is a tremendous step forward for Madison’s,” said Kéta Kosman, Editor of the Reporter. “To meet the challenges they are facing in 2018, operators in the North American lumber industry need more than data; they need less noise and more robust analytics. By moving the Lumber Reporter to SilvaStat360, we have been able to add significant value, both in terms of additional data and usability.”

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Lumber Prices Soar on Tight Supply, Trade Tariffs

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg Markets
May 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The lumber market is red-hot, with futures rising to another record on Tuesday thanks to a confluence of import tariffs, transport bottlenecks and strong housing demand. The futures rose 1 percent to close at $619 per 1,000 board feet on the Chicago Board of Trade. They’ve surged 66 percent in the past 12 months, a bigger gain than any of the raw materials tracked by the Bloomberg Commodity Index. Price are likely to keep rising, according to analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence and much to the chagrin of U.S. homebuyers. …The lumber rally picked up steam after the U.S. in November imposed import duties… Lumber producers such as Canfor and West Fraser also have piles of inventory because of a lack of transport capacity. Single-family housing starts …continue to increase, and orders are expected to rise now that spring building season has arrived.

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Conifex Announces Agreement with Blue Wolf Capital Partners Resulting in Major Expansion in the Southeastern United States

Conifex Timber
Global Newswire
May 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER —  Conifex Timber announced today that it has reached an agreement with BW SLC Holdings… to purchase all of the outstanding membership interests of Suwannee Lumber, Suwannee Timber Management, and Caddo River Forest Products. The BW Group owns the Suwannee sawmill in Cross City, Florida and the Caddo River sawmill in Glenwood, Arkansas, which both primarily produce Southern Yellow Pine softwood lumber and specialty products like decking.  The Suwannee Mill and Caddo River Mill each have an annual dimension lumber capacity of approximately 185 million board feet on a two-shift basis. …Conifex’s annual lumber production capacity will increase by approximately 50% to 1.1 billion board feet while its dimension lumber platform in the Southern U.S. will increase by 200% to approximately 550 million board feet. 

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David Elstone, Executive Director, statement regarding Contractor Sustainablity Review recommendations

BC Truck Loggers Association
May 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Elstone

David Elstone, Executive Director of the Truck Loggers Association issued the following statement regarding the resulting recommendations from the Contractor’s Sustainability Review announced today by Minister Donaldson, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Developments: “We feel confident the long-awaited Contractor Sustainability Review has captured the concerns of independent timber harvesting contractors across the Province. It validates there are problems in the relationships between contractors and licensees and confirms the declining profitability of contractors. “The resulting 13 recommendations addressed the majority of the issues that the TLA has been raising for years with government. They will make a meaningful and positive difference for loggers, communities, and the industry. “We expect that when these recommendations are implemented, they will improve contractors’ ability to negotiate contracts that we expect will ensure their businesses earn a fair rate of return.

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Next steps in logging contractor sustainability review announced

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
May 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recommendations from the Logging Contractor Sustainability Review will help improve relationships between logging contractors and forest licensees, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced. “The report by George Abbott and Circle Square Solutions, and their 13 proposals, provide a good basis for the next round of facilitation,” said Donaldson. The intent of the review process is to improve the overall competitiveness of both logging contractors and licensees. Common themes that emerged from the report were the need for better data and better communications. The report makes 13 recommendations that range from making better use of technology, improving communications, better information-sharing,  to ensuring best practices for setting contractors rates of pay and dispute-resolution mechanisms.

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Former Citizen reporter up for prestigious award

The Prince George Citizen
May 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gordon Hoekstra

Former Citizen reporter Gord Hoekstra is a finalist for a 2017 Michener Award for public service journalism as part of a team of journalists from the Vancouver Sun and Globe and Mail. Hoekstra, who was a reporter for The Citizen from 1992 until he took a position at the Vancouver Sun in July 2011, won the prestigious journalism award in 2006 for a series of 35 articles examining the causes of a high number of deaths among logging truckers. He was nominated again in 2012 for his investigation into the deadly explosions at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills. This year’s nomination comes for a series titled Financial Crime, along with the series Easy Money which ran in the Globe and Mail.

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Dept of Natural Resources says ‘we failed,’ confirms old-growth trees cut by Port Hawkesbury Paper

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
May 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Margaret Miller

A Department of Natural Resources report confirms that two stands of old growth forest were partially cut by Port Hawkesbury Paper. …“This is a case where we failed,” said Department of Natural Resources minister Margaret Miller on Thursday. “Our processes failed. We take part of that responsibility as well as Port Hawkesbury Paper.” The study of 12 areas that had already been harvested and 15 slated by the mill to be cut in the Loon Lake area was done after concerns were raised… “We have decided to cancel all the harvests in the area (around Loon Lake) to make sure we won’t be cutting any more old growth,” said Miller. “Once classified as old growth forest, they are protected and they won’t be cut.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Upscale Royal Oak development raises rental stock in Saanich

By Wolf Depner
Victoria News
May 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

From a distance, the Radius at Royal Oak looks like countless other residential complexes currently under construction in the Greater Victoria region. But as the six-storey building approaches completion in March 2019, it promises to redefine both the engineering and economics of residential construction. “This is a special building, for sure,” said Travis Lee of Tri-Eagle Plaza… The development is special in so far that it is wood-framed. The provincial government in 2009 changed the building code to permit wood-framed buildings of up to six storeys – up from four. According to Lee, it is one of two six-storey wood-framed rental buildings in Saanich, with the other near Tillicum Centre. “Building a six-storey wood frame is becoming the new normal,” said Lee.

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Danzer renames and unifies its Canadian veneer units in Quebec and Ontario

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
May 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada
DURHAM, Ontario – Two Danzer businesses that had been operating under the Interforest brand will now be known as Danzer Canada, Inc. Canada-based Danzer companies Interforest Ltd. in Durham, Ontario and Interforest Lumber, Inc. in Boucherville, Quebec, began trading together under the name Danzer Canada, Inc. effective May 1st. “There are no changes whatsoever for employees and customers,” says theAustria-based company. “For Danzer, the merger helps to simplify the structure of the group. The new name also provides a more consistent brand identity. ” Danzer employs over 30 people at its two Canadian sites. The plant located in Durham in Ontario specializes in splicing veneers and also sells veneers and lumber.

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Forestry

Protect Canada’s parks from being ‘loved to death’ says study co-author

By Camille Bains
The Canadian Press in the Chronicle Journal
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Oscar Venter

VANCOUVER – Canada is a global leader in protecting its conserved land from human destruction, but its parks are in danger of being “loved to death” by thousands of people trekking through the backcountry, says a co-author of a study that details the degradation of one-third of the world’s protected areas. Oscar Venter, associate professor of forestry at UNBC, said Banff and Jasper are examples… Economic pursuits, such as forestry, mining and oil and gas, are also part of the problem, Venter said. …Venter is part of an international team of researchers… whose work was published Thursday in the journal Science. It looked at 50,000 protected areas worldwide and found one-third of the area is under intense pressure from activities like road building, logging and urbanization.

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Federal natural resources researchers forecast long, hot wildfire season

Canadian Press in The Province
May 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Federal wildfire researchers say most regions in Canada could be facing a long, hot, fiery summer. Wildfire starts and the amount of land burned were below average for the first few weeks of the season, but dry weather is turning things around, said Richard Carr, a fire research analyst with Natural Resources Canada. “We’ve had a long, lingering winter and a bit of a slow start to the fire season, but the numbers are higher than the same time last year.” Across the country, wildfire starts have been above average since the end of April. On the national fire danger map, the risk in almost all of the three most westerly provinces is rated at least high. Saskatchewan shows as almost entirely extreme. Two provinces have already had their first evacuations of the year. 

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B.C. spent almost $200 million on aviation companies to fight last year’s wildfires

By Larry Pynn
The Vancouver Sun
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government spent a record $195 million last year on aviation companies, including airplanes and helicopters, to fight the massive wildfires that ravaged the province. The money represents about one-third of the total $568 million spent responding to the worst wildfire season in B.C. history. Freedom-of-information documents obtained by Postmedia show that Conair Group Inc. of Abbotsford easily received the highest payments, at $25.4 million. …According to the documents, the province paid a total of just over $195 million to scores of aviation companies for contracted flights to fight the wildfires. …In comparison, the province paid an estimated $135 million to aviation companies in 2009 and an estimated $118 million in 2003.

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Province reviewing new flood and fire recommendations

BC Local News
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last week, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) released its commissioned report, Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia, which makes 108 recommendations for both prevention and dealing with flooding or wildfires. “Their 108 recommendations will take some time to fully consider. There are some recommendations that are being acted on already. For example, as part of Budget 2018, we’re committing $50 million over three years to wildfire prevention and wildfire risk reduction around communities,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of FLNRORD. Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes says she is pleased that those affected had a chance to engage with government on the report, but is concerned about funding.

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Planned Timber Harvesting at Two Recreation Sites near Rock Creek, BC

BC Forest Practices Board
May 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Board investigated a complaint about proposed harvesting around recreation sites at Thone and Williamson Lakes. The complainants were concerned that the cutblocks were too close to the campsites and lakes. They thought the harvesting posed and unacceptable risk to: the recreational experience of campers and anglers, public safety due windthrow, riparian ecosystems and water levels of the lakes and streams. Harvesting in recreation sites had been authorized by a recreation officer. This investigation examined whether the planned harvest would comply with the legal requirements, whether the harvest adequately managed the risk to the elements the complainants were concerned about, if the recreation officer’s authorization of harvest was reasonable and if public consultation was appropriate.

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Investigation of forest practices near Summit Lake released

BC Forest Practices Board
May 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An investigation of a complaint by the Valhalla Wilderness Society about forestry activities near Summit Lake has found that the Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRO) have taken reasonable steps to ensure forest practices protect the western toad population. “Both NACFOR and FLNRO contributed to research and expert advice was sought regarding toad habitat and population protection,” said Bruce Larson, board vice-chair. “Both were also involved in developing best management practices to guide forest practices, although there is no legal requirement to do so.” The Summit Lake toad population is recognized as regionally important, and the Province is considering protection for it under the Forest and Range Practices Act.

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Vancouver Coastal Health raises concerns over logging in Chapman Watershed

By Sophie Woodrooffe
Sunshine Coast Reporter
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging on private lands in the Chapman Watershed System has prompted Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) to reach out to the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) “to express their concerns,” said Janette Loveys, SCRD chief administrative officer, in a May 10 verbal report. According to Loveys, SCRD utilities staff first noticed logging on lands owned by AJB Investments, a subsidiary of Surespan, in February while flying into Tetrahedron Provincial Park to conduct a snow survey. “To staff’s knowledge, this logging of Surespan/AJB lands is still ongoing,” said Loveys. She said the SCRD was not notified logging would take place and has not reached out to AJB/Surespan. During the committee meeting, Loveys said staff also communicated with shíshálh Nation staff, “who have expressed similar concerns.”

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Dr. Suzuki, here’s some boreal forest to chew on

By Don Braid
Calgary Herald
May 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The James Camerons and David Suzukis and Neil Youngs have done their work very well. Many outsiders now see this whole province as universally tainted and polluted — a charge that is absolutely false, even in the oilsands area. But now there’s an image-changer for David Suzuki to stick in his pipe. He could smoke it when he accepts that bizarre honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta. After a great deal of work, the province has put together what NDP Environment Minister Shannon Phillips proudly and correctly calls “the largest contiguous area of protected boreal forest on the planet.” It covers 67,000 square kilometres. …And so, here’s some advice for the next anti-oilsand advocate who is determined to snap the ugliest possible aerial shots of industrial activity: Keep going. Fly north. Pretty much all you’ll see is vast unspoiled forest, a massive carbon sink for the whole planet, stretching up into the Northwest Territories.

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2017 fire and flood report focuses on interrelated themes

By Jim Hilton, retired professional agrologist and forester
Williams Lake Tribune
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The long anticipated report on the BC Flood and Wildfires of 2017 submitted April 30, 2018 finally came out last week. An independent team co-chaired by Maureen Chapman and George Abbott produced a 148-page report along with a shorter executive summary. Not surprisingly the report was similar in many ways to the regional report by the CRD with the main difference being the coverage of the flooding concerns in addition to the wildfires. The recent report is framed around four interrelated themes: partnership and preparation, knowledge and tools, communication and awareness and investment. A total of 108 recommendations were discussed which included fourteen “strategic shifts” throughout the recommendations. For example the first section discussed the importance of working with indigenous governments and communities.

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New parks the product of co-operation

By the Editorial Board
The Edmonton Journal
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta has just created the largest protected area of boreal forest in the world by setting aside four new provincial parks and expanding another along its northeastern borders. … adds more than 13,600 square kilometres of protected land across much of northeastern Alberta. It makes for the largest addition ever to the province’s inventory of parkland. To be clear, these preserves won’t be much at all like the parks that many Albertans flock to for a weekend getaway of camping, hiking or fishing. Instead, these remote wildland parks will serve to protect much of Canada’s unique boreal forest ecosystem and threatened species such as the wood bison, woodland caribou and peregrine falcon by making the areas off-limits to logging, mining and other industries.

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Court finds Community Forest permits were properly issued

By Sean Eckford
The Coast Reporter
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Supreme Court has ruled that the Sechelt Community Projects, the district-owned company that manages the Sunshine Coast Community Forest, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations carried out proper consultations before a cutting permit was issued for the block in the East Wilson Creek area. …Justice Iyer said the case hinged not on whether SCPI and FLNRO ought to have consulted the broader community but whether there was a legal obligation to do so. She found there is no legal obligation beyond the one to “consult with Aboriginal groups that may have an Aboriginal right or interest in the land under consideration,” and that those consultations took place. Iyer noted that SCPI is required to “inform the public about its intended activities,” but that requirement should not be interpreted as a duty to consult.

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Group wants Argenta Johnsons Landing face protected

By Tyler Harper
The Nelson Star
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gary Diers & Carolyn Schramm

The forest surrounding Argenta has been Carolyn Schramm’s home for nearly 50 years. …But logging plans for what is locally known as the Argenta Johnsons Landing face, a roughly 10-kilometre stretch of unprotected land on a slope underneath Mount Willet that meets Kootenay Lake, could soon be putting the proverbial parking lot in Schramm’s paradise. Cooper Creek Cedar, which owns two timber licences for the area, is currently assessing the stability of the slope with plans to have potential cut blocks and road routes identified by August. …Schramm is part of a local group fighting those plans. Mount Willet Wilderness Forever wants the land included in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy.

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Cariboo First Nations group calls for moratorium on caribou hunt

BC Local News
May 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

First Nations groups in the Cariboo are calling for a moratorium on caribou hunting ahead of the limited entry hunt lottery draw, scheduled for the end of the month. On Monday, the Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance, which comprises Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation (Kluskus), Lhtako Dené Nation (Red Bluff), Nazko First Nation and Ulkatcho Nation (Anahim Lake), released a statement calling for the British Columbia government to put in place an immediate moratorium in the Cariboo region. The May 25 hunt lottery draw would allow for up to 38 caribou hunting licences in the Itcha Ilgachuz region. The season opens Sept. 10 and closes Oct. 15, 2018. The government’s most recent monitoring of woodland caribou populations do indicate that herds in B.C. are in decline, according to the province’s website.

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Pineland Forest Nursery Closure Could Affect Local Jobs

By Jamie Roy
SteinbachOnline.com
May 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After 65 of operation, the province has announced Pineland Forest Nursery in Hadashville will close its doors on December 31st. As part of an ongoing extensive value for money review across government, Manitoba Sustainable Development has determined the nursery… is no longer viable as a provincially operated entity. However, it says the nursery contains valuable assets and the province is exploring new options for its use. …David Turchyn, Reeve for the RM of Reynolds explains Pineland Forest Nursery was based on reforestation. He says they provide a service for the province as well as wood and paper companies by extracting seeds, growing and storing seedlings for future planting. …”We’re hoping somebody comes in with some vision, some great opportunities whether it be Peak of the Market or the medicinal marijuana or maybe just as a tree nursery.”

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Alberta creates world’s largest protected boreal forest

By Emma Graney
Edmonton Journal
May 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta has designated four new provincial parks in the province’s north, creating the world’s largest contiguous protected boreal forest.  About the size of New Brunswick, the 6.7-million-hectare chunk of forest builds on Wood Buffalo National Park north of Fort McMurray.  The rejig expands the Birch Mountains park, and adds Kazan, Richardson, Dillon River and Birch River wildland provincial parks to the map.  It’s the largest addition to the Alberta Parks system in history. …What evolved was a unique level of co-operation, which will see Indigenous communities partner with the government in a series of management arrangements to look after the new parks. The government is also exploring an Indigenous Guardian Program, through which First Nations and Métis peoples are hired to monitor the areas, help maintain the lands and provide education and outreach to park visitors.

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Something ‘Supernatural’ heads to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

By Kristyn Anthony
Victoria News
May 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has created a world where nature and the scientific meet, in Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest. Through photography, video and digital art, Supernatural explores how camera-based images shape our understanding of the forest. “The exhibition explores how artists working in the realm of photo and video art are showing us new ways to look at the forest, expanding our understanding of forest environments in surprising and significant ways,” says AGGV curator, Haema Sivanesan. The artists… use photography and film alongside computer generated imaging and 3-D technologies to pose the idea of a new approach to human relationships with trees.

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Correlieu students learn about career opportunities in logging and trucking

By Lindsay Chung
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
May 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Correlieu Secondary School students had a chance to sit in a skidder, climb aboard a buncher and sit in – and blow the horn of – a logging truck last Friday …when the BC Council of Forest Industries held its first “Find Your Path – Embrace a Career in Logging and Trucking” event in Quesnel, with West Fraser Quesnel and Correlieu Secondary School. The full-day event was expected to attract about 400 students. Jim Costley… says this event is all about showing students the opportunities that are out there in the forest industries. Students receive a hands-on opportunity to learn about careers in the logging and trucking sectors of the forestry industry and get a chance to speak with operators and contractors to learn more about their jobs.

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Playing politics with resource revenue sharing

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
May 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wendy Landry

Resource revenue sharing is on the minds of Ontario’s three provincial leadership hopefuls as they roll through Northern Ontario during the election. Allowing First Nations to benefit from mining and forestry operations on their traditional land has been a contentious and unresolved issue for many years. The Wynne Liberal government revealed a potential landmark deal – pending their re-election – by announcing that agreements had been signed with three First Nations organizations, representing 32 communities across the North. …Wendy Landry, president of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) applauded the signatory communities, calling it a “long time coming.” …But she said the province’s largesse needs to be spread around to all communities, some of which are struggling to maintain infrastructure.

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Eacom’s 1st female chief forester plants passion for forestry at Timmins conference

CBC News
May 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jennifer Tallman

As foresters — and those who work in the industry — gather in Timmins for an annual meeting, women in that sector will also take time to compare notes. The annual Ontario Professional Foresters Association’s annual conference is underway. On Tuesday night, a Women in Wood networking event will take place. …”Forestry has traditionally been a male-dominated sector,” Jennifer Tallman, said. She’s the first-ever female chief forester for Eacom Timber. Tallman says Women in Wood… works to encourage more women to get into the field and help those in the field achieve their career goals. …”I think that’s where we as women have the skills to work collaboratively and listen to all the viewpoints.” …Tonight’s event will also feature Faye Johnson, director of forest tenure and economics branch of the MNRF, and Beth MacNeil, assistant deputy minister of Canadian Forest Service.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire inside Prince Albert National Park started as controlled burn

By Charlene Tebbutt
paNOW
May 17, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Park officials said the fire is currently located in the southwest corner of Prince Albert National Park, along the border of Rabbit Creek. Fire management staff started a prescribed burn in the southwest part of the park May 4, but officials said the fire blew out of control due to un-forecasted high winds in the area. …Dean MacDonald, incident commander on the fire said crews from the park, the province, Little Red First Nation and Alberta have been working on the wildfire, and reinforcements are coming from Ontario this week as well. …“This fire was burning under forest conditions where everything was burning; it happens very rarely where all fuel types burn,” MacDonald said. “Typically, an Aspen stand will actually hold off fire and reduce the spread. Under these significant wind conditions we’ve had, everything was burning at the same rate.”

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Smokier conditions north of Lions Bay, as wildfire continues to burn

News1130
May 15, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – A small wildfire continues to burn on Brunswick Mountain, north of Lions Bay. “There’s a lot more smoke in the area today — the sky around that area is full,” says NEWS 1130’s Darren Grieve, who flew over in the NEWS 1130 Air Patrol this morning. “Even when we got to Lions Bay — we’re looking north — we could see that smoke. We could not see that smoke yesterday until we got right over top of the fire itself. So, you can certainly see that that fire has been smoldering all night long.” …The fire is about 0.1 hectares in size. Fire Information Officer Donna MacPherson says ground crews are continuing to tackle the blaze. “This morning, they are hiking up the side of the mountain to gain access into some parts of the fire. It’s in pretty steep terrain, off of a selection of hiking trails up in the area.” …The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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New Brunswick experiencing more than triple the forest fires that it did last year

By Alexander Quon
Global News
May 15, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick firefighters have now downgraded a wildfire in Miramichi, N.B., to ‘contained’ — a relief for residents of the region. But the now contained fire is only the latest in what has been a busy season for firefighters in New Brunswick. As of Tuesday, the province has had more than three times the number of fires this season (91) as it did at the same point last year (24). The number of fires so far in 2018 is quickly approaching the average number experienced over the last 10 years: 125. The province is under a complete fire ban as forest fire season arrives.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Northern Arizona University scientists publish first estimate of carbon emissions from 2014 mega-fires in Canada’s boreal forests

By Kerry Bennett
Northern Arizona Univerisity News
May 17, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

The boreal forest …stores 40 percent of the planet’s terrestrial carbon. North America’s boreal forest …covers an astounding 1.5 billion acres—more than 2.3 million square miles. As mega-fires in the boreal forest become more frequent and more intense, scientists believe the burning of these carbon-rich areas will drastically increase the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere. But because these mega-fire areas are so large—more than 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres)—and are home to a complex diversity of vegetation types, accurately predicting these emissions has been challenging. A recent study completed by a team of Northern Arizona University scientists and published in Global Change Biology was designed to help solve this problem. …“The paper is unique in that it combines detailed, on-the-ground fieldwork with satellite remote sensing products,” Michelle Mack said. 

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Government of Canada launches new fund to help reduce the impacts of climate change and better protect Canadians against natural disasters

By Infrastructure Canada
Cision Newswire
May 17, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

WINDSOR, NS – Investing in mitigation and adaptation infrastructure projects to strengthen communities against the effects of climate change is critical to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Canadians, promoting economic growth and strengthening the middle class. Today, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings–Hants, helped launch the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), a 10-year national program that will invest $2 billion in projects that help communities better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, seismic events and droughts. This follows the official launch earlier today in Calgary by the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. DMAF will support large-scale infrastructure projects with a minimum cost of $20 million like diversion channels, wetland restorations, wildfire barriers and setback levees.

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The costs of climate change are rising

By Glen Hodgson – Conference Board of Canada
The Globe and Mail
May 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Glen Hodgson

Debate about reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions frequently references the costs of different policy choices going forward. There is comparatively little debate about the current and expected economic costs of climate change. Policy debate and decisions need to recognize that there is a cost to doing little or nothing to curb emissions. Real and rising costs are now being felt in two key areas: the economic and financial impact of increasingly severe weather, and the impact on public infrastructure. …Canadian insurers are now facing claims on natural catastrophes… of approximately $1-billion annually, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. …Governments across Canada are engaged in trying to promote the reduction in GHG emissions at the lowest possible cost. Policy makers and the public can debate the pros and cons of the differing policy choices available; but we must also agree that there are costs to not taking action.

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BC public supports forest rehab to address climate change

University of Victoria
May 17, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A top climate change mitigation strategy favoured by British Columbians is the restoration of forests ravaged by wildfires and insects, according to an assessment of public attitudes toward forest carbon mitigation. Researchers with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Forest Carbon Management Project analyzed public opinion about forest management strategies designed to mitigate climate change, as well as the factors that influence an individual’s support for a particular option. Rehabilitation strategy garnered the highest support of eight strategies, according to the research published in the open-access science journal PLOS ONE. …Peterson St-Laurent and co-authors Shannon Hagerman, Robert Kozak and George Hoberg also concluded that the public has greater trust in scientists and professional foresters than government and industry. Government can address the distrust by enhancing partnerships with trusted actors such as environmental organizations, First Nations and scientists, they noted.

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Public feels a ‘sense of urgency’ to restore B.C.’s foraged forests: study

By Melanie Green
The Star Vancouver
May 17, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—Restoring forests ravaged by wildfires and insects is a top priority for British Columbians, according to a new assessment of public attitudes toward climate change. That’s because rehabilitation can speed up the rate of removing carbon from the atmosphere. And researchers found the public has far greater trust in scientists and Indigenous groups rather than government and industry. “Recent natural disasters such as wildfires and mountain pine beetle epidemics influence how citizens think … they believe [restoration] is a priority that needs to be addressed,” said Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent, the study’s lead author. “The forestry sector can potentially contribute to B.C. meeting its climate targets, but the success of mitigation strategies will depend on public buy-in.”
But it’s not just about climate, he added. 

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Climate change broadens threat of emerald ash borer

By The University of Waterloo
EurekAlert
May 17, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

More Canadian cities will experience damage from the emerald ash borer than previously thought. As a result of climate change and fewer days of extreme cold, the beetle may eat its way further north than originally estimated. Kim Cuddington, a professor of biology at the University of Waterloo, led the team that produced a probability map for North America showing where the emerald ash borer is likely to kill trees. “We ran specific predictions to help Canadian cities decide if they need to make plans before they’re affected,” said Cuddington. “Calgary is likely to experience damage, as are Thunder Bay, Prince George and Winnipeg. Edmonton and Saskatoon are less likely, but they should remain vigilant.” So far, the wood-boring beetle has wiped out tens of millions of ash trees and will likely cost municipalities $2 billion. Still, everyone expected the species’ rapid migration would be stopped by Canada’s extremely cold temperatures.

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Health & Safety

North Road proposal draws heat

By Tim Collins
The Caledonia Courier
May 16, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Fort St. James Council is hosting a public meeting… to solicit public input on the proposal by Canfor to fundamentally change the status and use patterns of the North Road (also known as the Germanson Highway). …Councillor Dave Birdi, said that his biggest concern with the proposal involves road maintenance. …Birdi went on to note that the Canfor proposal calls for more heavily laden lumber trucks on the roadway that would move at slower speeds and questioned what the impact would be, both on the roadway and the safety of other traffic. In a February 7th open letter to the community, Canfor… maintained that long “cycle times” and concerns around driver fatigue had motivated their call to increase both the number of days Canfor is able to haul and the volume of timber hauled on each truck.

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