Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Special Feature

Special Feature

Canada’s forest sector awards of excellence

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 9, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Vancouver, BC – The Forest Products Association of Canada held its annual Awards of Excellence luncheon in Vancouver yesterday. Kicked off by FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor and moderated by renowned meteorologist Mark Madryga of Global News, the event honoured the achievements of 16 individuals and community partners who have made special contributions to strengthen Canada’s forest products sector and our forestry communities. “We launched the Awards of Excellence program to honour some of our best and brightest, and to celebrate some special people doing incredible work in our industry,” said Nighbor. “The event is also a chance for us to thank some people who might not work in our sector, but have been champions alongside us in supporting sustainable forest management and the economic benefits that Canadian forestry brings to our communities and the country,” Nighbor added. 

Live links to individual press releases with picture of award reception are below:

Forest Community Champion Awards

FPAC Partnership Awards

Indigenous Business Leadership Award

Skills Award for Indigenous Youth

FPAC Innovation Award

FPAC Lifetime Achievement Awards

FPAC Outstanding Member Award

FPAC Women in Forestry Award of Excellence:

FPAC Rising Star Award:

Read More

What’s a Hoo-Hoo?

By Sandy McKellar
Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club 48
July 12, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The International Order of Hoo-Hoo: The Fraternal Order of the Forest Products Industry, is one of the longest standing industry service clubs in the world. …If you work in the forest and lumber sector, you’ve likely heard of this enigmatic club. Perhaps you’re a member. But do you know the history of the club and the origin of its name? Hoo-Hoo got its start in 1892 in the small town of Gurdon, Arkansas. …Founding member William Barnes wanted club directors to have “eerie and peculiar” names. For inspiration, he turned to a contemporary at the time – author Lewis Carroll –and his nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. …Finally – let’s get back to the curious Hoo-Hoo. What is it exactly? The name Hoo-Hoo came from a nickname given to a lumberman back in the late 1800’s due to an unruly tuft of his hair! …Join us in the beautiful village of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada, for the 127th HHI Convention

Read More

The Who’s Who of Hoo-Hoo in Vancouver

By Sandy McKellar
Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club
May 2, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club hosted their annual Members’ Night Reverse Draw and Dinner last night at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver. “This event is growing in popularity,” said organizer Jay Puder of Transpac Group about the sold-out event. This forest industry fraternity dates back to 1892, when it was founded in Gurdon, Arkansas! Special guests at the Vancouver event included Hoo-Hoo International, Snark of the Universe, Jack Miller and his wife Rita, who travelled from Boston to join fellow lumbermen (and women). Miller was presented with a Yellow Cedar talking stick by Vancouver Club President Stirling Angus. The highlight of the event was the Reverse Draw, this year Mike Wilson took home the pot! Learn more about the Vancouver Hoo-Hoo Club and their upcoming International Convention (Whistler, BC) here.

 

Read More

Western Forest Products Announces Latest Plans and Progress in Ongoing Commitment to Identify and Protect Big Trees

By Babita Khunkhun
Western Forest Products
April 23, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – Big trees on the coast of British Columbia are revered for their biological and cultural value. As part of its sustainable forestry practices, identifying and protecting these awe-inspiring trees has been an ongoing focus at Western Forest Products. “Our team members share a great sense of responsibility toward safeguarding the forests under our care. We are proud to have formalized a big tree policy in 2016 that strengthened guidelines used by our forest professionals in the retention of big trees and we look forward to continuing to build on our big tree conservation efforts,” said Shannon Janzen, Vice President and Chief Forester, Western Forest Products. “We are protecting B.C.’s biggest trees using new science and technology and through consultation and collaboration with First Nations and academics to build on our forest stewardship at Western.” Through the use of LiDAR, Western has identified approximately 2,000 big trees that could meet the standards of the company’s big tree retention policy.

Read More

FPAC Champions Women and Gender Diversity in the Workplace

By Kelly McCloskey and Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 17, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gender equality and diversity for women in Canada’s forest sector was the theme of a breakfast panel at the Vancouver Club yesterday. Set in the subtle glitz of the ballroom, guests filled their plates, joining colleagues and friends for a unique event sponsored by the Forest Products Association of Canada’s (FPAC). The panel presentation—part of FPAC’s recently launched #TakeYourPlace Campaign—was part of a Canada-wide effort by the federal government and the Canadian Institute of Forestry to promote opportunities for women in Forestry. Moderated by Michelle Ward, Director of Corporate Communications at Canfor, the panel included MP Dr. Hedy Fry, Vancouver City Councillor Lisa Dominato, and Sustainable Forestry Initiative President and CEO Kathy Abusow. These accomplished professionals spoke of their experiences as a woman in the workplace, and—given what they know now—shared what they would recommend if they could give some advice to their “younger-selves”. 

Click the Read More below for a full story of the presentations…

Read More

Scribbles from the 2019 COFI Convention

By Paul Harder
Harder Blog
April 8, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Harder

41 speaker quotes from the 2019 COFI Convention:

1. Convention buzzwords: innovation, inclusion, sharing, partnerships, relationship, certainty, predictability, capacity (ability), conservation, caribou
2. “A new model of forest management.” – Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development
3. “China-U.S. negotiations are only a small subset of the larger tensions.” – Robert Johnston, Managing Director, Global Energy & Natural Resources, Eurasia Group
4. “India and Southeast Asia will become more important for Canada’s forest sector than China.” – Robert Johnston

Read More

COFI 2019 Convention Tree Frog Photo Gallery

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 9, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Please enjoy our gallery of images captured at the COFI 2019 convention. It’s our pleasure to bring friends and colleagues together—and capture smiling faces, conversations and presentations at industry events. This is a small (237!) sampling of the many pictures Sandy took over three days of the convention. Once we’ve deleted the closed eyes and other obvious bloopers, it’s hard to delete images, every one captures different nuances of the speakers’ personalities! Over the next week, we will endeavour to email pictures to those we photographed – however, please contact us if there’s an image you would like. 

Read More

COFI 2019 Convention Wrap-up

By Susan Yurkovich
Council of Forest Industries
April 5, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

I’d like to wrap up the 2019 COFI Convention by summarizing what we’ve heard over the last couple of days. …I hope you will agree that we’ve been given a lot of food for thought and I hope that will you will leave here like me, optimistic. There’s no question that we have challenges, but working collectively and doing the right thing—we can continue to be a proud foundational industry, that’s going to benefit generations for decades to come. In closing, I want to again express my thanks to our exhibitors for being here this week. Thanks also to our convention presenting sponsor, Finning Canada, and today’s platinum sponsor Farris, and to all the sponsors of this year’s convention. And finally thank you, our delegates, for your participation. That concludes this year’s convention. I invite you all to join us again at next year’s convention, when we return to the Prince George Civic Centre, April 1-3, 2020.

Read More

Premier John Horgan Supports a Strong and Sustainable Future for BC’s Forest Industry

Canadian Wood Council
April 5, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rick Jeffery

The Canadian Wood Council applauds Premier John Horgan’sannouncement… to choose wood construction wherever possible for public sector buildings. Two landmark projects mentioned as examples where wood will be showcased prominently are the new Royal BC Museum in Victoria and the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. “Premier Horgan’s announcement in support of increased wood opportunities in BC is welcome news for an industry that supports jobs, market development, and CleanBC’s plan to reduce climate pollution for the province,” explained Rick Jeffery, Interim President of the Canadian Wood Council. …“This is the beginning of the change our forest industry needs,” Premier Horgan said. “We have committed $20 billion in public infrastructure over the next three years. I have directed that all these projects consider the use of engineered wood as a primary building material, whenever and wherever possible.”

Read More

Susan Yurkovich, Doug Donaldson kick of COFI conference

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week, almost 700 business, government, First Nations and community leaders have gathered in Vancouver for the B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI) annual convention. …On the coattails of yesterday’s PwC report revealing industry’s profound role as a driver of the economy… CEO Susan Yurkovich was quick to speak to some of the unique highlights. In addition to generating 140,000 jobs—one out of every 17 in the province—was that fact that the jobs were well distributed to every corner of the province. And fully 40% of them were in the lower mainland while 9% are First Nations. …Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests,  provided an update on the key initiatives he’s been working on and two funding announcements. …Other updates were provided on the Coast Revitalization Initiative, pending and future changes to FRPA—which included a teaser on a “new model of forest management” in Premier Horgan’s closing speech on Friday.

Read More

Networking with friends and colleagues at #COFI2019

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

With a crowd of close to 700 people, the 2019 COFI convention was a remarkable gathering of the “who’s who” of the forest sector. Here are some of the pictures we captured — friends and colleagues enjoying each other’s company. We’ll have more pictures on Monday.

Read More

Risk & opportunity and the economic outlook for the forest sector

By Kelly McCloskey, Editor
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Early up on COFI’s conference agenda were two keynote speakers addressing risk & opportunity and the economic outlook for the forest sector. Robert Johnston of the Eurasia Group, spoke of the risks and opportunities from a globalization and geopolitics perspective. According to Johnston, the top risks lie in the US-China relationship, European populism (e.g., their version of America First) and the increase in non-democratic leaders around the world—particularly given the decline in US support for the institutions the West has relied on for economic order. …Jock Finlayson followed with a snapshot of the US Canada and BC’s economic outlook, which he described as “slowing”. The downside drivers being: the US housing market—which remains well below past highs; Canada’s competitiveness vis-à-vis the US—particularly in the area of regulation; and the lack of investment in machinery and equipment.

Read More

MacNaughton says Canada may not fare better with Democrat as U.S. president

By Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duncan Davies and David MacNaughton

US says he is often exasperated by the tweets of U.S. President Donald Trump, but that it’s not a given Canada would be more successful if a Democrat were elected president next year. …at the annual convention of COFI, David MacNaughton said many grievances expressed by Mr. Trump are also shared by some Democrats. “Therefore, we shouldn’t be thinking about, ‘Oh my gosh. At least if there is a change, everything is going to be OK,’ ” Mr. MacNaughton said on Thursday, adding, the President’s re-election hinges on whether the U.S. economy remains strong. …“It is always easy to get a deal if you’re prepared to do a bad deal, and we have not been prepared to do a bad deal,” said Mr. MacNaughton, who also denounced steel tariffs imposed on Canada by the Trump administration

Read More

Pressing U.S. on softwood deal would be sign of weakness, ambassador says

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

David MacNaughton

Canada faces little prospects of getting a deal now to settle the Canada/U.S. softwood lumber dispute, so it’s a bad idea to even try, said David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. in a speech Thursday to industry executives. “If we were to plead with the U.S. lumber coalition to come back to the table to negotiate right now, I think they would see it as a sign of weakness,” MacNaughton said during a discussion with the media after his presentation to the Council of Forest Industries convention. “While we’re open to sit down and have negotiations, we think the best way to get a fair deal for Canada is to let the dispute resolution process continue and work with U.S. interests being damaged by the tariffs.”

Read More

B.C. invests $7.9 million to continue advancing wood use and growing global market

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of BC
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

To create and support good jobs in British Columbia’s forest sector, government is investing $7.9 million to promote and grow markets for B.C. wood products at home and abroad. Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, made the announcement in his opening remarks at the annual Council of Forest Industries conference. “Advancing new products and markets for B.C.’s world-class wood products supports good jobs in over 140 communities throughout British Columbia,” said Donaldson. “Advancing innovation in wood products and wood technology supports our strategy to maintain B.C. jobs in B.C.’s forest sector.” …A total of $7.9 million will be made available, with $5.8 million committed to activities that work to expand markets for B.C.’s wood products in Asia and North America. The remaining $2.1 million will be… dedicated to the innovative use of wood and wood building systems in B.C.

Read More

Forest improvement projects receive almost $3.4 million

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. is providing nearly $3.4 million to support a range of projects to improve unproductive forests or forests that have been damaged by wildfires or pests. Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, announced the new funding at COFI’s convention in Vancouver. …“Projects funded by the society have generated over $230 million in economic activity and supported 1,400 jobs in B.C.” …Additional funding applications related to other aspects of forest enhancement are currently being evaluated by the society. Projects funded by the society are helping minimize wildfire risks, enhance wildlife habitat, improve low-value and damaged forests, re-plant damaged forests and make fibre for green energy production.

Read More

COFI kicks off their Vancouver Conference with a sold out Ice Breaker

Kelly McCloskey, Editor
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 3, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) kicked off their annual forestry conference—one of Canada’s largest— with a sold-out Ice Breaker in Vancouver. The two-day conference promises to be an outstanding event given the expected attendance of  650 delegates and high profile speakers such as David MacNaughton, Canada’s Ambassador to the US, BC Premier John Horgan and BC Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson. Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of COFI opened the conference and welcomed the delegates. The event sponsor, John Desjardins, National Sector Leader, Forest Products at KPMG shared the stage, emphasizing the importance of the event and the forest sector to KPMG. Contrasting the current economic climate with last year, Desjardin noted the cyclic nature of the sector and how quickly its fortunes can change. To follow our pictorial record of the event, follow the link in the Read More below – we’ll be adding more pictures each day.

Read More

COFI 2019 Ice Breaker in Pictures

Tree Frog Forestry News
April 3, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2019 Council of Forest Industries kicked-off their annual convention Wednesday night with well attended Ice Breaker Reception. Held at the elegant Parq Hotel in Vancouver—the backdrop for the event featured over 50 trade show booths interspersed with gourmet food stations and plenty of room to network.

Read More

BC Oscars recognize designers that push the wood envelope

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
March 5, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Wood Council initiative to grow the market for wood hosted its 15th annual wood gala awards at the Vancouver Convention Centre Monday evening. The event, organized and hosted by Wood WORKS! BC, was a sold-out affair with 460 attendees. Co-hosts Greg Sinclair (Wood WORKS! chair) and Lynn Embury-Williams (Executive Director) spoke of the “exciting times in BC” given the 2009 building code change that allowed mid-rise wood structures and the new changes that will soon allow timber buildings up to 12 storeys. To date, more that 400 mid-rise buildings and multi-building complexes have been constructed or are in the process of being designed and built. 

With more than 103 nominations for 14 award categories, the Oscars-like event was a showcase of innovation, efficiency, beauty and environmentally sustainable design. Top award winners included Shelley Craig of Urban Arts Architecture who snagged to coveted Wood Champion Award for her work in support of the 2009 mid-rise code changes and the championing and adoption of its application and use since. 

Read More

ABCFP 2019 Conference and AGM Picture Gallery

Tree Frog News Editorial
February 15, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tree Frog News team attended the 71st AGM & Conference of the Association of BC Forest Professionals last week in Kamloops. You’ve seen some of our updates and images. Today we release our full photo gallery. Warning – it’s a big one! Many of the attendees have emailed us asking for images, you can now download what you need from the gallery in the link. Next week we’ll have our final panel and speaker reports, so stay tuned.

Read More

BC Forest Industry Feels Pressure on Multiple Fronts

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog News Editors
February 11, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The competitiveness of the BC forest industry, and market and fibre challenges facing the sector over the next few years, were front and centre in two of the ABCFP’s breakout sessions at their annual meeting in Kamloops last week. The first panel, “Healthy Forests Need a Competitive Forest Sector” was moderated by Interfor’s Brad Bennett. …John Allan, BC’s Deputy Minister of Forests, spoke of the government’s top priorities; the economy and reconciliation with First Nations. This includes actions leading to more meaningful participation by First Nations in the forest economy, and coastal and interior revitalization efforts.

The second panel, moderated by Forsite’s Cam Brown, focused on one of the most important decision processes for industry and government—the Timber Supply Review (TSR) and the setting of the annual allowable cut. …On the separation of the establishment of an AAC from strategic forest management decisions, Diane Nicholls (BC’s Chief Forester) spoke of the importance of ensuring the AAC assumptions match forest practices on the ground; and where they diverge significantly, government’s ability to shorten the time frame between AAC reviews.

Read More

BC’s Professional Governance Act feels like a “solution looking for a problem”

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog News Editorial
February 11, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Early drafts of the recently assented Professional Governance Act—established by the BC government to “ensure the public interest and the environment are pro­tected”—threatened to upset many of the pillars of professional regulators, according to the CEOs of the Association of BC Forest Professionals (Christine Gelowitz, RPF), Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (Ann English, P.Eng) and the College of Applied Biology (Christine Houghton). Speaking at the BC foresters AGM last week, the three CEOs spoke of the government’s rushed legislation, its lack of policy clarity, the cost implications, and future uncertainty given the broad discretion and far-reaching powers of the soon-to-be-established Office of the Superintendent. Also affected by the Act are the BC Institute of Agrologists and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC. …Notwithstanding the concerns, all three association CEOs spoke of the potential benefits, the importance of continual improvement, and the opportunity to raise awareness of how professionals protect the public’s interest.

Read More

Professional Governance Act will build public trust, enable forest practices changes

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog News Editorial
February 8, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Opening day two of the annual meeting of BC’s Forest Professionals, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, provided an update on his government’s most recent forest policy initiatives. Prior to Mr. Donaldson taking the podium, Chief Dr. Ronald Ignace of the Skeetchestn Indian Band welcomed the delegates to his traditional territory, ardently challenging the attending foresters to combine western and traditional forest management knowledge for the betterment of the forest. Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian’s welcome included commentary on the importance of professional leadership in bringing science to the forefront when addressing the issue of import to his and other forest-based communities.

Read More

Expedited funding aids forest industry and environment

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
February 7, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson and Steve Kozuki

Funding of $10 million from the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia will mean more wood waste will be redirected to mills instead of being burned on the ground, creating more jobs for British Columbians and reducing carbon emissions. “This is good for local jobs and for the health of the forests, and it is a positive step toward increased safety for forest-dependent communities,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Companies and workers will be able to make better use of residual timber and, in addition to creating employment and reducing waste, this approach will also help to reduce fuel on the landscape to mitigate wildfire risk.” …The ministry’s Forest Carbon Initiative, along with partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, focuses on how to make better use of wood fibre and reduce emissions from the burning of wood waste.

Read More

Forest inventory program review completed

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
February 7, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

A blue ribbon panel review of B.C.’s forest inventory program has made recommendations to improve the program. These recommendations come in the wake of the pine beetle epidemic and other pest infestations, as well as the effects of two intense wildfire seasons. …With its large and diverse forested areas, much of them remote, British Columbia faces one of the most daunting forest inventory challenges anywhere. “Our forests are one of our most precious resources,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Now more than ever, we need to make the right decisions in all areas of forest management to ensure our forest industry is truly sustainable and our forests are managed for multiple values. This report on the forest inventory program will help us do that.” …In its report, the panel made 16 recommendations to strengthen and enhance the forest inventory program, including sustainable funding, better data collection, increased program linkages and improved communication. 

Read More

Species at Risk: Developing a Successful Provincial Strategy

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog News Editorial
February 7, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) kicked off their annual conference yesterday with in-depth discussions on climate change and species at risk, prior to a plenary on the challenges and importance of planning for healthy and resilient forests. The three-day conference promises to be an outstanding event given the attendance of more than 550 delegates and high profile speakers such as Minister Doug Donaldson and Deputy Minister John Allan from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development still to come.

Moderator Archie MacDonald (COFI) introduced the first discussion on BC’s efforts to develop a Species at Risk Act. First up, Dr. Tara Martin (University of BC) spoke of BC’s significant challenge, with 214 at risk species, and the failure of the current “single species” approach, where decades of study and planning take place prior to action on a single species of import—often too little, too late.

Read More

Providing Healthy and Resilient Forests

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Editorial
February 7, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

In 2017 and 2018, 2.5 million hectares of BC’s landscape burned due to wildfires, while several beetle infestations soared to new heights. What will the summer of 2019 bring and how do we adapt our forest practices to ensure forest resilience? Cue Michael Bragg (ABCFP Host Committee Chair) to kick off the first plenary session, introducing Paul Rasmussen (FLNRORD) the panel moderator. Dr. Paul Hessburg (University of Washington) spoke first of his work on how historical forest and fire management on Inland Pacific landscapes has transformed the area’s successional and disturbance dynamics over time (e.g., species, density life form patterns, etc.) and how those forests should best be evolved going forward.

Read More

Reflections of the Real Santa Clause – Christmas 2018

By W.E.(Bill) Dumont, RPF
Letter to Tree Frog Editors
December 20, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Santa Dumont

During my 40-year forestry career, I have been asked to play Santa Claus many times in a few former coastal logging camps like Jeune Landing and Sewell Inlet.  I have even dressed up my old dog Cruiser with real deer horns and a nice lipstick covered red nose to accompany Santa to represent Rudolph much to the delight of hundreds of kids in these isolated villages. In those days it was the tradition that Santa consumed a generous amount of rye and coke to overcome his stage fright and fears of a screaming kid on his knee. Mostly that worked as Santa does not recall all the happenings during those shouts of glee and “Santa, Santa”  from wide-eyed young kids as Santa handed out hundreds of presents and took pictures with the logger’s families. Since I made my final move to the Cowichan Valley 15 years ago I have volunteered at the BC Forest Discovery Centre as their main Santa for Christmas season.

Read More

Forest Service Retirees TREEdition of Friendship

By Robin Brown
Letter to Tree Frog Editors
December 14, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Every December, retirees of the BC Forest Service in and around Victoria gather to renew acquaintances,  reminisce of forests past, and share some Xmas cheer. This TREEdition was started in 1982 by Gordie Ackerman and Curt Clarke, an infamous office prankster, to celebrate Pete Robinson’s retirement. It was held at the Army and Navy on Wharf St. Events are now held at the Royal Cdn. Legion on Gorge Rd. and commence at 1 pm so attendees can return home before dark.  Robin Brown, former Manager, Silviculture Branch, is the current custodian of this TREEdition.  Robin’s Xmas gathering announcement is welcomed news amongst his unfortunate, but appreciated, conveyances of colleagues’ departures.

Read More

Starting new TREEditions on Vancouver Island

By Brian Barber, RPF, Select Seed Co. Ltd
Letter to Tree Frog Editors
December 7, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Barber

My wife and I started a new holiday tradition last year. On the first weekend in December, we drive up Island (from Victoria) to get a couple of Nordmann fir Xmas trees from Don Pigott, Hon. Member (ABCFP), Yellow Point Propagation, or his neighbour, Yellow Point Cranberries.  We take in a hike and visit with colleagues on the way up, and enjoy Ladysmith’s Xmas lights on the way back. Recommend going on a Saturday when Ladysmith’s Old Town Bakery, famous for its cinnamon buns, is open and finishing the day with a  Christmas Express train ride at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan.

Read More

My Danish Christmas TREEditions

By Henrik Laursen, Dan Vik Marketing Services Ltd.
Letter to Tree Frog Editors
December 19, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hej Kelly, Heidi and Sandy, In my Danish World, there are actually only 3 days to Dec. 24th.  I do not mind also celebrating the Canadian one, on December 25th. In my tradition, it has to be a Noble Fir, and we walked ours home today. Shall do a bit of trimming today, and most likely complete decorating at some point. I brought a lot of decorations with me from Denmark; some would be from the late 1800s/ early 1900s. Have added since. Why must it be a Noble Fir?  Because the branches are sturdy with good spacing.  This is a requirement, as we put around 30 live candles on it:  50% red + 50% white = Canadian and Danish colours.

Read More

Unique Nova Scotia lab searching for the perfect Christmas tree

By Aly Thomson
CTV News
December 9, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia professor is striving to create the ideal Christmas tree, inside the only research lab of its kind in the world. Dalhousie University’s Raj Lada is the director of the Christmas Tree Research Centre in Truro, N.S., a unique lab dedicated to improving balsam fir Christmas trees. …and a plant, tree and ecophysiology professor in the school’s Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences Department. …Lada said solving industry-wide challenges, such as needle retention, is critical to the survival of the multimillion-dollar Christmas tree industry in Atlantic Canada, as it competes with other markets and artificial trees. …Among his latest research projects is the SMART tree, which Lada believes will revolutionize the Christmas tree industry. Lada and his team started by screening balsam firs for ideal traits, including fullness and the ability to retain needles. Genetic markers for those traits were identified.

Read More

The Plague Killing Frogs Everywhere Is Far Worse Than Scientists Thought

By Carl Zimmer
The New York Times
March 28, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States

On Thursday, 41 scientists published the first worldwide analysis of a fungal outbreak that’s been wiping out frogs for decades. …The researchers conclude that populations of more than 500 species of amphibians have declined significantly because of the outbreak — including at least 90 species presumed to have gone extinct. …The losses were puzzling, because the frogs were living in pristine habitats, unharmed by pollution or deforestation. In the late 1990s, researchers discovered Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis — Bd. …The fungus turned up in other countries — probably via the international trade in pet amphibians. …Certain factors once thought to account for the decimation of frog populations — like climate change and deforestation — are not the greatest threats, the scientists found.  …Today, 39 percent of the species that suffered population declines are still declining. Twelve percent are showing signs of recovery.

Read More

A Few Species of Frogs That Vanished May Be on the Rebound

By Carl Zimmer
The New York Times
March 29, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States

In 2013, two biologists named Jamie Voyles and Corinne L. Richards-Zawacki spent weeks slogging up and down mountainsides in Panama. …In front of them sat the object of their quest: a single gold-and-black frog. …“They used to be so abundant …But in recent years… they couldn’t find any. …As had frogs around the world. Dr. Voyles and other frog researchers found that many of the dead frogs were covered with the same aggressive skin fungus, known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd. …Now scientists are trying to figure out what accounts for these rebounds. Dr. Voyles published evidence suggesting that the frogs have gained potent defenses in their skin against the fungus. …Even climate change may be temporarily helping some frogs withstand the fungus.

Read More

The Fire of Notre-Dame de Paris

By Caroline Harrap
France Today
May 16, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

…One of the nation’s most beloved landmarks, this masterpiece of medieval architecture dates back more than 850 years. …Since that time, the building has been the scene of… the crowning of King Henry VI of England in 1431, Napoleon’s coronation took place there in 1804. …Today, the cathedral is the most visited monument in France, even ahead of the Eiffel Tower, attracting some 12 million people a year. …Though the cathedral is still standing… it has been estimated that it will take at least four months to fully secure the site. …As well as creating a temporary roof, a huge wooden framework will be erected in order to support the main structure, while most of the stained-glass windows will need to be removed and put into storage.

Several leading restoration experts have expressed their desire to see the cathedral recreated as it was previously and the integrity of the building preserved. They have also pointed out that this would be the quickest and easiest way to restore the cathedral – an important consideration if it is to be rebuilt… in time for the 2024 Olympics. …Others have suggested that perhaps a compromise could be reached – where the integrity of the existing structure is respected but new materials are incorporated. For example, the roof could be constructed with steel, concrete or laminated beams – removing the difficulty and expense of finding enough large oak trees. “If laminated wood was used, it could also have the added benefit of making the building more eco-friendly,” adds Michael Heurtevant.

There’s a new sense of optimism that whatever form the renovation takes, France’s beloved cathedral will be back. There was perhaps no better symbol of this than the moment when the statue that once topped the fallen spire, a copper sculpture of a cockerel, was recovered from the rubble “battered but apparently restorable”. A phoenix from the ashes indeed.

Read More

The entire wooden interior of Notre Dame Cathedral has been lost

By Ryan Prior
CNN
April 15, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

A “forest” of wooden latticework inside Notre Dame Cathedral fueled the fire that consumed the iconic church. The medieval roof structure “has been lost,” according to Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, the rector of the cathedral. The cathedral’s wooden frame, which primarily consisted of oak, contains beams that date as far back as the first frame built for the cathedral. That frame featured trees cut down between 1160 and 1170, forming one of the oldest parts of the structure. Most of the current frame dates from the year 1220, according to the church’s website. The modern frame is the second frame, and reflects adjustments made early in the cathedral’s construction process. The prevailing Gothic style called for high vaulted ceilings. To accommodate this, the cathedral’s plans required tall, sturdy oaks from a nearby forest. To kick off the project, workers cleared 21 hectares of oak. Each beam of the intricate wooden cross-work was drawn from a different tree: estimated at 13,000 trees in total. To reach the heights the carpenters needed to build the structure, those trees would likely have been 300 or 400 years old, meaning they would have sprouted out of the ground in the eighth or ninth centuries

Read More

Notre Dame’s age, design fueled fire and foiled firefighters

By Michael R. Sisak
Associated Press in ABC News
April 15, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

NEW YORK — Is there anything firefighters could have done to control the blaze that tore through Paris’ historic Notre Dame Cathedral sooner? Experts say the combination of a structure that’s more than 850 years old, built with heavy timber construction and soaring open spaces, and lacking sophisticated fire-protection systems led to the quick rise of flames Monday, which jeopardized the entire cathedral before firefighters brought the blaze under control. …With a building like that, it’s nearly impossible for firefighters to attack a fire from within. Instead, they have to be more defensive “and try to control the fire from the exterior,” said Bryant, a former fire chief in Oklahoma and past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “When a fire gets that well-involved it’s very difficult to put enough water on it to cool it to bring it under control,” Bryant said. …Other landmark houses of worship have taken steps in recent years to reduce the risk of a fire.

Read More

Women With Axes: Looking Back at World War II ‘Lumberjills’

By Emily Ludolph
The New York Times
March 20, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

At 7 a.m. on any given day in 1942, as R.A.F. pilots sped back from skirmishes over the English Channel …a truck would swing down a British country lane to pick up a crew of women and ferry them deep into the forest. The women piling into the truck …were an elite part of England’s civilian defense efforts: the Women’s Timber Corps, playfully called “lumberjills.” …The lumberjills were part of the Women’s Land Army, which numbered some 80,000 at the height of World War II. …The organization was called back into action in the summer of 1939, roughly three months before Britain declared war against Germany. …Over the course of the war, the number of women working in British industry shot up by roughly a third, from 5.5 million to 7.35 million.

Read More

Here’s a forestry TREEdition from the UK

By Sam Coggins PhD, RPF
Letter to Tree Frog Editors
December 20, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

The build-up to Christmas in the United Kingdon is pretty hectic and can keep foresters on the private estates busy as staff split firewood to order, collect holly and ivy for wreaths, branches for decorations, and fulfill orders for Christmas trees. A couple of the private estates I worked on in the UK had Christmas tree plantations whereby folks ordered a tree and had them delivered to their house. One year we got an order for a 40ft tree that was due to go up in the local town. This required heading out of the usual Christmas tree plantations which had trees up to about 15 feet tall and into older plantations which had trees that were now part of a commercial plantation. We went out with the tractor and trailer and after walking through the plantation for around an hour the head forester found a decent tree.

Read More

Merry Christmas and All the Best for 2019!

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
December 21, 2018
Category: Special Feature

Read More