Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for February 21 2019

Business & Politics

Community tries to save Fort Frances mill from destruction

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, ON — Observers say they have never seen so many people at any meeting of Fort Frances town council. With the fate of the Resolute paper mill on the agenda, the viewing gallery was jammed Tuesday evening, requiring town officials to provide seating for spectators to watch the proceedings through a video feed to a separate room. The special meeting called by council gave stakeholders and community members an opportunity to express their concern about the growing prospect the idled mill will be demolished by a company with which Resolute has already reached what it calls a “backstop” agreement.  According to one councillor, Michael Behan, the loss of the mill would have “a 7.6 per cent tax impact” on Fort Frances. Speakers endorsed council’s effort to head that off by supporting a sale to an investment group that proposes to reopen the mill to produce specialty paper.

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Council to ‘stand up for citizens’

By Duane Hicks
International Falls Journal
February 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fort Frances council has a duty to defend the interests of its constituents and so has decided after all to consider a proposed resolution regarding the bidding process for the possible sale of the local mill. In an official statement issued by the Town of Fort Frances last week, it indicated council was set to consider the resolution at a special meeting Tuesday. “Our council has a duty to defend the interests of our constituents and their rights over local, publicly-owned resources,” the statement said. As reported earlier this week, a resolution for consideration by council was prepared in response to correspondence received by the town from Resolute Forest Products on Feb. 8. …Resolute informed the council that it had “signed a backstop agreement to transfer the Fort Frances mill property to a community redeveloper.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Row breaks out over Sidewalk Lab’s Toronto smart neighbourhood plan

Global Construction Review
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A row has broken out over a plan to develop a next-generation smart neighbourhood in Toronto after the developer revealed plans to finance it with fees and taxes that would normally be collected by the city government. Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet and a sister company of Google, released an update on its plan to build a model neighbourhood of the future in Toronto last Thursday (14 February). The update sets out the objectives of the district and its business case, and includes new renderings of its mass-timber buildings from Norwegian architect Snøhetta and London-based Heatherwick Studio. …However, an internal report was also leaked last week that revealed Sidewalk Labs’ plan to lay claim to fees and taxes in exchange for funding Toronto’s waterfront transit, prompting critics of the project to question whether it should be allowed to continue.

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Consumers’ use of toilet paper wiping out habitat, heating planet, report says

By Ellen Wulfhorst
Thomson Reuters Foundation
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Americans use more toilet paper than anyone else in the world, helping destroy the habitats of native people who live where it is sourced and contributing to global warming, a research study said on Wednesday. U.S. consumers use roughly three rolls of toilet paper a week, accounting for a fifth of the world’s tissue consumption, according to the report by environmental groups Stand.earth and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Single-use tissue products such as toilet paper used in the United States are made from wood pulp, mostly derived from logging in the old-growth northern, or boreal, forest in Canada, where logging companies clear cut more than a million acres (405,000 hectares) every year, the NRDC said. The forest plays a key role in combating global warming because it absorbs and stores carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that contributes to it, the group said.

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Western Hemisphere’s Tallest Timber Tower Okayed

By Jeramey Jannene
Urban Milwaukee
February 20, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A zoning change for the tallest wood building in the Western Hemisphere was given unanimous approval by the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee Wednesday morning. New Land Enterprises is planning to build Ascent, a 21-story tower with 201 apartments, on a long-vacant site… The tower would be largely built of a man-made lumber product that is designed to be environmentally friendly and more attractive than steel or concrete. “The goal of the glazing in large part is to expose that material,” said architect Jason Korb of the tower’s many windows. “I think the design is outstanding,” said committee member and area alderman Robert Bauman. …The engineered material offers substantial environmental benefits over steel or concrete. Because of its reduced weight, it also can reduce the size of a building’s foundation allowing faster construction. Construction speed is further enhanced with the use of prefabricated components.

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Forestry

More money in B.C. budget for wildfire response as natural disaster costs soar

By Shelby Thom
Global News
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 2019 B.C. budget allocates more funding towards disaster response, but the leader of the B.C. Green Party says better policies need to follow suit in the face of climate change. Budget 2019 includes a wildfire response funding increase from $64 million to $101 million per year “in recognition of increased wildfire activity.” However, the province has spent more than that during every wildfire season since 2011. “It’s basically the bare minimum that the government is allocating for wildfire response but it’s not enough if fires were as strong as they were in the past,” said UBC Okanagan economics instructor Julien Picault. …Other wildfire-related items in the budget include $13 million over three years to restore forests damaged by disease and wildfire and the distribution of $60 million announced in 2018/19 for fuel management.

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Assessment must be done before blowdown salvage

Letter by Sabine Almstrom
Cowichan Valley Citizen
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The consultant should provide advice on how to proceed in the most environmentally sensitive manner. …The size of blowdown in the North Cowichan municipal forest reserve, estimated around 8,000 cubic metres, is huge and constitutes an enormous loss of valuable trees. Salvage of such a magnitude of trees should not be undertaken by the municipal forestry department without a prior environmental assessment by a qualified and independent ecological consultant. The consultant should also provide advice on how to proceed in the most environmentally sensitive and least harmful manner. The affected areas are just too large, with too many ecosystem-based complexities that need to be considered. We can’t let salvaging go ahead just as business-as-usual. To do so would be utterly irresponsible.

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Logging opponents push to block Montana timber sale

Associated Press in Billings Gazette
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOZEMAN — Attorneys for a group of logging opponents have pushed for an injunction against a timber sale southeast of Bozeman, arguing the state set unfair terms for the auction. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports attorneys for Save Our Gallatin Front urged a Gallatin County judge on Tuesday to block the Limestone West Timber Sale, a 443-acre (179-hectare) project the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation proposed for school trust lands.
 
 

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Corporate landowners recognized for stewardship

The Albany Herald
February 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp recognized three corporate forest landowners for their stewardship and land management practices benefiting wildlife across Georgia. Georgia Power, Weyerhaeuser and CatchMark Timber Trust were honored as 2018 partners in the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership. Administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, Forestry for Wildlife Partnership is a voluntary program that promotes sustainable forest and wildlife conservation in corporate forestry practices. …DNR Wildlife Resources Division Director Rusty Garrison explained that working with private landowners to benefit wildlife and natural habitats is critical because more than 90 percent of Georgia’s land is in private ownership.

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